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British Anti Witch-Hunt Group expelled half its supporters

By Gilad Atzmon | January 4, 2018

When you think that British ‘Left’ has reached rock bottom you wake up to learn that this political comedy act has no limits.

We learned today that the ‘anti witch-hunt’ labour group LAW (Labour Against the Witch-hunt ) has expelled half of its members over ‘anti-Semitism.’

Times of Israel reports today that LAW has cut ties to Socialist Fight because of the views of its members. Socialist Fight is accused of being “supportive of controversial Israeli-born author Gilad Atzmon.”

Needless to mention that I am thrilled by all of that. I enjoy being supported by proper radical left groups; people who adhere to universal principles of equality and human brotherhood. Despite the fact that in my entire life, I have never been a member of any political body or party, I can clearly see that my writing is now making a change.

If you are wondering what it is that I am saying that pushes LAW leaders Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein, two self identified (political) Jews, over the edge, to the point that they themselves have decided to act, in the open, as witch hunters, I will provide a brief answer.

I argue that if Israel defines itself as a Jewish State we must ask who are the Jews, what is Jewishness and what is Judaism. We should then proceed and  examine Israeli politics and Jewish lobbying in the light of the above questions. I basically argue that Zionism is just one symptom of Jewish choseness. I actually identify the exact same exceptionalist tendencies in Jewish Left and in particular in Walker and Greenstein’s political act. To add to my sins, I am also responsible for the popular adage “by now, we are all Palestinians.” Like the Palestinians we are not allowed to articulate the true nature of our oppression.

No one could articulate this observation better than Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein. In the minutes of the LAW meeting, Walker and Greenstein apparently said “Making a connection between the number of Jewish billionaires in the US or who is Jewish amongst the richest sections of society and imperialist support for Israel is anti-Semitic.”

For Walker and Greenstein pointing at a concentration of mammon and political influence as the core of Zionist power is a ‘hate crime.’ For Walker and Greenstein a principled universal socialist position based on dialectical materialism is crude ‘antisemitism.’

I am delighted as well as amused to see myself, an immigrant saxophonist at the centre of this ridiculous political storm. But I may assure you that none of this is new to Brits. They have seen it all before, they know about the People’s Front of Judea.

January 4, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | Leave a comment

Pro-Israel editor’s joke about Iran-Iraq War provokes response

MEMO | January 4, 2107

The editor of a prominent Jewish community newspaper has come under strong attack for making a joke about a war in which more than a million Iranians and Iraqis lost their lives.

Stephen Pollard, editor of Britain’s Jewish Chronicle, now stands accused of inciting hatred and bigotry following a tweet in which the staunchly pro-Israel and equally enthusiastic Tottenham Hotspur fan compared the Premier League game between Chelsea and Arsenal yesterday to the war between Iran and Iraq because he wanted both sides to lose.

“Time to wheel out my regular comment,” tweeted Pollard. “It’s Arsenal v Chelsea tonight, the football version of the Iran/Iraq war when you want both sides to lose.”

Tweet: https://twitter.com/stephenpollard/status/948617705351012352

Other twitter users condemned the JC editor for his insensitive and callous remarks about a war in which more than a million people were killed.

“I wonder what your reaction would of been if someone made football related jokes about the Holocaust!” one furious twitter user responded. Another said: “Wow, how callous can you be? 1 Million people died and 10s of thousand people suffer from chemical attack and you make this comment. What is next? you will compare it to Holocaust?”

Others described the comment as “vile” and “disgusting”. Many were keen to point out the latent racism displayed by Pollard.

“You despicable man. A million people died & you make fun of them? Is this implicit #Islamophobia coming out? If someone had made such a hideous analogy with Israel etc you’d be crying antisemitism. Truly hideous man”.

Tweet: https://twitter.com/alihadi68/status/948847842931638272

“His hate and contempt for Arabs and Muslims is so obvious. And this is the editor of a major Jewish paper!” wrote another angry user.

One took aim at Pollard’s well-known support for Israel: “Is it a bit like the Israeli Palestinian conflict where you wish Israel would just leave after their away game with Palestine, instead of permanently making the stadium their home?”

Tweet: https://twitter.com/Vghandi/status/948669884321484800

January 4, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Islamophobia, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 4 Comments

Israel considering death penalty… but only for Palestinian prisoners

MEMO | January 4, 2018

The Israeli Knesset approved on Wednesday a first reading of the death penalty bill which would allow the authorities to execute Palestinian prisoners accused of taking part in “operations against Israeli targets,” Anadolu has reported. The bill was proposed by the right-wing leader of the Jewish Home party Naftali Bennet; it was approved by a vote of 52 to 49 but needs a second and third reading before it becomes law.

Extremist Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s Moldovan-born Defence Minister, endorsed the bill, which he said would increase Israel’s deterrence effect. In televised comments last week, Lieberman said that the law would specifically target Palestinians convicted of attacking Israeli civilians and soldiers.

Last year, at a rally following the death of three Israeli police officers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced his support for the death penalty for Palestinians, whom he described as “terrorists with blood on their hands.”

Israel applies civilian law to illegal Jewish settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Palestinians, however, face military courts and military law. The proposed death penalty would only be applicable in military courts. In the already unlikely event of an Israeli being convicted for killing a Palestinian, the accused would never face the death penalty.

“The fact that Israel lacks a constitution allows its prime ministers to enact legislation that serves the interests of their respective racist governments,” explained Mohammed Dahleh, a Palestinian expert on Israeli affairs. “Israel refuses to adopt a constitution. This also allows it to create laws — or modify them — to suit its expansionist tendencies.”

According to international lawyer Yasser Al-Amouri, the proposed Israeli law violates basic international legal tenets. “The conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis is not criminal in nature but nationalist,” he pointed out. “This means Israel cannot sentence Palestinian prisoners to death under the provision of the Fourth Geneva Convention relating to the treatment of prisoners of war.”

One commentator in London suggested that this legal nicety wouldn’t make any difference. “Israel already treats international laws and conventions with contempt,” said MEMO’s senior editor Ibrahim Hewitt, “so why would it sit up and take notice of this point? The state is guilty of the crime of apartheid, and this bill demonstrates that fact.”

January 4, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 2 Comments

What Do You Call Somebody Who Supports Israel?

Racist

By Stuart Littlewood | American Herald Tribune | January 3, 2018

“If opposing Israel is anti-semitism then what do you call supporting a state that has been engaged in brutal ethnic cleansing for seven decades. What does that make you?” It’s a question posed by Miko Peled, an Israeli Jew and son of an Israeli general, former Israeli soldier and now a leading voice in the struggle for Palestinian freedom. You couldn’t find a more authentic insider.

What else has Peled been saying about Israel?

  • “The name of the game: erasing Palestine, getting rid of the people and de-Arabizing the country…”
  • As for talk about Israel giving up the West Bank for a Palestinian state:  “If it wasn’t so sad it would be funny. It shows a complete misunderstanding of the objective of Zionism and the Zionist state…. By 1993 the Israelis had achieved their mission to make the conquest of the West Bank irreversible.”
  • Peled also describes the Israeli army, in which he served, as “one of the best trained and best equipped and best fed terrorist organisations in the world.”

So let’s repeat Peled’s question. What does supporting Israel make you when Israel has been busy ethnically cleansing the native Palestinians for seven decades? What should we call people who defend the indefensible?… who admire the despicable?… who applaud the expulsion at gunpoint of peaceable civilians and the confiscation of their homes and land?

Give them a name, one that will stick.

The claim by Conservative Friends of Israel that 80 percent of the party’s MPs and MEPs are members is alarming and reveals how lacking in integrity we are at the heart of government. It puts us almost on a par with US Congress which is almost totally controlled by the Israel lobby through AIPAC.

Being a Friend of Israel, of course, means embracing the whole rotten kit and caboodle, including the terror and racism on which the state of Israel was built. It means embracing the dispossession and oppression of innocent Palestinians. It means embracing the discriminatory laws against those who remain n their homeland. It means embracing the jackboot thuggery that abducts civilians — including children — and imprisons and tortures them without trial. It means embracing the theft and annexation of Palestinian land and water resources, the imposition of hundreds of military checkpoints, severe restrictions on the movement of people and goods, and maximum interference with Palestinian life at every level.

It means approving the bloodbaths inflicted by Israel on Gaza and feeling comfortable with blowing hundreds of children to smithereens, maiming thousands more, trashing vital infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, power plants and clean water supplies, and causing $6bn of devastation that will take 20 years to rebuild. And, by the way, where is the money coming from?

It means embracing the strangulation of the West Bank’s economy and the vicious ten-year blockade on Gaza. It means embracing the denial of Palestinians’ right to self-determination and return to their homes. It means embracing the religious war that humiliates Muslims and Christians and prevents them from visiting their holy places. It means endorsing a situation in which hard-pressed American and British taxpayers are having to subsidise Israel’s illegal occupation of the Holy Land.

And if, after all that, you are still Israel’s special friend, where is your self-respect?

It is ludicrous that a foreign military power which has no regard for international law and rejects weapons conventions and safeguards can exert such influence on foreign policy in the US and UK. Pandering to Israel has been immensely costly in blood and treasure and stupidly damaging to our reputation.

Everyone outside the Westminster/Washington bubble knows perfectly well that there can be no peace in the Holy Land without justice. In other words no peace until the occupation ends. Everyone knows that international law and countless UN resolutions still wait to be enforced. Everyone knows that Israel won’t comply unless sanctions are imposed. Everyone knows that the siege on Gaza won’t be lifted until warships are sent.

What’s more, everyone now knows that the US is not an honest broker, Israel wants to keep the pot boiling and justice won’t come from more sham ‘negotiations’. Nor will peace. Everyone knows who is the real cause of turmoil in the Middle East. And everyone knows that Her Majesty’s Government’s hand-wringing and empty words serve no purpose except to prolong the daily misery for Palestinians and buy time for Israel to complete its criminal scheme to make the occupation permanent.

Churchgoing British prime minister Theresa May praises Israel for being “a thriving democracy, a beacon of tolerance” when it is obviously neither. It’s an obnoxious ethnocracy. She says our two countries share “common values” when we obviously don’t — although her rotten party probably does.

Given the Israeli regime’s endless crimes against humanity and cruelty to the rightful inhabitants of the Holy Land her remarks are insulting to anyone who lives by Christian values. She even claims that Israel is a country where people of all religions “are free and equal in the eyes of the law” and “Israel guarantees the rights of people of all religions, races and sexualities, and it wants to enable everyone to flourish”. Her ignorance in these matters rivals Trump’s.

And May would do well to call off her efforts to ciminalise the successful BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaign, which is a grass-roots civil society based resistance movement. She warns that her government will “have no truck with those who subscribe to it”.  But Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights bestows on everyone “the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”. So she boobs even on that.

In an interview with Jonas Alexis, Miko Peled sounds upbeat about BDS. As long as Israel has a blank check [cheque] from the US and the UK and is undefeatable militarily and diplomatically, BDS “is possibly the only positive change one can point to at this time.”

Many of us have urged beefing up BDS, extending its reach and orchestrating its efforts globally. There seems no other way to force the spineless international community to finally impose the sanctions they should have slapped on Israel decades ago.

It has got to the point where I wouldn’t mind seeing individuals among the political élites targeted by BDS if they deserve it. And many of them surely do.

January 4, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments

‘Race Law’ Takes Jerusalem a Step Closer to Being a Jewish-Only City

By Ramzy Baroud | January 3, 2018

The Israeli government is planning a series of measures aimed at fully denying Palestinians their legal rights in Jerusalem and precluding any future peace settlement based on sharing the city between Israel and a future Palestinian state.

One of the most aggressive measures to date is a bill that was approved by the Israeli Knesset on Tuesday, January 2.

The bill, which passed with the support of Israel’s ruling rightwing and far-right coalition has several dangerous stipulations.

According to the bill, two thirds of the Knesset majority is required for Israel to relinquish sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem. International law insists that Israel has no sovereignty over East Jerusalem, illegally occupied and annexed in 1967 and 1980 respectively.

An equally disturbing stipulation in the bill is that it removes two Palestinian neighborhoods from the municipal jurisdiction of the city.

The two affected neighborhoods are Kufr Aqab and the Shufat refugee camp.

By doing so, the Israeli government would have achieved another milestone in its demographic war on Palestinians.

It is important to note that the two Palestinian areas are located on the other side of what Israel refers to as the ‘Separation Wall’.

This move confirms the assumption that the Wall was built around Palestinians areas that Israel plans to annex in the future.

Now, that the wall construction is at an advanced stage, the process of annexation seems to have begun.

But the latest bill – dubbed by Palestinians as the ‘race law’ for it aims at vacating Jerusalem from Palestinian Arabs and increasing the number of the city’s Jewish settlers – is a rewritten version of an earlier bill.

‘The Greater Jerusalem Law‘, which was poised to win a majority vote at the Knesset was only shelved temporarily.

The delayed bill called for expanding the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem to include major illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank, including Ma’aleh Adumim and the Gush Etzion settlement cluster.

Moreover, it endeavored to bring 150,000 Jewish settlers into Jerusalem as eligible voters, who would naturally tip the political scene more to the right.

Concurrently, the law would further demote the status of 100,000 Palestinians, who would find themselves in a politically gray area.

That bill was cast aside only weeks before the United States government agreed to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

While many in the international community were focused on what the American move would mean for the future of the region and the so-called peace process, few paid heed to the fact that the US and Israel had something far more consequential in mind.

News agencies at the time reported that Israel agreed to shelf a popular bill “under US pressure.” But that ‘pressure’ only aimed at giving President Donald Trump the needed time to formulate his own strategy and make the troubling announcement.

Since then, many Palestinians were killed, hundreds wounded and more detained as Palestinians and their allies around the world displayed outrage by the US decision.

A symbolic but telling vote at the United Nations on December 21 showed that the US and Israel stood alone in their fight to deny Palestinians their rights in their unlawfully occupied city.

Wasting no time, Israeli lawmakers are now pushing forward with designs to further isolate Jerusalem and to empty it from its Palestinian inhabitants.

They understand that the unparalleled US support must be exploited to the maximum, and that any delay on these bills would certainly be missed opportunities.

The nature of the US-Israel coordination is indeed unprecedented. Just as the Knesset voted to approve the bill, the US moved quickly to cap any strong Palestinian reactions.

That job was entrusted to US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, who has gone further than any other US official in her attempt to intimidate, and even bully Palestinians.

Haley declared that the US will cut off US funding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and will only resume funding when the Palestinians agree to return to the negotiations.

UNRWA is the main channel for support for Palestinians refugees. That decision will further tighten the noose on a struggling Palestinian economy and the Palestinian Authority which relies mostly on international aid to survive.

Haley, of course, understands that no Palestinian leadership can engage politically with Israel and the US when the two countries refuse to accept international law as a frame of reference in the negotiations.

Now, the Palestinian leadership has to choose between its existing humiliation or further humiliation.

But Haley’s threat is also aimed at changing the conversation, and taking the focus away from the racist Israeli bill that will surely lead to further annexation in Jerusalem itself and throughout the West Bank.

The US and Israel are now actively invested in a system of political Apartheid in Palestine, and are twisting the arm of the PA to facilitate such a dreadful regime.

PA officials have made many threats so far, including the exclusion of the US from the peace process and changing their demand to a one state solution.

But there is nothing concrete so far regarding that coveted Palestinian strategy; one that is predicated on a united Palestinian leadership that truly explores new options, allies and future outlook.

It is that lack of vision that compromises the Palestinian position even further, emboldening Israel to push forward with its racist laws and apartheid walls.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of Palestine Chronicle. His forthcoming book is ‘The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story’ (Pluto Press, London). Baroud has a Ph.D. in Palestine Studies from the University of Exeter and is a Non-Resident Scholar at Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, University of California Santa Barbara. His website is http://www.ramzybaroud.net.

January 4, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

To Honor Albert Camus on the Day He Died: January 4, 1960

By Edward Curtin | Behind the Curtain |  January 4, 2018

Because he was not a partisan in the Cold War between the U.S./NATO and the U.S.S.R, Albert Camus was an oddball.  As a result, he was criticized by the right, left, and center. His allegiance was to truth, not ideologies. He opposed state murder, terrorism, and warfare from all quarters. An artistic anarchist with a passionate spiritual hunger, an austere and moral Don Juan, this sensual man of conscience and honor earned his reputation by a lifelong literary meditation on death in all its guises: disease (he was constantly threatened by tuberculosis), murder, suicide, capital punishment, war, etc.; deaths both “happy” and absurd, sudden and slow. His enemy was always injustice and those powerful ones who thought they had the right to make others suffer and die for their perverted purposes.  An artist compelled by history to enter the political arena, he spoke out in defense of the poor, oppressed, and powerless. Among his enemies were liberal imperialism and Soviet Marxism, abstract ideologies used to enslave and murder people around the world.

Popularly known for his writing about absurdity (which for him was but a necessary step toward revolt), when he died on January 4, 1960 in a car crash on a straight country road in France with an unused train ticket in his pocket, the press played up the absurd nature of his death. They still do. But was it such?

In 2011, the media were abuzz with a report out of Italy that, rather than an accident, Camus may have been assassinated by the Soviet KGB for his powerful criticism of the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956, their massacre of Hungarian freedom fighters, and for his defense and advocacy of Boris Pasternak and his novel, Doctor Zhivago, among other things. These reports were based on an article in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, and were based on the remarks of Giovanni Catelli, an Italian academic, Slavic scholar, and poet. Catelli said that he had read in a diary, published as a book, Ceĺ́ý zͮivot, written by Jan Zábrana, a well-known poet and translator of Doctor Zhivago, the following:

I heard something very strange from the mouth of a man who knew lots of things and had very informed sources. According to him, the accident that had cost Albert Camus his life in 1960 was organized by Soviet spies. They damaged the tyre on the car using a sophisticated piece of equipment that cut or made a hole at speed.

This claim was quickly and broadly rejected by Camus’ scholars and it just as quickly disappeared from view.

But in 2013 Catelli published a book on the case, Camus deve morire (Camus Must Die), that, oddly enough considering its explosive claims, has not been published in English (or French, as far as I know). I have recently read an English translation kindly provided to me by Catelli, and while I am still studying and researching his thesis, I will say that there may be more to it than those early dismissals of the Corriere della Sera report indicate. One has only to harken back to the 2013 mysterious death of journalist Michael Hastings in the United States when his car accelerated to over 100 miles per hour and exploded against a tree on a straight road in Los Angeles to make one think twice, maybe more. Tree lined straight roads, no traffic, outspoken writers, anomalous crashes, and different countries and eras – tales to make one wonder.  And probe and research if one is so inclined.

Whatever the cause of Albert Camus’ death, however, it is clear that we could use his voice today. I believe we should honor and remember him on this day that he died, for as an artist of his time, an artist for our time and all time, he tried to serve both beauty and suffering, to defend the innocent in this murderous world. Quintessentially a man of his age, he was haunted by images that haunt us still, in particular those of being locked in an absurd prison threatened by madmen brandishing weapons small and large, ready to blow this beautiful world to smithereens with weapons conjured out of their hubristic,́ Promethean dreams of conquest.

This world as a prison is a metaphor that has a long and popular tradition. In the past hundred or more years, however, with the secularization of Western culture and the perceived withdrawal of God, the doors of this prison have shut upon the popular imagination, with growing numbers of people feeling trapped in an alien universe, no longer able to bridge the gulf between themselves and an absent God. Death, once the open avenue to the free life of eternity, has for many become the symbol of the absurdity of existence and the futility of escape. Camus was haunted by these images, intensified as they were by a life of personal isolation beginning with the death of his father in World War I when he was a year old and continuing throughout his upbringing by a half-deaf, emotionally sterile mother.  His entire life, including his tragic art, was an attempt to find a way out of this closed world.

That is why he continues to speak today to those who grapple with the same enigmas, those who strive to find hope and faith to defend the defenseless and revel in the glory of living simultaneously. Not absurdly, he left clues to that quest in his briefcase on the road where he died – the unfinished manuscript to his beautiful, posthumously published novel, Le Premier Homme (The First Man).  It was as if, whether he died in an accident or was murdered, the first man was going to have the last word.

One can imagine Camus saying with Hamlet:

Oh, I could tell you –

But let it be, Horatio, I am dead;

Thou livest; report to me and my cause aright

To the unsatisfied.

Let us do just that.

January 4, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Sabotaging Peace in Korea

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | January 3, 2018

It just might be that the two Koreas are figuring out a way to avoid war, much to the anger and chagrin of President Trump and the U.S. national-security establishment, who are obviously increasingly viewing war as inevitable and even in the best interests of the United States.

Why, even the U.S. mainstream press, which oftentimes seems to operate as an ex officio spokesman for the U.S. government, appears irritated over North Korea’s initiation of talks with South Korea. The press describes North Korea’s overtures not as an attempt to avoid war but instead as a cynical attempt to “drive a wedge” between the United States and South Korea.

Actually, it’s President Trump, who is obviously upset that the Koreas are marginalizing him, that is using his ridiculous and dangerous tweeting abilities to further provoke North Korea, with the obvious intent of “driving a wedge” between North Korea and South Korea, a wedge that could conceivably sabotage talks between them.

Let’s first get to the root of the problem in Korea. That root is the U.S. government, specifically the U.S. national-security branch of the government, i.e., the Pentagon and the CIA. That’s the reason there is a crisis in Korea. That’s the reason why war could suddenly break out, killing hundreds of thousands of people and more if it the war turns nuclear.

The U.S. government and its acolytes in the mainstream press say that the problem is with North Korea’s nuclear development program.

Balderdash! The problem is with the Pentagon’s and CIA’s decades-old aim to effect regime change in North Korea, a Cold War aim that they have never been able to let go of. That’s why the Pentagon has some 35,000 troops stationed in South Korea. That’s why they have regular military exercises over there. That’s why they have those bomber fly-overs. They want regime change, bad, just like they still do in Cuba and Iran, and just like they wanted (and got) in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Chile, Guatemala, Indonesia, and so many other countries.

That’s why North Korea wants nuclear bombs — to protect its communist regime by deterring the United States from attacking and fulfilling its decades-old aim of regime change. North Korea knows that a nuclear deterrent is the only thing that might deter the Pentagon and the CIA from attacking.

The nuclear deterrent strategy certainly worked for Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Once the Soviet Union installed nuclear missiles in Cuba, that stopped the Pentagon and the CIA from attacking and invading the island again and even caused President Kennedy to vow that the Pentagon and the CIA would not again invade the island.

North Korea also has seen what happens to impoverished Third World regimes that don’t have nuclear weapons, like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. They go down quickly to defeat and regime change at the hands of an all-powerful First World country.

Here’s the big point: Korea is none of the U.S. government’s business. Never has been and never will be. The Korean conflict was always nothing more than a civil war. A civil war in an Asian country is none of the U.S. government’s business. It wasn’t in the 1950s when the war broke out. It still isn’t. Korea is the business of the Korean people.

Keep in mind also that U.S. interventionism into the Korean War was always illegal under our form of constitutional government. The Constitution, which the president, the Pentagon, and the CIA, swear to uphold, requires a congressional declaration of war. There was never a congressional declaration of war against North Korea. That means that U.S. troops and CIA agents had no legal right to kill anyone in Korea, not with rifles, artillery, carpet bombing, or with the use of germ warfare against the North Korean people.

The Pentagon and the CIA claimed that it was necessary to illegally intervene in Korea because the communists were coming to get us. It was a lie, just as the entire Cold War was a lie. It was all just one great big fear-mongering racket to solidify the power and control of the military and intelligence services over the American people.

Those 35,000 U.S. troops in Korea today have no business being there, not only because the communists are still not coming to get us but also because they are simply the outgrowth of the original illegal intervention in the 1950s. The Pentagon has those troops there for one reason and only one reason: No, not to defend and protect the South Korean people, who are of minor importance to U.S. officials compared to the United States, but rather to serve as “tripwire” to guarantee U.S. involvement should war once again break out between the two Koreas.

In other words, no congressional deliberation on a declaration of war on whether to get involved should war break out. No national debate. Once tens of thousands of troops are automatically killed, the United States is, as a practical matter, stuck, trapped, committed. That’s why the Pentagon and the CIA have those troops there — to box in the American people — to deprive them of a choice on whether to get involved in another land war in Asia or not.

That makes U.S. soldiers in Korea nothing more than little pawns. Their assigned role is to die in order to ensure that Congress has no say on whether the U.S. gets involved in another land war in Asia. The Pentagon and the CIA, not Congress, remain in charge.

Why hasn’t the U.S. already attacked North Korea? One big reason: China. It says that if the United States starts the war, it’s coming in on the side of North Korea. China has lots of troops that could easily be sent into Korea to fight against U.S. forces. It also has a nuclear capability that can easily hit the United States.

So, that leaves Trump and his national security establishment doing their best to provoke North Korea into “firing the first shot,” or at least making it look like they have fired the first shot, like what happened at the Gulf of Tonkin or what the Pentagon hoped to accomplish with Operation Northwoods and a concocted war against Cuba.

If Trump can successfully taunt, tease, antagonize, and provoke North Korea into attacking first, then he and his national-security establishment can exclaim, “We’ve been attacked by the communists! We’re shocked! We’re innocent! We have no choice but to protect America by carpet-bombing North Korea again, this time with nuclear bombs.”

And as long as it’s not the United States that suffers the death and destruction, it will all be considered acceptable. Tens of thousands of U.S. troops will be dead. Hundreds of thousands of Koreans will also be dead. Both countries will be devastated. But the United States will remain intact and, equally important, will no longer be threatened by North Korea’s growing nuclear capability. It will all be considered a victory as far as the United States is concerned.

That’s why the South Koreans are smart in agreeing to talk to North Korea. If they were really smart, they would give Trump, the Pentagon, and the CIA the boot. The best thing South Korea could ever do is immediately kick out every U.S. soldier and every CIA agent out of their country. Send them packing back to the United States.

Sure, Trump would be hopping bad, just as the Pentagon and the CIA would be. So what? It would be the best thing that could ever happen to Korea, the United States, and the world.

January 4, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Macron vows to tighten media control because ‘fake news threatens democracy’

RT | January 4, 2018

France’s media watchdog will be given broader powers in 2018 to combat the “fake news” phenomenon which threatens democracy, President Emmanuel Macron promised during a New Year’s address to the press corps Wednesday.

“I have decided that we will change our legal system to protect [our] democratic life from this ‘fake news,” Macron said at the Elysee Palace in Paris. “During the election period, on the internet, content will no longer have exactly the same rules,” he added.

Macron described ‘fake news’ as a threat to democracy due to it “fostering doubt and forging alternative realities which allows people to say that the media and politicians are always more or less deceptive.”

“If we want to protect liberal democracies, we must have strong legislation,” the French president said. The new law will see the role of France’s media watchdog, CAS, expanded in order to deal with attempts to destabilize the situation in the country by broadcasters “controlled or influenced by foreign states,” he said. CAS will be granted the right to refuse, suspend or cancel agreements with such broadcasters based on their content, including online publications, the president said.

The anti-fake news legislation will target social media in particular, making online platforms more transparent on their sponsored content. It will also allow specific content or entire websites to be taken down should there be violations, the French head of state said, promising the new law will come into force this year.

While Macron didn’t mention any names this time, he particularly singled out RT and Sputnik throughout his election campaign and presidency, repeatedly slandering the Russian outlets as “deceitful propaganda” entities and accusing both of spreading “disinformation” about him. He barred RT journalists from his campaign headquarters without a valid reason, and later denied access to the Elysee Palace to a producer of RT’s Ruptly video agency. “I have always had an exemplary relationship with foreign journalists, but they have to be real journalists,” Macron told RT France head Xenia Fedorova during a joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Versailles in May.

French news outlets, however, are concerned about Macron’s push to control the media. In the summer, unions representing journalists from more than 20 outlets, including AFP, BFMTV, Liberation and Le Monde, released statements saying “the new government has chosen to pressure” media outlets.

RT launched its French-language channel, RT France, in mid-December, consistent with it’s mandate of shedding light on issues and points of view that have traditionally been ignored by the mainstream media.

Read more:

RT launches new French-language channel

Élysée Palace blocks RT’s Ruptly video agency from Macron-May meeting

January 4, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

Beijing responds to report of secret aid to North Korea with two words

‘Fake news’

Asia Times | January 3, 2018

An unverified report that Beijing was negotiating a secret deal with Pyongyang, published on Tuesday by the Washington Free Beacon, and syndicated by the Washington Times newspaper, has not gained much traction beyond that spattering of conservative American news outlets, garnering only a healthy dose of skepticism.

Not surprisingly, China was also not interested.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang responded Wednesday to a Chinese-language question on the report with two words – in English.

“Fake news,” Geng was quoted as saying in the official transcript of Wednesday’s regular press breifing. Next question, please.

The “top secret” document published in the report was purported to be from “a person who once had ties to the Chinese intelligence and security communities,” whatever that means, but the author also said he could not independently verify the document.

The question we posed yesterday is whether conservative media’s reporting of the document as newsworthy will pique Trump’s interest, regardless of its veracity. If the report was true, it makes Trump look like he was played like a fiddle, so he might be careful not to draw attention.

We might also see if the US president buys the “fake news” line — which he uses exclusively to lambast hostile liberal media — when it is used against conservative media supportive of his administration.

January 4, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 3 Comments

Expect Even Less Freedom of Internet in 2018

By Philip M. GIRALDI | Strategic Culture Foundation | 04.01.2018

Users of social media have been increasingly reporting that their accounts have been either censored, blocked or suspended during the past year. Initially, some believed that the incidents might be technical in nature, with overloaded servers struggling to keep up with the large and growing number of accounts, but it eventually emerged that the interference was deliberate and was focused on individuals and groups that were involved in political or social activities considered to be controversial.

At the end of last year a number of Russian accounts on Facebook and elsewhere were suspended over the allegations that social media had been used to spread so-called false news that had possibly materially affected the 2016 presidential election in the United States. Even though it proved impossible to demonstrate that the relatively innocuous Russian efforts had any impact in comparison to the huge investment in advertising and propaganda engaged in by the two major parties, social media quickly responded to the negative publicity.

Now it has been learned that major social media and internet service providers have, throughout the past year, been meeting secretly with the United States and Israeli governments to remove content as well as ban account holders from their sites. The United States and Israel have no legal right to tell private companies what to do but it is clearly understood that the two governments can make things very difficult for those service providers that do not fall in line. Israel has threatened to limit access to sites like Facebook or to ban it altogether while the U.S. Justice Department can use terrorist legislation, even if implausible, to force compliance. Washington recently forced Facebook to cancel the account of the Chechen Republic’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a Putin loyalist that the White House has recently “sanctioned.”

Israel is not surprisingly most active in patrolling the Internet as it is keen to keep out any material sympathetic to the Palestinian cause or critical of Israeli treatment of Arabs. Its security services scan the stories being surfaced and go to the service providers to ask that material be deleted or blocked based on the questionable proposition that it constitutes “incitement” to violence. Facebook reportedly cooperates 95% of the time to delete material or shut down accounts. Palestinian groups, which use social networking on the internet to communicate, have been especially hard hit, with ten leading administrators’ accounts being removed in 2017. Israeli accounts including material threatening to kill Arabs are not censored.

Microsoft, Google, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook are all also under pressure to cooperate with pro-Israel private groups in the United States, to include the powerful Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The ADL seeks “to engineer new solutions to stop cyberhate” by blocking “hate language,” which includes any criticism of Israel that might even implausibly be construed as anti-Semitism. Expanding restrictions on what is being defined as “hate speech” will undoubtedly become common in social media and more generally all across the internet in 2018.

The internet, widely seen as a highway where everyone could communicate and share ideas freely, is actually a toll road that is increasingly managed by a group of very large corporations that, when acting in unison, control what is seen and not seen. Search engines already are set up to prioritize information from paid “sponsors,” which come up prominently but often have nothing to do with what material is most relevant. And the role of intrusive governments in dictating to Facebook and other sites who will be heard and who will be silenced should also be troubling, as it means that information that would benefit the public might never be seen, particularly if it is embarrassing to powerful interests. And speaking of powerful interests, groups like the ADL with partisan agendas will undoubtedly be able to dictate norms of behavior to the service providers, leading to still more loss of content and relevancy for those who are looking for information.

All things considered, the year 2018 will be a rough one for those who are struggling to maintain the internet as a source of relatively free information. Governments and interest groups have seen the threat posed by such liberty and are reacting to it. They will do their best to bring it under control.

January 4, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

CIA Whistleblower: Reports of Iran, al-Qaeda Ties ‘Simply a Lie’

Sputnik – 04.01.2018

A new Pentagon report claiming that Iran supports terrorist groups such as the Taliban and al-Qaeda has been disseminated through American media outlets – but has come under fire for wishy-washy claims about said connections.

For instance, one supposed link came when Saad bin Laden, one of Osama bin Laden’s sons, fled to Iran after the September 11, 2001, attacks in the US. But what isn’t mentioned is that Saad and his family were detained upon arrival and placed under house arrest. Khalid bin Laden, another of Osama’s sons who was killed alongside him during the 2011 US Navy SEALs raid, accused the Iranians in 2010 of subjecting his family members to beatings and severe mistreatment.

Garland Nixon and Lee Stranahan of Radio Sputnik’s Fault Lines spoke to John Kiriakou, a CIA agent-turned-whistleblower who helped reveal the CIA’s torture program to the American public in 2007.

​”The whole thing rests on your definition of harbor,” said Kiriakou. “Osama bin Laden’s son [Saad] in the immediate aftermath of the [battle of Tora Bora in December 2001] fled to Iran with his wives and his children and a handful of hangers-on. They were promptly arrested at the border. They were not put under house arrest in some beautiful palace with servants and a view of the valley; they were put under arrest and put in a jail. If that’s harbored, man, I don’t want to be harbored.”

“Let me say something unequivocally: there was no cooperation between al-Qaeda and Iran, just like there was no cooperation between al-Qaeda and Iraq.” Kiriakou referenced a little-mentioned Taliban execution of Iranian diplomats a few years before 9/11: in 1998, in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, the Taliban rounded up and killed a number of Iranian diplomats in retribution for Tehran’s support of the Northern Alliance in their war against the Taliban in the 90s — the same Northern Alliance that the US supported when they invaded Afghanistan in October 2001.

“There’s no love lost between between the Taliban/al-Qaeda and the Iranians,” said Kiriakou. “I’m going to say it again unequivocally: there is no connection between Iran and al-Qaeda, this is being made up. There are other countries that would benefit from the proliferation of this lie — but that’s what it is, simply a lie.”

Nixon mentioned that the connection between al-Qaeda and Iran was drawn from a CIA document dump from early November, with all the articles appearing in a three-day period — almost as though the outlets had coordinated to make the story.

“This is what the CIA does to confuse people,” said Kiriakou. “There’s no analysis, there’s no vetting of the documents, they just dump it. This is exactly what the CIA complained was happening during the first four years of the Bush administration, where the president is coming out or his aides are coming out and saying, ‘there’s cooperation between the Iraqi government and al-Qaeda.’ There wasn’t.”

“But what was happening was that people in the [National Security Council] who had their own political agenda were passing the president raw intelligence that had not been vetted, not been analyzed by the directorate of intelligence. Well, the CIA is doing exactly the same thing now, but they’re using the press as their dupe. They’re just releasing this raw data taken off of Osama bin Laden’s computers and saying, ‘here it is!’ No analysis, no nothing.”

On Wednesday, former New York Times journalist James Risen published a story on The Intercept in which he claimed his skepticism that Iraq under Saddam Hussein was linked to terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda were on multiple occasions buried by the Times’ editorial staff.

“My stories raising questions about the intelligence, particularly the administration’s claims of a link between Iraq and al-Qaeda, were being cut, buried or held out of the paper altogether,” Risen wrote. “What angered me most was that while they were burying my skeptical stories, the editors were not only giving banner headlines to stories asserting that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, they were also demanding that I help match stories from other publications about Iraq’s purported WMD programs.”

Risen, and the others who were skeptical about the US intelligence community’s claims that Saddam had partnered with al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups in order to garner support for the 2003 invasion, were vindicated by history when the alleged links were revealed to be false.

January 4, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

As US seeks emergency UN meeting on Iran, Russia reminds it of Ferguson & Occupy crackdowns

RT | January 4, 2018

The US has said it will call an emergency UNSC meeting to discuss the unrest in Iran, citing the need to support the protesters. Moscow says the move is hypocritical, given Washington’s own history of cracking down on protests.

While the US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, said Washington would call for an “urgent” UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting on Iran Monday, there’s been no word yet from the UN on such a meeting being scheduled. Kairat Umarov, Kazakhstan’s envoy to the UN, who is now holding the rotating presidency in the UNSC, said Tuesday the council has not yet added Iran to its agenda and no decision has been yet taken on the issue.

Haley was emphatic in her support of Iran’s anti-government protesters, praising their “great bravery” and calling on the international community to support them. “The people of Iran are crying out for freedom,” Haley told journalists at a news conference. “All freedom-loving people must stand with their cause,” she added, while promising to seek an emergency session of the UN Human Rights Commission.

Washington’s latest attempt at masquerading as a global human rights defender was met with ridicule in Moscow, which reminded the US about its own approach when dealing with protests whenever they occur on American soil. “There is no doubt that the US delegation to the UN has something to tell the world,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova said on Facebook.

“Haley can, for example, share the US experience of putting down protests, tell [the Security Council] about the mass arrests and crackdown against the Occupy Wall Street movement or about the “clean-up operation” in Fergusson,” she sarcastically added.

The Occupy Wall Street protests began in the world’s financial capital, New York City, in September 2011. People came to Zuccotti Park located in the Wall Street financial district to protest against social and economic inequality in the US. Despite the peaceful nature of the protest, the police crackdown was swift, arresting as many as 700 protesters in one day as they marched across Brooklyn Bridge on October 1. Later, it was also revealed that the FBI monitored the movement through its Joint Terrorism Task Force and used counterterrorism agents to investigate OWS, despite labelling it peaceful.

Fergusson, Missouri, witnessed massive protests in 2014 following the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man who was shot and killed by a police officer. US authorities imposed a curfew in the area while military police repeatedly dispersed the protesters using tear gas and other means. Later, the Missouri governor deployed National Guard troops to secure the area.

January 4, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | 1 Comment