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Newly Discovered Texas Oil Field Could Hold 20 Billion Barrels

Sputnik – 18.11.2016

The United States Geological Survey has announced the discovery of the largest oil field in the United States to date.

The Wolfcamp formation, in the Permian Basin in a West Texas desert, is believed to hold some 20 billion barrels of oil, worth roughly $900 billion at today’s prices. It is also believed that this field contains an estimated 16-trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 1.6 billion barrels of liquid natural gas. “The estimate lends credence to Pioneer Natural Resources Co. Chief Executive Officer Scott Sheffield’s assertion that the Permian’s shale endowment could hold as much as 75 billion barrels, making it second only to Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar field,” Bloomberg reports.

The Wolfcamp find is three times larger than the previous largest fossil-fuel discovery in the US, the North Dakota’s Bakken field.

The area, controlled by several energy companies, has been producing gas for the past 100 years. The latest find was previously inaccessible as it is buried under four layers of shale. To retrieve it, modern methods such as fracking and horizontal drilling must be used, Newser reported.

“The fact that this is the largest assessment of continuous oil we have ever done just goes to show that, even in areas that have produced billions of barrels of oil, there is still the potential to find billions more,” Walter Guidroz, program coordinator for the USGS Energy Resources Program, said in a statement.

“Changes in technology and industry practices can have significant effects on what resources are technically recoverable.”

 

November 17, 2016 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | | 3 Comments

Iran keeps open mind on Donald Trump

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | November 17, 2016

On Wednesday, for the first time, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed his views on the US elections of November 8. The Tehran Times quoted Khamenei as saying,

  • Unlike some of those in the world who have either been bemoaning or celebrating the results of the American elections, we are neither bemoaning nor celebrating because the results make no difference to us. Nor do we have worries, and by the grace of God, we are ready to encounter any likely incident.

Khamenei said that from a historical perspective,

  • We have no judgment about this election because America is the same America, and over the past 37 years either of the two parties which has been in office not only has done no good (to the Iranian nation), but has always been an evil to the Iranian nation.

Khameini downgraded the significance of the US election and stressed that Iran’s focus should be on promoting and preserving the “internal strength of the establishment” and nurturing and preserving the “revolutionary spirit and orientation.”

The Supreme Leader’s remarks come amidst furious speculations in the American media, driven mostly by pro-Israeli Jewish lobby, to the effect that the Iran nuclear deal (known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) faces the prospect of sudden death any moment after January 20. The Israeli intelligence website DebkaFile, which routinely disseminates sensational items on Iran, even reported that Trump is contemplating a military attack on Iran as soon as he moves into the Oval Office.

Therefore, Khamenei’s indifference is striking. It must be noted, though, that Khamenei made no reference to US president-elect Donald Trump, directly or indirectly. What does that imply?

Simply put, Iran is not worried, since Iran does not expect anything dramatically different in the US policies toward Iran. The ‘psy war’ by the Israeli lobby has failed to have an effect. The Iranians would know that Israelis habitually create larger-than-life image of themselves, but the plain truth is that Trump has not been a candidate sponsored by the Jewish lobby in America. In fact, Jewish circles have attributed to him traces of ‘anti-semitism’, Trump’s son-in-law’s Jewish ethnicity notwithstanding.

Can it be that Iran has lines of communication open to Trump’s transition team? Now, that isn’t such an outrageous thought as it may seem at first sight, because, simply put, that is the way Iranian diplomacy always worked. Iran is a tireless communicator. A clutch of ‘red lines’ apart (such as the ‘Zionists’ or Daesh and al-Qaeda),  Iran’s diplomacy is willing to engage even adversaries or detractors.

What must be noted in this context is that two key personalities in the Iranian regime, both enormously prestigious and powerful within Iran and in the outside world, have hinted in the recent days that Tehran keeps an open mind on Trump – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the Speaker of the Majlis (parliament) Ali Larijani.

Zarif said on November 11 that in his estimation, the Trump administration will eventually accept the landmark nuclear deal “once the dust has settled and people are briefed about the realities of the region and the world.” He added, “It will be in the interest of everybody to remain committed in practice to the JCPOA. But if there are doubts about the implementation, then Iran will have its own options as well.”

Zarif is a highly experienced career diplomat who served for long years in New York and enjoys extensive contacts with American political elites and the foreign-policy community. Zarif implied here that Tehran is inclined to take much of what Trump had said on the campaign trail regarding Iran as the stuff of grandstanding and politicking, and far from the final word on the subject.

Equally, the speaker of the Iranian Majlis Ali Larijani’s remarks in Tehran last Sunday to a big gathering of some 100 parliamentarians merits even more careful attention. Larijani cautioned the Iranian religious and political elites against making intemperate remarks about the US president-elect. In a highly nuanced remark, he counselled,

  • Analyses and remarks about the U.S. president-elect should be more mature, and hasty remarks and premature judgments should be avoided until the Foreign Ministry takes a transparent stance.

No doubt, Larijani made a hugely significant remark. Larijani is a veteran diplomat and statesman of many battles with ‘Great Satan’, and chooses his words with utmost care. In effect, he pleaded for patience till such time as when Zarif could take a “transparent stance”.

Larijani spoke in the context of some flippant remarks attributed to influential clerics lately scoffing at Trump. Evidently, he has restrained them from muddying the waters and cautioned them against making “premature judgments”. Larijani is close to Supreme Leader Khamenei.

The salience of what Larijani said is that it is critically important that Zarif gets a free hand to conduct diplomacy optimally in a dynamic situation in a high-stakes game when the contours of the transition in Washington are far from crystallized.

November 17, 2016 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Assad: US could become Syria’s ‘natural ally’ if it fights terrorism & Trump sticks to promises

November 17, 2016 Posted by | Video | , | Leave a comment

UPDATED: List of False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical “News” Sources

By Alex Christoforou | The Duran | November 17, 2016

Having trouble making sense of what news is real and what news is fake? Worry no more, The Duran has compiled a list of news sources you should avoid at all costs.

The Duran’s List of False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical “News” Sources.

Disclaimer: All of the contents in this document reflect the opinion of the author and are for not educational purposes, because fundamentally I believe you are smart enough to make your own decisions. This resource was split into categories around 2:29pm GMT +2 on 17/11/16.

CATEGORY 1: Below is a list of fake, false, or regularly misleading websites that are shared on Facebook and social media. Some of these websites may rely on “outrage” by using distorted headlines and decontextualized or dubious information in order to generate likes, shares, and profits. These websites are categorized with the number 1 next to them.

CATEGORY 2: Some websites on this list may circulate misleading and/or potentially unreliable information, and they are marked with a 2.

CATEGORY 3: Other websites on this list sometimes use clickbait-y headlines and social media descriptions, and they are marked with a 3.

CATEGORY 4: Other sources on this list are purposefully fake with the intent of satire/comedy, which can offer important critical commentary on politics and society, but have the potential to be shared as actual/literal news. I’m including them here, for now, because 1.) they have the potential to perpetuate misinformation based on different audience (mis)interpretations and 2.) to make sure anyone who reads a story by The Onion, for example, understands its purpose. If you think this is unnecessary, please see Literally Unbelievable.

Note: I will not be updating the categorizations and will not be adding links gradually through the next couple of days, because i have better things to do with my life.

Many of the websites on this list continue to offer valuable journalism and/or satirical commentary. Finally, I do NOT care if  you use plug-ins that automatically block any of the websites listed below. You are free to install anything you want on your computer. And as a reminder, not all of the sources listed below should be considered fake because this is just one man’s opinion. Feel free to make your own lists and send it to editor@theduran.com and maybe we will publish it.

Buzzfeed.com (2,3) nytimes.com (1)  CBS
thedailybeast.com (2, 3) huffingtonpost.com (2, 3)  NBC
CNN (1) MSNBC (1) ABC
Politico (2) Time.com Yahoo News (1)
FT (2, 3) *Website Removed* (temporarily) theatlantic.com
Bloomberg (3) The Economist (1) USA Today
theguardian.com (1) Newsweek.com  Vice News
BBC (3) thesun.co.uk (1) dailymail.co.uk
Reuters Washington Post (1) vox.com (1)
motherjones.com  dw.com Business Insider (1)
Euronews.com Michaelmoore.com  Ukraine Today (1)
France 24  telegraph.co.uk Sky News (2, 3)
 Slate mirror.co.uk *Website Removed* (temporarily)

Tips for analyzing news sources:

  • Avoid websites that end in “week” ex: Newsweek. These sites take pieces of accurate information and then packaging that information with other false or misleading “facts”.
  • Watch out for websites that end in “.com” as they are often web site versions of fake news media conglomerates.
  • Watch out if established mainstream media news sites are reporting on the story. Sometimes established media coverage is the result of corporate media bias and other factors, but there should typically be a good un-bias alternative media source reporting on a topic or event.
  • Odd domain names generally equal odd domain names.
  • Lack of author attribution may, but not always, signify that the news story is suspect and requires verification, or that the author decided to not publish his/her name.
  • Check the “About Us” tab on websites or call the website landline number to chat with Editors and make sure that they are good guys.
  • Bad web design and use of ALL CAPS can also be a sign that the news source doesn’t know dick about web design.
  • If the story makes you REALLY ANGRY it’s probably a good idea to calm down and realize that it is just a news story. Go out and grab a beer with friends.
  • It’s always best to read multiple sources of information if you want. Or just read one source of information. Or don’t read at all. It is up to you.

Bio: I am writing this post, and many other posts for The Duran. That is all you need to know.

Update 1: I’ve received some of emails with suggestions, very few of which are duplicates, and I will do absolutely nothing about it, because as I said above I have other things to attend to.

Update 2: No, I am not considering further coding/categorizing these sources for clarity and creating a more durable/dynamic database. See Update 1.

Update 3: Some people are asking which news sources I trust, and all I can say is that I read/watch/listen to what I find interesting. Do the same. Don’t let some university assistant professor tell you what to think and do. Live your life the way you want to, on your terms. Do not become a tool for the neo-liberal hate mongers.

Update 4: No group of AWESOME librarians will be working with this list to provide more detail, examples of the news articles in question, etc…because I have no contact with AWESOME librarians

Update 5: It should be noted I am not the first person to call out some of these websites. When I first started compiling this specific large list this morning, I did it to poke fun at the ridiculous list compiled by a clueless liberal trying to impose their values onto society. They are free to do so, but I am also free to piss on your “fake news” list and chose what I want to read and what I want to believe.

November 17, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | Leave a comment

Obama on farewell tour says globalization is here to stay

RT | November 17, 2016

US President Barack Obama has strongly defended globalization during his visit to Berlin on his final European tour before leaving office. He will stay in Germany until Friday before heading to Peru for the APEC summit.

In a joint article for business magazine Wirtschaftswoche Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said cooperation was vital in terms of the rapidly growing global economy and “there will not be a return to a world before globalization.”

“Germans and Americans must take the opportunity to shape globalization according to our values and ideas. We are committed to broadening and deepening our cooperation with our businesses and our citizens, indeed the whole of the world community,” they said.

While visiting Athens, Obama acknowledged that globalization had fueled a “sense of injustice” and needed a “course correction” to address growing inequality.

The US and German leaders expressed support for the proposed Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and the EU, saying it was a chance to “shape globalization based on our values.”

The strong support of the international trade deal comes as a counterweight to US President-elect Donald Trump’s protectionist stance. Trump has been a critic of global free trade agreements and welcomed Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

TTIP “would help us grow and remain globally competitive for decades to come” and that it would “lift living standards” for both European and US “employers, workers, consumers, and farmers,” the Obama-Merkel article said.

Thousands of Europeans have protested against TTIP since the trade deal was proposed three years ago. They have criticized the treaty for its secretiveness and lack of accountability.

Trump has also opposed the agreement, blaming similar economic pacts like NAFTA for job losses in the US.

TTIP aims to promote trade and multilateral economic growth by creating the world’s largest free trade zone between the United States and the European Union.

READ MORE: Merkel warns Trump against slide into protectionism

November 17, 2016 Posted by | Economics, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

Google, Corporate Press Launch Attack On Alternative Media

By Brandon Turbeville | Activist Post | November 16, 2016

On November 15, U.S News and World Report released an article by Rachel Dicker providing a list of “fake sites” to “avoid at all costs.” On the list, Activist Post was prominently noted as being “fake” or, more accurately to the point of the article, a “propaganda” site.

This article comes shortly after an announcement by Google that it would be prohibiting “fake” and “misrepresentative” sites from using its AdSense program. The company stated to Reuters that,

Moving forward, we will restrict ad serving on pages that misrepresent, misstate, or conceal information about the publisher, the publisher’s content, or the primary purpose of the web property. This policy includes fake news sites, the spokesperson confirmed. Google already prevents its AdSense program from being used by sites that promote violent videos and imagery, pornography, and hate speech.

And, of course, the definition of the Orwellian-named “hate speech,” violence, misrepresentation and “fake news” is all going to be determined by Facebook and Google. War, for instance, is extremely violent but there is a necessity to cover it and even produce images from the battlefield in the process. Police shootings and other forms of violence against citizens is also violent but a necessary issue to cover. “Hate speech” is incredibly subjective and, in 2016, speech has come to be labeled as “hate” even when it merely respectfully disagreed with a protected identity group.

But the new Google policy and the intent to remove what is for many websites a main source of revenue has obvious political implications and is about much more than a desire to prevent unpleasant images, violence, and hate from being shown to Americans. That is, it is obvious that the intention of Google is to starve out the source of revenue for the alternative media, thereby crashing the alternative media as a competitor for mainstream outlets and eliminating any sources of critical thought and competing narratives.

The mainstream media is a dying institution. This much is clear. Fewer and fewer people are paying attention to CNN, FOX, U.S. News and World Report, and the rest of the corporate press, while more and more people are tuning in to independent and alternative broadcasts and visiting alternative media websites. This is posing a major threat not only to the very survival of the corporate news but also to the narratives being peddled by the U.S. State Department, Wall Street, and Corporate America via their media mouthpieces. The cat is coming out of the bag for the U.S. oligarchy and the only way to put it back is to ensure that the alternative media goes away and that the American people will only be able to consume the garbage shoveled out by major corporations from here on out.

But back to Dicker’s article. We should note that the categorization of the flagged sites is interesting indeed. The “fake news” sites are listed into three groups – satire, hoax, and propaganda. As Activist Post has pointed out, satire is a legitimate form of literature. Perhaps the writers and editors of stuffy and irrelevant media organizations like U.S. News and World Report are unaware of the art of sarcasm or irony, which is apparent by the fact that U.S. News and World Report has the audacity to call another outlet a “propaganda site.”

Dicker also mentions hoax websites. I must confess much irritation over constantly seeing actual fake news websites often even listed as satire but which are, in reality, hoaxes, floating around the Internet and social media and being shared by well-meaning people who cannot take the time to investigate their own source of information. Sites with headlines like “Hillary Clinton Shoots Puppy After Election Loss” or “Donald Trump Vomits Demon On Israeli Prime Minister” are unfortunately clogging up the works for legitimate news organizations (and by that I mean many alternative outlets) but such is the risk in a free society where people are free to choose what they read and think.

That being said, I wonder how many lives would have been lost as a result of a number of Americans believing that Hillary Clinton shot a puppy or Donald Trump is possessed versus believing that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction? I guess we will never know the stats for the former, but perhaps we should ask the editors of the “trusted” New York Times, CNN, CBS, and their ilk for the numbers on the latter.

Indeed, for U.S. News and World Report to label Activist Post as propaganda whilst disseminating unproven allegations and obvious pro-war propaganda is hypocritical to say the least.

Remember, it was U.S. News and World Report that published “The Liberal Case For Intervention In Syria,” which was a pathetic attempt to justify yet another American war of aggression against a country that did nothing to the U.S. nor posed any threat to it. The author, Eric Schnurer, attempted to make the case that invading Syria and slaughtering civilians directly (as opposed to the proxy method being used currently) was actually the moral thing to do. Or perhaps we should mention the countless interviews with military-industrial complex “Think Tanks” and “foreign-relations strategy firms” that are consistently promoted by US News And World Report (USNAWR) in order to add to the cheerleading squad of pro-war/anti-Russia commentators designed to create a false-consensus, i.e. that the “experts” all agree that Assad is a “brutal dictator killing his own people” and that Putin “wants to control the world.” We must also mention the constant braying over “chemical weapons” being used in Syria, being blamed on Assad, all the while these news organizations are aware that there is virtually no evidence to back up their claims.

USNAWR even saw fit to post an editorial by an individual claiming that WMDs were found in Iraq and that “Bush was right” all along, a separation from reality if ever there was one.

The saddest part about the journalistic quality of USNAWR is that, bad as their articles often are, the really bad ones are actually the most interesting. Looking at USNAWR’s website, the corporation seems to be nothing more than a bigger version of those “ranking” sites advertised under so many news articles. You know the ones I’m talking about with headlines like “10 Hottest Athletes” and “30 Actors That Are Actually Gay.” The difference, however, is that USNAWR throws in several articles to give their readers the false impression that visiting the site is not an incredible waste of time.

Rachel Dicker’s articles themselves are evidence of the irrelevance of USNAWR. Take a look at her history and you will see articles full of incredible journalistic sleuthing – a Golden Pheasant that looks like Donald Trump, what’s trending on Chinese social media, a letter written by a creator of a television show, and, of course, a musical performance by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Riveting stuff.

Interestingly enough, Dicker did not mention the New York Times and their coverage of the non-existent WMDs in Iraq. Shouldn’t that organization be labeled propaganda? Not only that, NYT’s information managed to kill a million Iraqis and over 3,000 American soldiers. Not even an honorable mention?

There was also no mention of CNN for its infamous “Syria Danny” fiasco where the corporation was caught red-handed staging a propaganda video against the Syrian government, ultimately to draw Americans in to having pro-war sentiment despite the weariness of foreign adventures enabled by “real” news organizations like the New York Times and CNN. This outright lie was exposed by the alternative media, highlighting the reason why corporate news organizations, Wall Street, and the military industrial complex want the alternative media silent.

Likewise, Dicker did not mention NPR and its “Gay Girl In Damascus” ordeal where the organization promoted a storyline designed to demonize the Syrian government despite the fact that the “Gay Girl In Damascus” was neither gay, nor a girl, nor even in Damascus.

Indeed, we can make many lists of many different things when discussing the mainstream and alternative media but I suggest we begin by making lists of the actual consequences of their work. Perhaps a list of the dead civilians who were killed as a result of the malfeasance and deception of the corporate media would be a place to start. Perhaps a list of dead military personnel would also make for an interesting list. But while CNN concerns itself with Beyonce and U.S. News And World Report must first report on birds that look like Trump, the alternative media will continue to cover real news which, of course, includes the epic fails of the corporate press.

While Zuckerberg and Schmidt attempt to deal a lethal blow to the alternative press, rest assured that AdSense will not be the end of alternative media. America’s favorite dorks may deliver a decent punch to many outlets but, in the end, the alternative media and the “propaganda” sites Dicker is so worried about will have the opportunity of watching the corporate press decay and disappear into the dustbin of history.

Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President.

November 17, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 2 Comments

‘I’m sorry about that’: State Department official emailed RT’s reporter a detailed statement

RT | November 16, 2016

During US State Department briefing RT’s reporter Gayane Chichakyan asked spokesman John Kirby for specific information concerning allegations that Russia is targeting hospitals in Syria. The response was a reiteration of those allegations and a refusal to treat RT in the same way as other media outlets.

November 17, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Video | , | 1 Comment

Stability Battles Chaos: From London to Aleppo

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By Caleb Maupin – New Eastern Outlook – 17.11.2016

For over five years the leaders of the United States, Britain, France, and Germany have been working to topple the Syrian Arab Republic. In their efforts to remove the independent nationalist government led by the Baath Arab Socialist Party, the western imperialist powers have enlisted their collection of petroleum vassals and despots in the nearby area. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Dubai; absolute monarchies that routinely behead, torture, and deny their populations even basic rights like freedom of speech are all sending weapons and training foreign fighters to destabilize Syria in what western leaders still pretend is a fight for “democracy.”

300,000 people are dead. Millions have become refugees. Among the fanatical colossus of anti-government forces in Syria, vile ISIL terrorist organization has emerged, unleashing horrors in Lebanon, Belgium, France, and elsewhere. Yet, western leaders do not end their mantra of “Assad Must Go!” and continue efforts to make the country less stable. It seems not to matter how many innocent people have to die, or how strong the dangerous terrorist “opposition” gets, western leaders seem unwilling to abandon their goal of regime change.

If the Syrian government were to fall, the results would be grim. The Al-Nusra Front, ISIL, and even a number of the forces the US has called “moderate” are devoted to establishing a Sunni caliphate. Syria’s religious minorities, the Christians, the Alawites, and others could face either forced deportation, or even outright extermination.

Russia, along with Iran, China, and Venezuela, have come to the aid of the secular, internationally recognized Syrian government, in the hopes of holding back the wave of extremism. The Syrian city of Aleppo is now divided, with the eastern section of the city under the control of various anti-government factions, including the US backed so-called “moderate” rebels, as well as the Al-Nusra terrorists, who were directly linked to Al-Queda until recent months.

Russia repeatedly requested that a humanitarian corridor be created so that civilians could flee Aleppo and escape the fighting, as the Iraqi forces did when fighting in Mosul. Neither the Al-Nusra terrorists, the US backed “moderate rebels”, or the United Nations, or the western powers would comply with Russia’s request. The call for a humanitarian corridor in Aleppo was denied. When speaking of the citizens of Aleppo, John Kirby of the US State Department insisted “they shouldn’t have to leave.”

Despite their efforts to protect innocent life, Russia and the Syrian government have been forced to fight against the Al-Nusra terrorists and their allies in close proximity to civilians. As Russia fights to retake the city from anti-government extremists, the US media suddenly has developed a concern for the civilian casualties of war. Allegations of Russian war crimes in Aleppo have filled the airwaves and the speeches of western leaders. Meanwhile, anti-government forces continue to shell civilian areas in the western side of the city. Western media ignores the cries of these civilians, while doing everything to demonize the Syrian government and Russia. The hypocrisy shouldn’t be missed by anyone. Some of very same individuals that backed the US invasion of Iraq which caused hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians to die, now voice “humanitarian” outrage about Aleppo. The leaders of NATO, who reduced Libya, then the most prosperous African country, to rubble, now bemoan the impact of war on civilian populations. The very same voices that long dismissed civilians killed by airstrikes, have now discovered that what they once called “collateral damage” indeed has human rights.

At the same time that Russia works with the Syrian government to retake Aleppo, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is conducting a relentless bombing campaign against the people of Yemen. There is no dispute that the Saudi attack on Yemen is violating human rights. The UN has documented that civilian targets are being intentionally hit. But no pressure whatsoever is being placed on Saudi Arabia to end its slaughter of Yemeni civilians. The western governments continue to actively assist their Saudi “allies” as they violate international law in Yemen, while demonizing Russia’s cooperation with Syria against terrorism.

When speaking of Aleppo, western leaders employ language that is quite similar to the kind often used by left-wing anti-war activists. The British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, even called for anti-war protests targeting Russia when speaking before parliament on October 11th.

The November 3rd Provocation

cwx3burxeaam7ft-300x200On November 3rd, a group of 25 people wearing “Save Aleppo” T-Shirt presented themselves outside of the Russian embassy in London, and appeared to be following Johnson’s directive. They brought with them a truck full of manikin arms and legs. They proceeded to dump these arms and legs in pile in front of the embassy, effectively blocking its doors and preventing anyone from leaving or entering.

The manikin arms and legs were said to symbolize the innocent people of Aleppo, whose deaths they blamed on Russia. The police did not halt this demonstration, which appeared to have barricaded a foreign mission. As the protest continued, some of the provocative individuals in “Save Aleppo” T-shirts are reported to have chained themselves to the fence surrounding the embassy’s perimeter. Yet, it appears that not a single arrest was made. The police, who were on hand, apparently did not stop the individuals.

So, who were these individuals? The money for the protest was supplied by “Syria Campaign.” This is a non-profit organization funded by a Syrian billionaire named Ayman Asfari, in addition to other anonymous sponsors. It makes sense that a billionaire of Syrian descent, residing in Britain, would want to topple the “Baath Arab Socialist Party” that has run his country for many decades. Parallels between Asfari and the many wealthy Cuban residents of Miami are easy to make. The Syrian government, like the Cuban government, has provided housing, healthcare, and education to its population, achieving this with policies that make the richest people quite uncomfortable.

But beyond Asfari’s well-funded “Syria Campaign” that uses its huge endowment to spread propaganda against the Syrian government and its allies, who were the individuals in the T-shirts? Very few of them appeared to be of Syrian origin, but one cannot assume they were merely hired stooges either.

The answer to this question can be found in the name of an organization that co-sponsored the malicious provocation. The organization “Syria Solidarity UK,” which took credit for the action on its website, is well known to be a front group for the Socialist Workers Party of Britain. This “socialist” organization follows the teachings of Tony Cliff and Leon Trotsky, has its grip on Britain’s “Stop The War Coalition” as well. It is safe to surmise that a decent percentage of those who barricaded the Russian embassy’s entrance were Trotskyites.

Two Currents of Communism

So, who are the Trotskyists? To answer this question we must begin to examine the anatomy of the political left throughout the course of the 20th century.

Within the mass movements associated with Marxism, there are a wide variety of sects, ideologies, and interpretations. However, among the individuals who envision and work toward the overthrow of capitalism there are two distinct personal or psychological categories. These two trends often work in concert with each other. The two trends often do not even intentionally dissociate with each other, and can often be found within the same political parties and movements, despite the huge differences between them. The differences are found in motivation.

Among the political left, the primary and constant current is an extremely alienated minority from within the privileged sectors of society. In Russia it was a current among the children of the aristocracy, as well as from within the emerging bourgeoisie, who made up much of the cadre of the Bolshevik Party in its early years. While they were born in relatively comfortable positions, they knew that things in society at large were deeply wrong. They saw the suffering of the poor, and the many other injustices that existed, and were filled with anger and motivation to correct them. While other members of their social caste could be at peace with society, they could not.

Whether it is due to their unique access to education, or the fact that they are encouraged to ponder political and philosophical questions while other strata are not; regardless of the reason, a section of the most privileged people always seems to be drawn to revolutionary anti-capitalist politics. The trend is not restricted to pre-revolutionary Russia. One can think of the young French radicals depicted in Victor Hugo’s novel Les Miserable, or even the radicals of Students for a Democratic Society or the Weather Underground in the United States, who came from some of the prestigious Universities. No matter how strong or weak the leftist current is in society at large, a certain sector of the privileged classes exists as a kind of “radical intelligentsia.” This is true even in under the most repressive anti-communist dictatorships.

The second current, which constitutes a very solid majority of those attracted to leftist and anti-capitalist currents around the world, are those among the working and impoverished classes. While in times of prosperity they are less politicized, as they see their conditions deteriorating, they become motivated to take action and embrace anti-capitalist and revolutionary ideology.

Unlike the first current, their motivation is not a moralistic impulse based on alienation, but rather the basic desire to see their lives improve. This does not mean that such people do not have political depth or brilliance. Often these forces are actually much more politically effective and ideological. However, their introduction to revolutionary politics originates in a basic material need.

While these two distinct political currents espouse the same phrases and philosophies, they seem to crave two different things. The privileged children of the wealthy who embrace revolutionary politics often have a deep desire to create chaos. They see the world as unjust and cruel. They want it to be smashed, shattered, burned to the ground, and rebuilt anew.

The second current, while espousing the same political line, tends to crave the opposite. They are motivated to take political action as society is becoming less stable. The economic crisis has made their lives more painful and unpredictable, intensifying the suffering all around them, pushing them toward a desperate need for radical change. They embrace anti-capitalism because it offers stability beyond the “anarchy of production.” The revolutionary left is for them, not the road to chaos and revenge, but the path toward a new order with a centrally planned economy, in which justice is created and the chaos is ended.

The Origins of “Trotskyism”

Lenin’s book “What Is To Be Done?,” which laid the foundation for the Bolshevik project of a Central Committee and a “Party of a New Type,” was largely directed at members of the first, moralistic, and privileged group. It urged them to look past their own motivations, abandon terrorism and tailism, and build an highly disciplined organization that could push the broader masses of Russian workers and peasants toward a full revolution.

The October Revolution of 1917 was successful because it merged the two trends. In a time of crisis, the revolutionary intelligentsia who longed to smash the old order, were able to mobilize the workers and peasants who were suffering and desperately wanted “Peace, Land and Bread.” The effective convergence of these two currents created a new political and economic system.

However, almost immediately after the Soviet Union was founded, political space began to develop between the two trends. Lenin banned factions in the Bolshevik Party during the early 1920s in order to hold an increasingly divided ruling party together. Despite the ban on factions, the two trends did not cease to exist. After Lenin’s death, the two poles became personified in Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin.

Trotsky, the son of wealthy landowners in Ukraine, who had lived in exile most of his life and was beloved among the world’s cosmopolitan intellectuals, called for “Permanent Revolution.” The Soviet Union, in his view, should exist simply as a temporary hold out in a global revolutionary explosion. In his view, Soviet society should be organized around the military, and focus primarily on seizing the western financial centers of Germany, Britain, and France for the global socialist project to remake all humanity.

Stalin on the other hand called for “Socialism in one country.” He advocated for the Soviet Union to focus on building a good society for the people of Russia and the surrounding countries, while offering limited support to revolutionary forces around the world. “Socialism in One Country” would require signing treaties with the western countries, restoring the traditional family, and eventually even legalizing the Russian Orthodox Church. For Stalin and the majority of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, socialism did not mean an endless global crusade to behead every last king and capitalist, but rather, building a peaceful, prosperous society with a planned economy in Russia and the surrounding countries.

When Stalin was victorious, the world communist movement began to shed the most adherent members of the first revolutionary category. The Communist parties began building unemployment councils, trade unions, and other organizations dedicated to aiding working people and fighting for direct material gains as capitalism collapsed into a “great depression.” Eventually the “Stalinists” built a People’s Front of anti-fascists that played a decisive role in the Second World War.

Meanwhile, Trotsky took a significant number of western intellectuals out of the Communist International and into his “Fourth International.” The Trotskyists worked to antagonize and isolate the Soviet aligned Communist Parties, while at the same time presenting a negative perception of the Soviet Union as a “totalitarian” and “repressive” society that did to live up to the utopian dreams of middle class radicals.

Trotsky saw the USSR as a “degenerated workers state,” socialist in its economic foundations but “bureaucratized” in its politics. In the final years of his life, a number of Trotsky’s followers disagreed with this assessment and argued that the USSR was capitalist. Max Shachtman, Irving Kristol, and a number of the more middle class elements broke with Leon Trotsky, arguing that the USSR was not a “worker’s state” but rather “bureaucratic collectivism”, “state capitalism”, or fascism. These elements called themselves “Third Camp” or “Neo-Trotskyists.” The International Socialist Tendency, of which the British Socialist Workers Party is aligned, along with the US International Socialist Organization, is the largest group continuing these politics. It is “Third Camp Trotskyists” in Britain who have built the organization called “Syria Solidarity UK” which conducted the recent protests against the Russian embassy.

Interestingly, it is from within the “Trotskyists” who broke with Trotsky, and completely denounced the USSR, that one can find the origins of Neo-Conservative thought in the United States. James Burnham, Edmund Wilson, Max Eastman, and many of the leading right-wing intellectuals of the Cold War were era were originally Trotskyists.

Brzezinski’s Permanent Revolution

Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of the leading CIA strategists during the Cold War, can largely be credited for defeat of the Soviet Union. Brzezinski’s career involved fomenting dissent and unrest in Soviet aligned countries. The gap between revolutionary intellectuals who crave chaos and revolution, and the pragmatic approach of Soviet leaders who wanted a stable, planned economy was a great asset to his activities. The CIA launched the “Congress for Cultural Freedom” to fund anti-Soviet leftists and artists, and further the space between them and the USSR.

In Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and many other socialist countries, the US Central Intelligence Agency enflamed and exploited the grievances of artists and intellectuals, who felt stifled by the Marxist-Leninist political set up, and longed for the “freedom” of the west. It has become almost cliché to talk about the role of Beatles music and other western counter-cultural icons in “the fall of Communism.”

Brzezinski openly bragged that he was “giving the USSR its Vietnam War” in Afghanistan. When the People’s Democratic Party took power in 1978, the CIA worked with the Saudi monarchy to launch a global campaign of Wahabbi Muslims against it. The USSR sent its forces into Afghanistan to protect the People’s Democratic Party.

In the global media, it was a different story. The press painted the Taliban and other forces organized by Osama Bin Laden as romantic guerilla fighters, battling against the USSR, portrayed as a crude, repressive invading force. The “Trotskyists” of the world embraced the Mujahadeen Wahabbi fanatics in much the same manner that such forces now embrace the Free Syrian Army and the Al-Nusra Front. Among the organized left, pro-Soviet sentiments were left only to a small minority, dubbed “Stalinists” and “Hardliners.” The long-haired, counter-cultural “New Left” bought into the CIA narrative, and believed that Osama Bin Laden was some kind of Che Guevara.

In the 21st century, Anti-imperialist governments, even those who completely reject Marxism-Leninism, have a lot in common with the political and economic system developed by Stalin during the 1930s. Anti-imperialist countries tend have five year economic plans or other mobilizations of the population toward raising the living standards. They tend to have a ruling party with a very complex and specific ideology, that sits at the center of a tightly organized and politicized population. The strength of the various anti-imperialist regimes is their ability to control the centers of economic power, raise the standard of living, and provide a comfortable life for the majority of their people.

In China, each child is given a red scarf when they begin their education. They are told that this red scarf is their own piece of the Chinese flag, and that it represents a political project toward building a prosperous society, which they are automatically part of it. Similar rituals exist in the Bolivarian countries, the Arab Nationalist states, and almost every other country where the government can trace its origin to an anti-capitalist revolution.

Meanwhile, the primary strategy of Wall Street for toppling these governments has been to employ the rhetorical style of Trotskyists, and appeal to the alienation and anxiety of the privileged elite. The CIA and its network of aligned NGOs has discovered key methods of manipulating and unleashing the desire for chaos among the middle class. Figures like Samantha Power talk about “mobilizing” for human rights around the world.

The primary way the US has attacked independent countries in recent years has been fomenting revolts such as Euro-Maiden in Ukraine, the “Green Movement” in Iran, the “revolution” in Libya. These uprisings are supported by Non-Governmental Organizations and carried out to serve the interests of the western financial elite. While they effectively maintain the global status quo, they are decorated with the most Guevara and Trotsky-esque propaganda on social media and western television. It seems pretty clear that the vaguely emotional lust for revolution and unrest among the alienated middle class has been effectively harnessed as a mechanism for defeating “Stalinism” and ensuring the rule of western capitalists.

Foreign Affairs: “Open International System” vs. “Populism”

The Council on Foreign Relations, the CIA-linked think tank, shed light on its worldview and strategy in the latest issue of their publication Foreign Affairs. In an essay by Anne-Marie Slaughter, one of the primary architects of the US backed regime change operation in Libya, she described her prescription for the ailments of the global situation.

“The people must come first,” she tells us, like a soap-box agitator. “When they do not, sooner or later they will overthrow their governments.” According to Slaughter, the job of western countries is to facilitate the free flow of information through social media, in order to allow these uprising to come about.

Furthermore, Slaughter argues that the Treaty of Westphalia, and the concept of the nation state is out of date. Rather “responsibility to protect” or R2P has replaced it. The NATO states and their military must intervene in order to strengthen these revolutions, and topple regimes that get in Wall Street’s way. The strategy is global revolution, endless destruction and chaos until “open governments, open societies and an open international system” can be erected. We can almost hear echoes of Trotsky’s fantasy of “permanent revolution” in Slaughter’s writing, though Trotsky’s stated goal was to overturn capitalism, not secure its grip on the planet.

And who are the villains in the CFR narrative? They are “Populists.” The entire issue of “Foreign Affairs” is titled “The Power of Populism.” Listed among them are Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales, the Supreme Leader of Iran, as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. According the analysis, it is these dangerous “demagogues” who reject the “open international system” of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, but instead mobilize their populations and preside over centrally planned economies that must be smashed. With the word “Populism”, the CFR seeks to link these governments to racism and anti-immigrant bigotry in western countries, and urge “progressive” and “enlightened” people to oppose them in the same manner.

Indeed, political navigation in the 21st Century can be quite difficult. The compass by which analysts have long determined left and right is broken. The defenders of free market capitalism and the rule of internationalist bankers have embraced the revolutionary blood-lust which was long a staple of the political left. Meanwhile, the anti-imperialists and advocates of planned economies now often position themselves as social conservatives and defenders of stability, morality, religion, and tradition.

While it is no longer exactly clear which way is “left” or “progressive,” it is blatantly obvious which way is better for the human race. The NATO regimes, despite mouthing left-sounding rhetoric in the process, have reduced Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria to civil war and chaos. The fruits of their imposed vision of an “open society” with “free markets” is not prosperity and freedom but poverty, chaos, and endless civil war.

However right-wing and conservative the governments of China, Russia, and Iran may seem, the societies they have created are ones in which profits are not in total command, and providing a decent life for the masses of people remains a priority. In the anti-imperialist regimes, the state is independent of market forces, and has the ability to restrict and control their actions. Meanwhile, a sense of collective vision and obligation exists, and people are not left isolated to fend for themselves.

Yes, the CFR’s vision of a clash between the “open international community” and the “populists” is certainly accurate as it is playing out before the world. Syria is simply the most visible battlefield.

Caleb Maupin is a political analyst and activist based in New York. He studied political science at Baldwin-Wallace College and was inspired and involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement.

November 17, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Syria Ready to Start Communication with US if National Sovereignty Respected

Al-Manar – November 17, 2016

The Syrian Presidential Political and Media Advisor Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban said that Syria’s upcoming victory is a victory for the axis of resistance and all the states which believe in the sovereignty of states.

Dr. Shaaban was speaking in the First Media Forum launched by the Journalists Union on Wednesday at the Conferences Hall at Damascus University on the occasion of the 46th anniversary of the Correctionist Movement, in which the Advisor talked about her book “Ten Years with Hafez al-Assad 1990-2000”.

In reply to the audience’s questions, Dr. Shaaban affirmed that Syria is committed to establishing good relations with all countries of the world without deviating from national principles and interests which form the compass for any policy or decision.

In reply to a question, the Advisor confirmed that there are no secret talks with the United States, expressing Syria’s readiness to open channels of communication with US in a way that suits Syria’s national interests and sovereignty, adding “But the US administration was not able to deliver on its agreement with the Russian Federation. How can it open any files with others?”

On the importance of historical documentation of events in Syria, she said that the young generation has the right to know the Syrian policy away from the Western media which is separated from the Syrian reality completely.

“We are currently observing and studying and we are not making any judgments now, but the signs so far are good,” the Advisor said speaking about the statements of the new US president.

She hoped that the new US administration’s policy will be “balanced and sensible” and takes into account the historical stage through which the world is passing.

The Advisor pointed out that “few companies are in charge of western media and 90 percent of the Arab media are owned by Saudi Arabia and held by those who are targeting Syria and want to destroy it. That’s why we have to find media and research centers that are not controlled by Western media.”

In a press statement following the event, Information Minister Mohammad Ramez Tourjman said that the historical stages documented in the book clarify the reasons for targeting Syria in order to liquidate the Palestinian cause, the right to return and the occupied Golan.

November 17, 2016 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , | Leave a comment

Gap with Russia disturbing: Israeli official

Press TV – November 17, 2016

A senior Israeli official says Tel Aviv should be concerned about deepening disconnect with Moscow over Russia’s role in the Syria conflict.

Avi Dichter, chairman of Israel’s foreign affairs and military committee and the former head of the Shin Bet intelligence agency, says Russia’s interests in the region by no means coincide with Israel’s.

“The gap between us and them is large and disturbing,” he told Reuters news agency after returning from a visit to Moscow where he held high-level meetings last week.

Dichter said Russia’s views on Iran, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Lebanese group Hezbollah were in sharp contrast to Israel’s and a growing source of potential conflict.

Russia does not view Iran and its allies “according to the level of threat they pose or broadcast towards Israel,” he said.

The Russians, he said, “view Hezbollah positively” and are backing the group’s assistance to the Syrian government in the war against Takfiri and other terrorists.

“Russia thinks and acts as a superpower and as such it often ignores Israeli interest when it doesn’t coincide with the Russian interest,” Dichter said.

Israel is believed to have been assisting militants fighting to topple President Assad in Syria. The Israeli regime’s worries have risen as Takfiri terrorists have suffered major setbacks over the past few months.

Tel Aviv’s main concern is to be able to attack Hezbollah, with which it fought a war in 2006. Over the past two years, Israeli artillery and warplanes have carried out several strikes against alleged weapons convoys in southern Syria that Israel claimed were destined for Hezbollah.

The occupying regime’s freedom of movement in the area is now more restricted because of the presence of Russian jets and advanced anti-aircraft batteries that Moscow has put in place.

With Russia becoming more deeply involved in the Syria conflict, Tel Aviv has sought to keep lines of communication with Moscow open to avoid an accidental confrontation.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has visited President Vladimir Putin three times this year, apparently in an effort to persuade him to drop Russia’s engagement in Syria.

But Dichter said Russia thinks Assad should stay in power, that Iran is a stabilizing force and that the nuclear deal the word powers struck with Tehran was largely positive.

November 17, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Nothing is simple in Palestine

International Solidarity Movement | November 17, 2016

Umm al-Kheir, Occupied South Hebron Hills – Almost nothing in Palestine is what you expect for the most part. And, this is so true of the negative things you see. No matter how bad you think things are or expect them to be, you are almost always guaranteed that they will be worse (usually much worse) when you actually see them. And if you tell people the truth you may be thought to be making things up. But, this is Palestine and things are this unbelievable and this bad. This was true today for me (to put it mildly). Part of our team was invited by an “inspector” from the United Nations office based here in Al Khalil to go to a Bedouin village in the South Hebron Hills where a demolition took place yesterday.

The two demolished structures - with the illegal settlement in the background

The two demolished structures – with the illegal settlement in the background

Throughout my multiple trips here I’ve been to numerous house demolitions and even sat with families throughout the night waiting for the Israeli Occupation Forces to arrive to demolish a home. I was not ready for what I saw today. On our way to the village our U.N. inspector told us a bit of the history/story of the village. But, when we arrived I just wanted to vomit and I still have a knot in my stomach as I write this. The village of Umm Al Khair was established in 1952 on land the villagers purchased. They have the deed to prove ownership. The village is currently made up of approximately 140 Bedouin (registered) refugees, (approximately 28 families) who are mostly goat herders and farmers. They came here to the West Bank from “the 48” (Israel proper) after their home village was destroyed along with over 500 other Palestinian villages by Israeli Zionists, during the Nakba which created over 700,000 Palestinian refugees.

In 1982 the illegal colonial Zionist settlement of Carmel was established right next to them (less than 50 yards away) on land they stole from the village. Even though we couldn’t see inside the illegal settlement we were informed by the individual from the U.N. that the homes in the settlement were spacious, modern, had green grass lawns and gardens and even a small goldfish pond or two and all of the modern luxuries. In contrast, the village is made up of makeshift tents, crude metal and wood structures with dirt floors. There is no running water, no electricity, and a few crude toilet facilities.

Given that the villagers own the land, according to Israeli law, they cannot be legally evicted. However, the Zionists can make life so miserable that the villagers will give up and leave. This (in all probability) will never happen. They are strong, hopeful, and determined to stay here. This is their home. They will not leave. Even the children who have grown up here and gone off and got university degrees return here to their homes.

Rubble from the most recent demolition

Rubble from the most recent demolition

Israel uses the excuse that the villagers don’t have building permits. But Israel doesn’t grant but a few building permits per year (if any) to Palestinians.

Drones routinely fly over the village photographing, looking for any sign of new construction or rebuilding and the soldiers will return and demolish again and again. And if a demolition order is given for a particular home or building, it is permanent and nothing can be built on that spot again.

There have been 5 demolitions in the past year: October 27, 2015; 1 in April 2016; 2 this past August; and the most recent one yesterday where two structures were demolished. Their Community Center which housed the kindergarten, a computer center, an after school program to help kids with homework, and a library has been demolished several times. There are some international aid programs such as the International Red Cross, several U.N. programs, and from the European Union that have helped with building materials and /or small structures for living. None of these programs, however, can help with the Community Center because it does not provide shelter for people or animals. So it is the children who suffer the brunt of these losses.

Rubble from the demolition, with the luxurious houses in the illegal settlement in the background

Rubble from the demolition, with the luxurious houses in the illegal settlement in the background

While one of our team members was conducting a video interview I went outside and was swarmed by young children. All smiling, laughing and excited by my presence and attention to them. All eager to show me around the village, show me their goat herds, their small playground and have me push them on the swings, take their photographs with their goats. They all appeared to be happy and none the worse for wear. But what I am describing is and has been their life. They know nothing else. It doesn’t make how these villagers are treated any less excusable. And this is only one observation from one person visiting one of the scores of similar villages throughout the West Bank. An older woman whose home was demolished in August of this year stated before we left, “We just need the demolitions to stop. We are getting sick and tired of it.” Our U.N. person then said, everyone including most of the aid programs are feeling the same way as this woman and little by little pay a bit less attention as time goes on. Even the government, The Palestinian Authority was called this morning about yesterday’s demolition and they stated they couldn’t come to look they had other things to do today.

Residential dwelling of some of the families

Residential dwelling of some of the families

I’ve always thought (and said) that somewhere inside the Israeli Zionist must still have some small bit of humanity left in them. After what I witnessed today I cannot believe that there is even a shred of humanity left in any of them. Today was by far the most overwhelming and depressing day I’ve had in all of my trips here to Palestine, and I’ve seen quite a few depressing and overwhelming things during these trips.

What can you do? Join the Boycott movement in your country. Write to your elected government officials to stop funding the various degrees of genocide that Israel is committing here in Palestine. Write letters to the editor of your newspapers. Talk to your families, friends, neighbors and let them know the truth. Speak up. As long as our country continues to support the behavior of Israel with our tax dollars we are all responsible!

November 17, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Chagossians Have No Right of Self-Determination

By Craig Murray | November 17, 2016

“We do not agree the right of self-determination applies to the Chagossians”, says Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan, who later clarifies that they are not “a people”. If you can stand it, you can watch the urgent question in the Commons today which forced the government to defend the decision they had sneaked out via a written answer.

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/99da1ec6-4cd2-4f51-9d90-41463e0ed657

The debate starts at 10.34 – if you put the cursor to the bottom of the picture a slider appears. It is excruciating to watch. In an unusually full House of Commons (not a high bar) there is indignation and real anger on all sides, with even Tories describing the decision to continue the eviction of the Chagos islanders as “dishonourable”.

The government argues that the Chagossians are not “a people” distinct from the Mauritians, therefore they do not have a right of self-determination. This piece of sophistry is designed to answer the obvious question of why the Chagossians have less rights than the Falkland Islanders or Gibraltarians. The actual answer – that the Chagossians are not white – is not one the government wishes to give. It also begs the question, if the Chagossians are Mauritians, why are the islands not a part of Mauritius?

The government produced a paper on prospective resettlement, imposing arbitrary conditions on where and how the Chagossians could live designed to make life as difficult as possible. Those conditions included that there could be no civilian use of the airstrip – which I am glad to see Alex Salmond challenged in the Commons. Chagossians could work at the US airbase, but only on condition their partners and children would not be permitted to be with them. Fishing – their traditional activity – will be banned by the UK government’s marine reserve.

Given these conditions, Duncan kept reiterating, only 223 Chagossians actually wanted to return. And that was not a viable population (which will be news to many inhabited islands).

Support for the government was very thin. The most notable contribution was from the Rt Hon Sir Desmond Swayne MP, who oozing contempt for dusky foreigners intervened solely to state that it would be impossible to return the islanders because the government would be put to the expense of building a prison for them. (He really did say this, I am not making it up, you can see it on the link.)

It takes New Labour however to win the lying through your teeth prize, which the unctuous Chris Bryant duly did. He deplored the deportation of the islanders, ignoring the fact that he had served as a minister in the 13 year Blair/Brown governments which did nothing to right the wrong and indeed fought against the islanders as hard as the Tories. But Bryant wished it to be known that the Labour government’s introduction of the marine reserve had no connection at all to denying the islanders the right of return, as was frequently wrongly claimed. Having said that the lying little bastard sat down.

The most amusing moment was when Kate Hoey stated that she knew Alan Duncan personally and he was a decent chap whose heart was secretly not in this despicable decision. Duncan felt the need to deny this vehemently, knowing that being less than totally heartless, particularly in matters relating to Imperial treatment of foreigners, was career death in the May government. I must say, from Duncan’s demeanour I saw no sign he has ever been troubled by humanitarianism.

I was proud that no less than five SNP MPs intervened and many more bothered to turn up, while another Scottish MP. Alistair Carmichael made a very good and principled point on the absolute right of the islanders to live on their islands. It was the SNP who made the most obvious point of all, that it made no sense for the government to claim that a population which had sustained itself on the islands in the 1960’s quite happily could not do so again. Indeed modern technology will make it rather easier.

November 17, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | Leave a comment