Aletho News


Israel wages a New War of Attrition in Jerusalem

“Jesus is a monkey”
By Jonathan Cook | The National | December 2, 2018

Czech president Milos Zeman offered Benjamin Netanyahu’s ultra-nationalist government a fillip during his visit to Israel last week. He inaugurated a cultural and trade centre, Czech House, just outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls.

At the opening, he expressed hope it would serve as a precursor to his country relocating its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. If so, the Czech Republic would become the first European state to follow US President Donald Trump’s lead in moving the US embassy in May.

It is this kind of endorsement that, of late, has emboldened Mr Netanyahu’s government, the Israeli courts, Jerusalem officials and settler organisations to step up their combined assault on Palestinians in the Old City and its surrounding neighbourhoods.

Israel has never hidden its ambition to seize control of East Jerusalem, Palestinian territory it occupied in 1967 and then annexed, as a way of preventing a viable Palestinian state from emerging.

Israel immediately began building an arc of Jewish settlements on Jerusalem’s eastern flank to seal off its Palestinian residents from their political hinterland, the West Bank.

More than a decade ago, it consolidated its domination with a mammoth concrete wall that cut through East Jerusalem. The aim was to seal off densely populated Palestinian neighbourhoods on the far side, ensuring the most prized and vulnerable areas – the Old City and its environs – could be more easily colonised, or “Judaised”, as Israel terms it.

This area, the heart of Jerusalem, is where magnificent holy places such as the Al Aqsa mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are to be found.

Under cover of the 1967 war, Israel ethnically cleansed many hundreds of Palestinians living near the Western Wall, a retaining wall of the elevated Al Aqsa compound that is venerated in Judaism. Since then, Israeli leaders have grown ever hungrier for control of the compound itself, which they believe is built over two long-lost Jewish temples.

Israel has forced the compound’s Muslim authorities to allow Jews to visit in record numbers, even though most wish to see the mosque replaced with a third Jewish temple. Meanwhile, Israel has severely limited the numbers of Palestinians who can reach the holy site.

Until now, Israel had mostly moved with stealth, making changes gradually so they rarely risked inflaming the Arab world or provoking western reaction. But after Mr Trump’s embassy move, a new Israeli confidence is tangible.

On four fronts, Israel has demonstrated its assertive new mood. First, with the help of ever-more compliant Israeli courts, it has intensified efforts to evict Palestinians from their homes in the Old City and just outside its historic walls.

Last month, the supreme court handed down a ruling that sanctions the eviction of 700 Palestinians from Silwan, a dense neighbourhood on a hillside below Al Aqsa. Ateret Cohanim, a settler organisation backed by government-subsidised armed guards, is now poised to take over the centre of Silwan.

It will mean more Israeli security and police protecting the settler population and more city officials enforcing prejudicial planning rules against Palestinians. The inevitable protests will justify more arrests of Palestinians, including children. This is how bureacratic ethnic cleansing works.

The supreme court also rejected an appeal against a Palestinian family’s eviction from Sheikh Jarrah, another key neighbourhood near the Old City. The decision opens the way to expelling dozens more families.

B’Tselem, an Israeli rights group, characterised these rulings as “sanctioning the broadest move to dispossess Palestinians since 1967”.

At the same time, Israel’s parliament approved a law to accelerate the settler takeover.

Over many years, Israel created a series of national parks around the Old City on the pretext of preserving “green areas”. Some hem in Palestinian neighbourhoods to stop their expansion while others were declared on the land of existing Palestinian homes to justify expelling the occupants.

Now the parliament has reversed course. The new law, drafted by another settler group, Elad, will allow house-building in national parks, but only for Jews.

Elad’s immediate aim is to bolster the settler presence in Silwan, where it has overseen a national park next to Al Aqsa. Archaeology has been co-opted to supposedly prove the area was once ruled by King David while thousands of years of subsequent history, most especially the current Palestinian presence, are erased.

Elad’s activities include excavating under Palestinian homes, weakening their foundations.

A massive new Jewish history-themed visitor centre will dominate Silwan’s entrance. Completing the project is a $55 million cable car, designed to carry thousands of tourists an hour over Silwan and other neighbourhoods, rendering the Palestinian inhabitants invisible as visitors are delivered effortlessly to the Western Wall without ever having to encounter them.

The settlers have their own underhand methods. With the authorities’ connivance, they have forged documents to seize Palestinian homes closest to Al Aqsa. In other cases, the settlers have recruited Arab collaborators to dupe other Palestinians into selling their homes.

Once they gain a foothold, the settlers typically turn the appropriated home into an armed compound. Noise blares out into the early hours, Palestinian neighbours are subjected to regular police raids and excrement is left in their doorways.

After the recent sale to settlers of a home strategically located in the Old City’s Muslim quarter, the Palestinian Authority set up a commission of inquiry to investigate. But the PA is near-powerless to stop this looting after Israel passed a law in 1995 denying it any role in Jerusalem.

The same measure is now being vigorously enforced against the few residents trying to stop the settler banditry.

Adnan Ghaith, Jerusalem’s governor and a Silwan resident, was arrested last week for a second time and banned from entering the West Bank and meeting PA officials. Adnan Husseini, the Palestinian minister for Jerusalem, is under a six-month travel ban by Israel.

Last week dozens of Palestinians were arrested in Jerusalem, accused of working for the PA to stop house sales to the settlers.

It is a quiet campaign of attrition, designed to wear down Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents. The hope is that they will eventually despair and relocate to the city’s distant suburbs outside the wall or into the West Bank.

What Palestinians in Jerusalem urgently need is a reason for hope – and a clear signal that other countries will not join the US in abandoning them.

December 2, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s talk about the lawsuit against Airbnb

By Kathryn Shihadah | Palestine Home | December 2, 2018

The global tourism company Airbnb decided this week to de-list properties it has offered for rent in Israeli settlements. Amnesty International has been pushing for Airbnb to make this move and praised it as “a stand against discrimination, displacement, and land theft.”

Ha’aretz reports that a group of American Jews now plan to sue Airbnb for religious discrimination.

Since the plaintiffs are Jewish, the lawsuit implies a charge of anti-Semitism – an accusation that has become more and more common lately.

A great deal of controversy has sprung up around the “Israel-centric” definition of anti-Semitism that essentially forbids even legitimate criticism of Israel.

This restrictive definition has even found its way into Congress as the (widely criticized) “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act” and similar bills in a number of states and even countries.

While America awaits Airbnb’s court date in Delaware, the court of public opinion is already in session. If we are going to judge this case, we’d better get familiar with the details. Drawing conclusions without understanding context would be irresponsible.

The charges

According to the lawsuit, Airbnb is in violation of the U.S. Fair Housing Act by discriminating on religious grounds.

Robert Tolchin, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, explained: “Airbnb has made a religion- and nationality-based decision…’We will not list for Jews in the West Bank.’” He elaborated, “It should be equal access for all.”

Some of the plaintiffs, among them Israeli-Americans, claim to own homes in West Bank settlements, and want to rent them out; others say they want to be future clients. All view Airbnb’s policy as “redlining” – targeting only Jewish-owned properties to be de-listed, while allowing Muslims and Christians in the West Bank to continue renting their homes.

They insist that this amounts to Airbnb taking sides in the dispute over the West Bank, where Palestinians hope to establish a state and which Israel captured in 1967, along with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction against Airbnb to “block future discrimination against Jews and Israelis,” plus damages to cover lost rental income and legal fees.

Let’s talk about the charges.


Tolchin claims that Airbnb’s decision to de-list settlement rental properties was “religion- and nationality-based,” and that Muslims’ and Christians’ homes are not subject to the policy. Among the West Bank population, only Jews are subject to the policy.

Airbnb insists that those specific properties – Jewish-owned homes in the West Bank – “contribute to human suffering.” Tolchin does not address this point in his statement, but it is an important part of the context.

The West Bank is part of occupied Palestinian Territory, not Israel. The land under question was confiscated from Palestinians and appropriated by Israelis. In violation of international law, Israel transferred some of its citizens into occupied territory to live on Jewish-only settlements.

To be clear, only Israeli Jews – not Israeli Christians or Israeli Muslims – live on these settlements. Airbnb’s “redlining” targeted not a religious group, but a body of people who live illegally on someone else’s land.

All Israeli Jews living on West Bank settlements – not just Airbnb hosts, but all 600,000 – live illegally on someone else’s land.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have lost their homes, businesses, farms, and orchards due to settlements; settlers do indeed “contribute to human suffering.”

Christians and Muslims in the West Bank are not subject to the de-listing policy – not because Airbnb is showing religious preference, but because these groups are casualties of injustice, not perpetrators.

Equal opportunity?

The plaintiffs are either rental home hosts in settlements, or potential customers. Thanks to Airbnb’s new policy, it will not be possible to arrange rentals on their website.

Conversely, thanks to Israel’s policy, Palestinians have not been allowed to live in their homes or farm in their fields for over 50 years. Instead, they live as refugees.

Attorney Tolchin’s plea for “equal access for all” drips with irony, as the whole point of settlements is that they are Palestinian-free zones on Palestinian land. “Equal access” in this context means “all Jews are equally welcome, and non-Jews are equally unwelcome.”

Likewise the “damages” the plaintiffs seek – lost rental income – pale in comparison to the damages Palestinians experienced in the loss of their homes, the decades of lost income, and the casualties of justice, innocence, and hope.

Taking sides?

The other accusation Tolchin mentions is Airbnb’s sin of taking sides.

Airbnb had a moral obligation to take sides when it learned the facts. Airbnb did not choose to pick on Jews, but took action against oppression, knowing that to stay neutral would be to side with the oppressive regime.

The summation

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Airbnb are not able to substantiate the accusation of religious discrimination, since Airbnb’s policy is in reality based not on religion, but on international law and human suffering.

The allegation of unequal access is likewise feeble: no one has less access to the properties in question than the Palestinians who actually own the land.

As for the accusation that Airbnb has taken sides, that one is true – it is just not illegal or punishable. In fact, it is a moral imperative.

The verdict

The court of public opinion, having explored context, is now free to deliberate.

How do you find the defendant?


Action Alert: tell to follow Airbnb in de-listing Israeli settlement properties

The humanitarian impact of Israeli settlements in Hebron city

Israeli settlers, with IDF complicity, have destroyed 800,000 olive trees since 1967

December 2, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 1 Comment

Scolding the Art World for Showcasing ‘Conspiracy Theories,’ The Nation Doubles Down on Its Defense of the Official 9/11 Narrative

By Ted Walter | Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth | November 7, 2018

Last week, I came across something I didn’t think I would ever see. But in hindsight, it shouldn’t have surprised me: one of the country’s leading left publications, The Nation, rebuking New York art museums and galleries for showcasing critical perspectives on official narratives of major events — or what we’ve come to know as “conspiracy theories” ever since the media’s embrace of the CIA campaign in the 1960s to discredit critics of the Warren Commission.

The article, “Conspiracy Theories Are Not Entertainment,” takes aim mainly at two exhibitions that opened in September: “Everything Is Connected: Art and Conspiracy,” on display at the Met Breuer until January 6, 2019, and Fredric Riskin’s “9/11: The Collapse of Conscience,” which ran from September 11 to October 13 at the Ronald Feldman Gallery in Soho.

Zachary Small, a young “arts journalist” and “theatremaker,” purports to be writing art criticism, but his overarching point is a purely political one: Art institutions should not legitimize, intentionally or unintentionally, anything considered by the mainstream to be “conspiracy theory.” Doing so, he argues, “mutes the destabilizing and degrading effects of conspiracy on democracy.”

Small is not entirely opposed to the idea of “Everything Is Connected.” His complaint, rather, is against the show’s combining of pieces that “take an investigative approach,” documenting things like “the very real existence of government-sanctioned torture and money laundering,” with works of “artistic interpretation” that “revel in the passion of discontent” or that “glorify the notion that the September 11 attacks were an inside job.” (The latter are the paintings of Sue Williams, one of which shows the Twin Towers with the word “nano-thermite,” somewhat smudged out, hovering almost playfully above them.) Small insists that this mix “helps mollify the viewer toward conspiracy.”

But who decides what is “very real” versus “conspiracy” toward which the viewer must not be mollified? Perhaps that line is not so sharply defined for curators Douglas Eklund and Ian Alteveer, who apparently want to nudge viewers to be more skeptical of official narratives. In the final moment of the show’s video preview, Eklund affirms: “I would like to bring back the idea of art as a way of jolting people to get rid of their preconceived notions and to hopefully question more.”

Instead of probing his own preconceived notions about the topics explored in the art, Small berates Eklund and Alteveer for believing “there is value in scavenging through the most contested chapters of American history to find plausible alternatives to today’s hard truths.” In Small’s view of the world, it seems, everything he believes is “hard truth.” Everything he doesn’t believe is “conspiracy theory.”

The blinding effect and harsh consequences of Small’s immovable boundary between truth and falsehood are on full display in the second part of his piece for The Nation, which turns into a diatribe against Fredric Riskin and his installation “9/11: The Collapse of Conscience.” The primary target of Small’s attack is Riskin’s contention that the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers and Building 7 collapsed not because of the airplane crashes, but from controlled demolition.

Partway into his assault, Small lays bare his extreme lack of knowledge about the science of the World Trade Center’s destruction when he alleges that Riskin “baldly ignores the available evidence, produced by MIT’s Civil Engineering Department less than a month after the attack.” Small goes on to call the omission of this evidence “purposefully irresponsible.”

In fact, the article by MIT professor Thomas Eagar and his research assistant, Christopher Musso, was positing a theory of the Twin Towers’ collapse that was in vogue in the first year after 9/11 but that official investigators would rule out by 2004. Eagar was hypothesizing that the “weak points . . . were the angle clips that held the floor joists between the columns on the perimeter wall and the core structure.” “As the joists . . . gave way and the outer box columns began to bow outward,” Eagar speculated, “the floors above them also fell.”

The government’s present-day explanation, though just as devoid of evidentiary support, is diametrically contrary to Eagar’s scenario. Today, the story goes that the angle clips connecting the floors and columns did not fail. Consequently, the floor trusses, sagging from the heat of the fires, pulled the perimeter columns inward — not outward — until they buckled. The failure of one wall of columns then caused the other columns to fail. The top section of each tower then fell straight down and completely destroyed the lower 60 and 90 stories of intact structure, respectively. (Never mind that the South Tower’s top section actually tips away from the rest of the structure before spontaneously disintegrating into a midair fireworks display of pulverized concrete and steel projectiles.)

Besides providing an outdated theory and a few corrections to some common misconceptions — indeed, jet fuel fires cannot burn hot enough to melt steel and steel doesn’t need to melt in order for structural failures to occur — Eagar’s article offers little substance compared with today’s large body of literature about the World Trade Center’s destruction. If Small had done any meaningful research on the subject, he surely would not have presented Eagar’s article as the totality of “available evidence.” Nor would he have implied that all of the available evidence, or even a sufficient amount of evidence to draw any conclusions, could be produced less than a month after the event. This notion flies in the face of forensic investigation principles.

Nevertheless, Small is unrestrained in his criticism of Riskin, accusing him of “pseudo-scientific observations” that devolve into “vengeful incoherence.” On the evidence of his scant research, Small is probably unaware (or he chooses to omit) that each of the statements included in Riskin’s three panels on the World Trade Center’s destruction — while delivered in Riskin’s own idiosyncratic, poetic style — echoes the arguments made by thousands of architects, engineers, and scientists.

“Building 7 . . . goes limp in a free-fall descent with pyroclastic flows of dust. Free-fall is impossible for a naturally collapsing building. It becomes the only steel structured skyscraper in the world to ever collapse due to fire.” Support for Riskin’s claims, most of which are undisputed factual observations, can be found in 9/11: Explosive Evidence — Experts Speak Out, World Trade Center 7, Part 5, and in several peer-reviewed papers, including “The collapse of WTC 7: A re-examination of the ‘simple analysis’ approach” in the Challenge Journal of Structural Mechanics. (Fredric Riskin, 9/11 The Collapse of Conscience, 20″ X 27”, Panel 24 of 43, Printed on kozo-backed Gampi using pigment inks. Courtesy the artist and Ronald Feldman Gallery, NY.)

“A structure collapsing upon itself, floor by floor, is not the path of least resistance. How is it the towers didn’t simply snap and fall like a tree struck by lightening? Instead, they pulverized.” Support for Riskin’s claims can be found in 9/11: Explosive Evidence — Experts Speak Out, World Trade Center Twin Towers, Part 3 and Part 5, and in several peer-reviewed papers, including “Some Misunderstandings Related to WTC Collapse Analysis” in the International Journal of Protective Structures. (Fredric Riskin, 9/11 The Collapse of Conscience, 20″ X 27”, Panel 23 of 43, Printed on kozo-backed Gampi using pigment inks. Courtesy the artist and Ronald Feldman Gallery, NY.)

“9/11 dust is different. It contains nano-engineered explosives. Sometimes the smallest possible element tips the scales into reveal.” Support for Riskin’s claims can be found in 9/11: Explosive Evidence — Experts Speak Out, Ground Zero, Part 3, and in several peer-reviewed papers, including “Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe” in The Open Chemical Physics Journal. (Fredric Riskin, 9/11 The Collapse of Conscience, 20″ X 27”, Panel 16 of 43, Printed on kozo-backed Gampi using pigment inks. Courtesy the artist and Ronald Feldman Gallery, NY.)

When Small is not ineptly attempting to impugn the scientific validity of Riskin’s exposition, he is leveling gratuitous insults at so-called “conspiracy theorists,” a pejorative meant to degrade and dehumanize its target. As if artwork about 9/11 should not be shown on 9/11, Small blasts the Feldman Gallery for launching its show on the September 11th anniversary, likening the day to “Christmas for conspiracy theorists.” I would like to know what is Christmas-like about a father or a brother calling out for justice on the anniversary of their loved one’s murder.

Sadly for the state of our understanding of what actually took place on 9/11 — a day that almost any Nation reader will agree was used to launch a series of unjustified and disastrous wars that continue to this day — Small is not The Nation’s first writer to spew such vitriol at those who question the official narrative of that seminal event. In a 2006 diatribe, “The 9/11 Conspiracy Nuts,” the late Alexander Cockburn made several remarkable statements wholly negating “the available evidence.” The most notable of those was his certain declaration that “People inside who survived the collapse didn’t hear a series of explosions.”

Cockburn posed as being well-versed on the claims of the 9/11 Truth Movement. But evidently he did not read, or he chose to ignore, the paper published two weeks earlier by Graeme MacQueen, a retired professor of Religious Studies and Peace Studies at McMaster University in Canada, titled “118 Witnesses: The Firefighters’ Testimony to Explosions in the Twin Towers.”

Based on his methodical analysis of transcribed testimonies from 503 members of the New York Fire Department (FDNY), which were made public in 2005 after The New York Times sued the City of New York for their release (no, not all of the evidence could be produced in less than a month), MacQueen found that 118 out of the 503 FDNY personnel interviewed “perceived, or thought they perceived, explosions that brought down the Towers.” Still, it’s not difficult to imagine Cockburn reading these oral histories and proceeding to lecture first responders like Captain Karin DeShore on how the phenomena she witnessed were not explosions taking down the World Trade Center. DeShore recounted in her interview:

“Somewhere around the middle of the World Trade Center, there was this orange and red flash coming out. Initially it was just one flash. Then this flash just kept popping all the way around the building and that building had started to explode. The popping sound, and with each popping sound it was initially an orange and then red flash came out of the building and then it would just go all around the building on both sides as far as I could see. These popping sounds and the explosions were getting bigger, going both up and down and then all around the building.”

The irony is that Cockburn and now Small are guilty of the very thing they seem to be crusading against: people drawing conclusions about world-changing events based more on their biases than on careful evaluation of evidence — what amounts to the ultimate act of hypocrisy for journalists.

Of course, Cockburn and Small are far from the only journalists guilty of this ultimate act of hypocrisy. The New York Times published its review of “Everything Is Connected” one day after The Nation’s review was published. More measured and positive in his assessment, Times writer Jason Farago reserves his only stridently negative criticism for the aforementioned piece by Sue Williams. It comes as no surprise that he brandishes the same demeaning contempt:

“And sometimes the artists here edge too close to the nutcases’ side for comfort. Sue Williams has recently painted churning, color-saturated works evoking the destruction of the World Trade Center; I bridled at one canvas’s inclusion of the word ‘nanothermite,’ an explosive often mentioned by conspiracy theorists who doubt that planes felled the twin towers.”

It is telling that of all the topics covered in the exhibition, the word “nano-thermite” —  an incendiary found in large quantities in the World Trade Center dust, as documented in a 2008 peer-reviewed academic paper and corroborated by the presence of previously molten iron spheres, by “Swiss cheese” steel members, by numerous eyewitness accounts of molten metal, and by liquid metal seen pouring out of the South Tower — is what causes Farago to bridle and resort to epithets like “nutcase” and “conspiracy theorist.” I would wager that Farago has not bothered to investigate why so-called “conspiracy theorists” believe that nano-thermite was used in the World Trade Center’s destruction.

To their immense credit, curators Douglas Eklund and Ian Alteveer refrain almost entirely from using the terms “conspiracy theorist” and even “conspiracy theory” throughout their exhibit. And herein lies the fundamental source of Small’s and Farago’s disgust: Sue Williams’ pieces about 9/11 are featured in a show whose subtitle is “Art and Conspiracy,” not “Art and Conspiracy Theory.” The exhibit’s introductory placard eschews the term “conspiracy theory” in favor of praiseful commentary. The curators write that even the “fantastical works” on display “unearth uncomfortable truths” and that “the exhibition reveals, not coincidentally, conspiracies that turned out not to be theories at all, but truths.”

Zachary Small asserts that the Met Breuer and the Feldman Gallery are “whetting their audience’s appetite for distrust, disdain, and disaffection,” thus feeding “conspiracy theories” that destabilize and degrade our democracy. I assert these developments that Small is concerned about are fed not by the actions of the Met Breuer and the Feldman Gallery, but by the cataclysmic political crimes of the past half century and the refusal of news outlets like The Nation to help expose them.

Ted Walter is the director of strategy and development for Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth). He is the author of AE911Truth’s 2015 publication Beyond Misinformation: What Science Says About the Destruction of World Trade Center Buildings 1, 2, and 7 and its 2016 publication World Trade Center Physics: Why Constant Acceleration Disproves Progressive Collapse and co-author of AE911Truth’s 2017 preliminary assessment of the Plasco Building collapse in Tehran. Ted moved to New York City two weeks before 9/11 and has lived there for most of the past 17 years. He holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

December 2, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

US Destabilizes Iraq for Decades, US House of Representatives Has New Plan for Stabilization

By Adam Dick – Ron Paul Institute – November 28, 2018

The United States attacked Iraq in the Gulf War in 1990, followed by years of US bombing of Iraq. Then, in 2003, the US invaded and conquered Iraq in the Iraq War. Since then, many US troops have been stationed in Iraq, along with a huge contingent of US government employees and contractors from a variety of agencies, seeking to mold the country to US wishes. Still, 28 years since all this began (and longer since the previous US assistance for the Iraq government it later overthrew), the US House of Representatives approved on Tuesday a bill titled the Preventing Destabilization of Iraq Act (HR 4591).

The only way this bill title would make sense given the long history of massive US intervention failing to improve the situation in Iraq is if the bill required the end of US intervention. Instead, the bill seeks more intervention.

In particular, the Preventing Destabilization of Iraq Act calls on the US president to impose sanctions on any foreign people he determines knowingly commit “a significant act of violence that has the direct purpose or effect of — (1) threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq; (2) undermining the democratic process in Iraq; or (3) undermining significantly efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people.” Further, the bill charges the US Secretary of State to determine if listed individuals should be sanctioned and if people connected to certain organizations should be considered terrorists or sanctioned. In other words, the bill calls for ramping up proven destructive policies for reshaping Iraq.

Also included in the bill is a call for action that would help push for escalating the US government’s destabilization project in Iran. The bill says the Secretary of State “shall annually establish, maintain, and publish a list of armed groups, militias, or proxy forces in Iraq receiving logistical, military, or financial assistance from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps or over which Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps exerts any form of control or influence.” Thus, claims of Iran’s intervention in its neighboring country can be used to build the case for massive intervention in Iran, up to invasion and conquest of Iran, by a nation thousands of miles away. Not to worry, 28 years from now, the US Congress can approve a Preventing Destabilization of Iran Act.

December 2, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

OPCW rejects US bid for Palestine’s exclusion from Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

MEMO | December 2, 2018

Palestinians have aborted US attempts to exclude Palestine from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the foreign minister said Saturday.

Riyad al-Malki said the Palestinian delegation to the OPCW’s Fourth Review Conference has rejected “US attempts to add an article in the final document to cast doubts on the membership of Palestine” in the watchdog.

“Most member states have defended Palestine’s right to equal representation with other states,” he added in a statement.

Palestine officially joined the world’s chemical weapons watchdog in June.

The top Palestinian diplomat went on to vow to pursue efforts to bring Israel to accountability for using chemical weapons against the Palestinians.

OPCW member nations have failed to agree on a final document at the conference, which was held in The Hague on November 21-30.

The OPCW, an international chemical weapons watchdog, has been servicing as the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention since its entry into force in 1997.

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

Iran rejects ‘ridiculous’ US claims against its missile program

Press TV – December 2, 2018

Iran has rejected US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s claims against its missile capabilities, saying the program is defensive and does not violate the international agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program.

“Iran’s missile program has a defensive nature and is designed according to the needs of the country,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Sunday, responding to Pompeo’s claim that Tehran had tested a medium-range ballistic missile.

Pompeo claimed in a statement released on Twitter Saturday that Iran was increasing its “testing and proliferation” of missiles and called on the Islamic Republic to “cease these activities.”

The test, he said, “violates UNSCR 2231,” citing the United Nations Security Council’s endorsement of the international nuclear agreement which the United States abandoned in May.

“No resolution at the Security Council has banned Iran’s missile program or missile tests,” Qassemi said as he roasted Washington over its decision to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“What is interesting and, of course, ridiculous is that you are citing a resolution which you have not only violated with your unilateral and illegal withdrawal from the JCPOA, but also are encouraging others to violate it or even threaten to punish and sanction those who implement it,” he added.

UN Security Council Resolution 2231 “calls on” Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”

Tehran has always emphasized that it has no nuclear warheads and that none of its missiles have been designed to carry nuclear weapons.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s compliance with the accord.

Back in May, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the JCPOA despite objections from the other signatories to the nuclear deal.

Since then, Washington has imposed “toughest ever” sanctions against Iran. It has also warned of severe penalties for the companies that evade the bans and engage in business with Iran.

However, the European parties to the JCPOA have vowed all-out efforts to save the agreement and protect their firms in the face of American bans.

They are now working to set up the so-called Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in a bid to circumvent the US sanctions against Iran and facilitate non-dollar trade with Tehran.

December 2, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Berlin should not be ‘drawn into war’ with Russia by Kiev over Kerch crisis – German ex-FM Gabriel

RT | December 2, 2018

Germany can’t afford being plunged into a war with Russia amid the Kerch Strait crisis, the country’s former Vice Chancellor alarmed, blasting Ukraine’s suggestion that Berlin deploy its warships to the troubled Azov Sea.

Former German Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has spoken out about the recent Kerch Strait incident, criticizing Kiev’s attempts to raise stakes in the political row with Moscow. At any rate, Germany “should not be drawn into a war against Russia,” Gabriel told Tagesspiegel newspaper.

He also denounced Ukraine’s call to shut international ports for Russian vessels based in Crimea, calling the suggestion “a new edition of gunboat diplomacy.”

In a separate interview with N-TV broadcaster, the retired politician also accused Ukraine of trying to ignite a direct confrontation between Russia and Germany. “I think that in no case should we let ourselves be drawn into a war through Ukraine,” Gabriel stressed, adding “this is what Ukraine has tried [to do].”

Gabriel’s remarks came after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko suggested that Berlin provide military assistance to Kiev. “We need increased presence warships from Germany and allied nations in the Black Sea to send a message and deter Russia,” he told Funke media group.

Berlin, however, ruled out a possibility of its warships being sent to Crimean shores. “We do understand Ukrainian concerns,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas responded last week, adding, “but what we do not want is militarization of this conflict.”

Earlier, Poroshenko had also called NATO to deploy military vessels to the Crimean coast “in order to back Ukraine and ensure security.”

Kiev’s pleas for help had also apparently fallen on deaf ears as NATO provided a tight-lipped response, with the spokeswoman Oana Lungescu saying the bloc already has a sizeable naval presence in the Black Sea.

As the story developed, Russian President Vladimir Putin predicted the Ukrainian conflict will go on as long as “a party of war” stays in power in Kiev. Ukraine’s government is craving war to rip profits from it and to blame their own domestic failures on some “aggressors.”

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine soared after the incident in the Kerch Strait last weekend. At the time, several Ukrainian Navy ships tried to sail through the strait without seeking the proper permission, Moscow said. Responding to the border violation, Russia’s border guard have seized the vessels and detained their crews.

While Kiev branded the incident an act of “aggression” on Moscow’s part, Russia believes the whole affair to be a deliberate “provocation” which allowed Kiev to declare a so-called “partial” martial law ahead of Ukraine’s presidential election.

December 2, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

How Europeans Viewed the War

By Thomas DiLorenzo | The Abbeville Review | November 27, 2018

A review of Slavery, Secession, & Civil War: Views from the United Kingdom and Europe, 1856-1865 (Scarecrow Press, 2007) by Charles Adams.

At long last Charles Adams’s new book, Slavery, Secession, & Civil War: Views from the United Kingdom and Europe, 1856-1865, has been published. I’ve been anxiously waiting for this book for about five years. The book contains about 500 pages of excerpts from European (mostly British) magazines and journals on the events leading up to the war, the war itself, and the nature of the Lincoln regime. This is a most valuable effort since the mainstream Northern press was censored during the war. Foreign writers, however, “were not arrested and imprisoned,” as they were in the North, writes Adams. “They were not silenced by armed soldiers, mobs, or censorship of the mails,” and “their editors were not hauled off to prison,” to mention just a few of the more totalitarian acts of the Lincoln regime. Even today, writes Adams, the “gatekeepers” of “Civil War” history are “still making war on the South” by distorting history.

Although it is a very long book, I could not put it down. Nineteenth-century English commentators on the war were remarkably astute, well informed, and articulate in expressing their views—so astute as to make your typical mainstream “Lincoln scholar” of today sound like an uneducated boob. There were supporters of both North and South in the European press, although many Northern supporters switched sides once they began observing the behavior of Dishonest Abe and his regime. They all opposed slavery very strongly, but those who supported the Southern cause believed that the North’s invasion of the Southern states had nothing to do with freeing the slaves.

During the 1856-1860 period, writes Adams, quite a few British editors “saw the separation of the North and South as a good thing,” and believed that “slavery had no significant part in the conflict.” For example, Chamber’s Journal of Popular Literature, Science and Arts, one of the “workingman’s journals,” wrote on March 21, 1857, that a major source of conflict was that Northern business interests wanted the South to “consent to the high protective tariff,” and if they did, “anti-slavery agitation would stop.” “Antislavery agitation” meant opposition to the extension of slavery, not Southern slavery. Pretending to want to “check the progress of slavery” in this way “has been only a disguise under which to advance the interests of the [Republican] party.”

This publication also noted that the black population of the North was generally treated as inhuman. “In scarcely any of the large cities of the North did they [blacks] escape violence” at the hand of whites. It was hardly likely, therefore, that Northern whites would fight a war and die by the hundreds of thousands purely for the benefit of black strangers, as has been taught to generations of American school children.

The Edinburgh Review was a prominent British journal that observed in 1858 that “abolition was not a policy of the North,” and that secession would actually spell the end of slavery because it would no longer be propped up by the federal government’s Fugitive Slave Act. This view was echoed by other high-quality British publications such as Fraser’s Magazine and The Saturday Review, among others. Thus, the most prominent British journals agreed on the eve of the War with a statement that Alexander Stephens would make five or six years later, that slavery was actually “more secure” in the union than out of it.

A British publication called The Quarterly Review ran a long article in April 1857 on the New York State Disunion Convention. The stridently pro-North Westminster Review, founded by philosophers James Mill (father of John Stuart Mill) and Jeremy Bentham, also wrote that “Massachusetts was, we believe, the first State which organized Disunion Associations.”

Who has ever run across that fact in an American history book?! The magazine also wrote of a Massachusetts secession convention that was held around the same time in the town of Worcester.

Perhaps the most influential pro-South journal in England was All the Year Round, edited by Charles Dickens. Writing on “The American Disunion” on September 6,1861, Dickens recognized that the opposition to slavery extension in the territories was not based on moral, but political and economic grounds. It was “a question of political power between North and South” because of the Three-Fifths Clause of the Constitution, which added three persons to a state’s population count for every five slaves. This inflated the South’s representation in Congress, which in turn allowed the South to effectively oppose the North’s corporatist or mercantilist agenda of high tariffs, corporate welfare, and a government-ran central bank.

The Morrill Tariff was the main cause of the war as Dickens saw it. “Union means so many millions a year lost to the South [due to high protective tariffs on manufactured goods]; secession means the loss of the same millions to the North. The love of money is the root of this as of many, many other evils.” “The quarrel between the North and South,” Charles Dickens believed, “is … solely a fiscal quarrel.” (Dickens entertainingly wrote of how Lincoln “came across as a bit of a country bumpkin” to those Europeans who had met him.)

The Quarterly Review agreed wholeheartedly with Dickens, calling the protectionist tariff a “revolting tribute” paid to Northern businessmen by Southerners who “had been groaning for years under the crashing bondage of Northern protectionists.” This publication also noted that the Republican Party platform of 1860 supported the “inviolate rights of the states,” especially “the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions” (i.e., slavery); that Lincoln strongly supported his party’s platform; and that he also supported the notorious Corwin Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which would have enshrined slavery in the Constitution explicitly. (The Amendment passed the House and Senate before Lincoln’s inauguration, with exclusively Northern votes.) These are all facts that few, if any, American school students are ever made aware of but which were well known all around the world in the 1860s.

The Athenaeum, a London journal that published such famous authors as T.S. Eliot, George Santayana, and Thomas Hardy, echoed Dickens’s views regarding the economic causes of the war, and excoriated Lincoln as a dictator and a tyrant. “President Lincoln … suspended the writ of habeas corpus. He has muzzled the press and abridged the freedom of speech…. He has, without authority of law and against the Constitution … plunged the country into war, murdered … citizens, burned … houses…. He has seized unoffending citizens [of the North], and, … has imprisoned them in loathsome dungeons.” Moreover, “under the tyrant’s plea, he is proceeding to do a great many acts and things which would more become the savage and the brute.”

Blackwood’s Magazine, which is still being published, argued in 1861 that “slavery had no significant part in the conflict.” The union, through the Fugitive Slave Act, protected slavery, said Blackwood’s, repeating the view of other British journals that secession would actually lead to the demise of slavery by nullifying that federal law. The tariff laws, on the other hand, were “ruinous to the South.” They were “the chief complaint of the South,” and “have been for thirty years oppressive and unjust.” As for Lincoln, “He may possibly be a good attorney,” the magazine wrote, “though we should never have selected him as a legal adviser.”

By 1862, Blackwood’s was denouncing the Lincoln regime as “[M]onstrous, reckless, devilish.” ‘The North seeks to make the South a desert—a wilderness of bloodshed and misery,” and all for money. “The North would league itself with Beelzebub, and seek to make a hell of half the continent.” Lincoln had “inaugurated dictatorship” and “abolished liberty” in the North. ‘Taxes had been imposed, debt incurred, and paper money issued, to the fullest amount possible.” All of this is what today’s court historians call “a new birth of freedom.”

The events of the War proved to Blackwood’s that the “Yankees” of New England “do not care a straw for the Constitution,” for “they have sacrificed both legality and liberty long ago.” Nor did the Yankees “care a cent for the abolition of slavery on the day when the South inaugurated the war by the attack on Fort Sumter.” “With Mr. Lincoln at their head,” they “would have rejoiced exceedingly if the whole race could be transported to their native Africa.”

The prestigious Economist magazine, which is still one of the preeminent publications in the world, editorialized in 1861 that what motivated the North was its obsession for empire. “They have dreamed of omnipotence and immortality; and they feel, with angry disappointment and bitter humiliation, that such a disruption as now seems almost consummated is a deplorable end to all these ambitious hopes and all this … self-glorification.” The magazine published both pro-North and pro-South articles during the course of the war, and its analysis was always very astute.

Fraser’s Magazine, a high-quality publication that won high praise from Charles Dickens, editorialized that “it appears impossible to sympathize with the North” because the North was motivated not by humanitarianism or constitutionalism, but “jealousy, fanaticism, and wounded national vanity.”

By 1865, some British journals, such as MacMillan’s magazine, were expressing fears that the U.S. government, having destroyed the Confederacy, would turn on England next. England had traded with the Confederates, and after the war the Republican Party regime did arrogantly demand “reparations” from Great Britain for this “sin.” Thus, MacMillan’s asked, “Will [the U.S. government] be tempted to employ these [military] forces in an attack upon any foreign country?—and if so, will England be the country attacked?”

Quite a few British publications understood the War as the final showdown between the true federalists (Jeffersonian states’ rights advocates) and the nationalists that animated the American government from its founding. The North British Review, for example, wrote in May of 1861 that “The whole South stand upon State rights, or a nearly sovereign exercise of power; and a majority in the North sustains Federalism, or the delegation of a portion of that power to the national Government.”

Summing up American events in 1862, the Review wrote that the essence of the War was that “twenty million say to the other ten millions, ‘You shall continue to live under a government you detest, you shall submit to laws you wish to change, you shall obey rulers you repudiate and abjure.’” Only a “‘nisi riius’ [trial] lawyer could deny the right of a state to secede,” the magazine wrote, in what appears to have been a slap at Dishonest Abe the old railroad industry’ trial lawyer.

The Review had nothing but seething contempt for the Lincoln regime. “Mr. Seward has been one of the most signal failures ever known,” it wrote in 1862. And “Mr. Stanton has made up for want of real vigour and talent, by a lawless, fitful, and ineffective violation of the civil rights of every [Northern] citizen whom he fancied he could oppress with impunity.” Furthermore, “looking over all the … chief Federal authorities … never was a country so miserably served.”

Nor was the Review fooled by the Emancipation Proclamation. It clearly understood that by applying only to “rebel territory,” the Proclamation freed no one. It was denounced as “perhaps the most grotesquely illogical and inconsistent decree ever issued by a government.” It catalogued numerous reasons why it believed the Proclamation was “a blunder and a crime.” The real cause of the War, the Review believed, was so that “a mighty conception of universal empire may be realized.”

The humorous journal Punch published hundreds of editorial cartoons related to the War. One particularly eye-catching one reproduced by Adams is entitled “The Federal Phoenix,” published in December of 1864. A giant Lincoln head is the head of a “phoenix,” a mythical bird of ancient Egypt which, according to Adams’s account, “was consumed voluntarily by fire and rose again from its own ashes to a youthful life.”

There is a blazing fire in the cartoon, and the crumbling logs in the fire represent the old Jeffersonian republic of the founders that was facing imminent destruction. Written on the logs are “low tariff and world trade”; “United States Constitution”; “states’ rights”; “habeas corpus”; and “free press.”

The Quarterly Review went so far as to say that “there was little difference … between the government of Mr. Lincoln and the Government of Napoleon III.” The reason given for this harsh condemnation was that in the Northern states “scarcely any dared to oppose” the party in power for fear of “a charge of treason”; there has been “the manipulation of elections”; “pitiless conscription”; and “disregard of personal liberty” (in the North, mind you). Moreover, “There is no Parliamentary authority whatever for what has been done. It has been done simply on Mr. Lincoln’s fiat.” He declared himself dictator, in other words, all in the name of promoting “freedom.”

This magazine was just getting started: “Mr. Lincoln is a poor plagiarist in the art of tyranny. There is nothing striking or original in his proceedings; his plan is just like that of any Old-world despot, to crush out adverse opinion by sheer force.” These awful precedents created a situation whereby “it is now the undisputed law of the United States that a President may suspend civil liberty whenever and for as long as he thinks fit.” Wilson, FDR, and George W. Bush, among others, have all proven this prediction to be prescient.

The prestigious Times (of London) turned against the North as the war proceeded, editorializing that the North was fighting for “nothing more than the old idea of Empire and national grandeur expressed in more specious language.” It harshly condemned the Republican Party for putting “empire above liberty” and having “resorted to political oppression and war rather than suffer any abatement of national power.”

Adams includes a few excerpts from French, Spanish, and Italian publications as well, but they seem quite feeble compared to the extraordinarily well-informed and incredibly well-written British essayists that he surveys.

The most striking thing to me about this collection of essays is how so many of them supported the Southern cause simply because the writers were aware of many of the essential facts about Lincoln, his regime, and the War—facts that most Americans seem completely unaware of. They all knew about his promise of everlasting support for Southern slavery, his eagerness to codify it in the Constitution, his dictatorial destruction of personal liberty in the North, and his waging of a barbaric war on the civilians of the South. They also knew that the Republican Party was the party of political plunder, and that it fully intended to plunder the South economically with protectionist tariffs and corporate welfare funded by a central bank, among other schemes.

These and many other facts have been swept under the rug by generations of American “gatekeepers” in academe and elsewhere. Most Americans today are so ignorant of this period of history that all they know about it is a few of Dishonest Abe’s political slogans and a little nineteenth century Republican Party propaganda. This propaganda is repeated over and over and over again in the public schools, by all the “Lincoln scholars,” and by (mostly) contemporary Republican Party politicians and their media mouthpieces.

The Lincoln Myth is the ideological cornerstone of the American empire and its sole claim to moral authority. Thanks to Charles Adams, we now know that during Lincoln’s time there were a great many highly educated and articulate Europeans who saw this spectacular bundle of lies for what it was.

This article was originally published in the Volume 26, Number 3 issue of Southern Partisan magazine.

December 2, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment