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Zuckerberg On Denial and Being Wrong

By Gilad Atzmon | July 20, 2018

In an interview with technology website Recode, Mark Facebook  Zuckerberg stated that posts from Holocaust deniers should be allowed on Facebook.

In response to a question on Facebook’s policy on fake news, Mr. Zuckerberg offered, without prompting, the example of posts by Holocaust deniers.

“I’m Jewish and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened,” he told reporter Kara Swisher. “I find it deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong.”

He added, “everyone gets things wrong and if we were taking down people’s accounts when they got a few things wrong, then that would be a hard world for giving people a voice and saying that you care about that.”

Despite the fact that FB has earned itself a reputation as a tyrannical Zionist force and an enemy of elementary freedoms, Zuckerberg expressed a clear position consistent with whatever is left of the true American spirit and the 1st Amendment.

The Jewish press is totally upset by Zuckerberg’s policy.  Israeli commentators denounced his remarks.  Here in Britain, the editor of the so called ‘anti-fascist’ magazine Searchlight, Gerry Gable, told the BBC that  “Because of his financial powers, he [Zuckerberg] just does a bit of tinkering without understanding how this material could inspire crazy people to firebomb synagogues, mosques or churches.” I can’t see how comments about the past incite violence against “synagogues, mosques or churches.” But of course, “crazy people” can firebomb anything at anytime, regardless of Zuckerberg’s recent intervention. I’d advise Gable that the perception of Facebook as a tyrannical Zionist power that silences differing viewpoints may be far more dangerous for Jews and others.

I probably should have finished today’s article here. But I just can’t stop myself from taking this discussion at least one step further.

Here is a point to ponder: with Zuckerberg presenting a reasonable and tolerant attitude to historical debate, WWII, history revisionism and the Holocaust can easily be reduced to an internal Jewish debate. This is the point I make in my recent book, ‘Being in Time.’ I contend that when Jews accept that something about their culture, ideology or politics is perceived as a ‘Jewish problem,’ some Jews are quick to form a satellite opposition.

When it became clear that the criminality of the State that defines itself as the ‘Jewish State’ had become a Jewish problem, Jews for Palestine was created. The Palestine solidarity movement was rapidly reduced to an internal debate among Jews. Here in Britain, some Jews grasped that the Jewish campaign against Jeremy Corbyn is very dangerous for the Jews.  Jews for Corbyn was formed. At the moment, the future of the Labour party has become an internal Jewish debate between the Zionist Jewish Labour Movement and the so called ‘anti’ Jewish Voice for Labour. Neocon wars are now an internal Jewish debate between Sam Harris and Noam Chomsky. In his brave essay, ‘On The Jewish Question,’ Karl Marx comes to the conclusion that Capitalism is a ‘Jewish symptom’. Not surprisingly, many of his followers were of Jewish origin and the battle of capitalism (for and against) became an internal Jewish discourse. It is possible that Zuckerberg, who is not stupid, can sense the growing resentment to FB’s Zio-centrism and he is clever enough to present a new more liberal principled view. He even kindly allows the rest of us to be wrong.

In ‘Being in Time’ I note that the emergence of a Jewish satellite opposition is not necessarily a conspiratorial maneuver. It is only natural for Jews to oppose the crimes committed in their name by the Jewish State. It is equally natural for Jews to oppose Zio-con global wars. It is also reasonable for Zuckerberg to try to amend the negative impression his company bought itself in recent years and to decide to promote basic freedom of speech. The outcome, however, could be problematic. The entire debate on elementary rights and freedoms can easily become an internal Jewish discourse.

July 20, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | | Leave a comment

Hezbollah at War (3): Missiles on Haifa (July 16, 2006)

Speech by Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah, on July 16, 2006, the fourth day of the war against Israel, in which Haifa was hit for the first time.

Translated for the first time on the occasion of the 12th anniversary of the event. All speeches of Hezbollah Secretary General during the 2006 war will be fully translated, subtitled and published in English for the first time on their anniversary this summer.

“We concentrated our missile / rocket strikes exclusively on military positions, without striking any Israeli settlements or urban centers in the north of occupied Palestine. But the enemy’s army, unable to face Hezbollah fighters, started from day one to target cities, villages, civilians and civilian facilities, as well as Lebanon’s infrastructure. […] So we had no choice but to keep the promise we made ourselves, and we hit the city of Haifa. [..] Our weapons are not weapons of vengeance, but weapons of deterrence, weapons whose purpose is to bring back some reason and common sense to the madmen in the Olmert government, so that they put an end to their arrogance, hubris, and I can even say their very peculiar imbecility and stupidity.” Hassan Nasrallah, July 16, 2006.

Unsurprisingly, in the first days of the war, Israel poured out its destructive fury on Lebanon and the Lebanese population, purposely striking the infrastructure (bridges, power plants, airport…) in order to paralyze the country, as well as the urban centers to inflict a collective punishment on the Lebanese people –especially the Shiite-majority areas of the southern suburbs of Beirut, to exact the highest price from the Hezbollah base–, sparing neither homes nor convoys of civilians fleeing the areas bombed and in particular the south, nor the ambulances, the refuges, nor the food industry, subjecting the country to a real blockade. Robert Fisk had reported the war crime of Marwaheen, a particularly vile and spiteful act of vengeance, mentioned by Hassan Nasrallah in this speech:

“[Lebanon] is being vandalized and smashed up by a country which says it believes in purity of arms. And these civilian deaths, I don’t believe that they’re by chance. I don’t believe it was a mistake when they hit that army barracks of logistic soldiers, who are trying to repair [a bridge and restore electricity in] their own country, which they have every right to do.

And Marwaheen is a particular — this is a village in Southern Lebanon, where Mossad, the Israelis, ordered the villagers out. I should add that this is a village closest to the scene of the killing and capture of the Israeli soldiers on Wednesday. They were ordered to leave the village. They did so in a convoy of cars, 20 of them. They went to the United Nations, who ordered them away — Ghanaian Battalion, shamefully — and set off to Tyre. And an F-16 came down and burned them all alive with bombs. Outrageous massacre.”

In a few days, there were more than 300 dead, almost exclusively civilians, thousands of wounded and nearly one million displaced. The Lebanese army, scandalously neutral in this conflict –we would learn much later that Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, who called on Hezbollah to return the soldiers to Israel, making the Resistance de facto responsible for the war, had given instructions for the army to hinder Hezbollah activity–, was not even spared in its civil engineering actions. Anxious to maintain as much as possible the national cohesion and not to play the game of the enemy, Hassan Nasrallah would not evoke these facts until 2008, nor the collusion of the Gulf monarchies, and Saudi Arabia in particular, with the Israeli aggression.

But while Israel emerged as the criminal army it has always been, Hezbollah, for its part, demonstrated its ethics, targeting Israeli civilians only after several days of restraint. Having no other choice to protect its own population (the final civilian / military ratio of Hezbollah victims will be the reverse of Israel’s, 1/10 versus 10/1), as well as its great military expertise: while the Lebanese guerrillas achieved success after success (Israel corvette destroyed, military bases of the north localized and hit…), Israel revealed to all the incapacity of its infantry, whose attempts of incursion were immediately stopped, and even of its services intelligence, essential auxiliaries of the air force. On the first day, Olmert had pompously announced the destruction of almost all of Hezbollah’s ballistic capacity, but he received a stinging denial from the ever-increasing rocket and missile strikes that hit Israel daily, until the last day of the confrontation, up to Haifa and, as the next stage will show, well beyond Haifa. This discourse, where victory and reconstruction are evoked as soon-to-be and certain perspectives, clearly shows that Hezbollah always was in a position of strength in this conflict.

Sayed Hasan


In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

“– Say: Nothing (bad) can happen to us except what God has decreed for us. He is our Protector: and on God let the believers put their trust. – Say: Can you expect for us (any fate) other than one of two glorious things (victory or martyrdom)? But (as for us), we can expect for you either that God will send His punishment from Himself or by our hands. So wait (expectant); we too will wait with you (the outcome of our battle).” (Quran, IX, 50-51)

God the Almighty and Most High has spoken the truth.

Peace be upon you and God’s mercy and blessings.

In this speech, I wish to speak to you again on this day, Sunday [July 16], shortly before 1pm, to discuss with you some points relating to the battlefield and the political (situation), that I must evoke in this particularly sensitive and important situation we are living today.

First, regarding the events on the ground. From the beginning, we tried to act with calm, precision and without precipitation. We announced clear positions and clear warnings. The first day, we focused our missile/rocket strikes exclusively on military positions, without targeting any Israeli settlement or urban center in northern occupied Palestine. But the army of the enemy, unable to face the mujahedeen (Hezbollah fighters), started from day one to target cities, villages, civilians and civilian facilities as well as (Lebanon’s) infrastructure.

Despite this, we have waited and continued our struggle (targeting only enemy) soldiers and military forces, and military positions in the north of occupied Palestine. And very important strikes took place successfully, especially one that targeted several Command centers of Brigades in the north (of Israel), whether the Command of the northern zone, the Command of the naval forces or the Command of air operations in Meron, and the impact and damage caused by these unprecedented strikes were considerable. But in spite of that, we saw that the Zionists concentrated their strikes on civilians and civilian facilities.

(The enemy) tried to advance in the area of ​​‘Ayt al-Sha`b, but the mujahedeen (fighters) faced him and destroyed an Israeli tank that is among the strongest that exists to this day in Israel. A second tank approached and was also destroyed, and a third came forward and was damaged. And this event was an opportunity to humiliate the Israeli infantry at the Mount Amel border.

The main cities of Lebanon were hit by Israel, as well as villages, and they killed civilians in their homes. In several villages, civilian homes were destroyed, and the husband, the wife and children (whole families) got killed. Here, there are 10 martyrs; there, 8 martyrs; there again, 7 martyrs, etc. (Their crimes went as far as) the terrible and atrocious martyrdom of refugees of the city (South Lebanon) of Marwaheen, mostly women and children (fleeing the combat zone at Israel’s request), and destructive strikes against a number of towns, and especially against the southern suburb of Beirut.

It seems that the enemy has misinterpreted our restraint of the early days. In truth, we have been patient against this aggression and retaliated by hitting only military (targets), to confirm that our battle is with them, even if we consider that all (the Israelis) are accomplices (of the attack). But as long as we were not forced to hit civilian targets, we had no reason to do so. We waited (patiently) and achieved a great success when we hit the Israeli military corvette (who operated) off the coast of Beirut, as a clear sign that we punish those who strike our cities and infrastructure, and assault our people.

But the Zionists continued (their widespread strikes) regardless of our warnings, and their false reading of (our restraint) lead them to continue their wide aggression against southern Lebanon, the Bekaa, especially against the cities of Baalbek-Hermel, up to the north, and always target more civilian facilities and infrastructure. We didn’t have a choice today but to keep the promise we had made ourselves, and we hit the city of Haifa. We know the importance of this city and its particular sensitivity. And if we had launched our missiles on chemical and petrochemical plants, a major disaster would have hit the inhabitants of this city. But we have deliberately avoided these plants, which are within the range of our missiles, due to our care not to push things to the unknown, and to ensure that our weapons are not weapons of vengeance, but weapons of deterrence, weapons (aiming to) bring back some sanity and common sense to the madmen in the Olmert government, to put an end to their arrogance, their hubris, and I can even say the idiocy and stupidity by which they truly stand out.

But the fact that we have avoided (hitting chemical installations, cities or settlements) does not mean that this is an irrevocable decision: at any time, we consider that we are responsible to defend our country, our people and our families, and therefore all means in our power to ensure that defense will be implemented. As long as the enemy will lead its aggression without limits or red line, we also (have every right to) organize our Resistance without limits or red line.

O noble Lebanese people to whom I address this speech, I also want to confirm some points after the presentation of the situation on the ground. We still have, thank God, our full power and our full strength. It is we who have the initiative of the time and place (of confrontation), and the enemy cannot force us to resort to any means of defense, nor can he impose the time at which we use them.

We continue to carry out our Resistance in a precise and organized way, something the enemy did not expect: Israel assumed that in the first days, his violent strikes would lead to a dismemberment of the (Hezbollah) Command and of our (military) base, but no such thing happened, and I will get back to this issue later. And one of our major strong points is that the enemy does not know our power and our capabilities. And when they announce their position or make their calculations, they base them on erroneous data and false information. For example… And this is why the enemy also resorts to lies.

For example, the first day, all the targets hit in the villages of southern Lebanon are civilian homes, civilian houses in which there were no launching pads nor storage of missiles/rockets, nor anything resembling what the Israelis alleged to have targeted. Then the Israelis announced that the largest portion of the ballistic (missiles/rockets) power of Hezbollah was destroyed on the first day. I tell the Israeli Army that these information are false and unfounded. The people you killed are civilians, women and children. And the houses you destroyed are civilian homes, empty of any missile or rocket you mention. (Hezbollah’s) arsenal that you dread so much and consider very thoughtfully in all your calculations is still intact, and what we have launched so far is only a small part of this arsenal. We always have the ability to launch a large number of rockets/missiles.

Today, the Zionists based all their plans and calculations on the assumption that the number of rockets or missiles in the hands of Hezbollah able to strike Haifa, Acre, Tiberias or beyond Haifa does not exceed a few dozen. If your battle is based on this postulate, then I bring you good news of your defeat (to come), by the grace of God. It only makes us more optimistic and enthusiastic, stronger and more confident in our ability to defeat you.

And I say to the Zionist people that your government and your army deceive you. During the operation “Grapes of Wrath” (1996), they organized their entire battle on the (erroneous) assumption that all what Hezbollah actually had in terms of Katyusha rockets did not exceed 500. Then they were surprised to find out that this information was false. On this point, I can confirm that the enemy is completely unaware of (the full extent of) our ability. He ignores what we have at all levels. And this is our most important strength, and we have always prided ourselves of it within the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon (Hezbollah). We take pride in the fact that we are not infiltrated by the Israeli intelligence services. We are proud to have built our strength, in every respect, with the required concealment and secrecy as we were preparing carefully for the day Israel would try to avenge the defeat Lebanon inflicted on it (in 2000).

For the next stage, we will keep behaving as we do now, since it is they who have opted for this open war, and we will be careful to avoid targeting civilians as much as possible, except when we are compelled to it. In the previous step, even when we were forced to target civilians, we focused our strikes on main cities and large settlements, though we had the ability to hit every settlement, every village and every city, at least those in the north of occupied Palestine, but we chose to keep things in the limit required to pressure the government of this enemy. But as I have said, even in this context, when the Zionists act on the principle that there are no rules, no red line and no limit to their aggression, then we also have the right to behave the same way in return.

Today, Israelis speak of a violent bombardment (from them), as if what happened in the early days was a light bombardment. Many towns and villages of Lebanon have suffered these (massive) strikes, including the southern suburb of Beirut last night, which suffered a methodical destruction of certain neighborhoods. The world will see the reality of it all, and although during the first stage, we wanted some scenes (particularly atrocious) not to be broadcast, the world is beginning to see the extent of the destruction inflicted by the enemy to the buildings (and of the massacres). But can it alter our determination, our will or our decision? Never, under any circumstances.

We will continue to fight, and we have very, very large abilities, and we are only at the beginning. And the Zionists will infallibly see, I repeat it again and again, that what I say and promise is the absolute truth (and will certainly happen).

Today, we also hear in Zionist circles (military / media) about the idea of launching ​​a ground incursion towards certain places. They already tried to advance on the Raheb position located west of Ayt al-Sha`b, and tried again last night (in vain). We heard today that they would use weapons prohibited by the international community. Anyway, we are present in the south, our mujahedeen (fighters) are just as ready (to fight) as one can conceive, they have a passion for combat and an enthusiastic desire to inflict a (stinging) defeat on the enemy. This is not a desperate people seeking martyrdom, but an optimistic people certain of his victory, who wants to offer Arabs a new example (of victorious Resistance). And therefore, as we have surprised them at sea (with the destruction of their corvette), as we surprised them (when we hit) Haifa, and as we will surprise them (when we strike) beyond Haifa, I also promise them a surprise with their ground offensive. And we look forward to it with great hope, because it will give us the opportunity to directly hit the enemy tanks and soldiers, who are currently hiding in fortified retreats and planes; and obviously, as their Air Force is the most powerful in the region, they may be out of our reach because they strike us from very high locations in the sky. Any ground incursion will be very good news for the Resistance because it will get us closer to victory and allow us to humiliate the Israeli enemy, as we humiliated him in recent days. This prospect does not worry us.

I have a word to say to the (Lebanese) people, this generous people, enduring, honorable, pure, from which we heard these days in the media expressions of patience, support, assistance and love (for the Resistance ). You are truly a great people, and these are not (vain) bragging words, exaggeration or embellishment (of reality). You are a historical people, on which rests the hope to get Lebanon and even all this (Arab-Muslim) Community, the whole Community, out of the state of submission and humiliation in which it is today, and to reinvigorate it with hope. I assure you once again that with your support, your embrace, your love, your patience and endurance, we will be victorious.

The houses and buildings that are destroyed will surely be rebuilt, with our cooperation and that of the institutions of the Lebanese State, but in this respect, I declare to you: do not worry at all about all that is destroyed by the Israeli war machine (because we will rebuild everything). We only wish recovery to the wounded, and long life to all the Lebanese in health and well-being; and as to what is bombed and destroyed, with the help of God Almighty and Exalted, with the help of the Lebanese State and also with the help of Hezbollah, which is an interested and concerned party, we are determined to be serious and effective in rebuilding all that was destroyed; and I tell you, without going into details now, that we have friends (Iran) seriously engaged in this issue, who have a great ability to help us with clean, pure and honorable money, without any political conditions. Do not worry about the reconstruction of our country. The importance today is to resist, and to emerge victorious from this battle.

I also have a word to say on some points currently raised by the media of the enemy, and I will conclude with a word that I will address the peoples of the Arab and Muslim worlds.

The enemy today resorts to lies and strong psychological warfare, which is quite natural, especially with an enemy like this. For example, they first tried to say that no Zionist warship was destroyed at sea, then they eventually recognized it. And I can confirm, and we also have elements that confirm this: a corvette was hit by two missiles. That’s the first point. And as for the fact that they have tried to make people believe that the missiles of the Resistance struck a commercial vessel or something like that, the days have shown that this was part of the Israeli lies. In the event that a commercial vessel would indeed have been targeted or hit, certainly, it would be the action of Israeli warships.

Another point in this regard, the fact that they talk of Iranian soldiers, and that it would be Iranians who have launched or helped to launch the two (ground-sea) missiles (that struck the corvette). Israeli reconnaissance aircraft were present above the area where the missiles were launched and watched every move. How could this confined area contain Iranian soldiers? Anyway, I categorically deny the presence of any Iranian soldier, either during this operation or any other. Those who have the comprehensive expertise and themselves use these (military) capabilities present in Hezbollah’s hands are Lebanese, children of Lebanese and belong to Lebanese families since hundreds of years. The Israelis speak of Iranians and Iranian soldiers, and could speak tomorrow of North Koreans, Japanese, Russians or Chinese in order to lessen (our abilities) and insult us, as they always have done with us, the Lebanese and Arab peoples, considering that we are at a lower level, and that we are not sufficiently developed, capable or do not have the necessary expertise for a confrontation of this nature. This is part of the lies that the Zionists resort to in this war. I really wanted to clarify that. And therefore, by the grace of God, in the next stage, through the arms of the mujahideen (fighters) and honorable Lebanese Resistance, we will continue our struggle and defeat our enemy.

Finally, I wish to address the Arab and Muslim peoples. Of course, I am speaking to them to clarify things and make them face up to their responsibilities. I am not going to implore, call for help or request anything.

Since the first moments of Operation “Truthful Promise” and the confrontations that ensued, we resolved and we are bound by common consent, me and my brothers, to ask nothing to any man in this confrontation. And many people have contacted us and offered assistance, but we said we do not need anything, and we never took the initiative to ask for anything, whether at the material, political, media, popular, military levels, etc. Of course, we pray, we ask, we invoke and we intercede only to God, the Almighty and Exalted, because we believe in Him, in His abilities, in His omnipotence, that He embraces all things, and He is true to His promise of victory addressed to (true) believers. And “God suffices us and He is the best of Protectors.” (Quran, III, 173).

And today, when I address the Arab and Islamic peoples, it is certainly not to tell them to come to our rescue, to save us, absolutely not. We’re perfectly fine, thank God, and we are in a position of strength, and at the beginning of a confrontation on which we pin great hopes. But I wish only to make them face up to their responsibilities.

Yesterday you saw, especially the Arab peoples, the results of the Council of Arab Ministers, and what the Arab League can do. They talk themselves of the failure of what they refer to as the “Peace process”, and it has also become clear that they are unable, as governments, leaders and regimes, to do anything at all. Anyway, we never counted on them.

You, Arab and Muslim peoples, have the duty to take a stance, for the sake of your (life in the) Hereafter, in case you do believe in Heaven, and for the sake of your mortal life, your fate, your dignity, your honor, your future and the future of your children and grandchildren.

Here is the situation today: if, in this confrontation, God forbid, Israel managed to defeat the Resistance in Palestine and the Resistance in Lebanon, then all the Arab world, both governments and peoples, would be drowned forever in humiliation, without any way of salvation. The arrogance of the Zionists against Arab governments and peoples would only grow, as well as that of their US masters, who stand behind them, American and Israeli interference in the affairs of our peoples and governments would grow, and therefore, the looting of our resources would continue and worsen, as the trampling down on our civilization and culture. This region would be dislocated and dismembered, and pushed into internal sedition, etc.

Today, the Arab community and the Muslim community have an historic opportunity to unite, to get out of the division, sectarian strife and civil wars in which the United States are pushing our region and our peoples. The peoples of the Arab and Muslim worlds are now facing a historic opportunity to achieve a major historic victory against the Zionist enemy. It is not the question of who will impose his conditions on who. Today, an exceptional opportunity of this nature is before us, and I do not exaggerate.

In Lebanon, in 2000, we have offered, with limited capacity, modest efforts and a very limited number of fighters, equipment and weapons, a true example of Resistance that can defeat the army of occupation. Today, we offer an example (of Resistance), alongside the Lebanese people and all of Lebanon, even if we (Hezbollah) are the spearhead of the war, with the villages, towns and neighborhoods where our popular base is strongest, these being most heavily subjected to death and destruction. Even if no Lebanese is spared, it is mainly on our popular basis that the strikes are focused.

We also try to offer another example (different from the traditional Arab submission) in terms of endurance, power, patience, strength, courage and ability to inflict a defeat on the enemy. And in fact, this battle is not an equal battle in terms of material means (weapons and technology, where Israel clearly has the upper hand), but with regards to the soul, the spirit, the will, reason, wisdom, planning, perseverance and confidence in God the Almighty and Exalted, it is unequal but in our favor.

Where are you, O Arab and Muslim peoples? What are you doing ? How will you behave? That concerns you. As for us, when we started the Resistance in 1982, we were not looking beyond the borders (of Lebanon for any help), no. We were not expecting anything from anyone, except from God, and we relied (solely) on our people and our mujahedeen (fighters). Today we do the same.

But what I wanted to say in this sensitive time, and after several military exploits in recent days, after several surprises befallen and coming by the grace of God, I tell you this: No, today, Hezbollah is not leading Hezbollah’s battle nor Lebanon’s battle. Today, we are leading the battle of the whole (Arab and Muslim) Community. Whether we like it or not, whether the Lebanese like it or not, today, Lebanon and the Resistance in Lebanon are leading the battle of the Community.

Where is the (Arab and Muslim) Community in this battle? This is a question that I address you out of concern for your mortal life and for your life in the Hereafter.

O my brothers and sisters, and above all, O our enduring Lebanese people, O our enduring people in occupied Palestine, O honorable Resistants, put your trust in God, and ask Him for His help because He is the Best of Helpers and Assistants to achieve Victory.

Peace be upon you and God’s mercy and blessings.


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July 20, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Apartheid Rule Over Palestinians Enacted Into Israeli Basic Law

By Stephen Lendman | July 19, 2018

From inception, democracy in Israel was pure fantasy. Now rights for Jews alone is official with Knesset enactment of apartheid rule over Palestinian citizens.

The new Basic Law, the equivalent of US constitutional law, way exceeds contentiousness.

It’s the Jewish state’s version of Nazi Germany’s Nuremberg Laws. Israel is to Palestinians what Hitler’s regime was to Jews – in both countries treated like subhumans, forced to endure virtually every type indignity, degradation and crime against humanity.

Palestinians and Israeli Arab citizens are discriminated against in virtually all aspects of their lives – their fundamental freedoms denied, their personal safety jeopardized by what the late Edward Said called “refined (Israeli) viciousness.”

Ahead of enactment of Israel’s Nation-State law, the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel said the following:

The Basic Law “falls within the bounds of absolute prohibitions under international law and is therefore illegitimate as a colonial law with characteristics of apartheid.”

Last Sunday, Adalah’s general director Hassan Jabareen said:

“The Nation-State Basic Law is illegitimate, as it establishes a colonial regime with distinct apartheid characteristics in that it seeks to maintain a regime in which one ethnic-national group controls an indigenous-national group living in the same territory while advancing ethnic superiority by promoting racist policies in the most basic aspects of life.”

Adalah attorney Sawsan Zaher earlier explained that the Nation-State Law conveys to Israeli Arab citizens that “Jewish rights are superior” to theirs.

Here’s a link to Adalah’s July 16, 2018 position paper on Israel’s Nation-State Law.

Separately, Adalah said “(n)o country in the world today is defined as a democratic state where the constitutional identity is determined by ethnic affiliation that overrides the principle of equal citizenship.”

Enacting the measure illegitimately enshrines Jewish supremacy over equal rights for Arab citizens into Israeli Basic Law – what apartheid is all about.

It exceed the worst of South Africa’s version – including murder, extermination, enslavement, torture, arbitrary arrests, illegal imprisonments, denial of the right to life and liberty, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and other abusive acts imposed by Jews on Arabs.

Former UN Special Human Rights Rapporteur for Occupied Palestine, Richard Falk, earlier said “Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid in relation to the Palestine people should be taken with the utmost seriousness by all those who affirm human solidarity and care about making visible the long ordeal of a suffering and vulnerable people.”

Writing for the Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid, Karine MacAllister earlier said:

It “involves or necessitates the denial of the other; of their presence, rights and existence on the land and reconstruction of the past, namely that the land was empty before the advent of Zionist settlement, hence the movement’s slogan, (creating the myth about) ‘a land without people for a people without land,”


Zionism is “a sophisticated legal, social, economic and political regime of racial discrimination that has led to colonialism and apartheid as well as the dispossession and displacement of the Palestinian people.”

“Colonialism flourishes by separating indigenous people from their land and heritage.”

Article 7(1)(j) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court calls apartheid a crime, stating:

“For the purpose of this Statute, (a) ‘crime against humanity’ means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:

(a) Murder;

(b) Extermination;

(c) Enslavement;

(d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population;

(e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;

(f) Torture;

(g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;

(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;

(i) Enforced disappearance of persons;

(j) The crime of apartheid;

(k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.”

From inception, Israel stands guilty of virtually all of the above abuses and other high crimes against Palestinians – yet remains unaccountable because the world community supports the Jewish state, doing nothing to hold it accountable, nothing supporting fundamental Palestinian rights.

Apartheid is racism on steroids, institutionalized in Israel – now illegally codified under its Basic Law, defying international law, declaring the country to be the exclusive “nation-state of the Jewish people (and their) historic homeland…they have an exclusive right to…”

On Thursday, the measure was enacted by a 62 – 55 vote – officially adopting apartheid rule as the law of land, ending the myth of democratic rule once and for all.

Joint (Arab) List chairman Ayman Odeh denounced the bill, saying it “declare(s) (Israel) does not want us here,” affirming “Jewish supremacy…tell(ing) us that we will always be second-class citizens.”

Netanyahu praised enactment of the apartheid law, calling it “a defining moment.”

Indeed so – revealing Israeli viciousness in the cold light of day, its discriminatory nature, its contempt for Palestinians rights, officially denying what’s affirmed under international laws, norms and standards.

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July 20, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 2 Comments

US will not let Americans be questioned by Moscow, but demands extradition of 12 Russians

RT | July 19, 2018

Donald Trump has turned down Vladimir Putin’s proposal to allow Russian investigators interview Americans suspected of crimes, but still expects 12 Russians blamed of election meddling to arrive in the US, the White House said.

“It is a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it. Hopefully President Putin will have the 12 identified Russians come to the United States to prove their innocence or guilt, ” Sarah Sanders, White House spokeswoman, said in a statement on Thursday.

In case the White House may change its mind, the Senate unanimously approved the resolution, proposed by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) expressing the sense that the “United States should refuse to make available any current or former diplomat, civil servant, political appointee, law enforcement official or member of the Armed Forces of the United States for questioning by the government or Vladimir Putin.”

Following the summit with Trump in Finland’s capital in Helsinki earlier this week, the Russian President said Moscow may consider allowing the US Justice Department investigators to question the Russian citizens, who were charged with meddling in the US election in 2016.

However, Putin specified that such interaction may only take place if the Washington greenlights Moscow to interrogate American citizens, who are suspected of committing crimes in Russia. The list of those wanted by Russian law enforcement includes US ambassador to the country, Michael McFaul, and financier, Bill Browder, according to Russia’s Prosecutor Generals’ Office.

The treaty between Moscow and Washington, signed in the 1990-ies and allowing the interrogation of the suspects from the other country, was brought up by Putin during the media conference in Helsinki.

Earlier on Thursday, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-New York), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and four other Democratic congressmen sent an open letter to Trump, urging the president to publically reject the Russian offer. “You must make clear that you will not allow American citizens or anyone on American soil to endure interrogation or harassment at the hands of Putin’s thugs,” they wrote.

The idea of Trump allowing the Americans to be interrogated by Russian investigators has been slammed by Trump’s opponents in both Democratic and Republican camps in the past few days. He was warned that even thinking about fulfilling Putin’s “outrageous” offer would amount to “an abuse of power” and threatened him with impeachment.

July 20, 2018 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

Assessing the Putin-Trump Helsinki summit: neither a breakthrough nor a damp squib but a possible start towards detente

By Alexander Mercouris | The Duran | July 18, 2018

The summit meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin has finally taken place in Helsinki to thunderous condemnation on the part of many in the West.

Some talk luridly of the beginning of the end of the West  Others talk hysterically of treason.

Others see the summit as a damp squib, which will change nothing and which will leave the relationship between the US and Russia and between Russia and the West essentially unchanged, with the current state of hostility continuing indefinitely unabated.

In my opinion both views are wrong (the first obviously so) and both misunderstand, and in the case of the first wilfully misrepresent, what actually happened in Helsinki.

I discussed the background to the summit in an article I wrote a month ago for The Duran at a time when first reports that the summit was in the offing were beginning to circulate.

In that article I said that there was no possibility that Putin would make unilateral concessions to Trump over the status of Crimea or over the conflict in Ukraine and that the idea that he would agree to the US and Ukrainian proposal for a peacekeeping force to be deployed to the Donbass was certainly wrong and that that idea had already been categorically ruled out by the Russians.

I was also skeptical that there would be any sort of ‘grand bargain’ between the US and the Russians over Syria.

On the subject of Syria, in the weeks leading up to the summit there were some media reports suggesting that Donald Trump was coming under pressure from Israel, the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates to agree a deal at the summit with Putin whereby Russia would be granted sanctions relief and possibly even recognition of Crimea, US troops in Syria would be withdrawn, and in return the Russians would agree that Iranian forces would be expelled from Syria.

The Russians were clearly worried by these reports. Not only did they go out of their way to deny them, but Putin and Lavrov held talks in Moscow on 12th July 2018 with Ali Akbar Velayati, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s Special Adviser on International Relations, in order to reassure the Iranians that they were not true.

As I explained in my lengthy discussion of Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent visit to Moscow on Victory Day, it would in fact be wholly contrary to established principles of Russian foreign policy for the Russians to agree to a ‘grand bargain’ like this.

From the Russian point of view relations between Iran and Syria are relations between two sovereign nations and are none of Russia’s business.

Not only is it not Russia’s business to interfere in whatever relations Iran and Syria have with each other, but Russia lacks the means to do so anyway, with any request from Moscow to Tehran and Damascus to sever or downgrade their relations certain to be refused, and with Russia having no means to force either country to comply with such a request save through steps which would put at risk its relations with both of these countries.

All Russia would achieve were it ever to make such a request would be to damage its relations with Iran and Syria and lose face, bringing down upon itself accusations of bad faith from the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel when it inevitably failed to follow through.

Here is what I said about how Putin would respond to a demand from Netanyahu to rein in the Iranians in Syria if it were made to him during Netanyahu’s Victory Day visit, and nothing which has happened since would have caused Putin to change his position,

Contrary to what some people are saying, I think it is most unlikely that Putin would have given Netanyahu any assurances that Russia would act to rein in Iranian activities in Syria.

If Netanyahu asked Putin for such assurances (which I also think unlikely) Putin would almost certainly have told him what the Russians always say when faced with requests for such assurances: Iran and Syria are sovereign states and Russia cannot interfere in arrangements two sovereign states make with each other.

I suspect that the source of some of the stories about a ‘grand bargain’ between Putin and Trump involving the role of the Iranians in Syria is the regular discussions the Russians have with the Israelis, the Iranians and the Syrians whereby the Russians routinely pass on to the Iranians and the Syrians Israeli concerns about the presence of Iranian forces in Syria in particular locations as well as Israeli concerns about specific actions which the Iranians take.

A good example of these sort of discussions was an exchange between Putin and Netanyahu during Netanyahu’s most recent trip to Moscow on 11th July 2018. The Kremlin’s website reports Netanyahu and Putin saying the following to each other,

Benjamin Netanyahu: … Of course, our focus is on developments in Syria, the presence of Iran. This is not new to you. Several hours ago, an unmanned aerial vehicle entered the territory of Israel from Syria and was successfully brought down. I would like to emphasise that we will counter any and all attempts to violate our air or land borders.

Cooperation between us is an essential, key factor that can stabilise the entire region. So, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to meet with you and discuss these things.

Vladimir Putin: We are aware of your concerns. Let us discuss them in detail.

(bold italics added)

The Russians are not engaged here in discussions over some sort of ‘grand bargain’ to remove all Iranian troops from Syria, which as I have said they would see as counterproductive and impossible. Rather they are engaged in the classic diplomatic exercise of conflict prevention: keeping the Israelis, the Iranians and the Syrians informed about each other’s moves and red lines in order to prevent an uncontrolled escalation of the conflict between them, which might risk an all-out war, which nobody wants, and which the Russians are doing their best to prevent.

Recent reports of an understanding between the Israelis, the Iranians and the Syrians supposedly brokered by the Russians whereby Iranian forces agreed not to participate in the Syrian army’s ongoing military operations in south west Syria close to the Israeli occupied Golan Heights are a case in point.

The Iranians and the Syrians agreed to this, not because the Russians forced them to but because it is in their interest to. The Syrian army does not need Iranian help to defeat the Jihadis in southwest Syria so keeping the Iranians away from the area allows the Syrians to clear the area of the Jihadis without risking a military confrontation with Israel.

Needless to say, just as the Russians were not prepared to make concessions on Crimea and Donbass or on Syria, so they were not prepared to back Donald Trump’s ongoing campaign against Iran.

Not only are the Russians deeply committed to the JCPOA (which they partly brokered) but they are also committed to improving their relations with Iran. In addition, given that the ongoing US campaign against Iran is clearly intended to achieve regime change there, the Russians are bound to oppose it because they oppose regime change everywhere.

If the Russians were not prepared to make unilateral concessions to Trump on Crimea, Donbass, Syria or Iran, neither was Trump despite all the pre-summit scaremongering going to make unilateral concessions to Russians.

Stories that Trump would announce a cancellation of US military exercises in Europe or even a withdrawal of US troops from Europe had no basis in reality, and needless to say nothing like that happened. Nor did Donald Trump recognise Crimea as Russian or announce that he would lift sanctions on Russia.

The question of the sanctions and of the recognition of Crimea as Russian requires a little discussion since there is a widespread view that Trump is prevented by the Countering American Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATS) from either lifting the sanctions or from recognising Crimea as Russian

This is something of a misconception. In reality, as I discussed last year at the time when CAATS was enacted, CAATS is unconstitutional, as Donald Trump himself carefully explained in his Signing Statement, because of the unconstitutional restrictions it places on the President’s ability to conduct foreign policy.

If and when Donald Trump decides that the time has come to lift the sanctions and to recognise Crimea as Russian, then all he has to do is apply to the US Supreme Court to have CAATS set aside. His Signing Statement shows that he has had legal advice that it will do so.

That point has not yet been reached for political not legal reasons. In the meantime it is an error to think of CAATS as the insuperable constraint on Donald Trump’s actions that many appear to believe it is.

Trump did not commit himself to lift the sanctions, and he did not recognise Crimea as Russian, not so much because of the legal constraints placed upon him by CAATS but because doing so would have put at risk his political position in the US in advance of November’s mid-term elections, and because – compulsive deal-maker that he is – he is hardly likely to take such radical steps anyway without first getting something back in return.

One of the fundamental problems caused by the hysterical campaign which is being waged against Donald Trump is that it causes even many of Donald Trump’s supporters to believe that he is more supportive of Russia’s positions on a variety of issues than he really is. The result is that he is constantly suspected of being prepared to make unilateral concessions to the Russians when unilateral concessions are precisely the sort of things which as a self-professed master deal-maker he is known to most abhor.

Donald Trump is – as he repeatedly says – an America First nationalist, and his overriding priority is to make what he considers to be the best possible deal for the United States. Unilateral concessions just don’t come into it and it is a fundamental error to think that they do.

Putin understands all this very well, as he made clear during his joint press conference with Trump in Helsinki.

VladimirPutin: Regarding whom you can believe and whom you can’t, you shouldn’t believe anyone. What makes you think President Trump trusts me and that I fully trust him? He defends the interests of the United States of America. I defend the interests of the Russian Federation. We do have converging interests, and we are seeking common ground. We have issues that we disagree on so far. We are seeking options to settle these differences and make our work more constructive.

Which brings me to the fundamental reason for the summit, and why it is also a mistake in my opinion to see it as an empty show or a damp squib.

Donald Trump sought the summit – it is clear that the initiative for the summit came from him – because as he has repeatedly said since before he was elected President, prior to the summit he did not know Putin well.

The number of times Trump has said this is in fact practically beyond count. For example, he said it during a news conference in Miami on 27th June 2016,

I don’t know who Putin is. He said one nice thing about me. … I never met Putin….

He also said it during the second Presidential debate on 9th October 2016,

I don’t know Putin….

Trump has gone on to say the same thing again and again since. He has also repeatedly said that only time would tell whether he and Putin would get on with each other and would be able to come to agreements with each other.

A fundamental prerequisite for any successful negotiation is for the two parties to the negotiation to know each other’s minds so that a modicum of trust and understanding – essential if any agreement is to be reached – can be established between them.

As a businessman Trump knows this very well. He therefore needed to meet with Putin in a lengthy one-to-one encounter in order to get to know Putin properly so as to see whether Putin is in fact the sort of person he can negotiate and eventually do a deal with.

That is the reason why Trump insisted that his first meeting with Putin should take the form of a one-to-one encounter.

That by the way is absolutely standard practice in negotiations – both commercial negotiations and diplomatic negotiations – with leaders of negotiating teams often meeting privately in one-to-one meetings in order to get to know each other better to see whether a deal between them is even possible. Once a proper relationship between them is established the full negotiating teams can be brought into the negotiations in what in diplomacy are called ‘plenary sessions’. Needless to say it is during the plenary sessions – with each side’s experts present – that the details are discussed and ironed out.

Not only is this standard practice in negotiations – Putin does it all the time – but it is simply not true as some people are suggesting that there was no one else present in the room when Putin and Trump met with each other.

Both Putin and Trump obviously had interpreters present. Trump doesn’t speak Russian and Putin speaks English badly. The job of the interpreters – who are full time state officials – is not just to interpret what the leaders say to each other but also to prepare a written transcript (a “stenographic record”) of what they said.

Once this transcript is written up – something which normally takes no more than a few days – it is circulated to senior officials including in the US case to the US President’s two most important foreign policy advisers, Bolton and Pompeo. By now it is highly likely that Bolton and Pompeo have already seen and read through the transcript, and that they therefore know exactly what Putin and Trump said to each other.

Since the one-to-one meeting was first and foremost a “get-to-know” you session, no binding agreements would have been reached during it, and neither Putin nor Trump – each in their own way an experienced negotiator – would ever have imagined that they would be.

In summary, the one-to-one meeting between Putin and Trump is not a sign of some secret understanding between them; far less is it a case of an “intelligence asset” meeting his “controller” as some are crazily suggesting.

On the contrary it is further proof of what each of them has repeatedly said at various times: before the summit they did not know each other well, so that the summit was called precisely in order to give each of them the opportunity to get to know the other better.

The essential point about the summit is that Putin and Trump did find that they could deal with each other and did discover areas of common concern which in time it might be possible for them to build on as they search for areas of agreement between them. During their joint press conference Putin confirmed as much,

We do have converging interests, and we are seeking common ground. We have issues that we disagree on so far. We are seeking options to settle these differences and make our work more constructive.

As for the points of possible convergence, Putin in his usual structured way set them out,

I consider it important, as we discussed, to get the dialogue on strategic stability and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction on track. We made a note with a number of concrete proposals on this matter available to our American colleagues.

We believe that continued joint efforts to fully work through the military-political and disarmament dossier is necessary. That includes the renewal of the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, the dangerous situation surrounding the development of elements of the US global missile defence system, the implementation of the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, and the topic of deploying weapons in space.

We are in favour of continued cooperation in the sphere of combating terrorism and ensuring cybersecurity. Notably, our special services are working together quite successfully. The most recent example of that is the close operational interaction with a group of US security experts as part of the World Cup in Russia that ended yesterday. Contacts between the special services should be made systematic. I reminded the President of the United States about the proposal to reconstitute the anti-terror working group.

We covered regional crises extensively. Our positions do not coincide on all matters, but nonetheless there are many overlapping interests. We should be looking for common ground and working more closely, including at international forums.

Of course, we talked about regional crises, including Syria. With regard to Syria, restoring peace and harmony in that country could serve as an example of successful joint work.

Of course, Russia and the United States can take the lead in this matter and organise cooperation to overcome the humanitarian crisis and help refugees return to their hearths.

We have all the requisite elements for effective cooperation on Syria. Notably, Russian and American military have gained useful experience of interaction and coordination in the air and on land.

I would also like to note that after the terrorists are routed in southwest Syria, in the so-called “southern zone”, the situation in the Golan Heights should be brought into full conformity with the 1974 agreement on the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces.

This will make it possible to bring tranquillity to the Golan Heights and restore the ceasefire between the Syrian Arab Republic and the State of Israel. The President devoted special attention to this issue today…..

We paid special attention to the economy. Obviously, there is interest in cooperation in the business circles of both countries. The US delegation was one of the biggest at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in May. It consisted of over 500 US entrepreneurs.

To develop trade and investment, President Trump and I agreed to establish a high-level group that would unite captains of Russian and American business. Business people better understand how to go about mutually beneficial cooperation. Let them consider what can be done and make recommendations

The emphasis – as I discussed in my article of a month ago – is on arms control, though Putin also seems to have gone out of his way to reassure Trump that the restoration of the Syrian government’s control over southwest Syria would not put in jeopardy Israel’s position in the Golan Heights. In addition there also seems to have been a fair amount of discussion about future economic cooperation.

The result was an agreement between Putin and Trump to reopen channels of communication between their governments and to meet regularly with each other as they feel their way towards a rapprochement.

To be clear, that rapprochement will not mean and is not intended to mean that the US and Russia will cease to be adversaries and will become friends.

Instead what is being discussed are steps to bring to a stop the downward spiral in their relations, with each side obtaining a better understanding of the other side’s moves and red lines, so that hopefully geopolitical disasters like the 2014 Maidan coup can be avoided in future.

That would be a major advance over what has existed previously given that since the USSR collapsed in 1991 the US has refused to acknowledge that Russia has any right to any opinions at all, let alone to act independently or set out red lines.

Needless to say the more often Putin and Trump meet the more ‘normalised’ relations between the US and Russia become, with each meeting provoking less controversy than the previous one, with the whole process beyond a certain point becoming routine so that it attracts ever less attention and (hopefully) eventually becomes uncontroversial.

It is because the powerful forces in the US who scorn the idea of a ‘geopolitical ceasefire’ and want ever greater confrontation between the US and Russia do not want to see relations ‘normalised’ in this way that their reaction to the summit has been so hysterical.

As of the time of writing it is these people who in the media and on twitter are making the running. However it may be a mistake to see in the volume of the noise they are making a true reflection of their influence.

Last February’s Nuclear Posture Review suggests that there is a very powerful constituency within the US and specifically within the Pentagon which might potentially support the sort of ‘geopolitical ceasefire’ with Russia that Donald Trump appears to be gradually working towards.

The Nuclear Posture Review shows that some sections of the US military understand how dangerously overstretched the US has become as it responds simultaneously to challenges from Russia in Europe and from China in the Pacific.  Both Putin and Trump mentioned during their news conference the extent to which their respective militaries are already in contact with each other and are working well together

Donald Trump: Well, our militaries do get along. In fact, our militaries actually have gotten along probably better than our political leaders for years, but our militaries do get along very well and they do coordinate in Syria and other places. Ok? Thank you.

Vladimir Putin:……..On the whole, I really agree with the President. Our military cooperation is going quite well. I hope that they will continue to be able to come to agreements just as they have been…..

That may be a sign that there is more understanding of what Donald Trump is trying to do – at least within the US defence establishment – than the hysteria the Helsinki summit has provoked might suggest.

Overall, provided it is clearly understood that what Putin and Trump are working towards is a detente style ‘geopolitical ceasefire’ and not ‘friendship’ – and certainly not an alliance –  it can be said that their summit in Helsinki was a good start and a success.

What happens next depends on whether the forces of realism and sanity in the US can prevail over those of megalomania and hysteria. Given how entrenched the latter have become unfortunately no one can count on this.

However some sort of process which may in time lead to detente and an easing of tensions between the nuclear superpowers has begun. Given the circumstances in which it has been launched that is more than might have been expected even a short time ago, and for that one should be grateful.

July 20, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Russiagate Is Constructed of Pure Bullshit, No Facts

By Paul Craig Roberts • Institute For Political Economy • July 19, 2018

All day today the presstitute scum at NPR went on and on about President Trump, using every kind of guest and issue to set him up for more criticism as an unfit occupant of the Oval Office, because, and only because, he threatens the massive budget of the military/security complex by attempting to normalize relations with Russia. The NPR scum even got an ambassador from Montenegro on the telephone and made every effort to goad the ambassador into denouncing Trump for saying that Montenegro had strong and aggressive people capable of defending themselves and were not in need of sending the sons of American families to defend them. Somehow this respectful compliment about the Montenegro people was supposed to be an insult. The ambassador refused to be put into opposition to Trump. NPR kept trying, but got nowhere.

As a former Wall Street Journal editor I can say with complete confidence that NPR crossed every line between journalism and advocacy and no longer qualifies as a 501c3 tax-exempt public foundation.

The NPR assault on President Trump was part of an orchestration. The same story appeared in the Washington Post, long-believed to be a CIA asset. Most likely, it has appeared throughtout the presstitute media.

The ability of the military/security complex to control the explanations given to Americans, about which President Eisenhower warned Americans in 1961 to no effect, has produced an American population, a large percentage of which is brainwashed.

For example, in Caitln Johnston’s column, linked below, Kurt Eichenwald, who, in my opinion, is either a brainwashed idiot or a Deep State troll, says that the bottom line is that you either believe “our intelligence community,” which most definitely did not conclude what Eichenwald says they have concluded, “or you support Putin. You are either a patriot, a traitor or an idiot.”

Note that Eichenwald defines a patriot, as do the Democrats, many Republicans, the entirety of the US print and TV media and NPR, as a person who believes the self-serving lies issuing from the military/security complex in support of the $1,000 billion dollars annually taken from unmet US taxpayer needs to put in the pockets of the mega-rich for “defending” American from an orchestrated, but otherwise nonexistent, threat. If you don’t support this theft from the American people, you are, according to Eichenwald, “a traitor or an idiot.”

Caitlain Johnstone tells us how utterly stupid Americans are to fall for the line that it is treason to seek peaceful relations with a nuclear power that can destroy us. This means that presidents John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan were treasonous. This is the official position of the American presstitute media, the Democratic Party, and the military/security complex. It is also the position of a fake entity that misrepresents itself as “the American left.”

This utterly absurd position that to pursue peace is to commit treason is precisely the position that the corrupt American print and TV media and NPR represent. It is the position of the Democratic Party. It is the position of the Republicns in Congress, such as the warmongers John McCain and Lindsey Graham who are owned by the military/security complex.

Every American who believes the line that reducing tensions with Russia is treasonous is preparing nuclear Armageddon for themselves, their friends and families, and for the entire world.

Caitlin tells it to you like it is:

July 20, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 2 Comments

America’s Derangement Syndrome a Danger to World Peace

Strategic Culture Foundation – 20.07.2018

It is significant that Presidents Putin and Trump have both spoken out against “haters” among America’s political establishment who would rather see conflict between Russia and the United States instead of a normalization of bilateral relations.

Following their landmark, successful summit this week in Helsinki, Putin and Trump separately made public comments deploring the hostile hysterical reaction emanating from broad sections of the US political establishment and its dutiful, controlled news media.

Speaking in Moscow to his diplomatic corps, President Putin warned that there were “powerful forces” within the US which are ready to sacrifice the interests of their country and indeed the interests of world peace in order to pursue selfish ambitions.

For his part, Trump also slammed opponents in the US who “hated” to see him having a good meeting with Putin. “They would rather see a major confrontation with Russia, even if that could lead to war,” said the American president.

That’s it in a nutshell. Rather than welcoming the opening of a cordial dialogue between the US and Russia, the American political establishment seems to desire the deepening of already dangerous tensions between the world’s two nuclear superpowers. If that’s not deranged, then what is?

Significantly, the hostile reaction was overwhelmingly on the American side. Russians, by and large, welcomed the long-overdue summit between Trump and Putin, and the potential beginning of a new spirit of dialogue and partnership on a range of urgent global problems. Problems including arms control, nuclear proliferation, and working out political settlement to conflicts in the Middle East, Ukraine and the Korea Peninsula.

Few people would believe that these problems can be resolved easily. But the main thing is that the leaders of the US and Russia are at least attempting to open a dialogue for understanding and political progress. That in itself is a breakthrough from the impasse in bilateral relations which have frozen into a new Cold War since the previous US administration.

We dare say that most citizens of the world would also endorse this effort by Trump and Putin at improving the relations between the US and Russia.

Significantly too, according to recent polls, most ordinary Americans seem to be agreeable or neutral about Trump’s diplomatic engagement with Russia. According to a Gallup poll out this week, the vast majority of US citizens are far more concerned by economic woes than they are by anything untoward in American-Russian relations.

Thus, what we are seeing in the explosion of hostility towards the Trump-Putin summit is twofold. It is an American phenomenon, and secondly, it is an angst that animates only the political class in Washington and the news media corporations. This constituency, it is fair to say, is an elite faction within the US, albeit extremely powerful, made up of Washington politicos, the state intelligence apparatus, the corporate media and think tanks, and the deep state establishment of imperial planners and strategists. In short, this constituency is what some observers call the “War Party” that transcends the US ruling class.

Any reasonable person would have to welcome the friendly rapport engendered between Trump and Putin, and at least their initial commitment to working together on major matters of global security. The dangerous impasse of recent years in which dialogue was absent must be overcome for the sake of world peace.

Nevertheless, what has become crystal clear this week following the Helsinki summit is the “War Party” within the US is more determined than ever to sabotage any rapprochement with Russia.

No sooner had Trump returned to the US, he was assailed with a tidal wave of vilification for having met Putin in a mutual, agreeable manner. The most disturbing aspect was the recurring slander denigrating Trump as a “traitor”. The hysterical name-calling was conveyed by all the major news media, citing former intelligence officials and politicians from both Democrat and Republican parties.

Which again shows that in the US there is really only one party, the War Party.

President Trump was evidently forced into making an embarrassing U-turn over his views expressed in Helsinki. He made an unconvincing disavowal of statements made alongside Putin. Trump had been pilloried for appearing to dismiss allegations of Russian interference in the US elections while he was in Helsinki. Within 24 hours, he was forced into making a retraction, saying that he did – kind of – believe that Russia had meddled in US democracy.

What Trump was subjected to by the US establishment was akin to the worst years of McCarthyite Red-Baiting as seen during the Cold War in the 1950s and 60s, when Americans were mercilessly humiliated and ostracized for being “Communist sympathizers”. Today, official American paranoia is back with a vengeance. In truth, it never went away.

To be fair to Trump he has not completely capitulated to the American derangement syndrome. He has since said that he is looking forward to holding a second meeting with his Russian counterpart and continuing their promises of partnership as announced in Helsinki.

However, it is instructive that the American president is, in effect, being held hostage by powerful elements in the US ruling class who view any kind of detente with Moscow as an unforgivable betrayal.

Trump’s instincts are correct that the whole so-called Russia-gate mania is a phony contrivance. That has been orchestrated by the US establishment based on its refusal to accept Trump’s democratic mandate, as well as being based on an abiding hostility towards Russia as an independent world power.

The object lesson here is that the scope for improving US-Russia relations is limited, in spite of Trump’s favorable personal inclinations.

An entrenched animosity towards Russia remains among the American War Party, and the current president has evidently little room for implementing his avowed policy of normalizing relations.

Russia therefore cannot place too much faith in making progress towards peaceful relations, because all-too apparently President Trump has actually very little freedom to exercise his democratic mandate. That is a damning indictment on the charade of American formal democracy. A president is elected partly on the basis of peaceful engagement, but the unelected powers-that-be have another agenda of conflict which they are pursuing come hell or high water.

What’s more, the American derangement syndrome is becoming even more virulent, as can be adjudged from this week’s hysterical backlash over the successful Helsinki summit.

Trump’s willingness for dialogue with Russia is a welcome development. But the far more disturbing development is the full-tilt belligerence and derangement on display among the American political class. This American political schizophrenia is a clear and present danger to world peace. American citizens are as much a victim of the madness as are Russians and the rest of the world.

One positive aspect of the new phase of Cold War is that before it was largely concealed, and deceived, as a simplistic bifurcated confrontation of Americans versus Russians. Today it is evidently a situation of an American deranged elite versus the rest of the world, with the latter including ordinary American citizens who have much more to gain from standing in solidarity with Russian citizens.

July 20, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Does an Elected President or an Unelected Intelligence Community Govern the US?

By John Wight – Sputnik – 19.07.2018

The madness that gripped liberals and neocons within the Western political, media, and security establishments, over the sight of a US president having the temerity to treat his Russian counterpart – Vladimir Putin – as an equal rather than colonial vassal who knows his place, was and is more pronounced than anyone could have expected.

Indeed in the wake of the Helsinki Summit between US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, the tsunami of madness that ensued can only be described as unhinged. Treason, they cried — a surrender summit, they declaimed — to thus reveal that for such people peace and stability is tantamount to disaster while conflict and chaos is nirvana.

In light of this collective madness, spewed out from every mainstream US media platform in response to Helsinki, the backlash from within the Beltway reached such heights of intensity that we were witness to the astonishing sight of a sitting president going public with a mea culpa as he rolled back on his original denial — Trump claiming he had ‘misspoke’ during his joint press conference with the Russian president when the question of Russian state interference came up.

It confirms that whoever runs America it sure ain’t guy the people elect to run it.

The sad reality is that the most important and universally anticipated summit between a US president and Russian leader at any time in history, including the Cold War when the Soviet Union was still extant, ended up being dominated by the ongoing Mueller investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

This, by way of a reminder, is an investigation which is yet to produce or throw up one scintilla of concrete evidence in support of these allegations of Russian state interference.

In fact the Mueller investigation into what many credible voices have put down to a leak from within the DNC rather than a hack from without — a leak undertaken with the goal of shedding light on the corrupt shenanigans responsible for ensuring Hillary Clinton’s nomination over her Democratic Party opponent, Bernie Sanders, as candidate for the White House — has exposed a brutal truth: namely that the American people are passive spectators of the banquet of democracy in Washington rather than active participants.

And if you’ll permit me, while we’re on the subject, in response to Trump’s original assertion that he did not accept the conclusion of the US intelligence community that Russian interference did in fact occur, the tweet posted by popular Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle indubitably spoke for millions in America and beyond:

“Trump, in his madness, being able to point out the truth that the US can’t trust its own intelligence agencies, seems to me positively Shakespearean.”

So, yes, Trump’s opponents — led by Clintonite liberals whose sense of entitlement is consistent with ownership rather than service to a democratic process — are obsessed with the objective of ejecting him from office as soon as is humanly possible. And given the tenor of some of the rhetoric that has ensued in response to Helsinki, it would seem some are intent on doing so by any means necessary.

Worse, not only does the artillery barrage of rage unleashed in response to Helsinki leave no doubt that liberal/neocon America is bent on ejecting Trump from the White House before he serves out a full term, it suggests that it is set on conflict with Russia come what may. Because what we are dealing with here, ultimately, is a pathological attachment to the supposed verities of US and Western hegemony — with any state, country or government that dare resist it, even if on the basis of international law and the UN Charter, deemed beyond the pale.

References to Munich in 1938, to Neville Chamberlain’s ‘peace in our time’ moment, have been bandied around like confetti in response to Helsinki, reminding us of Talleyrand’s observation of the Bourbons: ‘They have learned nothing and forgotten nothing’.

The Helsinki Summit was not a re-run of Munich in 1938. However US liberal and fanatical neocon reaction to it certainly evinces the character of 1914, when war fever had Europe in its grasp, leading inexorably to an abyss into which millions of young predominately working-class men were pushed not in the cause of freedom, liberty or democracy, but in service to national exceptionalism and imperial domination.

This is precisely the animal we are dealing with today, a beast of insatiable and unquenchable appetite that will brook nothing less than full spectrum dominance. It is why the takeaway from the Helsinki Summit is not peace in our time it is Russia delenda est — i.e. Russia must be destroyed.

As George Orwell writes in his classic novel 1984: “The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that no past or future agreement with him was possible.”

In the last analysis, for the likes of Republican Senator John McCain, a US president exchanging missiles with his Russian counterpart is considered more in keeping with strong and proper leadership than one who would rather exchange a handshake.

It is madness, insanity and moral sickness combined, evidence of an empire that has entered its mad dog days as it struggles to cope with states that are no longer prepared to accept US economic, military, geopolitical and cultural hegemony as the settled will of God.

July 20, 2018 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Militarism, Russophobia, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

“Democratic Institutions?” – 10 Lessons from history that will destroy your trust in the CIA

Did everyone urging us to trust the CIA forget this happened? Or do they just want us to?
By Kit | OffGuardian | July 20, 2018

In the hysterical wake of the Trump-Putin Summit in Helsinki, President Donald Trump was roundly criticised in the media for taking the side of a “hostile state” over his own intelligence agencies. The Guardian referred to Mueller as a “heroic marine” who Trump disbelieved in favour of a “Russian dictator”.

In the past, when Trump has criticised the FBI, CIA or NSA he has been accused of “undermining faith in our institutions”. He’s been blamed for a collapse of trust in the government. But was this trust ever earned?

At every corner, we are urged to simply believe what we are told. Whether it is about believing Porton Down and MI6 about “novichok”, or believing the White Helmets about Sarin, or believing the FBI about “collusion”, we are presented with no facts, just assertions from authority. Those who question those assertions are deemed “bots” at best or “traitors” at worst.

Well here, fellow traitors, are the Top Ten reasons to question anything and everything the CIA – or any intelligence agency – has ever told you.

10. OPERATION PAPERCLIP – we’ll start with an oldie but a goody. In 1945, as the allies were advancing on Berlin from both sides, American Army Intelligence (this was before the CIA were founded) were “capturing” (read: recruiting) over 1,600 Nazi scientists and engineers. Most famous of them was Werhner von Braun… sorry, SS Sturmbannführer von Braun.

Whilst Allied soldiers died in the name of defeating fascism, the CIA’s predecessors were actively recruiting Nazis to come and build bombs for them.

9. OPERATION NORTHWOODS – The original, and important, precedent for accusations that the CIA et al. might engage in false-flag attacks. Operation Northwoods was a joint CIA/Pentagon proposal designed around the idea of escalating a war with Cuba by stoking public anger:

The proposals called for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or other U.S. government operatives to commit acts of terrorism against American civilians and military targets, blaming it on the Cuban government, and using it to justify a war against Cuba.

The idea was vetoed by President Kennedy. Fifty years later, the CIA and Pentagon still very much exist, but there’s no longer a Kennedy there to veto their more psychopathic ideas. Funny how that worked out.

8. ALLENDE COUP – In 1970 Salvador Allende was elected to the Chilean Presidency. A Physician and dedicated socialist, Allende was the first socialist president elected in South America. The Nixon-lead government of the United States immediately implemented “economic warfare” (as they do, to this day, against Cuba, Venezuela and others). The economic warfare did not work, and in 1973 Allende’s socialist party increased their parliamentary majority.

In response, the US “assisted” (read: instructed) the Chilean military in carrying out a coup. Allende allegedly shot himself, and Augusto Pinochet was placed in power as the first dictator in Chile’s history. Pinochet was a fascist who executed Chilean “subversives” by the thousand… and was the darling of Western leaders.

7. MOSADDEGH COUP – I could just copy-and-paste the above paragraph and the change the names for this entry. In 1953, the Prime Minister of Iran – Mohammad Mosaddegh, a democratic socialist – wanted to audit the income of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company with an eye to limiting foreign control of Iran’s oil. Within a few months, a joint US/UK operation – Operation Ajax – had removed Mosaddegh’s elected government and turned over full control of the state to the Shah. He was a brutal absolute monarch, but the question of Western control of Iran’s enormous oil reserves wasn’t raised again under his leadership.

6. OPERATION MOCKINGBIRD – A CIA operation that you could deduce existed, even if were not proven…. and it is proven. Mockingbird was the CIA project to coerce, train, control or plant CIA-friendly journalists in major news networks all across the country and in every medium. It’s existence is no longer disputed, thanks to FOIA releases of internal memos.

Mockingbird was allegedly shut down in 1976 – just after its existence was leaked – then CIA director George HW Bush claiming:

… effective immediately, CIA will not enter into any paid or contractual relationship with any full-time or part-time news correspondent accredited by any U.S. news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station.”

If you’re willing to stake anything on the word of a Bush, well, good luck with that. It’s a decision that flies in the face of historical evidence.

Remember this one when you hear about the need to trust the CIA from some pundit on CNN or MSNBC.

5. MASS SURVEILLANCE – It’s not really talked about much these days – what with the vast majority of the media and huge sections of the supposedly “anti-establishment” progressive left marching in-step with the Deep State – but the NSA spied on the whole world. The whole world. We know this to be true because an employee of the Deep State – Edward Snowden – leaked the information.

When challenged on this issue, representatives of the NSA and CIA lied. They lied to the public, and they lied to congress. When they were proven to have lied, they carefully qualified their lies.

A qualified lie is still a lie.

There is no indication they have stopped this illegal surveillance, but they may have passed laws to make it legal.

4. NAYIRAH – A classic of “atrocity propaganda”, Nayirah should be required reading material for anybody looking top hop on a pro-war bandwagon. Nayirah – who originally gave only her first name – was a fifteen year old girl who testified in front of the United States Congress. She claimed to be a volunteer from at a Kuwaiti hospital, and to be an eye-witness to Iraqi soldiers throwing Kuwaiti babies out of incubators and leaving them to die:

I volunteered at the al-Addan hospital with twelve other women who wanted to help as well. I was the youngest volunteer. The other women were from twenty to thirty years old. While I was there I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators and left the children to die on the cold floor. It was horrifying.

It was later revealed, not only that her full name was Nayirah al-Sabah and she was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador, but that she had never volunteered at a hospital and had seen no babies, soldiers or incubators. The whole thing was a fiction. A fiction paid for by the “Citizens of Free Kuwait”, an NGO (and obvious CIA front) set up to lobby the US to intervene in the Iraq-Kuwait war.

By the time this fiction was revealed it was too late, and the US had launched Operation Desert Storm…. which was, of course, the entire point of the exercise.

Remember this, when you hear about Assad gassing children or bombing kittens.

3. COINTELPRO – The FBI’s long running (and sometimes illegal) COunter INTELligence PROgram, COINTELPRO was a series of domestic projects carried out by the FBI (with cooperation from other agencies), over decades, with the aim of “surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations”.

These political organizations included anti-Vietnam protestors, civil rights groups (including both MLK and Malcolm X), socialists, Communist Party USA, environmental groups and feminist organizations.

The brief for these “disruptions” came straight from J. Edgar Hoover who wanted the FBI to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise Neutralize” people he perceived to be enemies of the state. The capital N in “neutralise” is no accident, as the FBI was implicated in the deaths of several Black Panther leaders, including Fred Hampton.

COINTELPRO didn’t just involve undermining left-wing groups, but also creating right-wing groups:

The FBI also financed, armed, and controlled an extreme right-wing group of former Minutemen, transforming it into a group called the Secret Army Organization that targeted groups, activists, and leaders involved in the Anti-War Movement, using both intimidation and violent acts.

Whether this was done to actually push a right-wing agenda, create a fake threat to step up police powers, or just sow division and chaos, is unclear. But it definitely happened.

Much like MKUltra (below), COINTELPRO was “officially shut down”, not long after the public found out it existed. However, the accidental outing of undercover policeman at a rally in Oakland, and recent relaxation of the laws limiting the FBI’s powers, means that COINTELPRO – or a modern successor – is very likely still a thing.

The aim of COINTELPRO was to “Neutralize” anti-establishment political figures – the vast majority of targets were left wingers – through “smearing individuals and groups using forged documents and by planting false reports in the media”. Remember that when you see Rand Paul called a “traitor” on twitter, or read about “Russian collusion”, or see Jeremy Corbyn branded an anti-Semite.

Remember that it is proven that the Deep State – our trusted intelligence agencies – pay people to plant false stories and discredit political opponents.

2. PROJECT MKULTRA – It might sound like something from a 70s sci-fi TV series, but it is unfortunately real. MKUltra was a series of (illegal) experiments carried out by the CIA from 1953 until it was *cough* “officially halted” in 1973 (just after its existence was leaked). The experiments were wide-ranging, achieved varied levels of success, but pretty uniformly brutal and unethical. They included, but were not limited too:

– Giving LSD to unsuspecting soldiers to see what happened.
– Mass hypnosis and mass suggestion
– Torture studies
– Studies on the effect of verbal and/or sexual abuse

We’ll never know the full range of studies, or how they were carried out, because in 1973 Richard Helms, then director of the CIA, ordered all MKUltra files destroyed. Only a fraction of them survive, thanks to FOIA requests, but it’s reasonable to assume they destroyed the worst parts and kept the more quote-unquote innocent files.

The CIA were not unique in this regard either, MKUltra was their baby – but there were parallel projects in other quarters of the deep state. Army Intelligence had Edgewood Arsenal, whilst the Department of Defense had Project 112. All these projects were “officially halted” in the early 70s… just around the time the public found out they existed.

The CIA (et al.) have strongly denied that these experiments and projects have ever been continued in any way, shape or form…but if you’d asked them in 1969, they would have denied they had ever taken place at all.

1. THE IRAQ WAR – This might not be the most callous, the most dangerous, the most recent, the most secret or the most insidious of the items on this list, nevertheless it is – must be – number one… because it is the most brazen.

The war was started in the name of “weapons of mass destruction” that everyone – everyone – knew never existed. They all knew the truth, but they lied.

The President lied, the vice-president lied, the secretary of defence lied, the secretary of state lied. The Prime Minister lied, the defence minister lied, the foreign minister lied. They lied to the press, the people and the UN.

The CIA, the NSA, the FBI – then headed by the “heroic marine” Robert Mueller – they lied too. The press repeated these lies, without question (see: Operation Mockingbird). They weren’t “misinformed”, they weren’t “mistaken”. They lied, they lied repeatedly – and provably – and they did it in order to start a war, make money, take control, spread influence.

One million Iraqis died.

Our ruling class is peopled with psychopaths and war criminals, who have so little regard for the people they lie to they recycle the same childishly simple falsehoods to further their evil agenda again and again and again. They tried the same in Libya… it worked again. They tried again in Syria… luckily, it didn’t work there.

Our “democratic institutions” lie to start wars. There’s no reason to think they aren’t doing – or wouldn’t do – the same thing about Iran, North Korea… or Russia.

That’s our list, and there’s really only one lesson you can take away from it:

These people, agencies and institutions deserve no trust, have earned no trust and have abused every micron of trust ever placed in them. To suggest we have a duty to believe them – or that they have ever done anything to serve the public good – is to live in a dream world.

This list is not a full catalogue of Deep State crimes, it would be 1,000s of entries long if it were, but these ten are important. They’re important because they are admitted, proven and beyond debate. They are important because they show the many facets of dishonesty, hypocrisy and abuses of power that Intelligence agencies engage in, and they are important because they form the best riposte to the disingenuous clamour for “trust” in our “democratic institutions”.

Never trust the CIA, they have proved they don’t deserve it.

July 20, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

Closer ties with Ukraine, Georgia would have dire consequences for NATO: Putin

Press TV – July 19, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed his strong opposition to the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) eastward, warning the US-led military alliance against unspecified consequences in case it seeks to forge closer ties with Ukraine and Georgia.

Addressing a meeting of Russian ambassadors and envoys in Moscow on Thursday, Putin said there was a need to rebuild trust in Europe, and that NATO’s attempts concerning deployment of military contingents and infrastructure near Russia’s western frontiers were not acceptable.

“We will respond appropriately to such aggressive steps, which pose a direct threat to Russia,” the Russian leader said.

He added, “Our colleagues, who are trying to aggravate the situation, seeking to include, among others, Ukraine and Georgia in the orbit of the alliance, should think about the possible consequences of such an irresponsible policy.”

Putin said he had discussed the matter with his US counterpart Donald Trump at a summit in the Finnish capital of Helsinki on Monday.

Russia and Georgia fought a war in August 2008 over the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia. Moscow continues to garrison troops there and to support another breakaway region, Abkhazia.

The strategic Black Sea peninsula of Crimea declared independence from Ukraine on March 17, 2014 and formally applied to become part of Russia following a referendum, in which 96.8 percent of participants voted in favor of the move.

After Crimea rejoined Russia, an armed conflict broke out in eastern Ukraine when Kiev launched military operations to quell pro-Russia sentiments there. Kiev accuses Moscow of involvement in the conflict. Russia, in return, has denied the charge.

The US and its Western allies have imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russia over its reunification with Crimea and the Ukrainian crisis, which has killed about 10,000 people since it began in 2014.
German soldiers attend a ceremony to welcome the German battalion being deployed to Lithuania as part of NATO deterrence measures against Russia in Rukla, Lithuania, on February 7, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

Earlier this year, a senior member of the Italian Five Star Movement (M5S) and vice president of the European Parliament told Russia’s Sputnik news agency that the presence of NATO troops close to Russia’s borders contributes to an arms race, and maintains an atmosphere of mistrust between Moscow and the alliance.

Massimo Castaldo also called for the easing of tensions between NATO and Moscow.

“I think that we should bet on the gradual easing of tension, including with the help of signals that we send as NATO, hoping to restore useful and constructive relations [with Russia],” Castaldo pointed out.

July 20, 2018 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

Trump administration officials slam Hamas in new op-ed

MEMO | July 20, 2018

Senior US officials, including President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, have once again attacked Hamas in a new op-ed published in the Washington Post today.

The comment piece is published as jointly authored by Kushner, Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, and US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.

“The nightmare of Hamas’ leadership is continuing and needlessly prolonging the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza,” states the op-ed, which does not once refer to Israel’s military occupation or internationally-condemned blockade of the territory.

“Until governance changes or Hamas recognises the state of Israel, abides by previous diplomatic agreements and renounces violence, there is no good option,” the officials add.

In a reference to plans widely rumoured to being prepared by the Trump administration, the officials write: “Life could significantly improve in short order for the Palestinian people if Hamas allowed it…If Hamas demonstrates clear, peaceful intentions — not just by word but, more importantly, by deed — then all manner of new opportunities becomes possible.”

The op-ed also claims that the US can help Palestinians “integrate into a thriving regional economy” but makes no reference to the Palestinians’ political rights or right to self-determination.

Responding to the op-ed, Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said the latest salvo from the Trump administration shows American officials are “mere spokesmen for the Israeli occupation”.

“Kushner and Greenblatt are adopting the Israeli narrative, and their aggression against Hamas points to the contempt of the American government,” he added.

July 20, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Colombia’s New Defense Minister To Impose Permit Requirement for Protests

teleSUR | July 19, 2018

Colombia’s incoming Defense Minister Guillermo Botero is planning to “regulate” anti-government protests by only allowing demonstrations if they are previously approved by authorities. The announcement was made by Botero during a summit attended by USAID director Mark Green and former U.S. vice-president Joseph Biden.

Also attending the summit, president-elect Ivan Duque, said that “opposition is important to scrutinize, make demands and to criticize. But the invitation is that we pull together for a future for us all.”

Botero, who will be in charge of both the National Police and military, seemed to agree, saying public protests should “represent the interests of all Colombians and not just a small group.”

Restricting anti-government protests, which appears to go in contradiction to some parts of the ongoing peace process, was the first proposal made by Botero after being appointed by Duque.

Outgoing president Juan Manuel Santos vowed to release jailed participants in protests that turned violent during major social tensions between neglected or discriminated communities and the authorities, according to Colombia Reports.

Over the past decade, the overwhelming majority of protests were held by historically neglected groups, mainly Indigenous groups and African-descendant communities. They also included labor unions, campesinos, teachers, as well as political opponents to the government.

Botero’s proposal comes amid a surge of assassinations and death threats against human rights defenders and social activists.

Opposition Senator Alexander Lopez, who earlier this year survived an alleged assassination attempt, took to Twitter to voice his concern over the restrictive measure. “Botero hasn’t even taken office and he’s already persecuting social protest. He wants us to just raise our arms for him to do what he wants with us.”

Colombia’s inspector general, Fernando Carrillo, has accused elements of the country’s police and military of collaborating with criminal organizations to assassinate human rights defenders and community leaders. “State agents are co-opted by criminal organizations that are eliminating social leaders,” the official said on Wednesday.

Carrillo’s office is one of the state departments tasked with investigating the murders of at least 311 social leaders since 2016.

Colombia: State Agents Accused of Murdering Social Leaders

July 20, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | 1 Comment