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Is ‘hate-crime’ a media-creation?

By Renee Parsons | OffGuardian | August 22, 2019

As part of Remarks by President Trump on Mass Shootings in Texas and Ohio on August 5th, President Donald Trump announced that.

Today, I am also directing the Department of Justice to propose legislation ensuring that those who commit hate crimes and mass murders face the death penalty, and that this capital punishment be delivered quickly, decisively, and without years of needless delay

Normally it might have been expected that the mainstream media would run with Trump’s support of the death-penalty-for-hate-crimes as proof positive that the man is off his rocker. Instead, the statement garnered barely a flicker of public notice. Did anyone in authority bother to confirm that the shootings were indeed motivated by ‘hate?’

As the mainstream media consistently rush to judgment, speculation too often becomes fact before all the evidence is considered (ie Russiagate) as the MSM is relied on to provide factual and critical background information.

And yet since 65% of the American public believe that the MSM is peddling fake news begs the question of why should detailed reporting on these tragic events be left to a discredited media establishment or that their information on these recent shootings be considered truthful?

Why should the American public trust the MSM for what may have already been determined to be a ‘hate’ crime without providing evidence of the hate – as the Divide and Rule Game continues undeterred sowing division and conflict among the American people.

It remains unclear exactly why either tragedy is being specifically labeled a “hate” crime instead of felony murder as if there is a larger agenda to establish ‘hate’ as a bona fide.

Obviously, such barbaric mass killings are not normal behavior as the rationale for such conduct must stem from some deep emotional depravity just as the epidemic of suicides of young white males who have lost hope in American society makes no more sense.

There is an endemic crisis throughout the country and the political class are responsible. Decades after federal government elimination of grants for community mental health programs, ‘hate’ is the favorite determinant factor as the world’s most violent nation creates a generation of emotionally or mentally unstable young men, many of whom may be on mind-numbing psychiatric drugs.

Since the MSM has failed to inform the American public of advanced mind control practices; perhaps the MSM itself and the young shooters are part of widespread experiment using MK Ultra or other state-of-the-art brain manipulation techniques. How would the American public ever know which might be true?

The 21 year old El Paso shooter was immediately identified  as a right wing Trumper acting on behalf of the President’s “hate” rhetoric and that he had posted an anti-immigration racist tract entitled  An Inconvenient Truth – all of which turned out to be something less than the truth.

Decrying mass immigration as an environmental plea for population control sounds more like something John Muir might have written rather than a hate-filled racist diatribe justifying the slaughter.

Perusing the alleged politically charged manifesto included such statements:

Our lifestyle is destroying the environment of our country… If we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can become more sustainable.

There is, however, a problematic psychiatrist father of uncertain character in the background as the shooter drove 650 miles from his home to El Paso before committing the crime and surrendering to authorities.

On the other hand, the Dayton shooter also defies the usual partisan identity and has been acknowledged as a 24-year old member of the Democratic Socialist Party, a Bernie and Elizabeth Warren supporter and was dressed and masked as an Antifa member at the time of the shooting.  His weapons and ammo magazines appear to have been legally acquired, he had a high school history as a bully who kept a hit list and made violent threats.

Meanwhile,  the Democrats who consider themselves the responsible party on gun control, failed to restore the assault gun ban when they had the votes in 2010 as they prefer fanning the flames of more ‘hate’ by blaming Trump’s loose lips even though the once-revered ACLU does not oppose the Second Amendment.

One wonders that if the El Paso shooter can be tagged with being influenced by Trump rhetoric, did the Dayton shooter receive his inspiration from Antifa or perhaps Elizabeth Warren?   It is too much to expect any rational media voice to inquire – all of which brings us back to the President’s Remarks endorsing the death penalty.

How exactly did this ‘hate’ language make its way into Trump’s remarks as “hate” has become a preoccupation of American society and the Administration as its Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism’s very life purpose is to root out hate – not hate of all kinds but only that of the Jewish variety.

Historically, the American criminal justice system, flawed as it is, requires any jury in a criminal case to consider the Defendant’s level of conscious intent to commit a criminal act as well as the illegality of the act without specificity to the psychological issues of that intent.

Originally, hate crime laws were expected to offer special protection based on an individuals’ sexual orientation, gender, religion, disability or racial identity as perceived by the perpetrator.

In a manner that does not occur in normal criminal proceedings, defining the “hate” component of a crime requires a distinct determination that the defendant’s actions were solely motivated by thoughts of ‘hate.’

In a worse case scenario, is Trump suggesting that the death penalty may be applied to what is determined to be a hate crime even if that crime has not resulted in a death?

The reality is that hate crimes may be difficult to distinguish from a run-of-the-mill felony murder, thereby increasing the hate crime penalty makes little sense since first degree murder is already subject to the death penalty. Therefore, it appears that a redundant death penalty for a crime that would already call for the death penalty is little more than…overkill.

In other words, hate crime prosecution necessarily relies on criminalizing thoughts as the NSA claims it has already developed remote neural monitoring revealing one’s most hidden private thoughts or an iphone may be bugged with implants to reduce impulse control.

Many legal scholars would respond that the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and the Due Process Clause in the Fifth Amendment already provides all American citizens with the guaranteed right to equal protection under the law (ie Brown v. Board of Education and Roe v. Wade) and therefore such hate laws are unnecessary and may be unconstitutional.

Since the Constitution already protects the rights of aggrieved parties, why would Congress initiate an entirely new category of duplicative Hate Crime laws unless they needed the extra legislative accomplishment to justify their existence or to satisfy prominent politically-connected constituencies or to create a nefarious political agenda.

Renee Parsons has been a member of the ACLU’s Florida State Board of Directors and president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, an environmental lobbyist with Friends of the Earth and staff member of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. She can be found on Twitter.

August 22, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | Leave a comment

U.S. To “Drown The World” In Oil

By Nick Cunningham – Oilprice.com – August 21, 2019

The U.S. could “drown the world in oil” over the next decade, which, according to Global Witness, would “spell disaster” for the world’s attempts to address climate change.

The U.S. is set to account for 61 percent of all new oil and gas production over the next decade. A recent report from this organization says that to avoid the worst effects of climate change, “we can’t afford to drill up any oil and gas from new fields anywhere in the world.” This, of course, would quickly cause a global deficit, as the world continues to consume around 100 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil.

Global Witness notes that the industry is not slowing down in the United States, notwithstanding recent spending cuts by independent and financially-strapped oil and gas firms. If anything, the consolidation in the Permian and other shale basins, increasingly led by the oil majors, ensures that drilling will continue at a steady pace for years to come.

It isn’t as if the rest of the world is slowing down either. The global oil industry is set to greenlight $123 billion worth of new offshore oil projects this year, nearly double the $69 billion that moved forward last year, according to Rystad Energy. In fact, while shale drilling has slowed a bit over the past year amid investor skepticism and poor financial returns, offshore projects have begun to pick up pace.

But that trend might turn out to be just a blip. The U.S. is still expected to account of the bulk of new drilling and the vast majority of new production, with much of that coming from shale. Already, the U.S. is the world’s largest producer of both oil and natural gas. And the pace has accelerated in recent years. In 2018, U.S. oil and gas production increased by 16 and 12 percent, respectively. According to the EIA, the U.S. surpassed Russia in terms of gas production in 2011, claiming the top spot, and it surpassed Saudi Arabia in oil production last year.

Going forward, new production from the U.S. will be eight times larger than the next largest source of growth, which is Canada. In fact, the U.S. will add 1.5 times more oil and gas than the rest of the world combined, according to Global Witness.

But because so much drilling in the U.S. is concentrated in a few areas, individual U.S. states on their own tower over the rest of the world. If Texas were a country, it would account for the most new oil and gas production in the world. Between 2020 and 2029, Texas could account for 28 percent of all additional output, Global Witness says.

Canada and Pennsylvania tie for second and third with 7 percent each. Then comes New Mexico at 5 percent of the growth and North Dakota at 4 percent. Oklahoma, Brazil, Colorado, Russia and Ohio are all tied at 3 percent a piece.

In other words, 7 out of the top 10 sources of new oil and gas production globally over the next decade are U.S. states.

“If things don’t change, by the end of the next decade, new oil and gas fields in the US will produce more than twice what Saudi Arabia produces today,” Global Witness said in its report.

This presents a massive challenge. “To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, our analysis shows that global oil and gas production needs to drop by 40% over the next decade. Yet, instead of declining, US oil and gas output is set to rise by 25% over this time, fueled by expansion in new fields,” the report warned.

August 22, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , | Leave a comment

Petitioning Against Climate Alarmism Goes Global

By Larry Bell ~ PA Pundits – International ~ August 21, 2019

A petition being submitted by hundreds of independent climate scientists and professionals from numerous countries to heads of the European Council, Commission and Parliament declares “There is No Climate Emergency.”

Briefly summarized, the request for consideration conveys five urgent messages:

  • Climate change is real and has been occurring with nature-driven cold and warm cycles for as long as the planet has existed.
  • There should be no surprise that the Earth has been warming through natural causes since the last Little Ice Age ended around 1870. Actual temperature increases, however, are far less than predicted by theoretical climate models.
  • There is no real evidence that anthropogenic (human-caused) CO2 emissions are a major or dangerous warming influence. They instead offer great benefits to agriculture, forestry and photosynthesis that is the basis for life.
  • There is also no scientific evidence that increasing CO2 levels are causing more natural disasters. However, CO2-reduction measures do have devastating impacts on wildlife (e.g. wind turbines), land use (e.g. forest clearance), and vital energy systems.
  • Energy policies must be based on scientific and economic realities — not upon a harmful and unrealistic “2050-carbon-neutral policy” driven by unfounded climate alarm.

The petition concludes by recommending the recognition of clear difference in policies addressing the Earth’s environment through good stewardship versus Earth’s climate, the latter of which “is largely caused by a complex combination of natural phenomena we cannot control.”

This recent petition to EU leaders signed by approximately 100 Italian scientists from many prominent organizations urges recognition of the same basic realities.

The Italian petition calls attention to the fact that the planet has previously been warmer than the present period, despite lower atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Warming periods have been repeated about every thousand years, including “the well-known Medieval Warm Period, the Hot Roman Period, and generally warm periods during the Optimal Holocene period.”

Most recent climate warming observed since 1850 followed the Little Ice Age – the coldest period of the last 10,000 years. “Since then, solar activity, following its [previous cooling-influence] millennial cycle, has increased by heating the Earth’s surface.”

The notification advises that climate, “the most complex system on our planet,” needs to be addressed with scientific methods that are “adequate and consistent with its level of complexity.”

This system “is not sufficiently understood. And while CO2 is indisputably a greenhouse gas, “according to [UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] IPCC itself, the climate sensitivity to its increase in the atmosphere is still extremely uncertain.”

The petition states that “In any case, many recent studies based on experimental data estimate that the climate sensitivity to CO2 is considerably lower than estimated by the IPCC models.” Accordingly, all evidence suggests that such models “overestimate the anthropic [human] contribution and underestimate the natural climatic variability, especially that induced by the sun, the moon, and ocean oscillations.”

Likewise, alarmist media claims that extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and cyclones, are increasing in frequency are entirely inaccurate and typically far more directly tied to natural ocean oscillation cycles.

Again, the Italian signatories from numerous universities and research organizations take strong issue against “deplorable propaganda” claiming that carbon dioxide is a pollutant rather than a molecule that is indispensable to life on our planet.

Accordingly, given “the crucial importance that fossil fuels have for the energy supply of humanity,” the petitioners urge that the EU should not adopt economically burdensome and unwarranted CO2 reduction policies under “the illusory pretense of governing the climate.”

The petitioners also emphasize that while credible facts must be based upon scientific methods, not determined by numbers of supporting theorists, there is no alleged “consensus” among specialists in many and varied climate disciplines suggesting that human-influenced climate change presents an imminent danger. They point out that many thousands of scientists have previously expressed dissent with alarmist anti- fossil energy conjecture.

More than 31,000 American scientists from diverse climate-related disciplines signed a Global Warming Petition Project rejecting limits on greenhouse gas emissions attached to the 1977 Kyoto Protocol and similar proposals. The list of signatories included 9,021 Ph.D.s, 6,961 at the master’s level, 2,240 medical doctors, and 12,850 carrying a bachelor of science or equivalent academic degree.

A 12-page petition attachment was introduced with a cover letter issued by Fredrick Seitz, a past president of the National Academy of Sciences and former president of Rockefeller University. It read, in part:

“This treaty is, in our opinion, based upon flawed ideas. Research data on climate change do not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful. To the contrary, there is good evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful.”

The letter added, “The proposed agreement would have very negative effects upon the technology of nations around the world, especially those that are currently attempting to lift from poverty and provide opportunities to over 4 billion people in technologically undeveloped countries.”

Gratefully, an American Congress at that time listened to that sage advice and unanimously agreed. We can only fervently hope that more current legislators will continue to be equally wise.

Larry Bell contributes posts at the CFACT site. He heads the graduate program in space architecture at the University of Houston. He founded and directs the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture. He is also the author of “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax.”

August 22, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Environmentalism, Science and Pseudo-Science | 1 Comment

BBC Admits ‘Syrian’ Airstrike in Recent Story on Scarred Boy Turned Out to Be Turkish

Sputnik – August 22, 2019

The BBC has corrected its August 19 news story about a Syrian boy who was severely wounded in a 2018 airstrike, which the broadcasting company first said was carried out by Syrian forces but later admitted could be blamed on Turkey.

Some Twitter users posted screenshots showing that the BBC had actually redacted its text several times.

The headline of the short story, featuring a video about the life of a four-year-old Syrian boy whose face was scarred in the airstrike, originally referred to the incident as “a Syrian airstrike.” The mention of Syria was then deleted with an indication that it was “not clear who was responsible for the attack.” Now the headline refers to it as just “an airstrike,” and the article clarifies that “evidence indicates that Turkey carried out the airstrike.”

Last January, Turkish forces launched airstrikes on Kurdish fighters in Afrin, a city located in northern Syria, as part of a military operation dubbed Olive Branch. The boy, named Jouma, and his family were fleeing their home in Syria when an airstrike hit the bus they were on.

Jenan Moussa, a reporter for Arabic Al Aan TV, wrote on Twitter that Tolin Hassan, a close friend of the wounded boy’s family, told her that Jouma’s relatives “mentioned over and over to BBC-journo that the car was hit by a Turkish strike after escaping Afrin.”

August 22, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Turkey, US agree to launch 1st phase of so-called safe zone plan in northern Syria

Press TV – August 22, 2019

Turkey and the United States have reached an agreement to immediately launch the first phase of a so-called safe zone plan in northern Syria, irrespective of the Damascus government’s strong opposition that the scheme amounts to “blatant aggression” against Syria’s territorial integrity.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and his US counterpart Mark Esper discussed the plan during a telephone conversation late on Wednesday, and decided to implement the measure from Thursday.

The two defense chiefs also agreed that military delegations from the two countries will meet in Ankara soon to discuss next stages of the plan.

Akar said the safe zone east of the Euphrates River in Syria should be established within the framework of the principles set out in the calendar without losing time, according to a Turkish Defense Ministry statement.

On August 7, Turkey and the US reached an agreement on the establishment of a joint operation center in the northern part of Syria, in the wake of Ankara’s threats to launch an operation against Kurdish militants from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) to push them away from the Turkish border.

Turkey views the YPG as the Syria branch of the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.

Turkey expects the creation of a 32-kilometer (20-mile) safe zone in northern Syria, and has stressed that it wants the YPG cleared from the region.

An unnamed source at the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates told the official SANA news agency on August 8 that the US-Turkey agreement over the establishment of a so-called safe zone in Syria amounted to “blatant aggression” against the Arab country’s territorial integrity and was a “flagrant violation” of international law and the UN Charter.

“This agreement has very clearly exposed the US-Turkish partnership in the aggression against Syria, which serves the interest of the Israeli occupation entity and the Turkish expansionist ambitions,” the source said.

He also urged Kurdish militants to reconsider their position and stand by the Syrians in defending their country.

“Syria calls on the international community and the UN to condemn the US-Turkish flagrant aggression which constitutes a dangerous escalation and poses a threat to peace and security in the region and the world and hinders all positive efforts for finding a solution to the crisis in Syria,” he said.

Michael Lane, founder of the American Institute for Foreign Policy, told Press TV on August 13 that the US plan to set up a joint command center with Turkey to coordinate a so-called safe zone in Syria is aimed at blocking the Syrian army’s advances on the battlefield against foreign-backed militants.

“The United States is trying to disrupt the consolidation of the Syrian government over its country so that it keeps it distracted by that particular task,” and prevent it from working with its allies, namely Iran and Russia, in the battle against terrorism, he said.

“The United States purpose or vision is to keep Syria from becoming part of a triangle of Iran, Russia and Syria,” Lane commented.

August 22, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , | 1 Comment

Journalism faces dire situation in Kashmir

By Shahana Butt – Press TV – August 22, 2019

Kashmir – In Indian-administered Kashmir, journalists and journalism are suffering the worst work challenges in decades. There has been a complete communication gag in the region since New Delhi revoked Kashmir’s special status.

This is not a usual gathering or a political meeting, these are the journalists gathered under one roof, working on Kashmir stories.

Kashmir’s administration has created a media center for journalists in the region following the criticism over the media dysfunction.

In the absence of communication facilities like the internet, mobile phones and landlines, this facilitation center created by government is the only source for journalists to send their reports out of Kashmir.

These four desktops and one cellular mobile phone have become lifeline for journalists working from Kashmir. From early morning till late evening, journalists wait in queues for their turn to come.

After New Delhi’s move of scrapping Kashmir’s autonomous status on August 5, Kashmir has witnessed a complete communication blackout. Not just international media outlets suffered, but local and regional news networks and journalists were hit the hardest.

In Indian-administered Kashmir, there are hundreds of journalists associated with more than a hundred news dailies and over 40 national and international media outlets, the communication blackout not only stopped local publications but pushed the entire Himalayan region to somewhere around stone age.

The local administration in Kashmir has no idea as to when this communication blockade will end. Journalists say the information blackout has furthered the fear among people and has created space for rumor-mongering and false news, adding to the already existing panic.

August 22, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | Leave a comment

Epstein: The Maxwell Connection

By George Galloway | RT | August 21, 2019

As Jeffrey Epstein’s accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell appears to have fallen off the face of the Earth, it’s little remembered in the media how I fought a long war against her father Robert and the part I played in his downfall.

It would be scarcely worth recalling at this distance if it did not shed light, or rather a cloud of suspicion, over Maxwell’s favourite child Ghislaine, now at the centre of a dark and fascinating story as bizarre as any which enveloped her late father.

I first met Robert Maxwell when he was an enormously powerful and fiercely intimidating media mogul in the early 1980s. It was in the green room of the BBC’s then flagship program Question Time, hosted by Sir Robin Day – then the doyen of BBC grandees.

“Ah, Mr Galway (sic),” boomed Mr Maxwell, “the PLO man.” At which point he punched me so hard in the solar plexus I doubled over, tears in my eyes. As was the wont of the British establishment at the time, my fellow participants and Sir Robin himself averted their eyes and pretended not to see.

At the time and for nearly a decade, I was closely associated with the then-British satirical magazine Private Eye, writing regularly and providing stories and leads for others, regularly attending the legendary Private Eye lunches at the Soho waterie The Coach and Horses, presided over by the founder and editor of the magazine, Richard Ingrams.

About a year after Maxwell striking his first blow, I submitted a story to Private Eye which, embellished by others, was published and upon which he sued and fought an epic court battle with us. He won.

Although the editor Richard Ingrams spent a night in the cells for refusing to name me as the source, it was soon obvious to Maxwell that it was me and we began a war of attrition which lasted until his death.

In October of 1991, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and celebrity journalist Seymour Hersh caused to be delivered to my home late one Saturday night a file of papers, a synopsis of a book he had written in which he made serious allegations against Maxwell. So fearsome was Maxwell’s power at the time, he had obtained pre-publication injunctions against anyone publishing any word of it, against anyone printing it, against anyone distributing it, against anyone selling it. In Britain, the Hersh book did not exist.

But I – as a member of the British Parliament – enjoyed the ancient right of legal privilege on anything I said in the Parliament or published on the Order Paper. Moreover, so could anyone else reporting fairly anything I said or wrote there. And so I did.

Inter-alia I accused Maxwell of being a thief, of stealing his own employee’s pension funds, of being an agent of the Israeli intelligence service Mossad, and of betraying the whereabouts in London of the brave Israeli Jewish whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, causing him to be kidnapped, drugged, and delivered, his jaws wired like Hannibal Lector to ensure his silence, to Israel where he eventually served decades in solitary confinement and even now is not free to talk or travel.

My allegations exploded like a nuclear bomb in the life of Robert Maxwell.

He ordered his journalistic minions (whose pensions he had stolen) to “Piss all over Galloway” and micturate they promptly did.

On the front page of all SIX of his national newspapers, they called me “a jackal” of “scavenging in the dung-heap” a “friend of Arab terrorists” (“Ah, Mr Galway (sic) the PLO man”) and above all of having lied and lied about their proprietor.

Within weeks, the missing pensions were exposed, Maxwell was dead, having fallen, jumped, or been pushed off the back of his yacht – the Lady Ghislaine – off the Canary islands, and Maxwell was given a full Israeli-state funeral on the Mount of Olives presided over by the Israeli president, prime minister and no less than seven former and serving heads of the Mossad. In the eulogy, tribute was paid to the “extraordinary service” Mr Maxwell had given to Israel. The full story of which exact “services” he had provided were buried with him in Jerusalem.

The fateful yacht was called the Lady Ghislaine because his daughter was his favourite child (other daughters were available) and she was his favourite child for a reason. Of all her siblings, Ghislaine Maxwell was the one who was most like him.

Ghislaine Maxwell’s father’s body was lost to the deep and murky waters of international intrigue. Where she will turn up is as yet unknown. What “extraordinary service” she performed and for whom equally remains to be seen.

August 22, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , | 3 Comments

Lindsey Graham’s Blank Check. Why a Defense Agreement With Israel Would Be a Disaster for Americans

By Philip Giraldi | Strategic Culture Foundation | August 22, 2019

Two world wars began because of unconditional pledges made by one country to come to assistance of another. On July 5, 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany pledged his country’s complete support for whatever response Austria-Hungary would choose to make against Serbia after the June 28th assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by a Serbian nationalist during an official visit to Sarajevo, Bosnia. This fatal error went down in history as Germany’s carte blanche or “blank check,” assurance to Austria that led directly to WW I.

In September 1939, World War II began when Great Britain and France came to the assistance of Poland after the German Army invaded, fulfilling a “guarantee” made in March of that year. What was a regional war, and one that might have been resolved through diplomacy, became global.

One would think that after such commitments were assessed by historians as the immediate causes of two world wars, no one would ever consider going down that road again. But that would be reckoning without Republican Senator Lindsey Graham who has been calling for a “defense treaty” with Israel since last April. In his most recent foray, Graham announced late in July that he is seeking bipartisan support for providing “blank check” assurances to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and is hoping to be able to push a complete defense treaty through the Senate by next year.

In making his several announcements on the subject, Graham has been acting as a front man for both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and also for The Jewish Institute for the National Security of America (JINSA), which wrote the basic document that is being used to promote the treaty and then enlisted Graham to obtain congressional support.

Speaking to the press on a JINSA conference call, Graham said the proposed agreement would be a treaty that would protect Israel in case of an attack that constituted an “existential threat”. Citing Iran as an example, Graham said the pact would be an attempt to deter hostile neighbors like the Iranians who might use weapons of mass destruction against Israel. JINSA President Michael Makovsky elaborated on this, saying, “A mutual defense pact has a value in not only deterring but might also mitigate a retaliatory strike by an adversary of Israel, so it might mitigate an Iranian response (to an attack on its nuclear facilities).”

JINSA director of foreign policy Jonathan Ruhe added that “An Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear program would not activate this pact, but a major Iranian retaliation might. – An Israeli unilateral attack is not what the treaty covers, but rather massive Iranian retaliation is what we are addressing.”

Israel has long been reluctant to enter into any actual treaty arrangement with the United States because it might limit its options and restrain its aggressive pattern of military incursions. In that regard, the Graham-JINSA proposal is particularly dangerous as it effectively permits Israel to be interventionist with a guarantee that Washington will not seek to limit Netanyahu’s “options.” And, even though the treaty is reciprocal, there is no chance that Israel will ever be called upon to do anything to defend the United States, so it is as one-sided as most arrangements with the Jewish state tend to be.

As the agreement between the two countries would be a treaty ratified by the Senate, it would be much more difficult to scrap by subsequent administrations than was the Iran nuclear deal, which was an executive action by President Obama. And clearly the statements by Graham, Makovsky and Ruhe reveal this treaty would serve as a green light for an Israeli attack on Iran, should they opt to do so, while also serving as a red light to Tehran vis-à-vis an ironclad US commitment to “defend” Israel that would serve to discourage any serious Iranian retaliation. Given that dynamic, the treaty would be little more than a one-way security guarantee from Washington to Jerusalem.

Furthermore, in outlining what circumstances would trigger US intervention on Israel’s behalf, the JINSA/Graham document cites, inter alia, “the threat or use of weapons of mass destruction.” It also allows Netanyahu to call for assistance after defining as threatening any incident or development “that gives rise to an urgent request from the Government of Israel.” It appears then that Netanyahu could demand that the US attack Iran should he only perceive a threat, however vague that threat might in reality be.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been claiming Iran is “three to five years” and “possibly weeks” away from a nuclear weapons capability since 1992 and pushing Washington to attack Iran so he obviously would welcome such a treaty for strategic reasons as well as to shore up his upcoming re-election bid. President Trump, with whom Graham has discussed how the agreement would work, has a similar interest in appearing strong for Israel to help his own campaign in 2020.

It is worth noting that in 2010 Netanyahu ordered the Israel Defense Force (IDF) to prepare to strike Iran but ‘Israel’s security chiefs refused: Gabi Ashkenazi, the head of the IDF, and Meir Dagan, the head of the Mossad at the time, believed that Netanyahu and the Defense Minister Ehud Barak were trying to “steal a war” and the order was not carried out. The attacks were also rejected by two ministers, Moshe Yaalon and Yuval Steinitz, which left Netanyahu without the necessary majority to proceed.

Ashkenazi claimed in a 2012 interview about the episode that he was convinced that an attack would have been a major strategic mistake. Meir Dagan said in 2012, after leaving his role as Mossad chief, that a strike would be “a stupid thing” as the entire region would undoubtedly be destabilized, requiring repeated Israeli and American interventions.

And there are other issues arising from a “defense treaty.” Defense means just that and treaties are generally designed to protect a country within its own borders. Israel has no defined borders as it is both expansionistic and illegally occupying Palestinian land, so the United States would in effect be obligated to defend space that Israel defines as its own. That could mean almost anything. Israel is currently bombing Syria almost daily even though it is not at war with Damascus. If Syria were to strike back and Graham’s treaty were in place, Washington would technically be obligated to come to Israel’s assistance. A similar situation prevails with Lebanon and there are also reports that Israel is bombing alleged Iranian supply lines in Iraq, where the US has 5,000 troops stationed.

The real problem is that the Trump administration is obsessed with regime change in Iran, but it has so far been unable to provoke Iran into starting a conflict. Graham’s proposed treaty just might be part of a White House plan to end-run Congress and public opinion by enabling Israel to start the desired war, whereupon the US would quickly follow in to “defend Israel,” obliged by treaty to do so. What could possibly go wrong? The correct answer is “everything.”

August 22, 2019 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , | Leave a comment

How Israel’s Labor Engineered the Illegal Jewish Colonies in Palestine

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | August 22, 2019

Following the Israeli victory in the 1967 war, it became impossible for Zionist ideologues to mask the true nature of their state – an unwavering colonial regime with an expansionist agenda.

While Zionism was undoubtedly a colonial enterprise from the onset, many Zionists refused to perceive themselves as colonists. “Cultural Zionists”, “Reform Zionists” and Labor Zionists” advocated similar political agendas to “Revisionist” and other extreme forms of Zionism. When put to the test, the difference between left and right Zionism proved mere ideological semantics. Both groups laboured to sustain the same cognitive dissonance – victims in search of a homeland and colonists with a racist, violent agenda.

That self-serving intellectual paradigm remains effective to date, most delineated in the supposedly conflicting political discourses of the Israeli rightwing parties (Likud, and other religious and far-right nationalist parties) and the ‘left’ (Labor and others). For Palestinians, however, both political streams are two sides of the same coin.

After the decisive Israeli victory in the war of June 1967, Jewish nationalism took on a new meaning. Israel’s ‘invincible army’ was born, and even cynical Jews began to view Israel as a victorious state, which was now a regional, if not international force to be reckoned with. Equally important, it was Israel’s so-called ‘left’ and other ‘soft-Zionists’ who fully engineered that most reprehensible period in history.

The Israeli occupation of Sinai, the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, and the destruction of the combined armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordan, thrilled most Israelis, encouraging many to develop an imperial outlook and wholly embrace a colonial project based on a conviction that their army was the strongest  in the Middle East. The same expansionist instincts helped to sanctify the Zionist principle that ‘never again should Eretz-Yisrael be divided’.

In fact, as Professor Ehud Sprinzak argued (as cited in Nur Masalha’s book “Imperial Israel and the Palestinians: The Politics of Expansion”), following the Israeli victory in 1967, the concept of imperial expansion, and the rejection of the ‘division’ of Eretz-Yisrael became a “most energetic and influential tenet in modern Zionism”. Regardless of whether Israel fully anticipated such massive territorial expansion or not, the country seemed determined to quickly fortify its gains, rebuffing any call for a return to the armistice lines of 1949.

Although religious Jews were intoxicated by the idea that biblical “Judea and Samaria” ‘returned’ to its long-estranged owners, the first movement to capitalise on the territorial gains was, in fact, a secular elite organisation named the Movement for the Whole Land of Israel (WLIM).

The official founding conference of WLIM was held shortly after Israel’s victory. Although founded and dominated by Labor party activists, WLIM cut across party lines and ideological divides, united in their determination to preserve all of Palestine, as all of Israel. As for the unwanted population, those who were not expelled were to be duly subdued.

As Egypt and other Arab countries decried their ill-fated war, Palestine was completely taken over making Palestinians captives in their own land. Just as Israel celebrated its victory over official Arab armies, Israeli soldiers filmed themselves grinning and flashing victory signs at the so-called “Western Wall”, as well as in and around Arab Jerusalem’s holy sites. Palestinians still braced themselves for the worst.

Indeed, as Baruch Kimmerling writes in his bookThe Palestinian People: A History”, that “was the moment in Palestinian history most bereft of hope”, Palestinian refugees who dreamed of returning to pre-1948 Palestine faced a momentous setback, a new Nakba, indeed, for the refugee problem was now exasperated and compounded by the war and the creation of 400,000 new refugees. Israeli bulldozers promptly moved into many parts of the newly conquered Palestinian territories – as they did in other occupied Arab lands – demolishing historical realities, and constructing new ones, as it does today.

An elderly Palestinian and a child during the Nakba [Hanini/Wikipedia]

An elderly Palestinian and a child can be seen during the Nakba [Hanini/Wikipedia]

Shortly after the war, Israel sought to fortify its occupation, firstly by rejecting peace overtures made by Egypt’s new president, Anwar Sadat, starting as early as 1971, and secondly, by unleashing settlement construction throughout the West Bank and Gaza.

The early settlements had strategic military purposes, for the intent was to create sufficient facts on the ground to alter the nature of any future peace settlement; hence, the Allon plan, named after Yigal Allon, a former general and Labor party minister in the Israeli government who took on the task of drawing an Israeli vision for the newly conquered Palestinian territories.

The plan sought to annex more than 30 per cent of the West Bank and all of Gaza for “security purposes”. It stipulated the establishment of a “security corridor” along the Jordan River as well outside the “Green Line,” a one-sided Israeli demarcation of its borders with the West Bank. The plan envisioned the incorporation of the Gaza Strip into Israel and was meant to return parts of the West Bank to Jordan as a first step toward implementing the “Jordanian option” for Palestinian refugees, i.e. ethnic cleansing coupled with the creation of an ‘alternative homeland’ for Palestinians.

The plan failed, but not in entirety. Palestinian nationalists ensured that no alternative homeland was ever to be realised, but the seizure, ethnic cleansing and annexation of occupied land was a resounding success. What was also important and consequential is that the Allon plan provided an unmistakable signal that the Labor government of Israel had every intention of retaining at least large parts of the West Bank and all of Gaza, and had no intention of honouring United Nations Security Council Resolution 242.

To capitalise on the government’s alluring settlement policies in the West Bank, a group of religious Jews rented a hotel in the Palestinian town of Hebron (Al-Khalil) to spend Passover at the “Cave of the Patriarchs”, and simply refused to leave. This sparked the biblical passion of orthodox religious Israelis across the country who referred to the West Bank by its biblical designation, Judea and Samaria. Their move also ignited the ire of Palestinians who watched in complete dismay as their land was conquered, renamed and later settled on by outsiders.

In 1970, to ‘diffuse’ the situation, the Israeli government constructed the Kiryat Arba settlement at the outskirt of the Arab city, which invited even more orthodox Jews to Hebron. Allon’s plan may have been intended for strategic purposes, but soon after, what was strategic and political, intermingled with what became religious and spiritual.

In the final analysis, Palestinians were losing their land at a rapid speed, a process that would lead to major Israeli population transfers, initially to occupied East Jerusalem – which was itself illegally annexed shortly after the 1967 war – and eventually, to the rest of the occupied territories. Over the years, the strategic settlement growth was complemented by the religiously motivated expansion, championed by a vibrant movement, exemplified in the founding of Gush Emunim (Bloc of the Faithful) in 1974. The movement was determined to settle the West Bank with legions of Jewish fundamentalists.

Allon’s plan also extended to include Gaza and Sinai. Allon wished to establish a “finger” of territories to serve as a buffer between Egypt and Gaza. ‘Buffer’ was in this context, a codename for illegal Jewish settlements and military outposts at the southern end of the Gaza Strip and adjacent areas of northern Sinai, a region that Israel dubbed the Rafiah Plain.

In early 1972, thousands of men, women and children, mostly Palestinian Bedouins, were driven from their homes in southern Gaza. Despite living in the area for generations, their presence was an obstacle before an Israeli army blueprint that would soon incorporate half of Gaza. They were evacuated without being permitted even to haul their possessions, however modest. The Israeli army claimed that ‘only’ 4,950 people were ethnically cleansed from the area. But the tribes’ leaders contended that more than 20,000 were forced from their homes and land.

Allon had then entrusted Ariel Sharon and other military leaders to break up the newly occupied territories into mini regions, infiltrated by strategic settlements and military bases to weaken local resistance and cement Israeli control.

“(Sharon) recounts standing on a dune (near Gaza) with cabinet ministers”, wrote Gershom Gorenberg, “explaining that along with military measures, to control the Strip, he wanted ‘fingers’ of settlement separating its cities, chopping the region in four. Another ‘finger’ would thrust through the edge of Sinai, helping create a ‘Jewish buffer zone between Gaza and Sinai to cut off the flow of weapons’ and divide the two regions in case the rest of Sinai was ever returned to Egypt.”

The rest is history. Although the demographic made up of the settlers largely shifted to the right in recent days, and their political influence on Tel Aviv increased exponentially, those settlers now numbering around 600,000 living in over 200 settlements, are the hideous creation of Israel’s ‘left’ with the full backing and support of the right, all serving the original cause of Zionism that remained true to its founding principles – a colonial movement that can only be sustained through violence and ethnic cleansing.

August 22, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

The Saker Interviews Professor Marandi

The Saker • Unz Review • August 22, 2019

Introduction: first, several friends recently suggested that that I should interview Professor Seyed Mohammad Marandi; then I read this most interesting text on Moon of Alabama and I decided to ask Professor Marandi to share his views of the current situation in Iran, the Persian Gulf and the rest of the Middle-East who very kindly agreed to reply to my question in spite of his most hectic and busy schedule. I am most grateful to Prof. Marandi for his time and replies. Crucially, Prof. Marandi debunks the silly notion that Russia and Israel are allies or working together. He also debunks that other canard about Russia and Iran having some major differences over Syria. Prof. Marandi, who is currently in Iran, is superbly connected and informed, and I hope that with this interview some of the more outlandish rumors which were recently circulated will finally be seen for what they are: utter, total, nonsense. Enjoy the interview!

The Saker: It is often said that there is an “axis of resistance” which comprises Syrian, Hezbollah, Iran, Russia and China. Sometimes, Venezuela, Cuba or the DPRK are added to this list. Do you believe that there is such an “axis of resistance” and, if yes, how would you characterize the nature of this informal alliance? Do you think that this informal alliance can ever grow into a formal political or military alliance or a collective security treaty?

Professor Marandi: I definitely believe there is an Axis of Resistance that currently includes Iran, Syria, Iraq, Gaza, Lebanon, parts of Afghanistan, and Yemen. I do not think that we can include the DPRK in any way or form. I believe that Russia could be considered to a certain degree as aligned or affiliated to this resistance, but that this is not something many would feel the need to acknowledge. At certain levels, there is a lot of overlap between Russian and Chinese policy and the policies of the countries and movements in this region that are affiliated to this Axis of Resistance. The same is true with countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia, and Cuba, which I do not consider to be similar to North Korea at all. Just as almost everywhere else, American policy in the Korean Peninsula is ugly, hegemonic and malevolence, but the nature of the DPRK government is fundamentally different from that of Venezuela or Cuba, whether the Americans or Europeans like to acknowledge that or not. Others can interpret the Axis of Resistance to include or exclude certain countries, but it is pretty clear that Iran and Russia have similar policy objectives when it comes to certain key issues. Nevertheless, Russia has a close relationship with the Israeli regime whereas Iran considers it to be an apartheid state, almost identical to that of apartheid South Africa. Or for example the Syrian government position regarding Israel is different from that of Iran’s. The official Syrian position is that the West Bank and Gaza Strip must be returned to the Palestinians, in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions, and that the occupied Golan Heights have to be handed back to the Syrian people, which are legitimate demands. But the Iranian position is different, Iran firmly believes that Israel is a colonial and apartheid regime and that it is morally unacceptable for it to exist in its present form. Therefore, at least officially, there are substantial differences. So people can interpret the Axis of Resistance in different ways. It is important to keep in mind that despite Syria, Iran, Turkey and Qatar are also moving closer together partially thanks to US, Saudi, and UAE hostility towards the Muslim Brotherhood. What is important is that there is a growing consensus about key issues in this region and what the major problems are, and I think that as time goes on this loose alliance of countries and movements is growing more influential and more powerful. I cannot say whether there will be a formal or open collective security treaty or military alliance created by any of these countries in the near or foreseeable future and I do not see such a necessity. However, I think this convergence of ideas is very important and I think that the formal and informal links that exist between these countries is in many ways more important and more significant than formal political or military alliances or security treaties.

The Saker: In recent months a number of observers have stated that Russia and Israel are working hand in hand and some have gone as far as to say that Putin is basically a pawn of Netanyahu and that Russia is loyal to Israel and Zionists interests. Do you agree with this point of view? How do Iranian officials view the Russian contacts with the Israelis, does that worry them or do they believe that these contacts can be beneficial for the future of the region?

Professor Marandi: That is nonsense. The US and Israeli regimes are culturally and ideologically bound to one another, whereas the Americans have a deep antipathy towards Russia. That is why the Russians have a very different position on Syria than do the Americans and Israelis. The Israelis alongside the US, the EU, the Saudis, and some of Syria’s neighboring countries, supported ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other extremist entities and attempted to tear Syria apart. As explained earlier, the Russian view of Israel is different from Iran. There are many Russian Jewish immigrants in Israel and they constitute a large segment of the colonists in Palestine and they are largely utilized for the further subjugation of the Palestinian people and ethnic cleansing. Generally speaking, Russian interests are in sharp conflict with those of the United States, Israel’s strongest ally. In addition, Russia’s close relationship with Syria dates back to the cold war and the relentless US pressure on China and Russia has also acted as a strong catalyst to quicken their convergence with one another as well as with Iran on key issues. The Chinese and Russians know quite well that the United States, the Europeans, and regional countries have extensively used extremists in Syria to undermine the state and that those forces could later be used to undermine security in Central Asia, Russia, and China. A large number of Russian, Chinese, and Central Asians have been trained to fight in Syria, and this is a major threat to their collective security. The United States could use these and other extremists in an attempt to impede the potential success of the Belt and Road Initiative or other plans for Asian integration. Thus, there is a sharp and growing conflict between the Russians and the Americans.

The Israeli regime constantly tells the Russians and the Chinese that they are the gateway to Washington and that if they maintain strong ties with Israel, the Israelis can help them solve their problems with the United States. I do not think there is much truth to that, because this growing conflict is about the fate of US global dominance and there is nothing the Israelis can do to change that. Nevertheless, this has been used as an incentive for the Russians and the Chinese to maintain better relations with the Israeli regime.

In any case, Russia does not have to maintain identical views with Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Lebanon, Iraq, or Yemen. Differences exist, but strong relationships exist nevertheless. All of these countries recognize that if the Americans are able to undermine any of them, whether it is Syria, Iran, Russia, or China, then that would only encourage the United States to be more aggressive towards the remaining countries that impede US foreign policy objectives or exist as potential rivals whether regionally or globally. So even though their political structures are different, even though their foreign policies are different, the similarities that exist are quite striking as well as the common threats. Again, to a large degree this coalition is a result of US and Western foreign policy, which has strong undercurrents of Eurocentricism, tribalism, and racism.

Not only has this pressure brought these countries and movements closer to one another, but it has also created a deeper understanding among them. The Russians understand Iran better today than they did 5 years ago, partially as a result of their cooperation in Syria. This greater understanding enhances the relationship, and helps to dispel many of the misunderstandings or myths that may exist about one another due to Eurocentric narratives and orientalism.

Hence, Iran is not concerned about Russian-Israeli relations. Obviously, in an ideal world Iran would like Russia to break relations with the Israeli regime for its apartheid nature. But reality is reality, and Iranian relations with Russia are very good and at times I am sure the Iranians send certain warnings to the Israelis through the Russians.

The Saker: How is Russia viewed in Iran? Are most Iranians still suspicious of Russia or do they believe that they have a viable and honest partner in Russia? What are the main reservations/concerns of patriotic Iranians when they think of Russia?

Professor Marandi: Historically, the Iranians have had serious problems with the Russians. The Russians and the Soviet Union interfered extensively in Iranian internal affairs and they undermined Iran’s sovereignty. But ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union the image of Russia has changed. Especially since Russia began fighting alongside Iran in Syria in 2015, Russia’s image has improved significantly. When we look at polls, Russia’s image is pretty good compared to Western countries.

Western governments own or fund dozens of Persian language media outlets These outlets, such as VOA and BBC Persian among others, are constantly spouting anti-Russian propaganda. Obviously they have an impact and that couples with historical Iranian concerns about Russia, but despite all that, the Russian image is relatively favorable and that says a lot.

The Saker: How about Turkey? Iran and Turkey have had a complex relationship in the past, yet in the case of the AngloZionist war against Syria, the two states have worked together (and with Russia) – does that mean that Turkey is seen as a viable and honest partner in Iran?

Professor Marandi: Iran’s relationship with the Turkish government is complicated, especially, because of the constant policy changes that have occurred IN TURKEY over the past few years. This has made the government seem unreliable in the eyes of many. Having said that, Turkey is very different from Wahhabi influenced regimes in the Arabian Peninsula. Turkish Islamic tradition has striking similarities with Iran’s Islamic culture and because of its strong Sufi tradition, Turkey is much closer to Iran than it is to, for example,Wahhabi Saudi Arabia.

The global Wahhabi menace has grown as a result of Saudi financial support, as well as the support of other countries in the Persian Gulf region. Turkish society has been more resistant, although ever since the military conflict in Syria and due to extensive funding from the Persian Gulf, there has been growing concern about growing sectarianism in Turkey, not unlike what happened in Pakistan in the 1980s.

Ironically, before the conflict in Syria President Erdogan had a closer personal relationship with President Assad than did the Iranians. They and their families would spend vacations together.

In any case, Turkey has a very strong economic, political, and cultural relationship with Iran, and some of the rising anti-Shia and takfiri sentiments that have been on the rise in Turkey were stunted by the Saudi and Emirati support for the attempted coup in Turkey. Subsequently, their open antagonism towards the Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar, their support for the coup in Egypt, their policies in Sudan and Libya, and of course the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, have all had a beneficial impact on Iranian-Turkish relations. As a result, Turkey has grown much more distant from Iran’s regional antagonists, while Turkish support for the Palestinian cause is another element that brings Iran and Turkey closer together. American support for PKK terrorists in Syria has also angered the Turks adding push to Turkish-Iranian convergence. Even Turkish policy towards Syria is evolving, although it is impossible for the government to make a radical change, because of years of attempts at regime change.

The Saker: Next, turning to Iraq, how would you characterize the “balance of influence” of Iran and the USA in Iraq? Should we view the Iraqi government as allied to Iran, allied to the USA or independent? If the Empire attacks Iran, what will happen in Iraq?

Professor Marandi: The relationship between Iraq and Iran is significantly more important than the relationship between Iraq and the United States. Iran and Iraq are allies, but this alliance does not contradict the notion of Iraqi independence. Iraq’s regional policy is not identical to Iran’s. But the two countries have very similar interests, a very close relationship, many Iraqi leaders have spent years in Iran, and the bulk of the Iraqi population lives close to the shared border of over 1,200 km between the two countries. So trade, pilgrimage, and tourism are key to both countries. The religious similarities and the holy sites that exist in Iran and Iraq are a huge incentive for interaction between the two countries. There are many Iraqi students studying in Iran and many Iranian’s working in Iraq. The fact that Iranians made many sacrifices when fighting ISIS in Iraq and many Iraqis were martyred in the war against ISIS and Al Qaeda in Syria is a strong indication of where things stand despite US pressure.

The Arba’een pilgrimage that takes place every year where millions of Iranians and Iraqis make the walk towards Karbala, side by side, with tens of thousands of Iraqi and Iranian volunteers helping pilgrims along the way is, I think, a further sign of the close relationship.

While the U.S presence in Iraq continues to be hegemonic, Iran has not sought to prevent Iraq from having normal relationships with other countries. However, the U.S continues to seek control over Iraq through the world’s largest embassy, its military presence, and its influence over the bureaucracy. The United States continues to have much say over how the country’s oil wealth is spent.

Still, despite the US colonial behavior, its continued theft of Iraqi oil wealth, and its thuggish behavior, the Iraqis have been able to assert a great deal of independence. In the long run, this continued US behavior is only going to create further resentment among Iraqis. The empire rarely takes these realities into account, they seek to accumulate influence and wealth through brute force, but in the long term it creates deep-rooted anger and hostility which, at some point, will create great problems for the empire, especially as this anger and unrest is growing across the region, if not across the globe.

It is highly unlikely that the regime in Washington will attack Iran, if it does it will bring about a regional war, which will drive the United States out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Syria. Saudi Arabia and the Emirates would, swiftly collapse and the price of oil and natural gas would go through the roof, leading to a global economic meltdown even as millions of people will be streaming towards Europe.

The Saker: It is often said that Russia and Iran have fundamentally different goals in Syria and that the two countries regularly have tensions flaring up between them because of these disagreements. Is that true? In your opinion, how are Russian and Iranian goals in Syria different?

Professor Marandi: The news that we sometimes hear about serious tensions existing between the Iranians and the Russians in Syria is often nonsense. There are clear reasons for people to exaggerate small incidents or to fabricate them altogether, but the relationship is quite good. Iran does not intend to have any military bases in Syria, whereas the Russians do feel the need to preserve their military presence in Syria through long-term agreements.

But ultimately, Iran would like to help enable Syria to acquire the military capability to retake the occupied Golan Heights. Iran does not intend to initiate any conflict with the Israeli regime inside Palestine. That is not an objective in Lebanon and that is not an objective in Syria. As in Lebanon, where the Iranians supported Hezbollah to restore the country’s sovereignty and to drive out the Israeli aggressors and occupiers, the Iranians have the same agenda in Syria. They want to support the Syrians so that they will be able to restore full sovereignty. I don’t believe the Golan Heights is a priority for the Russians.

The Saker: For a while, Iran let the Russian Aerospace Forces use an Iranian military airfield, then when this became public knowledge, the Russians were asked to leave. I have heard rumors that while the IRGC was in favor of allowing Russian Aerospace Forces to use an Iranian military airfield, the regular armed forces were opposed to this. Is it true that there are such differences between the IRGC and the regular armed forces and do you think that Iran will ever allow the Russian military to have a permanent presence in Iran?

Professor Marandi: That is a myth. The Russians were not asked to leave. There were no differences between the IRGC and any other part of the armed forces. This was a decision made by the Supreme National Security Council and the President and all the major commanders in the military were involved in this decision. Actually, the airbase does not belong to the guards it belongs to the air force and a part of the base was used for Russian strategic bombers that were flying to Syria to bomb the extremists. This cooperation ended when the Russians were able to station adequate numbers of aircraft in Syria, because the flights over Iran were long and expensive, whereas the air campaign launched from bases inside Syria was much less expensive and much more effective. Iran was very open about its relationship with the Russians, and openly permitted the Russians to fire missiles over Iranian airspace. There were those who were opposed to the Russian presence in the Iranian airbase. A small segment of Iranian society that is pro-Western and pro-American complained about it in their media outlets, but they had absolutely no impact on the decision-making process. According to polls, an overwhelming majority of Iranians supported Iran’s activities in Syria, and the Supreme National Security Council was under no pressure to its decision. However, Iran does not plan to allow any country to have permanent bases in the country and that is in accordance with the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The revolution in Iran was about independence, dignity, sovereignty and indigenous values, and the removal of American hegemony over Iran was very much a part of that. The Iranians will not give any bases to foreign powers in future, and neither the Russians nor the Chinese have ever made such requests. There are absolutely no differences regarding Iran’s regional policies between the IRGC and the rest of the military, both were a part of the decision-making process when the Russians were allowed to fire missiles over Iranian territory and both were part of the process in allowing Russian aircraft to use Iranian airspace. The Russian bombers were providing air support for Iranian troops and Iranian affiliated troops on the ground.

The Saker: Both Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah have made repeated statements that the days of the racist ZioApartheid regime in occupied are numbered. Do you agree with their point of view and, if yes, how do you see such a regime change actually happening? Which of the One State solution or a Two State solution do you believe to be more realistic?

Professor Marandi: I do not believe the two-state solution is possible because the Israeli regime has colonized too much of the West Bank. Actually, through acts of selfishness and petty short-term gain, the regime has damaged itself enormously. As a result of the colonization of the West Bank, even the European elites and diplomats who would privately admit that the Israeli regime pursues apartheid policies and who would always speak of hope for a two-state solution, admit that the two state solution is dead. All Palestinians are treated as sub humans, whether they reside in the West Bank or not. They are a subjugated nation, whether they are Israeli citizens or not. However, there is no longer any hope that those who live in the occupied West Bank will gain freedom, even though we predicted the Israelis would never voluntarily relinquish the West bank. This is the most important challenge that the regime faces in the future. By colonizing the West Bank and despite official western media and government narratives, it is increasingly seen by the international community as the apartheid regime that it is. It is delegitimizing itself in the eyes of larger numbers of people.

In addition to that, it can no longer behave with impunity. The 2006 war in Lebanon where the Israeli armed forces were defeated by Hizbullah was a turning point. Before then, the Israelis had created an image that they were invincible. But now even in Gaza, they are unable to carry out their objectives when they periodically attack the territory and its civilians. The Israelis are now more easily contained especially since the Syrian government has been able to restore order and expel ISIS and al-Qaeda from areas neighboring Israeli forces on the occupied Golan Heights, despite the Israelis supporting the extremists. The Israelis have been contained regionally, at home they are increasingly seen as an apartheid regime. Its regional allies are also on the decline and regionally. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the only countries that can be considered as effective allies and they are facing a potential terminal decline. Therefore, regionally the regime is becoming more isolated. I do not believe that under such circumstances, the Israeli regime can last for very long. Just as the apartheid regime in South Africa collapsed under the burden of its own immoral existence, the Israeli regime will not last. There will be no two-state solution, the only realistic and moral solution is for Palestine to be united and for the indigenous population to have its rights restored, whether they are Palestinians, Jews or Christians or anyone else who is indigenous to the land.

The Saker: Iran is an Islamic Republic. It is also a majority Shia country. Some observers accuse Iran of wanting to export its political model to other countries. What do you make of that accusation? Do Iranian Islamic scholars believe that the Iranian Islamic Republic model can be exported to other countries, including Sunni countries?

Professor Marandi: I do not think that there is any validity to that accusation. Iran has a very excellent relationship with Iraq, but it has not imposed its model on the country. In fact, Iran helped create the current constitution of that country. The same is true for Lebanon and Yemen. Iran is constantly accused by its antagonists, but in the most inconsistent ways. Elsewhere they claim that Iran is afraid of their model being exported because they are fearful of rivals. Iran has always been attacked from all sides often using self-contradictory arguments. On the one hand, the so-called regime is allegedly immensely unpopular, it is corrupt, it is falling apart, and it is incapable of proper governance. Yet on the other hand, Iran is a growing threat to the region and even the world. This is paradoxical, how can Iran be incompetent and collapsing on the one hand, yet a growing threat to the whole world on the other hand? This simply does not make sense. Nevertheless, I have seen no evidence that Iran has tried to impose its model on other countries or on movements that are close to it. If it was not for Iran’s support, ISIS and al-Qaeda would have overthrown Syria with its secular government and secular constitution. Iranians firmly believed that the terrorist forces supported by Western intelligence services as well as regional regimes were the worst case scenario for the Syrian people. Did they impose their model?

The Saker: thank you for all your answers!

August 22, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Origin of massive methane reservoir identified

Tall Bloke’s Talk Shop | August 21, 2019

As we already knew from elsewhere in the solar system, fossils are not essential for the production of methane aka natural gas. Only two ingredients are needed, one being water, as explained below.

New research from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) published Aug. 19, 2019, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science provides evidence of the formation and abundance of abiotic methane—methane formed by chemical reactions that don’t involve organic matter—on Earth and shows how the gases could have a similar origin on other planets and moons, even those no longer home to liquid water.

Researchers had long noticed methane released from deep-sea vents, says Phys.org. But while the gas is plentiful in the atmosphere where it’s produced by living things, the source of methane at the seafloor was a mystery.

“Identifying an abiotic source of deep-sea methane has been a problem that we’ve been wrestling with for many years,” says Jeffrey Seewald a senior scientist at WHOI who studies geochemistry in hydrothermal systems and is one of the study’s authors.

Of 160 rock samples analyzed from across the world’s oceans, almost all contained pockets of methane. These oceanic deposits make up a reservoir exceeding the amount of methane in Earth’s atmosphere before industrialization, estimates Frieder Klein, a marine geologist at WHOI and lead author of the study.

“We were totally surprised to find this massive pool of abiotic methane in the oceanic crust and mantle,” Klein says.

The scientists analyzed rocks using Raman spectroscopy, a laser-based microscope that allows them to identify fluids and minerals in a thin slice of rock.

Nearly every sample contained an assemblage of minerals and gases that form when seawater, moving through the deep oceanic crust, is trapped in magma-hot olivine. As the mineral cools, the water trapped inside undergoes a chemical reaction, a process called serpentinization that forms hydrogen and methane.

The authors demonstrate that in otherwise inhospitable environments, just two ingredients—water and olivine—can form methane.

“Here’s a source of chemical energy that’s being created by geology,” says Seewald.

Full report here.
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Abstract of the paper:

Our findings highlight the ubiquitous occurrence of methane (CH4)-rich fluid inclusions in olivine-bearing rocks that, collectively, may constitute one of the largest reservoirs of abiotic CH4 on Earth. Because serpentinization in olivine-hosted fluid inclusions takes place in isolation from the surrounding rock, hydrogen (H2) and CH4 can form in any rock type containing olivine that hosts aqueous fluid inclusions, including those that do not undergo serpentinization on a macroscopic scale. Serpentinization and associated CH4 formation within olivine-hosted fluid inclusions has likely supplied microbial ecosystems with abiotic CH4 throughout most of Earth’s history and may be a source of H2 and CH4 on other planetary bodies in our solar system, even those where liquid water is no longer present.

August 21, 2019 Posted by | Phony Scarcity | 1 Comment

Law Enforcement To Flag & Spy On Future Criminals

DHS’s (old) Risk Assessment Chart
MassPrivateI | August 20, 2019

America’s fear of mass-shootings is about to take a truly bizarre turn. That’s because our law enforcement will soon be used as fortune tellers to spy on future criminals.

How will law enforcement be used as fortune tellers?

A recent Albuquerque Journal article revealed that law enforcement will flag people that they think might pose a potential risk.

“Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham directed state Homeland Security and Emergency Management Secretary Jackie Lindsay to start enrolling all 33 county sheriffs in a data-sharing program so that individuals deemed a potential risk could be flagged and monitored.”

What types of things could Americans do that law enforcement would consider threatening?

Inside Sources revealed that police would be looking for “certain indicators.”

State Police Chief Tim Johnson said, “I think it’s obviously important for all of the citizens of New Mexico to be on the lookout for certain indicators of these types of folks that would do this.  And part of our job as government officials is to ensure that the citizens of the community understand what those indicators are so they can report them.”

The Tampa Bay Times reports that police are looking for “certain critical threat indicators” on students social media posts and have even created their own FortifyFL app that allows anyone to secretly report suspicious behavior.

What these “indicators” are is anyone’s guess.

Johnson also said that it was “important for law enforcement and other social services to follow up” on reports of possibly dangerous citizens “in the hopes of preventing” acts of domestic terrorism.

Law enforcement and other agencies are being encouraged to report on and flag anyone that they deem a “potential risk.”

What could possibly go wrong?

It was only a couple of months ago, when I warned people about the “Threat Assessment, Prevention and Safety Act” that basically allows law enforcement to label anyone a potential threat.

“The TAPS Act would encourage law enforcement to give everyone a personal threat assessment (kids and adults) and single out those that they deem as future threats.”

Police across the country are already using “red flag” laws to take weapons away from people they deem a potential threat. So why is Homeland Security creating a whole new class of suspicious people?

Because the War on Terror constantly needs new enemies if it is to keep Americans living in fear.

The Albuquerque Journal revealed how law enforcement plans to use the red flag bill to allow law enforcement and other agencies to give people secret threat ratings.

“Sheriffs had been working with the Democratic sponsor of a proposed red flag bill toward a possible compromise. In its original form, the bill would have allowed courts to order the temporary taking of guns from someone deemed an immediate threat, “San Juan County Sheriff Shane Ferrari said.

From Homeland Security spying on everyone’s social media posts to the FBI, it seems like no one is safe from Big Brother’s prying eyes.

Reason.com warned that the FBI’s “red flag” social media spying tool is “a meme-illiterate Facebook-stalking precog from the Minority Report.”

Reason also warned that spying on everyone’s social media posts could spiral out of control.

“There are operations centers and watch floors, which monitor news and events to create reports for the relevant FBI team. These would spur the activation of fusion center, tactical teams which use early notification and accurate geo-locations. Which could allow law enforcement to target and even disenfranchise social media users whose posts may have been misinterpreted.”

Placing people on a secret risk chart is a disaster waiting to happen, just ask those people on the no-fly list or terror watch list.

There are no law enforcement risk rating charts yet.

Based on DHS’s old risk advisory chart we could expect law enforcement to use something similar to Canada’s workplace risk assessment ratings chart:

Canada’s workplace risk assessment ratings chart is a disturbing example of how DHS could give everyone a personal risk assessment.

Asking law enforcement to guess who might become a criminal is at best fortune telling; and at worst, an excuse to incarcerate more people.

August 21, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment