Aletho News


Seoul says military solution to N Korea crisis ‘unacceptable’

Press TV – January 25, 2018

South Korea has hinted for the first time since the start of a standoff with the North over Pyongyang’s nuclear program last year that a military solution would be no answer to the crisis and that differences should be settled diplomatically.

South Korea’s Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said on Thursday that talks were the only viable option for resolving the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear program.

“The nuclear issue has to be solved through negotiations and diplomatic endeavors. This idea of a military solution is unacceptable,” said Kang while addressing reporters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The top diplomat said she was positive the United States, her country’s main ally in the standoff with North Korea, would obtain South Korea’s approval before any military action on the issue.

“I‘m assured that anything the US administration does on this front is done in close consultation with us,” Kang said, adding, “This is our fate that is at stake. Any option that is to be taken on the Korean peninsula cannot be implemented without us going along.”

The remarks come amid a relative ease in the months-long tensions over North Korea’s weapons and nuclear activities. A series of advanced missile and nuclear tests by the country last year prompted the US and its allies in the region to pile maximum pressure on Pyongyang.

Washington has engineered rounds of international sanctions on North Korea. It has also expanded the scope of its joint military drills with Seoul. Many fear that an all-out war could break out in the region as the North and the US have on a number of occasions threatened each other with nuclear attacks.

However, Seoul has offered an olive branch to Pyongyang by inviting the North’s athletes to this year’s Winter Olympics while representatives from the two countries have held limited talks on some military issues.

January 25, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 1 Comment

“Too Big To Believe” – Massive Scandal Is Brewing At The FBI

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | January 24, 2018

As the Potemkin Village walls of The Left’s ‘Trump Collusion’ narrative crash and burn along with special counsel Mueller’s credibility, The New York Post’s Michael Goodwin sees far more wide-ranging problems ahead for America’s ‘intelligence’ agencies as the anti-Trump ‘secret society’ and lovers-texts-gate debacles threaten the core of the Deep State.

Goodwin writes that, during the financial crisis, the federal government bailed out banks it declared “too big to fail.” Fearing their bankruptcy might trigger economic Armageddon, the feds propped them up with taxpayer cash.

Something similar is happening now at the FBI, with the Washington wagons circling the agency to protect it from charges of corruption. This time, the appropriate tag line is “too big to believe.”

Yet each day brings credible reports suggesting there is a massive scandal involving the top ranks of America’s premier law enforcement agency. The reports, which feature talk among agents of a “secret society” and suddenly missing text messages, point to the existence both of a cabal dedicated to defeating Donald Trump in 2016 and of a plan to let Hillary Clinton skate free in the classified email probe.

If either one is true — and I believe both probably are — it would mean FBI leaders betrayed the nation by abusing their powers in a bid to pick the president.

More support for this view involves the FBI’s use of the Russian dossier on Trump that was paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. It is almost certain that the FBI used the dossier to get FISA court warrants to spy on Trump associates, meaning it used the opposition research of the party in power to convince a court to let it spy on the candidate of the other party — likely without telling the court of the dossier’s political link.

Even worse, there is growing reason to believe someone in President Barack Obama’s administration turned over classified information about Trump to the Clinton campaign.

As one former federal prosecutor put it, “It doesn’t get worse than that.” That prosecutor, Joseph ­diGenova, believes Trump was correct when he claimed Obama aides wiretapped his phones at Trump Tower.

These and other elements combine to make a toxic brew that smells to high heaven, but most Americans don’t know much about it. Mainstream media coverage has been sparse and dismissive and there’s a blackout from the same Democrats obsessed with Russia, Russia, Russia.

Partisan motives aside, it’s as if a scandal of this magnitude is more than America can bear — so let’s pretend there’s nothing to see and move along.

But, thankfully the disgraceful episode won’t be washed away, thanks to a handful of congressional Republicans, led by California Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House’s Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. After he accused the FBI of stonewalling in turning over records, the bureau relented, at least partially.

The result was clear evidence of bias against Trump by officials charged with investigating him and Clinton. Those same agents appear to have acted on that bias to tilt the election to Clinton.

In one text message, an agent suggests that Attorney General Loretta Lynch knew while the investigation was still going on that the FBI would not recommend charges against Clinton.

How could she know unless the fix was in?

All roads in the explosive developments lead to James Comey, whose Boy Scout image belied a sinister belief that he, like his infamous predecessor J. Edgar Hoover, was above the law.

It is why I named him J. Edgar Comey last year and wrote that he was “adept at using innuendo and leaks” to let everybody in Washington know they could be the next to be investigated.

It was in the office of Comey’s top deputy, Andrew McCabe, where agents discussed an “insurance policy” in the event that Trump won. Reports indicated that the Russia-collusion probe was that insurance policy.

The text was from Peter Strzok, the top investigator on the Trump case, and was sent to Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer and also his mistress.

“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40 . . . ” Strzok wrote.

It is frightening that Strzok, who called Trump “an idiot,” was the lead investigator on both the Clinton and Trump cases.

After these messages surfaced, special counsel Robert Mueller removed Strzok and Page from his probe, though both still work at the FBI.

Strzok, despite his talk of an “insurance policy” in 2016, wrote in May of 2017 that he was skeptical Mueller’s probe would find anything on Trump because “there’s no big there there.”

Talk about irony. While Dems and the left-wing media already found Trump guilty of collusion before Mueller was appointed, the real scandal might be the conduct of the probers themselves.

Suspicions are hardly allayed by the fact that the FBI says it can’t find five months of messages between Strzok and Page, who exchanged an estimated 50,000 messages overall. The missing period — Dec. 14, 2016 through May 17, 2017 — was a crucial time in Washington.

There were numerous leaks of classified material just before and after Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

And the president fired Comey last May 9, provoking an intense lobbying effort for a special counsel, which led to Mueller’s appointment on May 19.

Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, has emerged from his hidey hole to notice that the FBI has run amok, and said Monday he would “leave no stone unturned” to find the five months of missing texts.

Fine, but the House is racing ahead of him. Nunes has prepared a four-page memo, based on classified material that purportedly lays out what the FBI and others did to corrupt the election.

A movement to release the memo is gaining steam, but Congress says it might take weeks. Why wait? Americans can handle the truth, no matter how big it is.

January 25, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , , | 3 Comments

US creates task force to promote ‘internet freedom’ in Cuba

RT | January 24, 2018

The US has created a special task force to promote the free flow of information on the internet in Cuba, the State Department announced. The move was decried by Cuban media as an attempt to destabilize the island.

“The Department of State is convening a Cuba Internet Task Force composed of US government and non-governmental representatives to promote the free and unregulated flow of information in Cuba,” the agency said in a statement on Tuesday. “The task force will examine the technological challenges and opportunities for expanding internet access and independent media in Cuba.”

The unit is being put together in line with President Donald Trump’s memorandum on “Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba” from June 16, 2017, the State Department said. The task force is scheduled to hold its first public meeting on February 7.

The Cuban Communist Party’s official newspaper, Granma, said the task force is really “aimed at subverting Cuba’s internal order. According to the paper, previously “phrases like promoting ‘freedom of speech’ and ‘expanding access to the internet in Cuba’ have been used by Washington as a pretext for schemes to destabilize the country using new technologies.”

Granma reminded its readers of the ill-fated ZunZuneo messenger, which was dubbed “the Cuban Twitter” when it was introduced in 2010. The US-made app, however, went offline two years later, after media revelations that it spied on its users and was actually aimed at provoking an uprising among the Cuban youth.

The Cuban paper cited a local expert who said “2017 will be remembered as the boom year for the expansion of internet access in our country.” Around 40 percent of Cuba’s 11-million population connected to the internet last year, which is 37 percent more than in 2010, the expert said.

The 500 public wi-fi hotspots across country created by the government registered 250,000 connections every day last year, according to Granma. Cuban authorities say that faster expansion of the internet on the island is hampered by US sanctions.

The US made an effort to mend ties with Cuba under President Barack Obama, as the neighbors reestablish embassies in Havana and Washington in 2014 after a 50-year break. Telecommunications equipment became one of the first exemptions from the US trade embargo, as the Obama administration saw improved internet access in Cuba as a key factor in rapprochement.

However, Trump announced a rollback of his predecessor’s policies towards the Communist island nation. In November, Washington introduced new travel restriction on Cuba for Americans, and barred them from doing business with dozens of stores, hotels, tourist agencies and even rum makers that were allegedly linked to the Cuban military.

January 25, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , | 2 Comments

From ‘secret societies’ to flawed FBI probes, the Russiagate narrative is imploding

By Robert Bridge | RT | January 24, 2018

The anti-Russia narrative is collapsing under the growing weight of evidence pointing to a concerted internal effort on the part of the US establishment to sabotage the Trump presidency.

Russiagate – the ongoing American witch hunt that imagines the Kremlin behind everything, up to and including Donald Trump’s presence in the Oval Office – is starting to resemble a Russian matryoshka stacking doll.

On the outer shell of this multilayered plaything, the media has painted for us an ominous image of Russia, which, they would have us believe, is the bogeyman responsible for hacking Hillary Clinton’s computer, and hypnotizing US voters over their Facebook and Twitter accounts, thereby giving Trump a free ride into the White House.

Yet as we begin to pry open each layer of this extremely convoluted story we discover to our surprise that there is absolutely nothing inside even remotely connected to Russia. Nothing. A big nothing matryoska.

Memo madness

In the latest installment of this never-ending goose chase, Washington is now bracing itself for the release of a four-page memo by the House Intelligence Committee. Members of Congress say it reveals reported abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by the Obama administration, which approved surveillance against Trump’s team on behalf of the Clinton campaign.

That announcement emerged shortly before the release of another sensational story involving two lovebirds at the FBI, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

Strzok, who served as Chief of the Counterespionage Section during the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a personal email server, and Page, a lawyer with the agency, were found to have exchanged numerous email messages expressing their strong disdain for the Republican candidate.

At one point, Strzok referred to Trump as an “utter idiot,” and told Page that Clinton “just had to win” the election. No bias there.

Although the story broke in December, it grabbed headlines last week when the Justice Department said it had no records of Strzok-Page messages between December 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017. This represents a critical period in the investigation, encompassing Michael Flynn’s resignation and FBI Director James Comey’s firing.

The surprises did not end there. Strzok and Page also dropped mention of a “secret society” that was supposedly meeting behind closed doors to work against the Trump administration, an explosive claim if proven to be true.

“We learned today from information that in the immediate aftermath of his election that there may have been a secret society of folks within the Department of Justice and the FBI to include Page and Strzok to be working against him,” Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) told Fox News.

However, like so many things related to the Trump investigation, when you touch the FISA question, or claims of anti-Trump bias inside of the FBI, you get a reaction much like the mythical Hydra that quickly grows back a pair of heads for every one that is severed.

In the case of the memo that is causing fireworks in Washington, the Republicans allege that the FISA judge who signed off on surveillance warrants against individuals aligned with the Trump campaign “was not given full information about the Trump-Russia dossier,” according to a report by Manu Raju, CNN senior congressional correspondent

Indeed, there were some glaring problems with the dossier, which was carried out by Fusion GPS. As it has been revealed, the American research firm got its funding from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign. To say that represents a conflict of interest is a serious understatement.

As Bloomberg’s Leonid Bershidsky, a reporter with little love lost for Moscow, admitted, “private operative Steele couldn’t even offer his informants the thin protection that comes with working for a foreign intelligence agency, which might help a valuable agent if push came to shove.”

If the DOJ really made the decision to allow surveillance on any member of the Trump team on the basis of such a flimsy report, the Republicans certainly seem justified in demanding the release of this memo. Indeed, calls for the release of the memo are growing daily.

“The House must immediately make public the memo prepared by the Intelligence Committee regarding the FBI and the Department of Justice,” Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla, said. “The facts contained in this memo are jaw-dropping and demand full transparency.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, who has even denied a request by the FBI to review the memo, said it would take over two weeks to process its release.

Meanwhile, the Democrats – none of whom, incidentally, voted to have the memo released – are in full damage control, blaming the hype over the memo not on its allegedly explosive contents, but rather on the ‘fact’ that – yes – the Russians are behind this latest development as well, manipulating social media to wreak havoc in Washington.

They are also betraying a high level of hypocrisy by fighting against the memo’s release. After all, the Democrats expressed no dismay when BuzzFeed made the unethical decision to publish a wholly unverified document. Nor did they rise up in protest when Senator Dianne Feinstein made the unilateral decision to release a 312-page transcript of a congressional interview with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson.

Feinstein said she released the transcript because “the American people deserve the opportunity to see what he said and judge for themselves.”

But where is Feinstein’s commitment to transparency now when it comes to releasing the memo from the House Intelligence Committee? We’ll answer that question in a moment.

Blame Russia

Responding to the sudden surge in popularity of the trending hashtag #ReleaseTheMemo, Democratic congressman Adam Schiff (D-California) placed the blame squarely on Moscow’s doorstep.

The Republicans have “made common cause once again with Russian bots because Russian bots are pushing their narrative out there,” he told CNN. “We have Assange and WikiLeaks and Russian trolls and bots saying, you know, hashtag whatever the GOP narrative is. That ought to tell you a lot about what’s driving this.”

On Tuesday, Schiff and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey imploring their assistance. The lawmakers said that Russia-linked social media accounts are “again exploiting Twitter and Facebook platforms in an effort to manipulate public opinion.”

We’ve seen such diversionary tactics before.

Last year, when questions began to surface over Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified government data on her personal computer – a federal offense punishable by up to 15 years in prison – the Democrats deflected public attention away from that primary question, alleging without evidence that Russia had “hacked” Clinton’s email.

The mainstream media took to that unsubstantiated story like fish to water, while everybody seemed to forget the main question: Why was Clinton using her personal server?

Before long, the media was engaged in a contest with itself to come up with the most outrageous claims against Russia – which ran the gamut from hacking the US power grid to posing as Black activists on Facebook to sow discord in the home of the brave. No story involving Russia could be considered too outlandish.

The circumstances involving the FBI’s Clinton probe become even more preposterous when it is remembered that the FBI never got close to the DNC computers. Instead, the FBI relied upon the findings of the security firm CrowdStrike as the basis for its probe.

Would it surprise anyone to know that the co-founder of CrowdStrike is Dmitri Alperovitch, who also serves as a nonresident senior fellow on the Atlantic Council, a think tank that would never be accused of being pro-Russia.

In other words, from the beginning of this virulently anti-Russia campaign, the Democrats have been granted carte blanche to organize and fund the very probes that have done so much to damage US-Russia relations.

With that in mind, it will be very interesting to see the content of the much-anticipated memo. That is, if it really does get released.


Read more:

Top Democrats peg #ReleaseTheMemo on Russia, demand Twitter & Facebook investigate — again

January 25, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Conspiracy of Silence Assaults Privacy

By Andrew Napolitano • Unz Review • January 25, 2018

During the past three weeks, Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law vast new powers for the NSA and the FBI to spy on innocent Americans and selectively to pass on to law enforcement the fruits of that spying.

Those fruits can now lawfully include all fiber-optic data transmitted to or in the United States, such as digital recordings of all landline and mobile telephone calls and copies in real time of all text messages and emails and banking, medical and legal records electronically stored or transmitted.

All this bulk surveillance had come about because the National Security Agency convinced federal judges meeting in secret that they should authorize it. Now Congress and the president have made it the law of the land.

This enactment came about notwithstanding the guarantee of the right to privacy — the right to be left alone — articulated in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution and elsewhere. Though the surveillance expansion passed the Senate by just one vote, it apparently marks a public policy determination that the Constitution can be ignored or evaded by majority consent whenever it poses an obstacle to the government’s purposes.

The language of the Fourth Amendment is an intentional obstacle to the government in deference to human dignity and personal liberty. It reads: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

This specific language was expressly written to prevent the bulk suspicionless surveillance that the British government had used against the colonists. British courts in London issued general warrants to British soldiers in America, authorizing them to search wherever they wished and seize whatever they found. These warrants were not based on probable cause, and they did not describe the place to be searched or the people or things to be seized.

The Colonial reaction to the British use of general warrants was to take up arms and fight the American Revolution.

Last week, Congress and the president chose to ignore our history and the human values underlying the right to privacy. Those values recognize that the individual pursuit of happiness is best actualized in an atmosphere free from the government’s prying eyes. Stated differently, the authors and ratifiers of the Fourth Amendment recognized that a person is not fully happy when being watched all the time by the government.

Yet the constitutional values and timeless lessons of history were not only rejected by Congress but also rejected in ignorance, and the ignorance was knowingly facilitated by the members of the House Intelligence Committee.

Here is the back story.

The recent behavior of the leadership of the House Intelligence Committee constitutes incompetence at best and misconduct in office at worst. The leadership sat on knowledge of NSA and FBI surveillance abuses that some committee members have characterized as “career-ending,” “jaw-dropping” and “KGB-like,” while both houses of Congress — ignorant of what their 22 House Intelligence Committee colleagues knew — voted to expand NSA and FBI surveillance authorities.

Stated differently, the 22 members of the committee knowingly kept from their 500 or so congressional colleagues incendiary information that, had it been revealed in a timely manner, would certainly have affected the outcome of the vote — particularly in the Senate, where a switch of just one vote would have prevented passage of this expansion of bulk surveillance authorization.

Why were all members of Congress but the 22 on this committee kept in the dark about NSA and FBI lawlessness? Why didn’t the committee reveal to Congress what it claims is too shocking to discuss publicly before Congress voted on surveillance expansion? Where is the outrage that this information was known to a few in the House and kept from the remainder of Congress while it ignorantly voted to assault the right to privacy?

The new law places too much power in the hands of folks who even the drafters of it have now acknowledged are inherently unworthy of this trust. I argued last week that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was up to something when he publicly attacked the trustworthiness of the NSA and FBI folks whose secret powers he later inexplicably voted to expand. Now we know what he was talking about.

What can be done about this?

The House Intelligence Committee should publicly reveal the contents of its four-page report that summarizes the NSA and FBI abuses. If that fails, a courageous member of the committee should go to the floor of the House — as Sen. Dianne Feinstein once took the CIA torture report to the floor of the Senate — and reveal not just the four-page report but also the underlying data upon which the report is based. Members of Congress enjoy full immunity for anything said on the House or Senate floor, yet personal courage is often in short supply.

But there is a bigger picture here than House Intelligence Committee members sitting on valuable intelligence and keeping it from their colleagues. The American people are entitled to know how the government in whose hands we have reposed the Constitution for safekeeping has used and abused the powers we have given to it. The American people are also entitled to know who abused power and who knew about it and remained silent.

Does the government work for us, or do we work for the government? In theory, of course, the government works for us. In practice, it treats us as children. Why do we accept this from a government to which we have consented? Democracy dies in darkness. So does personal freedom.

Copyright 2018 Andrew P. Napolitano. Distributed by

January 25, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , , | Leave a comment

Palestine’s Mamilla Cemetery and Israel’s colonial project

By Mustafa Fatih Yavuz | MEMO | January 25, 2018

Israel has many instruments with which to conduct its colonial project in occupied Palestine: cutting-edge military technology; its nuclear weapons and strategic alliance with the US that Israel’s deterrence factor relies on; and US diplomatic protection to contain countries attempting to stop the colonial-settlement of historical Palestine. Now even the dead are being involved, as the story of the Mamilla Cemetery in occupied Jerusalem attests.

Mamilla is a neighbourhood of Israeli-occupied Jerusalem, located to the west of the Old City’s Jaffa Gate. It is known mainly for its commercial activities in Mamilla Mall that was built in 2007.

As with all of Jerusalem’s neighbourhoods, Mamilla also hosts dozens of historical sites and structures. Mamilla pool is said to have been built by the Romans and gives the area its name. However, the name originates from the Arabic roots “Maman Allah”, which means “water of God” or “benefit from God”.

For centuries, Mamilla Cemetery has been a burial place for Muslims. Some of the Blessed Companions of Prophet Muhammad are buried there, as are some of Salahuddin Al-Ayyoubi’s soldiers and generals.

During the Ottoman period, in 1860, the cemetery was protected by a 2 metre-high fence and Jerusalemites continued to use it as a burial site. In 1927, the Muslim Supreme Court decided to declare the area as a historical site and maintain the tombs in good condition.

In 1948, though, that changed with the creation of the state of Israel and the occupation of West Jerusalem. Mamilla was deemed by the Zionist government to come under the jurisdiction of the Israeli Department of Absentee Landholders. Following the 1967 occupation of the rest of Jerusalem, the Islamic Waqf (Endowment) Department submitted a petition to get the cemetery back and resume burials there.

The Israeli authorities rejected this, and the Jerusalem municipality took the first step to erase Palestinian heritage from the area by turning a large part of the cemetery into a public space, called ‘’Independence Park’’. Many graves were removed in the process, as they were years later when cafes, a car park and, ironically, a “Museum of Tolerance” were planned for the cemetery.

“Museum of Tolerance”

In 2004, the Israeli government and the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre announced plans for the so-called Museum of Tolerance. By that time, only 8 per cent of Mamilla Cemetery was left, with only 5 per cent of the graves.

The museum is planned to be a multimedia centre for children and adults with theatre and education facilities. The Centre announced the project as a 21st century project dealing with “contemporary issues crucial to Israel’s future — intolerance, anti-Semitism, terrorism, Jewish unity and mutual respect and human dignity for all.”

Once the construction of the museum started, Palestinians and international supporters responded. In 2006, the families whose ancestors are buried in the cemetery, along with human rights organisations, submitted complaints to the Israeli Supreme Court. Petitions were also sent to the UN and UNESCO but to no avail.

According to the chief archaeologist of the Israeli Antiquities Authority, Gideon Suleimani, the human bones unearthed during the construction of the museum date back to 1278; those who were buried in that area were the political, military and religious elite of the Muslim community. His report led Israeli academics and media to raise concerns; the Supreme Court then suspended excavations temporarily. In 2008, the Court declared that the project could continue on the basis that a car park had been built in the area more than 40 years ago which had raised no objections.

Another effort to halt excavation was a petition presented to five different UN bodies in February 2010. Palestinian historian Rashid Khalidi and other individuals from sixty families in Jerusalem whose ancestors were buried in Mamilla Cemetery organised a “campaign to preserve Mamilla Jerusalem Cemetery”. The Centre for Constitutional Rights in New York supported a petition to the UN but it didn’t stop Israel and the Israeli Antiquities Authority from digging up even more graves.

Even the dead are dangerous for Israel

For the Zionists, whatever is linked to Palestinian identity poses a threat to their colonial plan to Judaise Palestine. In their thinking, places like Mamilla Cemetery are evidence of the land’s Palestinian history and must be erased.

Even though the Wiesenthal Centre claimed that ‘’the [human] remains were handled in keeping with the highest standards and High Court’s guidelines’’, lawyer Ahmad Amara, who was responsible for defending the Mamilla Cemetery between 2004 and 2007, saw for himself that bones were desecrated and thrown into cartons and left on one side. What Suleimani described as an “archaeological crime” continued despite the legal protests by Palestinians. Between 2008 and 2009 alone, around 1,000 skeletons were dug up and removed from the site.

In 2010, the Israeli Land Administration bulldozed 300 Muslim gravestones in the cemetery. The following year, another 100 were destroyed. Vandals from the “Price tag” settlers’ group attacked the cemetery in 2011, spraying ‘’Death to the Arabs” on gravestones.

Also in 2011, eighty-four archaeologists demanded that the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, the Jerusalem Municipality and the Israeli Antiquities Authority should end the museum construction. The project, they argued, was against all of the ethics of archaeology. ‘’The bulldozing of historic cemeteries is the ultimate act of territorial aggrandisement,” said Yale University Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology Harvey Weiss, “the erasure of prior residents.’’

Despite all of the objections, the “Museum of Tolerance” is expected to open in a few months’ time to coincide with the state of Israel’s 70th anniversary. That, of course, was the beginning of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe); the Nakba is ongoing.

January 25, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ireland May Criminalize Trade with Israeli Settlements

Palestine Chronicle | January 25, 2018

Ireland is set to discuss a new bill that seeks to prohibit the import and sale of goods originating in illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian Territory.

Independent Senator Frances Black, yesterday, launched the “Control of Economic Activities (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018”, which is scheduled for debate in Seanad Éireann on Wednesday 31 January 2018.

According to a press release announcing its launch the bill “seeks to prohibit the import and sale of goods, services and natural resources originating in illegal settlements in occupied territories”. “Such settlements,” said the statement, “are illegal under both international humanitarian law and domestic Irish law, and result in human rights violations on the ground”. Despite the illegality of the import and sale of goods from Israeli settlements, the statement points out that Ireland is still providing “continued economic support through trade in settlement goods”.

Drafters of the bill revealed that the legislation had been “prepared with the support of Trócaire, Christian-Aid and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), and applies to settlements in occupied territories where there is clear international legal consensus that they violate international law”. They insisted that the “clearest current example of these violations were the expansion of settlements in the Palestinian West Bank, which have been repeatedly condemned as illegal by the UN, EU, the International Court of Justice and the Irish Government”.

Speaking in advance of the bill’s introduction, Senator Black said:

“This is a chance for Ireland to stand up for the rights of vulnerable people – it is about respecting international law and refusing to support illegal activity and human suffering.”

Black said he is “passionate about the struggle of the Palestinian people”. He insisted that “trade in settlement goods sustains injustice” and explained that “in the occupied territories, people are forcibly kicked out of their homes, fertile farming land is seized, and the fruit and vegetables produced are then sold on Irish shelves to pay for it all”.

The bill is seeking more than mere denunciation of Israeli settlements and is trying to get governments around the world to treat settlements as illegal. Black pointed out that six years ago the Irish Government criticized the relentless progress of Israeli settlements, but they have failed to do anything about it since.

“In years since then it has only gone one way, with settlements expanding, more Palestinian homes being demolished and land being confiscated. It’s clear that empty promises have not worked but nothing has been done. Ireland needs to show leadership and act” Black protested.

The Occupied Territories Bill 2018 will be debated at Second Stage in Seanad Éireann on Wednesday and will be streamed live on Oireachtas TV. It has been co-signed by Seanad Civil Engagement Group Senators Alice-Mary Higgins, Lynn Ruane, Grace O’Sullivan, Colette Kelleher and John Dolan, as well as Senator David Norris.

January 25, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Playing ‘Kurdish Card’ in Syria Backfires on US As Turks Move In

By James George JATRAS | Strategic Culture Foundation | 25.01.2018

What the result will be of Turkey’s offensive against the Kurdish-held enclave of Afrin in northwest Syria may not be clear for a while, but two things are already certain. Bad decisions in Washington provided the trigger, and Washington’s regional position will suffer as a result of Ankara’s Orwellian-named “Operation Olive Branch.”

The offensive is the latest twist from Turkey’s erratic and unpredictable leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Let’s recall that “Sultan” Erdogan was an early and active participant in what was supposed to have been a relatively easy regime change operation in Syria starting in 2011, on the pattern of NATO’s overthrow of Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi that same year. Turkey, with its lengthy border with Syria, was (and to some extent still is) a major supporter of al-Qaeda-linked jihadist groups in Syria, working with Saudi Arabia and Qatar under American guidance, with Israel as a silent partner. The appearance of ISIS (Daesh, ISIL) as an outgrowth of al-Qaeda in Iraq was a direct and foreseen consequence of that effort, as the Obama Administration was warned in 2012 by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), then under the command of General Michael Flynn.

To the surprise of many, the Syrian government under President Bashar al-Assad didn’t just roll up and die but displayed an unexpected tenacity in defending that country’s secular, multi-religious society against outside efforts to impose a Wahhabist sectarian state. The clincher came with Russia’s September 2015 intervention, a distinctly unwelcome development for the “Assad must go!” crowd.

Two months later a crisis erupted between NATO-member Turkey and Russia when Turkish planes shot down a Russian Su-24 fighter (ostensibly for crossing into Turkish airspace) and ethnic Turkish (also called Turkmen) fighters murdered one of the two Russian airmen who parachuted from the plane. Perhaps Erdogan thought he could give Moscow a bloody nose and, with NATO’s backing him up, the Russians would turn tail and run. That didn’t happen, giving Erdogan reason to feel hung out to dry.

Then came the July 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan, orchestrated, he claims, by his former ally businessman, educator, and cleric Fethullah Gülen, resident in the U.S. Despite the deep freeze in Russia-Turkey ties since the Su-24 shootdown, Russian covert assistance reportedly was critical to saving Erdogan’s regime and perhaps his life. At the same time, his U.S. ally – which denies involvement in the coup attempt – still refuses to hand over Gülen, whose supporters in Turkey have been repressed in a massive purge of real or imagined opposition to Erdogan’s consolidation of power.

Internationally, the upshot of the coup’s failure was a turnaround in ties between Ankara and Moscow. In December 2016, Erdogan joined Russia and Iran, the principal supporters of the Syrian government against terrorists armed by Turkey among others, in the Astana peace process.

Erdogan, if not completely breaking with the anti-Assad coalition, at least started to hedge his bets, for example not reacting to the Syrian liberation of Aleppo from Ankara’s al-Qaeda clients. When Syrian forces relieved the ISIS siege of Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria in late 2017, and the Syrian army linked up with the Iraqi army (supported by the U.S. and Iran) at their common border, ISIS was almost finished as a territorial “caliphate.” This in turn has allowed Damascus to shift its focus elsewhere, notably to al-Qaeda-held Idlib. This wasn’t yet the end of the Syrian war but the end was coming into view.

Or so it seemed – which brings us back to U.S. policy.

In July 2017, Ankara had leaked the existence of U.S. bases in Kurdish-held northwestern Syria. Not that it matters to anyone in Washington, this presence is totally illegal under both U.S. law (there’s no Congressional authorization) and international law, which in U.S. politics counts for nothing (no UN Security Council authorization, no self-defense justification, and of course no invitation from the Syrian government). The U.S. presence with the Kurds is positioned on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, while the Russians and Syrians stay mainly on the western bank. Aside from some scary air incidents, it seems both sides seem to have been careful not to come into conflict.

If Washington had been content to leave it that, President Donald Trump – who had campaigned on a promise to “crush and destroy ISIS” – was in a great position to declare victory and get out. Keep in mind that despite ordering a demonstrative cruise missile strike on a Syrian air base in April 2017 (in reprisal for a chemical attack that almost certainly was not the work of the Syrian government), he had not indicated an appetite for digging deeper into an involvement in a conflict where he had once praised Assad, Russia, and Iran for fighting ISIS. He even reportedly cut off CIA aid to “rebels,” i.e., al-Qaeda, in July.

That was then, this is now. The U.S. is not leaving Syria. The globalists, generals, and other Swamp-monsters, plus their Israeli and Saudi pals, have won and “America First!” has lost. Recently Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced a new “way forward” in Syria, which in effect is an old way backwards the Obama policy. There are five pillars:

  • Defeat of ISIS and al-Qaeda. [The first is almost finished in Syria and Iraq, and regarding the second there seems to be some confusion about whose side we’ve been on for almost seven years];
  • Assad must go [Seriously; the fact that regime change in Syria would mean curtains for the Christians evidently is of no concern in Washington];
  • Block the Iranians [The “Shiite crescent” bogeyman is now a “northern arch”];
  • Return of refugees to their homes [Is that why the U.S. and the EU maintain sanctions on government-held areas?]; and
  • No weapons of mass destruction [Someone seems to have picked up by mistake the old talking points regarding Iraq, circa 2002].

The linchpin of this concept, if it can be called that, is using the Kurds as America’s boots on the ground. (It should be noted that when CIA assistance to its al-Qaeda clients was stopped last year, the Pentagon’s support for the Kurdish YPG (Yekîneyên Parastina Gel, “People’s Protection Units”) was maintained or stepped up; at the time the move seemed largely a bureaucratic tiff between Langley and DoD. Now however there are rumblings that the CIA aid spigot may be turned back on.) But for Erdogan, the icing on the cake was U.S. announcement of plans to create a 30,000 “Border Security Force.” For Turkey, this amounts to U.S. sponsorship, perhaps with partition of Syria in mind, of a Kurdish quasi-state comparable to Iraqi Kurdistan, in league with the Kurdish PKK (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê, “Kurdistan Workers Party”) – designated a terrorist group by the U.S., Turkey, and NATO. Hence Erdogan’s claim he is acting against a U.S.-armed “terror army,” which he vows to “strangle … before it’s even born.”

Perhaps U.S. officials thought they could manage Ankara’s response, or that the bombastic Erdogan was just bluffing. If so, they were mistaken. It now remains to be seen how far the Turks plan, or are able, to advance in Afrin. There is also speculation whether an assault may also be directed toward Manbij in the main, eastern Kurdish-held area known as Rojava, where some 2,000 or more American troops are present. In addition, Erdogan, who has progressively dismantled the Kemalist secular order in Turkey seems bent on whipping the offensive up as an Islamic ideological jihad in 90,000 mosques across the country.

Afrin, with its rough terrain, is a tough nut to crack. Manbij might be even harder and risk confrontation with the U.S. In either case the Kurds are fighting on their home turf against the Turkish army with their local Turkmen militia and al-Qaeda allies. Damascus reportedly has allowed Kurds from the main Rojava area they hold further east to cross government-held territory to reinforce Afrin. Meanwhile, the expectation of some Kurds that the United States would create a “no-fly zone” to defend them from America’s own NATO ally was comically unrealistic.

While it’s hard to say in the short term if the Turks or Kurds will come out ahead, there’s no doubt that strategically the big loser is the U.S. – and it’s a totally self-inflicted wound. If Trump had stuck to his original goal of just defeating ISIS, he could take credit for the efforts of the Syrian army and Russian air force and soon truthfully proclaim “Mission Accomplished” (in contrast to George W. Bush’s notorious Iraq declaration in 2003). But now, with the foolish adventure into which his generals (National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly) have led him, with Tillerson’s agreement or acquiescence, he now has on his hands a conflict between our de jure NATO ally Turkey and our de facto ally, the Kurds.

If the Kurds win, Turkey is in effect lost to NATO – we’re close to that already. If Turkey wins, the misguided U.S. plan to stay in Syria is finished – a likely outcome anyway.

As far as the impact within Syria, the Kurds are about to find out, as did the Iraqi Kurds following their abortive independence declaration last year, that they likewise have pressed their luck too far and were foolish to count on “friends” in Washington, for whom they are disposable. In the end, the Turkish attack is likely to accelerate the Kurds’ outreach to Damascus, with whom they have never entirely burned their bridges.

January 25, 2018 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

WaPo Editor Blames Lack of US Leadership for Famine Caused by US Leadership

By Adam Johnson | FAIR | January 23, 2018

“American leadership” is one of a long list of vague, seemingly benign pseudo-concepts our media throw around to justify increased spending on soft power and military adventurism. It’s a difficult concept to pin down, but it’s almost always presented as something the United States is “failing” to do when it doesn’t “engage” the world with enough war, sanctions or arbitrarily applied human rights scolding.

Lamenting a “lack of American leadership” is, therefore, a time-honored Serious Person cliche for those operating at major US papers, and one Washington Post deputy editorial page editor Jackson Diehl phoned in Sunday with his op-ed “Genocide, Famine and a Democratic Retreat—All After One Year of US Inaction” (1/21/17).

The piece began with a bizarre inversion of reality:

Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but as the United States has retreated from international leadership in the past decade, several toxic global trends have gained momentum. Democracy is steadily retreating, according to Freedom House, whose annual study documents a decline for the 12th consecutive year. Famine is threatening more people than ever: Tens of millions are at risk of starvation in countries such as Yemen, South Sudan and Somalia.

It’s unclear exactly what “international leadership” is supposed to mean here, besides being inversely correlated with Bad Things happening. The piece is a broadside against both former President Obama and Donald Trump for “steadily retreating,” but the most serious Bad Thing he cites as a result of a lack of American leadership, the famine in Yemen, is a direct result of “American leadership.” Obama and Trump have logistically and politically supported the Saudi-led bombing and blockade of Yemen that caused the famine.

But Diehl’s not honestly engaging with the world as it is; his job is to advance the premise that the US has both the right and the moral duty to dictate the affairs of other countries. Diehl did the same cynical reality-inversion last June (, 6/26/17), when he not only ignored the US’s role in creating the Yemen famine, but painted them as the heroes coming to the rescue.

Similarly, Diehl cites “the tragedy of Syria” in Sunday’s piece as a result of a lack of American leadership, without mentioning the American leadership of the CIA—along with American leadership allies Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatarhelped fund, train and arm groups in that conflict, thus fueling the “tragedy.” Also omitted was the ongoing role of “American Leadership” in bombing seven countries, its deadly drone program that has terrorized thousands of civilians in Yemen and Central Asia, its continued use of offshore penal colonies outside the scope of international law and a number of other bad things that result from the active exertion of “American leadership,” rather than its absence.

The rest of the piece is about the Trump administration’s “inaction” over ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Burma, but the setup is very telling. Diehl uses this ethnic catastrophe to browbeat the US for not doing enough, but really what he wants, as evidenced by his years of writing (see, e.g.,, 5/2/06, 12/23/14, 5/17/16), is more meddling and intervention and bombing in general; the tragedy in Burma simply serves as a moral lubricant for an assertion of the US’s superiority. To national security boosters like Diehl, “American leadership,” like military spending, is always in a state of inadequacy. There’s never enough, we always need more. The possibility that said “leadership” or military spending may be causing the problems—even the ones he himself cites as the most urgent—rather than being their solution is simply not an option.

Messages can be sent to the Washington Post at

January 25, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

Mattis just doesn’t understand how US operates around the world

By Nebojsa Malic | RT | January 25, 2018

US Defense Secretary James Mattis is a Marine’s Marine and a respected military scholar. Yet his recent remarks to reporters about US conduct around the world smack of either hypocrisy or woeful misinformation.

Mattis is visiting Indonesia and Vietnam this week, as part of a US effort to expand alliances in the Asia-Pacific region. On his way over to Jakarta on Monday, he held a “press gaggle” on board the plane and, according to transcripts provided by the Pentagon, said this:

I think that what we’re looking for is a world where we solve problems, and we don’t shred trust. We don’t militarize features in the middle of international waters. We don’t invade other countries, in Russia’s case ‒ Georgia, Ukraine. That we settle things by international rule of law, you know, this sort of thing.

Mattis was elaborating on the new US National Defense Strategy, which prioritized “inter-state strategic competition,” over terrorism and called out Russia and China as “revisionist powers” threatening the “free and open international order” created by the US and its allies after World War II.

If anything, Russia and China are actually “reactionary” powers. Both countries have repeatedly said that they seek only to apply the existing rules of international order equally to everyone – including the US, which has held itself exempt from them.

That belief in American exceptionalism is evident in Mattis’s own words, aimed at Beijing and Moscow.

“We don’t militarize features in the middle of international waters”

Here, Mattis is clearly referring to the islands in the South China Sea, claimed by China and a number of nearby nations. China has built military installations on a number of previously uninhabited islands and reefs, and sent naval forces into the area in response to repeated US overflights and maritime patrols.

However, while the People’s Liberation Army Navy operates in its home waters, the US Navy operates around the world – with bases in places like Japan, Bahrain, Spain and Italy, among others.

In pursuit of military bases around the globe, Washington has gone so far as to approve the forcible relocation of Chagos Islands residents so the US could build and maintain a massive base on Diego Garcia. A number of Marshall Islanders were also relocated from atolls in the Pacific because of nuclear tests (e.g. Bikini).

“We don’t invade other countries”

Where to even begin with this one? What was Libya in 2011, then? What happened in Iraq in 2003? Or the NATO attack on Yugoslavia in 1999, which violated both the UN Charter, the NATO Charter, and US law?

In Libya, the US and its NATO allies grossly abused a UN resolution allowing certain humanitarian actions to launch a full “regime change” operation against the government of Muammar Gaddafi. Nearly seven years later, Libya is a chaotic failed state, with open-air slave markets and terrorists staking claim on territory “liberated” by US-backed rebels.

Iraq was invaded without any legal justification whatsoever, with George W. Bush’s regime-changing “coalition of the willing” acting in stark contrast with his father’s multinational force, which invoked the UN Charter for the 1991 intervention to liberate Kuwait.

Yugoslavia was bombed by NATO for 78 days, until the UN found a fig leaf in the shape of Security Council Resolution 1244 to allow the alliance to occupy Serbia’s Kosovo province. Except that, too, was trampled in 2008, when the US backed an ethnic Albanian government that declared the occupied province an independent state.

Mattis holds up Georgia and Ukraine as examples of Russian “invasions.” Yet it was the US-backed government in Georgia that started the hostilities in August 2008, launching an attack on the breakaway republic of South Ossetia that killed Russian peacekeepers. It’s understandable the Pentagon might be sore that a Russian border army managed to dismantle the entire NATO-trained Georgian military in less than a week, but that doesn’t change the fact that Tbilisi started the war, as even the EU fact-finding mission admitted in 2009. The warmongering president, Mikhail Saakashvili, has since been stripped of citizenship and charged with corruption. He is now in Ukraine.

What of Ukraine, then? Washington has accused Russia of invading and occupying Crimea in 2014. The overwhelmingly ethnic Russian region, reassigned to Ukraine by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1954, reunited with Russia in 2014, after a US-backed coup in Kiev brought into power a government that included neo-Nazis.

That government, “midwifed” by US diplomats and directed by Washington ever since, responded to popular discontent in several regions by sending tanks against its own civilians. In Odessa, neo-Nazi activists backing the government even set dissenters on fire. The US has sent weapons to neo-Nazi militias fighting the “Russian invaders” in the eastern regions of Lugansk and Donetsk, while Moscow sent humanitarian aid.

Kiev has claimed, and Washington echoed, that regular Russian troops were on the ground in Donetsk and Lugansk. As “evidence” of this, they offered photos of Russian tanks – taken in 2008 in Georgia.

Trying to argue against the Crimean referendum, US President Barack Obama claimed there had been an internationally recognized referendum in Kosovo. That was simply not true.

“…we respect these as sovereign nations”

Another thing Mattis argued was that the US respected national sovereignty and opposed “veto authority” over their decision-making:

One point I want to make is we respect these as sovereign nations with a sovereign voice and sovereign decisions, and we don’t think anyone else should have a veto authority over their economic, their diplomatic or their security decisions.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this sentiment in theory. In practice, however, the US routinely tramples the sovereignty of other countries, and exercises veto powers over their economic and security decisions.

Ukraine has already been mentioned as one example. The US is also pressuring the EU to find a way to stop Nord Stream 2, a pipeline that in a recent anti-Russian report, Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) said would deprive Ukraine of transit fees. What he left out was that it would also remove Kiev’s ability to hold Europe hostage by controlling the flow of Russian gas. Also, does anyone actually believe that Bulgaria decided on its own to back out of the Russian-sponsored South Stream pipeline project?

More recently, in the supposedly “independent” state of Kosovo, the US and UK ambassadors threatened “harsh consequences” if the government there dared vote against an internationally imposed war crimes court. US ambassadors in places like Bosnia-Herzegovina or Serbia routinely dictate to local authorities what laws they need to adopt and when. Local leaders who refuse to obey are sanctioned.

‘Mad Dog’ or ‘Warrior Monk’?

It was the American media that dubbed Mattis “Mad Dog” during the operations in Iraq, when he commanded the Marines that fought insurgents in Fallujah and destroyed the city in order to save it, to paraphrase that one US officer from Vietnam.

Mattis himself reportedly resents the nickname, preferring to be known as a “Warrior Monk,” a scholar with no family who has dedicated his life to the US Marine Corps. What is one to make, then, of his quotes from the flight to Jakarta, which deny observable reality in favor of wishful thinking embraced by his predecessors?

When Mattis was up for confirmation, a number of media outlets published a story about how he took guard duty at Christmas one year in order to have the junior Marine officer spend time with his family. He is clearly someone who cares about the lives of his troops. Yet his misconceptions about US conduct around the world are more likely to get them killed than faulty weapons or the bloated Pentagon bureaucracy, both of which he has set out to fix.

January 25, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 3 Comments

Bad Weather Is No Reason For Climate Alarm

GWPF | Jan 24, 2018

2017 seemed like a year full of bad weather news. But a deeper look at the global data suggests that attempts to link the last year’s extreme weather to climate change are misleading.

January 25, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | 1 Comment

Hottest Week Of The Year – All Of Antarctica Below Freezing

By Tony Heller | Real Climate Science | January 24, 2018

This week is the hottest week of the year in Antarctica, and the entire continent is below freezing. In the map below, I have masked out all above freezing temperatures.

Climate Reanalyzer

Meanwhile, our fake news and fake science organizations tell us Antarctica is melting down, and it is bad news.

A huge part of Antarctica is melting and scientists say that’s bad news – CNN

Experts also say refugees will be forced to flee to Antarctica before 2030.

Climate change study predicts refugees fleeing into Antarctica – Telegraph

January 25, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 2 Comments