Hundreds of thousands of resistance fighters ready to fight Israel: Hezbollah chief

May 26 2023

ByNews Desk

Hassan Nasrallah also hailed the ‘failure’ of a US-Israeli normalization plan with Arab states and called on Lebanon’s wanted central bank governor to step down

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah addresses supporters through a screen during a religious procession to mark Ashura in Beirut’s suburbs, Lebanon 9 August, 2022. (Photo credit: REUTERS/Aziz Taher)

During a televised speech commemorating the 23rd anniversary of Lebanon’s Resistance and Liberation Day, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah responded to recent Israeli threats against the resistance, highlighting that “hundreds of thousands of resistance fighters across the region are ready to fight against [Tel Aviv].”

“You cannot threaten us with a large-scale war; it is us who are threatening you with such warfare … Your follies, not ours, might blow up the entire region and lead to the Great War,” Nasrallah said, adding that Israeli leaders should “be careful and not make wrong calculations.”

“The resistance is expanding by the day and has witnessed a great [positive] change in its financial and military capability,” he added.

Nasrallah also asserted that the resistance’s battle against Tel Aviv would continue until the complete liberation of Lebanon, whose Shebaa Farms have been under occupation since 1967.

“Anybody who thinks that the battle against the enemy is over has been afflicted with hallucination since a part of our soil is still under occupation,” he said.

The resistance leader reviewed recent geopolitical shifts in West Asia that have increasingly isolated Israel, stressing that “the Israeli military defeats and the US retreat policy in the region have affected the Zionist entity negatively.”

“Axis of Resistance fighters are defending their homeland; they are not proxy groups, while the Zionists are intruders and occupiers,” the Hezbollah chief further said, highlighting Israel is “hiding behind walls of fire” and is incapable of enforcing conditions in any negotiations with the Palestinians.

Nasrallah also hailed the “failure” of a “US-Israeli plot” to impose normalization with various Arab states, saying this ignored the wishes of the Arab people.

“The circumstances are [rather] moving towards [the emergence of] a multi-polar world, and this is the exact thing that has made Israel fearful,” he stated.

Elsewhere in his speech, the Hezbollah leader took aim at Lebanon’s wanted Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh, saying he should either step down or be stripped of his responsibilities.

“In Hezbollah, we believe that there are two options. The first is for the governor to step down of his own volition,” Nasrallah said. The second, he added, is for the judiciary to take legal steps against Salameh and relieve him from his post.

Nasrallah’s remarks were the first time he called for Salameh’s resignation. Several government officials have made similar calls, but a Monday cabinet meeting did not make a formal decision, as caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati continues to protect the embattled central bank chief.

On Wednesday, Salameh was questioned by a Lebanese judge, and his Lebanese and French passports were confiscated following an arrest warrant from France over corruption charges.

Lebanon has also received an arrest warrant from Germany for Salameh, while last week, Interpol issued a red notice alert against the bank chief.


BDLeconomic crisis

‘End the Nakba’: The World Stands in Solidarity with Palestine

May 14, 2023

A demonstration in London to show solidarity with the Palestinian people. (Photo: FoA, Supplied)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Hundreds of thousands of people rallied across the world on Saturday, May 13, in spontaneous expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people and to protest against Israeli violence.

London, Downing Street

Hundreds of people marched in Downing Street, London, demanding that the British government pressure Israel to stop bombing Gaza and impose sanctions on Israel for its 75-year Nakba (ethnic cleansing) of Palestine.

“It’s no coincidence that in the same week that we are marking 75 years of Nakba, Israel is targeting family homes and killing Palestinian children in Gaza,” said Shamiul Joarder, Head of Public Affairs at Friends of Al-Aqsa (FoA).

“This is exactly what the ongoing Nakba looks like. Today we’re calling for Israel to stop bombing Gaza and end its illegal occupation, apartheid policies, war crimes and ongoing violations of international law. The Nakba must end for Palestinians to achieve justice, freedom and peace”.

Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Children in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa chant slogans to express solidarity with Palestine and the Palestinian people.

Rome, Italy

In spite of the rain, dozens of people gathered downtown the Italian capital of Rome to commemorate the Nakba and to protest against Israeli violence.

Glasgow, Scotland

The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign organized a rally in commemoration of the Nakba and to protest against the latest Israeli aggression on besieged Gaza.

Cape Town, South Africa

The South African branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign organized an event in Cape Town to commemorate the Nakba and express solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Toulouse, France

The Collectif Palestine Vaincra organized a rally in the southern French city of Toulouse.

Bristol, UK

Dozens of people gathered in Bristol, England, to stand in solidarity with Palestine.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine (Weekly Update 04– 10 May 2023)

11. 05. 2023

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continue their widescale aggression on the Gaza Strip for the second consecutive day as it began at dawn on Tuesday, 09 May 2023, when 3 commanders of Al-Quds Brigades (AQB), the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), were assassinated by bombing their houses over their families and neighbors’ heads. During the aggression, which continues up to the preparation of this report, IOF conducted extensive airstrikes and artillery shelling against residential houses, agricultural lands, sites of Palestinian armed groups, and others. As a result, so far 25 Palestinians, including 13 civilians, 6 children and 4 women, have been killed, and 63 others, including 15 children and 15 women, have been wounded. These attacks on civilian areas reflect Israel’s blatant disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians and non-observation of the principle of distinction and proportionality binding on IOF under international law. The bombing has also caused complete and partial destruction to dozens of housing units, rendering dozens of families homeless, as PCHR’s fieldworkers are still documenting the destruction. Meanwhile, PCHR is still investigating certain incidents that inflicted losses among civilians and property. PCHR’s preliminary investigations indicate casualties fell after homemade rockets had fallen in three incidents, during which 3 civilians, including 2 children, were killed and 26 others were wounded, including 7 children and 5 women.

The following are the most significant developments:

On 09 May 2023, IOF launched an aggression on the Gaza Strip, conducted extensive air raids and bombed a vehicle and 4 apartments on the heads of their residents. As a result, 15 Palestinians, including 4 children and 4 women, were killed, and 20 others, including 4 children and 4 women, were wounded. IOF warplanes fired 2 missiles at 2 floors of a 6-storey residential building in al-Rimal neighborhood in central Gaza City, resulting in the killing of 6 Palestinians, including a woman and 2 children, and injury of 6 others, including 2 women. Those killed were identified as Jamal Saber Mohammed Khaswan (52), a dentist and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Al-Wafaa Charity Association; his wife, Mervat Saleh Mohammed Khaswan (44); and their son Yousef (19), a student at the Faculty of Dentistry. All of them were civilians and lived on the 6th floor. And those killed on the 5th floor were identified as Tareq Ibrahim Mohammed ‘Izz al-Deen (51), a commander at al-Quds Brigades; and his two children ‘Ali (9) and Mayar (7).

Around the same time, Israeli warplanes fired 2 missiles at family house in eastern Gaza City. As a result, five, including 2 women and 2 girls, were killed, and 6 others, including 3 children and 2 women, were injured. Those killed were identified as Khalil Khaled al-Behtaini (44), a commander at al-Quds Brigades; his wife Laila Majdi Mostafa al-Behtaini (42); his 4-year-old daughter Hajar; a 19-yeat-old girl namely Dania ‘Alaa ‘Ataa ‘Adas and her sister Eman (17), who succumbed to her injuries at around 10:00, noting that Dania and Eman lived adjacent to the targeted building.

Meanwhile, Israeli warplanes targeted at a 1-storey house in Al-Jeneina neighborhood in Rafah. As a result, Jihad Shaker Diab ‘AbdulHafez/Al-Ghanam, Secretary of al-Quds Brigades’ Military Council who was an amputee, and his wife Wafaa Nimr Tawfiq Al-Ghanam (62) were killed, and 6 others sustained various wounds, including a child and the targeted commander’s son. More details are available in PCHR’s press release.

In the same evening, Wael Muhammad Sabri al-Agha (34), and Saed Jawad ‘Abd Farwana (28), members of the Palestinian armed groups, were killed, and two other Palestinians were injured in an Israeli airstrike on a civilian car in al-Qarara, northeast of Khan Yunis.

On 10 May 2023, the bombing continued against agricultural lands, sites of Palestinian armed groups, and houses. As a result, 7 Palestinians were killed, including 3 civilians: 2 were children. PCHR is still investigating the nature of the missile that killed them and injured 36 others, including 8 women and 10 children.

Muhammad Yousef Abu Ta’ima (23) and ‘Alaa Maher Abu Ta’ima (28), who were members of the Palestinian armed groups, were killed in an airstrike that targeted them in an agricultural field in ‘Abasan al-Kabira, east of Khan Yunis.

Meanwhile, Ayman Karam Saidam (26) and ‘Alam Al-Dein Sameer ‘Abdul-‘Aziz (23), who were members of the Palestinian armed groups, were killed, and 2 others were wounded as a result of an Israeli airstrike on an agricultural land in Al-Shokah village, east of Rafah. In addition, 8 Palestinians, including 3 children and 3 women, were wounded in an airstrike on an agricultural land near residential houses in Al-Salam neighborhood, south of Rafah.

Also, Ahmed Mohammed al-Shebaki (50) was killed and his wife Yusra Othman al-Shebaki (50) was seriously injured after a missile fell on their house in Qleibo area in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip. PCHR is still investigating the incident, as initial information raises suspicion that it might be a homemade rocket.

Moreover, Yazan Jawdat ‘Eliyan (16) and Layan Belal Mohammed Modawikh (8) were killed and 12 others, including 2 children and 2 women, were injured after a missile fell on a 5-storey house on al-Sahaba Street in Gaza City. PCHR is still investigating the incident, as initial information raises suspicion that it might be a homemade rocket.

In addition, 13 Palestinians were injured, including 2 women and 5 children; one seriously injured, after a missile fell on a house in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip. PCHR is still investigating the incident, as initial information raises suspicion that it might be a homemade rocket.

Meanwhile, IOF warplanes launched at least 2 missiles at a 3-storey house in al-Qarara area, northeast of Khan Yunis. As a result, the house was destroyed and 4 families of 20, including children and women, were displaced. It should be noted that one of the area residents received a call to evacuate the nearby houses.

Moreover, IOF warplanes launched 2 missiles at a 3-storey house of 3 residential apartments in Beit Lahia, completely destroying it and rendering 4 families of 16, including 4 women and 8 children, homeless. It is worth noting that the house’s owner received a call from IOF only 40 minutes before targeting the house telling him to evacuate.

On 11 May 2023, 3 Palestinians, including 2 brothers; one of them a commander of Al-Quds Brigades, were killed and 7 other civilians, including a girl and 3 women; one was pregnant, were injured after IOF warplanes fired 3 missiles at a residential apartment on the 5th floor of a building in Hamad Residential Compound, west of Khan Yunis. Those killed were identified as: ‘Ali Hasan Ghali (50), member of al-Quds Brigades’ Military Council and head of the rocket launching unit; his brother Mahmoud (23); and their relative Mahmoud Waleed Mohammed ‘Abdul Jawaad (26). All of them were in the targeted apartment, while the other injuries were reported in nearby apartments. IOF announced that IOF and Shin Bet (Shabak) killed in a joint targeted operation the commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s rocket launching force in the Gaza Strip.

In the West Bank, 8 Palestinians, including a woman, was killed, and 35 others, including 6 children, were injured, while dozens of others suffocated and sustained bruises in IOF’s attacks in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 04 May 2023, IOF killed 3 members of Palestinian armed groups and wounded 3 civilians in an extrajudicial execution crime committed by IOF during their incursion into Nablus’s Old City. (Details available in PCHR’s press release).

On the same day, Eman Ziyad ‘Odah (26) was shot dead by IOF stationed in central Huwara village, southeast of Nablus, claiming that she stabbed an Israeli soldier, as IOF declared.

On 06 May 2023, two members of Palestinian armed groups namely Hamza Jamil Kharyoush (23) and Samer Salah Shaf’y (20) were killed and another Palestinian was injured while 2 others were arrested after one of them was injured during IOF’s incursion into Tulkarm refugee camp, where they cordoned off a house and clashed with Palestinian armed group members who were fortified inside the house.

On 10 May 2023, IOF killed 2 members of Palestinian armed groups namely Ahmed Jamal ‘Assaf (19), from Qabatiya village, and Rani Waleed Qatanat (24), from Jenin refugee camp, and wounded 2 other Palestinians; one seriously injured, during armed clashes that accompanied IOF’s incursion into Qabatiya village in Jenin. Before withdrawing, IOF arrested a Palestinian and confiscated a vehicle as the two Palestinians mentioned above were killed near it.

Meanwhile, those injured were victims of excessive use of force that accompanied IOF’s incursion into the Palestinian cities and villages, or IOF’s suppression of peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians. Twenty Palestinians, including 5 children, were injured in stone-throwing clashes with IOF during the latter’s incursion into several villages in Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem. Also, 12 Palestinians, including a child, were injured in Kafr Qaddum weakly peaceful protest, east of Qalqilya. Additionally, 2 Palestinians were injured near the annexation wall in Qalqilya when they were on they way to work in Israel.

So far in 2023, IOF attacks and aggression have killed 136 Palestinians, including 69 civilians; 24 of them were children, and 6 women, and the rest were members of the Palestinian armed groups, including 2 children, 7 killed by settlers, and two died in Israeli prisons. Meanwhile, 274 Palestinians, including 85 children, 21 women and 12 journalists, were injured.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

IOF demolished 6 houses and 6 facilities, including a school that was demolished twice, while Israeli settlers built a settlement road on Palestinian lands in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 04 May 2023, IOF demolished a 70-sqm restaurant, which is a building built of steel, aluminum and wood in Al-Walaja village, northwest of Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

On 07 May 2023, IOF demolished al-Tahadi Primary School (5) in Jeb al-Deeb village, east of Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area C. Dozens of villagers tried to confront the demolition, but IOF attacked them and heavily fired live and rubber-coated bullets and teargas canisters at them, wounding 5 of them. The villagers later re-built the school, but IOF- re-demolished it for the 2nd time on 10 May 2023. It is worth noting that the 170-sqm school serving 60 students is funded by the European Union (EU), and it included 5 classrooms, a tent, a number of bathrooms, a playground, and a container used as a kitchen.

On the same day, IOF forced a Palestinian to self-demolish his 82-sqm house in Jabel Mukaber village in occupied East Jerusalem, pursuant to an Israeli municipal decision issued under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Also, IOF demolished two 140-sqm houses in Al-Auja village in Jericho and razed a 150-sqm cement slab in al-Jiftlik village, north of Jericho.

On 08 May 2023, IOF notified to cease construction works in a concrete slab and 2 houses in Ma’een village in Hebron, under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area C.

On 09 May 2023, IOF forced a Palestinian to  self-demolish his under-construction house of 50 sqms in Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, pursuant to an Israeli Municipal’s decision issued under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

On the same day, Israeli settlers, from “Havat Yair” settlement that is established on Deir Istiya village’s lands in western Salfit, built a new 700-meter-long settlement road leading to “Al-Majur” and “Nuwaitif” water springs on Palestinians’ lands in Qarawat Bani Hassan village. 

On 10 May 2023, IOF demolished an animal barrack in Jabel Mukaber village and two 100-sqm shops in Wadi Qaddoum neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

On the same day, IOF demolished a room built of bricks and used as a commercial facility and a 120-meter-long wall in eastern Yatta in Hebron.

Also, IOF demolished a floor housing two 230-sqm apartments belonging to 2 brothers in Jabel Mukaber village in occupied East Jerusalem, rendering 9 persons, including 2 women and 5 children, homeless.

Since the beginning of 2023, IOF have made 69 families homeless, a total of 439 persons, including 86 women and 192 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 76 houses; 18 were forcibly self-demolished by their owners and 8 were demolished on grounds of collective punishment. IOF also demolished 70 other civilian objects, razed other property, and delivered dozens of notices of demolition and cease-construction in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Settler-attacks and retaliatory acts:

Three Palestinians were injured; 2 of them with live bullets, in settlers’ attacks in the West Bank. Details are as follows:

On 05 May 2023, Israeli settlers broke into Maghayir al-‘Abeed area in eastern Yatta in Hebron, where they made their sheep step on the agricultural crops. Later, an Israeli force arrived and detained a Palestinian whom the settlers were attempting to assault, while the settlers later left the area.

On 10 May 2023, 3 Palestinians were injured; 2 of them sustained live bullet injuries and the third sustained bruises in an attack carried out by at least 30 settlers on Deir Dibwan village, east of Ramallah.   

Since the beginning of the year, settlers have conducted at least 193 attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property. As a result, 7 Palestinians were killed, and dozens of others were injured; most of them after being beaten and thrown with stones. Also, dozens of houses, vehicles and civilian facilities were set ablaze.

IOF incursions and arrests:

IOF carried out 204 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, at least 108 Palestinians were arrested, including 13 children and a writer. In the Gaza Strip, on 08 May 2023, IOF conducted a limited incursion into eastern al-Maghazi refugee camp.

So far in 2023, IOF have conducted 3,703 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 2215 Palestinians were arrested, including 25 women and 265 children.  Also, IOF arrested 34 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip; 12 were fishermen and 19 were trying to infiltrate into Israel, and 3 travelers at Erez Crossing. IOF also conducted 12 incursions.

Israeli closure and restrictions on freedom of movement and collective punishment policy:

Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 16-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly-update in the Gaza crossings.

At dawn on 09 May 2023, IOF closed Gaza crossings coinciding with its military offensive against various targets, including civilian objects. The closure of crossings threatens hundreds of patients’ lives and impairs the already frail health system due to the Israeli-imposed closure on Gaza Strip for 16 years. (Details available at PCHR’s press release).

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 110 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 121 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, where they arrested 7 Palestinians.

This week, IOF closed the military checkpoints several times in occupied East Jerusalem and Bethlehem and blocked traffic.

So far in 2023, IOF have established 2204 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 116 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

UAE welcomed Israeli military aid following 2022 Yemeni airstrikes: Report

May 10 2023

A partial view of Abu Dhabi’s Musaffah industrial district, the area that came under aerial attack by Yemeni missiles in April 2022. (Photo Credit: AFP)

ByNews Desk

Israel’s haste to aid its Arab partner came in stark contrast to the muted response of the US

The UAE received extensive security assistance from Israel in April 2022 following a series of missile and drone strikes deep inside Abu Dhabi launched by Yemen’s Ansarallah resistance movement.

According to an updated version of the book “Trump’s Peace” by Israeli journalist Barak Ravid, Tel Aviv sent a delegation of Mossad and army intelligence officials and transferred a shipment of batteries from the SPYDER air defense system to the UAE following the daring attacks that also rocked Saudi Arabia.

“We really appreciated it,” an Emirati official is quoted as having said in the book.

Tel Aviv’s haste to help its Arab ally came in stark contrast to the muted response of the US. This situation caused great discontent in Abu Dhabi and fueled ongoing tensions with President Joe Biden.

Ravid goes on to claim that former Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett proposed developing a so-called “Middle East Air Defense Alliance (MEAD)” to Emirati leader Mohamed bin Zayed (MBZ) just months before the Ansarallah strikes.

This system would reportedly entail “a network of radars around the region that would operate under the umbrella of the US Central Command (CENTCOM).”

Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv normalized ties in 2020 under US sponsorship. Since then, the two nations have significantly bolstered trade and defense cooperation.

The UAE has also helped shield Israel at the UN Security Council for its abuses against Palestinians and the illegal expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The two nations are also coordinating on the occupation of Yemen’s Socotra Archipelago in a bid to have joint military control of a strategic maritime area where at least 20,000 shipping vessels pass through this year.

NATO Using Ukrainian Biolabs to Develop Weapons – Investigative Committee

May 7, 2023

By  Jonas E. Alexis, Senior Editor

In February 2022, the Russian Defense Ministry discovered the existence of 30 US-funded military biological laboratories in Ukraine.

The work of Western biolaboratories in Ukraine may have been necessary to conceal the development of biological weapons, the head of the Russian Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, told Sputnik.

Alexander Bastrykin explained that the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons stipulates that states parties undertake to take measures to prohibit such weapons within their territory.

However, according to Bastrykin, work in the field of microbiology using bacteria and viruses may have a dual purpose – both the development of medicines and the use of dangerous infections to create components of biological weapons.

For monitoring purposes, parties to the convention have to regularly provide information, such as what laboratories are operating on their territories and what facilities are involved in the research.

“But if one country uses the territories of other states to conduct research, such behavior could be seen as a desire to circumvent existing monitoring procedures and conceal the real aims and results of its activities. As part of the criminal case, the Investigative Committee continues to analyze the available information related to the issue,” Bastrykin said when asked about the possibility of Western countries developing bioweapons in laboratories in Ukraine.

US Working on ‘Universal’ Genetically Engineered Bioweapon: Russian Parliamentary Investigation

12 April, 09:42 GMT

The Russian Security Council on April 12 unanimously approved the report of a parliamentary commission investigating the activities of US biolaboratories in Ukraine, and the document has already been supported by the State Duma.

In February 2022, the Russian Defense Ministry discovered the existence of 30 US-funded military biological laboratories in Ukraine. According to Moscow, Washington has spent over $200 million to develop biological weapons at the facilities. Russia also said that the labs uncovered in Ukraine constituted only a small part of a global network of over 300 similar facilities. The Unites States denies the Russian accusations.

SOURCE The Intel Drop

Jonas E. Alexis, Senior Editor

Jonas E. Alexis, Senior Editor

Jonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the book, Kevin MacDonald’s Metaphysical Failure: A Philosophical, Historical, and Moral Critique of Evolutionary Psychology, Sociobiology, and Identity Politics. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.

It’s the Class War, Stupid: An Evening with Noam Chomsky

APRIL 28, 2023

Photo by Kayle Kaupanger


In mid-April, we hosted renowned linguist, political analyst, and activist Noam Chomsky for a speaking and Q&A event at Lehigh University as part of the Douglas Dialogues forum. The event was attended by hundreds of students, faculty, and staff, and provided the Lehigh University community an opportunity to engage in contemporary political issues with Professor Chomsky, as related to the rise of global and domestic extremism. This reflection looks at some of Chomsky’s insights, and what they tell us about the state of democracy in America today.

It’s been over two years since the January 6th insurrection, where thousands of far-right rioters stormed our nation’s Capitol in an attempt to stop the peaceful transfer of executive power. FBI director Christopher Wray referred to the insurrection as an act of “domestic terrorism,” and reports suggest that far-right extremists have killed more people in our country than have domestic Islamist fundamentalists since 9/11. In this political environment, Chomsky exposes the causes of rising rightwing extremism, and spent much of his time with the Lehigh community discussing this issue of growing concern.

When asked what he thinks of the rise of the right in U.S. politics today, Chomsky points out that this isn’t simply an American, but an international phenomenon. Citing the rising popularity of rightwing ethno-nationalists across the world from Nigel Farage in the UK and Marine LePen in France to the AFD Party in Germany, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Viktor Orban in Hungary, and religious nationalists in Israel, Chomsky recognizes that, while each nation has its own unique flavor of rightwing nationalism, rising extremism is happening all over the world.

Chomsky emphasizes the role of neoliberalism as a force that fuels rightwing, authoritarian, and fascistic politics. He points to rising inequality and worker insecurity across the globe in the last 40 to 45 years, highlighting a “bitter, savage class war” that’s being fought by both major U.S. political parties, on behalf of plutocratic elites, and against the large majority of Americans who have seen their economic positions stagnate or decline during this period. In the U.S., a corporate elite has imposed a political-economic system that institutionalizes stagnant wages and household incomes, pressures workers to increase productivity, fuels an assault on labor unions, does nothing to stop spiraling health care costs and rising mortality, and that has grown the incarceration state, as the profits hoarded from these practices accrue to the top one percent of wealthy Americans who own and control the economy.

Chomsky cites a report from the Rand Corporation, which finds that U.S. business elites have siphoned off an incredible $50 trillion in additional wealth over the last three decades, at the expense of working, middle class, and poor Americans. The Rand report uses polite academic language, talking about rising economic inequality from 1975 to 2018, in which income and wealth growth have “not been evenly shared,” and with inequality having “increased substantially by most measures” to the tune of an additional $47 trillion captured by the wealthiest Americans, at the expense of the bottom 90 percent of income earners.

Chomsky is more direct and blunt in his language. He talks about how this class war has “opened the doors for the sheer robbery of the American public” on behalf of plutocratic elites. Chomsky argues that the intensifying class war is a perfect environment for an authoritarian demagogue to rise to power, playing on the fears and anxieties of an increasingly insecure citizenry. This demagogue – Chomsky cites Trump as exhibit A – tells his supporters that he loves them, while stabbing them in the back by further intensifying neoliberal policies such as business deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy, which fuel not only rising inequality, but the global environmental crisis that springs from a lack of regulations on the fossil fuel industry. In classic Chomskyian style, he points to the incredible power of propaganda, with the fossil fuel industry playing the role of “merchants of doubt,” muddying the waters of public discourse on whether climate change is even real, thereby blunting potential government action on this mounting crisis. Trumpian-style demagoguery, Chomsky argues, is instrumental to direct public attention away from an elite driven class war, with public anger being stoked via the shameless exploitation of hot button culture war issues. Among them Chomsky includes anti-vaxxerism – which he points out “has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans.” Another diversionary tactic is the mainstreaming of “great replacement” propaganda within the GOP and in rightwing media, which depicts white working-class Americans as under assault due to the immigration of non-white peoples, who threaten to make white people a minority. Finally, Chomsky talks about an authoritarian effort on the American right to demonize any group with expertise that might challenge the GOP, its deceptions, and its plutocratic supporters. These much-maligned experts include journalists, scientists, and medical professionals, among others with technical skills who may not echo GOP propaganda. As Chomsky argues, the message that’s delivered in this war on intellectualism is that “it’s not the corporate sector that is guilty” of shafting the American people, but rather “the liberal elites” and other technocrats, who are supposed appendages of the Democratic Party and working against normal Americans. Understandably, Chomsky finds this rising anti-intellectualism to be extremely disturbing, as it foments distrust, alienation, paranoid delusion, and isolation, which have undermined efforts to form progressive democratic social movements that might fight back against plutocracy in America.

One of the most important lessons Chomsky left his audience with is that the rise of extremism and plutocracy are not inevitable. If we want a more just society, we must organize and fight for one. It won’t just fall into our laps. Social movements have created change before, and they can do it again. But it’s up to us to make that dream a reality.

One of the first questions Chomsky was asked during the student Q&A was, “What do you see the future holding as tensions rise and class warfare becomes more pronounced?” He answered, “It’s up to you…. If only one side is engaged in class war, you know the outcome. If both sides are engaged, it’s quite different.”

Chomsky highlighted cycles of change in the 20th century. He described how labor unions were decimated by President Woodrow Wilson’s Red Scare and associated crackdowns from corporations in the 1920s. The decline of labor unions preceded the Gilded Age, a time of abject poverty and massive wealth inequality. Yet, the Gilded Age was met with an intense reaction from social movements. Labor unions and organizations like the AFL-CIO began to organize industrial actions and disruptive sit-down strikes. Such pressure, alongside a sympathetic White House under Franklin Roosevelt, led to the passage of the New Deal, which created the groundwork for social democratic institutions, including the welfare state, regulation of business, and worker protections. Take for example Social Security, which provides benefits to tens of millions of Americans today and is one of the most effective anti-poverty programs in U.S. history.

Yet, we don’t have to go back a century for examples of democratic movement successes. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests of 2020 were one of the largest, if not the largest, protests in U.S. history. As many as 26 million people reportedly participated in the protests. This was about 10 percent of the adult population. The protests preceded Executive Order 14074, which changed federal agency use-of-force policies. BLM also made significant changes to public awareness, and forced local police departments to confront their troubled histories of racism, racial profiling and police brutality. Research shows that the BLM protests shifted public discourse toward anti-racism. Analyses of social media searches and the news show an increased interest in terms like “mass incarceration,” “white supremacy,” and “systemic racism.” Such an interest was sustained even beyond the height of the protests during the summer of 2020. Other evidence suggests that the BLM movement increased perceptions of discrimination against Black people, and this prompted some vote switching from Donald Trump and third party candidates to Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

A second major lesson from Chomsky’s talk is that violence is not the answer to fighting back against rising inequality and the assault on democracy. Chomsky was asked during the Q&A: “Is the threat of violence the only mechanism that we have to either establish peace or progressive revolution?” He answered, “Would violence help overcome these problems? There’s no reason to believe that. Resorting to violence is moving into the arena where the enemy has the power. If you’re a tactician, you don’t move into the arena where the opponent is powerful, you move into the arena where the opponent is weak.” The “enemy” in this reference would seemingly refer to a plutocratic political-economic elite, which Chomsky targeted throughout his talk as the primary threat to American democracy.

Chomsky discussed how those in political power use protest-related violence to justify their opposition to social movements. He used the BLM protests of summer 2020 as an example, pointing to how, despite BLM being overwhelmingly non-violent, a fringe of protestors, and in some cases agitators, rioted, looting stores and destroying property. This played right into the hands of media outlets like Fox News, whose pundits loved the riots because they gave them a chance to demonize the movement. As numerous studies documented (see here and here), Fox News consistently tied rioting to BLM to tarnish the movement and its social justice objectives. Even though the vast majority of BLM protests have been peaceful, examples of violent protests were used to increase perceptions of the criminality and violence of BLM. Such perceptions diminish support for BLM and their goals for police reform.

Chomsky referred to violence as “a gift to the enemy.” Instead, change must come from “active organization and activism.” As he reminded the audience, it was the peaceful protests of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement that led to the passage of the Civils Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr. was inspired by Henry David Thoreau and Mahatma Gandhi’s advocacy for nonviolence, and used it as the organizing principle for the Civil Rights Movement. In the Social Organization of Nonviolence (1959), MLK criticized violence, describing it as an unattractive social force, and argued that only self-defense is morally justified and able to gain popular sympathy. Yet, MLK did not advocate for passive resistance or resignation. He advocated for “militant nonviolence,” the consistent pressure of civil protest in the form of mass marches, boycotts, sit-ins, and strikes. Reinforcing Chomsky’s and MLK’s point, contemporary research shows that civil resistance campaigns have been twice as successful as violent campaigns in achieving political change.

We believe that Chomsky makes a provocative and compelling argument about the vitality of social movements and nonviolence to change. He is also right to identify how wealthy elites are engaged in a class war that utilizes culture war propaganda. When party officials rile up their base by drawing on transphobia, cultivating fear about critical race theory, stoking fear about an assault on Second Amendment rights, and mainstreaming “great replacement” propaganda, the party’s base becomes increasingly radicalized. The GOP base falls into this culture war messaging, despite being the victims of an elite class war. As we have found in our own national polling data out of Lehigh University’s Marcon Institute, only about 1 percent of people identifying as Republican also identify as upper-class, and only 11 percent identify as either upper-class or upper-middle class, meaning they hail from professional backgrounds that are likely to be part of the corporate-business class, or the group of white collar professionals on the periphery of the corporate upper class. Fifty-four percent of Republican Americans identify as middle-class, with another 26 and 9 percent respectively identifying as lower-middle or lower class. This means that the lion’s share of the 89 percent of Republicans who identify outside the upper class are the sorts of people who are likely to have been hurt by rising worker insecurity and intensifying inequality in the neoliberal era. Yet, these individuals embrace the GOP’s culture war, which directs attention away from the party’s active assault on its own base.

But there’s more to this story. Our work at Lehigh’s Marcon Institute documents how white supremacy is a social force that exercises ideological power over the public. It has always been a power in its own right in a country that historically idealized and practiced slavery, and later Jim Crow segregation, and continues to indulge in ethno-nationalist rhetoric that elevates whites to a dominant status.  White supremacy has been constant, in various forms, throughout American history, and we shouldn’t relegate this factor to secondary status in explaining continued inequality in America today. Chomsky is right that racism is utilized as a weapon to reinforce classism among modern operatives of the plutocracy within the GOP. But racism also operates independently to reinforce white privilege and power at a time when the population is rapidly diversifying demographically away from a Caucasian white-identifying majority. We are talking today about a population in which – depending on the survey question asked – a third to half of Americans, and most republicans now embrace a mainstreamed version of white supremacy that accepts Great Replacement propaganda, celebrates confederate iconography, and elevates white identity to a national ideal. These are terrifying trends.

Yes, GOP elites are intensifying these reactionary social values by selling culture war propaganda as they kick their base – the vast majority of which are not wealthy – in the teeth on economic issues. But this is such a brutally effective method of control precisely because of the long-standing history of xenophobia and white supremacy that defines American political culture.

Noam Chomsky is an inspiration in the fight against propaganda. Throughout the discussion, he encouraged students to ask questions about how and where we get our information, to think about power relationships, how events are framed, who is doing the framing, and what they stand to gain. Through this intentional and reflective process, we become critically educated. Chomsky’s critical insights provide an invaluable guide for helping to develop consciousness about the inequities in our world, their causes, and what we can collectively do about them.

Anthony DiMaggio is Associate Professor of Political Science at Lehigh University. He is the author of Rising Fascism in America: It Can Happen Here (Routledge, 2022), in addition to Rebellion in America (Routledge, 2020), and Unequal America (Routledge, 2021). He can be reached at: A digital copy of Rebellion in America can be read for free hereRaihan Alam is an incoming PhD student in Management at UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management. He will be graduating from Lehigh University in May 2023 with a B.A. in psychology and political science and a minor in philosophy. He studies the psychological factors that contribute to intergroup conflict and political extremism and ways to combat them.


America’s Descent from Democracy to Oligarchy

April 10, 2023

Region: USA

Theme: Law and Justice

By Chaitanya Davé

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During the Great Depression of 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt became the President. In his first 100 days in office, he rolled out a program called the New Deal. He embraced Keynesian economic policies and fought to expand the role of the government in the nation’s economy. He implemented a series of programs called the New Deal to stabilize the economy and give jobs to millions of Americans who had lost their jobs. New federal agencies were created including the Social Security Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. He created the Tennessee Valley Authority that enabled the federal government to build dams and hydroelectric projects creating thousands of jobs. The Congress passed the Social Security Act which provided a safety Net for the elderly, the unemployed, and the disabled. A decent minimum wage was established. The Glass-Steagall Act was passed to protect people with their savings and deposits in the banks. He raised taxes on the rich to pay for all these programs.

During these difficult times, labor unions were a critical part of the New Deal. Both the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 included protections for unions and required corporations to negotiate with unions. Unions were decimated during the 1920s, but now they had started growing rapidly. Millions of workers joined the unions. Unions felt empowered to fight for better wages and hours with the government on their side. These were all democratic moves. Union membership was at its peak in the 1950s. It was at 35% in 1954. From then onwards, its decline started. By 2021, it had declined to just 10.3%. That means corporate power has drastically increased. Millions of workers in America have no power, no say. Today, big corporations have become so powerful in America that they control every aspect of our lives. They directly or indirectly control not only our politicians but also where we live, what we eat, what we buy, how much we earn, and what we read, see on TV, or listen to on radio and ultimately what we think.

During his term, President Clinton signed the Telecommunication Act of 1996 into law. The act dramatically reduced important Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations on cross ownership, and allowed giant corporations to gobble up thousands of media outlets across the country, increasing their monopoly on the flow of information in the United States and around the world. Thus, all of us across this country and around the world get the same news and the same narrative on the TV, radio and even main stream printed media networks. Using Noam Chomsky’s famous phrase, they ‘Manufacture the Consent’ across America and the world. “Never have so many been held incommunicado by so few”, said Eduardo Galeano, the Latin American journalist, in response to the act. In 1983, some 50 corporations owned 90 percent of the media. That number dwindled after this Communication Act just in few years and today, five mega corporations own and control 90 percent of the media in America. The same thing happened in the radio as well as in the printed media network. No wonder democracy’s decline in America has accelerated further ever since.

Today, what do we hear on the radio or watch on the TV news? Mainly Weather, murders, shooting, rapes etc. No issue of major importance for the citizens is discussed in these media. People are intentionally kept ignorant and ill informed. This is what these oligarchs want. They want –as per their thinking—’dumb millions’ to keep serving them. Because they know, if people are well informed about how corrupt our politicians are, they may unite, create a revolution and take away their power in this country. They also know that to keep Americans divided into democrats, republicans, independents, liberals, progressives, conservatives etc., they can never unite and threaten the powers of the oligarchs or threaten their tight grip on the economy and the government.

The greatest tragedy is that we Americans think that we are ‘free’. But, in reality, most of us are slaves of these giant corporations. America has descended from a democracy of 1950s to an oligarchy today.

No One Trusts the US Government, Not Even the American People

For last fifty years and more, we Americans have been indoctrinated with the massive propaganda that America is ‘the greatest democracy’ in the world. This propaganda is carried out by the mainstream news-media which is controlled by a handful of mega-corporations which are in turn controlled by billionaire oligarchs…super rich individuals.

So, let’s find out how democratic America is. As we all know, genuine democracy means a majority rule. In a democracy, the government acts according to the will of the majority of its people. Hence, here are the numbers of what majority of Americans want:

  • Medicare for all: According to Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) poll of April 3, 2020, this hot button issue gets majority support at 56%.
  • Tuition Free State and Public College: As per Hill-HarrisX poll of September, 2019, majority of Americans support free college and wiping out the student debt.
  • Paid Maternity Leave-American Enterprise Institute and Brookings Institutionsurvey found that a majority of 84% want this. This also includes government funding for childcare.
  • Minimum Wage: According to Pew Research Center survey conducted between April 29, 2019, and May 13, 2019, 67% of Americans want minimum wage to be raised from $7.25 per hour—federal and little higher in private jobs–to $15 per hour.
  • Higher Taxes for the Wealthy: Survey after survey, majority of Americans support higher taxes for the wealthy. The concept has gained more support since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that has disproportionately benefited the richest Americans and the world’s biggest corporations. As per Reuters/Ipsos recent poll, two-thirds of Americans strongly agree that the very rich should pay higher taxes.
  • Wealth Tax: According to a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, 64%–77% Democrats and 53% Republicans– strongly agree that the very rich should contribute an extra share of their total wealth each year to support public programs. A 2019 CNBCpoll, some 60% of millionaires said that they would support an Elizabeth Warren-style wealth tax of 2% on assets over $50 million and 3% on assets over $1 billion.
  • Election of the President/Electoral College: A Pew Research survey found that as of 2020, 81% of Democrats and 32% of Republicans—so a majority of Americans want the president elected by a majority of votes. They want the Electoral College removed by amending the constitution.
  • Hate Speech: A majority of 51% want fines or jail time for hate speech. Nearly 60% of millennials support this. Some 60% of respondents support a crackdown on TV stations and Newspapers that publish content that is biased, inflammatory or false.
  • Capitalism vs Socialism: Half of Democrats (Democrats are in majority in America) and two-thirds of Progressives see socialism favorably while 23% of independents and 7% of Republicans viewed socialism favorably.
  • Gun-Control: Majority of us Americans—60%– want stricter gun-control according to the Pew Research. As per com, as of March 27, 2023, there have been four mass shootings this year. Compared to that, there was only one mass shooting in 1982, one in 2000 and 12 in 2022. As per ABV News, more than 9800 people were killed by gun violence so far in 2023. America today has become the 21st century ‘Wild Wild West’.
  • Foreign Wars: America goes to war every few years as its history confirms. As James Carden writes in the Nation Magazine of January 9, 2018,–according to Walling Opinion Research undertaken in November of 2017–that majority of Americans—78% of Democrats, 64.5% of Republicans and 68.8% of independents– supported restraining military actions overseas.

In the 1950s and early 1960s, the top marginal tax rate was 91%. Today, the highest income earners pay a 39.6% marginal tax rate. The rich mega corporations pay the tax rate of 21%. But many giant corporations pay 0$ taxes using various loopholes. Like Ralph Nader once said, “Average worker at General Electric Co., pays more taxes than General Electric”! Warren Buffett once said that his secretary pays more taxes than himself! What kind of a democracy is that? That means, in America, the rich are getting richer while the poor or the middle class remain poor. The rich are amassing so much wealth in America today—at the expense of the poor–that, as pointed out by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren not long ago, the top 0.1% of rich Americans have more wealth than bottom 90%. Is that democracy?

As per the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, 55 major corporations paid $0 in Federal Taxes on 2020 profits while netting $3.5 billion in aggregate tax rebates. For decades, the biggest and most profitable American corporations have found ways to avoid paying federal income taxes on their profits. Large US firms generally pay effective tax rates far below 21 percent. In June 2021, the nonprofit ProPublica pointed out that over a five-year period, the 25 richest Americans paid a combined $13.6 billion in federal income taxes though their profits were huge. This amounted to a true tax rate of only 3.4 percent! How do they do this? They use all the loopholes kept in place by our corrupt politicians. The wealthiest Americans may be avoiding $163 billion in income taxes every year according to a report from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. They hire top accountants and lawyers to achieve this. They spend millions–on accountants and lawyers–to save billions.

Thus, most of us Americans want above mentioned items but are we getting them? No. Because the American oligarchs, the billionaires, the superrich do not want them. And they control our politicians by their billions of dollars’ worth of political donations. As per Statista Research Department, in 2022, there were 12,098 lobbyists in the country bribing our elected politicians.  They spent $4.09 billion on lobbying. Our politicians’—from the President down to the Senators and the Congressmen—political careers depend on these donations or these legal bribes. For our politicians, their careers are more important than their country.

In a nationally syndicated radio show the Thom Hartmann Program on July 30, 2015, the former President Jimmy Carter said that the United States is now an “oligarchy” in which “unlimited political bribery” has created “a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors.” Both Democrats and Republicans, Carter said, “look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves.”

An April 16, 2014 study (report) by Princeton and Northwestern Universities concluded that “The U.S. government does not represent the interests of the majority of the country’s citizens but is instead ruled by the rich and the powerful.”

As you can see from above, majority of Americans want these items passed by the U.S. Congress, for a long time. But are our Congressmen and Senators following the majority opinion? No. They are not obeying the ‘majority will’ because their paymasters, which are the billionaires and mega-corporations–through their lobbyists—do not want these laws to pass. In other words, most laws are passed or not passed for the benefits of these paymasters. Our Congressmen and Senators do the bidding of their paymasters. They are not working for their constituents…the American people.

Thus, it is obvious that after 1950s, American democracy has surreptitiously and systematically been replaced by an oligarchy. Simply put, the U.S. Government today is of the rich, by the rich and for the rich.


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Chaitanya Davé is a Chemist and a Chemical Engineer and a businessman. He has authored three books: CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY: A Shocking Record of US Crimes since 1776-2007, COLLAPSE: Civilization on the Brink-2010, CAPITALISM’S MARCH OF DESTRUCTION: Replacing it with People and Nature-Friendly Economy-2020. Author of many articles on politics, history, and the environment. Founder/President of a non-profit charity foundation helping the poor villagers of India, Nepal, Haiti, USA-homeless and other poor countries. He can be contacted at

He is a regular contributor to Global Research.

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More than ‘Democracy’ is at Stake in Israeli Protests

APRIL 5, 2023

Richard Falk is Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University, Chair of Global law, Queen Mary University London, and Research Associate, Orfalea Center of Global Studies, UCSB.


Photograph Source: Oren Rozen – CC BY-SA 4.0

There are two interwoven conflicts currently playing out in Israel, but neither, despite the Western liberal spin, relates to the threatened demise of Israeli democracy. That concern presupposes that Israel had been a democracy until the recent wave of extremism arising from the new Netanyahu-led Israeli government’s commitment to ‘judicial reform.’ A euphemism hid the purpose of such an undertaking, which was to limit judicial independence by endowing the Knesset with the powers to impose the will of a parliamentary majority to override court decisions by a simple majority and exercise greater control over the appointment of judges. Certainly, these were moves toward institutionalizing a tighter autocracy in Israel as it would modify some semblance of separation of powers, but not a nullification of democracy as best expressed by guaranteeing the equal rights of all citizens regardless of their ethnicity or religious persuasion.

To be a Jewish State that confers by its own Basic Law of 2018 an exclusive right of self-determination exclusively on the Jewish people and asserts supremacy at the expense of the Palestinian minority of more than 1.7 million persons undermines Israel’s claim to be a democracy, at least with reference to the citizenry as a whole. As well, Palestinians have long endured discriminatory laws and practices on fundamental issues that over time have come to have its government process widely identified as an apartheid regime that is operative in both the Occupied Palestine Territories and Israel itself. If language is stretched to its limits, it is possible to regard Israel as an ethnic-democracy or theocratic democracy, but such terms are vivid illustrations of political oxymorons.

Since its establishment as a state in 1948, Israel has denied equal rights to its Palestinian minority. It has even disallowed any right of return to the 750,000 Palestinians who were coerced to leave during the 1947 War, and are entitled by international law to return home, at least after combat has ceased. The current bitter fight between religious and secular Jews centering on the independence of Israel’s judiciary is from most Palestinian points of view an intramural squabble, as Israel’s highest courts through the years have overwhelmingly supported the most internationally controversial moves ‘unlawfully’ restricting Palestinians, including the establishment of settlements, denial of right of return, separation wall, collective punishment, the annexation of East Jerusalem, house demolitions, and prisoner abuse.

On a few occasions, most notably with respect to reliance on torture techniques used against Palestinian prisoners, the judiciary has shown slight glimmers of hope that it might address Palestinian grievance in a balanced manner, but after more than 75 years of Israel’s existence and 56 years of its occupation of Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, this hope has effectively vanished.

Nevertheless, Israel’s control of the political narrative that shaped public opinion allowed the country be to be legitimized, even celebrated by hyperbolic rhetoric as ‘the only democracy in the Middle East,’ and as such, the one country in the Middle East with whom North America and Europe shared values alongside interests. In essence, Biden reaffirmed this canard in the text of the Jerusalem Declaration jointly signed with Yair Lapid, the Prime Minister at the time, during the American president’s state visit last August. In its opening paragraph, these sentiments are expressed: “The United States and Israel share is an unwavering commitment to democracy…”

In the years before Israel’s election last November resulted in a coalition government regarded as the most right-wing in the country’s history, the U.S. government and diaspora Jewry have been at pains to ignore the devastating civil society consensus that Israel was guilty of inflicting an apartheid regime to maintain its ethnic dominance was subjugating and exploited Palestinians living in Occupied Palestine and Israel. Apartheid is outlawed by international human rights law, and treated in international law as a crime with a severity second only to genocide. Notable opponents of the extreme racism of South Africa, including Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and John Dugard have each commented that Israeli apartheid treats Palestinians worse than the cruelties that South Africa inflicted on their African majority population, which was condemned at the UN and throughout the world as internationally intolerable racism. Allegations of Israeli apartheid have been documented in a series of authoritative reports: UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (2017), Human Rights Watch (2021), B’Tselem (2021), and Amnesty International (2022). Despite these condemnations, the U.S. Government and liberal pro-Israel NGOs have avoided even the mention of the apartheid dimension of the Israeli state, not daring to open the issue for debate by refuting the allegations. As Dugard pointed out when asked what was the greatest difference between fighting apartheid in South Africa and Israel, he responded: “..the weaponization of antisemitism.” This has been borne out in my own experience. There was opposition to anti-apartheid militancy with respect to South Africa but never the attempt to brand the militants as themselves wrongdoers, even ‘criminals.’

From these perspectives, what is at stake in the protests, is whether Israel is to be treated as an illiberal democracy of the sort fashioned in Hungary by Viktor Orban, diluting the quality of the procedural democracy that had been operative for Israeli Jews since 1948. The new turn in Israel gestures toward the kind of majoritarian rule that has prevailed for the last decade in Turkey, involving a slide toward an outright intra-Jewish autocracy. Yet we should note that in neither Hungary nor Turkey have governance structures of an apartheid character emerged, although both countries have serious issues involving discrimination against minorities. Turkey has for decades has rejected demands from its Kurdish minority for equal rights and separate statehood, or at least a strong version of autonomy. These instances of encroachment on basic human rights at least have not occurred within a framework of settler colonialism that in Israel has made Palestinians strangers, virtual aliens, in their own homeland where they have resided for centuries. Racism is not the only reason to dissent from the democracy-in-jeopardy discourse, dispossession may be the more consequential one. If native people were to be asked whether they worried about the erosion or even the abandonment of democracy in such settler colonial ‘success stories’ as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. the question itself would have no current existential relevance to their lives. Native peoples were never meant to be included in the democratic mandate that these encroaching national cultures adopted so proudly. Their tragic fate was sealed as soon as the colonial settlers arrived. It was in each instance one of marginalization, dispossession, and suppression. This indigenous struggle for ‘bare survival’ as distinct peoples with viable culture and ways of life of their own making. Its destruction amounts to what Lawrence Davidson has called ‘cultural genocide” in his pathbreaking book of 2012, which even then included a chapter condemning Israel’s treatment of Palestinian society.

Underneath the encounter among Israeli Jews, which allegedly discloses a chasm so deep as to threaten civil war in Israel lies the future of the settler colonial project in Israel. As those that have studied ethnic dispossession in other settler colonial contexts have concluded, unless the settlers manage to stabilize their own supremacy and limit international solidarity initiatives, they will eventually lose control as happened in South Africa and Algeria under very different schemes of settler domination. It is this sense that the Israel protests going on need to be interpreted as a double confrontation. What is explicitly at stake is a bitter encounter between secular and ultra-religious Jews the outcome of which is relevant to what the Palestinians can expect to be their fate going forward. There is also the implicit stake between those who favor maintaining the existing apartheid arrangements resting on discriminatory control but without necessarily insisting on territorial and demographic adjustments and those who are intent on using violent means to extinguish the Palestinian ‘presence’ as any sort of impediment to the further purification of the Jewish state as incorporating the West Bank, and finally fulfilling the vision of Israel as coterminous with the whole of the ‘the promised land’ asserted as a biblical entitlement of Jews as interpreted by way of a Zionist optic.

It is a mystery where Netanyahu, the pragmatic extremist, stands, and perhaps he has yet to make up his mind. Thomas Friedman, the most reliable weathervane of liberal Zionism weighs in with the claim that Netanyahu for the first time in his long political career has become an ‘irrational’ leader that is no longer trustworthy from the perspective of Washington because his tolerance of Jewish extremism is putting at risk the vital relationship with the U.S. and discrediting the illusion of reaching a peaceful resolution of the conflict by of diplomacy and the two-state solution. Such tenets of a liberal approach have long been rendered obsolete by Israeli settlements and land grabs beyond the 1948 green line.

Politically, Netanyahu needed the support of Religious Zionism to regain power and obtain support for judicial reform to evade being potentially held personally accountable for fraud, corruption, and the betrayal of the public trust. Yet ideologically, I suspect Netanyahu is not as uncomfortable with the scenario favored by the likes of Itamar Ben-Gvir and Benezel Smotrich as he pretends. It allows him to shift blame for dirty deeds in dealing with the Palestinians. To avoid the dreaded South African outcome, Netanyahu seems unlikely to oppose another final round of dispossession and marginalization of the Palestinians while Israel completed a maximal version of the Zionist Project. For now, Netanyahu seems to be riding both horses, playing a moderating role with respect to the Jewish fight about judicial reform, while winking slyly at those who make no secret of their resolve to induce a second nakba (in Arabic, ‘catastrophe’), a term applied specifically to the 1948 expulsion. For many Palestinians, the nakba is experienced as an ongoing process rather than an event limited by time and place with highs and lows.

My guess is that Netanyahu, himself an extremist when addressing Israelis in Hebrew, has still not decided whether he can continue to rise both horses or must soon choose which to ride. Having appointed Ben-Gvir and Smotrich to key positions vesting control over Palestinians and as the chief regulators of settler violence it is pure mystification to consider Netanyahu as going through a political midlife crisis or finding himself a captive of his coalition partners. What he is doing is letting it happen, blaming the religious right for excesses, but not unhappy with their tactics of seeking a victorious end of the Zionist Project.

Liberal Zionists should be deeply concerned about the degree to which these developments in Israel give rise to a new wave of real antisemitism, which is the opposite of the weaponized kind that Israel and its supporters around the world have been using as state propaganda against critics of state policies and practices. These targeted critics of Israel have no hostility whatsoever to Jews as a people and feel respectful toward Judaism as a great world religion. Rather than respond substantively to criticisms of its behavior, Israel has for more than a decade deflected discussion of its wrongdoing by pointing a finger at its critics and some institutions, especially the UN and International Criminal Court, where allegations of Israeli racism and criminality have been made on the basis of evidence and scrupulous adherence to existing standards of the rule of law. Such an approach, emphasizing the implementation of international law, contrasts with the irresponsible Israeli evasions of substantive allegations by leveling attacks on critics rather than either complying with the applicable norms or engaging substantively by insisting that their practices toward the Palestinian people are reasonable in light of legitimate security concerns, which was the principal tactic during the first decades of their existence.

In this sense, the recent events in Israel are dangerously portraying Jews as racist criminals in their behavior toward subjugated Palestinians, done with the blessings of the government. The unpunished settler violence toward Palestinian communities has even been affirmed by relevant government officials as in the deliberate destruction of the small village of Huwara (near Nablus). A photo-recorded aftermath of settlers dancing in celebration amid the village ruins is surely a kind of Kristallnacht, which of course is not meant to minimize the horrors of Nazi genocide, but unfortunately invites comparisons and disturbing questions. How can Jews act so violently against vulnerable native people living amongst them, yet denied basic rights? And will not this kind of grotesque spectacle perversely motivate neo-Nazi groups to castigate Jews? In effect, Israel by both cheapens the real menace of antisemitism in this process of attaching the label where it doesn’t belong and at the same time arouses hatred of Jews by documented renditions of their inhuman behavior toward a people forcibly estranged from their native land. By so acting, Israel is making itself vulnerable in a manner potentially damaging to Jews everywhere, which is an inevitable global spillover from this inflammatory campaign of the Netanyahu government to victimize even more acutely the Palestinian people, aimed at their total submission, or better their departure.

CIA Larry Johnson: “What’s Coming IS WORSE THAN A WW3, THIS IS SERIOUS” in Exclusive Interview

Mar 30, 2023

Red Pilled TV

CIA Larry Johnson

Premiered 11 hours ago #larryjohnson#interview#redpilledtv

“What’s Coming IS WORSE THAN A WW3, THIS IS SERIOUS” in Exclusive Interview Larry Johnson is back on the show to talk about the war in Ukraine.

Johnson gives his assessment of where things stand on the ground. They talk about the astounding casualty numbers and the horrifying nature of the battle over Bakhmut. Johnson then gives some predictions for the next stages of the war.

They talk about the rising tension with China. They agree there is no need to go to war with China but discuss what may explain the sudden attention shift towards Beijing. Lastly, they talk about the effects of cronyism in the weapons industry and the probability of a nuclear war.

Find more @judgenapolitano-judgingfre7226 Discussed on the show: “This Time It’s Different” (The American Conservative) “Ukrainian soldiers in Bakhmut: ‘Our troops are not being protected’” (Kyiv Independent) Larry Johnson is an American blogger and former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. He is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group).

Douglas Macgregor: “Russia IS WIPING THEM OUT, THIS IS IT” in Exclusive Interview

Mar 29, 2023

Red Pilled TV

Premiered Mar 29, 2023 #douglasmacgregor#interview

“Russia IS WIPING THEM OUT, THIS IS IT” in Exclusive Interview Douglas Macgregor is back on the show to talk about the war in Ukraine. Macgregor gives his assessment of where things stand on the ground. They talk about the astounding casualty numbers and the horrifying nature of the battle over Bakhmut. Macgregor then gives some predictions for the next stages of the war. They talk about the rising tension with China. They agree there is no need to go to war with China but discuss what may explain the sudden attention shift towards Beijing. Lastly, they talk about the effects of cronyism in the weapons industry and the probability of a nuclear war.

Douglas Macgregor: “Ukraine IS LOSING, THIS IS IT” in Exclusive Interview

Douglas Macgregor: “Ukraine IS LOSING, THIS IS IT” in Exclusive Interview Douglas Macgregor is back on the show to talk about the war in Ukraine. Macgregor gives his assessment of where things stand on the ground. They talk about the astounding casualty numbers and the horrifying nature of the battle over Bakhmut. Macgregor then gives some predictions for the next stages of the war. They talk about the rising tension with China. They agree there is no need to go to war with China but discuss what may explain the sudden attention shift towards Beijing. Lastly, they talk about the effects of cronyism in the weapons industry and the probability of a nuclear war.

Premiered 13 hours ago

Discussed on the show: “This Time It’s Different” (The American Conservative) “Ukrainian soldiers in Bakhmut: ‘Our troops are not being protected’” (Kyiv Independent) Douglas Macgregor, Col. (ret.) is a senior fellow with The American Conservative, the former advisor to the Secretary of Defense in the Trump administration, a decorated combat veteran, and the author of five books.

Russia-Ukraine War Year 1: Who is Winning? Who is Lying?

Premiered Mar 3, 2023

Justin Podur

Scott Ritter is back after a year as we build a chronology of the events of the Russia-Ukraine War so far.

What were Russia’s goals? Did they succeed or fail? What were NATO’s goals?

Why did Russia’s initial offensive not bring a negotiation? Why did sanctions on Russia fail?

How can we determine who is winning or losing when war propaganda is this thick? We even have a little debate about the issues around which an antiwar movement could try to reconstitute itself. Negotiations to end this war?

Scott thinks no. Arms control? Scott thinks maybe.

Renewed request to Kushner: Hand over $2 billion Saudi investment docs

Feb 16, 2023

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Democrats look for records connected to a $2 billion investment by a Saudi fund in Jared Kushner’s private equity firm, which he founded as Donald Trump’s son-in-law and former advisor.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R) was a close ally of Kushner’s when he worked at the White House (AFP)

Six months after leaving the White House, Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner got a $2 billion investment from a fund managed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a key supporter throughout Trump’s presidency.

Previously undisclosed documents unmasked that a panel that reviews assets for the primary Saudi sovereign wealth fund had concerns about the proposed agreement with Kushner’s newly created private equity business, Affinity Partners.

In a related development, a senior Democrat renewed a request for documents outlining how Jared Kushner received $2 billion from a Saudi investment fund on Tuesday, acknowledging that Kushner had failed to respond to an earlier inquiry and raising new questions about whether he had “improperly traded” on his government work to benefit his financial interests.

Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-MD), the House Oversight and Accountability Committee’s senior Democrat, referenced a Washington Post story published Saturday and other publications he said raised troubling questions about Kushner’s relationship with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Unsurprisingly, MBS chaired a sovereign wealth fund that invested in Kushner’s private equity business, known as Affinity Partners, just after Kushner left a White House job that dealt often with Saudi matters.

“I am deeply troubled by your continued refusal to produce documents regarding the Saudi government’s $2 billion investment in your fund in light of recent prominent reporting that Saudi Arabia made that investment in Affinity just months after you left a senior White House position where you were responsible for shaping Middle East policy,” Raskin wrote to Kushner.

Raskin also asked Kushner to name all foreign investors in his company.

It is worth noting that Kushner did not reply quickly to a request for comment.

Raskin’s letter followed a request for the documents from the committee, which was controlled by Democrats at the time.

While Kushner’s firm provided roughly 2,000 pages in response, Raskin revealed in his letter on Tuesday that they primarily consisted of publicly available records that “do not substantively pertain to the Saudi government’s involvement in the firm.” When the committee followed up in October, the company’s legal officer did not answer, as per Raskin.

But, in a statement to The Washington Post on Tuesday, Comer said he would not sign Raskin’s letter, which might make it more difficult for House Democrats to seek information from Kushner.

“Ranking Member Raskin and Committee Democrats have a long way to go to prove they are interested in true oversight after having spent the past two years giving the Biden Administration a free pass,” Comer said.

“If Democrats want to join Committee Republicans in our ongoing efforts, including investigating Joe Biden’s involvement in his family’s suspicious business schemes with foreign adversaries, then we can discuss joining together on future requests. Until then, Committee Republicans will continue seeking answers for the American people about the current Administration’s activities,” he added.

In further detail, Raskin’s appeal is expected to be taken up by the Senate Finance Committee and its chairman, Senator Ron Wyden (R-Ore.).

“The financial links between the Saudi royal family and the Trump family raise very serious issues, and when you factor in Jared Kushner’s financial interests, you are looking right at the cat’s cradle of financial entanglements,” The Post quoted Wyden as saying last week.

In an interview on Tuesday, Raskin said that, while he still hoped Comer would cooperate, “we will definitely work with our partners in the Senate to get all of the information we need in order to conduct a thorough and detailed investigation of all of the conflicts of interest that we need to learn about.”

Raskin added he was “not going to allow this to be some kind of lopsided partisan witch hunt. Let’s have a serious investigation into public policy and the profound ethical concerns that have been raised.”

Read next: Jared Kushner Eyes Middle East for Backers on New Fund

A symbiotic relationship: Kushner and MBS

As President Donald Trump’s senior advisor, Kushner worked closely with MBS, who rose to the position of the crown prince in part due to his ties to the Trump administration, which offered arms sales and other perks.

Trump also supplied key assistance by refusing to confirm the CIA’s conclusion that Mohammed ordered the execution or capture of Jamal Khashoggi, a contributing columnist to The Washington Post who had been critical of the crown prince’s policies. Trump has claimed to have “saved” MBS, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated in his recent memoir that Trump instructed him to meet the crown prince and “tell him he owes us.”

LIV Golf, which holds tournaments on Trump’s golf clubs, has also received funding from the Saudi Public Investment Fund. It’s unknown how much Trump made from the deal. A request for a response from a Trump official was not immediately returned, as per media reports.

Addressing Kushner in his letter, Raskin wrote, “Your efforts to protect the Crown Prince may have allowed him to maintain his position at the top of the Saudi government and, thus, his ability to deliver significant financial benefits to you and your father-in-law after the end of the Trump Administration.”

When the committee approached Kushner’s company in June, it answered that it had “nothing to hide” and was “committed to collaborating with the Committee to provide appropriate data, documents, and information to further inform your investigation.”

Raskin stated that while Affinity ultimately submitted some records, it “failed to disclose a single correspondence connected to the basis for your firm’s acceptance of $2 billion from the Saudi sovereign wealth fund.”

The congressman requested that the papers be delivered by March 1.

Read next: Kushner “pleased” Riyadh allowed him to invest in “Israel”

Related Stories

UN appeals billions for Ukraine, only millions for quake-hit Syria

15 Feb, 2023 

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Despite the huge number of affected people and infrastructure, the UN launches only a $397 million humanitarian appeal to aid Syria.

Residents and rescue teams searching for survivors under the rubble in northwest Syria (AFP)

The United Nations on Wednesday said $5.6 billion was needed to provide humanitarian aid in Ukraine and to the millions who have fled the country after the start of the war, a day after it announced a $397 million humanitarian appeal to aid quake-hit Syria.

The UN estimated that 21.8 million Ukrainians were now in need of humanitarian assistance.

“The war continues to cause death, destruction and displacement daily, and on a staggering scale,” UN Humanitarian Chief Martin Griffiths said in a statement.

“We must do all we can to reach the hardest-to-reach communities, including those close to the front line,” Griffiths stressed, adding that “the suffering of the Ukrainian people is far from over – they continue to need international support.”

The UN said the requested $5.6 billion would allow it to reach the 15.3 million people in most dire need this year.

A full $1.7 billion of that amount was needed for assistance to the more than four million Ukrainian refugees hosted across eastern Europe, it highlighted.

Most of that would go to Poland, which is hosting more than 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees, and Moldova, the main transit country for Ukrainians making their way further into Europe.

According to the UN, women and children account for around 86% of the overall refugee population.

“Europe has proven capable of bold, collective action to help refugees,” UN Refugee Chief Filippo Grandi said in the statement.

“We must not, however, take this response, or the hospitality of host communities, for granted,” Grandi considered.

He added that “continued international support and solidarity is needed, until refugees are able to return to their homes in safety and dignity, which must also remain a priority.”

Since the war began, humanitarian organizations in Ukraine have been working to reach people across the country, with nearly 16 million receiving aid and protection services in 2022.

Inside Ukraine, “the war has profoundly affected access to livelihoods and disrupted market stability particularly in southern and eastern oblasts, further aggravating humanitarian suffering,” the appeal indicated.

It warned that “a majority of Ukrainians have reportedly reduced food consumption and spent savings,” pointing to soaring unemployment, skyrocketing inflation, and inadequate social assistance.

Read more: Iraqi Deputy PM says West ‘made many mistakes’ in their Syria policies

Only $397 million appeal to aid Syria

On the other hand, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced the launch of a $397 million humanitarian appeal to aid Syria in the wake of the devastating earthquake, which has so far resulted in around 6,000 deaths.

“The Syria effort brings together the entire UN system and humanitarian partners and will help secure desperately needed, life-saving relief for nearly 5 million Syrians – including shelter, healthcare, food and protection,” Guterres told reporters as the appeal was launched.

According to the UN, the Flash Appeal will ensure assistance to the people with the most urgent humanitarian needs, covering an initial period of three months, until May.

“We all know that lifesaving aid has not been getting in at the speed and scale needed. The scale of this disaster is one of the worst in recent memory,” the UN Secretary-General highlighted.

“I have an urgent message to the international community: The human suffering from this epic natural disaster should not be made even worse by manmade obstacles — access, funding, supplies,” Guterres stressed, urging UN member states “and others to fully fund this effort without delay and help the millions of children, women and men whose lives have been upended by this generational disaster.”

“This is a moment for unity, for common humanity and concerted action,” he concluded.

According to the UN, 8.8 million people have been affected by the earthquake and its aftershocks in Syria. More than 4.2 million people have been affected by the earthquake in Aleppo, while 3 million people have been affected in Idlib, the UN noted, adding that more than 7,400 buildings have been entirely or partially destroyed.

The UN also estimated that up to 5.3 million people in Syria may have been made homeless as a result of the earthquake and its aftershocks.

While Syria clearly needs more than $394 million to rise from the aftermath of the earthquake, it remains dependent on aid sent from friendly countries.

Read more: Scammers profiting from Turkey-Syria earthquake: BBC

UN admits: ‘We have failed the people in northwest Syria’

This comes as the UN pointed out on Sunday that the international community has so far abandoned Syrians as they struggle to secure basic needs and aid to respond to the devastating earthquake that struck the country.

Griffiths said although a convoy of supplies was delivered by the organization to northwest Syria through Turkey, the effort was not enough as millions more have been impacted by the catastrophe.

“We have so far failed the people in northwest Syria. They rightly feel abandoned. Looking for international help that hasn’t arrived,” he tweeted.

“My duty and our obligation is to correct this failure as fast as we can. That’s my focus now,” Griffiths indicated.

Read more: Damascus opens 2 checkpoints to deliver aid to non-controlled areas

US aircraft downs unidentified flying object over Canada: Trudeau

Feb 12, 2023

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The Canadian PM says the North American Aerospace Defense Command shot down an unidentified flying object over Yukon.

Inside the headquarters of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and US Northern Command, July 13, 2021 (NORAD)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Saturday announced that he has ordered the “takedown of an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace.”

In a tweet, Trudeau confirmed that the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) shot down the object over Yukon.

“Canadian and U.S. aircraft were scrambled, and a U.S. F-22 successfully fired at the object,” the Prime Minister pointed out.

Trudeau said he “spoke with President Biden this afternoon,” adding that “Canadian Forces will now recover and analyze the wreckage of the object.”

According to ABC, the nature of the object is still not clear nor if it is related to the Chinese balloon from last week or the object shot down over Alaska on Friday.

Earlier, NORAD confirmed that the US military is tracking an unidentified flying object over northern Canada, but the details and origin of the object are unknown.

In a statement to Sputnik, NORAD indicated that “military aircraft are currently operating from Alaska and Canada in support of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) activities.”

It continued that “NORAD confirms that we have positively identified a high-altitude airborne object over Northern Canada.”

“While we cannot discuss specifics related to these activities at this time, please note that NORAD conducts sustained, dispersed operations in the defense of North America through one or all three NORAD regions,” the statement concluded.

This comes after the US Defense Department confirmed on Friday that a “high-altitude object” was shot down over Alaska after assessing that it could pose a “threat to civilian aircraft.”

The unidentified object was first seen on Thursday night, and US President Joe Biden ordered the shooting down early Friday.

Unlike the Chinese balloon that was previously shot down, officials noted that the new object was “much smaller” and seemed to be the size of a small car.

“The object was flying at an altitude of 40,000 feet, and posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight,” White House National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby told reporters at a Friday briefing, adding that officials have had no “outreach” with China over the development.

The US authorities presently have no idea who owns the “object” or have any information regarding its nature.

Kirby indicated that the US is “calling this an object because that’s the best description we have right now.”

Read more: US imposes sanctions on six Chinese companies ‘linked to military’

In Response to Opportunistic Critics: Where I Actually Stand on the Russia-Ukraine War

February 11, 2023

South Africa’s former Minister for Intelligence Services Ronnie Kasrils. (Photo: via Kasrils FB profile)

– Ronnie Kasrils, veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle, and South Africa’s former Minister for Intelligence Services, activist and author. He contributed this piece to The Palestine Chronicle

By Ronnie Kasrils

The recent hatchet job by Greg Mills and Ray Hartley in the Daily Maverick shows they believe it is their hallowed duty to strike down any voice daring to question the Western crusade against the evil Russian Empire.

Debate should always be encouraged, but the search for historic truth and a credible understanding of the facts is ill-served by a descent into a childlike morality tale of good versus evil.

In fact, Mills and Hartley, along with the rest of the increasingly shrill and at times hysterical pro-Western lobby in our media, should learn something from the much more sophisticated contributions that have been developed in the West in response to the USA-NATO belligerence, the crossing of bright red lines regarding Russia and China’s security, and the possibility of dire consequences. Learned American academics such as John Mearsheimer, Edward Curtin, John Bellamy Foster, and military intelligence specialists such as Scott Ritter and Jacques Baud, to name just a few prominent Western thinkers, have produced excellent analyses.

Contrary to what Mills and Hartley infer by twisting my words, I am by no means an uncritical fan of Putin or capitalist Russia. Of course, it is true that a strong legacy exists concerning the support the ANC and other fraternal liberation movements received from the former Soviet Union, but it is far more than that which inclines much of the Global South, to understand Russia’s security needs, and sustains its anathema for USA-NATO imperialist domination.

Indeed, the South African position on the conflict is hardly an outlier in the Global South. Brazil’s Luis Inazio Lula da Silva, for instance, has taken a similar position.

My article in News24 focused on the historical connection between the liberation struggle in South Africa and the Soviet Union because the publication specifically asked me to comment from my perspective as an Umkhonto weSizwe cadre who underwent military training there in 1964 – and in Odessa no less. I learned about Russia and the Soviet Union’s immense sacrifice during World War 2, and the people’s opposition to fascism in all its forms, including the Ukrainian Nazi collaborators, and the Soviet people’s deeply-rooted commitment to world peace.

I also referred to the bellicose emergence of neo-Nazis in present Ukraine. Mills and Hartley have the temerity to cynically spin this factual observation and declare themselves “sickened” by my alleged inference that present-day Ukraine is “somehow a Nazi state”. I said no such thing. I wrote: “Little wonder that President Putin has stated that part of Russia’s objective is the de-Nazification of the Ukraine.”

The emergence of neo-Nazi forces in Ukraine became globally visible during the Maidan Square protests in Kyiv, which turned into a violent rampage in 2014. At the time, mainstream Western media highlighted the role of those Nazi gangs.

Since then, the notorious neo-Nazi Azov Battalion and their ilk have become embedded within the Ukrainian armed forces, adorned with Nazi symbolism, and involved in atrocities. Now the Western media has turned a blind eye.

It is a moral duty to point to the rising peril of neo-Nazism in the streets of Europe, the USA and elsewhere, and the broader populist appeal to white supremacism. I will not be quietened in pointing out how emboldened the neo-Nazis have become in Ukraine.

It is important for readers to be aware that the Brenthurst Foundation is hardly a neutral institution when it comes to an ideological worldview. It is funded by white mining capital and, as a casual look at its board and associates shows, deeply enmeshed in the Western military
establishment – apart from a handful of Africans.

There is so much that is factually incorrect, dangerous and superficial in the Mills and Hartley piece. Particularly revealing is what they studiously avoid, because it does not suit their case.

I turn only to some of their more obvious howlers and deliberate omissions.

The Kyiv regime, which they laud as an example of freedom and democracy, has banned the communist and socialist parties, several left-wing organizations, and the For Life parliamentary opposition platform.

The “democrat” Zelensky, has closed down all opposition television and media outlets and instituted crippling legislation against Ukraine’s trade union movement and civil liberties. No word of this from the Brenthurst duo.

They claim that Crimea voted in a referendum to leave the Russian Federation and join Ukraine. But they don’t specify which referendum and when. There was a referendum among Crimea’s people in 2014, which voted for inclusion in the Russian Federation. What other referendums have occurred other than at the dissolution of the Soviet Union? Those related to the independence of the former constituent republics.

At that time, in December 1991, the three Slavic republics – Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine – proclaimed the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). That was
not a referendum specifically concerning Crimea.

As to the sanctity of referenda or elections, there is no sound from the Brenthurst pair concerning the Maidan coup of 2014 which overthrew the democratically elected government of President Yanukovych, and the “color revolution” investment of the USA, Germany, Poland and others.

They state that in Africa a very limited number of countries were against supporting Ukraine. There were seventeen, including South Africa, that abstained from the UN General Assembly vote. As for African countries voting against Russia, President Ramaphosa has referred to South Africa being blackmailed and threatened to toe the US-NATO line.

I am accused of ranting about the “morality of US foreign policy, CIA-sponsored coups, punitive sanctions and blockades, military aggression and intervention globally”. Russia, they state appears exempt from my criticism “when it does the same — and far worse — in Africa under the brutal rule of Wagner military interventions that secure mineral wealth for oligarchs.”

The facts are that whatever the sins of Wagner, the most active and destructive mercenary groups that have plundered Africa and the Middle East are American, British and French. Their boots on the ground are numbered in the tens of thousands.

Wagner personnel are 6,000.

By Wikipedia’s broadest definition of military intervention, the US has engaged in nearly 200
since 1950 with over 25% occurring since 1991.

That explains why so many countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America refuse to kowtow to the US-NATO-EU axis. When they do it is either because of fear of the consequences or they are infamous dictators installed by the CIA such as Mobuto Sese Seko, Pinochet, Bolsonaro or Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, loyal to their master’s orders.

As for elephants in the room which Mills and Hartley are silent about, any university undergraduates serious about historical events can point to:

  • NATO expansion east to Russia’s doorstep since the collapse of the Soviet Union when it should have been wound up along with the Warsaw Pact;
  • Numerous countries added to NATO’s eastern expansion despite promises to Russia to the contrary;
  • 15,000 mostly Russian-speaking people in the Donbas killed by Ukrainian forces between 2014 and February 2022;
  • 42 massacred at the Odessa trade union building in July 2014;
  • Atrocities committed by the Ukrainian forces and Neo-Nazis;
  • US rejecting calls from Russia to respect its borders;
  • US surrounding Russia with military bases;
  • George W. Bush withdrawing the US from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty;
  • Trump withdrawing the US from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty;
  • The US asserting its right to a nuclear first strike;
  • The US waging an economic war on Russia via sanctions for years.

Mills and Hartley venture into the realm of wild conspiracy theories and cheap insults in hallucinating state capture of our democracy by China and Russia “in politics, unions and business” and, following a now debunked US conspiracy theory, warn of Russia “disrupting elections” as a natural next step.

Whilst our government affirms the need for peaceful negotiations, the pro-NATO position of the Brenthurst duo follows the most dangerous hawks in the West by advocating escalation of the war and more lethal weapons for Ukraine at the risk of a nuclear conflagration.

It seems that Greg Mills has forgotten about Afghanistan. In his years in Kabul serving as ‘special advisor’ to a NATO commander, did he ever conceive of an ignominious reversal?

(This article was originally published in the Daily Maverick)

– Ronnie Kasrils, veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle, and South Africa’s former Minister for Intelligence Services, activist and author. He contributed this piece to The Palestine Chronicle

UK armed forces would only last ‘five days’ in war: Senior MP

10 Feb 2023

Source: Financial Times

By Al Mayadeen English 

Soldiers in action as the British Army demonstrate the latest and future technology used on operations across the globe on Salisbury plain training area on October 29, 2019, in Salisbury, England (British Army)

A senior UK member of Parliament says his country’s military would only last for five days in the case of a war.

The British armed forces would only last “about five days” in a war if one were to break out, a senior Tory MP claimed on Friday in light of mounting pressure on the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, to increase the country’s defense spending in next month’s budget.

High inflation rates and the cost of replacing equipment sent to Ukraine had created a “really grim picture” and led to highly depleted military supplies, Conservative chair of the Commons Defense Committee Tobia Ellwood told the Financial Times.

According to Ellwood, the army is facing a massive shortage of surface-to-air and anti-tank missiles, two of the most supplied arms to Ukraine from the United Kingdom.

“I’m very concerned that the message coming out of the Treasury is indicating that we must brace ourselves for further real terms cuts because inflation is rising,” he said.

Hunt pledged to consider upping the UK’s military spending as a response to an update of the government’s 2021 foreign and defense policy that is due soon.

This comes amid an increase in lobbying for more military spending in London, with defense officials discussing cost-cutting measures.

Meanwhile, the condition of the British army has become a domestic political issue, with Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, a prominent lobbyist for increased military spending, telling parliament earlier in the month that the United Kingdom “hollowed out and underfunded” its forces.

The Ministry of Defense, however, has dismissed the claims that the UK army has grown meager, stressing that “These are speculative rumors, which always circulate before a Budget and even more so in the run-up to the integrated review. We don’t comment on speculation.”

Britain has so far provided more than £2.3bn of military aid to Ukraine, and the government has also allocated £560mn to the MoD to replenish depleted UK weapons stockpiles, the Financial Times reported.

Wallace has reportedly been told by a senior US general that the British army is not a top-level fighting forceSky News reported in late January.

In light of the war in Ukraine, decades of downsizing are reported to have resulted in a decrease in warfighting capabilities, which must be restored as soon as possible.

Defense sources were quoted on Sky News as saying, “bottom line… it’s an entire service unable to protect the UK and our allies for a decade.” The sources added the that UK’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak risks failing in his job as “wartime Prime Minister” unless the situation is drastically altered.

They advised increasing the defense budget by at least £3 billion per year, with no future reductions in the size of the army, and that peacetime procurement standards be waived to buy weapons swiftly.

Sky News argued that the armed forces would run out of ammunition “in a matter of days” if called upon to combat. It’s a crying shame that the United Kingdom cannot protect its skies against the level of missile and drone attacks that Ukraine is subjected to.

It would take the army five to ten years to produce a war-fighting division of 25,000 to 30,000 troops supported by tanks, artillery, in addition to helicopters.

Approximately 30% of UK personnel on high readiness are reservists who are unable to mobilize within NATO timeframes – “so we’d show up under strength.”

Satirically, the UK is playing a critical role in providing Kiev with weapons, with the Prime Minister becoming the first leader to vow to send Western tanks – a leadership role he seemed eager to emphasize when he turned to social media after Germany and the US followed suit.

“Really pleased they’ve joined the UK in sending main battle tanks to Ukraine,” Sunak said in a tweet last Wednesday.

“We have a window to accelerate efforts to secure lasting peace for Ukrainians. Let’s keep it up,” he added.

Despite this aggressive tone, Sunak omitted to include closing capability gaps in his military forces as one of his top five goals in his maiden policy speech as prime minister in early January amid war in Ukraine.

Sabotage of Nord Stream. The World Should Know the Truth


Russia Demands Those Responsible for Nord Stream Blasts Must be Named and Punished After Investigative Reporter Claims Joe Biden Ordered US Navy to Destroy the Gas Pipeline. Daily Mail

By James Reynolds

Global Research, February 10, 2023

Daily Mail Online 9 February 2023

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter and subscribe to our Telegram Channel. Feel free to repost and share widely Global Research articles.


The Kremlin said on Thursday the world should know the truth about who sabotaged the Nord Stream gas pipelines and that those responsible should be punished after an investigative journalist said U.S. divers blew them up at the behest of the White House.

A sharp drop in pressure on both pipelines was registered on September 26 and seismologists detected explosions, triggering a wave of speculation about sabotage to one of Russia’s most important energy corridors.

In a blog post, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh cited an unidentified source as saying that U.S. navy divers had destroyed the pipelines with explosives on the orders of President Joe Biden.

Reuters was unable to corroborate the allegations. The White House dismissed them as ‘utterly false and complete fiction’. Norway’s foreign ministry said the allegations were ‘nonsense’.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Hersh’s blog post deserved more attention and that he was surprised it had not been covered more fully by Western media.

‘The world must find out the truth about who carried out this act of sabotage,’ Peskov told reporters. ‘This is a very dangerous precedent: if someone did it once, they can do it again anywhere in the world.’

He called for ‘an open international investigation of this unprecedented attack on international critical infrastructure’, adding: ‘It is impossible to leave this without uncovering those responsible and punishing them.’

Click here to read the full article on Daily Mail Online.


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Copyright © James ReynoldsDaily Mail Online, 2023

Ukraine demands Israel publicly condemn Russia, approve $500m loan: Report

February 06 2023

(Photo credit: AP)

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has previously warned his cabinet would revise the country’s foreign policy to ‘move away’ from western diktats

ByNews Desk- 

The Ukrainian government has laid down a list of demands it wants to be fulfilled by Israel ahead of an expected visit by Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen to Kiev this week.

These include a public condemnation of the Russian military invasion and the approval of a $500 million loan, according to Israeli and Ukrainian officials who spoke with Axios.

Israeli officials say Cohen is expected to offer a $50 million loan instead, as the previous government already rejected the request.

Cohen’s planned visit to the Ukrainian capital will be the highest-level visit by an Israeli official to the European nation since the start of the war one year ago.

According to the report, Kiev sees the visit as an opportunity to test the new government in Tel Aviv on its intentions and policy towards the war.

Ukraine’s shopping list also includes “a public statement of support by Israel for the peace plan that Zelensky presented last November, which includes a full Russian withdrawal from Ukraine.”

On top of this, Ukrainian officials want Tel Aviv to receive hundreds of wounded civilians and soldiers and to “recommit” to a joint project to build an early-warning system that could boost Kiev’s air defense capabilities.

Since the start of the war, Kiev has repeatedly demanded that Israel provide it with Iron Dome anti-missile batteries. However, Tel Aviv has balked at these demands out of fear of Russian repercussions.

A Ukrainian official quoted by Israel’s Walla news outlet said a potential meeting between Cohen and President Volodymyr Zelensky depended on “Israel’s willingness to take steps in Kiev’s favor.”

One of Cohen’s first acts after being appointed to his role last month was to hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, which set off alarms across the west.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said his government would revise the country’s foreign policy to “move away from giving in to dictates from the international community.”

However, in recent interviews, Netanyahu avoided questions on whether Israel would provide any military aid to Kiev, saying he would “look into” everything as part of a policy review.

US to Send Abrams Tanks to Ukraine: Will it make any Difference?

January 29, 2023 

(Brian Berletic – New Eastern Outlook) –

The recent announcement that the United States will be sending at least 31 M1 Abrams tanks along with a growing number of German Leopard 2 main battle tanks comes as Ukrainian forces find themselves losing ground across much of the line of contact.

Articles like the Guardian’s, “US joins Germany in sending tanks to Ukraine as Biden hails ‘united’ effort,” claim:

Joe Biden has approved sending 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, a significant escalation in the US effort to counter Russian aggression as international reluctance to send tanks to the battlefront falls away.

The reversal of the US’s previous position came after Germany confirmed it will make 14 of its Leopard 2A6 tanks available for Ukraine’s war effort, and give partner countries its permission to re-export other battle tanks to aid Kyiv.

It also says:

“Putin expected Europe and the United States to weaken our resolve,” Biden said in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. “He expected our support for Ukraine to crumble with time. He was wrong. He was wrong. He was wrong from the beginning and he continues to be wrong.”

Yet despite the apparent uptick in support, upon closer analysis it appears practical support for Ukraine has long-since been exhausted and the West has now resorted to “wonder weapons” that will have even less impact on the battlefield than previous aid packages.

Not the “Game Changer” Many Think 

The idea that the West transferring their main battle tanks to Ukraine will be a “game changer” is rooted in the myth of Western main battle tanks being “superior” to their Russian counterparts. In turn, this myth is owed to their performance in Iraq in 1991 and again during the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 where modern US and British main battle tanks went up against Soviet-era export versions of the T-72.

Not only do several experienced US military officers warn against this misconception, the performance of Western main battle tanks in recent conflicts tells a much different story.

Former US Army Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Davis in a recent article published by 1945 helps dispel the myths surrounding Western tank performance in Iraq and asked the question whether or not these high-tech tanks will make a difference – allowing Ukrainian forces to drive Russian forces from territory Kiev claims is Ukrainian.

He points out the critical factors that actually lead to a US victory in Iraq. He explains:

In Desert Storm, U.S. M1A1 Abrams tanks wiped out Saddam Hussein’s fleets of Soviet-made T-72s, and again the American Abrams-led invasion in 2003 revealed the T-72 was no match for U.S. tanks. And truly the American tanks were witheringly successful. During Desert Storm, for example, the U.S. and its coalition partners destroyed more than 3,000 Iraqi tanks. Saddam’s armored force, however, did not destroy even a single Abrams tank. It’s understandable, then, why anyone would want to have an Abrams or equivalent tank, especially when it has proven so effective against exactly the type of tanks Russia has.

Lt. Col. Davis omits, however, that the tanks used by Iraqi forces during Desert Storm are not comparable to the type of tanks Russia has today.

The T-72s operated by Iraqi forces during Desert Storm were protected only by the steel armor they were originally manufactured with. They lacked night vision and thermal imaging sights, as well as computerized fire control systems that automatically calculate firing solutions for tank gunners taking in account a number of factors including temperature, munition type, wind speed and direction as well as barometric pressure.

Also not mentioned in Lt. Col. Davis’ article is the fact that the US deployed upward to 1,900 Abrams to fight against these far inferior Iraqi tanks and that this immense tank force was supported by an equally massive amount of supporting air power, artillery, and mechanized infantry which when combined is referred to as combined arms warfare.

Lt. Col. Davis does, however, mention a very important factor that worked almost entirely in America’s favor, training.

Training is Key and Training Takes Years

Lt. Col Davis in his article explains:

First, the U.S. crewmen were highly trained as individuals. In my unit, tank drivers, loaders, gunners, and vehicle commanders had all mastered their individual jobs, then for more than a year before battle, had conducted considerable time training as platoons, then at company-level, and later we trained in squadron and eventually regimental levels. No one could have been more ready to fight than we were. 

Conversely, Iraqi forces had none of this training. Lt. Col. Davis explains that many Iraqi tankers had little if any practice firing their main guns, little if any unit-level training, and maintenance programs required to keep heavy weapons like a main battle tank operational on the battlefield were “virtually nonexistent.”

The disparity in training was so extreme that Lt. Col. Davis concluded that even if US tankers were operating Iraq’s T-72s and the Iraqis were given American M1 Abrams, the United States still would have won.

He then explains:

In tank fights, the side that accurately fires first almost always wins. In Desert Storm, we almost always fired first, and because of our training, almost never missed. But even when the Iraqi gunners got off a shot, it was rarely on target. The results were fatal for them.

Russian tanks today have computerized fire control systems, night and thermal sights, as well as sophisticated explosive reactive armor (ERA). They will be at least as capable as Western main battle tanks transferred to Ukraine. Russian tanks will also be many times more numerous. Training aside, if tank battles in Ukraine become a matter of who sees who first and delivers the first accurate shot, there will be many more capable Russian tanks looking for and firing at Western tanks.

It takes nearly half a year to train an entry-level tanker to operate a modern Western main battle tank (22 weeks according to the US Army’s website). Western tank crews consist of a driver, a gunner, a loader, and a tank commander. The tank commander will often have years of experience operating the specific tank in question, meaning that there are no Western tank crews composed of just entry-level tankers.

This is an insurmountable problem for Ukraine. While the Western media even admits that it will take months for Ukrainians to learn how to operate and then deploy Western tanks, this is only if crews are given crash courses on how to operate their own individual tanks, omitting any training on how to use tanks together as units.

Many argue that training can be abbreviated and that Ukrainian forces are “highly motivated” and thus somehow capable of compressing years of necessary training and experience into a few weeks. This is simply not true.

US Army Lieutenant General Mark Hertling (retired) in a recent thread on Twitter agrees.

He warned that training can’t be “hand-waved.” If it is, crews will be ineffective on the battlefield while actually causing damage to the tank itself.

The M1 Abrams is propelled by a multi-fuel turbine engine that requires a significant amount of careful driver training to avoid damaging it. A damaged engine needs to be replaced – a non-trivial task on the front line in Ukraine. The engine cannot be maintained by a general mechanic but requires a technician trained and certified to work on it specifically.

Lt. General Hertling points out that virtually everything that breaks on an M1 Abrams will need to be replaced, requiring an 800 km-long logistical line to be established as Ukrainians themselves will not be able to perform the repairs inside Ukraine.

He also points out that other nations using the M1 Abrams including Iraq and Saudi Arabia required a 5 and 7 year training program respectively before standing up their fleets. Both nations still depend on General Dynamics (the tank’s manufacturer) to perform maintenance since technicians in either country have yet to acquire training and equipment to do it themselves.

It is easy then to imagine the complications that will arise attempting to deploy such weapon systems on such short notice in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Western Tanks Will Fight Alone 

Lt. Col. Davis in his article also pointed out that “tanks cannot fight alone or they die.” 

He is referring to combined arms warfare – the air, artillery, and mechanized infantry support the US had in abundance when advancing into Iraq – support Ukraine doesn’t and will not have throughout this current conflict.

The example of Ukraine’s offensive toward Kherson was mentioned, pointing out that Ukrainian tanks rushing forward were targeted and destroyed mostly by artillery shells, rockets, and anti-tank missiles. Very few if any tank-on-tank engagements ever took place. Russia eliminated brigades worth of Ukrainian soldiers and equipment during the multiple offensive waves Ukraine launched at Russian positions. Lt. Col. Davis surmises the same outcome would have resulted even if Ukrainians were operating M1 Abrams and Leopard 2 tanks instead of T-72s.

This is because in addition to tanks, Russia has air power and significantly larger amounts of artillery than Ukraine does on the battlefield. Russia has also developed and possesses large numbers of a variety of anti-tank weapons from anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) launched by armored vehicles, helicopters, and warplanes, to ATGMs and rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) operated by infantry.

These ATGMs and RPGs have proven effective in recent conflicts around the globe specifically against Western main battle tanks like the British Challenger 2, the American M1 Abrams, the Israeli Merkava, and the German Leopard 2. Often these losses were suffered at the hands of irregular forces armed with older Russian anti-tank weapons and without the benefit of combined arms support like air power and artillery or their own tanks.

Dragging Out a Lost Conflict 

At the beginning of Russia’s special military operation in February 2022, Ukraine had large numbers of modernized Soviet-era tanks, artillery, warplanes, and mechanized infantry.

Russia systematically destroyed it prompting a deluge of equipment from NATO’s Eastern European members still in possession of Soviet-era equipment. This “second” army was likewise destroyed during Ukraine’s Kharkov and Kherson offensives.

Now NATO is building Ukraine a “third” army consisting of equipment Ukrainian forces have no experience using or sustaining on the battlefield. It is also equipment that offers no substantial advantage over Russian equipment even if training and sustainment issues did not exist. Worse still, Russia has a much large amount of any given type of equipment on the battlefield including main battle tanks and an industrial capacity to replace tank losses at rates the collective West are not capable of.

The transfer of Western armor to Ukraine will certainly draw out this conflict longer, lead to more casualties on both sides, and more thoroughly destroy Ukraine itself, but it will not alter the outcome of the fighting.

Western tanks without the benefit of artillery and air support, crewed by inexperienced Ukrainian tankers will fare worse than Ukrainian forces did operating equipment they had years of experience operating. Suspicions that Western tank operators will crew these weapon systems are well-founded. However, even if Western operators crewed these tanks, they would still be going into battle outnumbered and without the type of combined arms support the US required to prevail in Iraq.

At the end of it, Ukraine will find itself back to where it started, in need of another army’s worth of equipment to replace their substantial losses and a shrinking pool of trained manpower to operate it.

Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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‘Doomsday clock’: 90 seconds to midnight

Thursday, 26 January 2023 11:08 AM  [ Last Update: Thursday, 26 January 2023 11:17 AM ]

By Pepe Escobar

The Doomsday Clock, set by the US-based magazine Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, has been moved to 90 seconds to midnight.  

That’s the closest ever to total nuclear doom, the global catastrophe.

The Clock had been set at 100 seconds since 2020. The Bulletin’s Science and Security Board and a group of sponsors – which includes 10 Nobel laureates – have focused on “Russia’s war on Ukraine” (their terminology) as the main reason.

Yet they did not bother to explain non-stop American rhetoric (the US is the only nation that adopts “first strike” in a nuclear confrontation) and the fact that this is a US proxy war against Russia with Ukraine used as cannon fodder.

The Bulletin also attributes malignant designs to China, Iran and North Korea, while mentioning, only in passing, that “the last remaining nuclear weapons treaty between Russia and the United States, New START, stands in jeopardy”.

“Unless the two parties resume negotiations and find a basis for further reductions, the treaty will expire in February 2026.”

As it stands, the prospects of a US-Russia negotiation on New START are less than zero.

Now cue to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov making it very clear that war against Russia is not hybrid anymore, it’s “almost” real.

“Almost” in fact means “90 seconds.”

So why is this all happening?

The Mother of All Intel Failures

Former British diplomat Alastair Crooke has concisely explained how Russian resilience – much in the spirit of Iranian resilience past four decades – completely smashed the assumptions of Anglo-American intelligence.

Talk about the Mother of All Intel Failures – in fact even more astonishing than the non-existent Iraqi WMDs (in the run-up to Shock and Awe in 2003, anyone with a brain knew Baghdad had discontinued its weapons program already in the 1990s.) 

Now the collective West “committed the entire weight of its financial resources to crushing Russia (…) in every conceivable way – via financial, cultural and psychological war, and with real military war as the follow-through.”

And yet Russia held its ground. And now reality-based developments prevail over fiction. The Global South “is peeling away into a separate economic model, no longer dependent on the dollar for its trading needs.”

And the accelerated collapse of the US dollar increasingly plunges the Empire into a real existential crisis.

All that hangs over a South Vietnam scenario evolving in Ukraine after a rash government-led political and military purge. The coke comedian – whose only role is to beg non-stop for bags of cash and loads of weapons – is being progressively sidelined by the Americans (beware of traveling CIA directors). 

The game in Kiev, according to Russian sources, seems to be that the Americans are taking over the Brits as handlers of the whole operation.

The coke comedian remains – for now – as a sock puppet while military control over what is left of Ukraine is entirely NATO’s.

Well, it already was – but now, formally, Ukraine is the world’s first de facto NATO member without being an actual member, enjoying less than zero national sovereignty, and complete with NATO-Nazi Storm troopers weaponized with American and German tanks in the name of “democracy”.

The meeting last week of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group – totally controlled by the US – at the US Air Force base in Ramstein solidified a sort of tawdry remix of Operation Barbarossa.

Here we go again, with German Panzers sent to Ukraine to fight Russia.

Yet the tank coalition seems to have tanked even before it starts.  Germany will send 14, Portugal 2, Belgium 0 (sorry, don’t have them). Then there’s Lithuania, whose Defense Minister observed, “Yes, we don’t have tanks, but we have an opinion about tanks.”

No one ever accused German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock of being brighter than a light bulb. She finally gave the game away,  at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg:

“The crucial part is that we do it together and that we do not do the blame game in Europe because we are fighting a war against Russia.”

So Baerbock agrees with Lavrov. Just don’t ask her what Doomsday Clock means. Or what happened after Operation Barbarossa failed. 

The NATO-EU “garden”

The EU-NATO combo takes matters to a whole new level. The EU essentially has been reduced to the status of P.R. arm of NATO.

It’s all spelled out in their January 10 joint declaration.

The NATO-EU joint mission consists in using all economic, political and military means to make sure the “jungle” always behaves according to the “rules-based international order” and accepts to be plundered ad infinitum by the “blooming garden”.

Looking at The Big Picture, absolutely nothing changed in the US military/intel apparatus since 9/11: it’s a bipartisan thing, and it means Full Spectrum Dominance of both the US and NATO. No dissent whatsoever is allowed. And no thinking outside the box.

Plan A is subdivided into two sections.

1. Military intervention in a hollowed-out proxy state shell (see Afghanistan and Ukraine).

2. Inevitable, humiliating military defeat (see Afghanistan and soon Ukraine). Variations include building a wasteland and calling it “peace” (Libya) and extended proxy war leading to future humiliating expulsion (Syria).

There’s no Plan B.

Or is there? 90 seconds to midnight?

Obsessed by Mackinder, the Empire fought for control of the Eurasian landmass in World War I and World War II because that represented control of the world.

Later, Zbigniew “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski had warned: “Potentially the most dangerous scenario would be a grand coalition between Russia, China and Iran.”

Jump cut to the Raging Twenties when the US forced the end of Russian natural gas exports to Germany (and the EU) via Nord Stream 1 and 2.

Once again, Mackinderian opposition to a grand alliance on the Eurasian landmass consisting of Germany, Russia and China.

The Straussian neo-con and neoliberal-con psychos in charge of US foreign policy could even absorb a strategic alliance between Russia and China – as painful as it may be. But never Russia, China and Germany.   

With the collapse of the JCPOA, Iran is now being re-targeted with maximum hostility. Yet were Tehran to play hardball, the US Navy or military could never keep the Strait of Hormuz open – by the admission of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

Oil price in this case would rise to possibly thousands of dollars a barrel according to Goldman Sachs oil derivative experts – and that would crash the entire world economy.

This is arguably the foremost NATO Achilles Heel. Almost without firing a shot a Russia-Iran alliance could smash NATO to bits and bring down assorted EU governments as socio-economic chaos runs rampant across the collective West. 

Meanwhile, to quote Dylan, darkness keeps dawning at the break of noon. Straussian neo-con and neoliberal-con psychos will keep pushing the Doomsday Clock closer and closer to midnight.   

Pepe Escobar is a Eurasia-wide geopolitical analyst and author. His latest book is Raging Twenties.

(The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV)

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