Iraq Protests: Spontaneous or Made in the US?

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Iraq Protests e8717

Time and again, when peaceful protests turn violent in various countries, US dirty hands are involved.

There’s no ambiguity about months of protests in Hong Kong, US dirty hands all over them, local elements involved having met with Trump regime and congressional officials, as well as a US consular one in the city.

Nearly a week of violent protests in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq, killing over 100, injuring thousands, security forces among the dead and wounded, bear similarity to the US-orchestrated late 2013/early 2014 color revolution in Ukraine.

The Euromaidan uprising was and remains all about replacing independent democratic governance with pro-Western fascist rule — controlled by the US.

Russia and then-Ukrainian President Yanukovich were falsely blamed for sniper shootings of protesters and police, killing around 100 people, injuring hundreds more.

Then-Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said “there is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovich, but it was somebody from the new (putschist) coalition.”

“All the evidence shows” they were shooting at people from both sides. They targeted police and protesters.

Kiev Dr. Olga Bogomolets reported the same thing, citing photos for proof. Paet called her evidence “quite disturbing.”

Snipers were likely CIA-recruited neo-Nazi hitmen. Shots came from one or more buildings overlooking the Maidan.

Snipers with automatic weapons were inside. Eyewitnesses saw them leaving the area’s Philharmonic Hall, carrying military-style bags used for sniper and assault rifles with optical sights.

Former Ukrainian Security Service head Aleksandr Yakimenko confirmed what happened, planned well in advance he said, adding:

Elements involved “carried out everything that they were told by their leadership – the United States.” Maidan leaders practically lived at Washington’s embassy, he stressed.

The battle for Ukraine’s soul was lost, Washington gaining an imperial trophy bordering Russia.

Is what’s going on in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq similar to US-orchestrated Hong Kong protests and the Obama regime’s coup in Ukraine?

Long-suffering Iraqis have legitimate grievances, notably rampant corruption, high unemployment, impoverishment affecting millions, the nation’s youths notably affected, and lack of essential to life public services.

This is unacceptably going on in the oil-rich country with the world’s fifth largest reserves, its ruling authorities serving privileged interests and themselves exclusively, subjecting ordinary people to neoliberal harshness.

Therein lies the root cause of what’s going on. Extreme violence causing thousands of casualties, along with setting dozens of public and private buildings ablaze, storming others, raises red flags — a scenario appearing like dirty hands behind it.

Iraq’s interior ministry spokesman Saad Maan denied security forces were using live fire on protesters, adding “malicious hands” are targeting ordinary Iraqis, police, and other government forces.

Over the weekend, US-installed prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s cabinet issued a decree, including over a dozen intended reforms, notably land distribution, increased welfare payments for needy families, 100,000 new housing units, and benefits for the unemployed — if follow-through actually occurs and makes a difference.

Individuals killed were declared “martyrs,” their families granted special benefits.

Iraqi ruling authorities are allied with the US and Iran, its split loyalty riling Trump regime hardliners, wanting Baghdad allied with their war on the Islamic Republic by other means, along with their overall regional agenda.

They’re reportedly furious over Mahdi blaming Israel for terror-bombing sites in Iraq, opening the al-Qaem crossing between the country and Syria, along with expressing interest in buying Russian S-400 air defense systems and other military hardware from the country, partnering with China to construct essential infrastructure in exchange for oil, and choosing a German company over a US one for an electricity project.

The Trump regime is especially angry over normalized Iran-Iraq relations. Baghdad is notably dependent on Tehran for natural gas and electricity. Both countries share a common border.

Mahdi has tried to stay neutral to avoid greater regional conflict, rather than ally with the US, Israel and the Saudis against Iran. All of the above leaves him vulnerable to regime change by the US.

Iranian leader Khamenei tweeted the following on Sunday: “Iran and Iraq are two nations whose hearts & souls are tied together through faith in God, love for Imam Hussein and the progeny of the Prophet (PBUH).”

“This bond will grow stronger day by day. Enemies seek to sow discord but they’ve failed and their conspiracy won’t be effective.”

Various Arab media sources and independent observers believe the Trump regime is behind days of violent protests in Iraq, internal elements enlisted as proxies to serve its interests by destabilizing the country.

A statement from PM Mahdi’s office said the following:

“(D)emonstrations were already planned a couple of months ago. Baghdad was working to try and ease the situation in the country, particularly since the demands of the population are legitimate.”

“The prime minister has inherited the corrupt system that has developed since 2003. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been diverted into the pockets of corrupt politicians” — and the West not mentioned.

“(T)he (US) war on terror used not only all the country’s resources but forced Iraq to borrow billions of dollars for the reconstruction of the security forces and other basic needs.”

“The latest demonstrations were supposed to be peaceful and legitimate because people have the right to express their discontent, concerns and frustration.”

“However, the course of events showed a different objective: 16 members of the security forces were killed along with tens of civilians, and many governments and party buildings were set on fire and completely destroyed.”

“This sort of behavior has misdirected the real grievances of the population onto a disastrous course: creating chaos in the country. Who benefits from the disarray in Iraq?”

What’s going on is likely connected to a failed plot to kill Quds Force commander of Iran’s IRGC General Qassem Soleimani, a key figure in the country’s counterintelligence operations.

The US seeks unchallenged regional control, part of what years of war on Iraq, Syria, and Yemen is all about.

Other US aggression in Central Asia, north Africa, and economic terror war on Iran remain ongoing for the same reason.

A Final Comment

According to the Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Akhbar broadsheet, the Trump regime planned ongoing violence and chaos in Iraq months earlier.

An unnamed Iraqi security source said US preparations were made for a “hot fall” in the country, adding:

The US and Saudis may have similar tactics planned in Iran and Lebanon.

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A Generation Deleted: American Bombs in Yemen Are Costing an Entire Generation Their Future

By Ahmed Abdulkareem

Source

ADAA, NORTHERN YEMEN — Third-grader Farah Abbas al-Halimi didn’t get the UNICEF backpack or textbook she was hoping for this year. Instead, she was given an advanced U.S bomb delivered on an F-16 courtesy of the Saudi Air Force. That bomb fell on Farah’s school on September 24 and killed Farah, two of her sisters, and her father who was working at the school. It will undoubtedly have an irrevocable effect on the safety and psyche of schoolchildren across the region.

Over the course of Yemen’s pre-war history, which locals fondly refer to as the happy Yemen years, never has an entire generation been subjected to the level of disaster and suffering as that levied upon Farah’s generation by the Saudi-led Coalition, which has used high-tech weapons supplied by the United States and other Western powers to devastating effect since it began its military campaign against Yemen in 2015.

Last week a new school year in Yemen began, the fifth school year since the war started, and little has changed for Yemen’s schoolchildren aside from the fact that the Coalition’s weapons have become more precise and even more deadly, leaving the futures of the country’s more than one million schoolchildren in limbo.

“I want to go to school, I can’t wait any longer,” a relative of six-year-old Ayman al-Kindi told MintPress, recalling how Ayman, surrounded by proud family members, waited impatiently to leave for his first day of school. Ayman would never make it to school; in fact, he never even made it outside. “Ayman wanted to become a doctor but a bomb took him away from school. What these American bombs do to our children is terrifying,” his relative told us.

In late June 2019, Coalition aircraft targeted Ayman’s family home located on their farm in the Warzan area, south of Taiz province in southwestern Yemen. Six of Ayman’s family members were killed, including three children aged 12, nine and six. According to  Amnesty International, the laser-guided precision weapon used in the attack was made by Raytheon. Amnesty’s arms experts analyzed photos of the remnants of the weapon recovered from the scene of the attack by family members and identified it as a U.S.-made 500-pound GBU-12 Paveway II.

The use of a U.S.-made weapon in the attack on the al-Kindi home was no anomaly: most of the weapons possessed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which between them have carried out a quarter of a million raids on Yemen since the beginning of the war, are American-made. This week, families who lost loved ones in Coalition airstrikes held an exhibition called “Criminal Evidence” in the city of Sana`a. The event was an opportunity to consolidate evidence of potential war crimes and prompted hundreds of Yemeni civilians to attend the event with remnants of U.S.-made weapons in tow, remnants recovered from the rubble of the attacks that killed their loved ones.

Yemen Raytheon

The airstrike on the al-Kindi home was one of nearly a dozen carried out by Saudi Arabia using U.S. weapons that were included in a recent UN report. A team of investigators appointed by the UN Human Rights Council found numerous cases of Saudi airstrikes that violated international humanitarian law and, for the first time, directly implicated the United States, Britain, France and Australia for supplying the weapons used in the attacks.

Charles Garraway, a former military lawyer and one of the experts behind the report, recently told PBS, “We have a war that’s going on. It’s causing immense suffering and frankly most of that suffering is caused by arms.” Garraway continued, “The tragedy in Yemen is so awful at the moment that somehow one has got to reach some form of settlement to stop the war.”

Despite the abundance of evidence proving that Saudi Arabia and the UAE have routinely targeted schools and other civilian facilities, the United States continues to replenish the Coalition’s arsenal. Earlier this year, the Trump administration tried to force through an $8.1 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan; and, despite growing opposition within his own government, President Donald Trump seems determined to maintain the flow of U.S. weapons to Saudi Arabia and its allies.

Not your normal “back-to-school” day

Eleven-year-old Mohammed AbdulRaham al-Haddi is one the few schoolchildren to have survived the horrific August 9, 2018, Saudi airstrike on a school bus on the outskirts of Dahyan in Yemen’s northwestern province of Saada. The attack killed more than 35 of his classmates, but Mohammed miraculously survived. Today, he returns to school for the first time since the deadly attack, but to an underserved school and without his classmates. Al-Faleh, Mohammed’s new school, lies nestled in a dusty valley near Yemen’s northeastern border with Saudi Arabia

Yemen War Children

The attack on Mohammed’s school bus was carried out using a Mark 82 (MK-82) bomb, jointly manufactured by U.S. weapons companies Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. The MK-82, along with other general-purpose MK-series bombs, has been sold to the Saudi-led Coalition by the United States through a series of contracts made in 2016 and 2017. In addition to last year’s atrocity, the Coalition has used the MK-82 to target Yemeni civilians in the past, such as its bombing of a funeral in 2016 that left over 140 dead and 525 wounded.

As the war in Yemen enters its fifth year, the tragic consequences of these weapons deals are difficult to describe, but their effects are noticed everywhere. Some 3,526 educational buildings have been at least partially destroyed by bombs since the war began, with most yet to be rebuilt. Of those, 402 were completely destroyed, according to a new field survey conducted by the Ministry of Education. Approximately 900 of Yemen’s schools are still being used as shelters for the internally displaced. And 700 schools have been closed as a result of ongoing clashes.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that two million children are out of school in Yemen. “A fourth of the two million Yemeni children have dropped out since the beginning of the Saudi war in March 2015,” UNICEF representative in Yemen Sara Beysolow Nyanti said in a statement released last Wednesday.

Beysolow raised concerns about the future of Yemeni children, saying:

[They] face increased risks of all forms of exploitation including being forced to join the fighting, child labor and early marriage. They lose the opportunity to develop and grow in a caring and stimulating environment, ultimately becoming trapped in a life of poverty and hardship.”

According to the Geneva-based human rights monitoring organization, SAM, four hundred thousand schoolchildren in Yemen suffer from acute malnutrition, exposing them to the risk of sudden death, 7 million schoolchildren face hunger, and more than 2 million do not go to school.

Even before the war began, the education system in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, was not in good health; a lack of equipment, unqualified teachers, and a shortage of textbooks plagued the country’s schools, which were bursting at the seams with overcrowding. Coalition bombs and a blockade supported by the United States have effectively destroyed what was left, just as schools were beginning to show signs of recovery.

Many of Yemen’s teachers have not received a paycheck in years and some, unable to eke out a living, have sought work as soldiers-for-hire on Yemen’s battlefields, leaving millions of children without prospects for education and the country as a whole with a 70 percent rate of illiteracy. Beysolow warned that the education of a further 3.7 million Yemeni children is at risk, as teachers have not received their salaries for over two years, adding that one fifth of schools in Yemen can no longer be used as a direct result of the conflict. “Violence, displacement and attacks on schools are preventing many children from accessing school,” she said.

In a bid to stop teachers from leaving schools, the Ministry of Education, based in Sana`a, has imposed a fee on students of $2 per month to pay teacher salaries, but that seemingly nominal fee has added a huge burden to families with more than one child, many of whom are living in extreme poverty as a result of the war and siege. “I have six students, meaning that I need to pay $12 a month; I can’t save that amount,” one mother told us. She lost her husband in the clashes that erupted between the former president Ali Saleh and opposition tribes on Hasabah Street in 2011. Now, her only source of income is begging and it is not enough to feed her six children, let alone send them to school.

To make matters worse, just weeks before the new school year began, the Saudi-led Coalition prevented 11 oil tankers from entering Yemen. The move sparked an acute shortage of fuel, which meant that school buses could no longer run, leaving even those with the means to pay school fees unable to send their children to school.

The severe psychological toll

The effect of U.S.-made weapons upon Yemen’s children does not end there. Children who have survived the fighting are often left with physical disabilities and severe and chronic psychological symptoms, turning their environment into the worst place in the world, according to UNICEF.

Beyond the direct casualties from airstrikes, the largely unnoticed and unrecorded (by the world) sounds of explosions and buzzing warplanes are leaving Yemen’s children with irreversible psychological damage.

Yemen War Children

Like other students, Mohammed often gets distracted while at home or sitting in class, unable to focus and laden with severe anxiety. While students the world over occupy their minds with the day-to-day matters that should accompany adolescence, Yemen`s students, especially those who live in border districts, are filled with an ever-present fear of an impending airstrike.

Since the school year began on September 15, the Saudi-led Coalition has reportedly dropped more than a thousand bombs and missiles in 400 separate airstrikes targeting border districts including Sadaa, Hajjah, Sana`a, Amran, Dhali, and Hodeida. The hundreds of sorties are accompanied by frightening whizzing noise and have left great panic in the hearts of civilians, especially Yemen’s schoolchildren.

“Before the war, the sound of planes meant happiness for families who were expecting loved-ones returning [from abroad], but now the sound of planes mean destruction, death, blood,” Dr. AbdulSalam Ashish, a consultant for psychological and neurological diseases, told MintPress. Dr. Ashish continued, “Now, the planes bring nothing but fear and panic and are a reminder of tragedies and crimes that were committed with U.S., British, and French weapons.”

“It was 1:45 p.m., when we heard a missile strike; we were able to calm the students down but when the third strike hit we lost control of the students as they began to scream and chaos spread throughout the school,” Hana Al Awlaqi, a school agent at the  “Martyr Ahmed Abdul Wahab Al Samawi” School, said, recounting the moment a Saudi attack took place just tens of meters away from the school. “The sound of the fourth bomb made matters worse, as the school was being broken into by panicked parents and many teachers were fainting.”

Yemen War Children

Al Awlaqi went on to say that many students convulse into spasms when they hear the sound of airplanes, while others have refused to come back to school. “The sound of an explosion or the buzz of the aircraft stays in the mind. The sound of an aircraft can send these children into severe panic attacks and anxiety,” Dr. Ashish confirmed.

Jalal Al-Omeisi, a pediatric nurse at the Psychiatric and Neurological Hospital in Sana`a told MintPress that most of the cases that arrive at the hospital are from areas subjected to intensive Saudi Coalition raids, such as Sana`a, Hodeida, and Saada, as well as the border areas. Al-Omeisi went on to say that most medics lack the training to deal with the complex psychological issues that these children are developing.

Such experiences in children go well beyond the temporary impact on their education and, without proper care and the knowledge necessary to address treat these psychological issues, many will suffer life-long consequences that hinder their ability to obtain an education. This is especially true in light of the lack of programs, centers or hospitals for the rehabilitation of war-affected children in Yemen.

Asking Americans to open their eyes

Schoolchildren living along Yemen’s porous border with Saudi Arabia and throughout its southern districts face a reality even more grim than that faced by their peers. Many are recruited or even forced to join the fight to defend the Saudi border via local trafficking networks, which funnel children into training and recruitment camps in the southern Saudi provinces of Jizan and Najran, as well as to Yemen’s southern districts.

According to a recent report by SAM, Saudi Arabia has been enlisting thousands of Yemeni children to fight along its southern border with Yemen over the past four years. Those have who died as a result of the fighting at the border are often buried in the Kingdom without their families’ knowledge. At least 300 had to have their limbs amputated as a result of their military injuries.

Yemen Child Soldiers

MintPress managed to speak to dozens of school-aged Yemeni children who were captured in a recent Houthi operation that saw thousands of militiamen, including dozens of schoolchildren, and Saudi officers taken into captivity. Fifteen-year-old Adel was among those captured. He left his home in the southern city of Taiz, chasing promises of a regular paycheck of up to 3,000 Saudi riyals ($800). Adel told MintPress: 

We were left alone in Wadi Abu to face our destiny. Older recruits were fleeing on pickup trucks and armored personnel carriers; Saudi airstrikes hit us as we were surrendering to the Houthis.”

Saudi warplanes targeted the captured mercenaries in Wadi Abu Jubarah, killing more than 300 of their own recruits.

Adel, who left school for the promise of a paycheck, went on to say, “Me and the others were recruited to wash the clothes of Saudi soldiers but they gave us rifles and forced us to go to battlefields.” When asked what he would do when freed, Adel said simply, “I want to go back to my mom and school. I don’t want to fight.”

The recruitment of Yemeni children by Saudi Arabia is not without precedent. Although the Kingdom signed the international protocol banning the involvement of children in armed conflict in 2007 and again in 2011, it was accused of recruiting Sudanese children from Darfur to fight in Yemen on its behalf as late as 2018.

Mohammed, who often visits the memorial to his classmates located only a few hundred meters away from his new school, said he will continue to attend school every day, regardless of how much bombing there is. He asked that Americans open their eyes to see what their weapons are doing to Yemen’s children.

An Unfaithful Servant of Imperialism: The Real Reason Trump Is Facing Impeachment

By Roger D. Harris

Source

The United States has spent EIGHT TRILLION DOLLARS fighting and policing in the Middle East. Thousands of our Great Soldiers have died or been badly wounded. Millions of people have died on the other side. GOING INTO THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE WORST DECISION EVER MADE.”

— Tweet, Donald J. Trump, October 9, 2019.

Granted Trump may arguably be more corrupt than Biden. But that’s splitting hairs over which crook is more crooked. Bullying vassal states and “doing well by doing good” are indicators of finesse in Washington. Inside the beltway, corruption is not a liability for holding high political office, but a requirement. The key to membership in the power elite club is carrying water for the imperial state, and most club members must go through an elaborate vetting process to prove that they are reliable. Some such as Trump slip through.

The sine qua non for membership in this exclusive club is to prove you’ll take a hit for the empire. When the results of the 2000 US presidential election were inconclusive, Al Gore took a fall rather than risk instability at the top: “(for) the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession.” There are higher callings than merely winning the presidency for good servants of the empire.

But would Trump have been so compliant? Maybe not. So, impeachment is in order to either chasten him to faithful obedience or get rid of him.

The Not Thoroughly Vetted President

The presidential primaries are an audition process to see who can best serve the ruling class while conning the public. If the presidential “debates” demonstrate anything, it is that all the contestants are aspiring reality TV stars. Trump was different only in that he had previous experience.

Whenever one of the contestants shows vacillation on empire, they get slapped on the side of the head. Gabbard got summarily dismissed from the debates for her failure of faith in wars of imperial aggression as the highest expression of humanitarianism. Sanders had to grovel, calling the democratically elected president of Venezuela a “vicious tyrant.”

And to qualify for the debates, a contestant must first prove that they are a “serious candidate.” In a “democracy” where bribing politicians is considered “free speech” and where corporations are afforded the constitutional rights of “persons,” the single overriding measure of seriousness is raising bundles of money from the rich. Of course, the rich did not become rich without expecting a return on their investments. Warren’s surge, as it was dutifully reported in the press, came when some of the big money began to shift from Biden to her.

Trump, on the other hand, had his own billionaire’s booty to back him, plus a little help from his wealthy cohorts. As billionaire Ross Perot proved in 1992, if you are filthy rich, you can independently run for president. And, in his case, throw the election from Bush the Elder to Bill Clinton.

To win a presidential election, however, you need more than deep pockets…you need a little help from your friends in getting a major party backing. Why a major party ballot line is so useful has constitutional antecedents.

The revolution of 1776, the last revolution that the US elites liked that was not rigged by the CIA, gave us the Articles of Confederation as the ruling document for the new sovereign. By 1787 the US elites of the time, Hamilton and supporting cast, were chafing under what they characterized as the “excesses of democracy.” A new constitution was drafted and approved with “checks and balances.” What needed to be checked and balanced? Democracy, the direct rule of the people, was what was checked in the new document, while slavery was reaffirmed under the highest law of the land.

The new constitution gave us the Electoral College, whereby presidents are selected by “electors” rather than trusting the direct vote of the people and states can vote as a block. This allowed Trump to triumph even when his opponent received some 3 million more votes. Oddly, his Democratic Party opponents have since focused on alleged Russian interference through Facebook ads rather than the need to make the US Constitution an instrument for the expression of the popular will.

But we are getting ahead of the story because Trump still had to become the frontrunner in a crowded Republican field before he could even take on the other party of capital. Here he had help from friends in unexpected quarters. The Republican establishment hated him, but Clinton and the so-called liberal media became Trump boosters. The corporate media gave the flamboyant Trump a bully platform because it was good for ratings.

Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, as revealed in their leaked emails published by Wikileaks, pulled for Trump because they thought him an easier opponent than, say, the mainstream Republican heir-apparent Jeb Bush. There was precious little difference between the positions of Jeb and Hillary, though the popular images projected by the two major parties superficially diverged. The core of both parties greatly overlaps, while the right fringe of the Republicans and the left fringe of the Democrats provide the contrasting colors but not the contending policy directions.

The 2016 electoral contest was a spectacle of insurgencies. Initially, there was Sanders. That he was somehow considered an “outsider” is a symptom of just how terminally ingrown the US polity has become. How could someone who served years in the US Senate and caucused with the Democrats be an outsider? Sanders ran on two premises: supporting the Democratic Party and raising suppressed issues such as income inequality. He succeeded in the first and failed in the second.

Meanwhile, after 40 years of neoliberalism, CEO compensation has grown 940%  as compared to 12% for typical employees in the US.

Trump in his way also pandered to the genuinely deteriorating condition of US workers. Both the Trump and the Sanders anti-establishment insurgencies, however, were contained within the two-party system and thus were structurally destined not to come to fruition. The establishment won’t come down by joining them.

Unfaithful Servant of Imperialism

Defying even the Las Vegas bookies’ predictions, Trump became the 45th President of the US. He had kvetched about the plight of US workers and made some noise about ending unending wars, but was he for real? After all, Obama had promised to get out of Gitmo and NAFTA, but ended up doing neither. Obama, the former critic of Bush’s Iraq war, continued Bush’s wars and started a handful of his own.

Upon occupying the Oval Office, Trump not unexpectedly threw the working class under the bus with his tax cut for the rich and similar actions, which must have won him some brownie points from the owning class. But to date he has failed to start a new war. The last US president with a similar failing was the one-term Jimmy Carter. And now Trump is showing insufficient enthusiasm for continuing the war in Syria and possibly even a closet aversion to starting World War III with nuclear-armed Russia. These may be impeachable offenses in the estimation of parts of the ruling class.

David R. Sanger, writing in the October 7 New York Times, represents “liberal” establishment views in support of US imperialism: “Mr. Trump’s sudden abandonment of the Kurds was another example of the independent, parallel foreign policy he has run from the White House, which has largely abandoned the elaborate systems created since President Harry Truman’s day to think ahead about the potential costs and benefits of presidential decisions.”

There you have it. Trump is accused of having an “independent” foreign policy, emanating out of his office of all places, even though he is the elected President of the US and the one charged with executing foreign policy.

Who is Trump “independent” from? It’s not the US citizenry according to the Times. As the article points out: “Mr. Trump sensed that many Americans share his view – and polls show he is right… Mr. Trump has correctly read the American people who, after Iraq and Afghanistan, also have a deep distaste for forever wars.”

So, who might Trump have betrayed? According to the article, it’s “circumventing the American generals and diplomats who sing the praises of maintaining the traditional American forward presence around the world.” This is who his alleged crime of independence is against. They fear Trump could “abandon” the post-war imperial consensus.

Donald Trump military spending

Note that the Times, as reflective of current ruling class ideology, no longer bothers to justify the dictates of the world’s sole hegemon as a crusade against the current evil, be it communism or terrorism. Simply, the imperial state must be supported. Hence, Trump’s view that “acting as the world’s policeman was too expensive” or his tweet, “time for us to get out,” have become grounds for impeachment.

The article favorably cites Republican majority leader Senator Mitch McConnell, who called on Trump “to exercise American leadership” by capitulating to the dictates of the imperial state, while contrasting it to that glory day “not even three months after his inauguration, [when] he ordered the first military strike of his presidency.”

The Times article continues: “That system is badly broken today. Mr. Trump is so suspicious of the professional staff – many drawn from the State Department and the C.I.A. – and so dismissive of the ‘deep state’ foreign policy establishment, that he usually announces decisions first, and forces the staff to deal with them later.”

“That system,” cited above, is the post-WWII permanent state. Trump is chastised in the Times for being “so dismissive of the ‘deep state’ foreign policy establishment.” Trump instead, according to the article, has the temerity to make his own decisions and then he expects the agencies of government to follow his instructions. For some, having the elected representative formulate policy and the unelected state apparatus follow it would be democratic. But not so for the cheerleaders of US imperialism.

The Dark Knight Rises

Trump’s habitual corruption and bullying have now been outed by a whistleblower. Unlike Ellsberg, Manning, and Snowden, who sought to correct US imperial policy, this whistleblower comes from the very gatekeeper of imperialism, the CIA. According to his lawyers, there is not a lone whistleblower but a whole cabal of well-placed spooks in the secret US security apparatus. The deep state (I would prefer the term “permanent” state) is more than a conspiracy theory.

The impeachment imbroglio is bigger than Trump. That the outing of Trump was done by a current employee of a US agency shrouded in secrecy, who is unaccountable and unknown, should be a subject of enormous concern for all small-d democrats and not just anti-imperialists. The CIA has the means and mission to overthrow regimes, and now ours may be one of them, however undesirable the current president may be.

We, the people, should take no solace that Trump, in his careening about, may stumble in the direction of anti-imperialism. Trump is just as much an imperialist as the rest. Only he is not as reliably consistent and that is what has gotten leading segments of the ruling class into a hissy fit. The ruling class is not always unified on policy. Here we are, witness, to an intra-class struggle. But we needn’t take sides, because the ruling class is always unified in serving their class interests, which are not ours.

A policy conflict, some have speculated, is raging within the ruling class between Trump’s “isolationist” and a more “globalist” imperialism. Rest assured the ruling class has institutions to adjudicate these disputes such as the Council on Foreign Relations. For the neocons and the “liberal” right-to-protect “humanitarian imperialists,” Trump’s lurches in the direction of non-intervention and rapprochement are only venial sins. The mortal sin would be if the erratic Trump fails to listen to what the Times delicately calls the “professionals.”

A corollary fear is if the “populist” (note how the ruling class thinks of this is a pejorative) Trump listens to the people’s desire for peace. Unlike the first fear, the latter is unwarranted. That is, unwarranted unless and until the people rebuild an independent peace movement to check the rising tide of US militarism.

Abandoning Syrian Kurdish Allies, Trump Gives Turkey the Green Light

By Jeremy Salt

Source

American troops withdraw from Kurdish controlled N. Syria 8843e

Abandoning its Syrian Kurdish allies, the US is pulling its troops back from the Turkish border to allow the Turkish military to begin a campaign east of the Euphrates. Within hours of the announcement coming from the White House on October 6, the troops were being withdrawn and Turkey was shelling Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units) positions across the border, with a land operation regarded as imminent.

The decision took the Washington political and media establishment by surprise. According to Trump, “it’s time to get out of ridiculous endless wars …. the United States was supposed to be in Syria for 30 days, that was many years ago. We stayed and got deeper and deeper into battle with no aim in sight.”

The Defence Department made plain its opposition to the Turkish operation, while emphasizing the small number of US troops would be pulled back. The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, said the withdrawal would benefit Russia, Iran, and the “Assad regime,” as well as giving the Islamic State and other terrorist groups the opportunity to regroup. Other members of Congress, Republicans as well as Democrats, emphasized the “betrayal” of the Kurds. While giving Turkey a green light, Trump warned that if it did anything he considered “off limits” he would “totally destroy and obliterate” its economy.

Islamic State prisoners held in the southeast will be transferred into Turkish custody. The fate of the thousands of women and children – the Islamic State families – who have also been detained has not been clarified. In late September a number of mutilated bodies were found in the Hawl camp after an outbreak of violence in which women were said to have fired on their guards. The chief Kurdish administrator of the camp said the security situation was “deteriorating sharply” as Islamic State fighters had “stepped up their regrouping efforts” through women. Once Turkish forces are inside the northeast, this will be Turkey’s problem.

Turkey is already inside Syria, of course, in Idlib, where it has 12 military ‘observation posts,’ and in the northwest. In 2012, under attack across the country, the Syrian army was forced to withdraw from the northwest, allowing the Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units) to take over the Afrin region and begin working towards the establishment of an autonomous Kurdish zone along the border.

Early in 2018 the Turkish army and its proxy militias crossed the border and suppressed the YPG after three months of fighting. Turkey now occupies thousands of square kilometers of Syrian territory, almost as far south as Aleppo. Inside this occupied zone it has set up schools, Turkish banks, postal services, university faculties and even an industrial zone, close to the town of Al Bab, about 40 kilometers northeast of Aleppo.

Whereas Afrin is a largely Kurdish enclave, a military campaign across the Euphrates in Syria’s northeast will take the Turkish army into the Syrian Kurdish heartland, just across the border from Turkey’s own Kurdish heartland. This will be a much more dangerous operation than the campaign against the YPG in Afrin. The Syrian Kurdish militias east of the Euphrates are armed and trained – by the US – and are now preparing to fight a war of resistance, no doubt a guerrilla war of attrition, given the overwhelming numbers and firepower of the Turkish military.

Having been abandoned by their American benefactor, the Kurds may turn to the Syrian government for support but having allied themselves with the enemy it is not likely to be sympathetic. The YPG, the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) and Turkey’s Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) are all components of the same Kurdish national movement, creating the possibility that the campaign could blow back across the Turkish border.

The Washington political and media establishment is largely critical of Turkey, which has a notoriously poor human rights record and jails more journalists than any other country in the world. The prosecution and imprisonment of the US pastor, Andrew Brunson, in 2016 is still fresh in the mind, as is the savage beating of demonstrators by Erdogan’s security detail when the Turkish leader visited Washington in 2017. Then there is Erdogan’s cordial relationship with Putin and Turkey’s purchase of Russian S400 anti-missile defense system in preference to the American Patriots, despite threats of sanctions.

Equally if not more offensive in an administration and a Congress strongly beholden to Israel and its lobby is Erdogan’s support for the Palestinians and his repeated depiction of Israel as a terrorist state. Speaking before the UN General Assembly in late September, Erdogan infuriated Netanyahu by holding up maps showing Israel’s engorgement of Palestinian land since 1948.

Like Israel and Erdogan’s enemies in Washington, Saudi Arabia would like to see Erdogan brought low in Syria. Turkey fell out with Saudi Arabia and the Egyptian government over the overthrow of Muhammad Morsi in 2013 and the banning of the Muslim Brotherhood. On public occasions Erdogan still holds up his right hand with the thumb turned inwards, the four fingers signifying the killing of thousands of demonstrators by ‘security forces’ in August 2013 during the sit-in around Cairo’s Raba’a or Rabi’a (‘the fourth’) al Adawiya mosque in August, 2013. (The mosque is named after the 8th century female Sufi mystic poet, Rabi’a al Adawiya).

Relations with Saudi Arabia worsened in 2017 when Saudi Arabia launched a land, air and sea blockade of Qatar for refusing to follow the Saudi line on Iran. Turkey and Iran immediately came to Qatar’s support, causing the blockade to fail, and Turkish-Saudi relations have only worsened since the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in October, 2018.

Turkey did not hold back from sharing details of the gruesome killing with other governments and the media and Erdogan himself has kept up the pressure on Muhammad bin Sultan, the power behind the Saudi throne. The crown prince has accepted government responsibility for the murder but has denied personal responsibility, even though it is practically inconceivable that Khashoggi could have been killed without Muhammad bin Salman ordering it.

So, should the light being flashed from Washington be seen in Ankara as green or red? In the Aeneid (written 29-19 BC), Virgil’s epic account of the Trojan wars, Laocoon remarks: ‘Do not trust the horse, Trojans. Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks even when they are bearing gifts.’

Perhaps the same caution needs to be observed when the Americans approach with gifts in hand. In 1990 such a gift seemed to have been offered to Saddam Hussein by the US ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie. “We have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait,” she told Saddam, who invaded Kuwait shortly afterwards, perhaps thinking the US would not intervene, only to walk into a trap which ultimately destroyed him and left his country in ruins

The US says it will neither help nor hamper a Turkish military operation in Syria. This is the gift – perhaps the Greek gift – being offered and the way is now clear for Erdogan to finally give the signal for the land operation to begin (if he has not already given it by the time this article is printed). A successful military campaign would certainly offset the mounting pressure he is facing on the home front, but only as long as that victory can be had at a minimal cost. Therein lies the danger because the cost might not be sufficiently minimal to maintain Turkish nationalist support for the campaign.

Finally, why Turkey is inside Syria in the first place? In 2010, just before the outbreak of the so-called ‘Arab spring’, relations between Turkey and Syria were better than they had ever been. All outstanding problems had been solved. The border had been opened to visa-free travel for Syrian and Turkish nationals and cross-border trade, including trade originating in the Persian Gulf, was flourishing. Erdogan (then Prime Minister) and Ahmet Davutoglu (then Foreign Minister) had made numerous trips to Damascus and regarded Bashar al Assad as their brother.

This was still the situation when in 2011 Tunisia’s Zine al Abidine bin Ali, Egypt’s Husni Mubarak or Libya’s Muammar al Qadhafi were all overthrown. Erdogan and Davutoglu concluded that Bashar was next in line and abandoned Bashar in favour of riding the wave of reform that seemed to be sweeping across the Middle East. If they were advised in adopting this policy, they were badly advised. Syria was not Egypt or Libya. Bashar was personally popular amongst his people, whatever their criticism of the government, and Syria had a powerful friend, Russia, whose long-term interests included access to a naval base in the eastern Mediterranean.

Blind to these realities, Erdogan and Davutoglu launched a propaganda war against Bashar, marked by a lot of personal abuse, before committing Turkey to the war on the Syrian government in 2012. This was done by supporting the exiled Syrian National Council and allowing the so-called Free Syrian Army to launch attacks from across the Turkish border. Furthermore, under their watch, Turkey turned into a highway for jihadists converging on Syria from all parts of the world.

At the time Turkey had only one declared goal. This was to bring about the downfall of the Syrian government. The ‘dictator’ would be overthrown, the Ba’ath party would collapse and the Syrian people would get their democracy back after decades of one-party rule. In fact, democracy had nothing to do with the assault on Syria except for propaganda purposes. In the minds of governments leading the attack (the US, Britain, France, Qatar and Saudi Arabia), the overthrow of the government in Damascus was only a stop on the way to the overthrow of the government in Tehran and the destruction of the ‘axis of resistance’ (Iran, Syria and Hizbullah) across the Middle East.

Israel had to remain in the shadows, while being fully part of this assault. None of these greater goals were on the Turkish agenda, yet Turkey still allowed itself to be sucked into this campaign.

The destruction of the Syrian government’s authority in the north opened a vacuum which was quickly filled by the Islamic State on one hand and the YPG on the other. Founded in 2004, the YPG was a small and relatively ineffectual organization, closely watched and controlled by the Syrian government.

The irony here is that Erdogan was seeking the overthrow of a government which was just as strongly opposed to Kurdish autonomy as were he and his government. The attack on Syria, in which Turkey was a central player, was the bellows which pumped oxygen into the lungs of the YPG and created the security problem which Turkey now says it has no option but to crush.

Predictably, the US played on Syrian Kurdish separatist aspirations to suit their own strategic interests, against the continuing protests of the Turkish government. Equally predictably, the Kurds again backed the wrong horse.

The other main beneficiary from the attack on Syria was the Islamic state. Had the US stayed out of Iraq, there would have been no Islamic state in the first place. In Syria, the attempts to create a credible armed opposition in the shape of the Free Syrian Army having failed, the takfiri terrorists were the committed fighters the US had wanted all along. Its condemnation of terrorism notwithstanding, the establishment of an Islamic State presence in eastern Syria suited US strategic aims, as a declassified Defence Intelligence Agency memorandum made clear in 2012.

The strip of Syrian territory to be cleared of Kurdish ‘terrorists’ is to be turned into a ‘safe zone’ into which a million or more Syrian refugees can be funneled, as long as the EU or someone else stumps up the $27 billion the Turkish government is requesting to build the city that will house them.

This project seems to be pie in the Syrian sky. Erdogan is threatening to open the gates to a new wave of Syrian refugees into Europe unless financial support is forthcoming but the EU has already poured billions into Turkey for refugee relief. Even if it has more money to spare, it might not be willing to give it to Turkey to build a city in someone else’s country. The time factor is another consideration: how many months or years would it take to build housing and infrastructural support for such a large number of people? Furthermore, Syrian refugees coming from somewhere else will most probably want to go home rather than stay in the north.

Inevitably, Erdogan is already being accused of demographic engineering, i.e. intending to swamp the Kurdish population in northern Syria with Arabs. One can quickly see the ethnic tensions that would be created by the implantation of a large non-Kurdish population in a region heavily Kurdish, apart from the parallels that will be immediately drawn with the ‘relocation’ of the Armenians in 1915.

The abandonment of a successful ‘zero problems’ foreign policy in favor of intervention in Syria has created no end of problems for Turkey, including the presence of more than three million refugees within its borders. The Syrian government was controlling the situation in the north before and the most sensible Turkish option now would be to work towards the restoration of its authority over the whole country and take a firm stand with Syria, Iran and Iraq against the endless mischief-making of the US and Israel. However, too much is at stake, politically and personally, for Erdogan and the AKP government for such an abrupt reversal to be possible. On the contrary, Turkey’s intervention in Syria has now been moved to an even more dangerous stage.

How long Turkey plans to stay in Syria, and what it intends to do with the territory it has occupied, will no doubt largely depend on political developments at home, where, after 17 years in power, the ground is finally cracking under the feet of the Turkish president and his government. They cannot afford to fail in Syria.

Trump Regime Targets Whistleblower Edward Snowden’s New Book

By Stephen Lendman

Source

The Trump Regime sued Edward Snowden and publishers of his new memoir titled “Permanent Record.” More on this below.

Exposing government wrongdoing is a noble act. Like dissent, it’s a high form of patriotism, warranting praise, not persecution and condemnation.

The 1989 US Whistleblower Protection Act protects federal employees who report misconduct.

Federal agencies are prohibited from retaliating against individuals who do the right thing. Yet it happens time and again. 

Whistleblowers may report law or regulatory violations, gross mismanagement, waste, fraud and/or abuse, or acts endangering public health or safety.

The FBI is exempt from WPA provisions. Instead of protecting the rights of whistleblowers, the agency targets them.

Since WPA’s 1994 revisions, it ruled on over 200 cases — only three times in favor of whistleblowers, the deck stacked against them. US law fails to protect them, circumvented by its police state apparatus.

The 2012 Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) failed to protect government employees from reprisal for disclosing official misconduct, revealing it to co-workers or supervisors, or disclosing policy decision consequences — any or all of the above in relation to their jobs or duties.

The Obama regime prosecuted more whistleblowers and leakers involved in exposing US wrongdoing than all his predecessors combined, nine targeted individuals, Trump following the same repressive practice, wanting US dirty linen concealed.

The US is a surveillance state. Big Brother watches everyone, privacy virtually nonexistent, including our health and financial records, cellphone and email communications, everything posted on social media, along with workplace and other public areas surveilled.

Exposing government wrongdoing is hazardous to personal safety and welfare. Julian Assange is imprisoned in London at the behest of the Trump regime — for the “high crime” of truth-telling journalism the way it should be universally.

Courageous whistleblower Chelsea Manning spent years in prison for revealing US high crimes of war and against humanity in Afghanistan and Iraq — imprisoned again indefinitely for refusing to aid the Trump regime’s lynching of Assange.

Granted asylum in Russia, a noble gesture, Edward Snowden was luckier. He followed in the footsteps of Daniel Ellsberg and likeminded others, connecting the dots for countless millions to know how they’re illegally and repressively spied on.

Earlier he said “I really want the focus to be on (documents revealed) which I hope will trigger among citizens around the globe what kind of world we want to live in.”

Enactment of the USA Freedom Act (the renamed Patriot Act) did little to change things. US spy agencies continue trampling on Bill of Rights protections.

They compromise due process, habeas rights, free expression, assembly and association, as well as protection from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, YouTube, Apple, and major telecommunications companies are complicit in spying on their customers for US dark forces.

US intelligence community spying targets friends and foes alike. It’s for total control, political and economic advantage, to be one up on foreign competitors —information used advantageously in trade, geopolitical, and military relations.

Domestic spying is longstanding. It has nothing to do with protecting national security. America’s only foreign, domestic, or terrorists threats are invented.

The Trump regimes Justice Department sued Snowden and three publishers of his memoir — MacMillan Publishers, Henry Holt and Co., and Holtzbrinck Publishers.

The repressive suit aims to freeze assets from book sales. US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia G. Zachary Terwilliger said the following:

“Intelligence information should protect our nation, not provide personal profit (sic). This lawsuit will ensure that Edward Snowden receives no monetary benefits from breaching the trust placed in him (sic).”

The lawsuit is the latest example of Washington’s assault on speech, media and academic freedoms, targeting what diverges from the official narrative on major issues.

It accused Snowden and his publishers of going to press “without submitting (the book for) pre-publication review.”

The notion that US approval is required of current or former federal employees to write or speak publicly on issues related to their work flies in the face of their constitutional rights.

In response to the suit, Snowden tweeted: “The government of the United States has just announced a lawsuit over my memoir, which was just released today worldwide. This is the book the government does not want you to read…”

Already a bestseller, Snowden said in his preface “I used to work for the government, but now I work for the public,” adding:

“It took me nearly three decades to (understand the) distinction…I now spend my time trying to protect the public from the” US intelligence community — working against ordinary people .

Separately, he tweeted: “It is hard to think of a greater stamp of authenticity than the US government filing a lawsuit claiming your book is so truthful that it was literally against the law to write.” 

It reveals no state secrets, nothing not already in the public domain, including from establishment media reports.

The ACLU and Knight First Amendment Institute are challenging the so-called pre-publication review process, attorney Max Kaufman, saying:

“(I)ts current form is broken and unconstitutional, and it needs to go.”

“It’s one thing to censor the nuclear codes, but it’s another to censor the same information high schoolers are pulling from Wikipedia.” 

“Prepublication review gives the government far too much power to suppress speech that the public has a right to hear.”

Snowden hopes the DOJ lawsuit will promote his memoir, enabling it to attract greater readership worldwide.

Hong Kong v. Iraq Protests

By Stephen Lendman

Source

US dirty hands are all over months of protests in Hong Kong, including orchestrated violence and chaos, targeting China’s soft underbelly.

Opposition elements met with House Speaker Pelosi and Pompeo in Washington. They also met with US lawmakers in Montana and with a US consulate official in Hong Kong.

Likely CIA/National Endowment for Democracy-orchestrated protests last spring turned violent weeks after initiated, creating intolerable conditions for majority city residents opposed to what’s going on endlessly.

Beijing has largely let Hong Kong police and security forces handle things. On October 5, the South China Morning Post reported that a “wave of destruction le(ft) businesses picking up pieces as (the) city braces for another weekend of unrest,” adding:

Hong Kong is “reel(ing) from” what’s going on. Numerous security forces have been injured along with demonstrators, only one death reported since protests began last March.

Given the intensity and duration of US-orchestrated anti-government violence and chaos since June, Hong Kong security forces have been far more restrained than what might be expected.

Compare what’s going on in Hong Kong to public outrage in Iraq over US-allied regime corruption and neoliberal harshness, making life intolerable for ordinary Iraqis.

A Gan Business Anti-Corruption Portal report on Iraqi corruption said the following:

“Corruption in the public and private sectors” is widespread, including “a deeply entrenched patronage network,” adding:

“(T)he Iraqi government failed to implement anti-corruption laws effectively, and public officials engage in corruption with impunity. Bribery and giving gifts to ‘get things done’ are widespread practices in Iraq, despite being illegal.”

Iraq’s judicial system…is plagued by corruption and political interference…There were reports of investigations of corrupt judges.”

“Interior Ministry and Justice Ministry employees often extorted bribes from detainees to release them even if the courts had already accorded them the right to be released.”

Police corruption is widespread throughout its chain of command. “Corruption and impunity are…serious problems within Iraq’s security apparatus…”

The same goes for Iraqi public services. Its “public administration is…corrupt, weak and inefficient. The institution is plagued by nepotism, politically motivated appointments, and payroll corruption.”

“In a widely published corruption case, several Iraqi high-ranking officials including senior officials at the oil ministry, such as ex-oil minister Hussein al-Shahristani, have been accused of receiving bribes from large corporations in return for winning business.”

The report covers many more examples of widespread corruption in Iraq, the nation’s wealth used to enrich US-led Western interests and the nation’s privileged class at the expense ordinary people.

That cuts to the heart of why protests erupted on Tuesday. What began peacefully turned violent in response to repressive actions by security forces, using lethal force, polar opposite of containment tactics in Hong Kong.

Reportedly in the past four days, 60 or more Iraqis perished from live fire by military force snipers on rooftops overlooking Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, another 1,600 injured, according to the Iraqi Human Rights Commission.

Protesters want jobs, essential to life public services denied them, and rampant corruption curbed.

One demonstrator unnamed for his or her safety said: “There’s no electricity, no jobs. People are dying of starvation, and people are sick. It is a curse.”

On Friday, senior Shiite spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said “(t)he government and the political sides have not fulfilled the demands of the people to fight corruption” and provide vital public services.

Well-known Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi to resign and hold new elections, saying shedding Iraqi blood “cannot be ignored.”

An unnamed jobless protester said “(i)f the government is not dissolved, we will avenge our martyrs.”

Establishment media coverage of Hong Kong and Iraqi protests are world’s apart — NYT headlines typical of widespread misreporting.

Recent Times headlines on Hong Kong Protests were as follows:

“Hong Kong Takes Symbolic Stand Against China’s High-Tech Controls”

“Hong Kong Police Shot a Protester at Point-Blank Range”

“Celebrations in Beijing. Violence in Hong Kong”

“Is China Heading for Crisis? The protests in Hong Kong accelerate the contradictions in Beijing”

“Hong Kong Police, Seen as ‘Hounds After Rabbits,’ Face Rising Rage”

The above headlines and many others like them ignore US-orchestrated violence, war on China by other means — along with trade war unrelated to trade, and hostile US incursions by Pentagon warships and aircraft near Chinese territory.

Compare the above Times’ headlines to its coverage of protests in Baghdad:

“Iraq Struggles to Contain Wave of Deadly Protests” — largely blaming demonstrators for violence ordered by the US-installed regime against ordinary Iraqis, demanding essential to life and welfare public services from the oil-rich country, with the world’s 5th largest reserves.

“Two Killed in Anti-Government Protests — injuring more than 200, according to (unnamed) officials”

“Thousands in Iraq Protest Corruption — Police in Iraq use tear gas and rubber bullets…in some cases by live ammunition”

The Times quoted US-installed puppet president Adel Abdul Mahdi, accusing protesters of violence committed against them by regime forces — saying they’re using knives and hand grenades that “threaten the general order and civil peace.”

The Times ignored regime military forces positioned on rooftops, using live fire on demonstrators, killing scores.

What began in Baghdad spread elsewhere in the country, protesting against hugely corrupt and repressive rule, ordinary Iraqis exploited and otherwise abused, their fundamental rights ignored. 

Coverage by establishment media differs markedly throughout months of US-orchestrated violence in Hong Kong — falsely blaming city authorities and Beijing for what Trump regime hardliners initiated.

In Iraq, ordinary people are largely blamed for regime high crimes committed against them.

It’s been this way since the US installed pro-Western puppet rule, following Bush/Cheney’s 2003 aggression.

Agreed on Four-Point US/Iran Deal?

By Stephen Lendman

Source

On Tuesday, Politico reported that Trump and Iranian President Rouhani “agreed on a four-point document brokered by Emmanuel Macron in New York last week as a basis for a meeting and relaunching negotiations between the US and Iran” — citing unnamed French officials, adding:

“(D)ays of shuttle diplomacy by Macron on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly” preceded the plan.

Reportedly, Iran agreed to abide by what it’s adhered to since its 1979 revolution, Politico failed to explain, quoting from the text it saw: 

Tehran agreed it “will never acquire a nuclear weapon (and will) fully comply with its nuclear obligations and commitments and will accept a negotiation on a long-term framework for its nuclear activities.”

It will also “refrain from any aggression and will seek genuine peace and respect in the region through negotiations.”

The above has always been Islamic Republic policy throughout its 40-year history. Claims otherwise are fabricated, no credible evidence ever supporting them.

The deal requires the US to “lift all the sanctions re-imposed since 2017…Iran will have full ability to export its oil and freely use its revenues.”

While the document says nothing about Iran’s ballistic program,  Politico quoted an unnamed French official saying “(i)t was clear to all that the negotiation over regional issues would necessarily include their ballistic program” — a nonstarter for Tehran.

Its ruling authorities won’t relinquish or compromise on what would self-inflict weakness, its ballistic and cruise missiles maintained and developed solely for self-defense against genuinely feared US and/or Israeli aggression.

Further, Politico should have highlighted that time and again, Trump and Pompeo stressed that (illegally imposed) US sanctions won’t be lifted. His regime imposed new ones instead, intended to crush Iran’s economy and immiserate its people.

Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif stressed that Tehran will continue pulling back from its voluntary JCPOA commitments, as permitted under the deal when other signatories breach it — clearly the case by the US and Europe.

Rouhani refused to meet with Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly because he escalated sanctions war/economic terrorism. 

His actions repeatedly belie his hollow words, why he, his regime, and most others in Washington can never be trusted.

The US history of breaching treaties, bilateral agreements, and other deals shows what Iran is up against.

Years of good faith Tehran talks preceded agreement on the JCPOA, flagrantly breached by Trump months into his first year in office, compounded by all-out economic terrorism.

It’s part of longstanding US policy, seeking to replace all independent governments it doesn’t control with pro-Western puppet regimes.

The US doesn’t negotiate. It makes one-sided demands in return for empty promises, proved time and again – notably with Iran, North Korea, and Russia most recently.

Agreements can’t work unless all sides fulfill their obligations, clearly not how the US operates, notably with hardliners in change, reality under Trump.

The unnamed French official Politico quoted said Rouhani “agreed on the principles of the document, and he thanked the president because there is the explicit mention of the sanctions, (but) he wanted Trump to say before entering the meeting that he was lifting the sanctions.”

Trump publicly rejected the idea, showing his hardline position remains unchanged.

According to Politico, Rouhani reportedly said “France had prepared a plan that could be acceptable, because it was basically based on the demand that Iran must not seek nuclear weapons, which we had already said it wasn’t, requiring the US to lift all its sanctions,” adding: 

“These were the principles that the French had run by the Americans and then by us, so the principles that are being reported in newspapers around the world are right.” 

Politico unfairly criticized Iran, saying its “insistence on the US taking a first step…has consistently been a major hurdle in attempts to broker a resumption of negotiations.”

The broadsheet should have stressed that no one should negotiate with a gun at their head, along with explaining that unilaterally imposed US sanctions on any nation flagrantly violate the UN Charter.

The US, especially the Trump regime, bears full responsibility for hostile relations toward Iran, a nonbelligerent nation threatening no one.

Politico also quoted Macron’s reinvention of reality, claiming Trump can “change things — if he is convinced — very quickly, and he is not administration-driven, he decides alone and quickly,” adding: 

“President Rouhani is someone who needs to line up a whole system before negotiating. It’s almost the opposite.”

As long as US economic terrorism continues, along with falsely accusing Iran for things it had nothing to do with, Rouhani/Trump talks will accomplish nothing but further betrayal by the US.

What Politico should have explained, it ignored.

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