The Story of Trump’s Letter to Assad – Al-Akhbar قصة رسالة ترامب الى الأسد

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

US envoy to Damascus: We are ready to cooperate against ISIL
Syrian President gives the envoy documents verifying US security officials’ involvement in terrorism

The White House’s announcement that Syria’s President Bashar Assad’s fate shall be decided by the Syrian people was not a surprise. It was being introduced since the early fall, on the eve of (and after) the election of Donald Trump as the US President and the successor of President Barack Obama who once showed readiness to conduct a military strike against the Syrian government in the summer of 2013

Ibrahim Al-Amine

Since two years or even more, the west raised the voice against policies applied in Syria. The issue is not only about what is going on in Europe. Unlike the prevailing impression that the US majority doesn’t care for what is taking place in Syria and that the political, military and security administrations are forbidding any argument, some information and circulations appeared to show that the discussion is going tougher day by day, but there are parties closing the doors and shutting the eyes. What the presidential elections had uncovered, about the professional crisis which all US media outlets are suffering from, also reflected the deep ethical crisis of those outlets being controlled by authoritative powers on both administrative and economic levels. Even the media elites show greater superiority than that among the decision makers. Such superiority became popular in several countries. The US presidential elections’ results made clear that the media is not able to stick all the time with the course of their audiences.

Tulsi Gabbard, former Democratic Representative for Hawaii in the US Congress, had previously declared controversial opinions on what is going on in our countries. She is the woman whose voice rises in institutions and media outlets, and she represented one of the undesired voices of the administration’s powers. She decided to closely learn the truth of what is happening in our region, namely Syria. In the mid of last summer, Gabbard’s idea to make a fact-finding visit to Syria matured. All preparations indicated that the visit might be made in last October. The matter required some measures, starting with providing the required money for the trip, to prepare the agenda and then to obtain the visit permission from the House Committee on Ethics.

Things were done in late summer. However, what happened is that Gabbard, known by strong candidate Donald Trump’s team, was involved in the elections. She didn’t like Hillary Clinton at all, and she frankly supported Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, grabbing Trump’s electoral team’s attention. And as Trump won the elections, he discussed with his team the possibility of convincing Gabbard with taking a prominent governmental rank in his new administration. Meanwhile, Trump learned of her intention to visit Syria, and in turn asked her to delay the visit until he takes power because he has something to tell her.

Gabbard agreed with him. On October 21, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump received Gabbard for more than two hours and a half. She told him she couldn’t delay the visit more, and her program is scheduled to mid January between Syria and Lebanon, and that she will be there when he will officially takes office. So she congratulated him ahead, and apologized for not being able to attend the inauguration.

During the meeting, Trump asked Gabbard to explain her viewpoint on the situation in Syria and Iraq. After he heard her, he expressed his agreement on her analysis. She told him that she is preparing data to enact a law that forbids US citizens from cooperating with any person who has direct or indirect ties with terrorist groups around the world, especially ISIL.

Trump asked her: Are you going to meet Assad in Damascus?

Gabbard: Probably!

Trump: Well, ask him if he is ready to communicate with us, and I’m ready to call him by phone. But let it be known from now that the cooperation will be entitled fighting ISIL. He will find that overthrowing him is outside the circle of my interests. The issue will stop circulating gradually. As for the direct contact and canceling sanctions, both issues need time; the important thing is that we know how he will act and how much he is ready to cooperate with us away from the Russians and the Iranians. We must change our policy towards Assad. The direct containment could be good. The man stayed in his position. The reality says that we have to deal with him in case we wanted to confront ISIL indeed.

The pragmatic virtual Trump finds that Obama’s policy had damaged the American power in the Middle East. He holds his predecessor responsible for keeping the region open in front of the Russian power, considering that his administration has to return and participate in directing the region, especially with respect to Syria and Iraq. In this regard, Trump wants to change all of the administration’s policies, whether internally or abroad. He pledges not to stand face to face with Russia, and he wants to besiege Iran and end the nuclear deal’s effects, even without giving up on it. He believes that Syria is the place where understandings could be made with the Russians and others.

Trump sees that ISIL is the main threat to everybody. He is pretty sure that Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey have role in supporting ISIL as well as all al-Qaeda branches. Despite his hatred of Iran, he believes it is more serious in fighting ISIL. He doesn’t want to only make a core political change, but also wants to change the strategy. Thus, he believes that the important issue right now is to focus on ISIL and ignore all other goals, including overthrowing Assad.

Trump knows he has many rivals in the US, starting with parties, media and intelligence to reach part of the army. However, he doesn’t want to retreat.

After Gabbard’s meeting with Trump was over, she asked to intensify the preparations for the trip. Yet what happened is that a campaign to hamper Gabbard was launched inside the US through the CIA and the FBI agents. All those who were concerned with the visit were contacted in an attempt to convince them to change their minds. Later on, the State Department started its efforts to confront Gabbard’s trip.

The US ambassador to Lebanon, Elizabeth Richard, received a sort of “instruction” that she has to hinder the visit. Richard had previously announced to the Congress, then when she arrived in Lebanon, that her mission is limited with confronting Hezbollah and the Syrian government. She even didn’t welcome the Congress member’s visit, yet she doesn’t know -officially- the goal of the visit. She assumed that she will definitely be the reference who would adjust the visit, set the dates and list the prohibitions.

It wasn’t too late before the ambassador was surprised with a message that went against her desire. She has been already confused with her administration’s decision to freeze her job along with other diplomats across the world. She wasn’t into setting a serious schedule. But Gabbard herself asked her aides to notify the US embassy in Beirut that they don’t want them to make any preparations or arrangements. She told her team: “I don’t want anything from the embassy there. No security protection, no logistic measures, no hospitality, no dates organization and not even participating in my visits.” The US ambassador was informed about that.

The ambassador thought that she has to act quickly. As Gabbard’s aides arrived in Beirut a couple of days before she did. Richard immediately asked to meet with them in the embassy’s headquarters, in the presence of the security official to explain details on the dangerous situation in Lebanon with certain recommendations. The security chief offered that Gabbard stays at the embassy. But once again, the ambassador, deprived from Lebanon’s blessings, was shocked. Gabbard’s aides told her that it is none of her business and that nobody wants something from her, adding that Gabbard prefers that her visit remains out of any protocol. She wants to select with whom she will meet, where and how.

The embassy’s security staff pressed to set conditions starting with the name of the Lebanese official security figure that will accompany Gabbard in her visit, with an explanation of the areas she cannot visit at all (the red zone) or the area that she is preferred to visit only in the day (the yellow zone) and the area open in day and night (the green zone). The embassy’s security official gave Gabbard’s aides phone numbers to be contacted when necessary, saying confidently: “We have units spread all over Lebanon that are ready to intervene when necessary.”

On January 14, Gabbard took off from Washington heading towards Beirut Airport. She arrived with her husband, the movie director and the rich man of Indian origins Abraham Williams, and the accompanying delegation on Sunday. Her aides were waiting for her, along with a force from the Embassies Security Apparatus of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces. They were delegated after contacting Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq. Leaving the airport, the delegation headed directly to al-Yarzeh to obtain visa to enter Syria from the Syrian embassy in Lebanon. Syria’s ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Abdul Karim Ali, was there. And he received them until the visas were issued.

What happened is that the American guest’s delegation chose a short way to reach al-Yarzeh, which means that she passed through Beirut’s southern suburb, classified within the red zone. Thereat, Gabbard asked: Where we are?

Answer: We are in the Hezbollah zone.

Gabbard: But where are the military bases and the militants?

Answer: Such things do not exist at all.

Gabbard: Are you sure we are passing through a zone that is fully controlled by Hezbollah?

Answer: Yes! And within minutes we will be in a zone that is under the Lebanese army’s full control, where the office and house of the Syrian ambassador are located.

There, the Black Panthers Force of the Internal Security Forces was waiting. It appeared later that the US embassy’s security officials weren’t pleased by the help of the Embassies Security Apparatus. Their information provides that it is influenced by Hezbollah, and that they prefer the “Black Panthers”. Gabbard’s aides accepted it, but as she arrived at her room in one of Beirut’s hotels, the US ambassador called asking to meet with her. Gabbard apologized reiterating: I want nothing from the embassy.

On Monday, at 8 in the morning, the convoy left the hotel heading directly to the Syrian borders. On the Lebanese border checkpoint, the convoy headed towards a security team that facilitated their entrance to the top visitors lounge. There, they were awaited by members of the protocol team in the presidential palace, headed by a Syrian presidential envoy. As the Lebanese security personnel remained on the border point, Gabbard and her delegation headed straight away to meet with President Bashar Assad.

President Assad received her with his familiar smile. He shook hands with the delegation members and asked Gabbard about her trip, who in turn started the conversation at once: “I am here on a fact-finding visit. I want to visit several areas in Syria if I could, and I want to meet with people on the ground. I need help in presenting documented and certain data on who is sponsoring the terrorist organizations, namely ISIL and al-Qaeda. I am here under a congressional permission. I wanted to come a month earlier but the delay happened due to President Trump’s demand.”

Gabbard later talked with Assad about her vision on the stance in Syria and the region. She said: “I met with President Trump before I came here. I am carrying his letter for you. He asked me to reflect to you his vision and thoughts regarding the region, and he demanded something else straightly.”

As Assad continued listening to her, Gabbard went on to expose her viewpoint and what she heard from the US President-elect. She reiterated to him the US administration’s remarks on its allies’ policies in Syria, counting Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Gulf States. She said that Trump’s ultimate priority is fighting ISIL, and that when approaching the Iranian issue, he will take into consideration that it is a very serious country in fighting ISIL. President Trump wants radical shift in the US policy towards Syria and the region.

Assad asked her: Is this the impression you made after meeting with Trump?

Gabbard replied: No, they are his thoughts, he asked me to reflect them to you. We, in short, want to cooperate with you on fighting ISIL. Trump is impressed with Russia’s brilliance in dealing with the Syrian issue, and he wants to make understandings with the Russians in Syria.

Gabbard suddenly asked Assad: If President Trump called you, would you respond?

Assad smiled: Is it hypothetical or a suggestion?

Gabbard: It is not hypothetical.

Assad: Is it your suggestion?

Gabbard: No, it is a question for you from President Trump. He told me to ask you. And I am repeating: If he called you would you respond?’

Gabbard was stunned with Assad’s fast reply: Of course, and I will give you a phone number through which I can be easily reached.

At that point, Gabbard seemed a bit surprised, as if she assumed that Assad won’t respond on the spot and he will ask for some time before he replies. Later, it appeared that the Trump administration believed that Assad will ask for some time before he replies to discuss the issue with his Russian and Iranian allies. The Americans frankly thought that Assad “won’t dare to contact them without Moscow’s permission.”

Before the end of the meeting, Gabbard explained to Assad once again that she needs to make a tour inside Syria to prepare her report on what is going on there. She asked if she could visit Aleppo after the Syrian army and its allies had regained full control of it.

In some two hours, Assad listened to Gabbard’s offer and then presented his viewpoint and information on what is happening, and the US direct or indirect role in supporting terrorist groups. After that, Gabbard entered another office where she met for extra two hours with Syria’s First Lady Asmaa Assad, in which they discussed social issues and the negative aspects of the war on Syria’s people. She went after to meet with Syria’s Mufti Badreddine Hassoun, visit Damascus Grand Mosque and then meet Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem. After all, she met with businessmen and academics who displayed the consequences of the war on Syria.

The delegation spent their night in an official hospitality headquarter. On that night, Gabbard accepted Assad’s Counselor Bouthaina Shaaban’s dinner invitation, in the presence of Syria’s UN Envoy Bashar al-Jaafari. Later, a meeting with Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem was organized.

In the next morning, an official political and security team from the Presidential Palace accompanied the American guest onboard a presidential plane off to Aleppo. Thereat, another team was waiting, and Gabbard made a two-hour tour in which she met with the Governor of Aleppo, MPs, clerics, activists and citizens. She also visited a migrant camp.

Before leaving Aleppo, Gabbard’s aides received a call that President Assad decided to receive her Wednesday all day, and that he made preparations to hold detailed meetings, including a business lunch, and that he will provide her with invulnerable documents confirming direct involvement of US security personnel, under a request of former President Barack Obama, in supporting terrorists in Syria. This is what happened, and Gabbard decided to delay its return from Wednesday to Thursday. On Wednesday, Gabbard met Assad twice in the presence of Syrian government officials who carried with them documents and files. He showed her what not only surprised her, but rather shocked her. She was given enough evidence to examine when she returns to the US.

Gabbard returned to Beirut on Thursday, in which her agenda was supposed to be full of previously scheduled meetings with respect to a list that for the first time didn’t include the figures the US embassy obliges any American visitor to meet with. The suggestions came along with Gabbard’s desire. Her agenda included visits for the three primates, the Army Commander, Director General of General Security, former President Emil Lahhoud and Maronite Patriarch Bechara al-Rahi, stressing that the meetings won’t be attended by any of the embassy’s staff. She had assigned a date to meet with Ambassador Richard in a quick and sneak meeting.

The surprise was that the office of the Parliament Speaker refused to organize a meeting with Speaker Nabih Berri. Soon after, Gabbard’s team learned that the US Embassy intervened, informing the Speaker’s office, as well as those concerned in the presidential and governmental palaces, and even the security leaderships that the visit was not coordinated with the State Department.

Gabbard learned the issue, and asked her aides to inform the ambassador that what she is doing is illegal and that the White House will be informed about the issue, in which the ambassador will be held accountable for doing what contradicts with the US interests.

Before leaving Beirut, Gabbard held a non-scheduled meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari who happened to be in Beirut. She then traveled to the US, where she was awaited by a crowd of rivals who launched against her a media campaign that lasted several weeks. Gabbard, however, was waiting a date to meet with President Trump to inform him with her visit’s results, and in the meantime she started preparing her special report on Syria… which has its own long story as well!

Al-Akhbar Newspaper, Translated by website team

Source: Al-Akhbar Newspaper

وفد أميركي في دمشق: مستعدون للتعاون معكم ضد داعش
الرئيس السوري يسلم الموفد وثائق تؤكد تورّط أمنيين أميركيين في الإرهاب
 
نقلت غابارد عن ترامب: أنا تخليت عن مطلب إسقاط الأسد بالقوة (أرشيف)
ابراهيم الأمين
علان البيت الأبيض أن مصير الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد يقرره الشعب السوري لم يكن مفاجئاً. له مقدمات تعود الى مطلع الخريف الماضي، عشية (وبعد) انتخاب دونالد ترامب رئيساً للولايات المتحدة الاميركية خلفاً للرئيس باراك أوباما، الذي وصل به الأمر حدّ الاستعداد لتوجيه ضربة عسكرية الى الحكومة السورية صيف عام 2013

منذ عامين وأكثر، ارتفعت الاصوات في الغرب احتجاجاً على السياسات المتّبعة في سوريا. الأمر لا يقتصر على ما يجري في أوروبا. وبخلاف الانطباع السائد أن الغالبية الاميركية غير مهتمة لما يدور في بلاد الشام، وأن الادارات السياسية والعسكرية والامنية مانعة لأي نقاش، تظهر معطيات ومداولات أن النقاش صار يحتدم يوماً بعد يوم، لكن هناك من يغلق الابواب والأعين. وما كشفته الانتخابات الرئاسية عن الازمة المهنية التي يعانيها الاعلام الاميركي بكل تنوّعاته، عكس أيضاً الازمة الاخلاقية العميقة التي تصيب هذا الاعلام الممسوك من قوى نافذة في الادارة والاقتصاد. حتى النخب الثقافية فيه، تُظهر فوقية أكبر من تلك الموجودة عند أهل القرار. وهي فوقية صارت معمّمة في كثير من دول العالم. وأظهرت نتائج الانتخابات الرئاسية الاميركية عجز الميديا عن الامساك كل الوقت باتجاهات الجمهور.
تولسي غابارد، عضو في الكونغرس عن ولاية هاواي، ومن فريق الحزب الديموقراطي. سبق لها أن أدلت بآراء بدت سجالية حول ما يجري في بلادنا. والمرأة التي يبرز صوتها في المؤسسات وفي الاعلام، مثّلت أحد الاصوات غير المرغوبة من قوى النفوذ في الادارة. قررت التعرّف عن قرب على حقيقة ما يجري عندنا، وتحديداً في سوريا.
منتصف الصيف الماضي، نضجت عند غابارد فكرة زيارة سوريا في رحلة تقصّي حقائق. الترتيبات كان تشير الى إمكانية حصول الزيارة في تشرين الاول الماضي. احتاج الامر إلى بعض الإجراءات، من توفير تمويل الرحلة، الى ترتيب جدول الاعمال، الى الحصول على موافقة لجنة الاخلاقيات في الكونغرس على الزيارة.
الامور أنجزت أواخر الصيف. لكن الذي حصل أن غابارد التي يعرفها فريق المرشح القوي دونالد ترامب، كانت منخرطة في الانتخابات. لم تكن معجبة أبداً بهيلاري كلينتون، وأيّدت صراحة المرشح الديمقراطي بيرني ساندرز، وهو أمر لفت انتباه فريق ترامب الانتخابي. وبعد فوز الاخير في الانتخابات، بحث مع فريقه إمكانية إقناع غابارد بتولي منصب حكومي بارز في إدارته الجديدة. وأثناء التواصل والبحث، علم ترامب بنيتها زيارة سوريا، فطلب إليها تأخير الزيارة ريثما يتسلم مهماته، لأن لديه ما يقوله لها.

وافقت غابارد على التأجيل. وفي 21 تشرين الثاني عام 2016، استقبلها الرئيس المنتخب دونالد ترامب لأكثر من ساعتين ونصف ساعة. أبلغته أنها لا تقدر على تأجيل الزيارة أكثر، وأن برنامجها محدد منتصف كانون الثاني بين سوريا ولبنان، وأنها ستكون هناك يوم تولّيه الحكم رسمياً. فقدمت له التهاني مسبقاً، واعتذرت عن عدم قدرتها على حضور حفل التنصيب.

خلال اللقاء سألها أن تشرح له وجهة نظرها حول الوضع في سوريا والعراق. وبعد سماعها، أبلغها أنه موافق على تحليلها. وقالت له إنها تعمل على إعداد معطيات لأجل سنّ قانون يمنع الاميركيين من أي تعاون مع أي شخص يكون له علاقة مباشرة أو غير مباشرة بالمجموعات الارهابية في العالم، وخصوصاً تنظيم داعش.
سألها ترامب: هل ستلتقين الأسد في دمشق؟
قالت له: على الأرجح!

قال لها: حسناً، اسأليه إن كان مستعداً للتواصل معنا، وأنا مستعد للاتصال به هاتفياً. ولكن، ليكن معلوماً منذ الآن أن التعاون سيكون عنوانه قتال «داعش». سيجد أن مطلب إطاحته من منصبه ليس في دائرة اهتماماتي. وهو عنوان سيختفي من التداول تدريجياً. أما التواصل المباشر وإلغاء العقوبات، فهما أمران يحتاجان الى وقت، والمهم أن نعرف كيفية تصرفه، ومدى استعداده للتعاون معنا بمعزل عن الروس والإيرانيين. نحن يجب أن نغيّر سياستنا تجاه الأسد. الاحتواء المباشر قد يكون مفيداً. الرجل صمد في موقعه. الواقع يقول لنا إنه يجب أن نتعامل معه إذا كنا نريد مواجهة داعش فعلياً.

ترامب، البراغماتي والعملاني، يرى أن سياسة أوباما خرّبت النفوذ الاميركي في الشرق الاوسط، ويحمّل سلفَه مسؤولية ترك المنطقة مفتوحة أمام النفوذ الروسي، معتبراً أن على إدارته العودة والمشاركة في إدارة المنطقة، ولا سيما ملفي سوريا والعراق. وفي هذا السياق، يريد ترامب تغيير كل سياسات الادارة، خارجياً كما داخلياً. وهو يتعهد بعدم المواجهة مع روسيا، ويريد محاصرة إيران وإنهاء مفاعيل الاتفاق النووي، ولو من دون التخلي عنه. ويعتقد أن سوريا هي ساحة التفاهمات مع الروس والآخرين.
يرى ترامب أن داعش هو الخطر الاساس على الجميع. هو متأكد من دور السعودية وقطر وتركيا في دعم داعش وكل فروع القاعدة. ورغم كرهه لإيران، يعتقد أنها الأكثر جدية في قتال داعش. وهو لا يريد إجراء تغيير سياسي جوهري وحسب، بل يريد تغيير الاستراتيجية، ولذلك يعتقد أن المهم الآن التركيز على داعش وتجاهل كل الاهداف الاخرى، بما في ذلك هدف إطاحة الأسد.
يعرف أن لديه خصوماً كثراً في أميركا، من الاحزاب الى الاعلام والمخابرات، وصولاً حتى قسم من الجيش. لكنه لا يريد التراجع.

بعد انتهاء اجتماعها مع ترامب، طلبت غابارد تكثيف الاستعدادت للسفر. لكن الذي حصل هو انطلاقة حملة لتعطيلها، داخل الولايات المتحدة، من خلال رجال الاستخبارات «سي. آي. إيه.» و«أف. بي. آي.». وحصلت اتصالات مع كل المعنيين بالزيارة لأجل إقناعهم بالعدول عنها. ومن ثم بوشرت المساعي من وزارة الخارجية أيضاً لمواجهة رحلة غابارد.

السفيرة الاميركية في بيروت، اليزابيث ريتشارد، تلقّت ما يشبه «التعليمة» بأن عليها عرقة الزيارة. سبق لها أن أعلنت أمام الكونغرس، ثم لدى وصولها الى لبنان، أن مهمتها محصورة في مواجهة حزب الله والحكومة السورية. وهي لم تكن مرحّبة أصلاً بزيارة عضو الكونغرس، لكنها لا تعرف ــ رسمياً ــ هدف الزيارة. وافترضت أنها ستكون حكماً المرجع الذي يضبط الزيارة، ويحدد المواعيد، ويضع المحظورات.

لم يتأخر الوقت حتى فوجئت السفيرة برسالة معاكسة لرغباتها. هي تعيش أصلاً حالة من التوتر الكبير جرّاء قرار إدارتها تجميد أعمالها مع دبلوماسيين آخرين في العالم. هي لم تكن في وارد وضع برنامج جدّي. لكن غابارد نفسها طلبت من مساعديها إبلاغ السفارة الاميركية في بيروت أنها لا تريد منهم المشاركة في التحضيرات ولا حتى في الترتيبات. وقالت لفريقها: لا أريد من السفارة هناك أي شيء. لا حماية أمنية، ولا إجراءات لوجستية، ولا استضافة، ولا ترتيب مواعيد، ولا مشاركتي في الزيارات. وتم إبلاغ السفيرة الاميركية بالأمر.

فكرت السفيرة في أن عليها التحرك سريعاً. ومع وصول مساعدي عضو الكونغرس الى بيروت، قبلها بأيام، سارعت السفيرة ريتشارد الى طلب الاجتماع بهم، في مقر السفارة، وأحضرت المسؤول الأمني لكي يشرح تفاصيل عن الوضع الخطير في لبنان، مع توصيات معينة. وعرض المسؤول الأمني أن تبيت غابارد في بيت الضيافة في مقر السفارة. ومرة جديدة، صدمت السفيرة المحرومة من نِعَم لبنان. فقد أبلغها مساعدو غابارد أنها غير معنية، ولا أحد يريد شيئاً منها، وأن غابارد تفضّل أن تكون زيارتها بعيدة عن كل أشكال البروتوكول، وهي تريد أن تختار من تقابل وأين وكيف.

الأمنيون في السفارة ضغطوا لأجل وضع شروط، من اسم الجهة الأمنية الرسمية اللبنانية التي ستواكب النائبة الأميركية أثناء وجودها في لبنان، مع شرح توضيحي للمناطق التي لا يمكنها زيارتها أبداً (المنطقة الحمراء) أو تلك المفضّل زيارتها نهاراً فقط (المنطقة الصفراء) وتلك المفتوحة ليلاً ونهاراً (المنطقة الخضراء). ثم أودَع المسوؤل الأمني في السفارة مساعدي غابارد أرقام هواتف للاتصال عند الضرورة، قائلاً بلغة الواثق: لدينا وحدات منتشرة في كل لبنان جاهزة للتدخل متى تطلب الأمر.
في الرابع عشر من كانون الثاني غادرت غابارد العاصمة الاميركية متوجهة الى مطار بيروت. وصلت غابارد برفقة زوجها المخرج السينمائي، الرجل الثري من أصول هندية ابراهام وليامز، والوفد المرافق، يوم الاحد. كان مساعدون لها في انتظارها، برفقة قوة من جهاز أمن السفارات في قوى الامن الداخلي، كانت قد توافرت بعد اتصال مع وزير الداخلية نهاد المشنوق. ومن المطار توجه الموكب مباشرة صوب منطقة اليرزة، للحصول على تأشيرة دخول الى سوريا من السفارة السورية هناك. وكان السفير السوري في لبنان علي عبد الكريم الذي استضافهم ريثما تنجز أوراق التأشيرات.

ما حصل هو أن موكب الضيفة الاميركية اختار طريقاً قصيرة للوصول الى منطقة اليرزة. وهذا يعني أنها عبرت منطقة الضاحية الجنوبية، المصنّفة ضمن المنطقة الحمراء.

وأثناء مرورها هناك، سألت: أين نحن؟

الجواب: نحن في منطقة حزب الله.
سألت: لكن أين هي القواعد العسكرية والمسلحون؟
الجواب: لا وجود لهذه الأشياء أصلاً.
سألت: هل أنتم متأكدون من أننا نمرّ في منطقة يسيطر عليها حزب الله بصورة كاملة؟

الجواب: نعم! وخلال دقائق نكون في منطقة تخضع تماماً لسيطرة الجيش اللبناني، وهناك يقع مكتب السفير السوري ومنزله.

هناك، كانت قوة من فرقة «الفهود» التابعة لقوى الامن الداخلي قد وصلت. تبيّن أن المسؤولين الأمنيين في السفارة الاميركية غير راضين عن الاستعانة بجهاز أمن السفارات. فمعلوماتهم تفيد بأنه يقع تحت تأثير حزب الله، وأنهم يفضّلون «الفهود». قَبِل مساعدو غابارد بالأمر، لكن عند وصولها الى غرفتها في أحد فنادق العاصمة، اتصلت السفيرة الاميركية طالبة مقابلتها، لكن غاربارد اعتذرت، مكررة القول: لا أريد أي شيء من السفارة.

الثامنة من صباح الاثنين ينطلق الموكب من الفندق مباشرة باتجاه الحدود السورية. وعند نقطة المصنع، يتوجه الموكب صوب نقطة يوجد فيها فريق أمني يسهّل الوصول الى صالة كبار الزوار، حيث كان أفراد من تشريفات القصر الجمهوري، برئاسة موفد رئاسي سوري، في الانتظار مع سيارات الموكب. وبينما بقي الأمن اللبناني عند الحدود، توجهت غابارد والوفد مباشرة الى لقاء الرئيس بشار الأسد.
استقبلها الأسد بابتسامته المعهودة. صافح أعضاء الوفد، وسألها عن الرحلة، ثم دخلت هي مباشرة في الحديث:

«أنا هنا في زيارة تقصّي حقائق. أريد أن أزور أكثر من منطقة في سوريا إن استطعت، وأن أجتمع بأشخاص على الارض. وأريد مساعدتي في تقديم معطيات موثقة ومؤكدة حول من يدعم المنظمات الإرهابية، وخصوصاً داعش والقاعدة. أنا هنا بموافقة من الكونغرس، وكنت أنوي الحضور قبل أشهر، لكن التأجيل حصل بطلب من الرئيس ترامب نفسه».

ثم عرضت غابارد للأسد تصوّرها للموقف في سوريا والمنطقة. وقالت له: «أنا التقيت الرئيس ترامب قبل مجيئي الى هنا. وأنا أحمل لك رسالة منه. لقد طلب مني أن أنقل لك تصوّره وأفكاره بشأن المنطقة، وطلب أمراً آخر بصورة مباشرة».

واصل الاسد الاستماع، وأفاضت غابارد في عرض وجهة نظرها وما سمعته من الرئيس الاميركي المنتخب. وكررت أمامه ملاحظات الادارة الاميركية على سياسات حلفائها في سوريا، من السعودية الى تركيا الى بقية دول الخليج. وقالت له إن الاولوية المطلقة عند ترامب هي محاربة داعش. وهو سيأخذ بعين الاعتبار في مقاربته ملف ايران. إنها دولة جدية جداً في محاربة داعش. الرئيس ترامب يريد تغييراً جذرياً في سياسة أميركا حيال سوريا والمنطقة.

سألها الاسد: هل هذا هو انطباعك بعد الاجتماع مع ترامب؟
ردّت غابارد: لا، هذه هي أفكاره، وهو طلب مني أن أنقلها إليك. نحن باختصار، نريد التعاون معك في محاربة داعش. ترامب معجب بذكاء روسيا في إدارة الملف السوري، وهو يريد بناء تفاهم مع الروس في سوريا.
ثم فجأة سألت غابارد الأسد: إذا اتصل بك الرئيس ترامب، هل تردّ على المكالمة؟
ابتسم الأسد وسألها: هذا سؤال افتراضي، أم هو اقتراح؟
قالت له: ليس افتراضياً.
الأسد: هذا اقتراح منك؟

ردّت: لا، هذا سؤال لك من الرئيس ترامب، وهو طلب مني أن أنقله إليك، وسأعيد طرح السؤال: إذا اتصل بك هل ستردّ على المكالمة؟

فوجئت غابارد بردّ سريع من الأسد: بالطبع، وسوف أعطيك رقم هاتف يمكن الوصول إليّ عبره سريعاً.
في هذه النقطة،

بدت غابارد متفاجئة بعض الشيء، وكأنها كانت تحت تأثير تشويش، بأن الأسد لن يجيب مباشرة، وأنه سيطلب وقتاً للتفكير. لاحقاً، تبيّن أن إدارة ترامب كانت تعتقد أن الأسد سيطلب الوقت قبل الإجابة، لأجل التشاور مع حلفائه الروس والايرانيين. الاميركيون فكّروا بصراحة أن الأسد «لن يجرؤ على التواصل معهم من دون إذن موسكو».

قبل نهاية الاجتماع، عادت غابارد وشرحت للأسد حاجتها الى جولة في سوريا من أجل إعداد تقريرها حول ما يجري. وسألت إن كان بمقدورها زيارة حلب، بعدما كان الجيش السوري قد استعاد مع حلفائه السيطرة عليها كاملة.

في غضون نحو ساعتين، سمع الاسد عرض غابارد، ثم قدم وجهة نظره ومعطيات حول ما يجري ودور الولايات المتحدة الاميركية المباشر أو غير المباشر في دعم المجموعات الإرهابية. بعد ذلك، انتقلت غابارد الى مكتب آخر، حيث اجتمعت لساعتين أيضاً مع زوجة الرئيس السوري أسماء الأسد، ودار الحديث حول الجوانب الاجتماعية والآثار السلبية للحرب القائمة على الناس في سوريا. بعدها انتقلت للقاء مفتي سوريا بدر الدين حسون، وزيارة الجامع الكبير في دمشق، ثم التقت البطريرك أغناطيوس افرام، وبعده حصل اجتماع مع رجال أعمال وأكاديميين عرضوا لآثار الحرب على سوريا.

بات الوفد ليلته في مقر رسمي للضيافة، وفي ذلك المساء، لبّت غابارد دعوة مستشارة الاسد الدكتورة بثينة شعبان الى العشاء، بحضور مندوب سوريا في الامم المتحدة بشار الجعفري، ثم جرت ترتيبات لاجتماع مع وزير الخارجية وليد المعلم.

صباح اليوم التالي، واكب فريق رسمي سياسي وأمني من القصر الجمهوري الضيفة الاميركية، وغادر الجميع على متن طائرة رئاسية الى حلب. وهناك، كان فريق آخر في الانتظار، وقامت بجولة استمرت لساعات طويلة، التقت خلالها المحافظ وأعضاءً في البرلمان ورجال دين
وناشطين ومواطنين، وتفقدت مخيّماً للنازحين.

قبل مغاردتها حلب، تلقّى مساعدوها اتصالاً يفيد بأن الرئيس الأسد قرر استضافتها الأربعاء، طوال اليوم، وأنه أجرى الترتيبات لعقد لقاءات مفصّلة، يتخللها غداء عملأ وأنه سيزوّدها بوثائق دامغة تؤكد التورط المباشر لأمنيين أميركيين، بطلب من إدارة الرئيس السابق باراك أوباما، في دعم الإرهابيين في سوريا. وهذا ما حصل، فكان قرار تأجيل مغادرتها دمشق من الأربعاء إلى الخميس. وخلال نهار الاربعاء، التقت غابارد الأسد مرتين بحضور مسؤولين في الدولة السورية من الذين أحضروا معهم الوثائق والملفات. وعرض عليها ما مثّل بالنسبة إليها الصدمة وليس المفاجأة فقط. وأعطيت من الأدلة ما يتيح لها التثبّت من صحتها عند عودتها الى الولايات المتحدة الاميركية.

عادت غابارد الخميس الى بيروت، حيث كان من المفترض أن يكون جدول أعمالها مليئاً بمواعيد مقررة مسبقاً، وفق لائحة لم تشمل لأول مرة الشخصيات التي تلزم السفارة الاميركية كل زائر أميركي بمقابلتهم. وجاءت المقترحات تلبية لرغبة غابارد. وضمّ الجدول لقاء الرؤساء الثلاثة وقائد الجيش والمدير العام للأمن العام والرئيس السابق إميل لحود والبطريرك الماروني بشارة الراعي، مع التشديد على أن لا يحضر اللقاءات أيّ موظف من السفارة الاميركية في بيروت. وهي كانت قد حددت موعداً لمقابلة السفيرة ريشارد في لقاء عاجل وعابر.

الذي حصل، والذي شكل مفاجأة، كان رفض مكتب رئيس المجلس النيابي ترتيب لقاء مع الرئيس نبيه بري، ليتبيّن لفريق غابارد سريعاً أن السفارة الاميركية تدخلت، وهي أبلغت مكتب رئيس المجلس، وأيضاً المعنيين في القصرين الجمهوري والحكومي، وحتى القيادات الأمنية، أن الزيارة غير منسّقة مع وزارة الخارجية.

علمت غابارد بالأمر، وطلبت من مساعديها إبلاغ السفيرة أن ما تقوم به هو عمل غير قانوني، وسوف يتم إبلاغ البيت الأبيض به، وسوف تتم محاسبة السفيرة على عمل يناقض مصلحة الولايات المتحدة الاميركية.

قبل مغادرتها بيروت، عقدت غابارد اجتماعاً لم يكن مقرراً مع وزير الخارجية العراقي إبراهيم الجعفري الذي صودف وجوده في بيروت، ثم سافرت في وقت لاحق عائدة الى الولايات المتحدة، ليكون في انتظارها حشد من خصومها الذين شنّوا عليها حملة إعلامية استمرت لعدة أسابيع. كانت هي تنتظر موعداً للاجتماع بالرئيس ترامب لإطلاعه على نتائج الزيارة، بينما باشرت العمل على إعداد تقريرها الخاص عن سوريا… ولهذه المرحلة حكايتها الطويلة أيضاً!

من هي؟

تولسي غابارد (Tulsi Gabarad) مواليد 12 نيسان 1981. ملامحها السمراء تعود الى والدتها التي تعود أصولها الى السكان الأصليين، وقبيلة أمها من الهنود، كانت قد أبيدت في حرب عام 1800. تربّت في عائلة مرتاحة مادياً. توقفت غابارد عن متابعة تحصيلها العلمي بعدما نالت شهادة في الادارة العامة من إحدى جامعات هاواي، وانخرطت في العمل السياسي العام. وأول ما قامت به المشاركة ضمن فرق طبية تابعة للجيش الاميركي خدمت في العراق عام 2004. غابارد ناشطة في هاواي. انتسبت الى الحزب الديموقراطي، وانتخبت لتكون أول عضو كونغرس من الاصول الهندية. معروفة في الاوساط الشبابية، والإعلام يقدمها كمناضلة جريئة. معارضة معروفة للتغيير بواسطة الحرب، كما يحصل في ليبيا والعراق وسوريا. وهي تقود النقاش الساخن حول دعم غير مباشر لداعش وفروع القاعدة

DAPL Protesters Claim Victory as Pipeline Forced to Change Route

RT

The US Army Corps of Engineers will not grant permission for the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross Lake Oahe, the hotspot of massive protests of water protectors, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said in a statement, adding that alternative routes are now being studied.

“The Department of the Army will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota,” said a statement on the US Army website, citing the Assistant Secretary for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy.

Continued here

Native Woman Shot in Face with Tear Gas Canister Gives Interview

Posted on December 3, 2016

Vanessa Dundon, also known as ‘Sioux Z’, was shot in the face with a tear gas canister just before Thanksgiving. Doctors are now saying she will likely not regain vision in her right eye. The incident took place at the Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, and Dundon is one of a number of people who are now part of a class action lawsuit charging officials in Morton County, North Dakota, and the city of Mandan, with excessive force.

The Road from Standing Rock to Gaza is a Straight Line

caged but undaunted

Originally published in Counterpunch

SEPTEMBER 19, 2016
The Road from Standing Rock to Gaza is a Straight Line
by STANLEY L. COHEN

I’m not a North American Indian although I was adopted by clan mothers of the Longhouse Bear Clan from Akwesasne during the Summer of 1990 armed standoff between the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy) and Quebec where I served as legal counsel to the Mohawks. It began “simple” enough over a provincial plan to expand a golf course in Oka (Khanesatake) by taking over a traditional cemetery and destroying a sacred Pine forest in the heart of the Mohawk territory. After months of a standoff, mostly with Native women and children guarding a sacred ceremonial fire against bulldozers, a gun battle erupted between the Quebec Police (Surete du Quebec) and the Warrior Society, largely from Akwesasne… the Mohawk territory that straddles the borders of New York and Canada.

When the…

View original post 1,300 more words

Jill Stein Calls for New 9/11 Investigation

 photo 911impact.jpg

[ Ed. note – It has been a busy week for presidential candidate Jill Stein. First she attended a Dakota pipeline protest in support of Native Americans (there is now a warrant out for her arrest on charges of spray painting a bulldozer), and now she has issued a call for a new 9/11 investigation. The following is Stein’s statement on the matter posted at her campaign website. ]

Jill Stein’s Statement on 9/11

On the 15th Anniversary, We Need to Learn the Full Story of 9/11 and to End the Catastrophic Wars on Terror That Followed

Fifteen years ago the world reacted in horror as more than 3,000 individuals were murdered. We honor those victims, and the heroic first responders of that day.

The same day the Green Party issued a statement calling for this act of terrorism to be treated as a crime against humanity and for the culprits to be criminally prosecuted. We pleaded, “Do not turn our cries of grief into a cry for war.” Our national leaders and the corporate media ignored us.

The Stein/Baraka campaign stands for truth and transparency in politics. Since September 11 of 2001, secrecy and lies, endless war, torture, and a frightening “surveillance state” have become the new normal. On the 15th anniversary of 9/11, it is past time for sober reflection and public discourse about this tragedy.

We now know with absolute certainty that fraudulent claims of “weapons of mass destruction” and of links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda were used as pretexts to invade Iraq. That illegal and immoral war cost the lives of over 4,000 US soldiers and maimed and wounded almost a million more. In Iraq, another million people were killed.

Fifteen years later, American troops are still in Iraq and Afghanistan. The pretext of “humanitarian relief” was used to invade and devastate Libya. And the escalating violence has intensified the Syrian civil war into a disaster of the highest order. The Obama administration has expanded a drone war into Pakistan, Yemen and other countries. Hundreds of thousands of people—many of them children—have died as a result of the invasions. Millions more have become refugees.

The September 11 attacks were used to launch a war against terrorism, yet terrorism has soared worldwide. This war has been used as an excuse to squash civil liberties and to scapegoat Muslims and other immigrants.

This year the Islamic celebration of Eid al-Adha coincides with the anniversary of the tragic events of September 11. We join with people of all faiths and beliefs in standing with our Muslim friends and neighbors and demand an end to Islamaphobia in public discourse.

It is time to end these failed wars and to heed the Green Party’s initial call to build a new world based on peace and justice.

The families and friends of those who were murdered on 9/11 deserve justice. They also deserve to know the truth.

Led by the families of those who died on 9/11, the American people wanted—and deserved—a comprehensive and independent inquiry into the attacks. The Bush administration initially said an inquiry was unnecessary, claiming that the perpetrators had been identified and their methods and motives were clear.

It is well known that the 9/11 Commission produced a report containing so many omissions and distortions that Harper’s Magazine described it as “whitewash as public service”—a document that “defrauds the nation.” The co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission wrote a book just two years after the final commission report, saying, “We were set up to fail.” The 9/11 Commission was not given enough money, time, or access to relevant classified information.

The Stein/Baraka campaign believes a new inquiry is necessary.

Under our administration a new inquiry would have access to the considerable body of responsible independent research that has emerged over the last 15 years. We would create an independent 9/11 Commission, not one dominated by members with an interest in protecting the reputation and careers of foreign affairs and intelligence communities.

The US government has finally released the long-classified 28 pages from the 2002 Congressional Report, which have raised many questions about Saudi intelligence as well as other intelligence agencies and their relationship to 9/11.

It’s time for a full accounting of what happened, and an end to the misguided post-9/11 wars that are actually making us less safe, not more safe.

Jill Stein

Zionist Israel Hides Its Crimes Behind Its Smears of Truth-Tellers

May 11, 2016

Paul Craig Roberts

Several years ago two very distinguished American scholars wrote a book, The Israel Lobby.

The book made a very understated case that the Israel Lobby has far more power over the US government and media than is good for America or Israel, as it silences constructive critics who are Israel’s friends. The two scholars were demonized by the Israel Lobby as advocating the return of the Holocaust.

The Israel Lobby presented itself as just a poor little weak thing unable to stand up to all the Nazis assailing Israel. Meanwhile the US Congress was unanimously passing outrageous resolutions handed to it by the Israel Lobby.

A number of former US Senators and Representatives, including Cynthia McKinney, have publicly stated that they were removed from office by the Israel Lobby for criticizing actions of the Israeli government, such as the Israeli government’s attempt to sink the USS Liberty, in which a majority of the American crew were killed or injured.

Instead of defending the US Navy, the cowardly US government was so scared of Israel that the President of the United States and the Admiral conducting the inquiry, Senator John McCain’s father, rushed to the defense of Israel and covered up the incident.

The coverup has been so successful that few Americans today know that a vessel of the US Navy was decimated by an Israeli air and torpedo boat attack, and Washington did not even file a protest. Really! The US is a “superpower,” and the cowardly government cannot even stand up to Israel?

What do you think will happen to these pussies in Washington when they confront by their carelessness and unjustified arrogance the power of Russia and China?

Little wonder that after 15 years of pointless conflict the US has been defeated by a few thousand lightly armed warriors in Afghanistan, and the “Mission Accomplished” promouncement of the moron George W. Bush now requires intervention by the Russian Superpower to be accomplished.

Only Russia can bring the terrorism in the Middle East that the dolts in Washington created to an end. The low grade morons in Washington sponsor the terrorism in order to bleed the American taxpayer of money to pay the profits of the Military-Security Complex that President Eisenhower, a Five Starr General warned us about going on 7 decades ago.

The Americans are so incompetent that they should just depart the scene and go home and hide under their beds so scared they are of “terrorists,” largely an invention of neoconservative propaganda.

But it only takes a propaganda invention, a false flag event, to scare “powerful America” out of its wits.

I became an “anti-semite” when I observed that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians resembled the Union Army’s treatment, under Sherman and Sheridan, of the American Plains Indians. Wholesale genocide.

An Israeli official wrote to me asking me why I criticized Israel for doing to the Palestinians what the United States government did to the native Americans. In other words, the Western World, and Israel that allegedly suffered the Holocaust, were not required to make any moral progress in one or two centuries. Whatever the Union war criminals did to the American Plains Indians in the 19th century is perfectly OK for Israel to do to Palestinians in the 21st century.

So much for those who believe in moral progress.

“Anti-semite” has lost its sting, because every justified criticism of the Zionist Israeli government is declared to be anti-semitism. The word is so overused and misapplied as to be useless. Indeed, to be declared “anti-semite” by the Israel Lobby is to be declared a person of high moral conscience.

Currently the Israel Lobby is at work destroying anyone associated with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which is an effort to sanction Israel for its genocide against Palestine. The popular musician, Roger Waters, is one of the few brave enough to support this movement.

Waters says that many of his colleagues, who protested the Viet Nam War and South Africa Apartheid are too “scared shitless of Israel” to protest what former US President Jimmy Carter called Israeli Apartheid.

Republicans, conservatives, and the Israel Lobby do not like Jimmy Carter because he speaks honestly, but that is why I respect him.

There is no doubt whatsoever that the Palestinians have had their country stolen. Now they, like native Indians in the US in the 19th century, have been confined to ghetto reservations. This is a simple fact. But anyone who states the fact is declared by the Israel Lobby to be an anti-semite who wants to kill all the Jews.

In other words, it is Zionist Israel that is committing genocide, but if a person mentions that fact that person is accused of wanting to do to the Jews what Israel is doing to the Palestinians.

Israel, thanks to the complete cowardice of the government of “the world’s only superpower” and the largely Israeli controlled US media and entertainment industry, has got away with this raw exercise of the power of propaganda and intimidation.

But not with Roger Waters.

Support Roger Waters, one of the acknowledged greatest rock musicians of this era, when he stands up for the Palestinians and opposes the monstrous crimes of Zionist Israel:
http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/musicians-destroyed-palestinians/

It is amazing to me how courage has disappeared from the entire Western world. Insouciant Americans have lost their liberty to disinformation and fear. Such a fearful and afraid people have no prospect of standing up to the Russian and Chinese people.

The Western World buried in propaganda and lies is now in the trash bin of history. It is no more.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, How America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

Zionist israel Hides Its Crimes Behind Its Smears of Truth-Tellers

Zionist Israel Hides Its Crimes Behind Its Smears of Truth-Tellers

By Paul Craig Roberts

May 13, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – Several years ago two very distinguished American scholars wrote a book, The Israel Lobby.

The book made a very understated case that the Israel Lobby has far more power over the US government and media than is good for America or Israel, as it silences constructive critics who are Israel’s friends. The two scholars were demonized by the Israel Lobby as advocating the return of the Holocaust.

The Israel Lobby presented itself as just a poor little weak thing unable to stand up to all the Nazis assailing Israel. Meanwhile the US Congress was unanimously passing outrageous resolutions handed to it by the Israel Lobby.

A number of former US Senators and Representatives, including Cynthia McKinney, have publicly stated that they were removed from office by the Israel Lobby for criticizing actions of the Israeli government, such as the Israeli government’s attempt to sink the USS Liberty, in which a majority of the American crew were killed or injured.

Instead of defending the US Navy, the cowardly US government was so scared of Israel that the President of the United States and the Admiral conducting the inquiry, Senator John McCain’s father, rushed to the defense of Israel and covered up the incident.

The coverup has been so successful that few Americans today know that a vessel of the US Navy was decimated by an Israeli air and torpedo boat attack, and Washington did not even file a protest. Really! The US is a “superpower,” and the cowardly government cannot even stand up to Israel?

What do you think will happen to these pussies in Washington when they confront by their carelessness and unjustified arrogance the power of Russia and China?

Little wonder that after 15 years of pointless conflict the US has been defeated by a few thousand lightly armed warriors in Afghanistan, and the “Mission Accomplished” promouncement of the moron George W. Bush now requires intervention by the Russian Superpower to be accomplished.

Only Russia can bring the terrorism in the Middle East that the dolts in Washington created to an end. The low grade morons in Washington sponsor the terrorism in order to bleed the American taxpayer of money to pay the profits of the Military-Security Complex that President Eisenhower, a Five Starr General warned us about going on 7 decades ago.

The Americans are so incompetent that they should just depart the scene and go home and hide under their beds so scared they are of “terrorists,” largely an invention of neoconservative propaganda.

But it only takes a propaganda invention, a false flag event, to scare “powerful America” out of its wits.

I became an “anti-semite” when I observed that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians resembled the Union Army’s treatment, under Sherman and Sheridan, of the American Plains Indians. Wholesale genocide.

An Israeli official wrote to me asking me why I criticized Israel for doing to the Palestinians what the United States government did to the native Americans. In other words, the Western World, and Israel that allegedly suffered the Holocaust, were not required to make any moral progress in one or two centuries. Whatever the Union war criminals did to the American Plains Indians in the 19th century is perfectly OK for Israel to to to Palestinians in the 21st century.

So much for those who believe in moral progress.

“Anti-semite” has lost its sting, because every justified criticism of the Zionist Israeli government is declared to be anti-semitism. The word is so overused and misapplied as to be useless. Indeed, to be declared “anti-semite” by the Israel Lobby is to be declared a person of high moral conscience.

Currently the Israel Lobby is at work destroying anyone associated with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which is an effort to sanction Israel for its genocide against Palestine. The popular musician, Roger Waters, is one of the few brave enough to support this movement.

Waters says that many of his colleagues, who protested the Viet Nam War and South Africa Apartheid are too “scared shitless of Israel” to protest what former US President Jimmy Carter called Israeli Apartheid.

Republicans, conservatives, and the Israel Lobby do not like Jimmy Carter because he speaks honestly, but that is why I respect him.

There is no doubt whatsoever that the Palestinians have had their country stolen. Now they, like native Indians in the US in the 19th century, have been confined to ghetto reservations. This is a simple fact. But anyone who states the fact is declared by the Israel Lobby to be an anti-semite who wants to kill all the Jews.

In other words, it is Zionist Israel that is committing genocide, but if a person mentions that fact that person is accused of wanting to do to the Jews what Israel is doing to the Palestinians.

Israel, thanks to the complete cowardice of the government of “the world’s only superpower” and the largely Israeli controlled US media and entertainment industry, has got away with this raw exercise of the power of propaganda and intimidation.

But not with Roger Waters.

Support Roger Waters, one of the acknowledged greatest rock musicians of this era, when he stands up for the Palestinians and opposes the monstrous crimes of Zionist Israel: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/musicians-destroyed-palestinians/

It is amazing to me how courage has disappeared from the entire Western world. Insouciant Americans have lost their liberty to disinformation and fear. Such a fearful and afraid people have no prospect of standing up to the Russian and Chinese people.

The Western World buried in propaganda and lies is now in the trash bin of history. It is no more.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal.

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