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A Trump Budget Could Decimate Climate Funding

By Brian Kahn and Bobby Magill | Climate Central | November 23, 2016

The world is waiting to hear what President-elect Donald Trump has in mind for governing the U.S. Among the biggest questions is what will happen to the budget for climate and energy-related activities. […]

Here’s where a number of federal agencies stand with climate and energy funding, what they spend it on, and what could be under fire after Jan. 20 when Trump takes office. The budget numbers below are based on the 2017 fiscal year budget requests for each agency or department.

Energy Department

2017 climate-related budget: $8.5 billion

What it’s spent on: Energy efficiency and renewable and nuclear energy research and development as well as science and computing. […]

Interior Department

2017 climate-related budget: $1.1 billion

What it’s spent on: Supporting scientific research and managing landscapes for climate resilience as well as expanding public access to climate-related information. The Interior Department, through the U.S. Geological Survey, funds climate science centers […]

State Department

2017 climate-related budget: $984 million

What it’s spent on: Almost anything the U.S. does about climate change on the international stage comes via the State Department. That includes committing money to the Green Climate Fund […]

NASA

2017 climate-related budget: $1.9 billion

What it’s spent on: NASA funds a variety of climate research on earth and in space. […]

Environmental Protection Agency

2017 climate-related budget: $1.1 billion

What it’s spent on: Climate and air quality research and development as well as enforcing climate rules and regulations such as the Clean Power Plan […]

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

2017 climate-related research and development: $190 million

What it’s spent on: NOAA’s climate science budget funds both in-house researchers and a number of programs at universities. … Full article

It will be difficult to bring the number down to anything approaching the amount of funding skeptics are said to get:

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November 25, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Nuclear Power, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment

Israeli military court jails two Syrians for blocking ambulance carrying Nusra militants

Press TV – November 25, 2016

An Israeli court has handed down prison sentences to two Syrians living in the occupied Golan Heights for blocking an Israeli ambulance transporting militants operating in Syria for treatment.

The military court on Thursday sentenced Amal Abu Saleh to seven years and eight months in jail and a fine of more than 3,000 dollars, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported.

Bashira Mahmoud, the other Syrian, was sentenced to 22 months in prison. She was also fined 1,000 dollars.

According to the report, Israeli forces arrested the two along with 24 others in June 2015, when residents of the village of Majdal Shams blocked the ambulance and prevented it from transporting two injured terrorists with the Takfiri Jabhat Fateh al-Sham militant group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front.

The Israeli regime later released the detainees except the two. Bashira has been under house arrest since July 2016.

Sheikh Nazih Abu Saleh, Amal’s uncle, said the court ruling was “hostile.” He added that the residents of the occupied Golan Heights have the right to block the transport of al-Nusra terrorists for treatment in Israeli hospitals.

Ahmed Sheikh Abdul Qader, the governor of the city of Quneitra in southwestern Syria that borders Golan, slammed the “provocative” court ruling, calling on human rights organizations to force the Israeli regime to release Syrians held in its prisons.

Syria says Israel and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups operating inside the Arab country.

In December 2015, the Daily Mail said the Israeli regime had saved the lives of over 2,000 Takfiri militants at the cost of about 13 million dollars since 2013.

The Syrian army has several times seized huge quantities of Israeli-made weapons and advanced military equipment from the foreign-backed militants inside Syria.

In February 2014, photos of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were released, showing him visiting injured militants at a field hospital in Israel.

November 25, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , | Leave a comment

Australian arrested after he was ‘killed’ in Iraq

MEMO | November 25, 2016

An Australian citizen believed to be a top recruiter for Daesh is under arrest, the New York Times reported today, citing an unnamed US military official, months after Australia said he had been killed in a US airstrike in Iraq.

Australia said in May that Neil Prakash, who was linked to several Australia-based terrorist attack plans, was killed in an airstrike in Mosul, Iraq on 29 April.

The New York Times said Prakash was wounded in the attack and arrested by a Middle East government “in the last few weeks.” The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, citing Turkish and Australian officials, said he was arrested in Turkey.

Australian Attorney-General George Brandis, who announced Prakash’s death in May, declined to comment on “matters of intelligence or law enforcement operations.”

Justice Minister Michael Keenan said in an email response to Reuters that the government’s “capacity to confirm reports of deaths in either Syria or Iraq is limited.”

Melbourne-born Prakash had appeared in Daesh videos and magazines and had actively recruited Australian men, women and children and encouraged acts of terrorism.

Australia last year announced financial sanctions against Prakash, including threatening anyone giving financial assistance with punishment of up to 10 years in jail.

November 25, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , | 1 Comment

Kiev to hold missile-firing exercise over Crimea, where civil aviation performs flights – Moscow

RT | November 25, 2016

Ukraine has made a unilateral decision to organize missile-firing exercises over Crimea, in the sovereign airspace of the Russian Federation, Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency Rosaviatsiya reported. Missiles will be fired in regions where civil and state aviation flights run.

Kiev’s move breaches a number of international laws and agreements, Rosaviatsiya said, adding that not only will the military exercise invade Russian territory, but the plans also had not been coordinated with Moscow.

Ukraine released an aviation notification on Thursday, activating “dangerous zones” in all flight levels near Crimea and the city of Simferopol for December 1 and 2, the agency reported. It added that the “dangerous” areas included airspace above open sea which is in Russia’s area of responsibility, and over Russian territorial waters.

The notifications released have not been coordinated with the appropriate Russian authorities, Rosaviatsiya said in its statement. It added that such unilateral moves demonstrate Ukraine’s unwillingness to work on the normalization of air traffic above the Black Sea.

Kiev has also violated annexes of the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation, the agency said, while demanding the immediate cancellation of the planned actions in Russia’s sovereign airspace.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Army refused to comment on the matter, TASS reported. The head of the staff press service, Vladislav Seleznyov, told the agency it was not his department’s responsibility to “comment on this information,” and referred the outlet to other Ukrainian officials, including the Foreign Ministry, for more information.

The planned missile-launch exercises are “potentially dangerous for civil aviation,” Rosaviatsiya said in its statement, adding that it could lead to tragedies similar to those with Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014 and the downing of a Russian passenger plane over the Black Sea in 2001.

The investigation into the Malaysian Boeing-777 crash in eastern Ukraine, which killed all 298 people on board en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, continues.

Another incident involving military missiles happened over the Black Sea in October 2001, when a Siberia Airlines Tu-154 en route from Tel-Aviv to Novosibirsk was downed by a missile launched by the Ukrainian military during an exercise. Seventy-eight people died.

Russia has informed both Russian and international air carriers of Kiev’s planned move, a Rosaviatsiya representative told TV channel Rossiya 24. Saying that Moscow is taking all measures to provide security for the flights, he added that Russia will be forced to ban all flights in the Crimea region should Ukraine not cancel its decision.

November 25, 2016 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

Palestinian university student sentenced to eight months for student activities

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – November 24, 2016

noor-darwishPalestinian student Noor Darwish, 22, a student at Al-Quds University in Abu Dis, was sentenced to eight months in Israeli prison and a fine of 2000 NIS (approximately $500) on Wednesday, 23 November.

From the village of Deir Abu Mashal near Ramallah, Darwish was arrested with two other female students, Hala Bitar, 19, and Salam Abu Sharar, 21, on 19 April. The three were arrested among an escalated series of arrests targeting Palestinian students around the time of annual student council elections at Palestinian universities. All three were charged with participation in the public student activities of the Islamic Bloc at the university, including organizing a book fair.

Bitar was earlier sentenced to four months in prison, while Abu Sharar was sentenced to 10 months in Israeli prison. Darwish has been held in Damon prison, which requires a three-day trip to the Ofer military court, which pronounced her sentence. Her case involved six hearings, each accompanied by the lengthy “bosta” travel from the prison to the military court and back.

November 25, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Washington Post serves up some Thanksgiving ‘fake news’ of its own

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RT | November 25, 2016

America’s once venerable Washington Post has launched a Thanksgiving attack on the Russian media. Sadly for our friends on the Potomac, it turned out to be a bit of a turkey.

This month, the mainstream media’s primary narrative has shifted toward ‘fake news’ and its role in the US election. We’ve seen internet giants like Facebook pressured to get their act together on the issue and a series of investigations into the creators of misleading content.

Predictably, the “blame Russia for everything” constituency of the establishment press has tried to connect Moscow to this development.

Take the folks at the Washington Post, for instance, who have published a sensationalist and scaremongering piece about fake news stories that itself turned out to be, well, full of fakes. To be blunt, the Washington Post has lied about RT and presented zero proof to support its allegations. What’s more, it never even asked for a comment!

This means that its strangely crafted attempt to defend journalistic principles has effectively disobeyed the two most important rules of the business: namely “always double-check your sources” and “make sure to ask the subject of your story for a comment.”

Pundit problems

To start, WashPo references “researchers” to claim that some of the fake news and conspiracy theories plaguing the media coverage of the US election “originated with RT.” Mind you, not a single example is provided to support this lunacy – no link, no tweet, no article title.

Then the reporter, one Craig Timberg, quotes Michael McFaul – one of the ‘talking heads’ du jour for criticism of Russia – as saying RT expressed overt support for Donald Trump during the US election – which is pure fiction, apparent to anyone remotely familiar with RT’s actual programming. As regular readers know, RT has published many articles which indicated that Moscow had no clear preference in the contest, covered Trump scandals, and interviewed guests from all over the American political spectrum – Republican and Democrat, Libertarian and Green. We’ve invited Hillary Clinton too, and the invite still stands.

McFaul then concludes his contribution with the statement that RT used “the #CrookedHillary hashtag pushed by the candidate (Trump)” on its social media services. Like with the “origin story,” this claim is presented not as subjective opinion, but as unquestionable fact. In reality, this is another complete lie, one that WashPo would have had no trouble fact-checking with a simple search. Alas.

Thus, the Washington Post has hinged a piece about fake news on falsehoods. The irony is astounding.

Absence of proof

Timberg’s entire supposition is built around a collection of “suspicious episode” yarns, not facts or evidence. His argument revolves around tenuous social media interaction and unsubstantiated third-party claims. Outlets as diverse as AntiWar, Counterpunch, Sputnik, Drudge Report, Off Guardian and Unz Review are attacked alongside RT, not to mention internationally popular entities including WikiLeaks, Zerohedge and Truthout. Basically, anybody critical of US foreign policy is accused of “echoing Russia.”

Also telling is the two external “research” sources the article relies on: PropOrNot and FPRI. “PropOrNot” is described as “a nonpartisan collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds.” In reality, this group’s modus operandi is to smear any news source outside of the mainstream as “reliably echo(ing) Russian propaganda.” Meanwhile, Foreign Policy Research Institute is a US think-tank with a very clear agenda of “advanc[ing] U.S. national interests,” funded by massive corporations, such as Boeing, who profit from east-west tension through increased military spending and still mired in the Cold War-era worldview.

With every day and every new wave of hysterical publications, it becomes difficult to deny that the real point of the current media campaign is to brand everything that runs counter to the establishment narrative as “fake news” and “Russian propaganda.” Perhaps in the hope that once criticism and adversarial journalism is removed, the general public will no longer lash out at the tight little club that has ruled the roost for so long.

Read more:

EU resolution on ‘Russian propaganda’ is attack on media freedom & stinks of hypocrisy

November 25, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

The Burning Bush

By Gilad Atzmon – December 2, 2010

Israel’s rural landscape is saturated with pine trees. These trees are new to the region. The pine trees were introduced to the Palestinian’s landscape in the early 1930s by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in an attempt to ‘reclaim the land’. By 1935, JNF had planted 1.7 million trees over a total area of 1,750 acres. Over fifty years, the JNF planted over 260 million trees largely on confiscated Palestinian land. It did it all in a desperate attempt to hide the ruins of the ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages and their history.

Along the years the JNF performed a crude attempt to eliminate Palestinian civilisation and past but it also tried to make Palestine look like Europe. The Palestinian natural forest was eradicated. Similarly the olive trees were uprooted. The pine trees took their place. On the southern part of mount Carmel the Israelis named an area as ‘Little Switzerland’. By now, there is no much left of “Little Switzerland.”

However, the facts on the ground were pretty devastating for the JNF. The pine tree didn’t adapt to the Israeli climate as much as the Israelis failed to adapt to the Middle East. According to JNF statistics, six out of every 10 saplings planted did not survive. Those few trees that did survive formed nothing but a firetrap. By the end of each Israeli summer each of the Israeli pine forests become a potential deadly zone.

In spite of its nuclear ability, its criminal army, the occupation, the Mossad and its lobbies all over the world, Israel seems to be vulnerable. It is devastatingly alienated from the land it claims to own and care for. Like the pine tree, Zionism, Israel and the Israeli are foreign to the region.

November 25, 2016 Posted by | Environmentalism, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 4 Comments

CIA’s Brainwashing Mayhem is in the Full Swing in the EU

By Grete Mautner – New Eastern Outlook – 25.11.2016

It is now an undisputed fact that the Western democratic values and the so-called “freedom of speech” that have been heralded for a long time as the principal achievements of the Western world are nothing but empty slogans. This is evidenced by the latest resolution of the European Parliament on countering Russia’s media influence dubbed the “EU strategic communications with a view to counteracting propaganda.” This document was initiated by a Polish member of the European Parliament, Anna Fotyga who claims that Russia has been providing financial support to opposition political parties and organizations in the EU, thereby undermining the unity of its states.

It is noteworthy that the authors behind this document are speaking about the necessity of media pluralism and freedom of information, while introducing a form of censorship against all Russian media sources.

At the same time those behind this curious paper advocate the revocation of Article 55 of Chapter IX of the UN Charter, which demands a universal respect and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for everyone, regardless of their race, sex, language or religion, including the rights to freedom of expression.

It’s curious that delusional witch hunts and the suppression of alternative media sources have recently become one of the principal attributes of European politics. This is clearly shown by the report that has been presented by Dr Andrew Foxall, the Director of the Russia Studies Centre at The Henry Jackson Society, that advocates the notion that activists, journalists, and politicians should point out the pro-Russian connections of individuals and parties across the political spectrum and challenge the credibility of these entities via political debates, while personal and organizational connections of left- and right-wing politicians and parties and their Russian counterparts should be mapped across Europe.

It’s curious that Dr Marcus Papadopoulos, the editor in chief of Politics First has been outraged by the above mentioned report, calling it manifestation of a modern form of McCarthyism. Papadopoulos is convinced that this is nothing but a slap in the face of freedom of speech and a rather stupid attempt to try to silence those who disagree with with the UK government.

It’s curious that UK politicians are convinced they can call “idiots” anybody who disagrees with their position.

Moreover, the “Foxall’s proclamation” was released on the eve of the discussion of the EU strategic communications with a view to counteracting propaganda in the EU parliament and has become a sort of foundation for this document.

This means that Operation Mockingbird which was launched by the CIA in the 1950s hasn’t been discontinued and is now being implemented in the EU. If you take a look at the rapidly growing funding of the European corporate media sources, it becomes obvious that America’s loyal puppets have been busy producing disinformation on a massive scale. Every day we witness new articles being published that have nothing in common with reality, yet no amount of evidence can force those corporate media sources to confess that they’ve been deliberately lying.

Just take a look at the role Western media played in the Ukrainian crisis, where Russia’s position is just being ignored by every single Western journal and newspaper. Yet, the fact that Russia hasn’t been preparing any sort of occupation of Ukraine has been proven by France’s military intelligence, General Christophe Gomart in the speech he delivered in front of the French National Assembly. Yet, his report was just ignored.

It must be clearly understood that a web of deception is always being created by the CIA in those regions and in those periods when specific Washington’s actions may become the cause of serious criticism and may lead to the manifestation of one’s independence from the United States. For this purpose, the White House annually allocates billions of dollars to the National Endowment for Democracy, USAID, the CIA and countless NGOs to spread disinformation. However, such steps are not causing alarm among European politicians, that are subjecting their people to vassal dependency on Washington and its position.

Back in 2011 the Guardian reported:

The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an “online persona management service” that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world. The multiple persona contract is thought to have been awarded as part of a programme called Operation Earnest Voice (OEV), which was first developed in Iraq as a psychological warfare weapon against the online presence of al-Qaida supporters and others ranged against coalition forces. Since then, OEV is reported to have expanded into a $200m programme and is thought to have been used against jihadists across Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Today we can witness the direct result of this program on most European forums, where those dissatisfied with their elected officials are being subjected to harassment and trolling. Yes, the delusional notion about the so-called “Russian propaganda” is the talk of the day in the EU, while Washington’s aggressive disinformation campaign is being silently ignored, as if nothing of interest was happening in this domain.

November 25, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The march to GLEXIT – Globalization Exit

By Wayne Madsen | Strategic Culture Foundation | 25.11.2016

The world, through the ballot box, is speaking out. From the British «Yes» vote on BREXIT – the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union – to the election of the anti-globalization Donald Trump as president of the United States, the world is speaking out against the homogenization of the world into a super-state of blurred and overlapping governments, cultural identities, religions, and politics. The U.S. presidential election was not so much an election as it was a referendum on globalization in all of its malignant manifestations: free trade, open borders, and subjugation of national sovereignty to amorphous international organizations.

From every continent, there is growing popular support for «exiting» international contrivances, from the European Union and International Criminal Court to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and even the United Nations.

In August of this year, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines threatened to pull his country out of the UN in what was the first such threat by a UN member-state since Indonesian President Sukarno successfully withdrew his nation from the UN in 1965.

Proponents of economic and political globalization have not only been dealt heavy blows in the election of Trump in the United States and the success of the BREXIT vote in the United Kingdom, but also in the decision by South Africa and other African nations to withdraw from the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The international tribunal heavily-influenced by global hedge fund viper George Soros that is increasingly seen by Africa as the «International Caucasian Court» primarily targeting African leaders for war crimes prosecutions. In October of this year, South Africa joined Burundi and Gambia in announcing that it would leave the ICC. Ironically and embarrassingly, the ICC’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, is from Gambia.

In 2015, South Africa was condemned by the usual collection of Soros-financed NGOs, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, for not arresting President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, previously indicted by the ICC, while he was on an official visit to South Africa. South Africa rejected the ICC’s interference in its internal affairs and this disgust for the court culminated in the recent decision to depart from the court.

A month later, Russia announced that it was withdrawing as a signatory to the 2000 Rome Treaty that established the ICC. After the November Asia-Pacific economic summit in Lima, Peru, Philippines President Duterte also announced his country would join Russia, South Africa, and others in leaving the ICC. Duterte said, «They are useless — those in the International Criminal [Court]. [Russia] withdrew. I might follow. Why? Only the small ones like us are battered». Other African nations are considering scrapping the ICC. They include Uganda, Kenya, and Namibia. In 2015, Namibian President Hage Geingob visited former Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete to urge him to follow Namibia’s lead and exit from the ICC. At a summit of the African Union in South Africa, Geingob said, «Some people are saying we are the ones who created the ICC. However, when one creates something to be an asset but later on it becomes an abomination, you have the right to quit it since it has ceased serving its intended purpose».

The BREXIT and Trump victories have emboldened electorates in many other nations to reject contrivances that stymie national sovereign rights. December 4, 2016 represents a watershed date to reject globalist agendas. It is the date of the re-run of the Austrian presidential election of April 24, 2016, one in which the anti-EU candidate of the Austrian Freedom Party, Norbert Hofer, was narrowly defeated by pro-EU Alexander van der Bellen of the Green Party. It turned out that 77,900 absentee ballots were miscounted in what represented a typical Soros-manipulated election. The Constitutional Court of Austria ordered a new election. The outcome of the December 4 election is believed by pollsters to heavily favor Hofer, as Austria has been caught up in the anti-EU groundswell rippling through Europe. December 4 is also the date of the Italian constitutional change referendum.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has staked his political future on the referendum, which if passed, will reduce the power of the Italian upper house of parliament, the Senate, and drastically cut back the powers of the Italian regions. Renzi has tapped support for his referendum from the usual collection of those who do not represent the common people – members of the glitterati of the elite, such as actors, singers, celebrity chefs, professional athletes, film directors, and other diversionary leeches on society. The campaign for Montenegro to join NATO, backed by Soros- and CIA-funded propagandists, saw Montenegrin actors, journalists, and professional athletes appearing on television commercials urging NATO membership for the country even as many polls showed majority opposition to joining the military alliance.

Renzi, a supporter of the EU and global integration, said he will resign if his referendum fails. And fail it is expected to do as «No» voters are far ahead in opinion polls. December 4 may very well go down in history along with June 24, 2016 and November 8, 2016 – the respective dates of BREXIT and trump’s election – as a red-letter day when voters rejected globalization. Renzi will soon join other discredited globalists, including former British Prime Ministers Tony Blair and David Cameron, former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, French President Francois Hollande, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel as footnotes in a failed history of international integration.

Another important date for GLEXIT was November 13. With the globalists’ world still shaken from the election of Trump on November 8 came word that the pro-Russian former MiG pilot Rumen Radev, a political novice, won the Bulgarian presidential election. The election resulted in the resignation of Bulgaria’s pro-EU government. The same day, voters in Moldova elected Igor Dodon, who rejected a Moldova-EU trade agreement and favored joining the Eurasian Economic Union championed by Russia. The two elections in countries where Soros has infiltrated so much of the media and political infrastructures with pro-EU and pro-NATO acolytes were historic and another indication that the world was rejecting globalization.

In addition to the EU, NATO, and the ICC, other regional globalist-oriented organizations are also teetering on permanent disruption. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has split along pro-Indian and pro-Pakistani lines. A recent SAARC summit in Pakistan was canceled after India refused to attend. India was soon joined by its allies, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Afghanistan. The organization appears to be permanently split, with the other SAARC members of Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Nepal opposing India and generally aligning with Pakistan. Another failed international organization, the Arab League, is a vassal of Saudi and Gulf money and showed its worthlessness in 2011 when it suspended Syria and Libya as members after they were faced with NATO-backed jihadist revolutions. The League also grants membership to the Saudi puppet government of Yemen.

Mirroring the withdrawal of African states from the ICC, Venezuela in 2013 announced its withdrawal from the heavily U.S.-influenced Inter-American Convention on Human Rights (IACHR), a contrivance of the Organization of American States based in Washington, DC next to the White House. Venezuela’s withdrawal also rejected the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CorteIDH) based in Costa Rica. The Dominican Republic withdrew from the court in 2014. Trinidad and Tobago admirably led the way in rejecting the so-called «Inter-American System», that is, American hegemony over the Western Hemisphere, when it withdrew from the IACHR in 1998. Criticism of the IACHR has come from Ecuador, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Peru.

The Commonwealth of Nations, an anachronistic leftover from the British Empire that cobbles together former British colonies into a group of British royal family sycophant nations, has seen Gambia, Maldives, and Zimbabwe leave the tacitly-worthless international organization.

Trump’s announcement that the U.S. would withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) also dealt a body blow to the globalization cause. TPP is dead with U.S. withdrawal. American rejection of TPP left other TPP signatories, such as New Zealand and South Korea, looking to expand trade agreements with China in a display of renewed preference for bilateralism over multilateralism. There is a «New World Order», but not one envisaged by the globalists. This New World Order is one of renewed national sovereignty, cultural and religious identity, and rejection of dictates from unelected international bureaucrats.

November 25, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Philippine’s Duterte Seeks Peace

By Marjorie Cohn | Consortium News | November 25, 2016

In April 2016, Rodrigo Duterte won the Philippine presidential election by a landslide, with more than 6 million votes. He openly declared that he was the nation’s first Left president, calling himself a socialist but not a communist. So far, his regime has been controversial, to put it mildly.

The U.S. press has focused on Duterte’s vicious war on drugs that claimed upwards of 2,000 lives and led to the incarceration of tens of thousands of people. His decision to allow former Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos’s burial in the National Cemetery of the Heroes also has drawn the ire of those who recall Marcos’s brutal two-decade regime that killed more than 3,000, tortured tens of thousands, and stole $10 billion from the Philippines.

But, significantly, Duterte is engaging with revolutionary forces in the peace process that aims to end 47 years of armed struggle against the repressive Filipino government. And Duterte has taken actions that, for the first time, challenge the longstanding military and economic power of the United States in the Philippines.

Peace Process With Opposition

Since 1969, a civil war has been raging in the Philippines. The roots of the armed conflict can be traced to the colonial and neocolonial domination of the Philippines by the Spanish, then U.S. imperialism, feudal exploitation by big landlords and capitalist interests, as well as widespread bureaucratic corruption. After Duterte’s election, he cited peace as a top priority of his administration, vowing to engage in peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

According to JustPeacePH, an international platform that supports the Philippine peace process and takes its name from its Internet site, “justpeace.ph,” “The daily, systematic and systemic injustice experienced by the people drive them to desire and seek fundamental changes in society through various means. But because the forces against fundamental social change use all means including the instruments and violence of the state to defend the status quo, many Filipinos over many generations have embraced armed struggle to overthrow the ruling system.”

The NDFP “is the alliance of progressive forces seeking to bring about fundamental change in the existing social system in the Philippines through armed revolution,” JustPeacePH states in its Primer on Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines. The NDFP alliance includes trade unions, peasants, youth, women, national minorities, teachers, health workers, religious clergy, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and the New People’s Army.

Duterte’s Peace Initiative

Two rounds of peace negotiations have already occurred since Duterte took office, with a third scheduled for January 2017 in Oslo, Norway.

In May, Duterte declared he would release all political prisoners, which number more than 400, through a presidential declaration of amnesty, provided both houses of congress approve. Nineteen NDFP consultants, who have been involved in the revolutionary movement for years, have already been released.

Duterte offered four cabinet positions to the CCP, but they declined, stating there must first be a comprehensive peace agreement. The CCP, however, recommended a veteran peasant leader who was appointed Secretary of Agrarian Reform and a veteran academic activist leader who was named secretary of social welfare and development.

“These are major appointments,” Luis Jalandoni, NDFP’s Senior Adviser on the Peace Negotiating Panel, told me at a recent conference of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers in Lisbon, Portugal.

NDFP has a people’s army and organs of political power with mass organizations in 71 out of the 81 provinces in the country, Jalandoni said. He noted that landlessness and poverty afflict the 100 million people in the Philippines.

“The NDFP insists on addressing the roots of the armed conflict in order to achieve a just and lasting peace,” Jalandoni said.

The demands in the peace talks are: Release of all political prisoners; Land reform for the peasantry (70% of the population); National industrialization to develop the economy using available human and natural resources; Protect the environment and ancestral lands of the indigenous peoples; and Philippine national sovereignty and abrogation of all unequal treaties with the United States.

Challenging U.S. Power

U.S. domination and interference in the Philippines date back to 1898, when the United States annexed the Philippines. The U.S. continued to exercise colonial rule over the country until 1946, when the Philippines gained its independence although the United States retained many military installations there and the Filipino economy maintained its dependence on the U.S.

With U.S. assistance, Marcos ruled the Philippines with an iron fist from 1965 through 1986, under martial law from 1972 to 1981.

In 2002, the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo government developed Oplan Bayanihan, a counterinsurgency program modeled on U.S. strategies. After 9/11, the Bush administration gave Arroyo $100 million to fund that campaign in the Philippines.

Oplan Bayanihan led to large numbers of extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, torture and cruel treatment. Many civilians, including children, have been killed. Philippine military and paramilitary death squads murdered hundreds of members of progressive organizations. Communities and leaders opposed to large-scale and invasive mining have been targeted. Even ordinary people with no political affiliation have not escaped the government’s reign of terror.

From 2001 to 2010, the U.S. government provided more than $507 in military assistance to the Philippine government, facilitating tremendous repression.

Between 2010 and 2015, the Philippine police, military and paramilitary forces perpetrated extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, torture, illegal arrests and forced evacuation, many to enable extraction by mining companies.

The 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, which President Barack Obama negotiated with Duterte’s predecessor, gave U.S. troops the right to prolonged deployment in the Philippines. The agreement is widely seen in the Philippines as a threat to the country’s sovereignty.

In September 2016, Duterte declared, “I am not a fan of the Americans … Filipinos should be first before everybody else.” He added, “In our relations to the world, the Philippines will pursue an independent foreign policy. I repeat: The Philippines will pursue an independent foreign policy.”

The United States has not apologized for all the atrocities it committed against the Filipino people, Duterte said. Responding to U.S. criticism of the Philippines for its human rights violations, he stated, “Why are you Americans killing the black people there, shooting them down when they are already on the ground.”

Duterte promised to end joint military maneuvers with U.S. forces and expel the hundreds of U.S. troops currently stationed in the Philippines. He also expressed his intention to end bilateral agreements concluded by his predecessor with the United States and reverse permission for the United States’ use of five Philippine military bases.

“I will break up with America,” Duterte said. “I would rather go to Russia and to China.” He vowed to rescind joint patrols with U.S. and Filipino forces against Chinese expansion in the disputed South China Sea. Indeed, Duterte recently traveled to China and secured valuable fishing rights for Filipinos in the South China Sea.

Hope for Peace Prospects

In an unprecedented development, both the government and the opposition declared unilateral ceasefires in August. But there are still problems with the government’s ceasefire, says Jalandoni, as Duterte doesn’t have full control of the military. The military and paramilitary forces, which are protected by the military, have engaged in several violations that imperil the ceasefire, he said.

“There is high optimism that the peace talks will prosper under the presidency of Duterte,” according to JustPeacePH. “Unlike past presidents who harbor strong anti-communist bias, Duterte seems capable of rethinking the government’s peace strategy since he claims to be a socialist.”

Opposition forces are not uncritical of the excesses in Duterte’s war on drugs. The CCP declared the campaign is becoming anti-people and anti-democratic. Due process must be respected, human rights must be upheld; the drug users and small drug dealers, who come from poverty, require rehabilitation and care, the CCP maintains.

“Understandably, Duterte’s war on drugs and other crimes is given more coverage by the global media,” JustPeacePH wrote in its primer. “But Duterte’s aim to establish a lasting peace in the provinces deserves even more attention as this strikes at the root causes of the problem of illegal drugs and related crimes.”

Jalandoni said, “Duterte is not a saint but he stands for an independent foreign policy. His stand against the United States is respected and has received a lot of support.”

The NDFP, Jalandoni noted, says that “if there are threats against Duterte by U.S. imperialism, the Left will be a reliable ally to him,” adding, “He is the first president to stand up to the United States.”


Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, and deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. She is a member of the International Legal Assistance Team that advises the National Democratic Front of the Philippines on human rights and humanitarian law in their peace negotiations. Her most recent book is Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues. Visit her website at http://marjoriecohn.com/ and follow her on Twitter @marjoriecohn.

November 25, 2016 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 1 Comment