Very good interview of Paul Craig Roberts by the Herland Report

July 05, 2019

Published on Jul 3, 2019

Herland Report TV: “We are now back to robbery-capitalism. There are no countervailing powers and no media to constrain them,” says one of America’s leading political economists, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, chairman of The Institute for Political Economy, former editor of the Wall Street Journal, and a well known author of many books. He is also a regular contributor to the Herland Report news site as well as The Herland Report TV Show, awarded the Treasury Department’s Meritorious Service Award for “his outstanding contributions to the formulation of United States economic policy.” Many of the leading Western philosophers over the years have spoken about the need for fearless speech and critical thinking and investigative journalism and independence from power structures.
About this, Dr. Roberts says:
“The reason Noam Chomsky and I can speak freely is because we don’t want anything from the establishment. We are not depended on them. If we were, we would be shut down. So, you have a situation in the West where there is hardly anybody who can afford to speak freely.”
“In society, there has to be countervailing powers. One power has to balance the other. If not, some group runs away with it all. In the US, all of these countervailing powers have been destroyed. For example, one of the main results of offshoring the middle class jobs, the manufacturing jobs, was to destroy the unions. So, there is no longer any constraint by the union as a workforce, or employers. We are now back to robbery-capitalism because the unions are gone. A few exist and they are in the public sector and they are now beginning to starve them out as well. No raises, cuts, they use all sorts of tactics. And there is no longer a media to constrain them. Where is that limit now? It is gone.”
“The deterioration happened in a fairly short time. It was not a long drawn out procedure. If you think back to post World War II, we had a country that was a real country back then. We were unified, a people that believed in progress, there was goodwill. Where are these values now?”
“The pendulum has swung to robber-capitalism. The only mark of success is money. How you get it doesn’t matter anymore. I can remember when a billionaire was unknown, now everyone on the Forbes 400-list is a billionaire. We talk about individuals who have 100 billion dollars. That was the stats of the entirety of the Federal government when John F. Kennedy was president. So, now one person has a hundred billion dollars. You have a system that produces those results and yet the middle family income in the US are not grown in 20-30 years.”
“This is America. The majority population cannot raise 400 dollars cash without selling personal property, personal assets, their TV, their car, their ring. Yet, we have people worth 100 billion dollars.”
“I criticized globalism years ago and offshoring new jobs. I was accused to be against free trade, but it has nothing to do with free trade. So, what this does is it sends you to where labor is cheapest, where there is no regulation because then your profits are maximized. And those profits only go the management and the owners. But the cost of getting those profits is that you have destroyed the middle class.”
“In that sense, president Trump is right. The country has deserted its own and it is largely the reason for the rise of China. So, by doing this, we have created another power that is a constraint on American Unitarianism, which is China. They now know how to do thing that we do not know anymore.”
The Herland Report is a Scandinavian news site and TV channel on YouTube, reaching millions yearly, presenting leading intellectuals’ view on foreign policy, current affairs, the Middle East, Western decadence, featuring a variety of opinion and analysis from a number of commentators from across the political spectrum.
The Herland Report is founded and hosted by Hanne Nabintu Herland, a historian of comparative religions, bestselling author, commentator and TV producer, known from the media for sharp analysis and fearless speech. TWITTER: ALSO FOLLOW THE HERLAND REPORT NEWS SITE and pick up articles from leading intellectuals, authors, journalists and activists:

On Chosen-mess

June 24, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon


 By Gilad Atzmon

A few days ago the BBC reported on an extraordinary French identity theft scam.  For two years starting in late 2015, an individual or individuals impersonating France’s defence minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, scammed an estimated €80m from wealthy French patriots.

The victims of this fraud were tricked into believing that they were being contacted by France’s Defence Minister who was requesting money to help pay ransom for journalists held hostage by Islamists in the Middle East. Since France officially does not pay ransom to terrorists, the fake minster assured the victims that payments could not be traced and asked for the funds to be wired to a bank in China.

The BBC deemed the operation “one of the most outlandish and successful rackets of recent times.”

You may not be surprised that the accused evil genius behind this con is a French-Israeli character of Tunisian Jewish background named Gilbert Chikli. Chikli grew up in the working-class Belleville neighbourhood of northeast Paris.

In 2015, Chikli was found guilty of scamming money from French corporations by pretending to be their chief executive. By the time the verdict was reached, Chikli was safely ensconced in the Jewish State, which refuses to extradite its nationals.

Chikli’s luck ran out in August 2017 when he made the mistake of travelling to Ukraine where he was arrested at the request of the French police. Chikli told police he was on a pilgrimage to the tomb of a well-known rabbi. But a search into his phone’s communication revealed that he went to Ukraine to buy a silicone mask

The alleged crime saga didn’t end there. Recently reports began to arrive at French embassies around the world that once again a fake Le Drian, now French foreign minster, was trying to squeeze money out of influential ‘friends of France’. In February, three French-Israeli citizens were arrested near Tel Aviv in connection with this new swindle.

Chikli’s racket is astonishing, creative; criminologists may decide that it borders on genius. Although Chikli didn’t invent the art of the swindle, he ratcheted it up to a higher level.

What I find remarkable about Chikli’s operation is not the stunning amounts of money, the sophistication, or even the chutzpah involved: it is the fact that Chikli ’s scam was dependent upon the humane compassion of others. He banked on the fact that humans feel and care for each other.  We are dealing with a disgraceful blow against the most precious aspect of humanity, that which sustains kindness and brotherhood.

It is not surprising that some very wealthy and influential people fell for Chikli’s racket and for the obvious reason: decent humans would find it hard or even impossible to imagine the extent of Chikli and his friends’ deception.

And Chikli is not alone in his practices. In recent years we have seen a number of instances of gross misbehavior and abuse and on a spectacular  scale. And as is the case of Chikli we find Jews and Israelis at the centre of these embarrassing  sagas.

In 2010  an Israeli court ruled that seven Israelis suspected of scamming tens of millions of dollars from U.S. pensioners in a so-called ‘Nigerian scam’ could be extradited to the United States to face trial there. Israel has bought itself a reputation as the location of some of the most horrendous crimes such as organ trafficking (look here and here), and is notorious as a hub of human trafficking,  blood diamondcrypto currency criminalsthe binary options scam, and the scope of gross unethical behavior extends well beyond the borders of the Jewish State.

In 2012  Britain was shocked to discover that one of its most popular TV stars was a serial pedophile who had committed sex crimes against children throughout his 50 year career.  Jimmy Savile raped children in the BBC’s dressing rooms, in orphan homes and in institutions that cared for the disabled. No one bothered to defend Jimmy Saville. Yet when Lord Janner faced similar allegations, the British establishment was somehow hesitant and confused. Despite the fact that Lord Janner was suspected of sexually abusing more than 30 children from the mid-1950s until the late 1980s the British judicial system found itself struggling.

Janner, a former Leicester MP (Labour) was the chairman of the Board of Jewish Deputies (BOD), a body that claims to represent British Jewry and the founder of the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET). To date, neither the BOD nor the HET has expressed any regret for its past association with Janner who died at age 87 before a trial could take place.

Lord Janner’s family is taking good care to restore their father’s reputation.  Soon after the Lord passed away we learned from the British press  that Janner’s three grown-up children asked “to take part in the investigation into his alleged crimes.”

Outside the investigation’s London headquarters, Lord Janner’s son, Daniel Janner QC, attacked the “shambolic and discredited inquiry” (into his father alleged crimes).

He claimed there had been a “total failure” to acknowledge “our late father’s good character and legal status as innocent”

In February 2018 we learned that Lord Janner’s son vowed to bring a private prosecution against the man who initiated the Westminster child abuse claims, who has himself been charged with paedophile offences.

I am not in a position to verify whether Lord Janner was guilty of the crimes he was accused of but I can confirm that the enquiry into his suspected sex abuse has collapsed. In all, 33 men and women accused Lord Janner of abusing them. Their plight has been forgotten. One of the most embarrassing chapters in Britain’s past remains untouched.

Lord Janner is hardly alone as a suspect in an abusive sex scandal. For the last two years we have been learning about another Zionist enthusiast who left more than 80 victims traumatized, abused and humiliated.

In October 2017, The New York Times and The New Yorker reported that tens of women came forward and accused Harvey Weinstein, formerly head of Miramax Films and The Weinstein Company (TWC), of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse over a period of at least three decades. More than 80 women in the film industry have since accused Weinstein of such acts. Weinstein denied “any non-consensual sex”.

Jeffrey Epstein’s story is similarly abusive. The convicted sex offender prostituted dozens of underage girls and should have spent the rest of his life in jail. Again this is no ‘one-off’ abuse of an underage child, he was a serial sex predator.

According to Joseph Recarey, the lead Palm Beach detective on the case, Epstein was essentially operating a “sexual pyramid scheme.”

The Vox writes that the girls and women who reported abuse by Epstein, meanwhile, were markedly powerless. Most of them “came from disadvantaged families, single-parent homes or foster care,… Many of the girls were one step away from homelessness.”

In November 2017 the genius comedian Larry David was criticized in the Jewish press for admitting on Saturday Night Live that many of those accused of sexual harassment in Hollywood are Jewish.

Jews often brag about their genius gene pool and about the fact that so many Nobel Prize winners are Jewish (20%). Jews frequently boast about their power in politics, media and finance.  “Jews must never be afraid to use their well-earned power” was the title of a recent article by Alan Dershowitz, who was a member of Epstein’s legal team and was later accused by one of the victims’ lawyers of himself participating in the sex trafficking ring.

This raises the obvious question of whether the same ‘gene-pool’ that created so many spectacular Jewish minds is also responsible for the list of gross misconduct as illustrated above. I am not a biologist nor an evolutionary scientist, but I admit I am not a great believer in the notion of a ‘Jewish gene.’

I contend that Chikli, Janner, Weinstein and Epstein have something else in common. Their actions display a dismissal of others that verges on complete contempt for humanity. This is the crux of choseness. To be chosen is to see oneself as an exceptional creation. It entails blindness to otherness. It is a form of impunity. To be chosen often involves a near or total lack of empathy.  Such lack is often defined in terms of acute narcissism and psychopathy.  Chikli is clearly aware of the human inclination for empathy, it is that impulse that he allegedly exploited to his own benefit, he just lacks that empathic quality himself.

Not every Jew identifies him or herself as chosen. None of the Jews in my social circuit displays any of the horrid symptoms described above. As a reader of early Zionist texts, I know well that Zionism was born to emancipate Diaspora Jews from their exceptionalist cultural traits and to make them ‘people like all other people.’ I am also aware  that some rabbinical Judaic interpretations of choseness are somehow different from the contemporary Zionist secular Jewish political interpretation of Jewish exceptionalism. Nor is choseness limited to Zionists or Israelis.  Choseness has become the pillar of Jewish self identification. Choseness is what binds Jews together. This includes anti Zionist Jews boasting about the precious contribution of the so-called ‘Jews in the movement’ and the Israelis and Zionists who celebrate their choseness at the expense of the indigenous people of Palestine.

 Like an early Zionist, I would have liked to see Jews liberate themselves from the choseness prison but I accept that such a shift can not occur in the form of a collective or political movement. The escape from choseness to the ordinary must be an individual struggle, a surrender to self-contempt that eventually matures into a genuine search for peace and harmony with the universe, with the soil and with one’s neighbours.


Cohen Off to Prison, Says Still ’Much to be Told’

By Staff, Agencies

US President Donald Trump’s one-time personal lawyer Michael Cohen entered federal prison to serve a three-year sentence Monday for a crime he said was ordered by the US president, suggesting he still has more to tell about his former boss.

Cohen, 52, was sentenced to prison in December after admitting he paid hush money during the 2016 presidential election -in violation of electoral laws- to two women, committed tax fraud, and lied to Congress.

“There still remains much to be told. And I look forward to the day that I can share the truth,” he told reporters as he left his Manhattan residence for the federal prison in Otisville, New York.

“I hope when I rejoin my family and friends that the country will be in a place without xenophobia, injustice, and lies at the helm of our country,” he said.

Hours later the onetime vice president and key problem-fixer at the Trump Organization arrived at the rural prison  north of New York City, becoming the second former top Trump aide serving hefty terms for multiple criminal offenses, after former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

His lawyer Lanny Davis said Cohen was the victim of “selective prosecution and disproportionate sentencing and will continue to help prosecutors investigating the president.”

“I will continue questioning why Michael is the only person within the Trump organization to be prosecuted for crimes committed at the direction of and for the benefit of Mr. Trump,” Davis said.

Cohen, who worked for the real estate tycoon for a decade, fell out with the president after telling prosecutors and Congress that he was ordered to make the hush payments by Trump himself.

He showed evidence that Trump and his son signed reimbursement checks for the payoffs, which were made to keep two women silent about their accusations against Trump in the weeks before the November 2016 presidential election.

Lebanon’s Anti-Graft Drive Is Entirely Fake as Political Groups Fight Hezbollah over the Scraps

Lebanon’s Anti-Graft Drive Is Entirely Fake as Political Groups Fight Hezbollah over the Scraps


Lebanon’s Anti-Graft Drive Is Entirely Fake as Political Groups Fight Hezbollah over the Scraps

There’s a great deal of fake goods in Lebanon’s malls leaving many preferring to buy their designer label clothes when they travel overseas. But fake Lebanon goes beyond Levi jeans or Gucci handbags. In this tiny country ‘fake’ is often services, entire companies and even doctors, care workers, economists. Then there is the fake economy run by a network of companies willing and ready to support a market exploited by the corrupt elite anxious to get their hands on international development cash.

And when you’ve got your head around this fake world, then there is the biggest drain on Lebanon: fake governance.

Fake governance is politicians and MPs pretending to do their jobs when in reality all they are doing is using their position to divert cash into their own overseas bank accounts via a system which has simply got out of hand. Corruption is a hungry pike which has swallowed up a pond full of small fry players who play by the rules. It’s just too late now to hope for a miracle.

And this, in case you were wondering, is what is happening now in Lebanon when we read articles about a new anti-corruption drive brought about by an imploding economy. In January, the national debt reached $85.32 billion — nearly 150% of the gross domestic product — an increase of $4.93 billion compared to January 2018. This debt forced an international conference in Paris called ‘the CEDRE conference’ which in April 2018, international donors committed $11.8 billion to revitalize the economy, while the Lebanese government pledged in return to combat corruption and reform the public sector.

Or at least that’s what written on the side of the tin.

True, the Paris conference has driven a momentum in Lebanon to tackle corruption, but it’s largely for all the wrong reasons and, mostly, entirely fake.

But who to target in such a campaign, in a country which has a built in protection against those carrying out the industrial scale graft?

Public employees are the only viable group as Parliamentarians have a de facto immunity under Lebanese law, while nailing presidents, prime ministers and ministers (former or present) requires the consent of the Supreme Council for the Trial of Presidents and Ministers, which includes eight of the most senior national judges and seven deputies selected by the parliament. That’s a tad complicated given that judges are considered to be a big part of the problem.

Or at least that’s what Hezbollah believes, hence its own farcical war cry against this group – former leaders and judges – to counter the other groups’ own farcical campaigns against public servants.

Yet neither is expected to really do anything. The non-Hezbollah camp, led my Saad Hariri who can hardly be called candida when it comes to feeding from the trough wants to create a pantomime for international donors so that they can get their hands on a big part of the 11bn dollars pledged (90% of which is in loans) , with rumours in Beirut about the environment ministry embezzling a couple of billion dollars abound. Of course, these sort of rumours barely stir the Lebanese who resort to humour to face the reality that faces them, like parodying the new minister in the same ministry who is a real estate tycoon who can’t even keep the plant in his office alive; this is in a country, after all, where each government minister has his own business empire – even the former anti-corruption minister who made his pile in tyres and who’s entire office amounts of three staff and a fax machine – and which has a tourism minister who is so stupid, that he is actually driving droves of tourists away with his one man campaign of idiocy. Add to that a central bank governor who, wait for it, actually knows a thing or two about banking but is not even exempt from rumours of plundering billions. And let’s not even get on the news this week that the central bank in Beirut lost 20bn dollars, which is probably fake news. Apparently.

The real corruption is not with public servants in Lebanon but with the Key Stone Cops who get the jobs of government ministerial posts, for really only one purpose which is to embezzle funds assiduously as possible for their own warlords who installed them there for that express purpose.

The system is corrupt and until there is a momentum of debate in Lebanon about how to wipe the slate clean and go for a new system entirely – probably one which does away with the confessional one – corruption will always run and control every single dime which is in circulation. It’s not only that an economy is held back from developing – as it frightens away foreign investors who would truly love to tap into the high level of education and location –  but even security, law and order, the environment and public health are horrendously compromised as a result. The elite are fervently committed to allowing the ‘wasta’ (corruption by kinship) system prevail and law and order remain as a fanciful notion most Lebanese watch on American TV as it is a tacit deal between them and the masses which support them. Deeply unpopular moves, like, say installing law and order on the roads to curtain the daily carnage, would be deeply unpopular and be seen as a drain on people’s strained purses. Corruption works both ways.

Hezbollah’s anti-corruption drum beat though is driven by US sanctions against Iran, forcing the Lebanese Shiite group to be more creative in how it extracts valuable dollars from the system. They will either get the scalps they crave, or cash as a good substitute. All we are seeing with these anti-corruption drives is groups scrapping over bones, like stray dogs on a rubbish dump of what many might call a smouldering failed state. But fake Lebanon is producing the fake news, by the fake politicians who are faking their anti-graft drive. If most Lebanese taxi drivers know this, why is international media giving it such credibility? Is international media also fake?

Photo: Flickr

ترامب ونتن ياهو وصفقة «الإنجيليين» الصهاينة على أسوار غزة

مارس 30, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني

رغم انكسارهما المريع على أرض الميدان وتساقط وريقات التوت التي سترت بعض عوراتهما السياسية الفاضحة لفترة من الزمن فإنّ ثنائي الجريمة والإرهاب المنظم في كلّ من واشنطن وتل أبيب يسعيان جاهدين لإنقاذ ما تبقى لهما من سمعة لدى جمهور الاحتلال الانجلو ساكسوني لكلّ من أرض اللاتين والعرب!

وفي هذا السياق، ليس من قبيل الصدفة أن يأتي تقرير المحقق الأميركي الخاص، ميللر، في موضوع حملة ترامب الانتخابية والتدخل الروسي المزعوم لدعمها، ليبرَّأ ترامب من تهمة التخابر مع روسيا لمصلحة حملته الانتخابية، بالتزامن مع صدور قرار ترامب نفسه، المتهم السابق بالتآمر، بالاعتراف بـ «السيادة الإسرائيلية» على الجولان السوري المحتلّ…!

لقد كانت صفقة كبرى، بين ترامب والإنجيليين المتصهينين في الولايات المتحدة، وعددهم بالملايين، ترتكز الى أمرين أساسيين هما:

أولاً: أن يقوم ترامب بتقديم كلّ الدعم الممكن لضمان نجاح نتن ياهو في الانتخابات الإسرائيلية المقبلة، يوم 9/4/2019، وذلك لتفادي محاكمته وإيداعه السجن بعد إدانته بالتهم الموجهة إليه من قبل القضاء الإسرائيلي، وعلى رأسها تهمة الخيانة العظمى، المتعلقة بارتشائه مقابل الموافقة «الإسرائيلية» على بيع شركة كروب تيسِن الألمانية خمس غواصات، من طراز دولفين، لمصر والتي تصنّعها هذه الشركة الألمانية.

ثانياً: أن يقوم ترامب بتنفيذ السياسات التي يرسمها ممثلو «الإنجيليون الأميركيون « في الإدارة الأميركية المحافظون الجدد مقابل العمل على إنجاحه في الانتخابات الأميركية المقبلة سنة 2020.

وبكلمات أخرى فقد تمّ الاتفاق بين الطرفين على إنقاذ نتن ياهو اللاعب الصغير، ودونالد ترامب اللاعب الأكبر، من السجن، كلّ بسبب التهم الموجهة إليه، وذلك عبر الاتفاق بين القوى المشار اليها أعلاه، مضافاً إليها الدولة العميقة في الولايات المتحدة، على قيام الرئيس الأميركي بتنفيذ سلسلة خطوات تحافظ على مصالح رأس المال الدولي النفط والسلاح والامتثال أكثر فأكثر لما تقرره دوائر رأس المال هذه.

اذن بالإمكان القول إنّ ترامب قد أنقذ نفسه حتى اللحظة، ولكن إنقاذ حارس القاعدة العسكرية الأميركية على أرض فلسطين، بنيامين نتن ياهو، غير مضمون حتى الآن، على الرغم من كلّ الاستعراضات البهلوانية الحمقاء التي يرتكبها، سواء من خلال عمليات القصف الجوي والمدفعي على قطاع غزة، او من خلال محاولات الإغارة الفاشلة على أهداف عسكرية في سورية، كما حدث في الساعات الماضية شمال شرق حلب وقبلها في محيط دمشق، الى جانب ما يعلنه نتن ياهو وآلته الإعلامية الاستخبارية عن فتوحاته في مشيخات النفط الأعرابية، والتي يحاول من خلالها كلّ هذه المسرحيات مجتمعة وضع الناخب الإسرائيلي أمام خيارين لا ثالث لهما:

الأول: هو انتخاب نتن ياهو الذي سيضمن أمن «إسرائيل»، واستمرار «الإسرائيليين» في الحياة في «دولتهم».

الثاني: هو عدم انتخاب نتن ياهو ومواجهة الموت على يد المقاومة الفلسطينية وحزب الله وإيران وتدمير «دولة إسرائيل»…!

أما سبب إصرار نتن ياهو ومَن يقف وراءه على النجاح في الانتخابات فهو محاولة حماية رئيس العصابة الحالي من دخول السجن، خاصة أنّ القضاء «الإسرائيلي» سيصدر يوم 9/4/2019 مذكرة يمنع بموجبها نتن ياهو من مغادرة البلاد حتى الإعلان الرسمي، من قبل المحكمة المختصة، عن نتيجة الانتخابات الإسرائيلية. فإذا لم ينجح نتن ياهو في هذه الانتخابات فسيتمّ توقيفه وإخضاعه للمحاكمة على الفور. أما إذا نجح في الانتخابات وفاز بفرصة تشكيل الحكومة فسيكون وقتها لكلّ حادث حديث.

فصراع الجنرالات في تل أبيب على بقايا سلطة الجريمة لن يتوقف حتى نهاية الكيان الغاصب والتي باتت أقرب من أي وقت مضى..!

إنهم يرونه بعيداً ونراه قريباً.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله.

Trump Gifts Netanyahu’s Re-Election Campaign with Syria’s Golan Heights

Darko Lazar

Donald Trump’s tweet this week, which sought to legitimize the 52-year-old “Israeli” occupation of Syria’s Golan Heights, is only the latest demonstration that US demands for compliance with international law do not encompass the country’s own policies.

“Israel” occupied the strategic plateau during the 1967 Six Day War and annexed the territory in 1981.

But according to UN Security Council resolutions, including one that the Americans co-authored themselves, the Golan Heights remains a part of Syrian territory.

As such, Trump’s endorsement of Tel Aviv’s claim to the Golan is essentially an empty gesture. It will not change the internationally recognized status of the Golan Heights, nor will it get other states to follow suit.

And while Trump’s “irresponsible” announcement drew condemnation from the standard-bearers of resistance to Washington’s agenda – Syria, Iran, Turkey and Russia – it is doubtful that the move will lead to any significant changes on the ground.

Instead, the US president is hoping that his message would reverberate throughout “Israel”, where the Trump administration’s key ally, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is fighting for his political survival.

Timing is everything

Trump’s tweet popped up as Netanyahu’s bid to secure reelection on April 9 was met with the specter of potential corruption charges, leading to a surge in the polls for his main rival and former army general, Benny Gantz.

It also comes just a few short days before Netanyahu is set to join Trump at the White House, leading to speculation that the US will officially endorse “Israeli” sovereignty over the occupied Golan as early as next week.

If this is indeed the case, such a declaration may very well hand Netanyahu another term in office.

The incumbent has long pushed for Washington’s seal of approval on the issue of the Golan Heights, and in recent months, he has stepped up his lobbying efforts.

Earlier in March, he toured the Golan with hawkish Republican Senator Lindsey Graham; in February, several members of the US Senate introduced legislation to sanction “Israeli” sovereignty over the mountainous area.

A favorable declaration from the White House just three weeks before “Israelis” head to the polls would certainly mark a symbolic victory for Netanyahu’s foreign-policy agenda, which already enjoys consistent support from the Trump administration.

Since coming into office, Trump has pulled his country out of the Iran nuclear deal, relocated the US Embassy to al-Quds (Jerusalem) and closed a Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington.

But “Israel” is still a chapter in the broader tussle for power and influence between Western political elites, and Netanyahu is far from being the only one doing the lobbying.

Benny Gantz, who heads “Israel’s” recently formed Blue and White political alliance, is also heading to the US this month to address the annual conference of the powerful Jewish lobbying group, AIPAC (American ‘Israel’ Public Affairs Committee).

Netanyahu’s most prominent opponent is hoping to make nice with America’s left-wing figures, and of course, those pushing to unseat Trump.

Naturally, Trump’s Golan move will make it more difficult for Gantz to sell his message in “Israel”, where he is arguing that the next government needs to ‘regain the full support’ of Washington.

What’s more, the gifts bestowed upon Netanyahu by the White House have made it virtually impossible for Gantz to challenge the “Israeli” premier on foreign policy, especially as the leader of the Blue and White alliance has been led to exclaim that when it comes to ‘Israel’s’ external foes, “there is no right or left”.

No downside for Trump

From the point of view of the current US administration, there appears to be little to lose by recognizing “Israel’s” sovereignty over the Golan and handing Netanyahu his pre-election prize.

Trump himself has become quite accustomed to delivering shocks to international consensus, especially when it comes to issues pertaining to “Israel”. The American president therefore isn’t expecting any real opposition to the Golan move from any of his Western client states.

Condemnation coming from the Arabs will also be muted, or, at the very least, disingenuous. Gulf monarchies are not only invested in Trump’s political future, but have a major stake in Netanyahu’s, too.

In fact, the recent deployment of the most advanced American air and missile system to “Israel” signals that only Iran and Hezbollah are still perceived as real threats by Tel Aviv and Washington. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) is being touted as Washington’s commitment to ‘Israeli’ security.

Viewed in a more focused geopolitical context, however, such measures have everything to do with the fact that the “Israeli” occupation of the Golan Heights and other Arab territories illegally held for decades has very few challengers left.

And both Trump and Netanyahu are well aware that one would be hard pressed nowadays to find any outside of the Iran-led Resistance Axis.

هرطقة حصانات الرؤساء والوزراء والنواب

مارس 19, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– تشكل الحصانات طبقيّة فاضحة ومثيرة للاشمئزاز في أي بلد ديمقراطي يقوم على التساوي بين المواطنين أمام القانون، وتُمنح الحصانات في الديمقراطيات استثنائياً لحدود ضيقة، تتصل بضمان ممارسة النواب لمساءلة الحكومة دون القلق من التعرّض لضغوط تكوين ملفات مفبركة لسوقهم امام القضاء، أما الوزراء فلا يتمتّعون ربما في غير لبنان بالحصانة التي يمكنهم تجييرها لموظفيهم بمنع الملاحقة عنهم، ومنع مثولهم أمام القضاء وهو تدبير استثنائي عرفته بعض الديمقراطيّات خشية سيطرة الأمن على السياسة بتطويع الإدارات عبر استدعاء موظفيها للمثول امام الضابطة العدلية لتجنيدهم لحساب اجهزة المخابرات والتحكم عبرهم برؤسائهم والتجسس عليهم، أما الرؤساء فقد حصرت حصانتهم بحالات محاكمتهم بتهم الخيانة العظمى التي لا يجوز السير بها إلا امام هيئة خاصة تملك الأهلية والصفة للقيام بذلك، لكن في كل الديمقراطيات، لا تقف أي حصانة بوجه الملاحقة الخاصة بالجرائم المالية وتهم الفساد، وها هو رئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو وسلفه إيهود أولمرت يواجهان تهماً ويتعرّضان لملاحقات ويُسجَن أحدهما بينما يستعدّ الآخر للسجن، وها هو الرئيس الفرنسي الأسبق نيكولاي ساركوزي يلاحق وقبله الرئيس جاك شيراك، وها هي كوريا الجنوبية وماليزيا والفليبين وباكستان، حيث وزراء ورؤساء حكومات يقبعون في السجون بتهم وملاحقات بالفساد ومحاكمات أمام القضاء العادي.

– في لبنان الحصانة ليست موجودة إلا لمنع القضاء من الملاحقة بالفساد، فقد ولّى زمن القلق من ضغوط الحكومات على النواب، ومن زمن ضغط أجهزة الأمن على الموظفين الكبار في الدولة، وباتت الحصانات مجرد حماية من الملاحقة بجرائم ترتكب بحق المال العام للدولة، وبذلك يصير الخيار الوحيد المتاح لتلاقي حملة مكافحة الفساد نتائجها، هو إلغاء الحصانات وفي مقدمتها الحصانة النيابية وحق الوزراء بحجب موظفيهم عن المثول أمام القضاء، وحصر محاكمة الوزراء والرؤساء بالمجلس الأعلى الذي وضعت تشريعاته بطريقة تمنعه من محاكمة أحد، حيث الشروط المعقدة للاتهام والإدانة، وكي لا يقال إن المطلوب تعرية الذين يمارسون المسؤولية العامة من أي مهابة وجعلهم عرضة من خصومهم لما يسمّى «الجرجرة « إلى المحاكم، والتي يعتبرها بعض السياسيين تقليلاً من قيمتهم، يجب كحد أدنى جعل اللجوء للحصانة استثنائياً محدداً بشروط معقدة وليس العكس، بحيث يتمّ منحها في حالات بعينها، بعد النظر فيها، واعتبار الإباحة في الملاحقة هي الأصل وحجب الملاحقة هو الاستثناء، فبدلاً من أن يحتاج رفع الحصانة إلى تصويت مجلس النواب، وجب العكس، أن يمنح النائب الحق في طلب الحصانة بوجه ملاحقة قضائية باللجوء إلى المجلس النيابي بطلب التصويت على ذلك مرفقاً بالأسباب الموجبة التي تكشف الطبيعة السياسية التي تستهدف ممارسته لمهامه النيابية الرقابية وسواها وتعطيله عن القيام بواجباته النيابية، ومثلها تقييد المحاكمة امام المجلس الأعلى بطلب المتهم رئيساً أو وزيراً بنقل قضيته من القضاء المختص إلى المجلس الأعلى لوقوعها ضمن اختصاصه، فيبتّ المجلس الأعلى بالاختصاص، وفيما عدا ذلك يكون القضاء المختص طليق اليدين قادرا دون إذن على استدعاء أي مسؤول للمثول أمامه، والاستماع إليه كما في كل بلاد الدنيا، وملاحقته عند الضرورة، باستثناء الحالات التي يقرر مجلس النواب منح الحصانة لأحد النواب أو يقرر المجلس الأعلى لمحاكمة الرؤساء والوزراء اعتبار القضية من اختصاصه، وحجب يد القضاء عنها.

– أما فضيحة الفضائح فهي اشتراط السماح للقضاء باستدعاء موظف في الدولة بالحصول على موافقة وإذن الوزير المختص، وهذه قمة الهرطقة القانونية والتعطيل للمسارات القضائية، وقد أتحفنا وزير الاتصالات بنظرية عبقرية قوامها أن موظفي ومدراء المؤسسات التي تدر أموالاً للخزينة لا تجب ملاحقتهم لأن ذلك بداعي الحسد، فالريجي والجمارك والاتصالات والنفط، مؤسسات يحصل موظفوها على الحصانة تلقائياً بالولادة، أما الكهرباء مثلا فيجب إقامة فرع تحقيق مقيم فيها لأنها تتسبّب باستنزاف الخزينة، ودائرة الدين العام مثلاً، كذلك، وكل مجال للإنفاق لا لجني الواردات، وكأن عمل الموظفين هو الذي يحول قطاع الاتصالات أو الريجي او الجمارك أو دائرة الضريبة أو الداوئر العقارية من مصادر خسارة للمال إلى مزاريب للواردات، وكذلك عمل الموظفين يحول دائرة الدين العام ووزارة الصحة من مجالات للإنفاق إلى مصادر للدخل، والقضية ببساطة أن مغارة علي بابا الاتصالات ممنوع دق أبوابها، لأن فيها أسرار الآتي وليس ما مضى فقط، وهي التي قال عنها رئيس مجلس النواب ذات يوم أنها نفط لبنان، وهو نفط يراد نقله إلى جعله ملكية خاصة، وكي يكتمل ما يعدّه ويحضره الموظفون يجب منحهم الثقة بأن ما يقومون به لن يعرّضهم للملاحقة وأنهم يحظون بالحصانة من أي ملاحقة.

– ارفعوا الحصانات أو أوقفوا حملات مكافحة الفساد، فالضحايا سيكونون الصغار والضعاف، ولن يعلق في الشباك إلا سمك السردين، أما الحيتان وسمك القرش فلديهم أسنان تطحن الصنارة وتفتك بالشباك وتخرج حرة طالما نظام الحصانات يشتغل.

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