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Trump assailed for phoning Putin, but feting blood-soaked Saudi dictator is OK

By Finian Cunningham | RT | March 22, 2018

Donald Trump sparked outrage this week in the US over his congratulatory phone call to Russian leader Vladimir Putin on his re-election. But his obscene indulgence of a Saudi despot in the White House hardly ruffled any concern.

How disconnected from reality can you get?

There was furious reaction across US media to news that Trump phoned Russia’s President Putin to congratulate him on his landslide election victory last weekend. Republicans and Democrats were up in arms about what is just basic protocol of one leader calling another to express customary election compliments.

After all, former president Barack Obama did the same when Putin won the previous 2012 presidential election.

This time, however, US-Russian relations have become toxic after a raft of unproven allegations against Moscow, including alleged meddling in the American presidential vote in November 2016 in which Trump was elected, and the latest row over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in England.

All these anti-Russian claims are unsubstantiated, if not outlandish, but they are repeated often enough to cast a permanent cloud over international relations. Republican Senator John McCain was widely quoted by way of expressing the bipartisan outrage over Trump’s phone call. “An American president does not lead the free world by congratulating dictators,” he said.

American critics of Russia’s Putin can quibble all they like about the merits of his re-election. They contend the vote was a foregone conclusion, rigged in his favor. But such sniping seems churlish against the overwhelming fact that Putin was supported by a huge majority of voters – nearly 77 percent.

In any case, another way of looking at this outpouring of American bile is to enquire just how credible are the detractors?

Their consternation with regard to Putin and Trump’s customary phone call seems way out of proportion, and strangely at odds with their relative silence over the visit in the same week to the White House by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS).

Bin Salman is the de facto leader of the desert kingdom in place of his ailing father, King Salman. The 32-year-old crown prince consolidated his autocratic power last year in a purge against other members of the House of Saud, in which hundreds of rivals where rounded up, detained, reportedly tortured, and shaken down for billions of dollars.

MBS was feted by Trump in the White House mainly because of the giant weapons purchases he has made since the American president visited the oil kingdom last year – which was Trump’s first official overseas visit.

In a bizarre photo-op, Trump held up gaudy cardboard posters proclaiming various multi-million-dollar arms sales to the Saudi regime. One such deal was depicted as being worth $525 million, to which the president quipped to his Saudi guest, “That’s peanuts to you.”

It was a grubby spectacle of just how sordid the decades-old relationship is between the US and its Arab client regime. All in the seeming salubrious setting of the Oval Office.

If the outrage over Trump’s perfunctory call to Putin had any principle over the matter of elections and autocratic rule, then the critics in Washington would have more than ample cause to fulminate against the Saudi Crown Prince being greeted in the White House. But there was barely any protest.

Admittedly, there was an attempt this week by some senators to pass a resolution limiting American military support for the Saudi war in Yemen. In the end though, the resolution was rejected by a majority of lawmakers.

However, aside from that minor show of dissent, in the scale of things the disconnect with reality in Washington and the US corporate media shows a grotesque distortion of moral priorities.

MBS was visiting Washington in the same week, marking three relentless years of US-backed Saudi slaughter in Yemen. Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who also holds the position of defense minister, is the architect of the Saudi war in Yemen.

The United Nations has called the conflict in the Arab region’s poorest country “the worst humanitarian crisis in decades.”

Some eight million people – a third of the population – are facing starvation, largely because the Saudi-led war has blockaded the country from receiving food imports, medicines, and other humanitarian aid.

Thousands of civilians have been killed in airstrikes by Saudi warplanes that are supplied and refueled by the Americans, British and French. The Americans also share intelligence to direct the Saudi bombing campaign, which even pro-Western human rights groups have reported as being indiscriminate in striking civilian centers. In other words, the US and its NATO allies are fully complicit in this ongoing barbarity.

Saudi claims of fighting against Houthi rebels because the latter are orchestrated by Iran to destabilize the region are not credible. The war is all about trying to re-install a puppet leader, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, who was kicked out by rebel fighters in January 2015. The Saudis launched their war with Washington’s approval in March 2015, partly out of spite over the international nuclear accord that was being negotiated at the time. The Iran nuclear deal was finalized in July 2015. Trump wants to axe it to further placate his Saudi clients.

What is going on in Yemen is nothing short of a bloodbath. Arguably, it is a genocide, given the collective punishment imposed on the entire nation by the Saudi military coalition supported by Washington.

Trump’s hosting of the Saudi crown prince this week in the White House is an obscenity. Celebrating the sale of warplanes, tanks, missiles and other munitions was a macabre drooling over the slaughter of thousands of innocents.

Of course, Trump participated in the charade that the war in Yemen is a “just cause” to counter Iranian malign influence. Iran denies any involvement, as do the Yemeni rebels. There is no evidence to support the US-Saudi claim. Besides, how could Iran supply weapons to a country that is blockaded by land, air and sea?

What is truly disturbing is how little concern the US-enabled carnage in Yemen provokes in official Washington circles and among the corporate media. Millions of Yemeni children are dying from bombardments, hunger, and diseases. The horror is real and unalloyed, unlike the situation in Syria, where the Western media have distorted Syrian Army and Russian liberation of towns besieged by NATO-backed terrorists.

For Yemen, the official silence in Washington is astounding. The very personification of the Yemeni horror – a blood-soaked Saudi despot – is welcomed and cheered, with barely a murmur of protest in Washington or the mainstream news media.

Such people have no moral compass or integrity when all they seem concerned about is their president making a phone call to an elected Russian leader.

Thus, anything they have to say regarding Putin, Russia, its elections and foreign policy is best ignored. People with such a glaring disconnect from reality are impossible to reason with. They are beneath contempt.

Read more:

Army General admits US does not track weapons used to bomb Yemeni civilians

Shock horror! Trump congratulates Putin on election victory and media goes nuts

‘1st bomb took my leg’: Yemeni children tell RT of their suffering under Saudi-led strikes

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Pentagon chief calls on Saudi crown prince to cease Yemen aggression

Press TV – March 22, 2018

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has called upon Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to find an “urgent” political solution to the devastating three-year-old conflict in neighboring Yemen, which has claimed the lives of thousands of people and left the impoverished nation’s infrastructure in ruins.

Mattis and bin Salman met at the Pentagon on Thursday as the de facto ruler of the Arab kingdom is on a tour of the United States, which began earlier this week with a White House visit.

“As you discussed with President (Donald) Trump on Tuesday, we must also reinvigorate urgent efforts to seek a peaceful resolution to the civil war in Yemen and we support you in this regard,” the US defense secretary told his Saudi counterpart.

“We are going to end this war; that is the bottom line. And we are going to end it on positive terms for the people of Yemen but also security for the nations in the peninsula,” Mattis added.

The Saudi crown prince, speaking through a translator, told Mattis that cooperation between the Pentagon and Saudi Arabia has “improved tremendously” of late.

The remarks came only two days after the US Senate killed a bipartisan bid seeking to end US support for Saudi Arabia’s aerial bombardment campaign in Yemen.

Mattis had lobbied Congress to reject the bill, claiming that restrictions could increase civilian casualties in Yemen, jeopardize the so-called counter-terrorism cooperation between Washington and Riyadh, and “reduce” Washington’s “influence with the Saudis.”

About 14,000 people have been killed since the onset of Saudi Arabia’s military campaign against Yemen in March 2015. Much of the Arabian Peninsula country’s infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and factories, has been reduced to rubble due to the war.

The United Nations says a record 22.2 million people are in need of food aid, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.

A high-ranking UN aid official recently warned against the “catastrophic” living conditions in Yemen, stating that there is a growing risk of famine and cholera there.

“After three years of conflict, conditions in Yemen are catastrophic,” John Ging, UN director of aid operations, told the UN Security Council on February 27.

He added, “People’s lives have continued unraveling. Conflict has escalated since November driving an estimated 100,000 people from their homes.”

Ging further noted that cholera has infected 1.1 million people in Yemen since last April, and a new outbreak of diphtheria has occurred in the war-ravaged Arab country since 1982.

US OKs $1bn in Saudi military deals

Meanwhile, the US State Department said in a statement it had approved military contracts with Saudi Arabia worth over $1 billion.

According to the State Department, 6,600 TOW 2B anti-tank missiles are to be supplied under the biggest contract, which is worth $670 million.

A $106 million deal for helicopter maintenance and another contract for ground vehicle parts worth $300 million were also approved on Thursday.

The State Department said it had notified the US Congress of the possible military equipment contracts.

“This proposed sale will support US foreign policy and national security objectives by improving the security of a friendly country which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic growth in the Middle East,” the statement said.

The three contracts are highly expected to be approved by Congress in the wake of the Senate’s Tuesday rejection of the bill to end US support for the Saudi war.

A report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) revealed earlier this month that the US has increased its arms sales by 25 percent over the past five years.

According to the SIPRI report, Saudi Arabia increased its arms purchases by 225 percent over the past five years, importing 98 percent of its weapons from the US and EU countries.

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Trump replaces national security adviser McMaster with John Bolton

Sputnik – March 22, 2018

HR McMaster will exit the role of National Security Adviser to United States President Donald Trump. Former UN Ambassador John Bolton, a prominent war hawk, will replace McMaster, Trump announced on Twitter Thursday evening.

It had been reported for weeks that McMaster and Trump were butting heads and that the US Army lieutenant general was on the brink of being removed. McMaster is the most recent of more than two dozen officials to be fired or resign from the Trump administration since the president took office 14 months ago.

“After thirty-four years of service to our nation, I am requesting retirement from the US Army effective this summer,” McMaster said in a Thursday statement, adding, “I am thankful to President Donald J. Trump for the opportunity to serve him and our nation as National Security Adviser.” McMaster will leave public service after retiring from the military.

Bolton will be Trump’s third national security adviser, following the very brief tenure of Iran hawk Michael Flynn and now McMaster.

Bolton was a major proponent of the US’ 2003 invasion of Iraq and an advocate for the overthrow of leader Saddam Hussein, positions he still defends more than a decade later.

He wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in late February outlining “the legal case for striking North Korea first.” Historian Gareth Porter told Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear last week that Bolton’s nomination would likely lead to a White House that is more eager to pursue a war with Iran. “During the [George W.] Bush administration,” when Bolton was the US ambassador to the UN, “there was a plan for war with Iran,” Porter said.

Like Trump, Bolton opposes the multilateral 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the milestone agreement intended to provide limits to and transparency on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Trump in January recertified the deal for what he said would be the last 120-day period without major changes.

Speaking to reporters at the White House while Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was visiting this week, Trump stated, “The Iran deal is coming up. It’s probably another month or so, and you’re going to see what I do.” Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, one of the voices said to have counseled Trump that scrapping the JCPOA was a bad idea, was recently dismissed from his position in favor of former CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Since his time in the Bush administration, Bolton has worked as a foreign policy fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He is a Fox News contributor and frequently appears on TV as a conservative pundit.

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

March Madness Washington Style

By Andrew Napolitano • Unz Review • March 22, 2018

For the past few days, the nation’s media and political class have been fixated on the firing of the No. 2 person in the FBI, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. McCabe became embroiled in the investigation of President Donald Trump because of his alleged approval of the use of a political dossier, written about Trump and paid for by the Democrats and not entirely substantiated, as a basis to secure a search warrant for surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser who once boasted that he worked for the Kremlin at the same time that he was advising candidate Trump.

The dossier itself and whatever was learned from the surveillance formed the basis for commencing the investigation of the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia by the Obama Department of Justice, which is now being run by special counsel Robert Mueller and has been expanded into other areas. The surveillance of the Trump campaign based on arguably flimsy evidence put McCabe into President Trump’s crosshairs. Indeed, Trump attacked McCabe many times on social media and even rejoiced when Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired him at 10 p.m. last Friday, just 26 hours before his retirement was to have begun.

Why the fixation on this? Here is the back story.

After the unlawful use of the FBI and CIA by the Nixon administration to spy on President Nixon’s domestic political opponents, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 1978. This statute outlawed all domestic surveillance except that which is authorized by the Constitution or by the new Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

That court, the statute declared, could authorize surveillance of foreigners physically located in the United States on a legal standard lesser than that which the Constitution requires. Even though this meant Congress could avoid the Constitution — an event that every high school social studies student knows is unconstitutional — the FISC enthusiastically embraced its protocol.

That protocol was a recipe for the constitutional crisis that is now approaching. The recipe consists of a secret court whose records and rulings are not available to the public. It’s a court where only the government’s lawyers appear; hence there is no challenge to the government’s submissions. And it’s a court that applies a legal standard profoundly at odds with the Constitution. The Constitution requires the presentation of evidence of probable cause of a crime as the trigger for a search warrant, yet FISA requires only probable cause of a relationship to a foreign power.

In the years in which the FISC authorized spying only on foreigners, few Americans complained. Some of us warned at FISA’s inception that this system violates the Constitution and is ripe for abuse, yet we did not know then how corrupt the system would become. The corruption was subtle, as it consisted of government lawyers, in secret and without opposition, persuading the FISC to permit spying on Americans.

The logic was laughable, but it went like this: We need to spy on all foreigners, whether they’re working for a foreign government or not; we need to spy on anyone who communicates with a foreigner; and we need to spy on anyone who has communicated with anyone else who has ever communicated with a foreigner.

These absurd extrapolations, pressed on the FISC and accepted by it in secret, turned FISA — a statute written to prevent spying on Americans — into a tool that facilitates it. Now, back to McCabe.

Though the use of FISA for domestic spying on ordinary Americans came about gradually and was generally known only to those in the federal intelligence and law enforcement communities and to members of the Senate and House intelligence committees, by the time McCabe became deputy director of the FBI, this spying was commonplace. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (is it really a court, given that its rulings are secret and it hears only the government and it rejects the constraints of the Constitution?) has granted 99.9 percent of government surveillance requests.

So when McCabe and his colleagues went to the FISC in October 2016 looking for a search warrant to conduct surveillance of officials in the Trump campaign, they knew that their request would be granted, but they never expected that their application, their work and the purpose of their request — as far removed as it was from the original purpose of FISA — would come under public scrutiny.

Indeed, it was not until the surveillance of Trump and his colleagues in the campaign and the transition came to light — with McCabe as the poster boy for it — that most Americans even knew how insidiously governmental powers are being abused.

The stated reason for McCabe’s firing was not his abuse of FISA but his absence of candor to FBI investigators about his use of FISA. I don’t know whether those allegations are the true reasons for his firing or McCabe was sacrificed at the altar of government abuse — because those who fired him also have abused FISA.

But I do know that there are lessons to learn in all this. Courts are bound by the Constitution, just as are Congress and the president. Just because Congress says something is lawful does not mean it is constitutional. Secret courts are the tools of tyrants and lead to the corruption of the judicial process and the erosion of freedom.

And courts that hear no challenge to the government and grant whatever it wants are not courts as we understand them; they are government hacks. They and the folks who have facilitated all this have undermined personal liberty in our once free society.

The whole purpose of the Constitution is to restrain the government and to protect personal liberty. FISA and its enablers in both major political parties have done the opposite. They have infused government with corruption and have assaulted the privacy of us all.

Copyright 2018 Andrew P. Napolitano. Distributed by

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption | , | Leave a comment

Israel Moves to Revoke Residency to 12 Palestinians of Jerusalem

Palestine Chronicle | March 22, 2018

Under a recently enacted law, Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri has expressed his intentions to strip the residency status of 12 Palestinians in Jerusalem, accusing them of being involved in “terror”.

Four of the 12 are elected Parliamentarians affiliated with the Hamas Movement.

The law, passed two weeks ago, gives the interior minister the power to strip the residency documents of any Palestinian on grounds of a “breach of loyalty” to Israel.

But last year, the Supreme Court ruled that the interior minister does not have the power to do so after a petition was filed by rights groups.

In response, the Israeli government enacted the bill two weeks ago, giving the minister the legal means to strip the residency documents of any Palestinian whom he deems a threat.

Rights groups have blasted the new law as racist and illegal.

“East Jerusalem is considered occupied territory under international humanitarian law (IHL) – like all other areas of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – and its Palestinian residents are a protected civilian population,” Adalah, a Palestinian rights group in Israel, said.

Palestinians in the city are given “permanent residency” ID cards and temporary Jordanian passports that are only used for travel purposes. They are essentially stateless, stuck in legal limbo – they are not citizens of Israel, nor are they citizens of Jordan or Palestine.

The new bill will only worsen the difficult conditions for the 420,000 Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem, who are treated as foreign immigrants by the state.

Since 1967, Israel has revoked the status of at least 14,000 Palestinians.

Deri, the interior minister, who was, in the past, convicted of bribery, fraud and “breach of trust”, says this law would allow him to protect the “security of Israeli citizens”.

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Deep State Breaks Surface

By Craig Murray | March 22, 2018

I confess I found it difficult to get worked up about the Cambridge Analytica affair. My reactions was “What awful people. But surely everybody realises that is what Facebook does?”. It seemed to me hardly news, on top of which the most likely outcome is that it will be used as yet another excuse to introduce government controls on the internet and clamp down on dissenting views like those on this website, where 85% of all traffic comes through Facebook or Twitter.

But two nights ago my interest was piqued when, at the height of Cambridge Analytica’s domination of the news cycle, the BBC gave it considerably less airtime than the alcohol abuse problems of someone named Ant. The evening before, the BBC had on Newsnight given the CEO of Cambridge Analytica the most softball interview imaginable. If the BBC is obviously downplaying something, it is usually defending a deep British Establishment interest.

It took me a minute to find out that Cambridge Analytica is owned by a British company, SCL Ltd, which in effect does exactly the same activities in the UK that Cambridge Analytica was undertaking in the US. I then looked up SCL on Bloomberg.

The name which jumped out at me of course was Lord Ivar Mountbatten, direct descendant of Queen Victoria and scion of the family closest friends with that of the UK’s unelected monarch. The only person listed by Companies House as having “significant control” – ie over 25% of the shares – is Roger Gabb, the wine merchant known for large donations to the Tory Party. I have now spoken to people who know him fairly well who, I must note in fairness, universally say he is a kind and very bright man, but with no technical input in the kind of work performed by SCL/Cambridge Analytica.

SCL is as Establishment as a company can get. The most worrying aspect of this is that SCL is paid by the British government to manipulate public opinion particularly in the fields of “Security” and “Defence”, and still more worryingly SCL – this group of ultra Tory money men seeking to refine government propaganda at the expense of you, the taxpayer – is cleared by the MOD to access classified government information.

I then did a news search on google for “Mountbatten” and “SCL” and it brought up zero results from corporate and state media. I then did a wider search not just of news sites, and found this excellent article from Liam O’Hare on Bella Caledonia. It said everything I had been planning to write, and probably says it better. Please do read it. Liam has actually done this to me before, getting there first. I suspect we may be the same person. Come to think of it, I have never seen a photo of us together.

PS Everyone of my generation will remember this joke. “What’s white and flies across the sea at 300mph?” We had a more robust attitude to free speech in the 70’s, and the maudlin deference to the “Royal family” had much less hold on the population.

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , | 1 Comment

Taylor Force Act about to sneak through Congress, perpetuating oppression of Palestinians

By Kathryn Shihadah | If Americans Knew | March 22, 2018

The Taylor Force Act, which has been working its way through Congress since February 2017, is likely to become law this week, tucked away inside an omnibus spending bill that, if it fails to pass, will result in government shutdown.

The bill (HR1164, S 1697), named after Taylor Force, a young man who was killed by a Palestinian in Tel Aviv in March 2016, is designed to withhold economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority until it stops “making payments to terrorists in Israeli prisons and to the families of deceased terrorists.”

The alleged “pay-to-slay” practice is widely condemned in both houses of Congress because it supposedly incentivizes terrorism.

However, this interpretation of the Palestinian Authority policy is based on a nearly universal misunderstanding of the program, which presupposes Palestinians to be terrorists with a death wish, rather recognizing that they are people who embrace life like everyone else.

In fact, when viewed in its proper context, the Palestinian Authority is providing a valuable social program, not a rebel recruitment tool.

Family assistance

In the US, the family of a service member killed in the line of duty receives a one-time payment to help surviving members deal with financial hardships connected with the loss of their loved one. This “death gratuity” is currently $100,000.

Israel too has a compensation program for families of IDF soldiers killed or injured in the line of duty.

The Palestinian Territories, however, have no official armed forces; their resistance against the occupation is carried out by civilians. In the event of their death, injury, or imprisonment their families still face financial struggles. The Palestinian Authority provides for them through the fund that Congress is trying to bring to an end. (For more detail on the Taylor Force Act, read this and this.)

The fund, which had a budget of $170 million in 2016, makes monthly payments to about 35,000 Palestinian families – averaging under $400 a month. This helps children go to school and get food and medical care in the event the family breadwinner is imprisoned or killed.

According to Palestinian officials, only a small portion of the money goes to families of violent criminals; the majority goes to families of Palestinians who are imprisoned by Israel, many without charges.

A massive number of Palestinians – 800,000 since the beginning of the occupation, mostly men – are also detained by Israel as political prisoners; thousands of others have been killed or injured by IDF soldiers. Their families too need assistance.

Without this social safety net, many Palestinian wives, mothers, and children would be at risk of homelessness and starvation.

Believing the worst

Our Congress has been given an explanation of how the program works, but refuses to accept it: Senator Blunt (R-MO) declared recently, “This is not a welfare system, but a so-called martyr system and we shouldn’t allow the killers and ruthless attackers to be recognized as martyrs in a system that we are part of.” Senator Cotton (R-AR) added, “The taxpayers’ dollars will no longer go to subsidize the murder of American citizens and Israeli citizens.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, self-proclaimed “guardian of Israel” (not of the United States) promised to do “everything possible” to help get the Taylor Force Act through, preferably by unanimous consent.

Those members of Congress with a modicum compassion (and, perhaps, a wish to prop up the Palestinian Authority?) have insisted that some money for the Palestinian Authority stay in the budget: Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) pushed for $37 million in assistance for water treatment (a compromise of $5 million was reached); others fought to keep $500,000 for vaccinations for children and a fund for the East Jerusalem Hospital Network.

The US currently provides about $260 million a year in Palestinian aid. None of this money goes directly into the hands of the Palestinian Authority, but rather funds NGO programs that assist Palestinians. The US also pays out $50 – $100 million each year to Palestinian security forces, which work with Israel to “maintain security” in the West Bank – i.e. clamp down on Palestinian resistance forces.

Enabling injustice

The noteworthy – and unspoken – other side of the coin is American aid to Israel, which continues unimpeded, regardless of Israel’s actions. $10 million a day flows out of our coffers to bankroll Israel’s illegal occupation and blockade, its high-tech wars against the unarmed population of Gaza, and ongoing human rights abuses.

The great irony of this military aid to Israel is that this massive amount of money supports the occupation, which directly contributes to the Palestinians’ economic hardship and desperate need for American aid. The occupation imprisons Palestinians, weaponizes the IDF to shoot and kill, and drives young men occasionally to the hopelessness that turns them to violence. The circle is complete when the US ignores the financial hardship it helped create, and defunds aid through the Taylor Force Act.

Bottom line: US aid finances oppression, Palestinian families face financial hardship, the Taylor Force Act wants to defund their aid.

Is this good for us?

As I wrote when the Taylor Force Act was newly minted:

The Foreign Assistance Act, which “prohibits…assistance to any country which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violation of internationally recognized human rights,” sounds like it can be applied to Israel. Why are we forking over $10 million a day, $3.5 billion a year, to the Israeli government?

The answer is in the fine print of the Act: “except when extraordinary circumstances exist which necessitate continuation of such assistance or the national interest of the United States requires such assistance.” Our leaders seem to think Israel’s continued human rights abuses are in our best interest.

The Taylor Force Act will most likely pass along with the rest of the omnibus bill. At that point we must consider some new strategy to advocate for assistance to Palestinian families in need. An educational program for our Congress members, perhaps – with a test at the end to make sure they were paying attention? A trip to see Gaza, Silwan, and the unrecognized villages of the Negev? Or perhaps a heart transplant?

Kathryn Shihadah is a staff writer for If Americans Knew

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Over 130 Palestinian Sports Clubs Urge Adidas to End Sponsorship of Israel Football Association

IMEMC | March 22, 2018

Today, over 130 Palestinian football clubs and sports associations called on German sportswear giant Adidas to end its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA) over its inclusion of football clubs based in illegal Israeli settlements built on stolen Palestinian land.

In a letter addressed to Adidas CEO Kasper Rørsted, the Palestinian clubs cautioned that as “the main international sponsor of the IFA, Adidas is lending its brand to cover up and whitewash Israel’s human rights abuses” and give “international cover to Israel’s illegal settlements.”

The letter notes, according to the PNN, that “UN Security Council Resolution 2334 denounces Israeli settlements as flagrant violations of international law” and cautions the world’s second largest sportswear manufacturer that its sponsorship of the IFA makes it eligible for inclusion in the UN’s database of complicit companies doing business in or with Israel’s illegal settlements. The Palestinian clubs further warn that the company’s continued complicity with Israel’s settlement enterprise “may expose it to consumer-led boycott campaigns in the Arab world and globally.”

Former Palestinian national team player Mahmoud Sarsak said:

“Palestinian footballers are routinely forced to endure Israeli military raids and tear gas on our fields, denied by Israel our right to travel to matches, and have seen our teammates killed and our stadiums bombed.

I was jailed by the Israeli occupation for three years without charge or trial and released only after a 96-day hunger strike and worldwide outcry. Palestinian players run this risk everyday, as they are forced to go through Israeli military checkpoints. All the while, the IFA holds matches in illegal Israeli settlements, which rob us of our land, water, resources and livelihoods. Adidas’ sponsorship of the IFA prominently places its iconic logo on Israel’s abuses of our rights. The company must immediately cut ties with the IFA.”

Hind Awwad from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) said:

“Adidas relies heavily on football league and club sponsorships to raise its brand awareness. However, being associated with the IFA as it tramples Palestinian rights will implicate Adidas in Israel’s egregious human rights violations, including illegal settlements, home demolitions, and land grabs throughout the occupied Palestinian territory.

In 2016, Adidas ended its sponsorship of the International Association of Athletics Federations, regarding the doping and corruption scandals plaguing the organization as a breach of the contract. Surely involvement in Israeli settlements built in violation of international law should be grounds for ending sponsorship of the IFA. Adidas has a responsibility to do the right thing and heed the call from Palestinian footballs clubs to end its sponsorship of the IFA.”

In their letter, the Palestinian clubs recall the “widespread protests, calls for boycott and government condemnations” of Adidas over sponsorship of Israel’s so-called Jerusalem Marathon, which illegally passes through occupied East Jerusalem. “Adidas rightly ended its sponsorship” of the marathon, they say, and must now withdraw sponsorship of the IFA “until it ends its involvement in Israel’s grave violations of international law and human rights abuses against Palestinians.”

Among the clubs signing the letter are the Jenin Athletic Club, the oldest Palestinian club in the West Bank, founded in 1940, as well as former Premier League champs Shabab Al-Khalil and top clubs Tulkarem and Shabab Alsamu.

PACBI has also launched a petition calling on Adidas to end its IFA sponsorship as “Palestinian children and their families are being pushed from their homes” to give way to the settlements hosting IFA league matches.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) was initiated in 2004 to contribute to the struggle for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality.

PACBI advocates for the boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions, given their deep and persistent complicity in Israel’s denial of Palestinian rights as stipulated in international law.

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , | Leave a comment

The Blood of Gaza Will Be on the Hands of Mahmoud Abbas in Israel’s Next Attack

By Robert Inlakesh | American Herald Tribune | March 20, 2018

‘Palestinian President’ Mahmoud Abbas, has announced his plans to collectively punish the civilian population of the Gaza Strip, justifying his decision by accusing Hamas of something he has no evidence for.

Yesterday at a press meeting, held in Ramallah (Occupied West Bank), Mahmoud Abbas – President of the ‘Palestinian Authority’ (PA) – lashed out at Hamas, announcing his plans to increase the suffering in the Gaza Strip.

Mahmoud Abbas, who like Israel, illegally occupies his position in the West Bank, has accused Hamas of orchestrating the attempted assassination of Rami Hamdallah. Rami Hamdallah is the current Prime Minister of the ‘Palestinian Authority’.

On the 13th of March, the Palestinian PM’s convoy was attacked, shortly after passing the Beit Hanoun/Erez crossing (Gaza/Israel border). The attack left 9 members of Hamdallah’s security personnel injured, he survived with no injuries.

Almost within minutes of the attack taking place, allegations were mounted by PA members, against Hamas. No consideration was given to the possibility of an Israeli attack. This attack was carried out so close to border with the occupying power, yet somehow there is absolutely no suspicion on the part of the PA.

Adding to the fire, yesterday, Mahmoud Abbas indicated his belief, that Hamas was behind the assassination attempt. Abbas offered no evidence to support this allegation, an allegation which has been condemned by Palestinian factions, such as the PLFP and Islamic Jihad.

The true colors of Mahmoud Abbas begin to shine…

The PA president, who accuses Hamas of the assassination attempt, does not punish Hamas, instead he decides to tighten the grip around the throat of Gaza’s civilian population.

Mahmoud Abbas announced that he would “take national, legal and financial measures” against the Gaza Strip, in response to Hamas. But make no mistake, Abbas is not punishing Hamas, he is collectively punishing Gaza.

Hamas officials will not suffer from the treacherous decisions of Abbas. No Hamas official will lose their access to food, nor their access to clean water.

No Hamas officials are going to die as a result of this PA decision, the dead will be of the civilian population, 52% of which are children!

It was an integral part of the ‘Unity Deal’, signed between Hamas and Fatah parties, that the PA help the humanitarian situation in Gaza, this part of the deal was promised last September. Since the highly anticipated signing of the ‘Unity Deal’, there have been next to no efforts from the PA to help Gaza. The situation in the Gaza Strip has gotten so much worse, since the deal, that Gaza is in a declared state of emergency.

Not only does Abbas understand the situation, on the ground, in Gaza, he helped Israel create it. Just last year, the Palestinian authority – prior the ‘Unity Deal’ – stopped paying for the import of diesel fuel into the besieged Strip. The PA even reduced the salaries of its members in Gaza, this reduction ranged from 30-70 percent of the individual’s wages, placing many below the poverty line.

Mahmoud Abbas is doing the work of Israel

The situation in Gaza has deteriorated significantly, to the point now, of complete collapse. Another conflict between Hamas and the Israeli Regime seems highly likely, with Israel having much incentive to now launch a large scale attack.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of the Israeli regime, is currently under corruption investigation and is even losing support to further right-wing parties. Israel has also just privatized and centralized, most of their weapons manufacturing companies to Elbit Systems, meaning the demand for using weapons in Gaza is high. There is also nothing Israelis like more, than to see Gazans suffer and any excuse to launch an attack will win praise from the country’s population.

The PA’s Mahmoud Abbas, has been looking to steal the Gaza Strip from Hamas, hoping to have already achieved this aim by now. Frustration has been expressed from the PA, after going to Egypt several times, in an attempt to push Hamas to hand control of the besieged strip over. Hamas has resisted this, including the PLO call – on the 28th of Feb this year – to deploy 3000 PA policemen, from Ramallah to Gaza, in order to take over the strip militarily.

During the past 3 months, municipalities in Gaza have been forced to take an approximate, 30% pay cut, from their employees. Gaza has now also come to a 50% unemployment rate. Gaza’s population of 2 million, are now 80% below the poverty line, 96% of the water in Gaza is also unfit for human consumption.

The actions of Mahmoud Abbas, will mean the further collapse of social services, as well as all other aspects of life, in Gaza. Instead of solving any disputes like men, Abbas and his traitorous PA, punish the population of Gaza, waiting for war or revolution, anything but freedom.

If a confrontation between Hamas and Israel is to take place, Abbas and his PA will once again, most likely, hide and use the assassination attempt, as an excuse not to act against Israel.

The two state delusion, is gone, Israel won’t have it, nor will the US.

Mahmoud Abbas understands that his actions in the UN and with the International community, will not bring peace, instead he tries to squeeze every bit of power and money he can, out of a false dream. Instead of bringing the people together, the “President” of the PA, for now, divides his people, collectively punishes Gaza, watches the West Bank disappear and runs security forces for Israel’s illegal occupation.

To the people of Gaza, Mahmoud Abbas continues to declare himself, no friend and no representative.

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Is the North Korea Deal a Stalking Horse for Trump’s Mid-East Makeover?

By Alastair CROOKE | Strategic Culture Foundation | 22.03.2018

Clearly Donald Trump’s Presidency is entering a new phase. He is feeling his oats: he now has successes under his belt, and seems emboldened, and ready to pursue his impulsive, instinctive personal style, which he believes, took him to the Presidency. Things are about to get ‘interesting’ (in the Chinese sense). He is throwing off his restraints (Tillerson on JCPOA; and Cohn on tariffs). And other conventionalist ‘impedimenta’ (i.e. McMaster) may go, too, in coming days. General Mattis will cut a somewhat lonely figure in the future, perhaps.

Tillerson, last October said: “The president is a very unconventional person, as we all know, in terms of how he communicates, how he likes to create action-forcing events. And so, the President often takes steps to force an action when he feels things are just not moving.” So, it seems that Trump is forcing ‘action’ now. But with what end in mind? And, more importantly, is that end realistic, or will it take us to disaster – even to war?

Trump relishes risk, and elevating the stakes, sky-high. And his choices for replacements to this week’s dismissals reflect this: David Stockman describes Larry Kudlow as being “off the very (deep) deep-end for years, on the more important matters of deficits, tax-cut magic, Fed money-printing, wild-eyed economic growth rates, and, above all else, incorrigible cheerleading for Wall Street’s serial financial bubbles.” In short, Trump is casting aside Cohn’s conventional banker’s caution, in order to double-down on ‘supply-side’ economics (a big risk when government debt already stands at 105% of nominal GDP, and the US has a three trillion plus borrowing requirement already baked in, for the next three years ).

And he has just cast overboard, Tillerson’s old-style, courteous and conventional diplomacy, for that of a polarizing ‘hawk’ – Mike Pompeo. Not just any old hawk, but an North Korea hawk, as well as an Iran hawk; and a Russia hawk too. And, is, just to round off the picture, an Islamophobe (as extensively documented by Jim Lobe), and – like Trump – a partisan, Israeli loyalist.

“Just two days before he was named Rex Tillerson’s successor as secretary of state”, Uri Friedman has noted in The Atlantic : “CIA Director Mike Pompeo … an unsparing critic of the nuclear agreement with Iran, vowed to not repeat Barack Obama’s mistakes. What he promised was breathtaking: that President Trump would secure a better deal with North Korea … than his predecessor did with Iran, which had yet to acquire nuclear weapons.” Friedman continues: “The previous administration was negotiating from a position of weakness. This administration will be negotiating from a position of enormous strength”… The administration’s plan for the talks, [Pompeo] explained, is to maintain and increase economic pressure on North Korea while aiming for the “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of North Korea … [unlike Obama, who left] “the Iranians with a breakout capacity” to produce nuclear weapons, Pompeo noted. The “human capital and enrichment capacity” behind Iran’s nuclear-weapons program “continues to remain in place” despite its pause in testing, he cautioned – and “President Trump is determined to prevent that from happening in North Korea.”

Friedman comments: “What made Pompeo’s comments remarkable wasn’t just his assertion that the United States could compel North Korea to do what most experts believe North Korea never will: fully give up its nuclear weapons. It was also how confidently he made the claim, given what he’s said in the past about North Korea.”

Not surprisingly, the American and European press is replete with questions about whether Trump, by making Pompeo Secretary of State, finally has fully succumbed to the neo-cons (especially as John Bolton appears to be being considered for a senior position in Trump’s Administration, too). It has prompted serious and cool-headed commentators to predict that Pompeo’s appointment, plus Bolton hovering in the wings, suggest that we are heading for war with Iran and Russia.

The latter may well be right, but perhaps we should try to unpack this a little further. The ‘anti Trump, covert US state’, and its collaborators amongst Europeans and ‘globalist’ European intelligence services, evidently is ratchetting-up the pressure on Russia at every point – hoping to push President Putin into some ill-judged over-reaction, that would compel Trump to take some irreversible, rupturing action against Russia. They hope to corner Trump into burning his bridges with Putin, for good. But Trump bends a bit under the extreme force of these winds, but stays afoot – and the Russian President does the same, despite the heat of severe provocations.

Does Trump seek war with Russia? No. But the covert state does; and will try everything to get it. Trump does want war with Russia. In fact, he wants President Putin to help him make peace in the Middle East.

Tillerson is cast aside not because Trump wants nuclear war, but as a result of the mismatch between Trump’s mode of negotiation – as expressed in the Art of the Deal – and the conventional diplomacy of building good relations and a rapport with one’s counter-parties, as conducted by Tillerson. Trump simply does not believe that Tillerson’s way works. The latter clearly is not Trump’s way. He does not believe in it. He demands leverage. He insists to show strength. He hikes his threats to Armageddon levels; pushes the stakes sky-high, and just when it seems that tensions inexorably will explode, he tries to secure a deal.

This is the point of Pompeo, I suggest: He is the ‘enabler’ to push the stakes to the very limit; the ‘hawk’ that makes everyone fear – and come to believe – that conflict is inevitable; but who – at one minute before midnight – offers a deal. It is a process wholly different to the laboured, incremental, step-by-step approach of conventional diplomacy. Could Tillerson really have made such a bluff – of imminent war, of ‘fire and fury’ – credible? He is perhaps, too nice.

So, what is going on? Trump, it seems, is emboldened sufficiently to try to unfold his ‘plan’ for Middle East peace. It is not so much a ‘plan’ in a conceptual sense, but rather a series of transactional steps that he seems to have in mind. But key to this sequencing, is the ‘seed’ planted by Mark Dubowitz and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), which is funded primarily by right-wing supporters of Israel, including billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a close ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It is a long standing advocate for war on Iran.

Politico describes Dubowitz as “a key outside adviser to the Trump Administration on Iran”. And the point on which Dubowitz has been insisting with Trump, is that any North Korean nuclear deal is intimately interconnected with the Iranian JCPOA – and that both ultimately connect to making peace in the Middle East.

The FDD thesis is that “the Iran-North Korea axis dates back more than 30 years. The two regimes have exchanged nuclear expertise, cooperated widely on missile technologies, and run similar playbooks against Western negotiators. The fear: Tehran is using Pyongyang for work no longer permitted under the 2015 nuclear deal [i.e on nuclear warheads] while [Iran is] perfecting North Korean-derived missile delivery systems, back home [which are not covered by the JCPOA]”. Or, in other words, that Pyongyang has sub-contracted to itself the development of an ICBM capable nuclear warhead, whilst Tehran – on the other hand – is focused on developing missile capability. And this presumption of a division of labour between North Korea and Iran essentially is at the root of Trump’s demand that the Europeans must get Iran to relinquish the so-called ‘sunset clauses’, and the Iranian missile programme – lest Iran enable North Korea to achieve the capability to land a nuclear bomb on the US.

Is there really this conspiracy? There may have been some co-operation years ago, in the era of Pakistan’s A. Q. Khan, but the FDD thesis is more speculation, than substance. North Korea’s and Iran’s aims differ: North Korea wants inter-continental missiles that can reach America. Iran doesn’t. It wants short and medium range missiles for self-defence.

Be that as it may: there are grounds to believe that Trump’s working hypothesis is based on the FDD theory. And further, that ending this supposed interplay between Iran and North Korea constitutes the pillar on which Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ for the Middle East rests.

So, Pompeo’s job is to convince Kim Il Jung that he faces utter destruction unless he takes the path of divesting the state of its nuclear programme; and to do something similar to Iran in respect to its (hypothetical break-out capacity), and its missile programme: i.e. Pompeo must achieve double de-nuclearisation by escalating the stakes sky-high to the point that everyone fears war – in the expectation that North Korea and Iran will be the ones to back down (The Art of the Deal).

And this ‘double de-nuclearisation’ – this line of thinking goes – will make Israel and Saudi Arabia feel safer: Saudi can normalise with Israel, and the latter can then do something for the Palestinians (according to this White House optic). With the final part to this construct being the quiet understanding that Russia will restrain Iran, Syria and Hizbullah; and Trump will commit to restrain Israel … Peace in our time?

Maybe. But just to be clear, this is a highly risky project, which may well lead, instead, to war. North Korea may call Trump and Pompeo’s ‘fire and fury’ bluff (leaving Washington without any ‘off ramp’, except the very military action which the bluff is supposed to obviate). Iran may elect to ignore Pompeo too; it has learned to distrust America’s word. Israel may fear Iran’s conventional weapons as much – or more so – than Iran’s nonexistent nuclear warheads, and seek to entangle the US in a war to destroy Iran, and thus preserve Israel’s regional hegemony.

And, then there is the question of whether America is at present ‘agreement capable’? The unitive US state is fragmented. For whom or what does Trump speak? Can Trump give either North Korea or Iran any credible security guarantees, in the event of some agreement? Would Congress co-operate? Would the covert state co-operate? Will super-hawk Pompeo remain loyal to Trump’s vision? Will the neo-cons manipulate this process towards the conflicts that they seek to ignite?

Eliot Cohen in The Atlantic has written of Pompeo:

“He is sometimes described as a Trump loyalist, but that is nonsense: No one is loyal to Trump—he is too indecent a human being to attract such normal personal attachments. The administration is not divided into people who are loyal to Trump and those who are not. Rather, it is divided between those who know how to manipulate his vanity, his hatreds, his sensitivities, and those who do not.”

Trump may discover that the intransigence of his presumed opponents is not his biggest problem, but taking Washington – and all its burning hatreds – with him, represents the bigger challenge.

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Israel is Lying, What They Bombed in 2007 Wasn’t a Nuclear Facility’ – Analyst

Sputnik – March 22, 2018

Israel’s Defense Forces stated that four Israeli jets destroyed a nuclear facility in the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor in 2007. Sputnik discussed the reasons why this announcement has been made now with Dr. Taleb Ibrahim, a Syrian political analyst and deputy director of the Damascus Centre for Strategic Studies.

Sputnik: Why has this information been disclosed only now, after eleven years?

Dr. Taleb Ibrahim: I think that Israel, the Israelis are lying because what they bombed in 2007 was not a nuclear facility because it is very well known that Syria doesn’t have such kinds of facilities and actually there isn’t any nuclear program in Syria. They targeted a certain military base in Syria under the pretext of attacking a nuclear facility, so because of that at the present time they are revealing that to send a signal to Iran that they are ready to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities and the Israeli air force is able to reach any place in the region; I think this is only a message of deterrence against Iran or physiological deterrence against Iran, not any more.

Sputnik: Do you think Israel is able to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, does it have the capability?

Dr. Taleb Ibrahim: No, never, because let us be realistic here, Iranian nuclear facilities are buried in the depth of the ground in remote places, this is first, because when Israel bombed the Iraqi [civilian] nuclear reactor in 1982 and when they bombed Syria’s [military] facility, that attack gave a message to the Iranian leadership that something might happen in Iran.

Sputnik: How will this announcement affect Israeli-Syria relations? What impact would it have on the already tense situation in the region now?

Dr. Taleb Ibrahim: I think that the revelation about bombing the Syrian facility will add more and more tension to the explosive situation between Syria and Israel. I think Syria will finally respond to all Israeli attacks on Syrian territory that [have transpired] from 2007 until the present time, and I think the shooting down of the Israeli aircraft a few weeks ago was a message to Israel that everything is changing, the rules of the game have changed, and now Syria is much stronger than at any time in its history, it enjoys an active Russian military presence and active Russian support and active Iranian support. So I think Syria will bomb but when and how I’m not sure about that but, of course, there will be a response, and the Middle East should be stable until a permanent and just peace changes the situation between Syria and Israel.

Sputnik: What are your hopes and wishes for the future moving forward for relations between Israel and Syria? What can you advise both leaders in terms of the best advice?

Dr. Taleb Ibrahim: I think that the most important advice and the most important vital issue is to make peace between the two countries. I’ve read an article by Uri Sagi who was Director of the Israeli Military Intelligence years ago, and he said we’ve lost a very great chance when we couldn’t reach peace between Syria and Israel in the era of ex-Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. So making peace between the two countries will stabilize the Middle East, and at that point there will be no tension even between Israel and Iran and no tension between Israel and Lebanon. I think that a permanent and complete peace in all of the region can be reached by regaining the Golan Heights and by giving the Palestinians their own state, this is something that will normalize the situation for all populations living in the area.

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hawks Resurgent in Washington

By Philip M. GIRALDI | Strategic Culture Foundation | 22.03.2018

One of the most discouraging aspects of the musical chairs being played among the members of the White House inner circle is that every change reflects an inexorable move to the right in foreign policy, which means that the interventionists are back without anyone at the White House level remaining to say “no.” President Donald Trump, for all his international experience as a businessman, is a novice at the step-by-step process required in diplomacy and in the development of a coherent foreign policy, so he is inevitably being directed by individuals who have long [promoted] American global leadership by force if necessary.

The resurgence of the hawks is facilitated by Donald Trump’s own inclinations. He likes to see himself as a man of action and a leader, which inclines him to be impulsive, some might even say reckless. He is convinced that he can enter into negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with virtually no preparations and make a deal that will somehow end the crisis over that nation’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, for example. In so doing, he is being encouraged by his National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and his Pentagon chief James Mattis, who believe that the United States can somehow prevail in a preemptive war with the Koreans if that should become necessary. The enormous collateral damage to South Korea and even Japan is something that Washington planners somehow seem to miss in their calculations.

The recent shifts in the cabinet have James Pompeo as Secretary of State. A leading hawk, he was first in his class of 1986 at the United States Military Academy but found himself as a junior officer with no real war to fight. He spent six years in uniform before resigning, never having seen combat, making war an abstraction for him. He went to Harvard Law and then into politics where he became a Tea Party congressman, eventually becoming a leader of that caucus when it stopped being Libertarian and lurched rightwards. He has since marketed himself as a fearless soldier in the war against terrorism and rogue states, in which category he includes both Iran and Russia.

Pompeo was not popular at the CIA because he enforced a uniformity of thinking that was anathema for intelligence professionals dedicated to collecting solid information and using it to produce sound analysis of developments worldwide. Pompeo, an ardent supporter of Israel and one of the government’s leading Iran haters, has been regularly threatening Iran while at the Agency and will no doubt find plenty of support at State from Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East David Satterfield, a former top adviser of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Pompeo has proven himself more than willing to manipulate intelligence to produce the result he desires. Last year, he declassified and then cherry picked documents recovered from Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan that suggested that al-Qaeda had ties with Iran. The move was coordinated with simultaneous White House steps to prepare Congress and the public for a withdrawal from the Iran nuclear arms agreement. The documents were initially released to a journal produced by the neocon Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where Pompeo has a number of times spoken, to guarantee wide exposure in all the right places.

Pompeo’s arrival might only be the first of several other high-level moves by the White House. Like the rumors that preceded the firing of Secretary of State Tillerson two weeks ago, there have been recurrent suggestions that McMaster will be the next to go as he reportedly is too moderate for the president and has also been accused of being anti-Israeli, the kiss of death in Washington. Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton has been a frequent visitor at the White House and it is believed that he is the preferred candidate to fill the position. He is an extreme hawk, closely tied to the Israel Lobby, who would push hard for war against Iran and also for a hardline position in Syria, one that could lead to direct confrontation with the Syrian Armed Forces and possibly the Russians.

Bolton, who has been described by a former George W. Bush official as “the most dangerous man we had during the entire eight years,” will undoubtedly have a problem in getting confirmed by Congress. He was rejected as U.N. Ambassador, requiring Bush to make a recess appointment which did not need Congressional approval.

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment