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

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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Note to readers: please click the share buttons above. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

سورية وتركيا… والنقاش حول قبول اتفاقية أضنة

يناير 29, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– قبل سنتين ماضيتين لم يكن بتصور أحد أن تبلغ الدولة السورية في مشروع بسط سيطرتها على هذه النسبة من الجغرافيا التي كانت تحت سيادة الدولة السورية وجيشها عام 2011، ولا أن تكون القوى الدولية والإقليمية التي تنازع الدولة السورية على هذه السيطرة، تنكفئ وينسحب بعضها، ويبحث البعض الآخر عن مخارج تجنبه المزيد من الخسائر. وتكفي نظرة منصفة نحو ما قبل سنتين لرؤية كيف كان حال المواقف الأميركية والتركية والإسرائيلية في مناخ التصعيد والتهديد، وكيف كانت مواقف القيادات الكردية، والجماعات المسلحة المنتشرة من حلب إلى الغوطة والجنوب ودير الزور بما فيها تلك التي يشغلها الأتراك والخليجيون وتلك التابعة لداعش وجبهة النصرة تبني إماراتها المدنية والعسكرية على حساب وحدة وسيادة سورية، وكيف تسلل مفهوم الفدرالية والحكم الذاتي إلى مفردات الحل السياسي، وصولاً لتحوله مشروعاً للحل الأمني في حلب على لسان المبعوث الأممي ستيفان دي ميستورا.

– اليوم صورة مختلفة كلياً، الدولة السورية تسيطر على كل الجغرافيا التي كانت تحت سيطرتها عام 2011 باستثناء الشريط الشمالي الذي يتوزّعه، من جهة الأميركيون والجماعات الكردية المسلحة، ومن جهة موازية الأتراك وجبهة النصرة وبعض الجماعات التي تشغلها تركيا، وبات واضحاً أن مساراً يتصل بمستقبل هذه المناطق سينقلها إلى السيادة السورية، في مناخ بات ثابتاً أنه محكوم بمعادلتي الانسحاب الأميركي، والانفتاح الكردي على حل سياسي مع الدولة السورية من جهة. ومن جهة مقابلة الانخراط التركي في تفاوض مع الدولة السورية تحت عنوان اتفاق أضنة الموقع عام 1998 لضمان الوضع على الحدود بين تركيا وسورية، والاتجاه للحسم العسكري مع جبهة النصرة، وسقوط الجماعات التي تشغلها تركيا بين فكي الخيار التركي السياسي أو خيار النصرة العسكري.

– في قلب هذه اللحظة تُطرح في التداول دعوة للنقاش حول اتفاقية أضنة، التي يريد البعض ربطها بنصوص مفترضة تتضمنها تمنح الأتراك ما يُسمّى بحق التعقب داخل الأراضي السورية، أو توحي بالقبول السوري بتجاهل مصير لواء الإسكندرون. ويعتبر هذا البعض أن العودة للاتفاقية مساس بسيادة ووحدة سورية، داعياً لرفض اعتبار السير بمندرجاتها انتصاراً لسورية. وتصويب النقاش هنا يبدأ من رفض الدخول في فرضيات ما تنص عليه الاتفاقية. فهي بالتعريف المتفق عليه، اتفاق حدودي بين الدولة السورية والدولة التركية كان ينظم الوضع بين الدولتين عبر الحدود قبل العام 2011، وبالتالي بمعزل عن تفاصيل مضامينها، يجب الإقرار بحقيقتين: الأولى أنها اتفاقية تعبر عن قرار سيادي سوري جرى اتخاذه في ظروف ليست من نتاج الحرب وما رتبته من انتهاك تركي لسيادة سورية ومن تهديد لوحدتها، وبالتالي القبول بأحكامها ليس ثمناً تؤديه سورية لقاء التراجع التركي عن هذين الانتهاك والتهديد، خصوصاً أن الدولة السورية حتى عشية الحرب عليها عام 2011 لم تطلب تعديل أحكام الاتفاقية أو تصرح باعتبار أحكامها مساساً بوحدة سورية وسيادتها. أما أن يكون طموح البعض هو تحسين شروط ممارسة السيادة وصيانة الوحدة، فهذا أمر مشروع، لكنه ليس على صلة بمعادلات خروج سورية بالانتصار على الحرب التي شنت عليها، والتي يتحقق النصر عليها بالعودة إلى ما كان عليه الحال قبلها.

– في حالة موازية ومشابهة ترتبط سورية عبر حدود الجولان باتفاقية فك الاشتباك بينها وبين إسرائيل والموقعة منذ العام 1974، ونظراً لحسابات القيادة السورية لا يزال الغموض يكتنف موقف الدولة السورية من العودة إلى هذه الاتفاقية التي يشكل القبول الإسرائيلي بالعودة إليها تسليماً بالنصر السوري، على الحرب التي كانت «إسرائيل» أحد محركاتها وشركائها منذ العام 2011، ولذلك تشكل الدعوة لرفض العودة إلى اتفاق فك الاشتباك ضغطاً معنوياً غير مشروع على الدولة السورية، بينما تدير القيادة السورية المعركة السياسية والعسكرية على هذه الجبهة بكل تعقيداتها بذكاء يأخذ بالاعتبار أن فك الاشتباك معطوف على التزام إسرائيلي بالانسحاب من الجولان تريد «إسرائيل» التملص منه، وفي مناخ تصاعد العدوانية الإسرائيلية عبر الغارات التي لم تتوقف على الأراضي السورية، دون أن يعني ذلك أنه عندما ترتئي الدولة السورية العودة لاتفاق فك الاشتباك، بعد نجاحها في منحه الأبعاد التي تطمئنها لمفهوم سيادتها ووحدة اراضيها بقياس ما كان عليه الحال قبل العام 2011، يمكن أو يحق لأحد الطعن بسلامة موقفها.

– في الحالين العودة إلى ما كانت عليه الأوضاع عشية الحرب عام 2011 هو ترجمة مفهوم النصر على الحرب، من دون أن يعني هذا أن ما كان عشية الحرب لا يتضمن احتلالاً تركياً للواء الإسكندرون، واحتلالاً إسرائيلياً للجولان، لكن توقيت وسياق التصدي لمهام تحريرها ملف مستقل عن ملف الانتصار على الحرب، التي يشارك سورية في التصدي لها حلفاء تنتهي مهمتهم عند تحقيق الانتصار على الحرب والعودة إلى ما كان عليه الحال قبلها. وفي قلب هذا النقاش يستحق القول إنه إن كان لسورية فرصة فتح أحد الملفين، احتلال الجولان واحتلال لواء الإسكندرون، فلن تكون فرصة فتحهما معاً، ومنطقي أن تكون الأولوية لفتح ملف احتلال الجولان إن تيسّر ذلك، وفقاً لحسابات الدولة السورية، وقراءتها للمعادلات المحيطة بحربها، وليس لضغوط معنوية غير محقة يوجهها محبّون ومخلصون في توقيت خاطئ.

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Extremist Rabbis’ Hatred Advisory Opinions Promote Settlements, Encourage Terrorism to Abuse Palestinians

Israeli settlements in West Bank

January 30, 2019

By: Madeeha Araj,

The National Bureau for Defending Land and Resisting Settlements said in his weekly report that the investigations into the killing of Palestinian woman Aisha Moh’d Rabi from Bedia village, who died after throwing stones at her husband’s car in Oct. 018 showed that the terrorist attacks were carried out by a new Jewish terrorist organization against the Palestinians’ property and mosques. The Israeli Prosecution presented diluted indictment against the settler murderer of Aisha, saying it was “unintentional killing”. According to the indictment filed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Central Court in Lod, the accused threw a stone weighing around 2 kilos at the Rabi vehicle and killed her near the Za’tara checkpoint south of Nablus.

According to Hebrew sources, the prosecution didn’t intend to file an indictment against other suspected, who were arrested on their involvement in her killing. According to the indictment, the accused and a number of his fellow are members of the Jewish religious institute “Berri Hae’ts” in the settlement of Rahalim, they were at the institute the day she was killed, as they stumbled on a nearby hill overlooking St. 60, and attacked her. Israeli intelligence arrested 5 minors from a settlement near the Za’tara checkpoint on suspicion of “Jewish terrorism” and later found that they are suspected of involvement in the killing of Aisha, but later on 4 of them were released.

Within this context, the ultra-Orthodox rabbi of Safed, a member of Israel’s Supreme Rabbinical Council, Shmuel Eliahu known for issuing provocative opinions against Arabs, revealed a meeting with a number of extremist settlers accused of the killing after they were released from prison. In a sermon posted on YouTube, he said, you are the ones who are paving the way for the religious movement to reach power. He called on the settlers not to fear the prison, which he said was “graduates the kings” and leading them to the leadership of the State, saying that we must make the change. Two years ago, he also issued several opinions urging to harm the Palestinians and their property, allowing Jews to steal Arab property for allegedly being “thieves.” The rabbi of Kiryat Arba, Dov Levyorfakal, said that whoever killed Arabs was a friend. Israeli PM Netanyahu described him as an Israeli leader. For his part, the Israeli Rabbi, Rosen has said that the Lord commanded Joshua ben Nun to kill the giant men, women, children, babies, and even the beasts, adding the Palestinians are the giants of this era, and therefore should be treated as the ancient giants.

In another context, the Israeli occupation authorities plan to evacuate the students of the Khalil Sakakini and Al-Quds Preparatory Schools in the Old City of Jerusalem by providing students with incentives and facilities for transferring them to other schools that follow the municipality of the occupation outside the walls of the Old City. The school principal was informed that it will be closed in 1.9.2019. The students will be transferred to other schools without any explanation for this serious decision. The schools include 385 Palestinian girls, stretches over 200 square meters. It is a-120-year-old building.  They were used as hospital and then as a headquarter for the Ottoman Caliphate. In 1917, the British Mandate turned it into a “police station”.

On the other hand, in Jerusalem, the Central District Court issued a temporary order for the confiscation of a 2.7 dunums in the Mount of Olives area, where the late, Yasser Arafat owned 135 m. of them. Moreover, more than 800 Palestinian families are threatened by forced eviction in their homes in favor for Jewish settlement groups. Israeli courts have filed sues against hundreds of Palestinian families demanding the eviction of their homes. The danger of forced eviction threatens dozens of Palestinian families after an Israeli court ruled in favor of a settlement organization to evict the home of a Palestinian family in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, claiming it is owned by settlers.

For his part, Nikolai Miladinov, the UN envoy to the Middle East peace process, attacked Israel’s policies and activities, especially military operations in the Palestinian territories. In a briefing to the Security Council on the Palestinian situation, Miladinov expressed his concern over the increase Israeli military operations in areas A and B in the West Bank. He noted that during the past period, Israel has allowed the construction of 3,100 settlement units in settlements in Area C and prepares plans for the construction of 2,500 additional settlement units and tenders for another 650 units in various settlements, most of which will be built in areas of the West Bank. Nablus and Hebron, besides legitimizing more than one settlement in Hebron. He noted that there are efforts to implement the law of confiscating Palestinian lands and whitening the settlements, which raises fears of annexation in the future. Pointing out that the law will apply to 66 outposts. He stressed the position of the United Nations and the international community that settlements were illegal and represented an obstacle before peace.

For its part, the Israeli Civil Administration confiscated and uprooted about 60 olive trees from the Palestinian lands and demolished retaining walls surrounding agricultural land near the Jab’a military checkpoint. In a development that draws attention that accompanies the campaign for the early elections of the Knesset, the “Nahla” Settlement Movement organized a demonstration outside the headquarter of the right-wing Israeli Prime Minister in West Jerusalem demanding the settlement of more than 2 million Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, demanding the settlement right to strengthen settlement in the Palestinian territories. Nahla also calls for the adoption of a clear settlement agenda and lift the “settlement freeze laws” on the settlements, claiming that “the Arabs are building continuously and sustainably.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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Terrorism at the Service of ‘Regime Change’. How the West Gets Hit by Its Own Former ‘Useful Freedom Fighters’

Terrorism at the Service of ‘Regime Change’. How the West Gets Hit by Its Own Former ‘Useful Freedom Fighters’

Terrorism at the Service of ‘Regime Change’. How the West Gets Hit by Its Own Former ‘Useful Freedom Fighters’

The Times of London recently published an apologetic story about some “Chechen battalion” that it likes. This special military unit is fighting on the side of Ukrainian troops near the port of Mariupol on the Azov Sea and is headed by a bearded Chechen with a huge dagger inscribed with the words “Death to Separatists.” The Times describes this seemingly bloodthirsty gentleman in a positive light.

An enemy of my enemy

There is one good reason for that. The author of the story, British journalist Marc Bennets, and the commander of the “anti-separatist” battalion, named Muslim Cheberloevsky, have one common enemy. This enemy is the Russian president Putin. In the story, Cheberloyevsky explains to Bennets that he kills the Ukrainian “separatists” (i.e. mostly the Russian-speaking people of Donbass, who refused to live under the crudely nationalist regime of Petro Poroshenko), because he sees them as allies of president Putin. And “Putin is our enemy too,” explains Cheberloyevsky his affinity to Ukrainian nationalists, who normally look down on anyone who was born in Russia. Good enough for The Times. On its pages, Mr. Cheberloyevsky becomes a “freedom fighter.”

The fact that Mr. Cheberloyevsky holds Islamist views and that in an interview to Ukrainian TV he had admitted having trained with the so called Islamic State (formerly ISIS) in Iraq and Syria – this information does not deter The Times in the least. So what, if this useful Islamist “waged jihad” in Syria? Obviously, the UK’s mainstream media shares the establishment’s opinion that the West has a bigger fish to fry with the likes of Mr. Cheberloyevsky – fighting Putin. The perspective of spoiling the day for “Vlad the Bad” is enough for The Times to forget how the anti-Putin and anti-Assad jihadists, having received Western aid, committed terrorist acts in Western Europe and the US. For example, the Boston marathon bombing in 2013 or the Bataclan massacre in Paris in 2015 were both masterminded by Islamist recipients of Western aid for “freedom fighters,” who had radicalized themselves in the same places as Mr. Cheberloyevsky.

Weaponizing Islamism – at your own peril

George Galloway, a former British MP and a prominent critic of British establishment, cites The Times’ story in order to prove his point: “It was always thus.” For several decades, the United States and its allies inside the EU continuously tried to weaponize the Islamist radicals against what the Western establishment saw as much more important adversaries – against Russia, China, Libya, Syria, Iran, etc. It is enough to mention the admitted facts of American and British financing for Osama bin Laden and his proxies during their anti-Soviet campaign in Afghanistan in the 1980s and 1990s. Among more recent cases, one could cite the political asylum provided in the US and in the EU to the anti-Russian terrorists, such as the Tsarnaev brothers, who on their own killed and maimed several dozen people by exploding a bomb in Boston, Massachusets, during the traditional annual marathon in 2013. The Russian security services warned their American colleagues BEFORE the attack, that the future main perpetrator of the “marathon massacre,” Tamerlan Tsarnaev, had taken part in the anti-Russian terrorist activities in two of the Moslem regions of Russia – the autonomous republics of Chechnya and Dagestan. But this warning went unheeded, with 3 Bostonians killed and 16 losing their limbs as a result.

This time again, the British media is undisturbed by the dangers of the alliance with the likes of Mr. Cheberloyevsky.

“There was more interest in Strictly Come Dancing than the long-bearded Islamist extremists, who were now, once again, our partners in crime,” former MP George Galloway writes, and one could not agree more.

We have seen it all – in Syria

Somehow, a lot of the arms and so called “non-lethal equipment” provided by the US and its allies to the “moderate armed opposition” (what an oxymoron!) fighting the Syrian president Bashar Assad ended in the wrong hands. Even Western journalists admitted on many occasions, that a lot of this deadly stuff was ultimately used by the Islamic State and other terrorist groups in the region, such as Jabhat al-Nusra and Jaish al-Islam. Even The Guardian, normally subservient to the globalists, had to report that the “wrong” terrorists quite logically got hold of American gifts to the “right” terrorists, with gifts ranging from Humvee armored vehicles to the should-launched anti-aircraft missiles. Later these arms were used against citizens of Western countries, among many other victims. But the mainstream Western press never criticized its governments’ decisions to supply such weapons to “moderate Syrian opposition,” concentrating instead on the crusade against Putin and Assad. In 2011-2015 the supposedly “pluralist” American, British or French media machines were not different from the supposedly “unfree” Saudi or Turkish ones in that they all viewed the Islamists as a “lesser evil” than the secular Syrian government or, heaven forbid, Russian military contingent legally invited by this government to Syria.

Bigger evil – lesser evil

“The logic of Western political leaders is simple and cynical,” explains Mikhail Delyagin, the head of the Moscow-based Institute for Globalization Problems. “How many Western citizens can terrorists kill? Not more than a few hundreds, at worst a thousand or two, as it was the case during the 9/11 terrorist act in the United States, in 2001. Such a situation is most unfortunate, but it cannot be a threat to the power of globalist clans which now control the US and the EU. Meanwhile, Russia’s or China’s counteraction can be a limitation on their power, it can thwart their plans of spreading the globalist, so called “liberal” ideology to the largest possible number of countries. So, the main enemies of the modern West crack up to be Russia and other sovereign countries, not the terrorists.”

The proof that this kind of attitude dominates on the side of Western elites can easily be obtained from their own loyal “free” press, if only one takes the trouble to memorize how the headlines (and the affiliations!) of, say, the New York Times change over the course of the wars which the US assisted in unleashing.

From the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011 to the year 2013, the New York Times has been describing the insurgents operating against president Assad as “moderate,” denying the reports about their ties to the international jihadist movement or their attempts to impose medieval Islamist laws on Assad’s Syria. And then, suddenly, in 2013, we read the following in an article by the NYT’s Anne Barnard and Eric Schmitt:

“Known as fierce fighters willing to employ suicide car bombs, the jihadist groups now include more than 6,000 foreigners, counterterrorism officials say, adding that such fighters are streaming into Syria in greater numbers than went into Iraq at the height of the insurgency there against the American occupation.”

“Too little” crime, “too late” deaths

Later in the article, the NYT’s authors voice some very controversial criticism of the policy directed at arming those very sinister international terrorists in Syria: “Even Congressional supporters of the C.I.A.’s covert program to arm moderate elements of the Syrian opposition fear the delivery of weapons, set to begin this month, will be too little, too late.”

Isn’t that great? The NYT is not criticizing something clearly illegal: a covert (like almost any intentional crime) CIA program to supply deadly weapons to terrorists fighting a sovereign country’s government. They criticize this criminal act for coming too late and lacking in scope!

“Spooky parallels” of terror

The Washington Post’s shameless veteran-columnist David Ignatius, who recently got famous for reporting to the authorities, Stalin style, on Michael Flynn’s unauthorized contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States, had a rare moment of writing something critical of globalists in 2012. At the moment, president Obama’s line on using the Islamists as “work horses” for the regime change in Syria became apparent. And Ignatius produced a parallel that just asked to be made – the parallel between modern Syria and the American involvement in Afghanistan of the 1980s.

“The parallels are spooky. In Syria, as in Afghanistan, CIA officers are operating at the borders (in this case, mostly in Jordan and Turkey), helping Sunni insurgents improve their command and control and engaging in other activities… There’s even a colorful figure who links the two campaigns: Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who as Saudi ambassador to the US in the 1980s worked to finance and support the CIA in Afghanistan and who now, as chief of Saudi intelligence, is encouraging operations in Syria… There is a negative element to this parallel too, however: this CIA-backed victory opened the way for decades of chaos and jihadist extremism that are still menacing Afghanistan, its neighbors and even the United States.”

This “even” in the article by Ignatius can be a target for sarcasm: after all, even according to the official American version, the 9/11 mass murder was planned in Afghanistan “liberated” with the help from the CIA. So, George Galloway probably has a point, when he advises the Western governments in his article: “Read Mary Shelley, read Frankenstein, and read it to the end.” Alas, the end may be too awful, too near – and not only for the Western sponsors of Islamist terrorism.

YVES ENGLER & PAUL JAY ON TRRN: “TRUDEAU PUSHES TRUMP’S REGIME CHANGE IN VENEZUELA”

Yves Engler–in my opinion one of Canada’s best journalists/authors (if not THE best)–explains:

“The Lima Group was formed because the governments that were critical of the Maduro government in Venezuela, because they couldn’t get resolutions through the Organization of American States.
They didn’t have the majority of votes to pass resolutions at the OAS. So they basically set up another forum to bring together governments, mostly right-wing governments, in Latin America that were critical of the Maduro government.
And Canada has played–was right there at the founding. 
Canada hosted the third meeting of the Lima Group, and now is hosting a second meeting; I think the first country to host two different meetings of the Lima Group.
And this is just part, one part, of a multifaceted Canadian campaign to undermine the Maduro government in Venezuela.
That campaign includes all kinds of critical comments against the Venezuelan government; includes back in September bringing the Venezuelan government–first time ever that a member state has brought another member state to the International Criminal Court.
Canada and a couple of other governments brought Venezuela to the International Criminal Court. Canada has brought in three rounds of sanctions against Venezuela.
Canada has been funding opposition groups in Venezuela.
Canada has been pressuring Caribbean countries to join the Lima Group, to join the critical statements of the Maduro government.
And so–and then in recent–last few weeks, last couple of months, Canada has been right at the forefront in this campaign to recognize the head of the National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the interim president, as the president of Venezuela, and completely reject the legitimacy of the Maduro government.
So the Liberal government in Canada is viewed by many as a sort of a progressive government.
But the Trudeau government in Canada has been right at the forefront of this campaign to try to undermine the Maduro government.
And you know, this is certainly what they’re looking for. My estimation is their preference would be a military coup. But there is some indication that Canada even would be fine with a foreign invasion.
In fact, when the head of the Organization of American States a few months ago sort of mused about a possible foreign invasion, the Lima Group, or 11 of the 14 members of the Lima group, criticized the head of the Organization of American States for talking about a foreign invasion.
Canada, Colombia, and Guyana were the three countries that refused to to condemn any talk of a foreign invasion.
So possibly even Canada is prepared to accept some form of military type intervention as part of this effort to get rid of the Maduro government.”
“The Canadian media is sort of on two hands.
On one hand they are just following the sort of Washington-Ottawa propaganda about how, you know, Maduro’s a total dictator that needs to be overthrown. On one hand they’re doing that, and that’s the sort of bulk of the discussion.
But simultaneously they have, as Paul pointed out, the Globe and Mail and the Canadian press both run incredibly–what should be viewed as incredibly damning stories about Canada’s role in building opposition support for Guaido.
They talk about how Canada’s facilitating meetings within Venezuela, facilitating meetings internationally to try to solidify support for this recognition of the head of the National Assembly.
But the thrust of the stories are that, you know, to just present this as a positive affair that Canada is pursuing, to the point where a few of the NDP, the social democratic party, MPs, or people in that party, a couple of them have expressed criticism of Canada’s policy on Twitter, and the media has sort of pushed back against the NDP’s, in my opinion, quite mild criticism of Canadian policy.
But I do want to echo, for sure, what Paul is saying.
There’s a quote in terms of Canada’s role historically in terms of serving empire, and the fact that sometimes it’s better to have a sort of Canadian face on an intervention than a more sort of, more easily demonized U.S. face.
In his biography, Jacques Chretien, a former prime minister, says quite explicitly that he told Bill Clinton that if we just go along with you in everything, we’re just going to be perceived as a 51st state. But if we, if it looks like we have a little bit of independence, we can do more for you than the CIA can do.
And it was almost like–that’s a paraphrase, almost word for word.
So there’s just this historic kind of putting a bit of a Canada, a positive Canada cover on policies that the U.S. is pursuing around the world.
And there’s a long history of that in the hemisphere beyond the example that Paul gave with regards to Afghanistan.
In Haiti in 2004, Canada played a very important role in the overthrow of the elected government of Jean Bertrand Aristide.
And again, there was Bill Graham, the former defense minister, said in a book about about the war in Afghanistan, he said that because Canada didn’t officially join the coalition of the willing that invaded Iraq in 2003, they felt like they needed to not only go heavily into Afghanistan, but also participate significantly in the coup in Haiti.
So part of this Canadian policy in Venezuela today is about Canada’s close ties to the U.S. empire.
And Canada, in my opinion, has been quite a beneficiary.
The Canadian corporate class have been very much beneficiaries of U.S. empire for half a century.
And the mining sector in Latin America is a big force, banking sector is a big force that partly explains Canadian policy there today.”
SEE ALSO Yves’ recent article on Venezuela, “Canada joins with imperial ‘Mafia’ to threaten Venezuela“, excerpts including:
“…Over the past two years Canadian officials have campaigned aggressively against President Nicolás Maduro. Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland has repeatedly criticized Caracas’ democratic legitimacy and human rights record. Recently she said, “the Maduro regime is now fully entrenched as a dictatorship” while in September Ottawa asked (with five South American nations) the International Criminal Court to investigate the Venezuelan government, which is the first time a government has been formally brought before the tribunal by another member.
In recent weeks Canadian diplomats have played an important role in uniting large swaths of the Venezuelan opposition behind a US-backed plan to ratchet up tensions by proclaiming the new head of the opposition-dominated National Assembly, Juan Guaido, president. The Canadian Press quoted a Canadian diplomat saying they helped Guaido “facilitate conversations with people that were out of the country and inside the country” while the Globe and Mail reported that “Freeland spoke with Juan Guaido to congratulate him on unifying opposition forces in Venezuela, two weeks before he declared himself interim president.” Alongside Washington and a number of right-leaning Latin American governments, Ottawa immediately recognized Guaido after he proclaimed himself president on Wednesday. Canadian officials are lobbying European leaders to recognize Guaido as president as well.
Ottawa has long provided various other forms of direct support to an often-violent opposition. In recent years Canada channelled millions of dollars to opposition groups in Venezuela and 18 months ago outgoing Canadian ambassador, Ben Rowswell, told the Ottawa Citizen that “we became one of the most vocal embassies in speaking out on human rights issues and encouraging Venezuelans to speak out.”
Alongside its support for the opposition, Ottawa expelled Venezuela’s top diplomat in 2017 and has imposed three rounds of sanctions on Venezuelan officials. In March the United Nations Human Rights Council condemned the economic sanctions the US, Canada and EU have adopted against Venezuela while Caracas called Canada’s move a “blatant violation of the most fundamental rules of International Law.”
Since its August 2017 founding Canada has been one of the most active members of the “Lima Group” of governments opposed to Venezuela’s elected government. Canada is hosting the next meeting of the “Lima Group”. Freeland has repeatedly prodded Caribbean and Central American countries to join the Lima Group’s anti-Maduro efforts.
In September, 11 of the 14 member states of the “Lima Group” backed a statement distancing the anti-Venezuelan alliance from “any type of action or declaration that implies military intervention” after Organization of American States chief Luis Almagro stated: “As for military intervention to overthrow the Nicolas Maduro regime, I think we should not rule out any option … diplomacy remains the first option but we can’t exclude any action.” Canada, Guyana and Colombia refused to criticize the head of the OAS’ musings about an invasion of Venezuela.
Alongside the head of the OAS, US president Donald Trump has publically discussed invading Venezuela. To the best of my knowledge Ottawa has stayed mum on Trump’s threats, which violate international law.
…Thus, while the scope of the Trudeau government’s current campaign against Venezuela is noteworthy, it’s not the first time Ottawa has supported the overthrow of an elected, left leaning, government in the hemisphere. Canada passively supported military coups against Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz in 1954 and Brazilian President João Goulart in 1964 as well as ‘parliamentary coups’ against Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo in 2012 and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in 2016. Ottawa played a slightly more active role in the removal of Dominican Republic president Juan Bosch in 1965 and Chilean president Salvador Allende in 1973. In a more substantial contribution to undermining electoral
democracy, Ottawa backed the Honduran military’s removal of Manuel Zelaya in 2009.
Canada played its most forceful role in the removal of a progressive, elected, president in the hemisphere’s most impoverished nation.
Thirteen months before Jean-Bertrand Aristide was, in his words, “kidnapped” by US Marines on February 29, 2004, Jean Chrétien’s Liberal government organized an international gathering to discuss overthrowing the Haitian president. JTF2 special forces secured the Port-au-Prince airport the night Aristide was ousted and 500 Canadian troops were part of the US-led invasion to consolidate the coup.
With regards to Venezuela it’s unclear just how far Ottawais prepared to go in its bid to oust Maduro. But, it is hard to imagine that the path Canada and the US have chosen can succeed without Venezuela being plunged into significant violence.”
Paul Jay, of the Real News Network:

“I know from personal experience that Canada has been trying
to destabilize and nurture and promote the opposition in Venezuela at least from 2004.
When Chavez was still in power, Chavez had been elected over and over again with internationally observed elections.
Everyone said the elections were clean during the Chavez period. Many people that tried to throw the elections into disrepute were invalidated.
The Carter Center legitimatized them.
I actually personally was on an election observer mission to go to polling stations in 2004, 2005, one of the elections leading up to the referendum on Chavez’s presidency.
And I went to 40 polling stations, and I interviewed opposition people in all 40 polling stations in Caracas. And I asked, have you seen any infractions? And if there were any infractions were they dealt with properly.
And I took video, and I recorded it all, and there wasn’t a single complaint from an opposition observer that there had been anything done incorrectly with those elections.
…Now, right around that time, when they were clean elections, and Chavez was getting elected over and over again, my first trip to Venezuela in 2004
My first trip to Venezuela in 2004, I was producing the big debate show on Canadian TV called Counterspin on CBC Newsworld.
I was a well-known documentary filmmaker. I had founded the Big Hot Docs! Documentary Film Festival.
So I was a known quantity in Canada. And so when I was in Venezuela, I said I’ll go say hello to the Canadian embassy. I was trying to figure out what was going on in Venezuela. I figured some Counselor would pat me on the head and say welcome to Venezuela.
No, I got the number two charged d’affaires that greeted me and brings me into a meeting room with seven members of the opposition who then for two hours beat me over the head with how corrupt the regime was, how awful it was, and so on…
What business does a Canadian embassy have with bringing a Canadian journalist into a room with opposition people, essentially trying to involve me in a conspiracy against the Venezuelan government.
So this Canadian government role in Venezuela has been very active in trying to destabilized the situation, promote and nurture the opposition.
And clearly for two reasons.
Number one, Canada is one of the biggest mining nations in the world, and Venezuela has tremendous untapped natural resources, particularly gold. And Canada has a very strong gold mining sector. And the gold was not–Canada wasn’t, Canadian companies weren’t easily getting at that gold.
…So the ability to nurture an opposition and get an in with an opposition that might come to power, and then favour Canadian mining companies, I think that’s one motivation.
And another motivation, I think, has to do with Canada’s role historically; how it plays with the United States and helps the U.S. and its foreign policy.
And I once interviewed a Canadian general in 2004, Lewis MacKenzie. And I asked him, why is Canada so into this Afghan war? You know, this Afghan, post-9/11.
It could have been dealt with as a police-type operation, in terms of going after al Qaeda. But a full-fledged invasion, full-fledged regime change. Why is Canada in this, and in it for the long haul? Because it’s 2004, after the invasion of Iraq.
And his answer was, I think, very instructive. He said, well, we didn’t go to Iraq. So to keep our ability to selling goods into the United States, we needed to pay with some blood.
We needed to send troops to Afghanistan and have some Canadian soldiers killed to show we’re willing to share the burden. He didn’t use the word empire, but that’s essentially what he was saying.
So the role of Canada assisting in very nefarious American policy, and giving it this Canadian, oh, we’re for the UN, we’re humanitarians, giving it that veneer, it’s an important role that Canada plays.
But it’s, I think, now the recognition of Guaido so exposes Canada because it’s such a clear violation of the UN Charter of non-interference in internal affairs.

Iran’s Syria Amb.: Hand of Evil Extended to Iran & Syria Has Been Cut

Al-Ahed News Staff

In an exclusive interview with the al-Ahed news website, Iran’s ambassador in Damascus Javad Turk-Abadi spoke about the strong Syrian-Iranian relations. He touched on the aspirations of both peoples as well as those of other nations in the region for the establishment of lasting peace through victories in Syria.

Turk-Abadi’s statement to al-Ahed came on the sidelines of the technical meetings of the Syrian-Iranian High Joint Committee. The meetings preceded the signing of a strategic and long-term economic cooperation agreement between the two countries.

  • Your Excellency, can you elaborate on the new phase in Syrian-Iranian relations following the signing of the economic cooperation agreement?

Yes, we expect these agreements to enhance the economic and bilateral relationship. Among these is one of the most important agreements which is the long-term and strategic economic cooperation that will be signed in the framework of the High Committee when First vice president of the Islamic Republic of Iran Dr. Eshaq Jahangiri arrives in Damascus. We expect the agreements to move the economic and bilateral relationship forward. But that does not mean that we have fallen behind. And it does not mean that we are going to move forward. We believe that our bilateral relationship is deeply rooted in the two countries. It even precedes the agreements that we are signing. I think that what is coming will be very promising. These agreements and the existing harmony between our countries are very important and good for both sides.

  • Iran and Syria are being subjected to an unjust blockade. Can they help each other overcome this period?

We think that bilateral relations in other areas, as you have pointed out, in addition to the political sphere, which are already very advanced, must make great strides forward. This is what we aspire for, and this is what is necessary at this stage. This is what we see. God willing, it will pave the way for a more lasting peace in this region. We see the first signs of peace in the victories that are achieved in Syria. God willing, it will be the beginning of a promising future in this dear country.

Yes, the hand of evil that has in the past imposed its hegemony and false wills on our two countries has been broken. This hand will not be able to impose on our great people what they do not wish or want or what is not deserving of them. We, as an axis of resistance, see this being fulfilled in the future, God willing. Our trust is in God. We do not fear a blockade or intimidations. Much of what they had said failed. Every disappointment was followed by another disappointed. They will remain disappointed over time, God willing. We will stick to the visions that we belong to and want for this region and for the entire world. We are heading towards good. These are divine messages. We do as God Almighty ordered us {[Allah praises] those who convey the messages of Allah and fear Him and do not fear anyone but Allah. And sufficient is Allah as Accountant.}. This holy verse points us toward the future we are waiting and heading towards, God willing.

All our visions proved to everyone around us, including our enemies that we do not consider material things or money as the source of power. If that were the case, then we would have boasted our wealth. But we did not do so. We believe that the word of truth is the lever, the support, the shield and the protector. Truth raises people and societies. The person who is calling for rights will not give up their higher position to fall to the bottom. People should live a life of dignity and prosperity. It is their right. The rulers should provide that life to their people, make life and its means easier. That is why we offer our assistance. When doing so, we do not differentiate between the Iranian people and the Syrian people. What we earn is not just for us. It is for everyone who cooperates with us. In return, we earn their friendship.

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Viva Venezuela!

Viva Venezuela!

Saturday, 26 January 2019 10:54

Why Americans do consider themselves the inheritors and keepers of everything in their own selfish financial interests! It is the newly founded entity of the Puritans at the expense of the suffering and agonies of the millions of the civilized innocents living peacefully on their own territories, starting from the Red Indians to today’s innocents in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Venezuela and in many other corners of today’s US savagery and craziness.

With Mr. Trump in power, the USA is more exposed with no figs leaves! Deep states’ schemes, greed, pressure groups’ interests, CIA and Pentagon blinded drives to obliterate and silence every non-US music! The USA , even before Monroe Doctrine in 1823, gives itself an alienable right to do whatever it deems right in the interests of its lobbies, industrialists, warmongers and the like, and with no consideration for any accountability nor responsibility.

The USA is now to topple another democratically-elected President on Venezuela!  Trump is even ready to ask his proxies to pain the sky black if he is to gain financial profits! Tens of pretexts, false flags and lies are in waiting as funny invalid like ”moderate opposition” , ”freedom”  and ”humanitarian” mottos.

 Trump claims Juan Guaido as the legitimate self-proclaimed President of Venezuela! Another US-made coup! In waiting, the series is still open-ended. This is America and its bloody interventions worldwide. As for Latin America, and according to AP report, as published by the Washington Post, this is but some of US dirty roles in Latin America:

Since the advent of the Monroe Doctrine in the early 19th century, the United States has involved itself in the daily affairs of nations across the hemisphere, often on behalf of North American commercial interests or to support right-leaning forces against leftist leaders.

That military involvement petered out after the end of the Cold War, although the U.S. has been accused of granting at least tacit backing to coups in Venezuela in 2002 and Honduras in 2009.

The Trump’s administration leading role in recognizing Juan Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela returns the U.S. to a more assertive role in Latin America than it has had for years.

Some of the most notable U.S. interventions in Latin America:

1846: The United States invades Mexico and captures Mexico City in 1847. A peace treaty the following year gives the U.S. more than half of Mexico’s territory — what is now most of the western United States.

1903: The U.S. engineers Panamanian independence from Colombia and gains sovereign rights over the zone where the Panama Canal would connect Atlantic and Pacific shipping routes.

1903: Cuba and the U.S. sign a treaty allowing near-total U.S. control of Cuban affairs. U.S. establishes a naval base at Guantanamo Bay.

U.S. Marines repeatedly intervene in Central America and the Caribbean throughout the first quarter of the 20th century, often to protect U.S. business interests in moments of political instability.

1914: U.S. troops occupy the Mexican port of Veracruz for seven months in an attempt to sway developments in the Mexican Revolution.

1954: Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz is overthrown in a CIA-backed coup.

1961: The U.S.-backed Bay of Pigs invasion fails to overthrow Soviet-backed Cuban leader Fidel Castro but Washington continues to launch attempts to assassinate Castro and dislodge his government.

1964: Leftist President Joao Goulart of Brazil is overthrown in a U.S.-backed coup that installs a military government lasting until the 1980s.

1965: U.S. forces land in the Dominican Republic to intervene in a civil war.

1970s: Argentina, Chile and allied South American nations launch brutal campaign of repression and assassination aimed at perceived leftist threats, known as Operation Condor, often with U.S. support.

1980s: Reagan administration backs anti-Communist Contra forces against Nicaragua’s Sandinista government and backs the Salvadoran government against leftist FMLN rebels.

1983: U.S. forces invade Caribbean island of Grenada after accusing the government of allying itself with Communist Cuba.

1989: U.S. invades Panama to oust strongman Manuel Noriega.

1994: A U.S.-led invasion of Haiti is launched to remove the military regime installed by a 1991 coup that ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The invasion restores Aristide.

2002: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is ousted for two days before retaking power. He and his allies accuse the U.S. of tacit support for the coup attempt.

2009: Honduran President Manuel Zelaya overthrown by military. U.S. accused of worsening situation by insufficient condemnation of the coup.

One cannot but, in light of the US long dirty history of sinister plots and assassination, to wonder whether the USA would move its proxy cells to, for example, assassinate Guaido so as to accuse Maduro supporteers! Does the USA live but on wars!

Editor-in-Chief

Dr. Mohamad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

alibrahim56@hotmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/Mohamad.Abdo.AlIbrahim

http://www.presidentassad.net/

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SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JAN. 30, 2019: INTENSE CLASHES, ARTILLERY DUELS ERUPT IN IDLIB DE-MILITARIZED ZONE

South Front

30.01.2019

The situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone is slowly escalating with an increased number of artillery duels and clashes between pro-government fighters and militants taking place there on a daily basis.

On January 29, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) and Jaysh al-Izza reportedly attacked positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the villages of Maan and Atshan in northern Hama. The SAA responded by shelling the areas of Tamanah, Tal Teri, Tal Suayk, Suayk, Morek and Tal Huwayr. Early on January 30, artillery strikes were also reported near the militant-held villages of al-Tah and al-Lataminah. Both sides are accused of using heavy artillery and grad rockets, openly showing that the de-militarization zone agreed by Turkey and Russia has not in fact been established in the area.

The situation is also tense in northern Lattakia and western Aleppo, but the daily intensity of strikes there is lower.

Recently, a new group of SAA troops arrived in the area of Abu al-Duhur Airport. According to the Russian military, on January 22, up to 200 Hayat Tahrir al-Sham members attacked SAA positions in the area, but this advance was repelled.

The political leadership of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and thus the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continued their PR efforts to rescue themselves from the political and security dead end, in which they appeared to fiind themselves after the US announcement of troops withdrawal.

So far, YPG, SDF representatives have already claimed that:

  • They invite Damascus to their areas;
  • They do not invite Damascus to enter Manbij;
  • They are negotiating with Damascus;
  • They are not negotiating with Damascus;
  • They are ready to find “an understanding” with Turkey;
  • They’ve provided Russia and Damascus with a list of demands for negotiations;

On January 29, Ilham Ahmed, the co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council, a formal political body of the SDF, claimed that there are no signs of the US troops withdrawal from Syria saying that the situation is “just like before” Trump’s announcement.

On January 28, Syria and Iran signed 11 deals and memoranda of understanding covering fields including the economy, culture, education, infrastructure, investment and housing. They were signed during a visit to Damascus by Iran’s First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri. The gorwing Syrian-Iranian cooperation shows that the US-Israeli bloc key goal – to push Iran out of Syria – is something unlikely even theoretically.

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انقلاب واشنطن في كراكاس وسبل المواجهة البوليفارية…!

يناير 30, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني

إنّ مخططات الولايات المتحدة العدوانية، وتصعيد التآمر المفتوح والمفضوح والمناقض لكافة القوانين والأعراف الدولية، تجاه فنزويلا ورئيسها ونظامها السياسي، ليس بجديد على السياسة الخارجية الأميركية ولا هو من اختراع الرئيس الأميركي الحالي، دونالد ترامب. إذ إنّ المؤامرات، التي تقوم بتنفيذها ادارة ترامب الحاليّة، تعود في الحقيقة الى بدايات القرن التاسع عشر وتعتبر امتداداً «لعقيدة مونروي» Monroe Doctrine ، التي أطلقها الرئيس الأميركي آنذاك، جيمس مونروي James Monroe وذلك عبر خطاب ألقاه امام الكونغرس الأميركي، بتاريخ 2/12/1923، والذي حدّد فيه الخطوط العريضة للسياسة الخارجية الأميركية، والتي تتمحور حول النقاط التالية:

1 – وجود منطقتي نفوذ في العالم Two Spheres . وتمثلت عندئذ في منطقة النفوذ الأميركية ومنطقة النفوذ الأوروبية.

2 – عدم تدخل الولايات المتحدة في الشؤون الداخلية الأوروبية، وسمّي هذا المبدأ بالانجليزية: Non –

Intervention، إلا في حال تجاهلت الدول الأوروبية هذه المبادئ.

3 – إنهاء أطماع الاستعمار، في منطقة النفوذ الغربية /أيّ الأميركيين / بمعنى وقف محاولات إعادة السيطرة على الدول التي نالت استقلالها حديثاً في تلك الحقبة. وقد سمّي هذا المبدأ

بالانجليزية: Non – Colonization.

4 – وعلى قاعدة ما ذكر أعلاه قام الرئيس الأميركي، في خطابه المذكور، بإطلاق شعار أميركا للأميركيين… وهو ليس بعيداً، في جوهره، عن شعار دونالد ترامب القائل: أميركا أولاً.

أما في ظلّ الصراع الدولي القائم حالياً على مناطق النفوذ، الذي تغذيه عدوانية الولايات المتحدة بأشكال وأساليب مختلفة، فإنّ صراع الولايات المتحدة الأميركية لم يعد مقتصراً على القوى الاستعمارية الاوروبية، للسيطرة على أميركا الجنوبية، كما كان الوضع في بداية القرن التاسع عشر، وإنما انتقل هذا الصراع الى دائرة أوسع وصلت الى روسيا والصين وإيران، نتيجة للتحوّلات الجيوسياسية التي شهدها العالم.

وعليه فقد عمدت الإدارة الأميركية الى توظيف وسائل وأساليب جديدة، بهدف مواصلة سيطرتها على مقدرات شعوب أميركا الجنوبية، والتي تعتمد على القوة العسكرية والنشاط المخابراتي التخريبي، الذي يهدف الى تحقيق سيطرة الولايات المتحدة المطلقة على كلّ قارة أميركا الجنوبية. وهو ما يعني محاربة أيّ حكومة او قوة سياسية، في تلك القارة تحاول أن تعارض سياسات الولايات المتحدة او حتى المطالبة بهامش أوسع من الاستقلالية، كما كان الوضع في البرازيل والأرجنتين وتشيلي في العقدين الماضيين، وصولاً الى صعود حركة اليسار البوليفارية في فنزويلا الى السلطة قبل حوالي عقدين من الزمن، وعبر انتخابات حرة ونزيهة. الأمر الذي دفع بالولايات المتحدة للعودة الى أساليب تغيير الحكومات الوطنية بالقوة، كما فعلت عام 1973 عندما دعمت مجموعة انقلابية تشيلية في تنفيذ انقلاب عسكري في تشيلي، أدّى الى قتل الرئيس الشرعي للبلاد، سلفادور الليِنْدي، واستيلاء عملاء الولايات المتحدة من الجنرالات على الحكم وإقامة نظام حكم عسكري قتل عشرات آلاف الأبرياء من الشعب التشيلي.

اذن، فقد عمدت الولايات المتحدة الى إعادة تفعيل سياسة إسقاط الحكومات والدول الوطنية في تلك القارة، وذلك من خلال:

أ – إقامة 76 قاعدة عسكرية في دول عدة من دول أميركا الجنوبية والبحر الكاريبي، التي من بينها: بنما/ بورتو ريكو /كولومبيا /البيرو .

ب – إقامة قواعد تجسّس وحرب إلكترونية/ إعلامية/ حرب نفسية في أميركا الجنوبية، للتأثير في الرأي العام هناك وتأليبه على الحكومات الوطنية.

ج- ومن أجل ذلك أقامت الولايات المتحدة قبل فترة وجيزة، بالتعاون مع الأرجنتين وعلى أراضٍ أرجنتينية، قاعدة تجسّس رئيسية أو إقليمية، أطلقوا عليها اسم مركز الأمن الإقليمي، وذلك عند المثلث الحدودي بين الأرجنتين والبرازيل والبراغواي.

د- توقيع اتفاقية تعاون عسكري بين البنتاغون ووزارة الدفاع البرازيلية، في شهر 11/2017، تقوم جيوش الدولتين بموجبها بتنفيذ تدريبات عسكرية مشتركة في غابات الأمازون.

إذن فهو نشاط عسكري أمني دعائي تخريبي واسع النطاق، يشمل المساحة الممتدّة من حدود المكسيك مع الولايات المتحدة شمالاً، وحتى القطب المتجمّد الجنوبي، في أقصى جنوب قارة أميركا الجنوبية. وهذا الأمر يستدعي إدارة العمليات في هذا المسرح الشامل بشكل منهجي ومخطط ومدروس ومن قبل جهات مختصة عالية الكفاءة، خاصة أنّ معركة السيطرة على هذه القارة ليست مقتصرة على المواجهة مع فنزويلا وكوبا، كما ذكرنا سالفاً.

ومن أجل تحقيق ذلك قامت الولايات المتحدة بما يلي:

أولاً: توسيع صلاحيات القيادة الجنوبية South COM في الجيوش الأميركية، بحيث تشمل تنسيق وإدارة كافة عمليات الجيوش الأميركية في أميركا الجنوبية.

ثانياً: توثيق العلاقة والتعاون بين هذه القيادة وبين وكالة الاستخبارات الجوفضائية الأميركية National Geospatial-intelligegence Agency . علماً أن هذه الوكالة هي أهمّ وكالة تجسّس عسكرية أميركية يشمل عملها الجانبين العسكري والتجاري بالإضافة الى الاستطلاع الميداني وإعداد الخرائط.

ثالثاً: إقامة ثلاثة غرف عمليات، للإشراف على إدارة الميدان في أميركا الجنوبية، حيث توجد الغرفة الأولى في ولاية فلوريدا الأميركية والثانية في سوتو كانو Soto Cano في هندوراس. أما الثالثة فتوجد في القاعدة الأميركية، المقامة على اراضٍ كوبية محتلة، في غوانتانامو Guant namo.

ولعلّ من الجدير بالذكر التنويه الى انّ قائد القيادة الجنوبية في الجيوش الأميركية، الأدميرال كورت تيد Kurt Tidd، قد لخّص التحديات والأهداف الأميركية وخططه الاستراتيجية، في أميركا الجنوبية لفترة السنوات العشر المقبلة، وخلال حديث له أمام الكونغرس الأميركي في شهر شباط 2018، بالنقاط التالية:

أ أنه وبالنظر الى القرب الجغرافي، بين الولايات المتحدة وأميركا الجنوبية، وبسبب العلاقات التجارية والمواضيع المتعلقة بالهجرة، فإنّ تأثير هذه القارة في الحياة اليومية للولايات المتحدة اكبر من تأثير أيّ منطقة أخرى في العالم.

ب أما التحدي الأهمّ، حسب ترتيب الأولويات من قبله، فيتمثل في محاربة الاتجار بالمخدرات وأعمال العصابات الإجرامية، المحلية – في دول أميركا الجنوبية – او تلك العابرة للحدود.

ج محاربة الوجود أو النفوذ المتزايد لكلّ من الصين وروسيا وإيران في أميركا الجنوبية.

من هنا فإنّ مواجهة الحملة التي بدأتها واشنطن، ضدّ الدولة الوطنية في فنزويلا ورئيسها البوليفاري، لن تكون سهلة ولا جولة صراع قصيرة وسريعة، وإنما ستكون مواجهة طويلة ومتجذرة وشاملة، تستخدم فيها الولايات المتحدة كافة الأسلحة والأدوات التي في حوزتها وهي كثيرة. مما يعني انّ الولايات المتحدة لن تعمد الى تنفيذ محاولة غزو فاشلة، كتلك التي نفّذتها في خليج الخنازير في كوبا بتاريخ 17/4/1962، وانما ستقوم بمواصلة الضغط الاقتصادي والمالي والحصار الخانق، الى جانب تنفيذ عمليات تخريبية واسعة ضدّ أهداف اقتصادية /نفطية / وكذلك ضدّ مراكز عسكرية وأمنية، معتمدة في ذلك على الإمكانيات اللوجستية لقواعدها العسكرية، الموجودة في كل من كولومبيا والبيرو المجاورتين لفنزويلا، وذلك لإشاعة الفوضى الشاملة في البلاد، تمهيداً لاستيلاء عملاء الولايات المتحدة في المعارضة الفنزويلية – المنقسمة على نفسها – على الحكم وإعادة سيطرة شركات النفط والتعدين الأميركية على ثروات فنزويلا وتكريس كون أميركا الجنوبية حديقة للولايات المتحدة الأميركية، وبالتالي التسبّب في عرقلة التعاون البنّاء والمثمر بين الثلاثي الصيني الروسي الإيراني ودول تلك القارة في الحدّ الأدنى.

وهذا أمر يستدعي:

تعميق وتوثيق التعاون بين الدول الثلاث، لإيجاد استراتيجية مشتركة لمواجهة المشروع الأميركي القاضي بإسقاط قارة أميركا الجنوبية، وبشكل سريع جداً، ينطلق من ضرورة تعزيز الصمود الاقتصادي لحكومة فنزويلا الوطنية.

– الأخذ بعين الاعتبار أنّ الدور الأوروبي، في هذه الازمة، هو دور الذيل التابع والذي ظهر واضحاً في المواقف التي اتخذتها الدول الأوروبية من الانقلاب واعتراف معظمها بمنفذ الانقلاب الأميركي الفاشل. هذا الموقف الذي يتساوق تماماً مع عقيدة الرئيس الأميركي السابق، جيمس مونرو 1923، الذي أعلن فيه أنّ الغرب أميركا الشمالية والجنوبية هو منطقة نفوذ للولايات المتحدة .

– تعزيز دعم التنظيمات والمجموعات والأحزاب اليسارية والتقدمية في عموم القارة، حتى لو كانت تبدو غير فاعلة حالياً، وذلك لأنّ ما يجري هناك هو حلقة من حلقات الصراع الجيوسياسي الدولي التي يجب أن تعطى حقها، والتي انْ تمكنت الولايات المتحدة بنتيجتها من تثبيت سيطرتها على أميركا الجنوبية، فإنّ ذلك سيعني توسيع السيطرة البحرية الأميركية في المحيطين الأطلسي والهادئ الأمر الذي سيلحق ضرراً استراتيجياً كبيراً بالنشاط البحري الصيني والروسي كما الإيراني أيضاً.

– لذا فإنّ المطلوب الآن، الى جانب الدعم الاقتصادي الواسع لحكومة الرئيس مادورو، هو البدء بالحشد السياسي الاستراتيجي، في قارة أميركا الجنوبية، تمهيداً لاستعادة المراكز القيادية، التي سقطت في أيدي الولايات المتحدة، في عدد من دول القارة، وهو أمر ليس مستحيلاً وإنما يحتاج الى قراءة دقيقة، للظروف الموضوعية في تلك الدول، والاستفادة من الإمكانيات المتوفرة، لدى الثلاثي الصيني الروسي الإيراني، واستثمارها سياسياً على المدى البعيد، وبأقصى درجات الكفاءة لضمان تحقيق النجاح على المدى المتوسط والبعيد.

بعدنا طيبين، قولوا الله.

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Yankee Go Home – Get Your Blood-Soaked Hands Out Of Venezuela

Tommy Sheridan |

We have an American encouraged, financed and orchestrated coup taking place before our very eyes in Venezuela and all we get is a truckload of tripe from those entrusted with the job of news coverage.

It is immensely frustrating to be unable to fully illustrate the rage and fury I feel while watching and listening to the grotesquely biased and prejudice dripping drivel which has risen like steam off a freshly laid tonne of manure from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky News and all the American so-called news programmes in relation to Venezuela in the last few days.

It is a disgraceful, illegal and immoral power grab on behalf of the rich and powerful and ordinary folk are fed nothing but darkness and bullshit by the medium of TV which is supposed to illuminate and educate. The newspapers are unsurprisingly just as bad including the ‘liberal’ ones like the Guardian and Washington Post which have long lost their claim to independence and are now mere manipulated mouthpieces of the wealthy elites.

The great crime the people of Venezuela committed was the rejection of neo-liberal economic solutions to the huge problems of poverty, ignorance and illiteracy which haunted a country so rich in oil reserves that its people should have been living like kings not struggling to survive like paupers. After years of broken promises from the government of Carlos Andrez Perez, elected in 1989 on a largely anti-cuts and anti-Washington programme, the people embraced the former army paratrooper and avowed socialist Hugo Chavez. He condemned the unnecessary poverty and rampant corruption and nepotism in a country so rich in oil reserves. Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world. Hence the interest of America in Venezuela’s internal affairs and government policies.

Against all the odds Chavez won the 1998 Presidential election and declared he would build a new constitution for the country which guaranteed rights to health, education and a fair share of the country’s vast wealth. Drawing inspiration from the great 19th century champion of independence, Simon Bolivar, who led wars of liberation from Spanish colonial rule all across South America, Chavez adopted his name and spirit for his movement of change in Venezuela and the new constitution was to be the constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Although assuming power in an oil rich nation Chavez inherited huge social, economic and political problems. The rich owners of the media across Venezuela despised him. America encouraged and financed opposition forces to try and oust him by any means, including violence. Only three years into his Presidency and grappling with US attempts to de-stabilise the economy Chavez was briefly arrested by elements within the army still loyal to the former regime and placed under lock and key for two days in 2002. He had dared to nationalise the Venezuelan oil company to start serving the needs of the country instead of the greed of the Venezuelan rich. The US was furious and urged malcontents within the country to illegally depose him. As word of this coup spread tens of thousands from the poorest areas of Venezuela, known as the barrios, descended onto the streets surrounding the Presidential residence to chant for Chavez and demand his release.

The situation was like a tinder box and sporadic clashes between those opposed to Chavez and those loyal to him and their new constitution broke out across the Venezuelan capital Caracas. Fortunately the army rank and file were appalled that their elected President had been arrested and they rose up in defiance of weak generals and forcibly confronted the disloyal elements and over-powered them with the support of the masses behind them. Chavez was freed and immediately denounced the forces that were behind the attempted coup and their supporters within Washington and the CIA. That was April 2002.

In the months that followed tension remained very high across Venezuela as America continued to register its discontent at a government in an oil rich nation declaring its intention to actually tackle poverty instead of continuing to serve the wealthy. Economic sanctions were imposed and America sought to isolate Venezuela. Chavez ignored the threats and built strong relations with socialist Cuba and the left regime of Evo Morales in Bolivia.

When I visited Caracas in October 2003 security surrounding Chavez was still very high. Several threats against his life had been made and rich and powerful forces within Venezuela and within America did not hide their hatred for him and their willingness to go to any lengths to remove him. Democracy and the will of the people mean nothing to those whose years of wealth and greed make them think they have an inalienable right to rule.

I attended a Chavismo rally in the centre of Caracas attended by around a thousand supporters. It was an incredible event as the details of the venue had only been released via secure outlets at a couple of hours’ notice. Our interpreter translated the rousing speech that Chavez made and his natural charisma and honest integrity oozed from his pores. He was in the midst of fighting an opposition led campaign to secure enough signatures to force a referendum on whether he should be re-called as President. He was confident they would win that battle but the fact outside forces were involved was underlined by Chavez. I was an elected socialist Member of the Scottish Parliament at the time and wanted to interview Chavez. It nearly happened but another security scare in the city prevented it. I did however get the chance to warmly clasp his hand and say ‘solidarity from Scotland’ before he left the hall.

Over the next few days I interviewed the Vice-President of Venezuela, Jose-Vicente Rangel, and visited several of the large housing schemes, barrios, which surround Caracas high in the hills. I met people enthusiastic for Chavez and the changes he was trying to deliver. Chavez had won election in 1998, been re-elected in 2000 as part of the country wide endorsement of the new constitution and was now facing a vitriolic campaign to have him ousted via a referendum in between elections, a mechanism he himself had supported as part of the new constitution.

I left Venezuela convinced that Chavez and the Bolivarian Movement for change was the real deal with massive popular support but I feared another Chile was underway. In 1973 the popular socialist President, Salvador Allende, was only three years into his elected term and was implementing radical policies to tackle poverty when he was murdered alongside thousands of others in a US organised and brutal military coup that installed the brute General Pinochet.

The powerful opposition forces secured enough signatures to trigger the referendum on re-calling Chavez, 20% of the electorate was required, but in August 2004 he convincingly won the vote with 60% rejecting the re-call in an unusually high turnout of 70% of the electorate. Presidential elections normally average between 50 — 55% turnouts. However the Presidential election of December 2006 again surpassed normal participation rates as 74% of Venezuelans used their vote and 63% of them chose Chavez.

During these years a working class bus driver turned trade union leader from a poor part of Western Caracas was elected to the newly formed National Assembly in Venezuela and rose rapidly within the Chavez government to hold major posts, including Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice-President. That man was Nicolas Maduro and he was a close comrade of Hugo Chavez. After winning a 4th Presidential term of office in 2012 the cancer that had gripped his pelvic area in 2011 returned with a vengeance and claimed the life of Hugo Chavez prematurely in early March 2013. He was only 58 years of age. Nicolas Maduro assumed office until a Presidential election was arranged for April and he won with 51% of the vote.

This short background of living and real democracy within Venezuela is essential to understanding what is unfolding there today. Chavez and his United Socialist Party inherited a country where 43% of the population lived in poverty and 17% suffered from extreme poverty in 1999. A truly disgraceful state of affairs in a country so rich in natural oil reserves. Only 6 million children attended school and illiteracy was prevalent within the poorer areas of the country.

By 2018 poverty had been reduced from 43% to 26%, on a par with the poverty levels in Scotland and across England and Wales. Extreme poverty had been halved from 17% to less than 7%. The number of children attending school more than doubled from 6 million to 13 million. Illiteracy was eradicated with over 1.5 million being taught to read and write. College attendance increased fourfold while infant mortality was slashed by 50% through radically improved health care.

These major advances in health, education and economic well-being have been delivered through the Bolivarian Government programmes called ‘Missions’. Over two dozen Missions were established to drive forward improvements in all aspects of life in Venezuela. Mission Sucre was dedicated to improving access to higher education; Mission Barrio Adentro (inside the neighbourhood) was formed to improve all round healthcare for the poor; Mission Musica was designed to teach youngsters how to play musical instruments and help many to pursue careers in music. Over 300,000 children are currently enrolled in over 500 orchestras across the country; Mission Corazon Adentro (heart within) promotes development of arts and culture while Mission Viviendas is a massive construction programme to build quality housing for the poor. By 2018 over 1.6 million new homes had been built and handed over to poorer families via Mission Viviendas.

These social programmes under the socialist governments of Chavez and now Maduro are delivering real and fundamental improvements to the lives of ordinary Venezuelan citizens. As well as a halving of infant mortality life expectancy for adults has improved from 71 to 75, higher than in many parts of Scotland.

Most of the money to pay for these advances has come from Venezuela’s oil revenues. Unfortunately there has been a significant drop in oil prices since 2008 and another worsening of the situation in 2014. That coupled with the nefarious activities of America in trade and currency dealings with Venezuela has presented severe challenges to the Maduro government. The US uses its economic might on the world stage as a weapon of terror to impose its will.

Currency manipulations, trading barriers and economic sanctions are the equivalent of Exocet missiles, drone strikes and carpet bombing to the imperialist ambitions of the US. They seek to wreak havoc, chaos and fear through economic measures in the same way they do with bombs.

In 2017 elections to a new Constituent Assembly were held in Venezuela. The right wing opposition forces first called for such elections then issued a call for them to be boycotted. Over 40% of Venezuela’s eligible adult voters still took part in the election, 8 million adults. A large majority of those elected are pro-the aims of the Bolivarian revolution and defenders of the democratically agreed constitution.

A Presidential election was held in May of 2018 and Nicolas Maduro secured over 6.2 million votes as the candidate of the United Socialist Party. His nearest challenger won 1.9 million votes and the third placed candidate secured just under a million votes.

Venezuela has a population of 30 million. Of the eligible voters 46% participated in that vote last May and 67.8% of them voted for Maduro. The other candidates were a guy called Henri Falcon representing the Progressive Advance party and an independent called Javier Bertucci.

You may be a little confused here. You may ask about a guy called Juan Guaido. How many votes did he receive last May? That would be an interesting question because a few days ago he stood at a rally in Caracas and declared himself the President of Venezuela. The point is he never stood as a Presidential candidate last May and has never stood as a Presidential candidate in his life. But hey why let silly details like actually being elected or even standing for election get in the way of a coup attempt when you have the backing of a lunatic in the Oval office in America who got there with almost three million less votes than his opponent?

The situation regarding Venezuela would be farcical if it was not so serious. A guy without a shred of democratic legitimacy announces himself the new President and baw-heid [Scottish slang for a stupid person – prh, ed.] Trump immediately recognises him. That was, of course, the predetermined plan all along. The US has engineered as much economic chaos within Venezuela as it can and financed and organised the opposition groups to take to the streets to demand change. They used to demand elections but they keep losing them so now they want to just ignore the ballot box.

It is disgraceful and disgusting yet the world’s hired liars in the nodding dog media dutifully report the situation without an ounce of context or inch of doubt about foreign nations recognising an unelected puppet as a new President over the head of the one elected with over 6.2 million votes only 8 months ago.

President Maduro deserves support from every person on the planet who believes in democracy. You don’t have to be a socialist to support him just a democrat. If his election last year can be so easily ignored and unjustly denounced as illegitimate we really are entering a dangerous stage in world history. You expect the fascist president in Brazil to oppose Maduro and the criminally inept and outrageously out of his depth President of America. But how dare Jeremy Hunt declare British support for this guy Guaido. Who asked us and when? He has no right to speak for Britain on this issue.

Mendacious Macron in France also had the sheer brass neck to Tweet support for Guaido and applauds the courageous demonstrators of the opposition for demonstrating against Maduro. What an arse he is. If they start wearing yellow vests will he still support them or call for riot police and water canon to crush them in Caracas the way he is doing in Paris?

These idiots question the legitimacy of Maduro’s election last May. The guy won a fair and square election involving over nine million voters on a 46% turnout. Trump won an election with 2.9 million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton and only a 55% turnout. While former investment banker Macron sits on a record low approval rating of only 23% and the brutal suppression of protests against his cuts programme in France but pontificates to Maduro about legitimacy. He even claimed to speak for Europe on the Venezuela question. He doesn’t even speak for France let alone Europe.

I implore each and every individual who reads this column to protest what Trump, May, Hunt, Macron and others are doing regarding Venezuela. They are trying to engineer and support an illegal and immoral overthrow of a legitimately elected government and if they do it there they will be emboldened to do it anywhere. The Maduro government was elected to address the problems in Venezuela. They don’t need or want unhelpful and undemocratic interference from other sovereign nations. Visit and express your support for Venezuela via the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign and the Hands off Venezuela campaign. It’s the very least we can do.

The whole situation could get worse and result in armed confrontations and even a civil war. That is what America is prepared for. They don’t give a damn about ordinary folk in Venezuela and if their concern was for the removal of undemocratic tyrants then why are they still in bed with Saudi Arabia? Perhaps if Maduro withdraws the right to vote from women in Venezuela and starts be-heading protesters and political opponents Trump and America will consider him legitimate after all. Say it loud and say it clear — Yankee Go Home. Get your bloody hands out of Venezuela.

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AI: Verdict on Bahrain’s Salman Is Bitter Blow to Freedom of Expression

Local Editor

Amnesty International slammed Bahrain’s verdict on opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman.

Responding to the news that Bahrain’s Court of Cassation has upheld the conviction of opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman, Amnesty International’s Middle East Campaigns Director Samah Hadid said:

“Today’s verdict is yet another nail in the coffin for the right to freedom of expression in Bahrain and exposes the country’s justice system as a complete farce. The decision to uphold Sheikh Ali Salman’s conviction and life prison sentence following an unfair trial highlights the authorities’ determination to silence critical voices”.

She went on to say, “The Bahraini authorities must quash Sheikh Ali Salman’s conviction and release him immediately and unconditionally. They should also rescind the decision to dissolve the two opposition political groups, al-Wefaq and Wa’ad, and guarantee the right of everyone to freedom of association”.

Sheikh Ali Salman has been repeatedly arrested and charged for his perceived critical views of the authorities.

On 4 November 2018, he was sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of alleged trumped-up spying charges. Two other al-Wefaq members, Ali al-Aswad and Sheikh Hassan Sultan, were convicted in their absence during the same trial.

On 28 January 2019, Bahrain’s Al Khalifa regime’s Supreme Court upheld a life term over the alleged “spying” for Qatar.

Source: AI, Edited by website team

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Venezuela Crisis: U.S. Has Painted Itself Into Corner

South Fronts

29.01.2019 

Introduction

Venezuela has the dubious fortune of being located on the continent of South America, which the United States has treated under the so-called “Monroe Doctrine” as its exclusive zone of political, economic, and military influence. In practical terms it meant that whenever a Latin American government pursued a policy at odds with Washington’s preferences, it would be subjected to measures ranging from economic sanctions to outright military invasion.

Latin America became one of the many battlefields of the Cold War when several countries sought to leave the US shadow and align themselves with USSR. The US retaliation was harsh, and included the support for the brutal military coup in Chile, training of “death squads” in Honduras and El Salvador, support for the so-called Contras in Nicaragua, not to mention the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Once the Cold War was over, however, a relative peace settled over the region, with Cuba remaining the only hold-out against US power. Even the coming to power of soft Marxist “pink wave” governments in Venezuela and Bolivia did not seem to overly ruffle Washington’s feathers. But the current escalation of the US campaign against Venezuela suggests a revival of US activism in the region.

“Energy Dominance”

One might as well cut to the chase and state the obvious: Venezuela is not only a member of OPEC, it is also a country with the world’s largest known oil reserves dwarfing those even of Saudi Arabia. It is no coincidence that pretty much every country that has been on the US “hit list” in the last decade or so—Libya, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia, Venezuela—is a major producer of hydrocarbons. Given that the global economy is utterly dependent on steady provision of hydrocarbons, US political control over these countries means a stranglehold over major industrial competitors to the United States, namely the EU and China. It also creates US jobs, once US oil companies establish control over the country’s oil fields. At the very least, should the effort to place the country under indirect US control fail, plunging it into chaos removes a competitor to struggling domestic US oil producers.

Monroe Doctrine Returns

The timing of the US escalation closely follows the visit by Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers to Venezuela during which the possibility of creating a Russian military base in the country was discussed by some media outlets. Given that Russia has by now established through the Syrian example that once Russian troops arrive in a country they are unlikely to leave no matter how great the US pressure, Washington may have decided to step up the pressure in the hopes of not only Russia but it’s other major competitor, China, from establishing themselves more firmly in the country. Russia’s Rosneft already has considerable presence in the Venezuela, assisting it with the development of its oil potential, and China has also made a number of investments in the country, though its economic footprint remains modest. Moreover, the US aggression against Venezuela sends a signal to the nearby Nicaragua, also a country facing increasing US political pressure, against pursuing a project of building a canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans with China’s support.

Thus far US actions consisted of economic sanctions and apparent coordination of coup attempts to be carried out by elements within Venezuela’s military and security forces. It is still difficult to make out what the Trump Administration’s recognition of Juan Guaido, the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela, as the country’s “interim president” was supposed to represent. Even by the standards of Trump’s current foreign policy team of Pompeo and Bolton, “recognition” of a claimant to supreme executive office who does not actually occupy said office is unprecedented. Not even in the case of Syria, where the US has been far more directly involved in attempting to overthrown its legitimate government, was any opposition leader “recognized” as the official representative of the country itself. Therefore one may conclude Guaido’s “recognition” was supposed to follow the military coup which Guaido probably promised and Washington clearly expected. It is also difficult to say whether Guaido overestimated the degree of his support within the military or outright lied to his American sponsors. Either way, the US intelligence community has once again failed at providing an accurate assessment of the situation within a country, as Venezuela’s military rallied around President Maduro.

Bay of Pigs 2

United States has thus painted itself into a corner. Guaido’s recognition, which was moreover coordinated with the bulk of Latin America’s countries and with the European Union (which likewise points to a wider though failed conspiracy to overthrow Venezuela’s government) cannot very well be walked back. Maduro’s continued presidency has now become a challenge to US power at least as great as Assad’s. One can therefore expect stepped up US efforts to overthrow Venezuela’s government, though it remains to be seen how far the US is willing to go. An outright US military invasion appears unlikely at the moment. The most recent such effort has been in Panama during the George H.W. Bush administration, a far smaller and easier to control country. There is no evidence of US intelligence services training Venezuelan expats in the manner of the “Bay of Pigs” invasion force or the Nicaraguan contras. However, Venezuela is bordered by two countries ruled by far-right politicians closely allied to the United States, Brazil and Colombia. In the wake of the failed US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and with the US military retooling itself for great power confrontations, the US modus operandi in the past several years has been to use proxy armies. These may take the form of non-state actors funded and armed by US intelligence agencies or of friendly states, as in the case of Saudi Arabia’s invasion of Yemen. One could readily imagine the Yemen model used against Venezuela, but this time with a “Brazil-led” coalition doing Washington’s dirty work.

Bargaining Chip?

Last but not least, one must consider the possibility of Venezuela being treated as a bargaining chip in some sort of negotiation with Russia and/or China in the delineation of the great powers’ spheres of influence. This would mark a de-facto return to the policy of compensations wherein the balance of power is preserved by major powers ceding parts of their empires to others in exchange for gains elsewhere. Thus, for example, Washington could approach Moscow and  offer a “Venezuela for Syria” or even “Venezuela for Ukraine” bargain. While not out of the realm of possibility, it remains a difficult course of action to imagine for two reasons. The first is that there is little awareness of the limits of US power in Washington itself. The expectation is still of powering through any opposition. The second is that even if the offer were made, it would probably not be accepted in Moscow. Apart from the cost to Russia’s international image, the US at this point has very low credibility and trustworthiness.

Related News

Bogota Has No Clue about Bolton’s «5k Troops to Colombia» Note

Local Editor

Colombia dismissed speculation regarding a puzzling memo from John Bolton, which mentioned 5,000 US troops being sent to the Latin American nation, affirming that it will rely on politics and diplomacy in the Venezuela crisis.

Carlos Holmes, Colombia’s Foreign Minister, said he is unaware of the “importance and reason” behind John Bolton’s memo, noting that his country will only act “politically and diplomatically” in dealing with Venezuela.

Colombia shares a 2,200km land border with Venezuela and has sided with the US in piling pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government. Recently, Colombia backed Juan Guaido, the opposition leader who proclaimed himself to be the interim president of Venezuela.

The tight-lipped remark came in response to news from the White House on Monday, when US National Security Advisor John Bolton was spotted holding up a yellow legal notebook during a press briefing on Venezuela.

The first line written on the pad appeared to say: “Afghanistan – welcome the talks,” while the second one read: “5,000 troops to Colombia.” The White House was conspicuously reluctant to clarify the meaning of the note, and distributed the same brief comment to multiple news agencies: “As the president has said, all options are on the table”.

During the same briefing, Bolton and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that a package of sanctions would be imposed on Venezuela’s state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA. According to Bolton, the sweeping restrictions will freeze $7 billion in assets and cause more than $11 billion in lost export revenues during the next year.

The US buys a sizeable amount of Venezuelan oil, but Mnuchin said that the sanctions would have a “modest effect” on American imports. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reacted angrily to the sanctions, labeling them “criminal.” Speaking in English, Maduro told US President Donald Trump: “Hands off Venezuela!”

He also vowed a “symmetrical response” to US measures in the immediate future, to “protect the interests of Venezuela.”

Adding to the US-led pressure on Maduro to step aside, Spain, France, Germany and the UK on Saturday issued the elected leader an ultimatum, urging him to call for new elections within eight days.

“First of all, it is interventionism to the highest degree. Secondly, it is arrogant, and, thirdly, it is artificial,” Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza commented in an interview to RT Spanish. “The Bolivarian democracy only requires recognition and support from Venezuelan people,” he stated, adding: “Other governments are of little interest to us.”

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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