Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Trump Green Lights Greater Israel

Palestinians lose again

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • February 4, 2020

Many interested parties have already weighed in on President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century.” Even though it sounds like a phrase that a used car dealer would use, the “Deal” is dead serious in that it effectively denies to the Palestinians in perpetuum any political entity that has attributes of genuine sovereignty. Israel, which has just postponed a vote to immediately annex some of its illegal settlements on the West Bank with the blessing of the White House, will completely surround the fragmented Palestinian holdings by virtue of the annexation of the entire Jordan River Valley. It is the Zionist dream of a Greater “Eretz” Israel from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea finally achieved. The empty shell swiss-cheese-like completely disarmed state of Palestine will have no authority over its borders and airspace, no means to defend itself and no right to manage its own water resources.

Within the territory granted to Palestinians by Trump there will remain Israeli settler enclaves guarded by soldiers and police. Israel will have total control over the entire West Bank. Millions of Palestinians under its control will de facto be stateless people without basic civil rights whose land will be stolen by settlers. They will be unable to travel even within their “state,” forced to pass through checkpoints, arrested and imprisoned for speech harming “public order” and jailed through indefinite “administrative detentions” without any charges or trial.

Gaza will be completely disarmed and connected to the West Bank by a tunnel controlled by Israel. Presumably, the Mediterranean will continue to be a restricted area for Gazan fishermen, patrolled by the Israeli navy with the offshore oil and gas reserves exploited by Israeli companies. In return for their complete surrender, the Palestinians will be required to express gratitude for being able to survive as helots in what will be largely an open-air outdoor prison. If they behave well, they may or may not get money doled out by Trump to Israel for distribution to the Palestinians as long as they keep quiet and smile as they writhe under the Israeli thumb.

One of the more interesting features of the Deal is that Trump insists that the Palestinians will have East Jerusalem as their capital while at the same time confirming that an undivided Jerusalem will be under total Israeli control. If one looks at the map provided by the White House when the Deal was unveiled, it appears that a piece of East Jerusalem is indeed shown as part of the Palestinian land. But obviously, even though it will have that area technically as its capital it will have no sovereignty over it. It is a detail that is clearly unsustainable and may in fact be a complete fiction designed to demonstrate how magnanimous Israel and the United States are in giving the Palestinians a “state.”

Trump’s one-sided Deal was crafted around Israeli interests, not those of the United States and without any input whatsoever from the Palestinians themselves. The team pulled together by presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner consisted of Orthodox Jews and they worked closely with U.S. Ambassador (sic) David Friedman, whose time in Israel has consisted mostly of being an apologist for Netanyahu, excusing accelerated Israeli settlement building as well as the weekly shooting party along the fence line in Gaza. Immediately after Trump and Netanyahu announced the outline of the Deal in Washington, Friedman stated that the Israeli government was at that point free to begin the annexation of any or all of the illegal settlements.

The sad part of what we see unfolding in front of our eyes is that the United States, long an enabler of Israel, is now openly a partner in Israeli war crimes. The Fourth Geneva Convention, adopted in 1949, was intended to protect civilians in time of war. It clearly states that occupying a territory obtained by war and colonizing it with your own people is a war crime. Germany’s demand for lebensraum for German colonists during the lead up to the Second World War and its defining the Slavs who would be displaced as Untermenschen was the crime that motivated the drafters of the Convention. Does that sound familiar? The words are probably somewhat similar in Yiddish.

Most of the mainstream media commentary on the Deal is neutral or even mildly critical, observing inter alia that it is a gift to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was at the podium and beaming alongside Trump. If the boost from the White House succeeds in getting Bibi reelected, Trump will expect payback big time in 2020 through the Israel Lobby’s influence over Jewish voters and from the generosity of Jewish billionaire donors named Sheldon Adelson, Paul Singer and Bernard Marcus.

That Trump has betrayed U.S. interests repeatedly in the Middle East and has also flipped on his pledge to remove American soldiers from its “loser wars,” makes him a disgrace as president, though he will likely be re-elected as the voters have been fed a steady diet of propaganda both by the mainstream media and government on Israel. That just might be because Jews are vastly over-represented both in the media and in the choke points in government that deal with the Middle East and foreign policy in general. Even liberal Jews who are critical of Israeli oppression of the Palestinians tend to rally round-the-flag at election time and vote for the candidate perceived as being “strongest” on Israel. One notes with interest that while Senator Bernie Sanders roundly condemned the Deal, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi saw “some areas of common ground here” in it. She would, wouldn’t she? And I am sure Senator Chuck Schumer, the self-proclaimed protector of Israel in the Senate, is secretly delighted.

In the rather less restrained alternative media, there is much banter about how the Deal is little more than a sweeping annexation plan that is really Apartheid by another name. That in itself is a bit of a fudge as the reality in Palestine is far worse than South African Apartheid ever was. Some braver individuals have observed how the United States is controlled by Israel in terms of its engagement in the Middle East, but the language used to describe the situation really misses the point. The United States vis-à-vis Israel is not controlled by Israel per se but rather by subversion from within, Jewish billionaires having bought both major political parties and a Jewish dominated media spouting nonsense about the “only democracy in the Middle East” and “America’s best friend and ally.” Israel is neither a democracy nor a friend. And the American Jews and their allies the Christian Zionists who are full time promoters of the Israel myth are little more than traitors to the United States and everything it once upon a time stood for.

The Palestinians have already rejected the Deal, but their refusal to participate will be seen by Trump and Israel as an insult, or at least it will be spun that way. Trump has already warned that his proposal is the Palestinians’ “last chance” and his United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft has advised Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas not to raise the issue at all with the world body. Unwillingness to embrace it will provide a good opportunity to really lower the hammer on the Arabs. The map provided by Trump shows a cluster of Bantustans surrounded by Israel soldiers and police who historically have regarded nominally Palestinian areas as a free fire zone. When violence erupts, which it will, the largely unarmed Arabs will be slaughtered and David Friedman, Donald Trump and Bibi Netanyahu will all conveniently blame it on the Palestinians as it was the Israelis who “wanted peace” and the only obstacle remaining was and is the obduracy of the Palestinians. If only they had accepted the Deal, the outcome would have been different the contrived narrative will go.

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

February 3, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 12 Comments

Moscow May Soon End ‘Provisional Enforcement’ of 1990 Bering Strait Accord With US

By Paul Goble, Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume: 17 Issue: 12 – January 30, 2020

In yet another sign of deteriorating relations between Moscow and Washington, senior Russian officials and parliamentarians have agreed that Russia should end its “provisional enforcement” of the 1990 accord signed by then–Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze and then–US Secretary of State James Baker on the delimitation of the sea border between the two countries in the Bering Strait. That agreement was ratified by the United States in 1992 but was not ratified by the Soviet Union before it collapsed and has not been ratified by its legal successor, the Russian Federation. Instead, Moscow has heretofore agreed to provisionally recognize and enforce its stipulations. But now, that looks likely to change.

On Monday (January 27), Konstantin Kosachev, the chairperson of the Federation Council’s (upper chamber of the Russian parliament) foreign relations committee, said he and other lawmakers had met with foreign ministry, Federal Security Service (FSB), and Russian fisheries officials to discuss whether Moscow should continue to fulfill the provisions of the agreement in the absence of its ratification. He insisted that the participants were unanimous in calling for the Russian government to announce it would no longer recognize or enforce the terms of that agreement. The following day, a spokesperson for the Russian foreign ministry indicated it was receptive to the idea (Finanz.ru, January 27, 2020).

The agreement has been unpopular in Russia since it was signed because many there believe Shevardnadze gave up too much in an effort to curry favor with the West; indeed, this is one reason the Russian parliament never ratified the deal. Still, until this week, there was no indication that Moscow would change its de facto recognition of the accord even though there was little chance of a de jure ratification. Now, Russia appears set to declare that it will no longer adhere to it, though some Russian analysts are skeptical whether Moscow has sufficient naval power to enforce any prospective new sea border between the two countries (Topcor.ru, January 29).

According to the document’s terms, Moscow and Washington agreed to delineated the sea border between them in the Bering Strait from “the point, 65° 30′ North, 168° 58′ 37″ West, along the 168° 58′ 37″ West meridian through the Bering Strait and Chukchi Sea into the Arctic Ocean as far as permitted under international law” (Un.org, June 1, 1990, accessed March 18, 2002).

The State Department noted (State.gov, September 8, 2009), as have other observers since that time, that when the US purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire, there was no need to define the border beyond the three-mile exclusion rule then in effect. But with the introduction of a 200-mile economic exclusion zone as a result of the Law of the Sea agreements, both Russia and the US recognized that there was suddenly a necessity to come up with one. The negotiating record from the 1860s was flimsy, however; and the two could not agree. The Baker-Shevardnadze exchange eventually opened the way for a compromise, but it left most of what had been disputed inside the US zone. Many Russians objected at the time, and those objections have continued.

Shevardnadze and Baker consented to split the difference, but that led to US sovereignty over areas that Russians had long considered theirs. As a result, Moscow has not ratified the 1990 accord, and Russian officials, including Vladimir Putin, periodically talk about the need to modify it. Since the document’s signing, the two countries have occasionally conducted talks on further adjusting the agreement; but to date, nothing has come of those talks. Two reasons explain this deadlock, one pertaining to Russia and the other to the United States. The Russian issue relates to the fact that Moscow wants to expand shipping across the Northern Sea Route and does not want to have to request approval from the US for transiting through what are now American waters (see EDM, March 29, 2017); additionally, Russia does not want the US to interfere with Russian fishing in the area. As for the United States, it widely believes there are significant oil and other mineral deposits in that region, which it hopes to one day exploit.

It remains to be seen how far Moscow will push this issue. Russia has brought up the sea boundaries before—at a 2003 Federation Council hearing and in Putin’s comments to Western leaders after Russia’s annexation of Crimea—and each time it led to a sharp uptick in tensions; but ultimately Russia took no action. This time, however, statements by senior Russian officials and parliamentarians appear to make it less likely that Moscow will back down from its tough line, especially given that Russian outlets are suggesting openly that “Russia is ready to begin a territorial dispute with the US over the sea border” (Gr-sily.ru, January 29, 2020).

Anatoly Kuznetsov, the editor of Russia’s Sea News, suggested that, at the very least, “the Russian parliament might pass the law about a refusal to recognize the 28-year-old Soviet legal act” (Fairplanet.org, January 29, 2020). “According to the law ‘About Russia’s international agreements,’ any deal regarding borders, be it land or maritime, is considered legally [null and void] unless ratified.” The expert added, “If Russia decides to ignore the American interests in the Bering Sea, it risks engaging with the similar ‘war of nerves.’ Russian fishermen will have to rely on the [Russian navy’s] protection in a hope that the U.S. warships are reluctant to start sea battles over such minor incidents.” A Russian parliamentary move in that direction could end the current brewing dispute, but the principle the legislature in Moscow would be enunciating—a non-enforcement of accords not yet ratified—would open the way to more problems elsewhere in the future.

February 3, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

Palestine, Syria, White Helmets and Bana al-Abed – Tareq Haddad speaks to Eva Bartlett

Conversations | January 26, 2020

Former Newsweek journalist Tareq Haddad speaks to Eva Bartlett, an award-winning independent journalist and activist.

They discuss Eva’s early history, including her early days in Gaza and the West Bank, and how she transitioned into journalism in addition to addressing the large backlash and smears she faced.

Please follow Eva’s work here:
https://www.InGaza.wordpress.com

Please consider supporting this podcast here:
https://www.patreon.com/tareqhaddad
https://www.paypal.me/tareqhaddad

#Palestine #Syria #WhiteHelmets #journalism #TareqHaddad

February 3, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

Crisis and opportunity: The ‘Deal of the Century’ challenge for Palestinians

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | February 3, 2020

After several postponements, US President, Donald Trump, has finally revealed the details of his Middle East plan, dubbed ‘Deal of the Century’, in a press conference in Washington on January 28.

Standing triumphantly beside Trump, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, must have surely understood that the timing of the announcement, only a few weeks before Israel’s third general elections in one year, was tailored especially to fit the embattled Israeli leader’s domestic agenda.

Consisting of 80 pages, 50 of which are entirely dedicated to the plan’s economic component, the document was a rehash of previous Israeli proposals that have been rejected by Palestinians and Arab governments for failing to meet the minimum standards of justice, equality and human rights.

Former Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, contended in an interview that the plan is not even American, but an Israeli one.

“What you heard last night from Trump is what I heard from Netanyahu and his negotiating team in 2011-2012,” Erekat said. “I can assure you that the US team did not make a single word or comma in this program. I have the protocols and I am willing to reveal to you what we have been offered. This is the plan of Netanyahu and the settler council.”

It was no surprise, then, to read the reaction of Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, who assigned Trump’s plan to the “dustbin of history”.

As expected, Trump has granted Netanyahu everything that he and Israel ever wanted. The American vision for Middle East ‘peace’ does not demand the uprooting of a single illegal Jewish settlement and recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s ‘undivided’ capital. It speaks of a conditioned and disfigured Palestinian state that can only be achieved based on vague expectations; it wholly rejects the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees, and fails to mention the word ‘occupation’ even once.

Obviously, only Israel benefits from the US plan; the Zionist discourse, predicated on maximum territorial gains with minimal Palestinian presence, has finally prevailed. Every Israeli request has been met, to the last one. Meanwhile, Palestinians received nothing, aside from the promise of chasing another mirage of a Palestinian state that has no territorial continuity and no true sovereignty.

Palestinian concerns continue to be ignored, as Palestinian rights have been ignored for many years, even during the heyday of the ‘peace process’, in the early and mid-1990s. At the time, all fundamental issues had been relegated to the ‘final status negotiations’, which have never taken place.

The ‘Deal of the Century’ merely validated the status quo ante as envisioned and unilaterally carried out by Israel.

That said, Trump’s plan will fail to resolve the conflict. Worse, it will exacerbate it even further, for Israel now has a blank check to speed up its colonial venture, to entrench its military occupation and to further oppress Palestinians, who will certainly continue to resist.

As for the economic component of the plan, history has proven that there can be no economic prosperity under military occupation. Netanyahu, and others before him, tried such dubious methods, of ‘economic peace’ and such, and all have miserably failed.

Time and again, the UN has made it clear that it follows a different political trajectory than that followed by Washington, and that all US decisions regarding the status of Jerusalem, the illegal settlements and the Golan Heights, are null and void. Only international law matters, as none of Trump’s actions in recent years have succeeded in significantly altering Arab and international consensus on the rights of the Palestinians.

As for the status of – and Palestinian rights in their occupied city – East Jerusalem, rebranding a few neighborhoods – Kafr Aqab, the eastern part of Shuafat and Abu Dis – as al-Quds, or East Jerusalem, is an old Israeli plan that has already failed in the past. The late Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, had enough political sagacity to reject it, and neither Abbas nor any other Palestinian official would dare compromise on the historic and legal Palestinian rights in the city.

The Palestinian leadership cannot be absolved from its responsibility towards the Palestinian people, and its unmitigated failure to develop a comprehensive national strategy.

Immediately after Trump announced his plan, Abbas called on all Palestinian factions, including his rivals in the Hamas movement, to unite and to develop a common strategy to counter the ‘Deal of the Century’.

Knowing that the US-Israeli plot was imminent, why did Abbas wait this long to call for a common strategy?

National unity among Palestinians should never be used as a bargaining chip as a scare tactic, or as a last resort option aimed at validating ineffectual Abbas in the eyes of his people.

The PA is now facing an existential crisis. Its very formation in 1994 was meant to marginalize the more democratically-encompassing Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

According to the new American diktats, the PA has already outlasted its usefulness.

As for Israel, the PA is only needed to maintain ‘security coordination’ with the Israeli army, which essentially means ensuring the safety of the illegal and armed Jewish settlers in occupied Palestine.

While unity among Palestinian parties is an overriding demand, Abbas’ PA cannot expect to maintain this ridiculous balancing act: expecting true and lasting national unity while still diligently serving the role expected of him by Israel and its allies.

While Trump’s sham ‘plan’ does not fundamentally alter US foreign policy in Israel and Palestine – as US bias towards Israel preceded Trump by decades – it has definitely ended the so-called ‘peace process’ charade, which divided the Palestinians into ‘moderate’ and ‘extremist’ camps.

Now, all Palestinians have become ‘extremists’ from Washington’s viewpoint, all equally shunned and marginalized.

Abbas would be terribly mistaken if he thinks that the old political discourse can be saved,  which was, oddly enough, written in Washington.

The problem with the Palestinian leadership is that, despite its frequent protestations and angry condemnations, it is yet to take independent initiatives or operate outside the American-Israeli paradigm.

And this is the Palestinian leadership’s greatest challenge at this stage. Will it move forward with a Palestinian-centric strategy or persist in the same place, regurgitating old language and reminiscing of the good old days?

 

February 3, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 2 Comments

Israel in the Middle East — A Civilisational and Metaphysical War

By Alastair Crooke | Strategic Culture Foundation | February 3, 2020

President Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ has been published this week. Mostly, it has been examined as a purely political project – whether in terms of the domestic needs of Trump and Netanyahu, or as a maximum squeeze on Palestinians, which may, or may not, work. But there is another (implicit) dimension, lying – a little out of sight – behind these explicit politics.

It has been argued, by at least one U.S. historian, that the U.S. is no ordinary nation-state, but should be understood as a system leader, a ‘civilizational power’ – like Rome, Byzantium, and the Ottoman Empire. The ‘system leader’, historically, has always sought to embed its particular civilizational vision onto those distant ‘lands’ that serve, or abut, its empire: which is to say that the universalistic vision may be bound to one state, but is forcefully unfurled across the globe, as ‘our’ inevitable destiny.

It is not hard to see what we are talking about when it refers to America: politically it is liberal markets, liberal capitalism, individualism and laissez-faire politics – and the metaphysics of Judeo-Christianity, too, if you like. For most Americans, their victory in the Cold War spectacularly affirmed the superiority of their civilizational vision, through the defeat and implosion of communism. It was not just a political defeat for the USSR, more significantly, it represented a triumph for America’s full cultural paradigm: It was a Civilisational ‘win’.

What has this to do with what happened in the East Room of the White House this Tuesday? Well, it gives us a better vantage point to perceive something less obvious than just the explicit politics to the spectacle. Something more often ‘felt’, than explicitly considered.

That is because Jewish Zionism, as expressed by Netanyahu this week, though ostensibly secular, is not just a political construct: It is, too, as it were, an Old Testament project. Laurent Guyénot observes, that when it is asserted that Zionism is biblical, that doesn’t necessarily mean it to be religious. It can, and does, serve as key leitmotiv for secular Jews too. For secular Zionists, the Bible is on the one hand, a ‘national narrative’, but on the other, a particular civilizational vision, bound around a modern state (Israel).

Ben-Gurion was not religious; he never went to the synagogue, and ate pork for breakfast, yet he could declare: “I believe in our moral and intellectual superiority, in our capacity to serve as a model for the redemption of the human race”. Dan Kurzman, in his biography (Ben-Gurion, Prophet of Fire, 1983) writes that “[Ben Gurion] was, in a modern sense, Moses, Joshua, Isaiah, a messiah, who felt he was destined to create an exemplary Jewish state, a ‘light unto the nations’ that would help to redeem all mankind”. This is the inner Universalist vision (tied to a state). These backstage, half acknowledged, convictions – of being ‘elect’, as an example – clearly do condition political actions, (such as disregarding legal norms).

Ben-Gurion was in no way a special case. His immersion in the Bible was shared by almost every Zionist leader of his generation, and the next. And the Israel of today, is no longer as secular as it once was, but rather, is in transit back towards Yahweyism — which is to say, away from the law of a secular state founded by the Zionists, towards traditional Hebraic law as revealed in the Tanakh (the Old Testament of the Christians). Netanyahu implicitly reverts to Hebraic tradition (from secular norms), when he states flatly that as ‘leader’, he should not be removed from power. In other words, Israel is becoming more, not less, ‘biblical’.

So, back to last Tuesday, when an Israeli leader speaks of Trump having secured Israel’s destiny, he is not just resorting to flowery flattery for the US President. The emphasis on ‘destiny’ is flagging something lurking in the background: “Zionism cannot be a nationalist movement like others”, Guyénot writes, “because it resonates with the destiny of Israel as outlined in the Bible … Israel is a very special nation indeed. And everyone can see that it has no intention of being an ordinary nation. Israel is destined to be an empire”.

An ‘empire’ – as in Isaiah, which describes the messianic times as a Pax Judaica, when “all the nations” will pay tribute “to the mountain of Yahweh, to the house of the god of Jacob”; when “the Law will issue from Zion and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem,” so that Yahweh will “judge between the nations and arbitrate between many peoples.”

Further on in the same book, we read: “The riches of the sea will flow to you, the wealth of the nations come to you” (60:5); “For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you will perish, and the nations will be utterly destroyed” (60:12); “You will suck the milk of nations, you will suck the wealth of kings” (60:16); “You will feed on the wealth of nations, you will supplant them in their glory” (61:5-6). Pretty clear: this is not just run of the mill nationalism.

Aren’t such quotes just too historically arcane? What has this to do with last Tuesday? Well, a lot. Because these notions of election, of an exceptional mission and destiny are literally believed by many Americans, as well as by Jews. The point about last Tuesday – from this implicit vantage point – is that it then becomes evident that Trump’s “deal” is not about any two-state solution. Why would Trump encourage a rival state to emerge, or for that matter anything that would impede the path towards Israel’s becoming the dominant civilisational power in the Middle East? What Tuesday was about was firstly, conditioning the Palestinians – squeezing them – to accept that they have no alternative, but to offer their fealty to the regional ‘system leader’ (Israel). And secondly, as phase two, to assimilate subordinated Sunni components, under the regional Pax Judaica umbrella.

These old prophesies may not be uppermost in the daily consciousness of many contemporaries. But they are alive, and present in the Hebraic world. And they are wholly present in one key US constituency: Trump’s Evangelical base (one in every four Americans say they are Evangelists). They see the actualisation of Israel’s destiny as an eschatological necessity: It was they who insisted on the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem; they supported the Trump’s assertion of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan; they support the annexation of Israeli settlements; and they were behind the demand that the US scrap the JCPOA. The Evangelicals may be unlikely to switch to vote Democrat, but if enough simply sit on their hands and don’t vote Trump, it could tip ‘swing constituencies’ in the November US Presidential elections.

The Evangelicals were, of course, very happy with Tuesday’s outcome. Israel’s civilisational imperium is, they believe, now assured – at least between the west bank of the River Jordan and the sea. The actualisation of these prophesies has the effect of hastening the arrival of the Redeemer (for these Christian Zionists).

And here again, our vantage point helps to understand a wider paradigm, which centres around the term ‘Judeo-Christianity’. American leaders today increasingly refer to the US as having a Judeo-Christian culture. Might the term not seem something of an oxymoron: Wasn’t Christianity supposed to represent a fundamental break with Jewish textual law? Certainly, Saint Paul proclaimed Christianity was exactly that. The question is: does this Judeo-Christian self-labelling imply some subtle change: That some American élites are becoming unconsciously more Hebraic? In which direction is the core cultural ‘vision’ travelling? Israel originally was viewed as a recipient outpost for western Christian ‘values’ (in the days when Zionism largely was secular). Tuesday’s events suggest that the travel of values may be reversing.

But why this ‘Judeo-Christianity’ nomenclature in the first place? What is going on here? After the fall of Rome, circa 800, the leaders of the Frankish church precisely turned to the Old Testament as the basis to legitimise cultural war on Orthodox (Eastern) Christianity, which the Franks then labelled (pejoratively) as ‘Greek’ – with its clear connotation of eastern ‘paganism’ and apostasy. And they further leveraged the Old Testament in order to reign Dei Gratia: as divine sovereignty, whether as Popes or Emperors (i.e. Charlemagne), demanding the unreserved fealty and discipline of their subjects. This Frankish ‘turn’ towards a ‘Judeo-Christianity’ gave Europe its feudalism; resulted in the obliteration of the Cathars as an exemplar punishment for ill-discipline; and saw the imposition of its Civilisational model (Judeo-Christianity) on the Middle East, via militarised Crusades. West Christianity was infused with the Hebraic textual tradition, then – and again, of course, with the rise of Protestantism. East Christianity (Orthodox Christianity) never was. The two Churches were split asunder at the Great Schism (1054).

This is the point: The Israeli civilisational vision may not be exactly the same as America’s, but America’s archetypal cultural stories – Abraham commanded to sacrifice his son – come from the Hebrew Bible. In short, the American exercise of power has never been more ‘Frankish’, as it were. And the exercise of it, increasingly is justified in terms of Israeli language – viz the targeted assassination of Qasem Soleimani.

This is the principal message to Tuesday’s events: When those on the American Right (such as Steve Bannon) speak incessantly of the need to sustain America’s Judeo-Christian heritage, they almost certainly would see an Israeli project to spread its Pax Judaica right across the Middle East as a clear civilisational ‘win’ for America too. Trump may not be prepared to go to war for Israel, but others in the US Establishment view America ‘winning again’ in the wider civilisational war, as an existential issue for America.

And this latter understanding perhaps offers yet another vantage point onto today’s politics. Why are American Evangelists so hostile to Iran? Because Iran presents the greatest obstacle to Israel’s Pax Judaica hegemony; or, is it more the case that the demise or implosion of the Islamic Republic, would constitute a civilisational ‘win’ for America and Israel, almost on a par with America’s Cold War ‘win’ over Communism? Is that what the withdrawal from the JCPOA – for the Evangelists, at least – was all about? A step on the way towards America, starting to ‘win again’ – towards Judeo-Christianity maintaining ‘system leadership?

February 3, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Organization of Islamic Cooperation rejects Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ peace plan for Middle East

RT | February 3, 2020

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which consists of more than 50 Muslim-majority countries, has asked member states not to cooperate in any way with US President Donald Trump’s peace plan for Israel and Palestine.

During a special session in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Monday, the OIC’s executive committee called on all member states “not to engage with [Trump’s] plan or to cooperate with the US administration in implementing it in any form.” The body also asked members to refrain from any actions that “do not adhere to the inalienable rights of Palestinians.”

OIC Secretary General Yousef Al-Othaimeen said that the organization will support any international peace effort that is in accordance with international law.

Touted as the ‘deal of the century’ by the Trump administration, the plan describes the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with its capital set up in the outskirts of East Jerusalem, currently controlled by Israel.

The plan, however, allows Israel to keep existing settlements in the occupied West Bank, which the UN considers illegal under international law. The proposed roadmap also rules out the return of all Palestinian refugees, which the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Arab world see as one of the key requirements for lasting peace.

The plan was endorsed by US ally Israel but universally rejected by the Palestinians and the Arab League, who view the plan as heavily skewed in favor of Tel Aviv.

February 3, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Al-Qaeda’s Air Force? Erdogan Protecting HTS in Idlib, Threatens to Attack Advancing Syrian Army

21WIRE | February 3, 2020

Over the last few months, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its Russian allies have been advancing into the heart of Idlib province – the last remaining terrorist stronghold in Syria. Not everyone is happy about the effort by Damascus to retake is own territorial areas in the north, not least of all Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is now threatening the SAA and its allies with military force if they continue with operations to dislodge Turkish and US-backed terrorist forces currently holed up in Idlib, and neighboring Afrin.

The stakes increased over the last 24 hours, after Turkey claimed that the SAA had killed 6 of its ‘soldiers’ and injured many others, after coming under heavy fire from the SAA. This incident comes after reports of a large Turkish military convoy which had entered Idlib via the “Kafr Loosen” crossing, supposedly to help ‘monitor a ceasefire’ from one of its numerous (and increasingly notorious) “observation posts” which are dotted conspicuously in parallel to positions held by terrorist group Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaeda in Syria). 

‘Al-Qaeda’s Air Force’ over Syria

The Turkish Ministry of Defense have issued a statement today claiming that its forces came under heavy artillery fire in the northern Syria, and that its forces have since retaliated by attacking ‘unspecified’ SAA targets in the area. Thus far, these reports are unconfirmed. If true, then NATO-member Turkey is now performing the function of al-Qaeda’s Air Force over Syria.

Under the Astana Peace Process, stakeholders Russia, Turkey and Iran all agreed to a designated “de-escalation zone” in Idlib in order to calm down fighting in the region and help to deal with the movement of refugees and IDP’s (internally displace persons). Unfortunately, Turkish and US-backed terrorist forces have conveniently gamed the de-escalation zones in order to attack Syrian government forces and maintain an air of destablization, which has kept the status quo of terrorist occupation in lace. Turkey is clearly on board with this alternative agenda and is supporting HTS and other terrorists factions where it can.

Strangely, Turkey is still claiming dominion over sovereign Syrian territory, now erroneously claiming that advances by the SAA in its own country are going to cause an influx of refugees into Turkey and therefore any advances by Syria to retake its own land must cease in order to “save the refugees.” Clearly, this is a well-worn ploy by now, used ad nauseum by both Turkey and the US and its coalition partners – in order to keep Syria from liberating the entirety of its country.

One of the main problems with Turkey’s story is that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell who, and who isn’t, part of Turkey’s ever-changing military forces. Recently, Ankara has officially absorbed the former Free Syria Army (FSA) under its military wing, but to make matters more confusing, this new Turkey-based division (comprised mainly of western and gulf-backed terrorist fighters) has been misleadingly named The Syrian National Army (SNA), presumably to represent a military wing of the Syrian opposition in exile currently based in Istanbul. As 21WIRE revealed in 2019, this new SNA has numerous ISIS and al Qaeda in its ranks.

Accusation of its terrorist deployments have also emerged in Libya, where Turkey is backing the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord and has sent mercenary ‘troops’ (former FSA terrorists, now under the SNA banner) to Libya support to help repel an offensive led by Gen. Khalifa Haftar in January.

Undoubtedly, Turkey’s increasing use of terrorist brigades is damaging its legitimacy as a NATO member.

Questions About Turkey’s Supposed ‘Retaliation’ Against SAA in Idlib

Soon after last night’s altercation, western mainstream media have reported that 13 Syrian troops were killed by Turkey, while Erdogan himself released announcements claiming his forces had killed some 30 or more Syrian Army soldiers in a retaliatory air and artillery strikes against SAA positions. However, both Syria and Russian officials have so far reported that no such Turkish response took place. Syria News reports:

“The Turkish ministry, like its president, lied to their people by adding: the Turkish forces responded to the attack and destroyed ‘enemy targets’ in Idlib, claiming that the Syrian forces carried out the attack despite being informed beforehand of the position of the Turkish forces.

(…) The Turkish madman criminally announced that his regime forces will remain on the Syrian territories and lied that they have retaliated against the Syrian Army killing 30 soldiers. Erdogan added that his fighter jets bombed Syrian posts, claims fake verified by Erdogan and his propaganda machine, no other source about any Turkish response.

The only response was the Turkish war ministry complaining to the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria, which in turn replied they had no advanced information about Turkish troops entering Syria, not coordinated with them, and they have not recorded any Turkish retaliation and definitely no Turkish fighter jets breaching Syria’s air space.”

The ambiguity in Turkey’s reporting shows that Ankara is now struggling in the public relations war, as its international reputation continues to come under fire.

For the last few years, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has consistently vowed that, “Every inch of Syria will be liberated.”

The question now remains: have Ankara and Washington been listening?

February 3, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , | 3 Comments

Iran: Swiss-US channel for medicine too little, too late

Press TV – February 3, 2020

Iran has dismissed as insufficient a Swiss-US “humanitarian” channel set up to enable medicine transfers to the country, arguing that the United States is originally banned by the International Court of Justice from subjecting Iran’s much-needed medical supplies to sanctions.

“We do not recognize any such so-called humanitarian channel,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi told a press conference on Monday. “We do not recognize sanctions [for that matter]. Medicine and foodstuffs were never subject to sanctions in the first place so they can now create a channel [for their transfer] with much publicity,” he added.

The US returned its sanctions against Iran after leaving a historic nuclear accord with the country and others in 2018. The measures defied the agreement’s multilateral nature and the fact that it had been ratified by the United Nations Security Council.

Washington then began forcing others to toe its sanctions line. Britain, France, and Germany have stopped their transactions with the Islamic Republic, bowing under the pressure.

On Thursday, Switzerland launched the so-called Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA), claiming it was aimed at facilitating the medicine trade, reportedly using the Central Bank of Iran’s credits. Swiss officials have, however, refused to clairfy how such transactions would continue if the CBI ran out of credit with Swiss banks.

On October 3, 2018, the Hague-based International Court of Justice, the UN’s principal judicial organ, issued a ruling ordering the US to halt its unilateral sanctions on “humanitarian” supplies to Iran. The verdict came following a lawsuit lodged by Iran in July of the same year.

Mousavi said Washington is well aware that as per the ruling, it bears an obligation not to block such transactions, adding that these “conditional waivers” from the sanctions will not result in the US war crimes passing into oblivion.

The medicine supplies, he added, were bound to enter the country a year and a half ago, but their imports were blocked by US obstructionism.

The Swiss company tasked with facilitating the transactions “has been paid to do so,” he said, noting, “Our expectations far exceed such measures. And their obligations are hundreds of times more than what they are offering.”

He noted that the Islamic Republic welcomes all efforts that are aimed at reducing the pressure faced by the country, but still Switzerland’s initiation of the SHTA, falls short of the expectations.

Also on Monday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed the efficiency of the Swiss channel and drew attention to the ICJ ruling in this regard.

The top diplomat noted that the US keeps pursuing the policy of “maximum pressure” and denying Iran the financial channels that enable it to import medicine.

“This is a small step and we thank the Swiss government for its efforts … but this channel is not a sign of America’s goodwill at all,” he said.

Last October, New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned that the US’s harsh sanctions against Iran posed a serious threat to the Iranian people’s right to health, urging Washington to adopt swift measures aimed at facilitating trade of humanitarian goods with the Islamic Republic.

The sanctions are compromising Iranians “access to essential medicines—and has almost certainly contributed to documented shortages— ranging from a lack of critical drugs for epilepsy patients to limited chemotherapy medications for Iranians with cancer,” it said.

Though the US government has supposedly built exemptions for humanitarian imports into its sanctions regime, “broad US sanctions against Iranian banks, coupled with aggressive rhetoric from US officials, have drastically constrained Iran’s ability to finance such humanitarian imports,” the rights organization added.

A month later, an NGO said Iranian children suffering from a rare skin condition known as EB were losing their lives as US economic sanctions hampered the flow of vital medical products.

Hamid Reza Hashemi-Golayegani, the head of the NGO that helps such patients, said that at least 15 Iranian children with epidermolysis bullosa (EB) had died since the US restored the sanctions.

February 3, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

Turkey failed to notify of convoy movements in Syria’s Idlib before getting shelled by Damascus troops – Russian military

RT | February 3, 2020

A shelling incident in Syria in which Ankara said six of its soldiers were killed may have been caused by the failure of the Turkish side to warn about the movement of their convoy, the Russian military said.

“Units of the Turkish military conducted movement within the Idlib de-escalation zone during the nighttime from February 2 to February 3 without informing the Russian side and came under fire by the Syrian government troops, which were targeting terrorists west of Saraqib,” the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation said on Monday.

The statement stressed that there are established lines of communications between Russian forces in Syria and the Turkish command. It added that Turkish aircraft did not enter the Syrian airspace after the incident, contrary to some reports in the Turkish media, which said Ankara ordered airstrikes at Syrian positions in retaliation for the shelling.

The Turkish Defense Ministry earlier reported that four soldiers were killed and nine others injured in the shelling incident. The death toll rose to six later in the day.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded quickly, promising to continue retaliating heavily to any attacks against Turkish forces in Syria’s Idlib Province.

Omer Celik, spokesman for Turkey’s ruling party, rejected the words of the Russian ministry, saying it was “not correct.”

“Turkey is providing regular and instant information to Russia. It also informed them of this latest event,” he tweeted. “It is not true to say information was not shared. The mechanisms in place were utilized as always.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to the incident by stressing that Turkish and Russian military commanders are “in a constant contact” over Idlib, reiterating the military’s remarks.

Idlib governorate is a designated “de-escalation zone” under agreements between Russia, Turkey and Iran. Ankara is expected to use its influence among anti-government fighters controlling it to prevent hostilities with Damascus troops, eventually leading to a peaceful resolution. In practice, some jihadists in Idlib continue attacks at government-held parts of Syria and on several occasions launched drone attacks on the Russian air base in Latakia, ensuring continued fighting.

The previous major incident of similar nature happened in Idlib in August 2019. Three people traveling with a Turkish military convoy were reported killed and a dozen more injured by a Syrian airstrike, infuriating Ankara. Damascus said at the time that it believed the convoy was transporting weapons and ammo to jihadist forces in Khan Sheikhoun, which has since been captured by the Syrian government forces. The incident was made more confusing by Turkey’s insistence that the people hurt in it were all civilians.

February 3, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | | Leave a comment

Bolivian Ex-President Morales’ Cabinet Chief Hermosa Handed Six Month Detention

Sputnik – February 3, 2020

Patricia Hermosa, the former cabinet chief of ex-Bolivian President Evo Morales’ administration, has been handed a six-month preventive detention order by a Bolivian court, El Diario daily reported.

Bolivian prosecutors pushed for Hermosa to be placed in preventive detention, claiming that she was both a flight risk and could potentially obstruct the investigation. The court on Sunday agreed with prosecutors, and ordered the former cabinet chief to spend six months in preventive detention, the newspaper reported.

Hermosa was first detained in December as part of the new Bolivian government’s ongoing investigation into Morales but was initially released due to insufficient evidence. However, she was arrested once again this past week after authorities claimed to possess recordings of Hermosa’s telephone conversations with leading Bolivian officials. She is charged with sedition, terrorism and financing terrorism.

The news comes just one day after two ministers of ousted President Morales’ administration left Bolivia for Mexico. Many members of Morales’ former government have been living at the Mexican ambassador’s residence in Bolivia while waiting for their asylum requests to be processed. Morales himself is currently living in Argentina after fleeing Bolivia.

On Friday, Morales reported that Hermosa was detained by Bolivian law enforcement officials, who also seized personal documents belonging to the ex-president during the former cabinet chief’s apprehension.

February 3, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | Leave a comment

The U.S.’ Monroe Doctrine Against South America Is Still Alive in the 21th Century

By Lucas Leiroz de Almeida | February 3, 2020

The attitude of the US towards Latin peoples has been one of domination, imposition and imperialism. The core of this policy is in the American ideology itself, based on the Monroe Doctrine of the 19th Century, which, enunciating an “America for Americans”, promoted the American expansion towards other lands of the New World. Specifically in South America, external interference in national policies became even more evident with the advent of the military dictatorships of the last century, which, with the shallow excuse of avoiding a “communist threat”, promoted long decades of misery and persecution whose only end had been to preserve the subjugation of those countries to Washington’s commandments during the Cold War.

The process of redemocratization in Latin America was a flawed and vulnerable one. The transition of power witnessed by the exchange of the Armed Forces for civilian politicians represented nothing but the very interests of the same groups that had financed and supported the military’s takeover. In fact, when the American objectives bequeathed to the military were already achieved, they authorized the transition of power, pacifying national policies with the capitulation of the left, which abandoned the armed struggle in favor of the democratic pact.

Since then, outside interference in Latin America has been triggered by the cooptation of parliamentary factions, feeding gigantic networks of corruption that “fight each other” publicly, when, truly, they work for the interests of the same foreign power. This is the case of the reactionary parties and of the groups from the new left – concerned with the “identitarian” agenda of liberalism and omitted in relation to social problems and national sovereignty.

While the theater of public confrontation of these groups is functioning, the American foreign occupation works perfectly, without major challenges and threats. However, any deviation from this reality is understood as an affront and gives room for the resurgence of Washington’s interference. The most recent cases corroborating this fact are the failed attempted coup against the legitimate Bolivarian government in Caracas and the successful coup d’état carried out against Bolivian President Morales, both in the past year.

In general, American attacks on independent peoples of the South have intensified in recent years. This, most likely, is due to the fact that the period before the current one was marked by the growth of the political left, which, although subordinated to the liberal hegemony, acted with an agenda reasonably linked to social struggles, delaying, even if very little, the neoliberal plans. Now, these same countries are facing the extraordinary advance of reactionary rights, with a greater emphasis on Brazil.

A member of the BRICS, Brazil, with all its potential to achieve prestigious status in the international order, has been suffering the worst period in its recent history. The rise of Bolsonaro brings with it the worst in the country: the growth of the harmful influence of neo-Pentecostal groups – whose greatest commitment is to the interests of Washington and Tel Aviv; the paramilitary armed militias that control organized crime in the poorest regions of the country, truly acting as a mafia and; the business sector as a whole, with enormous progress in dismantling labor laws and permitting agribusiness, with the legalization of pesticides and the criminal burning of native forests for the formation of pastures for livestock. Brazil is going through one of the worst deindustrialization processes ever witnessed in history.

Argentina recently completed this cycle of reactionary ascension and is now witnessing a return of the “soft left”, with the return of the Kirchner Party. The negative legacy of Fernández. Macri’s legacy will not be wiped out so quickly and the left now in power does not seem committed to the complete break with external interests, but to the perpetuation of the liberal-parliamentary cycle.

The most striking cases, however, are the aforementioned examples of Venezuela and Bolivia, countries victimized by American imperialism. Fundamentally, one must realize how both cases reveal real occurrences of foreign invasion, even if camouflaged with a democratic appearance. Venezuela perceived the opposition’s articulations as a true case of war and managed to gain control over the situation: activated the Bolivarian National Guard, intensified security policies and ignored internal and external opposition pressure. As a result, Maduro remains in power and the coup has become an international joke. On the other hand, Morales did not have the same perspicacity and gave way too much to the opposition, falling and being forced to leave the country and hand it over to the coup d’état.

In Chile, recent political unrest is having a positive effect. The claims against neoliberal Piñera, carried out through violent protests that have already given rise to the State of Emergency, are successful and little by little the government is forced to yield to popular pressure.

Currently, the panorama of South America is terrible. With the exception of Venezuela, which is in an undeniable crisis, all countries are, in one way or another, hostages to American interests, with some under governments that make this reality more explicit – like Brazil – and others under more camouflaged regimes. There is no doubt about the fundamental point that American imperialism has never been as aggressive in South America as it has been in recent years. The reason is simple: in the face of progress in the formation of a multipolar world, the geopolitical north is becoming increasingly reactive.

Lucas Leiroz de Almeida is a research fellow in International Law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

February 3, 2020 Posted by | Economics | , | Leave a comment