Let’s Be Clear: Israel Settlement in Palestine Policy Constitutes a War Crime. STILL.

Israeli colonial settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are not only illegal under international law, they are war crimes…This constitutes a major threat to international peace.

A toxic mix of white supremacy and Christian Zionism

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s declaration Monday that the United States doesn’t view Jewish settlements as inconsistent with international law – i.e. illegal – has delighted the settlers and their supporters. It gave Benjamin Netanyahu a much-needed shot in the arm at a crucial political juncture. It could help Donald Trump solidify evangelical support in advance of his critical year of an impeachment process and an election campaign. It could very well serve Pompeo himself, who is eyeing a Senate run in Kansas, where evangelicals comprise a third of the population.

Israeli colonial settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories…are not only illegal under international law, they are war crimes…This constitutes a major threat to international peace

 ALL Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) are illegal.

  • Israel’s long-running policy of settling civilians in occupied territory amounts to a war crime.[1]

This needs to be clearly said now, without ambiguity. The United States government, as sponsor of the current ‘peace talks’ between Israel and Palestinians, must uphold rule of law and human rights. Despite the fact that the U.S. has historically taken the same position as the international community that Israeli settlements within the OPT are illegal, they have chosen to prevaricate in recent years, using words like ‘unhelpful’ or ‘illegitimate’ to describe settlement building by Israel.

This does favors for no one. Not the United States, not Palestinians, and not Israel.

[pullquote text=”Israel’s long-running policy of settling civilians in occupied territory is considered a war crime under the statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).”]This equivocation does, however, help sustain the cycle of violence and perpetuate further violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip all remain under effective control of the Israeli government. The legal obligations for any occupying power are outlined in international humanitarian law (IHL), particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention. Palestinians living in the OPT are considered protected persons under the convention, which Israel has ratified.

Israel argues that a Jewish presence has existed on the West Bank for thousands of years and was recognized by the League of Nations in 1922. But these Palestinian Jews are not the irregular Jews of Europe who came to conquer non-Jews.

IHL stipulates states are not to transfer their own civilians into territory they occupy, or to forcibly transfer protected persons from or within an occupied territory. States are also forbidden from destroying individual or collective property in an occupied territory, except when this is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.

Under Israeli law, settlements ‘authorized’ by the government are legal while smaller, ‘unofficial’ outposts are illegal. Sometimes the Israeli government retroactively ‘legalizes’ previously unauthorized outposts. International law does not make any such distinctions; all Israeli settlements in the OPT violate the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The international community has consistently recognized that settlements contravene international law and create a situation which perpetuates a range of violations of Palestinian human rights including, but not limited to, discriminatory policies based on nationality, ethnicity and religion.

The United Nations Fact Finding Mission (FFM) on Israeli Settlements found “a multitude of the human rights of the Palestinians are violated in various forms and ways due to the existence of the settlements” and “Israel is committing serious breaches of its obligations under the right to self-determination and under humanitarian law.”

The chair of the FFM, Ms. Christine Chanet said, “In compliance with Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention Israel must cease all settlement activities without preconditions.”

In order for the United States government to respect the rule of law during these ‘peace talks’ and truly facilitate a just and sustainable peace in the region, they must insist Israel immediately halt all construction of settlements and related infrastructure as a first step towards removing all settlers from the OPT.

[1] Israel’s long-running policy of settling civilians in occupied territory is considered a war crime under the statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).  Article 8(2) of the Rome Statute defines “the transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory” as a war crime when committed as part of a plan or policy or as part of a large-scale commission of such crimes.

Trump’s Move to ‘Secure’ Syrian Oil is Fake News

Syria’s oil sector is decimated. Syrians do not even take seriously its revival as a foundation of post-conflict reconstruction!   No wonder Assad, Russia and Iran aren’t  having a hissyfit!

The Trump administration’s decision to move US forces out of the way of the Turkish military’s intervention against the Syrian Democratic Forces was met with bipartisan condemnation, with many decrying the “betrayal” of the US’s Syrian Kurdish allies. It appears that the administration sought to mute this criticism through a show of force to secure Syria’s oil fields.

If Syria’s oil production is insignificant, then why would the US military be directed towards controlling the oil fields? There is no apparent reason, other than a bad case of Oilcraft, coupled with a desire by this administration to save face in the aftermath of a perceived retreat from Syria. 

1 November 2019

That this would be either contemplated or welcomed as an affirmation of the US commitment to maintaining a military presence in Syria is testament to the power of the myth that whoever controls the oil has power. Syria’s oil sector is decimated. Syrians do not even take seriously its revival as a foundation of post-conflict reconstruction.

As Syria’s oil production is insignificant, the US move reflects a desire by this administration to save face in the aftermath of its perceived retreat from the country

Since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis, many analysts have suggested that the conflict was “about oil” and a Western desire to control Syrian oil production. 

This understanding not only denied the agency of the protesters while diminishing their calls for political change, but it also misunderstood the realities of Syria’s oil sector. Syria has never been a significant oil producer by regional standards, reaching a production peak of around 380,000 barrels a day before the civil war erupted. 

In 2016, an International Monetary Fund working paper estimated that production had declined to just 40,000 barrels per day.

The global insignificance of Syrian oil production, the declining rates and revenues of the industry, and the absence of any new reserves was never enough evidence to convince naysayers that Syria’s tragedy wasn’t brought about by the geopolitics of oil. 

Delusional worldview

With US President Donald Trump’s recent declaration that US strategy was to “keep the oil” and that US forces had “secured the oil”, the theory that oil interests have driven Western intervention in Syria has resurfaced. 

The Trumpian logic that Syrian oil fields need to be secured for US interests – and that US interests can only be secured through access to oil fields – is a delusional worldview grounded in a misunderstanding of how oil production and markets actually work. Author Robert Vitalis calls this Oilcraft: a way of thinking about oil-as-power that does not correspond to how oil markets shape production and prices. 

Syria’s oil sector is decimated. Syrians do not even take seriously its revival as a foundation of post-conflict reconstruction

Access and price fluctuations in oil markets are not determined by who controls what at any given time. We simply do not live in a world in which all oil produced in the world is controlled by the military or commercial interests of the US and its allies.

Markets do not function according to who has “secured” access to oil. Producers produce, and consumers consume. These patterns exist independent of what oil fields the US military occupies. 

Syria’s feeble oil production has little impact on global oil markets. Prior to the conflict, the majority of Syrian oil production that was not consumed domestically was exported to Europe. In 2011, the EU placed sanctions on Syrian oil imports. European companies involved in the Syrian market, including Total and Shell, ceased operations in the country and withdrew personnel. 

The threat of sanctions from the US or EU discouraged new commercial investments and partnerships in the Syrian oil sector. The Syrian Petroleum Company (SPC), Syria’s public sector enterprise responsible for oil production, was also under sanctions and unable to conduct simple commercial transactions with external partners. 

Biting sanctions

With the conflict becoming increasingly violent and sanctions taking a toll on everyday economic life, domestic oil production was geared towards the internal market. Sanctions not only blocked the principal Syrian export market, but they also squeezed the SPC’s ability to produce and sell oil to international buyers. 

By 2013, many of Syria’s oil fields had been under threat or taken over by armed groups that did not have the capacity to produce oil. Some oil fields remained dormant and, in some areas, rudimentary techniques were used to extract oil.

The difficulties of transport and refinement meant that much of the oil trading and consumption was heavily localized, and there was a lot of evidence that various armed groups, including the Syrian army, used oil in barter deals with other groups. 

Oil became a minor, but not insignificant, prize in Syria’s war economy. Most of the armed groups were content not to contest for control of the oil fields, and instead focused their efforts on other forms of wealth extraction through taxation, kidnappings and the like. Control of oil fields was simply not worth it. 

Unlike in other conflict zones, where resources are fought over by different armed groups – such as the case with coltan extraction in the Democratic Republic of Congo – there was no comparable situation in Syria; war economies did not emerge in relation to oil extraction.  

The combination of dwindling reserves, infrastructural neglect, and sanctions that have been exacerbated by the conflict means that not even Syrian government planners are looking to the oil trade to finance reconstruction. The debates within Syria today about reconstruction do not revolve on how to restart oil production, or how oil revenues can finance post-conflict spending. 

Devastating impacts

Since the early 2000s, Syrian government planners have understood the need to move away from any reliance on oil revenues and the oil sector as a whole. The devastating impacts of the conflict and sanctions on the oil sector have only confirmed what many Syrians already knew – mainly, that the oil sector cannot save the economy. 

If Syria’s oil production is insignificant, then why would the US military be directed towards controlling the oil fields? There is no apparent reason, other than a bad case of Oilcraft, coupled with a desire by this administration to save face in the aftermath of a perceived retreat from Syria. 

The Trump administration’s decision to move US forces out of the way of the Turkish military’s intervention against the Syrian Democratic Forces was met with bipartisan condemnation, with many decrying the “betrayal” of the US’s Syrian Kurdish allies. It appears that the administration sought to mute this criticism through a show of force to secure Syria’s oil fields. 

That this would be either contemplated or welcomed as an affirmation of the US commitment to maintaining a military presence in Syria is testament to the power of the myth that whoever controls the oil has power. Syria’s oil sector is decimated. Syrians do not even take seriously its revival as a foundation of post-conflict reconstruction. 

Contrary to what Trump assumes through his public declarations about securing oil, we won’t be experiencing reduced prices at the pumps anytime soon. And if we do, it certainly won’t be because US troops are occupying Syrian land.

No one chose Al Baghdadi as caliph over Muslims except US and Israel

Baghdadi here an Iraqi jihadist who rose from obscurity to declare himself “caliph” of all Muslims as the leader of Islamic State, died by detonating a suicide vest after fleeing into a dead-end tunnel as elite U.S. special forces closed in at the weekend, according to the U.S. government.

Al Baghdadi appeared out of nowhere, (just like ISIS appeared out of nowhere) no one knew him and Islamic scholars pointed out that he didn’t know Islam. Muslims in general denounced him.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has buried the remains of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi at sea in accordance with Islamic law, a US official told Reuters after he was killed in a raid by US special forces in the village of Barisha in Syria’s Idlib province on Saturday.

The truth: The sacred texts of Islam prefer burial on land, “so deep that its smell does not come out and the beasts of prey do not dig it out”. However, if a person dies at sea and it is not possible to bring the body back to land before decay, or if burial at land becomes impossible, burial at sea is allowed.

Baghdadi here an Iraqi jihadist who rose from obscurity to declare himself “caliph” of all Muslims as the leader of Islamic State, died by detonating a suicide vest after fleeing into a dead-end tunnel as elite U.S. special forces closed in at the weekend, according to the U.S. government. One does not “declare himself the Caliph!” And there’s nothing Islamic about being buried at sea, it’s only allowed if the only choice available!

Trump and ABC journalist call each other out on bullshit…hilarious

Trump’s Fake Withdrawal From Endless War

clip: Trump calls ABC out for broadcasting fake Syria video and same journalists drills Trump on his fake troop withdrawal

“Members of Congress from both parties remain united in their shameful abdication of their constitutional authority over America’s illegal wars.” Trump’s latest promises to “bring the troops home” were immediately exposed as empty rhetoric by a Pentagon press release on October 11, announcing that the Trump administration has actually increased its deployments of troops to the greater Middle East by 14,000 since May.

Kurdish Syrian civilians flee the town of Kobane on the Turkish border on October 16, 2019 as Turkey and its allies continue their assault on Kurdish-held border towns in northeastern Syria. – Turkey rebuffed international pressure to curb its military offensive against Kurdish militants in Syria today as US President Donald Trump dispatched his deputy Mike Pence to Ankara to demand a ceasefire.

On Monday, October 7th, the U.S. withdrew 50 to 100 troops from positions near Syria’s border with Turkey, and two days later Turkey invaded Rojava, the de facto autonomous Kurdish region of northeast Syria. Trump is now taking credit for a temporary, tenuous ceasefire.

In a blizzard of tweets and statements, Donald Trump has portrayed his chaotic tactical relocation of U.S. troops in Syria as a down-payment on his endless promises to withdraw U.S. forces from endless wars in the greater Middle East.

On October 16, the U.S. Congress snatched the low-hanging political fruit of Trump’s muddled policy with a rare bipartisan vote of 354-60 to condemn the U.S. redeployment as a betrayal of the Kurds, a weakening of America’s credibility, a lifeline to ISIS, and a political gift to Russia, China and Iran.

But this is the same Congress that never mustered the integrity to debate or vote on the fateful decision to send U.S. troops into harm’s way in Syria in the first place. This vote still fails to fulfill Congress’s constitutional duty to decide whether U.S. troops should be risking their lives in illegal military operations in Syria, what they are supposed to be doing there or for how long.

Members of Congress from both parties remain united in their shameful abdication of their constitutional authority over America’s illegal wars.    

“Members of Congress from both parties remain united in their shameful abdication of their constitutional authority over America’s illegal wars.” Trump’s latest promises to “bring the troops home” were immediately exposed as empty rhetoric by a Pentagon press release on October 11, announcing that the Trump administration has actually increased its deployments of troops to the greater Middle East by 14,000 since May.

In other words, Trump doesn’t have any power.

There were already 60,000 troops stationed or deployed in the region, which the Congressional Research Service described in September as a long-term “baseline,” so the new deployments appear to have raised the total number of U.S. troops in the region to about 74,000.

Precise numbers of U.S. troops in each country are hard to pin down, especially since the Pentagon stopped publishing its troop strength in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria in 2017.  Based mainly on reports by the Congressional Research Service, these are the most accurate and up-to-date numbers we have found:

14,000-15,000 (plus 8,000 from other NATO countries) in Afghanistan; about 7,000, mostly U.S. Navy, in Bahrain; 280 in Egypt; 5,000-10,000 in Iraq, mostly at Al-Asad air base in Anbar province; 2,800 in Jordan (some may now have been relocated to Iraq); 13,000 in Kuwait, the fourth largest permanent U.S. base nation after Germany, Japan and South Korea; a “few hundred” in Oman; at least 13,000 in Qatar, where the Pentagon just approved a $1.8 billion expansion of Al Udeid Air Base, U.S. Central Command’s regional occupation headquarters; about 3,500 in Saudi Arabia, including 500 sent in July and 2,500 more since September; 1,000-2,000 in Syria, who may or may not really be leaving; 1,750 at Incirlik and Izmir Air Bases in Turkey; and more than 5,000 in the UAE, mostly at Al Dhafra Air Base.

As for actually ending the wars that all these forces are waging or supporting, Trump escalated the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria in 2017, and these bombing campaigns rumble on regardless of peace talks with the Taliban and declarations of victory over the Islamic State. U.S. air wars are often more devastating than ground warfare, especially to civilians.

Between 2001 and October 2018, the U.S. and its allies dropped more than 290,000 bombs and missiles on other countries. This reign—or rain—of terror from above has not stopped. According to U.S. airpower statistics, from November 2018 to September 2019 the U.S. has now dropped another 6,811 bombs on Afghanistan and 7,889 on Iraq and Syria.

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“It is up to the rest of us to grasp the horror, futility and criminality of the wars that three successive U.S. administrations have inflicted on the world and to organize effective political action to end them and prevent new ones.”

In Donald Trump’s first 32 months in office, he is responsible for dropping 17,100 bombs and missiles on Afghanistan and 48,941 on Iraq and Syria, an average of a bomb or missile every 20 minutes. Despite his endless promises to end these wars, Trump has instead been dropping more bombs and missiles on other countries than Bush II and Obama put together.

When Congress finally invoked the War Powers Act to extricate U.S. forces from the Saudi-led war on Yemen, Trump vetoed the bill.  The House has now attached that provision to the FY2020 NDAA military spending bill, but the Senate has not yet agreed to it and Trump may find another way to exclude it.

Even as Donald Trump rails against the military-industrial complex that “likes war” and sometimes sounds sincere in his desire to end these wars, he keeps hiring arms industry executives to run his foreign and military policy.

His first defense secretary was General Dynamics board member and retired General James Mattis. Then he brought in Boeing’s Senior Vice President Patrick Shanahan as acting secretary of defense, and now Raytheon lobbyist Mike Esper as Secretary of Defense.

 

Secretary of State Pompeo made his fortune as the co-founder of Thayer Aerospace. Trump boasts about being the best weapons salesman of all, touting his multi-billion dollar deals to provide the repressive Saudi regime with the weapons to commit crimes against humanity in Yemen.

And yet withdrawal from endless wars is one Trump campaign promise that Americans across the political spectrum hoped he would really fulfill. Tragically, like “drain the swamp” and other applause lines, Trump’s promises to end the “crazy, endless wars” have proven to be just another cynical ploy by this supremely cynical politician and con man.

The banal truism that ultimately defines Trump’s foreign policy is that actions speak louder than words. Behind the smokescreen of Trump’s alternating professions of faith to both sides on every issue, he always ends up rewarding the wealthy and powerful. His cronies in the arms industry are no exception.

“Trump’s promises to end the ‘crazy, endless wars’ have proven to be just another cynical ploy by this supremely cynical politician and con man.”

Sober reflection leads us to conclude that Trump’s endless promises will not end the endless wars he has been waging and escalating, nor prevent the new ones he has threatened against North Korea, Venezuela and Iran.

So it is up to the rest of us to grasp the horror, futility and criminality of the wars that three successive U.S. administrations have inflicted on the world and to organize effective political action to end them and prevent new ones.

We also need help from legitimate mediators from the UN and mutually trusted third parties to negotiate political and diplomatic solutions that U.S. leaders who are blinded by deeply ingrained militarism and persistent illusions of global military dominance cannot achieve by themselves.

In the real world, which does still exist beyond the fantasy world of Trump’s contradictory promises, that is how we will bring the troops home.

Iran, The world’s leading State Sponsor of Terrorism

Fantasy and fiction

“The Big Lie: We were out to rain fire and brimstone on those who had attacked us on our own soil.

We were out to depose the Taliban rulers who sheltered Osama Bin Laden, and we were determined to drive al-Qaida from its safe haven in Afghanistan.”

The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan have taken a tremendous human toll on those countries. As of November 2018, at least 244,000 civilians in these three countries have died violent deaths as a result of the wars.

Civilian deaths have also resulted from the US military operations in Yemen, Syria, Somalia and other countries in the U.S. war on terrorism.

People living in the war zones have been killed in their homes, in markets, and on roadways. They have been killed by bombs, bullets, fire, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and drones.

Civilians die at checkpoints, as they are run off the road by military vehicles, when they step on a mine or cluster bomb, as they collect wood or tend to their fields, and when they are kidnapped and executed for purposes of revenge or intimidation.

They are killed by the United States, by its allies, and by insurgents and sectarians in the civil wars spawned by the invasions.

Death can also happen weeks or months after a battle. Many times more Iraqis, Afghans, and Pakistanis have died as a result of battered infrastructure and poor health conditions arising from the wars than directly from its violence.

For example, war refugees often lose access to a stable food supply or to their jobs, resulting in increased malnutrition and vulnerability to disease.

The Costs of War reports document the direct and indirect toll that war takes on civilians and their livelihoods, including the lingering effects of war death and injury on survivors and their families.

The West views Syria as a place for flexing muscles with rivals, while at the same time it could well serve as a basin for terrorists and their affiliates in the Western countries.

Benefits of Syria crisis for West

A girl stands amidst the rubble of damaged buildings in the northern Syrian town of al-Bab, Syria, February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

The weapon of mass immigration

 

The War In Afghanistan: America’s Fictitious Drug War

The US has spent 8 billion $ in anti-drug operations during the war on Afghanistan vs Afghan drug trafficking brings US $50 billion a year.

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The US is not going to stop the production of drugs in Afghanistan as it covers the costs of their military presence there, says Gen. Mahmut Gareev, a former commander during the USSR’s operations in Afghanistan.

This war is a complete fiasco, and it IS America’s newest Vietnam! We are in Afghanistan to support the shipment of Opium to markets around the world. The Rothschild drug lords demanded that we send in troops in 2001 because the Taliban were both destroying the Poppy fields, and executing the Afghan drug lords.
The Zionist controlled BS media did their part in vilifying the Taliban as a group of Ultra radical Islamic Extremists, which is a total falsehood. The public was conditioned by the attacks of 9-11 into wanting immediate justice against “Al-Qaida”, and since the plans for the invasion of Afghanistan had been drawn up before the 9-11 attacks, the Americans decided quickly to go forward with the Afghanistan invasion.

Hong Kong is a Color Revolution Stoked by West

Whenever Hong Kong protesters are destroying public property, there are no cameras of Western media outlets in sight. But when police decide to intervene, protecting their city, Western media crusaders emerge in full force.

On September 15, 2019, huge US flags were waving in the air. A massive demonstration, consisting of mainly young people, was moving up from the old British-built downtown area of the city towards the US Consulate General, often erroneously called the “embassy.”

The temperature was well over 30 degrees Celsius, but the number of ‘protesters’ kept growing. Many of the main arteries in Hong Kong were entirely blocked.

Western media were there in full force, wearing yellow fluorescent vests, their ‘Press’ insignia, helmets and masks. They mingled with the crowd, filming US flags, clearly enjoying the show.

President Trump, Please Liberate Hong Kong,” I read on several posters.

Liberate from whom?” I asked a cluster of protesters, all of them in ninja outfits, metal bars in their hands, black scarves covering their faces.

Several of them replied, mumbling something incomprehensible. One girl shouted defiantly:

From Beijing!

But Hong Kong is China, isn’t it?” I asked. “How could it be liberated from itself?

No! Hong Kong is Hong Kong!” came a ready-made reply.

Nearby, I spotted British Union Jack, with old colonial-era Hong Kong coat of arms.

The big demonstration was clearly treasonous. Its members delivered a petition to the US consulate general, demanding that the US Congress pass legislation that would require its government to monitor and decide whether Hong Kong is ‘autonomous enough’ from the PRC, and whether it should then qualify for US trade and economic benefits.

All over the downtown area, hundreds of ‘ninjas’ were shouting pro-Western slogans. Here British-era HK flags were being waved, alongside the US flags.

I approached a young couple among the protesters, who were resting on a bench:

Do your friends realize how brutal, undemocratic and oppressive was British rule? Do they know in what misery many Hong Kong citizens had to live in that era? And about censorship, humiliation…?”

No!” They shouted at me, outraged. “It is all propaganda!

Whose propaganda?” I wondered.

The propaganda of Beijing!

At least they spoke some English. A bizarre thing about Hong Kong is that, while some people here would like to (or are perhaps paid to say that they’d want to?) have the British colonial administration back, a great majority of the people hardly speak any English now, while also refusing to speak Mandarin. Little wonder that Hong Kong is quickly losing its edge to the pro-Chinese and highly cosmopolitan Singapore!

But the demonstration was not where ‘the action’ really was and I knew it, intuitively.

The flag-waving march was a big staged event for the Western mass media.

There, ‘pro-democracy’ slogans were chanted in an orderly manner. Nothing was burned, vandalized or dismantled wherever Western press cameras were present!

A few blocks away, however, I witnessed monstrous vandalizing, of one of the entrances to the Central subway (MTR) station. Hooligans who call themselves ‘protesters’ were ruining public property, a transportation system used by millions of citizens every day.

While they were at it, they also dismantled public metal railings that separate sidewalks from roadways. Metal bars from this railing were later utilized for further attacks against the city infrastructure, as well as against the police.

Umbrellas in the hands of ‘protesters’ were covering the crime scene. Umbrellas similar to those used in 2014, during the previous, so-called ‘Umbrella Uprising.’

No foreign reporters were in sight! This was not for the world. This was raw, real, and brutal.

Don’t film!” covered mouths began shouting at me.

I kept filming and photographing. I was not wearing any press jacket or helmet or Press insignia. I never do, anywhere in the world.

They left me alone; too busy destroying the street. As they were dismantling public property, their backpacks, stuffed with portable players, were regurgitating the US national anthem.

My friend from Beijing wrote me a brief message:

They are selling their own nation and people. We have very bad words for them in Chinese.

But it is not only mainland China that is disgusted with what is happening in Hong Kong. Three major Hong Kong-based newspapers, Wen Wei Po, Ta Kung Pao and Hong Kong Commercial Daily, are all pro-Beijing, pro-police and are defining ‘protesters’ as “rioters” or “troublemakers” (in Chinese).

Among the big ones, only Ming Pao and Apple Daily, which are traditionally anti-Beijing, are defining ‘protesters’ as ‘gatherers’, ‘protesters’ and even “liberators.”

Local citizens are mainly (as they’d been during the 2014 riots) hostile to the ‘protests’ but are scared to confront the mainly young, covered and armed (with metal bars and clubs) gangs. Some tried to, even in a luxury mall in the center of the city, and were brutally beaten.

‘Protesters’ seem to be on adrenalin, and in a highly militant mood. They gather and move in hordes. Most of them refuse to speak.

What is important to understand is that, while the rioters are trying to spread the message that they are ‘fighting for democracy,’ they are actually highly intolerant to all those who disagree with their goals. In fact, they are violently attacking those with different opinions.

Furthermore, and this I have to spell out, after covering protests in literally hundreds of cities worldwide, from Beirut to Lima, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, Paris, Cairo, Bangkok and Jakarta: what is happening in Hong Kong is extremely mild when it comes to police responses! Hong Kong police run well and fast. It created human chains, flashed a lot of light and sporadically used tear gas. It defends itself when attacked. But violence?

If you compare police actions here to those in Paris, it is all politeness and softness. Hardly any rubber bullets. Tear gas is ‘honest’ and not mixed with deadly chemicals, like it is in many other places, and administered in small doses. No water cannon spitting liquid full of urine and excrement, as in many other cities of the world. Trust me: I am an expert in tear gas. In Istanbul, during the Gezi Park uprising, protesters had to use gas masks, so did I. Otherwise you’d faint or end up in a hospital. People are also fainting in Paris. No one is fainting here; this is mild stuff.

As for the ‘other side,’ the level of violence from the protesters is extreme. They are paralyzing the city, ruining millions of lives. The number of foreign arrivals in Hong Kong is down 40 percent. Reception at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, which is right next to Sunday’s battles, told me that most of the rooms are now empty, and during the ‘events’, the hotel is cut off from the world.

And what about their traitorous demands? Would this be accepted anywhere in the world? Flying flags of a foreign country (in this case, of the USA) and demanding intervention?

Hong Kong “pro-democracy activist leaders” like Joshua Wong are clearly colluding with Western interests and governments. He and others are spreading, constantly, what anywhere else would be described as fake news. For instance, “My town is the new Cold War’s Berlin,” he recently declared. Yes, perhaps, but not because of the HK government, but because of his own actions and the actions of people like himself.

Coverage of events by Western mass media is clearly selective and that is putting it mildly. Actually, many media outlets from Europe and North America are ‘adding fuel to the fire.’ They are encouraging rioters while exaggerating the actions of local police. I am monitoring and filming their work and what I see is outrageous!

I am writing this report in Tai Kwun Center. Now world-famous art complex (of the “new, Chinese Hong Kong”), this used to be the Central Police Station under the British occupation, as well as so-called Victoria Prison Compound.

Mr. Edmond, who works for the center, explains:

If there was a referendum now, the so-called protesters would not win. They would lose. This is an internal issue of China, and it should be treated as such. A continuation of the 2014 events. What changed this time is that the protesters are opting for extreme violence now. People of Hong Kong are scared; scared of them, not of the authorities.

Here, prisoners were confined and executed, during British rule. Not far away from here, monstrous slums were housing deprived subjects of the queen. After the Brits left, those slums were converted to public parks.

Life in Hong Kong improved. Not as fast as in neighboring Shenzhen or Guangzhou, but it improved. The reason Hong Kong is being ‘left behind’ is because of its antiquated British-era laws, rules and regulations, its extreme capitalist system; because of “too little of Beijing”, not “because of too much of it.”

These hooligans are going against the interests of their own people, and their own people are now cursing them. Not loudly, yet, as rioters have clubs and metal bars, but cursing.

Western media chooses not to hear these curses. But China knows. It hears. I hear Hong Kong people, too.

Chinese curses are terrifying, powerful. And they do not dissolve in thin air.

Whenever Hong Kong protesters are destroying public property, there are no cameras of Western media outlets in sight. But when police decide to intervene, protecting their city, Western media crusaders emerge in full force.

On September 15, 2019, huge US flags were waving in the air. A massive demonstration, consisting of mainly young people, was moving up from the old British-built downtown area of the city towards the US Consulate General, often erroneously called the “embassy.”

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The temperature was well over 30 degrees Celsius, but the number of ‘protesters’ kept growing. Many of the main arteries in Hong Kong were entirely blocked.

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Western media were there in full force, wearing yellow fluorescent vests, their ‘Press’ insignia, helmets and masks. They mingled with the crowd, filming US flags, clearly enjoying the show.

“President Trump, Please Liberate Hong Kong,” I read on several posters.

“Liberate from whom?” I asked a cluster of protesters, all of them in ninja outfits, metal bars in their hands, black scarves covering their faces.

Several of them replied, mumbling something incomprehensible. One girl shouted defiantly:

“From Beijing!”

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“But Hong Kong is China, isn’t it?” I asked. “How could it be liberated from itself?”

“No! Hong Kong is Hong Kong!” came a ready-made reply.

Nearby, I spotted British Union Jack, with old colonial-era Hong Kong coat of arms.

The big demonstration was clearly treasonous. Its members delivered a petition to the US consulate general, demanding that the US Congress pass legislation that would require its government to monitor and decide whether Hong Kong is ‘autonomous enough’ from the PRC, and whether it should then qualify for US trade and economic benefits.

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All over the downtown area, hundreds of ‘ninjas’ were shouting pro-Western slogans. Here British-era HK flags were being waved, alongside the US flags.

I approached a young couple among the protesters, who were resting on a bench:

“Do your friends realize how brutal, undemocratic and oppressive was British rule? Do they know in what misery many Hong Kong citizens had to live in that era? And about censorship, humiliation…?”

“No!” They shouted at me, outraged. “It is all propaganda!”

“Whose propaganda?” I wondered.

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“The propaganda of Beijing!”

At least they spoke some English. A bizarre thing about Hong Kong is that, while some people here would like to (or are perhaps paid to say that they’d want to?) have the British colonial administration back, a great majority of the people hardly speak any English now, while also refusing to speak Mandarin. Little wonder that Hong Kong is quickly losing its edge to the pro-Chinese and highly cosmopolitan Singapore!

But the demonstration was not where ‘the action’ really was and I knew it, intuitively.

The flag-waving march was a big staged event for the Western mass media.

There, ‘pro-democracy’ slogans were chanted in an orderly manner. Nothing was burned, vandalized or dismantled wherever Western press cameras were present!

A few blocks away, however, I witnessed monstrous vandalizing, of one of the entrances to the Central subway (MTR) station. Hooligans who call themselves ‘protesters’ were ruining public property, a transportation system used by millions of citizens every day.

While they were at it, they also dismantled public metal railings that separate sidewalks from roadways. Metal bars from this railing were later utilized for further attacks against the city infrastructure, as well as against the police.

Umbrellas in the hands of ‘protesters’ were covering the crime scene. Umbrellas similar to those used in 2014, during the previous, so-called ‘Umbrella Uprising.’

No foreign reporters were in sight! This was not for the world. This was raw, real, and brutal.

“Don’t film!” covered mouths began shouting at me.

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I kept filming and photographing. I was not wearing any press jacket or helmet or Press insignia. I never do, anywhere in the world.

They left me alone; too busy destroying the street. As they were dismantling public property, their backpacks, stuffed with portable players, were regurgitating the US national anthem.

My friend from Beijing wrote me a brief message:

“They are selling their own nation and people. We have very bad words for them in Chinese.”

But it is not only mainland China that is disgusted with what is happening in Hong Kong. Three major Hong Kong-based newspapers, Wen Wei Po, Ta Kung Pao and Hong Kong Commercial Daily, are all pro-Beijing, pro-police and are defining ‘protesters’ as “rioters” or “troublemakers” (in Chinese).

Among the big ones, only Ming Pao and Apple Daily, which are traditionally anti-Beijing, are defining ‘protesters’ as ‘gatherers’, ‘protesters’ and even “liberators.”

Local citizens are mainly (as they’d been during the 2014 riots) hostile to the ‘protests’ but are scared to confront the mainly young, covered and armed (with metal bars and clubs) gangs. Some tried to, even in a luxury mall in the center of the city, and were brutally beaten.

‘Protesters’ seem to be on adrenalin, and in a highly militant mood. They gather and move in hordes. Most of them refuse to speak.

What is important to understand is that, while the rioters are trying to spread the message that they are ‘fighting for democracy,’ they are actually highly intolerant to all those who disagree with their goals. In fact, they are violently attacking those with different opinions.

Furthermore, and this I have to spell out, after covering protests in literally hundreds of cities worldwide, from Beirut to Lima, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, Paris, Cairo, Bangkok and Jakarta: what is happening in Hong Kong is extremely mild when it comes to police responses! Hong Kong police run well and fast. It created human chains, flashed a lot of light and sporadically used tear gas. It defends itself when attacked. But violence?

If you compare police actions here to those in Paris, it is all politeness and softness. Hardly any rubber bullets. Tear gas is ‘honest’ and not mixed with deadly chemicals, like it is in many other places, and administered in small doses. No water cannon spitting liquid full of urine and excrement, as in many other cities of the world.

Trust me: I am an expert in tear gas. In Istanbul, during the Gezi Park uprising, protesters had to use gas masks, so did I. Otherwise you’d faint or end up in a hospital. People are also fainting in Paris. No one is fainting here; this is mild stuff.

As for the ‘other side,’ the level of violence from the protesters is extreme. They are paralyzing the city, ruining millions of lives. The number of foreign arrivals in Hong Kong is down 40 percent. Reception at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, which is right next to Sunday’s battles, told me that most of the rooms are now empty, and during the ‘events’, the hotel is cut off from the world.

And what about their traitorous demands? Would this be accepted anywhere in the world? Flying flags of a foreign country (in this case, of the USA) and demanding intervention?

Hong Kong “pro-democracy activist leaders” like Joshua Wong are clearly colluding with Western interests and governments. He and others are spreading, constantly, what anywhere else would be described as fake news. For instance, “My town is the new Cold War’s Berlin,” he recently declared. Yes, perhaps, but not because of the HK government, but because of his own actions and the actions of people like himself.

Coverage of events by Western mass media is clearly selective and that is putting it mildly. Actually, many media outlets from Europe and North America are ‘adding fuel to the fire.’ They are encouraging rioters while exaggerating the actions of local police. I am monitoring and filming their work and what I see is outrageous!

I am writing this report in Tai Kwun Center. Now world-famous art complex (of the “new, Chinese Hong Kong”), this used to be the Central Police Station under the British occupation, as well as so-called Victoria Prison Compound.

Mr. Edmond, who works for the center, explains:

“If there was a referendum now, the so-called protesters would not win. They would lose. This is an internal issue of China, and it should be treated as such. A continuation of the 2014 events. What changed this time is that the protesters are opting for extreme violence now. People of Hong Kong are scared; scared of them, not of the authorities.”

Here, prisoners were confined and executed, during British rule. Not far away from here, monstrous slums were housing deprived subjects of the queen. After the Brits left, those slums were converted to public parks.

Life in Hong Kong improved. Not as fast as in neighboring Shenzhen or Guangzhou, but it improved. The reason Hong Kong is being ‘left behind’ is because of its antiquated British-era laws, rules and regulations, its extreme capitalist system; because of “too little of Beijing”, not “because of too much of it.”

These hooligans are going against the interests of their own people, and their own people are now cursing them. Not loudly, yet, as rioters have clubs and metal bars, but cursing.

Western media chooses not to hear these curses. But China knows. It hears. I hear Hong Kong people, too.

Chinese curses are terrifying, powerful. And they do not dissolve in thin air.

Source: The Unz Review

Why did US just drop 40 TONS of bombs on this Iraqi island?

Iraqi anger at the US is partly due to what some of them say is a “weak” American stance over recent attacks on the bases of Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Iraq, which the PMF have blamed on Israel.

The promotional video of US jets carpet-bombing an “ISIS infested” island in Iraq comes amid tensions between Washington and Baghdad, and may have more to do with that than with the supposedly long-defeated terror group.

The video, complete with dramatic music, shows F-15 as well as F-35 jets dropping what was said to be 80,000 pounds of munitions on Qanus Island, north of Baghdad. Operation Inherent Resolve officials said in a statement that the mission was intended to hamper the terrorist group’s “ability to hide in thick vegetation” in the area. 

Video presented by and commentary from an American patriot.

Towards the end of the video, several Iraqi officers are shown watching the pillars of smoke rise up from the island, smiling approvingly as the US advisers accompanying them.

While Western media enthusiastically replayed the video-game style footage, hardly anyone gave the full context behind the bombastic air raid.

It just so happens that tensions are rising between the US and Iraqi governments, with members of the Iraqi parliament making moves to amend or bring to an end a security deal signed between Washington and Baghdad in 2008. 

While Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) cells are still believed to be active in Iraq, the group is considered largely defeated – US President Donald Trump has said as much, repeatedly – and many Iraqis believe it’s time for US troops to finally leave the country for good.

Iraqi anger at the US is partly due to what some of them say is a “weak” American stance over recent attacks on the bases of Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Iraq, which the PMF have blamed on Israel.

US forces invaded Iraq in March 2003, claiming the country was aiding terrorists that attacked New York and Washington on September 11, 2001 and possessing weapons of mass destruction. Both of those claims were decisively debunked long before 2011, when the US occupation troops finally withdrew – only to be rushed back in 2014 to counter the rise of ISIS.

Secret Israeli unit hiding documents to undermine war crimes, massacres and mass expulsions

 2008-2009. During Cast Lead, the Israeli assault on Gaza following exchanges of rocket/missile attacks in months before, more than 1400 Palestinians are killed over 22 days, most of them civilians. the United States does its utmost under President Obama to defend Israel from all charges, and no one is brought to the bar.

At least 54 Lebanese citizens were killed, at least 37 of them children in the Israeli attack on the village of Qana in south Lebanon, 2006. Israel occupation forces: born to kill.

The Defense Ministry’s secretive security department hid evidence of massacres and forced expulsions of Palestinians in 1948 only to ‘ensure information security,’ former director says following Haaretz report

Israel’s Ministry of Defence has been systematically sealing archival documents for at least a decade to conceal evidence of the Nakba, the mass expulsion of 700,000 Palestinians during the Arab-Israeli war of 1948, Haaretz has revealed.

A secretive security department in the defense ministry has overseen the ongoing project, taking historic files and putting them away in vaults. In some cases, historians cited documents in their work that later disappeared, Haaretz reported.

Yehiel Horev, former head of the department which goes by the Hebrew acronym Malmab, told Haaretz that it made sense to hide the details of what happened in 1948 because the documents could “generate unrest” among Palestinians in Israel.

When asked why files were removed that had already been highlighted by researchers and others, Horev said the objective was to undermine the credibility of history written about the era.

Papers on Israel’s nuclear project and the country’s foreign relations were also reportedly transferred to vaults.

Before the Nakba: Images show Palestine then and now

Read More »

Some of the sealed documents reveal details of looting, massacres of Palestinians, forcible expulsion, and demolition of villages by Israeli militias, based on interviews with Israeli generals and soldiers who fought in the 1948 war, Haaretz reported.

A book by Israeli historian Benny Morris – The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949 – referred to one of the documents, quoting details of a massacre in the Palestinian village Safsaf in Galilee, based on notes written about a 1948 briefing given by the former chief of staff of the Haganah, the Israeli army’s predecessor. 

According to what Morris published, the notes said: “Safsaf 52 men tied with a rope. Dropped into a pit and shot. Ten were killed. Women pleaded for mercy. [There were] three cases of rape. Caught and released. A girl of 14 was raped. Another four were killed.”

This document, along with others, has disappeared from the Israeli archive, after Malmab’s team censored them, according to Haaretz.

A brief, unhappy history of Israeli massacres. By far this does not cover it all.

“Israeli” Documents: US Provided Cover for Sabra, Shatila Massacre HERE

1946. Zionist militias blow up the south wing of the King David Hotel, killing 91 people, most of them civilians, in order to protest British rule of Palestine.

1948. Zionist militias kill over 100 civilians in the village of Deir Yassin, which is on the road to Jerusalem. The action helps clear the road for the military advance on Jerusalem and scares thousands of other Palestinians who flee their villag

The name Deir Yassin becomes a rallying cry for Palestinians for decades to come though no one is punished. An officer with responsibility for the massacre, Menachem Begin, became Israeli prime minister 29 years later.

1948. During the expulsion of Palestinians from the central Israeli city of Lydda, more than 100 men are rounded up and held in a mosque and later massacred (according to Reja-e Busailah’s new book and others). The episode terrifies thousands of other Palestinians who seek refuge in the West Bank.

1948. Hundreds of Palestinian civilians are killed by Israeli forces in Al Dawayima village, west of Hebron. Many are killed in barbarous manner; the crime is swept under the rug for decades.

1953. Israeli troops led by Ariel Sharon raid the village of Qibya in the Jordanian-occupied West Bank and kill 69 people, most of them women and children, in retaliation for a cross-border raid that killed three Israelis. (The massacre is memorialized in Nathan Englander’s latest novel as one that solidifies Sharon’s reputation as an officer who will exact swift and awful revenge on those who harm Jews, thereby assuring his rise.)

1956. Israeli forces gun down farmers in Kfar Qasim returning from the fields who are unaware that the village had been placed under a strict curfew by the Israeli government earlier that day. Forty-eight Palestinian citizens of Israel are killed, many women and children.

1956. Israeli forces kill 275 Palestinians in Gaza in the midst of the Suez Crisis. The massacre is documented by Joe Sacco in Footnotes in Gaza.

1967. Israeli forces are said to have killed scores of Egyptian army prisoners in the Sinai during the 1967 War. Some say 100s.

1970. Israel killed 46 Egyptian children and wounded 50 others during an air raid on a primary school in the village of Bahr el-Baqar, Egypt. Known as the Bahr el-Baqar Massacre, the assault completely destroyed the school and was part of the Priha (Blossoms) Operations during the War of Attrition.

1982. The Sabra and Shatilla massacres of Palestinians in Beirut refugee camps are carried out by Lebanese Phalangist militias. But the Israel Defense Forces had control of the area and Ariel Sharon allows the militias to go into the camps. Somewhere between several hundred and 3000 Palestinians are murdered. Sharon, who died in 2014, escaped punishment for war crimes; in fact, he became an Israeli prime minister.

1996. The first Qana massacre takes place when Israeli missiles strike a UN compound in southern Lebanon where many civilians have gathered seeking refuge during clashes between Israel and Hezbollah.

Over 100 civilians are killed. “Israel was universally condemned, and the United States intervened to extricate its ally from the quagmire,” Avi Shlaim writes in The Iron Wall.

2006. The second Qana massacre takes place during the Lebanon war when Israeli missiles strike a building in a village outside Qana, killing 36 civilians, including 16 children. The strike is initially defended as a response to the firing of Katyusha rockets at Israel from civilian areas.

2008-2009. During Cast Lead, the Israeli assault on Gaza following exchanges of rocket/missile attacks in months before, more than 1400 Palestinians are killed over 22 days, most of them civilians.

Many die as at Qana, when they flee their homes to UN compounds and schools, hoping to be safe. The massacre brings international condemnation, including by the Goldstone Report to the UN Human Rights Council alleging war crimes; but the United States does its utmost under President Obama to defend Israel from all charges, and no one is brought to the bar.

2012.  During eight days of “Pillar of Clouds,” Israel kills 160 Palestinians in Gaza, most of them civilians. The offensive boosts Netanyahu in the polls and seems timed to torpedo Palestine’s historic UN bid for statehood.

2014. Another Israeli onslaught on Gaza, this one lasting 51 days, kills upwards of 2200 Palestinians, most of them civilians. The massacre is famous for sniper killings of unarmed people and for the killings of entire families, 89 according to some authorities, typically wiped out in their homes by a missile strike. In one instance, 20 members of one family are killed. The international condemnation is again toothless.

Israel Acquiring Banned American Laser That “Melts Eyeballs” of Enemies

Brief clip

Given the lack of benefit for the U.S. — and Israel’s history of war crimes and testing its newly developed weapons on disenfranchised Palestinians in blockaded Gaza or the occupied West Bank — this bill is a perfect example of yet another “Israel first” bill now making its way through the U.S. Congress.

A good time to recall that as former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney publicly disclosed, when a person is newly elected to Congress they are approached by AIPAC and asked to sign their “Loyalty Agreement” to Israel.

Representative McKinney refused to sign this AIPAC Agreement because she thought it was clearly wrong and was then voted out of office by RKM and AIPAC power.

Also a good time to recall that in case anyone believes that only Palestinians are effected by Israel’s behavior, as it so happens, Israel is out for total global power and evil as evil comes.

Where Israel needs our military, our military goes. Israel is not good news for anyone! It’s been most unfortunate that most people think that it’s all about the Palestinians so they’ve not concerned themselves about where our ties to Israel is taking us. Now it’s too late.

New Bill Would See US Taxpayers Subsidize Experimental Israeli Laser Weapons

WASHINGTON — Last Thursday, Reps. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY) introduced the “U.S.-Israel Directed Energy Cooperation Act,” which would authorize “the Department of Defense to carry out bilateral cooperation with Israel to develop directed energy capabilities,” according to a press release.

Directed energy weapons include laser weapons and particle beams; they are highly destructive but embraced by militaries for their “infinite magazines” and “incredible speed and range.”

More specifically, the bill — which is identical to a bill of the same name that Lieu and Stefanik introduced last year but failed to pass — would allow the Pentagon “to carry out research, development, test, and evaluation activities, on a joint basis with Israel, to establish directed energy capabilities that address threats to the United States, deployed forces of the United States, or Israel, and for other purposes.”

Arguably more troubling is the fact that this bill would deepen Israel’s access to grotesque weapons of war that have been developed by the U.S. military but have also been banned for use by American troops.

For instance, in the late 1990s, the U.S. and Israel collaborated on the “Nautilus” program that created lasers that cause permanent blindness in those targeted by literally “melting the eyeball.”

Though the “Nautilus” lasers were banned for use by the U.S. under the Clinton administration because they could cause permanent blindness, they were nevertheless shared with Israel’s government.

A spokesman for U.S. Army Space and Strategic Defense Command, John Cunningham, at the time told the Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs that the decision to share the technology with Israel had not been made by the command — which was the lead agency overseeing the program — and instead stated that “We are taking our orders from the Secretary of Defense [William Perry] and President Clinton.”

The “Nautilus” lasers were later shelved for use as missile defense by Israel in 2006, despite the U.S. and Israel having spent $300 million, owing to the “prohibitive cost” of their operation. However, Israel has continued to use the highly experimental technology to develop a new system it claimed was on the “verge of completion” this past December.

In light of this current bill, it is important to revisit the “Nautilus” example, as it clearly shows that the U.S. government, in past “collaborative” efforts, has provided experimental, hi-tech weapons to Israel even when they are so controversial, potent and deadly that the U.S.’ own military is banned from using them.

This point is even more troubling when one considers that Israel regularly tests its experimental and newly developed weapons on Palestinians, including civilians, who live in the blockaded Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank.

U.S. to subsidize Israeli arsenal

While it has been touted as a means of “jointly” researching directed energy weapons, the text of the bill reveals that it would be used to funnel U.S. taxpayer funds to subsidize Israeli directed energy weapon research in Israel.

For instance, the bill states: “The Secretary of Defense is authorized to provide maintenance and sustainment support to Israel for the directed energy capabilities research, development, test, and evaluation activities authorized.”

It then states that Israel’s financial contribution to said research would not necessarily need to be equal to the U.S.’ contribution, but merely “an amount that otherwise meets the best efforts of Israel, as mutually agreed to by the United States and Israel.”

Furthermore, the “memorandum of agreement” between the two countries states that the bill would require “the United States Government to receive semiannual reports on expenditure of funds, if any, by the Government of Israel, including a description of what the funds have been used for, when funds were expended, and an identification of entities that expended the funds.”

This passage strongly suggests that the research will take place in Israel under Israeli government supervision.

The bill is part of a recent congressional effort to mandate close cooperation between the Israeli and U.S. governments in sensitive technology, despite Israel’s history of using such collaboration to steal state secrets.

For instance, a widely overlooked provision of the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018 — which was nearly passed but ultimately blocked last year in the Senate by Rand Paul (R-KY) — would have mandated that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) work closely with the Israel Space Agency (ISA) “to identify and cooperatively pursue peaceful space exploration and science initiatives in areas of mutual interest.”

The provision was included despite the fact that an Israeli postdoctoral student, Amir Gat, at Caltech had illegally transmitted to Israel classified information on NASA technology. Gat is now employed by an Israeli state-run research institution.

Considering the source(s)

This current bill appears not to provide any direct benefit to the United States and, instead, promises to be a way of subsidizing hi-tech weapons research of an allied government that regularly commits war crimes.

Though Rep. Lieu has claimed that the legislation is an “opportunity” for the U.S. and would “save lives,” it seems that the $31,850 Lieu received from the pro-Israel lobby just last year may have swayed his opinion.

Yet, in contrast, the bill’s other sponsor, Rep. Stefanik, has not received such largesse from the Israel lobby.

Instead, Stefanik is connected with and used to work for the country’s most notorious and zealously pro-Israel neoconservatives, when she served as communications director for the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI).

FPI was founded in 2009 by neoconservatives Robert Kagan and Bill Kristol as the successor to the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), which had fallen into disrepute for its role in promoting — and some argue helping to plan — the Iraq War.

Yet, Stefanik’s association with neoconservatives goes beyond her association with FPI, as neocon National Security Adviser John Bolton endorsed her re-election campaign bid in 2017.

Given the lack of benefit for the U.S. — and Israel’s history of war crimes and testing its newly developed weapons on disenfranchised Palestinians in blockaded Gaza or the occupied West Bank — this bill is a perfect example of yet another “Israel first” bill now making its way through the U.S. Congress.

 

The Imperialist Lie That Won’t Die: America is Making the Planet Safer

When you’re right you don’t have to run from questions and you can provide straight answers.  When Secretary Mike Pompeo declared Iran guilty of provocations he ran from questions and of course offered no credible evidence. Just compare this to Pompeo’s version and truth is clear from error.

 The US doesn’t answer questions, it just gives answers with no evidence. As with lying Israel, we just ‘say’ and it ‘is’. Just watch the beginning of this video (Trump) to get the gist. All three videos exposes the Imperialist lies. Since the NWO was passed to the Jews in 1940, everyone has to play along. Lie cheat steal kill it doesn’t matter how to get rid of the obstacles.

Chabad is a Judeo-Nazi ultra-Orthodox sect, also known Chabad-Lubavitch as movement. They run the NWO for Jews and everyone else. “Jews are above all, and Chabad is higher than the Jews.”

Iran Holds the Winning Hand in Struggle With US, Here’s How She’ll Play It


The “B-team” includes Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahoo, Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and Mohammed bin Zayed of the UAE. All gif inserts mine. admin]

The maximum pressure Trump hoped to wage against Iran will turn into maximum pressure on him and his allies. He will be trapped and there will be no way out.

 Thirteen month ago the United States launched a total economic war against Iran.

It demands its capitulation. Now Iran decided to respond in kind.

It will wage a maximum pressure campaign on U.S. economic interests until the Trump administration concedes its defeat. Shipping in the Middle East will soon become very hazardous.

Oil prices will go through the roof. Trump will be trapped between two choices neither of which he will like.

In early May 2018 U.S. President Trump broke the nuclear deal with Iran and sanctioned all trade with that country. Iran reacted cautiously.

It hoped that the other signatories of the nuclear deal would stick to their promises and continue to trade with it. The year since proved that such expectations were wrong.

Under threat of U.S. sanctions the European partners stopped buying Iranian oil and also ended their exports to it.

Russia and China each have their own problems with the United States. They do not support trade with Iran when it endangers their other interests.

The new financial instrument that was supposed to allow payments between European countries and Iran has still not been implemented. It is also a weak construct and will have too little capacity to make significant trade possible.

Meanwhile the Trump administration increased the pressure on Iran. It removed waivers it had given to some countries to buy Iranian oil.

It designated a part of the Iranian armed forces, the Revolutionary Guard Corp (ICRG), as a terrorist entity.

On Friday it sanctioned Iran’s biggest producer of petrochemical products because that company is alleged to have relations with the ICRG.

The strategic patience Iran demonstrated throughout the year since Trump killed the deal brought no result.

Trump will stay in power, probably for another five and a half years, while Iran’s economic situation continuous to get worse.

The situation requires a strategic reorientation and the adoption of a new plan to counter U.S. pressure.

On the strategic side a long term reorientation in four different fields will counter the effects the economic war on Iran.

Foreign imports to Iran will be reduced to a minimum level by increasing production at home.

Iran will ally with no one, not even China and Russia, as it recognizes that relying on partners has no value when those partners have their own higher interests.

The third step is to loosen interior pressure on the ‘reformist’ who argued for a more ‘western’ orientation.

Trump, and the cowardice of the Europeans, have proven that their arguments are false. The last measure is to reorientate exports from global oil trade to other products, probably derived from oil, and to neighboring countries.

All four steps will take some time. They are at large a reorientation from a globalization strategy to a more isolationist national one.

Some first steps of this new plan are already visible. A common bank will be set up by Syria, Iraq and Iran to facilitate trade between those countries.

The economic reorientation is not sufficient. To directly counter Trump’s maximum pressure campaign requires a tactical reorientation.

Trump continues to call for negotiations with Iran but he can accept nothing but a total capitulation.

Trump also proved that the U.S. does not stick to the agreements it makes.

There is therefore no hope for Iran to achieve anything through negotiations. There is only one way to counter Trump’s maximum pressure campaign and that is by putting maximum pressure on him.

Iran will move against the interests of the U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. It will do so in deniable form to give the U.S. and others no opening for taking military actions against it.

Iran has friends in various countries in the Middle East who will support it with their own capabilities. The campaign Iran now launches will also create severe damage for other countries.

In mid 2018, after Trump began to sanction Iran’s oil exports, its leaders explained how it would counter the move:

‘If Iran can’t export oil no-one in Middle East will,’ Tehran warns.

Last December Iran’s President Rouhani repeated that position:

“If one day they want to prevent the export of Iran’s oil, then no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf,” [Rouhani] said.

In mid May 2019, one year after Trump destroyed the nuclear deal, a demonstration of capabilities damaged four tankers which anchored near Fujairah in the UAE. There was no evidence to blame the attack on Iran.

The incident was a warning. But the U.S. ignored it and increased the sanction pressure on Iran.

Yesterday two tankers with petrochemical products were attacked while crossing the Gulf of Oman. Coming only a few days after Trump sanctioned Iran’s petrochemical exports points to Iran’s involvement. But again no evidence was left in place to blame the incident on Iran.

The U.S. published a grainy black and white video which it says shows an Iranian Search and Rescue crew removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the tankers. No mine in visible in the video. The Iranian crew seems to inspect the damage on the tanker.

Proof

The U.S. itself admits that the video was taken several hours after the incident. The U.S. also says that one of its ships was nearby. Why did it take no steps to remove the claimed mine itself?

Meanwhile the owner of the Kokuka Courageous, one of the stricken ships, said that the damage to its ship was not caused by mines but by drones:

Two “flying objects” damaged a Japanese tanker owned by Kokuka Sangyo Co in an attack on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman, but there was no damage to the cargo of methanol, the company president said on Friday. 

“The crew told us something came flying at the ship, and they found a hole,” Katada said. “Then some crew witnessed the second shot.”

Katada also rejected speculation that the tanker, which sailed under the flag of Panama, was attacked because it was a Japanese owned vessel:

“Unless very carefully examined, it would be hard to tell the tanker was operated or owned by Japanese,” he said.

Despite the obvious lack of knowledge of who or what caused the incident the U.S. immediately blamed Iran:

Secretary Pompeo @SecPompeo – 18:27 UTC – 13 Jun 2019It is the assessment of the U.S. government that Iran is responsible for today’s attacks in the Gulf of Oman. These attacks are a threat to international peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation, and an unacceptable escalation of tension by Iran.

Iran pushed back:

Javad Zarif @JZarif – 12:11 UTC – 14 Jun 2019That the US immediately jumped to make allegations against Iran—w/o a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence—only makes it abundantly clear that the #B_Team is moving to a #PlanB: Sabotage diplomacy—including by @AbeShinzo—and cover up its #EconomicTerrorism against Iran.

I warned of exactly this scenario a few months ago, not because I’m clairvoyant, but because I recognize where the #B_Team is coming from.

The “B-team” includes Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahoo, Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and Mohammed bin Zayed of the UAE.

To say that the attacks were provocations by the U.S. or its Middle East allies is made easier by their evident ruthlessness. Any accusations by the Trump administration of Iranian culpability will be easily dismissed because everyone knows that Trump and his crew are notorious liars.

This cat and mouse game will now continue and steadily gain pace. More tankers will get damaged or even sunk. Saudi refineries will start to explode. UAE harbors will experience difficulties. Iran will plausibly deny that it is involved in any of this. The U.S. will continue to blame Iran but will have no evidence to prove it.

Insurance for Middle East cargo will become very expensive. Consumer prices for oil products will increase and increase again. The collateral damage will be immense.

All this will gradually put more pressure on Trump. The U.S. will want to negotiate with Iran, but that will be rejected unless Trump rejoins the nuclear deal and lifts all his sanctions. He can not do that without losing face and his allies.

By mid 2020 the maximum pressure campaign will reach its zenith. Oil prices will explode and the U.S. will fall into a recession. The world economy will tank and everyone will know who caused the underlying issue. Trump’s reelection will come into doubt.

There will also be pressure on Trump to take military action against Iran. But he knows that a war would be equally disastrous for his re-election chances, and for the United States. A war against Iran would put the whole Middle East in flames.

The maximum pressure Trump hoped to wage against Iran will turn into maximum pressure on him and his allies. He will be trapped and there will be no way out.

Moon of Alabama