Nasrallah to Israeli PM: ‘Any more Syria strikes could trigger major war’ – English Subtitles

Nasrallah to Israeli PM: ‘Any more Syria strikes could trigger major war’ – English Subtitles

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EU Channel for Transactions to Be Announced in Next Hours: Iran Envoy to London

Iran UK envoy Hamid Baeedinejad

EU Channel for Transactions to Be Announced in Next Hours: Iran Envoy to London

January 31, 2019

Iran’s ambassador to London said on Thursday that Germany, Britain and France have finalized registration of a channel for transactions with Iran (INSTEX), and the news will be announced within next hours.

Hamid Baeedinejad made the remarks in a twitter message on Thursday.

The Paris-based transactions channel, named INSTEX – Instrument In Support Of Trade Exchanges, is run by a German national, and France, Britain and Germany are shareholders in it, IRNA news agency reported.

German TV broadcaster, NDR, had earlier reported that Germany, France and the UK have set up a payment channel with Iran called INSTEX, to help continue trade with Iran, circumventing the US sanctions.

SourceAgencies

Germany, France, UK to Establish EU Channel for Transactions with Iran

UK France Germany

According to the German broadcaster NDR, Germany, the UK, and France are ready to set up the European Channel for transactions with Iran.

The European transactions channel for Iran will be called INSTEX (Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges), NDR reported.

The statement comes after spokeswoman for EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Maja Kocijancic announced that the work aimed at the creation of the special purpose vehicle (SPV) had already entered its final stage. On 28 January, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that the mechanism had not been registered yet.

The second package of US sanctions targeting, in particular, Iran’s oil sector took effect on 5 November.

In May, US President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, and re-impose sanctions against Iran that had been lifted under the agreement. The first round of restrictions came into force in August and the second on 5 November.

Despite Washington’s unilateral move, the other parties to the deal — China, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, the United Kingdom and the European Union — have expressed their commitment to the deal.

SourceSputnik

The United States Is the Most Corrupt Country in the World

The United States Is the Most Corrupt Country in the World

by Juan Cole /

John M. Cropper / CC BY-NC 2.0

The United States fell six places to a ranking of only 22 in Transparency International’s list of countries by corruption. Under Donald Trump, America is not in the top 20 for fair dealing.

But as I have argued before, the United States is the most corrupt country in the world and should be ranked 194, not 22. What follows is a much-revised version of my popular list.

 

Obviously, the U.S. Departments of Justice and the Treasury would not give corporations impunity for obtaining contracts by bribery, and it is this sort of scrupulousness that the Transparency International list is rewarding. And Americans don’t have to bribe government officials, as is true in many countries (though, to be fair to the government officials, they typically demand bribes because their governments don’t pay them a living wage).

But in all sorts of ways, U.S. corruption is off the charts, and because the U.S. is still the No. 1 economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product, massive corruption here has a global impact.

Here are the top signs that the U.S. is the most corrupt country in the world:

1. The U.S. is so corrupt that our ruling Republican Party would even deny human-made climate change and adopt pro-carbon policies inexorably destined to wreck the planet earth, all to ensure a few extra years of profits for dirty coal companies and oil giants like ExxonMobil.

Americans are now finally waking up from the 30 years of mesmerized unreality into which Big Carbon and its willing henchmen in the U.S. government had cast them. But nothing of any significance is being done by the federal government on the climate emergency, and the real leaders are states like California. Americans do not realize how peculiar their climate dementia is. No government in Europe openly denies human-made climate change through the burning of fossil fuels and the lodging of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, however lackadaisical some of them are about addressing the problem.

The Chinese Communist Party is more realistic than the U.S. government, and is making a full-court press to move to green energy. Germany, the fourth-largest economy, has announced the end of coal. Britain gets a third of its electricity from wind, and coal provides only 2 percent of British electricity—an achievement of less than a decade.

Only the dodo birds of the sneakily misnamed Australian Liberal Party are still vehemently pro-coal and shrilly denying the plain science of greenhouse gases.

2. Our government is so corrupt that the Environmental Protection Agency has not only ceased protecting the environment, it has become a cheerleader for polluting industries, gutting any regulation that might stand in the way of making a little extra money at the expense of, like, killing people. Its current head is a former coal industry lobbyist! The EPA has decided to back coal plants and to remove the annoyance of government regulations interfering with their spewing mercury into the air. Mercury is a nerve poison, and it concentrates at the top of the food chain (i.e., in us). The Mad Hatter in “Alice in Wonderland” was driven crazy by using his hands to put mercury on the brim of felt hats so as to straighten them. Continual exposure to mercury damages your neural system.

3. The U.S. government is so corrupt that it is winking at the murder by Saudi authorities of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, almost certainly at the order of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. And the grounds which the president of the United States gave for his insouciance at the deployment of a bone saw on the hapless scribbler were that he did not want to endanger Saudi arms purchases from and investments in the United States. This response is the very definition of corruption. Saudi Arabia is bribing the U.S. government to ignore a vicious murder of a high-profile journalist whose children are American citizens and who wrote for the Washington paper of record. You can tell all this is corrupt by just imagining what the response would be in Washington if Iran were discovered carving up a dissident in a consulate with a bone saw.

4. The U.S. is so corrupt (audience: “How corrupt is it?”) that the Senate has allowed a bill to come to the floor, introduced by Marco “Benedict Arnold” Rubio, that approves of individual states excluding vendors and contractors who boycott Israel. Although Rubio, Gary Peters, Ron Wyden and other backers of the bill maintain that it does not affect freedom of speech, it actually guts freedom of speech. We university lecturers who speak on other campuses are considered contractors, and people will be prevented from giving talks at the University of Texas, for example, by such laws. The law is unconstitutional and will be struck down if the U.S. judiciary still has a modicum of integrity. But the law was passed in order to uphold the Israeli colonization of the Palestinian West Bank and the sentencing of Palestinians to being stateless and helpless and without rights. And it was worked up in the shadows in coordination with the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs (i.e., of propaganda), with the backing of pro-squatter fanatics such as sleazy casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who has been accused of making his pile, in part, by bribing members of the Chinese Communist Party to let him open a lucrative casino in Macau. The senators have brought this bill to the floor, despite its being a poison pill for the U.S. Constitution, because they are in the back pocket of the Israel lobbies, which help fund their political campaigns. (I hasten to add that most American Jews do not approve of these shenanigans.)

In other words, the senators are acting this way because they are being bribed by a sliver of corrupt American businesspeople, who in turn are virulent partisans of a foreign state, or by U.S. evangelicals, who have an irrational hope that the final solution of the Palestinian problem will provoke the return of Christ. The important thing is that U.S. electoral politics is an elaborate system of bribery, for which even the Constitution itself is not sacrosanct.

5. A sure sign of corruption is an electoral outcome like that of 2016. An addled nonentity like Donald Trump got filthy rich via tax loopholes and predatory behavior in his casinos and other businesses, and then was permitted to buy the presidency with his own money. He was given billions of dollars in free campaign time every evening on CNN, MSNBC, Fox and other channels that should have been more even-handed, because they were in search of advertising dollars and Trump was a good draw. Then, too, the way the Supreme Court got rid of campaign finance reform and allowed open, unlimited secret buying of elections is the height of corruption. The permitting of massive black money in our elections was taken advantage of by the Russian Federation, which, having hopelessly corrupted its own presidential elections, managed to further corrupt the American ones as well. Once ensconced in power, Trump Inc. has taken advantage of the power of White House to engage in a wide range of corrupt practices, including an attempt to sell visas to wealthy Chinese and the promotion of the Trump brand as part of diplomacy.

6. The rich are well-placed to bribe our politicians to reduce taxes on the rich. The Koch brothers and other megarich troglodytes explicitly told Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan in 2017 that if the Republican Party, controlling all three branches of government, could not lower taxes on its main sponsors, there would be no billionaire backing of the party in the 2018 midterms. This threat of an electoral firing squad made the hundreds of bribe-takers in Congress sit up and take notice, and they duly gave away to the billionaire class $1.5 trillion in government services (that’s what federal taxes are, folks—services, such as roads, schools, health inspections, implementation of anti-pollution laws), things that everyone benefits from and that won’t be there any more. To the extent that the government will try to continue to provide those slashed services despite assessing no taxes on the people with the money to pay for them, it will run up an enormous budget deficit and weaken the dollar, which is a form of inflation in the imported-goods sector. Inflation hits the poor the worst. As it stands, 3 American billionaires are worth as much as the poorest 150 million Americans. That kind of wealth inequality hasn’t been seen in the U.S. since the age of the robber barons in the 19th century. Both eras are marked by extreme corruption.

7. One sign of American corruption is the rapidity with which American society has become more unequal since the 1980s Reagan destruction of the progressive income tax. The wealthier the top 1 percent is, the more politicians it can buy to gather up even more of the country’s wealth. In my lifetime, the top 1 percent has gone from holding 25 percent of the privately held wealth under President Eisenhower to over 38 percent today. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is right that we need to much increase the top marginal tax rate, and we need to tax unearned income as well.

8. The U.S. military budget is bloated and enormous, bigger than the military budgets of the next 12 major states. What isn’t usually realized is that perhaps half of it is spent on outsourced services, not on the military. It is corporate welfare on a cosmic scale. I’ve seen with my own eyes how officers in the military get out and then form companies to sell things to their former colleagues still on the inside. Precisely because it is a cesspool of large-scale corruption, Trump’s budget will throw over $100 billion extra taxpayer dollars at it.

9. The U.S. has a vast gulag of 2.2 million prisoners in jails and penitentiaries. There is an increasing tendency for prisons to be privatized, and this tendency is corrupting the system.  It is wrong for people to profit from putting and keeping human beings behind bars. This troubling trend is made all the more troubling by the move to give extra-long sentences for minor crimes, to deny parole and to imprison people for life for, for example, three small thefts.

10. Asset forfeiture in the “drug war” is corrupting police departments and the judiciary. Although some state legislatures are dialing this corrupt practice back, it is widespread and a danger to the Constitution.

So don’t tell the Global South how corrupt it is for taking a few petty bribes. Americans are not seen as corrupt because we only deal in the big denominations. Steal $2 trillion and you aren’t corrupt, you’re respectable.

Juan Cole / Informed Comment
Juan Cole
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Juan Cole is the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan and the proprietor of the Informed Comment e-zine. He has written extensively on modern Islamic movements in…
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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro flashes victory signs, declaring he will prevail amid a “coup,” during a press conference at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, on Friday. (Ariana Cubillos / AP)

On Friday, The New York Times continued its long, predictable tradition of backing U.S. coups in Latin America by publishing an editorial praising Donald Trump’s attempt to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. This will be the 10th such coup the paper has backed since the creation of the CIA over 70 years ago.

A survey of The New York Times archives shows the Times editorial board has supported 10 out of 12 American-backed coups in Latin America, with two editorials—those involving the 1983 Grenada invasion and the 2009 Honduras coup—ranging from ambiguous to reluctant opposition. The survey can be viewed here.

Covert involvement of the United States, by the CIA or other intelligence services, isn’t mentioned in any of the Times’ editorials on any of the coups. Absent an open, undeniable U.S. military invasion (as in the Dominican Republic, Panama and Grenada), things seem to happen in Latin American countries entirely on their own, with outside forces rarely, if ever, mentioned in the Times. Obviously, there are limits to what is “provable” in the immediate aftermath of such events (covert intervention is, by definition, covert), but the idea that the U.S. or other imperial actors could have stirred the pot, funded a junta or run weapons in any of the conflicts under the table is never entertained.

More often than not, what one is left with, reading Times editorials on these coups, are racist, paternalistic “cycle of violence” cliches. <i>Sigh, it’s just the way of things Over There.</i> When reading these quotes, keep in mind the CIA supplied and funded the groups that ultimately killed these leaders:

  • Brazil 1964: “They have, throughout their history, suffered from a lack of first class rulers.”
  • Chile 1973: “No Chilean party or faction can escape some responsibility for the disaster, but a heavy share must be assigned to the unfortunate Dr. Allende himself.”
  • Argentina 1976: “It was typical of the cynicism with which many Argentines view their country’s politics that most people in Buenos Aires seemed more interested in a soccer telecast Tuesday night than in the ouster of President Isabel Martinez de Perlin by the armed forces. The script was familiar for this long‐anticipated coup.”

See, it didn’t matter! It’s worth pointing out the military junta put in power by the CIA-contrived coup killed 10,000 to 30,000 Argentines from 1976 to 1983.

There’s a familiar script: The CIA and its U.S. corporate partners come in, wage economic warfare, fund and arm the opposition, then the target of this operation is blamed. This, of course, isn’t to say there isn’t merit to some of the objections being raised by The New York Times—whether it be Chile in 1973 or Venezuela in 2019. But that’s not really the point. The reason the CIA and U.S. military and its corporate partisans historically target governments in Latin America is because those governments are hostile to U.S. capital and strategic interests, not because they are undemocratic. So while the points the Times makes about illiberalism may sometimes be true, they’re mostly a non sequitur when analyzing the reality of what’s unfolding.

Did Allende, as the Times alleged in 1973 when backing his violent overthrow, “persist in pushing a program of pervasive socialism” without a “popular mandate”? Did, as the Times alleged, Allende “pursue this goal by dubious means, including attempts to bypass both Congress and the courts”? Possibly. But Allende’s supposed authoritarianism isn’t why the CIA sought his ouster. It wasn’t his means of pursuing redistributive policies that offended the CIA and U.S. corporate partners; it was the redistributive policies themselves.

Hand-wringing over the anti-democratic nature of how Allende carried out his agenda without noting that it was the agenda itself—not the means by which it was carried out—that animated his opponents is butting into a conversation no one in power is really having. Why, historically, has The New York Times taken for granted the liberal pretexts for U.S. involvement, rather than analyzing whether there were possibly other, more cynical forces at work?

The answer is that rank ideology is baked into the premise. The idea that the U.S. is motivated by human rights and democracy is taken for granted by The New York Times editorial board and has been since its inception. This does all the heavy lifting without most people—even liberals vaguely skeptical of American motives in Latin America—noticing that a sleight of hand has taken place. “In recent decades,” a 2017 Times editorial scolding Russia asserted, “American presidents who took military action have been driven by the desire to promote freedom and democracy, sometimes with extraordinary results.” Oh, well, good then.

What should be a conversation about American military and its covert apparatus unduly meddling in other countries quickly becomes a referendum on the moral properties of those countries. Theoretically a good conversation to have (and one certainly ongoing among people and institutions in these countries), but absent a discussion of the merits of the initial axiom—that U.S. talking heads and the Washington national security apparatus have a birthright to determine which regimes are good and bad—it serves little practical purpose stateside beyond posturing. And often, as a practical matter, it works to cement the broader narrative justifying the meddling itself.

Do the U.S. and its allies have a moral or ethical right to determine the political future of Venezuela? This question is breezed past, and we move on to the question of how this self-evident authority is best exercised. This is the scope of debate in The New York Times—and among virtually all U.S. media outlets. To ante up in the poker game of Serious People Discussing Foreign Policy Seriously, one is obligated to register an Official Condemnation of the Official Bad Regime. This is so everyone knows you accept the core premises of U.S. regime change but oppose it on pragmatic or legalistic grounds. It’s a tedious, extortive exercise designed to shift the conversation away from the United States’ history of arbitrary and violent overthrows and into an exchange about how best to oppose the Official Bad Regime in question. U.S. liberals are to keep a real-time report card on these Official Bad Regimes, and if these regimes—due to an ill-defined rubric of un-democraticness and human rights—fall below a score of say, “60,” they become illegitimate and unworthy of defense as such.

While obviously not in Latin America, it’s also worth noting that the Times cheerled the CIA-sponsored coup against Iran’s President, Mohammad Mossadegh, in 1953. Its editorial, written two days after his ouster, engaged in the Times’ patented combination of victim-blaming and “oh dear” bloviating:

  • “The now-deposed Premier Mossadegh was flirting with Russia. He had won his phony plebiscite to dissolve the Majlis, or lower House of Parliament, with the aid of the Tudeh Communists.”
  • “Mossadegh is out, a prisoner awaiting trial. It is a credit to the Shah, to whom he was so disloyal, and to Premier Zahedi, that this rabid, self-seeking nationalist would have been protected at a time when his life would not have been worth the wager of a plugged nickel.”
  • “The Shah … deserves praise in this crisis. … He was always true to the parliamentary institutions of his country, he was a moderating influence in the wild fanaticism exhibited by the nationalists under Mossadegh, and he was socially progressive.”

Again, no mention of CIA involvement (which the agency now openly acknowledges), which the Times wouldn’t necessarily have had any way of knowing at the time. (This is part of the point of covert operations.) Mossadegh is summarily demonized, and it’s not until decades later the public learns of the extent of U.S. involvement. The Times even gets in an orientalist description of Iranians, implying why a strong Shah is necessary:

<blockquote>[The average Iranian] has nothing to lose. He is a man of infinite patience, of great charm and gentleness, but he is also—as we have been seeing—a volatile character, highly emotional, and violent when sufficiently aroused. </blockquote>

Needless to say, there are major difference between these cases: Mossadegh, Allende, Chavez and Maduro all lived in radically different times and championed different policies, with varying degrees of liberalism and corruption. But the one thing they all had in common is that the U.S. government, and a compliant U.S. media, decided they “needed to go” and did everything to achieve this end. The fundamental arrogance of this assumption, one would think, is what ought to be discussed in the U.S. media—as typified by the Times’ editorial board—but time and again, this assumption is either taken for granted or hand-waved away, and we all move on to how and when we can best overthrow the Bad Regime.

For those earnestly concerned about Maduro’s efforts to undermine the democratic institutions of Venezuela (he’s been accused of jailing opponents, stacking the courts and holding Potemkin elections), it’s worth pointing out that even when the liberal democratic properties of Venezuela were at their height in 2002 (they were internationally sanctioned and overseen by the Carter Center for years, and no serious observer considers Hugo Chavez’s rule illegitimate), the CIA still greenlit a military coup against Chavez, and the New York Times still profusely praised the act. As it wrote at the time:

<blockquote>With yesterday’s resignation of President Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator. Mr. Chávez, a ruinous demagogue, stepped down after the military intervened and handed power to a respected business leader, Pedro Carmona. </blockquote>

Chavez would soon be restored to power after millions took to the streets to protest his removal from office, but the question remains: If The New York Times was willing to ignore the undisputed will of the Venezuelan people in 2002, what makes anyone think the newspaper is earnestly concerned about it in 2019? Again, the thing that’s being objected to by the White House, the State Department and their U.S. imperial apparatchiks is the redistributive policies and opposition to the United States’ will, not the means by which they do so. Perhaps the Times and other U.S. media—living in the heart of, and presumably having influence over, this empire—could try centering this reality rather than, for the millionth time, adjudicating the moral properties of the countries subject to its violent, illegitimate whims

israel’s Story: Lies from Top to Bottom

Israel’s Story: Lies from Top to Bottom

By Philip Giraldi,

A study by a Toronto-based consulting and research company has revealed that over the past fifty years mainstream reporting about Israel has been distorted to portray the Jewish state in positive terms while ignoring the plight of the Palestinians under Israeli occupation. The media study, based on a computer analysis of 50 years of data, found that major U.S. newspapers have provided consistently skewed, pro-Israel reporting on Israel-Palestine. The slanting in news coverage included subtle manipulations like using word associations favorable to Israel and derogatory to Palestinians as well as persistent publication of stories praising Israel while also avoiding reporting anything supportive of the dispossessed Arab point of view

The researchers from 416Labs were able to evaluate headlines and articles derived from five major U.S. newspapers: the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal during the time period 1967 to 2017. June 1967 was selected as the starting point to include coverage of the Six Day War and its aftermath, when Israel attacked Jordan, Egypt and Syria to begin its military occupation of Palestinian territory on the West Bank and Gaza.

No one should be surprised by media bias in favor of Israel given the dominance of Jewish owners and editors in the major media, but the study just might have gone one step farther and noted, as did Congressman Paul Findley in his book They Dare to Speak Out back in 1985, that much of the bias stems from the overseas correspondents covering the Middle East for the U.S. and European media also being overwhelmingly Jewish. And a review of the Israel-philia might have gone back even further in time to the foundation of the state in 1948 to find similar favorable coverage.

Shaping the favorable perception of Israel has also involved the efforts of Zionist-dominated Hollywood movies and television to portray Jewish heroism while also at the same time ignoring the Zionist terrorism directed against both the indigenous Palestinian population and the British Mandate authorities prior to Israel’s statehood. The movie Exodus shaped many Americans’ perceptions of what had occurred in the Middle East, while the steady stream of films related to the so-called holocaust, which ignore the many problems with that standard narrative, perpetuate Jewish suffering and victimhood.

In truth, no one should believe any country’s creation narrative, which, since the time of Virgil’s Aeneid, has been intended to present an idealized portrait that is largely fact-free. Nationalists will inevitably distort the tale to reflect their own vision of what their homeland represents and how it came to be, but Israel’s story is unusual in that it is packed with lies from start to finish. Even before the creation of a Jewish state, Zionists encouraged Jewish emigration from Europe to the then Turkish-controlled Palestine. They coined the expression “a land without people for people without a land,” a flat out lie as Palestine was fully inhabited by Muslim and Christian Palestinian Arabs plus a small Jewish minority. This expression has been more recently replaced with another one, i.e. how Israel “made the desert bloom,” as if the land were not being cultivated before large numbers of Jews arrived, making it another lie. And it is, by the way, an expression favored by Zionist presidential aspirant Kamala Harris, a prime example of “progressive except for Israel.”

Israel was founded as a product of terrorism, some would say the “first modern” style terrorism, to include bombings of non-military targets and random massacres of civilians. In a notorious attack on the village of Deir Yassin on April 9, 1948, more than two hundred Palestinians may have been slaughtered by Jewish terrorists affiliated with the Irgun and Lehi groups. The exact count of the victims is unknown because a subsequent Zionist clean-up team systematically destroyed many of the bodies.

Given the turmoil in Palestine and the agitation by British Jews, the U.K. was eager to cut its losses, and Harry Truman, a U.S. president who benefited from Jewish financial and political support in his reelection bid, was equally willing to support the creation of a Jewish state as a quid pro quo. Even though Jews were a distinct minority in the new Israel-Palestine, they obtained nearly half of the land in spite of the United Nations mandate that the rights of the indigenous population should not be compromised by the new arrivals.

But the new arrivals from Europe and America disagreed with that even-handed approach. They assassinated the U.N. mediator Count Folke Bernadotte, who had himself saved many Jews in Nazi occupied Europe, and started to attack their Arab neighbors, intentionally driving 700,000 from their homes and killing many in the process. By that act of terror and a subsequent war fought against its neighbors, Israel obtained more land before the green line was eventually established as part of a 1949 Armistice Agreement managed by the U.N. to divide Israel from the West Bank and Gaza, which were under the jurisdiction of Jordan and Egypt respectively.

And then there came the miraculous Six Day War of June 1967, regarding which glowing media accounts described how Israel was attacked by Jordan, Syria and Egypt simultaneously but fought back hard and won a decisive victory, occupying in the process the parts of Jerusalem it did not already control as well as the Golan Heights, the West Bank and Gaza. The only problem with that story is that Israel started the war, attacking and destroying the Arab air forces without a declaration of war while their planes were on the ground. Denied air cover, the Arab ground forces could not win.

Israel also included in its Six Day War triumph the attempted sinking of the American intelligence gathering ship the U.S.S. Liberty, which was in international waters when it was attacked on June 8th. Thirty-four crewmen were killed and 171 wounded in the only attack on a U.S. Naval vessel in peace time that was never fully investigated by the Pentagon due to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s unwillingness to offend American Jews. The Israelis and their apologists have claimed the attack was a case of either “fog of war” or “a mistake,” both of which were completely self-serving lies exposed by compelling National Security Agency collected evidence that has surfaced recently. And, by the way, the Israelis continue to receive military assistance from Washington in spite of the killing of American servicemembers, $3.8 billion per annum guaranteed for the next ten years plus special appropriations as needed.

Even when the Israelis are clearly telling lies, much of the media and chattering class has been willing to forgive them their trespasses no matter what they do or say. The whopper level lies about Israel are that it is a democracy and America’s best friend and ally. It is neither. It has more than 50 laws that discriminate against Arabs, is now self-defined as a “Jewish state,” and it has recently legalized banning non-Jews from residential areas and towns. It also occupies Palestinian territories where the original inhabitants have no rights but martial law. And the Jewish state has never been an American ally in practical terms as it is under no obligation to support Washington under any circumstances even though a U.S. Air Force general has declared that his troops are prepared to die for Israel.

Some other recent lies include the propagation of a narrative that the Palestinians do not exist as a people, that Palestine has never been a country and therefore should never become one, and that there is no peace in the Middle East because the Arabs have never accepted the generous offers made by the Israelis to settle problems with the Palestinians, who are, by the way, solely responsible for their unfortunate situation since the expanding Israeli settlements on their land are no obstacle to peace. All lies.

And another big lie concerns how Israel spies on the United States. Israel is the number one “friendly” country when it comes to stealing American secrets, both commercial and military. When Jonathan Pollard stole more U.S. classified information than any spy in history, Israel’s friends rushed to explain that it was all a mistake, that Pollard was just a one-off oddball. And the Israel government agreed to return what he had stolen but did not do so and instead used it to barter with America’s then enemy the Soviet Union in a deal to permit Jews to emigrate.

Another espionage related development which produced a whole battery of Israeli lies and evasions relates to 9/11, where Mossad almost certainly had at a minimum inside knowledge regarding what was about to occur through their illegal massive spying program inside the United States. Remember the cheering Israeli movers in New Jersey as the twin towers went down? Or the hundreds of “art students” selling their work all across the U.S., which was both a scam and part of an espionage network?

More recent lies include repeated assertions that the Iranians have a secret nuclear program, which will produce a bomb in “six months,” something Benjamin Netanyahu has been promising since 1993. And those wily Persians are also developing ballistic missiles that can be used to attack Europe and America, a particularly dangerous lie as it has been picked up and repeated ad nauseam by the buffoonish triumvirate in Washington consisting of Bolton, Pompeo and Pence, which passes for the deep thinking in U.S. foreign policy these days. That allegation could easily lead to United States involvement in a war fought for Israel that it might reasonably avoid as it is not threatened by Iran and has no vital interests supportive of going to war against it.

But the greatest lie of all is the current claim that anti-Semitism is surging all around the world, requiring still more protection of and deference to diaspora Jews as well as to the state of Israel. It is based on a fundamental lie, that criticism of Israel is ipso facto anti-Semitic and ignores the fact that the pushback is based overwhelmingly on how Israel and Netanyahu behave. Israel, whatever its pretensions, is a country and Judaism is a religion. It is in fact particularly dangerous, and damaging to the religion, to combine the two deliberately as is being done by Netanyahu and the many American Jews who are serial apologists for Israel.

Indeed, Israel and its partisans are now using lies to change the way the public views the issue of anti-Semitism and are willing to do so by legislating to enforce how people think, to include the use of legal sanctions consisting of fines and imprisonment to silence critics. If legislation currently in congress is ever implemented fully, it will be the death of freedom of speech in the U.S. That such nonsense has gained currency at all is due to the Israeli corruption of both America’s government and its news media, which is not a lie, but the absolute truth that you won’t find discussed anywhere in your newspaper or on television reporting.

This trend to criminalize criticism of Israel has led Jewish groups and some governments to work together to promulgate “hate crime” statutes and other legal barriers to protect the Israeli wrongdoing. But Israel is not and should not be protected against criticism. It is a country that behaves very badly, and, one might add, dangerously, not only to its neighbors but also to the world as it has the potential in its hands to escalate its involvement in Syria to initiate a nuclear conflagration between the U.S. and Russia. Israel’s lies should be recognized for what they are and it should be boycotted and sanctioned until it comes to its senses or, if it does not, it should be completely shunned.

This article was originally published on The Unz Review.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research

US threats against the International Criminal Court

International court judge resigns, citing ‘shocking’ interference from ‘above the law’ US

above the law’ US

RT | January 30, 2019

International court judge resigns, citing ‘shocking’ interference from ‘above the law’ US

A senior judge has resigned from the UN International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, after the United States threatened judges investigating alleged US war crimes in Afghanistan.

The judge, Christoph Flügge, has worked with the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) since 2008. More recently, he got involved with preliminary investigations into claims that US military service members and CIA operatives tortured prisoners in Afghanistan.

Flügge told German newspaper Zeit that he handed in his resignation after open threats from US officials, including a speech by hawkish national security adviser John Bolton last September, where Bolton “wished death” on the Court.

“If these judges ever interfere in the domestic concerns of the US or investigate an American citizen, he said the American government would do all it could to ensure that these judges would no longer be allowed to travel to the United States – and that they would perhaps even be criminally prosecuted,” Flügge told Zeit, in an interview translated by The Guardian.

“The American security adviser held his speech at a time when The Hague was planning preliminary investigations into American soldiers who had been accused of torturing people in Afghanistan,” Flügge explained. “The American threats against international judges clearly show the new political climate. It is shocking. I had never heard such a threat.”

Bolton’s speech was delivered in September to the conservative Federalist Society in Washington, DC. It came a year after the ICC began investigating claims that at least 61 detained persons in Afghanistan had been tortured by American troops and another 27 by the CIA at secret prisons in Afghanistan and abroad, according to prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

Bolton called the investigation “utterly unfounded” and “unjustifiable,” and promised to “protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court.”

The senior US official also vowed to defend Israeli citizens from the court. US “friend and ally” Israel was at the time accused of perpetrating war crimes against Palestinian civilians. He warned that the US would disregard arrest warrants, ban judges and prosecutors from entering the country, and even try them in American courts.

Flügge said his colleagues were “stunned” that “the US would roll out such heavy artillery,” but added “it is consistent with the new American line: ‘We are No 1 and we stand above the law’.”

American disregard for the ICC is not a new phenomenon. After much debate, President Bill Clinton signed the Rome Treaty that established the International Criminal Court, but the Congress never ratified it. Clinton’s successor George W. Bush symbolically ‘un-signed’ the treaty in 2002, when the war in Afghanistan was in full swing.

Later that year, the Congress passed the American Service Members’ Protection Act, which obliged the president to prevent any ICC prosecution of US armed forces “to the maximum extent possible,” and even authorized military force to free any US service members from ICC custody. Bolton, incidentally, was Bush’s under-secretary of state at the time.

The court has come under fire from more countries than just the US. Russia withdrew its signature from the Rome Treaty in 2016, after the court criticized the reunification of Crimea. China, India, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are among the other nations that never signed the treaty.

Brits and the Holocaust

January 29, 2019

Not to see that Gaza is a concentration camp is a Holocaust denial!!!

Not to see that Gaza is a concentration camp is a Holocaust denial!!!

By Gilad Atzmon

The British and Jewish press reported yesterday that a poll released to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day found that “1 in 20 British adults does not believe the Holocaust happened and 12%  think the scale of the genocide has been exaggerated.”

Nearly half of those questioned said they did not know “how many Jews were murdered by the Nazis and one in five people thought fewer than two million Jews were killed.”

This is proof, once again, that the more they dogmatically insist on trumpeting the primacy of Jewish suffering, the less people are interested in the Jewish plight. The same principle applies to anti-Semitism, the more Jewish institutions bemoan the tragedy, opposition to Jewry grows  in the Kingdom and beyond.

Speaking for the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, which commissioned the poll, Olivia Marks-Woldman told the BBC that: “without a basic understanding of this recent history, we are in danger of failing to learn where a lack of respect for difference and hostility to others can ultimately lead.” If Marks-Woldman is truly concerned about ‘respect for difference and hostility to others’ she may want to point out what she and the Trust have done to stop the holocaust now taking place in Palestine at the hands of no other than the Jewish State.

Karen Pollack, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said in a statement that the survey showed “the need to increase education about the genocide.” How many more hours should BBC Radio 4 dedicate to the Nazi era and Jewish suffering bearing in mind that we have only 24 each day?

The Jewish press also noted that the poll results are consistent with CNN’s recent findings that one-fifth of Europeans believe Jewish people have too much influence in finance and politics, and one-third said they knew nothing at all or “just a little” about the Holocaust.  I wonder if this means that it is time that Jewish institutions examine themselves and try to figure out what is at play here.  Why are Europeans ‘denying’ the Jewish past? How is it possible that the more time, effort and money are invested in ‘Holocaust education’ the ‘less educated’ people seem to be?

But here’s the twist. The Times Of Israel reported yesterday that last December “a major European report found nearly 90 percent of European Jews feel that anti-Semitism has increased in their home countries.”  Apparently the most common ‘anti-Semitic’ statements Jews heard were “comparisons between Israelis and the Nazis with regard to the Palestinians.”

Perhaps the Holocaust Memorial Trust ought to be reassured by this positive finding.  Not only do Europeans and Brits understand the Holocaust, they manage to apply its message in a universal manner. They are disgusted by fascism, racism, ethnic cleansing and oppression and happen to see Israel’s leadership as the Nazis of our time. I accept that this may be offensive for some Jews, but it does indicate that the most important lesson of the Holocaust, the importance of opposition to racism and oppression, is well and widely understood.


My battle for truth and freedom involves  some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

ATB

Gilad

Video: History of Oil – Hidden Cause of the First World War?

Global Research, January 31, 2019
truthjunkie69 6 March 2012

This video was first published in 2012.

Robert Newman gets to grips with the wars and politics of the last hundred years – but rather than adhering to the history we were fed at school, he places oil centre stage as the cause of all the commotion.

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