Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Colombian Human Rights Leader Assassinated

manyoma-jpeg_1718483346

Colombian human rights defender Emilsen Manyoma | Photo: Conpaz
teleSUR – January 18, 2017

On Tuesday police in the Pacific coast city of Buenaventura announced they had discovered the body of Afro-Colombian human rights activist Emilsen Manyoma, 32, and her partner Joe Javier Rodallega, who had been missing since Saturday.

A prominent leader in the Bajo Calima region since 2005, Manyoma was an active member of the community network CONPAZ where she was an outspoken critic of right-wing paramilitary groups and the displacement of local by international mining and agribusiness interests.

For the past year Manyoma played a key role in documenting attacks on human rights leaders in the region as part of the recently created Truth Commission.

The police said they had found the bodies in an advanced state of decomposition in a jungle area beside the highway. The Justice and Peace Commission, an ecumenical human rights group, reported that both bodies were severely wounded, with Rodallega’s hands reported tied. Radio Contagio reported that both bodies were beheaded.

While police did not release the names of any suspects, just days before their disappearance on Saturday, Rodallega reported being threatened and said a truck had been circling Manyoma’s house.

According to the human rights organization Front Line Defenders, at least 85 human rights defenders were murdered in Colombia in 2016 alone.

January 18, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 1 Comment

US-led coalition air raids breach Syria sovereignty: Cuba

Press TV – January 18, 2017

Cuba has denounced US-led coalition airstrikes in Syria, saying they violate the Arab country’s sovereignty as they are not permitted by Damascus.

Cuban Ambassador to the United Nations Humberto Rivero made the criticism during a UN Security Council meeting in New York on Wednesday.

“We demand the cessation of the violations of Syrian sovereignty and the foreign military presence without the consent and the coordination of operations with the Syrian government, the only legitimately elected authority in the country,” Rivero said.

He further condemned the “politicization” of the crisis in Syria and “the tampering of the humanitarian crisis and the suffering” of people in the Middle Eastern country.

Those who are “supplying weapons, money and patronage to terrorist groups are responsible for the thousands of civilian victims of the conflict and the humanitarian situation,” the Cuban diplomat said, expressing his opposition to “the promotion of an interventionist agenda” in Syria.

The US-led coalition has been conducting air raids against what are said to be Daesh terrorists inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate. Analysts have assessed the strikes as unsuccessful as they have led to civilian deaths and failed to counter terrorism.

The US Air Force is also carrying out airdrops of weapons, ammunition and other equipment to militants fighting against the pro-government forces in Syria.

UN chief optimist on ‘conflict freeze’

Separately on Wednesday, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that the consequences of the Syria crisis had become “too dangerous.”

Speaking in a briefing at the UN office in the Swiss city of Geneva, Guterres stressed that the conflict had fueled instability in the Middle East region and terrorist attacks across the globe.

Touching on the upcoming Syria peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana, the UN chief further expressed hope that the discussions could “lead towards a consolidation of the ceasefire and a freeze in the conflict.”

The cessation of hostilities took effect on December 30, following an agreement between Syria’s warring parties.

Mediated by Russia and Turkey with the support of Iran, the truce is the first of its kind that has been largely holding in Syria for almost three weeks now. Earlier attempts by the US to broker such a long-lasting ceasefire had failed.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Guterres underlined that the success of the Syria talks could “help create the conditions for a political process” regarding the Syria crisis.

The Astana talks, which are scheduled to be held on January 23, were brokered by Moscow, Ankara and Tehran.

January 18, 2017 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Marine Le Pen: Crimea Was Never Ukrainian, I Will Recognize Crimea as Part of Russia

Marine Le Pen 2 7d8db

American Herald Tribune | January 18, 2017

The French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has reiterated her support for Russia’s claim on Crimea in a newspaper interview in which she made another decisive tilt towards Moscow.

With three months before France goes to the polls, the Front National leader said she recognised Crimea as being part of Russia and if elected, she would push for a dropping of sanctions against Russia which France had backed simply because it was following German orders.

She told the Russian newspaper, Izvestia, that the referendum in the peninsula in 2014 to become part of Russia showed the “agreement of the people to join Russia”.

“Ukraine’s ownership of Crimea was just an administrative issue from Soviet times, the peninsula was never Ukrainian,” she said.

“I regret that the referendum, organised as a demonstration of the will of the people of the peninsula, was not recognised by the international community and the UN.”

Le Pen had made the comments about Crimea on French television earlier in January after which the Ukrainian security service SBU proposed banning her from entering the country for five years.

She described sanctions against Russia as “senseless” and “a pretty stupid method of diplomacy” and that “all countries should show respect for each other, to negotiate on equal terms and to accept a compromise solution acceptable to all”.

“We don’t have to have a situation whereby the major powers impose their policies on other states, behaving like stubborn children,” she told the paper.

( Image Credit: European Parliament/ flickr).

January 18, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

From Mumia to Peltier, US Political Prisoners Still Locked Up

teleSUR | January 18, 2017

Many members of the Black Panthers and New Afrika party remain behind bars, some under dubious circumstances.

In the wake of U.S. President Barack Obama commuting the sentence of Chelsea Manning and Oscar Lopez Rivera, teleSUR takes a look at some of the more prominent political prisoners who remain behind bars for their activism and fight for justice.

Mumia Abu-Jamal

Mumia Abu-Jamal was arrested and charged with killing white police Officer Daniel Faulkner in Philadelphia in December 1981. One year later, he was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death.

In 2011, the United States Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional in his case, and he was re-sentenced to life in prison without parole. He and many activists have maintained that he is innocent.

Leonard Peltier

Indigenous activist Leonard Peltier, who was convicted under the dubious murder of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975, has continually maintained his innocence. In the 40 years since his trial, evidence continues to surface showing that Peltier was in fact convicted under false pretenses

Simon Trinidad

Simon Trinidad joined Colombia’s FARC rebel group in 1987, rising through the ranks to eventually serve as the group’s de facto foreign minister. On a diplomatic visit to Ecuador in 2004, Trinidad was arrested and deported to Colombia, where on trumped up charges he was extradited to the U.S. After two hung juries Trinidad was ultimately convicted of conspiracy charges related to the kidnapping of two Plan Colombia agents and sentenced to 60 years at a supermax prison. Speaking of the sacrifices he’s made for his beliefs Trinidad said, “If I don’t do this, what am I? A traitor. That’s why I put up with pain and suffering to fight for what we lack. That’s why I took up the guerrilla struggle.”

Mutulu Shakur

Mutulu Shakur, a Black Liberation Army and Republic of New Afrika member who was stepfather to the late rap artist Tupac Shakur, was jailed in 1988 on charges of “conspiracy to aid bank expropriation.” Due to his activism, he had previously been placed on the FBI’s illegal COINTELPRO surveillance program, which was also used against Martin Luther King Jr. and other radical Black activists.

“Sonia” aka, Omaira Rojas Cabrera

Born to a Colombian peasant family, Omaira Rojas Cabrera, known by her nom de guerre “Sonia,” joined the FARC rebel group as a teenager and rose to become one of their top female commanders. She was kidnapped by Colombian special forces in 2004, and eventually extradited to the U.S. where she was put on trial over drug charges. She was convicted in 2007 and sentenced to 16 years, a fraction of the 55 to 60 years the prosecutors had asked for. Both she and Simon Trinidad were the subject of prisoner exchange negotiations between the FARC and then Colombian president Alvaro Uribe, launched by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

David Gilbert

David Gilbert is a radical U.S. leftist organizer and member of the Weather Underground Organization, who worked with members of the Black Liberation Army. In 1983, he was convicted and sentenced to 75 years for three counts of felony murder over an attempted bank robbery attempt along with the activists.

Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz

Russell “Maroon” Shoatz was convicted back in 1970 for the first-degree murder of a Philadelphia police officer, in an attack that was conducted at the Philadelphia police station. A former member of the Black Panther Party and “soldier” of the Black Liberation Army, he was held in solitary confinement for 22 years, only being returned to the general prison population in 2014.

Sundiata Acoli

Black Panther Sundiata Acoli was convicted of killing a state trooper during a 1973 shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike. Acoli is one of at least 15 former members of the Black Panther Party who are still in prison.

Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin

Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin was a Black activist who worked with the Black Panthers, and was previously known as H. Rap Brown. He was convicted of shooting two deputies in March 2000 as they approached him with an arrest warrant for offenses including impersonating a police officer. He is serving a life sentence.

Al-Amin and his supporters have long argued that he was framed by a government that has feared him since his days in radical anti-racist politics.

Black Panthers

Ever since its founding in Oakland in 1966 the Black Panthers were ruthlessly persecuted by the FBI and other domestic security forces. From the illegal Cointelpro program to the infamous Panther 21 trial, when 21 members of the Party were tried on 156 charges which were all eventually dropped, the U.S. government set out to destroy the grassroots movement. In addition to the former Panthers listed above, there are 11 Black Panthers who remain in jail on a variety of charges: Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald in California; Ed Poindexter in Nebraska; Joseph Bowen in Pennsylvania; Jalil Muntaqim in New York; Romaine Fitzgerald jailed since 1969; Herman Bell imprisoned in New York since 1971; Veronza Bowers, in prison since 1973; Robert Seth Hayes, jailed since 1973; Zulu Whitmore, in prison in Louisiana since 1977; Maliki Shakur, jailed since 1979; and Kamau Sadiki, imprisoned since 2002.

January 18, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Obama’s achievement: Whitewashing permanent warfare with eloquence

By Nile Bowie | RT | January 18, 2017

Judging from how the mainstream media has characterized the legacy of Barack Obama so far, the outgoing president will be most remembered for his many rousing aspirational speeches and well-timed shows of emotion.

His talent as a persuasive public communicator and the strength of his personal brand, bolstered by years of apple-shining from liberal magazines and newspapers, has been Obama’s most valuable asset.

This perception of Obama that has been propagated from the top, the view that he is essentially a benevolent figure with deep integrity or the personification of a modern liberal-statesmen, is a stunning smokescreen.

The contradiction between the high-minded rhetoric of the president in contrast to the actual policies pursued by his administration has been stark and utterly scandalous.

To hear Obama wax poetic about ‘the politics of hope’ and ‘how ordinary Americans can steer change’ feels deeply perverse coming from a figure that has institutionalized a vast, unaccountable permanent warfare state.

In the face of Obama’s global covert assassination program, his numerous secret wars without congressional approval, a mass electronic surveillance capability unprecedented in history, the speeches reveal themselves as little more than banal platitudes and vapid sloganeering.

As the sun sets on Obama’s presidency, to say the press has given him a pass is a grand understatement.

Some outlets have occasionally run criticism of Obama’s drone policies or inconvenient relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Other voices invert reality altogether, chastising Obama for his reluctance to militarily engage Syria, despite the US dropping over 12,000 bombs on the country in 2016 alone.

Contrary to his predecessor, Obama had a firmer grasp on the political risks inherent in the large-scale deployment of US troops in sustained military campaigns, but his strategic objectives differed little, and his belief in American exceptionalism was total.

Rather than ‘shock and awe,’ Obama proffered ‘leading from behind,’ culminating in NATO support and air power for insurgents that toppled the Libyan government on the pretext of defending human rights, turning the country into a cauldron of rival fiefdoms and lawlessness.

The Obama administration and the CIA fueled a proxy war in Syria with arms and training for insurgents, many of whom took up arms with ISIS or Al-Qaeda affiliated groups. The US military’s presence in Syria and support for non-state actors abjectly violates international law, and John Kerry’s leaked comments make clear how the administration cynically leveraged the threat of ISIS against the Syrian government.

Not only did Obama fail in his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay torture facility, he effectively replaced enhanced interrogation with an unaccountable covert assassination complex, endowing himself with the roles of judge, jury, and executioner.

By virtue of his suave and benevolent public persona, top-tier entertainers and figures of the liberal intelligentsia were largely willing to acquiesce to the precedent set by Obama’s unrestrained executive powers, exercised in near-complete secrecy.

They believed Obama would use the entrenched military and surveillance capacities of the US government judiciously. They swallowed the Democrats’ rhetoric of social inclusion and focused their political energies largely on identity issues.

Liberal figures didn’t protest against the president’s ability to spy on countless Americans suspected of no crime, nor did they organize against the president’s extrajudicial assassinations of American citizens and non-Americans without trial or due process.

Liberals hardly spoke out against the thousands of civilians killed by Obama’s drone bombings. Oddly enough, many seemed more outraged at Trump’s campaign rhetoric against Muslims and Mexicans than the reality of President Obama engaging in military hostilities against seven Muslim countries and deporting more people than any president in history.

Frankly, far too many Americans have been utter cowards in the face of the outgoing Democratic presidency. Obama will soon leave office as the only president in American history to serve two complete terms at war.

Despite his tense relationship with the Israeli prime minister and token opposition to the expansion of settlements, Obama signed the single largest pledge of bilateral military assistance to Israel in history, enabling the cancerous Israeli occupation and further brutalization of Palestinians.

As the Saudi military ceaselessly bombarded towns and cities across impoverished Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, in a botched attempt to reinstall an ousted proxy government, the Obama administration offered muted criticism and a $115 billion arms deal.

Obama’s administration has in fact brokered more arms sales than other since the second world war. Despite campaigning on the building of ‘the most transparent administration in history,’ he has waged war against whistleblowers and official leakers, invoking the 1917 Espionage Act more than all previous presidents combined.

Obama spoke of his dramatic commitment to building a nuclear weapons-free world on the campaign trail. Once in office, he committed the country to a trillion-dollar modernization of US nuclear production facilities and weapons, including warheads with adjustable yields that, according to the New York Times, make the weapons “more tempting to use.”

One of the most consequential international developments to occur under Obama’s watch was the deterioration of US-Russia relations and the revival of Cold War antagonisms, marked by the covert American role in the 2014 coup in Ukraine that brought to power a crude, corrupt and pervasively anti-Russian regime.

The largest military build-up on Russia’s borders since the second world war has unfolded under Obama’s watch, and the White House has moved in lock-step with the US intelligence community to propagate the anti-Russian line that has now captured American politics.

His administration’s pivot to Asia policy aimed to transfer 60 percent of the US naval presence to the Asia Pacific region by 2020, while the now-botched Trans-Pacific Partnership sought to – in the words of Senator Charles E. Schumer – “lure” other countries “away from China.”

On the domestic front, there have hardly been any clear-cut achievements for President Obama. He has overseen an obscene transfer of wealth from the middle class to the billionaire class, becoming the first two-term presidency that has failed to post a three percent GDP growth on an annualized basis over two terms.

The much-touted streak of job recovery rests on the proliferation of insecure part-time and temporary jobs with the low protection characteristic of the gig economy, while the share of workers in temporary jobs has risen from 10.7 percent to 15.8 percent under his watch.

Wall Street banks hoarded funds fueled by the quantitative easing policies of the Federal Reserve to triple the size of stock values. Corporate profits reached an 85-year peak under Obama while the total compensation of employees’ wages and salaries slipped to levels last recorded in 1929.

The wealth of the richest 400 Americans increased from $1.57 trillion in 2008 to $2.4 trillion in 2016.

The market-driven Affordable Care Act, Obama’s primary domestic initiative, did extend medical coverage to segments of American society, while millions of others were forced to pay higher premiums for substandard care. This shifted health care costs from employers and the state to working individuals in a move that effectively amounts to a bailout for private insurers.

And finally, there is the obscene proliferation of police brutality that has unfolded under Obama’s watch, with offending officers rarely held to account for their actions. African-American males were found to be nine times more likely to be killed by police officers in 2015 than white men of the same age.

But despite Obama’s troubled and deeply hypocritical track record, he remains a figure that many Americans continue to admire and respect, especially as the country moves rapidly toward a new and highly divisive political era.

A great many Americans, especially those in African-American communities, desperately and sincerely want to believe in the hope that Obama inspired in them. Unfortunately, Obama’s key achievement has proven to be his skillful usurpation of progressive rhetoric in the interest of an extremely militaristic and pro-corporate political agenda.

While many fear the specter of Donald Trump’s incoming presidency and the new forms of authoritarianism and state violence that will inevitably accompany it, none should forget that it was President Obama who set a precedent for the extreme executive authority that President Trump will soon enjoy.


Nile Bowie is an independent writer and current affairs commentator based in Singapore. Originally from New York City, he has lived in the Asia-Pacific region for nearly a decade and was previously a columnist with the Malaysian Reserve newspaper, in addition to working actively in non-governmental organisations and creative industries. He can be reached at nilebowie@gmail.com.

Read more:

Lost legacy: How Barack Obama deliberately destroyed the US-Russia relationship

January 18, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Economics, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Bashing Trump’s Justifiable Outrage Over Disgraceful Press Coverage

By Stephen Lendman | January 18, 2017

With few exceptions, media scoundrels relentlessly bashed him throughout the political season.

Vilification continues daily post-election, inventing reasons to denigrate him, an unprecedented example of political presstitution at its worst.

An open letter to him from the US press corp, written by Columbia Journalism Review editor-in-chief and publisher Kyle Pope, warrants a reader response. Trump and his team can speak for themselves.

Pope: “You’ve banned news organizations from covering you.”

Fact: False! He leveled sharp criticism as justified, including blasting CNN as fake news. He should have applied that label to the entire scoundrel media establishment, suppressing hard truths, substituting managed news misinformation and Big Lies – about him and on virtually all other important issues.

Any news organization and their members are free to cover him. He’s free to ignore any ones he wishes.

Pope: “(Y)our press secretary is considering pulling news media offices out of the White House…”

Fact: False! Incoming press secretary Sean Spicer said space is being sought to accommodate a larger number of journalists – not change the workspace for White House reporters.

At the same time, Trump is entitled to challenge members of the press spreading malicious lies about him. No one should put up with abusive practices.

Pope: “You’ve taken to Twitter to taunt and threaten individual reporters and encouraged your supporters to do the same.”

Fact: Western media scoundrels are a national disgrace. Trump should respond when they blast him irresponsibly.

Twitter is his favorite way of communicating. He’s able to reach millions, free from misquotes and distortions. Earlier I called him America’s tweeter-in-chief, encouraging him to keep tweeting.

Pope: “You’ve avoided the press when you could and flouted the norms of pool reporting and regular press conferences.”

Fact: Advice referees give prize fighters to protect themselves at all times especially applies to presidents and other heads of state. If he wishes, Trump is entitled to avoid press corp members denigrating him maliciously.

He’s yet to assume office, so it’s unknown how often he’ll hold press conferences. Franklin Roosevelt, serving nearly four terms, held far more than any other president. They were more informal affairs in pre-television days than how they’re held today.

Pope: “You’ve ridiculed a reporter who wrote something you didn’t like because he has a disability.”

Fact: Trump debunked the accusation as a malicious lie.

Pope: Press “access is preferable, but not critical.” Lacking it is “a challenge we relish.”

Fact: Trump has no problem with responsible reporting. Denigrating him without just cause is another matter entirely.

Pope: “Ground rules are the prerogative of the press.”

Fact: That type attitude would antagonize anyone.

Pope: “We decide how much airtime to give your spokespeople and surrogates.”

Fact: How much time isn’t the issue. Responsible truth-telling matters most – what’s sorely lacking in mainstream Western reporting, turning journalism into presstitution.

Pope: “Facts are what we do…”

Fact: Media scoundrels suppress them, substituting fake news.

Pope: “(W)hile you may seek to control what comes out of the West Wing, we’ll have the upper hand in covering how your policies are carried out.”

Fact: If reporting on Trump follows the pattern seen throughout the political season and post-election so far, expect endless rubbish substituting for responsible journalism.

Pope: We’ll set higher standards for ourselves than ever before.”

Fact: Presstitutes make street whores look good by example. Case closed!

Stephen Lendman can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book as editor and contributor is titled Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.

January 18, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg ‘misreported’ Corbyn story… but no evidence of bias, says Trust

587f90fdc36188e14f8b4589

Laura Kuenssberg © ZUMAPRESS.com / Global Look Press
RT | January 18, 2017

Award winning BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg has been reprimanded by the BBC Trust for inaccurately reporting Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s views on shoot-to-kill policies in the aftermath of the Paris attacks.

The Trust concluded that Kuenssberg breached the BBC’s impartiality and accuracy guidelines at a time of “extreme national concern,” but insisted there was no evidence of bias or of intent on the part of the journalist.

The report was broadcast for the News at Six in November 2015, shortly after terrorists attacked the Bataclan and other sites in Paris.

The news package included a clip of Corbyn saying: “I am not happy with a shoot-to-kill policy in general. I think that is quite dangerous and I think can often be counterproductive. I think you have to have security that prevents people firing off weapons where you can.”

Kuenssberg had presented Corbyn’s response as an answer to a question on whether he would be “happy for British officers to pull the trigger in the event of a Paris-style attack.”

However the BBC Trust concluded Corbyn had been responding to a question asking whether he would be happy to order police or military “to shoot to kill” on Britain’s streets – and not specifically in response to a Paris-style attack.

A viewer complained to the Trust about the broadcast after four separate complaints were rejected by the BBC.

The Trust found the inaccuracy was “compounded” when Kuenssberg went on to state that Corbyn’s message “couldn’t be more different” to that of then-prime minister David Cameron.

In its report, the Trust concluded the inaccuracy was particularly important when dealing “with a critical question at a time of extreme national concern.”

“According to this high standard, the report had not been duly accurate in how it framed the extract it used from Mr Corbyn’s interview.”

BBC News director, James Harding, rejected the Trust’s ruling and defended Kuenssberg as “an outstanding journalist and political editor with the utmost integrity and professionalism.”

He said: “While we respect the Trust and the people who work there, we disagree with this finding.”

Thousands of Corbyn supporters launched a campaign last May against Kuenssberg’s perceived bias against the Labour leader.

Some 35,000 people signed a petition calling for the journalist to be sacked.

The reporter was named Broadcaster of the Year by the Political Studies Association last November and Journalist of the Year by Press Gazette last December.

January 18, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

Regime Change Comes Home: The CIA’s Overt Threats against Trump

By James Petras :: 01.17.2017

Introduction: The norms of US capitalist democracy include the election of presidential candidates through competitive elections, unimpeded by force and violence by the permanent institutions of the state. Voter manipulation has occurred during the recent elections, as in the case of the John F. Kennedy victory in 1960 and the George W. Bush victory over ‘Al’ Gore in 2000.

But despite the dubious electoral outcomes in these cases, the ‘defeated’ candidate conceded and sought via legislation, judicial rulings, lobbying and peaceful protests to register their opposition.

These norms are no longer operative. During the election process, and in the run-up to the inauguration of US President-Elect Donald Trump, fundamental electoral institutions were challenged and coercive institutions were activated to disqualify the elected president and desperate overt public pronouncements threatened the entire electoral order.

We will proceed by outlining the process that is used to undermine the constitutional order, including the electoral process and the transition to the inauguration of the elected president.

Regime Change in America

In recent times, elected officials in the US and their state security organizations have often intervened against independent foreign governments, which challenged Washington’s quest for global domination. This was especially true during the eight years of President Barack Obama’s administration where the violent ousting of presidents and prime ministers through US-engineered coups were routine – under an unofficial doctrine of ‘regime change’.

The violation of constitutional order and electoral norms of other countries has become enshrined in US policy. All US political, administrative and security structures are involved in this process. The policymakers would insist that there was a clear distinction between operating within constitutional norms at home and pursuing violent, illegal regime change operations abroad.

Today the distinction between overseas and domestic norms has been obliterated by the state and quasi-official mass media. The US security apparatus is now active in manipulating the domestic democratic process of electing leaders and transitioning administrations.

The decisive shift to ‘regime change’ at home has been a continual process organized, orchestrated and implemented by elected and appointed officials within the Obama regime and by a multiplicity of political action organizations, which cross traditional ideological boundaries.

Regime change has several components leading to the final solution: First and foremost, the political parties seek to delegitimize the election process and undermine the President-elect. The mass media play a major role demonizing President-Elect Trump with personal gossip, decades-old sex scandals and fabricated interviews and incidents.

Alongside the media blitz, leftist and rightist politicians have come together to question the legitimacy of the November 2016 election results. Even after a recount confirmed Trump’s victory, a massive propaganda campaign was launched to impeach the president-elect even before he takes office – by claiming Trump was an ‘enemy agent’.

The Democratic Party and the motley collection of right-left anti-Trump militants sought to blackmail members of the Electoral College to change their vote in violation of their own mandate as state electors. This was unsuccessful, but unprecedented.

Their overt attack on US electoral norms then turned into a bizarre and virulent anti-Russia campaign designed to paint the elected president (a billionaire New York real estate developer and US celebrity icon) as a ‘tool of Moscow.’ The mass media and powerful elements within the CIA, Congress and Obama Administration insisted that Trump’s overtures toward peaceful, diplomatic relations with Russia were acts of treason.

The outgoing President Obama mobilized the entire leadership of the security state to fabricate ‘dodgy dossiers’ linking Donald Trump to the Russian President Vladimir Putin, insisting that Trump was a stooge or ‘vulnerable to KGB blackmail’. The CIA’s phony documents (arriving via a former British intelligence operative-now free lance ’security’ contractor) were passed around among the major corporate media who declined to publish the leaked gossip. Months of attempts to get the US media to ‘take the bite’ on the ’smelly’ dossier were unsuccessful. The semi-senile US Senator John McCain (’war-hero’ and hysterical Trump opponent) then volunteered to plop the reeking gossip back onto the lap of the CIA Director Brennan and demand the government ‘act on these vital revelations’!

Under scrutiny by serious researchers, the ‘CIA dossier’ was proven to be a total fabrication by way of a former ‘British official – now – in – hiding…!’ Undaunted, despite being totally discredited, the CIA leadership continued to attack the President-elect. Trump likened the CIA’s ‘dirty pictures hatchet job’ to the thuggish behavior of the Nazis and clearly understood how the CIA leadership was involved in a domestic coup d’état.

CIA Director John Brennan, architect of numerous ‘regime changes’ overseas had brought his skills home – against the President-elect. For the first time in US history, a CIA director openly charged a President or President-elect with betraying the country and threatened the incoming Chief Executive. He coldly warned Trump to ‘just make sure he understands that the implications and impacts (of Trump’s policies) on the United States could be profound…”

Clearly CIA Director Brennan has not only turned the CIA into a sinister, unaccountable power dictating policy to an elected US president, by taking on the tone of a Mafia Capo, he threatens the physical security of the incoming leader.

From a Scratch to Gangrene

The worst catastrophe that could fall on the United States would be a conspiracy of leftist and rightist politicos, the corporate mass media and the ‘progressive’ websites and pundits providing ideological cover for a CIA-orchestrated ‘regime change’.

Whatever the limitations of our electoral norms – and there are many – they are now being degraded and discarded in a march toward an elite coup, involving elements of the militarist empire and ‘intelligence’ hierarchy.

Mass propaganda, a ‘red-brown alliance, salacious gossip and accusations of treason (’Trump, the Stooge of Moscow’) resemble the atmosphere leading to the rise of the Nazi state in Germany. A broad ‘coalition’ has joined hands with a most violent and murderous organization (the CIA) and imperial political leadership, which views overtures to peace to be high treason because it limits their drive for world power and a US dominated global political order.

January 18, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli Bedouin Kills Border Policeman Ethnically-Cleansing His Village

By Richard Silverstein | Tikun Olam | January 18, 2017

When is “terror,” terror? When is it something else? Who defines what is “terror?”

um al hiran bedouin village

Um al Hiran several weeks ago (Nov. 2016) in happier times

Tonight’s post will be difficult to write because it will try to parse the linguistic thicket defining “terrorism” in the Israeli context. Most of us understand terror as an act of violence by individuals or groups aggrieved for their treatment at the hands of others. In some cases, the target is a nation which rules over them.  In others, terror is used to eliminate perceived political, religious or ethnic enemies.

In Israel, terror is used by both Israeli Jews and Palestinians. Among Israeli Jews there is ad hoc terror perpetrated by settlers. But there is also state-sponsored terror, which is based on historical policies of theft, oppression, ethnic cleansing, assassination and murder. Israelis seem to think that states, or at least their state, are outside the definition of “terror” since they’re not individual actors or oppressed groups. This simply isn’t the case. In Israel’s case, its state policies are terror because they employ mass violence to uphold a regime systematically oppressing the Palestinians in violation of international law. Keep in mind that approximately 40,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since 1948.

In that sense, today’s ethnic cleansing of the Bedouin village of Um al Hiran was an act of state terror. Hundreds of police brandishing weapons, tear gas and other forms of repression assaulted the village and began destroying its residences. The village had been founded in 1956 when the IDF sent its residents there to live after their previous village had been destroyed during the 1948 War. Unlike other Bedouin communities which were established by the residents themselves under their own initiative, Um al Hiran was founded by State authority.

But now, the Judaizing policies of the current Israeli regime plan to remove thousands of Bedouin from their ancestral homes in favor of new domestic settlements for Jews. This village is slated for demolition as are many others. The Bedouin “refusers” will be forcibly moved to urban towns artificially decreed for the habitation of Bedouins. No attempt has been made to consult with Bedouin about any of this (the Prawer Plan was a State attempt to negotiate Bedouin acquiescence to the expulsion, which the Bedouin rejected). They’re merely plopped down in the middle of an environment that is totally alien to their way of life; then told to make do.

This is an act of cultural dispossession. It is a throwback to the colonial era when ruling powers could treat native peoples arbitrarily and such policies often resulted in acts up to, and including genocide. I am not using that term in connection to the Bedouin. But the echo of earlier powers who did engage in it is not accidental on my part as a warning of what the future might hold.

MK ayman oudeh shot by idf

MK Ayman Oudeh after being shot by Border Police rubber bullet

The native Bedouin residents of this village appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court asking for their right to their homes. The Court, which has now been eviscerated of any previous sympathy for the civil rights championed by former justices like Aharon Barak, turned down the appeal. That exhausted the legal remedies of the Bedouin. And set the stage for this morning’s tragedy.

As the police began their destruction, a Bedouin schoolteacher named Musa Abu Alqiyan plowed his car into a group of them. One policeman was killed and another seriously wounded. Abu Alqiyan was shot and killed.  Israeli Palestinian MK, Ayman Oudeh, was also shot in the face by a Border Police rubber bullet. The bullet which struck his temple (from what I can tell in pictures) could easily with a millimeter’s difference, have struck his eye and blinded him. I can’t recall any other instance in Israeli history when an official representative of the state shot and injured a member of Knesset. Of course, being a Palestinian MK excludes him from the circle of protection the authorities would afford Jewish MKs. Which is a further confirmation of the level of racism in Israeli society.

The Border Police in willing collaboration with Israeli media are spreading the lie that Oudeh was struck by a rock thrown by Bedouin protesters. You might just as well claim Oudeh threw the rock at himself and struck his own head. The idea that a protester would strike a Palestinian MK is not only preposterous, it’s offensive. The idea that the Border Police would shoot at a Palestinian MK is not only credible, but likely. The whole sordid show is typical of the lies of the Israeli police (remember when they said Mohammed Abu Khdeir was murdered by his family in an honor killing because he was gay? ‘Nuff said) and hasbara apparatus.

The family of the attacker claimed he was murdered in cold blood and that he was neither a terrorist or an Islamist. Apparently, according to my sources this is not true. A security source tells me he was an Islamist. Israeli reports have variously associated him with the Islamist Movement and Islamic State. Those are two entirely different entities, but ones about which most Israelis don’t make any distinction.

um al hiran ethnic cleansing and terror

Israeli forces arrest Bedouin protesting destruction of his home village

But for the purposes of this discussion, I think it hardly matters whether the man was an Islamist or not. His village was being destroyed by the Israeli state. To him this was an act of state terror. He responded in the most dramatic fashion he could.

While I don’t endorse violence myself, I simply cannot call his act unjustified. When a state blocks every avenue of redress for a people who are being robbed of their homes and lives, what should they expect? Silent and sullen acceptance? No, Israel is at fault in this. It brought the residents to this place then tried to steal it from them. It denied them any legal or peaceful recourse. I don’t see any other outcome that was possible under the circumstances.

Oh, and I’ll offer a deal to all the Israel-defenders out there who are screaming bloody murder about this new “terror attack.” If you’ll call the systematic dispossession of tens of thousands of Negev Bedouin an act of State terror, then I’ll agree to call this killing an act of terror. Any takers?

The world should rally round the Negev Bedouin. It should declare their ethnic cleansing to be a violation of international law. It should add this crime to the long list which will sometime be sent to the Hague for deliberation. It should add this to the list of crimes which should be addressed in UN resolutions and sanctions.

January 18, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Syria Rejects Qatar, Saudi Chairs in Astana Talks: No Place for Terrorism Sponsors

Al-Manar – January 18, 2017

Syrian deputy Foreign Ministry rejected on Wednesday the participation of Saudi Arabia and Qatar in the Astana peace talks on Syria next week, stressing that negotiations should not include every party that supports, arms and funds terrorism.

“Once Qatar and Saudi Arabia halt their support to terrorism, then we can discuss their participation in the talks,” he said.

Speaking to Al-Mayadeen TV, Moqdad said that Washington should prove its sincerity to deal with solutions for the Syrian crisis, prevent the support of armed terrorist groups, and exert pressure on Turkey to close its border with Syria.

On the participation of the United States in Astana negotiations, the Syrian official said “anyone who wants to work in good will to resolve the crisis in Syria can take part,” calling to “punish those who finance and arm terrorism, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar.”

January 18, 2017 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment