Racial Justice Vs. The Israel Lobby: When Being Pro-Palestine Becomes the New Normal

October 6, 2021

From left, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rep. Ayanna Pressley. (Photo: video grab)

By Ramzy Baroud

There is an unmistakable shift in American politics regarding Palestine and Israel, a change that is inspired by the way in which many Americans, especially the youth, view the Palestinian struggle and the Israeli occupation. While this shift is yet to translate into tangibly diminishing Israel’s stronghold over the US Congress, it promises to be of great consequence in the coming years.

Recent events at the US House of Representatives clearly demonstrate this unprecedented reality. On September 21, Democratic lawmakers successfully rejected a caveat that proposes to give Israel $1 billion in military funding as part of a broader spending bill, after objections from several progressive Congress members. The money was specifically destined to fund the purchase of new batteries and interceptors for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

Two days later, the funding of the Iron Dome was reintroduced and, this time, it has successfully, and overwhelmingly, passed with a vote of 420 to 9, despite passionate pleas by Palestinian-American Representative, Rashida Tlaib.

In the second vote, only eight Democrats opposed the measure. The ninth opposing vote was cast by a member of the Republican party, Thomas Massie of Kentucky.

Though she was one of the voices that blocked the funding measure on September 21, Democratic Representative, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, switched her vote at the very last minute to “present”, creating confusion and generating anger among her supporters.

As for Massie, his defiance of the Republican consensus generated him the title of “Antisemite of the Week” by a notorious pro-Israel organization called ‘Stop Antisemitism’.

Despite the outcome of the tussle, the fact that such an episode has even taken place in Congress was a historic event requiring much reflection. It means that speaking out against the Israeli occupation of Palestine is no longer taboo among elected US politicians.

Once upon a time, speaking out against Israel in Congress generated a massive and well-organized backlash from the pro-Israeli lobby, especially the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), that, in the past, ended promising political careers, even those of veteran politicians. A combination of media smear tactics, support of rivals and outright threats often sealed the fate of the few dissenting Congress members.

While AIPAC and its sister organizations continue to follow the same old tactic, the overall strategy is hardly as effective as it once was. Members of the Squad, young Representatives who often speak out against Israel and in support of Palestine, were introduced to the 2019 Congress. With a few exceptions, they remained largely consistent in their position in support of Palestinian rights and, despite intense efforts by the Israeli lobby, they were all reelected in 2020. The historic lesson here is that being critical of Israel in the US Congress is no longer a guarantor of a decisive electoral defeat; on the contrary, in some instances, it is quite the opposite.

The fact that 420 members of the House voted to provide Israel with additional funds – to be added to the annual funds of $3.8 billion – reflects the same unfortunate reality of old, that, thanks to the relentless biased corporate media coverage, most American constituencies continue to support Israel.

However, the loosening grip of the lobby over the US Congress offers unique opportunities for the pro-Palestinian constituencies to finally place pressure on their Representatives, demanding accountability and balance. These opportunities are not only created by new, youthful voices in America’s democratic institutions, but by the rapidly shifting public opinion, as well.

For decades, the vast majority of Americans supported Israel. The reasons behind this support varied, depending on the political framing as communicated by US officials and media. Prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, for example, Tel Aviv was viewed as a stalwart ally of Washington against Communism. In later years, new narratives were fabricated to maintain Israel’s positive image in the eyes of ordinary Americans. The US so-called ‘war on terror’, declared in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, for example, positioned Israel as an American ally against ‘Islamic extremism’, painting resisting Palestinians as ‘terrorists’, thus giving the Israeli occupation of Palestine a moral facade.

However, new factors have destabilized this paradigm. One is the fact that support for Israel has become a divisive issue in the US’ increasingly tumultuous and combative politics, where most Republicans support Israel and most Democrats don’t.

Moreover, as racial justice has grown to become one of the most defining and emotive subjects in American politics, many Americans began seeing the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation from the prism of millions of Americans’ own fight for racial equality. The fact that the social media hashtag #PalestinianLivesMatter continues to trend daily alongside the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter speaks of a success story where communal solidarity and intersectionality have prevailed over selfish politics, where only money matters.

Millions of young Americans now see the struggle in Palestine as integral to the anti-racist fight in America; no amount of pro-Israeli lobbying in Congress can possibly shift this unmistakable trend. There are plenty of numbers that attest to these claims. One of many examples is the University of Maryland’s public opinion poll in July, which showed that more than half of polled Americans disapproved of President Joe Biden’s handling of the Israeli war on Gaza in May 2021, believing that he could have done more to stop the Israeli aggression.

Of course, courageous US politicians dared to speak out against Israel in the past. However, there is a marked difference between previous generations and the current one. In American politics today, there are politicians who are elected because of their strong stance for Palestine and, by deviating from their election promises, they risk the ire of the growing pro-Palestine constituency throughout the country. This changing reality is finally making it possible to nurture and sustain pro-Palestinian presence in US Congress.

In other words, speaking out for Palestine in America is no longer a charitable and rare occurrence. As the future will surely reveal, it is the “politically correct” thing to do.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

More tectonic developments taking place

September 30, 2021

The Vineyard of the Saker

First, there is the crazy behavior of Germany.

Rather than repeat it all here, I will simply point you to Andrei Martyanov’s article about this here: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2021/09/drifting-apart.html

===>>>BTW I recommend to all my readers to check Martyano’v blog every day!<<<===

Then here is this: the DPRK is testing a hypersonic missile

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/N-Korea-at-crossroads/North-Korea-claims-test-of-defense-busting-hypersonic-missile

and

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/09/29/asia-pacific/north-korea-hypersonic-missile/

Some western “experts” have declared that the test “might” have been a failure.  Make of that what you wish.

Personally, I do not have access to top secret DPRK documents (which I could not read anyway!) or some special insights into hypersonic missile technology (I am not a missile engineer).  I did ask Andrei Martyanov, whose expertise I do trust, and he expressed his doubts about the veracity/reliability of these reports.

So let’s make a very middle of the way assumption here: the DPRK is working on a hypersonic missile, and what was launched was was part of a test missile.  Fair enough?

That would put the DPRK pretty close (if not on par with) the USA’s own (long suffering) hypersonic missile program.

So far, only Russia and China have fielded real, fully functional, hypersonic missiles (not quite true, there were some intermediate range missiles which flew at high speeds in the past, but they were not what we would call a modern, maneuvering, hypersonic missile).

The DPRK has made some very real strides on all sorts of technologies which this “officially” backward and primitive “Commie Monarchy” should never have been able to develop, not even with Ukrainian, Russian and Chinese help (official, covert or even individual).  But they did, didn’t they?  They even have some nukes (though probably not a good delivery systems (yet?).

Of course, the DPRK is still very far from developing the kinds of weapons systems the US undeniably has (for example submarines, both SSNs and SSBNs in which the USA is still at the top level and decades ahead of any DPRK subs).  But considering the level of corruption of the US MIC combined with a new “inclusive” ideology (which basically denies the need for STEM education) things are clearly changing and only God knows what things will look like in, say, 5 years or so?

Next,

The US Congress is going even more insane than usual and put our entire planet at risk!

By now the “notorious” telephone calls of the CJCS to his Chinese and, apparently, Russian counterparts are now considered high treason.  Now let’s remember the context, the US was going through a mass hysteria following the “elections” and it was totally reasonable to assume that both China and Russia would be very concerned about what might happen next.  To call them and say that “our nukes are under control and no matter what political troubles we currently have will not affect that” is not high treason, but only very WISE common sense.  The fact that, apparently, they did that without consulting or even getting an order from the President is absolutely very problematic and those questioning this have a very good point.  But there is a saying in Russian which I like very much “rules are for the end goal (дело) and not the other way around”.  As military officers the men responsible for this action had to chose between the proper chain of command and the risk of the Russians and Chinese increasing their level of readiness which, in turn, could have been interpreted by the (incompetent and mainly idiotic) US “experts” as a sign that the evil Russkies or Chink Commies were about to use the opportunity created by the internal chaos in the USA to try a first strike (does that stupid theory not sound like exactly the kind of crap civilian US ‘experts’ love to scare people with?) and would then, in turn, force the USA to got a step up in readiness, thereby confirming any possible Russian and/or Chinese suspicions.

Frankly, I wish that the top officers of all three countries spoke to each other on a daily basis, regardless of what political tensions might be occurring in the USA, Russia or China.

So what the CJCS did, at the risk of his career, is to prevent that kind of mutual escalation of distrust and fear from happening in a very dangerous times.  So, imnsho, he deserves both a official blame for AND a secret medal for what he did.

But, of course, the two equally insane parties in Congress don’t understand that, because they simply don’t understand nuclear war and nuclear deterrence, a topic which civilians ought to not discuss unless they first study it in some depth (which I did at length in graduate school).

But the terminally moronic US members of Congress are now making it sound like even talking to Russia or China about, say, counter-terrorism cooperation is some unspeakable act of treason and a pact with the devil.

To put it bluntly, these imbeciles are putting our entire planet at risk with such nonsense!

The Anglo media sinks even further into lunacy

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/16275278/vladimir-putin-attractive-translator-g20-trump-book/

I wish I had the time to translate and post the Russian reactions to this latest paranoid hysteria: the Russian are laughing their heads off and typically say “she just looked like every other 2nd Russian young woman”, which might sound incredible to gender fluid freaks and other “spokespersons” of the US administrations, but which is self-evident nonsense for anybody who has ever visited Russia.

And to imagine that Putin would select an interpreter or deliberately cough to scare Trump also triggers only another burst of laughter.

Just for the record, that interpreter finished a real interpretation school and is fluent in German and English.

Also, in Russia woman are allowed to be smart AND good looking.  In fact, most are 🙂

What will they do next?

Only God knows 🙂

Andrei

Anti-War Groups Urge US Congress to End Support for Saudi War in Yemen, Prevent Human Catastrophe

September 21, 2021

Anti-War Groups Urge US Congress to End Support for Saudi War in Yemen, Prevent Human Catastrophe

By Staff, Agencies

Anti-war groups in the United States are urging the Congress to “prevent a human catastrophe” in Yemen by ending military support for Saudi Arabia’s aggression on the war-ravaged country.

The 56 organizations called on American lawmakers in a letter to take advantage of the National ‘Defense’ Authorization Act [NDAA] to end the sale of arms to the aggressors.

“By suspending the sale of arms and ending US participation in the Saudi coalition’s war and blockade, Congress can prevent a humanitarian catastrophe from spiraling further out of control as it reasserts its constitutional authority on matters of war and peace,” the letter read.

Unless the lawmakers take such an action, Washington would remain complicit in the tragedy created by the Saudi monarchy in Yemen, they further suggested, asserting that the lawmakers have the power to “legislate an end to ongoing US complicity in the war and blockade in Yemen.”

“With the help of US logistical and maintenance support, Saudi Arabia’s blockade of Yemen has created untold suffering for tens of millions of people and contributed to hundreds of thousands of deaths,” Hassan El-Tayyab, legislative director for Middle East policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation, one of the letter’s organizers, said in a statement.

If the lawmakers refuse to endorse an amendment to the bill filed by Rep. Ro Khanna, the US would continue abetting the Saudi kingdom and its crimes against humanity, he noted.

“It’s now critical Congress support Rep. Khanna’s amendment to the FY2022 National ‘Defense’ Authorization Act and finally terminate US participation in Saudi’s aerial operations for the sake of millions of Yemenis in desperate need,” El-Tayyab added. “Members of Congress have two choices: vote for this amendment, or vote for an active US role in crimes against humanity for millions of people, including children.”

The amendment would block funding for “logistical support in the form of maintenance or the transfer of spare parts for aircraft that enable coalition strikes,“ as well as “sharing intelligence for the purpose of enabling coalition strikes.”

It would also oblige the US military not to “command, coordinate, participate in the movement of, or accompany the regular or irregular military forces of the Saudi-led coalition forces.”

Despite the growing outrage among lawmakers and the public, the United States continues to aid and abet the cruel war on the Yemeni nation.

“Without real action, millions of lives are at risk, and the US will be complicit,” Marcus Stanley, advocacy director at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, said in a statement. “The Khanna amendment offers an opportunity to genuinely end American support for Saudi aggression and take a crucial step to end the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. We urge a vote for this amendment. Half measures like reporting requirements or partial restrictions will not do, it is time to definitively end our support for this war.”

In February, US President Joe Biden announced that he was ending the US support for the war in Yemen, including “relevant arms sales,” touting the move as part of efforts to restore an emphasis on human rights, but that pledge is yet to materialize.

Saudi Arabia and its regional allies launched a devastating war in Yemen in 2015 to reinstall a former friendly government and crush the popular Ansarullah movement.

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The Dogs Bark But the Flotilla Embarks For Lebanon: US Fails To Harm Hezbollah’s Reputation

SEPTEMBER 5, 2021

The Dogs Bark But the Flotilla Embarks For Lebanon: US Fails To Harm Hezbollah’s Reputation

By Mohammad Youssef

Hezbollah’s initiative to bring ships of Iranian fuel to Lebanon has prompted Washington and its allies to kick start actions to sabotage the step or to lessen its positive effects on Lebanon and the Lebanese.

The US administration is heavily involved in the Lebanese affairs and following up attentively daily politics in the country, yet all this to no avail.

The US Congress delegation to Lebanon last week expressed dismay over the Iranian fuel supplies saying that Lebanon is not in need for Iranian petroleum and provoking Saudi Arabia to play a role in blocking Tehran’s help and replacing it by a Saudi one.

In another position, the delegation described Hezbollah as a cancer that should be eradicated. This reflects Washington’s rage and frustration from the influential role the party is playing in Lebanon as well as in the region.

First, the US ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea has mocked the step and did not take it seriously when Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah announced it. The head of American diplomacy made consultations and wrongly concluded this is not serious enough, but when Sayyed Nasrallah announced the shipment was on its way she was heavily shocked about her hasty calculations.

Second, the American delegation in an arrogant blackmail threatened there will be sanctions against those who deal with Iran to import oil, and some Lebanese parties mistakenly, or with bad intentions, started to talk about international sanctions though they know for a fact it is only Washington, due to its animosity to the Resistance, and complete bias to ‘Israel’, may impose such sanctions.

Third, the American embassy in Lebanon has become a kind of oil agency that dictates on the distributors the directives on when, where and what quantities of gasoline they would distribute to the stations. According to reports, lists of distributors and distribution places would first arrive to and be approved by the embassy before the process of distribution takes place.

Fourth, the American embassy has recently and repeatedly scorned many of the pro US NGO’S for their failure to confront Hezbollah or to gain influence in the party’s areas. Dorothy Shea expressed her resentment and frustration that not much has been done so far, and it is not enough at all to influence the party followers or supporters.

Fifth, the black propaganda that is being orchestrated and designed in the embassy to distort the party’s reputation, to tarnish its image, and to demonize it in the eyes of the Lebanese and to hold it responsible for all what Lebanon and the Lebanese are going through has come into a complete failure. New plans and more campaigns are in the making now to make up for previous failures.

Sixth, in the same vein, Washington is urging its gulf allies especially Saudi Arabia and UAE to take the initiative from Hezbollah and send supplies to the tormented country so they would earn good reputation that could be later translated into political influence and thus ballots to be casted during the next parliamentary elections.

Seventh, the pro-US gulf countries that are heavily involved in Lebanon and the Lebanese politics are not encouraged enough to send money and supplies because they are not pretty sure this would reach to their proper receivers. In Lebanon, the pro-West, pro-Gulf camp is very notorious for its corruption, malfunction, and its trust unworthiness.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah continues, as planned, its efforts on many levels to alleviate the suffering of the people. Aside from the fuel shipments coming from Iran, the party has launched a series of many vital and very important projects that make people life easier; this includes electricity, water, health and medical facilities, along with streets repair and educational services.

To sum up, Washington with all its tools in the region and the country are waging a relentless war against all those who oppose its hegemony and its imperialist colonialist policies. Thankfully and hopefully, it is losing, and they are winning.

This is going to show us, sooner or later the writing of a new chapter where the US hegemony loses and our people achieve more independence, prosperity and freedom away from Washington sinister plans and conspiracies.

Saudi Rebellion against MBS’ Tyranny, Prosecution Being Prepared

 August 8, 2021

Saudi Rebellion against MBS’ Tyranny, Prosecution Being Prepared

By Staff

Some Saudi princes are willing to file lawsuits against the Saudi crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman in US courts after he has confiscated their money and arrested members of their families without defined charges.

Rights groups uncovered, according to “Saudi Wikleaks”, that some Saudi princes made contracts with American legal companies to prepare judicial lawsuits to be filed against the crown prince, pointing to that the transformations in American policy as Joe Biden came to power, have pushed them to discuss their issues with the US Congress.

According to the same sources, the Congress members pledged to support those affected by MBS’ policies at the White House and in any place across the United States.

This issue rises in parallel with an uprising by the family of late Saudi King Abdulla bin Abdul Aziz inside the kingdom, as a new challenge MBS has to face.

Although he has arrested his cousins, the family decided to push former National Guard Minister, Mutab bin Abdullah to the forefront again, by appointing him the Chief of Secretaries of “King Abdullah Humanitarian Institution.”

No information was provided about this choice, and the decision coincided with a social media campaign that demanded releasing three detained princes, Turki, Faisal, and Mashaal.

Turki has been detained by MBS since the end of 2017 as part of the “Ritz Carlton” purge, while his two brothers, Faisal and Mashaal have only been detained since a few months ago.

In the same context, other documents revealed secret rebellion on the side of some Saudi princes against MBS’ tyranny in dealing with them.

The documents showed that a number of the Al Saud princes, who have been detained after King Salman and his son took power, have signed contracts with an American lobby to influence the ruling regime.

The lobbying company is called “Mercury Public Affairs”, and aims at pushing the American and British governments, and the European Union, to learn the whereabouts of the members of the Saudi royal family.

Among them is former crown prince Mohammad Bin Nayef, and Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz.

“Mercury Public Affairs” has made contacts with members of the Congress to demand pressuring the Saudi government to learn whether the detained princes are alive or not, and to present a clear accusations list that explains the reasons behind detaining them, then to release those who are not charged and unfreeze their financial assets.

Biden Incites against Hezbollah, Extends ‘National Emergency’ for Lebanon

July 21, 2021

Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden claimed that Hezbollah’s activities ‘undermine’ Lebanon’s sovereignty, in a clear instigation against the Lebanese Resistance movement.

In a letter to the Congress on Tuesday, the US president extended the so-called ‘state of national emergency’ in Beirut.

“Certain ongoing activities, such as Iran’s continuing arms transfers to Hezbollah — which include increasingly sophisticated weapons systems — serve to undermine Lebanese sovereignty, contribute to political and economic instability in the region,” the letter read.

Hezbollah activities “constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” Biden added in his letter.

“For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13441 with respect to Lebanon,” he was quoted as saying.

The US first declared a “state of national emergency for Lebanon” during the George Bush administration in 2007.

For the fourteenth consecutive year, the so-called national emergency for Lebanon will be extended for another 365 days.

SourceAgencies

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Washington’s Crisis Over Jerusalem

By VT Editors -May 25, 2021

Bassam Abu Sharif

President Biden was not much interested in what is going on in Jerusalem, and the crimes committed against its people and the worshipers among them in the first two qiblah, and the third of the Two Holy Mosques, the prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace. None of his assistants reported the news as it was, and none of his advisors mentioned it. To the horrors of the Israeli occupation, and the consequences of these atrocities.

And the situation remained like this until the vice-chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee in Congress raised his voice to criticize what Israel is doing and committing in Jerusalem. Then Biden raised his ears to hear well what was being said and discovered that a terrible thing was going on in Jerusalem, and that Israel was committing a big mistake that could lead to scourge, so the communications began. American official sources said that from that moment, until the ceasefire, American officials contacted Israeli officials as they had never done before. President Biden set his goal of a ceasefire and left his employees arranging that, and he extended the deadline, and gave Israel more. From time to time he was confident that Israel would not be affected and would eliminate “terrorism,” as he put it.

An American official says that the number of telephone calls reached 80, which is an unusual number, and this number of calls were not included in the habit of making this number of calls on one topic, but the reason is that a crisis was growing due to Netanyahu’s position rejecting the cease-fire …Biden realized after he gathered his advisers and senior officers that Israel was heading towards a ground war, and that this would greatly weaken Israel, and he would throw on Washington’s shoulders the establishment of an air bridge to support Israel in a ground war against a people in Gaza, even if the target was terrorist organizations, and Biden ordered an end to the war. To save Israel and save America from being plunged into a war on the land of Palestine at a time when Biden withdraws his forces from Afghanistan despite the violent clashes between the Taliban and the “American” Afghan government. Biden is certain that things have changed even inside Congress and the United States. Mass demonstrations have taken place in support of the Palestinians, and condemnation In Israel, even if the New York demonstration represented the reality when the supporters of Palestine clashed with their demonstration of supporters of Israel with their demonstration.

Netanyahu thanked Biden and Biden announced that he had spoken with Netanyahu (and what Biden was reported came in two installments) in front of the President of South Korea. Biden announced that he supports Israel, and will not give up America’s commitment to its security because, but he also said that he will not change the military support program for Israel, and both of these matters Addressed to a number of members of Congress from his “party” Democrats, who demanded Biden to stop an arms deal to Israel due to its destruction of towers and residential homes, and although he did not speak about what he meant by the two-state solution, he confirmed his support for this solution, and that it is the only one, but he immediately added that this must be done. It means that Mahmoud Abbas remains president of the Authority, and he separated in his words between Gaza and the West Bank !!

As for Jerusalem, he mentioned it in his talk about the necessity of coexistence with equality and democracy, and peace between the Arabs of Israel and the Jews, including the Arabs of Jerusalem, meaning that despite his words and his contacts with President Mahmoud Abbas he insisted on considering Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ruled by Israel, and this is what he does not accept. Abu Mazen .

 From the above, it appears that there are parties trying to hide the crimes of Israel, and one of the officials who conveyed to Biden the news of the destruction of the towers of evacuation and al-Jawhara said that the video did not reach them from the CIA or the US State Department, but rather from activists on social media platforms, and that the scene was horrific. The Chairman of the Associated Press is conducting an international investigation, and President Biden asked to raise this matter, as it is a direct attack on an American institution whose offices were known to Israel in that tower. There are parties working for Israel in the White House, and there is a president who supports Zionism, and we should only expect some reviews. Like paying the United Nations to send urgent aid, as for allocating funds to rebuild Gaza, this is a matter that Biden will have upon his terms upon implementation, and among these conditions is not to hand over any money to Hamas, but rather to Abu Mazen, and Washington will ask all countries that have announced collection campaigns to return the building not to hand over the money. Hamas, but these expected actions will not be the title of the battle.As we received information, President Mahmoud Abbas demanded firmly to stop the attacks in Jerusalem, to cancel the siege of Sheikh Jarrah, and to immediately start comprehensive negotiations to end the occupation. Here is the entrance to the Palestinian side and to keep the situation going.

So that we do not fall into any dilemma or disagreement, we see that the decisions of Fatah youth to continue to confront the attacks of the occupation army in Jerusalem, and the settlers in the West Bank, is the right way, meaning that the cease-fire in Gaza is not valid in the West Bank. Within two days the West Bank has given casualties of the wounded. It parallels the wounded for five days in Gaza, and gave martyrs parallels, and the issue is not a comparison, but an indication of the momentum of the West Bank, the distribution of sites and they are the occupation soldiers, and the absence of weapons in the hands of the citizens, and a day may come when the security men will join the people, but even this will not fulfill the required defense In self-defense, our defense of ourselves is by guarding our land and our families, expelling settlers, besieging them, clashing with them, and controlling their sites.

Netanyahu will make the mistake of escalation, because that will place the burden of responsibility on a long border line between Jordan and the occupying enemy.

Palestinian writer and politician

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The Vienna shadowplay

The Vienna shadowplay

April 27, 2021

None of the actors can admit that revival of JCPOA pales compared with the real issue: Iranian missile power

by Pepe Escobar and first posted at Asia Times

Few people, apart from specialists, may have heard of the JCPOA Joint Commission. That’s the group in charge of a Sisyphean task: the attempt to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal through a series of negotiations in Vienna.

The Iranian negotiating team was back in Vienna yesterday, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi. Shadowplay starts with the fact the Iranians negotiate with the other members of the P+1 – Russia, China, France, UK and Germany – but not directly with the US.

That’s quite something: after all, it was the Trump administration that blew up the JCPOA. There is an American delegation in Vienna, but they only talk with the Europeans.

Shadowplay goes turbo when every Viennese coffee table knows about Tehran’s red lines: either it’s back to the original JCPOA as it was agreed in Vienna in 2015 and then ratified by the UN Security Council, or nothing.

Araghchi, mild-mannered and polite, has had to go on the record once again to stress that Tehran will leave if the talks veer towards “bullying”, time wasting or even a step-by-step ballroom dance, which is time wasting under different terminology.

Neither flat out optimistic nor pessimistic, he remains, let’s say, cautiously upbeat, at least in public: “We are not disappointed and we will do our job. Our positions are very clear and firm. The sanctions must be lifted, verified and then Iran must return to its commitments.”

So, at least in the thesis, the debate is still on. Araghchi: “There are two types of U.S. sanctions against Iran. First, categorized or so-called divisional sanctions, such as oil, banking and insurance, shipping, petrochemical, building and automobile sanctions, and second, sanctions against real and legal individuals.”

“Second” is the key issue. There’s absolutely no guarantee the US Congress will lift most or at least a significant part of these sanctions.

Everyone in Washington knows it – and the American delegation knows it.

When the Foreign Ministry in Tehran, for instance, says that 60% or 70% has been agreed upon, that’s code for lifting of divisional sanctions. When it comes to “second”, Araghchi has to be evasive: “There are complex issues in this area that we are examining”.

Now compare it with the assessment of informed Iranian insiders in Washington such as nuclear policy expert Seyed Hossein Mousavian:  they’re more like pessimistic realists.

That takes into consideration the non-negotiable red lines established by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei himself. Plus non-stop pressure by Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, who are all JCPOA-adverse.

But then there’s extra shadowplay. Israeli intel has already notified the security cabinet that a deal most certainly will be reached in Vienna. After all, the narrative of a successful deal is already being constructed as a foreign policy victory by the Biden-Harris administration – or, as cynics prefer, Obama-Biden 3.0.

Meanwhile, Iranian diplomacy remains on overdrive. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is visiting Qatar and Iraq, and has already met with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim al Thani.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, virtually at the end of his term before the June presidential elections, always goes back to the same point: no more US sanctions; Iran’s verification; then Iran will return to its “nuclear obligations”.

The Foreign Ministry has even released a quite detailed fact sheet once again stressing the need to remove “all sanctions imposed, re-imposed and re-labeled since January 20, 2017”.

The window of opportunity for a deal won’t last long. Hardliners in Tehran couldn’t care less. At least 80% of Tehran members of Parliament are now hardliners. The next President most certainly will be a hardliner. Team Rouhani’s efforts have been branded a failure since the onset of Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign. Hardliners are already in post-JCPOA mode.

That fateful Fateh

What none of the actors in the shadowplay can admit is that the revival of the JCPOA pales compared to the real issue: the power of Iranian missiles.

In the original 2015 negotiations in Vienna – follow them in my Persian Miniatures e-book – Obama-Biden 2.0 did everything in their power to include missiles in the deal.

Every grain of sand in the Negev desert knows that Israel will go no holds barred to retain its nuclear weapon primacy in the Middle East. Via a spectacular kabuki, the fact that Israel is a nuclear power happens to remain “invisible” to most of world public opinion.

While Khamenei has issued a fatwa clearly stating that producing, stockpiling and using weapons of mass destruction – nuclear included – is haram (banned by Islam), Israel’s leadership feels free to order stunts such as the sabotage via Mossad of the (civilian) Iranian nuclear complex at Natanz.

The head of Iran’s Parliament Energy Committee, Fereydoun Abbasi Davani, even accused Washington and London of being accomplices to the sabotage of Natanz, as they arguably supplied intel to Tel Aviv.

Yet now a lone missile is literally exploding a great deal of the shadowplay.

On April 22, in the dead of night before dawn, a Syrian missile exploded only 30 km away from the ultra-sensitive Israeli nuclear reactor of Dimona. The official – and insistent – Israeli spin: this was an “errant”.

Well, not really.

Here – third video from the top – is footage of the quite significant explosion. Also significantly, Tel Aviv remained absolutely mum when it comes to offering a missile proof of ID. Was it an old Soviet 1967 SA-5? Or, rather more likely, a 2012 Iranian Fateh-110 short range surface-to-surface, manufactured in Syria as the M-600, and also possessed by Hezbollah?

A Fateh family tree can be seen in the attached chart. The inestimable Elijah Magnier has posed some very good questions about the Dimona near-hit. I complemented it with a quite enlightening discussion with physicists, with input by a military intel expert.

The Fateh-110 operates as a classic ballistic missile, until the moment the warhead starts maneuvering to evade ABM defenses. Precision is up to 10 meters, nominally 6 meters. So it hit exactly where it was supposed to hit. Israel officially confirmed that the missile was not intercepted – after a trajectory of roughly 266 km.

This opens a brand new can of worms. It implies that the performance of the much hyped and recently upgraded Iron Dome is far from stellar – and talk about an euphemism. The Fateh flew so low that Iron Dome could not identify it.

The inevitable conclusion is this was a message/warning combo. From Damascus. With a personal stamp from Bashar al-Assad, who had to clear such a sensitive missile launch. A message/warning delivered via Iranian missile technology fully available to the Axis of Resistance – proving that regional actors have serious stealth capability.

It’s crucial to remember that when Tehran dispatched a volley of deliberately older Fateh-313 versions at the US base Ayn al-Assad in Iraq, as a response to the assassination of Gen Soleimani in January 2020, the American radars went blank.

Iranian missile technology as top strategic deterrence. Now that’s the shadowplay that turns Vienna into a sideshow.

Yemen’s Blood Is on US Hands, and Still the US Lies about the War

Yemen’s Blood Is on US Hands, and Still the US Lies about the War

4/4/2021

By William Boardman – Towards Freedom

Six years ago, on March 26, 2015, the US green-lighted and provided logistical support for the Saudi bombing of Yemen that continues on a daily basis. The US/Saudi war, which includes as allies the several members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, is an undeclared war, illegal under international law, and an endless crime against humanity. The US and the Saudis have dropped cluster bombs on Yemen since 2009. Yemen has no air force and no significant air defenses. Two years ago, even the US Congress voted to end US involvement in the war, but President [Donald] Trump vetoed the resolution.

In 1937 the Nazis, in support of Franco in Spain, bombed the defenseless northern Spanish town of Guernica, massacring hundreds of civilians gathered in the town on market day. Pablo Picasso’s painting Guernica, a shriek of protest against the slaughter, is one of the world’s best known anti-war works of art. Yemen has had more than 2000 days of Guernicas at the hands of the US and Saudis, but no Picasso.

On February 4, 2021, President [Joe] Biden got a whole lot of good press when he announced that the US would be “stepping up our diplomacy to end the war in Yemen.” Biden also promised that the US would be “ending all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen.” Biden gave no specific details. The six-year bombing continues. The six-year naval blockade of Yemen continues. The humanitarian crisis continues, with the threat of famine looming. In effect, Biden has participated in war crimes since January 20, with no policy in sight to end the killing.

On March 1, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken acknowledged that:

The humanitarian crisis taking place in Yemen is the largest and most urgent in the world. Twenty million people, including millions of children, desperately need help. The United States is committed to doing our part, both to provide aid and to help address the obstacles standing in the way of humanitarian access.

That sounds a whole lot better than it is. Blinken did not acknowledge the US role in the air war on Yemen. Blinken did not acknowledge the US role in the naval blockade preventing food and fuel from reaching those 20 million Yemenis. Those obstacles to humanitarian access remain unchanged. The US has the power to remove either one unilaterally, just as it unilaterally chose to impose them. Blinken called on “all parties” to allow unhindered import and distribution of food and fuel, as if the US played no role in blocking both.

Blinken wasn’t done inventing a reality to fit US policy. He pledged support for “the well-being of the Yemeni people” but singled out the Houthis for pressure, even though the Houthis represent a large proportion of the Yemeni people. He called on the Houthis “to cease their cross-border attacks,” even though those attacks are a response to the US/Saudi undeclared war. And then he offered an analysis that would be hilarious if it weren’t so grotesque:

… the Saudis and the Republic of Yemen Government are committed and eager to find a solution to the conflict. We call on the Houthis to match this commitment. A necessary first step is to stop their offensive against Marib, a city where a million internally displaced people live, and to join the Saudis and the government in Yemen in making constructive moves toward peace.

The Saudis are so eager to find a solution to the conflict that they maintain their air war and naval blockade, effectively waging war by starvation – a crime against humanity. The “Republic of Yemen Government” is a fiction and a joke. Yemeni president Mansour Hadi, who is 75, was vice president of Yemen from 1994 to 2011, under the late authoritarian president Ali Abdullah Saleh. When Arab Spring protests erupted against Saleh, he stepped aside in favor of Hadi, who was “elected” president in 2012 with no opposition – a “democratic” result imposed by an international cabal. When you read media referring to his “internationally recognized government,” that’s the fiction they’re hiding. Hadi’s term as president ended in 2014, the international cabal extended it for a year, and that’s pretty much the extent of his legitimacy. That and US/Saudi firepower. By any rational calculation, Hadi is not a legitimate president. He also has no legitimate alternative. No wonder Hadi doesn’t feel safe in Yemen and remains in exile in Riyadh. The population in southern Yemen under the “government’s” control has recently attacked the government palace in Aden in protest against the government’s failure to provide sustenance and stability. A recent bomb attack aimed at a Hadi government minister reflects the reality that southern Yemen has long had a separatist movement quite independent of the Houthis in the north, in effect a second civil war. The most constructive move the Hadi government could make toward peace is to abdicate.

-Marib City, the capital of Marib Governorate, is roughly 100 miles northeast of Yemen’s capital in Sanaa. Marib City was established after the 1984 discovery of oil deposits in the region. Covering 6,720 square miles in central Yemen, the Marib Governorate is somewhat smaller than New Jersey. Marib contains much of Yemen’s oil, gas, and electric resources. Marib is the last governorate under the control of the Hadi government, but it has been under increasing attack by the Houthis since early 2020. Before that, Marib was relatively remote from the fighting in Yemen, providing refuge for a million or more Yemenis fleeing the fighting elsewhere. Marib City had a population of about 40,000 when the civil war broke out in 2014. Now the city has an estimated 1.5 million people.

This map of Yemen shows the oil fields of Yemen as well as the projected route [in dotted lines of the Trans-Yemen oil pipeline, protected by Al Qaeda forces, which, when completed will allow Saudi Arabia to avoid possible clashes with Iran at the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf. Source: The Crash of Flight 3804: A Lost Spy, A Daughter’s Quest, and the Deadly Politics of the Great Game for Oil  by Charlotte Dennett  (Chelsea Green) Map by John Van Hoesen.

The Houthi offensive against Marib has intensified since January 2021. Their offensive has continued in spite of having no air support. For the US Secretary of State to call for the Houthis to stop their offensive is an indication that it’s going their way. By March 8, Houthi forces had breached the northern gates of Marib City. Hadi government forces are supported by the Saudi coalition and local tribes, as well as elements of Al Qaeda and ISIS. [Al Qaeda also fights independently against occupying forces of the United Arab Emirates along the Gulf of Aden coastline.]

Famine has arrived in pockets of Yemen.

Saudi ships blocking fuel aren’t helping.

This was CNN’s headline on March 11, for a story reporting with reasonable accuracy on the very real, years-old humanitarian crisis that the US/Saudi war has brought on the region’s poorest country. CNN quotes a “food insecurity” analysis by the world electronics trade association IPC that predicts that more than 16 million Yemenis (of a total population of about 30 million) are “likely to experience high levels of acute food insecurity” in the first half of 2021. “Out of these, an estimated 11 million people will likely be in Crisis, 5 million in Emergency, and the number of those in Catastrophe will likely increase to 47,000.”

Yemen is an atrocity from almost any perspective. Three US presidents – Obama, Trump, and now Biden – have lied about Yemen while taking the US into an endless nexus of war crimes and crimes against humanity. And for what? To support a Yemeni government that is a fraud? To support a Saudi ally that thought it could win a quick, dirty air war at little or no cost? This abomination, pun intended, never should have happened. So why did it? The formulaic answer in much of the media is usually some variation on this propagandistic patter from Reuters:

A Saudi Arabia-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 after the Iran-allied Houthi group ousted the country’s government from the capital Sanaa.

This essentially false version of reality in Yemen appears in news media across a wide spectrum, from Al Jazeera to ABC News to this version by CNN:

Saudi Arabia has been targeting Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen since 2015, with the support of the US and other Western allies. It had hoped to stem the Houthis’ spread of power and influence in the country by backing the internationally-recognized government under President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi.

The core falsehood in most versions is “the Iran-allied” or “Iran-backed” Houthis. The grain of truth in that characterization is far outweighed by the history on the ground. The Houthis live in Yemen. They are the only combatant force that lives in Yemen, other than elements of the Hadi government and assorted insurrectionists. Yemen is in the midst of a civil war that has flared over decades. The war that is destroying Yemen is waged entirely by outside countries, primarily the US and the Saudi coalition.

The Houthis, who are mostly Shia Muslims, have lived in northwest Yemen for generations and centuries. They fought a civil war against President Saleh and lost. They have long been an oppressed minority in Yemen. When the Hadi government perpetuated the oppression of the Houthis, they rebelled once again. This time, challenging an unpopular and divided government, they were more successful. In 2014 they captured Sanaa, Yemen’s capital, and captured Hadi himself. Then they released him and he fled first to Aden, then to Saudi Arabia, where he is a puppet figurehead.

Before it could become clear what kind of governance the Houthis would provide for their part of Yemen, the US and the Saudi coalition attacked the country. Their publicly stated motivation has always included the imaginary threat from Iran. But the Houthis have a long and independent history that does not rely on Iran for its coherence and force. Iranian support for the Houthis in 2014 was never shown to be significant. The US/Saudi war had had the perverse effect of incentivizing Iranian support for the Houthis, but there’s no evidence that support comes anywhere close to the strength of the US and Saudi coalition forces directed at the Houthis. The US and the Saudi coalition are waging an aggressive war against a country that did none of them any harm. Iran is providing support for an ally unjustly under siege.

The war in Yemen has been brutal on all sides, according to reports by more or less neutral observers. But only the US and the Saudi coalition are invaders, only they are committing international war crimes. The Houthis, as well as all the other sides fighting in Yemen, have also committed war crimes, but on a far lesser scale. Yemeni forces are not the ones waging war by starvation and disease.

Ultimately, the Houthis are the home team, along with other Yemeni factions. The Houthis have nowhere else to go. The only military solution to the Houthis is extermination, genocide, the very course the US and Saudis have been on for years, with the winking hypocrisy of most of the world.

In April 2015, with the Saudis’ saturation bombing already in its third week, the United Nations Security Council unanimously [14-0] passed Resolution 2216, which “Demands End to Yemen Violence.” The Resolution begins with an obscene misrepresentation of reality:

Imposing sanctions on individuals it said were undermining the stability of Yemen, the Security Council today demanded that all parties in the embattled country, in particular the Houthis, immediately and unconditionally end violence and refrain from further unilateral actions that threatened the political transition.

That is the official lie that has publicly defined the war on Yemen since 2015. The UN sees no terror bombing by foreign countries. The UN sees no invasion by foreign troops. The UN sees no terrorist groups in a country that has had little stability for decades. The UN cites only the Houthis for their sins, as if it were somehow the Houthis’ fault that, having no air force and no air defenses, they weren’t getting out of the way of the cluster bombs dropped on their weddings and their funerals.

GERMANY’S POLITICAL CRISIS AND THE FUTURE OF NORD STREAM 2

South Front

April 03, 2021

Germany’s Political Crisis and the Future of Nord Stream 2

To make matters worse, at the EU summit Blinken pointed out that his threats aimed at Nord Stream 2 are a reflection of US Congress laws demanding any and all firms participating in its construction to be sanctioned, though omitting that the Executive Branch has considerable freedom of action in implementing legislation impinging on the presidential foreign policy prerogatives.

It does not appear as if Blinken’s “shock and awe” show on three continents has had the desired results. Germany’s Foreign Ministry pointedly refused to endorse Biden’s characterization of Vladimir Putin as a “killer”, in contrast to several other European countries traditionally adhering to an anti-Russia stance. Moreover, there is no evidence that German companies are about to drop their work on Nord Stream 2. Doing so would be a fatal blow to Germany’s position as the leading EU member state and would introduce a greater degree of chaos into EU power struggles. Factors putting a certain degree of steel into Germany’s spine is the apparent realization that, emboldened by the effectiveness of a mere threat of sanctions against Germany, the US State Department will grow accustomed to using that instrument on a routine basis with Germany and other members of the EU. United States’ apparent desire to denigrate Germany’s international status seems to have led to a few other snubs, such as the failure to invite it to a high-level meeting on Afghanistan that Russia, China, and even Turkey will attend.

Germany’s Green Hell

If the United States has an ace in a hole that might yet reverse the decline of its fortunes, it is the gradual ascendancy of Germany’s Green Party. German and indeed international public opinion have come a long way from the heady days of Spring 2020, when Angela Merkel was roundly hailed as the “scientist” whose combination of empirical astuteness and political savvy would bring COVID-19 to heel, in stark contrast to the ignorant fools that Boris Johnson and Donald Trump were supposed to be. Back in May or June 2020, it certainly did not appear as if anything could threaten Merkel’s political fortunes. Yet it is Merkel who is now facing calls for a Bundestag vote of confidence. The botched pandemic response, the puzzling back-and-forth of lockdowns, relaxations, then new lockdowns, and a number of corruption scandals associated with pandemic response contracts that implicated a number of CDU/CSU deputies, have undermined the public’s confidence in the ruling party and its leadership. It certainly did not help matters that the EU official most closely associated with the botched vaccine procurement at the Union level is the President of the European Commission Ursula van der Leyen who previously occupied several ministerial posts, including that of Defense, in the various Merkel governments.

It is therefore unsurprising that Germany is potentially facing a major electoral upheaval that threatens to significantly rearrange the country’s political landscape. As of March 27, 2021, a Kantar opinion poll attempting to ascertain the level of support each of Germany’s parties might enjoy during this year’s Bundestag elections showed CDU/CSU still in the lead with potentially 25% of the vote, with the Greens in close second at 23%. The other political parties posted notably weaker figures. The once-dominant SPD scored only 17%, Alternative for Germany (AfD) and FDP 10% apiece, Die Linke 9%, with 6% distributed among the remaining parties. Other German opinion polls delivered roughly similar results, varying only by a couple percentage points.

Its rise is driven by several factors, including the exhaustion with the ruling CDU/CSU coalition, the SPD suffering from the abandonment of its leftist principles in favor of Blair/Clinton-like “third way” neoliberal policies, Die Linke still lingering under a cloud of suspicion due to its German Democratic Republic ancestry, and of course the Alternative for Germany attracting unwanted attention from Germany’s own “Deep State” which, like its US and British counterparts, is playing an increasingly active role in the country’s politics.

Gruen Nach Osten

That the Greens’ coming to power is bound to result in Germany becoming more militaristic and interventionist on the world stage is also suggested by the curious case of Tareq Alaows, a Syrian man born in Damascus who came to Germany in 2015 and, only six years later, was declared a Bundestag candidate from the Green Party already as a German citizen. Given that the rest of the 1.5 million refugees who arrived in Germany at roughly the same time are still not German citizens and are likely never to become them, Alaows’ rapid elevation suggest that the Greens have friends within Germany’s “deep state”, and are interested in following US and British lead in “weaponizing” social issues such as gender rights, environmentalism, and other issues in order to justify aggression against countries deemed insufficiently dedicated to what the West claims to be “universal values”. They would not be Europe’s first “Green” party to go neo-conservative. Sweden’s Greens have likewise inducted many Islamists into their ranks in order to press for greater foreign interventionism. Moreover, since Germany’s Green Party is a relatively recent invention and is therefore not associated with Germany’s earlier military aggressions (and here one should note that even the SPD was staunchly supportive of Germany’s aggression in World War I, and likely would have been in World War II had it not been banned by the Nazis),  they are the most logical front for Germany’s neo-cons. One can readily imagine empowered Greens declaring Germany has a sacred mission to rid the world of coal, oil, and natural gas as sources of energy which naturally means a confrontation with China and Russia in order to install governments in those countries that naturally share the Greens’ priorities and incidentally also enact policies highly favorable to German business interests. While the Green Party began its existence as a radical party of the Left, by the end of the Cold War it began to reinvent itself along neo-conservative lines. Its support for NATO’s wars against Yugoslavia and other military adventures, its peculiar interest in Aleksey Navalny who is not exactly known as an environmentalist, combined with strident opposition to Nord Stream 2, collectively make it very attractive to the Bidens and Blinkens of the world interested in making Germany a US client state. What remains to be seen is whether German and US “deep states” are capable of smoothing the Greens’ path into power, and whether the German people will accept the Green regime that is being prepared for them.

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Congress May Have to Act to Punish Saudi Arabia

Congress May Have to Act to Punish Saudi Arabia

By David M. Wight, Washington Post

While President Biden enjoyed widespread praise for releasing an intelligence report concluding that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, he also received criticism for not sanctioning Mohammed. On March 1, Rep. Tom Malinowski [D-N.J.] introduced a bill denying the prince entry into the United States and conditioning any future US arms sales to Saudi Arabia upon the White House certifying that the kingdom was no longer intimidating its critics in the United States.

That fits with a recent trend: Both Biden and members of Congress have vocally supported curbing arms sales to Saudi Arabia, in part because of the killing of Khashoggi. Their willingness to follow through, however, will face the same challenges that confronted, and ultimately torpedoed, President Jimmy Carter’s resolve to reduce arms sales to the Saudis. In fact, several key developments in US-Saudi relations transformed Carter and members of Congress from advocates of arms-sales restrictions to promoters of expanding sales.

From the 1940s through the 1960s, the United States, Saudi Arabia’s primary arms provider, limited the size and scope of the weapons it sold to the Saudis so as to conserve its limited budget and restrain potential arms races in the Middle East.

During the 1970s, however, oil prices skyrocketed, and Saudi Arabia, at that point the largest oil exporter in the world, enjoyed a windfall. Suddenly, the kingdom had unparalleled influence over the global oil market and enormous revenue with which to buy imports, including weapons. Conversely, the United States experienced rapidly rising energy import costs and fuel shortages. These problems compounded when Saudi Arabia led an Arab oil embargo against the United States in retaliation for its massive arms resupply to “Israel” during the 1973 Arab-“Israeli” War.

The administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford worked strenuously to repair Washington’s tattered alliance with the Saudi monarchy and obtain its help in restraining oil prices, in large part by offering the sale of advanced US weapons. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger offered Saudi King Faisal the US government’s “cooperation in the military field … to strengthen our friendship on a long-term basis.” Faisal and his successors responded positively, ending the Arab oil embargo in 1974 and subduing demands within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries for even higher oil prices. In exchange, US arms and military construction sales to Saudi Arabia soared from $300 million in 1972 to $7.1 billion in 1976.

Yet this provoked increasing opposition within the United States, including in Congress. An array of factors drove this opposition, including a desire to protect “Israel’s” military superiority, to curb costly arms races, to reduce the potential for war and to prevent powerful weapons technology from falling into hostile hands through theft or a coup. Accordingly, in 1974, Congress passed a law empowering itself to veto major arms sales approved by the president. In 1976, a bipartisan coalition used that new tool to compel Ford to reduce missile sales to Saudi Arabia.

That year, Carter, as a presidential candidate, declared that the rise in US arms sales to the Arab world constituted “a deviation from idealism … from a commitment to [‘Israel’]” and “a yielding to economic pressure … on the oil issue.” Once president, while seeking to preserve Saudi-US cooperation, Carter worked to steadily reduce weapons and military construction sales to Saudi Arabia. In 1977, during his first year in office, they dropped by more than two-thirds.

But Saudi leaders relentlessly pressed for more US weapons, saying they needed to defend themselves against Soviet-armed countries such as Iraq and what was then South Yemen. They especially desired to purchase advanced F-15 jet fighters. Saudi Crown Prince Fahd, for example, told the US ambassador that “the F-15 issue was a basic, crucial test of our relationship” and threatened to obtain comparable weapons from France, Britain or even the Soviet Union, countries that had ignored Carter’s entreaties for shared restraint in global arms transfers.

To preserve the Saudi-US relationship and obtain Saudi cooperation on oil and the Arab-“Israeli” ‘peace’ process, Carter shifted course and agreed to the F-15 sales in 1978. Activists and members of Congress mobilized to block the deal, however, including a young Sen. Joe Biden. Carter, along with Saudi-hired PR firms and corporations doing business in the kingdom, spent significant political and monetary capital in making the case to the American public and Congress that the sale served US interests. In a concession to Congress, Carter provided written assurance that the Saudis would not be given certain missile capabilities for their F-15s. Even then, Carter barely won — the House voted to block the sale, and the Senate fell short of a veto only by six votes after an acrimonious debate.

Two events the following year shook Saudi and US leaders. The 1979 Iranian revolution ousted the US-aligned Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and replaced him with the hostile Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Iran’s massive stockpile of US-made weapons now threatened Saudi Arabia. The Soviet Union subsequently invaded Afghanistan, further inflaming the fears of Saudi royals that the Soviets aimed to encircle and conquer them. These two events generated new urgent pleas from Saudi Arabia for additional US arms.

For Carter and many members of Congress, these events made the Saudi kingdom appear even more vital to US interests. In response, they approved $10.2 billion in arms and military construction sales to Saudi Arabia to reassure its leaders of Washington’s commitment to their security. This decision ended presidential efforts to meaningfully restrain Saudi arms purchases for four decades — until now-President Biden entered office.

In the first weeks of his presidency, Biden declared an end to US support for the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen, where the use of US weapons has inflamed anti-American sentiment and exacerbated a conflict that has killed more than 200,000 Yemenis. He likewise ordered a halt and review of last-minute arms agreements for Saudi Arabia authorized by predecessor Donald Trump. This has raised the hopes of some activists and politicians that Biden might continue to restrict arms to Saudi Arabia so long as its rulers endanger US interests and human rights. But the experience of the Carter administration cautions against assuming this is inevitable, as does Biden’s refusal to sanction Mohammed.

Some of today’s circumstances are quite different from those of the 1970s. Saudi Arabia’s influence over US oil supplies and prices is significantly less now than it was during the Carter years, lessening the pressure on Washington to satisfy arms requests. Conversely, however, the contemporary alliance between “Israel” and Saudi Arabia against Iran means pro-“Israel” lobbyists, a major force against arms sales to Saudi Arabia in the 1970s, now present, at most, a diminished hurdle.

But the basic bargain established by Nixon and Faisal, and ultimately retained by Carter, remains on the table: The United States sells arms to Saudi Arabia in exchange for Saudi cooperation on issues prioritized by Washington. Whether this arrangement persists depends on the calculations of leaders in both countries.

Saudi Arabia will continue to argue that the threat from Iran necessitates increased weapons imports and threaten to acquire arms elsewhere if US offers are not forthcoming. That would be costly for the Saudis, because their armed forces are heavily reliant on US weapons technology and training, and it would inevitably weaken the Saudi-US relationship. Yet Saudi leaders may reluctantly attempt such an undertaking if they determine Washington has abandoned the alliance or attached too many strings to it.

The Biden administration seeks to maintain the Saudi-US partnership but expects greater Saudi cooperation on human rights and US strategic concerns in exchange for more US weapons. How demanding Biden will be on these points remains to be seen. But just as for Carter, the more Biden believes vital US interests in the Middle East are threatened by Iran or another power, the more likely he is to abandon other objectives and turn to arms sales to secure the Saudi-US alliance.

Congress could prove to be a wild card: It will weigh the same issues as the White House, but historically it has shown more appetite for restricting arms sales to Saudi Arabia. This raises the possibility that it could step in if the administration proves too acquiescent.

The Russians aren’t coming—the Israelis are

If you think that Russia is or has been a threat to America and much of the West, I think you are mistaken.

By Jonas E. Alexis -March 8, 2021

If you think that Russia is or has been a threat to America and much of the West, I think you are mistaken. It was the same delusion that poison the mind of people like George Soros, who wrote in the Guardian back in 2016 that Vladimir Putin “is a bigger threat to Europe’s existence than Isis.”[1] Without the slightest evidence, Soros posited:

“The leaders of the US and the EU are making a grievous error in thinking that president Vladimir Putin’s Russia is a potential ally in the fight against Islamic State. The evidence contradicts them. Putin’s aim is to foster the EU’s disintegration, and the best way to do so is to flood Europe with Syrian refugees.

“Russia has also launched a large-scale air attack against civilians in northern Syria. This was followed by a ground assault by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s army against Aleppo, a city that used to have 2 million inhabitants. The barrel bombs caused 70,000 civilians to flee to Turkey; the ground offensive could uproot many more.”[2]

Complete fabrication! If Russia were liquidating Syrian civilians, why Syrian civilians appreciated the presence of the Russians in the region? One needn’t be a politician to realize that Soros’ formulation is generally dumb.

In any event, we shouldn’t be paying attention to people like Soros, particularly when they are postulating things that simply don’t make sense at all. Russia is not an enemy of the West. If there is one country that has been weakening the very foundation of what the founding fathers stood for, then it must be Israel. Perhaps people who doubt this statement should pay close attention to Philip Weiss here.

10-20 American mouthpieces for Israeli government had unrivaled access to Obama White House — Rhodes—Philip Weiss

Ben Rhodes, former deputy national security adviser under President Obama, says that he had to meet with Israel lobbyists as much as all other interest groups combined; that these lobbyists were a tiny segment of the American Jewish community, the same 10 to 20 individuals; they invariably took the position of the Israeli government; and were apparently scripted by the Israelis in some cases.

He also said that White House national security aides were expected to appear at the Israel lobby group AIPAC’s annual conference, but if they paid attention to Arab-American or peace groups, they could “get in trouble.”

The Israel lobby’s access was reinforced by compliant media and Congress, with members of Congress at times warning Rhodes about the “acute” financial threat of taking on the lobby.

Rhodes detailed the financial “threatening” from the Israel lobby in a podcast with Peter Beinart on February 10:

On Iran, the members would call me at the beginning of the August recess in 2015, when we’re having the Iran fight, and be like, AIPAC put out a press release saying they’re going to spend $40 million on ads on this. The money issue became acute. And people started to say, AIPAC told me they’d cancel my fundraisers if I vote this way. We’re never supposed to name the issue of money. But like when it became very acute and AIPAC is spending money and threatening people that they’re going to cancel fundraisers, suddenly you’re having that conversation in a way where you’re not even allowed to allude to it in normal circumstances.

Recall that in 2019 when Rep. Ilhan Omar dared to say that AIPAC used “benjamins” to command support for Israel in Congress, she was denounced far and wide and compelled to apologize for “antisemitic tropes,” though she was only saying what Rhodes says here.

Rhodes’s discussion of money echoes his 2018 memoir of the Obama years in which he said that after Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu lectured Obama in the White House in 2011, about why Israel could not accept the ’67 lines as a border, Rhodes had to get on the phone to “a list of leading Jewish donors . . . to reassure them of Obama’s pro-Israel bona fides.” The concern then was the 2012 election.

Here are extended excerpts of Rhodes’s comments on the Israel lobby to Beinart. (I did a separate post on Israel’s disrepect for Obama per Rhodes yesterday, including Rhodes’s “shame” that the Obama White House pretended that Netanyahu believed in a two-state solution when he never did; and how the Biden team is forgetting the “history,” that Israel made life hell for Obama, sometimes in racially offensive terms).

On the omnipresence of the Israel lobby:

You meet more with outside, organized constituency groups on Israel than any other foreign policy issue. I’d actually go as far to say that . . . as a senior White House official working on national security . . . the number of people you meet from the organized pro-Israel community equals all the other meetings that you might do with kind of diaspora or constituency groups on all the other issues. It’s that degree of dwarfing. I’m pretty confident that’s consistent across [presidential] administrations . . .

You just have this incredibly organized pro-Israel community that is very accustomed to having access in the White House, in Congress, at the State Department. It’s taken for granted, as given, that that’s the way things are going to be done.

Rhodes said that any time there’s “daylight” between the U.S. government and the Israeli government, the White House hears from Democratic members of Congress.

The degree of congressional interest again dwarfs any other issue I worked on in the Obama years. Anything with a nexus to Israel, be it Iran or the Palestinian issue, the two dominant ones in our time, you’re going to hear from members of Congress, you’re going to be expected to be briefing members of Congress. If there’s any daylight between the US and the Israeli government, even Democratic members are going to be upset, concerned about that.

Netanyahu also applied pressure by calling on “vast” rightwing media resources in the U.S.

The media interest is dramatically intensified [on this issue]. And that’s both a very aggressive kind of pro-Likud media in the United States. It’s also just the mainstream media delights in any Israel controversies. Netanyahu knew that he could gin up the rightwing pro-Likud media in the United States, which is pretty vast, but he also knew that if he needled Obama he would create a week-long political story, because political reporters view Israel as a domestic political story, not a foreign policy issue.

So in all those ways, the outside pressure, the Congressional interest, the media interest, there’s just a much greater spotlight on anything with a nexus to Israel than on anything else. And inevitably that weighs on the minds of politicians and policymakers. You can’t act like it doesn’t.

Beinart asked how often aides had meetings with representatives of the pro-Palestinian side, and Rhodes laughed and said he was the only one to do so, because such meetings can get you “into trouble”– and they weren’t with Palestinians as such.

I would be the one to take those meetings. I actually did it like pretty regularly. Here’s the thing. Usually with me those types of meetings were either peace groups, sometimes Christian religious groups, Quakers and others advocating for peace. Sometimes Arab-Americans. Less Palestinian, but more broadly Arab-American. So there wasn’t a significant just-Palestinian or Palestinian-American organized constitutency that you would meet with… I ended up taking those meetings because look, not everyone wants to take those meetings. Because you can get into trouble if you’re seen as solicitous. I would get creamed in the rightwing press. I spoke at NIAC [National Iranian American Council] . . . Not on the Palestinian issue, but the Iran nuclear deal. You’d think I had dinner with the supreme leader of Iran. There’s a kind of chilling effect.

But everyone goes to AIPAC!

You are expected — every senior US government official in national security — is almost expected to turn up at AIPAC. You are not expected to turn up at NIAC.

Rhodes, who is half-Jewish, discussed the fact that Jews are heavily involved in policymaking and Arab-Americans are not.

I remember being in a meeting once early in the Obama years on Israel . . . I’m just acknowledging something and not suggesting that there’s anything inherently wrong with it. It just is what it is. I remember looking around the Situation Room on a meeting on the Israel/Palestine issue and every single one of us in the meeting was Jewish or of Jewish origin like me . . . Which again, I don’t want to sound conspiratorial. I’m not trying to advance a trope. I’m really not. I think it’s great that a lot of Jewish-Americans go into foreign policy and national security. I just remember thinking what if everybody in this room was Arab-American, you’d have a different [discussion].

We understand the Israeli fears and grievances and concerns intuitively as Jewish-Americans. Maybe not as much as Israelis . . . [but] we have some understanding with it in our unconscious literally . . . in a way that — intellectually, I can try to understand the Palestinian experience, but I don’t.

Rhodes said that the Israel lobby is a tiny subset of American Jews.

Over the eight years I met so many times with like the usual suspects from the organized American Jewish community. And part of what you start to realize is this is a pretty small number of people. The American Jewish community is a large, sprawling, raucous wonderful community, and it’s kind of like 10 to 20 people that you find yourself meeting with all the time, some of whom are by the way wonderful people. Some of whom, less so.

And they’re mouthpieces for the Israeli government.

And look, again — not a conspiracy, it is what it is. People are advocating a position. But it’s a common position. Whatever the tension point between us and the Israeli government was at a given time, they were usually coming in to represent what I knew to be the Israeli government’s view in that circumstance. There was a big push at the beginning of the Obama administration after Netanyahu’s election for the US to recognize Israel formally as a Jewish state, which actually had not been U.S. policy before 2009 . . . There was a big push on us to pressure the Palestinians into talks though it wasn’t clear those talks would lead anywhere.

Whenever there was an international incident like the Goldstone Report or the Turkish Flotilla, you have to make sure that you’re doing everything that you can at the U.N. to kind of block this from going forward.

The advice Rhodes got was at times intrusive and high-handed.

But I would also get advice on how to talk about these issues. I remember, to give you an example, they would complain that we dealt more with Palestinian grievances than Israeli grievances, which I did not think was the case frankly. One of these people said to me, “You’re right Ben–” cause I had showed him all the things we’d said about Israel’s legitimate security concerns and its history– he said, “But you put the Palestinians second.” So [having them first was] suggesting that you think they’re more important. You flip the order. It would get very specific. Language that Obama needed to use, reassurances that he needs to give.

During the Iran deal, the lobby piped the Israeli government line.

The nuclear deal was insane, the number of armchair centrifuge experts . . . We have nuclear scientists in the government, and I have someone from an organization yelling at me about advanced nuclear centrifuge issues! I think Ernie Moniz [former energy secretary] understands this. It’s not a conspiracy because other organizations do the same thing on their issues, but not as effectively frankly. But you could tell that somebody else had briefed them. In most instances, and whether that was the Israeli government or their own staff, I’m not suggesting . . . And in this case it was always whatever Netanyahu’s party’s difference was with Obama at the moment.

The Israel lobby’s talking points were laughably transparent.

I had members of Congress . . . talking to me about what the inspection regime needs to be about traces of isotope at Parchin [military site in Iran]. The talking points were so specific on Iran, that you knew . . . This was such an echo chamber; every member you’re meeting just conspicuously happens to be obsessed with the inspections regime at Parchin . . . You understood that everyone’s working off the same set of points.

Beinart, who is an observant Jew, and Rhodes agreed that Jews in government are granted a special place in discussion of these issues. Rhodes:

I will give you the obvious example. Congress. I would brief throughout the Iran process the Jewish Democrats in Congress. That was a group. And Sandy Levin, wonderful man, phenomenal human being, would pull it together and it wasn’t subtle. I was going up every few weeks to brief every Jewish Democrat, which is a pretty sizable group, about the particularities of the Iran negotiations. And by the way there was a Jewishness to it, like we had bagels. And so I think there is a kind of default to an assumption that you need to be informed by something of a Jewish perspective.

But then even in that, I sensed, I’m not a practicing Jew, and I sensed at times a bit of a vibe, Well who are you — and like I was called a fake Jew. There were these narratives of Jewishness that kind of informed this stuff.

By the way, it’s not as if anyone plans to “decenter” Jews! Today it is no coincidence that the top three officials in the Biden State Department — Tony Blinken, Wendy Sherman and Victoria Nuland — are all Jewish. These appointments are meant to reassure the Israel lobby of Biden’s support. The same reason Obama hired Hillary Clinton as secretary of state in 2008 by reaching out to an Israel lobbyist to be the intermediary. The same reason that for many years all of the Treasury undersecretaries for counter-terrorism, enforcing Iran sanctions, were Jewish.

Rhodes dealt with the Jewish part of the Israel lobby, but he says the Jewish lobby was able to use the “firewall” of the evangelical Christian Israel lobby in the Republican Party to shrink the debate and to “bludgeon” the Democratic Party.

The people who came to me knew that they had a Republican party that would be in total lockstep, total hawks — total wherever Netanyahu was. Debates about Israel . . . were entirely inside the Democratic party because the development of the last 20 years is that Republicans/evangelicals have completely embraced the rightwing Israeli side.

Weirdly, the evangelical firewall, if you will, of support for Israel really empowered the more conservative, in the political sense, rightwing Jewish perspective inside the American Jewish community because they knew they had the cavalry behind them of the entire Republican Party. Even though these were often debates with Jews in the room, the presence which wasn’t in the room, the evangelical conservative community, was very powerful. It gave them a . . . Trump card. If the Democrats didn’t fall into line they knew . . . the Republicans could bludgeon us with it. That’s the story of the whole Iran fight.

Rhodes said the Israel lobby is “not unique,” that it’s akin to the fossil fuel and gun lobby. “It’s not a Jewish specific thing. It’s just the combination of money and passion and organization coupled with this evangelical piece that has emerged in the last several decades that is not about Jews.”

The congresspeople are often craven. Rhodes related the occasion in 2015 when Netanyahu made a racist appeal at the end of his campaign, warning that “Arabs are voting in droves.” Asked about the remarks, Obama spokesperson Josh Earnest was critical, saying that the White House had serious concerns about “divisive rhetoric” and would communicate as much to Israeli government.

Rhodes:

And a member of Congress was complaining to me about this. I’m like, “What do you want us to do about this? The guy’s being a racist, he’s come out against the two-state solution, he’s talking about the Arabs coming out in droves, and we’re asked what we think about it. How can we not give an answer that’s somewhat honest?”

He said, “Why can’t you just blame the Palestinians?”

I said, “For what?”

He started talking about incitement. The pivot was not subtle.

Read Part 1 of the Rhodes comments here— how he feels “shame” that the Obama White House pretended that Netanyahu believed in a two-state solution when he never did; and how the Biden team is forgetting the “history” of Israel making life hell for Obama in sometimes racially offensive terms.

[1] George Soros, “Putin is a bigger threat to Europe’s existence than Isis,” Guardian, February 11, 2016.

[2] Ibid.

BIOGRAPHY

Jonas E. AlexisJonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, history of Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the new book Zionism vs. the West: How Talmudic Ideology is Undermining Western Culture. He is currently working on a book tentatively titled, Kevin MacDonald’s Abject Failure: A Philosophical and Moral Critique of Evolutionary Psychology, Sociobiology, and White Identity. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.

‘Don’t give murderers a free pass’: Outrage as Biden refuses to sanction MBS

Activists and lawmakers say Saudi crown prince must face consequences after US intelligence report confirmed he was responsible for Khashoggi murder

US intelligence assessment revealed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman authorised the assassination (AFP/File photo)

By Ali HarbUmar A Farooq in Washington

Published date: 27 February 2021 00:06 UTC |

The virtual ink on a US intelligence report blaming Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi had not dried when the Biden administration ruled out imposing sanctions on the crown prince – a move that rights groups say would be fundamental for ensuring justice for the slain journalist.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed on Friday that Washington will not take action against the crown prince himself. 

The US State and Treasury departments had announced sanctions against dozens of Saudi individuals over their involvement in the Khashoggi murder and other rights violations without identifying them.

“What we’ve done by the actions that we’ve taken is really not to rupture the relationship but to recalibrate it to be more in line with our interests and our values,” Blinken told reporters.

Earlier on Friday, the State Department unveiled new visa restrictions dubbed the “Khashoggi Ban” that would allow Washington to target “individuals who, acting on behalf of a foreign government, are believed to have been directly engaged in serious, extraterritorial counter-dissident activities”.

For its part, the Treasury said it imposed sanctions on several Saudi officials, including Ahmed al-Asiri, former deputy head of military intelligence at the time of Khashoggi’s assassination, and members of the hit team that carried out the murder, known as the “Tiger Squad” or Rapid Intervention Force.

However, without sanctions against MBS, who the US government now publicly acknowledges was responsible for the killing, some advocates and lawmakers are saying the mastermind of the assassination is getting away with murder.

‘Unconscionable’

Andrea Prasow, deputy Washington director at Human Rights Watch, called failure to impose sanctions on MBS over the killing “unconscionable”.

“The fact that the US has sanctioned so many of MBS’s associates but not him sends a terrible message that the higher up in a government you are, the more likely it is you can commit crimes with impunity,” Prasow told MEE. 

“It also undermines US credibility. It’s hard to see what incentive MBS has to alter his conduct, whether inside Saudi Arabia, in his conduct in the war in Yemen, or in other extraterritorial attacks on dissidents, when he knows he can literally get away with murder.”

Khashoggi, a former Saudi government insider and journalist who wrote for the Washington Post and Middle East Eye, resided in the United States before his death.Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved Khashoggi murder, US report says

Saudi government agents murdered him and dismembered his body at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, while he was trying to retrieve personal paperwork, in October 2018. 

After initially insisting that Khashoggi left the building alive, Saudi officials acknowledged that the journalist was killed more than two weeks after the murder. But Riyadh insists that the assassination was a rogue operation that happened without the approval of top officials.

The murder sent shockwaves throughout Washington, amplifying criticism against the kingdom in Congress, but former President Donald Trump moved to shield Riyadh and particularly the crown prince from the fallout.

The Trump administration had refused a legally binding congressional request to release a report on the US intelligence community’s findings about the involvement of Saudi officials in the murder.

The administration of President Biden, who had called Saudi Arabia a “pariah” as a presidential candidate in 2019, made the report public on Friday, documenting what experts had been saying for years – that the murder, which involved the crown prince’s aides, could not have happened without his blessing.

Saudi Arabia was quick to reject the findings, calling the US assessment “negative, false and unacceptable”.

‘Free pass’

While rights groups hailed the release of the report as a step towards ensuring accountability for the murder, the administration’s failure to impose sanctions on the lead perpetrator left many disappointed.

“The Biden administration is trying to thread the needle. They want to continue to work with a partner that has committed a heinous act against a US resident, while taking some steps toward accountability,” Seth Binder, advocacy officer at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), told MEE.

“But if human rights is really going to be at the center of US foreign policy, as the administration has repeatedly stated, then it can’t give murderers a free pass.”

Before taking office, Biden vowed to “reassess” US-Saudi relations. Since his inauguration, he has paused some arms sales to Riyadh and announced an end to Washington’s support for the kingdom’s “offensive operations” in Yemen.

Still, many rights advocates and lawmakers are demanding a more forceful approach to Riyadh and MBS from Washington.

‘We’re calling on the Biden administration to move ahead with accountability measures to sanction MBS personally’

– Raed Jarrar, DAWN

“We’re calling on the Biden administration to move ahead with accountability measures to sanction MBS personally, along with everyone else who is implicated in that killing,” said Raed Jarrar, advocacy director at Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN).

Established last year in Washington, DAWN, a rights group, was envisioned by Khashoggi before his murder.

Speaking at a news conference after the release of the report, Jarrar urged ending US weapons sales to the kingdom. “Transparency is meaningless without accountability,” he said.

Philippe Nassif, advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International USA, said many rights advocates are “disappointed” in Washington’s decision against sanctioning MBS. 

He added that Congress and the Biden administration should halt offensive arms sales to Saudi Arabia, not only over the murder of Khashoggi, but also for the mistreatment of dissidents at home and war crimes in Yemen.

“And this goes for France. And this

Congress members call for sanctions

Leading Congress members from Biden’s own Democratic Party said on Friday that the president should impose sanctions on MBS.

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar announced on Friday that she will be introducing a bill to penalise the crown prince. She called the release of the report a “turning point” in US-Saudi relations.

“To this day, we continue to supply Saudi Arabia with US arms that are used to commit human rights abuses around the world,” the congresswoman said in a statement. 

“To this day, we still cooperate with the Saudi regime on defensive war efforts – including intelligence sharing. These must end. And there must be direct consequences for Mohamed bin Salman and his functionaries.”Will the CIA report cost Mohammed bin Salman his throne?

Congressman Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee who has been pushing for making the report public, hailed releasing the assessment but said the administration should do more to hold MBS accountable.

He decried going after those who carried out the assassination, but not the leader who ordered it.

“The report itself is pretty remarkable in saying in no uncertain terms that the crown prince of Saudi Arabia ordered the capture or killing of an American resident and journalist, that essentially the crown prince has blood on his hands,” Schiff told CNN. 

“I would like to see the administration go beyond what it is announced in terms of repercussions to make sure there are repercussions directly to the crown prince.”

Ron Wyden, a key Senate Democrat, also underscored the need to ensure that MBS is punished for the murder.

“By naming Mohammed bin Salman as the amoral murderer responsible for this heinous crime, the Biden-Harris administration is beginning to finally reassess America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and make clear that oil won’t wash away blood,” he said in a statement.

“There is still far more to do to ensure that the Saudi government follows international laws. There should be personal consequences for MBS – he should suffer sanctions, including financial, travel and legal – and the Saudi government should suffer grave consequences as long as he remains in the government.”

Related

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on January 9, 2021, three days after the Capitol riots.


Date: 15 February 2021

Author: lecridespeuples

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on January 9, 2021, three days after the Capitol riots.

Source: https://video.moqawama.org/details.php?cid=1&linkid=2186

Translation: resistancenews.org

Transcript:

[…] My first comment (concerns the Capitol Hill riot), because it would be unwise to ignore an event of such magnitude, namely the major incident that occurred in recent days in the United States, in Washington. Trump called for a protest in Washington, interrupting his New Year’s Holiday to come to Washington and call for a (big) protest, addressing protesters behind a bulletproof glass the same day, and urging them to march on the Congress, and on the Representatives and Senators assembled nearby to (officially) establish the result of the presidential elections.

Image result for trump capitol speech

Then, during the meeting of Representatives and Senators, the two Houses of Representatives and Senators, the demonstrators invaded the Congress building (the Capitol), in a scene [of a coup or “color revolution”] that the United States have the habit of fomenting in other countries of the world to bring down regimes. But now Trump has implemented it in his own country! This is the very thing they have perpetrated in many countries of the world, and which they have been trying to do for a year and a half in Lebanon! Either way, the protesters walked towards the building, passed through the security gates, and entered (the Capitol). There were a number of deaths, dozens of injured, dozens of arrests, bloody clashes… The Representatives and Senators fled, ending their meeting, hiding (where they could)… Then various measures were taken, and clamors (of condemnation) arose from all sides.

Image result for capitol assault

Of course, this is a very important and very dangerous event, which cannot be minimized or considered minor, despite the efforts of some. And its consequences are also (major and) dangerous. In Lebanon and in the Arab world, the darlings (vassals) of the United States have endeavored to downplay the significance of this event, to belittle and underestimate it. But (to know its real scope), it suffices to ask the inhabitants of Mecca, who are the most aware of what is happening at home (Arabic proverb inviting to question those first concerned). Let’s rely on what the people of the United States have said, what Biden said, what his vice-president (Harris) said, what top Democratic Party officials said, within the Republican Party, etc. How did all these people describe this event? What has been the reaction within the Trump administration itself, the resignations etc.? If it were only a minor and marginal incident, under control, it would not have had all of these consequences, which still continue, and can lead to impeachment proceedings against Trump by Congress.

Image result for us capitol jamiroquai

It was not the (intended) topic of my speech, but since this event has occurred, I will say two words about it.

First, this is obviously a (major) event that we must ponder and analyze carefully, and from which we should draw lessons. This event reveals to us the reality of the current (domestic) situation in the United States, and reveals the true face of this (so-called) democracy and its (vain) pretenses. But among the things to stress in this event is that the people of the United States themselves have tasted first-hand the consequences of Trump’s policies, and his willingness to kill even Americans –who he was already killing during the past year during demonstrations [against police brutality and institutional racism]– to stay in power. We have long warned of the dangers of the policies of this assassin, and what Americans and the world have seen is only a small glimpse of what Trump perpetrated over four years in many countries around the world, such as Yemen, Iraq, Syria, the siege imposed on Iran, Venezuela, etc., and his support for Zionist crimes against the Palestinian people. The whole world has remained silent, as have many Americans, in the face of its atrocious crimes against other peoples, in particular its manifest, official and scandalous crime against the two Commanders (who defeated ISIS), Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al- Muhandis. And today, Trump’s criminal truth has been revealed to the eyes of his own people. Trump exemplifies the American political and military arrogance which has long imposed its hegemony on peoples, monopolized their choices and chained their sovereignty.

What has happened in recent days is an example of the sterile and catastrophic nature of this (bogus) American democracy which has no real guarantees, and allows individuals like Trump to come to power. How could an election allow the rise to power of a figure so puffed up with arrogance, so criminal, so mad and so stupid, to rule not only the United States, but the whole world, holding the future of humanity in his hands?! (This experience at least) revealed the true face of this American (pseudo-)democracy that they wanted to impose on the world. And with his allies and accomplices in the Middle East, Trump exemplifies power-hungry tyrants, (ready for anything to cling to power), even at the cost of the blood of their own people. Of course, we must also mention Pompeo, who always urged us to preserve the popular vote, while he and his President did everything possible to impose themselves and alter the outcome of the elections, by force and threats. He was talking to us about the respect due to protesters, and we saw the (unarmed protesters) killed and wounded in the heart of Washington.

I will conclude on this point with two words.

(First, I want to say) that God the Most High and the Exalted has protected the peoples of the world and the whole Earth during these four years (of Trump’s presidency), and we must all pray to Him, invoke Him and intercede with Him so that He continues to preserve us during the days that remain before January 20, because the nuclear codes are still in the hands of this mad, stupid, racist and arrogant character that is Trump, a real tyrant who when he gets angry, he no longer knows what he is doing. May God continue to preserve the world for the few days remaining until January 20.

See Nasrallah: Trump heads for Armageddon

And my last point is this: when I saw Trump’s recorded speech yesterday (it was not broadcast live), and in which he condemned the protesters, those who had engaged in violence, vowing to abide by the law and calling everyone to respect the law, he reminded me of this Quranic verse which says: “They are like Satan when he lures someone to disbelieve. Then after they have done so, he will say ˹on Judgment Day˺, ‘I have absolutely nothing to do with you. I truly fear Allah—the Lord of all worlds.’ ” (Quran, 59, 16).

Up to 4.55 minutes, excerpts from Trump’s speech before the assault on Capitol Hill. From 5.10 minutes, Trump’s repudiation the next day.

It was Trump who organized this demonstration, he is the one who incited them to march on Congress, it is he who sent them there, and when they took the Capitol, he disassociated himself from them, saying he had nothing to do with any of this and was abiding by the law. This is the real face of Trump, the way he behaves with those who support him, let alone his allies.

See Free Speech or incitement to violence? Norman Finkelstein on Trump’s speech before the Capitol Riots

In conclusion, this is a major event, and the developments underway in the United States are very important and will have consequences domestically but also on the whole world. We must follow all of this closely. […]

***

Khamenei: the post-American era has begun

Speech by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Sayed Ali Khamenei, February 7, 2021, commemorating the Iranian Air Force’s allegiance to Imam Khomeini.

Source: https://english.khamenei.ir/news/8337/Iran-s-condition-for-returning-to-JCPOA-commitments-Removing

Imam Khamenei invited those who have unrealistic estimations of US power and that of some other countries to look at recent events in the US. He explained, “The scandalous events that have taken place in the US recently are not minor events, and they should not be considered to be the mere downfall of an incompetent President. Rather, they are a manifestation of the decline of the US reputation, power and social system.”

Referring to statements made by some eminent political personalities in the US, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said, “They themselves state that the social system of the US has deteriorated from within, and some have even spoken of a post-US era.”

His Eminence added, “If something similar to what occurred in the US had occurred in any other part of the world – particularly in countries with which the US is at odds – they would not have stopped covering it in their news, but the mass media empire is in their control. So they try to show that the conflict has finished, but it is far from over.”

The Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Armed Forces stated that the reason why some regimes that are dependent on the US – in particular, the Zionist regime – are distressed and stunned and the reason for their recent ranting and raving is their fear and anxiety about the reality of the US decline in international and domestic areas.

Stating that one of the ways for increasing a country’s power is to strengthen the Armed Forces in proportion with regional and international events, Imam Khamenei praised recent military maneuvers and said, “Carrying out such great, impressive maneuvers, despite the existence of sanctions, gives us confidence that national security has been ensured by the children of the country who are in the Armed Forces. This is truly a source of pride.”

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US House: Trump Singularly Responsible for Capitol Assault, Should Be Convicted

US House: Trump Singularly Responsible for Capitol Assault, Should Be Convicted

By Staff, Agencies

The House of Representatives impeachment managers have filed a lengthy pretrial brief, saying former President Donald Trump was “singularly responsible” for the assault on the Capitol last month and that he should be convicted.

The House impeached the ex-president over his role in the invasion on January 6 that left five people dead, including a member of law enforcement.

Trump was blamed for inciting an insurrection when the lawmakers were busy certifying the victory of Joe Biden in the November 3 election.

The House introduced an article of impeachment to the Senate late last month.

In an 80-page brief filed on Tuesday, the impeachment managers – nine House Democrats led by Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin –  outlined the arguments they planned to make when the Senate trial opens next week, arguing that Trump should be barred from holding public office.

“President Trump incited a violent mob to attack the United States Capitol during the Joint Session, thus impeding Congress’s confirmation of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. as the winner of the presidential election,” the House brief reads.

“The framers of the Constitution feared a president who would corrupt his office by sparing ‘no efforts or means whatever to get himself re-elected,’” wrote the nine House Democrats, quoting directly from the 1787 debate in Philadelphia.

“If provoking an insurrectionary riot against a joint session of Congress after losing an election is not an impeachable offense, it is hard to imagine what would be.”

Meanwhile, Trump’s legal team responded to the charges against him, arguing that the Senate “lacks jurisdiction” to try a former president.

“The Senate of the United States lacks jurisdiction over the 45th president because he holds no public office from which he can be removed, rendering the article of impeachment moot and a non-justiciable question,” the lawyers, Bruce L. Castor Jr. and David Schoen, wrote in their 14-page response.

The lawyers also asserted that Trump believed he “won it by a landslide,” and, thus, was within his First Amendment rights to “express his belief that the election results were suspect.”

Trump had told his supporters, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” His lawyers, however, said such remarks were not meant as a call to violent action, but were “about the need to fight for election security in general.”

Trump’s assertions about the election results could not be disproved, the lawyers added, because there was “insufficient evidence.”

Related

NATO Supremacists New Round of Frenzied War Crimes in Syria

MIRI WOOD 

Hasakah people protesting cutting off alouk water

NATO supremacists illegally in Syria have gone into a frenzy of increased war crimes against the Levantine republic, on 17 January: The lame duck Trump forces continue to empty silos in the al Jazeera region of grain; Madman Erdogan forces have again turned off water to one million Syrians living in al Hasakah; Trump cannon fodder SDF terrorists have kidnapped more young Syrian men from al Susa and Hajin, Deir Ezzor countryside.

Featured image above, shows thousands of Syrians demanding their water rights, again turned off by Madman Erdogan’s illegal troops occupying the Allouk water station. Video below is a glimpse of the demonstration.

While the transatlantic stenographers do their belly-bumping phony piety in lamentations over the 6 January invasion of the US Capitol by Trump supporters and various undercovers, and fake rend their clothing over 25,000 National Guard soldiers (to protect 1,435 senators and congress members) they remain arrogantly mute over the ongoing kidnappings, murders, bombings, water deprivation and destruction of essential infrastructure in the Arabic, Muslim-majority country of Syria.

The twenty convoy trucks that smuggled more stolen Syrian grain into Iraq were protected by illegal, armored, US vehicles. NATO supremacy means stealing other people’s foods. This massive theft was a follow up to the massive Syrian barley theft of 10 January, which also had the NATO stenographer supremacists on mute.

Trump forces smuggle stolen Syrian grains to Iraq
Trump forces loot and smuggle Syrian grains to Iraq

Depriving a civilian population of their water is also a war crime. In October 2019, NATO Madman Erdogan bombed the electrical grid at the Alouk station. The Syrian electricity army repairs it, after which Erdogan bombed it again, after which it was again repaired, after which Erdogan’s forces invaded and occupied the water plant. NATO supremacy also means trying to crush other people’s countries by stealing their water.

The demonic SDF separatists were originally created under the NATO supremacist Obama regime, which collected international wetworkers to teach the subsequent cannon fodder how to terrorize the Syrian population. During the Obama years, atrocities against Syria were perpetrated ‘by accident,’ as when he meant to war criminally bomb ISIS but accidentally slaughtered 83 Syrian soldiers defending their homeland.

 

The Trump regime expanded on Obama’s war crimes, intentionally bombed Syrian soldiers for al Qaeda, and set up criminal military bases in Syria (whereas Obama only sent in ‘spec operatives.’ See “Cue the Illegal Orangettes,” here.).

Today, a “weapons shop” run under Madman Erdogan’s al Qaeda forces in Idlib, blew up. It was located in a crowded market, near to a school. Western propagandists have remained silent on this atrocity, also. Imagine such a scene in Paris, London, Berlin, Philly, or Los Angeles being normalized:

Idlib explosion in weapons shop kills one person

Since the “deadly siege” on the US Capitol, 6 January, western supremacists have been aghast, horrified by a small fraction of what those western supremacists do to non-western countries, with impunity, on daily basis. Our unindicted war criminals that drop NATO weapons into the hands of savage beasts in Syria, call the psychopaths “freedom fighters” and cheer the horrors they perpetrate on the Syrian people, in the name of the imperial paraphilia, “democracy.”

Here are some examples of our glorious freedom and democracy, in DC, today, as inauguration day approaches; it does give the appearance of a military occupation, the type of which our terrified politicians in the Capitol on the first Wednesday of the first month of the new year, have imposed on mostly brown-skinned and/or Muslim majority countries for decades.

 

Some of the detritus, hysteria, and shame/lessness of DC may eventually be put into a box labeled “Trump,” and we shall probably return to our collective criminal work as imperial NATO supremacists, entitled to tying up those tedious loose ends of uppity countries refusing to be crushed by western humanitarian democracy.

When that time comes, may we watch Syria’s President Bashar al Assad, walking freely and safely among his fellow countrymen and women, and may we honestly denounce the supremacists among us.

— Miri Wood

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واشنطن تحت وطأة الانقلاب الفاشل وأميركا تتآكل من الداخل..!

محمد صادق الحسيني

لم يعُد هناك أي مجال للشك والترديد أو الارتياب بأنّ ما كان يدّعيه الأميركيون بأنّ ديمقراطيتهم هي نهاية التاريخ كما ادّعى وزعم منظّرهم فوكوياما، باتت اليوم على شفير الهاوية وذاهبة لتأخذ أميركا الى الخراب الشامل..!

وما جرى في واشنطن قبل أيام من أحداث عنف دامية دليل وبرهان قاطع لا يقبل الدحض أو النقض..!

والذي أكد في ما أكد اشتراك شخص الرئيس الأميركي المنتهية ولايته في كلّ ما جرى من خراب…!

وفي هذا السياق فقد أكدت مصادر واسعة الاطلاع من مراكز صنع القرار الأميركي بأنّ الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب قاد كلّ عمليات التظاهر والتمرّد الأخيرة في واشنطن من خلال غرفة عمليات مخصصة لهذا الغرض كانت تضمّه مع بعض من افراد عائلته وعدد من رهطه (الأمن الخاص لديه تقارير مصوّرة عن ذلك) والذي يثبت أنّ ترامب هو شخصياً كان متورّطاً بعملية قيادة الجموع المقتحمة لمجمع الكاپيتول هيل في إطار عملية انقلابية كانت تهدف الى ما يلي:

1

ـ منع الكونغرس من التصديق على انتخاب بايدن.

2

ـ حرق الكونغرس بعد العبث بكلّ محتوياته.

3

ـ أخذ رهائن من مجلسي النواب والشيوخ وتعطيل الكونغرس لفترة طويلة بهدف ضمان بقائه في البيت الأبيض. إن جهاز الشرطة التابع للكونغرس متورط بإدخال المقتحمين.

هذا وقد ثبت من خلال التحقيقات الاولية بأنّ كلاً من ابن سلمان وابن زايد متورّطين بضخ أموال لترامب وأنصاره لعمل هذه الفوضى في الكونغرس وفي الشارع الأميركي لجرّ الشعب الأميركي إلى مربع الصراع ومربع العنف.

ويبدو أنّ هذه المعلومات كانت متوفرة لدى قيادة الحزب الديمقراطي والسيدة نانسي بيلوسي بشكل خاص والتي تعتبر من الرموز المخابراتية من الوزن الثقيل.

وهذا الأمر بالذات هو الذي دفع رئيسة المجلس الى اتخاذ إجراءات سريعة كانت مأخوذة بعين الاعتبار سلفاً، حيث تمّ أخذ كافة الأعضاء في المجلسين الى قاعات آمنة ومن ثم قامت بالاتصال العاجل بالخدمة السريّة للبيت الأبيض وهي قوة تعتبر تابعة للقوة الخفيّة التي تحمي أميركا الدولة القوية وكذلك بالـ وسائر القوى المعنية فقامت بتطويق كل المربع الخاص بالكونغرس والبالغة مساحته نحو 13 هكتاراً واقتحامه وإخلاء القاعات من الرعاع والمتمردين من جماعة ترامب بمهنيّة عالية جداً وإعادة الأوضاع الى ما قبل الاقتحام في مدة لم تتجاوز 4 ساعات..!

تصاعد التوتر داخل مباني الكاپيتول وخوف الدولة العميقة من انفلات الوضع وانتقاله الى سائر الولايات، وهو ما كان يتمناه ترامب هو الذي دفع بالدولة العميقة بالعمل سريعاً لإنقاذ العاصمة واشنطن من خلال الدفع بقوات دعم أمنية وصلت إليها من فرجينيا ونيوجيرسي وميريلاند.. ولما اشتدّ الوطيس وصار الخطر اكبر دخلت قوات «الخدمة السرية» الخاصة على الخط فوراً وهي القوة التي تشكلت في العام 1865 بعد انتهاء الحرب الأهلية الأميركية والتابعة لوزارة الامن الداخلي، والمكلفة بحماية كبار الشخصيات والرؤساء، وذات المهمات الخاصة في الملمات لتطلب من ترامب التوقف فوراً عن مغامرته والقيام بتسجيل صوتي – وليس الظهور الحر على التلفزيون – لسحب جماعاته فوراً تحت طائلة التهديد بالعقاب الصارم، مجبرة إياه على القيام بالمهمة فور انتهاء خطاب الرئيس المنتخب جو بايدن من دون تأخير (والذي طلب منه ايضاً للخروج بخطابه الى الرأي العام للغرض نفسه)…!

وهكذا رضخ ترامب للأمر وقرّر التراجع مكرهاً، ففشل الانقلاب..!

هذا السيناريو الترامبي والسيناريو المضاد الذي قضى على التمرّد وأحبط الانقلاب في واشنطن العاصمة لن يمرّ بشكل عادي على الحياة السياسية الأميركية، بل انّ تداعياته خطيرة جداً وهي التي ربما ستجعل أميركا توضع على جادة إما الحرب الأهلية وإما التآكل من الداخل والانهيار رويداً رويداً…!

ما حصل ليلة الانقلاب الفاشل لم يكن ابن ليلته، بل هو تراكم فعل وفعل مضاد لفساد النظام السياسي الحاكم في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية …!

أميركا بانت على حقيقتها ديمقراطية فاشلة وهشة وكاذبة!

انها إعجاز نخل خاوية وهشيم تذروه الرياح.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

ترامب يخسر آخر حروبه و سيف العزل فوق رأسه

ناصر قنديل

خلال يوم واحد خسر الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب كل أوراقه، ولم تعد ثمة حاجة لمناقشة الاختلال العقلي الذي يصيبه من زوايا ارتكاباته في منطقتنا. فالتعبير طغى يوم أمس على وصف ترامب في وسائل الإعلام الأميركية، وصولاً لما ورد في رسالة نواب ديمقراطيين وجمهوريين في الكونغرس الى نائب الرئيس مايك بنس لبدء مسار عزل ترامب بداعي الاختلال العقلي، ويكفي النظر لوضع ترامب خلال أربع وعشرين ساعة ورؤية حجم الضرر الذي جلبته حماقاته عليه، للتحقق من صدق الوصف بالاختلال العقلي.

كان ترامب قد حصل على حسم الحزب الجمهوري للقبول باعتماد ترشيحه للرئاسة في 2024، وكان ترامب قد نجح بدمج جمهوره المتطرف والغوغائي بجمهور الحزب الجمهوري، وكان ترامب يأمل بفوز المرشحين الجمهوريين بمقعدي مجلس الشيوخ، وكان ترامب يأمل بامتلاك فرصة التحكم بالكثير من البيئة المحيطة بالولاية الرئاسية للرئيس جو بايدن من خلال ما يستطيع فعله خلال ما تبقى من ولايته، لكن ترامب كان يطمح لما هو أكثر، فوضع خطة لقلب الطاولة تبدأ بتحرك حشود مؤيديه نحو الكونغرس لمنع حسم شرعية فوز بايدن التي يتولاها الكونغرس وفقاً للدستور.

ليس واضحاً بعد ما إذا كان الاختلال العقلي لترامب وراء مشهد اقتحام الكونغرس أم أن هناك من نجح باستدراج الاقتحام لإلحاق هذا “العار الديمقراطي” بترامب ودفع الحزب الجمهوري الى واجهة المواجهة معه، لكن الحصيلة هي الأهم في النهاية، فقد حمل ترامب مسؤولية المشهد الذي أصاب صورة الديمقراطية الأميركية المؤسسية بجرح بليغ ورسم شكوكاً حول قدرتها، رغم النجاح بتجاوز الأزمة هذه المرة، لكن السابقة حصلت، وهي تهديد الكونغرس من قبل أحد المرشحين الخاسرين، خارج إطار الاحتكام للمؤسسات الدستورية والقضائية، والسابقة صارت قابلة للتكرار.

الحصيلة أن ترامب وجد نفسه محاصراً داخل الحزب الجمهوري، وقد أجبر على دعوة مناصريه للذهاب الى بيوتهم، وأن نائبه بنس قام بإدارة عملية تثبيت رئاسة بايدن وبات المرشح البديل لترامب لرئاسة 2024، وأن جمهور الحزب الجمهوري قد انفصل كلياً عن جمهور ترامب الذي تحول الى شريحة ضيقة قادرة على المشاغبة، لكنها عاجزة عن صنع السياسة من دون الحزب الجمهوري، وهي الأقلية البيضاء المتطرفة، وأن الحزب الجمهوري خسر مقعدي الكونغرس في جورجيا وصار الديمقراطيون ممسكين بناصية البيت البيض والكونغرس بغرفتيه، ما يُضعف قدرة الجمهوريين على المشاركة في إدارة البلاد، وأن ترامب اضطر الى إعلان قبوله تسليم السلطة لبادين في الـ 20 من الشهر الحالي، والأهم أن سيف العزل بات مسلطاً فوق رقبة ترامب إذا ما غامر بالذهاب إلى اي مغامرة، فالوزراء وخصوصاً نائب الرئيس الذين لا بدّ أن يمر عبرهم أي تصرف احمق لترامب يتربصون به لبدء مسار العزل إذا بدرت ملامح اختلال عقلي جديد.

سيذكّر التاريخ ترامب كرئيس أميركي أحمق، وسيطوي الأكاذيب التي روّج لها بصفته رئيساً تاريخياً، لكن أميركا ستبقى تجرجر أذيال ما فعله داخلياً وخارجياً، فالعالم الذي تركه ترامب من بعده لا يختلف عن أميركا التي يتركها، حيث الخراب يعمّ كل شيء والترميم يحتاج جرأة نادرة ربما ليست متاحة للرئيس الجديد، بحيث تبدو أميركا ويبدو العالم أمام إدارة الخراب أكثر مما يبدوان أمام خطة لإعادة البناء.

فيديوات ذات صلة

مقالات ذات صلة

Mind blowing hypocrisy!

Mind blowing hypocrisy!

January 06, 2021

The Saker

I just listened to Trey Gowdy and a few others GOP big-shots condemn the “terrible violations of the law” committed by the protestors today and I take my hat off to these folks: they are truly world class hypocrites.

When cops and mayors refuse to protect the innocent, the rule of law is doing great!

When the letter soup agencies spend millions on a typical witch hunt, the rule of law is doing great!

When the First Amendment is being destroyed by Big Tech, the rule of law is doing great!

When the corporate legacy ziomedia brazenly silences the President, and simply does not report on crucial events, the rule of law is doing great!

When elections are stolen, the rule of law is doing great!

When courts refuse to enforce the law, the rule of law is doing great!

When the Supreme Court refuses to defend the Constitution, the rule of law is doing great!

But when the people, literally, those whom the elected officials are supposed to represent, demonstrate all day peacefully and then a few, not necessarily even Trump supporters (false flags are very easy to organize with crowds!), storm the halls of Congress, then the GOP bigshots take to the air and lament the “tragedy” of the law being violated.

No country and no regime can stand on such truly galactic levels of doublethink, hypocrisy and cowardice.

This is the beginning of the end of this regime.

My thoughts tonight are with the “deplorables”.  In the prophetic words of George Orwell:

“If there was hope, it must lie in the proles, because only there, in those swarming disregarded masses, eighty-five percent of the population of Oceania, could the force to destroy the Party ever be generated. The Party could not be overthrown from within. Its enemies, if it had any enemies, had no way of coming together or even of identifying one another. Even if the legendary Brotherhood existed, as just possibly it might, it was inconceivable that its members could ever assemble in larger numbers than twos and threes. Rebellion meant a look in the eyes, an inflection of the voice; at the most, an occasional whispered word. But the proles, if only they could somehow become conscious of their own strength, would have no need to conspire. They need only to rise up and shake themselves like a horse shaking off flies. If they chose they could blow the Party to pieces tomorrow morning. Surely sooner or later it must occur to them to do it.”  

Orwell’s “proles” are our “deplorables”.  And for all the self-evident weaknesses and delusions, they are the only ones left, literally, and they will have to be the soil from which the liberation of the USA will have to begin.

The rest of them make me feel nauseated.

US Senate Reconvenes for Electoral College Vote Count with Heavily Armed Guards After Capitol Siege

US Senate Reconvenes for Electoral College Vote Count with Heavily Armed Guards After Capitol Siege

By Staff, Agencies

American lawmakers gathered to continue certifying Electoral College votes for the 2020 race, reconvening at the Capitol hours after a massive group of demonstrators stormed the building, prompting an evacuation of officials.

The House and Senate made another attempt to certify votes around 8pm on Wednesday night, resuming the process following an eruption of violence in Washington, DC, which saw hundreds of Trump supporters storm the Capitol, occupying the chambers for several hours before they were cleared out by law enforcement.

While a number of GOP lawmakers had planned to object to the vote certification, alleging irregularities in the presidential race, asked about the matter before Congress regrouped, Republican Senator Rand Paul (Kentucky) said he did not expect any serious objections the second time around.

“In consultation with [House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer] and [House Whip Jim Clyburn] and after calls to the Pentagon, the Justice Department and the Vice President, we have decided we should proceed tonight at the Capitol once it is cleared for use,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement ahead of the second effort to certify.

Security forces clad in heavy body armor were stationed near the Senate floor on Wednesday night, with piles of gear seen strewn across the building’s hallways. House Democrat Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries earlier reported that the Capitol had been cleared, and that lawmakers would return “when it is safe.”

Staffers were allowed back inside through underground tunnels, seen in a photo shared on Twitter by NBC correspondent Garrett Haake.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell [R-Kentucky] addressed the day’s events when the body reconvened.

“The United States Senate will not be intimidated. We will not be kept out of this chamber by thugs, mobs or threats. We will not bow to lawlessness or intimidation. We are back at our post, we will discharge our duty under the Constitution and for our nation – and we’re gonna do it tonight,” he said.

One woman was fatally shot as rioters attempted to breach the Senate chamber, captured in disturbing footage circulating online. She was seen leaving the building on a stretcher and later died of her injuries, according to law enforcement sources.

A 6pm curfew was ordered across the nation’s capital amid the chaos, as well as in nearby Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, where Governor Ralph Northam has also declared a state of emergency. DC’s National Guard unit was “fully activated” to assist local police.

Legislators had only just begun the certification process when the violence erupted, part of the formal procedure to transfer power to President-elect Joe Biden. President Trump and his supporters maintain the 2020 race was plagued by extensive voter fraud and had repeatedly called on Republican lawmakers, as well as Vice President Mike Pence, to challenge the Electoral College count. Pence, however, signaled earlier on Wednesday that he would not do so, arguing he lacked the authority to invalidate votes. His refusal, however, did little to calm the swarm of Trump supporters gathered outside the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon.

US Congress in Turmoil as Violent Trump Supporters Breach Building

US Congress in Turmoil as Violent Trump Supporters Breach Building

By Staff, Agencies

Violent supporters of US President Donald Trump have breached the Capitol in Washington, as lawmakers met to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s poll win.

In dramatic scenes, demonstrators swarmed the building as Congress members were escorted out by police.

A joint session of Congress had been counting and confirming Electoral College votes but has been suspended and forced into recess.

There are reports of guns drawn in the building and at least one person shot.

A woman was reported to be in a critical condition after receiving a neck injury.

There has been an armed confrontation at the doors of the House of Representatives. Tear gas has also been used.

Members of Congress have been told to evacuate the building or remain where they are. One congresswoman tweeted that she was staying in her office.

Trump urged people to remain peaceful and respect law enforcement officials.

Vice-President Mike Pence called on the rioters to leave the Capitol immediately, saying the violence and destruction “must stop now”.

Trump’s spokeswoman, Kayleigh McEnany, tweeted that the National Guard was being deployed.

Rioters were seen marching through the building chanting “We want Trump” and one was photographed in the Senate president’s chair.

A citywide curfew has been declared from 18:00 to 06:00 [23:00 to 11:00 GMT] by Washington DC’s mayor.

There are also reports of protests at state legislatures in Kansas and Georgia.

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