Michelle Alexander on Palestinian Suffering and Injustice. Accuses America of being Run by Criminals

Michelle Alexander on Palestinian Suffering and Injustice. Accuses America of being Run by Criminals

By Stephen Lendman,

Law professor, scholar, author, civil rights champion Michelle Alexander best known for her book titled “The New Jim Crow: Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness,”

Palestinians

Since UK Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour’s 1917 call for establishing a nation for Jews in historic Palestine, their people have endured over a century of discriminatory injustice. 

Israel’s 1948 war of aggression stole 78% of their homeland, the rest in June 1967, including Jerusalem, a UN-designated international city.

Endless conflict, occupation, dispossession, and repression, along with social and cultural fragmentation define conditions for beleaguered Palestinians – over 100 years of suffering, no end of it in sight, the world community dismissive of their fundamental rights.

Virtually everything important affecting their lives and well-being are decided by others, an intolerable situation with no prospect for change – US/Israeli installed quisling PA government, serving as the Jewish state’s enforcer.

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Law professor, scholar, author, civil rights champion Michelle Alexander is perhaps best known for her book titled “The New Jim Crow: Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness,” her most noted work.

She explained that

“(m)ore black men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850 before the Civil War began.”

Racist drug laws largely affect “poor communities of color.” In America’s inner-cities, most Black youths can expect criminal injustice prosecutions one or more times in their lifetimes.

Over 60% of Black men born in 1965 or later without high school degrees (following passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act banning discrimination) have prison records.

They’re marked for life, targeted by militarized cops for the color of their skin, leaving them vulnerable to re-arrest, imprisonment or death. America’s racist war on drugs disproportionately targets people of color and ethnic minorities.

Racism defined the US from inception. Racist war wages against Americans and unwanted aliens of the wrong color, ethnicity or religion – its global gulag the shame of the nation.

In her NYT op-ed, a rare example of truth-telling on a vital issue, permitted by the self-styled newspaper of record, one-sidedly supporting Israel, ignoring its high crimes in its own reporting, Alexander highlighted Martin Luther King’s notable April 4, 1967 “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” address.

It was delivered one year to the day before his state-sponsored assassination, his truth-telling remarks criticized at the time, ignored ever since by major media.

Over half a century ago, King called America “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today…on the wrong side of a world revolution,” adding: “We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence, or violent co-annihilation.”

“We must move past indecision to action. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.”

Silence is “betrayal…(N)o one who has any concern for the integrity and life (in) America today can ignore the present war. If America’s soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read Vietnam.”

“This madness must cease…We must stop now…We must continue to raise our voices if our nation persists in its perverse ways in Vietnam.”

Accusing America of being run by “criminals,” imagine what he’d say if alive today, US wars of aggression raging in multiple theaters, no end of them in prospect, the threat of possible catastrophic nuclear war.

Alexander explained that King was urged to stay silent about the war or risk being called a communist sympathizer, harming the civil rights movement.

He couldn’t stay silent about the cutting-edge issue of the time “because (his) conscience le(ft) (him) no other choice,” he said, adding “(a) time comes when silence is betrayal. (T)hat time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.”

Taking a moral, ethical, and legal stand for peace and justice cost him his life. If alive today, he’d be age-90.

Alexander wrote her op-ed because she can no longer remain silent about “one of the great moral challenges of our time: the crisis in Israel-Palestine,” explaining:

With rare exceptions, “the entire Congress (most often is) “silent on the human rights nightmare” in Occupied Palestine, Gazans harmed most of all, an issue obsessing me personally, one I address repeatedly, feeling obligated as a Jew to speak out, refusing ever to be silent on this and every other vital issue.

Horrific conditions in the Territories are “reminiscent of apartheid in South Africa and Jim Crow segregation in the United States,” said Alexander, much worse she should have stressed, but to her credit she’s speaking out, taking a stand for long-denied justice, others with her, the only way to push things for hopeful change.

King was right. Silence is betrayal. If alive today, he’d surely champion the Palestinian cause, supporting their human and civil rights the way he did for Black Americans.

Alexander stressed the importance of “speak(ing) out passionately against the human rights crisis in Israel-Palestine, despite the risks…”

“We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak,” said King. Edmund Burke stressed that “(t)he only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is (for) good men (to) do nothing.”

It’s never an option for activists, Alexander saying “to honor King’s message and not merely the man, we must condemn Israel’s actions: unrelenting violations of international law, continued occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, home demolitions and land confiscations,” adding:

“We must cry out at the treatment of Palestinians at checkpoints, the routine searches of their homes and restrictions on their movements, and the severely limited access to decent housing, schools, food, hospitals and water that many of them face.”

“We must not tolerate Israel’s refusal even to discuss the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, as prescribed by United Nations resolutions, and we ought to question the US government funds that have supported multiple hostilities and thousands of civilian casualties in Gaza, as well as the $38 billion the US government has pledged in military support to Israel.”

All of the above issues are essential to speak out about and much more, including civil rule for Jews, militarized apartheid discrimination against Palestinians.

Daily life in Occupied Palestine is intolerable, collective punishment longstanding official policy. So is state terror and institutionalized racism.

Normal daily life is denied. Peaceful demonstrations called “riots” are prohibited, viciously attacked when held. Borders are closed, population centers isolated, economic strangulation imposed, slow-motion genocide inflicted on blockaded Gazans.

Multiple daily neighborhood incursions, land, air, and sea attacks, bulldozed homes, ethnic cleansing, targeted killings, mass arrests, torture, and gulag imprisonment reflect daily life for praying to the wrong God.

Israel gets away with high crimes of war and against humanity because of support and encouragement by Washington, along with world community indifference toward Palestinian rights.

They’re brutalized as viciously as Nazis mistreated Jews, enduring virtually every imaginable form of indignity, degradation, and criminal actions against them – including live fire against peaceful demonstrators threatening no one, never anything this extreme against Jews doing the same thing.

Israel is a flagrant international law violator. Law Professor Francis Boyle explained that since the first intifada erupted in 1987, “the world has seen heinous war crimes inflicted every day by Israel against the Palestinian people,” including daily flagrant breaches of Fourth Geneva, the Rome Statute, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, countless Security Council resolutions, and other international laws.

Israel is guilty of “murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts against any civilian population, before or during the war, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated,” Boyle explained, adding:

Crimes against humanity, a US and Israeli specialty “are the historical and legal precursor to the international crime of genocide as defined by the 1948 Genocide Convention.”

Wanting to live free in sovereign Palestine is called terrorism by Israel, free and open expression considered incitement, resisting tyranny, a universal right, called terrorism.

Alexander and other supporters of Palestinian rights agree that justifiable criticism of Zionism and Israel isn’t anti-Semitism. The Big Lie otherwise won’t die.

She pledged in the new year “to speak with greater courage and conviction about injustices beyond our borders, particularly those that are funded by our government, and stand in solidarity with struggles for democracy and freedom.”

Her “conscience leaves (her) no other choice.” The same spirit should drive every human and civil right supporter of governance of, by, and for everyone equitably at home and abroad.

Alexander’s article is long, detailed, and important to read. Her passion and mine support right over wrong – for Palestinians and all other persecuted people everywhere.

 

Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

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A Convenient Killing of US Troops in Syria

A Convenient Killing of US Troops in Syria

FINIAN CUNNINGHAM | 18.01.2019

A Convenient Killing of US Troops in Syria

With unseemly haste, US news media leapt on the killing of four American military personnel in Syria as a way to undermine President Donald Trump’s plan to withdraw troops from that country.

The deadly attack in the northern city of Manbij, on the west bank of the Euphrates River, was reported to have been carried out by a suicide bomber. The Islamic State (ISIS) terror group reportedly claimed responsibility, but the group routinely makes such claims which often turn out to be false.

The American military personnel were said to be on a routine patrol of Manbij where US forces have been backing Kurdish militants in a purported campaign against ISIS and other terror groups.

An explosion at a restaurant resulted in two US troops and two Pentagon civilian officials being killed, along with more than a dozen other victims. Three other US military persons were among those injured.

US media highlighted the bombing as the biggest single death toll of American forces in Syria since they began operations in the country nearly four years ago.

The US and Kurdish militia have been in control of Manbij for over two years. It is one of the main sites from where American troops are to withdraw under Trump’s exit plan, which he announced on December 19.

Following the bombing, the New York Times headlined: “ISIS Attack in Syria Kills 4 Americans, Raising Worries about Troop Withdrawal”. The report goes on, “the news prompted calls from Republicans and Democrats for President Trump to reconsider his plans to withdraw troops from the country.”

A more pointed headline in The Washington Post was: “Killing of 4 Americans in Syria Throws Spotlight on Trump’s Policy”.

The Post editorialized, “the bombing showed that [ISIS] is likely to be a force to be reckoned with in Syria for the foreseeable future.” It quoted politicians in Washington claiming the “bombing deaths… were a direct result of a foolish and abrupt departure announcement [by Trump], and made the case for staying.”

Democrat Senator Jack Reed, who sits on the Senate Armed Forces Committee, said: “From the beginning, I thought the president was wrong [in ordering the withdrawal]. It was a strategic mistake for the whole region.”

With macabre smugness, anti-Trump politicians and news media appeared to exploit the death of US troops in Manbij to score points against Trump.

The president’s claims made just before Christmas of having defeated ISIS were widely replayed following the Manbij attack this week by way of ridiculing Trump’s order to pullout US troops from Syria.

Nevertheless, despite the deaths, Trump and his Vice President Mike Pence stated they were still committed to bring the 2,000 or so US troops home. Some military figures also went on US media to defend Trump’s pullout plan in spite of the terror attack in Manbij.

There clearly is a serious division in Washington over Trump’s policy on Syria. For Democrats and supportive media outlets, anything Trump does is to be opposed. But there are also elements within the military and intelligence nexus which are implacably against, what they see as, his “capitulation to Russia and Iran” in Syria. That was partly why his Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned days after Trump made his announced withdrawal at the end of last month.

Having invested years and money in regime-change machinations in Syria, there is bound to be US military and intelligence cabals which are resistant to Trump’s move to pack up. Not that Trump’s move portends a peace dividend for the region. It is more a “tactical change” for how US imperialism operates in the Middle East, as his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in Cairo last week.

That is why Trump’s order to take troops out of Syria may not be a clear-cut withdrawal. His National Security adviser John Bolton on a tour of the Middle East last week has already tried to undermine Trump by attaching all sorts of vague conditions to the troop pullout. Bolton and Pompeo have talked about the need to ensure the total defeat of ISIS and of the countering of Iranian presence in Syria.

This brings up the question of who may have carried out the bombing in Manbij? Was it really a suicide bomber? Was it really ISIS? Several observers have pointed out that ISIS have not had any presence in Manbij for the past two years since the Americans and Kurds took control of the city.

As always, the key question arises: who stands to benefit from the killing of the American troops? The scale of the attack suggests it was carried out with a sharp political message intended for Trump.

One potential beneficiary are the Kurdish militants who are being abandoned by the putative US withdrawal. Without their American sponsor on the ground, the Kurds are in danger of Turkish forces launching cross-border operations to wipe them out, as Ankara has vowed to do. A Machiavellian Kurdish calculation could be to “disprove” Trump about “ISIS being defeated”, and that US forces are needed to prevent any resurgence of the terror group in Manbij and northeast Syria.

Another sinister player is the CIA or some other element of US military intelligence. It is certainly not beyond the realm of plausibility that the CIA could facilitate such an atrocity against American personnel in order to discredit Trump’s withdrawal plan.

Certainly, the way the anti-Trump media in the US reacted with such alacrity and concerted talking points suggests there was something a bit too convenient about the massacre.

It would in fact be naive to not suspect that the CIA could have pulled off such a false flag in Manbij. As in 1950s Vietnam, as told by Graham Greene in ‘The Quiet American’, the CIA have been doing such dirty tricks with bombing atrocities and assassinations for decades in order to precipitate wars in foreign countries that the agency calculates are in America’s geopolitical interests.

AIPAC Is a Global Menace

AIPAC Is a Global Menace

by Stephen Lendman

AIPAC is the most prominent US Israeli lobby organization, supporting its apartheid rule, ignoring its high crimes, operating illegally as an unregistered foreign agent – promoting a sinister agenda.

Criticizing how it operates and the Israel is a sure-fire career-ender for US congressional members. The same goes for major media journalists.

AIPAC is a lying machine, pro-Israel propaganda its speciality, including in its so-called “Briefing Book,” a work of fiction, mythology about Israel, concealing its dark side.

Stating its policy agenda, AIPAC lied claiming “(t)he United States and Israel face unprecedented challenges in the Middle East” – invented ones only. 

Real ones don’t exist. The region is threatened by the US/Israeli hegemonic agenda, both countries nuclear armed and dangerous, seeking to achieve its aims by brute force.

Key AIPAC objectives include preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons it abhors and wants eliminated entirely, wanting pro-Western fascist tyranny replacing the Islamic Republic’s sovereign independence, opposing Palestinian self-determination, and assuring strong US support for its policies, among other aims.

It lied calling Israel “a paragon of peace and democracy.” Its agenda is polar opposite, waging undeclared war on Palestinians and neighboring Syria, its belligerence threatening the region.

Its hostility toward Hamas, Palestine’s legitimate government, Palestinian resistance groups, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and Iran is unrelenting. 

It’s fundamentally opposed to democratic rights, equality for all, freedom of expression, and rights for women. AIPAC falsely claimed otherwise.

It lied claiming “Israel constantly struggled to survive” throughout its existence, “fac(ing) hostile neighbors with numerically superior armed forces and contended with the constant threat of terrorism.”

The Jewish state began developing nuclear weapons in the 1950s, maintaining arsenals of these WMDS, along with  banned chemical and biological weapons. It faced no threats since the October 1973 Yom Kippur war.

“Israel shares America’s commitment (against) democracy, liberty and civil rights,” not the other way around as AIPAC falsely claimed.

Its entire Briefing Book was an exercise in deception, burnishing its dubious credentials as a propaganda machine.

“Israel is a world leader” in high crimes of war, against humanity, and slow-motion genocide, a “leader” in regional aggression along with the US and NATO, a “leader” in wrong over right.

It’s polar opposite “a force for good in the world,” a notion it abhors. Its actions explain what AIPAC conceals, turning truth on its head, claiming “Israel has one of the most sophisticated humanitarian assistance programs in the world.” 

Its agenda features state terror, apartheid ruthlessness, settlement expansions on stolen land, mass imprisonments, looting of Palestinian resources, endless war on its people, along with regional wars against targeted countries.

It serves privileged Jews exclusively, exploiting others, Arab citizens worst of all – the same way ordinary people are exploited in America and other Western countries.

AIPAC wants even greater US funding than already, nearly all of it for its killing machine, none for peace, equity and justice, nothing for all its citizens equitably.

Republicans and undemocratic Dems hand Israel around $10 million a day, swindled from US taxpayers, more millions and other benefits on request, an endless wealth transfer, supporting apartheid rule and militarism maintaining it.

The Netanyahu regime supports ISIS and other regional terrorists, aiding White Helmets jihadists connected to them – complicit with the US, NATO, the Saudis and other despotic Arab regimes.

The US/Israeli special relationship is one of the world’s most sinister and destructive anywhere.

AIPAC lied claiming both countries “developed deep strategic ties to confront common threats and ensure the Jewish state’s security” – at a time neither country faces strategic or any other foreign threats.

They and their partnered countries support terrorism. They’re not “combating” it. Nor is Israel “a beacon of (regional) stability.” Indeed it’s an “ally upon which America can consistently depend” in its endless war on humanity AIPAC won’t ever address.

Like Israel and Trump regime hardliners, AIPAC pushes the Big Lie about Iran, falsely calling the country “the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.”

It’s NOT “Israel’s and America’s greatest long-term threat in the Middle East” or anywhere else. It IS the region’s leading proponent of world peace and stability.

Its sovereign independence, the above reason, Iran’s support for Palestinian rights, and opposition to America’s destructive imperial agenda, are the reasons behind US hostility toward Iran – the Trump regime even more hostile than its predecessors.

No Iranian drive for nuclear weapons exist, no violations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, no sponsorship of terrorism it’s involved in combatting, no fomenting of regional instability, no international illicit behavior, no contempt for human and civil rights the way the US and Israel operate.

US major media consistently fail to explain all of the above or tell readers and viewers that Iran hasn’t attacked another country in centuries, what the US, NATO, Israel, and their imperial partners do repeatedly.

AIPAC’s entire Briefing Book was an exercise in pro-Israel propaganda, a litany of Big Lies.

The organization supports endless wars, pushing the US to attack sovereign regional states standing in the way of Israel’s aim for regional hegemony.

Along with the Pentagon, NATO, and IDF, AIPAC threatens world peace, stability, and humanity’s survival.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

US Congress firmly held under the zionist jackboot

Benefiting Israel Tops US Congressional Agenda

By Philip Giraldi,

America Can Easily Be Moved

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu famously was unaware that he was being filmed when he commented that “America is a thing you can move very easily, moved in the right direction.” His predecessor Ariel Sharon was even more to the point when he reportedly said “Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that …don’t worry about American pressure; I tell you, we, the Jewish people, control America and the American people know it!”

If this were only chest thumping rhetoric one might just shrug and go about one’s business, but actions speak louder than words, even in the world of corrupt politicians, where nothing is ever as it seems to be. In the past year alone, the U.S. government has moved its Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, has stopped criticizing the Netanyahu government’s expansion of illegal settlements, and is reportedly currently contemplating recognizing as legal Israel’s illegal occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights. All the moves were and are contrary to actual American interests.

Furthermore, Israel, a country having a European level standard of living to include free education and medical care, has received more than $250 billion in “aid” from Washington. It currently is receiving $3.8 billion yearly from the U.S. Treasury as a base figure guaranteed for ten years, with supplements for special projects and programs. Adding in trade arrangements favorable to Israel and the money it gets from American Jewish donors’ tax-exempt contributions, the real total per annum approaches and may even exceed $10 billion. Much of the donor money, including that from the Kushner Foundation, has gone to fund the illegal settlements on the West Bank in violation of U.S. law. And then there is the $2.7 billion given yearly to Egypt and Jordan, essentially bribes to maintain friendly relations with Israel.

The ultimate irony is that any aid to Israel is illegal in light of the fact that it has violated the Symington and Glenn amendments to the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act due to its undeclared nuclear weapons arsenal and its refusal to sign the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. Both Congress and the White House have chosen to ignore that complication, one more demonstration of Jewish power in the United States. In truth, Ariel Sharon, if he was quoted correctly, had it right. Jewish Americans do control or at least exercise considerable influence over key sectors in the U.S. They are overwhelmingly disproportionately present on Wall Street, in the entertainment and news industries, in academia, in high value professions and in government at all levels. Their collective power both enriches and protects Israel at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer and genuine national interests. It also enables Israeli agents in the U.S., like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), to avoid scrutiny and regulation under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938.

Some federal government agencies exist largely to promote Israeli interests, most notably the Treasury Department’s Office for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, which has only had Jewish Under Secretaries heading it since it was founded in 2004. It is currently run by Israeli Sigal Mandelker. The office has focused on punishing Iran, Israel’s principle enemy, throughout its existence.

Jewish power is most perniciously evident in U.S. foreign policy, where it has a strangle hold on relations between Washington and the Arab countries of the Middle East. Much of this leverage is derived from the fact that the principal donors to both the Democratic and Republican parties – Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson  are both Jews having very strong ties to Israel. Saban is an Israeli and Adelson may have Israeli citizenship. With both parties more than willing to act on behalf of Israel, the United States has engaged in a number of wars that serve no national interest and which have, on the contrary, brought with them devastating consequences, including the rise of new terrorist groups.

To be sure, many American Jews are not convinced by the love affair with Israel, but they are hard to hear amidst the cacophony coming from the Jewish oligarchs and hundreds of pro-Israel organizations that are constantly singing the praises of Netanyahu and his kleptocratic regime. For many young Jews in particular, it is difficult to empathize with a country that deploys army snipers to shoot thousands of unarmed demonstrators or a government that engages in starvation policies and the arrests, beatings and killings of children. Not to mention a governing system that believes that only Jewish citizens have full rights.

The Jewish oligarchs who manipulate the politicians do so with money, though one should in no way minimize the essential mendacity of the politicians themselves who are willing to sell out the interests of their country in exchange for thirty pieces of silver. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who is not one of the brightest bulbs in congress, is a prime example of a legislator who has been bought and paid for by Israeli interests in the form of campaign donations from casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and vulture capitalist Paul Singer.

Rubio’s speech last week supporting Senate bill S.1 for 2019, which he sponsored, was remarkable and should serve as primary evidence for anyone who really wonders why we have a Senate at all. The bill itself should also be read in toto to learn the details of what largesse we give to Israel in exchange for absolutely nothing in return. To put it succinctly, Rubio is all about protecting and nurturing Israel, which he sees as a good move since he has aspirations to become president. S.1 was, notably, the first Senate bill to be considered in 2019 after what once upon a time used to be referred to as the Christmas Recess. The full title of S.1 is the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019, which might be considered a bit of a fraud as it has nothing to do with the United States and is really all about giving Israel money and anything else it might desire, to include destroying the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that has targeted Israel’s apartheid. Rubio openly has admitted that the bill was crafted to help Israel and during his speech he registered his opposition to the impending pullout of U.S. troops from Syria because it would, according to him, “endanger” the Jewish state. Apart from that, the half hour presentation incorporated some remarkable oratory explaining S.1 including:

First of all, let me tell you what it doesn’t do. It doesn’t outlaw BDS. if you’re an American company and you want to boycott or divest from Israel, it doesn’t make it illegal. It doesn’t stop you from doing it. The only thing it says is if there is some city or county or state in this country who wants to support Israel, they have a right to say we are not going to buy services or goods from any company that’s boycotting or divesting from Israel. That’s all it does. It gives cities and counties like these 26 states the opportunity to have their elected officials who respond to the people of those states or cities or counties that elected them to make a decision that they are not going to do business with people who don’t do business with Israel and boycott Israel. In essence, it allows us to boycott the boycotters.

It would be difficult to find a more stupid justification for S.1 than that provided by Rubio. He does not understand that the “state” at all levels is supposed to be politically neutral in terms of providing government services. It is not supposed to retaliate against someone for views they hold, particularly, as in this case, when it involves opposition to the policies of a foreign government that many consider to be guilty of crimes against humanity. Rubio clearly believes that you can exercise free speech but government can then punish you by taking away your livelihood or denying you services that you are entitled to if you do not agree with it on an issue that ultimately has nothing to do with the United States. The ACLU has addressed the issue succinctly, arguing that “Public officials cannot use the power of public office to punish views they don’t agree with. That’s the kind of authoritarian power our Constitution is meant to protect against.”

In any event, the Senate bill failed in two tries last week with a vote of 56 in favor and 45 against followed by a 53 to 43 tally, with 60 votes being needed to advance for a final vote. It was supported by every Republican senator, but never fear, S.1 will surely pass when the government shutdown ends and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, himself a beneficiary of generous pro-Israel PAC donations, brings it up again for yet another vote. The Democrats who voted against S.1 to embarrass President Trump and protest the shutdown included Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Ben Cardin who are unrestrained champions of Israel due to both their ethnic and religious ties. Schumer has described himself as Israel’s “shomer” or protector in the Senate while Cardin has been a key player in advancing any and all pro-Israel legislation. They and most other Democrats will support the bill as they are in thrall to Israel as much as are the Republicans.

Over at the U.S. House of Representatives there was also early action on behalf of Israel. H.R.221- Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act “To amend the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 to monitor and combat anti-Semitism globally, and for other purposes” passed by a margin of 411 to 1 in a mere twelve minutes with only congressman Justin Amash voting “nay.” The bill, which was being pushed by the Israel Lobby, compels President Trump to name an anti-Semitism Special Envoy with Ambassadorial rank to “serve as the primary advisor to, and coordinate efforts across, the U.S. government relating to monitoring and combating anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incitement in foreign countries.” Criticism of Israel is considered to be anti-Semitism.

Another recent and related story reveals the power of Israel and its friends as reflected by their ability to force potential dissidents to fall in line. Senator Rand Paul, a critic of foreign aid in general, rightly received praise for his willingness to step up and block approval of last year’s aid package for Israel. But even there he waffled, his office putting out a statement

“While I’m not for foreign aid in general, if we are going to send aid to Israel it should be limited in time and scope so we aren’t doing it forever, and it should be paid for by cutting the aid to people who hate Israel and America.”

Apparently Rand Paul believes that the people who hate Israel and America constitute an identifiable group receiving billions of U.S. Treasury dollars.

Senator Paul has also been involved in the current anti-BDS legislation declaring in an op-ed, that the bill would be damaging to first amendment rights. However, he did not back up his words with action, having voted both times in favor of S.1, and he also felt it necessary to preface his op-ed remarks with the usual sucking up to the Jewish state: “I am not in favor of boycotting Israel. Israel has been a good ally. I have traveled to Israel, and it was one of the best and most meaningful trips I have taken with my family. Standing at the Western Wall was special and powerful. Visiting old Jerusalem was incredible, and sailing on the sea of Galilee while a double rainbow glowed above us is something I will never forget. Israel is truly a unique and special place.”

It is disgraceful that the legislature of the United States of America in the midst of a government shutdown is giving first priority to bills granting billions of dollars-worth of benefits to Israel while also appointing an anti-Semitism Czar to interfere with the domestic politics of foreign nations. It is shameful that an American Senator should find himself compelled, if he wants to survive politically, to grovel before a domestic lobby representing a foreign nation. Still worse is the compulsion to apologize to that nation even while honorably critiquing legislation that would do significant damage to freedom of speech in America.

Rand Paul also knows perfectly well, as does every senator, that Israel is not and has never been an “ally” in any real sense and has instead used its considerable political power to corrupt America’s political culture and to entangle the United States in a series of unwinnable and inhumane wars in the Middle East. It is certainly his right to personally refuse to support BDS, but he surely understands that effective nonviolent pressure directed against Israel might well be the only way to deliver even a modicum of justice to the Palestinians. Senator Rand Paul clearly does not care about the Palestinians or about Washington’s misadventures in the Middle East when his more compelling need as an ambitious politician is to placate the powerful Jews who, as Ariel Sharon put it, “control America.” How disappointing. Is there anyone left standing who will actually defend the interests of the American people?

.

This article was originally published on The Unz Review.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research

Trump Ordered Lawyer to Lie To Congress Over Moscow Tower Deal – Report

Local Editor

US President Donald Trump reportedly ordered his personal lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about his plans for a Trump Tower in Moscow.

According to the explosive report, law enforcement officials said Trump instructed Cohen to claim negotiations over the Russian project ended months earlier than they actually did.

The officials said Cohen confirmed to special counsel Robert Mueller’s team – which is investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia – that Trump instructed the attorney to lie to the senate and house intelligence committees.

It prompted immediate calls for the president to resign or face impeachment if the allegations, first reported by BuzzFeed News, were confirmed by Mueller’s office.

“If Mueller does have multiple sources confirming Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress, then we need to know this ASAP,” Chris Murphy, a Democratic senator, said on Twitter.

“Mueller shouldn’t end his inquiry, but it’s about time for him to show Congress his cards before it’s too late for us to act.”

Commenting on the news, Joaquin Castro, a Democratic congressman for Texas, said Trump “must resign or be impeached” if the report was confirmed.

Mueller reportedly learned about Trump’s instruction to Cohen through interviews with multiple Trump Organization witnesses, as well as internal emails, text messages and other documents.

Cohen later acknowledged the order during interviews with the special counsel, the report said.

If confirmed, the revelation would be the first known incident on Trump explicitly and illegally directing someone to lie about their interactions with Russia.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

EU Snubs Pompeo’s Warsaw Anti-Iran Summit

Local Editor

EU foreign policy Chief Federica Mogherini will not take part in an anti-Iran conference to be held by the US in the Polish capital of Warsaw in mid-February, according to media reports.

An EU official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Iran’s official news agency IRNA that Mogherini will not attend the conference due to her tight schedule.

Mogherini will be “traveling in those days, hence her attendance is not foreseen,” the official told IRNA’s correspondent in London.

A senior EU official also confirmed IRNA’s report on Thursday, saying Mogherini will not attend the gathering because of a prior engagement, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The meeting is to be held in Poland on February 13-14 as part of US efforts to increase global pressure on the Islamic Republic.

However, ministers from several European Union countries will likely skip the summit, a report by the Wall Street Journal quoted officials as saying.

There is “a lot of uncertainty about participation of many other EU member states at ministerial level,” one official told the paper.

In further details, European diplomats said in recent days that France is unlikely to send its foreign minister. The UK and Germany haven’t decided who will represent them. Luxembourg’s foreign minister said he would miss the event because of a prior arrangement.

One European diplomat said the bloc will not be “joining an anti-Iran coalition.”

Meanwhile, a group of activists in the United States and other countries recently signed a petition, calling on European countries to boycott an anti-Iran summit.

The activists started the petition on the website of the anti-war group Code Pink to ask European countries not to attend the summit.

More than 3,400 people have so far signed the online petition, which urges EU countries to skip US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s “belligerent conference” and “instead host an alternative one with all nations of the region, including Iran.”

The EU is a strong supporter of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and is seeking to help retain economic ties with Tehran despite renewed US sanctions on Iran following US President Donald Trump’s decision in May to withdraw from the accord.

The summit, which will be co-hosted by Poland and the US and take place in Warsaw, was announced during Pompeo’s tour of the Middle East last week.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

ترامب وأردوغان والمنطقة العازلة في سورية

يناير 16, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– بعد تصريحات للرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب في تفسير قراره بالانسحاب من سورية، تضمّنت قوله إنه يمنح سورية كلها للرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان، بكلمات تبلّغها أردوغان على الهاتف في اتصال مع ترامب، نشر محتواها ترامب في تغريدة يقول فيها «لقد قلت لأردوغان إن سورية كلها لك»، جاء مستشار الأمن القومي الأميركي جون بولتون إلى المنطقة وأطلق بعد لقاءاته بالمسؤولين الإسرائيليين تصريحات يقول فيها إنه سيبلغ المسؤولين الأتراك والرئيس أردوغان بأن المساس بالأكراد كحلفاء لأميركا ممنوع، فصار الموقف الأميركي عنوانه سورية كلها لأردوغان ما عدا مناطق السيطرة الكردية، وعندما وصل بولتون إلى أنقرة رفض أردوغان استقباله وسمع كلاماً قاسياً مضمونه أن تركيا لا تتلقى التعليمات في ما يخصّ أمنها القومي، وأن واشنطن لا تميز بين الأكراد والمسلحين الذين تدعمهم، فردّ ترامب بأنه إذا مسّت تركيا بالمسلحين الأكراد فسوف يدمر الاقتصاد التركي، ورد الأتراك بأنهم لا يأبهون بالتهديد الأميركي، وتم اتصال هاتفي بين ترامب وأردوغان أعقبه كلام مشترك عن التفاهم على منطقة عازلة تقيمها تركيا على الحدود مع سورية بموافقة ودعم من واشنطن، وبدأت حملة تسويق تركية لنظرية قديمة جديدة عن عزمها إقامة منطقة أمنية عازلة.

– هذا السياق يقول إن ما أمامنا هو أقل من أن نصدقه كخطط سياسية وعملياتية بين دولة عالمية عظمى هي أميركا ودولة إقليمية كبرى هي تركيا، فالانتقال بتغريدات على تويتر واتصالات هاتفية من قبل الرئيس الأميركي بمواقف تراوحت من «قلت له سورية كلها لك» إلى «إياك والمساس بالأكراد» إلى «سأدمّر الاقتصاد التركي» إلى «ندعم إقامة منطقة عازلة» لا يدلّ على خفة الرئيس الأميركي فقط، بل وعلى خفة الرئيس التركي أيضاً، وشعورهما معاً بالعجز والضعف حاجتهما لـ»البهورات» الإعلامية لصناعة قوة ليس بين يدَيْ كل منهما، ولم تكن بيدهما معاً يوم كانا معاً، والذاكرة ليست ببعيدة عن المواقف التي شكّل محورها في بحث جدي أميركي تركي في مشروع المنطقة العازلة، وكيف كانت الحسابات المشتركة لمصادر القوة الأميركية والتركية تؤدي لصرف النظر عن المخاطرة بتحويل هذه الأمنية مشروعاً واقعياً.

– يريد ترامب منا أن نقتنع أنه قادر على تقديم المساندة لأردوغان لإقامة المنطقة العازلة وهو ينسحب من سورية، بعدما لم يكن قادراً على ذلك وقواته موجودة في سورية. ويريد أردوغان منا أن نقتنع بأنه قادر على إقامة المنطقة العازلة بعدما هرب من معركة حلب وترك جماعته تُهزم، واستدار إلى تفاهمات أستانة، باحثاً عن الرضا الروسي والإيراني تفادياً للمواجهة التي يخشاها، وهو لم يكن قادراً على إقامتها يوم تحدّى روسيا وأسقط طائرتها وكان في ذروة قيادته للجماعات المسلحة التي كانت يومها تسيطر على نصف سورية، إلا إذا كانت الخفة قد بلغت به حدّ التوهم أنه بعد فشله في تنفيذ تعهداته في إدلب قادر على عرض المقايضة بين تغطية العملية العسكرية التي باتت قدراً حتمياً هناك، على يد الجيش السوري، بالحصول على ما يسمّيه جائزة ترضية بالدخول إلى بعض القرى الحدودية السورية، وهو لم يفهم بعد أن التفاهم السوري الروسي الإيراني قائم على ركيزة على تراجع عنها هي، انسحاب جميع القوات التي لا تربطها تفاهمات قانونية مع الدولة السورية وعدم المساومة على السيادة السورية ووحدة التراب السوري في ظلها.

– الحقيقة الثابتة التي أكدها الموقف السوري من تصريحات أردوغان هي أن حلف المهزومين لن يحصل في زمن الضعف على ما فشل في الحصول عليه في ذروة زمن القوة، وأن الدولة السورية مستعدّة لكل الاحتمالات بما فيها إطلاق النار إذا اقتضى الأمر ذلك لمنع المساس بسيادتها ووحدتها، وأن لتصريحاته الحمقاء فائدة واحدة هي إقناع القيادات الكردية بطبيعة حليفهم الأميركي، وأحادية خيار وضع أوراقهم كلها في عهدة دولتهم السورية كضامن وحيد لأمن الأرض والشعب في سورية.

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