Syria in Seattle: Commune Defies the U.S. Regime

Syria in Seattle: Commune Defies the U.S. Regime - Islam Times

Pepe EscobarJune 12, 2020

Syria in Seattle: Commune Defies the U.S. Regime

The marriage of post-Lockdown and George Floyd protests has nurtured a rough beast that is still immune to any form of civilized debate in the U.S.: the Seattle Commune.

So what really is the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone cum People’s Republic all about?

Are the communards mere useful idiots? Is this a refined Occupy Wall Street experiment? Could it survive, logistically, and be replicated in NYC, L.A. and D.C.?

An outraged President Trump has described it as a plot by “domestic terrorists” in a city “run by radical left Democrats”. He called for “LAW & ORDER” (in caps, according to his Tweetology).

Shades of Syria in Seattle are visibly discernable. Under this scenario, the Commune is a remixed Idlib fighting “regime counter-insurgency outposts” (in communard terminology).

For most American Right factions, Antifa equals ISIS. George Floyd is regarded not only as a “communist Antifa martyr”, as an intel operative told me, but a mere “criminal and drug dealer”.

So when will “regime forces” strike – in this case without Russian air cover? After all, as dictated by Secretary Esper, it’s up to the Pentagon to “dominate the battlefield”.

But we’ve got a problem. Capital Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) is supported by the city of Seattle – run by a Democrat – which is supported by the governor of Washington State, also a Democrat.

There’s no chance Washington State will use the National Guard to crush CHAZ. And Trump cannot take over Washington State National Guard without the approval of the governor, even though he has tweeted, “Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will. This is not a game.”

It’s enlightening to observe that “counter-insurgency” can be applied in Afghanistan and the tribal areas; to occupy Iraq; to protect the looting of oil/gas in eastern Syria. But not at home. Even if 58% of Americans would actually support it: for many among them, the Commune may be as bad if not worse than looting.

But then there are those firmly opposed. Among them: the “Butcher of Fallujah” Mad Dog Mattis; color revolution practitioners NED; Nike;

JP Morgan; the whole Democratic Party establishment; and virtually the whole U.S. Army establishment.

Welcome to the Only Occupy Others movement.

Still the question remains: how long will “Idlib” be able to defy the “regime”? That’s enough to cause an alleged “bully”, Attorney General Barr, many a sleepless night.

Real Black Power

Trump and Barr have already threatened to criminalize Antifa as a “terrorist organization” – even as Black Lives Matter has pointed a yellow dagger in the asphalt of 16th St. in D.C. towards the White House.

And that brings us to the across the board legitimacy enjoyed by Black Lives Matter. How’s that possible? Here is a good place to start.

Black Lives Matter, founded in 2013 by a trio of middle class, queer black women very vocal against “hetero-patriarchy”, is a product of what University of British Columbia’s Peter Dauvergne defines as “corporatization of activism”.

Over the years, Black Lives Matter evolved as a marketing brand, like Nike (which fully supports it). The widespread George Floyd protests elevated it to the status of a new religion. Yet Black Lives Matter carries arguably zero, true revolutionary appeal. This is not James Brown’s “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud”. And it does not get even close to Black Power and the Black Panthers’ “Power to the People”.

The gold standard on civil rights, Dr. Martin Luther King, in 1968, concisely framed the – structural – heart of the matter:

“The black revolution is much more than a struggle for the rights of Negroes. It is forcing America to face all its interrelated flaws—racism, poverty, militarism, and materialism. It is exposing evils that are rooted deeply in the whole structure of our society. It reveals systemic rather than superficial flaws and suggests that radical reconstruction of society itself is the real issue to be faced.”

The Black Panthers, young, extremely articulated intellectuals who had mixed Marx, Lenin, Mao, W.E.B. Du Bois, Malcolm X and Frantz “Wretched of the Earth” Fanon took MLK’s diagnosis to a whole new level.

As summed up by the Panthers’ Minister of Information Eldridge Cleaver: “We believe in the need for a unified revolutionary movement … informed by the revolutionary principles of scientific socialism.” That synthesized the insights of MLK, who was, crucially, a proponent of color blindness.

Fred Hampton, the target of a de facto state assassination in December 1969, made sure the struggle transcended race: “We got to face some facts. That the masses are poor, that the masses belong to what you call the lower class, and when I talk about the masses, I’m talking about the white masses, I’m talking about the black masses, and the brown masses, and the yellow masses, too. We’ve got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put fire out best with water. We say you don’t fight racism with racism. We’re gonna fight racism with solidarity. We say you don’t fight capitalism with no black capitalism; you fight capitalism with socialism.”

So this is not only about race. This is not only about class. This is about Power to the People fighting for social, political and economic justice under a system that’s intrinsically unequal. It expands on the in-depth analysis by Gerald Horne in The Dawning of the Apocalypse, where the 16th century is fully dissected, “creation myth” of the U.S. included.

Horne shows how a bloodthirsty invasion of the Americas engendered fierce resistance by Africans and their indigenous populations allies, weakening imperial Spain and finally enabling London to dispatch settlers to Virginia in 1607.

Now compare this depth of analysis with the meek, almost begging for mercy “Black Lives Matter” slogan. One is reminded, once again, of Malcolm X’s sharpness: “We had the best organization the black man’s ever had—niggers ruined it!”

To solve the Black Lives Matter question, one must, once again, follow the money.

Black Lives Matter profited in 2016 from a humongous $100 million grant from the Ford Foundation and other philanthropic capitalism stalwarts such as JPMorgan Chase and the Kellogg Foundation.

The Ford Foundation is very close to the U.S. Deep State. The board of directors is crammed with corporate CEOs and Wall Street honchos. In a nutshell; Black Lives Matter, the organization, today is fully sanitized; largely integrated into the Democratic Party machine; adored by mainstream media; and certainly does not represent a threat to the 0.001%.

The Black Lives Matter leadership, of course, argues that this time, “it’s different. Elaine Brown, the formidable former chairwoman of the Black Panthers, takes no prisoners: Black Lives Matter has a “plantation mentality”.

Try to set the night on fire

Set the Night on Fire is an extraordinarily absorbing book co-written by Jon Wiener and the inestimable Mike Davis of City of Quartz and Planet of Slums.

Cataloguing in exhaustive detail the L.A. of the Sixties, we are plunged into the Watts riots in 1965; the antiwar movement joining the Black Panthers to form a uniquely Californian Peace and Freedom Party; the evolving grassroots unity of the Black Power ethos; the Che-Lumumba club of the Communist Party – which would become the political base of legendary Angela Davis; and the massive FBI and LAPD offensive to destroy the Black Panthers.

Tom Wolfe notoriously – and viciously – characterized L.A. supporters of the Black Panthers as ‘radical chic”. Elaine Brown once again sets the record straight: “We were dying, and all of them, the strongest and the most frivolous, were helping us survive another day.”

One of the most harrowing sections of the book details how the FBI went after Panthers sympathizers, including the sublime Jean Seberg, the star of Otto Preminger’s Saint Joan (1957) and Godard’s Breathless (1960).

Jean Seberg contributed anonymously to the Panthers under the codename “Aretha” (yes, as in Franklin). The FBI’s COINTELPRO took no prisoners to go after Seberg, enrolling the CIA, military intel and the Secret Service. She was smeared as a “sex-perverted white actress” – as in having affairs with black radicals. Her Hollywood career was destroyed. She went into deep depression, had a stillbirth (the baby was not black), emigrated, and her – decomposed – body was found in her car in Paris in 1979.

In contrast, there have been academic rumblings identifying the sea of converts to the Black Lives Matter religion as mostly products of the marriage between wokeness and intersectionality – the set of interlinked traits that since birth privileges heterosexual white men, now trying to expiate their guilt.

Generation Z, unleashed en masse from college campuses across the U.S. into the jobs market, is a prisoner of this phenomenon: in fact a slave to – politically correct – identity politics. And once again, carrying zero revolutionary potential.

Compare it once again to immense political sacrifices of the Black Panthers. Or when Angela Davis, already a pop icon, became the most famous black political prisoner in American history. Aretha Franklin, when volunteering to post bail for Davis, famously framed it: “I’ve been locked up for disturbing the peace, and I know you’ve got to disturb the peace when you can’t get no peace.”

Elaine Brown: “I know what the BPP [Black Panther Party] was. I know the lives we lost, the struggle we put into place, the efforts we made, the assaults on us by the police and government – I know all that. I don’t know what Black Lives Matter does.”

It’s open to endless debate whether Black Lives Matter is intrinsically racist and even inherently violent.

And it’s also debatable whether taking a knee, now a household ritual practiced by politicians (complete with Kente scarves from Ghana), cops and corporations, really threatens the foundations of Empire.

Noam Chomsky has already ventured that the protest wave so far carries zero political articulation – and badly needs a strategic direction, far beyond the obvious revolt against police brutality.

The protests are dying down just as the Commune emerges.

Depending on its evolution that may pose a serious problem to Trump/Barr. The President simply cannot allow a running color revolution to develop in the middle of a major American city. At the same time he’s impotent as a federal authority to dissolve the Commune.

What the White House can do is to dog whistle its own counter-insurgency units, in the form of armed to their teeth white supremacist militias, to go on the offensive and crush the already flimsy supply lines of the wokeness-cum-intersectionality crowd.

Occupy after all took over key areas of 60 American cities for months just to suddenly dissolve into the ether.

Additionally, the Deep State has already war-gamed plenty of scenarios to deal with siege situations way more complex than the Commune.

Whatever happens next, one key vector is immutable. A state of permanent insurrection only benefits the 0.00001% plutocracy comfortably ensconced while the plebs set the night on fire.

Yellow Vests reach 1 year: The redemption of France’s revolutionary spirit

 

Yellow Vests reach 1 year: The redemption of France’s revolutionary spirit

November 20, 2019

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog (cross-posted with PressTV)

(Ramin Mazaheri 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 the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.)

For many years to come France will be divided into two periods – before the Yellow Vests, and after the Yellow Vests. It’s widely believed in France that things can never go back to the way they were.

I’m not sure there can be a better yardstick of domestic success – a better gauge of sociocultural impact – than that?

Outside of France the Yellow Vests have given the world a precious gift, and at a huge sacrifice: nobody will ever view “French-style democracy” with the respect their government arrogantly demands as the alleged “birthplace of human rights”. For a generation or longer, “What about the Yellow Vests?”, will be a conversation-ending question to anyone who claims the moral superiority of the “Western-style” political system.

Systematic repression of the poorest classes are indeed “universal values”, but only within neoliberal and neo-imperial systems. Make no mistake: It has been one year of open Yellow Vest revolt against the economic dictates of that “neoliberal empire”, the European Union, and it’s neo-colonial puppet temporarily occupying Élysée Palace in Paris.

What the last year has testified to is the redemption of France’s revolutionary spirit. Not every country has that, after all.

England, for example, will foolishly “keep calm and carry on” – a perfect summation of change-hating conservatism – until the bitter end, always. This is why reading English-language media coverage of the Yellow Vests was so very similar – “English conservative opposes egalitarian movement in France”. They have been running the same story for 200+ years, going back to Edmund Burke, who founded modern Western conservatism with his (reactionary) Reflections on the Revolution in France in 1790.

France is not England, but 53 weeks ago I don’t think anyone imagined that the French could possibly muster the stamina, dedication and self-sacrifice to protest amid massive state-sponsored repression every weekend for one year.

It’s an amazing achievement, and only those full of spite and hate could deny them a modest present of honest recognition on their birthday.

But Western mainstream media coverage in English and French was just that – they claimed the Yellow Vests achieved nothing.

One thing the French don’t like to be reminded of is: the French Revolution failed, and quickly. It’s as if they forget Emperor Napoleon?

The French Revolution is not like the Iranian, Chinese or Cuban Revolutions, all of which have endured. The American Revolution has also endured – too bad that it was even more aristocratic (bourgeois) and sectarian than the French Revolution.

But the French Revolution occurred in an era of constant regional imperialism, war, slavery, repression of women, religious and ethnic sectarianism, etc. – we would be wrong to say it did not still have positive worldwide ramifications in the most important realms of politics, economics, culture, etc. The USSR – the only empire based on affirmative action – also failed, but we would be wrong to say it didn’t also produce positive changes for their people and also worldwide.

Quickly, here are a few tangible victories of the Yellow Vests: they prevented Emmanuel Macron from presenting a 10th consecutive annual austerity budget, they prevented Macron from de-nationalising the three airports of Paris, and the 10 billion euros in so-called “concessions” was credited with keeping French economic growth in the positive in the last quarter.

However, even if the Yellow Vests have obviously not yet toppled the 5th Republic and set up a new order, their cultural is inestimable. Just as the Occupy Movement of the US in 2011 gave us the slogan and mentality of “We are the 99%”, so will the Yellow Vests stand for something equally conscience-raising.

The Yellow Vests want a French Cultural Revolution, and should lead it

However, a big difference between the two movements is that Occupy was led by many college-educated “do-gooders” – and God bless them – whereas the Yellow Vests are undoubtedly a movement of the most marginalised classes.

Seemingly the most comprehensive survey thus far showed that few Vesters are unemployed, two-thirds of Vesters make less than the average national wage, and an even greater percentage regret a lack of cultural resources and social links. In other words: hard-working, (yet still) poor, isolated citizens who yearn for more cultural enrichment.

This is why I have repeatedly drawn a different parallel: the Yellow Vests are essentially demanding a Cultural Revolution. Only China and Iran have ever had one, and both were state-sponsored.

Cultural Revolutions put the values of the formerly-oppressed classes into power – everything is brought to a halt for perhaps years in order to engage in mass discussions, with the aim of drastically updating a nation’s democratic institutions and general culture in order to accord with modern political ideals. This is precisely what the Yellow Vests want: a long, comprehensive, democratic rethink and public debate over France’s inclusion in the European Union, the eurozone, NATO, and the Americanisation/neoliberalisation of their domestic policies.

Chinese peasants, Iran’s “revolution of the barefooted” and the rural-based Yellow Vests – it’s impossible not to admit the parallels. The West, of course, only insists that both Cultural Revolutions were huge mistakes.

Not true: China’s Cultural Revolution created the rural economic and human capital which laid the groundwork for their 1980s-onwards boom, although the West would have you believe its rebirth sprung only from Deng’s reforms; Iran’s Cultural Revolution swept away the elite’s oppressive aping of the West and created the first modern Muslim democracy.

The Yellow Vests insist that they are the “real” France, and after a year of talking with them I agree – they know as much or more about politics than I do. Politics is not rocket science, after all, but mainly applying common morality to public policy and daily events.

Iran and China already had a government inspired by socialist democracy (and not by aristocratic liberal democracy) when they embarked on their Cultural Revolutions, whereas France does not – thus the repression.

What did the Occupy Movement “achieve”, after all? They prevented no bailouts, they folded after infinitely less state repression and there is no direct movement linked with them today. However, only a Burkean conservative would insist that the Occupy Movement didn’t wake many people up to the struggles of class warfare, and of egalitarian right and greedy wrong. It’s never mentioned in the Western media – which only adores far-right, nativist, anti-socialist movements like in Hong Kong – but Algerians have protested for 39 consecutive weekends as well.

The Yellow Vests have not failed – they have much to celebrate on their birthday, and this article serves as a rare reminder of that reality.

Iranian and Russian media – doing France’s job for them

What’s important to note is that since late June – when France started going on summer vacation – Russian and Iranian media in Paris (including my Farsi- and Spanish-language colleagues) have been the only television journalists openly covering the Yellow Vest demonstrations.

My French colleagues have done the most cowardly thing possible – they quit the field. For many months people in Paris couldn’t believe I had to work covering the Yellow Vests on Saturday: I repeatedly heard, “I thought they were finished?”

With exceptions I can count on one hand, for many months French media has been either totally absent or hidden. There are certainly no reporters doing live interviews (even without a logo displaying whom they work for), even though the presence of live reporters inherently reduces the willingness of police to be violent. Considering the toll of violence – 11,000 arrested, 2,000 convicted, 1,000 imprisoned, 5,000 hurt,1,000 critically injured and the innumerable tear-gassings – it’s no wonder French people hate the media.

In France the vast majority of media are private, with editorial lines decided by a handful of billionaires – that’s just how Western journalism works, sadly. “Free speech”, they call it. However, where are the public media – they are paid by taxpayer dollars to objectively cover their own nation?! Quite pathetic….

This is probably why the Macron administration openly disparages Russia’s RT and Sputnik (we won’t get into their problems with PressTV here): we have spent the past year properly doing our jobs, unlike France’s media.

That’s too bad for France, but the unexpected and undeniable accomplishments of the Yellow Vests speak for themselves. Who knows what they might achieve in year 2?

When US and Israel gassed civilians

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As Trump administration and Zionist regime continue to act outraged over Syrian army and Nazi army gassing their own innocent people – despite the fact that no evidence exists to support their ridiculous claims. They’re ignoring the fact that both US administration and the Zionist regime had used chemical weapons on their own citizens as well as on civilians in foreign lands – crimes which have been documented.

CIA declassified 1980s documents reveal that during the waning days of Iraq’s war with Iran, the United States learned through satellite imagery that Iran was about to gain a major strategic advantage by exploiting a hole in Iraqi defenses. US intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent supplied by the US and UK to Saddam regime.

According to FBI files made public recently, the government agency used poisonous gas at the WACO compound of the so-called Davidians Seventh Day Adventists in February 1992 – killing 86 people including 17 children.

The Jewish Army has tested chemical weapons on Palestinian civilians including children and people living in the neighboring countries. The Jewish-controlled media suppressed 2009 UN report which had accused Jewish army of conducting illegal white phosphorous missile attacks on unarmed civilians, including a UN relief compound set up to shelter and provide medical attention to Palestinian refugees during Israel’s war on Gaza Strip in 2008-09.

In the 1960s, the Zionist regime murdered 100,000 Shepardic Jews used as guinea pigs for testing affects of nuclear radiation.

During both World Wars, the Western countries deployed chemical weapons on large scale. United States used chemical weapons on Iraqi civilian during the 1991 and 2003 invasions. Iraqi forces used Western-supplied mustard gas and nerve agents against Kurdish residents of Halabja, in Northern Iraq, in 1988.

During Vietnam War (1955-73) American forces not only helped South Vietnam to rain down chemical weapons on civilians and combatants alike but is thought to have dumped 20m gallons of chemicals itself.

America killed hundreds of thousands Japanese civilians with Napalm from 1944-1945.

St Louis, Missouri, is a predominantly poor and black neighborhood. For many years it was used by the US Army Chemical Corps for secret experiments to see how chemical particles dispersed in the atmosphere.

The US-NATO forces are accused of using poisonous gas against Taliban fighters in 2009.

Saudi Arabia is using the US-supplied white phosphorus against civilians in Yemen right now.

Tear gas is internationally recognized as a chemical weapon. But US police have used it to suppress protests for decades. It was used on Occupy Wall Street protesters in 2011. Recently, though the vast majority of protesters at the Dakota Access Pipeline demonstrations in Standing Rock, North Dakota, were peaceful, law enforcement sprayed them with the chemical weapon, anyway.

It’s worth noting the US renounced chemical weapons in 1969 and ratified the Biological Weapons Convention in 1975.

Related

Obama’s Farewell

Darko Lazar

21-01-2017 | 08:53

Following the wave of destruction bestowed upon the world by the George W. Bush/Dick Cheney duo, Barack Obama and Joe Biden swept into power on the promise that they would address the American people’s desperate plea for ‘change’.

Obama's Farewell

But despite securing a Nobel Peace Prize shortly after setting foot in the White House, Obama’s eight years at the helm can be summed up – both in terms of domestic and foreign policy – as being even more destructive than those of his predecessors.

The Nobel Prize, much like everything else that has to do with Obama, was more about the expectations of those who were awarding it rather than the achievements of its recipient.

From democracy to plutocracy

Obama’s biggest achievement on the domestic scene was undoubtedly his ability to transform American society from a democracy to a plutocracy.

It is important to note that despite the presence of plutocratic rule in the US for some time, it was the Obama administration that publicly adopted and cemented this phenomenon.

One example is Obama’s approach to the US mortgage crisis, which sparked a worldwide economic meltdown in 2008. And while his administration cannot be blamed for initiating the crisis, Obama is guilty of failing to punish the perpetrators.

The progressive publication, The Huffington Post, generally supportive of the Obama administration, reported in 2011 that the US Department of Housing and Urban Development carried out ‘confidential’ federal audits of all major American banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Ally Financial.

The findings led to the conclusion that all of these financial giants had indeed managed to swindle the Federal Government of the United States.

But Obama’s Justice Department refused to pursue, much less prosecute, a single individual involved in cheating the US taxpayers out of trillions of dollars.

In January 2012, while shielding Wall Street firms from prosecution, Obama declared that he had ordered the creation of a “special unit” to investigate mortgage fraud.

“This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners, and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans,” Obama said in his address to the nation.

However, two years later, a report by the Inspector General of the US Department of Justice revealed that the whole thing was nothing more than a lie.

“DOJ did not uniformly ensure that mortgage fraud was prioritized at a level commensurate with its public statements. For example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Criminal Investigative Division ranked mortgage fraud as the lowest criminal threat in its lowest crime category. Additionally, we found mortgage fraud to be a low priority, or not [even] listed as a priority, for the FBI Field Offices we visited… many Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSA) informed us about underreporting and misclassification of mortgage fraud cases,” the report stated.

In fact, one of the more interesting aspects of Obama’s legacy is that he managed to record the lowest rate of white-collar crime prosecutions in US history.

Two pieces of information made public – much to the detriment of the Obama administration – help to explain the behavior of the US president.

The first is a 2009 secret meeting at the White House between the top executives of the bailed-out financial firms and Obama himself.

Citing an anonymous source, POLITICO reported that Obama told his guests, “My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”

More importantly, revelations by the WikiLeaks dump of John Podesta’s emails show that Citigroup decided much of the staffing for leading cabinet positions in the Obama administration.

Even before Obama was elected in 2008, the Wall Street bank submitted a list of its preferred candidates for cabinet positions, which corresponded almost exactly to the eventual composition of the Obama Administration.

Alternative work

Data released by Bloomberg further strengthens the argument that the US has been transformed into a plutocracy, showing that the richest 1% of Americans increased their earnings by as much in 93% in 2010. Meanwhile, the gap between the rich and poor grew to its highest level in four decades in 2011, even surpassing the recognized plutocracies of Uganda and Kazakhstan.

A recent report by Harvard and Princeton economists, Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger, reveals that the proportion of American workers engaged in what they refer to as “alternative work” soared during the Obama era. Alternative, or “gig” work refers to temporary or freelance employment and is generally unsteady, without a fixed paycheck and with virtually no benefits.

Krueger, who served as the top White House economist under Obama said,
“we find that 94% of net job growth in the past decade was in the alternative work category… and over 60% was due to the [the rise] of independent contractors, freelancers and contract company workers.”

In other words, the US government has been releasing ‘acceptable’ unemployment figures by creating 10 million jobs that had noting to do with traditional nine-to-five employment.

As such, it becomes evident that Obama’s so-called ‘economic recovery’ has strictly benefited the richest 1% of Americans.

The policy of endless wars

In terms of foreign policy, the biggest achievement of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate was his ability to spend every single day of his eight-year mandate in a state of war.

During those eight years, Obama signed off on American military action in no less than seven countries.

He also drastically increased worldwide drone attacks, outdoing his predecessor George W. Bush, who used to refer to himself as the ‘war president’.

During 2016 alone, these attacks resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians in five different countries. The reason that this figure is not higher is because the Obama administration classified all men above the age of 18 as enemy combatants.

But these are just statistics for conflicts known to the public. American military clandestine units are currently involved in operations in 138 countries worldwide.

Aside from the destruction of Libya, Syria and Yemen, the Obama administration also forced the collapse of Ukraine. Then came the sanctions against Russia, turning Eastern Europe into a NATO military base, and eventually the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats at a time when it became clear that Obama would be succeeded by a man that wants to improve relations with Moscow.

The administration also takes the lion’s share of the blame for the sea of refugees that flooded Europe, most of whom came from the seven countries that Obama has attacked over the last eight years.

Obama’s tenure also paved the way for the unprecedented expansion of US clandestine services, which started spying on both American and foreign citizens, including enemies and allies alike.

When this information was leaked to the public, not a single politician or intelligence operative was called to account. On the contrary, the Obama administration responded by declaring a war on whistleblowers and setting up the ‘Insider Threat Program,’ which forces federal agency employees to spy on their colleagues.

During his farewell speech, Obama defended his legacy and, perhaps not surprisingly, steered clear of most of the aforementioned issues. But he did cite both the rapprochement with Cuba and the Iran nuclear deal as the central achievements of his administration.

These assertions are slightly more difficult to challenge. The deal hammered out between the P5+1 group of countries and Iranian officials in 2015 will go down in history as a major feat of diplomacy, which can never truly be shattered in its entirety by those who succeed Obama.

But perhaps Obama will be better remembered for overseeing an era of divisive, uncompromising and coercive policies that forced the transformation of the US political establishment – and hopefully real change.

Al-Ahed News

Related Articled

“Color Revolution” against Donald Trump

Global Research, January 18, 2017
Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 17.57.51

What will happen on Inauguration Day?

Anti-Trump protest movements are envisaged alongside a campaign to disrupt. 

While there  are “genuine protests” –e.g. those led by the Answer Coalition and Workers World–, the main thrust is coming from an “engineered” campaign supported and financed by the Neocons, which is largely intent upon disrupting the inauguration and destabilizing the Trump presidency.  Several progressive organizations have nonetheless joined the bandwagon of the #Disruptj20 campaign. 

The protest movement in fact started on the evening of November 8 prior to the announcement of the election results.  The organizers of this movement are acting on behalf of powerful elite interests. People are misled: the protests are not being led on behalf of the genuine concerns of Americans who oppose Trump’s right wing racist agenda. 

The engineered protest ops are coordinated with a relentless propaganda campaign led by the mainstream media, which includes accusations of high treason and sedition directed against Donald Trump, who is portrayed as an instrument of the Kremlin. 

Even prior to the November 8 elections, former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leo Panetta had already intimated that Trump is a threat to National Security. According to The Atlantic,  Trump is a “Modern Manchurian Candidate” serving the interests of the Kremlin.

Vanity Fair November 1 2016

The Atlantic October 8 2016

In the wake of the Grand Electors’ Vote (in favour of Trump) and Obama’s renewed sanctions against Moscow, the accusations of treason directed against Donald Trump have gone into high gear. Unprecedented in US history, a movement to impeach an elected president has been launched prior to his accession to the White House.

The objective of the engineered protests which has the support of US intelligence is to undermine the legitimacy of the Trump presidency.

Is it a conspiracy? The various components of this operation are carefully coordinated.  All the essential features of an American-style “color revolution” with the intent to destabilize an incoming president are there.

Background: What is a Color Revolution?  

Before proceeding further, let us focus on the nature and historical origins of  the “color revolutions” used as a means to triggering “regime change”, which have emerged in a large number of countries in the course of the last decade.

The “color revolution” is a US intelligence operation which consists in covertly supporting as well as infiltrating protest movements with a view to triggering “regime change” under the banner of a pro-democracy template. The objective of a “color revolution” is to manipulate elections, create violence, foment social unrest and use the protest movement to topple an existing government. The ultimate foreign policy goal is to instate a compliant pro-US government (or “puppet regime”).

Engineered protest movements are carefully planned. They are intelligence ops. They use non-governmental organizations to recruit protesters.

History: “The Revolution Business” and “Regime Change” 

In August 1999, the CIA set up a training program for a Serbian NGO entitled OTPOR which subsequently played a key role in the engineered protest movement conducive to the downfall of president Slobodan Milosevic. A few years later, OTPOR established a training and strategizing outfit entitled  The Centre for Applied Non Violent Action and Strategies (CANVAS). CANVAS became a consulting outfit specializing in “Revolution” on contract to the CIA.

CANVAS  was set up by the CIA as “an International network of trainers and consultants” involved in the “Revolution Business”. Funded by Freedom House, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) as well private corporate foundations. CANVAS constitutes a  consulting outfit, advising and training US sponsored opposition groups in more than 40 countries. In this regard, OTPOR played a key role in fomenting the mass uprisings during the Arab Spring in Egypt in 2011. What appeared to be a spontaneous democratization process was a carefully planned intelligence operation. View video below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpXbA6yZY-8

How does this relate to the coordinated operation to undermine the Trump presidency?

What is at stake is a “color revolution” Made in America which is marked by fundamental rivalries within the US establishment, namely the clash between competing corporate factions, each of which is intent upon exerting control over the incoming US presidency.

The OTPOR-CANVAS-CIA model is nonetheless relevant. Several foundations involved in funding color revolutions internationally are involved in funding the anti-Trump campaign.

Moreover, while CANVAS’ mandate is to oversee “color revolutions” internationally, it also has links with a number of NGOs currently involved in the anti-Trump campaign including  The Occupy Wall Street Movement (OWS). OWS launched by Adbusters was funded via the Tides Foundation which in turn is funded by a number of corporate foundations and charities, including the Ford Foundation, Gates Foundation  and the Open Society Institute. Ford is known to have historical links to US intelligence.

It is worth noting that the raised fist logo first launched by OTPOR in 1999 as a symbol of CIA sponsored color revolutions (including Egypt during the Arab Spring), also constitutes the symbol of several organizations involved in the anti-Trump engineered protest movement.

The Inauguration Disrupt Campaign: Disruptj20

Several hundred thousand Trump supporters will be present in Washington DC on January 20th. D.C.’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management estimates that there will be between  800,000 – 900,000 people in DC for the event, including Trump supporter and protesters.

Will there be clashes between both sides?

The Disruptj20.org campaign is calling for the disruption of the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017:

#DisruptJ20 is supported by the work of the DC Welcoming Committee, a collective of experienced local activists and out-of-work gravediggers acting with national support. We’re building the framework needed for mass protests to shut down the inauguration of Donald Trump and planning widespread direct actions to make that happen. We’re also providing services like housing, food, and even legal assistance to anyone who wants to join us.

The actions contemplated include “setting up blockades at checkpoints to prevent people from gaining access to the inauguration proceedings”. A spokesperson confirmed that  #DisruptJ20 campaign would be “creating a framework to support mass protests and direct action to shut down the inauguration of Donald Trump” .

This could potentially lead to violent clashes with tens of thousands of Trump supporters, which is the ultimate objective of an engineered “Color Revolution” style protest movement supported covertly by US intelligence. It’s part of the logic of a “color revolution” scenario (e.g. Kiev-Maidan, Cairo-Tahir Square) which is predicated on triggering confrontation and urban violence.

Is the Disrupt Campaign committed to deliberately staging violence on January 20?

“The idea is to shut down access to the parade as much as possible and slowing it down to a crawl,” said DisruptJ20 organizer Legba Carrefour. “Then there’s the broader goal of shutting down the entire city around it and creating a sense of paralysis that creates a headline that says, ‘Trump’s inauguration creates chaos.’” (NBC, January 17, 2017)

The organizers of the engineered protest movement are funded by powerful corporate interests, they are supported by US intelligence. The objective is not to undermine the racist right wing agenda of Donald Trump as conveyed in the video below. Quite the opposite.

The same color revolution OTPOR style logo:

 

The 2016 “Saker man of the year”: the American “basket of deplorables”

The Saker

December 08, 2016

Yeah, once again, I am going to engage in that silly business when I pretend that my blog is a “respectable media outlet” and, as such, to give myself the proper credibility and gravitas I have to copy Time magazine and others and chose a “man of the year”.  This year, however, this truly was a no-brainer.  The 2016 “man of the year” is, of course, the American “basket of deplorables.

No, not Trump.  Trump might well be Time’s man of the year, but as far as I am concerned, this man is just a promise, and he will remain that to me until he delivers on what he has promised the American voter.  No, the real heroes of our story today are, of course, the millions who dared defy the Empire and who voted for Trump.

Voting in the USA 1

The American voter who inflicted the worst bitch-slap to the US propaganda machine (aka “the mainstream media”) ever.  What happened in this election is nothing short of the biggest defeat in the history of propaganda.

As an ex Cold Warrior who studied the Soviet media for a living, I can say that the US media nowadays is infinitely worse in its willingness to not only lie, but condescendingly deny the obvious, show a total lack of conscience or even basic decency.  US presstitutes give prostitution a bad name.

The American voter was subjected to the most intensive (and, probably, expensive) propaganda barrage in history.  Keep in mind that in overtly dictatorial regimes most adults realize that they are being lied to.  In the USA, every American is brainwashed from birth to believe that the US press is the best and freest in the world and that the US democracy is also the best and freest in the world.  To vote for Trump, the US voter had to go against every single sacred dogma the US Empire has tried so hard to indoctrinate its subject in.  This is far harder than one would think.  Those interested in this topic can consult this article on the Asch conformity experiments or Milgram’s famous experiment on obedience and authority.

This is what the Empire has done to America

This is what the Empire has done to America

Furthermore, the psychological pressure was so intense that I can testify to the fact that many American were actually *afraid* of admitting that they would vote for Trump.  The atmosphere of rabid hatred against Trump and total intolerance and demonization of his supporters was such, that many Americans decided to hide their preference for Trump.  Some even pretended that they would vote for Hillary.  I know people who even lied to their own family members.

And, predictably, in the typical Neocon-style, as soon as it became clear that Trump would be elected, the US presstitutes began pouring out their hatred on the American people.  If in Britain only the old people could vote for the Brexit, in the USA all the Trump voters were described as poorly educated racists (“racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic” to quote Hillary).  I don’t recall ever seeing such an outpouring of hatred towards an entire nation (except, maybe, the typical hatred the Russian liberals have for the “common” Russian people).

But, apparently, the American people have had too much lies told to them.  From the pseudo-patriotic ramblings of Dubya to the endless list of promises betrayed by Obama – the “common” folks whom Hillary referred to as the “basket deplorables” finally fought back the only way they could – they voted not only for Trump and against Hillary, but also against the regime, the polity, the power structure and the 1%ers who control it.

The main consequence of this vote will probably not be an amazing Trump presidency (I have the greatest reservations about the man and his entourage) but the fact that yet again the very legitimacy of the US political system has been discredited.

Think about it: thanks to the “Occupy Wall Street” movement it has become mainstream public knowledge that the USA are run by about 1% of its population (in reality it is far less than 1%, but nevermind that).  So far from being a regime “of the people, for the people and by the people” we know all know that it is a regime “of the 1%ers, for the 1%ers and by the 1%ers”.  Strike one.  With the Trump election, we know also see that the USA is run by a bizarre cocktail of minorities who only have one thing in common: their hatred of the majority.  Strike two.  And, last but not least, it is now also clear that the US media is the most obnoxious, immoral and arrogant propaganda machine in world history.  Strike three.

Where does this leave the Empire?  As a joke or as an abomination.  Probably a mix of both.

How about the USA themselves? They are clearly an occupied country, occupied not by an external invading force, but by an internal enemy who subjugated the USA to its own alien agenda and worldview.

As for the American people, at least the “basket of deplorables” they are now the objective allies of all the other nations on the planet who struggle to free themselves from the yoke of the AngloZionist Empire.

By voting against the Empire the American people have sent a powerful message to the rest of the world “not in my name”.  In Russia, this message was received with outright enthusiasm by the people even if experts were mostly much more cautious.  I have always said that there the “other West”, the West of the regular people who do not support what their rulers do, but who are unable to meaningfully oppose it.  The vote against Hillary showed the world that the American people don’t want an Empire, all they want is make *America* (i.e. the USA, as opposed to world Empire) great again.

Voting in the USA 4

Oh, I know, I already see the trend in Trump nominations.  And yes, believe me, I am extremely skeptical about all this.  But none of that healthy skepticism makes any difference to the fact that the vote against Hillary and the AngloZionist 1% rulers of the USA was a seminal, beautiful, liberating and heroic moment in for not just the USA, but for the rest of the planet too (with Hillary, we were all heading for a nuclear war with Russia).

The way the American “basket of deplorables” defied their oppressors was nothing short of beautiful.  And this is why the American “basket of deplorables” is my “man” of the year 2016.

The Saker

PS: for all those who will get upset at my use of the word “American”, I have just added the following paragraph to my “terminology” page:

Addendum: American. I guess I should also explain why I do use the word “American” when the correct word would be “USAn” or “United Statesian” or something equally ugly.  Well, precisely: these are ugly.  Alas, there is no equivalent in English to the Spanish “Estadounidense“.  The same thing for Russian which also lacks such a word and uses “Amerikanets/Amerikanskii” instead.  Okay, I know.  the USA is a small subsection of the Americas and Americans are obnoxious (and ignorant) for calling themselves “Americans”.  But, in truth, “USAns” are “Americans” since they live in the Americas, it’s just the implied exclusion of the others from that category which is so irritating.  So, anyway, I apologize for this surrender to modern-speak but I just don’t have the courage to fight this losing battle and, frankly, I have bigger fish to fry.  But yeah – I am therefore guilty as charged 🙂

 

Wrongheaded Anti-Trump Protests

11-10-16

  Except for short-lived Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, America hasn’t seen sustained street protests since the largely inner city civil rights movement and Vietnam War years, notably on college campuses nationwide – memorable because they poved committed activism works.

Peaking in 1968, anti-war rage got Lyndon Johnson, in a March 31 address, to announce “I shall not seek, nor will I accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president.”

Despite multiple US war theaters since the Clintons raped Yugoslavia, street protests for peace are notably absent.

Endless US wars of aggression rage. Most Americans barely notice, indifferent about mass slaughter and destruction, mindless about their tax dollars enriching Wall Street and war-profiteers, while social justice increasingly goes begging.

Instead of demanding peace, equity and justice, they’re indifferent about US imperial rampaging, waging war on humanity at home and abroad.

Following Trump’s surprise electoral triumph, thousands took to the streets in US cities nationwide, mostly students and other youths.

Outside New York’s Trump International Hotel, they shouted “Not my president!” “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go!” “Trump makes America hate!” “Impeach Trump” – even though he won’t be inaugurated until January 20, and as a businessman, has no public record, unlike Hillary’s unaccountable high crimes.

In Chicago near where I live, hundreds protested near Trump Tower, then marched through the city’s loop. Smaller groups blocked traffic on Lake Shore Drive near my downtown residence.

Demonstrators chanted “Not my president,” “No Trump, no KKK, no fascists USA.” Some drivers honked horns and raised clenched fists outside their car windows.

Arrests were made, including for obstructing traffic, reckless conduct, criminal trespass and resisting arrest.

Most Americans are deplorably out-of-touch and uninformed, relying largely on television propaganda for news and misinformation.

Trump isn’t the problem. Nationwide protests should rage against America’s system – a one-party state with two right wings, exclusively serving wealth, power and privilege, matter who holds top posts.

The world’s richest nation was thirdworldized. Unprecedented wealth extremes exist, Republicans and Democrats in lockstep on issues mattering most. A single major difference separates them.

Hillary as president would risk nuclear war on Russia, perhaps followed against China and Iran. Trump would rather exploit planet earth for profit than destroy it, his business interests along with it.

Democracy in America is pure fantasy. Voters have no say whatever. Powerful interests control everything – sacrificing social justice to use national resources for warmaking and enriching corporate predators, at the expense of governance of, by and for everyone equitably.

Instead of resisting an increasingly tyrannical system, a hugely unjust one, energy is wasted against a president-elect with no public record. So it’s unknown how he’ll govern until he’s sworn in over two months from now.

America’s dirty system persists because activism doesn’t challenge it, energy wasted against Trump, instead of the dirty system and deep state dark forces running it.

Change won’t happen until equity and justice replaces it. Grassroots revolution alone can work.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. – See more at: http://rense.com/general96/wrongheaded.htm#sthash.6tUUOXoq.dpuf

Welcome to the Empire of Chaos

March 12, 2016 (Ulson Gunnar – NEO) When globe-trotting journalist and keen geopolitical analyst Pepe Escobar refers to the United States as the “Empire of Chaos,” it may seem like hyperbole. But upon looking deeper at both Escobar’s coverage and the United States’ foreign policy itself, it is perhaps the most accurate title for this political entity and its means of operation, perhaps more apt than the name “The United States” itself.

In the wake of World War II, the US and its allies set out upon the reclamation of the West’s lost colonies, many of which took advantage of Europe’s infighting to either establish independence from their long-standing colonial masters, or begin the conflicts that would inevitably lead toward independence.

Perhaps the most well-known of these conflicts was the Vietnam War. The United States would involve itself in the dissolution of French Indochina at the cost of some 4 million lives in a conflict that would embroil not only Vietnam, but much of Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. Covert coups and brutal insurgencies were underwritten by Washington across the planet, from the Middle East to South and Central America. And while this too seems chaotic, the goal always seemed to be the destruction of independent states, and the creation of viable client states.

These client states included the Shah’s Iran, Saudi Arabia, much, if not all of Western Europe and even to varying degrees, some of the enduring autocracies of the Middle East until for one reason or another they fell out of favor with Washington. The idea was to create an international order built upon the concept of globalization.

Globalization was meant to be a system of vast interdependencies governed by international institutions created by and for the United States and more specifically, the special interests that have long since co-opted America’s destiny.

However, the concept of globalization seems to have neglected any anticipation for rapid technological advances in both terms of information technology and manufacturing. There are very few real interdependencies left to stitch this vision of globalization together with many of them being artificially maintained at increasing costs. The idea of using sanctions to ‘starve’ a nation by isolating it from this global order has been exposed as more or less impotent by nations like Iran and North Korea who have sustained themselves for decades despite everything besides air and gravity being denied to them.

Indeed, nations understand the value of self-sufficiency in both terms of politics and the basic necessities which constitute any state’s infrastructure. Russia’s recent encounter with Western sanctions has caused it to look not only eastward, but inward, to secure its interests and to transcend sanctions wholly dependent on the concept of “globalization.”

As this “carrot and stick” method of working the world into Wall Street and Washington’s international order becomes less effective, some of the uglier and less elegant tools of the West’s geopolitical trade have taken a more prominent role on the global stage. It appears that if the West cannot rule this international order built upon the concepts of globalization, it will rule an international order built on chaos.

The Empire of Chaos 

The unipolar geopolitical concepts that underpin globalization have eroded greatly. Nations no longer have to pick between an existence of lonely isolation and socioeconomic atrophy or subordination within this international order. Instead, they can pick to associate with the growing community of what the West calls “rogue states.” So large has this list grown that the US may soon find itself and Western Europe the last remaining members of its failed international order.

The real danger for an aspiring global empire is to find a planet that has suddenly begun to move in tandem out from under its shadow and moving on without them in relative peace and prosperity. To prevent this from happening we have seen a concerted effort focused on disrupting and destroying this emerging multi-polar world.

In Europe, the refugee crisis is being used to polarize European society and allow governments to increase their power domestically and further justify wars abroad. Along Western Europe’s borders, facing Russia, a relative stable balancing act maintained by former Soviet territories attempting to benefit from associating with both East and West has been turned into outright war.

Throughout North Africa and the Middle East, any nation that even so much as slightly resembles a sovereign nation state has been undermined and attempts to violently overthrow them pursued. The goal is no longer to create viable client states, but rather to Balkanize and leave them in ruins so as to never contest Western ambitions in the region again. This can be observed clearly in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen where none of the groups backed by the US and its allies could ever realistically run a functioning nation state.

And in Asia, in state after state, those leading political parties marked by Washington for future client status are being removed from power and their leaders, long backed by the US, being either exiled or jailed.

Where these political gambits are crumbling, a steady stream of violence perpetrated by terrorist groups not even indigenous to the region has begun to build in strength.

Divide and Conquer

Divide and conquer is a geopolitical maxim that has served as empire’s bread and butter since the beginning of recorded human civilization. When the British could not subdue a targeted territory just beyond the grasp of its empire, it would divide and destroy them. A ruined nation that can be plundered and trampled may not be as desirable as a loyal client state run by a British viceroy, but it is better than a pocket of national sovereignty serving as an example for others of the merits of resisting “Great Britain.”

Today, it is clear that the idea of creating a client state in the midst of a general public increasingly aware of the features and fixations of modern empire is becoming ever more tenuous. Such client states are less likely to be accepted by a local population who, with minimum effort, can put up significant resistance against even the best funded of foreign proxies.

Globalism required more and more illusions to convince people they needed a global system controlled by far-off special interests to do what can now be done through advances in technology nationally and even locally. Now all that is left is the sowing of chaos to prevent people from leveraging this technology nationally and locally, to keep them divided and distracted for as long as possible, to perpetuate the West’s global hegemony for as long as possible.

Moving Beyond the Chaos

An empire built on chaos is not meant to last. Chaos, like the international order of globalization that preceded it, requires illusions and manipulation to perpetuate itself. Unfortunately, stirring chaos among a population is a lot easier than convincing them of the non-existent interdependencies of globalization.

Nations leading the way out of this chaos include those who have suffered the most because of it. Their leaders have realized the necessity of closing off the vectors through which the West feeds this chaos within their borders, which include socioeconomic disparity, foreign-funded propaganda, foreign-funded nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and of course extremist groups used to carry out the actual terrorism and agitation required to create the worst sort of chaos.

Russia and China in particular have been busy creating alternatives not only for the remnants of the West’s globalization racket, but alternatives for the unipolar world the West was trying to create. They are both looking within and across their borders to create a patchwork of nations ready to move beyond the chaos and toward a more widespread balance of power.

By in turn, placing sanctions on the West, Russia is forcing itself to not only produce raw materials for export, but to become a more capable producer of finished goods. By doing so, Russia has begun a process that turns America’s sanctions game back onto itself. While many believe Washington drives American policy, it is unrealistic to discount Wall Street’s role. By cutting the corporations trading on Wall Street down to size, one cuts down their unwarranted power they wield on the global stage.

Nations choosing to trade rather than being forced to because of an ungainly system of globalization ensures that any given people have more control over not only what they buy and sell, but how and where their natural resources are used.

With the Empire of Chaos in terminal decline and with a new multi-polar order emerging, the only question left to ask is; will chaos spread and destroy faster than this new multi-polar order can be built? It is certainly a close race pushing both sides into acts of increasingly unimaginable confrontation.

Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

No Audit for the Fed: Senate Democrats Vote to Continue ‘Century of Enslavement’

endthefed

[ Ed. note – I certainly would not describe myself as a Republican. I think both parties, Republican and Democrat, are rotten to the core and have sold out the people of this country, but it is rather curious that the overwhelming majority of supporters of Rand Paul’s bill requiring an audit of the Federal Reserve (see a full list of co-sponsors here ) are Republicans, while the overwhelming majority of those who voted against it were Democrats. Paul introduced the bill last year. It came up for a preliminary vote in the Senate today. The legislation failed to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a Democratic filibuster. The vote tally was 53 ayes-44 nays. Bernie Sanders voted with the Republicans. Ted Cruz did not show up to vote at all. The “hope and change” Obama administration and the Federal Reserve itself were on the same side–both opposed the legislation. ]

Democrats Kill Rand Paul’s Audit the Fed Bill, Though Sanders Votes Yes

US News & World Report

Senate Democrats blocked a vote Tuesday on legislation from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., that would have required an audit and greater transparency on monetary policy-making from the Federal Reserve, the powerful central banking system that sets interest rates and manages the money supply.

The bill won near-unanimous Republican support and votes from Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, but fell short of the 60 votes needed for consideration.

Measures to audit the Fed have met mixed success since the 2008 economic crisis. The House passed similar measures in 2012 and 2015 and the Government Accountability Office gained some oversight powers and performed an audit pursuant to the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform act.

Sen. Paul’s measure would have authorized the GAO to review more information as part of an audit, but opponents said that would give lawmakers too much information and power to exercise oversight.

“We’ll see many members of Congress pushing the Fed to side with the bondholders and Wall Street on combating inflation rather than siding with main street and small businesses and workers in dealing with unemployment,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who spoke against the bill.

Sen. Paul used similar arguments, however, saying his proposal would in fact benefit the working class to the disadvantage of well-connected bankers, as low inflation and low interest rates have hurt people who aren’t at the top of the economic food chain.

“There is a revolving door between the Fed, the Treasury and Wall Street — a revolving door in a building all-too-eager to enrich big banks and asset holders at the expense of everyone else,” he said. “I think that it’s about time we pull back the curtain to uncover this cloak of secrecy once and for all.”

In advance of the vote, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke wrote in a Brookings Institution blog post that “[t]he principal effect of the bill would be to make meeting-by-meeting monetary policy decisions subject to Congressional review” and that too much transparency would allow for “political interventions in monetary policy decisions [that] would not lead to better results.”

Bernanke famously was unable to identify during a 2009 congressional hearing the foreign banks that received $500 billion during the economic crisis. “Congress approved it in the Federal Reserve Act [of 1913],” he explained, describing why congressional approval was unnecessary for the loans.

Though the Senate blocked the measure, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul (Rand’s father) tells U.S. News the vote “was a tremendous success” because it builds momentum. “We really never expected to overcome cloture,” he says.

Continued here

Ron Paul – Federal Reserve Steals From The Poor & Gives To The Rich

THE HOST AND THE PARASITE, USA AND ZIONISM

Ron Paul ‘Constitutionally Correct’ 2012.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ronpaulcc2012
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ron-Pa…
Website: http://www.ronpaulcc2012.com

Federal Reserve Steals From the Poor and Gives to the Rich

Last Thursday the Senate Banking Committee held hearings on Janet Yellen’s nomination as Federal Reserve Board Chairman. As expected, Ms. Yellen indicated that she would continue the Fed’s “quantitative easing” (QE) polices, despite QE’s failure to improve the economy. Coincidentally, two days before the Yellen hearings, Andrew Huszar, an ex-Fed official, publicly apologized to the American people for his role in QE. Mr. Huszar called QE “the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.”

As recently as five years ago, it would have been unheard of for a Wall Street insider and former Fed official to speak so bluntly about how the Fed acts as a reverse Robin Hood. But a quick glance at the latest unemployment numbers shows that QE is not benefiting the average American. It is increasingly obvious that the Fed’s post-2008 policies of bailouts, money printing, and bond buying benefited the big banks and the politically-connected investment firms. QE is such a blatant example of crony capitalism that it makes Solyndra look like a shining example of a pure free market!

It would be a mistake to think that QE is the first time the Fed’s policies have benefited the well-to-do at the expense of the average American. The Fed’s polices have always benefited crony capitalists and big spending politicians at the expense of the average American.

By manipulating the money supply and the interest rate, Federal Reserve polices create inflation and thereby erode the value of the currency. Since the Federal Reserve opened its doors one hundred years ago, the dollar has lost over 95 percent of its purchasing power —that’s right, today you need $23.70 to buy what one dollar bought in 1913!

As pointed out by the economists of the Austrian School, the creation of new money does not impact everyone equally. The well-connected benefit from inflation, as they receive the newly-created money first, before general price increases have spread through the economy. It is obvious, then, that middle- and working-class Americans are hardest hit by the rising level of prices.

Congress also benefits from the devaluation of the currency, as it allows them to increase welfare- and warfare-spending without directly taxing the people. Instead, the increase is only felt via the hidden “inflation tax.” I have often said that the inflation tax is one of the worst taxes because it is hidden and because it is regressive. Of course, there is a limit to how long the Fed can facilitate big government spending without causing an economic crisis.

Far from promoting a sound economy for all, the Federal Reserve is the main cause of the boom-and-bust economy, as well as the leading facilitator of big government and crony capitalism. Fortunately, in recent years more Americans have become aware of how the Fed is impacting their lives. These Americans have joined efforts to educate their fellow citizens on the dangers of the Federal Reserve and have joined efforts to bring transparency to the Federal Reserve by passing the Audit the Fed bill.

Auditing the Fed is an excellent first step toward restoring a monetary policy that works for the benefit of the American people, not the special interests. Another important step is to repeal legal tender laws that restrict the ability of the people to use the currency of their choice. This would allow Americans to protect themselves from the effects of the Fed’s polices. Auditing and ending the Fed, and allowing Americans to use the currency of their choice, must be a priority for anyone serious about restoring peace, prosperity, and liberty.

Obama’s address to the UN General Assembly was such an astonishing string of brazen lies and falsehoods

Obama tells UN America Opposes Violence to Suppress Dissent

President Obama’s address to the UN General Assembly was such an astonishing string of brazen lies and falsehoods it must have had the assembled international delegates choking on their tea or coffee. Whether he was declaring that “together we have worked to end a decade of war” even as he was just blocked from unilaterally launching a war against Syria, or saying “we have limited the use of drones,” when his administration has upped their use from 51 strikes in Pakistan under the prior Bush administration to 323 so far under his own administration, as David Swanson has so meticulously documented in his Top 45 Lies in Obama’s Speech at the UN, it was all lies

But for Americans, perhaps nowhere was his lying so blatant and obscene as when he vowed that “we will not stop asserting principles that are consistent with our ideals, whether that means opposing the use of violence as a means of suppressing dissent…” This, after all, was being said just one week after the second anniversary of the launching of the Occupy Movement, which we now know, thanks to documents obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice under the Freedom of Information Act, was crushed nationwide by a campaign of violent police assault coordinated at the highest levels of the FBI, Homeland Security Department and other federal police and intelligence agencies.

The US government’s heavy-handed campaign to destroy Occupy, and the concern it showed even before the first protester set foot in Manhattan’s financial district on September 17, 2011, showed how terrified the nation’s corporate elite and their political servants in Washington are of any mass political movement, however small, that doesn’t “play by the rules.”

Washington had lately grown comfortable with the protests of anti-war activists and social justice activists who, over the last decade or more had fallen into a run of politely coming together for permitted marches and demonstrations in Washington, New York or other venues, seeking permission first to gather, and then to march along predetermined routes which would be lined by police barricades, and riot-gear-equipped and militarized police. Even arrests were choreographed with police in advance, so that prominent activists could get themselves cuffed and booked, all with dignity and calm on the part of arresting officers.

Occupy was different, harking back to the 1960s and early ‘70s, when first civil rights activists, and later anti-war activists, didn’t bother with such niceties, and just showed up, protesting where they pleased and marching where they pleases, and sometimes, not going home at the end of the day, preferring to stay and obstruct ongoing normalcy. There we had police riots, mass arrests, and heavy confrontations — even the killing of demonstrators, by soldiers at Kent University and by police at Jackson State.

Occupy, like the rights activist of the early ‘60s and the antiwar activists of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, were unruly, obstructive, in-your-face, and demanding. But Occupy was also determinedly and avowedly peaceful.

That peaceful part didn’t matter, though. The unruly part did matter to the government and to the corporate executives, who saw these mostly young and anarchic opponents of rampant capitalist greed and warmongering as a real threat to their growing control of and undermining of American democracy.

Occupy, by its very existence, and despite the relatively small number of participants in each of the many locations where it sprang up, and even the relatively small number of participants it attracted nationally, boldly exposed the true ruthless and frightened character of America’s ruling class and the government that it has gained almost total control over.

The fraud that has passed as American democracy for several decades now has been enabled by the government’s ability (with able assist by the corporate media) to point to the peaceful demonstrations that have been allowed to occur, for example in opposition to the US launching of a war of aggression against Iraq in 2003, or against the execution of Troy Davis in Georgia.

Allowing peaceful marches and demonstrations that courteously and without confrontation seek permission from the authorities for their protests actually play into the hands of the propagandists in government who can then point to them as evidence that America is a free society, open to opposing viewpoints.

In fact, they are able to do this because that polite, law-abiding approach to protest allows the government to simply ignore protest actions, however large, as it did when a million assembled to say “No!” to an invasion of Iraq in early 2003.

Occupy elicited a wholly different government response. Mayors from 18 cities were organized and brought together through the office of the Secretary of Homeland Security in the fall of 2011 to “share ideas” about how to use techniques like deliberate police violence, obstruction of the media, and shared intelligence to crush the occupiers in their separate cities. Ideas that “worked,” like extreme police violence, the wearing of military gear, the use of flash-bang stun grenades and bean-bag or rubber bullet ammunition, night-time raids, blockading of or outright arrest or removal of journalists during assaults on demonstrators, and the “losing” or outright improper denial of park use permit applications — all these techniques — employed by different cities with success, were shared with other city police chiefs and mayors through the good offices of the FBI and Homeland Security, and then applied in those cities, as well as by others not in the original huddle.

There were even plans to assassinate leaders of Occupy [3], as documented in the case of Houston, TX, where the FBI, aware of the plan, did nothing to stop it, or to arrest the conspirators later (conspirators who may well have been either the Houston Police themselves, or private contractors hired by the city’s frightened banking and oil company executives.

So no, President Obama. As you are well aware, the US certainly does not oppose the use of violence by the state as a means to suppress dissent. Not in Egypt, where the US continues to supply arms to a military that has “killed its own people” by the hundreds, and executed captured demonstrators in order to crush dissent, not Bahrain, another US ally, where the government has crushed dissent by firing live bullets into unarmed demonstrators and killed people who were already arrested, and not here at home, where the government has a long history, continued by your administration, most recently in the case of the Occupy Movement, of brutally crushing those movements that are perceived as having the potential to gain broad public support and to pose a threat to the established order.

Whether or not the Occupy Movement could have grown bigger, the corporate elite on Wall Street clearly felt threatened by its rallying cry of “We are the 99%!” and by the way its actions and slogans clearly delineated of the ruling class and the rest of us, pulling the cloak off of the oligarchy that has taken control of our national government. And you obliged that corporate elite and responded to their paranoia by having your national security state apparatus orchestrate a violent crackdown on that movement, with riot-gear-clad cops bashing in the heads of young protesters and old supporters, dousing them in tear gas and mace to the face, arresting them en masse, hitting them with tear gas canisters, bean bags, rubber bullets and truncheons, overcharging many of those arrested with serious if fraudulent felony charges of assault, and even trying to link them with “terrorism.”

America supports the right of dissent, but only if it poses no threat to established authority.

But that’s not democracy. Heck, even China and Saudi Arabia allow a certain amount of protest. That’s just allowing a restive population to “let off steam.”

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

Copyright: Counterpunch

The Passing Spring


A demonstrator holds a placard during a protest against the government’s austerity reforms and the public payment of bank’s debts in Madrid on October 27, 2012. (Photo: AFP – Dominique Faget)
 
Published Sunday, November 4, 2012
 
In his November 2012 Foreign Policy article, Marxist philosopher Slavoj Žižek, attempts to answer the question: Who was the victor of the economic crisis? The article, titled “Capitalism: How the Left Lost The Argument,” explained how the left squandered the opportunity to benefit from the crisis because it could not provide a realistic revolutionary alternative to capitalism.
 

Despite the overload of books and articles pronouncing the failure and death of capitalism, the capitalist system seems to have emerged from the crisis stronger than before. It has turned into a terrifying hybrid, which Žižek described as a type of populist capitalism, which was a more radical form of the old system.

According to Žižek, this transformation has resulted in the rise of populist racism, the outbreak of war in poor countries, and a widening of the gap between rich and poor. He points out the example of the Arab Spring, which after its first surge of enthusiasm is now mired in compromises and religious fundamentalism.
He also talks about the anti-globalization Occupy movement, which was influenced by the Tahrir Square protests and spread around the world within months, but then fizzled out.

In his pessimistic conclusion, Žižek wondered whether this crisis was staged in order to “demonstrate that the only solution to a failure of capitalism is more capitalism.”

Žižek’s analysis is extremely pertinent to the Arab world in the wake of the Arab Spring. Who can deny that populist capitalism has won the day when kings and princes have become the symbols and sponsors of revolutions?

How can we explain the absence of local anti-globalization movements? Such movements were gaining popularity during the early 2000s, with seminars and forums on the subject frequently held. Beirut twice hosted Arab and international anti-globalization conferences that brought together activists from all over the world. They came to express their support for the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine.

If the reason behind the demise of such movements is the absence of a revolutionary ideology that rejects what Žižek terms the “bourgeois state of law upon which modern capitalism depends,” is it not time to rectify this?

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.
 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

NATO

Posted by

“AL-CIA-da” with the blessing of NATO is bombing the hell out of Damascus.

Nice little dance step by the cop in the middle.

Chicago cops protect and defend the assets of the war machine from those who have different ideas on invading and occupying foreign countries and how many murders are acceptable.

Looking good …..

The NATO gathering was a pre-planned photo op to not only try and demonize the protesters as our own home grown ‘terrorists’ but also ultimately to show how ineffective it was. The killings, the false flags, the NATO way is not going to stop anytime soon. The protest numbers are too low. A half a million people converging on any city sends a much bigger message and would gain even more allies. Strength in numbers. Keep the paid provocateurs at bay and it could even be peaceful.

Maybe there is a better way than taking to the streets? If you think you know it, please let us know.

There’s even a soundtrack.

Of all the almost all dead Bee Gee’s songs, this is the only one that stood up to my test of time …

Change is Made

Well, I’ve been a good man. Oh Lord, Lord, I’ve been a good man.

But what’s good’s a good man after the change is made?

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Last Post in Iraq: this is the death knell of the American empire


What was intended to be a demonstration of power turned into the most costly boomerang in history, in both blood and treasure

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 15 December 2011 09.30 EST

http://platform.twitter.com/widgets/hub.1324331373.html

Soldiers lower their heads at encasing ceremony Baghdad
US military personnel lower their heads during the ceremony
of the encasing of the US Forces-Iraq colours in Baghdad
on December 15 2011.  Photograph: Pool/Reuters

So the Yanks are going home. Apart from the thousands of their servicemen and women whose lifeblood they are leaving in the sands of Iraq, and the tens of thousands too maimed or otherwise damaged to make it back to home and hearth. And minus the trillion-plus of dollars in treasure they have expended on destroying an Arab country (which may have lost a million souls and seen three millions off into exile), fanning the flames of fanaticism, making Iran more powerful, and unleashing a wave of sectarianism throughout the Muslim world. Nice work, but hardly “Mission Accomplished”, as the melancholy valediction delivered by President Obama at Fort Bragg this week made clear to the discerning.

The more he talked about what he once called the “dumb war”, the more obvious it was that his was the task of holding the dipped banner of defeat. And the crew of thick-necked servicemen straight out of central casting roaring their approval at his description of their success could not quite drown out the sound of the Last Post. This is the death knell of American empire, the end of the brief unipolar world in the ashes of whose hubris the lone bugler now stands playing the retreat. Like Ozymandias, history – which hasn’t ended after all – will invite us to gaze upon its ruined works and tremble. But instead we will rejoice, rejoice. For the Project for the New American Century it will be never glad confident morning again.

The war that was waged – yes, for oil, and yes, also for Israel – was waged above all to terrify the world (especially China) with American power. It turned into the largest boomerang in history. For what has been demonstrated instead are the limits of near-bankrupt America’s power. Far from being cowed, America’s adversaries – and its enemies – have been emboldened. With shock and awe the empire soon dominated the skies over Iraq to be sure. But they never controlled a single street in the country from the day they invaded until this day of retreat. One street alone – Haifa Street in Baghdad – became the graveyard of scores, maybe hundreds of Americans.

Fortresses like Fallujah entered history alongside Stalingrad as symbols of the unvanquishable power of popular resistance to foreign invasion. Crimes like Abu Ghraib prison – where Iraqis were stripped naked and humiliated, forced to perform indecent acts upon each other and videotaped doing so for the entertainment of their torturers in the barracks afterwards – entered the lexicon of the barbarism of those who invade others, flying the colours of their “civilising” mission. As Chairman Mao once put it: “Sometimes the enemy struggles mightily to lift a huge stone; only to drop it on its own foot.” In an America where a third of the population are living in poverty or terrifyingly near it, and where imperial hubris met its nemesis on Haifa Street, China now knows it has nothing to fear from this paper tiger.

I wrote at the time that the invasion of Iraq would be worse than a crime: it would be the Mother of All Blunders. I told Tony Blair – outside the men’s lavatory in the library corridor of the House of Commons, to be precise – that the fall of Baghdad would be not the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning. And that the Iraqis would fight them, with their teeth if necessary, until they had driven them from their land. I told Blair that there was no al-Qaida in Iraq, but that if he and Bush were to invade there would be thousands of them.

But two things, as George Bush would put it, I “mis-underestimated”. First, that when the tower of lies on which the case for the Iraq war had been constructed was exposed, the credibility of the political systems of the two main liars would collapse under the weight. And second, that the example of the Iraqi resistance would trigger seismic changes in the Arabian landscape from Marrakesh to Bahrain.

Almost nobody in Britain or America any longer believes a word their politicians say. This profound change is not wholly the result of the Iraq war, but it moved into top gear following the war and the militarised mendacity that paved the way to it. In America this malaise has fuelled both the Tea Party phenomenon and the Occupy movement alike, even if the word Iraq seldom crosses their lips. And from the Atlantic Ocean to the Persian Gulf the plates are moving still …

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

From Occupation to “Occupy”: The Israelification of American Domestic Security

A University of California Davis police officer pepper-sprays students during their sit-in at an “Occupy UCD” demonstration in Davis, California in this 18 November 2011 file photo. (Photo: REUTERS – Brian Nguyen)
Published Friday, December 2, 2011
New York – In October, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department turned parts of the campus of the University of California in Berkeley into an urban battlefield. The occasion was Urban Shield 2011, an annual SWAT team exposition organized to promote “mutual response,” collaboration and competition between heavily militarized police strike forces representing law enforcement departments across the United States and foreign nations.

At the time, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department was preparing for an imminent confrontation with the nascent “Occupy” movement that had set up camp in downtown Oakland, and would demonstrate the brunt of its repressive capacity against the demonstrators a month later when it attacked the encampment with teargas and rubber bullet rounds, leaving an Iraq war veteran in critical condition and dozens injured. According to Police Magazine, a law enforcement trade publication, “Law enforcement agencies responding to…Occupy protesters in northern California credit Urban Shield for their effective teamwork.”

Training alongside the American police departments at Urban Shield was the Yamam, an Israeli Border Police unit that claims to specialize in “counter-terror” operations but is better known for its extra-judicial assassinations of Palestinian militant leaders and long record of repression and abuses in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Urban Shield also featured a unit from the military of Bahrain, which had just crushed a largely non-violent democratic uprising by opening fire on protest camps and arresting wounded demonstrators when they attempted to enter hospitals. While the involvement of Bahraini soldiers in the drills was a novel phenomenon, the presence of quasi-military Israeli police – whose participation in Urban Shield was not reported anywhere in US media – reflected a disturbing but all-too-common feature of the post-9/11 American security landscape.
The Israelification of America’s security apparatus, recently unleashed in full force against the Occupy Wall Street Movement, has taken place at every level of law enforcement, and in areas that have yet to be exposed. The phenomenon has been documented in bits and pieces, through occasional news reports that typically highlight Israel’s national security prowess without examining the problematic nature of working with a country accused of grave human rights abuses. But it has never been the subject of a national discussion. And collaboration between American and Israeli cops is just the tip of the iceberg.

Having been schooled in Israeli tactics perfected during a 63 year experience of controlling, dispossessing, and occupying an indigenous population, local police forces have adapted them to monitor Muslim and immigrant neighborhoods in US cities. Meanwhile, former Israeli military officers have been hired to spearhead security operations at American airports and suburban shopping malls, leading to a wave of disturbing incidents of racial profiling, intimidation, and FBI interrogations of innocent, unsuspecting people. The New York Police Department’s disclosure that it deployed “counter-terror” measures against Occupy protesters encamped in downtown Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park is just the latest example of the so-called War on Terror creeping into every day life. Revelations like these have raised serious questions about the extent to which Israeli-inspired tactics are being used to suppress the Occupy movement.

The process of Israelification began in the immediate wake of 9/11, when national panic led federal and municipal law enforcement officials to beseech Israeli security honchos for advice and training. America’s Israel lobby exploited the climate of hysteria, providing thousands of top cops with all-expenses paid trips to Israel and stateside training sessions with Israeli military and intelligence officials. By now, police chiefs of major American cities who have not been on junkets to Israel are the exception.

“Israel is the Harvard of antiterrorism,” said former US Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer, who now serves as the US Senate Sergeant-at-Arms. Cathy Lanier, the Chief of the Washington DC Metropolitan Police, remarked, “No experience in my life has had more of an impact on doing my job than going to Israel.” “One would say it is the front line,” Barnett Jones, the police chief of Ann Arbor, Michigan, said of Israel. “We’re in a global war.”

Karen Greenberg, the director of Fordham School of Law’s Center on National Security and a leading expert on terror and civil liberties, said the Israeli influence on American law enforcement is so extensive it has bled into street-level police conduct. “After 9/11 we reached out to the Israelis on many fronts and one of those fronts was torture,” Greenberg told me. “The training in Iraq and Afghanistan on torture was Israeli training. There’s been a huge downside to taking our cue from the Israelis and now we’re going to spread that into the fabric of everyday American life? It’s counter-terrorism creep. And it’s exactly what you could have predicted would have happened.”

Changing the way we do business

The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) is at the heart of American-Israeli law enforcement collaboration. JINSA is a Jerusalem and Washington DC-based think tank known for stridently neoconservative policy positions on Israel’s policy towards the Palestinians and its brinkmanship with Iran. The group’s board of directors boasts a Who’s Who of neocon ideologues. Two former JINSA advisors who have also consulted for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Douglas Feith and Richard Perle, went on to serve in the Department of Defense under President George W. Bush, playing influential roles in the push to invade and occupy Iraq.

Through its Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP), JINSA claims to have arranged Israeli-led training sessions for over 9000 American law enforcement officials at the federal, state and municipal level. “The Israelis changed the way we do business regarding homeland security in New Jersey,” Richard Fuentes, the NJ State Police Superintendent, said after attending a 2004 JINSA-sponsored Israel trip and a subsequent JINSA conference alongside 435 other law enforcement officers.

During a 2004 LEEP trip, JINSA brought 14 senior American law enforcement officials to Israel to receive instruction from their counterparts. The Americans were trained in “how to secure large venues, such as shopping malls, sporting events and concerts,” JINSA’s website reported. Escorted by Brigadier General Simon Perry, an Israeli police attaché and former Mossad official, the group toured the Israeli separation wall, now a mandatory stop for American cops on junkets to Israel. “American officials learned about the mindset of a suicide bomber and how to spot trouble signs,” according to JINSA. And they were schooled in Israeli killing methods. “Although the police are typically told to aim for the chest when shooting because it is the largest target, the Israelis are teaching [American] officers to aim for a suspect’s head so as not to detonate any explosives that might be strapped to his torso,” the New York Times reported.

Cathy Lanier, now the Chief of Washington DC’s Metropolitan Police Department, was among the law enforcement officials junketed to Israel by JINSA. “I was with the bomb units and the SWAT team and all of those high profile specialized [Israeli] units and I learned a tremendous amount,” Lanier reflected. “I took 82 pages of notes while I was there which I later brought back and used to formulate a lot of what I later used to create and formulate the Homeland Security terrorism bureau in the DC Metropolitan Police department.”

Some of the police chiefs who have taken part in JINSA’s LEEP program have done so under the auspices of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a private non-governmental group with close ties to the Department of Homeland Security. Chuck Wexler, the executive director of PERF, was so enthusiastic about the program that by 2005 he had begun organizing trips to Israel sponsored by PERF, bringing numerous high-level American police officials to receive instruction from their Israeli counterparts.

PERF gained notoriety when Wexler confirmed that his group coordinated police raids in 16 cities across America against “Occupy” protest encampments. As many as 40 cities have sought PERF advice on suppressing the “Occupy” movement and other mass protest activities. Wexler did not respond to my requests for an interview.

Lessons from Israel to Auschwitz

Besides JINSA, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has positioned itself as an important liaison between American police forces and the Israeli security-intelligence apparatus. Though the ADL promotes itself as a Jewish civil rights group, it has provoked controversy by publishing a blacklist of organizations supporting Palestinian rights, and for condemning a proposal to construct an Islamic community center in downtown New York, several blocks from Ground Zero, on the basis that some opponents of the project were entitled to “positions that others would characterize as irrational or bigoted.”

Through the ADL’s Advanced Training School course on Extremist and Terrorist Threats, over 700 law enforcement personnel from 220 federal and local agencies including the FBI and CIA have been trained by Israeli police and intelligence commanders. This year, the ADL brought 15 high-level American police officials to Israel for instruction from the country’s security apparatus. According to the ADL, over 115 federal, state and local law enforcement executives have undergone ADL-organized training sessions in Israel since the program began in 2003. “I can honestly say that the training offered by ADL is by far the most useful and current training course I have ever attended,” Deputy Commissioner Thomas Wright of the Philadelphia Police Department commented after completing an ADL program this year. The ADL’s relationship with the Washington DC Police Department is so cozy its members are invited to accompany DC cops on “ride along” patrols.
The ADL claims to have trained over 45,000 American law enforcement officials through its Law Enforcement and Society program, which “draws on the history of the Holocaust to provide law enforcement professionals with an increased understanding of…their role as protectors of the Constitution,” the group’s website stated. All new FBI agents and intelligence analysts are required to attend the ADL program, which is incorporated into three FBI training programs. According to official FBI recruitment material, “all new special agents must visit the US Holocaust Memorial Museum to see firsthand what can happen when law enforcement fails to protect individuals.”

Fighting “crimeterror”

Among the most prominent Israeli government figure to have influenced the practices of American law enforcement officials is Avi Dichter, a former head of Israel’s Shin Bet internal security service and current member of Knesset who recently introduced legislation widely criticized as anti-democratic. During the Second Intifada, Dichter ordered several bombings on densely populated Palestinian civilian areas, including one on the al-Daraj neighborhood of Gaza that resulted in the death of 15 innocent people, including 8 children, and 150 injuries. “After each success, the only thought is, ‘Okay, who’s next?’” Dichter said of the “targeted” assassinations he has ordered.
Despite his dubious human rights record and apparently dim view of democratic values, or perhaps because of them, Dichter has been a key figure in fostering cooperation between Israeli security forces and American law enforcement. In 2006, while Dichter was serving at the time as Israel’s Minister of Public Security, he spoke in Boston, Massachusetts before the annual convention of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Seated beside FBI Director Robert Mueller and then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, Dichter told the 10,000 police officers in the crowd that there was an “intimate connection between fighting criminals and fighting terrorists.” Dichter declared that American cops were actually “fighting crimiterrorists.” The Jerusalem Post reported that Dichter was “greeted by a hail of applause, as he was hugged by Mueller, who described Dichter as his mentor in anti-terror tactics.”

A year after Dichter’s speech, he and then-Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff signed a joint memorandum pledging security collaboration between America and Israel on issues ranging from airport security to emergency planning. In 2010, Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano authorized a new joint memorandum with Israeli Transport and Road Safety Minister Israel Katz shoring up cooperation between the US Transportation Security Agency – the agency in charge of day-to-day airport security – and Israel’s Security Department. The recent joint memorandum also consolidated the presence of US Homeland Security law enforcement personnel on Israeli soil. “The bond between the United States and Israel has never been stronger,” Napolitano remarked at a recent summit of AIPAC, the leading outfit of America’s Israel lobby, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The Demographic Unit

For the New York Police Department, collaboration with Israel’s security and intelligence apparatus became a top priority after 9/11. Just months after the attacks on New York City, the NYPD assigned a permanent, taxpayer-funded liaison officer to Tel Aviv. Under the leadership of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, ties between the NYPD and Israel have deepened by the day. Kelly embarked on his first trip to Israel in early 2009 to demonstrate his support for Israel’s ongoing assault on the Gaza Strip, a one-sided attack that left over 1400 Gaza residents dead in three weeks and led a United Nations fact-finding mission to conclude that Israeli military and government officials had committed war crimes.

Kelly returned to Israel the following year to speak at the Herziliya Conference, an annual gathering of neoconservative security and government officials who obsess over supposed “demographic threats.” After Kelly appeared on stage, the Herziliya crowd was addressed by the pro-Israel academic Martin Kramer, who claimed that Israel’s blockade of Gaza was helping to reduce the numbers of “superfluous young men of fighting age.” Kramer added, “If a state can’t control these young men, then someone else will.”

Back in New York, the NYPD set up a secret “Demographics Unit” designed to spy on and monitor Muslim communities around the city. The unit was developed with input and intensive involvement by the CIA, which still refuses to name the former Middle East station chief it has posted in the senior ranks of the NYPD’s intelligence division. Since 2002, the NYPD has dispatched undercover agents known as “rakers” and “mosque crawlers” into Pakistani-American bookstores and restaurants to gauge community anger over US drone strikes inside Pakistan, and into Palestinian hookah bars and mosques to search out signs of terror recruitment and clandestine funding. “If a raker noticed a customer looking at radical literature, he might chat up the store owner and see what he could learn,” the Associated Press reported. “The bookstore, or even the customer, might get further scrutiny.”
The Israeli imprimatur on the NYPD’s Demographics Unit is unmistakable. As a former police official told the Associated Press, the Demographics Unit has attempted to “map the city’s human terrain” through a program “modeled in part on how Israeli authorities operate in the West Bank.”

Shop ‘til you’re stopped

At Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport, security personnel target non-Jewish and non-white passengers, especially Arabs, as a matter of policy. The most routinely harassed passengers are Palestinian citizens of Israel, who must brace themselves for five-hour interrogation sessions and strip searches before flying. Those singled out for extra screening by Shin Bet officers are sent to what many Palestinians from Israel call the “Arab room,” where they are subjected to humiliating questioning sessions (former White House Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala encountered such mistreatment during a visit to Israel last year). Some Palestinians are forbidden from speaking to anyone until takeoff, and may be menaced by Israeli flight attendants during the flight. In one documented case, a six-month-old was awoken for a strip search by Israeli Shin Bet personnel. Instances of discrimination against Arabs at Ben Gurion International are too numerous to detail – several incidents occur each day – but a few of the more egregious instances were outlined in a 2007 petition the Association for Civil Rights in Israel filed with the country’s Supreme Court.

Though the Israeli system of airline security contains dubious benefits and clearly deleterious implications for civil liberties, it is quietly and rapidly migrating into major American airports. Security personnel at Boston’s Logan International Airport have undergone extensive training from Israeli intelligence personnel, learning to apply profiling and behavioral assessment techniques against American citizens that were initially tested on Palestinians. The new procedures began in August, when so-called Behavior Detection Officers were placed in security queues at Logan’s heavily trafficked Terminal A. Though the procedures have added to traveler stress while netting exactly zero terrorists, they are likely to spread to other cities. “I would like to see a lot more profiling” in American airports, said Yossi Sheffi, an Israeli-born risk analyst at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Transportation and Logistics.

Israeli techniques now dictate security procedures at the Mall of America, a gargantuan shopping mall in Bloomington, Minnesota that has become a major tourist attraction. The new methods took hold in 2005 when the mall hired a former Israeli army sergeant named Mike Rozin to lead a special new security unit. Rozin, who once worked with a canine unit at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel, instructed his employees at the Mall of America to visually profile every shopper, examining their expressions for suspicious signs. His security team accosts and interrogates an average of 1200 shoppers a year, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting.

One of the thousands who fell into Rozin’s dragnet was Najam Qureshi, a Pakistani-American mall vendor whose father accidentally left his cell phone on a table in the mall food court. A day after the incident, FBI agents appeared at Qureshi’s doorstep to ask if he knew anyone seeking to harm the United States. An army veteran interrogated for two hours by Rozin’s men for taking video inside the mall sobbed openly about his experience to reporters. Meanwhile, another man, Emile Khalil, was visited by FBI agents after mall security stopped him for taking photographs of the dazzling consumer haven.

“I think that the threat of terrorism in the United States is going to become an unfortunate part of American life,” Rozin remarked to American Jewish World. And as long as the threat persists in the public’s mind, Israeli securitocrats like Rozin will never have to worry about the next paycheck.

“Occupy” meets the Occupation

When a riot squad from the New York Police Department destroyed and evicted the “Occupy Wall Street” protest encampment at Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan, department leadership drew on the anti-terror tactics they had refined since the 9/11 attacks. According to the New York Times, the NYPD deployed “counterterrorism measures” to mobilize large numbers of cops for the lightning raid on Zuccotti. The use of anti-terror techniques to suppress a civilian protest complemented harsh police measures demonstrated across the country against the nationwide “Occupy” movement, from firing tear gas canisters and rubber bullets into unarmed crowds to blasting demonstrators with the LRAD sound cannon.

Given the amount of training the NYPD and so many other police forces have received from Israel’s military-intelligence apparatus, and the profuse levels of gratitude American police chiefs have expressed to their Israeli mentors, it is worth asking how much Israeli instruction has influenced the way the police have attempted to suppress the Occupy movement, and how much it will inform police repression of future upsurges of street protest. But already, the Israelification of American law enforcement appears to have intensified police hostility towards the civilian population, blurring the lines between protesters, common criminals, and terrorists. As Dichter said, they are all just “crimiterrorists.”

“After 9/11 we had to react very quickly,” Greenberg remarked, “but now we’re in 2011 and we’re not talking about people who want to fly planes into buildings. We’re talking about young American citizens who feel that their birthright has been sold. If we’re using Israeli style tactics on them and this stuff bleeds into the way we do business at large, were in big trouble.”

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

US Police Dismantle Two Anti-Wall Street Protest Camps

Hundreds of police flooded into downtown Los Angeles and Philadelphia early Wednesday to clear anti-Wall Street protest camps where dozens were arrested.

The latest moves targeting the two-month-old protest movement against corporate greed and inequality came days after announced eviction deadlines.

In Los Angeles, dozens of officers in helmets formed lines to seal off an area around the City Hall park camp, while others began arresting around a dozen protesters and leading them away handcuffed.

Police announced over loudspeakers called on people to leave the area “immediately” or face arrest and possible other actions.

After a couple of hours of anticipation about where the police would come from, a mass of helmeted LAPD officers burst out of the City Hall doors while others began arresting people on the lawn outside.
The CNS news agency said that rubber bullets had been fired during the initial confrontation, but later dropped the report.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

mishandling demonstrators

https://i0.wp.com/www.digtriad.com/assetpool/images/111118062127_occupy-wall-street-arrest-new-york.jpg
Obama is using a different gas
than the one Adolf used….
 
While, Saif el Islam Qaddafi might be tried for :
mishandling demonstrators
While, Husny + Gamal Mubarak are being tried for:
mishandling demonstrators
 
Who shall bring to a trial the “authority” that is
mishandling the “Occupy” demonstrators ??
all over Northern America .

Raja Chemayel


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

There are police states……and states with police

FAD

https://i0.wp.com/canadiandimension.com/images/slir/w240-h350/images/home/oakland2.jpg
In America and in Canada
the Police was today unleashed
against
the “Occupy-Movements”
who are nothing but peaceful……!!!

What should the Syrian police do
against the armed-agitators ??
Shouldn’t the Arab League also
suspend the USA , now ???

:-? thinkingRaja:( sad

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

From Tahrir Square to Wall Street and the rest of the USA, the Empire bares its fangs (again)

The Vineyard of the Saker

Monday, November 21, 2011
The level of violence meted out by the Empire against its opponents is clearly on the rise: from Tahrir Square in Egypt, to the many Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, to the constant saber-rattling against Iran, the Empire is clearly cracking down on its opposition.

This new trend is particularly striking in the USA. People who have never lived in the USA or who, even more so, have never studied here, do probably not realize the amazing degree of freedom US colleges have enjoyed in the past. Let me illustrate this by a simple example.
I got one of my college degrees from The American University in Washington, DC. Of of the teachers at this university was a former Ambassador of Grenada to the USA, until Reagan invaded the small island to show the world that the USA was still a superpower after its Marines had just been blown up to smithereens in Beirut two days earlier. While the USA could impose a puppet-regime in Grenada, it could do nothing to remove this (now ex-) Ambassador from American U. because, in essence, all US colleges had a semi-official status of extra-territoriality due to their academic nature. Sure, the Reaganites hated having this Marxist ex-Ambassador speaking her mind not only on campus, but also off-campus, but there was nothing they could do about it. That was the type of freedom US colleges enjoyed as recently as 1986.
So while the pepper-spraying of protesting students in UC Davis might not appear like a big deal to non-Americans, to those Americans old enough to remember the 1980s (or even the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960) this is an outrage which goes against everything the USA was supposed to stand for.
What matters here is not that some pepper sprayed in the eyes of the students, its the clear message this sends: the time for freedom is over and now we will do what was so unthinkable even very recently. This is why protesters are being beaten up with batons, tasered, pepper-strayed and even killed in greater and greater numbers: the regime is sending a simple and clear message to its subjects: give it up, or we will crush you.
The gloves are also off in Egypt where the torture and murder of pro-democracy demonstrators has resumed. Amazingly, stunningly, the Egyptians have found in themselves the courage and internal resources to continue the fight. The expression “heroic people” is, as a rule, hyperbole, but in the case of the Egyptian people it seems quite appropriate to me.
The Empire probably feels emboldened by its comprehensive success in Libya and by its hope to repeat something similar in Syria (the counter-examples of Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia seem quickly forgotten amidst all the high-fiving and back-slapping about the “great NATO victory” in Libya). Amazingly, the always inept and useless Arab League has learned nothing from its shameful role in the Libyan war and seems to be willing to repeat exactly the same actions against Syria. The only good news here is that at least China and Russia seemed to be saying “no way, not again!”. But does that really matter? In a world were UNSC Resolutions carry no weight at all, and in which the current UNSC does not even seem be able to produce a majority in favor of a Palestinian state – does it make any difference at all what Russia or China have to say?
The bottom line is clear: both the Obama Administration and the US regime which it currently represents are clearly headed towards a dramatic increase in violent actions. On one hand, the economies of the USA and the EU are tanking, the political elites are as hated and as openly challenged as ever while, on the other hand, brazen acts of illegal violence yield what the rules of the Empire think of as “successes”. Add to this the upcoming elections in the USA, and a Zionist lobby gone insane with a typical mix of arrogance and paranoia, and you get an explosive cocktail.
Sadly, it appears that we must brace ourselves for a major increase in violence, both inside the USA, and internationally. Yes, the days of this Empire are numbered, but only in the long term. For the foreseeable future it still has a lot of “reserve capabilities of violence” to inflict on all its opponents.
The Saker

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Occupy Tahrir Square vs. Occupy America

Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

November 22, 2011
Wounded protester carried to Tahrir square makeshift hospital on Monday 21 November

“We could all temporarily lose sight of who is pulling the strings in this counter-revolution currently playing out in Egypt … but make no mistake, the thousands in Tahrir square will not lose hope nor can they afford to.”

Egypt, a land embedded in ancient history with an old legacy of oppression and abuse of power, its people are awakening and refusing to yield to any kind of tyranny or autocracy be it of civilian or military authority.

But obviously somebody, and that somebody is unfortunately in command right now, doesn’t seem to get this message.

Some political analyst once said “An autocracy or a tyranny is a far simpler form of social and political organization than a democracy.” … I think he is absolutely right considering the complexity of Egypt’s transitional phase towards what a lot of people hope to be a true and functioning democracy.

I also believe that he would have rephrased his statement had he had the chance to witness the police brutality confronting the occupy movements in the democratic United States of America.

Protesters flee tear gas in Tahrir Squaire on Monday, 21 November.

You could lose your eye sight (hit by a rubber coated bullet in the eye), you could lose your laptop or your briefcase -as in my case- in the protest pandemonium and you could very well lose your life choking on tear gas or get run over by an armored vehicle but one thing you definitely would not lose and that is your self-respect and dignity.
And that is why Egyptians are back in Tahrir square again to regain their lost dignity. They are taking to the streets by the thousands, not only because they are not satisfied with the performance of the interim government or the lack of security and the decline of the economy but mainly because the last couple of days revealed, through the violent confrontation with the police and military, that Mubarak may be gone but his regime is very much still alive and operating.

We all could temporarily lose sight of who is pulling the strings of this counter-revolution currently playing out in Egypt … but make no mistake, the thousands in Tahrir square will not lose hope nor can they afford to.

Quite a few suspects on Egypt’s counter-revolution list; we have the still surviving lords of Mubarak’s regime with their smuggled billions, we have Mubarak-loyal state security apparatus with an army of on the payroll thugs, we have the ambitious Islamists and their Gulf financers eying the biggest chunk of the cake, we have the White House and their administration playing the universal patrons of freedom and democracy while backstage stabbing the Arab spring in the heart and of course we have got the Israeli cousins placing all their money on a chaotic Egypt and pushing hard for the friendly and American aided Egypt military to continue running the show in this leading Arab country .

Don’t grumble, the Americans do it too

The generals- all Mubarak appointees- of Egypt military council of armed forces (SCAF), battling thousands of angry protesters who seem adamant on occupying Tahrir square once again, have defended their use of excessive and unjustified force against protesters by drawing an embarrassing comparison between their brutal performance and the tactics of the American police forces who are dealing violently with the Occupy protests all over the United State.

Pepper spray or rubber bullets, two different tactics but both serve the same purpose, to Silence dissent.

American police officer uses pepper spray to move seated Occupy UC Davis protesters while blocking their exit from the school’s quad in Davis, Calif.

It seems that the American democracy, with the long legacy of respect for human rights which used to be a prominent model to follow, has lately turned into an inspirational and a credible reference for brutality against civilians and protesters.

But even though the comparison bears some eligibility, the Egyptian police and army forces in their recent barbaric crackdown on the Tahrir revolutionaries and activists has gone way beyond any world competition.

Watch for yourself, only to be sure that the fighters for human freedom and dignity can’t afford to lose hope nor can they stop struggling on behalf of the silent 99%


“The military can rule, only in one case … over our dead bodies” chanted the thousands in Tahrir square as they swarmed the iconic revolution hub to denounce the SCAF reluctance to hand over power to a civilian government.

Tahrir saga 2

Tahrir square on monday night, November 21, 2001 …The revolution continues.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

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