If Americans Knew | March 3, 2017
This video is about the close relationship between Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the 7th Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe, and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Schneerson, also known as “The Rebbe,” was responsible for the explosive spread of the Chabad movement worldwide. He is also honored by the national “Education and Sharing Day” in the United States, proclaimed annually by every American President since Jimmy Carter.
Among Schneerson’s teachings were some that espoused Jewish supremacism over non-Jews. For example:
“Two contrary types of soul exist, a non-Jewish soul comes from three satanic spheres, while the Jewish soul stems from holiness.”
“The important things are the Jews, because they do not exist for any [other] aim; they themselves are [the divine] aim.”
“The entire creation [of a non-Jew] exists only for the sake of the Jews.”
Such teachings have helped fuel extremist violence against Palestinians.
For more information about Schneerson and citations for the above see “The Extremist Origins of Education and Sharing Day: Why is the US Honoring a Racist Rabbi?” online at http://iakn.us/2m3Xbi4
Ariel Sharon, nicknamed “the bulldozer” and “the butcher,” was an Israeli military leader and prime minister known for operations killing women, children, and other civilians. For more information on him, see http://iakn.us/2mBEIg0
Image from popularresistance.org
The ongoing clashes between the factions that make up the US political elite keep getting more and more absurd. And annoyingly, as no particular fan of Donald Trump, I keep finding myself in the position of having to fight his corner.
In this instance it is about wire-tapping. Donald Trump tweeted out that the Obama’s previous administration had pulled a Watergate and had his office phones monitored during the election. As yet there is no proof, something everyone from CNN to the Guardian to The NYT were very eager to point out.
In fact, every single MSM source that covered this story mentioned the lack of evidence in the headline:
Somebody get these guys a thesaurus.
Whilst simultaneously quoting the other side of the story, without feeling the need to be quite so thoroughly honest:
Don’t worry everyone… Obama denied it. So that settles that.
And honestly, yes, there is (as yet) no proof. There may not be any proof, ever. It’s a possibility that Trump simply made it up. Politicians make things up all the time. I doubt one word in fifty spoken in Washington DC has any kind of basis in fact.
There is, indeed, no proof. However, there is quite a large piece of evidence, one that the media seem to have neglected to mention.
This is where we need to have a quick reality check, because it seems our friends in the media have forgotten:
The Obama administration spied. A lot.
They spied on American civilians, foreign nationals, domestic political figures, and international heads of state. They monitored our internet histories and our phone calls and read our e-mails. None of this is disputed. Obama did one of his hokey phony apologies about it. He almost certainly used the word “folks”.
This was famously reported exclusively in the Guardian just 4 years ago. They stood by their serious journalism back then… right up until GCHQ told them to smash their hard drives with a sledgehammer. Edward Snowden (perhaps you remember him?) is currently hiding-out in Russia for telling us all about it. Luke Harding, a Guardian star reporter, wrote a not-very-good book about it. It seems odd they’ve all forgotten.
The refutation of Trump’s claim, offered by former Obama admin. officials went roughly as follows:
No President can order a wiretap. Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you. https://t.co/lEVscjkzSw
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) March 4, 2017
There was also this statement from an Obama spokesperson.
The argument being that Barack Obama can’t have ordered a wire-tap on Donald Trump… because it would exceed his legal authority. Now, I’m all for living in a world where the US Government, and all the elected and unelected officials there-in, act only according to their legal authority. It would be a nice world…a lot of people would still be alive that, currently, are not.
But time has shown, hundreds (if not thousands) of times over the past few decades, that legality is not an obstacle to an American political establishment driven to protect their financial interests and military empire.
Torture camps, extraordinary renditions, drone executions, funding of terrorist groups, targeting of civilians, use of cluster munitions, use of chemical weapons, use of depleted uranium, terrorist attacks, mass surveillance and all out wars of conquest are all very, very illegal. That has never been a problem.
To suppose that adding illegal wire taps on presidential candidates to this list is a line they would not cross is naive to the point of insanity.
It is inherently ridiculous to openly acknowledge the existence of a massive (illegal) surveillance network, and not assume that bombastic, populist political opponents would be at the top the target list.
In summary: of course the Obama administration spied on Donald Trump. They spied on everybody.
It’s very important we don’t let them shove that fact down the memory-hole.
Back on October 10th 2016, shortly after the US intelligence community published its first claim that Russia was trying to interfere in the US election, I wrote an article for The Duran in which I pointed out that the true story was that for the first time in its history the US intelligence community was interfering in a US election in order to swing the election behind its favoured candidate – Hillary Clinton – and that the practices the US intelligence community had honed to interfere in elections in other countries were now being imported to the US.
In an article for The Duran on October 31st 2016 – just a week before the election – I said that Hillary Clinton and her supporters had planted a bomb under US democracy by orchestrating a campaign claiming that her opponent Donald Trump was the favoured candidate of Russia, and that the result would be that if Donald Trump were elected his legitimacy as President would be challenged.
In a further article for The Duran on 10th December 2016, in the fraught run up to the inauguration and whilst the Democrats and the Hillary Clinton campaign were actively lobbying electors on the Electoral College to disregard the results of the election and to vote against Donald Trump, I said that the CIA and the US intelligence community by playing up the paranoia against Russia were engaging in what amounted to a coup against the country’s constitutionally elected President. The word ‘coup’ is now also being used by people like Mark Levin to describe what has been happening.
What we now learn is that the Obama administration, of which Hillary Clinton was once a part, used the US’s federal security and intelligence agencies during the election to spy on Hillary Clinton’s opponent, Donald Trump, and on his campaign. They did so despite the fact that no evidence existed or has ever come to light of any wrongdoing by Donald Trump or by anyone else working on his behalf or for his campaign such as would normally justify surveillance.
This is the true scandal of the US Presidential election of 2016. By contrast the various claims of Russian interference in the election are unproven and threadbare and almost certainly wrong, whilst the claims of illicit contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia are undoubtedly false and wrong.
Donald Trump is comparing this scandal to Watergate. On any objective assessment it is far worse than Watergate. The reason Richard Nixon had to set up his own amateur intelligence agency within the White House to carry out his ‘dirty tricks’ – the so-called “White House plumbers” – was because the federal security and intelligence agencies – the CIA and FBI – refused to do his bidding by acting against his political opponents. By contrast on this occasion these same federal security and intelligence agencies have actively colluded in taking action against Donald Trump – the Obama administration’s and Hillary Clinton’s electoral opponent – by carrying out surveillance upon him and his associates though there has never been any evidence that either he or they did anything wrong. That is something which ought to cause serious concern to people, though so far with the exception of a small number of people it does not appear to be doing so.
Nor did Nixon try to provide legal and political cover for his various activities by orchestrating a bogus campaign that his opponents were somehow allied to Russia or to some other foreign power (eg. China or North Vietnam). By contrast not only did the Obama White House, the Hillary Clinton campaign and certain officials within the US intelligence community do precisely that, but the smoke they have created around this bogus issue in order to conceal and justify their activities continues to confuse many people, and will no doubt go on doing so.
To be clear, just as the wiretapping of Donald Trump’s phone and of the Trump campaign are the real scandal of the US election of 2016, so the bogus Russia story is the real cover-up.
To say all this does not unfortunately mean that this scandal is going to play out the way it should, or that people will see it for what it really is.
Many powerful people in the US political system, including in the US’s Deep State, in the media and in Congress, are deeply implicated in this scandal, and they will fight tooth and nail any attempt to hold them to account, continuing to use the bogus Russia cover story to justify and protect themselves, as they have been doing successfully up to now.
Beyond that there are a great many people who have bought into the Russia story – bogus though it is – falling for the entirely wrong and repeatedly discredited psuedo-principle that there cannot be smoke without fire (there not only can be; there usually is).
Lastly, the paranoia about Russia in the US and in western Europe is now so great that it is easy to dupe many people by conjuring it.
Nonetheless, though it is far from sure that many people will be able to see the true scandal through all the smoke, the proof of the real scandal of the Presidential election of 2016 is now finally out there. It remains to be seen whether the highly corrupt and deeply compromised US political system retains sufficient vitality and integrity to investigate it.
Colombian Indigenous activist Alicia Lopez Guisao | Photo: Congreso de los Pueblos
Colombian Indigenous and campesino leader Alicia Lopez Guisao was killed in Medellin on Thursday, adding to the growing list of recently murdered human rights activists in the South American country.
The number of social and human rights defenders killed in the last 14 months now stands at at least 120, according to a Friday press release from the Defense of the People.
“The retreat of the FARC from the zones where they previously exercised control has allowed for the entrance of new armed actors who fight for territorial and economic dominance,” states the report. This marks a concerning trend requiring immediate action since the attacks are “pertaining to groups with similar characteristics, and which occurred in the same period and geographic area,” it adds.
Guisao, who was shopping at a grocery store at 8:45 am local time, was shot repeatedly by two unknown gunmen who entered the store, El Tiempo reports.
The People’s Congress, the left-wing organization that Guisao worked for organizing Indigenous peasants, believes the gunmen may have been connected to right-wing paramilitary groups.
“With great sadness and indignation we received and transmitted the news of the murder of comrade Alicia Lopez Guisao,” The People’s Congress said in a statement.
“Her murder is an example of the fact that the right-wing organizations that operate today in the city of Medellin are the same paramilitaries who have murdered others in recent years.”
Guisao, a leader of Colombia’s Indigenous Asokinchas community, organized the Agrarian Summit Project, which distributed land and food for 12 Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities in the department of Choco.
Originally from the rural Uraba Antioquia, Guisao and her family were displaced from the region by U.S.-backed paramilitaries in the late 1990s, forcing them to move to Medellin.
In 2002, after opening a family-led community health and education center, she and her relatives were once again forced out by police and right-wing paramilitaries in a “counter-terrorism operation.”
Operation Orion, the campaign which displaced Guisao and her family, was a joint paramilitary and police offensive that targeted left-wing rebels accused of supporting Colombia’s guerilla movement. Prior to her death, Guisao lived in Choco where she performed community service work.
Her death in the same area from where she was displaced “shows that it’s (paramilitary activity) a structure that persists in the city and that it’s not only general delinquency or criminal gangs like state institutions say,” wrote an open letter signed by dozens of Colombian social justice organizations denouncing her murder.
The letter says that Guisao’s sisters were warned that they and their parents would be next if they show up to her burial. The groups call on the government to ensure the protection of her family and the prosecution of those responsible.
Marcha Patriotica, the leftist political party that worked closely with Guisao and The People’s Congress, says that during the first two months of 2017, more than 20 Colombian social leaders, including six women, were killed. Most of those killed, they say, were Indigenous campesino activists fighting for human rights.
Last January, Indigenous human rights activist Yoryanis Isabel Bernal Varela was murdered in Valledupar by suspected paramilitaries. Eyewitnesses said that she was threatened with a gun by several people on a motorcycle, who then shot her in the head. Varela, a member of Colombia’s Wiwa tribe, fought to protect Indigenous and women’s rights in her community.
“Indigenous people are being threatened and intimidated,” said secretary of the Wiwa Golkuche organization Jose Gregorio Rodríguez shortly after her murder on January 26. “Today they murdered our comrade and violated our rights. Our other leaders must be protected.”
The retreat of the FARC and other left-wing guerrilla groups that have historically defended Indigenous campesino groups has created a power vacuum in areas across the country that right-wing paramilitaries are exploiting.
RAMALLAH – Israeli forces detained 420 Palestinians during the month of February, including 70 minors and 22 women and girls, according to a statement released on Saturday by the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies.
The center said in its monthly report that 12 of the detentions were carried out in the besieged Gaza Strip, including five fishermen whose boats were destroyed by Israeli forces before their detention, two who were detained at the Beit Hanoun crossing, and five who were detained after Israel alleged they attempted to cross the border fence between the besieged enclave and Israel.
A journalist was also among the detainees, identified by the center as Humam Muhammad Hantash from the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron. He was sentenced to Israel’s widely condemned policy of administrative detention — imprisonment without charge or trial based on undisclosed evidence.
The center added that 88 administrative detention orders were issued by Israeli courts in the same period, 23 of which were issued for the first time, while 65 were renewed orders. Meanwhile, 32 administrative detention orders were issued against Palestinians from Hebron.
While Israeli authorities claim the withholding of evidence during administrative detention, which allows detention for three- to six-month renewable intervals, is essential for state security concerns, rights groups have instead claimed that the policy allows Israeli authorities to hold Palestinians for an indefinite period of time without showing any evidence that could justify their detentions.
Rights groups say that Israel’s administrative detention policy has also been used as an attempt to disrupt Palestinian political and social processes, notably targeting Palestinian politicians, activists, and journalists.
According to Addameer, as of January, 6,500 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prisons, 536 of whom were being held under administrative detention.
The situation in the Middle East is changing at an incredible speed. The things unbelievable yesterday, become reality today. Each of the events becomes part of a bigger picture, with the region gradually moving away from abyss to become a better place.
On March 1, Iraqi forces were reported to have taken control of the last major road out of western Mosul, preventing Islamic State (IS) militants from fleeing the city. The route leads to Tal Afar, another IS stronghold that is 40 km further west. They have since driven militants from the international airport, a military base, a power station and a number of residential areas. IS fighters began to flee. Total control over the city by Iraqi forces seems to be a matter of a few days, maybe hours.
Being almost defeated in Iraq, the IS has nowhere else to go but Syria – the country where they have just suffered a defeat, with Palmyra retaken by Syria’s government forces. Russia’s support has been crucial in the Syrian army’s push. Raqqa, the last remaining stronghold of the IS, will be the place of the final battle the extremist group is doomed to lose as many influential actors want it to be wiped away from the earth.
Turkey has announced its intent to launch an offensive to retake Raqqa but only after taking control of Manbij, the town held by the Kurds-dominated Syria Democratic Forces (SDF). The parties were in for a fight to benefit the IS and other terror groups. The US was at a loss as to how to prevent a clash between the NATO ally and the Kurds – the force it relies on in the fight against the IS. That’s when Moscow stepped in to avoid the worst, using its unique position as a mediator. It managed to do what nobody thought was possible. The military council in Manbij said on March 2 it will hand over areas west of the flashpoint town to Syrian government troops, after an agreement brokered by Russia.
Now the town is in Arab hands and Turkey has no reason to attack it. Syria and Turkey are not at war.
The United States had promised Turkey that Kurdish forces would withdraw from Manbij to the east of the Euphrates, but it never happened. Now Russia did what America had failed to do.
As a result of Russia’s effective mediation, Turkey can double down on its plans to advance to Raqqa, while Syria’s government has greatly strengthened its position. Turkey’s President Erdogan has just said he is ready to fight the IS together with Russia. He is coming to Moscow on March 9. It means no clash between Turkey and Syria will take place.
Many things are changing for the Syrian government and it has been going on for some time. It’s not a coincidence that voices get louder, calling for inviting Syrian President Assad to the March 29 Arab Summit in Amman – five years after Syria was expelled from the 22-member organization. Russia, Jordan and Egypt are applying efforts to reconcile the Arab community with the Syrian government. Last month, Egypt’s parliamentary committee for Arab affairs called for the return of Syria to the Arab League. This would signify the reconciliation between Saudi Arabia which backed the Syrian rebels – something unthinkable some time ago.
In 2015, then US President Obama predicted Russia would get stuck in Syria’s quagmire. He appears to have been wrong. Thanks to Russia’s involvement, one can see the light at the end of the tunnel to make the quagmire a thing of the past.
Moscow can facilitate the process of Iran joining with Arab states in the effort to reach agreement on Syria, bringing it to some mutual understanding with Saudi Arabia. Not much has been reported about some recent events of special significance. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited Kuwait and Oman on February 15. Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir made a trip to Iraq on February 25, to be received by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi. The trend is visible – Shia and Sunni are on speaking terms again and they are discussing something very important. It would have sounded incredible a short time ago but these are the facts.
All these events and emerging trends are taking place against the background of the ongoing UN-brokered Geneva talks on peaceful settlement in Syria. Here too we have an unexpected turn of events – the Syrian opposition seeks to meet with Russian officials!
According to Paul Vallely, a retired US Army Major General and senior military analyst for Fox News, Russia-US consultations on Syria are to start in two months after the presidents hold a summit. He said Russia is to play a key part in any scenario.
The recent days have literally shaken the Middle East. So many unexpected things happen to push things forward. Right in front of our eyes the impossible becomes possible.
As said before, Moscow is in a unique position to act as an intermediary and it plays its role aptly to achieve tangible results. If the current trend continues in the same direction, leading to the desired outcome, Russia’s effort will go down in history as an extraordinary achievement of military success combined with effective diplomacy.
Following apparent admission by IOC and WADA that there may not have been a state sponsored doping conspiracy in Russian sport, President in conciliatory comments suggests a way forward.
Russian President Putin, in comments made in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk where he oversaw preparation for the 2019 World Winter Universiade (a student sports meet), set out the Russian response to the admission – reported in a leaked IOC letter – that the claims in the McLaren report are insufficient as evidence against any individual athlete and that Professor McLaren seems to be retreating from his claim that there was a massive state sponsored conspiracy to carry out doping in Russian sport.
Putin’s words were firm but conciliatory, and were in line with what the Russians have been saying all along.
Firstly, it is important to stress that Putin admitted that there has been widespread doping in Russia. This is a point that some people have been resisting, or which they have been seeking to relativise by saying that doping is also widespread in other countries.
The second point is undoubtedly true, and there is no doubt the Russians have been treated differently from others. I question whether the picture would appear much better if the athletes of any other country were subjected to the same sort of relentless investigation to which Russian athletes have been.
The fact nonetheless remains that this is an illegal activity, and it is never an excuse for an illegal activity that there are others also guilty of committing it. Putin and the Russian authorities fully understand this, and they have been saying it all along, ever since the scandal first broke in the autumn of 2015. Putin said it again in his comments in Krasnoyarsk
… we need to acknowledge that there are established and identified cases of doping here, and this is a totally unacceptable situation.
What this means is that our existing anti-doping monitoring system has not worked effectively, and this is our fault, and is something we need to admit and address directly. I hope very much that the Investigative Committee will see the needed investigation through to its completion and will identify all those responsible for this situation.
However Putin’s most interesting comments were about some of the more sensational allegations in McLaren’s report.
First of all, Putin knocked on the head the very idea that there was a state sponsored conspiracy. In doing so he homed in on the words in the leaked IOC letter that appeared to concede the point
We know the latest assessments from the officials at WADA and our colleagues from the IOC, who note that the McLaren Commission had inaccurate translations or inadequate evidence. Let me say again, and we said it repeatedly, that Russia has never had, and I hope never will have, a state system supporting doping. On the contrary, Russia will only combat doping.
Compare this with my own recent comments about the WADA admission in the IOC letter
What is however by far the most interesting thing in the IOC’s letter is that it homes in on the growing doubts that the doping conspiracy in Russian sport which Professor McLaren claims to have uncovered was really state sponsored. Here is what the IOC says about that
The complexity of the Schmid Commission’s work is considerable since for instance, in his first interim report, Professor McLaren describes a “state sponsored system” whilst in the final full report in December he described an “institutional conspiracy.” The Commission will now have to consider what this change means and which individuals, organisations or government authorities may have been involved.
(bold italics added)
That looks to me like an implicit admission that the evidence points to the doping conspiracy being the work of Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of RUSADA, Russia’s formerly WADA approved dope testing lab, rather than anyone in the government.
This is of course exactly the point I made at length in my discussion of Professor McLaren’s second report
Putin also homed in on what is the weakest link in the chain of forensic evidence produced by Professor McLaren: the scratch marks on the sample bottles. Here is what he had to say about that
Of course, and naturally enough, there is this issue of claims regarding scratches of some kind on some of the test samples. We do not understand what kind of evidence can we talk about because when we provided the test samples there were no complaints. If there was a problem with scratches of whatever kind, this should have been noted in the relevant reports, but there was nothing of this sort.
In other words, these samples were stored somewhere, and we cannot be held responsible for the storage conditions.
I have previously discussed the problems with this evidence, if it is indeed evidence at all
… on the crucial question of the illicit opening of the sample bottles, Professor McLaren admits that he has no witness – significantly not even Dr. Rodchenkov – who claims to have seen it done, and therefore has no evidence for how it was supposedly done. The forensic evidence upon which he relies is purely inferential: the opinion of a single expert as to how it might have been done (not how it was done) based on an already pre-existing assumption that it was done.
As for the scratch marks on the bottles, to my mind they do not prove anything until it is shown that they can have no other cause than the illicit opening of the bottles. That is something that requires far more forensic testing than Professor McLaren has had done, and is an issue about which the opinion of more than one expert is required, and concerning which the opinion of the Swiss manufacturer certainly needs to be sought.
Of course none of this means that what Professor McLaren and the expert allege was done to the bottles didn’t happen, or that the bottles weren’t opened as they say they were. However it does leave their claims open to challenge, and the case nowhere near proved.
Nonetheless Putin wisely is looking forward, in order to close down the whole affair.
In my discussion of Professor McLaren’s second report I said that the best thing for the Russians to do would be to take on board those criticisms which have been made of them which are valid and to set up an anti-doping system in Russia which is not only as close to fool-proof as any such system can ever be, but which will establish the gold standard for such a system
The way forward now is to put all the damage done by this affair behind, and to concentrate on setting up in Russia the best and most full-proof possible system of testing, which will enable Russia to set the gold standard in this area, and which will make it possible for Russia to be fully reintegrated in world sport with a minimum of embarrassment.
That is exactly the wise course President Putin and the Russians are taking. Here is what he said
As you know, we are putting into place a new anti-doping system. It will be transferred from the Sports Ministry and Government oversight to an independent organisation, as many countries have done, and not in any figurative sense, but quite literally. The laboratory will be located on premises belonging to Moscow State University, and we will help them to obtain the modern equipment, technology and specialists they need. I hope that we will no longer have any swindlers, who organise doping programmes themselves and then flee abroad. I hope that our independent specialists and foreign specialists will help us to develop a strict and effective anti-doping system.
I hope too that Vitaly Smirnov’s commission as a public organisation will continue its work to supervise the anti-doping organisations’ work here in Russia. Of course, we must also work to ensure that doping does not arise in youth and student sport. These young people are just at the start of their sports careers. Let me say once more that we will do everything needed to organise positive, active and effective work with all our partners, including WADA and the International Olympic Committee.
Putin’s words about “swindlers, who organise doping programmes themselves and then flee abroad” refer to Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, who the Russians accuse of being the mastermind behind the whole doping conspiracy. As I have discussed previously, the wording in the IOC letter suggests that the IOC may also be coming round to that view.
To be clear, the setting up of a new dope testing system does not mean that the Russians are going to abandon the legal claims they are bringing. The innocent athletes who were barred from the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games on the strength of what both the IOC and WADA now recognise was insufficient evidence are in a strong position to press their claims and will surely do so. I would however say that the IOC’s and WADA’s admission that the evidence against these athletes was insufficient almost certainly means these cases will settle out of court, with probably quite large sums of compensation being agreed. My guess is that there are already discussions underway to that effect, which may explain the conciliatory tone of Putin’s remarks.
This remains a deeply unsatisfactory and shameful affair. Regardless of what happens now, Professor McLaren and the Western media, aided and abetted by some irresponsible athletes in the West who ought to have known better, have created an image of Russian sports for the Western public which is probably indelible. I say this because I am sure that the Western media will give virtually no publicity to any formal retractions of Professor McLaren’s claims the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee, the IAAF or WADA might make, whilst if any legal proceedings are eventually brought against Dr. Rodchenkov I doubt these will be widely reported either. The Western public will therefore be left with the impression that the allegations against the Russians are true and have been proved.
Beyond that there is the grotesquely discriminatory way in which Russian athletes have been treated, and the indifference to the most basic principles of due process shown by people in the West when the campaign was launched against them. Despite my experience of the decades of negative stereotyping of Russians which takes place in the West, I am still shocked by it.
Nonetheless I suspect that the worst part of this affair is now drawing to a close, enabling Russians to compete on equal terms in international sport once more.
“The progressive democratic world order is at risk of collapse”, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke these words in his last speech to a waiting public. This is the same man whose son took up an executive role in Ukraine before the embers of revolution had stopped smoldering. In this same speech Biden also named Russia as the prime antagonist of this new global order. Here’s a look at one of the world’s top public enemies.
Joe Biden loves Bill and Hillary Clinton, he loves them so much he wants to be just like them. Why he’s already started his own money machine, The Biden Foundation, which looks like the spitting image of the Clinton Foundation. Like the Clinton Foundation, Biden’s new NGO is into all those things that people are most concerned about. It’s also into all those things people donate money for, like lobbying. The sparkling new Biden endeavor professes care for women’s issues, health, protecting little kids and equality too, just like Bill’s and Hillary’s altruism. The ex-Vice President’s new site drips with lovingkindness. It’s amazing, hopeful, and chock full of smiling faces to take your heart, breath, and money away. It’s even got “Pillars” like one of those ancient Greek temples of wisdom! And knowing what Joe Biden is really about, it makes my stomach churn.
The first thing Joe and Dr. Jill Biden did on launching their new foundation was to make a statement. It went something like this, with Joe quoting his father:
“My dad used to have an expression: “It’s a lucky person who gets up in the morning, puts both feet on the floor, knows what they’re about to do and thinks it still matters.” Jill and I have been very lucky these past decades.”
Indeed. But for the lowest income people in America the Obama-Biden White House brought nothing but more misery. Despite the juggled numbers this Administration and the “new order” cooked up, poverty in America is far worse. In the richest country on Earth there are 36% more people on food stamps than when these “saviors” took office. The Federal debt in America has more than doubled too, as pork barrel and military spending that helped only the banks prevailed. Corporate profits under Obama and Biden rose to 144% over previous wins, while home ownership and other key metrics for most Americans fell dramatically. The America Donald Trump inherited is a socio-economic piñata with deadly candies tucked away inside now, and he has said as much.
A look at the division in attitudes shows one divide, but the deeper scars of this nation may soon be weighed in catastrophe. Biden, the poster boy of hypocrites in the swamp of Washington, represents a more clear and present danger to Americans now, than he did as VP. Biden and his wife are lucky, when many Americans feel blessed to have a bed to get up out of, or even a roof over their heads. As is the case with any set of statistics, how one slices the numbers determines the reality. For Biden and the elites, this new Democratic order has been a boom. But for those who are not elites, the distribution of wealth shows a different truth. Put in a nutshell, Biden and his ilk feathered the beds of the upper-middle class and the ultimate elites, with the proceeds of a lower class fleeced once again. Don’t take my word, do you own research starting here. The “have nots” paid for Joe and Jill’s beautiful American Dream, and for Joe’s Dad’s deep, deep vision too. And as to copy-cat NGOs, Biden Foundation is already on the pharma scene for an upcoming medical conference. I am reminded of Bill and Hillary and how they started the speaking bonanza we heard so much about. This from MedCity:
“Now that Biden has decided to set up shop — at least part-time — at the University of Pennsylvania as head of the new Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, the Philadelphia health tech community sees him as a unique asset. Several health IT and digital health interests in Southeast Pennsylvania are trying to get the former VP down to HIMSS17 in Orlando, Florida.”
Foreign Policy Fun
It is interesting for me that the first category listed on the Biden Foundation website under “Our Pillars” is Foreign Policy. Cancer nor kids are not first in these people’s minds, the Freudian slip has hit them between their beady little eyes too. The ideas and endeavors of the Bidens is not thought out alphabetically even. If this were the case, then “Community Colleges and Military Families” would be first, even though I cannot figure out why those two are lumped together. So, it is foreign policy issues this spanking new NGO intends to address first! The dogma for Biden Foundation foreign policy is tough talking too! It goes something like this:
“The Biden Foundation will find new ways to build upon Joe Biden’s longstanding commitment to preserve the liberal international order.”
How does Joe Biden intend to accomplish his stated mission? One way will be through the longstanding strategy of integrating a man and a mission inside institutions worldwide. The first such institution the prestigious University of Pennsylvania, where Biden will lead the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement. This new center in Washington D.C. will focus on “diplomacy, foreign policy, and national security.” Like the malignancy that former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski has been, Biden follows the entrenchment path to foreign policy fame. Unfortunately for Biden, he has nowhere near the evil genius of Carter’s policy adviser.
However feeble his strategic mind might be, Biden has tentacles in other academic halls like the University of Delaware, and connections with a vast network of hyper-liberals from California to Florida. The Bidens have even secured a famous talent agency to get their show on the road. The scary thing about Biden and his feet in foreign policy is the fact he handled the Ukraine portfolio for the same White House that made a war zone where none existed. Who can forget when Biden’s son joined the biggest natural gas company in Ukraine only weeks after the Euromaidan set the country alight? The fact Ukraine’s ruler/oligarch Petro Poroshenko and Joe Biden are personal friends only adds further dismay alongside any idea the Biden Foundation will do more than make matters worse. Only if the price (or donation) were right, could any kind of sane détente come from such an NGO.
No Shame In the NWO
Finally, news Joe and Jill Biden have officially given their blessing to a controversial relationship (affair) between the widow of their deceased son Beau, and their son Hunter, it punctuates the hypocrisy and circus lunacy of the Biden circle. Even the announcement of this “blessing” oozes Biden drama, as it frames Joe Biden as the “president who never was”, owing continually to his love and devotion to family. Watching these people and Washington the last 8 years has been a continual soap opera. Joe Biden appears to those with open eyes, as the laughing hyena among jackals with no shame. This is Trump’s “Washington Swamp” at the utter bottom.
An article entitled, “Behind the Putin Fantasies” makes the rest of my argument for keeping away from anything Joe Biden is involved in. As we know, several Trump campaign advisers had business ties to Russia, and there’s been no end to the upheaval over this in Washington. However, the visits of Joe Biden and his boss Barack Obama to Russia have gotten zero press these last few weeks. But Biden continuing to side with Poroshenko and Kiev muddles the mind. “The Donald Trump administration should be a strong supporter and partner of Ukraine”, Biden told Trump last month after a visit to see his pal Poroshenko. Strangely, the New York Times and CNN failed to accuse the former administration of regime change and under the table business deals on the suggested innuendo? This is the fantasy land that the Obama administration created! Or was it created by Bill and Hillary Clinton? I cannot say truthfully, for this New Democratic Order is an enigmatic and powerful beast – one we should all hope is in dire danger of collapsing!
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe.
After a 3-year interlude, NATO and Russia resumed contact at the military level today. Back in April 2014, in the immediate aftermath of the ‘regime change’ in Ukraine, the NATO Council had made a decision to freeze relations with Russia. The Russian Defence Ministry announced today that Chief of Russia’s General Staff General Valery Gerasimov had a phone conversation with the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee General Petr Pavel. The announcement in Moscow said, inter alia,
- The Chief of Russia’s General Staff drew his interlocutor’s attention to the existing concerns related to the considerable build-up of the North Atlantic alliance’s military activity near Russian borders and the deployment of the system of the NATO united forces’ forward stationing… The sides confirmed the need of mutual steps aimed at reducing tension and stabilizing the situation in Europe. Army General Gerasimov and General Pavel agreed on continuing such contacts.
Such a major NATO decision – resumption of ties with the Russian military top brass – could only have been possible with a green light or prior clearance from Washington. Simply put, the Donald Trump administration is chipping away at the Barack Obama administration’s policy to “isolate” Russia. Trump’s speech at the US Congress on Tuesday eschewed any reference to Russia. This was also a break from Obama’s diatribes against Russia in his final address to the Congress last year. (See my piece Trump Can Be Good for World Peace — If Only He’s His Way.)
Interestingly, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday that German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel will visit Moscow on March 9 and that the agenda will have “a focus on multilateral efforts to resolve the Ukraine and Syria crises and normalise the situation in Libya.”
Three days back, on February 28, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov hinted at a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and President Trump. In Ryabkov’s words,
- There is no understanding yet on the date and the place of holding such a meeting but practical preparations for it have been launched and there is mutual understanding with the U.S. side on this score. Naturally, at this initial stage of a dialog with the new administration, it is difficult to make a conclusion about how work will proceed further on specific issues. The forecasts for a perspective will become possible when we see Washington’s practical actions.
Meanwhile, in an unbelievable twist of fate, Russia and the US find themselves on the same side in northern Syria in an effort to restrain Turkey from precipitating a “war within the war” in Syria. (See my blog Turkish army to march deeper into Syria – alone and defiant.) The Syrian Kurdish militia (which is the US’ ally in northern Syria) has struck a deal with the Syrian government forces to block the Turkish troops from advancing toward Manjib. (To jog memory, Manjib was captured from the ISIS in a joint operation between the US Special Forces and the Kurdish militia last August.) And, curiously, Russia mediated the deal today between the Kurdish militia and the Syrian army. (TASS ) .
So, what do we have here? Turkey is planning to go for the jugular veins of the Kurdish militia who are in control of Manjib, knowing full well that the latter is backed to the hilt by the US Central Command and that US forces are on the ground with the militia. As a Reuters analysis put it, Turkey and the US are apparently on a “collision course”. And at this point, Russia steps in and gets the Syrian government to take charge from the Kurdish militia over the western approaches to Manjib to block the advancing Turkish forces.
Suffice it to say, it is difficult to believe that there have been no contacts between the US and Russian militaries at the operational level as regards the dangerous situation developing around Manjib. When the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was asked earlier today about contacts between Russia and US on the Syrian crisis, he said, “There have been no substantial contacts.”
On February 28, Pentagon submitted to the White House its report on the strategy to fight the ISIS. A Moscow analyst on security issues Andrei Akulov has given a positive evaluation, visualizing the possibility of Russian-American cooperation and coordination in the fight against terrorism. The picture that emerges from a briefing given by the top US commander in Iraq Lt. General Stephen Townsend on Wednesday via a teleconference from Baghdad is also that
- US is unlikely to deploy a large number of troops in Syria;
- US will continue to regard the Kurdish militia as an indispensable ally in Syria;
- US military will not recommend any fundamental shift in strategy in Syria – namely, fighting “by, with and through our (US’) local partners”;
- Kurdish militia will have a significant role in the forthcoming operation to liberate Raqqa, ISIS’ de-facto capital in eastern Syria; and,
- US does not agree with Turkey’s perception that the Syrian Kurds pose a threat to its national security.
The transcript of Lt. Gen. Townsend’s teleconference is here. The big question is whether there could be prospects of US-Russia military cooperation in Syria. In a remark in mid-February, Defence Secretary James Mattis had ruled out such a possibility. But things can change. The resumption of high-level military contact today between the NATO and Russia signals that an overall easing of tensions in the West’s ties with Russia can be expected. Today’s phone call could be the harbinger of changes in the air. Let us call it the “Trump effect”.
Against this backdrop. German FM Gabriel’s talks in Moscow coming on Thursday assume importance. For the benefit of the uninitiated, Gabriel was a protégé of late Egon Bahr, the famous German SPD politician who is regarded as the creator of the so-called Ostpolitik – the foreign policy of détente with the former USSR and other Warsaw Pact member countries in general, beginning in 1969, which was promoted by the then Chancellor Willy Brandt.
On issues mattering most, The Times features fake news, not the real thing.
On March 1, its editors lied headlining “Russia Sides With Chemical Weapons,” saying:
“Russia proved again on Tuesday that there is no crime heinous enough to make it turn against Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad. It vetoed a resolution before the United Nations Security Council that would have punished Syria for using chemical weapons.”
Fact: Throughout six years of Obama’s war, now Trump’s, using terrorists as imperial foot soldiers against a sovereign independent state threatening no one, claims about Assad using chemical weapons were fabricated – bogus accusations without evidence.
Fact: Plenty of clear evidence proves ISIS, al-Nusra and other US-supported terrorists used CWs numerous times – their elements trained in their use by Pentagon contractors in Turkey and Jordan, Saudi Arabia at times supplying toxins.
Times editors: “The Kremlin’s decision was in keeping with President Vladimir Putin’s vigorous support of the Syrian military in a six-year-long war that has killed half a million people.”
Fact: No mention by Times editors about Washington’s full responsibility for mass slaughter and destruction – NATO, Israel, and other rogue allies sharing blame.
Fact: Syria was invaded by US-supported terrorists, recruited from scores of countries, trained in Turkey, Jordan and elsewhere, responsible for horrific atrocities, mostly against defenseless civilians.
Times editors: “Although Moscow had made clear in advance that it would veto the resolution, (Washington), Britain and France were right to insist on a vote and to expose Russia’s moral bankruptcy.”
Fact: As usual, Times editors turned truth on its head, ignoring US-orchestrated aggression, vilifying Russia’s righteous mission.
Times editors: Mr. Putin’s argument that the resolution interfered with cease-fire negotiations between the Syrian government and the rebels was… not credible.”
Fact: The resolution was introduced to undermine peace talks, apparently wanting endless war continued.
Separately, Times editors claimed White House signals give “autocrats… a green light” to do what they please. What rubbish!
Most of America’s allies are rogue states, alliances formed long before Trump’s ascension to power – notably key NATO ones, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf states, partners in US high crimes.
Maybe Times editors forgot.
Stephen Lendman can be reached at email@example.com. His new book is titled Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.
New hotel in Bethlehem by British artist Banksy offers ‘worst view in the world’ overlooking Israeli Wall
The British artist Banksy, who has painted a number of famous murals on the Israeli Annexation Wall in Bethlehem, has taken his art activism to a new level by opening a boutique hotel just next to the Wall in Bethlehem.
The building used for the “Walled Off” Hotel sits just across the street from the Israeli Annexation Wall in an area known to Palestinians and Israelis alike as ‘Rachel’s Tomb’, in the northern part of the city of Bethlehem.
Bethlehem is known to Christians worldwide as the birthplace of Jesus, but the city has suffered tremendously over the past fifteen years as the Israeli occupation authorities have imposed a stranglehold on their local economy.
Through the construction of the Annexation Wall, which began in 2003, the economy of Bethlehem, largely dependent on tourists and religious pilgrims, has plummeted.
Banksy’s new hotel is an attempt, according to the artist and hotel staff, to both support the local economy of Bethlehem while bringing international attention to the plight of the Palestinians in the city, who live walled off from the world in what they have termed a ‘ghetto’ due to the Israeli Annexation Wall.
The hotel features art that symbolizes the Israeli Occupation of Palestine, including paintings that are imprisoned behind steel bars, a portrait of Jesus with drones overhead and a laser sight on his forehead, and a display of surveillance cameras overlooking patrons to the hotel bar.
In an interview with hotel manager Wisam Salsaa, a reporter from the British Channel 4 News asked Salsaa how Banksy managed to secretly put together such a large undertaking. Salsaa replied simply, “Well, he’s Banksy!”