VIOLENCE AND INSANITY: UNITED STATES EVERYDAY LIFE IN 2020

Violence And Insanity: United States Everyday Life In 2020

South Front

On August 21st, 31-year-old Trayford Pellerin, a black man, died after being shot 11 times by police officers in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Lafayette Police Department officers responded to a disturbance call, involving a man with a knife at a Shell gas station around 8 PM local time on August 21st.

When they tried to apprehend the suspect, identified as 31-year-old Trayford Pellerin, he allegedly ignored repeated orders to surrender as well as several taser shots fired at him.

He simply kept walking, with his back turned to police, while carrying a knife and attempted to enter the gas station’s store.

Around a dozen shots can be heard in the video above, sparking accusations of excessive use of force. Authorities argued that tasers were “ineffective” and failed to stop the suspect, and that he was still armed when he tried to enter the store with people inside.

On August 22nd, violent protests erupted in Lafayette. Protesters blocked traffic as they gathered on Moss Street in Lafayette near a police precinct to protest Pellerin’s death.

Police in riot gear gave a 10-minute warning before releasing flares and smoke canisters into the crowd of protesters, KATC reported.

Afterward, Interim Lafayette Police Chief Scott Morgan said that there were two groups of protesters – those who organized an event earlier in the day and those who he said “choose to be malicious.”

He said people blocked important roadways and started several fires in a grass area, and police observed some throwing fireworks into one of their buildings.

“Our intent is not going to be to just let people disrupt our town and put our citizens and our motorists and our neighborhood in danger. We’re going to use those resources that we have and those other agencies and we’re going to enforce these laws,” he said.

Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mark Garber issued a stern warning to “out-of-town agitators,” a trope sometimes used to try to undermine protest movements.

“If any out-of-town agitators are watching this, if anyone’s planning to enhance their techniques tomorrow or the next day, we are ready for you,” he said. “We are prepared. We will not willingly give up the city. You will have to go through every resource that I have and every resource that the police have in order to do harm to the citizens or to their property.”

“Once again, video footage has captured a horrific and deadly incident of police violence against a Black person who was brutally killed in front of our eyes,” Alanah Odoms Hebert, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana, said in a statement.

Hebert said the shooting was an “inappropriate and excessive use of force” by the police.

“None of our communities are safe when the police can murder people with impunity or when routine encounters escalate into deadly shooting sprees,” Hebert said. “The ACLU of Louisiana will continue to demand justice for this brutal killing and push for reforms that will end the epidemic of police violence once and for all.”

Meanwhile, the trial against Derek Chauvin, who killed George Floyd on May 25th, is about to begin.

The police’s version of events is that George Floyd was intoxicated in some way, and that the use of force was needed. The general trend in cases such as this in the US when a police officer is accused of excessive brutality, is that the officer gets acquitted and it is done.

In other news of everyday American life, a black man from Bronx knocked the jaw out of a 17-year-old Pennsylvania park employee for asking him to wear a mask.

One of the BLM protesters hit a raccoon twice, then pulled out a baseball bat and beat him to death. The death of the raccoon was posted on social networks and was accompanied by an inscription that only white people care about the protection of animals.

Separately, a black man shot a 5-year-old white neighbor’s boy for driving his bicycle onto his lawn.

The news was not discussed in the American press, and if it was mentioned, instead of a photograph of the real killer, a photograph of his father was published.

News such as this are daily, this is currently considered “social activism” because it is being carried out by the correct group of people, otherwise, it would obviously be a crime.

Finally, Netflix has took it upon itself to also promote some questionable content.

For example, the French “coming-of-age comedy-drama film” Cuties. The main plot detail of the movie is pre-teenage girls twerking on camera. This is the synopsis of the film:

“Eleven-year-old immigrant girl Amy, originally hailing from Senegal, lives with her mother Mariam (Maïmouna Gueye) in one of Paris’s poorest neighbourhoods in an apartment along with her two younger brothers awaiting for her father to rejoin the family from Senegal. Things turn swiftly as Amy is fascinated by her disobedient neighbour Angelica’s twerking clique called Cuties, an adult-style dance troupe which has contrasting fortunes and characteristics to Mariam’s traditional customs, values and traditions.”

Another piece of content by Netflix is show AJ And the Queen, which features a 10-year-old transgender child, who fellow transgender actors joked about being a “top” or the person doing the penetrating in a homosexual relationship.

In the show, the child, who is the 10-year-old daughter of a drug-addicted prostitute, says she wants to be a boy “because people leave boys alone.” Netflix argued that the film was chosen by the fact that it received a prize at the festival Sundance, the founder of which, by coincidence, is also in prison for pedophilia.

Finally, the Democratic National Convention featured a convicted kidnapper and murderer – Donna Hylton.

On March 20, 1985, Donna Hylton and three female accomplices drugged and kidnapped 62-year-old Long Island real estate broker Thomas Vigliarolo at the behest of Louis Miranda, who thought Vigliarolo had cheated him out of $139,000 on a mutual con, in which the two allegedly sold shares in New York City condos and pocketed the money.

The kidnappers held Vigliarolo prisoner for 15–20 days. During that time, three men and four women, including Hylton, starved, burned, beat, sexually assaulted, raped, and tortured him. On April 5, 1985, with Hylton asleep in the next room, Vigliarolo died of asphyxiation. Three days later, his body was found locked in a trunk in a Manhattan apartment.

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PCHR: Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (18 – 24 Jun 2020)

Source

June 25, 2020 10:26 PM

Summary

Israeli forces continued to commit crimes and multifaceted violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including invasions into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians. This week, the Israeli military’s excessive use of force killed 1 civilian, rendered 22 injuries among Palestinian civilians, including a child during raids and attacks on peaceful protests in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, which have also witnessed wide-scale demolitions and distribution of demolition notices of civilian houses and properties over the past several weeks, as Israeli occupation authorities prepare to commence its annexation plan of large parts of West Bank territories.

This week, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) documented 191 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by Israeli Forces and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt).
 
IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity: IOF shot and wounded 22 Palestinians, including a child, with live and rubber-coated steel bullets in a show of excessive use of force against unarmed civilians in the West Bank.

In Gaza, 6 shootings against agricultural lands in eastern Gaza Strip were reported; and once against fishing boats sailing in northern Gaza sea.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 105 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 88 Palestinians were arrested, including 7 children and 4 women.

Settlement expansion activities and settlers’ attacks: IOF continued its settlement expansion operations in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, PCHR documented 24 violations, including;

  • Hebron: confiscation of sheep barn, caravan, oil pump and archaeological pillars, and distributed two cease-construction notices to two houses;
  • Bethlehem: construction on a settlement-road;
  • East Jerusalem: 2 civilians forced to self-demolish their homes, demolition notices given to two buildings and a house at al-Madares St.; several demolition notices in al-‘Isawiya; 3 houses demolished; confiscation al-Abbasy family land in Silwan village; confiscation a blacksmith workshop and tools; raid on mechanic shops in al-Sawahra and Abu-Dis;
  • Nahalin village: car wash and a house demolished; notice to evacuate a land and to cease rehabilitation work at an agricultural land; and confiscation of a construction vehicle;
  • Salfit: notice to cease-construction on an agricultural room and a rainwater well; 1 house self-demolished and another residential building (3-storey) demolished; other demolitions included: 1 residential facility; 7 small commercial facilities; 1 barracks; under-construction apartment and sports center wall;
  • Ramallah: demolition of 3 houses, including 1 under-construction;
  • Northern Jordan Valley: 48 olive trees bulldozed.

PCHR also documented 2 illegal Israeli settler attacks that included assault in Bethlehem and Ramallah that injured 4 civilians.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement: The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the History of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life.

Furthermore, since the PA ended security coordination with Israeli authorities in May 2020, hundreds of critically ill patients whose condition cannot afford delays in treatment were denied travel.

This week, 2 children died because they were unable to travel for treatment abroad. This was amplified by the restrictions put in place by IOF since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, that had already had grave implications on the humanitarian and economic situation of the Gaza Strip population.

Meanwhile, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest.

 
I. Violation of the Right to Life and to Bodily Integrity/Shooting and other Violations

  • At approximately 08:10 on Friday, 19 June 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands, adjacent to the border area. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Friday, 19 June 2020, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Kufur Qaddoum village’s lands, north of Qalqilia, suppressed a protest in which dozens of Palestinian civilians participated. IOF the young concussion grenades, and tear-gas canisters at them. As a result, 10 civilians, including a child, were shot and injured with shrapnel and rubber-coated steel rounds. (The names of the wounded civilians area available at PCHR)
  • At approximately 15:00 on Friday, 19 June 2020, IOF suppressed a peaceful protest at the northern entrance to al-Bireh city called for by national factions in Ramallah and al-Bireh to pretest against the Israeli annexation plan to part of the West Bank lands. Israeli soldiers stationed at al-Mahkamah checkpoint, adjacent to “Beit Eil” settlement, north of the city, fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, dozens of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  • At approximately 07:30 on Saturday, 20 June 2020, reinforced with military SUVs stormed al-Maghir village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses. In the meantime, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and threw atones and Molotov Cocktails at Israeli soldiers stationed in the center of the village. Israeli soldiers opened fire at the civilians. As a result, a 22-year-old young man was shot with a rubber-coated steel round in his head. He was transferred to Palestine Medical Complex for treatment.
  • At approximately 07:30 on the same Saturday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence in eastern al-Maghazi area in central Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:30 on the same Saturday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah in central Gaza Strip, opened fire at a group of civilians in lands adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 00:10 on Sunday 21 June 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed west of Deir al-Balah shores in central Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishermen and their boats. Fishermen, as a result of that, panicked and had to sail back to the shore fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:30 on the same Monday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Maghazi in central Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds in lands adjacent to the border area. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:30 on the same Monday, IOF stationed at al-Hamrah checkpoint, north of the West Bank, fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at Palestinian civilians, who gathered near the checkpoint after Israeli soldiers stationed at the above-mentioned checkpoint prevented dozens of Palestinian buses from crossing the checkpoint to participate in a protest in Jericho against the Israeli annexation plan to be implemented in the next month. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas canisters. They received medical treatment on the field.
  • At approximately 15:00 on the same Monday, a number of civilians gathered in Bab al-Zawiyah area in the center of Hebron and threw stones at Military Checkpoint (56) established at the entrance to al-Shuhada’a street, which is closed. Israeli soldiers chased stone-throwers and indiscriminately fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a number of young men suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  • At approximately 16:00on the same Monday, an Israeli infantry unit stormed al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. Israeli soldiers indiscriminately fired tear gas canisters at the camp’s main street claiming that they were stoned. As a result, a number of civilians suffocated to tear gas inhalation. The infantry unit withdrew later from the camp. Neither casualties nor houses incursions were reported.
  • At approximately 17:30 on the same Monday, a number of Palestinian young men gathered in “al-Qatou’a” area, west of Deir Abu Mash’al village, adjacent to the settlement street linking between “Halmish” settlement, north west of Ramallah, to confront Israeli settlers protected by IOF, who carried out riots in the area. They young men threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at settlers’ vehicles passing through the above-mentioned street. Israeli soldiers immediately fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, Mos’ab Abu Ata (15) was shot with a rubber bullet in his foot. He was taken via an Israeli ambulance that handed him over to a PRCS ambulance, which referred him to Palestine Medical Complex for treatment.
  • At approximately 22:40 on the same Monday, IOF moved into Nablus from the eastern entrance (Beit Furik) and southern entrance (Howarah) and stationed in the eastern area of the city, to secure the entry of dozens of buses carrying settlers to the above-mentioned area in order to perform prayers in “Joseph’s Tomb” in Balatat al-Balad village. A number of Palestinian civilians gathered and set tires on fire, put barricades, and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli vehicles. IOF immediately fired rubber bullets and sound bombs at civilians to disperse them. As a result, a 24-year-old young man was shot with a rubber bullet in right hand. He was transferred to Rafidia Governmental Hospital for medical treatment. Many also were suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. They received medical treatment on the field.
  • On Tuesday evening, 23 June 2020, Israeli Forces killed a Palestinian young man after opening fire at his vehicle, which collided into the traffic island in the center of al-container military checkpoint, east of Bethlehem. IOF claimed that the victim attempted to carry out a run-over attack, but according to the information collected by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) the victim was in fact was en route to pick up his mother, in preparation for his sister’s wedding, which was supposed to be held in the evening in Abu Dies village. PCHR stresses that IOF used disproportionate force, especially that the victim posed no real threat to the soldiers’ lives in light of the heavy fortifications at the checkpoint.
     According to PCHR’s investigations and eyewitness testimonies, at approximately 15:53 on Tuesday, Ahmed Mostafa Mousa Erekat (26), from Abu Dis village in occupied East Jerusalem, was waiting in queue at al-container military checkpoint in eastern Bethlehem, to cross into Bethlehem where he was supposed to pick up his mother and sisters from a beauty salon in the city and return to Abu Dies village to attend his sister, Eman’s wedding. At approximately 15:55, when Erekat vehicle approached the checkpoint, it deviated from its path and collided into the traffic island opposite the glass room where Israeli border guard soldiers stationed. The soldiers immediately opened fire at the vehicle, wounding Erekat with several live bullets in his upper body. They pulled him out of the vehicle, threw him on the ground and prevented Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS)’s medical crew from approaching him or providing first aid; leaving him to bleed to death on the ground at the checkpoint.
  • At approximately 15:25 on the same Tuesday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Wadi al-Douh area, northeast of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at the border area and fired a number of tear gas canisters. Palestinian shepherds who were adjacent to the border fence, panicked and left the area. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 08:25 on Wednesday, 24 June 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Blah in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire agricultural lands, adjacent to border area. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 18:00 on the same Wednesday, dozens of Palestinian outraged young men at the killing of Ahmed Mustafa Oraiqat (27) gathered in front of Ahmed’s house in Abu Dis village, east of occupied East Jerusalem as the protest took part in all the village streets. The protestors chanted slogans condemning the killing of Qraiqat, headed to the Mount area in the village, and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at Israeli military vehicles. A large Israeli force immediately stormed the village and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors and clashed with them for 4 hours. At approximately 13:00 on the same day, confrontations between IOF and Palestinian young men took part in Ras Kabsah area, adjacent to al-‘Izariyah village, during which IOF fired a barrage of tear gas canisters. As a result, a house owned by Walid Hatem al-Huseini was completely burned after it was hit with many tear gas canisters. Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said that its crews offered medical treatment to 9 persons who were shot with rubber bullets and more than 28 persons suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and they received medical treatment on the field.

 
II. Incursions and Arrests:

Thursday, 18 June 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Jabal Handaza area, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Hatem Yousef al-Refati’s (37) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Bani Na’eem village, east of Hebron. They raided and searched Yehya Khader Humaidat’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Nahaleen, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Bara’ Ibrahim Shakarna’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Sourif village, west of Hebron. They raided and searched Malek Tayseer Ghunaimat’s (30) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Beit Ammer village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Ahmed Haitham Slaibi’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:10, IOF moved into Jayyous village, northeast of Qalqilia. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Suhaib Wael Shamasnah (21).
  • At approximately 04:20, IOF moved into al-Mazra’a al-Gharbeya village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Sa’ed Taha al-Khatib’s (27) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with 8 military vehicles, moved into al-Beira and stationed in Um al-Sharayit neighborhood. They raided and searched Majd Ibrahim al-Boushi’s (32) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:30, IOF moved into Kafr Tholth village, northeast of Qalqilia. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mahmoud Sameeh Shawahna (22).
  • At approximately 04:40, an undercover unit from the IOF “Mista’arvim” moved into ‘Aqabat Jabr refugee camp, southwest of Jericho. They sneaked by a Ford mini-bus carrying Palestinian registration plates and stationed in front of Mohammed Abdul Karim Abu Zeina’s (27) house and arrested him. Meanwhile, IOF stormed the village and surrounded their house and covered the unit’s withdrawal and took Zeina to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into al-‘Isawiya, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Adam Shafiq Obaid’s (20) house and handed Obaid a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services.
  • At approximately 05:15, IOF moved into Jinsafut village, east of Qalqilya. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Abdul Rahman Mahmoud Bashir (28), and Sami Abdul Rahman Mahmoud Shubair (33).
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF arrested Fadi Ali Alian (34), the guard of the Aqsa Mosque’s guard, while working in the mosque’s yard in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took him to one of the investigation centers in the city.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into al-‘Isawiya, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and handed (4) civilians summonses to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services; Anwar Sami Obaid (22), Mohammed Ayman Obaid (20), Mohammed Esmat Obaid (20), and Yousif Ali al-Kaswani (22).
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF moved into Azoun village, east of Qalqilia. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Qais Zahran Owda (22).
  • At approximately 20:30, IOF stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, north of the occupied East Jerusalem, arrested Osaid Mor’eb Jaghoub (22), from Bita village, southeast of the city. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 21:50, IOF stationed in front of Gate (104) established adjacent to the annexation wall, west of Tulkarem, arrested Ibrahim Hussam Mahmoud Darwish (23) and ‘Amer Mahmoud Helal (25), from Tulkarem.
  • IOF carried out (7) incursions in ‘Atouf, southeast of Tubas, Kafr Qalil and Bita, Southeast of Nablus, al-Nabi Saleh and Betounia in Ramallah, Azoun, east of Qalqilia, and Ezbit Shofa, north of Tulkarem. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 19 June 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Kreesa village, east of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched Husain Ali Husain Shawaheen’s (38) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:55, IOF moved into Qafin village, north of Tulkarem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians: Mohammed Nabil Mahmoud To’ma (26), Ahmed Nabil Mohammed Sabbah (28), Ridwan Nasr al-Dein Ajouli (27), and Adeeb Mohammed Sabbah (24).
  • After Friday prayers, dozens of Susya village’s civilians, south of Hebron, a peaceful protest against the Israeli Authorities’ decision of annexing more areas in the West Bank on July 1. Meanwhile, IOF and group of Susya settlers arrived and tried to ban the protestors from entering the main street and prevented the journalists from documenting the incident. After dispersing the protestors, IOF withdrew, and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 13:50, IOF stationed at the entrance of Salem military court, west of Jenin, arrested Abdul Rahman Taha Abu Sereya (25), from Jenin refugee camp. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 19:20, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into al-Mghayer village, northeast of Ramallah, and stationed at the main rotary of the village. They raided and searched two houses and arrested a man and a child; Mo’ayad Rayeq al-Na’san (17) and Rajeh Fayeq al-Na’san (20).
  • IOF carried out (11) incursions in Jenin and Qabatya, southeast of Jenin; Kafr Ra’i, southwest of Jenin; Bita, southeast of Nablus; Jericho, Termas’eya, and Na’leen, in Ramallah; Kafr Tholth, east of Qalqilia; Ra’s ‘Ateya, east of Tulkarem; and al-Zaweya, north of Salfit. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 20 June 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Kharas village, west of Hebron. They raided and searched Tha’er Aziz Halahela’s (41) house and confiscated his Laptop, and no arrest was reported. It should be noted that Halahela was detained a month ago.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-‘Isawiya, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Hasan Khaled Alian’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 08:30, IOF stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, arrested Ali Jamal Abu Salah (28), from ‘Arraba village, southwest of the Jenin. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out an incursion in Derastya, north of Salfit. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 21 June 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-‘Isawiya village, northeast if the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (9) civilians including (4) children. The arrestees are: Omar Marwan Obaid (18), Mahmoud Marwan al-‘Anati (21), Mahmoud Marwan Owda (16), Hasan Yaser Darweesh (14), Mohammed Murad Dari (17), Mohammed Sameeh Alian (14), Mohammed Nasim Obaid, Mahmoud Abdu Ra’ouf Mahmoud (23), and Ahmed Eyad Awda. IOF also handed Ahmed Khalil Obaid (20) and As’ad Dari (23) summonses to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Beit Ammer, north of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Hamad Yousef Mohammed Bahr (26) and Mohammed Ibrahim Mustafa Sabarna (24). Meanwhile, IOF stormed al-Manasra furniture store in Safa, the northern neighborhood of the city, they opened the store’s doors with special tools, and started searching until 02:30. IOF withdrew and took the arrestees to an unknown destination.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Yatta, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Eyad Diab Abu Qbaita’s (35) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:20, IOF moved into Dura al-Qara’, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Salim Edris Hamdan (32) and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOFD reinforced with two military vehicles moved into al-Mazra’a al-Gharbeyya village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Ra’fat Mohammed Saleem Abu Rabea’s (45) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF moved into al-Rahmah Gate praying hall, east of al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They arrested one of the mosque’s guards and (5) civilians including (2) children and took them to al-Qashla police station in Jerusalem’s Old City. After several hours of investigation, IOF released them on condition that banning their entry to the Aqsa Mosque for a week and refer to the police station to extend their banning decision again for several months. The arrestees are: Abdul Karim Qa’oud, Shifa’ Abu Ghalya (18), Aya Abu Nab (21), Aya Ma’touq (18), Mayar al-Natsheh (16), and Maram al-Natsheh (17).

Monday, 22 June 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Tayaseer village, east of Tubas, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Eyad Mithqal Daraghma (35), Duham Fayez Subaih (28), works at the Palestinian National Security, and Zahi Ahmed Abu Muhsen (45).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Beit Fujjar, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mohammed Akram Taqateqa’s (29) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:20, IOF moved into Jenin, north of the occupied West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Waseem Jehad Nazzal (25), Ahmed Ibrahim al-Sheikh (18), and his brother Mohammed (19).
  • At approximately 05:30, IOF moved into ‘Anabta village, north of Tulkarem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Marwan Salim Hannoun (23).
  • At approximately 06:25, IOF moved into Zeita village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Bader Mazen Sayed Ahmed (24).
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF stationed at Howara’s main street in Howara village, southeast of Nablus, arrested (3) civilians from Bita village while presented near a fast-food restaurant. IOF took Sa’eed Rabah Dwaikat (18), Aseel Naser Dwaikat (19), and Ahmed Yaser Dwaikat (18), to unknown destinations.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Bita, southeast of Nablus; Yatta, Sa’eer, and Beit Ammer, in Hebron; Beit Sirra and Na’leen in Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (9) civilians, and took them to al-Maskoubeya investigation center, then released them after several hours on financial bail of 10,000 NIS and home confinement. The arrestees are: Mhmoud Shafiq Obaid (20), Amjad Ali Obaid (24), Mohammed Waleed Obaid (21), Ali Mohammed Obaid, Majd Nayef Mustafa (19), Tamer Darwish (21), Eyas Hussain Obaid, Nayef Waseem Obaid (18), and Mahmoud Ramadan Obaid (23).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Qalandia refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Isma’el Ahmed Abu Latifa (28), Abdullah Mohammed Alqam (26), and Anas Mohammed Ya’qoub (24).
  • At approximately 03:10, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Kobqr village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Mujahed Basel al-Barghouthi’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into al-Saf street in Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Ibrahim Maher Khamees (18) and Nidal Ibrahim Abu ‘Ahour (41) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF moved into Wadi Hilwa village in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Ibtisam Sharaf’s (50) house and arrested her.
  • At approximately 18:40, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on the main entrance of al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, arrested Wahbi Ehsan al-Rimawi (29), from Beit Rima village, while passing through the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 20:30, IOF stationed at al-Mahkama checkpoint, near Beit Eil settlement north of the city, arrested Mustafa Mahmoud Ghawanma (17) and Ahmed Ali Safi (17).
  • IOF carried out an incursion in Qabatya, north of the occupied West Bank. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Sawahra al-Sharqeya, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Noah Fahd Za’atra’s (30) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Qalqilia. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Wael Ali Abu Qamar (44) and Yousef Mohammed al-Ra’i (39). Meanwhile, a special unit headed to arrest Bara’ (24) and his brother Hussain Ali Abtali, in Jaljoulia street in the city.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Halhoul, north of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Oday Younis al-Douda (24) and Mohammed Younis al-Bow (20).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Qalandiya refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed Sameer Zayyat’s (46) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron and stationed at al-Duhdah neighborhood. They raided and searched Mathna Omar al-Qawasma’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqilya. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Belal Mohammed Miskawi (39), and Ibrahim Shaker Shbaita.

 
III. Settlement Expansion and Settler Violence in the Occupied West Bank

i. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Illegal Settlement Expansion Activities

  • At approximately 09:00 on Thursday, 18 June 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Tawana village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. IOF were deployed between Palestinians’ houses while the Israeli Civil Administration officers got Jamal Mohammed ‘Issa Rab’i (44)’s sheep out of the barn and confiscated the shed and steel pipes, under the pretext of establishing the barn without getting a permission from the Israeli Civil Administration Department.
  • On Thursday, the Israeli Nature Authority staff raided al-‘Abasi family land in Silwan’s Wadi al-Rababah neighborhood to seize and confiscate it. Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli Nature Authority staff moved into the land and started working on it, so the land’s owners confronted them. During which, the Israeli Nature Authority staff pepper-sprayed ‘Abasi family members, including the elderly Mohamed Dawoud (90). As a result, they sustained burns in their faces and suffocated. The Israeli police arrived at the area and informed al-‘Abasi family that the Israeli Nature Authority staff could gardening the land upon the court’s decision and if they have any objection, they could head to the court.
  • At approximately 11:00, Israeli Municipality staff along with officers from the Israeli Ministry of Interior moved into the eastern lands of al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, where distributed demolition and eviction notices. Mohammed Abu al-Humus, Head of the Follow-up Committee in al-‘Isawiya village, said that Israeli authorities distributed demolition and eviction notices in al-‘Isawiya village in favor of establishing National Parks on Palestinians’ lands. He added that Israeli authorities prevented the village residents from construction and demolished their houses, in addition to distributing notices every week, under the pretext of non-licensing. He also clarified that Israeli authorities refused to endorse the structural map that enables the residents to build and expand.
  • On the same day, IOF demolished a car wash in al-Manshiyia village, near Taqou’a village, east of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Mayor of Taqou’a Municipality, Tayseer Abu Mefreh, said that IOF moved into ak-Manshiyia village and demolished ‘Ali al-Khatib’s 70-square-meter car wash, under the pretext of non-licensing.
  • On the same day, Israeli military construction vehicles bulldozed a house in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Ahmed Salah, Head of al-Khader village, said that IOF moved into Kherbet ‘Alia in Um Rokba area in al-Khader village and demolished Sameer Ahmed Salah’s house comprised of 2 rooms and a kitchen and built of tin plates. Salah clarified that the house sheltered 6 persons. It should be noted that IOF demolished Salah’s 150-square-meter house 6 months ago.
  • On Saturday, 20 June 2020, Eyad and Feras Nabeel Da’nah implemented the Israeli Municipality order and self-demolished their houses in Hosh al-A’war area in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Feras Da’nah said that he was handed 2 demolition notices months ago and due to the outbreak of coronavirus, the Israeli municipality delayed the demolition. Since then, he went to several lawyers to stop the demolition, but in vain. Da’nah clarified that the municipality staff prevented him from completing the construction and ordered his brother ‘Alaa to vacate the 2 houses and self-demolish them, or they will pay the demolition costs for the municipality. He added that he submitted an application to license the houses and informed the municipality that he will pay all fines, but it refused. Da’nah pointed out that he borrowed NIS 10,000 in order to build the two houses and got a loan to live in the house with his two brothers.
  • On Sunday, 21 June 2020, Israeli authorities notified a Palestinian civilian to vacate his agricultural land in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. Hasan Breijieh, Head of the Bethlehem office of Settlement and Wall Resistance Commission, said that IOF notified Bassam Khalil Jaber Ghunaim to vacate his 6 dunums of agricultural lands in Khelt al-Fahem area in al-Khader village. It should be noted that al-Khader village residents are continuously exposed to IOF and settlers’ attacks, including levelling lands, uprooting trees and preventing farmers’ access to their lands.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Kherbet Bereen, west of Bani Na’iem village, west of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Fayiz Imraziq al-Faqeer and Isma’il Joudi Burqan notices to stop construction works in their 50-square-meter houses built of bricks and tin plates.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Sunday, 21 June 2020, IOF moved into Khelet Kharoub area in Burqeen village, west of Salfit. They distributed a notice to stop construction works in an agricultural room and a water well, in addition to hanging another notice on an agricultural room’s wall, under the pretext of being in Area C. The room owner, ‘Abed al-Fattah Samarah, said that IOF accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Khelet Kharoub area, where I built an agricultural room and a water well. They also hanged a notice on the wall of an agricultural room built 8 months ago.
  • On Sunday, 21 June 2020, IOF stopped reclaiming agricultural lands and confiscated a bulldozer in Nahaleen village, west of Bethlehem. Hani Fanoun, Deputy of Nahaleen Municipality Mayor, said that IOF moved into Thour al-Za’faran area, south of the village, and stopped reclaiming agricultural lands. They then confiscated a bulldozer working in the land and detained its owner. Fanoun added that IOF threatened Nahaleen Municipality and Palestinian civilians not to return to the area and work on it, under the pretext of being under Israeli sovereignty.
  • On the same day, Israeli bulldozers, under IOF protection, built a new road for Israeli settlers in Nahaleen village. The new road will connect the two settlements “Beitar Illit” and “Gush Etizon”. IOF imposed tight measures on civilians to deny their access to the area. The building of this road will isolate 4 dunums of the village lands from its surrounding in a proactive step to control these lands planted with different types of trees.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 23 June 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Wad al-A’war area, south of Hebron. The military construction vehicles demolished Thair Farah ‘Abed al-Motaleb Ghaith’s 30-square-meter agricultural room, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Zaif area, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers confiscated a 20-square-meter mobile caravan and a diesel fuel dispenser belonging to Ahmed Abu Rajab, who was handed a list of confiscated items to refer to the competent authorities in “Gush Etizon” settlement.
  • At the same time, IOF seized equipment from a blacksmith workshop and raided an automobile repair shop in al-Sawhrah and Abu Dies villages, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem. Activist Mohammed Hijazi said that a large force of IOF moved into al-Sawhrah village and seized equipment from ‘Urwa Ja’afrah’s blacksmith workshop. He added that IOF moved into Abu Dies village, where they raided and searched Nouh Za’atrah’s automobile repair shop.
  • On the same day, IOF demolished Mohammed al-Rajbi’s house in al-Bostan neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing.
  • Mohammed al-Rajbi said that IOF accompanied with Israeli Municipality staff raided his house sheltering him, his wife and their 4 children and demolished it with manual machineries, because their construction vehicles could reach the house location. Al-Rajbi added that he built his house in March 2020 and during that period, he received notices to stop construction works. When he lived in the house in May 2020, the Israeli Municipality issued an administrative demolition order against his house. Al-Rajbi also said that he attempted to freeze the demolition order, but in vain. After that, the court gave him until 15 June to vacate the house. Al-Rajbi clarified that his 130-square-meter house costs NIS 100,000, and that he could not self-demolish his house despite the high demolition costs that would be imposed on him after the municipality crews carried out the demolition.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Tawameen area, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers confiscated hand tools used for excavation from Barakat Mahmoud Barakat Mur’s land.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Thaghrah area, east of Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. IOF raided Khaled Yousef Berighith’s house and confiscated stone pillars. IOF handed Berighith a list of confiscated items and withdrew later.
  • On Tuesday, 23 June 2020, Israeli Municipality staff hanged demolition orders on 2 buildings and a house in Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Hussain Mohamed al-‘Abasi said that the municipality hanged a demolition order on his building comprising of a shop and 2 apartments; the first sheltering 4 persons and building on (75 sqm), and the second sheltering 7 persons and building on (40 sqm). Also, Israeli Municipality staff hanged a demolition order on Sa’ied ‘Ali al-‘Abasi’s 110-square-meter building comprising of 2 floors; each one includes 2 apartments sheltering 16 persons. It should be noted that al-‘Abasi’s building was built 60 years ago. Al-‘Abasi said that the municipality staff informed all the notified buildings’ owners that their houses will be demolished under the pretext of construction without licensing, noting that all buildings were established 25-60 years ago.
  • At approximately 07:30 on Wednesday, 24 June 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Betunia village, west of Ramallah. IOF demolished ‘Abed al-‘Aziz ‘Odah al-Farroukh’s under-construction house (110 sqm), under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.
  • At approximately 08:00, Israeli Municipality staff demolished a floor comprised of 2 residential apartments in al-Raba’ia neighborhood in al-Mukaber Mount area, south of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Ra’fat Rabai’a, an apartment’s owner, said that he was shocked when the municipality staff raided his house and demolished it, noting that a court session was supposed to be held on afternoon regarding the demolition order. Rabai’a added that the municipality staff used manual machineries to demolish the 3rd He also said that each floor was comprised of 2 apartments and built 25 years ago. He clarified that in April 2020, he repaired the house roof built of bricks, so the municipality issued an order to stop working and appointed a court session. Rabai’a said he his apartment sheltered his family comprising of 5 persons while the 2nd under-construction apartment was for his brother Mohammed.
  • At approximately 09:00, Israeli municipality bulldozes demolished Sharhabeel ‘Alqam’s house in Beit Haninah neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. ‘Alqam said that the municipality staff bulldozed his house, although a court session was supposed to be held at 13:30. He added that his 120-square-meter house, sheltered 9 persons and was built 2 months ago.
  • At approximately 09:15, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Beit Sira village, west of Ramallah. IOF were stationed at the entrance to al-Latroun Street, near a military checkpoint established there. The military construction vehicles demolished Ahmed Fayiz Abu Safia’s under-construction house (90 sqm), under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C. Meanwhile, clashes broke out between Palestinian young men and IOF, who indiscriminately fired a barrage of sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the stone-throwers. As a result, olive trees in the area were set ablaze. The Palestinian civil defense vehicles immediately arrived and put out the fire. It should be noted that Israeli authorities did not notify the mentioned house prior to the demolition.
  • At approximately 09:30, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Bardalah village, west of Jericho in northern Jordan valley. The military construction vehicles bulldozed 84 olive trees from agricultural lands and workers from private companies cut the trees with saws. The damaged trees belong to al-Rabai’a family, and they were as follows:(58) olive trees planted 9 years ago, property of ‘Izzat Faleh Mahmoud Raba’ia, were damaged.
    (13) olive trees planted 12 years ago, property of Mohmoud Faleh Mahmoud Raba’ia, were damaged.
    (7) olive trees planted 12 years ago, property of Hazza’ Faleh Mahmoud Raba’ia, were damaged.
  • At approximately 16:40, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Jabal area in al-Tira neighborhood, southwest of Ramallah. The military construction vehicles demolished Natheer Mohammed’s under-construction house (160 sqm), under the pretext of non-licensing.

ii. Israeli Settler Violence

  • On Friday, 19 June 2020, Israeli settlers beat and pushed Wadee’ Fadi Salah (15), from al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. As a result, he sustained bruises throughout his body and received treatment in Beit Jala Governmental Hospital. Activist Ahmed Salah said the Israeli settlers attacked Salah while staying near his house in Abu Sowd area, west of the village. They chased and pushed him from a great height, causing bruises and wounds throughout his body. He was then taken to a hospital in Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 12:00 on Tuesday, 23 June 2020, Israeli settlers, from ” Nahleel” settlement, which is established on Ras Karkar lands, west of Ramallah, attacked Ratib ‘Othman Abu Fikhidah (62) , his son ‘Othman (28) and his grandson Moheeb (18) while present in their agricultural lands in the village outskirts. As a result, they sustained wounds and bruises throughout their bodies and received treatment at Palestine Medical Complex.

Jewish Settlers Take over Palestinian Land near Bethlehem by Planting Trees in the Area

Source


Jewish settlers plant trees in Palestinian lands as a prelude to seizing the land. (Photo: File)


Jewish settlers today planted trees in a Palestinian-owned land in an area south of the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem in a prelude to taking it over, according to Palestinian news agency WAFA.
Hasan Breijieh, director of the Bethlehem office of the Wall and Settlements Resistance Commission, told WAFA that a number of Jewish settlers planted olive trees in a land owned by Zeinab Abu Sneineh, in an area near the village of Irtas. This step is usually a prelude to seizing the land.
Breijieh said the Israeli army had previously seized land in the same area and considered it state-owned.
Meanwhile, Israeli army bulldozers razed land south of Bethlehem located between the illegal settlements of Migdal Oz and Ifrat, Breijieh added.
Settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank and is rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities.
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“Jewish settler violence should not be analyzed separately from the violence meted out by the Israeli army, but seen within the larger context of the violent Zionist ideology that governs Israeli society entirely,” wrote Palestinian author and editor of The Palestine Chronicle, Ramzy Baroud.
“Settler violence has long since become part of Palestinians’ daily life under occupation,” according to the Human Rights Group B’tselem. “Israeli security forces enable these actions, which result in Palestinian casualties – injuries and fatalities – as well as damage to land and property. In some cases, they even serve as an armed escort, or even join in the attacks”.
Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

 Palestine news

HOW IRAN DECIDED TO BOMB US BASES AND HOW TRUMP AVOIDED AN ALL-OUT WAR

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

Posted on  

On the third of January, after midnight, news about the assassination of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, Brigadier General Hussein pour Jaafari, Colonel Shahroud Muzaffari Nia, Major Hadi Tameri and Captain Wahid Zamaniam reached the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad. Officers at the embassy were in contact with the convoy, and suddenly the communication was interrupted. Sardar Soleimani had diplomatic immunity and had been officially asked by the Iraqi government to help in defeating ISIS. Moreover, the convoy was attacked just before an Iraqi checkpoint that knew the Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes was in convoy along with his protection team. The news was communicated to Tehran and from it to the house of the Iranian leader of the revolution Sayyed Ali Khamenei.

“We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return”. These verses of the Qoran a believer would pronounce when the death of someone he knows is announced, whether close to him or not. It is a reminder that all humans are mortal. That was the first reaction of Sayyed Khamenei when the news reached him of the death of “a son”. That was Sardar Soleimani’s closeness to Sayyed Khamenei. Soleimani earned the title of “living martyr” due to the many occasions his life was in danger while fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria.

Soleimani left Beirut and slept in Syria on the first of January, not far from Damascus airport. On every trip to Syria, he used to hold a meeting with all commanders, after morning prayers and just before the sun rises, for a maximum of two hours. That day he kept all commanders for lunch and allowed them to leave just before sunset. He didn’t stop talking, leaving his instructions for his team of commanders in the Levant. Captain Wahid Zamaniam used to be his inseparable companion. The Major General was greeted by Iranian and Iraqi officers at Baghdad airport when arriving, where a US drone assassinated them.

According to a well-informed source within the “Axis of the Resistance”, when he learned about the assassination, Sayyed Khamenei called for a meeting of his commanders in the first hours following the murder and instructed:

“prepare yourself for a strong reply. We shall announce our direct responsibility, so our enemy knows we are challenging it face to face and not in the cowardly way the US killed Soleimani and his companions. Hit the US army hard to break their arrogance in the same theatre they have executed this vile assassination”.

Many scenarios were laid down in front of Sayyed Khamenei. The first choice was Ayn al-Assad, the most significant and most substantial airbase in Iraq, where President Trump landed in what he considered the safest location in Iraq. Iran knows every single detail about the base. Its drones and intelligence were good enough to identify the contents of every hangar and construction.

A plan for a second hit was also prepared against a US base outside Iraq across the Persian Gulf, more powerful and painful than the first objective, in case the US responded to the Ayn al-Assad hit. 

A third hit was also organised, much more powerful and destructive than the first two against the most significant US base in the Middle East. This hit aimed to cause many casualties, many more than the US other possible retaliation.

Three plans, three scenarios, all planned to be executed one after the other for three consecutive hits. Sayyed Ali Khamenei approved all these responses so there would be no need for his commanders to ask for his blessing. After that, Sayyed Khamenei instructed his commanders to return to him for further instructions and to declare a general mobilisation of the country where an all-out war would be announced against the US if there were military responses to all the Iranian hits. In this last scenario, Sayyed Khamenei ordered a plan where hundreds of missiles would have been launched simultaneously against all US military bases in the countries surrounding Iran, in the Levant and beyond. All Iran allies in the Middle East would have been involved, and US allies would be directly hit. But this ultimate decision would require the last evaluation by Sayyed Khamenei.

That was a foreseeable scenario that the US President – with his decision to stand down, notwithstanding the human casualties and destruction inflicted on Ayn al-Assad military base – managed to avoid.

“Iran didn’t use any missiles in its silos to hit US targets at Ayn al-Assad. On the contrary, missiles were deployed overtly and prepared for launching two days before under the eyes of US satellites. Messages were flocking to Iran from diplomats asking to refrain from retaliating or at least to soften the response. All requests were turned down. Iran avoided surprising the US; had Iran wanted to surprise the US, missiles would have been launched from its silos with no warning. It was a direct challenge to US hegemony. Moreover, Iran informed the US that the hit was coming, further challenging President Trump and his military apparatus in the Middle East by showing that Iran is not afraid of the consequences”, said the source.

Iran sent its drones over Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and other nearby countries in daylight over US bases. It was a signal that Tehran was prepared for war and an indication of some of the Iranian bank of objectives. The Iranian leadership was ready to go to the point of a no-return if necessary.

No one in Iran accepts to give up the missile programme that has become the pride of the Iranian people and its armed forces. When the US bombed hundreds of Russian contractors in Syria, Deir-Ezzour, who were crossing the Euphrates river to chase ISIS remnants, Russia decided not to respond. No country or army in the Middle East ever challenged the US, notably when the US deployed tens of thousands of troops and effective equipment in the Middle East. Only Iran has directly challenged US hegemony and military power.

The “Axis of Resistance” confirmed the balance of fear and imposed a deterrence policy on the US in the Middle East. Iran overtly challenged the US and declared its responsibility with no fear of the consequences. So far, the US has confirmed at least 64 casualties suffered; some time ago Iran announced that “US casualties were not less than 80.”

President Trump thought he was living a historical moment in his life where he could do anything he wants with no fear of consequences. He believed no country in the world would dare to challenge him. He also advised that Iraq was divided, that no government could contest violation of its sovereignty, and that Iran is no longer tolerated in Mesopotamia. He was most likely informed that the burning of two Iranian consulates was enough to kick Iran out of Iraq. Perhaps he imagined that assassinating Sardar Qassem Soleimani would go unpunished, and he bragged about killing “two for the price of one.” He and his warmonger team also wrongly believed – and I guess still find – that his “maximum pressure” and harsh sanctions would bring Iran onto its knees begging him for mercy. He said he would be waiting by the phone for Iran to call, proving his ignorance of Iran, its mentality, culture, patience, harshness and pride. 

The magic turned against the magician and Trump gave Iran a massive gift by allowing it to bomb his army and challenge him face to face. Trump was afraid to announce the number of casualties in the first week. The Pentagon is now releasing a part of the reality every week. The US, not Iran, has shown fear.

“All US military bases have become a threat to the hosting countries in the Middle East. These bases no longer serve to protect these countries but have become perfect targets for Iran in case of war. They provide an overwhelming list of targets for Iran. No place will be safe for US forces in the Middle East if red-lines are crossed, as happened with the assassination of Sardar Soleimani,”

said the source.

This article is translated free to many languages by volunteers so readers can enjoy the content. It shall not be masked by Paywall. I’d like to thank my followers and readers for the confidence and support. If you like it, please don’t feel embarrassed to contribute and help fund it for as little as 1 Euro. Your contribution, however small, will help ensure its continuity. Thank you.

Copyright © https://ejmagnier.com  2020

Related

Fragmentation in the Axis of Resistance led to Soleimani’s death

Iranian messages behind attacking US bases in Iraq, and the consequences

Immediate US withdrawal due to its violation of the agreement and Iraq sovereignty

Criminalizing Speech and Press Freedoms. Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning

Global Research, December 01, 2019

The persecution of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning is all about waging war on truth-telling.

Chelsea Manning remains imprisoned for invoking her constitutional right to remain silent — for refusing to testify against Assange.

Her First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eight Amendment rights were violated.

Since her ordeal began in 2010, she was imprisoned for courageously revealing US high crimes of war and against humanity in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Subjecting her to unreasonable searches and seizures violated her Fourth Amendment rights.

Her Fifth Amendment rights of due process, protection from self-incrimination, and possible double jeopardy were violated.

So was her Sixth Amendment right of a public trial represented by counsel, an impartial jury, and evidence explaining charges against her.

Subjecting her to cruel and unusual punishments, including the threat to her freedom and well-being by demanding she testify before a grand jury in secret without counsel violated her Fifth, Sixth, and Eight Amendment rights.

Instead of being a shield against oppressive, arbitrary authority, the US grand jury system is a sword against fundamental constitutional rights because of its manipulative practices, prosecutors doing whatever it takes to get indictments.

Wrongfully imprisoned in London at the behest of the Trump regime, Assange faces extradition to the US for the “crime” of truth-telling journalism the way it’s supposed to be — putting other independent journalists at risk in the West and elsewhere.

Weeks earlier, Assange’s father John Shipton said his son is “subjected to every kind of torment” imaginable by UK authorities in London’s high-security Belmarsh prison.

His physical and emotional health fast-deteriorating, he’s being slowly assassinated.

“The only people who are breaking the law are the UK government and the Crown Prosecution Service,” said Shipton — in cahoots with the Trump regime, adding:

The intensity of his mistreatment increased since forcefully dragged from London’s Ecuadorian embassy in April.

UN special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer earlier said

“(i)n 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution, I have never seen a group of (so-called) democratic states ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonize and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law.”

We’re all Julian Assange. His fate is ours. At stake is the fate of speech, media and academic freedoms. Losing them jeopardizes all other fundamental rights.

What’s happening to Assange and Chelsea Manning puts everyone publicly expressing views that differ from the official narrative at risk — fascism triumphing over freedom, the rule of law rendered null and void.

Candidate Trump said “I love WikiLeaks.” Calling its site “amazing,” he added “I love reading those WikiLeaks.”

As president, he called Assange “disgraceful,” adding he deserves the “death penalty.” Following his April arrest, DJT turned truth on its head, saying “I know nothing about Wikileaks. It’s not my thing.”

Exposing government wrongdoing, truth-telling journalism, dissent, doing the right things despite risk of great personal harm are the highest forms of patriotism.

When whistleblowers and journalists are criminalized for exposing government wrongdoing on the phony pretext of protecting national security or other fabricated reasons, fundamental freedoms no longer exist.

Thomas Jefferson once said speech “cannot be limited without being lost” — the fundamental right upheld by Supreme Court rulings.

WikiLeaks earlier published an open letter to Trump, saying the following:

“We are journalists, activists and citizens from the United States and around the world who care about press freedom and are writing to you in response to the latest threat of prosecution against WikiLeaks for its journalistic work.”

“We ask you to immediately close the grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks and drop any charges against Julian Assange and other Wikileaks staff members…”

“This threat to WikiLeaks escalates a long-running war of attrition against the great virtue of the United States — free speech.”

Obama “prosecuted more whistleblowers than all (former US) presidents combined and opened a grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks that had no precedent.”

“It now appears the US is preparing to take the next step — prosecuting publishers who provide the ‘currency’ of free speech, to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson.”

Wrongful “charges (against Assange), including conspiracy, theft of government property and violating the Espionage Act” were fabricated to frame him.

“A threat to WikiLeaks’ work — which is publishing information protected under the First Amendment — is a threat to all free journalism. If the DOJ is able to convict a publisher for its journalistic work, all free journalism can be criminalized.”

“We call on you as president of the United States to close the Grand Jury investigation into WikiLeaks and drop” all charges against Assange and WikiLeaks.

“It was a free and robust press that provided you with a platform on which to run for president.”

“Defending a truly free press requires freedom from fear and favor and the support of journalists and citizens everywhere; for the kind of threat now facing WikiLeaks — and all publishers and journalists — is a step into the darkness.”

At a November 24 UK launch of the book titled “In Defense of Julian Assange,” John Pilger said the following:

Assange’s revelations represent “(a)ll the people whose lives were devastated in Iraq, the people whose lives were devastated in Afghanistan, and Yemen, all over the world that WikiLeaks had told us so much about.”

His unjust persecution is all about robbing people of their freedom and other fundamental rights.

“If they can come for Julian they can come for the rest of us, unless we stand up, speak, make sure our voices are heard,” Pilger stressed.

Assange is a political prisoner, “guilty” of truth-telling investigative journalism the way it’s supposed to be.

In 2015, life-sized bronze statutes of Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden were unveiled in Berlin’s Alexanderplatz.

Their sculptor Davide Dormino said he wanted to “represent three contemporary heroes who have lost their freedom for the truth,” adding: “Their work is reminder of “how important it is to know the truth.”

On Thursday at a large gathering in London for Assange, Australian journalist Kerry O’Brien warned that he’s unjustly “mouldering in a British prison awaiting extradition to the United States.”

Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance head Paul Murphy slammed Western media for failing to support Assange, siding with his persecutors.

Historian, former UK ambassador, human rights activist Craig Murray explained that “(d)espite the lack of coverage or biased coverage in mainstream media, there is now an understanding that Julian is being extradited to the United States for nothing except for publishing the truth,” adding:

He believes “we will see one of the largest campaigns (in support of Assange) of our time” next year.

UN special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer warned that “(i)f Assange gets extradited to the United States and if he gets punished for exposing the truth, then essentially what’s happening is that telling the truth becomes a crime,” adding:

“He’s going to be sentenced by the same judge that sentences all of these whistleblowers in a closed court in East Virginia, and he’ll disappear in a high security prison in inhumane conditions for the rest of his life…if he makes it that far.”

Assange faces either longterm US gulag hell imprisonment or death before arrival from UK brutal mistreatment designed to kill him.

*

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Featured image is from TruePublica

Killing Julian Assange: Justice Denied When Exposing Official Wrongdoing

By Philip Giraldi

Source

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The hideous treatment of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange continues and many observers are citing his case as being symptomatic of developing “police state” tendencies in both the United States and in Europe, where rule of law is being subordinated to political expediency.

Julian Assange was the founder and editor-in-chief of the controversial news and information site WikiLeaks. As the name implies, after 2006 the site became famous, or perhaps notorious, for its publication of materials that have been leaked to it by government officials and other sources who consider the information to be of value to the public but unlikely to be accepted by the mainstream media, which has become increasingly corporatized and timid.

WikiLeaks became known to a global audience back in 2010 when it obtained from US Army enlisted soldier Bradley Manning a large quantity of classified documents relating to the various wars that the United States was fighting in Asia. Some of the material included what might be regarded as war crimes.

WikiLeaks again became front-page news over the 2016 presidential election, when the website released the emails of candidate Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager John Podesta. The emails revealed how Clinton and her team collaborated with the Democratic National Committee to ensure that she would be nominated rather than Bernie Sanders. It should be noted that the material released by WikiLeaks was largely documentary and factual in nature, i.e. it was not “fake news.”

Because he is a journalist ostensibly protected by the First Amendment guarantee of free speech, the handling of the “threat” posed by journalist Assange is inevitably somewhat different than a leak by a government official, referred to as a whistleblower. Assange has been vilified as an “enemy of the state,” likely even a Russian agent, and was initially pursued by the Swedish authorities after claims of a rape, later withdrawn, were made against him. To avoid arrest, he was given asylum by a friendly Ecuadorean government seven years ago in London. The British police had an active warrant to arrest him immediately as he had failed to make a bail hearing after he obtained asylum, which is indeed what took place when Quito revoked his protected status in April.

As it turned out, Julian Assange was not exactly alone when he was in the Ecuadorean Embassy. All of his communications, including with his lawyers, were being intercepted by a Spanish security company hired for the purpose allegedly by the CIA. There apparently was also a CIA plan to kidnap Assange. In a normal court in a normal country, the government case would have been thrown out on constitutional and legal grounds, but that was not so in this instance. The United States has persisted in its demands to obtain the extradition of Assange from Britain and London seems to be more than willing to play along. Assange is undeniably hated by the American political Establishment and even much of the media in a bipartisan fashion, with the Democrats blaming him for Hillary Clinton’s loss while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has labeled him a “fraud, a coward and an enemy.” WikiLeaks itself is regarded by the White House as a “hostile non-government intelligence service.” Sending Julian Assange to prison for the rest of his life may be called justice, but it is really revenge against someone who has exposed government lies. Some American politicians have even asserted that jail is too good for Assange, insisting that he should instead be executed.

The actual charges laid out in the US indictment are for alleged conspiracy with Chelsea Manning to publish the “Iraq War Logs,” the “Afghan War Logs” and the US State Department cables. On May 23rd, the United States government further charged Assange with violating the Espionage Act of 1917, which criminalizes any exposure of classified US government information anywhere in the world by anyone. Its use would create a precedent: any investigative journalist who exposes US government malfeasance could be similarly charged.

Assange is currently incarcerated in solitary confinement at high-security Belmarsh prison. It is possible that the Justice Department, after it obtains Assange through extradition, will attempt to make the case that Assange actively colluded with the Russian government, a conspiracy to “defraud the United States” to put it in legalese. Assange is unlikely to receive anything approaching a fair trial no matter what the charges are.

Assange’s prison term ended on September 22nd, but an earlier procedural hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court had already decided that a full hearing on extradition to the US would not begin until February 25th, 2020. District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled that Assange would not be released even though the prison term had ended, because he was a flight risk. His status in the prison system was duly changed from a serving prisoner to a person facing extradition and his final hearing would be at the high-security Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court rather than in a normal civil court. Belmarsh is where terrorists are routinely tried and the proceedings there permit only minimal public and media scrutiny.

Most recently, on October 21st, 2019, Assange was again in Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a “case management hearing” regarding his possible extradition to the US Judge Baraitser denied a defense team request for a three-month delay so that they could gather evidence in light of the fact that Assange had been denied access to his own papers and documents in order to prepare his defense. British government prosecutor James Lewis QC and the five US “representatives” present opposed any delay in the extradition proceedings and were supported by Judge Baraitser, denying any delay in the proceedings.

Another procedural hearing will take place on December 19th followed by the full extradition hearing in February, at which time Assange will presumably be turned over to US Marshalls for transportation to the Federal prison in Virginia to await trial. That is, of course, assuming that he lives that long as his health has visibly deteriorated and there have been claims that he has been tortured by the British authorities.

Former British Ambassador Craig Murray, who knows Julian Assange well, was present when he appeared in court on the 21st. Murray was shocked by Assange’s appearance, noting that he had lost weight and looked like he had aged considerably. He was walking with a pronounced limp and when the judge asked him questions, to include his name and date of birth, he had trouble responding. Murray described him as a “shambling, incoherent wreck” and also concluded that “one of the greatest journalists and most important dissidents of our times is being tortured to death by the state, before our eyes.”

The British court was oblivious to Assange’s poor condition, with Judge Baraitser telling the clearly struggling prisoner that if he were incapable of following proceedings, then his lawyers could explain what had happened to him later. Objections to what was happening made by both Assange and his lawyers were dismissed by the Crown’s legal representatives, often after discussions with the American officials present, a process described in full by Murray, who, after describing the miscarriage of justice he had just witnessed observed that Julian Assange is being “slowly killed in public sight and arraigned on a charge of publishing the truth about government wrongdoing.” He concluded that “Unless Julian is released shortly he will be destroyed. If the state can do this, then who is next?” Indeed.

The Real US Mission in Syria

By Stephen Lendman

Source

US involvement in Syria has nothing to do with regional peace, stability and security, nothing to do with combatting ISIS.

It’s all about killing a nation, destroying its sovereignty, partitioning it for easier control, removing its legitimate leadership, installing puppet rule, plundering it, exploiting its people, eliminating an Israeli rival, isolating Iran, and enriching the US military, industrial, security complex from endless aggression.

On Thursday, US war secretary Mark Esper repeated what he said days earlier. Heavily armed Pentagon forces will continue controlling Syrian oil producing areas, on the phony pretext of “deny(ing) their access to ISIS — the scourge created and supported by the US he failed to explain.

During a Thursday joint press conference with his Australian counterpart Linda Reynolds at the Pentagon, Esper said the following:

“Our National Defense Strategy emphasizes that our principal concern is the Indo-Pacific region” — to counter China’s sovereign independence, its growing regional and global influence, it economic, financial, military and technological development, he failed to explain, adding:

“I need to redeploy (Pentagon) forces to the area” to increase the US military footprint in a part of the world not its own.

Asked to comment on Trump’s remark about wanting to take Syrian oil, Esper said the following:

“Yeah, the – the mission is, as – as I’ve spoken to, and I’ve conveyed it to the commander, and that is, we will secure oil fields to deny their access to ISIS and other actors in the region (sic), and to ensure that the SDF has continued access, because those resources are – are important, and so that the SDF can – can do its mission, what it needs to do in the region (sic).”

Asked “(i)s that a new mission, he failed to say it’s part of the overall Pentagon objective to transform Syria into a US vassal state, plunder its resources, and achieve the other aims explained above.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the US is stealing and smuggling $30 million worth of Syrian oil monthly “under the pretext of fighting ISIL.”

Separately, Zakharova explained that US/NATO-supported al-Qaeda-connected White Helmets are planning a new chemical weapons attack to be falsely blame on Damascus, saying:

“New confirmations of the information about the White Helmets’ activities emerge all the time.”

“According to the existing information, which the Syrian government regularly provides to the United Nations, the White Helmets, jointly with terrorists, are preparing new chemical provocations in Syria. They obviously aim at disrupting the peace process in the country,” adding:

They’re working with (US-supported) al-Nusra jihadists in Idlib province, the last major terrorist stronghold in the country — these elements heavily armed with US, other Western, Turkish, and Saudi-supplied weapons.

So-called ceasefire in northern Syria is illusory. On Friday, Russian reconciliation center head General Yuri Borenkov said 14 ceasefire breaches occurred in the last 24 hours alone — in Hama, Idlib, Aleppo, and Latakia provinces, adding:

Syrian forces in “Acre, Tel Rasha and Zuweiqat in Latakia province have been shot at by (US-supported) Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (al-Nusra) and foreign militants.”

On Friday, Southfront reported that “al-Qaeda (and) Turkish-backed radical militants launch(ed) (a) large-scale attack in northern Latakia” province “on Syrian military positions and civilian areas,” adding:

The assault “reportedly (was) led by” (US/Ankara-supported) al-Nusra jihadists, along with “(o)ther factions of the terrorist group and elements of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA).”

“The new attack…coincides with a Turkish offensive on Kurdish-majority areas in northeast Syria. Radical SNA militants are leading the offensive, committing war crimes against civilians in the region.”

The struggle to liberate Syria from foreign occupation and plunder has miles to go because of US, NATO, Turkish, Saudi, and Israeli rage to eliminate the Syrian Arab Republic as it now exists.

What Keeps the Rich Up at Night Should Provide Inspiration to the Poor

By Danny Haiphong

Source

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Halloween in America is a time to be frightened of horror films, costumes, and the health consequences of consuming too much candy. Horror films and costumes represent a fictionalized terror, one that deeply satisfies and reminds us of our own vulnerability. U.S. imperialism is a centuries-long nightmare that goes bump in the night. The terror of U.S. imperialism is very real and much scarier than anything Halloween has to offer. At the foundation of U.S. imperialism is a broad array of contradictions between the rulers of imperialism and those who suffer from imperial rule. It is only logical, then, that what keeps the rich up at night should provide inspiration and fuel to the cause of the poor and oppressed.

The ruling class in the United States, that .001 percent of the population which owns the means of production, takes on a “god”-like stature in American life. Billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and the rest are largely hidden from public life. Instead, a host of hirelings in the corporate media and in the halls of Washington articulate their ideological and policy interests. Celebrities glorify the lifestyle of billionaires through corporate-controlled distributors of culture also known as the television, film, and music industries. Politicians further normalize the “godliness” of the ruling class by ignoring their influence or defending their rule as a matter of democracy and “national security.” Of course, the deification of class rule would not be possible without the repressive and white supremacist state apparatus which imposes a regime of terror on the most dispossessed and darker hued peoples of the planet.

The United States, as the commander in chief of imperialist plunder, makes it as difficult as possible for poor workers and oppressed peoples to find inspiration from the maladies plaguing the rich. Corporate media and official Washington ignore or demonize those activists and journalists who fight to turn the nightmares of the rich into opportunities for social transformation. In Latin America, for example, millions are standing up to neoliberal rule. Bolivia and Argentina have elected leftist governments in recent weeks. The people of Chile have taken to the streets for over three weeks in opposition to neoliberal austerity. These developments have received little attention and zero positive coverage in the United States.

The surge of leftism in Latin America is not the only nightmare keeping the U.S. ruling class up at night. Imperialism, the system of monopoly and finance capital that the ruling class presides over, is in a state of crisis on several fronts. On the military front, Syria’s resilience in the face of eight years of proxy war has left the U.S. with few options to achieve its ultimate objective of full spectrum dominance in the region. The U.S.’s regime change war in Syria has failed and the head-chopping jihadists that the CIA and the Pentagon empowered are fighting alongside Turkey in a final standoff with the Syrian Arab Army. Trump’s mere signaling toward pulling U.S. troops from occupied Northern Syria has inspired great fear in the Pentagon and the military industrial complex generally. The Pentagon has since convinced Trump to double down on its occupation of Syria to ensure that the vast oil reserves in its northern territory cannot be used for reconstruction and development.

Military expansionism is often thought of a show of strength. However, in the case of the rich, reliance upon military force both at home and abroad help mask the broad decline of imperial rule. U.S. capitalism has become a short-term boon for the few and a long-term burden for the many. The U.S.’ share in the world economy is a fraction of what it was when it became the imperial superpower following World War II. Overall growth is virtually frozen. Workers haven’t seen a pay raise in forty years. Poverty, debt, and precarity are the only guarantees for nearly 80 percent of the U.S. population living under dead-end capitalism. Destroying the lives of whistleblowers like Julian Assange through massive investments in military and surveillance technology helps maintain the rule of the rich in the face of mass misery.

Economic decline and military expansionism are nightmares not because profits aren’t being made, but because the prospect of rebellion and unrest is the most frightening nightmare scenario for the rich. The U.S. capitalist economy is due for a periodic economic crisis on top of the 2007-2008 crash that workers have yet to recover from. Bernie Sanders and the revival of the word “socialism” among young workers are outgrowths of dead-end capitalism. The 2020 election has placed a spotlight on the fissures within the Democratic Party, once known for its iron-clad ability to keep social movements and left politics within the safe and corporate-controlled confines of the electoral arena. Democratic Party and Republican Party lieutenants are no longer seen as legitimate representatives of working-class Americans, which is why Sanders has become the most popular politician in the country and why Donald Trump, a billionaire with no political credentials, will likely win another presidential term should the Democratic Party choose to decapitate the Sanders campaign for a second time in four years.

While the many nightmarish aspects of system decline keep the rich up at night, they should inspire poor and working-class people to rise up against the system. Yet mass uprisings in the United States are not a common occurrence. Bernie Sanders is waging an electorally based movement inside of a corporate-controlled party. Labor unions such as the Chicago Teachers Union have used the weapon of the strike to unite oppressed communities to fight privatization and cutbacks to education. But this model is not the norm across the country. Despite an upsurge in labor unrest, many unions opt for a business model of organization that privileges compromises with the boss over the development of grassroots movements that threaten the entrenched power of capitalist bosses at the point of production. The UAW’s recent agreement that maintains a tiered workforce among other concessions to the bosses show the struggling occurring inside the American labor movement.

This is not to say that the strikes that occurred in Chicago schools and GM plants across the U.S. were not sources of inspiration. It is important, however, to analyze why the crisis of U.S. imperialism has not led to a massive rebellion inside of the United States. The fact remains that the working class in the United States is the most alienated class in human history. White supremacy and corporate power have never been more entrenched anywhere else in the world. Workers not only contend with their bosses, but also the largest military and police-state ever known. Workers not only search for a way to live under a low-wage capitalist system, but also do so in the presence of six corporations which own ninety percent of all media in the United States. There is thus no shortage of despair and distraction to keep workers in the United States from standing up to the powerful and uniting with the powerless.

Just like everything on this planet, systems are subjected to laws of scientific development. Systems rise and then fall due to their own inherent contradictions. The crises described in this article only scratch the surface of the contradictions facing U.S. imperialism at this juncture of history. Many of these contradictions are developing in a manner that should inspire workers and poor people in the U.S. to become agents of history. The people of Chile the people of Bolivia, and the people of Syria are revolting against the same system that is incarcerating, surveilling, and impoverishing workers in the United States. Their example should provide as much inspiration to U.S.-based social justice efforts as they inspire fear and dread in the rich.

Assange Extradition: What Happened to British Justice and Fair Play?

By Stuart Littlewood

Source

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Why am I not surprised after reading Craig Murray’s alarming account of Julian Assange’s appearance at Westminster Magistrates Court this week?

Murray, a former UK ambassador and diplomat, is widely respected for his truth and accuracy. He reminds us: “The charge against Julian is very specific; conspiring with Chelsea Manning to publish the Iraq War logs, the Afghanistan war logs and the State Department cables. The charges are nothing to do with Sweden, nothing to do with sex, and nothing to do with the 2016 US election….

“The purpose of yesterday’s hearing was case management; to determine the timetable for the extradition proceedings. The key points at issue were that Julian’s defense was requesting more time to prepare their evidence, and arguing that political offenses were specifically excluded from the extradition treaty. There should, they argued, therefore be a preliminary hearing to determine whether the extradition treaty applied at all.”

He provides chapter and verse on Article 4 of the UK/US Extradition Treaty 2007. “On the face of it, what Assange is accused of is the very definition of a political offense…. There is every reason to consider whether this charge is excluded by the extradition treaty, and to do so before the long and very costly process of considering all the evidence should the treaty apply. But Baraitser simply dismissed the argument out of hand.”

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser is severely criticized for failing to treat the two sides evenhandedly and for appearing to take instructions from the US Government people in the courtroom.

Assange’s defence team, according to Murray’s report, asked for the extradition hearing, scheduled for 25 February, to be delayed to allow more time for preparation. They have had very limited contact with their client in jail and haven’t been allowed to provide him with necessary documents. Assange has only just been given limited computer access and all his relevant records and materials were seized from the Ecuadorean Embassy by the US Government. He’s had no access to his own materials in preparing his defence.

The team are also in touch with the Spanish courts about a legal case currently being heard in Madrid which will provide evidence showing how the CIA arranged for a contractor to spy on conversations between Assange and his lawyers discussing his defense against these extradition proceedings. In normal circumstances, says Murray, this and other damning evidence would be enough to have the case thrown out.

However, Baraitser accepted the prosecution’s argument that there should be no extra time for the defense to prepare. And she ruled, without giving reasons, that there would be no separate consideration as to whether the charge was a political offense excluded by the extradition treaty.

“The extradition is plainly being rushed through in accordance with a Washington dictated timetable,” says Murray. “Apart from a desire to pre-empt the Spanish court providing evidence on CIA activity in sabotaging the defense, what makes the February date so important to the USA?”

The most sinister revelation came at the end. Baraitser announced that the substantive hearing in February will be held, not at an open and accessible venue like Westminster Magistrates Court, but at Belmarsh Magistrates Court, “the grim high-security facility used for preliminary legal processing of terrorists, attached to the maximum-security prison where Assange is being held”. Murray says: “There are only six seats for the public in even the largest court at Belmarsh, and the object is plainly to evade public scrutiny and make sure that Baraitser is not exposed in public again to a genuine account of her proceedings, like this one you are reading. I will probably be unable to get in….”

Craig Murray calls Assange his friend and is distressed by how his appearance has deteriorated after long confinement, and by his rapid aging and stumbling speech – “the most articulate man, the fastest thinker, I have ever known” reduced to a “shambling and incoherent wreck”, says Craig. He is in such poor shape that there are fears Assange may not live to the end of the extradition proceedings.

Murray had been sceptical of claims that debilitating drugs were forced on Assange and his treatment amounted to torture. “Yesterday changed my mind entirely and Julian exhibited exactly the symptoms of a torture victim brought blinking into the light, particularly in terms of disorientation, confusion, and the real struggle to assert free will through the fog of learned helplessness.”

Baraitser, says Murray, told Assange that if he was incapable of following proceedings, his lawyers could explain what had happened to him later. And here’s a man who, by the very nature of the charges against him, was acknowledged to be highly intelligent and competent, and feared by the world’s super-power.

So how do his British captors explain his swift decline while in their care?

Murray describes the conditions under which Assange languishes at Belmarsh. “He is kept in complete isolation for 23 hours a day. He is permitted 45 minutes exercise. If he has to be moved, they clear the corridors before he walks down them and they lock all cell doors to ensure he has no contact with any other prisoner outside the short and strictly supervised exercise period. There is no possible justification for this inhuman regime, used on major terrorists, being imposed on a publisher who is a remand prisoner.”

This is hardly the British justice we were brought up to admire and expect. So I have asked my MP to obtain an explanation from our Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Robert Buckland QC MP. A few simple answers would be appreciated:

  • Why is Assange held under the inhuman conditions reserved for terrorists when he’s no such thing and only on remand?
  • How does the Justice Department account for Assange’s poor physical and mental state?
  • Now that the Article 4 ‘cat’ is out of the bag why has the question whether political charges are excluded from the treaty not been addressed?
  • The US has had years to prepare its case, why not give Assange’s defense team more time, easier access and a sporting chance?
  • Why Belmarsh for February’s hearing, where the opportunity for public scrutiny is minimal?
  • Will District Judge Baraitser preside over the substantive hearing when, according to Murray, she has already failed to behave impartially?

Many will see the hand of the Dark State in this. Whatever one’s views on Assange there is no excuse for the vile treatment meted out to him.

US/Turkey Deal on Syria Like Carving up Cuba Scene from the Godfather Trilogy

BY Stephen Lendman

Source

Comment: Rick Sterling or Stephen Lendman, perhaps one must view the situation in Syria bearing both viewpoints, the latter’s below and the former’s in the previous post. A quagmire such as one in Syria is far too multi-faceted to be comprehended by looking through a singular lens. 

One of the trilogy’s most memorable scenes was in pre-liberated Cuba where mafia dons are seen carving up a cake representing the country.

The Hyman Roth character explains that “all of you will share” in plundering the island state in collaboration with its ruling authorities, adding:

“These are wonderful things that we’ve achieved in Havana, and there’s no limit to where we can go from here.” 

“This kind of government knows how to help business to encourage it…(W)e have now what we have always needed —real partnership with the government.”

Cuba’s strongman despot Fulgencio Batista was like Nicaragua’s Anastasio Somoza, a figure Franklin Roosevelt called “a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.”

The characterization applied to Batista, today to all despots serving US interests and their own at the expense of peace, equity and justice.

Since early 2011, Obama’s war on Syria, now Trump’s, using ISIS and likeminded jihadists as proxy Pentagon/CIA foot soldiers continues.

It’s gone on endlessly because bipartisan US hardliners reject restoration of peace and stability to the country and others the US attacked aggressively.

They want all nations not controlled by the US transformed into vassal states, Assad and other independent leaders replaced by pro-Western puppet rule.

War in Syria is also about isolating Iran regionally, ahead of a similar scheme against its ruling authorities.

What’s going on in the Middle East post-9/11 is part of a US-led NATO/Israeli plot to redraw the Middle East map, carving up nations for easier control, looting their resources and exploiting their people.

Tactics include endless wars and chaos in one country after another, serving US imperial interests. Peace and stability defeat its aims.

Russia’s intervention in Syria four years ago changed the dynamic on the ground, most of the country liberated from the scourge of US-supported ISIS and other terrorists, Idlib province the key remaining battleground.

Infested with thousands of heavily armed US-supported al-Nusra jihadists, they’re holding around three million civilians hostage as human shields, defeating them requiring protracted struggle that’s winnable.

The greater issue is occupation of northern Syria by US and Turkish forces, its south bordering Iraq and Jordan by Pentagon troops.

As long as Syria is occupied by foreign forces, liberation remains unattainable.

The illegitimate October 17 US/Turkish deal leaves troops from both countries occupying and controlling Syrian territory — a flagrant international law breach, a scheme Damascus rejects.

It includes redeploying US forces in northern areas largely or entirely cross-border to Iraq and perhaps Jordan, unknown numbers remaining in Syria — thousands more sent to Saudi Arabia, increasing the Pentagon’s regional military footprint.

As portrayed in the Godfather trilogy, the US and Turkey agreed to carve up Syria’s north, ruling authorities of both countries wanting control over its oil-producing areas.

Damascus has no intention of relinquishing any of its territory to foreign occupiers, war likely to continue until all parts of Syria are liberated.

On Friday, Bashar al-Assad met with Kremlin special representative for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin.

Discussing the latest developments on the ground, notably Turkish aggression and Erdogan’s deal with the Trump regime, Assad stressed that Syria’s liberation depends on halting Ankara’s offensive and freeing the country from foreign occupiers.

Russian officials affirmed support for Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity, what the Kremlin backed throughout the war, along with restoration of peace and stability to the country.

On Saturday, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that Turkish terror-bombing and cross-border shelling continue for the second day following Thursday’s deal in Ankara, saying:

“(R)esidential neighborhoods in Ras al-Ayn and targeted places of worship from mosques, churches and monasteries, which caused the people fleeing the targeted areas” were struck, adding:

A “SANA reporter said that eight civilians were martyred and about 25 others were injured in the ongoing Turkish aggression on Syrian territory in and around Ras al-Ayn city despite the announcement of the Turkish regime reaching an agreement with Washington…”

“(G)roups of the Turkish occupation forces and their mercenaries infiltrated into Ras al-Ayn city and the surrounding villages and attacked with medium and light weapons the people in the villages of Lazka, Abah, Mraikiz, Bab al-Khair and Sheikh Hussein Tomb in Ras al-Ayn countryside.”

“The Turkish regime is launching offensive on a number of villages and towns in the countryside of Hasaka and Raqqa, which resulted in the martyrdom and injury of hundreds of civilians, including children, women and workers in the service sectors, and considerable material damage to service facilities, vital infrastructure such as dams, power and water plants.”

On Saturday, Southfront said the “northeastern Syria ceasefire is collapsing.” Turkish forces continue to attack sites, at least 28 civilians killed or injured.

AMN News said “Turkish forces (are) advanc(ing) (on a) key border city despite (Thursday’s) ceasefire” agreement, attacking Kurdish YPG fighters.

Hardline US and Turkish regimes can never be trusted, time and again agreeing to one thing, then going another way.

Is this what’s now playing out in Syria? What follows Thursday’s deal remains very much uncertain.

If past is prologue, there’s little reason for optimism.

Sorting Facts From Fiction About the US Withdrawal From Syria

By Rick Sterling

Source

The foreign policy elite is in an uproar. They claim we have abandoned our allies, they question how can America be trusted, they say the decision to withdraw from northern Syria was a gift to Russia, Iran, and Assad, to ISIS even. It is true that the U.S. and NATO policy of interventionism is failing, but that has been true since the invasion of Iraq or earlier. After the disastrous invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and an 8-year undeclared war on Syria, isn’t it time to question the foreign policy elite?

If one believes in the restoration of international law and the tenants of the UN Charter, then the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from northern Syria is a good thing. Here are some facts and history that explain why.

Fact: Syria is not our country and U.S. troops were never authorized by its sovereign government to be there. Whether or not Washington likes Damascus is irrelevant, under international law U.S. troops have no right to be there. Even flights over Syrian airspace by the U.S. coalition are a violation of international agreements. The resposbilibility is on Syrians to defend their country against an invading Turkey, and if the Syrian government does choose to enlist support from another country, that is their right.

Fact: President Barack Obama was correct when he said that “putting boots on the ground” in Syria would be a “profound mistake.”  He later said, “We have a very specific objective, one that will not lead into boots on the ground or anything like that.” But the hawks prevailed. There were not only “boots on the ground”, but there was also a shifting rationale of their reasons for being there.

The U.S. and its myriad allies in the region have done all they can, short of a direct invasion, to overthrow the government of Syria. They have spent tens of billions of dollars on weapons, training, equipment and recruitment, all in direct contravention of international law. More than one hundred thousand Syrians have died defending their country against a foreign-sponsored army of mercenaries and foreign fighters.

Fact: The U.S. encouraged the emergence of the Islamic State. Why? Because it put pressure on the Assad government in Damascus and provided a casus belli the US. to enter Syria. While the U.S. carpet-bombed Raqqa, it looked the other way as hundreds of massive convoys carried oil from eastern Syria into Turkey to fund the ISIS operations. The U.S. carried out airstrikes against the Syrian Arab Army in the midst of a critical battle against ISIS near Deir Ezzor. In a now-famous secretly recorded conversation with Syrian opposition activists in New York, Former Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that the United States was hoping to use ISIS to undermine the Syrian government. To put it bluntly, U.S. foreign policy was duplicitous and used terrorism as a tool. This, of course, is a well-documented fact.

After the U.S.-backed “Free Syrian Army” failed to overthrow the Syrian government, the U.S. sought out alternative means. They began to fund Syrian Kurdish militias known as the Peoples Protection Unit (YPG/YPJ). They gave the militias a new name, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and encouraged the group’s secessionist tendencies.

Meanwhile, in Turkey, home to the region’s most sizable Kurdish population, Kurds are fighting for their rights and have formed a political party (Peoples Democratic Party – HDP) to unite progressives of all ethnicities. In the 2015 Turkish election, the HDP emerged as the third most popular party and was able to stifle Erdogan’s election domination. The party is currently busy campaigning against Turkey’s invasion of Syria, dubbed Operation Peace Spring.

Back in Syria, Syrian Kurdish militias came to an agreement with the Syrian government on October 13, to jointly combat the Turkish invasion. The agreement specifies that the Syrian Arab Army will control and defend the entire area from Jarablus on the Euphrates River to Syria’s far eastern border with Iraq.

Advocates of U.S. intervention claim that the Kurds were fighting and dying “for us.” Yet, they were defending their own community. The extent to which they accepted and welcomed U.S. air support, equipment, weaponry, etc. was to their own benefit, not a favor to the United States. There were two parties using each other for their own benefit.

Syria Tanf

Whenever the United States attacks or occupies a country, it needs a rationalization. In 1991, it was false claims about incubators being stolen by Iraqi troops in Kuwait. In 2003, there were false claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In 2011 there were false claims of civilians being threatened by Libyan troops in Benghazi. All these claims were subsequently found to be either greatly exaggerated or entirely false.

One of the main justifications for a continued U.S. presence in Syria is that we must keep our word and not abandon Kurdish forces. This is a favorite rationalization for war. In Cuba, the CIA-trained Cuban exiles that attacked Playa Giron “were counting on us.” Fortunately, JFK resisted the pressure and said no. In Vietnam, the U.S. continued the war for a decade because “we could not let down our ally,” the governments of Saigon. Millions of Vietnamese were killed and 55,000 U.S. troops lost their lives because we could not “abandon” a government that was, in reality, little more than a proxy.

During the October 15 Democratic Debates, Joe Biden said that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria was “the most shameful thing any president had done in modern history in terms of foreign policy.” This is absurd. Over one million died in Iraq including 4,500 and at least 100,000 severely injured U.S. soldiers. Joe Biden was an influential supporter of the 2003 Iraq invasion. Later, as Vice President, he supported the overthrow of the Libyan government. The country is still in chaos with tens of thousands dead. These two countries were devastated by U.S. action. It is evidence of shameless unaccountability in media and politics that Biden is a serious candidate for President after having destroyed so many lives at a cost of trillions of taxpayer dollars. In the same Democratic debates, Tulsi Gabbard was honest and accurate as she said that the plight of the Kurds in northern Syria is “yet another consequence of the regime change war we’ve been waging in Syria.”

Despite the howls of indignation and disinformation,  withdrawing U.S. troops from northern Syria is a step in the right direction.

Iraq Protests: Spontaneous or Made in the US?

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Iraq Protests e8717

Time and again, when peaceful protests turn violent in various countries, US dirty hands are involved.

There’s no ambiguity about months of protests in Hong Kong, US dirty hands all over them, local elements involved having met with Trump regime and congressional officials, as well as a US consular one in the city.

Nearly a week of violent protests in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq, killing over 100, injuring thousands, security forces among the dead and wounded, bear similarity to the US-orchestrated late 2013/early 2014 color revolution in Ukraine.

The Euromaidan uprising was and remains all about replacing independent democratic governance with pro-Western fascist rule — controlled by the US.

Russia and then-Ukrainian President Yanukovich were falsely blamed for sniper shootings of protesters and police, killing around 100 people, injuring hundreds more.

Then-Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said “there is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovich, but it was somebody from the new (putschist) coalition.”

“All the evidence shows” they were shooting at people from both sides. They targeted police and protesters.

Kiev Dr. Olga Bogomolets reported the same thing, citing photos for proof. Paet called her evidence “quite disturbing.”

Snipers were likely CIA-recruited neo-Nazi hitmen. Shots came from one or more buildings overlooking the Maidan.

Snipers with automatic weapons were inside. Eyewitnesses saw them leaving the area’s Philharmonic Hall, carrying military-style bags used for sniper and assault rifles with optical sights.

Former Ukrainian Security Service head Aleksandr Yakimenko confirmed what happened, planned well in advance he said, adding:

Elements involved “carried out everything that they were told by their leadership – the United States.” Maidan leaders practically lived at Washington’s embassy, he stressed.

The battle for Ukraine’s soul was lost, Washington gaining an imperial trophy bordering Russia.

Is what’s going on in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq similar to US-orchestrated Hong Kong protests and the Obama regime’s coup in Ukraine?

Long-suffering Iraqis have legitimate grievances, notably rampant corruption, high unemployment, impoverishment affecting millions, the nation’s youths notably affected, and lack of essential to life public services.

This is unacceptably going on in the oil-rich country with the world’s fifth largest reserves, its ruling authorities serving privileged interests and themselves exclusively, subjecting ordinary people to neoliberal harshness.

Therein lies the root cause of what’s going on. Extreme violence causing thousands of casualties, along with setting dozens of public and private buildings ablaze, storming others, raises red flags — a scenario appearing like dirty hands behind it.

Iraq’s interior ministry spokesman Saad Maan denied security forces were using live fire on protesters, adding “malicious hands” are targeting ordinary Iraqis, police, and other government forces.

Over the weekend, US-installed prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s cabinet issued a decree, including over a dozen intended reforms, notably land distribution, increased welfare payments for needy families, 100,000 new housing units, and benefits for the unemployed — if follow-through actually occurs and makes a difference.

Individuals killed were declared “martyrs,” their families granted special benefits.

Iraqi ruling authorities are allied with the US and Iran, its split loyalty riling Trump regime hardliners, wanting Baghdad allied with their war on the Islamic Republic by other means, along with their overall regional agenda.

They’re reportedly furious over Mahdi blaming Israel for terror-bombing sites in Iraq, opening the al-Qaem crossing between the country and Syria, along with expressing interest in buying Russian S-400 air defense systems and other military hardware from the country, partnering with China to construct essential infrastructure in exchange for oil, and choosing a German company over a US one for an electricity project.

The Trump regime is especially angry over normalized Iran-Iraq relations. Baghdad is notably dependent on Tehran for natural gas and electricity. Both countries share a common border.

Mahdi has tried to stay neutral to avoid greater regional conflict, rather than ally with the US, Israel and the Saudis against Iran. All of the above leaves him vulnerable to regime change by the US.

Iranian leader Khamenei tweeted the following on Sunday: “Iran and Iraq are two nations whose hearts & souls are tied together through faith in God, love for Imam Hussein and the progeny of the Prophet (PBUH).”

“This bond will grow stronger day by day. Enemies seek to sow discord but they’ve failed and their conspiracy won’t be effective.”

Various Arab media sources and independent observers believe the Trump regime is behind days of violent protests in Iraq, internal elements enlisted as proxies to serve its interests by destabilizing the country.

A statement from PM Mahdi’s office said the following:

“(D)emonstrations were already planned a couple of months ago. Baghdad was working to try and ease the situation in the country, particularly since the demands of the population are legitimate.”

“The prime minister has inherited the corrupt system that has developed since 2003. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been diverted into the pockets of corrupt politicians” — and the West not mentioned.

“(T)he (US) war on terror used not only all the country’s resources but forced Iraq to borrow billions of dollars for the reconstruction of the security forces and other basic needs.”

“The latest demonstrations were supposed to be peaceful and legitimate because people have the right to express their discontent, concerns and frustration.”

“However, the course of events showed a different objective: 16 members of the security forces were killed along with tens of civilians, and many governments and party buildings were set on fire and completely destroyed.”

“This sort of behavior has misdirected the real grievances of the population onto a disastrous course: creating chaos in the country. Who benefits from the disarray in Iraq?”

What’s going on is likely connected to a failed plot to kill Quds Force commander of Iran’s IRGC General Qassem Soleimani, a key figure in the country’s counterintelligence operations.

The US seeks unchallenged regional control, part of what years of war on Iraq, Syria, and Yemen is all about.

Other US aggression in Central Asia, north Africa, and economic terror war on Iran remain ongoing for the same reason.

A Final Comment

According to the Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Akhbar broadsheet, the Trump regime planned ongoing violence and chaos in Iraq months earlier.

An unnamed Iraqi security source said US preparations were made for a “hot fall” in the country, adding:

The US and Saudis may have similar tactics planned in Iran and Lebanon.

A Generation Deleted: American Bombs in Yemen Are Costing an Entire Generation Their Future

By Ahmed Abdulkareem

Source

ADAA, NORTHERN YEMEN — Third-grader Farah Abbas al-Halimi didn’t get the UNICEF backpack or textbook she was hoping for this year. Instead, she was given an advanced U.S bomb delivered on an F-16 courtesy of the Saudi Air Force. That bomb fell on Farah’s school on September 24 and killed Farah, two of her sisters, and her father who was working at the school. It will undoubtedly have an irrevocable effect on the safety and psyche of schoolchildren across the region.

Over the course of Yemen’s pre-war history, which locals fondly refer to as the happy Yemen years, never has an entire generation been subjected to the level of disaster and suffering as that levied upon Farah’s generation by the Saudi-led Coalition, which has used high-tech weapons supplied by the United States and other Western powers to devastating effect since it began its military campaign against Yemen in 2015.

Last week a new school year in Yemen began, the fifth school year since the war started, and little has changed for Yemen’s schoolchildren aside from the fact that the Coalition’s weapons have become more precise and even more deadly, leaving the futures of the country’s more than one million schoolchildren in limbo.

“I want to go to school, I can’t wait any longer,” a relative of six-year-old Ayman al-Kindi told MintPress, recalling how Ayman, surrounded by proud family members, waited impatiently to leave for his first day of school. Ayman would never make it to school; in fact, he never even made it outside. “Ayman wanted to become a doctor but a bomb took him away from school. What these American bombs do to our children is terrifying,” his relative told us.

In late June 2019, Coalition aircraft targeted Ayman’s family home located on their farm in the Warzan area, south of Taiz province in southwestern Yemen. Six of Ayman’s family members were killed, including three children aged 12, nine and six. According to  Amnesty International, the laser-guided precision weapon used in the attack was made by Raytheon. Amnesty’s arms experts analyzed photos of the remnants of the weapon recovered from the scene of the attack by family members and identified it as a U.S.-made 500-pound GBU-12 Paveway II.

The use of a U.S.-made weapon in the attack on the al-Kindi home was no anomaly: most of the weapons possessed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which between them have carried out a quarter of a million raids on Yemen since the beginning of the war, are American-made. This week, families who lost loved ones in Coalition airstrikes held an exhibition called “Criminal Evidence” in the city of Sana`a. The event was an opportunity to consolidate evidence of potential war crimes and prompted hundreds of Yemeni civilians to attend the event with remnants of U.S.-made weapons in tow, remnants recovered from the rubble of the attacks that killed their loved ones.

Yemen Raytheon

The airstrike on the al-Kindi home was one of nearly a dozen carried out by Saudi Arabia using U.S. weapons that were included in a recent UN report. A team of investigators appointed by the UN Human Rights Council found numerous cases of Saudi airstrikes that violated international humanitarian law and, for the first time, directly implicated the United States, Britain, France and Australia for supplying the weapons used in the attacks.

Charles Garraway, a former military lawyer and one of the experts behind the report, recently told PBS, “We have a war that’s going on. It’s causing immense suffering and frankly most of that suffering is caused by arms.” Garraway continued, “The tragedy in Yemen is so awful at the moment that somehow one has got to reach some form of settlement to stop the war.”

Despite the abundance of evidence proving that Saudi Arabia and the UAE have routinely targeted schools and other civilian facilities, the United States continues to replenish the Coalition’s arsenal. Earlier this year, the Trump administration tried to force through an $8.1 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan; and, despite growing opposition within his own government, President Donald Trump seems determined to maintain the flow of U.S. weapons to Saudi Arabia and its allies.

Not your normal “back-to-school” day

Eleven-year-old Mohammed AbdulRaham al-Haddi is one the few schoolchildren to have survived the horrific August 9, 2018, Saudi airstrike on a school bus on the outskirts of Dahyan in Yemen’s northwestern province of Saada. The attack killed more than 35 of his classmates, but Mohammed miraculously survived. Today, he returns to school for the first time since the deadly attack, but to an underserved school and without his classmates. Al-Faleh, Mohammed’s new school, lies nestled in a dusty valley near Yemen’s northeastern border with Saudi Arabia

Yemen War Children

The attack on Mohammed’s school bus was carried out using a Mark 82 (MK-82) bomb, jointly manufactured by U.S. weapons companies Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. The MK-82, along with other general-purpose MK-series bombs, has been sold to the Saudi-led Coalition by the United States through a series of contracts made in 2016 and 2017. In addition to last year’s atrocity, the Coalition has used the MK-82 to target Yemeni civilians in the past, such as its bombing of a funeral in 2016 that left over 140 dead and 525 wounded.

As the war in Yemen enters its fifth year, the tragic consequences of these weapons deals are difficult to describe, but their effects are noticed everywhere. Some 3,526 educational buildings have been at least partially destroyed by bombs since the war began, with most yet to be rebuilt. Of those, 402 were completely destroyed, according to a new field survey conducted by the Ministry of Education. Approximately 900 of Yemen’s schools are still being used as shelters for the internally displaced. And 700 schools have been closed as a result of ongoing clashes.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that two million children are out of school in Yemen. “A fourth of the two million Yemeni children have dropped out since the beginning of the Saudi war in March 2015,” UNICEF representative in Yemen Sara Beysolow Nyanti said in a statement released last Wednesday.

Beysolow raised concerns about the future of Yemeni children, saying:

[They] face increased risks of all forms of exploitation including being forced to join the fighting, child labor and early marriage. They lose the opportunity to develop and grow in a caring and stimulating environment, ultimately becoming trapped in a life of poverty and hardship.”

According to the Geneva-based human rights monitoring organization, SAM, four hundred thousand schoolchildren in Yemen suffer from acute malnutrition, exposing them to the risk of sudden death, 7 million schoolchildren face hunger, and more than 2 million do not go to school.

Even before the war began, the education system in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, was not in good health; a lack of equipment, unqualified teachers, and a shortage of textbooks plagued the country’s schools, which were bursting at the seams with overcrowding. Coalition bombs and a blockade supported by the United States have effectively destroyed what was left, just as schools were beginning to show signs of recovery.

Many of Yemen’s teachers have not received a paycheck in years and some, unable to eke out a living, have sought work as soldiers-for-hire on Yemen’s battlefields, leaving millions of children without prospects for education and the country as a whole with a 70 percent rate of illiteracy. Beysolow warned that the education of a further 3.7 million Yemeni children is at risk, as teachers have not received their salaries for over two years, adding that one fifth of schools in Yemen can no longer be used as a direct result of the conflict. “Violence, displacement and attacks on schools are preventing many children from accessing school,” she said.

In a bid to stop teachers from leaving schools, the Ministry of Education, based in Sana`a, has imposed a fee on students of $2 per month to pay teacher salaries, but that seemingly nominal fee has added a huge burden to families with more than one child, many of whom are living in extreme poverty as a result of the war and siege. “I have six students, meaning that I need to pay $12 a month; I can’t save that amount,” one mother told us. She lost her husband in the clashes that erupted between the former president Ali Saleh and opposition tribes on Hasabah Street in 2011. Now, her only source of income is begging and it is not enough to feed her six children, let alone send them to school.

To make matters worse, just weeks before the new school year began, the Saudi-led Coalition prevented 11 oil tankers from entering Yemen. The move sparked an acute shortage of fuel, which meant that school buses could no longer run, leaving even those with the means to pay school fees unable to send their children to school.

The severe psychological toll

The effect of U.S.-made weapons upon Yemen’s children does not end there. Children who have survived the fighting are often left with physical disabilities and severe and chronic psychological symptoms, turning their environment into the worst place in the world, according to UNICEF.

Beyond the direct casualties from airstrikes, the largely unnoticed and unrecorded (by the world) sounds of explosions and buzzing warplanes are leaving Yemen’s children with irreversible psychological damage.

Yemen War Children

Like other students, Mohammed often gets distracted while at home or sitting in class, unable to focus and laden with severe anxiety. While students the world over occupy their minds with the day-to-day matters that should accompany adolescence, Yemen`s students, especially those who live in border districts, are filled with an ever-present fear of an impending airstrike.

Since the school year began on September 15, the Saudi-led Coalition has reportedly dropped more than a thousand bombs and missiles in 400 separate airstrikes targeting border districts including Sadaa, Hajjah, Sana`a, Amran, Dhali, and Hodeida. The hundreds of sorties are accompanied by frightening whizzing noise and have left great panic in the hearts of civilians, especially Yemen’s schoolchildren.

“Before the war, the sound of planes meant happiness for families who were expecting loved-ones returning [from abroad], but now the sound of planes mean destruction, death, blood,” Dr. AbdulSalam Ashish, a consultant for psychological and neurological diseases, told MintPress. Dr. Ashish continued, “Now, the planes bring nothing but fear and panic and are a reminder of tragedies and crimes that were committed with U.S., British, and French weapons.”

“It was 1:45 p.m., when we heard a missile strike; we were able to calm the students down but when the third strike hit we lost control of the students as they began to scream and chaos spread throughout the school,” Hana Al Awlaqi, a school agent at the  “Martyr Ahmed Abdul Wahab Al Samawi” School, said, recounting the moment a Saudi attack took place just tens of meters away from the school. “The sound of the fourth bomb made matters worse, as the school was being broken into by panicked parents and many teachers were fainting.”

Yemen War Children

Al Awlaqi went on to say that many students convulse into spasms when they hear the sound of airplanes, while others have refused to come back to school. “The sound of an explosion or the buzz of the aircraft stays in the mind. The sound of an aircraft can send these children into severe panic attacks and anxiety,” Dr. Ashish confirmed.

Jalal Al-Omeisi, a pediatric nurse at the Psychiatric and Neurological Hospital in Sana`a told MintPress that most of the cases that arrive at the hospital are from areas subjected to intensive Saudi Coalition raids, such as Sana`a, Hodeida, and Saada, as well as the border areas. Al-Omeisi went on to say that most medics lack the training to deal with the complex psychological issues that these children are developing.

Such experiences in children go well beyond the temporary impact on their education and, without proper care and the knowledge necessary to address treat these psychological issues, many will suffer life-long consequences that hinder their ability to obtain an education. This is especially true in light of the lack of programs, centers or hospitals for the rehabilitation of war-affected children in Yemen.

Asking Americans to open their eyes

Schoolchildren living along Yemen’s porous border with Saudi Arabia and throughout its southern districts face a reality even more grim than that faced by their peers. Many are recruited or even forced to join the fight to defend the Saudi border via local trafficking networks, which funnel children into training and recruitment camps in the southern Saudi provinces of Jizan and Najran, as well as to Yemen’s southern districts.

According to a recent report by SAM, Saudi Arabia has been enlisting thousands of Yemeni children to fight along its southern border with Yemen over the past four years. Those have who died as a result of the fighting at the border are often buried in the Kingdom without their families’ knowledge. At least 300 had to have their limbs amputated as a result of their military injuries.

Yemen Child Soldiers

MintPress managed to speak to dozens of school-aged Yemeni children who were captured in a recent Houthi operation that saw thousands of militiamen, including dozens of schoolchildren, and Saudi officers taken into captivity. Fifteen-year-old Adel was among those captured. He left his home in the southern city of Taiz, chasing promises of a regular paycheck of up to 3,000 Saudi riyals ($800). Adel told MintPress: 

We were left alone in Wadi Abu to face our destiny. Older recruits were fleeing on pickup trucks and armored personnel carriers; Saudi airstrikes hit us as we were surrendering to the Houthis.”

Saudi warplanes targeted the captured mercenaries in Wadi Abu Jubarah, killing more than 300 of their own recruits.

Adel, who left school for the promise of a paycheck, went on to say, “Me and the others were recruited to wash the clothes of Saudi soldiers but they gave us rifles and forced us to go to battlefields.” When asked what he would do when freed, Adel said simply, “I want to go back to my mom and school. I don’t want to fight.”

The recruitment of Yemeni children by Saudi Arabia is not without precedent. Although the Kingdom signed the international protocol banning the involvement of children in armed conflict in 2007 and again in 2011, it was accused of recruiting Sudanese children from Darfur to fight in Yemen on its behalf as late as 2018.

Mohammed, who often visits the memorial to his classmates located only a few hundred meters away from his new school, said he will continue to attend school every day, regardless of how much bombing there is. He asked that Americans open their eyes to see what their weapons are doing to Yemen’s children.

An Unfaithful Servant of Imperialism: The Real Reason Trump Is Facing Impeachment

By Roger D. Harris

Source

The United States has spent EIGHT TRILLION DOLLARS fighting and policing in the Middle East. Thousands of our Great Soldiers have died or been badly wounded. Millions of people have died on the other side. GOING INTO THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE WORST DECISION EVER MADE.”

— Tweet, Donald J. Trump, October 9, 2019.

Granted Trump may arguably be more corrupt than Biden. But that’s splitting hairs over which crook is more crooked. Bullying vassal states and “doing well by doing good” are indicators of finesse in Washington. Inside the beltway, corruption is not a liability for holding high political office, but a requirement. The key to membership in the power elite club is carrying water for the imperial state, and most club members must go through an elaborate vetting process to prove that they are reliable. Some such as Trump slip through.

The sine qua non for membership in this exclusive club is to prove you’ll take a hit for the empire. When the results of the 2000 US presidential election were inconclusive, Al Gore took a fall rather than risk instability at the top: “(for) the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession.” There are higher callings than merely winning the presidency for good servants of the empire.

But would Trump have been so compliant? Maybe not. So, impeachment is in order to either chasten him to faithful obedience or get rid of him.

The Not Thoroughly Vetted President

The presidential primaries are an audition process to see who can best serve the ruling class while conning the public. If the presidential “debates” demonstrate anything, it is that all the contestants are aspiring reality TV stars. Trump was different only in that he had previous experience.

Whenever one of the contestants shows vacillation on empire, they get slapped on the side of the head. Gabbard got summarily dismissed from the debates for her failure of faith in wars of imperial aggression as the highest expression of humanitarianism. Sanders had to grovel, calling the democratically elected president of Venezuela a “vicious tyrant.”

And to qualify for the debates, a contestant must first prove that they are a “serious candidate.” In a “democracy” where bribing politicians is considered “free speech” and where corporations are afforded the constitutional rights of “persons,” the single overriding measure of seriousness is raising bundles of money from the rich. Of course, the rich did not become rich without expecting a return on their investments. Warren’s surge, as it was dutifully reported in the press, came when some of the big money began to shift from Biden to her.

Trump, on the other hand, had his own billionaire’s booty to back him, plus a little help from his wealthy cohorts. As billionaire Ross Perot proved in 1992, if you are filthy rich, you can independently run for president. And, in his case, throw the election from Bush the Elder to Bill Clinton.

To win a presidential election, however, you need more than deep pockets…you need a little help from your friends in getting a major party backing. Why a major party ballot line is so useful has constitutional antecedents.

The revolution of 1776, the last revolution that the US elites liked that was not rigged by the CIA, gave us the Articles of Confederation as the ruling document for the new sovereign. By 1787 the US elites of the time, Hamilton and supporting cast, were chafing under what they characterized as the “excesses of democracy.” A new constitution was drafted and approved with “checks and balances.” What needed to be checked and balanced? Democracy, the direct rule of the people, was what was checked in the new document, while slavery was reaffirmed under the highest law of the land.

The new constitution gave us the Electoral College, whereby presidents are selected by “electors” rather than trusting the direct vote of the people and states can vote as a block. This allowed Trump to triumph even when his opponent received some 3 million more votes. Oddly, his Democratic Party opponents have since focused on alleged Russian interference through Facebook ads rather than the need to make the US Constitution an instrument for the expression of the popular will.

But we are getting ahead of the story because Trump still had to become the frontrunner in a crowded Republican field before he could even take on the other party of capital. Here he had help from friends in unexpected quarters. The Republican establishment hated him, but Clinton and the so-called liberal media became Trump boosters. The corporate media gave the flamboyant Trump a bully platform because it was good for ratings.

Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, as revealed in their leaked emails published by Wikileaks, pulled for Trump because they thought him an easier opponent than, say, the mainstream Republican heir-apparent Jeb Bush. There was precious little difference between the positions of Jeb and Hillary, though the popular images projected by the two major parties superficially diverged. The core of both parties greatly overlaps, while the right fringe of the Republicans and the left fringe of the Democrats provide the contrasting colors but not the contending policy directions.

The 2016 electoral contest was a spectacle of insurgencies. Initially, there was Sanders. That he was somehow considered an “outsider” is a symptom of just how terminally ingrown the US polity has become. How could someone who served years in the US Senate and caucused with the Democrats be an outsider? Sanders ran on two premises: supporting the Democratic Party and raising suppressed issues such as income inequality. He succeeded in the first and failed in the second.

Meanwhile, after 40 years of neoliberalism, CEO compensation has grown 940%  as compared to 12% for typical employees in the US.

Trump in his way also pandered to the genuinely deteriorating condition of US workers. Both the Trump and the Sanders anti-establishment insurgencies, however, were contained within the two-party system and thus were structurally destined not to come to fruition. The establishment won’t come down by joining them.

Unfaithful Servant of Imperialism

Defying even the Las Vegas bookies’ predictions, Trump became the 45th President of the US. He had kvetched about the plight of US workers and made some noise about ending unending wars, but was he for real? After all, Obama had promised to get out of Gitmo and NAFTA, but ended up doing neither. Obama, the former critic of Bush’s Iraq war, continued Bush’s wars and started a handful of his own.

Upon occupying the Oval Office, Trump not unexpectedly threw the working class under the bus with his tax cut for the rich and similar actions, which must have won him some brownie points from the owning class. But to date he has failed to start a new war. The last US president with a similar failing was the one-term Jimmy Carter. And now Trump is showing insufficient enthusiasm for continuing the war in Syria and possibly even a closet aversion to starting World War III with nuclear-armed Russia. These may be impeachable offenses in the estimation of parts of the ruling class.

David R. Sanger, writing in the October 7 New York Times, represents “liberal” establishment views in support of US imperialism: “Mr. Trump’s sudden abandonment of the Kurds was another example of the independent, parallel foreign policy he has run from the White House, which has largely abandoned the elaborate systems created since President Harry Truman’s day to think ahead about the potential costs and benefits of presidential decisions.”

There you have it. Trump is accused of having an “independent” foreign policy, emanating out of his office of all places, even though he is the elected President of the US and the one charged with executing foreign policy.

Who is Trump “independent” from? It’s not the US citizenry according to the Times. As the article points out: “Mr. Trump sensed that many Americans share his view – and polls show he is right… Mr. Trump has correctly read the American people who, after Iraq and Afghanistan, also have a deep distaste for forever wars.”

So, who might Trump have betrayed? According to the article, it’s “circumventing the American generals and diplomats who sing the praises of maintaining the traditional American forward presence around the world.” This is who his alleged crime of independence is against. They fear Trump could “abandon” the post-war imperial consensus.

Donald Trump military spending

Note that the Times, as reflective of current ruling class ideology, no longer bothers to justify the dictates of the world’s sole hegemon as a crusade against the current evil, be it communism or terrorism. Simply, the imperial state must be supported. Hence, Trump’s view that “acting as the world’s policeman was too expensive” or his tweet, “time for us to get out,” have become grounds for impeachment.

The article favorably cites Republican majority leader Senator Mitch McConnell, who called on Trump “to exercise American leadership” by capitulating to the dictates of the imperial state, while contrasting it to that glory day “not even three months after his inauguration, [when] he ordered the first military strike of his presidency.”

The Times article continues: “That system is badly broken today. Mr. Trump is so suspicious of the professional staff – many drawn from the State Department and the C.I.A. – and so dismissive of the ‘deep state’ foreign policy establishment, that he usually announces decisions first, and forces the staff to deal with them later.”

“That system,” cited above, is the post-WWII permanent state. Trump is chastised in the Times for being “so dismissive of the ‘deep state’ foreign policy establishment.” Trump instead, according to the article, has the temerity to make his own decisions and then he expects the agencies of government to follow his instructions. For some, having the elected representative formulate policy and the unelected state apparatus follow it would be democratic. But not so for the cheerleaders of US imperialism.

The Dark Knight Rises

Trump’s habitual corruption and bullying have now been outed by a whistleblower. Unlike Ellsberg, Manning, and Snowden, who sought to correct US imperial policy, this whistleblower comes from the very gatekeeper of imperialism, the CIA. According to his lawyers, there is not a lone whistleblower but a whole cabal of well-placed spooks in the secret US security apparatus. The deep state (I would prefer the term “permanent” state) is more than a conspiracy theory.

The impeachment imbroglio is bigger than Trump. That the outing of Trump was done by a current employee of a US agency shrouded in secrecy, who is unaccountable and unknown, should be a subject of enormous concern for all small-d democrats and not just anti-imperialists. The CIA has the means and mission to overthrow regimes, and now ours may be one of them, however undesirable the current president may be.

We, the people, should take no solace that Trump, in his careening about, may stumble in the direction of anti-imperialism. Trump is just as much an imperialist as the rest. Only he is not as reliably consistent and that is what has gotten leading segments of the ruling class into a hissy fit. The ruling class is not always unified on policy. Here we are, witness, to an intra-class struggle. But we needn’t take sides, because the ruling class is always unified in serving their class interests, which are not ours.

A policy conflict, some have speculated, is raging within the ruling class between Trump’s “isolationist” and a more “globalist” imperialism. Rest assured the ruling class has institutions to adjudicate these disputes such as the Council on Foreign Relations. For the neocons and the “liberal” right-to-protect “humanitarian imperialists,” Trump’s lurches in the direction of non-intervention and rapprochement are only venial sins. The mortal sin would be if the erratic Trump fails to listen to what the Times delicately calls the “professionals.”

A corollary fear is if the “populist” (note how the ruling class thinks of this is a pejorative) Trump listens to the people’s desire for peace. Unlike the first fear, the latter is unwarranted. That is, unwarranted unless and until the people rebuild an independent peace movement to check the rising tide of US militarism.

New Study Documents Depleted Uranium Impacts on Children in Iraq

By David Swanson

Source

Depleted Uranium Impacts on Children in Iraq 54701

In the years following 2003, the U.S. military dotted Iraq with over 500 military bases, many of them close to Iraqi cities. These cities suffered the impacts of bombs, bullets, chemical and other weapons, but also the environmental damage of open burn pits on U.S. bases, abandoned tanks and trucks, and the storage of weapons on U.S. bases, including depleted uranium weapons. Here’s a map of some of the U.S. bases:

map of some of the U.S. bases in Iraq 669d4

This map and the other illustrations below have been provided by Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, one of the authors of a forthcoming article in the journal Environmental Pollution. The article documents the results of a study undertaken in Nasiriyah near Tallil Air Base. Nasiriyah was bombed by the U.S. military in 2003 and in the early 1990s. Open-air burn pits were used at Tallil Air Base beginning in 2003. See a second map:

Nasiriyah near Tallil Air Base 3fba6

Now take a look (do not turn away) at these images of infants who were born between August and September of 2016 to parents who had continuously lived in Nasiriyah. The visible birth defects include: anencephaly (A1 and A2 , B), lower limb anomalies (C), hydrocephalus (D), spina bifida (E), and multiple anomalies (F, G, H). Imagine if these tragic birth defects had been caused by a natural disaster or the misdeeds of the next government targeted by the United States for “regime change” — would not the outrage be widespread and thunderous? But these horrors have a different cause.

images of infants f7b97

Top image is another illustration, of hand and foot abnormalities in children in Nasiriyah, and in the ancient city of Ur, near the U.S. base.

The study now being published found an inverse relationship between the distance one lived from Tallil Air Base and the risk of birth defects as well as of levels of thorium and uranium in one’s hair. It found a positive relationship between the presence of thorium and uranium and the presence of birth defect(s). Thorium is a decay-product of depleted uranium, and a radioactive compound.

These results were found near this particular base rather than dozens of others, not because it is necessarily unique; no similar studies have yet been conducted near each of the other bases. The results found by this study are likely to be identical to results that could be found by a similar study next year, or next decade, or next century, or next millennium, at least in the absence of major efforts to mitigate the damage.

Depleted uranium (DU) weapons were not just stored in Iraq, but also fired in Iraq. Between 1,000 and 2,000 metric tons of DU was fired in Iraq according to a 2007 report by the U.N. Environment Program. While not at the same level, the U.S. military has also poisoned the Washington, D.C., area, among other parts of the United States and the globe with DU. The Pentagon to this day claims the right to use DU. Depleted uranium is permanently hazardous waste from the production of nuclear energy, a source of energy marketed by its lobbyists as environmentally beneficial. Here’s a description of DU from Iraq Veterans Against the War, a group (later renamed “About Face: Veterans Against the War!”) many of whose members are familiar with the damage that DU does to people directly, not just to their offspring:

“Depleted Uranium (DU) is a toxic, radioactive heavy metal that is the waste byproduct of the uranium enrichment process when producing nuclear weapons and uranium for nuclear reactors. Because this radioactive waste is plentiful and 1.7 times more dense than lead, the United States government uses DU in munitions/ammunition which are extremely effective at piercing armored vehicles. However, every round of DU ammunition leaves a residue of DU dust on everything it hits, contaminating the surrounding area with toxic waste that has a half-life of 4.5 billion years, the age of our solar system, and turns every battlefield and firing range into a toxic waste site that poisons everyone in such areas. DU dust can be inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through scratches in the skin. DU is linked to DNA damage, cancer, birth defects, and multiple other health problems. The United Nations classifies Depleted Uranium ammunitions as illegal Weapons of Mass Destruction because of their long-term impact on the land over which they are used and the long-term health problems they cause when people are exposed to them.”

Not only did bringing DU weapons to Iraq amount to putting “Weapons of Mass Destruction” in Iraq in the name of eliminating “Weapons of Mass Destruction,” but using and storing DU in Iraq arguably violated the Convention on the Prohibition of the Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques. The use of DU was also one part of an illegal war, which in its entirety violated both the UN Charter and the Kellogg-Briand Pact. Each element of such a war is illegal. In addition, the use of such weapons violates the Geneva Conventions’ ban on collective punishment, as well as the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

The use of these weapons was a small part of the damage done to Iraq, its people, its society, and its natural environment by the war. We ought not to require any legal case before offering aid and making reparations. Basic human decency ought to suffice.

9/11 Unmasked: An International Review Panel Investigation

By David Brooks

Source

911 Unmasked cbc29

David Ray Griffin and Elizabeth Woodworth. Olive Branch Press (Northhampton, MA; 2018) 308 pages

If any book would serve as a tombstone for the government-sponsored account of 9/11, this is it. Here lies the Authorized Conspiracy Theory; rest in pieces. A good fifty of them are laid out in this text for painstaking forensic examination. Like no other book before it, 9/11 Unmasked puts a wooden stake through the monstrous lie of 9/11. It represents the triumph of investigative research and critical thinking over tendentious conspiracy theorizing. Anyone who looks at this body of evidence will never believe the official story again – never, never, never.

Some may wonder why Prof. David Ray Griffin, who has already written voluminously on this subject, should feel compelled to give it another go. But this work functions as a capstone for all that has gone before. 9/11 Unmasked serves as the definitive user’s guide for deconstructing the official version of 9/11. It presents a resounding rebuttal to years of mendacious media reportage and fraudulent government reports. The text is concise and yet precise—300 reader-friendly pages backed up by nearly 900 endnotes. Sectioned into bite-sized chapters, it manages to be both a formidable work of scholarship and one which will appeal to the general public.

As if their own credentials were not enough, Griffin and co-author Elizabeth Woodworth convened a review panel of 23 experts in their respective disciplines to sift through the detritus of that day and arrive at a “best evidence” assessment regarding key components of the 9/11 narrative. Among the 51 subjects covered are the destruction of the Twin Towers and WTC 7, the attack on the Pentagon, claims about military and political leaders, phone calls from the 9/11 flights, and the question of insider trading. On any given point, they juxtapose the official version of events with empirical and testimonial evidence.

Here is a one sample chapter of their analysis:

The Official Account

Osama bin Laden was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. (The 9/11 Commission Report, Chapter 5)

The Best Evidence

The FBI did not list 9/11 as one of the terrorist attacks for which Osama bin Laden was wanted. When asked why, Rex Tomb, when he was the head of investigative publicity for the FBI, stated that the FBI had “no hard evidence” connecting bin Laden to 9/11. There were also other statements indicating that evidence of bin Laden’s guilt had not been provided.

Also, although Secretary of State Colin Powell and British Prime Minister Tony Blair promised to provide evidence of bin Laden’s responsibility for the 9/11 attacks, neither of them did.

Finally, The 9/11 Commission Report discussed the responsibility of bin Laden for the 9/11 attacks as if it had evidence for it. But the “evidence” consisted of statements by captured followers of bin Laden, especially KSM (Khalid Sheikh Mohammed), yet the co-chairmen of the 9/11 Commission—Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton—reported that they had been unable to question KSM or the other detainees. They were not even allowed to observe the interrogations of these men. And so, said Kean and Hamilton: “We …had no way of evaluating the credibility of detainee information. How could we tell if someone such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was …telling us the truth?”

In this passage alone there are seven endnotes substantiating each and every claim made herein. Had Griffin wanted to write at greater length, he could have expounded on how “detainee information” was allegedly obtained through “enhanced interrogation”—torture. But Griffin is intent on documentation. No theorizing; just cold, hard facts obtained from primary sources.

Such meticulous methodology can get tedious quickly, however. God is in the details, but how easy it is to get bogged down in details. Who really cares what time Vice President Dick Cheney arrived at the White House Command bunker or how much insider trading went on? But some in-depth sleuthing pays off. What a shock to learn that the only evidence for hijackers wielding box-cutters is one undocumented phone call supposedly made by the wife of Bush’s Solicitor-General. That’s all! There’s no other evidence box-cutters were used—or even that planes were hijacked. Keep that in mind the next time you’re patted down by airport security agents.

The 9/11 Commission Report works well enough as the outline for an action movie, but in the hands of David Ray Griffin and fellow 9/11 researchers, it does not survive critical scrutiny. How chilling to realize that maybe it was never intended to do so.

Hovering over Griffin’s magisterial analysis are these haunting words by a senior advisor to President Bush (Karl Rove), speaking to a New York Times journalist back in 2004:

We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.

Rove seemed to have anticipated the new academic discipline known as 9/11 Studies—which has indeed gone largely ignored, not only by official government agencies, but by every university political science department in the land. Intellectual analysis doesn’t get more judicious than this, but sure enough, “history’s actors” are still at it, forever plotting war.

But you have to wonder how long these so-called actors can keep up their act. While it’s true that 9/11 Truth has yet to set us free, neither is it going away. With every 9/11 anniversary that passes, more people smell something rotten in the Deep State of America.

Indeed the more judiciously one studies 9/11, the less it seems to fall under the rubrics of political science but that of sheer criminology. A monumental crime was committed – the pre-meditated mass murder of thousands of people! – but as Griffin relates, there was less forensic work done afterwards than what you see on a TV crime show

In this respect 9/11 Unmasked does not live up to its title. By the end of the book we are no more enlightened than at the beginning as to the identity of the perpetrators. The masks stay on. While Griffin produces abundant evidence that various branches of the US government were complicit in a cover-up, the question remains: Who actually committed the crime?

After going to such lengths to prove that explosives were put in World Trade Center, isn’t it time to ask who put them there? But in all the pages expended on the demolition of the WTC, there is not one mention of “Lucky” Larry Silverstein – the man who obtained the office complex only weeks before 9/11 and collected billions on the insurance. Nor is there mention of his good friend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called his pal every weekend without fail. Surely these individuals rate as “persons of interest,” as the police like to say.

But the cause of judicious analysis can only go so far. Having debunked the hallowed narrative of September 11th 51 ways to Sunday, Griffin ends his opus with this less-than-resounding note: “The most fateful example of fake news in the twenty-first century thus far has been the official account of 9/11. It is long past time to set the record straight.”

Is that all we can hope for? “To set the record straight”?! How about catching these criminals before they burn the rest of the planet down?!

But let’s see him do it. Let’s see David Ray Griffin set the record straight. Is there anyone more qualified for the job than the universally acknowledged Dean of 9/11 Studies? Let him reconvene the 9/11 Review Panel Investigation and determine what really happened, who did it, and why. What greater task can they have?

If there’s such a thing as an honest law enforcement agency in America, maybe someone will act on the findings of such a task-force. It’s never too late until it is.

America is Being Slipped Into a Killing Cone!

To kill chickens, butchers often turn them upside down and push their heads through “killing cones”. Once upside down in the cone, the chickens can’t escape.
The butchers cut the living chicken’s throats and let them bleed to death. Today, the New World Order globalists are doing everything they can to turn America upside down and stick the heads of our citizens into killing cones from which we can’t escape. They are force-feeding us violent entertainment. They are pulling people away from the safety of God’s teachings, luring us away from the rest of the flock by ridiculing everything that is virtuous and pure – and leading us into isolation where the wolves can more easily chase us down.
They are taking away our freedoms of speech, assembly, religion, the press and the right to bear arms. And, the American people seem to not even notice that they are being pushed further down the killing cone. They seem to be unaware of the intentions of the butchers. WAKE UP, SLEEPING MASSES! History teaches us that the greatest cause of unnatural death is mass murder of citizens by their own governments! Wake up, sleeping sheep – and take a strong stand against tyrants. Be willing to criticize YOUR OWN PARTY when its leaders do not represent your best interests. America is in a downward spiral. Wake up, America – before escape is no longer possible. My Faith & Family Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXb5… My ASMR Channel: https://www.youtube.com/mysteries333 My Personal Channel: https://www.youtube.com/jake333 💙💙💙 New Blackstone Merchandise here: https://blackstone-intelligence.mysho… 💚 SUBSCRIBE TO JAKE’S EMAIL LIST: https://www.blackstoneintel.com/newsl… —————————————————————– 💙 DONATIONS BY CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD:

The Smoking Gun in the Islamic State Conspiracy: Documents Prove US Arming Islamic State

By Georoid O’ Colmain

Source

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Bulgarian journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva has revealed that the US is arming the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group in Yemen. On her website Armswatch.com, Gaytandzhieva has published the documentation of the weapons contractors involved. A complex international network involving Serbia, Croatia, Afghanistan, and the United States has been supplying arms to IS terrorists in Yemen, where a civil war has been raging since 2015.

Still, shots taken from an IS video in Yemen show weapons manufactured by Serbian state-owned arms manufacturer Krusik and exported by Jugoimport SDPR. The weapons were purchased by American company Alliant Techsystems LLC (a subsidiary of ATK Orbital) on orders from the US Government. They were ordered by the US military as part of the Resolute Support operation in Afghanistan. In other words, they were supposed to be part of the US training and support for Afghan military and police when, in fact, they were shipped to terrorists in Yemen and Syria.

still image taken from the Islamic State video in Yemen 675ad

*(This still image taken from the Islamic State video in Yemen shows mortar shells 82 mm M74 HE lot 04/18 from the Serbian arms factory Krusik along with mortar shells from Bosnia and Herzegovina.)

Gaytandzhieva’s report also shows that US companies have been shipping weapons to Al-Qaeda from the same Serbian manufacturers via US military bases in Croatia and Qatar, as part of the US Special Operations Command’s (USSOCOM) Train and Equip programme in Syria. Many of those weapons have been identified in Al-Qaeda and IS videos in Syria and Yemen.

The finance for these arms supplies was handled by Sierra Four Industries, USA, on behalf of the US Government. But the payment passed through British company Charles Kendall & Partners Ltd. Why would US government contracts pass through private British companies?

Another US arms contractor identified in the documents is Mil Spec Industries. They supply weapons to the US military. In a leaked email to Krusik, they ask that their company name be removed from the weapons packaging. Why does the company not want to be identified? Many names of US military personnel are mentioned in the document and copies of their passports are included. The leak is one of the most important pieces of investigative journalism in recent decades.

Unsurprisingly, no mainstream media outlets have covered the story. Instead, we continue to be told that the US is fighting IS or ISIS. But is there any reason to believe that the US and its allies are really fighting the Islamic State?

Origin of the Islamic State

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria was formed in 2006 in the US Camp Bucca prison in Iraq. A 2014 Guardian report revealed that the group was formed in the prison under US supervision. Another Guardian report in November 2013 claimed the US was using Guantanamo Prison in Cuba as a training ground for double agents. The prison facility used for this purpose was called Penny Lane, a reference to the eponymous Beatle’s song. The Guardian article stated that:

“The biggest fear, former officials involved with the programme recalled, was that a former detainee would attack Americans then publicly announce that he had been on the CIA payroll.”

Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane

It is noteworthy that the US military used allusions to the Beatles in their prison facilities. Penny Lane is a street in Liverpool named after James Penny, a 19th-century slave trader. One cannot help speculate that the “shipping around” of US military-intelligence assets is what the US military had in mind when they set up Penny Lane secret facility.

The “Strawberry Fields” song was released simultaneously with “Penny Lane” in 1967. Critics have pointed out that “Strawberry Fields” contains occult symbolism. The song promotes drug-use and drop-out culture. In the 1950s and 60s the CIA ran programmes testing the effects of psychedelic drugs on the American population in order to assess their utility for social control and military operations. CIA agents such as cultural guru Timothy Leary promoted drugs among America’s youth. It was a generation of hedonism and narcissism which would produce some of contemporary world’s most ruthless capitalist overlords.

In 2001, the director of the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, Andrew Marshall told Wire magazine that pharmacological warfare would be a central component of US military strategy in the following decade. The Armswatch report reveals that Atlas Air is one of the companies operating from Croatia where it undertakes the supply of narcotics on behalf of the US Government. It has been reported that many of the head-chopping terrorists in Syria use amphetamines, notably Captagon. The drugs excite and desensitize the terrorists, encouraging them to commit atrocities. Could the Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields facilities in Guantanamo Bay be the laboratory where these narcotics are tested on future double agents?

During the 2011 Libyan War, Colonel Gaddafi said the rebels in Benghazi were Al-Qaeda and were using drugs. A close associate of Bin Laden, Abdelhakim Belhaj was made NATO commander of Tripoli after the fall of Gaddafi. Belhaj had previously been under US captivity for terrorism, and was accused by former Spanish Prime Minister José Maria Aznar of being the mastermind of the 2004 Madrid train bombings which killed 193 people and injured 2000. Former Guantanamo inmate Abu Sofian bin Qumu was also part of the NATO-backed coalition against Gaddafi in Libya.

But the US Government’s links to terrorists go back a long way. In October 2010, Fox News reported that Yemeni Al-Qaeda leader Anwar Al-Awlaki dined at the Pentagon just months after the 2001 terrorists attacks in New York and Washington. FBI officials told the American news station that Pentagon officials were not interested in security concerns.

That a top Al-Qaeda operative could be invited to the Pentagon just months after the biggest terrorist attack in US history, makes the conspiracy theory that the US military is training terrorists rather than fighting them increasingly appear to be a conspiracy fact.

Terrorists protected by MI6

On 29 July 2005, former prosecutor for the US Justice Department, John Loftus told Fox News that the chief suspect in the July 2005 London bombings, Haroon Rashid Aswat, was an agent of MI6, the British Secret Service. He said they were protecting him and preventing his arrest by the Americans.

Loftus described a vast terrorist network operating in London called the Muhajiroun or Emigrants. It was the recruiting organisation for Al-Qaeda in Britain. MI6 used these terrorists to invade and destroy Yugoslavia during the 1990s, as NATO planned to break up the country into separate states. Loftus said:

“The CIA was funding the operation to defend the Muslims, British intelligence was doing the hiring and recruiting. Now we have a lot of detail on this because Captain Hook, the head of Al-Muhajiroun, his sidekick was Bakri Mohammed, another cleric. And back on October 16, 2001, he gave a detailed interview with al-Sharq al-Aswat, an Arabic newspaper in London, describing the relationship between British intelligence and the operations in Kosovo and Al-Muhajiroun. So that’s how we get all these guys connected. It started in Kosovo, Haroon was 31 years old, he came on about 1995.”

The Kosovan fighters committed countless atrocities against Serbs during the Balkan wars but were hailed as “heroes” by the Western media, while the Serbs were demonized.

NATO had plans for the break-up of Yugoslavia that go back to the 1970s. In an interview shortly before he died, French General Pierre Marie Gallois, “father of the French atom bomb,” explained in detail how NATO had conspired to destroy the Yugoslav Federation. General Gallois described the disinformation campaign waged by the Western media which blamed Kosovo Liberation Army atrocities on the Serbian army. The destruction of Yugoslavia would become a template for future wars of aggression waged by NATO against nations who refused to be subordinated to US military, economic and strategic interests.

The invasion and destruction of Libya in 2011 and the ongoing war against Syria are the most recent examples of genocidal wars waged by the West but blamed on the victims. The vast and highly-financed network of NGOs and compliant media outlets has been the key to keeping the Western public completely ignorant about the origin and nature of NATO’s “humanitarian” wars.

The US Bondsteel military base in Kosovo is the largest in Europe. An important Albanian source recently told me that the Bondsteel military base is being used as a training ground for the Mujahedeen Al Khalq, a terrorist organization which was used by the United States against Iran in the past and is now being revived for further terrorist operations against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Several state media reports in Iraq and Iran have accused the United States and the UK of delivering arms to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. There is no reason to believe they are lying, given the fact that top US officials admit IS is a tool of US geopolitics.

Former NATO commander General Wesley Clark – who stated in 2004 that the United States would “take out” 7 countries in five years – has admitted repeatedly that IS is an invention of US Persian Gulf allies for the geostrategic objective of defeating Iran and Hezbollah.

“Very candidly, the only people that will fight the Iranians and the Shiia and Hezbollah are these zealous, religious nuts; and all the Sunni powers were using them. They created a Frankenstein in the region.”

He also told CNN:

“ISIS got started from our friends and allies because, as people will tell you from the region, if you want somebody who will fight to the death against Hezbollah, you don’t put out a recruiting poster and say: ‘Sign up for us, we’re going to make a better world.’ You go after zealots and you go after these religious fundamentalists. That’s who fights Hezbollah.”

Former US Vice-President Joe Biden confessed to Harvard University students in 2014 that US allies backed ISIS against Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad. In June 2016, Israel’s Military Intelligence Chief, General Herzi Halevey told reporters that Israel does not want to see ISIS defeated in Syria.

Israel has not disguised the fact that it supports ISIS in Syria

Both the Israeli Defense Minister and the former Israeli ambassador to the United States have admitted Israel prefers ISIS to Iran. It has been confirmed by the Israeli press that Al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria have received medical and military aid from Israel. A Dutch Justice Ministry official told De Telegraaf news agency in March 2015 that “ISIS has nothing to do with Islam. It’s part of a plan by Zionists who are deliberately trying to blacken Islam’s name.

Since 2001, the evidence of Western collusion in Islamist terrorism is overwhelming, yet the public remains brainwashed by the NGO-media public relations complex deceptively referred to as “news”, who fail to inform citizens about these facts. In 2015, Sudanese President Omar Bashir told Euro News that the CIA and the Israeli Secret Intelligence Service (Mossad) were behind Boko Harem and ISIL terrorists in Africa. These terrorist organizations are murdering thousands of innocent people and forcing millions of others to flee their countries, exacerbating a world refugee and migrant crisis which is now out of control.

When it appeared that the Trump administration was about to change course and actually eliminate the ISIS terrorists in Syria, the New York Times columnist Thomas L.Friedman complained, suggesting ISIS was of strategic value to the United States. When Donald Trump talks about “fake news”, he never refers to the fact that the mainstream media are supporting Islamist terrorists all over the world by calling them “moderate rebels” and “revolutionaries.”

Documentary proof US backs Islamic State

The Iranian Government has amassed considerable proof that the US and Israel support ISIS.

Gaytandshieva’s report gives details of major arms manufacturers and contractors involved in the supply of weapons to the barbaric terrorists. What emerges is an international network of highly lucrative deals involving billions of dollars — all in the service of genocide.

Since the US-backed bombing of Yemen in 2015, hundreds of thousands of children have starved to death in what is estimated to be one of the largest famines in modern history. Libya, Syria, Yemen, and many more countries throughout Africa have been overrun and destroyed by psychopaths armed and trained by the people who work in these Western arms companies. They must be held to account!

The people named in the leaked documents should be prosecuted for terrorism under international law.

In his 2015 presidential campaign, Donald Trump tweeted repeatedly about getting US forces out of Syria, and ending useless wars. But the wars have continued under his watch. On 20 December 2018, he said that “Russia, Iran, Syria & others are the local enemy of ISIS.”

If President Trump knows that Iran and the Syrian Government are fighting terrorism in the Middle East, why is the US Government preventing US intellectuals and officials — many of whom support Trump — from attending New Horizons Conferences in Iran? The entire focus of the New Horizons Conferences I have attended has been the defeat of Islamist terrorism and the prospects for peaceful relations with the West.

To suggest that there is a “clash of civilizations” — that the West is fighting a “war on terrorism” against an international network of ruthless killers bent on taking away our freedoms — is to propagate the most asinine form of conspiracy theory. What I have written about here is simply the hard and disturbing evidence of a decades-long conspiracy by a global oligarchy of militants, Zionists and bankers to increase their power through genocide and enslavement. Will the masses ever wake up?

In Strawberry Fields, John Lennon sings “living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see”. That is precisely the matrix which the Western military-industrial-media-intelligence complex has imposed on the masses. The purpose of the mass media is to keep your eyes closed, to “take you down”, hypnotizing you into believing we live in a fruit meadow of human rights, freedom and democracy, when in reality what you perceive as strawberry fields is a vast, and ever-expanding sea of blood.

Kill Your Inner John Bolton

By  Caitlin Johnstone

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We each have a miniature John Bolton living rent-free inside our heads, ruining our peace and promoting world domination at every opportunity.

Hear me out.

The most common objection I hear when I advocate non-interventionist foreign policy can essentially be boiled down to something like, “But- but- but if we’re not controlling the world all the time, then the world will be out of our control!” The argument, as I understand it, is that if the US-centralized empire stopped waging endless wars, staging coups, inflicting siege warfare upon civilian populations, patrolling the skies with flying death robots, arming terrorist militias, and torturing journalists who expose US war crimes, the bad guys might win.

The thing I find funny about this argument, apart from the obvious, is that this is also the basic objection that the mind makes when the body is seated in meditation.

“This is all fine,” the mind interrupts constantly while the meditator struggles to find peace. “But there are tasks we must attend to, and there are wrong people on the internet who simply must be put in their place. Life is cold and hostile and we must protect and secure ourselves against it if we’re to be safe. You can keep sitting there doing that breathing nonsense if you must, but I’ve got plans, schemes and witty comebacks to formulate. The world simply cannot get by without my being there to control it.”

The best kind of meditation happens to be the same as best kind of foreign policy: you simply allow everything to be as it is. You sit without trying to manipulate or control any aspect of your experience. Since all mental suffering is ultimately born of the mind’s habit of trying to control life to protect and secure the interests of the illusory ego, the path to inner peace is therefore the same as the path to world peace: just allow things to be as they are.

In this form of meditation, you don’t try to force your mind to concentrate on anything in particular, or engage in any kind of manipulation at all. Thoughts come up about things that need to get done, and you just allow those thoughts to be as they are. Feelings come up about people who have wronged us in the past or stressful situations in the future, and you let them be, without getting involved. Everything which arises in your field of consciousness is given full permission to be as it is, without any mental interventionism.

When you sit in this way, the mind doesn’t really know what to do. It’s only ever existed in the context of conflict and control, so eventually it just lays down and relaxes, like a child throwing a tizzy who the mother just ignores.

It turns out that there is a deep and pervasive peace underlying everyone’s field of consciousness, and the only thing which keeps us from noticing it is our mental habit of continually fighting to control life in various ways. When we can relax and just allow our field of consciousness to be as it is, we notice ourselves beholding it with benevolent detachment, because the deep and pervasive peace underlying the appearance of all forms is in fact our true nature.

But it takes a leap of faith. It takes a decision to trust the world to handle its own affairs. It takes a conscious decision to honor the sovereignty of everyone and everything. Exactly as non-interventionist foreign policy would.

In exactly the same way that Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton argues that the “anarchic international environment” is so dangerous that any means necessary must be employed to bring it under control, we too have a shrill, mustachioed voice in our heads continually arguing that life must be brought to heel at any cost. But in both cases it is the agenda to control the world, and the inability to simply trust it, which is our real enemy. Our enemy is not a cold, hostile world which resists our attempts to control it, no: our enemy is the John Boltons, both within and without.

The natural, default position of both human consciousness and human civilization is peace. It is only by the most rigorous efforts to control and manipulate our world that we drag ourselves kicking and screaming out of that natural state. We will come to peace, both within and without, when we choose to trust the world and take that leap of faith into our true nature. The path to all peace necessarily follows this one unifying trajectory.

And until then of course the objections will continue. “What about the Russians?” “What about the Chinese?” “What about the wrong people on the internet?” But the thing about those objections is they’re quickly becoming irrelevant: humanity simply cannot keep doing things the way it is doing them. We are fast approaching a point where we will either sharply diverge from our current trajectory and make drastic, sweeping changes, or we will all perish due to nuclear war or ecological collapse.

One way or the other the sun will rise one day upon a world without any John Boltons, either in our heads or in Washington, DC. The only say we have in the matter is in whether this will happen because we chose to rid ourselves of the evil mutant death walruses who are driving us toward death and destruction, or because they succeeded in doing so.

CIA Afghan Paramilitaries Prevent Restoration of Peace

By Stephen Lendman

Source

US aggression in Afghanistan continues unabated in its 18th year. Prospects for restoring peace and stability to the war-torn are more illusory than likely.

Talks between Trump regime and Taliban representatives have been ongoing since July last year. 

Claims about concluding them successfully in the near-term are wishful thinking — not as long as CIA-controlled paramilitaries exist in the country.

A new study by Brown University’s Watson Institute (WI) for International and Public Affairs called the “CIA army” of Afghan paramilitary forces a “threat to human rights and an obstacle to peace in Afghanistan.”

It’s involved in the US war OF terrorism, not on it. State terrorism is longstanding US policy, especially post-9/11 when remaining constraints on its imperial rage ended.

CIA controlled paramilitaries in Afghanistan serve US imperial interests. Their existence makes restoration of peace and stability to the country unattainable.

So does keeping US “intelligence assets” in the country on the phony pretext of countering the scourge of terrorism the US created and supports.

Withdrawal of Pentagon forces won’t matter, if occurs, as long as a private CIA army in Afghanistan exists — with likely no intention of leaving.

Established shortly after US aggression on the country was launched, WI said they’ve “committed serious human rights abuses, including numerous extrajudicial killings of

civilians,” adding: 

“CIA sponsorship ensures that their operations are clouded in secrecy. There is virtually no public oversight of their activities or accountability for grave human rights abuses.”

Langley paramilitaries are the modern-day equivalent of CIA-recruited Afghan mujahideen fighters against Soviet occupiers in the 1980s — today’s Taliban, combatting illegal US war and occupation of their country.

They want it back, US invaders out. It’s not likely as long as the CIA’s private army in the country exists.

“Little is publicly known about” it said WI, adding: It’s “an illegal armed group (that) no basis in Afghan law and no formal place in the state security apparatus” authorizes.

“(A)ll we know is that the CIA-sponsored forces are uniformed and well-equipped, sometimes work with American English-speaking men during raids,” and are supported by Pentagon terror-bombing, indiscriminately killing civilians time and again.

Human rights groups and investigative journalists documented their crimes of war and against humanity — “operating with impunity, unconstrained by political or judicial accountability,” WI explained, adding:

“(T)he CIA-sponsored program and activities of its Afghan Army are shielded from public oversight and accountability.” 

“Afghan authorities appear to be uninformed or unwilling to divulge anything about the program’s structure, funding or operations.” 

“UN officials investigating reports of abuses and intentional killings of civilians by (CIA paramilitaries) were unable to obtain any information from Afghan officials.”

The sinister, diabolical, secretive, unaccountable CIA operates extrajudicially at home and abroad. Its existence threatens world peace, stability and security.

Its dirty hands are all over plots against nations on the US target list for regime change — along with involvement in its wars of aggression.

Whatever the outcome of US/Taliban talks, Washington came to Afghanistan to stay, not leave, permanent occupation planned, wanting the country’s resources plundered.

They include barite, chromite, coal, cobalt, copper, gold, iron ore, lead, enormous amounts of highly-valued lithium and other rare earth metals vital for high tech products, natural gas, oil, precious and semi-precious stones, potash, salt, sulfur, talc, zinc, among other minerals.

They represent potentially trillions of dollars of economic value, a treasure Washington has no intention of relinquishing. US policymakers also aim to traverse the country with oil and gas pipelines.

Controlling it is also part of their plan to encircle Russia and China with US military bases, platforms for warmaking.

Afghanistan is the world’s largest opium producer, used for heroin production. What the Taliban eradicated pre-9/11, the US restored.

It’s a bonanza for money-laundering Western banks. The CIA relies on drugs trafficking as a revenue source. 

Permanent war is official US policy, including war by other means by illegal sanctions and other hostile actions against targeted nations.

Whatever US and Taliban representatives may agree on won’t be worth the paper it’s written on.

The history of US talks with other nations shows it can never be trusted.

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