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What Will Iran’s ‘Total War’ on the US Look Like?

By Salman Rafi Sheikh – New Eastern Outlook – 11.01.2020

There is a growing threat of Iran launching ‘total war’ on the US in the case of the US resorting to attacking Iran and targeting its cultural locations. While such an act will in itself amount to war crimes, this will most certainly produce the necessary conditions for Iran to start a war on the US in the region. Soleimani’s funeral and the emotions that have engulfed Iran show that the Iranians are looking to implement Khamenei’s vow of “severe revenge.” The questions, in this context, are: what will Iran’s execution of ‘severe revenge’ look like, what options does Iran have in the region and how this will happen? What appears most likely—and given the nature of asymmetry between the US and Iran—Iran’s preferred option would most likely be a calculated activation of the “Axis of resistance” against the US in Syria, Iraq and even Lebanon. This might also include targeting US military establishments in the region—Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar etc.

America’s scattered military options, whilst it gives the US a military advantage, also give Iran plenty of options for sidestepping US military advantage by striking at the weak points of its various infrastructures in the region. While such an act may also pit these regional states against Iran, these states, as of now, are more interested in preventing hostilities for obvious reason: an Iranian total war will consume the tiny Arab states.

In other words, by following this strategy, Iran will make sure that the war that Trump sees as a quick punitive strike spreads in the region, reaching well within the borders of US allies. What this means is that Iran’s position in the region is qualitatively different from that of Iraq. Iran’s political and military landscape is also altogether different from Iraq and even Syria, making it too complex a country for a punitive strike to cut to size.

On the other hand, by spreading the war in the region and by attacking US infrastructure, even though this will invite strong US reaction, Iran will be able to inflict enough damage on the US to turn the public opinion against Trump who is already facing impeachment in the final year of his first term as US president.

At the same time, however, the threat of Iran resorting to a ‘war in the region’ scenario has already led many Arab officials to coordinate with the US to prevent such a scenario. Whereas the Saudis have hurried to Washington, meeting US foreign and defence secretaries, Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani (who belongs to the royal family) were in Tehran and were received by President Hassan Rouhani. The Gulf states are obviously seeking their own assurances from both Iran and the US to avoid a war that engulfs them in its wake. Imagining a straight Iran-US war is, however, difficult, given that the US military establishments are in these very states, and these states have no capacity on their own to defend against an Iranian onslaught.

Targeting US bases in the region also shows that Iran’s objective, at the most, will be to drive the US out of the region. As Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, said in his recent speech, a fair response to Soleimani’s assassination will be “ending the American military presence in our region.” The message, in other words, is that all US military personnel in the region….in tiny Arab states…. will be on their toes, watching their backs, full time.

As of now, the US has 5,000 troops in the UAE; 7,000 in Bahrain; above 13,000 in Kuwait; 3,00o in Jordan; 3,000 in Saudi Arabia; 10,000 in Qatar; 5,000 in Iraq; around 1,000 in Syria—all of course well within the range of Iranian missiles, making them an extremely attractive targets for the Iranian forces.

Only in Iraq, about 5,000 US troops could very well be sitting ducks if the Popular Mobilisation Forces were to launch a war of attrition. If history is any guide to the future, it might be unrealistic to completely rule out a replay of the 1983 Beirut barracks bombings — the attack on a Marine compound in Beirut on the night of October 23 in which 241 US personnel were killed, forcing Reagan to order the withdrawal of troops from Lebanon.

This strategy would work to Iran’s advantage. Notwithstanding the scale of damage that the US can inflict on Iran by targeting its naval and other military installations, Iran would make sure to spread chaos in the Middle East in ways that make the regional states, apart from the war-weary US public, impress upon the US to deescalate. What might add to this chaos will be a simple blockade of the Strait of Hormuz.

Salman Rafi Sheikh is a research-analyst of International Relations and Pakistan’s foreign and domestic affairs.

January 11, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Tel Aviv calls for Gulf States to unite with Israel against Iran

MEMO | January 11, 2020

Former Israeli communication minister, Ayoob Kara, has called for the Gulf States to form a security and economic “union” with Israel, to stand against Iran at all levels, Shehab News Agency reported on Friday.

Kara, who is very close to the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, posted on Twitter that the goal of this “union” is to be a “strong front in the face of Iranian evil.”

The tweet came after the Iranian declaration that Iran would turn its hostile arms against Haifa and Dubai. In his tweet, Kara announces: “It is time that the States of the Arab Gulf come together with Israel in a security and economic union to stand against Iran’s threats in the Middle East.”


January 11, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , , , | 4 Comments

Hide The Decline: A Climategate Backgrounder

CDN • December 4, 2019

Dr. John Robson looks back on the 10th anniversary of the exposure of the scandalous “Climategate” decision to delete awkward data that contradicted the idea that settled science said we face a man-made global warming crisis.



20 years ago, in April 1998, a paper appeared in the prestigious journal Nature that would go on to be one of the most contentious and influential climate science papers of all time.

Its lead author was Michael E. Mann, at the time a young researcher just starting his career. From the initials of Mann and his coauthors the paper came to be called MBH98, but to many people it’s best known for introducing the famous “hockey stick” graph.

Based on a statistical analysis of tree rings and other natural formations, it purported to show the average annual temperature of the Northern Hemisphere back to AD1400 as basically flatlining (the handle) for hundreds of years until it suddenly shot upward (the blade) in the 20th century.

A year later the same authors published an extended version going back to AD1000. Both versions presented the same stunning picture: the world’s climate had apparently followed a steady, gentle cooling trend for 900 years, then in the 20th century a violent warming trend began, unlike anything in the past millennium. The authors fingered rising CO2 emissions as the culprit.

Within two years the hockey stick rocketed to international fame, after becoming the centrepiece of the 2001 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, where it appeared six times, always in full colour, and was heavily promoted at an international press conference by IPCC Chairman Sir John Houghton.

Governments around the world began using the hockey stick, with the full authority of the IPCC behind it, to promote the global warming alarm.

John Robson

I’m John Robson, and this is a Climate Discussion Nexus backgrounder on Hiding the Decline.

There was always something dubious about this chart. And not just the way it erased the well-known Medieval Warm Period. It’s also that the Mann series switched from tree rings to temperature readings at the precise point the line changed direction dramatically. Which would normally get scientists excited about possible weaknesses in the methodology, particularly the discrepancy between the data sets, rather than pretending there was nothing to worry about. And finally it was very strange, at least from a scientific perspective, that this one paper got so much publicity because back in 1998 Mann and his colleagues were not the only ones studying ancient tree ring data and other researchers did not find what they did.


Just two months after MBH98 appeared, Nature published another climate reconstruction, this time by the late British scientist Keith Briffa and 4 coauthors.

Like Mann’s study, it used tree ring records from all over the Northern Hemisphere to estimate temperatures back to the year 1400. But unlike Mann’s paper, the result looked nothing like a hockey stick. It showed a lot of variability over time, and record warmth in the 1930s, but no special warming pattern since then.

In fact, it showed cooling up to 1993, with temperatures ending below the average of the past six centuries.

John Robson

The climate science community was confronted with two studies at the same time, both using similar methods to study the same thing, and coming up with very different answers. Normally that kind of result means the science is not settled, the data may not be reliable, and the uncertainties need to be explained.

In this case, apparently, it meant instead that a body needed to be buried for political reasons. The story of the disappearance of the Briffa data is one of the darkest episodes in modern science.

And now a word from our sponsor. And that’s you, because the Climate Discussion Nexus is supported by ordinary Canadians who want to see more common sense, more logic, and more facts in the discussion on climate change… and less yelling. If you want to help us, subscribe to our YouTube channel, go to our Patreon page, make a pledge, become a monthly sponsor. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.


It’s long been known that the Earth’s climate is naturally variable. The study of ancient climate conditions is called paleoclimatology. In the first report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, back in 1990, they summarized the conventional view among paleoclimate experts that at the end of the last ice age about 10,000 years ago, the climate warmed for about 4,000 years, reached a state much warmer than the present and stayed there for several millennia, then began cycling between cooling and warming.

The Roman era and the Medieval era were both relatively warm compared to the present, and the Little Ice Age, which ended in the early 1800s, was relatively cold. And now we are in another warm phase of the cycle, though according to the conventional view as of 1990, it’s nothing special compared to previous eras.

The 1990 IPCC diagram of the familiar cycle matches other records, such as this long term temperature reconstruction from ice cores taken out of the Greenland ice cap.

Similar evidence for past warming episodes comes from the Riviere Boniface region in the Ungava Peninsula of northern Quebec. In 1997, scientists from Laval University in Quebec published evidence of the remains of a black spruce forest preserved in peat in the arctic tundra. The trees grew over an interval spanning 1000 BC to almost 1600 AD.

John Robson

How could there be a forest in the Arctic? Simple. It used to be warmer there than it is to this day. Periods of rapid forest growth there happened during the Roman and Medieval warm periods. But a major fire in the late 1500s wiped out the trees, and it’s been too cold for them to grow back ever since. In fact, it’s been considerably too cold. The authors point out that the forest remains they studied are 130 km north of the present tree line. For a forest to have grown so far north a thousand years ago means it had to have been much warmer there for a long time compared to what we’re now experiencing.

The problem for alarmists is that the existence of the Medieval Warm Period made it hard to claim that recent climate warming is anything unusual. So it had to go. Which made the Mann hockey stick very attractive to the IPCC.


MBH98’s headline conclusion was that today’s warming was unlike anything the Earth had seen in a thousand years. But, the critics would say, that’s based on studying tree rings. Maybe the warming happened, and the tree rings simply don’t show it. Which is where Briffa’s data was critical.

The 20th century is the one interval where we have both thermometer data and tree ring records, and we can see that the trees don’t show any warming. So, if they fail to respond to 20th century warming, how do we know that they don’t also miss it in earlier centuries?

A third paper published in 1998 emphasized these challenges. The lead author was UK scientist Phil Jones, and his list of coauthors included Keith Briffa and two others. They said that, of the various ancient climate records available, tree rings were probably the best, but they can be very unreliable.

Their own result fell between Mann’s and Briffa’s, with a clear Little Ice Age and a modern interval about as warm as the Medieval period. But since it was based on a very small data set they cautioned against reading too much into it.

John Robson

Mann’s paper, by contrast, swept aside the uncertainties. He and his coauthors claimed “moderately high levels of confidence” that the 1990s were the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, of the millennium – of the last 1,000 years. And that brought the IPCC calling.


In 1999 the IPCC was starting work on its Third Assessment Report. Out of all the people doing tree ring temperature analysis, they picked Michael Mann to write the summary.

John Robson

Jones and Briffa were invited to serve as contributors, but under IPCC rules, it’s the Lead Authors who decide what goes in. By appointing Mann, the IPCC was signalling what message they were looking for. And soon they would be even more explicit about what they were after.


On September 1st 1999 the IPCC convened a meeting of the authors in Arusha, Tanzania, where they spent three days discussing what the first draft of the report should include. Ten years later a large library of emails among Jones, Briffa, Mann and other climate scientists would be leaked onto the internet, which is how we came to possess the inside details of what happened next.

On September 22nd 1999, three weeks after the Arusha meeting, IPCC Coordinating Lead Author Chris Folland sent around a note stating

A proxy diagram of temperature change is a clear favourite for the Policy Makers summary. But the current diagram with the tree ring only data [Briffa’s] somewhat contradicts the [Mann] multiproxy curve and dilutes the message rather significantly.

So he asked that Mann’s curve be given priority.

John Robson

Now hold on a moment. It’s 1999, almost two years before the report was due to be released and before the expert review process had even started. Yet the IPCC leadership had already decided on the “message” they wanted in the Summary for Policymakers, and they didn’t want it “diluted” even though they knew the available data was contradictory and inconclusive?

Clearly the IPCC didn’t see their job as surveying the science and writing a summary that reflected the full range of data and of opinions. Instead they decided ahead of time on a compelling message, that man-made climate change was a pressing crisis, and then they looked for the science to support it.


Mann proposed doing what Folland wanted by circulating a diagram showing only his hockey stick and the Jones diagram, while leaving out Briffa’s altogether. Jones objected, and Briffa likewise was furious. He wrote to the author team:

I know Mike thinks his series is the ‘best’ and he might be right – but he may also be too dismissive of other data and possibly over confident in his… After all, the early (pre-instrumental) data are much less reliable as indicators of global temperature than is apparent in modern calibrations.”

John Robson

But Briffa also understood the problem: The data didn’t support the story the IPCC wanted to tell.

I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data’ but in reality the situation is not quite so simple. We don’t have a lot of proxies that come right up to date and those that do (at least a significant number of tree proxies ) some unexpected changes in response that do not match the recent warming. I do not think it wise that this issue be ignored in the chapter.

He then acknowledged what was really at stake: They were being asked to override their scientific judgment in service of the IPCC’s political agenda.

I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago. I do not believe that global mean annual temperatures have simply cooled progressively over thousands of years as Mike appears to and I contend that that there is strong evidence for major changes in climate over the Holocene.

Mann then offered to put the Briffa data back in. But, he warned, they didn’t understand why the data sets differed, and climate skeptics might use this to cast doubt on their work and undermine the peoples’ faith:

So, if we show Keith’s series in this plot, we have to comment that “something else” is responsible for the discrepancies in this case… We would need to put in a few words in this regard. Otherwise, the skeptics would have a field day casting doubt on our ability to understand the factors that influence these estimates and, thus, can undermine faith in the paleoestimates.

The real problem wasn’t that skeptics would cast doubt on their message, it was that the contradictions in the data would cast doubt on their message.

The end result, many months later, was that Mann’s hockey stick graph appeared alone in the Summary for Policymakers, backed by this Figure in the main report.


The black line is Mann’s curve, the pink one is Jones’, and the green one peeking from behind was Briffa’s modified data, attributed to a later paper published in 2000. The red line leading upwards at the end was from modern thermometer data. The diagram suggested, amazingly, that all the data were in perfect agreement.

John Robson

Where did the discrepancy go?


For the next five years, nobody asked that question. Then in 2005, Stephen McIntyre of Toronto, a semi-retired mining consultant who had taken an interest in paleoclimate studies, got curious about it and looked up the Briffa paper. Right away, he noticed something odd.

The green curve was supposedly the one Briffa submitted to the IPCC. But it goes up to 1994 in the journal article, whereas the IPCC version stopped at 1960.

John Robson

They had deleted the final 33 years of data—the declining portion.


McIntyre hunted through some online data archives and found the full Briffa series, then drew what the IPCC diagram would have looked like if they had used all the data.

John Robson

What a difference. By deleting the last part of the blue line, they concealed the contradictions among the data sets, and the questions it raised about the validity of the methods.

Steve McIntyre

The reason why Briffa’s data was a problem for them was that his temperature reconstruction from tree rings went sharply down in the last half of the 20th century when temperatures were going up. So the question for any rational observer was, if tree ring data went down while temperatures went up, what makes you think that these are a good measurement, or a good proxy, for temperatures? And if they went down when it was warm in the 20th century, how do we know they didn’t do that in the past? These are questions that every scientist would ask if they were presented with this data, and by concealing the data, they stopped people from asking that question.

John Robson

McIntyre’s discovery didn’t attract much immediate attention, but when the Climategate emails came out, he began digging into the issue further. One of the most notorious emails was from Phil Jones dated just two months after the Arusha meeting, on November 16, 1999, when he was preparing a similar diagram that would go on the cover of a major report from the World Meteorological Organization. Writing to Mann and his MBH98 coauthors, Jones said:

I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

Jones was referring to this chart, which, like the IPCC diagram, made it look like all the data sets agreed and showed unprecedented recent warming. It achieved this effect by deleting the Briffa data after 1960, splicing in thermometer data to each series up to the year 2000, then smoothing over the splice, as Jones said, to hide the decline. That’s quite the trick.

Steve McIntyre

To give you an idea of how big a story it was, the Climategate emails were released at approximately the same time as Tiger Woods’ implosion. And there were more, there were 22 million hits for Climategate and there were 21 million hits for Tiger Woods. It was a huge social media story, but it was barely covered in the national media.


In the aftermath of Climategate a number of inquiries were convened by the UK government into the conduct of Jones, Briffa and their British colleagues.

John Robson

But, as would be expected in bureaucratic circles, the reports mostly served to whitewash the revelations, to protect the reputations of the universities involved, and of course to protect the notion that there was a proven man-made global warming crisis.


The main investigative team was headed by Muir Russell, and it conceded that a minor wrist slap was in order for this incident.

“In relation to “hide the decline” we find that, given its subsequent iconic significance (not least the use of a similar figure in the [IPCC Report], the figure supplied for the WMO Report was misleading in not describing that one of the series was truncated post 1960 for the figure, and in not being clear on the fact that proxy and instrumental data were spliced together.”

Steve McIntyre

The operative word is there were “sort of” inquiries. None of the inquiries, however, squarely addressed or even addressed at all, the idea of senior IPCC scientists directing junior scientists to not, quote, “dilute the message”, or what the junior scientists had done to not, quote, “dilute the message.” The message they were trying to put out was that the change in climate was alarming, and so any data that they had that showed that it wasn’t alarming, they didn’t want to show. It would dilute the message.


The IPCC has never owned up to what happened, or issued a correction. In fact the fraudulent diagram is still on their website.

John Robson

By hiding the decline, they misled world leaders and citizens on an issue that they themselves judged to be critically important. They falsified data to conceal their own uncertainty and the potential unreliability of the methods they were using. And that is not how science is done.

It’s been 20 years now since this body was buried. But it still stinks. So, next time you see an apparently tidy and compelling message from the IPCC, judge its credibility accordingly.

Thanks for watching. To support the Climate Discussion Nexus, subscribe to our YouTube channel and our newsletter, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and go to our Patreon page and make a pledge.

For the Climate Discussion Nexus, I’m John Robson.

January 11, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Iraq’s PMU commanders hold summit over US assassinations

Press TV – January 11, 2020

Operation commanders of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units have convened to examine recent developments in the country, specifically US assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and the Iraqi deputy PMU head Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Iraq’s al-Furat news channel reported on Friday that participants of the PMU summit, which also included administrative officials from different parts of the organization, stressed the PMU’s complete readiness to defend Iraq.

The PMU officials said the organization was committed to pursuing its objectives in compliance with the law, respecting the government’s authority and following the orders of the Iraqi military’s chief of staff.

The report did not further elaborate on results of the discussions.

The summit comes after Washington assassinated Muhandis and Soleimani, a formal guest of the Iraqi government, last week.

The assassinations have since led to major anti-American protests across Iran and Iraq and other parts of the region and the world.

Following Iran’s missile strike on the US airbase of Ain al-Assad in Iraq’s Anbar province on Wednesday, various Iraqi groups affiliated with the PMU have also vowed to respond to the American assassination.

During the PMU summit on Friday, participating officials stressed that the legacy of figures such as Soleimani and Muhandis further motivates the resistance organization to pursue its objectives.

The PMU officials also expressed gratitude to mourners for participating in funeral processions held for the assassinated commanders earlier this week.

The officials also thanked Iraq’s clerical establishment, led by Iraq’s prominent Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, for its support and added that the PMU was committed to observing its instructions.

The PMU was formed following a June 2014 fatwa by Ayatollah Sistani calling on Iraqi citizens to volunteer and defend their country against Daesh terrorists who had unleashed a terror campaign across large parts of the country.

Deash was consequently vanquished by the Iraqi forces and is currently limited to dispersed cells operating in more remote areas of the country.

PMU halts Daesh advance near Mosul

In a separate PMU statement, the organization announced that it successfully halted an offensive launched by Daesh forces south of Mosul.

The statement said the operation was conducted by the 25 and 45 Brigades of the Nineveh Operations Command against Deash forces moving in from the direction of the al-Jazira region of Iraq’s north-central Salahuddin province.

January 11, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , | Leave a comment

US destroyer crossed course of Russian Navy ship in Arabian Sea, Defense Ministry says

Russian Defense Ministry: Unprofessional actions by US destroyer crew “are an intentional violation of international regulations of safety of navigation”

TASS | January 11, 2020

MOSCOW – The US destroyer crossed traffic lane of the Russian Navy ship in the Arabian Sea, as the American crew was acting unprofessionally, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

The Defense Ministry pointed out that the 1972 Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea defines that “when two power-driven vessels are crossing so as to involve risk of collision, the vessel which has the other on her own starboard side shall keep out of the way.”

“Therefore, on January 9, 2020 the US Navy destroyer, which was on the left from the traffic lane of the Russian Navy ship sailing ahead, grossly violated the international regulations for preventing collisions at sea, by maneuvering to cross its course,” the Defense Ministry said.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, unprofessional actions by the US destroyer crew “are an intentional violation of international regulations of safety of navigation.”

Along with this, Russia’s Defense Ministry said the US Fifth Fleet’s statement that a Russian Navy ship “aggressively approached” USS Farragut is not true.

“A widely publicized statement by representatives of the US Navy’s 5th Fleet that a Russian Navy ship allegedly ‘aggressively approached’ USS Farragut destroyer in the Arabian Sea is not true,” the statement said.

The Russian Defense Ministry pointed out that “the crew of a Russian naval ship acted professionally making a maneuver which made it possible to prevent collision with the intruder ship.” The fact was filmed by onboard cameras of the US Navy Fifth Fleet’s destroyer posted on Twitter, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

Earlier, the US Fifth Fleet released a statement accusing the Russian warship of “aggressively approaching” USS Farragut. Footage showing the Ivan Hurs, a Russian Project 18280-class intelligence-gathering vessel, was attached to the post.

January 11, 2020 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment

Ruptly Video Agency’s Cameraman Killed In Iraq

Sputnik – 11.01.2020

On Friday, two reporters were shot dead in Basra, Iraq by unidentified armed men after filming protests in the country, according to the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory.

Ruptly stringer cameraman Saaf Ghali has been killed in Iraq, according to Sputnik and RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan.

The operator was killed after filming a demonstration in Iraq related to the ongoing US-Iran tensions, Teller Report stated.

“In Iraq, unknown armed people killed our stringer cameraman Saaf Ghali. Saaf actively filmed materials for our Ruptly video agency in the region. We will do everything to help his family”, Margarita Simonyan wrote on her Telegram channel.

Ghali was said to have filmed around 30 pieces for Ruptly, a video agency that is a project of RT, while also working for a local TV station Al-Dijla.

It was earlier reported by France 24, citing a statement from the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory (JFO), that Ghali was killed late on Friday in the country’s southern city of Basra after filming anti-government protests. He and 37-year-old correspondent Ahmad Abdessamad, who both worked for Al-Dijla, were reportedly shot while sitting in a car near a police station in Basra when they were approached by unidentified men who opened fire on them.

“Armed men attacked them and sprayed them with bullets on Friday night, which killed Abdessamad. His cameraman was taken to the city hospital, where he died”, the JFO said, as quoted by France 24.

France 24 also stated that hundreds of Iraqis took to the streets of Basra on Saturday to mourn Abdessamad and Ghali’s deaths, while carrying their pictures and symbolic coffins.

The protests in Iraq have been going on for several months, with more than 400 people having reportedly been killed since October. The demonstrators are critical of government policies and the lack of jobs, demanding sweeping reforms.

January 11, 2020 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | | Leave a comment

120 NAM member states protest US visa refusal to Iran’s Zarif

Press TV – January 11, 2020

The 120-member nations of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) have strongly opposed Washington’s refusal to issue Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif a visa to attend an upcoming United Nations Security Council meeting.

The NAM countries voiced their opposition to the US move in a statement on Saturday by citing paragraph 24.6 of the final document adopted at their 18th summit in Baku, Azerbaijan, last April.

The document states that the US visa denial constitutes an outright violation of the terms of a 1947 UN Headquarters agreement which requires Washington to allow foreign officials into the country for UN affairs.

“The Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) strongly rejects the denial of the issuance of the entry visa by the Government of the United States to Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to attend the United Nations Security Council Meeting at the invitation of the current President of the Security Council scheduled for 9 January 2020 as a flagrant violation of the provisions of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement as well as international law,” the NAM said in the statement.

“The Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) calls upon all countries hosting United Nations and other international meetings to abide by their obligations to issue, without discrimination and undue delay, entry visas to member country delegations in accordance with the host country agreements,” it added.

Zarif earlier said US statesmen were vastly terrified of someone going to their country and conveying the truth to the American people.

The top Iranian diplomat explained that his ministry had “weeks ago” requested a visa to take part in the January 9 Security Council meeting on the importance of upholding the UN Charter, rejecting as false claims by American officials that they did not have time to process the application.

Zarif said the move was indicative of the moral bankruptcy of the US administration and President Donald Trump’s team.

The Security Council meeting would have given Zarif a global spotlight to publicly criticize the United States for assassinating General Qassem Soleimani, which has prompted an outpouring of public anger worldwide.

Zarif last traveled to New York in September for the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations after the US imposed sanctions on him in August for what Iran called “great fear” of his eloquent delivery of the Iranian nation’s message to the world.

January 11, 2020 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 1 Comment

Iraq gives the US its marching orders. What part of “Go Home” don’t you understand?

By Steven Sahiounie | Mideast Discourse | January 9, 2020

Iranian forces launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against two military bases housing US troops in Iraq early hours of Wednesday morning. The al-Asad airbase in western Iraq was hit by 17 missiles, and 5 targeted at a base in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil. No US casualties were immediately reported.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called the attack a “slap in the face” of the US, and observers seem to question whether the attack was designed to kill or inflict casualties, or was it carefully orchestrated to produce a closure to a situation which could have escalated into a regional or perhaps world war. Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said he was informed of the attack by Iran ahead of time, which acted as a safety valve after he informed the US commanders.

The Iraqi militias may now begin attacks of revenge for the US assassination of the Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who died alongside Soleimani in the drone strike on Friday.  Iraqi militia leader Qais al-Khazali said today his group’s retaliation should be “no less than the size of the Iranian response.” Al-Muhandis was the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), an Iraqi militia group that is an official component of the Iraqi armed forces.  Previously, the US had attacked Iraqi PMF troops in Qaim and killed 24 Iraqi soldiers and wounded dozens more. The Iraqi military, militias, and government have considered the recent US attacks on Iraqi troops and leaders on Iraqi soil as an act of aggression and more than enough reason to request the US military leave Iraq.

U.S. Defence Secretary Mark Esper, said Monday the United States “has made no decision whatsoever to leave Iraq,” seemingly oblivious to the fact the Iraqi parliament voted on Sunday to oust the 5,200 US troops. Esper has repeatedly reaffirmed that the U.S. was not pulling troops out of Iraq.

The US has around 5,000 troops deployed in Iraq, with plans to send in another 3,800 American paratroopers, and an additional 4,000 troops that may be sent. The US forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011, but returned in 2014 at the invitation of the Iraqi government to fight ISIS; however, that fight is over, and Trump angered the Iraqi government when he said the only reason he was leaving troops in Iraq was to watch Iran. There were anti-US sentiments brewing in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, which perceived the US military to be an occupation force, and unwelcomed, but after the Trump statement about his main mission in Iraq, the calls for “Yankee Go Home” grew louder and included groups who had not previously called for the ouster. The US military has admitted they have sidelined work against ISIS to focus on self-protection of troops.

PM Abdul-Mahdi asked parliament on Sunday to take “urgent measures” to ensure the removal of foreign forces from the country, and on Monday, PM Abdul-Mahdi met with US Ambassador Matthew H. Tueller and stressed the need for the two countries “to work together to execute the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq,” and added the situation in Iraq was “critical”. American troops in Iraq are in the country based on a request by the then prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, in 2014. The request can be revoked by parliament. The Iraqi parliament resolution passed 173 to zero, although 156 MPs boycotted it, but clearly, it passed by a majority and united some factions previously at odds. Sajad Jiyad, managing director of Bayan Center, an Iraqi think tank said, “Even people nominally pro-U.S., anti-Iran or neutral are not happy with what the US has done, and believe it’s a dangerous escalation,” and added, “The common denominator is this was an infringement on sovereignty.”

On Monday, PM Abdul-Mahdi received a letter from Marine Brig. Gen. William Seely III, commander of ‘Task Force Iraq’, declaring the US intention to withdraw, and with specific details about the exit. The letter was sent twice, and the copy that Abdul-Mahdi has in his possession is signed, and he added, “It’s not like a draft, or a paper that fell out of the photocopier and coincidentally came to us.” Strangely, Trump said he thought the letter was a ‘hoax’, and his officials Esper and Pompeo denied any letter of the kind was signed, or official.  Abdul-Mahdi took to the Iraqi TV to broadcast his exasperation with conflicting U.S. signals, and said: “We have no exit but this, otherwise we are speeding toward confrontation.”

The stated long-term goal of Iran’s reprisals is to remove US troops from the region. Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said “This region won’t accept the US presence. Governments elected by nations won’t accept the presence of the US.”  Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, early today warned that the US forces would be removed from the Middle East, saying: “You cut off Soleimani’s hand from his body, your feet will be cut off from the region.”

Poland evacuated its ambassador in Iraq, and the Philippine government has ordered the mandatory evacuation of Filipino workers from Iraq. Germany has announced they will withdraw troops from Iraq, as well as Spain, Croatia, and Romania. France says they are staying. There are about 2,900 European troops in Iraq. Trump has asked NATO to send more troops to Iraq; however, NATO troops are leaving Iraq.

Trump’s 2016 campaign promise was an “America First” policy, and he promised to reduce US involvement in foreign wars. However, his decision to bomb Iraqi militias and assassinate Iran’s commander Soleimani in a drone strike caught Middle Eastern and European allies unaware and confused. Since then, the US has given off conflicting signals on its intentions to exit Iraq even while it deploys more troops immediately for protection.

The US media uses the phrase ‘Shiite militias backed by Iran’ to identify the PMF; however, this is misleading and verges on propaganda. The PMF is an Iraqi militia and part of the Iraqi armed forces. The fact they are mainly comprised of Shiites should not be a surprise, given the fact that Iraq is overwhelmingly populated by Shiites. Iran is a neighboring country and is also mainly Shiite.  Iran supports Iraq, their armed forces, and their militias. Iran supports a ‘resistance’ philosophy: that is resistance to the occupation of Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. Iran is inside Iraq at the official request of the Iraqi government. The fundamental division between the US and Iran is this ‘resistance’ philosophy, which has become ingrained in the mentality of the majority of residents in the Levant, but which the US fails to recognize or understand.  Iraq also has Sunni militias, and they are Al Qaeda and ISIS while Iran, Iraq, and Syria are all fighting those terrorists.

January 11, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , | Leave a comment

Empire Games and Ghouls

By Taxi | Plato’s Guns | January 11, 2020

What is Empire but a colossal corporation whose sole mission is the hostile takeover of everything on earth?

What is Empire but a titanic shark charging forth and gobbling up all lifeforms in its path?

What is Empire but a gluttonous, gargantuan gut full of humanity’s tears and shredded corpses?

Addicted to bloodlust and war porn, and hooked to the bone on Vulture Capitalism, a rapacious Empire struts and swaggers across our globe: demanding other nations’ resources and servitude at gunpoint, while holding a plastic olive branch in its brute fist. Always speaking from both sides of its mouth, Empire plays a game of sadistic ownership with humanity.

… And it was always forever thus.

Our human history consists mainly of the rise and fall of some 70 empires of all sizes – and all of them have by now violently perished, all but one, that is. We call it, Pax Americana. Students of the rise and fall of empires observe how the lifespan of empires have tended to get shorter and shorter down the line of time, indicating poorer and poorer management by empire, coupled with an increased resistance to its dominion – resistance that’s due to humanity’s growing awareness of the insatiable brutality and nihilism of imperial power.

Humanity in the 21st century is no longer in awe of imperialism. It rejects it as a sole domineering power. It rejects it as a civilizing force. It sees no refinement or humanism in imperial behavior or ideology. The majority of people nowadays, regardless of their political bent, lean towards equitable independence of nation and equitable free trade. Being beholden to Empire’s caprice does not serve to fulfill these two aspirations that are fundamental to the progress of nations. Empire has bruised the face and body of the world and its punches keep coming. This is the very cause of rebellion against Empire.

Traditionally, Empires have flourished in longevity because they managed to establish and sustain local consent. There was some measure of give-and-take between Emperor and Satellite, even though the Emperor always landed the lion’s share. Today’s ruling Empire behaves in an opposite manner: it rules regardless of local consent and it demands to take-and-take from all its subjects. It demands that humanity gives in to it and just gives and gives. Give everything and get a conditional meager little in return. Since Perestroika, this gluttonous-mobster method has worked to fatten up Empire into obesity while the world went hungry. This wanton gangdom, this imperial Cosa Nostra is now full of cholesterol and drunk on the vinegar of power. Presently, Empire has become as if a foggy-headed, prehistoric beast: a giant carnivore snorting and slobbering over the world. In its wake lay many theaters of war, numerous bankruptcies and global, existential insecurity.

But who is this Pax Americana? Who is the Emperor?

Unlike any other empire before it, Pax Americana is not what it seems. It is not the Emperor himself, as is traditional with Empire’s visage. No bust of the Emperor is etched on contemporary market coins. No bronze busts of the Emperor litter our plazas and squares. Today’s Emperor is but a face from a catalogue, a sock puppet, a mouthpiece. Currently, he is an eccentric parrot with orange feathers, hostile and freakishly squawking down the ear whorl of the world. Today’s Emperor has been reduced to mouthing a sales pitch dictated to him by a shadowy entity practicing gruff ventriloquism through his mean lips.

And this very shifty entity working the puppetry from the shadows to create more shadows: it has a face, and it has a name too. Israel.

By a long and rusty chain of conspiracy and deception, Israel has hijacked both Empire and Emperor. Therefore it now owns the global domain. Shape-shifting, it has usurped the head of god. It has found entry into the halls of power through a sordid backdoor and it has wholesale kidnapped the Emperor and his family. It now possesses all his powers and is in the process of exploiting all and everyone at Empire’s disposal. The Emperor is but a hapless hostage to Israel’s relentless demands. Haughty demands that empower Israel but weaken the very spine and lifespan of Empire. One could say that Pax Americana is currently committing slow suicide with a dagger whose iron was cast in Tel Aviv. The Emperor knows all this only too well, but, pickled in vanity and the salts of narcissism, he is impervious and indifferent to this behemoth and life-threatening corruption. All Emperor cares about is keeping a crown on his elaborate coiffure – for as long as possible. This is all that matters to the current Emperor: the crown and its opulent prestige. Therefore, he is profoundly guilty of enabling the very destruction of his own Empire.

And destruction, as we all know, is the moon-shadow that perpetually stalks all empires.

Today, we see evidence of Empire hemorrhaging power and influence, especially in the Middle East, where, indeed, Israel is located. We see the stalking shadow of destruction grow taller at Empire’s feet right there. And we see Empire frantically trying to cover up its weaknesses with bluster and propaganda. We observe it unsuccessfully manufacturing fake realities it would like the world to believe. Fantasies composed by agents of Tel Aviv – delusions of excessive grandeur uttered by the Emperor before the cameras of the world, indeed upon instruction from Tel Aviv. Hubris galore. Empire’s image engine running on pure mythomania. All to hide the reality of its weakening status – and to hide especially the gnarly hands of its puppet master.

All to hide that Pax Americana no longer exists.

But, Pax Judaica does.

Yes, the Shadow Empire has successfully replaced Empire. In secret. Away from the eyes of most of humanity. The transition is now complete. For all intents and purposes, Pax Americana will now take the blame for Pax Judaica’s crimes. And Pax Judaica will benefit from the cover as well as the cover up: its elite agents being the only ones reaping the benefits of Empire’s grotesque plunder.

These are the games being played by a compromised Empire and Emperor right now. Games of mass deception, mass crime coverups, and the fleecing of the very heart and Mint of Empire and the world at large.

Mass warfare by the Shadow Empire now dominates the daily headlines around the globe. The practice of rabid usury by the predatory banks of the Shadow Empire have knee-capped and punched the empty gut of both friend and foe of Pax Americana. No one is spared. Agony, hunger and war destitution are now the norm under the clandestine and concealed management of Pax Judaica.

The world is under the mercy of Pax Judaica. An inherently criminal entity that scoffs at mercy and any other form of humanism. A Shadow Empire that assassinates or ruins all who expose it and all who challenge it. Resistors to Pax Judaica are singled out as legitimate targets. But, the heavier the hand of Pax Judaica, the more resistors are born and the more proactive resistance is conjured between them. History repeats itself, indeed. Resistance to Pax Judaica is now palpably felt on all the continents of the world. Momentum is growing, albeit in snips and snaps. Resistance is felt most in the Middle East, right at the doorstep of Israel, or Pax Judaica, as it should be more accurately called.

Pax Judaica: thief of Empires and murderer of the prophets of peace.

Pax Judaica: the eyeless leech that will eventually leech its own blood chambers once the veins of Pax Americana are finally drained.

This is the fate of all Empires: self-destruction.

And considering the frighteningly stupendous amount of amassed Weapons of Mass Destruction in our modern age, any death of any empire will also cause the colossal collateral death of perhaps a hundred million human lives – possibly even more. This is indeed a bleak but very plausible estimation.

And this is precisely the moral dilemma of the Axis of Resistance. How to shred Empire with least cost to humanity itself?

Pierce Empire with a thousand cuts and watch it drain of blood over time? Or, do as our cave ancestors did with giant beasts: confuse and drive the herd towards a cliff and over it.

Perhaps a combination of both tactics is what’s required.

Humanity braces itself for darker days to come. And in the meantime, the Shadow Empire, known otherwise as Pax Judaica, will continue in sure strides its covert assaults on Pax Americana and its overt assaults on both the Axis of Resistance and the peaceful world at large.

A maleficent and fiendish ghoul seeking humanity’s jugular.

But it will eventually be stopped by opposing forces that are currently gathering mass and momentum. The Axis of the East: Russia and China (and all their allies from Asia to South America) will eventually publicly and officially partner up with the Axis of Resistance: Iran and its Middle Eastern allies. Their multiple strategies will distill and assimilate into one. Their multitude of forces will find common platforms of cooperation on differing battlefields. The combined size of their power will be Empire’s reckoning. And we are already beginning to see clear signs of this opportune integration between the Axis of the East and the Axis of Resistance. Together, the two sanguine Axises will take on the immense and complex challenge of dislocating the hand and ankle joints of Empire, therefore, also the Shadow Empire’s clinging limbs will be splayed too. A seemingly impossible double-duty that targets a two-headed Empire. Their success is not assured but highly likely: considering the current ongoing self-inflicted hemorrhaging of Empire’s powers.

And the price for liberating the world from the murderous choke-hold of Empire? Here, I can only sigh…

And what of the nature of the force that will take Empire’s place? Is it trustworthy? Will it be more benevolent towards humanity than Empire was? Especially considering all that added and supreme power that will be in their victorious hands? I’ll answer these questions with a George Orwell quote: “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it”.

Therefore, for generational survival, a global paradigm shift in political thought is what’s pressingly needed for humanity. We will continue to witness further instability to our world, regardless of who the victor in the battle of Empires is. We, as one suffering humanity scattered across the world, we will not know peace, prosperity and enduring safety till the very ideology of imperialism is vanquished from the very mindset of modern times. Imperialism and all its supremacist sperm must be rejected and ejected from the womb of the future.

Therefore, it behooves humanity to begin unabashedly addressing the very imperialist ideology behind the woes of the world, present and historic. It is not sufficient rebellion to only criticize the foul words of the Emperor, or the daily mass crimes of the Shadow Empire. Imperialism itself is the very target question here.

The motto for our 21st century should read: In Empire we do not trust.

Regardless of the nationality of Empire.

January 11, 2020 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 2 Comments

US establishment preemptively blames Russia for Biden’s election flop, setting the stage for a crackdown on dissent

By Helen Buyniski | RT | January 10, 2020

The American political establishment is already lining up excuses for losing the 2020 election, blaming a Russian “disinfo” campaign –again!– for the flailing campaign of Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden.

As Biden, once the solid favorite in Democrat primary polls, continues to tank, the usual suspects are emerging to pin his fall from grace on the Kremlin, and not Biden’s own mouth, problematic family members, or uninspiring policies.

The former vice president’s once-certain status as the establishment favorite for the nomination has faded, with even CNN taking shots at him recently after he lied about his early and enthusiastic support for the Iraq war. Institutional Russophobes would have voters believe their growing disillusionment with the moderate centrist was implanted by Kremlin propaganda, however.

“US intelligence and law enforcement officials” are already probing whether Biden is the target of a Russian “disinformation” campaign, according to two anonymous officials who spoke to Bloomberg on Friday.

Putting aside the insult implicit in telling voters who dislike Biden that their opinions are not their own, the claim – unsupported by evidence in the manner of most ‘Russian meddling’ allegations – suggests that Democrats are already bracing for the loss of the 2020 election and rushing to get the narrative scaffolding in place to explain away a second Trump victory.

Even after the “Russia hacked the 2016 election” narrative fell apart with the ignominious “no further indictments” conclusion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, boomeranging into an Inspector General inquiry and a criminal probe of the FBI malfeasance that kicked off the whole affair, the American political elite don’t seem to be able to resist the temptation to blame Russia yet again.

Bloomberg’s breathless report blames Russia for promoting Biden’s own Ukrainian scandal while Trump was being impeached over allegedly withholding military aid to pressure Kiev into restarting a probe of the natural gas firm where Biden’s son was a director. The case against Trump was shaky from the start, and only Democrats’ white-hot hatred for the president pushed it to the level of an impeachable offense.

Yet the much more solid quid-pro-quo case against Biden – who publicly bragged about bullying Ukraine into firing its chief prosecutor by withholding $1 billion in IMF loan guarantees – went largely ignored in the US media, except for conservative outlets. This is hardly “disinformation,” unless Bloomberg is using the Newspeak definition floated in a recent academic paper that includes “truths arranged to serve a particular purpose.”

It is simply assumed Russia would want Trump to be president for four more years, even though he scrapped arms treaties and piled more sanctions on the country, and nearly led the US into a catastrophic war with Iran. Nevertheless, former FBI agent Clint Watts – one of the minds behind the notorious Hamilton 68 “Russian bot” dashboard – nevertheless insists “a second term of Trump would be great” for Moscow. National Counterintelligence and Security Center director William Evanina warns Russian “influence campaigns” will only grow, commandeering “new vectors of disinformation” to hoodwink the American public.

Biden has repeatedly bragged “Vladimir Putin doesn’t want me to be president,” accusing the Russian president of sending an “army of bots” after him. Like Hillary Clinton before him, Biden has focused more on demonizing Trump than touting his own record, possibly because his service in an administration that turned two wars into seven, left Libya a failed state, and allowed a huge amount of wealth to “trickle up” from the working class to the rich diverges wildly from even the tepidly pro-middle class, pro-peace positions outlined on his campaign website.

Even when he’s not making what the media has decided to politely call “gaffes,” bursting blood vessels in his eye on live TV, or sniffing little girls’ hair, Biden offers little more than reheated Obama-era policies without Barack Obama’s smooth stage presence. Evidence shows it is the Democratic Party’s insistence on embracing middle-of-the-road candidates ideologically indistinguishable from most Republicans – not “Russian disinformation” – that is hurting them at the polls.

Pinning Biden’s failure on Russia, however, has repercussions that reach much further than just a single candidate’s campaign, or a single election. With the first primaries rapidly approaching, intelligence agencies are pushing the “election meddling” story hard, hoping to make lemonade out of the lemon that a second Trump victory would be.

Not only Russia, but China and Iran will “seek to interfere in the voting process or influence voter perceptions,” a joint statement from seven agencies in November warned. Literally anything could be construed as “influencing voter perceptions,” and that’s the point: to retroactively paint perfectly innocent reporting as agitprop. This paves the way for a major crackdown on alt-media and other forms of dissent – one that has arguably already begun.

January 11, 2020 Posted by | Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

I Was Harassed, Wrongfully Detained, Then Had “Evidence” Planted On Me At the Airport

By Eric Striker • National Justice • January 9, 2020

It all started yesterday evening when I arrived at Pittsburgh International Airport in the rustbelt township of Moon, Pennsylvania for a flight to Boston.

I approached the Kiosk to print my ticket and immediately got an error, asking I go get my boarding pass from the airline’s main booth. I followed the instructions.

There, the woman typed my information in and made a phone call. After a lengthy 20 minutes, she gave me the phone and asked me to “listen” while she briefly walked away. This most likely was a way to get whatever Department of Homeland Security surveillance team to identify me and watch me through the camera.

Shortly after, my ticket printed with the dreaded SSSS – Secondary Security Screening Selection. This is the first time it has ever happened to me (I last flew less than a year ago). The SSSS list is reserved for suspected terrorists and criminals, of which I am neither. There are millions of people on the list, with random samplings finding that up to 40% of people on it have inaccurately registered records. Furthermore, a federal judge last September found that the practice is unconstitutional. I’ve been traveling largely by bus and car to work on news stories or visit friends so I was caught off guard.

Little did I know I was in for an annoying and long night, but I didn’t expect how bad it would be. I have heard from other peaceful dissidents and journalists that they have been harassed like this at the airport for the past year.

I used the restroom then approached the TSA line. They took me to a separate, cordoned off section and began the invasive and downright ridiculous process.

As one man meticulously poked and prodded my frank-n-beans from every angle, a senior citizen checked every nook and cranny of my wallet along with the bristles of my toothbrush for…I’m not sure exactly. I made sure that none of my electronics (phones and laptops) were being illegally searched, which they didn’t, they only ask you to turn them on.

In the commotion (at least 7 TSA agents surrounded me) a woman was asking me for personal information, like my latest home address. My response to her was to ask whether it was mandatory to give it to her. She did not say whether it was mandatory, but kept asking over and over again for my information and I refused to give it. I don’t have anything to hide, but the principle stands.

When the search concluded (about 20-30 minutes), they found a secondary phone I use that happened to be out of batteries. They asked me to turn it on, which I agreed to but needed to charge it. The TSA supervisor told me it was against protocol, and escorted me with all of my stuff back outside to charge my phone, telling me that I would have to do the search all over again from scratch.

At this point I was going to miss my flight. I summoned the supervisor again, who was very polite and friendly to my face, to demand a place where I can complain for my atrocious treatment and that I be compensated for my airline ticket. I informed him that I was a journalist and that being treated like a member of Al Qaeda on my way to a domestic flight was confusing and humiliating.

He gave me a TSA card and in my frustration over the bullshit I had just endured, decided to leave the airport to find different transportation to my destination that would be free of these silly theatrics.

As I walked away, a female police officer named Deb Spotts approached me to ask me why I had gone into the TSA security and back out. I told her they had asked me to go out and charge my phone. She then demanded to know why I had used the bathroom, to which I responded “to take a piss.”

She asked me for identification, and my response was to ask her if I was being detained and was free to leave over and over again. She radio’d her Sergeant, Michael Kuma, who gave the order to arrest me. Multiple police officers, including one carrying an assault weapon, grabbed me and put me in handcuffs.

The entire time I was loudly asking in front of others in the airport lobby why I was being detained, what their probable cause was, and that I wanted to call a lawyer. The police officers transporting me told me that they did not know why I was being detained, which is absurd.

I specifically told the officers that I did not consent to any search of any of my belongings, which they mostly respected. My things were put in a bucket in front of my cell and I was in there for about an hour.

Finally, Sergeant Kuma emerges with his team. I asked him for an explanation.

According to Kuma, the TSA inspectors had “felt” two bullets in one of the tight sleeves of my flight jacket. I have never owned a firearm nor have been shooting.

I asked Kuma why I was not dogpiled and detained during the TSA special suspected terrorist screening process if they thought I was trying to bring bullets on board. Kuma’s response is that bringing bullets on a flight was not illegal, which is a flagrant lie!

I then gave Kuma permission to search my jacket and show me the supposed bullets in my possession. He took his time, briefly got the jacket out of my sight, then acted like he was struggling to get the “bullets” out.

Then, all the cops smiled at me while Kuma said “oh wow, they’re only pen caps!”

He then pulled out black bullet-shaped pen caps from my jacket as I looked on in disbelief. I don’t carry or use pens at all.

I showed the pen cap to a friend who actually runs an office supply store. He said the weird bullet shaped plastic caps might belong to a mechanical pencil, which I also do not carry around and have never while owning the jacket I was wearing. Kuma I believe threw one of them away, but when I realized what was going on I said “no, that’s my property, I’ll keep it” for the second one.

These were beyond all reasonable doubt planted on me after they put me in handcuffs. Judging from the big sarcastic smiles on the police officers’ faces as I was finally let out of my cell, they were planted on me at the precinct, probably by Sergeant Kuma himself when he needed an excuse for why I was being locked up.

I then obtained the Sergeant’s business card, with a phone number on the back to be able to get the police report of my illegal arrest. He told me to wait a while because it takes time to get it in the system. I have a funny feeling this police report will never materialize but will be trying anyway.

These kinds of shenanigans are so stupid I’m almost tempted to laugh about this myself. I’m relieved they didn’t plant actual bullets on me, though that would’ve added a whole new layer of bullshit for them too. This type of petty corruption would be a joke if it wasn’t part of a wider system the federal government has in place that has no law enforcement value and is intended solely to intimidate and inconvenience journalists and people with First Amendment protected opinions they don’t like.

The big question I have, and will be investigating, is how did I get on the SSSS list, along with many others I know who engage in peaceful advocacy or dissent? Why in the last year, and all of my life, have I flown without any problems prior to this?

The Department of Homeland Security keeps the criteria for being a “selectee” very private, likely due to the civil liberties ramifications of the system as they drastically expand how many people are targeted and why. As someone who hasn’t even been harassed by the FBI or accused of anything, occam’s razor tells me that in my case and others, they are using a purely political criteria. The only scenario for what just happened is that they are deferring to the Southern Poverty Law Center for names and adding them to the list uncritically. If it came out, it would be a scandal, as the SPLC is a highly discredited, agenda-ridden and universally despised organization.

There is a small chance that it is a case of mistaken identity, but I doubt it. I will be looking into applying for the DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP) and will see what they tell me.

National Justice is over the target indeed!

January 11, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | 2 Comments

“Zipper Killing” Americans: A Police Tactic Of Killing People In A Hail Of Gunfire

MassPrivateI | January 9, 2020

Have you ever tried to get someone’s attention because they forgot to pull up their fly? Perhaps you have tried to use hand signals or made eye contact with them in a discreet attempt to get them to zip up their fly.

Well, America’s police have figured out a way to make sure a person will never forget to pull up their zipper.

As the above video explains, police are being taught to ‘start shooting a suspect low on the pelvic girdle and work their way up to the face or on the brain housing group’ like a zipper.

The instructor’s use of words, “pelvic girdle and brain housing” are designed to make it easier for cops to justify using their weapons like a zipper on human beings.

Police zippering citizens in the brain housing gives new meaning to an old Korean War term, “zipper heads” that was used to describe American troops running over Asians with a jeep.

“The soldiers claimed that the tire tracks from the jeeps left a pattern resembling that of a closed zipper along the corpse.” (To find out how American soldiers referred to Japanese as zipper heads click here.)

This past December, The Appeal, revealed that in California, the Vallejo Police Department’s officers have been “zipper killing” people for a decade.

“The newly released records also show that Vallejo police supervisors who reviewed fatal and non-fatal shootings for potential policy violations and training purposes praised officers for using a zipper drill method of firing. An officer using this method fires numerous rounds into an adversary, starting low in the target’s body and zipping the barrel of the gun up toward the person’s head while continuously shooting.”

In what version of America is this not horrifying: Pre-9/11 or post-9/11? And why have only three police “zipper killings” been criticized?

Cops are praised for “zipper killing” Americans

credit: the truth about guns

According to the Appeal, police supervisors have only criticized three officers for not “zipper killing” suspects.

“From 2010 through 2018, only three officers’ firearms tactics were criticized by supervisors. One of the officers was criticized for not using a method, taught by the department, that involves firing more shots at a murder suspect. Another shot at a suspect while police and passing motorists were in his line of fire. The third shot a rifle over the heads of other officers to kill an armed man.”

Being criticized for not shooting a suspect numerous times? What has happened to American policing?

Supervisors commended a police officer for continuously firing at an unarmed suspect until he collapsed from being zippered to death!

“Sgt. Joe Iacono, who reviewed Kenney’s shooting of Barrett, determined that Kenney was entirely within department policy when he killed the unarmed man. Iacono wrote that Kenney used a pattern of fire consistent with how the department trains its officers to shoot. He did not simply use two rounds and reevaluate as was taught in the past, Iacono wrote. Instead, Kenney continuously fired into the unarmed man’s legs, arms, and body until he collapsed and stopped moving.”

Another supervisor wants the FBI to teach every police officer to “zipper kill” Americans.

“Sgt. Kent Tribble wrote in a report about the incident that the department’s firearms instructors should step away from the outdated FBI failure drill (two to the body, one to the head), and instead have firearms instructors all teach the more industry standard Zipper drill.”

Why isn’t this headline news? Have police killings of Americans become so commonplace that zipper killings are viewed with indifference by the mass media?

For anyone out there who still clings to the idea that America’s police are not militarized: please, please try and explain why cops have been “zipper killing” Americans for ten years.

January 11, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | 2 Comments