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Esper Contradicts Trump: “Didn’t See” Specific Evidence Of Iran Plot To Attack 4 Embassies

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 01/12/2020

When late last week President Trump first referenced a Soleimani-directed plot to “blow up” the US embassy in Baghdad, which during a Friday Fox interview became in the president’s words “I believe it would’ve been four embassies”  senators which had been given a classified briefing Wednesday balked, saying no such intelligence was referenced but should have been if there was evidence.

And now no less than Secretary of Defense Mark Esper appears to have publicly contradicted the White House’s rationale for taking out the “imminent” threat of Qasem Soleimani. Esper told CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday that he “didn’t see” specific evidence for embassy attacks, while adding that he still believes such an attack was likely.

“The president didn’t cite a specific piece of evidence. What he said was he believed,” Esper said.

“What the president said was that there probably could be additional attacks against embassies. I shared that view,” Esper said. “The president didn’t cite a specific piece of evidence.”

When pressed on whether intelligence officers offered concrete evidence on that point he said: “I didn’t see one with regards to four embassies.” — Reuters

During a separate CNN interview on Sunday, the Pentagon chief continued to awkwardly dance around the question of whether specific intelligence showed such an attack was being planned. Esper described that Trump merely “believed” it to be the case, while refusing to confirm any particular intelligence.

But earlier statements of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who before reporters defended Trump’s assertion about the IRGC targeting the embassies, suggested there was specific intelligence.

When Pompeo was pressed on Friday by reporters over the nature of the “imminent threat” claims, he said“We had specific information on an imminent threat and that threat stream included attacks on U.S. embassies. Period. Full stop.” And asked about what made it imminent, Pompeo simply said: “It was going to happen.”

At first it was unclear whether President Trump was claiming to have seen specific intelligence outlining such a threat, or perhaps was just speaking generally and in his usual hyperbolic style (“blow up” the embassy) of the pro-Iranian mob’s actions besieging the US embassy in Baghdad days prior to the Soleimani assassination.

The demonstrators had been filmed setting the outer walls of the compound on fire during the chaotic events nearly two weeks ago which resulted in a contingent of Marines rapidly deploying from Kuwait to bolster embassy security.

So now Esper appears to be saying it was Trump’s personal belief, while Pompeo appeared to base it on “specific information” — in other words direct intelligence. But which is it?

It can’t be both ways.

Like the Bush administration’s famously evolving rationale for the war in Iraq, are we witnessing the narrative on Iran made up on the fly?

January 12, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | Leave a comment

For Western Press, the Only Coup in Venezuela Is Against Guaidó

By Lucas Koerner – FAIR – January 10, 2020

The international corporate media have entered crisis mode following the replacement of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as head of the country’s National Assembly.

In headline after headline, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro “Takes Over” (NBC1/6/20), “Claims Control of” (New York Times1/5/20CNBC1/6/20) or “Seizes” (Reuters1/5/20NPR1/6/20) parliament, and “Ousts” Guaidó (Wall Street Journal1/5/20) in the process.

The Washington Post (1/5/20) takes this hysteria to another level, hyperbolically proclaiming that “Venezuela’s Last Democratic Institution Falls as Maduro Attempts De Facto Takeover of National Assembly.”

Such headlines obscure the elementary if inconvenient fact that Guaidó failed to secure the necessary votes from his own coalition’s deputies to continue as president of the legislature, leading him to convene a parallel, ad hoc session in the offices of the right-wing El Nacional newspaper.

Serving up state propaganda

Corporate journalists repeat unceasingly the US State Department talking point that the January 5 assembly election, which chose Luis Parra as the legislative body’s new president, was “phony” because Guaidó and his loyalists were barred from attending the session, rendering the vote void.

“Venezuela’s socialist government installed a new head of Congress on Sunday after armed troops blocked opposition legislators from entering parliament,” Reuters (1/5/20) misinformed readers.

As Venezuelanalysis (1/5/20) reported, this narrative was refuted by pro-Guaidó lawmaker William Davila, who, after strolling in to the legislature, told press that with few exceptions, virtually all deputies were permitted to take their seats. Other senior opposition lawmakers, including the outgoing first and second vice presidents of the body, were visibly present inside the parliament.

Moreover, video evidence reveals that Guaidó was not himself “prevented,” as the New York Times (1/5/20) had it, from entering the legislature, but rather refused to do so except in the company of fellow lawmakers whose parliamentary immunity had been revoked for alleged criminal offenses. Likely knowing he did not have the votes to secure reelection, Guaidó appears to have declined to attend the session, going as far as to scale a fence in a publicity stunt widely reported by Western outlets that all but ignored the crucial facts behind the day’s events.

Corporate media followed up their lie that the pro-Guaidó opposition was banned from parliament with the dubious claim that the subsequent vote held in the offices of El Nacional was “official.” The Washington Post (1/5/20) matter-of-factly stated, “In a 100-to-0 tally — enough to put him over the top in a full session of the 167-seat chamber — those present reelected Guaidó as head of the legislature.” The reporters evidently neglected to inspect the actual vote tally, which contained glaring irregularities such as votes by legislators abroad fleeing criminal charges, as well as those cast by substitutes for deputies who had already voted for Parra. As even hard-right, Miami-based journalist Patricia Polea highlighted, Jose Regnault Hernandez, the substitute for newly sworn-in National Assembly Second Vice President Jose Gregorio Noriega, was allowed to vote for Guaidó despite Noriega having himself stood for election on a rival ticket earlier that afternoon.

It is also deeply ironic that Western outlets would rush to declare the legitimacy of an irregular vote held in the offices of a local newspaper, given the lengths they have gone to deny the existence of press freedom in Venezuela (FAIR.org5/20/19).

Why isn’t Guaidó in jail?

Procedural formalities aside, the real question, which corporate journalists will never ask, is why an opposition figure who arbitrarily declared himself “interim president” with the backing of hostile foreign powers, and who urged the military to rise up to install him in the presidential office, would be permitted to set foot outside a jail cell in Venezuela, let alone stand for reelection as head of parliament?

The answer would require admitting that this naked violation of sovereignty is only tolerated because of the constant threat of lawless imperial violence, which US corporate media enthusiastically cheerlead against other independent Global South states like Iran.

Instead, Western journalists continue to whitewash the US-sponsored coup–the sixth major attempt since 2002–impugning Maduro’s democratically elected government as “authoritarian” or a “dictatorship” (FAIR.org4/11/19;  8/5/19), which is newspeak for “legitimate target for bombing and/or murderous sanctions.”

Throwing to the wind any semblance of neutrality, the New York Times (1/5/20) reported:

Venezuela’s authoritarian leader, Nicolás Maduro, moved on Sunday to consolidate his grip on power by taking control of the country’s last independent institution and sidelining the lawmaker who had staked a rival claim to the presidency.

“The political chaos comes at a time when Venezuela is facing economic collapse,” the paper of record added, bolstering the rationale for Maduro’s overthrow. “Hunger is widespread, and millions have fled the country.”  Like most corporate media (FAIR.org6/26/19), the Times reflexively avoided mention of US economic sanctions’ role in severely exacerbating the crisis and killing tens of thousands since 2017, writing off the illegal, inhumane measures as “sanctions on Mr. Maduro’s government.”

For the corporate press, it would appear that the only “coup” is that perpetrated by Maduro in insisting on serving out his elected mandate (Washington Post1/6/20Wall Street Journal1/6/20Forbes1/7/20).

Concealing corruption

In their elegies to the “last democratic institution in the authoritarian South American state” (Washington Post, 1/5/20), Western journalists rarely attribute Guaidó any significant blame for the perceived debacle.

Despite acknowledging Guaidó’s falling popularity, following his utter failure to oust Maduro, mainstream outlets have turned a blind eye to the opposition leader’s string of humiliating scandals. Guaidó has been linked to Colombian paramilitary drug lords, while his inner circle has been accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars in aid funds, among other illicit acts.

Tellingly, the only corruption allegations mentioned in the latest corporate coverage are those against Parra and his dissident opposition colleagues. Making little effort to conceal its bias, CBC (1/6/20) describes the new National Assembly president as “a previously unknown backbencher mired in accusations of bribe-taking,” whose “rambling comments” were challenged by journalists.

The double standard is striking, given that Western media have devoted strenuous efforts over the past year to anointing a “previously unknown backbencher” as president of Venezuela. The attacks on Parra comes amid threats of US sanctions against him and other opposition politicians who broke with Guaidó. The blatant imperial blackmail recalls similar US threats reportedly issued against opposition presidential candidate Henri Falcón, who defied the opposition’s 2018 electoral boycott that paved the way for the current coup efforts.

Corporate journalists’ discouragement over Guaidó’s failures (FAIR.org7/23/19) is becoming ever more pronounced (e.g., Reuters12/3/19Washington Post12/17/19New York Times1/6/20). But at the end of the day, they have simply invested too much in this smooth, technocratic figure to fundamentally fault him, let alone actually question the imperial regime-change machinery that produced him and his elite coterie.

January 12, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 3 Comments

Western media coverage of Russia as an exercise in propaganda

By Gilbert Doctorow | January 12, 2020

The notion of “fake news” has entered our vocabulary as a pejorative term for dissemination of bogus information, usually by social media, sometimes by traditional print and electronic channels which happen to hold positions contradicting the tenets of our conventional wisdom, i.e., liberal democracy. The term has been applied to Russian state owned media such as RT to justify denying such outlets normal journalistic credentials and privileges.

In this essay, I will employ the more traditional term propaganda, which I take to mean the manipulation of information which may or may not be factually true in order to achieve objectives of denigrating rivals for influence and power in the world, and in particular for denigrating Russia and the “Putin regime.”

The working tools of such propaganda are

  • tendentious determination of what constitutes news, which build on the inherent predisposition of journalism to feature the negative and omit the positive from daily reporting while they carry this predisposition to preposterous lengths
  • the abandonment of journalism’s traditional “intermediation,” meaning provision of necessary context to make sense of the facts set out in the body of a news report. In this regard, the propagandistic journalist does not deliver the essential element of paid-for journalism which should distinguish it from free “fake news” on social media and on the internet more broadly
  • silence, meaning under-reporting or zero reporting of inconvenient news which contradicts the conventional wisdom or might prompt the reader-viewer to think for himself or herself. As a colleague and comrade in arms, professor Steve Cohen of Princeton and NYU, has said in his latest book War with Russia? : the century old motto of The New York Times “All the news that’s fit to print” has in our day turned into “All the news that fits.”

Demonstrations of the arguments I present here could easily fill a book if not a library shelf.  However, I think for purposes of this essay, it suffices to adduce several examples of the three violations of professional journalism giving us a constant stream of propaganda about Russia and its political leadership by offering a few reports drawn from the very cream of our print and electronic media.  In particular, I have chosen as markers the Financial Times and the BBC.  The use of propaganda methods in their coverage of Russia is all the more telling and damaging, given that in a great many domains these channels otherwise represent some of the highest quality standards to be found in reporting anywhere today and consequently enjoy the respect of their subscribers and visitors, who little suspect they could be so prejudicial in their coverage of select domains like Russia.

* * * *

As 2019 drew to a close, many of our media outlets drew attention to two Russia-related anniversaries: the just celebrated thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with the retreat of Soviet armed forces from Eastern Europe that it touched off; and the soon to be celebrated twentieth year of Vladimir Putin’s hold on power in the Kremlin. Both subjects may be fairly called news worthy and so fully correspond to traditional journalistic values. What has been exceptional and unacceptable has come in the second category of violations listed above – lack of context.

Starting in October 2019, the BBC’s Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg did several programs dedicated to the fall of the Berlin Wall. During the Christmas to New Year’s period, the BBC aired one program which consisted of two parts. In the first half, Rosenberg considered the impact of the withdrawal of Russian forces from East Germany on the Russians themselves and interviewed the former chief of those forces, who explained at length how they “came home” to shocking living conditions in the provinces, how they were abandoned to their fate by their own government. The tone of the reporting was sympathetic to Russians’ hardships and it was good that their side of the story from the ground up was given the microphone. What implied criticism there was of the powers that be came from a patriotic source. However, the second half of the program was turned over to a certain Lydia Shevtsova, a very outspoken Putin-hater, formerly with the Carnegie Center Moscow, till she was finally booted out and moved to a more congenial and supportive think tank, Chatham House, in London, where her anti-Russian vitriol is encouraged and disseminated by her co-author, ex-British ambassador to Moscow Sir Andrew Wood. Among the gem quotations which Shevtsova delivered was the claim that Russia under Putin is a declining power which is capable only of disrupting the world order, a spoiler not capable of any creative or productive contribution. Of course, Shevtsova has a right to her opinions, however the BBC had an obligation to its audience to explain exactly who the lady is and, if they wanted to practice fair play, to offer an alternative interpretation of what Vladimir Putin’s Russia stands for on the global stage today. They did not do either. The result was pure propaganda not news and analysis.

As for violations in the categories one and two above, a very good example arose following the recent publication of a study performed by the Levada Center public opinion polling organization in Moscow during October which showed that “53 per cent of 18-to-24 year-olds wanted to leave the country.” This was written about by many of our news peddlers, including FT. The decision to feature this factoid and use it to support claims that the Putin regime’ is a failure fits well with tendentiousness of our news coverage. Meanwhile, nearly all coverage of that study, including in the Financial Times, offered no contextual information whatsoever, when the context was begging to be told.

The article in FT which carried the Levada Center findings was published on 9 January as “Generation Putin: how young Russians view the only leader they’ve ever known.” The remarks on Levada followed directly on another statement begging for context: “Youth unemployment in Russia is more than three times the rate of the total population, according to 2018 data, compared with just twice the rate in 2000.”

First, as regards those 53% would-be “leavers,” one might ask: and so, why don’t they just leave? Russia today is truly a free country: anyone other than convicted felons who wants a passport can get it, and get it rather quickly. And thanks to the efforts of their remarkably hard-working Ministry of Foreign Affairs, most of the world welcomes Russian travelers without a visa requirement. But for that matter, getting a Schengen visa for the EU is not so complicated either.

However, those 53% are, in fact, not going anywhere. They are just sounding off about their youthful disgruntlement with a world created and run by their parents.

At the same time, as the Financial Times editorial board knows full well, young, middle-aged and even old have been leaving the Baltic States, Bulgaria, Romania and other former Soviet Bloc countries in droves, for the past thirty years up to the present day. That was the subject of an article published in the FT on the next day, 10 January 2020 under a title which speaks for itself: “Shrinking Europe.” The states I mentioned here have seen 25 and 30% loss of their population to citizens voting with their feet and departing the shrinking economies and personal prospects which result directly from deindustrialization and economic colonization by Germany and other founding Member States of the EU since 1991. The issue appears in the news now because, as the FT explains, “Andrej Plenkovic, the Croatian prime minister, has decided to elevate population decline to the top of his agenda as Zagreb assumes the EU’s rotating presidency.” Good for him! Now that the skeleton has finally come out of the EU closet, all the stories about Russia’s demographic crisis can be put in context – by those few who wish to do so.

Second, as regards unemployment in Russia today, I believe that similar ratios of youth unemployment to the general population unemployment can be found most everywhere in Western Europe if not in the world at large. The fact that this ratio has worsened comparatively in Russia since 2000 may be explained by the anomalous situation in Russia prevailing throughout the 1990s in step with the economic collapse that accompanied the transition to a market economy. Precisely the older generations, those over 40, were thrown into the street and their children or grandchildren were the first to be hired by the newly emerging industrial conglomerates, not to mention by Western multinationals settling in. What has happened since 2000 is merely a reversion to more normal distribution of employment and unemployment in the population as the Russian economy stabilizes.

Dear Reader!

For those who find my examples above too subtle to support my argument for egregious propagandistic treatment of Russia in our media, allow me to introduce violation number three, silence, in a way that should sweep away all objections to my thesis.

I draw your attention to an event that occurred in the past week about which you probably know nothing, or perhaps a wee bit from the odd man out reporting in the Wall Street Journal and a few other outlets. I am talking about the visit of Vladimir Putin to Damascus on Tuesday, 7 January. To their credit, the WSJ carried a short article in their 8 January edition, but went no further than to note this was the second visit by Putin since the Russians joined the fight in support of President Bashar Assad back in September 2015, turning the tide in the civil war his way. That is true, but only represents a tiny slice of what all our journalists, including the WSJ’s could have and possibly did learn from watching Russian state television on the 7th. What our media chose not to report was passed over in silence because it shows the complexity of Russia’s policy in the Middle East that includes but goes well outside the domain of pure geopolitics. This is so not least because of the date chosen for the visit, which happens to be Orthodox Christmas.

On the evening of the 6th, that is to say on Christmas eve, by the Russian Orthodox calendar, Russian state television broadcast live coverage of the Christmas service in the Christ the Savior cathedral in Moscow officiated by Patriarch Kirill, with prime minister Medvedev present on behalf of the Government. Then it cut to the service in St Petersburg, where Vladimir Putin sat in the congregation, as is his custom. The commentator mentioned in passing that the Patriarch’s father, a parish priest, just happened to be the one who baptized Vladimir Putin as a child where they all lived, in the Northern Capital.

The next coverage of Putin on state television was from Damascus on the 7th, where he obviously arrived on a night flight from Petersburg. I did not see video coverage [video coverage has now been posted] … But still photos and reports on state television informed us that Putin had not merely held talks with President Assad on the Russian military base outside the capital, but had strolled together with him down the streets of Damascus, had visited the main church in the (still existing) Christian quarter of the city, had presented to the Patriarch of Antioch an icon of the Virgin and had also gone on to visit the city’s oldest and largest mosque.

What you have here is precisely the second line of justification for Russian presence in Syria alongside military/geopolitical reasons: resuming Russia’s 19th century role as protector of the Orthodox population in the Holy Land and the broader Middle East. A similar role was exercised back then by France on behalf of the Catholic populations, but that since has been totally negated by rampant secularism and multiculturalism in Western Europe.

It also has to be said that Putin’s visit to Damascus was back-to-back with other very high visibility political statements: his visit to Istanbul on the 8th for the official opening of the TurkSteam gas pipeline and for lengthy talks with President Erdogan that ended in a joint statement calling for a truce in the Libyan civil war for which Russia and Turkey support opposing sides; and his visit on the 9th to Russian naval exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean that included the launch of Russia’s latest hypersonic missiles, the reality of which U.S. and other Western experts have yet to acknowledge.

With this I rest my case on the unfortunate propagandistic behavior of our media which deprive the broad Western public of any chance to make sense of the most dangerous military and political stand-off of our age.

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2020

January 12, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , | Leave a comment

Epstein accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell reportedly hiding in Israel

If Americans Knew | January 12, 2020

Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports: “Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite who has been accused of helping late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, is reportedly hiding out in Israel.”

The story quotes a New York Post article based on information from an unnamed source who told the Post : “She is sometimes in the U.K., but most often in other countries, such as Israel, where her powerful contacts have provided her with safe houses and protection.”

According to the Post source: “Ghislaine is protected. She and Jeffrey were assets of sorts for multiple foreign governments. They would trade information about the powerful people caught in his net — caught at Epstein’s house.”

Reuters recently reported that the FBI is investigating Maxwell, who allegedly recruited under age girls to have sex with Epstein. It is unknown whether the Israeli government is assisting the US in locating Maxwell. Critics have complained that Israeli law enforcement is frequently lax on those who have committed crimes in other countries. The US gives Israel over $10 million per day.

Maxwell is the the daughter of Robert Maxwell, who died under mysterious circumstances in 1991. Maxwell was an Anglo-Jewish multi-millionaire who was suspected of working with the Israeli Mossad.

Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi reports: “After his death, he was given a state funeral by Israel in which six serving and former heads of Israeli intelligence listened while Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir eulogized: “He has done more for Israel than can today be said.”

Giraldi writes that the Epstein case “has all the hallmarks of a major espionage case, possibly tied to Israel…  the whole filming procedure smacks of a sophisticated intelligence service compiling material to blackmail prominent politicians and other public figures.”

Epstein, who had been facing sex trafficking charges for allegedly abusing dozens of girls as young as 14, died in a New York City jail cell in August. While law enforcement officials said it was suicide, a forensic pathologist hired by his family said the autopsy pointed to homicide.

An attorney for one of the young victims says Maxwell “was integral in maintaining the sex trafficking ring,”

“Jeffrey Epstein couldn’t have done what he did for as long as he did it without the services of somebody like Ghislaine Maxwell. She is as culpable, in my judgment, as Jeffrey Epstein himself.”

Victims depict her as dominating, controlling, and abusive.

January 12, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 4 Comments

‘Trump cited GOP hawks’ support as reason to assassinate Soleimani: Reports

Press TV – January 12, 2020

US President Donald Trump has told his associates his decision to assassinate Iran’s top commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani came amid pressure from Senate war hawks he views as crucial allies in his upcoming impeachment trial, according to two separate reports.

As Trump discussed the assassination drone strike at his private mansion in Mar-a-Lago, he told some associates that he wanted to safeguard the backing of Senate Republicans in time for the impeachment trial in the upper chamber, The New York Times said in a report this week.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that after the assassination operation, Trump told associates he was under pressure from a number of Senate Republicans, whose support he needs in the impeachment trial, to take action on the Iranian general.

“Mr. Trump, after the strike, told associates he was under pressure to deal with Gen. Soleimani from GOP senators he views as important supporters in his coming impeachment trial in the Senate, associates said,” according to the Journal.

The reports did not mention any Republican senators by name, however, many of the president’s allies in the Senate, including Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, have openly praised his decision to assassinate Gen. Soleimani.

Sen. Graham was reportedly the only senator who was briefed by the administration about the assassination operation.

“I was briefed about the potential operation when I was down in Florida. I appreciate being brought into the orbit,” the senator told FOX News.

Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Force, was assassinated in a US drone strike outside Baghdad’s International Airport last Friday.

The new information comes as the Trump administration is under mounting pressure from Congress concerning the justification for assassinating the senior military official of another country.

The reports further call into questions the narrative by Trump and his top aides that General Soleimani had been planning “imminent” attacks against US personnel and interests. Even some US officials have admitted that there is no evidence to support that claim.

In the wake of the assassination, a number of Republican senators have joined Democrats in pushing back against Trump’s war powers.

January 12, 2020 Posted by | War Crimes | , , | 2 Comments

Wallace sounds alarm bell on future UK-US defence ties

Press TV – January 12, 2020

Defence secretary, Ben Wallace, has warned that in future Britain may have to contemplate fighting wars without the United States.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Wallace made the extraordinary claim that the prospect of the United States retreating from a global leadership role under Donald Trump keeps him “awake at night”.

In comments that is bound to raise eyebrows in defence circles around the world, Wallace claimed that the UK needs to “rethink” military assumptions in place since 2010, which have centred on close partnership with US armed forces.

The defence secretary said that the government should use the “upcoming defence review” to purchase new kit to ensure that the British armed forces are less dependent on American air cover and spy planes in future wars.

According to Wallace, the UK is preparing to conduct the “deepest review” of the country’s defence, security and foreign policy since the “end of the Cold War”.

Wallace appears to be worried about Trump’s putative “isolationist” tendencies and its impact on Britain’s military and security posture going forward.

“Over the last year we’ve had the US pull out from Syria, the statement by Donald Trump on Iraq where he said NATO should take over and do more in the Middle East”, Wallace said.

Wallace’s sweeping prediction will strike many defence analysts as odd, at least in immediate terms, and in view of the fact that the UK has given every indication it is prepared to join the US in conducting military operations against Iran.

January 12, 2020 Posted by | Militarism | , | 1 Comment

“Will Not Comment on Recent Events in Jammu & Kashmir”: Detainees Being Released Sign Gov’t Form

Sputnik | January 12, 2020

Thousands were detained under India’s Public Safety Act, a law that allows authorities to imprison someone for up to two years without charge or trial, in Jammu and Kashmir before the Narendra Modi-led government revoked Articles 370 of the Constitution, stripping the state of its special status on 5 August.

The detained people, who are being released after five months of imprisonment, have to sign a bond where they say they will not make any comment or statement on the “recent events” in Jammu and Kashmir.

The bond, signed under Section 117 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), includes Section 107, which states that the executive magistrate has the power to apprehend any individual for not more than a year on information that a person is likely to disturb peace and public tranquillity.

“I undertake that in case of release from the detention, I will not make any comment(s) or statement(s) or make public speech(s), (or) hold or participate in public assembly(s) related to the recent events in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, at the present time, since it has the potential of endangering the peace and tranquillity and law and order in the State or any part thereof for a period of one year,” section two of the bond reads.

Nearly 4,000 people were arrested and some political leaders were detained after the revocation of Article 370, over fears of outbreaks of unrest and “most of them were flown out of Kashmir because prisons here have run out of capacity”, news agency AFP had quoted an official as saying.

The government bifurcated the state into two federally-administered territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The union territory then imposed a communications clampdown as new charges for mobile phone services were imposed. Postpaid mobile calling and messaging services along with broadband internet have been resumed, but internet services remain suspended. India’s apex court has termed the restrictions unconstitutional.

A delegation of envoys from 15 countries such as the United States, South Korea, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Maldives, Morocco, Fiji, Norway, Philippines, Argentina, Peru, Niger, Nigeria, Togo and Guyana visited the Jammu and Kashmir on 9 January.

January 12, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | Leave a comment

After the Assassination of Soleimani, Can We Just Admit that the United States Has No Morality at All?

By Dr. Robert P. Abele | Global Research | January 10, 2020

Qassem Soleimani, the top Iranian military commander, who was assassinated this week by the United States in Baghdad, while he was on a peaceful mission, is just the latest, but perhaps most brazen and alarming, declaration by the United States that it is bound by no law and no moral principles. That is the sign of a morally bankrupt government and a similar culture that would support such actions.

This reflection will examine these two issues: the moral codes and the legal codes that do and necessarily must exist between nations and peoples that the U.S. blithely ignores, most horrendously in the case of the Soleimani assassination. I will assume that we can agree that morality is the condition of legality. If one has no concern for the former, there will be no concern for the latter, except what the law allows one to get away with.

For brevity’s sake, let us limit our moral examination to two moral codes: the U.S. Declaration of Independence, and its underpinnings in John Locke’s philosophy. The Declaration says that it is “self-evident” that all people are have equal moral standing, “unalienable rights,” that “among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” To secure these rights is the prupose of government, according to the Declaration. Thomas Jefferson openly admitted to borrowing from the philosopher John Locke to write these words. Locke’s moral concerns were with the freedom of people “to order their actions, possessions, and persons as they think fit,” and with the “state of equality”—i.e., no one has more power than another (i.e., no one has more power over another). Locke stipulated that the “state of liberty…[is] not a state of license”—i.e. no one has the liberty to destroy any other creature beyond what preservation calls for.

The second moral code concerns the morality of war and violence against another country. This is not discussed anymore in the U.S. political arena, and certainly not in the U.S. media. But this does not imply that leaders and media are exempt from moral laws of conduct, even if they choose to ignore them. We should keep them in the public debate arena.

These two principles of morality—one domestically originated, the other internationally—are what keeps governments in check. From the moral realm there are specific issues concerning the use of violence by the State that leaders are called to account for. Especially given current events in the U.S. meddling in the Middle East, we should call them to account for these moral failings.

Just Cause. This refers to an imminent attack by another country on one’s own. Short of this requirement, a just cause is not only lacking, but a military action is not a war. Rather, it is an immoral attack on another nation’s sovereignty. What is the moral cause of Soleimani’s assassination? Our government doesn’t have one. They don’t even appeal to one; they just act as they will. This is the very definition of a “rogue state,” one that has lost the moral authority to be followed by its citizens. By any definition of such a state, it is one that is a threat to the world’s peace. The criteria used to define such a state varies, but it is safe to maintain that any State that ignores or rejects another state’s sovereignty by invasion or assassination of its leaders cannot have a moral standing. Therefore, it cannot claim the assent of its people. Further, those so attacked have a right to fight back, as we now see Iran has done in its missile attack on American installations in Iraq. This “return fire” toward a nation that has attacked them is part of the definition of a “just cause.”

Proper Intention. Intention deals with the principle justifying the goals of contemplated action. As far as we know and can surmise, the only plausible intention of the U.S. in its actions with other nations and with the killing of Soleimani is to exert its own hegemony in the region. This is not a moral principle, and not even a pragmatic one. It is an imperialist one, and thus to be condemned by any moral analysis.

Proper Authority. In the U.S., only Congress can declare war. Further, only Congress can fund war. It has taken responsibility for neither.

Last Resort. War is to be the resort only when all attempts at negotiation have failed. But Trump never negotiated with Iran at all.

Discrimination. Civilians are exempt from military attacks. How many civilians have been killed without discrimination by the war actions of Obama, Trump, and other Presidents?

Proportionality. Proportionality requires that the good that results must outweigh the evils of the war. By all accounts, the results of killing Soleimani are far likelier to be negative than positive.

It takes only a cursory glance to see that the U.S. Congress has long since abdicated its moral and legal role in refusing to take responsibility for its fulfillment of its constitutional mandate to both take back its power declare war, and to control the budget, including the military monies it showers on the Pentagon (both of these mandates and responsibilities are in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. The power to declare war was made even more explicit in the War Powers Resolution of 1973, which specifies that it is the power of the Congress to commit the U.S. to armed conflict, not the power of the President).

This is not just a “Trump issue,” either. We can add that every U.S. President has been a rogue leader in terms of moral values and international law, including Trump’s predecessor, President Obama. Under Obama, drone assassinations, the invasion of Libya, and the little noticed directive to upgrade nuclear weapons to make them not only more tactical (i.e. usable), but to make them radar-proof. Trump’s missile strike on Syria and the assassination of Soleimani simply add to the long history of the immoral actions of the U.S. regarding other countries, such as the overthrow of legitimate governments in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Honduras, Iraq, and support for the Bolivia coup and support of ongoing coup attempt in Venezuela.

From the legal viewpoint, what Trump did in striking Syria with missiles and now in assassinating Soleimani (and what Obama did in his drone assassinations) are war crimes, prohibited by both U.S. law and international law. War crimes, as defined in 18 U.S. Code, §2441, are any breach of the Geneva Conventions, such as intentionally killing or conspiring to kill “one or more persons taking no active part” in a war. Since there was no official war taking place between the U.S. and Iran, and since Soleimani was not in Iraq to make war plans, Trump’s killing is an international war crime of murder.

More specifically in law, the Hague Convention also defines war crimes as including the murder of a non-belligerent. The Hague Convention further includes “Crimes Against Peace” and “Crimes Against Humanity.” The former deals with “planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression;” the latter includes “murder.” Importantly, Article 7 states that Heads of State “shall not be considered as exempt from responsibility” for these war crimes.

It does no good to simply state that these are war crimes and then let it go. Action needs to be taken against the war criminals, but that the U.S. media and a large swath of U.S. citizens ignore these concerns is yet another indication of lack of concern in the U.S. for moral and legal codes to which we are all bound in our international relations.

There are many other issues that need only be mentioned here but should be part of the discussion regarding the war criminals in the U.S. government and their domestic enablers. But let us mention only two, just for discussion purposes. First, part of what underlies this lack of morality in U.S. leaders and their willingness to follow international law is their enslavement to capitalist requirements: money in exchange for doing the bidding of the corporation capitalists, such that all the elites—both political leaders and corporate managers—profit. This is most clear in the case of military corporate contracts. Our leaders have co-opted their leadership role and commitment to their citizens for a neoliberal philosophy of individual benefit, leaving such values as equality of all humans and citizen good far behind them.

The other issue just to be mentioned here concerns our militaristic culture and its faux patriotism; for example, the celebration of militarism in sports, and thus as sport, by association of one with the other. For example, not only does the NFL constantly celebrate militarism, but it makes it a part of the game, with officially approved camouflage towels, caps, and uniforms, jets flying overhead, military commercials, etc., and all pasted over with a U.S. flag. Watch how often those militaristic celebrations occur in the NFL playoff culminating in the Super Bowl, and you will have an indication of the culture of militarism that allows people like Trump, Pence, Pompeo, and their predecessors to get away with their crimes.

Lest this brief reflection sounds too abstract to be of practical value, one of the important points here is that what the United States government is willing to do to citizens of a foreign land, and innocent citizens from another country (including immigrants trying to come to the U.S.), they are willing to do to anyone, its own citizens included.

If we want to live in peace, we must stand strong against the brazen immoralities and illegalities of U.S. Presidents and their compliant and complicit Congresses, starting now; starting with standing against Trump’s assassinations and wars, and maintaining a commitment to stand against any presidential war crimes in the future, by Democrats or by Republicans. If we don’t stand now, the same crimes may well be visited upon us in the near future.

***

Dr. Robert Abele is a professor of philosophy at Diablo Valley College, located in Pleasant Hill, California in the San Francisco Bay area. He is the author of four books: A User’s Guide to the USA PATRIOT Act (2005); The Anatomy of a Deception: A Logical and Ethical Analysis of the Decision to Invade Iraq (2009); Democracy Gone: A Chronicle of the Last Chapters of the Great American Democratic Experiment (2009), and eleven chapters for the International Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Global Justice. He and has written numerous articles and done interviews on politics and U.S. government foreign and domestic policies.

January 12, 2020 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | | 3 Comments

After Missiles Fly, Iraq Becomes the Battleground

By Tom Luongo | Gold Goats ‘n Guns | January 10, 2020

The future of the U.S.’s involvement in the Middle East is in Iraq. The exchange of hostilities between the U.S. and Iran occurred wholly on Iraqi soil and it has become the site on which that war will continue.

Israel continues to up the ante on Iran, following President Trump’s lead by bombing Shia militias stationed near the Al Bukumai border crossing between Syria and Iraq.

The U.S. and Israel are determined this border crossing remains closed and have demonstrated just how far they are willing to go to prevent the free flow of goods and people across this border.

The regional allies of Iran are to be kept weak, divided and constantly under harassment.

Iraq is the battleground because the U.S. lost in Syria. Despite the presence of U.S. troops squatting on Syrian oil fields in Deir Ezzor province or the troops sitting in the desert protecting the Syrian border with Jordan, the Russians, Hezbollah and the Iranian Quds forces continue to reclaim territory previously lost to the Syrian government.

Now with Turkey redeploying its pet Salafist head-choppers from Idlib to Libya to fight General Haftar’s forces there to legitimize its claim to eastern Mediterannean gas deposits, the restoration of Syria’s territorial integrity west of the Euphrates River is nearly complete.

The defenders of Syria can soon transition into the rebuilders thereof, if allowed. And they didn’t do this alone, they had a silent partner in China the entire time.

And, if I look at this situation honestly, it was China stepping out from behind the shadows into the light that is your inciting incident for this chapter in Iraq’s story.

China moving in to sign a $10.1 billion deal with the Iraqi government to begin the reconstruction of its ruined oil and gas industry in exchange for oil is of vital importance.

It doubles China’s investment in Iraq while denying the U.S. that money and influence.

This happened after a massive $53 billion deal between Exxon-Mobil and Petrochina was put on hold after the incident involving Iran shooting down a U.S. Global Hawk drone in June.

With the U.S balking over the Exxon/Petrochina big deal, Iraqi Prime Minster Adel Abdul Mahdi signed the new one with China in October. Mahdi brought up the circumstances surrounding that in the Iraqi parliament during the session in which it passed the resolution recommending removal of all foreign forces from Iraq.

Did Trump openly threaten Mahdi over this deal as I covered in my podcast on this? Did the U.S. gin up protests in Baghdad, amplifying unrest over growing Iranian influence in the country?

And, if not, were these threats simply implied or carried by a minion (Pompeo, Esper, a diplomat)? Because the U.S.’s history of regime change operations is well documented. Well understood color revolution tactics used successfully in places like Ukraine, where snipers were deployed to shoot protesters and police alike to foment violence between them at the opportune time were on display in Baghdad.

Mahdi openly accused Trump of threatening him, but that sounds more like Mahdi using the current impeachment script to invoke the sinister side of Trump and sell his case.

It’s not that I don’t think Trump capable of that kind of threat, I just don’t think he’s stupid enough to voice it on an open call. Donald Trump is capable of many impulsive things, openly threatening to remove an elected Prime Minister on a recorded line is not one of them.

Mahdi has been under the U.S.’s fire since he came to power in late 2018. He was the man who refused Trump during Trump’s impromptu Christmas visit to Iraq in 2018, refusing to be summoned to a clandestine meeting at the U.S. embassy rather than Trump visit him as a head of state, an equal.

He was the man who declared the Iraqi air space closed after Israeli air attacks on Popular Mobilization Force (PMF) positions in September.

And he’s the person, at the same time, being asked by Trump to act as a mediator between Saudi Arabia and Iran in peace talks for Yemen.

So, the more we look at this situation the more it is clear that Abdul Madhi, the first Iraqi prime minister since the 2003 U.S. invasion to push for more Iraqi sovereignty, is emerging as the pivotal figure in what led up to the attack on General Soleimani and what comes after Iran’s subsequent retaliation.

It’s clear that Trump doesn’t want to fight a war with Iran in Iran. He wants them to acquiesce to his unreasonable demands and begin negotiating a new nuclear deal which definitively stops the possibility of Iran developing a nuclear weapon, and as Patrick Henningsen at 21st Century Wire thinks,

Trump now wants a new deal which features a prohibition on Iran’s medium range missiles, and after events this week, it’s obvious why. Wednesday’s missile strike by Iran demonstrates that the US can no longer operate in the region so long as Iran has the ability to extend its own deterrence envelope westwards to Syria, Israel, and southwards to the Arabian Peninsula, and that includes all US military installations located within that radius.

Iraq doesn’t want to be that battlefield. And Iran sent the message with those two missile strikes that the U.S. presence in Iraq is unsustainable and that any thought of retreating to the autonomous Kurdish region around the air base at Erbil is also a non-starter.

The big question, after this attack, is whether U.S. air defenses around the Ain al Assad airbase west of Ramadi were active or not. If they were then Trump’s standing down after the air strikes signals what Patrick suggests, a new Middle East in the making.

If they were not turned on then the next question is why? To allow Iran to save face after Trump screwed up in murdering Soleimani?

I’m not capable of believing such Q-tard drivel at this point. It’s far more likely that the spectre of Russian electronics warfare and radar evasion is lurking in the subtext of this story and the U.S. truly now finds itself after a second example of Iranian missile technology in a nascent 360 degree war in the region.

It means that Iran’s threats against the cities of Haifa and Dubai were real.

In short, it means the future of the U.S. presence in Iraq now measures in months not years.

Because both China and Russia stand to gain ground with a newly-united Shi’ite Iraqi population. Mahdi is now courting Russia to sell him S-300 missile defense systems to allow him to enforce his demands about Iraqi airspace.

Moqtada al-Sadr is mobilizing his Madhi Army to oust the U.S. from Iraq. Iraq is key to the U.S. presence in the region. Without Iraq the U.S. position in Syria is unsustainable.

If the U.S. tries to retreat to Kurdish territory and push again for Masoud Barzani and his Peshmerga forces to declare independence Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will go ballistic.

And you can expect him to make good on his threat to close the Incerlik airbase, another critical logistical juncture for U.S. force projection in the region.

But it all starts with Mahdi’s and Iraq’s moves in the coming weeks. But, with Trump rightly backing down from escalating things further and not following through on his outlandish threats against Iran, it may be we’re nearing the end of this intractable standoff.

Back in June I told you that Iran had the ability to fight asymmetrically against the U.S., not through direct military confrontation but through the after-effects of a brief, yet violent period of war in which all U.S., Israeli and Arab assets in the Middle East come under fire from all directions.

It sent this same message then that by attacking oil tankers it could make the transport of oil untenable and not insurable. We got a taste of it back then and Trump, then, backed down.

And the resultant upheaval in the financial markets creating an abyss of losses, cross-asset defaults, bank failures and government collapses.

Trump has no real option now but to negotiate while Iraq puts domestic pressure on him to leave and Russia/China come in to provide critical economic and military support to assist Mahdi rally his country back towards some semblance of sovereignty.

January 12, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Code-Panic: A Controlled Opposition Spectacle

By Gilad Atzmon | January 12, 2020

Ariel Gold is the national co-director of CODEPINK, an American female  “grassroots peace and social justice movement” that claims to  work “to end U.S.-funded wars and occupations.” Ariel claims to support the Palestinians and oppose Israel. She has published  articles in Jewish progressive outlets such as the Forward, Tikkun Magazine and Mondoweiss.

On January 3rd, just a few hours after the world became aware of the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani by an American drone attack,  Ariel, the so called ‘Jewish dissenter’ rushed to post the following tweet:

“Loving reminder to folks rightfully horrified the US attack on Iran: please don’t frame this as being as being done to please Israel. This is Donald Trump and his band of US war hawks, period. To suggest Jews are pulling the strings is nothing short of antisemitism.”

The Jewish progressive activist basically insisted that any such criticism of  Israel was ‘antisemitism.’ She was also naive to prematurely vindicate the Jewish State of involvement in the unlawful assassination: a crime that may lead to unpredictable and lethal consequences in the near future.

Today’s news reports that Israel was deeply involved in the targeted assassination of the Iranian general. The Times of Israel’s headline this morning reads:

“Israeli intel helped US carry out strike that killed Iran’s Soleimani.” The article states that “Information provided by Jewish state confirmed that Quds Force leader was at Baghdad airport before missile strike, NBC News reports.”

Amongst my sins is the argument I have made for almost two decades: for the solidarity and peace movements to be genuine, functional and effective they must be emancipated from the grip of the so called Jewish progressives. As things stand at the moment, solidarity with the oppressed is restricted by the sensitivities of the oppressor.

January 12, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Facebook ‘thought police’ censors pro-Iran posts ‘to comply with US sanctions’… as Trump warns Tehran against censorship

RT | January 12, 2020

Facebook has admitted to selectively censoring pro-Iranian government Instagram posts about the murdered General Soleimani, as US President Donald Trump hypocritically championed free speech and warned Tehran against censorship.

Instagram has confirmed that they have been removing posts that voice support for Qassem Soleimani, with a Facebook spokesperson claiming that censorship is fully justified in order to comply with US sanctions. Instagram is one of the few social media platforms that is not blocked in Iran, and it is where many within the country went to fuel outrage over the US assassination strike in Iraq last week.

The International Federation of Journalists condemned the censorship effort as “unprecedented in the history of social networks and in conflict with the very innate actuality of media.” In its letter to Instagram, the AoIJ Teheran noted that numerous Iranian state media accounts had been removed and 15 journalists had been censored recently, which goes against freedom of speech principles.

“These massive Big Tech corporations are Thought Police for the US government: Facebook and Instagram are removing posts expressing support for Iran’s top general Soleimani,” tweeted journalist Ben Norton. “They say it’s to comply with US sanctions, but how do posts violate sanctions?”

The US government designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist organization last year, in an unprecedented move against a sovereign nation’s military. The IRGC’s elite Quds Force, led by Soleimani, was among those forces that turned the tide against the Islamic State terrorist ‘caliphate’ in Syria. But technically, since Washington considers him a terrorist, Facebook has a convenient excuse to sensor any posts critical of the US extrajudicial assassination strike.

While Facebook was acting as ‘thought police’ on behalf of the US government, Washington has been championing free speech and warning the Tehran government against restricting the Iranian people’s internet access. US President Donald Trump personally addressed anti-government protesters in the streets of Iran – in Farsi mind you – reassuring them of unwavering support.

January 12, 2020 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

Remembering the Earthquake in Haiti Ten Years On

By Yves Engler · January 11, 2020

Peacekeeping - MINUSTAH

Ten years ago Sunday an earthquake devastated Haiti. In a few minutes of violent shaking hundreds of thousands perished in Port-au-Prince and surrounding regions and many more were permanently scarred.

It’s important to commemorate this horrifying tragedy. But this solemn occasion is also a good moment to reflect on Canada’s role in undermining the beleaguered nation’s capacity to prepare/respond/overcome natural disasters.

Asked my thoughts on Canada’s role in Haiti the day after the quake, I told reporter Paul Koring that so long as the power dynamics in the country did not shift there would be little change: “Cynically, it feels like a ‘pity time for the Haitians’ but I doubt much will really change,” says Yves Engler, a left-wing activist from Montreal who blames the United States, along with Canada, for decades of self-interested meddling in Haitian affairs. “We bear some responsibility … because our policies have undermined Haiti’s capacity to deal with natural disasters.”

Unfortunately, Canada’s response was worse than I could have imagined. Immediately after the quake decision makers in Ottawa were more concerned with controlling Haiti than assisting victims. To police Haiti’s traumatized and suffering population, 2,050 Canadian troops were deployed alongside 12,000 US soldiers (8,000 UN soldiers were already there). Though Ottawa rapidly deployed 2,050 troops they ignored calls to dispatch this country’s Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) Teams, which are trained to “locate trapped persons in collapsed structures.”

According to internal government documents the Canadian Press examined a year after the disaster, officials in Ottawa feared a post-earthquake power vacuum could lead to a “popular uprising.” One briefing note marked “secret” explained: “Political fragility has increased, the risks of a popular uprising, and has fed the rumour that ex-president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, currently in exile in South Africa, wants to organize a return to power.” Six years earlier the US, France and Canada ousted the elected president.

Canada and the US’ indifference/contempt towards Haitian sovereignty was also on display in the reconstruction effort. Thirteen days after the quake Canada organized a high profile Ministerial Preparatory Conference on Haiti for major international donors. Two months later Canada co-chaired the New York International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti. At these conferences Haitian officials played a tertiary role in the discussions. Subsequently, the US, France and Canada demanded the Haitian parliament pass an 18-month long state of emergency law that effectively gave up government control over the reconstruction. They held up money to ensure international control of the Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti, authorized to spend billions of dollars in reconstruction money.

Most of the money that was distributed went to foreign aid workers who received relatively extravagant salaries/living costs or to expensive contracts gobbled up by Western/Haitian elite owned companies. According to an Associated Press assessment of the aid the US delivered in the two months after the quake, one cent on the dollar went to the Haitian government (thirty-three cents went to the US military). Canadian aid patterns were similar. Author of The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster Jonathan Katz writes, “Canada disbursed $657 million from the quake to September 2012 ‘for Haiti,’ but only about 2% went to the Haitian government.”

Other investigations found equally startling numbers. Having raised $500 million for Haiti and publicly boasted about its housing efforts, the US Red Cross built only six permanent homes in the country.

Not viewing the René Preval government as fully compliant, the US, France and Canada pushed for elections months after the earthquake. (Six weeks before the quake, according to a cable released by Wikileaks, Canadian and EU officials complained that Préval “emasculated” the country’s right-wing. In response, they proposed to “purchase radio airtime for opposition politicians to plug their candidacies” or they may “cease to be much of a meaningful force in the next government.”) After the first round of the presidential election the US and Canada pushed Préval party’s candidate out of the runoff in favor of third place candidate, Michel Martelly. A six-person Organization of American States (OAS) mission, including a Canadian representative, concluded that Martelly deserved to be in the second round. But, in analyzing the OAS methodology, the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research, determined that “the Mission did not establish any legal, statistical, or other logical basis for its conclusions.” Nevertheless, Ottawa and Washington pushed the Haitian government to accept the OAS’s recommendations. Foreign minister Lawrence Cannon said he “strongly urges the Provisional Electoral Council to accept and implement the [OAS] report’s recommendations and to proceed with the next steps of the electoral process accordingly.”

A supporter of the 1991 and 2004 coups against Aristide, Martelly was a teenaged member of the Duvalier dictatorship’s Ton Ton Macoutes death squad. He is a central figure in the multi-billion dollar Petrocaribe corruption scandal that has spurred massive protests and strikes against illegitimate, repressive and corrupt president Jovenel Moïse. A disciple of Martelly, Moïse is president today because he has the backing of the US, Canada and other members of the so-called “Core Group”.

There was an outpouring of empathy and solidarity from ordinary Canadians after the earthquake. But officials in Ottawa saw the disaster as a political crisis to manage and an opportunity to expand their economic and political influence over Haiti.

On the tenth anniversary of this solemn occasion it is important to reflect not only on this tragedy but to understand what has been done by Canada’s government in our name and to learn from it so we can stop politicians from their ongoing strangulation of this beleaguered nation.

January 12, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , | Leave a comment