“Syria’s Retaliation against Tel Aviv Airport Non-negotiable of Self-Defense”and Return of Golan Firm, Non-negotiable Right

“Syria’s Retaliation against Tel Aviv Airport Legitimate Right of Self-Defense”

January 23, 2019Bashar Jaafari

Syria’s envoy to the United Nations warned Tuesday that if the world body did not halt Israeli aggression on his country, Syria would retaliate with an attack on Ben Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv.

Speaking at the UN Security Council after a series of Israeli airstrikes on Sunday and Monday, Bashar Jaafari said the Zionist entity was only able to act freely in Syria because it had the backing of the US, UK and France in the Security Council.

“Syria would practice its legitimate right of self-defense and respond to the Israeli aggression on Damascus International Airport in the same way on Tel Aviv airport” if the UN Security Council didn’t adopt measures stop the Zionist entity, SANA news agency quoted Jaafari as saying.

“Isn’t time now for the UN Security council to stop the Israeli repeated aggression on the Syrian Arab republic territories,” Jaafari said.

The Syrian diplomat said meanwhile, that France, Britain and US’ stance that prevents Security Council from assuming its responsibilities will not affect Syria’s right to defend itself and work to restore the occupied Syrian Golan.

He stressed that the restoration of the Syrian Golan is a firm right for Syria which can’t be negotiable or abolished through prescription.

Jaafari noted that the Israeli occupation full withdrawal from Golan into the line of June 4th, 1967 is an issue that should be applied based on the international law principles and legitimacy resolutions including Security Council relevant resolutions No. 242, 338 and 497.

SourceAgencies

Al-Jaafari: Return of Golan to Syria’s Sovereignty Is Firm, Non-negotiable Right

 

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ISIS Needs the US to Survive

ISIS Needs the US to Survive

Scott Ritter – American Conservative Jan 18, 2019

Scene of the suicide bombing in Manbij, Syria, Jan. 16, 2019

Scene of the suicide bombing in Manbij, Syria, Jan. 16, 2019

“No war is over until the enemy says it’s over,” James Mattis, the former Marine Corps General and recently resigned secretary of state, is quoted as saying. “We may think it over, we may declare it over, but in fact, the enemy gets a vote.” Mattis’s statement was made in 2012, well before President Donald Trump, in a surprise announcement on December 19, declared victory over the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, better known as ISIS.

“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” the president wrote. He later expanded on that sentiment in a video message, posted on Twitter. “Our boys, our young men and women, are coming home now,” Trump noted. “We won.”

But a recent attack on U.S. forces in Syria, carried out by a suicide bomber which ISIS claimed was operating on its behalf, has led to an outpouring of criticism of Trump’s precipitous decision. “ISIS has claimed credit for killing American troops in Syria today,” Senator Marco Rubio tweeted in the aftermath of the attack. “If true, it is a tragic reminder that ISIS not been defeated and is transforming into a dangerous insurgency. This is no time to retreat from the fight against ISIS. Will only embolden & strengthen them.”

While Mattis’s words were a cautionary warning about premature celebration, Rubio’s sentiments, along with those who share his point of view, miss the point of the ISIS attack altogether. The U.S. was on the verge of withdrawing from Syria, something Rubio and others believe would give ISIS a victory. Why, then, would ISIS attack American forces in such a high-profile manner, creating the condition for a reversal of Trump’s decision and keeping the U.S. military in Syria for the foreseeable future?

As far as military patrols go, the one carried out by forces assigned to the Special Operations Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (SOJTF-OIR) in the northern Syrian city of Manbij on January 16 was as routine as it gets. SOJTF-OIR was authorized under Section 1209 of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to provide assistance to the so-called “Vetted Syrian Opposition,” or VSO. A Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) intelligence specialist, accompanied by a Department of Defense civilian translator, was tasked with meeting with local personnel from the Civil Administration of Manbij and the Manbij Internal Security Forces, ostensibly as part of the overall coordination being conducted with the VSO in preparation for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria announced by Trump last month. The intelligence specialist was accompanied by a small force of U.S. soldiers, tasked with providing force protection commensurate to the threat.

The “threat” as it was, was two-fold. On the one hand you have the Turkish military and allied proxies on the outskirts of Manbij who are threatening to occupy Manbij in the wake of a U.S. withdrawal in order to expel Kurdish forces aligned with the YPG, a Syrian Kurdish political party Turkey accuses of being allied with the PKK, a Turkish-based Kurdish group designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey. On the other, ISIS, an Islamic extremist group which had, until 2016, occupied Manbij. Although ISIS had been driven from Manbij by VSO forces, so-called “sleeper cells” remained. This threat was real—in March 2018 a U.S. Delta Force operator and British commando were killed in a roadside bomb attack carried out by ISIS.

But ISIS apparently was not a major factor in the security plan put in place by the patrol. The planned meeting took place in a popular restaurant located on the main street of Manbij. The owner had fled Manbij when ISIS took over, returning after its liberation to open this particular establishment, which became the “go-to” location for visiting dignitaries (Senator Lindsey Graham claims to have eaten there when he visited Manbij), and was frequented by U.S. soldiers during their “coordination” efforts with the VSO. If an ISIS suicide bomber wanted to pick one location in Manbij where he or she could be certain Americans and high-value local officials would regularly congregate, it would be this restaurant.

This is precisely what happened this week. Alerted by the tell-tale presence of the unique M-ATV vehicles used by U.S. special forces, flying large American flags, the ISIS suicide bomber waited until the Americans had entered the popular restaurant and sat down with their VSO counterparts. The bomber walked to the entrance of the restaurant, detonated a suicide vest carrying explosives and, in the resulting explosion, killed the DIA intelligence specialist, his American interpreter, and two other U.S. soldiers, and wounded three other U.S. soldiers. Eleven locals died in the bombing as well, including at least five members of the Manbij Internal Security Force.

Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria had been met with a wave of high-profile opposition, and prompted the resignations of Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Special Presidential Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Brett McGurk, in protest. Senator Lindsey Graham led a chorus of Congressional opposition to the decision, calling it a “huge Obama-like mistake” and, in doing so, drawing parallels to the December 2011 withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq, an action critics later claimed helped spawn the birth of ISIS. Graham further noted that “An American withdrawal at this time would be a big win for ISIS, Iran, Bashar al Assad of Syria, and Russia. I fear it will lead to devastating consequences for our nation, the region, and throughout the world.”

While Iran, Syria and Russia have all supported Trump’s decision, ISIS had remained silent—until January 16. “The enemy gets a vote,” Mattis said. On January 16, 2019, ISIS voted, but it wasn’t the vote Senator’s Graham and Rubio have articulated. The ISIS attack in Manbij was a premeditated, carefully calculated event designed to sow chaos in the processes associated with an American disengagement in Manbij.

Manbij is a predominantly Arab city strategically located on the front lines separating Turkish forces from their arch-enemies, the Kurdish YPG, in the contested territory of northern Syria. The Manbij City Council, headed by a former Syrian Parliamentarian named Sheikh Farouk al-Mashi, has been touted as a model for similar Arab-led city councils in former ISIS strongholds such a Raqaa, the one-time capital of the ISIS caliphate. These councils would operate within the framework of a self-governing Kurdish-dominated entity in northeastern Syria known as Rojava. Arab-led city councils like the one in Manbij are viewed by the U.S. as a means of reducing the Kurdish profile in northeastern Syria, thereby placating the Turks, locking in a pro-U.S. Arab element opposed to the Assad regime in Damascus, and providing an Arab-based political entity that can effectively counter the attraction to ISIS on the part of many Syrian Arab tribes.

The problem with this approach is that it can’t work. The Kurds will never grant full autonomy to the Arab city councils, thereby guaranteeing Turkish angst, and the Syrian government, backed by Russia and Iran, has insisted on the return of all Syrian territory to its control. Moreover, the city councils are weak and ineffective, and as such provide the perfect incubator for a residual ISIS presence. The only way the continued existence of city councils such as the one in Manbij is for the U.S. to remain in Syria and continue to prop them up.

The leadership of ISIS knows that its days are numbered once the Syrian government can turn its full attention on the eradication of that organization. ISIS was born in the vacuum of governance created by the collapse of central authority in both Iraq and Syria brought on by the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the subsequent support of Islamic extremism as a vehicle of instability in Syria after 2011. As the Iraqi government, with the assistance of Iran, regains control of its own territory, the last remaining bastions of ISIS control are on Syrian soil, in areas controlled by the U.S. military. The correlation between the presence of U.S. military forces and the continued existence of ISIS should not be lost on anyone—ISIS needs the U.S. in order to survive.

The patrol that was attacked in Manbij was not, as the detractors of Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria have stated, furthering the national security objectives of the United States. While it wasn’t their intention, through their actions these Americans were empowering ISIS by furthering a situation from which ISIS in Syria draws its relevance. A U.S. withdrawal from Syria would set ISIS adrift, allowing the Syrian government, backed by Russia and Iran, to defeat it and reassert its control over not only the territory currently occupied by ISIS, but also the hearts and minds of the Syrian Arabs whom ISIS needs for sustainment. By attacking the U.S. military and Manbij City Council on January 16, 2019, ISIS cast its vote in favor of the continued presence of U.S. military forces in Syria. Those who continue to argue in favor of a U.S. military presence in Syria are only giving credence to that vote.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of Dealbreaker: Donald Trump and the Unmaking of the Iran Nuclear Deal (2018) by Clarity Press

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US Threatens to Sanction Lebanon if They Participate in Rebuilding Syria

US Threatens to Sanction Lebanon if They Participate in Rebuilding Syria

By Leith Aboufadel

The U.S. State Department allegedly sent a cable to the Lebanese Embassy in Washington that warned them against inviting Syria to the Arab Economic Summit in Beirut that is scheduled to take place this week, Al-Akhbar reported on Wednesday.

According to Al-Akhbar, Lebanon was not only warned against inviting Syria to the Arab Economic Summit, but Washington also threatened sanctions against Lebanon if they participate in any reconstruction efforts.

The latter (U.S.) threatened Lebanon with sanctions if it participated in the reconstruction of Al-Sham (a reference to Damascus),” Al-Akhbar claimed.

“The U.S. position was relayed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, in more than one way,” they continued.

The alleged confidential cable allegedly read:

“We urge Lebanon and all Arab League member states to refrain from sending an invitation to Syria. We also urge Lebanon not to take any steps that contribute to securing the financial interests of the Syrian regime. For instance, making investments or sending funds for reconstruction. Any financial or material support for the Assad regime or its supporters may be subject to American sanctions.”

The U.S. State Department has not issued a comment regarding these allegations; however, Washington has warned several nations in the past about participating in the reconstruction of Syria.

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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)

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

Press TV issues statement on anchor’s detention in US #FreeMarziehHashemi

Press TV Issues Statement on Anchor’s Detention in US

Iranian English-language television news network Press TV has released a statement with regard to the detention and imprisonment of its anchorwoman Marzieh Hashemi in the United States.The statement is as follows:

PressTV would like to hereby express its strong protest at the recent apprehension and violent treatment of Ms. Marzieh Hashemi, born Melanie Franklin in the United States, who is currently serving as an anchor for the English-language television news network.

A female African-American international journalist, a mother and a grandmother, Ms. Hashemi has traveled to the United States to visit her family members, including her brother, who is suffering from cancer. She was, however, arrested at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in St. Louise, Missouri on January 13, 2019 by US police, and transferred by FBI agents to a detention center in Washington, DC.

Ms. Hashemi has told her family in a phone conversation last night that she has been subjected to violent and abusive treatment from the very onset as described below:

Ms. Hashemi is yet to be arraigned or given a reason for her detention and imprisonment. She, herself, is at a loss to know why she should ever face apprehension.

Her family members were kept completely in the dark about her situation for two straight days following the arrest.

Immediately after arrest, she was forced to remove her hijab (the head covering for Muslim women) even though the authorities knew about her being a Muslim. They allowed her only a T-shirt to wear, with her forearms being exposed against Islamic law. She was even photographed in that state.

The authorities running the detention facility have paid no heed to her religious preferences, despite her repeated protests.

She has been forced to use another T-shirt to cover her head so as to remain observant of Islamic values.

She has been denied halal food (food permissible under Islamic law), being offered only pork as meal and not even bread, which she has requested to avoid the meat. Ms. Hashemi has had nothing to eat other than a packet of crackers since her apprehension. The resulting malnutrition, compounded by cold weather conditions, has made her weak and infirm.

Her current feeble health condition necessitates urgent medical attention.

The United States government is accountable for any potential harm or hazard that would affect Ms. Hashemi’s mental or physical condition.

Accordingly, as part of the media community, we expect that all international media outlets set about relaying this affair without delay.

We, further, call for the immediate and unconditional release of Ms. Hashemi, and for the US government to apologize to both the journalist and the international media community for her treatment.

#FreeMarziehHashemi

#Pray4MarziehHashemi

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