How Much Pro-Israel Money Politicians Attacking Ilhan Omar Received

March 31, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

How Much Money Israel Lobby Gave Politicians Attacking Ilhan Omar. You watch this entertaining video and make up your mind as to whether it is about the ‘Benjamins’ or not…

Zakharova Fires Back at Trump! US Is Arrogant and in COMPLETE Violation of Intl Law in Venezuela! (MUST SEE)

March 30, 2019


Russia opens helicopter pilot training center in Venezuela

Lebanon’s Anti-Graft Drive Is Entirely Fake as Political Groups Fight Hezbollah over the Scraps

Lebanon’s Anti-Graft Drive Is Entirely Fake as Political Groups Fight Hezbollah over the Scraps


Lebanon’s Anti-Graft Drive Is Entirely Fake as Political Groups Fight Hezbollah over the Scraps

There’s a great deal of fake goods in Lebanon’s malls leaving many preferring to buy their designer label clothes when they travel overseas. But fake Lebanon goes beyond Levi jeans or Gucci handbags. In this tiny country ‘fake’ is often services, entire companies and even doctors, care workers, economists. Then there is the fake economy run by a network of companies willing and ready to support a market exploited by the corrupt elite anxious to get their hands on international development cash.

And when you’ve got your head around this fake world, then there is the biggest drain on Lebanon: fake governance.

Fake governance is politicians and MPs pretending to do their jobs when in reality all they are doing is using their position to divert cash into their own overseas bank accounts via a system which has simply got out of hand. Corruption is a hungry pike which has swallowed up a pond full of small fry players who play by the rules. It’s just too late now to hope for a miracle.

And this, in case you were wondering, is what is happening now in Lebanon when we read articles about a new anti-corruption drive brought about by an imploding economy. In January, the national debt reached $85.32 billion — nearly 150% of the gross domestic product — an increase of $4.93 billion compared to January 2018. This debt forced an international conference in Paris called ‘the CEDRE conference’ which in April 2018, international donors committed $11.8 billion to revitalize the economy, while the Lebanese government pledged in return to combat corruption and reform the public sector.

Or at least that’s what written on the side of the tin.

True, the Paris conference has driven a momentum in Lebanon to tackle corruption, but it’s largely for all the wrong reasons and, mostly, entirely fake.

But who to target in such a campaign, in a country which has a built in protection against those carrying out the industrial scale graft?

Public employees are the only viable group as Parliamentarians have a de facto immunity under Lebanese law, while nailing presidents, prime ministers and ministers (former or present) requires the consent of the Supreme Council for the Trial of Presidents and Ministers, which includes eight of the most senior national judges and seven deputies selected by the parliament. That’s a tad complicated given that judges are considered to be a big part of the problem.

Or at least that’s what Hezbollah believes, hence its own farcical war cry against this group – former leaders and judges – to counter the other groups’ own farcical campaigns against public servants.

Yet neither is expected to really do anything. The non-Hezbollah camp, led my Saad Hariri who can hardly be called candida when it comes to feeding from the trough wants to create a pantomime for international donors so that they can get their hands on a big part of the 11bn dollars pledged (90% of which is in loans) , with rumours in Beirut about the environment ministry embezzling a couple of billion dollars abound. Of course, these sort of rumours barely stir the Lebanese who resort to humour to face the reality that faces them, like parodying the new minister in the same ministry who is a real estate tycoon who can’t even keep the plant in his office alive; this is in a country, after all, where each government minister has his own business empire – even the former anti-corruption minister who made his pile in tyres and who’s entire office amounts of three staff and a fax machine – and which has a tourism minister who is so stupid, that he is actually driving droves of tourists away with his one man campaign of idiocy. Add to that a central bank governor who, wait for it, actually knows a thing or two about banking but is not even exempt from rumours of plundering billions. And let’s not even get on the news this week that the central bank in Beirut lost 20bn dollars, which is probably fake news. Apparently.

The real corruption is not with public servants in Lebanon but with the Key Stone Cops who get the jobs of government ministerial posts, for really only one purpose which is to embezzle funds assiduously as possible for their own warlords who installed them there for that express purpose.

The system is corrupt and until there is a momentum of debate in Lebanon about how to wipe the slate clean and go for a new system entirely – probably one which does away with the confessional one – corruption will always run and control every single dime which is in circulation. It’s not only that an economy is held back from developing – as it frightens away foreign investors who would truly love to tap into the high level of education and location –  but even security, law and order, the environment and public health are horrendously compromised as a result. The elite are fervently committed to allowing the ‘wasta’ (corruption by kinship) system prevail and law and order remain as a fanciful notion most Lebanese watch on American TV as it is a tacit deal between them and the masses which support them. Deeply unpopular moves, like, say installing law and order on the roads to curtain the daily carnage, would be deeply unpopular and be seen as a drain on people’s strained purses. Corruption works both ways.

Hezbollah’s anti-corruption drum beat though is driven by US sanctions against Iran, forcing the Lebanese Shiite group to be more creative in how it extracts valuable dollars from the system. They will either get the scalps they crave, or cash as a good substitute. All we are seeing with these anti-corruption drives is groups scrapping over bones, like stray dogs on a rubbish dump of what many might call a smouldering failed state. But fake Lebanon is producing the fake news, by the fake politicians who are faking their anti-graft drive. If most Lebanese taxi drivers know this, why is international media giving it such credibility? Is international media also fake?

Photo: Flickr

Trump Must Fire Bolton – To Save the Peace of the World

Trump Must Fire Bolton – To Save the Peace of the World


Trump Must Fire Bolton – To Save the Peace of the World

Now that US President Donald Trump has finally been cleared of the ridiculous Russia Collusion charge, his top priority should be to reduce tensions with Moscow sensibly – and the place to start doing that is to fire John Bolton, his national security adviser at once.

The case for this is urgent and the preservation of world peace will depend upon whether Trump renews his courage and acts accordingly or lets himself once more be passively manipulated along the road to new endless wars and war crimes as the previous Republican President George W. Bush was by Bolton and his neocon friends.

All the signs are that, on the contrary, Bolton – along with his lifelong close friends Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Special Envoy to Restore Democracy in Venezuela Eliot Abrams have Trump still completely in their pockets. And that they remain determined to topple the legitimate democratically elected government of Venezuela, despite the grave warnings from Moscow to stop doing so.

On March 20, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov met Abrams In Rome and flatly warned him Moscow would not tolerate any direct US military intervention in Venezuela to topple President Nicolas Maduro and replace him with America’s farcical puppet fake President Juan Guaido. As Finian Cunningham wrote in the columns of Strategic Culture Foundation, “The encounter in Rome… was described as ‘frank’ and ‘serious’ – which is diplomatic code for a blazing exchange.”

Ryabkov said after the meeting, “We assume that Washington treats our priorities seriously, our approach and warnings.”

But did Abrams honestly and accurately give his boss, the President of the United States an accurate and honest report of Ryabkov’s very serious warning?

We should seriously suspect this never happened but that, on the contrary, Abrams, and his master Bolton “protected” the man they are supposed to loyally serve from this “inconvenient truth.”

This certainly seems to be the case: For on March 27, Trump told reporters after meeting with Guaido’s wife in Washington that Russia had to get out of Venezuela, When asked how he would make Russia leave, Trump said: “We’ll see. All options are open.”

Earlier, the same day, Vice President Mike Pence, who is no fool but who has prospered mightily from often pretending to act like one, called on Russia to abandon its support for Maduro and “stand with Juan Guaido.”

It is clear, therefore, that Trump – and Pence – have not taken Ryabkov’s warning, conveyed through Abrams – if in fact he conveyed it at all – seriously for a second.

It must again be stressed: Behind Abrams stands John Bolton: The two men worked together like Siamese twins in orchestrating the bloody suppression of the Mayan peoples of Central America under President Ronald Reagan. Then, they worked overtime together to help orchestrate the invasion of Iraq in 2003 under President George W. Bush. Now they are at it again and the legitimate government of Venezuela is in their sights.

Bolton was implacable in his determination to scrap the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between the United States and Russia and he continues to crush all possibilities for strategic arms control and cooperation in his fanatical and unrelenting grip. Trump has supported him enthusiastically on this at every step and shows no signs whatsoever of regret or second thought.

Bolton and Trump were obviously in full accord on recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights – a move that is certain to drive Syria and Iran closer to Moscow than ever and that can only motivate Damascus to poise new challenges for both Israel and the United States in retaliation as soon as possible.

All efforts to portray the US president as still eager to improve relations with Russia and avoid potentially catastrophic clashes with Moscow must therefore be rejected. As Sigmund Freud rightly said, often the obvious explanation is the correct one: Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. If Bolton looks, acts and sounds like a dangerous warmongering fanatic that is because he is a dangerous warmongering fanatic.

If Trump remains at all serious about the courageous declarations of wanting to improve ties with Russia that he made repeatedly during his 2016 presidential campaign, he should therefore celebrate his total exoneration on Russia collusion charges by Special Counsel Robert Mueller by firing Bolton immediately and seeking to start a serious constructive dialogue with Moscow. No such dialogue is remotely possible while Bolton stands at Trump’s right hand, endlessly deferential to him and whispering in his ear, determined to prevent it.

Bolton must go. The security and survival of the United States and indeed of the entire human race demand it.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro Arrives in ‘Israel’ for Pre-vote Visit



March 31, 2019

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro began a visit to the Zionist entity Sunday with a decision pending on fulfilling a promise to move his country’s embassy to occupied AL-Quds (Jerusalem), a policy change opposed by military officers in his cabinet.

The four-day visit by the far-right leader comes a week before the Israeli’s closely contested election in which the right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is battling a popular centrist candidate and corruption allegations, which he denies.

“I love Israel,” Bolsonaro said in Hebrew at a welcoming ceremony, with Netanyahu at his side, at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion airport.

Netanyahu said he and Bolsonaro would sign “many agreements”, including security deals, and that the Brazilian leader would visit Judaism’s holy Western Wall, “in Jerusalem, our eternal capital.”

A leading Israeli financial news website, Calcalist, reported on Sunday that Brazilian state-run oil firm Petrobras was considering bidding in a new tender to explore for oil and gas offshore occupied Palestine and a final decision would be announced during Bolsonaro’s visit.

Earlier this month, a Brazilian government official told Reuters no decision had been made on the embassy move, but “something will have to be said about the embassy during the trip”.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that a formal announcement might not come during the visit.

Visiting Brazil for the Jan. 1 presidential inauguration, Netanyahu said Bolsonaro had told him that moving the Brazilian embassy in Israel to occupied Jerusalem from Tel Aviv was a matter of “when, not if”.

Source: Agencies


South Front


US Recognition Of Golan Heights And Collapse Of Public International Law

The US recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory is another sign of the ongoing collapse of the establsihed system of international relations.

The UN Disengagement Observer Force’s (UNDOF) mandate was renewed on December 21st, 2018 to June 30th, 2019.Thus, it’s peacekeeping operation in the Golan Heights continues despite the recent US move to recignize Israel’s sovereignty over this territory.

The latest UNDOF report was published on February 28th, underlying that there are on-going issues of numerous violations of the Disengagement of Forces Agreement of 1974 and UNDOF’s ability to implement its mandate, including the deployment of appropriate technologies as recommended.

“Given Syria’s reassertion of control over areas of separation and the reopening of the Qunaytirah crossing point, UNDOF may be getting close to an eventual full return to the Bravo side. The return of the situation to pre-2014 conditions may cause the Council to consider requesting the Secretary-General to resume a six-month reporting cycle instead of 90 days, as had been the practice until December 2012.”

The report covers a 90-day period between September 15th and November 20th.

The report noted that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) continued to fire across the ceasefire line and into the area of separation. UNDOF personnel also continued to observe crossings by unidentified individuals between Lebanon and the Bravo (Syrian) side and from the Bravo side to the Alpha (Israeli) side on a daily basis. The individuals crossing were usually described in the report as shepherds and farmers. The provided data confirms that Israel is the aggressive party in the situation and no misconduct was noted on Syria’s side.

The most recent data provides details into the period between November 21st, 2018 and March 14th, 2019. It noted that the UNDOF peacekeeping mission could achieve little result in the area:

“On 29 November 2018, UNDOF personnel observed heavy explosions and tracer rounds of heavy and anti-aircraft machine guns in the vicinities of Turunjah, in the area of separation, and Camp Faouar. UNDOF personnel were forced to go into shelters. The Syrian authorities informed UNDOF that the military activity was associated with air defence weapons of the Syrian armed forces directed at “hostile targets”. The Israel Defense Forces informed UNDOF that they “had not engaged any targets in the Syrian Arab Republic” and that the remnants of a Syrian anti-aircraft missile had impacted an area 5 km from Camp Ziouani. An UNDOF team, accompanied by the Israel Defense Forces, visited the scene of the impact on the Alpha side (Israeli-occupied Golan) and saw remnants of an anti-aircraft missile.”

Thus, the UNDOF’s presence in the area appears to be more formal move than anything, since no peacekeeping is being established, the representatives hide in shelters and do not have any actual authority on-site.

The US recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory happened on March 25th, which is in the next 90-day period. So a report elaborating on the results of the action would be presented sometime in June, prior to the expiry of the UNDOF mandate on June 30th, 2019.

The 1,000-strong force was dispatched to a buffer zone between Israel and Syria in 1974 to observe a ceasefire, and it is simply doing that – observing the breaches. It should be reminded that in the overwhelming number of cases Israel is the side that carries out any misconduct.

The US on March 27th said that it wished for the UNDOF peacekeeping force to remain in Golan Heights. US Diplomat Rodney Hunter told a Security Council meeting on the Golan that “this announcement does not affect the 1974 Disengagement Agreement, nor do we believe it undermines UNDOF’s mandate in any way.”

“UNDOF continues to have a vital role to play in preserving stability between Israel and Syria, most importantly by ensuring that the area of separation is a buffer zone free from any military presence or activities other than those of UNDOF,” he added.

The council met at Syria’s request to discuss the US decision, which Damascus said was a “flagrant violation” of UN resolutions.

In total, three UN resolutions call for Israel to withdraw from the occupied Golan Heights. Despite that, the US, the permenent UNSC member, said that the decision would bolster Israel’s security and “can contribute to the stability of the entire Middle East” by keeping Syria and its Iranian ally in check.

The EU said they will continue to view the Golan as Israeli-occupied territory and will not follow in Trump’s footsteps.

At the UNSC meeting, Israel’s Envoy Danny Danon criticized anger over the US decision:

“For 19 years, Syria used the Golan as a forward outpost against Israel, and today it’s Iran that wants to put its soldiers on the shore of the Sea of Galilee,” Danon said in a statement.

“Israel won’t allow such a thing ever, and it’s time the international community recognize the fact that the Golan will remain under Israeli sovereignty forever. The United States and Israel will stand as a united front in the face of the hypocrisy and lies.”

The US recognition of the Golan Heights creates a complicated situation in the UNSC as well, since a permanent member recognized it as Israeli territory, while all UN documents have referred to it as a Israeli-occupied territory since 1974.

It is possible also that the US decision was announced at this moment, since the UN is undergoing deep reforms. It wouldn’t be surprising if it would receive a weaker response, simply due to the changes being introduced in the world body.

At the same time, the decision is a stark reminder that international public law is collapsing, mostly due to US conduct, which is also paving the way for other countries to partake in such misconduct. One of the obvious examples of the US unanimously going against international law is the bombing of Yugoslavia.

The UN and its Security Council managed to establish a somewhat peaceful zone in the Golan Heights, but the US decision threatens it profoundly. Syria had little chance of militarily returning its own territory despite the fact that it has all legal rights to do so. But now, that is questionable, despite Syria claiming that it is prepared to employ all necessary means to take its territory back.

A military escalation in the area has also become more likely. This undermines efforts to de-escalate the Syrian conflict even further. The US already called for Syrian forces to withdrawl from the separation line, but is also unlikely to happen.

For a long period of time, the Golan Heights situation was kept balanced by a large number of internationally recognized documents and mechanisms. However, now, these mechanisms seem to be de-fact destroyed.

The US is, in essence, destroying one of the last standing “pillars of international law,” and is in fact creating a global situation in which the only means of settling conflicts is threat of military power and economic sanctions of individuals, businesses and government bodies.

It’s interesting to note that the US action actually goies in contrary to the US’ won stance twards the Crimea issue. Russia officially, and mostly formally, condemned the US recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory. However, in fact, Washington just created a precedent for Crimea to be recognized as an official part of Russia on the highest international level.


‘Pulp Fiction’, the Mueller Report & empty Generation X politics

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

‘Pulp Fiction’, the Mueller Report & empty Generation X politics

Turns out the Mueller Report isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

It is certainly a sad day for America. Get wasted on tabloid, sore-loser, unproven accusations and the hangover will be costly. But the damage to the credibility of the Democratic Party and the Mainstream Media? Incalculable.

Generation X-ers are role models now, but the past two years sure wasn’t “leadership”. Millennials trusted them on this one – you were so very certain, somehow – and… now what do you do?


This is not my problem, thankfully. I wrote against Russia(non)gate as early as February 2017, treating it for what it was worth – fodder for jokes. What’s amazing is how people took it so very seriously, and for so very long.

Wild claims of treason cannot replace a political platform… but I think it all clicks when we remember that taking total sociopolitical nonsense extremely seriously is a hallmark of the West’s Generation X.

I find it so interesting that Western media now talks almost solely of Baby Boomers and Millennials – it is as if Generation X has been written out of history! I guess Boomers, who are now the richest generation (as they inherit the wealth of the dying Greatest Generation), only want to focus on their grandkids and not their own loser children?

There are plenty of gleeful post-mortems being given in the left following the Mueller Report, but not many are asking: how did this come about? Two-plus years of mass delusion, mass paranoia, mass Russophobia, mass lynch-mob mentality – what are the moral issues which drove allegedly progressive people to these totally-unfounded political stances?

These moral issues simply must come from Generation X, because they are the still-vibrant, mature-adulthood foot soldiers of the ruling Baby Boomers, who – if not already retired – are taking Fridays off to visit their worshiped grandkids who they are spoiling with praise.

In newsrooms across the US the generation really in charge of day-to-day operations now is Generation X – they are the editors and top journalists. The Greatest Generation has passed on ownership of the media to Baby Boomers, while Boomer journalist-proletarians are on their last legs: journalism is a stressful job – there are no 65-year old daily reporters in newsrooms, and no one would hire even the most robust one (too expensive, too opinionated, etc.). Millennials aren’t in charge, to their shock and awe, because any craft relies on experience and Millennials don’t have any yet.

So the biggest blow to US media credibility since the failure to question “Weapons of Mass Destruction” in Iraq is truly a Gen X affair. It’s Pulp Fiction in political form.

“Ooh, this doesn’t sound like the usual mindless, boring, ‘getting to know you’ chit-chat. This sounds like you actually have something to say.”- Mia Wallace

However, as many may remember from the movie, John Travolta doesn’t really have anything to say: he is about to salaciously ask if a man was crippled over giving Uma Thurman a foot massage.

Elitist publications like Esquire routinely declare Dazed and Confused to be the “definitive film of Generation X”, but that’s false: that movie is childish, because it is about children – high schoolers. Those who say Dazed and Confusedis the definitive Generation X movie are likely Baby Boomers, who subconsciously want to see their adult children as actual children, and thus remain forever young themselves, in that very typically American fashion (and which is because elders are not honoured there). Pulp Fiction is what the Dazed and Confused characters turned out to be in their adult prime, and it is not impressive: they are drug addicts, cheating boxers, wannabe actresses, raging bullies, the visually bizarre, the sexually bizarre and losers without children.

Pulp Fiction was such an enormously positive artistic shock when it came out in 1994 – it seemed that Generation X had found its cinematic auteur. Unlike most actor-driven pap, which is super-quick closeups instead of dialogue and plot, this was clearly the work of a great director. Want proof? Tarantino famously exhumed John Travolta to play a leading part – even your next-door neighbor would have been a huge hit in that role.

Our downfall was that we all foolishly assumed that Tarantino had something to say simply because he told Pulp Fiction so spectacularly well. It’s been written that Pulp Fiction is one cliffhanger after another, and it is… because there is actually no content. Content is slow-building and wonky.

Pulp Fiction is a supercool movie which is about nothing: it is 3 tabloid vignettes woven together in a most riveting fashion, and with no heartfelt moral in any of them. This is in stark contrast to Tarantino’s only other truly great movie, Reservoir Dogs, which is ultimately about the power of male camaraderie.

Ignore whatever fawning cinema critics say: Tarantino has not come close to approaching greatness with any movie since Pulp Fiction – he essentially has made living cartoons (Kill Bill 1 and 2), bad action TV from the 1970s (Jackie Brown, The Hateful 8) and childish revenge fantasies for minority groups (Inglorious Basterds, Django Unchained, Death Proof – Jews, Blacks and women, respectively). The reason for this artistic collapse is simple: he truly has nothing to say on any topic of any importance, whether social, political, economic or religious. This disinterest in things of social substance is the essence of Generation X.

With the same “all hype, no substance” of a Gen X rapper, the Mueller Report has proven to be nothing but empty calories. America is now disgusted with itself for gorging on something so unhealthy, again.

“The days of me forgetting are over, and the days of me remembering have just begun.” – Pulp Fiction, opening scene

That, of course, is what an immature slacker loser says after their latest failure, which was so very similar to their last failure.

It was all a big empty diversion, of course, both Pulp Fiction and the Mueller Report. The latter was to deflect attention from the total failure of the hollow, out-of-touch, self-glorifying, 99%-hating, fake-leftist Democratic Party in the 2016 presidential election. The idea that Trump would somehow require Putin’s assistance to defeat decades of emperor-egoed Democrats, and even amidst the Great Recession and its failed QE solutions, is as believable as were the emperors new clothes. I can go on and on about this, but I just said the crux of the biscuit.

The Mueller Report, despite repeated assurances that it would contain everything short of the meaning of life, turned out to be superficial nonsense. Obstructing justice is what Liberal Democratic politicians do; the fraud convictions for Paul Manafort is what Liberal Democratic politicians do – an investigation of any top US politician would produce the same crimes. What was in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction? Just two lights and a battery, per Samuel Jackson.

While Political Correctness is an often unfairly-maligned lens, Generation X is known for taking this to the absurd extreme: a belief that moral relativity can be a guiding ethical philosophy.

Moral relativity also means never having to say you were wrong – there are no “truths”. This helps explain why so many Gen X journalists, like Rachel Maddow, are now trying to move the goalposts on their Trump-Russia accusations.

For those of us who do not make moral relativity our crowning ethos, such people will always look like lying, amoral, untrustworthy, egotistical people until they admit wrongdoing and apologize for the consequences. It is not “all relative”….

However, it’s not just anti-Trumpers who are typically-Generation X, but pro-Trumpers too. I get it as a protest vote, but the only way a person could possibly justify a sincere vote for The Donald would be through moral relativistic machinations worthy of anyone on MSNBC defending Barry “Bailout” Dronebama. Many Gen Xers made such votes. Generation X is full of people who think anyone on TV is automatically worthy of respect, and who are also unable to parse political meaning intelligently following a lifetime of disinterest and disdain.

I think that pro-Trumpers won’t need any such moral twists and turns in 2020 – who could vote for a Democratic Party which went all in on Trump the Treasoner and was wrong?

It’s really too bad, because a 2nd term of Trump will be very tough on three countries which are very dear to me: Iran, Cuba and Palestine.

But Pulp Fiction is the greatest Generation X movie because of its politics, NOT just its style.

Yes, Pulp Fiction actually had serious political messages, but they are rarely examined – a legacy of Generation X is the preference to focus on style, remember?

Sociopolitcally, Pulp Fiction is best remembered for initiating the current age of comfort in, trivalization of, and expectation of massive explicit violence. However, it is wrong to pin this on Gen Xers and Tarantino – here, they are the victims of larger American imperialist culture and history.

Gen Xers grew up or lived during the violent 1970s and then the crack epidemic – this is when bloody gun violence, road rage, gang warfare and tabloid TV journalism became a part of everyday life. Had Gen Xers not numbed and habituated themselves to this violence… how could they function in US society? However, from the first hatchet to an Indian’s skull American culture has been imbued with violence – duh.

These immediate and unfair criticisms blinded many to what is so impressive about the sociopolitical commentary in Pulp Fiction, which 25 years later has proved to be stunningly politically prescient; it gave seemingly scant attention to politics and economics, yet it completely it captured the essence of Western Gen X thinking on such subjects.

“It’s the little differences. I mean they got the same s*** over there they got here, but just there it’s a little different.” “Example?” – Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield

It’s a repeatedly cosmopolitan movie, mirroring the coming advent of the Euro and the confirmation of pan-Europeanism. Samuel Jackson is so entranced by Travolta’s rendering of Amsterdam that, “Aw man, I’m going, that’s all there is to it, I’m f***ing going!” to move to Europe. European Gen Xers were similarly “jump in the deep end and damn the consequences” pan-Europeanists – look at how that has turned out. (And whatever happened in real-life to that Columbian, taxi-driving fox (excuse me, wolf), Esmerelda Villa Lobos? I always preferred her to Bruce Willis’ self-absorbed French girlfriend… yet I moved to France?)

Pulp Fiction presaged Brexit, denying England’s connection to the Continent. Referring to Harvey Keitel’s tuxedoed, American, smooth, “Mr. Wolf” character, Travolta says, “I don’t know why I just thought he’d be European or something?” Jackson responds, “Yeah man, he was about as European as f***ing English Bob.” The English will no longer be European (Union) as of April 12, one hopes.

Pulp Fiction also anticipated the rise of violent Christian evangelism, where Christianity is deployed to justify atrocious violence. This is not something which can be done on a public level, due to official Western secularity, but the “Christian Warrior” concept is certainly alive and well among the army’s rank and file as well as the Pentagon. The raging bullying of Samuel Jackson, self-righteously screaming Scripture at an apartment full of terrified and baby-faced novices he is slowly murdering in cold blood, certainly reminds one of a confident, well-trained US mercenary in Afghanistan, Iraq or any of the other foreign wars which were massively supported by Gen Xers. I always thought this scene could have never have been played by a White actor – hits too close to home.

Did you just order a $5 shake? That’s a shake – that’s milk and ice cream – that’s $5?” What’s amazing today is the idea that anyone would balk at paying $5 for a milkshake in a fancy place like the fictitious Jack Rabbit Slim’s! Balking wouldn’t start until more like $11. Reduced purchasing power is indeed the primary economic consideration since the mid-1970s, and you have to give Tarantino credit for recognising that and memorably hitting the nail on the head.

The movie was the first rationalization of lifestyles which used to be thought of as deviant in the West; it also illustrates the idea in the West (which is governed by “identity politics” instead of socialist solidarity) that deviants are not minority outcasts but, somehow, the true elite. The most amusing example is Rosanna Arquette, with her 13 piercings all over her body: rejecting any sort of “normal” philosophy, she pontificates about how not using a needle for piercing “goes against the whole idea of piercing” as if piercing was a complex moral philosophy! Obviously, that makes her one of the apostles, and apostles don’t have to admit they were wrong on Trump’s Russia collusion. Such boring, self-absorbed conversations – whether on piercing, tattoos, craft brewing or vinyl records – replaced sociopolitical discussion for Gen X.

Hard drug use used to be thought of as deviant, but much like violence I think that Pulp Fiction is simply reflecting American reality – Gen X was the victim, not the originator of this trend.

The famous anal rape scene was perpetrated by – of course – rural Americans: it’s the Gen X version of Deliverance. Elitists who demean “White Trash” is something I have written about often, but we can’t deny that Tarantino was politically attuned to American fake-leftism when he decided to portray rural people as truly horrific “deplorables”. If the movie was written today all that would be needed is to add a “MAGA” hat to “the Gimp”, the disturbing, bondage leather-clad human kept in a dungeon by the film’s hillbillies.

The famous Christopher Walken scene – a family heirloom watch is hidden inside rectums for 7 years in a POW camp – is essentially a way to mock the sacrifices of armed forces, which is very Generation X. They could not have cared less about fighting Vietnamese socialism (which was real), yet they fell as hard as stones for WMD nonsense when Islam was declared the enemy (which is false) after 9/11.

Most interestingly, in film’s moral and philosophical climax, Pulp Fiction illustrates why Generation X has certainly proven to be the strongest adherents of ice-cold neoliberalism. We must recall Gen X was the first US generation in several generations to not have any socialists at all; they are a resolutely capitalist-imperialist generation which grew up hating socialism, hating Russia and not caring that this hate was misguided and morally wrong. Gen X is hardcore capitalist-imperialist, but they merely do it in a passive-aggressive way, not unlike their Canadian neighbors. Gen X also doesn’t talk about politics or economics – their unity on heartless neoliberal capitalism-imperialism is as assumed as the sun coming up in the morning. This explains why Tarantino doesn’t talk about economics much, but when he does it is 100% neoliberal capitalism.

When Samuel Jackson explains to John Travolta that he has had a religious epiphany and is going to quit gangsterism in order to “walk the earth” and “get in adventures”, he is immediately smacked down by Travolta. We can interpret this as a typical Gen X lack of “pioneer spirit”, yet Travolta’s rationale is totally neoliberal: “No Jules, you decided to be a bum. Just like all those pieces of s*** who beg for change, who sleep in garbage bins, who eat what I throw away. They got a name for that Jules – it’s called a bum. And without a job, a residence or legal tender, that’s what you’re gonna be man, a f***ing bum”. This speech is the essence of the hyper-capitalist and fundamentally neoliberal economic view which Generation X obviously totally embraced: without money, a job and the trappings of middle-class respectability Jackson is just walking human excrement. Shortly thereafter, when Jackson is going to give $1,500 to diplomatically and peacefully resolve restaurant gunfight standoff, Travolta warns, even at the risk of murder and his own death, “Jules, you give that f***ing nimrod $1,500 and I’ll shoot him on general principle.” Travolta’s “principle” is quite in line with neoliberal American capitalism – no economic “giving” or redistribution under any circumstances, no to Jules’ revolution, no to socialism.

Add up all these different and often bizarre sociopolitical proclivities and beliefs, and we can understand why – incredibly – so many Gen Xers genuinely believed that treasonous Russian collusion was a certainty because there existed a scandalous videotape of Trump getting urinated on by Russian prostitutes despite his well-known phobia of germs. It sounds like an axed fourth storyline in Pulp Fiction….

Forget about the Gen X things most people focus on with Pulp Fiction – the nostalgia, the retro style, the super-cool music (RIP this week to Lebanese-American Dick Dale, who introduced Arabic scales to US pop music; the movie also introduced a new generation to Link Wray’s Rumble, which marked the birth of the power chord AND reverb, and what’s cooler than those?) – Pulp Fiction gave an accurate presentations of Generation X’s socioeconomic value system.

“Pride only hurts, it never helps.” – Marsellus Wallace

Yet another motto of Generation X.

Well, it all depends on context: “Non serviam” (I will not serve) was the sin that cast Satan from heaven, sure, but not serving the gangster Wallace is a good form of pride.

A total lack of pride is what led to Russiagate debacle.

Gen Xers are the media and political staffers who were all-too willing to serve gangsters, banksters, political shysters and journalism magnate hucksters. They composed the editors, the talking heads, the chiefs of staff, the rank and file, and the movers and shakers who only shook America into the nothingness that is the Mueller Report.

They had no pride, because pride is not found in the success of your individual self but in shared concepts, shared responsibilities and shared achievements. Gen Xers in these jobs of social responsibility – tens or hundreds of thousands of them – repeatedly failed to stand up to what was obviously a totally pathetic ruse because they cared only about their own success.

Much like Bruce Willis, who served Wallace in order to retire early to a Tahitian beach, Gen Xers pushing Russia(non)gate were only it for themselves. (Willis’ character had obviously served Wallace before, which is why he was insulted with “palooka” by Travolta’s character.) That’s the Gen X way, and America needs to realize this. They say that Millennial Americans are more collective-minded, and I certainly hope so – but maybe it only appears that way because they are standing next to Gen Xers?

What has Russiagate ultimately given us? It has given us “fake news” – the idea that propaganda actually can exist in the United States, and not only outside it. It has also given Americans the idea that they may actually have their own “Deep State”, a concept which every other nation has already identified in their own country. These are indeed momentous and necessary realizations which America needed to examine deeply, but they are so pitifully far behind in political thought that I could only satirise them before moving on to examine actually-important issues.

So what happens when Gen Xers fight other Gen Xers? You get a nothing Mueller Report.

Did the pro-Trump Gen Xers “win”, really?

No. Donald Trump was an unwanted prize to begin with. His victory, and now his exoneration, and soon his re-election, are a typically-Gen X affirmation of their political and moral abyss.

But that’s how Gen X likes it. They don’t like to join and they don’t like to lead. They like to laugh all alone, mockingly, and not with the group. Certainly unelectable, yet America must elect them. As Pulp Fiction relates, they are a strange, unrelatable lot. Interesting to watch, as long as you are far away.

I’d like to end with: regardless, let’s not write Generation X out of Western society – these problems aren’t going away. Similarly, don’t encourage Tarantino by paying to see his next movie – make him get back to making art and not pulp, although apparently his next movie is going to be his last one.

A couple weeks ago Nancy Pelosi, knowing the Mueller Report was about to be a dud, dropped Democrats’ hysterical and undemocratic demands for Trump’s impeachment with a decidedly parental (and fundamentally smug), “Andhe’s just not worth it”. Mommy and Daddy know exactly how to defuse their kids, after all.

It’s a very Generation X-type of idea: The fight is not worth fighting.

Russiagate wasn’t, that’s for sure.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red ChinaHis work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.


South Front


US Move To Ban F-35 Delivery To Turkey Opens Additional Prospects For Russan Weapons

Su-35 flanker. Click to see full-size image

Turkey could possibly purchase Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets, if Washington realizes its threat to block the delivery of F-35 joint strike fighters, Viktor Litovkin, a military analyst with the Moscow-based TASS news agency was cited by RT.

“If the US fails to ship the jets to Turkey, Ankara can certainly buy the Su-35s from Russia instead,” he said.

Also according to Litovkin, both aircraft have characteristics that are comparable, Moscow also wouldn’t be worried of theft of sensitive military technology, because the aircraft’s software is “hard to crack.”

It would also be possibly to easily integrate the fighter jets in the Turkish military.

The possible block of the delivery the F-35 joint strike fighters is due to Turkey’s conclusion of a deal for the purchase of Russian S-400, which it says is final.

On February 15th, US President Donald Trump signed a spending bill according to which delivery of the jets to Turkey will be blocked until the U.S. secretaries of state and defense submit an update to the report regarding Turkey’s purchase of the S–400 missile defense system from the Russian Federation.

On February 18th, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said there was no turning back on Turkey’s decision to purchase the S-400 air defense systems. Turkey expects the delivery of the missiles to start this year.

A US delegation visited Ankara in December, after the U.S. State Department informed the US Congress that it had approved a $3.5-billion sale of Patriot air defense batteries to Turkey. The delegation reportedly set the cancellation of the S-400 deal as a prerequisite for the purchase of the U.S.-made system.

Turkey declined the possible Patriot deal, deeming the requirements unacceptable.

“The Russians said they would deliver the S-400s in a short time both for a very good price and promising technology transfer,” the chairman of the Turkish parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Volkan Bozkır, told reporters in Ankara following a visit to Washington in February. “Therefore, we signed the deal for the purchase of S-400 systems as it addressed our needs and the main part of the payments have been made, while efforts are going ahead for delivery to Turkey in November.”

According to the bill signed by Trump, the US would wait until November to make a decision regarding the F-35 delivery, while the delivery of the S-400 to Turkey is expected to begin in July.

Regardless, on March 28th, four US senators – Democrats Jeanne Shaheen and Chris Van Hollen and Republicans James Lankford and Thom Tillis introduced a bill to ban the transfer of the F-35 joint strike fighters.

“The prospect of Russia having access to U.S. aircraft and technology in a NATO country, Turkey, is a serious national and global security risk,” Shaheen said.

“Turkey is an important NATO ally and willing partner in addressing a number of U.S. national security priorities,” said Lankford. “It’s concerning that Turkey would seek close defense cooperation with Russia, whose authoritarian ruler seeks to undermine NATO and U.S. interests at every turn.”


The Icons of Return أيقونات العودة

By Yousef Fares, al-Akhbar Newspaper

“Israel” never gets tired of imposing the same occupation experience. It is stupidity or the nature of tyrants that gave rise – knowingly or unknowingly – to the popular icons that occupy a large portion of the society’s emotional state.

The “Israeli” army’s snipers rewrote the details of the story of the Great March of Return. Its heroes are a group of simple people who took to the streets in their thousands on March 30, 2018 to demand their historic right to return to Palestine. This was before the bullets transformed them into unforgettable icons. Others are still alive – and so is the resistance.

A sniper of a different kind

“Even Yasser himself did not expect the ending to be so quick. He might have expected how it would look, but he still had so much he wanted to do,” said a close friend of martyred journalist Yasser Murtaja. Since the first day of the Great March of Return, Murtaja had not left the field. He shot images of what his camera captured and what the snipers hit. The young man spent his 30 years in Gaza, the only city he knew his entire life as he once said. Since the beginning of his career as a journalist, he was able to capture the most beautiful images that reflected his optimism. “Always smiling,” his fellow journalists said, adding that he was one of the few who only had their pictures taken while they were smiling. He also published materials that made people smile but invoked a sense of bewilderment at the same time.

In the devastated Shejaiya neighborhood following the 2014 war, Murtaja filmed his documentary, “Gaza: Surviving Shejaiya”. The story revolves around a girl, Bisan, who he rescued from the rubble. A close bond formed between Yasser and her, allowing him to be Bisan’s only friend and companion through the mental and physical rehabilitation that she underwent following the martyrdom of her family.

He was an ambitious young man. Murtaja was the founder of Ain Media and one of the first individuals to take a picture of Gaza using a drone camera. The residents of the Strip, who never saw their land from an airplane window or from a skyscraper, saw the picture but without knowing it was him who took it. Murtaja was injured on April 4, 2018. Everyone prayed for him to get better. However, he passed away on the same evening to become the first media person to be killed by the “Israelis” in the Great March of Return. His colleagues carried his body as it was photographed using his drone camera.

A child’s patent

The Icons of Return

The image of the child, Mohammed Ayyash, aroused the curiosity of various international agencies. Ayash, who is barely nine years old, filed a patent and an idea in an attempt to overcome the tear gas fired by the “Israeli” army on demonstrators. He heard his father, who was wounded in the first Palestinian Intifada [uprising] (1989), say that onions are the best solution to fight the effect of the gas. Although the “onion mask” is only made up of a medical facemask and an onion he picked from one of the agricultural fields, the child became an icon on social media, as well as among the Arab and international press. After his picture was taken by journalist Osama al-Kahlout, he was honored and hosted by various media and national bodies.

“The onion mask” picture was recorded as one of the funniest, most innocent and challenging scenes. It was a piece of equipment the child had prepared in his bag along with pieces of potatoes because he was expecting that he would enter occupied Palestine on that day. Thinking that the stones thrown at the soldiers come only from refugee camps, he decided to stone the soldiers with potatoes! In this innocent manner, Muhammad recounted the events of that day. He became one of those who translated their actions into a simple language, the language spoken by the rightful owners before their occupiers, who are armed with all the instruments of death.

The revolutionaries in wheelchair

The Icons of Return

What symbol can a picture of a limbless young man leaving his wheelchair and crawling across the eastern border of the Strip present? He chants sometimes, and throws a stone that won’t fall further than a few meters from his body at other times. That is what martyr Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, the first icon of the protests against the American declaration to transfer the US Embassy to occupied Al-Quds, did. His picture and footage of his chants, which spread rapidly, was the beginning of the storm that his death caused on 15/12/2017. Abu Thuraya lost both legs in a bombing that targeted him in 2008. Despite his disability, he was keen to be the first attendee along the border since late 2017. The events of his martyrdom shocked the people in Gaza, as if he was telling them that they had no excuse when the wounded and the disabled head the ranks of the masses.

The Icons of Return

Fadi Abu Salah was Abu Thuraya’s successor. He was not content with just a symbolic participation in rebellion against his disability. He was an active contributor to throwing stones and mobilizing the masses. As in his life, his martyrdom in 14/5/2018 marked a turning point in the Arab and international media coverage of the Great March of Return. His photos contributed to the continuity of the popular momentum.

The first of the angels

A visitor to the house of martyr Razan al-Najjar in the Khuza’a neighborhood east of Khan Younis (south) can understand that the siege and repeated wars would only push a young woman to believe that the occupation is the cause of her crisis as well as that of her peers. Poverty that gave them simplicity, rebellion and redemption is the common factor that brought together Razan and the thousands who participated in protests along the eastern border of the Strip. The 21-year-old was known for her courage and her energy in providing first aid to the injured on the field. She seemed convinced of what she was doing when she said, “I am here at the line of contact. I form a human shield. I came here with courage and strength to save the lives of our brothers. Despite being injured and have a fractured arm, I refused to put a cast so it would not hinder my movement.”

Courageous Razan’s story came to an end when an “Israeli” sniper decided to kill it with a bullet that penetrated her back. The young woman, who was an active volunteer in the medical relief organization, passed away. With her departure, she shed the light on the cause of targeting medical staff during the marches. On the next Friday after her martyrdom, Razan’s mother wore her daughter’s medical coat and joined the marches with tens of Razan’s colleagues.

أيقونات العودة


 يوسف فارس
السبت 30 آذار 2019

غزة | لا تملّ إسرائيل من ممارسة التجربة الاحتلالية نفسها. إنه الغباء، أو طبائع المستبدين التي تصدّر من حيث تدري أو لا تدري أيقونات شعبية تحتل مساحة كبيرة في الحالة الشعورية للمجتمع. الحكاية أعاد قنّاصة جيش العدو كتابة تفاصيلها في «مسيرات العودة الكبرى»، وأبطالها مجموعة من البسطاء الذين خرجوا كعشرات الآلاف في 30 آذار/ مارس 2018، للمطالبة بحقهم التاريخي في العودة إلى فلسطين، قبل أن يحوّلهم الرصاص إلى رموز لا تنسى، وآخرون لا يزالون على قيد الحياة… والمقاومة

«قنّاص» من نوع آخر

«حتى ياسر نفسه لم يكن يتوقع أن تكون النهاية بهذه السرعة، ربما توقّع شكل الخاتمة، لكن في جعبته الكثير مما كان يريد أن يفعله»، هكذا يعلّق أحد أصدقاء الشهيد المصور ياسر مرتجى، مِمَّن عايشوه عن قرب. فمنذ اليوم الأول لـ«مسيرات العودة» لم يترك مرتجى الميدان: يراقب المساحة بين ما تقتنصه عدسة كاميراته، وما يصطاده قناصة الاحتلال. صاحب الأعوام الثلاثين التي قضاها في غزة، المدينة التي لم يشاهد سواها في حياته كما يقول، أبدع منذ بداية عمله الصحافي في أن يلتقط لها أجمل الصور التي تعكس شخصيته المتفائلة. «مبتسمٌ»، يقول زملاؤه الصحافيين، ويضيفون أنه من القلة الذين لا يلتقطون صورهم إلا وهم مبتسمون، ويعمدون إلى نشر مواد تثير الابتسامة والدهشة في آن واحد.

في الشجاعية المدمرة عقب حرب 2014، سجّل شهادته في فيلم وثائقي سمّاه «الشجاعية الناجية»، الذي تدور قصته حول الطفلة بيسان التي أنقذها من بين الركام، ونشأت بينه وبينها علاقة وثيقة أهّلته لأن يكون صديقها الوحيد الذي رافقها في رحلة علاجها الجسدي والنفسي بعد استشهاد عائلتها.

كان الشاب الطموح، مؤسس شركة «عين ميديا»، أول من التقط صورة لغزة بواسطة كاميرا طائرة، شاهدها سكان القطاع الذين لم يروا أرضهم يوماً من نافذة طائرة أو من ناطحة سحاب ليس لديهم مثلها، لكن من دون أن يعرفوا أنه كان هو من التقط الصورة. أصيب مرتجى ظهر الرابع من نيسان/ أبريل 2018، وجمع الدعاء القلوب في انتظار تحسن حالته، لكنه قضى في مساء اليوم نفسه، تاركاً برحيله أول «توقيع» إسرائيلي على الطواقم الصحافية، جسداً مسجّىً على أكتاف زملائه، صُوّر بواسطة كاميراته الطائرة.

براءة اختراع طفولية

أثارت صورة الطفل، محمد عياش، فضول مختلف الوكالات العالمية. عياش، الذي لم يتجاوز الأعوام التسعة، قدّم براءة اختراع وتفكير في محاولة للتغلب على الغاز المسيل للدموع الذي يطلقه الجيش الإسرائيلي بكثافة على المتظاهرين، بعدما كان قد سمع من والده الذي أصيب في الانتفاضة الفلسطينية الأولى (1989) أن البصل هو الحل الأمثل للتخفيف من تأثير الغاز. ورغم أن «قناع البصلة» ليس سوى نبتة بصل التقطها من أحد الحقول الزراعية، وغطّاها بكمامة طبية، فإن الطفل صار بعد هذا المشهد أيقونة ضجّت بها وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي، فضلاً عن الصحافة العربية والدولية. فصورته، التي التقطها الصحافي أسامة الكحلوت، كانت سفيرة له لتكريمه واستضافته في مختلف الهيئات الإعلامية والوطنية.

«قناع البصل» سُجّل كأحد أكثر المشاهد طرافة وبراءة وتحدياً، وكان واحداً من المعدات التي جهزها الطفل في جعبته، وإلى جانبه كان يضع حبات من البطاطا لأنه كان يتوقع أن يدخل في ذلك اليوم إلى فلسطين المحتلة. ولأنه اعتقد أن الحجارة التي ترمى على الجنود ابنة مخيمات اللجوء فقط، قرّر أن يرجم الجنود بالبطاطا! هكذا قدّم محمد سرديته البريئة عن أحداث ذلك اليوم، وصار من الذين ترجموا فعلهم بلغة البسطاء، لغة أصحاب الحق أمام محتليهم المسلحين بكل أدوات الموت.

ثائرو الكراسي المتحركة 

أي رمزية يمكن أن تقدمها صورة شاب مبتور الأطراف يترك كرسيّه المتحرك ويزحف على الحدود الشرقية للقطاع؟! يهتف تارةً، ويلقي حجراً لن يتجاوز جسده بأمتار في تارة أخرى. ذلك ما فعله الشهيد إبراهيم أبو ثريا، أُولى أيقونات الاحتجاج على الإعلان الأميركي لنقل السفارة إلى القدس المحتلة. صورته والمقاطع المصورة لهتافاته التي انتشرت سريعاً، كانت بداية العاصفة التي أحدثها استشهاده يوم 15/12/2017. أبو ثريا كان قد فقد كلتا قدميه في قصف استهدفه عام 2008، ورغم ذلك حرص على أن يكون أول الحاضرين على الحدود منذ نهاية 2017. أحدث استشهاده صدمة تفاعل معها الشارع في غزة، كأنه قال برحيله للجماهير إنه لا عذر لأحد حينما يتقدم المصابون والمقعدون صفوف الجماهير.

كان فادي أبو صلاح خليفة أبو ثريا الأول، إذ لم يكتفِ بالمشاركة الرمزية للتمرد على العجز، بل كان مساهماً فعالاً في رجم الحجارة وتعبئة الجماهير. وكما في حياته، مثّل استشهاده يوم 14/5/2018 حدثاً فارقاً في التغطية الإعلامية العربية والدولية التي نالتها «مسيرات العودة»، وأسهمت صوره في استمرارية الزخم الشعبي.

أول الملائكة 

يمكن زائرَ منزل الشهيدة رزان النجار، في حيّ خزاعة شرقي مدينة خانيونس (جنوب)، أن يفهم أنه ما كان يمكن الحصارَ والحروب المتكررة إلا أن تدفع شابة في عمرها إلى القناعة بأن وجود الاحتلال هو سبب أزمتها كما كل أبناء جيلها. والفقر الذي أورثهم البساطة والتمرد والفداء هو العامل المشترك الذي جمع بين رزان والآلاف الذين داوموا على الحدود الشرقية للقطاع. ابنة الواحد والعشرين ربيعاً، التي عُرفت بجرأتها ونشاطها في تقديم المساعدة الطبية الأولية إلى المصابين في الميدان، بدت مقتنعة بما تقوم به، حين قالت: «أنا هنا على خطوط التماس، أُشكّل درعاً بشرية… جئت إلى هنا وقد امتلكت الجرأة والقوة لأنقذ أرواح إخواننا، ورغم تعرضي للإصابة والكسر في يدي، رفضتُ أن أضع الجبيرة حتى لا تعوق حركتي».

انتهت حكاية رزان الشجاعة من وجهة نظر القناص الإسرائيلي بطلقة اخترقت ظهرها. قضت الشابة التي نشطت في «منظمة الإغاثة الطبية» تطوعاً، وسلطت برحيلها الضوء على قضية استهداف الطواقم الطبية التي لم تسلم خلال المسيرات. في الجمعة التالية لرحيلها، كانت أم رزان تلبس معطف ابنتها الطبي، وتنضم إلى المسيرات برفقة العشرات من زميلاتها المتطوعات.

من ملف : يوم الأرض: العودة أقرب

Escalation: Is Russia In Venezuela A New Cuban Missile Crisis?

Published on Mar 27, 2019

A Russian military transport arrived in Venezuela this past week bringing tons of aid and also nearly 100 Russian military advisors. Reportedly this included cybersecurity experts. Moscow claimed this was pre-planned and related to a nearly 20 year old cooperation agreement with Caracas. US neocons looking for regime change are claiming it is a new Cuban Missile Crisis. Who’s right? Is Venezuela about to escalate out of control?
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ترامب ونتن ياهو وصفقة «الإنجيليين» الصهاينة على أسوار غزة

مارس 30, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني

رغم انكسارهما المريع على أرض الميدان وتساقط وريقات التوت التي سترت بعض عوراتهما السياسية الفاضحة لفترة من الزمن فإنّ ثنائي الجريمة والإرهاب المنظم في كلّ من واشنطن وتل أبيب يسعيان جاهدين لإنقاذ ما تبقى لهما من سمعة لدى جمهور الاحتلال الانجلو ساكسوني لكلّ من أرض اللاتين والعرب!

وفي هذا السياق، ليس من قبيل الصدفة أن يأتي تقرير المحقق الأميركي الخاص، ميللر، في موضوع حملة ترامب الانتخابية والتدخل الروسي المزعوم لدعمها، ليبرَّأ ترامب من تهمة التخابر مع روسيا لمصلحة حملته الانتخابية، بالتزامن مع صدور قرار ترامب نفسه، المتهم السابق بالتآمر، بالاعتراف بـ «السيادة الإسرائيلية» على الجولان السوري المحتلّ…!

لقد كانت صفقة كبرى، بين ترامب والإنجيليين المتصهينين في الولايات المتحدة، وعددهم بالملايين، ترتكز الى أمرين أساسيين هما:

أولاً: أن يقوم ترامب بتقديم كلّ الدعم الممكن لضمان نجاح نتن ياهو في الانتخابات الإسرائيلية المقبلة، يوم 9/4/2019، وذلك لتفادي محاكمته وإيداعه السجن بعد إدانته بالتهم الموجهة إليه من قبل القضاء الإسرائيلي، وعلى رأسها تهمة الخيانة العظمى، المتعلقة بارتشائه مقابل الموافقة «الإسرائيلية» على بيع شركة كروب تيسِن الألمانية خمس غواصات، من طراز دولفين، لمصر والتي تصنّعها هذه الشركة الألمانية.

ثانياً: أن يقوم ترامب بتنفيذ السياسات التي يرسمها ممثلو «الإنجيليون الأميركيون « في الإدارة الأميركية المحافظون الجدد مقابل العمل على إنجاحه في الانتخابات الأميركية المقبلة سنة 2020.

وبكلمات أخرى فقد تمّ الاتفاق بين الطرفين على إنقاذ نتن ياهو اللاعب الصغير، ودونالد ترامب اللاعب الأكبر، من السجن، كلّ بسبب التهم الموجهة إليه، وذلك عبر الاتفاق بين القوى المشار اليها أعلاه، مضافاً إليها الدولة العميقة في الولايات المتحدة، على قيام الرئيس الأميركي بتنفيذ سلسلة خطوات تحافظ على مصالح رأس المال الدولي النفط والسلاح والامتثال أكثر فأكثر لما تقرره دوائر رأس المال هذه.

اذن بالإمكان القول إنّ ترامب قد أنقذ نفسه حتى اللحظة، ولكن إنقاذ حارس القاعدة العسكرية الأميركية على أرض فلسطين، بنيامين نتن ياهو، غير مضمون حتى الآن، على الرغم من كلّ الاستعراضات البهلوانية الحمقاء التي يرتكبها، سواء من خلال عمليات القصف الجوي والمدفعي على قطاع غزة، او من خلال محاولات الإغارة الفاشلة على أهداف عسكرية في سورية، كما حدث في الساعات الماضية شمال شرق حلب وقبلها في محيط دمشق، الى جانب ما يعلنه نتن ياهو وآلته الإعلامية الاستخبارية عن فتوحاته في مشيخات النفط الأعرابية، والتي يحاول من خلالها كلّ هذه المسرحيات مجتمعة وضع الناخب الإسرائيلي أمام خيارين لا ثالث لهما:

الأول: هو انتخاب نتن ياهو الذي سيضمن أمن «إسرائيل»، واستمرار «الإسرائيليين» في الحياة في «دولتهم».

الثاني: هو عدم انتخاب نتن ياهو ومواجهة الموت على يد المقاومة الفلسطينية وحزب الله وإيران وتدمير «دولة إسرائيل»…!

أما سبب إصرار نتن ياهو ومَن يقف وراءه على النجاح في الانتخابات فهو محاولة حماية رئيس العصابة الحالي من دخول السجن، خاصة أنّ القضاء «الإسرائيلي» سيصدر يوم 9/4/2019 مذكرة يمنع بموجبها نتن ياهو من مغادرة البلاد حتى الإعلان الرسمي، من قبل المحكمة المختصة، عن نتيجة الانتخابات الإسرائيلية. فإذا لم ينجح نتن ياهو في هذه الانتخابات فسيتمّ توقيفه وإخضاعه للمحاكمة على الفور. أما إذا نجح في الانتخابات وفاز بفرصة تشكيل الحكومة فسيكون وقتها لكلّ حادث حديث.

فصراع الجنرالات في تل أبيب على بقايا سلطة الجريمة لن يتوقف حتى نهاية الكيان الغاصب والتي باتت أقرب من أي وقت مضى..!

إنهم يرونه بعيداً ونراه قريباً.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله.

Why is ‘Cultural Marxism’ so offensive?

March 30, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

Cultural M.png

BY Gilad Atzmon

Earlier this week former Brexit minister Suella Braverman referred to ‘Cultural Marxism’ in a speech. All hell broke loose immediately. The former minister was attacked by the usual Jewish and Zionist pressure groups, ranging from The Board of Deputies (BOD) to Hope not Hate to the usual compromised Labour politicians.  However, unlike our caricature of an opposition leader who grovels on demand, Mrs Braverman kept her dignity intact. She didn’t see any point to retract, apologise or promise not to repeat the phrase as the BOD demanded.

One may wonder why ‘Cultural Marxism’ is so offensive to some?

Because ‘Cultural Marxism’ is obviously truthful and precise in its capacity to encapsulate a crucial and disastrous transition in the evolvement of 20th century Left thinking.

As opposed to traditional Marxism that theorizes over the necessary condition toward social change by means of class struggle, ‘Cultural Marxism’ aims to introduce a change by cultural shift. At a certain stage some (neo) marxists and socialists were clever and honest enough to accept that the revolution wasn’t going to happen. The working class couldn’t be bothered and even if they could, they were too busy attending their jobs. The revolution had to be facilitated by different means.

Antonio Gramsci, probably the father figure of cultural Marxist thought, contended that bourgeois hegemony was reproduced in cultural life through the media, academia and religious institutions to ‘manufacture consent’ and legitimacy. The proletarian struggle for control of the means of production, according to Gramsci, could only succeed once an alternative culture replaces the bourgeois cultural hegemony. For Gramsci it was a ‘counter-hegemonic’ struggle – advancing alternatives to dominant ideas of what is normal and legitimate.

Gramsci didn’t see his desired cultural shift materialising. He died prematurely, jailed in Mussolini’s Italy. However, Gramsci’s ideas were adopted and developed by a list of thinkers including Wilhelm Reich and the Frankfurt School’s leading icons: Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Max Horkheimer, Erich Fromm and others. As it seems, these thinkers who have had a tremendous impact on contemporary Left and progressive thinking have something in common: they were Jews of Germanic origin.

By now the picture starts to become clear. The contemporary Left is dominated by a Jewish-influenced school of thought that preaches a constant struggle against hegemonic discourses such as traditional family values, the church, the male, the ‘white’ and so on. This school of thought also advocates against elementary liberties such as freedom of speech, evidenced by the popularity of no-platforming. It is hardly a secret that the above school of thought is a complete dismissal of every conservative value and Mrs Braverman was both astute and correct in calling a spade a spade: “as Conservatives, we are engaged in a battle against cultural Marxism…”

Mrs Braverman was accused of ‘anti-Semitism,’ despite the fact that she didn’t refer to Jews. By their unwitty actions, once again, Jewish pressure groups actually admitted that ‘Cultural Marxism is indeed a Jewish-influenced school of thought, otherwise it is impossible to conceive what was anti-Semitic in Braverman’s statement.  Braverman was also blamed for repeating a ‘phrase used by mass murderer Anders Breivik,” as if referring to a term used by a mass murderer is an approval of a murderous act.

I guess that this is the right point to introduce a twist into this entire saga. It is crucial to mention that the right-wing thinkers who popularised the usage of ‘Cultural Marxism’ were actually Jewish and even ultra-Zionists. The first amongst them is Andrew Breitbart, who was dedicated to the exposing of the Neo-Marxist menace.  Not far behind him in his attack is the horrid right wing ultra-Zionist David Horowitz. It is not exactly a secret that in his manifesto Breivik refers to David Horowitz’s Freedom Centre. For those who fail to remember, Breivik also quoted Jewish writer Melanie Philips’ criticism of Neo Marxist’s attitude to immigration:   “It (immigration) was a politically motivated attempt by ministers to transform the fundamental make-up and identity of this country (Britain). It was done to destroy the right of the British people to live in a society defined by a common history, religion, law, language and traditions.” (Melanie Phillips, as quoted by mass murderer, Anders Breivik, in his manifesto).

Andrew Breitbart is the man who popularised the phrase ‘cultural marxism.’

I didn’t see Jewish pressure groups, the BOD, Hope not Hate or Labour MPs trying to silence Andrew Breitbart, David Horowitz or Melanie Philips. I guess that Jews and Zionists controlling the opposition and criticising Cultural Marxism must be a kosher adventure.

In Being in Time I argue that it isn’t totally surprising that Jews often dominate the dissent to Jewish cultural and ideological symptoms.  If choseness, for instance, is a Jewish political/cultural symptom, it may as well be possible that self-hatred and even universalism are just metaphysical antibodies. If Cultural Marxism is a Jewish-influenced school of thought, it shouldn’t take us by complete surprise that it is also Jewish writers such as Horowitz, Philips and Breitbart who bring the anti antidotes to light.

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.


Million-Person March Sets off in Gaza on Land Day.. Israeli occupation Forces Shot Dead Palestinian Youth


Saturday, 30 March 2019

GAZA – Mohammad Jihad Saad, 20, became the first casualty of the first anniversary of the March of Return protests in Gaza when he died this morning after being hit by shrapnel in the head fired by Israeli occupationn soldiers deployed on the other side of the Gaza fence with Israel, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Wafa news agency reported.

WAFA correspondent in Gaza said Saad was hit east of Gaza City and was taken to Shifa hospital where he was declared dead.

A million-person protest set off  today marking Land Day and the first anniversary of the launch of the March of Return protests in which more than 250 Palestinians were martyred and over 10,000 injured by Israel army gunfire.

The National Committee for Breaking the Siege had called for this million-person march.

“The Great March of Return” had begun on March 30th, 2018, by thousands of Gazans demanding the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their original homeland.

According to Maan news agency, thousands of Palestinians arrived at the eastern frontiers two hours earlier than the scheduled time for protests, waving Palestinian flags and chanting slogans.

The National Committee for Breaking the Siege deployed hundreds of volunteers to help maintain the safety of protesters.

Comprehensive strike was observed across all cities and refugee camps of the Gaza Strip upon call by the committee; stores and shops closed their doors while schools and universities were suspended.

Three Palestinians injured by Israeli forces near Ramallah

In Ramallah,at least three Palestinians were injured today from rubber-coated metal bullets after Israeli soldiers attacked a nonviolent march at the northern entrance to Ramallah in the occupied West Bank commemorating the 43rd anniversary of Land Day.

Israeli soldiers fired metal rounds and teargas canisters at the protesters who gathered near an Israeli military checkpoint at the entrance to Ramallah, injuring three of them by rubber bullets and causing many cases of suffocation from gas inhalation.

WAFA correspondent said the soldiers also targeted journalists and medics in the area and showered them with tear gas.

Meanwhile, Israeli army dispersed dozens of protesters who demonstrated at Huwwara checkpoint, south of Nablus in the north of the West Bank, protesting army targeting of medical staff and ambulances while attending to the wounded during protests.

Several of the protesters sustained suffocation from gas inhalation.

Land Day An Integral Part of Palestinians’ Political Life: Iran

Meanwhile in Tehran,  Iran’s Foreign Ministry has issued a statement on the occasion of the Land Day of Palestine, saying that the day is an “integral part” of Palestinians’ political life and has played a key role in keeping alive their resistance against the occupation of the Zionist eney, Tasnim news Agency reported.

The Palestinian Land Day is an annual event to mark the killing of six Palestinians by Israeli forces during mass protests against Israel’s seizure of their land in 1976.

In late March 1976, Israeli troops killed six Palestinians, wounded 100 others and detained hundreds more who had held peaceful demonstrations against Israel’s confiscation of 21,000 dunams (5,189 acres) of their land. Palestinians, both at home and overseas, have been marking the event known as the Land Day with rallies and remembrance ever since.

Hamda Mustafa

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Gazans stage general strike amid Land Day protests

March 30, 2019

Protesters gather to attend "Great March of Return" and "Palestinian Land Day" demonstrations at Israel-Gaza border located in eastern Khan Yunis, Gaza on March 30, 2019 [Ashraf Amra / Anadolu Agency]

Protesters gather to attend “Great March of Return” and “Palestinian Land Day” demonstrations at Israel-Gaza border located in eastern Khan Yunis, Gaza on March 30, 2019 [Ashraf Amra / Anadolu Agency]

Palestinians staged a general strike in the Gaza Strip on Saturday amid planned mass protests marking the Land Day and the first anniversary of rallies against the decades-long Israeli occupation.

Schools, shops and public institutions closed their doors across the blockaded territory, according to an Anadolu Agency correspondent in Gaza.

The general strike comes as thousands of Palestinians began to converge on the Gaza-Israel buffer zone on Saturday to take part in the Land Day rallies, which mark the killing of six people by Israeli forces in 1976 during demonstrations against the seizure of Arab land in Galilee.

 In Pictures: Land Day in Gaza

On Friday, Palestinian resistance groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad warned Israel against attacking protesters during the planned demonstrations.

In the run-up to Saturday’s rallies, the Israeli army has deployed numerous tanks and armored vehicles along the buffer zone with the Gaza Strip.

On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly instructed the army to prepare for the possibility of a “broad” campaign in Gaza.

Nearly 270 Palestinian demonstrators have been killed by Israeli army gunfire since Palestinians began holding regular demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone in March of last year.

Read: Remembering the Great March of Return

Demonstrators demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

Read: Palestinian youth killed in Israel Gaza bombing

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Russian Central Election Commission Publicly Smeared Grudinin and the CPRF


 Translated by Scott Humor, subtitled by Leo

 The Central Election Commission of Russia (CEC) refused all attempts by the Communist Party to bring a former Presidential candidate, Pavel Grudinin, into the Duma. The CEC did this by adhering to the letter of the law they themselves implemented.

The Communist Party has long been called the “Commercial Party of Russia” by the social media. And witnessing the efforts of the CPRF longtime leader Gennady Zyuganov pushing a typical oligarch Grudinin into the Duma, it is difficult to disagree with this notion.

After the CEC responded to the tenacity of the head of the “Commercial Party” with a well-reasoned denial of his candidacy, the paid activists and Runet trolls raised hell on the social networks claiming that “the authorities are afraid of Grudinin,” and that they are throwing a wrench in his, otherwise, well-oiled wheel.

Social media activists in this case are not very smart or quick-witted, otherwise they would have watched the CEC video of this very meeting. But I didn’t get lazy, so I watched it and decided to share with you a few fragments.

Here is a speech of one of the members of the Commission debating whether a person who had foreign bank accounts during the registration period can receive the mandate of a state Duma deputy.

*Clip starts*

Please, provide us… Please, provide us with a statute of the law, on the Status of a Member of the Federation Council and a Deputy of the State Duma.

Document on screen

Article 4. Early termination of the powers of a member of the Federation Council and a deputy of the State Duma

1. The powers of a member of the Federation Council and a deputy of the State Duma shall be terminated early in the following cases:

Please, pay special attention to the last sentence. “termination… upon…

B. 3) the establishment of cases involving the opening (existence) of accounts (deposits) and the storage of cash and valuables in foreign banks located outside the territory of the Russian Federation and the ownership and/or use of foreign financial instruments: with respect to a member of the Federation Council –

I underline this point…at the time of the consideration by the legislative (representative) state body of a constituent entity of the Russian Federation of the member’s nomination for the conferral of the powers of a member of the Federation Council or a corresponding nomination for the position of the highest official of a constituent entity of the Russian Federation.

End of document

I emphasize that the powers of a member of the State Duma or the Federation Council shall be terminated early in the following cases:

If during the period when he [Grudinin] was registered as one of the candidates for the election of deputes of the State Duma, I underline this, in the period of his registration as a candidate, it was established that his accounts weren’t closed, and had ready cash storing in foreign banks located outside of Russia. He also used other financial instruments.

Not right now, as he’s working as a deputy. But back then, when he was registering as a candidate.

I also want to remind you one phrase, with your permission I will read it: ‘We are fighting against corruption, our campaign which has been around for almost 10 years, we’re fighting against the transfer of our wealth abroad, and in this context this law is highly important. Furthermore, the Western influence on our government managerial structures has also be considered. Partially, this problem is solved by this very important law. I repeat, this law is, undoubtedly, anti-corruption measure. In addition, if our ministers, State Duma deputies have their money here, in Russian banks, it means that our economic situation is stable. But, this is also a precedent. We’re probably for the first time introducing limitations not on the ordinary citizens of Russia, not for the country as a whole, but for ourselves nevertheless,’ End quote.

I had just quoted the statement made by the member of the CPRF Anatoly Lokot. The CPRF fraction of the Duma voted for this law almost unanimously, with only one member of the fraction voting against it. This law is not about our future, but about our past. That every one our actions leaves a footprint, and if a candidate left those footprints, this law allows us to revisit them.”

*End of clip*

I can’t find a word for this beautiful performance other than “well done.” Do you imagine the humor of this situation? There is a party that has an audacity to call itself a “Communist Party.” To somehow justify this name, the party actively supports the bill to ban foreign accounts for State Duma deputies.

But here comes a moment of truth: the party registers themselves a candidate that’s an oligarch, who at the time of registration, owned bank accounts abroad. In addition, he lied publicly that he didn’t own anything. And now these “damned” CEC officials are forced to point out this fact and evidence to these so-called Communists. Showing the evidence makes it not unfounded.

*Clip starts*

Now, let’s revisit the question if there was anything in the past that prevent this candidate from becoming a deputy? Please, show the first [screenshot] slide. When the Prosecutor General office made a request to the Duma deputy to resign, we received this information, including the letter of one of those who were against appointment of Pavel Grudinin. The letter from the Prosecutor General official wasn’t directed to us, so it wasn’t a document for us to act upon. We forwarded their letter to the Federal Tax Authorities. I have to remind you that Pavel Grudinin during the period of his registration made the following statement (on the screen) to the CEC: I don’t own any foreign accounts, I don’t own any foreign properties, and in general I am pure as an angel.

Next slide, please. The CEC don’t have it’s own mechanism to investigate the potential candidates and their claims, so the CEC registered Pavel Grudinin as a candidate. After the Federal Tax Authorities conducted their own investigation, we received the following information.

Next slide, please. (8 seconds of no response.) Are you pausing it on purpose? (In the background) – Well yeah, it [computer freeze] doesn’t want to participate. It’s alright, it’ll work around itself.

We received the information about these nine foreign bank accounts… Please, continue the slide. A part of them were closed on August 19, 2016, so significantly past the time when he wrote the statement [of not having financial assets abroad], while others stayed opened till January 5, 2018. Question. Should we forget about the law that was adopted unanimously by the State Duma that any deputy violating this abroad banks law will be immediately chased away [fired] from the Duma?

Next slide, please. If we right now make a decision to allow Grudinin to receive a mandate of the Duma deputy, you would have to sack him the following day. Apart from this, it turns out that with this company [BONTRO LTD], Pavel Nikolayevich never provided any information about the company registered in Belize. (Information received from the Belize tax authorities.) Not during the time of the State Duma elections, neither when he was a candidate in the 2018 presidential election. And this company, until December 31, 2017, was 100% under his ownership. Grudinin has never filed any trust declarations with the Russian Tax Authorities. It’s possible that he still owns this company. Are we also going to pretend that it’s not there and purposely miss it?”

*End of clip*

Checkmate to a fake comrade from the “Commercial party.” No, I understand, of course, that you are used to oscillate with the general political line, which is a backbreaking even for a snake. But with Grudinin the CPRF publicly disgraced itself, when they registered this plantation owner as their candidate.

Quoting journalist Alexander Rogers, who wrote lucidly about what constitutes a so-called “Lenin Sovkhoz”:

Pavel Nikolayevich Grudinin officially owns 42.87% of shares of JSC ‘Lenin State Farm’. The Belizean offshore company BONTRO Ltd., owned by HIM, owns 99% of the shares of LLC Universal Financial Company, which owns another 20% of the shares of the state farm. Thus, Grudinin alone owns 62.87% of shares of JSC ‘Lenin State Farm’. His relatives and friends own another 36.13% of the shares. Together it is 99% of shares of the ‘state farm’. In this connection, I have a logical question: what about ‘everything for the people’ and ‘people’s enterprise’? To those very people, the ‘Communist’ Grudinin left as much as a whole 1%? The breadwinner! The benefactor! A father!”

Yes, yes. Bontro Ltd. is the same company which ownership by Grudinin was discovered by the CEC only after the tax authorities’ investigation.

And now this person who lied about even the so-called “collective farm,” and about his foreign bank accounts, fake Communists are trying to get him into the State Duma, in violation of the law they themselves supported

Who said this is the theater of absurdity? These are the realities of modern sort of-Communism. From which the Communism is a privately owned brand.

If the CEC somehow broke the law having refused to transfer of the Duma mandate to Grudinin, then let the Left instead of complaining on the Internet, to go and prove this in court. Actually, the Commission told them this openly.

*Clip starts*

The CEC works in the legal framework and not in some fantasy world. We don’t have the luxury to fantasize, because any of our decisions can be challenged in court, that’s why we are trying not make mistakes even in minor issues. If you doubt the fairness of our decision, you can go to court. The CEC for the past few years has not lost even one lawsuit. Not one.”

*End of Clip*


However, they may even decide to sue. Because they are already in such a degree of madness that any option is possible. But they will get defeated again. That is, they will simply begin to publicly smear what they have done in their pants in the situation with Grudinin on their heads.

The Communist Party of Russia has long needed to rename themselves the “Koprofazhsky Party of Russia.” As for the successors of Zyuganov, call the actor who played Pakhom in the legendary “The Green Elephant” (1999 film).


From the translator

To get an idea what kind of property is the Lenin Sovhoz in Moscow 99% owned by Grudinin and his family, watch this video. Two medieval castle looking buildings are kindergartens.

And photos on their Instagram

Inside 548 School. Unlike public schools in the US, schools in Russia are combined with elementary, middle and high school students studying in the same building.

How electoral fraud became the cornerstone of Ukraine’s 2019 presidential election

March 29, 2019

by Ollie Richardson for The Saker Blog

How electoral fraud became the cornerstone of Ukraine’s 2019 presidential election

Of course, it comes as no surprise that both state and independent media are currently interested in the 2019 Ukrainian presidential election, scheduled to take place on March 31st. But if we are to be honest, this interest isn’t so much caused by an eager anticipation vis-a-vis the result. After all, nothing will change much in Ukraine after the election, or rather – the IMF will continue to pick the flesh from the state’s rotten bones. Concerning the more actual reason for this interest, the March 28th episode of the RT show “World’s Apart”, hosted by Oksana Boyko, is very indicative indeed.

Here we see the least pro-“Ukrainism” politician in Ukraine, Viktor Medvedchuk (take note: I don’t use the expression “pro-Russia” for a reason – there is no actual political opposition in Ukraine) explain to the host: “Ukraine’s authorities are using their resources to bribe voters in preparation for the March 31 election! Everyone knows it, including Russia and the US!” Of course, Medvedchuk is telling the truth here – the presidential election is a competition between oligarchs, where law enforcement, Banderist militants, and the judicial system are willing to sell their services to the highest bidder. But what Medvedchuk doesn’t mention is HOW this is happening. Let’s try to address this question – briefly, but by no means exhaustedly, since this is an article and not a book – using facts.

Absolute basics of the voting system

The Ukrainian electoral process is governed by the “Law On the Presidential Election”, which stipulates that both state and private media must provide balanced coverage of candidates. In addition, the law stipulates that state media should provide free airtime and print space for all participants in the pre-election race. The actual voting process is managed by the Central Election Commission, which in turn manages the District and Precinct Election Commissions. The members of these commissions are nominated by political parties and voted on. Voter registration takes place on the basis of the centralized State Voter Register (electronic). The preliminary list of voters for the 2019 presidential election totalled 35,602,855 citizens (as of December 31st, 2018).

Internally displaced persons

As is known, the government in Kiev, in violation of international treaties ratified by Ukraine, shut down the voting stations on the territory of Russia. This means that 3,000,000 Ukrainians who currently live in Russia will not be able to participate in the presidential election on March 31st unless they travel to the Embassies of Ukraine in Georgia, Kazakhstan, or Finland. In other words, voter abstention will be quite high. Why was this done? Because Poroshenko understood that they wouldn’t vote for him and he could thus falsify the ballot and “vote” for himself on behalf of these people.

This is illegal: the right of citizens to participate in political life is enshrined in Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in Article 38 of the Constitution of Ukraine, which guarantees citizens the right to take part in the administration of state affairs and in nationwide and local referenda, and also to freely choose and elect state authorities and local governments.

Voter bribery schemes

The next flagrant act of electoral fraud is known in Ukraine as “webs” (concerning Poroshenko) or “pyramids” (concerning Tymoshenko). During the electoral campaign Petro Poroshenko and Yuliya Tymoshenko have exchanged mutual accusations of voter bribery, in a battle for “legitimacy” in the media space. The essence of this multi-stage scheme is that, under the guise of carrying out a “sociological survey” (more info here), voters are given financial incentives to vote for this or that candidate. The fine details are not really important and for most are probably boring, but what’s most important here is that the Interior Minister Arsen Avakov (who, before Maidan, supported the Russian world) issued an artificial public warning against the use of these schemes as a warning to Poroshenko, as if to say “I am negotiating with Tymoshenko concerning my role in any post-election government, so if you can’t trump what she is offering me, I will continue to send my ‘titushki’ to your campaign rallies” (more about this later).

In retaliation, Poroshenko used his ally Yury Lutsenko – the Prosecutor-General – to put pressure on Tymoshenko’s party by summoning its members for interrogation in the SBU. Poroshenko also suddenly started to promise to pay people their owed pensions and subsidies, as well as other financial hooks.

This is illegal: Part 6 of Article 64 of the Election Law stipulates that the conclusion of paid contracts for electoral campaigning with voters at the expense of the election fund is banned. In this case, under the guise of sociological research, hidden campaign activities are actually carried out outside the framework of the expenses of the electoral fund.

Election commission oddities

Perhaps the most shocking, yet least visible aspect of illegal electoral activity in Ukraine is the work of the District and Precinct Election Commissions. As I alluded to above, the Central Election Commission (whose members are biased in favour of Poroshenko) appoints the District Election Commissions, which in turn appoints the Precinct Election Commissions. The composition of District Election Commissions should include at least 12 members. The formation of 199 District Election Commissions did take place before the deadline established by law – February 18th. But this is where the “correctness” of the commissions’ work ends. Firstly, according to the information released by the Central Election Commission, about 65.7% of the persons nominated by political parties to work in commissions have previous experience in the election commission (in the previous presidential election it was 71%).

Secondly, members nominated by a number of election candidates worked for other candidates in the previous elections. Thus, several members of District Election Commissions who in 2014 worked for Yuliya Tymoshenko, in the elections of 2019 were submitted by the little-known candidates Nikolay Gaber and Andrey Novak – 7 and 5 people respectively; 4 out of 8 new members of District Election Commissions nominated by Roman Nasirov worked at the District Election Commissions as representatives of Petro Poroshenko in 2014; 8 members of District Election Commissions from the “UDAR” party (the “Bloc of Petro Poroshenko” was created on its foundations in 2014) represent the interests of the candidate Yuliya Litvinenko in the 2019 elections. In other words, there are a lot of fake candidates who are in cahoots with the main candidates and serve as proxies. The most vulgar example of this is the fact that a Mr Yury Tymoshenko, who evidently is a stooge of Poroshenko, was registered by the Central Election Commission (also a stooge of Poroshenko – more on this later) as a candidate for the presidency, meaning that on the ballot paper there will be the initials “Y. Tymoshenko” for Yuliya Tymoshenko and “Yu. Tymoshenko” for Yury Tymoshenko, which will confuse voters a lot, especially the elderly. This also applies to billboards, where Yury Tymoshenko also tried to troll Yuliya Tymoshenko.

Thirdly, Nazi groups who take orders from the highest bidder (either Kolomoisky, whose is behind Vladimir Zelensky and Yuliya Tymoshenko, or Poroshenko) have already come to election commissions and threatened the staff. For example, on February 21st in Dnepropetrovsk Nazis from the “C14” group came to district election commission No. 24 and obstructed its work. As a result, a significant amount of the DEC members refused to or simply did not take part in the meeting. “C14” did not allow the commission’s Chairperson to perform any actions with respect to the commission. “C14” said that the head of the commission is “pro-Russia” and has a “separatist” position. Another example: Nazis from the “National Druzhina” group – who somehow were given “observer” status by the Central Election Commission – openly threatened to use force at voting stations on election day against alleged “threats”.

Fourthly, district commissions sometimes refuse to let official election observers attend meetings, which is illegal. For example, in Kharkov a member of the commission actually confiscated the observers ID card and rudely told him to leave.

Fifthly, the members of district election commissions don’t fully understand how the electronic voting system works nor do they understand the process of including SBU officers in special working groups. In simple terms, the fact that members of the SBU – which is close to Poroshenko and harasses Tymoshenko – by law have to take part in the electoral process is worrying in itself and raises questions about the objectiveness of the election itself. The video below from Zaporozhye simply serves as proof of the district commission’s incompetence, and it’s not expected that the reader learns Russian and understands every single detail of a district election commission meeting.

Sixthly, concerning the work of precinct election commissions, the picture is no less grim. The process of forming these commissions and distributing leadership positions is riddled with problems – the main one of which is the frequent change of their composition and the absence of members at the first meeting and is caused by the record high number of candidates (39), many of which are fake proxies. Concerning the high volume of commission staff resignation and replacement (mostly due to the lack of salary), the Deputy Head of the Central Election Commission (CEC) Evgeny Radchenko stated at a press conference on March 15th that “this means that both the presidential candidates and members of commissions don’t have a very responsible approach to their duties. In fact, the number of changes we have is glaring. Our leaders have been changed 139 times in 199 territorial districts, deputies were replaced 79 times, and more than 120 secretaries were replaced. This does not allow the district election commissions to properly perform their duties”.

Another problem encountered in precinct election commissions is when the head of the DEC, before approving precinct commissions, reports that some candidates for precinct commissions put forward their candidature from two presidential election candidates at the same time, which is a violation of the law. Here is another video (Kharkov) that simply serves as proof of the incompetence of the precinct commissions – even the counting of raised hands is botched:

Billboard wars

Besides the battles during TV debates on in the media, there is also the battle of billboards. What’s most interesting here is that Poroshenko’s campaign billboards remain mostly untouched (I am not aware of any incidents where his outdoor adverts have been damaged), whilst everybody else’s are either set on fire or simply defaced. As usual, it is the Nazi groups like “C14” (pro-Poroshenko) and “National Corpus” (pro-Avakov/Kolomoisky) that are the culprits, and they even brag about it on social media. The following are merely a handful of examples:

Candidate Evgeny Murayev:

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Anatoly Gritsenko:

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Ilya Kiva:

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Yuliya Tymoshenko:

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Aleksandr Vilkul:

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In this example “National Corpus” actually boast on social media about setting fire to Vilkul’s billboard:

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Yury Boyko:

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Of course, in some cases it might look like just a minor blemish, but the fact remains that it is a crime and the police should (most of the time they don’t, election observers have to force them to come to the scene and document it) record it and find the culprit.

Poroshenko’s campaign rallies

Over the past 4 weeks Petro Poroshenko has made many visits to different regions for the purpose of carrying out pre-election campaigning. Normally the agenda for these visits consists of the following: a) participation in a Regional Development Council meeting; b) a walk to a stage prepared for his speech; c) a walk back to his transport. Details about what happens during his walks and speeches can be found here, but what is most flagrant here is the way in which he uses his position as president to carry out his electoral campaign. In addition to this, information of a promotional nature about Poroshenko’s visit is posted on the website of the respective regional state administration (here is an example from the Zhytomyr regional administration).

This is illegal: according to part 15 of article 63 of the Election Law, for candidates for the post of the President of Ukraine who hold state positions, it is forbidden to use office or production meetings for electoral campaigning; according to part 1 of article 64 of the same Law, the implementation of campaigning by representatives of executive authorities and local government, law enforcement bodies and courts, and their officials during working hours is not permitted; and according to part 20 of article 64, it is prohibited to use the premises of state and local government bodies for electoral campaigning and to place campaign materials and political advertising inside of them (part 21 of article 64).

I have also heard reports of the police preventing official election observers (Ukrainians, not foreigners) from attending Poroshenko’s pre-election rallies.

This is illegal: according to part 1 of article 157 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine entitled “Obstruction of the exercise of the right to vote or the right to participate in a referendum, as well as the work of an election commission or a referendum commission, or the activities of an official observer” stipulates criminal liability for the obstruction of the activities of an official observer in the exercise of their powers.

Of course, the US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch will never speak about these violations, nor will Washington D.C. as a whole, since doing so would further bring their tale about a “democratic, post-Maidan Ukraine” into disrepute. After the constitution was violently raped in February 2014 there is no going back now. One violation of the law must be committed in order to cover up the next one. One more debt must be taken out in order to pay off the last one. And after all, what is an election today, in 2019, in the framework of so-called “liberal democracy”? It is a competition to see who can look the most cute and fluffy in the media. The outcome is always the same though. The illusion of “independence” and “sovereignty” shatters the moment the US Embassy dismisses the “son of a bitch” Prosecutor-General.


The new Grand Strategy of the United States


by Thierry Meyssan

Many people think that the United States is very active, but does not succeed in much. For example, it is said that its wars in the Greater Middle East are a succession of failures. But for Thierry Meyssan, the USA has a coherent military, commercial and diplomatic strategy. According to its own objectives, it advances patiently, and is crowned with success.
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The designers of the US Grand Strategy – Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his advisor, Admiral Arthur Cebrowski; President Donald Trump and his commercial advisor Peter Navarro; and finally Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his advisor Francis Fannon.

It is commonly believed in the United States that the country has no Grand Strategy since the end of the Cold War.

A Grand Strategy is a vision of the world that one seeks to impose, and that all administrations must respect. So, even if you lose in one particular theatre of war, the fight continues in others, and finally ends in triumph. At the end of the Second World War, Washington chose to follow the directives set by ambassador George Keenan in his famous diplomatic telegramme. It proposed describing an alleged Soviet expansionism in order to justify containment of the USSR. Indeed, although the USA had lost the wars in Korea and Vietnam, it finished by prevailing.

It is very rare to be able to rethink a Grand Strategy, even if there were others during that period, in particular, with Charles De Gaulle in France.

Over the last eighteen years, Washington has been able to progressively set new objectives and new tactics with which to attain them.

1991-2001: a period of uncertainty

When the Soviet Union collapsed on 25 December 1991, Father Bush’s USA supposed that they no longer had any rivals. The victorious President by default demobilised 1 million soldiers and imagined a world of peace and prosperity. He liberalised the transfer of capitals so that the capitalists would be able to get richer and, he believed, thus enrich their fellow citizens.

However, capitalism is not a political project, but a means of making money. The major US businesses – not the federal state – therefore allied themselves with the Chinese Communist Party (the reason for Deng Xiaoping’s famous « journey to the South »). They delocalised their businesses with very low added value from the West to China, where the workers were uneducated, but their wages were on average 20 times lower. The long process of the de-industrialisation of the West had begun.

In order to manage its transnational affairs, the Grand Capital moved its assets to countries with low taxation rates, where it realised that it could avoid its social responsibilities. These countries, whose fiscal exemption and discretion are indispensable for international commerce, suddenly found themselves swept along on a gigantic wave of fiscal optimisation, even a massive fraud system, from which they benefited in silence. The reign of Finance over the economy was beginning.

Military Strategy

In 2001, Secretary for Defense and permanent member of the « Continuity of Government ») [1] Donald Rumsfeld, created the Office of Force Transformation, which he handed to Admiral Arthur Cebrowski. This man had already computerised the armies, and was now set to modify their mission.

Without the Soviet Union, the world had become unipolar, which is to say no longer governed by the Security Council, but by the United States alone. In order to maintain its dominant position, it was obliged to « lose some to gain more », in other words, to divide Humanity in two. On one side, the stable states, meaning the members of the G8 – Russia included – and their allies), and on the other side, the rest of the world, viewed as a simple reservoir of natural resources. Washington no longer considered access to these resources as vital for itself, but intended for them to become accessible to the stable states only by permission of the USA. From that point on, it would be necessary to destroy – preventively – all the state structures in these reservoirs of resources, so that no-one could either challenge the will of the top world power, or do without it [2].

Since then, this strategy has been implemented ceaselessly. It began in the Greater Middle East (Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Yemen). However, contrary to what had been announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, (Pivot to Asia), it was not continued into the Far East, due to the military development of China, but in the Caribbean Basin (Venezuela, Nicaragua).

Diplomatic Strategy

In 2012, President Barack Obama took up the leitmotiv of the Republican Party and made the exploitation of oil and gas by hydraulic fracturing a national priority. Within a few years, the United States multiplied its investments and became the world’s major producer of hydrocarbons, reversing the paradigms of international relations. In 2018, the ex-director of the oil equipment provider Sentry International, Mike Pompeo, became the director of the CIA , then Secretary of State. He created the Bureau of Energy Resources, which he handed to Francis Fannon. The BER is the equivalent of what the Office of Force Transformation had been for the Pentagon. He set up a policy which was entirely concentrated on taking control of the world market for hydrocarbons [3]. To do so, he imagined a new type of alliance, like those of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific region. It was no longer a case of creating military blocs like the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quads), but organising these alliances around objectives of economic growth, on the basis of guaranteed access to sources of energy.

This concept was integrated into the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy. It was no longer a case of grabbing the hydrocarbons from the rest of the world (Washington has absolutely no need of them), but to determine who may have them to use for their own development, and who will be deprived of them. This is a total reversal of the doctrine of the rarefaction of oil, promoted by the Rockefellers and the Club of Rome since the 1960’s, then by Dick Cheney’s National Energy Policy Development Group. From then on, the United States decided that not only had oil not disappeared, but that despite the drastic increase in demand, Humanity had enough to last at least another century.

Using many different pretexts, Pompeo has blocked Iran’s access to the world market, then that of Venezuela, and finally, has maintained US troops in the East of Syria to prevent anyone from exploiting the oil fields that have been discovered there [4]. Simultaneously, he is increasing pressure on the European Union to give up on the Russian gas pipeline Nord Steam 2 and is also pressuring Turkey to give up Turkish Stream.

Commercial Strategy

In 2017, President Donald Trump attempted to repatriate some of the jobs which had been delocalised from the United States to Asia and the European Union. Basing himself on the advice of left-wing economist Peter Navarro [5], he put an end to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement. At the same time, he set prohibitive Customs taxes on German cars and most Chinese products. He completed these with a fiscal reform which encouraged the repatriation of capital. This policy has already enabled the re-balancing of commerce and the relaunching of the job market.

The military, economic and diplomatic systems are now complete. Each chapter is articulated with the others. Everyone knows what they have to do.

The main force of this new Grand Strategy resides in the fact that it has not been understood by the elites of the rest of the world. Washington therefore retains the effect of surprise, reinforced by the deliberately chaotic communications of Donald Trump. If we look at the facts instead of the Presidential tweets, we note the advance of the United States after the double period of uncertainty under Presidents Clinton and Obama.

Pete Kimberley

[1] The Continuity of Government is a US instance created by President Eisenhower during the Cold War and is still effective. Its mission is to ensure the continuity of the State in case the Executive is vacated, in other words, in case of the death of the President, the Vice-President and the presidents of the assemblies during a nuclear war. Its precise composition is in principle a secret, although it enjoys extremely important means.

[2] This strategy was popularised by Cebrowski’s assistant, Thomas Barnett. The Pentagon’s New Map, Thomas P. M. Barnett, Putnam Publishing Group, 2004.

[3] “Mike Pompeo Address at CERAWeek”, by Mike Pompeo, Voltaire Network, 12 March 2019.

[4] Yesterday evening, the US Treasury Department published a warning against any form of oil commerce with Iran or Syria – “Sanctions Risks Related to Petroleum Shipments involving Iran and Syria”, Voltaire Network, 25 March 2019..

[5Death by China, Peter Navarro, Pearson, 2011. Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World, Prometheus Books, 2015.

لماذا صمت المطالبون بالردّ السوري؟

مارس 29, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– دأبت أقلام وأصوات عربية على انتظار أي غارة إسرائيلية تستهدف سورية لإطلاق حملة مبرمجة عنوانها المطالبة بالردّ، واتباع المطالبة بالتشكيك والتشكيك بالسخرية، حتى صار كل عمل عسكري إسرائيلي مصحوباً حكماً بحملات مشابهة. يبدو أحد الفعلين مكمّلاً للآخر، حتى تاريخ إسقاط أول طائرة عسكرية إسرائيلية شاركت في الإغارة على أهداف سورية، وما تلاها من تفعيل وتطوير شبكات الدفاع الجوي السورية ورسم خطوط حمراء عنوانها، ممنوع دخول الأجواء السورية، وجاء سقوط الطائرة الروسية قبالة اللاذقية وتحميل موسكو لـ»إسرائيل» للمسؤولية وقيامها بالإعلان عن تسليم شبكة الـ»أس 300» للجيش السوري، وظهور توازن جديد جدي يقطع الطريق على حملات التشكيك، ويجعل أصحابها سبباً للسخرية.

– قال بعض المحللين الإسرائيليين إن أصحاب حملات المطالبة بالرد السوري من خصوم سورية كانوا سبباً في تسارع الجهوزية السورية للردّ، وجاءت الغارات الأخيرة قرب مطار حلب لتفتح المجال للانتظار، خصوصاً أنها تمّت في مناخات ملبّدة بالغيوم التي تطرح أسئلة كبرى حول فرضيات تتخطّى لعب الصغار الذين ينفذون حملات المطالبة بالردّ، فالغارات تعقب صواريخ سقطت في تل أبيب، ولم ينبس أحد من هؤلاء ببنت شفة. وقالت مصادر فلسطينية للمرة الثانية إن هذه الصواريخ تفعّلت وانطلقت بدون من يطلقها بفعل أحوال الطقس وأراد الإسرائيليون التصديق تفادياً للتصعيد، ولم يخرج أحد من جوقة المطالبة بالرد ليسأل عن سبب عدم الرد الإسرائيلي، وعندما سقط الصاروخ الأول قرب مطار بن غوريون لم يقل أصحاب حملات المطالبة بالردّ أنهم سمعوا السفير السوري في نيويورك يقول إن قصف مطار دمشق قد يستجلب قصفاً لمطار بن غوريون، وعندما تمّت الغارة قرب مطار حلب لم يقل أحد من هؤلاء إنه ربما رد على الصواريخ على تل أبيب، لكن بعض المحللين الإسرائيليين قال ذلك، وبعضهم قال إن ثمة رابطاً بين صواريخ تل ابيب وغارة مطار حلب والإعلان الأميركي عن الاعتراف بضمّ إسرائيل للجولان، وأن القيادة العسكرية الإسرائيلية قلقة من وجود فرضيات تصعيد سورية بالتعاون مع الحلفاء قد تتخطى جبهة الجولان، وأن التصرف الإسرائيلي ينطلق من اعتبار حالة الحرب قائمة، حيث استكشاف وجسّ نبض شبكات الدفاع جزء من هذه الحالة.

– اللافت بعد الغارة الإسرائيلية أن أحداً لم يكتب أو يتحدث عن المطالبة برد سوري، كأن ثمة أمر عمليات يمنع هذه المطالبات، بمثل ما كان أمر عمليات سابق يصدر لتشجيع هذه المطالبات. فصاحب الأمر يستشعر أن ثمة رداً موجعاً وهو لا يريد المشاركة في تبريره عبر المطالبات، بل على العكس يبدو المطلوب هو التحذير من خطورة التصعيد، لخلق مناخ شعبي ضاغط بعدم الرد، ولذلك سنشهد مقالات ومواقف من أصحاب حملات المطالبة بالردّ، تدعو هذه المرة للتهدئة والتروي وتتحدث عن العقلانية وخطورة التهور والذهاب لمواجهة لا تتحملها المنطقة.

– القنوات والصحف التي يشغلها المال الخليجي المتشارك في الحرب على سورية تتلعثم وهي تتحدث عن الغارات الإسرائيلية وعن الصواريخ على تل أبيب وعن يوم المواجهة الشعبية في فلسطين وعن ضمّ الجولان، كأن ثمّة من ابتلع لسانه وبات عاجزاً عن الكلام، والمبادرة اليوم والكلمة الفصل للميدان، ومن يملك القدرة على التحرك في الميدان فريقان فقط، المقاومون والغزاة المحتلون، أما زمن الأدوات الصغيرة فيبتعد كلما بدت خيارات المواجهة أكثر قرباً. فهي لعبة الكبار ولا مكان للصغار فيها.

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Nine-year-old Hawraa Opens Moneybox to Fund Resistance: I Love You, Sayyed!

March 29, 2019

A nine-year-old girl, called Hawraa Nadda, opened her moneybox in which she was raising an amount scheduled to be used to fund a celebration that marks her religious commitment in three months.

Hawraa decided to donate the collected money to fund the Resistance in response to Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah’s call on the party’s supporters to fund the Resistance due to the US financial war against it.

The little girl addressed Sayyed Nasrallah in a letter which explains the initiative and confirms her love to his eminence.

“Take the money, and buy a rocket; I love you, Sayyed!”

Al-Manar TV Channel hosted Hawraa and her parents, hailing her initiative and celebrating her religious commitment by granting her the Hijab uniform.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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