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At This Year’s J Street Conference, “Progressive” Pols Bow to Israel While Preaching Peace

 By Miko Peled | MintPress News | October 30, 2019

My father, the late IDF general Matti Peled, called for a two-state solution in 1967, and as is stated in my book, The General’s Son, Journey of an Israeli in Palestine, he continued to campaign for this “solution”  until the day he died. It may have been a revolutionary idea then, especially coming from a retired IDF general. Some would even call it progressive, though I personally would not go that far. It presented a path for Israel to gain legitimacy for its 1948 conquest of Palestine while placating the Palestinian people by giving them a small, powerless state that would allow them to exercise their right to self-determination.

Two decades later, when it was clear that Israel would never allow this to happen, my father called for the U.S. to halt its financial and military aid to Israel. By 1992, he called for sanctions against Israel. So when Bernie Sanders and other so-called progressives like J Street talk about a two-state solution and the possibility of using aid to pressure Israel, they are decades late and billions of dollars short. Without full support for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, BDS for short, no progress can be achieved for Palestinian rights.

A Safe Bet

Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip was dangerous because there was a real possibility that it could happen. Today, after five decades in which consecutive governments of Israel have worked tirelessly to integrate the West Bank with the rest of the state of Israel, a Palestinian state is no longer possible and calling for it is a safe political move. Bernie Sanders knows it, the folks at J Street know it, and all the other so-called progressives know it too.  A bold, progressive move would be to call for a democratic state with equal rights for all of Palestine, from the river to the sea.

However, we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves. One has to ask, where were these progressives when the possibility of a two-state solution was feasible? This is not to say it was a just or good solution, for it did legitimize the Zionist crimes of 1948 and earlier. Setting that aside for a moment, where were these so-called progressives when the possibility of an independent Palestine emerging in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip was a real possibility? They were nowhere to be found.

While the official line of consecutive U.S. administrations was that UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 should be the basis of a peace agreement, neither the various administrations or other American politicians outside of the administration did a single thing to push this idea forward.

Now that is it too late, and it is clear that Israel never intended to allow the Palestinian right to self-determination to materialize, and now that we know that the “peace process” concocted by the Rabin-Peres duo was nothing more than a charade, the Bernie Sanders and J Street liberals decided to make a “bold” statement out of an old, outdated idea. But there is nothing bold about their support for Israel. There is nothing progressive about waiting five decades to support an idea that has no chance of becoming reality.

A Step in the Right Direction

The last thing that can be said about this very slow learning curve is that it is a step in the right direction. Recognizing and declaring today that the Palestinian people have been subjected to genocide, ethnic cleansing and apartheid for over seven decades is still slow, but it would signal a real step in the right direction. However, neither Sanders nor his hosts at the J Street conference are willing to go that far.

The farthest Sanders is willing to go is to say that he supports Israel and that Palestinians have been treated unfairly. Now, he is suggesting that some of the $3.8 Billion of aid money going to Israel should be diverted to resolve the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. How much? He didn’t say. So why not suggest halting aid to Israel altogether and sending those billions of dollars to the people who really need them in order to rebuild Gaza and provide medical care, water, and food.

The problem is that we have all become accustomed to believing that Palestinians should never ask for too much. Palestinians should be grateful for the scraps offered to them by white rich politicians in the United States and Israel. They should welcome the idea that Israel will “give” them a fraction of their homeland in which to build a mini-state. They should be grateful that a politician in the U.S. said publicly that they are treated unfairly. Palestinians should not be unreasonable and they should refrain from calling for anything that would bother Israel and its Zionist supporters around the world.

BDS

The call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel is a step too far for Sanders and J Street, the latter claiming that it is opposed to the call for a boycott and that “The Movement is not a friend to Israel.”

Palestinians, apparently, are required to prove that they are friends of Israel before their demands can be heard, much less accepted and also to recognize the right of Israel to exist, another absurd demand regularly made of Palestinians.

The fundamental problem lies in statements such as this by J Street: “J Street believes that maintaining a strong, vibrant US-Israel relationship […] US support for Israel as a democracy and a national home for the Jewish people is an historic and crucial commitment.”

As long as the U.S. relationship with Israel is viewed as more valuable than the human rights of the Palestinian people, justice for Palestinians will remain a distant dream. Without support for BDS and their declared demands, namely: ending Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian land, equal rights and the right of refugees to return to their homes and their land, no progress can be made.

Hold the Champagne 

Reading posts on Twitter while the J Street conference was taking place in Washington could give one the impression that justice for Palestinians is just around the corner. However, it is Israel that was the focus, not Palestinian human rights. The ongoing discussion of the two-state solution at the event acted as a fig leaf, shielding Israel from true criticism and allowing human rights violations in Palestine to continue unabated.

Statements like this one, made by Julian Castro, are indicative of a prevailing head in the sand, ostrich-like attitude: “We need a government in Israel that will get back on the path of the two-state solution.” No one bothered to ask if Israel was really ever on that path.

Bernie Sanders made a statement at the J Street conference that was also indicative of a desire to intentionally miss the target: “It is not anti-Semitism to say that the Netanyahu government has been racist – that’s a fact,” he said. Netanyahu is, without question, indeed a racist. Yet he is no different than any other Israeli prime minister. The issue is not a single prime minister, it is the entire Zionist settler-colonial project in Palestine which is the problem.

How Much Longer?

More than five decades had passed since my late father, one of the exalted IDF generals of the 1967 war, called for a two-state solution. A solution that favors Israel and recognizes very limited rights for Palestinians and is a poor excuse for a peace plan. A solution that ignores the crimes which my father, among others, committed in 1948. A solution, which in fact legitimizes those crimes. It is a “solution” behind which politicians who want to seem progressive can hide because it offers no solution. It is a solution popular among those who pretend to care for justice and human rights but that do not want real change. One must ask how much longer this charade will be allowed to continue.

November 4, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | 2 Comments

The UN exploits Palestinian children to further the two-state propaganda

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | October 23, 2019

There is one thing the UN and its personnel would do well to keep in mind when pontificating about the purported peace process and to promote Israel’s security narrative: Palestinian children are not props for exploitation. At a time when the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees is facing a severe crisis due to funding shortages, as well as the misdemeanour allegations concerning its staff, the last thing the UN should be doing is exploiting Palestinian children for the sake of upholding the obsolete two-state compromise.

Earlier this month, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov posted a photo on Twitter, of himself and UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo, together with a group of female refugee students attending one of UNRWA’s schools. “I hope these young girls grow up to participate in democratic elections where Palestine, Israel live side-by-side in peace and security,” he tweeted.

Just because the colonial narrative makes Israel, peace and security synonymous doesn’t mean there are no inherent contradictions in the rhetoric. The UN, a collaborator since before the inception of Israel, is, of course, aware of the discrepancies, but it prefers to enforce historical cycles of dispossession upon Palestinians, including students, framing them as a warped peace process in which Israel’s existence is paramount, even at the expense of Palestinian lives.

Mladenov’s wish for Palestinian children is not that they exercise their right to live freely in all of historic Palestine. On the contrary, he is demanding perpetual subjugation and oblivion of the Palestinian right of return, and what better way to attempt indoctrination than with the younger generations, according to the UN’s delusional standards?

But Palestinians have remembrance, and that remembrance is political. Has Mladenov deigned to listen to the Palestinian children’s refugee narratives? Are Mladenov and the UN expecting future Palestinian generations to exploit themselves for Israel’s colonial plans? How do UN officials reconcile democracy with the colonialism inherent in the two-state paradigm, which is the purported solution envisaged for Palestinians by the international community?

Taking the latter one step further, since the UN knows that the two-state hypothesis is obsolete, it stands to reason that these Palestinian children, along with many others, will be witness to further colonial appropriation by Israel. Mladenov’s legacy to this group of students will be nothing other than a promotional photo taken for UN propaganda purposes, while in the background; Palestinian families are permanently ruptured and dispossessed by Israel.

UN antics are not impressive; they are endangering the lives of Palestinians and attempting to tarnish students with acquiescence. Parroting about democratic elections while envisaging perpetual colonialism is vile, all the more when involving students in UN propaganda. So, stop the rhetoric of hope, which is an illusion when there is factual support for the elimination of Palestinian rights. Mladenov never intended Palestinian students’ voices to reach the international arena. The promotion photo speaks volumes about how the UN coerces Palestinians into silence. When the focus is Palestinian children facing perpetual refugee status, it is clear the UN could not sink any lower.

November 4, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | Leave a comment

Paternalistic Non-interventionism

The examples of Venezuela and Hong Kong

By John V. Walsh | Dissident Voice | October 20, 2019

The summer of 2019 has seen a series of events in Hong Kong beginning with two massive demonstrations that called for the withdrawal of the Extradition Bill to Macao, Taiwan and Mainland China. The demonstrations were peaceful and the bill was quickly “suspended” and labeled “dead” by the Hong Kong government and then withdrawn by summer’s end, meeting the demand of the demonstrations.

But that was not the end of the matter. Over the summer and to this day smaller demonstrations, of hundreds or at most a few thousand, broke out, mainly taking the form of marauding with Molotov cocktails and attacks on police stations, subway stations, police themselves and even on bystanders. Another four demands were added to the original demand to bury the extradition bill. Some, not the majority, called for the secession of Hong Kong from China of which it is legally a part.

But these events did not simply evolve internally in Hong Kong and the rest of China. Although internal forces were at work, the US government had a hand in these events.1 Unfortunately, this readily accessible material has barely been mentioned, if mentioned at all, in the US mainstream media. The most recent and in some ways most blatant examples of interference in the internal affairs of Hong Kong takes the form of the bipartisan “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act (HKHRD Act)” (H.R. 3289 and S. 1838, an identical bill in the Senate). On September 15 H.R. 3289 was passed in the House by a voice vote. By threat of sanctions and other economic and political measures, the HKHRD Act seeks to determine which laws the Chinese city of Hong Kong will legislate and which not. This is clearly interventionism on the part of the U.S. How would the US react to such threats from another country? How would the U.S. react if China informed us that it was going to put sanctions in place against the U.S. if we would did not change our laws that result in mass incarceration which is clearly racist in character?

Sadly, most peace activists in the US and the West have been silent on the US role in the Hong Kong riots. Or they have gone so far as to echo the narrative of events in Hong Kong put about by Pence, Pompeo, Pelosi and their ilk. For contrast, consider the situation in Venezuela where the US government, its proxies and the same chorus of politicians call for sanctions and other interventions. The peace community in general is clear on its opposition to US intervention of any sort in Venezuela whether from the machinations of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) or sanctions or attacks on Venezuela’s financial system or actual armed intervention. Why the difference between Venezuela and Hong Kong?

In both Hong Kong and Venezuela, the interventionists tell us that human rights are at stake and an alleged “tyranny,” the Maduro government in one case and the Carrie Lam/Xi Jinping governments in the other, must be fought. So that cannot be the difference in the attitude of progressives to the two cases. Wherein lies the difference?

Here is the difference. Hong Kong is a part of China which presents a real challenge to US global hegemony and a force in the world which may balance the unrestrained power of the US Empire. With the world’s largest economy in PPP-GDP terms since November 2014, now roughly 125% that of the US and growing 2-3 times faster even at its “slowed” rate, China will inevitably have great military and soft power since the latter grow out of economic power. China also serves as an economic anchor for the developing world, an anchor that provides a viable alternative to the economic and financial hegemony of the US Empire. China opens the possibility of a multipolar world where no single nation can dictate to the entire world.

In contrast Venezuela is no threat to US hegemony. It instills no fear in the imperial Elite; if Venezuela maintains its independence, the Empire can roll on pretty much as before. As a consequence, a stance against US intervention in Venezuela will not meet with intense opposition from the US imperial Elite and its minions. Non-intervention in the case of Venezuela is the proper course and should be supported and praised. But such opposition can fall within the ambit of a loyal imperial “opposition,” that is, a harmless opposition if it is not accompanied by nonintervention in cases like that of China’s city of Hong Kong.

“US Hands Off Venezuela” is principled if it is accompanied by “US Hands Off Hong Kong.” By itself “US Hands Off Venezuela” can be seen as a kind of token anti-Empire stance. Such tokenism treats Venezuela not as a part of a powerful worldwide struggle against US hegemony but as a harmless effort which the loyal imperial opposition deigns to help. In short it is Paternalistic Non-interventionism, and DemocracyNow! is one good example of Paternalistic Non-interventionism. The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity or the newsletter PopularResistance.org are good examples of principled non-interventionism.

One evidence of the difference between the two is that those who refuse to call for US Hands Off Hong Kong are also partisans for Russiagate, for US intervention in Syria and for US interference in Ukraine. (Or at the least they are silent on these issues.) Russia like China is a serious hindrance to the US drive for world hegemony and so the Paternalistic Non-interventionists cease to be non-interventionists when it comes to Syria, a state protected by Russia, or Ukraine, a country with which Russia must have good relations to live in peace.

Interventionism of the sort practiced by the NED in Hong Kong and the rest of China puts us on a road where antagonisms mount and ever sharper forms of conflict emerge with a major power rivaling the US. In short it puts us on a path to war since China is a full-fledged nuclear power now with a fully developed nuclear triad, that war could easily carry us to Armageddon.

At this moment “U.S. Hands Off Hong Kong” is the cutting edge of Principled Non-interventionism. Those who fail to take that stance, like the crew at DemocracyNow!, among many others, are at best Paternalistic Non-interventionists. They should make no claim to being antiwar or anti-Empire. They are not.

  1. And abundant evidence for that has been provided here, here, here, here, and here.

John V. Walsh can be reached at john.endwar@gmail.com. He writes about issues of war, peace and empire, and about health care, for Antiwar.com, Consortium News, Dissident Voice.org and other outlets. Now living in the East Bay, he was until recently Professor of Physiology and Cellular Neuroscience at a Massachusetts Medical School.

October 20, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | | 1 Comment

The Empire Steps Back: Trump Withdraws From Syria – Impeachment Now Possible

By Jim Kavanagh | The Polemicist | October 18, 2019

What everyone is most upset about with regard to Syria isn’t the bloodshed or anything having [to] do with human rights. It’s the decline in American control of the Middle East. This is 100% about US imperialism taking a hit. — Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) October 14, 2019

A series of Donald Trump’s decisions, culminating in the decision to withdraw US troops from Syria, has set off a cascade of effects that are dramatically changing the geopolitics of the Middle East and the internal politics of the United States.

Two months ago, I wrote an article opposing the impeachment drive and stating that Donald Trump is not going to be removed from office by impeachment proceedings. I said: “Donald Trump will be removed from office one way: by an election.”

At that time, in the wake of the fizzling out of the Mueller Report and testimony on Russian “collusion,” the new smoking gun was “obstruction of justice.” “The evidence is overwhelming,” Jamie Raskin said, echoing more than 90 of his Democratic colleagues, “10 different episodes of presidential obstruction of justice.” Walls closing in.

Somehow, even after Mueller’s “very, very painfultestimony, the impeachment drive by the Democrats had intensified to the point that it was de rigueur for every major Democratic presidential candidate, and for anyone calling themselves “progressive,” to demand impeachment proceedings. Because “obstruction of justice.”

Of course, the Democrats were not going to create an irresistible political tide that would get enough Republican senators to vote to oust Trump with that “obstruction of justice” issue, and they knew it. The chance of that was effectively zero.

The odds on that are now changing significantly. What happened to change the impeachment calculus that might move enough Republicans?

The answer is nothing that’s in the Ukrainegate smokingburger, which replaced the obstruction-of-justice smokingburger, which replaced the Russiagate smokingburger. Interpretations of the Zelensky phone call are just that—interpretations. Stipulate the worst: Trump tried to wheedle some personal political benefit from a foreign leader. Shocked! Shocked! Are we?

Really? Does anybody think that, if we read through the transcripts of every conversation between US presidents and foreign leaders over the last fifty years, we wouldn’t find scores of such transactions? And, uh, Hunter Biden, not to mention the Clinton campaign and Foundation. The Republicans can bat that phone call away, and they will face no political groundswell among their voters, or even the general public, to take sides in a family feud among different corrupt factions of a corrupt political elite.

To say nothing of the most outrageous examples of using foreign leaders to political advantage. Richard Nixon conspired with the leaders of South Vietnam to prolong the Vietnam War, and LBJ knew it. Ronald Reagan conspired with the leaders of Iran to prolong the confinement of American hostages, and a bipartisan commission covered it up. But they weren’t presidents at the time? Really, that’s an argument for dismissing these cases? What do you think these guys did when they were presidents? No, Nancy, now that I’m president I cannot seek a political benefit from a foreign leader! And why were these cases ignored and actively covered up, except because they were considered—even if a little extreme—SOP in US politics?

The success of the Democrats’ impeachment drive depends on one thing: getting enough Republican senators to vote for conviction. No, nothing in the Trump-Zelensky phone call or anything like it is going to move Republicans to temper their defenses against the Democratic onslaught, let alone move enough of them in the Senate to vote to remove him from office.

If Republicans do stop defending him against that, it will be because they have become radically disaffected with him about something else.

That something else is real, though it probably will not be explicitly stated in impeachment charges. It’s the simmering bipartisan concern about Trump that has been brought to a boil by a recent series of events and decisions: his unreliability as a trigger-puller, his aversion to ordering big military attacks. This is certainly a damning fault in the eyes of most Republicans (as well as Democrats), a disqualifying failure or responsibility from the warden of the US empire. That’s the impeachable offense that could well get enough Republican votes to convict him.

During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump expressed his opposition to wasteful foreign interventions clearly and repeatedly enough, and was skewered by the Democrats whenever he did, as they promoted lies and war and lies about war (specifically about Ukraine, as I noted) for their political benefit.

He also expressed his disdain for the obligatory nod to US sanctimony, when he responded to Joe Scarborough’s complaint about Putin killing people: “I think our country does plenty of killing also,” and when he pushed back on George Stephanopoulos regarding Ukraine: “The people of Crimea… would rather be with Russia than where they were.”

These kinds of thoughts are anathema to hawkish Republicans. They could only be ignored because they assumed: 1) he wasn’t going to win, 2) it was empty campaign rhetoric, and 3) as President, he would be boxed in and managed by the shepherds of the national-security state. Only one of those assumptions turned out to be entirely false, and it’s the uncertainty about how the other two are now playing out that might undermine his support among Senate Republicans.

In the last few months, Trump has made decisions either to reduce US military presence or explicitly not to take military action that was expected and planned. These were rhetorically and substantively anti-interventionist positions that are anathema to imperialist Republicans. The most consequent of these in the impeachment context are those regarding Iran, and, relatedly, Syria.

The dangerous fuse of Republican discontent with Trump was lit with Trump’s decision in June to call off the military strike on Iran, after Iran’s downing of a US drone. That event followed attacks on Norwegian and Japanese tankers in the Persian Gulf that the US government blamed on Iran. A narrative had been established for US politicians and media: Every nasty thing that happens in the Middle East is to be blamed on Iran. It’s a narrative with a specific target and a specific goal: to manufacture consent for a military attack on that target—Iran—when a good opportunity was either concocted or presented itself.

Iran’s acknowledged destruction of a valuable US military asset provided that opportunity. Trump’s decision—on the profound advice of Bolton, Pompeo, et. al.—to launch an attack on Iran was the inevitable next scene in the script. His decision, made a few hours later, to cancel the attack was something else again. It was a decision made “without consulting his vice president, secretary of state or national security adviser,” with “forces… already in motion… more than 10,000 sailors and airmen…. on the move,” and with “only 10 minutes to go.” Per the NYT, that decision “stunned,” ”flabbergasted,” and outraged his closest advisers and key Republican allies. It was an unprecedented deus ex machina, an impermissible interruption that, especially for Republicans, just doesn’t fit in the epic story of American “presidentialness.”

Leftish Trump opponents have not, I think, recognized what an extraordinary, important, and praiseworthy decision this was by Trump. Has there been a more positive decision of such consequence made by any president in the last thirty years?

Yes, it was the reversal of a prior, terrible decision of his. And, yes, it’s subject to reversal again because of his inconsistency and his many other terrible decisions regarding Iran and the region. But on its own, it stopped an onslaught of immense destruction. That it was a reversal of something he had set in motion only makes it more extraordinary as a presidential act.

Moreover, Trump was not alone in the process of re-thinking his decision. The Washington Post tells us that, from the get-go, the decision to strike Iran had “divided his top advisers, with senior Pentagon officials opposing the decision to strike and national security adviser John Bolton strongly supporting it.” And during those hours of reconsideration, as the NYT reports: “there continued to be pushback from Pentagon civilians and General Dunford.”

In other words, this wasn’t just a matter of peripatetic Trump; it was a matter of an ongoing tension between the fervently Zionist neocons, represented by the likes of Bolton and Pompeo, and the military realists, as represented by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Dunford. Let’s not—as hawkish Republicans and Democrats certainly will try to—hide that tension in the tale of Trump’s personal inconsistency.

That tension defines something that Trump and every American president is inconsistent about. In the US context, that Trump changed his mind in the direction he did at the last minute is, again, extraordinary—one might even say “courageous.”

Sure, better not to have ordered the attack in the first place, but, in such circumstances, I’ll take reconsideration and second thoughts to sticking to one’s guns.

What we see here is that, for all his bluster, Trump knows when to be scared of a fight that will certainly hurt and not benefit the US, unlike the missionary (whether Zionist, Christian, or secular “humanitarian”) interventionists—including past presidents Obama and Bush, the man “progressive” impeachers would have president, Mike Pence, and every one of the present Democratic contenders, with the possible exception of Sanders or Gabbard. Certainly, in the same circumstances (having decided for the neocons, still getting pushback from the military), none of those Democrats, with the noted exceptions, would have made the re-consideration Trump did, and we would be at war with Iran now.

Anti-Trump lefties may not want to recognize how radical Trump’s decision to call off the Iran strike was, but senior Republicans sure do.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a not unimportant player in the unfolding impeachment drama, said Trump’s decision to cancel the Iran strike “was clearly seen by the Iranian regime as a sign of weakness.” To which Trump responded, in tones matching Obama’s best anti-stupid-interventionist campaign rhetoric: “No Lindsey, it was a sign of strength that some people just don’t understand!” Republicans were likening Trump’s refusal to strike Iran over the drone downing to Obama not striking Syria over the chemical weapons “red line” pretext. Having Republicans and his own advisors see him as “all too reminiscent … of Mr. Obama” is not a look that will help Trump among imperialist Republican senators.

Indeed, that remark of Graham’s was made after Trump’s second dramatic failure to respond with military action—this time to the September 14th Houthi attack on Saudi oilfields, which was framed by neocon Pompeo as an “act of war” by Iran and, implicitly, against the United States. Even the liberal NYT accepted the framing that Trump “let down his Arab partners by failing to respond more forcefully to Iranian aggressions.” quoting one Gulf political scientist that: “Trump, in his response to Iran, is even worse than Obama.”

What’s important for the purposes of impeachment possibility, of course, is whether Trump’s Republican allies see it that way. And they do. Here’s Graham again: “This is literally an act of war and the goal should be to restore deterrence against Iranian aggression which has clearly been lost.” There it is: Trump “lost” deterrence against, is “losing” the Middle East to, Iran.

Former C.I.A. official Reuel Marc Gerecht echoes and amplifies the line to NYT reporters at the ultra-neocon Foundation for Defense of Democracies: “The president’s repeated failure to militarily respond to Iranian actions has been a serious mistake.”

It was a week after this putative “act of war” by Iran and non-military response by Trump, on September 23rd, that a group of “moderate” freshmen Democratic congresswomen who had “formed a bond over their national security background,” joined by two freshmen male colleagues, also military veterans, wrote a Washington Post (WaPo) op-ed that, as CNN puts it: “changed the dynamic for House Democrats, and indeed — the course of history.”

These women call themselves the “badasses,” a name that one of them, Chrissy Houlahan, says, “came organically from the group since we all had either served in the military or in the CIA.”

So, it was no squad of “progressives,” but a cohort of Democrats bound by national-security/intelligence “service” that “opened the floodgates,” and persuaded Nancy Pelosi to move with them “from hard no to hell yes on starting an impeachment inquiry.”

They say their position changed so suddenly and dramatically that week in September because, as CIA veterans and all, they were shocked, shocked that POTUS “may have used his position to pressure a foreign country into investigating a political opponent.” Reading their op-ed, you’ll find no hint that they share their colleague Gerecht’s concern about “the president’s repeated failure to militarily respond to Iranian actions.” No, no, these military and CIA badasses keep their “steadfast focus” on “health care [and] infrastructure.” Sure.

Now, making things worse for himself, Trump “Throws Middle East Policy Into Turmoil” by announcing a “withdrawal” of US troops from northeast Syria. This “touched off a broad rebuke by Republicans, including some of his staunchest allies,” whose response has been apoplectic: “some of the sharpest language they have leveled” against him. Here are the leaders of the Senate Republican caucus that will vote on any impeachment referral:

Liz Cheney: It’s a “catastrophic mistake that … threatens America’s national security”

Marco Rubio:  Trump’s decision “is a grave mistake that will have severe consequences beyond Syria. It risks encouraging the Iranian regime [and]… will imperil other U.S. national security interests in the region.”

Lindsey Graham: “if he follows through with this, it’d be the biggest mistake of his presidency.” And: “This to me is an Obama-like decision” and “if President Trump continues to make such statements this will be a disaster worse than President Obama’s decision to leave Iraq.”

Their ostensible outrage is that Trump’s decision “betrays our Kurdish allies,” since it opens the way for a Turkish invasion to subdue Kurdish forces who aligned with the US. And the decision was impulsive, throwing “supporters, foreign leaders, military officers and his own aides off balance,” and does effectively greenlight what is an outrageous offensive by Turkey to steal Syrian territory and ethnically cleanse Kurdish areas.

But Turkey has already invaded Syria with US blessing, under the Obama administration, betraying the same Kurdish allies. As I wrote in a 2016 essay: “Vice-President Joe Biden stood beside Turkish President Erdogan and commanded the Kurds to back off and let Turkey have its way—to actually surrender territory they had won from ISIS to Turkey, and to the Free Syrian Army, Faylaq Al-Sham, Nour al-Din al-Zenki, and re-costumed-ISIS jihadis who follow in the wake of Turkish tanks.”

“We have made it absolutely clear to . . . the YPG that participated” in the taking of Manbij and other towns “that they must move back across the river,” Biden said. “They cannot, will not, and under no circumstances will get American support if they do not keep that commitment. Period.”

Tough love Joe, who at the time was trying to reassure Erdogan that the US was not complicit in the coup attempt against him. The US government was always going to accede to its NATO ally over its more-dispensable Kurdish “partners.”

My point above about the jihadis coming in Turkey’s wake is still quite relevant and undermines the whole “protection from ISIS” narrative. The US itself cheered ISIS on, as Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry admitted. Turkey supported ISIS and trafficked ISIS soldiers, arms, and oil across its border with Syria throughout the conflict. That 2016 Turkish invasion made liberal use of jihadi proxies, including ISIS, which calmly turned territory over to Turkish-backed forces, with some ISIS fighters just changing their uniforms to join them.

In the current invasion, Erdogan is playing the same game. He explicitly says, for example, that “The Turkish army won’t enter Manbij. We’ll be content with providing assistance to Syrian opposition and tribal forces.” Erdogan wants to avoid a direct conflict with the Syrian Army (SAA) and its Russian allies, so those “forces”—now branded the “Syrian National Army” or the “Turkey-Supported Opposition” (TSO)—will be the ground-level fighters of Turkish attacks. They include the various jihadi factions within the Free Syrian Army (FSA) that the US created, any ISIS cadres who wish to join as the TSO deliberately releases them, and some angry Syrian Arabs who were thrown out of their homes by Kurd militias (who have been no angels in seeking to establish their ethno-state). You know, the kinds of “forces” that the US government and media insisted for years were “moderate rebels,” and are now acknowledging are ruthless killers who are executing captured Kurd fighters as well as civilian political leaders.

Incredible: US officials are now admitting “rebels” from the “Free Syrian Army” that are embedded with the Turkish army are intentionally freeing ISIS prisoners, while massacring civilians These are some of the “moderate rebels” the CIA armed and trained https://t.co/x5389IgVNx — Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) October 15, 2019

It’s the SAA and its allies that were the most effective at destroying ISIS and jihadi “forces” over the last eight years. For neither Turkey nor the US was ISIS ever anything other than a weapon against the Syrian government and a convenient pretext for “protective” intervention. And the Kurds were always more pawns than “partners.”

And the spectacle of countries/actors like the EU, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia, all of whom financed and armed an invasion of Syria by foreign jihadis for 8 years, now objecting to Turkey violating the “territorial sovereignty” of Syria demonstrates the death of irony.

Turkey is illegally extending its prior illegal invasion of Syria into sovereign Syrian territory that the US had illegally taken control of. Mark Sleboda puts it well: “Turkey is invading the US invasion of Syria.”

Neither Trump’s staunch Republican allies, nor his Democratic opponents, nor any of those countries give two hoots about the Kurds, let alone Syria’s “territorial integrity.” They are not upset and outraged at Trump because he opened the possibility of Turkey repressing the Kurds; they are upset and outraged because he made the Kurds finally see what fools they were to ally with the US and to turn instead to an alliance with the Syrian government. US politicians’ crocodile tears for the Syrian Kurds are really rage at losing their allegiance.

The Kurdish commander of the US-created Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Gen. Mazloum Kobani Abdi, is now saying: “if you’re not [protecting my people], I need to make a deal with Russia and the regime now and invite their planes to protect this region,” and writing in Foreign Policy that “The Russians and the Syrian regime have made proposals that could save the lives of millions of people who live under our protection.” He may also say: “We do not trust their promises,” but he knows very well that some kind of autonomy agreement with Damascus is preferable for Syrian Kurds to Turkish occupation and ethnic cleansing.

So, the SDF has formally “agreed to the deployment of the SAA” throughout the group’s ‘self-administration’ area (“to all areas starting East from Ain Dawar to Jarablus in the north”), calling on the SAA to do its “duty to protect the country’s borders and preserve Syrian sovereignty.”

As I write, the SAA and allied forces have already, often greeted with celebration, entered the towns of Ain Issa, Tel Tamer, Qamishli, Kobani, Raqqah, and Manbij—where they’ve taken over a US base.

As the NYT reports: “If Syrian government forces can reach the Turkish border to the north and the Iraqi border to the east, it would be a major breakthrough in Mr. Assad’s quest to re-establish his control over the whole country.”

The problem now isn’t that the Kurds no longer have any allies; it’s that the Americans don’t.

The Kurds have now recognized and joined the alliance that really is capable of preserving their own lives and Syria’s “territorial sovereignty”—which is precisely what the US, NATO/EU, Israel, the Gulf monarchies, and Turkey, have been trying to destroy for eight years.

This is what Trump’s McCain-Republican frenemies are pissed-off at. Led by Lindsey Graham, they’re pissed-off at Erdogan—not for killing Kurds, but for disrupting the game which used protection of the Kurds as a “humanitarian” alibi for dividing Syria and overthrowing its government.

The American troops that Trump moved out of the way were not protecting the Kurds from Turkey, they were protecting Turkey from itself—from Erdogan’s hubris in overplaying his hand and entering into what at best will be a quagmire of occupation and resistance from Syrian Kurds, and at worst a direct conflict with the Syrian army and its Russian ally, which Erdogan definitely does not want.

But most of all, those US troops were protecting the ongoing, long-term project of state-destruction in the region on behalf of Israel. The splitting off of a Kurdish area and the presence of US troops in it—under the pretext of a protective force, but really as a constant dagger pointed at Damascus and maintaining the threat of US-led regime change—were lynchpins of that project, which was supposed to culminate in a state-destroying military attack on Iran.

The McCain Republicans are pissed-off at Trump for completely upending—perhaps even finally ending!—that project.

The suite of decisions Trump has made, starting with the decision to cancel the strike on Iran, were accompanied by rhetoric that gets him into even more trouble, especially with those McCain Republicans.

“I campaigned on the fact that I was going to bring our soldiers home and bring them home as quickly as possible.”

“I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars.”

[Regarding Turkey and Syria] “That has nothing to do with us,” he said. He said he could understand if Syria and Turkey want territory. “But what does that have to do with the United States of America if they’re fighting over Syria’s land?”

[Regarding whether his decision to pull back from Syria had opened the way for Russia and the Syrian government] “I wish them all a lot of luck. If Russia wants to get involved with Syria, that’s really up to them,” he added.

Responding to Lindsey Graham’s criticisms] “The people of South Carolina don’t want us to get into a war with Turkey, a NATO member, or with Syria.”

“Let them fight their own wars.”

“Ridiculous endless wars,” “Let them fight their own wars”—anathema for a serving president to say. Acceptable as campaign rhetoric, but never to be said for real by a president in office—especially a president attacked for his “repeated failure[s] to militarily respond” to designated enemies.

All of this marks a new and real danger for Trump in the impeachment process. When Graham, “usually one of the president’s most vocal backers,” warns that unless Trump reverses (!) his decision, it “will be the biggest mistake of his presidency,” that sounds a lot like a threat.

There’s another element that appears in all the neocon, McCain-Republican (as well as McCain-Democrat) objections, which can be seen, for example, in Lindsey Graham’s remark that Trump’s decision is: “a big win for Iran and Assad, a big win for ISIS.”

Note the logic here: Turkey disappears as the enemy, and ISIS gets added at the end for the scare factor, but it’s the “win” for Syria, which in his view also means a win for Iran, that’s the real problem. It always goes to Iran.

It’s crucial to understand all the implications that underlie and make sense of such a statement. After all, there’s no “win” for Syria in the Turkish invasion of its territory unless it results in the Kurds turning to Damascus and the SAA for their protection. If Graham’s professed interest in protecting the Kurds were real, that would be a good thing. But it also brings Syria closer to finally winning against the eight-year US-sponsored regime-change and state-destroying operation, which is Graham’s and the US’s real agenda, so it therefore becomes a bad thing. This discourse reveals that Graham, like the rest of his colleagues, is not worried about whether the Kurds will be protected from Turkey, but whether they will reconcile with Damascus.

And how can the Turkish invasion of Syria possibly be construed as a “win” for Iran, which has “warned its neighbor not to move forward with its military operation” and held unannounced military drills near its border with Turkey? Only if everything that’s happening in Syria is a function of a project directed against Iran. Only if Syria’s winning back the allegiance of the Kurds as well as its actual territorial integrity is a “loss” for the US in an offensive against Iran.

It always goes to Iran.

Graham is here expressing what’s actually behind the growing urgency of the neocon national-security apparatus to replace Donald Trump with Mike Pence—‘cause, you know, that is what impeaching and convicting Trump will do—and why it may adversely affect Trump’s chances with Republican senators.

One cannot understand what’s happening in Syria, or what’s happening in impeachment, or the relation between the two unless one understands the role of Israel in determining US policy and influencing US politics in general. US policy in the Middle East is completely incoherent until one understands the extent to which it’s Israeli policy.

One cannot complain that Trump’s Syria decision caused “chaos” without recognizing the chaos that US intervention throughout the Middle East since 2001—in Iraq, Libya, and Syria—has already caused, and was designed to cause, for the sake of Israel. Because, as Middle East Monitor reports: “the [former] chief of Israel’s military intelligence, General Aviv Kochav, has said that the chaos in the Arab world favours Israel and is something that he believes should continue.”

And one cannot understand what’s happened and happening in Syria, and what the US politicians really think is “wrong” with Trump’s decision, without placing it in the context of the US-Israeli strategy that was famously revealed by Wesley Clark (and studiously ignored by US media), to “take out seven countries… starting with Iraq and Syria and ending with Iran.”

Iran has always been the ultimate target. Syria was a stepping-stone, the part of what Israel saw as the “Tehran-Damascus-Hizbullah alliance” that became ripe for removing in 2011-2. This was made explicit in a State Department report, authored by James Rubin (Christine Amanpour’s husband), that appeared in a Hillary Clinton email chain: “The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad.” Or, as high-ranking Israeli officials gleefully foresaw: “Syria’s fragmentation into provinces, … the formation of an Alawite district in the coastal region… a Sunni province … and … a Kurdish province in northern Syria.”

That Iran has been the ultimate target is also made clear in an exceptionally important and detailed NYT report, “The Secret History of the Push to Strike Iran” (published before the Syria decision), which I urge everyone to read. It chronicles how “Hawks in Israel and America have spent more than a decade agitating for war against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program,” and asks “Will Trump finally deliver?” It details Benjamin Netanyahu’s obsessive “personal crusade” against Iran, and his attempts to cajole, browbeat, and bluff the US into attacking Iran for the Jewish state—to the point that the US ambassador to Israel thought: “Israel might consider it an advantage to strike in the final phase of the [2012] election,” believing it “could force the United States’ hand to be supportive or to come in behind Israel and assist. Because otherwise, President Obama could be accused of abandoning Israel in its moment of need.”

Israel used this “can’t refuse Israel” ideology to make sure the Obama administration “meticulously refined” “military plans for an Iran strike” that, if he didn’t use, would be a “loaded gun,” “inherited” by the next president.

But Trump hasn’t picked up that gun. Despite his embrace of so many aspects of Netanyahu’s agenda, Israelis now fear that “the American president in whom they had invested so much hope has gone wobbly.” Why? Because of his “last-minute decision to abort the attack in June,” which has “led to a concern among Iran hawks in both Israel and the United States: that the president ultimately might not have the resolve to confront the threat with military force.”

As Haaretz reports, in a more recent editorial “Netanyahu’s Iran Policy Has Collapsed”: “Trump’s putting up with the attack on Saudi Arabia and leaving the Kurds high and dry are warning signs to Israel, that it cannot count on Netanyahu’s friend in the White House.”

And the BBC: Netanyahu’s “signature Iran policy … was rocked by the president’s reluctance to flex US military muscle in response to an apparent Iranian attack on Saudi oil installations…. [which] evinces the utter collapse of the security doctrine that has been advanced by Netanyahu, [and] has been compounded by Mr. Trump’s decision to pull US troops out of north-eastern Syria.” Israel is now “facing the reality of an unpredictable and transactional president who has deep reservations about using US military might, is afraid of getting involved in another Middle East conflict.”

Those hawks in Israel and the United States may be giving up on Trump, but one would be a fool to think they are giving up. They’re just looking for another “friend in the White House”—and right quick. The election is too far away, and its results too unpredictable.

Trump is slithering filth and dangerously mercurial and random. But the recurring liberal bashing of him for non- and reduced military intervention and for not loving bad guys like the CIA and FBI and John McCain truly is knee-jerk. https://t.co/rQT2KOj1qg — vastleft (@vastleft) October 9, 2019

Leftists may be loath to acknowledge it, but, for whatever reasons he made it, Trump’s decision on Syria—the culmination of a series of non-interventionist decisions—has “marked a major turning point in Syria’s long war” and has, indeed, “upended decades” of imperialist and Zionist plans for the Middle East It deserves to be recognized and supported as such by all leftist anti-imperialists as much as it is recognized and denounced as such by the entire spectrum of US-imperialist politics and media. It’s a very good thing, a positive aspect of the Trump-effect I’ve written about previously.

We leftists can point out that Trump’s non-interventionist rhetoric, and even decisions, do not always translate into reality. All US troops have not yet been withdrawn from Syria. US troop presence in the Middle East increased by 14,000 since May. He just sent another 2,000 US troops to Saudi Arabia. His policies on Palestine, Venezuela, and even Iran are criminally aggressive, even if they have not yet involved a military attack. We know that he’s impulsive and changeable, and, most importantly, weak. Even if he has a sincere desire to end ridiculous, endless, and wasteful wars, it’s a shallow impulse, ungrounded in anything but self- and US-centered principle. That makes him weak, and it’s why he surrounds himself with neocon deep-state actors on whom he depends and who often ignore or actively oppose him—especially when it comes to his non-interventionist instincts. He is certainly as much of, if more erratic, an imperialist/American-exceptionalist and world bully as any US politician.

That’s the dangerous aspect of Trump’s incoherence that we leftists, for good reason, focus on. But his right-wing critics, and would-be and erstwhile neocon advisors like Bolton (“the whistleblower’s Deep Throat”?) see and fear the other side of his “unpredictable and transactional” character—his call for better relations with Russia, his desire for a deal with Kim Jong-Un, etc.

But most of all, and most importantly in relation to the Middle East and the sacred imperatives of Israel, they see that one big flashing yellow light that they despise: he’s reluctant to pull the trigger on a big attack on the principal enemy. They can maneuver around him, and push him largely where they want him to go, but when it comes to a decisive strike, he’s the commander-in-chief; he needs to give the order. In a series of what for them are crucial moments, Trump has shown himself to be unreliable for that. They want a commander-in-chief on whom they can rely to pull the trigger. Like Mike Pence.

And in this Syria decision they see, correctly, that, no matter how many troops and ships he is moving around the Middle East, Trump has effectively collapsed a longstanding imperialist and Zionist project for Syria and possibly Iran that neocon policy makers had no intention of giving up on. They may yet get him to reverse that or over-compensate for it with some worse aggression, but he seems to be “undeterred,” and “doubling down” on it, “despite vociferous pushback from congressional Republicans” and “top advisers.”

The Democrats need at least 20 Republican senators to convict Trump and throw him out of office. That is no longer impossible. Many McCain Republicans are now on record as seeing Trump’s policy decisions as a threat to “national security” and to fundamental US and “allied” interests, especially in the Middle East.

A “veteran political consultant,” cited by a conservative blogger, made it specific: “The price of Graham’s support… would be an eventual military strike on Iran.”

Impeachment and conviction are still unlikely. Perhaps because Trump will pay Graham’s price—in which case, watch the pressure dissipate. Or, in the better case, and the one Trump seems to be sticking with, precisely because ending ridiculous, wasteful wars and keeping campaign promises and “Let them fight their own wars” are very popular pitches with the Republican (and not only Republican!) electorate. That might well prevent too many Republican defections.

So, the Republican politicians who want to vote against Trump for his aversion to military strikes (and their allied media—watch how FOX and Breitbart coverage evolves) will have to go along with the Democrats and the media fronting other issues. They’ll have to subtly soften their defense of Trump against Ukrainegate charges, starting even during formal impeachment hearings in the House. Unlikely, but no longer impossible. Fundamental imperialist and Zionist policies are at stake.

Kid yourself not. No matter what the formal articles of impeachment say, if Donald Trump is removed from office by impeachment, if more than twenty Republican senators vote to convict him, it will not be because of Russiagate or Ukrainegate of Bidengate or any other ruse issues bleated about constantly in the media, but because he is just too “unpredictable and transactional” to be counted on to pull the trigger when it counts. 100%.

Left-socialist analysis from Jim Kavanagh, former college professor and New York City native and denizen.

October 18, 2019 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Truth Is A Kremlin Talking Point

By Caitlin Johnstone | October 17, 2019

In response to a statement during the Democratic primary debates by presidential candidate Andrew Yang that both Russia and the United States have engaged in election interference, liberal pundit Molly McKew tweeted, “I now retract any vaguely nice thing I ever said about Yang knowing technology things because he answered the question on Putin with moral equivalency and a Kremlin talking point.”

If you’re in the mood for some depressing amusement, just type the words “Kremlin talking point” without quotation marks into Twitter’s search engine and scroll through all the results which come up. Just keep on scrolling and observe how this label, “Kremlin talking point”, gets bleated by mainstream empire loyalists to dismiss subjects ranging from the rigging of Democratic primaries to criticism of US regime change wars to endless US warmongering to concerns about new cold war escalations to disliking John McCain to criticism of Nancy Pelosi. Any criticism of the status quo which cannot be labeled false or misleading gets labeled a “talking point” of Russia/Putin/the Kremlin by those who support and defend the status quo of US-centralized imperialist world hegemony.

Yang’s statement about US intervention in foreign elections is indisputably true, of course. Both alternative and mainstream media outlets have thoroughly documented the fact that the US government’s own data shows them to have interfered in scores of foreign elections, far more than any other nation on earth. This includes an interference in Russia’s elections in the nineties that was so brazen they made a Hollywood movie about it. Former CIA Director James Woolsey openly admitted on Fox News last year that the US still interferes in foreign elections to this very day.

These are not conspiracy theories. These are not even secrets. These are facts. But because they are inconvenient facts, they get labeled “Kremlin talking points” by those whose job it is to defend the status quo.
Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard was also branded with the accusation of voicing “Kremlin talking points” for remarks she made during last night’s debate. In her case those “talking points” consisted of the indisputable fact that the bloodshed in Syria can be blamed on US politicians from both parties, and the indisputable fact that the US has armed extremist militias in that nation with the goal of effecting regime change.

“Literally a Kremlin talking point, but whatever,” tweeted #Resistance pundit Leah McElrath in response to Gabbard’s debate comments.

“It is a fact that the Russian talking point for years has been that the United States arms al-Qaeda in Syria. Tulsi Gabbard just said it on national television,” tweeted journalist Scott Stedman.

“How odd to listen to Tulsi Gabbard mouthing Syrian and Russian talking points on the Democratic debate stage… sorry but no one thinks US troops withdrawn by Trump were there as part of a ‘regime change war’ by the US,” tweeted Susan Glasser of CNN and The New Yorker.

So the establishment narrative managers now have an official three-word debunk of any criticism of the establishment which employs them, which applies even when that criticism is fully based in facts and reality. Facts are a Kremlin talking point, and anyone who believes them is Russian. Facts are Russian. Truth is Russian. Skepticism is Russian. Asking questions is Russian. Dissent is Russian. Revolution is Russian.

So let’s all get Russian then, baby. Let’s all fill our heads with objectively true Kremlin talking points and Cossack dance our way to a fact-based relationship with reality. Get as Russian as possible. Get aggressively Russian. Get offensively Russian. Get so Russian it hurts. Get so Russian it curls Louise Mensch’s hair. If they are going to start telling us that truth is Russian, then the only appropriate thing to say in response is dasvidaniya.

October 17, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

Forget privacy abuses, liberals call to DeleteFacebook after learning Zuckerberg met with conservatives

By Helen Buyniski | RT | October 15, 2019

Facebook’s history of abusing users’ trust by sharing their private data with corporate partners and government spooks pales in comparison to its CEO’s decision to sit down with prominent conservatives, for some.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been meeting with conservative commentators, journalists, and politicians in “small, off-the-record dinners” and “informal talks,” Politico revealed on Monday, sending shockwaves through the internet. He reportedly discussed “free expression, unfair treatment of conservatives, fact checking, partnerships, and privacy” with prominent right-wing critics of Facebook, including Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Washington Examiner correspondent Byron York, and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.

This, the mainstream media and many liberals on social media have declared, is an outrage. The hashtag #DeleteFacebook was trending for most of Monday as Woke Twitter finally realized the fourth-richest man in the US, who infamously called Facebook users “dumb f***s,” was an unworthy trustee of their digital lives. Just kidding – they were upset that the platform had become yet another tool of white supremacy.

“The fear is that Zuckerberg is trying to appease the Trump administration by not cracking down on right-wing propaganda,” an anonymous “cybersecurity researcher and former government official based in Silicon Valley” told Politico, giving voice to the fears of many in the Democratic Party. Last week, the platform refused 2020 presidential frontrunner Joe Biden’s campaign’s request to remove a Trump campaign ad accusing Biden of promising Ukraine $1 billion to fire a prosecutor investigating the gas company that had hired his son. While Facebook promised that any “viral hoax” shared by a politician would be “demoted” and displayed alongside a fact-check, it pointed to a recently-revised policy against fact-checking “political speech” as the reason its hands were tied, leaving the Biden campaign – and the #Resistance – fuming.

Wounded liberals took to Twitter to voice their displeasure with Zuckerberg’s secret meetings, accusing Facebook of “poisoning our democracy” even as they made excuses for why they couldn’t delete Instagram or WhatsApp, both of which are owned by Facebook.

Zuckerberg sitting down with conservatives is an odd straw to have break the camel’s back, to be sure. Facebook users sat quietly by when it emerged that the platform had shared their private data, including messages sent to other users, with over 150 corporate “partners” without their knowledge or consent. There was no user uprising when the platform was discovered to be collaborating with phone companies to rate customers’ “creditworthiness” based on their profiles. #DeleteFacebook didn’t trend when the platform quietly suspended tens of thousands of apps for violating users’ privacy and admitted it would be unable to catch all of the other perpetrators, or when a Facebook lawyer made the jaw-dropping claim that users have no expectation of privacy at all.

Facebook notoriously collaborates with the US government to remove accounts both domestically and abroad, and works with the Israeli government to stifle the free speech of Palestinians, many of whom get their news exclusively through Facebook. A recent EU court ruling paved the way for Facebook to be weaponized by European countries to remove so-called “hate speech” by users halfway around the world. And Facebook has even struggled to play down complaints that it exploits children by luring them into spending wads of their parents’ cash on online games.

None of these offenses rankled #Resistance Twitter as much as a friendly (off-the-record) dinner with Tucker Carlson. Users attacked the “hateful, dangerous platform” as “irresponsible” and slammed it for “undermining democracy.” But even liberals have admitted, when polled about other issues, that Facebook content favors the Democratic Party, and formeremployees have admitted to suppressing conservative posts. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the company that has abused its users in every way imaginable was finally kicked to the curb for listening to their complaints and trying to change?

October 15, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | Leave a comment

TYT sad to see US troops go

Hereticus Librarius | October 8, 2019

These two progressive liberals, Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, apparently haven’t heard that Trump’s decision to pull out was expressed many months ago.

Suddenly TYT cares about the Pentagon weighing in on the US getting out of regime change operations.

Oh, the Kurds have no choice but to cooperate with Syria and Russia and Iran vis-a-vis Turkey? Good.

The lawful and sensible solution is to have Syrian reunification.

Also, Assad is a democratically elected head of state. The UN election observers in Syria endorsed the election process. Bashar al-Assad is not a dictator!

The progressive news outlet TYT is engaging in Deep State-Mainstream media war propaganda and are thus in league with international terrorism [regime change ops and affiliated methods].

October 11, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Imran Khan ‘Puzzled’ Over Vast Media Coverage of Hong Kong and ‘Disregard’ of Kashmir Issue

Sputnik – October 11, 2019

Ahead of last month’s UN General Assembly (UNGA) summit, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan raised various concerns while travelling to New York, accusing world leaders of avoiding the Kashmir issue and the alleged humanitarian crisis in the Kashmir valley.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan took to Twitter​ to say how “puzzled” he is over the sharp contrast in international media coverage of the situations in Hong Kong and Kashmir while squarely blaming the press for not highlighting the situation in Kashmir properly.

He claimed that the media paid much attention to the ongoing Hong Kong protests while surprisingly avoided giving importance to the “dire human rights situation” in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Khan, who returned from China on Thursday, chose to highlight the issue hours ahead of the crucial second Informal Summit to be held between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

China has already extended its full support to Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. In a joint statement, it has said: “The Kashmir issue is a historical dispute, and should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.”

China has already expressed its opposition to India’s unilateral action on 5 August to strip the special status of Jammu and Kashmir state and split the region into two federally administered territories. It has said the decision scrapping the special status of Jammu and Kashmir “complicates the situation”.

Pakistan Prime Minister Khan in his Tweet has said the communications blackout and curfew in Kashmir since 5 August is a growing humanitarian crisis.

“For over two months there has been a complete blackout of communications, thousands imprisoned, including the entire spectrum of political leadership and children, and a growing humanitarian crisis. In Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir 100 thousand Kashmiris have been killed over 30 years of fighting for their right to self-determination,” he added.

India and Pakistan have been at loggerheads over Kashmir since they attained independence from British Colonial rule in 1947. While the two neighbours both claim the entire territory, they administer separate parts of Kashmir.

October 11, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | 1 Comment

#TrumpBetrayedtheKurds: “Progressive Hollywood” Calls for War

Conditioned “influencers” crying crocodile tears on cue

By Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | October 10, 2019

I wrote, just a few days ago, that we’d be able to tell just how real Trump’s “Syria Withdrawal” was by how loud, and how strong, the establishment voices came out against it.

The media (and collected punditry) will likely play the “poor little Kurds” card a lot in the next few days…[this] will determine how much of a genuine threat to the establishment agenda this “withdrawal” really is.

Turns out, it might be a lot.

Every single media outlet is variously “shocked”, “appalled” or “disgusted”. Politicians from both sides of the house (and Israel) have condemned him. Media pundits, ex-generals. Combat veterans in the Independent.

Even good-old Fox News, Trump’s only real support in the media, have finally had to choose between supporting the President and supporting war. They chose war.

Nowhere is this seething hatred of Trump, and adoration of the Kurds stronger than Hollywood. A population of ill-informed moralising egos have decided Trump’s “betrayal” of the Kurds is his greatest crime, despite having very little idea who the Kurds are or what (if anything) they have ever done.

Still, there’s not to reason why, there’s just to tweet and lie.

Compare the hysteria about “protecting the Kurds” today, to the tone of commentary on the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The difference is startling.

Hell, compare it to Yemen. Were there this many hashtags about Yemen? Of course not.

The Hollywood outrage machine only kicks into gear when American troops WITHDRAW, but never when they ATTACK.

All of the US aggression against Syria was met with a shrug by these same people, and the hundreds of others like them. If they even knew it was happening.

But it’s not just Hollywood, even the “new wave” of Brave Democrat Women were keen to oppose withdrawing US troops from a country they are illegally occupying in breach of international law.

Somewhere along the line, the poison of identity politics has totally subverted the traditionally anti-war politics of the fringe-left, the arts, actors and writers.

They now respond literally like programmed robots, without ever pausing to question their hardcoded responses

Trump wants to run “end war”.
Trump = “bad”
Therefore: “end war” = “bad”
Therefore: “war” = “good”.

The process runs, the output is logged and off they run: Damning Trump for his stupid racist fascist peace, and declaring we should be fighting a lovely progressive war (against…Turkey? I guess? I’m not sure and neither are they).

This is the ultimate victory of the Deep State in the United States. The zenith of Trump Derangement Syndrome: The Pavlovian conditioning of the entire “liberal” establishment.

We told you this would happen.

October 10, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | 1 Comment

The Apocalyptic Death Cult We Should Ridicule Out Of Existence

The madness of Extinction Rebellion

By Brendan O’Neill – Spiked – 07/10/19

Yesterday, in London, I witnessed an eerie, chilling sight: I saw a death cult holding a ceremony in public.

The men and women gathered outside King’s Cross station and formed a circle. They swayed and chanted. They preached about End Times. ‘What will you do when the world gets hot, what, what?’, they intoned, conjuring up images of the hellfire they believe will shortly consume mankind. They sang hymns to their god – science. ‘We’ve got all the science / All that we need / To change the world / Hallelujah’, they sang, rocking side to side as they did so.

They demanded repentance. ‘Buy less, fly less, fry less’, said one placard. Catholics only demand the non-consumption of meat on Fridays, as an act of penance to mark the day of Christ’s death. This new religion demands an end to meat-consumption entirely, as penance for mankind’s sins of growth and progress.

And like all death cultists, they handed out leaflets that contained within them ‘THE TRUTH’. The leaflets foretell floods and fire: ‘We are in trouble. Sea levels are rising… Africa and the Amazon are on fire.’ The only word that was missing was locusts. They can’t be far behind these other ghastly visitations to sinful mankind.

And if you question their TRUTH? Then, like those heretics who were hauled before The Inquisition 500 years ago, you will be denounced as a denier. A denier of their revelations, a denier of their visions. ‘Denial is not a policy’, their placards decreed. Spotting me filming their spooky, apocalyptic ceremony, one of the attendees waved that placard in my face. A warning from the cult to a corrupted outsider.

This was, of course, Extinction Rebellion. Let us no longer beat around the bush about these people. This is an upper-middle-class death cult.

This is a millenarian movement that might speak of science, but which is driven by sheer irrationalism. By fear, moral exhaustion and misanthropy. This is the deflated, self-loathing bourgeoisie coming together to project their own psycho-social hang-ups on to society at large. They must be criticised and ridiculed out of existence.

Yesterday’s gathering, like so many other Extinction Rebellion gatherings, was middle-aged and middle-class. The commuters heading in and out of King’s Cross looked upon them with bemusement. ‘Oh, it’s those Extinction freaks’, I heard one young man say. It had the feel of Hampstead and the Home Counties descending on a busy London spot to proselytise the cult of eco-alarmism to the brainwashed, commuting plebs.

It was a gathering to mark Extinction Rebellion’s week of disruption. The group is asking people in London and other cities around the world to ‘take two weeks off work’ and join the revolt against the ‘climate and ecological crisis’. You can tell who they’re trying to appeal to. Working-class people and the poor of New Delhi, Mumbai and Cape Town – some of the cities in which Extinction Rebellion will be causing disruption – of course cannot afford to take two weeks off work. But then, these protests aren’t for those people. In fact, they’re against those people.

Extinction Rebellion is a reactionary, regressive and elitist movement whose aim is to impose the most disturbing form of austerity imaginable on people across the world. One of the great ironies of ‘progressive’ politics today is that people of a leftist persuasion will say it is borderline fascism if the Tory government closes down a library in Wolverhampton, but then they will cheer this eco-death cult when it demands a virtual halt to economic growth with not a single thought for the devastating, immiserating and outright lethal impact such a course of action would have on the working and struggling peoples of the world.

Extinction Rebellion says mankind is doomed if we do not cut carbon emissions to Net Zero by 2025. That’s six years’ time. Think about it: they want us to halt a vast array of human activity that produces carbon. All that Australian digging for coal; all those Chinese factories employing millions of people and producing billions of things used by people around the world; all those jobs in the UK in the fossil-fuel industries; all those coal-fired power stations; all that flying; all that driving… cut it all back, rein it in, stop it. And the people who rely on these things for their work and their food and their warmth? Screw them. They’re only humans. Horrible, destructive, stupid humans. … continue

October 8, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Progressive Hypocrite, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 4 Comments