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When Jews Invoke The Holocaust

By Gilad Atzmon | July 1, 2019

30 Jewish protesters were arrested on Sunday outside a privately managed ICE detention centre in New Jersey, which has been used to hold undocumented immigrants.

Invoking the Holocaust, demonstrators described the facilities in which immigrants are being held as concentration camps and spoke of the immigrant children who have died while being held by ICE. The Jewish protesters travelled from cities all over the USA. They were holding signs and singing and chanting in Hebrew and English.

The Jews behind the protest say about themselves, “we are  #JewsAgainstICE because #NeverAgainMeans never again for anyone.” This sounds good enough to me and I have no criticism of the official objective behind this humanist protest. Yet the Jewish nature of the gathering raises some crucial and necessary questions:

 Are these Jewish protestors willing to describe Gaza as a concentration camp?

 Will the Jewish activists protest in front of the Israeli embassy invoking the holocaust, pointing out that the Palestinians are subject to long-term genocidal policies?

 Will these Jewish protestors allow gentile pro Palestinian activists, for instance, to equate Israel with Nazi Germany or maybe invoke the holocaust is a Jews-only domain?

 Would the activists consider a Jewish protest in front of Goldman Sachs headquarters or George Soros’ offices, pointing at the carnage these investors inflicted on states and millions of people around the globe?

 How far are these well-meaning Jewish protestors willing to go to identify problems that might be related to Jewish exceptionalism, nationalism or racism?

 But the Jewish protest raises a much deeper question. What kind of people make a conscious and collective effort to look humane and empathic? I guess one possible answer is that we are dealing with people who accept that some of the actions and politics associated with their tribe are deeply disturbing.

 Newsweek reports that “the protest brought together Jews with a range of religious leanings, creating what Alona Weimer, a member of New York ‘s Yeshivat Hadar, described as an atypical cross-section of attendees for a demonstration.” Once again, it is not Judaism or a meta-Jewish ethos that unites these diverse good Jews and Tikkun Olam enthusiasts. One may wonder: what is it then that bonds this Jewish ‘cross-section’? Is it the phantasy of Jewish humanist DNA? Is it the Jewish revolutionary spirit, or is it the controlled opposition gene?

Unless Jews learn to fight for humanity as ordinary people, these questions may keep surfacing.

July 1, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite | , | 9 Comments

Israeli attack on Syria is a message for Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin met US President Donald Trump at Osaka on June 29, 2019
By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | July 1, 2019

Although G20 summit in Osaka achieved nothing and there were no breakthrough decisions, a pleasant feeling had appeared momentarily that in the disjointed world situation, all the participants in the event at least reconfirmed their commitment to continue efforts to improve the global trade system, including work to reform the WTO. The G20 summits are generally convergent occasions and Osaka was no different.

The ensuing meditative reveries lingered on through Sunday like an opium-induced blurring of Romantic imagination out of Thomas De Quincey. However, by early Monday it dawned that life is real as the news broke that just past midnight Israeli jets stealthily approaching Syria via Lebanese air space had rained missiles at multiple targets in the suburbs of Damascus and Homs.

According to latest reports, sixteen people, including a baby, were killed and 21 others suffered injuries, including a month-old baby girl, who suffered burns and facial wounds. At one stroke, Israel demolished the chimera of global governance that the G20 symbolises. The missile attack constituted the violation of national sovereignty and territorial integrity of two UN member states — Lebanon and Syria. Israel committed a war crime by killing innocent unarmed civilians.

How is global governance possible without a rule-based order? The relentless promotion of trade war, protectionism and militarism that we are witnessing brings to mind the famous coinage of Thomas Hobbes — Bellum omnium contra omnes ( “the war of all against all”).

Yet, the much-awaited meeting between Trump and Putin at Osaka on Friday, which closely followed the ‘trilateral’ meeting of the national security advisors of the US, Russia and Israel in Jerusalem on Tuesday, was widely expected to produce some convergences regarding Syria and the situation around Iran.

Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, US National Security Adviser John Bolton, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev at a trilateral summit at the Orient Hotel in Jerusalem on June 25, 2019.

Israel had hyped up the meeting of the NSAs and during a joint press conference with the visiting secretary of the Russian national security council Nikolai Patrushev, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had boasted that “security cooperation between Russia and Israel has already contributed much to the security and stability of our region and has made a fundamental difference in the situation in the region.”

But it was only typical Israeli bluster. In fact, today’s missile attack is an act of ‘coercive diplomacy’ by Israel. The Israelis are showing that they have neutralised the Russian S-300 missile system which is supposedly guarding Syrian air space. This is Israel’s angry riposte to Russia’s refusal to break up with Iran in Syria.

On the Israeli missile attack on Monday, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said, “We are establishing the facts now. We do not know what happened there. We want to gain insight into it, but the necessity to respect and execute the UN Security Council’s operating resolutions, that no one cancelled, is our principle which we will proceed from when assessing actions of any players in the region.”

Suffice to say that the Russian-Iranian axis in the Syrian conflict has far from outlived its utility — although the two countries would each have its specific interests in the Syrian situation. Thus, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov disclosed today in Moscow that another trilateral summit on Syria between Russia, Iran and Turkey is due to take place in the near future.

To quote Peskov, “They raised the issue at the meeting of President Putin and Erdogan (at Osaka). They did talk about such a summit. It is understood that it will be held soon.” There are also media reports that Turkey will host the trilateral summit in July. The previous such summits took place in Sochi (November 2017), Ankara (April 2018), Tehran (September 2018) and Sochi (February 2019). Evidently, the raison d’être of the Russia-Turkey-Iran format remains even in the conditions of the current US-Iran standoff.

No doubt, the situation in Idlib province in northeast Syria is fraught with profound contradictions, which need to be reconciled urgently. This is one thing. (Read an insightful report by Xinhua news agency, here, on the strong undercurrents in the Idlib situation.)

However, the big picture out of all this is that although Putin had a “good meeting” with Trump in Osaka on Friday and they held “very business-like and pragmatic” discussions that “covered practically the entire range of issues of mutual interest” (in Putin’s words), all he would say was that the discussions on regional conflicts were “overall… useful consultations.”

Putin sounded frustrated that Washington has shown no intentions even to expand economic ties with Russia or tap the vast potential of bilateral trade. He noted, “That is why I have no idea if they (Trump administration) will do anything or not. At any rate, one thing is sure — we are not going to ask for anything. No means no. And if there is interest, we will respond in kind and do everything we can to turn the situation around.”

Of course, the two presidents have instructed their respective foreign ministers to launch consultations on a New START treaty. But even here, Putin noted, “I do not know if those consultations will lead to the extension of the New START treaty, it is too early to speak about it.”

The paradox lies herein. For Trump, the prime consideration in the period ahead will be that there are no serious hiccups on the foreign policy front that might upset his apple cart during his campaign for the November 2020 election. The Victory Day Parade in Moscow’s Red Square next May offers a great photo-op for him, which he wouldn’t want to miss. But basically, Trump went to Osaka wearing velvet gloves with a focused mind on creating foreign-policy underpinnings for his bid for a second term as president.

Israel certainly factored in the inconclusive meeting between Trump and Putin while launching the missile strike on Damascus. It is a stark reminder that Israel will continue to fuel the tensions over Iran’s presence in Syria and draw Trump into it.

July 1, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Activists scale Israel arms manufacturer building, demand end to UK complicity in rights violations

MEMO | July 1, 2019

Activists from the Manchester Palestine Action network have scaled the roof of the Israeli owned Elbit/Ferranti arms manufacturer in Oldham in protest of UK complicity in Israel’s human rights violations.

To commemorate the five-year anniversary of “Operation Protective Edge” in 2014, which killed over 2,000 Palestinians, activists draped large banners in front of the building which read “UK Stop Arming Israel”.

The group say that over the last five years the UK has raised their arms sales to Israel and are calling for an arms embargo and the closure of all Elbit factories in the UK.

A group of activists also entered the new, hi-tech, Discovery Industrial Park in Kent and headed towards Elbit’s, purpose-built Instro Precision factory. They blockaded both of the gates to the factory and scaled a shipping container forcing the factory to close.

In 2017 the Campaign Against Arms Trade reported that the UK issued £221 million worth of arms licenses to defence companies exporting to Israel which makes Israel the eighth largest UK arms market.

In the past half-decade Israel has brought over £350 million worth of UK military hardware.

During the Great March of Return Israeli snipers have killed over 180 Palestinian protesters including 57 children, yet the UK has approved some £14 million worth of arms sales during this period, according to the group.

Adie from Manchester Palestine Action said: “We think that arms companies like Elbit Ferranti should stop operating when it is clear their weapons are being developed through the mass murder of Palestinians in Gaza and the rest of Palestine. The crimes must stop and so must UK-based companies that are profiting from them.”

July 1, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

US Ambassador to Israel Participates in Israeli Underground Settlement Expansion

IMEMC | July 1, 2019

The US Ambassador to Israel, and longtime Israeli settlement financier, David Friedman, participated on Sunday in an underground excavation under the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, in East Jerusalem, actively participating in the illegal settlement action by bashing with a hammer a section of ancient underground wall located beneath Palestinian homes.

In addition to Ambassador David Friedman, the US “Peace Envoy” Jason Greenblatt also participated in the controversial and illegal excavation, along with Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who recently narrowly avoided prison time by negotiating a plea agreement in which she pleaded guilty to corruption charge.

The presence of US officials at the incident marks the first time that the US, or any country, has decided to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Old City of Jerusalem. The Old City was declared an international space open to all during the declaration recognizing the state of Israel in 1948. But since 1967, Israeli forces have occupied the mainly Palestinian city and have used many measures, legal and illegal, to push out the Palestinian residents of the city.

This archaeological dig is to excavate a tunnel that Israeli state archaeologists claim was used by Jewish pilgrims thousands of years ago.

According to a statement by the Israeli non-profit Emek Shaveh, the group believes that this incident with the U.S. officials is “a further step in American support for the pro-settlement policy in Jerusalem, and particularly the touristic-settlement projects…. It is inexcusable to ignore the Palestinian residents of Silwan, carrying out extensive excavations of an underground city and to use such excavations as part of an effort to tell a historical story that is exclusively Jewish in a 4,000 year-old city with a rich and diverse cultural and religious past”.

In an editorial in the leading Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, the paper’s editors write, “The participation of American diplomats at an event sponsored by a right-wing group in East Jerusalem constitutes de facto recognition of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem’s historic basin. If anyone had any doubts about that, Friedman made clear in an interview with the Jerusalem Post that, ‘The City of David is an essential component of the national heritage of the State of Israel.” Giving it up, even in the context of a peace agreement, he said, “would be akin to America returning the Statue of Liberty.’”

The problem with this argument, according to the editors of Ha’aretz, is that, “This recognition doesn’t just put the American administration on the extreme right of the Israeli political map – thus undercutting the claim that American can be an unbiased broker between Israel and the Palestinians – but it also ignores the complicated reality in Silwan, East Jerusalem and the entire region. The tunnel, which was excavated using controversial methods from a scientific standpoint, harnesses archaeology to politics while ignoring the nuances of Jerusalem’s ancient past…. Anyone having even a passing familiarity with the Palestinian people knows that there’s no chance of arriving at any kind of agreement that will end the occupation so long as Israel continues to control East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Thus, by mere words and an event dripping with sweetness and smiles, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has sentenced Israelis to a life of constant conflict, or to an apartheid state in which there are two types of residents, those with rights and those without them.”

Over 300,000 Palestinians live in the city of Jerusalem, at least 20,000 of whom live in Silwan. These Palestinians have no citizenship rights and are not granted freedom of movement by the Israeli authorities. They are frequently displaced from their ancestral homes by Israeli settlers, particularly in Silwan neighborhood, which has been targeted by Israeli right-wing settlers for colonization.

July 1, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli ‘solution’ for Gaza includes massive military offensive and move to Sinai

MEMO | July 1, 2019

Two Israeli officials have proposed a “solution” for the Gaza Strip which includes another massive military offensive against the enclave and moving the Palestinians to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, Arabi21.com reported on Sunday. The end of the government led by Mahmoud Abbas is also suggested in a report published by the Jerusalem Institute for Public and State Affairs.

The purpose of the proposal is to make the humanitarian crisis in Gaza even worse, prompting a military confrontation. Its authors are Shimon Shapira, a former military secretary to Israel’s Prime Minister, and Shlomi Fogel, an official who has proposed numerous initiatives related to the Arab world. The phase which would follow the offensive would be based on economic and commercial development for Sinai backed by Egypt.

According to Shapira and Fogel, Gaza is still a crisis issue for Israel and the international community. They refer to a report issued by the International Bank in 2018 which said that Gaza’s economy is failing.

Saving Gaza will not be easy, the report claims, because Hamas, which controls Gaza, is seen by the US, EU and Israel as a “terrorist group”, while its ideological parent, the Muslim Brotherhood, is also regarded as a “terrorist” movement by a number of Arab states. Furthermore, the Gaza Strip and its residents have faced three massive Israeli military offensives against the largely civilian population since Hamas won the last Palestinian elections in 2006 and took full control of the coastal territory a year later.

The report describes the failure to deal with Gaza as a “ticking bomb”, not only for Israel, but also for the other countries in the region, including Egypt. It suggests an international aid package for Egypt coming mainly from the US and Gulf States to develop the infrastructure in Sinai. This, it is proposed, will help Egyptian workers by giving them work and improving their life, and will, it is believed, deter them from joining Daesh or attacking the Egyptian army. Workers from Gaza will also benefit.

As well as developing the port at El-Arish, Shapira and Fogel suggest the building of an airport for goods and passenger transport, as well as a new power plant run on Egyptian natural gas, a desalination plant and a railway from Gaza to the North Sinai coastal city.

July 1, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , | 2 Comments

In Bahrain, the Horizon of Peace stretched Further Away from Palestinians

By Jonathan Cook – The National – July 1, 2019

Donald Trump’s supposed “deal of the century”, offering the Palestinians economic bribes in return for political submission, is the endgame of western peace-making, the real goal of which has been failure, not success.

For decades, peace plans have made impossible demands of the Palestinians, forcing them to reject the terms on offer and thereby create a pretext for Israel to seize more of their homeland.

The more they have compromised, the further the diplomatic horizon has moved away – to the point now that the Trump administration expects them to forfeit any hope of statehood or a right to self-determination.

Even Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and architect of the peace plan, cannot really believe the Palestinians will be bought off with their share of the $50 billion inducement he hoped to raise in Bahrain last week.

That was why the Palestinian leadership stayed away.

But Israel’s image managers long ago coined a slogan to obscure a policy of incremental dispossession, masquerading as a peace process: “The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

It is worth examining what those landmark “missed opportunities” consisted of.

The first was the United Nations’ Partition Plan of late 1947. In Israel’s telling, it was Palestinian intransigence over dividing the land into separate Jewish and Arab states that triggered war, leading to the creation of a Jewish state on the ruins of most of the Palestinians’ homeland.

But the real story is rather different.

The recently formed UN was effectively under the thumb of the imperial powers of Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union. All three wanted a Jewish state as a dependent ally in the Arab-dominated Middle East.

Fueled by the dying embers of western colonialism, the Partition Plan offered the largest slice of the Palestinian homeland to a minority population of European Jews, whose recent immigration had been effectively sponsored by the British empire.

As native peoples elsewhere were being offered independence, Palestinians were required to hand over 56 per cent of their land to these new arrivals. There was no chance such terms would be accepted.

However, as Israeli scholars have noted, the Zionist leadership had no intention of abiding by the UN plan either. David Ben Gurion, Israel’s founding father, called the Jewish state proposed by the UN “tiny”. He warned that it could never accommodate the millions of Jewish immigrants he needed to attract if his new state was not rapidly to become a second Arab state because of higher Palestinian birth rates.

Ben Gurion wanted the Palestinians to reject the plan, so that he could use war as a chance to seize 78 per cent of Palestine and drive out most of the native population.

For decades, Israel was happy to entrench and, after 1967, expand its hold on historic Palestine.

In fact, it was Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat who made the biggest, unreciprocated concessions to peace. In 1988, he recognised Israel and, later, in the 1993 Olso accords, he accepted the principle of partition on even more dismal terms than the UN’s – a state on 22 per cent of historic Palestine.

Even so, the Oslo process stood no serious chance of success after Israel refused to make promised withdrawals from the occupied territories. Finally, in 2000 President Bill Clinton called together Arafat and Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak to a peace summit at Camp David.

Arafat knew Israel was unwilling to make any meaningful compromises and had to be bullied and cajoled into attending. Clinton promised the Palestinian leader he would not be blamed if the talks failed.

Israel ensured they did. According to his own advisers, Barak “blew up” the negotiations, insisting that Israel hold on to occupied East Jerusalem, including the Al Aqsa mosque, and large areas of the West Bank. Washington blamed Arafat anyway, and refashioned Israel’s intransigence as a “generous offer”.

A short time later, in 2002, Saudi Arabia’s Peace Initiative offered Israel normal relations with the Arab world in return for a minimal Palestinian state. Israel and western leaders hurriedly shunted it into the annals of forgotten history.

After Arafat’s death, secret talks through 2008-09 – revealed in the Palestine Papers leak – showed the Palestinians making unprecedented concessions. They included allowing Israel to annex large tracts of East Jerusalem, the Palestinians’ expected capital.

Negotiator Saeb Erekat was recorded saying he had agreed to “the biggest [Jerusalem] in Jewish history” as well as to only a “symbolic number of [Palestinian] refugees’ return [and a] demilitarised state … What more can I give?”

It was a good question. Tzipi Livni, Israel’s negotiator, responded, “I really appreciate it” when she saw how much the Palestinians were conceding. But still her delegation walked away.

Trump’s own doomed plan follows in the footsteps of such “peace-making”.

In a New York Times commentary last week Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, candidly encapsulated the thrust of this decades-long diplomatic approach. He called on the Palestinians to “surrender”, adding: “Surrender is the recognition that in a contest, staying the course will prove costlier than submission.”

The peace process was always leading to this moment. Trump has simply cut through the evasions and equivocations of the past to reveal where the West’s priorities truly lie.

It is hard to believe that Trump or Kushner ever believed the Palestinians would accept a promise of “money for quiet” in place of a state based on “land for peace”.

Once more, the West is trying to foist on the Palestinians an inequitable peace deal. The one certainty is that they will reject it – it is the only issue on which the Fatah and Hamas leaderships are united – again ensuring the Palestinians can be painted as the obstacle to progress.

The Palestinians may have refused this time to stumble into the trap, but they will find themselves the fall guys, whatever happens.

When Trump’s plan crashes, as it will, Washington will have the chance to exploit a supposed Palestinian rejection as justification for approving annexation by Israel of yet more tranches of occupied territory.

The Palestinians will be left with a shattered homeland. No self-determination, no viable state, no independent economy, just a series of aid-dependent ghettos. And decades of western diplomacy will finally have arrived at its preordained destination.

July 1, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

Venezuelan Navy Captain Dies in State Custody, Maduro Orders Investigation

By Lucas Koerner | Venezuelanalysis | June 30, 2019 

Caracas – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has ordered a probe into the death of a retired navy captain in the custody of Venezuelan intelligence officials on Saturday.

Captain Rafael Acosta Arevalo, 49, was transferred to Dr. Vicente Salas Military Hospital where he died at approximately 1 am Saturday morning, his lawyer told Bloomberg.

According to a statement by Venezuela’s Defense Ministry, Acosta was presented before a military judge at Caracas’ Fort Tiuna military base on Friday when he reportedly fainted, prompting the judge to order his immediate transfer to the health facility. No further details have been made public at the time of writing.

However, the opposition has disputed the official account, claiming that the navy officer died as a result of toture.

Venezuelan Attorney Tamara Suju, who serves as self-proclaimed “Interim President” Juan Guaido’s envoy to the Czech Republic, took to Twitter, alleging that Acosta “arrived at court in a wheelchair, presenting grave signs of torture.” Her comments were echoed in a statement by Guaido’s office calling for an “independent international forensics team” to investigate the death.

Acosta, who retired from active service a decade ago, was arrested by Venezuela’s Military Counter-Intelligence Command (DGCIM) on Wednesday on charges of terrorism and sedition, in connection to a purported coup plot revealed by Communciations Minister Jorge Rodriguez that same day.

Rodriguez presented an allegedly intercepted video conference showing Acosta extensively discussing the coup plans with other alleged conspirators, which included seizing arms stored at the Central Bank before mounting an assault on Miraflores Palace in order to “eliminate target 1 and target 2,” referring to President Maduro and National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello. The retired navy captain described the assassination of the president and the Socialist Party’s number two as a “decisive, striking, mediatized and internationally noteworthy act” that would win over military officials still ambivalent about the coup.

In a statement Saturday, Venezuela’s Communications Ministry indicated President Maduro ordered a “thorough and exhaustive investigation” into the incident.

For its part, the Attorney General’s office likewise issued a declaration announcing that the 86th Caracas Metropolitan Area prosecutor, with a specialty in human rights, had been assigned to conduct an “independent, objective, and impartial” probe into the death.

In response to the incident, US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Kimberly Breier took to Twitter Sunday, condemning the death as “a grim reminder of how Maduro & his Cuban advisers are persecuting the military & National Assembly.”

Meanwhile, the EU’s spokesperson for foreign affairs, Maja Kocijancic, termed the case “a stark illustration of the arbitrary nature of the judicial system in the country” and called for a “full and independent investigation.”

July 1, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | | Leave a comment

Erdogan Says ‘Out of Question’ to Support US Plan on Palestine

Al-Manar | July 1, 2019

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it was “out of the question” for Turkey to support the US economic plan of President Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” on Palestine and the Zionist entity.

The White House plan revealed last week calls for $50 billion in investment over 10 years in the Palestinian territories and their Arab neighbors.

“It is out of the question for us to approach this issue positively,” Erdogan told journalists on Monday aboard his plane returning from the G-20 summit in Japan, according to pro-government daily Yeni Safak.

Trump’s administration has hinted that its political plan, which will follow the economic one and is due later in the year, will not mention a Palestinian state.

The Palestinian Authority and its rival Hamas have both denounced the economic initiative, saying it amounts to a bid by the unabashedly pro-‘Israel’ Trump to buy off their demands for an independent state.

Erdogan has presented himself in the last years is a vocal advocate of the Palestinian cause, and strongly opposed the US decision to move its Israeli embassy to Al-Quds (Jerusalem) last year.

July 1, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment

America’s Limited Wars – Are They Good for Israel?

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | July 1, 2019

When is a war not a war? Apparently in the minds of some folks in Washington if it is a “single strike” or a “limited attack” it is really okay, with or without the consent of Congress as required by Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution of the United States. The Founders had wanted to take away from the chief executive the ability to go to war, a power which the kings in Europe had abused, but the current rulers of America have chosen to ignore the wisdom of the framers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. They have done so by wordsmithing what they are doing and somehow attacking another country has become generally regarded as not really war at all, just a reminder to bad guys of what Washington might be capable of if it really gets angry.

Even accepting that under the War Powers Act the president has the authority to respond to an imminent threat, the U.S. was hardly threatened by the Syrians on the two occasions when Trump has ordered drone strikes. Nor was Iran a threat two weeks ago when an attack on Iranian military installations was called off within minutes of being launched.

Laws or rules of war are, in reality, pretty much a fiction. Thucydides’ account of the Peloponnesian War includes the observation that “the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.” The recent Iranian shoot-down of a U.S. navy reconnaissance drone brought out the worst in all-American chest thumping chauvinism. The New York Times’ leading Zionist columnist Bret Stephens called for an attack by U.S. forces to sink the Iranian navy. Senator Tom Cotton, a Trump ally, urged a “retaliatory military strike,” while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that any killing of an American soldier or sailor in Syria or Iraq will be blamed on Iran and a U.S. military response will follow.

Bernie Sanders, in an interview with Margaret Brennan of CBS’s Face the Nation, had an interesting confrontation with Brennan over the language used to describe the aborted Iran attack. When Sanders correctly described the planned action as “war” Brennan objected, leading to the following exchange:

MARGARET BRENNAN: He was just doing a limited strike.

SEN. SANDERS: Oh, just a limited strike – well, I’m sor-ry. I just didn’t know that it’s okay to simply attack another country with bombs with just a limited strike – that’s an act of warfare.

On the day after the attack was called off, Eliot Engel, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, spoke with Jake Tapper of CNN saying:

JAKE TAPPER: “You think the President needs to come to Congress to get the authority to strike Iran if he wants to?”

ELIOT ENGEL: “Oh, absolutely. I think the President needs to come to Congress if … going to war with Iran. I mean, individual strike, we don’t want to tie the President’s hands. But in terms of going to war, we’re a co-equal branch of government, it’s very important that Congress have a say in it.”

Engel’s ignorance of the Constitution of the United States and the War Powers Act is profound. He is saying that an “individual strike” using the military is not war while also conceding that the president can start an armed conflict just because he got up on the wrong side of bed one morning. Eliot would not want to tie the president’s hands, perhaps recalling the heroic exploits of his own president Barack Obama, who destroyed Libya just because he felt it was the right thing to do.

Engel is, perhaps not coincidentally, a hard-core Zionist who tends to look at the Middle East through an Israeli prism. In opposition to most other Democratic congressmen, he voted for the Iraq war and against Obama’s Iran deal, both of which votes were in line with the Israeli government’s lobbying of Congress. For Engel, the first question is always “Is it good for Israel?”

And when it comes to going to war against the Muslim world, there is no one more up front than former Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. Joe was interviewed by Israeli Army radio on the day after Trump canceled the Iran attack. He was troubled by Trump’s backing off from hitting Iran and advocated striking targets in the country that are both “visible and public.” He also expressed his hope that Donald Trump would quickly return to his policy of maintaining a hard line with Iran. Joe was not at all troubled about a retaliatory attack killing an estimated 150 people on the ground because “in war unfortunately people are killed, that’s just the way of the world.” Joe would, of course, prefer that non-Jews do the dying.

Perhaps the most bizarre summation of the case for America’s right to initiate what amounts to perpetual warfare came from James Jeffrey, the noticeably demented U.S. Special Representative for Syria Engagement and Special Envoy to the Global Coalition. Viewing with disdain some of the Democratic presidential candidates’ calls for moving away from “endless wars,” he pounded the table while declaring “I get terribly worried. Because this shows total ignorance of what’s going on in the world today.”

He went on to opine in an interview with Defense One : “All of those candidates, in fact to a degree even more than most presidential candidates, embrace American values such as democracy, rule of law, divided government, free press, all of these great things. But let me tell you what I’ve learned in 50 years of experience. All those democratic values that we have done a great deal as a country to promote and to support around the world – and that’s a good thing, was a good thing – rest on a foundation. That foundation is an American-led global collective security system to fend off the predators that want to tear the system apart. Not just the military coalition, but the values that stand behind it.”

Jeffrey is perhaps a student of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is uniquely convinced that the U.S. has been a force for good over the past twenty years. By that logic, the United States must accept the burden of being the global policeman to maintain wonderful democratic values. Interestingly, Jeffrey cites “rule of law” and “democracy” which are, of course, the first victims in any nation that believes itself to have a right to start a war whenever it sees fit.

What is more disturbing than Jeffrey, however, is the casualness displayed by media stars and politicians alike regarding what constitutes war by virtue of the broad acceptance of euphemisms like “limited attack” or “individual strike.” One recalls the euphemism frequently cited by the Pentagon during the Vietnam War when American bombers were blowing up villages, that the U.S. was invariably “exercising the inherent right of self-defense.” Rather than citing self-defense, it would be far better seeing Washington exercising some self-restraint for a change.

July 1, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

FBI Had 12-Page File On George Carlin Because He Made Jokes About Government

By John Vibes | ANTIMEDIA | August 19, 2015

Comedian George Carlin is known as one of the most controversial and outspoken entertainers of his time, and as far as the government is concerned, he could have possibly been a terrorist.

Carlin was not a violent or criminal person in any way, but he said things during his routines that struck at the root of the problems in our society. He went into great detail about corruption in government and business.

During the 1978 Supreme Court case, FCC v Pacifica Foundation, the government cited Carlin’s work as an example of profanity. They used his “Seven Dirty Words” segment to show the type of language that was being used in records and broadcasts. However, the government’s interest in his work did not stop there. 

Just after his 1969 appearance on the Jackie Gleason show, Carlin caught the attention of the FBI because he made jokes about then-FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover. According to the government, Carlin had “referred to the Bureau and the Director in a satirical vein.”

They added that his act was “considered to be in very poor taste” and “it was obvious that he was using the prestige of the Bureau and Mr. Hoover to enhance his performance.”

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After Carlin’s appearance on the show, the staff of Jackie Gleason received a number of anonymous letters — allegedly from fans but possibly from the FBI — condemning Carlin for speaking about the government in the critical way that he did. It has been proven that the FBI has indeed sent threatening letters to public figures in the past, pretending to be concerned colleagues or a member of the public, including to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Anyone that speaks out against the injustices of the world, whether they are a dangerous terrorist or a harmless comedian, will receive unwanted attention from government.

Below is a video showing Carlin’s deep political analysis in action:

Read the 12 pages of FBI documents on Carlin here.

July 1, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Hope for a Breakthrough in Korea

By Ray McGovern – Consortium News – July 1, 2019

There is hope for some real progress in U.S.-North Korean relations after Sunday morning’s unscheduled meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, largely because Russia and China seem more determined than ever to facilitate forward movement.

Sitting down before the talks began, Kim underlined the importance of the meeting.“I hope it can be the foundation for better things that people will not be expecting,” he said. “Our great relationship will provide the magical power with which to overcome hardships and obstacles in the tasks that needs to be done from now on.”

Trump was equally positive speaking of Kim:

“We’ve developed a very good relationship and we understand each other very well. I do believe he understands me, and I think I maybe understand him, and sometimes that can lead to very good things.”

Trump said the two sides would designate teams, with the U.S. team headed by special envoy Stephen Biegun under the auspices of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to start work in the next two to three weeks. “They’ll start a process, and we’ll see what happens,” he said.

New Impetus

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who met individually with President Trump at the G20 in Osaka, have been singing from the same sheet of Korea music — particularly in the wake of Xi’s visit to North Korea on June 20-21. Putin’s remarks are the most illuminating.

Putin at FT interview. (Kremlin photo)

In an interview with The Financial Times, Putin pointed to “the tragedies of Libya and Iraq” — meaning, of course, what happened to each of them as they lacked a nuclear deterrent. Applying that lesson to North Korea, Putin said,

“What we should be talking about is not how to make North Korea disarm, but how to ensure the unconditional security of North Korea and how to make any country, including North Korea, feel safe and protected by international law. …”

“We should think about guarantees, which we should use as the basis for talks with North Korea. We must take into account the dangers arising from … the presence of nuclear weapons,” he said, adding that if a way can be found to satisfy North Korea’s understandable determination to protect its security, “the situation may take a turn nobody can imagine today.”

“Whether we recognize North Korea as a nuclear power or not, the number of nuclear charges it has will not decrease. We must proceed from modern realities …” And those realities include fundamental, immediate security concerns for both Russia and China. Putin put it this way:

”[W]e have a common border, even if a short one, with North Korea, therefore, this problem has a direct bearing on us. The United States is located across the ocean … while we are right here, in this region, and the North Korean nuclear range is not far away from our border. This is why this concerns us directly, and we never stop thinking about it.”

Xi’s ‘Reasonable Expectations’

Last week in Pyongyang, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China is waiting for a desired response in stalled nuclear talks with the United States.

“North Korea would like to remain patient, but it hopes the relevant party will meet halfway with North Korea to explore resolution plans that accommodate each other’s reasonable concerns,” he said.

A commentary in China’s official Xinhua news agency said China could play a unique role in breaking the cycle of mistrust between North Korea and the U.S, but that both sides “need to have reasonable expectations and refrain from imposing unilateral and unrealistic demands.”

There is little doubt that the Russians and Chinese have been comparing notes on what they see as a potentially explosive (literally) problem in their respective backyards, the more so inasmuch as the two countries have become allies in all but name.

On a three-day visit to Moscow earlier this month, President Xi spoke of his “deep personal friendship” with Putin, with whom he has “met nearly 30 times in the past six years.” For his part, Putin claimed “Russian-Chinese relations have reached an unprecedented level. It is a global partnership and strategic cooperation.”

A Fundamental Strategic Change

Whether they are “best friends” or not, the claim of unprecedented strategic cooperation happens to be true — and is the most fundamental change in the world strategic equation in decades. Given the fear they share that things could get out of hand in Korea with the mercurial Trump and his hawkish advisers calling the shots, it is a safe bet that Putin and Xi have been coordinating closely on North Korea.

The next step could be stepped-up efforts to persuade Trump that China and Russia can somehow guarantee continued nuclear restraint on Pyongyang’s part, in return for U.S. agreement to move step by step — rather than full bore — toward at least partial North Korean denuclearization — and perhaps some relaxation in U.S. economic sanctions. Xi and Putin may have broached that kind of deal to Trump in Osaka.

There is also a salutary sign that President Trump has learned more about the effects of a military conflict with North Korea, and that he has come to realize that Pyongyang already has not only a nuclear, but also a formidable conventional deterrent: massed artillery.

“There are 35 million people in Seoul, 25 miles away,” Trump said on Sunday. “All accessible by what they already have in the mountains. There’s nothing like that anywhere in terms of danger.”

Obstacles Still Formidable

Trump and Kim meet Sunday before Trump became first US president to step on North Korean territory. (White House photo)

Trump will have to remind his national security adviser, John Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, that he is the president and that he intends to take a firmer grip on reins regarding Korean policy. Given their maladroit performance on both Iran and Venezuela, it would, at first blush, seem easy to jettison the two super-hawks.

But this would mean running afoul of the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academe-Think-Tank (MICIMATT) complex, in which the corporate-controlled media play the sine-qua-non role today.

In a harbinger of things to come, The Washington Post’s initial report on the outcome of the Trump-Kim talks contained two distortions: “Trump … misrepresented what had been achieved, claiming that North Korea had ceased ballistic missile tests and was continuing to send back remains of U.S. servicemen killed in the Korean War.”

The Trump administration could reasonably call that “fake news.” True, North Korea tested short-range ballistic missiles last spring, but Kim’s promise to Trump was to stop testing strategic not tactical missiles, and North Korea has adhered to that promise. As for the return of the remains of U.S. servicemen: True, such remains that remain are no longer being sent back to the U.S., but it was the U.S. that put a stop to that after the summit in Hanoi failed.

We can surely expect more disingenuous “reporting” of that kind.

Whether Trump can stand up to the MICIMATT on Korea remains to be seen. There is a huge amount of arms-maker-arms-dealer profiteering going on in the Far East, as long as tensions there can be stoked and kept at a sufficiently high level.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. His first portfolio at CIA was referent-analyst for Soviet policy toward China, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. In retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

July 1, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment

‘Not Only Question of Oil’: M.K. Bhadrakumar Weighs in on Impact of US-Iran Escalation

Sputnik – July 1, 2019

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo created a flutter of sorts last week, by saying that Washington and New Delhi have a shared understanding of the alleged threat posed by Iran.

The Indian government did not immediately react, restraining itself to saying, that all issues on the table between the two countries will be addressed in the context of national interests.

Over the last year, India has been following the standoff between the United States and Iran, in the context of its long-term economic effects on oil supplies. In the last financial year alone, according to government data, New Delhi imported 84 per cent of its crude from the conflict-prone Middle Eastern and West Asia region, including Iran. The US has ruled out any exemptions from its punitive sanctions on Iran for countries that buy oil from the latter, including India.

Bilateral ties between India and Iran are more than just a transactional relationship based on buying and selling crude. India’s foreign policy establishment is having discussions about Iran at various levels, understanding that the current crisis has numerous implications, says India’s former Envoy to Turkey and Uzbekistan M.K. Bhadrakumar.

Sputnik: US Secretary of State Pompeo’s recent statement that the US and India have a shared understanding of the threats posed by Iran created a flutter within the Indian foreign policy establishment, so much so, that New Delhi said Pompeo’s views did not reflect India’s position. What is your response?

Ambassador M.K. Bhadrakumar: Frankly, I don’t understand what Mr Pompeo meant when he said that the United States and India have a shared understanding of issues related to Iran. I don’t know what he meant by that, and I also don’t understand why our External Affairs Minister (S. Jaishankar) kept quiet about it.

Sputnik: In the context of India’s foreign policy initiatives under the present government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, how much emphasis should be placed on the issue of oil imports from Iran?

M.K. Bhadrakumar: At the present moment, it is a very vital issue for India because it is not only a question of oil. In my opinion, India should also look at the emerging situation in terms of regional stability and security. This issue goes far beyond that of oil imports alone. It is about regional security and stability, and overall its impact on the Indian economy.

Sputnik: Can can you elaborate on the point about oil imports having an impact on the Indian economy?

M.K. Bhadrakumar: The belligerent and aggressive behaviour of the United States towards Iran has heightened tensions, and there is a lot of talk in the air, about the dangers of war. The United States is thousands of kilometres away. But this [the Persian Gulf region?] is India’s extended neighbourhood where nearly seven million Indians live and work.

Sputnik: The US maintains that Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terror. During his visit to New Delhi last week Secretary Pompeo said: “We know the Indian people have suffered from terror.” How would you assess this remark?

M.K. Bhadrakumar: I can recall the US Secretary of State saying that India is an affected party as a result of Iran’s behaviour and then characterising Iran as a supporter of terrorism. India has not experienced any such kind of threat nor has it harboured any such threat perceptions from Iran.

India’s concerns about terrorism are entirely different than those expressed by United States propagandists on Iran. What the United States says, or what Secretary Pompeo said just doesn’t make sense. I think India should have clarified its position right then and there.

July 1, 2019 Posted by | Economics | , | Leave a comment