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Armed FARC: Colombia Peace Only Possible with ‘Humanist Government’

teleSUR | August 31, 2019

The “new guerrilla” movement led by former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, People’s Army (FARC-EP) Ivan Marquez announced to the public Saturday it is willing to engage in “dialogue” with a “coalition.”

An open letter signed “from the mountains of insurgent Colombia” by former high-ranking FARC commanders who are referring to themselves as the “New Power”, reiterates that the state’s failing to follow through with the 2016 Havana Peace Accords is what led the minority faction to return to arms. According to the ‘New Power’ that announced its rearmament Aug. 29 via a 32-minute Youtube video, the group took up weapons again because, “the history of betrayals suffered leaves no alternative.”

The former FARC commanders and soldiers in the split faction of around 30 people that “only an open process and an alternative humanist government can pave the way towards a scenario of coexistence in which the interests of the people and true development prioritized” for Colombia.

On Thursday morning a video was published by a minority of senior leaders of the former FARC announcing their split from the main organization and to rearm. Among those in the video was Jesus Santrich, a key FARC leader who has been missing since mid-July and Ivan Marquez, a once-senior commander who was integral in negotiating the peace accord, announcing a “new stage of armed struggle.”

In the ‘New Power’ letter, the authors recognize all those who participated in the peace accord that was negotiated over several years. “They became the moral fire of the cause of reconciliation.” They are “the great coalition of social justice and democracy that promotes a new dialogue to achieve true, final, stable and lasting peace,” the communique reads.

“Hopefully, total peace is achieved involving all armed actors that forges a New Alternative Government that saves the country from this general crisis,” say the dissident leaders who send a message to the Communist Party, the Patriotic Union and other nearby political factions: “As revolutionaries, sooner or later we will meet along the way.”

Marquez, Santrich and the other signatories say there are “men and women of this country, who believe that another Colombia is possible who have struggled and continue to fight with patience and intelligence for peace.” Among those on that list are Congressmen Ivan Cepeda, Alvaro Leyva, Roy Barreras, Gustavo Petro, Angela Maria Robledo and Angelica Lozano, among others.

The guerillas thank all social movements and guarantor countries that part in crafting the peace agreement and denounce the “Dominant Power Block—the oligarch class that sows wars to be freed by others.”

Also on Saturday, Colombia’s military announced it had killed, in total, 12 former FARC in a rural area in the southern department of Caqueta, near the border with Ecuador. Colombian Army General Nicacio Martínez said Saturday that the number of FARC dissidents who died in a large military operation rose to 12, three more than was first announced Friday following the Aug. 30 operation ordered by President Ivan Duque.

It’s still unclear how, or if, the Caqueta faction is related to the ‘New Power’ under Marquez.

The main ex-FARC constituency officially condemned the move on Thursday. In a tweet on their official account, they say unequivocally that “more than 90% of former guerrillas remain committed to the peace process.” The group did later that day say it was breaking with the Comprehensive System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition (SIVJRNR), the institutions that form the basis of the Havana Peace Accords, which includes the Special Judicial Court, or JEP, set up to help the over eight million people affected by the 50-year civil conflict.

August 31, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | Leave a comment

Fault Lines Radio Interview With Whitney Webb (August 30, 2019)

Fault Lines Radio | August 30, 2019

Interview begins at 2:20:21

August 31, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Video | , | Leave a comment

Facebook Targets Lee Camp & Jimmy Dore For Censorship

The Jimmy Dore Show | August 31, 2019

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YouTube Bans James Allsup And Tons Of Other Right-Wingers In Latest Censorship Purge

By Chris Menahan – InformationLiberation – August 26, 2019

August 31, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Video | | 1 Comment

Israel Uses Its Firepower, Far and Wide

By Paul R. Pillar | LobeLog | August 27, 2019

Israel recently has been expanding its military attacks across much of the Middle East, hitting multiple countries. The aggressive campaign far outpaces anything any adversaries of Israel have been doing to it, or even trying unsuccessfully to do to it.

Over the past two years Israel has used combat aircraft to conduct scores of attacks in Syria. Israel has stayed silent about most of this campaign of bombardment, but when it speaks it says the targets it hits are associated with Iran. The most recent widening of Israel’s assaults have involved Lebanon, including drone attacks on facilities in suburban Beirut associated with Hezbollah—a departure from the cease-fire established after the last Israeli-Hezbollah war.

The most dramatic geographic widening of the Israeli assault came last month with multiple attacks, reportedly conducted with F-35s, in Iraq—which, of course, does not even border Israel. Among the targets hit was one facility that is 500 miles from Israel but only about 50 miles from the Iranian border.

It is difficult to identify anything being fired in anger in the opposite direction that justifies such an expansive Israeli military campaign. In January of this year, Israel’s missile defense system intercepted a missile heading for the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, but that is about as close as anyone in Syria, Lebanon, or Iraq has come lately to inflicting damage on Israel. Planned or failed attempts to inflict such damage all appear aimed at retaliating for Israel’s own attacks. Israel claimed that sorties it conducted this past weekend in Syria had thwarted an Iranian attempt to launch attack drones against Israel. That claim is unconfirmed, but it is quite plausible that, as suggested by Israeli sources, Iran was indeed planning such an operation to retaliate for the Israeli attacks last month in Iraq. One searches in vain for hostile operations that are unprovoked and not attempted tit-for-tat responses to Israel’s own actions.

The escalated Israeli military campaign exhibits some longstanding attributes of Israeli policies and practices. One is to assert a right to seek absolute security even if that means absolute insecurity for everyone else. The mere possibility of someone harming Israel is taken as sufficient reason to inflict certain harm on someone else. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in commenting on the most recent Israeli operations in Syria, said that Israel “won’t tolerate attacks on its territory.” Evidently that means asserting the privilege of attacking anyone else’s territory, even if those countries have not already attacked Israel.

Domestic politics figures into such matters, in Israel as elsewhere. With an Israeli election looming, Netanyahu has a political reason to use aggressive operations to bolster his image as a tough-minded guardian of Israeli security.

The operations also are part of the larger anti-Iran theme that the Israeli government uses to keep a regional rival weak, preclude any rapprochement between that rival and the United States, blame someone other than itself for all the ills of the region, and distract international attention from subjects involving Israel that Netanyahu’s government would rather not talk about. The Israeli government wants to retain Iran permanently as a perceived threat, loathed and isolated, rather than to negotiate away any issues or problems involving Iran. Netanyahu demonstrated this when, after years of sounding an alarm about a possible Iranian nuclear weapon, he opposed the very agreement that closed all possible paths to such a weapon. His government demonstrated it again this week when it opposed President Trump’s expressed willingness to meet and negotiate with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Israel’s heightened military aggressiveness has multiple bad consequences, in addition to being an affront to the sovereignty of multiple regional states. It pours gasoline on fires in places that need de-escalation, not escalation. It is certain to provoke more attempts at retaliation. Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah was quite explicit in promising such retaliation in response to the recent Israeli attacks in Lebanon.

Given the close U.S. association with Israel, the Israeli attacks disadvantage the United States in its own relations with the affected states, in the form of increased resentment and lessened willingness to cooperate with Washington. This type of reaction is appearing today in Iraq, as a result of the Israeli attacks there. The episode has been the occasion for a powerful bloc in the Iraqi parliament to call for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq and for shouts of “Death to America” to accompany “Death to Israel” at the funeral of one of those killed in the attacks.

No benefits offset these harmful consequences. It is useful to recall the previous time, before last month, that Israel attacked Iraq: the bombing of an Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981. Far from setting back the Iraqi development of a nuclear weapon, the attack energized and accelerated what until then had been a semi-moribund program. Armed attacks on states have a way of provoking that sort of reaction.

U.S. policy has failed to recognize these realities. Following the attacks in Iraq, the Pentagon did issue a statement—in the course of denying direct U.S. involvement—that “we support Iraqi sovereignty and have repeatedly spoken out against any potential actions by external actors inciting violence in Iraq.” But such mild language will hardly deflect Israel from its present course when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calls Netanyahu and, according to the official State Department statement, “expressed support for Israel’s right to defend itself from threats posed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and to take action to prevent imminent attacks against Israeli assets in the region.”

It is not just current U.S. policy that fails to recognize realities, but also wider discourse in the United States about troubles in the Middle East. A question that needs to be pondered carefully is, “Who is destabilizing the Middle East?” Stoked by the Trump administration’s own unrelenting campaign of hostility toward Iran, the stock and overly simple answer has been, “Iran.” That is an insufficient answer even when excluding Israel from the picture. And Israel does get excluded, and excused, for the variety of reasons—ranging from religious doctrine and historical legacies to the inner workings of domestic U.S. politics—for the strong U.S. favoritism toward Israel.

It may be too much to ask for consistency rather than hypocrisy in such matters, but the rest of the world easily perceives the hypocrisy. It at least would be honesty to acknowledge that the U.S. approach toward the region has been shaped not by which players are or are not destabilizing the region, but instead by U.S. fondness for some players rather than others.

Paul R. Pillar is Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Studies of Georgetown University and an Associate Fellow of the Geneva Center for Security Policy. He retired in 2005 from a 28-year career in the U.S. intelligence community. His senior positions included National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia, Deputy Chief of the DCI Counterterrorist Center, and Executive Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence.

August 31, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 7 Comments

NYT Presents Murder of a Palestinian Boy as ‘National Trauma’—for Jewish Israelis

By Jim Naureckas | FAIR | August 30, 2019

HBO has a series based on a real-life crime in Israel—a 2014 case involving (in the New York Times‘ words) “a Palestinian teenager snatched off a Jerusalem street by Orthodox Jews, choked, bludgeoned and burned to death in a forest at dawn.”

And how does the Times headline its report (8/27/19) on this series?

HBO Drama Revives a National Trauma for Israel

For Israel? Yes, and by “Israel,” Times Jerusalem correspondent Isabel Kershner means Jewish Israelis; in her eyes, they are the ones for whom the murder of 16-year-old Palestinian Muhammad Abu Khdeir was a “national trauma”:

It was the extraordinary coldbloodedness of the murder that made it true-crime movie material in the first place…. But Our Boys, a 10-part series that started this month on HBO, is under attack in Israel largely because of that singularity.

Some critics have accused the creators of skewing reality and ignoring what they say is the more common scourge of Palestinian terrorism against Israelis, creating a false equivalency between the two and tarnishing Israel’s image.

Let’s stop here for a reality check: There are, in fact, statistics on who’s killing whom in Israel/Palestine. The Israeli human rights group group B’Tselem reports that since January 2009, there have been 95 Israeli civilians killed by Palestinians—and at least 1,771 “Palestinians who did not take part in hostilities…killed by Israeli security forces.” (This latter number does not include Israeli assassinations—labeled as “targeted killings”—or Palestinians killed by Israeli civilians.)  There have been 13 Israeli minors killed by Palestinians since 2009, and 785 Palestinian minors killed by Israeli security forces; in other words, a child killed in the conflict is 60 times more likely to be a Palestinian child than a Jewish child.

Kershner might have pointed out that the accusation that Palestinians murdering Jewish Israelis is a “more common scourge” is an absolute inversion of reality. Instead, to cite an example of “some critics” who think it’s “skewing reality” to focus on a single Palestinian death, she turns to Yair Netanyahu, the son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said on Twitter (8/21/19):

The series tells the whole world how the Israelis and Jews are cruel and bloodthirsty murderers, and how the Palestinians are badly done by and oppressed.

The tweeter’s father, as prime minister since March 2009, is responsible for nearly every one of those 785 Palestinian children killed by his security services.

After quoting the younger Netanyahu, Kershner acknowledges that Palestinians watching the series “also had painful memories.” As an example, she offers the parents of the murdered boy, who no doubt felt at least as bad watching a TV show about their dead child as the prime minister’s son did.

Did somebody say “false equivalency”?


Please tell the New York Times not to treat the murder of a Palestinian child as chiefly a “national trauma” for Jewish Israelis.



August 31, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

Adam Schiff’s New Law Expands Definition of ‘Domestic Terrorism’, Promotes FBI Entrapment

21st Century Wire | August 31, 2019

Recently, the US House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) introduced a bill which intends to criminalize various new acts under the ever-expanding banner of domestic terrorism. Undoubtedly, this is an attempt by the government to broaden the definition of ‘domestic terrorism’ in order to make interpretation more arbitrary, and thus qualify more offenses for terrorism prosecutions.

Schiff’s new law will give the US Attorney General new powers which would potentially charge any threat of violence or damage to property that “creates a substantial risk of serious bodily injury” – as an act of domestic terrorism.

Potentially, this might could also include the use of heated political rhetoric during a “planning meeting” (a conversation in person, or in an internet chat room), or even breaking a window during a protest. In theory, the Federal government could them pursue sentences up to 30-years in prison.

Predictably, mainstream partisan pundits are cheering this authoritarian move by Schiff, as they believe that this legislation will give the state more power to crack down on what they perceive as their political enemies, namely ‘white supremacists’ and ‘white nationalists. It’s important to point out that this same reactionary, flawed logic was used by Neconservatives in the wake of 9/11 in order to target and ‘deal with’ the supposed ‘Muslim threat’ by rushing through Patriot Act I and II during the Bush Administration.

Writing for The Hill, Michael German offers a few real-life scenarios, explaining, “If you think this possibility is absurd, keep in mind that in 2012 the Justice Department put two political activists in jail for months for refusing to testify before a grand jury about colleagues who may have participated in a Seattle May Day protest in which a federal courthouse window was broken,” adding that, “In 2017, the Justice Department charged more than 200 protesters at an anti-Trump rally with felony charges for allegedly conspiring to riot because someone broke windows and lit a limousine on fire while they were in the general vicinity. Prosecutors used selectively edited undercover recordings of protest planning meetings in which a speaker threatened to turn the inauguration into a “giant clusterf—” as evidence of a broad conspiracy.”

“The prosecutions failed in these cases, which may partly explain why the Justice Department and FBI have been seeking to expand their domestic terrorism powers. If they were intent on using these new powers to target far-right militants, they could have simply amended current Justice Department policies that de-prioritize the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes,” said German.

Schiff federal power-grab is a bi-partisan effort – because both the Republican and Democratic wings of the Establishment will want to use such broad powers in order to marginalize their perceived political opponents, or worse – use the FBI to fabricate terror plots in order to create and maintain an ongoing crisis through which it can reinforce convenient political and state-power narratives and also justify increasing departmental expenditures.

In short, this breed of new legislation will only give the FBI increased license to continue and expand upon its highly shady practice of using handlers and informants to entrap and arrest unsuspecting dupes, and further boast to the press about the impressive number of “terror busts” it has referred to prosecution.

All the while, short-sighted partisan lawmakers remain oblivious to the long-term consequences of such a reactionary policy.

August 31, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | Leave a comment