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Trump Creates a New Nation

Executive order implies that “Jewishness” is now a nationality

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • December 17, 2019

The pandering by Donald Trump and those around him to Israel and to some conservative American Jews is apparently endless. Last Wednesday the president signed an executive order that is intended to address alleged anti-Semitism on college campuses by cutting off funds to those universities that do not prevent criticism of Israel. To provide a legal basis to defund, the administration is relying on title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits any discrimination based on race, color or national origin. Since the Act does not include religion, Trump’s order is declaring ipso facto that henceforth “Jewishness” is a nationality.

The executive order does not mention Israel by name, but it does state that its assumptions are based on “the non-legally binding working definition of anti-Semitism adopted on May 26, 2016, by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), which states, ‘Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities’; and (ii) the ‘Contemporary Examples of Anti-Semitism’ identified by the IHRA, to the extent that any examples might be useful as evidence of discriminatory intent.”

The IHRA “contemporary examples” supplementing the basic description are important. They considerably broaden the definition of anti-Semitism, to include “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations” and “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” The examples also included holding Israel to a higher standard than other nations when criticizing it, and IHRA offers no possible mitigation even if the accusations are, in the case of the behavior of some Jews and of Israel, accurate.

Those who are confused because in the past expressions like “Italian” or “Irish” or “British” meant actual countries should recognize that Trump-speak never respects any connection with reality when there is political advantage just sitting out there waiting to be snatched and exploited. And that imperative is considerably multiplied when one is referring to either the state of Israel or of Jews in general, particularly as seen by the Trump White House, which clearly and repeatedly sends the message that it reveres both. Trump’s order will in effect constitute a government-promoted argument that Jews are a people or a race with a collective national origin, like Italian or Polish Americans, an assertion that clearly is untrue.

In fact, suppressing criticism of Israel on college campuses using a “weaponized” claim of anti-Semitism has long been a major foreign policy objective of the Israeli government even though nonviolent assembly and free speech are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Congress has several times considered a comprehensive Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, though it has not passed due to legitimate free speech concerns. The nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (B.D.S.), which is very active on American campuses, has been particularly targeted and criticism of it is frequent in the media and from Congress while also emanating from the White House. As most accredited colleges receive federal funding, which can be considerable at a major research university, the executive order will create a major dilemma over how to respond, particularly for those schools that have Middle East study programs.

Work on the presidential executive order was initiated in the summer inside the White House by a team led by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, together with his close aide special assistant to the president Avi Berkowitz. They sought to develop a formula whereby government policy would equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, and Donald Trump both agreed with that assessment and followed through on it. On December 8th he promised to take action against B.D.S. and other critics in a speech delivered before the Israeli-American Council. The speech is worth reading in full by anyone who is concerned that the United States now has a government that favors one already privileged, wealthy and powerful constituency in particular and is not committed to upholding the civil liberties of all Americans.

Israel is an apartheid state. Covering up for its crimes against humanity as well as its war crimes is something of a growth industry in the United States, with Zionist billionaire oligarchs launching new foundations on a regular basis. Jewish power in the U.S. means that Israel always has been given a pass, even when it deliberately attacked and sought to sink the U.S.S. Liberty, an American Naval vessel in international waters in 1967. Thirty-four crewman died in the assault. The subsequent investigation of the attack was whitewashed by the president, secretary of state and the Navy department while the survivors were threatened with imprisonment if they revealed what had occurred. That is how a powerful and ruthless Israel acting through its traitorous domestic proxies operates and it illustrates how feeble the Establishment is in standing up to it.

This latest outrage, in which free speech and association will be denied to benefit one group on the basis of its claimed perpetual victimhood, had its genesis earlier this year when the federal government’s Education Department ordered Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to reorganize the Consortium for Middle East Studies program run jointly by the two colleges in part based on their failure to include enough “positive” content relating to Judaism. The demand came with a threat to suspend federal funding of Title VI Higher Education Act international studies and foreign language grants to the two schools if the curriculum were not changed.

The Education Department was particularly irate over a conference in March called “Conflict Over Gaza: People, Politics and Possibilities.” A Republican congressman was outraged by the development and asked Secretary DeVos to investigate because the gathering was full of “radical anti-Israel bias.”

Coverage of the story revealed that “Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, has become increasingly aggressive in going after perceived anti-Israel bias in higher education.” Her deputy who has served as a focal point for the effort to root out anti-Israel sentiment is Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights Kenneth L. Marcus, who might reasonably be described as “a career pro-Israel advocate,” the founder and president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, which he has used to exclusively defend the rights of Jewish groups and individuals against BDS and other manifestations of Palestinian pushback against the Israeli occupation of their country. He has not hesitated to call opponents anti-Semites and has worked with Jewish students to file civil rights complaints against college administrations, including schools in Wisconsin and California. In an op-ed that appeared, not surprisingly, in The Jerusalem Post, he observed that even when student complaints were rejected, they created major problems for the institutions involved. “If a university shows a failure to treat initial complaints seriously, it hurts them with donors, faculty, political leaders and prospective students.”

Last year Kenneth Marcus reopened an investigation into alleged anti-Jewish bias at Rutgers University that the Obama Administration had closed after finding that the charges were baseless. Marcus indicated that the re-examination was called for as his office in the Education Department would henceforth be using the IHRA-derived State Department definition of anti-Semitism that also includes “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination,” making virtually all criticism of Israel a civil rights violation or even a hate crime.

Critics of the Trump move, many of whom are themselves Jewish, are uncomfortable with being placed by government into one category, noting inter alia that ALL students are de facto already protected by Title VI, which has been interpreted as making all forms of discrimination illegal. And they also note that the law was never intended to protect individuals whose feelings were hurt or who claim to be unwelcome or even threatened by someone saying something that they disapprove of. Since such protection is clearly the intention of the executive order, it is undeniable that the Trump’s latest ploy is little more than a mechanism to pressure colleges into effectively banning B.D.S. and other groups critical of Israel.

And the order itself raises at least one unpleasant thought: if “Jewishness” is a nation even though it is demonstrably not one, what is the alleged Jewish nationality all about? Is this just one more example of the politics of Jewish identity or is it really some form of dual loyalty, with American Jews divided between those who are loyal to the U.S. and those who are loyal to some supra-nationality or allegiance? The fact is, that Donald Trump himself has several times expressed the view that American Jews, particularly those who are politically liberal, should be more loyal to Israel.

Trump’s maneuver is unfortunately part of a well-funded and highly coordinated federal and state campaign to pass laws to criminalize critics of Israel. And the issue has also surfaced within the Democratic Party among those campaigning for the presidential nomination. Speaker Nancy Pelosi forced Representative Ilhan Omar to apologize after she criticized proposed anti-boycott legislation. More recently Bernie Sanders is being smeared as an anti-Semite even though he is Jewish because he associates with critics of Israel and has spoken out in favor of defending free speech while also supporting Palestinian rights.

There is a certain irony in all of this political theater, that the wealthiest and most powerful identifiable group in the United States should yet again be playing the victim is in itself astonishing. And making it a crime to deny Israel legitimacy while at the same time denying the same thing to Palestinians should give anyone pause.

And there is also considerable hypocrisy in that pro-Israel groups on campus have been if anything better funded and more aggressive in promoting their point of view than B.D.S. has been without any consequences. Canary Mission, for example, claims to “document people and groups that promote hatred of the U.S.A., Israel and Jews on North American college campuses” by posting their names, photos and personal information on its website. Israeli-American real estate investor and billionaire Adam Milstein is reported to be its principal funder while the site’s listings have been allegedly used by the Israeli border security officials to deny entry to pro-B.D.S. American citizens and also with potential employers to deny applicants jobs.

The Lawfare Project’s Campus Civil Rights Project meanwhile helps aggrieved Zionist students to “take legal action to ensure that schools live up to their legal obligations to protect Jewish students from anti-Semitic harassment, intimidation, and discrimination.”

So here we are again. Special privileges for the perpetual victims. And no one in the media is willing to tell it like it is, while the handful of meek voices in congress have been effectively silenced. So sad, particularly as an election year is coming up and there will undoubtedly be much more of this. When the Israelis occupy nearly all of the West Bank with Donald Trump’s approval and start “relocating” the existing population, who will be around to speak up? No one, as by that time saying nay to Israel will be a full-fledged hate crime and you can go to jail for doing so.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is

December 16, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 4 Comments

Bolivia’s New US-Backed Interim Gov’t Wastes No Time Privatizing Economy

By Alan Macleod | MintPress News | December 16, 2019

It has been barely one month since the administration of Jeanine Añez seized power in a military coup in Bolivia, but it has wasted no time in attempting to transform the economy and society. Its latest move is aimed at privatizing the country’s economy. A government spokesperson confirmed the fears of many, claiming that “I believe the government should reduce its own size” and a protagonistic role should be given to private enterprises. In case that was not clear enough, he emphasized, “Yes, I’m talking about privatization.” Bolivia’s economy is dependent on its nationalized oil and gas industries.

After military generals appeared on television demanding his resignation, longtime president Evo Morales stepped down, citing the growing, targeted paramilitary violence against his MAS (Movement towards Socialism Party) colleagues. Morales, and his Vice-President Alvaro Garcia Linera, fled to Mexico for safety. The military chose Senator Jeanine Añez as his successor.

Añez is a strongly conservative Christian who has described Bolivia’s indigenous majority as “satanic” and vowed to bring the Bible back into politics. She has also provided the military carte blanche to use unlimited force in suppressing all resistance to her rule, even creating a squad of masked, heavily armed death squads aimed at uprooting leftist and foreign “terrorists.” Despite this, large areas of the country are in open rebellion and completely uncontrolled by the new government.

For a supposed “transitional” government, a caretaker regime holding the reins until imminent elections are organized, the Añez administration has certainly made some bold moves. It has already pulled Bolivia out of multiple international and intercontinental political and economic organizations, such as ALBA (the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas) and UNASUR (the Union of South American Nations), both of which had a more left-of-center outlook.

Meanwhile, it has expelled large numbers of foreign nationals, including around 700 Cuban doctors that made up the backbone of the country’s new free healthcare system. It has also recognized U.S.-backed anti-president Juan Guaidó as the rightful ruler of Venezuela. With U.S. support, Guaidó attempted another Bolivia-style coup last month. Interior Minister Arturo Murillo has accused the Venezuelan government of being at the head of a vast narcotics conspiracy, ignoring his own boss’s ties to drug-runners (Añez’s nephew was caught with more than half a ton of cocaine in Brazil).

Murillo has formally requested the Israeli military come to train Bolivia’s armed forces and has eliminated entry visas for Americans and Israelis. Considering the IDF’s expertise in suppressing an indigenous population, Murillo’s intentions are worrying an increasing number of his countrymen. The government has also participated in a crackdown on dissenting journalism, closing down many TV networks including Bolivia TV, RT and TeleSUR. Even foreign journalists have been assaulted, detained and killed.

This latest move at privatizing the economy is part of an effort to “dismantle the apparatus of the dictatorial regime of Evo Morales,” as the Minister of Communication, Roxana Lizarraga, put it. On the orders of the International Monetary Fund, criticized by many as simply an extension of the U.S. government, the country’s oil and gas industries were privatized in 1996. International corporations like Enron, Shell and Repsol YPF were not even required to pay for their shares, making the move tantamount to the biggest giveaway in modern Bolivian history. Furthermore, royalties paid to the government were slashed to just 18 percent.

Water was also privatized. Bechtel, an American corporation, increased the prices to levels almost no Bolivian could afford to the point where water and sewage cost over half of an average Bolivian’s yearly wage. Bechtel also persuaded the government to privatize the sky, making it illegal to gather rainwater. The result was mass thirst that led to nationwide protests that became known as the Water War.

Within months of gaining office, Morales made good on his promise to nationalize key sectors of the economy. The move generated an extra $31.5 billion in government revenue over the next decade. He used the money to fund ambitious social programs. For example, over 11 percent of the revenues went to fund public universities, indigenous associations and a basic income grant to all low-income Bolivians over 60 years old.

Under Morales’ guidance, poverty halved and extreme poverty fell even further as citizens felt the benefits of the country’s natural resources. This, the Center for Economic Policy Research stresses, could not have been possible without nationalizing the hydrocarbons industry. Perhaps more important than all this, however, was the newfound dignity Bolivia’s indigenous majority felt at seeing the first indigenous president in the country’s history. The community is often treated with contempt bordering on revulsion by the light-skinned elite, but Morales has been part of a movement that inspired them to organize and take a protagonistic role in their country’s politics and society.

With the U.S. and the local elite back in charge of Bolivia and promising to re-privatize the economy, both their newly won social status and their improved economic circumstances are at imminent risk. A reversal of this policy will take coordinated resistance on the scale of the 2000 Water War.

Alan MacLeod is a MintPress Staff Writer as well as an academic and writer for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. His book, Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting was published in April.

December 16, 2019 Posted by | Economics | , | 1 Comment

Russia, China Submit UN Resolution to Lift Sanctions on North Korea

Sputnik – December 16, 2019

Russia and China have submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council to lift sanctions on North Korea and promptly resume the ‘six-party’ talks, according to the text of the document.

The resolution proposes to exempt the inter-Korean rail and road cooperation from UN sanctions and lift all measures previously imposed by the UN Security Council directly related to civilian livelihood, among others.

The draft resolution also “calls for prompt resumption of the six-party talks or re-launch of multilateral consultations in any other similar format, with the goal of facilitating a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue, reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula and beyond, and promoting peaceful co-existence and mutually beneficial regional cooperation in North-East Asia”.

North Korea has been subject to numerous UN sanctions since 2006 for its nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

After a US-North Korea summit in Vietnam in February, Pyongyang committed itself to end nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles. This non-binding pledge did not, however, extend to engine tests, or the launches of satellites or medium- and short-range ballistic missiles.

In October, Pyongyang gave the US until the end of the year to come up with a mutually-acceptable deal to advance the denuclearization process. North Korea’s vice foreign minister, Ri Thae Song, said that the dialogue on denuclearization promoted by Washington was a “foolish trick” used in favor of the political situation in the US and warned of a “Christmas gift”.

Earlier this month, Pyongyang conducted what it had described as “crucial” tests at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground. The tests reportedly threaten to undermine Washington’s drive to denuclearize the Korean peninsula through the use of diplomacy.

US President Donald Trump told reporters earlier that his administration is closely watching North Korea amid reports that Pyongyang is resuming missile tests and would be disappointed if something was “in the works”.

Since 2018, the United States and North Korea have held two summits, agreeing in principle to normalize relations while pursuing a policy of denuclearization.

Negotiations came to a halt, with Washington demanding more decisive steps from Pyongyang. North Korea has blamed the United States for not properly following through on its previous gestures of goodwill.

December 16, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

The Carter Page/Ukraine Lie That Kept On Lying for Mueller and the FBI

By Paul Sperry – RealClearInvestigations – December 12, 2019

The FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller repeatedly kept alive a damning narrative that investigators knew to be false: namely, that a junior Trump campaign aide as a favor to the Kremlin had “gutted” an anti-Russia and pro-Ukraine plank in the Republican Party platform at the GOP’s 2016 convention.

Federal authorities used this claim to help secure spy warrants on the aide in question, Carter Page, suggesting to the court that he was “an agent of Russia” – even though investigators knew that Page was working for U.S., not Russian, intelligence, and that they had learned from witnesses, emails and other evidence that Page had no role in drafting the Ukraine platform plank.

The revelation is buried in the Justice Department watchdog’s just-released report on FISA surveillance abuses. RealClearInvestigations fleshed out this unreported story with footnotes from the Mueller report and exclusive interviews with Trump campaign officials who worked on the convention platform.

Of all the Trump-Russia rumors, insinuations and falsehoods – from secret payments for shadowy hackers, to videotaped prostitutes with active bladders, to a clandestine rendezvous with Kremlin figures in Prague – the supposedly pro-Russia Ukraine platform alteration stands out. It seemed to offer early, public, concrete evidence of an actual bending of prospective U.S. policy to suit Moscow. The false narrative is also significant because it was initially pushed not by Democrats, but by associates of Republican Sen. John McCain and other so-called Never Trumpers. As a bipartisan red flag, it helped build momentum around a narrative of Trump treachery with, then as now, Ukraine playing a central role. It also shows how the Russia and Ukraine controversies were linked from the beginning by Trump’s foes.

This episode loomed so large that the first person Mueller’s team interviewed after taking over the Russia investigation in May 2017 was Rachel Hoff, who was serving as McCain’s policy adviser on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Like her boss, Hoff was no fan of President Trump. Agents sought to confirm with her reports that the Trump campaign had “gutted” the GOP’s platform plank on Ukraine to favor Russia during the party’s convention in Cleveland in early July 2016.

As a disgruntled convention delegate, Hoff got the story started by putting Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin in touch with another Never Trump delegate, Diana Denman, who had lost her bid to amend the GOP plank to call for providing “lethal” weapons to Ukraine to help fend off Russian incursions, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter. Instead, the platform called for “appropriate assistance to the armed forces of Ukraine.”

Denman was overruled because heavily arming Ukraine was out of step with the GOP consensus at the time – to say nothing of the Obama administration’s policy, which refused to arm the Ukrainians. And it was at odds with Trump’s stated position, which sought to avoid military escalation in the region, while encouraging the European Union to take a larger peacekeeping role.

On July 18, 2016, the Post ran Rogin’s sensational story under the misleading headline, “Trump Campaign Guts GOP’s Anti-Russia Stance on Ukraine.” Pushing the narrative that Trump was doing the Kremlin’s bidding, it quoted Hoff warning that Trump “would be dangerous for America and the world.” The story left out the key part of the final Trump-approved plank pledging aid “to the armed forces of Ukraine.” Reached by phone, Rogin declined comment.

This story was quickly amplified in the Steele dossier, the series of now-debunked opposition research memos alleging Trump-Russia collusion. Compiled by ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele for the Clinton campaign, those memos became a foundation for the FBI and Mueller probes even though – as this week’s IG report established – bureau agents knew that the material in them included demonstrably false assertions and exaggerated gossip dismissed as nonsense by Steele’s own purported source.

Steele also embellished the GOP convention story by claiming that Carter Page had played a key role in drafting the Ukraine plank as part of a commitment he had allegedly made to his Kremlin handlers “to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue.”

None of this was true. And the FBI — and Mueller — knew it, the Justice inspector general reveals in his report.

Still, the FBI presented the Steele dossier’s smear, cataloged as “Steele Report 95,” as key evidence in all four of its warrant applications to obtain wiretaps to eavesdrop on Page, according to the IG report.

To keep renewing the spy warrants, the FBI had to produce fresh evidence for FISA judges to support suspicions Page was “an agent of Russia.” Just a few weeks before the FISA warrant was set to expire in June 2017, Mueller had his investigators interview Hoff, as his first witness, followed by Denman, hoping they could provide fresh details to keep building an espionage case against Page and the Trump campaign.

But Mueller struck out.

According to agents’ notes documenting their June 2017 interview, as revealed in the IG report, Denham told the FBI that Page was not involved in the drafting of the Ukraine plank. But Mueller’s team did not update its fourth and final FISA warrant application on Page with this exculpatory information. Instead, it recited the same baseless claim that he had shaped the Ukraine policy with guidance from Russia. And the court renewed the warrant that June to electronically monitor Page, allowing the government to continue vacuuming up all of his emails, phone calls, text messages and other communications for another 90 days.

“Although the FBI did not develop any information that Carter Page was involved in the Republican Platform Committee’s change, the FBI did not alter its assessment of Page’s involvement in the FISA applications,” Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz noted in his 476-page report released Monday.

Added Horowitz: “We found that, other than this information from Report 95 [of the Steele dossier], the FBI’s investigation did not reveal any information to demonstrate that Page had any involvement with the Republican Platform Committee.” Yet, “all four FISA applications relied upon information in the Steele reporting” alleging Page’s role in drafting the Republican plank on Ukraine and Russia.

A former U.S. Navy lieutenant, Page was never charged with espionage or any crime. He told RealClearInvestigations that he has received “numerous death threats that directly resulted from the false allegations” that he was a traitor.

The FBI and Mueller failed to correct the record about Page in their FISA warrant applications even after they identified the Trump campaign officials who actually had a hand in influencing the GOP plank, J.D. Gordon and Matt Miller. A July 14, 2016, email from Gordon confirmed what Page had personally told the FBI in an interview — that he had not taken part in the decision. The FBI knew about the email since at least March 2017, when agents sat down with Page. (Gordon and Page were chatting by email about the convention, and it’s clear from Page’s responses he had no idea what Gordon had done in the Ukraine-Russia platform drafting sessions. IG Horowitz published the relevant excerpt in his report and noted the FBI had the email in its possession.)

Still, Horowitz found, “The FBI never altered the assessment.”

Horowitz further concluded that the FBI should not have included the dossier’s rumor even in its original October 2016 application for a FISA warrant targeting Page, let alone its three renewals, because a confidential source the FBI assigned to spy on Page at the time found no basis for it. In the IG report, Horowitz noted that during that same month of October 2016, the FBI informant met with Page and tape-recorded him denying he was involved in the drafting of the Ukraine plank. Page told the informant, Stefan Halper, that he “stayed clear of that.”

Horowitz’s investigators established that the informant’s recorded statements were sent to the FBI agent assigned at the time to Page’s case, and were copied to a supporting team of other agents, supervisors and analysts. Yet the FBI also withheld that critical exculpatory evidence from the FISA court in the initial application for a warrant on Page (and then continued to deny the court the information in subsequent requests to monitor Page).

The lead case agent, unnamed in the report, told investigators the FBI was operating on a “belief” that Page was involved in the Ukraine and Russia platform, and that he and the FISA team were “hoping to find evidence of that” from the wiretaps. Despite all the snooping on Page, the FBI never collected the hoped-for proof.

The lead supervisor, also unidentified, told investigators “he did not recall why Page’s denial was not included.”

Horowitz reports that the exculpatory documents were also sent to a Justice Department attorney before the warrant was renewed for the first time in January 2017, “[y]et, the information remained unchanged in the renewal applications.”

Added Horowitz: “The attorney told us that he did not recall the circumstances surrounding this, but he acknowledged that he should have updated the descriptions in the renewal applications to include Page’s denials.”

The FBI also failed to inform surveillance court judges that Page was an “operational contact” for the CIA for several years, according to the Horowitz report. In 2013, Page also volunteered as a cooperating witness in an FBI espionage case, and helped put away a real Russian agent in 2016. This was additional exculpatory evidence the FBI kept from the FISA court, as RealClearInvestigations first reported last year.

Peter Strzok, then the FBI’s top counterintelligence official, rode herd on the Page wiretap requests and reported back to FBI attorney Lisa Page (no relation to Carter), who in turn, updated then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

Text messages previously uncovered by Horowitz and shared with Mueller revealed that Strzok and Page, who were having an affair, rooted for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign and held Trump in complete contempt. In one exchange, they discussed the need to “stop” Trump from winning the election. And the two of them had also huddled with McCabe in his office to devise an “insurance policy” in the “unlikely event” Trump ended up winning.

The inspector general’s report points out that it was McCabe who urged investigators to look at the Clinton-funded dossier. The previous year, his Democratic politician wife, Jill, received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations arranged by Clinton ally and Virginia’s governor at the time, Terry McAuliffe.

Strzok remained central to the investigation well into 2017 – until Mueller was forced to kick him off his team when the anti-Trump bias was revealed. The bureau fired him in 2018, the same year Lisa Page resigned from the FBI. In spite of their anti-Trump political bias, Horowitz said he found “no evidence” their bias influenced their investigative decisions.

Lawyers for Strzok and McCabe did not respond to requests for comment. The FBI and a spokesman for Mueller declined comment.

Putting Carter Page under surveillance starting in October 2016 effectively let the FBI spy on the Trump campaign since its beginnings, because it allowed the bureau to scoop up all of Page’s prior communications. Former Trump officials who have reviewed Horowitz’s new findings confirmed their view that the bureau was trying to make it look like Page and the Trump campaign were doing something sinister to help Russia.

“Page actually had no role in the platform, whatsoever,” Gordon, the Trump campaign’s director of national security, told RCI. “Failing to include the exculpatory information in the FISA application is horrifying.”

While it’s true that Trump sought better relations with Russia, Gordon said, there was nothing nefarious about the drafting of the Ukraine platform. He said the FBI simply assumed it was watered down as a favor to Russia based on a false narrative driven by liberal media outlets like the Post and Never Trumpers such as Rachel Hoff. He said the FBI, under the direction of McCabe, Mueller and former FBI Director James Comey, also wanted to believe the worst about Trump, whom they simply did not like.

Gordon noted that, except for the two Never Trump delegates, nobody in the platform drafting sessions raised a fuss about the Ukraine plank — not even the press.

“The media was present in the room, yet not one person wrote about the Ukraine issue,” he said — until, that is, the Never Trumpers went to the Washington Post that July and helped launch the Trump-Russia “collusion” myth.

Moreover, the narrative was untrue even on its own terms – without the spurious inclusion of Carter Page. Internal platform committee documents show the Ukraine plank could not have been weakened as claimed, because the “lethal” weapons language was never part of the GOP platform in the first place. The final language actually strengthened the platform by pledging direct assistance not just to the country of Ukraine, but to its military in its struggle against Russian-backed forces.

Far from “gutting” assistance, the Trump administration approved the transfer of tank-busting Javelin missiles to Kiev — something the Obama administration refused to do. More than 200 of those weapons have been sold to Ukraine since Trump took office. And the sale and delivery of Javelins never stopped even during this year’s temporary suspension of military aid to Ukraine that is now the subject of the Democrats’ impeachment proceedings.

The final draft of the Ukraine plank also branded Russia a menace, and pledged to stand against “any territorial change imposed by force in Ukraine.” Yet Mueller and his prosecuting staff of mostly Democratic donors still suspected collusion, and they dispatched FBI agents to grill Gordon about the drafting of the platform three times between 2017 and 2019. They also got a grand jury to subpoena his phone records.

In the end, the Mueller report found no Russian influence in the platform.

But the false narrative – that the Ukraine plank stood as early proof of the “extensive conspiracy” between the Trump campaign and Moscow that Steele alleged in his now-debunked dossier – has persisted.

Earlier this year, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler demanded Gordon provide additional documents, and he has complied. Nadler is now marking up articles of impeachment against Trump over a request he lodged with Ukraine’s new president this summer to help investigate the former Clinton-friendly regime’s attempts to “sabotage” Trump’s election bid in 2016. Trump also asked Kiev to look into possible corruption involving former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and a Ukrainian energy oligarch.

Meanwhile, Nadler’s impeachment partner, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, continues to insist that the Trump team “softened” the GOP platform to accommodate “Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.”

A retired Navy commander and former Pentagon spokesman, Gordon said he has run up a five-figure legal bill defending against what he calls a “hoax” perpetrated by Never Trumpers, the media, Comey, Mueller, and now congressional Democrats.

“In the vicious frenzy to destroy President Trump and his associates at all costs, they attempted to turn a routine foreign policy debate in conjunction with the four-year renewal of the GOP platform into a crime scene,” Gordon said in an interview with RCI.

“Incredibly,” he added, “the GOP platform change hoax [later] became the very first order of business in Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation.”

December 16, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , , | 1 Comment

Jordan protests expected ahead of Israel gas deal

MEMO | December 16, 2019

Jordan is expected to witness a wave of popular protests as the implementation of a $10 billion gas deal with Israel looms on the horizon. Activists and lawmakers in the Hashemite Kingdom have been calling on the government to cancel the agreement with Israel, saying that the US has forced Jordan to sign the deal despite its economic and moral prejudices.

According to its opponents, the agreement about “the gas stolen from Palestine” stipulates that if any gas fields are discovered in Jordan during the lifespan of the deal, the buyer (Jordan) may not reduce the import price by more than 20 per cent.

Campaigners calling for the cancellation of the agreement have asked for a meeting next Tuesday to discuss ways to convince the government to cancel it. The Coordinator of the national campaign to cancel the gas agreement with Israel, Hisham Al-Bustani, told Quds Press : “There are two ways to confront the agreement with its imminent implantation date at the beginning of next month. We either press parliament to stop its implementation, or wait for popular escalation through vigils.”

Raed Al-Khazaaleh is the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Jordanian House of Representatives. He has also called for the gas agreement with Israel to be cancelled. Anyone who signed it, he insists, must be held accountable.

In 2016, Israel signed a $10 billion deal with the Jordan Electric Power Company to supply Amman with natural gas for 15 years. The agreement will provide the Kingdom with approximately 45 billion cubic metres of gas from the Leviathan offshore gas field.

Israel has previously stated that some of the deal’s revenues will be paid towards the military budget. It is expected to start pumping gas to Jordan in January.

December 16, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 2 Comments

Western leaders, screw your ‘Sanctions Target the Regime’ blather: Sanctions KILL PEOPLE

Children with cancer couldn’t get adequate treatment due to sanctions (photo Aleppo 2016)
By Eva Bartlett | RT | December 16, 2019

The US has a favourite tool for bullying non-compliant nations: sanctions. Sanctions inflict considerable suffering, even death, on ordinary people in targeted nations. Yet those defiant nations persist and resist.

A recent opinion piece in the Washington Post proposing a new oil-for-food scheme, this time in Venezuela, surprisingly acknowledges that sanctions “can also end up harming the people that they intend to protect.”

Okay, first off, we know there is no intention of “protecting” civilians in any of the countless countries targeted by Western sanctions. Do Western talking heads really think we’ve forgotten the half-a-million dead Iraqi children, thanks to US sanctions?

Yet, ask a Western leader about crippling sanctions placed on nations which don’t bow to Imperial demands and you’ll be met with some nonsensical explanation that sanctions only target ‘regimes’ and ‘terrorists,’ not the people.

I’ve lived in, spent considerable time in, or visited areas under sanctions and siege, and I’ve seen first hand how sanctions are a form of terrorism, choking civilians, depriving them of basic and urgent medical care, food, employment, and travel entitlements that many of us in Western nations take for granted.

When I was in Syria last October, a man told me his wife had been diagnosed with breast cancer, but because of the sanctions he couldn’t get her the conventional treatments most in the West would avail of.

In 2016, in Aleppo, before it was liberated of al-Qaeda and co, Dr. Nabil Antaki told me how –because of the sanctions– it had taken him well over a year to get a simple part for his gastroenterology practise.

In 2015, visiting Damascus’ University Hospital, where bed after bed was occupied by a child maimed by terrorists’ shelling (from Ghouta), a nurse told me:

“We have so many difficulties to ensure that we have antibiotics, specialized medicines, maintenance of the equipment… Because of the sanctions, many parts are not available, we have difficulties obtaining them.”

Visiting a prosthetic limbs factory in Damascus in 2016, I was told that, due to the sanctions, smart technology and 3D scanners –used to determine the exact location where a limb should be fixed– were not available. Considering the over eight years of war and terrorism in Syria, there are untold numbers of civilians and soldiers in need of this technology to simply get a prosthetic limb fixed so they can get on with their lives. But no, America’s concern for the Syrian people means that this, too, is near impossible.

In 2018, Syria’s minister of health told me Syria had formerly been dubbed by the World Health Organization a “pioneer state” in providing health care.

“Syria had 60 pharmaceutical factories and was exporting medicine to 58 countries. Now, 16 of these factories are out of service. Terrorists partially or fully destroyed 46 hospitals and 620 medical centres.”

I asked the minister about the complex in Barzeh, targeted with missile strikes by the US and allies in April 2018. Turns out it was part of the Ministry of Health, and manufactured cancer treatment medications, as well as antidotes for snake or scorpion bites/stings, the antidote also serving as a basic material in the manufacture of many medicines.

Last year, Syrian-American doctor Hussam al-Samman told me about his efforts to send to Syria chemotherapy medications for cancer patients in remission. He jumped through various hoops of America’s unforgiving bureaucracy, to no avail. It was never possible in the first place.

“We managed to get a meeting in the White House. We met Rob Malley, a top-notch assistant or adviser of Obama at that time. I asked them: ‘How in the world could your heart let you block chemotherapy from going to people with cancer in Syria?’

They said: ‘We will not allow Bashar al-Assad to have anything that will make people love him. We will not support anything that will help Bashar al-Assad look good’.”

Fast forward to the present: in spite of the sanctions, or precisely because of the sanctions, Syria recently opened its first anti-cancer drugs factory. President Assad is, again, looking rather good to Syrians.

UN expert: Sanctions on Venezuela “a form of terrorism”

Alfred de Zayas, the human rights lawyer and former UN official, aptly calls sanctions a form of terrorism, “because they invariably impact, directly or indirectly, the poor and vulnerable.”

Earlier this year, The Center for Economic and Policy Research estimated 40,000 deaths had occurred due to sanctions in 2017-2018.

While in Venezuela in March this year, I spoke with people from poor communities about the effects of sanctions. Most I met were very well aware of the US economic war against their country, and rallied alongside their government.

One woman told me:

“If you don’t have water, don’t have electricity, the basics, how would you feel, as a mother? This makes some of the population, that doesn’t understand about the sanctions, blame the government.”

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza, said during that visit:

“We told [American diplomat and Trump envoy] Mr Elliott Abrams, ‘the coup has failed, so now what are you going to do?’ He kind-of nodded and said, ‘Well, this is going to be a long-term action, then, and we are looking forward to the collapse of your economy.’”

Indeed, that collapse would come about precisely due to the immoral US sanctions against the Venezuelan people.

North Korean Youth: Sanction the USA

After visiting Korea’s north in August 2017, in a photo essay I noted: “The criminal sanctions against the North, enforced since 1950, making even more difficult the efforts to rebuild following decimation. The sanctions are against the people, affecting all sectors of life.”

And although most I met there were proud of their country’s achievements in spite of the sanctions, they were also vocal about the injustice of being bombed to near decimation and then sanctioned.

In a Pyongyang Middle School, to my questions about the sanctions, a girl replied:

“The sanctions are not fair, our people have done nothing wrong to the USA.”

Another boy spoke of the silence around America’s use of nuclear bombs on civilians: “Why do people all over the world give us sanctions? Why can’t we put sanctions on the US?”

At the Okryu Children’s Hospital, Doctor Kim Un-Song said: “As a mother, I feel extremely angry at the sanctions against the DPRK, even blocking medicine and instruments for children. This is inhumane and against human rights.”

As with Syria, sanctions on the DPRK prevent further entry to Korea of hospital machinery, as well as replacement parts.

Defying the sanctions

In spite of draconian sanctions, Syria, the DPRK and Venezuela continue to resist. After fighting international terrorism since 2011, Syria is rebuilding in liberated areas. That process could proceed more quickly were sanctions lifted, making it easier for companies outside of Syria to invest.

But Syria is managing, with its allies’ support, including that of North Korea, and due to the steadfastness of the heroic Syrian people, and its leadership.

Likewise, Venezuela and North Korea, facing America’s economic war and endless propagandistic rhetoric, continue to resist.

In each of these countries, I’ve met well-informed people who are fighting the sadism of the sanctions, and who are determined to remain free of US tyranny.

Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine (where she lived for nearly four years).

December 16, 2019 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Iran Views US Sanctions Against Mahan Air as Illegal – Foreign Ministry

Sputnik – December 16, 2019

Tehran considers the US sanctions imposed against the Mahan Air carrier for allegedly transporting weapons to conflict areas in the Middle East illegal and hopes that other countries do not follow Washington’s steps, the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, said on Monday.

“We expect that our friendly countries will not follow the illegal, unilateral and unreasonable US sanctions”, Mousavi told reporters.Last week, the US Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on two Iranian shipping companies and three Mahan Air carrier general sales agents for their alleged role in transporting weapons to Yemen and Syria.

The Treasury also said that the new sanctions target three Mahan Air general sales agents based in the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong, along with Iranian businessman Abdolhossein Khedri and his companies, Khedri Jahan Darya Co. and Maritime Silk Road LLC, as well as his ships.

The Treasury’s action requires that all property and interests in property of the sanctioned individuals and entities that are in the United States be blocked and reported. It generally also prohibits all dealings by Americans or within the United States.

Washington has repeatedly accused Iran of supporting Yemeni Houthi militants fighting against the government led by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. The US claimed that the Islamic Republic has been smuggling weapons to the Shia fighters despite a 2015 UN ban, which Tehran has denied.

December 16, 2019 Posted by | War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

Boris Johnson’s New Government Will Pass Anti-BDS Law as Matter of Urgency

Sputnik – December 16, 2019

Eric Pickles, UK Special Envoy for post-Holocaust issues, has indicated Boris Johnson’s government will pass a law making it illegal for public bodies to engage with the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Speaking at the International Institute for Strategic Dialogue’s conference in Jerusalem on 15 December, Pickles said BDS was “anti-Semitic” and “should be treated as such”.

The law will not allow public bodies to work with individuals or groups advocating boycott, divestment or sanctions in respect of Israel in any way.

The pledge was alluded to in the Conservative party’s manifesto, with a commitment to “ban public bodies from imposing their own direct or indirect boycotts, disinvestment or sanctions campaigns against foreign countries” as they “undermine community cohesion”.

The anti-BDS law will form part of the Queen’s speech, which outlines the government’s agenda for the next year, and will be read at the opening of parliament on 19 December.

The move will mean local councils controlled by Labour are precluded from using taxpayer funds to boycott foreign countries, including Israel.

Pickles, who’s also chair of the Conservative Friends of Israel group, said Labour’s historic defeat in the 12th December general election UK showed the British people had overwhelmingly rejected anti-Semitism.

“Anti-Semitism is an attack on the British way of life and identity. Without our Jewish citizens we’d be a lesser nation,” he added.

While an increasingly popular global movement, adherent of which claim is targeted as Israeli government policies, not Israelis, renowned Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt has alleged BDS is “at its heart…intent on the destruction of the State of Israel”.

“If you look at the founding documents of the groups that first proposed BDS, they called for a full right of return…the ultimate objective of BDS is not BDS itself. If that were the case, we would all have to give up our iPhones, because so much of that technology is created in Israel. I think the objective of BDS, and especially the people who are the main organisers and supporters, is to make anything that comes out of Israel toxic, and I think they have had some success…I do not think any kid who supports BDS is ipso facto an anti-Semite. I think that’s wrong. It’s a mistake. And it’s not helpful,” she said.

December 16, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 5 Comments