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Israeli forces shoot teargas and rubber coated steel bullets at the 6th anniversary demonstration of Kafr Qaddum

International Solidarity Movement | July 9, 2017

Hebron, occupied Palestine – On Friday 7th of July the residents of Kafr Qaddum gathered for their weekly demonstration marking its 6th anniversary, which was repressed by the Israeli forces shooting teargas, stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets at demonstrators. Israeli forces approached the demonstrators in a jeep and were seen on a hill next to the road connecting Kafr Qaddum and the Israeli settlement. Towards the end of the demonstration Israeli forces also forced their way into a Palestinian house to use it as a vantage point to aim at the demonstrators.

Kafr Qaddum peaceful demonstration

After the afternoon prayers at 1 pm, the people of Kafr Qaddum started their non-violent demonstration marching towards the illegal Israeli settlement of Kedumim. Soon after, the Israeli forces welcomed the demonstrators by shooting rubber-coated steel bullets and teargas. Halfway through the demonstration, an elderly Palestinian man was shot in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet while taking cover from the shooting. Towards the end of the demonstration, an additional five Palestinians and a Korean activist were injured by the Israeli forces. Those who were injured were taken to receive treatment.

One of the Palestinians injured by Israeli forces gun-shots is brought to receive treatment

According to information provided by the Israeli military spokesperson to Ma’an news, no Israeli army forces were present at the demonstration, but instead it was the Israeli police that repressed the non-violent demonstration. This however is not true, as later during the demonstration Israeli army soldiers were seen at a nearby hill, and soon replaced the police on the road with more jeeps and an armored personnel carrier. The soldiers then proceeded to fire rubber-coated steel bullets at protesters and activists, and threw several stun grenades in an attempt to disperse the demonstration. Israeli soldiers also forced their way into a house and took up positions on the balcony overlooking the road.

Israeli forces inside a civilian Palestinian home aiming at protestors

July 9, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

Terror in Europe – Why Terrorists Are Allowed to Strike

By Ulson Gunnar – New Eastern Outlook – 09.07.2017

The London Bridge terror attack saw a repeat of a now familiar narrative in which every suspect involved had been long-known to both British security and intelligence agencies.

The London Telegraph in an article titled, “Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba named: Everything we know about the London Bridge terrorists,” would reveal:

The ringleader of the London Bridge massacre never bothered to hide his violent, extremist views. Khuram Butt was so brazen that he openly posed with the black flag of the so-called Islamic State in Regent’s Park in the centre of London for a Channel 4 documentary, entitled The Jihadis Next Door.

Butt and other extremists linked to the banned terror group al-Muhajiroun were even detained by police for an hour over the stunt in 2015 but were released without being arrested.

The al-Muhajiroun terror group is headed by British-based extremist, Anjem Choudary, who for years helped fill the ranks of militant groups fighting governments the US and UK sought to overthrow in Libya, Syria and beyond. Choudary inexplicably escaped the consequences of his open advocacy and material support for known terrorist organizations for years, with the London Guardian in an article titled, “Anjem Choudary: a hate preacher who spread terror in UK and Europe,” going as far as speculating he did so because he was actually an informant or operative working for the British government.

The article would also admit that Butt was under investigation by British intelligence up to the day of the attack:

MI5 and counter-terrorism officers began an investigation into Butt, which remained ongoing even as the 27-year-old launched his terror attack on London Bridge. Butt, who was wearing an Arsenal shirt and a fake bomb strapped to his chest, was shot dead by police on Saturday night.

A second suspect, Rachid Redouane, was repeatedly brought to the attention of police who ignored warnings he was an extremist and a member of the so-called “Islamic State.”

The Telegraph reports that a third suspect, Youssef Zaghba, was also known to police:

He was reportedly arrested at Bologna airport in March 2016 trying to get to Syria and was also understood to be on an Italian anti-terror watch list.

The fact that these three suspects evaded capture and were able to carry out their attack despite being known and even monitored actively by British security and intelligence agencies lends even further credibility to the notion that they and others like them work for the British government, not against it.

Unable to Reach Syria, West’s Dogs of War Bite Local Population 

Networks like al-Muhajiroun and the extremists they cultivate help fill the ranks of “moderate rebel” groups the US, UK, other European nations including France, as well as regional allies like Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar are arming, funding and providing direct military support for in Libya, Syria, Yemen and beyond.

This fact goes far in explaining why extremists are allowed – for years – to openly advocate violence and recruit members into what is essentially a terrorist organization operating under the nose of British security and intelligence agencies – if not with their collective and eager complicity.

While these terrorists are labeled “moderate rebels” when fighting abroad, they are only labeled as such by the Western media out of necessity in an attempt to differentiate them from the extremists that are in fact fighting the West’s proxy war for it in places like Syria.

Suspects like Youssef Zaghba even attempted to travel to Syria to fight among the ranks of Western-backed militant groups – and failing to do so – participated in armed violence in the UK instead. Had he traveled onward to Syria, it would have been innocent Syrians instead of innocent British civilians terrorized, attacked, maimed and killed.

A Strategy of Terror and Tension

And despite the reality of the US and UK along with other European and Persian Gulf allies openly fueling terrorism at home and abroad, in the wake of tragic events like in London, Manchester, Paris, or Brussels, the very government organizations clearly responsible for presiding over these terrorists and their networks, sometimes for months and even years before an attack, are granted even more power to address a problem of their own intentional creation.

These organizations are able to do so in plain sight of the public specifically because of another conflict they openly orchestrate, pitting the general public against one another along lines of “anti-Islamic” fervor versus social justice advocates.

What both sides of this manufactured and intentionally perpetuated divide fail to realize is that Muslims are dying by the tens of thousands in places like Syria actively fighting against extremism springing not from Islam or the Qu’ran, but from the Pentagon, Westminster, Paris, Brussels, Riyadh, Ankara and Doha. It is not a clash of civilizations, but a manufactured conflict designed to perpetually fill the ranks of mercenaries abroad while exploiting their violence at home to procure more power and wealth through fear, anger and hysteria.

With wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and beyond adding up to trillions for defense contractors and including weapon systems designed to fight them, with the F-35 joint strike fighter alone topping one trillion US dollars and as the West continues to openly act with impunity when and where it pleases despite violating the very international law it claims it is upholding globally, it is clear that, for now, this strategy is working.

If and when the general public understands the truth of why their lives are put in danger and their nation’s resources are being squandered abroad instead of at home for building their own futures, this strategy will be less successful. Until then, it appears that simplistic propaganda still works in convincing the public that governments like in London are simply incapable of arresting terrorists who appear regularly on TV, in the media and who openly operate in public with apparent and otherwise inexplicable impunity.

July 9, 2017 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | , , , | Leave a comment

Why The European Community (“the EU”) Must Collapse

By Robin Mathews | American Herald Tribune | July 8, 2017

The simple reason for the coming collapse of what we call the European Union is the essentially unjust, unequal, undemocratic, and punitive nature of its basic legal structure. The EU Commission and other arms of the (unelected) bureaucracy work happily in that structure, increasing anti-democratic tensions. Their connection with the Imperial Globalizers is almost flagrant. But the source of trouble lies in The European Court of Justice, the Community’s (apparently) highest authority.

The explanation of the truth is revealed by Dieter Grimm, a former member of the German Federal Constitutional Court. In his role there he had (between 1987 and 1999) to meet EU incursions into the German Constitution and its defenses of democratic freedoms. On March 29, 2017, he explained the situation at the invitation of the College de France. (“Quand le juge dissout l’electeur” – Le Monde diplomatique, July, 2017, p. 19). (Narrowly translated, that means “When the judge erases the voter”.)

Very much of German response and (guarded) acceptance of EU “treaty-making” is marked by what is called the “as long as” clause in German ratifications. That clause states that “as long as” all fundamental rights are not guaranteed by the European Community, all new treaties must submit to strict respect for the sovereignty of the German people as written in their fundamental law. That most powerful nation in the European Union declares, in fact, that the European Community is structured as a threat to fundamental human rights and freedoms. Not much more needs to be said.

The present situation explains the (apparent) flailing of new political formations in Europe (and Britain), trying for a grasp on power. Since the tendency of EU national governments has been acceptance of undemocratic power in the Community, and since the mainstream media and “respected” commentators support the undemocratic basis of the Community, the first resistances have been eruptive, uncertain, belligerent. UKIP in England, Marine Le Pen’s National Party in France, The Five Star Movement in Italy and other like formations have not been welcomed in “acceptable” circles.

They are deemed, condescendingly, to be “populist movements”. The word takes its meaning from a nineteenth century, U.S. Party wishing to broaden democracy, to nationalize some infrastructure (i.e. Railways), to limit private ownership of land, and to use a graduated tax system. The term ‘populist’ was also used of a movement in Russia (very early) seeking increased collectivism. Clearly the smell of democracy hangs about the word “populist”. And so the persistent use of the word as a pejorative says much. With all their faults, the “populist” parties in Europe began the demand for action to work against what might fairly be called “creeping fascism” in that Community.

The whole fake target – immigration and immigrants – might be seen, among the new political forces, to be a simple matter of their racism and inhumanity. Except for one thing – the wealthy, the coddled corporations, and international capital want a borderless Europe in order to move low-wage earners from poorest countries across the Community to help force down living standards … and raise profits. That fact becomes obscured by the unique problem caused with the flood of immigrants pressing for acceptance in Europe as a result of the ravages left by Western countries seeking “regime change” in the Middle East.

“Good” political activities, according to the Mainstream Press and its owners are ones like that of Matteo Renzi in Italy (Centre Left) which recently tried to reduce democratic responsibility of the elected by referendum – and was rejected. Or like Emmanuel Macron’s new French “En Marche” Party, a neo-liberal force that also wants to bridle democracy, in France. Macron, like Renzi in Italy, has announced he is willing to go to referendum in his attack on democracy – if he can’t get what he wants through France’s National Assembly. (Both, of course, put forward the claim to want to streamline democracy and speed it up.) The surge of support for Macron in France was almost a desperation measure after the “Socialist” government of Francois Hollande sold out completely to the European Commission and international capital. Macron’s solution is no solution … as time will tell.

In England, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbin points to the biggest symptom of “creeping fascism” in Britain, calling it the folly of “The Austerity State”… the situation in which the general population is increasingly undefended and subjected to ‘precarious’ living, while the wealthy are coddled, corporations are given free rein, and international capital is the de facto legislator. In confronting The Austerity State and vowing to change it, Jeremy Corbin (specifically) and the British Labour Party he leads are climbing in popularity, as the European population – misled by the European Commission, its bureaucratic back-up, and their ‘owned’ media – is finally coming to a slow understanding about where real power resides in European “government”.

Plainly, most economic and trade initiatives in Europe spring (primarily) from profit-seeking corporations, banking institutions, and others in the investment community – not from forces desiring the well-being of all Europeans. And so conflict is assured until national governments in the Community are formed by forces truly representing the larger population … which address the fundamental weakness expressed in basically flawed inter-Community treaty-making.

Briefly – history tells all:

From the time of the Marshall Plan (at the end of the Second World War) the U.S. set about to re-create Europe as a gigantic marketplace. The creation of NATO (1949) furthered a U.S./European integrated military led by the U.S.A. NATO and U.S. corporate interests worked to encourage the establishment of a European Union. The cry to the public was that an integrated Europe would end the costly and destructive history of war-making there, a noble aspiration that caught the popular imagination.

But integral to the communitarian cry was the unending ambition of the global imperialists, of “dark” government, of ‘the deep State’ – whatever name is chosen for the (in fact) fascist One Per Cent – the ambition to be, in fact, the real government of Europe and to exploit its wealth and population.

Dieter Grimm puts the matter simply. What he calls “the democratic deficit” of the Union is no longer in doubt and is based upon the transformation of Europe by treaties. The European Court of Justice regards inter-community treaties as the foundation of a European Constitution. It apparently (from what base and/or source of influence?) sees its role as the maker of a European Constitution … through treaty-making – without first demanding that all treaties are based in the protection of fundamental Rights and Freedoms.

Apparently an unique situation in Europe, the condition Dieter Grimm describes is, of course, not unique. Across the world, forces of Imperial Globalization (call it what you will) have been shaping so-called Free Trade treaties (with the apparent close co-operation of “democratic” governments in power) which shift sovereign power away from the elected representatives of the people and their carefully constructed court systems to various forms of faceless, “irresponsible”, privately-appointed decision-making bodies. Those bodies oversee the gigantic raid made by private corporations upon populations helpless to prevent the massive grabbing which results from claims that the country in question is interfering with the right of the private corporations to exploit wealth and people.

Stripping a people of its fundamental human rights and freedoms clears the way for a world of corporate decision making in which all criteria of effectiveness and efficiency are the criteria of the capitalist entrepreneur. In Europe, cooperation between the Globalizers and supine governments is eating at the fundamental protections of working people, structures to insure universal health care and security in old age … and is proposing to “release” people entering the labour market from any defensive organizations so they will be free (as they were in the slave days of the Industrial Revolution) to – singly and freely as independent entities – negotiate with corporations the terms of their employment.

We remember … if the Court doesn’t … that in 2005 the unelected ruling forces in Europe produced a three-volume proposed Constitution for Europe, one which legitimized the neo-liberal structure growing in place. France and Holland rejected it by referendum and, effectively, killed it. Undaunted, the bureaucrats largely resurrected its intentions in the 2007 Treaty of Lisbon. The Treaty did not need referendum approval and was signed into being by all member States, including the governments of France and Holland – flying in the face of what was clearly a democratic expression of the popular will. In 2009 the Treaty of Lisbon came into force. Dieter Grimm argues that the European Court of Justice is “constitutionalizing” treaties … arguing for and accepting them as ‘basic law’, superior to all national law and national Constitutions. Germany, for one, disagrees.

In short, at least since 1964 (the Treaty of Lisbon being merely another nail in the coffin of European Union democracy) the European Court of Justice has ruled that all treaties (and, indeed, all Court of Justice rulings) take precedence over national laws and Constitutions. But since that process is constructing, in Jeremy Corbin’s words, an “Austerity State” which is plainly unjust, unequal, undemocratic, and punitive to the larger European population, it cannot survive.

Failing an internal reconstruction of the Community – which seems (at present) almost impossible, European Union national populations – sooner or later – will elect governments that set in motion the clause in the European rule-book that begins exit from the Union. Then Britain’s much berated Brexit, voted to begin Britain’s withdrawal from the European Community, will become the rule, rather than – as it is now – the highly criticized exception.

Robin Mathews is Professor emeritus at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

July 9, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics | , , | Leave a comment

Western Media Blasts Trump After Meeting With Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of the USA Donald Trump, right, talk during their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg. Left: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

© Sputnik/ Michael Klimentyev
Sputnik – July 9, 2017

The first meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Hamburg evoked a wave of criticism from Western media, as a number of notable news outlets blasted the US President for his conduct during negotiations.

At least several prominent newspapers took a dim view of President Trump’s handling of this meeting, claiming that the Russian leader apparently managed to outplay and outsmart his US counterpart.For example, Die Welt stated that it was clear to all professional observers that the meeting resulted in Trump’s capitulation.

In an apparent effort to underscore Trump’s relative inexperience in foreign affairs, the newspaper claims that the “political pro” Putin knocked out the newbie US President “by the book.”

The article’s author also emphasized the fact that Putin paused for a moment before shaking Trump’s already extended hand.

The Guardian adds that while US politicians apparently felt relieved that Trump managed to avoid “a major gaffe” during the meeting, it was “hardly cause for celebration.”

“It’s an indication of how rapidly our standards are falling when we’re reasonably pleased that President Trump has not made an obvious error,” Thomas Countryman, former US acting undersecretary for arms control and international security, remarked.

Meanwhile the New York Times insists that the meeting with Putin was probably the best part of the summit for Trump, who apparently found himself increasingly ostracized by other delegates.

“The talks with Mr. Putin oddly turned into a bright spot for Mr. Trump on the first full day of the gathering, where the United States found itself increasingly ostracized by other Group of 20 members on major issues, including climate change, immigration and trade,” the newspaper says.

The Los Angeles Times criticized the way Trump discussed the issue of Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, arguing that the US President should’ve been more assertive in his inquiries on the subject.

The news website Vox even took this issue up a notch by outright saying that “Putin got Trump to buy his fake news on election interference and to offer a weak endorsement of upcoming sanctions.”

Interestingly enough, the article’s author insisted that “the entire US intelligence community believes the Kremlin mounted a sophisticated campaign” to help Trump win the election, even though this assessment was made only by four out of 17 US intelligence agencies.

Stating that the US leader did not even properly prepare for the meeting, unlike his Russian counterpart, Vox claimed that “Trump — the dealmaker — got outplayed by Putin.”

July 9, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , | 1 Comment

The Democrats’ Russia-gate Obsession

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is one of the leading “lights” of the “progressive Democrats” pushing the Russiagate nonsense. Pettiness or misguidedness is not their sin but criminal complicity in putting humanity —and all life on this planet—at the risk of extinction in pursuit of abject goals.

By Norman Solomon | Consortium News | July 6, 2017

Some leading Democrats in Congress are eager to turn the summit meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin away from avenues for improvements in U.S.-Russian relations, even if that means deflecting it toward World War III.

On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that “the White House announced that the meeting with Mr. Putin would be a formal bilateral discussion, rather than a quick pull-aside at the economic summit meeting that some had expected.”

Meanwhile, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer criticized the lack of a “specific agenda” for the Trump-Putin discussion and tweeted “the first few things that come to my mind” — with 10 items denouncing Russia and not a single step to help avert a nuclear war between that country and the United States.

What a contrast with another Democrat, former Sen. Sam Nunn, who signed a June 27 open letter that urged Putin and Trump to focus on “urgently pursuing practical steps now that can stop the downward spiral in relations and reduce real dangers.” The letter emphasized “reducing nuclear and other military risks.”

But these days, apparently, the Democratic leadership in Congress has much bigger fish to fry than merely trying to avert a global nuclear holocaust.

The Democratic Party leaders on Capitol Hill can’t be bothered with squandering much political capital or sound-bite airtime on the matters highlighted by the open letter, which Nunn — a former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee — signed along with former top British, German and Russian diplomats.

Four Proposals 

The open letter offered four crucial proposals for the meeting between Trump and Putin:

— “The starting point could be a new Presidential Joint Declaration by the United States and the Russian Federation declaring that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. This would make clear again that leaders recognize their responsibility to work together to prevent nuclear catastrophe, and would be positively received by global leaders and publics.”

–“A second step could be to increase military-to-military communication through a new NATO-Russia Military Crisis Management Group. Restarting bilateral military-to-military dialogue between the United States and Russia, essential throughout the Cold War, should be an immediate and urgent priority. The focus of these initiatives should be on reducing risks of a catastrophic mistake or accident by restoring communication and increasing transparency and trust.”

–“A third step could be to collaborate to prevent ISIS and other terrorist groups from acquiring nuclear and radiological materials through a joint initiative to prevent WMD terrorism. There is an urgent need to cooperate on securing vulnerable radioactive materials that could be used to produce a ‘dirty bomb.’ Such materials are widely available in more than 150 countries and are often found in facilities, such as hospitals and universities, that are poorly secured.”

–“Fourth, discussions are imperative for reaching at least informal understandings on cyber dangers related to interference in strategic warning systems and nuclear command and control. This should be urgently addressed to prevent war by mistake. That there are no clear ‘rules of the road’ in the strategic nuclear cyber world is alarming.”

Low Priority

But top Democratic Party leaders hardly give high priority to such concerns. On the contrary: For many months now, their preoccupation has been to double, triple and quadruple down on an insidious — and extremely dangerous — political investment. Party leaders have positioned themselves to portray just about any concession from Trump in bilateral talks as a corrupt payoff.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was ringing a familiar bell when she proclaimed on CNN in mid-May: “Every day I ask the question, ‘What do the Russians have on Donald Trump financially, politically or personally that he’s always catering to them?’”

“Given their vehement political investment in demonizing Russia’s President Putin,” I wrote in late April, “Democratic leaders are oriented to seeing the potential of détente with Russia as counterproductive in terms of their electoral strategy for 2018 and 2020. It’s a calculus that boosts the risks of nuclear annihilation, given the very real dangers of escalating tensions between Washington and Moscow.”

Days ago, looking ahead to the scheduled discussion between the two presidents at the G-20 summit in Germany, the home page of the Washington Post carried this headline: “Months of Russia controversy leaves Trump ‘boxed in’ before Putin meeting.” The tagline noted that “whatever course Trump takes will likely be called into question.”

Powerful custodians of the USA’s hugely profitable military-industrial complex prefer it that way. They aren’t much interested in any course toward Russia other than antagonism if not belligerence. There is enormous commitment to heading off the “threat” of genuine diplomacy and rapprochement.

‘Madness of Militarism’ 

Elite guardians of the U.S. warfare state, committed to what Martin Luther King Jr. called “the madness of militarism,” certainly don’t want a modern-day incarnation of the “spirit of Glassboro” that emerged 50 years ago when President Lyndon Johnson met at length with Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin.

Standing next to Kosygin at the end of their summit at a New Jersey college, Johnson said: “I have no doubt about it at all” that “it does help a lot to sit down and look a man in the eye all day long and try to reason with him, particularly if he is trying to reason with you.”

If Trump says anything like that after meeting with the Kremlin’s leader this week, you can expect some misguided Democratic partisans to denounce him as a Putin tool.

While many people are eager for constructive dialogue between the United States and Russia, on Capitol Hill the efforts to prevent such a possibility are fierce and unrelenting. Ultra-hawks like Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain are among quite a few Republicans doing all they can to prevent genuine diplomacy between Washington and Moscow. But much of the most unhinged rhetoric is coming from Democrats, often with the “progressive” label.

To sample just how far downhill the discourse has gone in the frenzy to take genuine U.S.-Russian diplomacy off the table, consider this tweet that a longtime member of Congress with an antiwar past, Democrat Maxine Waters, sent out a week ago: “When Trump goes to kiss Putin’s ring at the G20 meeting, maybe he should just return to Russia w/ him & their favorite amb. Sergey Kislyak.”

The director of the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Matthew Rojansky, pointed out days ago: “The momentum in relations between the world’s two big nuclear powers is now so negative, that it really is time to call a halt to anything that looks like further escalation or deterioration.”

Yet that negative momentum is what many members of Congress are trying to increase. Words like “irresponsible” and “reckless” don’t begin to describe what they are doing.

July 9, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment