Yemeni Civilians in Crowded Market Pay with Their Lives as Trump Keeps Building Saudi Arsenal

More U.S. Weaponry is headed for Saudi Arabia just as the Kingdom unleashed fresh airstrikes on the crowded Al-Thabit Market in Yemen.

SADAA, YEMEN — At least 14 civilians, including four children, were killed and at least 26 injured when Saudi Arabia targeted the crowded Al-Thabit Market in the border town of Qataber in Yemen’s Sadaa province on Monday. The airstrike occurred at a time when the market was crowded with shoppers. At least 10 of the wounded are in critical condition, according to Yemen’s health minister, who said that the death toll was likely to rise.

The rubble of burnt and mangled fruit and vegetable stalls littered the marketplace on Monday, as rescuers lined up bodies onto nylon sheets near the market while efforts to recover more bodies continued.

Taha Mutawakil, Yemen’s health minister, said more than 20 people, including 12 children, were critically injured and that the remains of some of the victims had not yet been identified. Mutawakil called on international organizations to assist in rescue efforts and to press the Saudi-led Coalition to lift its blockade on the Sana’a International Airport so that the wounded could be sent abroad for treatment.

 Saudi airstrike Al-Thabit Market Yemen

Victims of a Saudi airstrike on the Al-Thabit Market in Yemen. Photo | AMC

Saleh Qorban, the head of the Republican Hospital in nearby Sadaa said that 36 dead and wounded had arrived at the hospital’s emergency room, adding that the hospital, one of the largest in the province, could not cope with the flood of casualties given the lack of facilities, equipment, and medical personnel.

Yemen’s health minister confirmed in the wake of the attack that most of the province’s health centers have already been completely destroyed by Saudi airstrikes as the Riyadh regime presses ahead with its bombing campaign against the province.

Warning | Graphic Content

For its part, Saudi Arabia has accused the Houthis of being behind the attack, claiming they used a Katyusha rocket launcher to attack an area under their own control in order to exact “collective punishment for the people’s rejection of the Houthi rebellion, their realization of the danger of the Houthi project, and its disruption of the social fabric and its igniting of a futile war against the legitimate authority.” Yemeni officials ridiculed these statements, pointing out that previous attacks were initially denied by Saudi Arabia and later confirmed to have been carried out by the Kingdom, including an attack on a school bus full of children.

 

Billions in U.S. weapons headed to Saudi Arabia

This latest Saudi attack against civilians in Yemen comes after the U.S. Senate permitted the controversial sale of $8.1 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia on Monday by failing to override President Donald Trump’s veto of congressional resolutions blocking the deal. The move has increased anger against the United States in Yemen.

Trump sought approval for 22 separate sales of aircraft support maintenance, precision-guided munitions and other weapons and equipment to countries including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.  Both countries are heavily involved in the devastating war in Yemen.

A spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi movement strongly condemned the deadly strikes on the Al-Thabit Market. Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam said, “The Kingdom’s heinous crimes are enjoying the support of the United States.” He was referring to Washington’s arms support and logistical backing for the war.

The Saudi attack could also complicate efforts to implement a UN-sponsored agreement in the port city of Hodeida. The agreement is meant to pave the way for peace talks to end the conflict, which the UN said has triggered the world’s worst humanitarian crisis

Since 2015, international human-rights organizations have documented thousands of unlawful Coalition airstrikes, which have hit homes, markets, hospitals, schools and mosques. Some of these attacks appear to amount to war crimes.

 

Death toll and destruction keeps rising

More than 70,000 people have been killed in Yemen since January 2016 according to a report by the Armed Conflict and Location Event Data Project (ACLED), including 10,000 people who were killed in the past five months alone. The ACLED report recorded 3,155 direct attacks that targeted civilians, resulting in more than 7,000 civilian deaths.

 Saudi airstrike Al-Thabit Market Yemen

Victims of the Saudi airstrike on the the Al-Thabit Marke at the Republican Hospital in Sadaa. Photo | Ahmed AbdulKareem

In retaliation for the Saudi attack on the Al-Thabit Market, Yemen’s Houthi-allied army announced it launched several drone strikes against a military airbase in southwestern Saudi Arabia, targeting war-plane hangars and important military sites.

On Monday, Army spokesman Yahya Sare’e said in the wake of the attack that Yemeni aircraft had also struck the King Khalid Airbase in Saudi Arabia’s Asir region. The counter-raid used Qasef 2K unmanned aerial vehicles, he added.

Feature photo | A man injured by a Saudi airstrike on the Al-Thabit Market in Yemen’s Saada province, July 29, 2019. Naif Rahma | Reuters

Ahmed AbdulKareem is a Yemeni journalist. He covers the war in Yemen for MintPress News as well as local Yemeni media.

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من سيخرج رابحاً في لعبة عض الأصابع: طهران أم واشنطن؟

يوليو 31, 2019

حميدي العبدالله

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بات واضحاً أنّ المواجهة المباشرة بين إيران والولايات المتحدة، رغم مصلحة أطراف عديدة في وقوعها، إلا أنها احتمال ضعيف.

تحلّ الآن محلّ المواجهة المباشرة تبادل اللكمات والتحديات، من مثل إسقاط الطائرة المسيّرة الأميركية واستهداف مواقع إيرانية ولحلفاء إيران في العراق من جهات مجهولة، وتوجيه ضربات لناقلات النفط في الفجيرة من دون إعلان رسمي عن الجهة التي قامت بذلك. وتبادل التحديات اللكمات هذا أقرب إلى أن يكون لعبة عضّ أصابع.

عادة عندما يسلك الصراع والمواجهة مثل هذا المسار يصبح السؤال المطروح والأكثر إلحاحاً: من سيخرج رابحاً في لعبة عضّ الأصابع, واشنطن أم طهران؟ تبدو الإجابة على هذا السؤال ليست إجابة سهلة لأنّ كلا الطرفين يملك أوراق قوّة كبيرة. الولايات المتحدة لديها قوّة عسكرية كبيرة جداً في المنطقة، تتمثل بحاملات الطائرات وقواعد عسكرية منتشرة على امتداد الخليج، وتمتلك حلفاء لديهم قدرات عسكرية ومالية كبيرة مثل الكيان الصهيوني والمملكة العربية السعودية. وتستطيع الولايات المتحدة التي تفرض عقوبات اقتصادية واسعة وغير مسبوقة على إيران، وهيمنتها الدولية التي دفعت دولاً عديدة لتقليص علاقاتها الاقتصادية مع إيران أن تلحق أذى كبيراً بإيران، ربما أقسى من ذلك الأذى الذي تسبّبت به السياسة الأميركية منذ انتصار الثورة الإيرانية وسقوط نظام الشاه حليف الولايات المتحدة و«إسرائيل» والغرب، في وقت تشهد فيه إيران سجالات سياسية بين تيارات مختلفة بعضها يجاهر بالدعوة إلى إعادة النظر بالسياسة التي اعتمدتها إيران منذ انتصار الثورة، لا سيما في مواجهة الولايات المتحدة والغرب. لكن في المقابل لدى إيران أوراق قوّة لا يمكن لأيّ باحث جدّي عن الحقيقة تجاهلها. إيران تملك الموقع الجيوسياسي الذي يعطيها ميزة على خصومها في هذه المواجهة من ناحية العمق، ومن ناحية تأثيرات وتداعيات أيّ مواجهة عسكرية. إيران تملك ورقة قوّة أخرى تتمثل في أنّ حجم قواتها من حيث العديد والعتاد هو الأكثف إذا وقعت مواجهة مباشرة على تخوم وحدود إيران لا تتوفر للولايات المتحدة وحلفائها.

إيران تملك أوراقاً أخرى إضافية في هذه المواجهة تتمثل بوجود حلفاء أقوياء لإيران في العراق قادرون على تهديد وجود القوات العسكرية الأميركية في هذا البلد الذي بات ساحة اختبار للسياسة الأميركية، ويمثل وضعاً رمزياً نظراً لكلفة احتلاله من قبل الولايات المتحدة.

وتمتلك إيران ورقة أخرى بوجود حلفاء سوريين ولبنانيين وفلسطينيين يمكن أن يشعلوا مواجهة مع الكيان الصهيوني، انتقاماً من اعتداء أميركي على إيران كان لتل أبيب دور أساسي فيه، تحريضاً وربما مشاركة، و«إسرائيل» هي عقب أخيل الولايات المتحدة.

في ضوء توزع أوراق القوة بين الجانبين، فالأرجح أنه في لعبة عضّ الأصابع، سيكون خيار تسوية على قاعدة «رابح + رابح» هو المآل الأخير لهذه المواجهة.

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With Criticism Crushed in the West, Israel Can Enjoy Its Impunity

Global Research, July 29, 2019

Recent events have shone a spotlight not only on how Israel is intensifying its abuse of Palestinians under its rule, but the utterly depraved complicity of western governments in its actions.

The arrival of Donald Trump in the White House two-and-a-half years ago has emboldened Israel as never before, leaving it free to unleash new waves of brutality in the occupied territories.

Western states have not only turned a blind eye to these outrages, but are actively assisting in silencing anyone who dares to speak out.

It is rapidly creating a vicious spiral: the more Israel violates international law, the more the West represses criticism, the more Israel luxuriates in its impunity.

This shameless descent was starkly illustrated last week when hundreds of heavily armed Israeli soldiers, many of them masked, raided a neighbourhood of Sur Baher, on the edges of Jerusalem. Explosives and bulldozers destroyed dozens of homes, leaving many hundreds of Palestinians without a roof over their heads.

During the operation, extreme force was used against residents, as well as international volunteers there in the forlorn hope that their presence would deter violence. Videos showed the soldiers cheering and celebrating as they razed the neighbourhood.

House destructions have long been an ugly staple of Israel’s belligerent occupation, but there were grounds for extra alarm on this occasion.

Traditionally, demolitions occur on the two-thirds of the West Bank placed by the Oslo accords temporarily under Israeli control. That is bad enough: Israel should have handed over what is called “Area C” to the Palestinian Authority 20 years ago. Instead, it has hounded Palestinians off these areas to free them up for illegal Jewish settlement.

But the Sur Baher demolitions took place in “Area A”, land assigned by Oslo to the Palestinians’ government-in-waiting – as a prelude to Palestinian statehood. Israel is supposed to have zero planning or security jurisdiction there.

Palestinians rightly fear that Israel has established a dangerous precedent, further reversing the Oslo Accords, which can one day be used to justify driving many thousands more Palestinians off land under PA control.

Most western governments barely raised their voices. Even the United Nations offered a mealy-mouthed expression of “sadness” at what took place.

A few kilometres north, in Issawiya, another East Jerusalem suburb, Israeli soldiers have been terrorising 20,000 Palestinian residents for weeks. They have set up checkpoints, carried out dozens of random night-time arrests, imposed arbitrary fines and traffic tickets, and shot live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets into residential areas.

Ir Amim, an Israeli human rights group, calls Issawiya’s treatment a “perpetual state of collective punishment” – that is, a war crime.

Over in Gaza, not only are the 2 million inhabitants being slowly starved by Israel’s 12-year blockade, but a weekly shooting spree against Palestinians who protest at the fence imprisoning them has become so routine it barely attracts attention any more.

On Friday, Israeli snipers killed one protester and seriously injured 56, including 22 children.

That followed new revelations that Israeli’s policy of shooting unarmed protesters in the upper leg to injure them – another war crime – continued long after it became clear a significant proportion of Palestinians were dying from their wounds.

Belatedly – after more than 200 deaths and the severe disabling of many thousands of Palestinians – snipers have been advised to “ease up” by shooting protesters in the ankle.

B’Tselem, another Israeli rights organisation, called the army’s open-fire regulation a “criminal policy”, one that “consciously chose not to regard those standing on the other side of the fence as humans”.

Rather than end such criminal practices, Israel prefers to conceal them. It has effectively sealed Palestinian areas off to avoid scrutiny.

Omar Shakir, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, is facing imminent deportation, yet more evidence of Israel’s growing crackdown on the human rights community.

A report by the Palestinian Right to Enter campaign last week warned that Israel is systematically denying foreign nationals permits to live and work in the occupied territories, including areas supposedly under PA control.

That affects both foreign-born Palestinians, often those marrying local Palestinians, and internationals. According to recent reports, Israel is actively forcing out academics teaching at the West Bank’s leading university, Bir Zeit, in a severe blow to Palestinian academic freedom.

Palestinian journalists highlighting Israeli crimes are in Israel’s sights too. Last week, Israel stripped one – Mustafa Al Haruf – of his Jerusalem residency, tearing him from his wife and young child. Because it is illegal to leave someone stateless, Israel is now bullying Jordan to accept him.

Another exclusion policy – denying entry to Israel’s fiercest critics, those who back the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement – is facing its first challenge.

Two US congresswomen who support BDS – Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, who has family in the West Bank – have announced plans to visit.

Israeli officials have indicated they will exempt them both, apparently fearful of drawing wider attention to Israel’s draconian entry restrictions, which also cover the occupied territories.

Israel is probably being overly cautious. The BDS movement, which alone argues for the imposition of penalties on Israel until it halts its abuse of Palestinians, is being bludgeoned by western governments.

In the US and Europe, strong criticism of Israel, even from Jews – let alone demands for meaningful action – is being conflated with antisemitism. Much of this furore seems intended to ease the path towards silencing Israel’s critics.

More than two dozen US states, as well as the Senate, have passed laws – drafted by pro-Israel lobby groups – to limit the rights of the American public to support boycotts of Israel.

Anti-BDS legislation has also been passed by the German and French parliaments.

And last week the US House of Representatives joined them, overwhelmingly passing a resolution condemning the BDS movement. Only 17 legislators demurred.

It was a slap in the face to Omar, who has been promoting a bill designed to uphold the First Amendment rights of boycott supporters.

It seems absurd that these curbs on free speech have emerged just as Israel makes clear it has no interest in peace, will never concede Palestinian statehood and is entrenching a permanent system of apartheid in the occupied territories.

But there should be no surprise. The clampdown is further evidence that western support for Israel is indeed based on shared values – those that treat the Palestinians as lesser beings, whose rights can be trampled at will.

*

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

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is http://www.jonathan-cook.net. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

قانون حلب لا يزال سارياً… والباقي مناورات

يوليو 31, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– أسئلة كثيرة تدور في أذهان وعقول المتابعين للوضع العسكري شمال سورية، خصوصاً مع المبادرات الأميركية حول منح الأتراك منطقة آمنة في شمال منطقة شرق الفرات، والكلام التركي عن عملية عسكرية كبرى في المنطقة، وبالتوازي الدعم التركي المثبت بالوثائق والصور الفضائية لجماعات إرهابية موصوفة كجبهة النصرة وسواها في معارك ريفي حماة وإدلب، ويبني كثيرون أسئلتهم على إحدى فرضيتين، لا يستقيم بدون إحداهما أي استنتاج نوعي ذي قيمة، إما أن أنقرة باتت تشعر بعد صفقة الـ أس 400 مع روسيا أنها في وضع يسمح لها بالتلاعب بحدود دورها في سورية، أو أن واشنطن بعد تصعيد مواجهتها مع إيران قرّرت جعل سورية ساحة اشتباك فعلية.

– بدون أي من هاتين الفرضيتين، يبقى قانون حلب قائماً وحاكماً للتطورات في سورية وشمالها على وجه الخصوص، حيث الفرصة لمعركة تركية أو معركة أميركية، أو أميركية تركية مشتركة، كانت في حلب وعندها لم يكن بيد الجيش السوري بعد، لا مناطق البادية ولا تدمر ولا دير الزور ولا الغوطة ولا ريفي حمص ودمشق ولا جنوب سورية كله، وكان الاستنفار الدبلوماسي الدولي في ذروته بوجه روسيا. وإذا كانت الشروط ذاتها التي حكمت الموقف الروسي يومها لا تزال قائمة والشروط ذاتها التي حكمت الموقف الأميركي يومها قائمة، فإن الشروط ذاتها التي حكمت الموقف التركي يومها ستحكم الموقف التركي اليوم، أي المناورة العسكرية والسياسية واللعب على حافة الهاوية لكسب الوقت وتحقيق ما يمكن من مكاسب وتفادي ما يمكن من خسائر، ولكن في النهاية الاستدارة خلف خط الاشتباك نحو التفاوض والتسليم بالمعادلات التي يفرضها الجيش السوري وحلفاؤه في الميدان.

– في الحسابات الروسية في كل معركة فاصلة في سورية يظنّ كثيرون أن روسيا لن تكون شريكاً فيها، وتفاجئهم الوقائع بالعكس، لأن الذين يبنون استنتاجاتهم على كون روسيا مهتمة بالعلاقة بتركيا وبـ»إسرائيل» أيضاً، يتجاهلون ان قانون جذب تركيا و»إسرائيل» للاقتراب من روسيا يقوم في موسكو على معادلة إثبات القوة وفتح الباب الخلفي للتفاهمات، وفي كل مرة تكون التفاهمات المعروضة على حساب سورية يرفضها الروس لأنها تسقط فرضية إظهار القدرة، وتعرّض المنجز الاستراتيجي في سورية للتفكك، وبالتوازي في كل مرة يصعّد الأميركيون كلامياً يظنّ الكثيرون أنهم جاهزون للمواجهة ولا تلبث الوقائع ان تفاجئهم بوقوف التصعيد عند حدود الكلام. وفي شمال سورية يتلاعب الأميركيون بالأتراك والأكراد بالكلمات ولن يتغيروا حتى تدق الساعة السورية بدعم روسي وإيراني نحو قرار الانسحاب فيبدأون بالتفاوض الجدي.

– لا الـ أس 400 ولا السيل الجنوبي مع تركيا، يعادلان ما تحقق لروسيا من التحوّل إلى دولة عظمى حاضرة على المتوسط وحاكمة لمعادلات المنطقة والعالم، بل هما أصلاً تحققا بفضل هذا الإنجاز في سورية، والمواجهة الأميركية مع إيران إن فرضت تغييراً في الحركة الأميركية في سورية فهو تغيير باتجاه الانكفاء لأن الوجود الأميركي في سورية مكشوف أمام الاستهداف المفترض في أي مواجهة. وكل ما يدور حول المواجهة من إسقاط إيران للطائرة الأميركية إلى حرب الناقلات يقول إن أميركا لم تتغيّر.

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Bassam Shakaa: The Making of a Palestinian ‘Organic Intellectual’

Bassam Al Shakaa

Between his birth in Nablus in 1930 and his death, Bassam Shakaa fought a relentless struggle for Palestinian rights. He challenged Israel, the PA, US imperialism and reactionary Arab governments. Throughout this arduous journey, he survived exile, prison and an assassination attempt.

July 29th, 2019

t would be unfair to claim that Palestine has not produced great leaders. It has, and Bassam Shakaa, the former Mayor of Nablus, who passed away on July 22 at the age of 89, was living proof of this.

The supposed deficit in good Palestinian leadership can be attributed to the fact that many great leaders have been either assassinated, languish in prison or are politically marginalized by Palestinian factions.

What was unique about Shakaa is that he was a true nationalist leader who struggled on behalf of all Palestinians without harboring any ideological, factionalist or religious prejudice. Shakaa was an inclusive Palestinian leader, with profound affinity to pan-Arabism and constant awareness of the global class struggle.





In a way, Shakaa exemplified the ‘organic intellectual’ as described by Italian thinker Antonio Gramsci. Indeed, Shakaa was not a mere “mover of feelings and passions” but an “active participant in practical life, as constructor and organizer – a permanent persuader, not just a simple orator”.

Shakaa’s base of support was, and remained, the people – ordinary Palestinians from Nablus and throughout Palestine who always stood by his side, most memorably when the Israeli government attempted to exile him in 1975; when the Palestinian Authority (PA) placed him under house arrest in 1999 and when he was finally laid to rest in his beloved home town of Nablus, a few days ago.

Between his birth in Nablus in 1930 and his death, Shakaa fought a relentless struggle for Palestinian rights. He challenged Israel, the PA, US imperialism and reactionary Arab governments. Throughout this arduous journey, he survived exile, prison and an assassination attempt.

But there is more to Shakaa than his intellect, eloquence, and morally-guided positions. The man represented the rise of a true democratic Palestinian leadership, one that sprang from, spoke and fought for the people.

It was in the mid-1970s that Shakaa rose to prominence as a Palestinian nationalist leader, an event that changed the face of Palestinian politics to this day.

Following its occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza in June 1967, the Israeli government moved quickly to fashion a new status quo, where the Occupation became permanent and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was denied any political base in the newly occupied territories.

Among other things, the Israeli government aimed at creating an ‘alternative’ Palestinian leadership that would engage with Israel with trivial, non-political matters, therefore marginalizing the PLO and its inclusive political program.

In April 1976, the Israeli government, then led by Yitzhak Rabin, conducted local elections in the West Bank and Gaza.

Israel had, by then, assembled another group of Palestinian ‘leaders’, which consisted mostly of traditional heads of clans – a small, self-seeking oligarchy that historically accommodated whatever foreign power happened to be ruling over Palestinians.

Israel was almost certain that its hand-picked allies were ready to sweep the local elections. But the Occupation had its unintended consequences, which surprised the Israelis themselves. For the first time since Israel’s creation, all of historic Palestine was now under Israeli control. This also meant that the Palestinian people were, once again, part of the same demographic unit, which allowed for coordinated political mobilization and popular resistance.

These efforts were largely facilitated by the Palestinian National Front (PNF) which was founded in 1973 and comprised all Palestinian groups throughout Occupied Palestine. What irked Israel most is that the PNF had developed a political line that was largely parallel to that of the PLO.

To Israel’s dismay, the PNF decided to take part in the local elections, hoping that its victory could defeat the Israeli stratagem entirely. To thwart the PNF’s initiative, the Israeli army carried out a massive campaign of arrests and deportation of the group’s members, which included intellectuals, academics and local leaders.

But all had failed as Palestine’s new leaders won decisive victories, claiming most mayoral offices and bravely articulating an anti-occupation, pro-PLO agenda.

“We are for the PLO, and we say this in our electoral speeches,” the elected Mayor of Ramallah, Karim Khalaf, said at the time. “The people who come along to our meetings do not ask about road improvements and new factories; we want an end to the Occupation.”

Bassam Shakaa was at the forefront of that nascent movement, whose ideals and slogans spread out to all Palestinian communities, including those inside Israel.

Bassam Al Shakaa

Bassam Al Shakaa following an assassination attempt

Despite decades of exile, fragmentation and Occupation, the Palestinian national identity was now at its zenith, an outcome the Israeli government could never have anticipated.

In October 1978, Shakaa, Khalaf and the other empowered mayors were joined by city councilors and leaders of various nationalist institutions to form the National Leadership Committee, the main objective of which was to challenge the disastrous Camp David agreement and the resulting marginalization of the Palestinian people and their leadership.

On July 2, 1980, a bomb planted by a Jewish terrorist group, blew up Shakaa’s car, costing him both of his legs. Another targeted Khalaf, who had one of his legs amputated. The leaders emerged even stronger following the assassination attempts.

“They ripped off both my legs, but this only means that I am closer to my land,” said Shakaa from his hospital bed.

“I have my heart, my intellect and a just aim to fight for, I don’t need my legs.”

In November 1981, the Israeli government dismissed the nationalist mayors, including Shakaa. But that was not the end of his struggle which, following the formation of the PA in Ramallah in 1994, acquired a new impetus.

Shakaa challenged the PA’s corruption and subservience to Israel. His frustration with the PA led him to help draft and to sign, in 1999, a “Cry from the Homeland”, which denounced the PA for its “systematic methodology of corruption, humiliation and abuse against the people.” As a result, the PA placed Shakaa, then 70, under house arrest. 

However, it was that very movement created by Shakaa, Khalaf and their peers that sowed the seeds for the popular Palestinian uprising in 1987. In fact, the ‘First Intifada’ remains the most powerful popular movement in modern Palestinian history.

May Shakaa rest in peace and power, now that he has fulfilled his historic mission as one of Palestine’s most beloved leaders and true organic intellectuals of all times.

Feature photo | Bassam Al Shakaa poses in front of an Israeli police vehicle just one week after being released from an Israeli jail.

Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of Palestine Chronicle. His last book is ‘The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story’ (Pluto Press, London). Baroud has a Ph.D. in Palestine Studies from the University of Exeter and was a Non-Resident Scholar at Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, University of California Santa Barbara. His website iswww.ramzybaroud.net

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

The One People Americans Are Encouraged to Hate

July 30, 2019

by Yvonne Lorenzo for The Saker Blog

The One People Americans Are Encouraged to Hate

How would you react if you read the following statements and found that they were spoken by government employees who are part of the American Deep State and have a great deal of power over the nation and you? Wouldn’t the prejudice appall and disgust you?

“I do always hate the Israelis,” Lisa Page, a senior FBI lawyer on the Israel probe, testified to Congress in July 2018. “It is my opinion that with respect to Western ideals and who it is and what it is we stand for as Americans, Israel poses the most dangerous threat to that way of life.” As he opened the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign’s ties to Israel in July 2016, FBI agent Peter Strzok texted Page: “fuck the cheating motherfucking Israelis… Bastards. I hate them… I think they’re probably the worst. Fucking conniving cheating savages.” Speaking to NBC News in May 2017, former director of national intelligence James Clapper explained why US officials saw interactions between the Trump camp and Israeli nationals as a cause for alarm: “The Israelis,” Clapper said, “almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Israeli technique. So we were concerned.”

Of course, readers of The Saker know that the officials quoted never actually made those remarks about the Israelis; nor did they express their hatred of Germans, Saudi Arabians, Turks, French, Libyan, Congolese, Somalians, Germans, Italians, British, Canadians, Greeks, or even Chinese.

No; the actual nation and people named were the RussiansHere is the link to the original excellent piece published in The Nation. Yet it seems perhaps not with a touch of irony the speakers were engaging in projection and discussing themselves, the so-called America elites.

Unfortunately, I don’t remember how I found The Saker, originally not on this official site of his but at his Blogspot blog. Yet as an American slowly waking up to the terrible truths of the corruption and destructive actions engaged by the American government and its “Deep State” from reading LewRockwell.com (where I later became a contributor to Lew’s site via this link) and supporting Ron Paul, I was horrified to discover that American “fair play” was only an illusion. Nevertheless, I am astonished by the hatred that I quoted. In this time of extraordinary oppression against any individual who dares challenge certain dogmas, that is to say if anyone is White and a true follower of the Way of Jesus Christ especially, for example, as The Saker himself wrote recently on the whole homosexual brouhaha here, then the full force of the establishment, the powers that be, will be brought to bear—your employment, perhaps your life would be at risk. Not that Lisa Page or Peter Strozk would ever dare to criticize Israel, or look into the mirror and see themselves as they truly are, but if they did, they’d probably be taken to a CIA black site and waterboarded for their troubles.

A few years ago, I was truly haunted by a photograph posted on the Saker’s site of a beautiful young woman and her infant child; I can’t recall the link yet I believe the post was by a Saker contributor. The two were murdered by shelling from the Neo-Nazi Ukrainians. I wonder why Putin in his interview with Oliver Stone didn’t, in his usual calm yet convincing manner, discuss the terrible loss of life and the tens of thousands of refugees, the human suffering caused by the American Empire, for after all Victoria Nuland admitted that billions were poured into Ukraine in support of “regime change.” Nevertheless, what astonishes me is the complete lack of empathy, in fact the evident enjoyment in wreaking havoc and death around the world on the part of America’s political class especially.

Meanwhile, back in America, America itself is breaking apart at the seams. How can one maintain an empire when the empire itself is built on sand? As Boyd D. Cathey noted in his piece “Is It Time for America to Break Apart?”:

“There are then, palpably, two Americas. They still use the same language, but they are increasingly incapable of communicating with each other. Almost weekly words and terms are redefined beyond comprehension, and those ‘devil terms’ have become the modern equivalents of linguistic hydrogen bombs deployed by the progressivists. They illustrate what political theorist Paul Gottfried has called a ‘post-Marxist’ praxis that has actually moved beyond the assaults of cultural Marxism towards a new and imposed template.

“No dissent from this template is permitted in our society. If it demands you call black, white; then you must comply, or suffer the consequences. If your eyes tell you one thing, but the collective media and elites tell you something else, ‘who you gonna believe, them or your lying eyes’?”

I shared the Nation piece, since the news of the statements by the corrupt Page and Strozk were new to me, with The Saker and SmoothieX12, Andrei Martyanov who posted about it on his blog. I think this insight Martyanov offers is important but not the full picture.

He writes, “It is always funny to read about ‘values’ and ‘ideals’–if that ‘way of life’ continues, the end-result will be precisely [the] total elimination of everything of true value [the] combined West ever produced with the US Constitution being shredded to pieces. Ah, wait, I forgot–these are the thoughts of people who are directly involved in [a] criminal coup attempt, which by definition is anti-constitutional and violates this very same ‘way of life’ these people allegedly try to protect. One has to have, of course, [an] appreciation of their fever-pitch hatred of Russians and, what matters here, this is not private, [not] an exception that is, attitude. It is not a secret that [a] very large strata of US policy-makers is afflicted by Russophobia. A large part of this Russophobia, apart from being racial–you know, dirty Slavs and all that jazz–is very much a suppressed complex of inferiority. Throughout all 20th and 21st century not only Russia presented itself as an inconvenient impediment to America-the-savior-of-humanity narrative, but Russia remains the only nation which can remove the United States from the map and can conventionally defeat any combination of forces the United States can assemble. This simple fact makes many in US ‘elite’, which is largely ignorant on the issues of real war, very uncomfortable.”

In due time, I hope to have soon a conversation to be published with The Saker on the topic of Christianity in general and Orthodox Christianity in particular; while SmoothieX12’s secular commentary and observations are entirely correct, I truly believe something far more sinister is taking place. On display in these Russophobic statements is a malevolence, not just willful blindness, fear or arrogance. Is this an Adobe Photoshopped manipulated image or truly the real face and eyes of Peter Strozk taken during his Congressional testimony? What do believers see when they look at this?

Peter Strozk

Philip Giraldi wrote about Jeffrey Epstein and his connections to the rich and powerful “elites” and likely intelligence agencies here at Unz.com and also here on the Strategic Culture website. Aside from the intelligence angle, Vanity Fair discusses the people Epstein “collected” in this article:

“Epstein remained a fixture in elite circles even after he was a registered sex offender. A few years ago, for example, he was a guest at a dinner in Palo Alto hosted by LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman for the MIT neuroscientist Ed Boyden. At the dinner, Elon Musk introduced Epstein to Mark Zuckerberg. (‘Mark met Epstein in passing one time at a dinner honoring scientists that was not organized by Epstein,’ Zuckerberg spokesman Ben LaBol told me. ‘Mark did not communicate with Epstein again following the dinner.’)…

“One source who’s done business with Epstein told me that Epstein’s 21,000-square-foot townhouse on East 71st Street welcomed a steady stream of the Davos crowd in the past decade. The source said Bill Gates, Larry Summers, and Steve Bannon visited the house, which has been called one of the largest private residences in Manhattan. ‘Jeffrey collected people. That’s what he did,’ the source said. Gates and Summers did not respond to requests for comment.”

The site Vigilant Citizen, run by anonymous individuals who investigate the occult hallmarks of the Western “elites,” discussed Epstein on this post via this link and noted his connections to the rich and powerful along with occult symbolism on structures on his island:

The fact that a “temple” was built on an island known for extreme depravity is disturbing. However, when one fully understands the mindset of the occult elite, it makes perfect sense. It is all about symbolism and ritual.

For instance, the “temple” has a striking resemblance with Hammam Yalbugha – a Mamluk-era public bath located in Syria.

Why did Epstein model his “temple” on this specific building? Because of the symbolism attached to it. Indeed, the hammam is a classic example of architecture from the Mamluk era. In Arabic, the word “mamluk” literally means “property” and is used to designate slaves.

During the Mamluk era, children were captured by the ruling class to become slaves. Boys were usually trained to become soldiers while girls were groomed to become the personal concubines of their masters. Considering the fact that Epstein island was used to import child sex slaves for the elite, the symbolism is perfectly fitting.

In order to give the “temple” an unmistakeable occult dimension, the building was adorned with golden statues representing gods (Neptune) and owl-like birds. The building is also surrounded by maze-like patterns, similar to those found in Islamic architecture.

To get a better feel of Epstein island, I suggest you view this drone footage which provides great shots of some truly bizarre elements.

Epstein Island Temple

Hammam Yalbugha Aleppo, Syria

In my opinion, something far worse is going on than fear and self-loathing within the souls of the rich and powerful who rule the Western world, not merely decadence. Global Western “elites” are malevolent sociopaths (although I suspect several of the individuals in the Russian “Fifth column” Saker writes about are as well); while America is disintegrating around them, these elites still can cause great mischief. Reader of my words who are Americans must do all they can to resist and challenge these monsters in power; for monsters they are. Yes, they are presumed innocent until proven guilty but the fact remains the armies they control have killed and maimed millions of innocents throughout the world, including children. That I as a believer I think there is something evil behind them and within them is not provable by the scientific method perhaps; but I trust that my concerns are valid. If the reader of my words is a believer, please pray.

Yvonne Lorenzo [send her mail] makes her home in New England in a house full to bursting with books, including works on classical Greece and by Mises, Murray Rothbard, Tom Woods, Joseph Sobran, and Lew Rockwell. Her interests include gardening, mythology, ancient history, The Electric Universe, and classical music, especially the compositions of Handel, Mozart, Bach, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, and the Bel Canto repertoire. She is the author Son of Thunder and The Cloak of Freya.

ماذا يعني الاختراق الروسي لبحار الخليج؟

يوليو 31, 2019

د. وفيق إبراهيم

تتحضّر روسيا لإرسال بوارجها الى المحيط الهندي وبحر عدن حتى حدود مضيق هرمز الفاصل بين المجالات البحرية لإيران وعمان، بذريعة إجراء مناورات عسكرية مشتركة مع البحرية الإيرانية.

لا بدّ هنا من الإشارة الى الطابع الجيوبوليتيكي لهذا الدخول باعتبار أن الاتحاد السوفياتي السلف الذي ورثته روسيا الحالية، لم تكن لديه مرافئ صديقة في الخليج، للرسو والتموين من التزوّد بالوقود. فإيران كانت شاهنشاهية معادية له في ما كان الجانب العربي من الخليج خاضعاً لهيمنة أميركية كاملة تمسك بالأجواء والبحر الى درجة الخنق وتحت شعارات العداء للإلحاد الشيوعي.

ما هي مصلحة روسيا في هذا التطوّر؟

يملأ أولاً حاجة روسيا لحيازة مكان هام في قلب حركة الصراع على الشرق الأوسط من بوابة بحاره وأمن الملاحة فيه، متحالفاً مع إيران التي تقف في وجه المحاولات الأميركية لتدميرها كطريقة لإنعاش تفرّدها بالقرار الدولي لذلك فإن هذا الدخول الروسي له أهداف تبدأ بتقليص قوة الضغط الأميركية على عنف إيران، ما يعني استتباعاً، المزيد من تقهقر الأحادية الأميركية مقابل الاستمرار في الصعود الروسي والصيني.

لكن لروسيا حساباتها الخاصة الإضافية المؤدية الى الأهداف نفسها، وتتعلق اولاً بنمو حاجتها للدخول الى اليمن عبر الصراع اليمني مع الأميركيين والسعوديين على الساحل الغربي والحديدة، أي المنطقة المشرفة على باب المندب الذي لا يقل أهمية استراتيجية عن مضيق هرمز، بما يعني مراكمة أهميات جيوبوليتيكية عند الذي يهيمن على حركته البحرية أو يشارك في جزء من إدارته.

وهكذا تبدو الحركة الروسية الجديدة، وكأنها تتدحرج على هدي العلاقة مع إيران فتطمح لدور يمني يخترق موانئ الحديدة من زوايا الصراع الأميركي ـ السعودي والإيراني من جهة ثانية.

للإشارة فإن سياسة الرئيس الروسي بوتين تتحاشى أي سوء في علاقاتها مع السعودية، ما يجعلها تكتفي بالتحرك البحري حتى حدود هرمز الإيراني أي بعيداً عن الساحل السعودي المطلّ على الخليج.

أما الأسباب فعلى ارتباط بالتنسيق الروسي ـ السعودي الذي أدّى حتى الآن الى استقرار النفط أسعاراً وأسواقاً بمواكبة نمو تدريجي لعلاقات اقتصادية واعدة تشمل احتمالات شراء السعودية لمنظومة سلاح روسي جوّي وبرّي.

هذا ما يجعل التحرك الروسي في الخليج حذراً ولن يتقدم بسرّعة إلا بعد صدور صرخات استغاثة أميركية نتيجة فشل مرتقب لعقوباتها على إيران. وهناك احتمال آخر وهو نجاح الأميركيين بتركيب حلف ما يزعمون أنه لأمن الملاحة في الخليج مع الأوروبيين وبلدان عربية ودول من آسيا وأوستراليا.

عند هذا الحد لن يكتفي الروس بالتدحرج التدريجي نحو بحار الشرق الأوسط بل يرفعون من عيار سرعتهم بمعونة صينية مع دول أخرى من منظمتي البريكس وشانغهاي، فالصراع في الخليج ليس على مياه بحاره، بل على اقتصاده وثرواته من النفط والغاز وقدرته على استهلاك أي نوع من السلع، لأنه لا ينتج شيئاً.

تكفي الإشارة هنا إلى أن صحراء الربع الخالي تحتوي بمفردها على أضعاف عدة من الغاز الموجود في العالم، وربما أكثر حسب ما يتسرّب من مراكز أبحاث الطاقة في الغرب الذي يبرر اندلاع جزء من الصراع الدولي على الشرق الأوسط تحت مسمّيات أمن الملاحة فيه.

هناك إذاً خشية روسية من الإمساك الأميركي بالشرق الأوسط مجدداً فتتجاوز واشنطن بلعبة أمن الملاحة خسائرها في سورية والعراق واليمن، فتستعيده بتشكيل هذا الحلف الملاحي الماخر عباب الأمواج بحثاً عن الغاز والنفط.

كما تُجهض بذلك محاولات أوروبية للخروج من هيمنتها التي امسكت بتلابيب القارة العجوز منذ 1945 وأجلستها على المقاعد الخلفيّة لنفوذها، ترى الثروات وقد تشارك في جبايتها، إنما من الحق باقتطاع أي شيء منها باستثناء الفتات المتساقط جراء تعثر قوة الهضم الأميركية.

لكن موسكو لا تتوقع نجاحاً أميركياً بتشكيل تحالف دولي ملاحي لغايات أبعد، وتراهن على التردّد الأوروبي الباحث عن استقلالية واستمرار الصمود الإيراني والإحباط الذي يسري في المشاريع السياسية للدول العربية في الخليج، التي كانت تعتقد أن واشنطن عازمة على تدمير إيران بضربة ساحقة ماحقة، لا تحتاج لقصف لمدة أسبوع، لكنها ترى وبعد أشهر على بدء التوتير الحربي أن إيران تتمرد على الجبروت الاميركي وبعض التلاعب الأوروبي وتهديدات «إسرائيل»، وهذا ما استولد إحباطاً عميقاً عند عرب الخليج، كما يراهن بوتين أيضاً على تأجيج الصراع التركي ـ الأميركي، بما يخدم الصعود الروسي نحو القرار الدولي وبالتالي التراجع الأميركي عن السيطرة المطلقة على العالم.

لذلك، فإن ما أعلنه الادميرال قائد القوات البحرية الإيرانية حسين خان زاده في موسكو منذ يومين حول بدء المناورات المشتركة بين البحريتين الإيرانية والروسية من المحيط الهندي، إلى مضيق هرمز، انما هو رسالة الى الأوروبيين وبضرورة الحياد عن المشروع الأميركي في الخليج، ويشبه تهديداً الى الأميركيين بأن روسيا لن تتخلى عن إيران بحسابات خاصة تتعلّق بطموحها لدور في القرار الدولي، ولن تسمح بالتالي بعودة الأحادية الاميركية الى خنق روسيا والصين وأوروبا والاستئثار بالاقتصاد العالمي كما فعلت في مرحلة 1990 ـ 2018 هذه المرحلة التي جعلت الأميركيين يمسكون بمفاصل العالم ثقافياً وسياسياً واقتصادياً وعسكرياً، مواصلين احتفاظهم بجزء كبير منها حتى اليوم.

هذه إذاً رسالة، لكنها قابلة للتنفيذ وما الدليل على انها رسالة إلا توسيعها لمدة المناورات حتى بدء السنة الفارسية الجديدة في آذار 2020.

وهذا يكشف أن التحرك الاميركي الفعلي في بحر الخليج لن يبدأ إلا بعد الانتخابات الرئاسية الأميركية في 2020 أيضاً كما يعتقد الروس، بما يشير إلى أن الصراعات البحريّة في الخليج الدائرة ضمن أحلاف تتطلّب وقتاً وظروفاً خاصة بها.

أما الذي لا شك فيه، فهو مشروع ولادة حلف صيني روسي إيراني قد تنضم إليه الهند وتركيا، بوسعه إعادة نصب صراع دولي متوازن يقلّص من حجم الهيمنة الأميركية، معيداً شيئاً من الاحترام للقانون الدولي وليس «قانون الأقوى»، لكن العرب بمفردهم لإعلانه لهم بما يجري لأنهم لا يزالون على متن النوق في القرون الوسطى.

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