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Khan al-Ahmar: tragedy and outrage

Khan al-Ahmar: tragedy and outrage

Residents and activists sit inside a bulldozer shovel in order to stop the demolition of Bedouin village Khan al Ahmar.
By Kathryn Shihadah | If Americans Knew | July 5, 2018

After years of threats and court battles, push has come to shove in the West Bank Bedouin village of Khan al Ahmar. Israeli soldiers with bulldozers have arrived to demolish every building. The world strenuously objects, but Israel doesn’t seem to notice.

Diplomats from 12 European countries came on Thursday 5 July to visit the tiny Bedouin village of Khan al Ahmar in the occupied West Bank. They echo the global outcry against Israel’s plan to demolish the village.

5 countries issued “an urgent official protest” against the demolition plan.

Around 180 Bedouin, who raise sheep and goats, live in shacks in Khan al Ahmar. Half of the residents are children.

International attention was drawn to the village when, on Wednesday, 4 July, Israeli occupation forces with bulldozers assaulted Bedouins and activists who were protesting the demolition.

According to the Red Crescent, 35 protesters and residents were injured. Several police officers were lightly injured; 11 protesters were arrested.

Police reported that some of those present threw stones.

The area around Khan al Ahmar is closed to the general public as Israeli authorities begin construction on a road to enable the eviction to take place. An IDF source indicated that the actual demolition will not take place for a few days or weeks.

These actions by Israel – forcible transfer of population and confiscation or destruction of private property – are prohibited by international humanitarian law and violate basic human rights.

BACKGROUND

The people of Khan al Ahmar were ethnically cleansed from their previous homes in the Negev desert in 1951, and resettled in their current location near Jerusalem, in Israeli-controlled Area C.

Since 1967, Israel has been appropriating land in the vicinity in order to build and expand 2 nearby illegal settlements, Ma’ale Adumim and Kfar Adumim. Khan al Ahmar is squeezed between them, and if the village is demolished, Israel will be able to link the settlements and take over a large swath of the West Bank.

Dwellings belongings to Bedouin are seen in al-Khan al-Ahmar village near the West Bank city of Jericho February 23, 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS )

On 5 March 2017, every structure in the village of Khan al Ahmar – including the school, mosque, clinic, and every home – was placed under demolition orders. The villagers were given 7 days to demolish their own village.

Thanks to a court injunction, the process was put on hold for over a year.

But in May 2018, Israel’s High Court of Justice approved the demolition of the village, citing illegal construction of buildings. As is the case all over Area C, Palestinians who apply for construction permits are routinely denied permission and therefore are compelled to build illegally. Even applications to build a school and a clinic were rejected.

Worldwide condemnation

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemned “the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by the occupation authorities in the designated areas (C) and in the occupied city of Jerusalem and its environs.”

Liz Throssell, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, released a statement calling upon Israel not to demolish Khan al-Ahmar; the statement emphasized that the forced removal of its residents and destruction of private property are violations of international law.

The European Union also condemned Israel’s actions, declaring that the demolition, and the subsequent plans to extend illegal settlement , undermine hopes for a viable peace in the context of a two-state solution.

Apparently no comment has been made about the issue by either Donald Trump or anyone in his administration.

Unacceptable alternative

Israeli authorities they have offered villagers an alternative site about 7 miles away, but the residents of Khan al-Ahmar are not interested.  The new site is next to a landfill and an IDF camp; it does not provide enough space for their animals to graze.

Palestinians in Khan al-Ahmar vowed to never abandon their land.

Faisal Abu Dawoud, a 43-year-old resident, explains: “We have been living here since 1951. My grandfather, my father and me… It is impossible for us to leave this place. Even if they arrest all of us and force us out, we will return.”

“I was born here and will not move anywhere else,” said Feisal Abu Dahok, 45. “If they destroy the village, we will build it again here or nearby.”

A Palestinian Jahalin Bedouin youth tends his flocks in the West Bank village of Khan Al-Ahmar in the Jordan Valley desert east of Jerusalem, June 8, 2012.

The entire village is under demolition order and threat of displacement by Israeli authorities.

Strong words from Hanan Ashrawi

Palestinian Liberation Organization Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi stated that “the protection of the people of Palestine is long overdue. Seventy years after the creation of Israel and the dispossession and displacement of Palestinians continues.”

Hanan Ashrawi is a Palestinian legislator, activist, and scholar. She was a protégée and later colleague and close friend of Edward Said.

“The expulsion of Palestinian families then and now and the forcible transfer of our indigenous population to a state of homelessness and despair is completely unacceptable.”

Ashrawi stressed that the plan to demolish an entire village for the sole purpose of expanding an illegal West Bank settlement is outrageous and inhumane.

She called on the Israeli government to cancel its “unlawful plans” immediately.

Ashrawi continued, “words of warning to Israel are not enough. If there is no serious intervention from the international community towards the Israeli government and its belligerent military occupation, other villages will be next, and more Palestinian men, women and children will be displaced for another 70 years to come.”

“Justice for the Palestinian people can no longer wait.”


See also:

Israeli demolition of entire Palestinian villages continues with no end in sight (includes videos)

UN humanitarian aid coordinator statement on Israeli destruction of schools

July 5, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , | 2 Comments

Legitimizing The Occupation: An Occupied Palestine is a Land Without Hope

By Miko Peled | Mint Press News | July 5, 2018

JERUSALEM, PALESTINE – Khaled and I sat and chatted one evening at his family’s home in Qalansawe. “They look at us as though we are completely Israeli,” he said, speaking of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, “and we call them ‘Dafawi’ if they are from the West Bank and ‘Ghazzawi’ if they are from Gaza.” Khaled is a successful man, one of the few Palestinian citizens of Israel who became an executive in an important Israeli company.

When he talks about himself and the community of the Palestinian citizens of Israel, he uses the Israeli terms “Arviyey Israel,” which means the Arabs of Israel, or “The Arab Sector.” Qalansawe is a Palestinian town of 23,000 in the “Muthalath” or Triangle area, an area just west of the West Bank town of Tul-Karem. There is a relatively large concentration of Palestinian towns in that area, which became a part of Israel when the borders were drawn after 1948. It is called the Triangle because of the three main cities of Taybe, Tire and Qalansawe.

Municipal elections are due to take place in Qalansawe in October 2018. Ma’aruf is considered one of the leading candidates for the post of mayor. He is a retired high school principal with a reputation of a guy that gets things done.

If he is elected, he faces problems that characterize all Palestinian towns that became a part of Israel: water and electricity shortages; no urban planning; no infrastructure; never-ending land confiscations by the state, which are then diverted to build primarily for Jews; no enforcement of city ordinances or the law in general; high crime rates and poverty rates; and, even though there is no shortage of college graduates, high unemployment.

“In the office by six in the morning and the last one to leave,” Khaled said about Ma’aruf in admiration, “which is why I will support his candidacy.” Ma’aruf and I drove together one day across Highway 6 south towards Tel-Aviv. He laughed when I told him that I understand why people want him to run, “but what’s in it for you?”

Unlike in the U.S., where each city has its own police force, Israeli police are a national police force and reluctant to intervene in crime in Palestinian towns. This means that the mayor has no means of enforcement, and because of a complex bureaucratic reality, which he explained to me and I was unable to comprehend, in Qalansawe the mayor cannot even hire inspectors to enforce city ordinances. So it’s chaos and, since weapons are easily accessible, the strongest prevail.

Water and electricity are cut off for several hours each day — most likely by Mekorot, Israel’s water authority, and by the Israeli electricity authority. So the homes in Palestinian towns must have a reserve tank on the roof in which to store water. Khaled has one too on the roof of his beautiful home. He told me that he needed to buy a floating device like the ones used in a toilet tank to indicate when the water reaches a certain level. He went to a hardware store in an Israeli Jewish town and asked for one. “What kind of place do you live in that you need that sort of thing?” the man at the store asked. “The difference between Jews and Arabs,” Khaled concluded: Jews have no need for this sort of thing because in their homes the water never stops running.

Khaled and I talked about the upcoming municipal elections and about the Palestinian members of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset. He said what many people in this community say: “they should stick to domestic issues like housing and crime and stay away from foreign affairs — particularly the Palestinian-Israeli issue.” Many in the community of Palestinian citizens would like to see themselves as an integral part of Israeli society that has its own Arab and Muslim culture and roots. The problem is that Israel has never seen them as such. Their existence is a testament to the failure of the campaign of ethnic cleansing that began in 1948.

“The Palestinian issue is a domestic issue to Palestinians,” I said to Khaled; “it is at the heart of their existence. The root cause of the problems that exist in Gaza and the problems that exist in Qalansawe is the same. You are no less occupied than the Dafawi and the Ghazzawi Palestinians.” He gave me a disappointed look and I could sense that deep down he knows this is true but wished I would prove him wrong.

A string of commemorated catastrophes

In Palestine there is no shortage of days and events to commemorate. Begin with the Nakba — the catastrophe that befell Palestine in 1948 — with the massacre at Deir Yassin that was a part of that campaign, and the massacre at Kafr Qassem that was an extension of that campaign intended to bring about a mass exodus of Palestinians from Palestine from the “Triangle” area into Jordan. Then the war of 1967, or the Naksa, which is often referred to as the war that changed the face of the Middle East but in fact solidified and legitimized Israel’s 1948 conquests. These are merely for starters. There are many, many more days and events filled with horror for Palestinians to commemorate and it seems like new ones come up every day. So much so that it is almost impossible to dwell on one event, to thoroughly discuss and understand it because there is a new one, a more current one taking place.

In Israel and in much of the world, the war of 1967 is still seen as a justified response by Israel to an existential threat, even though all the evidence shows that it was a well-planned attack on three Arab countries in order to conquer land and impose Israel’s will on the region. The war of 1967 achieved a goal that was declared very early on, which was that the eastern border of the state of Israel must be the Jordan River, in other words, complete the conquest that was left incomplete in 1948. Though Israel had never officially defined the borders of the state, in his memoirs, Israel’s first foreign minister, Moshe Sharet, mentions a speech given by my father Matti Peled on October 26, 1953 in front of Jewish leaders, who included then-Prime Minister David Ben Gurion and Sharet himself. My father, then a young Lt. Colonel, said that “the existing border with Jordan is unacceptable […] and the army is prepared for war in order to capture the remaining parts of the land of Israel.”

It has also been recorded that the Israeli army had made plans to occupy the West Bank as early as 1958 and then again in 1964 and to extend the Israeli military rule that was in place already in other parts of Palestine to the West Bank, (Ilan Pappe, The Forgotten Palestinians). The conquest of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip were not the “spoils of war” but the result of a premeditated campaign. Then, once these areas were taken by the army, the Israeli government went in very rapidly and began to push out the Palestinian population, and make life unlivable for those who remained. And they built massively for Jews only, making these territories an inseparable part of Israel.

After the war, my father, Matti Peled — who was a general by then and a member of the Israeli army high command during the war, retiring a year later — Uri Avneri, and several other staunch Zionists began talking about a revised version of the 1947 UN Partition Plan, which called for the creation of two states in Palestine. Their version, however, was far more favorable to Israel and would legitimize the otherwise illegitimate conquests of 1947- 48. It was the idea of the Two States where the Palestinians would recognize the state of Israel in the post-1948 boundaries and accept a small, weak state for themselves in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Israeli establishment, both military and political, viewed this idea with disdain. The people who were behind this idea, who were all staunch Zionists with impeccable records, were pushed aside and marginalized for suggesting that any recognition should be granted to the rights of Palestinians to the land.

One of the most important achievements of the war of 1967 was making the conquests of 1948 legitimate, and now it was about post-1948 Israel “giving back” or not “giving back” the territories it occupied in 1967. One clear example of that is the well known and totally ignored UN resolution 242, which was passed in November of 1967. It mentions “withdrawal of Israel Armed Forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;” in other words, the territories captured in 1948, in violation of prior UN resolutions regarding Palestine and regarding the status of Jerusalem, became irrelevant as a result of the 1967 conquests.

Israel’s long-term strategy: Forced transfer, slow genocide  

“They say we are a strategic threat, a fifth column,” Khaled admitted with regret; “some people even call for the transfer of the entire community out of the country.” According to a poll conducted in Israel in 2008 and published in the Israeli daily Ma’ariv, 75 percent of Israelis believe that Palestinian citizens of Israel should be forcefully transferred out of the country.

In a statement he made in the spring of 2017, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman stated that “the only way to reach a sustainable solution is land swaps and population transfers as part of a general regional agreement,” thus giving the government’s seal of approval to the already prevalent idea that the community of close to two million Palestinian citizens of Israel can be placed on trucks and removed.

No matter how hard Palestinians try, as long as Palestine is occupied things will not change for the better. The finest people can run for mayor and the cities will continue to be in disarray; the most talented youth can get degrees in education and they will not be given teaching jobs in Israeli Jewish schools.

People in Gaza can protest or remain at home but, as the last seven decades have shown, they will be killed either way. They may be shot or they may just die from thirst or other causes that are easily preventable. Whatever differences exist among Palestinians, it is crucial that the line that connects all of Palestine is not broken and must be strengthened. In order for Palestine and its people to be free, we must all stand united against the seven-decade-long occupation.

Miko Peled is an author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. He is the author of “The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

July 5, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 2 Comments

UK Recklessly Linking Moscow to Amesbury Without Proof – Ex-Intelligence Agents

Sputnik – July 5, 2018

Former UK intelligence officers told Sputnik that it was reckless for UK authorities to point at Russia as a link between the Amesbury poisoning incident and the nerve agent attack on Russia’s ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in March, without any concrete proof of Russian involvement.

Late on July 4, the UK authorities said that the two victims of the Amesbury incident — who were hospitalized over the weekend — had been exposed to the same nerve agent as the Skripals.

UK Minister of State for Security Ben Wallace suggested that Russia “fill in the gaps” of what happened in the incident to allow the UK authorities to pursue their investigation and keep people safe. Wallace added that it was not a targeted attack but “a contamination by a Novichok.”

At a parliament session later on June 5, UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid said that the United Kingdom would take “further action” should Russia’s involvement in the incident confirmed. He noted, however, that “we don’t want to jump to conclusions.”

“Again [Wallace is] making connections when even in the Skripal case there had been no official connection made, only assertions of high probability that Russia was behind the Skripal attack. So to conflate that with the Amesbury attack I think is highly reckless for a public official,” Annie Machon, a former MI5 intelligence officer, said.

Former MI6 intelligence officer Nicholas Anderson added that Wallace was unqualified to make any statements about the case.

“Please understand that many in the armed forces and intelligence services believe that Ben Wallace, even though he is a former officer in the British Army’s Scots Guards, is not sufficiently experienced nor qualified to make official statements at this level. He has only been in place a few months and is a long-term ally of Boris Johnson, and toes the officially-set agenda,” Anderson said.

Deteriorating Relations

Russia has repeatedly denied its involvement in the Skripal case and offered to assist the United Kingdom in its investigation.

Machon stated that it was misleading for Wallace to now ask for Russia’s help with the Amesbury nerve agent attack when the United Kingdom had previously turned down Russia’s assistance.

“Certainly we also have a case where Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, of course, has repeatedly asked to be shown the evidence around the Skripal case so Russia could contribute to the investigation at that time and they have been repeatedly rebuffed. So for [Wallace] now to say that Russia could now help in securing the safety of British people is disingenuous,” Machon said.

Machon stated that since the Skripal case emerged in March, relations between Russia and the United Kingdom had been in a deep freeze, but the recent handling of the Amesbury case by UK authorities was likely only to worsen bilateral ties.

On June 4, the head of the UK Metropolitan Police’s anti-terrorism unit said the priority for the investigative team was to establish how contact with the nerve agent had been made, and that any baseless assumptions should be avoided.

Anderson stated that the UK authorities, by providing a lack of clarity about the attack, were only arousing suspicion among the population.

“It’s early days yet as so much is unexplained as to what has happened in Amesbury. Many of this country’s citizens before and now again are suspicious of our own government’s motives. Events that occurred before were not properly explained to the public,” Anderson said.

Anderson added that relations between Russia and the United Kingdom continued to be poor “at the choosing of the British government.”

Drawing Parallels to Skripal Case

Wallace stated Thursday that although those affected by a nerve agent in Amesbury were not linked to the Skripals, the cause of the incident in Amesbury was nerve agent contamination.

Machon stressed that it would be wrong to draw such conclusions when at the time of the Skripal attack, experts held the belief that the A234 nerve agent could not remain effective in the open for a long time.

“But I think it was initially said that it would take months to investigate all these possible leads, all these possible theories and still not know what the outcome of what it was then. So for British ministers to be drawing analogies to the recent attack in the Skripal case, I think is dangerous,” Machon said.

Commenting on the possibility that the United Kingdom was unduly passing the blame onto a state actor, Anderson stated that London should focus on foreign criminal elements instead, that had long established profitable operation in the country and the existence of which continues to be officially denied by the country’s government.

Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on March 4 in Salisbury, located several miles away from Amesbury. The United Kingdom promptly accused Russia of orchestrating the attack with what UK experts claimed was the Novichok nerve agent.

Moscow has repeatedly refuted all the allegations and offered its assistance in the investigation. The incident led to a diplomatic standoff between London and Moscow. Both Skripals have since been discharged from the hospital.

READ MORE:

“Huge Breakthrough”: UK Police Allege Two Hitmen ‘With Close Ties to Russia’ Involved in Skripal Case

2 Hospitalized After Exposure to ‘Unknown Substance’ in UK’s Amesbury — Police

UK Health Secretary: Amesbury Looks Like ‘After-Effect’ of Salisbury Case

UK Counter-Terrorism Chief: 2 People in Amesbury Exposed to Novichok

Salisbury to Host 2019 UK Army Day as Tribute to Skripal Poisoning Response – May

July 5, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | | 1 Comment

Losing Military Supremacy: The Myopia of American Strategic Planning by Andrei Martyanov

The Saker • Unz Review • July 5, 2018

The fact that the US is facing a profound crisis, possibly the worst one in its history, is accepted by most observers, except maybe the most delusional ones. Most Americans definitely know that. In fact, if there is one thing upon which both those who supported Trump and those who hate him with a passion can agree on, it would be that his election is a clear proof of a profound crisis (I would argue that the election of Obama before also had, as one of its main causes, the very same systemic crisis). When speaking of this crisis, most people will mention the deindustrialization, the drop in real income, the lack of well-paid jobs, healthcare, crime, immigration, pollution, education, and a myriad of other contributing factors. But of all the aspects of the “American dream”, the single most resilient one has been the myth of the US military as “the finest fighting force in history”. In this new book, Andrei Martyanov not only comprehensively debunks this myth, he explains step by step how this myth was created and why it is collapsing now. This is no small feat, especially in a relatively short book (225 pages) which is very well written and accessible to everyone, not just military specialists.

Martyanov takes a systematic and step-by-step approach: first, he defines military power, then he explains where the myth of US military superiority came from and how the US rewriting of the history of WWII resulted in a complete misunderstanding, especially at the top political levels, of the nature of modern warfare. He then discusses the role ideology and the Cold War played in further exacerbating the detachment of US leaders from reality. Finally, he demonstrates how a combination of delusional narcissism and outright corruption resulted in a US military capable of wasting truly phenomenal sums of money on “defense” while at the same time resulting in an actual force unable to win a war against anything but a weak and defenseless enemy.

That is not to say that the US military has not fought in many wars and won. It did, but in the words of Martyanov:

Surely when America fought against a third-rate adversary it was possible to rain death from the skies, and then roll over its forces, if any remained by that time, with very little difficulty and casualties. That will work in the future too against that type of adversary—similar in size and flimsiness of Iraqi Forces circa 2003. But Ledeen’s Doctrine had one major flaw—one adult cannot continue to go around the sandbox constantly fighting children and pretend to be good at fighting adults.

The main problem for the US today is that there are very few of those third-rate adversaries left out there and that those who the US is trying to bring to submission now are either near-peer or even peer adversaries. Martyanov specifically lists the factors which make that kind of adversary so different from those the US fought in the past:

  1. Modern adversaries have command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities equal to or better than the US ones.
  2. Modern adversaries have electronic warfare capabilities equal to or better than the US ones
  3. Modern adversaries have weapon systems equal to or better than the US ones.
  4. Modern adversaries have air defenses which greatly limit the effectiveness of US airpower.
  5. Modern adversaries have long-range subsonic, supersonic and hypersonic cruise missiles which present a huge threat to the USN, bases, staging areas and even the entire US mainland.

In the book, all these points are substantiated with numerous and specific examples which I am not repeating here for the sake of brevity.

One could be forgiven for not being aware of any of these facts, at least if one considers the kind of nonsense written by the US corporate media or, for that matter, by the so-called “experts” (another interesting topic Martyanov discusses in some detail). Still, one can live in an imaginary world only as long as reality does not come crashing in, be it in the form of criminally overpriced and useless weapon systems or in the form of painful military defeats. The current hysteria about Russia as the Evil Mordor which is the culprit for everything and anything bad (real or imaginary) happening to the US is mostly due to the fact that Russia, in total contradiction to all the “expert” opinions, not only did not crash or turn into a “gas station masquerading as a country” with her economy “in tatters”, but succeeded in developing a military which, for a small fraction of the US military budget, whose armed forces are in reality far more capable than the US forces.

I realize that this last statement is quite literally “unthinkable” for many Americans and I submit that the very fact that this is so literally unthinkable greatly contributed to making this possible in the first place: when you are so damn sure that by some kind of miracle of history, or God’s will, or Manifest Destiny or any other supernatural reason, you are inherently and by definition superior and generally “better” than everybody else you are putting yourself in great danger of being defeated. This is as true for Israel as it is for the US. I would also add that in the course of the West’s history this “crashing in of reality” in the comfy world of narcissistic delusion often came in the form of a Russian soldier defeating the putatively much superior master race of the day (from the Crusaders to the Nazis). Hence the loathing which western ruling elites always had for everything Russian.

In this book, Martyanov explains why, in spite of the absolutely catastrophic 1990s, the Russians succeeded in developing a modern and highly capable combat force in a record time. There are two main reasons for this: first, unlike their US counterparts, Russian weapons are designed to kill, not to make money and, second, Russians understand warfare because they understand what war really is. This latest argument might look circular, but it is not: Russians are all acutely aware of what war really means and, crucially, they are actually willing to make personal sacrifices to either avoid or, at least, win wars. In contrast, Americans have no experience of real warfare (that is warfare in defense of their own land, family and friends) at all. For Americans warfare is killing the other guy in his own country, preferably from afar or above, while making a ton of money in the process. For Russians, warfare is simply about surviving at any and all cost. The difference couldn’t be greater.

The difference in weapons systems acquisition is also simple: since US wars never really put the people of the US at risk, the consequences of developing under-performing weapons systems were never catastrophic. The profits made, however, were immense. Hence the kind of criminally overpriced and useless weapons system like the F-35, the Littoral Combat Ship or, of course, the fantastically expensive and no less fantastically vulnerable aircraft carriers. The Russian force planners had very different priorities: not only did they fully realize that the failure to produce an excellently performing weapons system could result in their country being devastated and occupied (not to mention their families and themselves either enslaved or killed), they also realized that they could never match the Pentagon in terms of spending. So what they did was to design comparatively much cheaper weapons systems which could destroy or render useless the output of the multi-trillion dollar US military-industrial complex. This is how Russian missiles made the entire US ABM program and the US carrier-centric Navy pretty much obsolete as well as how Russian air defenses turned putatively “invisible” US aircraft into targets or how Russian diesel-electric submarines are threatening US nuclear attack subs. All that at a tiny fraction of what the US taxpayer spends on “defense”. Here again, Martyanov gives plenty of detailed examples.

Martyanov’s book will deeply irritate and even outrage those for whom the US narcissistic culture of axiomatic superiority has become an integral part of their identity. But for everybody else this book is an absolute must-have because the future of our entire planet is at stake here: the question is not whether the US Empire is collapsing, but what the consequences of this collapse will be for our planet. Right now, the US military has turned into a “hollow force” which simply cannot perform its mission, especially since that mission is, as defined by US politicians, the control of the entire planet. There is a huge discrepancy between the perceived and the actual capabilities of the US military and the only way to bridge this gap is, of course, nuclear weapons. This is why the last chapter in the book is entitled “The Threat of a Massive American Military Miscalculation”. In this chapter, Martyanov names the real enemy of both the Russian and the American people – the US political elites and, especially, the Neocons: they are destroying the US as a country and they are putting all of mankind at risk of nuclear annihilation.

The above summary does not do justice to Martyanov’s truly seminal book. I can only say that I consider this book an absolutely indispensable “must read” for every person in the US who loves his/her country and for every person who believes that wars, especially nuclear ones, must be avoided at all costs. Just like many others (I think of Paul Craig Roberts), Martyanov is warning us that “the day of reckoning is upon us” and that the risks of war are very real, even if for most of us such an event is also unthinkable. Those in the US who consider themselves patriots should read this book with special attention, not only because it correctly identifies the main threat to the US, but also because it explains in detail what circumstances have resulted in the current crisis. Waving (mostly Chinese made) US flags is simply not an option anymore, neither is looking away and pretending that none of this is real. Martyanov’s book will also be especially interesting to those in the US armed forces who are observing the tremendous decline of US military power from inside. Who better than a former Soviet officer could not only explain, but also understand the mechanisms which have made such a decline possible?

You can also get both versions of the book (paper & electronic) here: http://claritypress.com/Martyanov.html

The book is also available on Amazon as a pre-order here: https://www.amazon.com/Losing-Military-Supremacy-American-Strategic/dp/0998694754/

It is scheduled to become available on September 1st.

July 5, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Economics, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

Israel advances new law to allow residential construction in settler-run national park

MEMO | July 5, 2018

The Israeli parliament yesterday advanced a new law that would allow residential construction in the settler-run “City of David” national park in Silwan, occupied East Jerusalem.

According to Haaretz, the bill – which was backed by the Knesset’s Interior and Environment Committee in an 8-6 vote – will “enable housing to be erected in areas zoned for national parks within municipal boundaries”. The law must now be passed by the Knesset plenum in three votes.

The legislation is backed by the City of David Foundation, also known as Elad, a right-wing settler group that operates a so-called tourist site and archaeological dig in the heart of Silwan, a Palestinian neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem.

“If enacted,” Haaretz reports, “the law would enable homes to be built in the City of David national park.” Indeed, the paper adds, the Elad-run site “seems to be the only park in all of Israel that meets these [the draft bill’s] criteria for residential construction.”

According to the report, “the minutes of the committee’s previous meeting in January made it clear that Elad and its leader, David Beeri, are behind the bill, which is designed to promote construction at the site.”

Two Israeli groups opposed to settlements, Ir Amim and Emek Shaveh, “say the purpose of the bill is to reinstate a grandiose construction plan Elad had prepared, which had been shelved in the 1990s due to strong opposition,” Haaretz stated.

“Then Elad sought to build 200 housing units in the national park, and a plan to that effect was prepared, but shelved.”

“This isn’t the first time a monkey is being made of the law and common sense to advance the agenda of the Elad settlers,” said Aviv Tatarsky, a researcher with Ir Amim.

July 5, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Weird DARPA/Facebook “Coincidence” You Never Heard About

corbettreport | Jul 5, 2018

Ever hear about “Lifelog?” You know, the DARPA project to create an automatically updated, itemized, organized, electronic list of every interaction you have, every event you attend, every place you go and everything you do? The project that was announced as canceled the very same day Facebook launched? Well, neither had I? In today’s Thought for the Day we explore the Lifelog/Facebook “coincidence” and what it tells us about our wired world.

SHOW NOTES: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=27329

July 5, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 1 Comment

Mainstream Media Admits FBI Groomed Terrorist for 4th of July Attack, Gave Him Supplies

By Rachel Blevins – The Free Thought Project – July 4, 2018

Cleveland, Ohio – An innocent man is now facing terrorism charges after he was caught plotting a bombing at a Fourth of July celebration and then arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The only problem is that the plot was created by undercover FBI agents, who convinced the man to agree to a role in the plan, and then provided him with supplies.

Demetrius Pitts, 48, is now facing criminal charges after conversations with undercover agents led to his arrest. According to the criminal complaint against Pitts, the FBI claimed that its agents reached out to him because he made comments on Facebook that indicated he may be interested in joining al-Qaeda, traveling overseas for training, and then returning to the U.S. to carry out an attack.

While it is not clear what the comments from Pitts—who was reportedly using a Facebook account with a different name—stated exactly, it is clear that there was no indication he actually planned on carrying out a terrorist attack. In fact, a report from NBC News admitted that “there’s no indication that Pitts could have carried off any attack on his own.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen Anthony justified the contact by insisting that instead of waiting to see if Pitts ever joined al-Qaeda and traveled overseas for training, agents were completely justified in reaching out to Pitt and trying to convince him to carry out an attack now.

“Law enforcement cannot stand by and wait for Mr. Pitts to make a violent attack,” Anthony said.

Pitts agreed to meet an undercover agent in person, and the criminal complaint claimed that the agent secretly recorded their conversations, which revolved around wanting to assassinate President Trump, and planning a terrorist attack in Cleveland. “I’m trying to figure out something that would shake them up on the Fourth of July,” Pitts told the agent.

However, the complaint raises questions about how much Pitts even wanted to be involved with the planned attack, because he simply wanted to “go look at the base of the ground” where it would take place, and he wanted the other “brothers” who the FBI agent claimed were involved, to fulfill all of the other parts of the plan.

“I don’t wanna meet all the Brothers,” Pitts said in one conversation.

“Now what about the detonator guy?” the agent asked.

“Now I don’t even wanna meet him,” Pitts replied. “He has nothing to do with me… The only thing I’m going to be responsible for is going to look at the spot, to scope out the scenery.”

In order to carry out his role, Pitts needed a bus pass to take him downtown and a cellphone to take photos of the places that would be bombing targets—both of which were supplied by the FBI.

Given the fact that he did not provide any of the supplies needed for the attack, he did not want to be the one who carried out the attack, and he simply promised to provide a basic layout of downtown Cleveland, proves that Demetrius Pitts was clearly not the ticking time bomb the FBI claimed he was.

The report claimed that Pitts was sentenced to prison for a robbery in 1989, and he pleaded guilty to theft in 2007. His latest run-in with the law occurred in 2016 when the state of Pennsylvania requested that Pitts be extradited on assault, robbery and theft charges.

Pitts has now been charged with providing material support to a terrorist organization because he agreed to use a cellphone and a bus pass provided by the FBI to take photos of downtown Cleveland.

Diane Stoudemire, Pitts’ aunt, told USA Today that she was shocked by the news and that Pitts has “never been a violent person.”

“He had had some problems with drugs and everything,” Stoudemire said. “He came up without his father, which is my brother, that was killed before Demetrius was born. His mother passed away while Demetrius was in penitentiary, so he’s been having such a hard time.”

This is not the first time the FBI has used its undercover agents to befriend a man online who looks like he may be critical of the U.S. government and sympathetic to terrorist groups in the Middle East, and has convinced him to carry out an attack on U.S. soil—so that the FBI can then heroically arrest the suspect, even if he refused to carry out the attack.

In December, the FBI was credited with stopping a man from carrying out an ISIS-inspired attack after their undercover agents attempted to coerce him into it, but when he refused to carry out the attack, he was still painted as a “terrorist,” and he now faces up to 20 years in prison.

Then in March, a similar incident happened when an FBI informant targeted a mentally ill man who agreed online, to carry out an attack and was arrested as soon as he claimed he would accept supplies from the FBI.

While the FBI appears to have intentionally sought out the men its agents befriended in all three cases, the agency chose to ignore several reports about a suspect who was actually planning an attack.

The FBI received multiple credible reports that Nikolas Cruz was planning to commit mass murder in the months before the Parkland shooting. Less than six weeks before the shooting, someone the FBI described as “a person close to” Cruz reached out to the agency and desperately pleaded for their help. The person reported Cruz’s “gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.”

Yet the FBI apparently chose to focus on fictitious cases and did nothing to interfere with Cruz’s rampage.

Rachel Blevins is an independent journalist from Texas, who aspires to break the false left/right paradigm in media and politics by pursuing truth and questioning existing narratives. Follow Rachel on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Steemit and Patreon.

July 5, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , | 2 Comments

Nicaragua: Legitimacy And Human Rights

By Stephen Seftan | Tortilla con Sal | July 4, 2018

The murder of Miguel Ramos on July 3 focuses many aspects of the current crisis in Nicaragua to do with conflicting claims of legitimacy involving fundamental issues of civil and political rights and social and economic rights. In 1978 and 1979, as a teenager in the Carlos Fonseca Northern Front guerrilla column, Miguel fought for Nicaragua’s sovereign independence. On July 3 he died for that same cause, gunned down by supporters of the U.S.-backed right-wing coup in progress against the Sandinista government of President Daniel Ortega. Miguel was one of a group of civilians helping the authorities clear an opposition roadblock at La Trinidad on the Panamerican Highway about 20km south of Esteli.

On July 3, Carlos Ascencio, El Salvador’s ambassador, published an appeal on behalf of all the Central American ambassadors in Nicaragua to clear similar roadblocks in Jinotepe. His letter provides independent corroboration of the violent intimidation and extortion practised by opposition gangs who have operated these roadblocks for two months, strangling Nicaragua’s economy and abusing people’s basic rights.

Ascencio denounces the effective detention of 400 truck drivers and their vehicles near the town of Jinotepe for over a month. The drivers, from all over Central America, have been threatened and their vehicles damaged. The political opposition activists operating the roadblocks refuse to liberate the trucks and their drivers because “they are our protective shield and negotiating card to support our demands in the dialogue.”

A Focus For Murder

That is just one of the innumerable gross human rights abuses by the right-wing opposition forces promoting the attempted coup in Nicaragua. For two months the road blocks, operated by opposition paramilitaries and paid thugs, have been a focus for murder, torture, kidnapping, intimidation, extortion and criminal delinquency. Supporters of the coup turn that reality upside-down, blaming the resulting violence on the government. In their upside-down world, ordinary citizens organizing to defend their rights against armed and violent opposition gangs metamorphose into ‘Sandinista paramilitaries.’

In the case of Miguel Gomez, the opposition have already portrayed the incident in which he died as a government paramilitary attack on peaceful protesters. They will add Miguel’s death to the tally of their own casualties, even though he died at their hands. Abundant documentation and audio-visual evidence exists now disproving categorically the constant falsehoods propagated by U.S.-funded opposition human rights organizations and local Nicaraguan opposition media. The original list of 55 deaths, proclaimed with such theater on the first day of the National Dialogue, has been completely debunked. There was never any ‘student massacre.’

Sadistic Violence 

Other material exposes media and NGO manipulation of opposition marches, or the deaths of women during the crisis. Numerous videos demonstrate the sadistic violence of opposition activists. Various writers like Alex Anfruns have explained the systematic pattern of media distortion and manipulation of opposition attacks and abuses reported by opposition media and NGOs as government human rights violations. No Western corporate media and only a handful of alternative media publish this material or any version challenging the demonstrable false witness of Amnesty International and the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR).

Just as in the case of Venezuela, those organizations have failed to investigate impartially any of the incidents they report, merely recycling the version already prepared for them by U.S.-funded local NGOs and media and ignoring or rejecting documentation from the Nicaraguan authorities out of hand. IACHR Director Paulo Abrao effectively disqualified himself as an independent arbitrator during a visit to Nicaragua last May, when he was recorded publicly declaring his support for the opposition. The investigative process accompanied by a group of IACHR experts had not even begun when, on June 22, the IACHR presented their final report to the OAS Permanent Commission.

Blatant Political Bias

Perhaps as the political price of avoiding – at least for the moment – the kind of all-out economic and diplomatic assault applied to Cuba and Venezuela, the Nicaraguan government has accepted these gross methodological irregularities and the blatant political bias of the OAS and its IACHR subsidiary. For its part, the Comission for Truth, Justice and Peace appointed by the National Assembly has actively sought an exchange of information with the opposition human rights organizations. As Commission member Cairo Amador has explained, “It’s a matter of everyone providing their data and their versions so, in the end, everyone contributes to getting at the truth.”

But as Esteli Mayor Francisco Valenzuela has pointed out, the effects of the attempted coup are much broader than the civil rights violations: “The damages can definitely be classified in order of importance. First, the suffering and the victims that we all lament. Secondly, everything to do with the economy and with people’s freedoms, the roadblocks that impede freedom of movement and have affected employment. The inability to move goods and products for export has caused enormous financial losses. Tourism has suffered nationally and locally, especially small businesses. Most businesses in Nicaragua are small- or medium-sized and have been very badly affected. A lot of businesses have closed.” Economy Minister Ivan Acosta has stated: “Growth projections for the economy were 4.5 percent to 5 percent, but now we think the economy is not growing. 200,000 jobs have been lost, which affects social security, trade, domestic demand and real productive activity.”

Extensive Losses

Nicaragua’s municipal authorities report losses to vehicles, machinery and equipment of over US$10 million and to buildings and infrastructure of over US$112 million. The country’s technical training institute reports losses of US$80 million. The Ministry of Education reports over 60 schools attacked and damaged. A preliminary MINSA report in June reported 55 ambulances destroyed or damaged, as well as other damage to hospitals and health centers, all resulting from opposition attacks. The Infrastructure and Transport Ministry also reports extensive losses, for example damage valued at US$1.5 million from just one incident, when opposition activists attacked a plant in Sebaco and destroyed equipment.

None of that extraordinary level of violence and destruction figures anywhere in the reports by Amnesty International or the IACHR, nor the abuse of the basic rights of the government workers and local population involved. Similarly, neither those organizations nor the Western media have reported the role of criminals contracted to operate the opposition roadblocks and carry out attacks. On June 30, Nicaraguan police arrested Salvadoran mara leader Oscar Rivas Carrillo, who confirmed he and other criminals were being paid to operate roadblocks, carry out murders, burn public buildings and attack economic targets. Rivas and other criminals worked jointly with opposition activists supported by right-wing business interests, U.S.-funded NGOs, right-wing political parties and the Catholic Church.

Clearly, Amnesty International and the IACHR have deliberately covered up that reality and misled international opinion, faithlessly exploiting their image as defenders of human rights, just as they do on Venezuela and Cuba. Even so, despite the extreme violence and the egregious dishonesty of its apologists, the U.S.-backed right-wing opposition coup to oust President Daniel Ortega has failed. People in Nicaragua overwhelmingly support efforts to return to normality and a political solution to the crisis. The Nicaraguan authorities will tolerate the IACHR’s theatrics for another few months before the OAS circus eventually moves on. Defeated opposition leaders hoped to impose their coup, failed because they lacked popular support, and now have to accept what the Sandinista government is prepared to agree as the sovereign power in Nicaragua. Miguel Gomez did not die in vain.

July 5, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Economics | , | Leave a comment

Ten Reasons Canada Should Get Out of NAFTA

By David Orchard | Global Research | June 19, 2018

For months Canadians have been inundated with claims from the government, various and sundry industries, and the national punditry, that NAFTA is good for our country, even necessary, and that “renegotiated” it will be even better. In the aftermath of US president Trump’s recent visit to Canada, virtually the entire Canadian political class has completely abandoned the vision of an independent, sovereign Canada. From the prime minister on down they rush to Brian Mulroney, the architect of the integration of Canada into the US, for direction and advice on how to “save NAFTA.” The door is now wide open for our country to take a different route, to reject NAFTA and build a nation which controls its own economy and destiny. Here are ten reasons why Canada should free itself from NAFTA, not enter more deeply into it.

One: Under NAFTA US corporations have the right to sue Canada for any law or regulation which they do not like and which they feel contravenes the spirit of NAFTA. US corporations have sued Canada 42 times under NAFTA, overturned Canadian laws and received over $200 million in NAFTA fines, plus approx. $100 million in legal fees, from Canada — and have filed claims for some five billion more. Why would any nation give foreign corporations the right to sue it and dictate its laws? (Canadian corporations can also sue the US. They have tried several times and failed each time.)

Two: Under the FTA, which is part of NAFTA, Canada agreed to never charge the Americans more for any good that we export to them than it charges Canadians. Why would Canada ever agree to such a provision and what in the world does it have to do with free trade?

Three: Canada agreed that it would never cut back on the amount of any good, including all forms of energy, that it sells to the US unless it cut back on Canadians proportionally at the same time. Why would Canada agree to deny its own citizens preferential access to their own resources?

Four: Except for a few exceptions, Canada agreed to allow US citizens and corporations to buy up Canadian companies and industries without restriction. They have taken over thousands of Canadian companies, from both our national railways to our retail industry to our grain companies. In 1867 the US purchased Alaska for $7 million. It is now purchasing Canada just as surely.

Five: Under NAFTA Canada’s standard of living has not risen, it has fallen. The real wages of Canadians are dropping steadily, and the divide between haves and have nots has soared.

Six: NAFTA is not free trade. It is the integration of North America into a continental economy. Integration means assimilation and that for Canada means the end of our country.

Seven: Locked into NAFTA Canada loses its ability to be an independent country. We see our country following the US on the world stage, even attacking and bombing small nations that have done no harm to Canada because, some of our leaders suggest, we must follow the US because our economies are so intertwined. (Then we watch some of the same leaders wringing their hands over the agony of the fleeing refugees our bombs have helped to create!)

Eight: Farsighted Canadian leaders have repeatedly warned their fellow citizens against free trade with the United States. John A. Macdonald called the very idea “veiled treason” because it meant giving control of our nation to a foreign power. George-Etienne Cartier said the end result would be union with United States, “that is to say, our annihilation as a country.” Robert Borden called free trade “the most momentous question” ever submitted to Canadians “not a mere question of markets but the future destiny of Canada.” John Diefenbaker called on Canadians “to take a clear stand in opposition to economic continentalism” and the “baneful effects of foreign ownership.” Pierre Elliott Trudeau called the FTA “a monstrous swindle, under which the Canadian government has ceded to the United States of America a large slice of the country’s sovereignty over its economy and natural resources.” John Turner called it “the Sale of Canada Act.”

Nine: In its early days Canada had no income tax. It used the revenue from tariffs on imported goods to finance the operation of the country and it had little or no debt throughout much of its history. Today after three decades of “free trade” with the US, Canada is carrying a record $1.2 trillion in federal and provincial debt and the tax burden on ordinary Canadians increases year after year. The rate of homelessness and use of food banks has escalated, public institutions and programmes on which citizens rely have been cut, while record amounts of raw resources are being poured across the border at fire sale prices.

Ten: Canada’s economy is roughly one tenth the size of that of the US. If we do not protect our industries, our sovereignty, and our economy, our country will be absorbed into the United States. This means the end of the dream of an independent Canada standing among the world’s nations with pride and dignity. It need not be so. Both the FTA and NAFTA have cancellation clauses. With a simple 6 month’s notice Canada can withdraw without penalty. All three NAFTA countries are members of the World Trade Organization and our trade with them would simply revert back to WTO rules, under which we did much better than we have under NAFTA, and without any US corporate right to sue us or buy up our country.

***

David Orchard was twice a contender for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. He is the author of The Fight For Canada: Four Centuries of Resistance to American Expansionism. He can be reached at davidorchard@sasktel.net

Read more:

Canada: “A Northern Power” Once Again? NAFTA, “A Monstrous Swindle”

July 5, 2018 Posted by | Economics | , , , | 1 Comment

Sputnik Latvia’s editor-in-chief detained by police in Riga for almost 12hrs

RT | July 5, 2018

Sputnik Latvia Editor-in-Chief Valentins Rozencovs has been held and interrogated about his work by Latvian police for almost 12 hours. The agency said its journalists face “routine” pressure from officials in Baltic countries.

Rozencovs, who is a Latvian citizen, was detained “for conversation” shortly after he landed in the Latvian capital on Wednesday evening. His spent all night answering the officers’ questions. Authorities did not file any formal documents as detention for fewer than 12 hours is not considered a formal arrest in Latvia, Rozencovs said.

“I was detained in Riga for a conversation, as they [the police] called it, upon my arrival from Moscow. They did not file any reports,” the editor-in-chief said after his release on Thursday, as cited by Sputnik. “The security police were interested in my work as senior editor of Sputnik Latvia and the work of the outlet itself in Latvia.”

The press service of the agency stressed, in the wake of the incident, that Russian media are under pressure due to its growing popularity over mainstream media.

“Unfortunately, pressure on our journalists has become routine in the Baltic countries,” the statement read. “Democratic European states are concerned about the growing popularity of Sputnik websites in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, representing a point of view which is different from what they consider the only right one.”

In April, the Latvian National Council opposed the use of Sputnik’s material by state-funded media on electronic media. The watchdog, which can strip a news outlet of its license, said that spending taxpayers’ money “to strengthen Sputnik and popularize its brand is not in the interests of Latvian society.”

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova condemned the policies against Russian media, saying that they would only harm the Russian-speaking population in Latvia. Around 500,000 Russian nationals live in the country, which amounts to around a quarter of the population.

The detention of the journalist is a part of an information war, Latvia MEP and co-chairman of the Latvian Russian Union (LRU) Miroslav Mitrofanov believes.

“There is a cold war between the West and Russia. Information confrontation is part of it,” he told RIA Novosti. The politician added that Latvian authorities are showing their “irritation” with the news outlet’s activity, as the ruling parties can save their position “only if there is no source of alternative information in Latvian.”

Read more:

‘President was clear about RT’: Journalist barred from Elysee Palace despite having credentials

July 5, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

Imperial Hubris Redefined

By Philip M. GIRALDI | Strategic Culture Foundation | 05.07.2018

There have been two developments in the past month that illustrate clearly what is wrong with the White House’s perception of America’s place in the world. Going far beyond the oft-repeated nonsense that the United States is somehow the “leader of the free world,” the Trump Administration has taken several positions that sustain the bizarre view that such leadership can only be exercised if the United States is completely dominant in all relevant areas. Beyond that, Washington is now also asserting that those who do not go along with the charade and abide by the rules laid down will be subject to punishment to force compliance.

The first issue has to do with outer space. There is an international treaty agreed to in 1967, the so-called Outer Space Treaty, which has been signed by 107 countries including most Europeans, Russia, China and the United States. Conventional weapons or electronic systems designed to protect orbiting satellites from attack are permitted over where the atmosphere ends 62 miles above the Earth’s surface, but outer space is supposed to be free to all. The treaty also forbids any colonization or appropriation of the moon or planets by any national authority.

President Donald Trump apparently is not familiar with the treaty. Speaking before an audience at the National Space Council on June 18th, he said that he was, on his own presidential authority “… hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces… our destiny, beyond the Earth, is not only a matter of national identity, but a matter of national security. It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space.”

The idea that the US would seek to have a major presence in space would probably surprise no one, but Trump is saying something quite different. He is creating a military command for space, the moon and the planets and is intent on using that to support an offensive capability that provides dominance in those areas. As no one in his right mind would allow Washington to militarily dominate outer space based on its track record of irresponsible leadership since 9/11, the Trump proposal should be and will be opposed by virtually the entire world.

A fantasy of space dominance is a symptom of a governing class that cannot distinguish between what is important and what is not. It is rooted in a nation that has been constantly fed fear since 9/11 even though it is not threatened. Iran, the second issue surfaced recently, is part of that alleged threat matrix, with the United States and its barking dog Israel repeatedly claiming that the country is both a terrorism supporter and is involved in a secret nuclear weapons program. Both claims are basically false.

Trump has complied with Israel’s demands to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) restricting Iran’s nuclear program even though Tehran was in complete compliance. On June 26th, the White House announced Iran’s punishment, declaring that it would sanction anyone buying Iranian oil, starting on November 4th. The “zero tolerance” global Iranian oil ban deliberately seeks to devastate most sectors of the country’s economy to force it to comply with Israeli, Saudi and US demands that it should effectively disarm.

The threat of sanctions is blatant bullying as the United Nations and all other signatories of the JCPOA continue to support the agreement and have no reason to punish Iran, but there is also an appreciation that sanctions would include being blocked from US financial markets, meaning that the warning must be taken seriously. There are reports that a number of European and Asia refiners and their financial backers are already moving to cut purchases and exit the Iran market well before November.

But there also has been some pushback. Turkey is refusing to go along with the American demand and it is unlikely that China, Russia and India will comply, even if threatened with sanctions. If the European Community were to unite and develop a backbone to take a stand against submitting to US pressure it might actually force Washington to save face by issuing waivers to mitigate the impact of its demand.

There is no rational US interest that compels a hubristic American government to establish a space military or to create a global sanction against Iran, but it is clear that the Trump Administration does not care much for genuine interests as it huffs and puffs to show its power and determination. It is time for the rest of the world to wake up to the danger posed by Washington and mobilize to stand up against it.

July 5, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment