Hezbollah the Beautiful

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TAXI • NOVEMBER 24, 2020 • 3,800 WORDS

A warrior’s soul sleeps in his fist. Wakes in his fist. Till his dying breath, will exist in his fist.

No gun and no mortal danger can unfold this fist. A warrior will live and die with his fist clenched.

This is not for love of violence nor for the thrills of war. Not because of a demented passion for death either. This is because a warrior knows that even in times of peace, evil and evil-doers lurk in the shadow of peace.

Warriorship is vocational. It is non-mercenary. Non-materialistic. Non-negotiable. True warriorhood is purely defensive. It is fixated solely on the protection of a higher justice and defense of self and the meek. It is never predatory. A warrior is steeped in a culture of righteous dignity and martyrdom. Humble dignity. And a sacred martyrdom. A true warrior is not an ordinary soldier, nor a celebrated figure from either media or mythology. A true warrior is real. And rare. A true warrior is the only class of human capable of kissing death right in the eyeball. There is no fear of the infinite black void in the heart of a true warrior.

Throughout history, cultures under duress and attack by covetous enemies have produced their own brand of warrior. Native American Indians gave us the ‘Braves’. Japan gave us the ‘Samurai’. France gave us Joan of Arc. Africa gave us ‘Warrior Queen Amina’. And modern Lebanon has given us, Hezbollah.

Hezbollah: currently the world’s most successful warrior-resistor group fighting against the most malevolent of all modern abominations, otherwise known as the Axis of Evil (US, Israel, and their Western and Arab-Wahabi allies). Hezbollah is also currently the most reviled of all warriors. This is because unable to defeat Hezbollah on the battlefield, and after already spending some $11 billion on many failed coups and smear campaigns this past decade, the Axis of Evil is now reduced to merely attacking Hezbollah with malicious lies and false accusations. To demonize Hezbollah, to sully their immaculate reputation in a vast and global media campaign is about the only weapon left in the hands of the Axis of Evil. This defamation offensive may work on some uninformed people, but indeed it will not weaken Hezbollah’s phenomenal abilities on the battlefield. This agitating agitprop will not change any facts on the ground. It will be but more of your tax dollars wasted on a chimera.

Hezbollah is noble, yet not royal. Its warriors and leaders are essentially from working-class, farming communities who grouped themselves to repel a vicious, colonial and genocidal invader, otherwise known as Israel. Some thirty years after the birth of their resistance group, Hezbollah remain exceptionally humble and profoundly rooted in their modest beginnings. Even though Hezbollah has lost warriors in combat, the number of its martyrs has been relatively low, and it has yet to lose a single battle or war in its 30+ years of existence. And despite its stellar successes on the battlefield, Hezbollah remains unostentatious and merciful in victory. Most notable and impressive of all, Hezbollah’s leadership does not practice chicanery, skullduggery or monkeyshines. They simply do not lie. Not once has its leadership deceived or duped its fighters, its allies or supporters. Consistently true to their word, even Israeli Jewish citizens, according to Israeli polls, believe what Hezbollah’s leadership says above their own leaders in Tel Aviv. This is because time and time again, what Hezbollah says simply and truly ‘is’, and what it promises, it always delivers. And, indeed, it has outsmarted its bulkier enemy at every turn of the road and delivered.

All their battles have been for defensive reasons. ALL of them. They are exceptionally well-disciplined and focused on the task of righteous liberation from cruel and oppressive forces. Their training system produces no traitors and no Mammonites easily seduced by the lure of wealth, physical pleasures, or political status. They are therefore beyond blackmail. Beyond distraction from their cause. Steeped in a culture of martyrdom that’s inspired by the prophet Mohammad’s grandson Hussein and his agonizing martyrdom, a passion-cause and agony that’s parallel to the martyrdom culture of the Christian prophet Jesus, Hezbollah’s warriors are beyond the corruption of soul.

Their training is two-pronged. They are trained in agile guerilla combat, while simultaneously taught a righteous philosophy that in essence is religio-spiritual. A philosophy inspired by their fundamental belief in a just and compassionate god, a god who rewards the faithful and true. This is precisely what distinguishes them from other armies: their absolute philosophical and physical commitment to a righteous god. Although deeply religious and strictly committed to Islam, they are remarkably tolerant of other sects, other faiths and cultures, as exampled by their recent willing martyrdom in defense of Syrian Sunnis, Druze and Alawites, as well as their heroic defense of Christian villages and their ancient Churches in the Levant. Hezbollah warriors have sacrificed their own lives to liberate the very progeny of the original Christians of the world who still reside in the Levant; liberate them from Western and Israeli-backed ISISian terrorists and invaders. Worth mentioning here too, according to a Lebanese General I spoke to, is that Hezbollah are also the protectors of the last remaining Jewish synagogue and its community in Lebanon, numbered at approximately 400 Lebanese adherents. Perhaps here it’s also germane to add that during their wars against Israel, Hezbollah’s leadership have even earnestly embraced and supported the resistance efforts of godless Lebanese communist groups fighting against the invading Jewish army. They have broken bread with and befriended the godless and the godfull alike in the name of fighting and deterring a genocidal and kleptomaniac enemy. Hezbollah remains bonded and intimately close to other Lebanese resistance groups, even in times of peace. Their friendships are always genuine, devoid of exploitative and fickle realpolitik. They are interested and concerned with uniting their countryfolk, not dividing or dominating them. They support a peaceful and equitable co-existence between the 18 legally recognized religions and sects of the Lebanon, whose population count is currently at 6.825 million. It is of historic record that they have even given immunity to Lebanese traitors who colluded with Israel during its 18 year occupation of Lebanon.

Hezbollah follows strict moral rules of war that do not allow for the wanton killing of the enemy: repulsion of enemy and not massacre of enemy is their first and foremost tactic – and if this proves insufficient, then annihilating their enemy becomes a permissible and sanctified necessity. Their Islamic rules of war insist on the humanitarian treatment of POW’s and Hezbollah always obliges. They are trained to be impeccably well-mannered towards their captives: trained not just in strategic guerilla warfare, but also educated in the lofty principles of charity and mercy toward the captured and repentant. They do not abuse victory by claiming sole power: they believe in power-sharing with their compatriots, even with those who never stepped foot on the battlefield.

Hezbollah is supreme, yet evidently not supremacist.

They never break their laws of war for fear of their god. They would rather literally die than break these laws that displease their god. They follow their religio-philosophical and military protocol with absolute precision; and they practice devoted respect and trust in the righteousness of their commanders and cause. Extrajudicial executions are forbidden, and so is the unjustified assault on their enemy. They do not shoot at unarmed women, children or men either. They do not target the handicapped sitting in their wheelchairs like the Israeli army and other Jewish security apparatuses regularly do. They do not invade, they liberate. Hezbollah is a reactive and defensive resistor and not an army of usurpers and psychopaths hellbent on mass murder and the looting of what is not rightfully theirs.

Their resistance culture is humanist. Through and through.

They strive for a just and peaceful world, no matter the cost to their own lives. Indeed, they live for martyrdom; they yearn for martyrdom in the cause of a just and peaceful world. They rank martyrdom as the absolute highest achievement in life.

“We don’t fear death as our death is martyrdom. Martyrdom means eternally living close to our god. Living close to god is the ultimate point in the ascension of mankind: cannot be achieved except through martyrdom” – a Hezbollah warrior.

There is a trinity of principles contained in Hezbollah’s martyrdom philosophy. They are willing to die for three principled notions: for god, for family, and for nation. They live and die for nothing else but for god, family and nation. I can’t stress enough how important their triadic life-philosophy is for them. As faith-filled warriors, they do not ever separate from this soulful philosophy, or ever discard it while at war or even during peace time – not even momentarily, not even for a nano second. Their martyrdom philosophy is their very oxygen. Their very spine. They are consistent in their profound commitment to their divine, triangular philosophy. This is the mother of absolutes for them. This supplies them with infinite, fearless courage. This inspires their attachment and love of righteous, disciplined behavior and focused intent. This provides them with infinite determination; with boundless physical and mental legerity. During warfare training, and on the battlefield and off, they remain intimately connected to this inspirational triangle of motives. In their universe, the muscle, the moral and the divine are eternally wedded. This is the very reason behind their unbroken record of victories and their continuing and increased strength and popularity across the world.

Hezbollah reveres their god above all else – their supernal god sits atop their spiritual pyramid, directly linked below to the two sacred earthly duties of protecting family and nation. Hezbollah warriors value this triadic configuration above even their own lives. They connect their earthly duties towards family and nation directly to the service of their celestial god. Their god requires their unflinching faith and their protection of ‘tribe and land’, and Hezbollah warriors, they are willingly servants who selflessly submit to the absolute reverence of god and protection of family and nation. This noble aegis pleases their god: Hezbollah warriors live for nothing but to please their god, therefore they will never break or dissolve the divine contract they’ve undertaken with their god. Their enemy should be aware and beware: they will actively neutralize any and all threats to this divine equation – even at the cost of their own lives. This is their only mission on earth: reverence of god, defense and protection of family and land. This is Hezbollah’s manifesto in a nutshell. Nothing less than that. Nothing beyond that.

Their resistance model and system has gained much traction and spread outside of their Levantean locale: from the punishing dunes of Yemen and all the way to South America, from the Fertile Crescent and right across the continent of Asia, Hezbollah’s resistance model has spread and continues to be received with open arms, much to the chagrin of their pernicious, defeated enemies.

Hezbollah’s other unique quality is that of sober patience. They are exceptionally adept at the art of patience: their carpet-weaving Iranian friends have taught them this necessary life-skill and they’ve artfully applied this mental discipline to all their war and battle strategies. Believing their faith in their god is permanent and unbreakable, yet everything worldly is changeable, they therefore patiently play the long game against their enemy with utter confidence and evident success.

Yet, despite all the above factual and admirable qualities, their enemies and their enemies’ global media megaphones label Hezbollah as ‘narco-terrorist’ and ‘Islamic terrorist’. Accusing the Hezbollah of trafficking drugs is no different in absurdity than accusing Mother Teresa of global heroin-trading. Everyone who knows Hezbollah’s MO knows that their warriors and their leadership live a clean and sober life. They do not even drop f-bombs or cuss dirty words at their enemy. They are as clean-tongued and clean-living, as humble and ‘gracious as the morn’. Knowing the lifestyle and philosophy that Hezbollah strictly adheres to on the battlefield and off, it is simply inconceivable that Hezbollah would displease their god by running local and international drug rings that ruin people’s lives, break up families and weaken nations. This preposterous accusation belongs to the long list of perfidious lies manufactured by their enemies, who themselves, in fact, participate in international drug trading and trafficking, with the CIA running the lucrative global opium trade of Afghanistan, and the Mossad running the global Ecstasy drug trade in Europe and America.

Unable thus to find a military Achilles’s heel and character fault in their MO, Hezbollah’s enemies have produced a long litany of alleged crimes without ever providing even a single shred of evidence of wrongdoing. Hezbollah’s enemies have added Hezbollah’s good name to their infamously politicized ‘terrorist list’ without even once providing proof and irrefutable substantiation of terrorist activity. Let us here together therefore look at this list of accusations below – and please you will be mindful that if Hezbollah terrorism against the US were in fact true, that there exists actual evidence of Hezbollah terrorism against the United States, Lebanon, especially the south of Lebanon where Hezbollah is based, would have already received a decisive and fatal American ‘Shock and Awe’ treatment.

There is absolutely no proof whatsoever that Hezbollah’s leadership has ever ordered or committed the following: the 1983 truck bombing on the US embassy in Beirut; as well as the bombing of US and French barracks in the same year. The bombing of a restaurant near the US Air force base in Torrejon, Spain; the car bombing of the US embassy annex in Beirut; and the hijacking of a Kuwait Airlines plane – all in the year 1984. The hijacking of TWA flight #847 in 1985. The abduction and execution of three Lebanese Jews in 1986, under the pseudonym of the ‘Organization of the Oppressed on Earth’. The murder of three Saudi diplomats in 1988. The assassination of a Saudi secretary in Bangkok in 1989. The assassination of two more Saudi diplomats and a telex operator at the Saudi embassy in Bangkok in 1990; as well as the kidnapping and murder of a Saudi businessman in Bangkok in the same year. The murder of Ehud Sadan, a security chief at the Israeli embassy in Ankara; as well as the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires back in 1992. The failed attempted murder of a Turkish-Jewish community leader in Istanbul in 1993. The failed attempt at car-bombing the Israeli embassy in Thailand; and the suicide bombing of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association building in Buenos Aires – all in year 1984. The truck bombing at the US portion of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996. The assassination of former Lebanese PM, Rafic Hariri, in 2005. The attack on a bus in Bulgaria that was full of Israeli vacationers back in 2012. And many, many more ‘failed this and attempted that’ terrorism activities falsely pinned on Hezbollah by no less than its enemy Israel and its agents in the US and Europe, and by its gruesome Wahabi-Arabian foes.

A handful of the above false and politicized accusations are on a continuous rotation in the Jewish and Western media, yet not even a semblance of proof is ever provided to the reading public. Relying on Islamophobic media trends, these accusations of terrorism are published and republished over and over again, in the hope that hearsay will eventually prevail as fact in the minds of reasonable people. In other words, the above allegations are nothing but propagandistic slings and arrows aimed at demonizing an undefeated and righteous resistance group. Interestingly, despite these aggressive propaganda operations against the Hezbollah, neither its fighting skills or vigor have been damped, nor have these misinformation assaults halted the spread of its popularity around the the world. Even the military academies of its enemies, in silent admiration now include the study of Hezbollah’s supreme tactics and warfare strategies in their curriculum, thus confirming the high caliber of their fighting skills and war philosophy. One cannot separate Hezbollah’s war strategies from the foundation of their humanist philosophy. Both are always employed in tandem. Hezbollah always leave an exit passage for their enemy to retreat through during an ambush.

Hezbollah receives enthusiastic moral support from Muslim as well as non-Muslim nations. From Eastern and from some Western nations. Hezbollah is respected, loved and revered in the four corners of the world – including appreciation by some citizens in enemy nations who are mentally unmolested by their State propaganda. This is not just because humans by nature love an undefeated war hero. This is because the humble Hezbollah has successfully established itself as an army of the people, by the people, for the people. And here lies the essence of its true popularity. A Lebanese force of good that’s comprised ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’ is no different than the beloved American constitutional motto of a government ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’. What Hezbollah has achieved for its nation and for its compatriots as a resistance group, American politicians are yet to actually demonstrate and realize for the benefit of the American people.

Why is that?

This is because the Lebanese have clearly defined their enemy as Israel, whereas the American collective has yet to identify its insidious internal enemy as ‘Jewish power’. Jewish power that has risen through unsavory and un-American tribal cronyism, nepotism, blackmail and coercion. Jewish supremacy that has been blatantly dominant of American life internally and American foreign policy internationally for the past 60+ years (since the Kennedy assassination, in fact). Jewish power that has essentially been corrosive and disfiguring of American traditional life domestically, and ruinous upon its purse and reputation internationally. But, if the Lebanese can so successfully circumvent and repeatedly defeat abusive Jewish power, then so can Americans who live under the boot of an overtly anti-democratic Jewish occupation. The recent shredding of our beloved First Amendment is but the latest victim of Jewish tyranny, and an undeniable expression of their hate of our democracy.

But, for Americans to liberate themselves, they first need to overcome all the gauntlets and weapons of mass distraction, all the social-engineering and numerous other dumbing-down projects that American elite Jews and their lobby have insidiously imposed on American citizen and politician alike. For Americans to be truly free and independent, and they are a captive people at present, they need to first bypass all the Jewish-engineered and sponsored divisions inside of America. Divisions like Identitarian politics, race-baiting and race disharmony, Jewish-owned Hollywood’s demonization of traditional American values, Neoliberalism, globalism, the Federal Reserve, Wall Street, Mainstream media, most of Altmedia – and the long list goes on. They also need to discard and rebel against imposed mental pollutants like the mandatory teaching of the fake Anne Frank book in their schools; and most certainly, they also need to reject the funding of all those hideous Holocaust museums that operate to enable ongoing Jewish crimes against Americans by portraying the Jews as the ‘eternal victims with special needs’. All these holocaust museums are no more than propaganda factories paid for by your own tax dollars, not by Israeli Shekels or by private Jewish donations. It is the height of absurdity that Americans should be paying for their own brainwash and mental enslavement. Americans need to, ABOVE ALL, reclaim their First Amendment right that’s been hijacked and recently ripped to shreds by Jewish power. Americans need to regain their freedom of speech and be able to call a spade, a spade, and a Jew, a Jew.

There is no understating how many Jewish chains are already wrapped around the American mind and body. That’s your individual mind and body I speak of.

Begs the question here: where is your dignity and self-respect, dear American? Where is your honor and warriorhood? Where are the fruits of your labor that you’ve invested in your family and country year after year? It is not in your own hands, and it is not being spent on your community either. The Jewish lobby has made sure that your freedom and your tax dollars go first and foremost and directly towards serving the state of Israel. The Jewish lobby has killed your democracy, created social devastation right across the nation and fleeced your hard-earned tax dollars to benefit the klepto and oppressive state of Israel. The Jewish lobby has been treating you no different than a nation of slaves it socially engineers and owns. Presently, America is not in a state of justice and grace. Americans of all colors and stripes are not a free people. America is no longer ‘the beautiful’. America is under occupation by tribal Jewish power. And the Lebanese? The Lebanese, despite their mountain of current internal crisis, are in fact living a well-earned liberated life. The bruised Lebanese are in fact a freer people than the Americans are. A life of freedom from occupation gifted to them by the consistently vigilant and sacrificial Hezbollah. Hezbollah the patriot. Hezbollah, the beautiful.

When will citizens of the West and of America realize that Hezbollah is by far more on their side than the tax-fleecing, warmongering Zion? After all, Hezbollah exists to liberate, not to rob the Mints of Europe and America, not to warmonger for wars of choice that cost mega dollars and Euros and rivers of blood. And most certainly, Hezbollah does not in any measure oppress the Western people’s rights to freedom of speech – a right that the Israel lobbies of Europe and America are fixated on denying the people.

Where is your own Hezbollah, dear American? Where is your resistance to your occupier? Where is your resisting mind? Your resisting vote? Your resisting words? Your resisting art? Your resisting gun?

As an American expat witnessing the damage and dire divisions inflicted on our society by Jewish elites, I advise you not turn your guns against one another. This is absolutely a ruinous folly. This is what your insidious occupier is betting on. Your division emboldens and empowers them. To fleece more out of you for the sake of Israel, the enemy in your midst needs you further divided and weaker. Do not submit, but do circumvent. Circumvention through unity. You do not have to love one another to death, but you do have to unite and resist against your enemy within if a life of freedom, peace and prosperity is what you think you deserve. Unite despite your differences. Unite despite your rage. This is your key to liberation.

‘By deception thou shalt do war’. This is the Israeli motto.

‘Live free or die’. This is an American motto. It is also a Hezbollah motto.(Republished from Plato’s Guns by permission of author or representative)

Israeli strikes in Syria: Iran reveals extent of losses & warns Tel Aviv ايران تحذر الصهاينة من الاستمرار في أكاذيبهم

Source: Al-Alam, July 17, 2020

Translation: resistancenews.org

Iranian Armed Forces’ spokesman Brigadier General Abu Al-Fadl Shukarji has warned Zionists against continuing their lies about targeting Iranian sites in Syria.

ايران تحذر الصهاينة من الاستمرار في أكاذيبهم

Brigadier Shikarji added that only 8 Iranian advisers have found martyrdom under Israeli strikes during the 9 years of their legal presence in Syria, while stressing that Iranian forces have retaliated to Zionist attacks: he pointed out that when an Iranian adviser found martyrdom under Zionist fire 6 years ago, the Resistance retaliated by killing 5 Zionist soldiers in Palestine.

See Nasrallah: Syria triumphs, Israel is waging an imaginary war 

Brigadier Shikarji added that when the Zionists targeted the T-4 base in Syria, the Resistance responded by targeting their bases in the Golan with 50 missiles and shells.

Claiming that the Zionists have used the media in psychological warfare to present themselves under an apperance of strength in Syria, he warned them not to continue their lies about targeting Iranian sites in Syria and said: “If the Zionists continue their criminal behavior, we will make it clear that Iran has the upper hand.”

See Nasrallah: Syrian response shook Israel and shattered its prestige

Brigadier Shikarji revealed the names of Iranian martyrs in Syria killed by Zionist attacks:

1 – Martyr HujjatAllah Nujmani

2 – Martyr Mortadha Basiri Bour

3 – Martyr Muhammad Mahdi Lutfi Nyaser

4 – Martyr Ammar Mousawi

5 – Martyr Akbar Zouwar Jannati.

6 – Martyr Muhammad Ali Allah Dadi

7 – Martyr Hamid Rezai

8 – Martyr Mahdi Dahqan Yazdali

He pointed out that the Zionist media empire and its mouthpieces in the region have for some time been trying to paint a fictitious and misleading picture of the capabilities of the occupying Zionist entity, child murderer and enemy of humanity, resorting to psychological warfare to spread lies and slander, suggesting falsely that Israel killed hundreds if not thousands of Iranians in Syria.

See Syria imposes new confrontation rules on Israel

Brigadier Shikarji stressed that the Zionist entity knows very well that when it targeted the car of the martyr Muhammad Ali Allah Dadi on January 18, 2015 in the Syrian region of Quneitra, the Lebanese guerrillas of Hezbollah directly crossed the Palestinian borders and destroyed 3 vehicles of Zionist forces, killing 5 of their soldiers and wounding others.https://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x7v30y3

He also recalled the response of the Resistance forces to the Zionist attacks, noting that in response to the martyrdom of 7 Iranian defenders by Zionist strikes of the T-4 base on April 9, 2018, the Resistance forces bombed Zionist military positions in the Golan Heights with 50 missiles, killing and wounding large numbers of Zionist soldiers.

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“Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah

ايران تحذر الصهاينة من الاستمرار في أكاذيبهم

حذر المتحدث الرسمي باسم القوات المسلحة الايرانية العميد أبو الفضل شكارجي الصهاينة من ألاستمرار في أكاذيبهم بشأن استهداف مواقع ايرانية بسورية.

العالم – ايران


وأضاف العميد شكارجي: انه لم يستشهد سوى 8 من المستشارين الايرانيين بنيران الصهاينة طيلة 9 سنوات من حضورهم الشرعي في سورية.

وفيما أكد بأن القوات الايرانية ردت على الاعتداءات الصهيونية شدد على انه حين استشهد مستشار ايراني بنيران الصهاينة قبل 6 اعوام المقاومة ردت بقتل 5 عسكريين صهاينة في فلسطين.

واضاف العميد شكارجي بأنه عندما استهدف الصهاينة قاعدة T-4 في سورية ردت المقاومة باستهداف قواعدهم في الجولان بـ50 صاروخا وقذيفة.

وفيما أكد أن الصهاينة يوظفون الاعلام في حرب نفسية لاظهار انفسهم اقوياء في سورية حذر الصهاينة من الاستمرار في أكاذيبهم بشأن استهداف مواقع ايرانية بسورية وقال: اذا ما استمر الصهاينة بسلوكهم الاجرامي فسيرون بالتأكيد اليد الايرانية العليا بوضوح.

وهولاء الشهداء هم ۱- الشهيد حجة الله نوجمني ۲- الشهيد مرتضی بصيري بور ۳- الشهيد محمد مهدي لطفی نياسر ۴- الشهيد عمار موسوي ۵- الشهيد اکبر زوار جنتي ۶- الشهيد محمد علي الله دادي ۷- الشهيد حامد رضايي ۸- الشهيد مهدي دهقان یزدلي

وشدد على أن الامبراطورية الاعلامية الصهيوغربية واذنابها في المنطقة تسعى منذ فترة لرسم صورة وهمية ومخادعة حول قدرات الكيان الصهيوني المعادي للانسانية والمحتل وقاتل الأطفال، الذي لجأ الى الحرب الاعلامية والنفسية عبر استخدامه للاكاذيب والافتراءات والايحاء بانه قتل مئات بل آلاف الايرانيين في سورية.

واشار الى أن الكيان الصهيوني يعلم جيدا انه عندما استهدف سيارة الشهيد محمد علي الله دادي في 18 كانون الثاني/يناير 2015 في منطقة القنيطرة السورية فان أبطال حزب الله اللبناني عبروا مباشرة الحدود التي وضعها الكيان في الحدود الفلسطينية وهاجموا 3 عربات للقوات الصهيونية وقتلوا حينها 5 من جنودهم واصابوا عددا آخرا.

وتطرق أيضا الى رد قوات المقاومة على الاعتداءات الصهيونية مشيرا الى انه في مقابل استشهاد 7 من المدافعين عن الحرم الايرانيين بقصف القوات الصهيونية لقاعدة تي فور في 9 نيسان/ أبريل 2018، قصفت قوات المقاومة النقاط العسكرية الصهيونية في مرتفعات الجولان بخمسين صاورخ مما أدى الى مقتل وجرح عدد كبير من جنود الصهانية.

MOST READ

Trump’s Executive Order on Anti-Semitism: A Category Mistake

December 23, 2019  

Lawrence Davidson is a retired professor of history from West Chester University in West Chester PA. His academic research focused on the history of American foreign relations with the Middle East. He taught courses in Middle East history, the history of science and modern European intellectual history.

 Lawrence Davidson 

Trump’s Executive Order on Anti-Semitism: A Category Mistake—An Analysis (23 December 2019) by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—Trump and the Constitution

It is a pretty sure thing that President Donald Trump is ignorant of what is in the U.S. Constitution and, in any case, does not care much about what the document says. Take the idea of freedom of speech as set down in the First Amendment. Does he understand the importance of this amendment? Actually, it would seem that the only freedom of speech he finds sacrosanct is his own, expressed almost daily in angry, often rambling “tweets.” Those frequent missives hardly make the man a model of critical thinking and, as it turns out, for the price of some special interest’s political support, President Trump is willing to tell us all that we must believe the opposite of what is true. If we don’t, he will take away some federal benefit. Trump is by nature both authoritarian and simple-minded—not an unusual combination. 

Part II—Confusing Categories

It was in this simplistic frame of mind that, on 12 December, President Trump issued an executive order directing the federal government to deny funds to universities and colleges that allow alleged anti-Semitic speech on campus. Well, the reader might respond, such an order is understandable because we know that anti-Semitism is a particularly vicious form of racism. And so it is. The mistake here is to assume that President Trump actually knows how to recognize genuine anti-Semitism, so as not to confuse this expression of bigotry with its opposite: the support of human, civil and political rights—in this case, those of the Palestinians. Now, the reader might ask, how could anyone confuse these two categories: on the one hand, the support of an oppressed people’s rights and, on the other, racist anti-Semitism? It helps if you are ignorant, amoral and opportunistic. 

And so, with the encouragement of the Zionist lobby, a particularly powerful lobby dedicated solely to the interests of the Israeli state, President Trump, who is in fact ignorant, amoral and opportunistic, based this executive order on a logical fallacy—a category mistake. He identified protests against Israeli state behavior with anti-Semitic racism and declared that any university or college that allows the former (say, by permitting criticism of Israel for its violent suppression of Palestinian rights) is to be found guilty of the latter (anti-Semitism), and therefore is not to receive federal funds. 

Part III—A Zionist Project 

Working for the purposeful confusion of anti-Semitism and the support for Palestinian rights is a Zionist project. It should be emphasized that the Zionists who carry this project forward are not, like the president, ignorant or confused. They know what they are doing. And that is why this effort constitutes a tragedy of the highest order not only for the Palestinians, but for the Jewish people as well.

After World War II every sane individual knew that racism, particularly racism expressed through state power, was bad news. The consequences of such empowered bigotry was there to see across the world: Japanese behavior in China, Korea and Southeast Asia generally, along with German behavior throughout occupied Europe, constituted the worst examples. They resulted in the deaths of tens of millions—among them six million Jews. That is why as early as the late 1940s, an expansion of international law and the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights sought to make such behavior criminal, particularly when carried out as the policy of governments.

As it turned out, those resolutions constituted direct obstacles to the Zionist goal of a “Jewish state” in Palestine. The Zionist conquest of Palestine in the military campaigns of   1948 and 1967, was followed by the systematic narrowing or outright denial of the human, civil and political rights for Palestinians. In the case of Palestinians residing in Israel proper, the racist policies and practices were often obscured behind a facade of benign-sounding declarations that, more often than not, had little impact on minority rights. No such facade was adopted within the Occupied Territories. In this way racism became an essential tool for achieving Zionism’s goal of ethnic exclusivity.  

So how do you rationalize this behavior? Even though Ashkenasi (that is, European) Jews have been one of the most persecuted groups in Western history, it was not hard for the Zionists to see their own racist behavior as necessary. Founding a state first and foremost for one group, in a territory already occupied by hundreds of thousands of “others,” easily led to discriminatory policies and practices. It also led to indoctrination of Israeli Jews and their diaspora supporters through the distortion of the history of conquest and colonial occupation. The inevitable resistance of the Palestinians, even when non-violent, became labeled as lawlessness at best and terrorism at worst. In this sense, Israeli society has mimicked not only the apartheid sentiments of South Africa, but also the culture that prevailed in the United States before the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

Part IV—Exporting the Fallacy

Yet it was not enough for the Israelis to convince their own Jewish citizens that Zionist racism was righteous self-defense and support of Palestinian rights the equivalent of anti-Semitism. This logical fallacy had to be pushed on Israel’s primary ally, the United States. And, at least in the halls of power, this effort has been remarkably successful, probably because the Zionist lobby has a lot of money to help or hinder ambitious American politicians. 

However, outside of those halls, the effort has been exposed for what it is: a dangerous reversal of categories that threatens to turn the clock back on much of the post-World War II progress in political, civil and human rights. As the growing popularity of the boycott Israel movement (BDS) has shown, American citizens, both Jewish and non-Jewish, have an increasing ability to see the reality of the situation. A survey released in mid June 2017 by an organization known as the Brand Israel Group, “a coalition of volunteer advertising and marketing specialists” who consult for pro-Israel organizations, indicated that “approval of Israel among American college students dropped 27% between the group’s 2010 and 2016 surveys” while “Israel’s approval among all Americans dropped 14 points.” Brand Israel’s conclusion: in the future, the U.S. may “no longer believe that Israel shares their values.” This is the case not because of any big increase in anti-Semitism, but due to ever-growing evidence of Israeli racism.

One reaction to this increasing popular clarity of vision is President Trump’s executive order. If, in this case, colleges and universities do not enforce the Zionist logical fallacy, they lose federal money. 

Part V—Conclusion

Governments do not have a very good reputation for telling their citizens the truth. For instance, just this month it was made known that the U.S. government and military misled the American people about the ability to achieve victory in the Afghan war—a conflict that has been going on for 18 years. The same thing occurred during the Vietnam War. However, it is one thing to withhold information, or downright lie about a situation, and another to urge a population to swallow the category contradictions Trump and the Zionists are peddling. There is something Orwellian about that. It is no mistake that it is the brightest of college students, those who are actually overcoming ignorance and practicing the art of thinking straight, who are most put off by this propagandistic tactic. 

As for those Zionist students who claim that protests against Israeli policy and behavior on their campus make them feel uncomfortable, or even unsafe, they might try to learn something from those feelings. After all, it’s the closest they will ever come to the much more profound feelings of anxiety and danger that Palestinians feel every day, in their own homes, neighborhoods and campuses as well. So which category do all of us want to defend—the category of state-sponsored racism or the category of human, civil and political rights? Just be sure not to confuse one for the other.

US vs China: Smartphone Wars

July 7, 2019 (Joseph Thomas – NEO) – If Washington’s goal was to pressure and isolate China by targeting smartphone giant Huawei, it seems to have accomplished the exact opposite. In the process, the US has only accomplished in exposing its own growing weakness and unreliability as a trade partner amid a much wider, misguided and mismanaged “trade war.”

While we’re only talking about smartphones and economic competition, however fierce, the outcome of this smartphone battle amid a much wider trade war will have an impact on global power and who wields it in the years to come.

Losing Ungracefully  

By May 2019, Huawei had firmly climbed to the number two spot in global smartphone sales at the expense of US-based Apple. By the first quarter of 2019 it had shipped 59.1 million phones compared to Apple, now third place, at between 36-43 million phones, IDC (International Data Corporation) reported.

IDC and many other articles based on its data would note that while Huawei and Apple have traded places in the past over who held second place among global smartphone sales, Huawei’s ascension this time seemed much more permanent.

Those watching the trajectory and inner workings of both tech giants will have noticed Apple’s decline as endemic internal management problems coupled with growing global competition tattered its reputation and consumer appeal.

Was it just a coincidence that just as first quarter sales data emerged, the US announced one of its more dramatic turns amid its wider trade war with China? The Trump administration would announce a ban on all American-made goods to Huawei including microchips made by Intel and Qualcomm as well as the Android operating system (OS) made by US tech giant Google.

Coupled with this move was a public relations blitz across the US media and their partners working within nations moving closer to China. In Thailand, for example, local media trained and influenced by US interests attempted to undermine consumer confidence in Huawei in the wake of US sanctions against the company.

This one-two punch was a partial success. Sales did slump and Huawei was faced with significant obstacles. But significant obstacles are not the same as insurmountable obstacles, and overcoming obstacles is often how true competitors strengthen themselves.

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger 

For Huawei, a tech giant integral to China’s wider economic and political success upon the global stage, it has all the resources and support it needs to weather the toughest of storms.

In the wake of US sanctions, and even in the lead up to them, Huawei has begun to source critical parts from non-US companies. It is also investing significantly in its own in-house alternatives to US manufactured microchips and even in an alternative OS to replace Android.

Digital Trends in its article “Huawei’s Android-alternative operating system: Everything you need to know,” helps illustrate just how determined Huawei is to overcome these obstacles.

The fact that work on the OS supposedly began as early as 2018 indicates that Huawei executives are under no illusions regarding American goodwill. If America is to play nicely with Huawei and other Chinese companies, it will be because Huawei and other Chinese companies took steps leaving the US no other choice but to do so.

Android is an open source OS. This means that its code is free for all developers to access and use. It was the key to Android’s wide success, and thus Google’s domination of the smartphone OS market, but it is also a weakpoint in Google and the US government’s attempts to hobble Huawei.

Huawei’s alternative OS will be compatible with the open source Android system. Android applications can still be downloaded and used on a Huawei phone running Huawei’s OS, but instead of doing so through Google’s online application store, it will be done through Huawei’s.

As some media have pointed out, this means that Huawei’s setbacks by being restricted from Android will only be temporary. Long-term, Google stands to lose tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of customers who will instead be using Huawei’s alternatives.

Google could even lose its dominion over smartphone OS development if Huawei made its own alternative as accessible and as appealing as Android, minus the political and economic threats aimed at nations Washington finds displeasing.

Maybe this is why the US appears to be backing off (for now), if only partially, from its initial threats against Huawei. Nothing the US is doing to Huawei actually addresses why US companies themselves are losing the smartphone war to begin with. Should companies like Huawei overcome what little leverage the US still has over global telecom tech, it will have a stronger smartphone product coupled with stronger, alternative infrastructure out of reach of US influence.

In efforts to isolate China, the US may be succeeding in only isolating itself.

US Threats Undermine Confidence in the US, Not China  

Other nations needed little imagination to realise that if the US could target Chinese companies simply for outcompeting American corporations, they could easily find themselves next. This has made them sympathetic to China’s current challenges.

While media influenced by the US in various nations have aided US efforts to undermine China’s Huawei, the nations themselves have not.

In Thailand, for example, the Thai government has moved forward with plans to partner with Huawei to develop its national 5G network despite mounting pressure not to from the US, NPR would report.

Huawei is still a popular brand in Thai markets, in third place behind Oppo (also a Chinese brand) and Samsung, Bangkok Post reported.

Thai government agencies have been assuring consumers that US sanctions will not impact Huawei goods sold in Thailand in the short-term, while Huawei takes steps to ensure there will be no impact in the long-term.

Since Huawei is not the first Chinese tech company targeted by the US in such a manner, and with other Chinese-made smartphones becoming popular in nations like Thailand (Oppo for example), China as a nation will only pour further resources in protecting Chinese companies from the coercive measures taken by the US.

Other nations are not only sympathetic toward Chinese efforts, they themselves will likely take similar measures regarding their own industries.

The ongoing trade war with China is not the only example of economic warfare used by the US. We see much more extreme examples of US economic warfare aimed at Iran and Venezuela.

Growing US pressure placed on Russia is another example. The US has even gone as far as threatening nations like Germany with sanctions for moving ahead with a German-Russian pipeline (Nord Stream 2).

The US has revealed itself as an unreliable trade partner, bitter at any prospect of competition or genuine cooperation. Amid its trade war with China it has pressured its own allies to hamper trade with China, a move that benefits China’s trade partners in no conceivable way. The US is willing to do anything to anyone to cling to global economic supremacy and the power that stems from holding it in its own hands. Sharing it with China and Russia or even its own allies in Europe and East Asia dilutes both the potency of that power, and its ability to weild it with potent impunity.

False Pretexts Aren’t Just for Hot Wars

The US regularly uses false pretexts to launch its many real wars around the globe. Fabrications regarding “weapons of mass destruction” were used to justify the US invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. Disingenuous humanitarian concerns regarding imaginary abuses were used to justify the US military intervention in Libya. Serial but baseless accusations over chemical weapon use has been used to justify US military intervention in Syria.

But fabricating justifications to go off to war isn’t reserved merely for hot wars. The US is citing supposed security concerns to target China’s Huawei, coincidentally just as it permanently overtakes US-based Apple in global smartphone sales, and amid a wider trade war built on entirely different (but also fabricated) claims.

The fact that the US is lying about its motivations to target Huawei should be another warning to Beijing over the trustworthiness of the current circles dominating US economic and political power. It should also be a warning to the rest of the world when doing business with the US.

A robust strategy must be adopted by nations and between nations to protect themselves from the still potent and disruptive power the US holds over global economics.

Whether it is attempts by the US to undermine confidence in a nation’s economy, smear a nation’s tourism industry, attempts to reverse the global success of companies like Huawei or even sabotage energy deals made by the US’ own allies with nations Washington considers adversaries, what amounts to highly dangerous American-led economic warfare remains a critical threat to global peace and stability.

Strategies for protecting national industries by developing domestic industrial capacity and relying less on sourcing critical components from unreliable partners like the US is essential. So is protecting bilateral trade through the creation of financial exchange systems out of reach of US sanctions. Being able to counter Washington’s manufactured narratives used to justify its coercive economic behavior is also key.

Just as growing military prowess and unity of purpose among Eurasian nations have helped impede the growing number of America’s many and very destructive real wars, similar economic prowess and unity of purpose will be required to stifle America’s likewise disruptive economic warfare waged globally.

Huawei’s success or failure serves as a weather vane indicating in just what direction this balance of power is headed.

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

New scandal around empire of lies

By Mohammad Ghaderi

July 19, 2019

On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump, who is also the commander in chief of the country’s armed forces, falsely claimed that a U.S. warship had downed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz.

Speaking at the White House, Trump said the USS Boxer shot down the drone after it got within 1,000 yards, “ignoring multiple calls to stand down and was threatening the safety of the ship and the ship’s crew.”

Also, the Pentagon announced the Iranian drone was within a “threatening range” of the Boxer.

“At approximately 10 a.m. local time, the amphibious ship USS Boxer was in international waters conducting a planned inbound transit of the Strait of Hormuz,” chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.

The interesting point here is that even the Pentagon did not bother to confirm Trump’s hallucination regarding downing of an Iranian drone, since its statement does not at all refer to the owner of the drone.

But regarding Trump’s false claim, which is an intelligence disaster for a country which boasts of the biggest and most modern army in the world, a few points should be noted:

1- More than approximating reality, Trump’s false and hallucinatory claim of having downed an Iranian drone is rather indicative of the great shock the U.S. suffered after Iran’s Revolution Guards forces downed the Global Hawk spy drone recently, which has become a bitter nightmare for the U.S. president. America’s inability to provide answer in kind to the IRGC’s firm action has severely marred the image of U.S. military power.

This is to say that resort to such false claims by the White House depart to the public mind nothing but desperation.

2- It seems that for Trump to make such a false claim is in fact the indication of the onset of a new era of media and propaganda campaign against the Islamic Republic, with the hope to realize on the political and media arena what has not been achieved in field, thus concealing a deep degree of military powerlessness of the U.S.

Although Trump’s recent move shows how deeply the U.S. has been impressed by a psychological vibe surrounding the ever-increasing military power of Iran, in case the U.S. Army’s decision-making processes are based on such sort of information we should expect increasing risk of U.S. military presence as well as unexpected moves that should ensue.

What should be noted regarding Trump’s claim, is that according to statements by Iranian authorities, all Iranian drones in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, including the one mentioned by Trump, have returned home after their reconnaissance missions, and that the USS Boxer has been unable to engage in any sort of confrontation with the drone. This is why we should conclude that Trump has intended to take initiative and create a favorable media vibe for his administration.

3- Creating tension by resorting to false news making is a mechanism constantly tapped by the U.S. and its Western allies, which is especially used over the Persian Gulf with a number of objectives. One of the main objectives is to present Iran as a threat to other regional countries and those whose economy somehow depends on the security of the Persian Gulf. A great part of this hype is created especially to mild the backward Arab leaders, especially those of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

4- The other noteworthy point is that based on the entire international rights, especially those concerning the rights governing seas, since a great part of the Persian Gulf waters are part of Iran’s territory, it is naturally Iran’s right to use whatever in its power to secure the region. This is while none of the international protocols allow U.S. presence in the Persian Gulf. This is why the White House, seeking help from its allies such as the UK, is trying to misrepresent the Persian Gulf as insecure, and thereby to justify its bullying presence in the region.
* Author: Mohammad Ghaderi , Tehran Times editor in chief and political commentator

His page on Twitter : @ghaderi62 – and Gmail address : m.ghaderi62@gmail.com

Enemy Miscalculation to Turn Iran’s Defensive Strategy into Offensive: IRGC

Source: Press TV

Chief Commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami
Chief Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami

The chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has warned enemies against the possibility of a turn in the country’s military strategy from the current defensive strategy toward an offensive one.

“As far as the strategy is concerned, we act defensively, meaning that we will not be the ones to start or initiate any war,” Major General Hossein Salami said during an inspection of the level of preparedness of the country’s defensive forces in an area near the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf on Thursday.

The area, known as Naze’at comprises four islands in the Persian Gulf, which are of great importance to the country’s efforts to maintain the security of the strategic waterway.

“The situation is, however, completely opposite when it comes to [the country’s] tactical attitude, and should enemies commit any miscalculation, our defensive strategy would turn into an offensive one,” Salami added, noting the offensive transition would involve the Islamic Republic’s entire defensive capacities.

Salami also underlined the region’s significance for the country and the entire global economy, adding, “Using the pretext of the region’s sensitivity to enable extra-regional military presence here would only stoke insecurity and compromise standing security arrangements in the region.”

Salami asserted that the Islamic Republic enjoys perfect command over the waters lying in the northern part of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman. The country maintains the command as means of defending its territorial integrity, naval superiority, and aerial security, he added.

“On behalf of the Iranian nation, we engage in defensive development in all areas,” he stated.

The United States has resorted to significant military buildup in the region, which has seen it sending over an aircraft carrier strike group, a bomber taskforce, an assault ship, and thousands of additional forces.

President Donald Trump and other US officials have, however, recurrently disowned any intention to engage in warfare with Iran, claiming that the American equipment and troops are actually meant to prevent one.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Salami cautioned enemy think tanks against plotting any adventurism or mischief against the Iranian nation.

He finally hailed the “infallible readiness” of the Iranian Armed Forces, especially the IRGC, for engaging in all-out defense of the country’s security and interests.

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Hezbollah Parliamentary Bloc Confronts US Sanctions, Stresses Saudi, ‘Israel’ to Pay Heavily for Any War on Iran

July 11, 2019

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The Loyalty to Resistance parliamentary bloc held Thursday at its headquarters in Haret Hreik its weekly meeting chaired by its head Hajj Mohammad Raad, tackling the latest developments in Lebanon and the region.

In a statement issued after the meeting, Hezbollah bloc considered that the US sanctions on its head MP Hajj Mohammad Raad and member MP Hajj Amin Sherri as well as the party’s security official Wafiq Safa as a persistence on the aggression against the Lebanese, stressing that they may never affect the resistance in face of the Israeli enemy and the terrorist groups.

The statement also reiterated Hezbollah support to the Yemeni people in face of the Saudi ongoing aggression, pointing to the looming victory of the Yemenis whose intensified military operations have pushed the coalition states to start withdrawing from Yemen.

Hezbollah parliamentary bloc further highlighted Iran’s right to increase the Uranium enrichment and back the resistance groups in the region in face of the US policy based on withdrawing from the nuclear deal and tightening sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

In this regard, the statement warned that any US war on Iran would lead the region and the whole would into a major turmoil, stressing that Saudi and the Zionist entity would pay heavily during such a confrontation.

Locally, the Loyalty to Resistance bloc called on the political parties to adopt the reconciliatory approach in coping with the Qabrshmoun incident, highlighting Hezbollah insistence on protecting the poor from any financial pressure that may be exerted by the 2019 state budget law.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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Zarif Mocks US for its Defeat at Yesterday’s IAEA Meeting – General Suleimani: US Administration Inherently Brings Insecurity

July 11, 2019
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

The US requested a meeting of the Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors against Iran, but it ended up in its own isolation, according to the Iranian foreign minister on Thursday.

Speaking at a conference attended by Iranian governors from across the country in Tehran on Thursday, the Iranian top diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif referred to the yesterday’s meeting of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors, which was held on Wednesday at the request of the United States to discuss the latest developments in Iran’s nuclear program, saying that “the US held a meeting of the Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors but it ended up in its own isolation. The world superpower failed to gain even a ‘one single line statement’ from the Board of the Governors at the presence of all its allies.”

The foreign minister also said that the US has held four UN Security Council meetings against Iran since last year, one of which was chaired by its president, but they failed to gain a ‘single-word statement’ or a resolution from the Security Council.

Zarif referred to the US National Security Adviser John Bolton who had predicted that the Islamic Republic would not see its 40th anniversary two years ago, saying  “the United States miscalculated that the Islamic Republic would collapse…and conveyed this belief to its allies that if they kill time, the Islamic Republic would collapse.” He added that “but with reliance on the people, the Iranian nation have proven the Westerners and the US calculations to be wrong.”

July 11, 2019

Iran's Quds Force Chief, Major General Qassem Suleimani

Commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Qasem Suleimani stressed that security destabilization is part and parcel of the US administration’s nature.

“The U.S. government inherently brings insecurity. You can’t find any region where they could have brought security by their force and presence,” Suleimani said via Twitter.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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Taking a Minute to Walk in Iran’s Shoes

Iran Feature photo

Feature photo | Mourners carry flag-draped caskets in a funeral procession for 150 soldiers whose remains were recently recovered. The soldiers were killed during the war with then-US-backed-Iraq in the 1980s, Tehran, Iran, June 27, 2019. Vahid Salemi | AP

If one can learn anything from the modern history of Iran, it’s that great powers will sell — and have sold — them out at a moment’s notice.

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Iran has seen its fair share of the damage imperialism has inflicted on the world — joint Russian and British control over Iran during the Qajar era, then the killing of one fifth of the Iranian population between 1917-19 (as documented in Barry Rubin’s The Middle East: A Guide to Politics, Economics, Society and Culture, p. 508) from famine brought on by the confiscating of foodstuff by occupying British forces that had violated Iran’s neutrality in World War I. This was followed in WWII by a coup that ousted Reza Shah, the then-king of Iran, also at a time when Iran had declared neutrality, in a British coup that put his son Mohammad Reza Shah on the throne of the kingdom. We need not mention the joint American-British coup, in which hundreds were killed, that toppled the popular Mosaddegh government because of its nationalization of the Iranian oil industry (which would have damaged American and British interests in Iranian oil).

The only time Iran saw an actual democratic movement succeed in giving power to the people that foreign powers were not able to abort was with the Islamic Revolution of 1979; and, even after that, the AmericansEuropeans, and even Arab countries of the Persian Gulf aided Saddam Hussein in a war he instigated against Iran — providing him with arms and chemical weapons, as well as intelligence.



A lesson in wariness

Taking these historical events (and many more instances) into account, it is no wonder that Iranians would be very wary of any moves made by the United States and other global powers, namely those with a colonial track record. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA or Iran Nuclear Deal) could have very well marked a paradigm shift in relations with Iran, but instead, the Europeans did not abide by their commitments, and the Americans just up-and-left the agreement as soon as Trump got around to Iran. Not only that but, instead of abiding by their commitments, they’re trying to milk even more out of the deal — promising they’ll abide by their commitments if Iran offers more to an already done deal. What this means is they are being asked to add concessions in their ballistic missile program, much to the benefit of Arab Persian Gulf monarchies that are on a trend of increased militarization.

Trump's War On Iran. (Image: Carlos Latuff For MintPress News)

Credit | Carlos Latuff

Which brings us to the region’s latest round of tensions.

Given the already-stated facts, one has to understand, first and foremost, that Iran is dealing with a number of countries that have a history of falsifying facts, not standing by their agreements, and going into war in order to secure their own economic interests at the expense of other peoples. One must not forget the Indian famine in WWII, caused by food being exported from India to Britain, killing more than 20 million Indians, in reference to which Churchill said: “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion. The famine was their own fault for breeding like rabbits.”

Living in such a flammable neighborhood — where the United States and its allies recently occupied its neighbors to the east and west and built military bases — and with such historical baggage, it’s not far-fetched that Iran, being the region’s most stable country, would rather rely on deterrence and defensive capabilities to secure itself than give concessions that could damage its security to powers that can hardly be trusted to keep their own word, as their own history suggests.

 

A wise decision

Iran made a wise decision in its downing of the RQ-4 drone. Usually, the shooting down of military surveillance drones does not lead to military escalation, though it does lead to an increase in tension. By doing so, Tehran was successful in warning any aggressor — be it the United States or any other country, for that matter — that it is not willing to compromise on matters of security or national pride (though the U.S. claims the drone was flying above international waters — 8000 miles away from U.S. soil — the debris has since been recovered by Iranian authorities in Iranian waters).

Iran US Drone

An Iranian general looks at debris from a U.S. military drone shot down by Iran’s air defense system, June 21, 2019. Meghdad Madadi | Tasnim via AP

The wisdom of this decision is that Iran delivered the intended message without causing any escalation — which doubtless would have been the outcome if it had downed a manned military plane that was also in its sites in the vicinity of the drone. It was a message that Trump had clearly received, and for which he expressed appreciation to Iranian authorities (although why he would bother to thank Iran if it was attacking a plane flying over “international waters” as he said is truly baffling).

In addition to that — although it had the legal right to shoot down the drone for flying over its airspace, which extends to 12 nautical miles from its borders — Iran also has the right to demand identification from any aircraft flying close to its territory. For more perspective, U.S. Air Defense Identification Zones extend 200 miles from the U.S. border and, as testified to by a former U.S. Air Force navigator, any unidentified drone flying that close to the U.S. border would most likely be shot down. The shooting down of this unidentified drone, even supposing the U.S.’s version of events were true, is perfectly warranted on Iran’s part, and does not allow the U.S. any measure of retaliation in “self-defense,” because no lives were lost in its downing.

Moreover, Iran clearly showed other countries what it was able to achieve independently through its reliance on its own capabilities. It downed the world’s leading military power’s aircraft for infringing on its airspace, and did so without hesitation because it sees itself as truly “sovereign.” Although the U.S. may threaten Iran with its military might and its presence in the region, Iran’s ballistic missile program has allowed it to turn that very strength into a weakness by having American bases, and 25,000 American troops, within targeting range.

A war with Iran would devastate the region. A war with Iran, Hezbollah, the Popular Mobilization Forces, and Ansarullah is in the interest of no one, and God only knows what other surprises Iran might have in store for conspiring Arab monarchies. The smart move would be to repair the JCPOA in order to avoid further escalation in the region.

Karim Sharara is a Lebanese PhD student who’s lived in Tehran since 2013 studying political science at the University of Tehran with a focus on Iranian affairs. 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

Member of Iranian Parliament’s Foreign Policy Commission: We’ll Force the West to Back Down

Mokhtar Haddad

Tehran – The announcement by the Islamic Republic of Iran to increase its uranium enrichment rate beyond 3.67% has triggered various reactions worldwide.

Al-Ahed News sat down with the second deputy chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Mohammad Javad Jamali Nobandegani to discuss the issue.

Nobandegani explained that “a few years ago Iran signed an agreement on joint action with the P5+1.”

“The parties to this agreement were supposed to implement the commitments agreed upon. The Islamic Republic fulfilled all of its commitments in this regard. The world was supposed to see a new atmosphere. But the United States under [US] President [Donald] Trump imposed new sanctions on Iran and did not fulfill its commitments. The European side was content to say that this is a good agreement and Iran must remain committed to it. Instead of practical measures, they only talked and did nothing,” he added.

“After Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal more than a year ago, the Europeans promised Iran that within a few weeks they would fulfill their obligations in the framework of 11 items, including buying oil, lifting sanctions on petrochemical companies and paying money to Iran’s accounts,” Nobandegani said. “They, unfortunately, turned out to be wasting time.”

According to the Iranian MP, Brussels and Washington are playing the good cop, bad cop routine.

“It appears that there is an undeclared agreement between the Europeans and the Americans, in which they divided the roles so that Iran does not enjoy the potentially positive benefits of the nuclear agreement, and we are seeing it today,”

Nobandegani opined.

“As a result of this behavior, we recently decided to implement articles 26 and 36 of the nuclear accord,”

Nobandegani stated.

“But unfortunately today, we see some of these countries are still behaving badly. In this context, we saw Britain’s recent act of piracy in Gibraltar … This European behavior is an escape forward. “

“Everyone in the Islamic Republic, including the political parties, the political movements, the three authorities and the Iranian people today have one voice that this Western behavior must be confronted with all force. Just as the West cannot undermine the will and steadfastness of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its people, Iran has proved that it can return to its previous nuclear activities,” Nobandegani stressed.

“Iran’s steadfastness, will and resistance will force the West and the Americans to back down,” he warned. “Iran will continue to wait for a positive reaction from the Europeans so that it can determine the best course of action.”

Nobandegani concluded by saying that the

“Europeans must prove that their decisions are independent of the US, and they know the importance and impact of the nuclear agreement at the international level.”

“If this agreement interests them as they claim, they should pay the price even if sanctions are imposed on some European companies.”

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US Sanctions Hezbollah Elected Parliamentarians

 

July 9, 2019

Hezbollah Flag

The US Treasury placed two Hezbollah members of Lebanon’s parliament on its sanctions blacklist on Tuesday — the first time Washington has taken aim at the party’s elected politicians.

The Treasury named the head of the Loyalty to Resistance parliamentary bloc Hajj Mohammad Raad and MP Amin Sherri to a ‘terror-related’ blacklist, claiming that Hezbollah uses its parliamentary power to advance its alleged ‘violent’ activities.

Also placed on the blacklist was Hajj Wafiq Safa, Hezbollah top security official.

Hezbollah is a Lebanese resistance group that defends the nation against the Israeli and takfiri enemies. Because of its huge popular representation, it managed to have a 13-member parliamentary bloc, mainly tasked with securing the socioeconomic rights of the citizens and advocating the resistance political principles.

The US administration, which supports the Zionist entity and the Arab dictators against the will of most of the Muslims and Arabs, has always viewed Hezbollah resistance as an enemy, blacklisting both its military and political wings.

Source: Al-Manar English Website and AFP

 

Hypocrisies About Refugees

July 05, 2019

Hypocrisies About Refugees

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

Here are two visuals from the latest annual U.N. report about the world’s refugee situation, “UNHCR Global Trends 2018”, and though these images don’t pack the emotional punch of a child’s corpse that has just been washed upon a beach after drowning when his family had attempted to escape from a country that the U.S. and its allies were ‘trying to make free’ by bombing it to hell, each of these two pictures below contains a much bigger and more important message than does any such tear-jerking image or anecdote, but each of these pictures requires a bit of intelligence in order to understand it:

The first picture shows the result of the U.S. regime’s regime-change wars under Obama and Trump, in Syria and Venezuela especially. (Syria by using Al Qaeda in Syria to lead jihadists to bring down the Government, and Venezuela by strangulating sanctions that have produced an economic blockade which prohibits food and medicine from being able to reach the population). The 9-year earlier “UNHCR Global Trends 2009”, which covered the end of the George W. Bush Presidency, had reported that “There were 43.3 million forcibly displaced people worldwide at the end of 2009,” and that this was up from 42.0 million in 2008. The “UNHCR Global Trends 2007” said only that “available information suggests that a total of 67 million people had been forcibly displaced at the end of 2007”, and so there might have been a reduction during the later years of Bush’s Presidency. In any case, the number of “forcibly displaced people” was stable during the final years of Bush’s second term and the entirety of Barack Obama’s first term, until 2012. 2011 was the first year of the Arab Spring uprisings, which were a CIA production, as was documented by two books from Ahmed Bensada, each of which was well reviewed by Stuart Jeanne Bramhall, in her two articles, one on 18 January 2014, and the other on 25 October 2015. Of course, the impression that the American public was presented about the Arab Spring uprisings is that those were spontaneous. Actually, Obama came into office in 2009 hoping to overthrow Syria’s Government.

So, whereas the numbers had been stable for Obama’s first term of office, all hell broke loose throughout his second term, with his invasions of Libya and Syria, plus his continuation of George W. Bush’s occupations of both Afghanistan and Iraq. And, now, under Trump, the number is back again to GWB’s peak level and rising.

As I noted on June 30th under the headline “U.S. Government Tops All For Creating Refugees”, “the U.S. regime’s regime-change operations produce around half of the entire world’s refugee-problem.” That fact is shown in the second visual here. (Just look at Syria and Venezuela there.) What the first visual shows is that the U.S. regime’s attempts to overthrow the Governments of Syria and of Venezuela caused those global totals to soar. Those two nations alone accounted for nearly half of the global total, and part of the rest was from America’s prior invasions: Afghanistan, Iraq, the U.S.-backed coup in Honduras in 2009, etc. America’s invasions and attempted coups (such as in Venezuela) provided the dynamos that drove those rising numbers of refugees.

Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton at The Gray Zone headlined on June 19th, “This celebrated Western-funded nonprofit collaborated with al-Qaeda to wage lawfare on Syria” and documented how U.S.-and-allied billionaires and the U.S. Government fund “lawfare,” a war in international courts, and not only a huge international propaganda campaign to demonize Bashar al-Assad, in order to overthrow him. I had previously documented that “U.S. Protects Al Qaeda in Syria”. Actually, Obama bombed Syria’s army at the oil center city of Deir Ezzor on 17 September 2016 in order to enable both Al Qaeda and ISIS to take over that city. The U.S. team talk a storm against “terrorism” but quietly (along with the monarchs of Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar) sponsor it as being “boots-on-the-ground” fighters — proxies there, instead of U.S. troops — to bring down leaders such as Muammar Gaddafi and Bashar al-Assad.

So, when the U.S. and its allies complain about the refugee crisis, and pontificate against “dictators,” and assert international law when they are the worst violators of international law, maybe they enjoy fooling their own public, but outside the U.S. alliance, their lying and evil are obvious. It even shows up clearly in the UNHCR’s statistics (such as those visuals). Obviously, China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and other nations that the U.S. regime labels as ‘enemies’, are not to blame for those tens of millions of refugees. The U.S. and its allies definitely are to blame for it. This isn’t a situation where the pot is calling the kettle black, but instead it’s one where the pot is calling the fresh-fallen snow black, and in which only propagandistic ’news’ media refuse to reveal this to their audiences. The snow is white, and the U.S. regime and its allies are red, covered with their tens of millions of victims’ blood and flaming misery.

International poll after international poll finds that the country which is considered to be “the greatest threat to peace in the world today” by the most people worldwide is the U.S., but that Americans don’t think it’s true. So: who is right? Americans? Or the rest of the world? Now, why would people outside the U.S. believe that way? Maybe it’s because of “communist propaganda”? The most important thing to recognize is that the U.S. is a dictatorship. That scientifically demonstrated fact explains a lot. None of these sanctions and coups and invasions against countries that had never invaded nor in any way endangered the U.S. could exist otherwise than this, because any dictatorship is based upon lies. Invading Iraq was based upon lies. Invading Afghanistan was based upon lies. Invading Syria was based upon lies. Invading Libya was based upon lies. The economic sanctions against Russia are based upon lies.American foreign policies are based upon lies. It’s no wonder, then, why Americans are so misinformed.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Trump Admin Dangles $50Bn Bribe for Palestinian Surrender

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Finian Cunningham
July 3, 2019

President Trump’s senior aide on Mideast affairs Jared Kushner tried last week to sell his much-vaunted “deal of the century” for a Palestinian-Israeli peace settlement. The core of it was a purported foreign investment plan worth $50 billion.

The sales pitch made at a conference in Bahrain amounted to a $50Bn bribe dangled at the Palestinians to accept permanent illegal occupation of their ancestral lands in exchange for foreign investment. Kushner rebranded it as the “opportunity of the century”.

He claimed that political peace depends on a viable economic plan. Others would see that formulation as back-to-front: economic development and prosperity depends on a political solution to decades of injustice against Palestinians.

American diplomacy has been an utter failure for decades with regard to settling this bitter dispute. It would therefore be impossibly naive to expect the Trump administration to succeed. More likely, its blundering and bias will only make this historic problem a whole lot worse.

That’s no doubt why so many regional players decided to give the Bahrain event this week a clunking big miss.

Like his father-in-law in the White House, Kushner comes from a real estate background before Trump appointed him as his top aide on the Palestinian-Israeli issue. For the past two years, Kushner has been working on a “master plan” to end the eight-decade-old conflict. That conflict has been at the center of most other disputes and tensions in the region. Trump has billed his son-in-law’s peace plan as the “deal of the century”.

In Bahrain, the Trump administration gave the first-ever preview of its peace plans. Skeptics of Kushner’s ability to deliver a realistic, workable framework were not to be surprised. The boyish-looking Kushner looked way out of his depth as he presented his vision of business and investment as the supposed key to peace. He invited the audience to “imagine” Palestinian territories in the West Bank and Gaza bustling with enterprise and trade. That entrepreneurial “promised land” would arrive if the Palestinians accepted Kushner’s vision of a $50Bn foreign investor fund.

What that boils down to is Palestinians accepting the present status quo of illegal occupation by Israel and in effect surrendering their historic claims for sovereign statehood. Moreover, the $5oBn in investments that Kushner was swooning about are not existing funds. They are only promises of potential investment, which may never actually be delivered.

Nowhere in the Trump administration’s “deal of the century” is there any attempt to redress historical violations of Palestinian national rights. There is no mention of the right of return of millions of Palestinians displaced by the 1948 war that established the sate of Israel. Nor of returning land annexed during the 1967 war. Illegal occupation is merely a fact on the ground that needs to be officially recognized as Israeli territory, according to the Trump administration. In the same way that Trump earlier this year officially recognized the occupied Syrian Golan Heights as part of Israel.

Kushner’s bias in a supposedly peace mediator role is flagrant. He is Jewish and a family friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Kushner’s wife, Ivanka, Trump’s daughter, is a convert to Judaism. Last year, she personally unveiled the controversial new American embassy in Jerusalem, which Trump had promised to Netanyahu on his election in 2016 in recognition of the city as the capital of Israel. That move was seen by Palestinians as a betrayal of their historic claim to East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

During the past two years, the Trump administration has cut off development aid and diplomatic links with Palestinian authorities. Respected Palestinian negotiators like veteran envoy Hanan Ashrawi have been denied travel visas to the US. The consultation conducted by Kushner with the Palestinian side in formulating his peace plan has been minimal.

During a recent interview in the US, Kushner revealed his colonial-type mindset when he asserted that the “Palestinians were not ready yet for self-government”. In other words, in this supposed mediator’s view, he is saying that there will be no foreseeable state of Palestine. That is, the Palestinians must accept their inferior status as an occupied people while the state of Israel is permitted to continue annexing more and more of their ancestral land. Indeed, Kushner is believed to have personal business investments in the construction of new Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.

It’s no wonder then than his so-called “deal of the century” amounts to a shallow business plan bereft of any deep historical, political issues. Palestinians are expected to shut up and surrender their historic rights for statehood by accepting a quixotic vision of economic wonders descending on them while living under permanent marginalization and deprivation. A UN report last year found that Gaza will no longer be habitable in a few years due to water and power shortages.

The Trump-Kushner proposal is the sort of con job that real estate agents excel at. Everything is reduced to the value of money while prospects are talked up with the most ludicrous glamor. Unscrupulous real estate agents would have the temerity to sell a cardboard box as if it were a penthouse suite. Trump and his son-in-law would seem to be of that same wheeler-dealer ilk.

After two years of bragging about its big Middle East “vision”, what people saw this week was little more than a glossy brochure of hype over historical realities. Indeed, it would seem that the purpose of the hype is to bury the hard historical problems that underly the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The excessive emphasis on billions of dollars of investment by Kushner is an attempt to seduce Palestinians into relinquishing their political and moral rights.

This week, however, while the Trump administration was making its sales pitch in Bahrain, it was notable that there was no Palestinian delegation present. All across the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinians shut their businesses in protest and took to the streets to burn effigies of the “deal of the century”.

Israeli government representatives were also not in attendance. That was only after the White House belatedly pulled their invitations in the weeks before the Bahrain conference took place. No doubt that hasty move by the White House was meant to minimize the embarrassing spectacle of a Palestinian boycott by also not having an official Israeli delegation.

Russia and China also gave the Kushner presentation a miss. Some Arab countries, such as Iraq and Lebanon, did not attend either. Iran, a major regional player and supporter of the Palestinian cause, was not represented. The European Union sent only technical-level officials; EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini was not present.

The glaring absences reflect the lack of international credibility of this White House’s peace efforts for the Middle East. The “deal of the century” is more seen as the “con of the century”.

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The “Let Em Eat Cake” Deal of the Century: Trump’s “No Peace Deal Peace Plan” for Palestine and the Middle East

Global Research, June 28, 2019

A peace conference without participation of warring sides is an affront to what the process is supposed to be all about.

Trump’s no-peace/deal of the century peace plan was partly introduced at the so-called June 25-26 “Peace to Prosperity Workshop” in Bahrain.

A fascist dictatorship was appropriately chosen to host a scheme Palestinians, the Arab street, and activists for peace, equity, and justice categorically reject.

The common theme of participating nations was their abhorrence of rule of law principles and democratic values. Representatives from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Oman and Morocco attended.

So did reinvented war criminal Tony Blair, along with US officials, others from the predatory World Bank and IMF, business interests as well showing up.

Palestinians boycotted the conference. Israel didn’t attend because of their absence. Nor Iraq and Lebanon.

Many participating representatives were mid-level officials, indicating lack of enthusiasm for the Trump regime’s dog and pony PR show — a scheme going nowhere.

Deceptively billed as “a vision to empower the Palestinian people to build a prosperous and vibrant Palestinian society,” the plan is all about serving privileged US/Israeli interests at their expense.

It has nothing to do with peace, equity and justice for long-suffering Palestinians, nothing to do with resolving irreconcilable Israeli/Palestinian differences, nothing to do with fundamental Palestinian rights affirmed under international law.

The economic portion of the plan discussed is all about serving US-led Western and Israeli monied interests, neoliberal harshness intended for Palestinians – how ordinary people are mistreated throughout the West and for the majority of Israeli Jews.

UK-based Palestinian academic Kamel Hawwash said holding the workshop without Palestinian participation showed its true goal — exploiting, not helping them, adding:

Palestinian self-determination and other rights affirmed under international law are fundamental.

Without achieving them, the peace process is stillborn — the way it’s been for the past half-century, the greatest hoax in modern times, along with the US global war OF terror, not on it.

Trump’s no-peace/deal of the century ignores fundamental final status issues, including Palestinian self-determination, illegal Israeli occupation, settlements, borders, air and water rights, other resources, the right of diaspora Palestinians to return to their homeland, and East Jerusalem as exclusive Palestinian capital.

The plan ignores US/UK responsibility for over a century of harshness imposed on Palestinians, over 70 years of Israeli viciousness, and over half a century of militarized occupation — their land stolen, their fundamental rights denied.

Longstanding Israeli land theft is fundamental, what the Trump regime supports, including Jewish state annexation of West Bank settlements on stolen Palestinian land.

The plan treats Palestinians as “customers,” not afforded the right to be citizens of their own country, free from oppressive occupation.

The scheme involves securing a $50 billion investment fund for infrastructure and business projects. It’s unclear where most of the money is coming from and under what terms — whether it’s a gift, a loan, or combination of both, and what return on investment donors/lenders expect.

Without resolving key political issues, the economic proposal is meaningless. Who’ll invest billions of dollars for development in a de facto war zone?

Undeclared Israeli war on Palestinians remains ongoing throughout the Territories, no end of it in prospect.

The Trump regime showed contempt for their rights by illegally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s exclusive capital, moving the US embassy there, and cutting off all funding for millions Palestinian refugees considered nonpeople.

Over $200 million in US aid for the West Bank and Gaza was “redirected” elsewhere “to ensure these funds are spent in accordance with US national interests (sic) and provide value to the US taxpayer (sic).”

The Trump regime’s vision of “a new reality in the Middle East” is old wine in new bottles — Palestinians still denied their right to live in peace on their own land in their own country, Israel’s repressive boot no longer stomping on them.

The bottom line of what went on in Bahrain and may follow is that Trump’s no-peace/deal of the century peace plan was dead before arrival — leaving oppressive Israeli apartheid rule in place.

 

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Absolute Proof that Trump Is Stupid

June 26, 2019

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

On JuAbsolute Proof that Trump Is Stupidne 26th, U.S. President Donald Trump told Fox Business News that, as the Washington Post immediately headlined it, “War with Iran Would Not Involve Ground Troops and Would Not Last Long”. He said: “I’m not talking boots on the ground. … I’m just saying if something would happen, it wouldn’t last very long.” However, even if his planned surgical missile-strikes against Iran’s non-existent facilities for manufacturing nuclear warheads ‘succeeds’, how is it even possible for anyone to be able to know that none of the blowback from the invasion of Iran by the United States would require placing U.S. boots-on-the-ground in Iran, and that none of the blowback would entail Iranian-and-allied retaliatory missile-strikes against, for example, water-purification facilities in the extremely arid lands of Trump’s friends, Israel and Saudi Arabia — and maybe even against U.S. air bases and other military facilities in the region? Of course, the answer is: There is no way for anyone to know that, and anyone who would trust Trump’s words to the contrary would be taking them on pure faith, just as religious believers believe the Bible, the Quran, or any other allegedly sacred Scripture. Maybe Trump knew that this is so and was merely talking to his base, the people who do still trust him, but a recent event excludes such mere lying, and can be explained only by his being, actually, stupid:

One of the most important and highest quality news-reports to have appeared in the New York Times was by Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman and Thomas Gibbons-Neff on June 21st, and was titled “Urged to Launch an Attack, Trump Listened to the Skeptics Who Said It Would Be a Costly Mistake”. It reported that Trump had called-off the planned June 20th missile-attack against Iran at the last moment because he had asked his advisors how many Iranians would be killed in it and was told that 150 would be, and because he considered that number of Iranian corpses to be too high, and so he called it off. This same day, Trump himself tweeted that those 150 Iranians were the reason why he had called off the invasion. In other words, even according to his own account (which he since has repeated many times), he totally ignored the millions of people that could very possibly be killed from the general conflagration in the Middle East and elsewhere, which would likely result from America’s invasion upon sovereign Iranian territory. It’s stunningly short-sighted, but he is the person who is presenting himself this way. Maybe he’s not even intelligent enough to recognize that he is there confessing himself to be stupid. If he really doesn’t recognize it, then he’s an idiot, because that would be sub-stupid: below merely stupid.

Though Iran has no military assets which could threaten the United States, it does have sufficient military assets to defeat one of America’s two allies who are urging the U.S. to invade Iran: Saudi Arabia. And it also possesses sufficient military assets to wreck another U.S. ally who is urging the U.S. to invade Iran: Israel. Though it does not possess sufficient military assets to defeat Israel, because Israel is nuclear-armed and Iran isn’t, Iranians are fiercely opposed to imperialism and a great many of them would rather die than be conquered — especially if they are being conquered by invaders who aren’t even Muslims. Furthermore, stirring the hatreds that almost all of Israel’s Jews feel toward Muslims, and also the hatreds that almost all of Iran’s Muslims feel toward Israel, would make impossible for any stooge whom either the U.S. or Israel would try to impose upon Iran to rule there; and, consequently, any government that would be imposed by either of them would fail and ultimately become overthrown — and what would follow from that would be vastly worse for the United States than when Iran in 1979 overthrew the U.S.-imposed (in 1953) dictator there.

It is obvious that if Trump hadn’t called-off the attack that all of his advisors except the Obama-appointed General Joseph Dunford were urging upon him, then the Middle East would have become destroyed, and a war between the United States and Russia would likely be resulting.

For Trump to have been concerned only about the 150 Iranians that his military advisors thought would likely be slaughtered in this planned invasion, and for him not to have been concerned at all — and especially — about the likely millions of corpses that would almost certainly have followed from such an attack, is simply amazing stupidity on the part of a nation’s leader. It might not be as stupid as Hillary Clinton’s repeated and constant and never even moderated urgings for a “no-fly zone” to be imposed by the U.S. regime over sovereign Syrian territory, which almost certainly would have resulted quickly in World War III (a U.S.-versus-Russia war) (since Russia wouldn’t accept the U.S. shooting down Russia’s planes over Syria), but it’s close to being as stupid as that.

If America’s political Parties again choose two such incompetents as Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton, as being the final contenders for occupying the most powerful post on this planet, then what chance is there that civilization won’t be destroyed in fairly short order? The only U.S. Presidential candidate who is campaigning upon the theme of “no more regime-change wars” is the Democrat Tulsi Gabbard, and her polling-numbers from registered Democratic Party voters are below 1%; so, anyone who in such a world as this, is willingly bringing new children into the world, has to be either uninformed or else unconcerned about the world in which that child will be living. The likelihood of global catastrophe during the next few years is vastly higher than most people are aware. This issue is virtually ignored in American politics. An uninformed and misinformed electorate is impossible in an authentic democracy, and the future of the world is now dependent upon precisely such an electorate, in the most powerful nation on this planet.

According to the Times report, what finally swayed Trump against invading Iran was “one of his favorite Fox News hosts: Tucker Carlson. While national security advisers were urging a military strike against Iran, Mr. Carlson in recent days had told Mr. Trump that responding to Tehran’s provocations with force was crazy. The hawks did not have the president’s best interests at heart, he said. And if Mr. Trump got into a war with Iran, he could kiss his chances of re-election goodbye.”

Though that might have been, for Trump, an even bigger factor to consider than the number of only-Iranian corpses that would result immediately from the attack, it still is not denying that what Trump had asked from his advisors was only for them to estimate the likely number of deaths that would result directly from the proposed invasion. To say that Trump’s main concern is instead his re-election (such as one might infer from that passage) is to say that he’s a psychopath; and, yet, what is even scarier than his being such, is his being so stupid as to have tasked his advisors to consider, as the possible down-sides of the planned attack, only its direct and immediate negative consequences, and not the negative consequences from those negative consequences. Apparently, Trump’s stupidity poses, to the world, an even more enormous threat than his psychopathy does.

This impression is also supported from a different angle: that Trump is so stupid that he allows his staff to control his decisions. This argument was well put in an anonymous blog-post on June 19th titled “How John Bolton Controls The Administration And Donald Trump”. It presents evidence to the effect that Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, stovepipes (filters) the information that gets to Mr. Trump — Trump doesn’t get to see or hear anything that doesn’t fit Bolton’s agendas. That analysis would also explain why Tucker Carlson, who isn’t part of the U.S. Government and certainly has no power to “stovepipe” the information that Trump receives from his advisors, might have been the only way that dissenting information or analysis was able to get through to Trump regarding this issue. Bolton wasn’t able to prevent Trump from talking to Carlson or other people outside the White House. According to that blogpost, not only does Bolton control Trump, but the Secretary of State, the equally neoconservative Mike Pompeo, now controls not only the State Department but the Defense Department. If this is the case, then probably the team of Bolton and Pompeo is what actually will decide U.S. foreign policies and invasions (unless Trump will increasingly rely upon outsiders such as Carlson). The only possible hope for Trump, and for the world, would be if he fires very soon both Bolton and Pompeo, and replaces them with non-neocons. If he doesn’t do that, he’s not only stupid, he’s evil, because he’s virtually inviting such catastrophes as he luckily avoided in the present instance. That seems to be the path he is on: stupidity, psychopathy, and evil.

This is an exceedingly perilous situation, all-around. It is intolerable. If Trump actually did care more about an estimated 150 Iranians who might have been killed from his planned invasion than he cared about the follow-on millions-or-more corpses that could result from it, then he is not merely a psychopath, but an idiot — totally incompetent to serve as the U.S. President.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.6, 201June 2
6, 20199

This time, the accusation of Syria of using chemical weapons may be dangerous الاتهام بالكيميائي في سوريّة هذه المرّة قد يكون خطيراً

This time, the accusation of Syria of using chemical weapons may be dangerous

يونيو 25, 2019

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Since the American presence in the Gulf turned into an dormant force that is unable to make any events contrary to the active movement of the resistance forces represented in the operations of Ansar Allah which imposed their presence on the world oil markets, Washington felt that the initiative was moving to the hands of the resistance forces despite the American sanctions, threats, and mobilization which were thought by Washington and its allies to be enough to keep the initiative, but Iran was seeking to avoid the military response to the sanctions, so it tried to escalate gradually in its nuclear program in order to put the Europeans in front of difficult options including ending the nuclear commitment. Therefore the Gulf arena seemed free for the Americans and their allies but they were surprised by bombing oil tankers in the Emirati Fujairah Port and the announced attack of Ansar Allah which targeted Aramco pipeline that links the east of Saudi Arabia with its west and secures an alternative crossing to Hormuz Strait to pump oil across the Red Sea.

The Israeli raids which targeted sites in the south of Damascus and in Quneitra were signs of Washington’ intention to destabilize the situation in Syria in order to make a balance in the rules of engagement. When Al Nusra front accused the Syrian Army of using the chemical weapons in one of the villages of Lattakia’s countryside, the Syrian government hastened to deny that because the source of accusation is Al Nusra front. That denial seemed as a result of the realization that this game is under the coordination of Washington. After the escalation took place in the Gulf, the US State Department announced in a formal statement what it has already announced in similar occasions just in order to justify the military intervention by indicating that it has serious intentions of the usage of the chemical weapons by the Syrian army.

Apart from many positions and analyses which talked about the rocket which targeted the Green Zone in Baghdad near the US embassy, it seemed that that the rocket was a pre-emptive sign to open the issue of the American presence in Iraq if Washington tried to intervene militarily in Syria as the missiles which already targeted Syrian sites. Perhaps, in the coming days we will witness something similar that opens the issue of the American presence in Syria, in a way that puts the game of balance of arenas into an advanced escalation level and puts in return America among difficult options either to respect the rules of engagement which rule the ongoing battles in Syria between the Syrian army and the terrorist groups or to engage in these battles beside the terrorist groups. This means to accelerate the demand of the US withdrawal along with actions that may not remain political.

From their previous experiences, the Americans are aware of the balances that rule the equations in Syria and aware that the attempts to neutralize the Russian role have been failed repeatedly, and that a crucial battle is taking place against the armed groups under Syrian-Russian-Iranian partnership and some kind of the implicit coordination with Turkey. Therefore, Washington has no interest in waging an open battle against this quartet with which it has relations of hostility and tension especially after the Russian words which accuse Washington of dispersing the recent Sochi understandings through its reckless behavior in the region.

The region is on a hot tin and the opposed concerned parties try to avoid the war, but the reckless behaviors may break it out. The resistance axis is no longer behaving as allied groups, rather as an axis according to the speech of Al Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. Therefore, the Americans and the Israelis have to take these words seriously in order to keep everything under control, but if they decide to go to war, the resistance axis will reply “we do not want war, and we will not hasten to it, but if is imposed on us we will not be afraid and we will turn it from a challenge into an opportunity”.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

الاتهام بالكيميائي في سوريّة هذه المرّة قد يكون خطيراً

مايو 23, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– منذ أن تحوّل الحشد الأميركي في الخليج قوة خامدة عاجزة عن صناعة الأحداث وواشنطن تحتاج أدوات بديلة لموازنة الحركة النشطة التي نجحت قوى المقاومة بإطلاقها مع عمليات أنصار الله التي فرضت حضورها على أسواق النفط العالمية. فقد شعرت واشنطن أن زمام المبادرة ينتقل إلى أيدي قوى المقاومة، رغم أن العقوبات والتهديدات والحشود الأميركية كانت باعتقاد الأميركيين وحلفائهم كافية لإبقاء المبادرة بأيديهم، طالما أن إيران تسعى لتفادي الرد العسكري على العقوبات، وقد سلكت طريق التصعيد في ملفها النووي تدريجياً لوضع الأوروبيين أمام خيارات صعبة من بينها إنهاء الالتزام الإيراني بموجبات الاتفاق. فبدا أن الساحة الخليجية خالية للأميركيين وحلفائهم حتى فوجئوا بخبر تفجير ناقلات النفط في ميناء الفجيرة الإماراتي، قبل أن تأتيهم لاحقاً ضربة أنصار الله المعلنة ببيان رسمي والتي استهدفت خط انبيب آرامكو الذي يربط شرق السعودية بغربها ويؤمن المنفذ البديل لمضيق هرمز لضخ النفط عبر البحر الأحمر.

– كانت الغارات الإسرائيلية التي استهدفت مواقع جنوب دمشق وفي القنيطرة، مؤشرات لنيّة واشنطن إعادة تحريك الوضع في سورية كعنوان لإقامة توازن في ساحات الاشتباك، وعندما أعلنت جبهة النصرة عن اتهام الجيش السوري باستعمال الأسلحة الكيميائية في إحدى قرى ريف اللاذقية سارعت الدولة السورية لنفي لافت، لأن مصدر الاتهام هي جبهة النصرة، وبدا أن النفي السوري استباقي ناجم عن إدراك أن اللعبة منسقة مع واشنطن، ولم تلبث الخارجية الأميركية مع تصاعد التوتر في الخليج أن أعلنت في بيان رسمي ما سبق وقالته في مرات مشابهة أرادت خلالها تصنيع ملف اتهامي للدولة السورية لتبرير تدخل عسكري، فأشارت إلى أن لديها إشارات جدية لاستخدام السلاح الكيميائيّ من الجيش السوري.

– بمعزل عن كثير من المواقف والتحليلات التي تناولت الصاروخ الذي استهدف المنطقة الخضراء في بغداد وسقط قرب السفارة الأميركية، فقد بدا هذا الصاروخ استعداداً استباقياً لفتح ملف التمركز الأميركي في العراق إذا قامت واشنطن بالتلويح بتحريك تدخل عسكري يستهدف سورية على طريقة عمليات الاستهداف الصاروخي التي سبق وتعرّضت لها المواقع والقوات السورية، وربما نشهد في أيام قريبة شيئاً مشابهاً يفتح ملف الوجود الأميركي في سورية، بما يضع لعبة توازن الساحات والملفات في مرتبة متقدمة من التصاعد، تضع الأميركي بين خيارات صعبة، احترام قواعد الاشتباك التي تحكم المعارك الدائرة في سورية بين الجيش السوري والجماعات الإرهابية، أو الدخول طرفاً في هذه المعارك من موقع لن يكون سهلاً تمييزه عن موقع الجماعات الإرهابية، وما سيعنيه ذلك من تسريع المطالبة برحيل القوات الأميركية، وما يرافق هذه الدعوات من تحركات قد لا تبقى كلها في الدائرة السياسية.

– يدرك الأميركيون من تجاربهم السابقة التوازنات التي تحكم المعادلات في سورية، ويدركون أن محاولات تحييد الدور الروسي أصيبت مراراً بالفشل، وأن معركة فاصلة تدور رحاها الآن مع الجماعات الإرهابية بشراكة سورية روسية إيرانية ونسبة من التنسيق الضمني مع تركيا، وأن واشنطن لا مصلحة لها بخوض معركة مكشوفة مع هذا الرباعي الذي تربطها بأطرافه علاقات تتراوح بين العدائيّة والسيئة والمتوترة، خصوصاً بعد الكلام الروسي الذي يتهم واشنطن بتبديد تفاهمات سوتشي الأخيرة عبر السلوك المتهوّر في المنطقة.

– المنطقة على برميل بارود، والأطراف المعنيّة والمتقابلة تسعى لتفادي الحرب، لكن الخطوات غير المحسوبة قد تشعلها، ومحور المقاومة لم يعد يتصرّف كتحالف مجموعة أطراف بل كمحور وفقاً للكلام الأخير للسيد حسن نصرالله، وعلى الأميركيين والإسرائيليين أخذ هذا الكلام بجدية في حساباتهم كي لا يقعوا بخطأ في الحساب يتسبب بخروج الأمور عن السيطرة، أما إن أرادوا الحرب فرد محور المقاومة واضح، لا نريد الحرب ولن نبادر إليها، لكن إن فرضت علينا فلا نخشاها وسنحوّلها من تحدٍّ إلى فرصة.

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CONSTRUCTING THE NARRATIVE: GOOGLE USES SPECIAL MEASURES TO LIMIT SPREAD OF NON-MSM NEWS

Constructing the Narrative: Google Uses Special Measures To Limit Spread Of Non-MSM News

Jen Gennai speaking to the Project Veritas undercover investigator. Click to see full-size image.

On June 24th, investigative website Project Veritas released a video showing a Google whistleblower talking about the tech giant’s activities in avoiding a “Trump Situation” happening once more in 2020.

Embedded video

James O’Keefe@JamesOKeefeIII

BREAKING @Project_Veritas: Insider Blows Whistle & Exec Reveals Google Plan to Prevent “Trump situation” in 2020 on Hidden Cam — FULL VIDEO AND BACKUP: https://www.projectveritas.com/2019/06/24/insider-blows-whistle-exec-reveals-google-plan-to-prevent-trump-situation-in-2020-on-hidden-cam 

8,862 people are talking about this

An interesting fact is that YouTube is actively downing the video and its mirrors.

Project Veritas website was under attack around 21:00 GMT+0 and was inaccessible.

In the video, the whistleblower describes that Google has the ability to avoid a new “Trump situation” in 2020 by throttling conservative voices across its platforms, the company’s executives were willing to employ their capabilities, the whistleblower suggested.

In addition to the whistleblower’s testimony, the video shows documents, as well as an undercover video of a senior Google executive – Jen Gennai.

“They’re going to redefine a reality based on what they think is fair and based upon what they want, and what and is part of their agenda,” the Google insider said.

In the video, Google’s Head of Responsible Innovation Jen Gennai criticizes Elizabeth Warren’s “misguided” suggestions on “breaking up Google”. She explains “smaller companies don’t have the resources,” unlike Google, to “prevent the next Trump situation.”

Gennai works in the same division run by Kent Walker, a Google VP who assured employees “history is on our side”. Gennai says the following in the video:

“Elizabeth Warren is saying we should break up Google. And like, I love her but she’s very misguided. Like that will not make it better it will make it worse. Because all these smaller companies who don’t have the same resources that we do will be charged with preventing the next Trump situation. It’s like, a small company cannot do that.”

“We all got screwed over in 2016, again it wasn’t just us. It was, the people got screwed over, the news media got screwed over, like. Everybody got screwed over so we’re rapidly been like, ‘what happened there and how do we prevent it from happening again?’”

“We’re also training our algorithms, like, if 2016 happened again, would we have, would the outcome be different?”

According to the insider, after Trump’s election in 2016, the company completely changed:

“Right after Donald Trump won the election in 2016, the company did a complete 180 in what they thought was important,” he said. “Before, they thought self-expression, giving everyone a voice was important, but now they’re like hey, there’s a lot of hate, and because there’s a lot of hate and misogyny and racism, that’s the reason Donald Trump got elected. And so we need to fix that.”

How?

“We need to start policing our users because we don’t like to have an outcome like that. We don’t want to have an outcome like that happen again,” he said.

Project Veritas posted what were identified as internal Google documents on “machine learning fairness” and “algorithmic unfairness,” which was defined as “unjust or prejudicial treatment of people that is related to sensitive characteristics such as race, income, sexual orientation, or gender.”

“The reason we launched our A.I. [artificial intelligence] principles is because people were not putting that line in the sand, that they were not saying what’s fair and what’s equitable so we’re like, well we are a big company, we’re going to say it,” Gennai said.

What does “fairness” mean to Google?

“Fairness Is a dog whistle. It does not mean what you think it means,” said the anonymous insider.

“What they’re really saying about fairness is that they have to manipulate their search results so it gives them the political agenda that they want,” he said. “And so they have to re-bias their algorithms so that they can get their agenda across.”

According to James O’Keefe, Project Veritas head and founder, what google was doing sounds more as “Social engineering” and less as “Search querying.”

Some of the presented alleged Google documents suggested that search results can be used to promote political agenda.

Typing “women can” into the search engine provides auto-completed results empowering to women.

Conversely, typing “men can” provides results intended to break gender stereotypes.

Constructing the Narrative: Google Uses Special Measures To Limit Spread Of Non-MSM News

Click to see full-size image

Constructing the Narrative: Google Uses Special Measures To Limit Spread Of Non-MSM News

Click to see full-size image

Some of the other shown documents provide alleged evidence that Google actively prioritizes some news publishers over others.

One document titled “Fake News-letter” promotes a goal of establishing a “single point of truth” for the definition of “news”. Google says it removes “low-quality sources” and “misinformation”.

“We have gotten accusations of around fairness is that we’re unfair to conservatives because we’re choosing what we find as credible news sources and those sources don’t necessarily overlap with conservative sources …” Gennai said.

According to the insider, “establishment-unfriendly” content creators like David Rubin are routinely suppressed because they’re tagged as “right wing.”

“What YouTube did is they changed the results of the recommendation engine. And so what the recommendation engine is it tries to do, is it tries to say, well, if you like A, then you’re probably going to like B. So content that is similar to Dave Rubin or Tim Pool, instead of listing Dave Rubin or Tim Pool as people that you might like, what they’re doing is that they’re trying to suggest different, different news outlets, for example, like CNN, or MSNBC, or these left leaning political outlets.”

Embedded video

Dave Rubin

@RubinReport

“Talkshow host Dave Rubin’s videos received heightened analysis in the artificial intelligence program Viacon. Viacon polices YouTube distribution, singling Prager and Rubin out as “right wing” and “news talk.”

Wanna chat, @SusanWojcicki?

1,912 people are talking about this

Content creator Lauren Chen backed up the whistleblower’s claims, saying that her popular videos were getting fewer views and they weren’t being recommended by the system any longer.

Lauren Chen

@TheLaurenChen

Finally, in February 2019 after YouTube’s announcement, our recommended views dropped even more.

Again, these number don’t speak to the TOTAL number of views I was getting (that number has fluctuated), merely the proportion of them that the algorithm was responsible for.

View image on Twitter

Lauren Chen

@TheLaurenChen

As it stands, channel like mine are in YouTube purgatory.

Our channels aren’t deleted, but we’re not growing since our content isn’t being offered to new viewers.

YouTube is filtering what it recommends through an ideological bias.

This is NOT how “platforms” behave.

336 people are talking about this

Scott Adams called Google “the Gatekeepers to reality” and that they weren’t credible.

Embedded video

James O’Keefe@JamesOKeefeIII

Check out @ScottAdamsSays Reaction to today’s @Project_Veritas Google insider and undercover report. “The gatekeepers to reality are not credible.” MORE insiders can contact us: http://www.projectveritas.com/brave 

1,731 people are talking about this

Finally, the whistleblower said that US Senator Josh Hawley is currently fighting to strip social media platforms like YouTube of their Section 230 protections.

The insider said that Google violates “letter of the law” and “spirit of the law” on Section 230

“With Section 230, tech companies get a sweetheart deal that no other industry enjoys: complete exemption from traditional publisher liability in exchange for providing a forum free of political censorship.

There’s a growing list of evidence that shows big tech companies making editorial decisions to censor viewpoints they disagree with.

Even worse, the entire process is shrouded in secrecy because these companies refuse to make their protocols public. This legislation simply states that if the tech giants want to keep their government-granted immunity, they must bring transparency and accountability to their editorial processes and prove that they don’t discriminate.”

If that decision is made, big tech companies and their platforms, such as YouTube, Google, Twitter, etc. will have the ability to earn immunity, instead of receiving it automatically under Section 230. They would have to prove to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by “clear and convincing evidence” that their algorithms and content-removal practices are politically neutral. Nonetheless, even if this formal decision is made, it does not mean that the situation will become different because there are multiple options to censor independent point ofviews for companies like Google.

While the Google whistleblower quoted by Project Veritas speaks mostly about “Trump Situation”, there is little new in scripted censorship of independent points of views on plantforms like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Since the very start of the conflict in Ukraine, Google has been increasing pressure on independent media organizations limiting their views and censoring the most popular videos. For example, SouthFront has repeatedly faced blatant censorship attempts on YouTube and overcome them thanks to your support. Nonetheless, the technical measures employed by YouTube has drastically limited SouthFront videos’ views on the platform.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

The Trump-Bolton Duo Is Just Like the Bush-Cheney Duo: Warmongers Using Lies to Start Illegal Wars

Global Research, June 18, 2019

[False flag operations:] “The powers-that-be understand that to create the appropriate atmosphere for war, it’s necessary to create within the general populace a hatred, fear or mistrust of others regardless of whether those others belong to a certain group of people or to a religion or a nation.” James Morcan (1978- ), New Zealander-born Australian writer.

[Definition: A ‘false flag operation’ is a horrific, staged event—blamed on a political enemy—and used as pretext to start a war or to enact draconian laws in the name of national security].

Almost all wars begin with false flag operations.” Larry Chin (d. of b. unknown), North American author, (in ‘False Flagging the World towards War. The CIA Weaponizes Hollywood’, Dec. 27, 2014).

Definition of reverse projection: attributing to others what you are doing yourself as the reason for attacking them.” John McMurtry (1939- ), Canadian philosopher, (in ‘The Moral Decoding of 9-11: Beyond the U.S. Criminal State’, Journal of 9/11 Studies, Feb.2013).

That there are men in all countries who get their living by war, and by keeping up the quarrels of nations, is as shocking as it is true; but when those who are concerned in the government of a country, make it their study to sow discord, and cultivate prejudices between nations, it becomes the more unpardonable.” Thomas Paine (1737-1809), American Founding father, pamphleteer, (in ‘The Rights of Man’, c. 1792).

I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, and we stoleIt was like — we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment. Mike Pompeo (1963- ), former CIA director and now Secretary of State in the Trump administration, (in April 2019, while speaking at Texas A&M University.)

***

History repeats itself. Indeed, those who live by war are at it again. Their crime: starting illegal wars by committing false flag attacks and blaming other countries for their own criminal acts. On this, the Donald Trump-John Bolton duo is just like the George W. Bush-Dick Cheney duo. It is amazing that in an era of 24-hour news, this could still going on.

We recall that in 2002-2003, the latter duo, with the help of U.K.’s Tony Blair, lied their way into a war of aggression against Iraq, by pretending that Saddam Hussein had a massive stockpile of “weapons of mass destruction”and that he was ready to attack the United States proper. On October 6, 2002, George W. Bush scared Americans with his big Mushroom Cloud analogy.  —It was all bogus. —It was a pure fabrication that the gullible (!) U.S. Congress, the corporate media, and most of the American public, swallowed hook, line and sinker.

Now, in 2019, a short sixteen years later, the same stratagem seems to being used to start another illegal war of aggression, this time against the country of Iran. The masters of deception are at it again. Their secret agents and those of their Israeli and Saudi allies, in the Middle East, seem to have just launched an unprovoked attack, in international waters, against a Japanese tanker, and they have rushed to the cameras to accuse Iran. They claim that the latter country used mines to attack the tanker.

This time, they were unlucky. —The owner of the Japanese tanker, the Kokuka Courageous, immediately rebuked that “official” version. Yutaka Katada, president of the Kokuka Sangyo shipping company, declared that the attack came from a bombing from above the water. Indeed, Mr. Katada told reporters:

Source: The Washington Post

The crew are saying it was hit with a flying object. They say something came flying toward them, then there was an explosion, then there was a hole in the vessel.”

His company issued a statement saying that “the hull (of the ship) has been breached above the waterline on the starboard side”, and it was not hit by a mine below the waterline, as the Trump administration has insinuated. —[N. B.: There was also a less serious attack on a Norwegian ship, the Front Altair.]

Thus, this time the false flag makers have not succeeded. But, you can be sure that they will be back at it, sooner or later, just as they, and their well financed al-Qaeda allies, launched a few false flag “chemical” attacks in Syria, and blamed them on the Syrian Assad government.

Donald Trump has too much to gain personally from a nice little war to distract the media and the public from the Mueller report and from all his mounting political problems. In his case, he surely would benefit from a “wag-the-dog” scenario that John Bolton and his friends in the Middle East could easily invent. As a matter of fact, two weeks ago, warmonger John Bolton was coincidently in the Middle East, in the United Arab Emirates, just before the attacks!

Besides the Japanese ship owner’s denial, it is important to point out that  at the moment of the attack on the Japanese tanker, the Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Shinzo Abe, was in Iran, having talks with the Iranian government about economic cooperation between the two countries about oil shipments. Since Iran is the victim of unilateral U. S. economic sanctions, to derail such an economic cooperation between Japan and Iran could have been the triggered motivation to launch a false flag operation. It did not work. But you can be sure that the responsible party will not be prosecuted.

Conclusion

We live in an era when people with low morals, sponsored by people with tons of money, can gain power and do a lot of damage. How our democracies can survive in such a context remains an open question.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

This article was originally published on the author’s blog site: Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay.

International economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book “The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles”, of the book “The New American Empire”, and the recent book, in French “La régression tranquille du Québec, 1980-2018“. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

Our Reality Can Beat Up Your Reality. Spreading False News Stories on Iran

Taxpayer-Funded Propaganda for Trolls, by Trolls

Global Research, June 17, 2019

Twitter has declared victory over disinformation, deplatforming thousands of pro-Iranian Twitter accounts this week to coincide with US Secretary of State “Rapture Mike” Pompeo’s evidence-free declaration that Iran had attacked two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. But the mass deletion is merely an effort to distract from the implosion of two anti-Iran troll campaigns dedicated to smearing pro-peace Americans, both tacitly Twitter-approved. And there’s plenty more where those came from. As US media and politicians continues to hyperventilate about Russian bots, who’s the real troll-master?

Pompeo was out front with the blame hours after the attack, absent a shred of proof beyond unspecified “intelligence” and a few other dubious incidents in the Middle East that the US has previously pinned on Iran (also absent a shred of proof). But even mainstream media has initially been reluctant to take his word for it, mostly because the narrative is so improbable – Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe was in Tehran when it happened, promising to make the “utmost effort” to de-escalate tensions, when, as if on cue, one Japanese ship and another carrying Japanese cargo were hit? What are the odds?

When even CNN acknowledged that the attack “doesn’t appear to benefit any of the protagonists in the region,” and Bloomberg admitted “Iran has little to gain” from blowing up the ships of its esteemed guest, Pompeo clearly understood another route of influence was required. Who better to call in for reinforcements than Twitter, which has demonstrated time and again its willingness to serve the US’ preferred narrative with mass deplatformings? 4,779 accounts believed to be “associated or backed by Iran” were removed – less than an hour after Pompeo’s declaration of Iranian guilt – for nothing more than tweeting “global news content, often with an angle that benefited the diplomatic and geostrategic views of the Iranian state.” This was deemed “platform manipulation,” and therefore unacceptable.

One troll down, thousands more to go

Tweeting with an angle that benefits the diplomatic and geostrategic views of the American state, however, is perfectly acceptable – at least, it wasn’t Twitter that brought the “Iran Disinformation Project” crashing to a halt earlier this month. The State Department officially ended its @IranDisinfo influence operation after the social media initiative, ostensibly created to “counter Iranian propaganda,” went rogue, smearing any and all critics of Trump’s hawkish Iran policy as paid operatives of the Iranian government. Human rights activists, students, journalists, academics, even insufficiently-militant American propagandists at RFE/RL, Voice of America and other US-funded outlets were attacked by @IranDisinfo – all on the US taxpayer’s dime.

Congress only learned of the project in a closed-door hearing on Monday, when the State Department confessed the troll campaign had taken $1.5 million in taxpayers’ money to attack those same taxpayers – all in the name of promoting “freedom of expression and free access to information.” The group contracted to operate Iran Disinfo, E-Collaborative for Civic Education, is run by an Iranian immigrant and claims to focus on strengthening “civil society” and “democracy” back home, though its work is almost exclusively US-focused and its connections with pro-war think tanks like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies have alarmed congressional staffers.

“What rules are in place to prevent state-funded organization from smearing American citizens? If there wasn’t public outcry, would the Administration have suspended funding for Iran Disinfo?” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) tweeted after the mea culpa meeting. While the State Department was long barred from directing government-funded propaganda at its own citizens, that rule was quietly repealed in 2013 with the passage of the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act, which gave its narrative-spinners free reign to run influence operations at home. And while the Pentagon is technically forbidden from running psychological operations (“psy-ops”) against American citizens, that rule goes out the window in case of “domestic emergencies” – and the domestic emergency declared by then-President George W. Bush days after the September 11 terror attacks remains in effect, 18 years later.

Trump’s favorite anti-Iran troll

Nor was the State Department’s trolling operation the only anti-Iran psy-op to be unmasked in recent weeks. Heshmat Alavi, an anti-Iranian columnist promoted by the Trump administration and published in Forbes, the Hill, and several other outlets, was exposed by the Intercept as a propaganda construct operated by the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), a controversial Iranian exile group often called a cult that has only recently lobbied its way off the US’ terror list. The MEK is notorious for buying the endorsement of American political figures, and national security adviser John Bolton, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani are among those who have spoken at its events.

Heshmat Alavi’s stories were used to sell Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran deal to the Washington Post and other more reputable outlets, as well as to promote the MEK as a “main Iranian opposition group” and viable option for post-regime-change leadership of Iran – even though it is very much fringe and hated by the majority of Iranians for fighting on the side of Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. Indeed, Alavi’s relentless advocacy for the MEK may have scared off a few of the sites that initially published his work.

None of the editors who’d published Alavi’s work had ever spoken to him and none could provide the Intercept with any evidence that he was not, in fact, “a persona run by a team of people from the political wing of the MEK.” Defectors confirmed that Alavi is a small part of a massive US-directed propaganda campaign.

“We were always active in making false news stories to spread to the foreign press and in Iran,” a Canadian MEK defector told the Intercept, describing a comprehensive online propaganda operation run out of the group’s former base in Iraq that sought to control the narrative about Iran on Facebook and Twitter. Alavi may be gone, his account quietly suspended by Twitter in the wake of the Intercept’s unmasking and his stories pulled from Forbes and the Diplomat, but there are more where he came from. The Intercept delivered Twitter all the evidence they needed to take down the MEK’s trolling network, a swamp of “coordinated inauthentic behavior” in which Alavi was a prominent node, but the social network sat on its hands.

Friends funding fiends

Add to this toxic US-approved stew the Israeli astroturf operation Act.IL, which in 2018 took $1.1 million from Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs to troll Americans critical of Israeli policies, including its hostility toward Iran. Initially founded to combat the Iran nuclear deal, the Ministry’s mission has pivoted to combating the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, for which it receives significant US funding (Israeli Lt-Gen Gabi Ashkenazi admitted in 2012 that American taxpayers contribute more to the country’s defense budget than Israeli taxpayers). Act.IL boasts it has gotten Americans fired from their jobs, and the app encourages users to accuse American students and journalists who support BDS of antisemitism, mass-report their posts, and otherwise engage in what would be called “coordinated inauthentic behavior” if any other country did it.

Act.IL is by no means the only Israeli trolling campaign aimed at American eyeballs, either. Psy-Group, the Israeli private intelligence company that infamously pitched a social media influence operation to the Trump campaign, ran a multi-pronged online smear operation to influence a local election in California in 2017 and has pitched dozens more. The Israel on Campus Coalition attacks pro-Palestinian student activists and professors through coordinated social media campaigns, while The Israel Project operates a network of Facebook groups whose admitted purpose is to smuggle pro-Israeli propaganda into users’ newsfeeds by concealing it among bland inspirational messages.

Such clear-cut deception by state-sponsored actors is a blatant violation of Facebook’s policies as they’ve been applied to other users, but the site claims the Israeli groups are kosher. Yet of the pro-Iran accounts deleted by Twitter, one “set” included 248 accounts “engaged with discussions related to Israel specifically” – these were shut down for nothing more than their country of origin, even as inauthentic accounts run by Israel were given carte-blanche to spew propaganda. Twitter and Facebook don’t mind being weaponized in the propaganda wars, as long as they’re working for the “right” side.

As 21st century wars are fought more and more in the informational sphere, the brightly-colored propaganda posters of the previous century have been replaced with relatively sophisticated social media influence operations. What Pompeo can’t accomplish by lying to the American public, the State Department will attempt to achieve through the slow and steady drip of disinformation.

US politicians, meanwhile, remain so fixated on the “Russian trolls stole the election!” narrative they’ve been flogging for the last three years that the Senate last week unanimously passed a bill to restrict entry to any foreign national convicted of “election meddling,” a toothless piece of legislative virtue-signaling that reveals their utter disconnection from reality. It’s more than a little ironic that they’d embrace and even pay for foreign meddling as long as they believe the trolls are working for them.

As Friedrich Nietzsche said,

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.” Or a troll.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

This article was originally published in abbreviated form on RT.

Helen Buyniski‘s work has been published at RT, Ghion Journal, Progressive Radio Network, and Veterans Today, among other outlets. A journalist and photographer based in New York City, Helen has a BA in Journalism from New School University and also studied at Columbia University and New York University. Find more of her work at http://www.helenofdestroy.com and http://medium.com/@helen.buyniski, or follow her on Twitter @velocirapture23. She is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

All images in this article are from the author

The curious case of the tankers

June 14, 2019

by Nat South for The Saker Blog

I have taken the opportunity to look at the recent incident involving two outbound tankers in the Gulf of Oman. I have got some questions or two, (or three) about certain parts of the incident, from a civilian mariner’s perspective mostly.

There are various conflating aspects to the event, and questions need to be asked, yet journalists do not seemingly wish to ask the awkward but necessary questions these days.

Background

The two tankers identified as the ‘Front Altair’, a Marshall Islands flagged vessel and the ‘Kokuka Courageous’, a Panama-flagged vessel.

Front Altair Kokuka Courageous
Managed by Frontline, (Norway – Bermuda) Managed by Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (Singapore/ Japan)
23 crew(11 Russian, 11 Philippine, 1 Georgian) 21 crew (Philippine)
Aframax – 86% loaded Handy – fully loaded
75,000 MT of Naphtha 25,000 MT Methanol
Ruwais, UAE Qatar & KSA
Taiwan Singapore
Hyundai Dubai rescued crew Coastal Ace rescued crew
Transferred by SAR boat to Iranian port Transferred to USS Bainbridge
Radio message: “torpedo attack” Japanese CEO: “flying objects”
Hit on starboard amidships – “in fire’ Hit on starboard Twice over 3-hour period – engine room fire
Stopped at 02:47GMT Stopped at 06:20GMT

Both tankers were outbound (south east) of the Strait of Hormuz. Both suffered from explosion on the starboard side, (the side facing international waters). Past AIS tracks of both vessels shown here. The U.S. Navy reported receiving distress messages at 06:12am and 07:00am.

Embedded video

MarineTraffic

@MarineTraffic

We’ve captured the activity of the vessels that raced to the area to help the crew of & Courageous.
Watch the vessels Dubai, , & in this past track video.

147 people are talking about this
The activity of the vessels was captured in this past AIS track video. It shows the vessels that went to the tankers, to help the crew of the tankers. The assisting vessels are: Hyundai Dubai, tug ‘E-Two’, the Coastal Ace & ‘Naji 10’.

Contradictions and questions

The US military released a video  claiming to show an Iranian naval boat removing an unexploded limpet mine from the hull of the ‘Kokuka Courageous’ in an apparent attempt to recover evidence of its participation. I will comment more about the video later on, but we have already the ludicrous situation where the information provided by the US contradicts the statement made by the Japanese ship management company, who did not believe the ship was damaged by a mine, but by flying objects. The president of Kokuka Sangyo Marine, (shipowners), Yutaka Katada, said “there is no possibility of mine attack as the attack is well above the waterline.”

https://twitter.com/nhk_news/status/1139114208463872001

 

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NHKニュース

@nhk_news

タンカー運航の国華産業社長「砲弾による攻撃を受けた」https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20190613/k10011951311000.html 

320 people are talking about this

Questions, questions: then there is the question of timing of an attack of a Japanese owned tanker at a time when the Japanese PM was in Iran for talks.

To add to the confusion, there were reports that the Dutch crew of the ‘Coastal Ace’ who first noted a suspicious object on the hull of the tanker. This then morphed into reports that the USS Bainbridge seeing a suspect device, as shown in the timeline provided by the US Navy.

Regarding the other tanker, ‘Front Altair’, the ‘Hyundai Dubai’ was the first ship on scene who responded to the distress message and rescued the crew. Subsequently, it seems the master of this vessel gave a report on VHF: video & audio (unconfirmed).

The audio is rather telling & factual (it is a Russian speaker apparently), as he relays information from the ‘Front Altair’, ‘torpedo attack” is mentioned. (I am assuming is it is pan, pan or urgency message; it is not a distress message).

The U.S. by releasing a grainy black & white video segment, accused Iran of removing a mine from the other tanker, ‘Kokuka Courageous’, as apparent evidence of its involvement in the attacks of the two tankers. The video raises more questions than provides answers.

If both the civilian crew of the ‘Coastal Ace’ and the ‘USS Bainbridge’ both saw the ‘mine’, late morning, then why leave the important evidence in place on the hull of the tanker for several hours? For the Iranians to pick it up later?

https://www.cusnc.navy.mil/Media/News/Display/Article/1874301/statement-regarding-shipping-vessels-in-gulf-of-oman/

USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) was operating in the vicinity and provided immediate assistance to the M/V Kokuka Courageous.”

Immediate? Note that assistance didn’t extend to making safe a suspicious device ‘immediately’.

At 11:05 a.m. local time USS Bainbridge approaches the Dutch tug Coastal Ace, which had rescued the crew of twenty-one sailors from the M/T Kokuka Courageous who had abandoned their ship after discovering a probable unexploded limpet mine on their hull following an initial explosion.”

“At 4:10 p.m. local time an IRGC Gashti Class patrol boat approached the M/T Kokuka Courageous and was observed and recorded removing the unexploded limpet mine from the M/T Kokuka Courageous.”

Timings put in bold for emphasis by author.

The poor quality of the video, apparently taken from a P-8 US navy aircraft, is astounding, given that it took place at 16:00, on a sunlit day. Compare the quality and availability of the metrics between what happened during the encounter between the ‘Admiral Vinogradov’ and the ‘USS Chancellorsville, last week:

I know that optical quality is downgraded for security reasons, but this is beyond a joke in the days of HD and high-quality images on mobile phones.

Not exactly covert, to retrieve a ‘mine’ right under the noses of the US Navy? Especially when you can see in the video people on the Iranian boat looking towards a ship (?) and quite possibly the US aircraft as well. Anyway, does it take 10 people all crowded on the bow to remove a ‘mine’? Unusual EOD method there.

Does it occur to anyone that it might be a person releasing something so that the boat can leave the tanker’s side, a mooring line attachment, a magnetic device? There is no proof to suggest it was a limpet mine removed from the tanker.

The other thing that really bugs me as someone with maritime experience, is the fact that the US Navy was quite relaxed about a fully loaded tanker with methanol with an apparent explosive device attached to the hull amidships.

I personally wouldn’t be calm, due to the implication of having a toxic, polluting and highly flammable cargo, possibly seconds from being ignited. I’d be getting an EOD team over quickly to ID it, to make it safe and hand it over as a crucial piece of evidence. Yet, I cannot ascertain that any of that actually happened while the USS Bainbridge was in the vicinity of the tanker. I guess it was better to wait a few hours and let the Iranians do it. Surreal.

Instead, it seems that the US Navy stood by idly for hours, watched and let the Iranians approach the tanker, so as to gather ‘evidence’.

Another thing, this PowerPoint from the US is rather remarkable:

I guess using a telephoto lens wasn’t appropriate, to get a close-up of the darned ‘mine’ thing. Again, compare this with the US naval person on the ‘USS Chancellorsville’, merrily snapping away at the ‘Admiral Vinogradov’.

Just on this point, I like the witticism on social media:

the Pentagon should start using Huawei cameras for better video quality”.

This a good ‘un too:

Breaking: The US Navy has confirmed that there has been a reported attack on US tankers in the Gulf of Oman.” Posted by SkyNews at 12:37 am 13 June

Credibility has gone down the drain, as the tweet is still live as I write this a day later.

I know it seems little silly observations, but some of these observations could have been made by journalists when presented with official statements. Yet the most obvious question is:

Why would Iran attack two tankers near to the Strait of Hormuz, in the vicinity of US naval forces”? Some comments provided by this Military Times article. I’ll leave that for others to comment and analyze.

I’ll add more in the comments section.

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