IRAQI RESISTANCE FORCES BLEW UP US LOGISTIC CONVOY NEAR BAGHDAD (VIDEOS)

Source

On July 11 evening, a US logistic convoy was blew up on the road between Samawah and Diwaniyah, south of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. At least 3 vehicles of the convoy were reportedly destroyed or damaged by gunment that attacked the convoy.

There have been no reports about casualties following the attack. US logistical convoys in Iraq are often supported or even operated by private contractors. So, the Pentagon may try to ignore the incident pretending that nothing has happened.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Nonetheless, Iraqi sources say that the attack was conducted by one of anti-US Iraqi resistance groups. Multiple such groups appeared following the US drone strike on Baghdad International Airport in early January 2020.

The drone strike killed the deputy commander of the Iraqi Armed Forces’ Popular Mobilization Forces and the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force.

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في مواجهة «صفقة القرن» ومخرجاتها

معن بشور

نعقد على مواقع التواصل الالكتروني على مدى يومي السبت والأحد في 11 و 12 تموز/ يوليو الحالي «الملتقى العربي: متحدون ضدّ صفقة القرن وخطة الضم» بدعوة من ستة هيئات عربية (المؤتمر القومي العربي، المؤتمر القومي/ الاسلامي، المؤتمر العام للأحزاب العربية، اللقاء اليساري العربي، الجبهة العربية التقدمية، مؤسسة القدس الدولية) ويشارك في الملتقى أعضاء الأمانات العامة لهذه الهيئات وقادة فصائل المقاومة والاتحادات المهنية العربية وشخصيات محدودة من فلسطين والأردن بما يجعل الملتقى جامعاً لممثلين عن معظم مكونات العمل الشعبي العربي، ومن غالبية تياراته الفكرية والسياسية في تحدّ واضح ليس لـ «جائحة الكورونا» ومتطلبات مواجهتها فحسب، بل في تحدّ للمشروع الصهيو/ أميركي الذي يسعى الى تجزئة الأمة، وتقسيم كياناتها الوطنية، وتشظي مجتمعاتها وقواها الشعبية، ليتمكن من تنفيذ كلّ مخططاته الرامية الى نهب موارد أمتنا وتعطيل مشروعها النهضوي وضرب مقوماتها الروحية والمادية…

واذا كانت المبادرة بعقد هذا الملتقى قد جاءت من المغرب، من خلال شخصية بارزة لها باع طويل في النضال من أجل فلسطين وقضايا الأمة، وهو المناضل خالد السفياني المنسّق العام للمؤتمر القومي الإسلامي وأمين عام مؤسسة المفكر الكبير الراحل الدكتور محمد عابد الجابري، فإنّ التجاوب السريع معها قد جاء من أقطار الوطن العربي كافة، كما من تيارات الأمة المتنوعة، والتي باتت تدرك انّ المدخل السليم لمواجهة التحديات الضاغطة على حاضر الأمة ومستقبلها إنما يكمن بتلاقي تياراتها النهضوية كافة وتجاوز كلّ الجراح الأليمة التي أصابت العلاقات بينها في ظلّ مراجعة نقدية جريئة وصادقة ومنزهة لا مكان فيها لتبرير أخطاء وخطايا وقعنا بها، او للتشهير ببعضنا البعض وتحويل ماضي العلاقات بيننا الى سجن نبقى في أسره بدلاً من أن يكون مدرسة نتعلم منها…

وإذا كان التحرك المباشر للدعوة الى هذا الملتقى، كما الى الملتقى المماثل السابق في بيروت في 7/7/2019، هو التصدي لـ «صفقة القرن» بالأمس ولخطة الضمّ الصهيونية اليوم التي لا ينبغي اعتبار تأجيل الإعلان عنها – رغم انّ التأجيل هزيمة لنتنياهو وداعميه في واشنطن – إسقاطاً لها، فإنّ المشاركين في هذا الملتقى، يدركون، رغم تباين المواقف الفكرية والسياسية بينهم، انّ لـ «صفقة القرن» مخرجات عدة تمتدّ من المحيط الى الخليج، وأبرزها دون شكّ هو استمرار الحروب على أقطار والاحتراب داخل أقطار أخرى، حيث أثبتت الأحداث الأليمة التي نمرّ بها جميعاً أنّ أحداً من أبناء الأمة قد ربح من هذه الحروب أو الاحتراب، وأنّ الرابح الأكبر هو المشروع الصهيو – استعماري الذي بدأ بالتجزئة ليستمرّ بالتفتيت.

ولعله من بديهيات القول إنّ البداية الحقيقية لـ «صفقة القرن»، إنما بدأت باحتلال العراق، بعد حصار جائر استمر 13 عاماً. وهم يسعون اليوم الى تطبيقه في فلسطين وسورية ولبنان واليمن وصولاً الى الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران.

ولم يكن من قبيل الصدف أن يعلن جورج بوش الابن بعد إتمام مهمته في الحرب على العراق عام 2003، ان مشروع الشرق الأوسط الجديد قد بدأ تنفيذه، والذي هو في نهاية الأمر نسخة مبكرة عن «صفقة القرن»… فلكلّ حاكم في الولايات المتحدة او دول الغرب الاستعمارية مشروعه لـ «صفقة القرن» باسم حلف من هنا، او مشروع من هناك، او قانون من هنا او مخطط من جهة ثانية.

من أول مخرجات الصفقة والضمّ التي باتت واضحة للأردنيّين عموماً، ملكاً وحكومة وشعباً، هو أن يدفع الأردنيون، مع الفلسطينيين، الثمن المباشر للضفقة المشؤومة ولخطة الضمّ، وهو ما يتطلب تنسيقاً قوياً ومتواصلاً بين الأردن وفلسطين. وتماسكاً شعبياً داخلياً يمنح القيادة الأردنية قدرة أكبر على المواجهة.

يتقدّم هذه المخرجات أيضاً، هو ما يشهده لبنان من ضغوطات وحروب وحصار تستهدف تجريده من مصادر قوته والمتمثلة بوحدة شعبه وبمقاومته الباسلة التي حققت في سنوات انتصارات، ما عجزت عنه حكومات ودول وجيوش…

كما يتقدّم هذه المخرجات أيضاً ما تشهده سورية من حرب عليها وفيها، واعتداءات صهيونية وأميركية متواصلة، وصولاً الى «قانون قيصر» الذي يدّعي «حماية المدنيين في سورية» فيما المتضرّر الأكبر منه هو الشعب العربي في سورية الذي يدفع أغلى الأثمان بسبب هذه الحرب الظالمة المفروضة عليه منذ عشر سنوات. بسبب مواقفه القومية التحررية التاريخية تجاه قضايا الأمة كلها، وفي طليعتها قضية فلسطين التي شكلت سورية على الدوام العقبة الكأداء في وجه محاولات تصفيتها كما شكلت والسند المباشر لكلّ حركة مقاومة في وجهها.

من مخرجات هذه الصفقة أيضاً هو ما تشهده مصر من استهداف مباشر لأمنها المائي من خلال سدّ النهضة، وأمنها الوطني من خلال الإرهاب في سيناء، وأمنها القومي من خلال ما يجري في ليبيا… وهذا الاستهداف لا يمكن مواجهته إلا بتعزيز الالتفاف العربي والإسلامي حول مصر، وبذل كلّ جهد ممكن لتعزيز الجبهة الداخلية في القطر العربي الأكبر.

والحرب في اليمن أيضاً، سواء من خلال ما يتعرّض له شماله من عدوان وقصف وتدمير وحصار، او ما يتعرّض له جنوبه من احتراب بين حلفاء، تستخدم ايضاً في إطار خدمة «صفقة القرن» ومعاقبة شعب عظيم، كان وسيبقى، متمسكاً بفلسطين وكل قضايا أمته.

أما تحويل الساحة الليبية الى ساحة حروب إقليمية ودولية، فليس هدفها فقط تدمير بلد عربي، كان شعبه ولا يزال، حريصاً على عروبته وإسلامه وحريته وكرامته، وهي حرب بدأت مع الغزوة الأطلسية قبل تسع سنوات لتستمر اقتتالاً لا يهدّد الأمن الوطني لليبيا، بل هدفها أيضاً استهداف الأمن القومي لشمال أفريقيا، وغربها، لا سيما مصر ودول المغرب العربي التي تسعى المخططات الاستعمارية الى إشعال كلّ أنواع الفتن في ربوعها…

أما دول الخليج والجزيرة العربية، فهي ليست بعيدة عن دائرة الاستهداف، بل انّ المشروع الصهيو – استعماري يدفع الى إغراق بعضها في سياسات محلية وعربية وإقليمية لن تؤدي إلا الى تبديد ما تبقى من مواردها، وابتزاز أكبر قدر ممكن من أموالها، وإشعال الاضطرابات في داخلها، ودفعها لأن تكون القاطرة الأولى في قافلة التطبيع الذي هو في رأس أهداف «صفقة القرن» المشؤومة …

ولعلّ ما يشهده السودان اليوم من استغلال مطالب مشروعة في الحرية والعدالة والكرامة الإنسانية، من أجل إيقاع السودان في مهاوي الصراع الداخلي، والتفكك الوطني، والتطبيع مع العدو، ليس بعيداً عن مخرجات «صفقة القرن» وأهدافها الخبيثة…

وبالتأكيد تبقى تصفية قضية فلسطين هي الهدف، والغاية من هذه الصفقة، والمدخل من اجل ترسيخ التجزئة وتعزيز مشاريع التفتيت في المنطقة، وهو ما يتطلب تعزيز التوجه المبارك لتجاوز الانقسام المدمّر للمشروع الوطني الفلسطيني، وتوحيد الطاقات والجهود الفلسطينية لإطلاق انتفاضة كبرى لن تؤدي الى سقوط «صفقة القرن» ومخرجاتها فقط، بل تؤدي الى دحر الاحتلال عن الأرض الفلسطينية المحتلة وعاصمتها القدس.

وإذا كانت مواجهة «صفقة القرن» ومخرجاتها مهمّة الأمة بكلّ أقطارها فإنّ الردّ الشامل عليها يكمن في تبني لمعادلة الخلاص التي أعلناها بعد احتلال العراق وتقوم على مهمات أربع، 1- مقاومة احتلال الأرض، 2- مراجعة للتجارب والعلاقات بين أبناء الأمة وقواها وتياراتها لنطوّر الإيجابي منها، ونتخلص مما علق بها من شوائب، 3- مصالحة تبني للمستقبل وتخرجنا من سلبيات الماضي، 4- فمشاركة تسمح لكلّ أبناء الوطن المساهمة في تقرير مصيرهم…

«صفقة القرن» إذن ليست المشروع الصهيو – استعماري الوحيد الذي واجهته الأمة، وما تزال، ولن يتوقف الأعداء على إخراج مشاريع مماثلة من أجل سحق أمتنا والقضاء على مستقبلها وآمالها، وتحويلها من أمة قائدة في الإنسانية الى أمة تابعة وذيل للدول الاستعمارية ومقاومة هذه الصفقة اليوم، بكلّ مخرجاتها وفي مقدمها خطة الضمّ الصهيوني تكون بالاستمرار في مقاومة المشروع الصهيو/ استعماري الممتدّة منذ عشرات السسنوات، وفي وحدة الأمة بكلّ أقطارها وتياراتها، فحيث كانت هذه الوحدة تتوفر، كانت المقاومة تنتصر، وحيث كانت تتعثر كانت المقاومة تتراجع.

من هنا، يكتسب ملتقى «متحدون» كخطوة على طريق توحيد الرؤى والجهود أهمية استثنائية في ظروف استثنائية.

الأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي

الاغتيالات آخر حروب أميركا المأزومة

شوقي عواضة

يشهد العراق ارتفاعاً في وتيرة الأحداث المتسارعة لا سيّما بعد اغتيال قائد فيلق القدس الجنرال قاسم سليماني ونائب رئيس هيئة الحشد الشّعبي أبي مهدي المهندس مطلع العام الحالي. واحتدمتِ المواجهة على أثر اندلاع حركة الاحتجاجات الشّعبية إذ تطالب بتحسين الأوضاع المعيشيّة في العراق، والتي حاولت إدارة البيت الأبيض استثمارها بالتزامن مع بداية انتشار جائحة كورونا للتّحريض على الحشد الشّعبي الذي شكّل سياجاً منيعاً للعراق، وكان الحصن الذي تحطّمت على أعتابه أحلام واشنطن والرياض من خلال الانتصارات الكبيرة التي حقّقها الأحرار من الشعب العراقي والحشد والشّرطة الاتحادية والقوى الأمنية بالقضاء على داعش ووأد المؤامرة الشّيطانية في مهدها لتحوّل إدارة ترامب المعركة إلى معركةٍ سياسيّةٍ مارست خلالها المزيد من الضغوط على حكومة عادل عبد المهدي لإسقاطها بعد رفضه الخنوع للشّروط الأميركية في ظلّ كرٍّ وفرٍّ ديبلوماسيٍّ أدّى إلى تعيين مصطفى الكاظمي رئيسا للحكومة، تعيين لم يغيّر من سياسة الولايات المتحدة وعدائيتها للعراق ولحشده الذي أصبحت بعض فصائله قوّةً كبيرةً لمحور المقاومة، إذ شكّلت تهديداً حقيقيّاً للولايات المتحدة الأميركية والكيان الصهيوني وعلى رأس تلك الفصائل كتائب حزب الله من أوائل الفصائل التي أدرجتها الإدارة الأميركيّة على قوائم الإرهاب في ظلّ اعتبار تلك الفصائل للتواجد الأميركي على أرض العراق هو احتلال وسيتمّ التعامل معه على أساس ذلك في حال لم يعلن برنامج انسحابه وفقاً للاتفاقية الأمنيّة بين البلدين وبعد مطالبة البرلمان العراقي ببرنامجٍ زمنيٍّ واضحٍ للانسحاب الأميركي الذي لم يستجب لذلك بدأت إدارة ترامب وحلفاؤها بتحريك بعض المجموعات الداعشيّة في محاولة لقلب الموازين وتغيير قواعد الاشتباك لتبرير استمرار وجودها تحت عنوان محاربة الإرهاب ومع إدراك فصائل الحشد للأهداف الأميركية بدأت عملية الاستهداف للقواعد والمصالح الأميركية بالصّواريخ ممّا دفع ترامب إلى شنّ حربٍ على الحشد دون تقديمه أيّة خسائرَ عسكريّةٍ أو ماديّةٍ في محاولة منه للردّ على الهجمات ولإيجاد شرخٍ بين الحشد الشعبي الذي هو جزء من المؤسّسات العسكريّة والحكومية العراقيّة وبين جهاز مكافحة الإرهاب الذي أقدم بتاريخ 25 _ 6_ 2020 على اعتقال 14 شخص من كتائب حزب الله في منطقة الدّورة في بغداد، وهي عملية استدعت استنفار فصائل الحشد وتطويق المنطقة الخضراء ومن ضمنها السّفارة الأميركية، وبعد إجراء العديد من الاتصالات تمّ الافراج عن المعتقلين لتتحوّل الفتنة التي أرادها الأميركي بين أبناء الخندق الواحد إلى صفعةٍ وهزيمةٍ جديدةٍ لم تيأس واشنطن من تكرارها لتستعمل أسلوباً شيطانيّاً جديداً مستهدفة رأس الهرم المتمثّل بسماحة آية الله السّيد علي السيستاني الذي كان له دورٌ أساسيٌّ في تأسيس الحشد الشعبي من خلال فتواه الشهيرة فلجأت أدوات ترامب للإساءة إلى المرجعية من خلال نشر رسمٍ كاريكاتوريٍّ يسيء للمرجعيّة في صحيفة “الشرق الأوسط” السعودية في عددها الصّادر في 3_ 7_ 2020، إساءة وحّدتِ الشّارع العراقي بكلّ مكوّناته وأشعلته فخرجت مسيرات الغضب مندّدةً بإساءة الإعلام السعودي للمرجعيّة، موقف استدعى ترامب إلى المحاولة مجدّداً لإيجاد شرخٍ يضرب مشهد الوحدة العراقيّة ويضع العراق في دائرة الفوضى وعدم الاستقرار بعد الفشل الذريع في عملية الاغتيال المعنوي للمرجعيّة، الأمر الذي دفع بالأميركيين وأدواتهم إلى عمليّة اغتيال الباحث والخبير الاستراتيجي هاشم الهاشمي في السّابع من الشّهر الجاري، واكبتها تغطيةٌ إعلاميّة واسعةٌ أطلقتها أبواق واشنطن والرياض موجّهة الاتهام لكتائب حزب الله بعد أقلّ من ساعة على عملية اغتيال الهاشمي مستبقةً التّحقيقات ومستشهدةً ببعض الإعلاميين والمحلّلين ومرتزقة السفارات الأميركيّة والإسرائيليّة والسّعودية، عملية اغتيال بتخطيطٍ أميركيي وتمويلٍ سعوديّ وتنفيذ بعثيين سابقين درّبوا في معسكرات “بلاك ووتر”. يبرز ذلك من خلال دقّة رصد الهاشمي وتتبّعه واستغلال اللّحظة المناسبة لتنفيذ العملية بأعصابٍ باردةٍ تدلّ على وجود مجموعاتٍ داعمةٍ للقتلة في محيط منطقة الاغتيال كانت على استعداد للتدخّل في حال وقوع أيّة مفاجأة لحماية القاتلين وتغطيتهم للانسحاب أو حتى تصفيتهم بعد التنفيذ، سيناريو هوليودي الهدف منه صناعة قضية رأي عام كما حصل في عملية اغتيال الرئيس رفيق الحريري في لبنان لاستثمار الدّم سياسيّاً ومن ثمّ اتهام حزب الله بالاغتيال كمقدّمةٍ لتجريده من سلاحه.

هو أسلوب واحد لأمّ الإرهاب في العالم تجدّد باغتيال الهاشمي في بغداد لتلصق التهمة بكتائب حزب الله وتصنيفها بمنظمةٍ إرهابيّة لإضعاف قوّتها وإجبارها على تسليم سلاحها ردّاً على استهداف قوّات الاحتلال الأميركي في العراق، تلك الكتائب التي كان ولا يزال هدفها الدّفاع عن العراق والأمّة في وجه الغطرسة الأميركية وقوّاتها التي لا يمكن التعامل معها إلّا على أساس أنّها احتلالٌ مأزومٌ ومهزومٌ لا محال.

Iraqi Hezbollah: Iraq’s PM sought to prove US loyalty by raiding our HQ

Iraqi Hezbollah: Iraq’s PM sought to prove US loyalty by raiding our HQ

From Middle East Observer

Description:

The military spokesman of the Iraqi Kataib Hezbollah (Hezbollah Brigades), Ja’far al-Husseini, said in a recent interview that Iraq’s prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi unmasked his real intentions by raiding one of the group’s logistical headquarters in Baghdad.

Al-Husseini said that the Iraqi prime minister’s real intention is to confront the Hezbollah Brigades and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) as a whole, and to protect the presence of American forces in the country.

More than a dozen members of Kata’ib Hezbollah were reportedly detained during the raid in southern Baghdad in the early hours of Friday (June 26, 2020). Initial reports said several commanders of the anti-US group, which is integrated into Iraq’s security forces, were among those arrested.

Kataib Hezbollah is a key faction within the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).

Source: Al Mayadeen News (YouTube)

Read transcript: 
Ja’far al-Husseini, military spokesman for the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades (Kataib Hezbollah):

First, we must start with the US that chose a specific target in Iraq. (The US) chose to directly target a specific faction (i.e Hezbollah Brigades), even though it knows that all Iraqi (resistance) factions work side by side with the (Iraqi) Islamic Resistance, the Hezbollah (Brigades). The Iraqi (resistance) factions say openly and publically that they work as a single bloc to confront the US. Their belief in these words was reinforced on the ground after the martyrdom (of Soleimani and al-Muhandis), through which the Americans wanted to break up our united country.

The US chose a target in Iraq (Hezbollah Brigades) and chose to attack us, which made us hold on more to our decision to expel the American forces (out of the Iraq) and fight them with all means. We announced from day one that we are open to all options and we acted accordingly.

Then the Americans tried to manipulate some political parties, and unfortunately, they succeeded in convincing the (Iraqi) prime minister (Mustafa al-Kadhimi) who obeyed their orders and stood against not only the Hezbollah Brigades but the entire Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). This was his (Kadhimi’s) choice. If we want to talk about the motive behind his decision, we believe that there are advisers around him who have deluded him that by doing this, he will win the support of the Iraqi people and give the Americans a clear concrete proof (of his loyalty), such that if he travels to the United States with a record that shows that he stood against and put pressure on the (Iraqi) Hezbollah Brigades. What happened in Bo’aitha (a district within Baghdad) was only (for Kadhimi) to give (Americans) a proof (of his loyalty). However, he chose the wrong path.

Instead of focusing on serving the Iraqi people and following up on essential files inside Iraq, he decided to confront the PMF that protected the Iraqi state – not only the government and officials, but (protected) the entire country when it collapsed in 2014. Security services didn’t have (the capacity)…I am talking (about an area beginning) from Baghdad to the western borders (of Iraq), and to the northern borders with Kurdistan. There were no clear borders for the Iraqi state, even inside Baghdad and the Green Zone. The country collapsed completely.

The factions of the resistance are the ones who stopped the expansion of ISIS and had fierce confrontations with it, way before the establishment of the PMF. Therefore, when the fatwa was issued, these factions joined the PMF and exercised their work with sincerity to protect the Iraqi state. We never cared if the people of a certain province belong to a different sect, or if this province is controlled by a different (political) bloc. We were defending the entire country. We left the matter to the government at that time to deal with problems in Iraqi society and the political process. Our focus was to carry on these (military) operations.

Therefore, he, and I mean the (Iraqi) prime minister, who decided to stand up against the PMF, will find himself in confrontation with the Iraqi people as a whole because the people fully believe that the PMF is the reason for this state’s existence and preservation. I am not only talking about a specific section (of people) that support the resistance, but about all the Iraqi people who still remember (our sacrifices).

The prime minister’s move to stand against the PMF was wrong. At the time, it revealed to us his intentions which we (had) talked about in the past when we said that the prime minister came up with a deal – even if it was temporary- that masks (his real) intentions of confronting the Hezbollah Brigades and protecting the American forces.

What does the prime minister want from the arrest of a young group at a PMF logistical support headquarter (that was targeted)? A headquarter that provides logistical support to (resistance) factions across the Iraqi borders and the provincial borders. He (Kadhimi) claims (that the PMF) are attacking the US forces – the same forces which every Iraqi wants out of the country.Important note: Please help Middle East Observer keep producing independent translations for you by contributing as little as $1/month here: https://www.patreon.com/MiddleEastObserver

The Fall of Eliot Engel: Israel-Firster Defeated in Congressional Primary

By Philip Giraldi

Global Research, June 30, 2020

Sometimes listening to the morning news on television is a bit like entering into an alternate universe. Last Wednesday, the day after primary elections in New York State, CBS News reported that New York Congressman Eliot Engel was “facing a challenge” from Democratic Party challenger Jamaal Bowman. NBC News reported that Engel was “trailing.” The reality, according to the New York Times tally of the results that morning was that Bowman had beaten Engel by a margin to 60.9% versus 35.6% with more than 82% of votes counted. Even though it posted the numbers, the Times felt compelled to describe the apparently impending lopsided loss as if it were something less than that, as a “stiff challenge” for Engel.

The media deference to Engel derives from the fact that he is a protected species, possibly the leading Israel-firster in Congress. In 2003, Engel supported the invasion of Iraq and in the following year he organized a group of fellow congressmen to demand cuts in the U.S. contribution to the United Nations office that assists Palestinian refugees. He attended the infamous Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address to Congress in 2015 that many other Democratic lawmakers boycotted due to the insult to President Obama and afterwards called Netanyahu’s speech “compelling.”

Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Andrew Cuomo and Nancy Pelosi all had endorsed Engel, who has been in Congress for going on 32 years and currently heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Clinton explained that Engel “…is deeply committed to working with our allies to maintain American leadership on the global stage.” She was, of course, referring to Israel.

Engel was also endorsed by the Congressional Black Caucus even though Bowman is black, a demonstration of how politics in Washington works. Engel will in any event likely be replaced to chair the Foreign Affairs committee by a similar Jewish Israel-firster Brad Sherman of California, but his imminent defeat has already sent a shockwave through the centers of pro-Israel power in the United States.

Bowman, a progressive so-called Justice Democrat, is on record as favoring cuts in aid for Israel based on its human rights record. He has attacked Engel for being on the dole financially from defense contractors and also for being an active promoter of a military attack on Iran, even though the Iranians pose no threat to the United States. He has, in fact, made Israel something of an issue in his campaign, pointing out that Engel had been one of the few Democratic members of the House of Representatives to vote against President Barack Obama’s Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2015. The JCPOA was the major foreign policy achievement of the Obama Administration and it set up a framework to prevent Iran from taking steps to produce a nuclear weapon. It was strongly opposed by Israel and its American lobby even though the agreement enhanced U.S. national security.

In 2016, after the Obama administration abstained on a United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, Engel responded with a House resolution condemning the U.N. Engel often in his career has boasted about his close relationship with Israel. Speaking at the 2018 national convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the U.S.’s principal Israeli lobby, he boasted how“There’s a bunch of legislation coming out of the Foreign Affairs Committee. I want to tell you that I sit down with AIPAC on every piece of legislation that comes out. I think it’s very, very important. In the past 30 years I have attended 31 consecutive AIPAC conferences in March, I haven’t missed one.”Some might suggest that serving in one country’s legislature and working for the interests of another country amounts to treason.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls Fox News host Tucker Carlson a ...

The other good news coming out of New York was that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won her district with 72.6% of the vote. AOC, controversial to be sure but no friend of the Israel Lobby, was running against Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a CNBC reporter. As is often the case, there is considerable back story to the two races and that back story is Jewish money, lots of it, intended to re-elect Engel and get rid of Ocasio-Cortez. Engel received more that $1.5 million from one group alone, the so-called Democratic Majority for Israel and also obtained large sums bundled by the AIPAC-tied group Pro-Israel America as well as from other Jewish groups. AOC was opposed by the not surprisingly well-funded Caruso-Cabrera, whose money largely came from pro-Israel and Jewish affiliated organizations

And more bad news appears to be coming from the Hudson Valley district currently held by yet another Israel-first congresswoman Representative Nita Lowey, who is retiring. Mondaire Jones, a gay Harvard-educated lawyer, has the lead based on early returns. Jones calls himself a progressive and he is unlikely to emerge as a cheerleader for Israel if he is elected.

Representing parts of Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan in New York City, Carolyn Maloney, who chairs the Oversight and Reform Committee, is meanwhile maintaining a small lead over Democratic challenger Suraj Patel. Maloney describes herself on her website as a strong supporter of Israel and Jewish issues. In fact, she goes far beyond that, actively sponsoring and otherwise promoting legislation favorable to Israel and the Jewish community, most recently being the sponsor of the waste of taxpayer money in promoting the holocaust myth through H.R.943, the Never Again Education Act. Maloney is hanging on to a slim lead against Patel, though numerous postal and absentee votes have not yet been counted and the outcome could go either way. Nevertheless, it is undoubtedly a shock to the Israel Lobby that a completely reliable Maloney might be in danger of losing her seat.

To be sure, Congress continues to be Israeli occupied territory, as Pat Buchanan once put it. Last week 116 out of 198 Republican congressmen signed a letter to President Donald Trump asserting their support for Israel’s annexation of much of the West Bank, due to start shortly. The letter stated that the annexation was justified “based on the critical premise that Israel should never be forced to compromise its security,” indicating very clearly that actual U.S. national interests had nothing to do with it.

What is surprising about the Republican letter is that it was not unanimous, and the loss of Engel, replacement of Lowey and possible defeat of Maloney could be indications of a real shift among voters regarding what has been an assiduously cultivated overwhelmingly positive view of the Jewish State. Recent opinion polls suggest that a majority of Americans do not support either Israeli expansion or its form of apartheid.

Israel is feeling somewhat vulnerable. Its Lobby stalwarts in the media and in politics are working hard to disengage the current anti-racism turmoil in the U.S. from any mention of Israel, which trained American police in their “anti-terror” tactics. The Jewish state also practices a far more virulent and brutal racism than anything prevailing in America, something that is becoming increasingly clear to the public. It is early days to be hopeful, but the New York primary election results, coming as they do from a state where Jewish groups wield enormous power, just might be an indication that some things are about to change.

*

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This article was originally published on American Herald Tribune.

Philip M. Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer who served nineteen years overseas in Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain. He was the CIA Chief of Base for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and was one of the first Americans to enter Afghanistan in December 2001. Phil is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a Washington-based advocacy group that seeks to encourage and promote a U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East that is consistent with American values and interests. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image: Eliot Engel. Credit: Wilson Center Maternal Health Initiative/ FlickrThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Philip Giraldi, Global Research, 2020

لا تبالغوا في أوهام إنهاء الحشد الشعبيّ وتكراره!‏

ناصر قنديل

شهدت بغداد خلال الأسبوع الماضي سلسلة عمليات حملت رسائل من فصائل المقاومة لواشنطن، مضمونها التذكير بالدعوة لرحيل قواتها من العراق، وتأكيد أن التراضي على حكومة مصطفى الكاظمي كان بغرض تسهيل تنفيذ قرار الخروج الأميركي من العراق، وليس فتحاً لباب تشريع هذا الاحتلال. وفي ليل 22 حزيران قامت وحدات في جهاز مكافحة الإرهاب التي تتبع بقرارها للكاظمي، كقائد أعلى للقوات المسلحة، بحملة اعتقالات لعدد من مقاتلي الحشد الشعبي، خصوصاً المنتمين لكتائب حزب الله، والحملة التي تم تسويقها من مناصري الكاظمي لدى الأميركيين بصفتها إثباتاً على استقلاله عن الحشد وشجاعته وقدرته على وضع حد لـ «الميليشيات»، تمّ تسويقها لدى قيادات الحشد بصفتها عملاً شكلياً لحفظ ماء وجه الحكومة ورئيسها بوجه الضغوط الأميركية والخليجية، فيما تمّ تسويقها إعلامياً وخصوصاً في وسائل الإعلام الخليجية بصفتها بدء العد التنازلي لمرحلة الحشد الشعبي، ونموذجاً قابلاً للتكرار في لبنان. وبدأت تخرج تحليلات في بعض المواقع اللبنانية تثير الضحك عن مشروع شبيه للكاظمي عنوانه النائب السابق لحاكم مصرف لبنان محمد البعاصيري.

في ليل 23 حزيران أقفل الحشد الشعبي كل مداخل المنطقة الخضراء، بوحدات مقاتلة ووجه إنذاراً للكاظمي عنوانه، أن محاولة الاستفراد بكتائب حزب الله لن تمرّ، وأن التمييز بين فصائل المقاومة لعبة مكشوفة، وأن ما جرى كان انتهاكاً صريحاً للاتفاق السياسي الذي تمت تسمية الكاظمي على أساسه، وبعد مفاوضات امتدت لساعات، تم التوصل إلى اتفاق يقضي بالإفراج عن عناصر الحشد الذين تمّت مداهمة منازلهم، خلال يومين، مقابل انسحاب وحدات الحشد الشعبي، وحفاظها على حال الاستنفار والجهوزية، وليل أمس خرج المعتقلون من السجن وقاموا بإحراق الأعلام الأميركية والإسرائيلية في الساحات العامة وتحت الكاميرات، وهتفوا ضد الكاظمي، وتم إسدال الستار على سيناريو بهلواني، يفترض أن بالمستطاع تغيير وقائع تمّت صياغتها بالدماء، بقرارات صنعت من الحبر، واستعادت التوازنات التي أنتجت حكومة الكاظمي، كإطار رسمي لانسحاب أميركي من دون معركة عسكرية، مكانها في السياسة العراقية، وصمتت طبعاً الأبواق الإعلامية التي كانت تتحدث قبل ساعات عن نظرية حجارة الدومينو، متوقعة تهاوي فصائل الحشد تحت مقصلة الكاظمي، واحداً تلو الآخر.

في لبنان لا تختلف الأوهام عن العراق، ولا يختلف أصحابها، لكن الوقائع اللبنانية أشد صعوبة عبر تاريخ عقود من المقاومة، والتجارب والاختبارات الصعبة لمناوئيها، والذين رفعوا الدعوات لنزع سلاح المقاومة كانوا من أصحاب الأوهام المستمدّة من قراءة المبالغات الخليجية حول المشهد العراقي، ويُفترض بهم إعادة حساباتهم في ضوء التطورات العراقية، وفي ضوء المستجدات على جبهة النفط والغاز، وما تؤكده من مكانة المقاومة اقتصادياً، في حماية المورد الرئيسي الذي يعول عليه لبنان لأجيال قادمة، وكذلك في ضوء المستجدات المعيشية، حيث بعيداً عن نقاش عقيم حول النمط الغربي للعيش أو نمط شرقي، كأن المطروح هو استبدال اللبنانيين لمطبخهم وأزيائهم وكتابة نشيدهم الوطني باللغة الصينية، تقول المعلومات إن المقاومة تقود مشروعاً لتعزيز صمود اللبنانيين بتأمين سلع استهلاكية أساسية من مصادر لا تستبدل نمط العيش الغربي، لكنها تترجم معنى التوجه شرقاً لجهة الأسعار الأرخص، ومستوردة بالليرة اللبنانية بحيث لا ترتب ضغطاً على سوق الصرف وسعر الدولار.

لو يخفف المتذاكون من أوهام رهاناتهم، ويبقون أقدامهم على الأرض، فيرتاحون ويريحون.

يا أهل العراق .حذارالكاظمي رجل المخابرات!بسام ابو شريف

‎2020-‎06-‎29

كواليس" صعود رجل المخابرات.. كيف قاد مقتل سليماني الكاظمي إلى القصر؟

كان المنسق مع واشنطن وبقي كذلك وسوف يتآمر على المقاومة. وما زيارته لقيادة الحشد الا تهيئة لضربها.

بسام ابو شريف

لم يعد لدى الرئيس ترامب الوقت الكافي لاستخدام ” لعبة الصين الخطرة ” ، في حملته الانتخابية ، فالمعركة مع الصين أعقد بكثير مما كان يظن .

وبدلا من ذلك يحاول ترامب ، وفريقه تهديد دول عديدة ” منها دول اوروبية ” ، واسرائيل بعدم الانجذاب لعروض صينية سخية تتصل بمشاريع أساسية ومكلفة في هذه الدول ، وكانت اسرائيل أول الذين استجابوا لأوامر ترامب ، وأقصيت الصين عن مشروع اسرائيلي كبير كانت الصين قد قدمت عرضا لايستطيع أحد أن ينافسه ، لكن نتنياهو أخرج غرض الصين من السباق .

لم يبق لدى ترامب من ألاعيب ومغامرات لخدمة حملته الانتخابية سوى ايران ، وعندما نقول ايران نعني كل ماله صلة بايران بدء بالعراق ، ثم سوريا ، ثم لبنان وفلسطين ، ونستطيع أن نعني نفس الشيء ان قلنا فلسطين ولبنان وسوريا والعراق وايران ، فالطريق التآمري الذي يتبعه ترامب وفريقه هو طريق بالاتجاهين ، ووصلت آخر قرارات ترامب بفرض عقوبات على ايران حدود ” اللامعقول والجنون ” ، تماما كما حصل مع سوريا ، فهو يتخذالآن قرارات عقابية تستهدف الغذاء والدواء ، والهدف تجويع الشعبين الايراني والسوري لارضاخ البلدين لمشيئة ” العنصري دونالد ترامب ” .

واشنطن تتبع بدقة كافة الخطوات لشن حرب على الأعمال البطولية التي يقوم بها الايرانيون لتقليل الاعتماد على النفط كمصدر للدخل ، وكذلك ضاعف الشغيلة الايرانيون مرات عديدة انتاجهم في الحقول والمصانع اعتمادا على انفسهم ، وجن جنون ترامب مع انطلاق مشروع أنبوب النفط الذي سيمكن ايران من تصدير مليون برميل يوميا من ميناء نفطي يقع على الساحل الايراني بعد مضيق هرمز متجنبا بذلك كل ما انفقت عليه الولايات المتحدة من برامج عسكرية والكترونية عند مضيق هرمز ، فأعلن فرض عقوبات على صناعات الغذاء في ايران لم يجد أكثر من ذلك لأنه لم يبق شيئا يعاقب ايران عليه الا وفعله ، وأصدر قرارا به وحوله .

تبدو هذه العقوبة ، وكأنها القشة التي ستقصم ظهر البعير خاصة اذا راقبنا ودققنا فيما يرتكبه ترمب في العراق وسوريا ولبنان وفلسطين ، وهي بلدان يقول ترامب عنها أنها تميل لصالح تنظيمات ، هي وكيلة لايران كحزب الله بلبنان ، والجيش العربي السوري ، والحشد الشعبي في العراق ، ويهمنا هنا أن نركز على أولويات ترامب الذي لم يبق لديه كثير من الوقت فواشنطن وترامب تركزان بقوة على العراق بهدف نشله نهائيا ” حسب ظنهما ” ، من يد ايران وتحويل العراق الى قاعدة للعدوان على ايران ، ولاشك أن الأمر ليس خافيا كثيرا على من يهمه الأمر .
مفتاح القاء القبض على العراق مرة اخرى بشكل كامل ، هو رئيس الوزراء الذي كان مديرا للمخابرات ، والتي تؤكد معلوماتنا أنه كان على علم وتنسيق بعملية واشنطن لاغتيال المهندس وسليماني ، ليس هذا فقط بل انه أعطى الاميركيين موعد هبوط الطائرة بالضبط .

( وسبق أن نشرنا وحذرنا من ذلك ) ، أما العامل الآخر أو المفتاح الآخر فهو ابتزاز واشنطن لمجموعة كبيرة من القيادات السياسية والعسكرية العراقية ، وذلك بتهديدها بنشر أرقام أرصدتها في البنوك الخارجية ” أموال منهوبة ” ، وتجميدها اذا لزم الأمر .

والفاسدون يجب أن يعاقبوا ، والا يسمح لهم بالامساك بخيوط القرار السياسي أو العسكري وكل من يحكم على المقاومة ، ويعتقلها بسبب مقاومتها الاحتلال يجب أن يعاقب ، انهم يريدون تركيع العراق ، وهذا مايجب أن يرفضه شعبنا العربي الأبي في العراق ، ويجب أن تعود بغداد قلعة الأسود ، فالأمر يستهدف العراق خوفا منه ومن دوره العربي لافشال تصفية قضية فلسطين ، ودعم سوريا .

ماذا سيبحث ترامب مع مدير المخابرات السابق ، الذي كان ينسق خطط اميركا في العراق ؟

أترك الجواب لكم …. لكنني أجزم أن الأمر يتصل بالتآمر على المقاومة ، سيذهب الكاظمي الى واشنطن وبيده أوراق اعتماده ، وهي العملية الصهيونية التي شنت على أحد مقرات الحشد الشعبي فريق تحت اسم جهاز مكافحة الارهاب هاجم فريقا عسكريا رسميا ، هو الحشد الشعبي بحجة الامساك بمن أطلق صواريخ على المنطقة الخضراء ، وسيدور الحديث بدهاء الكاظمي حول خطأ ما ارتكب ، وأنه سيتعهد باصلاح هذا الخطأ ” كذب طبعا ” ، ذلك بعد أن زور الاميركيون نص بيان أصدره مكتب العمليات المشتركة باسم الجهتين يتضمن تعابير مليئة بالحقد والتآمر ، طبعا دون ورود كلمة حول انسحاب القوات الاميركية .

وسيضغط كل الذين هددتهم واشنطن بنشر أرقام أرصدتهم لعدم تحويل ” الحادثة ” ، الى موضوع صراع ؟!!
وسيغادر الكاظمي الى واشنطن ، وهو يلبس لباس الحشد وسيغيره على الطائرة لينزل في واشنطن حاملا جثة الحشد الشعبي كأوراق اعتماده لدى الصهيوني دونالد ترامب .

لاشك أن الشيخ الخزعلي يعلم جيدا مايدور، وعملية التعبئة حان وقتها ، فتركيا تغزو جزء من العراق بالجنود والدبابات وتقصف بالطيران ، والبرازاني يفتح أبواب كردستان لاسرائيل ويتحرش الأتراك بايران ، ويخططون لضرب الحشد ، ويطلقون آلاف الدواعش الذين كانوا مخزونين لوقت ” الشدة ” ، ويصعد الاميركيون في منطقة الحدود السورية العراقية لقطع طريق الاتصال بين دمشق وبغداد ، ويحرق أتباعهم المزروعات ” خاصة القمح ” ويستخدمون مصارف لبنان لضرب الليرة السورية والليرة اللبنانية ، ويمنعون من خلال عملائهم عروض الصين للمساعدة في الوصول الى البلدان التي تحتاجها بشكل مصيري .

يا أهل الخير …. يا أمتنا العظيمة كوني عظيمة ، وقاومي بالهجوم وليس بالدفاع … الهجوم هو أفضل وسائل الدفاع ، وسترون جنودهم يرحلون كما رحل أبطال لبنان قوات المارينز بعد عام 1983 ، لقد نهبت واشنطن ومازالت تنهب ثروات العراق ، وتعطي الفتات لقادة لايستحقون هتافكم … يا أهل العراق اذا لم يستعص عليكم ملوك حكموا باسم الانجليز، فلن يستعصي عليكم موظفو ترامب .

( الحشد الشعبي العراقي يتحمل مسؤوليات تاريخية ، وقد يكون الوقت قد حان ليتوسع بحيث يضم مقاتلين من كافة مكونات العراق ، فالمعركة تتسع وقد بشكل الأكراد رافدا هاما ليقاوموا العملاء وخدام اميركا واسرائيل في مناطقهم تحت راية الحشد ، ولاشك أن هنالك نسبة كبيرة جدا من الأكراد المناضلين الذين يرون في واشنطن وتل ابيب عدوا رئيسيا ، هو الذي يتآمر على شعوب المنطقة ، وهذا الأمر يتطلب مواجهة ومقاومة ) .

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الشيخ الخزعلي: لا توجد مذكرة قبض قضائية بحق عناصر الحشد.. وبيان العمليات المشتركة كتبه الأمريكان

ألعهد العراقية

2020/6/26

العراق

كشف الأمين العام لحركة عصائب أهل الحق الشيخ قيس الخزعلي، الجمعة، أنه لا توجد مذكرة قبض صادرة من القضاء بحق عناصر الحشد الشعبي، مبينا ان ورئيس الحكومة مصطفى الكاظمي هو من أصدر الأمر.

وقال الشيخ الخزعلي خلال كلمته بمناسبة الذكرى الـ (22) لاستشهاد اية الله السيد محمد الصدر، إن “كل رؤساء الوزراء السابقين لم يقوموا باستهداف المقاومين الا الكاظمي حاول استهداف الحشد الشعبي”.

وتابع  الشيخ الخزعلي: “نصيحة الى الكاظمي لا تقف ضد ابناء الحشد الشعبي لأنهم يمثلون الشعب”.

وبين ان “بيان العمليات المشتركة الخاص باعتقال عناصر الحشد كتب من قبل الامريكان”.

الشيخ الخزعلي : رئيس الحكومة لا يستطيع الوقوف بوجه الحشد الشعبي المطالب بالسيادة

أكد الامين العام لحركة عصائب اهل الحق الشيخ قيس الخزعلي، الجمعة، ان رئيس الحكومة لا يستطيع الوقوف بوجه ابناء الحشد الشعبي المطالبين بالسيادة.

و قال الشيخ الخزعلي خلال كلمة له ” لا رئيس الوزراء ولا غيرة يستطيع الوقوف بوجه ابناء الحشد الشعبي المطالبين بالسيادة، “مؤكدا ان ” حكومة الكاظمي مؤقتة عملها اجراء انتخابات مبكرة وعبور التحديات الاقتصادية”.

و اضاف ” كل عمليات القصف التي حدثت بالاونة الاخيرة استهدفت مقرات القوات والسفارة الامريكية، ولايوجد اي فصيل من المقاومة يستهدف المؤسسات بالمنطقة الخضراء”.

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US Suspected of Role behind Raiding Hezbollah Brigades Headquarters in Baghdad

Source

By Staff, Agencies

US Suspected of Role behind Raiding Hezbollah Brigades Headquarters in Baghdad

The headquarters of Iraqi anti-terror group within the Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], better known as Hashd al-Sha’abi, came under attack in Baghdad, raising suspicions about the US role in Iraq.

More than a dozen members of the Hezbollah Brigades [Kata’ib Hezbollah] were reportedly detained during the raid in southern Baghdad in the early hours of Friday. Initial reports said several commanders of the anti-US group, which is integrated into Iraq’s security forces, were among those arrested.

Their fate remains unclear, with some unnamed officials saying they are in the custody of Iraqi security services, but according to PMU sources, all those detained have been handed over to US forces.

An Iraqi official initially told Reuters that at least three of the group’s detained commanders had been transferred over to the US military.

A number of local media outlets also reported that American forces were involved in the raid.

One tweet by a PMU member said that Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi had apologized to the anti-terror group’s head Hadi al-Ameri over the incident.

Back on April 6, a member of the Iraqi parliament’s security and defense committee warned against the ulterior motives behind the redeployment of US troops to various military sites across the Arab country, saying Washington was drawing up plans to target PMU commanders.

On March 27, the New York Times newspaper reported that the Pentagon had ordered a secret directive, which called on US military commanders to prepare a campaign against the Hezbollah Brigades, which is part of the PMU.

But the top US commander in Iraq had warned that such a campaign could be bloody and counterproductive.

Lieutenant General Robert P. White wrote in a blunt memo that a new military campaign would also require that thousands more American troops be sent to Iraq.

PMU fighters have played a major role in the liberation of areas held by Daesh [the Arabic acronym for Takfiri ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] terrorists ever since the group launched an offensive in the country, overrunning vast swathes in lightning attacks.

In November 2016, the Iraqi parliament voted to integrate the PMU, which was formed shortly after the emergence of Daesh in Iraq in 2014, into the country’s military.

The popular group, however, is a thorn in the side of the United States which is widely believed to be managing an array of terrorist groups, including Daesh, to advance its ‘Israel’-centric agenda in the region.  

Trump Unloads on Bolton After Bolton Unloads on Trump

Source

Philip Giraldi

Ph.D., Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest.

June 25, 2020

Trump Unloads on Bolton After Bolton Unloads on Trump - TheAltWorld

John Bolton’s new memoir “The Room Where It Happened,” which came out two days ago in spite of White House attempts to block it, is the standard kiss and tell that senior American politicians and officials tend to write to make money for their retirement. There should be no question but that Bolton has done his best to cast the president in as bad a light as possible, which is easily done considering that communicating by twitter and through insults leaves a lot of room for second guessing about motive and intentions.

As required by law, Bolton’s book was reviewed for classified information starting in December, and when the process was finished it was started all over again, making clear that the tit for tat over the contents was essentially political and unrelated to national security. Having failed to stop the publication, the Trump Justice Department will now move to take away Bolton’s earnings from the book, a tactic that originated back in the 1970s with CIA whistleblower Frank Snepp’s “Decent Interval.” Critics of the security review process have noted that when a book says nice things about the government it is rarely interfered with no matter what classified information it might reveal, while a work that is unfriendly can expect to be hammered and delayed by the state secrets bureaucracy.

Why Donald Trump hired leading neoconservative John Bolton in the first place remains somewhat of a mystery, but the most plausible theory is that the number one GOP donor Sheldon Adelson demanded it. Adelson regards Bolton as something of a protégé and was particularly taken by Bolton’s enthusiasm for attacking Iran, something that the Las Vegas casino magnate and the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu both passionately desired.

After months of an apparently difficult tenure as National Security Advisor, John Bolton was finally fired from the White House on September 10, 2019, but the post mortem on why it took so long to remove him continued for some time afterwards, with the punditry and media trying to understand exactly what happened and why. Perhaps the most complete explanation for what occurred came from President Donald Trump himself shortly after the fact. He said, in some impromptu comments, that his national security advisor had “…made some very big mistakes when he talked about the Libyan model for Kim Jong Un. That was not a good statement to make. You just take a look at what happened with Gadhafi. That was not a good statement to make. And it set us back.”

Incredible as it may seem, Trump had a point in that Bolton was clearly suggesting that North Korea get rid of its nuclear weapons in exchange for economic benefits, but it was the wrong example to pick as Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi gave up his weapons and was then ousted and brutally killed in a rebel uprising that was supported by Washington. The Bolton analogy, which may have been deliberate attempt to sabotage any rapprochement, made impossible any agreement between Kim and Trump as Kim received the message loud and clear that he might suffer the same fate.

Subsequently, Bolton might have been behind media leaks that scuttled Trump’s plan to meet with Taliban representatives and that also, acting on behalf of Israel, undercut a presidential suggestion that he might meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Trump summed up his disagreements with Bolton by saying that the National Security Advisor “wasn’t getting along” with other administration officials, adding that “Frankly he wanted to do things — not necessarily tougher than me. John’s known as a tough guy. He’s so tough he got us into Iraq. That’s tough. But he’s somebody that I actually had a very good relationship with, but he wasn’t getting along with people in the administration who I consider very important. And you know John wasn’t in line with what we were doing. And actually in some cases he thought it was too tough, what we were doing. Mr. Tough Guy.”

Trump’s final comment on Bolton was that “I’m sure he’ll do whatever he can do to spin it his way,” a throw-away line that pretty much predicted the writing of the book. Bolton has many supporters among hardliners in the GOP and the media as well as among democracy promoting progressive Trump haters and it will be interesting to see what damage can be inflicted on the president’s reelection campaign.

Pre-publication reviews have focused on the takeaways from the book. The most damaging claim appears to be that Donald Trump asked the Chinese government to buy more agricultural products from the U.S. to help American farmers, which the president described as a key constituency for his reelection. Bolton claims that Trump specifically asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to buy American soybeans and other farm commodities and, as a possible quid pro quo, Trump intervened to reduce some financial penalties imposed on the Chinese telecommunications company ZTE for evading sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

Also concerning China, Bolton asserts that the president encouraged Xi to continue building concentration camps for the Muslim Uighurs, a religious and ethnic minority largely concentrated in the country’s Xinjiang region. The context of the alleged comment is not clear, nor is it easy to imagine how the subject even came up, so the claim might be regarded as exaggerated or even apocryphal. Bolton was not even present when the alleged conversation took place and only learned of it second hand.

Other claims made by Bolton include that Trump didn’t know that Britain was a nuclear power and that Finland is not part of Russia. The book also describes in some detail how Trump spent most of his time in White House intelligence briefings presenting his own views instead of listening to what analysts from the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) offices had to say.

That Donald Trump was a poor student and is an intellectual lightweight has been noted by many observers. Combining that with his essential lack of curiosity about the world and its peoples means that he does not know much about foreigners and the places they live in. But it is both condescending and somewhat of a cheap trick by Bolton to pillory him for his ignorance.

The media’s vision of the most damaging charge, that Trump colluded with the Chinese, is, quite frankly ridiculous. Buying American agricultural products is in the interest of both farmers and the U.S. economy. Reducing penalties on a major Chinese company as a sweetener and to mitigate bilateral tensions is called diplomacy. Of course, anything a president does with a foreign country will potentially have an impact when reelection time rolls along, but it would be difficult to suggest that Trump did anything wrong.

The Bolton book has also been critiqued by some, including the New York Times, as the exposure of “a president who sees his office as an instrument to advance his own personal and political interests over those of the nation.” Bolton writes how “Throughout my West Wing tenure, Trump wanted to do what he wanted to do, based on what he knew and what he saw as his own best personal interests… I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by re-election calculations.”

Trump is, to be sure, a man who has subordinated the dignity of the office he holds to personal ambition, but he differs more in the pervasiveness of his actions than in the substance. Many other presidents have made many of the same calculations as Trump though they have been more restrained and careful about expressing them.

Finally, a number of editors who have read review copies of the book have observed how badly written and organized it is. If anyone is looking for a real indictment of Donald Trump and all his works, they will not find it in the Bolton book. Apart from the new information it provides, which seems little enough, it would appear to be a waste of $20 to possibly enrich an author who has been promoting and saying “more please” to America’s wars for the past 20 years.

إلى المطبّلين للعقوبات الأميركية على سورية… انتبهوا

البناء

جمال محسن العفلق

أخذ ما يسمّى قانون قيصر أكثر من حجمه إعلامياً، وقانون العقوبات هذا ليس بالجديد على نهج من يدير العملية السياسية في أميركا، فسياسة أميركا تقوم على مبدأ القتل والإبادة ولا يهمّ عدد الضحايا وتاريخ أميركا مشبع بالدم والقتل القصد إما عسكرياً أو اقتصادياً، ولم ننسَ بعد مليون طفل عراقي قتلوا خلال الحصار الأميركي للعراق وقبل دخول القوات الغازية بغداد. والدعم اللا محدود لما يسمّى بقوات التحالف العربي الغازية لليمن حيث سجلت الأمم المتحدة قبل ان تغيّر تقاريرها أنّ هناك عشرين مليون يمني مهدّدون بالهلاك بسبب الحصار والقصف الجوي الممنهج على قرى ومدن اليمن، والذي يستهدف المدارس والمشافي وبيوت المدنيين، وهذا كله بدعم أميركي وغرفة عمليات يديرها ضباط من الكيان الصهيوني وأميركا.

كذلك فإنّ ما يحدث في ليبيا هو بغطاء أميركي وعربي هدفه تقسيم ليبيا وإبادة شعبها.

فـ قانون قيصر الذي يطال الشعب السوري لا يمكن تقديمه كما يحب المطبّلين له على أنّ هدفه هو إنقاذ الشعب السوري، بل حقيقته هي إبادة من تبقى من السوريين والذين تراهم الولايات المتحدة أنهم صمدوا مع جيشهم وحكومتهم، فمنذ بداية العدوان الدولي على سورية كان الرهان على انهيار هذا الشعب خلال مده أقصاها ستة أشهر ولكن المفاجأة كانت بصمود السوريين وتكاتف الحلفاء معهم في صدّ العدوان، وفي المقدمة إيران وحزب الله اللذان قدّما دماء من أجل الحفاظ على سورية ودعم صمودها فتحوّلت السياسة الأميركية الى نهج قديم جديد اتجاه سورية وهي سياسة التجويع من أجل الإذلال والخضوع، فما تريده الولايات المتحدة ليس حرية السوريين كما تدّعي لأنها أصلاً لا يحق لها طلب الحرية وهي الغارقة بالعنصرية وجرائم ضدّ الإنسانية! إنما تدمير سورية، فهذا البلد بالنسبة للصهيونية ليس مجرد مساحة جغرافية بل هو عقيدة مقاومة وهذا ما تجده الولايات المتحدة مخالفاً لأهدافها، فوجود الفكر المقاوم لا يتناسب مع ما يسمّى أمن الكيان الصهيوني ومصالح أميركا في المنطقة…

يساعد أميركا في تطبيق هذا القانون الظالم على الشعب السوري كسر الأنظمة العربية لسرية التعامل مع الكيان الصهيوني وانتقالها إلى العلن وبمبرّرات لا ترتقي الى مستوى الهراء، فيخرج علينا من يقول انّ التعاون مع الكيان الصهيوني يأتي في إطار محاربة وباء كورونا، ووقف المدّ الشيعي، وآخر يجد أن الكيان الصهيوني هو صاحب الأرض الأصلي ولا يجب محاربته في وقت هناك من يعيش في الكيان الصهيوني من الصهاينة أنفسهم ويقول نحن نحتلّ هذه الأرض وهي ليست لنا.

أما سورياً فهناك مجموعة العاملين بأمر الدولار ومهمتهم تجميل هذا القانون واعتباره إنجازاً إنسانياً من الطراز الأول، وهؤلاء يقدّمون أنفسهم على أنهم ممثلو الشعب السوري ومعارضة وطنية، فأيّ وطنية هذه التي توافق على إبادة أمة عمرها سبعة آلاف عام؟

نعم إنّ قانون قيصر سيترك آثاراً اقتصادية جمًة، وخصوصاً أنّ سورية ليست بلداً يعيش حياة طبيعية، فصدور مثل هذا القانون على بلد يعيش منذ عشر سنوات حرباً طاحنة ضدّ الإرهاب ليس بالأمر الذي يمكن تجاوزه ببساطة، هذا ما يعتقده أصحاب القانون ومهندسوه الذين لم يفهموا حتى اليوم أنّ سورية منذ عقود محاصره اقتصادياً وفيها ما يكفي من الموارد التي يمكن العبور فيها نفق الحصار الذي سينكسر عاجلاً أم اجلاً.

فأوراق الردّ التي يملكها محور المقاومة كثيره وما زال في الجعبة الكثير والبداية من إدلب التي سيتمّ فيها تقليم ما تبقى من أظافر الجماعات الإرهابية المحمية من أميركا وهناك منطقة شرق الفرات التي سيُجبر الأميركي على الخروج منها، وبأيّ ثمن، فلا يعني تطبيق القانون أننا انتهينا، فالحرب لا تزال مستمرة، ومن استطاع الصمود عشر سنوات لن تصعب علية سنة إضافية ما دام الهدف هو إنقاذ وطن من الضياع والتفكك.

لقد مارست دول العدوان على سورية كلّ أصناف القتال الإعلامي والحربي والاقتصادي ولن يكون بمقدورهم اليوم إنهاء الحرب التي اختاروا هم بدايتها ولكنهم لن يستطيعوا تحديد موعد نهايتها كما يعتقدون.

وفي آخر رسالة واضحة لمحور المقاومة أن من سيقتلنا سنقتله، ولن يكون بعد اليوم أيّ تفاوض مع من يفكر بتجويعنا او قتلنا تحت اسم حقوق الإنسان وتوازن الطوائف والحرية والديمقراطية الأميركية الكاذبة.

IRAQ’S USBAT AL-THA’IREEN CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR RECENT ATTACKS ON U.S. FORCES IN NEW VIDEO

Video here

18.06.2020 
Usbat al-Tha’ireen (UT), a newly-formed Iraqi armed group, has claimed responsibility for three recent attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq.
On June 18, the group released a video titled “With Patience Comes Victory” showing footage of the following attacks:
  • The June 8 rocket attack on Camp Taji, which damaged a C-130 military transport aircraft of the U.S.-led coalition.
  • The June 11 rocket attack on U.S. Embassy in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
  • The June 16 rocket on the military section of Baghdad International Airport.
All three attacks were carried out with rockets of the 107 mm caliber. UT claims that the coalition is hiding the results of the attacks.
“These operations have the major effect of terrorizing occupation forces and their tails [proxies],” the group says in the video.
UT revealed its existence on March 15. Back then, the Iraqi group claimed responsibility for the March 11 Camp Taji rocket attack, which killed three U.S.-led coalition service members.
The group is one of several pro-Iran factions, which emerged in Iraq after the assassination of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Deputy-Commander of the Popular Mobilization Units, and Iran’s Quds Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani, by the U.S. earlier this year.
MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

The Globalization of War. America’s “Long War” against Humanity

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, June 11, 2020

America’s hegemonic project in the post 9/11 era is the “Globalization of War” whereby the U.S.-NATO  military machine –coupled with covert intelligence operations, economic sanctions and the thrust of “regime change”— is deployed in all major regions of the world.  The threat of pre-emptive nuclear war is also used to black-mail countries into submission.

This “Long War against Humanity” is carried out at the height of the most serious economic crisis in modern history. It is intimately related to a process of global financial restructuring, which has resulted in the collapse of national economies and the impoverishment of large sectors of the World population.

The ultimate objective is World conquest under the cloak of “human rights” and “Western democracy”.

The Globalization of War

Click here to order directly from Global Research

List price: $24.95 / Special Offer: $15.00

REVIEWS:

“Professor Michel Chossudovsky is the most realistic of all foreign policy commentators. He is a model of integrity in analysis, his book provides an honest appraisal of the extreme danger that U.S. hegemonic neoconservatism poses to life on earth.”

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury

““The Globalization of War” comprises war on two fronts: those countries that can either be “bought” or destabilized. In other cases, insurrection, riots and wars are used to solicit U.S. military intervention. Michel Chossudovsky’s book is a must read for anyone who prefers peace and hope to perpetual war, death, dislocation and despair.”The Dirty War on Syria and The Globalization of War: Special Offer

Hon. Paul Hellyer, former Canadian Minister of National Defence

“Michel Chossudovsky describes globalization as a hegemonic weapon that empowers the financial elites and enslaves 99 percent of the world’s population.

“The Globalization of War” is diplomatic dynamite – and the fuse is burning rapidly.”

Michael Carmichael, President, the Planetary Movement

The Globalization of War: America’s “Long War” against Humanity

by Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research Publishers, Montreal 2015

EXCERPT FROM PREFACE:

The “globalization of war” is a hegemonic project.  Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The U.S. military agenda combines both major theater operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states.

Under a global military agenda, the actions undertaken by the Western military alliance (U.S.-NATO-Israel) in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Ukraine, Syria and Iraq are coordinated at the highest levels of the military hierarchy. We are not dealing with piecemeal military and intelligence operations. The July-August 2014 attack on Gaza by Israeli forces was undertaken in close consultation with the United States and NATO. The actions in Ukraine and their timing coincided with the onslaught of the attack on Gaza.

In turn, military undertakings are closely coordinated with a process of economic warfare which consists not only in imposing sanctions on sovereign countries but also in deliberate acts of destabilization of financial and currencies markets, with a view to undermining the enemies’ national economies.

The United States and its allies have launched a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity. As we go to press, U.S.and NATO forces have been deployed in Eastern Europe including Ukraine. U.S. military intervention under a humanitarian mandate is proceeding in sub-Saharan Africa. The U.S. and its allies are threatening China under President Obama’s “Pivot to Asia”.

In turn, military maneuvers are being conducted at Russia’s doorstep which could potentially lead to escalation.

The U.S. airstrikes initiated in September 2014 directed against Iraq and Syria under the pretext of going after the Islamic State are part of a scenario of military escalation extending from North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean to Central and South Asia.

The Western military alliance is in an advanced state of readiness. And so is Russia.

Russia is heralded as the “Aggressor”. U.S.-NATO military confrontation with Russia is contemplated.

Enabling legislation in the U.S. Senate under “The Russian Aggression Prevention Act” (RAPA) has “set the U.S. on a path towards direct military conflict with Russia in Ukraine.”

“Any U.S.-Russian war is likely to quickly escalate into a nuclear war, since neither the U.S. nor Russia would be willing to admit defeat, both have many thousands of nuclear weapons ready for instant use, and both rely upon Counterforce military doctrine that tasks their military, in the event  of war, to pre-emptively destroy the nuclear forces of the enemy.”

The Russian Aggression Prevention Act (RAPA) is the culmination of more than twenty years of U.S.-NATO war preparations,which consist in the military encirclement of both Russia and China:

“From the moment the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the United States has relentlessly pursued a strategy of encircling Russia, just as it has with other perceived enemies like China and Iran. It has brought 12 countries in central Europe, all of them formerly allied with Moscow, into the NATO alliance. U.S. military power is now directly on Russia’s borders.”

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The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2020

STRING OF ATTACKS ON US FORCES AND FACILITIES CONTINUES IN IRAQ

South Front

Last night, two rockets struck the Green Zone in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. The heavily fortified area houses some of the main Iraqi government offices and the US embassy. There were no immediate reports about casualties. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Earlier, Saraya Thorat Al-Ashrin Al-Thani, one of Iraq’s many anti-US groups, which have surfaced since the start of the year, released two videos claiming that these show attacks on convoys carried out using US equipment. According to the group, the attacks took place on May 20 and June 6. The impact of the attacks remains unclear.

Military bases housing US troops across Iraq and the U.S. embassy have frequently been targeted by mortar and rocket attacks over the post months. According to US officials, most of these have been carried out by Iranian-backed forces.

Iraqi-U.S. relations have been witnessing tensions since January 3 when a US drone struck a convoy at Baghdad airport, killing Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces. This attack escalated tensions in the region and led to a large-scale Iranian missile attack on US military bases in Iraq. The Iraqi Parliament also demanded that the US withdraw its troops from the country. Washington rejected the demand and threatened Iraq with sanctions if it is forced to withdraw its forces.

On June 11, US and Iraqi officials will be holding another meeting to discuss the current state of  Iraqi-US relations and the issue of US troop withdrawal from the country. However, it remains highly unlikely that Washington will back down from its de-facto occupation of the country.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Army and the National Defense Forces continue their anti-ISIS raids in eastern Homs and southern Raqqah in central Syria. According to pro-government sources, over 10 ISIS members have been neutralized in the framework of these efforts since the start of the month.

On June 10, a unit of the Syrian Army and pro-government locals blocked a US military convoy and forced it to retreat near the village of Dardara in the province of Hasakah. Separately, a US military patrol was blocked by the Russian Military Police near Qamishli. At least one US vehicle broke down when it went off road to bypass the Russians.

Related News

Iraqi Resistance Leader: US Presence in Iraq Protects ‘Israel’s’ Security

Iraqi Resistance Leader: US Presence in Iraq Protects ‘Israel’s’ Security

By Staff, Agencies

Secretary General of Iraqi resistance movement ‘Asaib Ahl al-Haq’ Sheikh Qais al-Khazaali stressed that the US presence in Iraq aims to protect the security of the “Israeli” entity.

Al-Khazaali’s remarks were made during a Monday address on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr.

Questioning the intentions of the US military forces withdrawal, al-Khazaali said that “the American presence in Iraq is in order to protect the security of the ‘Israeli’ entity.”

He further stressed that “there is a popular and courageous public will that refuses to keep any foreign force on Iraqi soil.”

“We are not warlords, not bloodthirsty, but patriots, and we are looking for the dignity and sovereignty of the nation,” he added.

Al-Khazaali further voiced the Iraqi resistance’s readiness to pay lives and blood for dignity and sovereignty: “We are not warlords nor thirsty for blood, but patriots, and we are searching for the dignity and sovereignty of the homeland.”

“The United States, which is a superpower, could 

Why U.S. Must Be Prosecuted for Its War Crimes Against Iraq

By Eric Zuesse

Source

George Bush Iraq war crimes b5448

The reason why the U.S. Government must be prosecuted for its war-crimes against Iraq is that they are so horrific and there are so many of them, and international law crumbles until they become prosecuted and severely punished for what they did. We therefore now have internationally a lawless world (or “World Order”) in which “Might makes right,” and in which there is really no effective international law, at all. This is merely gangster “law,” ruling on an international level. It is what Hitler and his Axis of fascist imperialists had imposed upon the world until the Allies — U.S. under FDR, UK under Churchill, and U.S.S.R. under Stalin — defeated it, and established the United Nations. Furthermore, America’s leaders deceived the American public into perpetrating this invasion and occupation, of a foreign country (Iraq) that had never threatened the United States; and, so, this invasion and subsequent military occupation constitutes the very epitome of “aggressive war” — unwarranted and illegal international aggression. (Hitler, similarly to George W. Bush, would never have been able to obtain the support of his people to invade if he had not lied, or “deceived,” them, into invading and militarily occupying foreign countries that had never threatened Germany, such as Belgium, Poland and Czechoslovakia. This — Hitler’s lie-based aggressions — was the core of what the Nazis were hung for, and yet America now does it.)

As Peter Dyer wrote in 2006, about “Iraq & the Nuremberg Precedent”:

Invoking the precedent set by the United States and its allies at the Nuremberg trial in 1946, there can be no doubt that the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a war of aggression. There was no imminent threat to U.S. security nor to the security of the world. The invasion violated the U.N. Charter as well as U.N. Security Council Resolution #1441.

The Nuremberg precedent calls for no less than the arrest and prosecution of those individuals responsible for the invasion of Iraq, beginning with President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleez[z]a Rice, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.

Take, for example, Condoleezza Rice, who famously warned “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” (That warning was one of the most effective lies in order to deceive the American public into invading Iraq, because President Bush had had no real evidence, at all, that there still remained any WMD in Iraq after the U.N. had destroyed them all, and left Iraq in 1998 — and he knew this; he was informed of this; he knew that he had no real evidence, at all: he offered none; it was all mere lies.

So, the Nuremberg precedent definitely does apply against George W, Bush and his partners-in-crime, just as it did against Hitler and his henchmen and allies.

The seriousness of this international war crime is not as severe as those of the Nazis were, but nonetheless is comparable to it.

On 15 March 2018, Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies headlined at Alternet “The Staggering Death Toll in Iraq” and wrote that “our calculations, using the best information available, show a catastrophic estimate of 2.4 million Iraqi deaths since the 2003 invasion,” and linked to solid evidence, backing up their estimate.

On 6 February 2020, BusinessInsider bannered “US taxpayers have reportedly paid an average of $8,000 each and over $2 trillion total for the Iraq war alone”, and linked to the academic analysis that supported this estimate. The U.S. regime’s invasive war, which the Bush gang perpetrated against Iraq, was also a crime against the American people (though Iraqis suffered far more from it than we did).

On 29 September 2015, I headlined “GALLUP: ‘Iraqis Are the Saddest & One of the Angriest Populations in the World’,” and linked to Gallup’s survey of 1,000 individuals in each of 148 countries around the world, which found that Iraq had the highest “Negative Experience Score.” That score includes “sadness,” “physical pain,” “anger,” and other types of misery — and Iraq, after America’s invasion, has scored the highest in the entire world, on it, and in the following years has likewise scored at or near the highest on “Negative Experience Score.” For example: in the latest, the 2019, Gallup “Global Emotions Report”, Iraq scores fourth from the top on “Negative Experience Score,” after (in order from the worst) Chad, Niger, and Sierra Leone. (Gallup has been doing these surveys ever since 2005, but the first one that was published under that title was the 2015 report, which summarized the 2014 surveys’ findings.) Of course, prior to America’s invasion, there had been America’s 1990 war against Iraq and the U.S. regime’s leadership and imposition of U.N. sanctions (which likewise were based largely on U.S.-regime-backed lies, though not totally on lies like the 2003 invasion was), which caused massive misery in that country; and, therefore, not all of the misery in Iraq which showed up in the 2015 Global Emotions Report was due to only the 2003 invasion and subsequent military occupation of that country. But almost all of it was, and is. And all of it was based on America’s rulers lying to the public in order to win the public’s acceptance of their evil plans and invasions against a country that had never posed any threat whatsoever to Americans — people residing in America. Furthermore, it is also perhaps relevant that the 2012 “World Happiness Report” shows Iraq at the very bottom of the list of countries (on page 55 of that report) regarding “Average Net Affect by Country,” meaning that Iraqis were the most zombified of all 156 nationalities surveyed. Other traumatized countries were immediately above Iraq on that list. On “Average Negative Affect,” only “Palestinian Territories” scored higher than Iraq (page 52). After America’s invasion based entirely on lies, Iraq is a wrecked country, which still remains under the U.S. regime’s boot, as the following will document:

Bush’s successors, Obama and Trump, failed to press for Bush’s trial on these vast crimes, even though the American people had ourselves become enormously victimized by them, though far less so than Iraqis were. Instead, Bush’s successors have become accessories after the fact, by this failure to press for prosecution of him and his henchmen regarding this grave matter. In fact, the “Defense One” site bannered on 26 September 2018, “US Official: We May Cut Support for Iraq If New Government Seats Pro-Iran Politicians”, and opened with “The Trump administration may decrease U.S. military support or other assistance to Iraq if its new government puts Iranian-aligned politicians in any ‘significant positions of responsibility,’ a senior administration official told reporters late last week.” The way that the U.S. regime has brought ‘democracy’ to Iraq is by threatening to withdraw its protection of the stooge-rulers that it had helped to place into power there, unless those stooges do the U.S. dictators’ bidding, against Iraq’s neighbor Iran. This specific American dictator, Trump, is demanding that majority-Shiite Iraq be run by stooges who favor, instead, America’s fundamentalist-Sunni allies, such as the Saud family who own Saudi Arabia and who hate and loathe Shiites and Iran. The U.S. dictatorship insists that Iraq, which the U.S. conquered, serve America’s anti-Shiite and anti-Iranian policy-objectives. “The U.S. threat, to withhold aid if Iran-aligned politicians occupy any ministerial position, is an escalation of Washington’s demands on Baghdad.” The article went on to quote a “senior administration official” as asserting that, “if Iran exerts a tremendous amount of influence, or a significant amount of influence over the Iraqi government, it’s going to be difficult for us to continue to invest.” Get the euphemisms there! This article said that “the Trump administration has made constraining Iran’s influence in the region a cornerstone of their foreign policy.” So, this hostility toward Iran must be reflected in Iraq’s policies, too. It’s not enough that Trump wants to destroy Iran like Bush has destroyed Iraq; Trump demands that Iraq participate in that crime, against Iraq’s own neighbor. This article said that, “There have also been protests against ‘U.S. meddling’ in the formation of a new Iraqi government, singling out Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk for working to prevent parties close to Iran from obtaining power.” McGurk is the rabidly neconservative former high G.W. Bush Administration official, and higher Obama Administration official, who remained as Trump’s top official on his policy to force Iraq to cooperate with America’s efforts to conquer Iran. Trump’s evil is Obama’s evil, and is Bush’s evil. It is bipartisan evil, no matter which Party is in power. Though Trump doesn’t like either the Bushes or Obamas, all of them are in the same evil policy-boat. America’s Deep State remains the same, no matter whom it places into the position of nominal power. The regime remains the same, regardless.

On April 29th, the whistleblowing former UK Ambassador Craig Murray wrote:

Nobody knows how many people died as a result of the UK/US Coalition of Death led destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and, by proxy, Syria and Yemen. Nobody even knows how many people western forces themselves killed directly. That is a huge number, but still under 10% of the total. To add to that you have to add those who died in subsequent conflict engendered by the forced dismantling of the state the West disapproved of. Some were killed by western proxies, some by anti-western forces, and some just by those reverting to ancient tribal hostility and battle for resources into which the country had been regressed by bombing.

You then have to add all those who died directly as a result of the destruction of national infrastructure. Iraq lost in the destruction 60% of its potable drinking water, 75% of its medical facilities and 80% of its electricity. This caused millions of deaths, as did displacement. We are only of course talking about deaths, not maiming.

UK’s Prime Minister Tony Blair should hang with the U.S. gang, but who is calling for this? How much longer will the necessary prosecutions wait? Till after these international war-criminals have all gone honored to their graves?

Although the International Criminal Court considered and dismissed possible criminal charges against Tony Blair’s UK Government regarding the invasion and military occupation of Iraq, the actual crime, of invading and militarily occupying a country which had posed no threat to the national security of the invader, was ignored, and the conclusion was that “the situation did not appear to meet the required threshold of the Statute” (which was only “Willful killing or inhuman treatment of civilians” and which ignored the real crime, which was “aggressive war” or “the crime of aggression” — the crime for which Nazis had been hanged at Nuremberg). Furthermore, no charges whatsoever against the U.S. Government (the world’s most frequent and most heinous violator of international law) were considered. In other words: the International Criminal Court is subordinate to, instead of applicable to, the U.S. regime. Just like Adolf Hitler had repeatedly made clear that, to him, all nations except Germany were dispensable and only Germany wasn’t, Barack Obama repeatedly said that “The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation”, which likewise means that every other nation is “dispensable.” The criminal International Criminal Court accepts this, and yet expects to be respected.

The U.S. regime did “regime change” to Iraq in 2003, and to Ukraine in 2014, and tried to do it to Syria since 2009, and to Yemen since 2015, and to Venezuela since 2012, and to Iran since 2017 — just to mention some of the examples. And, though the Nuremberg precedent certainly applies, it’s not enforced. In principle, then, Hitler has posthumously won WW II.

Hitler must be smiling, now. FDR must be rolling in his grave.

The only way to address this problem, if there won’t be prosecutions against the ‘duly elected’ (Deep-State-approved and enabled) national leaders and appointees, would be governmental seizure and nationalization of the assets that are outright owned or else controlled by America’s Deep State. Ultimately, the Government-officials who are s‘elected’ and appointed to run the American Government have been and are representing not the American people but instead represent the billionaires who fund those officials’ and former officials’ careers. In a democracy, those individuals — the financial enablers of those politicians’ s‘electoral’ success — would be dispossessed of all their assets, and then prosecuted for the crimes that were perpetrated by the public officials whom they had participated in (significantly funded and propagandized for) placing into power. (For example, both Parties’ Presidential nominees are unqualified to serve in any public office in a democracy.)

Democracy cannot function with a systematically lied-to public. Nor can it function if the responsible governmental officials are effectively immune from prosecution for their ‘legal’ crimes, or if the financial string-pullers behind the scenes can safely pull those strings. In America right now, both of those conditions pertain, and, as a result, democracy is impossible. There are only two ways to address this problem, and one of them would start by prosecuting George W. Bush.

 

Three missiles land near US embassy in Baghdad

By News Desk -2020-05-19

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:30 P.M.) – At least 3 missiles fell inside the Green Zone in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, where foreign diplomatic missions are locate, including the U.S. embassy.

Following the fall of the missiles, the U.S. military activated their emergency sirens and Iraqi security forces reportedly arrived on the scene to help alleviate the situation.

One of the sources mentioned that a missile landed in the vicinity of the British embassy; however, no damage was reported.

For its part, the Iraqi security forces said in a press release, that “a Katyusha rocket landed on an empty house inside the Green Zone in Baghdad.”

The security forces added: “Information indicates that this missile was launched from the Idrisi neighborhood of Palestine Street, and its fall resulted in minor damage to the wall of the house.”

No group has claimed responsibility for this attack.

It is noteworthy to mention that the Green Zone in central Baghdad, which includes government headquarters and embassies, including the American and British embassies, is exposed from time to time to rocket and mortar shelling, sometimes leading to deaths, injuries and material damage.

لبنان وسورية والعراق: اختناق الافتراق

ناصر قنديل

ربما يشكل لبنان الحلقة الأضعف والخاصرة الرخوة في الثلاثي المشرقي، المكوّن من لبنان وسورية والعراق، في قلب أزمة اقتصادية ومالية تتساوى في القلق من تداعياتها البلدان الثلاثة، رغم امتلاك العراق قدرة نفطية ضخمة تشكل رصيده الأبرز، واستناد سورية إلى بنية زراعية وصناعية تتيح رغم سنوات الحرب وأضرارها توفير نسبة عالية من الاكتفاء الذاتي الغذائي والاستهلاكي، والأجيال الحالية لا تملك ذاكرة كافية للعلاقات الاقتصادية الطبيعية التي تتفوق على السياسة، والتي كانت خلالها اقتصادات الدول الثلاثة بخير، قبل أن تتقطع أوصالها منذ أربعة عقود، مع بدء الحرب التي شنّها العراق على إيران، وتسببت بإقفال الحدود السورية العراقية ومعها وقف حركة السلع السورية واللبنانية نحو العراق، سوقهما الأهم، ووقف تدفق النفط العراقي إلى بانياس وطرابلس، ودخول سورية ولبنان سوق النفط العالمي لشراء المشتقات النفطية، التي شكلت منذ ذلك التاريخ مصدر النزف الأهم في مواردهما ولا تزال.

يعتقد الكثيرون أن كل دولة تشكل بذاتها متحداً اقتصادياً كافياً، وأن العلاقات الاقتصادية لهذا المتحد مع الخارج يمكن أن تكون متكافئة ومتعادلة، وفقاً لنمط السلع التبادلية، بمعزل عن هوية الخارج، الذي يتشكل أصلاً من كيان سياسي أي دولة، ويصير في التعامل كياناً اقتصادياً أي سوق. والدولة هنا هي جمارك وعملة موحدة، فهل يكفيان لتشكيل السوق؟ والجواب هو بالنفي قطعاً، ذلك أن عناصر تشكيل السوق أعمق في الزمن والمحتوى، من شروط تشكل الدولة، ووحدة العملة ورسوم الجمارك، أولاً، وثانياً لأن السوق تتكفل عند حاجات نموها بإسقاط الحدود الجمركية والعملة أيضاً، كما تقول تجربة الاتحاد الأوروبي، أو تحمي بقاء الحدود والعملة كما تقول حال بريطانيا التي دخلت الاتحاد ولم تترك عملتها المستقلة لحساب منطقة اليورو، وفي تاريخ لبنان وسورية تحت الانتداب الفرنسي بقيت الدولتان منفصلتين برئيسين ومجلسي نواب وحكومتين وجيشين، لكن بعملة واحدة وجمارك واحدة. وعندما انفصلتا في مجال العملة والجمارك، بدأت الأزمات تشتدّ في كلتيهما.

يغيب عن بال الكثيرين أن الاقتصاد ليس فعلاً إرادياً سياسياً تنشئه الدول، بل هو فعل طبيعي حيوي ينمو عبر تاريخ طويل تفرضه الطبيعة، ويتكيف معه الإنسان، وتتأقلم معه المهارات عبر الأجيال، وتتكامل ضمنه حركة السلع وإنتاجها، وعندما تلاقيه السياسة يتحقق الانفراج والازدهار، وعندما تجافيه يقع الضمور والانفجار، والمتحد الاقتصادي الذي يتشكل عبر التاريخ وتأتي الحدود السياسية بين أطرافه لتقطع أوصاله، يشبه الجسد الذي تصيبه الحمى ويصيب أطرافه الشلل إذا شدّت الأحزمة بين الجسد والأطراف، والنظرة التاريخيّة تكفي لمعرفة كيف كان هذا المتحد الاقتصاديّ قائماً على تكامل مكوناته، حيث العراق يدفع اليوم كلفة مضاعفة لمستورداته من أوروبا، كما لصادراته النفطية إليها، بسبب خسارته لما كان يوفره كل من مرفأ بيروت ومصفاة طرابلس، بينما خسر لبنان الموارد العالية لهذه الوظيفة، كما خسر سوقاً ضخمة لمنتجاته الزراعية والصناعية التي كان العراق سوقها الأهم، وبقي السؤال عن سوق المصارف والجامعات والمستشفيات في لبنان إن لم تكن لتخديم اقتصادات وحاجات سورية والعراق، وسورية التي تشكل مقصد الطبقات الوسطى والفقيرة في لبنان والعراق تحتاجهما لكل تطوير لاقتصادها، ويحتاجانها لكل أمن غذائي واجتماعي، إضافة لكونها الرابط الجغرافي الحكمي بينهما، ولم يحتج الفرنسيون والبريطانيون وقتاً وجهداً لإدراك أهميّة هذا الترابط، فهما من أنشآ سكك الحديد، وخط النفط العراقي على المتوسط، والعملة الموحّدة للبنان وسورية، ومعها ما عرف بالمصالح المشتركة.

يكثر النقاش في لبنان وسورية والعراق عن المخارج من الأزمات الاقتصادية الراهنة، وبالتأكيد هناك إجراءات يحتاجها كل بلد على حدة، لكن ما يجب قوله بوضوح قاطع هو أن أي محاولة للنهوض لا تتأسس في البلدان الثلاثة على رد الاعتبار لمفهوم المتحد الاقتصاديّ، الذي يمكن له أن يتّسع للأردن والكويت، محكوم عليها بالفشل، ونقطة البداية خطوة شجاعة من العراق ولبنان لن تتأخّر عنها سورية، هي الدعوة لقمة على مستوى رؤساء الحكومات بين الدول الثلاث تنعقد في بغداد، وتتخذ فوراً قرارات بحجم تشغيل أنبوب النفط العراقي، وتنشيط التبادل التجاري باعتماد العملات الوطنية للدول الثلاث، وتخفيض رسوم التجارة والترانزيت وتحسين شروط العبور الآمن للسلع والأفراد عبر الحدود، وتحقيق الربط الكهربائي وربط شبكات الهاتف الخلوي برموز محلية، والكثير مما يمكن فعله بقرار، وما ينعكس بقوة على صناعة الاستقرار.

Why U.S. Must Be Prosecuted for Its War Crimes Against Iraq

Why U.S. Must Be Prosecuted for Its War Crimes Against Iraq

May 16, 2020

by Eric Zuesse  for The Saker Blog

The reason why the U.S. Government must be prosecuted for its war-crimes against Iraq is that they are so horrific and there are so many of them, and international law crumbles until they become prosecuted and severely punished for what they did. We therefore now have internationally a lawless world (or “World Order”) in which “Might makes right,” and in which there is really no effective international law, at all. This is merely gangster “law,” ruling on an international level. It is what Hitler and his Axis of fascist imperialists had imposed upon the world until the Allies — U.S. under FDR, UK under Churchill, and U.S.S.R. under Stalin — defeated it, and established the United Nations. Furthermore, America’s leaders deceived the American public into perpetrating this invasion and occupation, of a foreign country (Iraq) that had never threatened the United States; and, so, this invasion and subsequent military occupation constitutes the very epitome of “aggressive war” — unwarranted and illegal international aggression. (Hitler, similarly to George W. Bush, would never have been able to obtain the support of his people to invade if he had not lied, or “deceived,” them, into invading and militarily occupying foreign countries that had never threatened Germany, such as Belgium, Poland and Czechoslovakia. This — Hitler’s lie-based aggressions — was the core of what the Nazis were hung for, and yet America now does it.)

As Peter Dyer wrote in 2006, about “Iraq & the Nuremberg Precedent”:

Invoking the precedent set by the United States and its allies at the Nuremberg trial in 1946, there can be no doubt that the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a war of aggression. There was no imminent threat to U.S. security nor to the security of the world. The invasion violated the U.N. Charter as well as U.N. Security Council Resolution #1441.

The Nuremberg precedent calls for no less than the arrest and prosecution of those individuals responsible for the invasion of Iraq, beginning with President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleez[z]a Rice, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.

Take, for example, Condoleezza Rice, who famously warned “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” (That warning was one of the most effective lies in order to deceive the American public into invading Iraq, because President Bush had had no real evidence, at all, that there still remained any WMD in Iraq after the U.N. had destroyed them all, and left Iraq in 1998 — and he knew this; he was informed of this; he knew that he had no real evidence, at all: he offered none; it was all mere lies.)

So, the Nuremberg precedent definitely does apply against George W, Bush and his partners-in-crime, just as it did against Hitler and his henchmen and allies.

The seriousness of this international war crime is not as severe as those of the Nazis were, but nonetheless is comparable to it.

On 15 March 2018, Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies headlined at Alternet “The Staggering Death Toll in Iraq” and wrote that “our calculations, using the best information available, show a catastrophic estimate of 2.4 million Iraqi deaths since the 2003 invasion,” and linked to solid evidence, backing up their estimate.

On 6 February 2020, BusinessInsider bannered “US taxpayers have reportedly paid an average of $8,000 each and over $2 trillion total for the Iraq war alone”, and linked to the academic analysis that supported this estimate. The U.S. regime’s invasive war, which the Bush gang perpetrated against Iraq, was also a crime against the American people (though Iraqis suffered far more from it than we did).

On 29 September 2015, I headlined “GALLUP: ‘Iraqis Are the Saddest & One of the Angriest Populations in the World’,” and linked to Gallup’s survey of 1,000 individuals in each of 148 countries around the world, which found that Iraq had the highest “Negative Experience Score.” That score includes “sadness,” “physical pain,” “anger,” and other types of misery — and Iraq, after America’s invasion, has scored the highest in the entire world, on it, and in the following years has likewise scored at or near the highest on “Negative Experience Score.” For example: in the latest, the 2019, Gallup “Global Emotions Report”, Iraq scores fourth from the top on “Negative Experience Score,” after (in order from the worst) Chad, Niger, and Sierra Leone. (Gallup has been doing these surveys ever since 2005, but the first one that was published under that title was the 2015 report, which summarized the 2014 surveys’ findings.) Of course, prior to America’s invasion, there had been America’s 1990 war against Iraq and the U.S. regime’s leadership and imposition of U.N. sanctions (which likewise were based largely on U.S.-regime-backed lies, though not totally on lies like the 2003 invasion was), which caused massive misery in that country; and, therefore, not all of the misery in Iraq which showed up in the 2015 Global Emotions Report was due to only the 2003 invasion and subsequent military occupation of that country. But almost all of it was, and is. And all of it was based on America’s rulers lying to the public in order to win the public’s acceptance of their evil plans and invasions against a country that had never posed any threat whatsoever to Americans — people residing in America. Furthermore, it is also perhaps relevant that the 2012 “World Happiness Report” shows Iraq at the very bottom of the list of countries (on page 55 of that report) regarding “Average Net Affect by Country,” meaning that Iraqis were the most zombified of all 156 nationalities surveyed. Other traumatized countries were immediately above Iraq on that list. On “Average Negative Affect,” only “Palestinian Territories” scored higher than Iraq (page 52). After America’s invasion based entirely on lies, Iraq is a wrecked country, which still remains under the U.S. regime’s boot, as the following will document:

Bush’s successors, Obama and Trump, failed to press for Bush’s trial on these vast crimes, even though the American people had ourselves become enormously victimized by them, though far less so than Iraqis were. Instead, Bush’s successors have become accessories after the fact, by this failure to press for prosecution of him and his henchmen regarding this grave matter. In fact, the “Defense One” site bannered on 26 September 2018, “US Official: We May Cut Support for Iraq If New Government Seats Pro-Iran Politicians”, and opened with “The Trump administration may decrease U.S. military support or other assistance to Iraq if its new government puts Iranian-aligned politicians in any ‘significant positions of responsibility,’ a senior administration official told reporters late last week.” The way that the U.S. regime has brought ‘democracy’ to Iraq is by threatening to withdraw its protection of the stooge-rulers that it had helped to place into power there, unless those stooges do the U.S. dictators’ bidding, against Iraq’s neighbor Iran. This specific American dictator, Trump, is demanding that majority-Shiite Iraq be run by stooges who favor, instead, America’s fundamentalist-Sunni allies, such as the Saud family who own Saudi Arabia and who hate and loathe Shiites and Iran. The U.S. dictatorship insists that Iraq, which the U.S. conquered, serve America’s anti-Shiite and anti-Iranian policy-objectives. “The U.S. threat, to withhold aid if Iran-aligned politicians occupy any ministerial position, is an escalation of Washington’s demands on Baghdad.” The article went on to quote a “senior administration official” as asserting that, “if Iran exerts a tremendous amount of influence, or a significant amount of influence over the Iraqi government, it’s going to be difficult for us to continue to invest.” Get the euphemisms there! This article said that “the Trump administration has made constraining Iran’s influence in the region a cornerstone of their foreign policy.” So, this hostility toward Iran must be reflected in Iraq’s policies, too. It’s not enough that Trump wants to destroy Iran like Bush has destroyed Iraq; Trump demands that Iraq participate in that crime, against Iraq’s own neighbor. This article said that, “There have also been protests against ‘U.S. meddling’ in the formation of a new Iraqi government, singling out Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk for working to prevent parties close to Iran from obtaining power.” McGurk is the rabidly neconservative former high G.W. Bush Administration official, and higher Obama Administration official, who remained as Trump’s top official on his policy to force Iraq to cooperate with America’s efforts to conquer Iran. Trump’s evil is Obama’s evil, and is Bush’s evil. It is bipartisan evil, no matter which Party is in power. Though Trump doesn’t like either the Bushes or Obamas, all of them are in the same evil policy-boat. America’s Deep State remains the same, no matter whom it places into the position of nominal power. The regime remains the same, regardless.

On April 29th, the whistleblowing former UK Ambassador Craig Murray wrote:

Nobody knows how many people died as a result of the UK/US Coalition of Death led destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and, by proxy, Syria and Yemen. Nobody even knows how many people western forces themselves killed directly. That is a huge number, but still under 10% of the total. To add to that you have to add those who died in subsequent conflict engendered by the forced dismantling of the state the West disapproved of. Some were killed by western proxies, some by anti-western forces, and some just by those reverting to ancient tribal hostility and battle for resources into which the country had been regressed by bombing.

You then have to add all those who died directly as a result of the destruction of national infrastructure. Iraq lost in the destruction 60% of its potable drinking water, 75% of its medical facilities and 80% of its electricity. This caused millions of deaths, as did displacement. We are only of course talking about deaths, not maiming.

UK’s Prime Minister Tony Blair should hang with the U.S. gang, but who is calling for this? How much longer will the necessary prosecutions wait? Till after these international war-criminals have all gone honored to their graves?

Although the International Criminal Court considered and dismissed possible criminal charges against Tony Blair’s UK Government regarding the invasion and military occupation of Iraq, the actual crime, of invading and militarily occupying a country which had posed no threat to the national security of the invader, was ignored, and the conclusion was that “the situation did not appear to meet the required threshold of the Statute” (which was only “Willful killing or inhuman treatment of civilians” and which ignored the real crime, which was “aggressive war” or “the crime of aggression” — the crime for which Nazis had been hanged at Nuremberg). Furthermore, no charges whatsoever against the U.S. Government (the world’s most frequent and most heinous violator of international law) were considered. In other words: the International Criminal Court is subordinate to, instead of applicable to, the U.S. regime. Just like Adolf Hitler had repeatedly made clear that, to him, all nations except Germany were dispensable and only Germany wasn’t, Barack Obama repeatedly said that “The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation”, which likewise means that every other nation is “dispensable.” The criminal International Criminal Court accepts this, and yet expects to be respected.

The U.S. regime did “regime change” to Iraq in 2003, and to Ukraine in 2014, and tried to do it to Syria since 2009, and to Yemen since 2015, and to Venezuela since 2012, and to Iran since 2017 — just to mention some of the examples. And, though the Nuremberg precedent certainly applies, it’s not enforced. In principle, then, Hitler has posthumously won WW II.

Hitler must be smiling, now. FDR must be rolling in his grave.

The only way to address this problem, if there won’t be prosecutions against the ‘duly elected’ (Deep-State-approved and enabled) national leaders and appointees, would be governmental seizure and nationalization of the assets that are outright owned or else controlled by America’s Deep State. Ultimately, the Government-officials who are s‘elected’ and appointed to run the American Government have been and are representing not the American people but instead represent the billionaires who fund those officials’ and former officials’ careers. In a democracy, those individuals — the financial enablers of those politicians’ s‘electoral’ success — would be dispossessed of all their assets, and then prosecuted for the crimes that were perpetrated by the public officials whom they had participated in (significantly funded and propagandized for) placing into power. (For example, both Parties’ Presidential nominees are unqualified to serve in any public office in a democracy.)

Democracy cannot function with a systematically lied-to public. Nor can it function if the responsible governmental officials are effectively immune from prosecution for their ‘legal’ crimes, or if the financial string-pullers behind the scenes can safely pull those strings. In America right now, both of those conditions pertain, and, as a result, democracy is impossible. There are only two ways to address this problem, and one of them would start by prosecuting George W. Bush.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Toothless Congress Fails to Limit Presidential War Powers

Toothless Congress Fails to Limit Presidential War Powers ...

Philip Giraldi

May 14, 2020

Some weeks ago, the world woke up to the fact that World War III had just started without anyone being invaded or shots fired. It began when American President Donald J. Trump declared himself to be a “war president” in the fight against the coronavirus, an assertion that now has been followed by a claim that the disease is actually “…really the worst attack we’ve ever had. This is worse than Pearl Harbor. This is worse than the World Trade Center. There’s never been an attack like this,” Pearl Harbor was, of course, the Japanese sneak attack that brought the U.S. into World War II. Invoking the spirit of the war fought by America’s Greatest Generation in the Second World War, Trump has called upon “The people of our country should think of themselves as warriors.”

Fortunately for the U.S. military industrial complex, fighting COVID 19 has apparently not diminished the White House’s zeal to take on other, perhaps better armed and more serious traditional opponents. But of perhaps more interest is the different kind of conflict that has been initiated by the White House in attacking the United States Congress, which has been demonstrating the temerity to deny to the Chief Executive the inherent right to start a war against whomever he feels deserves a bit of “Made in U.S.A.” shock and awe.

This war fought in Capitol Hill in Washington is perhaps more significant than what is going on with coronavirus as its outcome will decide whether post 9/11 executive authority includes a president being able to attack another country that does not directly threaten the United States. Current legislation based on the War Powers Act of 1973 permits a president to respond to an imminent threat without the consent of congress, but the action thus initiated has to be terminated within 60 days. Any conflict lasting longer than that requires a declaration of war by Congress, as is stated in the Constitution of the United States of America.

Trump’s dissent relates to two attempts by Congress to specifically rein in U.S. involvement in the Saudi Arabian aggression against Yemen and also to preempt a possible attempt to attack Iran. On the Yemen resolution (S.J. Res 7), approved last March, the Senate voted 54-46 in favor followed by the House passing the same resolution by a vote of 248 to 177. The Iran resolution (S.J. Res 68), which had bipartisan support through a 55-45 vote in the Senate in February and a 227-186 vote in the House in March, finally reached the president’s desk last Wednesday. Both resolutions were immediately vetoed by the president.

The two resolutions would have limited Trump’s ability to continue an armed conflict or go to war without the specific authorization of Congress. In characteristic fashion, Trump called the latest iteration on Iran “very insulting,” and also criticized its Republican supporters Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, accusing them of helping the Democrats in the lead up to November’s election. In an official statement explaining his veto, Trump stated that “The resolution implies that the President’s constitutional authority to use military force is limited to defense of the United States and its forces against imminent attack. That is incorrect. We live in a hostile world of evolving threats, and the Constitution recognizes that the President must be able to anticipate our adversaries’ next moves and take swift and decisive action in response.”

To be sure, President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton contrived to attack Libya even though it in no way threatened the U.S. To do so, the mission was initially framed as humanitarian in nature and NATO was subsequently involved in it so it could be framed as a collective action against a country that posed a potential security threat to the Mediterranean region. President George H. W. Bush and his son George W. likewise were careful to get United Nations authorization for the use of force in the two wars against Iraq and the latter also relied on 2002’s blanket Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) which permitted military action against the perpetrators of 9/11. The AUMF was later expanded to de facto include all “terrorist” groups. Most of those justifications were, of course, nonsense, frequently little more than contrivances based on fabricated intelligence to permit wars of aggression.

Donald Trump’s viewpoint on the authority of the president is somewhat less fastidious, though he has also cited the AUMF. He is currently involved in a litigation going to the Supreme Court over his claim of “temporary absolute immunity” regarding an admittedly politically motivated suit by the Manhattan district attorney to obtain his tax records. He has similarly embraced the idea that he, as commander in chief of the armed forces, can use them as a resource to conduct his foreign policy, an idea possibly put into his head by his belligerent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Conceding that he has that power would grant him de facto authority to intervene anywhere in the world any time based on any pretext. It also ignores the original War Powers Act and Article I Section 8 of the Constitution which gives the sole authority for declaring war to Congress.

Given his propensity to seek military solutions and his belief that he has the absolute authority to do so, Trump has not hesitated to attack Syria several times in spite of there being no imminent treat and his act of war/war crime assassination of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq in January nearly ignited an armed conflict with Iran. Indeed, though Trump has been engaged in “maximum pressure” economic warfare against Iran for the past two years, he and his administration frequently claim that it is only being done to modify Iranian bad behavior.

As there is no chance that Congress will overturn Trump’s veto in an election year in which the Republicans will be counting heads and circling their wagons, we the American people are stuck with a president who believes that he has the authority to use military force as he sees fit. And “as he sees fit” is the danger as “restraint” is not exactly Donald Trump’s middle name. And one has to also recognize that there is another political reality at play. When things are going badly domestically, as with the coronavirus, a war can serve as a great distraction and a demonstration of strong leadership. Let us hope that no one puts that idea into Donald Trump’s head.

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