Aletho News


More New ‘AIPACs’ Popping Up

Concern that Israel is losing its grip on U.S. politicians is breeding even more pro-Zionist lobby groups

By Philip Giraldi | American Free Press | April 30, 2019

New organizations dedicated to “defending” Israel are proliferating due to concerns that the American people are finally waking up to the fact that they have been getting ripped off by a vast Zionist conspiracy for the past 70-plus years. Ironically, while it has become possible to criticize Israel even in the mainstream media, the United States government itself has become more firmly in the grasp of the Israel lobby, most recently manifested in bills passed by Congress pledging undying love and affection for war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu and all his works. This has been due in large part to the effective lobbying by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which met in Washington in March and drew 18,000 of its supporters to both show up and lobby their congressmen.

The congressional love affair with Israel has been accompanied by billions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer-provided Danegeld per annum plus a de facto commitment to send American soldiers to fight and die for Israel even if Netanyahu starts a war for no reason whatsoever.

By one estimate there are 600 groups operating in the United States with the objective of promoting Israel’s interests. They run the gamut, politically speaking, and include leftward leaning organizations, like J Street, that aggressively support a two-state solution for Israel-Palestine while at the same time ignoring the fact that Israel has expanded its settlements in such a fashion as to make a Palestinian state unrealizable. On the extreme right is a group founded in 2010, which calls itself the Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI), headed by none other than Bill Kristol, former editor of the now thankfully defunct Weekly Standard magazine. The ECI board included Rachel Abrams, wife of pardoned felon Elliott Abrams, who is currently seeking to destroy Venezuela.

ECI is largely inactive at the present time, but when it was launched it claimed to be the most pro-Israel of all pro-Israel groups, which would be quite an achievement. It was most active in 2010-14 when it ran full-page ads against liberal advocacy groups, attacked the Occupy Wall Street movement for being anti-Semitic, and criticized individual congressmen for not being sufficiently pro-Israel. In 2013 the group came out against the proposed appointment of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense because he had once mildly criticized Israel.

The recent controversy over comments critical of Israel and its lobby made by newly elected Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) has sparked a wave of pro-Israel activism in and around Congress. At the end of January a new political group was formed by several prominent veteran Democrats, “alarmed by the party’s drift from its longstanding alignment with Israel.” The new group, which is calling itself the Democratic Majority for Israel (DMI), will support Democratic Party candidates who “stand unwaveringly” with the Jewish state.

The group, which is headed by Mark Mellman, a leading Democratic Party pollster, already has some “substantial” funding from the usual Jewish Democratic Party donors and it is interested in assisting potential candidates who are unambiguously supportive of Israel because of “shared values” and its contribution as “one of America’s strongest allies.” The website promises: “We will work to maintain and strengthen support for Israel among Democratic leaders including presidential and congressional candidates as well as with the grassroots of progressive movements. We are committed to doing so because we recognize that America’s relationship with Israel, the sole democracy in the Middle East, is a mutually beneficial one based on shared values and shared interests.”

Due to the fact that the common values and interests are difficult to identify—as they hardly exist and Israel is neither an ally nor a democracy—it might be tough sledding to convince skeptics of the actual value of the relationship for Americans. Instead, one suspects that the group will rely on the usual appeals to tribal or religious sentiment and citations of the holocaust coupled with threats of anti-Semitism leveled against those who question the formula. In reality, DMI, which will be active in state primaries, will likely create incentives through development of a funding mechanism for potential candidates who are enthusiastic about Israel while withholding funds from those who are not.

And there will be opposition to the snake oil DMI is selling, not only from Omar. She and Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib of Michigan both support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, and there are also a number of other new congressmen who will not hesitate to criticize Israel when it uses lethal force against Palestinian demonstrators. There are also reports that Democratic Party-declared presidential candidates Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jay Inslee, and Julian Castro have all confirmed they didn’t attend the AIPAC conference this year, possibly linked to a call by the leading progressive grassroots organization MoveOn for a boycott. Opinion polls also indicate that Democrats who sympathize more with Israel than with the Palestinians is at an all-time low of 19%.

Another new bipartisan pro-Israel political action committee was also launched in March in Washington. Pro-Israel America is headed by two former senior AIPAC staff members, Jonathan Missner and Jeff Mendelsohn. It is intended to provide political donations to candidates from either major party who adopt pro-Israel positions. On its initial list, it endorsed a total of 27 candidates— 14 Democrats and 13 Republicans—all of whom have demonstrated a willingness to support pro-Israel legislation in Congress.

The list predictably includes Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.); Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the majority leader in the House; Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the Foreign Affairs Committee’s ranking Republican.

A press release from Pro-Israel America composed by Mendelsohn stated its mission: “The best way to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship is to elect pro-Israel candidates to Congress, and that requires political action from the thousands of Americans who care deeply about this issue.”

The Pro-Israel America website, which is still under construction, will reportedly encourage small donations to political campaigns, unlike the usual practice of bundling to create large contributions. Potential donors will be able to go to the website, evaluate candidates based on their pro-Israel credentials, and then contribute directly to their campaigns.

Finally, there is a third new online group called Jexodus, headed by a swimsuit model named Elizabeth Pipko, that is trying to convince Jewish voters to leave the Democratic Party and become Republicans because the GOP is now the party of Israel. It is hard to argue with that, as President Donald Trump has now moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has declared that God elected Trump to save the Jews from Iran. There will likely be even more concessions to Netanyahu in the lead-up to America’s own upcoming election in 2020.

All of the pro-Israel groups taken together constitute a veritable political juggernaut that seeks to advantage Israel and benefit it directly without regard for the damage done to American democracy and to actual U.S. interests. They should rightly be seen as organizations that regard their loyalty to the United States as negotiable, but they try to obfuscate the issue by claiming, wrongly, that there exist compelling reasons why Israel and the U.S. should continue to be best friends.

As Americans increasingly begin to appreciate how Israel is in fact a serious liability, that line will not continue to sell very well, no matter how many congressmen and tame journalists are bought and no matter how many new groups pop up like mushrooms funded by Jewish billionaires. Change is coming.

Philip Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer and a columnist and television commentator. He is also the executive director of the Council for the National Interest.

May 2, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

Mahathir: Israel “ root cause of world instability”

Palestine Information Center – May 2, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamed has described Israel as a terrorist nation and the root cause of instability in the world.

Addressing youths at Al Sharq Annual Conference 2019 in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian leader stressed that the time had come for the international community to stand together and end Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

“Apartheid, genocide, crimes against humanity, crimes of aggression and all the evil that mankind can inflict on others can be compiled in Palestine — courtesy of the barbaric, arrogant, terrorist nation called Israel.”

“Until and unless the international community is committed to finding a solution to bring an end to the occupation of the land belonging to the Palestinians, the region and the rest of the world will not have much of a chance for stability and order,” he said in his keynote address before opening the conference, held the first time in Malaysia.

His remarks received overwhelming applause from the participants.

Mahathir also said the senseless murder of innocent people continued in the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq by the US-led coalition in 2001 and 2003 which had seen more tumult than stability in the region before the Arab Spring came about.

“Nations like Syria, Libya and Yemen today provide images of a human tragedy while the rest of the world watch helplessly.”

“Their sufferings did not originate from internal strife but rather interference and interventions from external powers which obviously were doing it out of self-interest, disguised under the veil of democracy and human rights,” he said.

The premier underlined that ancient civilizations or rather these cradles of civilization were pummeled to pulp by present day powers that have styled themselves as the leaders of modern-day civilization.

“There is nothing civilized in their actions or behavior. The only thing they can showcase is technology capable of producing weaponry that are extremely efficient in maiming, killing and murdering people by the thousands,” he stressed.

May 2, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , | 2 Comments

Zero Carbon Proposals Slammed As Irresponsible & Arbitrary

By Paul Homewood | Not A Lot Of People Know That | April 2, 2019

The GWPF has issued this press release in response to the Committee on Climate Change’s new proposals to cutting CO2 emissions to zero by 2050:


The recommendation of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) for a Net Zero emissions target by 2050 is grounded in nothing stronger than irresponsible optimism and arbitrary assumptions about cost and technological feasibility. In point of fact, the technologies seen as necessary, including carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), further expansion of renewable generation, widespread adoption of hydrogen, and the very rapid electrification of the UK’s entire heating and transport systems, are either known failures or are unproven at these scales and would cost two to three times the amounts claimed by the CCC. Attempts to deliver these policies would ultimately fail, but in the attempt the UK would further harm its already declining productivity, and so erode the UK’s ability to compete internationally and thus deliver an acceptable standard of living for its people. This is not a sustainable low emissions strategy, and even if accepted by government is very likely to end only in humiliating and distressed policy correction. A wise government would reject this advice.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) is advising the government of the UK to revise and increase the ambitions of the Climate Change Act. The Act already commits the country to an 80% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 as compared to 1990 levels. The new proposal is that it should have ‘Net Zero’ emissions by that year. The UK has, the CCC claims, already reduced its inland consumption emissions by 40% against the 1990 baseline, and it presents the current proposal as a rational continuation of that success story. But this is a selective and misleading history. When the emissions associated with UK consumption through manufacturing in other countries are taken into account, the UK’s carbon footprint was actually still rising up until the 2008 downturn, when it fell because of economic difficulties, and is now showing some signs of returning to the upwards trend as the economy slowly recovers. In essence, the UK simply exported its emissions to other parts of the world, principally China, in substantial part through carbon leakage resulting from high energy costs in the UK, costs which in substantial part were the result of climate policies. This history gives no ground for optimism with regard to the Net Zero target now proposed. Far from being a success on which we can build, UK climate policy has been a failure, resulting only in domestic economic damage and the illusion of reduced emissions.

The overriding problem facing the UK is the comparatively slow growth in productivity. For much of the last century, the UK’s productivity has been below that of the major industrial economies, and the gap has grown in the first two decades of the 21st century. The consequence has been no growth in real wages and incomes, a fact that strains domestic budgets and exacerbates a general reluctance to make the investments required for future economic prosperity.

This deterioration in productivity growth closely follows and is substantially associated with the implementation of policies to reduce energy use and carbon emissions. There are three reasons for this link:

(a) Large amounts of investment and labour have been diverted to capital-intensive renewables, crowding out investment in other infrastructure and sectors with much higher levels of capital and labour productivity.

(b) The resulting increases in energy prices have prompted high-productivity manufacturing and other industries to conclude that they should look elsewhere for growth in both demand and production.

(c) More generally, the efforts and resources of businesses and innovators have been diverted away from improving productivity and towards efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Furthermore, the idea that there is a global opportunity for the UK to grow by exploiting low carbon technologies is demonstrably a myth.

There can be no doubt that these factors have had a major impact on the development of the UK economy in the last two decades. Low carbon growth may be the holy grail, but the reality is almost no growth and slower reductions in carbon emissions per unit of output than in, say, the United States. Yet the CCC is now recommending proposals that are explicitly designed to reinforce this disappointing performance.

If the government accepts the CCC’s proposals, which are marked by a persistent special pleading about the costs and feasibilities, it will immediately sabotage any plan to rectify the UK’s poor productivity performance and weaken international competitiveness. Its recommendations will ensure that the UK suffers from even lower productivity and be still poorer relative to the rest of the world in 2050 than in 2020. At the same time, the slower growth in productivity brought about by these proposals will increase the burden of meeting the CCC’s targets to a level that will not be bearable. The only doubt is how much pain the population will endure, and how much damage will be done, before these infeasible targets are abandoned.

The study that underlies the CCC’s proposals is marked by what can only be called ‘fantasy analysis’. Electricity demand is required to double on present levels, when in fact it is falling due to high prices. The CCC’s plans require that all of that additional electricity must come from low carbon sources, as opposed to under 50% today. The CCC itself admits that CCS is ‘essential’ to its vision for the 2050 target, and must be substantially deployed before 2030, with a significant level by 2026. At present it is non-existent in the UK, and non-viable at scale elsewhere. There must be 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030, and 75 GW by 2050; at present there is 8 GW, all heavily subsidised, with no sign that the industry is in fact able to build offshore wind at market competitive rates.

The CCC believes that petrol and diesel cars and vans must be phased out well before 2040, but admits that even the current eye-catching and over-ambitious plans to mandate electric vehicles by 2035 cannot deliver this transformation. It consequently suggests that new fossil-fuelled vehicles must be outlawed by 2030. Such a ban would in all probability destroy the existing market for domestic car manufacture, as Chinese and other Asian companies using cheap energy and cheap labour will make the UK uncompetitive.

The study notes that the UK’s provision of space and water heating must be converted to electricity and hydrogen, but admits that there is currently ‘no serious plan’ in existence for this revolution. That is correct, but unfortunately, the study does not itself provide one.

The CCC states that there must be very large afforestation schemes to act as carbon sinks, at a rate of 20,000 hectares per year up to 2025, and 27,000 hectares per year thereafter. The CCC itself admits that the current rate has been only about 10,000 hectares per year over the last five years. In any case, the use of forestry as a carbon sink only has a short-term impact unless CCS is applied to wood burning, which is not feasible on a small scale and is unaffordably expensive on a large scale.

Overall, the CCC’s reaction to these manifest failures and difficulties is to conclude that the ‘voluntary approach’ has failed hitherto and would not deliver the new proposals. Implicitly, therefore, the policies that it recommends must be mandatory and state-led. But nowhere does the CCC’s report consider whether the state actually has the administrative or technical competence to successfully deliver these remarkable objectives. Nor does it consider whether the cost of doing so is likely to be tolerable to the public. Indeed, strikingly, though the CCC makes assertions about the cost and benefits of increasing the Climate Change Act target to Net Zero, there is no attempt to actually quantify the marginal costs and benefits of each step necessary – the most fundamental requirement for such an exercise. Indeed, many of the costs actually cited in the report ignore the practical realities of installation, operation and maintenance of technologies that are well-understood and have failed to achieve widespread deployment without large subsidies. Experience tells us that, if adopted, the CCC’s programme will cost anything from three to five times the estimates in this report and will take up to twice as long to implement.

In summary, the Committee on Climate Change has not produced a serious assessment of the practical feasibility and costs of a Net Zero 2050 target. On the contrary, it has simply taken the Net Zero target as a given and made irrationally optimistic and arbitrary assumptions comprising a fictional narrative that magically delivers the emissions reduction goal as the Happy Ending. This is unrealistic, irresponsible, and misleading.

The government should obviously reject the Climate Change Committee’s poorly argued advice, which is economically hazardous and does not offer a sustainable emissions reductions trajectory.

May 2, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment

Russian and US Positions on Venezuelan Crisis are Incompatible – Lavrov

Sputnik – 02.05.2019

On Wednesday, the Russian foreign minister spoke to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, telling the top US diplomat that Washington’s interference in Venezuela’s affairs was a destructive approach fraught with “the most serious consequences.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged the United States to refrain from returning to the imperious ‘Monroe Doctrine’ in its relations with Venezuela, and indicated that while the Russian and US positions on the crisis in the Latin American country remain incompatible, dialogue must continue.

“We agreed to maintain contacts, including on Venezuela, but I don’t see a way to reconcile our positions — ours, on the one hand, which is based on the UN Charter and the principles and norms of international law, and that of the United States, on the other, in which Washington assigns the acting president of another country,” Lavrov said, speaking to reporters in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on Thursday.

“Our positions are incompatible, but we are ready to talk,” Lavrov stressed.

According to the foreign minister, during their conversation Wednesday, he told Pompeo that the return of the Monroe Doctrine approach to US foreign policy was a sign of disrespect to the people of Venezuela and Latin America as a whole.

Commenting on the possibility of a US military intervention of Venezuela, Lavrov said that Russia plans to create a bloc of countries to counter such plans. This group is already being formed at the UN, he indicated. “I hope that it will receive serious support from the organisation, because we’re talking about a very simple issue — one that’s hard to distort: the defence of the fundamental norms and principles of international law as they are defined in the UN Charter.”

Maduro Never Had Plans to ‘Flee’ Venezuela

Lavrov noted that earlier claims by Secretary of State Pompeo about Maduro’s supposed plans to escape the country and Russia’s efforts to dissuade him from doing so were simply not true. “If one were to review everything that officials in the US administration say about Venezuela, an endless series of questions would arise. And all of these questions, as a rule, have one and the same answer. Putting it diplomatically: this is not true,” Lavrov said.

Asked why Secretary of State Pompeo may have called him in the first place, Lavrov said that as he understood it, “he called so that he could later say publicly that he called me and urged Russia not to interfere. Well, he did so.” At the same time, Lavrov indicated that Russia does not interfere in Venezuela’s internal affairs, calling Pompeo’s allegations to that effect “rather surreal.”

“I told him that based on our principled position, we never interfere in the affairs of others, and urge others to do the same,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov and Pompeo spoke by telephone by Wednesday, a day after Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido announced the beginning of the “final phase” in the opposition’s bid to seize power in the Latin American country. Before the talks, Pompeo told US media that the US could still use military force against the country “if that’s what’s required.”

Guaido proclaimed himself Venezuela’s interim president on January 23, two weeks after Maduro’s inauguration for a second term following elections in May 2018. The opposition leader was immediately recognised by the US and its Latin American and European allies, as well as Canada, while Russia, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia and other countries around the world voiced their support for the elected government, or urged non-interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs.

May 2, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Maimed Yellow Vest Protestors: Worse Than Getting Shot

By Tim Kirby | Strategic Culture Foundation | May 2, 2019

The French marched off to war in 1914 in glorious lines of infantry in baby blue coats and bright red trousers to be mowed down by the finest technology the Industrial Revolution had to offer. For us now it is easy to see how insane this was and how flawed the understanding of both the commoners and even the experts was in terms of how combat and war actually worked at the time. This naive view of modern tactics certainly applies to street conflicts we are seeing in France as part of the Yellow Vest protests. The so-called non-lethal (and less-lethal) arms of the French authorities gives them a tactical advantage far beyond that of any assault rifle.

Thanks to the media we have become accustomed to video of protestors getting sprayed by water or having their ranks dispersed thanks to tear gas, leaving everyone wet or coughing respectively but otherwise unharmed. However this humane picture does not meet up with the realities of this civilian vs. cop style warfare.

If we are to take the Yellow Vest protestors at their word then at least 22 of them have lost an eye (from “less-lethal” Flash-ball guns) and 5 have had their hands blown off with 154 being “seriously injured”. Obviously the protestors will want to maximize their statistics but there are plenty of videos from the various actions/demonstrations showing horrible injuries which are too numerous to all be fakes. So the numbers may be off but the overall general tendencies of these injuries do occur from the French authorities in the Human Rights defending EU is a proven fact. The simple reality is that despite a nice marketing phrase non-lethal weapons cripple and on occasion kill.

In order to understand the tactical advantage that non-lethal weapons offer the government (not the individual police but the state itself) we need to put aside our emotional response to seeing French people having their limbs blown off. We have to not jump into ranting about the flagrant hypocrisy of the EU when it comes to human rights and rationally break down how the conflicts between Yellow and Blue vests could look if the arms situation were different.

Scenario A: What if the Yellow Vests were armed?

If the organizers of the Yellow Vests (all movements are organized by someone regardless of what the media tells you) were able to arm their masses with rifles this would indeed lead to horrific short-term violence that would leave a permanent stain on French history. Often hundreds or thousands of protestors are met by dozens of police and handfuls of soldiers, if the protestors were on par with their adversaries in terms of guns, then their numerical advantage would shatter the police’s will to fight.

No policemen are going to fight to the last man against a force 20 times their number, which they may partially agree with dying for nothing, nor will they open fire with tanks in the centers of their own cities. Human psychology would allow them to kill foreigners in some distant country in this manner but not at home.

In this instance of near certain death from pure numbers the police would either “stay home” or possibly switch sides overtly or covertly.

Obviously a full civil war could start from this situation, but in a street warfare sense, escalating from protest to actual hot war is technically a winning scenario as it advances them closer to attaining/changing power.

Scenario B: What if the police fought like an army?

One key component of many Color Revolutions is getting the “bad leader” to be blamed for some sort of direct use of lethal bloody media-friendly massacre. If the French police actually used assault rifles against the protestors this would demonize them to the point of justifying a Revolution. This would not just cause a civil conflict but be a national call to arms to join it, which would be a bad move on the state’s part.

Furthermore, only sociopaths can fire rifles into unarmed crowds (who are not posing a direct threat) of people who speak their own language (i.e. their own “kind”). If the French police just decided to give the order to shoot them all, then in this instance many of the French police would find rifle and bayonet worthless as they would have no desire to shoot.

The result would be a handful of deaths from each protest but the utter collapse of legitimacy of the state and possible “retreats” of police forces unwilling to fire on “their own”.

Scenario C: The “non-lethal” reality we see today.

Psychologically it is much easier for the French police to use non-lethal (in their minds) weapons against the protestors. In the subconscious mind of the policeman he can justify shooting into masses much easier with this type of weapon because in theory it “shouldn’t” kill anyone and if it does it was an “accident”. This is much easier on our psyche and morals than shooting someone in the chest with a Lebel Rifle.

Research by the University of Cambridge supports this tendency. They found that police are far more likely to use force when it is supposedly from non-lethal weapons. This non-lethal status of weapons like tasers (which can and do kill people all the time) makes them so much easier to apply on the populace especially when the subconscious of the police officer tells him that, the guy he fried the other day with a taser died as an accident, one in every so many thousand people just has a weak heart.

So looking at non-lethal weapons tactically they offer the massive psychological advantage of being able to attack without an attack registering in the conscience of the user. As stated above they are also very media and propaganda friendly when anyone who dies from them is just “an accident” giving the government the ability to retain legitimacy while gouging out they eyes of its own populace. Real guns fail at both of these points completely.


One bizarre irony in our strange postmodern times is that if the Yellow Vests were actually being shot at by real guns and being killed they would be far closer to achieving some sort of systemic change. Being mutilated by all sorts of gadgets and devices of one sort or another makes it easy for the police to do their job psychologically without generating the levels of sympathy and horror from live rounds hitting the innocent that the protestors need to shatter or change the system.

The French Flash-Ball gun should be made the symbol for the EU for it provides crushing repression of the masses with great PR spin to make it seem humane and caring. It is for our safety after all that they use these right?

May 2, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Major hike in US missile spending indicative of approaching ‘new Cold war’: Study

Press TV – May 2, 2019

America has been dramatically increasing its missile development spending after deciding to leave a Soviet-era arms control treaty with Russia, a new study shows, warning that the extravagant approach could be the tell-tale sign of a looming “new Cold War.”

In the three months following President Donald Trump’s announcement in October last year that he would leave the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) agreement, Washington has signed more than $1 billion in new missile contracts, according to the study by campaign group PAX and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

“The withdrawal from the INF Treaty has fired the starting pistol on a new Cold War,” Beatrice Fihn, who heads the Nobel Peace Prize-winning ICAN, warned in a statement on Thursday.

Upon announcing his plans to abandon the INF, Trump accused Russia of violating the treaty through a new missile system and began the official process of withdrawing from the pact in February.

Russia has denied the US charges. It even rolled out the missile in question last year and exposed many of its sensitive details to reporters in order to ensure the international community that the INF was not breached.

Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to Trump’s move by saying that Moscow would also leave the 1987 accord, which is considered the cornerstone of global arms control by preventing the deployment of nuclear-tipped ground-launched ballistic missiles with ranges between 500 kilometers (330 miles) to 5,500 kilometers.

The report by PAX and ICAN detailed over $1.1 billion in new contracts signed with six mainly US companies between October 22, 2018 and January 21, 2019.

Raytheon took the biggest share of the money, scoring 44 new contracts worth some $537 million.

Lockheed Martin meanwhile received 36 new contracts worth $268 million and Boeing scooped up only four new contracts worth $245 million.

Fihn said in a statement that the massive contracts were worthy of congressional investigations because of suspected corporate collusion.

“Congress should investigate the lobbying roles of Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon who took the lion’s share of these contracts,” she asserted.

The report authors said they could not verify whether all of the new contracts were for developing new nuclear weapons.

“What is clear is that there is a new rush towards building more missiles that benefit a handful of US companies and intend to flood the market with missiles regardless of their range,” they noted.

Washington confirmed in March that it was preparing to test two new two ground-launched missiles that it has been developing for more than 30 years in August.

The projects include a low-flying cruise missile with a range of about 1,000 kilometers and a ballistic missile with a range of roughly 3,000 to 4,000 kilometers, military officials who could not reveal their name under the Pentagon’s security rules told the media.

American officials insist that none of the new missiles will be capable of delivering nuclear payloads but that is not the real threat of such weapons.

‘New nuclear race has begun’

Susi Snyder, PAX nuclear disarmament program manager and the lead author of the report, accused Washington and its nuclear-armed allies of hypocrisy by calling for the denuclearization of other countries while expanding their own arsenals.

“President Trump is heralding the need for global denuclearization, but US deeds, and those of nuclear-armed allies do not match those words,” She said.

“We see the US and other states planning for a nuclear-armed century, with contracts to maintain weapons through at least 2075, despite growing domestic and global calls to reverse course,” she added.

“The research confirms that there is a new nuclear arms race happening,” Snyder told Quartz.

US tests strategic ICBM

The study came shortly after the US Air Force test-launched an unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

The Air Force Global Strike Command said the missile was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base northwest of Los Angeles on early Wednesday and its re-entry vehicle hit its designated target in the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands afte traveling approximately 4,200 miles (6,759 kilometers) over the Pacific.

The missile, manufactured by Boeing, is the only land-based ICBM in service in America and its development began in mid-1950s with the specific intent of attacking hardened military targets, specifically those in the former Soviet Union.

The latest version, Minuteman III, with an operational range of 13,000 km entered service in 1970.

Each unit can carry up to three nuclear warheads and is estimated to cost $7 million.

May 2, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Militarism | | 1 Comment

Breaking the Grip of Militarism: The Story of Vieques

By Lawrence Wittner | CounterPunch | May 2, 2019

Vieques is a small Puerto Rican island with some 9,000 inhabitants. Fringed by palm trees and lovely beaches, it attracts substantial numbers of tourists. But, for about six decades, Vieques served as a bombing range, military training site, and storage depot for the U.S. Navy, until its outraged residents, driven to distraction, rescued their homeland from the grip of militarism.

Like the main island of Puerto Rico, Vieques—located eight miles to the east―was ruled for centuries by Spain, until the Spanish-American War of 1898 turned Puerto Rico into an informal colony (a “nonsovereign territory”) of the United States. In 1917, Puerto Ricans (including the Viequenses) became U.S. citizens, although they continue to lack the right to representation in the U.S. Congress and to vote for the U.S. president.

During World War II, the U.S. government, anxious about the security of the Caribbean region and the Panama Canal, expropriated large portions of land in eastern Puerto Rico and on Vieques to build a mammoth U.S. naval base. As a result, thousands of Viequenses were evicted from their homes and deposited in razed sugar cane fields that the navy declared “resettlement tracts.”

The U.S. Navy takeover of Vieques accelerated in 1947, when it designated the base as a naval training installation and storage depot and began utilizing the island for firing practice and amphibious landings by tens of thousands of troops. Expanding its expropriation to three-quarters of Vieques, the navy used the western section for its ammunition storage and the eastern section for its bombing and war games, while sandwiching the native population into the small strip of land separating them.

Over the ensuing decades, the navy bombed Vieques from the air, land, and sea and conducted military training exercises averaging 180 days per year. It also used the island for tests of biological weapons.

Naturally, for the Viequenses, this military domination created a nightmarish existence. “When the wind came from the east, it brought smoke and piles of dust from their bombing ranges,” one resident recalled. “They’d bomb every day, from 5 am until 6 pm. It felt like a war zone. You’d hear . . . eight or nine bombs, and your house would shudder. Everything on your walls . . . would fall on the floor and break,” and “your cement house would start cracking.” In addition, with the release of toxic chemicals into the soil, water, and air, the population began to suffer from dramatically higher rates of illnesses.

Eventually, the U.S. Navy determined the fate of the entire island, including the nautical routes, flight paths, aquifers, and zoning laws in the remaining civilian territory, where the residents lived under constant threat of eviction. In 1961, the navy actually drafted a secret plan to remove the entire civilian population from Vieques, with even the dead slated to be dug up from their graves. But U.S. President John F. Kennedy blocked the plan from implementation.

Long-simmering tensions between the Viequenses and the navy boiled over from 1978 to 1983. In the midst of heightened U.S. naval bombing and stepped up military maneuvers, a vigorous local resistance movement emerged, led by the island’s fishermen. Activists engaged in picketing, demonstrations, and civil disobedience―most dramatically, by placing themselves directly in the line of missile fire, thereby disrupting military exercises.

But this first wave of popular protest, involving thousands of Viequenses and their supporters throughout Puerto Rico and the United States, failed to dislodge the navy from the island. In the midst of the Cold War, the U.S. military clung tenaciously to its operations on Vieques. Also, the prominence in the resistance campaign of Puerto Rican nationalists limited the movement’s appeal.

In the 1990s, however, a more broadly-based resistance movement took shape. Begun in 1993 by the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques, it accelerated in opposition to navy plans for the installation of an intrusive radar system and took off after April 19, 1999, when a U.S. navy pilot accidentally dropped two 500-pound bombs on an allegedly safe area, killing a civilian.

Rallying behind the demand of Peace for Vieques, this massive social upheaval drew heavily upon the Catholic and Protestant churches, as well as upon the labor movement, celebrities, women, and university students. Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans participated, with some 1,500 arrested for occupying the bombing range or for other acts of nonviolent civil disobedience. When religious leaders called for a March for Peace in Vieques, some 150,000 protesters flooded the streets of San Juan in what was reportedly the largest demonstration in Puerto Rico’s history.

Facing this firestorm of protest, the U.S. government finally capitulated. In 2003, the U.S. Navy not only halted the bombing, but shut down its naval base and withdrew from Vieques.

Despite this enormous victory for a people’s movement, Vieques continues to face severe challenges today. These include unexploded ordnance and massive pollution from heavy metals and toxic chemicals that were released through the dropping of an estimated trillion tons of munitions on the tiny island. As a result, Vieques is now a major Superfund Site, with cancer and other disease rates substantially higher than in the rest of Puerto Rico. Also, with its traditional economy destroyed, the island suffers from widespread poverty.

Nevertheless, the islanders, no longer hindered by military overlords, are grappling with these issues through imaginative reconstruction and development projects, including ecotourism. Robert Rabin, who served three jail terms for his protest activities, now directs the Count Mirasol Fort―a facility that once served as a prison for unruly slaves and striking sugar cane workers, but now provides rooms for the Vieques Museum, community meetings and celebrations, and Radio Vieques.

Of course, the successful struggle to liberate the island from the burdens of militarism also provides a source of hope for people around the world. This includes the people in the rest of the United States, who continue to pay a heavy economic and human price for their government’s extensive war preparations and wars.

Dr. Lawrence Wittner is Professor of History emeritus at SUNY/Albany and the author of Confronting the Bomb (Stanford University Press.)

May 2, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Solidarity and Activism | , | Leave a comment

Pompeo Lies, Cheats and Steals (But He’s Still a Good Christian)

By Philip Giraldi | Strategic Culture Foundation | May 2, 2019

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently recounted to an audience at Texas A&M University that when he was head of the Central Intelligence Agency he was responsible for “lying, cheating and stealing” to benefit the United States. “Like we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.”

The Secretary made the comment with a grin, noting that when he was a cadet at West Point he subscribed to the Academy honor code, which stated that “You will not lie, cheat, or steal or tolerate those who do.” The largely student audience clearly appreciated and irony and laughed and applauded, though it is not clear what they made of the “glory of the American experiment.” The normally humorless Pompeo was suggesting ironically that yesterday’s Pompeo would be required to turn today’s Pompeo in to the appropriate authorities for lying and also conniving at high crimes and misdemeanors while at the Agency.

Certainly, some might find Pompeo’s admission a bit lame though perhaps understandable as he arrived at CIA without any experience in intelligence. Someone should have whispered in his ear, “That is what spy agencies do Mike.” And if he found the moral ambiguities vexing, he should have turned down the job. Equally lame has been the international media coverage of the comments (it was not reported in any major national news outlet in the US) which reflected both shock and vindication at finding a top-level official who would admit that Washington does all that sort of nasty stuff.

And Pompeo is not alone in his doing what would have hitherto been unthinkable as many senior figures in the Trump Administration who have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution now find themselves conniving at starting various wars without the constitutionally required declaration of war from Congress. Pompeo has personally assured both the Venezuelans and Iranians that “all options are on the table,” while also arming the Ukrainians and warning the Russians to get out of Caracas or else face the consequences. And it is a good thing that he has now learned how to lie as he does so when he keeps insisting that the Iranians are the leading state sponsors of terrorism or that the Saudis are fighting a just war in Yemen.

And then there is the ethical dimension. The United States government is already involved in economic acts of war through use of its sanctions worldwide. It is currently dedicated to starving the Iranian and Venezuelan people to force them to change their governments. This week, a global boycott of Iranian oil sales to be enforced unilaterally by Washington kicks in with the objective, per Pompeo, of reducing “Iran’s oil exports to zero” to deny its government its “principal source of revenue.” The problem with the Pompeo objective is that attacking a foreign government normally rallies the people around their leadership. Also, denying a country income ultimately hurts ordinary people much more than it does those who make the decisions. One recalls the famous Madeleine Albright line about killing 500,000 Iraqi children through malnutrition and disease brought about by sanctions as “being worth it.”

Pompeo believes himself to be a good Christian. Indeed, a very good Christian in that he believes that the second coming of Jesus Christ is imminent and by virtue of his good deeds he will be saved and “raptured” directly to heaven. He, like Vice President Mike Pence, is referred to as a Dispensationalist, and he also believes that those who are not “born again” and accept Jesus will be doomed to hell. Most Dispensationalists think that the second coming will be preceded by a world war centered in the Middle East referred to as Armageddon, which will pit good against evil. How that shapes Pompeo’s thinking vis-à-vis encouraging a major armed conflict with Iran is certainly something that war-weary Americans should be considering.

One of the really interesting things about fanatics like Pompeo and his dos amigos Vice President Mike Pence and National Security Advisor John Bolton is how they are unable to figure out what comes next after the “lying, cheating, stealing” and shooting are over. After American air and naval power destroy Iran, what comes next? If Iraq and Afghanistan are anything to go by, “next” will be kind of figured out as one goes along. And as for an end game, fuggedaboutit.

Now let us suppose that with the crushing of the Mullahs all the requirements for Armageddon will be met and Jesus Christ makes his second appearance, what happens after that when the world as we know it ends? Presumably the rapture itself is painless but when Pompeo and Pence arrive at heaven what will they do all day? Play cards? There will be no television one presumes and no Muslims or Latinos to kick around as they will all be in hell. Drinking and smoking are probably not allowed and acquiring a girlfriend will likely be discouraged. One suspects that engaging in philosophical symposia to pass one’s time is not particularly favored by either gentleman.

Perhaps Pompeo and Pence look forward to something like the Mormon model, where they and their extended families going back genetically to the Pleistocene period will have their own planets where they can sit around and hobnob all day long. God, who, according to the Mormons, also has his own planet called Kolob, might just pop by for a visit every once in a while.

The point of all this is that we Americans are in the hands of a group of people who are adept at self- deception and who are also quite capable of doing some very dangerous things in light of their religious and personal views. It is one thing to have a strong foreign policy defending actual American interests but it is quite another to have a propensity to go to war to satisfy a personal predilection about how one goes about enabling a biblical prophecy. Equally, having a moral compass that is flexible depending who is on the receiving end is like having no real morals at all.

We have reached a point here in the United States where bad decisions and behavior best described as evil are masked by a certain kind of expressed piety and visions of national greatness. It is time to get rid of the Pompeos and Pences to end the charade and restore genuine morality unencumbered by the book of Revelations together with a national dignity that is not linked to threats or projection of military power.

May 2, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

Iran mission to UN slams US for violating Resolution 2231, pressuring others to do so

Press TV – May 2, 2019

Iran’s mission to the UN has blasted the US for violating Resolution 2231 — which endorsed a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal — and “shamelessly” threatening other UN members to do the same, saying such an approach is “destructive and hypocritical.”

In a press release on Wednesday night, the mission censured the US for attempting to portray Iran’s ballistic missile program as inconsistent with Resolution 2231, which was unanimously approved by the UN Security Council (UNSC) in 2015 and endorsed the multilateral Iran nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

It added that the US abandoned the deal in a “serious and blatant” violation of Resolution 2231, which had been adopted with Washington’s own support, and is now “shamelessly” threatening other world countries into violating the international document.

After withdrawing from the JCPOA, the US reinstated the anti-Iran sanctions that had been lifted under the accord.

It has also been attempting to dissuade other signatories to the JCPOA from living up to the accord, threatening “secondary sanctions” against the firms that refuse to abide by Washington’s restrictive measures against Iran

The administration of President Donald Trump said in a statement on April 22 that, in a bid to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero, that buyers of Iranian oil must stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions, sending oil prices to their highest levels since last November.

The Iranian statement came after the US State Department said US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook would be in New York on April 30 and May 1 to “underscore the importance of holding Iran accountable for its defiance of UN Security Council resolutions on the development and testing of ballistic missiles.”

Resolution 2231 terminated the provisions of previous UN resolutions against Iran, some of which had imposed restrictions on Iranian missile activities. It “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 said it has no nuclear warheads and that none of its missiles have been designed to carry nuclear weapons.

The Iranian side’s compliance with the JCPOA has been repeatedly confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Iran’s UN mission once again highlighted that fact that Resolution 2231 is a substitute for all former Security Council resolutions on Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.

Consequently, such activities in Iran are not incompatible with the resolution, which the US has itself violated, it added.

Instead of abusing the UNSC and trying to spread fake allegations aimed at advancing its own malicious policies against Iran, American officials must act responsibly in accordance with their international obligations, the mission added.

The mission added that American officials need to explain at the Security Council why Washington has breached Resolution 2231 and why it has been coercing other UN member states into doing the same thing.

Washington has been under fire by the entire international community, including its own allies, for leaving the Iran deal and slapping Tehran with sanctions again.

Despite Washington’s withdrawal, Iran has not left the deal yet, but stressed that the remaining signatories to the agreement have to work to offset the negative impacts of the US pullout for Iran if they want Tehran to remain in it.

May 2, 2019 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , | 1 Comment