Aletho News


NYT Examines How History Impacts Korean Talks–but Its Own Memory Is Fuzzy

By Jim Naureckas | FAIR | April 30, 2018

In a New York Times news analysis (4/29/18) examining how the overthrow of Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi after he agreed to halt his nuclear program might influence North Korean thinking about disarmament, the TimesPeter Baker writes that “President Barack Obama and European allies launched military action against Libya in 2011 to prevent a threatened massacre of civilians.” Later, Baker recounts that Gadhafi “vowed to crush his opponents, including civilians, prompting Mr. Obama and European allies to intervene to stop him.”

But did Gadhafi actually threaten to massacre civilians? A radio broadcast by the Libyan leader in which he declared he would show “no mercy” in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi was offered as justification for the UN Security Council vote that authorized “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians. “Gadhafi Vows ‘No Mercy’ as UN Eyes Action,” was how AP  (3/17/11) reported on the Security Council deliberations.

But when the New York Times (3/17/11) itself reported on the speech, it described it as a threat against rebel combatants, not against civilians: Gadhafi “promised amnesty for those ‘who throw their weapons away’ but ‘no mercy or compassion’ for those who fight,” the Times’ David Kirkpatrick and Kareem Fahim reported.

The myth that Gadhafi had openly threatened civilians and thus necessitated international military intervention sprang up quickly as the US and its NATO allies launched an attack on Libya’s government. “What obviously changed [Obama’s] mind” about using force, reported the Chicago Tribune’s Steve Chapman (4/3/11), “was the fear that Moammar Gadhafi was bent on mass slaughter — which stemmed from Gadhafi’s March 17 speech vowing ‘no mercy’ for his enemies.” But the claims that Gadhafi was intending to slaughter tens or hundreds of thousands were, wrote Chapman, outlandish scenarios that go beyond any reasonable interpretation of Gadhafi’s words. He said, “We will have no mercy on them”—but by “them,” he plainly was referring to armed rebels (“traitors”) who stand and fight, not all the city’s inhabitants.

Elsewhere in his Times article, Baker refers to the nuclear deal Iran made with the United States:

Iran was not known to have weapons but did have a nuclear program that seemed intended to develop them when it signed an agreement with Mr. Obama’s administration in 2015 to give up its program.

This too contradicts earlier New York Times reporting: “American intelligence analysts continue to believe that there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb,” wrote James Risen and Mark Mazzetti (2/24/12), under the headline “US Agencies See No Move by Iran to Build a Bomb.” They reported that US intelligence agencies were standing by their 2007 assessment that “Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program years earlier.”

Baker’s piece ends with the observation that “each side sees its own very different lessons” from the Libyan history. It’s easier to draw correct lessons from history when the paper of record reports history as it happened.

You can send a message to the New York Times at  (or via Twitter:@NYTimes). Please remember that respectful communication is the most effective.

May 1, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

South Carolina’s New Hate Speech Law Outlaws Criticism of the Israeli Occupation

Discussing the military occupation of the West Bank, a reality recognized even by Israel’s Supreme Court, would be considered anti-Semitic under the new South Carolina law.

By Whitney Webb | Mint Press News | May 1, 2018

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA — The state of South Carolina will become the first state in the nation to legislate a definition of anti-Semitism that considers certain criticisms of the Israeli government to be hate speech. The language, which was inserted into the state’s recently passed $8 billion budget, offers a much more vague definition of anti-Semitism that some suggest specifically targets the presence of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions, or BDS, movement on state college campuses. The law requires that all state institutions, including state universities, apply the revised definition when deciding whether an act violates anti-discrimination policies.

Once it is reconciled with an appropriations bill previously passed by the state House, the measure will become law and take effect this July. However, the law will last only until the next budget is passed, meaning that the new legal definition of anti-Semitism must be renewed on a yearly basis unless new legislation making the language permanent is passed in the future.

The new definition uses the State Department’s current definition of anti-Semitism as its template — defining speech that “demonizes” or applies “double standards” to Israel “by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation” as anti-Semitic.

However, the State Department’s definition was never intended to be used as an enforcement tool, and concern has subsequently been raised that South Carolina colleges may now move to criminalize conventional and factual criticism of Israel under the new, vague definition of anti-Semitism.

Such concern is well-founded, in part because the bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Alan Clemmons (R-Myrtle Beach), previously called the pro-Israel lobby J-Street “anti-Semitic” for referring to Israel’s presence in Palestine’s West Bank as an “occupation.” Thus, in Clemmons’ view, discussing the military occupation of the West Bank, a reality recognized even by Israel’s Supreme Court, would be considered anti-Semitic under the new South Carolina law.

Clemmons, a Mormon who has previously hosted state delegations to Israel, also considers the non-violent Palestinian rights movement Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) to be motivated by anti-Semitism and has been called “Israel’s biggest supporter in a U.S. state legislature.”

In addition to the views of the bill’s sponsor, Kenneth Stern, the author of the State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism upon which the new South Carolina law is based, has vehemently opposed codifying into law the definition he wrote, asserting that applying that definition to colleges “is a direct affront to academic freedom” as well as “unconstitutional and unwise.”

In regards to the South Carolina Law, Stern stated that it “is really an attempt to create a speech code about Israel,” adding that it is also “an unnecessary law that will hurt Jewish students and the academy.”

Other groups, such as the Center for Constitutional Rights, have raised similar concerns, stating that “this vague and overbroad re-definition conflates political criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, infringing on constitutionally protected speech.”

Pro-Israel groups, in contrast, praised the law’s wording. The Brandeis Center, for instance, stated:

This bill gives South Carolina the tools to protect Jewish students’ and all South Carolina students’ right to a learning environment free of unlawful discrimination. We are hoping this momentous step will result in another national wave to, once and for all, begin defeating rising anti-Semitism.”

First clashes in a coming national battle?

The Brandeis Center’s allusion to a “national wave” aimed at legally conflating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism may be closer to reality than previously thought. Indeed, if Kenneth Marcus, Trump’s nominee to serve as the next Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education, is confirmed in the coming months, the newly passed South Carolina law is likely to be repeated across the country.

Marcus, who once boasted of instilling “fear” into BDS activists and considers any demonstration of solidarity with Palestine as anti-Semitic, has long desired the post, as he sees it as a way to shut down BDS at the national level. As Marcus himself has noted, changing the legal definition of anti-Semitism to include criticism of the Israeli state is a critical part of silencing BDS groups on U.S. college campuses.

Ultimately, the bill comes at a critical time for pro-Israel partisans seeking to curb the recent success of BDS at universities across the U.S. Indeed, just a week after the new South Carolina law was passed, the students at one of the country’s most Jewish colleges – Barnard College in New York – overwhelmingly supported a referendum asking its school’s administration to boycott, divest and sanction Israel for its violations of international law in Palestine. Such victories are apparently considered so dangerous by Israel’s right-wing and its U.S. equivalents that they have sought to restrict freedom of speech on college campuses nationwide in order to prevent them in the future.

In 2015, South Carolina became the first of at least 22 states to prohibit state agencies or institutions from contracting with any vendor participating in a boycott of Israel. A hub of the slaveholding South in the U.S., South Carolina is a deeply conservative state with strong ties to Christian evangelicals, but a relatively small Jewish population of roughly 20,000 — dwarfed by a state like Illinois with more than 300,000 Jews.

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

May 1, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Gazan Gandhis: Gaza bleeds alone as ‘Liberals’ and ‘Progressives’ go mute

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | May 1, 2018

Three more Palestinians were killed and 611 wounded last Friday, when tens of thousands of Gazans continued their largely non-violent protests at the Gaza-Israel border.

Yet as the casualty count keeps climbing – nearly 45 dead and over 5,500 wounded – the deafening silence also continues. Tellingly, many of those who long chastised Palestinians for using armed resistance against the Israeli occupation are nowhere to be found, while children, journalists, women and men are all targeted by hundreds of Israeli snipers who dot the Gaza border.

Israeli officials are adamant. The likes of Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, perceives his war against the unarmed protesters as a war on terrorists. He believes that “there are no innocents in Gaza.” While the Israeli mindset is not in the least surprising, it is emboldened by the lack of meaningful action, or outright international silence to the atrocities taking place at the border.

The International Criminal Court (ICC), aside from frequent statements laced with ambiguous legal jargon, has been quite useless thus far. Its Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, derided Israel’s killings in a recent statement, but also distorted facts in her attempt at ‘even-handed language’, to the delight of Israeli media.

“Violence against civilians – in a situation such as the one prevailing in Gaza – could constitute crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court … as could the use of civilian presence for the purpose of shielding military activities,” she said.

Encouraged by Bensouda’s statement, Israel is exploiting the opportunity to deflect from its own crimes. On April 25, an Israeli law group, Shurat Hadin, is seeking to indict three Hamas leaders at the ICC, accusing Hamas of using children as human shields at the border protests.

It is tragic that many still find it difficult to grasp the notion that the Palestinian people are capable of mobilizing, resisting and making decisions independent from Palestinian factions.

Indeed, for the nearly decade-long Hamas-Fatah feud, the Israeli siege on Gaza and throughout the various destructive wars, Gazans have been sidelined, often seen as hapless victims of war and factionalism, and lacking any human agency.

Shurat Hadin, like Bensouda, are all feeding into that dehumanizing discourse.

By insisting that Palestinians are not capable of operating outside the confines of political factions, few feel the sense of political responsibility or moral accountability to come to the aid of the Palestinians.

This is reminiscent of former US President Barack Obama’s unsolicited lecture to Palestinians during his Cairo speech to the Muslim world in 2009.

“Palestinians must abandon violence,” he said. “Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed.”

He then offered his own questionable version of history of how all nations, including ‘black people in America’, the nations of South Africa, South East Asia, Eastern Europe and Indonesia fought and won their freedom by peaceful means only.

This demeaning approach – of comparing supposed Palestinian failures to others’ successes – is always meant to highlight that Palestinians are different, lesser beings who are incapable of being like the rest of humanity. Interestingly, this is very much the core of the Zionist narrative about the Palestinians.

That very notion is often presented in the question “where is the Palestinian Gandhi?” The inquiry, often asked by so-called liberals and progressives, is not an inquiry at all, but is a judgement – and an unfair one at that.

Addressing the question soon after the last Israeli war on Gaza in 2014, Jeff Stein wrote in Newsweek, “The answer has been blown away in the smoke and rubble of Gaza, where the idea of non-violent protest seems as quaint as Peter, Paul and Mary. The Palestinians who preached non-violence and led peaceful marches, boycotts, mass sit-downs and the like are mostly dead, in jail, marginalized or in exile.”

Yet, astonishingly, it is being resurrected again, despite the numerous odds, the unfathomable anger and unrelenting pain.

Tens of thousands of protesters, raising Palestinian flags continue to hold their massive rallies across the Gaza border. Despite the high death toll and the thousands maimed, they return everyday with the same commitment to popular resistance that is predicated on collective unity, beyond factionalism and politics.

But why are they still being largely ignored?

Why isn’t Obama tweeting in solidarity with Gazans? Why isn’t Hillary Clinton taking the podium to address the unremitting Israeli violence?

It is politically convenient to criticize Palestinians as a matter of course, and utterly inconvenient to credit them, even when they display such courage, prowess and commitment to peaceful change.

The likes of famed author, J.K. Rowling, had much to stay in criticism of the peaceful Palestinian boycott movement, which aims at holding Israel accountable for its military occupation and violations of human rights. But she became mute when Israeli snipers killed children in Gaza, while cheering whenever a child falls.

The singer Bono of the band U2 dedicated a song to the late Israeli President Shimon Peres, accused of numerous war crimes, but his voice seems to have grown hoarse as the Gaza boy, Mohammed Ibrahim Ayoub, 15 was shot by an Israeli sniper while protesting peacefully at the border.

However, there is a lesson in all of this. The Palestinian people should have no expectations of those who have constantly failed them. Chastising Palestinians for failing at this or that is an old habit, meant to simply hold Palestinians responsible for their own suffering, and to absolve Israel from any wrong doing. Not even Israel’s ‘incremental genocide in Gaza will change that paradigm.

Instead, Palestinians must continue to count on themselves; to stay focused on formulating a proper strategy that will serve their own interests in the long run, the kind of strategy that transcends factionalism and offer all Palestinians a true roadmap to the coveted freedom.

The popular resistance in Gaza is just the beginning; it must serve as a foundation for a new outlook, a vision that will ensure that the blood of Mohammed Ibrahim Ayoub is not spilled in vain.

May 1, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel ‘only state in Middle East that actually has nukes’: Analysts denounce Bibi’s Iran WMD claim

RT | May 1, 2018

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is the wrong person to accuse Iran of seeking nuclear weapons as his country has repeatedly refused to join any non-proliferation treaties which equates it to North Korea, Middle East experts told RT.

Israel and its PM “are in no position to accuse Iran of anything, they’re not part of the nuclear deal, they’re not even a member [of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty],” said Hamed Mousavi, Professor of Political Science at the University of Tehran.

The analyst then commented on Netanyahu’s well-rehearsed Monday show, in which he claimed Israel has incriminating evidence that Iran is pursuing a nuclear program in violation of the milestone 2015 deal. He noted the only entity in the world authorized to declare Iranian compliance or non-compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal is the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Mousavi went further, saying Netanyahu was “a serial liar,” also citing a 2011 microphone leak incident, in which former French President Nicolas Sarkozy reportedly spoke lowly of the Israeli premier.

“I can’t stand him,” he told Barack Obama, in what was believed to be a confidential discussion. The Frenchman also accused Netanyahu of constantly lying. Obama’s reply was: “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!”

“And we also have to remember the timing, I mean, this is coming less than two weeks before Trump makes a decision regarding if the United States wants to stay in the deal,” the expert said, noting that “Israel is the only regime in the region that actually has nuclear weapons.”

Israel is believed to possess nuclear weapons, though its officials have never officially denied nor admitted to having weapons of mass destruction. On the latest occasion, nuclear weapon proliferation experts Robert S. Norris and Hans M. Kristensen claimed in the renowned Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists back in 2013 that the Jewish state stopped producing nuclear warheads back in 2004 once it reached around 80 projectiles.

However, the country can easily double its arsenal since it has enough fissile material to build at least another 115 munitions, experts say.

In Mousavi’s view, if Donald Trump decides to come out of the nuclear accord, it would kill the deal. Iran could not afford complying with it because of US threats to sanction any company – not only American ones – that do business with the Islamic Republic. “And I think this is what Israel wants,” he concluded.

Dr. Maged Botros, Head of Political Science department at Helwan University in Egypt, emphasized that Netanyahu “repeatedly refused to sign the Nonproliferation Treaty,” which puts it “in the same position as North Korea.”

Netanyahu’s presentation has been “a setup for [US President Donald] Trump,” Botros said, suggesting the Israeli allegations could be a solution for the US President to throw away the 2015 deal.

The Egyptian expert recalled former US State Secretary Colin Powell, who claimed back in 2003 that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. “It proved to be false, now the history repeats itself,” he said.

North Korea accused Israel of having a nuclear arsenal last year, calling it a threat to peace in the Middle East. “Israel is the only illegal possessor of nukes in the Middle East under the patronage of the US. However, Israel vociferated about the nuclear deterrence of the DPRK, slandering it, whenever an opportunity presented itself,” the Foreign Ministry said at the time.

Read more:

Up to IAEA to decide if Iran lied & violated nuclear deal – world reacts to Netanyahu’s claims

‘Infamous liar’: Iran blasts Netanyahu for claims Tehran had nuclear weapons program

May 1, 2018 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 8 Comments

Impact and Effects of April 30 Strikes Against Syria: Winds of War Blowing Strong

By Arkady SAVITSKY | Strategic Culture Foundation | 01.05.2018

On April 30, powerful missile strikes were delivered against Syria’s military sites in the provinces of Hama and Aleppo. There were casualties, mainly among pro-Iranian forces and Iranian personnel. Nobody took responsibility but it is widely believed that the operation was conducted by Israel’s Air Force. Israeli officials made no comments but Intelligence Minister Israel Katz said his country would not allow Iran to have military outposts on Syrian territory. Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman vowed to use force in response to any attempt by Iran to establish a “military foothold” there. Neither would Israel allow Iran to go nuclear. The Israeli government believes it cooperates with N. Korea to acquire nuclear capability, despite the fact that the IAEA affirms that Tehran abides by its international commitments.

Israel has targeted Iranian-backed militia outposts in Syria before. Technically, Syria remains at war with Israel. The Israeli cabinet gathered for an emergency meeting right after the strikes. The military is getting ready Heron ТР drones that have just entered service to strike any air defense systems that can counter the Israeli aviation in Syria. Israeli F-15, F-16, F-35 can operate outside the killing zone of S-300 systems (150km) or approach land targets flying at the altitudes lower than 60m. They have AGM-142 Have Nap air-to-surface missiles with a range of 100km and Delilah stand-off cruise missiles to launch strikes at the distance of up to 250km. If Russia delivers its S-300s to Syria, these weapons will be used to neutralize them.

On April 30, arms depots for missiles were prime targets. One of the positions allegedly was an army base Brigade 47 near Hama city, where Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias are based. Syria said it was an act of aggression.

The process of sliding into a wider conflict in Syria sparked by clashes between Israel and Iran is gaining significant traction.

Coincidence or not, the operation was conducted at the time US State Secretary Mike Pompeo was on a visit to Jerusalem and just a few days after Russia announced it was no longer bound by any moral obligations it had before to withhold S-300 air defense systems deliveries to Syria. The US state secretary expressly emphasized the right of Israel to defend itself. He stressed the role of Geneva talks that have so far produced nothing in finding ways to settle the Syria’s conflict and purposefully omitted to mention the talks in Astana – the peace process that has produced a lot. The US Centcom commander, General Joseph L. Votel had held talks in Israel just a few days before the state secretary’s visit.

There are other very interesting “coincidences” to provide clues to what is actually happening and why. The April 30 operation was launched at the time direct clashes took place between the US-supported Kurdish-led SDF and the Syria’s army. This is a very dangerous turn of events threatening to make US military directly clash with Syria’s and Iran’s forces. Actually, the battle is already waged on at least two fronts.

Now let’s look at what the US and Russia each are doing. Washington supports the Israel’s anti-Iran stance. It approves the use of force and is involved in provoking military conflict in Syria. Israel is not alone when it is bracing up for a conflict with Iran.

The present escalation is taking place after Moscow has undertaken an effort to prevent the worst. The International Meeting of High Representatives for Security Issues undeservedly received little attention in media but the very fact it was organized demonstrates what the Russia’s Syria policy is about.

The forum was held on April 25-26 in Sochi, the Russian famous Black Sea resort. Organized by Russia’s Security Council, the event security officials from 118 countries. It was stated there that some countries played into the hands of extremists in Syria. More participants would have participated if Washington did not apply pressure to reduce their number. The conference opposed the unilateral use of force and neglect of international law in Syria. Nikolai Patrushev, Russia’s Security Council Secretary, held two separate meetings with representatives of Iran and Israel to discuss the ways to avoid a direct confrontation. As one can see, it’s Russia, not the US, is applying efforts to mediate and thus avoid the war.

The foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran met in Moscow on April 28. They disagreed with the opinion of UN Syria Envoy Staffan de Mistura’s who said in a statement that the Astana process had reached its limits. The parties stressed unity and the need for a broader role of the UN in the efforts to settle the Syria’s conflict.

Russia is the only actor fit for the role of a go-between to prevent a war between Israel and Iran and it’s trying to save lives. US officials talk about the potential conflict as something unavoidable. The comparison of the policies adopted by Washington and Moscow clearly shows who is instigating tensions and who is trying to ease them.

May 1, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , | Leave a comment

Neocon Bret Stephens Wants Syria’s Assad Assassinated

By Michael S. Rozeff | Lew Rockwell | May 1, 2018

Bret Stephens is a political commentator who works for The New York Times and NBC News. Stephens was editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post between 2002 and 2004.

His Jewish identity is mentioned hand-in-hand with his political orientation by The Times of Israel : “In criticizing Trump even after his electoral victory, Stephens joins other leading Jewish conservative voices, including Brooks, Jennifer Rubin and William Kristol.” His Jewish identity is pertinent because he is known as a neocon and a strong supporter of Israel. The one seems to reinforce the other. Furthermore, his position on Iraq was criminal and disastrous and now he’s advocating a position on Syria that would also be criminal and disastrous. We should be extremely skeptical of the objectivity of someone like him who comes across as a shill for Israel and the Empire all-in-one.

Strong criticism of his position on Syria appears in an article by Robert Rabil dated yesterday that quotes him as follows: “U.S. should target Assad and his senior lieutenants directly in a decapitation strike, just as the U.S. attempted in Iraq in 2003, and against Osama bin Laden in 2011… if we [Americans] are serious about confronting Iran, Syria remains the most important battlefield.” What may result from such an aggression and war crime as decapitating Syria? I quote the article:

“It is mind boggling that someone as astute as Stephens would call for the decapitation of the regime in the same way U.S. had done in Iraq without providing an alternative to the regime. No less significant, does ‘our’ seriousness about confronting Iran require decapitating the Syrian regime? Is punishing the Syrian regime a pretext to confront Iran? This is a dangerous and flawed logic divorced from the harsh reality of the Levant. How could anyone invoke what the U.S. attempted in Iraq without admitting and internalizing the staggering human and financial cost the U.S. has paid? Has the notion of what may happen the day after the decapitation strike and confronting Iran crossed Stephens’ mind, or of those echoing him?

“Undoubtedly, Syria will further descend into anarchy and wretchedness, leading up to regional and international strife. A decapitating strike against the Syrian regime and/or an open confrontation with Iran in Syria would most likely put Moscow and Washington on a path of armed conflict. Russia made its position clear that it will respond to any game changing attack on Syria…

“Most importantly, is it in the national interest of Washington to risk a war over Syria, and by extension Iran, with Moscow after what United States has gone through in Iraq and Afghanistan with little to show for the enormous sacrifices Americans have made?”

Stephens was born in New York City in 1973. Stephens is said to be “brilliant”. He has several awards, indicating he’s a smart fellow, but being smart doesn’t make you wise, right or someone whose ideas should be followed. He strongly endorsed the war on Iraq:

“Stephens was a ‘prominent voice’ among the media advocates for the start of the 2003 Iraq War, for instance writing in a 2002 column that, unless checked, Iraq was likely to become the first nuclear power in the Arab world. Although the weapons of mass destruction used as a casus belli were never shown to exist, Stephens continued to insist as late as 2013 that the Bush administration had ‘solid evidence’ for going to war. Stephens has also argued strongly against the Iran nuclear deal and its preliminary agreements, arguing that they were a worse bargain even than the 1938 Munich Agreement with Nazi Germany.”

Stephens’ advice on Syria is easily as criminal as his advice on Iraq. Keeping the covenant with Iran is productive of peace. Breaking it is productive of war.

The neocon world view fails to recognize the the tremendous injuries the U.S. is inflicting on peoples in other lands. It fails to recognize either their property rights or rights to self-determination. The neocons fail to recognize the long-term ill-will and retaliation that the U.S. is producing. The neocons naively and wrongly think that democracy is a wonderful institution, that the U.S. has a right to overthrow regimes and set up democratic governments. They wrongly think that they are capable of building states when they are not. The neocons fail to recognize the military capabilities, including the nuclear weapons, of other powers. The neocons overestimate the efficacy of the U.S. military. The Jewish neocons are influenced strongly by Israeli right-wingers, and they are not of a mind to devise peaceful solutions to the nagging problems associated with Israel. The neocons do not comprehend that the world can progress peacefully and without a dominant superpower attempting to impose its standards and form of government. The neocons fail to recognize the faults of the U.S. government. The neocons ignore the inflation of the domestic police state as a feature of the Empire, just as they ignore the mounting U.S. debt. The neocons fail to see or appreciate other peoples as persons, instead viewing them as pieces they can move on a world chess board.

Michael S. Rozeff [send him mail] is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York. He is the author of the free e-book Essays on American Empire: Liberty vs. Domination and the free e-book The U.S. Constitution and Money: Corruption and Decline.

May 1, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Skripal attack: Still no suspects, admits UK national security adviser but still blames Russia

RT | May 1, 2018

British police still have no suspects in the Skripal poisoning investigation, the UK’s national security adviser has admitted to a committee of MPs, despite the government continuing to place blame squarely on Russia.

Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found slumped on a bench in Salisbury on March 4. They were both taken to hospital in a critical condition after apparently being poisoned by nerve agent A-234 (‘Novichok’). Yulia Skripal has since left hospital.

Sir Mark Sedwill, who co-ordinates the work of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, conceded to the Defence Select Committee that the UK is yet to identify the source of the agent used against the Skripals, or even a suspect in the case.

Britain publicly continues to directly blame Russia for the attack, but when asked whether anyone had been identified as being responsible for the poisoning, Sedwill said: “Not yet.”

Among the reasons given for the failure to identify a suspect is a lack of CCTV footage from Salisbury, despite the police saying they had collected thousands of hours worth of footage, and Britain having a reputation as being one of the most surveilled nations on earth. The Guardian reports that known Russian spies in Britain have also been ruled out after an investigation.

Sedwill explained that Russian defectors are also being monitored saying: “The police, who are responsible for protective security and the various agencies alongside them, are reviewing the security of all people who might be vulnerable.”

Britain has said only Russia could be responsible because the nerve agent used had been produced in the Soviet Union. However, ‘Novichok’ has reportedly been reproduced in other countries since, including in Iran in 2017.

The international chemical weapons watchdog, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), however, has repeatedly claimed it cannot identify the source.

Sergei Skripal, 66, a former military colonel who betrayed dozens of agents to British intelligence agency MI6, had been sentenced in 2006 to 13 years in a Russian prison for spying. But he was openly living under his real name in the UK after he was released as part of a spy swap between the US and Russia in 2010.

Russia has consistently denied being responsible for the poisoning, accusing Britain of making allegations without evidence and denying access to the Skripals despite both being Russian citizens.

May 1, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Russophobia | | 1 Comment

‘Thousands Bahraini workers made jobless over political, religious views’

Press TV – May 1, 2018

Bahrain’s main Shia opposition group, al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, says authorities have made thousands of citizens jobless over the past few years due to their political and religious beliefs as the ruling Al Khalifah regime presses ahead with its heavy-handed crackdown in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom.

The dissolved political party, in a statement released on International Workers’ Day, also known as Labor Day or Workers’ Day, said 4,400 Bahrainis have lost their jobs as a result, warning that the number is on the rise.

Al-Wefaq then pointed to the Manama regime’s “policy of starvation and impoverishment against citizens because of their political opinions.”

The statement further noted that a small fraction of those unemployed people have been hired, but in lower-paying jobs.

Al-Wefaq also paid tribute to Bahraini workers, who lost their lives while taking part in the country’s popular uprising, as well as those who have been permanently disabled due to brutal torture in the regime’s prisons.

Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.

They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.

Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.

Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.

On March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.

The Bahraini king ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3 last year.

May 1, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Dumb Moves Have Consequences

The nuclear agreement with Iran is worth preserving

Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • May 1, 2018

The analysis of the recent exchanges between French President Emmanuel Macron and President Donald Trump suggest that Washington is most likely about to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement with Iran that was signed by the U.S. and five other governments in July 2015. The decision will likely be made public before the deadline on re-ratifying the agreement, which is May 12th. As one informed observer has noted, “a train wreck is probably coming, with very damaging consequences that are hard to predict.”

Macron was polite, both in his meeting with Trump and during his speech before Congress, not hammering on the unimaginable awfulness of the White House decision while also offering an alternative, i.e. cooperation with the United States to improve the nuclear agreement while also supporting the principle that it is worth saving. Whether that subtle nudge, coupled with a pledge that Iran will never get a nuclear weapon, will be enough to change minds either in Congress or the White House is questionable as the unfortunate truth is that going to war with Iran is popular among the policy makers and media for the usual reason: it is a major foreign policy objective of the Israeli government and its powerful U.S. lobby.

Iran has been vilified for decades in the American media and it rarely gets a fair hearing anywhere, even when its behavior has not been particularly objectionable. Currently, it is regularly demonized by the Israelis and their supporters over its apparent plan to create an arc of Shi’a states extending through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon, a so-called “land bridge” to the Mediterranean Sea. What that would accomplish exactly has never really been made clear and it assumes that the Syrians and Iraqis would happily surrender their sovereignty to further the project.

The Iranians for their part have made it clear that no modification of the agreement is possible. They note, correctly, that the JCPOA was not a bilateral commitment made between Tehran and Washington. It also included as signatories Russia, China, France, Britain and the European Union and was ratified by the United Nations (P5+1). They and others also have noted that U.S. exit from the agreement will mean that other nations will negotiate with Washington with the understanding that a legal commitment entered into by the President of the United States cannot be trusted after he is out of office.

Under the JCPOA, Iran agreed to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98%, and reduce by two-thirds the number of its gas centrifuges for 13 years. For the next 15 years, Iran will only enrich uranium up to non-weapons level of 3.67%. Iran also pledged not to build any new heavy-water facilities and to limit uranium-enrichment activities for research and medical purposes to a plant using old technology centrifuges for a period of 10 years. To guarantee compliance with the agreement, Iran accepted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) proposal that it have highly intrusive access by a team of unannounced inspectors of all the country’s nuclear facilities. In return, Iran was to receive relief from U.S., European Union, and United Nations Security Council sanctions, an aspect of the agreement that the United States has never fully complied with.

Trump’s objection to the agreement is that it is a “bad deal” that virtually guarantees that Iran will have a nuclear weapon somewhere down the road. There is, however, no factual basis for that claim and that it is being made at all is largely reflective of Israeli and Israel Lobby propaganda. It is, on the contrary, an American interest not to have another nuclear proliferator in the Middle East in addition to Israel, which Washington has never dared to confront on the issue. The JCPOA agreement guarantees that Iran will not work to develop a weapon for at least ten years which is a considerable benefit considering that Tehran, if it had chosen to initiate such a program, could easily have had breakout capability in one year.

The U.S. and Israel are also expressing concern about Iranian ballistic missile capability. Again, ballistic missiles would appear to be a weapon that Israel alone seeks to monopolize in its neighborhood because it seeks to regard itself as uniquely threatened, that is, always the victim. It is an argument that sells well in the U.S. Congress and in the media, which has apparently also obtained traction in the White House. It is nevertheless a fake argument contrived by the Israelis. The missiles under development do not in any way threaten the United States and they were not in any event part of the agreement and should not be considered a deal breaker.

Ironically, the JCPOA is approved of by most Americans because it prevents the development of yet another potentially hostile nuclear armed power in a volatile part of the world. American Jews, in fact, support it more than other Americans, according to opinion polls. Even the generals in the Pentagon favor continuing it as do U.S. close allies Germany, France and Britain. The ability of Israel and its Lobby to dominate U.S. foreign policy formulation in certain areas is thereby exposed for what it is: sheer manipulation of our system of government by a small group dedicated to the interests of a foreign government using money and the political access that money buys to achieve that objective.

Those who argue that the withdrawal of the U.S. from JCPOA will be countered by the continued cooperation of the other signatories to the agreement are, one might unfortunately note, somewhat delusional. The U.S. has tremendous leverage in financial markets. If it chooses to sanction Iran over its missiles while also re-introducing the old sanctions relating to the nuclear developments, it would be a brave European or Asian banker who would risk being blocked out of the American market by lending money or selling certain prohibited goods to the Iranians. The United States could force the entire JCPOA quid pro quo agreement to collapse, and that might be precisely what the White House intends to do.

Add into the equation the clearly expressed and oft-times repeated Israeli intention to begin a war with Iran, starting in Syria, sooner rather than later, a disaster for American foreign policy is developing that might well make Iraq and Afghanistan look like cake walks. Iran will surely strike back in response either to the termination of the JCPOA or to Israeli bombing of its militiamen and surrogates in Syria. America forces in the region will surely be sucked into the conflict by Israel and will wind up taking the fall. Someone should tell Donald Trump that there are real world consequences for breaking agreements and rattling sabers. But who will tell him? Will it be John Bolton or Nikki Haley or Mike Pompeo? I doubt it.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

May 1, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Only IAEA can assess any claim on Iranian nuclear program: Mogherini

Press TV – May 1, 2018

The EU foreign policy chief says what the Israeli premier tried to present as documents on Iran’s “secret” nuclear work fails to question Tehran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, and that any such claims should solely be assessed by the UN nuclear watchdog.

“What I have seen from the first reports is that Prime Minister Netanyahu has not put into question Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) commitments, meaning post-2015 nuclear commitments,” Federica Mogherini said Monday.

The remarks came hours after Netanyahu unveiled what he claimed to be “conclusive proof of the secret” Iranian nuclear program during a televised address from Israel’s ministry for military affairs.

Standing in front of a big screen and using large visual aids, the prime minister claimed that “Iran is brazenly lying” about its nuclear activities, presenting 55,000 pages of documents and 55,000 files on CDs as alleged evidence.

Netanyahu’s new anti-Iran show comes just ahead of a May 12 deadline for US President Donald Trump to decide whether Washington would keep its side of the multilateral deal with Iran. Trump has given the European parties to the JCPOA until that date to fix the so-called “flaws” in the accord or face a US exit.

The Israeli leader’s fresh claims contradict numerous reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verifying Iran’s full commitment to its side of the bargain.

Mogherini further said the JCPOA “is not based on assumptions of good faith or trust – it is based on concrete commitments, verification mechanisms and a very strict monitoring of facts, done by the IAEA. The IAEA has published 10 reports, certifying that Iran has fully complied with its commitments.”

“And in any case, if any party and if any country has information of non-compliance, of any kind, it can and should address and channel this information to the proper, legitimate, recognized mechanisms, the IAEA and the Joint Commission [of the JCPOA] for the monitoring of the nuclear deal that I chair and that I convened just a couple of months ago. We have mechanisms in place to address eventual concerns,” she said.

“IAEA is the only impartial international organisation in charge of monitoring Iran’s nuclear commitments. If any country has information of non-compliance of any kind should address this information to the proper legitimate and recognised mechanism”

The top EU diplomat further reiterated that she had not seen from “Netanyahu arguments for the moment on non-compliance, meaning violation by Iran of its nuclear commitments under the deal.”

France says Netanyahu claims strengthen Iran deal

France’s Foreign Ministry said that the Israeli data underscored the need to ensure that the Iran nuclear deal and UN inspections remained.

“This information should be studied and evaluated in detail,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said in a statement.

“The new information presented by Israel could also confirm the need for longer-term assurances on the Iranian program, as the president has proposed,” the statement added.

The statement further said “it is essential that the IAEA can continue to verify Iran’s respect for JCPOA and the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.”

All sides must abide by JCPOA: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with the Israeli premier on the phone, reaffirming Moscow’s support for the Iran deal.

“Vladimir Putin reiterated Russia’s position that the JCPOA, which has a paramount importance in terms of international stability and security, must be strictly observed by all its signatories,” the Kremlin press service quoted the Russian president as saying.

UK, Germany defend Iran deal

A British government spokesman also defended the Iran nuclear pact, saying the IAEA inspection regime “is one of the most extensive and robust in the history of international nuclear accords.”

“It remains a vitally important way of independently verifying that Iran is adhering to the deal and that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful,” he said in a statement.

Furthermore, a German government spokesman said Berlin will analyze the Israeli documents on Iran’s nuclear program, but independent inspections must be maintained.

He emphasized that “the nuclear accord was signed in 2015, including the implementation of an unprecedented, thorough and robust surveillance system by the International Atomic Energy Agency.”

Israeli data ‘mostly recycled material’

Meanwhile, a former deputy director for sanctions at the US State Department said he had not seen anything in Netanyahu’s presentation that would change the accord, BBC reported.

“I think, frankly, this was a political statement meant to try to influence President Trump’s decision on whether to pull out of the deal,” John Hughes said, noting, “I think it’s mostly recycled material.”

May 1, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment