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Targeting Iran While America Locks Down

A national health crisis does not stop the beat of the war drums

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • April 7, 2020

The United States has just declared war against the coronavirus, with President Donald Trump self-proclaiming that he is now a “wartime president.” Whether one believes that the virus must be confronted with maximum aggression by effectively shutting down the country or that the measures already in place are already an overreaction hardly seems to matter as developments over the next several months will likely demonstrate what could have/might have/should have been done. But meanwhile extreme views are proliferating, with Rush Limbaugh detecting a conspiracy by Democrats and communists to destroy capitalism under “the guise of saving lives” while a more restrained but ideologically driven libertarian Ron Paul meanwhile chose to pen an article entitled “Coronavirus Hoax” that personally pilloried as a “chief fearmonger” the government’s widely respected expert on the origin and spread of the disease Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Stalin famously said that the death of one person was a tragedy while the death of a million is a statistic. For both Limbaugh and Paul an epidemic that could kill tens or even hundreds of thousands Americans produces a statistic, of lesser importance than retaining a completely corrupt Wall Street and the individual’s “liberty” to go shopping. Indeed, if greed driven American “vulture” capitalism must be preserved in its current form to protect and empower the rich, radical change might be welcomed by most Americans to include a long overdue genuine health infrastructure safety net.

Meanwhile, more rational and legitimate concerns are being raised by those who are worried about what kind of American democracy and economy will emerge on the other side. They urge the public to be particularly alert to the continuation of emergency practices at both the federal and state levels, permitting respective governments to act autocratically with little in the way of transparency or accountability.

One particular step that has been implemented is the use of cell phone tracking, without the permission of the device owners, to monitor whether separation and isolation measures are being observed by individuals who are out and about, determining whether or not they are obeying the rules in place to penalize congregating in public. It appears that the government and even at least one private presumably Israeli company now have the capability to track hundreds of thousands if not millions of phones simultaneously. This “emergency” abuse of privacy rights amounts to an illegal search and should be challenged on its constitutionality, but the real danger is that the tools used to monitor locations of phones can also be used after the claimed crisis is over to monitor perfectly legal activities of citizens. There should also be the concern that once the technology is developed to track phones a bit more tweaking might well integrate that feature into the National Security Agency’s well-established ability to intercept and record private conversations.

To be sure a different world will emerge post-coronavirus, but one might observe ruefully that some things never seem to change even in the midst of a full-blown global health crisis. Indeed, one might actually suspect that the United States, far from putting its own house in order, has actually used the virus as cover for intensifying its aggressive activities in Asia and Latin America. Along the way, it has also deliberately exploited the disease to punish those countries with which is has an adversarial relationship.

Those promoting the Trump administration’s preferred regime change “maximum pressure” policies are the top White House civilians, namely Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien. The generals, to include Secretary of Defense Mike Esper and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, view the military as already overextended and have so far resisted some of the crazier suggestions but that does not mean that the jingoistic proposals have gone away. They are still on the table being pushed most particularly by Pompeo, and as the president is remarkably easily convinced to take military action, they should be considered to be still viable.

The two proposed courses of action that recently surfaced that must be considered borderline insane both relate to Iran. One of them is remarkable in that it creates two new active enemies simultaneously. It consists of a Pentagon order to regional commanders to make preparations to attack and destroy the Iraqi Shi’ite militia Kataib Hezbollah that the O’Brien/Pompeo twofer believe to be tied to Iran and responsible for recent attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq.

Lt. General Robert P. White, the U.S. top commander in Iraq responded immediately to the order, objecting that such a move would risk war with Iran while also increasing pressure on the government in Baghdad to expel American forces from the country. White also observed that he did not have sufficient forces in Iraq and any attack on an Iraqi militia that is technically part of the Iraqi Army would produce open warfare within the borders of a country that is technically an ally. If other militias, to include the numerous and well-armed Badr Army, were to join in the attacks on U.S. bases there would be no way to defend them.

The order is a compromise due to strong disagreements inside the Trump administration over how to punish Iran and its proxy Iraqi militias. Pompeo and O’Brien see the coronavirus, which has hit Iran hard, as an opportunity to destroy the militias while Iran is in no position to react. Per the New York Times, Esper approved the planning only to create options for dealing with Iraq and Iran based on the possibility that attacks against U.S. forces will increase. So far, Donald Trump has warned that Iran or a proxy militia is planning a “sneak attack” on American bases in Iraq and has stated that Iran itself would “pay a very heavy price” if it were carried out. Nevertheless, the president has only agreed to letting the planning continue, though he has also threatened to “go up the food chain,” implying that he is prepared to attack Iran directly if there is any escalation against American troops.

Pompeo and O’Brien, joined by recently appointed Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, have also been promoting a more serious endeavor, namely attacking Iran without warning and without any pretext while it is in its weakened state from the health crisis. Pompeo, O’Brien and Grenell argued that a direct attack on Iran, possibly to include hitting its naval vessels, would so weaken the regime over its inability to defend the country that its leaders would be forced to open negotiations, i.e. to surrender to Washington.

Washington has both increased sanctions and denied medicines to Iran, as well as to Venezuela, to put additional pressure on their governments vis-à-vis the coronavirus pandemic. The Trump Administration has been able to block $5 billion emergency International Monetary Fund loans to both countries while also sending warships to the Caribbean and Persian Gulf to back up the message with force if necessary. The argument being used to punish Venezuela is that it is not clear who represents the legitimate government in the country, whether it is Nicolas Maduro, the president, whom Pompeo has labeled a “drug trafficker,” or Juan Guaido, the aspirant to the position of head of state being promoted by the State Department.

Much of Washington’s maneuvering has been taking place under the radar given the cover provided by the crisis over coronavirus. Venezuela aside, most of the planning has focused on Iran, the Trump White House’s most hated adversary and also, perhaps not coincidentally, the perpetual number one enemy of Israel. In another move, on March 27th, the U.S. State Department’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency has announced approval of an $2.4 billion deal with Israel to buy eight KC-46A Pegasus aerial tankers.

The agreement is the first time the United States has sold actual purpose-built tanker aircraft to Israel. The KC-46A Pegasus can carry 106 tons of fuel to refuel jet fighters and has a range of more than 6,000 miles. It will enable the Israeli Air Force to have sufficient refueling capability to directly attack Iran, its principal regional target. Israel has frequently stated its willingness to attack Iranian nuclear sites and might also exploit the opportunity afforded by the coronavirus and its aftermath to do so.

So, at a time when the American public is clamoring for assurances that everything possible is being done to deal with the coronavirus, some officials in the White House are planning new wars. If one were seeking evidence of just how dysfunctional the Trump Administration is, it would not be necessary to look any further.

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.

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , | 3 Comments

Kissinger says ‘even US’ can’t defeat Covid-19 alone. His solution? Global NWO government, of course

By Helen Buyniski | RT | April 6, 2020

Henry Kissinger, eminence grise of imperial US foreign policy, has warned in an op-ed that no government – even his beloved hegemon – can defeat Covid-19 alone, implying that the New World Order he’s always preached must follow.

If the US doesn’t couple its efforts to rebuild its own economy with the first steps toward creating a global government, humanity is doomed, Kissinger wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed.

“No country, not even the US, can in a purely national effort overcome the virus,” Kissinger warned. “Addressing the necessities of the moment must ultimately be coupled with a global collaborative vision and program.”

“If we cannot do both in tandem, we will face the worst of each.”

Kissinger laments that the pandemic has led to the return of a “walled city” model of nationalist governance, suggesting that “exploration at the frontiers of science” alone can save humanity from disease in his vision of a globalist utopia. But developing cures takes time, and the notion that countries should be discouraged from protecting themselves in the interim is suicidal. If anything, one of the reasons Italy, Spain, and France were hit so hard by coronavirus was the EU’s dysfunctional insistence on open borders amid the pandemic.

“Global trade and movement of people” are all well and good, but the pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of the globalist system like never before. It will take years for nations to rebuild, and repeating their mistakes is not something they can afford to do.

While serving as Secretary of State and National Security Adviser under presidents Nixon and Ford, Kissinger played a starring role in bombing campaigns against Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos and oversaw regime-change operations that placed brutal dictators in power in Argentina and Chile, as well as supporting state-sanctioned repression in Indonesia. A notorious report he penned for the Ford administration called for dramatic reductions in population growth across developing nations. One might think, given his record, that he’d be on the side of the virus.

But the Nobel Peace Prize recipient is here presenting himself as an experienced statesman who deeply cares about the future of humanity, calling on the US to “draw lessons from the development of the Marshall Plan and the Manhattan Project.” Sure, revisiting the Marshall Plan makes sense – there are no doubt insights to be gained from revisiting the rebuilding of Europe’s shattered post-war economies, especially since some of the countries hit hardest by the epidemic are in Europe.

But the Manhattan Project? How does a top-secret, international doomsday project that produced weapons with unparalleled killing potential have any bearing on the coronavirus crisis?

Listening to Kissinger, it must be said, is what got the US into its current situation – believing itself exceptional, distrusting all world powers who do not swear abject fealty to it, repeating the same failed policies to the point of parody. A looming presence in the George W. Bush administration, Kissinger advised the country to plunge headfirst into the ever-expanding War on Terror, penning an editorial in the days following 9/11 that called for taking on “any government that shelters groups capable of this kind of attack.” Following such guidance has bankrupted the US and turned it into a banana republic, printing money frantically while its roads and bridges crumble, its citizens struggle to keep a roof over their heads, and the international community looks on, mouths agape, as its government continues to lecture them about human rights.

Kissinger concludes his jeremiad with a warning that “failure [to safeguard the principles of the liberal world order] could set the world on fire.” If, as he himself writes, the “purpose of the legitimate state is to provide for the fundamental needs of the people: security, order, economic well-being, and justice,” those principles collapsed long ago. The US’ first step, post-pandemic, should be to put out the fires set by Kissinger and those like him who seek to cloak empire in the rhetoric of liberal democracy.

Helen Buyniski is an American journalist and political commentator at RT. Follow her on Twitter @velocirapture23

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | | 3 Comments

Trump proclaims national day honoring racist rabbi, Menachem Schneerson

President Trump proclaiming Education and Sharing Day 2018. (Photo Credit: The White House)
By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | April 6, 2020

President Donald Trump recently proclaimed April 3rd “Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A,” a national day to “celebrate Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe.”

The proclamation called upon “all government officials, educators, volunteers, and all the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.”

This was not the first such proclamation. For 42 years presidents from both parties have proclaimed a national day to honor Rabbi Schneerson.

President Barack Obama presents a ceremonial copy of the Education and Sharing Day Proclamation that he issued on March 31, 2015 to a delegation from the American Friends of Lubavitch in the Oval Office, April 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) (ObamaWhiteHouse)

What they probably didn’t know is that some of Schneerson’s lesser-known teachings are extremely problematic on a number of levels. Among other things, they help fuel some of the most violent attacks against Palestinians by extremist Israeli settlers and soldiers.

For example, Schneerson taught that non-Jews were “created to serve the Jews.”

To learn about Schneerson and his teachings, read the following article that I wrote six years ago, when Barack Obama played his role in the yearly tribute.

Please note that the information in the article comes largely from Jewish and Israeli sources. A list of the sources used in the article is provided below it.

The main source, Israel Shahak, was a respected Israeli professor who had been praised by Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Edward Said, Columbia Professor and public intellectual; and diverse others.

It is my feeling that all Americans should know the facts reported below. Year after year after year, American citizens are being told to honor Rabbi Schneerson. We need to know what The Rebbe taught, consider the implications for us and for others, and decide for ourselves whether we agree with the annual decree that we celebrate his views.

***

Why is the US Honoring a Racist Rabbi?

By Alison Wier | CounterPunch | April 7, 2014

If things proceed normally, President Barak Obama will soon proclaim April 11, 2014 “Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A.” Despite the innocuous name, this day honors the memory of a religious leader whose lesser-known teachings help fuel some of the most violent attacks against Palestinians by extremist Israeli settlers and soldiers.

The leader being honored on this day is Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, charismatic head of a mystical/fundamentalist version of Judaism. Every year since 1978, a Presidential Proclamation, often accompanied by a Congressional Resolution (the 1990 one had 219 sponsors), has declared Schneerson’s birthday an official national day of observance.

Congress first passed a Resolution honoring Schneerson in 1975. Three years later a Joint Congressional Resolution called on President Jimmy Carter to proclaim “Education Day, U.S.A.” on the anniversary of Schneerson’s birth. The idea was to set aside a day to honor both education and the alleged educational work of Schneerson and the religious sect he headed up.

Carter, like Congress, dutifully obeyed the Schneerson-initiated resolution, as has every president since.  And some individual states are now enacting their own observances of Schneerson’s birthday, with Minnesota and Alabama leading the way.

Schneerson and his movement are an extremely mixed bag.

Schneerson has been praised widely for a public persona and organization that emphasized “deep compassion and insight,” worked to bring many secular Jews “back” into the fold, created numerous schools around the world, and had offered, in the words of the Jewish Virtual Library, “social-service programs and humanitarian aid to all people, regardless of religious affiliation or background.”

However, there is also a less attractive underside often at odds with such public perceptions. And some of the more extreme parts of Schneerson’s teachings – such as that Jews are a completely different species than non-Jews, and that non-Jews exist only to serve Jews – have been largely hidden, it appears, even from many who consider themselves his followers.

As we will see, such views profoundly impact the lives of Palestinians living – and dying – under Israeli occupation and military invasions.

Who was Rabbi Schneerson?

Schneerson lived from 1902 to 1994 and oversaw the growth of what is now the largest Jewish organization in the world. The religious movement he led is known as “Chabad-Lubavitch,” (sometimes just called “Lubavitch” or “Chabad,” the name of its organizational arm). Schneerson was the seventh and final Lubavitcher “Rebbe” (sacred leader). He is often simply called “the Rebbe.”

Founded in the late 1700s and originally based in the Polish-Russian town of Lubavitch, it is the largest of about a dozen forms of “Hasidism,” a version of Orthodox Judaism connected to mysticism, characterized by devotion to a dynastic leader, and whose adherents often wear distinctive clothing. (Spellings of these terms can vary; Hasid is also written as Hassid, Chasid, etc.)

There is an extreme cult of personality focused on Schneerson himself. Some followers consider him the Messiah, and Schneerson himself reportedly sometimes implied this was true. Some Lubavitch educators consider him divine, making such claims as, “the Rebbe is actually ‘the essence and being [of God] … he is without limits, capable of effecting anything, all-knowing and a proper object of worshipful prostration.”

While many secular Jews and Jews from other denominations disagree with its actions and theology, Chabad-Lubavitch is generally acknowledged to be a powerful force in Jewish life today. According to a 1994 New York Times report, it is “one of the most influential and controversial forces in world Jewry.”

There are approximately 3,600 Chabad institutions in over 1,000 cities in 70 countries, and 200,000 adherents. Up to a million people attend Chabad services at least once a year. Numerous campuses have such centers and the Chabad website states that hundreds of thousands of children attend Chabad summer camps.

According to the Times, Schneerson “presided over a religious empire that reached from the back streets of Brooklyn to the main streets of Israel and by 1990 was taking in an estimated $100 million a year in contributions.

In the U.S., the Times reports, Schneerson’s “‘mitzvah tanks’ – converted campers that are rolling recruiting stations whose purpose is to draw Jews to the Lubavitch way – roamed streets from midtown Manhattan to Crown Heights. And the Lubavitchers’ Brooklyn-based publishing house claimed to be the world’s largest distributor of Jewish books.”

Non-Jewish souls ‘satanic’

While Chabad sometimes openly teaches that “the soul of the Jew is different than the soul of the non-Jew,” Schneerson’s specific teachings on this subject are largely unknown.

Quite likely very few Americans, both Jews and non-Jews, are aware of Schneerson’s teachings about the alleged deep differences between them – and about how these teachings are applied in the West Bank and Gaza.

Let us look at Schneerson’s words, as quoted by two respected Jewish professors, Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky, in their book Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel (text available online here. This book, praised by Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, and many others is essential reading for anyone who truly wishes to understand modern day Israel-Palestine. (Brackets in the quotes below are in the translations by Shahak and Mezvinsky.)

Some of Schneerson’s rarely reported teachings:

“The difference between a Jewish and a non-Jewish person stems from the common expression: “Let us differentiate.” Thus, we do not have a case of profound change in which a person is merely on a superior level. Rather, we have a case of “let us differentiate” between totally different species.”

“This is what needs to be said about the body: the body of a Jewish person is of a totally different quality from the body of [members] of all nations of the world … The difference in the inner quality between Jews and non-Jews is “so great that the bodies should be considered as completely different species.”

“An even greater difference exists in regard to the soul. Two contrary types of soul exist, a non-Jewish soul comes from three satanic spheres, while the Jewish soul stems from holiness.”

“As has been explained, an embryo is called a human being, because it has both body and soul. Thus, the difference between a Jewish and a non-Jewish embryo can be understood.”

“…the general difference between Jews and non-Jews: A Jew was not created

as a means for some [other] purpose; he himself is the purpose, since the substance of all [divine] emanations was created only to serve the Jews.”

“The important things are the Jews, because they do not exist for any [other] aim; they themselves are [the divine] aim.”

“The entire creation [of a non-Jew] exists only for the sake of the Jews.”

Most people don’t know about this aspect of Schneerson’s teaching because, according to Shahak and Mezvinsky, such teachings are intentionally minimized, mistranslated, or
hidden entirely.

For example, the quotes above were translated by the authors from a book of Schneerson’s recorded messages to followers that was published in Israel in 1965. Despite Schneerson’s global importance and the fact that his world headquarters is in the U.S., there has never been an English translation of this volume.

Shahak, an Israeli professor who was a survivor of the Nazi holocaust, writes that this lack of translation of an important work is not unusual, explaining that much critical information about Israel and some forms of Judaism is available only in Hebrew.

He and co-author Mezvinsky, who was a Connecticut Distinguished University Professor who taught at Central Connecticut State University, write, “The great majority of the books on Judaism and Israel, published in English especially, falsify their subject matter.”

According to Shahak and Mezvinsky, “Almost every moderately sophisticated Israeli Jew knows the facts about Israeli Jewish society that are described in this book. These facts, however, are unknown to most interested Jews and non-Jews outside Israel who do not know Hebrew and thus cannot read most of what Israeli Jews write about themselves in Hebrew.”

In Shahak’s earlier book, Jewish Religion, Jewish History, he provides a number of examples. In one, he describes a 1962 book published in Israel in a bilingual edition. The Hebrew text was on one page, with the English translation on the facing page.

Shahak describes one set of facing pages in which the Hebrew text of a major Jewish code of laws contained a command to exterminate Jewish infidels: “It is a duty to exterminate them with one’s own hands.” The English version on the facing page softened it to “It is a duty to take active measures to destroy them.’”

The Hebrew page then went on to name which “infidels” must be exterminated, adding “may the name of the wicked rot.” Among them was Jesus of Nazareth. The facing page with the English translation failed to tell any of this.

“Even more significant,” Shahak reports, “in spite of the wide circulation of this book among scholars in the English-speaking countries, not one of them has, as far as I know, protested against this glaring deception.”

Praised by Said, Chomsky, etc., Shahak is almost unknown today

This pattern of selective omission, it seems, applies to Shahak himself, whose work is largely unknown to Palestine activists today, even though he was considered a major figure in the struggle against Israeli oppression of Palestinians, and his work was praised by diverse writers.

While Shahak was alive, Noam Chomsky called him “an outstanding scholar,” and said he had “remarkable insight and depth of knowledge. His work is informed and penetrating, a contribution of great value.”

Edward Said wrote, “Shahak is a very brave man who should be honored for his services to humanity … One of the most remarkable individuals in the contemporary Middle East.” Said wrote a forward for Shahak’s Jewish History, Jewish Religion.

Catholic New Times said: ‘This is a remarkable book …[It] deserves a wide readership, not only among Jews, but among Christians who seek a fuller understanding both of historical Judaism and of modern-day Israel.”

Jewish Socialist stated: “Anyone who wants to change the Jewish community so that it stops siding with the forces of reaction should read this book.”

The London Review of Books called Shahak’s book “remarkable, powerful, and provocative.”

Yet, very few Americans today know of Shahak’s work and the information it contains.

American tax money & Jewish Extremism in Palestine

If they did, it’s hard to believe that Americans would allow $8.5 million per day of their tax money to be given to Israel, where such teachings underlie a powerful minority that is disproportionately influential in governmental actions.

Nor is it likely that a fully informed American public would allow donations to religious institutions in Israel that teach supremacist, sometimes violent doctrines to be tax-deductible in the U.S.

One organization raised over $10 million tax-deductible dollars in the U.S. in 2011 alone – removing money from the U.S. economy and enabling illegal, aggressive Israeli settlements in Palestine. And some of this money went to benefit individuals convicted of murder – including the murderer of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

The New York Times obituary on Schneerson reported that Schneerson was “a major political force in Israel, both in the Knesset and among the electorate,” but failed to describe the nature of his impact.

One of a sprinkling of writers willing to publicly discuss Shahak and Mezvinsky’s findings is Allan Brownfeld, who is less reticent. Brownfeld is editor of the American Council for Judaism’s periodical Issues and contributor to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

In a review of Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel, Brownfeld describes Schneerson’s views on Israel:

“Rabbi Schneerson always supported Israeli wars and opposed any retreat. In 1974 he strongly opposed the Israeli withdrawal from the Suez area. He promised Israel divine favors if it persisted in occupying the land.”

Brownfeld reports that after Schneerson’s death, “[T]housands of his Israeli followers played an important role in the election victory of Binyamin Netanyahu. Among the religious settlers in the occupied territories, the Chabad Hassids constitute one of the most extreme groups. Baruch Goldstein, the mass murderer of Palestinians, was one of them.”

Another such Chabad Hassid is Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg (also sometimes written as “Ginzburg” and “Ginsburgh”), who studied under Schneerson in Crown Heights and who heads up a major Chabad institution in the West Bank.

Ginsburg praised Goldstein, the murderer of 29 Palestinians while they were praying, and considers all non-Jews subhuman.

According to author Motti Inbari, Ginsburg “gives prominence to Halachic and Kabbalistic approaches that emphasize the distinction between Jew and non-Jew (Gentile), imposing a clear separation and hierarchy in this respect.”

In his book Jewish Fundamentalism and the Temple Mount: Who Will Build the Third Temple? Inbari states, “[Ginsburg] claims that while the Jews are the Chosen People and were created in God’s image, the Gentiles do not have this status and are effectively considered subhuman.”

Professor Inbari, an Israeli academic who now teaches in the U.S., writes that Ginsburg’s theological approach continues “certain perceptions that were popular in medieval times.”

“For example,” Inbari writes, “the commandment ‘You shall not murder’ does not apply to the killing of a Gentile, since ‘you shall not murder’ relates to the murder of a human, while for him the Gentiles do not constitute humans.”

Inbari reports, “Similarly, Ginzburg stated that, on the theoretical level, if a Jew requires a liver transplant to survive, it would be permissible to seize a Gentile and take their liver forcefully.”

While the mainstream American press almost never reports this kind of information, an April 26, 1996 article in Jewish Week by Lawrence Cohler reported on Ginsburg’s teachings, including their problematic roots in Jewish texts.

Cohler reported that a professor of Bible at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Rabbi Moshe Greenberg, “called for radically revising Jewish thinking about some Jewish texts on the grounds that scholars such as Rabbi Ginsburgh are far from aberrant in their use of them.”

Cohler quoted Greenberg’s concerns:  “‘There’ll be a statement in Talmud… made in circumstances where it’s purely theoretical, because Jews then never had the power to do it,’ he explained. And now, he said, ‘It’s carried over into circumstances where Jews have a state and are empowered.’”

A rabbi associated with Ginsburg coauthored a notorious Israeli book, The King’s Torah, which claims that Jewish law at times permits the killing of non-Jewish infants. American donations to the Chabad school Ginsburg heads up, and that published the above book, are tax-deductible in the U.S. Ginsburg, who endorses the book, teaches classes throughout Israel, the U.S. and France.

Such extremism is opposed by the majority of Israelis, and major Jewish religious authorities condemn it, a Chief Rabbi, for example, stating: “’According to the Torah, every man is created in God’s image.”

Yet, such extremist views continue to exert a powerful influence.

Israeli military manuals echo extremist teachings: “kill even good civilians”

Israeli military manuals sometimes replicate extremist teachings. For example, a booklet authored by a Chief Chaplain stated, “In war, when our forces storm the enemy, they are allowed and even enjoined by the Halakhah to kill even good civilians…” Such teachings by the IDF rabbinate were prominent during Israel’s 2008-9 attack on Gaza that killed 1,400 Gazans, approximately half of them civilians. (The Palestinian resistance killed nine Israelis during this “war.”)

Chicago writer Stephen Lendman has described these teachings, giving a number of examples.

Lendman writes, “In 2007, Israel’s former chief rabbi, Mordechai Elyahu, called for the Israeli army to mass-murder Palestinians:

“If they don’t stop after we kill 100, then we must kill 1000. And if they don’t stop after 1000, then we must kill 10,000. If they still don’t stop we must kill 100,000. Even a million.”

Lendman reports that some extremist Israeli rabbis teach that “the ten commandments don’t apply to non-Jews. So killing them in defending the homeland is acceptable, and according to the chairman of the Jewish Rabbinic Council:

“‘There is no such thing as enemy civilians in war time. The law of our Torah is to have mercy on our soldiers and to save them…. A thousand non-Jewish lives are not worth a Jew’s fingernail.’”

Lendman writes, “Rabbi David Batsri called Arabs ‘a blight, a devil, a disaster…. donkeys, and we have to ask ourselves why God didn’t create them to walk on all fours. Well, the answer is that they are needed to build and clean.’”

Another such rabbi is Manis Friedman, a Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi inspired by Schneerson who served as the simultaneous translator for a series of Schneerson’s talks. (Friedman is currently dean of a Jewish Studies institute in Minnesota.)

A 2009 article in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports, “Like the best Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis, Manis Friedman has won the hearts of many unaffiliated Jews with his charismatic talks about love and God; it was Friedman who helped lead Bob Dylan into a relationship with Chabad.

“But Friedman, who today travels the country as a Chabad speaker, showed a less warm and cuddly side when he was asked how he thinks Jews should treat their Arab neighbors.”

In Moment magazine’s article, “Ask the Rabbis // How Should Jews Treat Their Arab Neighbors?” Friedman answered:

“I don’t believe in western morality, i.e. don’t kill civilians or children, don’t destroy holy sites, don’t fight during holiday seasons, don’t bomb cemeteries, don’t shoot until they shoot first because it is immoral.

“The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle).”

Lendman reports, “Views like these aren’t exceptions. Though a minority, they proliferate throughout Israeli society…”

They also, Lendman notes, work to prevent peace in Israel-Palestine.

Shahak and Mezvinsky note that when the book containing Schneerson’s statements quoted above about Jews and non-Jews was published in Israel, he was allied to the Labor Party and his movement had been provided “many important benefits” from the Israeli government.

In the mid-1970s Schneerson decided that the Labor Party was too moderate and shifted his support to the more right-wing parties in power today. The authors report, “Ariel Sharon was the Rebbe’s favorite Israeli senior politician. Sharon in turn praised the Rebbe publicly and delivered a moving speech about him in the Knesset after the Rebbe’s death.”

Roots in Some Early Texts

Brownfeld decries the fact that few Americans are properly informed about the fundamentalist movement in Israel “and the theology upon which it is based.”

He notes that Jewish Americans, in particular, are often unaware of the “narrow ethnocentrism which is promoted by the movement’s leading rabbis, or of the traditional Jewish sources they are able to call upon in drawing clear distinctions between the moral obligations owed to Jews and non-Jews.”

Teachings that Jews are superior and gentiles inferior were contained in some of the earliest Hassidic texts, including its classic text, “Tanya,” still taught today.

Brownfeld quotes statements by “the revered father of the messianic tendency of Jewish fundamentalism,” Rabbi Kook the Elder, and states that these were derived from earlier texts. [Kook, incidentally, was also an early Zionist, who helped push for the Balfour Declaration in England before moving to Palestine. He was the uncle of Hillel Kook, an agent who went by the name “Peter Bergson” and created front groups in the U.S. for a violent Zionist guerilla group that operated in 1930s and ’40s Palestine.]

Brownfeld quotes Kook: “The difference between a Jewish soul and souls of non-Jews—all of them in all different levels—is greater and deeper than the difference between a human soul and the souls of cattle.”

Brownfeld explains that Kook’s teaching, which he says is followed by leaders of the settler movement in the occupied West Bank, “is based upon the Lurianic Cabbala, the school of Jewish mysticism that dominated Judaism from the late 16th to the early 19th century.”

Shahak and Mezvinsky state, “One of the basic tenets of the Lurianic Cabbala is the absolute superiority of the Jewish soul and body over the non-Jewish soul and body. According to the Lurianic Cabbala, the world was created solely for the sake of Jews; the existence of non-Jews was subsidiary.”

Again, Shahak and Mezvinsky report that this aspect is often covered up in English-language discussions. Scholarly authors of books about Jewish mysticism and the Lurianic Cabbala, they write, have frequently “willfully omitted reference to such ideas.”

Shahak and Mezvinsky write that it is essential to understand these beliefs in order to understand the current situation in the West Bank, where many of the most militant West Bank settlers are motivated by religious ideologies in which every non-Jew is seen as “the earthly embodiment” of Satan, and according to the Halacha (Jewish law), the term ‘human beings’ refers solely to Jews.”

Israeli author and former chief of Israeli military intelligence Yehoshafat Harkabi touches on this in his 1988 book Israel’s Fateful Hour.

Harkabi writes that while such extremist beliefs are not “widely dominant,” the reality is that “nationalistic religious extremists are by no means a lunatic fringe; many are respected men whose words are widely heeded.”

He reports that the campus rabbi of a major Israeli university published an article in the student newspaper entitled “The Commandment of Genocide in the Torah,” in which he implied that those who have a quarrel with Jews “ought to be destroyed, children and all.” Harkabi writes that a book by another rabbi “explained that the killing of a non-Jew is not considered murder.”

Brownfeld writes, “Although messianic fundamentalists constitute a relatively small portion of the Israeli population [most Israeli settlers are motivated by the subsidized lifestyle US tax money to Israel provides], their political influence has been growing. If they have contempt for non-Jews, their hatred for Jews who oppose their views is even greater.”

Brownfeld cites the murder of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who had started to make peace with the Palestinians, writing that it was just one “in a long line of murders of Jews who followed a path different from that ordained by rabbinic authorities.” Brownfeld reports that Shahak and Mezvinsky  “cite case after case, from the Middle Ages until the 19th century.”

The authors report, “It was usual in some Hasidic circles until the last quarter of the nineteenth century to attack and often to murder Jews who had reform religious tendencies…”

They quote a long article by Israeli writer Rami Rosen, “History of a Denial,” published by Ha’aretz Magazine in 1996. This article, which cannot be found online, at least in English, is also cited in the book Brother Against Brother: Violence and Extremism in Israeli Politics from Altalena to the Rabin Assassination, by Israeli professor Ehud Sprinzak.

In his Ha’aretz article Rosen reported: “A check of main facts of the [Jewish] historiography of the last 1500 years shows that the picture is different from the one previously shown to us. It includes massacres of Christians; mock repetitions of the crucifixion of Jesus that usually took place on Purim; cruel murders within the family; liquidation of informers, often done for religious reasons by secret rabbinical courts, which issued a sentence of ‘pursuer’ and appointed secret executioners; assassinations of adulterous women in synagogues and/or the cutting of their noses by command of the rabbis.”

While Rosen’s article may seem shocking, in reality, it simply shows that members of the Jewish population, like members of Christian, Muslim, Hindu, and diverse other populations, have at times committed atrocities, sometimes allegedly in the name of their religion. The difference, as Shahak and Mezvinsky point out, is that such information is largely covered up in the U.S. Such cover-ups, however, don’t make facts go away. They merely bury them, where they smolder and at times eventually lead to exaggerated perceptions.

U.S. media rarely report that some extremist Israeli settlers are intensely hostile to Christians, and in one instance threatened peace activists who came to the West Bank to participate in nonviolent demonstrations, “We killed Jesus and we’ll kill you, too.” There is also a record of official hostility. For example, a few years ago an Israeli mayor ordered all New Testaments to be rounded up and burned.

Schneerson’s “schools”

While Schneerson is honored on national “Education” days, the reality is that the elementary schools he created often failed to teach children  “basic reading, writing, spelling, math, science and history,” according to a graduate.

In his article “National Education Day and the Education I Never Had,” Chaim Levin reports on his experience at the Chabad school “Oholei Torah” (Educational Institute Oholei Menachem) in Crown Heights, New York – the site of Chabad’s world headquarters:

“I have profound respect for the late Rebbe and his legacy. However, I remember very clearly those talks that [Schneerson] gave – the ones we studied every year in elementary school about the unimportance of ‘secular’ (non-religious, formal) education, and the great importance of only studying limmudei kodesh (holy studies). As a result of this attitude, thousands of students were not taught anything other than the Bible throughout our years attending Chabad institutions.”

The goal of such schools, Levin writes, was to produce “schluchim,” missionaries who would promote Chabad all over the world.

Meanwhile, he notes, “Failure to provide basic formal education cripples children within Chabad communities. We cannot ignore the harm done…” Levin writes, “Until this day, Oholei Torah and many other Chabad schools — particularly schools for boys and a few for girls in Crown Heights and in some other places — do not provide basic formal education.”

Education and Sharing Day 2014

In his 2000 article, Brownfeld writes that Shahak and Mezvinsky’s book should be “a wake-up call “to Americans, particularly Jewish supporters of Israel.”

Fourteen years later, however, very few people are aware of these books and their powerful information, and U.S. tax money continues to flow to Israel. The main author, Israel Shahak, is now dead, as is Edward Said; Noam Chomsky rarely, if ever, mentions him; and Shahak’s co-author, Norton Mezvinsky (uncle of Chelsea Clinton’s husband), is a member of a Lubavitch congregation in New York.

In many ways, little seems to have changed since 1994, when Congressmen Charles Schumer, Newt Gingrich, and others introduced legislation to bestow on Schneerson the Congressional Gold Medal. The bill passed both Houses by unanimous consent, honoring Schneerson for his “outstanding and lasting contributions toward improvements in world education, morality, and acts of charity.”

And in two weeks, Americans will be officially called on to observe a day that honors Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson and the Lubavitcher movement.

That is, unless masses of people contact their Congressional representatives to demand a whole new direction: a “National Education and Sharing Day” that honors an individual who values education, and who believes that all people – in the words of the Declaration of Independence – are created equal.

Works Cited

“About Chabad-Lubavitch.” Judaism, Torah and Jewish Info – Chabad Lubavitch. N.p., n.d. Web.

Barillas, Martin. “US Court Finds That Chabad Can Sue for the Return of Precious Archives Held by Russia.” The Cutting Edge News. N.p., 23 June 2008. Web.

Blau, Uri. “From New York to Hebron: The American Treasury’s Support for Jewish Settlements in the West Bank.” Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. Harvard University, 26 Sept. 2013. Web. 03 Apr. 2014.

Brownfeld, Allan C. “Book Review: Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs Mar. 2000: 105-06. Web. 31 Mar. 2014.

“Chabad Worldwide Genealogy Project.” Geni_family_tree. Geni, n.d. Web. 02 Apr. 2014.

Cohler, Lawrence. “Hero Or Racist? Are Jewish Lives Really More Valuable than Non-Jewish Ones?” Jewish Week [New York] 16 Apr. 1996: 12+. Print.

Cowell, Alan. “AN ISRAELI MAYOR IS UNDER SCRUTINY.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 05 June 1989. Web.

“David Hartman: The Rise of Extremism and the Decline of Reason.” YouTube. Shalom Hartman Institute, 09 Mar. 2009. Web. Apr.-May 2014.

“Ehud Sprinzak, 62; Studied Israel Far Right.” The New York Times. Associated Press, 12 Nov. 2002. Web.

Eldar, Akiva. “U.S. Tax Dollars Fund Rabbi Who Excused Killing Gentile Babies Read More: http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/akiva-eldar-u-s-tax-dollars-fund-rabbi-who-excused-killing-gentile-babies-1.2137.” Ha’aretz [Israel] 15 Dec. 2009: n. pag. Web.

Estrin, Daniel. “The King’s Torah: A Rabbinic Text or a Call to Terror?” Haaretz.com. N.p., 22 Jan. 2010. Web.

Friedman, Manis. “Ask the Rabbis // How Should Jews Treat Their Arab Neighbors?” Moment Magazine. N.p., May-June 2009. Web.

Goldman, Ari L. “Rabbi Schneerson Led A Small Hasidic Sect To World Prominence.” New York Times 13 June 1994, US Edition ed., N.Y./Region sec.: n. pag. Print.

Group, ISM Media. “Swedish Human Rights Worker Viciously Attacked by Jewish Extremists in Hebron.” International Solidarity Movement. N.p., 18 Nov. 2006. Web.

Harkabi, Yehoshafat. Israel’s Fateful Hour. New York: Harper & Row, 1989. Print.

Heilman, Samuel C., and Menachem Friedman. The Rebbe: The Life and Afterlife of Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2012. Print.

Inbari, Motti. Jewish Fundamentalism and the Temple Mount: Who Will Build the Third Temple? Albany: State U of New York, 2009. Print. Translated by Shaul Vardi

Lendman, Stephen. “Religious Fundamentalism in Israel.” OpEdNews. N.p., 12 Aug. 2009. Web.

Levin, Chaim. “National Education Day and the Education I Never Had.” The Huffington Post. N.p., 04 Apr. 2012. Web.

Likshin, Martin I. “Chabad Messianism.” My Jewish Learning. N.p., 17 Jan. 2002. Web. 02 Apr. 2014.

Mezvinsky, Norton, and Israel Shahak. Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel. London: Pluto, 2015. Print.

Novak, David. “The Man-Made Messiah.” First Things. InstituInstitute on Religion and Public Lifete on Religion and Public Life, 2014. Web. 03 Apr. 2014.

Odenheimer, Natan. “The Kabbalist Who Would Be King of a New Jewish Monarchy in Israel.” The Forward. N.p., 14 Oct. 2016. Web. 03 Mar. 2017. (Article on Rabbi Ginsburgh published in 2016)

“Orthodox Judaism.” Lubavitch and Chabad. Jewish Virtual Library, n.d. Web. 02 Apr. 2014.

Popper, Nathaniel. “Popular Rabbi’s Comments on Treatment of Arabs Show a Different Side of Chabad.” The Forward. N.p., 03 June 2009. Web.

“Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.” Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson| Jewish Virtual Library. Jewish Virtual Library, 13 June 1994. Web. 02 Apr. 2014.

“A Rabbinate Gone Wild.” Ha’aretz [Israel] 27 Jan. 2009: n. pag. Print. Ha’aretz Editorial

“Rabbis in the Caucus Room?” Lubavitch Archives | Article. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.

Shahak, Israe͏̈l, and Gore Vidal. Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years. London: Pluto, 2008. Print.

Shahak, Israel, and Norton Mezvinsky. “Full Text of “Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel”.” Full Text of “Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel”. Archive.org, n.d. Web.

Sprinzak, Ehud. Brother Against Brother: Violence and Extremism in Israeli Politics from Altalena to the Rabin Assassination. New York, NY: Free, 1999. Print.

The Tanya of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, Elucidated by Rabbi Yosef WinebergPublished and Copyrighted by Kehot Publication Society. “The Tanya Chapter 1.” Chabad.org. N.p., n.d. Web.

Torossian, Ronn. “The First Jewish Start-Up Nation ? Chabad: Marketing Genius.” Jewocity.com. N.p., 07 June 2012. Web. 03 Apr. 2014.

“Vintage Satellite Footage Promotes Web Event.” Jewish Educational Media. N.p., 8 Apr. 2011. Web.

Wagner, Matthew. “Netanyahu’s UN Speech Inspired by The Rebbe.” Chabad Lubavitch of Alberta. Jerusalem Post, n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2014.

Weir, Alison. Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel. Charleston, NC: CreateSpace, 2014. Print.

Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew and president of the Council for the National Interest. Her book, Against Our Better Judgment: How the U.S. was used to create Israel, contains additional information on Rabbi Kook’s family connection to American front groups for Israeli terrorists.

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

A Simple Democratic Transition Framework For Venezuela: End All Sanctions

By Nino Pagliccia | One World | April 4, 2020

Here is an idea how the US can help a real democratic transition framework in Venezuela: end all “sanctions” unconditionally, return to Venezuela all properties seized so Venezuelans can get on with their productive lives to restart the economy, and call on the radical Venezuelan opposition to peacefully and democratically participate in the political life of the country.

On March 31, the US Secretary of State issued a press statement proposing a “pathway” by which all Venezuelans would live happily ever after, at least that is what Mike Pompeo seems to wish. He “call[s] on all Venezuelans, whether military or civilian, young or old, of all ideological tendencies and party affiliations, to consider this framework carefully and seriously.” The 13-point document was posted on the US State Department website with the title “Democratic Transition Framework for Venezuela”. Let’s take a serious look at it.

General Observations

An initial major observation can be made even before reading the 13 paragraphs. If this is a proposal meant as a recommendation to resolve an impasse between parties, it will not accomplish its goal because no “serious” proposal can be made unilaterally and much less by a non-friendly government. In the recent past, attempts at international mediation have been flatly dismissed by Washington, suggesting US preference for unilateral political and other interests vis-à-vis Venezuela.

A second related general observation – that shouldn’t even need to be explained – must be made about the fact that Venezuela is a sovereign country. All other governments should stay out unless the legitimate government of the country makes a specific request. More than 120 governments recognise the Maduro government as legitimate, including the United Nations.

The title is also controversial. Unless what’s meant by “transition” is peacefully resolving a conflict, which is what the Maduro government has been asking of the extreme right-wing opposition for years, there is no other transition to be considered. As for “democratic”, the notion used by Washington has lost its real meaning over time, especially when it comes to regime change aspirations.

Those three observations alone would have been enough to suggest that this plan was a foolish decision to make. In fact, it is a non-starter, but for the sake of completion, let’s take a look at some of the 13 points.

After a review, we noticed that there are seven mentions of lifting “sanctions” at different steps if they are followed according to the “framework”. The author has already referred to the inappropriate use of the word “sanctions” in general. Its use in this context confirms that they are intended to be “a penalty for disobedience”. The preferred denomination is unilateral coercive measures.

What is Venezuela supposed to do in order for the US administration to remove the “penalty for disobedience”? In short, Venezuela is asked to break its 1999 constitution while it is trampled upon during the “transition”, accept the Monroe Doctrine, open its doors to neoliberal policies, and give up its self-determination.

The “Democratic Transition” Breaks The Constitutional Order

For instance, the first point in part asks for, “Full return of the National Assembly (AN)…National Constituent Assembly (ANC) is dissolved.” This is basically asking a) to legitimise an AN that was in contempt for forcing illegal membership; b) to reinstate Juan Guaidó as the speaker disregarding the election that took place last January when he refused to participate; and c) break the constitution by dissolving the constitutionally elected ANC.

Point number 5 requires the AN to approve a “Council of State” Law, “which creates a Council of State that becomes the executive branch”. But this is already being done. In fact, on March 31, President Nicolas Maduro attended the constitutional Council of State in order to deal with “a new imperial onslaught in the middle of the combat with the Covid-19” and to provide advice to the national government according to Articles 251 and 252 of the Venezuelan Constitution.

Point number 6 gives another example where the constitutional order must be broken during the “transition”. It states, “All of the powers assigned to the President by the Constitution will be vested exclusively in the Council of State.” Article 251 establishes, “The Council of State is the highest consulting body of the Government and the National Public Administration.” It does not take on the powers of the president.

The “Democratic Transition” Enforces The Monroe Doctrine

This is made clear in a very short paragraph as the third point of the plan. “All foreign security forces depart immediately unless authorized by 3/4 vote of the AN.” US President James Monroe of 19th-century “Monroe Doctrine” fame must have applauded from his tomb together with all other US presidents that followed who have made similar requests to all Latin American countries at one time or another. This is a reference to the presence of Cuban security advisors and health professionals, but also likely to the close Moscow-Caracas relationship since Hugo Chavez was president to this day with President Maduro. Russian military personnel have been engaged in training of Venezuelan Armed Forces in the use and maintenance of weapons, as well as joint military exercises.

The “Democratic Transition” Opens The Door To Neoliberal Policies

Here we quote point 9 in full: “The international community provides humanitarian, electoral, governance, development, security, and economic support, with special initial focus on medical care system, water and electricity supply. Existing social welfare programs, now to be supplemented with international support, must become equally accessible to all Venezuelan citizens. Negotiations begin with World Bank, IMF, and Inter-American Development Bank for major programs of support.” This does not require any further explanation except to emphasise that Venezuela’s self-determination will be lost.

The happy ending according to Washington’s script of this political play or farce to be performed in Caracas is that “presidential and AN elections are held” in 6-12 months, but this is a play that is not produced in Venezuela. In fact, Venezuelans will not be participants and protagonists in this play, as is their constitutional right now. They will be reduced to performing minor roles in a corner of the US’ “backyard” of Latin America.

The Venezuelan government has predictably rejected the US plan. Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza stated publicly to Mike Pompeo, “decisions in Venezuela are made in Caracas.” The US must have been ready for that reaction because the day after making the “democratic transition” plan public, it deployed warships off the coast of Venezuela supposedly to “protect American people” from the scourge of illegal drugs coming from Venezuela. Never mind that the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime reports that 84% of cocaine arrives to the US via Guatemala by the Eastern Pacific and not by the Caribbean.

Here is an idea how the US can help a real democratic transition framework in Venezuela: end all “sanctions” unconditionally, return to Venezuela all properties seized so Venezuelans can get on with their productive lives to restart the economy, and call on the radical Venezuelan opposition to peacefully and democratically participate in the political life of the country.

Nino Pagliccia is a Venezuelan-Canadian freelance writer and activist.

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Corona’s Biggest Victim Is Yet to Come. The EU Itself. But Don’t Worry, Top Officials Are Talking to Albania

By Martin Jay | Strategic Culture Foundation | April 6, 2020

Will the European Union itself become the first real institutional victim of corona? It seems that the warning signs are already there as we see genuine anger and vitriol across the 27-nation bloc from people of all walks of life, who fall victim to the 21st century plague.

What Corona has re-impounded is the uselessness of the EU, its impotence and delusional idiocy and above all its futility. Even those across Europe who believed passionately in the bloc, now see it for what it is. In the words of the Serbian president, “a fairy tale”.

Need convincing? Just look at how the European Commission president is so enfeebled that she can’t even unveil any kind of rescue plan, either for those infected or for the millions who have to suffer, lose their jobs, or small business that go under.

At the end of February, the Commission unveiled a 250m dollar aid package. Oh yes it did. You might have missed it, or didn’t quite see it properly if you didn’t have your reading glasses on, as articles next to it on Google, flanked Spain’s 220 BILLION euro aid package.

But wait. You might be wondering how the European union is able to give 500m euros of its own cash to dictator of a country in Central Africa which has been thrown into turmoil following the same despot’s coup d’état but not manage much for the entire 27-nation bloc as Europeans drop dead like flies.

It’s all about competence. A little known secret, until now, about the EU is how the European Union puts on a great show, by paying cash to EU media giants to subsidise their reports from Brussels, and pretends to the greater public that it has competences and power in areas where, in fact, it doesn’t.

Any Brussels-based hack, worth his weight in Mules and Frites, will tell you that two chief no-go areas which are sacred are health and culture. But don’t let that stop Brussels from blowing billions and billions of euros of taxpayers money on setting up and running a “ghost ministry” in the name of pan-EU healthcare policy. Yes, the EU actually has a directorate of health, run by a Greek called Stella Kyriakidou. But like foreign policy, it’s yet another one of these talk shops which doesn’t actually do anything.

Yes, the European Commission’s own Directorate General of Health is a white elephant, which is why not only have you not heard or seen this Greek lady in front of the media’s spotlights, but the EU also has no real power – and therefore no cash – for healthcare, which is what the corona pandemic would fall under.

So, in short, add ‘health’ to the growing list of competences which the EU claims to have, but in fact are bogus. On that same list, ‘foreign policy’ is a good contender for the top place and yet the EU’s foreign diplomatic service, the EEAS, blows over a billion dollars a year just on keeping 130 odd “diplomatic missions” around the world open. That’s one billion dollars with a ‘b’. And all we have heard from the aged, bumbling Mr Magoo – ‘ol Josep Borrell – about corona is that it is a “global problem”, which he muttered recently in a spammed social media video clip. Is that code for “we can’t really do anything about it. Sorry”?

Of course, Borrell could. He could propose that the 1bn dollars a year blown on his own diplo yaddah yaddah service be diverted to saving Europe’s small businesses. Or jobs. Or face masks. Anything.

But that’s about as likely to happen as Borrell himself, standing up to Donald Trump and defending Iran against crippling, and morally bereft US sanctions. Yet nothing comes from Borrell on this subject. Can Iran assume that the EU has totally abandoned it? And that, in reality, Brussels wasn’t the great architect of the so-called Iran Deal, that is claimed to be? Can Tehran assume, that in its darkest hour, that the EU is simply a cheaper, poorer grovelling cousin of the White House? Yep.

And what about immigration? Could or should that be added to the White Elephant list of non-competences, which EU taxpayers fund, which is failing spectacularly as we witness the total implosion of the so-called Schengen Agreement?

Corona has shown us that the US is not the super power it might like to think it is, as there was no leadership from Trump around the world. It has also shown us how London, Paris and Berlin are helpless when it comes to health crises and that the concept of unity is very limited at best. Presently, what we are seeing is a new war emerging which pitches NATO countries against their foes over face masks. Germany recently lashed out at the US which “confiscated” a shipment of facemasks heading towards Berlin cops; France and Spain are also at loggerheads over a consignment of face masks from a Swedish firm based in Lyon, got swiped by the French government before they could be delivered to Spain which ordered them. Turkey is also in the news for face mask banditry, but this time threatening to nationalise firms which make them on its own turf. While all this kicks off, Trump holds a press conference defending his decision to take face masks from Putin.

But where is the European Union in all this? What is Josep Borrell doing? In fact, celebrating. According to his own twitter Feed we see that the former Spanish FM was self-pleasuring over the news that Albania and Northern Macedonia had got the “green light” to begin accession talks with the EU.

The EU is getting more insular and elitist. It can’t help but think of its own priorities no matter how banal they may seem to outsiders. When countries join the EU, even those on the edge of darkest Europe, this gives EU officials a massive rush, as though expanding the club provides temporary relief to the reality that the building is falling down – like using gasoline to put out a fire, it provides a small flare, a distraction which endears the viewer, while he realises that he’s in the midst of an inferno.

How will the European Union survive this stunning lack of dynamism and misplaced priorities? It’s hard to imagine it will hang on as the lack of any real power or influence is even being picked up by journalists in MENA countries who watch such things carefully. Corona has its own media dynamism which hundreds of millions of euros of cash which MEPs voted should be put aside to “assist” EU media report on the EU, cannot buy.

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Corruption | | Leave a comment