Yes, the israel Lobby drives U.S. policies. The parasitic enemy within

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IF AMERICANS KNEW – Every US president since Richard Nixon, with the Rogers Plan in 1969, has made an effort to get Israel to withdraw from the territories it occupied in 1967, not out of any love for the Palestinians, but because Israel’s continuing occupation of those lands, from the Sinai to the Golan Heights, was creating unnecessary problems in a region where maintaining stability of the regions’ oil resources was and remains a necessity. Every one of those plans was undermined by the lobby.

Yes, the Israel Lobby drives U.S. policies

 When reports of Israel’s siege of Beirut were becoming too much to ignore, Reagan asked Sharon to call a halt. Sharon’s response was to bomb the city at 2:42 and 3:38 the next afternoon, those hours, coincidentally, being the numbers of the two UN resolutions calling on Israel to withdraw from the Occupied Territories. When Reagan, like Carter, also publicly called on Begin to halt settlement building, the Israeli prime minister announced the building of new settlements and sent the president a “Dear Ronnie,” letter letting him know who was making those decisions.

By Jeffrey Blankfort

Excerpted from “Yes, Blame the Lobby,” published by Dissident Voice, April 11, 2006

In March 2006, the London Review of Books published “Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy,” an article by Professors John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Steven Walt, Academic Dean of the Kennedy Center at Harvard University, two nationally known academic figures with impeccable credentials. (The authors afterward wrote an even more thorough book on the same topic.)

This article, critical of the Israel lobby in the US, propelled into the mainstream an issue that had long been confined to the margins. This issue had been avoided not only by the efforts of the Israel lobby itself, but also by those on the Left who prefer to view US foreign policy as being determined by corporate elites and who had long worked to prevent public awareness of the Israel lobby and its role in driving U.S. policies. 

Jeffrey Blankfort provided a detailed response to claims minimizing the role of the Israel lobby. Below are some of the facts that he provided:

Israel lobby critics do not deny US imperialism

Critics of the Israel lobby have no illusions about the evils of US imperialism that have and will continue to exist, irrespective of the lobby… Serious critics of the Israel lobby do not in any way exonerate the US from responsibility for its actions; however Middle East policies were formed under immense Israeli pressure. Israel and its lobby have pushed the US to launch policies that not in its own interest; US support for Israel has generated serious problems in the region, and has been costly in lives and money.

All presidents told Israel to end the occupation

Every US president since Richard Nixon, with the Rogers Plan in 1969, has made an effort to get Israel to withdraw from the territories it occupied in 1967, not out of any love for the Palestinians, but because Israel’s continuing occupation of those lands, from the Sinai to the Golan Heights, was creating unnecessary problems in a region where maintaining stability of the regions’ oil resources was and remains a necessity. Every one of those plans was undermined by the lobby.

Gerald Ford

In 1975, Gerald Ford, upset because Israel was refusing to disengage from areas it had taken in the Sinai during the 1973 war, halted aid to Israel and publicly let it be known that he was going to make a major speech that would call for a downsizing of US-Israel relations and demanding that Israel to return to its 1967 borders. Within three weeks, AIPAC presented Ford with a letter signed by 76 senators, from liberal Democrats to extreme right wing Republicans, warning him not to take any steps that would jeopardize Israel’s security. Ford did not make the speech.

Jimmy Carter 

Ford’s successor, Jimmy Carter, was repeatedly in conflict with both Israel and the lobby. Neither wanted the Camp David treaty but Carter doggedly pushed it through, although it required a multi-billion dollar bribe to get Begin’s signature. In 1978, before the treaty went into effect, Begin invaded Lebanon, hoping, some speculated, that Egypt would react and the treaty would be nullified since Israel did not want to give up the Sinai. Carter further angered Israel and the lobby by demanding that Begin withdraw Israeli troops from Lebanon three months later.

When UN Ambassador Andrew Young violated an Israeli demand and lobby-enforced rule that prohibited US officials from meeting with the PLO, (much like the lobby imposed rule about US officials meeting with Hamas officials today), he was forced to resign.

Andrew Young – When he told Begin, publicly, to halt settlement building, the Israeli prime minister responded by announcing the start of 10 new settlements while the lobby criticized Carter for bringing up the subject. When UN Ambassador Andrew Young violated an Israeli demand and a lobby-enforced rule that prohibited US officials from meeting with the PLO, (much like the lobby imposed rule about US officials meeting with Hamas officials today), he was forced to resign. When Carter, like Ford, was considering giving a televised speech in 1979 in which he planned to outline the divergence of interests between the US and Israel and denounce Israeli intransigence on the Palestinian issue, he was warned by the lobby, as one Jewish leader put it, that he would be the first president to “risk opening the gates of anti-Semitism in America.” Carter decided not to give the speech.

Donald McHenry – There was an exception to all those US vetoes and it came during the Carter administration. In March 1980, Young’s successor, Donald McHenry, also an African-American, voted to censure Israel for its settlement policy, including Jerusalem. The lobby was outraged and Carter was forced to apologize. The last straw for the lobby was when Carter called for an international conference in Geneva to settle the Israel-Palestine question that would include the Soviet Union. It didn’t matter that he was forced to apologize for that, too. In 1980, he received 48% of the Jewish vote, the poorest showing of any Democrat since they began counting such things.

Ronald Reagan

When Israel invaded Lebanon in June 1982, both houses of Congress roared their approval, it being, after all, an election year. When the reports of the siege of Beirut were becoming too much to ignore, Reagan asked Sharon to call a halt. Sharon’s response was to bomb the city at 2:42 and 3:38 the next afternoon, those hours, coincidentally, being the numbers of the two UN resolutions calling on Israel to withdraw from the Occupied Territories. When Reagan, like Carter, also publicly called on Begin to halt settlement building, the Israeli prime minister announced the building of new settlements and sent the president a “Dear Ronnie,” letter letting him know who was making those decisions.

In Reagan’s second term, he tried again to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict with what came to be known as the Shultz Plan, named after his Secretary of State, George Shultz. It called for an international conference to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, who had replaced Begin, was having none of it. One cartoon of the day depicted Shamir sitting in a chair, cutting up pieces of paper while Reagan and Shultz looked on. “How cute,” said Reagan, “he’s cutting up paper dolls.” “Those aren’t paper dolls,” responded Shultz. “That’s our peace plan.” Another showed Reagan and Shamir sitting in armchairs across from one another with Shamir holding a smoking gun in his hand while a dove falls from the sky. Reagan says, “You didn’t have to do that.” Shamir’s intransigence finally provoked 30 senators, including some of Israel’s biggest supporters, into sending him a letter asking him to be more cooperative. They were hardly prepared for the firestorm from the lobby that followed that sent each of them stumbling to apologize. The Shultz Plan was effectively dead.

George Bush Senior

When George H. W. Bush succeeded Reagan, he made it clear that he wanted a halt to the settlements and for Israel to get out of the OT, as well. He arranged for the Madrid Peace Conference over the objections of the obstinate Shamir, making concessions as to the composition of the Palestinian delegation to appease both Israel and the lobby. Was this conference, like the one called for by Carter, like the one planned by Reagan just a charade? Before the conference took place, Shamir asked the US for $10 billion in loan guarantees. Bush made compliance with that request contingent on Israel agreeing to halt all settlement building, its agreement not to settle any Russian immigrants in the West Bank, and to wait 120 days, to see if the first two requests had been complied with. An enraged Shamir decided to go over his head to the lobby-controlled Congress.

After receiving a letter signed by 242 members of Congress urging the swift passage of the loan guarantees, Bush realized that the Lobby had enough votes to override his threatened veto of the request. This led him to take the unprecedented step of calling a national press conference on the day when an estimated thousand Jewish lobbyists were on Capitol Hill pushing for a swift passage of Israel’s request. In the press conference, Bush denounced the arrogance of the lobby and told the American people how much aid each Israeli man, woman and child was getting from the US Treasury. The polls the next day showed that 85% of the American public was with him and a month and a half later only 44% of the public supported giving any aid to Israel at all while over 70% supported giving aid to the former Soviet Union.

AIPAC, in the face of Bush’s attack, pulled back, but then launched a steady attack against him which began to be reflected in the US media where even old friends like the NY Times columnist William Safire would eventually desert him for Bill Clinton. Under tremendous pressure and with the election approaching, Bush finally consented to the loan guarantees, but it was too late. The Lobby blamed him for Shamir having been defeated by Rabin and his goose was cooked.

Pro-Israel Neocons

It is no secret that pro-Israel Jewish neocons have been heavily involved in creating the structural adjustment policies of the World Bank and the IMF. Indeed, Paul Wolfowitz, one of the architects of the Gulf War, is now the head of the World Bank.

Starving and then invading Iraq, threatening to invade Syria, raiding and then sanctioning Libya and Iran, besieging the Palestinians and their leaders must also be blamed on the Israeli lobby and not the US government.

While it was not well known, but no secret, that the Lobby played a key role in getting the votes for the first Gulf War, the reporting of which resulted in the firing of the Washington Jewish Week’s Larry Cohler at the behest of AIPAC inductee Steve Rosen, the orchestration of the current war by a handful of Jewish Likud-connected neocons with the support of the Israel Lobby was widely reported in the mainstream press. If there was a question as to who was the chief architect, it was a choice between Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, and Scooter Libby.

Philip Zelikow, executive director of the 9-11 commission, admitted that the war in Iraq was for “the security of Israel”: but that would have been a “hard sell” to the American people.

The “Clean Break” paper that Perle, Feith, and Meyrav Wurmser wrote for Netanyahu in 1996 called for the overthrow of Iraq, Syria and Iran, which Mearsheimer and Walt mention. The “Project for a New American Century,”  was another document drawn up by pro-Israel Jewish neocons. The Office of Special Plans, set up by Feith and run by another Jewish neocon, Abe Shulsky, was directed to provide the phony intelligence that would justify the invasion when the CIA staff was not prepared to do it. Philip Zelikow, executive director of the 9-11 commission, admitted that the war in Iraq was for “the security of Israel”: but that would have been a “hard sell” to the American people. And, as for implementing and maintaining the sanctions, the advocacy of the lobby was equally evident.

Lebanon, Iraq, Syria

In 1958, Pres. Eisenhower sent the Marines to Lebanon to prevent what was thought to be a radical nationalist move against the status quo, but the US has only invaded Arab countries twice, Kuwait in 1991, to oust the Iraqis and in 2003. The first required the assistance of the Israel lobby capped by the phony incubator story that was orchestrated by Rep. Tom Lantos, an author or co-sponsor of numerous Iraqi and Syria sanction bills and anti-Palestinian legislation. (According to the Jerusalem Post, Lantos represents Israel in countries where it has no diplomatic recognition.)

Israel and the lobby had anticipated that the Senior Bush would remove Saddam as called for in the Clean Break and when he didn’t they started criticizing him and planning for a future administration that would do the job and the record on that is very clear. AIPAC took credit for writing the anti-Syrian legislation that led to the withdrawal from Lebanon of the relatively small number of Syrian forces that were in the country and more recently the Lobby has been the only sector of US society actively calling for what is unmistakably an armed confrontation with Iran.

Weapons industry does not drive the policy

The Middle East is the only region where a stable environment is required to maintain the oil that fuels much of the world’s economy, including our own. The Middle East is also the only region where there is continued instability. The US has sought political stability, the kind of stability that provides a ready source of raw materials and an outlet for US products.

From the end of the Vietnam War to the beginning of the first Gulf War, the profits of the weapons industry continued to soar, proving that an actual shooting war was not necessary for the arms manufacturers to make windfall profits or the capitalist system to survive. Given that both US political parties are committed to what is euphemistically called “national defense,” there is no debate in Congress over the size of the military budget.

Other countries too prioritize national defense, and buy US-made weaponry, some of which may be used to quiet domestic rebellions, and some, like fighter jets, for national pride and kickbacks on both sides. It is only in the Middle East where a stable environment is required to maintain the oil that fuels much of the world’s economy, including our own, where there is continued instability, and this is the fault of Israel and its lobby.

Cuban Lobby

The Cuba lobby which is, in fact, more properly called the anti-Cuba lobby, not coincidentally, has a strong working relationship with AIPAC for their mutual benefit, but it doesn’t begin to compare with the Israel Lobby’s power although it has seen to it that Florida will stay in the Republican column. Of course, if Israel was a communist or anti-imperialist country, the Jews in the US would no doubt be like the anti-Castro Cubans, calling on the US to liberate it.

Support for Israel endangers Americans

Regarding the families of the marines, soldiers and sailors killed in the bombing of the marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, as well as American diplomats who have been targeted in the region over the years: Had Israel not invaded Lebanon, these American servicemen killed in their barracks might still be alive, as well the members of the CIA who were wiped out in an earlier bombing of the US embassy in Beirut. Furthermore, without getting into the serious questions that remain unanswered about the 9-11 attack, it has been accepted by those who believe the official narrative that US support for Israel was one of the reasons behind the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. If the authors and others, including this writer have argued are correct, a significant portion of the responsibility for the dead and wounded on both sides in Iraq can be laid at the feet of Israel and the Israel Lobby, but the latter, in particular.

The US, as a country, is not loved or well liked anywhere except, perhaps, Israel. Much depends, of course, on an individual’s political consciousness, but most of the peoples of the world have had a love-hate relationship with the US, despising its policies but colonized by its materialism. The war on Iraq and the US voters’ re-election of Bush have put more weight in the “hate” column, and in Latin America, Bush has proved to be the most unpopular US president since they started taking polls. It is not unlikely that as the war continues and the US continues to make threats against Iran, again pressured by the Lobby, the degree of antagonism towards the US and US products is certain to increase.

Egypt

Israel has never seen the US as its master. Not a single Israeli soldier has shed a drop of blood for US interests and as Ariel Sharon said on Israeli army radio several years ago, the US knows that no Israeli soldier ever will. At the time of Israel’s attack on Egypt in 1967, France was the major arms supplier and the certain sectors of the US government were engaged with members of Egypt’s military. To describe the defeat of Nasser as a service done by Israel for the benefit of the US, is a both an oversimplification as well as a distortion of history. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1973 war, when Israel, under attack by Egypt and Syria, threatened to use its nuclear weapons unless the US came through with a massive conventional arms airlift, that US support for Israel really took off. So did the oil prices as an Arab oil boycott was implemented in response. Was the very real threat of a nuclear war, which would have brought in the Soviet Union, in the US interest? Was the Arab oil embargo?

Latin America and South Africa

Israel’s arms sales in Latin America and South Africa were done to benefit Israel’s arms industry and that they were useful to the US was a secondary factor. What the Lobby was able to do was keep members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including the notable Ron Dellums, from publicly condemning Israel’s arms sales to South Africa in violation of international sanctions, and to silence those members of Congress who were quick to condemn US actions in Central America but afraid to do so when Israel was the malefactor. That fear is no less prevalent in Congress today where any member can get up to criticize George Bush but none dare say a negative word about the Israeli prime minister, irrespective of who holds that office.

Jordan & Syria

Israel’s role in the Jordanian-Palestinian conflict in 1970 is always raised by those who argue for Israel’s usefulness. We are told that Israel was acting at the behest of the US when it threatened to intervene if Syrian tanks moved south to defend the Palestinians under attack by Jordan’s King Hussein and that this prevented the possible overthrow of the US-friendly Hashemite regime. This fits neatly fits into the client state scenario, except it is missing a key element. What was crucial in that situation was the refusal of Hafez Al-Assad, then head of the Syrian air force, and not a supporter of the PLO, to back up the Syrian tank force that had entered Northern Jordan. Shortly thereafter, Al-Assad staged a coup against the pro-Palestinian president Atassi and proceeded to throw hundreds of Palestinians and pro-Palestinian Syrians in prison and break up the radical Syrian-supported militia group, Al-Saika. This bit of history has apparently now been written out of history.

When Israel neutralized the PLO in 1982, it was appreciated in the beginning by many Lebanese, particularly in the south who found some elements of the PLO heavy-handed and were tired of having a liberation war fought on their soil – until they began to experience Israeli occupation for themselves and began to resist. The Israeli attack violated an 11-month cease-fire that had been negotiated by Ambassador Philip Habib and to which the PLO had strictly adhered. The Senior Bush, then vice-president, opposed the Israeli invasion and wanted Israel to be censured and was overruled by Reagan and Alexander Haig. A year before Bush Sr. was angered by Israel’s attack on Iraq’s Osirak reactor and wanted Israel censured at that time, but was again overruled.

Israel did provide training to US troops on the techniques used to occupy and repress a hostile Arab population, only too pleased to have the US join it as the only foreign occupier of Arab soil which may have been one of the reasons the Israeli government (as well as the lobby) wanted the US to invade Iraq. With the US taking the same kind of harsh measures to repress the Iraqis, it would be less likely to complain about Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and this has proved to be the case. Israel has been called by Chomsky America’s “cop on the beat” in the Middle East, but when military intervention has been thought necessary it has always been American soldiers that have done the fighting. In fact, US soldiers were sent to Israel during the first Gulf War to operate the Patriot missile batteries to defend the Israelis.

AIPAC 

Read our history and see what has befallen those politicians who have challenged the lobby and were subsequently targeted and defeated beginning with Sen. J William Fulbright who in the early 60s sought to restrict the lobby’s growing power. There are several books written by both supporters of the lobby and its critics that clearly demonstrate its influence as well as the tales of former members of Congress who were its victims.

Edward Said on the Israel lobby

“What explains this [present] state of affairs? The answer lies in the power of Zionist organizations in American politics, whose role throughout the ‘peace process’ has never been sufficiently addressed…”

Every two years, one hears or reads, regarding some issue that deals with Israel, that “the president” or “Congress” “is not likely to act [against Israel] due to domestic political considerations in an election year.” To a great extent, the Israel-Palestinian conflict is a domestic US issue. That the Palestine solidarity movement has ignored that fact is a primary reason that to this point in time it has been an utter failure. This should be a source of embarrassment and reflection, but it so far there is no sign of it.

There was another Columbia professor who had a more profound understanding of the situation who is sorely missed and, perhaps, never more so than at this moment. I refer to the late Edward Said. In his contribution to The New Intifada, entitled, appropriately, “America’s Last Taboo,” he did not mince words:

What explains this [present] state of affairs? The answer lies in the power of Zionist organizations in American politics, whose role throughout the “peace process” has never been sufficiently addressed — a neglect that is absolutely astonishing, given the policy of the PLO has been in essence to throw our fate as a people into the lap of the United States, without any strategic awareness of how American policy is dominated by a small minority whose views about the Middle East are in some ways more extreme than those of Likud itself. (Emphasis added)

And on the subject of AIPAC, Said wrote:

[T]he American Israel Public Affairs Committee – AIPAC — has for years been the most powerful single lobby in Washington. Drawing on a well-organized, well-connected, highly visible and wealthy Jewish population, AIPAC inspires an awed fear and respect across the political spectrum. Who is going to stand up to this Moloch in behalf of the Palestinians, when they can offer nothing, and AIPAC can destroy a professional career at the drop of a checkbook? In the past, one or two members of Congress did resist AIPAC openly, but the many political action committees controlled by AIPAC made sure they were never re-elected… If such is the material of the legislature, what can be expected of the executive?

Although it is trying, the Israel Lobby does not yet control our academics. On the critical issue of the lobby’s power, it is time they stop acting like it does.


Jeffrey Blankfort is former editor of the Middle East Labor Bulletin, long-time photographer, and has written extensively on the Israel-Palestine conflict. He can be reached at: jblankfort@earthlink.net
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The Sordid History Of State Sponsored Terrorism Against Iran

The Sordid History Of State Sponsored Terrorism Against Iran

For decades, Western empires have waged a silent war against Iran, using tactics ranging from supporting known terrorist groups to deposing the country’s leaders and leveraging regional rivalries. The war continues today, even as the U.S. condemns Iran for sponsoring terrorism itself.

With blood still fresh on the streets of Tehran after last week’s deadly terror attack, the U.S. was quick to condemn the attacks. But in a sadly predictable move, President Donald Trump’s White House also blamed the victim, condemning Iran as a sponsor of terrorism.

While this may seem like merely the latest instance of insensitivity on Trump’s part, it is, in fact, emblematic of the strategy of supporting terrorism against Iran that Washington has employed for decades.

The official White House statement, while expressing grief over the attacks, was noteworthy for implying that Iran itself was responsible for the tragedy. “We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote,” reads the second sentence of the statement.

Aside from the sheer tastelessness and callous disregard for the victims of the attack, the irony of the official statement was obviously lost on Trump. Perhaps if Trump would’ve chosen to pull his head out of the posteriors of Saudi oil executives, he might realize that it is the U.S., not Iran, that has a long history of sponsoring terrorism to which it later falls victim

Moreover, if Trump had a sense of history beyond having watched all ten seasons of Ice Road Truckers, he would know that Iran has, for decades, been the victim of a terror campaign backed both directly and indirectly by the United States in the hopes of bringing regime change to the Islamic Republic, returning the country to its place as energy footstool of the West.

The recent history of terrorism against Iran

The subject of terrorism directed against the Islamic Republic of Iran would likely need a dissertation-length analysis well beyond the scope of this article. However, even a cursory examination of the use of terror against Iran reveals a number of worrying trends, with all roads leading West.

Put another way, terrorism against Iran is as American as apple pie; as British as shepherd’s pie; as Israeli as stolen Palestinian pie.

For instance, take the oft-touted “freedom fighters” of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK; also known as MKO), a terrorist group hailed as heroes by the U.S. neoconservative establishment, despite having been officially recognized by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization from 1997 through 2012.  Indeed, so warm and cozy were these terrorists with policymakers, including key government officials, that through an intensive lobbying campaign, including advocacy from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the MEK was officially removed from the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

Senator John McCain has meets with the head of the US-designated terrorist organization, Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK), Maryam Rajavi, in the Albanian capital, Tirana, April, 2017.

Never mind the fact that MEK was implicated by the Obama Administration itself as having colluded with Israel in assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists, a blatant violation of international law. But of course, this was nothing for MEK, whose history is one of assassination and terror against Iran.

As Anthony Cordesman and Adam C. Seitz noted in their book “Iranian Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Birth of a Regional Nuclear Arms Race?”:

“Near the end of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, Baghdad armed the MEK with heavy military equipment [provided by the US] and deployed thousands of MEK fighters in suicidal, mass wave attacks against Iranian forces…In April 1992, the MEK conducted near-simultaneous attacks on Iranian embassies and installations in 13 countries…In April 1999, the MEK targeted key Iranian military officers and assassinated the deputy chief of the Iranian Armed Forces General Staff…The pace of anti-Iranian operations increased during “Operation Great Bahman” in February 2000, when the group launched a dozen attacks against Iran.”

It should also be remembered that the U.S. opened its military base in Iraq to MEK, which used Camp Ashraf (also known as Camp Liberty) as a safe haven and staging area until it was closed (and MEK members killed) by former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Perhaps a hundred other examples of MEK terrorism against Iran, sponsored and backed by the U.S., could be provided. Suffice to say that the removal of MEK from the U.S. government’s official terror organization list was the result of a well-funded and well-orchestrated lobbying campaign with many key allies on Capitol Hill and the Beltway, including some of the most influential neoconservative figures, such as Max Boot, Daniel Pipes, David Horowitz and Rudy Giuliani.

Another way of looking at this relationship would be to say that the U.S. has been the principal sponsor of one of the most violent and prolific anti-Iranian terrorist groups. And they are certainly not alone.

Washington has long been seen by many as a backer of, and potential handler for, the organized crime and terror organization known as Jundallah. This notorious terror organization, which has operated on both sides of the Iran-Pakistan border in the region of Sistan-Baluchestan, has been led for decades by the Rigi family, a well-known anti-government crime family, and has been linked a number of high-profile terror attacks in recent years, including a deadly October 2009 bombing that killed over 40 people, including 15 Iranian Revolutionary Guard members.

During a funeral ceremony, people mourn next to flag-draped coffins of victims of two bomb blasts in the city of Zahedan, Iran, July 17, 2010. Jundallah, which has carried out several other bombings in southeast Iran over the past few years, claimed responsibility for the blasts, which killed 27. (Fars/Ali Azimzadeh)

Counterterrorism experts have long been aware of Jundallah’s historic ties to both U.S. and Israeli intelligence.  As Foreign Policy reported in 2012, Israeli Mossad and U.S. CIA operatives essentially competed with one another for control of the Jundallah network for years. The report noted that:

“The [U.S. government] memos also detail CIA field reports saying that Israel’s recruiting activities occurred under the nose of U.S. intelligence officers, most notably in London, the capital of one of Israel’s ostensible allies, where Mossad officers posing as CIA operatives met with Jundallah officials.”

Consider for a moment the reality of what the report illustrated: U.S. intelligence officials were livid that their Israeli counterparts would meet with Jundallah while posing as CIA agents. Not only does this signal a turf war between the two ostensible allies, it indicates a much deeper and more intimate relationship between Western intelligence agencies and the anti-Iranian terror group. Considering Jundallah became the battleground between the CIA and Mossad, it’s not a stretch to say that the organization is, to some degree, influenced or even directly controlled by the U.S.

Like Jundallah, Jaish al-Adl is a terror group operating in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan, as well as Pakistan’s Balochistan Province. The group has carried out numerous attacks against Iranian government institutions, including one infamous incident in March 2014 in which five Iranian border guards were kidnapped, with one being executed later.

According to the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium:

“[Jaish al-Adl is] an extremist Salafi group that has since its foundation claimed responsibility for a series of operations against Iran’s domestic security forces and Revolutionary Guards operating in Sistan and Balochistan province, including the detonation of mines [link added] against Revolutionary Guards vehicles and convoys, kidnapping of Iranian border guards and attacks against military bases… Jaish al-Adl is also opposed to the Iranian Government’s active support of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which they regard as an attack on Sunni Muslims…Jaish ul-Adl executes cross-border operations between the border of Iran and Pakistan and is based in the Baluchistan province in Pakistan.”

Jaish al-Adl is certainly not riding alone on the terror train, as their cousins Ansar al-Furqan – a fusion of the Balochi Harakat Ansar and Pashto Hizb al-Furqan, both of which have been operating along Iran’s eastern border with Pakistan – have entered the anti-Iran fray in recent years.

According to the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium:

“[Ansar al-Furqan] characterize themselves as Mujahideen aginst [sic] the Shia government in Iran and are linked to Katibat al Asad Al ‘Ilamiya; Al-Farooq activists; al Nursra Front (JN), Nosrat Deen Allah, Jaysh Muhammad, Jaysh al ‘Adal; and though it was denied for some time, appears to have at least personal relationships with Jundallah…The stated mission of Ansar al Furqan is ” to topple the Iranian regime…”

Here one sees the intersection of the war against Iran and the ongoing war in Syria.  Sunni extremist organizations such as Jaish al-Adl and Ansar al-Furqan see their war against Iran as an extension of the war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, itself part of the broader jihad against Shia Islam.

Weaponizing Iraq’s Kurds against Iran?

Thanks to WikiLeaks, it is well-documented fact that Israel, as well as the U.S., have long attempted to use Kurdish groups such as PJAK (an Iraqi Kurdish terror group) to wage continued war against Iran for the purposes of destabilizing its government.  At the same time, however, both Washington and Tel Aviv have been involved on the ground with the Kurdish Special Forces by attempting to use them against Iran.

As Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh noted in 2004:

“The Israelis have had long-standing ties to the Talibani and Barzani clans [in] Kurdistan and there are many Kurdish Jews that emigrated to Israel and there are still a lot of connection. But at some time before the end of the year [2004], and I’m not clear exactly when, certainly I would say a good six, eight months ago, Israel began to work with some trained Kurdish commandoes, ostensibly the idea was the Israelis — some of the Israeli elite commander units, counter-terror or terror units, depending on your point of view, began training — getting the Kurds up to speed.”

Ethnic Kurdish Israelis protest outside the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, July 8, 2010.

Iran’s leaders have been keenly aware of the presence of Israeli special forces and intelligence on the ground in Kurdistan, knowing that ultimately it is Tehran in the crosshairs. And indeed, that has been the recent history of relations between Israel and the Barzani/Talabani-led Iraqi Kurds.  As pro-Israeli blogger Daniel Bart noted:

During most of that time there were usually some 20 military specialists stationed in a secret location in southern Kurdistan. Rehavam Zeevi and Moshe Dayan were among Israeli generals who served in Kurdistan…The Israelis trained the large Kurdish army of Mustafa Barzani and even led Kurdish troops in battle…The “secret” cooperation between Kurdistan and Israel is mainly in two fields. The first is in intelligence cooperation and this is hardly remarkable as half the world including many Muslim states have such relationships with Israel. The second is influence in Washington.”

Here again one sees the rich diversity of tactics employed by the U.S. and Israel against Iran. And while no one should be surprised that Washington and Tel Aviv would use regional antipathy and rivalries to gain leverage over and ultimately destabilize Iran, the use of terrorist groups as a weapon might come as a surprise to the uninitiated. But indeed, terrorism has been perhaps the most potent weapon in this war.

A new chapter in an old story

For Iran, the last seventy years have demonstrated that so-called “Western democracies” are actually anti-democratic and function as state sponsors of terrorism – precisely the terms hurled at Iran on a near-daily basis in the corporate media. From the CIA and MI6’s “original sin” of deposing Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq in a coup d’etat in 1953, to imposing the U.S. puppet Shah with his secret police, torture chambers and forced disappearance of dissidents, the U.S. and its allies have been waging a terror war against the people of Iran for decades.

And what exactly is the great sin of the Iranian people? For one, they had the misfortune of residing in a country that sits atop trillions of dollars in energy reserves, making it a prime target for empires throughout the last century. Additionally, with its large, well-educated population, Iran is a lucrative market for Western corporations, so long as the pesky democratically elected government can be removed as an obstacle. And Iran, strategically located along both the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea, bordering the Middle East and South Asia, forms a critical node in the projection of power for all Western empires, including the U.S.

For these reasons, the Islamic Republic is rightly seen by Tel Aviv and Riyadh as a regional rival, a growing power that challenges Israeli-Saudi hegemony in the region. So it should come as no surprise that Iran has been repeatedly victimized by Western-sponsored terrorism.

And so, when the Orange Buffoon currently occupying the White House, or any of the neocons who have held the reins of US foreign policy for years, blasts Iran as a sponsor of terror at precisely the moment the country is reeling from a national tragedy, it is rather revealing. Because, indeed, it is the US and its closest allies that have the long and sordid track record of sponsoring terrorism, not Iran.

So when Trump or any of the neocons who have held the reins of U.S. foreign policy for years blasts Iran as a sponsor of terror at precisely the moment the country is reeling from a national tragedy, it is rather revealing.

It is the U.S. and other Western powers that have allowed the ISIS (Daesh) to proliferate, backed al-Qaeda, and sponsored myriad terror groups in waging war against Iran. It is Washington, Tel Aviv and Riyadh that have cast Iran as the villain and painted terror groups as legitimate resistance against the “mullocracy.”

Here again, when it comes to terrorism and U.S. foreign policy, we see the pot calling the kettle black. However, given Iran’s unwillingness to be cowed by terror, no one should be surprised if the kettle finally boils over.  

Written by Eric Draitser

Democracy in America Is Pure Fantasy

Democracy in America Is Pure Fantasy: Stephen Lendman

By Stephen Lendman

“I’ll never live to see 9/11 justice,” says Stephen Lendman. The 9/11 attacks have changed the course of humanity, even so for sixteen years have not been minimally clarified but turned the world in a place full of fear and hate as the United States spreads its military bases all over the world, having 737 and more than 2,500,000 U.S. personnel serving across the planet. 

Stephen Lendman, one of the world’s most respected analysts, speaks with Pravda Report on the consequences of those attacks, and President Trump’s denial of his promises during the presidential campaign to investigate the day that has killed more than one million people all over the world, and up to now bring innumerable contradictions and evident lies.

Edu Montesanti: Stephen Lendman, I’d like to thank you so very much for this interview. So what has been the consequences of the 9/11 attacks to the US and the world? 

Stephen Lendman: I call 9/11 the mother of all false flags. It was staged to let Washington wage endless wars of aggression against one sovereign independent state after another.

All nations America doesn’t control are vulnerable to wars or color revolutions for regime change. Dark forces in Washington want them all transformed into subservient puppet states, their resources looted, their people exploited.

EM: The current crisis of a nuclear war between Washington and Pyongyang is, in a large part, a consequence of 9/11 as the then-US President George Bush included North Korea in the Axis of Evil”, in his State of the Union address in 2002…

SL: The North Korea situation has been festering since the 1940’s, unconnected to 9/11 except for powers in Washington perhaps including the country among others it calls evil regimes.

America, NATO, Israel and their rogue allies are the only pure evil ones I know.

9/11 let America launch phony war on terror, waging war OF terror on humanity, supporting ISIS, al-Qaeda and other terrorists groups, using them as imperial foot soldiers.

I’ve written a great deal on North Korea. I deplore wars, nuclear and other powerful weapons, but recognize the DPRK’s right to self-defense.

Throughout its history, it never attacked another country. It genuinely fears possible US aggression, why it’s pursued powerful deterrents to save the nation and its leadership from destruction.

EM: Campainger Donald Trump said that, once elected, he would investigate 9/11, what he has not been doing as president: Why do you think he has given up?

SL: All politicians lie, Trump like all the rest. Further, he’s been co-opted by dark forces in America. He’s an impotent front man for their agenda. The same is true for congressional leadership and most congressional members, along with the courts.

Democracy in America is pure fantasy. None exists. Powerful monied interests run things. People have no say. Elections are farcical when held. Dirty business as usual wins every time.

EM: We see people not willing to face the truth, especially Americans. 9/11 has become a taboo among people. Mike Berger has said me, “I have heard many times: ‘If it is true [an inside job], I just don’t want to know’.” Every 9/11 truther I have interviewed or talked to, mention the mainstream media brainwashing, and psychological barriers as the roots of it. What can you say about it?

SL: Democracy in America is pure fantasy. None exists. Powerful monied interests run things. People have no say. Elections are farcical when held. Dirty business as usual wins every time.

The major media in America are abominable, especially the New York Times, CIA-connected Washington Post, and farcical television news.

EM: Do you still believe in justice for 9/11?

PSL: I’ll never live to see 9/11 justice.

Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient. His newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” stephenlendman.org Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

Edu Montesanti is an independent analyst, researcher and journalist whose work has been published by Truth Out, Pravda, Global Research, Telesur, 9/11 Truth.org, Brazilian magazine Caros Amigos, and numerous other publications across the globe. www.edumontesanti.skyrock.com Contact atedumontesanti@jornalista.me

This article was originally published by PravdaReport where the featured image was sourced.

Who Rules America?

Who Rules America?

The Power Elite in the Time of Trump

In the last few months, several competing political, economic and military sectors – linked to distinct ideological and ethnic groups – have clearly emerged at the centers of power.

We can identify some of the key competing and interlocking directorates of the power elite:

1. Free marketers, with the ubiquitous presence of the ‘Israel First’ crowd.

2. National capitalists, linked to rightwing ideologues.

3. Generals, linked to the national security and the Pentagon apparatus, as well as defense industry.

4. Business elites, linked to global capital.

This essay attempts to define the power wielders and evaluate their range of power and its impact

The Economic Power Elite: Israel-Firsters and Wall Street CEO’s

‘Israel Firsters’ dominate the top economic and political positions within the Trump regime and, interestingly, are among the Administration’s most vociferous opponents. These include: the Federal Reserve Chairwoman, Janet Yellen, as well as her Vice-Chair, Stanley Fischer, an Israeli citizen and former (sic) Governor of the Bank of Israel.

Jared Kushner, (image right) President Trump’s son-in-law and an Orthodox Jew, acts as his top adviser on Middle East Affairs. Kushner, a New Jersey real estate mogul, set himself up as the archenemy of the economic nationalists in the Trump inner circle. He supports every Israeli power and land grab in the Middle East and works closely with David Friedman, US Ambassador to Israel (and fanatical supporter of the illegal Jewish settlements) and Jason Greenblatt, Special Representative for International negotiations. With three Israel-Firsters determining Middle East policy, there is not even a fig leaf of balance.

The Treasury Secretary is Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive, who leads the neo-liberal free market wing of the Wall Street sector within the Trump regime. Gary Cohn, a longtime Wall Street influential, heads the National Economic Council. They form the core business advisers and lead the neo-liberal anti-nationalist Trump coalition committed to undermining economic nationalist policies.

An influential voice in the Attorney General’s office is Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Robert Mueller the chief investigator, which led to the removal of nationalists from the Trump Administration.

The fairy godfather of the anti-nationalist Mnuchin-Cohn team is Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sach’s Chairman. The ‘Three Israel First bankerteers’ are spearheading the fight to deregulate the banking sector, which had ravaged the economy, leading to the 2008 collapse and foreclosure of millions of American homeowners and businesses.

The ‘Israel-First’ free market elite is spread across the entire ruling political spectrum, including ranking Democrats in Congress, led by Senate Minority leader Charles Schumer and the Democratic Head of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff. The Democratic Party Israel Firsters have allied with their free market brethren in pushing for investigations and mass media campaigns against Trump’s economic nationalist supporters and their eventual purge from the administration.

The Military Power Elite: The Generals

The military power elite has successfully taken over from the elected president in major decision-making. Where once the war powers rested with the President and the Congress, today a collection of fanatical militarists make and execute military policy, decide war zones and push for greater militarization of domestic policing. Trump has turned crucial decisions over to those he fondly calls ‘my Generals’ as he continues to dodge accusations of corruption and racism.

Trump appointed Four-Star General James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis (retired USMC) – a general who led the war in Afghanistan and Iraq – as Secretary of Defense. Mattis (whose military ‘glories’ included bombing a large wedding party in Iraq) is leading the campaign to escalate US military intervention in Afghanistan – a war and occupation that Trump had openly condemned during his campaign. As Defense Secretary, General ‘Mad Dog’ pushed the under-enthusiastic Trump to announce an increase in US ground troops and air attacks throughout Afghanistan. True to his much-publicized nom-de-guerre, the general is a rabid advocate for a nuclear attack against North Korea.

Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster (an active duty Three Star General and long time proponent of expanding the wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan) became National Security Adviser after the purge of Trump’s ally Lt. General Michael Flynn, who opposed the campaign of confrontation and sanctions against Russia and China. McMaster has been instrumental in removing ‘nationalists’ from Trumps administration and joins General ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis in pushing for a greater build-up of US troops in Afghanistan.

Lt. General John Kelly (Retired USMC), another Iraq war veteran and Middle East regime change enthusiast, was appointed White House Chief of Staff after the ouster of Reince Priebus.

The Administration’s Troika of three generals share with the neoliberal Israel First Senior Advisors to Trump, Stephen Miller and Jared Kushner, a deep hostility toward Iran and fully endorse Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s demand that the 2015 Nuclear Accord with Tehran be scrapped.

Trump’s military directorate guarantees that spending for overseas wars will not be affected by budget cuts, recessions or even national disasters.

The ‘Generals’, the Israel First free marketers and the Democratic Party elite lead the fight against the economic nationalists and have succeeded in ensuring that Obama Era military and economic empire building would remain in place and even expand.

The Economic Nationalist Elite

The leading strategist and ideologue of Trump’s economic nationalist allies in the White House was Steve Bannon. He had been chief political architect and Trump adviser during the electoral campaign. Bannon devised an election campaign favoring domestic manufacturers and American workers against the Wall Street and multinational corporate free marketers. He developed Trump’s attack on the global trade agreements, which had led to the export of capital and the devastation of US manufacturing labor.

Equally significant, Bannon crafted Trumps early public opposition to the generals’ 15-year trillion-dollar intervention in Afghanistan and the even more costly series of wars in the Middle East favored by the Israel-Firsters, including the ongoing proxy-mercenary war to overthrow the secular nationalist government of Syria.

Within 8 month of Trump’s administration, the combined forces of the free market economic and military elite, the Democratic Party leaders, overt militarists in the Republican Party and their allies in the mass media succeeded in purging Bannon – and marginalized the mass support base for his ‘America First’ economic nationalist and anti-‘regime change’ agenda.

The anti-Trump ‘alliance’ will now target the remaining few economic nationalists in the administration. These include: the CIA Director Mike Pompeo, (right) who favors protectionism by weakening the Asian and NAFTA trade agreements and Peter Navarro, Chairman of the White House Trade Council. Pompeo and Navarro face strong opposition from the ascendant neoliberal Zionist troika now dominating the Trump regime.

In addition, there is Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, a billionaire and former director of Rothschild Inc., who allied with Bannon in threatening import quotas to address the massive US trade deficit with China and the European Union.

Another Bannon ally is US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer a former military and intelligence analyst with ties to the newsletter Breitbart. He is a strong opponent of the neoliberal, globalizers in and out of the Trump regime.

‘Senior Adviser’ and Trump speechwriter, Stephen Miller actively promotes the travel ban on Muslims and stricter restrictions on immigration. Miller represents the Bannon wing of Trump’s zealously pro-Israel cohort.

Sebastian Gorka, Trump’s Deputy Assistant in military and intelligence affairs, was more an ideologue than analyst, who wrote for Breitbart and rode to office on Bannon’s coat tails. Right after removing Bannon, the ‘Generals’ purged Gorka in early August on accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’.

Whoever remains among Trump’s economic nationalists are significantly handicapped by the loss of Steve Bannon who had provided leadership and direction. However, most have social and economic backgrounds, which also link them to the military power elite on some issues and with the pro-Israel free marketers on others. However, their core beliefs had been shaped and defined by Bannon.

The Business Power Elite

Exxon Mobile CEO Rex Tillerson, (left) Trump’s Secretary of State and former Texas Governor Rick Perry, Energy Secretary lead the business elite. Meanwhile, the business elite associated with US manufacturing and industry have little direct influence on domestic or foreign policy. While they follow the Wall Street free marketers on domestic policy, they are subordinated to the military elite on foreign policy and are not allied with Steve Bannon’s ideological core.

Trump’s business elite, which has no link to the economic nationalists in the Trump regime, provides a friendlier face to overseas economic allies and adversaries.

Analysis and Conclusion

The power elite cuts across party affiliations, branches of government and economic strategies. It is not restricted to either political party, Republican or Democratic. It includes free marketers, some economic nationalists, Wall Street power brokers and militarists. All compete and fight for power, wealth and dominance within this administration. The correlation of forces is volatile, changing rapidly in short periods of time – reflecting the lack of cohesion and coherence in the Trump regime.

Never has the US power elite been subject to such monumental changes in composition and direction during the first year of a new regime.

During the Obama Presidency, Wall Street and the Pentagon comfortably shared power with Silicon Valley billionaires and the mass media elite. They were united in pursuing an imperial ‘globalist’ strategy, emphasizing multiple theaters of war and multilateral free trade treaties, which was in the process of reducing millions of American workers to permanent helotry.

With the inauguration of President Trump, this power elite faced challenges and the emergence of a new strategic configuration, which sought drastic changes in US political economic and military policy.

The architect of the Trump’s campaign and strategy, Steve Bannon, sought to displace the global economic and military elite with his alliance of economic nationalists, manufacturing workers and protectionist business elites. Bannon pushed for a major break from Obama’s policy of multiple permanent wars to expanding the domestic market. He proposed troop withdrawal and the end of US military operations in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, while increasing a combination of economic, political and military pressure on China. He sought to end sanctions and confrontation against Moscow and fashion economic ties between the giant energy producers in the US and Russia.

While Bannon was initially the chief strategist in the White House, he quickly found himself faced with powerful rivals inside the regime, and ardent opponents among Democratic and Republican globalists and especially from the Zionist – neoliberals who systematically maneuvered to win strategic economic and policy positions within the regime. Instead of being a coherent platform from which to formulate a new radical economic strategy, the Trump Administration was turned into a chaotic and vicious ‘terrain for struggle’. The Bannon’s economic strategy barely got off the ground.

The mass media and operatives within the state apparatus, linked to Obama’s permanent war strategy, first attacked Trump’s proposed economic reconciliation with Russia. To undermine any ‘de-escalation’, they fabricated the Russian spy and election manipulation conspiracy. Their first successful shots were fired at Lt. General Michael Flynn, Bannon’s ally and key proponent for reversing the Obama/Clinton policy of military confrontation with Russia. Flynn was quickly destroyed and openly threatened with prosecution as a ‘Russian agent’ in whipped-up hysteria that resembled the heydays of Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Key economic posts in the Trump regime were split between the Israel-Firster neoliberals and the economic nationalists. The ‘Deal Maker’ President Trump attempted to harness Wall Street-affiliated neoliberal Zionists to the economic nationalists, linked to Trump’s working class electoral base, in formulating new trade relations with the EU and China, which would favor US manufacturers. Given the irreconcilable differences between these forces, Trump’s naïve ‘deal’ weakened Bannon, undermined his leadership and wrecked his nationalist economic strategy.

While Bannon had secured several important economic appointees, the Zionist neoliberals undercut their authority. The Fischer-Mnuchin-Cohn cohort successfully set a competing agenda.

The entire Congressional elite from both parties united to paralyze the TrumpBannon agenda. The giant corporate mass media served as a hysterical and rumor-laden megaphone for zealous Congressional and FBI investigators magnifying every nuance of Trump’s US Russia relations in search of conspiracy. The combined state-Congressional and Media apparatus overwhelmed the unorganized and unprepared mass base of Bannon electoral coalition which had elected Trump.

Thoroughly defeated, the toothless President Trump retreated in desperate search for a new power configuration, turning his day-to-day operations over to ‘his generals’. The elected civilian President of the United States embraced his generals’ pursuit of a new military-globalist alliance and escalation of military threats foremost against North Korea, but including Russia and China. Afghanistan was immediately targeted for an expanded intervention.

Trump effectively replaced Bannon’s economic nationalist strategy with a revival Obama’s multi-war military approach.

The Trump regime re-launched the US attacks on Afghanistan and Syria – exceeding Obama’s use of drone attacks on suspected Muslim militants. He intensified sanctions against Russia and Iran, embraced Saudi Arabia’s war against the people of Yemen and turned the entire Middle East policy over to his ultra-Zionist Political Advisor (Real Estate mogul and son-in-law) Jared Kushner and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

Trump’s retreat turned into a grotesque rout. The Generals embraced the neoliberal Zionists in Treasury and the Congressional global militarists. Communication Directory Anthony Scaramucci was fired. Trump’s Chief of Staff General Joe Kelly purged Steve Bannon. Sebastian Gorka was kicked out.

The eight months of internal struggle between the economic nationalists and the neoliberals has ended: The Zionist-globalist alliance with Trump’s Generals now dominate the Power Elite.

Trump is desperate to adapt to the new configuration, allied to his own Congressional adversaries and the rabidly anti-Trump mass media.

Having all but decimated Trump’s economic nationalists and their program, the Power Elite then mounted a series of media-magnified events centering around a local punch-out in Charlottesville, Virginia between ‘white supremacists’ and ‘anti-fascists’. After the confrontation led to death and injury, the media used Trump’s inept attempt to blame both ‘baseball bat’-wielding sides, as proof of the President’s links to neo-Nazis and the KKK. Neoliberal and Zionists, within the Trump administration and his business councils, all joined in the attack on the President, denouncing his failure to immediately and unilaterally blame rightwing extremists for the mayhem.

Trump is turning to sectors of the business and Congressional elite in a desperate attempt to hold onto waning support via promises to enact massive tax cuts and deregulate the entire private sector.

The decisive issue was no longer over one policy or another or even strategy.

Trump had already lost on all accounts. The ‘final solution’ to the problem of the election of Donald Trump is moving foreword step-by-step – his impeachment and possible arrest by any and all means.

What the rise and destruction of economic nationalism in the ‘person’ of Donald Trump tells us is that the American political system cannot tolerate any capitalist reforms that might threaten the imperial globalist power elite.

Writers and activists used to think that only democratically elected socialist regimes would be the target of systematic coup d’état. Today the political boundaries are far more restrictive. To call for ‘economic nationalism’, completely within the capitalist system, and seek reciprocal trade agreements is to invite savage political attacks, trumped up conspiracies and internal military take-overs ending in ‘regime change’.

The global-militarist elite purge of economic nationalists and anti-militarists was supported by the entire US left with a few notable exceptions. For the first time in history the left became an organizational weapon of the pro-war, pro-Wall Street, pro-Zionist Right in the campaign to oust President Trump. Local movements and leaders, notwithstanding, trade union functionaries, civil rights and immigration politicians, liberals and social democrats have joined in the fight for restoring the worst of all worlds: the Clinton-Bush-Obama/Clinton policy of permanent multiple wars, escalating confrontations with Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela and Trump’s deregulation of the US economy and massive tax-cuts for big business.

We have gone a long-way backwards: from elections to purges and from peace agreements to police state investigations. Today’s economic nationalists are labeled‘fascists’; and displaced workers are ‘the deplorables’!

Americans have a lot to learn and unlearn. Our strategic advantage may reside in the fact that political life in the United States cannot get worse – we really have touched bottom and (barring a nuclear war) we can only look up.

Featured image is from The Unz Review.

US plans to expand military ties with Myanmar amid atrocities against Rohingya: Report

Source

US Republican Senator John McCain leaves the the Senate chamber at the US Capitol on July 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)
US Republican Senator John McCain leaves the the Senate chamber at the US Capitol on July 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)
The United States is not likely to step in and stop an ethnic cleansing campaign against Myanmar’s downtrodden Rohingya Muslims because Washington is planning to expand military ties with the Southeast Asian country bordering China – a regional super power the US is trying to contain. 

The US Senate will vote on a defense spending bill next week that could expand the Pentagon’s cooperation with the Myanmarese military, The Associated Press reported on Saturday.

A draft of the bill also allows for courses and workshops on issues like maritime security, peacekeeping and combating human trafficking, the report said.

Republican Senator John McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, refused to respond to questions about the bill.

Read More:

The United States has been facing international condemnation due to its failure to censure Myanmar’s de facto ruler Aung San Suu Kyi over her complicity in the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in the Muslim-majority Rakhine region.

Some analysts have noted that Washington does not want to strain ties with Myanmar’s government and influential military because of the country’s proximity to China which has given it the status of a knight in the geopolitical game.

According to experts, the US is pursuing the “Pivot to Asia” policy, which is essentially a strategy for containing China. For this, Washington is implementing a policy of engagement with Myanmar, while ignoring the regime’s violation of international law and human rights.

The Trump administration has reluctantly expressed concerns about the state-sponsored violence against the Rohingya but refused to address calls for international sanctions against Suu Kyi’s government. Washington although has expressed keenness in enhancing US-Myanmar military ties.

“Further normalization of the military-to-military relationship with Burma is the last thing we should be doing right now,” said Walter Lohman, Asia program director at the right-leaning Heritage Foundation. “What a terrible signal to be sending.”

Myanmar’s security forces and Buddhist militants have been carrying out atrocities against the Rohingya for several months. They particularly stepped the vicious campaign since August 25.

A large number of Muslims, including women and children, have been burnt alive, lynched to death or lost their lives while fleeing the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people. Entire villages of Rohingya Muslims have been burnt to the ground.

According to the United Nations, some 270,000 Rohingyas have fled from Myanmar into neighboring Bangladesh since August 25.

Myanmar’s de facto ruler Aung San Suu Kyi (L) and military chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing arrive for a ceremony at the presidential palace in Naypyidaw.  (AFP file photo)

The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has said the destruction of homes and villages shows “an effort to ethnically cleanse the region of its Rohingya population and to prevent their eventual return.”

Refugees International has said Myanmar’s that military is blocking life-saving aid, “which we believe amount to ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.” The human right group has called for re-imposition of sanctions targeting Myanmar’s military officials.

More than a dozen Nobel laureates have written an open letter to the UN Security Council warning of a tragedy “amounting to ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity” in Rakhine state, citing the “potential for genocide.”

Despite all this, America’s close ally in the Middle East, Israel, continues sale of weaponry to the Myanmarese junta.

Investigations by several rights watchdogs have found that more than 100 tanks, as well as boats and weapons, have been sold to Myanmar by Israeli arms companies.

Agents of Terror on USA Government Payroll – Part I: Anwar Al-Awlaki

Source

Sibel Edmonds
NewsBud.com

Editor’s note: Read this article and extrapolate to many other alleged ‘Muslim terror masterminds’. Most likely, all of them were, in one way or another, assets of US intelligence agencies, tasked with creating the ‘reality’ of a terror threat to the USA in order that the US government could respond by invading and occupying nations around the world as part of the long war against Russia and China and securing the Middle East in particular for the ‘new American century’.

From quasi investigative reports to legitimate leaks, whistleblowers and numerous court documents, several key 9/11 operatives have been identified and confirmed as assets and or informants of the United States government. All details of these operatives’ positions, functions and employment records have been sealed and protected as beyond and above top secret classified. Further, despite the established facts and undeniable trail of evidentiary crumbs, the mainstream and pseudo-alternative tentacles of the establishment continue to downplay or plainly disregard these cases, and parrot the long ago debunked official narrative. According to them the sum of two plus two plus more twos equals … well, a solid ‘zero.’

Whether it is Anwar al-Awlaki, a man who was born and highly educated in the United States, who fought on our side against our competitors’ interests, who was a regular figure at the Pentagon and the brass’ dinner companion, who was on the FBI’s payroll and highly valued by the US Congress; or Ali Mohamed’s employment with the United States Army’s Green Barret and the CIA, and his connections with the FBI; or the landlord of two 9/11 hijackers in San Diego, who happened to be a highly valued long-term FBI informant, we find ourselves staring at black holes of incomplete profiles and missing crucial information. In each of these cases we are dealing with a government engaged in an extraordinary level of secrecy, protection and cover-up. And with every single case we are faced with the crucial why question.

 While each case, individually, on its own, paints an extremely troubling picture with serious implications, we must delve into the cases as a whole in order to see the larger theme and an even more telling story. Putting these established cases together, documented in one place, is a sound starting point towards needed answers- the truth; on 9/11.

On October 4, 2013, lawyers for Ali Al-Timimi, a Virginia man and Muslim scholar serving a life sentence for supporting jihad against the U.S., pushed to obtain more information from the federal government on evidence pertaining to the cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki’s recruitment as a U.S. government informant over a decade ago. According to Al-Timimi’s defense lawyer Jonathan Turley, recently-released FBI files suggest that Al-Awlaki may have been acting as an “asset” for some government agency. In response to Turley’s request for this crucial evidence, government prosecutors insisted that they had no obligation to provide the detail of its dealings with Al-Awlaki:

“Mr. Turley has no right to know [whether the government] had an asset into Awlaki at that time. Mr. Turley has no right to know if Mr. Awlaki was an asset at that time!”

Leonie Brinkema, the presiding U.S. District Court Judge on the case, has not been inclined to grant motions filed by Al-Timimi seeking more details on the government’s relationship with Al-Awlaki. Further, Brinkema suggested that part of the answer to these concerns is so highly classified that she is the only person at the court who is allowed to see it, and that even a number of other personnel with “Top Secret” clearance were not allowed to see the documents pertaining to these concerns.

Talk about secrecy! You can read Al-Tamimi’s motion seeking evidence about Al-Awlaki here , and the government’s response here.

Even former FBI Director Robert Mueller did not deny the official working relationship between the Bureau and Awlaki:

Documents obtained by Judicial Watch after it filed a Freedom of Information Act request and then sued the FBI, show the FBI Director was more deeply involved in the post-9/11 handling of al-Awlaki than previously known.

One memo from Mueller to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft on Oct. 3, 2002 — seven days before the cleric re-entered the U.S. and was detained at JFK — is marked “Secret” and titled “Anwar Aulaqi: IT-UBL/AL-QAEDA.”

While the substance of the memo is redacted in full, with the FBI citing classified material, the memo is one of at least three FBI reports, whose primary subject is the cleric, in the nine days leading up to al-Awlaki’s sudden return to the U.S. in October 2002.

Another FBI memo, also marked “Secret,” on Oct. 22, 2002, 12 days after the cleric’s return, includes the subject line “Anwar Nasser Aulaqi” and “Synopsis: Asset reporting.” It is not clear whether the term “asset” refers to the cleric or another individual.

“Why would al-Awlaki get the attention of the FBI Director? Why would a warrant for his arrest be pulled when he’s trying to reenter the country?” asked Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

As he leaves the FBI after 12 years — two years beyond the traditional term – Director Robert Mueller did not dismiss the possibility in an interview with Fox News. “I am not personally familiar with any effort to recruit Anwar al-Awlaki as an asset — that does not mean to say there was not an effort at some level of the Bureau (FBI) or another agency to do so,” Mueller said.

Awlaki was born in the United States and raised in an affluent family, with a highly educated father who was a Fulbright scholar:

“Al-Awlaki was born in the United States. His parents were from Yemen. His father did his graduate work at U.S. universities, receiving his doctorate at the University of Nebraska, and later working at the University of Minnesota (1975 to 1977).”

He pursued higher education at prestigious U.S. universities as well:

“Al-Awlaki earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University (1994). He also studied at San Diego State University, and worked on a doctorate degree in Human Resource Development at George Washington University Graduate School of Education & Human Development (2001).”

Strangely, despite his preacher, aka Imam, positions, al-Awlaki never received any formal Islamic education. In fact, this is what other Islamic preachers have said about him:

Some Muslim scholars said they did not understand al‑Awlaki’s popularity, because while he spoke fluent English and could therefore reach a large non-Arabic-speaking audience, he lacked formal Islamic training and study.”

Awlaki’s upbringing and higher education took place here in the United States. His family was not Islamist or radicalized. He never went to Madrasas or Islamic preaching schools. So was he really radicalized? From documented facts and his history it seems as if he had later assumed the role of a radical Islamist. He was playing that role.

Now things get a bit more interesting: Awlaki spent a summer of his college years training with the Afghan Mujahideen. Why is this interesting? Because this summer training took place sometime between 1991 and 1994. We are not talking about the era when the Mujahideen fought the Soviets. No, this is not the 80s we are talking about. During this period there were no Taliban guys; Taliban had not yet been formed. The only Mujahideen in operation were the ones backed and directed by Pakistan’s ISI, with foreign participants mainly backed by Saudi Arabia:

“Pakistan’s ruling military establishment was opposed to the new developments in neighboring Afghanistan. Afghanistan expert Neamatollah Nojumi writes, “[t]hese new political and military developments in Afghanistan forced the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI to organize a military plan with forces belonging to Hekmatyar’s Hezb-i Islami … This militaristic plan aimed to capture Kabul and was in full force when … the rest of the Mujahideen leaders in Pakistan agreed to the UN peace plan. On the eve of the successful implementation of the UN peace plan in Afghanistan the ISI, through Hekmatyar and non-Afghan volunteers, led hundreds of trucks loaded with weapons and fighters to the southern part of Kabul.”

When we delve in further, we see Awlaki’s main area of interest:

In 1994 Awlaki began service as a part-time imam of the Denver Islamic Society, where he encouraged Saudis to fight in Chechnya against the Russians.”

 Let’s see. Who else would have interests in that region that would be against the Russian interests? Remember we are talking about the Post-Soviet period here. So the relationship between Awlaki and the CIA-Pentagon cannot be written off as one of those overly used ‘well, that was during the Afghan-Soviet War when we aligned ourselves with one evil against another evil,’ lines. This was the era when we began competing with Russia over the resource-rich region. Chechens have been one of our main tools to sabotage Russian interests in this region. So basically, Awlaki was encouraging terror operations against our competitor, and that would make him someone who was suavely playing a radical Islamist role for our side and special interests. In other words, we are talking Operation Gladio B.

So what happened next? Based on documented background information, by 2000-2001 Awlaki had ties to and relationships with high-ranking FBI officials:

“In 2001 Awlaki settled on the East Coast in the Washington Metropolitan Area where he served as imam at the Dar al-Hijrah mosque. This is where he led academic discussions and preaching frequented by FBI Director of Counter-Intelligence for the Middle East Gordon M. Snow.”

Awlaki was also a sought after figure by the Pentagon-he even dined with top brass, and he was a chosen man on Capitol Hill as well.

This is the same man, who from very early on during the 9/11 investigation, was tied in many ways to the supposed 9/11 terrorist attacks:

“When police investigating the 9/11 attacks raided the Hamburg, Germany, apartment of Ramzi bin al-Shibh, they found the telephone number of al-Awlaki among bin al-Shibh’s personal contacts.

One detective later told the 9/11 Commission he believed al-Awlaki “was at the center of the 9/11 story”. And an FBI agent said, “if anyone had knowledge of the plot, it would have been” him, since “someone had to be in the U.S. and keep the hijackers spiritually focused”.

 One common denominator among FBI-CIA terrorist recruits is the terrorist candidates’ being easily Blackmail-able. Recall one of the alleged 9/11 hijackers, Mohamed Atta, and the fantasy marketed by officials and their tentacles in the media that the one thing all the 9/11 hijackers shared was their adherence to the extreme side of Islam- aka Fanatic Islamists. The real history and facts state otherwise:

“In Venice Florida, Mohamed Atta lived for two months with an American stripper/lingerie model named Amanda Keller.

Atta loved to party. He was out with Keller nearly every night they were together. He was a heavy drinker, snorted coke, was a stylish dresser and wore expensive jewelry.

Atta, Keller, a stripper named Linda and two Germans, Peter and Johan, partied for three days in Key West. Atta paid for everything.

Atta frequented Vegas Casinos where he gambled, drank alcohol, and frequented strip clubs. Further, less than one week before the 9.11 attack…Atta and several other hijackers made a still-unexplained visit onboard one of Jack Abramoff’s casino boats.”

Awlaki too possessed such blackmail-able qualities that made him a perfect candidate. As he was being surveilled by the FBI (and probably the CIA), the pious Muslim preacher married with three children frequented escorts and brothels, received blowjobs and kinky intercourse, and had arrest record(s) for propositioning hookers. In a Hollywoodesque exposé written by New York Post, ‘The secret sex life of one of al Qaeda’s most fearsome members‘, we get a better picture of Awlaki’s activities making him a perfect recruit:

 “Such solo drives had become routine for him, though the settings varied; sometimes it was a motel in a seedier part of the city, or tonier lodging in the sprawling Virginia suburbs. This time it was the Marriott Residence Inn on P Street toward the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

In a Washington Post online chat a few weeks earlier, he had explained that Muslims abstained from sexual activity during Ramadan between sunrise and sunset. It was 2:30 p.m. when he made his way to Room 1010, where a young woman from Texas awaited.

He was a computer engineer, born in India and now living in California, Awlaki told her. He was polite and apologized for sneezing so much, explaining that he was suffering from hay fever. He handed over $220 and she performed oral sex on him. He “finished very quickly” and asked her for another round, the woman would later recount. But she was trying to raise the money to go to college in Florida and said he’d have to pay another $220. He said he’d pay again only for full sexual intercourse. She declined and he went on his way. He was a busy man, after all.

In the months after 9/11, the watchers from the SSG followed Awlaki to assignations with prostitutes at the Wyndham City Center, the Melrose, the Monarch, Avenue Suites, the Swissotel, and more. Agents would follow up with the women later the same day or the next day, asking about Awlaki’s words and actions. He liked the lights on, the agents learned. He found the escort services online and booked their services under his real name. Sometimes he asked for intercourse, sometimes oral sex, and sometimes he just watched the woman stimulate herself while he masturbated.”

Just like in any organized criminal network, the ultimate end of US government snitches, rats and assets who bear witness to government criminal operations, including terrorism, is either death by a hit-job, assassination, unexplained murder or suicide. And this consistent pattern shows up in the case of Awlaki – death by drone assassination ordered secretly by the highest echelons of a criminal government from the White House:

“A federal court on Monday released a previously secret government memo outlining the legal justification for the 2011 killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen and accused al-Qaeda operative, in a drone strike in Yemen.

The document was released under order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York and provides the most detailed explanation to date for the legal reasoning behind Awlaki’s killing. Its disclosure also represents a significant capitulation by the Obama administration, which fought for years to keep the memo – as well as many other aspects of its targeted-killing program – secret from the public.

“We do not believe that al-Aulaqi’s U.S. citizenship imposes constitutional limitations that would preclude the contemplated lethal action” by the U.S. military or CIA, the memo concluded, clearing the way for a drone strike that would trigger intense legal and political debate.

The newly released document indicates that both the U.S. military and the CIA had assured the Justice Department that “they intend to capture” Awlaki but had made clear that doing so “would be infeasible at this time.”

While acknowledging that killing a U.S. citizen carries “the risk of erroneous deprivation of a citizen’s liberty in the absence of sufficient process,” the memo argued that those considerations are overwhelmed when the target poses “a continued and imminent threat of violence or death” to other Americans.”

What really warranted a covert assassination order and execution of Al-Awlaki, a US citizen, directly by the President? As we all know dead men can’t talk. The drone assassination eliminated one more witness – a possible loose end with the potential of becoming a loudmouth. Yet the documents, albeit limited, witnesses, tireless investigative work of a few truth-seeking journalists live on – in hopes of a legitimate truth movement that never gives up seeking the truth.

And you think Trump is bad enough, brain damaged John McCain wants to become the next President

John McCain Began Sucking up to Neocons in Order to Become President

A very good, well-researched, very long article appeared today in the Unz Review, written by an excellent professional dissector of the Neocon web which is strangling Washington, Stephen Sniegoski.

Sniegoski notices that McCain was not always the psychopathic super-hawk he has been for the last decade, and if anything he was anti-interventionist on many issues until the late 90s, when the presidency became a realistic prospect.

Some money quotes:

While a change from his previous strong opposition to American intervention abroad, supporting this peace effort in Bosnia did not portend McCain’s radical transmutation to the global super-hawk that he would become.

That final step would require the involvement of the neoconservatives. This connection began when, in 1997, McCain and his advisers read an article in the Wall Street Journal editorial page by neoconservatives Bill Kristol and David Brooks who were promoting the idea of “national greatness” conservatism, which consisted of a more activist domestic agenda and a more interventionist global role.[19]

While this article may have fit in with the direction that McCain’s thinking was moving, it had political implications as well: McCain had been eyeing the presidency for a number of years.

According to John Weaver, a major political adviser to McCain at this time: “I wouldn’t call it a ‘eureka’ moment, but there was a sense that this is where we are headed and this is what we are trying to articulate and they [Kristol and Brooks] have already done a lot of the work. . . . And, quite frankly, from a crass political point of view, we were in the making-friends business. The Weekly Standard represented a part of the primary electorate that we could get.”[20] And it should be emphasized that McCain’s change was not a gradual one but rather one that was quite radical and took place in a very short period of time.

After reading this article, McCain and staff were consulting regularly with leading neocons, including Kristol, Robert Kagan, and Randy Scheunemann[21], to, in the words of journalist David Kirkpatrick, “develop the senator’s foreign policy ideas and instincts into the broad themes of a presidential campaign.”[22] In short, McCain realized that he needed the neocons’ intellectual and political support if he were to achieve higher office. 

After his sudden conversion to Neocon plans for world domination, McCain went super-hawk on Serbia, and voila!, he was a leading presidential contender  …

Largely because of his bellicose position on Kosovo, McCain was the favorite presidential candidate for many leading neoconservatives in 2000. As Franklin Foer, editor of the liberal New Republic, put it: “Jewish neoconservatives have fallen hard for John McCain. It’s not just unabashed swooner William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard. McCain has also won over such leading neocon lights as David Brooks, the entire Podhoretz family, The Wall Street Journal‘s Dorothy Rabinowitz, and columnist Charles Krauthammer, who declared, in a most un-Semitic flourish, ‘He suffered for our sins.’”[31]

McCain was especially championed by Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, and his associate David Brooks.

American politics 101 folks. Read it and weep.

And the Serbs paid the price in blood

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