On par with Saudi Arabia: Manama launches an attack on Lebanon

22 Dec 2021

On par with Saudi Arabia: Manama launches an attack on Lebanon

Source: Al Mayadeen

Sondoss Al Asaad

Manama is accused by International organizations of committing torture against political prisoners. Not only does it revoke citizenship from its citizens, now it continues to chase them in their exile.

During a press conference held in Beirut on Thursday, Dec, 9th, Bahrain’s top opposition bloc, Al-Wefaq, launched its annual report monitoring the alarming human rights situation in the country, entitled ‘The Epidemic of Violations’. The report accused the Bahraini government of arbitrarily arresting thousands, including hundreds of women and children, issuing hundreds of politicized sentences, and torturing hundreds of political detainees.

Meanwhile, Bahrain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs submitted a strongly worded protest to the Lebanese government, labeling the Al-Wefaq’s activists as “hostile personnel designated on supporting and sponsoring terrorism lists, with the purpose of broadcasting and promoting abusive and malicious allegations against the Kingdom of Bahrain”.

The statement considered that hosting the press conference is an “unacceptable act, which is a flagrant violation of the principles of respect for the sovereignty of states and non-interference in their internal affairs, in contravention of international charters and the charter of the League of Arab States”.

A court in Bahrain arbitrarily dissolved Al-Wefaq in July 2016, accusing it of helping to foster violence and “terrorism” in the island kingdom. The ruling came amid the escalating crackdown on the peaceful opposition in the aftermath of the 2011 pro-democracy protests. Then, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon deplored the dissolution,  dubbing it “the latest in a series of restrictions of the rights to peaceful assembly, freedom of association, and freedom of expression in Bahrain”.

Bahraini Human rights activist Sayed Youssef Al-Mohafada  tweeted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ statement was marred by inaccuracies, saying, “No person participated in the human rights conference is, internationally or locally, classified on the terrorism lists,” adding that “holding conferences does not violate international conventions, as the statement claims.” Sayed Al-Mohafada noted that “those who wrote the statement are not familiar with international law, human rights law, humanitarian law, and Lebanon’s domestic laws that guarantee freedom of expression”.

Al-Wefaq’s report states that it has observed 20,068 arbitrary arrests of citizens between the onset of the popular movement in February 2011 and mid-2021 this year, among them 1,716 children and more than 300 women. It adds that 1941 politicized judicial rulings were issued during the past two years, including 198 life imprisonment sentences and 309 cases of citizenship revocation, while the number of violations of detainees has reached 1,320, most notably medical negligence, torture, electric shocks, or enforced disappearance.

Returning to Beirut, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s media office issued a  statement requesting an immediate investigation. The Prime Minister “affirms his refusal that Lebanon be used as a platform to offend and insult the Kingdom of Bahrain”, stressing his “keenness on maintaining the strong historical relations”.

Activists on social media got frustrated with Mikati’s statement saying he has given up Lebanon’s minimum level of sovereignty making it a vassal of the monarchies of oppression, injustice, and dictatorship. It once again highlights one of Bahrain’s most blatant systemic policy of citizen revocation, which coincides with the systematic policy of political naturalization, which has led into serious political, social and economic implications in the country.

Bahraini opponent Ali Al-Fayez tweeted, “The [Bahraini] opposition has held tens or even hundreds of press conferences, seminars, and vigils (including the ongoing strike of Ali Mushaima in front of the [UK] embassy in London), and it has political relations in the eastern and western world. This media intimidation against Lebanon is based only on a cheap failed policy led by Saudi Arabia.”

Bouthayna Ollaik, the Lebanese Radio talk-show host, commented, “Some people in Lebanon want to be leaders of a farm, not of a state, and they invented the saying ‘Lebanon’s strength is in its weakness,’ so that they would not bear the responsibility of protecting and defending it, and to remain subject to the foreign tutelage”.

Since 2011, the Bahraini authorities have revoked the citizenship of at least 700 nationals, 232 in 2018 alone, in a process that lacks adequate legal safeguards. This includes many human rights defenders, political activists, journalists, and religious scholars, etc. leaving many stateless, and some have been deported.

In his book “Stateless”, a book about his citizenship revocation in Bahrain, Dr. Ali Ahmed Al-Dairi, a Bahraini critic, academic, and researcher specializing in speech analysis, states that “the state of revoking your nationality plunges you into an existential ordeal that has no treatment or cure”.

“Bahrain seems intent on earning the dubious honor of leading the region in stripping citizenship,” said Eric Goldstein, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “While authorities claim that these acts are linked to national security, they are in fact punishing many people merely for peacefully voicing dissent”.

Last May, SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights, an independent Bahraini NGO that endeavors to preserve universal principles of dignity and respect by shielding democracy, launched during a webinar, a  report entitled ‘Arbitrary Revocation of Nationality in Bahrain: a Tool of Oppression.’ According to SALAM, “This arbitrary practice affects not only the victims, but also their families and future generations. Bahrain should reinstate full citizenship to those who were impacted, provide them with an effective remedy and reparation, and dismantle the arbitrary laws which enable citizenship revocations.”

Just today, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on Manama to release its political prisoners ahead of the National Day celebrations. HRW urged the regime “to free everyone imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of association, peaceful assembly, and expression, including rights defenders, opposition activists, and journalists.” HRW said those who remain confined to “degrading prison conditions, are in part because Bahrain’s powerful allies, like the United States and the United Kingdom, do not speak out against Bahrain’s serious human rights violations”. HRW’s Michael Page noted that Bahrain has one of the highest incarceration rates per capita in the Middle East, adding that the authorities arrested and prosecuted 58 online activists between June 2020 and May 2021 alone. 

Beirut, indeed, has always been a safe refuge for a large gathering of Arab opponents, revolutionaries, and nationalists. Of course, a human rights conference like Al-Wefaq’s was and will not be the first nor the last for the Bahraini opposition in an Arab capital, which has once warmly hosted Ghassan Kanafani, Nasser Al-Saeed, George Habash, and others.

Consequently, we ask: Are the Lebanese officials, the servants of the reactionary Gulf regimes, aware that, by their shameful statements, are compromising Lebanon’s sovereignty and making it a subjugated vassal of their tyranny? Have they ever heard that these activists have been forcibly exiled by Manama after they were unjustly and aggressively deported to be placed by terrorist mercenaries? Then, how has the concept of freedom of expression got to have double standards? What about the shameful Syrian opposition conferences, which have been held in Beirut for years, to ward off blasphemy, terrorism, and systematic atrocities against the Syrian people? Shall Beirut turn into a new ward of the notorious Jaw prison, in which Manama commits the most heinous human rights violations as documented by major international human rights organizations?

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Bahraini Activist: Lebanon’s Deportation of Al-Wefaq Members Is Politically Motivated, Instigated by Saudi Blackmail

December 16, 2021

By Fatima Haydar  

Beirut – Lebanon’s Interior Ministry on Wednesday ordered the Lebanese General Security to deport non-Lebanese members of Bahrain’s opposition party, Al-Wefaq.

The ministry’s order came after a press conference that was held in Beirut on December 11, 2021, in which the Bahraini opposition group presented a documented report on human rights breaches in the kingdom.

Commenting on the incident, Mr. Ali al-Fayyez, a Bahraini political activist told Al-Ahed News, “We believe that the decision, which was issued today [Wednesday] by the Lebanese Minister of Interior, is a political decision and is not based on a legal case – at least this is our basic understanding of the issue”.

Al-Fayyez explained that the conference which was held in Beirut is a “normal situation” and that such activities are held in the West more than in other countries.

He said that the conference was “A peaceful activity guaranteed by international laws and treaties regarding freedom of opinion and expression,” adding that “even the US Department of State, the British Foreign Office and the Human Rights Council” have all issued similar reports to the one presented by Al-Wefaq in the press conference.

The Bahraini activist pointed to the familiarity of the Lebanese capital with holding such conferences saying, “In fact, Beirut, also hosted several press conferences, whether political or human rights”, all the while emphasizing the “timing and the circumstance that Lebanon is going through”.

Moreover, he underscored that “Saudi blackmail with a Bahraini façade – i.e. the ruling authority in Bahrain” – is behind the deportation incident.

“We believe that this step is inconsistent with the history of Lebanon; with what the Arab, the Islamic world or the entire world knows about Lebanon that it embraces different opinions and pluralism, as well as freedom of opinion and expression,” the activist stated.

He further said that the ministry’s decision is “inconsistent with this history and this Lebanese cultural heritage” since “we have known historically that Lebanon embraces opposition groups”.

However, Al-Fayyez noted the Lebanese’s refusal of the decision by citing popular dismay he witnessed on social media.

This being said, the activist commented on the repercussions of such a decision saying, “This political decision is not in anyone’s interest: neither the Lebanese people nor certainly the Bahraini people. It serves only one side: the tyrannical and dictatorship regimes in the Arab and Islamic world”.

He also denounced measures taken by the Al Khalifa regime in an attempt to put an end to the activities of the Bahraini opposition group in London or wherever it is present in the Arab and Islamic world.

“The Bahraini government was unable to send a letter to the British government regarding the activities of the Bahraini opposition,” Al-Fayyez explained.

“We believe that what the regime in Bahraini has done is a cheap blackmail attempt and the export of authoritarian policies, repression, and persecution,” he said.

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Allies of the Devil: Twitter Suspends Al-Ahed News Account for Covering Palestinian Op against ‘Israeli’ Occupiers

Dec 10, 2021

By Al-Ahed News

It was just one day after the heroic operation carried out by a Palestinian teen against an ‘Israeli’ occupier of the land of her ancestors, that Twitter, pushed by the Zionist Mossad, took an unjust measure against one of the resistance media platforms.

In a shameful alliance with the devil, the social media giant is attempting to silence the voices of righteousness that are simply working to cover the truth as it is.

On Wednesday, December 8, 2021, a 15-year old Palestinian girl had the courage to frighten one member of the occupying community whose leaders have been killing her peers ever since they occupied the land of Palestine.

Allies of the Devil: Twitter Suspends Al-Ahed News Account for Covering Palestinian Op against ‘Israeli’ Occupiers

And as far as the freedom of expression is a fundamental human right as stated in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, then:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

However, Twitter chose to side by the criminal and to turn a blind eye at its murders, while labelling those taking the act of resistance to restore their land, safety, and normal life as the faulty ones.

Al-Ahed News website promises its audience and all truth-seekers that it will continue its mission of being the voice of the voiceless, namely the oppressed ones in Palestine, Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and every spot of the world where injustice is practiced.

Kindly follow our new Twitter account: @ahdonaeng

Radwan Mortada: “Joseph Aoun has made a big mistake”

November 29 2021

Why is the Lebanese military command gunning for a lone journalist in the midst of the country’s biggest crisis since the civil war?

By Sharmine Narwani

Radwan Mortada is one of Lebanon’s leading investigative journalists, with almost two decades of experience working with the country’s biggest media outlets.

I met Radwan a decade ago while we were both working at Lebanon’s daily Al Akhbar, he for the Arabic newspaper, me on the English-language website. A veteran security journalist covering military institutions, wars, terrorism, extremism and the layers of intrigue in between, he is one of those rare reporters who can gain access to any information, and call up just about anyone, at any time.

Lebanon has more press freedoms than any country in West Asia, partly because it is politically split in two, with no one party having more power than the others. That rare balance has allowed its media to openly question and criticize all parties and individual political figures, with few of the negative consequences that occur in other states and regions where journalists are roughed up, detained and even killed in ever-rising numbers.

It isn’t often journalists here end up in the slammer for unearthing dirt on the country’s political or business elite, usually because no one person has the power to see it through.

So, when Lebanon’s military court – a body that has absolutely no legal jurisdiction over media activities – sentenced Radwan to imprisonment on 26 November for “the offense of insulting the military establishment,” without providing due notice to the defendant, and in absentia, it created a storm.

The Lebanese Press Editors Syndicate (LPES) immediately expressed its “astonishment” at the decision, and announced that it had assigned its legal advisor to review the case against Mortada with the possibility of filing an appeal.

According to the statement by the LPES, this ruling is a “violation of Article 28 of Legislative Decree No. 77/ 104, as amended by Law No. 330 of 18/1994, which abolished pre-trial detention for publication crimes and the penalty of imprisonment for journalists from most of its rulings.”

Other LPES officials say they will not allow authorities to set a precedent for the imprisonment of journalists who conduct investigative work.

And just today, Reporters sans frontières (Reporters Without Borders or RSF) tweeted:

“RSF condemns the conviction in abstentia of Radwan Mortada by the military court to more than one year in prison for “defaming the army”: an illegal pressure to silence a critical journalist, now forced to move from his home to protect himself and avoid any sentence.

Lebanese media outlets across the political spectrum have covered this story in Radwan’s favor, and the country’s Minister of Information George Kordahi weighed in by saying the ‘Publications Court’ is the only Lebanese body authorized to rule on media affairs, based on the constitution and the laws regulating freedom of opinion and expression.

So why did Lebanon’s military court take action against a leading Lebanese media figure, well outside of its legal jurisdiction? Why now, in the midst of the country’s excruciating economic collapse and with terror and strife within its borders? Was there nothing more important for Lebanon’s military court to address – than this? And who instigated these proceedings?

The Cradle went directly to the source to answer some of these questions. This is what Radwan Mortada had to say:

The Cradle: Lebanon’s military court has sentenced you to one year and one month in prison. Before getting into the details, could you please tell me why a military court is involved in sentencing a journalist? Is this even legal?

Mortada: Military courts have no authority to try journalists for verbal offenses. They cannot prosecute me, and it would be illegal to do so. But the army commander, General Joseph Aoun, uses the military court as a weapon to fights those mentioning him to suppress freedom of opinion and expression. My words about the army command’s responsibility in the Beirut port explosion greatly angered Joseph Aoun, so he decided to make his own law.

First, he decided to ban me from entering the military court without legal justification. When I confronted him by saying that he did not inherit the court from his father to control it as he wishes and break the law, he sent a military force to raid my house and besieged the TV channel where I work to arrest me by force.

The Cradle: We have heard that you were not at the hearing or the sentencing. How is it possible that you were not even allowed to defend yourself? Why was this sentence delivered in absentia?

Mortada: My trial was a sham and a show. The president of the military court, Brigadier General Munir Shehadeh, violated due process because I was not notified of the trial date. This is against the law and exposes the implicit intent to prosecute me in this martial method. Also, the president of the court is an officer under the command of the army commander who filed the complaint against me. How could he be a judge between me and my opponent? The judge is a lower rank than the commander and has to respond to his orders by saying: ‘Yes, my commander.’

There is also a legal precedent issued by the military court itself. Hanin Ghaddar had previously been sentenced in absentia to six months in prison. But the president of the court at the time, Brigadier General Hussein Abdullah, ruled that the military court had no jurisdiction to try journalists after the United States withdrew his entry visa to America.

The Cradle: What are the military court’s charges against you?

Mortada: Offending the Lebanese Army, disparaging the military institution, and harming national security and the prestige of the state.

The Cradle: You believe the ultimate responsibility of the ammonium nitrate stores in Beirut’s Port lies with Lebanon’s military establishment. In essence, the Beirut blast happened under Joseph Aoun’s watch. Why hasn’t he been held accountable by the lead investigative judge, Tarek Bitar?

Mortada: Here is the root of the problem. I was the first to announce the responsibility and negligence of the army that led to the explosion of the Port of Beirut on 4 August 2020. I said that if the army had done its duty as it should have, the explosion would not have happened. This is a fact because the law holds the army exclusively responsible for dealing with ammonium nitrates.

But the judicial investigator, Tarek Bitar, is weak before the army and the current leadership represented by Joseph Aoun, so he did not dare to summon him. The responsibility of the army exists even if there are no traceable documents or if paperwork has been destroyed. If the army says it was not aware of the presence of a time bomb weighing 2,755 tons perched in the heart of Beirut for seven years, that is an even greater catastrophe since its most basic mission is to maintain security in the country.

The Cradle: I’ve known you and worked with you for a decade. We’ve even written articles together. I know your integrity and how you work, and I personally consider you among Lebanon’s most productive and professional journalists. So when you raise questions, I know you’re onto something. Do you trust this investigation of the Beirut Port explosion? Why or why not?

Mortada: In fact, I am personally acquainted with judicial investigator Tariq Bitar, but I am suspicious of the course of the investigation because I sense discrimination in the way this case is managed. The support Bitar has from America and some of the right-wing Lebanese parties only increases my apprehension and concern. You personally know that I have seen the documents that detail the investigation into the explosion in the port of Beirut. So I know there are officials whom the judicial investigator did not approach. The biggest evidence is his decision to exclude the current army leadership from the investigation, even though Joseph Aoun has been at the head of the army since 2017 and he bears the responsibility for this neglect.

I wish Judge Bitar had dealt with this case in another way, given the sensitivity of matters in our country. He should have summoned everyone, then decided who was responsible and charged him, but the direction of the investigation created a kind of suspicion. Therefore, I declared that I did not trust the existing investigation. But in order not to prejudge its results, I am patiently awaiting the issuance of the indictment decision by Judge Bitar to announce my final position on the investigation.

The Cradle: You wrote a very courageous piece for The Cradle that identified seven Lebanese judges that must be held accountable for unloading, storing, then ignoring the ammonium nitrate stores in Beirut’s Port. Why are these judges not being held accountable either?

Mortada: This judiciary branch bears this responsibility because it serves as a protective umbrella for the judges. Judge Bitar filed complaints against a number of judges. Although the complaints came late, the delay of the Cassation prosecution in ruling against them makes it bear a great responsibility.

The Cradle: You also covered the mass shootings and killings in Tayouneh on 14 October, and were the first to point out that the Army’s statements before and after Aoun’s meeting with the US Ambassador Dorothy Shea were different. Explain that to us.

Mortada: I wrote that the negligence of the Lebanese Army caused the Tayouneh massacre, which claimed the lives of seven innocent citizens, some of whom were shot by the army. It almost erupted into a civil war, given that this took place on a contact line between areas where a Shia majority and a Christian majority live. I spoke about the army’s responsibility and its neglect in separating the demonstrators, its wrong way of dealing with the demonstration, and the shooting that erupted after the demonstration.

I also published secret investigations conducted by the army, which showed that there was an ambush prepared the night before the demonstration, which was heading to the Palace of Justice to protest the performance of the judicial investigator Bitar in the explosion of the port of Beirut. The publication of these investigations angered the army, as they were leaked from the military court.

The Cradle: Who does Joseph Aoun think he is to do this, and why is he so focused on you, one of Lebanon’s leading journalists and a veteran security correspondent with the country’s top media outlets who has broken countless stories over the years?

Mortada: I was among the very few journalists to dare to call it by its name. I was the first to talk about the army’s main responsibility for the Beirut port explosion. Many others are afraid to face them or they are on their payroll. But I’m not one of them. Nobody can buy me and nobody can intimidate me. I carried my blood in my hands and went to the front lines and covered the lives of the most radical jihadist fighters. I was arrested in Syria. I was not afraid and I will not fear anyone. In my search for the truth, there are no red lines. I only want the truth. I know that this issue frightens many. Joseph Aoun is one of them.

The Cradle: Do you think Joseph Aoun has picked the wrong battle? Lebanon’s media associations have all, without exception, come in on your side.

Mortada: Definitely. Joseph Aoun has made a big mistake by deciding to go ahead with this fight. The battle with the press to suppress freedom of opinion and expression is a losing battle. The time of the police state is long gone. We are today in the twenty-first century. If he does not know it, he must change his advisors who are leading him to the abyss.

The Cradle: We all know that Joseph Aoun has aspirations to become president of the republic. He has increasingly associated himself and the LAF with the Americans, when Lebanon is clearly divided into two different political camps. Why would someone who is changing the highly-respected neutrality of the Lebanese army be fit for this position?

Mortada: I don’t think that General Joseph Aoun’s mentality qualifies him to be president of Lebanon. An officer leading an army cannot ask a military force to raid a media outlet to arrest a journalist, while he himself is thinking of becoming the president of Lebanon. Lebanon deserves better in light of the suffering of its people. Short-sightedness, narrow-mindedness, and personalization are not characteristics of a successful leader.

You know that the World Bank announced that Lebanon is going through one of the three worst economic crises in 150 years. You know the extent of the economic collapse, hunger, and unemployment that the Lebanese suffer from. I myself feel ashamed because my case came out in public at this time with all the tragedies we are experiencing. Imagine that the army chief and the president of the military court have nothing more important on their plate than going after a journalist they want to discipline, while forgetting about all the crises our country is going through.

The Cradle: What are you going to do now to fight these charges and stay out of prison?

Mortada: I will fight to the end. There is a team of lawyers that is objecting to the military court’s ruling. I will not accept any settlement and will follow up on every detail and highlight every violation. Dozens of foreign and Lebanese journalists and human rights defenders have contacted me and denounced the unjust ruling issued against me for simply expressing my opinion.

The Cradle: Radwan, I’ve learned a lot from you over the years and continue to do so. Thank you for your frankness and your courage in reporting the things we all want to know. What will you do when your name is cleared? Will you change your voice?

Mortada: Thank you, Sharmine. I assure you, this case will make me raise my voice higher and higher. I will open my eyes more to their violations and the approach they represent. I am a well-known journalist in Lebanon, and yet they attacked me. What do you think they will do to the rest of the citizens and the extent of the injustice they inflict on those who have no voice?

This ruling alerted me that I was inattentive in some areas related to the leadership of the army and the presidency of the military court. Today, I will work hard to count their every breath to shed light on any offense they commit.

تعلموا الديموقراطية في السعودية؟

27.10.2021

تعلموا الديموقراطية في السعودية؟ 

ابراهيم الامين – صحيفة الاخبار

الديموقراطية، وفق القاعدة التي تديرها السعودية، تقول إن ما يرضي قياداتها هو رأي حر يجب احترامه، وما يعاكسها أو يخالفها هو اعتداء على سيادتها. وليست هذه حال السعودية فقط، بل حال كل مجانين إمارات القهر والموت، من السعودية إلى الكويت والبحرين وقطر والإمارات العربية المتحدة. لكن المأساة أن صبيان هذه الدول، عندنا، يتبنّون هذه القاعدة في محاكمتهم كل من يخالفهم الرأي. ويُظهرون حساسية منقطعة النظير لإدانة كل من ينتقد هذه الدول المحكومة بقوانين القرون الوسطى، ولا يصدر منها – ولم يصدر يوماً – سوى الموت والقهر.

قامت الدنيا ولم تقعد لكون وزير الإعلام جورج قرداحي عبّر، قبل توليه منصبه الحكومي، عن رأيه الشخصي في مسائل خلافية قائمة في العالم العربي، وقال ما يؤمن به كثيرون في هذا العالم: إنه ضد الحرب الكونية التي هدفت إلى تدمير سوريا، وضد الحرب العدوانية على اليمن، وإنه مع المقاومة.
يا لطيف!
ما الذي يجب أن يحصل؟
أحزاب وقوى وشخصيات وسياسيون ومثقفون وإعلاميون انتفضوا لكرامة حكومات الموت في ممالك الصمت طالبين رأس الرجل، فقط لأنه ممنوع انتقاد أحد مثل الدبّ الداشر محمد بن سلمان الذي قطّع الصحافي جمال الخاشقجي، والذي وصفه سعد الجبري، في محطة أميركية، بأنه ولد مجبول بالحقد، ومهووس بقتل منافسيه وخصومه، وأنه خطط يوماً لقتل الملك عبدالله بخاتم مسموم، وأنه، كما حكام الإمارات، لا يترددون في مطاردة خصومهم من أبناء بلدهم في أي مكان في العالم لقتلهم، أو خطفهم في أحسن الأحوال.
كل الإعلام اللبناني، ما عدا «الأخبار»، لم يجرؤ على انتقاد هؤلاء القتلة الذين يفتكون بشعب اليمن كما فعلوا في سوريا. هلا تراجعون كم أنفقت قطر على الإرهابيين الذين دمروا سوريا، وكيف تنافس حكام قطر والإمارات على سرقة آثار العراق وسوريا بعد تدميرهما والعبث بأمن شعبيهما. وهلا يشرح لنا هؤلاء ما الذي كانت قوات هذه الدول تفعله في اليمن منذ نحو عقد، مع ست سنوات من القتل اليومي.
إنه «الغضب الإلهي» على رجل قرّر أن يعلن رأيه، من دون الدعوة إلى إطاحة هؤلاء القتلة أو المطالبة بمحاسبتهم. ومع ذلك، يريد مسؤولون عندنا، إلى جانب جيش المرتزقة من إعلاميي تركي آل الشيخ وطحنون بن زايد وتميم بن حمد وأزلام حكام الكويت، إعدام جورج قرداحي لأنه انتقدهم… وكل من يقود هذه الحملة يذكّرنا بأن هذه الدول إنما تستضيف مئات الآلاف من اللبنانيين الذين من دونهم لا نأكل ولا نشرب.
ما من داع لكثير من النقاش مع هؤلاء. بل يجب تذكيرهم، وتذكير حكام إمارات وممالك القتل والقهر وأزلامهم هنا، بأن الصمت هو أفضل ما يقومون به. أما جورج قرداحي فهو حر في ما يقول. وفي ما يؤمن به. هو حر. ونقطة على السطر.

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PA Arrests Civil Rights Advocates in Ramallah

August 24, 2021

Palestinians rally to protest Nizar Banat’s assassination. (Photo: Mohammed Asad, via MEMO)

The Palestinian Authority’s security forces have been arresting civil rights activists in Ramallah for the third consecutive day, Lawyers for Justice announced yesterday.

“Among those arrested were the freed prisoner, Muhammed Allan, Ibrahim Abu Al-Ezz, and Loay Al-Ashqar,” the rights organization said in a statement, adding that the arrests are creating a state of “chaos and absence of law.”

On Sunday, the PA’s security forces were reported to have prevented the organization from holding a demonstration at the Al-Manara roundabout located in central Ramallah. They also reinforced their presence around the Al-Manara Square. and arrested all those attempting to start a protest.

Civil rights groups in the occupied West Bank have been holding regular protests in demanding the killers of activist Nizar Banat be brought to justice and for elections to be held in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Banat was a candidate for the Palestinian Legislative Council election which should have been held this year. The election was canceled by PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Banat was killed by PA security forces in late June.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Palestinian women journalists speak out against ‘deliberate’ attacks by PA forces

Palestinian Authority forces have violently assaulted women reporting on protests in Ramallah

A recent protest in Ramallah, where Palestinian Authority forces have been targeting women journalists including Najlaa Zaitoun, photographed here (Supplied)

By Aziza Nofal in RamallahPublished date: 2 July 2021 14:49 UTC | Last update: 2 days 1 hour ago

For several days now, Palestinian journalist Najlaa Zaitoun has been trying to convince her children, 11-year-old Haytham and 8-year-old Zein, to leave the house. 

‘A person wearing plain clothes threatened me, to my face, that he would rape me, and then defame my reputation’

– Najlaa Zaitoun, journalist

“I’m afraid the person who beat you will come and beat me,” Zein said to her, as she urged them to keep up their training at the sports club they usually go to every day. 

On 26 June, the 35-year-old was assaulted by plainclothes security forces while she was covering protests called following the death of popular Palestinian activist Nizar Banat while in Palestinian Security Forces custody two days earlier. 

The security forces chased Zaitoun, seized her phone, which she was using to film the protest, and violently attacked her with a truncheon. She was also threatened with rape.

“A person wearing plain clothes threatened me, to my face, that he would rape me, and then defame my reputation,” she tells Middle East Eye.

Palestinian female journalists attacked by PA forces
Bruises Najlaa Zaitoun sustained while covering the protests can be seen on her arm (Supplied)

Zaitoun has been living in a state of fear ever since and the violent beating she received has left visible marks on her body.

“I don’t feel safe, not even in my own home,” she says. Since the attack, Zaitoun has been staying at her parents’ house. 

Meanwhile, the assault on the journalist has moved online, with a smear campaign targeting her on social media accounts affiliated with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and accusing her of being the “one who attacked the security forces.” 

Targeted attacks

The attack on Zaitoun is one of several instances of violence against women journalists in the course of their work covering the protests. The incidents indicate that Palestinian security forces are specifically targeting women journalists, as reflected in the escalating levels of hostility and violence towars them compared to their male counterparts.

Attacks on women journalists have included physical violence, as was the case with Zaitoun and four others; confiscation of electronic devices used to cover the events; intimidation and harassment; chasing journalists in the street; arrest attempts and a ban on reporting. 

The assaults have continued even after the protests were over, with many female journalists receiving veiled threats that they will be discredited and defamed.

Saja al-Alamy is one of those attacked while reporting on the protests. On 24 June, Alamy was subjected to several attempts by security forces to prevent her from doing her job, and had to show her Palestinian Journalists Syndicate membership card each time. 

Palestinian female journalists attacked by PA forces
‘My press armour helped the perpetrators to identify me as a journalist, and attack me’, Saja Alamy says (Supplied)

Two days later, expecting journalist to go on being obstructed, Alamy wore her bulletproof press body armour and affixed her press card on the back of her phone, which she was using to film the events. 

None of this stopped her from being attacked. Instead, she believes the measures did her more harm than good.

“My press armour helped the perpetrators to identify me as a journalist, and attack me,” she says, adding that she was only able to escape the scene after she had taken off her press vest and concealed her identity as a journalist.

“There was a direct attack on us. One of the security officers in plainclothes was pointing at my female journalist colleague and me, asking his partner to take a photo of us so that he can identify us later,” she says.

Security forces had first attacked a group of journalists, including Alamy, with tear gas, but upon noticing her filming an attack on protesters, she was directly targeted. Alamy resisted the officers’ violent attempt to confiscate her phone, and refused to hand it over. She then managed to flee the scene to a nearby building and hide in a women’s toilet.

Alamy tried for more than an hour to reach her colleagues for help, but all entrances were being watched by security officers, including those who had chased her. She was eventually able to escape, after shedding her press armour, and pretended to be out shopping.

Life threatening

MEE reporter Shatha Hammad was also among the women journalists who were targeted in the attacks of 26 June.

She sustained a shrapnel wound to her face from a tear gas canister that a security officer shot directly at her after failing to confiscate her phone. 

Hammad says that security officers in plainclothes had focused their attention on women reporters, singling them out by pointing at them, even before the clashes erupted, which, she believes, suggests that the assault was planned and deliberate.

According to Hammad, the unprecedented violence against women journalists made her feel insecure and trapped.

“What happened is life threatening,” she says, demanding immediate action from local and international organisations to provide the necessary protection for them.

Palestinian female journalists attacked by PA forces
Shatha Hammad sustained wounds to face after being directly targeted with a tear gas cannister 

The detailed testimonies of women journalists were shocking to many, especially the Palestinian Authority’s use of cultural norms to shame and intimidate women, exercising social pressure against them as an attempt to silence and prevent them from performing their work. 

According to Ghazi Bani Odeh, head of the monitoring and documentation unit at the Palestinian Centre for Development and Media Freedoms (Mada), these exponential attacks against women journalists are unprecedented and planned. 

“The assaults on female journalists have two levels. The first is the direct physical violence in the streets; then comes the online attacks designed to incite people to exert social pressure on them,” Bani Odeh tells MEE, in reference to the smear campaigns that use hate speech that could fuel violence against them. 

Smear campaigns

One of the journalists targeted by a defamation campaign was Fayhaa Khanfar, who was beaten up in the street on 26 June, with her phone stolen from her as she covered the protest.

‘When I regained consciousness, I went to security officers crying and asking for help. But no one moved a muscle’

– Fayhaa Khanfar, journalist

Security officers in plain clothes had chased Khanfar to confiscate her device and knocked her to the ground, causing her to briefly lose consciousness. 

No one had intervened to help her. The attack resulted in a hairline fracture to her shoulder and bruises all over her body.

“I was attacked by security officers wearing plain clothes. They pushed me to the ground and stole my phone,” Khanfar tells MEE.

“When I regained consciousness, I went to security officers crying and asking for help. But no one moved a muscle.”

Orchestrated online attacks targeted Khanfar, who wears the hijab, aimed to discredit her in a conservative society by circulating images of a girl in beachwear, who looks very similar to Khanfar, and falsely identifying her as the journalist.

Khanfar was later summoned for interrogation at the intelligence headquarters in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, and told that she had to appear if she wanted to collect her phone, a move she considered an attempt to lure her in and arrest her.

Wafa Abdulrahman, the director of Filistiniat, a civil society organisation, sees the attacks on journalists as a chilling attempt to silence the women who have been spearheading the protests. 

Palestinian female journalists attacked by PA forces
Fayhaa Khanfar suffered a hairline fracture to her shoulder and bruises all over her body (Supplied)

Abdulrahman says that the systematic targeting of women journalists is intended to first send them a threatening message, and second, to warn the society that women reporters will not be spared and that the power of the security forces is unbreakable. 

As attacks on women journalists continue through online defamation campaigns and veiled threats, they find themselves living in constant danger and feeling personally insecure. 

According to Majid Arori, a media freedom activist and a human rights specialist, there has to be individual and collective legal actions to deter such attacks in the future. 

“The attacked women journalists must file legal complaints, providing the necessary documentation via local and international legal organisations to exert pressure on those who perpetrated the assaults,” he says, adding that these attacks are attempts to suppress critical voices and any protests against corruption. 

The Democracy vs. Freedom Dispute

About me

July 1, 2021 

by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—Democracy and Freedom

In the United States, there is a dispute over whether democracy and freedom are compatible. Some, such as Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, have questioned their compatibility, and even asserted that freedom, rather than democracy, is what the U.S. really stands for. These terms are often used out of context and the dispute often suffers from a lack of historical knowledge, but there is nothing surprising about that. 

Most of the men who put together the U.S. Constitution saw the world in class, racial and gender terms. While they wanted a more democratic government than that in England which, for propaganda purposes, they had portrayed as a tyranny, the new American democracy had to be carefully structured. Here is how this translated from theory into practice: the common man’s passions should be held in check by a system that kept the power to make policy in the hands of those white males who had “a material stake in society”—that is, the propertied class. For large segments of the population democracy was to be denied due to both gender and color. 

Only a relative few of these men were thinking about freedom per se. And those who did, certainly did not define it in open-ended libertarian terms. Indeed, in late 18th century America, freedom came in two flavors: (1) first and foremost, the freedom from “unreasonable” taxation. What is unreasonable in this sense, would be argued about incessantly right up into the present. (2) Protection against the abuse of government power. The notion of abuse was directly connected to a) examples of alleged British excesses leading up to the American Revolution and b) Federalist party practices (when in power) like the suppression of critical newspapers and pamphlets. It is to cover a host of these sorts of issues, collectively posited as the protection of individual rights or freedoms, that Jefferson and Madison insisted a bill of rights be added to the Constitution as its first set of amendments. Once this was accomplished (December 1791) America’s democracy and a constitutional list of protected rights/freedoms, became compatible. 

Part II—Getting Things Wrong 

Now we fast forward to the present and Republican Senator Rand Paul, who was recently quoted in the New York Times as follows: “The idea of democracy and majority rule really is what goes against our history and what the country stands for [which is freedom]. The Jim Crow laws came out of democracy. That’s what you get when a majority ignores the rights of others.” He goes on to connect Republican Party opposition to a bipartisan congressional investigation of the January 6 “protest” (it was really an attempted insurrection) with the right of the political minority to protect itself against the majority. All of this is ahistorical and illogical. 

When taking up Paul’s position there are several points to consider:

First: Historical accuracy. Paul seems confused about the status of majority and minority when it comes to freed slaves in the American South at the time Congress abandoned Reconstruction (March 1877). At this time, the Black population in large parts of the rural South constituted the numerical majority. So, the Jim Crow laws that quickly followed were the products of a local political/racial minority (southern Whites) seeking to suppress the newly won rights of their local majorities (southern Blacks). Thus, Paul has his facts backwards. He might have made this mistake because he thinks that the American Black population has been a minority at all times and in all places throughout the country’s history. Yet here we have an important exception—an exception that challenges the senator’s argument that discriminatory behavior principally has its source with oppressive majorities.

Today, if Senator Paul is looking for a minority in need of protection, he should focus on contemporary southern Blacks (who are now indeed a minority both in size and power.) They are now faced with a white Republican Party in control of state legislatures seeking to suppress the voting access of minorities.

Second. Paul seems not to take into consideration that the American majority has grown and diversified. In other words, when it comes to what the government (local, state and federal) cannot do to you (like suppress your voting rights)—the you have steadily grown larger. Theoretically this should bode ill for the rightwing state legislatures mentioned above. It is unclear how Senator Paul personally feels about this (such narrowing of the election laws has not taken place in his home state of Kentucky), but he is an active member of the Republican Party, and that is party playing fast and loose with the voting laws in a host of southern and mid-western states. Why is the Republican Party doing this? Because a growing and diversifying majority creates a growing number of voters and most come from Black and other non-white segments of the population. Exercising their participatory political rights, they tend to vote Democrat. 

Third. The constitutionally protected rights or freedoms are not open-ended. Yet Paul seems to suggest that they are when he asserts that to protect the Republican minority in the Senate, the party can block a bipartisan investigation of the January 6 insurrection. On the one hand, it is quite true that the bill of rights was designed as, and remains, a necessary defense of individual rights from majority demands for political or cultural uniformity. On the other, one can ask, what is Paul and the Republicans trying to protect their party from? The bill of rights does not, and never was supposed to stifle investigation of criminal acts. The only thing the bill of rights does in this regard is to guard the individual against illegal evidence gathering procedures and other abusive practices on the part of law enforcement.

Part III—Misusing the Bill of Rights

Against this background, how are we to understand Paul’s specific application of minority rights? At the very least, we can understand it as a misinterpretation of the purpose and intent of the bill of rights and the protections it offers individual citizens. In other words, he is defending his party’s refusal to allow a bipartisan investigation of an apparent crime—a crime with potentially embarrassing trail of evidence.

The Republican Party and its conspiracy-spinning allies in the press and social media (whose speech is nonetheless protected) essentially created an alternate reality for millions of Americans that led some of them to insurrection. Despite many evidence-based demonstrations to the contrary, millions have bought into the myth that former President Donald Trump was cheated—and thus they, his supporters, were also cheated—out of victory in the 2020 presidential election. While both the Republicans and their supporters may believe the unbelievable—aver the demonstrably false—they have no right under the Constitution and its bill of rights to express such a delusion by going on a rampage, destroying public property, and attacking public officials. They have no protected right—no “freedom” to do this even if they claim, probably truthfully, that they believed the president told them to do it. 

Taking the next step, what is the real-world consequence of Paul’s defense? Well, given the likelihood that the investigation would connect elements of the Republican Party to the actions of the insurrectionists, this must be seen as self-serving obstruction of justice—itself a crime. For Paul, this is the “freedom” that—conveniently—supersedes democracy. 

Finally, the whole affair is a scary example of a paradox: The protection of speech, that is the right to free speech, can  degenerate into a campaign of lies and this can easily lead people to unprotected, that is criminal, actions. This is, admittedly, a downside of the bill of rights. An individual (and keep in mind that under U.S. law corporations are seen as individuals) has a protected right to lie to the public—to wit: broadcasted fantasies ranging from those of the National Inquirer to Fox TV and, lest we forget, Donald Trump.

Part IV—Conclusion

It is worth repeating that one of the positive things about the political evolution of the United States is that it has expanded the ranks of the participatory majority. In political terms, citizens of all genders and races now have both participatory rights and protected individual rights. Correspondingly, the minority—referring here specifically to those who object to this historical expansion—is slowly shrinking. While the latter’s rights to, say free speech, will remain protected, their ability to retain political and cultural power may well diminish over time. There is no doubt that the Republican leadership has a sense of this possibility, and this accounts for their increasingly fierce and frenzied attempts to turn back the clock. 

The shift of emphasis from an expanding democracy with protected individual rights/freedoms, to a dangerously ad hoc and sometimes illogical version of freedom, is part of that frenzied activity. Senator Paul and his friends, very short on historical facts and judgment, want all of us to believe in the absurd. That is, obstruction of justice in the name of minority rights is “what the country stands for.”

Canada’s government is seeking to silence Canadian journalists at home and abroad with a draconian censorship bill

moi

 

Eva Bartlett

RT.com

As a Canadian journalist, I could be subject to a censorship bill which, if passed in Senate, means the government in Canada can effectively shadow-ban and censor my voice into oblivion, along with other dissenting voices.

After seeing his tweet on the issue of Bill C-10, recently passed in the House of Commons, I spoke with Canadian journalist Dan Dicks about this. He explained that the bill is being presented as being about Canada bringing Big Tech companies under the regulation of the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission), to have them display more Canadian content.

“But what people are missing,” he cautioned, “is that there were clauses put into this bill, protections for certain publishers and content creators that would protect people like myself and yourself.”

Those clauses, he said, were recently removed from the bill, leading many content-creating Canadians aware of the bill to worry they will be treated the same as a broadcaster or a programmer, subject to the regulations of the CRTC.

The bottom line is that, beyond the mumbo jumbo of the government, this is the latest attack on freedom of expression, and on dissent. 

“It really appears that it’s a backdoor to be able to control the free flow of information online, and to begin to silence voices that go against the status quo,” Dicks said, warning that fines for violators could follow.

“It’s not looking good for individual content creators. Anybody who has any kind of a voice or a significant audience, where they have the ability to affect the minds of the masses, to reach millions of people, they are going to be the ones who are on the chopping block moving forward.”

Names like James Corbett come to mind. Although based in Japan, as a Canadian he would be subject to the bill. And with his very harsh criticisms of many issues pertaining to the Canadian government, he is a thorn they would surely be happy to remove under the pretext of this bill.

Or Dicks, who likewise creates videos often critiquing Canadian government actions.

Or researcher Cory Morningstar, authors Maximilian Forte, Mark Taliano, Yves Engler, or outspoken physicist Denis Rancourt, to name a handful of dissenting voices. Agree or not with their opinions, they have the right to voice them.

Or myself. I’ve been very critical of Canada’s Covid policies and hypocrisy, as well as Canada’s whitewashing of terrorism in Syria, support to neo-Nazis in Ukraine, and unwavering support for Israel which is systematically murdering, starving, and imprisoning Palestinian civilians–including children.

An article on the Law & Liberty website, which describes itself as focussing on “the classical liberal tradition of law and how it shapes a society of free and responsible persons,” notes the bill enables “ample discretion to filter out content made by Canadians that doesn’t carry a desirable ideological posture and [to] prioritize content that does.”

The article emphasizes that the bill violates Canadians’ right to free expression, as well as “the right to express oneself through artistic and political creations, and the right to not be unfairly suppressed by a nebulous government algorithm.”

It noted that Canadians with large followings, like Jordan Peterson, Gad Saad and Steven Crowder, “each enjoy audiences which far exceed any cable television program.”

As with my examples above, these prominent Canadian voices likewise risk shadow-banning under this bill.

But, worse, there is another bill, C-36, that also portends heavy censorship: the “Reducing Online Harms” bill. This one not only involves censorship, but hefty fines and house arrests for violators

The same  Law & Liberty article notes, “Canada is also expected to follow the template of Germany’s NetzDG law, which mandates that platforms take down posts that are determined to constitute hate speech—which requires no actual demonstrated discrimination or potential harm, and is thus mostly subjective—within 24 hours or to face hefty fines. This obviously will incentivize platforms to remove content liberally and avoid paying up.”

The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF), rightly, contests this bill, noting, “the proposed definition of hate speech as speech that is ‘likely’ to foment detestation or vilification is vague and subjective.” 

Maxime Bernier, leader of the People’s Party of Canada, is likewise extremely critical of the bills.

Trudeau has made every issue about race, gender and religion since his election. Now he wants to criminalize everyone who disagrees with his tribalist vision.C-36 is the worst attack ever against free speech in Canada.https://t.co/6Z5EefmviP— Maxime Bernier (@MaximeBernier) June 25, 2021

The CCF points out the potential complete loss of Canadians’ fundamental rights with these bills.

It should be common sense that these bills are extremely dangerous to Canadians, however cloaked in talk of levelling playing fields and of combating hate speech they may be.

Terrified Washington resorts to piracy as it loses grip over West Asia

Terrified Washington resorts to piracy as it loses grip over West Asia

June 25, 2021

by Aram Mirzaei for the Saker blog

In what can only be called an act of piracy, the US government “seized” several pro-resistance media outlets in a coordinated attack this week. One of the outlets that were siezed was Presstv.com. Other web domains, including Palestine al-Youm, a Palestinian-directed broadcaster, Karbala TV – the official television of the Imam Hussein (PBUH) shrine in the holy Iraqi city of Karbala, Iraqi Afaq TV, Asia TV and al-Naeem TV satellite television channels, as well as Nabaa TV which reports the latest stories about Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries, were also seized.

Citing bogus reasons such as “threat to national security”, the US regime once more proved what a great leader of democracy and freedom it indeed is. Apparently, Washington believes that it cannot win a free and fair debate with outlets such as PressTV, so the only way to “win” is to prevent others from presenting their viewpoint. Imagine if other countries did the same thing and seized CNN or Fox News’ website. The US would probably start a war if countries like Iran or North Korea made such moves. The self-worshipping West loves to criticize other countries for “suppressing free media” while they portray themselves as a safe haven for “opinions of all kinds”.

The fact that the United States ranks last in media trust — at 29% — among 92,000 news consumers surveyed in 46 countries, doesn’t seem to matter. That’s worse than Poland, worse than the Philippines, worse than Peru, yet Washington still seems to have the “moral” right to condemn these countries as well, because any lack of trust in US media is explained as being the result of “foreign disinformation campaigns” and totally not related to the fact that the US media only exists to manufacture consent for Washington’s continued imperialist aggression.

Ironically, the suppression of information is happening while Washington funds and supports perhaps hundreds of propaganda networks such as BBC Persian, VOA Iran and ManotoTV, all known for disseminating vulgar and unprofessional propaganda. Some of these networks are being run by the family members of the Shah of Iran and via using the Iranians’ plundered wealth, to openly call for violent regime change and the return of the degenerate monarchy. Other networks, connected to John Bolton’s close friends in the MEK terrorist cult, openly call for terrorist attacks inside Iran. These are the people that want “democracy” for Iran, and these are the people that Washington supports.

If it hadn’t been proven a thousand times before, then this pathetic move proved once more that America’s claim about advocating freedom and democracy as well as freedom of expression is nothing more than a lie and hypocrisy. Washington is and has always been morally bankrupt, however, this recent act of thuggery shows that Washington, known for lecturing other governments overseas about free speech, democracy, and freedom of expression, is also scared and panicking.

Of course they are afraid. Is it a coincidence that these seizures happened right now? No! The Iranian nation elected what the westerners call a “hardliner” president. They know that the game of “diplomacy and talks”, which they use to stall the lifting of sanctions, is over. President-elect Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi won’t be as kind to them as the previous administration has been. He has already declared that there will be no talks with Washington over the US return to the JCPOA. On top of that, Yemen’s Ansarullah movement has rejected the Saudis shameful “peace proposal” and are in their way to capture the crucial city of Ma’rib, further humiliating Washington. So Washington resorted to silencing the world’s poorest country, which is under siege by land, sea and air in what can only be called a genocide.

There is absolutely no way for Washington to save face here. It is clear that they are terrified as the pro-resistance outlets are getting their messages across. More and more people are seeing Washington for what it is: a terrorist entity that takes pride in killing and starving people who refuse to bow down to them. This coincides with Washington’s waning influence in the region of West Asia, or as they call it, the “Middle East”. (the term “Middle East” is a colonial term from the British Empire era in which Europeans believed that they were the centre of the world, while West Asia was “the near east”).

Apparently, hundreds of US troops, aircraft and air defence batteries are being withdrawn from the puppet Persian Gulf kingdoms, as the Biden administration allegedly wants to focus on Russia and China instead. In reality, this is Washington’s way of quietly leaving the region as they know and understand what the inevitable alternative would be – getting kicked out of the region with force. Throughout the region, from Syria and Iraq, to Palestine and Yemen, the forces of colonialism and imperialism are losing ground and influence. Their repeated and continued atrocities and crimes are fuelling the fire in our hearts as more and more people, not just in the region, but worldwide are realizing the criminal nature of the imperialists.

This is not the first time nor the last time that the imperialists and their tools have silenced the voices of dissent. Throughout the years, tens or perhaps hundreds of thousand blogs, and social media pages have been shut down for supporting Syria, Palestine or Yemen. I have personally had 4 social media accounts shut down over the years, for supporting Syria’s legitimate government, for posting pictures in loving memory of Martyr Soleimani and for speaking out against the genocide going on in Yemen. But I will not back down, nor will I give up, and neither should anyone who has spoken out against the savage actions of the imperialists. It should never be forgotten that they silence and shut us down because they fear us, not because they are morally superior to us.

Resistance must continue on all fronts. Every act of aggression should be seen as an opportunity to show the world what liars and hypocrites the Western warmongers are who think that they can win the hearts of the people of this region through their lies and crude propaganda while bombing the people’s homes and loved ones.

British schoolchildren face punishment for wearing Palestine flags and keffiyeh’s

Students said they were threatened with detention, expulsion and barred from taking exams due to their pro-Palestine activism

Children across the UK have faced disciplinary action for their Palestine activism on school premises (AFP)

By Areeb Ullah

Published date: 26 May 2021

Schoolchildren in the UK are being punished for their pro-Palestine activism on school premises, with some being disciplined for wearing keffiyehs and holding Palestine flags.

Several students who spoke to Middle East Eye said they were threatened with detention, expulsion and being blocked from taking their exams if they continued protesting for Palestinian rights on school premises.

The forms of activism being penalised by schools include displaying the Palestinian flag on face masks or their hands and putting up posters designed by students to educate their peers on the Israel-Palestinian issue.

Every student and teacher who spoke to MEE requested anonymity as they feared possible repercussions from their school for speaking out.

Picture of Palestine posters put up by students at Allerton George in Leeds (Supplied)
Picture of Palestine posters put up by students at Allerton George in Leeds. Students had to take pictures in secret as phones are banned on school premises (Supplied)

Pupils who spoke to MEE attended schools in Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Rochdale and different areas of London.

Taking inspiration from last year’s Black Lives Matter protests (BLM) and her school’s awareness campaigns on LGBT rights and mental health, Jay assumed Allerton George would encourage discussion on Palestine.

But when students put up posters around the school in communal areas without permission, teachers quickly took them down.

“The teachers went as far as ripping the Palestine posters into pieces and scrunching the ripping the Palestine posters into pieces and scrunching them up in our faces,” Jay told MEE.

“When we asked why they took down the posters, the teachers said they didn’t have to justify it to us and were given clear instructions to take down these posters as they were seen as sending antisemitic messages.”

Jay stressed the messages on the posters were not antisemitic and said: “End Israeli Apartheid, End illegal Occupation and Free Palestine”. 

She added: “They took our lanyards from us because they had the Palestine flag.

“When we asked them why it was okay to wear BLM or LGBTQ+ flags on our lanyards but not Palestine, they couldn’t give us an answer and later said as a political cause, it caused distress to others.”

Students from Allerton Grange later posted a video of headteacher Mike Roper describing the Palestinian flag as a “call to arms” and “symbol of antisemitism”. Roper has since apologised after facing protests outside the school. 

‘Posters were torn down and binned’

Jay said the school had refused to take down the Israeli flag displayed in the library after seeing the Palestine flag taken down.

Allerton George had not responded to MEE’s requests for comment at the time of this article’s publication.

Some teachers from other schools who spoke to MEE also confirmed that students were placed in detention for putting up posters in support of Palestine.

Like Jay, Sam from West London put up posters in his school for Palestine on their class boards and wore badges to raise awareness about Palestine.

“We put up small Palestinian flags and posters on our class poster boards wearing badges that read ‘Free Palestine’, drawing Palestine flags on our hands and wearing keffiyehs to spread awareness and pique student interest,” Sam told MEE.

“The posters were torn down and binned, the students were told to remove their badges at the threat of suspension from school and all ‘flags and symbols’ were removed from sight at the threat of detention.” 

Sam added that students were threatened with being withdrawn from their GCSE exams if they refused to delete a video of senior staff taking down posters or wore a Palestine badge.

Aisha faced a similar situation as Sam did at Brampton Manor Academy in Newham, east London, where she says she was punished for wearing a Free Palestine badge in her school.

She said her teachers banned students from protesting and threatened them with detention if they continued putting them up. 

Students fear speaking out

Several students from other parts of the UK also expressed their disappointment at how their schools reacted towards their activism following the BLM protests.

Letters given to MEE that were sent to teachers and parents by Redbridge Council and a school in Birmingham told them that schools are “apolitical” bodies and could not allow students to participate in Palestine protests despite holding discussions for BLM and selling poppies to students.

Ilyas Nagdee, an activist who campaigns against the Prevent strategy, said children and their parents had contacted him about schools clamping down on pro-Palestine activism.

‘What we are seeing now is a product of years of Prevent trying to micro-manage political conversations’

– Shereen Fernandez, Queen Mary University

His call-out on Twitter to help students facing issues at school for their Palestine protests was retweeted 1,300 times at the time of writing.

Since then, Nagdee has received nearly a hundred requests for help, with many students afraid to speak out publicly.

“The cases we have received span the entire length of the country with hotspots where there are sizeable Muslim communities. The sanctions applied are wide in range, from young people being spoken to in class or given lunchtime isolation all the way to exclusions,” said Nagdee.

“We are also receiving a growing number of concerned parents who are contacting us due to fear their child has fallen into the clutches of Prevent or fearful of visits from the police.

Prevent in schools

Shereen Fernandez, a lecturer at Queen Mary University in London who specialises in Prevent in schools, believes the school reaction to Palestine protests is a direct result of the Prevent strategy telling teachers that campaigning for Palestine is associated with extremism.

Prevent is a strand of the British government’s counter-terrorism strategy that aims to “safeguard and support those vulnerable to radicalisation, to stop them from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism”.

It was publicly launched in the aftermath of the 2005 London bombings and was initially targeted squarely at Muslim communities, prompting continuing complaints of discrimination and concerns that the programme was being used to collect intelligence.

“Although Prevent will maintain that schools are ‘safe spaces’, that is not the case, as teachers will be anxious about approaching ‘controversial’ topics like Palestine because of its alleged association to extremism as indicated in the training material.”

“Symbols of solidarity such as wearing a badge supporting Palestine has been enough to refer students in the past to Prevent.”

In 2016, MEE revealed that the UK government told teachers in schools, colleges and universities to monitor Muslim students who display an interest in Palestine as being susceptible to terrorism.

And in 2014, Rahmaan Mohammadi, a 17-year-old student from Luton, was reportedly referred to Prevent and visited by the police after he organised a Palestine fundraiser at his school.

A teacher from Mayfield school in the London area of Ilford said the school’s reaction to pro-Palestine protests was “confusing”, adding that colleagues perceive “pro-Palestine activism as racism”.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Prevent is involved in constructing that line for schools across the country, and I’d say issues like BLM and poppies are allowed because they are considered neutral enough for schools to talk about.”

Mayfield School had not responded to MEE’s requests for comment by the time of this article’s publication.

Nagdee, the activist, said that many parents who spoke to him said they feared their children would be referred to Prevent because of their campaigning.

‘Biased’ assemblies

Following the protests, many schools across the UK held assemblies to address student concerns on raising awareness. 

But students who spoke to MEE said the assemblies fuelled further anger among students.

Images posted online showed students protesting at Judgemeadow Community College in Leicester after it was perceived to minimise Palestinian suffering. 

It remains unclear whether students in the video were punished for protesting.

Sam noted how his teacher described the tensions between Israelis and Palestinians as similar to a “messy bedroom” and disputed the phrasing of tensions as a “conflict”. 

“To address the discomfort many students felt about censorship of student voices, they organised an assembly on the concept of ‘conflict’ where the events in Palestine was compared to a ‘messy bedroom where a rebellious child and their parent had differing opinions on how it should be dealt with,” said Sam. 

“It just felt patronising and demeaning to us all.” 

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نصرالله عصر التنوير وماكرون محاكم التفتيش Nasrallah – the Age of Enlightenment, Macron – the Inquisition

ناصر قنديل

العلمانية التي ظهرت كنظام سياسي وعقد اجتماعي للدولة الأوروبية المعاصرة، هي منتج سياسي وقانوني لثقافة أعمق نهضت على أكتاف الثورة الصناعيّة وتجسّدت في القرنين الثامن عشر والتاسع عشر بثورة العقل والمنطق. وما عُرف بعصر التنوير الذي قاده عمالقة بحجم فولتير وروسو ومونتسكيو، وتبلورت شعاراتها السياسية بالحرية والأخاء والمساواة في الثورة الفرنسية، بينما تبلورت فلسفته العميقة بالاحتكام للعقل، وكانت قطيعة مع تاريخ معاكس مثلته محاكم التفتيش الكاثوليكية التي دفع فيلسوف كبير مثل برونو وعلماء كبار مثل كوبرنيكوس وجاليلو ثمناً باهظاً لها بتهمة الهرطقة على قاعدة تحريم الاحتكام للعقل والعلم، بينما سياسياً واجتماعياً طورد الإصلاحيون باسم التبرؤ من البدع كما حدث مع الفيلسوف ميشال سيرفيه الذي أحرق حياً في جنيف بتهمة رفض عقيدة التثليث، فيما شكلت جرائمها بحق المسلمين في الأندلس أبرز ما حمله سجلها التاريخي تحت عنوان فحص الولاء لله، وشكلت فكرياً وثقافياً وجهاً من وجوه استمرار الحملات الصليبية.

في ما يشبه استعادة مناخات الحروب الصليبية يتبادل الرئيسان الفرنسي والتركي عبثاً بالعقائد والعواطف والانفعالات المنبثقة عنها، حيث يصب كل منهما من طرفه وفي البيئة التي يخاطبها زيتاً على نار حرب عبثية، لا يتورّع فيها الرئيس الفرنسي امانويل ماكرون عن التحدث عن أزمة في الإسلام، وإرهاب إسلامي، وفاشية إسلامية، أملاً بأن يتزعم جبهة تضم العلمانيين بداعي الدفاع عن حرية التعبير في شقها المتصل بالتغطية على ما يطال المقدسات الإسلامية، وتضم المتطرفين المسيحيين، الذين لا يخفون ضيقهم من تنامي حضور وتعداد المسلمين في فرنسا خصوصاً وأوروبا عموماً، وإلى الفريقين تضم اليمين الوطني الرافض لتكاثر المهاجرين من البلاد الإسلامية، أملاً بأن يشكل هذا الثلاثي مصدر زعامة تشبه زعامات بناها قادة الحروب الصليبية، بينما يسعى الرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان، وفي ظل نزاع مصلحي بين الدولتين الفرنسية والتركية، لقيادة جبهة تضم الجاليات الإسلامية المقهورة تحت ظلم سياسات عنصرية في أوروبا، وتضم التنظيمات الإرهابية التكفيرية التي تشغّلها تركيا، وكانت فرنسا شريكها في التشغيل طوال سنوات الحرب على سورية، وتضم ثالثاً الشعوب العربية من المسلمين التي تسمع بصعوبة كلاماً منخفض الصوت لحكوماتها الواقعة تحت تبعية ذليلة لحكومات الغرب، فتعجز عن التجرؤ لمخاطبة الحكومات الغربية، والرئيس الفرنسي في المقدمة بلغة شجاعة تنتقد وتصحح وتعترض. وهذه الحكومات التابعة هي شريك لحكومات فرنسا وأوروبا في رعاية الجماعات الإرهابية وتشجيع الفكر التكفيري، لكن بغرض استعمال نتاج هذه الرعاية في ليبيا وسورية وليس في أوروبا.

في هذا القحط الفكري، والانفلات القاتل للعصبيّات، يخرج رجل دين معمّم من أتباع الرسول وعشاقه ليقود الدعوة للتعقل وتحمّل المسؤولية، ووضع النقاط على الحروف، مستعيداً المعاني العميقة لشعارات الثورة الفرنسية ودعوات روسو وفولتير، حيث الحرية هي الاحترام العميق لحرية المعتقد. وهو في الأولوية معتقد الأقلية والضعفاء والمقهورين، والأخاء هو الترفّع عن منطق التمييز العنصري على اساس الدين والعرق واللون والجنس، والمساواة هي نزاهة تطبيق معيار المحاكمة العقلية للمفاهيم قبل أن تكون المساواة أمام القانون، حيث لا يستوي نص تحريم الحرية والعقل تحت شعار معاداة السامية، ولو التزما كل التحفظ العلمي والضوابط الأخلاقية، وتطلق حرية بث الكراهيّة، ولو تمت بصورة عبثية تستخف بالضوابط الأخلاقية والقيمية للأخوة الإنسانية، تحت شعار حرية التعبير، فجادل رجل الدين المعمم، بلغة عصر التنوير كوريث لمنجزات الحضارة الإنسانية، من يفترض أنه الوصي على تنفيذ منتجاتها من الموقع الدستوري والسياسي، بعدما ارتضى أن يتحول إلى قائد جيش في الحرب الصليبية أو رئيس غرفة من غرف محاكم تفتيش.

كلام السيد حسن نصرلله في ما تشهده علاقة المسلمين والجاليات الإسلامية بالقضايا المثارة على مساحة أوروبا من وحي قضية الرسوم المسيئة للرسول والجرائم الإرهابية المتذرّعة بها، مرافعة فلسفية عقلانية تستعيد روح عصر التنوير والاحتكام للعقل، والحل الذي تبنّاه ختاماً لمرافعته، مستعيداً مقترح الأزهر بتشريع عالمي لتحريم النيل من المقدسات، حجر متعدد الأهداف في يوم الوحدة الإسلامية، بينما يتساءل بعض رجال القانون في فرنسا، لماذا لا تتم محاكمة أصحاب الرسوم المسيئة للرسول تحت بند العداء للسامية، أليس الرسول من أحفاد سام بن نوح، وقد روى الترمذي أن الرسول هو القائل بأن “سام أبو العرب ويافث أبو الروم وحام أبو الحبش”؟

Nasrallah – the Age of Enlightenment, Macron – the Inquisition

2/11/2020

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Secularism is a political regime and a social aspect of the contemporary European state, it is a political and legal outcome of a deeper culture that emerged as a result of the Industrial Revolution and was embodied in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by the revolution of reason and logic or as was called the Age of Enlightenment led by the giants as Voltaire, Rousseau, and Montesquieu. Its political slogans called for freedom, brotherhood, and equality during the French Revolution. But this movement was faced with counter thinking represented by the Catholic Inquisition which a great philosopher as Bruno and great scholars as Copernicus and Galileo had paid a high cost in charge of heresy based on the prohibition of resorting to reason and science. Politically and socially, many reformists were chased under the name of the disavowal of heresies, as happened with the philosopher Michael Servetus who was burnt alive in Geneva on the accusation of rejecting the doctrine of Trinity. Its history was known for its crimes against Muslims in Andalusia under the name of loyalty to God, so intellectually and culturally it formed an aspect of the continuation of the Crusades.

As in the Crusades, the French and the Turkish Presidents exchanged in vain beliefs, emotions, and the outcome feelings. Each one of them has tried to evoke a futile war. The French President Emmanuel Macron did not hesitate to talk about a crisis in Islam, Islamic terrorism, and Islamic Fascism, hoping to lead a front that includes the secularists in order to defend the liberty of expression about Islamic sanctities, the Christian extremists, who are fed up with the growing number of Muslims in Europe in general and in France in particular, and the National right which rejects the growing number of immigrants from Islamic countries, hoping that this front can be a source of leadership as the leaderships of the Crusades. While the Turkish President Recep Erdogan was seeking to lead a front that includes the oppressed Muslim communities due to the tyranny of the racist policies in Europe, the takfiri terrorist organizations backed by Turkey, and the Arab Muslim nations who are suffering from their governments that are subordinated to the governments of the West, and do not dare to address them bravely, criticize or oppose. These governments are partners of the governments of France and Europe in sponsoring the terrorist groups and supporting the takfiri belief in order to be operated in Libya and Syria not in Europe.

In this intellectual aridity and fatal chaos of fanaticism, a religious man from the followers and lovers of the Prophet emerged to lead the call to be rational, to bear the responsibility, and to be clear, recalling the deeper meanings of the slogans of the French Revolution and the calls of Rousseau and Voltaire where freedom means the respect of the freedom of belief which is the belief of the minority, the weak, and the oppressed, and where brotherhood means to be away from the logic of the racial discrimination on the basis of religion, race, color, and gender, and where equality is the fairness of applying the mental judgment of concepts before it is governed by law, and where the texts of prohibiting freedom and reason cannot be dealt with under the slogan of anti-Semitism even if scientific reservation and moral controls were taken into consideration, and the freedom of  feeling hostile cannot be spread irrationally underestimating all moral controls of the human brotherhood under the slogan of the liberty of expression. Therefore, this religious leader has argued in the language of the Age of Enlightenment “as a heritage of the achievements of the human civilization” the man who is supposed to be the trustee constitutionally and politically not an army commander in the Crusades or a head of one of the inquisitions.

The words of Al Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah regarding the relationship of Muslims and the Islamic communities with the issues rose in Europe after the offensive drawings against the Prophet and the terrorist crimes relating are a philosophical and rational argument that recalls the spirit of the Age of Enlightenment and the resorting to reason. He adopted the suggestion of Al Azhar of an international legislation to prohibit the underestimation of sanctities as a base in the Day of the Islamic unity. While some jurists in France are wondering why the owners of the offensive drawings are not prosecuted under the name of anti-Semitism, Is not the Messenger one of the grandsons of Sam Bin Noah?! Al Tirmidhi narrated that the Prophet “peace be upon him” said: “Sam was the father of Arabs, Ham the father of the Ethiopians, and Yafith the father of the Romans”.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

Facebook bans Iran’s Press TV page

“Attempted Coup against President Failed, Thoughts of Toppling Him Mere Delusion”

March 9, 2021

The “Strong Lebanon” parliamentary bloc, said in a statement following its periodic meeting headed by MP Gebran Bassil, that it “supports the people and their demands, and therefore did not spare any effort to stop the financial collapse, recover people’s money and hold accountable those responsible for the financial crime committed against them.”

Conferees believed that “what the last days have witnessed is the exploitation of the people’s pain for political ends. Practices and slogans indicate what looks like a coup against the President of the Republic, his position, and whoever he represents. It is a deliberate coup to torpedo President Aoun’s reform project and disrupt accountability, foremost among which is the forensic audit that would reveal the truth.”

“Any thinking on the part of anyone to overthrow the president of the republic is an illusion, and we recommend those to just quit trying,” conferees stressed.

The bloc warned “the Lebanese about the danger of what is being prepared for,” stressing that “it will not allow in any way to halt reforms, most of which are a set of draft laws that are still frozen at the House of Representatives.”

Emphasizing keenness on stability and the rights of people to express their opinion, the bloc categorically refused that a small group of rioters should control the rights of millions of Lebanese to move around, warning of “any sabotage act against security that some may resort to as compensation for their failure in the ongoing coup attempt.”

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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The ‘Cancel Culture’ phenomenon: kind of hate-hush all over the world

The ‘Cancel Culture’ phenomenon: kind of hate-hush all over the world

March 01, 2021

by Ghassan and Intibah Kadi for the Saker Blog

Who remembers the Herman’s Hermits and their 1967 song ‘There’s a Kind of Hush’? The hush the song speaks of is a hush of love, and it was a world of dreams in the sixties in the West, despite the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights protests in the USA and other global conflicts. The peace movements were strong and vibrant, and there was hope that the peace-loving youth will have their way and make a difference; because they genuinely believed in the slogan that ‘all you need is love’.

Alas, the love-hush seems now to be replaced with a hate-hush, and it is engulfing the world, particularly the West, with unprecedented anger and vile displays of demeanour, and this seems to be part of the ‘New Normal’ that some are pushing down our throats.

Not long ago, inspired by another song of the 1960’s, the article pondered where have all the flowers and peace movements gone. In such a short period since, discord and trouble has steeply risen to unprecedented levels, where we are witnessing now an ominous step forward into the abyss and a huge fall in the trajectory of humanity.

In comparison and as an example, when the Lebanese civil war erupted in 1975, it didn’t really come as a surprise to anyone as the specter of such calamity had always hung in the air and sat on the agendas of opposing political groups, as well as on the narrow minds of religious groups that held back unsettled sectarian scores for decades, even centuries.

In hindsight, it seems unfathomable as to how did the German people become so brainwashed and vulnerable to Nazi propaganda. They incrementally discarded all the humane values they had known before, replacing them with nationalist, exclusionist and supremacist values, eventually engaging, wittingly or unwittingly, in supporting or perpetrating injustices on minority groups including Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, the disabled, just to mention a few. Shockingly, when the civil war began in Lebanon, the Lebanese people actually saw a similar phenomenon happen right in front of their eyes. The world witnessed town turning against town, suburb against suburb, neighbour against neighbour, inflicting the most horrendous crimes of maiming, sniping, torturing and killing each other. The same happened again in Yugoslavia as it fell apart.

In more ways than one, latent hatred was expected to eventually manifest itself. If and when old sentiments are not dealt with and brought to closure, such an outcome of a build-up and explosion is to be expected.

But what we are witnessing today, in the West, is something quite different; a case where many people develop boiling, seething, foaming and frothing rage and hatred against others for no apparent reason or history at all.

In America at least, there are a number of actual issues that cause rage and dismay, such as unresolved racial tensions and injustices, perceptions of stolen elections, mishandling of the Corona Virus, the economy and so on. However, these issues are dealt with so vehemently, often with grave, unjust, illegal and disproportional measures, leaving many wondering if America is teetering on the brink of a civil war.

Most striking is the alarming phenomenon of other Western countries taking on board many of the divisive American-specific issues, all with the rage and social divisions that define America’s social status quo. People make ‘all or nothing’ stands and polarity on so many issues, reaching new frenetic levels each day. Even when a legitimate reason for anger exists, the expressions of these can be increasingly extreme and irrational and treated as a defining issue, one worthy of labelling, whether in America or elsewhere.

The authors observed that many people from all different sides of the political divide, within and outside the USA, when asked, are unable to rationally express the reason behind their extremely heated stands. Such a psychological situation can destroy the West; or what is left of it. Close friends, friends who have known and loved each other for decades accuse each other of the most heinous of ‘crimes’, attach labels to each other, just because they ask simple questions, trying to understand the rationale behind their feelings.

And feelings they are, because they are not well-conceived and fact-finding-based views, and their answers provided are merely emotionally based.

In the very near past, people and friends in particular, used to have deep political discussions with peers. They disagreed quite often, but such diverse views were discussed in a civil manner with the assumption that people had the right to have different views and opinions.

In the West today however, it seems that the ‘agree-to-disagree’ principle is no longer. The current rule is ‘you are either with me or against me’. Where have we heard this before? Instead of ‘me’ it was ‘us’?

Not only are we witnessing extreme and unwarranted actions between disagreeing individuals, we are also witnessing this on a collective level, one we often refer to as ‘thought-policing’. Its repercussions in recent times are rapidly morphing into what can only be described as torture ‘techniques’ such as the likes of ‘Cancel Culture’. This is exactly synonymous to the act of ‘banishment’ during the Spanish Inquisition days and the Witch-Hunt eras. Nothing much has changed, or perhaps things have gone full-circle.

In that time, ‘banishment’ meant that the banished ones lost their jobs, became socially isolated, prohibited from trading or buying goods, and quite often, this preceded being burnt alive at the stake. And, now it appears that ‘Cancel Culture’ means virtually the same thing. Whilst the victim may still be lucky enough to trade and buy commodities online, it still generally involves losing one’s job, stature, friends, memberships of associations, and facing humiliation and defamation among many other things. The only basic difference today is the absence of being put to death.

Prior to any banishment or ‘Cancel Culture’ being implemented, just like in the past where such people were branded as heretics, they are now given labels such as ‘denialists’ (disagreement with climate change theory), ‘anti-vaxxers’ (questioning the effectiveness and safety of COVID vaccines) and others. What is interesting here in all this madness, is that a person could be labelling another, only to end up themselves being labelled for something else. Someone who labels another as a ‘denialist’ may find him/herself branded as an ‘anti-vaxxer’.

What is most sinister perhaps is that, on one hand we see this violent, unexplainable, unwarranted irrational level of anger, but on the other hand, we see the West endorsing and accepting other irrational policies that can destroy it, but yet no one is batting an eyelid. Any keen observer can see that a whole myriad of changes have been imposed on the Western society, each of them alone can destroy the Western culture. Without much effort, we can see many such changes, but it suffices to mention the following:

  1. Political correctness that has gone way too far and continues to erode personal freedom of expression.
  2. The climate change debacle/hoax that elevated Greta to the level of becoming Time Magazine’s person of the year.
  3. The destruction of Western family values.
  4. The over-emphasis on LBGTI rights and all the changes imposed on the mainstream society, including such things as banning the use of words like mother and father.
  5. The COVID-thing; lockdowns, conflicting information, the vaccines that we know little about, the presence of nefarious people of influence like Fauci and Gates in decision-making.
  6. Confusing young school children with gender issues and almost encouraging them to become homosexual and/or transgender.
  7. The silence of the public regarding the censorship regulations of Facebook and Twitter.
  8. The silence of the public about the plans of the WEF’s ‘Great Reset”.
  9. The growing acceptance of thought policing and compliance to the state and media.
  10. The public indifference towards the groundless sanctions against Russia and their possible effect on global stability and peace.
  11. The public lack of knowledge and indifference about the support of their governments to Neo-Nazis in Ukraine.
  12. The West losing its industrial base under the watchful eyes of Western Governments.
  13. The West suffering from a huge drop in number of students majoring in STEM subjects.
  14. The West suffering from a growing lack of desire of young adults to have children and raise families.
  15. Giving blanket and unconditional support to abortion, even in the absence of any medical, psychological and justifiable reasons, including late-term abortion, and considering it (ie abortion) as a human right.

When people in the West are asked, why do those who do not agree with the above or accept it say nothing? The response is invariably fear, fear of being targeted and being subjected to the ‘Cancel Culture’.

Coerced to endorse the revolution of anger and phantom ideology, Westerners, especially the youth, have been socially engineered to become the corner stones of ‘controlled opposition’, all the while, they seem to have been conditioned to ‘unsee’ the real issues that threaten their survival in the future.

Coming to the crunch question; with what appears as increasing irrationality and insanity all around, have people been recently, or maybe incrementally, subjected to systemic brainwashing that renders them into such a state of irrationality, anger, volatility and blindness? If that is the case, then how was this achieved?

This brings to mind the tactic of subliminal advertising, a technique developed as early as in the 1950’s in which a person is subjected unknowingly to an advertisement. It can be sound-based or visual. A visual one is based on techniques like inserting a single advertisement frame, say of a bag of popcorn, into a movie. Movies show motion by playing a series of still frames, around twenty per second. In a single frame it is not noticeable by the conscious mind, but is picked up by the subconscious, and in this example given, will create a stimulus to buy popcorn. There is much evidence of more sinister or politically motivated subliminal messages inserted into Hollywood movies. Legal questions arose around this technique.

From such a simple, unsophisticated technique, in the same decade, a secretive project on behaviour modification was undertaken named Project MKUltra, eventually becoming the subject of an American Senate Intelligence Hearing . Mind-control technology took off, reaching ever new heights (or lows?), not just enhancing business and socio-political agenda, but becoming a crucial component of warfare, even with special strategies for social media, to target the public and their perceptions, making them compliant or malleable and even activating them to the extent this discussion indicates. Intibah Kadi’s work on this is cited in the preceding link to an academic paper.

The question is where else, apart from media and social media, have such techniques been used? What kind of technology and to what extent and what ends has this been taken to? And has such systemic brainwashing that we suggest, been ramped up in these last few years when Trump was President of the USA? This is predicated on the suspicion of Trump acting at times as the ‘disruptor” of a particular set of the ‘establishment’, or ‘swamp’ as he named it, one that either rejected him or he alienated.

This also brings to mind an old movie in 1977 by the name of Telefon, a fiction based on a few people who on the surface appear to lead a normal life, but in reality, are a team of professional assassins designated to kill certain individuals upon receiving a vocal message they had been hypnotized to respond to like robots.

Have we actually reached such days of a ‘New Normal’ in terms of the evident, debased level of social discourse, labeling, shaming and damning? Ironically, ‘New Normal’ is a term we hear every day, courtesy of world leaders, various officials and, of course, from the head of the World Economic Forum. Or is it ironic? Will brainwashing and behaviour modification techniques go far beyond that of what we commonly understand and well into the realms of Artificial Intelligence and Electromagnetism? And in these new realms, what extent, if any, do these play a role in these shocking days of ‘Cancel Culture’, the suspension of critical thinking and general mob-rule behaviour permitted for some in the West in recent years?

But above all, did the Western mind deteriorate naturally as a result of attrition or did social engineering cause it to devolve in a manner that fires it up chasing red herrings all the while being totally blind to what really matters? Or has it been manipulated by a devious master plan that makes any science fiction movie look like a Batman Comic?

The Sheep Syndrome

The Sheep Syndrome
Peter Koenig is a geopolitical analyst and a former Senior Economist at the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO), where he has worked for over 30 years on water and environment around the world. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals and is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed; and  co-author of Cynthia McKinney’s book “When China Sneezes: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Crisis” (Clarity Press – November 1, 2020).

Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

January 15, 2021

by Peter Koenig for the Saker Blog

Today and during the last few days new “measures” – restrictions of freedom imposed by governments for reasons of “public health security”, i. e. preventing the spread of covid infections – have been tightened throughout Europe. Literally, these treacherous governments say, “we have to tighten the screws”. Seriously. WTF – who do they think they are? Servant of the people who elected them and who pay them. This is high treason. But people take it without asking too many questions, some complaints but not strong enough… we are living in the midst of the Sheep Syndrome.

They – these supposedly people friendly governments – call them “measures”, a euphemism for lockdown – sounds better in the ears of a public tired of continuous and more and more repressions. This second, in some countries even third lockdown, includes further business closing, more severe control on home-office work, police-enhanced social distancing, mask wearing, no indoor group activities, only 5 people may meet in an apartment… and, and, and.

For example, there are about 75 studies – give or take a couple – about the uselessness and even dangers of mask wearing. They address especially the danger for children and young adults… but nobody, nobody in the bought-compromised and coerced, bribed – western governments pays any attention to them, nor does, of course, the presstitute mainstream media. They keep to the narrative – MUST wear a mask – MUST keep the safe 6ft. distance – police enforced.

They also impose homeoffice, knowing damn well that any serious psychologist and sociologist tells you how devastating this is for the individual – loneliness, lack of physical contact, encounter and interaction with colleagues – as well as for society as a whole. Without physical contact it breaks apart. This is of course all wanton – thus, all restaurant closings, all events where people gather and interchange, is forbidden.

People are unhappy. Yes, but not enough to stop this tyranny! – Well, I better behave otherwise I’m going to be punished. – FEAR! – Fear leads to the sheep syndrome – that deep-deep social disease which besets us today – and has done so for a while. People, we got to get out of it.

But, it seems, people are not yet tired enough to stand up in unison, screaming “enough is enough”, we do not continue this is government tyranny, we stop beying.

And yes, to give the tyranny more weight, more credibility, it is enhanced by a so-called Task Force (TF), a group of coopted “scientists”, especially established by the Powers that Be, to inform them what to do. It is an old method of a decision-making duality, when governments have to, or want to, take decisions that are not popular, they ask the Task Force for advice. However, the TF has been told and knows exactly what they have to advise. That’s a premeditated lie.

In the UK and France new lockdown measures were imposed already for days, Austria and Switzerland announced them a couple of days ago – the EU as an entity – says nothing, does not coordinate, does not want see that these lockdowns are not only destroying the individual nations’ economy, but they bring the entire EU to economic suicide. The EU is hamstrung by Washington and by NATO.

The new lockdowns – and possibly more are planned as more waves of covid are in the making – until everybody is vaxxed – and has his / her electromagnetic gel injected in their bodies with an DNA-altering substance. So now, they are totally controllable over time. And the time horizon set for total digitization of everything is 2030. AI and robot control of humans – making them into transhumans that’s the goal for the UN Agenda 21-30. And the instrument to achieve it is the Bill Gates created Agenda ID2020 (see https://www.globalresearch.ca/coronavirus-causes-effects-real-danger-agenda-id2020/5706153 )

More lockdowns are killing more small businesses, shops, and restaurants. Creating more hardship of small business owner, more bankruptcies, more misery for the people and their families, losing their jobs.

Just imagine – home-teaching, a family of 4, both parents work, the kids have to have each one a reasonably powerful computer to be able to connect to the school teacher – the kids have to have reasonable computer skills to manage home-learning, and the parents, even if they have time, do they all have the reasonable computer skills to help their kids? – Does every family in the already much covid-hardship affected society have the resources to spare for buying the needed electronic gear for the kids?

It is a disaster. Again, a wanton disaster. Because it will result in less or non-educated children in the west – non-educated kids will become easier manipulatable adults – well, they are expected to fall – in lockstep – into their parents Sheep Syndrome. – Or will they? – That’s where dynamics may not meet linear elite thinking and expectations.

Now, this is happening in the Global North. Imagine how it is in the Global South, where increasing poverty, misery and famine is ravaging entire societies, in cases more than two thirds of a country’s population. How will these kids be distance-taught? – They simply won’t. So, we have a situation where the Global South produces uneducated kids, because they simply don’t go to school. Most of them will remain poor, they will be the perfect laborers for the elite – or cannon fodder for the wars the rich nations have to (or want to) fight to satisfy their greed. Never forget, wars are profitable. But foremost because of their sociopathic thirst for more and more power and money.

Listening and talking to people in the street and to small business owners, they are all upset, and many of them say they may not survive, may never reopen, despite the subsidy they receive form governments. In Switzerland, the head of “Gastronomie Suisse” said with another lockdown, up to 50% of restaurants may not survive. A similar figure had been mentioned in Germany and Austria – and surely the situation is likewise devastating elsewhere too.

We are talking predominantly for the west. The situation in the East, Russia and China and their allies in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is different, in as much as they have a people-friendlier approach to covid-eradication.

In the west, in some cases, people’s entire lifesaving, their life achievements, their family businesses, are killed for the sake of a useless and purely oppressive rule. The purpose of this rule is not to stamp out a disease, but covid is a means to instill fear and make us compliant, for worse times to come. Because, let me tell you, whatever you may think that in the summer of 2021, or next year, 2022, we will get back to normal – we will not. Never. If we let them do what they are doing now.

This small Globalist Cabal, via its ultra-rich handlers – billionaires with two and three digits of Silicon Valley – does not only have the power to censoring whoever is against the Matrix, but they are all censuring in unison the President of the United States. What does that say about a country, or about a society we live in, a society that calls itself “democratic”?

No matter how much you like or dislike your President, doesn’t it occur to you that this is the embodiment of freedom of speech that is taken away from you? – But again, we do nothing. We watch and complain, but we do nothing. We let it happen. Wouldn’t this be a golden opportunity to block and boycott all social media platforms? Period. – Live without them, for Christ’s sake, some 20, 30 years ago we didn’t even know that they existed, or to what extent we will be hooked on them.

If we can still think independently, it’s now the time to cut yourself loose from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and what all their names are — don’t use them. Get back to regular human-to-human communications, dialogues, meeting each other, calling on the phone, landline if possible. Yes, I’m serious.

Think about the consequences of following this trend of no free speech, but a steady increase in AI-ization by algorithms that are precisely using the data you give them on the social platform to further enslave you; by ever more robotization and digitization – to the point when we don’t even realize that our brains have been wired and “hacked” by DARPA-developed super-computers, and we will believe and follow orders we are directly implanted by such super-computers, managed, guess by whom – by the Globalist Cabal – at which point we have irreversibly become the embodiment of the Sheep Syndrome. DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is an advanced research and technology branch of the Pentagon.

Does anyone want that?
I doubt it.

We have to find a way to act now. I don’t have the solution. But maybe collectively connecting with each other spiritually, we will find a solution – or we will make a solution emerge.

That would be the noble way – changing an utterly abusive environment with conscientiousness and with spiritual thinking; emitting high-vibrating vibes that influence our collective destiny. But we have to believe in it and in ourselves as a solid and solidary collectivity.

If we fail as humans to claim back our human and civil rights and preserve them, eventually Mother Earth will clean herself. She will clean out the inhuman swamp. Maybe it needs one or two huge and lasting cataclysms; a massive earthquake with a disastrous tsunami, a gigantic eruption of one or several volcanos, darkening the sky for weeks, or a monster hurricane or ice storm that destroys and paralyzes parts of civilization, or a huge solar explosion, knocking out the world’s electric and electronic grid – ending digitization of everything on the spot.  – All this might be much worse than what covid, or its inventors, ever did.

After such a cataclysm, much of humanity might have to start from scratch – from near-to-zero, and certainly without digitization – but with the now lost freedom, to start afresh and develop freely and sovereignly according to our needs.

For decades the Global Cabal has showered us with self-aggrandizing lies, with promises of comfort, of well-being, but with the notion that competition rather than cooperation will be the salvation. These well-thought-out lies led to a society of egocentric psychopaths – not only, but enough to influence the trend of society, of our dystopian lives. We have gradually acquiesced in LOCKSTEP to a move of societal, even civilizational destruction, from where there is no return.

Let’s work ourselves out of the Sheep Syndrome – NOW.


US post-Capitol: Armed, hysterical, depressed & yet out for blood

US post-Capitol: Armed, hysterical, depressed & yet out for blood

January 14, 2021

by Ramin Mazaheri (@RaminMazaheri2) for the Saker Blog

The FBI says armed protests are being planned in all 50 states from January 16 until Joe Biden’s inauguration day on January 20.

It’s a living nightmare in the US right now – what else can be said?

“Hysteria” is the one word which described the United States in 2020, but in 2021 we are witnessing what happens when a hysterical sprinter just can’t stop sprinting – it is ugly.

I can objectively report that since the Electoral College decided the presidency – following the end of the Capitol Hill protest – seemingly everybody here is depressed and unhappy. The US cannot handle what is going on and everyone feels things are spinning out of control. What’s worse is that they cannot even help themselves from contributing to the spinning: The solution of those who opposed the armed protests is to antagonise the potential armed protesters?

It is ugly.

This is a pretty ambitious column, if “ambitious column” isn’t a journalistic oxymoron: I think all of the upcoming paragraphs can be turned into stand-alone columns because the US is, sadly, in such a hideously twisted shape.

It’s totally absurd to compare 9/11 to “1/6”, but that is what The New York Times did today – it only shows how inoculated modern Americans are from war on their own soil. Do Americans realise that the Capitol Hill protests are exactly what Washington has encouraged in Hong Kong, Venezuela, Syria, Ukraine, Iran, etc.? And that’s just in your recent memory banks – go back to World War II and the’ve done this in half the world. I can report absolutely nobody in the Mainstream Media here is making that connection. Well, America, the sight of a bloody and brewing civil war is pretty terrible, isn’t it? Like I wrote this is a whole column, but the US has hit what is a comparatively tiny bump in the road – when compared to what they have so gleefully fomented for so very long and with such self-righteousness – and Americans are absolutely falling to pieces.

Do Americans realise that the worst thing to do right now is to spend much time consulting their corporate-dominated media? The Capitol Hill protest was spectacular for ratings, and this country – which totally lacks a sizeable, patriotic and neutral government media – wants to make big bucks until at least inauguration day by hyping what should not be hyped. Do not tune into the news during this time of hysteria – you will thank me for it.

I also have encouraged people to not tune into social media. It’s not that the average person doesn’t know what he or she is talking about – I always insist that the “person on the street” interviews I do often provide me with better insights than interviews with degreed experts – it’s that there simply is no filter. Trump is toxic on his social media because that’s what American social media is – toxic. Western, uncensored social media is seemingly designed to provide a direct counterweight to the Asian cultural model of “saving” and “giving” face. I would guess that the overwhelming majority of Americans – after this roughly 15-year experiment with it – would say that social media has been a societal and personal disappointment.

On the macro level of social media: the US has created a monster, as there simply is no way to regulate Big Tech. They are clearly a monopoly power which can shut down political speech, like with the app Parler, and yet it is their “legal right” to do so because they are a business and not a press – i.e., they have no social responsibilities, but do have all the human rights America insanely grants to corporations. This, of course, enrages an American populace which (falsely) believes their country is a global leader in defending the human right to free press. Facebook took down PressTV’s page for a few hours – of course: If they will ban President Trump on Twitter why would they hesitate much longer for Iran? We are only just comprehending what “social media” can really do to a society, but the negative case study is: the US 2020 election.

Joe Biden is being tasked with healing the whole country even though he also spent the last four years demonising half the country. That is perhaps the best way to gauge what the upcoming chances are for “reconciliation” in America. I just don’t find the idea that the United States will rally around a hugely discredited and wilfully, remorselessly divisive Democratic Party even remotely credible.

Biden has just picked his head of the CIA – it was a person who was also a top candidate for the Secretary of State (foreign minister) post. That the nation’s top spy and top diplomat are interchangeable – and that this goes uncommented upon – says a lot about the United States. Washington does not try to persuade anyone – they just apply pressure, spy on them and make sure the national needs of their allies are subverted to the national needs of the US. Angela Merkel denounced Trump’s Twitter ban, just as she denounced Obama spying on her calls. The US has no allies, and while they will blame Trump for losing all their “international standing” the reality is they had none and want none.

Today’s impeachment of Trump is a spectacularly foolish errand: they will never get the Senate supermajority to actually impeach Trump; he’s leaving in seven days; Trump is correct that it will – of course – cause “tremendous anger”; it is clearly designed to sabotage Trump’s 2024 election chances, at whatever cost to national unity; 40% of the country already feels like their presidential vote was disenfranchised – now you want to impeach their leader (which comes after the censorship of him and before the prosecution of him)? It’s just useless theatre – the US election circus continues.

Is it possible that I was wrong to say that a violent right-wing movement – something comparable in determination (though not at all comparable in aims) to what the US saw last summer in response to never-ending police brutality – cannot ever grow strong enough in the US to “Occupy Capitol Hill”, or something similar? I still don’t think I am wrong and that once this final week passes so will these protests. American conservatives are too status-quo loving, too law and order-worshipping and too jingoistic to really try and change America.

I think the Capitol Hill protest was a one-time act of civil disobedience which spontaneously grew beyond the intentions of the mass majority of protesters – I have seen that happen countless times in person as a journalist. It obviously never morphed into an “Occupy Capitol Hill” multi-day protest because it was obviously never intended to (and for the same reason above). The people at the front lines of such protests are always a different breed; always run the range of political views from right to left; always have a range of motivations, from being mere adrenaline-seekers to genuine political integrity. I have also seen the video footage – captured by a left-wing Black Lives Matter member (because there is always this range of values) – of a Capitol cop, whose life was not threatened, shoot and kill female protester Ashlii Babbitt. I’m appalled there’s not more MSM discussion about that, because the footage is so clear that this was police brutality, but any such discussion radically changes how the protest has to be covered by the MSM: it means taking a break from demonising the protesters, and the US corporate media does not want that.

It was totally clear in the week since Capitol Hill: It’s not enough that Biden won – the US anti-Trump elite wants blood. They want Twitter and Facebook to ban Trump, so they can censor and others (as they just did with Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei and Iranian state media PressTV). They want to imprison the Capitol Hill protesters, so they can prevent any anti-Biden political protests in the next four years. They want to impeach and jail Trump, so they can prevent Trumpism from growing beyond their idiotic, “how did I get here” leader into something which could upend the world’s oldest duopoly.

These are all columns because they are all huge issues which cannot be resolved in a few sentences – only summed up. I’m only stopping because I have word limits – feel free to point out which issues weren’t included.

The bottom line on the Democrat side is: Many Americans have spent four years hysterically demonising Trump supporters – they can’t turn it off: Winning the Electoral College obviously wasn’t enough. They want animals put in cages whom they can go poke; they want to fabricate a moral high ground which they believe is so high that it exonerates them from open debate; they want compound interest on the four years they wasted on the perennial US political circus.

The other bottom line on the Republican side is: Trump supporters are in shock that they lost – every one I talked with was so very certain of his victory. Then many of them were certain the Donald would pull it out, but what the Donald did was pass up every opportunity to take a courageous stand and to essentially say, “I’ve been using you supporters all this time.” Trump supporters now see this atrocious past week as if the US elite is presenting them with only two choices: either return to being mainstream Republicans or leave politics altogether. Many will choose the latter. Many Americans will not miss them. They will still be here, I point out to the victors.

I also point out to the victors: Trump losing the election did not solve all this country’s problems, as it was long promised. America in 2021 has way too many problems for such a simple solution.

*************************************************************

Dispatches from the United States after the presidential election

Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism not merely a cult (1/2) – November 5, 2020

Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism not merely a cult (2/2) – November 6, 2020

4 years of anti-Trumpism shaping MSM vote coverage, but expect long fight – November 7, 2020

US partitioned by 2 presidents: worst-case election scenario realized – November 9, 2020

A 2nd term is his if he really wants it, but how deep is Trump’s ‘Trumpism’? – November 10, 2020

CNN’s Jake Tapper: The overseer keeping all journalists in line (1/2) – November 13, 2020

‘Bidenism’ domestically: no free press, no lawyer, one-party state? (2/2) – November 15, 2020

Where’s Donald? When 40% of voters cry ‘fraud’ you’ve got a big problem – November 17, 2020

The 4-year (neoliberal) radicalisation of US media & Bidenites’ ‘unradical radicalism’ – November 22, 2020

80% of US partisan losers think the last 2 elections were stolen – December 3, 2020

Trump declares civil war for voter integrity in breaking (or broken) USA – December 5, 2020

Mess with Texas via mail-in ballot? States secede from presidential vote – December 8, 2020

Biden won? 2016-2020 showed what the US does to even mild reformers – Dec 18, 2020

Alleged Nashville bomber not Muslim: Western media disappointed – January 2, 2020

This week in the US: The ‘model nation’ for no nation anymore – January 7, 2020

Biggest threat to global leftism returns to power: US fake-leftism (1/2) – January 8, 2021

Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

Freedom of Expression: Good for the Western Goose, Forbidden for the Muslim Gander

By Kim Petersen

Source

Aussie soldier gulping beer 43f4f

When French President Emmanuel Macron was pilloried in some quarters for defending freedom of expression as a French value, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison backed his European counterpart: “We share values. We stand for the same things.” This professed French/Australian value for freedom of expression has now come back to bite the backside of the Australian prime minister.

When it comes to publication of inflammatory western depictions of the prophet Mohammed that raise the ire of many Muslims worldwide, many western voices will step forth to defend freedom of expression. However, this fidelity to the freedom of expression will often change when what is being expressed casts the West in a negative light; a case in point being an image of an Australian soldier slitting a Muslim child’s throat.

News.com.au featured a 60 Minutes Australia report about “disturbing allegations of the murder of children and a ‘killing as a sport’ culture” among Australian fighters deployed in Afghanistan.

A sociologist, Samantha Crompvoets, spent months interviewing Special Forces soldiers about alleged war crimes in Afghanistan. Among the insouciant acts noted were soldiers tallying their kills on wall boards — kills that included civilians and prisoners.

60 Minutes described the killers as a “rogue band” of special forces soldiers. One especially “disturbing allegation” described how Australian Special Forces soldiers mercilessly slit the throats of 14-year-old boys, bagged their bodies, and tossed them in a river.

Guardian exclusive exposed depravity with a photo of an Australian soldier drinking beer from a Taliban fighter’s prosthetic leg.

The findings by Crompvoets and the 60 Minutes report were corroborated by the Australian government’s redacted Brereton Report of “possibly the most disgraceful episode in Australia’s military history”:

… 39 unlawful killings by or involving ADF members. The Report also discloses separate allegations that ADF members cruelly treated persons under their control. None of these alleged crimes was committed during the heat of battle. The alleged victims were non-combatants or no longer combatants.

What particularly stuck in the craw of political Australia was a tweet by a Chinese official, Zhao Lijian, of a gruesome throat-slitting image.

Australian prime minister Morrison was apoplectic, calling the post “repugnant,” “deeply offensive to every Australian, every Australian who has served in that uniform,” “utterly outrageous,” and unjustifiable noting that it was a “false image.” Morrison demanded an apology from the Chinese government, the firing of Zhao Lijian, and for Twitter to remove the post.

“It is utterly outrageous and cannot be justified on any basis whatsoever, the Chinese Government should be totally ashamed of this post,” Morrison said.

First, calling the image false is deflection because anyone who gives more than a cursory glance to the image will right away realize that it is has been photo-shopped and does not purport in any way to be an untouched photograph.

Second, the Australian prime minister obviously has backward moral priorities. I submit that what should be deeply offensive to Morrison and every human being — not just Australians — and especially offensive for every Australian who has served in the Australian military are the egregious war crimes committed by those wearing the same uniform. The starting and focal point for condemnation must be the war crimes. Logically, if the spate of gruesome war crimes had not been committed by Australians in uniform, then outcry at the crimes would not have been filliped.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying did address the outrage by Morrison in a TV address.

“These cruel crimes have been condemned by the international community,” said Hua.

“The Australian government should do some soul searching and bring the culprits to justice, and offer an official apology to the Afghan people and make the solemn pledge that they will never repeat such crimes. Earlier, they said the Chinese government should feel ashamed but it is Australian soldiers who committed such cruel crimes.”

“Shouldn’t the Australian government feel ashamed? Shouldn’t they feel ashamed for their soldiers killing innocent Afghan civilians?”

According to Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani, Morrison did express — not a full-fledged apology — but “his deepest sorrow over the misconduct by some Australian troops.” Australia’s foreign minister Marise Payne also wrote to her Afghan counterpart to extend “apologies for the misconduct identified by the inquiry, by some Australian military personnel in Afghanistan.” The wording would seem to diminish the atrocities as “misconduct.” There is also a overarching emphasis that the crimes were committed by some troops, seeking to exculpate the bulk of the troops from bad apples among them.

It would seem Australia is trying to distract from its horrendous war crimes. Colloquially put, Australia’s political honcho is trying to cover the military’s bare ass.

World Socialist Web Site was scathing in denouncing the Australian Establishment’s response,

The tweet by a mid-ranking Chinese official, condemning Australian war crimes in Afghanistan, has been met with hysterical denunciations by the entire political and media establishment. The response can only be described as a staggering exercise in hypocrisy, confected outrage and an attempt to whip-up a wartime nationalist frenzy.

The illustration is based on an investigative report by the Australian Department of Defense, Hua pointed out, noting that “although it is a painting, it reflects the facts.”

Hua pointed to Morrison’s real purpose: to divert attention and shift pressure from Australian war crimes to criticism of China.

Australia Liberal MP Andrew Hastie preferred that the war crimes had been kept buried. Hastie (who as a captain in the Special Air Services was cleared of wrongdoing in an investigation into soldiers under his command who chopped the hands off dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan) criticized the Australian Defence Force for releasing allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan, saying it has allowed China to malign Australian troops.

Bipartisan support was forthcoming for Australian government indignation as Labor leader Anthony Albanese also criticized the image and shadow foreign affairs minister Penny Wong called it “gratuitous” and “inflammatory.”

Prosecuting Western War Crimes

At the end of World War II war crimes tribunals were set up. In Europe there was the Nuremberg Tribunal and in Asia the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal. It was victor’s justice and no Allies were tried. This although the United States and, to a lesser degree France, engaged in a deliberate policy of starving German prisoners of war (who the US re-designated as disarmed enemy forces to evade the Geneva Conventions on POWs, as president George W Bush would later similarly do in Afghanistan when he refused to recognize POWs, labeling them instead as unlawful enemy combatants) and civilians. Germans stated that over 1,700,000 soldiers alive at the end of the war never returned home.

In the Far East, there were no allies prosecuted at the Tokyo War Crimes Trial. It must be noted that just as Nazi scientists were brought back to work at the behest of the US, class A Japanese war criminals were also protected by the US from prosecution.

Australia is not alone in the commission of war crimes. Canadian Airborne Regiment troops tied and blind-folded 16-year-old Shidane Arone, beat him with a metal bar, and burned with cigarellos for hours (he was later found to have burns on his penis), and took “trophy pics.” Arone was dead the following morning. The Canadian Airborne Regiment would be disbanded. US war crimes are numerous. They include My Lai in Viet Nam, Bagram in Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib in Iraq, etc.

Western war criminals are seldom punished, or when punished, then not in a meaningful way proportionate to the crimes committed. In fact, if you expose the war crimes perpetrated by a western allied country, then you risk becoming targeted for imprisonment. Such is the situation that Julian Assange finds himself in today. Although an Australian citizen, Morrison has been unsympathetic to the WikiLeaks founder and publisher who exposed egregious US war crimes. Said Morrison, “Mr Assange will get the same support that any other Australian would … he’s not going to be given any special treatment.”

This is what adherence to the tenet of freedom of expression genuinely signifies in much of the western world. In other words, freedom of expression is good for the western goose but bad when it is for the Muslim gander.

For further background view the damning allegations of serious war crimes, including the execution of innocent civilians and detainees.

Dr Pascal Sacré: Emergency Physician Unjustly Fired for His Writings on the COVID Crisis: The Right of Response

Thanks to all of you who want a world where the word is respected, truth is defended, freedom is a reality. I will never let fear rule my life. Don’t negotiate with fear.

By Dr. Pascal Sacré

Global Research, November 28, 2020

There, it happened.

For my words, my words, my writings, I was dismissed like a waste, a thief, without the right to answer.

An experienced, competent emergency physician, appreciated by his colleagues for my actions in stressful situations, fired in the middle of COVID!

For words, for an image.

All you had to do was reassure people, defend your doctor, attenuate and wait for the storm to calm down…  and then talk.

I write, it’s true, things that disturb, dissident points of view, those who follow me on this site since 2009 know it.

When I resumed my writing starting in 2020, about the political management of the COVID crisis, but also generally, about the endemic corruption of medicine, science and official bodies in Belgium, I felt that it would be risky, really.

But I did not give up because I will never let my life be controlled by fear.

Some people say that I am unconscious. Do you think that after 17 years of treating people, in emergency, stress, often for 24 hours at a time, I could have done all this while being unconscious?

Some people say that I am irresponsible. I have always taken my responsibilities, preferred writing to speaking because it allows reflection, rereading, and I have always turned my tongue 7 times in my mouth, before finishing an article and sending it with all its sources and references. I have always respected the rules of the hospital, of society, even when, as they stand, they seemed crazy to me and likely to cause more harm than good. I have always put the safety of my patients above my convictions, preferring to explain, to convince through words and writings.

Some say I am a disgrace to the profession.

Those who say that are ignorant of my profession. Many people talk about critical care, especially today with Covid, when critical care has been around for 70 years, but do they even know, these accusing people, what they are talking about?

We can’t pretend, this is live, live, surrounded by death and suffering,

We don’t know how to lie and if we do, we get out. I’ve held on to it for 17 years and I only had to stop suddenly because of people who don’t like what I say, don’t like my opinions!

Some say, the most beautiful things, that I am anti-everything. Those who say that are certainly much more so than I am. I will tell you all the things I am for:

  1. The truth, in any case its permanent search and accept for that, to deceive me.
  2. Tolerance of other people’s ideas, opinions and writings.
  3. The will, in turn, to be able to express my ideas, opinions and writings.
  4. Respect for nature and animals
  5. Relief of pain and suffering
  6. Life in all its facets, music, sounds, songs, dances, colors, and therefore accept death, because one cannot live like this without accepting the idea of dying at any time.

I only wanted to ask questions, to give my points of view without ever imposing them, to question, to nuance, to contextualize, to reassure when others only want to terrorize.

I was condemned, thrown away for that.

I was forced to abandon my colleagues in difficulty, summoned to leave burning places by people who should not so easily spit on the help of one of their own, a resuscitator, for words, a picture!

That’s how it is.

They have that power.

And yet,

  • Professor Didier Raoult (France)
  • Professor Christian Perronne (France)
  • Professor Toubiana (France)
  • Professor Toussaint (France)
  • Professor Gala (Belgium)
  • And all those other doctors, caregivers, health care professionals,

Belgium :  https://docs4opendebate.be/fr/open-brief/ 

Netherlands: https://opendebat.info/  et https://brandbriefggz.nl/ 

US Frontline Doctors : https://www.xandernieuws.net/algemeen/groep-artsen-vs-komt-in-verzet-facebook-bant-hun-17-miljoen-keer-bekeken-video/ 

Spain: https://niburu.co/gezondheid/15385-artsen-komen-massaal-met-coronawaarheid-naar-buiten 

Germany: https://acu2020.org/international/ 

Belgium : https://omgekeerdelockdown.simplesite.com/?fbclid=IwAR2bJAAShAlIidjnRQPyVSoZbk1Uj-FTHAthL77hKX_Oo8aMLN3V6DdwAac 

https://www.lalibre.be/belgique/enseignement/septante-medecins-flamands-demandent-l-abolition-du-masque-dans-les-ecoles-une-menace-serieuse-pour-leur-developpement-5f58a5189978e2322fa9d32c

https://belgiumbeyondcovid.be/

France : https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/provence-alpes-cote-d-azur/bouches-du-rhone/marseille/covid-tribune-pres-300-scientifiques-denoncent-mesures-gouvernementales-disproportionnees-1878840.html 

We are all of them.

There are thousands of us.

Thanks to all of you who want a world where the word is respected, truth is defended, freedom is a reality.

I will never let fear rule my life. Don’t negotiate with fear.

Dr. Pascal Sacré

Featured Photo: Citizen Initiative VideoThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Dr. Pascal Sacré, Global Research, 2020

The Great Reset; ‘No pasarán’

The Great Reset; ‘No pasarán’

November 24, 2020

by Ghassan and Intibah Kadi for the Saker Blog

The revolving results and aspirations of having a clear outcome of the American Presidential elections are bringing many related issues to the surface. Perhaps none bigger than the heightened call by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for a ‘Great Reset’.

The mission of the WEF, stated beneath its logo reads that it is: ‘Committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas’.

This is a vague mission statement that is riddled with logical and philosophical flaws.

What does ‘improving the state of the world’ exactly mean? There are many issues in the world that can be improved, and not all of them are based on economics for an economic forum to attempt to improve. Consider freedom of speech for example, freedom of information, the abuse of information in the form of mis-information and dis-information, just to name one example. Have we not seen that this very aspect has reached unprecedented heights in the American elections?

When the WEF invited Greta Thunberg to attend the January 2020 meeting, not only did it endorse her concept of climate change, but it also advertently ignored the counter-theory which is actually supported by many climatologists and scientists in other related areas. So how can the state of the world be improved if science is hushed up and theories are accepted for fact without proof?

By way of its mission statement and putting it into practice therefore, the WEF does not seem to take much notice of the importance of correct information and, on the contrary, works against it. Is this improvement of the world or moving it backwards towards the dark ages?

And talking about Greta, according to the mission statement, she ‘qualified’ to participate and be engaged even though she is not a leader in either business, politics or academia. She must then, by definition, be considered by the WEF as a ‘leader of society’. But even if we assume that she is a leader in this capacity, realistically what kind of input can she make in reaching and implementing realistic recommendations in order to improve the world? Was she only invited to mesmerize and recruit the youth?

But Greta is not the only oddity. Guess who else was there in January 2020? George Soros. Actually, Soros has been a repeat contributor.

Soros is definitely a huge business person and I have no problem with him fitting the qualification criteria. But isn’t Mr. Soros one of the main reasons behind many of the problems and issues facing humanity and which the WEF proclaims the desire to improve?

How can one invite the butcher to the ‘Save the Sheep’ forum?

This brings in the issue of morality.

Who gave the WEF the moral mandate to decide what is good and bad for the rest of the world? This again takes us back to the flaws of the mission statement. The statement does not make any mention of morality and/or the engagement of renowned ethicists in the membership panel.

Whilst many may have some reservations about Mandela, he was nonetheless an ethicist and a moralist over and above being a political and community leader. He was once invited and he gave an address to the 1992 WEF forum in Davos. But people of the caliber of Mandela, and they are far and few between, should be more than just occasional guests. They should be on a permanent panel of elders who inform and advise policy and legislation action based on moral value. Will the world be able to find enough ‘perfect’ humans to empanel and assign such a huge task to? Certainly not. No one is perfect, but a group of wise elders is certainly more trustworthy than a pact of globalists.

The WEF can amend its mission statement and come clean and admit that it is comprised of the elites who are the actual reason behind the world problems and not the ones to offer solutions. To be able to be truthful to its mission statement however, it must not base its criteria and recommendations on economics and economics only.

We have taken recent interest in the WEF because the term ‘Great Reset’ [1] has jumped up from almost nowhere, suddenly [2] becoming almost everyone’s mantra. It took us a while to realize that the term actually refers to a new book by the name of ‘COVID-19 The Great Reset’ written by none other than Dr. Klaus Schwab, the 82 y/o founder and ongoing CEO of the WEF ever since its inception in 1971. The above WEF link includes toward the end of the document an interesting diagram which summarizes the Great Reset plan, titled “The Great Reset Transformation Map”. [3]

And what is exactly the position of Dr. Schwab? How can he take the wiser-than-thou stand and proclaim to be the saviour of the world? Under which mandate is he allowed to tell governments, people, all people of all nations, cultures, religions and political views to follow his vision of how to create a better new world?

A most eloquent, smooth speaker, but it doesn’t take much probing to see that Schwab is at best either a megalomaniac or a fool, but he definitely displays archetypal symptoms of megalomania, and in a very dangerous attire. When Mao declared his short-sighted Cultural Revolution, he was seen in the West as a new Hitler. But ironically the same West sees Schwab as a saviour.

Don’t listen to these words, hear him speak about what he calls the ‘fourth industrial revolution’. He claims that the steam engine heralded the first revolution, mass production the second, and computers the third. And now, according to him, the fourth industrial revolution is about ‘a fusion of our physical, digital and biological identities’ This is an hour-long video, [4] and if readers cannot listen to it all, they can find those exact words at the 15m:45s mark. And what is our ‘digital identity’ by the way?

Actually, he is perhaps neither a megalomaniac nor a fool, but a freak, the kind of villain that jumps straight out of Batman comics. Alongside the Penguin and the Joker, Schwab should be locked up behind bars, dressed in a straight jacket and pumped to the hilt with antipsychotic drugs, but he is not. He has appointed himself as an advisor to global political leaders, and those buffoons take him seriously.

The man has not been elected by anyone, he does not represent anyone, he seems to not have consulted with anyone elected to speak on behalf of citizens. If this is not what defines a dictator, what does? The WEF is actually his own lovechild, and its name gives it a guise of legitimacy, but it is in fact an NGO just like any other. It neither has any official structure nor the power to generate binding policies. And Soros is not the only shady dude ever invited to speak at the forum.

Schwab is the person who invites whom he chooses. Over the years, the guest list included movie stars and rock stars, but the ‘permanent’ members are CEO’s of big business with turnovers in the billions. We are only talking about some 1000 “leading” companies [5] among millions worldwide who are given a “platform”. They are the biggest pollutants and profiteering culprits on the face of the planet. They are also the biggest benefactors; they donate millions of dollars annually to support the WEF.

Other members include the Saudi royals, the Ford Foundation, Mastercard Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto, just to name a few. One would have to have rocks in his/her head to even imagine that those people and the globalist entities they represent get together in order to discuss how to make the world a better place for the underprivileged. He/she would have to be delusional to believe that those rascals convene for any reason other than bolstering their grab-hold of global wealth and monopoly of power.

This is not to mention the irony of Monsanto and Greta being on the same forum.

If anything, the WEF is the biggest known organization that is comprised of the elite of the elite, the culprits behind the inequity and injustice in this world. It is perhaps the biggest wolf in sheep’s clothing on the prowl.

But how will the ordinary man and woman on the street respond to the concept of being part human part machine? And what is more frightening here is; how seriously are world leaders going to take Schwab’s recommendations and how will they implement them in democratic countries in which changes much smaller than what he is recommending require referendums? Furthermore, what will be the ‘fate’ of individuals and nations that do not heed and comply with his directives? Will they be sanctioned? Will non-compliant individuals be able to find jobs or keep existing ones? Will non-compliant nations face trade sanctions?

Many ideologies have come and gone, but none in recent times, since the various versions of Marxism, including Maoism, tried to portray itself in a manner that attempts to sound rational and pragmatic. We must exclude religions here, because religions are based on faith, they are spiritual beliefs, and they are not only and specifically based on and aimed for social reform. But this ‘Great Reset’ theory is very different from any of its predecessors. On the surface, it is based on living frugally in order to protect the environment and generate greater social justice [6], and this does not sound like a bad idea. But at a deeper level, it is a call for thought policing and control of individuals and robbing them of their choices; including their own identity.

Did pre-COVID humanity go wrong to the extent that it needed a great reset?

Well, we only have to look at the trajectory of humanity to realize that it was (still is in fact) unsustainable. All we need to look at is one major aspect; population growth. We simply cannot expect the trend in population growth to go unchecked especially when coupled with increases in affluence and higher standards of living in some countries. If anything, that trend has been generating a huge growing gap between the haves and the have-nots. But even with this knowledge, humanity did not flinch at the news and images of wide-spread famines and literally thousands dying on a daily basis because of their inability to find food; all the while the ‘other half’ is dying from being overweight and overfed.

Whilst some evil-minded people think that the practical way out of this dilemma can be achieved by implementing different modes of eugenics, the voices of compassion have become less audible, and at best, ignored even muted.

Did the pre-COVID world need a reset? Definitely. Many of its founding determinants have been based on injustice, shortsightedness, divisiveness, lack of good old values, the inability of being sustainable; just to name a few.

When millions cannot find food to eat and clean water to drink yet others fly half the way across the world to attend a baby shower, something must be amiss and a reset is way overdue.

But what is it that the vision of the WEF and its ‘Bible’ (COVID-19 The Great Reset) have to offer in order to provide the world and future generations with a brighter new direction?

It doesn’t take long to see that within the WEF “Great Reset” article [7] there are clear indications that what it is attempting to do is to create more compliant robotic individuals and draw the world and its population deeper into the abyss.

The WEF “Great Reset” article is carefully written and worded in a manner that by the time the reader builds a huge deal of trust in the writer, trust in his intentions, and eventually reaches the recommendations, he/she finds that there is no reason, none at all, to disagree with any of its recommendations. If you examine the diagram [8] in the article titled “The Great Reset Transformation Map”, you will find it is very telling.

Even a quick analysis of the WEF principles and modus operandi shows that the whole ethos is based on individuals and companies the practices of whom have led the world to the current state of loss and despair and entrapment that it is in. Certainly, the cause cannot be the cure; not in this instance.

The paper is a blatant endorsement of the Neo-Left, its agendas and attempts to break down cultural values that glue society together, and turn the world into an obedient slave camp.

Apart from the frightening Schwab’s definition of the fourth industrial revolution, the actual recommendations for the ‘Great Reset’ are quite alarming and unsettling to say the least. It promotes digital currency. How does this restore hope in this new world? This is not to mention encouraging the use of robots, drones, and exponentially increasing reliance on technology instead of aspiring to reinstate the good old values of morality that have worked for millennia.

The words morality, honesty, care, compassion, kindness, happiness, courage, generosity, charity etc., are not mentioned even once in the document; not even a single one of them. Why, one may ask? What is it that drones can do to save humanity from an impending disaster that none of the above innate human values can?

Actually, when it comes to human values, Schwab shamelessly argues that as in the future there will be less cooperation based on shared values with an increasingly multipolar world emerging, relationships will have to be based on shared interests; not values (see at 40:00 min)[9]. For him not to believe in the goodness within humanity, he surely must have deeply-founded psychological disorders. We should pity him, but not if he wants to dictate to us how to lead our lives.

What is more concerning about the man is that he asks, almost demands, that all that he proposes must be implemented now and without any further delay, because he argues that the COVID crisis [10] is giving humanity an opportunity that must not be missed. During a recent visit to India, it was reported that Schwab has said that the country now has the opportunity in leapfrogging [11] to a more digital and sustainable economy.

If we want to be cynics, which we are, we would conclude that those who design and run the WEF do not only sleep in the same bed as those who have destroyed the world, THEY ARE the ones who destroyed it, and yet have the audacity to say they are trying to save it. Unfortunately many follow them and take them at face value.

The great reset humanity really needs is one that takes it back to its roots, its values that include freedom of choice and expression. It needs a reboot, not just a reset, and definitely not the reset that is pre-set by maniacal dictators who wish to create implantable microchips that can read one’s mind. [12]

To the likes of Dr. Schwab, the world population must rise, even against their leaders if they must, and together chant ‘no pasarán’

  1. “Now is the time for a great reset”; Klaus Schwab, 3 June 2020, World Economic Forum; https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/now-is-the-time-for-a-great-reset/?fbclid=IwAR1jQO1l6S4ZM7PEe21QiPLa7Espjlm2uh33ovefznJdK-MRZcO1KYzQA1E
  2. ‘Great Reset’ trends on Twitter after Trudeau speech on Covid-19 hints it’s not just a ‘conspiracy theory’, 16 Novemner 2020, RT. https://www.rt.com/news/506887-trudeau-great-reset-conspiracy-reveal/
  3. The Great Reset Transformation Map
    https://intelligence.weforum.org/topics/a1G0X000006OLciUAG?tab=publications
  4. “World Economic Forum Founder Klaus Schwab on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Streamed live on 13 May 2019 at Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=CVIy3rjuKGY.
  5. “Our Partners” World Economic Forum https://www.weforum.org/about/our-partners
  6. Searching through WEF site and speeches many references exist regarding living more simply to save the environment and the word “redistribution” often is associated with this. Further research is required by the interested reader to determine whether this implies a redistribution of wealth and what exactly that entails.. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/10/can-redistributing-wealth-also-be-good-for-growth/
  7. Of the WEF, Ken Moelis, Founder and CEO of Moelis & Co. told the Wall Street Journal’s Matt Murray.“ “Davos would do better thinking of growth, rather than redistribution,” (toward the end of video) https://www.wsj.com/video/moelis-davos-should-focus-on-growth-not-wealth-redistribution/C3EC8119-09F4-4CBE-909E-8D59CED4D321.html
  8. “Now is the time for a great reset”; Klaus Schwab, 3 June 2020, World Economic Forum; https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/now-is-the-time-for-a-great-reset/?fbclid=IwAR1jQO1l6S4ZM7PEe21QiPLa7Espjlm2uh33ovefznJdK-MRZcO1KYzQA1E
  9. Schwab, 3 June 2020, Ibid.
  10. Schwab, 13 May 2019, Chicago Council on Global Affairs 40:00 min
  11. Schwab, 3 June 2020, Ibid.
  12. “Schwab Hails India’s Policy In COVID-19 Fight; Says ‘has Potential To Shape Global Agenda’, 25 October 2020, Brigitte Fernandes, RREPUBLICWORLD.com https://www.republicworld.com/india-news/general-news/schwab-hails-indias-policy-in-covid-19-fight-says-has-potential-to-shape-global-agenda.html
  13. “Klaus Schwab: Great Reset Will “Lead to a Fusion of Our Physical, Digital and Biological Identity”, 16 November 202, Joseph Paul Watson, https://summit.news/2020/11/16/klaus-schwab-great-reset-will-lead-to-a-fusion-of-our-physical-digital-and-biological-identity/?fbclid=IwAR2IU4eIRZsXgplVnFHifWLY7fs5i-9uwCDRnqqt_vnNZPLICmL3Gk6LYvk
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