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How the Democratic Party Has Incurred Major Electoral Losses by Its Mistaken Support for Climate Alarmism

Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

By Alan Carlin | Carlin Economics and Science | September 20, 2017

For inexplicable reasons the Democratic Party has in many ways made itself the “Green Party,” and thereby has incurred major electoral losses. Each time it loses as a result of its increasingly green ideology, it has responded by doubling down on its green bet. The underlying miscalculation they have made is a result of the fact that the presidency is decided by electoral votes, not popular votes. Most of the “environmentalists” live in strongly blue states and the red state “environmentalists” are widely scattered in the few large towns, particularly college towns. This was very evident in the 2016 election when Clinton won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote, with much of her surplus of popular votes coming from California. Hillary Clinton has now confirmed this view by writing that her statement on the loss of coal mining jobs was the single greatest mistake of her campaign.

In 2016 the Party went whole hog for climate alarmism by writing it into their party platform and even promising to end all use of fossil fuels by a date certain. Clinton also hurt her prospects in 2016 as a result of her remarks about the loss of coal mining jobs and her last minute endorsement of Al Gore and his strident climate alarmism. Yes, Clinton probably picked up some “environmentalist” votes, but most of them were in states that she was going to win anyway. And she probably lost votes in the states that Trump most needed to win for an electoral vote majority.

But a very good case can be made that the climate issue played a decisive role in the 2000 presidential election, the 2010 congressional election, as well as in the 2016 presidential election. Somehow the Party overlooked or misinterpreted what happened in 2000 and in 2010.

2000

Most people who remember the 2000 presidential election immediately think of the controversial outcome in Florida, which ultimately decided the election. But it would have had no influence if Al Gore had not lost West Virginia for the Democrats for one of the few times from 1932 to then. The deciding issue appears to have been climate and coal mining. In the end, Gore lost the presidential election by 3 electoral votes. West Virginia had 5 electoral votes that year. But all of them went to Bush primarily because of concerns about Gore’s views on climate and the likely effects of climate alarmism on coal mining, an important source of income in the State. West Virginia voted Republican in only three presidential elections from 1932 until 1996 but has become increasingly Republican in presidential voting since 2000. I believe most of that increase can be attributed to the Democratic Party’s increasing support for climate alarmism. If Gore had not pursued climate alarmism or had not been the nominee I believe that the Democrats would have won in 2000.

2010

The 2010 Congressional Election resulted in the Democratic Party’s loss of a majority in the House of Representatives. It appears that this loss was due to the loss of Democratic seats where Democratic incumbents had voted for the American Energy and Security Act of 2010 (the Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill). A number of Democrats who voted for the bill lost their seats in 2010 and the Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives and have not regained it as of 2017. This played an important role in their success or rather lack of it during the remainder of the Obama Presidency in passing legislation to implement the party’s platforms.

Conclusions

From a purely Democratic Party viewpoint, their unequivocal adoption of climate alarmism has been a very bad bet. And this week a number of prominent alarmist climate modelers have finally admitted (see here and here) that the alleged “consensus” has been wrong by exaggerating the global warming that would occur if carbon dioxide emissions are not reduced, just as many climate realists have long been saying. This leaves the Democratic Party with a greatly reduced basis for their extremist views on climate. So major electoral losses over an issue that has little, or more likely, no effect on anyone.

I even wonder if the modelers withheld their long needed revisions until after the Paris treaty was agreed to, but wanted to avoid the increasing criticism of the differences between their models and actual temperatures.

As readers of this blog know, I believe that the situation is even worse for climate alarmists and thereby for their Democratic Party supporters since carbon dioxide emissions and atmospheric levels have been shown to have no significant effects on global temperatures and because higher CO2 levels are good, not bad. So the Democratic Party has been backing the wrong horse and has paid dearly for it. They are not saving the world; they are pushing bad policy that hurts the Party’s electoral chances as well as the economy, green plants, and poor people.

September 24, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

The 11-Year Major Hurricane Drought: Much More Unusual than Two Cat 4 Strikes

By Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D. | September 21, 2017

Weather.com published an article noting that the two Cat 4 hurricane strikes this year (Harvey and Irma) is a new record. Here’s a nice graphic they used showing both storms at landfall.

Left: Hurricane Harvey makes landfall near Rockport, Texas, on Aug. 25, 2017 | Right: Hurricane Irma makes its first landfall at Cudjoe Key, Florida, 9-10-17 (graphic: Weather.com).

But the statistics of rare events (like hurricanes) are not very well behaved. Let’s look at this new record, and compare it to the 11+year period of no major hurricane strikes that ended when Harvey struck Texas.

The Probability of Two Cat 4 Strikes in One Year

By my count, we have had 24 Cat 4 or Cat 5 landfalls in the U.S. between 1851 and 2016. This gives a probability (prior to Harvey and Irma) of one Cat4+ strike every 7 years. It also leads to an average return period of two Cat4+ strikes of about 50 years (maybe one of you statisticians out there can correct me if I’m wrong).

So, since the average return period is once every 50 years, we were overdue for two Cat4+ strikes in the same year over the entire 166 period of record. (Again, for rare events, the statistics aren’t very well behaved.)

The Probability of the 11-Year “Drought” in Major Landfalling Hurricane

In 2015, a NASA study was published which calculated how unlikely the (then) 9-year stretch with no major hurricane landfalls was. They came up with a 177 year return period for such an event.

I used that statistic to estimate what eventually happened, which was 11 years with no major hurricane strikes.

I get a return period of 560 years!

Now, which seems more unusual and potentially due to climate change: something that should happen only once every 50 years, or every 560 years?

Maybe global warming causes fewer landfalling major hurricanes.

September 24, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment

President Abbas’ Rebuke to Theresa May over Palestine

By Craig Murray | September 24, 2017

President Abbas of Palestine delivered a stunning rebuke to Theresa May in his speech to the UN General Assembly, which differed from his prepared and released script. What Abbas actually said was this:

My message to you, Mrs May, as Prime Minister of this country, if I may be so bold, is this: when David Lloyd George, your predecessor in the role, issued the Balfour Declaration on 2nd November 1917, he was committing a heinous crime against ninety-seven per cent of the population of Palestine. The evil consequences of that crime reverberate down to our present day. As an educated woman, especially one in such a high position, you know all that, I am sure.

Which is why I am astounded by your cold reluctance, your seeming inability, to be moved by the 100 years of misery, injustice, destruction and atrocities inflicted on the Palestinians by their oppressors, first the British, then the Israelis. You appear equally impervious to the cries of anger and frustration from thousands of people in this country, of all faiths and none, faced with HMG’s refusal to make good on the promise in the second part of the Balfour Declaration. A simple gesture of sympathy with non-Jewish Palestinians, the descendants of the indigenous Christians and Muslims of historical Palestine in 1917, would be a start. How can it not occur to you what an enormous benefit that would have for peace and security in the Middle East and wider afield?

The iconic suffering of the Palestinian people is a sore that needs to be healed. Only Britain has the ability to administer the healing balm. How long will they, and the world, have to wait, Prime Minister, for the healing to begin? When will you make a start?

The ignored part of the Balfour Convention to which Abbas referred is of course: “It being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”

Israel not only continues its aggressive programme of illegal settlement building, it also continues to demolish Palestinian structures in the territories it occupies, including schools and medical facilities built by the European Union and its member states. I do urge you to read this truly shocking report from CNN. There are many other examples.

The Daily Mail published an article promoting the frankly ludicrous argument that the EU is acting contrary to international law by building schools and clinics in the occupied territories. The article is highly tendentious because the Mail fails to state that the legal “authority” it quotes, Alan Baker, is himself an illegal settler.

The author is Jake Wallis Simons. He is given to omitting essential information from his reports on Israel and its supporters. On 28 April 2017 Wallis Simons published an account in the Mail of a Palestinian support meeting in Parliament, from which pro-Israel supporters were removed by police after they were disruptive. The article is tendentious in saying that the Zionist disrupters were removed by police with machine guns. Armed police were present, due to recent terrorist incidents around parliament, but in fact they called in non-armed support to remove the noisy protestors, and there was over a five minute delay for the unarmed officers to arrive.

But where Wallis Simons is particularly tendentious is in featuring prominently and quoting pro-Israeli activist Mandy Blumenthal in the article, with a glamorous photograph of her. Wallis Simons again fails to give the reader essential information – in this case that Ms Blumenthal is the partner of Mark Lewis, Mr Wallis Simons’ lawyer who is acting for Mr Wallis Simons to sue me for libel in the High Court. A reader of the Daily Mail article may have wanted to know of the author’s close relationship with the subject’s partner.

Mr Wallis Simons is Associate Editor of the Mail Online and thus, even though the byline is Rory Tingle, it is probably not unreasonable to associate him with the Mail Online’s even more sensational article about Mandy Blumenthal last month:

Ms Blumenthal is searching for property in Israel, and plans to leave within the next ‘few years’, but would emigrate within weeks if Mr Corbyn became Prime Minister.

This article is accompanied by an astonishing four photos of Ms Blumenthal, all copyright Ms Blumenthal herself, and three photos of her father. It is part an extraordinary puff piece for Ms Blumenthal – complete with posed cleavage shot I am not reproducing – and part a rehash of the Mail’s repeated attempts to associate Jeremy Corbyn with anti-Semitism. The article has no real basis at all – a threat by a little known person to leave the UK “in a few years”. Interestingly, though it tells us much about her late father, it does not mention her rather better known partner, Mark Lewis.

It is legitimate to ask how on earth the Mail Online, Associate Editor Jake Wallis Simons, came to be publishing this extraordinary promotional piece for Mark Lewis’ partner at all.

Finally, here is a video clip of Ms Blumenthal in action again this month, this time with her brother, double glazing salesman and UKIP candidate (I did not make those up} Alan Blumenthal. Yet again they were deliberately disrupting a pro-Palestinian meeting, this time featuring a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset as speaker. Mr Blumenthal is the balding man with spectacles and you can judge his behaviour for yourself.

Precisely why the Blumenthals feel the need to attend pro-Palestinian meetings and disrupt them, is an interesting question. One can easily imagine the outrage of the Daily Mail if I or others turned up to pro-Israeli meetings and behaved in this way. I might add I would not dream of doing so.

Jake Wallis Simons, Mandy Blumenthal and Mark Lewis form a nexus whose methods and motivations could not be more plain. Nevertheless that does not mean I cannot be in real trouble in having to make a libel defence against Wallis Simons, under England’s repressive libel system.

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I continue urgently to need contributions to my defence in the libel action against me by Jake Wallis Simons, Associate Editor of Daily Mail online. You can see the court documents outlining the case here. I am threatened with bankruptcy and the end of this blog (not to mention a terrible effect on my young family). Support is greatly appreciated. An astonishing 4,000 people have now contributed a total of over £75,000. But that is still only halfway towards the £140,000 target. I realise it is astonishing that so much money can be needed, but that is the pernicious effect of England’s draconian libel laws, as explained here.

September 24, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

First Do No Harm

By Emmy Bee | Dissident Voice | September 24, 2017

Let me preface what I am about to say by stating that I have the utmost esteem for mainstream medicine’s skill in emergency situations — the do or die surgeries, the dispensing of powerful life-saving drugs necessary in that setting are second to none; and its mastery of cosmetic surgery in cases of deformities and the advances made in prosthetics are nothing less than spectacular. These are what make mainstream medicine great.

I would also like to add that I am not an expert of any kind. I hold no degrees or certifications, and neither do I represent, belong to, or work for any party, organization or corporation. I speak for myself, a sixty-two year old woman, and from my experiences with, and extensive research of, a topic I find fascinating, intriguing and bothersome — mainstream medicine and how the belief in its infallibility harms us in so many ways.

The pompous certainty of mainstream medicine’s powerful proponents — be they multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical companies, medical associations, disease-specific charities, government agencies, Madison Avenue selling the diseases and the pills, TV or magazines, the news media parroting its cash cow’s every claim — combined have most people, hook, line and sinker, believing in the impeccable record of mainstream medicine. No questions asked.

Here, I would like to throw out some alarming statistics — ones that can be easily found in a variety of journals from Forbes to JAMA to CounterPunch, etc.

The estimated annual mortality rate for adverse drug reactions to “correctly” prescribed drugs is the 5th leading cause of death in the U.S.1 Over the counter (OTC) cold medications are among the top twenty substances causing death in children.2 Used according to direction, NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs) are responsible for more than 20,000 deaths every year.3 There are over 400,000 deaths each year from drug and medical errors and tens of thousands more deaths from unnecessary procedures.4 Add those together and mainstream medicine is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

So, why is it that most people trust, without question, the omnipotence of mainstream medicine in the same way religious zealots believe in their chosen religion or atheists in theirs? When well over 200,000 people die in the U.S. each year from prescription drug use alone — not abuse, but use; when we spend more, per capita than any other nation on earth and yet our health indices and life expectancy are near the bottom of all other developed nations5 why is there no sense of outrage (except for price gouging!) or, at the very least, a sense that something is not right, that something is terribly wrong?

Yet, as has happened many times, should a doctor, a scientist, a researcher or a curious layperson question conventional medical creed the herald is quickly battered down with jeers of derision, and swiftly “discredited” and shunned by the medical community. The media then parrots what they are told and soon everyone is asking, “How dare they question science? Haven’t they heard of collateral damage? Every war (and they are constantly reminding us of the war we are fighting against diseases) has collateral damage”. Yet when a few people die from dirty spinach, improper use of some herbal product, or a handful of people (some even vaccinated) catch the measles (and live to tell about it!) panic overruns the media.

Does anyone remember or know of the ad campaigns telling us that “nine out of ten doctors smoke Camel cigarettes” or that DDT pesticide spray is “good for you!”? We may laugh now but what about the more recent debacles such as HRT (hormone replacement therapy), Vioxx, swine flu vaccines and GMOs — all of which received the seal of approval from industry scientists, government agencies and all were pushed by Madison Ave. — just like the cigarettes given to my father for heart disease and the DDT sprayed on everything in sight, including children.

The number of TV commercials for drugs, medical clinics, hospitals, and doctor-related reality TV shows is mind blowing. It is a constant barrage of “a pill for every ill” and “don’t forget to ask your doctor about it”, while people with vapid eyes move in slow motion through white rooms or a meadow filmed through gauze, while a voice, soft and soothing, tells you of the pill’s benefits and then the same voice, just as soft but at breakneck speed, spews a partial list of possible side effects and a series of unwanted symptoms, some of which sound, and are (such as death) worse than the “disease” itself.

And interspersed between the ad for an over-the-counter (OTC) medication that had not long ago been given “by prescription only” and another ad for the new six story billion dollar specialty clinic are yet more commercials inviting us to join in what has become a celebration of you fill in the blank disease. There’s a “walk” or a “run”, even a paddle! for this disease and a different colored “ribbon” for that disease. It is almost as if having a disease has become the new “in” thing — fashionable, admirable, heroic even.  Are we being groomed to embrace our diseases, while at the same time being told to give, give, give to find a “cure”? According to Dr. Robert Sharpe, author of The Cruel Deception, a book about animal testing in medical research,” . . . in our culture treating disease is enormously profitable, preventing it is not.”

We have been told we are living longer but the sad fact is that the trend has reversed and now for the first time in decades life expectancy has dropped in the U.S.6 Even more alarming is that, along with adults, the number of children with chronic diseases has risen sharply. Think about it. How many of us make it past seventy (hell, even sixty!) without some major medical catastrophe (or two) requiring surgery and/or special apparatuses to help us do what used to come naturally and/or prescribed no less than three or four drugs? And how many “new” (iatrogenic) diseases do we then acquire from taking those drugs or undergoing those procedures that require even more drugs and/or more procedures?

And just what is conventional medicine’s track record for curing disease — any disease — not palliation or suppression or masking (all of which suppress and weaken the immune system) — but curing?  Forty years ago I knew one woman with breast cancer while today I know dozens, all of whom underwent tortuous procedures, surgeries and drugging, and yes, some of them died. And why is it that when people die after making use of conventional medicine — surgery, chemotherapy, drugs, etc. — there are no cries of foul against their choice of healthcare? Instead they are hailed as heroes who fought a courageous battle, but when someone dies after trying an alternative medicine the cries against their choice are nothing less than vitriolic, as if no one ever dies using mainstream medicine, when in actuality many thousands die each year from mishaps alone, never mind the many hundreds of thousands who die from the diseases that have remained rampant — heart disease, cancer and diabetes, etc.7

Despite unprecedented technical and scientific advances, mainstream medicine’s only answer to disease is to destroy—with toxic substances, ingested or injected, with life-threatening procedures and with the removal of diseased (and often times healthy) body parts. Kill germs, fight cancer, destroy cells, kick (name a disease)’s ass, crush, terminate, rub out, blast; never build up, heal, cure. Are we, as a society, even capable of imagining alternatives to mainstream medicine? I once told an MD I knew that a friend’s kidney stone passed with relative ease after drinking a herbal tea prescribed by an Acupuncturist. “If there was something out there that can do that,” he told me, “we would know about it”. Not with that attitude!

When contemplating all that led up to the economic debacle of 2008, I would venture to guess that most people would be leery now (if they weren’t already!) of any advise given by the banking industry and Wall Street concerning, let’s say, home loans. And the same wariness would prevail when listening to the oil or coal industries’ take on environmental issues, or the weapons makers’ spin on whether to go to war or sell arms, or the pesticide- producing conglomerates on the safety of their products. The conflict of interest in each case should be obvious because when one considers that the very ones who profit by limiting the field of allowable research, who selectively choose among research papers to discredit alternative theories or boost their own are the very ones who control the message, it becomes obvious that we are seeing conflict of interest on a massive scale.

And, what of the research done by pharmaceutical companies that tell us a certain drug, or procedure, or vaccine is safe and effective? Does it make you comfortable to know that President Obama’s pick for FDA (Food and Drug Administration) Commissioner, Robert Califf, had received research funds from twenty-five drug companies while director of Duke University clinical research department where a major research fraud scandal had erupted under his watch8 or that Julie Gerderding, former head of the CDC (Center for Disease Control) concealed and then destroyed evidence of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism in African-American boys9, and yet congress refuses to subpoena her and the whistleblower from the CDC and the media never mentions it, and that this same Julie Gerderding left the CDC to become the president of Merck’s vaccine division and then executive VP of Merck, the sole manufacturer of the MMR vaccine? These examples are just two of many that are not only about a colossal conflict of interest but also about a dangerous threat to true scientific discovery affecting millions of lives.

So, why is it that pharmaceutical companies (which, by the way, have more lobbyists than there are members of congress and the senate combined) and which have a woeful track record when it comes to conflict of interest in medical research, drug research and alternative medicine viability research, are given a pass, a green light, a pat on the back of confidence and, besides, are vehemently defended and vociferously cheered on? What marketing magic do they spin that makes people overlook their complicity in fraudulent research, their over-the-top demonizing of opposing viewpoints, and above all their abhorrent safety record?

Why can’t we question the effectiveness, the safety or the necessity of some vaccines without being rudely shouted down? I wonder if those who shout the, “Shut up! They are safe!” mantra have ever taken the time to study the long history of infectious disease and the history of vaccine use? Do they know there are no long-term studies on the effects of vaccines, or that vaccinated people are not necessarily protected from the diseases they are vaccinated against, or that the pharmaceutical companies and the government agencies refuse to do a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated population study as to their overall health indices, that vaccines, unlike other drugs are not tested against a placebo but against another vaccine, or that childhood infectious diseases had been on a downward trend for many years (measles deaths had declined by almost 100 percent!) well before vaccines were introduced as had many of the other infectious diseases — running their course, improving as our sanitary conditions and treatment of the illness improved? So, why not let them continue to decline until they naturally disappear? Why introduce crude disease substances and a mixture of lethal chemicals (of which no one knows or bothers to test their long-term effects) into our bodies in an attempt to eradicate diseases that seemed to be doing a fine job of doing just that naturally?

Could there be a connection between the plethora of “new” or increasing diseases and the crude drugs (including vaccines) we have been putting into our bodies for decades now? If we stop to think about it does it make sense to inject ourselves with hazardous material we know nothing about to prevent diseases like the measles, mumps and the flu and others that are now so simple to treat?

But we are told, ad nauseam, to, “Shut up and just get your shots! All your questions have already been answered!” However, when you look behind the scenes of medical research and find the pharmaceutical companies paying the bills, writing the reports and working closely with government agencies, research colleges, medical journals and the media to get their message out, it should raise a red flag.

What is the great harm brought about by this absolutism of the proponents of mainstream medicine? There are many but two are outstanding. One is that freedom of choice in one’s healthcare decisions can and will be taken away — it has begun already and is picking up momentum. I do not use conventional medicine except in some emergency situations, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t fight for the right of others to choose to use it exclusively if they believe it to be their best or only option. Being comfortable with one’s healthcare choice is, I firmly believe, of utmost importance. Yet if it were up to many people I should not be allowed to choose the kind of healthcare I want for my family and me.

And secondly, that same vitriolic certainty and insular thinking is truly harmful to the very essence of scientific inquiry. Great discoveries could be ignored simply because of a refusal to look beyond what we are told is scientifically acceptable today, the realm of inquiry having been limited by the greed of those in power and their manipulation of the masses by way of the fear factor.

  1. To Err is Human: Building a Safer Healthcare System: Institute of Medicine, Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, 2000.
  2. 2009 annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (27th report).
  3. Healing the NSAID Nation, E. Goldman, 2012.
  4. Leah Binder, Stunning News on Preventable Deaths in Hospitals, September 23, 2013; see also: Gary Null, PhD; Carolyn Dean MD, ND; Martin Feldman, MD; Debora Rasio, MD; and Dorothy Smith, PhD. Death by Medicine, Integral Options Cafe, January 12, 2010.
  5. Numbeo. Health Care Index for Country 2016.
  6. Public Health, Life Expectany in the U.S. drops for First Time in Decades, Report Finds, Health News from NPR, December 8, 2016.
  7. The Marshall Protocol Knowledge Base, Autoimmunity Research Foundation.
  8. Martha Rosenberg, Obama’s Latest FDA Nominee: No Hidden Big Pharma Links, They are all in Plain Sight, Counterpunch, November 19, 2015.
  9. Sharyl Attkisson, CDC Scientist:  “We scheduled Meeting to Destroy Vaccine Autism Study Documents“, March 23, 2016.

September 24, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | 2 Comments

Iran checkmates US, Israel

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | September 24, 2017

The announcement in Tehran on Saturday regarding the successful test of a ballistic missile with a range of 2000 kilometers and capable of carrying multiple warheads to hit different targets phenomenally shifts the military balance in the Middle East.

Israel and the roughly 45,000 US troops deployed to the Middle East – Jordan (1500 troops), Iraq (5200), Kuwait (15000), Bahrain (7000), Qatar (10000), UAE (5000), Oman (200) – fall within the range of the latest Iranian missile. Iran has demonstrated a deterrent capability that deprives the US and Israel of a military option.

The missile test signals Tehran’s strategic defiance of the US, after President Donald Trump’s outrageous remarks against Iran in his address to the UN GA. From this point, Trump has to be very careful about tearing up the Iran nuclear deal. Any such rash act by Trump or the lawmakers in the Congress (imposing new sanctions) can be seized by Tehran to resume its previous nuclear program, which would have far-reaching implications, given its missile capabilities.

President Hassan Rouhani took a tough line after returning to Tehran from New York. He warned that if Trump violated the nuclear deal, “we will be firm and all options will be before us.” Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif told New York Times tauntingly that if the US wanted to re-negotiate the nuclear deal, Tehran too will insist on re-negotiating every single concession it made – “Are you prepared to return to us 10 tons of enriched uranium?”

Rouhani made a strident speech at a military parade on Friday in Tehran underscoring that Iran did not need any country’s permission to bolster its missile capability. He added, “The Iranian nation has always been after peace and security in the region and the world and we will defend the oppressed Yemeni, Syrian and Palestinian people whether you like it or not.”

“As long as some speak in the language of threats, the strengthening of the country’s defense capabilities will continue and Iran will not seek permission from any country for producing various kinds of missile,” Defence Minister Amir Hatami said in a statement Saturday.

What emerges is Iran’s determination to consolidate its influence in Syria. The US will have to carefully weigh the repercussions before making any intervention (which Israel is pressing for.) Again, Iran may establish a long-term presence in Syria. The Iran-supported battle-hardened Shiite militia fighting in Iraq and Syria is a veritable 100,000-strong army and Iran is in a position to force the eviction of US forces from Iraq and Syria.

The Trump administration must take with the utmost seriousness the thinly veiled threat by the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari on Wednesday (while reacting to Trump’s UN speech) – “The time has come for correcting the US’ miscalculations. Now that the US has fully displayed its nature, the government should use all its options to defend the Iranian nation’s interests. Taking a decisive position against Trump is just the start and what is strategically important is that the US should witness more painful responses in the actions, behavior and decisions that Iran will take in the next few months.”

The ballistic missile test followed within 3 days of Gen. Jafari’s threat. Equally, the timing of the missile test can be seen against the backdrop of the referendum being planned for September 25 by the Kurds of northern Iraq, seeking an independent Kurdistan. Tehran is in no doubt that the Kurdistan project is a US-Israeli enterprise to create a permanent base in the highly strategic region with the objective of destabilizing Iran and undermining its regional surge in Syria and Iraq.

Unsurprisingly, Israel is furious about Iran’s missile test. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman called it a “a provocation and a slap in the face for the United States and its allies — and an attempt to test them.” Clearly, Israel is in panic that Iran is steadily, inexorably outstripping it as the number one regional power in the Middle East. However, beyond rhetoric, Israel cannot do much about Iran’s surge.

Israel foolishly instigated Trump to provoke Tehran just at this juncture when he is barely coping with the crisis in Northeast Asia. A containment strategy against Iran is no longer feasible. Wisdom lies in the Trump administration engaging Iran in a constructive spirit to influence its regional policies. Threats never worked against Iran. Time and again they’ve proved to be counterproductive.

September 24, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Undermining Venezuela’s socialist government nothing new for Canada

By Yves Engler · September 23, 2017

Alongside Washington and Venezuela’s elite, the Trudeau government is seeking to oust President Nicolás Maduro. While Ottawa’s campaign has recently grown, official Canada has long opposed the pro-poor, pro-working class Bolivarian Revolution, which has won 19 of 21 elections since 1998.

Following a similar move by the Trump Administration, Global Affairs Canada sanctioned 40 Venezuelans on Friday. In a move that probably violates the UN charter, the elected president, vice president and 38 other officials had their assets in Canada frozen and Canadians are barred from having financial relations with these individuals.

In recent months foreign minister Chrystia Freeland has repeatedly criticized Maduro’s government. She accused Caracas of “dictatorial intentions”, imprisoning political opponents and “robbing the Venezuelan people of their fundamental democratic rights”. Since taking office the Liberals have supported efforts to condemn the Maduro government at the Organization of American States (OAS) and promoted an international mediation designed to weaken Venezuela’s leftist government (all the while staying mum about Brazil’s imposed president who has a 5% approval rating and far worse human rights violations in Mexico).

Beyond these public interventions designed to stoke internal unrest, Ottawa has directly aided an often-unsavoury Venezuelan opposition. A specialist in social media and political transition, outgoing Canadian ambassador Ben Rowswell told the Ottawa Citizen in August: “We established quite a significant internet presence inside Venezuela, so that we could then engage tens of thousands of Venezuelan citizens in a conversation on human rights. We became one of the most vocal embassies in speaking out on human rights issues and encouraging Venezuelans to speak out.” (Can you imagine the hue and cry if a Russian ambassador said something similar about Canada?) Rowswell added that Canada would continue to support the domestic opposition after his departure from Caracas since “Freeland has Venezuela way at the top of her priority list.”

While not forthcoming with information about the groups they support in Venezuela, Ottawa has long funnelled money to the US-backed opposition. In 2010 the foremost researcher on U.S. funding to the opposition, Eva Golinger, claimed Canadian groups were playing a growing role in Venezuela and according to a 2010 report from Spanish NGO Fride, “Canada is the third most important provider of democracy assistance” to Venezuela after the US and Spain. In “The Revolution Will Not Be Destabilized: Ottawa’s democracy promoters target Venezuela” Anthony Fenton details Canadian funding to anti-government groups. Among other examples, he cites a $94,580 grant to opposition NGO Asociación Civil Consorcio Desarrollo y Justicia in 2007 and $22,000 to Súmate in 2005. Súmate leader Maria Corina Machado, who Foreign Affairs invited to Ottawa in January 2005, backed the “Carmona Decree” during the 2002 coup against President Hugo Chavez, which dissolved the National Assembly and Supreme Court and suspended the elected government, Attorney General, Comptroller General, governors as well as mayors elected during Chavez’s administration. (Machado remains a leading figure in the opposition.)

Most Latin American leaders condemned the short-lived coup against Chavez, but Canadian diplomats were silent. It was particularly hypocritical of Ottawa to accept Chavez’s ouster since a year earlier, during the Summit of the Americas in Québec City, Jean Chrétien’s Liberals made a big show of the OAS’ new “democracy clause” that was supposed to commit the hemisphere to electoral democracy.

For its part, the Harper government repeatedly criticized Chavez. In April 2009 Prime Minister Stephen Harper responded to a question regarding Venezuela by saying, “I don’t take any of these rogue states lightly”. After meeting only with opposition figures during a trip to Venezuela the next year Peter Kent, minister of state for the Americas, said: “Democratic space within Venezuela has been shrinking and in this election year, Canada is very concerned about the rights of all Venezuelans to participate in the democratic process.”

The Bolivarian Revolution has faced a decade and a half of Liberal and Conservative hostility. While the NDP has sometimes challenged the government’s Venezuelan policy, the party’s current foreign critic has echoed Washington’s position. On at least two occasions Hélène Laverdière has demanded Ottawa do more to undermine the Maduro government. In a June 2016 press release Laverdière bemoaned “the erosion of democracy” and the need for Ottawa to “defend democracy in Venezuela” while in August the former Foreign Affairs employee told CBC “we would like to see the (Canadian) government be more active in … calling for the release of political prisoners, the holding of elections and respecting the National Assembly.” Conversely, Laverdière staid mum when Donald Trump threatened to invade Venezuela last month and she has yet to criticize the recently announced Canadian sanctions.

NDP members should be appalled at their foreign critic’s position. For Canadians more generally it’s time to challenge our government’s bid to undermine what has been an essentially democratic effort to empower Venezuela’s poor and working class.

September 24, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment