Archive | July 9th, 2014

Tell the Imperial President: No More Wars!

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By Patrick J. Buchanan
 

Barack Obama has asked Congress for $500 million to train and arm rebels of the Free Syrian Army who seek to overthrow the government.

Before Congress takes up his proposal, both houses should demand that Obama explain exactly where he gets the constitutional authority to plunge us into what the president himself calls “somebody else’s civil war.”

Syria has not attacked us. Syria does not threaten us.

Why are we joining a jihad to overthrow the Syrian government?

President Bashar Assad is fighting against the al Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front and the even more extreme and vicious Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

In training and arming the FSA, we are enlisting in a cause where our foremost fighting allies are Islamists, like those who brought down the twin towers, and a Sunni terrorist army that seeks to bring down the government we left behind in Baghdad.

What are we doing?

Assad is no angel. But before this uprising, which has taken 150,000 lives and created millions of refugees, Congressmen and secretaries of state regularly visited him in Damascus.

“There’s a different leader in Syria now,” cooed Hillary in 2011, “Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer.”

If we bring down Assad, what assurance to do have that the Free Syrian Army will prevail against the Islamists who have proved far more effective in the field?

Will we not be compelled to plunge into the subsequent civil war to keep ISIS and al-Qaida from taking power?

If Assad falls there is also a high probability Syria’s Christians will face beheadings and butchery at the hands of the fanatics.

And should martyrdoms and massacres begin with the fall of Assad because of our intervention, the blood of Christians will be on the hands of Barack Hussein Obama and the Congress of the United States.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin says he wants no part of Obama’s new wars. Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine rightly asserts that President Obama has no authority to take us into war in Syria or Iraq.

But where are the Republicans?

Absent an attack on U.S. citizens or vital interests, or an imminent threat of attack, Obama has no authority to initiate war. The Constitution places the power to authorize wars of choice exclusively with Congress.

James Madison and his colleagues were seeking to ensure against a rogue presidency of the kind that Obama has lately begun to conduct.

It is astonishing that Republicans who threaten to impeach Obama for usurping authority at home remain silent as he prepares to usurp their war powers — to march us into Syria and back into Iraq.

Last August, Americans rose as one to tell Congress to deny Obama any authority to attack Syria. Are Republicans now prepared to sit mute as Obama takes us into two new Middle East wars, on his own authority?

A congressional debate on war is essential not only from a legal and constitutional standpoint but also a strategic one. For there is a question as to whether we are even on the right side in Syria.

Assad, no matter his sins, is the defender of the Christian and Shia minorities in Syria. He has been the most successful Arab ruler in waging war against the terrorist brigades of ISIS and al-Qaida.

Why, then, are we training Syrians to attack his army and arming people to topple his government? Have we not before us, in Libya, an example of what happens when we bring down an autocrat like Gadhafi, and even worse devils are unleashed?

While Assad has battled al-Qaida and ISIS for three years, our NATO ally Turkey has looked the other way as jihadists crossed over into Syria. Our Gulf allies have provided jihadists battling Assad with arms and money.

Query: Why are our putative allies aiding our worst enemies?

This weekend ISIS declared a caliphate, the Islamic State, over all lands in Syria and Iraq it now controls. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the ISIS war chief, has been declared the new caliph.

“The Caliphate Rises,” wails the Wall Street Journal.

But who midwifed and breast-fed the ISIS movement that has now proclaimed the new caliphate? Was it not our Turkish and Arab friends?

And whose army is the major obstacle to consolidation of a caliphate from Aleppo to Anbar? Is it not the army of the autocrat Assad whom we seek to bring down? Does this make sense?

We are told that ISIS represents a security threat to the United States.

But ISIS-controlled Syria and Iraq are on the border of Turkey, whose army could make short work of them. If the caliphate is not such a threat to the Turks as to warrant their intervention in Syria, how can it be a greater threat to us? It cannot.

Congress should block the $500 million for Obama’s wars and tell him his days as imperial president are over.

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Yes, books are banned in the US But it’s done with craft, not by burning ”VIDEO”

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Yes, you can say just about anything in the US and nothing will happen to you. (Unless you’re a journalist who gets too close to the truth about a truly powerful person. Then you risk you career and in some cases your life – but that’s a different story.)

But the fact is books do get banned in the US. Yes, you can find them and they are not thrown into bonfires in the middle of the night by jackbooted thugs, but worthy and important books go “missing” all the time. In this bit you’ll see how and why. – See more at: http://www.brasschecktv.com/videos/spin-1/yes-books-are-banned-in-the-us.html#sthash.4nvh5sbk.dpuf

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Obama Requests Nearly $60 Billion to Continue Endless War

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Fund request also marks escalation in aid to “vetted” Syrian opposition forces

– Andrea Germanos

An anti-war protest in 2010. (Photo: Fibonacci Blue/cc/flickr)President Obama on Thursday announced he would ask Congress for $58.6 billion in war funding for the 2015 fiscal year.

A White House statement outlining the request for what is formally called the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) notes that it is $20.9 billion less than what had been figured in an earlier budget.

The OCO—re-branded from the Global War on Terror—fund is in addition to the nearly $500 billion base FY2015 budget for the Defense Department.

The OCO fund request amount on its own represents 1.55 percent of the the total budget, but is part of the overall military spending that accounts for over 16 percent of the budget.

The OCO budget “isn’t subject to caps or cuts or any restrictions at all,” as Mattea Kramer of the National Priorities Projected has noted, and, as Defense News reported earlier this month, “The administration has never announced a final year for OCO funding.”

“While it is good to see the Overseas Contingency Operations account finally begin to come down, the Pentagon’s request continues to use OCO as a massive slush fund to avoid fiscal discipline,” Stephen Miles, coalition coordinator for Win Without War, stated to Common Dreams. “At nearly $60 billion, the request is $40 billion over what the Administration itself has pegged as the costs of our mission in Afghanistan,” he added.

Included within the nearly $60 billion request is “$500 million for a proposed authority to train and equip vetted elements of the Syrian armed opposition to help defend the Syrian people, stabilize areas under opposition control, facilitate the provision of essential services, counter terrorist threats, and promote conditions for a negotiated settlement.”

As Democracy Now! reported Friday, “If approved, it would mark the most direct U.S. military role in the [Syrian] conflict to date, following more covert forms of support for the rebels.”

In contrast to calls by war hawks for continued military intervention, Miles added that the American public doesn’t want continued war funding.

“Americans want our tax dollars to be coming home with our troops,” he stated.

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MOZAFAR AL-NAWAB: TAL AL-ZATAR CAMP مظفر النواب قصيدة تل الزعتر ”VIDEO”

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5 Beautiful Historic Shrines Destroyed Forever by Militants in Iraq

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5 Beautiful Historic Shrines Destroyed Forever by Militants in Iraq
Image Credit: AP

Islamic State (formerly known as ISIL), the violent militant group behind the bloody insurgency in Iraq, is also declaring war on religious icons and shrines.

A member of the group allegedly claimed that they would destroy the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest site, once Islamic State conquers Saudi Arabia. The group now controls parts of Syria and Iraq as part of a plan to supposedly establish an Islamic state that adheres to their radical interpretation of Sunni Islam.

While it’s unclear whether the group actually has its eyes set on destroying the Kaaba, Islamic State is claiming they have already destroyed important shrines in northern Iraq, a country that carries centuries-old history and was once the thriving cultural center of the Arab world.

Islamic State has declared war on “idolatry” and considers members of the Shia sect to be heretics. There’s a problem deeper here than religion: The group has been taking advantage of discontent with the wildly corrupt and sectarian policies of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has disenfranchised the country’s Sunni minority population

Here are five photos of the important monuments that Islamic State has allegedly destroyed:

1. Al-Qubba Husseiniya Mosque in Mosul

Via: AP

This place of worship in the city of Mosul is now in ruins. When Islamic State seized Mosul last month, the U.S. said their actions threatened the entire region of northern Iraq. Mosul’s name translates loosely to “the junction,” with a population of 2 million people before the attacks. The shrines’ destruction shook the lives of many of those people.

2. Jawad Husseiniya Mosque in Tal Afar

Via: AP

The jihadists wiped out several places of worship in Tal Afar, 35 miles west of Mosul. This particular Shia mosque, once high and mighty, was destroyed with rigged explosives eight years after a suicide-bombing attempt on the same building.

3. Saad bin Aqeel Husseiniya shrine in Tal Afar

Via: AP

This gorgeous dome was destroyed, along with at least four other mosques in Tal Afar, each one identified as a “Temple of Hussein.” The reason for their destruction: supposed idol-worship. These places of worship were used for ceremonies to remember Hussein Ibn Ali’s death.

4. The Tomb of the Girl in Mosul

Via: AP

Last month, Islamic State pulverized the Tomb of the Girl, a monument to a girl who is believed to have died of a broken heart. Islamic State’s objection to the tomb is a display of the group’s aggression toward any shrine at all. Historians believe the grave belonged not to a Shiite, but rather to a famous Sunni historian of medieval Islam.

Here’s an old, undated photo of the tomb:

“Generations of the young and lovelorn of Mosul have gazed at the Tomb of the Girl. Now, the Tomb of the Girl is a gaping hole,” the Hindu reported.

Many people with a broken heart have lost a place to grieve.

5. Ahmed al-Rifai shrine and tomb in Mahlabiya

Via: AP

The statues of iconic poets, the mausoleum of a saint and the statue of the Virgin in the Church of the Immaculate in al-Shifa, have also all been destroyed.

The most harrowing quote comes from a schoolteacher in Mosul:

“No one protested even though these things are very dear to all communities in the city. Perhaps it is because everyone here is too busy trying to stay alive.”

When extremism prevails, the footprints of history are wiped away.

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Horrifying Photos and Videos Capture the Crisis Currently Raging in Gaza

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Horrifying Photos and Videos Capture the Crisis Currently Raging in Gaza
Image Credit: Getty Images

It’s a photo that shows the bleak future that is to come for Gaza: plumes of dark smoke greeted residents of Israel and Palestine as they woke up Tuesday morning, signaling the start of a dangerous new phase of the conflict.

On Monday night, Israel escalated its attacks on Gaza, with the Israeli army, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), saying that 50 targets were hit overnight. The Israeli army is now contemplating a ground invasion in an offensive against Hamas. While plans have not been announced yet, the country’s government approved permission to mobilize 40,000 reservists. The video below captures IDF infantry and tanks massing on the border of Gaza.

The people of Gaza — some 1.7 million people packed into a strip of land 25 miles long and seven miles wide — are currently struggling to keep up with their rapidly increasing losses. Haaretz reports that at least 16 Palestinians have been killed in the attacks, including children. According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, more than 80 were wounded.

The photographs filtering from Gaza have been horrifying — melted, charred flesh that are unrecognizable as anything human. Harrowing details are also emerging: A strike on the house of the Kaware family, living in the southern Gaza, left at least seven people dead. Reports suggest that in an attempt to protect the house from attack, a crowd gathered on the roof in protest after Israeli authorities warned that the house would be targeted.

Image Credit: AP. Palestinians in Gaza City retrieve their belongings from the rubble from house leveled by an overnight Israeli airstrike.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the latest bombardment, officially named “Operation Protective Edge,” was launched in response to 130 rockets fired at Israel by militants on Tuesday. Israel has tied the attacks to Hamas. The rockets have residents of southern Israeli towns like Ashkelon and Sderot in fear, in some ways like their Gazan neighbors.

The impact of rockets fired by Hamas is usually negligible. Of the 60 fired last month, just 28 hit ground. The majority of Hamas missiles hit open areas and cause very few casualties. That could change following the recent events. Tuesday afternoon, air raid sirens rang in Tel Aviv, and Hamas promised that the “enemy has crossed the red lines and will be made to pay the price for its crimes.”

Image Credit: AP. A Palestinian salvaging his belongings from the remains of a house flattened by an Israeli air strike.

It’s been a tense few weeks with rockets and air strikes from Israel exchanging almost nightly. During the fierce clampdown that followed the disappearance of three Israeli teenagers from the West Bank in June, the nightly targeting of Gaza has increased in intensity since Israeli authorities pinned the abduction on Hamas.

The Israeli government has also vowed to “expand the campaign.” The country’s defense minister, Moshe Ya’alon said, “Hamas chose to escalated the situation and it will pay a heavy price.”

Image Credit: AP. Mourners carry the body of Mohammed Shaban, a senior Hamas official.

This video below, verified by social media service Storyful, captures the aftermath of a strike in downtown Gaza. The video captures an ash-covered Palestinian slumped over the hood of a burning car. The people filming the scene are heard saying in Arabic that the man is still living, the video ends with the men frantically calling for an ambulance. (Warning: Graphic).

It’s unclear whether or not Operation Protective Edge will be terrifying news for the people of Gaza, but some of the past bombardments it has faced from Israel have taken a terrible toll. During Operation Cast Lead, which took place between December 2008 and January 2009, 1,387 people were killed, according to Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem. Just 330 of those killed were taking part in hostilities, and 320 of the dead were children.

Among the more hawkish elements of Israeli society — those crying out for tough measures and even revenge in the wake of recent events — the fighting talk might be welcomed. But for the civilians who will undoubtedly be killed and injured, and for those lying awake in fear at night, the threat of more punishment is exacted on an imprisoned and impoverished population.

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Shifts in the Climate Change Debate: Hope and Suspicion

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by Richard Falk

[Prefatory Note: The text below is a revision of the previous post that enlarges upon the earlier arguments so that it seems justified to publish it here as a revised text, that is, something more than editorial modifications]

Ignoring the Scientific Consensus

Governments disappointed the world in Copenhagen at the end of 2009 by failing to produce a global agreement that would mandate reductions of carbon emissions in accord with recommendations of climate scientists. Ever since there has been a mood of despair about addressing the challenges posed by global warming. The intense lobbying efforts by climate deniers, reinforced in the United States by a right wing anti-government tsunami that has paralyzed Congress, succeeded in blocking even modest market-based steps to induce energy efficiency. This bleak picture raises daunting biopolitical questions about whether the human species possesses a sufficient will to survive given its persisting inability to respond to the climate change challenge despite well-evidenced warnings about the consequences of a failure to do so. Less apocalyptically, this pattern of inaction makes us wonder whether a state-centric structure of world order can surmount the limits of national interests to undertake policies that promote the human interest in relation to global warming.

International experience shows that where the interests of important states converge, especially if complemented by the interests of business and finance, collective initiatives upholding human interests can be implemented. The international regulation of ozone depletion, the public order of the oceans, the avoidance of international conflict in Antarctica, and the protection of some endangered marine species, such as whales, are illustrative of what is possible when a favorable lawmaking and compliance atmosphere exists. This record of regulation on behalf of the global common good are examples of success stories that make international law seem more worthwhile than media cynics and influential political realists acknowledge. Yet in relation to the climate change agenda, despite the strong, even stridently avowed, consensus among climate scientists (at about the 97% level), the dynamics of forging the sort of agreement that will keep global warming within prudent and manageable limits has not materialized.

Such a world order failure is imposing serious costs. As has been repeatedly demonstrated, the longer the buildup of greenhouse gasses is allowed to continue, the worse will be the harmful effects on human wellbeing and the greater the costs of preventing still worse future impacts. Anticipated harm will take the form of rising sea levels, drought and floods, damaging fires, extreme weather, melting polar ice caps and glaciers, and crop failures. At some point thresholds of irreversibility will be crossed, and the fate of the human species, along with that of most of nature, becomes negatively determined beyond easy alteration.

American Leadership: For What?

There are many factors that have contributed to this policy stalemate. Among the most serious is the decline of responsible American leadership. Ever since the Copenhagen fiasco American leverage has been used irresponsibly, mainly to oppose climate change ambition in international negotiations and block efforts to impose obligations on governments that relate to the emission of greenhouse gasses. In an atmosphere where adverse national interests and perceptions were difficult enough to overcome, the United States in effect has been insisting that constraining their pursuit for the sake of serving a widely shared understanding of the common good was neither politically feasible nor desirable. The policy of the U.S. Government was in large part a reflection of the political climate in Washington that had become hostile to international commitments of almost any kind. This Washington mood especially opposed any undertaking related to environmental protection, which were automatically regarded as anti-market. In such a policy context in which the United States as global leader and leading per capita emitter refuses to take a responsible position, it is certainly not in a position to encourage others to act responsibly. It is evident that without geopolitical leadership with respect to climate change policy, selfishly conceived national interests with short time horizons, will carry the day, and the world will continue to drift disastrously toward a hotter future.

After being reelected in 2012 Barack Obama has been making the urgency of national and global action on climate change a rallying cry of his second term. In June of this year he gave a commencement address at the Irvine campus of the University of California in which he urged the graduating students to demand more responsible action on climate change by their government, especially by Congress, as crucial to obtaining a hopeful future for themselves. The students and their families present at the graduation ceremony received such a message with enthusiastic applause, but there is little reason to be hopeful that Obama on his own will be able to turn the tide in Washington sufficiently to restore confidence in American leadership with respect to climate change either at home or abroad.

The issue is particularly timely as the world is gearing up for a 2015 global meeting of governments in Paris that may represent the last real opportunity for collective action on a global scale to slow down the march toward species decline, if not oblivion, in an overheating planet, perhaps a moment of truth as to whether the coordinated behavior of governments is capable finally of serving the planetary public good in relation to climate change. According to ‘Giddens Law’ by the time the public will awaken to the seriousness of the global emergency it will be too late to reverse, or even manage, the trend. Obama at Irvine put this same issue more conditionally: “The question is whether we have the will to act before it is too late.” Such a question is itself enveloped in clouds of unknowing as there is no way to be sure in advance when it becomes ‘too late.’

 

The Market Awakens?

Despite this recital of discouraging aspects of the national and global response to climate change, I believe for the first time in this century that there may be reasons to be guardedly hopeful, maybe not in relation to what kind of global compact will emerge in Paris, but with respect to a tectonic shift in how the climate change challenge is being understood by the public and by hegemonic elites, especially in the globalizing domains of high finance and transnational corporate operations. Publication of a report in June 2014 playfully namedRisky Business might at some future date be acknowledged as prefiguring a basic change in the political atmospherics relating to climate change. The visual iconographic adopted to introduce the report is indicative of its message to the society: a disabled theme park roller coaster inundated by rising coastal waters. Such an image expresses the idea that commercial property is at risk due to a disregard of longer term impacts attributable to global warming, suggestive of the sort of devastation experienced by the American northeast coastline in 2012 due to superstorm Sandy.

Risky Business explains and analyzes impending economic burdens on American business interests associated with continuing insufficient action on climate change. It is a think tank offering based on empirical research and risk analysis methodology that comes with the imprimatur of a self-anointed group of high profile economistic figures with impeccable private sector credentials. The chairs of this blue ribbon American effort were Henry Paulson, Secretary of the Treasury under Bush during the deep recession, Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York City and environmentally oriented billionaire, and Thomas Steger, a prominent former hedge fund manager, identified as a major donor of the Democratic Party. Among these ten business world notables, an establishment mix of conservative and mainstream heavyweights, whose role seems to be to lend legitimacy and visibility to the report and its assessments. Thres of the ten are former secretaries of the treasury (Paulson + George Shultz, Robert Rubin), several business leaders connected with big corporations, including Gregory Page the ex-CEO of Cargill, the worldwide agribusiness giant, three political figures who have held important government posts in the past, and Alfred Sommer, the former dean of the School of Public health at Johns Hopkins. In keeping with the national focus of the undertaking, the global dimensions of climate change are completely ignored, and all ten endorsers are American. This self-consciously nationalist assessment of what is in its essence a global challenge is somewhat puzzling, and nowhere explained.

In his Irvine commencement address Obama quotes approvingly Woodrow Wilson’s remark: “Sometimes people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American.” Obama adds his own emphatic affirmation by way of echo: “That’s who we are.” In contrast, the tone and rationale of Risky Businessis not idealist, but rather ‘sensible’ and ‘prudent.’ It is not dedicated so much to doing what is right for the country as it is to doing what is deemed beneficial for the future of the American economy, and helping to realize the central goal of business–maximizing benefits from the efficient use of capital. The report is realistic in style as well as substance–doing its best to avoid being ‘political.’

In this spirit Risky Business deliberately refrains from offering policy recommendations, presumably to avoid seeming partisan or pushing ideologically sensitive buttons. There is a claim made by the authors that their analysis is meta-political (quite a political novelty these days), and that its recommended approach should appeal to everyone concerned with the health of the American economy regardless of their political persuasion. As indicated, the report somewhat artificially looks at climate change exclusively through a national lens. It offers no direct commentary on the global aspects of the climate change challenge and even fails to offer any insight as what should be done internationally to lessen the adverse national economic impacts for the United States that can be attributed to the global mismanagement of climate change. The modestly framed objective of this report is to stimulate active participation by business representatives in debates about how to mitigate harmful climate trends.

Co-chair Paulson (of bailout notoriety) published a widely influential article publicized to coincide with the release of Risky Business, capturing attention with an unusally alarmist headline, “The Coming Climate Crash,” (NY Times, June 21, 2014) The piece summarizes the outlook of Risky Business, proposing a new attitude toward climate advocacy that could exert a major influence on the investment community, as well as among Washington’s think tanks and lobbyists, and hence, eventually, may even get a hearing in Congress. The main messages delivered in the report are that human-generated global warming is real and dangerous for the economy (and incidentally for human health), and that inaction and delay in attending to these risks will make the situation worse than it already is and much more expensive to control. The bottom line is that business and finance stakeholders should immediately enter the national policy debate as a matter of self-interest. If sufficiently heeded, such involvement is likely to change the balance of forces on Wall Street and in Washington, the two venues that count most in this country when it comes to the shaping of the government role in the economy.

Risky Business, in keeping with its outlook and patrons, adopts a risk management approach to climate change. It seeks to demonstrate the specific anticipated effects of unattended risks from warming trends on the economic wellbeing of eight distinct geographic regions that together make up the whole of the United States. Some regions in certain sectors will actually gain from climate change, while others lose, with the conclusion that the losses will far outweigh the gains. For instance, agriculture in northern states of the mid-West will benefit from longer growing seasons and warmer temperatures, while the mid-West and South will suffer from the increased heat and greater frequency of extreme weather events.

The report summarizes its outlook as follows: “The signature effects of human-induced climate change..all have specific, measureable impacts on our nation’s current assets and ongoing economic activity.” (p.2). In effect, these projected impacts are not treated as mere speculation, but are set forth as the reliable results of risk analysis that should be taken into account in business planning. The essential lesson to be learned is that “..if we act aggressively to both adapt to the dangers and to mitigate future impacts by reducing carbon emissions—we can significantly reduce our exposure to the worst risks from climate change and also demonstrate global leadership on climate.” (p.3) This sole reference to the ‘global’ sensibly presupposes that if the United States gets its national house in order it will likely regain its reputation and leverage as a responsible leader in global policy settings. The positive prospect of climate change adjustment is set off against a criticism of present complacency: “Our key findings underscore the reality that if we stay on our current emissions path, our climate risks will multiply and accumulate at the decades tick by.” (p.8) All of this induces the following conclusion: “With this report, we call on the American business community to rise to the challenge and lead the way in helping to reduce climate risks.” (p.9)

The auspices of Risky Business immediately gave the report a media salience and respectful reception that earlier more authoritative scientific studies along the same lines did not receive, including the exhaustively researched comprehensive reports of the United Nations Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Even the Wall Street Journal, a media hub for climate change cynics, took respectful note of Risky Business without recourse to its usual snide anti-environmental commentary. The report is arousing great interest by offering what amounts to a business friendly certification for counter-branding climate change. It offers a vivid alternative to the climate denial prescriptions being peddled by Koch Brothers/Tea Party/fossil fuel industry anti-environmentalism. By arguing that the failure to act now on climate change will in the future exact bigger and bigger costs on business as well as be harmful to society, the report overrides the contentions that regulating greenhouse gas emissions in the United States is unnecessary and if undertaken will put American manufacturing operations at a competitive disadvantage internationally. Risky Business supports the opposite position on the facts and their implications for government. Rather than leaving the private sector alone to sort out its own course of action, the report declares that it is in the interest of business to have the government set “a consistent policy and a regulatory framework” that will keep carbon emissions below dangerous thresholds.

If this recommended action is not taken, Risky Business anticipates annual costs to the country of several billion dollars arising from increasing heat, storm surges, and hurricane intensity, as well as projecting 10% reduced crop yields over and a 3-5% livestock production decline over the course of the next 25 years. The approach adopted is congenial to the hedge fund and shareholder mentality by stressing risk management as the prescribed pattern of response rather than advocating a carbon tax or market constraints.

In this spirit, attention is given to such an undertaking as the Ceres’ Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), which reports that already as many as 53 of the Fortune 100 companies have on their own adopted policies responsive to climate with an aggregate saving $1.1 billion annually, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 58.3 million metric tons (an amount equal to closing 15 coal-fired plants). In effect, smart business practices are already taking advantage of carbon-lite methods of production, although the scale is far too small and without overall direction provided by the government. This decentralized approach to the use of energy represents as indirect way of addressing carbon emissions that is seen as the essential feature of this self-management climate risk paradigm, and suggests that big business despite the clamor in Congress is being quietly and effectively enlisted in the battle against global warming. Whether this turn will be on a large enough scale without being reinforced by innovative government policies is an important issue to resolve, and Risky Business leaves little doubt as to its view that a more self-conscious approach needs to be centrally implemented as a matter of urgency. At this time, the benefits of this risk management approach seem quite marginal to the kind of public mobilization that will be needed, and this is precisely where Risky Business seeks to make its views felt among the constituencies that count.

Beyond Risky Business

The substantive challenge for the economy is clear: Given seemingly inevitable economic costs, how can such burdens be best addressed to lessen their harmful effects on business and finance. The central message of hope issued by Risky Business is that jobs can be generated (not lost) and GNP increased (not diminished) while at the same time doing what is needed to reduce carbon emissions by a sufficient amount to contain global warming within safe and prudent limits. Further, that all this can be done without requiring a carbon tax provided appropriate action is taken on a large enough scale in the very near future. This risk management approach is not just wishing global warming away while carrying on without any big adjustments. The report while avoiding policy recommendations does offer some prescriptive ideas about how to beat global warming without directly regulating carbon emissions. Among the ideas endorsed are taking such steps as investing heavily in the development of clean public transport systems, enhanced energy efficiency in industry, and increased energy conservation in building design and operation. These kinds of initiatives are all within the scope of what has come to be called ‘smart development,’ which is becoming the new fashion for demonstrations about how to make economic growth compatible with environmental sustainability, and doing so in ways that do not scare off the neoliberal elites that run the economies of the world primarily for the sake of private sector profitability.

The main arguments of Risky Business are complemented by a recent World Bank study with the relevant title, “Climate-Smart Development: Adding Up the Benefits of Actions that Help Build Prosperity, End Poverty, and Combat Climate Change.” The study puts forward the new enlightenment oriented claim that the intelligent application of reason enables society to have it all without disturbing the ideological status quo—nurture growth, eliminate poverty, deal with climate change. If the world begins to act prudently in the design of climate policy, there is nothing to worry about. Best of all, this kind of new thinking does not require any major ideological modifications in the capitalist worldview. It does call for an abandonment of what is referred to as “the tyranny of short-termism,” presupposing shareholder acceptance of longer-term planning that may have some negative impacts on near-term quarterly earning statements that have so far stymied most efforts to deal prudently with climate change risks. This kind of shift can be fully rationalized within the risk management paradigm, optimally adjusting business for profit to the new realities of global warming by adopting a new concept of ‘corporate time’ by which to maximize profit-making activity.

There are some further elements in this more hopeful approach to the climate change challenge. The development of huge natural gas deposits supposedly reduces by as much as 50% the release of greenhouse gasses. More importantly, a policy focus on cutting the emissions of what are called ‘short-lived climate pollutants’ (‘black carbon’- diesel fumes, cooking fires, methane, ozone, some hydrofluoride carbons) if implemented ambitiously is capable of lengthening the time available to make the more fundamental adjustments in the management of energy sources associated with the long lasting buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, including the expansion of reliance on low-carbon production technology and the expansion of renewable energy (solar, wind).

It does seem that Risky Business represents a kind of breakthrough in the national debate on climate change. When business speaks, America listens. The report aligns business with science and reason without an accompanying future scenario of economic decline or any questioning of capitalist dependence on environmentally damaging consumerism. It advocates sub-national understandings of the risks and responses based on the characteristics of eight specific geographic regions in the United States, which fits the remedy to the challenge in a more convincing manner than grosser templates. Indirectly, it posits an alternative both to the business funding of climate denial and to those who insist that the structures of national sovereignty and capitalism are incapable of dealing with the global challenges being posed by climate change. This more optimistic approach rests on the assumption that the risks are accurately measureable, and can be offset without incurring significant economic burdens if action is quickly undertaken both by the private sector acting on its own and by government acting to protect the national public good.

 

A Concluding Skepticism

There are several reasons to be doubtful about whether Risky Business is providing the country with a reliable roadmap. First of all, the failure to relate national policy to the global setting is a significant shortcoming with respect to assessing risks and costs. The level of global warming in national space is dependent on what others do as well as to what happens in the United States. If emissions are reduced globally in accord with scientific understanding, the anticipated national costs and risks will be far lower than if this understanding continues to be ignored. Also, it seems doubtful that rational argument alone can sway the fossil fuel establishment to stop muddying the waters of democratic deliberation by continuing to fund the climate denial lobby.

Risky Business completely ignores the potential roles of civil society in mobilizing a prudent and equitable response, and contains no consideration of how to distribute whatever burdens are present in a manner that accords with ‘climate justice.’ In the end, it is questionable nationally and internationally, whether a business-friendly win/win scenario for meeting the challenges of climate change can on its own save the planet from impending disaster. Nevertheless, Risky Business might be helpful in forging a national consensus, also being urged by President Obama, that rests on an acceptance of the understanding among climate scientists of the realities of human-induced global warming. We do know that in a capitalist society when business raises its voice the message gets delivered, but we also should realize that this voice should not to be trusted without the most careful scrutiny. A politics of suspicion is appropriate.

With this move from the top echelons of the business world, it is time for civil society to come forth with a response that does emphasize the global setting of national policy responses on climate change and seeks to inject the perspectives of the climate justice transnational movement into the policy debate. Part of this response also needs to consider such structural issues as the persisting dominance of sovereign states in the making of global policy relating to climate change, and the questionable capacity of neoliberal globalization to serve the human interest, including that of safeguarding the future.

What seems most hopeful is the growing public recognition of climate change as mounting a challenge to society, government, and the peoples of the world that cannot be evaded without producing severe future damage. Also encouraging, is the emergence of thinking about indirect and innovative steps that can be taken to improve prospects of reducing carbon emissions—encouraging public transport, systemic moves to increase energy efficiency in building and maintenance, and reductions in air pollution from short-lived pollutants (differing from carbon dioxide with its greenhouse effect lasting for thousands of years). Behind the edifice of analysis and prescription it remains obscure who will foot the bill, and without such awareness, the real political implications of what Risky Business is proposing are uncertain.

Posted in HealthComments Off on Shifts in the Climate Change Debate: Hope and Suspicion

Shifts in the Climate Change Debate: Hopeful Horizons?

NOVANEWS

 by Richard Falk

Ever since governments disappointed the world in Copenhagen at the end of 2009 by not producing a global agreement that would mandate reductions of carbon emissions, there has been a mood of despair about addressing the challenges posed by global warming. The intense lobbying efforts by climate deniers reinforced in the United States by a right wing anti-government tsunami that has paralyzed Congress even in relation to modest market-based steps to induce energy efficiency is part of the bleak picture. It raises daunting biopolitical questions about whether the human species has a sufficient will to survive given the nature of the climate change challenge. Less apocalyptically, it makes us wonder whether a state-centric structure of world order can surmount the limits of national interests to undertake policies that promote the humaninterest.

International experience shows that where the interests of important states converge, especially if complemented by the interests of business and finance, collective initiatives upholding human interests can be implemented. The international regulation of ozone depletion, the public order of the oceans, the avoidance of international conflict in Antarctica, and the protection of some endangered marine species, such as whales, are illustrative of what is possible when the lawmaking and compliance atmosphere is supportive. This record of regulation on behalf of the global common good are examples of success stories that make international law seem more worthwhile than media cynics and influential political realists acknowledge. Yet in relation to the climate change agenda, despite a strong consensus among climate scientists (at about the 97% level), the dynamics of forging the sort of agreement that will keep global warming within prudent and manageable limits has not materialized. Such a world order failure imposes serious costs. As has been repeatedly demonstrated, the longer the buildup of greenhouse gasses is allowed to persist, the worse will be the harmful effects on human wellbeing and the greater the costs of preventing still worse future impacts taking the form of rising sea levels, drought and floods, extreme weather, melting polar regions, and crop failures. At some point thresholds of irreversibility are crossed, and the fate of the human species, along with that of most of nature, becomes sealed.

There are many factors that have contributed to this policy stalemate. Among the most serious is the decline of responsible American leadership. Ever since the Copenhagen fiasco American leverage has been used irresponsibly, to discourage climate change ambition in the negotiations and to oppose any new effort to impose obligations on governments. In an atmosphere where adverse national interests and perceptions were difficult enough to overcome, the United States in effect insisted that constraining their pursuit was not politically feasible or desirable. Stymied by a political atmosphere in Washington that is hostile to international commitments of any kind, but especially to those that concern environmental protection and impose constraints on market activities. In this kind of situation, if rich and powerful America refuses to take a responsible position, it cannot effectively encourage others to do so, and without geopolitical leadership, selfishly conceived national interests with short time horizons, carry the day.

President Barack Obama has been making the urgency of action on climate change a rallying cry of his second term. In June of this year he gave a commencement address at the Irvine campus of the University of California in which he urged the graduating students to demand more responsible action on climate change from the government, especially Congress, as crucial in seeking a hopeful future for themselves. The assembled students and their families received such a message with enthusiastic applause, but there is little reason to be hopeful that Obama is able to turn the tide in Washington sufficiently to restore confidence in American leadership with respect to climate change. The issue is crucial as the world is gearing up for a 2015 global meeting of governments in Paris that may represent the last real opportunity for collective action on a global scale to slow down the march toward species oblivion in an overheating planet, perhaps a moment of truth as to whether the coordinated behavior of governments is capable of serving the planetary public good in relation to climate change. According to ‘Giddens Law’ by the time the public awakens to the seriousness of the emergency it will be too late to reverse, or even manage, the warming trend. Obama at Irvine put this same issue more conditionally: “The question is whether we have the will to act before it is too late.” The issue is further clouded as there is no way of knowing in advance what is ‘too late.’

Despite this recital of discouraging aspects of the national and global response to climate change, I believe for the first time in this century that there may be reasons to be guardedly hopeful, maybe not in relation to what will emerge in Paris, but with respect to a tectonic shift in how the climate change challenge is being understood by the public and by hegemonic elites, especially in the globalizing domains of high finance and transnational corporate operations. Publication of the report in June 2014, Risky Business, is certainly a weathervane of change in the political atmospherics relating to climate change. The visual iconographic adopted by the report is a damaged roller coaster inundated by rising coastal waters, that is, the destruction of commercial property by disregard of the longer term impacts attributable to global warming.

This report explains and analyzes impending economic burdens on American business interests associated with sustained inaction on climate change. It is a think tank offering based on empirical research and risk analysis methodology that comes with the imprimatur of a self-anointed group of high-level economistic figures with impeccable private sector credentials. The chairs of this blue ribbon American effort were Henry Paulson, Secretary of the Treasury under Bush during the deep recession, Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York City and environmentally oriented billionaire, and Thomas Steger, a prominent former hedge fund manager, identified as a major donor of the Democratic Party. Among the ten notables, an establishment mix of conservative and mainstream heavyweights, whose role seems to be to lend legitimacy and visibility to the report and its assessments. Two of the ten are former secretaries of the treasury (George Shultz, Robert Rubin), several business leaders connected with big corporations, including Gregory Page the CEO of Cargill, the worldwide agribusiness giant, three have held prominent political posts in the past, and there is even one lonely academic. In keeping with the national focus of the undertaking, the global dimensions of climate change are completely ignored, and all of the endorsers are American.

In his Irvine commencement address Obama quotes approvingly Woodrow Wilson’s remark: “Sometimes people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American.” Obama adds his own emphatic endorsement: “That’s who we are.” In contrast, the tone and rationale of Risky Business is not idealist, but what one might call ‘sensible’ and ‘prudent.’ Not so much doing what is right for the country as doing what is beneficial for the the future of the American economy, and helping to realize the central goal of business–maximize benefits from the efficient use of capital. The report is also realistic in the sense of doing its best to avoid being ‘political’ or stepping on ideologically sensitive toes.

In this spirit Risky Business self-consciously refrains from offering policy recommendations, presumably to avoid seeming partisan or pushing ideologically sensitive buttons. There is a claim made by the authors that the analysis is meta-political (quite a political novelty these days) because its recommended approach should appeal to anyone concerned with the future of the American economy. As indicated, the report somewhat artificially looks at climate change exclusively through a national lens. It refrains from any direct commentary on the global aspects of the climate change challenge and even fails to offer any insight as what should be done internationally to lessen adversenational economic impacts associated with the global mismanagement of climate change. The modestly framed objective of this report is to stimulate active participation by business representatives in debates about how to mitigate harmful climate trends. Paulson (of bailout notoriety) wrote a widely influential article publicized with an unexpectedly alarmist headline, “The Coming Climate Crash,” (NY Times, June 21, 2014) that effectively publicized the outlook of Risky Business, proposing a new attitude toward climate advocacy likely to exert a major influence in both the investment community, Washington’s think tanks and lobbyists, and hence, eventually, even Congress. The main messages being delivered are that human-generated global warming is real and dangerous for the economy (and incidentally for human health), and that inaction and delay in attending the risks will make the situation worse than it already is and much more expensive to control. The bottom line is that business and finance stakeholders should immediately enter the national policy debate as a matter of self-interest. If sufficiently heeded, such involvement is likely to change the balance of forces on Wall Street and Washington, the two venues that count most in this country when it comes to the shaping of the government role in the economy.

Risky Business, in keeping with its orientation, adopts a risk management approach to climate change. It seeks to show the specific anticipated effects of unattended risks on the economic wellbeing of eight distinct geographic regions that together make up the whole of the United States. Some regions in certain sectors will actually gain from climate change, while others lose, with the conclusion that the losses will far outweigh the gains. The report summarizes its outlook as follows: “The signature effects of human-induced climate change..all have specific, measureable impacts on our nation’s current assets and ongoing economic activity.” (p.2). In effect, these impacts are not mere speculation, but are the reliable results of risk analysis that should be taken into account in business planning. The essential lesson to be learned is that “..if we act aggressively to both adapt to the dangers and to mitigate future impacts by reducing carbon emissions—we can significantly reduce our exposure to the worst risks from climate change and also demonstrate global leadership on climate.” (p.3) This sole reference to the ‘global’ sensibly presupposes that if the United States gets its national house in order it will regain its authority to exercise leadership in global settings. The positive prospect of climate change adjustment is set off against a criticism of present complacency: “Our key findings underscore the reality that if we stay on our current emissions path, our climate risks will multiply and accumulate at the decades tick by.” (p.8) All of this induces the following conclusion: “With this report, we call on the American business community to rise to the challenge and lead the way in helping to reduce climate risks.” (p.9)

The auspices of Risky Business immediately gave the report a media salience and respectful reception that earlier more authoritative scientific studies along the same lines did not receive, including the well-grounded comprehensive reports of the United Nations Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Even the Wall Street Journal, the media headquarters for climate change cynics, took note of Risky Business without recourse to its usual snide anti-environmental commentary. The report is arousing great interest by offering what amounts to a Wall Street certification for a counter-branding of climate change. It is a vivid alternative to the climate denial prescriptions being peddled by Koch Brothers/Tea Party/fossil fuel industry anti-environmentalism. By arguing that the failure to act now on climate change will in the future exact bigger and bigger costs on business as well as be harmful to society, the report overrides the contentions that regulating greenhouse gas emissions in the United States is unnecessary and if undertaken will put its manufacturing operations at a competitive disadvantage internationally. Risky Business asserts an opposite position on the facts and their implications for government. Rather than leaving the private sector alone to sort out its own course of action, the report declares that it is in the interest of business to have the government set “a consistent policy and a regulatory framework” that will allow for orderly planning.

Risky Business anticipates annual costs to the country of several billions arising from increasing heat, storm surges, and hurricane intensity, as well as projecting 10% reduced crop yields over and a 3-5% livestock production decline over the course of the next 25 years. The approach adopted is congenial to the hedge fund and shareholder mentality by stressing risk management as the prescribed pattern of response rather than urging taxes or market constriants. In this spirit, attention is given to such an undertaking as the Ceres’ Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), and indications that already as many as 53 of the Fortune 100 companies have on their own adopted policies responsive to climate with an aggregate saving $1.1 billion annually, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 58.3 million metric tons (an amount equal to closing 15 coal-fired plants). In effect, smart business practices are already taking advantage of carbon-lite methods of production, although the scale is far too small and without overall direction provided by the government. This decentralized approach to the use of energy represents as indirect way of addressing carbon emissions that is seen as the essential feature of this self-management climate risk paradigm, and suggests that big business despite the clamor in Congress is being quietly and effectively enlisted in the battle against global warming. Whether this turn will be on a large enough scale without more centralized regulation is certainly an important issue to resolve, and Risky Business leaves little doubt as to its view that a more self-conscious approach needs to be centrally implemented. As matters currently stand, the benefits of this risk management approach seem quite marginal to the kind of public mobilization that will be needed, and this is precisely where Risky Business seeks to make its views felt among the constituencies that count.

The substantive challenge for the economy is clear: Given seemingly inevitable economic costs, how can such burdens be best addressed to lessen their harmful effects on business and finance. The central message of hope issued by Risky Business is that jobs can be generated (not lost) and GNP increased (not diminished) while at the same time doing what is needed to reduce carbon emissions by a sufficient amount to contain global warming within safe and prudent limits. Further, that all this can be done without requiring a carbon tax provided appropriate action is taken on a large enough scale in the very near future. This risk management approach is not just wishing global warming away while carrying on without any big adjustments. The report while avoiding policy recommendations does offer some prescriptive ideas about how to beat global warming without directly regulating carbon emissions. Among the ideas endorsed are taking such steps as investing heavily in clean public transport systems, enhanced energy efficiency in industry, and increased energy efficiency in building design and operation. These kinds of initiatives are all within the scope of what has come to be called ‘smart development,’ which is becoming the new fashion for demonstrations about how to make economic growth compatible with environmental sustainability, and doing so in ways that do not scare off the neoliberal elites that run the economies of the world.

The main arguments of Risky Business are complemented by a recent World Bank study with the relevant title, “Climate-Smart Development: Adding Up the Benefits of Actions that Help Build Prosperity, End Poverty, and Combat Climate Change.” The study puts forward the new enlightenment oriented claim that the intelligent application of reason enables society to have it all without disturbing the ideological status quo—nurture growth, eliminate poverty, deal with climate change. If the world acts intelligently, there is nothing to worry about. Best of all, this kind of new thinking does not require any major ideological modifications in the capitalist worldview. It does call for an abandonment of what is referred to as “the tyranny of short-termism,” presupposing shareholder acceptance of longer-term planning that may have some negative impacts on quarterly earning statements that have so far stymied most efforts to deal prudently with climate change risks. This kind of shift can be fully rationalized within the risk management paradigm, optimally adjusting business for profit to the new realities of global warming by adopting a new concept of ‘corporate time’ by which to maximize profit-making activity.

There are some further elements in this more hopeful approach to the climate change challenge. The development of huge natural gas deposits supposedly reduces by as much as 50% the release of greenhouse gasses. More importantly, a policy focus on cutting the emissions of what are called ‘short-lived climate pollutants’ (‘black carbon’- diesel fumes, cooking fires, methane, ozone, some hydrofluoride carbons) if implemented effectively is capable of lengthening the time available to make the more fundamental adjustments in the management of energy sources associated with the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, including the expansion of reliance on low-carbon production technology and the expansion of renewable energy (solar, wind).

It does seem that Risky Business represents a kind of breakthrough in the national debate on climate change. It aligns business with science and reason without projecting a future scenario of economic decline. It advocates sub-national understandings of the risks and responses based on geographic region, which fits the remedy to the challenge in a more convincing manner. Indirectly, it posits an alternative both to the business funding of climate denial and to those who insist that the structures of national sovereignty and capitalism are incapable of dealing with the global challenges being posed by climate change. This more optimistic approach rests on the assumption that the risks are accurately measureable, and can be offset without incurring great costs if action is quickly undertaken both by the private sector acting on its own and by government acting to protect the national public good.

There are several reasons to be doubtful about whether Risky Business is providing the country with a reliable roadmap. First of all, the failure to relate national policy to the global setting is a significant shortcoming with respect to assessing risks and costs. The level of global warming is dependent on what others do as well as to what happens in the United States. If emissions are reduced globally in accord with scientific understanding, the anticipated national costs and risks will be far lower than if this understanding continues to be ignored, and the problems of adjustment less difficult. Also, it seems doubtful that rational argument alone can sway the fossil fuel establishment to stop muddying the waters of democratic deliberation by continuing to fund the climate denial lobby. Risky Business completely ignores the potential roles of civil society in mobilizing a prudent and equitable response, and contains no consideration of how to distribute whatever burdens are present in a manner that accords with ‘climate justice.’ In the end, it is questionable nationally and internationally, whether a business-friendly win/win scenario for meeting the challenges of climate change can on its own save the planet from impending disaster. Nevertheless, Risky Business is helpful in forging a national consensus, also being urged by President Obama, that rests on an acceptance of the understanding by 97% of climate scientists of the realities of human-induced global warming. What we do know in a capitalist society is that when business raises its voice the public is made to listen, but we also should know that this voice is not to be trusted withoutthe most careful scrutiny.

With this move from the top echelons of the business world, it is time for civil society to come forth with a response that does emphasize the global setting of national policy responses on climate change and seeks to inject the perspectives of the climate justice transnational movement into the policy debate. Part of this response also needs to consider such structural issues as the persisting dominance of sovereign states in the making of global policy relating to climate change, and the questionable capacity of neoliberal globalization to serve the human interest, including that of safeguarding the future.

What seems hopeful is the growing public recognition of climate change as mounting a challenge to society and government that cannot be evaded without experiencing mounting harm. Also encouraging, is the emerging of thinking about indirect and innovative steps that can be taken to improve prospects of reducing carbon emissions—encouraging public transport, systemic moves to increase energy efficiency in building and maintenance, and reductions in air pollution from short-lived pollutants (differing from carbon dioxide with its greenhouse effect lasting for thousands of years).

Posted in HealthComments Off on Shifts in the Climate Change Debate: Hopeful Horizons?

Man Shouting ‘Go Back to Your (Expletive) Country’ Stabs Muslim Food Cart Vendor

NOVANEWS

CAIR-logo

The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today called on local law enforcement authorities to thoroughly investigate the Tuesday stabbing of a Muslim food cart vendor by a man reportedly shouting “Go back to your (expletive) country.”

The victim, an Egyptian native who manages a halal (Islamically-permissible) food cart on 28th street near Bellevue Hospital, was stabbed repeatedly in broad daylight on Tuesday afternoon. He told CAIR-NY that he saw a customer arguing with another food cart vendor over a sandwich. When he approached the men engaged in the argument in an effort to calm the situation, the customer faced him and allegedly said, “You don’t belong to this country. Go back to your (expletive) country (expletive),” and stabbed him a total of 15 times.

“We urge law enforcement authorities to investigate this incident thoroughly and to bring the alleged perpetrator to justice,” said CAIR-NY Director of Operations Sadyia Khalique.

She added that religious and ethnic bias should be investigated as a factor leading to the attack.

CAIR-NY is a chapter of America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

Posted in USAComments Off on Man Shouting ‘Go Back to Your (Expletive) Country’ Stabs Muslim Food Cart Vendor

Zionist Puppet King of Jordan may ask I$raHell to go to war against ISIL

NOVANEWS

Once the jihadi group turns its attention to the Hashemite kingdom, Jerusalem may be drawn into the fray, administration officials say

 

Times of Israel

Jordan may ask Israel and the United States to help it fight the al-Qaeda-linked jihadi group that threatens Syria and Iraq if it threatens Amman as well, senior Obama administration officials said.

According to a Friday report by The Daily Beast, the officials told senators in a classified briefing earlier this week that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is eyeing Jordan as well as its war-torn neighbors, and that some of its jihadists have already tweeted out photos and messages saying they have seized a key Jordanian town.

The Daily Beast quoted one of the Senate staff members who attended the briefing as saying that, according to the administration officials, if Jordan were to face a military onslaught from ISIL, it would “ask Israel and the United States for as much help as they can get.”

Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty in 1994.

Another senator said the main “concern” voiced during the briefing was that “Jordan could not repel a full assault from ISIL on its own at this point.”

On Thursday, the US met with its top Sunni state allies in the Mideast to consider how to confront the region’s growing turmoil that has been spawned by a Sunni Muslim insurgency group.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant reaches beyond the two countries — Iraq and Syria — where it is currently based.

“The move of ISIL concerns every single country here,” Kerry said at the start of the meeting held at the US ambassador’s residence in Paris.

If Israel were to join regional efforts to fight ISIL, it would effectively be joining forces with the likes of Iran and Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose forces have been fighting together in Syria and Iraq to overpower the jihadi group.

An image allegedly showing Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants taking position at a Iraqi border post on the Syrian-Iraqi border, June 9, 2014 . (photo credit: AFP/HO/ALBARAKA NEWS)

An image allegedly showing Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants taking position at a Iraqi border post on the Syrian-Iraqi border, June 9, 2014 . (photo credit: AFP/HO/ALBARAKA NEWS)

However, according to The Daily Beast, Israel has indicated behind the scenes that it would be willing to give military assistance to its ally Jordan, with which it signed a peace treaty in 1994.

“I think Israel and the United States would identify a substantial threat to Jordan as a threat to themselves and would offer all appropriate assets to the Jordanians,” the media outlet quoted Thomas Sanderson, the co-director for transnational threats at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, as saying.

In Washington, Jordanian embassy spokeswoman Dana Daoud sounded more optimistic regarding her country’s ability to face the jihadi threat.

“We are in full control of our borders and our Jordanian Armed Forces are being very vigilant. We have taken all the precautionary measures. So far, we have not detected any abnormal movement. however, if anything threatens our security or gets near our borders it will face the full strength of our Jordanian Armed Forces,” Daoud reportedly said.

Meanwhile, Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat who serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and is a co-chair of the Congressional Friends of Jordan Caucus, told The Daily Beast that the Jordanian army was “more than a match” for ISIL.

“I don’t think there is any sense that the rank and file Jordanian forces will melt away the way the Iraqis did,” he said.

Since its formation in April 2013 out of al-Qaeda in Iraq, ISIL has become one of the main forces fighting against Assad in Syria and gaining military control of parts of Iraq. Emboldened by these victories, the burgeoning jihadi group may set its sights on Jordan next.

Mainstream Syrian rebels and the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front accuse the jihadists of ISIL of responsibility for a string of atrocities.

On Friday, a watchdog and jihadist sites said it had executed and crucified one of its own men for corruption in Syria.

Photographs posted on websites showed the body and bloodied head of a bearded man with a placard reading: “Guilty: Abu Adnan al-Anadali. Sentence: execution and three days of crucifixion. Motive: extorting money at checkpoints by accusing drivers of apostasy.”

For Israel, an ISIL assault on Jordan would mean it faces a jihadi threat on two fronts. On Friday, a senior Israeli military commander announced that almost the entire Syrian side of the Golan Heights is now under the control of rebel forces, including radical Islamist groups.

The Israeli officer said that the dramatic gains made by the rebel forces in the area appeared to explain why Syrian troops fired a missile on Sunday that killed a 15-year-old boy on the I$raHell side of the border, mistaking an Israeli civilian vehicle for a rebel truck.

The Golan Heights is a strategic plateau on the Israeli-Syrian border. Israel captured the territory in the 1967 war, having been attacked from the Golan over the previous 20 years, and extended Israeli law to the area in 1981. Unsuccessful peace efforts over the years have seen Israel ready to trade most of the Golan for a permanent accord with Damascus, but the notion of Israeli-Syrian peace has all but disappeared as Syria collapsed into anarchy over the past three years of civil war.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, JordanComments Off on Zionist Puppet King of Jordan may ask I$raHell to go to war against ISIL


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