Zionism as a master-race ideology

Source

Zionist Invention of Iran Threat – An Interview with Prof. Yakov Rabkin

July 26, 2015

Good evening from the Editorial Team of ProMosaik e.V.

We have already talked about Iran in the last days, after the historical Iran Deal in Vienna, achieved after 12 years’ of work this 14th of July 2015. The only State opposing to this deal is Israel which talks about how dangerous Iran is for the Zionist State.

We have talked to Prof. Yakov Rabkin of the University of Montreal about this invention and culture of fear on which Zionism is based. We thank him a lot for his time.

We had already published his great article about Iran before the deal, when Netanyahu spoke in front of the US-Congress about the so called “Iranic threat”.´

Dr. Milena Rampoldi: How has Israel invented the Iranian threat and with which means does Israel try to keep it for ever?

Prof. Yakov Rabkin: In an earlier article I outlined the history of that invention. Israel used its allies and agents to promote it and make it into an international issue. Thus Israel was able to distract world attention from the Palestinians, and deal with them with impunity.

No less importantly, this fabrication offered Israeli society another “existential threat”. Apparently, the non-existent Iranian bomb has now been replaced by another “existential threat”  – BDS, international peaceful campaign to apply boycott, divestment and economic sanctions to make Israel change its policy toward the Palestinians. Some Israelis believe that their society would implode without these existential threats. Fear is what holds it together.

MR: How are the real relations between Jews and Iranian people in Iran which has a big Jewish community?

Prof. Yakov Rabkin:While I have no direct knowledge of the situation of Jews in Iran, it appears they are doing no worse than other Iranians. There have been no violence or specific repressive measures reported.

MR: How can a refusal of Zionist ideology help us today to promote the friendship between the Jews and the Muslim peoples in general and Iran in particular?

It is important to emphasize that Zionism has been a rupture and a rebellion against Judaism. Most Jews opposed it when it emerged in the late 19th century. One must reject antisemitic conspiracy theories and understand that Jews around the world, whatever their vocal support Israel, have no influence on Israeli policies. They should not be held responsible for what Israel is and does. Then one could see that Judaism and Islam are the two closest religions to each other, that Jews lived a lot better in Islamic than Christian realms and that many classical works of Judaism are written in Arabic. Moreover, Jews with their experience of antisemitism in Christian countries can help Muslim to cope with the growing Islamophobia.

MR: What would you say to the German Chief of the Zentralrat der Juden, Dr. Schuster, who said  the Iranian deal is dangerous for Israel and for the stability of the whole Middle East?

Israel fans around the world repeat whatever they are told to say by their Israeli masters. With all due respect to functionaries of Jewish organizations in Germany, they may be less well informed than their government that signed the Vienna agreement. This kind of support for Israel is not innocent. Recently it was revealed that Jewish organizations were covertly used by the Israeli army to spread its message during the attack on Gaza in 2014. Obviously, those Jewish functionaries who agreed to do this expose rank-and-file members of their organizations to reprisals, including violence. This is particularly grievous since most Jews, at least in the United States, support the Vienna agreement with Iran. Moreover, American Jews support it more than the average Americans.

This shows the growing estrangement of American Jews from Israel, which only strengthens the point I made in my answer to your prec[v?]ious question. In view of this, one wonders who exactly represent functionaries of Jewish organizations: Jews in their countries or the State of Israel.

MR: How long will people take to understand that Netanyahu’s position is wrong. What can we explain to these people to change their position?

Netanyahu relies on support from one of the main donors to the Republican Party. One can expect the Prime Minister’s credibility to remain sterling in those circles and their media. Elsewhere, he appears a lot less credible. But at issue is not his personality. Israel’s political mainstream is behind Netanyahu in denouncing the Vienna agreement. This is part of the inexorable shift of the Israeli public to the right. And this leads to Israel’s growing isolation in the world, including isolation from Jews in major countries.

Prof. Rabkin, photo from his publisher, Fernwood.



Yakov Rabkin’s devastating critique of Zionism: it is opposed to Jewish tradition and liberalism

By Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss
June 27, 2017

Last year one of the most important books on Zionism, ever, was published in English by Pluto: What Is Modern Israel? by Yakov Rabkin, a professor of history at the University of Montreal. The central theme of the book is how Zionists have exploited Judaism and western traditions to offer Israel as a liberal democracy when it is actually a nationalist colonialists project hanging on by its paranoid fingernails.

Rabkin has expertise. He is a religious academic, and it is his Judaism that has brought him to embrace universalist cosmopolitanism when it comes to interpreting history in our century. Given his background, he has been able to defy what he calls the “climate of intellectual terror that surrounds the Question of Israel.”

Published on 20 May 2016, Pluto Press, pb, £16.99

In reading his book, it struck me that the greatest service I could provide to a reader is to roll out Rabkin’s deadly insights about the nature of the “Jewish state,” and the essential antagonism of Judaism and Zionism. What follows is a long sequence of Rabkin’s observations and findings, all of which aim to end that climate of terror and allow westerners to speak freely about the Zionist era. Let’s go.

Zionism has four essential goals, Rabkin says.

1, “to transform the transnational Jewish identity centred on the Torah into a national identity like that of other European nations.”

2, “To develop a new vernacular language.”

3, “To displace the Jews from their countries of origin to Palestine”.

4, “To establish political and economic control over Palestine.”

Thus, Zionism is a case of “imposed modernization typical of western colonialism,” a policy rejected by both Arab and traditional Jewish populations.

Israel’s self-ascribed identity as a ‘Jewish state’ brings  legitimacy to the renewal of ethnicity as the criterion for belonging

Politically, Israel has been able to rely on the solid support of the elites of Western nations, in part due to Zionism’s colonialist aims:

“The essentially European character of this recently established settler colony, which resembles in many ways the United Kingdom’s former colonies throughout the world, also explains Western support of Israel. Its self-ascribed identity as a ‘Jewish state’ brings de facto legitimacy to the renewal of ethnicity as the criterion for belonging.”

Rabkin notes the popular trend we’ve been chronicling:

“Western partiality toward Israel suffers from a democratic deficit: contrary to their elites, the majority of the citizens of the Western nations consider the state of Israel as a threat to world peace.”

The distinction between left and right wings of Zionism is far less meaningful than is Zionism’s hostility to liberalism:

[I]t would surely be more useful to speak of a division between liberal cosmopolitanism and ethnic nationalism. Zionism, meanwhile, is fundamentally hostile to liberal cosmopolitanism, which explains why the Zionist “left,” in Israel and elsewhere, has gone largely over to the “right.” What unites the two camps—their conviction of the legitimacy of Zionism—is more substantial than the stylistic or tactical differences that divide them.

Rabkin links the rise of Zionism with the secularization of Jewish identity in modernity, and the Jewish aspiration to normal experience among the nations:

Jewish secular identity acquired a socio-cultural dimension: those who consciously rejected Judaism could preserve, at least for a while, a specific language (Yiddish), and a few cultural markers. This new identity was conjugated in a wide range of political options, often of socialist or nationalist inspiration. By consummating the break with tradition, the concept of the secular Jew, at variance with the traditional Jewish vision, made it possible to redefine the Jews as a “normal people” and thus became the cornerstone of Zionism.

But it was a special definition of peoplehood.

The concept of the Jewish people that Zionism relied on had little in common with traditional definitions of the term. Religious scholars know that: “the Torah, and only the Torah, makes of the Jews a collective identity.”

Jewish tradition has long put exile at the centre of Jewish existence. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch:

Torah… obliges us, until God shall call us back to the Holy Land, to live and to work as patriots wherever He has placed us, to collect all the physical, material and spiritual forces and all that is noble in Israel to further the wealth of nations which have given us shelter.

But the new secular Jewish identity gained popularity in Eastern Europe and especially Russia, and it “eliminated the religious—and thus normative—dimension of Jewish identity and retained only its biological and cultural dimensions.”

At the same time as it countered Jewish religion, Zionism also countered liberalism: “Zionists consider a liberal, multicultural society as a major obstacle to the expansion of a Jewish national conscience.”

Zeev Sternhell:

 

“To accept the liberal concept of society would mean [for Jewish nationalist intelligentsia] the end of the Jewish people as an autonomous unit.”

Thus, Rabkin says: “The main threat to Zionism is European liberalism, which offers Jews an individual choice but, according to many Zionists, denies them the opportunity to live a true national life.”

Zionism is at root a response to challenges of liberalism: “far more Israelis take up residence in the world’s liberal democracies than citizens of those countries immigrate to Israel.” That goes for Russian Jews too:

“Out of the 1.2 million Jews who emigrated from Russia at the turn of the 20th century, a mere 30,000 made Palestine their destination, and of those, only a quarter remained there.”

The Jewish tradition of exile is so strong that when Soviet Jewry was allowed to emigrate, Israel was required to carry out “a full scale diplomatic campaign in an effort to prevail upon its allies (primarily the United States and Germany) to limit immigration to their countries of Soviet Jews.”

Rabkin says Zionism was pioneered by assimilated, secular Jews who felt that emancipation had freed them to penetrate the highest levels of European society, and found they were rejected, so they sought a nation like other nations out of this frustration. Torah had been the basis of Jewish unity till Zionism. But when they went back to the land of Israel, “they would no longer need to follow [Torah’s] precepts, for their national consciousness, as experienced in the land of Israel, would be sufficient to sustain that unity.”

Israel allowed these Jews to forgive themselves assimilation: because they were assimilating into “normal” history:

“Only the state of Israel offers the Jews the ultimate freedom to reject totally their spiritual heritage and become a ‘normal people.’ The new Israeli identity appears to facilitate collective assimilation while sparing those who adopt it the feeling of guilt often linked to assimilation on an individual basis.”

Rabkin quotes Rabbi Amram Blau saying that Zionism brought greater injury to the Jews than to the Arabs:

“The Arabs may have lost their land and their homes, but by accepting Zionism, the Jews lost their historic identity.”

And he quotes Meron Benvenisti, former deputy mayor of Jerusalem, characterizing the two-tier system of rights for Jews and occupied Palestinians as “Herrenvolk [master race] democracy.”

The elevation by Zionists of the volk [a superior people with a special destiny] as the exclusive subject of Jewish history led rabbis to denounce this “cardinal element” of Zionist ideology, Rabkin says. He quotes Robert Wistrich.

“There is no Jewish nation… [Jews] should cultivate the ancient Hebrew language, study their rich literature, know their history, cherish their faith, and make the greatest sacrifices for it; they should hope and trust in the wisdom of divine providence.”

Zionism depends on antisemitism, and it also fosters it.

“Political Zionism intentionally stirs up anti-Semitism,” I. M. Rabinowitch wrote in 1974. “From the very beginning, it has been the policy to deliberately incite hatred of the Jew and, then, in feigned horror, point to it to justify a Jewish state.”

Rabinowitch said that Zionism contains the “most fertile seeds for proliferation of antisemitism” – an element of dual loyalty. Rabkin then quotes a former Israeli diplomat describing the role of Jews in the west as “an Israel-vassalized diaspora.”

Here Rabkin is unintimidated by the climate of intellectual terror. The vassalizing of the diaspora goes beyond double allegiance to “a form of exclusive allegiance to the state of Israel.” (Remember Dennis Ross calling on U.S. Jews to be “advocates” for Israel, not for Palestinians.) Rakin says:

“The unconditional defence of Israel into which certain community leaders have dragooned the Jews tends to expose them to criticism, which in turn justifies Zionism and makes the state of Israel indispensable as an insurance policy. Even proudly secular Israelis find this policy suicidal for the future of the diaspora…

“The denigration of Jewish life outside of Israel has long been a feature of Zionist thought and practice. The mobilization of the diaspora to justify whatever political or military action Israel might undertake constitutes its critical element.”

Not that Zionists knew how to deal with Palestinians. The Zionist activists in Europe never knew the “tolerant variety of nationalism” that arose in the US and Canada that distinguishes between nation, religion, society and state. Rather, the two slogans adopted by the Zionist pioneers clearly illustrated their intentions: “conquest through labour” and hafrada (separation).

“In other words, the Zionist movement adopted a policy of separate development that remains in force up to the present, and explains in large measure the perpetuation of the conflict with the Palestinians and the isolation of the state of Israel in the region.”

These undertakings have led to great Israeli insecurity. Today the term “security” has replaced the concept of self-defence that was widely employed before the creation of the state.

“Israel, often held up as a place of refuge, and even as the ultimate refuge, may well have become the most precarious place of all for the Jews… Now, in contrast to the early years of Zionism, the sense of victimhood has become, over the last few decades, an integral part of Israeli Jewish identity.

“Some of those who have persisted in seeing themselves as victims have come to realize that they are actually victims of the Zionist enterprise, which has subjected them to interminable wars and, in the case of the Arab Jews, chronic social and economic inferiority.”

These conditions generate paranoia, which Rabkin traces to a biblical curse: “you shall flee though none pursues” (Leviticus).

Israeli Jews are aware at some level that their country is based on unstable foundations:

The sense of fragility is fed by awareness of Palestinian hostility, and of the hostility of the region’s population as a whole, a hostility often attributed to so-called “essentialist” causes—Islamic religion and irrational Jew-hatred—rather than to perfectly understandable social and political ones, such as the anger generated by discrimination, dispossession, and deportation of the indigenous population.

Israeli leaders’ demand that others recognize Israel as a Jewish state “testifies to the fragility of the Israeli state, for all its power and prosperity, as felt by many Zionists.” While Zionist fears of becoming a minority cause them to encourage discriminatory immigration policies that only exacerbate the problem.

“Jewish self-hatred” has been a hallmark of the Zionist ideology of national revival. And this too undermines any sense of Israeli permanence.

“Jewish tradition teaches that the Jews must take into account the impression they may make on others, even those who have persecuted them in the past… But the Zionist education system from its inception has promoted the use of force, self-affirmation, and combativeness. The Zionists looked upon the requirement to behave as moral exemplars with scorn and ridicule, caring little for the impression they, and later their state, make upon the world, and above all upon its immediate neighbors. Ben-Gurion formulated the proposition thus: ‘What matters is what the Jews do, not what the goyim think.’”

Thus Zionism produced a state that rejected “Judaism and its humility.” The new Zionist/Israeli culture sees itself as resolutely European. “So it was that dozens of songs, nursery rhymes, and children’s stories were translated from Russian into Hebrew during the early years of Zionist settlement.” But not Arab songs!

Zionists used violence to strip Jews from their religious tradition:

“Many of the founders of Jewish armed groups, in both Russia and Palestine, also recognized that the use of force was a way of tearing the Jews from Jewish tradition.”

Rabkin is not afraid of the Nazi analogy. Israel and Nazi Germany are “powerful states that scorn individual morality, practice racial discrimination, and commit crimes against humanity.” Civic spaces in Israel have become associated above all with “death for the fatherland,” a linkage going back to the beginning of Zionist colonization.

Hannah Arendt’s warning about Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann’s not being guilty of “crimes against the Jewish people,” but of his being a normal response to an evil bureaucratic system carries “a universal meaning, which should stand as a warning to any state that adopts ethnic discrimination as state policy,” Rabkin says.

Israel’s behaviour, the incarnation of the principle ‘might makes right’ has undermined the very bases of international public law

“There can be little doubt that after the Nazi genocide, the use of force became an article of faith for a large number of Jews. To cast doubt upon the legitimacy and efficacy of force is, in Zionist circles, tantamount to treason.”

That article of faith has caused Israel to abrogate international law:

“Since the proclamation of the state, Israeli policy has remained constant. It reflects the imperative to perpetuate a state established against the will of the native Arab population and situated predominantly on lands that had once belonged to that population….Israel’s behaviour, the incarnation of the principle ‘might makes right’ has undermined the very bases of international public law conceived to reduce conflict and promote peace.”

Rabkin is clear about the racist character of such Israeli institutions as the Jewish National Fund:

“This institution has played a crucial role in the development of the Zionist state. In response to an anti discrimination action brought against the JNF in 2004, the organization confirmed that ‘the loyalty of the JNF is given to the Jewish people and only to them is the JNF obligated. The JNF, as the owner of the JNF land, does not have a duty to practice equality towards all citizens of the state.’”

Among Haredi Jews, the criticism of Zionism is alive:

“While the respected Israeli intellectual Boaz Evron argues that ‘Zionism is indeed the negation of Judaism,’ the words that, for decades, have been inscribed on the walls of the Haredi quarter of Meah Shearim in Jerusalem echo this basic position: ‘Judaism and Zionism are diametrically opposed to each other.’”

And of course, Zionism’s international reputation has been transformed:

“Zionism as a symbol of the struggle against racism and for human rights has acquired the characteristics of an ideology that produces Jewish racism and an institutional system that has much in common with South African-style apartheid.

“The Zionist state, which was to have been an instrument of national liberation, has in reality become a skilled manipulator that has attempted to monopolize control of the land, the water, and the country’s other resources.”

Many Zionists have become disaffected:

“Emigration affects primarily the best-educated strata of the population. An estimated 25 percent of Israeli academics work in the United States.”

They understand that Zionism is out of step with history:

“[T]he post-modernist trend presages the collapse of Zionism, in which nationalism is perceived as a form of oppression that must give way to the affirmation of otherness and multiculturalism.”

Rabkin sees Israeli political culture as growing more and more authoritarian:

[T]he totalitarian current gives no sign of abating. If probing questions about certain Israeli policies are sometimes tolerated, not only are all fundamental critiques of Zionism delegitimized, but likewise any individual who might have dared to formulate such criticisms in the past. Such people are systematically excluded from community activities…

Let us recall that the leaders of socialist Zionism made the decision to assassinate Jacob de Haan [in 1924] above all because he “spoke ill of the movement to the outside world.”

This totalitarian culture has special implications for American Jews, those who uphold Zionist doctrine, and those who don’t:

[S]ensitivity to any criticism of Israel can easily be explained by the fact that for many people allegiance to Israel has long replaced Judaism as the anchoring principle of Jewish identity. But in the diaspora, this allegiance extends to an ideal, even imaginary, state rather than to the real and existing state of Israel, that economic and military power that dominates the region. Still, there also exists a Jewish identity whose sole content is to criticize and even to denounce the state of Israel…

The author shares in the hope for Israel to transform itself:

A former speaker of the Knesset, Avraham Burg, believes that converting Israel into a state of its citizens, and erasing its Jewish nature, is “our only hope for survival.” Prominent poet and intellectual Yitzhak Laor argues, “We don’t have to leave this place or give up our lives… we have to get rid of Zionism.”

Rabkin quotes other Jewish anti-Zionists on the urgency of this idea:

We must stop treating Israel as a romantic dream and learn to see her as a heterogeneous country

In accepting the idea that the structures of Zionism could simply be dismantled, Rabbi Moshe Sober emphasizes its psychological aspect—and expresses guarded optimism about its practicality: “A solution is not impossible; it is not even particularly costly. But it will never be achieved unless we can allow ourselves to forget for a moment our cherished beliefs for which we have sacrificed so many lives, and look instead at the actual realities of the situation. We must stop treating Israel as a romantic dream and learn to see her as a heterogeneous country in which two fiercely proud ethnic populations of similar size are struggling for control….”

Sober’s understanding leads to the acknowledgment of apartheid: “All discussion of the occupation simply conceals another reality, [Sober] concludes. Israel has in fact become a binational state that denies political rights to one of those nations.”

Rabkin is also critical of Israel’s need for geo-political supremacy in its region. Here too he sees racism:

Although both Israel and the United States possess nuclear weapons, they deny Iran the right to acquire similar weapons, arguing that its rulers are irrational religious fanatics. Clearly the principle of double standards is at work, reflecting the revival of the concept of so-called civilized countries that, against empirical evidence, are claimed to possess a monopoly on rationality in international politics.

The sense of superiority has nothing to do with Judaism or antisemitism. It is inherent to Zionism, which is opposed to liberalism.

References to Judaism and to Jewish tradition are of little help in understanding the contemporary Israel; quite the contrary, they are more likely to mislead, for Zionism and the state that incarnates it are revolutionary phenomena. It is easier, in fact, to understand that state’s politics, structure and laws without reference to either the Jews or their history…. It is thus imprecise to speak of a “Jewish state” or a “Jewish lobby”: “Zionist state” and “Zionist lobby” would be more appropriate.

Israel has… succeeded in making the Zionist outlook—by definition anti-liberal—acceptable to the general public as well as in the media and the academic world, even in countries with a long liberal tradition where the state, rather than confessional or “tribal” loyalty, theoretically ensures the rights of the citizen…. [T]he JNF, which for a century has been establishing segregated settlements that are out of bounds to Arabs, enjoys not only Canadian fiscal benefits, but the personal participation of top federal officials in the organization’s fundraising efforts.

The overt transformation of Jewish organizations around the world into Israeli vassals

We must criticize U.S. Jewish leaders for being such willing servants of this ideology, damaging both U.S. and Israeli notions of citizenship:

The leaders of major Jewish organizations in the United States and elsewhere routinely act on behalf of Israel… Those leaders appear to have bypassed the limits of the “double loyalty” Jews are often accused of harbouring, insisting that loyalty to the state of Israel must prevail over all others, including that toward their own country.

This leads to the increasingly overt transformation of Jewish organizations around the world into Israeli vassals. Moreover, by emphasizing the primacy of an ethnically and denominationally defined “Jewish nationality,” the state of Israel turns its back on the idea of an “Israeli nationality” that would reflect that multicultural society that has taken shape on this land in the Eastern Mediterranean over the last century…

Israeli leaders ignore borders, intervening in the political process of other countries, particularly in the United States where Israel often plays Congress against he White House. In the Middle East, the IDF pays no heed to borders, striking targets in its neighboring countries, interventions carried out with impunity…

Rabkin’s conclusion is that Zionism is itself a prescription for unending conflict:

“Israel, for all its embrace of modernity, remains bound by the Zionist ideology, which ensures that in spite of its respectable age it remains a daring frontier experience rife with conflict within and without.”

For those who want more of Rabkin’s sharp insights, here is a great youtube of him taking apart a Zionist ideologue, Dennis Prager.

NOTE

In an interview in 2016, Haaretz’s left/liberal publisher, Amos Schocken explained why Haaretz was a Zionist publication:

“Zionism is a viewpoint that sees the national home in the Land of Israel as a solution for the Jewish people in the framework of a democratic, Jewish state. That has been Haaretz’s view since its establishment, and throughout the years it has been my view too.

Zionism’s purpose was to establish a safe haven for the Jews where they would be responsible for their own fate and no longer be a minority among other peoples dependent on the decisions of others. In light of the Jewish experience throughout history, this goal is entirely justified.

EU-Iran ties growing stronger despite the USA’s ridiculous position

Rogue state, what rogue state? Burgeoning EU-Iran relations signal US adrift

Rogue state, what rogue state? Burgeoning EU-Iran relations signal US adrift

The phalanx of European leaders, ministers, and dignitaries, attending the inauguration of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last weekend was a stunning snub to Washington. It was also a clear signal the US is losing its thrall over Europe.

Think about it. According to US President Donald Trump and the American Congress, Iran is the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism. And yet here we saw European leaders respectfully attending the swearing-in of the country’s re-elected president. A rather big contradiction, don’t you think?

Federica Mogherini, the EU’s highest ranking diplomat, was accompanied at the Iranian presidential ceremony by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Germany’s Minister of State Michael Roth. Also in attendance were ministers and dignitaries from Austria, Britain, Denmark, Italy, and the Netherlands, as well as many other non-European countries.

So, what’s all this American talk about Iran being a rogue state, a scourge of global terrorism? The presence of European officials – and the absence of American ones – during the inauguration of President Rouhani was a spectacular demonstration of dissonance and repudiation of American policy.

Only a few weeks ago, in May, while President Trump was on his first overseas official visit in Saudi Arabia, he called on all nations of the world to boycott Iran. Trump told assembled Arab leaders then: “All nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran,” accusing the Islamic Republic of threatening Middle East security.

Evidently, European countries have ignored Trump and his demeaning caricature of Iran.

Indeed, ever since the July 2015 signing of the international nuclear accord between Iran and six other world powers (the US, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany), European governments and businesses have been hot on the trail to Tehran to ink new joint ventures and investment deals.

The nuclear accord – known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – has lifted international sanctions on Iran in return for it adhering to restrictions on its nuclear program to bar weaponization. Six reviews carried out by the UN watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, have verified Iran is in full compliance with its side of the JCPOA bargain.

The Europeans seem more than happy about that. Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign affairs chief, is a formidable advocate of the nuclear deal, proclaiming it a success and a source of regional stability. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif was warmly welcomed in Brussels in June when he reported via Twitter: “Excellent meeting with leaders in Berlin, Rome and Paris. Despite reckless US hostility, EU committed to JCPOA and constructive engagement.”

European investors have duly piled in to snatch part of the Iranian market of some 80 million people and the world’s second and fourth largest source of natural gas and oil, respectively.

This week, two days after Rouhani’s inauguration, French automaker Renault signed the “biggest-ever” car deal in Iran, worth €660 million, where it will manufacture 150,000 vehicles a year in partnership with two Iranian firms.

Last year, French company PSA, the maker of Peugeot and Citroen, announced a similar investment in Iran, worth €400 million.

The champion breakthrough for European-Iranian investment came last month when France’s Total signed up to a nearly €5 billion 20-year project with Iranian and Chinese firms to develop Iran’s South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf, reckoned to be the world’s biggest reserve.

Both Germany and France have seen exports to Iran soar since the implementation of the nuclear accord. Germany’s by some 26 percent and France’s by nearly 50 percent, according to trade figures.

Eric Schweitzer of the German Chamber of Commerce estimates his country’s bilateral trade with Iran will double within the next two years. Being the kingpin economy of Europe that means a burgeoning relationship between the wider EU and Iran.

It was notable the EU’s Mogherini said last month the JCPOA “does not belong to any one country,” when she met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Brussels. This was a veiled notice to the US that the Europeans intend to implement the nuclear accord with or without the Americans. Russia and China are, of course, onboard with the agreement, both having signed significant energy deals with Iran over the past year.

By contrast, Washington has signaled that it may rip up the JCPOA. President Trump has so far reluctantly gone along with the accord, which was negotiated under the previous Obama administration. Nevertheless, Trump has reportedly sidelined his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, an ex-oil CEO, and is pushing to rescind American compliance.

Such a reversal would have legal implications since the JCPOA is an internationally binding treaty confirmed by the United Nations. What Trump’s White House will seek to do is either ramp up accusations that Iran is in breach of it by testing ballistic missiles or try to antagonize Iran into rejecting the JCPOA by slapping on more bilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Last week, Trump signed into law new sanctions targeting Iran, as well as Russia and North Korea.

These “secondary sanctions” – which nominally are unrelated to the nuclear deal – will also potentially target European banks and industries over investments in Iran.

Thus, while European businesses and governments are legally entitled to partner with Iran due to the JCPOA terms, Washington is seeking to impose obstacles on the grounds of its bilateral sanctions based on dubious allegations of Iranian links to terrorism or illicit development of ballistic missiles.

This echoes the same repercussions for Europe about new American sanctions imposed on Russia over its natural gas delivery projects to the continent. British, French, German and Austrian energy firms are threatened with American penalties because of their partnership with Russia’s Gazprom in the construction of the Nord Stream-2 pipeline.

Europe’s response to those American sanctions has been furious, condemning Washington’s policy as blatant interference in EU energy security.

Iran is another flagrant case in point, where European economic and political interests are being dictated to by Washington.

However, increasingly it seems, the Europeans are realizing through bitter experience that Washington is not acting out of some benevolent “transatlantic unity” but rather for its own base, selfish strategic interests.

Whether it’s the Paris climate agreement, the Iranian nuclear accord, or sanctions on Russian energy supplies, the Europeans are on a journey of political discovery, in which they will fully realize their so-called strategic partnership with the US is, in fact, a huge liability.

As Deutsche Welle reported earlier this month: “Europe and USA on a collision course over Iran nuclear deal.”

Europe needs to extricate itself from the double think of following American sanctions against Iran and Russia, while also being penalized by Washington at almost every turn.

As the Americans famously say: “There’s no such thing as allies, only interests.” It’s surely time for Europe to put its own interests first and forget about fictitious allies.

Not only is the American “ally” fictitious; it is also destructive and rather dangerous to be around.

The Zionist-white supremacist alliance in Trump’s White House

The Zionist-white supremacist alliance in Trump’s White House

Pro-Israel billionaire Sheldon Adelson, center, and his wife Miriam speak with Trump advisor Steve Bannon at the president’s inauguration on 20 January 2017.

Brian Snyder Reuters

A much-discussed article in The New York Times about pressure on President Donald Trump to fire his advisor Steve Bannon contains this intriguing sentence:

Mr. Bannon’s ability to hang on as Mr. Trump’s in-house populist is in part because of his connections to a handful of ultrarich political patrons, including Sheldon G. Adelson, the pro-Israel casino magnate who is based in Las Vegas.

As executive chairman of Breitbart News before joining the Trump campaign, Bannon transformed the right-wing outlet into what he described as the “the platform for the alt-right” – the collection of neo-Nazis, white supremacists and racists who have been the renewed focus of outrage since their violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday.

Israel’s silence

Bannon is widely viewed as the champion of the white supremacists – some of whom were openly parading with Nazi flags – and the reason why Trump did not explicitly condemn them immediately after one of their number, allegedly James Alex Fields, 20, rammed his car into counterdemonstrators killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring more than a dozen others.

Hence the renewed pressure on Trump to fire Bannon. But if Bannon supports the white supremacist and clearly anti-Semitic far-right, why does he enjoy the backing of Adelson?

The Las Vegas billionaire, as is well known, is a major financier of the US Republican Party and one of the biggest donors to pro-Israel organizations in the United States. Adelson has said he regrets serving in the US army, instead of Israel’s.

He is also a close ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – and that’s where the answer can be found.

Israeli leaders, including Netanyahu, have been conspicuously silent about Nazis rampaging in Charlottesville – all the more strange since Israel is usually quick to exploit international events to its advantage. (After three days of silence, Netanyahu finally, on Tuesday, tweeted a general condemnation of “anti-Semitism, neo-Nazism and racism” without specifically mentioning Charlottesville.)

Why is the “Jewish state” apparently so reluctant to speak out against Nazis?

Israel’s anti-Semitic alliances

While Israel purports to be the protector of Jews all over the world, Zionists historically made alliances with the world’s most lethal anti-Semites. Zionists and anti-Semites, after all, shared the analysis that Jews do not belong in Europe, so why not cooperate to transport them somewhere else – Palestine.

A cornerstone of Israel’s policy today is to cement ties with other ultra-nationalist, racist and Islamophobic forces around the world – even if they are also anti-Semitic.

A striking example is Netanyahu’s own embrace of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, despite the latter’s recent praise for Viktor Horthy, the wartime ally of Hitler who oversaw the murder of 500,000 Holocaust victims.

Israel’s interests took precedence over the safety concerns of Hungarian Jews, as Netanyahu ordered his foreign ministry to tamp down criticism of Orban’s anti-Semitic dog whistles.

Notably, Richard Spencer, the neo-Nazi ideologue who wants to create an Aryan homeland in North America, has called his mission a “sort of white Zionism.” Spencer has ties to another senior White House advisor, Stephen Miller.

A similar ideological alliance prevails inside the White House. And Israel has guarded it: Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador in Washington, publicly defended Bannon in the days following last November’s election, after American Jewish groups strongly criticized Bannon’s appointment to a top position.

Ideology and convenience

But the Adelson-Bannon partnership is also one of convenience. The Adelson-backed Zionist Organization of America is waging a campaign against Trump’s National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, which aims to portray the army general as “hostile to Israel.”

McMaster also happens to be one of Bannon’s key opponents inside the White House.

Establishment Israel lobby figures, such as the Obama administration’s ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro, have leapt to McMaster’s defense:

Choose your war

There are substantive issue at stake. Part of Bannon’s ultra-nationalist “America First” agenda is opposing some US military interventions, particularly a renewed “surge” in Afghanistan that is supported by McMaster and US defense secretary James Mattis.

That is not Adelson’s – or Netanyahu’s interest – however. Bannon and other ultra-right figures including White House advisor Sebastian Gorka – have been key opponents of the international deal with Iran over its nuclear energy program. Blocking or undermining the Iran deal has been Netanyahu’s preoccupation for years.

Bannon and Gorka furiously opposed the State Department’s recent certification that Iran is in compliance with the terms of the agreement.

The Zionist Organization of America’s key allegation against McMaster is that he is too sympathetic towards Iran.

Reporting by The Forward revealed that Gorka is a member of a Hungarian far-right group that was controlled by the Nazis during the war, and has given backing to an anti-Semitic militia.

For those who support justice and oppose war and racism, there is no “side” to choose in this battle. On one side, you have the Bannon-Adelson faction pushing extreme Zionism, anti-Semitism, white supremacy and possible war with Iran. On the other, you have have the McMaster faction, backed by the DC establishment, which wants to perpetuate America’s existing imperial wars, starting with escalation in Afghanistan

Trump and the Christian Fascists

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    Donald Trump with the Rev. Pat Robertson in 2016 at Virginia’s Regent University, founded by Robertson. This month Robertson was granted a White House interview with the president for the Christian Broadcasting Network, also founded by the televangelist. (Steve Helber / AP)

By Chris Hedges

Donald Trump’s ideological vacuum, the more he is isolated and attacked, is being filled by the Christian right. This Christianized fascism, with its network of megachurches, schools, universities and law schools and its vast radio and television empire, is a potent ally for a beleaguered White House. The Christian right has been organizing and preparing to take power for decades. If the nation suffers another economic collapse, which is probably inevitable, another catastrophic domestic terrorist attack or a new war, President Trump’s ability to force the Christian right’s agenda on the public and shut down dissent will be dramatically enhanced. In the presidential election, Trump had 81 percent of white evangelicals behind him.

Trump’s moves to restrict abortion, defund Planned Parenthood, permit discrimination against LGBT people in the name of “religious liberty” and allow churches to become active in politics by gutting the Johnson Amendment, along with his nominations of judges championed by the Federalist Society and his call for a ban on Muslim immigrants, have endeared him to the Christian right. He has rolled back civil rights legislation and business and environmental regulations. He has elevated several stalwarts of the Christian right into power—Mike Pence to the vice presidency, Jeff Sessions to the Justice Department, Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Betsy DeVos to the Department of Education, Tom Price to Health and Human Services and Ben Carson to Housing and Urban Development. He embraces the white supremacy, bigotry, American chauvinism, greed, religious intolerance, anger and racism that define the Christian right.

Click here for a 2007 video of Chris Hedges speaking about his book “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.”

More important, Trump’s disdain for facts and his penchant for magical thinking and conspiracy theories mesh well with the worldview of the Christian right, which sees itself as under attack by the satanic forces of secular humanism embodied in the media, academia, the liberal establishment, Hollywood and the Democratic Party. In this worldview, climate change is not real, Barack Obama is a Muslim and millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election.

The followers of the Christian right, like Trump and his brain trust, including Stephen Bannon, are Manicheans. They see the world in black and white, good and evil, them and us. Trump’s call in his speech in Poland for a crusade against the godless hoards of Muslims fleeing from the wars and chaos we created replicates the view of the Christian right. Christian right leaders in a sign of support went to the White House on July 10 to pray over Trump. Two days later Pat Robertson showed up there to interview the president for his Christian Broadcasting Network.

If the alliance between these zealots and the government succeeds, it will snuff out the last vestiges of American democracy.

On the surface it appears to be incongruous that the Christian right would rally behind a slick New York real estate developer who is a very public serial philanderer and adulterer, has no regard for the truth, is consumed by greed, does not appear to read or know the Bible, routinely defrauds and cheats his investors and contractors, expresses a crude misogyny and an even cruder narcissism and appears to yearn for despotism. In fact, these are the very characteristics that define most of the leaders of the Christian right. Trump has preyed on desperate people through the thousands of slot machines in his casinos, his sham university and his real estate deals. Megachurch pastors prey on their followers by extracting “seed offerings,” “love gifts,” tithes and donations and by selling miracle healings along with “prayer clothes,” self-help books, audio and video recordings and even protein shakes. Pastors have established within their megachurches, as Trump did in his businesses, despotic fiefdoms. They cannot be challenged or questioned any more than an omnipotent Trump could be challenged on the reality television show “The Apprentice.” And they seek to replicate their little tyrannies on a national scale, with white men in charge.

The personal piety of most of the ministers who lead the Christian right is a facade. Their private lives are usually marked by hedonistic squalor that includes mansions, private jets, limousines, retinues of bodyguards, personal assistants and servants, shopping sprees, lavish vacations and sexual escapades that rival those carried out by Trump. And because they run “churches,” in many cases church funds pay for their tax-free empires, including their extravagant lifestyles. They also engage in the nepotism found in the Trump organization, elevating family members to prominent or highly paid positions and passing on the businesses to their children.

The Christian right’s scandals, which give a glimpse into the sordid lives of these multimillionaire pastors, are legion. Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s Praise the Lord Club, for example, raked in as much as $1 million a week before Jim Bakker went to prison for nearly five years. He was convicted of fraud and other charges in 1989 because of a $158 million scheme in which followers paid for vacations that never materialized. As the Bakker empire came apart, there also were accusations of drug use and rape. Tammy Faye died in 2007, and now Jim Bakker is back, peddling survival food for the end days and telling his significantly reduced television audience that anyone who opposes Trump is the Antichrist.Paul and Jan Crouch, who gave the Bakkers their start, founded Trinity Broadcasting, the world’s largest televangelist network, now run by their son Matt and his wife, Laurie. Viewers were encouraged to call prayer counselors at the toll-free number shown at the bottom of the TV screen. It was a short step from talking with a prayer counselor to making a “love gift” and becoming a “partner” in Trinity Broadcasting and then sending in more money during one of the frequent Praise-a-Thons.

The Crouches reveled in tasteless kitsch, as does Trump. They sat during their popular nightly program in front of stained glass windows that overlooked Louis XVI-inspired sets awash in gold rococo and red velvet, glittering chandeliers and a gold-painted piano. The network emblem, which Paul Crouch wore on the pocket of his blue double-breasted blazer, featured a crown, a lion, a horse, a white dove, a cross and Latin phrases among other elements. The Crouches would have been at home in Trump Tower, where the president has a faux “Trump crest”—allegedly plagiarized—and has decorated his penthouse as if it was part of Versailles.

The Crouches were masters of manipulation. They exhorted viewers to send in checks for $1,000, even if they could not afford it. Write the check anyway, Paul Crouch, who died in 2013, told them, as a “step of faith” and the Lord would repay them many times over. “Do you think God would have any trouble getting $1,000 extra to you somehow?” he asked during one Praise-a-Thon broadcast. Viewers, many of whom struggled with deep despair and believed that miracles and magic alone held them back from the abyss, often found it impossible to resist this emotional pressure.

Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) is home to many of the worst charlatans in the Christian right, including the popular healer Benny Hinn, who says that Adam was a superhero who could fly to the moon and claims that one day the dead will be raised by watching TBN from inside their coffins. Hinn claims his “anointings” have cured cancer, AIDS, deafness, blindness and numerous other ailments and physical injuries. Those who have not been cured, he says, did not send in enough money.

These religious hucksters are some of the most accomplished con artists in the country, a trait they share with the current occupant of the Oval Office.

I wrote a book on the Christian right in 2007 called “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.” I did not use the word “fascist” lightly. I spent several hours, at the end of two years of reporting, with two of the country’s foremost scholars on fascism—Fritz Stern and Robert O. Paxton. Did this ideology fit the parameters of classical fascism? Was it virulent enough and organized enough to seize power? Would it go to the ruthless extremes of previous fascist movements to persecute and silence dissent? Has our deindustrialized society replicated the crippling despair, alienation and rage that always feed fascist movements?

The evangelicalism promoted by the Christian right is very different from the evangelicalism and fundamentalism of a century ago. The emphasis on personal piety that defined the old movement, the call to avoid the contamination of politics, has been replaced by Christian Reconstructionism, called Dominionism by some. This new ideology is about taking control of all institutions, including the government, to build a “Christian” nation. Rousas John Rushdoony in his 1973 book, “The Institutes of Biblical Law,” first articulated it. Rushdoony argued that God gives the elect, just as he gave Adam and Noah, dominion over the earth to build a Christian society. Their state will come about with the physical eradication of the forces of Satan. It is the duty of the church and the elect to “rescue” the world so Christ can return.

This is an ideology of death. It promises that the secular, humanist society will be physically destroyed. The Ten Commandments will form the basis of our legal system. Creationism or “Intelligent Design” will be taught in public schools. People who are considered social deviants, including homosexuals, immigrants, secular humanists, feminists, Jews, Muslims, criminals and those dismissed as “nominal Christians”—meaning Christians who do not embrace the Christian right’s perverted and heretical interpretation of the Bible—will be silenced, imprisoned or killed. The role of the federal government will be reduced to protecting property rights, “homeland” security and waging war. Church organizations will be funded and empowered by the government to run social-welfare agencies. The poor, condemned for sloth, indolence and sinfulness, will be denied government assistance. The death penalty will be expanded to include “moral crimes,” including apostasy, blasphemy, sodomy and witchcraft, as well as abortion, which will be treated as murder. Women will be subordinate to men. Those who practice other faiths will become, at best, second-class citizens and eventually outcasts. The wars in the Middle East will be defined as religious crusades against Muslims. There will be no separation of church and state. The only legitimate voices will be “Christian.” America will become an agent of God. Those who defy the “Christian” authorities will be branded as agents of Satan.

Tens of millions of Americans are already hermetically sealed within this bizarre worldview. They are given a steady diet of conspiracy theories and lies on the internet, in their churches, in Christian schools and colleges and on Christian television and radio. Elizabeth Dilling, who wrote “The Red Network” and was a Nazi sympathizer, is required reading. Thomas Jefferson, who favored separation of church and state, is ignored. This Christian propaganda hails the “significant contributions” of the Confederacy. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who led the anti-communist witch hunts in the 1950s, is rehabilitated as an American hero. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, along with the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya, is defined as part of the worldwide battle against satanic Islamic terror. Presently, nearly 40 percent of the U.S. public believes in Creationism or “Intelligent Design.” And nearly a third of the population, 94 million people, consider themselves evangelical.Those who remain in a reality-based universe often dismiss these malcontents as buffoons. They do not take seriously the huge segment of the public, mostly white and working class, who because of economic distress have primal yearnings for vengeance, new glory and moral renewal and are easily seduced by magical thinking. These are the yearnings and emotions Trump has exploited politically.

Those who embrace this movement need to feel, even if they are not, that they are victims surrounded by dark and sinister groups bent on their destruction. They need to elevate themselves to the role of holy warriors, infused with a noble calling and purpose. They need to sanctify the rage and hypermasculinity that are the core of fascism. The rigidity and simplicity of their belief, which includes being anointed for a special purpose in life by God, are potent weapons in the fight against their own demons and desire for meaning.

“Evil when we are in its power is not felt as evil but as a necessity, or even a duty,” Simone Weil wrote.

These believers, like all fascists, detest the reality-based world. They condemn it as contaminated, decayed and immoral. This world took their jobs. It destroyed their future. It ruined their communities. It doomed their children. It flooded their lives with alcohol, opioids, pornography, sexual abuse, jail sentences, domestic violence, deprivation and despair. And then, from the depths of suicidal despair, they suddenly discovered that God has a plan for them. God will save them. God will intervene in their lives to promote and protect them. God has called them to carry out his holy mission in the world and to be rich, powerful and happy.

The rational, secular forces, those that speak in the language of fact and evidence, are hated and feared, for they seek to pull believers back into “the culture of death” that nearly destroyed them. The magical belief system, as it was for impoverished German workers who flocked to the Nazi Party, is an emotional life raft. It is all that supports them. The only way to blunt this movement is to reintegrate these people into the economy, to give them economic stability through good wages and benefits, to restore their self-esteem. They need to live in a society that is not predatory but instead provides well-funded public schools, free university education and universal health care, a society in which they and their families can prosper.

Let us not stand at the open gates of the city waiting passively for the barbarians. They are coming. They are slouching towards Bethlehem. Let us shake off our complacency and cynicism. Let us openly defy the liberal establishment, which will not save us, to demand and fight for economic reparations for the poor and the working class. Let us give all Americans a reality-based hope for the future. Time is running out. If we do not act, American fascists, clutching Christian crosses, waving American flags and orchestrating mass recitations of the pledge of allegiance, united behind the ludicrous figure of Donald Trump, will ride this rage to power.

Not Just Trump, The Lunatic US Presidents — and John McCain

The Lunatic US Presidents — and John McCain

 

The list of lunatic US presidents just keeps growing.  It’s a bipartisan list too, so maybe there’s something in the White House ventilation system.

George Bush: “Good versus evil, right versus wrong.”
He started the murderous sanctions on Iraq which led from it being a prosperous state to lying in ruins and in never ending war 27 years later.

Bill Clinton: Mired in the sex scandal with Monica Lewinsky, he came clean (well part way clean). His approval ratings plummeted. 3 days later he bombed Afghanistan and the Sudan. The news of the bombings upstaged the Lewinsky scandal. He was “fighting terrorists” (aren’t they all?). It soon emerged he bombed Sudan’s only medicinal factory.

George W. Bush: The man of “Shock and Awe” or “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” He said Iraqis would “witness the honorable and decent spirit of the American military.” Since the dark day of the criminal invasion and occupation of Iraq by the US, at least a million have died and the numbers rise each day.

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Kidnapped Iraqis enjoying the decency of Abu Ghraib

Did George come up with the slogan “Shock and awe”? Clever enough? Well he said, “fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” I’ll leave it to people’s judgement.

Barack Obama: Plenty to choose from with this silver tongued man. He proudly announced that the US supported “peaceful protesters” in the Maidan in Ukraine, while condemning the government for brutal repression of the protesters.

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Nazimaidan freedom fighters, 2014

Anyone who has seen the hours and hours and hours and hours of footage of the protests will know this is a bald faced lie. You have never seen such a well organised, armed, coordinated and violent group of protesters as those at the Maidan. They were virtually as well armed as the police. Batons, helmets, full sized shields, molotov cocktails, slingshots, steel rods, gas masks and as we saw from buildings surrounding the Maidan, armed with guns with which they murdered police and civilians indiscriminately. The demonstrations were dominated by neo-Nazi nationalists such as Right Sector who chanted, “Glory to Ukraine, death to enemies, death to Russians.” These were the people Obama called “peaceful protesters.” He and his State Department prostitutes continued the lies of Ukrainians asserting their right to freedom while Kiev launched a criminal war of aggression on Ukrainians in the Donbass. The Kiev junta called ordinary men, women and children of the Donbass “terrorists.” In Obama’s world these people were excluded from the right to freedom.

We can’t neglect to mention he is the man who authorized the CIA train and assist program in Syria in 2013. The covert planning started well before then though, with Obama stepping right into the middle of the plot to unseat Assad when he assumed the presidency in 2009.

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Obama supported terrorists who forced child to hack off head of tethered Syrian man, as ‘legitimate’ representatives of the Syrian people. al Jazeera and not in Syria ‘doctor’ make same demands

Donald Trump: “Fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen.” This is how the current US President engages with North Korea as tensions reach boiling point. A manufactured crisis which justifies the expansion of the gargantuan military industrial complex threatens to break out into war. An unhinged megalomaniac as commander in chief with his finger on the nuclear trigger. War on the Korean Peninsula initiated by Donald Trump will cause death and destruction in the first few days the likes of we have not seen since Hiroshima and Nagasaki; an unpunished American war crime.

Trump surpassed Barack Obama in Syria in terms of deliberate unabashed bombing and murdering of troops and civilians. He liked it so much -perhaps even more than the chocolate cake- that he did it again. He may be getting rid of the covert CIA train and assist program, described in US media as a debacle and a failure, but only in terms of a waste of money and not resulting in the coveted regime change, but not in terms of its true damage of unleashing savage terrorists to murder Syrians and tear the country apart. Regardless, it hardly matters anymore. The terrorists have become a bedraggled, rag tag mob, holding onto pockets of territory and fighting each other in Idlib, their last bastion. They are now irrelevant in the bigger picture of US plans for what Syria will look like in the future. In short it won’t be Syria, it will be fragmented mini states with the US controlling large parts of resource rich territory under the stewardship of the Kurds. The Kurds will get a few pieces of silver for being the flavor of the month proxies and will be expected to perform as puppets for the privilege.

Some reports claim the US has 10 bases in Syria. This number is unconfirmed. but 1 or 10 equally remarkable considering:

  • Every single one is illegal under international law
  • All US presence in Syria is illegal
  • The US is in effect occupying Syria
  • They have more bases in Syria than many countries where they actually have agreements to place bases
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American terrorists training other terrorists, in Syria

US strikes in Syria may be lawful if Syria consents to the use of force in their territory.  If Syria does not consent, the strikes would violate international law, unless the US demonstrates that the strikes were taken in self-defense.  — Sarah Knuckey, international lawyer and Professor at Columbia Law School

The US has thousands of troops surrounding Syria which can be bought in from Jordan, Qatar, Iraq, Kuwait, UAE and Bahrain. Trump may or may not bring in large numbers of troops, but the war addicted US deep state will not let him give up Syria. Balkanization is on the horizon and the war hawks will not be deterred, even in the face of potential military conflict with Russia.

I should throw in a few dishonorable mentions:

Madeline Albright: Who can forget when she said “We think the price is worth it.” The price was the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to murderous US led sanctions. What a vile woman. In prison now for her psychopathic views and war crimes against Iraq? Hardly. She is still a player in the US deep state, her dirty fingers still in the pies of international relations and finance.

Hillary Clinton: “We came, we saw, he died.” The savages that dragged Muammar Gadaffi through the streets before murdering him may have had a good chuckle at this, but any non psychopath should have felt horror at such macabre behavior. But this is what to expect from a woman who never saw a war she didn’t like and who runs a corrupt empire through her Clinton Foundation.

Clinton was also the strongest of the advocates for a no fly zone in Syria. She urged tough action to oust Bashar al-Assad and who knows what she would have done if coronated as President, as was widely anticipated. Rather than cut the CIA covert train and assist program off at the knees, she probably would have given it a new lease of life, with carte blanche to do whatever it takes to overthrow Assad, the man Syrians want to lead their country though and beyond this war on them. Hillary the Goddess of war must have savored the moment she could say of Assad; “we came, we saw, he died.”

And then there’s John McCain: Well, where do we start here? As Georgian forces launched an assault on South Ossetia in 2008, he said, “Today we are all Georgians.” Media and deep state lies aside, it very quickly emerged that the short war was started by Georgian forces massacring South Ossetians, with Russian forces responding to protect the lives of innocent civilians.

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Senator McCain spends more time with terrorists abroad than he does on Capitol Hill

At The Maidan in Ukraine in 2014, he said, “The free world is with you, America is with you, I am with you.” He stood next to Oleh Tyahnybok, the Stephan Bandera worshipping Nazi as he said this. His message was well received by Right Sector led neo-Nazi thugs who soon after played an integral part in the violent coup which installed a government which is a pathetic US puppet and is leading the country down the path of disintegration.

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McCain’s Nazimaidan pal, Oleh Tyahybok. CNN had no complaints over this ‘sieg heil.’
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McQaeda and the Nazimaidan

 

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McCain was “honored” to meet Nazimaidan icon reputed to hate Jews

 

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McCain somehow missed the JTA’s report on Nadya Savchenko’s anti-Jewish slurs

 

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Kiev Rabbi Moshe Reuven Asman warned the Nazimaidans were plotting a pogram against the Jewish community

 

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Ma’ariv reported on the rabbi’s warnings. Then silence. No viralization by western media

 

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Vice President Joe Biden‘s son Hunter, kicked out of the Navy for cocaine, quickly got a job in the Nazimaidan government.

John McCain is unrepentant in his desire to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad as the leader of Syria. He threw a hissy fit when Trump announced the end of the CIA train and assist program. Naturally this was “playing into Russian hands.”

After his jaunts into Libya, leaving a trail of death and despair in his wake, he ventured into Syria. He wanted to spread the virtues of “American democracy” so in May 2013 he met with terrorists in Syria, planning to help implement no fly zones and dramatically increase arms to the “rebels.” Among the terrorists was strongly rumored to be a certain Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS. Let me repeat, he appears to have met with (and I imagine shook hands) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Would he shake hands with Baghdadi? Well he supported the war criminal Mikheil Saakashvili, ditto for Oleh Tyahnybok, sits down for coffee with heart eating Free Syrian Army types, so the question is rhetorical. And after all, demonic US political leaders have a long history of supporting terrorists to do their bidding. In truth, if it was Baghdadi, McCain probably didn’t wash his hands for a week afterwards.

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Illegal McCain’s translator Mustapha Muoaz refused to deny they met with alBaghdadi

Also among the backslappers was a Free Syrian Army leader who supports Al-Aqaeda terrorists. As Miri Wood reported in Syria News: “During that illegal trip, McCain met with other terrorists, including kidnappers of Lebanese pilgrims, Syrian traitor Salim Idriss, an “FSA” head who supports its offspring, Jabhat al Nusra (JaN). JaN has been on the US terror list, since 10 months after its inception (and 10 days after the Washington Post described it as ‘the most successful arm of the rebel forces.’). Idriss gave his public support for JaN in March 2013, more than two months before McQaeda McCain met with him.”

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American Foreign Terrorist and illegal alien McCain meets with kidnappers and other terrorists. To his right is FSA/JaN terrorist Idriss

McCain went on another sortie into Syria in February 2017 (again as an illegal alien, who should have been quite rightly tracked down and locked up). Ostensibly to discuss the counter ISIS campaign according to his spokeswoman. Yeah right, and pigs fly too.

Shortly after McCain’s visit came the Khan Shekhoun incident, now only credible as a Syrian government chemical weapons attack to Erdoganstan, the military industrial complex media, the deep state and US lackeys such as the UK and France. The rest of us, unless we are as brain dead as a tin of sardines, have grown weary of the propaganda and psyops war waged against Syria.

Not long after the Khan Shekhoun incident came the terrorist bombing of buses evacuating civilians from Fua and Kefraya in the al-Rashideen neighbourhood of western Aleppo. The outrage was notably dampened because it couldn’t be pinned on Bashar al-Assad. If it could, the catcalls for more Tomahawks to be launched at Syria would have been deafening. As it couldn’t, it was little more than a passing story, a blip in the media landscape. Bombing in Syria……and now for sports news. The despicable BBC didn’t even deem it a terrorist attack, which I wrote about shortly after the atrocity.

On his soon probable big sleep, McCain’s last words are likely to be, “is that Assad gone yet?” No, but you soon will be, you Nazi lover.

— Paul Mansfield

Mad Dog Trump Includes Venezuela into List of Nations Most Likely to Be Attacked by United States

President Trump Includes Venezuela into List of Nations Most Likely to be attacked by the USA

President Trump Includes Venezuela into List of Nations Most Likely to Be Attacked by United States

On August 11, US President Donald Trump threatened a military intervention in Venezuela. «I’m not going to rule out a military option», Trump declared to reporters in Bedminster, N.J. «This is our neighbor. We’re all over the world, and we have troops all over the world, in places that are very, very far away. Venezuela is not very far away, and the people are suffering, and they’re dying. We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option, if necessary», he explained. This is an unexpected dramatic escalation of Washington’s response to Venezuela’s internal political crisis.

Venezuela is sliding into turmoil, riven by widespread hungerskyrocketing inflation, and street violence. The situation aggravated even more after opposition forces looted weapons from a military base after the authority went from the opposition-controlled congress to a new legislative body. 17 countries denounced the inauguration of an all-powerful new constituent assembly loyal to President Maduro but many Latin American countries, such as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Bolivia, support Maduro’s government and recognize the legislative body elected on August 4. Despite the differences of opinion, no Latin American state has ever mentioned the use of force as an option.

Since taking office, the Trump administration has been ramping up pressure on Venezuela. The officials have previously said that «all options are on the table» to penalize Maduro and his government, including import or export bans on Venezuelan oil or sanctions on the state-run oil company, PDVSA. The administration has been critical of Maduro’s moves to consolidate power, calling the recent election of a new constituent assembly as «illegitimate» and describing the Venezuelan president as a «dictator». After the vote on establishing a constituent assembly in Venezuela, the US Treasury Department sanctioned 30 Venezuelans, including President Maduro, freezing their US assets, banning US travel and prohibiting Americans from doing business with them.

President Trump has refused to talk on the phone with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro till «democracy was restored». Media contributes into instigating sentiments against the Venezuelan government. The Boston Globe’s editorial titled Don’t Let Democracy Die in Venezuela says, «Sanctions imposed so far are not working. The United States, and the rest of the world, must send Maduro the message that they will not allow him to hijack his own country».

Marine Corps expeditionary force is the only one who could send such as message. The Pentagon said the military was ready to support efforts to protect US citizens and America’s national interests. The United States has a long history of regime toppling in Latin America, with the military and the CIA operating behind the scenes. Vice President Mike Pence is visiting Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Panama on August 13–18, 2017. The trip is a chance to announce further steps on Venezuela and ramp up support for future actions.

Why Venezuela? After all, Latin America does not seem appear to top the administration’s priorities’ list. In June, State Secretary Rex Tillerson skipped a crucial Organization of American States’ meeting devoted to the situation in Venezuela. Instead, the Secretary focused on the mission to ease tensions in the Persian Gulf.

Venezuela is not Syria, there is no civil war going on and no refugees rush en masse to leave the country. It’s not North Korea or Iran. There are no plans to develop a nuclear potential. President Maduro still enjoys substantial support. The nation is divided, not all Venezuelans are ready to greet US servicemen as liberators. What is important – the Latin American governments that criticize President Maduro will not be able to join or openly support a US military operation for political reasons.

But President Trump’s job approval ratings are slipping and he needs to take some action to turn the tide. According to the Quinnipiac University Poll, just 33 percent of American voters said they approved of Trump’s job in office, while 61 percent said they disapproved. It’s down 7 percentage points from the 40 percent rating he received in a similar survey in late June. In June, 84 percent of Republicans polled said they approved of Trump’s job in office. However, according to the latest survey, support among the same group has dipped to 76 percent.

Other polls also show the job approval ratings are going down. Just one other newly-elected president has held an approval rating below 50% at this point in his presidency since modern polling began: Bill Clinton, whose approval rating stood at 44% at this point in 1993.

The US president is under assault on many fronts. Now and then, calls for impeachment are made public. Conservatives begin to whisper: President Pence.

Short and successful military interventions abroad are the way to improve the ratings. There was a rise in Trump’s popularity after the cruise missiles strike in Syria he ordered on April 7. The same thing happened when the Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, dubbed the «mother of all bombs», was used on April 13 against Islamic State militants in Afghanistan.

After the election President-elect Trump said he would avoid interventions in foreign conflicts. Instead of investing in wars, he would spend money to build up America’s aging infrastructure: roads, bridges and airports. But bombing one’s way to popularity is a temptation hard to resist. So, Venezuela joins the list of countries, such as North Korea and Iran, which could be attacked by the United States anytime. 

It’s Time to Stop “Supporting Our Troops”: Thirty Million People Killed by U.S. Since the End of World War II

It’s Time to Stop “Supporting Our Troops”: Thirty Million People Killed by U.S. Since the End of World War II

By Joachim Hagopian,

First published in December 2015

With the 115 year old tradition of the annual Army-Navy football classic on Saturday [December 2015], the so called “America’s game” and “rivalry for the ages” is now once again upon us. This occasion never fails to pay reverent homage to America’s so called “cream of the crop” elitist military academies and always from the president to celebrities Americans give tribute to our armed forces. At this time we hear that familiar patriotic mantra “support our troops” mindlessly repeated. So it seems appropriate now to take a cold hard look to examine what it actually means to “support our troops.”

As both a West Point graduate and critic of the American Empire, to me the “support our troops” sentiment has long outworn its propagandized welcome. US Empire has been using that contrite expression to brainwash Americans and justify its wars and violence for far too long. It sprang up during this last decade’s protracted war losses in Iraq and Afghanistan. Never was it ever heard during the Vietnam War when our combat veterans returned home feeling defeated and suffering from untreated PTSD symptoms, shunned by a nation that had bitterly turned against them and their war, particularly by their own peer group. Fast forward to four decades and three war defeats later, and our government is still sending Americans off to fight and die inAfghanistan (9800 currently) and Iraq (3500 with another 100 on the way), and now inSyria (50 just proposed with more on the way while war-hawk Bobbsy twins McCain and Graham are calling for 20,000 more troops in Syria). But this century’s wars we keep hearing red, white and blue, flag waving Americans urging us to “support our troops.”

Over the long haul, supporting our troops has resulted in the United States being the most warring, aggressive nation on earth, bar none. As we’re about to enter 2016, our ultraviolent country will be killing other human beings somewhere on this planet for 223 out of the last 240 total years the US has been in existence. That’s 93% of our time as a nation-turned-Empire we’ve been destroying human life. That’s certainly nothing to be proud of. Yet it’s “our troops” who’ve been the murdering culprit. No compassionate, rational person could possibly place blindly obedient support behind such rampantly wanton disregard and contempt for fellow human life.

Another fact that Americans can’t be proud of is knowing that the most warring nation on earth just since World War II alone has murdered up to 30 million people around the globe with an estimated 90% of them being civilians. Having initiated 201 out of the total of 240 armed conflicts from the end of WWII to 2001, it then follows that between those years the US Empire of Chaos and Destruction has murdered 27 million innocent people whose lives have tragically been cut short through no fault of their own for simply living in the wrong place at the wrong time belonging to the wrong ethnic nationality targeted by America’s full spectrum dominance and global superpower hegemony. And that was before the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

And what does it take to be targeted as a US foreign enemy? Any country whose leaders choose to support their own citizens’ well-being, independence and quality of life over US Empire’s fascist transnational corporate interests is attacked economically through sanctions and embargos, politically through propaganda lies and threats, or militarily though unnatural disasters/weather warfare, occupied invasions involving long term bloody conflict or acts of terrorism, coups and assassinations. Just ask Cuba, Venezuela, Haiti, Panama, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Congo North Korea, Donbas, Palestine or Russia just to name more than a dozen.

People around the world have been victimized for well over a century by American Empire’s willful rape and pillage of their lands in the name of stolen natural resources and inhumane forced slave labor, and those are the nations whose puppet dictators willingly succumbed and acquiesced to US demands and pressures. In fact in the tradition of the British Empire, North America’s entire domestic and foreign history has been made of genocidal killing, enslaving, stealing and subjugating other darker-skinned races into death and submission. Given this context with the bigger picture perspective, “supporting our troops” is really supporting mass murder around the world. So bearing that sobering, grim reality in mind, it’s time for Americans to cease and desist with their jingoistic rah-rah that only adds insult to injury to the rest of the victimized world.

In 2008 the US spent more money every 5 seconds to wage an immoral, unlawful war in Iraq than the average working American earned all year long. 80% of America’s taxes are earmarked towards funding the annual Pentagon budget to wage war around the world. When that kind of war investment misappropriating US citizenry’s hard-earned tax dollars places such lopsided priority over the well-being of its own people, with over a decade of wearing down an overextended military forced into fighting three, four and even five consecutive combat tours on two simultaneous warfronts, it also overburdened and decimated America’s middle class. And now for the first time in nearly a half century, the US middle class is no longer a majority in the United States. A large chunk of it died when sinking into an expanding lower class of impoverished, poverty-stricken Americans barely making ends meet.

But considering the costs of war to victim nations where since 2003 the US has killed over a million people in Iraq alone, this figure released from a study earlier this year is admittedly a conservative estimate. The study concludes that up to two million in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have been killed by America’s wars. These colossal crimes against humanity constitute supporting the US federal government as well as its military troops a moral crime. America’s complete and utter destruction of the world’s second and third largest oil producers in Iraq and Libya, turning them into failed states because their one time US allied leaders moved away from the US petrodollaris unconscionable, yet that’s the tragic outcome of blindly supporting our troops. More than any other single country, the US today is responsible for allowing ISIS to make billions in profit from stolen oil from Iraq and Syria financing the biggest terrorist group on the planet. And US partners-in-crime Turkey and Israel are the two biggest buyers of terrorist oil. So in effect supporting our troops is also supporting both crimes against humanity as well as worldwide terrorism.

Supporting our troops has contributed to the world becoming far more armed and dangerous today than at any prior time in our recorded human history. Our nation is also responsible for spearheading the biggest arms race in history where it’s not just the US Empire spending so many billions on weapons of mass destruction but due to Empire aggression it has forced Russia and China to answer by also significantly increasing their military spending. A dozen years ago the US defense budget nearly equaled the rest of the world combined. But during this century’s two protracted US wars plus smaller secret ones around the world, America’s military expenditures have soared to $682 billion in 2012 from $417.4 in 2003.

he exponential rise of American aggression likewise has pressured the unilaterally declared US enemies Russia and China to significantly increase their military spending as well. The US has gone from spending near half (46%) of the world’s military amount in 2003 to just 35% in 2014due to Russia and China dramatically expanding their military budgets. In fact following America’s lead, both the world’s annual arms sales as well as its military budgets have exponentially skyrocketed amongst dozens of countries all seemingly gearing up for “the big one.” Not surprisingly, at 31% the US is also the biggest arms dealer on the planet followed by Russia’s 27% with China accounting for 5% during the period from 2010-2014 that totaled a 16% increase from arms sold from 2005-2009.

Events and developments have escalated tensions and confrontations between the US and Russia and China in recent weeks. With the US backing NATO memberTurkey recklessly shooting down a Russian fighter jet resulting in a Russian rescue helicopter also brought down last month, in addition to the probable ISIS bomb taking down the Russian airliner killing all 224 onboard a month and a half ago, the US Navy destroyer skirting inside the twelve nautical mile range of built up Chinese islands in the South China Sea, the United States and the West appear to be baiting Putin and the East into World War III. And with nuclear powers going directly head-to-head in Syria, Ukraine and Asia, self-annihilation of the human race becomes a very real and grave risk culminating after a quarter century of US Empire belligerently operating as the sole global superpower and “global village” bully.

Out of nearly 200 countries no other nation on earth has more than a few military bases outside its own country except the United States. In contrast to the rest of the world, the US sends 1.5 million military occupiers on active duty to over a thousand military installations on every continent throughout the globe. Just this week the Pentagon announced a worldwide expansion of military bases without specifying a total number under the auspices of secrecy. West Africa, East Africa and Afghanistan are slotted for full scale bases. Meanwhile US Special Forces that covertly operate by stealth surprise often at night in guerilla-type, fast strike operations are busily secretly committing acts of terror in over 135 nations globally, that’s about 75% of the all world’s nations.

Let’s look at the way our federal government supports our troops. After sending over6800 US soldiers (along with 7000 civilian contractors) to their early graves fighting in America’s two longest running wars in the nation’s history, leaving one million wounded personnel filing VA claims ranging from life threatening physical injuries to emotionally crippling PTSD traumas and scars, the feds have betrayed our patriots serving our country by treasonously targeting all returning combat veterans as thebiggest enemy threat on American soil. Indeed veterans, gun owners and dissidents are deemed to pose a greater danger than even the feds’ own created terrorist monster ISIS that Obama’s open border policy facilitates easy access to establishing terrorist cells inside America.

Those veterans seeking help are customarily snowed under by lethal Big Pharma poison, fast becoming addicted and even more unstable. Many are haplessly waiting and dying on lists for medical services that often don’t come soon enough. Exposing forty veterans who died awaiting services on invisible lists at the Phoenix VA hospital alone triggered a major scandal last year. For several years running on averagetwenty-two veterans have been killing themselves each and every day in the United States. The overloaded Veterans Administration has been caught grossly ill-prepared to adequately deal with the sheer enormity of the problem with so many severely damaged ex-soldiers in dire need of long term assistance and care. One study predicts that up to nearly a half million veterans will end up with criminal cases in the court system.

With nearly half (44%) of Congress millionaires and so few (19%) ever serving in uniform now, the DC warmongers are ever-at-the-ready to send young men and women from America’s lower class into harm’s way fighting Obama’s dirty little secret wars in multiple combat zones around the world that the public never even hears about. Yet you’ll see next to none of their own sons or daughters fighting in some far off war. The way our own government has used, abused and not supported our troops is despicable.

And then a sizeable percentage of those Americans who are so vocal in their claims of “supporting our troops,” are too frequently disingenuous. Often hypocrites merely mouth the same banal platitudes year after year from their ivory-towered, pretend world, living so far removed and disaffected from actual war conditions or even knowing anyone who wears a military uniform. Never fathoming the tragic insanity or bloody lifelong consequences that US wars ravage on millions worldwide, permanently damaging all involved, Americans who haven’t a clue will glibly pay lip service, “We owe so much to our soldiers who fight to keep us safe and free.” What bubble, planet or century are they living on or in?

Since the inside coup of 9/11 was perpetrated, US citizens have become the murderous neocons’ war on terror victims as well, terrorized by their own international crime cabal government and militarized police state that’s effectively stolen their freedom and civil liberties while the guilty treasonously continue violating sworn oaths to uphold and protect both the Constitution and American people. Yet too many brainwashed, dumbed down and clueless in America don’t seem to get it. Maybe it’s because they’re bombarded 24/7 by MSM lies and disinformation that never expose the ugliness of war as it really is. The ruling elite controls all aspects of mass media, engaging in widespread censorship of films, television and video games whereviolence and war are only glorified. Military, CIA and FBI liaisons control every aspect of what comes out of Hollywood these days.

But over four decades of a volunteer army comprised of less than half of one percent of the total US population also contributes greatly to the widening disconnect between the 99+% civilian population and the less than 1% Americans in uniform. The atrocities and horror that the imperialistic Empire’s killing machine has inflicted on Third World nations half a world away may as well be billions of miles away on another planet or galaxy. Out of sight, out of mind goes many civilians’ insulated, tunnel version reality.

Those currently in uniform need to be reminded that they have a sworn duty to protect America from domestic and foreign enemies. As citizens who no longer live in a democratic republic but now a totalitarian police state, they need to recognize that their federal government has a diabolical agenda to enslave and eliminate fellow Americans. Instead of criminalizing dissent, the real domestic enemy has become the federal government and all Americans need to accept this tragic development. Therefore, both those already in uniform as well as those ready to sign up and allow themselves to become their crime cabal’s latest cannon fodder in the elite’s wars need to stand up and be counted as patriots loyal to their nation and fellow citizens rather than adhere to blind obedience to their psychopathic masters. It’s no longer okay to support the troops when they’re misdirected into committing treason against their own citizenry. Military personnel need to take responsibility for their actions and do what’s right by both their Constitution as well as humanity.

2015 has been a tumultuous year when by globalist design terrorism has expanded to all corners of the earth, spreading death, war and destruction in its wake. Meanwhile, feeling its economic prowess slipping away in the face of the emerging power of Eastern rivals China and Russia, the United States government has already conceded losing its war to retain the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

So this late in the power elite’s endgame when we’re still hearing “support the troops,” in actuality it’s time to fight for our lives in support of humanity’s struggle for survival and good ultimately triumphing over evil.

Joachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former US Army officer. He has written a manuscript based on his unique military experience entitled “Don’t Let The Bastards Getcha Down.” It examines and focuses on US international relations, leadership and national security issues. After the military, Joachim earned a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and worked as a licensed therapist in the mental health field for more than a quarter century. He now concentrates on his writing and has a blog site at http://empireexposed.blogspot.co.id/.

 

 

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