بين عون الجمهورية وباسيل «أشواط»

أبريل 14, 2017

روزانا رمّال

ما من شك في أن التيار الوطني الحر كان يحشد جدياً من أجل النزول إلى الشارع عبر انتظار ساعة صفر قرار سياسي، احتجاجاً على التمديد برفقة القوات اللبنانية بشكل خاص كقوى «سلطة»، ولا أحد يعتبر أن الشارع كان مجرد «تهديد» أو «تحفيز» من قبلهم بل كان قراراً جدياً تحضرت له وسائل الإعلام والاروقة السياسية. ويؤكد على هذا «الحل» الذي صدر عن رئيس الجمهورية أي الجهة «المقربة» من التيار الوطني الحر وهي «الرئاسة»، وبالتالي كان ممكنا عدم التلويح بالشارع من الأساس، طالما ان هناك مخرجاً يتيحه الدستور اللبناني في المادة 59 تقتضي بإمكانية استخدام الرئيس صلاحية لمرة واحدة يوقف فيها عمل مجلس النواب لمدة شهر.

قبل أن يتم ابتكار هذا الحل السليم والقويم، كان كل شيء يوحي أن بيروت مقبلة على انفجار شعبي وسياسي وأن البلاد ستدخل في أزمة سياسية حادة، خصوصاً أن مسألة الميثاقية عند حليفين مسيحيين بدأت تلوح بالأفق «التيار الوطني الحر القوات اللبنانية» أي أن المسألة لم تقتصر على تمرير «التمديد»، بل على أزمة تتعدّاها لما هو أبعد من ذلك بكثير فأي تمديد أو تصويت، في ما لو تمّ كان سيقسم البلاد إلى نوع جديد من الانقسام «الإسلامي المسيحي» بعدما كان هذا الزمن قد ولّى الى غير رجعة باحتساب المسيحيين الحاضرين وتخطّي الأغلبية، وكان ممكناً أن يزيد الأمر تعقيداً، خصوصاً في هذه الأجواء الملتهبة دولياً التي يُراد فيها للمسيحيين التخلّي عمّا يتمسّكون به في هذه المنطقة.

مزيد من الإحساس بالمظلومية «المستجدّة» والتي تمّ افتعالها كانت ستعصف بالبلاد وتفتح ازمة تضاف الى الازمة السياسية الراهنة. افتخر المسؤولون بالقوات اللبنانية، حسب المعلومات «بالاحتجاج برفقة الشريك المسيحي كاشفين انه سيكون هناك إقفال وإضراب عام في المناطق كلها، كما أن هناك تجاوباً كبيراً لأن الناس ترفض التمديد».

أخذُ الشارع الى الفوضى أمر كان مطروحاً من دون أن يرفّ جفن المعنيين، كل شيء كان وارداً في لحظة انعقاد جلسة «فتوش».. قد لا يهمّ القوات اللبنانية كثيراً حسابات من هذا النوع، لكن من المفترض ان تهم التيار الوطني الحر ورئيسه جبران باسيل. الأمر الذي «عرّى» باسيل بالكامل أمام جمهور الحليف وكشف عن تمايز ضخم بينه وبين سلوك العماد عون السياسي، وعن حكمة لا يزال يفتقدها باسيل حتى الساعة وهو بطبيعة الحال ليس مستعداً لإنكار ذلك. فبينه وبين الرئيس عون «أشواط» في العمل الوطني والنضال ومراعاة مسألة التعايش الداخلي والمحافظة على التحالفات و«كظم الغيظ» عشرات السنين بالخارج رفضاً للفوضى في البلاد.

يعوّل جمهور المقاومة كثيراً على رئيس التيار الوطني الحر «باسيل» في السراء والضراء، قد لا تهمّ هذا الجمهور كثيراً حسابات داخلية للتيار بقدر ما يعنيه أن لا يظهر خلاف بينهم وبين جمهور التيار على السطح «مبكراً» وبين القيادتين فلا تزال معركة الرئاسة حاضرة في أذهان هذا الجمهور.

لقد جعل حزب الله العماد ميشال عون «معركته» لرئاسة الجمهورية وأسس لتوافق دولي لا يستطيع أن يؤدّيه ترشيح القوات اللبنانية إليه فتمسّك حزب الله بالعماد عون فرضه مرشحاً قوياً بتوازنات المنطقة التي كان يتوق إليها لاعبوها المباشرون السعودية وإيران لنسج أرضية «نموذج» تكون نقطة انطلاق لباقي التفاهمات بالمنطقة على ما قاله وزير الخارجية الإيراني محمد جواد ظريف في مؤتمر دافوس سابقاً. وهذا الخيار لا تتيحه الا تفاهمات بمستوى كباش حزب الله والسعودية في لبنان، فكان أن اقتنعت الرياض باستحالة تخطّي هذا المرشح والميل نحو مرشح وسطي وهي تدرك جيداً أن المرشح سمير جعجع لم يكن خيارها الجدي منذ إعلان قوى 14 آذار ترشيحه قبل سنوات، حيث لم يبذل أي جهد بهذا السياق.

هذه المحطة ضرورية لتذكير الوزير باسيل بحجم الإحباط الذي أرخاه على جمهور حليفه وأرضية كان من المفترض ان تنسج لمستقبل بعيد لا يتعثر عند العاصفة الأولى.

بعد زيارة وفد حزب الله الرفيع لقصر بعبدا طلب من حزب الله الذي طالب بقانون الانتخاب على أساس النسبية إعطاء فرصة للبحث مجدداً بقانون الوزير باسيل الذي لم يلقَ قبولاً من معظم الأطراف ما خلا القوات اللبنانية وهذا يعني استحالة ان يتقدم حزب الله نحوه لأنه لم يمثل حالة جامعة او بالحد الأدنى «غالبة» بين القوى. ومعروف ان حزب الله كان منفتحاً جداً مع الوزير باسيل في الصيغ المطروحة كلها ومع غير الوزير باسيل، وإن أحداً لم يخفِ هذا الأمر.

خرج الرئيس العماد ميشال عون لينقذ البلاد من أزمة ولينقذ تياره أيضاً من «سواد» الوجه والتسرّع نحو الشارع وللتصادم مع حلفائه في موقف بغير محله. خرج العماد عون الذي لا يمانع مناقشة قانون باسيل وغيره كحق للجميع ليقول إنه ليس موافقاً على ما هو أهم من طرح القوانين وهي «الفوضى».

خرج عون ليقول لستُ مستخفاً بحلفائي ولستُ مستعداً للتضحية بما نسجته معهم، ولن أفرط بما تحمّلناه وما تشاركناه سوياً، خرج عون ليقول هذا وقت تحمل المسؤولية ولست موافقاً على مهزلة «الشارع» وما تعنيها من «رسائل» أنا رئيس الجمهورية الذي أقسم بصون البلاد والحفاظ على العيش المشترك كأبٍ للجميع.

عون الجمهورية «حكيم» اللحظة والموقف «كبير» لبنان.

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Trump Confronts New McCarthyism

Trump Confronts New McCarthyism
EDITOR’S CHOICE | 12.02.2017

Trump Confronts New McCarthyism

Gilbert DOCTOROW

The original McCarthyism of the early 1950s appeared with the consolidation of the Cold War. It was a witch hunt over supposed communist subversion of America’s democratic institutions. It was all about the Red Menace and the Russians are coming. Today’s New McCarthyism grew with the onset of a New Cold War and also has been about the Russians, especially the vilification of Vladimir Putin.

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

This anti-Russian hysteria reached a point of near absurdity in the last days of the Obama Administration with its trust-us allegations that the Russians defeated Hillary Clinton by releasing some emails showing how the Democratic National Committee sabotaged Bernie Sanders and other emails revealing what Clinton had told Wall Street banks but didn’t want the voters to know. If you noted that Clinton had previously blamed her defeat on FBI Director James Comey for reopening and re-closing the investigation into her use of a private email server, you risked being labeled a “Putin apologist” or a “Kremlin stooge.”

Of course, the anger toward anyone who resisted the “Russia-did-it” conformism did not come from nowhere. One can trace the current hostility to dissenters against U.S. foreign policy back to the presidency of George W. Bush when he gutted the Bill of Rights in promulgating the Patriot Act with almost no public challenge. In the post-9/11 climate – when any resistance to Bush’s edicts was regarded as close to treason – many of us became uneasy while talking politics on the phone or looking up certain topics on the Internet or taking books out of the library.

This intimidating surveillance did not go away when the Democrats retook the White House and Congress in the 2008 elections, but we stopped thinking about it because supposedly the “right people” now held the levers of power and surely wouldn’t repeat the abuses of Bush-43. However, not only did the surveillance state consolidate its powers under Barack Obama but the former constitutional lawyer sharply escalated the legal persecution of whistleblowers who dared give the American people a look behind the curtain.

Obama’s unprecedented assault on government transparency was compounded by the liberal-chic contempt meted out to anyone who questioned the wisdom of imposing “liberal values”, “human rights”, and “democracy promotion” on countries around the world. “Political correctness” dominated not only domestic U.S. debates but also the formulation of foreign policy.

Vladimir Putin was viewed as a retrograde force in the world, in part, because he aligned himself with Russia’s conservative social values and because he fell short of an ideal notion of what liberal democracy is supposed to be. The fact that the U.S. government also was falling far short of those standards – from ordering targeted assassinations with minimal due process to imprisoning patriotic whistleblowers – was largely ignored by an Obama Administration that saw itself as too wonderful to have flaws.

Blacklisting Dissent

So, when the U.S. confrontation with Russia over Ukraine, Crimea and the Donbas began in the summer of 2013, those of us who did not accept what was becoming the Washington Consensus, which held Putin to blame for everything, began to see ourselves as dissidents in the Soviet sense or at least in the manner of the old McCarthy era. In effect, we were blacklisted, largely excluded from publication in the professional journals, not to mention mainstream print and broadcast media. On campus, we mostly kept our mouths shut fearing for our jobs.

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Russian government photo)

In the narrow, but politically important field of Russian studies, just how bleak the times had become was revealed in the December 2015 “Christmas issue” of Johnson’s Russia List, an important daily digest of expert and generalist writings about Russia which contained a 40-page propaganda barrage against Putin and his ill-begotten country. But the content of that daily issue merely reflected what was entering the editor-publisher’s in-basket each day. Still, the silence of dissenters should not be confused with agreement.

For all his blustery and egotistical faults, Donald Trump has punched huge holes in the dominant neocon ideology that underlay the Washington Consensus on foreign policy during the presidencies of both George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Trump’s tweets and campaign messages asked, aloud and repeatedly, what could be wrong with the United States getting along with Russia and cooperating on common interests, starting with a joint campaign against ISIS.

Yet, Trump’s rejection of Washington’s foreign-policy orthodoxy went beyond relations with Russia; Trump was questioning the consensus on how America has conducted its role as global leader and he was challenging the arrogance of intervening in other nations’ affairs, whether by finger-waving lectures or various regime-change schemes.

As noisy and messy as Trump’s political approach has been – with a number of unnecessary diversions and self-inflicted wounds – there is a significant and “revolutionary” side of Trump’s approach. It represents a potential reordering of the two major political parties, a revamped struggle for power within the Right-Left dimension.

He restated this “revolutionary” aspect of his foreign policy in his Inaugural Address when he renounced the idea of endless interference in other countries’ politics and a return to the traditional role of America as an example, not an interventionist. This was an in-your-face condemnation of most of those sitting beside and behind him on the rostrum who favored a “values-based” foreign policy, globalization and American exceptionalism.

Taking on McCain

From the Oval Office, Trump has continued his frontal assault on this foreign-policy orthodoxy with his closely watched and disputed tweets. Much ridicule has been directed at Trump for ruling by tweets since they often reveal a lack of intellectual depth and his facile narcissism. But what they lack in refinement, Trump’s tweets make up for in feistiness and courage.

Sen. John McCain appearing with Ukrainian rightists of the Svoboda party at a pre-coup rally in Kiev

For instance, in a Jan. 30 tweet, Trump urged Republican neocon Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham to “focus their energies on ISIS, illegal immigration and border security instead of always looking to start World War III” [emphasis mine]. This was, in its own way, as significant as the pithy and devastating rebuke issued by attorney Joseph N. Welch to Sen. Joe McCarthy on June 9, 1954, after McCarthy attacked the patriotism of a young Army lawyer: “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” Welch asked.

In a way, Trump’s reference to the behavior of McCain and Graham, running around the world advocating for one war after another, including a military confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia, was as precise and cutting as Welch’s putdown of McCarthy. In doing so, Trump broke the decades-long taboo on criticizing McCain despite his behavior as a loose cannon on the deck of foreign affairs, especially during the Obama years.

Behaving as if he had won rather than lost the 2008 election, McCain has traveled to such hot spots as Syria, Georgia and Ukraine with the goal of making U.S. foreign policy in the field, urging militants onward into violent clashes with their own governments or pushing U.S.-client states into conflicts with their neighbors.

Trump began his challenge to McCain during the campaign when he publicly questioned the “war hero” status of the Arizona senator by rhetorically asking in what way spending years in captivity as a Vietnam prisoner of war made McCain a war hero.

McCain took his revenge shortly before the inauguration when he informed the press that he had just handed over to the FBI for follow-up a dubious report generated by a former British intelligence agent accusing Trump of being vulnerable to Russian blackmail because of alleged cavorting with prostitutes during a visit to Moscow years ago.

To stymie any new détente with Russia, McCain also introduced a bill in the Senate calling for new and expanded sanctions against Russia. So, the White House tweet was a direct challenge to McCain for his actions that Trump warned were inviting World War III. In doing so, Trump is at least prying open space for a fuller debate about U.S. foreign policy and the wisdom of neocon interventionism.

So, notwithstanding all the self-righteous exclamations before media microphones by Establishment figures from both parties over the foibles of this populist president and notwithstanding the shouting in the streets by demonstrators, it appears that the President is advancing via his tactic of frontal attack.

A week ago, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Trump’s bellwether choice to oversee a new foreign policy, was confirmed by the Senate to the surprise and pleasure of those of us who had kept our fingers crossed. It is too early to say how or why Trump won this test of strength. But initial fierce opposition from ranking Republicans John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio was beaten back.

Now, the question is whether Tillerson and Trump’s other foreign policy appointees can achieve genuine change in the direction of U.S. foreign policy.

Outgoing CIA Director Hypes Nonexistent Russian Threat

Global Research, January 18, 2017
U.S. CIA Director Brennan takes part in a conference on national security titled "The Ethos and Profession of Intelligence" in Washington

America needs enemies to advance its imperial agenda. None exist so they’re invented – a pretext for current wars, future ones, color revolutions, old-fashioned coups and assassinations.

It’s been the American way from the republic’s inception, a culture of violence persisting at home and abroad since the 18th century, far more dangerous with today’s super-weapons able to kill us all.

Neocon infest Washington, Trump’s tenure perhaps destined to be the most turbulent in US history since the Civil War, how he’ll fare yet to be determined.

Dark forces far more powerful than the office of the presidency confront him. If he diverges from longstanding practice, especially geopolitically, he may not last a full term, maybe not a full year.

Working with Russia cooperatively, instead of maintaining adversarial relations, could seal his fate.

Interviewed on Fox News Sunday, January 15, host Chris Wallace asked outgoing CIA director John Brennan if disparaging comments by two former agency heads wasn’t just cause for Trump to believe Langley is out to get him.

Former acting CIA director Mike Morell said “(i)n the intelligence business, we would say Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”

Former agency head Michael Hayden called Trump a “useful fool…manipulated by Moscow, secretly held in contempt, but his blind support is happily accepted and exploited.”

Brennan neither “defend(ed) or explain(ed) what they said.” Claiming the intelligence community will support Trump depends entirely on how his agenda unfolds, especially his policy toward Russia.

Hyping its nonexistent threat, Brennan claimed Trump doesn’t have a full appreciation of (its) capabilities, (its) intentions, and actions (it’s) undertaking in many parts of the world.”

Fact: Putin favors world peace and stability,  wants cooperative relations with all nations, deplores America’s imperial madness.

Brennan: Russia must “change (its) behavior, change (its) actions.”

Translation: Russia must play by Washington rules, be subservient to its wishes or else.

Brennan opposes Trump and Putin working together cooperatively. He’s against lifting sanctions, no matter their illegality.

He lied about what’s happening in Ukraine, in Syria, in “the cyber realm.” Trump needs to step back from “absolving Russia of various actions” it never undertook, he said.

No “Russian aggression” exists in Ukraine, Syria or anywhere else. US wars of aggression rage in multiple theaters, responsible for millions of casualties Brennan ignored.

He recited a laundry list of nonexistent threats, ones Washington uses as pretexts for raping and destroying one country after another.

US national security hasn’t been threatened since WW II. Brennan lied claiming otherwise. Asked to name his greatest accomplishments and regrets, he shamelessly expressed pride in being part of an administration involved in “advanc(ing) the interests of peace and stability,” along with related issues.

Obama’s disgraceful record speaks for itself – the most ruthless regime in US history, the most lawless, the most contemptuous of humanity at home and abroad.

As for regrets, Brennan named Syria, shamelessly claiming his “heart…bleeds over what happened” there – ignoring US naked aggression against a sovereign independent country threatening no one, the CIA under his direction playing a major role.

Brennan is an unindicted war criminal, unaccountable for Nuremberg-level crimes of war and against humanity.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Clinton Scheming to Gain White House Through Back Door

Posted on December 2, 2016

 photo hclinton_zps3cnlwpum.jpg

By Robert Bridge

Next month, Donald J. Trump, with hand on Bible, will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Or will he? The recent talk about recounting votes and ‘faithless electors’ suggests this highly contentious power struggle is far from over.

In fact, it may be just beginning.

Anybody who believes Hillary Rodham Clinton has been sent to the political graveyard by a Manhattan real estate developer has forgotten the cruel surprises of recent history (Remember the Greek referendum? Brexit anyone?). Democratic due process has devolved into something like ‘The Hunger Games’ for the rich – a sensational televised spectacle to entertain the elite every four years, while keeping the people believing they can effect real change.

Although it may seem implausible to some, Donald J. Trump may be denied the presidency due to a democratic system that has been corrupted to the bone by excessive wealth, power and collusion at the highest levels.

Countdown to disaster?

As the world media continues to eulogize Cuban leader Fidel Castro, the neocon-liberal establishment is quietly positioning their chess pieces for a power grab of epic proportions. As far as I can tell, there are three stages of this silent coup presently being carried out on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

The first step in the process was to perpetuate the news that although Donald Trump won the Electoral College (306-232), he failed to win the popular vote – reportedly by 2.5 million votes, at last count.

Clinton’s alleged victory in the popular vote count, which continued for three weeks after Nov.9 (keep in mind that most of the vote monitors had already went home as these votes were being quietly tallied), could present serious complications for Trump and his chances of entering the White House, as will become clear a bit later.

Meanwhile, the blatantly anti-Trump media is conducting “thought experiments” to show how Clinton would have, could have, should have won the Electoral College if only the Electoral map had been spliced and diced here and there across the nation. The implicit media message behind all of this tomfoolery, of course, is that Wall Street-approved Clinton deserves her coronation, because, well, that is what the elite want, democratic procedure be damned.

This ongoing campaign on behalf of Clinton is much more than just sour grapes; in fact, it is a war of attrition designed to exert undue pressure on the Electoral College, the rickety institution that got Trump elected in the first place. And although it has never robbed an election from a candidate who has gained the majority of Electoral College votes, there is a possibility – and a very high one in this particular battle – of so-called “faithless electors” tipping this contest in Clinton’s favor.

This represents the second stage of Clinton’s attempt at reversing the results of the presidential election in her favor.

Will the Electoral College go rogue?

The Electoral College is scheduled to meet on December 19 to perform what, under normal circumstances, would be a mere formality of voting for either Clinton or Trump, according to the will of their constituents.

Needless to say, we are not dealing with “normal circumstances.”

The 2016 presidential campaign represents an epic power struggle that will determine the trajectory of US domestic and foreign policy like no other contest in recent history. No surprise, then, that neo-liberal lobbying groups have been exerting immense pressure on these electors to ignore the will of the people and “vote their conscience.”

You’d be very wrong to think this couldn’t work. If 37 Republican electors vote against Trump, it will block him from winning the presidency. The Democrat’s team of lawyers and political consultants are now working around the clock to make this happen.

Micheal Baca, a Denver Democrat and a member of the state’s Electoral College delegation, is one of the individuals working to persuade Republican electors to discard the will of the people and vote for anybody but Trump.

Baca makes no secret about his intentions to override the Constitution and go rogue.

“This is not about Hillary,” he said. “This is about trying to stop Donald Trump.”

Let’s take a moment and perform our own “thought experiment” and consider the repercussions if Hillary Clinton is inaugurated as President instead of Trump. If the country is not completely overwhelmed by coast-to-coast riots and protests, and there is somehow a peaceful transition of power, then Clinton can expect to face four years of the most hostile, uncooperative (Republican) Congress in American history (although given the number of neocons who openly support Clinton and her hawkish tendencies, there could be points of agreement).

In a best-case scenario, it would be a four-year-long government shutdown, aside from performing the necessary task of maintaining ‘law and order’ at home while continuing on a war footing abroad. America would get its first real taste of what martial law feels like.

The American Conservative painted the following picture as to what would happen if Trump’s Electoral College victory were rescinded: “Constitutional government would have broken down, and we would be facing something like a Latin American presidential dictatorship. For several years, Washington’s political debate would be reduced to something like a Hobbesian war of all against all.”

Is that something we really need? Apparently it is for some folks, and not least of all Green Party presidential candidate, Jill Stein.

And this brings us to the final stage of a possible Clinton coup.

Civil War, anyone?

It is generally assumed that it was Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate who masterminded the call for a recount of votes in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. That’s not quite right.

New York magazine reported that on November 17 Hillary Clinton was “urged by a group of prominent computer scientists and election lawyers to call for a recount in three swing states won by Donald Trump… The group is so far not speaking on the record about their findings and is focused on lobbying the Clinton team in private.”

Just one day after the above article appeared (Nov. 22), Jill Stein, who came in dead last with about 3 million votes less than Gary ‘What is Aleppo?’ Johnson, announced she would be collecting money to recount votes in the swing states. By the way, one of the odd things about Stein’s choice of swing states is that these are the same places where Trump emerged victorious. Coincidence or conspiracy theory, that alone should have set off some alarms.

In any case, the reason Stein and not Clinton is calling for the recount is evident: Throughout the campaign, the media hounded Trump with a single annoying question never asked of the future loser: Would he accept the results of the election in the event he lost? When Trump said he would take a “wait and see”approach, Clinton assumed a holier than thou position.

“Now make no mistake,” Clinton solemnly told supporters, “by doing that, he is threatening our democracy. The peaceful transition of power is one of the things that sets us apart. It’s how we hold our country together no matter who’s in charge.”

So now that the tables are turned, Stein is in the kitchen doing the dirty work. And the media suddenly can’t get enough of this woman who haunted the 2016 election like a phantom sighting.

Here’s how News Busters tallied her sudden stardom: “When Jill Stein was the Green Party’s candidate for US president, the networks only gave her 36 seconds of coverage. However, as soon as she launched a campaign to contest the presidential election and demand a recount of ballots in several key states, the evening news shows on ABC, CBS and NBC managed to find 7 minutes and 26 seconds of coverage for her in just four days. That’s more than 12 times as much coverage as in the entire campaign.”

But it gets better. Stein has managed to accumulate a massive war chest to carry out the recount – $7 million at last count (or about seven times what she received during her entire presidential campaign). At one point, her recount drive was pulling in almost $5,000 every minute. Somehow that doesn’t sound like the average Joe Voter digging deep in his Levi’s. Even more mysteriously, when Stein first started passing the hat around, she said $2.5 million would be plenty, thank you very much. Yet every time she hit the target, a higher threshold was introduced. Just can’t keep up with inflation these days!

Is Stein’s campaign simply about collecting some easy money while giving the Green Party some much-needed attention? Or is Stein just trying to shed some much-needed light on the dry rot that is gnawing away at the foundation of US democracy? All that, however necessary, seems very unlikely. After all, the recount plan was initially floated to Hillary Clinton, not Jill Stein. Thus, we must assume this is all part of a major power push for Hillary Clinton to grab the White House from Donald Trump.

As Paul Joseph Watson elegantly put it: “Her entire campaign was backed by an establishment that wouldn’t hesitate to exploit a recount to carry out the vote fraud they thought they didn’t need on Election Day.”

Exactly.

And here is where we can fit the last piece into the puzzle to understand what is really going on here. If the recount effort alone won’t make much of a difference to either Clinton or Stein’s chances of overturning the massive edge that Trump now enjoys, then why are they bothering themselves? Hold onto your seats, folks, this gets interesting.

The answer boils down to simple arithmetic, as well as some monkey play in the system.

Presently, Michigan has already agreed to a recount, which will be carried out this weekend and require hand-counting of ballots in the regions. This process will take many days. Federal law requires the recount to be finished by Dec. 13 – just six days before the Electoral College is expected to cast its votes.

Wisconsin has already agreed to a recount, while Pennsylvania is dragging its feet. In other words, this process will probably take us right up to Dec. 19 – the date the Electoral College is supposed to cast their votes (Why the Electoral College vote isn’t valid without these voters, who could go rogue, is a question for another day).

Keep in mind that the total number of Electoral College Votes in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania equals 46. Now take Trump’s 306 Electoral votes and subtract that amount. This leaves you with 260, which is below the 270 required for a candidate to be automatically considered the winner of a presidential election. Do you see where this is going?

Now if this recount should start to point toward a Clinton victory in these three swing states, this will present Trump with a very serious quandary. Should he kick up a fuss and protest the recount on the grounds that he won the Electoral College, this could provoke some sort of “constitutional crisis” that prevents the recount from being completed by the Dec. 13 deadline.

Now, if the matter remains unsettled by Dec. 19 this could – technically speaking – give the Electoral College’s “faithless electors” yet more reason for not aligning themselves with their constituents. Or, on the other hand, the Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania votes could be considered forfeited because they failed to resolve the issue by the Dec. 19 deadline.

So if it did come down to this, who do you think will be selected – possibly by the very Supreme Court that Trump hopes to disband once in office – to be the 45th president of the United States?

Yes, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the candidate we have been told got 2.5 million more popular votes than Donald Trump (I would suggest Trump start a serious process to challenge those votes right now).

For those who still doubt this possibility, please consider the two latest failed grassroots movements of our times – Brexit and the Greek referendum – two examples of ‘democracy in action’ that the political elite has de facto canceled or put on hold indefinitely.

Such dramatic setbacks, which are becoming the rule rather than the exception, lend credence to Mark Twain’s famous observation that “If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.”

In other words, the elite will always get what they want, regardless how the votes goes.

Clinton seizing the White House through the backdoor would not be the strangest thing to happen in old Washington. Just ask George W. Bush how he got elected president in 2000 by the Supreme Court, not We the People.

A Must See: Deleted 4 times in 24 hours

 

Half of the Turkish army sympathizes with jihadists after Erdogan’s purges

Erdogan-R4bia-990x260

Syrian Free Press

Interview conducted by Alexander Sivilov with professor Tetsuya Sahara, one of the most prominent Japanese experts on Balkan history and politics. Prof. Sahara teaches political science at Meiji University in Tokyo. From 2008 to 2015 he worked in the Middle East Technical University in Ankara and one of the largest private Turkish universities – Bilkent. He deals with the problems of modern Islamic fundamentalism and the development of terrorist movements in the Balkans, during the civil war in Yugoslavia.

erdogan-surfing-jihadists

Originally appeared at A-specto
translated by Borislav exclusively for SouthFront

Prof. Sahara, who is the really behind the attempted coup in Turkey? The country’s government come up with a particular version, but many analysts point to President Erdogan himself?

According to the official sources, the coup was organized by colonel Muharrem Kose and the “Peace at home council.” According to the same data, the actions of the rioters were driven by general Akin Yozturk, former commander of the Air Force. At the same time, President Erdogan and his government say the coup was inspired by Fethullah Gülen. In fact, neither of the two versions seems credible. The roots of all this are much deeper. The Turkish armed forces are part of NATO, and without the tacit consent of this organization, a similar attempt could not happen at all.

If we look at the extent and depth of commitment, the coup was well prepared and probably organized for several months. This March, the neoconservatives were talking about the likely topple of the government of Turkey, and the entirety of Erdogan’s regime. They even claimed that the West would approve of such a development of events.

The direct actions of the conspirators, were supposed to start a little later, but information came that a preventative operation was to take place on July 16 to 17. This information leaked on July 14, and they had to change their plans. Therefore, their actions seemed poorly organized.

How do you evaluate the attitude of Russia and the US to the coup attempt? Why did Washington not categorically support their ally Erdogan? Are their differences that big?

At the time of the coup, Secretary of State John Kerry was in Moscow, and his first statement was that he hoped that the clashes and political instability would end as quickly as possible. That is strange. Why not condemn the coup? Moreover, many Western leaders repeatedly spoke with concern that the rule of law when arresting the participants in an attempt to overthrow the Turkish president, were not followed. It seems that they are trying to protect the conspirators.

The Russians initially reacted similarly. Then they let information leak that Moscow had warned Ankara about the impending insurrection. The news came from an Iranian news agency, and the spokesman for President Vladimir Putin – Dmitry Peskov, then denied the information. This is a classic escape in diplomacy.

The coup happened at a time when John Kerry was meeting with Vladimir Putin and Sergei Lavrov. They announced that they have reached a general agreement in all major disputes between the two countries, but specific topics and solutions remained secret. Among them is undoubtedly the Peace Process in Syria. They apparently have agreed to destroy the jihadist groups that previously were supported by Turkey. The surest way to guarantee the deal is kept, is the elimination of Erdogan. Washington and Moscow have long had a common interest for that to happen. Even the recent improvements in relations with Russia, can be explained by the Turkish President’s concern that an international conspiracy is prepared against him.

What was the opposition’s attitude toward the coup? Is it true that all parties were united in their support for Erdogan against the army? What is the future of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party? There were news that two days after the clashes, Turkish warplanes bombed Kurdish positions and bases in northern Iraq. Does it mean that the president is even preparing for a war with the Kurds that are outside of Turkey?

The junta had no support from major political parties in the country. They were clearly not interested in their support and did not seek it. Therefore, none of the politicians supported them. In fact, all major opposition parties urged their supporters to take to the streets against the military. As for the PKK, they play a double game – they continue their attacks on security forces and the army in eastern Turkey, and at the same time give signals that they want to resume the reconciliation process. Erdogan said that Gülen’s organization is more dangerous than the PKK and Isil, but I do not think he really wants peace with the Kurds.

What is the situation in Turkish secondary and higher education after the start of the purges? Will their secular character be destroyed?

It is absolutely clear that a systematic purge in all universities is taking place. How far will it go is not yet clear, but the Gülenists and unruly part of the Islamists are removed. Currently removed are supporters of peace and secularism. Given that they are the best part of the Turkish academic community, what is happening is a fatal blow to the scientific and educational system.

How do you see Turkey’s future? In a previous interview you said that there will be civil war in the country, even though there were no clues for that?

Civil war has already begun. The question is how far it will go. Hostilities against the Kurds can stop, if the government of the Justice and Development Party contemplates a bit. The war against the jihadists is a different thing. That will end only if Turkey is torn apart, or the terrorists are completely destroyed. On July 15, something unseen happened. After Erdogan called on them, many radical Islamists who were carrying Kalashnikovs took to the streets, and they were the nucleus of the group torturing and beheading soldiers. It has long been rumored that the ruling Justice and Development Party is secretly arming their supporters, and now it is confirmed.

The result of the purge in the army is very scary. After coming to power in 2002, Erdogan’s party cleared the army of Kemalists. Then they replaced them with supporters of Fethullah Gülen. Currently they are cleansing the Gülenists. Who will come in their place? Most likely it will be extreme Islamists. Currently, half of those in the military are sympathetic to jihadists and the idea of a holy war. It’s a disaster.

How do you see the development of relations between Turkey and the European Union? Do you think Brussels leads an adequate foreign policy towards Ankara? What will happen with Bulgaria in this context?

Erdogan’s positions are already consolidated, and he does not need the support of the West, at least in terms of domestic politics. The EU and the European Commission will not be able to make a new restrictive agreement with the dictator.

As history shows, a strong Turkey is always a source of problems and a threat to Bulgaria. Sofia will have to be much more careful in the attempts to maintain normal relations with its arrogant neighbor.

There are rumors about a new coup in Turkey. Initially, they were fueled by Erdogan himself. In this case, its a prerequisite for escalating the crackdown, but there is another aspect of the disseminated information. Turkish Armed Forces are composed of four parts: the army, navy, air force and gendarmerie. The last three were the main participants in the mutiny. It is still not clear why the army did not get involved. For the moment it is protected from the purge, and it has the potential to make changes because it is the largest among the various armed forces.

professor Tetsuya Sahara

professor Tetsuya Sahara

Israel Faces a Civil War in near future, by Scott Humor

Via The Saker

The owners of the tiny eBay store that sell my eBooks are being inundated with mysterious phone calls on the phone number that has been dedicated to the eBay store. It’s easily available per customers’ requests.

Previously, over the years, they have received just one call on this phone number.  This week phone calls are coming from the phone numbers presumably originating in the vicinity of a general geographic location of  the store.

This bullying of innocent people pisses me off to no end. I just hope that Fred Zimmerman, a publisher of the Essential Saker, has avoided this fate. At least, he has not said anything to me.

For those who have nothing better to do but bully and intimidate innocent people, I want to give them the following bit of information. Sleep on it, if you can.  Tomorrow you might decide to discontinue your activities.

 

On July 18th, speaking at the a Zionist Camp parliamentary bloc session, an opposition leader Isaac Herzog said:

“We hear hatred at every turn, whether it is directed toward women by military rabbis, by Ashkenazi Jews against Sephardi Jews and Mizrahi Jews against Ashkenazis.”

“This way the seeds of the uprising of hatred are planted, which will lead to a civil war. This hatred is being carried out by the full support and cover of those in charge,” Herzog said.

“Whoever heads this administration remains silent about the uprising of hatred, without working against it, ending it, taking steps against its leaders, or preventing those behind it from receiving funding.”

He also mentioned something about fascism that is “budding” and also ” rising and flourishing in Israeli society.”

Turns out a civil war is not a foreign concept for Israeli society, as Adeyinka Makinde, a writer based in London, England, proves, by giving an educational historical overview of Jewish civil conflicts.

He concludes his article by expressing legitimate doubt of the possibility of this sort of conflict taking place:

It is clear that the statements made by Herzog, Yaalon and Golan point to the increasingly extremist drift of Israeli politics, but whether they reflect a state of affairs capable of metastasizing into an internecine civil conflict remains doubtful. “

Everyone knows that Israeli society is not sustainable. Since Germany ceased its payments to Israel, it’s mostly the US that funnels money there. Most of the American money goes to the military spending, maintenance of enormous punitive machinery, the Israel Prison Service (IPS), and to the intelligence and terror operations around the worlds. Israel, along with the US, remains a country with the highest incarceration rate. A part of the American aid goes to pay subsidies to the unprofitable agricultural sector. It would be much cheaper and healthier for Israelis to buy food produced in Russia, for example. But to maintain a myth of Israel being a land running with “milk and honey,” the Zionist ideologues need to maintain this insanely expensive and water consuming agricultural project. I have one word for you to describe food in Israel, it’s ground on human excrements. Bon Appétit!

The remaining part of the financial aid goes to paying welfare, and to social programs like pensions, unemployment benefits, free medical care, and free education. Still, one out of five Israelis  lives in abject poverty, and the remaining four spend more that they earn.

Since we analyze world current events from the pro-Russian point of view, we have to ask ourselves would an armed civil conflict and engineered mass casualties be beneficial for Russia or not.

The situation between Jews living in Russia and the Russian society in general could be described as a cold civil war.

A month ago prior to the Herzog’s warning about an impending “civil war” in Israel, Valery  Pyakin, a Russian political analyst, outlined a plan for the “final holocaust.”

I know that many of our readers know him and respect his opinions. For those, who don’t know who he is: Pyakin, along with Efimov, Zaznobin and a late General Petrov have been the most famous proponents of the Concept of Public Security (CPS). Very little information about the CPS exists in English. Someone pointed out that there are only one old lecture by Victor Efimov for FSB (ex-KGB) and a large video with General Petrov, in English on youtube. Lots of information and videos of the CPS is available in the Czech language. It’s only Czechs who translate the weekly editions of Pyakin on topical issues of global policy in terms of CPS.

 

The following is the translation of Pyakin’s interview

Question: We have many questions about Yakov Kedmi and his fury of activity in Russia.

Pyakin: Kedmi is a Mossad agent, who has been banned from entering Russia since Putin became a president, and who is now allowed into the country. Essentially, Kedmi works for Israel. Israel got very lucky that the Syrian war has not turned into an all out war on the Middle East. Next, we should expect a possible war coming from the territory of Ukraine to Europe, and to the other Russian territories. The next element after that will be a total ethnic cleansing of the Jewish population. The last final holocaust. Historically, Jews served as an instrument of the political world management,  today they lost their role, and they have been largely replaced by newer and better functioning Scientology. That’s why the world Jewry has ceased to be  important for the “master” so called ‘Global predictor.” But, to finalize the replacement, it’s necessary for the final holocaust to take place.

People who work for Israel understand that they have been condemned to death. That’s why they are being forced to help Russia with information. This “help” has  only one aim – to preserve the world Jewry  and the state of Israel. In the moment of crises, like now, any allies are welcome. It doesn’t mean that you’re completely opened to cooperate with them. It means that they have their own  interests, but they are working for you also.

Generally speaking, information is always good. If it’s disinformation, you, after checking it and seeing that it’s not true, avoid some wrong directions. If information is true, you can use it to improve the quality of your own management.

In this case, Kedmi and his “comrades” provide information which is truthful, and it helps to understand the plans of the word’s supra-governmental structures.

Israelis are very interested in a peaceful Ukraine, because of the Dnepropetrovsk region. Because this region is a seat of Habad (Chabad)

That’s where the world fire will start and will engulf the world Jewry completely.

Question to Pyakin: Could you please describe how a “final holocaust” might take place. Wouldn’t it cause a huge protests around the world?

Pyakin: No, it wouldn’t. Just like when the genocide of Serbs took place in Yugoslavia. The informational preparation for this holocaust has been taking place for a long time, including anti-Zionist conferences. The world society in general is ready for this. Anti-Semitism is on the rise everywhere, even in the most “tolerant” European countries.

Look. when Ukrainian situation has started, we saw a Jew Kolomosky funded and formed groups of militants, and a Jew Yarosh formed groups of militants, who had started anti-Jewish propaganda and threatened to kill Jews. That’s was the point when (in 2014) the final Jewish holocaust was suppose to take place.  For the US plans, it was supposed to start in Ukraine. Israelis perfectly understood this.   That’s why when the question came whom to support in Ukrainian conflict, Russia or the US, the state of Israel immediately stood on the Russia’s side. It doesn’t mean that some politicians are not acting against the national interest of Israel, just like some politicians are acting against the national interest of the European countries. But, Israel as a state has started to support Russia in this conflict.

That’s why Kedmi is so active. They need to put the flames of this conflict out. They need to prevent the final Holocaust from taking place.

Question: How this process would be taking place?

Pyakin: It’s very basic. Zionism has a term “cutting dry branches.” Jews are supposed to grow in very distinct atmosphere, and to be completely isolated from the culture of “goyim.” If Jews are contacting with “goyims” in their everyday life, they are getting “humanize” which is very dangerous from the point of view of the “global predictor.” Imagine, two shoemakers, a Jew and a Christian, would start a business together, and start communicating and visit each other’s families. One, would see that Russian Ivan is not that bad, and the other would see that Jew Abram us not that bad, as they were told. Their children become friends. [Humanization here is a process of changing a point of view and seeing the “others” as human.] As a result of this  process, Jews stop seeing nations around them as territories populated by something that is dangerous and needs to be destroyed, and the rest to be exploited. On the other hand, people who work together with Jews producing something, they see that Jews are just as poor as them, and that they all are suffering from the same Jewish banker.

This is the beginning of the questioning how exactly countries and economies are being managed. That’s when the Jewish bankers organize pogroms and holocausts. That’s when Schicklgruber, a Jewish tax collector, comes and cuts “dry branches.” Some Jews had died in German death camps, while others waited comfortably for repatriation to Israel, the US and to other countries. those who are considered “useful” for global management were saved. Those who were deemed “useless’ were condemned to death. We have heard about the Warsaw Ghetto, and how people were starving there. There was a Soviet photographer Yevgeny Khaldei, who was allowed by the authorities to take many images of the Warsaw Ghetto.

You look at those pictures and you see men and women who were well nourished. They lived in the same Ghetto, with many others who were starving and dying. The laws of the Third Reich, didn’t apply inside the ghetto. Ghetto was self-ruled by the local synagogue, and the Jewish Police, and it were them who were deciding who would die and who would live. That’s why some Jews were starving and ended up in death camps, while others lived comfortably till so called “liberation.”

End of the interview.

In my June 17th SITREP I have brought up some of the questions concerning Russia’s dealing with Israel, and Netanyahu’s monthly reports to Kremlin.

This past May, Noam Chomsky gave a talk at the Chatham House on the Jewish lobby. In his short speech he gives a definition of the national interests saying that its “state power and concentrated economic power.”  He rejects the notion that a small group of people like a Jewish lobby can influence the American politics. He also throws out a couple interesting facts:

  1. Working with the US defense industry, “Israel tests high-tech equipment on live targets. We learn things from that.” [3:39]
  2. Israel has very close relationship with US intelligence.
  3. A Snowden revelation that Israel is the only country that gets “raw data.” Most data is what is called “minimized.” NSA is sorting things out and things that are improper or illegal are being thrown out. That’s how the Five Eyes receive their intelligence. Not Israel. They get straight data. The intelligence relationship are extremely close.
  4. One of the Wikileaks exposures was a list of super strategic sites that the US needs to defend at all costs. One of them is in Israel near Haifa. It’s called Rafael Military Industries (Rafael Advanced Defense Systems).
  5. Intel set up their biggest new factory for the next generation computer chips.
  6. The US defense industry relationship with Israel is good for America, because every time the US government gives Israel $2 billion dollars, Israel turns around and buys weapons from Lockheed Martin, which is “good for America.”

 

I scratch my head trying to understand how is the removal of thousands of jobs in high-tech industries from the continental US is good for America? I also fail to see how paying for the Israeli military is beneficial for the US taxpayers, despite the claims that the money goes into US industries anyway. It’s like paying yourself from your own pocket for a job you do for someone else. How long is it going to last? It’s not sustainable.

Even form this small piece of information we can see that relationships between the US and Israel constitute a scheme that called “an inverted empire.”  It’s when the outskirts of an Empire are getting more resources than the center. That is exactly how the Soviet Union operated. In 60s, 70s and 80s, only two parts of  Soviet Russia, the Russian republic and the Azerbaijan republic were contributing funds for the country’s budgets. The other thirteen republics were the budget recipients.

That the pro-Israel lobby has to make Chomsky go and vouch for them, tells me that they are desperate and grabbing onto the last straw.  Chomsky is being viewed by some as a pro-Kremlin nut, and as a anti-Zionist self-hating Jew, by others. Both of these views are completely misleading. Furthermore, Chomsky’s view of the Donald Trump electorate is something that also gives me pause.  Chomsky said that only poor, unemployed, disenfranchised angry white males are voting for Trump. Essentially, Chomsky is talking about the core of the American population, that by now has lost any footing and representation in the power structures of the country.  Again, that’s exactly what had happened with the Russian population which constituted the majority in the Soviet Russia, but was completely removed from its governing systems.

To summarize:

  • The American public is critical of Israel and opposes the unconditional support for Israel
  • “An Extraordinary Development”: Record Swiss Gold Flow Into The United StatesThere was a huge trend change in U.S. gold investment in May.  Something quite extraordinary took place which hasn’t happened for several decades.  While Switzerland has been a major source of U.S. gold exports for many years, the tables turned in May as the Swiss exported a record amount of gold to the United States.How much gold?  A lot.  The Swiss exported 50 times more gold in May than their monthly average (0.4 mt) since 2015:In May, the Swiss exported more gold to the U.S. in one month than they have every year going back until 2000.
  • A meeting somewhere in the Western Ukraine against Jews. It says “No to Jews in power”
  • the moment the US support for Israel ceases, Israeli society will collapse
  • The European Jews are “dry branches” that are planned to be removed by artificially instigating ethnic cleansing
  • the state of Israel and its secret services are working to prevent the “final holocaust” from taking place
  • Russia is the only country that the state of Israel can relay on for defense on condition that Vladimir Putin and his people are in power.
  • Cease and decease calling and harassing my book seller.

P.S.:  Just to gain some understanding how deeply the Israeli society is divided on “true Jews” and non-Jews, read the Open Letter to Natan Sharansky from Uri Regev, published on  June 16th, 2016

Uri Regev wrote:

“Last week, you spoke before hundreds demonstrating for full recognition of Rabbi Haskel Lookstein’s conversions. To the assembled crowd (which I was part of) you said, “At a time when… our enemies attempt to sever the ties between young Jews and the Jewish state…the Jewish Agency fights to strengthen Israel’s stature among world Jewry, and we protest this unacceptable blow to the vital bond between Israel and Diaspora Jewry….”

As head of the Jewish Agency, doesn’t non-Orthodox Judaism deserve that you urge the State of Israel, if not the rabbinate, to do so? For Israel’s sake and for the relationship between the Jewish state and the Diaspora, these converts must be able to be fully absorbed into Israeli society! How can they, if they are not allowed to marry in Israel? As the state handed total control over marriage of Jews in Israel to the Chief Rabbinate, which does not recognize them as Jews, none of them can legally marry here. Neither can some 350,000 Israeli citizens from the former Soviet Union, born to Jewish fathers and non-Jewish mothers. Don’t they deserve that you, as head of the Jewish Agency, demand that Israel grant them the right to family, and not subjugate them to the anachronistic rabbinic establishment that refuses to accept even Rabbi Lookstein’s legitimacy? Even with your goodwill, the Agency’s funding and the handful of lenient Orthodox rabbis willing to defy the rabbinate’s intransigence, few will undertake Orthodox conversions.

Can a Jewish Agency committed to the successful absorption of the miraculous Russian Aliya close its eyes to this mistreatment, which renders them second class citizens? In rightly stressing the need for Israel to welcome the young generation of Diaspora Jewry, you must know that the majority of that youth will not be accepted as Jewish by Israel’s rabbinate, and would similarly be excluded and humiliated.

Many among them converted (or their mothers converted) with non-Orthodox or modern Orthodox rabbis like Lookstein, or were born to mixed marriages.

As there is no legal option for civil marriages in Israel and neither do non-Orthodox rabbis have the authority to officiate at marriages in Israel – the majority of Judaism’s next generation would not be able to marry in Israel! As Hiddush polling repeatedly demonstrates, the overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews support equal status for non-Orthodoxy and state recognition of all forms of marriage.

The non-Orthodox make up the overwhelming majority of Diaspora Jewry, as you well know. Shouldn’t the primacy of Jewish unity and inclusiveness, Israel’s founding principles of religious freedom and equality, and the overwhelming support for Jewish diversity among both Israeli and Diaspora Jews compel you to mobilize the Jewish Agency toward this goal?”

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