Satire: Trump’s Unprecedented Move Helped ‘Energize’ the G-20 Meeting

By Ariadna Theokopoulos

President Trump stepped out of the G-20 meeting  for a while (these sessions can be very tiring) and to everyone’s surprise he sent Ivanka to sit in his place, next to Merkel and the Chinese premier.

This is unprecedented, since in such circumstances the substitute is usually a high-ranking official, not the presidential offspring, playing the role of “special advisor.” Nevertheless, this was just the beginning.

Emboldened by Trump’s action, Putin stepped out next and sent in his black Labrador retriever. The Lab got a warm and friendly (albeit surprised) reception from all except for Angela Merkel, whose fear of dogs is said to date back to when he she was a STASI agent in East Germany and was bitten by a dog during field training. She has also never forgiven Putin for scaring her a few years ago by bringing Konni into a one-one meeting.

Cynologists at both the Brookings Institution as well as the Enterprise Institute claim that the Lab who participated in the G-20 meeting is not Konni (long retired at a dacha in Crimea), but rather his grandson, Smersh.

Any objective observer had to conclude that the originality and sophisticated level of the discussions were notably increased by the presence of the two substitutes. The Lab in particular made some incredibly astute, albeit brief comments in Russian, which the translator conveyed in English. Only a cat lover could have failed to admit the dog’s brilliance and superiority of intellect compared to Ivanka and other participants.

This opens up a new era in international diplomacy. President Putin has more than enough on his plate and by now he knows pretty much in advance what each leader is most likely to say in such meetings. He should spare himself and make use of Smersh as often as possible.

Similarly, Trump could reserve his time to more robust twitting by sending Ivanka or his son in his place. Jared The Kushner, of course, should go along as script supervisor. Macron of France could send in his septuagenarian wife, and leaders who have pets well versed in international affairs could send them in. Only Merkel is indispensable.

The American MSM could complement their in-depth analysis of Ivanka’s sartorial accomplishments–

http://footwearnews.com/2017/fashion/celebrity-style/ivanka-trump-g20-fashion-jumpsuit-red-dress-jared-kushner-390277/

…with a well-researched biography and credentials of Smersh, e.g.,:

Early Youth–

https://sp.yimg.com/ib/th?id=OIP.D_m3_ZX9InL4OzQYAWQRmQEZEs&pid=15.1&rs=1&c=1&qlt=95&w=100&h=107

Special Services Training–

https://sp.yimg.com/ib/th?id=OIP.ySjBec7K4CdV43McTGiEEwEjDW&pid=15.1&rs=1&c=1&qlt=95&w=163&h=121

To me this is a breath of fresh only made possible by Trump’s once again thinking outside the box.

Update on Israeli Feud with UNESCO

As I reported in a post yesterday, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO has in the past week adopted a couple of resolutions that have aroused Israeli indignation. One of the resolutions–the one which seems to have sparked the most fury–recognizes the old city of Hebron as a Palestinian World Heritage site.

According to the video in the embedded tweet below, Israel has now announced a cut of $1 million in UN funding, apparently in retaliation.

 declared the obvious,  is 🇵🇸. Why is Israel even in the UN? They’ve broken so many laws — 🇮🇱 needs to be shunned & boycotted!

 As I reported in yesterday’s post–and as the video above also mentions–the World Heritage committee, in addition to designating the site as Palestinian, also declared it to be endangered. Reportedly the concern here, or at least one of the concerns, is the threat from vandalism. Given that Hebron is inhabited by Israeli settlers, who seem to be free to commit crimes against the Palestinian population with impunity, the apprehension is probably justified. But of course this aspect to the resolution’s passage in all probability had the effect of arousing Israeli anger all the more.

The Israeli official in the video I posted yesterday–the man who interrupted the proceedings by calling for a moment of silence for “six million murdered Jews” and who was accused by the representative from Cuba of turning the meeting into a “politicized circus” by way of response–this man’s name, apparently, is Carmel Shama-Hacohen, and he reportedly is Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO. According to a report here, shortly after the Hebron resolution was passed, he declared that fixing his “toilet” was more important than the vote just taken:

Israel isn’t known for its fondness of the United Nations and its institutions, but a resolution passed on Friday questioning Israel’s continued occupation of the ancient West Bank city of Hebron and the damage it might be causing to holy sites there drew an unusual response.

“Sorry … I have a very urgent … sorry, Mr Chairman … it’s my plumber in my apartment in Paris,” Carmel Shama-Hacohen, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), said sarcastically while addressing the forum’s annual gathering.

“There is a huge problem in my toilet, and it’s more important than the decision you just adopted, thank you.”

Also in yesterday’s post I made an offhand observation regarding the impression that comments by Israeli officials often leave with me. Specifically, I said:

From turning a meeting into a circus sideshow by calling for a moment of silence for “six million murdered Jews,” to accusing a people living under a brutal occupation of being responsible for their own misery and suffering–there is something about the behavior of Israeli officials that somehow always seems to remind me of the proverbial rude guest who showed up for a party uninvited.

When I wrote those words yesterday, little did I know that Israel does not even hold a seat on World Heritage Committee–which would seem to lend a sort of special significance to my comment about the rude guest showing up uninvited. But indeed, I made that discovery today.

If you go to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention website, you can find a PDF document that lists the current members of the World Heritage Committee. There are 21 of them in all. Here is a screen shot from the document (click to enlarge):

As you can see, Israel is not on the list. In other words, Hacohen, who spent part of the meeting talking about his toilet and importuning silence on behalf of “six million murdered Jews,” is not even a member of the committee. But yet, according to Israelis, it is the committee members who are guilty of bad behavior.

By the way, the World Heritage Committee’s deliberations are taking place in Krakow, Poland, and they are not over yet. The session is supposed to continue through Wednesday, so there may be more to come.

Three Countries, Three Continents, One Western Imperial Project

[ Ed. note – An excellent comparative analysis of US regime change operations in three different countries–Syria, Libya, and Yugoslavia. Writer Neil Clark discovers a seven-step process that the regime-changers seem to have employed in all three cases. ]

By Neil Clark

A resource-rich, socialist-led, multi-ethnic secular state, with an economic system characterized by a high level of public/social ownership and generous provision of welfare, education and social services.

An independent foreign policy with friendship and good commercial ties with Russia, support for Palestine and African and Arab unity – and historical backing for anti-imperialist movements.

Social progress in a number of areas, including women’s emancipation.

The above accurately describes the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the Syrian Arab Republic. Three countries in three different continents, which had so much in common.

All three had governments which described themselves as socialist. All three pursued a foreign policy independent of Washington and NATO. And all three were targeted for regime change/destruction by the US and its allies using remarkably similar methods.

The first step of the imperial predators was the imposition of draconian economic sanctions used to cripple their economies, weaken their governments (always referred to as ‘a/the regime’) and create political unrest. From 1992-95, and again in 1998, Yugoslavia was hit by the harshest sanctions ever imposed on a European state. The sanctions even involved an EU ban on the state-owned passenger airliner JAT

Libya was under US sanctions from the 1980s until 2004, and then again in 2011, the year the country with the highest Human Development Index in Africa was bombed back to the Stone Age.

Syria has been sanctioned by the US since 2004 with a significant increase in the severity of the measures in 2011 when the regime change op moved into top gear.

The second step was the backing of armed militias/terrorist proxies to destabilise the countries and help overthrow these “regimes”. The strategy was relatively simple. Terrorist attacks and the killing of state officials and soldiers would provoke a military response from ‘the regime, whose leader would then be condemned for ‘killing his own people’ (or in the case of Milosevic, other ethnic groups),  and used to ramp up the case for a ‘humanitarian intervention’ by the US and its allies.

In Yugoslavia, the US-proxy force was the Kosovan Liberation Army, who were given training and logistical support by the West.

In Libya, groups linked to al-Qaeda, like the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, were provided assistance, with NATO effectively acting as al-Qaeda’s air force

In Syria, there was massive support for anti-government Islamist fighters, euphemistically labelled ‘moderate rebels.’ It didn’t matter to the ‘regime changers’ that weapons supplied to ‘moderate rebels’ ended up in the hands of groups like ISIS. On the contrary, a declassified secret US intelligence report from 2012 showed that the Western powers welcomed the possible establishment of a Salafist principality in eastern Syria, seeing it as a means of isolating ‘the Syrian regime’.

The third step carried out at the same time as one and two involved the relentless demonisation of the leadership of the target states. This involved the leaders being regularly compared to Hitler, and accused of carrying out or planning genocide and multiple war crimes.

Milosevic – President of Yugoslavia – was labelled a ‘dictator’ even though he was the democratically-elected leader of a country in which over 20 political parties freely operated.

Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi was portrayed as an unstable foaming at the mouth lunatic, about to launch a massacre in Benghazi, even though he had governed his country since the end of the Swinging Sixties.

Syria’s Assad did take over in an authoritarian one-party system, but was given zero credit for introducing a new constitution which ended the Ba’ath Party’s monopoly of political power. Instead all the deaths in the Syrian conflict were blamed on him, even those of the thousands of Syrian soldiers killed by Western/GCC-armed and funded ‘rebels’.

The fourth step in the imperial strategy was the deployment of gatekeepers – or ‘Imperial Truth Enforcers’ – to smear or defame anyone who dared to come  to the defence of the target states, or who said that they should be left alone.

The pro-war, finance-capital-friendly, faux-left was at the forefront of the media campaigns against the countries concerned. This was to give the regime change/destruction project a ‘progressive’ veneer, and to persuade or intimidate genuine ’old school’ leftists not to challenge the dominant narrative.

Continued here

Israel Turns UNESCO Meeting into ‘Politicized Circus’

Israel, not for the first time, is royally P.O.’ed at UNESCO. The UN organization’s World Heritage Committee has been holding a meeting in Krakow, Poland–and in a session on July 4, the body passed a resolution naming Israel as an “occupying power” while at the same time condemning its tunneling and underground excavation activities in the old city of Jerusalem.

Said excavations, presumably for archaeological purposes, started up several years ago. I first put up a post about them back in 2014 after it was reported that they were causing structural problems with Palestinian homes in the area, so it’s good that UNESCO is addressing the issue. But the resolution angered the Israeli representative, who threw a temper tantrum by calling for a moment of silence for “six million murdered Jews.” And this is what we see in the video below:

As you can see, the representative from Cuba charged the Israeli–rightfully in my opinion–with turning the meeting into a “politicized circus.” She then reciprocated by calling for a moment of silence for Palestinians who have died. As the video shows, the overwhelming majority of people in the auditorium rose to their feet. It did not sit well with the Israelis.

According to a report here, one Israeli official accused the UNESCO committee of being “detached from reality,” while the Zionist state’s Foreign Ministry is quoted as saying, “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people, and no decision by UNESCO can change that reality.”

That all was, as I say, on July 4.

Three days later, on July 7, Israel again had a hissy fit over a resolution–passed by the same committee. This time the measure had to do with Hebron, specifically recognizing its old city as an endangered World Heritage site. Hebron’s old city includes a site known to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque (or Mosque of Abraham) and to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs. In that regard it has significance to both religions. But the committee voted to recognize the old city of Hebron as a Palestinian World Heritage site–rather than an Israeli one. This of course makes perfectly logical sense because Hebron is in the West Bank and the West Bank is internationally recognized as rightfully belonging to the Palestinians. But again Israelis resorted to tantrums.

“Not a Jewish site?!” thundered Netanyahu. “Who is buried there? Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah – our patriarchs and matriarchs!”

Of course, the committee didn’t say it wasn’t a Jewish site; they just said it was a Palestinian site–because the site is, after all, in Occupied Palestine. In fact, according to a report here, the resolution–which passed by a vote of 12-3 with six abstentions–“emphasized the importance of the site to Jews, Christians, and Muslims.”

But Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotoveli charged the committee with attempting to “appropriate the national symbols of the Jewish people,” and she went on to further accuse the UNESCO delegates of maliciously spreading lies.

“This is a badge of shame for UNESCO, who time after time chooses to stand on the side of lies,” she is quoted as saying.

You might recall I put up a post about Hotoveli a week ago.  This was after she did an interview with 60 Minutes Australia in which she expressed the view that “it’s not because of the Israelis” that Palestinians live under such abject conditions. No, “it’s really dependent on them,” she insisted, adding that “their leadership doesn’t give them the ability to live under democratic values.”

From turning a meeting into a circus sideshow by calling for a moment of silence for “six million murdered Jews,” to accusing a people living under a brutal occupation of being responsible for their own misery and suffering–there is something about the behavior of Israeli officials that somehow always seems to remind me of the proverbial rude guest who showed up for a party uninvited.

By the way, in case you missed it, Israel recently confiscated an array of solar panels that had been donated by the Dutch government to a Palestinian village in the West Bank. Despite being surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements, the village in question, Jubbet al-Dhib, is not connected to the national electric grid. The Dutch government has called the action “unacceptable,” and Holland’s prime minister, Mark Rutte, has reportedly now lodged a formal protest. The solar panels cost approximately $600,000.

The Fight Against Media Terrorism

“Blatant lies, which used to be the prerogative of tabloid outlets, have now been adopted by well respected media outlets.” — Margarita Simonyan

Yesterday I put up a post about a speech given on July 4 by RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan before the visiting Chinese delegation in Moscow. Here is a video of her talk. The full speech, as you will see, included a few key comments that didn’t make it into yesterday’s report, including the quote above.

As you can also see, Simonyan urged her Chinese colleagues to join her in the fight against “media terrorism.” She has chosen a good way of describing it. By reporting lies, the mainstream media are essentially committing acts of terror. Information is a weapon–no different from tanks, missiles, or artillery–and when weapons are misused (just as when information is turned into misinformation) innocent people can die as a result.

Hopefully the Chinese will soon launch their own equivalent to RT and Press TV. I have a feeling they will, and I also have a feeling it won’t stop with China. I think we’ll also see more and more citizen journalism. Project Veritas is a good example of the latter.

It is not surprising that a producer at CNN thinks the American people are “stupid as sh*t.” The American people aren’t stupid. But they are misinformed. And who is mainly responsible for that? The mainstream media. And this is what makes a comment like this, from a young punk working at CNN, so utterly loathsome.

In case you missed it, RT has a report out today about the response to threats made by CNN against the maker of a video posted recently by Donald Trump. The article includes a quote from a Reddit moderator who expresses the view that the entire Internet basically is turning against CNN.

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“CNN has all of the Internet against them right now, and when organizations attack freedom of speech, it never ends up well for them,” he said.

He may not be far off the mark. You can go here to read about a recent poll which found that 65 percent of Americans believe the mainstream media regularly publish fake news.

I’m not usually optimistic by nature, but I can visualize a future in which sentiments like these among the public continue to build until eventually the mainstream media succeed in neutralizing themselves–that is until they essentially become extinct like dinosaurs. The only way, in fact, I think they are going to be able to stop this is by shutting down the Internet or effectively shutting it down through excessive regulation, and by blocking out websites like RT and Press TV. But I don’t think this will ultimately be successful.

Just as there are black markets, I think we would see “black Internets” spring up which would offer access to the blocked out sites. The days in which six corporate media conglomerates are able to control everything people see on TV, hear on radio, or read in books, newspapers, and magazines–those days are actually numbered, I believe. Which is not to say that our future is going to be rosy, but at least in this one respect it will be better than the situation which exists at present.

The media’s capacity for committing acts of terrorism, in other words, will, I think, be greatly diminished. The fight against media terrorism will ultimately be successful.

RT Editor, in Speech Before Leaders, Discusses Role Played By ‘Powerful Press Artillery’ in West’s Wars

[ Ed. note – During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Moscow, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan delivered a speech in which she discussed the role of the Western media in fomenting wars. Specifically, the media serve as a “press artillery,” effectively engaging in “precision bombing,” she said, remarking also that “not a single war in recent years started” without propagandistic barrages of this sort.

The media not only can change people’s attitudes toward a leader or a country, but they can even alter “the values of entire societies.” My own comment here is that this has certainly been the case in the United States–a country which has seen a dramatic evolution of its values over the past three, four, and five decades.

Simonyan’s speech is good as far as it goes, although sadly she makes no mention of the fact that media owners in the west are predominantly Jewish, nor either does she allow for the possibility that a Jewish tribal agenda may be (and most likely is) a driving factor behind the deceitful reporting. Both Presidents Putin and Jinping were present during her speech, however, and she invited the Chinese to join Russia in its efforts to “fight information terrorism.”  ]

***

RT

There has not been a war in recent times that began without “a powerful press artillery” and “precision bombing” by media, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said, speaking in front of President Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Simonyan expressed her concern over the media’s growing, and often boundless, influence and the way it changes the world around us, during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Moscow.

“We live in unique times, when media – the so-called fourth estate – in many countries is trying to become, and sometimes becomes, the first: sets the rules of the game, controls public opinion, doesn’t just change people’s attitude towards a leader or a state, but alters the values of entire societies,” RT’s editor-in-chief said.

The media has become a weapon and a life-changing tool at the same time, Simonyan said.

“Not a single war in recent years started without a powerful world press ‘artillery,’ not a single battle happened without previous precision bombing by TV, radio, newspapers, and online resources,” she said.

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The media can also change people’s perceptions of public figures, like “making an unheard-of, ordinary person, like, for instance, Barack Obama, the hero of a generation overnight; or vice versa, making a generation’s hero, like Julian Assange, into an outcast and a misfit.”

Even more than that, “the media can change the fates of entire nations, their leaders, and sometimes even shift the borders: for instance, Kosovo wouldn’t ever have been possible without one-sided and biased coverage by all the world media, by the so-called mainstream, with no exception,” Simonyan added.

The media’s impact can be, and often is, purposefully damaging and detrimental, she said.

“This power of the press, sometimes boundless, can be used for the good – when we save the innocent, fight injustice, tyranny, corruption – or to do damage, when the media provides for the aggressive foreign policy of a country, illustrating it with convenient pictures.”

Simonyan also provided a striking example of media adjusting the narrative to fit in with their agenda.

“Everyone remembers the boy Omran, who became a symbol of Assad’s so-called ‘atrocities.’ This photo was on the front covers of all world media, spread by all of the mainstream. Of course, who wouldn’t feel sorry for a boy dug up from under the rubble, covered in blood and soot? We found the boy’s family a month ago. His father supports Assad, and he told us this really scary story about how an infamous humanitarian organization basically snatched the boy out of his father’s hands, not letting him perform first aid, to take the photos and give them to the journalists. And he is not being heard.”

Sometimes it seems that some media may resort to any means to ensure their agenda stays in place, and here’s where fake news comes in handy, Simonyan said. When it comes to that, few countries are under attack as often and as consistently as China and Russia, she added.

“Fake news has become a trap, snaring millions of people used to trusting major media names, who shouldn’t be trusted for a long time now. Blatant lies that used to be reserved for tabloids are now doing the rounds in the world media, and from their pages, those lies are put into the mouths of the newly-minted leaders.”

Continued here

‘The Breath of God in Palestinian Children’–Christian Group Adopts Resolution on Israel

[ Ed. note – A very welcomed resolution has been adopted by the General Synod of the United Church of Christ. ]

By Anthony Mujaes

United Church of Christ | July 3, 2017

The General Synod of the United Church of Christ is calling for an end to what is being described as “traumatic” practices by Israeli military against Palestinian children.

A resolution, brought forward by 16 individual UCC churches, calls on the state of Israel to guarantee Palestinian children younger than age 18 their basic due process rights and to prohibit any use of torture or ill-treatment of detained juveniles in the occupied territories. Needing two-thirds of the votes from General Synod 2017 delegates, that resolution easily had the necessary support, with 79 percent of the votes in favor.

“The matter of this resolution hits home for me, when a 16-year-old Palestinian America from my home town (Tampa) was beaten unconscious and bloodied by Israeli police — who were never charged. His family has received no justice,” said Lorrin Sheppard, a delegate from the Florida Conference. “Unfortunately, his story is like many others.”

An estimated 500 to 700 Palestinian children are arrested by Israeli military personnel each year, charged with a crime and prosecuted in a military court system — instead of a civilian court system that is afforded to Israeli children.

“This resolution is about the breath of God in Palestinian children,” said Catherine Alder, a delegate of the Central Pacific Conference. “What is happening to them is against international law and against the law of love.”

This year is the 50th year of Israel’s occupation of the occupied territories — the West Bank (the land to the west of the Jordan River), Gaza (a strip of land along the Mediterranean Sea that borders Egypt and Israel) and East Jerusalem — that it captured in 1967.

Proponents of the resolution — including the UCC Palestine-Israel Network (UCC-PIN), a grassroots group of UCC ministers and lay leaders seeking a just peace between the two peoples — believe that the occupation has created two separate legal systems. Jewish children living in the occupied territories who are arrested are prosecuted through civil courts because they are citizens of Israel.

“These two legal systems treat children of the same age committing the same infraction quite differently,” said the Rev. Leslie Schenk, chair of the committee that reviewed the resolution and pastor of Plymouth Congregational UCC in Madison, Wis. “As a young person said eloquently said during our discussion, ‘It seems like this should have come out a long time ago. Why hasn’t this happened yet?’”

Among the resolution’s other calls: for the UCC General Minister and President to communicate the resolution with Israel’s Prime Minister and the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, and with U.S. government officials; for the U.S. government to hold aid given to Israel, about $3.1 billion annually, to determine if it complies with the Foreign Assistance Act and isn’t used for human rights abuses; for the U.S. to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which 194 other countries — including Israel in 1991 — have ratified; and for ecumenical engagement on the issue with Jews and Muslims.

The debate on the floor did include some dissent. Marisa Brown-Ludwig, a Massachusetts Conference delegate, said she “shares the heartbreak of everyone who has spoken [about the treatment of Palestinian children], but there are voices missing. This resolution targets the Israeli side of this tragedy in the Middle East.”

Just before the floor opened for debate, youth from the Central Atlantic Conference, participating in the Youth@General Synod program, were given a moment to present their perspective on the resolution — the first of their three presentations during the business sessions at General Synod.

Lucy Adkins, one of the three youth to speak, said, “I go to bed knowing I am safe and protected. Other children are not so fortunate.”

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