Journalists, Activists Condemn UK Decision to Keep Assange Locked Up without Charge

By Alan Macleod

Source

AUnited Kingdom court has ruled that Wikileaks cofounder Julian Assange must remain in prison, despite an earlier ruling that he could not be extradited to the United States.

Explaining her decision, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser said that, “As far as Mr. Assange is concerned, this case has not been won,” adding that the United States must be allowed to appeal her earlier decision. Part of the ruling was based upon her assessment of the Australian publisher being a serious flight risk if released, noting he had “huge support networks” that could help him “should he again choose to go to ground.”

The court’s decision was immediately panned by journalists and press freedom organizations who had hoped to see Assange released today, after seven years in prison and hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. “To us, that is nothing more than a pretext to keep him detained. This seems unnecessarily punitive and adding insult to injury after the 10 years of hell that he has endured…We are deeply disappointed with today’s decision,” said Rebecca Vincent, Reporters Without Borders’ Director of International Campaigns, outside the courtroom.

Vincent had been denied entry to the courtroom today, as had some of Assange’s relatives. She had also faced questioning and harassment from police, who used their new powers under the U.K.’s lockdown law to break up pro-Assange demonstrations, even arresting a 92-year-old man.

Julian Assange
Police arrest an Assange supporter outside the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, Jan. 6, 2021. Matt Dunham | AP

Assange’s lawyer, Edward Fitzgerald QC, expressed his disappointment at the news that his client would be heading back to Belmarsh prison in south London. “The logical outcome of the ruling would be he regains liberty at least conditionally,” he stated.

Assange’s colleagues in [alternative] media were also quick to condemn Baraitser’s ruling. “The judge’s decision against bailing Assange only fuels the theory that this prosecution is about keeping a publisher who the U.S. government despises tied up and in limbo so he cannot effectively challenge them ever again,” said Kevin Gosztola, “This is absolutely outrageous for the judge to deny Assange bail and to claim that Belmarsh is doing a fine job of handling COVID, even while London is on lockdown.”

“There are no charges pending against Julian Assange in the U.K. A U.K. judge denied the U.S.’s request to extradite him, the only place where charges are pending. Despite this, the judge just ruled he must remain imprisoned — in a COVID-ridden high-security prison — while the U.S. appeals,” added Glenn Greenwald. “This shows how authoritarian the British judiciary is. The only thing the U.S. cares about is keeping Assange in a cage, silenced and disappeared. This gives them the best of all worlds: he stays in prison, with no need to prove he’s guilty of anything. That’s despotic.”

A particularly high-security prison, H.M.P. Belmarsh is generally considered the U.K.’s most notorious jail, taking in prisoners from around the country that other prisons cannot handle. The government’s 2019 report on conditions inside the facility noted it was overrun with 120 violent gangs and that there were 161 recorded inmate assaults on staff. After a COVID-19 outbreak this year, inmates have been largely locked down in their cells, typically for 23 hours a day.

On Monday, Baraitser ruled that Assange would not be sent to the United States as she was not convinced that the U.S. prison system could guarantee he would not commit suicide while incarcerated. The publisher faced up to 175 years in prison for his alleged breach of the Espionage Act of 1917 while receiving classified information from U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning. However, she sided with the United States on both their assertions and the legality of their claims, setting a precedent that some called a “chilling” ruling for investigative journalism.

Wikileaks disseminated Manning’s information, which came to be known as the Iraq War Logs. Perhaps the most explosive revelation was a recording of a U.S. helicopter attack on central Baghdad in July 2007. The video shows American personnel massacring at least a dozen Iraqi civilians, including two Reuters journalists, in cold blood. The images went viral on social media and showed a completely different side to the occupation than the carefully sanitized one the U.S. military had been fastidiously curating.

From 2013 to 2019, Assange was confined to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, unable to travel to the country that had offered him political asylum. However, keen to curry favor with Washington, new president Lenin Moreno allowed British authorities to enter the building and arrest him. Since then, he has been housed in Belmarsh. This new ruling prolongs his stay. But if the appeal is unsuccessful, the U.K. will no longer have any legal argument to keep him interned. Perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel for the Australian.

Washington uses DAESH and Iraqi traitors to fragment the country

Democracies Don’t Start Wars. But Democrats Do

By Philip Giraldi, Ph.D.
Source: Strategic Culture

It may have been President Bill Clinton who once justified his wrecking of the Balkans by observing that liberal interventionism to bring about regime change is a good thing because “Democracies don’t start wars with other democracies.” Or it might have been George W. Bush talking about Iraq or even Barack Obama justifying his destruction of Libya or his interventions relating to Syria and Ukraine. The principle is the same when the world’s only superpower decides to throw its weight around.

The idea that pluralistic democracies are somehow less inclined to go to war has in fact been around for a couple of hundred years and was first elaborated by Immanuel Kant in an essay entitled “Perpetual Peace” that was published in 1795. Kant may have been engaging in some tongue in cheek as the French relatively liberal republic, the “Directory,” was at that time preparing to invade Italy to spread the revolution. The presumption that “democracies” are somehow more pacific than other forms of government is based on the principle that it is in theory more difficult to convince an entire nation of the desirability of initiating armed conflict compared to what happens in a monarchy where only one man or woman has to be persuaded.

The American Revolution, which preceded Kant, was clearly not fought on the principle that kings are prone to start wars while republics are not, and, indeed, the “republican” United States has nearly always been engaged in what most observers would consider to be wars throughout its history. And a review of the history of the European wars of the past two hundred years suggests that it is also overly simple to suggest that democracies eschew fighting each other. There are, after all, many different kinds of governments, most with constitutions, many of which are quite politically liberal even if they are headed by a monarch or oligarchy. They have found themselves on different sides in the conflicts that have troubled Europe since the time of Napoleon.

And wars are often popular, witness the lines of enthusiastic young men lining up to enlist when the Triple Entente took on the Germans and Austrians to begin the First World War. So, war might be less likely among established democracies, but it should be conceded that the same national interests that drive a dictatorship can equally impact on a more pluralistic form of government, particularly if the media “the territory of lies” is in on the game. One recalls how the Hearst newspaper chain created the false narrative that resulted in the U.S.’s first great overseas imperial venture, the Spanish-American War. More recently, the mainstream media in the United States has supported the disastrous invasion of Iraq, the destabilization of Syria, and the regime change in Ukraine, Afghanistan and Libya.

So now we Americans have the ultimate liberal democratic regime about to resume power, possibly with a majority in both houses of Congress to back up the presidency. But something is missing in that the campaigning Democrats never talked about a peace dividend, and now that they are returning the airwaves are notable for Senators like Mark Warner asking if the alleged Russian hacking of U.S. computers is an “act of war?” Senator Dick Durbin has no doubts on the issue, having declared it “virtually a declaration of war.” And Joe Biden appears to be on board, considering punishment for Moscow. Are we about to experience Russiagate all over? In fact, belligerency is not unique to Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo.  War is in the air, and large majority of the Democratic Party recently voted for the pork-bloated National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), endorsing a policy of U.S. global military dominance for the foreseeable future. If you are an American who would like to see national health insurance, a large majority among Democrats, forget about it!

But more to the point, the Democrats have a worse track record than do the Republicans when it comes to starting unnecessary wars. Donald Trump made the point of denouncing “stupid wars” when he was running for office and has returned to that theme also in the past several weeks, though he did little enough to practice what he preached until it was too late and too little. Clinton notoriously intervened in the Balkans and bombed a pharmaceuticals factory in Sudan and a cluster of tents in Afghanistan to draw attention away from his affair with Monica Lewinsky. His secretary of State Madeleine Albright thought the death of 500,000 Iraqi children due to U.S. sanctions was “worth it.” Barack Obama tried to destroy Syria, interfered in Ukraine and succeeded in turning Libya into an ungovernable mess while compiling a “kill list” and assassinating U.S. citizens overseas using drones.

If you want to go back farther, Woodrow Wilson involved the U.S. in World War One while Franklin D. Roosevelt connived at America’s entry into the Second World War. FDR’s successor Harry Truman dropped two atomic bombs on civilian targets in Japan, killing as many as 200,000. Japan was preparing to surrender, which was known to the White House and Pentagon, making the first use of nuclear weapons completely unnecessary and one might call it a “war crime.” Truman also got involved in Korea and John F. Kennedy started the intervention in Vietnam, though there are indications that he was planning to withdraw from it when he was killed. The only Democratic president who failed to start one or more wars was the much-denigrated Jimmy Carter.

So, it is Joe Biden’s turn at the wheel. One has to question the philosophy of government that he brings with him as he has never found a war that he didn’t support and several of his cabinet choices are undeniably hardliners on what they refer to as national security. The lobbies are also putting pressure on Biden to do the “right thing,” which for them is to continue an interventionist foreign policy. The Israeli connected Foundation for the Defense Democracies (FDD) has not surprisingly issued a collection of essays that carries the title “Defending Forward: Securing America by Projecting Military Power Abroad.” If one had to bet at this point “defending forward” will be what the Biden Administration is all about. And oh, by the way, as democracies don’t go to war with democracies, it will only be the designated bad guys who will be on the receiving end of America’s military might.Or at least that is how the tale will be told.

A Loving Father to All: Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis

A Loving Father to All: Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis

By Elham Hashemi

On the first anniversary of the martyrdom of Haj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, al-Ahed news had an exclusive interview with Zahraa; who was taken care of by martyr al-Muhandis after her father had passed away. She is only one of the very many young women and men who he had helped and supported throughout their lives.

He soon became my father…

I got acquainted to Haj Abu Mahdi when I was around 19 years old. It was in 2008 when we first met at a gathering with common friends and family members. I had lost my father two years before that and life was very tough on me. I was suffering from some issues at university, I had to quit and was exhausted. He noticed I was not okay, and he would always try to make me laugh and give me moral boosts whenever he would see me. Slowly became like a father to me. He would bring hope into my life and help me think positive and supported me in confronting my problems too.

He would always tell me, “You know I have four daughters, and now I have five, you are my fifth daughter.”

I really felt like I was one of his daughters. He supported me like he was my own father in different issues. Even when he was super busy, he would still find time to check up on me and my family members. His wife and daughters are also kind and well-educated women. They would participate in our family gatherings and as time passed we were like one family.

I would sometimes pass by his office with my husband, just to say hello, I knew he had hectic days and was overwhelmed with work.

We would discuss things related to my life, I would seek advice from him. I still remember how he encouraged me to seek my higher education again and focus on psychology as a major, he assured a few times “I really think that we need this major, you can help society a lot.”

A bright future awaits

He was very unique; the way he would speak to people, his generosity, and the positive vibes he spreads wherever he goes. He was a source of tranquility and happiness to me and my husband and I am later on got to know he was that source of delight and serenity for others too. He would always give me and other young men and ladies advice on how important it is to stay up-to-date, to seek good education, to do our best in everything. It was very important for him that young people play an effective role in society. He would tell me and others “You have to do your best always, you must know that the future is waiting and that it can be a bright future if you are successful in your own way and own field.”

He was a loving father to everyone around him, and he would try to personally help people out in their different issues. Of course, young men and women as I said were a main concern to him, and he always cared for them and encouraged them to build a great future.

Caring…

He was so caring, he would also take care of the sons and daughters of many of the martyrs; Iranians and Iraqis alike.

He always said “I feel uneasy to see depressed young people, yes life is tough but we can be tougher and we can win in face of all the challenges in life. Be active in all fields of life, leave your good finger prints wherever you go.”

When my husband and I would pass by to say hello or meet at a dinner or family gathering, he would always joke with my husband and tell him “If you give my lovely daughter a hard time I know how to deal with you,” and we would all laugh. The last time I saw him was around three months before his martyrdom. He asked me a lot if I need anything, he repeated his question several times and told me “my daughter, if you and your husband need anything just let me know, and if I cannot do it myself I will have someone help you out.” 

Abu Mahdi at the war fronts

My husband’s friend was present at the war fronts, when fighting the terrorist group Daesh in Iraq. He was under the supervision of Haj Abu Mahdi. He said that all what mattered to Haj Abu Mahdi was that things go right. It did not matter to him whether he ate or not, it was not important for him to sleep or rest, all what mattered was to achieve victory and protect innocent people and lands from the terrorist and extremist groups who raped, killed, and destroyed wherever they went.

And whenever he felt extremely tired he would eat anything simple, take a short nap even on the asphalt to regain some energy and continue his work.

Bidding him farewell

On that night, one of my best friends sent me a message consoling me on the martyrdom of Haj Abu Mahdi, I was shocked but I told myself this is not true. It was only seconds when my husband came and told me that Abu Mahdi and Haj Qassem Suleimani were assassinated and now are martyrs.

I told myself, it’s probably rumors. I did not want to believe. I was in denial at first, and I was unable to believe he was assassinated. It took me a while to calm down and realize that it’s true. In the morning the first thing I did was go to their house to see his wife and daughters. It was like I lost my father for the second time. His pictures were everywhere. Later on, I went to see him and say good bye but it was only remains of his body that were in the coffin.

 He promised me that he would be my father forever. He promised that he will always there for me. It is true that he was assassinated and no longer could I see him, but his soul is always with me.

Qassem Soleimani as Viewed by Foreign Media

Qassem Soleimani as Viewed by Foreign Media

By Al-Ahed News

سليماني والمهندس و النصر على داعش

التعليق السياسي

يحتفل العراق بالذكرى الثالثة للانتصار على تنظيم داعش وفيما يشارك في الاحتفال قادة سياسيون وعسكريون عراقيون من موقع مسؤوليتهم الوظيفية في الدولة كمنتصر أول ويشارك الأميركيون بصفتهم قوة دعم للجيش العراقي يغيب عن المشهد الصناع الحقيقيّون لهذا النصر.

في الأيام الأولى التي أعقبت سيطرة داعش على ست محافظات عراقية واقتراب التنظيم من ابواب العاصمة بغداد وانتشار حال الهلع في صفوف العراقيين أمام تفكك الجيش والقوى الأمنية وظهور مؤشرات الانهيار في صفوفها، وفي ظل كلام أميركي عن حرب ستمتد لعقود من الزمن قبل ان يتسنى القضاء على التنظيم هبّ الى الخطوط الأمامية مئات من المقاتلين الذين قام بتعبئتهم كل من قائد فيلق القدس في الحرس الثوري الإيراني الجنرال قاسم سليماني والقائد العراقي أبي مهدي المهندس الذي صار زعيم الحشد الشعبي وقواته قبل أن تنطلق مسيرة تشكيل الحشد الشعبي، وتولى هذا الثنائي مهمة التصدي البطولي الاستشهادي مع هذه المئات من الاستشهاديين ومن بينهم عشرات من قادة حزب الله ومقاومته كان على رأسهم القائد مصطفى بدر الدين.

تُجمع كل الروايات والوثائق العسكرية على ان امتصاص الصدمة الأخطر التي مثلها توسع داعش كان على عاتق هذا الصف الأمامي الذي نجح خلال شهر بتشكيل سد حماية أوقف زحف داعش منح من خلاله الفرصة لنشوء وبدء تنظيم الحشد الشعبي بعدما صدرت فتوى المرجعية الشهيرة بإطلاق تشكيلاته والدعوة للانضمام الى صفوفه التي تولى سليماني والمهندس وبدر الدين تنظيم صفوفها لتصبح لاحقاً القوة الأساسية في عملية التحرير التي منحت الجيش العراقي فرصة النهوض مجدداً ودخول ساحة الحرب، فيما كان الأميركيون منشغلين بوضع العراقيل امام الحشد لمنعه من الحسم السريع للمعركة، ويشهد القادة الأكراد أن مناطقهم نفسها كانت قد بدأت تتهاوى أمام داعش وميليشياتهم تنهار بضغط تقدم التنظيم لولا الحضور المباشر لسليماني والمهندس في معارك حماية كردستان.

ليس من باب المبالغة القول إن الاحتفال بالنصر جاء باهتاً بغياب صنّاعه، ولا من المبالغة أيضاً القول إن هذا الغياب بالاغتيال جاء عقاباً على دور هؤلاء في قطع الطريق على المهمة التي رسمها الأميركي لداعش ودوره وآلية اللعب معه بالتناوب بين النمو والإضعاف للإمساك بالعراق وسورية عبر هذه الثنائية التي قطع مسارها محور المقاومة ممثلاً بالجيش السوريّ وحلفائه من جهة وفي طليعتهم سليماني وحزب الله وبالحشد الشعبي بقيادة المهندس من جهة أخرى وبدعم سليماني وحزب الله.

US President Joe Biden Might Launch A New Military Campaign In Iraq

By Denis Korkodinov

Source

There are more than enough reasons for this: the activity of pro-Iranian groups in Iraq after the assassination of nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizade Makhabadi, the increasing attacks of the Iraqi people’s militia and Hezbollah brigades on the building of the American embassy in the vicinity of Baghdad, and the COVID-19 pandemic, which has pushed Iraq to the brink of a humanitarian disaster.

As a result of Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential election, the belief was formed that the new head of the White House would lift the restrictive measures imposed by Donald Trump’s cabinet on Muslims. However, considering the fact that the ideas of Islamophobia have been actively cultivated in American society for decades, Joe Biden probably will not be able to do anything to improve the situation of the Muslim community. In line with Barack Obama’s policies, the new US president is likely to significantly expand the patriotism law, according to which Muslims will continue to be considered a “source of terrorist threat” and in respect of which new restrictive procedures will be introduced. One of such procedures, according to experts, could be an indefinite observation of all followers of Islam living in the United States, and a new military invasion of Iraq. Based on this, Joe Biden not only will not eradicate American Islamophobia, but also greatly contribute to its further spread.

Modern Islamophobia is not a manifestation of the activities of an individual politician. It is a systemic phenomenon that has become an integral part of American life at all levels, from marginalized declassed circles to government institutions. As such, regardless of whether Joe Biden and his deputy, Kamala Harris, speak out from a position of love for Muslims, it is unlikely to meet with the support of most Americans, who have been taught throughout their lives to perceive Muslims as “hated combatants” …

Building its policy on the basis of the thesis of the “purity of the American nation,” the United States will undoubtedly continue to be an Islamophobic country. At the same time, the struggle between the Democratic and Republican parties does not at all affect the system-forming factors of religious intolerance. Islamophobia for American politicians is an opportunity to mobilize their electorate, constantly keeping them in a state of fear of a possible attack from Muslims. This fear became especially prevalent in the United States after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. And to this day, most Americans fear a repeat of these events. Influenced by their own fear, they prefer to use preventive measures of pressure against Muslims, thereby mistakenly identifying every follower of Islam as a potential terrorist.

For most Americans, Muslims are a priori guilty, if only because they profess the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. This misconception allowed Washington to justify its military invasion of Iraq in 2003 in order to overthrow Saddam Hussein, as well as launch a military operation in Syria.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this fear ultimately became a guide to action. In 2003, almost every fifth American was absolutely sure that the terrorist attacks in the United States were organized on the orders of the Iraqi leader, and in 2011, Washington placed the main blame for ethnic crime on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

It is important to note that it was the Democratic Party, of which Joe Biden is a member, that was the main ideologist of the US military invasion of Iraq. Based on this, it is likely that after January 21, 2021 and until 2025, a new military operation on Iraqi territory may be organized at the initiative of the White House. Moreover, now there are more than enough reasons for this: the activity of pro-Iranian groups in Iraq after the assassination of nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizade Makhabadi, the increasing attacks of the Iraqi people’s militia and Hezbollah brigades on the building of the American embassy in the vicinity of Baghdad, and the COVID-19 pandemic, which has pushed Iraq to the brink of a humanitarian disaster.

‘Truce with US occupiers is now over’: Iraq’s Sheikh al-Khazali

‘Truce with US occupiers is now over’: Iraq’s Sheikh al-Khazali

November 23, 2020

Description:

Secretary General of the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq movement, Sheikh Qais al-Khazali, announced in an interview with Iraqi state television that the truce that ‘resistance factions’ provided US occupying forces weeks ago had now ended.

Al-Khazali explained that the truce was now over because US occupying forces did not meet the main condition of providing a timetable for their withdrawal from Iraq.

The other key condition was that the Iraqi government retake control of its airspace from the Americans, which also did not occur.

The following is a translation of an Al Mayadeen TV news report about the Al-Iraqiya TV interview with al-Khazali.

Source: Al Mayadeen TV (YouTube)

Date: November 20, 2020

(Important Note: Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing as little as $1/month here)

Transcript:

Reporter:

“The truce with Washington is over.”
An announcement made by Sheikh Qais al-Khazali, the Secretary General of the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq movement, declaring that the (conditional) truce had come to an end as the two conditions of the truce had not been met.


Sheikh Qais al-Khazali, Secretary General of the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq movement:

The conditions were not met, thus the truce is over. So we stress on the principle: our full right to militarily confront the foreign forces present (in our country). The implementation and tactics (of this confrontation) will depend on the developments and circumstances of the situation.

There were two conditions (for the truce), none of which were met…in exchange for the continuation of the truce. The first condition was a timetable for the (withdrawal) of the (occupying) forces, based on a reasonable timeframe. The second was the recontrol of (Iraqi) airspace by Iraq’s state and government.  

Reporter:

These were among a range of positions that Al-Khazali announced in his interview with the Al-Iraqiya TV, the most prominent of which was stressing on the principle of the full right to militarily confront (the occupying) foreign forces, in addition to stating that there is (precise) information regarding the presence of a spy within the three (branches) of government.

Between the American and Turkey military threats towards Iraq respectively, Al- Khazali described the threat by Ankara as the greater and more dangerous (of the two).

Al- Khazali:

The (looming) Turkish military threat will be graver, greater and more dangerous than the threat posed by the American military presence; as for the American military presence (in the coming days), it will definitely be contained.

Reporter:

Al- Khazali was keen to outline the reasons Mustafa Al-Kadhimi took over as (Iraq’s) new prime minister. He elaborated that (the common) interest finally necessitated the nomination of a secular, ‘Shia’ prime minister who was ‘non-Islamic’ (i.e. did not practice Islam in the realm of politics), and who also had no relations with Iran but had close relations with the US and the Gulf.

While waiting for the (official) results of the US elections, Al- Khazali deemed the announcement of Biden’s victory a restoration of (American) policy that functioned according to specific formulas reflecting a certain rationale. However, he is convinced that Washington does not wish well for Iraq and the region, because it prioritises the strategic security of the Israeli entity.

——–

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How Joe Biden Plans to Make The American Empire Great Again

Joe Biden Foreign Policy Feature photo

By Dan Cohen

Source

Throughout his campaign, Joe Biden railed against Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ foreign policy, claiming it weakened the United States and left the world in disarray.

He pledged to reverse this decline and recover the damage Trump did to America’s reputation. While Donald Trump called to make America Great Again, Biden seeks to Make the American Empire Great Again.

Among the president-elect’s pledges is to end the so-called forever wars – the decades-long imperial projects in Afghanistan and Iraq that began under the Bush administration.

Yet Biden – a fervent supporter of those wars – will task ending them to the most neoconservative elements of the Democratic party and ideologues of permanent war.

Michele Flournoy and Tony Blinken sit atop Biden’s thousands-strong foreign policy brain trust and have played central roles in every U.S. war going back to the Clinton administration.

In the Trump era, they’ve cashed in, founding Westexec Advisors – a corporate consulting firm that has become home for Obama administration officials awaiting a return to government.

Flournoy is Biden’s leading pick for secretary of defense and Blinken is expected to be national security advisor.

Biden’s foxes guard the henhouse

Since the 1990s, Flournoy and Blinken have steadily risen through the ranks of the military-industrial complex, shuffling back and forth between the Pentagon and hawkish think-tanks funded by the U.S. government, weapons companies, and oil giants.

Under Bill Clinton, Flournoy was the principal author of the 1996 Quadrinellial Defense Review, the document that outlined the U.S. military’s doctrine of permanent war – what it called “full spectrum dominance.”

Flournoy called for “unilateral use of military power” to ensure “uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies, and strategic resources.”

As Bush administration officials lied to the world about Saddam Hussein’s supposed WMD’s, Flournoy remarked that “In some cases, preemptive strikes against an adversary’s [weapons of mass destruction] capabilities may be the best or only option we have to avert a catastrophic attack against the United States.”

Tony Blinken was a top advisor to then-Senate foreign relations committee chair Joe Biden, who played a key role in shoring up support among the Democrat-controlled Senate for Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq.

As Iraq was plunged into chaos and bloodshed, Flournoy was among the authors of a paper titled “Progressive Internationalism” that called for a “smarter and better” style of permanent war. The paper chastised the anti-war left and stated that  “Democrats will maintain the world’s most capable and technologically advanced military, and we will not flinch from using it to defend our interests anywhere in the world.”

With Bush winning a second term, Flournoy advocated for more troop deployments from the sidelines.

In 2005, Flournoy signed onto a letter from the neoconservative think tank Project for a New American Century, asking Congress to “increase substantially the size of the active duty Army and Marine Corps (by) at least 25,000 troops each year over the next several years.”

In 2007, she leveraged her Pentagon experience and contacts to found what would become one of the premier Washington think tanks advocating endless war across the globe: the Center for a New American Security (CNAS).

CNAS is funded by the U.S. government, arms manufacturers, oil giants, Silicon Valley tech giants, billionaire-funded foundations, and big banks.

Flournoy joined the Obama administration and was appointed as under secretary of defense for policy, the position considered the “brains” of the Pentagon.

She was keenly aware that the public was wary of more quagmires. In the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, she crafted a new concept of warfare that would expand the permanent war state while giving the appearance of a drawdown.

Flournoy wrote that “unmanned systems hold great promise” – a reference to the CIA’s drone assassination program.

This was the Obama-era military doctrine of hybrid war. It called for the U.S. to be able to simultaneously wage war on numerous fronts through secret warfare, clandestine weapons transfers to proxies, drone strikes, and cyber-attacks – all buttressed with propaganda campaigns targeting the American public through the internet and corporate news media.

Architects of America’s Hybrid wars

Flournoy continued to champion the endless wars that began in the Bush-era and was a key architect of Obama’s disastrous troop surge in Afghanistan. As U.S. soldiers returned in body bags and insurgent attacks and suicide bombings increased some 65% from 2009 and 2010, she deceived the Senate Armed Services Committee, claiming that the U.S. was beginning to turn the tide against the Taliban.

Even with her lie that the U.S. and Afghan government were starting to beat the Taliban back, Flournoy assured the senate that the U.S. would have to remain in Afghanistan long into the future.

Ten years later – as the Afghan death toll passed 150,000 – Flournoy continued to argue against a U.S. withdrawal.

That’s the person Joe Biden has tasked with ending the forever war in Afghanistan. But in Biden’s own words, he’ll “bring the vast majority of our troops home from Afghanistan” implying some number of American troops will remain, and the forever war will be just that. Michele Flournoy explained that even if a political settlement were reached, the U.S. would maintain a presence.

In 2011, the Obama-era doctrine of smart and sophisticated warfare was unveiled in the NATO regime-change war on Libya.

Moammar Gaddafi – the former adversary who sought warm relations with the U.S. and had given up his nuclear weapons program  – was deposed and sodomized with a bayonet.

Flournoy, Hillary Clinton’s State Department, and corporate media were in lockstep as they waged an extensive propaganda campaign to deceive the U.S. public that Gadaffi’s soldiers were on a Viagra-fueled rape and murder spree that demanded a U.S. intervention.

All of this was based on a report from Al Jazeera – the media outlet owned by the Qatari monarchy that was arming extremist militias to overthrow the government.

Yet an investigation by the United Nations called the rape claims “hysteria.” Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch found no credible evidence of even a single rape.

Even after Libya was descended into strife and the deception of Gadaffi’s forces committing rape was debunked, Michele Flournoy stood by her support for the war.

Tony Blinken, then Obama’s deputy national security advisor, also pushed for regime change in Libya. He became Obama’s point man on Syria, pushed to arm the so-called “moderate rebels” that fought alongside al-Qaeda and ISIS, and designed the red line strategy to trigger a full-on U.S. intervention. Syria, he told the public, wasn’t anything like the other wars the U.S. had waging for more than a decade.

Despite Blinken’s promises that it would be a short affair, the war on Syria is now in its ninth year. An estimated half a million people have been killed as a result and the country is facing famine,

Largely thanks to the policy of using “wheat to apply pressure” – a recommendation of Flournoy and Blinken’s CNAS think tank.

When the Trump administration launched airstrikes on Syria based on mere accusations of a chemical attack, Tony Blinken praised the bombing, claiming Assad had used the weapon of mass destruction sarin. Yet there was no evidence for this claim, something even then-secretary of Defense James Mattis admitted.

While jihadist mercenaries armed with U..S-supplied weapons took over large swaths of Syria, Tony Blinken played a central role in a coup d’etat in Ukraine that saw a pro-Russia government overthrown in a U.S.-orchestrated color revolution with neo-fascist elements agitating on the ground.

At the time, he was ambivalent about sending lethal weapons to Ukraine, instead opting for economic pressure.

Since then, fascist militias have been incorporated into Ukraine’s armed forces. And Tony Blinken urged Trump to send them deadly weapons – something Obama had declined to do.

Trump obliged.

The Third Offset

While the U.S. fuelled wars in Syria and Ukraine, the Pentagon announced a major shift called the Third Offset strategy – a reference to the cold war era strategies the U.S. used to maintain its military supremacy over the Soviet Union.

The Third Offset strategy shifted the focus from counterinsurgency and the war on terror to great power competition against China and Russia, seeking to ensure that the U.S. could win a war against China in Asia. It called for a technological revolution in warfighting capabilities, development of futuristic and autonomous weapons, swarms of undersea and airborne drones, hypersonic weapons, cyber warfare, machine-enhanced soldiers, and artificial intelligence making unimaginably complex battlefield decisions at speeds incomprehensible to the human mind. All of this would be predicated on the Pentagon deepening its relationship with Silicon Valley giants that it birthed decades before: Google and Facebook.

The author of the Third Offset, former undersecretary of defense Robert Work, is a partner of Flournoy and Blinken’s at WestExec Advisors. And Flournoy has been a leading proponent of this dangerous new escalation.

In June, Flournoy published a lengthy commentary laying out her strategy called “Sharpening the U.S. Military’s Edge: Critical Steps for the Next Administration”.

She warned that the United States is losing its military technological advantage and reversing that must be the Pentagon’s priority. Without it, Flournoy warned that the U.S. might not be able to defeat China in Asia.

While Flournoy has called for ramping up U.S. military presence and exercises with allied forces in the region, she went so far as to call for the U.S. to increase its destructive capabilities so much that it could launch a blitzkrieg style-attack that would wipe out the entire Chinese navy and all civilian merchant ships in the South China Sea. Not only a blatant war crime but a direct attack on a nuclear power that would spell the third world war.

At the same time, Biden has announced he’ll take an even more aggressive and confrontational stance against Russia, a position Flournoy shares.

As for ending the forever wars, Tony Blinken says not so fast.

The end of forever wars?

So Biden will end the forever wars, but not really end them. Secret wars that the public doesn’t even know the U.S. is involved in – those are here to stay.

In fact, leaving teams of special forces in place throughout the Middle East is part and parcel of the Pentagon’s shift away from counterinsurgency and towards great power competition.

The 2018 National Defense Strategy explains that “Long-term strategic competitions with China and Russia are the principal priorities” and the U.S. will “consolidate gains in Iraq and Afghanistan while moving to a more resource-sustainable approach.”

As for the catastrophic war on Yemen, Biden has said he’ll end U.S. support, but in 2019, Michele Flournoy argued against ending arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Biden pledged he will rejoin the Iran deal as a starting point for new negotiations. However, Trump’s withdrawal from the deal discredited the Iranian reformists who seek engagement with the west and empowered the principlists who see the JCPOA as a deal with the devil.

In Latin America, Biden will revive the so-called anti-corruption campaigns that were used as a cover to oust the popular social democrat Brazilian president Lula da Silva.

His Venezuela policy will be almost identical to Trump’s – sanctions and regime change.

In Central America, Biden has proposed a 4 billion dollar package to support corrupt right-wing governments and neoliberal privatization projects that create even more destabilization and send vulnerable masses fleeing north to the United States.

Behind their rhetoric, Biden, Flournoy, and Blinken will seek nothing less than global supremacy, escalating a new and even more dangerous arms race that risks the destruction of humanity. That’s what Joe Biden calls “decency” and “normalcy.”

Iraqi Resistance Forces Vow Not to Put Down Their Weapons, Say Unmet Truce is Over

Iraqi Resistance Forces Vow Not to Put Down Their Weapons, Say Unmet Truce is Over

By Staff, Agencies

A senior Iraqi leader vowed that the Islamic resistance forces will not lay down their arms as long as Iraq is under threat.

Sheikh Qais al-Khazali, leader of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq movement, said the Iraqi government is entitled to having a monopoly on carrying and using weapons in order to restore stability to the country.

However, he noted that the Iraqi resistance forces will continue carrying arms as long as the country is in danger.

In interview with the Al-Iraqiya TV, Khazali said resistance forces carry weapons for a specific goal and reason.

“Once that goal is achieved, they will lay down their weapons,” he noted.

He said he is opposed to rocket attacks against the US embassy, and so are many other groups, as it is a diplomatic site.

“Resistance groups are opposed to [the US] occupation; we do not approve of rocket attacks against diplomatic centers,” he added.

The heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, which hosts foreign diplomatic sites and government buildings including the US embassy, has been frequently targeted by rockets and explosives in the past few years.

Washington, each time, has been quick to point the finger at popular anti-terror groups, which are now integrated into Iraq’s armed forces.

The US has time and again targeted positions of Iraq’s anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], also known in Arabic as Hashd al-Shaabi, after blaming the major anti-terror force for the rocket attacks.

The popular group and other resistance forces have strongly denied any involvement in the strikes. They even agreed last month to stop military operations against US and foreign forces in Iraq to allow them to leave the Arab country.

Khazali, however, said the ceasefire announced by Islamic resistance groups has come to an end as two conditions for the truce have not been met.

“The two conditions included Iraq’s control over its airspace and setting up a timetable for the withdrawal of American occupying forces from Iraq,” he said in the Thursday interview.

“We will establish the principle of our full right to confront alien forces militarily,” he added.

Anti-American sentiments have been running high in Iraq since the US assassinated Iran’s anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, and deputy head of Iraq’s anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, in Baghdad on January 3.

Just days later, Iraqi lawmakers unanimously passed a bill mandating the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq.

The US has refused to withdraw its troops, with US President Donald Trump balking at the idea with the threat to seize Iraq’s oil money held in bank accounts in the United States.

Iraqi resistance groups have pledged to take up arms against US forces if Washington fails to comply with the parliamentary order.

The US announced on Tuesday that it would slash troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq to 2,500 in each country, their lowest levels in nearly 20 years of invasion.

Washington still has some 3,000 troops stationed across Iraq.

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Why Trump Has Been Unable to End Endless Wars. US Troop Withdrawals from Afghanistan?

By Keith Lamb

Global Research, November 19, 2020

The Times of London reported, on November 16, that Trump’s recent installation of loyalists in top Pentagon jobs is likely to be for the purpose of fulfilling his long-term pledge to bring an end to the U.S.’ “endless wars”. It is expected that Trump will order the withdrawal of 4,500 troops from Afghanistan and so end 19 years of occupation.

There are two prominent objections to Trump’s likely proposal. Firstly, a swift withdrawal of U.S. forces, that would have to take place before January, will bring logistical chaos. However, the daily state of chaos which occupation brings to the lives of millions is barely considered.

Secondly, an “early” withdrawal will disrupt efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. Christopher Miller the current U.S. Acting Defense Secretary sent out a memorandum saying, “we are on the verge of defeating Al Qaida and its associates, but we must avoid our past strategic error of failing to see the fight through to the finish.” A fair point, but if not now then when? Furthermore, who gets to define when a mission is accomplished?

If 19 years of occupation, by the mightiest military force of our modern age, has not led to a suitable conclusion then unlikely will another year make any difference. The fact is the U.S. occupation, of Afghanistan, has been an unmitigated disaster that next to Libya, Syria, and Iraq represents a litany of the greatest human rights violations of the 21st century.

There are now 2.7 million Afghani refugees worldwide while Afghanistan’s GDP per capita stands at a paltry $531. Afghanistan now cultivates over two-thirds of global opium and has 2.4 million opium addicts. Tragically, the U.S. spent $52 billion occupying Afghanistan, in 2019, which is more than twice Afghanistan’s GDP at $20.68 billion.

With the devastating suffering which occupation has brought to the Afghani people, notwithstanding the criticisms of an abrupt exit, Trump’s efforts to bring an end to the occupation of Afghanistan and end U.S. wars are commendable.

In contrast, unlikely will the mild-mannered, but often hawkish, Biden take the same line. While he has not always supported military action he nevertheless believes in the U.S. hegemonic right to use hard force. For example, Biden supported the catastrophic 2003 illegal invasion of Iraq and he pushed for NATO’s expansion eastwards.

However, Trump’s actions, in regards to Afghanistan, may be too little too late. Instead of concentrating on ending U.S. global occupation, he has been busily engaged with a self-destructing economic war with China who could have been a useful ally in ending the Afghanistan quagmire. Why then has President Trump been distracted by China at the expense of fulfilling his pledge to “bring home the troops”?

Trump’s problems stem from being able to recognize the unease of working-class America that arise from both national and transnational capital, i.e. the one-percent, while concurrently being beholden to the propaganda of the one-percent used to control the ninety-nine percent.

For example, Trump, in contrast to previous presidents, captures the zeitgeist of a large section of traditional working-class Americans who serve in the military. It is they who make needless sacrifices, through their blood and taxes, for the service of an elite who care little for their subaltern. However, due to Trump’s billionaire status, and his own willingness to swallow the propaganda fed to the working-man, he has been ideologically crippled.

Firstly, being a billionaire, he has been unable to see that unfettered U.S. capital, both in their national and transnational forms, represents the nucleus of where the U.S.’ primary contradiction emanates from. On one hand, Trump has supported capital with avaricious tax breaks. On the other hand, the military-industrial-complex, that has resisted Trump, is a business itself that feeds on the suffering of never-ending wars.

Secondly, Trump’s rightly sees that the American worker has been disempowered due to U.S. transnational capital shifting production to Asia. However, Trump unfortunately falls into the trap of jingoism by predominantly vilifying China for events beyond China’s own control. China then is as much an innocent party as the American working-class who are taught to hate China.

In addition, Trump, when it suits him, is quick to criticize the disseminating of “fake news” by the U.S. mass-media itself controlled by transnational capital. However, Trump like much of the U.S. working-class has nevertheless been indoctrinated to accept simplistic narratives this mass-media propagates. It is these narratives which justify and distract Americans from their home-grown problems which stem from U.S. class contradictions.

For example, the mass-media’s constant China-bashing, which has been a feature long before Trump’s arrival, along with their support of U.S. foreign interventions work hand in hand. Threats are used to justify war at an ideological level, to the masses, while the war itself is used to achieve the strategic and economic goals of the one-percent.

In addition, foreign threats and wars work to distract Americans from their own deep-state’s machinations. This in turn drums up a national fanaticism that provides an “emasculated” working-class with a masculinized American identity linked to the U.S.’ global supremacy and “righteous wars”. Trump, of course more than any other president, has tapped into this masculinized American “tough man” image.

While the existence of a corporate media, along with deep-state interests, negate U.S. democracy and make the country ungovernable for the ordinary citizen, it is, these same external influences which form the “embodying features” of Trump who being from the swamp has been unable to extradite himself from the swamp.

Thus, the very quagmire that is U.S. democracy and that is Trump is also the quagmire of Afghanistan today. Regrettably, transnational capital, who Trump calls the globalists, has played Trump well throughout his presidency. As such, unless serendipity allows the U.S. to withdraw from Afghanistan, in the next two months, Biden, who cannot be accused of being ideologically naïve will be ready to take over the reins from where Bush and Obama left off which is the never-ending journey to war.

*

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Featured image is from InfoBricsThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Keith Lamb, Global Research, 2020

Trump Must Choose Between a Global Ceasefire and America’s Long Lost Wars

Iraq’s Nujaba Leader: Popular Forces Ready to Give Crushing Response to Any US Threat

Iraq’s Nujaba Leader: Popular Forces Ready to Give Crushing Response to Any US Threat

By Staff, Agencies

Secretary-General of Iraq’s al-Nujaba resistance movement Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi said that the resistance front and popular forces of Iraq will give a powerful response to any possible military adventurism by the US president.

“The resistance front is fully prepared and vigilant and will reciprocate any threat by the mad Trump with twice more powerful response,” al-Kaabi wrote on his twitter account on Tuesday.

He stressed that the resistance front will not withdraw, fail or fear, adding that occupiers will be confronted until their complete pull-out from Iraq.

In a relevant development in August, the Iraqi resistance groups in a statement threatened to target the American interests in the Arab country if the US fails to withdraw its forces from the Iraqi soil.

The statement was released concurrent with the premier’s meetings with American officials at the White House — by the resistance groups that form part of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units [PMU] anti-terror force, better known in Arabic as Hashd al-Shaabi, Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television network reported.

The PMU, which includes Kataib Hezbollah and Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba resistance groups, has been integrated into the Iraqi Defense Forces as a result of its successful and indispensable contribution to the country’s defeating the Daesh [the Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] terrorist group in late 2017.

The groups considered expulsion of the troops to be Baghdad’s top priority, urging the PM to accord primacy to a law approved by the parliament that mandates the forces’ withdrawal.

The legislature passed the law in January shortly after a US drone strike assassinated Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps [IRGC], and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the PMU’s second-in-command, in Baghdad alongside many others. The attack came while General Solemani was paying an official visit to the Iraqi capital.

“If an agreement on the expulsion of US forces from Iraq is not concluded in Washington, we reserve the right to target America’s interests in Iraq,” the statement warned.

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Rockets Target US Embassy in Baghdad – Reports

Why Taking US NED Money is Wrong

The National Endowment for Democracy has as much to do with promoting “democracy” as the illegal US invasion of Iraq – code name “Operation Iraqi Freedom” had to do with bringing “freedom” to the Iraqi people. And as it turns out the same circle of regime change promoters are/were involved in both. 

November 5, 2020 (Brian Berletic – LD) – I cover the US National Endowment for Democracy’s (NED) board of directors – pointing out how many of them have been involved in some of the worst crimes against humanity of the 21st century including promoting and even participating in the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. 

I also explain why taking US NED money poses a danger to national security – and specifically why Thai agitators taking the money pose a danger to Thailand’s peace, stability, and future.

References: 

NED funding – THAILAND 2019: https://www.ned.org/region/asia/thailand-2019/

NED Board of Directors: https://www.ned.org/about/board-of-directors/

CBS News – Elliott Abrams, convicted of lying about Iran-Contra, named special representative for Iran: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/elliott-abrams-iran-contra-named-special-representative-iran/

London Guardian – US diplomat convicted over Iran-Contra appointed special envoy for Venezuela: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jan/26/elliott-abrams-venezuela-us-special-envoy

NED BoD – Ambassador Victoria Nuland: https://www.ned.org/experts/victoria-nuland/

CNAS Supporters: https://www.cnas.org/support-cnas/cnas-supporters

Reuters – Leaked audio reveals embarrassing U.S. exchange on Ukraine, EU: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-ukraine-tape/leaked-audio-reveals-embarrassing-u-s-exchange-on-ukraine-eu-idUSBREA1601G20140207

NED BoD  – George Weigel: https://www.ned.org/experts/george-weigel/

American Magazine – The Just War Case for War: https://www.americamagazine.org/issue/428/article/just-war-case-war

NED BoD – Scott Carpenter: https://www.ned.org/experts/scott-carpenter/

NED BoD – Senator Tim Kaine: https://www.ned.org/experts/senator-tim-kaine/Tim Kaine – Kaine Statement On Withdrawal Of U.S. Troops From Northern Syria: https://www.kaine.senate.gov/press-releases/kaine-statement-on-withdrawal-of-us-troops-from-northern-syria

Al-Kaabi: US Only Understands Language of Force – We Will Witness Definitive Destruction of ‘Israel’ In Any Future War

Al-Kaabi: We Will Witness Definitive Destruction of ‘Israel’ In Any Future War

Al-Kaabi: We Will Witness Definitive Destruction of ‘Israel’ In Any Future War

By Staff, Agencies

In a meeting with Ali Akbar Velayati, a Senior Advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Secretary-General of Iraq’s al-Nujaba resistance movement Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi emphasized on the strong relationship with the Palestinian Islamic Resistance groups and stressed that the Zionist regime will mark its end if it enters any war.

Al-Nujaba’s Communication and Media Affairs Center reported that Sheikh al-Kaabi met with Imam Khamenei’s advisor on international affairs in Tehran on Tuesday.

Al-Kaabi pointed to the pressure of the electoral campaign of US President Donald Trump, on regional governments regarding compromise with the Zionist regime, saying “This anti-Islamic and humiliating wave has even reached Iraq to such an extent that some Daesh [the Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] and mercenary politicians have taken up the issue of normalizing Baghdad-Tel Aviv relations and created a virtual embassy for ‘Israel.’”

In this regard, the Iraqi resistance leaders stressed that “the Iraqi Islamic Resistance and al-Nujaba will stand against the policy of normalizing relations with the Zionist regime. We have strong ties with Palestinian groups and al-Quds is the key to our resistance. Therefore, we will not withhold any help or support from the Palestinians.”

Explaining the movement of Zionist delegations to Iraq undercover as citizens of the United States, Sheikh al-Kaabi stated: “It is a clear threat to Iraq, Iran, the region and Muslims that some security elements of the Zionist regime arrive at Baghdad International Airport with Western passports, travel freely in the country and meet with personalities.”

He then emphasized the weakness and declining nature of the Zionist regime: “We believe that if ‘Israel’ enters any war, it will end with a strategic mistake and the Islamic Resistance groups of Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran will reach al-Quds, and then, just as the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution has promised, we will pray in al-Quds.”

He also underscored the destructive role of the Saudi and Emirati regimes in the region and Iraq, noting, “The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Muhammad bin Salman, is waging war in Yemen, creating sedition in Lebanon, and supporting Daesh and other terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria. The case of Iraq has also been handed over to Muhammad bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates, by the President of the United States, who has a mission to use the intelligence services to foment divisions and instability in Iraq.”

Al-Kaabi further warned that “We see the hand of the United States and ‘Israel’ behind the evil acts of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and the flame of all these riots and seditions will eventually fall on the lives of their troops.”

He finally described the blood of the martyrs as a bright beacon of the path of struggle: “Due to the blessings to the blood of martyrs like Haj Qassem Soleimani, the Islamic Resistance Front has united and expanded. Now, the Islamic Resistance is not limited to one country, and its seeds have grown in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Pakistan, and so on.”

US Only Understands Language of Force

Iraq’s Nujaba Leader: US Only Understands Language of Force

By Staff, Agencies

The Secretary General of Iraqi resistance movement al-Nujaba, Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi, said the United States only understands the language of force, noting that resistance will end the US presence in Iraq.

In a press conference held at Mehr News Agency headquarters, Sheikh al-Kaabi said the US is responsible for the economic crisis in Iraq and Washington plunders Iraq’s oil and natural resources.

The Iraqi resistance leader went on to say that the US and the Saudi Arabia are the source of unrest in Iraq and are taking advantage of people’s demands.

He further maintained that Lt. General Soleimani had repeatedly stated that he wished to be martyred in an Iraqi territory and finally achieved his goal.

Sheikh al-Kaabi further called for the implementation of Iraqi parliament’s resolution regarding the expulsion of US forces.

“The US only understand the language of force, and if they do not leave Iraq, the resistance will end their presence in the country,” he added.

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Before the Bidens ‘Did’ Ukraine, There Was Iraq – and Serbia

Before The Bidens “Did” Ukraine, There Was Iraq… And Serbia – Finanz.dk
Analyst, former U.S. diplomat and foreign policy adviser to the Senate GOP leadership

James George Jatras

October 16, 2020

The United States approaches the November 2020 election with growing apprehension, even dread.

Among the possibilities:

For those who have followed events outside the United States during the past few decades, much of this sounds familiar. We’ve seen it before – inflicted on other countries.

Now It’s Coming Home to the U.S.

As explained by Revolver News, what happens in America next to a great extent may be a form of blowback from a specific event: the U.S.-supported 2014 regime change operation in Ukraine:

‘A “Color Revolution” in this context refers to a specific type of coordinated attack that the United States government has been known to deploy against foreign regimes, particularly in Eastern Europe deemed to be “authoritarian” and hostile to American interests. Rather than using a direct military intervention to effect regime change as in Iraq, Color Revolutions attack a foreign regime by contesting its electoral legitimacy, organizing mass protests and acts of civil disobedience, and leveraging media contacts to ensure favorable coverage to their agenda in the Western press.

‘It would be disturbing enough to note a coordinated effort to use these exact same strategies and tactics domestically to undermine or overthrow President Trump. The ominous nature of what we see unfolding before us only truly hits home when one realizes that the people who specialize in these Color Revolution regime change operations overseas are, literally, the very same people attempting to overthrow Trump by using the very same playbook. Given that the most famous Color Revolution was the [2004] “Orange Revolution” in the Ukraine, and that Black Lives Matter is being used as a key component of the domestic Color Revolution against Trump, we can encapsulate our thesis at Revolver with the simple remark that “Black is the New Orange.”

This hardly should come as a surprise. The same government agencies and their corporate, NGO, and think tank cronies that are now weaponizing Black Lives Matter, Antifa, other Wokesters, and military putsch plotters here at home to remove Trump have turned regime change abroad into an art form. Ukraine was one of their signal successes, featuring a cast of characters later key to the failed “Ukrainegate” impeachment.

Another consequence of regime change: corruption. As the old saying goes, any idiot can turn an aquarium into fish soup, but no one has yet figured out how to reverse the process. Once a country gets broken it tends to stay broken, whether the “breaking” is accomplished by military means (Serbia 1999, Iraq 2003, Libya 2011) or by a color revolution from the streets (Serbia 2000, Georgia 2003, Ukraine 2004-2005 and again in 2014, Kyrgyzstan 2005, Lebanon 2005, Armenia 2018, plus many others of varying degrees of success, and failures in Iran, Russia, Venezuela, China (Hong Kong), and Belarus). With the target nation’s institutions in shambles, the dregs take over – in Libya, for example, even to the point of reintroducing trade in sub-Saharan African slaves, whose black lives evidently don’t matter to anyone at all.

Iraq: Crush, Corrupt, Cash In

Finally, once regime change occurs and corruption is rampant, another shoe drops: foreign vultures descend on the carcass, profiteers who in many cases are the very same people that helped to create the chaos on which they are cashing in. Invariably, these carpetbaggers are well-connected individuals in the aggressor states and organizations positioned on the inside track both for the carve-up of the target country’s resources and (the word “hypocrisy” doesn’t begin to describe it) for funds to implement “reform” and “reconstruction” of the devastated target.

The showcase of this scam, pursuant to Colin Powell’s reported “Pottery Barn Rule” (You break it, you own it) was the money ostensibly spent on rebuilding Iraq, despite assurances from the war’s advocates that it would pay for itself. With the formal costs conservatively set at over $60 billion to $138 billion out of a tab for the war of over two trillion dollars, the lion’s share of it went to U.S. and other vendors, including the notorious $1.4 billion no-bid contract to Halliburton subsidiary KBR, of which then-Vice President Dick Cheney, a major proponent of the war, had been a top executive. (“Rand Paul Says Dick Cheney Pushed for the Iraq War So Halliburton Would Profit.”)

In Ukraine, Biden’s Son Also Rises

The predatory cronyism vignette most pertinent to the Black/Orange regime change op now unfolding before us with the intent of installing Joe Biden in the Oval Office is that of his son, Hunter, and a Ukrainian energy company with a sketchy reputation, Burisma Holdings. (Right at the outset, even some of Hunter’s associates though the gig with Burisma was too “toxic” and broke off ties with him.) Though ignored or dismissed as fake news and a conspiracy theory by Democrats and legacy media (or do I repeat myself?), the facts are well enough known and fit the Iraq pattern to a T: then-Vice President Joe Biden pushed for regime change in Ukraine, which succeeded in February 2014 with the ouster of the constitutionally elected president, Viktor Yanukovych. In April 2014, Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, was brought onto Burisma’s board (along with a fellow named Devon Archer, later convicted of unrelated fraud) at an exorbitant level of compensation that made little sense in light of Hunter’s nonexistent expertise in the energy business – but which made plenty of sense given that his dad was not only Veep but the Obama administration’s point man on policy toward Ukraine, including foreign assistance money. [NOTE: It now has come out that in 2015 Hunter put his dad, the U.S. Vice President, in direct contact with Burisma, news the giant tech firms sought to suppress on social media.]

When a troublesome Ukrainian prosecutor named Viktor Shokin seemed to be taking too much interest in Burisma, Papa Joe came to the rescue, openly threatening the western-dependent politicians installed after Ukraine’s 2014 color revolution with withholding of a billion dollars in U.S. aid until Shokin, whom Joe unironically alleged to be “corrupt,” got the heave-ho. As Tucker Carlson nails it, Shokin’s ouster followed a direct request from Burisma’s Clinton-connected PR firm, Blue Star Strategies, to Hunter to lobby his dad to get Shokin off their back. Joe did just what was asked. He later bragged: “I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here [i.e., Kiev] in, I think it was about six hours.’ I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.”

But First There Was Serbia

Today many people remember Iraq, some have a clue about Ukraine. But Serbia, which preceded them, is off the radar screen of most Americans. To recap:

As a Senator in the 1990s, Joe Biden was one of the most militant advocates of U.S. military action against Serbs during the breakup of the Yugoslav federation, first in Croatia (1991-95), then in Bosnia (1992-95), and then in Serbia’s province of Kosovo (1998- 1999). (As has been said about others like Hillary Clinton and the late John McCain, Biden evidently has never met a war he didn’t like. Along with Hillary, in 2003 Biden helped to whip Senate Democrat votes for the Bush-Cheney Iraq war.) Channeling his inner John McCain, Biden continually called for the U.S. to bomb, bomb, bomb bomb the Serbs while (in a foreshadowing of the Obama-Biden administration’s support for jihad terrorists in Libya and Syria, which ultimately resulted in the appearance of ISIS) pushed successfully for sending weapons to the Islamist regime in Bosnia and then for the U.S. to arm the Islamo-narco-terrorist group known as the “Kosovo Liberation Army” (KLA).

Joe Biden was the primary sponsor of the March 1999 Kosovo war authorization for military action against Serbia and Montenegro, S. Con. Res. 21. (As a little remembered historical note, Biden’s resolution might be seen as the last nail in the coffin of Congress’s constitutional war power. While S. Con. Res 21 passed the Senate, it failed in the House on a 213-213 tie vote, with Republicans overwhelmingly voting Nay. It didn’t matter. Bill Clinton, reeling from the Lewinsky scandal, went ahead with the bombing campaign anyway.) The ensuing 78-day NATO air operation had little impact on Serbia’s military but devastated the country’s infrastructure and took hundreds of civilian lives. (Even now, more than 20 years later, Serbia suffers from elevated cancer levels attributed to depleted uranium munitions.) But for Jihad Joe even that wasn’t punishment enough for people he collectively demonized as “illiterate degenerates, baby killers, butchers, and rapists.” In May 1999, at the height of the NATO air assault, he called for the introduction of U.S. ground troops (“we should announce there’s going to be American casualties”) followed by “a Japanese-German style occupation.”

Eventually the bombing stopped in June 1999 when then-Serbian strongman Slobodan Milošević acceded to temporary international occupation of Kosovo on the condition that the province would remain part of Serbia, as codified in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244. It was a promise the U.S. and NATO, not to mention their European Union (EU) concubine, had no intention of keeping. Under the nose of the NATO occupation, ostensibly demobilized KLA thugs were given virtually free rein to terrorize the Serbian population, two-thirds of whom were driven out along with Jews and Roma, the rest sheltering in enclaves where they remain to this day. Orthodox Christian churches and monasteries, many of them centuries old, were particular targets for destruction and desecration. KLA commanders – who were also kingpins in the Kosovo Albanian mafia dealing in sex slaves, drugs, weapons, and even human organs – were handed local administration.

In 2007 Senator Biden praised the new order as a “victory for Muslim democracy” and “a much-needed example of a successful U.S.-Muslim partnership.” A year later, the Bush administration sought to complete the job by ramming through Kosovo’s independence in barefaced violation of UNSCR 1244 and despite strong Russian objections. But instead of resolving anything the result was a frozen conflict that persists today, with about half of the United Nations’ member states recognizing Kosovo and half not. Touting itself as the most pro-American “country” [sic] in the world, the Kosovo pseudo-state became a prime recruiting ground for ISIS.

But hey, business was good! Just as in Iraq, the politically well-connected, including former officials instrumental in the attack on Serbia and occupying Kosovo, flocked to the province fueled by lavish aid subsidies from the U.S. and the EU, which for a while made Kosovo one of the biggest per capita foreign assistance recipient “countries” in the world. One such vulture – sorry, entrepreneur – was former Secretary of State Madeleine we-think-a-half-million-dead-Iraqi-children-is-worth-it Albright, a prominent driver of the Clinton administration’s hostile policy on top of her personal Serb-hatred. Albright sought to cash in to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars on sale of the mobile telephone company PTK, originally a Yugoslav state-owned firm that was “privatized” (i.e., stolen) in 2005 as a joint stock company, but who later dropped her bid when it attracted unwanted publicity. Also in the hunt for Kosovo riches was former NATO Supreme Commander and operational chief of the Kosovo war General Wesley Clark, who reportedly cornered a major share of the occupied province’s coal resources under a sweetheart deal that seems to have vanished from public scrutiny since first reported in 2016.

At the moment there seems to be no smoking gun of a direct Biden family payout, à la Ukraine, but there is a possible trail via Hunter’s Burisma-buddy Devon Archer and Archer’s fellow-defendant John “Yanni” Galanis, who in turn is connected to top Kosovo Albanian politicians. In any case, the Biden clan seems to have paid a lot of attention to Kosovo for not having skin in the game. Joe’s late son and Delaware Attorney General, Beau, worked in Kosovo following the war to train local prosecutors as part of an OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) “rule of law” mission (admittedly a big task in a mafia-run pseudo-state), for which a road was named after him near the massive U.S. base Camp Bondsteel. With Hunter on hand for the naming ceremony, Joe Biden took the opportunity to express his “condolences” to Serbian families who lost loved ones in the NATO air assault – of which he was a primary advocate.

A ‘Shokin’ Demand  

Perhaps the best parallel between Biden’s handiwork in Ukraine and his interest in Kosovo also relates to getting rid of an inconvenient individual. But in this case, the person in question wasn’t a state official like Burisma prosecutor Viktor Shokin but a hierarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

In May 2009 Vice President Biden insisted on visiting one of Kosovo’s most venerable Serbian Orthodox Christian sites, the Visoki Dečani monastery. Ruling Bishop Artemije of the Eparchy of Raška and Prizren, which includes Kosovo and Metohija, refused to give his blessing for the visit, in effect telling Biden he was not welcome. Bishop Artemije long had been a bane of Biden and others advocating detachment of Kosovo from Serbia, starting with his first mission to Washington in 1997 as war clouds gathered. In 2004 Bishop Artemije sued the NATO powers in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg following their inaction to protect his flock during an anti-Serbian rampage by Muslim Albanian militants in March of that year. Then, in March 2006, as preparations were underway for a “final solution” to the Kosovo issue, Bishop Artemije launched an intensive multinational lobbying and public relations effort (in which Yours Truly was the lead professional) to try to derail the U.S. policy to which Biden had devoted so much attention. While the Bishop’s campaign was unsuccessful in reversing U.S. policy it was instrumental in delaying it for over a year – to howls of outrage from Biden’s associates in Washington. Thus, for Biden, the monastery visit snub by Bishop Artemije was adding insult to injury.

The end for Bishop Artemije came a few months later, at the beginning of 2010 at the time of two visits to Kosovo by U.S. Admiral Mark P. Fitzgerald, then Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, and Commander, Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Naples, (who retired later that year, becoming, unsurprisingly, a consultant “with numerous defense and commercial maritime and aviation contractors”). At that time, an unconfirmed report indicated that a high NATO officer (whether Admiral Fitzgerald or someone else is not specified) stated in the course of one of his local meetings (this is verbatim or a close paraphrase): “What we need here is a more cooperative bishop.” (More details are available here. Since that posting last year the NATO command in Naples seems to have scrubbed the items about Fitzgerald’s 2010 visits from their site.)

Shortly afterwards, Biden’s troublesome priest was forcibly removed by police and exiled from his see, without ecclesiastical trial, by Church authorities in Belgrade under pressure from compliant Serbian politicians installed after the October 2000 color revolution, in turn pressured by NATO. The pretext? Transparently baseless charges of financial wrongdoing. In other words, bogus accusations of “corruption” – like against Ukraine’s Shokin.

One could almost hear Joe Biden chortle: “Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.”

But Look at the Bright Side…

Back to the incipient coup facing the United States, there should be no illusion that what’s at stake in the unfolding scenario for the removal of Donald Trump is not just his presidency but the survival of the historic American ethnos of which he is seen as an avatar by both his supporters and detractors. Remember, we’re dealing with predators and scavengers who are happy to burn the old, evil America down as long as they can achieve total power and continue to feather their cushy nests. Short of a blowout Trump victory by a margin too big to hijack, we’re headed for a dystopian state of affairs.

If they do manage to remove Trump, “by any means necessary,” and Joe Biden takes the helm, we can anticipate a bevy of globalist warmonger appointees that make Trump’s team look like disciples of Mahatma Gandhi. Among the names floated like Nicholas BurnsAntony BlinkenMichele FlournoyEvelyn Farkas, and Anne-Marie Slaughter, all were on board with Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Syria … [NOTE: The Atlantic Council, known as NATO’s semi-official think tank in Washington and which will be instrumental in staffing a future Joe Biden administration, also has been the beneficiary of generous donations from Hunter Biden’s paymaster, Burisma.]

It’s a recipe for wars, regime changes, and color revolutions galore.

But to finish on a positive note, the potential future business opportunities will be endless!

US Is the Top Human Rights Violator in the World, and It’s Not Even Close

By Danny Haiphong

Source

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Few things are more politicized and distorted in the United States than the subject of human rights. Over the last two generations, the U.S. political class and its conduits in the corporate media have weaponized human rights to serve an imperialist agenda. NGOs such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International tend to focus much of their time crafting human rights narratives on matters of critical importance to the U.S. Department of State. Syria, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and a host of countries have been condemned by these organizations for alleged human rights violations. Since 2018, China has been targeted for the same treatment.

China is accused of detaining millions of Xinjiang-based Uyghurs in “concentration camps.” Thanks to Ajit Singh and The Grayzone, we know that the sources for these allegations are far from reliable. We know that the principle source for all things Xinjiang in the U.S. is Adrian Zenz, a far-right Christian fundamentalist who believes he is led by God to overthrow the Communist Party of China. We know that the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders responsible for the study that conducted a total of eight total interviews to derive conclusions of mass Uyghur internment is heavily funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a CIA-linked organization. We also know that the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) currently leading the charge to demonize China on human rights issues is sponsored by military contractors such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

The primary concern of institutions such as ASPI is not the issue of human rights, but rather the creation of an atmosphere of war that will service its donors in the U.S. weapons industry. This is exactly what the propagation of the “Uyghur oppression” narrative has achieved. While relying completely on speculation, faulty satellite imagery, and testimonies from Uyghur-exile groups funded by the NED, the successful penetration of the baseless claim that China is detaining millions of Muslims in camps has played an important role in building up public support in the U.S. for a New Cold War against China. U.S. public opinion of China has dropped significantly over the past year. The U.S. has used the Uyghur human rights narrative to successfully sanction businesses and Communist Party of China officials in Xinjiang.

When U.S. officials accuse other countries of human rights violations, what comes afterward is always far worse than the allegations. After 9/11, U.S. intelligence agencies accused Saddam Hussein of stockpiling non-existent Weapons of Mass destruction. The U.S. went on to invade Iraq in 2003—a war that caused the death of over one million Iraqi civilians and poisoned thousands more with toxic depleted uranium. In 2011, Muammar Gaddafi was accused of “murdering his own people” only to have Libya transformed into a failed state following a more than six month bombing campaign by NATO to protect a jihadist insurgency. Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has been repeatedly accused of using chemical weapons “on his own people.” Syria has been mired in an endless war with both the U.S. and its regional allies which has left hundreds of thousands of dead, millions displaced, and nearly one-third of its oil-rich and water-rich territory occupied by the U.S. military.

These examples are just a few of many that demonstrate why the U.S. is the chief human rights violator in the world. However, it is important to note that how the United States conducts itself abroad is a reflection of the myriad of ways that it violates the human rights of people living in the United States. Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Sandra Bland, and Michael Brown are just a few of hundreds of examples of Black Americans that have been killed by police officers without redress. An average of 1,000 people in the United States are killed by police officers each year. Unlike the U.S.-led Xinjiang narrative, it is well-documented that over 2 million people reside in U.S. prisons and that nearly three-quarters of that prison population is Black, Latino, or Native American.

The U.S. is home to a quarter of all prisoners in the world. Around 80,000 of these prisoners are held in solitary confinement, a practice of prolonged isolation that the U.N. has firmly declared to be an act of torture. Research suggests that solitary confinement is directly linked to a host of psychological maladies from psychosis to suicide. Solitary confinement also causes lasting structural damage to the brain, especially in the hippocampus region responsible for memory and spatial awareness. Widespread use of solitary confinement in the U.S. is not a benign practice but one that specifically targets racial groups. Over forty percent of all male prisoners in solitary confinement are Black American. The world has long known that the U.S. engages in torture abroad at CIA black sites and Guantanamo Bay Prison but fewer are aware of how torture is commonplace in the U.S.’ numerous prisons.

For decades, the U.S. has accused countries such as China of the very policies that make up the foundations of its domestic and foreign policy. U.S. elites have accused China of suppressing free speech but say little about the NSA’s massive surveillance program or the attempted extradition of a non-citizen in Julian Assange for publishing documents relating to U.S. war crimes. China has been accused of sterilizing ethnic minorities yet U.S. officials have failed to scrutinize documented cases of sterilization within U.S. immigration detention centers or its mistreatment of Muslim citizens since the War on Terror was declared in 2001. The Economist has accused China of using its anti-poverty campaign to build loyalty to the Communist Party of China but has yet to call out Joe Biden or Donald Trump for ignoring the needs of the forty percent of people in the U.S. who have virtually no disposable income. China is routinely accused of possessing an “aggressive” foreign policy by the same policy makers and thought leaders who have kept the U.S. at war for more than two-hundred years of its existence.

The ideology of American exceptionalism has created the illusion that the U.S. deserves to hold a monopoly on the issue of human rights. American exceptionalism presumes that the United States is the model example for countries and peoples all over the world. However, the days when the world was forced to bow to the U.S. are over. Most of the world sees the U.S. as the biggest threat to human rights and a peaceful existence. The U.S.’s human rights track record suggests that the world is correct, and it is the entire planet that suffers when issues such as war, climate change, poverty, and racism are blamed on China rather than addressed with solidarity and cooperation at a global level. 

انتخابات بلا وطن لا تليق هذا رد لا يُقارن بحجم العدوان

  الصفصاف

عادل سمارة

بيان الجالية الفلسطينية في غرب الولايات المتحدة تضامنا مع د عادل سمارة

ليس هذا أبداً لإقناع أي متحدث باسم الفلسطينيين ولا لوضعه موضع الخجل أبدا وأبدا مكررة. وليس لإقناع أي فصيل يتمسك بتناقضات وكوارث قياداته ويعبد تلك القيادات بعصبية تُخرجه خارج الهدف الوطني مهما تقعَّر باللغة لا سيما وأن القيادات تنتظر الراتب الشهري ومن أجله يتم البصم.

منذ 1967 وحتى ما قبل ذلك وكل حفنة فلسطينيين يتصرفون كدولة مستقلة وحتى عُظمى، وحينما أُكمل اغتصاب فلسطين تناسلت الشلل أكثر، كما انطوى المنطوون سواء دينيا او قطريا أو برجوازيا بشكل اكثر حيث لم يُلقوا على العدو ورداً، وهذا أعطى المقاومة المتعددة ، تعدداً بلا ضرورة، رصيدا كبيراً لم تلبث أن تاجرت به وخاصة اليوم بعد أن غادر معظمها هدف التحرير متعلقاً بخيوط عنكبوت الإستدوال.

ولذا، لم ننجح في تشكيل جبهة وطنية بل بقينا على نمط جامعة الدول العربية كل شيء بالإجماع ولذا ايضاً لم يحصل اي إجماع وخاصة على فهم المشروع الوطني.

مجلس وطني بلا وطن ولا صلاحيات:

تُدهشك حُمَّى الحديث واللقاءات والدعوات لانتخاب مجلس وطني في هذه الأيام! ويُدهشك أكثر أن يكون من اول متصديرها من يرتبطون بكيانات النفط سواء من بدؤوا حياتهم السياسية قيد شبهات أو من كان له ماضِ غادره وانتهى في حضن أنظمة وكيانات التبعية والطابور الثقافي السادس.
وإذا كان حكام النفط وغير النفط يقدمون للإمبريالية أوراق الخدمة ويتقربون من الكيان زُلفى وعلى نفقاتهم وهم بالطبع ليسوا سوى تمفصلات التجزئة كما الكيان، اي هم والكيان في ارتباك بحبل سُرِّيْ، فما الذي يدفع فلسطيني إلى هذا المستنقع؟ قد يكون أهم سبب أنه لا بد ان يُخاض المستنقع بأقرب الكائنات لطبيعته ليُعطى الاستنقاع “شرعية” هي شكلانية لأن روح الشعب وضميره وترابه لا تكمن في هؤلاء.

عجيب! هل هذا هو مستوى الرد على كارثة أوسلو وعلى عدوان صفقة القرن وتهالك الكيانات الرسمية العربية على الاعتراف بالكيان الصهيوني بل التخندق مع الجندي الصهيوني ضد المقاتل الفلسطيني!
إذا كانت الانتخابات، اي صندوق البرلمان، حتى في الدول الحقيقية ليست سوى حشر الناس اربع أو ست سنوات في صندوق يجلس عليه الحاكم او حزبه ولا يفتحه إلا حين يحين تجديد عهدته؟
يكفينا شاهد واحد، حينما كانت امريكا و 32 دولة تجهز للعدوان ضد العراق 1991 و 2003 كانت شوارع مدن الغرب تعج بملايين المحتجين، لكن الأعداء واصلوا التجهيز للعدوان وممارسة العدوان!
فماذا سيفعل مجلس وطني من اشخاص يعلمون هم أنفسهم/ن أن الانتخابات هي تزوير وسرقة أكثر مما هي حقيقية. تزوير في بلدان لها سيادة وحدود قمية، فما بالك بانتخابات ناخبها مبعثر في زوايا الكوكب الأربع!

تُجرى الانتخابات في العادة إما لانتهاء مدة دورة ما، أو لحدث ما، هام أو خطير أو تآمري. وهذا في بلدان حقيقية وليس في لا مكان ولا جغرافيا خاصة لأن الوطن والجغرافيا تحت الاغتصاب.
والأهم، ماذا سيفعل اعضاء هذا المجلس، ما الذي سيقدمونه لشعب طريد شريد؟ ما هي مهامهم تجاه شعب وطنه تحت الاحتلال الاستيطاني الإقتلاعي بل الذي اقتلعهم ؟ماذا سيعملون بعد تجربة مجلس وطني لخمسين سنة لم يكن سوى كتاب به 700 إسم أو أكثر يبصموا على ما يقرره رئيس المنظمة حينما كانت تقاتل، واكتسبت “الشرعية” بسبب محاولات القتال. ولكنها أغمدت السلاح وأبقت على “الشرعية” فكيف يحصل هذا!
! فهل نحن بحاجة لتجديد هذا الكتاب؟
أليس المجلس الوطني هو الذي غيَّر الميثاق وحذف جوهره إحتفالاً بالرئيس الأمريكي بيل كلينتون!
وماذا ترتب على تدمير الميثاق؟ هل سُئل الذين قاموا بذلك؟ هل حوكموا، هل فُصلوا؟ هل اعتذروا؟ كلا ابداً.
من لديه وطنية ما فلينضم لمحور المقاومة وهذا دور لا يحتاج لا مجلس وطني ولا مجلس تشريعي لأن المقاومة لا تنتظر تصريحا من هذا أو ذاك. أليست تجربة هذا المجلس كافية لإهماله؟
ما الذي سوف يبحثه ويقرره هذا المجلس  حتى لو تم بشكل حقيقي؟  بل ما قيمة كافة مؤسسات الاستدوال والوطن تحت الاحتلال وحتى الدور السياسي ل م.ت. ف جرى تسليمه لأنظمة النفط وقوى الدين السياسي وحتى العدو التركي!
هل هناك وطنياً غير التحرير؟ وهذا أمر يحتاج شغلا لا مفاوضات ومداولات وديباجات ومؤتمرات ونفقات ووجاهات وتعليق صور على حوائط البيوت بأن: الأب  أو الجد كان عضو مجلس وطني! أهلا وسهلاً.
التحرير لا يحتاج مجالساً، هو  فعل ميداني لا يمارسه ولن يمارسه من راكموا من السنين ثلاثة ارباع القرن.
إذا كانت الانتخابات لوضع وبحث استراتيجية عمل فلسطينية، فالأمر خطير وكارثي لأن الاستراتيجية واضحة، هي المقاومة للتحرير، وهذه لا تحتاج “وجاهات العواجيز” الذي جُرِّبوا وجرى استخدامهم حتى وصلوا بالقضية مستنقع اوسلو. فما معنى التجديد  لهؤلاء أو لأمثالهم/ن!

وماذا عن مجلس الحكم الذاتي (التشريعي) بلا حق تشريع!

بوسع اي شخص مسؤول أو  غير مسؤل أن يزعم بان في الضفة الغربية “جمهورية ديمقراطية شعبية متطورة”. لكن هذا لا يخفي حقيقة شرسة وقبيحة بان في هذا الجزء من فلسطين سلطة العدو بلا روادع، تنهب وتقتل وتقتلع وتعربد، وسلطة تابعة لها. بل والأشنع أن من نظَّروا ومارسوا واستفادوا من كارثة أوسلو هم:
·      من يمارسون كافة ادوارهم ومناصبهم منافعهم بموجب أوسلو
·      ومن جهة ينقدون أوسلو بأبلغ من نقد من رفضوها
·      ومن جهة ثانية يزعمون أن أوسلو انتهى!

ومَنْ قال أن مَنْ يُنهي أوسلو سوى:
·      العدو الأمريكي الصهيوني بما هو أبوه
·      أو خروج م.ت.ف إلى المقاومة والتحرير بدل الاستدوال

صحيح أن الشارع الفلسطيني خاصة والعربي عامة في حالة من الدَوَخان، ولكنه يعرف أن التكاذب صار مكشوفا.
ولذا، سواء جرت انتخابات مجلس وطني بلا وطن، فإن أية انتخابات في المحتل 1967 “تشريعية” هي بلا تشريع. وما تقوم به هو وضع أوامر إدارية لتؤكد وجود سلطة مسيطرة على البشر وليس على التراب والحجر.
وبسبب قرارات وسياسات هذه السلطة ناهيك عن الفساد والقطط السمان،  تصرخ الناس من عبء الضرائب ومن فرض غرامات حتى على من يتنفس اكسجبين أكثر مما يجب.
لذا، وكي يَصْدُق الناس أي شخص يرغب في الترشح لمجلس الحكم الذاتي أن يقولها صراحة: هذا مجلس حكم ذاتي بموجب أوسلو وتحت سيطرته، أو مجلس اعلى قليلا من بلديات، وإذا ما قرر العدو فض سلطة الحكم الذاتي يبقى هذا المجلس بلديا وحسب. بهذا الوضوح تستقيم الأمور في هذا المستوى بدون  تلاعبات باللغة والعواطف وتكون الناس اصدق.
فمن يقولها للناس صريحة واضحة، يكون قد عرف قدر نفسه وأقنع الناس.

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TWO U.S.-LED COALITION CONVOYS ATTACKED BY SHIITE FIGHTERS IN SOUTHERN, CENTRAL IRAQ

South Front

On September 27 afternoon, two convoys transporting equipment and weapons for the U.S.-led coalition were attacked in Iraq.

The first convoy was targeted with an improved explosive device in the district of Batha in the southern province of Dhi Qar. The second convoy was attacked in a similar fashion as it was passing on the Hilla highway in the central province of Bablyon.

A truck carrying an armored vehicle of the U.S.-led coalition was damaged as a result of the attack in Batha. Sabereen News shared a photo of the truck.

Two U.S.-led coalition Convoys Attacked By Shiite Fighters In Southern, Central Iraq

The new attacks came following a Washington Post report that revealed a recent threat from the U.S. to the Iraqi Government. According to the report, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo informed Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi that the U.S. will close its embassy in Baghdad if the attacks continues.

Iraqi Shiite group Saryat Qasim al-Jabbarin, which claimed responsibility for Batha attack, responded to Pompeo’s threat by vowing once again to expel U.S. troops from Iraq.

“We say to Pompeo, we swore to expel your rats dead, their vehicles burned and their hideouts destroyed, from our country,” the group said in a statement.

These recent attacks on U.S. troops are a response to the assassination of Iranian Quds Force Commander, Qassim Soleimani, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Deputy-Commander of the Popular Mobilization Units, earlier this year.

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US Threats Prove Victory of Resistance: Iraq’s Al-Nujaba

US Threats Prove Victory of Resistance: Iraq’s Al-Nujaba

By Staff, Agencies

Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi, Secretary-General of the Iraqi al-Nujaba movement, said that threats and outcries of the United States are because of victories of the Resistance Front.

In a tweet on Saturday, al-Kaabi likened US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s threats against the Iraqi movement to struggles of a suffocating person.

These useless threats show the fruitfulness of the Resistance’s efforts to liberate and restore Iraqi sovereignty from American control, he added.

He congratulated the achievements of the Resistance and encouraged forces to continue their actions, noting that the threats of enemy do not create fear in the hearts of Nujaba forces.

“We have been striving for one of the two virtues since we set foot on this path; victory or martyrdom.”

Al-Kaabi emphasized that Iraqi groups should urge the United States to withdraw its occupying forces completely from the country because of Iraqi Parliament’s order and the will of the people.

Trump Condemned for Calling US War Dead “Suckers”

Trump Condemned for Calling US War Dead “Suckers”

By Staff, Agencies

Current and former members of the military, elected officials and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden reacted with outrage and sadness on Friday, as ex-Trump administration officials confirmed key details of a bombshell report in which the US president referred to fallen soldiers as “suckers” and “losers”.

The Atlantic magazine published a story on Thursday in which four sources close to US President Donald Trump said he cancelled a visit to pay respects at an American military cemetery outside Paris in 2018 because he thought the dead soldiers were “losers” and “suckers” and did not want the rain to mess up his hair.

Elizabeth Neumann, a former assistant secretary of counter-terrorism in the Department of Homeland Security, and Miles Taylor, a former chief of staff in that department, said the account was true, asserting that Trump’s low opinion of soldiers killed and wounded in combat was well known inside the administration.

The White House moved to deny the report unusually quickly and forcefully. Trump himself dismissed it as a politically motivated “hoax” and claimed 11 current and former officials supported his account.

“There is nobody feels more strongly about our soldiers, our wounded warriors, our soldiers that died in war than I do,” he told reporters at the White House on Friday. “It’s a hoax. Just like the fake dossier was a hoax, just like the Russia, Russia, Russia was a hoax. It was a total hoax: no collusion. Just like so many other things, it’s a hoax. And you’ll hear more of these things, totally unrelated, as we get closer and closer to election.”

Asked why John Kelly, a retired marine corps general and Trump’s former chief of staff, was not among those defending him, the president added: “He was with me, didn’t do a good job, had no temperament and ultimately he was petered out, he was exhausted. This man was totally exhausted. He wasn’t even able to function in the last number of months. He was not able to function.”

The Atlantic’s source, he speculated, “could have been a guy like a John Kelly”.

Trump tweeted that he would not defund the Stars and Stripes newspaper, which serves US servicemen and women worldwide, after a Pentagon memo ordering its closure was reported by USA Today, causing huge controversy.

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, also defended Trump, but the denials were met with widespread skepticism because of his past remarks about military veterans.

And in an unusual intervention, the first lady, Melania Trump, also weighed in, tweeting that the Atlantic story “was not true”.

“It has become a very dangerous time when anonymous sources are believed above all else, & no one knows their motivation,” she wrote.

A visibly angry Biden called the alleged comments “disgusting” and said Trump was “not fit to be commander-in-chief”.

“When my son volunteered and joined the United States military – and went to Iraq for a year, won the Bronze Star and other commendations, he was not a sucker,” Biden said, his voice rising, in remarks in Wilmington, Delaware.

His son Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015, deployed to Iraq in 2008.

“If these statements are true, the president should humbly apologize to every Gold Star mother and father and every Blue Star family,” Biden said. “Who the heck does he think he is?

“I’m always cautioned not to lose my temper,” Biden said. “This may be as close as I come in this campaign. It’s just a marker of how deeply the president and I disagree on the role of the president of the United States of America.”

Veteran Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who saved the lives of 155 people in 2009 when he guided his stricken plane onto the Hudson river, said: “For the first time in American history, a president has repeatedly shown utter and vulgar contempt and disrespect for those who have served and died serving our country.”

“While I am not surprised, I am disgusted by the current occupant of the Oval Office. He has repeatedly and consistently shown himself to be completely unfit for and to have no respect for the office he holds.”

On a press call hosted by Biden’s campaign, the Democratic Illinois senator Tammy Duckworth, who lost both her legs in combat in Iraq, accused Trump of attempting to “politicize and pervert our military to stroke his own ego”.

“This is a man who spends every day redefining the concept of narcissism; a man who’s led a life of privilege, with everything handed to him on a silver platter,” she said.

“Of course, he thinks about war selfishly. He thinks of it as a transactional cost, instead of in human lives and American blood spilled, because that’s how he’s viewed his whole life. He doesn’t understand other people’s bravery and courage, because he’s never had any of his own.

“I take my wheelchair, and my titanium legs over Donald Trump’s supposed bone spurs any day,” she added, referring to one reason Trump received draft deferments during the Vietnam war.

The call also included the congressman Conor Lamb, a marine veteran, and Khizr Khan, a Gold Star father whose son was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq in 2004 and who was himself famously attacked by Trump during the 2016 campaign.

Khan said Trump was “incapable – let me repeat it again – he is incapable of understanding service, valor and courage”.

“His soul cannot conceive of integrity and honor. His soul is that of a coward.”

In an interview with the conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Mike Pompeo defended the president’s support of the military.

“I’ve never heard that,” the secretary of state said of Trump allegedly calling the war dead “suckers”.

“Indeed, just the opposite. I’ve been around him in lots of settings where there were both active-duty military, guardsmen, reservists, veterans. This is a man who had the deepest respect for their service, and he always, he always interacted with them in that way. He enjoys those times. He values those people.”

The Biden campaign released a video quoting the president, based on the Atlantic story and later corroborating reports by the Washington Post and the Associated Press. Other media outlets, Fox News among them, also corroborated the Atlantic story.

With the tagline “If you don’t respect our troops, you cannot lead them,” the Biden campaign video displayed the alleged Trump quotes over images of military cemeteries.

At Friday’s briefing, Trump was asked about his past mockery of the late senator John McCain, who served in the military and was a prisoner of war in Vietnam. “I say what I say,” he told reporters. “I disagreed with John McCain on a lot of things. That doesn’t mean I don’t respect him. I respected him but I really disagreed with him on a lot of things and I think I was right. I think time has proven me right to a large extent.”

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