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Jewish Congress launches campaign against ‘antisemitism’ (aka support for Palestinian rights)

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin demonstrates the new Instagram campaign against “antisemitism.” EJC and Israel consider opposition to Israeli human rights violations “antisemitic.”
Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | January 22, 2020

UPDATE: In the midst of impeachment proceedings, House Leader Nancy Pelosi has gone to Israel to take part in an event organized by the Russian-Israeli oligarch described below – see update at end of post.

The European Jewish Congress (EJC) has announced the launch of a worldwide, star studded social media campaign against what it calls “antisemitism,” but which is often advocacy for Palestinian human rights and opposition to Israeli apartheid. EJC is the regional affiliate of the World Jewish Congress, one of whose main missions is to advocate for Israel.

The EJC considers anti-Zionism to be a form of anti-Semitism and employs a newly created definition of antisemitism in which certain types of statements about Israel are supposedly “antisemitic.” As a result, EJC’s opposition to “antisemitism” often consists of censoring information that exposes Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights.

Its new campaign, called “Stop This Story,” particularly focuses on Instagram, although it will also use YouTube and other platforms. According to the EJC, the campaign will be the “first global initiative of its kind that will leverage Instagram’s AR (Augmented Reality) effects to drive a global movement.” It claims to have recruited “some of the world’s leading AR effects’ creators.”

The campaign says it has enrolled a number of “international stars” and “international influencers, each of them with millions followers.” Among these are supermodel Bar Refaeli, actress Vanessa Kirby (from ‘The Crown’), former NBA player Omri Casspi, and “many other international figures, actors, entertainers, and sportsmen and women.”

The man behind the campaign

Russian-Israeli oligarch Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor, president of the EJC and numerous other entities, is a billionaire whose top priority is strengthening Israel.

The individual behind the new campaign is EJC President Moshe Kantor, also known as Viatcheslav Kantor, He explains the reasoning underlying the campaign: “The best way to spread any message today is through social media because social networks and those who use them have the power to make the necessary changes in our societies.”

Kantor is a Russian-Israeli billionaire dedicated to Israel. He has stated that the creation of the State of Israel is the “biggest achievement” of Diaspora Jewry, and believes that all Jews must work to “strengthen our beloved state.”

In 2008 Kantor enunciated his core belief: “The reality of today requires that European Jews care not only about the preservation and security of Israel, but also the way it is treated by the rest of the world. This must be the leading priority of the European Diaspora.”

Kantor heads up and sometimes even originated, a network of pro-Israel international entities.

In addition to being president of the European Jewish Congress, he is founder and president of the World Holocaust Forum Foundation, founder and chairman of the European Jewish Fund, originator and president of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe, co-founder and president of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, vice president of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, a member of the International Board of Hillel, and the former president of the Russian Jewish Congress, to name just some of his affiliations.

His ability to accomplish all this stems from his enormous wealth. In addition to being an “international philanthropist,” as he identifies himself, Kantor is an international businessman with $4 billion at his disposal. He has been accused of unscrupulous business dealings and financial fraud.

Like other Russian oligarchs, Kantor made his fortune in the first years of Russia’s “new capitalism”– sometimes called “gangster capitalism” – when, under the guise of “privatization,” Russia’s economy was massively looted, causing ruin to many Russian citizens who saw their life savings vanish, sometimes in a matter of weeks. Kantor’s father, a former Red Army soldier, reportedly served prison time for “speculation and embezzlement of state property in a large scale, taking bribes and forgery.” Kantor was among the many individuals in the Russian Jewish community who flourished; many – perhaps most – of the Russian oligarchs have ties to Israel.

Kantor is known for a variety of international activities. Along with notorious oligarch Boris Berezovsky, Kantor is said to have been a “sponsor of the ‘Orange Revolution’ in Ukraine in 2005, which led to the cancellation of the initial results of the presidential election.” Berezovsky later bragged that he had funded the revolution. In 2006 Kantor received an award from Ukraine’s new president for “distinguished services” to the country.

Stamping out ‘Antisemitism’ and ‘Intolerance’

Kantor has been involved in a global campaign to embed a new, Israel-centric definition of antisemitism in European governments and institutions. The EJC says that the definition of anti-Semitism must be “clarified” because “the new form of anti-Semitism” supposedly “emanates from pro-Palestinians.” Kantor says that BDS, the international boycott of Israel over its violent human rights abuses, is “antisemitic.” (BDS works to “uphold the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.”)

Kantor advocates that governments punish antisemites as harshly as they punish terrorists. He has been working to convince European governments to adopt a bizarre 13-page program of “concrete and enforceable obligations that ensure tolerance and stamp out intolerance.”

The Orwellian program, entitled “National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance” (revised version here), would restrict freedom of expression, impose re-education programs, enact surveillance structures, and institute criminal penalties for “antisemitism” and other “intolerance.” Expressing views specified as impermissible would be “regarded as criminal offenses punishable as aggravated crimes.”

The document proposes a deeply authoritarian structure controlling multiple aspects of society to coerce “tolerance,” and anyone who doesn’t get with the program would be taken care of, e.g. “Juveniles convicted of committing crimes listed in paragraph (a) will be required to undergo a rehabilitation programme conducive to a culture of tolerance.” Big Brother in the form of a “National Tolerance Monitoring Commission” would ensure that no one says or does anything that the Commission determines is “intolerant.”

The program is being promoted by Kantor’s “European Center for Tolerance and Reconciliation” (ECTR), and may be on the way to becoming a reality. Kantor has secured former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair as the ECTR Chairman and French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy as a member.

According to its website ECTR has formed a joint task force with the European Council to work on implementing the program throughout Europe. The European Council, composed of the heads of state or government of the 28 EU member states, defines the EU’s overall political direction and priorities.

‘Global Pandemic’

Kantor recently said that antisemitism is now a “global pandemic” and that the “crisis of antisemitism is a slippery slope to global catastrophe.” He warns that Jews could “disappear completely as a people from Europe,” and raises the alarm about what he describes as “mass killing at synagogues.”

Media reports on the new EJC campaign similarly emphasize recent tragic attacks on Jews, and reference the assaults in the cities of Monsey, Jersey City, Halle, Poway, and Pittsburgh.

These terrifying attacks killed a combined total of 14 Jews.

News reports on the alleged perpetrators of the assaults, who were of diverse races, indicate a variety of motivations. One attacker said he had been inspired by a 2019 assault on two New Zealand mosques that had killed 51 Muslims.

Previous fatal shootings have also occurred at other religious sites. The largest number of fatalities in the US may have been at a Christian church, where 26 worshipers were killed in 2017.

While Kantor and the EJC claim the existence of massive antisemitism, Jewish Americans are reportedly the wealthiest group in the US, and this also appears to be the case for Jews worldwide.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces have killed almost 10,000 Palestinian men, women, and children since 2000 and injured tens of thousands; Palestinian resistance forces have killed approximately 1,200 Israelis (details here).

Such disproportion is not new.

Twenty-five years ago, an Israeli author wrote: “In the last 40 years the number of non-Jews killed by Jews is by far greater than the number of the Jews killed by non-Jews.”

Many Jews around the world, including in Israel itself, have long strenuously opposed Israeli violence. According to Kantor and his cohort, these individuals are also “antisemitic.”

The bodies of five children from the same family killed in an Israeli air strike on 14 November 2019 lie in a hospital ward in Gaza (information on Gaza is here)

Fifth World Holocaust Forum

The new campaign comes just before the Fifth World Holocaust Forum to be held in Israel tomorrow,  January 23rd, co-sponsored by the president of Israel. The forums are another one of Kantor’s many projects.

Over 45 heads of state and world leaders have said they plan to attend the event, including the presidents of France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Russia, the kings of Spain and Belgium, and Britain’s Prince Charles. Vice-president Mike Pence and Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, will also attend.

The event is being held at Yad Vashem, Israel’s holocaust complex, a vast, sprawling institution with dozens of Israeli flags and tree-studded walkways leading to exhibits, archives, monuments, sculptures, and memorials.

The event website proclaims that the Holocaust is “the most horrific tragedy in human history” and states that “a new wave of antisemitism unseen since World War II poses an existential threat to European Jewry.”

According to the Jerusalem Post, among the forum’s features will be speeches by select heads of state, a Holocaust survivor, video clips, and “musical interludes performed by an orchestra and an international choir.” The event will be live streamed and conclude with the Israeli national anthem.

Yad Vashem is in Jerusalem where there is evidence all around – for any with eyes to see – of another genocidal program, one that has been going on since the one commemorated by Yad Vashem ended. An historian calls this one the “Palestinian holocaust” and describes it: a land was “occupied, emptied of its people, its physical and cultural landmarks obliterated, its destruction hailed as a miraculous act of God, all done according to a premeditated plan, meticulously executed, internationally supported, and still maintained today…”

Yad Vashem overlooks one of the obliterated landmarks emptied of its people: an almost empty field where the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin once stood.

On April 9, 1948 Zionist forces systematically exterminated 110 men, women, and children as part of a plan to rid Palestine of its Muslim and Christian population in order to make way for the Jewish state. This was one of 16 such Zionist massacres that took place before the official start of Israel’s founding war of ethnic cleansing, and over a month before a single Arab Army joined the conflict. In contrast to Yad Vashem’s monuments and memorials, Deir Yassin has no marker.

More recent evidence of the ongoing oppression can be found in the Issawiya neighborhood of Jerusalem, where heavily armed Israeli police have raided over 500 Palestinian homes and arrested more than 700 residents since May, apprehending children as young as five. Israeli forces shot dead a 21-year-old at close range and have injured over 300 people of all ages. Soldiers beat and humiliate residents at will. One resident says the area “has turned into a ghetto.” (Another such ghetto is Gaza, where Israeli forces yesterday killed three young men who had reportedly temporarily escaped from their prison.)

Not far from Issawiyah is Israel’s mammoth apartheid wall, confiscating additional Palestinian land and helping to imprison over two million people. In 2002 Israeli media reported that Israeli generals were studying how the German army fought in the Warsaw ghetto for use in Israel’s next campaign against Palestinians.

The Holocaust Forum program states that the world leaders “will be invited to lay a wreath at the base of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Monument created by world-renowned Jewish sculptor and artist Nathan Rappaport.”

Perhaps some of the world leaders could also visit the unmarked site of Deir Yassin, and lay a wreath on one of its crumbling graves. And then go to Israel’s wall and echo a famous demand from a previous head of state: “Tear down this wall.”

And maybe a future social media campaign could focus on ending all genocides, injustice, and oppression.

UPDATE:

Nancy Pelosi and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Jan 22, 2020 at Israeli state dinner sponsored by Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor.
(Pelosi’s Congressional offices are not telling constituents where she is.)

The UK Guardian reports that many of the heads of state have now arrived and that Israeli President Rivlin is hosting a state dinner today. Officials said organizers of the dinner “had tuned the grand piano, brought in 800 candles and hired 200 servers and ushers to serve Israeli cuisine. For space reasons, tents were set up outside and the heads of the foreign delegations were asked to bring only one guest…”

The article also reports: “Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has looked to capitalise on the event to rally international support against Iran” and hopes to procure “backing for his attacks on the international criminal court, which is investigating allegations of war crimes in the Palestinian territories.”

The Guardian reports that Russian president Vladamir Putin, French president Emmanuel Macron, and Prince Charles are expected meet with Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas.

A controversy involving Macron has already occurred:

“Macron also visited the old city of Jerusalem on Wednesday, where he was filmed by a French journalist working for Le Parisien shouting at an Israeli security officer. He appeared to be yelling at the man, who may have been assigned to his security detail, to leave the church of St Anne’s. The church has been owned by the French government since it was gifted by the Ottomans to Napoleon III in 1856, and is still considered French territory.

“Everybody knows the rules,” he said firmly in English. “Outside, please,” he shouted. “Please respect the rules. They [have been in place] for centuries. They will not change with me.”

“Macron’s altercation mirrored that of another French president, Jacques Chirac, who in 1996 refused to enter the same church until Israeli security left.”


Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel.

January 22, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

US misinforming international community on Iran’s enrichment right: Russia

Press TV – January 21, 2020

Russia has accused the US of misleading the international community on Iran’s right to enrich uranium, describing as “myth-making” a claim by Washington that a UN Security Council resolution has banned any enrichment in Iran.

“We consider it necessary to respond to the US special representative for Iran Hook about the existence of some kind of ‘UN standard’ prohibiting the Islamic Republic of Iran from enriching uranium,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday.

The statement said the US claim accuses the UN Security Council of contradicting the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

“Unfortunately, such myth-making has long been part of the US approach toward nuclear non-proliferation … In this case, we have, essentially, an accusation against the UN Security Council of making decisions contradicting the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT),” the ministry added.

The statement also recalled that the aforementioned treaty allows the signatories to develop nuclear energy for non-military purposes.

It also noted that the NPT does not impose any restrictions on non-nuclear states in terms of uranium enrichment as long as they are under the IAEA control and pursue peaceful purposes.

“The NPT puts no limitations on the non-nuclear countries regarding uranium enrichment or developing other stages of the nuclear fuel cycle. There is only one condition: that all work must be directed toward peaceful ends and be under IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency ] supervision,” the ministry noted.

The statement came after US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook told journalists on Friday about an alleged UN resolution passed in 2006 or 2007 prohibiting Tehran from uranium enrichment.

In 2015, Iran signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, and the European Union. The JCPOA required Iran to put certain limits on its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

In 2018, the United States abandoned the deal with Iran, and hit the Iranian economy with the “toughest sanctions ever”.

On 8 May 2019, the first anniversary of the United States’ unilateral withdrawal from the agreement, Iran announced a gradual reduction of its JCPOA obligations.

On 5 January, following the killing of Iran’s top military commander Qasem Soleimani in a US attack near the Baghdad International Airport, Tehran said it was rolling back all its commitments under the JCPOA.

In reaction to Iran’s move, European parties to the deal, which have failed to fulfill their commitments under the JCPOA, have threatened to take Iran’s nuclear issue to the UN Security Council.

The E3 (Germany, UK, and France) formally triggered the dispute mechanism within the agreement, accusing Iran of having violated the accord. Iran would now be asked to resolve the so-called dispute with the European trio, and the process could ultimately lead to the re-imposition of the Security Council’s sanctions that were lifted by the accord.

In reaction to the threat, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday said that if Britain, France, and Germany continue their unjustifiable conduct and move to send Iran’s nuclear case to the United Nations Security Council, Tehran would have the option of leaving the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Zarif explained that Iran was the party to initially trigger the dispute mechanism in 2018 by sending three letters to the European Union to notify them of Tehran’s dissatisfaction with Europe’s non-commitment to the agreement. The Islamic Republic, he added, was then forced to resort to the nuclear countermeasures as the Europeans remained in violation of the accord.

He, however, said Tehran’s measures were reversible provided Europe would begin minding its JCPOA obligations.

January 21, 2020 Posted by | Deception | , , , | Leave a comment

E3 cannot logically activate JCPOA dispute settlement mechanism: Iran Deputy FM

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi
Press TV – January 19, 2020

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas says the three European signatories to Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), cannot logically activate the deal’s dispute settlement mechanism, because Iran has already done that.

“We are now engaged in complicated legal discussions and Russia and China are of the same opinion. It was Iran that first resorted to Article 36 [of the JCPOA] and completed its application. Therefore, logically, legally and even politically speaking, the European countries cannot take advantage of this article, because we have already done that and applied its mechanism in full,” Araqchi said while addressing a meeting at the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s School of International Relation on Sunday.

On January 14, the three European signatories to the Iran deal — France, Britain and Germany — formally triggered the dispute mechanism, which accuses Iran of violating the agreement and could lead to the restoration of the anti-Iran UN sanctions that had been lifted by the JCPOA.

Under the mechanism outlined in the deal, the EU would also inform the other parties — Russia and China as well as Iran itself. There would then be 15 days to resolve the differences through the JCPOA Joint Commission. If no settlement is reached through the commission, the foreign ministers of involved countries will then discuss them for another 15 days. In case of need, an advisory board will be formed to help foreign ministers.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Iran’s deputy foreign minister said, the recent measure taken by three European countries is only aimed at dispute settlement and has nothing to do with restoration of UN sanctions against Tehran.

“The trigger mechanism, which may lead to restoration of the United Nations Security Council’s sanctions against Iran has not been started by the three countries,” Araqchi noted.

“They have only resorted to the dispute settlement mechanism as per Article 36 of the deal, while the trigger mechanism is enshrined in Article 37. Article 36 does not automatically lead to Article 37, though it can pave the way for its application,” the top Iranian diplomat added.

The US withdrew from the accord in 2018 and re-imposed its unilateral sanctions on Iran last May. Britain, France, and Germany, under Washington’s pressure, failed to protect Tehran’s business interests under the deal against the American bans.

This May, Iran began to gradually reduce its commitments under the JCPOA to both retaliate for Washington’s departure, and trigger the European trio to respect their obligations towards Tehran.

On January 5, Iran took a final step in reducing its commitments, and said it would no longer observe any operational limitations on its nuclear industry, whether concerning the capacity and level of uranium enrichment, the volume of stockpiled uranium or research and development.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has denounced as a “strategic mistake” the European Union’s decision to activate the dispute mechanism, taking them to task for failing to abide by their commitments under the JCPOA, and saying that activating the dispute resolution mechanism is legally baseless and politically a strategic blunder.

Britain, France reiterate commitment to JCPOA

In another development on Sunday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated their commitment to the Iran nuclear deal and agreed that “a long-term framework” was needed, a Downing Street spokeswoman said.

In a statement after a meeting between Johnson and Macron on the sidelines of a Libya summit in Berlin, the spokeswoman said, “On Iran, the leaders reiterated their commitment to the JCPOA.”

“They agreed on the importance of de-escalation and of working with international partners to find a diplomatic way through the current tensions,” he added.

January 19, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

Iran to Review Cooperation with Int’l Nuclear Watchdog In Case of ‘Unjust’ Steps by EU – Reports

Sputnik – 19.01.2020

The European parties to the Iranian nuclear deal earlier launched a dispute resolution mechanism under the agreement, a process that could entail the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran.

Iran’s cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency will be reviewed if the EU nations take “unjust” measures after triggering the nuclear deal’s dispute mechanism, Iran’s parliamentary speaker was quoted by the local TV as saying.

“We state openly that if the European powers, for any reason, adopt an unfair approach in using the dispute mechanism, we will seriously reconsider our cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency”, a local broadcaster quoted Iranian Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani as saying.

On Tuesday, three of the signatories to the JCPOA, namely France, the UK, and Germany, confirmed that they had initiated a dispute mechanism that could see the sanctions against Iran reinstated. The move comes amid Iran’s gradual scale-back on its commitments under the deal, prompted by the US unilateral withdrawal from it in 2018.

Iran’s foreign minister previously condemned the three nations for dancing to the tune of the US. President Trump reportedly threatened the European nations with imposing tariffs on them for their lack of action against Tehran.

Iran recently scrapped its remaining limitations under the JCPOA following the assassination of its top military commander Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike on 3 January. Tehran has been gradually reducing its commitments under the JCPOA since May 2019 following Washington’s unilateral pullout of the treaty one year earlier and imposition of energy and banking sanctions on the state.

January 19, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

French Popular Uprising: Revolution or Frozen Conflict?

By Diana Johnstone | Consortium News | January 17, 2020

Paris – The people are angry with their government. Where? Just about everywhere. So what makes ongoing strikes in France so special? Nothing, perhaps, except a certain expectation based on history that French uprisings can produce important changes – or if not, can at least help clarify the issues in contemporary social conflicts.

The current ongoing social unrest in France appears to pit a majority of working people against President Emmanuel Macron. But since Macron is merely a technocratic tool of global financial governance, the conflict is essentially an uprising against policies that put the avaricious demands of financial markets ahead of the needs of the people. This basic conflict is at the root of the weekly demonstrations of Yellow Vest protesters who have been demonstrating every Saturday for well over a year, despite brutal police repression. Now trade unionists, public sector workers and Yellow Vests demonstrate together, as partial work stoppages continue to perturb public transportation.

In the latest developments, teachers in Paris schools are joining the revolt. Even the prestigious prep school, the Lycée Louis le Grand, went on strike. This is significant because even a government that shows no qualms in smashing the heads of working class malcontents can hesitate before bashing the brains of the future elite.

Pension System

However general the discontent, the direct cause for what has become the longest period of unrest in memory is a single issue: the government’s determination to overhaul the national social security pension system. This is just one aspect of Macron’s anti-social program, but no other aspect touches just about everybody’s lives as much as this one.

French retirement is financed in the same way as U.S. Social Security. Employees and employers pay a proportion of wages into a fund that pays current pensions, in the expectation that tomorrow’s workers will pay for the pensions of those working today.

The existing system is complex, with particular regimes for 42 different professions, but it works well enough. As things are, despite the growing gap between the ultra-rich and those of modest means, there is less dire poverty among the elderly in France than, for example, in Germany.

The Macron plan to unify and simplify the system by a universal point system claims to improve “equality,” but it is a downward, not an upward leveling. The general thrust of the reform is clearly to make people work longer for smaller pensions. Bit by bit, the input and output of the social security system are being squeezed. This would further reduce the percentage of GDP going into wages and pensions.

The calculated result: as people fear the prospect of a penniless old age, they will feel obliged to put their savings into private pension schemes.

International Solidarity

Yellow Vest protest in Brussels, December 2018. (Pelle De Brabander, Flickr, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

In a rare display of old-fashioned working-class international solidarity, Belgian trade unions have spoken out in strong support of French unions’ opposition to Macron’s reforms, even offering to contribute to a strike fund for French workers. Support by workers of one country for the struggle of workers in another country is what international solidarity used to mean. It is largely forgotten by the contemporary left, which tends to see it in terms of opening national borders. This perfectly reflects the aspirations of global capitalism.

The international solidarity of financial capital is structural.

Macron is an investment banker, whose campaign was financed and promoted by investment bankers, including foreign investors. These are the people who helped inspire his policies, which are all designed to strengthen the power of international finance and weaken the role of the State.

Their goal is to induce the State to surrender decision-making to the impersonal power of “the markets,” whose mechanical criterion is profit rather than subjective political considerations of social welfare. This has been the trend throughout the West since the 1980s and is simply intensifying under the rule of Macron.

The European Union has become the principal watch dog of this transformation. Totally under the influence of unelected experts, every two years the EU Commission lays out “Broad Economic Policy Guidelines” – in French GOPÉ (Grandes Orientations des Politiques Économiques), to be followed by member states. The May 2018 GOPÉ for France “recommended” (this is an order!) a set of “reforms,” including “uniformization” of retirement schemes, ostensibly to improve “transparency,” “equity,” labor mobility and – last but definitely not least – “better control of public expenditures.”. In short, government budget cuts.

The Macron economic reform policy was essentially defined in Brussels.

But Wall Street is interested too. The team of experts assigned by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to devise the administration’s economic reforms includes Jean-François Cirelli, head of the French branch of Black Rock, the seven trillion-dollar New York-based investment manager. About two thirds of Black Rock’s capital comes from pension funds all over the world.

Larry Fink, the American CEO of this monstrous heap of money, was a welcome visitor at the Elysée Palace in June 2017, shortly after Macron’s election. Two weeks later, economics minister Bruno Le Maire was in New York consulting with Larry Fink. Then, in October 2017, Fink led a Wall Street delegation to Paris for a confidential meeting (leaked to Le Canard Enchaîné) with Macron and five top cabinet ministers to discuss how to make France especially attractive to foreign investment.

Larry Fink has an obvious interest in Macron’s reforms. By gradually impoverishing social security, the new system is designed to spur a boom in private pension schemes, a field dominated by Black Rock. These schemes lack the guarantee of government social security. Private pensions depend on stock market performance, and if there is a crash, there goes your retirement. Meanwhile, the money managers play with your savings, taking their cut whatever happens.

There is nothing conspiratorial about this.  It is simply international finance at work. Macron and his cabinet ministers are eager to have Black Rock invest in France. For them, this is the way the world works.

The most cynical pretext for Macron’s pension reform is that combining all the various professional regimes into a universal point system favors “equality” – even as it increases the growing gap between salaried people and the super-rich, who don’t need pensions.

But professions are different. At Christmas, striking ballet dancers illustrated this fact by performing a portion of Swan Lake on the cold stones of the entrance to the Opera Garnier in Paris. They were calling public attention to the fact that they cannot be expected to keep working into their sixties, nor can other professions requiring extreme physical effort.

The variations in the current French pension system perform a social function.  Some professions, such as teaching and nursing, are essential to society, but wages tend to be lower than in the private sector.  These professions are able to renew themselves by ensuring job stability and the promise of comfortable retirement. Take away their “privileges” and recruiting competent teachers and nurses will be even harder than it is already. At present, medical personnel are threatening to resign en masse, because conditions in hospitals are becoming unbearable as a result of drastic cuts in budgets and personnel.

Is There an Alternative?

The real issue is a choice of systems: to be precise, economic globalization versus national sovereignty.

For historic reasons, most French people do not share the ardent faith of British and Americans in the benevolence of the invisible hand of the market. There is a national leaning toward a mixed economy, where the State plays a strong determining role. The French do not easily believe that privatization is better, least of all when they can see it doing worse.

Macron is an ardent devotee of the invisible hand. He seems to expect that by draining French savings into an international investment giant such as Black Rock, Black Rock will reciprocate by pumping investment into French technological and industrial progress.

Nothing could be less certain.  In the West these days, there is lots of low interest credit, lots of debt, but investment is rarely creative. Money is used largely to buy what is already there – existing companies, mergers, stock trading (massive in the U.S.) and, for individuals, housing. Most foreign investment in France buys up things like vineyards or goes into safe infrastructure such as ports, airports and autoroutes.  When General Electric bought out Alstom, it soon broke its promise to preserve jobs and began cutting back. It also is depriving France of control of an essential aspect of its national independence, its nuclear energy.

In short, foreign investment may weaken the nation in terms in crucial ways. In a mixed economy, profit-making assets such as autoroutes can increase the government’s capacity to make up for periodic deficits in social security, among other things. With privatization, foreign shareholders must get their returns.

The United States, for all its ideological devotion to the invisible hand, actually has a strongly State-supported military industrial sector, dependent on Congressional appropriations, Pentagon contracts, favorable legislation and pressure on “allies” to buy U.S.-made weaponry. This is indeed a form of planned economy, one that fails utterly to meet social needs.

The rules of the European Union prohibit a Member State such as France from developing its own civil-oriented industrial policy, since everything must be open to unhindered international competition. Utilities, services and infrastructure must all be open to foreign owners. Foreign investors may feel no inhibition about taking their profits while allowing these public services to deteriorate.

The ongoing disruption of daily life seems to be forcing Macron’s government to make minor concessions. But nothing can change the basic aims of this presidency.

At the same time, the arrogance and brutal repression of the Macron regime increase demands for radical political change. The Yellow Vest movement has largely adopted the demand developed by Etienne Chouard for a new Constitution empowering citizen-initiated referendums — in short, a peaceful democratic revolution.

But how to get there? Overthrowing a monarch is one thing, but overthrowing the power of international finance is another, especially in a nation bound by EU and NATO treaties. Personal animosity toward Macron tends to shelter the European Union from sharp criticism of its major responsibility.

A peaceful electoral revolution calls for popular leaders with a clear program. François Asselineau continues to spread his radical critique of the EU among the intelligentsia without his party, the Union Populaire Républicaine, gaining any significant electoral strength. Leftist leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon has the oratorical punch to lead a revolution, but his popularity seems to have suffered from attacks even harsher than those unleashed against Jeremy Corbyn in Britain or Bernie Sanders in the U.S. With Mélenchon weakened and no other strong personalities in sight, Marine Le Pen has established herself as Macron’s main challenger in the 2022 presidential election, which risks presenting voters with the same choice they had in 2017.

Asselineau’s analysis, Yellow Vest strategic mass, Mélenchon’s oratory, Chouard’s institutional reforms – these are elements that could theoretically combine (with others yet unknown) to produce a peaceful revolution. But combining political elements is hard chemistry, especially in individualistic France. Without some big surprises, France appears headed not for revolution but for a long frozen combat.


Diana Johnstone is the author of “Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Delusions.” Her lates book is “Queen of Chaos: the Misadventures of Hillary Clinton.” The memoirs of Diana Johnstone’s father Paul H. Johnstone, “From MAD to Madness,” was published by Clarity Press, with her commentary. She can be reached at diana.johnstone@wanadoo.fr .

January 18, 2020 Posted by | Economics | , | 2 Comments

How Europe betrayed Iran: By triggering JCPOA dispute mechanism, EU helps Trump finish job of killing the Iran nuclear deal

By Scott Ritter | RT | January 15, 2020

Europe could have saved the Iran nuclear agreement. Instead, it abused the rule of law by inappropriately triggering its dispute mechanism, all but ensuring the agreement’s demise.

Disingenuous diplomacy

On January 5, 2020, Tehran announced that it would no longer comply with its obligations under the Iran nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action (JCPOA). Iran’s actions are in response to the withdrawal of the US from the JCPOA, and the re-imposition of economic sanctions by the US which had been lifted when the deal came into force.

In response to the Iranian actions, the governments of France, Germany, and the UK – all parties to the deal, along with the European Union (EU) – invoked provisions within the JCPOA, known as the Dispute Resolution Mechanism (DRM), in an effort to bring Iran back into compliance.

The triggering of the DRM by the European countries, however, is a disingenuous move designed to provide diplomatic cover for the EU’s own failures when it comes to JCPOA implementation.

Moreover, given the likely outcome of this process, a convening of the UN Security Council where economic sanctions will be re-imposed on Iran by default, the Europeans have all but assured the demise of the JCPOA, with their so-called diplomacy serving as little more than a facilitator of a larger crisis between Iran and the US that, given the heightened tensions between these two nations in the aftermath of the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, precipitously increases the prospects for war.

Big powers always had an easy way out of deal

When the JCPOA was finalized in July 2015, the world was given hope that the crisis over Iran’s nuclear enrichment capability, which had been threatening to boil over into war, had been resolved, and diplomacy had prevailed over armed conflict.

The JCPOA codified a number of restrictions on Iran’s ability to enrich uranium, including the numbers and types of centrifuges that could be used, where enrichment could take place, what level of enrichment could occur, and how large of a stockpile of enriched nuclear material Iran was allowed to maintain, and an intrusive comprehensive inspection regime designed to verify Iran’s compliance.

These restrictions were designed to ease over time through a series of so-called “sunset clauses,” until all that remained was an enhanced inspection process. In short, the JCPOA legitimized Iran’s right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes while simultaneously recognizing the concerns of some within the international community regarding the potential for Iran to abuse this enrichment capability for military purposes.

The JCPOA was, in effect, a comprehensive confidence building mechanism intended to build trust between Iran and the international community over time, consistent with the agreement’s preamble, which declared “Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons.”

Prior to the implementation of the JCPOA, Iran had been subjected to stringent economic sanctions levied under the authority of the UN Security Council. In exchange for entering into the agreement, these sanctions were lifted.

However, the deal recognized that disputes could emerge regarding the implementation of the agreement, and put in place a dispute resolution mechanism which, if no satisfactory solution was found to an identified problem, would result in these sanctions being automatically re-imposed.

A key aspect of this mechanism was that if any party to the agreement used its veto in the UN Security Council to block a vote related to nonperformance on the part of any party to the agreement, then the economic sanctions would automatically be reinstated.

Washington sabotages JCPOA

For the first two-plus years of the deal’s existence, from July 2015 through to May 2018, Iran was found to be in full compliance with its commitments.

In May 2018, however, the US precipitously withdrew from the agreement, claiming that the eventual expiration of the “sunset clauses” paved the way for Iran to produce a nuclear weapon, and as such the JCPOA was little more than a facilitator of Iranian nuclear malign intent.

The US began re-imposing economic sanctions on Iran, all of which included so-called secondary sanctions which applied to any nation that violated the US sanctions. Iran rightfully viewed the re-imposition of sanctions by the US as a violation of the deal.

Furthermore, when EU companies began balking on their willingness to do business with Iran out of fear of US secondary sanctions, Iran rightfully found the EU to be in violation of the JCPOA as well.

Iran gave the remaining parties to the JCPOA six months following the US withdrawal to develop the necessary mechanisms needed to sidestep the impact of the US economic sanctions.

By November 2018, however, no such mechanisms had been implemented, and when the US targeted Iran’s economic lifeblood by sanctioning oil sales, Iran responded by invoking its rights under Article 26 and Article 36 of the JCPOA, which allows Iran to “cease performing its commitments under the JCPOA, in whole or in part”, for either the re-imposition of new nuclear-related sanctions, or “significant nonperformance” of obligations under the JCPOA, or in this case, both.

Since that time, Iran has been gradually stepping away from the restrictions imposed on it, noting each time that its measures were immediately reversible should the underlying issues be resolved in a manner that complied with the letter and intent of the JCPOA.

Europe’s cowardice

In short, Iran demanded that the EU live up to its obligations to stand up to the US economic sanctions. The EU has consistently failed to do so, resulting in Iran’s gradual backing away from its obligations, leading to the current state of affairs where all of the restrictions imposed by the JCPOA, not including international inspections, which continue unabated, have ceased to be in operation.

When it comes to levying fault for the current state of affairs, there is no “chicken or egg” causality up for debate. Blame lies squarely on both the US for withdrawing from the deal, and the EU for failing to live up to its obligations under the JCPOA regarding economic engagement with Iran.

Iran has long warned the governments of France, Germany, and the UK not to invoke the DRM, noting that the JCPOA does not permit such a move if, as is the case today, Iran is exercising its legal right in response to the illegal and unilateral actions of the US.

There is no realistic expectation that Iran will change its position in this regard. Russia and China have already indicated that Iran is fully within its rights within the JCPOA to back off its obligations regarding restrictions imposed on its nuclear program, citing US and EU non-performance.

By invoking the DRM, the Europeans have, knowingly and wittingly, initiated a process that can only have one outcome, the termination of the JCPOA. In doing so, the EU has breathed life into unfounded US allegations of Iranian nuclear weapons intent, setting up an inevitable clash between the Washington and Tehran that has the real potential of dragging the whole world down with it.

Scott Ritter is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer. He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector.

January 15, 2020 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Non-commitment probe into Iran by France, Germany & UK ‘groundless,’ only increases tensions around nuclear deal – Russia

RT | January 14, 2020

The European trio’s accusation that Iran violates the key restrictions of the nuclear deal are unjustified, the Russian Foreign Ministry said urging the countries not to increase tensions that could endanger the pact.

Paris, Berlin and London officially reported Iran’s non-compliance with the 2015 agreement to the Joint Commission under the Dispute Resolution Mechanism. This step could potentially lead to the UN Security Council being forced to decide on whether or not to bring back sanctions against Tehran.

“We can’t rule out that the ill-considered actions of the European trio will lead to a new escalation around the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and make the return to the implementation of the ‘nuclear deal’ in its initially agreed format unachievable,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Iran rolled back on its uranium enrichment constraints detailed in the international agreement earlier this month after one of its top military commanders, Qassem Soleimani, was assassinated in an American drone strike in Iraq.

Tehran’s decision to put its commitments on hold was a response to the actions of the US, which unilaterally withdrew from the deal in May 2018 and reintroduced restrictions against Iran, the ministry reminded. However, the country keeps allowing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitors to its nuclear sites – and “the transparency of the Iranian nuclear program has been one of the key clauses of the nuclear deal.”

Despite vocally rejecting the US campaign of “maximum pressure” on Iran, France, Germany and the UK are “either not ready or can’t afford to” work on finding effective ways of bypassing the hurdles to the deal created by Washington.

There are also “serious problems” with implementing the side of the deal on the part of the European trio, the ministry said. When all those issues are settled, “Iran would have no reason to retract from the initially agreed framework of the JCPOA.”

January 14, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Remembering the Earthquake in Haiti Ten Years On

By Yves Engler · January 11, 2020

Peacekeeping - MINUSTAH

Ten years ago Sunday an earthquake devastated Haiti. In a few minutes of violent shaking hundreds of thousands perished in Port-au-Prince and surrounding regions and many more were permanently scarred.

It’s important to commemorate this horrifying tragedy. But this solemn occasion is also a good moment to reflect on Canada’s role in undermining the beleaguered nation’s capacity to prepare/respond/overcome natural disasters.

Asked my thoughts on Canada’s role in Haiti the day after the quake, I told reporter Paul Koring that so long as the power dynamics in the country did not shift there would be little change: “Cynically, it feels like a ‘pity time for the Haitians’ but I doubt much will really change,” says Yves Engler, a left-wing activist from Montreal who blames the United States, along with Canada, for decades of self-interested meddling in Haitian affairs. “We bear some responsibility … because our policies have undermined Haiti’s capacity to deal with natural disasters.”

Unfortunately, Canada’s response was worse than I could have imagined. Immediately after the quake decision makers in Ottawa were more concerned with controlling Haiti than assisting victims. To police Haiti’s traumatized and suffering population, 2,050 Canadian troops were deployed alongside 12,000 US soldiers (8,000 UN soldiers were already there). Though Ottawa rapidly deployed 2,050 troops they ignored calls to dispatch this country’s Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) Teams, which are trained to “locate trapped persons in collapsed structures.”

According to internal government documents the Canadian Press examined a year after the disaster, officials in Ottawa feared a post-earthquake power vacuum could lead to a “popular uprising.” One briefing note marked “secret” explained: “Political fragility has increased, the risks of a popular uprising, and has fed the rumour that ex-president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, currently in exile in South Africa, wants to organize a return to power.” Six years earlier the US, France and Canada ousted the elected president.

Canada and the US’ indifference/contempt towards Haitian sovereignty was also on display in the reconstruction effort. Thirteen days after the quake Canada organized a high profile Ministerial Preparatory Conference on Haiti for major international donors. Two months later Canada co-chaired the New York International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti. At these conferences Haitian officials played a tertiary role in the discussions. Subsequently, the US, France and Canada demanded the Haitian parliament pass an 18-month long state of emergency law that effectively gave up government control over the reconstruction. They held up money to ensure international control of the Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti, authorized to spend billions of dollars in reconstruction money.

Most of the money that was distributed went to foreign aid workers who received relatively extravagant salaries/living costs or to expensive contracts gobbled up by Western/Haitian elite owned companies. According to an Associated Press assessment of the aid the US delivered in the two months after the quake, one cent on the dollar went to the Haitian government (thirty-three cents went to the US military). Canadian aid patterns were similar. Author of The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster Jonathan Katz writes, “Canada disbursed $657 million from the quake to September 2012 ‘for Haiti,’ but only about 2% went to the Haitian government.”

Other investigations found equally startling numbers. Having raised $500 million for Haiti and publicly boasted about its housing efforts, the US Red Cross built only six permanent homes in the country.

Not viewing the René Preval government as fully compliant, the US, France and Canada pushed for elections months after the earthquake. (Six weeks before the quake, according to a cable released by Wikileaks, Canadian and EU officials complained that Préval “emasculated” the country’s right-wing. In response, they proposed to “purchase radio airtime for opposition politicians to plug their candidacies” or they may “cease to be much of a meaningful force in the next government.”) After the first round of the presidential election the US and Canada pushed Préval party’s candidate out of the runoff in favor of third place candidate, Michel Martelly. A six-person Organization of American States (OAS) mission, including a Canadian representative, concluded that Martelly deserved to be in the second round. But, in analyzing the OAS methodology, the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research, determined that “the Mission did not establish any legal, statistical, or other logical basis for its conclusions.” Nevertheless, Ottawa and Washington pushed the Haitian government to accept the OAS’s recommendations. Foreign minister Lawrence Cannon said he “strongly urges the Provisional Electoral Council to accept and implement the [OAS] report’s recommendations and to proceed with the next steps of the electoral process accordingly.”

A supporter of the 1991 and 2004 coups against Aristide, Martelly was a teenaged member of the Duvalier dictatorship’s Ton Ton Macoutes death squad. He is a central figure in the multi-billion dollar Petrocaribe corruption scandal that has spurred massive protests and strikes against illegitimate, repressive and corrupt president Jovenel Moïse. A disciple of Martelly, Moïse is president today because he has the backing of the US, Canada and other members of the so-called “Core Group”.

There was an outpouring of empathy and solidarity from ordinary Canadians after the earthquake. But officials in Ottawa saw the disaster as a political crisis to manage and an opportunity to expand their economic and political influence over Haiti.

On the tenth anniversary of this solemn occasion it is important to reflect not only on this tragedy but to understand what has been done by Canada’s government in our name and to learn from it so we can stop politicians from their ongoing strangulation of this beleaguered nation.

January 12, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , | Leave a comment

Empire Games and Ghouls

By Taxi | Plato’s Guns | January 11, 2020

What is Empire but a colossal corporation whose sole mission is the hostile takeover of everything on earth?

What is Empire but a titanic shark charging forth and gobbling up all lifeforms in its path?

What is Empire but a gluttonous, gargantuan gut full of humanity’s tears and shredded corpses?

Addicted to bloodlust and war porn, and hooked to the bone on Vulture Capitalism, a rapacious Empire struts and swaggers across our globe: demanding other nations’ resources and servitude at gunpoint, while holding a plastic olive branch in its brute fist. Always speaking from both sides of its mouth, Empire plays a game of sadistic ownership with humanity.

… And it was always forever thus.

Our human history consists mainly of the rise and fall of some 70 empires of all sizes – and all of them have by now violently perished, all but one, that is. We call it, Pax Americana. Students of the rise and fall of empires observe how the lifespan of empires have tended to get shorter and shorter down the line of time, indicating poorer and poorer management by empire, coupled with an increased resistance to its dominion – resistance that’s due to humanity’s growing awareness of the insatiable brutality and nihilism of imperial power.

Humanity in the 21st century is no longer in awe of imperialism. It rejects it as a sole domineering power. It rejects it as a civilizing force. It sees no refinement or humanism in imperial behavior or ideology. The majority of people nowadays, regardless of their political bent, lean towards equitable independence of nation and equitable free trade. Being beholden to Empire’s caprice does not serve to fulfill these two aspirations that are fundamental to the progress of nations. Empire has bruised the face and body of the world and its punches keep coming. This is the very cause of rebellion against Empire.

Traditionally, Empires have flourished in longevity because they managed to establish and sustain local consent. There was some measure of give-and-take between Emperor and Satellite, even though the Emperor always landed the lion’s share. Today’s ruling Empire behaves in an opposite manner: it rules regardless of local consent and it demands to take-and-take from all its subjects. It demands that humanity gives in to it and just gives and gives. Give everything and get a conditional meager little in return. Since Perestroika, this gluttonous-mobster method has worked to fatten up Empire into obesity while the world went hungry. This wanton gangdom, this imperial Cosa Nostra is now full of cholesterol and drunk on the vinegar of power. Presently, Empire has become as if a foggy-headed, prehistoric beast: a giant carnivore snorting and slobbering over the world. In its wake lay many theaters of war, numerous bankruptcies and global, existential insecurity.

But who is this Pax Americana? Who is the Emperor?

Unlike any other empire before it, Pax Americana is not what it seems. It is not the Emperor himself, as is traditional with Empire’s visage. No bust of the Emperor is etched on contemporary market coins. No bronze busts of the Emperor litter our plazas and squares. Today’s Emperor is but a face from a catalogue, a sock puppet, a mouthpiece. Currently, he is an eccentric parrot with orange feathers, hostile and freakishly squawking down the ear whorl of the world. Today’s Emperor has been reduced to mouthing a sales pitch dictated to him by a shadowy entity practicing gruff ventriloquism through his mean lips.

And this very shifty entity working the puppetry from the shadows to create more shadows: it has a face, and it has a name too. Israel.

By a long and rusty chain of conspiracy and deception, Israel has hijacked both Empire and Emperor. Therefore it now owns the global domain. Shape-shifting, it has usurped the head of god. It has found entry into the halls of power through a sordid backdoor and it has wholesale kidnapped the Emperor and his family. It now possesses all his powers and is in the process of exploiting all and everyone at Empire’s disposal. The Emperor is but a hapless hostage to Israel’s relentless demands. Haughty demands that empower Israel but weaken the very spine and lifespan of Empire. One could say that Pax Americana is currently committing slow suicide with a dagger whose iron was cast in Tel Aviv. The Emperor knows all this only too well, but, pickled in vanity and the salts of narcissism, he is impervious and indifferent to this behemoth and life-threatening corruption. All Emperor cares about is keeping a crown on his elaborate coiffure – for as long as possible. This is all that matters to the current Emperor: the crown and its opulent prestige. Therefore, he is profoundly guilty of enabling the very destruction of his own Empire.

And destruction, as we all know, is the moon-shadow that perpetually stalks all empires.

Today, we see evidence of Empire hemorrhaging power and influence, especially in the Middle East, where, indeed, Israel is located. We see the stalking shadow of destruction grow taller at Empire’s feet right there. And we see Empire frantically trying to cover up its weaknesses with bluster and propaganda. We observe it unsuccessfully manufacturing fake realities it would like the world to believe. Fantasies composed by agents of Tel Aviv – delusions of excessive grandeur uttered by the Emperor before the cameras of the world, indeed upon instruction from Tel Aviv. Hubris galore. Empire’s image engine running on pure mythomania. All to hide the reality of its weakening status – and to hide especially the gnarly hands of its puppet master.

All to hide that Pax Americana no longer exists.

But, Pax Judaica does.

Yes, the Shadow Empire has successfully replaced Empire. In secret. Away from the eyes of most of humanity. The transition is now complete. For all intents and purposes, Pax Americana will now take the blame for Pax Judaica’s crimes. And Pax Judaica will benefit from the cover as well as the cover up: its elite agents being the only ones reaping the benefits of Empire’s grotesque plunder.

These are the games being played by a compromised Empire and Emperor right now. Games of mass deception, mass crime coverups, and the fleecing of the very heart and Mint of Empire and the world at large.

Mass warfare by the Shadow Empire now dominates the daily headlines around the globe. The practice of rabid usury by the predatory banks of the Shadow Empire have knee-capped and punched the empty gut of both friend and foe of Pax Americana. No one is spared. Agony, hunger and war destitution are now the norm under the clandestine and concealed management of Pax Judaica.

The world is under the mercy of Pax Judaica. An inherently criminal entity that scoffs at mercy and any other form of humanism. A Shadow Empire that assassinates or ruins all who expose it and all who challenge it. Resistors to Pax Judaica are singled out as legitimate targets. But, the heavier the hand of Pax Judaica, the more resistors are born and the more proactive resistance is conjured between them. History repeats itself, indeed. Resistance to Pax Judaica is now palpably felt on all the continents of the world. Momentum is growing, albeit in snips and snaps. Resistance is felt most in the Middle East, right at the doorstep of Israel, or Pax Judaica, as it should be more accurately called.

Pax Judaica: thief of Empires and murderer of the prophets of peace.

Pax Judaica: the eyeless leech that will eventually leech its own blood chambers once the veins of Pax Americana are finally drained.

This is the fate of all Empires: self-destruction.

And considering the frighteningly stupendous amount of amassed Weapons of Mass Destruction in our modern age, any death of any empire will also cause the colossal collateral death of perhaps a hundred million human lives – possibly even more. This is indeed a bleak but very plausible estimation.

And this is precisely the moral dilemma of the Axis of Resistance. How to shred Empire with least cost to humanity itself?

Pierce Empire with a thousand cuts and watch it drain of blood over time? Or, do as our cave ancestors did with giant beasts: confuse and drive the herd towards a cliff and over it.

Perhaps a combination of both tactics is what’s required.

Humanity braces itself for darker days to come. And in the meantime, the Shadow Empire, known otherwise as Pax Judaica, will continue in sure strides its covert assaults on Pax Americana and its overt assaults on both the Axis of Resistance and the peaceful world at large.

A maleficent and fiendish ghoul seeking humanity’s jugular.

But it will eventually be stopped by opposing forces that are currently gathering mass and momentum. The Axis of the East: Russia and China (and all their allies from Asia to South America) will eventually publicly and officially partner up with the Axis of Resistance: Iran and its Middle Eastern allies. Their multiple strategies will distill and assimilate into one. Their multitude of forces will find common platforms of cooperation on differing battlefields. The combined size of their power will be Empire’s reckoning. And we are already beginning to see clear signs of this opportune integration between the Axis of the East and the Axis of Resistance. Together, the two sanguine Axises will take on the immense and complex challenge of dislocating the hand and ankle joints of Empire, therefore, also the Shadow Empire’s clinging limbs will be splayed too. A seemingly impossible double-duty that targets a two-headed Empire. Their success is not assured but highly likely: considering the current ongoing self-inflicted hemorrhaging of Empire’s powers.

And the price for liberating the world from the murderous choke-hold of Empire? Here, I can only sigh…

And what of the nature of the force that will take Empire’s place? Is it trustworthy? Will it be more benevolent towards humanity than Empire was? Especially considering all that added and supreme power that will be in their victorious hands? I’ll answer these questions with a George Orwell quote: “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it”.

Therefore, for generational survival, a global paradigm shift in political thought is what’s pressingly needed for humanity. We will continue to witness further instability to our world, regardless of who the victor in the battle of Empires is. We, as one suffering humanity scattered across the world, we will not know peace, prosperity and enduring safety till the very ideology of imperialism is vanquished from the very mindset of modern times. Imperialism and all its supremacist sperm must be rejected and ejected from the womb of the future.

Therefore, it behooves humanity to begin unabashedly addressing the very imperialist ideology behind the woes of the world, present and historic. It is not sufficient rebellion to only criticize the foul words of the Emperor, or the daily mass crimes of the Shadow Empire. Imperialism itself is the very target question here.

The motto for our 21st century should read: In Empire we do not trust.

Regardless of the nationality of Empire.

January 11, 2020 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Iran’s fifth step in suspending nuclear commitments will not mean end to JCPOA: Araqchi

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi
Press TV – January 7, 2020

A senior Iranian official says the country’s decision to take the fifth and final step in reducing its commitments under a landmark nuclear deal it clinched with major world powers in 2015 does not mean an end to the accord or Tehran’s withdrawal from it.

Speaking to reporters in Tehran on Tuesday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi said the last step means that “we have reached a reasonable balance” in the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“The US withdrawal from the JCPOA disrupted the balance of this international accord and now we think that we have reached a reasonable balance in the JCPOA after scaling back the nuclear commitments,” he added.

The Iranian government announced in a statement on Sunday that from now on, the country will observe no operational limitations on its nuclear industry, including with regard to the capacity and level of uranium enrichment, the amount of enriched materials as well as research and development.

“By taking the fifth step in reducing its commitment, the Islamic Republic of Iran eliminates the last key operational restriction it faced under the JCPOA, which is the limitation imposed on the number of centrifuges,” it said.

Araqchi, who is also a senior nuclear negotiator, further said the amount of enrichment would depend on the agenda of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and the country’s requirements.

He reiterated that the Islamic Republic would continue to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and said, “We are ready to come back to the previous process whenever the opposite sides [of the nuclear deal] will be able to meet our demands and fulfill their commitments under the JCPOA.”

“It is possible to save the JCPOA if the opposite sides want,” the Iranian diplomat added.

In response to a question about the possibility of Europe triggering the JCPOA’s “dispute resolution mechanism,” also known as the trigger mechanism, whose activation can lead to the return of the UN sanctions on Iran, Araqchi said it only would accelerate the termination of the deal.

“As Iran acted wisely after the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, the other sides are also expected to behave prudently and refrain from escalating tensions,” he added.

US President Donald Trump, a stern critic of the historic deal, unilaterally pulled Washington out of the JCPOA in May 2018, and unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticism in an attempt to strangle the Iranian oil trade.

In response to the US unilateral move, Tehran has so far rowed back on its nuclear commitments four times in compliance with Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA, but stressed that its retaliatory measures will be reversible as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the mutual trade from the US sanctions.

Iran’s latest nuclear announcement coincided with a major escalation of tensions with Washington after the US assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), in a drone strike in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad early on Friday.

Iran has criticized the three European signatories to the JCPOA — Britain, France and Germany — for failing to salvage the pact by shielding Tehran’s economy from US sanctions.

January 7, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , | 2 Comments

Some War Truth In A Single Photograph

By Bill Willers | Dissident Voice | January 5, 2020

Once I realized to my dismay that I couldn’t believe a word of what our media and political leaders said about major events in the here and now, their credibility on controversial happenings so long ago and far away entirely disappeared.” Ron Unz, 2018

The 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, generated renewed interest in the First World War, its beginnings, its aftermath, and the lead up to World War II. For anyone brought up with the carefully-crafted narratives that constitute “popular” history, a dive into details of the World Wars can shake one’s faith in the validity of all generally accepted history.  A good introduction to long buried aspects of the era of the World Wars is Patrick J. Buchanan’s 2008 book “Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War“, in which all roads lead back to Britain’s 1914 declaration of war on Germany, which soon involved much of the world. Germany’s rising power had threatened British imperial dominance within a Rube Goldberg complexity of formal alliances and secret agreements. A Serbian shot an Austrian archduke, Serbia allied with Russia, but Austria-Hungary allied with Germany, and Russia with Britain and France, etc. Ultimately, the “Great Men” leading the masses appeared powerless to stop the WW I slaughter: 8 million dead, 20 million wounded. Thereafter, the Treaty of Versailles imposed on Germany grossly unjust reparations, this leading ultimately to a humiliated Germany embracing Hitler’s rise, thence to a war with a price tag of more than 50 million human lives.

Massive works on Churchill and Hitler by the towering historian David Irving are based on every conceivable information source down to personal diaries and interviews. Irving’s departure from widely accepted “mainstream” story lines has irked some fellow historians, and because he has not been perfectly in synch with Holocaust dogma, he, like so many, has suffered unwarranted accusations of anti-semitism. He writes that many details in the generally-accepted history of WW II, apparently like much of history itself, are simply wrong. His depiction of Winston Churchill is as a central causative agent of both world wars. What’s that? you say! Churchill, during his lifetime considered the greatest living Englishman, a war monger? Likewise, Adolph Hitler struggled to avoid war? Are these too shocking to accept? Research for yourself, and you may find yourself in agreement with Caitlin Johnstone: “Our species fought two world wars (or arguably one world war with a long intermission to grow more troops) for no justifiable reason at all.”

Insight into how governmentally-sanctioned histories might be managed for mass consumption is offered by Ron Unz who cites an amazing number of A-list commentators (scroll down to subtitle “Purging our Leading Historians and Journalists”) who, on diverging from authorized accounts, were simply blacklisted, thereafter unable to get published. It seems that a thread of decency runs through the human family such that elaborate lies must be maintained by governments in order to justify and generate and perpetuate wars. If the Spanish-American War, the two World Wars, Vietnam and both invasions of Iraq have anything in common, it is that all six involved official lies used to bring We The People on board: Remember the Maine, the Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkin, Kuwaiti babies, Weapons of Mass Destruction. Lies.

During Christmas, 1914, certain British and German soldiers of WW I got the urge for a truce. Shouts of “Merry Christmas!” across “no man’s land” of the front led to troops emerging from trenches, exchanging food and trinkets, playing a bit of soccer. Photos are easy to find on the Internet, but one in particular crystalizes a truth about humanity, regardless of what contorted propaganda might be coming down from the damned stuffed shirts who send humans to slaughter. Historians necessarily focus on political power players and the decision makers of war, but it is decent folk within the powerless masses who are the ones driven to do the killing and the dying. The two youths in the photo — not many years beyond childhood — could be any soldiers from any period of time, of any ethnicity, in any war. Like healthy people everywhere, they would have greatly preferred to be friends, and it shows.

Dwight Eisenhower, a General turned President, is quoted as having said “I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.” Such a day is not yet visible on the horizon.

Bill Willers is an emeritus professor of biology, University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh. He can be contacted at willers@uwosh.edu.

January 5, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 4 Comments

NATO: General Delawarde assesses final London Declaration

By Alexandra Kamyshanova | December 30, 2019

General Dominique Delawarde, the former head of the “Situation – Intelligence – Electronic Warfare 19” section at the joint operational planning staff and a cyberwarfare expert, provides insight into the nine articles of the final London Declaration, published on the NATO website.

Question: Can members of the Alliance really “reaffirm their adherence to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter”, as stated in Article 1?

Answer: A simple observation of how history has unfolded after the Cold War demonstrates that two important elements of Article 1 are erroneous, if not flat-out false. Since 1991, NATO actions have been aimed not at preventing conflicts and maintaining peace, but exactly the opposite. They do cause them themselves by their never-ending destructive interference in the affairs of sovereign countries. Over a quarter-century (1995-2019), its member states dropped more than a million bombs on our planet, which entailed, whether overtly or covertly, the death of several million people. The only objective was to establish hegemony over the “international community”. Alliance members cannot “reaffirm their adherence to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter” by violating or ignoring international rules established by the United Nations. The illegal occupation of part of the Syrian territory serves as evidence of this.

Q: Can we say that the funding efforts outlined in Article 2 fail to reflect the true situation?

A: This statement about efforts to increase funding for NATO members’ defense capabilities is virtually misleading. It loses sight of the fact that defense spending has halved since 1991 (peace dividends) and does not specify any deadline for reaching the 2% target. Finally, this statement is unfeasible and won’t be implemented in the short or medium term, given the economic and social complexities faced by all the key NATO member states. So this is mere verbiage.

Besides, NATO will not be able to compete with the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), because defense spending parity in PPP (purchasing power parity) dollars has almost been reached between NATO and the SCO; the cumulative defense budget of NATO member states accounts for 1000 billion dollars (PPP), and that of SCO member states is going to reach parity with the NATO budget in 2020 already. To date, the annual growth rate of defense spending in SCO countries is two to three times higher as compared to NATO countries. The SCO has a much wider scope for expansion (major countries like Iran and perhaps Turkey, why not) than NATO (North Macedonia, Georgia, Bosnia). Speaking of Turkey, an untrained eye should know that the SCO-NATO dual membership is not prohibited, since in 2005, the United States itself applied to join the SCO as nonmember state (the application was unanimously rejected by SCO members, guess why).

Q: Should we consider Russia as a threat, as stated in Article 3?

A: This list of universal threats and perpetual accusations against Russia, which is presented as a source of aggression and threat, are familiar pretexts to justify the very existence of NATO. As for anti-Russian statements, NATO is clearly resorting to an accusatory inversion. It is NATO members, not Russia, who have dropped over a million bombs and caused the death of several million people since 1995, and it is them who violate UN rules by continuing the military occupation of part of the Syrian territory. This is also the case of the coup organized in Ukraine, the division of the former Yugoslavia, and the constant advancing to the borders of Russia, which is in total disregard of the promises made to Gorbachev.

As for terrorism and instability observed beyond our borders, the Alliance forgets to remind that both arise from their omnidirectional interference in the affairs of sovereign states at the slightest pretext. They arise from their unlawful bombings, humiliations at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, the replacement of strong secular leaders with the chaos we observe today, and the wars waged under false pretexts (Serbia, Iraq, Libya, Syria). Migration is a blowback.

It should be recognized that state and non-state actors shattering the international order are mostly representatives of the West and NATO. The April 14, 2018 joint strike on Syria by the United States, France and the United Kingdom is yet another proof of this. Anglo-Saxon non-governmental NGOs, ostensibly independent but actually used by government agencies and / or their American sponsors (Soros), are wreaking havoc by promoting North Atlantic strategies. They use various useful idiots for their own purposes, who may inherently have good intentions. Finally, the main and only known cyber threat uncovered by Snowden, Assange and Manning is America, not Russia or China. The United States has installed wiretaps of all the political and economic Western leaders (NSA) and has pretty reliable bargaining chips to blackmail our heads of state and seize our businesses.

Q: Do you agree with the statement of Article 4: “NATO is a defensive alliance and poses no threat to any country”?

A: You need to ask the countries that have been bombed for 25 years.

The Alliance does not act “prudently and responsibly” in relation to Russia: the expansion to the East which runs counter to NATO promises of 1990, the coup in Ukraine, the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the INF and other treaties, including the Iranian nuclear program. They pretend to be combating terrorism, even though many of its elements are funded by the West itself or some of its Arab allies – this is simply ridiculous. NATO members take us for perfect fools.

Q: What do you think about the phrasing of Article 5 that NATO seeks to “work to increase security for all, deepen political dialogue and cooperation with the United Nations”?

A: NATO provokes chaos, migration crisis, surge of terrorism and anti-Western hatred that have now pummelled Europe. You cannot drop a million bombs over 25 years on the countries that have never attacked a single member of the Alliance. Think about the five thousand soldiers from 11 NATO member states who died for nothing in Iraq, in a deceitful war unleashed in 2003. It is worth paying tribute to the memory of those who fell victim to American aggression supported by 10 European NATO member states that agreed to take part.

Q: What does NATO mean in Article 6 when mentioning “the resilience of our societies”, “our energy security” and “the need to rely on secure and resilient systems”?

A: This reflects the current US obsession: “to increase the resilience of our energy security” means ” NATO’s opposition to the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, to spite the vicious Russians and to the benefit of the goodу American gas market.” “Security of our telecommunications, including 5G” means “the rejection of the Chinese Huawei technology, to the detriment of the Chinese and in favor of American technologies.” The US has long been spying on our political and economic leaders’ telecommunications, while accusing China of “intending” to spy on the alliance members by means of its 5G system.

China poses “challenges that we need to address together”. So, NATO is embarking on a path of confronting China, which is beneficial to the United States alone.

Q: What is meant by “strengthening NATO’s political dimension” referred to in Article 7?

A: NATO’s ten-year strategy is now being updated, and the “relevant expertise” will be that of American and European neoconservatives. The essence of Article 7 is discernable: “strengthening NATO’s political dimension”. Since the end of the Cold War, the 1949 “military-defensive” alliance has been increasingly turning into a political and offensive one, often to accommodate certain economic interests.

Q: What do you think Article 8 is remarkable for?

A: For postponing the revision of the strategic concept from the year 2020 to 2021. Trump’s unpredictability scares Europe, with its people hopeful that he won’t be re-elected and that another President will bring the crisis-stricken Alliance back into the ranks.

Q: Is it serious that Article 9 stresses NATO’s greater protection for the peoples of its member states?

A: NATO has been sowing too much hatred and chaos on the planet since 1991 to be a security factor in Europe, and it has been so since the end of the Cold War. The North Atlantic Charter does not present NATO as an instrument of American hegemony. Therefore, the dissolution of NATO, or at least the withdrawal of France would be the best decision at the moment, unless NATO returns to the original principles of a defensive alliance with its activities covering only the territories of its member states, and ceases to invent new threats to serve as false pretexts to justify wars and intervention aimed at maintaining Western hegemony on the planet.

Q: What conclusion would you draw?

A: It is not just about a “brain death” in NATO. Can their solidarity survive the global economic crisis that experts predict, and the inevitable subsequent upheaval in the hierarchy of forces? Hardly probable. The prosperity of the West and the financing of its armed forces rest today on a whole ocean of debts.

The future will belong to those who keep ahead of the game. A long-term vision is needed to pursue foreign policy. Russia, China and India have long ago grasped this.

December 30, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Russophobia, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment