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Where’s Tulsi? The Hill forgets Gabbard when listing candidates who qualify for primary debates

RT | May 10, 2019

A report by The Hill on Democratic candidates qualifying for the party’s debates has one glaring omission – Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

The Hill cited a New York Times report detailing all the Democratic candidates who have made the cut to appear on the debate stage during the primaries. Gabbard is among 10 candidates who have qualified by surpassing both the donation and polling thresholds, and yet she was the only one of those candidate who was missing from the Hill’s report on Thursday.

The NYT article even included a Venn diagram of all the candidates, which featured Gabbard smack bang in the middle of it. The article was from April 30 and shows San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro as having qualified only on polling, but he has since reached the donor threshold.

The Democratic National Committee rules require candidates to have raised donations from at least 65,000 unique donors with at least 200 donors in 20 different states, or hit at least one percent in at least three approved polls, to appear at the primary debates.

Gabbard’s supporters have accused elements of the mainstream media of failing to give her adequate coverage.

The first primary debates take place in Miami in June and will be split into two parts to account for the large number of candidates.

May 10, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment

DOUBLE STANDARD: The Hill refuses to publish column about USS Liberty

USS Liberty crew members attacked by Israeli forces on June 8, 1967. Over 170 were wounded and 34 killed. This is reportedly the most decorated crew for a single engagement in US Naval history.
If Americans Knew | December 5, 2017

The Hill, a major Washington DC publication, published a guest column on November 15th entitled “Passing the Taylor Force Act Will Mark a Vital Step in the War on Terror.” The column called for the U.S. government to stop payments of $300 million aid to Palestinians, based on the murder of an American serviceman by a Palestinian individual who was unaffiliated with the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, or any other Palestinian organization. (Info here.) The authors of the column were officials of the pro-Israel advocacy organization JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security of America)

In response to that column, Marine veteran Geoffrey ONeill submitted a column suggesting that the $3.8 billion given by the U.S. government to Israel be suspended, based on the Israeli military’s killing of 34 American servicemen, injuring of 173+ American servicemen, and attempt to sink a US Navy ship with all men aboard. (Info here.)

The Hill would not publish that column. Below is O’Neil’s rejected article:

Cut off aid to Israel for killing American servicemen

By Geoffrey ONeill

This is a response to an article in The Hill recently titled “Passing the Taylor Force Act Will Mark a Vital Step in the War on Terror” by authors Michael Makovsky and Mark Fitzgerald. The authors are calling for the U.S. government to stop payments of $300 million dollars to Palestine based on the murder of American serviceman, Taylor Force by a Palestinian. While I condemn gratuitous violence, particularly murder committed by anyone on another person and would, if given a chance, express my condolences to the family of Taylor Force, I find it ironic that the authors would express such outrage of a murder committed by a Palestinian of ONE American serviceman. Perhaps the authors need be reminded of an act of terror committed years ago on an entire crew of American servicemen in international waters off the coast of the Sinai Peninsula on JUNE 8, 1967. It might put their outrage and demands in a different perspective. Of course I am referring to the unprovoked, ruthless attack by the IDF on the USS Liberty.

On that bright clear day, after surveilling the ship several times, with the American flag in plain view, the IDF attacked the Liberty killing 34 of its crew and wounding at least 173 others. The Liberty was an electronic surveillance ship, essentially defenseless with only two 50 caliber machine guns mounted on the decks to ward off pirates.

After jets strafed the decks with rockets, bombs and napalm, torpedo boats showed up to finish the job. Three torpedoes were fired. One was a direct hit on the side of the Liberty that killed 25 men. Meanwhile on deck, American sailors were lowering life rafts into the water to help the wounded to safety. The Israelis shot the life boats out of the water to ensure everyone stayed on board. Authors Makovsky and Fitzgerald I assume are educated enough to know that sinking life boats is a violation of International law and considered a war crime forbidden by the Geneva Accords.

The attack lasted for an hour and a half then was suddenly called off when the IDF intercepted an SOS from the Liberty sent by a sailor who managed to rig wires and get the message to the Sixth Fleet.

What happened next was typical, lies, obfuscation and cover up. The IDF immediately called the Pentagon claiming they MADE A MISTAKE. Suffice it to say, President Lyndon Johnson by caving to pressure from pro-Israel lobbying , ordered a media blackout and a cover up of the incident. In an incredible act of betrayal, the brave survivors were sworn to secrecy about the attack. They were told if they spoke of it to anyone, including members of their own family, they would face court martial and imprisonment. This was not only a betrayal to the crew of the Liberty but to all American servicemen, past and present, including yours truly.

If anyone is interested in a detailed, well sourced graphic summary of the attack on the Liberty, I suggest you read the second chapter of renowned journalist Alan Hart’s excellent, highly acclaimed book, Zionism The Real Enemy of the Jews. It refutes all claims of a “mistake” and the anti-semitism meme that follows any criticism of Israel.

The State Department demanded $17 million in reparations for the Liberty survivors. Israel offered $6 million which was accepted immediately by President Johnson in a cowardly sniveling way. The state-of-the-art ship was valued at $40 million.

In fairness I would like to suggest a compromise to Mr. Makovsky and Mr. Fitzgerald. I appreciate your outrage at the murder of an American serviceman by a Palestinian. Having said that, If you gentlemen are sincere and honest, you should be far more outraged about what your government did to an entire crew of American servicemen. So, here is the compromise I suggest. I will enthusiastically lobby my government to suspend payments of $300 million to Palestine if you guys lobby to suspend annual payments of $3.8 billion, not million, to the Israeli government. That way we save the American tax payer $4.1 billion annually. Millions of Americans are living in poverty and the $3.8 billion given to the Israeli government represents about $30,000 for each Israeli citizen. In all seriousness, do you need that much money from us in that so many here are homeless and living well below the poverty line? Really? What do you say fellas, do we have a deal?

Geoffrey ONeil is a retired business owner. He was a Marine officer during the Vietnam conflict with a 13 month forward area tour. Congress is debating the Taylor Force Act today, with the vote expected later this week.


The strange, sad saga of the Taylor Force Act

Instead of Taylor Force Act, Congress should consider Rachel Corrie Act, Orwah Hammad Act

Information on the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty


The Day Israel Attacked America

December 5, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 7 Comments

The Hill Publishes Islamophobic Fake News on Venezuela

By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim | Venezuelanalysis | January 30, 2017

ta630rg24Love it or hate it, The Hill can be a pretty useful source of information on the goings on around DC, but its latest article on Venezuela comes from some disturbing places.

In a recent article, titled “Meet Venezuela’s new VP, fan of Iran and Hezbollah”, The Hill’s Emanuele Ottolenghi profiled the South American country’s new second in command, Tareck El Aissami.

Although El Aissami was appointed vice-president just a few weeks ago, he’s hardly a new face to anyone who has followed Venezuelan politics for a while. He previously served as Aragua’s governor, and also had a stint as interior minister a few years back.

So what’s so special about El Aissami? A lot, according to Ottolenghi, whose piece reads much like the biography of a minor goon from a Schwarzenegger flick, replete with semi-comical claims with the credibility, sophistication and nuance of Ninja Terminator.

Here’s a few highlights:

“Despite the Baathist family background — his father headed the Venezuelan branch of the Iraqi Baath Party — and his Lebanese Druze origins, El Aissami seems to prefer the Islamist Shiite revolutionary Hezbollah and Iran over the Baath’s supposedly secular pan-Arabism.

Like his Islamic revolutionary role models, he used violence to advance his politics.

Opposition figures have accused both El Aissami and Nassereddine of recruiting young Arab-Venezuelan members of the ruling party to undergo paramilitary training in South Lebanon with Hezbollah.

As if this were not enough, El Aissami reportedly facilitated drug trafficking, a crime for which he is being investigated in the U.S.”

In other words, El Aissami is every boogyman and right-wing scapegoat wrapped up in one nice little package, at least based on Ottolenghi’s depiction. He’s a mish-mash of Baathism, Sunni radicalism and Shiite extremism; plus he smuggles coke.

The obvious question is whether any of this is true. For one, El Aissami is indeed one of many suspects in a US investigation into Venezuela’s narcotics trade. We could discuss the politics of this investigation until the cows come home, but what about the juicier claims? For instance, the claim that El Aissami has been accused of sending young Venezuelans to Lebanon to train with Hezbollah, and that he has colluded with “guerrilla movements”?

If we follow the hyperlinks provided by Ottolenghi, we find that these claims were sourced from the Centre for Security Policy (CSP). It sounds credible, but has been widely dismissed by journalists as basically a joke. According to the Southern Poverty Law Centre, the Centre for Security Policy is “known for its accusations that a shadowy ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ has infiltrated all levels of government and warnings that ‘creeping Shariah,’ or Islamic religious law, is a threat to American democracy”.

“For the past decade, CSP’s main focus has been on demonising Islam and Muslims under the guise of national security,” the Southern Poverty Law Centre stated.

A cursory glance at the CSP’s homepage features ads for books with colourful titles like “CAIR is HAMAS”, “Civilisation Jihad”, “ObamaBomb” and “See No Sharia”. At the time of writing, some of their latest articles included one describing Islam as a “supremacist totalitarian ideology”, and another claiming Iran might already secretly have a “nuclear weapon” (which it doesn’t).

Well, that got weird fast.

So basically, Ottolenghi gets his best material from a website that is so far off the deep end, it has even been banned from the Conservative Political Action Conference.

As a side note, Donald Trump cited a report from the CSP back in 2015, when he falsely claimed one in four Muslims support violence against the US. At the time, the CSP’s claims were widely dismissed as junk.

But hey, that’s just one source – perhaps I’m not giving Ottolenghi’s narrative enough of a chance. Frustratingly though, Ottolenghi’s piece is very light on sources, and he provides no other references for his two most eyebrow raising claims.

Luckily, Ottolenghi is far from the first English language pundit to express this particular point of view on El Aissami. A few years ago, the Gatestone Institute published a piece that reads eerily similar to Ottolenghi’s more recent article. For example, the older piece details how El Aissami supposedly loved Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Ignoring the fact these two political figures espoused totally different and utterly incompatible political ideologies, the Gatestone article did a somewhat better job than Ottolenghi in terms of providing sources for their claims.

This is where things take a turn for the outright bizarre.

So, where did the Gatestone’s critical intelligence on El Aissami originate? According to the reference list they provided, the answer to that question is: Wikipedia and this obscure blog. Following the breadcrumbs, the blogger also provided a reference list for their sources. This list is extremely short for supposedly groundbreaking investigative reporting, and only features four different names: Al Arabiya, MEMRI, Jihad Watch and another blogspot blog called The Jungle Hut.

…. Okey-dokey then.

The trail runs dry over at The Jungle Hut, where there’s nothing more than a dead link and a nice photo of a waterfall. It’s not quite what I was expecting to find, so let’s look at the other two sources. Al Arabiya is Saudi Arabia’s state media outlet, though don’t let that bother you too much; they’ve actually produced some decent stuff in the past. Unfortunately, there’s no links to specific articles, so again, the trail runs dry. The same problem arises when we head to MERMI. Finally, we get to the El Dorado of anti-Islam trash: Jihad Watch, a blog created by the notorious Islamophobe Robert Spencer. For anyone who doesn’t know, Spencer is perhaps best known for co-founding two prominent anti-Muslim lobby groups, Stop Islamisation of America (SIOA) and the American Freedom Defence Initiative (AFDI). Both have been listed as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Centre. Spencer also garnered media attention in the wake of the 2011 Norwegian white supremacist terrorist attack carried out by Anders Behring Breivik. In his sprawling anti-Muslim manifesto, Breivik cited Spencer dozens of times.

This is where our journey down the rabbit hole ends; with an Islamophobe beloved by one of the worst white supremacist terrorists in recent years. I guess this is what I get for checking people’s sources: a browser history full of links to hate groups, anti-Islam garbage and one nice picture of a waterfall. I didn’t find much credible reporting, but I did learn that El Aissami is hated for one reason above all: he’s got a Muslim-ish sounding name.

That’s it.

You might think I’m being harsh on Ottolenghi.

And you’d be wrong.

Ottolenghi is a long time anti-Iran hardliner, and has authored books with names like “Under a Mushroom Cloud: Europe, Iran and the Bomb”. According to a review of this book over at The Jewish Chronicle, “Ottolenghi’s view that Iran, as an exceptional case, merits exceptional treatment, is perhaps unrealistically rigid. His argument is not helped by the absence from his text of source references by which the reader could cross-check the many, selective quotes he adduces in support of it.”

In other words, making far fetched claims based on no real evidence is something of a modus operandi for Ottolenghi.

Along with having an obvious disdain for the notion of providing sources, Ottolenghi seems like just another pundit with a bone to pick with Islam, and anyone who sounds like they might be Arab, Persian or any other ethnic group he doesn’t like. Ottolenghi’s writings seem better suited to publishers like Jihad Watch, and his presence at The Hill is surprising to say the least.

Unfortunately though, this whole saga is symptomatic of a deeper problem in the media. The fact that an article for The Hill can get away with featuring links to the Islamophobic fake news CSP is emblematic of the dismal state of international corporate media. Islamophobic rants are treated like credible political analysis, and conspiracy crackpots are put on pedestals. It’s a grim state of affairs, but the real question is: how much further will we slide?

January 31, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Islamophobia, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | Leave a comment