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More on the Strange Demise of The American Herald Tribune

By Tony Hall • Unz Review • November 13, 2020

In recent days many news sites, including Unz Review, have highlighted the role of the US Department of Justice (DOJ), the FBI and the CIA in removing web sites from the Internet. For five years I have worked as Editor in Chief of one of the targeted sites that was killed as a result of specious claims concocted by the US intelligence agencies and their media extensions. American Herald Tribune is a victim of a drive-by shooting inflicted by many of the same people seeking to impose the outcome of this presidential election. AHT is now a fallen soldier in the increasingly contentious Battle for Reality.

Initiated in 2015, AHT was made to disappear through the destructiveness of those presently vandalizing the Internet and much else besides. This modern-day version of book burning is based on a closed process where imperatives of the Empire of Deception are expressed. The imperatives of deception must be made to prevail no matter what; no matter who gets hurt or killed in the process

The destruction of the web site that I worked on with others was destroyed on the basis of a ridiculous claim from on high. American Herald Tribune was grouped together with dozens of other web sites said to form what was described as a worldwide propaganda scheme directed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The IRGC is well integrated into the larger structures of the Iranian Armed Forces.

Based on a directive given in 2019 by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to US President Donald Trump, IRGC was added to the US list of terror organizations. Netanyahu thanked Trump for “responding to another important request of mine.” For one country to designate the Armed Forces of another country as “terrorists” is pretty much the same as a Declaration of War. It creates something new with no precedent or formal place in the constitutional inheritance of international law.

While it can be dangerous to say so out loud, it is well known among the attentive that the government of Israel holds seemingly unlimited sway over many aspects of US lives and US governance. The areas of Israeli and Jewish dominance include strategic communications and foreign policy.

Within this framework of power relations the dominant unfulfilled action sought by Israel First partisans is to maneuver the US Armed Forces into invading and destroying Iran. Sheldon Adelson has specifically called for the use of nukes to bomb Iran “half way into the stone age.”

The prospect of such a war, one that came very close to happening in the opening days of 2020, is one of the most destabilizing factors in global geopolitics. At its strategic nexus in the heart of Eurasia, the Islamic Republic of Iran is allied with China and Russia. Moreover Iran has its own highly sophisticated military apparatus. Many of its senior soldiers and commanders are battle hardened especially from the legacy of decade-long war with US-backed Iraq. Iran is the home of a well-educated population of Persians with a great sense of rootedness in one of the world’s most ancient and accomplished civilizations.

The assault on American Herald Tribune and other web sites was justified as a step along the lethal trajectory meant to lead to a military invasion on Iran. The US attack on web sites is better understood as part of a well orchestrated domestic attack not only on the free speech rights codified in the First Amendment but on the whole underlying essence of Constitutional governance in the beleaguered United States..

The very parties engaged in censoring the Internet and shaping it to advance their own self-interested agendas are themselves deeply implicated in perpetrating major international and domestic crimes. The pre-emptive disappearance of the American Herald Tribune is one small but telling example of a ritual of exorcism. Its dynamic includes an effort to protect the guilty from the incursions that can arise from genuine investigative journalism.

The crimes being pressed from within the US intelligence agencies are extensive, elaborate and devastating in their consequence. The role of the FBI in perpetrating and covering up crime is especially obvious. As Gareth Porter has demonstrated, the FBI was engaged at all stages in a process that disabled and eventually destroyed AHT. The destruction began with the FBI ordering the disabling of AHT first on the strategic platforms of Facebook, Instagram Twitter and Google.

On Nov. 4, just as the tsunami of dirty tricks entailed in election fraud began rolling into the American heartland, American Herald Tribune was removed altogether from the Internet. The site itself along with its archives were plunged into oblivion

It seemed that CIA skills in rigging many elections around the world are now being deployed domestically. The imperial chickens were coming home to roost. The USA is itself now the site of a George Soros-backed Color Revolution. The residue of democracy still barely alive in United Sates is thereby being flattened and killed as the media pushes aside due process to anoint “President Elect Joe Biden.”

US Department of Justice (DOJ) took the lead in justifying the purge that eliminated AHT from the mix of Internet offering. This assault on a small but symbolically significant vehicle of investigative journalism speaks of the rapid ascent of authoritarian milieu where the law-defying media cartels appointed themselves top government deciders.

The Post-Mafia Character of Organized Crime

Many of the agencies engaged in the ritual assassination of AHT are engaged in a range of operations that are taking place far outside the gamut of the rule of law. Organizations charged to counter high-level crimes are instead engaged in committing and covering up organized crime. Some of the crimes that the big US intelligence agencies are promoting rather than prohibiting include, for starters, aggressive warfare as well as drug dealing, money laundering, stock market manipulation, bribery, blackmail and fraud. This list is far from complete.

The inability of the US Justice Department to keep an incarcerated Jeffrey Epstein alive long enough to face his accusers in a trial is suggestive of many things to come. The demise of the Epstein case on the issues Mr. Epstein had come to embody points to the great power of those that traffic in the exploitation of sex slaves, including children.

It seems that one of the big payoffs in this gruesome category of crime involves the filming of influential figures having sex with children. Apparently the threat of exposing these films to public view forms one of the most reliable means for the intelligence agencies to blackmail trendsetters, opinion makers, financiers and deciders into compliance.

The systemic involvement of the big intelligence agencies in organized crime extends to the massive deceptions pressed on the public through the 24/7 dissemination of disinformation by agglomerated media cartels. These cartels have been working in concert with the tax-free and indemnified corporate monopolies presently engaged in seizing illicit control of the Internet.

The scope of the media Mafioso’s power grab is epitomized by its attempt to install Joe Biden as US President by ignoring or downplaying massive and growing evidence of widespread election fraud.

In the days leading up to the US election, Rudy Giuliani, former NY City mayor and one of the most successful prosecutors in US history, was pictured in the media busily marshalling evidence. The evidence he was amassing should be more than enough to trigger a full-fledged FBI investigation into the well-documented case swirling around the possible criminal conduct of Joe Biden’s and much of his family. A considerable amount of evidence is already on the public record. It illuminates the nature of a political career that seems deeply bound up, at the very least, with illicit influence peddling conducted by Joe Biden’s son and his brothers.

The findings of Rudolf Giuliani cannot be easily dismissed. As a federal prosecutor Giuliani succeeded in winning convictions of America’s leading mafia families. It is hard to counter Giuliani’s insistence concerning the broader implications of Hunter Biden’s escapades. Hunter’s conduct was especially significant when he was for all intents and purposes a foreign affairs emissary of the Obama-Biden White House.

Giuliani effectively makes the case that he, together with a small coterie of other experienced investigators, have already identified the broad outlines of a crime spree and a national security scandal involving the many-faceted infractions committed collectively by the racketeering members of the Biden Crime Family.

The publicity attending reports of the Laptop from Hell have helped draw attention to the Biden scandal as articulated by Giuliani and also by Steve Bannon, Senator Ron Johnson, Peter Scweitzer, Maria Bartiromo, and, for a time, by reporters at the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal and Fox News. The FBI is apparently holding the original hard drive of the Hunter Biden’s discarded Laptop from Hell.

Hence the receptacle of a significant part of the smoking-gun-evidence in the Biden scandal has apparently been gathering dust throughout 2020 in the office of FBI Director, Christopher Wray. This revelation has particular significance for me especially in light of the FBI cavalier removal of Internet content containing some of my best investigative work developed over a period of five years. Christopher Wray sat on the Biden laptop during the very months when his office was showering attention on the process leading to AHTs removal from cyberspace .

Who thinks that the FBI Director Wray got his priorities wrong? Who is willing to take on a federal police force possessing, no doubt, abundant surveillance files on every individual of consequence? This intrusive approach to federal policing was pioneered by J. Edgar Hoover. For almost half a century Hoover was the FBI’s notorious Director. No doubt the data-collecting capacities during Hoover’s time pale in comparison with government spying activities carried out by the post-9/11 surveillance state.

When I think of the FBI a flood of images of government malfeasance come to mind. I think, for instance, of the FBI’s involvement in the murders of the Kennedy brothers, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X. I think of J. Edgar Hoover. I think of the farce of the FBI’s fake investigation into the 9/11 fiasco under the auspices of FBI Director Robert Mueller.

In 2017 Mueller returned to his role as a master of the FBI propensity to cover the tracks of high-ranking criminals. Mueller was brought in to clean up the mess created by the Clinton-Obama losers after they handed over the keys to the White House to the new Donald Trump administration.

The departing oligarchs acted on the principle that the best defence is a good offence. Donald Trump, it turned out, did not dare as he had promised to set in motion the jailing of Hillary Clinton. Instead Donald Trump was subjected to the Russiagate deception, a prelude to the current Irangate deception. A telling symbol of the Irangate deception is the FBI’s knife in the back of AHT.

When I think of the effort to undermine all possible platforms for aggressive investigative journalism, I am reminded of probable FBI-CIA collaboration in the murder of perennial truth teller, John Lennon. I think of the FBI’s role in the police killing in 1969 of the Black Panther activist Fred Hampton and of the FBI’s direct assassination of Lavoy Finicum in 2016.

Finicum was a rancher and an outspoken critic of the federal role in land management in the western US. Like Hampton, Finicum was a gifted speaker with a talent for widening the discussion from the grievances of particular groups to the grievances shared by people in general. Both Hampton and Finicum were victims of governmental homicide aimed at killing the messengers of popular discontent.

During the university winter break in 2016 I drove from my home in Lethbridge Alberta to investigate in Oregon the murder of Finicum as well as popular responses to it. In the course of my research I tried to visit the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, federal land that had been occupied in the protest movement led by Finicum, the Bundies and other members of the Citizens for Constitutional Freedoms.

As I approached the site of the Malheur protest I was stopped at a roadblock. I was suddenly confronted by about 6 machinegun-wielding officials all wearing overalls with the FBI crests. I was patted down and threatened and instructed in no uncertain terms to turn around and head back to where I had come from.

I wrote about the whole experience at some length as part of the process of taking on my new responsibilities as Editor in Chief of American Herald Tribune. Because of the FBI’s recent assault on AHT, the articles explaining my encounter in 2016 with FBI officials are no longer readily accessible. Some digital fragments of my writing on the Finicum affair survive here and there.

My point is not that the FBI helped to assassinate AHT in order to hide the FBI’s own crimes and misdemeanors. My point is that this federal police force has a history of committing crimes and covering up crimes so that the FBI is no longer a credible instrument of law enforcement. The history of FBI crimes via COINTELPRO that have been directed at, for instance, the peace movement, the American Indian Movement, the Black Panthers, the civil rights movement, the environment movement, and the Nation of Islam.

There are some very dark sides to the history of undercover assaults by the FBI and its accomplices on people and organizations pressing for needed changes to existing social, economic and political orders. The protesters in Black Lives Matter need to take seriously the politics of their siding with some of the primary opponents of the very principles they claim to be advancing in 2020. As always, its important to follow the large sums of money that are helping to fuel the sometimes violent BLM and Antifa actions.

The attack on AHT is quite well aligned with the FBI’s history of seeking the repression of progressive movements. The FBI is a failing federal police agency that should indeed be defunded. The FBI should be replaced with another entity designed to reflect the findings of an investigation into federal policing, an investigation that is long past due.

The Seeds of American Herald Tribune

I have never made any secret of the fact that I have visited Iran several times in the last six years. One of these visits arose from my agreement to deliver an invited paper at a history conference at the University of Tehran. I also attended an event in the Iranian Parliament where Muslim solidarity was expressed by many delegations including many that represented national governments. The shared cause that brought us together was justice for the Palestinians. My other visits involved attendance at New Horizon Conferences.

The most recent New Horizon conference took place in Beirut in the autumn of 2019. Invited US delegates including Dr. Philip Giraldi and Dr. Kevin Barrett. They were threatened by FBI officers promising harsh consequences if they attended the Beirut gathering.

My initial participation in a New Horizon conference took place in 2014. I was one of about 60 foreign delegates invited from throughout North America and Europe. The delegates included Pepe Escobar, Medea Benjamin, Ken O’Keefe, Imran Hussein, Thierry Meyssan, and Wayne Madsen.

One of the featured speakers was Gareth Porter. Dr. Porter introduced his book, Manufactured Crisis, where he exposed the errors in much US and Israeli alarmism concerning Iran’s nuclear energy program.

As I would later realize, the New Horizon conference of 2014 can be seen as a part of the political negotiations that would culminate in 2015 in the agreement of Iran with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. The aim of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was intended to enable the Iranian government to continue with its nuclear energy program with international monitoring.

Another aspect of the deal involved some reduction in economic sanctions imposed on the basis of the international power derived from the Federal Reserve banking system headquartered on Wall Street. To get a deal, US President Barak Obama had to invest considerable political capital in what could be seen as a move aimed at normalizing relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

When President Donald J. Trump came to power he very publicly renounced the deal on behalf of the US government. Much to the pleasure of the Israeli government, the resulting deterioration in US-Iran relations has become more and more severe right up to the present.

The whole experience of being part of a very significant event in Tehran was for me something of a revelation with many layers of meaning. As my time in Tehran passed I could see in my mind’s eye a melting away of media-generated caricatures embodied in popular stereotypes of the most demonized country on earth.

The agenda of the 2014 New Horizon conference included some very lively academic sessions. The exchanges among colleagues caused me to become more aware of subtle prohibitions on free speech in North America. I witnessed how the delegates in Tehran were able to converse on some contentious issues in a relaxed and poised way. I reflected on the irony of how difficult it would be to replicate this quality of open debate in academic conferences in North America.

As I ingested the basics of what was to me a new discourse, it seemed I had entered the vortex of very profound antagonisms between Israel and the Islamic Republic of Iran. I could sense that these antagonisms were reverberating far beyond the region. Prototypes and patterns were being set that help shape many facets of international relations.

In the process of returning from Tehran to Lethbridge I saw from computer searches conducted in airports various versions of a much-mirrored report conveying unflattering things about the New Horizon conference. The same story was replicated across many influential venues.

The highlighted story featured angry condemnations hurled aggressively by Abe Foxman, then National Director of Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. Foxman described the whole conference as a hate fest of anti-Semites, conspiracy theorists, Holocaust deniers and 9/11 truthers.

Seeing this combination of weaponized phrases alerted me to how such terms can be combined to compound the harshness of defamatory smears. To be accused of any one of the ADL’s condemnations implied that the whole set of accusations applied to the entire conference and to every delegate who took part.

This crash course in the techniques of Israel First propaganda extended to shocking illustrations meant to indicate what the conference was supposedly all about. Accompanying text presenting hostile commentary on the New Horizon event I saw published images of angry demonstrators burning the Israeli flag. No such demonstration took place. But adherence to the truth of what did or didn’t happen has not been a priority for the authors of a smear campaign the likes of which I had never seen, let alone experienced up until that point

As I settled back into my usual routine in Canada I resolved to look more deeply into a research problem that had come into greater focus during my time in Iran. Since 1982 the academic focus of my research, publication, and teaching was centered on studying encounters between Indigenous peoples and the societies of the colonizing newcomers they encountered.

Over time I worked on expanding this study from Canada to North America and then to the Western Hemisphere. A reasonable extension of this approach, I determined, would be to expand this trajectory of study to the treatment of the indigenous Arabs of Palestine by the Zionist founders and builders of Israel.

A major thread of continuity in this study linking US and Israeli history was the Calvinist views of New England founder’s who saw themselves as God’s Chosen people, as Israelites seeking to establish a New Jerusalem. This vision of Manifest Destiny runs from the creation of New England to the transcontinental expansion of the United States to the US-backed expansion of Israeli settlements eastward to the West Bank and beyond.

Ze’ev Jabotinsky is the founder of revisionist Zionism, the version of imperial Zionism that today dominates the Israeli Knesset. In developing his vision of Greater Israel, or Eretz Israel, Jabotinsky drew heavily on his reading of US expansion into Indian Country. He provided the essential metaphor of the “Iron Wall” as the essential condition for Israeli security and for the Jewish state’s acquisition of new territory. Military force, not compromises and reciprocity with Indigenous peoples, was to provide the basis of the Iron Wall on the moving frontiers of the Jewish state.

The Life and Times of American Herald Tribune

In the months following my return to Canada I engaged in E-mail exchanges with a thoughtful Iranian graduate student who reached out to me based on what he saw at the New Horizon conference. Out of that exchange emerged the idea of the American Herald Tribune, a project we worked on together over a five-year period. During most of those years Donald Trump has been US President who adopted the specious 9/11 narrative and as well as the caricature of Iran as a country of ruthless terrorists.

The Zionist design to poison the minds of Westerners against the government and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been unrelenting especially since 2001. In the days following the 9/11 debacle, recall that George W. Bush characterized Iran, along with Iraq and North Korea, as members of“the axis of evil.”

After 9/11 the Israel First architects of the Global War on Terror were especially fast and zealous to pin the label of “terrorist” on the Palestinians and Iranians. After the New Horizon conference in Beirut in 2019 I addressed the meme of Israeliocentric allegation that Iran is the world’s biggest exporter of terrorism.

The misrepresentation of of 9/11 and many subsequent false flag terror events was systematically deployed to pave the way for the invasion of several Muslim-majority countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen.

These invasions were deemed acceptable in the West because of the toxification of the mental environment with poisonous inducements in popular culture to fear all Arabs and Muslims as potential jihadists. The result has been elevated levels of Arabophobia and Islamophobia. The Zionist Lobby worked especially hard, however, to stimulate attitudes of Iranophobia,

Iranophobia can flourish in societies where most people have very little knowledge of Iran and its deep Persian heritage. This ignorance of Iran is not inadvertent. Only very rarely do we see Iranians loyal to Iran’s present government invited to represent their country in the Western media. Increasingly the rule seems to be that Iran can only be spoken about by lobbyists actively promoting aggressive war against the Islamic Republic. There seems to be no room in the media for Iranians to represent their own country on their own terms. Nor is there room for proponents of peace with Iran to counter the messages of the war hawks.

My Iranian colleague and I have since 2015 worked together to build up American Herald Tribune. I was surprised myself by the growth of a large constituency of authors from around the world who became enthusiastic to contribute on a wide array of subjects. Initially some of the authors were paid small amounts and many contributors receive no recompense at all.

Some of the published pieces were contributions written especially for AHT and some of the items were mirrored from other sites. Some of the authors are experienced and well known and some of the authors were neophytes submitting their first attempts at journalism. All in all AHT became very multinational and international in character with a fairly frequent focus on West Asia and Eurasia.

In recent years whatever amounts of money were originally available apparently dried up. Like many Internet initiatives, the AHT project was by and large a labor of love, not a money-making enterprise. I made a point of contributing my modest talents and services for free. I did not seek and I was not offered any material gain. In my role as Editor in Chief I would intervene from time to time to sort out various contentions.

The subject of homosexuality, for instance, generated contrasting treatments by AHT contributors Miko Peled and Gearoid O’Colmain. My advice was not to pick sides but to publish the different perspectives of both commentators. The decision was not well received by some. AHTs then-regular columnist, George Galloway, for instance, chose to withdraw from AHT because of how we handled this matter.

While AHT had developed over time a genuinely international personality, the project continued to hold my interest largely because of my desire to promote the ideals of peace over the contentions of war. As part of this commitment I have become an advocate in Canada of the resumption of normal diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The Israel First sycophant, Canadian PM Stephen Harper, had unilaterally severed diplomatic relations with Iran in 2012. Justin Trudeau has promised to restore diplomatic relations but has failed to do so.

I have intervened against interventions by B’nai Brith Canada and its MEK partners to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, the IRGC, as a terrorist organization. I my view, President Trump made a big mistake when he gave into Netanyahu’s demand to designate the Armed Forces of a sovereign government as a terrorist organization. If that approach was to catch on, how many peoples in the world would have good reason to designate the US Armed Forces as a terrorist organization?

I completely reject as absurd any notion that AHT is a venue somehow operated by the IRGC as part of a worldwide Iranian influence network. That hallucination is the product of the kind of twisted thinking that tends to develop in those whose perceptions have been distorted by too much war game strategizing. As for me, I am comfortable in my skin as an advocate of peace who makes a point of getting in the way of the intrigues of war mongers.

I took on the war mongers, for instance, at CNN and the Washington Post when earlier this years they both published articles aimed at stigmatizing AHT as a crude instrument of Iranian propaganda. My two responses originally published at AHT have been made to disappear. The articles, however, were picked up by other sources where they can still be found.

As I wrote in AHTs response to the Washington Posts smear of the targeted venue,

I proudly affirm that AHT is opposed to any US-led war with Iran. For those seeking to avoid the scourge of war, the pursuit of peace obviously favors dialogue and exchange rather than animosity and sword-rattling. AHT intends to continue favoring dialogue and exchange.

In answering the criticisms of CNN and WaPo, I was very much aware that I was responding to two media venues well known for their close relations with the US intelligence establishment but especially the CIA. While CNN was not established until 1980, both venues extend into contemporary times the older heritage of Operation Mockingbird, the mother lode of CIA-engineered propaganda establishing much of the narrative of the US-led side in the Cold War. CIA operatives and assets continue to be well represented within the staffs of many big media venues.

The Washington Posts essay on AHT was written as an account of the decision of the newspaper’s Iranophobic Editorial Board. I accused this Board of

… rattling off jargon paraphrasing a deeply flawed study that provides no evidence whatsoever for the extravagant claims being irresponsibly asserted.

The basis for the Washington Post’s claim goes back to a glossy document put together in Milpitas California by an organization named Fire Eye. Fire Eye’s CEO is Kevin Mandia who cryptically describes his company’s specialty as the defense against “cyberattacks.”

The title of the Fire Eye report is Suspected Iranian Influence Operation: Leveraging Inauthentic News Sites and Social Media Aimed at U.S., U.K., Other Audiences. No specific individuals have permitted their names to appear as authors. Thus no one takes specific responsibility for the report’s contents, an understandable absence given the shoddy quality of the study.

There is absolutely no information given about the funders of the report. Why? What is there to hide? Did CNN or the Washington Post or a subsidiary company help fund the study? Did the Israeli or US government pay the piper? The question of the sponsorship of such an investigation is crucial to an assessment of its credibility. Everything points to the fact that there is apparently much about the origins and genesis of this mysterious study that is being kept under lock and key.

There is no clear explanation or justification of the methodology used. There are no specific references to other studies of a similar nature except for vague references to the Democratic Party’s hunt for Russian influences on US politics. There are no scholarly references nor is there a bibliography.

I did not see anywhere in the anonymously authored document a single reference to American Herald Tribune. Not one. Instead the report is organized as individual studies devoting a few pages including screen shots to several sites. These sites are Liberty Front Press, US Journal, Real Progressive Front, British Left, Critics Chronicle and Instituto Manquehue. Before doing research for this essay I had not heard of any of these sites. When I looked them up on Internet search engines, I found in several places adjacent to the named sites results linking to the Fire Eye document.

Propaganda Directed at Iran and Iranians: Prof. Marandi Speaks

The allegations from the US intelligence agencies and their extensions in mainstream media devote enormous attention to what they see as inward-flowing propaganda from Russia and Iran. Those that make this case, however, fail to consider the reverse of what they are arguing. Very concerted efforts are being mounted to bring via media venues foreign influences into the formulation of the attitudes and behaviour of Iranians in Iran. Double standards are in effect. Iranians are being flooded with alien propaganda while any Iranian influence in US media is treated as necessarily evil and illegitimate.

Earlier this year by Professor Seyed Mohammed Marandi provided a very telling account of this inundation of Iran with hostile propaganda from the United States and Britain. Prof. Marandi was interviewed by Anya Parampilaya on Max Blumenthall’s social media operation, the Grayzone. Prof. Marandi did his Ph.D at the University of Birmingham. He is currently Professor of English Literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran.

Prof. Marandi explained that tens of TV networks including BBC Persia broadcast into his country programming that often is rife with hostile depictions of Iranian society and government. With significant backing from US, Israeli and European sources, some of this propaganda is produced by MEK, an organization that joined with the Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq’s war with Iran during the 1980s.

MEK is known to have assassinated Iranian scientists. The MEK organization is widely perceived within Iran as a terrorist group supported by some Iranians who wish for a return to a regime similar to that of the Shah of Iran.

Before the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the Shah was an instrument of Iran’s friendly integration with the West. Many saw the Shah as a puppet of US, British and Israeli interests.

As the primary source of oil for Royal Navy, Iran had played a crucial role in the history of the British empire throughout the first half of the twentieth century. The cycles of history that have made Iran a site of contention in global affairs gained momentum in 1953. The CIA and British intelligence interests organized a coup to fend off a bid to nationalize Iranian oil supplies. That hostile intervention by the West continues to reverberate across generations right up to present times.

Prof. Marandi explained that much of Farsi (Persian) language propaganda material emanating from foreign sources is engineered to instigate anti-Arab prejudices. Alternatively, much of the Arab-language propaganda generated by the Western-aligned monarchies in the Persian Gulf region is directed at engendering anti-Iranian, anti-Persian prejudices.

The interview with Prof. Marandi took place in the wake of the decision of Facebook and other social media to deplatform him. Prior to 2020 this Iranian academic was a frequent guest on many mainstream media outlets in the US, Great Britain and Australia. The effort to block Iranian perspectives in Western media hardened, however, after an unprovoked and lethal US drone attack in Baghdad that started the process of making 2020 a year like no other.

November 15, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Islamophobia, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Cui bono from the situation in France

The Saker | October 29, 2020

I won’t even bother repeating it all here, those who are interested in my views of this entire Charlie Hebdo canard can read my article “I am NOT Charlie” here: https://thesaker.is/i-am-not-charlie/

No, what I want to do is to ask a simple question: do you think the French leaders are simply stupid, suicidal or naive?  I submit that they neither stupid, nor suicidal nor naive. In fact, they are using a well practiced technique which goes with some variation of this:

  • Infiltrate some pseudo-Islamic gang of cutthroats (literally!)
  • Keep them under close scrutiny ostensibly for counter-terrorism purposes
  • Inside the group, try to promote your confidential informers
  • Have your analysts work on the following question: “how could we best provoke these nutcases into a bloody terrorist act?
  • Once the plan is decided, simply execute it, say by organizing the posting of fantastically offensive caricatures
  • Once the cutthroats strike, blame Islam and double down
  • By then, you have infuriated most of the immense Muslim world out there and you can rest assured that the process is launched and will continue on its own. You can now relax and get the pop-corn
  • Have your propaganda machine declare that Islam is incompatible with western civilization (whatever that means in 2020, both Descartes and Conchita Wurst I suppose… )
  • Shed some crocodile tears when the cutthroats murder some completely innocent Christian bystander
  • And announce a new crusade against “Islamism” (also a vague and, frankly, meaningless term!) and crack down on true Muslim communities and ideas while continuing to lovingly arm, train, finance and direct the “good terrorists” who have now become your own, personal, cutthroats.

Cui bono?

Anybody who knows anything about the political realities in France will immediately know in whose interests this all is and who is behind that: the Zionist power structure in France (CRIF, UEJF, etc. and the Israelis). They have a total control over Macron and over the entire political class, very much including Marine LePen.

Who else could have concocted the “beautiful” term “Islamo-Fascisme“?!

This is a new phenomenon, a new ideology and a new strategy, which Alain Soral calls “National Zionism” which I discussed in some details here: https://thesaker.is/the-great-fraud-of-national-zionism/.

In its inception (from Ahad Ha’am, Theodor Herzl,  Ze’ev Jabotinsky, etc) Zionism used to be a largely secular and nationalistic, then, later, after WWII, it became very leftist and still secular ( Ben-Gurion, Shlomo Lavi, Golda Meir). Modern Zionism, however, is both rabidly racist and religious – the perfect example would be US neocons. It is also a ruthless and genocidal ideology which has created something truly original: God-mandated racism, something which, as far as I know, no other religion professes (so much for the ignorant and, frankly, plain stupid notions of “Abrahamic religions” or, even worse, “Judeo-Christian values”!). National Zionism is the next phase of Zionism – it is rabidly “conservative” (in a Neocon sense only, of course!) and it parasitically feeds on whatever nationalist ideology the local patriotic goyim are inclined towards (the best example of that being the so-called “Christian Zionists” in the USA).

But here is the demonic “beauty” of it all: in a society like the French one, the Zionists don’t even need to micromanage their false flags: given enough uneducated and murderous pseudo-Muslim cutthroats and enough rabid secularists wanted to offend the faithful – some kind of violent explosion will *inevitably* happen!

Right now, between the embarrassing Yellow Vests movement, the crumbling economy, the massive influx, wave after wave, of unwanted and un-adaptable immigrants and the resulting social tensions, the French regime is in deep trouble. Add to this the COVID pandemic which just added to the chaos and anger and finish with a total lack of foreign policy successes and you will immediately see why this regime badly needed what could be called a “patriotic reaction”.

Finally, there is the time-proven method of scaring your own population into a state of catatonic acceptance of everything and anything in the name of “security”.

We see it all in France today, we saw it in the UK before, and also in Belgium. And, rest assured, we will see much more such massacres in the future. The only way to really stop these “terrorist” attacks is to show their sponsors that we know who they are and we understand what they are doing. Short of this, these attacks will continue.

October 29, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Islamophobia, Wars for Israel | , | 1 Comment

Insisting on insult, Macron opens floodgates for Muslim backlash

Press TV | October 26, 2020

Numerous Muslim states and peoples have denounced French President Emanuel Macron’s persisting support for blasphemy in his country against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

“We will not give in, ever,” Macron tweeted on Sunday. The tweet served to back up his earlier support for a French teacher’s displaying of cartoons insulting of the Prophet of Islam in his class under the pretext of “freedom of speech.”

“France will never renounce caricatures,” Macron had declared on Wednesday, defending the teacher for “promoting freedom.”

The teacher Samuel Paty was murdered by an 18-year-old Chechen assailant. Commenting on the attack, Macron described Islam as a religion “in crisis” worldwide, trying to suggest that the assailant had been motivated to kill the teacher by the faith rather than radicalism.

The comments have raised controversy and provoked a wave of criticism from the Muslim world.

On Sunday, the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) described Macron’s position as “irresponsible,” and said it was aimed at spreading a culture of hatred among peoples.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had called on Macron to have his mental status examined for defending blasphemy, repeated the call on Sunday. Macron “is a case and therefore he really needs to have [mental] checks,” Erdogan said.

In a statement, Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry warned that attempts at linking Islam to terrorism “represents a falsification of reality, insults the teachings of Islam, and offends the feelings of Muslims around the world.”

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan also hit out at Macron for “attacking Islam clearly without having any understanding of it.”

He urged the French president to rather address the marginalization and polarization that is being committed against minorities in France that “inevitably leads to radicalization.”

The Pakistani head of state also wrote to Facebook, asking the social media network to clamp down on Islamophobic content in the same way that it purges content aimed at skewing or denying the Holocaust.

He warned about a “growing” trend of Islamophobia throughout the platform among elsewhere, pleading with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “I would ask you to place a similar ban on Islamophobia and hate against Islam for Facebook that you have put in place for the Holocaust.”

“One cannot send a message that while hate messages against some are unacceptable, these are acceptable against others,” Khan said, adding that this attitude was “reflective of prejudice and bias….”

Pakistan also summoned France’s ambassador and notified him about Islamabad’s protest at “systematic Islamophobic campaign under the garb of freedom of expression.”

Jordan’s Islamic Affairs Minister Mohammed al-Khalayleh said “insulting” prophets is “not an issue of personal freedom but a crime…,” and Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said continuing publication of such “offensive” is an act of provocation.

Hamas and Hezbollah, respectively Palestinian and Lebanese resistance movements, have also condemned Macron’s position.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said on Saturday that publishing the cartoons was “provocative to the feelings of the Islamic nation and an aggression on its religion and beliefs,” while Hezbollah said blasphemy did not categorize as “freedom of speech.”

Protests were, meanwhile, reported in the Gaza Strip, Syria, and Libya as well as elsewhere throughout the Muslim world.

Boycott spree

Many Muslim companies and associations, meanwhile, have stopped handling or serving French items in protest.

These have included the Al-Naeem Cooperative Society and the Dahiyat al-Thuhr association in Kuwait as well as the Wajbah Dairy firm and Al Meera Consumer Goods Company in Qatar. The Qatar University has also postponed a French cultural week.

Hashtags such as the #BoycottFrenchProducts in English and the Arabic #ExceptGodsMessenger trended across many countries, including Kuwait, Qatar, Palestine, Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.

The French Foreign Ministry, however, reacted angrily to the bans.

“The calls for a boycott are groundless and must be stopped immediately, like all attacks against our country committed by a radical minority,” it alleged, trying to associate the protests with “radicalism.”

October 26, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Islamophobia | , | Leave a comment

US federal court grants pro-Palestinian American group legal victory in terrorism case

MEMO | October 21, 2020

Pro-Palestinian groups in America have won a famous victory after a three-year legal battle against a lawsuit holding them responsible for an act of terrorism carried out in 1996. A federal court ruled that American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) and Americans for Justice in Palestine (AJP) are not liable for the $156 million in damages sought by Stanley and Joyce Boim.

The husband and wife, whose teenage son David Boim was fatally shot in 1996 at a bus stop near Jerusalem, was awarded $156 million in damages in a 2004 legal case under the Anti-Terrorism Act. The Boims attempted to collect the sum from the defendants to the original lawsuit, however these entities had become defunct.

In 2017 the Boims went after AMP and AJP claiming that they were “alter egos” of the defunct groups that a jury found liable in 2004 for the death of their 17-year-old son David. The two entities did not exist at the time. AMP was formed in 2009 as a national education and grassroots-based organisation, dedicated to educating the American public about Palestine and its rich cultural, historical and religious heritage. AJP is the legal business name for AMP.

AMP Chairman Dr Hatem Bazian dismissed the 2017 lawsuit as “frivolous” saying that it was an attempt to use “the Islamophobic environment we are in to try to tarnish and defame an organisation that is in good standing, and has been working diligently to provide a perspective on the Palestine cause to the American public.”

In their complaint filed in a Chicago federal court, the Boims said they had collected only a “small fraction” of the judgment, and the defendants should be held civilly liable for the rest under the federal Anti-Terrorism Act. They also continue to insist that “it never was their intention to get rich” from the lawsuit.

The federal court dismissed the suggestion that AMP was in any shape or form liable. The eight-page judgement seen by MEMO says that the Boims “do not present evidence that AMP and AJP and the defunct Boim defendants had substantial continuity in operations, ownership, leadership, the same business purpose or that there was a transfer of assets – nor do they set forth evidence of unlawful motive”.

The judge accused the Boims of offering “speculative allegations” centred mainly around Bazian, who they claimed “fully subscribed” to Hamas. Dismissing their allegations, the court refuses to infer that because Bazian had supported Palestinian issues he was somehow connected to Hamas, as the plaintiffs suggest.

Lawyers from the Constitutional Law Centre for Muslims in America (CLCMA), which defended AMP, spoke of the significance of the victory. “We are thrilled for our clients after this long and hard-fought battle,” commented Christina A. Jump, Civil Litigation Department Head for CLCMA.

“Without CLCMA’s ability to work for non-profits like AMP free of charge, due to the generosity of our operating grant funded by many small donations from across the country, a blameless non-profit would have been forced out of existence solely because of the nationality of its members and the culture which it works to preserve. The right legal decision came through today, after many years, many depositions, and a lot of fishing expeditions in discovery – which all led nowhere. Today we celebrate on behalf of our clients, and look forward to being able to do so even more often in the future.”

October 22, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Islamophobia | , , , | 1 Comment

German Parliament Greenlights Non-Binding Initiative to Ban Hezbollah

Sputnik – December 20, 2019

German lawmakers approved a non-binding initiative on Thursday calling on the government to ban from Germany the political and militant group Hezbollah, which forms part of the Lebanese government. The move, reportedly aimed at combating anti-Semitism, has been rejected multiple times by the parliament.

The Thursday resolution was approved by the opposition Free Democrats as well as the Social Democratic Party, which is allied to the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party. The move seeks to ban the political arm of Hezbollah from Germany and to add the group to the European Union’s terrorist list.

“It is unacceptable that Hezbollah is waging a terrorist fight against Israel in the Middle East, which is being financed through worldwide criminal activities, among other things,” CDU spokesperson Mathias Middelberg said in a statement, according to AP. “In view of Germany’s special responsibility toward Israel, we call on the government to ban all activities for Hezbollah in Germany.”“The separation between a political and a military arm should be abandoned, and Hezbollah as a whole should be placed on the EU terrorist list,” Middelberg said. “This could freeze Hezbollah’s funds and assets in Europe more extensively than before.”

Germany last weighed the question of banning the political wing of Hezbollah, which has just over 1,000 members, in June. That bill, sponsored by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which has repeatedly sponsored bills seeking to ban burqas and minarets, claiming “Islam is not a part of Germany,” according to Middle East Monitor, failed amid joint opposition by the same parties that sponsored the resolution passed Thursday.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz praised the move, calling it “an important step in the international struggle against terrorism, particularly against terrorist organization Hezbollah and its patron Iran,” AP noted. US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell also voiced his support.Hezbollah is a Lebanese political party and militant group whose primary basis of support is the country’s Shiite Muslim community, although it also enjoys the support of many Christians, Druze and even Sunni Muslims. It gained notoriety for fighting the Israel Defense Forces to a standstill in Lebanon’s south when Israel invaded in 2006. The group was formed as a self-defense force in the early 1980s, during a previous occupation by Israeli forces, against whom it waged a guerrilla campaign. It has also joined the fight in Syria against Daesh and other jihadist rebel groups.

Hezbollah has been accused of multiple acts of terrorism, such as a bus bombing in the Bulgarian city of Burgas in 2012 that killed seven people and injured 32, although no conclusive evidence tying Hezbollah to the attack has been found. It’s also been accused of being behind a slew of terrorist attacks in the early 1980s, including several deadly bombings in Beirut, but again with limited evidence behind the claims. However, 14 nations and several international organizations have declared Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization, while eight nations have declared it not to be one. Hezbollah is also accused of being a proxy of Iran.

Mustafa Ammar, a CDU candidate for the 2021 elections, told Asharq Al-Awsat late last month that secret talks had taken place during a congress held by the CDU in Leipzig about how best to limit anti-Semitism in Germany, especially in schools.“One of the measures included the total banning of Hezbollah and its activities,” Ammar told the London-based outlet. A Hamburg intelligence agency reported in July that Hezbollah had ties to about 30 mosques across Germany, where it raises funds and spreads its ideology, according to Fox News.

Hezbollah has long maintained it distinguishes between Judaism as a religion and Zionism as a political ideology, with leader Hassan Nasrallah saying in 2009: “Our problem with [the Israelis] is not that they are Jews, but that they are occupiers who are raping our land and holy places.” However, Nassrallah and other Hezbollah leaders have also been accused of anti-Semitic statements.

Last week, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order that categorized anti-Israeli speech as anti-Semitism and hate speech under Article VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The move is widely interpreted as aimed at punishing anti-Israel initiatives like Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) by declaring them to be anti-Semitic, tying the nation of Israel to the worldwide Jewish community.

December 20, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Islamophobia | , , | 1 Comment

French vote one step closer to anti-Zionism ban

By Ramin Mazaheri – Press TV – December 3, 2019

Paris – France’s media has remained nearly silent ahead of a vote on a resolution which is one step away from criminalizing opposition to Zionism.

If the motion passes, in a vote on December 3rd, it will throw open the door to false accusations of anti-Semitism for anyone openly criticising Israeli crimes, war atrocities and its Apartheid policies.

The resolution purposely tries to confuse “Zionism”, which refers to the imperialist and segregationist political project upon which Israel is based, with “anti-Semitism” which is a bigotry against Jews and Judaism that has nothing to do with Israeli massacres and crimes against Palestinians and non-Jews.

The hypocritical irony is that the law arrives just as France is in the midst of its latest wave of Islamophobia. Last month many top, alleged leftist politicians refused to denounce Islamophobia because they said that doing so could mean they are not allowed to publicly criticise the tenets of Islam. Protesters in Paris asked: where are France’s many self-proclaimed defenders of free speech?

The resolution states that, “Criticizing the existence of a Jewish state is a way to express hate towards the entire Jewish community.” Not only is this logically false, but inaccurate: studies show the majority of Jews in Europe are also anti-Zionist. Such a view also unjustly and dangerously tries to hold all Jews responsible for the crimes committed by Israel.

Many believe that nowhere in the world is right and wrong clearer than in Palestine, and the inability to discuss the imperialist, segregationist and constantly murderous project of Zionism will surely lead to more funerals for innocent Palestinians.

December 3, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Islamophobia | , , , , | 1 Comment

US terrorist watchlist ruled ‘unconstitutional’ with no remedy in sight

RT | September 6, 2019

The US government’s list of “known or suspected terrorists” violates the constitutional due process rights of the million-plus people on it, a judge has ruled, but the government insists the case doesn’t belong in court at all.

The watchlist, with no “ascertainable standard for inclusion and exclusion” – one need not have been convicted or even suspected of a crime in order to end up on it, and being acquitted of a crime does not necessarily result in removal – is too vague to risk depriving Americans of their “travel-related and reputational liberty interests,” Eastern District of Virginia Judge Anthony Trenga ruled this week. It violates the due process rights of the 23 plaintiffs represented by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, he declared, granting them summary judgment – but noting that the case “presents unsettled issues.”

Trenga stopped short of recommending a legal remedy, asking both CAIR and the Justice Department – which argued that the watchlist was a national security matter and didn’t belong in court at all – to make recommendations for “what kind of remedy can be fashioned to adequately protect a citizen’s constitutional rights while not unduly compromising public safety or national security” before he lays out the path forward.

“There is no evidence, or contention, that any of these plaintiffs satisfy the definition of a ‘known terrorist,’” Trenga wrote in his ruling, noting that immutable characteristics such as race and ethnicity, as well as constitutionally-protected activities including free speech, free exercise of religion, and freedom of assembly, could all be taken into consideration in determining whether a person was placed on the list. Travel history, business associations, and even study of Arabic could also be used to support a nomination – even in the absence of any hint of criminal activity.

Hailing the ruling as a “total victory,” plaintiffs’ lawyer Gadeir Abbas said he would ask the judge to “severely curtail” the use of the list, which CAIR executive director called “effectively a Muslim registry created in the wake of the widespread Islamophobia of the early 2000s.”

“Innocent people should be beyond the reach of the watchlist system. We think that’s what the Constitution requires.”

The Justice Department had no comment. During the case, its lawyers had insisted the court defer to the executive branch, since national security took precedence over all else.

The Terrorist Screening Database, as it is officially called, has exploded in size since the creation of a special FBI department to house it in 2003, numbering about 1.2 million people as of 2017. While it is maintained by the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, other agencies can suggest people to add to the list without explaining why they belong there or providing intelligence to back up their nomination. Individuals on the list are not told of their inclusion, and may never find out unless they end up on the more-restrictive No Fly List and find they’re unable to board their flight.

Since CAIR’s suit was filed in 2016, a number of unsavory details about the list have emerged. The government shares it with over 500 private-sector entities which it describes as “law enforcement adjacent,” including organizations as diverse as university police forces and animal welfare groups. Beyond airport screenings and citizenship evaluations, the watchlist is used to run drivers’ licenses in traffic stops, to determine whether a municipal permit should be awarded, and to conduct background checks for firearm sales. At least 60 foreign governments also have access to the list.

September 6, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Islamophobia | , | 3 Comments

Now It’s Official: US Visa Can Be Denied If You (Or Even Your Friends) Are Critical of American Policies

By Philip Giraldi | Strategic Culture Foundation | September 5, 2019

There have been several interesting developments in the United States government’s war on free speech and privacy. First of all, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP), which is responsible for actual entry of travelers into the country, has now declared that it can legally access phones and computers at ports of entry to determine if there is any subversive content which might impact on national security. “Subversive content” is, of course, subjective, but those seeking entry can be turned back based on how a border control agent perceives what he is perusing on electronic media.

Unfortunately, the intrusive nature of the procedure is completely legal, particularly as it applies to foreign visitors, and is not likely to be overturned in court in spite of the Fourth Amendment’s constitutional guarantee that individuals should “… be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” Someone at a port of entry is not legally inside the United States until he or she has been officially admitted. And if that someone is a foreigner, he or she has no right by virtue of citizenship even to enter the country until entry has been permitted by an authorized US Customs and Border Protection official. And that official can demand to see anything that might contribute to the decision whether or not to let the person enter.

And there’s more to it than just that. Following the Israeli model for blocking entry of anyone who can even be broadly construed as supporting a boycott, the United States now also believes it should deny admittance to anyone who is critical of US government policy, which is a reversal of previous policy that considered political opinions to be off-limits for visa denial. DHS, acting in response to pressure from the White House, now believes it can adequately determine hostile intent from the totality of what appears on one’s phone or laptop, even if the material in question was clearly not put on the device by the owner. In other words, if a traveler has an email sent to him or her by someone else that complains about behavior by the United States government, he or she is responsible for that content.

One interesting aspect of the new policy is that it undercuts the traditional authority of US Embassies and Consulates overseas to issue visas to foreigners. The State Department visa process is rigorous and can include employment and real property verification, criminal record checks, social media reviews and Google-type searches. If there is any doubt about the visa applicant, entry into the US is denied. With the new DHS measures in place, this thoroughly vetted system is now sometimes being overruled by a subjective judgment made by someone who is not necessarily familiar with the traveler’s country or even regarding the threat level that being a citizen of that country actually represents.

Given the new rules regarding entering the United States, it comes as no surprise that the story of an incoming Harvard freshman who was denied entry into the United States after his laptop and cellphone were searched at Boston’s Logan Airport has been making headlines. Ismail Ajjawi, a 17-year-old Palestinian resident of Lebanon, was due to begin classes as a freshman, but he had his student visa issued in by the US Embassy in Beirut rejected before being flown back to Lebanon several hours later.

Ajjawi was questioned by one immigration officer who asked him repeatedly about his religion before requiring him to turn over his laptop and cell phone. Some hours later, the questioning continued about Ajjawi’s friends and associates, particularly those on social media. At no point was Ajjawi accused of having himself written anything that was critical of the United States and the interrogation rather centered on the views expressed by his friends.

The decision to ban Ajjawi produced such an uproar worldwide that it was reversed a week later, apparently as a result of extreme pressure exerted by Harvard University. Nevertheless, the decisions to deny entry are often arbitrary or even based on bad information, but the traveler normally has no practical recourse to reverse the process. And the number of such searches is going up dramatically, numbering more than 30,000 in 2017, some of which have been directed against US residents. Even though permanent resident green card holders and citizens have a legal right to enter the United States, there are reports that they too are having their electronic media searched. That activity is the subject of an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security that is currently working its way through the courts. The ACLU is representing 10 American citizens and a legal permanent resident who had their media searched without a warrant as required by the Fourth Amendment.

It is believed that many of the arbitrary “enforcements” by the CBP are carried out by the little-known Tactical Response Team (TRT) that targets certain travelers that fit a profile. DHS officials confirmed in September 2017 that 1,400 visa holders had been denied entry due to TRT follow-up inspections. And there are also reports of harassment of American citizens by possible TRT officials. A friend of mine was returning from Portugal to a New York Area airport when he was literally pulled from the queue as he was departing the plane. A Customs agent at the jetway was repeatedly calling out his birth date and then also added his name. He was removed from the line and taken to an interrogation room where he was asked to identify himself and then queried regarding his pilot’s license. He was then allowed to proceed with no other questions, suggesting that it was all harassment of a citizen base on profiling pure and simple.

My friend is a native-born American who has a Master’s degree and an MBA, is an army veteran and has no criminal record, not even a parking ticket. He worked for an American bank in the Middle East more than thirty years ago, which, together with the pilot’s license, might be the issue these days with a completely paranoid federal government constantly on the lookout for more prey “to keep us safe.” Unfortunately, keeping us safe has also meant that freedom of speech and association as well as respect for individual privacy have all been sacrificed. As America’s Founding Father Benjamin Franklin once reportedly observed, “Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary Safety will wind up with neither.”

September 5, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Islamophobia | , | 1 Comment

UN official blasts Nigeria’s use of ‘lethal force’ on Muslims

Press TV – September 3, 2019

A United Nations rapporteur strongly condemns Abuja’s application of deadly violence against the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).

Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, made the remarks in a report in the country’s capital on Monday. She was presenting her findings after a 12-day-long investigation.

The official deplored the “arbitrary deprivation of life” and the excessive use of lethal force in the case of processions held by the IMN back in 2015, Reuters reported.

Nigeria’s military attacked the movement’s members that year as they were holding religious processions, with Abuja alleging that the Muslims had blocked a convoy of the country’s defense minister. The movement has categorically rejected the allegation, and said the convoy had intentionally crossed paths with the IMN’s members to whip up an excuse for attacking them.

The military also raided the house of Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaki, the movement’s leader, at the time.

During the escalation, the 66-year-old was beaten and lost his left eye. His wife sustained serious wounds, and three of his sons and more than 300 of his followers were killed.

Callamard said a move by the government to ban the group appeared be based on what the authorities thought the IMN could become rather than its actions. She said she had not been presented with any evidence to suggest the group was weaponized and posed a threat to the country.

On a general note, the official cautioned that Nigeria’s multiple security problems had come to create a crisis that required urgent attention and could lead to instability in other African countries.

Callamard said the police and military had resorted to an excessive use of deadly force across the West African country which, combined with a lack of effective investigations and meaningful prosecution, had caused a lack of accountability.

“The overall situation I have found is one of extreme concern,” she said, and finally warned that the country had turned into a “pressure cooker of internal conflict.”

September 3, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Islamophobia | , | Leave a comment

Palestinian Harvard freshman barred from entering US over Facebook posts his FRIENDS made

RT | August 28, 2019

An incoming Palestinian Harvard freshman was refused entry to the US and deported after immigration officials searched his phone and found Facebook posts – from his friends – containing allegedly anti-US political statements.

Ismail Ajjawi was deemed “inadmissible” by US Customs and Border Protection and sent back to Lebanon on Friday night, after CBP officials at Boston’s Logan International Airport confronted him with Facebook posts from his friends list containing “political points of view that oppose the US.”

An immigration official questioned the 17-year-old scholarship recipient for hours about his friends’ social media activity, after ordering him to unlock his phone and computer and spending five hours searching the devices. Ajjawi’s protestations – “I have no single post on my timeline discussing politics,” he told the Harvard Crimson on Tuesday – reportedly fell on deaf ears as the agent “screamed” at him.

“She said that she found people posting political points of view that oppose the US on my friend list,” Ajjawi said. “I responded that I have no business with [political] posts and that I didn’t like, share or comment on them and told her that I shouldn’t be held responsible for what others post.”

Nevertheless, the officer cancelled his visa and told him he would be deported. He had been detained for eight hours – first questioned with a group of international students, then held for further questioning about his religious practices while the others were allowed to leave, and ultimately kicked out of the country over his friends’ Facebook posts.

A CBP spokesperson (ironically named McCarthy) explained “applicants must demonstrate they are admissible into the US by overcoming ALL grounds of inadmissibility including health-related grounds, criminality, security reasons, public charge, labor certification, illegal entrants and immigration violations, documentation requirements, and miscellaneous grounds” and claimed “information discovered during the CBP inspection” had rendered Ajjawi “inadmissible” to the US.

“Thoughtcrime by friends on social media” would presumably fall under “miscellaneous.”

This is not an isolated incident involving Harvard, which employs a team of immigration lawyers to resolve visa-related issues. Four Iranian graduate students in 2017 spent weeks or months tied up in red tape after President Donald Trump’s travel ban – an executive order barring travel from seven countries, including several majority-Muslim ones – prevented them from attending school.

Ajjawi is also receiving legal assistance from AMIDEAST, the organization which awarded him the scholarship to attend Harvard in the first place. He still hopes to attend Harvard, and university spokesperson Jonathan Swain said the school is “working closely with the student’s family and appropriate authorities to resolve this matter so that he can join his classmates in the coming days.”

August 28, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Islamophobia | , , , | 1 Comment

Kashmir’s New Status: Why the West Turns a Blind Eye to Democracy Deficit in India

By Brian Cloughley | Strategic Culture Foundation | August 27, 2019

On August 23 the New York Times reported that the Indian Ministry of External Affairs “won’t say why foreign journalists continue to be blocked from setting foot in Kashmir” but managed to obtain a compelling first-hand account of one of the thousands of arrests by the authorities. In this instance “Asifa Mubeen was woken up by the sound of barking dogs as policemen began pouring into her yard. Her husband, Mubeen Shah, a wealthy Kashmiri merchant, stepped out onto their bedroom balcony in the night air. The police shouted that he was under arrest. When he asked to see a warrant, his wife said, the police told him there wouldn’t be one. ‘This is different,’ they said. ‘We have orders.’ It was the start of one of the biggest mass arrests of civilian leaders in decades carried out by India, a close American partner that bills itself as one of the world’s leading democracies…”

The appalling situation in Indian-administered Kashmir has been created by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who announced on August 5 that he was annulling Article 370 of India’s Constitution, which since 1949 has given the territory (called a State by India) virtual self-government. It had its own Constitution and the most important thing was that the special status of the region allowed it to adhere to the ancient law prohibiting outsiders from buying land. The central government could not overrule the law — but with Modi’s repeal of Article 370 there is now direct rule by Delhi.

This means that the people of the territory have no say whatever in their own governance. It has also meant, thus far, the arrest and detention of some 4,000 people under the Public Safety Act which allows the authorities to jail anyone for up to two years without charge. That isn’t exactly democratic — and it is intriguing to think about how Donald Trump would regard such a law, were he aware of it.

Deficiency of democracy doesn’t stop there, because the Armed Forces Special Powers Act “grants the armed forces the power to shoot to kill in law enforcement situations, to arrest without warrant, and to detain people without time limits. The law forbids prosecution of soldiers without approval from the central government, which is rarely granted, giving them effective immunity for serious human rights abuses.”

The Public Safety and Special Powers Acts are in full swing in Indian-administered Kashmir, and the population is in effect under military occupation authorised by Modi’s ultra-right wing government in Delhi. It is, to all intents, occupied territory whose inhabitants have no say whatever in their own governance. (There were supposed to be elections this year, but with the invalidation of Article 370 these can no longer take place. It has all been carefully thought through.)

And the leaders of the US and Britain, these usually eloquent supporters of freedom for the peoples of the world, have made no critical statements about the mass arrests or cancellation of elections or total closure of means of communication, and they ignore the fact that India’s Constitution “explicitly declares that all citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression [Article 19(1)(a)].”

The New York Times managed to ascertain that in Kashmir, the thousands of detainees “have not been able to communicate with their families or meet with lawyers. Their whereabouts remain unknown. Most were taken in the middle of the night, witnesses said.” This smacks of dictatorship, for it is undeniable that detention and incarceration without trial is totalitarian rather than democratic.

It is barely credible that “Among the people who were rounded up were Mian Qayoom, president of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association; Mohammed Yasin Khan, chairman of the Kashmir Economic Alliance; Raja Muzaffar Bhat, an anticorruption crusader; Fayaz Ahmed Mir, a tractor driver and Arabic scholar; and Mehbooba Mufti, the first woman elected as Kashmir’s chief minister. Shah Faesal, another politician, was arrested at New Delhi’s international airport, bags checked, boarding pass in hand, heading for a fellowship at Harvard. Several prominent state politicians have also been put under house arrest; they told Indian news outlets they had been ordered not to engage in any ‘political activity’.”

But there hasn’t been a peep of protest from Britain’s Boris Johnson, he who showed solidarity with the protestors in Hong Kong by declaring “I do support them and I will happily speak up for them and back them every inch of the way.”

There hasn’t been a squeak of remonstrance from Washington, either, where Trump’s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced that the rule of President Maduro “is undemocratic to the core” and Trump committed his country to “stand with… all Venezuelans who seek to restore democracy and the rule of law.”

If Johnson and Trump are so supportive of democracy, why do they not protest about mass arrests and detentions and cancellation of democratic elections in Indian-administered Kashmir? Why do they not take Modi to task for his excesses? It was recorded on August 23 that in Indian-administered Kashmir, “Data obtained by Reuters showed 152 people reported to Srinagar’s Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences and Shri Maharaj Hari Singh with injuries from pellet shots and tear gas fire between Aug 5 and Aug 21.” It is regrettable that Trump and Johnson ignored the fact that on August 22 “UN human rights experts today called on the Government of India to end the crackdown on freedom of expression, access to information and peaceful protests imposed in Indian-Administered Kashmir this month.” It was also stated by the UN experts, headed by Special Rapporteur David Kaye, that “The shutdown of the internet and telecommunication networks, without justification from the Government, are inconsistent with the fundamental norms of necessity and proportionality. The blackout is a form of collective punishment of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, without even a pretext of a precipitating offence.”

The absence of any criticism by Trump and Johnson of the military rule excesses in Indian-administered Kashmir will encourage Modi and his far-right nationalist administration to extend their racist grip throughout India. Since Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014 there has been a most marked increase in officially-endorsed communal violence, mainly against Muslims but also involving other minority groups. These outbreaks of Hindu-supremacy barbarity are sponsored largely by a militant organisation called the Bajrang Dal which as noted in the New Yorker “has either been banned or has lurked at the margins of Indian society. But [since 2014] the militant group has been legitimized and grown exponentially more powerful. In the past seven years, according to Factchecker, an organization that tracks hate crimes, there have been a hundred and sixty-eight attacks by Hindu extremists, in the name of protecting cows, against Muslims and other religious minorities.”

Indian democracy is under grave threat from racist Hindu supremacists, and the New York Times rightly considers it disquieting that Modi “seems intent on digging in, and he has the Indian public firmly behind him. Many Indians see Kashmir as an integral part of India, and this move has stirred up jingoist feelings. Indian news channels have referred to the detainees being flown out of Kashmir as ‘Pakistani terrorists’ or ‘separatist leaders,’ toeing the government line.”

The most appalling thing is that Modi’s India appears intent on eradicating Muslims and that the vast majority of Hindus are right behind him. In order for him to succeed, there has to be destruction of democracy — and that’s exactly what is happening.

August 27, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Islamophobia | , , | Leave a comment

Court overturns ruling to seize Iran-linked building in NY

650 Fifth Avenue, a New York City skyscraper that houses the headquarters of the Alavi Foundation.
Press TV – August 9, 2019

A US federal appeals court has overturned a 2017 verdict that allowed the seizure of an Iran-linked skyscraper in New York City.

In June, 2017, a US court verdict allowed the government to seize the midtown Manhattan office tower owned largely by a charity organization, the Alavi Foundation.

The jury then claimed that the charity was controlled by the Iranian government and the rent generated from the tower constituted a violation of US sanctions against Iran.

On Friday, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled 3-0 that there was “a troubling pattern of errors on relatively straightforward issues” in this case.

“Getting to any outcome requires a fair and procedurally adequate process, something that has been lacking in this case. There are no shortcuts in the rule of law,” said Circuit Judge Richard Wesley.

The decision is considered as a defeat for the US Department of Justice as the government had hoped to sell the building for nearly one billion dollars.

Also in 2014, US District Judge Katherine Forrest granted authority to federal prosecutors to confiscate the building. However, an appeals court reversed that ruling in 2016.

Established in 1978, the non-profit organization has been working to advance the Islamic and Persian culture in the US.

The assets of the Alavi Foundation includes the building in Manhattan, as well as Islamic centers consisting of schools and mosques in New York City, Maryland, California, Texas and Virginia.

Without rent from the office building, the Alavi Foundation would have almost no way to continue supporting the Islamic centers.

American legal scholars say they know of only a few cases in US history in which law enforcement authorities have seized a house of worship.

The organization has also given millions of dollars to American schools, universities and charitable organizations; among them Harvard, Columbia and Rutgers university.

August 9, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Islamophobia | , | 2 Comments