Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

50 GOP officials: Trump endangers US national security

Press TV – August 8, 2016

US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would put in danger the United States’ security, warn 50 top Republican national security officials.

The officials issued their warning Monday in a letter which was signed by aides and Cabinet members of past GOP administrations including George W. Bush’s and Richard Nixon’s.

“Mr. Trump lacks the character, values, and experience to be president,” the letter reads, adding he “would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.”

The letter also declared that, “None of us will vote for Donald Trump,” according to the New York Times.

Michael Hayden, former director of both the CIA and National Security Agency

Among the officials are Michael Hayden, former director of both the CIA and National Security Agency; Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of Homeland Security for Bush and President Obama; John Negroponte, former director of national intelligence under Bush; Tom Ridge, former homeland security director under Bush in addition to former governor of the battleground state of Pennsylvania; as well as others who have worked as trade representatives, national security advisers and ambassadors.

Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of Homeland Security for both Bush and Obama

The officials said the GOP nominee “appears to lack basic knowledge about the belief in the US Constitution, US laws, and US institutions, including religious tolerance, freedom of the press, and an independent judiciary.”

Some other top Republicans have also declared they will not vote for the business mogul, but instead will support his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

On Monday, Lezlee Westine, an aide to former president Bush, said she will support Clinton.

Westine, who worked as the White House director of the office of public liaison and as a deputy assistant to Bush, said she will support Clinton.

“Our nation faces a unique set of challenges that require steady and experienced leadership,” Westine said. “That is why today I am personally supporting Hillary Clinton. She has the expertise and commitment to American values to grow the economy, create jobs and protect America at home and abroad.”

Meanwhile, Trump on Monday announced his new economic plan, part of which he said he would slash taxes, block onerous financial regulations and unleash the energy sector.

“We are in a competition with the world, and I want America to win,” Trump told the Detroit Economic Club. “I want to jump-start America. It can be done, and it won’t even be that hard.”

Trump’s campaign has been marked by a lot of controversies including his remarks against Muslims and immigrants to the US.

This is while Clinton’s lead  over Trump is significantly growing in recent polls in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential race.

August 8, 2016 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Israel launching task force to target, deport BDS activists

Ma’an – August 7, 2016

blood_diamond_posterBETHLEHEM – The Israeli government announced on Sunday that it was launching a task force to identify and deport members from the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, marking the latest attack on left-wing and pro-Palestinian activism by Israel.

In a statement released by Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri, Israeli Minister of the Interior Aryeh Deri and Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan decided on Sunday during a meeting to form a joint task force to “expel and ban the entry of BDS activists” into Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.

“We must not allow BDS activists to enter to state of Israel. This is a necessary step, given the malicious intentions of these activists to delegitimize and spread lies and distortions about the reality in our region,” Erdan was quoted as saying in the statement, adding that the boycott movement against Israel “must have a price.”

“Fighting against Israeli boycott starts by fighting those who undermine the State of Israel,” Deri said. “We have a responsibility to do everything possible to crush any boycott and to state clearly that we will not allow the State of Israel to be harmed. Forming the task force is an important step in that direction.”

Without citing any names, the statement estimated that “hundreds” of pro-Palestinian activists and dozens of organizations were currently in Israel “to gather information and use it to boycott Israel, and harm its citizens,” and that the task force would also try to prevent the entrance of activists in the future.

The statement also alleged that BDS activists traveled to the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem to “incite” Palestinians.

It remained unclear on Sunday evening whether the task force would only focus on foreign activists, or whether its activities would also extend to tracking and monitoring Palestinian and Israeli advocates of BDS.

Sunday’s announcement was only the latest step taken by the Israeli government to target pro-Palestinian activism.

The BDS movement was founded in July 2005 by a swath of Palestinian civil society as a peaceful movement to restore Palestinian rights in accordance with international law through strategies of boycotting Israeli products and cultural institutions, divesting from companies complicit in violations against Palestinians, and implementing state sanctions against the Israeli government.

The boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel has gained momentum over the past year, with activists targeting companies that act in compliance with Israel’s illegal occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

In late July, the Black Lives Matter movement — which denounces police violence against African-Americans in the United States — came out in support of BDS, stating that it was committed to “global struggle, solidarity, and support of the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement to fight for freedom, justice and equality for Palestinian people and to end international support of the occupation.”

The Israeli government has grown increasingly concerned about the growth of the BDS movement, as the movement’s support base has expanded to include companies, universities and religious institutions around the world divesting from organizations complicit in Israel’s violation of Palestinian rights.

In January, the Israeli Knesset held a conference to discuss ways to combat BDS, and dedicated 100 million shekels ($26 million) of the government’s 2016 budget to the issue.

In May, Israel issued a travel ban on BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti, a permanent resident in Israel, with Mahmoud Nawajaa, the general coordinator of the Palestinian BDS National Committee, stating at the time that the decision reflected “the lengths [Israel] will go in order to stop the spread of the non-violent BDS movement for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality.”

More recently, Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset, passed a controversial NGO “transparency bill” into law on July 12, compelling organizations to reveal their sources of funding if more than half came from public foreign entities — a law which human rights groups and opposition Knesset members condemned for seeking to “silence criticism” of Israel and delegitimize left-wing groups.

Opposition leader in the Knesset Isaac Herzog of the Zionist Camp party then slammed the law for “symbolizing the budding fascism that is rising and flourishing in Israeli society” and making a “mockery” of the “right to organize, which is a sacred founding principle of a democratic society.”

August 8, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | 2 Comments

ISM statement concerning Israeli measures against activists

IMG_0320-600x450

International Solidarity Movement | August 8, 2016

The ISM is a Palestinian led movement with a mandate to support Palestinian nonviolent popular resistance to Israeli military occupation and apartheid. Palestinian led nonviolent resistance includes the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel, until it adheres to its obligations under international law.

ISM volunteers also accompany children to school and farmers to harvest their olives in areas where they face ongoing settler and military violence. We find that our presence sometimes results in reducing the level of lethal force used by the Israeli military against unarmed Palestinians. Further isolation of Palestinians by denying access and/or deporting human rights activists aims to make Palestinian communities already vulnerable and suffering from abuse even more vulnerable.

As a civilian population living under military occupation Palestinians in the occupied territories are promised protection under international law. All parties signed to the fourth Geneva Convention have the obligation to insure that others, including Israel, adhere to international law. Civilians are being called on to fill in the gap created by the failure of governments and official international bodies to provide protection and fulfill their obligations.

Israel’s isolation of Palestinians both by denying Palestinians and their supporters access to Palestine as well as by denying Palestinians including human rights defenders the right to leave Palestine is not a new strategy. It is most brutal and lethal in the besieged Gaza strip but all parts of Palestine are under some degree of siege.

We condemn Israeli suppression of Palestinian nonviolent resistance. The recent announcement by the occupation authorities that they will attempt to further isolate Palestinians indicates the occupation authorities unwillingness to do the only thing that will actually bring an end to Israel’s isolation – to adhere to international law, end the occupation and grant Palestinians their rights.

See the statement By the Boycott National Committee here.

August 8, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Former Fox boss Roger Ailes spent millions on ‘Black Room’ op to smear journalists

RT | August 8, 2016

It has not been a good summer for the brainchild behind the Fox News Channel.

Roger Ailes, the former CEO and co-founder of the conservative TV network who resigned last month after several sexual harassment allegations, now faces accusations of spending millions of Rupert Murdoch’s money to set up a ‘Black Room’ and take down his enemies, both personal and political.

The network’s $1 billion profits were also used to settle lawsuits brought by its employees.

Fox executives have since discovered that Ailes used his budget to target journalists reporting negatively about him, according to New York Magazine.

An operation based on the 14th floor of the News Corp building in New York City, which insiders branded the ‘Black Room’ five years ago, tracked the former CEO’s foes and developed smear campaigns against them, all with the help of private detectives, consultants, and political operatives who answered only to Ailes.

Gawker journalists, known for their “aggressive” reporting about him, were specifically targeted.

The private detectives were allegedly building files on the muckrakers and leaking dirt to blogs in the hope of denting the reputations of those critical of Ailes.

While lawyers for Ailes have denied the allegations, branding them as “totally false,” this isn’t the first time the information has surfaced.

Gawker executive editor John Cook said in 2012 that a former Fox News executive informed him of the ‘Black Room’ and smear campaign.

Joe Lindsley, former editor of the Putnam County News and Recorder, a local paper owned and published by Ailes’ wife Elizabeth, was also targeted over alleged criticism of her management style.

Although budget expenditures needed approval by other Fox News bosses, they claim they had no knowledge of how Ailes used the resources, with one unnamed employee saying “it was the culture.”

“You didn’t ask questions, and Roger wouldn’t entertain questions,” the source told the magazine.

Five consultants hired by Ailes have been fired from Fox News as a result of the review of Ailes’ expenses and it’s thought a number of others involved will also be fired in the coming weeks.

Ailes, who has been called both a “creep” and the “Republican party’s wizard behind the curtain“, started his life as a political operative during the Richard Nixon administration and his co-creation of the Fox News Channel was an extension of that partisan work.

A memo from the 70s entitled “A Plan for Putting the GOP on TV News” was discovered in 2011 detailing how Ailes and his fellow aides were keen to establish a network which would provide “pro-Administration, videotape, hard news actualities.”

He went on to work with Television News Incorporated (TVN) after he left the White House, aiming to “gradually, subtly, slowly” inject “our philosophy in the news,” according to Rolling Stone.

While the project ultimately failed, Ailes’s eagerness to set up such a news service eventually resulted in the Fox News Channel, which is often America’s highest-rated cable news network.

READ MORE:

Roger Ailes resigns as Fox News CEO over sexual harassment cases, Rupert Murdoch to take over

August 8, 2016 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

Turkish Lawmaker Calls for Closure of NATO’s Incirlik Air Base After Failed Coup

Sputnik | August 8, 2016

Deputy Chairman of the Center-Left Republican People’s Party (CHP) Namik Havutca argues that the base that stores 90 US tactical nuclear weapons “makes enemies of friendly countries and poses a threat to Turkey’s internal stability.

In the wake of the failed attempt to overthrow the Erdogan government on July 15 and the ensuing purge that has led to over 18,000 military servicemen and judges being rounded up and imprisoned on charges of treason, yet another Turkish leader has stepped forward calling on the country to step back from its alliance with NATO forces who top Erdogan regime officials accuse of being complicit in the botched coup.

The Deputy Chairman of Turkey’s Center-Left Republican People’s Party has called for the immediate eviction of all foreign aircraft, tools and materials from the country and said that Incirlik Air Base should be shuttered.

“Incirlik Air Base has added nothing but instability and fragmentation to Turkey and the region,” said Havutca. The lawmaker went on to say that the NATO base failed to stand by the Turkish people at a time when their blood was being spilled and the nation was in tears.

The lawmaker said that Incirlik Air Base poses a threat to the country, both internally and externally calling it responsible for “multiplying our enemies and turning our friends into enemies of the state.”

The politician has pushed forward a proposal titled “Incirlik Get Out” and calls on his colleagues in the parliament to support the measure in order to put an end to the military facility that he calls a “virus” that eats away at the Middle East.

Finally, Havutca alleges that the NATO base “served the purpose of providing logical support to the organization in the coup attempt.”

The strong words mirror recent anti-American protests near the base including a demonstration one week ago where 5,000 protesters screaming “death to the US” were trailed by vehicles and demanded that Incirlik Air Base be shutdown.

The agitation of the Turkish people also comes amid numerous claims by the Erdogan regime that the CIA, FBI, and a top US General John F. Campbell were all really the masterminds of the coup whereas the regime’s nemesis-in-chief Fethullah Gulen was called nothing but a “pawn” by the Turkish President.

August 8, 2016 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama’s options on Putin’s Russia

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | August 8, 2016

Never since the smears that President Dwight Eisenhower was a Soviet agent has there been a McCarthyite campaign in American politics as scurrilous as the present one about Donald Trump being a creation of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Michael Morrell who left the CIA as recently as 2013 penned a weekend piece in the New York Times “I Ran the CIA. Now I’m Endorsing Hillary Clinton.” Morrell analysed that Russian president Vladimir Putin who is “trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them… played upon Trump’s vulnerabilities by complimenting him”.

And, Trump “responded just as Mr. Putin had calculated” by taking up “policy positions consistent with Russian, not American interests”. Morrell concluded,

  • In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.

This may seem hilarious, but then Morrell is a veteran spook and at that level people don’t easily crack jokes.

The bottom line is, no Soviet leader has ever been credited with such supernatural powers – not even Joseph Stalin – the way Putin has been in his capacity to remote control battle-scarred American politicians.

One way of looking at such ravings is that Hillary Clinton is the candidate of the establishment – the military-intelligence complex and the political establishment, Wall Street, Jewish lobby, appealing to billionaires, the military brass and the intelligence agencies and so on – and a caricaturing of Trump as a monster who must be kept out of the White House may help her campaign.

Frankly, there is very little to choose between the two. Neither is a friend of the working class. Trump himself had enjoyed the support of corporate media and political establishment through decades when he made his way as a hugely successful specimen in the corrupt circle of real estate speculators in New York City.

Trump and the Clintons were family friends and the latter on occasions even sought donations from him for their political campaigns and dubious ‘charities’.

Perhaps, things might not have come to this sorry pass, if only Hillary were a genuinely popular political figure with mass appeal and charisma. There is a credibility problem about her integrity and consistency and fellows like Morrell are chipping in to make her look presidential material by lampooning Trump as a Russian poodle.

The Russophobes will unlikely dismount before the November election. But the danger lies in their need to relentlessly expand the demonizing of Trump as a Russian agent. One way of doing that will be to willy-nilly establish that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Arguably, it is no big deal if Russia actually did that. Both countries should be hacking each other almost routinely. But then, if it somehow gets established today that Russia hacked the DNC, what next? Having already gone on record that he won’t rule out Russian interference in US domestic politics, President Barack Obama would come under pressure from the Hillary bandwagon to ‘act’.

The influential American newspaper The Hill has begun discussing what options Obama would have in such emergent circumstances. It reported today that “pressure is growing on the White House” and Obama is finding himself “in a delicate political position”.

The paper discusses 6 options open to Obama but cautions that each would carry a price in terms of Russian retaliation or Russian ‘non-cooperation’ on issues affecting US interests. Now, interestingly, this is precisely what Moscow also has forewarned some ten days ago. (MFA)

The great irony is that the US-Russia relations cannot get much worse than they are today – except if they decide to fight a hot war. The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov is spot on when he told the Washington Post, “We are at such a black spot in our relationship, it is unlikely that anything could make it worse.”

No one could have thought eight years ago when Obama set out from Chicago with a check list that included a reset with Russia as one of his presidential legacies that he would end up in such a whirlpool of bathos. Read the report in The Hill.

August 8, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Trident nuke renewal plan blown out of the water by government’s own watchdog

RT | August 8, 2016

Britain’s new multibillion-pound Trident nuclear submarine fleet may be in jeopardy after the government’s own watchdog warned the project faces “major risks.”

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) has cast doubt on the Trident renewal plan. The deterrent is expected to vastly exceed its budget and face technical and managerial problems.

“Successful delivery of the project is in doubt, with major risks or issues apparent in a number of key areas,” an IPA report to the Treasury and Cabinet Office said.

“Urgent action is needed to address these problems and/or assess whether resolution is feasible.”

Last month, a vote in the House of Commons saw 472 MPs rule in favor of Trident’s renewal, which 117 parliamentarians opposed.

Labour Party leader and long-time anti-nuclear campaigner Jeremy Corbyn gave his party a free vote on the question, with leadership challenger Owen Smith among the Labour rebels who voted yes to renewal.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) and the Liberal Democrats were united in their cause against the weapons of mass destruction.

Costs are said to have already swollen by an extra £15 to £20 billion (US$19.5 to 26 billion), and the fleet’s inaugural day has been pushed back from 2024 to the “early 2030s.”

The current Trident submarines were designed to last 25 years. They are now expected to operate for 38.

The issues have led the SNP to brand the project “obscene” and uncontrollable.

“Now we hear that the alarm bells are ringing about the ability to deliver the program at all without urgent action,” SNP MP Brendan O’Hara said.

“[Prime Minister Theresa May] has just put a halt to Westminster’s other nuclear obsession – Hinkley. Perhaps she should take this opportunity to do the same and review the useless, immoral and now clearly out of control Trident program.”

Nuclear Information Service spokesman Peter Burt told the Ferret: “The Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) track record on undertaking major equipment programs is littered with failures and cock-ups.”

“The MoD’s ancient and rickety nuclear infrastructure is not up to the job of replacing the Trident nuclear weapons system and the solution that the government has favoured up till now – throwing money at the problem – quite simply isn’t going to be enough to solve the fearsome technical problems that the project faces.”

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) estimates the whole Trident renewal could soon add up to £200 billion in costs to the taxpayer.

August 8, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Refugee team welcomed but Olympics displace 77,000 people in Rio

RT | August 8, 2016

The heart-warming image of the Olympic Refugee Team entering the Maracana Stadium last Friday was a special moment, but 77,000 Brazilian residents have themselves been displaced as a result of the Games.

The Rio 2016 Games are the first to have a team of refugees compete, in recognition of the 60 million refugees around the world.

Athletes from Syria, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo were chosen to represent the refugee team, which has been handed a group of coaches and support staff to help them during the Games.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach heralded the refugee team.

“These refugees have no home, no team, no flag, no national anthem,” he said.

“We will offer them a home in the Olympic Village together with all the athletes of the word. The Olympic anthem will be played in their honor and the Olympic flag will lead them into the Olympic Stadium.

“This will be a symbol of hope for all the refugees in our world, and will make the world better aware of the magnitude of this crisis. It is also a signal to the international community that refugees are our fellow human beings and are an enrichment to society.”

Although the Olympics may offer a handful of refugees a temporary home in Brazil, the event itself has directly forced around 77,000 Brazilian natives from their homes to make way for infrastructure.

As was the case in the football World Cup in 2014, protesters opposed the hosting of a major sporting event in Brazil – mainly due to the country’s dire economic situation and the social issues that ravage the nation.

One of the main reasons for opposition to the 2016 Olympics has been the creation of IDPs, internally displaced persons, in Brazil.

Among the worst-affected areas was the poverty-stricken Rio suburb of Vila Autodromo, where residents were forcibly removed from their homes.

The infrastructure upgrade to Vila Autodromo will drive development projects including plush apartment buildings, but serves as a sardonic reminder to poor families that they have been forced out of their homes.

August 8, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | Leave a comment

Team Clinton Focuses on the Demise of Hezbollah

By Franklin Lamb | CounterPunch | August 8, 2016

Tel Hara, on the Golan Plain, Syria – The likely next American President, Hilary Clinton is fielding an array of foreign policy advisers, a few being sort of table scraps from the Bush administration and others having resigned from Obama’s. They are today preparing white papers on all manner of “adjustments” to what the presumed 45th American President reportedly believes was a weak and wrongheaded Obama Middle East policy, particularly with respect to the Syrian crisis and Hezbollah.

This according to sources at the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) Judicial Council on which this observer served representing his State of Oregon many moons ago. One staffer reports that the Neocon-Zionist lobby has a Middle East Policy deal with the Clinton campaign as a linchpin of her pledge to “eternally cover Israel’s back.” The Clinton camp, which appears to be gaining adherents within the CIA, the State Department and the Pentagon, believes that the Obama administration’s policy toward Russia and Syria is badly flawed partly because, so they claim, Obama wrongly assumes that Russia wants to limit its involvement in Syria. Clinton advisers claim that, on the contrary, Putin’s key objectives include demonstrating that Russia is winning in Syria, that the US has become a paper tiger in the region, and that the Arab states best follow Russia’s lead as it dramatically returns to the region a la the former USSR.

To set the stage for the her administration, some would-be Clinton advisers such as WINEP’s Dennis Ross, are counseling that she must increase political pressure now, as the clock runs out on the Obama administration, to dramatically beef up what they view as Obama’s weak “truce agreement” between Washington and Moscow. This as former Defense Secretary and Clinton adviser, Leon Panetta, is advocating that the next president increase US Special Forces in Syria and launch air strikes to shore up “moderates” fighting the Syrian government. Others are urging that after Clinton is sworn-in the US must pounce on all “truce violations” with drones and cruise missiles and target Syrian airbases and artillery positions, while simultaneously setting up safe areas for civilians, and if deemed necessary, no-fly zones.

Still others, including a dissenting internal memo last month signed by 51 State Department diplomats advocated attacks on Syrian government forces especially Hezbollah to end aggression against the country’s civilian population, to alter the military balance and bring about a negotiated political settlement. As Clinton’s Syrian policy is being formed, details will likely be kept out of the Presidential campaign, at least from her side, so as not to alienate the crucial Obama camp before November 8th.

There is reportedly one aspect of Clinton’s Middle East policy that has been detailed and is ready for implementation following her inauguration once details are coordinated with Israel, NATO and the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It is being advocated by AIPAC on Capitol Hill and among Clinton operatives at the DNC and details how the Clinton administration “must destroy Hezbollah and cut off Tehran’s anti-Arab, anti-Sunni and anti- Christian hegemonic lifeline for its rapidly escalating domination of the Middle East.”

Clinton’s Middle East foreign policy shift reportedly will focus on the complete destruction of Hezbollah. Rather than merely containment as Obama insists at meetings of his National Security Council. John Kerry, a rumored Clinton cabinet member refers to Hezbollah solely as “Iran’s Basij in Lebanon/Syria/Iraq/Yemen/Bahrain and you name it.” History may soon record whether the Clinton administration, breaking sharply with the Obama administration, is able to “reshape the region” as Israel’s Netanyahu is squeezing her to do, and destroy Hezbollah, and if necessary, Iran’s IRGC-Al Quds Force. The latter, according to Clinton’s advisers and US allies are active in all the countries on Kerry’s list and far beyond.

Destroying or severely crippling Hezbollah is also being advocated as a cheap throw-away ‘crowd-pleaser’ for the incoming Clinton administration, both in Congress where both sides of the aisle, Democrats and Republicans, would very likely applaud attacks on Hezbollah as part of a rejuvenated “manned-up” and expanding US-led War on Terrorism. The Israel lobby is expressing confidence on Capitol Hill that relentlessly targeting Hezbollah militarily and economically will please and embolden Washington’s friends who remain chagrined by Obama’s containment policy in Syria while this needed policy shift will be discomfiting to US adversaries. It is also being argued that the six GCC monarchies will welcome tough Clinton administration action and can be expected to redouble their funding to shore up the Syrian opposition while at the same time the Clinton administration will also demonstrate US resolve to renew Washington’s commitment to holding Hezbollah accountable for its claimed terrorism. All the above it is claimed would hasten an end to the war here in Syria and make a political settlement more likely.

One “emeritus” Clinton adviser is Amos Yadlin, Israel’s former Military Intelligence chief. Recently Yadlin has been arguing that Israel and the US need to intervene in Syria more actively with a policy, that leads to the defeat of the “our most bitter enemies: “Iran and Hezbollah.”  Yadlin makes no secret of the fact that Israel will destroy Hezbollah ‘next time’ in Lebanon and that only the approaching date will not be revealed in advance.

Clinton supports the Hizbullah International Financing Prevention Actsigned by Obama this past April. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, (OFAC) issued regulations aimed at implementing act. The latest U.S. regulations target those “knowingly facilitating a significant transaction or transactions for” Hezbollah and those “knowingly facilitating a significant transaction or transactions of a person identified on the List of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN’s) and Blocked persons.” OFAC’s list includes names of officials, businessmen and institutions that the U.S. says are linked to Hezbollah such as the group’s al-Manar TV and Al-Nour Radio. Clinton advisers argue that even more has to be done targeting Hezbollah.

Several hundred pages of ‘selling points’ circulating Capitol Hill and among EU countries are designed to build “an unshakable global commitment to destroy Hezbollah” according to one staffer on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Also being distributed on Capitol Hill are “research papers” from a Iranian opposition group called Naame Shaam. One is titled Iran in Syria: From an Ally of the Regime to an Occupying Force. The 200-page report analyzes various aspects of the military, political and economic role played by Hezbollah and Iran since March 2011, following the outbreak of the Syrian conflict.

An Israeli Embassy brief targeting Hezbollah includes the following excerpt on the subject of claimed Hezbollah crimes against humanity and urges the US and the EU to intensify sanctions: “Contrary to claims by Hezbollah’s Sec-General Hassan Nasrallah and Iran’s “Supreme Leader” Ali Khameini, Hezbollah entered Syria in large numbers by April 2011 and started sniping at demonstrators and Syrian army soldiers who refused to shoot children. A July 2012 video taken by Hezbollah and published in July 2011 shows heavily armed Hezbollah fighters and a number of tanks in Horan near Deraa, the city where the uprising started. A report in January of 1212 by The Times, documented large numbers of Hezbollah and Iranian snipers were deployed “to shoot anti-regime protesters.” These reports were confirmed by scores of Deraa residents who have confirmed more than 200 eyewitness reports that Iran deployed Hezbollah fighters “to stand behind Syrian troops and kill Syrian soldiers immediately, if they refused to open fire on demonstrators.” Local residents have confirmed these reports as have some of the more three dozen Iranian and Hezbollah snipers who participated. Three months after the start of the March 2011 civilian protests, the first clashes were reported in June 2011 in al-Qusayr, in the countryside of Homs. By May 2012 Hezbollah, overran 10 of the 23 (Syria-Lebanon) border villages and established fortified bases exclusively for its use, at time expelling Syrian army troops in “their” area which led to the Syrian army killing of three Al Manar journalists at Ma’loula.”

The  document, which includes satellite photos, continues, “Nasrallah explained to Lebanese media that ‘Hezbollah did not tell them what to do and this has nothing to do with the fighting in Syria. He omitted to mention that historically this area has been the main route for Iranian arms entering Lebanon and is located near Hezbollah arms depots in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.”

Another handout reads:  “From the spring of 2011 until today, the Hezbollah’s siege, starving and slaughter of innocent women and children across Syria has continued to intensify despite, until recently, denial after denial. Hezbollah crimes have been extensively documented in an undisclosed European country by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, established on 22 August 2011 by the Human Rights Council through resolution S-17/1 adopted at its 17th special session with a mandate to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law since March 2011 in the Syrian Arab Republic. Also gathering and documenting hundreds of cases of individuals committing crimes against humanity is the Commission for International Justice and Accountability.”

As the intense anti-Hezbollah campaign gets organized in Washington, Israel reportedly considers itself the winner to date in Syria, and expects to have much more influence and a green-light to destroy Hezbollah in a Clinton administration than was the case with Obama’s. Tel Aviv has to date been content to bide its time and simply deter Hezbollah in southern Syria/Lebanon and along the Golan Plain while recently occupying another roughly 20 by 12 miles strip of Syria territory. This latest land confiscation was done with impunity as UNDOF observers watched with binoculars. One reason UNDOF was impotent during the Israeli land grab was that a majority of them had relocated from the Syrian side to the Israeli side of the Golan ceasefire line in September 2014. UNDOF will not return until the Syrian war ends, if then.

Israel has made clear via its new Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the fascist Yisrael Beiteinu party, that Israel will not return one centimeter of its recently occupied Syrian territory “until we sign a peace agreement with the new government of Syria. All Muslims must know that we Israelis are their friends and that we are on the right side of this Syrian war.”

Meanwhile Israel has an understanding with various rebel groups in Southern Syria including the newly re-named Jabhat al Nusra (The Front for the Defense of the Syrian People) now calling itself – Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (the Front for the Conquest of the Levant), giving food and medical treatment to anyone asking for assistance within its new zone. Israel is also reportedly recruiting ‘operatives’ from southern Syria militia around Quneitra, the largely destroyed and abandoned capital of the Quneitra Governorate. Similar recruitment from the local population to what its army undertook during its 22-year occupation of South Lebanon before it was liberated by Hezbollah. Israel is reportedly paying up to $1000 per month, “salaries”, (compared to the average monthly salary in Syria these days of approximately of $100). Israel offers even more for “special services” targeting Hezbollah. Israel is in the process of occupying, in one way or another, parts of southern Syria. And one can feel it in the air.

Whatever success the Clinton team will have with its goal of destroying Hezbollah and however one evaluates Obama’s policy, this region appears headed for yet more prolonged violence and many more deaths of innocent civilians.

Franklin Lamb is a visiting Professor of International Law at the Faculty of Law, Damascus University and volunteers with the Sabra-Shatila Scholarship Program (sssp-lb.com).

August 8, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pentagon, CIA Form Praetorian Guard for Clinton as Warmonger President

or-37729

By Finian CUNNINGHAM | Strategic Culture Foundation | 08.08.2016

Former director of the Central Intelligence Agency Michael J Morell is the latest in a phalanx of senior US military-intelligence figures who are shedding any pretense of political neutrality and giving their full-throated endorsement to Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

In a New York Times opinion piece, Morell starkly backed Clinton as the most «highly qualified to be commander-in-chief… keeping our nation safe».

The ex-CIA chief’s op-ed piece also served as a blunt hatchet job on Republican presidential rival Donald J Trump. Morell said the New York billionaire-turned politician is «not only unqualified for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our national security».

The hoary, old scare-theme of «national security» is being rehabilitated as the criterion for electing Clinton. It also has the disturbing connotation of an increasingly militarized totalitarian regime that the United States is becoming.

While showering Clinton with glowing praise, the former CIA spymaster trounced Trump with a litany of flaws, including «self-aggrandizement, his overreaction to perceived slights, his tendency to make decisions based on intuition, his refusal to change his views based on new information, his routine carelessness with the facts, his unwillingness to listen to others and his lack of respect for the rule of law».

Morell’s «coup de grace» for Trump was that he was a «national security danger» owing to his alleged indifference towards the US-led NATO military alliance and European security, and unwillingness to confront Russia.

After accusing Trump of being «careless with facts», Morell makes this reckless, sensationalist claim: «In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr Putin had recruited Mr Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation».

This is a breath-taking interference in the nominally civilian sphere of US politics by unelected military-paramilitary elements, whereby a candidate for presidency is accused of being a foreign puppet. It is a throwback to the Cold War witch-hunting days of McCarthy and «Un-American activities».

This very public intervention by a top CIA figure in the US presidential election is an extraordinarily brazen affront to constitutional norms. Traditionally, the American military and intelligence apparatus has always been careful to assume a neutral relation with regard to Washington politics – at least in public.

In the 2016 election, however, the boundaries between civilian politics and the military powers are being flagrantly jettisoned. The military and the Deep State cabal are, in effect, moving to preordain the White House occupant. This situation has barely perceptible difference from a military coup appointing a civilian junta to administer.

At the Democrat National Convention in Philadelphia last week, the endorsement of Hillary Clinton by military top brass was conspicuous. One of the main Pentagon cheerleaders was Four-Star Marine General John Allen, who gave a bloodcurdling and ranting speech declaring how «our enemies will fear» an America led by Clinton.

This rush to partisan politics by the US military has even led to unease among certain Pentagon quarters. Only days after the DNC’s militaristic rally, General Martin Dempsey, who was formerly Chairman of the Joint Staffs, took the unprecedented step of publishing a cautionary article warning: «Keep Your Politics Private, My Fellow Generals and Admirals».

Dempsey did not mention General Allen or others by name, but it was clear to whom he was referring and the jingoistic display in support of Clinton. And it was also clear that Dempsey saw the open embrace of partisan politics by the Pentagon as a worrying development undermining democracy in the US. He feared «the erosion of civil-military relations».

What is it that qualifies Hillary Clinton for such support? Former CIA boss Morell listed these «attributes» as «her belief that America is an exceptional nation that must lead in the world for the country to remain secure and prosperous; her understanding that diplomacy can be effective only if the country is perceived as willing and able to use force if necessary; and, most important, her capacity to make the most difficult decision of all – whether to put young American women and men in harm’s way».

In other words, what is most appreciated is how Clinton is prepared and willing to take America into ever more wars. Despite the horrific legacy that she is already responsible for as Secretary of State in the Obama administration (2009-2013) when she prosecuted wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and, covertly, in Syria and Ukraine.

And yet, ex-CIA chief Morell, who served alongside Clinton in these disastrous wars, has the gall to censure Trump for «his lack of respect for the rule of law».

By contrast, Trump, for all his flaws and awry views on immigration and race relations, has not espoused warmongering zeal to any comparable extent. Indeed, the Republican candidate has called for normalization of relations with Russia in particular and has notified that he would order a withdrawal of US forces from Asia, Europe and other regions in order to «rebuild America first». His views on not rushing into a hypothetical war to defend NATO Baltic nations from a far-fetched Russian invasion are seen by many ordinary Americans as a common sense position. For the Pentagon-CIA nexus, however, Trump’s views are anathema.

This is what it gets down to. Clinton is the candidate of choice for the US military-industrial complex because she will enhance corporate profits and a $600-billion annual budget that feeds the Pentagon-CIA leviathan.

Crucial to this role is reinforcing a belligerent foreign policy towards the world in general and towards Russia in particular. Or, as Morell puts it, Clinton’s «belief that America is an exceptional nation that must lead in the world for the country to remain secure and prosperous».

It is this exceptional, supremacist Washington ideology that has brought the world to such a dangerous precipice.

Hillary Clinton, ironically, far more than the maverick Donald Trump, is proving to be an exemplar of what can only be called the Neo-fascist ideology that is becoming increasingly extant in Washington.

The Pentagon-CIA Praetorian Guard that is being formed around Clinton is not only a harbinger of the militarized totalitarian state administered from Washington; it is also a signal that the United States is moving openly to a policy of unabashed, unrestrained permanent war against any foreign country it so deems.

August 8, 2016 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , , | 1 Comment