Lee Camp: How the Media Used the Bounty Scandal to Stop the ‘Threat’ of Peace in Afghanistan

By Lee Camp

Source

Peace seems to have exceedingly, ridiculously, laughably bad timing, this latest time in Afghanistan, says Lee Camp.

This is not a column defending Donald Trump.

Across my career, I have said more positive words about the scolex family of intestinal tapeworms than I have said about Donald Trump. (Scolex have been shown to read more.)

No, this is a column about context. When The New York Times reports anonymous sources from the intelligence community say Russia paid Taliban fighters to kill American soldiers, context is very important.

Some of that context is that Mike Pompeo said, “I was the CIA director – We lied, we cheated, we stole. We had entire training courses.” So we know for certain that U.S. intelligence agencies lie to you and me. We saw it with WMD, and we might be seeing it again now.

But that’s not the context I’m referring to.

We could talk about the context of the fact that the Taliban does not need to be paid to kill American soldiers because their entire goal for the past twenty years has been to kill American soldiers. Paying them a bounty would be like offering the guy sleeping with your wife twenty bucks to sleep with your wife.

But that’s not the context I’m referring to.

We could talk about the fact that the U.S. has been funding the Taliban for years! Yes, we fund them, sometimes arm them, and then fight them. This is barely a secret. So for all intents and purposes, the U.S. does the same thing our corporate media is now accusing Russia of doing (with no proof).

But that’s not the context I’m referring to.

No, the context I’m referring to is how our military industrial complex (with the help of our ruling elite and our corporate media) have stopped Trump from pushing us toward the brink of peace. …Yes, the brink of peace.

Now, I’m not implying Trump is some kind of hippy peacenik. (He would look atrocious with no bra and flowers in his hair.) No, the military under Trump has dropped more bombs than under Obama, and that’s impressive since Obama dropped more bombs than ever before.

However, in certain areas of the world, Trump has threatened to create peace. Sure, he’s doing it for his own ego and because he thinks his base wants it, but whatever the reason, he has put forward plans or policies that go against the military industrial complex and the establishment war-hawks (which is 95 percent of the establishment).

And each time this has happened, he is quickly thwarted, usually with hilarious propaganda. (Well, hilarious to you and me. Apparently believable to people at The New York Times and former CIA intern Anderson Cooper.)

I know four things for sure in life. Paper beats rock. Rock beats scissors. Scissors beat paper. And propaganda beats peace. All one has to do is look at a calendar.

Trump has essentially threatened to create peace or pull U.S. troops out of a war zone in three countries – North Korea, Afghanistan, and Syria. Let’s start with Syria.

April 4, 2018: President Trump orders the Pentagon to plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.

This cannot be allowed because it goes against the U.S. imperial plan. So what happens within days of Trump’s order?

April 7, 2018: Reports surface of a major chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria.

What are the odds that within days of Trump telling the Pentagon to withdraw, Bashar al-Assad decides to use the one weapon that will guarantee American forces continue attacking him? Assad may not be a chess player, but I also don’t think he ate that many paint chips as a kid. And sure enough, over the past two years we’ve now heard from four whistleblowers at the Organization for The Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) saying the so-called chemical attack didn’t happen. (Notice that the number “four” is even bigger than the numbers “one,” “two,” and “three.”)

But establishment propaganda beats peace any day and twice on Sunday. The false story succeeded in keeping America entrenched in Syria.

The DPRK

Let’s move on to North Korea. As you surely know, Donald Trump “threatened” to create peace with the hermetic country. Simply saying he would attempt such a thing sent weapons contractor stocks tumbling—one of the many reasons peace had to be stopped.

Feb 27, 2019: Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un meet in Vietnam.

The summit fails, and reports begin emerging that Mike Pompeo and John Bolton succeeded in napalming any progress.

March 15, 2019: Pompeo and Bolton deny derailing North Korea nuclear talks.

From The Nation, “There were reports from South Korea that the presence at the talks of John Bolton, Trump’s aggressively hawkish national-security adviser, helped torpedo the talks.“

But just destroying the peace talks wasn’t enough. The American people needed some good, solid propaganda to reassert the idea that Kim Jung Un was a dastardly bloodthirsty dictator.

March 30, 2019: The New York Times reports North Korea executed and purged their top nuclear negotiators.

Yes, apparently Kim Jung Un must’ve fed his top diplomats to his top alligators. Then, two months later we learn…

June 4, 2019: The fate of the North Korean negotiator “executed” after the failed summit “grows murkier” with new reports that he’s still alive.

One would have to say that his being alive does indeed make the report that he’s dead “murkier.” Within the next day or two it becomes quite clear the diplomat is very much in the land of the living. But the propaganda put forward by The New York Times and many other outlets has already done its job.

Far more people saw the reports that the man had been murdered than saw the later retraction. And to this day, the Times has not removed the initial article saying he was executed. Exactly how wrong does propaganda have to be, to warrant an online deletion? Dead versus alive is a pretty binary designation.

And now we get to the outrage du jour, and it’s a bombshell!

Bounties!

May 26, 2020: Pentagon commanders begin drawing up options for an early Afghanistan troop withdrawal, following Trump’s request.

June 16, 2020: “President Donald Trump confirmed in public for the first time his administration’s plans to cut the U.S. military troop presence in Germany from its current level of roughly 35,000 to a reduced force of 25,000.” – ForeignPolicy.com

June 26, 2020: The New York Times reports Russia paid the Taliban to attack U.S. troops. (According to anonymous sources from an intelligence community that proudly admits they lie to us all the time, sometimes just to amuse themselves.)

So when this story first came out, I thought, “You know, Trump has been stopped from withdrawing troops in the past by ridiculous propaganda that seems to land like a giant turd right after he announces his intentions. Maybe I’ll check what happened in the days preceding this jaw-dropping story.”

So just days after Trump goes against the military industrial complex and against the ruling establishment by announcing he’ll be withdrawing about a third of our troops from Germany, and just weeks after announcing an early withdrawal from Afghanistan, a seemingly mind-blowing story drops about Russia paying the Taliban to kill American troops.

This serves to remind everyone what a threat Russia is (so we better put more troops in Germany!) and serves to keep us in Afghanistan (because screw those Russian-funded Taliban!).

Look, I’m not saying Trump is a hero or a great guy or even a man who wants peace. I’m not even saying he’s a man. He very well may be a giant blood-sucking leech in a human skin suit. (A poorly tailored human skin suit.)

All I’m saying is the timing doesn’t add up. Either these landmark stories that destroy every chance of peace are false (in fact we’ve already proven two out of three of them are false), or peace has exceedingly, ridiculously, laughably bad timing.

War is Good for Business and Organized Crime: Afghanistan’s Multibillion Dollar Opium Trade. Rising Heroin Addiction in the US

By Michel Chossudovsky

Source

In December 2019, the Washington Post released a reviews of The Afghanistan Papers. A series of interviews and documents “compiled in secret” and then the subject of a “legal challenge” from the US government. The WaPo baldly called it“A secret history of the war”. But there’s nothing here that’s really secret, and very little actual history. What do they tell us? Absolutely nothing, except what we’re supposed to believe.” ( Kit Knightly, December 20, 2019)

What is the unspoken “secret truth” which has not been featured in the Afghanistan Papers? The 2001 US-NATO invasion of Afghanistan sustains the surge in heroin and opioid addiction in the United States.

The following article (first published in December 2018) is brought to the attention of Global Research readers as a contribution to the June 26 2020 United Nations “global observance to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society”. 

Michel Chossudovsky, June 25, 2020

Afghanistan’s opium economy is a multibillion dollar operation which has a direct impact on the surge of  heroin addiction in the US. 

Despite president Trump’s announced US troop withdrawal, the Afghan opium trade continues to flourish. It is protected by US-NATO occupation forces on behalf of a nexus of powerful financial and criminal  interests. 

Today a rough estimate based on US retail prices suggests that the global heroin market is above the 500 billion dollars mark. This multibillion dollar hike is the result of a significant increase in the volume of heroin transacted Worldwide coupled with a moderate increase in retail prices.

Based on the most recent (UNODC) data (2017) opium production in Afghanistan is of the order of 9000 metric tons, which after processing and transformation is equivalent to approximately 900,000 kg. of pure heroin.

With the surge in heroin addiction since 2001, the retail price of heroin has increased. According to DEA intelligence, one gram of pure heroin was selling in December 2016 in the domestic US market for $902 per gram.

The Heroin trade is colossal: one gram of pure heroin selling at $902 is equivalent to almost a million US dollars a kilo ($902,000) (see table below)

Flash back to to 2000-2001.

In 2000, the Taliban government with the support of the United Nations implemented a successful drug eradication program, which was presented to the UN General Assembly on October 12, 2001, barely a week after on the onset of US-NATO invasion. Opium production had collapsed by 94 percent.

In 2001 opium production had collapsed to 185 tons down from 3300 tons in 2000. (see Remarks on behalf of UNODC Executive Director at the UN General Assembly, Oct 2001, excerpt below)



The US-NATO led War against Afghanistan served to Restore the Illicit Heroin trade

The Afghan government’s drug eradication program was repealed.  The 2001 war on Afghanistan served to restore as well as boost the multibillion dollar drug trade. It has also contributed to the surge in heroin addiction in the US.

Opium production had declined by more than 90 per cent in 2001 as a result of the Taliban government’s drug eradication program.

Immediately following the invasion (October 7, 2001) and the occupation of Afghanistan by US-NATO troops, the production of opium regained its historical levels.

In fact the surge in opium cultivation production coincided with the onslaught of the US-led military operation and the downfall of the Taliban regime. From October through December 2001, farmers started to replant poppy on an extensive basis.” (see Michel Chossudovsky, op cit.)  

Since 2001, according to UNODC, the production of opium has increased 50 times, (compared to 185 ton in 2001) reaching 9000 metric tons in 2017. It has almost tripled in relation to its historical levels. (See Figure 1 below)

Heroin Addiction in the US

Since 2001, the use of heroin in the US has increased more than 20 times. Media reports rarely report how the dramatic increase in the global “supply of heroin” has contributed to “demand” at the retail level.

There were 189,000 heroin users in the US in 2001, before the US-NATO invasion of Afghanistan. By 2012-13, there were 3.8 million heroin users in the US according to a study by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Extrapolating the 2012-2013 figures (see graph below), one can reasonably confirm that the number of heroin users today (including addicts and casual users) is well in excess of four million.

In 2001, 1,779 Americans were killed as a result of heroin overdose. By 2016, the number of Americans killed as a result of heroin addiction shot up to 15,446. (see graph below)

“My Administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic” says Donald Trump.

Those lives would have been saved had the US and its NATO allies NOT invaded and occupied Afghanistan in 2001. 

The first thing they did was to undermine the drug eradication program, restore the opium economy and the drug trade.

Source: National Institute of Drug Abuse

Opium production has increased 50 times in relation to 2001 (following the Afghan government’s drug eradication program). In 2001, the areas of opium cultivation had fallen to 8000 hectares (185 metric tons of opium).

According to the UNODC, Afghanistan produces (2007) 93% of the illegal “non-pharmaceutical-grade opiates” namely  heroin.

The 2017 Afghanistan Opium Survey (released in May 2018) by UNODC confirms that the farm areas allocated to opium are of the order of 328,000 hectares with opium production in excess of 9,000 tons.  

War is good for business. It contributed to spearheading heroin use. The Afghan opium economy feeds into a lucrative trade in narcotics and money laundering.

It is worth noting that in 2010 UNODC modified the concepts and figures on opium sales and heroin production, as outlined by the  European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

UNODC estimates that a large proportion of the Afghan opium harvest is not processed into heroin or morphine” (UNODC, 2010a). …EU drug markets report: a strategic analysis, EMCDDA, Lisbon, January 2013 emphasis added.

What this new methodology has done is to obfuscate the size and criminal nature of the Afghan drug trade, intimating –without evidence– that up to 20% of Afghan opium is no longer channeled towards the illegal heroin market.

More than Half a Trillion Dollars

The profits are largely reaped at the level of the international wholesale and retail markets of heroin as well as in the process of money laundering in Western banking institutions, an issue which is not addressed by the Vienna based UNODC.

The global monetary value of the heroin market (which is protected by powerful groups) is colossal.

Estimation

The retail price of heroin (sold by the gram) can vary dramatically from one country to another, it also depends on the percentage of pure heroin. This does not facilitate the process of estimating the monetary value of the global trade in heroin.

Recorded retail street prices for heroin with a low level of purity must be converted to a dollar value which corresponds to pure heroin.

What is sold at the street level usually has a low percentage of pure heroin. The process of estimation requires transforming the street level prices into what the DEA calls heroin price per gram pure (PPG)

From one ton of opium you can produce 100 kilos of pure heroin. The US retail prices for heroin (with a low level of purity) was, according to UNODC (2012) of the order of $172 a gram (namely $17,200 per kilo)

The estimated price per gram of pure heroin, however, is substantially higher.

In December 2016, the heroin price per gram pure (PPG) was of the order of $902 in the US, according to DEA intelligence  ie. $902,000 a kilo.

Heroin Prices in the UK

In the UK which is the entry point of Afghan heroin into the EU market, the recorded retail price (according to a 2015 estimate quoted by the Guardian) is consistent with that estimated for the US market by the DEA:

“An imported kilo [of heroin] cut at 25% street purity provides enough raw material for 16,000 individual deals at £10 a hit – pushing the takings to £160,000 [a kilo] (The Guardian, December 20, 2015)

GBP160,000 (25% purity) converts into GBP 640,000 per kilo for pure heroin, ie. approximately  US$960,000 per kilo (December 2015 GBP USD exchange rate).

Rough Estimate of the  Monetary Value of  Afghanistan’s Global Heroin Market

According to the UNODC, 7600-7900 tons of opium were available for heroin production and export (out of a total of 9000-9300 metric tons). According to the UNODC, approximately half of the opium is processed into heroin within Afghanistan.

The global monetary value for heroin can be roughly estimated using the US price equivalent PPG measurement for pure heroin of US 902,000 a kg. (December 2016, DEA) and the (lower) production figure of 790,000 kg of pure heroin (estimated by the UNODC).

Using the US retail price equivalent of pure heroin (DEA), the global monetary value generated by the Afghan heroin trade (2017) is of the order of  $712,580,000,000 (712.58 billion dollars), an amount equivalent to the US defense budget.

This is a conservative estimate based on adopting the “lower figure” of 7900 metric tons (2017)  (recommended by the UNODC methodology which is arbitrary and questionable, see above).

If we had based the calculation on the total production of opium which is in excess of 9ooo metric tons (2017), the global monetary value of the heroin market would have been in excess of $800 billion. It should also be mentioned that this estimate relies solely on the the US price for pure heroin (DEA).

Back in August 2018, President  Trump signed the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act “which authorizes a top-line [defense] budget of $717 billion”, just a few million dollars in excess of the estimated global monetary value of the Afghan heroin market.

The global monetary value of the heroin market is of the same order of magnitude as the defense budget of the USA.

Needless to say, the Pentagon not to mention the CIA which launched the opium economy in Afghanistan in the late 1970s  are intent upon protecting this multibillion dollar industry. The proceeds of the Afghan drug trade were initially used to finance the recruitment of Al Qaeda Mujahideen mercenaries to fight in the Soviet-Afghan war.

Journalist Julian Assange Charged with New American Indictment

By Leon Tressell

Source

On 24 June a US Federal Grad Jury issued a second superseding indictment against Journalist Julian Assange.

The new indictment incorporates the 18 charges from the first indictment and seeks to ‘broaden the scope of the conspiracy’ and asserts that Assange and Wikileaks tried to recruit hackers for the purpose of stealing secret documents from the US government.

Thirteen of the 49 page indictment are devoted to Assange’s efforts to recruit ‘Anonymous’ hackers. At one conference Assange is alleged to have encouraged hackers to join the CIA and then use their position to steal top secret documents.

It also alleges that Assange cajoled, encouraged and assisted Chelsea Manning in ‘stealing’ hundreds of thousands of secret government documents relating to the Iraq and Afghan wars as well as diplomatic cables and Guantanamo Bay detainee assessments.

The icing on the cake of this new indictment are the claims that Assange wilfully revealed the ‘name of Human Sources and Created a Grave and Imminent Risk to Human Life’ through publishing ‘stolen’ secret documents. The tally of secret documents that Wikileaks published includes 75,000 Afghan war reports, 400,000 Iraq war reports, 800 Guantanamo Bay detainee assessments and 250,000 US diplomatic cables.

The new indictment alleges that Wikileaks published documents that revealed the names of various collaborators working with US military and intelligence agencies deliberately putting their lives in danger.

The new indictment also tries to make the help that Wikileaks gave NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden a criminal offence. Never mind the fact that the FBI relied upon paid informants such as ‘convicted conman, and sex criminal Sigurdur Thordarson’ to make up bogus claims against Assange. According to WikiLeaks Thordarson is one of the star witnesses for new indictment from the US Department of Justice.

The timing of this new indictment is suspicious. Trump is trailing in numerous polls due to his disastrous handling of the Covid-19 pandemic that has left over 120,000 Americans dead and caused trillions of dollars worth of economic damage. Is the new indictment a pathetic attempt to try and steer the news away from the storm of negative press encircling the White House?

The Freedom of the Press Foundation has commented:

“The Trump DOJ’s new Assange indictment has all the same problems as the old one. Source communication and publishing are not crimes. They didn’t add any new charges. They didn’t really change any old ones. And the using the Espionage Act is beyond the pale.’’

Julian Assange’s extradition trial does not resume until 7 September. Further outbreaks of the virus could put a spoke in that judicial frame up by the British government. Yet it appears the entire British political class including the so called opposition Labour Party will do nothing to try and prevent Assange’s extradition. Its new leader Keir Starmer, a former human rights barrister, supports the extradition process.

Pulitzer prize winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, whose reports revealed the global surveillance operations of the US and UK, has noted the connivance of British and American politicians and media of all political colours with Trump’s war on whistle blowers:

“The Trump DOJ’s attempt to imprison Julian Assange for working with his source to publish classified documents that exposed US war crimes is the most severe US threat to press freedom since 2016. It’s sickening to watch so many journalists ignore it, & so many liberals cheer it: ‘’

Kevin Gosztlioa of the Shadow Proof news outlet has written a detailed expose of the new indictment. He conclusion declares:

“While the conspiracy charge includes sensational claims of collaboration with hackers, it is no less of a political charge than the seventeen Espionage Act offences Assange faces for publishing information.

The additional sections in the indictment represent an attempt to give the illegitimate prosecution a greater veneer of criminality. Unfortunately, it does not take much to scrape it off and expose the contempt for press freedom that still lies behind this vindictive prosecution.’’

Ordinary people around the world must step up their efforts to secure the release of journalist Julian Assange. If extradited to the US he would face a show trial that would resemble the worst excesses of Stalin and Hitler’s courtrooms in the 1930s.

The extradition of Julian Assange by the crisis ridden American empire sends a clear warning to anyone who has thoughts about investigating or revealing US war crimes. It represents a threat to investigative journalists and anti war activists who challenge the bloody rule of American capital which will not go down without a fight.

The persecution of Julian Assange reveals a certain desperation on the part of the American ruling class. However, it won’t solve any of the social, economic and political problems facing American capitalism which is in a state of deep crisis.

A letter to Italian-Americans

Source

June 21, 2020

A letter to Italian-Americans

By POSTFATARESURGO for The Saker Blog

The World Thought Police (WTP) has included Cristoforo Colombo, a.k.a. Christopher Columbus, in his black list. He was a “bad” person, period. Details are not needed. WTP’s decision are not questionable, nor they can be subject to anyone’s appeal, scrutiny or disagreement. Once the WTP issues a red flag on anyone, past, present or future, scores of enforcers are ready, as they were waiting for a signal, to go into action. Even the most neutral observer of current events will have to admit that this ongoing heritage hate frenzy plays along well consolidated tactics, anything but “spontaneous”. Proof of that could easily come from asking participants in the hysteric toppling of statues around the US if they could correctly place dates and events related to the subject to be grounded: somebody has done that and all the answers he could receive were growls from a crowd of rabid Pavlov’s dogs who admit no questioning to their rage. After all a basic tenet of victimhood philosophy is that virtually everyone with problems, perceived problems, or a bad life situation, is a victim. Racial, sexual, age, ethnic, political, or whatever discrimination factor, outside one’s self, is to blame for one’s problems.

As for Americans of Italian heritage, the ultimate date to celebrate is the discovery of the new world by an Italian, Cristoforo Colombo on October 12th, 1492. But Colombo had no idea of being “Italian”, nor other prominent “Italian” navigators and explorers of the time, incidentally all of them working for national states such as Spain, France or England, simply because there was not a state called “Italy” that could have financed their costly voyages.

Therefore, Colombo always considered himself a Genoese, Vespucci and Verrazzano considered themselves Florentines, and Giovanni Caboto – although probably born in Gaeta – was sure to be Venetian. Giovanni da Verrazzano (whose correct spelling was only recently recognized by the state of New York) was in fact the first European to set foot in North America and Amerigo Vespucci unwillingly gave the name to the entire continent, courtesy of the German cartographer Waldseemüller.

As for Columbus, targeted by many as one of symbols representing a past that must be eradicated, there are indeed records and historical accounts that prove that he was not – by today’s standards – benevolent towards natives he came in contact with. Rather, he probably did not consider them any different than animals or objects, just like the Romans who considered – without any qualms of conscience – other human beings they had reduced to the status of slaves, just that: objects to be used for any labor necessities, whether by a private owner who had purchased them, or by the state for public works such as roads or public buildings such as arenas or aqueducts.

So, where do we go from here? It doesn’t take long to figure out that if we continue to examine history by todays’ “moral standards”, the path becomes endless. Soon there will be an endless list of human beings –under any denomination possible – demanding some sort of compensation for torts, damages, injustices, presumed violence, discrimination, unfair treatment, you name it.

Let’s get back to the Romans. They got their huge empire by conquering, that is by subjugating with violence other human beings, all over western Europe, northern Africa, and parts of Asia. Never mind that eventually those “barbarians” conquered themselves a crumbling Roman empire certainly not waging an olive branch. What about ancient peoples of the Italian peninsula? They were mostly peaceful populations who would have lived happily along the Romans, but the Romans waged war to their neighbors Etruscans, Sabines, Picenes, Ligures, Samnites, Lucani, Celts, Gauls just to name a few.

A possible lawsuit against the city of Rome by anyone claiming “suffering damages” enhanced by racial hatred in a past life is looming in the not so distant future, not to mention that statues of Roman emperors, the Colosseum and Roman arches of triumph are inevitably at risk.

What about the making of Italy as a nation? In 1861, the various states comprised in the Italian peninsula, including duchies and grand-duchies, decided to become all Italians and put aside almost two thousand years of differences and live happily together. At least that’s what history manuals have told us all along, right? Not quite.

Neapolitan philosopher Giovanbattista Vico stated that history invariably repeats itself. And one of the basic lessons of history is that it is written by the winners. The making of Italy was no exception to the rule as it was the annexation of a number of sovereign and independent states to another that simply had the military force to do so, because aided by foreign powers, namely France and Great Britain.

Giovanni Giolitti, the Italian statesman who ruled Italy for decades before Mussolini seized power in 1922, used to repeat that after all the Risorgimento was a fairytale, but a useful one, and as such it should be left untouched. In essence, the making of Italy caused for most Italians, especially from the south, suffering and despair, due to an unbearable worsening of their livelihoods, so bad in fact that millions were forced to emigrate to both North and South America. It was, once again since the beginning of recorded history, one organized elite who prevailed upon innocent populations who lived peaceful lives under their respective Kings and Dukes, which –incidentally – had not declared nor sought any conflict whatsoever with Piedmont or any other Italian state.

Ironically, the Kingdom of Piedmont (also called Kingdom of Sardinia as the island was part of it) was by all accounts the least “Italian” of all other Italian states. In fact the common language used in Piedmont was French, and the opening declaration of the Kingdom of Italy, pronounced on March 17th, 1861 by Camillo Benso di Cavour were in fact pronounced in French: “Le Royaume d’Italie est aujourd’hui un fait. Le Roi, notre auguste souverain prend pour lui-même et pour ses successeurs le titre de Roi d’Italie”. (The Kingdom of Italy is today accomplished. The King, our august sovereign, assumes for himself and his successors the title of King of Italy)

That the opening statement of the new nation was pronounced in French is one of the many details historians failed to describe or deleted altogether because inconvenient to the official narrative of the making of Italy. Neither Cavour nor the new king himself, Victor Emmanuel II, really knew how to express themselves in Italian, as the common language was the local dialect or, in more official occasions, French. Even after 1861 French was kept in use for most official acts of the new government as most employees and representatives came from Piedmont and had therefore no knowledge of Italian, which was used by no more than 2-3% of the populations of the Italian peninsula. The rest was simply other dialects, or other languages like Neapolitan.

Every basic manual of Italian history will tell you that Italy has its “founding fathers” and incidentally they all came from the Kingdom of Piedmont: Mazzini, the political father, ideologue and mastermind. Cavour, the discreet strategist and diplomat. The first King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel II, who preferred to be named in continuity with the dynastic line of Savoy, instead of becoming what should have been Victor Emmanuel I of Italy. And the quintessential Italian hero, Garibaldi.

Garibaldi enjoys a statue in every Italian city, village or hamlet. Universally recognized as the man who single handedly defeated all the enemies of Italian populations longing for liberty under one state, he also spent quite some time in South America, where he had to make a living, somehow. In 1852, in Lima, he decided to assume Peruvian citizenship in order to be named captain of a vessel that was to offer regular service from Lima to China with a cargo of guamo fertilizer, and sail back from Canton with a cargo of coolies, chinese peasants of the lowest class, who were practically brought to Peru by force to extract Guamo as slave labor force for a job not even the poorest Peruvians wanted to do.

So we have a problem here. Even a champion of liberty as Garibaldi could come under scrutiny as a slave trader and his statues soon could come down as symbols of a past that must be eradicated. Soon a worldwide ban on Garibaldi’s symbols could be enacted by the WTP and his statues – worldwide, but especially in Italy – singled out for immediate demolition.

But Colombo and Garibaldi were simply men of their times who were not burdened by the moral dilemmas of the 21st century. We should know better than judging with today’s standards men of the past, despite all their flaws. After all we should know that men of the future will judge many of today’s standards with inevitable different ones.

Italian Americans – regardless of their political affiliation – should see Colombo as one “Italian” who embodied one of quintessential American qualities: don’t take the word “impossible” for granted. Most seamen of his time believed that the discovery of another part of the world sailing westward was “impossible” as – in their beliefs – the ocean was simply an endless body of water no human being should dare to challenge.

The making of Italy inevitably caused emigration and suffering to millions of people, just as Garibaldi or Colombo did cause suffering to other fellow human beings, thinking they were doing “the right thing”. That has happened in every country or civilization of the past, and it will happen inevitably again. But statues, or symbols, are essential: they help us remember, no matter what.

Destroying statues is a complete useless damnatio memoriae which serves no one. Neither the perpetrators, who should be remembered and judged for their deeds, good or bad, nor the victims, which will be completely forgotten. But it does serve the same old movers and shakers who are acting – and funding – behind the scenes this wave of hysteria in order to eradicate our symbols, and therefore our memory.

What About U.S.-Supported Racism in Palestine and Kashmir?

By Robert Fantina

Source

Palestine Kashmir 2bfc0

The savage murder of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer has caused worldwide protests against the racism that is so prevalent in the United States. Other such murders have caused civil unrest, but the current situation seems to have struck a nerve more than most. U.S. politicians support the cry for equal justice, but quickly change the subject to criticize any violence that occurs during the protests.

The hypocrisy of U.S. government officials knows no bounds. We have seen likely Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden visit the family of Mr. Floyd, but this writer does not recall him visiting the families of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Philandro Castile, etc., etc. President Donald Trump is harshly criticized for his disastrous photo-op in front of Saint John’s Episcopal Church, as well he should be. But why then praise Biden for his photo-op with the Floyd family? Mr. Floyd’s savage murder has certainly galvanized many people across the globe, but his bereaved loved ones are in no more need of consolation than are any of the other victims of racist police brutality.

And what about U.S.-supported racism in the Middle East? For decades the savage, apartheid regime of Israel has oppressed the Palestinians on their own land, yet Biden has said that there will be no reduction in U.S. aid to Israel, even if Israel proceeds with the annexation of much of the West Bank, a move illegal under international law and condemned by most of the world. No, freedom from racism and oppression is only supported when it provides political opportunities for self-service politicians. With AIPAC, the Apartheid Israel Political Affairs Committee (the reader will excuse this writer’s slight, but accurate, adjustment of the name) donating large amounts to election and re-election campaigns, what meaning do human rights have? Biden himself has collected at least $1,263,092.00 from pro-Israel lobbies during his career. That is a boat he will certainly not want to rock.

Let’s us move for a moment to Kashmir, long an illegally occupied colony of India with some limited sense of autonomy, that autonomy was stripped last year with some Indian government officials actually saying they would use the ‘Israel model’ to destroy Kashmir. U.S. officials have been strangely silent about this oppression.

Yet those some officials have been vocal in their condemnation of China’s suppression of pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong. Why not condemn the suppression of pro-democracy protesters in Palestine or Kashmir? What makes the difference?

Could it be that most of the people in Palestine and Kashmir are Muslim? Donald Trump has clearly, even proudly, proclaimed his animosity toward all things Muslim, supporting and even financing the oppression of the Palestinians, and ignoring the tragic plight of the Kashmiris.

This is not to say that his hatred of Muslims is universal; no, as long as they have the money to purchase huge amounts of weaponry from the U.S., as Saudi Arabia does, Trump is fine with Muslims. Saudi Arabia has one of the worst records of human rights violations in the world, but as long as there is money to be made, what’s a little murderous oppression among friends?

During the current civil unrest in the U.S., Trump and his cohorts have not hesitated to use tear gas, illegal in war zones but just fine for use against local citizens, and brutal violence to prevent it. Trump recently proclaimed that he is a ‘law and order’ president, conjuring up unpleasant memories of the administration of Richard Nixon. But again, we see blatant hypocrisy. Trump wants ‘law and order’ but has no problem violating international law by sanctioning Iran and Venezuela, supporting the occupation of Palestine, and financing wars all over the planet. Where is the ‘law and order’ in any of this?

The political pundits of the day presume to tell us all what to think, who to care about and how we are going to vote. They ignore the daily murders of unarmed Palestinians by heavily armed Israeli soldiers and illegal settlers, yet scream the headlines if an Israeli is even injured by a Palestinian. For a short time, it was very fashionable for the news media to report on the caging of children at the U.S. – Mexico border, but we never hear of that now. This might imply to some that it no longer happens, but the only thing that has changed is where the media has chosen to focus. Racist police brutality is now the big news, but this is not a new phenomenon: it has been happening since the dawn of the U.S. It has only worsened as the federal government sells, at bargain basement prices, hardware designed for war zones to local municipalities, and as those towns and cities have received ‘training’ from Israel, one of the most savage regimes on the planet.

We can all speculate on how soon something else with be the topic du jour. Let us consider the prominent news from the last several months: caged children, impeachment, coronavirus (still raging, but seldom reported on), racism and police brutality. Each one serious and requiring a solution, and some solutions quite simple (e.g. stop separating immigrant children from their families and putting them in cages), and some far more complex (e.g. overcoming racism in the police departments across the nation).

But the media are all, with a few independent exceptions, corporate owned, as are most government officials. The 1% will do what is necessary to maintain their positions of power and wealth; they follow their own twisted version of the Golden Rule: the one who has the gold makes the rules. And so those without the ‘gold’ – the middle class and the poor, often people of color – are simply victims, expendable in the eyes of the government, and not worth any consideration.

This is the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave’, as demonstrated by the sight of a policeman strangling an unarmed man by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes (Mr. Floyd was probably dead for the last two). This is the ‘shining city on a hill’, awash in the blood of Palestinians. The ‘exceptionalism’ which even Barack Obama said, shamefully, he believes the U.S. possesses, “with every fiber” of his being has been used to wreak havoc around the globe.

The hapless U.S. voters seem to believe that that are faced with a devil’s choice in November: Trump or Biden. This dismisses the many third-party candidates who are blocked from debates and other means of conveying their message by the Republicans and Democrats. But they are there, and a quick internet search will find them. Gloria La Riva of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, and Howie Hawkins of the Green Party are just two worthy of consideration.

This writer has long since repented of ‘lesser of two evil’ voting, and now votes for candidates he can believe in, regardless of their chance of success. In 2016, faced with a devil’s choice, he voted for Gloria La Riva, and plans to repeat that vote this year. Until the people of the U.S. stop validating the evil policies of elected officials, which is done each time they are elected, nothing will change. The sooner this ends, the better it will be for the entire planet.

Iraqi base hosting US forces comes under attack

By News Desk -2020-06-14

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:45 A.M.) – The Joint Operations Command in Iraq announced last night that the Taji Airbase was targeted by missiles from an unknown entity.

The leadership said in a press statement: “Despite our previous warnings to those who are trying to mix cards by tampering with security and threatening our heroic security forces by targeting their camps, but these parties launched Saturday Katyusha rockets from the main street opposite the Al-Nasr facility north of Baghdad.

They said that “the two missiles landed inside the Taji camp without losses.”

The leadership indicated that “this bombing is a message that does not want the good of Iraq and its people, especially during this stage, and therefore our security services received urgent direction to undertake a qualitative intelligence effort to reveal these entities that, despite our warnings to them, seek to weaken Iraq, and to know who the same has proved to be absurd.” With Iraq’s security, he will soon be subject to the law.

As of now, no group has claimed responsibility for this latest attack.

Multiple Rockets Hit Camp Taji Hosting US Forces In Iraq: Reports

Multiple Rockets Hit Camp Taji Hosting US Forces In Iraq: Reports

Several rockets fell inside the Camp Taji military base hosting US forces in Iraq on April 13 evening. Local media reported at least one explosion in the military base area.

The Camp Taji is the largest US military base in Iraq. Early in 2020, the base became a target of the Iranian missile strike:

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The Anti Slavery Mural is Back, Hopefully Forever.

 BY GILAD ATZMON

Screen Shot 2020-06-13 at 16.46.30.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

Hip Hop legend Ice Cube came under fire last week for posting an anti- racist image on Twitter in support of Black Lives Matter.  The image was widely panned as ‘anti-Semitic’ by those who work hard to conceal images of slavery, oppression and abuse as soon as they gather that a member of their ethnic group may be complicit in such immoralities.  

Following the killing of George Floyd, Ice Cube uploaded an image of a group of bankers sitting around a game board that rests on the bowed, naked backs of black slaves.  “All we have to do is stand up and their little game is over” is the accompanying text.




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This anti slavery image isn’t new. It first appeared as a mural by artist Mear One in London’s East End back in 2012 when it sparked a controversy.  Some local Jews were offended and, of course, the  local Labour council of the London borough of Tower Hamlets was quick to react. It called in the police and reportedly gave the owner of the property 28 days to remove it.

Jeremy Corbyn, supposedly an ‘anti racist’  initially voiced support for the mural and the artist behind it. Later, following pressure from Jewish groups, Corbyn reversed himself and apologized. The Guardian,  once a respected Left leaning paper was also quick to cry foul  and located the anti racist mural within the Elders of Zion-Nazi propaganda spectrum. Even the ultra Left Morning Star turned against the pro black/anti capitalist  art “Bad Art and Bad Politics” is how our most dedicated ‘socialist’ paper referred to Mear One’s mural.

At the time Artist Mear One stated, loud and clear, that his “mural is about class and privilege…The banker group is made up of Jewish and white Anglos. For some reason they are saying I am anti-Semitic. This I am most definitely not… What I am against is class.”

It was also ­­­­revealed at the time that out of the six bankers figures depicted in the  mural (Lord Rothschild, John D. Rockefeller, J. P. Morgan, Aleister Crowley, Andrew Carnegie and Paul Warburg) – only two (Rothschild and Warburg) were Jewish. But none of that helped, our socialists, progressives and ‘Left’ icons left the black slaves to rot under the monopoly game board and stood firmly against Mear One’s art just because two of the bankers he depicted were Jewish.   

What I want to understand today is how it is possible that the Labour council of Tower Hamlets, the ‘anti racist’ Jeremy Corbyn, the presumably multicultural ‘progressive’ Guardian, the ultra left Morning Star, or shall we say the entire Left/progressive  spectrum all fell into the same trap, they turned their backs on Blacks and  slavery and committed to the defence of the most horrendous abusive bankers known to man just because two of them were  gifted (artistically)  with a well endowed nose.  One may wonder whether White Privilege is a valid notion as it becomes clear that Hooked Nose is by far the ultimate privilege. It literally allows for  total impunity. You even get away with slavery, at least in the ‘Left’ realm.

Time to admit it publicly – in the face of Jewish sensitivities, the Left seems to collapse. Its solidarity with oppressed minorities evaporates. Indeed, if there is one thing the Left is really good at, it is betraying its core supporters. The Left has repeatedly betrayed the working class. Instead it adopted Identitarian politics that were set to break the working class into biologically oriented fragments (defined by skin colour, gender, sexual orientation, etc.). The Left even betrayed its own ideology dismantling its own philosophy of class politics that initially united us regardless of our gender, race or ethnicity. Embracing biologically oriented identification is, in practice, an adoption of Hitlerian ideology. Corbyn had been anti- banker, but he has often been very forgiving towards Jewish financiers  such as the Rothschilds and George Soros. “Really important video which spells out the vile and destructive nature of antisemitic conspiracy theories,” is how Corbyn, as a  Labour leader, described a horrendous  video that presented the Rothschilds and George Soros as mere victims. Rothschild according to the video wasn’t even that  rich.  


Really important video which spells out the vile and destructive nature of antisemitic conspiracy theories.


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For the Left, I am sorry to say it, the Blacks are a solidarity pets. So are the Palestinians and other oppressed groups and minorities. I am afraid that this  shameful divisive parade is not going to stop anytime soon. But Black community leaders have started to wake up.  

Yesterday, members of African American Council were BOOED as they told protesters in Seattle’s ‘autonomous zone’ that they had  ‘hijacked’ the Black Lives Matter movement by pushing other causes.

And there is  some  good news in this mural saga: 1. By now we know that art, like books, can be physically burned, it can be erased from walls, removed from exhibition: but beauty like the truth unveils itself against all odds. Mear One’s mural is with us forever and so is the memory of Corbyn/Guardian/Morning Star betrayal of the Blacks and their history. 

 2. Despite horrendous harassment from Jewish pressure bodies, the American Hip Hop star stood firm. Unlike Corbyn, Ice Cube answered his critics tweeting “what If I was just pro-Black?… I’ve been telling my truth.” I have always wondered why Corbyn didn’t answer his critics: ‘what if I were pro Palestinian rather than anti Jewish?’ The brainless veteran Labour leader couldn’t even figure this out.  

Our world would look far better if our politicians in general and Left ones in particular had been just slightly more committed to truth. It would help if they had as much guts in their entire bodies as artists like Ice Cube have between their toes.

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Washington Struggles to Manage the Crisis, But Israel Continues to Benefit

By Philip Giraldi

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Senator Rick Scott b427d

The self-inflicted cultural defenestration of what passes for Western Civilization in the United States continues apace. As George Orwell described the process in 1984 “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present…”

Ironically, even as America’s Founding Fathers are being pilloried through the prism of contemporary values, not every bit of customary behavior is being challenged. Even though the United States is going through a devastating health care and national identity crisis, the Federal Government continues to grind out legislation that is favorable to Israel and to certain Jewish interests. “The Never Again (Holocaust) Education Act,” for example, passed through the House of Representatives (H.R. 943) by a 395-3 vote followed by a unanimous vote in the Senate on S.2085 on May 13th.  It will help to indoctrinate school children regarding an easily challengeable narrative of perpetual victimhood which in turn generates billions of dollars for the racist state of Israel, but it was described by Congressional supporters as merely an instrument to support the already existing educational resources at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), which is also taxpayer funded.

The House bill’s sponsor Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York preened that “Combatting hate and intolerance must always be a priority and I’m glad that the Senate agrees. Passing this bill by unanimous consent today sends a strong message that the Congress is overwhelmingly united in combatting antisemitism…” and the Senate bill’s sponsor Senator Jacky Rosen of Nevada explained how “…the Never Again Education Act will give schools needed resources to cover one of the darkest chapters in our history. Through education, we can provide insight into the past, and use it to prevent anti-Semitism now.”

If Americans Knew has documented how there were 68 pieces of legislation focused on providing goods and services to Israel in 2019, with 18 more added, identified here, so far this year. The most well known piece of legislation is S.3176, “US-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2020 (To amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the US-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014 to make improvements to certain defense and security assistance provisions and to authorize the appropriations of funds to Israel, and for other purposes),” which is the upper chamber’s version of House bill H.R.1837, which was passed last July. S.3176 passed out of committee on May 21st and is scheduled for a floor vote. The Senate bill was sponsored by Marco Rubio of Florida, a favorite of the Israel Lobby and its oligarch funders.

The House and Senate bills derive from an agreement entered into by President Barack Obama committing the U.S. Treasury to give Israel a minimum of $3.8 billion a year for the next ten years. The current version of the legislation has tweaked the language to make that $3.8 billion Danegeld a minimum, subject to increase as circumstances dictate. The bill also provides Israel additional military equipment off the books, funds several co-production arrangements and basically commits Washington to supporting Israel militarily even if the Jewish state starts the war.

Other pro-Israel bills include H.R.5595 – the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act (To impose additional prohibitions relating to foreign boycotts under Export Control Reform Act of 2018, and for other purposes),” which includes criminal penalties to target businesses, organizations and individuals who attempt to boycott or disrupt commercial activity operating out of Israel’s West Bank settlements. It was drafted in response to the publication of a United Nations database identifying over 100 Israeli companies doing business in illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. S.Res. 570  “A resolution opposing and condemning the potential prosecution of United States and Israeli nationals by the International Criminal Court,” meanwhile is an attempt to block any consideration by the international court of Israeli as well as American war crimes.

Other legislation (S.3775 “The United States Israel Military Capability Act” involves developing and sharing military technology even though Israel frequently steals what is developed and H.Res.837 “Reaffirming the need for transatlantic cooperation to combat anti-Semitism in Europe” encourages European countries to do more to teach about the so-called holocaust and anti-Semitism.

But the most bizarre resolutions currently circulating on the Congressional circuit are S.3722 and H.R.6829 “To authorize funding for a bilateral cooperative program with Israel for the development of health technologies with a focus on combating COVID-19.” The respective bills were introduced on May 12th and 13th and are now in committee. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has been lobbying Congress hard by playing the China-as-threat card. The House version is consequently dubbed the “Expanding Medical Partnerships with Israel to Lessen Dependence on China Act.”

What the bills will do is establish a partnership with Israel to develop a vaccine and other medical responses to the pandemic virus. The costs will be shared, but Israel’s pharmaceutical industry will market the products, which promises to be enormously profitable if the endeavor succeeds.

And finally, there is Iran, Israel’s bête noire. On June 8th U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran’s shipping network took effect, months after they were announced in December following claims made by the State Department relating to alleged Iranian support for proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Commercial and maritime industries and even governments now risk U.S. sanctions if they do any business with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and/or its Shanghai-based subsidiary, E-Sail Shipping Company. The new sanctions are being touted by Republican Congressmen as the “toughest ever.”

So, what is the average American citizen to do confronted by an avalanche of Congressional action benefitting Israel while the United States is going through its most trying time since the Great Depression? Israeli lobbying groups like AIPAC, Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) and Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) have large budgets, hundreds of staff and full and immediate access to Congressional offices. They even write the legislation that is then rubber stamped by the House and Senate, and although they are clearly agents of Israel, they are never required to register as such under Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

One can always contact a Congress-critter and complain but that is generally speaking a waste of time. A brave man and friend of mine who was a survivor of the brutal Israeli attack on the U.S.S. Liberty in 1967 did write to his Senator and ask why, when the nation is in crisis, Congress is spending so much time and money on Israel. This was the reply he got from Senator Rick Scott of Florida:

“Thank you for contacting me regarding our greatest ally, Israel. Florida has maintained a strong relationship with Israel for many generations and I have always worked to improve policies and investments between our two countries.

During my time as Governor of Florida, I visited Israel three times. My first two visits were to promote Florida and to build international trade relationships between Israel and Florida. My third visit was for the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, for which I strongly advocated.

I also signed anti-BDS legislation, secured $2 million for security at our Jewish schools, and I opposed the reckless Iran Deal.

As your United States Senator, I will continue to work every day to protect and support our greatest ally and fight to take actions against those who wish to do them harm.

Again, thank you for your insightful correspondence. I am proud to represent every citizen in Florida and I appreciate the time you took to provide your position on this matter. Should you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me.”

Clearly Senator Scott claims to be proud of representing “every citizen” in Florida, but he regards some citizens as more important than others. Concerning his trade missions, one might be interested in knowing what the balance of trade and job creation between Israel and Florida actually is, as these arrangements are generally heavily loaded to favor Israeli businesses and investors. Also, the good Senator might recall that it was a Florida public school that recently was on the receiving end of a mass shooting, so perhaps the money he so proudly gave to Jewish schools for security was not exactly well spent. And Scott seems to be unaware that Jewish organizations already get over 90% of Department of Homeland Security discretionary grants, so they hardly need more taxpayer money.

Acting on behalf of a foreign country, Senator Scott also is willing to shut down the First Amendment for most Americans in his zeal to crush the non-violent BDS movement. And his rejection of the “Iran Deal” demonstrates that he does not support policies that actually enhance the security of the United States, presumably out of deference to the interests of Israel and at least some of his Jewish constituents.

Finally, Senator Scott should perhaps look into the treaties that Washington has entered into with foreign powers. There is no defense treaty with Israel and the Jewish state is no ally, much less a “greatest ally.” It is, in fact, a major strategic liability, involving Americans in regional wars that need not be fought and demonstrating to all the world the risible reality of a military and economic superpower that is being led to perdition during a time of crisis by a ruthless and irresponsible client state.

Militarized Police a Gift from Israel?

Training of American police in brutal tactics revealed

PHILIP GIRALDI • JUNE 9, 2020


The killing of black man George Floyd by white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has produced the highest level of national unrest seen in the United States since the 1960s. Tens of thousands of protesters are demonstrating against racism and perceived police brutality. As it also comes at a time of coronavirus pandemic and record unemployment, it has the potential to change the U.S. in fundamental ways. The core issue is that many on the left, as well as some on the right, see America’s police as something like an “occupying force,” increasingly self-serving enemies of the people rather than careful protectors of the taxpayers’ lives and property.

There are already calls to “defund” the police in an attempt to strip local forces of responsibilities and resources that have little to do with community policing relative to actual crime rates, which are low nationwide. And the concept of community itself is under scrutiny and is itself being “reimagined” in an effort to compel police forces and the citizens they interact with to work together more cooperatively for the good of all.

History teaches us that changes in seemingly entrenched attitudes and beliefs occur regularly, though they can sometimes move glacially slowly. Meanwhile, some loony birds on the left are also promoting more radical schemes. One of the more amusing was posted up recently by Alyssa Rosenberg at the Washington Post. Rosenberg maintained that it is now time for Hollywood and the entertainment media to get involved by shutting down all movies and television series that present the police in a positive light.

Rosenberg puts it this way “…there’s something Hollywood can do to put its money where its social media posts are: immediately halt production on cop shows and movies and rethink the stories it tells about policing in America. For a century, Hollywood has been collaborating with police departments, telling stories that whitewash police shootings and valorizing an action-hero style of policingover the harder, less dramatic work of building relationships with the communities cops are meant to serve and protect… The result is an addiction to stories that portray police departments as more effective than they actually are; crime as more prevalent than it actually is; and police use of force as consistently justified. There are always gaps between reality and fiction, but given what policing in America has too often become, Hollywood’s version of it looks less like fantasy and more like complicity.”

Rosenberg has a point, but television shows and movies are fiction and most people are quite capable of watching an entertaining story and not having it become a substitute for reality. And there is nothing particularly wrong in believing that cops should be good guys who solve serious crimes, which is in fact what many police officers actually do. She instead calls for more portrayal of cops as do-little-or-nothing jerks who spend most of their time writing traffic tickets and typing up reports. If she had been around in the nineteenth century, she would no doubt have been conventionally liberal knee jerk antiwar, if such existed at the time. She would have advised Leo Tolstoy to have his Russian soldiers in War and Peace spend most of their time peeling potatoes, smoking and bitching rather than marching off in columns heroically to confront Napoleon at Austerlitz.

One issue that has surfaced in a number of places is the militarization of police, which has been a reality of “maintaining public order” and “fighting terrorism” since 9/11. Police now receive surplus military equipment, to include armored cars, body armor and automatic weapons. One wonders, for example, what my semi-rural county here in Virginia has been doing with its armored car, which, as I recall, the local sheriff’s department did not even want. Ordinary policemen are also increasingly trained in anti-terrorist tactics, to include the increasing deployment of swat teams to perform actions that are not necessarily confrontational, to include serving warrants and collecting fines on library books. Many innocent civilians of all races have been killed as a result.

The militarization of American law enforcement has been in a sense institutionalized through programs set up by the federal government and the states to train with Israeli police, a mentoring relationship established by Michael Chertoff when he was Secretary of Homeland Security. Joint training programs run in Israel are being used to indoctrinate American police forces and are difficult to comprehend as related to normal policing as the Israelis are clueless when it comes to conducting investigations or protecting all of their country’s citizens. Israel’s cops are at the forefront of state violence against Palestinians as well as serving as protectors of rampaging heavily armed settlers who destroy Arab livelihoods so they can steal their land. The Israeli police are also quite good at using the “Palestinian chair” for torture when they are not shooting Arab teenagers in the back. They also invented skunk water, a disgusting smelling chemical spray initially used against Arab demonstrators, and were the first major police force to regularly employ so-called rubber bullets, which can kill or maim.

In fact, there have been suggestions that certain American policemen might well be picking up some unanticipated pointers from the Israelis. Georgia has been experiencing a surge in officer involved shootings, nearly half of the victims being unarmed or shot from behind. As this has unfolded, the state continues to pursue a “police exchange” program with Israel run through Georgia State University.

The police “exchange programs” began twenty-seven years ago in 1992 and are paid for through grants from the U.S. Department of Justice as well as from the state and local governments. Reportedly “law enforcement from [a number of] U.S. states have participated in the program, including those from Tennessee, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.” In some states and local jurisdictions, the Israel exchange program is managed by the Anti-Defamation League, which also sponsors propagandistic seminars on Israeli “counter-terrorism” practices throughout the U.S.

Some states and cities, however, concerned over being linked to Israel’s militarized police forces and their brutal occupation of Palestinian land, are beginning to withdraw from the training program. Recently the Vermont State Police, the Northampton, Massachusetts police department and the Durham North Carolina city police have canceled their planned training in Israel.

There has been particular concern expressed over the Israeli “us-versus-them” dual track mode of policing where the 20% of the country’s citizens that are Arab are regarded as an enemy while the settlers who prey on the Palestinians are automatically protected by police solely because they are Jewish. Selective policing based on race or ethnicity might be another gift from Israel that visiting American policemen bring home with them. In Israel, lethal force is frequently resorted to on a “shoot-to-kill” basis in any incident involving Arabs and Jews, even when there is no serious threat.

A favorite technique used by the Israeli police to subdue an Arab is the very knee on neck used by Derek Chauvin that killed George Floyd. Minnesota has been actively involved in training its police with the Israelis, to include participation by over 100 officers in a 2012 conference in Minneapolis hosted by Israel’s Chicago consulate. There, they learned the “restraint procedures” employed by Israelis. The conference was jointly hosted by the FBI, the facilities were provided by the city, and the meeting itself was funded by the federal government and the state.

While it is not known if Chauvin actually underwent the specific training, the Israeli techniques have made their way into the city’s police manual, which has been, not surprisingly, removed from online. An archived copy of the relevant section on how to control someone who is resisting arrest does still exist however and can be viewed at this site. It includes “Minneapolis Police Department Use of Force Policy: 5-311, Use of Neck Restraints: Non-deadly force option. Defined as compressing one or both sides of a person’s neck with an arm or leg, without applying direct pressure to the trachea or airway (front of the neck).” There are admittedly some caveats on the use of the technique, but it is generally approved for use in subduing someone who is resisting arrest, which may plausibly have been the case with Floyd.

That all means that Officer Derek Chauvin used a technique taught to American police by Israeli trainers even if his judgement can be seriously faulted in terms of how he did it and how long her sustained it. He may have received the training with the full cooperation and financial support of both the Federal government, the government of the state of Minnesota and the city of Minneapolis. His lawyers will be able to argue, which they surely will, that he used a technique that was endorsed by the city of Minneapolis’s police manual and was also part of officer training with Israel. This makes for an interesting back story and an unbiased judge and jury, if that can be found anywhere on the planet, just might find Chauvin and his three colleagues innocent, which would be a travesty but inevitable in a system where police have effectively been trained and licensed to kill.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

The Murder of George Floyd — Just Another Day in the Land of the Free

By John Wight

Source

Murder of George Floyd f4dc8

Whether it was the chilling lack of emotion on the face of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin as he slowly choked the life out of George Floyd on the ground, keeping his knee on his neck for nine long horrifying minutes despite him screaming that he couldn’t breathe, and despite him pleading for his ‘Mama’. Or whether it was the insouciance implied in the ease with which he did so in front of witnesses in broad daylight.

Whatever it was, over the course of those nine fateful minutes Derek Chauvin was more representative of what America stands for than the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Statue of Liberty, or any of the other baubles deployed in service to the myth of the United States as the land of the free.

Chauvin, at that moment, was the most pristine vision possible to conjure of the white supremacy that defines America far more than democracy ever has. He was the overseer with his knee on the neck of a runaway slave, the slaveowner’s whip, the lynch mob’s noose, the prison guard’s boot. In other words, Chauvin symbolized in those nine minutes the entire legacy and long history of racial oppression in a country that was born in genocide and developed and nourished for two centuries on the back of the African slave trade.

Here we are obliged to wrestle with an unvarnished truth — namely that though slavery in its chattel form may have been ended, the consciousness of the slaveowner remains alive and kicking within the diseased minds of racist white police cops across America. Such individuals are, in fact, less police officers protecting and serving and more members of increasingly militarized white militia groups hunting for prey — black prey.

Those commentators who assert that the struggle for justice for black people has not progressed since the Black Civil Rights Movement in the sixties are, with all respect, mistaken. They are mistaken because the struggle for justice for black people has manifestly regressed since then. The most obvious symbol of this regression is embodied in the current occupant of the White House, Donald J. Trump.

Trump’s election was, at least in part, a racially motivated pushback against Barack Obama’s two terms in office. You don’t have to approve of Obama’s legacy as president (I certainly don’t) to appreciate the symbolism of a black American with an African name being elected to the highest office in America back in 2008. For racists everywhere it was a moment to mourn, with Trump’s championing of a birther movement designed to prove that Obama was not a ‘real American’, leaving not doubt that he was among them.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right…..

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!

In the last analysis, it’s really very simple. In the hearts and minds of white supremacists, black and brown Americans are not real Americans. They are instead a threat to real Americans, white and proud Americans, and thereby dehumanized, demonized, and ultimately murdered with impunity as such.

With Trump’s election as president in 2016 the KKK and every card carrying white racist and white supremacists in America finally got their most precious wish; they finally got, in the White House, the first open racist and white supremacist since Andrew Jackson. And ever since it has been open season on black and brown people.

That said, let us not make the mistake of giving his predecessors a free pass. On the contrary, police brutality against black and brown people precedes Trump by decades. It was under Obama, for example, that Black Lives Matter was born in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012; and indeed under the first black president’s watch a veritable slew of police killings of disproportionately unarmed black people occurred.

We must avoid lapsing into a simplistic understanding of white supremacy as a purely racial construct. It is also an ideological construct. Thus Obama, unconsciously or not, bought into its ideological proclivities with his embrace of the role of CEO of a US empire founded on the premise of might (white) is right.

Other creeds share these white supremacist proclivities too. The longstanding and ongoing oppression by the Palestinians by Israel is an ideological function of the white supremacist character of Zionism. The oppression of Irish Catholics in the North of Ireland was an ideological function of Ulster loyalism. The factor cementing both is, of course, settler colonialism. Where Black Americans are concerned this dynamic reversed itself — that is, they were originally forced to settle in America as slaves, and thereafter condemned to exist as a colonized and entrenched underclass, which they remain to this day.

The issue of racial oppression in America is also hugely important for people of conscience and consciousness living outside America to grapple with too. For if the most powerful truths are the most simply expressed, then who better than Malcolm X to remind us that ‘You can’t understand what’s going on in Mississippi if you don’t understand what’s going on in the Congo’.

In other words, there exists a circular relationship between racial oppression at home in America and US imperialism abroad. As James Baldwin so eloquently put it: ‘A racist society can’t but fight a racist war. The assumptions acted on at home are the assumptions acted on abroad’.

Staying with Baldwin, when he averred that ‘To be a Negro (sic) in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time’, he gave voice to the rage behind the riots that have taken place, and continue at time of this writing to take place, in various cities across the US in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

Another powerful black voice from the sixties was Huey Newton, a founding member of the Black Panther Party. As with Malcolm X before him, Newton was not a man given to beating around the bush, and just like Malcolm articulated the problem rather less delicately than James Baldwin.

To wit:

The racist dog oppressors have no rights which oppressed Black people are bound to respect. As long as the racist dogs pollute the earth with the evil of their actions, they do not deserve any respect at all, and the “rules” of their game, written in the people’s blood, are beneath contempt.

The unfortunate insult to dogs notwithstanding, the militancy with which Newton was writing in 1967 was forged by racial oppression. As these words are being written a new generation of Malcom X’s and Huey Newton’s are likewise being forged.

And if they are not, they undeniably should be.

End.

Liberating the American People

 BY GILAD ATZMON

liberating the American ppl.jpg

by Gilad Atzmon 

I am a jazz artist, I have dedicated my entire adult life to the study of Black American music and culture. Jazz is certainly the most important and maybe, the only significant American contribution to world culture. And the next question is, where is Black American jazz now? Why did Black Americans lose interest in their own fantastic creation?

One answer is that Jazz was born out of resistance. It was fuelled by defiance of the ‘American dream’: instead of seeking mammon, wealth and power, our Black artistic founding fathers sacrificed their lives for the sake of beauty. They literally killed themselves searching for new voices, sounds, colours. They left us with a great legacy but their offspring moved on to new artistic domains such as Hip Hop and Rap.  

For the people who made Jazz into an art form, music was a revolutionary spirit. For Bird, Now’s the Time meant that time was ripe for social change.  For John Coltrane, Alabama was the appropriate answer to the KKK’s Baptist Church bombing that killed four African-American girls.

When Jazz meant something it wasn’t a language of victimhood. Quite the opposite, Jazz was a message of defiance: everything you can do, we, the Black people, can do better. And that is the truth, no one has managed to do it better than Trane, Bird, Miles, Elvin, Sonny, Blakey, Duke, Ella and many others. These artists did  not  beg for Wall Street funding, they didn’t ask for others to join their struggle: instead, they made the rest of us beg for their beauty, their art and their spirit to illuminate and liberate us. It didn’t take long before America’s elite realised that Jazz was the best Ambassador for America around the world. And all of this happened while Black Americans were subject to apartheid, especially in the South. It would be reasonable to believe that it was Jazz’s  transformation into the ‘Voice of America’ that became a major factor in the liberation of the Black south.

 Sadly, Jazz lost its soul a decade or two ago. It went from the voice of resistance to what has gradually been reduced into an ‘academic matter,’ a ‘system of knowledge.’ Nowadays, many young jazz musicians are ‘music college graduates.’ They may be very fast and sophisticated but have very little to say and, in most cases, they prefer not to say anything. Some may believe that saying something defies their ‘artistic objectives’ as it blurs the distinction between art and politics. I am afraid that they are wrong. For Jazz to be a meaningful art form, it better be revolutionary to the core. Jazz is, before anything else, the sound of freedom.

 For a while, we have witnessed contemporary Jazz deteriorate into a meaningless  technical exercise. Jazz, basically, died on us. Did this artistic demise anticipate the collapse of American civilization and America’s self-image  as a ‘free society?’

 Why did  Jazz die? Because Black Americans lost interest in their original art form.  Why did they lose interest? Largely because their art, like every other aspect of the American culture, finance, media, spirit and dream has been occupied.

 Along with other Jazz artists and humanists, I hate racism in all forms. Yet, I want to see people celebrating their symptoms. I am one of those guys who want to see Germans writing philosophy and composing symphonies again. I want to see people celebrating their own unique cultures as long as they don’t do it at the expense of others.  More than anything else, I want Black people proud of what they are. I wish that they will, once again, lead us back to the path of beauty that they, more than any other people, introduced to us all. I hope Black America will give us a young Trane, a fresh upcoming Bird, the next  Sarah Vaughan, a Miles character.   I want to see Black Americans hypnotising us with their talents, celebrating their greatness. I want  them to be the American Ambassadors they once were  rather than victims of America’s abuse. I guess that instead of sending American soldiers to liberate other people in criminal neocon wars the time is ripe for America to liberate itself.

 Watch me Liberating the American People


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«سماسرة الداخل» يزاودون على الأميركيّين!

د. وفيق إبراهيم

هذه هي المشكلة التاريخية للبنان، بما لديه من سياسيين كانوا دائماً أصغر منه ولا يفعلون إلا محاولة التشبث بالسلطة عبر الولاء الأعمى والكامل للخارج الإقليمي والدولي من دون الاعتماد على قوى شعبية في الداخل.

فلماذا يبذلون جهوداً للإقناع السياسي، طالما أنهم يمتلكون وسيلة التحريض الطائفية – المذهبية التي تجمع الناس حين يريدون وتفرقهم عند انتفاء الحاجة اليهم، هذا هو السحر على الطريقة اللبنانية الذي اصاب حتى الرئيس الاميركي دونالد ترامب الذي خرج متسللاً من البيت الابيض ليزور كنيسة قريبة ويعود حاملاً انجيلاً مقدساً يلوح به لكسب عواطف الفقراء من الأعراق البيضاء. مهدداً في الوقت نفسه السود الأميركيين بغالبيتهم الاسلامية.

ما الفارق إذاً بين نديم وسامي وترانب وسمير ورؤساء الإفتاء الاسلامي والبطاركة والمطارنة وقادة أحزاب تدعى الاشتراكية والتقدمية والعروبة ايضاً على قياس الأحياء والزواريب والزعامات المنفوخة.

هناك بالطبع استثناءات تجمع بين القوة الداخلية والتحالف الخارجي على اساس المشروع وليس الاستزلام.

وهذا ينطبق على رئيس المجلس النيابي نبيه بري وحزب الله والتيار الوطني الحر، إنما يصل الأمر الى حدود سامي الجميل وابن عمه البلبل نديم ووريثهما سمير جعجع وصولاً الى الحريرية الجديدة. فهذا بالفعل مثير للقهقهة، لان من الواضح ان هذه القوى تؤدي دور منصات داخلية للتبشير بفضائل المشاريع الخارجية وتعول على انتصار الاميركيين في سورية والعراق لتتمكن من الامساك مجدداً بلبنان.

اليست هذه هي الطريقة التقليدية للإمساك بالدولة في لبنان لكن مقاومة الاسرائيليين وطردهم ودحر الارهاب من سورية وجبال لبنان الشرقية لا تنتمي الى هذه الفئة الوصولية.

هؤلاء السماسرة لا يبدلون اساليبهم منذ 1948 وتتلخص بالاعتماد على الخارج على حساب مصالح بلادهم. فكيف يمكن لقوى سياسية أفقرت لبنان منذ عقود متواصلة ووضعته في دائرة انهيار اقتصادي داهم ان تحرض مؤسسات النقد والمال الدولية لتمتنع عن اقراض لبنان مبالغ تجعله قادراً على المراوحة الا بعد التزامه بأربعة شروط اميركية واولها قانون قيصر الاميركي الذي يريد خنق سورية بقطع كل علاقاتها المالية والنقدية والاقتصادية مع الجوار وبشكل كامل.

اما ثاني الشروط فهي موافقة لبنان على السماح لقوات الطوارئ الدولية اليونيفيل بتفتيش القرى اللبنانية المحاذية للحدود مع فلسطين المحتلة.

فلا يتبقى إلا موافقة لبنان على نشر قوات دولية عند حدوده مع سورية ايضاً.

فيتبقى شرط رابع «بريء» جداً يتعلق بتجريد حزب الله من سلاحه مروجين ان اسبابه تتعلق بسيادة الدولة اللبنانية على اراضيها ومتطلبات السلم الاهلي.

ألم يكن أولى بهؤلاء السماسرة ان يشاركوا بتحرير لبنان بدلاً من تغطية العدوان الاسرائيلي عليه في 1982 ودعمهم لهذا الاحتلال حتى 2006، حتى ان كبار القيادات استقبلوا في قصورهم الجبلية وفيلاتهم البيروتية قائد جيش العدو الاسرائيلي في حينه شارون؟ أهؤلاء هم أهل السيادة الذين ذهبوا الى عرسال حاملين طعاماً و»بقلاوة» قدموها للتنظيمات الإرهابية، وذلك لانهم اعتبروا داعش والقاعدة منظمات تقاتل السوريين وحزب الله، فإذا انتصر الارهاب فقد يمنحهم «ولاية لبنان» ليحكموها، او يثبتهم الاميركيون على «لبنان الديموقراطي» العميق الجذور مقصياً الارهابيين عنهم، فهكذا يحلم السماسرة دائماً، وهم دائماً على خطأ وذلك لأسباب عدة: اولاً شكل التقاء حزب الله وحركة امل مع التيار الوطني الحر استقراراً سياسياً واجتماعياً طيلة الخمس عشرة سنة الماضية، ولم يمسك هذا التقارب بكامل السلطة في لبنان محترماً تنوعاتها السياسية والمذهبية والعرقية.

حتى انه اخترع معادلة «الوحدة الوطنية» الطائفية لتبرير وجود قوى سياسية معادية له، لها ميزة الحضور السياسي في طوائفها، وكان بإمكانه ابعادها.

وبقي هذا التحالف متمسكاً برئيس الحكومة السابق سعد الحريري رئيساً لمجلس الوزراء حرصاً على التوازنات الداخلية والإقليمية، ولم يتخل عنه الا بعد فراره من القطار الحكومي لكي لا يتحمل مسؤولية الانهيار الاقتصادي الكارثي.

اين هي المشكلة؟ تتجسد في مجموعة 14 آذار الذي فروا اولاً من مجابهة الانهيار الاقتصادي عائدين على متن مطالب اميركية وربما أكثر، تريد تصفية حزب الله بقوة الابتزاز، فإما تطبق إقفال الحدود مع سورية وحق اليونيفل بتفتيش القرى في الجنوب وإلا فلا قروض ممكنة للبنان من صندوق النقد الدولي.

لذلك تعاود الحريرية والجعجعية وتنوّعات آل الجميل تحريض الخارج على الداخل وتنظيم تحركات شعبية معادية لسلاح حزب الله، اما الوزير جنبلاط فيمارس كعادته سياسة باطنية يتشاور فيها حالياً مع أصدقائه القدامى الروس كي يبني على الشيء مقتضاه.

فإذا تلقى نصائح من الروس بالابتعاد عن المشهد الجعجعي – الأميركي لان مشروعهم الجديد لن يربح، وهذا ما أكد عليه السفير الروسي في لبنان منذ يومين فقط.

لذلك فقد نجد أبا تيمور متموضعاً في مكانين مختلفين: الاول سراً مع القوات والحريري والكتائب من خلال تحركات خجولة في خلدة والناعمة، والثاني يلتزم فيها بصبر استراتيجي ليتبين الموقف من صديقه الرئيس نبيه بري الذي لا يبخل عليه عادة بوصفات سحرية.

ما هو المطلوب الآن؟

اولاً ان تصدر الانتفاضة الفعلية بياناً تعلن فيه ان لا علاقة لها بتحركات تنظمها القوات والكتائب والحريريون وقوى أخرى شديدة الالتباس يوم السبت المقبل، وبذلك فقط تنظف الانتفاضة مسيرتها من المندسّين بها من سماسرة الخارج.

اما ما تبقى فهو رهن بنتائج التنسيق بين بري – حزب الله الذاهب نحو الدفاع عن الدولة من سياسييها الذين يواصلون سرقتها منذ أكثر من أربعة عقود.

U.S. Urban Rebellions Revisited

An Analysis (31 May 2020) by Lawrence Davidson

Author - American Herald Tribune

What follows is an updated essay on the “perennial nature of U.S. urban riots” which I wrote a little over five years ago. The original version appeared on my blog on 9 May 2015 following racial rioting in the city of Baltimore. The murder of George Floyd, an African American, by police in Minneapolis on 25 May 2020, coming as it did within days of the killing of two other African Americans, largely replays events of 2015.

In those five years, despite having elected the nation’s first African American president in 2008, the U.S. is still a largely segregated society full of racist anger. Indeed, it would seem that with the culture wars of the past 30 years and the 2016 election of Donald Trump as president, things are getting worse rather than better. We are slipping back into a more primitive, angrily divided time.  

Part I – Unrest That is Almost Normal

If one goes to Wikipedia under the subject of “mass racial violence in the United States,” one will find a “timeline of events” running from 1829 to 2015. There are so many race-related riots listed for these 186 years that, from a historical point of view, rioting appears almost normal. Prior to World War II these outbreaks mostly involved ethnic, racial or religious groups going after each other: Germans, Italians, Poles, Jews, Hispanics, African-Americans, Chinese, Catholics, Protestants were all involved in these set-tos. Often the causes were economic with a territorial overtone – one group moving into the neighborhood of another group and/or taking their jobs. When the violence came, it was group against group. 

In the post-World War II era, the nature of the still numerous instances of rioting changed. The group-versus-group scenario gave way to group-versus-state. Most of the groups listed above had successfully assimilated under the heading “caucasian,” and religious affiliations no longer seemed worth bloody murder. As our present reactionary president has shown, immigrants can still instill anger in obtuse citizens who mistake foreigners for the cause of problems they themselves have caused, but in this case the result is state oppression. 

Actually, in the present era, the cause of rioting has mostly been African American resentment over prevailing inequality exemplified by frequent police brutality. It is a continuing fact that American society still places on most African Americans an economic handicap and segregation. Thus all too many African Americans, particularly men, have little opportunity for a decent life, while simultaneously having every opportunity to end up in confrontations with the police and then land in prison. It is these ubiquitous confrontations with agents of the state that are now the standard trigger to the phenomenon  of modern American rioting.

Part II – The Inadequacies of the Civil Rights Acts

The ongoing phenomenon of urban riots involving African Americans suggests that the civil rights acts that followed the widespread unrest of the mid-1960s have proved inadequate. In part this is so because their enforcement, such as it has been, was restricted to the public realm. That is, the effort to do away with discrimination went no further than areas serving the public: public schools and housing, restaurants, hotels, theaters, and the like. There were other aspects to the civil rights acts – grants to minority businesses, for instance – but they all just scratched the surface. As a result the number of African Americans made upwardly mobile by this legislation was less than optimal. A black middle class did emerge, but it was small relative to the numbers who needed help.

To say that the civil rights acts proved inadequate in the fight against nationwide discrimination points to the fact that they proved unable to reorient America’s discriminatory cultural mindset. That mindset was the product of, among other things, nearly three hundred years of institutional racism. To change things was going to take the consistent reinforcement of the idea of racial equality over at least three or four generations. This would have to be done mainly through the educational system, yet no specific efforts were made to this end. Indeed, even attempting to integrate the public school systems could provoke their own riots, as the “Boston busing crisis” of1974 proved.

Another sign of this problematic cultural mindset is that, as far as I know, there is nowhere amongst the vast, mostly white, population of the American suburbs, where one can find serious empathy for the fate of the inner cities. For instance, in the wake of the April 2015 riots in Baltimore, then mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter, commented, “local government cannot itself fix problems of violence and unemployment.” This is absolutely true, but Nutter, and mayors who have followed him, have looked in vain for any meaningful help from a state legislature controlled by a hinterland of conservative whites who may not feel they belong to the same species, much less the same broader community, as those in the inner cities. The suggestion that they should send their tax money to help the residents of Philadelphia appears to be beyond their understanding. I doubt very much if it is different elsewhere in the country.

Part III – The Police

The police, of course, cannot stand outside the general discriminatory orientation of the culture. So the limited impact of the civil rights acts meant that the police were not reeducated to the new standards of public behavior. To do so would have required more than simply increasing the number of black officers to at least match the racial demographics of American cities. It would have required extensive retraining and testing of those who sought to be part of law enforcement. 

There is an entire industry out there to train and test people to safely drive cars. I know of nothing beyond piecemeal efforts to train police to act in an equable and lawful manner toward all the different sorts of people they come into contact with (plus to handle other problems that seem to affect the police as a group, such as stress and anger management). Nor are standardized ways of testing candidates applied so as to make sure that only those capable of impartiality and reasonable restraint are on the street. Because we do not do this, we guarantee having some police who themselves act in a criminal manner toward economically disadvantaged classes, thus expressing discrimination in a way that is violent enough to trigger mass unrest.  

Indeed, as of now the preferred personality type for the position of police officer seems to be the same as that for professional soldier, which may be why it has been so easy to “militarize” American police forces. This effort, along with the “home security” business, has become a multibillion-dollar industry (major players in which are Israel companies, which now train an increasing number of U.S. police departments in techniques developed while enforcing the illegal occupation of Palestine). Police departments and their suppliers have teamed up to lobby cash-poor municipalities for all manner of lethal gewgaws ranging from automatic weapons to armored cars. Military grade riot-control equipment is now de rigueur for most large police departments. So great is the demand for these deadly devices that the Defense Department now has a committee appointed by the president to look into what constitutes appropriate equipment to hand out to the cop on the beat.  

Part IV -The Need for Re-education

What this sad story tells us is that the United States has a very big problem of discrimination and exploitation of the urban poor that goes beyond the ideologically induced greed of a capitalist class. That is not to say that the capitalist structure of the American economy hasn’t played havoc with the aspirations of poor blacks seeking to get out of poverty. There is a very good essay by Richard Rothstein of the Economic Policy Institute that provides insight into the government’s role in this aspect of the problem.

However, it is wrong to believe that after three hundred years of racist acculturation, the problem of endemic discrimination would disappear if, however unlikely, the nation was to move in another economic direction. Americans would still have to retrain themselves in order to overcome the racist cultural addictions acquired over their history. 

It is relatively easy to write down some of the things that would have to be done to break these addictions. For instance:

(1) Tolerance and an attitude of community inclusiveness has to be taught to American children and done so consistently for multiple generations. In other words, this program must be a matter of national priority and not interpreted by the political efforts of those who believe teaching kids tolerance of other racial, ethnic and religious groups is somehow usurping parental prerogatives.

(2) The educational opportunities (including affirmative action programs), job training and meaningful low-cost housing programs that have been implemented piecemeal for the last fifty years have to be seriously revived, and seriously funded by taxing the wealthy upper 20% of the population. Alternatively, the money can be taken from the bloated defense budget. 

(3) No one should become a police officer (and while we are at it, a prison guard) without undergoing rigorous screening. And that screening should look to eliminate all those who have authoritarian personalities underlain with problems of impulsive anger. This is such a no-brainer that one wonders why it is not already being done. Perhaps part of the problem is that, in most cases, the police set their own criteria for admission into what has become a trade organization with the characteristics of an out-of-control college fraternity.  

Part V – Conclusion 

The rebellions of 2020 have now spread across the urban landscape of the United States. The governor of Minnesota, who has “fully mobilized” the states’ national guard to suppress the unrest has decided that the protests are no longer “about George’s death, this is about chaos being caused.” He is right that the the protests are no longer just about the murder of one African American. They are now about the inability of the justice system to deliver justice within an interminably unjust America. That system no longer has any legitimacy in the eyes of most African Americans and that view is spreading to other groups as well. When the state loses legitimacy in the eyes of citizens all that is left is the violence of mass suppression. And that is a one way road to hell for all us no matter what our race.

About Lawrence Davidson

Lawrence Davidson is professor of history emeritus at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He has been publishing his analyses of topics in U.S. domestic and foreign policy, international and humanitarian law and Israel/Zionist practices and policies since 2010.

Why America’s revolution won’t be televised

Why America’s revolution won’t be televised

June 03, 2020

by Pepe Escobar – posted with permission

The so far purely emotional insurrection lacks political structure and a credible leader to articulate grievances

The Revolution Won’t Be Televised because this is not a revolution. At least not yet.

Burning and/or looting Target or Macy’s is a minor diversion. No one is aiming at the Pentagon (or even the shops at the Pentagon Mall). The FBI. The NY Federal Reserve. The Treasury Department. The CIA in Langley. Wall Street houses.

People raise their hands and shout slogans as they protest at the makeshift memorial in honour of George Floyd on Tuesday in Minneapolis. Photo: AFP / Chandan Khanna

The real looters – the ruling class – are comfortably surveying the show on their massive 4K Bravias, sipping single malt.

This is a class war much more than a race war and should be approached as such. Yet it was hijacked from the start to unfold as a mere color revolution.

US corporate media dropped their breathless Planet Lockdown coverage like a ton of – pre-arranged? – bricks to breathlessly cover en masse the new American “revolution.” Social distancing is not exactly conducive to a revolutionary spirit.

There’s no question the US is mired in a convoluted civil war in progress, as serious as what happened after the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King in Memphis in April 1968.

Yet massive cognitive dissonance is the norm across the full “strategy of tension” spectrum. Powerful factions pull no punches to control the narrative. No one is able to fully identify all the shadowplay intricacies and inconsistencies.

Hardcore agendas mingle: an attempt at color revolution/regime change (blowback is a bitch) interacts with the Boogaloo Bois – arguably tactical allies of Black Lives Matter – while white supremacist “accelerationists” attempt to provoke a race war.

To quote the Temptations: it’s a ball of confusion.

Antifa is criminalized but the Boogaloo Bois get a pass (here is how Antifa’s main conceptualizer defends his ideas). Yet another tribal war, yet another – now domestic – color revolution under the sign of divide and rule, pitting Antifa anti-fascists vs. fascist white supremacists.

Meanwhile, the policy infrastructure necessary for enacting martial law has evolved as a bipartisan project.

Protesters jump on a street sign near a burning barricade near the White House during a demonstration against the death of George Floyd on May 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. Photo: AFP

We are in the middle of the proverbial, total fog of war. Those defending the US Army crushing “insurrectionists” in the streets advocate at the same time a swift ending to the American empire.

Amidst so much sound and fury signifying perplexity and paralysis, we may be reaching a supreme moment of historical irony, where US homeland (in)security is being boomerang-hit not only by one of the key artifacts of its own Deep State making – a color revolution – but by combined elements of a perfect blowback trifecta:  Operation PhoenixOperation Jakarta; and Operation Gladio.

But the targets this time won’t be millions across the Global South. They will be American citizens.

Empire come home

Quite a few progressives contend this is a spontaneous mass uprising against police repression and system oppression – and that would necessarily lead to a revolution, like the February 1917 revolution in Russia sprouting out of the scarcity of bread in Petrograd.

So the protests against endemic police brutality would be a prelude to a Levitate the Pentagon remix – with the interregnum soon entailing a possible face-off with the US military in the streets.

But we got a problem. The insurrection, so far purely emotional, has yielded no political structure and no credible leader to articulate myriad, complex grievances. As it stands, it amounts to an inchoate insurrection, under the sign of impoverishment and perpetual debt.

Adding to the perplexity, Americans are now confronted with what it feels like to be in Vietnam, El Salvador, the Pakistani tribal areas or Sadr City in Baghdad.

Iraq came to Washington DC in full regalia, with Pentagon Blackhawks doing “show of force” passes over protestors, the tried and tested dispersal technique applied in countless counter-insurgency ops across the Global South.

And then, the Elvis moment: General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, patrolling the streets of DC. The Raytheon lobbyist now heading the Pentagon, Mark Esper, called it “dominating the battlespace.”

Well, after they got their butts kicked in Afghanistan and Iraq, and indirectly in Syria, full spectrum dominance must dominate somewhere. So why not back home?

Troops gather during a demonstration on June 1, 2020 in Washington, DC. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images/AFP

Troops from the 82nd Airborne Division, the 10th Mountain Division and the 1st Infantry Division – who lost wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and, yes, Somalia – have been deployed to Andrews Airbase near Washington.

Super-hawk Tom Cotton even called, in a tweet, for the 82nd Airborne to do “whatever it takes to restore order. No quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters and looters.” These are certainly more amenable targets than the Russian, Chinese and Iranian militaries.

Milley’s performance reminds me of John McCain walking around in Baghdad in 2007, macho man-style, no helmet, to prove everything  was OK. Of course: he had a small army weaponized to the teeth watching his back.

And complementing the racism angle, it’s never enough to remember that both a white president and a black president signed off on drone attacks on wedding parties in the Pakistani tribal areas.

Esper spelled it out: an occupying army may soon be “dominating the battlespace” in the nation’s capital, and possibly elsewhere. What next? A Coalition Provisional Authority?

Compared to similar ops across the Global South, this will not only prevent regime change but also produce the desired effect for the ruling oligarchy: a neo-fascist turning of the screws. Proving once again that when you don’t have a Martin Luther King or a Malcolm X to fight the power, then power crushes you whatever you do.

Inverted Totalitarianism

The late, great political theorist Sheldon Wolin had already nailed it in a book first published in 2008: this is all about Inverted Totalitarianism.

Wolin showed how “the cruder forms of control – from militarized police to wholesale surveillance, as well as police serving as judge, jury and executioner, now a reality for the underclass – will become a reality for all of us should we begin to resist the continued funneling of power and wealth upward.

“We are tolerated as citizens only as long as we participate in the illusion of a participatory democracy. The moment we rebel and refuse to take part in the illusion, the face of inverted totalitarianism will look like the face of past systems of totalitarianism,” he wrote.

Sinclair Lewis (who did not say that, “when fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag and waving the cross”) actually wrote, in It Can’t Happen Here (1935), that American fascists would be those “who disowned the word ‘fascism’ and preached enslavement to capitalism under the style of constitutional and traditional native American liberty.”

So American fascism, when it happens, will walk and talk American.

George Floyd was the spark. In a Freudian twist, the return of the repressed came out swinging, laying bare multiple wounds: how the US political economy shattered the working classes; failed miserably on Covid-19; failed to provide affordable healthcare; profits a plutocracy; and thrives on a racialized labor market, a militarized police, multi-trillion-dollar imperial wars and serial bailouts of the too big to fail.

Instinctively at least, although in an inchoate manner, millions of Americans clearly see how, since Reaganism, the whole game is about an oligarchy/plutocracy weaponizing white supremacism for political power goals, with the extra bonus of a steady, massive, upwards transfer of wealth.

US President Donald Trump walks back to the White House escorted by the Secret Service after appearing outside of St John’s Episcopal church across Lafayette Park in Washington, DC, June 1, 2020. Photo: AFP/ Brendan Smialowski

Slightly before the first, peaceful Minneapolis protests, I argued that the realpolitik perspectives post-lockdown were grim, privileging both restored neoliberalism – already in effect – and hybrid neofascism.

President Trump’s by now iconic Bible photo op in front of St John’s church – including a citizen tear-gassing preview – took it to a whole new level. Trump wanted to send a carefully choreographed signal to his evangelical base. Mission accomplished.

But arguably the most important (invisible) signal was the fourth man in one of the photos.

Giorgio Agamben has already proved beyond reasonable doubt that the state of siege is now totally normalized in the West. Attorney General William Barr now is aiming to institutionalize it in the US: he’s the man with the leeway to go all out for a permanent state of emergency, a Patriot Act on steroids, complete with “show of force” Blackhawk support.

Rebellions across the US: Why worry? Just ask Dr. Fauci to tell us what to do

Rebellions across the US: Why worry? Just ask Dr. Fauci to tell us what to do

June 02, 2020

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

The headline says it all – why even write the article? Journalism has – of course, and with universal unanimity – become merely the relaying of the statements of Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Fauci is not just an immunologist – he’s an economist, historian, judge, legislator (national, state, county, city and village), manufacturer, landlord, employer, son, daughter, mother, lawyer for both the prosecutor and the defense, employee, renter and, though he blushes when forced to admit it, also the Holy Father worshipped as God by several billion people currently and for a few thousand years.

How should we run the economy? Ask Fauci.

How should prayers be held? Ask Fauci.

How should teachers teach? Ask Fauci.

So what on earth needs to be done about the rebellions taking place across the US other than – ask Fauci?

Why should I desist in writing this way? It has been over four months of Fauci-worship in the US and you can’t just turn that off – it’s not like an economy.

Fauci is the pinnacle of the Western belief that socialism’s “Serve the People” should be replaced with “Serve the wealthy technocrat”. Fauci’s ideas have had more effect on today’s American than Henry Ford multiplied by Abraham Lincoln raised to the power of jazz.

My God, I wish I could I see just one Chinese Cultural Revolution-style public interrogation of a mainstream media journalist about what on earth were they thinking when they unskeptically ran from Fauci’s press conferences to frog march everyone off to the phony, unwinnable coronavirus war, which has now resulted in the current US wave of rebellions.

Frankly, I blame myself for this mess. Somehow – though the how is not determined – my placement in the media class makes me feel culpable for their errors. Somehow, I could have out-shouted them all, or should at least have taken the batteries out of their microphones.

This is not a nonsense article you are reading – it is merely there reflection of there being too many newsworthy things to discuss, and it comes after some 2.5 months of too many newsworthy things to discuss, read and write about. Thus, this column is simply an accurate reflection of everyone’s current state in the US: burnt out, fed up and quite, quite content if the Apocalypse/Day of Resurrection should arrive this afternoon.

Let’s compare the rebellion, police response and media coverage with the Yellow Vests in France – considering that I seem to have been the “mainstream” media member most often at those protests (incredibly, this is true not just for English-language journalists but French-language journalists as well), I have seen all this before and am practically obligated to at least put my stupid two cents out there.

Naaah… to hell with it.

And thus I have just perfectly captured the US zeitgeist: a lousy world is burning, and… what else did they expect? Why should I do anything about it? Hell, not only are the protesters right, but they are long overdue! I am not getting unemployment but I don’t see any reason to go back to work right now, too.

How about that siege of the CNN headquarters in Atlanta? You know that everyone in CNN and all their colleagues were like, “Wait… the average person actually doesn’t like us and slavishly follow our great opinions?” Hahahahahahahahahahahahhahaahaha – what clueless jerks! Did you see how that CNN reporter who got arrested put up ZERO verbal resistance to the cops? Wow, uh, that was a LOT of compliance towards lawbreaking authorities – but that’s how you get that CNN gig; that reporter couldn’t make it in France, that’s for sure. What am I saying – they’d make somebody as compliant as him editor in chief! I feel obligated to write a column on all that, but:

Naaah… to hell with it.

It’s a crazy thought and one I don’t mean but: how many people are currently wishing that millions of people had actually died of coronavirus – then at least then all this economic depression, emotional depression, political depression/repression (and none of those things are even close to being finished) sparked by the Great Lockdown would have at least been “worth it”.

I want to hear it from the mouth of the oracle himself: did Fauci expect unprecedented rebellion to occur as a result of his insanely stupid corona lockdown? Because it did.

Does Fauci still think the biggest public discussion we need to have is about ending the cultural practice of shaking hands, which he famously said he wants to ban?

Will Fauci apologise for any of this?

Get the dunce caps and call the farmers: a hundred thousand low-wage manure spreaders should soon be coming to help out with the crops, and Fauci’s gotta be among them because he needs to get over his germ-phobia. It’s Cultural Revolution time!

“Black man killed by cop in America” is not at all front page news. Fifty people got shot in Chicago over this month’s 3-day Memorial Day weekend – I’m sure 95% of them were Black – and that was not front page news either, and not even in Chicago’s own media! So in response to the rebellions: good! How are those things NOT headlines? Fifty people in one city?! Again?!

The US Mainstream Media is trying to explain the rebellions solely with a lens of race and police violence, but police violence towards Blacks is so routine it’s not at all front page news, sadly. The larger analysis reveals: it’s the Great Lockdown, stupid, and the Everything Bubble 2 economy it popped.

America is a totally, totally screwed up society and for political-moral reasons. That is not a religious condemnation – it is a simple analysis which well over 100 million Americans (at least) certainly agree with. They are the ones protesting tonight, and they will be protesting when the unemployment runs out on August 1, and hopefully they will protesting before and after that as well.

“No justice, no peace” is a really dumb political slogan: Black people and the lower classes never get justice, and they have advocated peace for not just decades but centuries and… it hasn’t worked – it will never work in a capitalist-imperialist system and in a liberal democracy which only protects aristocratic privileges. Due to the forced political dis-education of the average American their political ideas and slogans are woefully, woefully unmodern, outdated and clearly ineffective. This all seems like an idea for a column.

Naaah… to hell with it.

There’s just too much to talk about. Gonna be a long, hot post-Great Lockdown summer.

*********************************

Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis.

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media – March 25, 2020

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? – March 26, 2020

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30, 2020

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020

(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020

Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020

Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020

Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage? – April 12, 2020

No buybacks allowed or dared? Then wave goodbye to Western stock market gains – April 13, 2020

Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism – April 14, 2020

No, the dollar will only strengthen post-corona, as usual: it’s a crisis, after all – April 16, 2020

Same 2008 QE playbook, but the Eurozone will kick off Western chaos not the US – April 18, 2020

We’re giving up our civil liberties. Fine, but to which type of state? – April 20,

2020

Coronavirus – Macron’s savior. A ‘united Europe’ – France’s murderer – April 22, 2020

Iran’s ‘resistance economy’: the post-corona wish of the West’s silent majority (1/2) – April 23, 2020

The same 12-year itch: Will banks loan down QE money this time? – April 26,

2020

The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2) – April 27, 2020

What would it take for proponents to say: ‘The Great Lockdown was wrong’? – April 28, 2020

ZeroHedge, a response to Mr. Littlejohn & the future of dollar dominance – April 30, 2020

Given Western history, is it the ‘Great Segregation’ and not the ‘Great Lockdown’? – May 2, 2020

The Western 1% colluded to start WWI – is the Great Lockdown also a conspiracy? – May 4, 2020

May 17: The date the Great Lockdown must end or Everything Bubble 2 pops – May 6, 2020

Reading Piketty: Does corona delay the Greens’ fake-leftist, sure-to-fail victory? – May 8, 2020

Picturing the media campaign needed to get the US back to work – May 11, 2020

Scarce jobs + revenue desperation = sure Western stagflation post-corona – May 13, 2020

France’s nurses march – are they now deplorable Michiganders to fake-leftists? – May 15, 2020

Why haven’t we called it ‘QE 5’ yet? And why we must call it ‘QE 2.1’ instead – May 16, 2020

‘Take your stinking paws off me, you damned, dirty public servant!’ That’s Orwell? – May 17, 2021

The Great Lockdown: The political apex of US single Moms & Western matriarchy? May 21, 2021

I was wrong on corona – by not pushing for a US Cultural Revolution immediately – May 25, 2021

August 1: when the unemployment runs out and a new era of US labor battles begin – May 28, 2021

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the NEW Socialisms Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism.

قانون قيصر أم قانون القرصان!

د. عدنان منصور

بعد أن فشلت الولايات المتحدة، ومعها «إسرائيل»، وحلفاؤها في المنطقة بتحقيق مآربها في سورية، منذ اندلاع الأحداث فيها عام 2011، وحتى اليوم، ورغم كلّ الدعم المادي، والعسكري، والمالي، والإعلامي، واللوجستي، والبشري المتواصل الذي قدّمته قوى العدوان، لعشرات الآلاف من الإرهابيين الأجانب القادمين من دول العالم، لم تستطع قوى الشرّ أن تحقق مبتغاها الهادف الى إطاحة النظام السوري، ورئيس الدولة، وإيجاد نظام بديل يكون أداة طيّعة في يد قوى الهيمنة، يبتعد عن قضايا بلده وشعبه وأمته، يتنازل عن حقوقه وسيادته، وأرضه المحتلة من العدو الصهيوني، وينهي حالة الصراع معه، ويقبل بالأمر الواقع الإسرائيلي، والتطبيع معه، ثم يدير ظهره للمقاومة في لبنان وفلسطين، ويقلّص الى حدّ كبير من مستوى التعاون مع إيران وروسيا…

فبعد أن وجدت قوى العدوان على سورية، بعد تسع سنوات من الحرب المفروضة عليها، انّ كلّ الوسائل والإمكانات والخطط العسكرية، والإجراءات المالية، والضغوط النفسية، والعقوبات الشرسة، التي طالت قطاعات مصرفية، ومالية، وتجارية وصحية، وصناعية، وعسكرية، وتكنولوجية، وكذلك شخصيات رسمية وفعاليات مدنية، واللجوء إلى الإفراط في استخدام القوة، والعمليات الحربية المدمّرة، لإخضاع سورية وإجبارها على رفع راية الاستسلام، أنها لم تستطع انتزاع القرار الذي تنتظره من الرئيس السوري، ولم تستطع تأليب الشعب على قيادته، او الرهان على تفكيك الجيش العربي السوري وانهياره، وأنها فشلت أيضاً في إبعاد سورية عن إيران وروسيا، وفكّ الارتباط مع الدولتين، كان لا بدّ من المتربّصين بسورية، ورعاة التسلط والاستبداد، أن يلجأوا الى سياسات أخرى أكثر قسوة وشدة كي تفي بالمطلوب.

وإذا كانت الحرب الشاملة التي شنتها قوى العدوان على سورية، قد فشلت في تحقيق أهدافها، وغاياتها، بسبب بسالة وصمود الجيش العربي السوري، ووحدة الشعب، وإدارة قيادته الحكيمة للأزمة في أصعب وأحلك الظروف، وصمودها الذي بهر شعوب العالم ودوله، وهي تواجه العدوان والإرهاب، كان على الادارة الأميركية أن تبحث عن عقوبات أكثر إيلاماً وشراسة تطبّقها على سورية، علها تحقق الغاية المرجوّة منها. فكان «قانون قيصر»، الذي وقعه الرئيس الأميركي ترامب يوم 21 كانون الأول من العام الماضي، ليجسّد هذا القانون الظلم والقهر، الذي سيطبّق اعتباراً من منتصف حزيران 2020 بحق الشعب السوري، وبحق الدولة، لتشمل عقوباته مسؤولي الدولة السورية، وأجهزتها ومؤسّساتها وشركاتها وهيئاتها، وكلّ دولة أخرى تتعامل مع سورية، أو تساعدها على تنفيذ مشاريع فيها، أو تعمل على المشاركة في إعادة بناء المرافق التي هدمتها الحرب، حتى ولو كانت بعض المشاريع تنفذ مجاناً من قبل الدول او المنظمات او الشخصيات المانحة الصديقة.

لا يتوقف «قانون قيصر» عند هذا الحدّ، بل يشمل العقوبات المالية، وهي النوع الأخطر. إذ انه سيتمّ بموجبه، إلزام الدول والهيئات والمؤسسات المالية، وقف المنح والقروض التي قد تقدّم الى سورية، وكذلك المساعدات المالية، وتجميد الحسابات، ووقف الاستثمارات المباشرة وغير المباشرة. كما ستشمل العقوبات كلّ شركة أجنبية، تستثمر في قطاعي الطاقة والطيران، ومنعها من تزويد الطيران المدني السوري بقطع الغيار، أو القيام بأعمال الصيانة لصالحه. وسيفرض القانون أيضاً عقوبات على الدول والشركات التي تقوم بتوسيع قطاع الإنتاج المحلي للنفط والغاز السوري، حيث تستورد سورية أكثر من ستين بالمئة من حاجتها الى الغاز. كما سيعاقب «قانون قيصر» أيضاً، الشركات الأجنبية التي تعتزم التعامل مع سورية في مختلف المجالات، كما سيمنع المصارف الأجنبية من التعامل مع المصارف المحلية، بغية شلّ الحركة الاقتصادية، والمالية، بشكل واسع النطاق، مما سينعكس سلباً، وبشكل مباشر على النقد الوطني، وعلى تراجع سعر صرف الليرة السورية أمام الدولار الأميركي.

«قانون قيصر» الذي أراد منه ترامب على حدّ زعمه، حماية المدنيين في سورية، وتنحّي الرئيس بشار الأسد عن السلطة، ووقف دعم روسيا وإيران لدمشق، ووقف الحصار على المناطق التي تتواجد فيها الفصائل الإرهابية، المدعومة من قوى العدوان، وإحقاق العدالة لضحايا جرائم الحرب التي ارتكبها النظام السوري، على حدّ زعم عرّابي «قانون قيصر» ورعاته.

«قانون قيصر» يريد ان يجبر سورية على التوقف عن دعمها للمقاومة في لبنان وفلسطين ضدّ المحتلّ «الإسرائيلي»، والكفّ عن سعيها لامتلاك أسلحة متطوّرة، وعن السير في برنامج تطوير الصواريخ البالستية.

ما تريده الولايات المتحدة من سورية، من خلال قانون قيصرها، هو باختصار استسلام سورية للإرادة الأميركية، وتغيير النظام والنهج، والأسلوب والعقيدة، والمبادئ الوطنية، والاستراتيجية القومية، ومواقفها المقاومة، الداعمة للحق العربي، والرافضة بالشكل والأساس، لدولة الاحتلال الصهيوني، والتطبيع معها، وتصدّيها لنفوذ ومؤامرات قوى الهيمنة والعدوان المتواصلة ضدّها وضدّ شعوب أمتها.

«قانون قيصر» جاء ليعرّي الوجه الحقيقي للسياسة الأميركية حيال سورية، والأهداف المبيّتة ضدّها منذ عقود، وضدّ الأنظمة الحرة في المنطقة والعالم، التي آلت على نفسها ان تخرج من دائرة النفوذ والاستغلال الغربي، والتصدّي لها مهما كلف ذلك من ثمن وتضحيات.

انّ «قانون قيصر» الأحادي الجانب، الذي تريد من خلاله الولايات المتحدة، أن تلتزم دول العالم به، تحت التهديد بفرض العقوبات عليها، في حال عدم الأخذ به. يبيّن للعالم

مدى أبعاد البلطجة الأميركية، ومدى تأثير القانون على دول كبرى في أوروبا وخارجها، يكرهها رغماً عنها الالتزام به، وهو يحدّ من هيبتها، ومكانتها وقراراتها المستقلة، ويتعارض مع مصالحها وحقوقها السيادية.

انّ سورية التي استوعبت العقوبات الأميركية الظالمة منذ عام 1979، وحتى اليوم، قادرة بعزيمة قيادتها الوطنية العالية، ووعي شعبها، وإدراكها للذي تبيّته قوى العدوان ضدّها، وبصمود جيشها الذي أحبط كلّ الرهانات القذرة عليه، بأدائه وتماسكه ووحدته، قادرة على مواجهة تبعات «قانون قيصر» الجديد مهما غلت التضحيات، إذ تعرف سورية انّ هذا القانون الذي يستهدفها، وإنٍ حمل اسم «قانون قيصر»، فهو في الحقيقة، ليس إلا قانون القرصان.

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*وزير الخارجية الأسبق.

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عنصريّة… هزائم… فشل… تنتج «الربيع الأميركيّ» ثم…؟

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

منذ أن انتصرت أميركا في الحرب العالمية الثانية، سارعت إلى فرض شبه وصاية واحتلال واقعي على أوروبا وسعت إلى الهيمنة على كلّ المعمورة ونصّبت نفسها قائدة للعالم، معتقدة أنّ «الله اختارها لتقوم بهذه الوظيفة» من أجل «نشر الحرية والديمقراطية» بين الدول والشعوب، ورفعت شعار «حقوق الإنسان» إلى الحدّ الذي أجازت لنفسها ان تتدخل وتعاقب كلّ من تتهمه بأنه خرق هذه المبادئ وأهدر سلامة أو كرامة مواطنيه. متناسية أنها دولة قامت في الأصل على القتل والاغتصاب والإبادة والتهجير…

ومن المفيد التذكير هنا بأنّ ما يُطلق عليه اليوم اسم الولايات المتحدة الأميركية هي نتاج عمليات متلاحقة بدأت بعد اكتشاف الأرض بهجرة الأوروبيين البيض إليها، وانتهت بإقامة الدولة الحالية بعد الإبادة التي تعرّض لها سكان البلاد الأصليون (أسموهم الهنود الحمر ظناً منهم بأنّ الأرض المكتشفة هي الهند ذات السكان ذوي البشرة التي تميل إلى الحمرة) إبادة رافقها نقل أو استقدام أفارقة من ذوي البشرة السمراء أو السوداء ليكونوا عمالاً وخدماً لهم في مزارعهم وحقولهم. وهكذا نشأت الشخصية الأميركية وتجذّرت فيها النزعة العنصرية التي تجعل من الأبيض سيداً والأسود عبداً والأحمر شخصاً لا يستحق الحياة. وانّ أهمّ وأخطر ما في الشخصية الأميركية نزعتان داخلية قائمة على العنصرية والتمييز بين المواطنين، وفوقية تسلطية قائمة على النزعة الاستعمارية والهيمنة على الشعوب والدول الأجنبية. نزعتان تحكمتا بسلوك أميركا منذ نشأتها ولا زالتا تتحكمان بسياستها وسلوكها داخلياً وخارجياً.

بيد أنّ سياسة التمييز العنصري في الداخل كانت تواجه بين الحقبة والحقبة باحتجاجات وأعمال رفض تصل إلى حدود الثورة وتتوصّل في بعض الأحيان إلى انتزاع قدر من الحقوق لغير البيض، لكنها لم تصل حتى اليوم إلى انتزاع الحق بالمساواة بين المواطنين وبقي التمييز العنصري قائماً رغم تشدّق حكومة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية بحقوق الإنسان وعلى سبيل المثال نجد انّ السود الذين يصل عددهم اليوم في أميركا إلى 1/8 من السكان ليس لهم في الوظائف العامة أكثر من 1/20 وليس لهم إلا عضوين اثنين من 100 عضو في مجلس الشيوخ و10% من النواب. أما الأخطر فليس ما يظهر في الوظائف إنما ما يكمن في نفوس البيض ضدّ السود من نظرة فوقية وازدراء واتهام بالكسل والبلاهة ما يجعل العلاقة بين الطرفين غير ودية وغير سليمة في اكثر الأحيان، وأكثر ما تجلى مؤخراً نموذج عن هذا الأمر ما جاء على لسان ترامب عندما كال الاتهامات والتشنيع ضدّ أوباما وسلوكه وهو سلفه في رئاسة الدولة وهي اتهامات تنضح منها العنصرية بأبشع صورها. أما المثل الأخير الأبشع الراهن للعنصرية الأميركية فقد ظهر في الوحشية التي أقدم فيها شرطي أبيض على خنق مواطن أسود حتى الموت في مشهد شديد الإيلام مثير للأسى والحزن المصحوب بالغضب والاستنكار رفضاً لهذه الوحشية.

وفي مفعول تراكمي أدّت جريمة الشرطي الأبيض إلى إطلاق موجة من الاحتجاجات الشعبية ضدّ التمييز العنصري وضدّ أداء السلطات المحلية والمركزية التي كان فيروس كورونا قد فضح عجزها وتقصيرها وأظهر وهن النظام الصحي المعتمد في أميركا فضلاً عن الخفة والسطحية التي عالج بها المسؤولون بدءاً من ترامب، الوباء على صعيد أميركا كلها ما أدّى إلى إصابة ما يكاد يلامس المليوني شخص من أصل 6 ملايين مصاب في كلّ العالم ووفاة أكثر من 100 ألف من أصل 370 في كلّ العالم. وبات السؤال المطروح الآن هل يتحوّل جورج فلويد (المواطن من أصل أفريقي الذي خنقه الشرطي الأبيض) إلى بوعزيزي أميركا وتتحوّل مدينة مينيابوليس الأميركية إلى مهد للربيع الأميركي كما كانت مدينة سيدي بوزيد التونسية مهداً لما أسمي ربيعاً عربياً وظهر أنه الحريق العربي؟ سؤال جدير بالطرح والاهتمام خاصة إذا عرجنا على أكثر من ملف وموضوع تتخبّط فيه أميركا وتحصد منه نتائج سلبية.

بالعودة إلى واقع الحال الأميركي دولياً فإننا نجد أنّ أميركا تعاني اليوم من فشل وإخفاق وهزائم في الخارج لا تحجبها المكابرة ولا يمكن لإعلام او لحرب نفسيّة إخفاءها، وتعاني من صعوبات في الداخل لا يمكن لأحد ان يتجاوزها ولا يمكن لمليارات الدولارات التي سلبتها من الخليج ان تحجبها، فإذا جمع حصاد الخارج السيّئ إلى أوضاع الداخل السلبية كان من المنطقي ان يطرح السؤال الملحّ «أميركا إلى أين؟» وكيف سيكون وضعها كدولة متحدة وكيف سيكون موقعها في العالم؟ لأنه من الطبيعي ان يفكر المراقب بأنّ الهزائم والاضطرابات لا بدّ أن تلقي بظلها الثقيل على الكيان ودوره لهذا يبرّر طرح السؤال حول مصير أميركا الذي بات تحت علامة استفهام؟

قبل الإجابة نعود للتوقف عند الهزائم الأميركية في الخارج والتي تسبّبت في تآكل الهيبة الأميركية وتراجع قوة الردع الأميركي نتيجة فشل أميركا في أكثر من ملف في طليعتها عدوانها على دول وشعوب الشرق الأوسط خاصة العراق وسورية واليمن، وعجزها رغم الحروب المتعددة الأنواع التي شنّتها وتشنّها من عسكرية إلى إرهابية إلى نفسية إلى اقتصادية وسياسية، رغم كلّ ذلك لم تستطع إسقاط محور المقاومة الذي وجه لها مؤخراً صفعة قاسية في قاعدة «عين الأسد»، صفعة أنزلتها صواريخ إيران الباليستية، وركلة مؤلمة في فنزويلا حملتها ناقلات النفط الإيرانية. صفعة وركلة كانت قد سبقتهما سلسلة من الهزائم الميدانية بدءاً من حرب 2006 في لبنان وصولاً إلى سورية واليمن ومروراً بالعراق بحيث باتت أميركا تضع في رأس أولوياتها اليوم البحث عن انسحاب آمن من المنطقة يحفظ ماء الوجه.

أما على الجبهة مع الصين فإنّ أميركا تحصد مزيداً من الإخفاق مع كلّ موقف تطلقه مهدّدة الصين بشيء ما، وبات من المسلّم به انّ الصين تفعل وتتقدّم وانّ أميركا تصرخ وتتراجع، ولن يكون المستقبل إلا حاملاً أخباراً أشدّ سوءاً لأميركا مما مضى على الصعيد الاقتصادي، وسيكون أمرّ وأدهى إذا فكرت أميركا بالمواجهة العسكرية حيث يؤكد الخبراء الأميركيون انّ هزيمة استراتيجية عظيمة تنتظر أميركا إذا حاربت الصين عسكرياً.

وعلى صعيد العلاقات مع روسيا فقد بات من المتوافق عليه انّ كلّ الحصار والتهميش الذي فرضته أميركا على روسيا ذهب أدراج الرياح مع تقدّم الأخيرة من الباب السوري لتحتلّ موقعاً متقدّماً على الساحة الدولية مكّنها من دون خوف أن تمارس حق الفيتو في مجلس الأمن من دون خشية من أميركا، كما مكّنها من تقديم المساعدة العسكرية للحكومة السورية لإفشال العدوان الإرهابي عليها المدعوم أميركياً.

يبقى أن نذكر بحال العزلة الدولية التي أوقعت أميركا – ترامب نفسها فيها بخروجها من أكثر اتفاق أو معاهدة دولية وتنكرها لقرارات مجلس الأمن وتصرفها خلافاً لقواعد القانون الدولي العام.

أما في الداخل فإنّ أهمّ واخطر ما تواجهه أميركا الآن هو تلك الاضطرابات التي نرى انّ إطلاق اسم «الربيع الأميركي» عليها أسوة بالتسمية الأميركية لما حصل في الشرق الأوسط وأسمي بـ «الربيع العربي» هي تسمية معقولة. هذه الاضطرابات والاحتجاجات التي تكاد تلامس الثورة والتي يرافقها النهب والإحراق والسرقة والقتل والتي تمدّدت الآن خارج مينيابولس (موقع الجريمة ومهد الاضطرابات) لتصل إلى 19 ولاية ولا زالت قيد التوسّع إلى درجة التخوّف من شمولها كلّ الولايات الأميركية الـ 50، ما شكل خطراً جدياً باتت الحكومة الأميركية تخشاه فعلياً جعلها تلجأ إلى فرض إعلان التعبئة في بعض الولايات والاستعانة بالحرس الوطني والجيش في ولايات أخرى، وباتت كلها تشكّل نذر شؤم على أميركا لا يُعرف إلى أين ستودي بالنظام الأميركي الذي يعاني كثيراً أمام تراجع الاقتصاد وتفشي البطالة وإفلاس الشركات واشتداد الغضب الشعبي دون أن ننسى وجود نزعات انفصالية لدى بعض الولايات.

إنّ تراكم هزائم الخارج خاصة في وجه محور المقاومة والصين وروسيا كما تقدّم، مع التخبّط والفشل في الداخل والمعبّر عنه بالفشل في معالجة أزمة كورونا وتفشي البطالة إلى حدّ بات فيه 40 مليون أميركي عاطل عن العمل وإفلاس شركات وإقفال أخرى بما ينذر بوضع اقتصادي صعب يفاقم العثرات الاجتماعية، ثم انفجار الغضب الشعبي إلى حدّ الوصول إلى البيت الأبيض واجتياز الحاجز الأمني الأول أمامه ما أقلق ترامب ودفعه إلى الاختباء في طوابق تحت الأرض وغموض الرؤية في معالجة الأحداث… كلها مسائل تبرّر السؤال هل كيان الولايات المتحدة الأميركية في خطر؟ وهل وحدتها مهدّدة؟ وهل سيتأثر موقعها دولياً بكلّ هذه الأحداث؟

أسئلة جدية لا بدّ من طرحها في ظلّ ما نسمع ونقرأ ونراقب؟ ويُضاف السؤال الآخر هل ستشرب أميركا من كأس ربيعي أميركي خاص بها كما سقت شعوب الشرق الأوسط مما أسمته ربيعاً وكان حريقاً التهم الأخضر واليابس؟ نعتقد ذلك… وعلى أيّ حال انّ أميركا بعد الهزائم الخارجية والانفجارات والعثرات الداخلية لن تكون هي أميركا التي تسيطر على العالم، هذا إذا بقيت موحّدة، وهو أمر نشكّ به.

*أستاذ جامعي – خبير استراتيجي.

النظام الأميركيّ وريث العنصريّة الطبقيّة البيضاء

د. وفيق إبراهيم

مقتل مدني أعزل من الأقليّة السوداء على يد شرطيّ أبيض خنقه من دون سبب ملازم، ليس عملاً استثنائياً في التاريخ الأميركي.

فالأميركيّون البيض الذين غزوا القارة الأميركيّة بقسميها الشمالي والجنوبي، سفكوا دماء أكثر من سبعين مليوناً من الهنود الأحمر منذ منتصف القرن الثامن عشر وحتى مطلع القرن العشرين ولم يحرروهم من وضعية «العبد المملوك قانونياً لصاحبه الأبيض»، إلا في القرن العشرين، لكن الممارسات العنصرية تجاه الأقليات السوداء ظلت قائمة من خلال النظام الاميركي السياسي والاقتصادي الذي يعتمد على أكثرية كبيرة من البيض ونظام اجتماعي مغلق وأمن متشدّد واقتصاد لا يقلّ ضراوة عن الامن والسياسة.

أما ميزة هذا النظام فهو تسامحه «لغوياً» مع السود في مراحل ازدهاره الاقتصادي واتجاهه الى العنف والتشدد مع الأفريقيين الأميركيين في مراحل التراجع الاقتصادي.

لمزيد من الإنارة فإن النظام الاميركي هو الوريث الفعلي لنظام اوروبي غربي اجتاح آسيا وأفريقيا واوستراليا واميركا في القرنين الأخيرين واستعبد اهاليها من كل الاجناس والالوان ناهباً ثرواتها ومؤسساً لتعاملات ثقافية على اساس تفوق الرجل الابيض على ثلاثة أعراق أخرى هم السمر ومعظمهم من العرب والمسلمين وأبناء اميركا الجنوبية والأفارقة في قارتهم السوداء وأماكن إقاماتهم الجديدة وابناء العرق الأصفر في الصين واليابان وجنوب شرق آسيا.

هذه العنصرية بررت للغرب الأميركي والأوروبي الانتقال من التباينات الثقافية التاريخية الى اختلاف اقتصادي عميق له هرمية يقف على رأسها بشراسة أميركية أبيض ينتقل حذاء كاوبوي قاسٍ يرفس بمكوناته الحديدية الأقليات من الألوان الأخرى القابعة في أسفل الهرم ألا يمثل هذا الامر ذلك الشرطي الذي اوقع الاميركي الأسود المدني أرضاً وخنقه بركبته وحذائه وهو في وضعيّة الاستسلام الكامل.

كان يمكن لهذا الاغتيال أن يمر من دون اضطرابات كبيرة، لكنه اصطدم بمستويين كبيرين من التهديدات وأولها الشخصية العنصرية للرئيس الاميركي ترامب التي تواصل التحريض العنصري ضد الأعراق الثلاثة منذ بداية ولايتها الرئاسية وتحاول كسب الطبقات الفقيرة والوسطى من البيض بتحشيدها في وجه السود والمكسيكيين واللاتينيين والمسلمين، بأسلوب وقح يضخ مزيداً من العنصرية في نظام هو عنصري أصلاً. وترافق هذا الشحن مع التراجع الاقتصادي الذي تسببت به كورونا، وأصاب السود بشكل بنيوي يهددهم في حاضرهم ومستقبلهم والأغنياء البيض في هيمنتهم التاريخية الدائمة.

لذلك كان الصراع العنصري التاريخي الكامن في أوج استنفاره حيث خنق الشرطي المدني ذلك الاميركي الاسود من دون اي اسباب موجبة الا اللجوء الى قمع غير آمن يرتكز على الف عام غربي من قتل ابناء الالوان الثلاثة من السود والسمر والصفر بدم بارد وعنجهية التفوق الحضاري.

فتحرّكت الأقلية السوداء لتدافع عن نفسها تجاه نظام أمني قاتل واقتصادي يُصرّ على تثبيتها في اسفل السلم الاجتماعي، في محاولة للحدّ من مزيد من تدهورها في مرحلة ما بعد كورونا. اما من جهة ترامب، فتمكن من ضخ عيارات جديدة من العنصرية من خلال الاستعانة بالإنجيليين المسيحيين الذين يؤمنون بإعادة بناء هيكل سليمان مكان المسجد الأقصى في القدس المحتلة.

ما جلب الى دائرة مؤيديه اليهود الأميركيين وهم لمزيد من التفسير، شبكات الاعلام الاميركي القوي والمصارف التي تشكل رأس النظام الأميركي بقوته المالية وعنصريته.

وهذا استنفر ايضاً الأقليات السوداء واللاتينية والصفراء والمسلمين، فأصبح هناك مشهد اميركي مذعور من الكورونا يفصل بين اميركيين بيض من اعلى السلم الاجتماعي الى فئاته الفقيرة البيضاء مقابل فئة من البيض غير المتأثرة بالجموح العنصري الأبيض ومعها اللاتينيون من أصول أميركية جنوبية والسود والمسلمون والأقليات الصفراء وصولاً الى ابناء اوروبا الشرقية المحظور عليهم الارتقاء الى مواقع قيادية في كامل القطاعين العام والخاص الأميركي.

هل يدفع هذا الانقسام السياسي والاقتصادي والاجتماعي الى تصعيد الانتفاضة السوداء لتشمل الاقليات الاخرى في ثورة عارمة لمكافحة التمييز العنصري؟

لقد تنبّهت إدارة ترامب لهذا الاحتمال، فبدأت بدفع تعويضات شهرية تعادل قسماً من الأجر والراتب للاميركيين وطلبت 3000 مليار دولار من الكونغرس للاستمرار في توزيعها لثلاثة أشهر على الاقل.

بذلك تمتص انفجار الطبقات الفقيرة من السود، وايضاً من الفئات الفقيرة البيضاء الموالية لها، فهذه قد تتجه الى معارضة ترامب إذا انقطعت مواردها.

بما يعني ان ترامب مصمم على التجديد له في الانتخابات الرئاسية المقبلة، بتحشيد عنصري أبيض من جهة وتوزيع اموال مساعدات على الجميع من جهة ثانية، وتحريض البيض على السود من جهة ثالثة وافتعال صراعات مع الصين وإيران وروسيا وسورية وفنزويلا واي منطقة أخرى للزوم تحشيد الأميركيين البيض من حوله، مركزاً بالتصويب على اول رئيس اميركي اسود اللون في تاريخ اميركا لمزيد من تحشيد البيض ومهاجمة منافسه الحزب الديموقراطي فيصفه بالحزب الراديكالي اليساري الاشتراكي والشيوعيين، ولولا الحياء لا يهمه الانتماء الى الحزب الشيوعي الصيني الأصفر.

يبدو ايضاً ان ترامب يعمل على تأجيج الصراع الأهلي الداخلي محتمياً بحقه الفدرالي باستخدام الجيش لقمع المتظاهرين عند الضرورة.

فيتوصل بذلك الى اختلاق اسباب عظمى تسمح بإرجاء الانتخابات كما حدث حين جرى إرجاء الانتخابات الاميركية في عهد روزفلت في الحرب العالمية الثانية.

هذا يعني ان مشكلة اميركا ليست في رئيس غير مثقف يؤمن بالمال فقط، بل في نظامها العنصري الذي يحتاج الى قوانين لإزالته من العرف الاجتماعي والسياسي والاقتصادي، باعتبار أن العنصرية ليست مكرّسة في القانون والدستور، إلا أن اتساع الانتفاضة الحالية لتجتاح معظم الولايات الاميركية تشير الى مرحلة أميركية دموية لن تسمح لترامب وامثاله بالعودة الى البيت الأبيض من جديد.

The Great US 2020 Wealth Transfer Heist. Deep Inequalities in US Society

By Stephen Lendman

Source

 

In less than three-and-a-half years in office, Trump oversaw the Great GOP 2017 tax cut heist.

It handed corporate America and high-net-worth individuals a multi-billion dollar bonanza of enhanced wealth — followed this year by what I call 9/11 2.0, economic collapse triggered by COVID-19 lockdowns.

Along with letting dominant US corporate giants consolidate to greater size and market power, it includes an escalated great wealth transfer from ordinary Americans to privileged ones.

The scheme has been ongoing in the US (and West) for decades, notably since the neoliberal 90s — war on social justice, a plot to eliminate it altogether over time.

It aims to free up US wealth for escalated militarism, endless wars, corporate handouts, and greater enrichment of America’s super-rich.

The grand scheme is transforming the US (and other Western states) into ruler-serf societies — thirdworldized and controlled by police state power, unsafe and unfit to live in, privileged interests served exclusively at the expense of ordinary people.

Since US economic collapse began in February, millions of Americans applied for unemployment benefits — ongoing for 12 consecutive weeks in unprecedented numbers, greater than during the Great Depression, US unemployment today much higher than then.

Overall conditions today for ordinary Americans are far worse than in the 1930s.

Following Franklin Roosevelt’s 1932 election, New Deal programs put millions of people back to work.

Virtually nothing is being done to create jobs today, Dems as culpable as Republicans.

Both right wings of the one-party state are indifferent toward public health and welfare, and it shows by their policies.

Official unemployment numbers way understate reality, the true number around 40% of working-age Americans.

Most US workers with jobs have part-time or temp employment for poverty-level wages with few or no benefits.

Countless numbers of US workers had their hours and pay cut. Growing millions have no health insurance.

Americans can have anything they want — depending on their ability to pay.

They’re increasingly on their own otherwise, notably at a time of unprecedented economic collapse that’s far more serious than COVID-19 outbreaks.

They’ll pass in time, even if increase substantially in the months ahead.

The wreckage from economic collapse will be long-lasting, millions of jobs permanently lost, the lives and welfare of countless numbers of Americans devastated — way too little help from Washington forthcoming.

A new Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) report discussed a bonanza for US billionaires at a time of unprecedented job losses — “pandemic profiteers” benefitting from human misery.

Super-wealth of America’s billionaire class increased by around “half a trillion” dollars this year, according to IPS, an unprecedented heist over a short period of time.

According to Forbes magazine, the US has 614 billionaires, along with nine others, foreign nationals living in America.

IPS reported that the super-wealth of America’s billionaire class increased by 16.5% from March 18 to May 28 — while countless millions in the country “face suffering, hardship and loss of life.”

The US billionaire class added 14 more to its total in the last 10 weeks, 628 up from 614, IPS explained.

Two super-billionaires — Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg — increased their wealth by “over $63 billion since March 18.”

IPS called today’s state of America “a grotesque indicator of the deep inequalities in US society.”

Before economic collapse began in February, over 20% of working-age Americans were unemployed, based on the pre-1990 calculation model.

They’re omitted from official Labor Department numbers, nonpersons according to Republicans and Dems.

In the past three months, around 41 million more Americans sought unemployment benefits.

Millions more haven’t had their applications processed, along with millions of out-of-work self-employed Americans — many, maybe most, not getting unemployment benefits.

Because health insurance is linked to employment, tens of millions of Americans lost coverage.

IPS: “While millions risk their lives and livelihoods as first responders and front line workers, these billionaires benefit from an economy and tax system that is wired to funnel wealth to the top.”

“Low-wage workers, people of color, and women have suffered disproportionately in the combined medical and economic crises.”

“Billionaires are overwhelmingly white men.”

As of mid-May, the combined super-wealth of the US billionaire class exceeded $3.3 trillion.

Two Americas exist — one for the vast majority of its people, ordinary ones struggling to get by, including unprecedented numbers out-of-work.

The other is for the nation’s super-rich and privileged class overall. Its members never had things better — their gain at the expense of most others.

Looking ahead, things most likely will worsen for ordinary Americans, the trend for decades.

They’re exploited by the nation’s privileged class in cahoots with Republicans, Dems, and the Wall Street owned Fed.

Together they comprise a conspiracy against peace, equity, justice, the rule of law, and government serving all its people.

The American way is polar opposite, the privileged few benefitting hugely at the expense of most others in a nation where democracy is pure fantasy, not real.

“Deadly Exchange”: America’s Racist Policing Has Roots in Israel

By Miko Peled

Source

During training sessions in Israel, American police delegations meet with Israeli military, police, and intelligence agencies and taught what Israel calls counterterrorism, but is in fact no more than “refining methods of racial profiling.”

Racism and violence against people of color in the U.S. is nothing new. In fact, the United States, with its claims to be “the land of the free,” has always been a racist, genocidal and violent state. It was founded on genocide of the native people and on the backs African slaves. The United States committed the most egregious war crimes in the history of mankind, including genocide, the use of nuclear weapons, destruction of democracies and support for murderous dictators around the world, and the list goes on and on from the earliest days of the Union to this very day.

The state of Israel, which historically speaking is a new creation, was also founded on genocide and racism. For close to one hundred years the Zionist movement which created Israel has been engaged in a brutal campaign to rid Palestine of its indegenous population and give the land to Jewish colonizers. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that good relations exist between the United States and Israel.

There are countless areas of life in the U.S. in which Israel and various Zionist organizations influence and interfere. The Jewish Federation, the Anti-Defamation League, and AIPAC are the most commonly recognized but are only three out of countless organizations that operate throughout the fifty states and relentlessly pursue Israeli interests in all facets of American life.

These organizations interfere in U.S. elections by pouring money into the campaigns of  pro-Israeli candidates; they are engaged in heavily influencing the outcome of trials where the defendants are Arabs or Muslims, and they finance campaigns to edit and rewrite curricula in public schools so that the Middle East is always taught in a way that supports the Zionist narrative.

A deadly exchange

As the video clip of a Minnesota police officer slowly and callously choking George Floyd to death went viral, many people, including myself, remembered Palestine. Officer Derek Chauvin, who casually placed his knee on George Floyd’s neck, could have easily been an Israeli soldier or police officer holding down a Palestinian. The way he just sat there, took a knee on Floyd’s neck, ignoring Floyd who repeatedly said he cannot breathe, ignoring Floyd as he begged him to allow him to breathe and ignoring the fact that the man under his knee was slowly suffocating to death made it clear that this cop was a predator and George Floyd was merely his prey.

American Israeli police

This happens in America just as it happens in Palestine. The similarities are no coincidence and they may well be the result of what has become known as the “Deadly Exchange,” a collaboration between the two racist states who see no problem in executing and watching the slow agonizing death of black and brown people.

Deadly Exchange is the name of a campaign to stop the collaboration between police departments across the United States and the state of Israel. The campaign put out an extensive report that outlines the cooperation between law enforcement in the U.S. and Israel. The report also lists the dangers and threats that this exchange poses to people of color in the United States.

Israeli democracy and security

Israel is wrongly heralded as a democracy facing perpetual threat. In reality, it is an apartheid state and its security apparatus is dedicated neither to safety nor security as it claims, but rather to the subjugation of Palestinians. During training sessions in Israel, U.S. law enforcement delegations meet with Israeli military, police, and intelligence agencies. They are given “opportunities” to learn about what Israel calls counterterrorism, but is in fact no more than “refining methods of racial profiling.”

Cynically taking advantage of the 9/11 attacks, within months of the attacks, American law enforcement representatives set out to Israel for their first official training expeditions. The purpose was to learn from Isreal’s so-called “expertise” in what has become known as counter-terrorism. Counter-Terrorism, it is worth noting here, is a euphemism for the violent means used to subjugate oppressed people.

The very first delegation to Israel, according to Deadly Exchange, included police chiefs and deputies from California, Texas, Maryland, Florida, and New York. The delegation also included FBI and CIA agents, future ICE officers, and directors of New York City MTA security.

Among the sponsors of this exchange program are the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which claims to fight the defamation of Jewish people, but in fact is dedicated to defamation of Arabs and Muslims, and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). JISNA claims it is dedicated to “educating Congressional, military and civilian national security decision-makers on American defense and strategic interests,”  the cornerstone of which, according to JINSA, “is a robust U.S.-Israeli security cooperation.” Both groups are well funded Zionist organizations that are dedicated to promoting and defending Israeli violence and racism no matter what.

Systemic racism

One of the many similarities between Israel and the United States is their propensity for systemic racism. From the very beginning, Israel has imposed an apartheid regime in occupied Palestine and Palestinian citizens of Israel are subjected to systematic profiling. This means that interactions with the Israeli police regularly lead to “excessive and often lethal use of force deployed with impunity.”

Not unlike the United States where black and brown Americans make up the majority of the prison population, in Israeli prisons, Palestinian citizens of Israel represent a disproportionate number of those incarcerated. A report in the Israeli publication Mekomit states that Palestinian citizens of Israel, who make up about 20 percent of the overall population, comprise over 40 percent of the prison population, in fact, according to Mekomit, only about a quarter of prisoners held in Israeli prisons are Jewish, and amongst minors being held in Israeli prisons, only about 13 percent are Jews.

palestinian children

If we include “security prisoners,” who come from the occupied Palestinian West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, the numbers are even more grotesque, raising the percentage of Palestinians within the Israeli prison population to a staggering 73 percent.

Israeli policing utilizes an official policy where an entire population is guilty until proven innocent and naturally, this is part of the so-called counterterrorism training offered by Israel. It reinforces institutionalized racial profiling and even the targeting of social movements that demand racial justice.  

The Israeli government uses false claims of “terrorism” to treat all Palestinians as potential enemy combatants. The excuse of terrorism is also used in order to subjugate Palestinians to a different system of laws, which inevitably leads to more policing and higher rates of incarceration.

Media

The training Israel offers also includes methods to control the media. Members of law enforcement who have received the training reported that they “learned about how to intervene and shape media access and coverage of violence committed by the military and police.” The Israeli methods taught include how to use the media as an arm of the government and “reframe coverage of state violence.”

The Israeli government utilizes the office of the military censor to control all reporting on Israel’s use of force. It also reviews all books and other material before it can be made available to the public. The IDF Spokesperson’s office which also yields power over Israeli journalists, acts as Israel’s de facto public relations office, restricting and shaping local coverage of what it considers to be “security affairs.”

It should be noted that in Israel there is very little criticism when it comes to the work of the army and other security agencies and reporters work very closely with the military to present its violence against Palestinians as justified. Palestinian dissent, even when it is expressed in the most peaceful methods, is regularly reported as violence and borderline terrorism.

Israel has “normalized” the use of military force to stamp out popular protests, thus contributing to the undermining of basic civil rights of Palestinians. These violent, forceful methods of controlling dissent are shown to the American police delegations through briefings and even live demonstrations.

Parallels to Palestine

The violent encounters black communities in the U.S. experience with the police have led many people to draw parallels between Palestinians and people of color in the United States. This created a real sense of solidarity between U.S. social movements and the Palestinian struggle for liberation, a solidarity that is increasingly becoming stronger and can potentially turn the tide of public opinion on this issue in the U.S.

In its report, the Deadly Exchange Campaign demands that “the American government end its violence in the name of security.” The report also states that “We hope that local governments nationwide heed the calls from communities across Palestine and the United States to help build a world with real safety that we all can inhabit with dignity.”

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