Aletho News


Trump’s deal will go ahead, because there is no real PA opposition to it

By Lama Khater | MEMO | February 4, 2020

After Mahmoud Abbas’s speech about Donald Trump’s “deal of the century”, there was optimism that it would lead to something new on the ground from the PA. At the very least, that it would help to manage the relationship between the Palestinian factions.

Several days have now passed and nothing has happened to match the seriousness of the situation. Abbas’s speech at the Arab League summit in Cairo was weak, suggesting that we can expect more of the same tweaked slightly to suit the PA leader’s media performance. None of this has any impact on the political world, nor does it set the stage for action to face the risks arising from the deal if Israel starts to implement it unilaterally.

There is no point in threatening to cut off the security relationship with Israel while the PA prisons are still filled with young Palestinians on charges of forming cells to resist the occupation. Nor is there any point in announcing a boycott of America while the Director of the CIA was in Ramallah for a meeting with senior PA security officials Majed Faraj and Hussein Al-Sheikh.

What more does the Trump administration and Israel want from the PA for it to maintain security cooperation? Regardless of how serious any political estrangement and boycott is, will Trump or Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu care about the insults and condemnation voiced by the PA against their plans? They know exactly what they want from the PA and they know that the authority will not give up its security role in the West Bank, where most of the effects of the deal will be felt. The PA is not only continuing its security role to please the US and Israel, which may result in its toppling, but also because this is in total alignment with Abbas’s approach, to which he still clings despite all that has happened. He still thinks that armed resistance to the Israeli occupation is “terrorism” and a future “State of Palestine” must be demilitarised. Does any sane person dream of a demilitarised state in a troubled world, believing it to be worthy of the efforts needed for its creation, and that it will be both viable and sustainable?

The details of the deal make it clear that the two-state solution is an illusion, and that there is no place for a Palestinian state inside historic Palestine or alongside Israel; the facts imposed on the ground by the occupation made this obvious many years ago. However, in exposing it clearly, Trump has put the ball firmly in the PA-Fatah court; the Fatah leadership is now required to take a progressive stand when its anger dies down. So far, it has done nothing in terms of internal reconciliation or ending the monopoly over Palestinian decision-making; it is not ready to back down from its catastrophic mistakes against the national cause and Palestinian people. Is it that hard to admit that the path followed by Fatah has led us to this position? If we concede that it was a political endeavour that was justified at the time, why do we continue to stick to it now in our current position, and make statements about ending security cooperation with Israel, which we know to be a lie?

With such hesitation, weakness and failure to implement even a single bold measure, what does the PA believe will prevent the deal from being implemented, especially as many of its stipulations already exist in practice? There is no doubt that the PA’s fruitless efforts will not stop this from happening, because what is needed at this moment are practical decisions that surprise the Israelis and go beyond formalities, public relations and speeches.

The move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May 2018 was a test to see what the Palestinian response would be to the deal when announced in full. The official response was muted, with no significant changes to security cooperation or anything like that. Israel and the US are now well aware that whatever they do, no red lines will be crossed, simply because the PA is so weak in enforcing them. We can expect the deal to be implemented, unilaterally or otherwise, following which the future will be more dangerous for the people of Palestine.

February 4, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 2 Comments

UAE, Israel officials conspiring against Iran at secret White House meeting

Press TV – February 5, 2020

The US, Israel and the UAE held a secret meeting at the White House to conspire against Iran, a report reveals.

According an Axios report on Tuesday, the secret meeting was held on December 17, 2019.

The sit-down, which involved a nonaggression pact between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv, was referred to as an attempt to forge closer ties between the two.

The Israeli team was led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s national security adviser, Meir Ben-Shabbat, and the UAE was represented by Yousef al-Otaiba, the country’s envoy to the US, who maintains close ties with Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.

The American officials engaged in the process were national security adviser Robert O’Brien, his deputy, Victoria Coates, and US special envoy for Iran Brian Hook.

In a tweet on December 21, UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed pointed to what he called “Islam’s reformation,” adding that, “an Arab-Israeli alliance is taking shape in the Middle East.”

The tweet was responded by the Israeli premier a day later, urging Abu Dhabi to remain reticent over the matter for now.

“The UAE Foreign Minister, Abdullah bin Zayed, spoke about a new alliance in the Middle East: An Israeli-Arab alliance. … I can only say that this remark is the result of the ripening of many contacts and efforts, which at the moment, and I emphasize at the moment, would be best served by silence,” Netanyahu said at the start of a weekly cabinet meeting.

The UAE-Israel alliance comes as no surprise in the wake of the Muslim country’s support for the US so-called “peace” initiative between Israel and Palestinians, dubbed “deal of the century.”

Rejected by Palestinians and the world’s Muslim population, the deal recognizes Jerusalem al-Quds as the “undivided capital” of the Zionist regime.

It also amounts to violation of the fundamental rights of the Palestinians by disregarding UN resolutions and international law.

Washington has previously voiced support for closer ties between its allies in West Asia, namely the Israeli regime, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.

As a senior White House official put it, “while the United States would certainly welcome expanding relationships between our critical allies and partners in the Middle East, we’re not going to detail private diplomatic conversations, nor do we have anything to announce.”

February 4, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

The PA will opt for losing Palestine if it means keeping its ‘authority’

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | February 4, 2020

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas continues to provide proof of his worthlessness when it comes to political decision-making. If the US “continues” with the so-called deal of the century, Abbas has threatened only the possibility of a full boycott.

The US “peace plan”, which enhances Israel’s strategies for forcibly displacing Palestinians and rendering them refugees while taking away their right to be recognised as such, is not enough for the PA to implement its threats, dependent as it is upon security coordination with the occupation for its existence and function. In May 2014, Abbas described security coordination with Israel as “sacred”, despite policy differences with the Israeli government.

This coordination facilitated the targeting of dissenting Palestinians and resistance activists. In 2014, security coordination with Israel during Operation Brother’s Keeper resulted in the re-arrest of 50 former Palestinian prisoners who had been released in the Gilad Shalit exchange deal. One of the most appalling security coordination deals involved the PA in the killing of Palestinian activist and writer Basel Al-Araj in March 2017.

Yet other logistics are dependent upon security coordination, including the movement of goods and people. The PA’s political existence depends upon security coordination, while the Palestinian people bear the brunt of the violence associated with its surveillance.

Abbas’s periodic threats to cease such coordination cannot be taken seriously. As far as quashing Palestinian political dissent and resistance, the agreement with Israel is the best that the coloniser and collaborator can get. In terms of political engagement, security coordination provides the PA with the much-needed funds to sustain its existence. The premise of state-building, albeit illusory, provides the backdrop for such funding to continue, as does the two-state compromise, also illusory.

The international community’s response to US President Donald Trump’s plan announced last week was not a complete rejection. Leaving just a slight possibility that the world might find common ground over the two-state designation by the US isolates the PA more than ever. Its constant bleating to the UN and the EU to salvage the two-state imposition upon which international consensus has been reached will not save the PA’s diplomatic endeavours now. As far as the international community is concerned, the PA is even more coerced into retaining security coordination. There is common ground between the US and the international community in this, despite the previous hype attempting to pit one side against the other for the sole purpose of extending the two-state diplomacy further.

Abbas will not be taken seriously this time (if he ever was). If anything, his empty threats will bring further ridicule upon the PA, exposing its lack of autonomy. While the dynamics of Trump’s plan are indeed a threat to the PA, especially when considering the previous action undertaken by the US to isolate it diplomatically, Abbas faces a greater threat to his power if security coordination is ended permanently. The bottom line is that the PA will risk losing what remains of Palestinian land in order to maintain the façade of its “authority. After all, it has developed a notorious reputation for granting concessions to the occupation, but it will not jeopardise the crumbs of power thrown to it by Israel and the international community.

February 4, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 3 Comments

PA: Waiting for the worst is not an option

By Omar Olimat | Addustour | February 4, 2020

After the American president announced his plan for peace, the PA categorically and justifiably rejected the deal due to its undeniable injustice against the Palestinians’ right to establish an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

No one denies that the PA and other countries concerned with the Palestinian issue were completely aware of the plan’s details and implementation mechanisms, but the plan’s main points were not significantly different to what was leaked in the past two years. It does not stipulate East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, the return of the refugees, nor a sovereign state in a real sense.

Everyone was aware that any peace plan adopted by the current American administration, which would be welcomed by the Israeli right-wing, would not be in the interest of the Palestinians, and would give the Israelis what is not theirs. So, why did the Palestinian leadership wait for the official announcement of the details of the plan, to reject it and attempt to bring together the fragmented Arabs to reach a kind of collective rejection of it?

The Palestinian Authority is not that weak, and it has several cards that it could have thrown onto the table before the formal announcement of the plan. If it was unable to stand up to the US administration,  it at least could have hindered the wording regarding some of the critical issues in the plan and left it to future negotiations to determine the future of East Jerusalem and the refugees.

Levelheadedness and balance are requirements, and no one would think to hold the PA responsible for the deal that included the deliberate killing of international laws and hundreds of UN resolutions that support the right of the Palestinian people to establish their state, as well as a clear bias in favour of the occupation state. However, reality indicates that sitting and waiting for the worst is not a feasible option, but rather, complete suicide, given the leaked details of the plan in coincidence with total American support of Netanyahu, even if by slaying the concept of peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

The PA was fully aware of what the deal would stipulate, of the environment in which it lives today, and the fragmented Arab reality, as some countries are drowning in chaos and protests, while others are suffering under the impact of harsh economic conditions, and others have their visions and strategies. The PA and other Palestinian factions must better prepare themselves to confront the liquidation of the Palestinian cause.

There is still time, and the war of words and statements will not restore the Palestinians’ rights. Moreover, Israel is determined to immediately state the implementation of what was comprised in the plan, so steps must be taken to ensure that the ball is returned to the Israeli and American court. Perhaps the first of these steps is to return to the status of an occupied state to hold Israeli legally and internationally responsible, whether it likes it or not.


This article first appeared in Arabic in Addustour on 3 February 2020

February 4, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | Leave a comment

Land in eastern Gaza declared a disaster zone due to Israel use of herbicides

MEMO | February 4, 2020

The Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture declared arable lands in eastern Gaza to be a disaster zone on Monday, after the Israeli army repeatedly sprayed the area with chemical herbicides.

Despite a year-long break from such practices, the Israeli authorities confirmed on 22 January that they have resumed unannounced the spraying of herbicides along the fence along the nominal border of the Gaza Strip, Haaretz has reported. It was said by the Ministry of Defence to be necessary “based on security needs… but solely [takes place] within Israel territory.”

However, an investigative report by Forensic Architecture, a research agency based at Goldsmiths, University of London, found that “aerial spraying by commercial crop-dusters flying on the Israeli side of the border mobilised the wind to carry chemicals into the Gaza Strip, at damaging concentrations.”

Analysis of first-hand videos from fields close to the border fence revealed Israeli armed forces using smoke from a burning tyre to confirm the westerly direction of the wind, ensuring that the chemicals landed in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army said it has acted under the country’s “Plant Protection Law”, which enforces regulations on plant protection and the monitoring and prevention of diseases. Officials thus claim that spraying practices at the Gazan border are identical to those used across the country.

However, such use of chemicals between 2014 and 2018 damaged 14,000 acres of land in Gaza, destroying all the crops grown there. The latest spraying has damaged an estimated 2,000 acres of land so far, the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture reported.

According to the Guardian, no Palestinians have ever received compensation for the damage caused by the spraying of chemicals by the Israelis, despite a petition from human rights groups in Haifa and Gaza. In contrast, farmers in the Israeli agricultural town Nahal Oz allegedly received compensation in 2015 after suing the authorities for the loss of crops.

Forensic Architecture reported that herbicide spraying predominantly takes place during key harvest periods, targeting spring and summer crops, with Glyphosate the most commonly used chemical. However, Glyphosate was declared “carcinogenic in humans” by the World Health Organisation’s Cancer Research Agency in March 2015. The chemical has since been ruled safe for use by various US and European safety agencies, although several environmental groups have opposed this ruling.

The UN Information System on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL) noted concerns over the ability to predict where, and in what concentration, toxic chemicals will land. In a report to the General Assembly in September 2019, it was said that as “damage cannot be reasonably predicted by the army… such herbicides should not be used in such close proximity to the fence.”


Israel continues to flood Gaza farmland

February 4, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 1 Comment

First Israel-Bolivia diplomatic meeting since 2009

MEMO | February 4, 2020

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, met with his Bolivian counterpart, Ruben Suarez, in an official meeting, which is the first of its kind since Bolivia cut ties with Israel in 2009, according to Hebrew media.

Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Monday that the meeting took place last week at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

According to the newspaper, the two ambassadors discussed setting up an embassy for Bolivia in Israel, strengthening cooperation in the fields of water technology and agriculture, and permitting Israeli tourists to revisit the South American country.

Danon invited Suarez to visit Israel as part of a planned visit by a delegation of UN ambassadors next April.

In November 2019, Bolivia announced the resumption of its relations with Israel after cutting diplomatic ties in light of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip (27 December 2008 – 28 January 2009), reported the newspaper.

According to the same source, the relations between the two countries were resumed following the end of Evo Morales’s presidential term (January 2006 – November 2019), “ who was known for his hostility towards Israel, and the arrival of a transitional pro-US government.”

The newspaper said that the recent appointment of Suarez as Bolivia’s representative to the United Nations “will boost Israeli moves at the United Nations.”

The newspaper also considered Suarez’s predecessor Sacha Lorenti to have “anti-Israel” stands.

February 4, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | Leave a comment

Kurdish-led forces in Syria say they will keep conscription system

MEMO | February 4, 2020

A senior Kurdish official in the “Defence Board” of the so-called Autonomous Self-Administration in Syria’s northeast town of Ain Al-Issa has stated that there are no plans to stop the controversial forced military conscription of young men in the Syrian territory currently controlled by Kurdish-led forces, known as the Syrian Defence Forces (SDF).

According to Kurdistan24 Shirin Qamar, co-chair of the Board, reiterated the decision to keep the system in place, describing the military service as “for the sake” of the defence of their homeland.

“The process is known to everyone: it includes 45 days of patriotic education and self-knowledge, as well as military training. And later on, they serve their homeland in the position of border guards,” she explained.

The Kurdish administration passed their own law making conscription compulsory in the “autonomous areas” on 14 July 2014, which was implemented in November of the same year on military-aged men and applies to all men regardless of their ethnic or religious background and regardless of whether they have previously served in the Syrian-state army.

However, every local authority in Kurdish-controlled Syria has the right to decide its own military conscription age, leading to complaints against discrimination and inconsistency.

There are documented allegations of child soldiers serving in the SDF, despite an order issued banning their recruitment in 2018.

The SDF has received funding and arms from the US to aid its efforts to combat Daesh. The force consists largely but not exclusively of YPG fighters, which is considered to be the Syrian faction of the terrorist PKK organisation. It has recently been reported that Saudi and US officials have held talks on potentially financing Arab factions who are currently affiliated to the SDF, under the pretext of “resisting the Iranian expansion attempts” in the country.

February 4, 2020 Posted by | War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

Israel pushing for ties with Morocco in exchange for US recognition of its rule over Western Sahara

MEMO | February 4, 2020

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly been discussing a three-way agreement that would see the United States recognise Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara in exchange for having Rabat take steps to normalise ties with Tel Aviv, Israeli broadcaster Channel 13 reported.

Netanyahu has been trying in recent months to make the US promote his plan, as it will raise the chances for him getting a high-profile public visit to Morocco as well as being a major diplomatic achievement for Morocco’s King, Mohammed VI.

In addition, the report claimed, US President Donald Trump can gloat of having advanced ties between Israel and an Arab state, should the deal go through.

However, the spread of sovereignty of Morocco on Western Sahara was a deal always strongly opposed by former national security adviser John Bolton.

Following Bolton’s departure in September, Netanyahu reportedly began raising the matter again with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

It’s been more than 40 years since Morocco claimed sovereignty over Western Sahara, after it occupied large swathes of the area in 1975 as Spain withdrew from the area and later annexed the territories in a move not recognised internationally.

According to the publication, contacts between the two countries intensified after a secret meeting between Netanyahu and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Morocco Nasser Burita during the UN General Assembly in September 2018.

That meeting was the result of a back channel established between Bourita and Netanyahu’s national security adviser, Meir Ben-Shabbat, reported Arutz Sheva.

It also reported that Netanyahu wanted to reach an agreement before the April elections of 2019, but the plan was dismissed after the media got information about the secret visit of Ben-Shabbat to Morocco.

Though the countries have no formal relations, Morocco has long maintained informal but close intelligence ties with Israel and Israelis are allowed to visit there.

Last week, Morocco received three Israeli reconnaissance drones as part of $48 million arms deal, to counter extremist groups and fight rebel movements in the Western Sahara, French website Intelligence Online reported.

February 4, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | Leave a comment

Venezuela Blocks OAS Human Rights Commission Visit

By Paul Dobson | Venezuelanalysis | February 3, 2020

Mérida – Venezuela has warned the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) that its proposed visit to the country has not been authorised and will not be accepted.

The Washington DC-based organisation announced a five-day delegation to Venezuela starting on Tuesday. It was invited by self-declared “Interim President” Juan Guaido to “observe” the human rights situation in the country. The IACHR has not visited the Caribbean country in 18 years.

Caracas reacted on Friday, however, describing the proposed visit as “improper” given that the country is no longer part of the IACHR’s mother institution, the Organisation of American States (OAS).

Venezuela left the OAS in April 2019 after accusing the multilateral organisation of repeated acts against Venezuela’s sovereignty. Guaido appointed representatives, however, continue participating in OAS meetings.

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza took to Twitter on Friday, clarifying that “The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has not invited nor accepts the visit of any IACHR delegation. The visit announced in the press is NOT authorised.”

Caracas’ general secretary of the National Human Rights Council, Larry Devoe, also explained that Venezuela “does not recognise nor assign legal value to the actions of the OAS and the IACHR,” in a public communiqué to the multilateral body.

In addition, Devoe confirmed that the country will rather continue working with the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the matter. The body, headed by former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet, sent a delegation to Venezuela last July.

Guaido responded to the measure by assuring followers that the IACHR visit will proceed, as well as reaffirming his credentials to extend such invitations.

“As the legitimate government and with Venezuela a member of the OAS and the Inter-American system, we ratify the invitation for the IACHR to visit our country,” he wrote on Twitter.

The former National Assembly president is currently wrapping up an international tour which has taken him to Colombia, the UK, Belgium, France, Spain, the USA and Switzerland, where he attended the Davos Forum.

Guaido has been in Florida in recent days, where he has met with Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, as well as Congresswomen Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Donna Shalala and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. Florida representatives have been some of the drivers of sanctions and legislation against Venezuela.

Despite coinciding with US President Donald Trump’s visit to his Mar a Lago resort also in Florida, no meeting took place between the two men. According to media reports, Guaido’s team lobbied for a meeting with Trump but to no avail.

The opposition leader also held a rally for US-based supporters at the Miami Convention Centre on Saturday, before meeting with US charge d’affaires for Venezuela, James Story.

Guaido has stated that he will return to Venezuela in the “next few days” and has called for more street rallies.

Edited by Ricardo Vaz from Mérida.

February 4, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

Democrats’ Dubious Impeachment Subtext of Treason

By Michael Tracey | Real Clear Politics | January 28, 2020

Less than 72 hours before Donald Trump was impeached last month, the House Judiciary Committee released a behemoth 658-page report outlining the rationale for the final articles produced by the Democratic majority. It would be interesting to conduct a secret ballot asking members of Congress — and indeed, members of the media — to confide whether they actually read the report before the vote took place. Based on the woefully incomplete public discussion of what this impeachment really entails, one has to conclude that few, if any, bothered.

Because if they did read it, they’d know these impeachment articles were never strictly about punishing Trump for mentioning Joe Biden on a phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. That’s the popular bite-sized depiction of Trump’s purported wrongdoing, but by the House Judiciary Committee’s own telling, the scope of their impeachment went far beyond just that one narrow allegation — and is fraught with highly ideological assumptions that have so far gone largely ignored.

Even if the Senate trial fails to result in a conviction (as is exceedingly likely) the long-term implications of what the House of Representatives has already ratified by way of its impeachment vote in December are highly ominous.

For instance — and the fact that this has been overlooked is especially mind-blowing — the first article alleges that Trump “betrayed the Nation.” Grave stuff. No president has ever been impeached for “betraying the Nation” before. What does this mean, exactly? The Judiciary Committee report helpfully provides a definition of the relevant terms. In a section describing what they believe constitutes “impeachable treason,” the Democratic majority writes, “At the very heart of ‘Treason’ is deliberate betrayal of the nation and its security.” There’s that phrase: “betrayal of the nation.” According to the drafters of the impeachment articles, then, Trump has been effectively impeached for treason — except the drafters presumably recognized that inserting the word “treason” in the actual text might prove a tad controversial. So instead they just heavily insinuate it, and confirm that they are charging the president with treason in supporting materials that few will ever read.

“Such betrayal would not only be unforgivable,” the report’s explication of treason reads, “but would also confirm that the President remains a threat if allowed to remain in office. A President who has knowingly betrayed national security is a President who will do so again. He endangers our lives and those of our allies.” This language is then imported into the impeachment articles almost verbatim: “Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office.”

So let’s be clear on what was done here. The Democrats set forth a definition of treason in their lengthy impeachment report, and then inserted that same definition into the final impeachment articles — except without using the actual word “treason” in the text. This would seem like a rather significant development, but most of the media discussion has blithely glossed over it.

Having established that treason was a central element of the impeachment articles, a number of troubling implications become clearer. First, in order to have engaged in treason, one must have acted to further the interests of a nation with which the U.S. is in a state of war — thereby “endanger[ing] our lives and those of our allies,” in the words of the report’s authors. Clearly, the “ally” in this scenario is Ukraine, and the “adversary” is Russia. The designation of Russia as an “adversary” is sourced to what the impeachment report’s authors describe as the official “national security policy” of the United States. (Underpinning the logic of the entire impeachment exercise is the notion that Trump defied so-called “official” U.S. foreign policy — a characterization attributed to witness George Kent in the report — as if presiding over “official” policy is the purview of unelected members of the national security state bureaucracy, not the elected president.)

The report’s authors cite impeachment witness Tim Morrison, the former National Security Council operative under Trump, as saying: “The United States aids Ukraine and her people so that they can fight Russia over there, and we don’t have to fight Russia here.” (Adam Schiff directly cited this quote during one of his trial soliloquies.) Central to the reasoning behind these impeachment articles, then, is the presumption that the U.S. is engaged in direct hostilities with Russia, and taking any steps to interrupt these hostilities — such as temporarily withholding (but not actually rescinding) future dispersals of military aid — constitutes a treasonous betrayal of the American people. Only in the minds of the most hardened and conspiratorial Cold Warriors does that prospect have even the slightest plausibility.

And the idea, asserted almost in passing by the report’s authors, that the lives of Americans are “endangered” by the temporary withholding of military aid to Ukraine is of course another incredibly fraught proposition, seeing as it conflates U.S. national security with that of Ukraine. Assuming that sending lethal weaponry into Ukraine’s eastern provinces actually does enhance its long-term national security (another disputed premise), the concept that U.S. and Ukrainian interests are one and the same is not some objective statement of fact but a highly ideological proposition devised to justify an interventionist U.S. policy. An illuminating challenge for these pro-impeachment advocates would be to go to Ohio and ask voters whether they believe their security interests are interchangeable with those of Ukraine. After the blank quizzical stares set in, the advocates might come to realize that this belief is a fairly niche one.

Another under-analyzed element of the impeachment articles is the assertion that Trump’s actions with regard to Ukraine “were consistent with [his] previous invitations of foreign interference in United States elections.” The objective here, then, is to emphasize that the Ukraine matter must not be understood as a standalone episode, but part of a broader pattern that heightens the urgency of impeachment. What are these “previous invitations of foreign interference”? The Judiciary Committee report again provides an answer.

“These previous efforts include inviting and welcoming Russian interference in the 2016 United States Presidential election,” the report reads. So we are now back to the Mueller investigation, which was widely presumed to have been discarded. Far from it: the report’s authors state that Trump’s conduct vis-a-vis the 2016 election confirms that there are “sufficient grounds” for impeachment. Past instances of “inviting and welcoming Russian interference” include the infamous Trump wisecrack on July 27, 2016 about Hillary Clinton’s private email server (“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing”). They also include Trump exclaiming, “I love WikiLeaks!” on the campaign trail and the allegation that members of the Trump campaign “were maintaining significant contacts with Russian nationals.” (Yes, Russian “nationals” are supposed to be seen as sinister, even if such “nationals” have no connection to any government body.) There is even a reference to George Papadopoulos and his purported discussion with Joseph Mifsud about “dirt” related to Hillary Clinton.

These were all core tenets of the Mueller investigation and they were all exhaustively analyzed, and summarily debunked as constituting any illicit or conspiratorial relationship between Trump and Russia. But Democrats in their zeal still managed to smuggle Mueller back in. When Nancy Pelosi proclaimed that impeachment was never fundamentally about Ukraine, but about Russia — exclaiming “All roads lead to Putin” as her justification for the endeavor — she wasn’t kidding.

Again, Democrats who voted for these impeachment articles voted not simply to punish Trump for soliciting an investigation of Biden. Rather, they also voted to impeach him for committing treason at the behest of Russia. And in turn, they ratified a number of extremely fraught New Cold War assumptions that have now been embedded into the fabric of U.S. governance, regardless of what the Senate concludes.

It’s crucial to emphasize that this is the first impeachment in American history where foreign policy has played a central role. As such, we now have codified by way of these impeachment articles a host of impossibly dangerous precedents, namely: 1) The U.S. is in a state of war with Russia, a nuclear armed power; 2) the sitting president committed treason on behalf of this country with which the U.S. is in a state of war; 3) the president lacks a democratic mandate to conduct foreign policy over the objections of unelected national security state bureaucrats.

Is the reality of what was done here going to set in any time soon?

February 4, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Russophobia | | 2 Comments

Railroaded Again: ‘Technical Glitch’ in Democratic Party Voting App Deprives Sanders of Iowa Victory

21WIRE | February 4, 2020

It’s amazing to think how the entire American media and political Establishment has been banging on ad nauseum for the last four years running, telling the public that the biggest threat to the integrity of their fragile western democracy and fleeting freedoms – was the Russians.

We’re now told that the Democratic Party’s opening act for the 2020 Presidential Elections – the Iowa Caucuses, has descended into chaos after the release of voting results from the state’s precincts was delayed due to “inconsistencies in voter data” which was meant to be reported accurately via a new digital mobile app commissioned by esteemed members of the party’s elite high committee.

Normally, Iowa results are released a few hours after the polls close, but this year that didn’t happen.

Numerous internal party arguments have now broken out, with opposing camps attacking different people, all but guaranteeing more in-fighting and controversy in what is already turning out to be the ultimate internecine war.

The biggest loser here, clearly, is front-runner Bernie Sanders, who has been deprived of the certain momentum he would have had with the announcement of a resounding victory in Iowa.

As a result of the chaos, more marginal candidates like Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg are now claiming to have ‘won’ the state, although it will be hard to tell who is speaking truth and who is trying to take advantage of the chaos in order to artificially inflated their performance.

As of this morning, voters are still waiting for Final results, and even then, those may be contested now that confidence in the system has been shaken.

The ‘glitch’ came about after Democratic Party activists manning some 1,700 precincts had downloaded the new app on their smart phones in order to submit voter data from the caucus sites, over to the party’s central headquarters. It’s still unknown exactly how the app distorted the voting results, and will no doubt be the subject of much argument and speculation in the coming days and weeks.

The firm behind the shady app is called Shadow Inc, owned by the Democratic Party nonprofit group Acronym. As it turns out, many of the people behind this new election technology are former Hillary Clinton staffers.

This may just be a coincidence, but it is certain to fuel existing distrust and skepticism among Democrat voters, especially in light of the previous exposure of how the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign had colluded with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) operatives to prevent candidate Bernie Sanders from winning his party’s nomination.

None of this should come as any surprise to voters who have been raising the alarm about voting fraud and voting irregularities for decades. But this situation is unprecedented.

Many suspected a scandal was afoot on Sunday, after it was announced that the traditional benchmark Des Moines Register poll of likely Iowa Democratic caucus goers – would not be released as per normal on Saturday night. Apparently, the poll was shelved due to the efforts the Pete Buttigieg’s campaign who claimed the poll was ‘unfair.’ Buttigieg was seen to be in discussions with operatives at CNN at this time. Their operation to submerge polling results damaged front-runner Bernie Sanders who was expecting to capitalize on announcements of a wide lead going into the Caucuses.

For Sanders campaigners, it seemed that the fix was in. Only, they never imagined how bad things would get on Monday evening.

Just days before this, Hillary Clinton, still reeling from her 2016 epic loss, took to national media to attack the Sanders campaign in a move which many believe is part of a wider DNC establishment level effort to undermine front-runner Bernie sanders – who Clinton and Biden operatives believe is too far left for the Democratic Party and has ‘no chance’ to beat Donald Trump’s re-election bid come November.

Make no mistake about it: as of this morning, public confidence in the Democratic Party has hit an all-time low.

February 4, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , | Leave a comment