Archive | May 25th, 2016

Senior Security Official: West Supporting Takfiri Terrorists to Taint Islam’s Image

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Senior Security Official: West Supporting Takfiri Terrorists to Taint Islam's Image
Undersecretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Reza Seifollahi blasted certain western countries for creating and supporting the terrorist groups in a bid to discredit Islam and Muslims.

“There is no relation between terrorist groups and Islam,” Seifollahi said on Wednesday, addressing a meeting of high-ranking security officials in Grozny, Chechnya.

He called on the world countries to join hands to fight terrorist groups throughout the world.

On Tuesday, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan lashed out at Washington and Tel Aviv for supporting the terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq.

“What is happening in Syria and Iraq today is a deep-rooted US-Zionist conspiracy that has triggered war in the Muslim territories,” Brigadier General Dehqan told reporters on Tuesday.

The Iranian defense Minister reiterated that the Takfiri terrorists have tainted the image of Islam, and said, “Takfiri terrorists are not affiliated to Islam in terms of faith and conduct and their approach is reprehensible.”

In late April, General Dehqan warned the world states of the threat imposed by terrorist groups which are supported by the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

“We believe that today the entire world is threatened by insecurity, instability and spread of horror resulted from acts of the Takfiri-Zionist terrorist groups which are supported by the US, Israel and certain regional countries, headed by Saudi Arabia,” General Dehqan said, addressing the 2016 Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS).

He also downplayed the effectiveness of the so-called anti-terrorism coalitions by the terrorists’ supporters, saying they are not interested in serious and decisive battle against the terrorists and actually reinvigorate and recruit the terrorist groups under the disguise of humanitarian aid, truce, negotiations and deceptive slogans.

Dehqan underlined Iran’s assistance to the terrorism-hit countries, and said the country has paid the most costs to this end.

Iran has pioneered in helping the regional states’ fight against terrorism, specially Iraq and Syria, and has offered many regional and world states to cooperate in campaign against terrorist groups.

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Lebanese Source: US, French Intelligence Officers Captured by Hezbollah in Aleppo

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Lebanese Source: US, French Intelligence Officers Captured by Hezbollah in Aleppo
Hezbollah has captured an American and a French spies in its operations in Aleppo, a prominent Lebanese media source revealed on Saturday, adding that the US, Nazi regime and Saudi Zio-Wahhabi intelligence agents helped Al-Nusra Front to find the place of Hezbollah’s martyred military chief, Mustafah Badreddin, and kill him in retaliation.

“Hezbollah special forces took captive a senior field commander of the terrorists affiliated to Riyadh and two US and French intelligence officers working in the newly-founded joint operations room of Jeish al-Fatah (a coalition of several terrorist groups) in Aleppo in one of the regions controlled by al-Nusra Front in Aleppo,” Majeda al-Haj, a prominent Lebanese journalist, wrote on al-Sabat news website today.

Al-Haj said that the joint operations room was set up so that the French and US intelligence agents can directly command Jeish al-Fatah terrorist attacks in Aleppo and nearby regions.

She said the US imagined that the captured spies would be taken to Lebanon and alerted the Nazi regime to bomb the convoy that was supposedly taking the captive American and French officers, “but the convoy that came under the Israeli airstrike was not carrying the captured spies”.

US, Nazi regime and Saudi spy agents in Syria later helped a special team of Al-Nusra terrorists – who received their trainings from Nazi Mossad secret service in 2012 – to find the place of Hezbollah Commander Badreddin in retaliation for the capture of these officers.

Al-Haj said the Al-Nusra team is tasked with finding senior Hezbollah commanders in Syria to assassinate them.

She also pointed out that the death of several Iranian advisors in Khan Touman was not the result of clashes with Al-Nusra terrorists, adding that the senior officers were killed in an air raid by the US planes that took off from Turkey’s Incerlik airbase and bombed their operation room in Southern Aleppo.

The Lebanese resistance movement’s senior military commander, Mustafah Badreddin, was killed near Damascus military airport in a terrorist attack last week.

After his death, a senior politician disclosed that the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement is planning to launch massive military operations against the Takfiri terrorists in Syria in retaliation for his martyrdom.

“Unique military operations by Hezbollah against Syria’s Takfiri terrorists will be conducted very soon,”  Wahib Wahibi told FNA on Tuesday.

He reiterated that Hezbollah’s response to the Takfiri terrorists’ crimes will come within the framework of its counterterrorism operations.

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BREXIT: ­ Divorcing Britain from EU Trade with I$raHell Would Help Ensure Future Security of UK

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The ability of Israel to continue its illegal settlement on Palestinian land is wholly dependent on profits from its bilateral trade with the EU which is the single most important factor that fuels the illegal occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights by the Right-­wing Likud government.

Without the extraordinary agreement that allows a non-European state (in the Middle East) to freely exploit the European Single Market, the policy of expropriating Palestinian land would not be possible and the Israeli government would be forced to sue for peace.

It has been long  established that the Israel lobby exerts considerable influence over the European Parliament’s decisions to not only offer Israel free access to the single market but also to make research grants of billions of euros to the Israeli defence industries that currently export arms to regimes worldwide.

There are many factors that will influence Britain’s decision to leave the EU but the ability to break away from the hold of the Israel lobby on EU trade is of prime importance to both the safety of Europe and to world peace.

The United Kingdom should no longer be associated with a European Union that has already seen the delivery by Germany of a fleet of high­-powered, Dolphin 2-­class AIP submarines to the Israeli navy that were designed for and subsequently retro­fitted with, undeclared cruise missiles (SLCMs) with a minimum range of 1500km and carrying 200kg nuclear warheads.

This astonishing fact has provided Israel with an offshore nuclear second strike capability that has now made it the 3rd most powerful nuclear­-armed entity in the world after the US and Russia. It is not known what Chancellor Merkel was thinking when she made Germany itself, and the entire European community with its 750 million inhabitants, vulnerable to an offshore nuclear threat from the Mediterranean or what pressures were applied to the German government that enabled this extraordinary act of apparent negligence that has irrevocably changed the balance of military power in the region.

BREXIT cannot rectify the failure of the EU to have ensured the safety of the 500m citizens in its 28 member states ­ but it is beyond time that Britain now extricates itself from such a dangerously infiltrated, political union.

Britain needs to make urgent plans for the future defence and security of its own people, which is the primary duty of any government and one that supersedes even that of trade and jobs, for without security there is no future.

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1980 Oktoberfest Bombing: German Government and Secret Service Still Withholding Information

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Image result for GERMAN NAZI Secret Service LOGO

Wold Socialist

On September 26 1980, 12 innocent bystanders and the perpetrator, Gundolf Köhler, were killed in the most serious right-wing attack in post-war German history. Over 200 were injured, some seriously.

At the time, the investigators and secret service drew a veil over the background to the attacks and those responsible. Although evidence and witnesses pointed to the involvement of state bodies and neo-Nazi terrorist groups, the authorities soon settled on a narrative that Köhler was the sole perpetrator. The state attorney halted any investigations two years after the attack.

It was only thanks to the initiative of journalist Ulrich Chaussy and the victims’ attorney Werner Dietrich that the attorney general was forced to take up the case again at the end of 2014. In February 2015, they demanded the Secret Service and Foreign Intelligence Agency (BND) look through their files covering the Oktoberfest bombing and the right-wing scene at the time and make the relevant files available.

The state attorney in Karslruhe sent the two agencies a long list, which included the following search terms, among others: Von Karlheinz Hoffmann (the paramilitary group the culprit Gundolf Köhler trained in) and Heinz Lembke (the neo-Nazi who was suspected of providing the explosives for the attack).

But the prosecutors are still waiting. The BND has since provided a few files; however, they are redacted. The Secret Service, which possesses far more files regarding the Oktoberfest attack, the culprit’s background and the neo-Nazi organisations of the time, is keeping these under lock and key.

This was revealed in an answer to a parliamentary question lodged by Left Party deputy Martina Renner. The Karlsruhe state attorney has been waiting for 15 months. The Secret Service has justified the long wait by saying that it involved “a very extensive trawl through the evidence.” However, the Secret Service and the government were close to completion of their review, it was said.

Given the previous practice and methods of the Secret Service, it is to be suspected that the time is being used in order to “clean” the files, or even to destroy them. For example, following the uncovering of the far-right terrorist group Nation Socialist Underground (NSU), numerous files were shredded.

There are numerous clues pointing to the links between the Secret Service, Köhler and the “Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann” paramilitary group. In his updated book, Oktoberfest—the attack: How the cover up of right-wing terror began, Ulrich Chaussy describes how the authorities were not willing to carry out investigations into the right-wing scene after the assassination and even sabotaged such efforts. The penetration of the right-wing terrorist groups of that time, especially the “Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann,” by the secret service agencies is still being kept secret. In his book, Chaussy draws several parallels to the murders carried out by the NSU.

For example, the authorities dismissed confessions by two members of Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann. The statement “that was us,” by Walter Ulrich Behle, an undercover agent for the North Rhine-Westphalia state secret service, was described as “alcohol-induced bragging.” And the statement of Stefan Wagner, who said while on the run from the police, “I was part of the action against the Oktoberfest,” was supposed to have been false. The state attorney claims Wagner had had an ironclad alibi for the day of the attack, while in his book, Chaussy cites a high-ranking Federal Criminal Agency officer saying, “Stefan Wagner’s alibi was never checked out on tactical grounds.”

Heinz Lembke, a right-wing radical who had accumulated huge caches of secret weapons and explosives, and was suspected of having supplied the explosives for the attack, was never examined in more detail as part of the investigation into the Oktoberfest bombing. He was arrested only a year after the attack, when one of his weapons caches was discovered accidentally. In early November 1981, a day before he was to testify before the public prosecutor, he was found hanged in his cell. His file contains the restrictive notice: “only partially admissible in court,” which suggests the activities of an undercover operative.

Given the close relations between the secret services and the neo-Nazi scene in Germany, the federal government and intelligence agencies have withheld background information about the Oktoberfest bombing for decades. The government has repeatedly refused to answer questions in parliament from the Greens and the Left Party. Real names are generally kept secret.

On April 7, 2015, the parliamentary justice secretary, Christian Lange, said on behalf of Justice Minister Heiko Maas (both from the Social Democratic Party), in response to an inquiry by the Greens, that the government had again come to the conclusion that “questions about the operation of undercover sources and agents—the function of people—even if it concerns long-past operations, cannot be answered to protect the operation of the intelligence services.”

Parliament’s right to information finds its limits “in the best interests of the nation or a federal state, which could be compromised by the disclosure of confidential information.” In this way, the Justice Ministry places the interests of the state and its intelligence agencies higher than the rights of parliament and the public interest.

Both the Green and Left Party parliamentary groups lodged a constitutional challenge to the Supreme Court, submitted in May 2015, to force the government to answer their questions. A decision is still pending.

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Hiroshima Bombing Gets Hollywood Makeover

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BeginningortheEndLobby

President Barack Obama will finish up his current Asia trip by becoming the first sitting US president to visit Hiroshima, Japan, site of the fateful atomic bombing attack on Aug. 6, 1945, that killed tens of thousands of Japanese citizens.

The people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki suffered unspeakable horrors that day, and in the months and years that followed. Some in the US government didn’t want Americans to see what really happened. For perspective — and revelations — on that paradigm-changing event, in concurrence with Obama’s visit, WhoWhatWhy revisits past coverage of a painful final chapter to World War II.

What follows is author Greg Mitchell’s piece (which originally ran in 2014), examining Hollywood’s role in sanitizing the devastation and suffering at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

*       *       *

You might wonder why most Americans, after Hiroshima, accepted the new nuclear dangers so readily, even as atomic bombs led to hydrogen bombs and the world’s stockpile of warheads mounted on intercontinental ballistic missiles expanded from mere dozens to thousands.

An important factor was the active suppression, by the Pentagon and other US agencies, of vital information about radiation effects and other nuclear dangers. I have documented this in two books, Hiroshima in America (with Robert Jay Lifton) and  Atomic Cover-up: Two U.S. Soldiers, Hiroshima & Nagasaki, and The Greatest Movie Never Made. The cover-up extended even to Hollywood.

This is a cautionary tale, one that has only recently seen the light after being buried for decades. It exposes the official censorship—by the Truman White House—of a major Hollywood film on the bombing of Hiroshima. And the tale goes beyond censorship: it involves the outright falsification of major historical facts.1

A Propaganda Film is Born

The MGM drama, The Beginning or the End emerged in 1947, after many revisions, as a Hollywood version of America’s official nuclear narrative: The bomb was clearly necessary to end the war with Japan and save American lives—and we needed to build new and bigger weapons to protect us from the Soviets.

Just weeks after the Hiroshima attack in August 1945, Sam Marx, a producer at MGM, received a call from agent Tony Owen, who said his wife, actress Donna Reed, had received some fascinating letters from her high school chemistry teacher. That teacher, Dr. Edward Tomkins, who was then at the Oak Ridge nuclear site, wrote to ask if Hollywood had a feature on the atomic bomb in the works, one that would warn the world about the dangers of a nuclear arms race. He was surprised to learn they did not. But this would soon change.

Tompkins’ letter set in motion what MGM boss Louis B. Mayer, a conservative Republican, called “the most important story” he would ever film. MGM hired Norman Taurog to direct the film, and Hume Cronyn to star as physicist Robert Oppenheimer, who headed the scientific effort to create the bomb.

President Truman himself provided the title, The Beginning or the End. Within weeks, as I learned through archival research, MGM writers were meeting with the atomic scientists at Oak Ridge and elsewhere.

My fascination with the making, and unmaking, of this seminal film about the dawn of the Atomic Age took me to the Truman Library, where I was the first to consult key documents, White House letters and scripts. The story of the derailing of the movie, and why it was important, is told in my book, “Hollywood Bomb.”

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The Bombing Gets a Hollywood Makeover

The early scripts, which I discovered at the library, raised doubts about President Truman’s decision to drop the bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima—and portrayed the effects of the bombing with a stark realism that would have shocked many viewers.

The script called for shots of a bombed-out Hiroshima as ghostlike ruins, with close-ups of a baby with a burned face. The underlying message reflected the regrets of many of the scientists who had worked to create the bomb: It would have been better to continue the war—even if it meant a full-scale invasion of Japan—“than release atomic energy in the world.”

But then something happened, and the “message” of The Beginning or the End shifted radically.

The reason for the shift was clear: General Leslie Groves, the director of the Manhattan Project who was back at the Pentagon, had secured the all-important right of script approval—along with a then-hefty $10,000 fee—and was playing an active role in reshaping the film.

Unlike Groves and Truman, nearly all of the scientists impersonated in the film—even Albert Einstein—were not given script approval (although they signed releases). The Hollywoodization of the bomb had begun.

Facts were suppressed, and events were completely fabricated:

Suppression of fact:

In revised scripts, the decision to use the bomb was presented as justifiable, even admirable. The doubts raised earlier just disappeared. And now, after scenes depicting the bombing of Hiroshima, no victims were shown, just a charred landscape filmed from the air.

Suppression of fact:

Under General Groves’ guidance, the revised script made light of nuclear fallout.

Fabrication:

The B-29s flying over Hiroshima were pelted with heavy flak, a detail that made the attack seem more courageous. In fact, there was no anti-aircraft fire over Hiroshima.

Fabrication:

One scene depicted fictional German scientists visiting a fabricated Japanese nuclear facility in—Hiroshima!

Fabrication:

In another entirely false episode, Matt Cochran, a young scientist arming the bomb, prevents a chain reaction from blowing up 40,000 people on a Pacific island—and thereby exposes himself to a fatal dose of radiation. But before he dies, Matt concludes,

“God has not shown us a new way to destroy ourselves. Atomic energy is the hand he has extended to lift us from the ruins of war and lighten the burdens of peace.”

Harry Truman’s Behavior Gets a Hollywood Makeover

After screening the film, Walter Lippmann, the famed columnist, said he still found one scene “shocking.” It pictured Truman deciding, rather cavalierly, after only a brief reflection, that the United States would use the weapon against Japan. President Truman felt uncomfortable with the scene, as well.

Following protests from the White House, the rightwing MGM screenwriter James K. McGuinness deleted the offending scene and wrote a new one:

Fabrication:

In the revised scene, Truman “reveals” that the United States would drop leaflets over Hiroshima warning of the coming attack with a new weapon as a means to “save lives.” There were no such leaflets.

Fabrication:

The fictional Truman also says there was a “consensus” that dropping the bomb would shorten the war by a year. No such consensus existed.

Fabrication:

And in the film the President predicts this “will mean life for…from 300,000 to half a million of America’s finest youth.” This was a highly inflated figure.

Fabrication:

President Truman says that both Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been picked as targets for their military value. In fact, they were selected because they had not been bombed previously and so would demonstrate the power of this new weapon. In any case, the aiming points for release of the bombs was the center of the cities, not military bases.

Fabrication:

The new scene also had Truman claiming he had spent “sleepless nights” making the decision. But in real life he proudly insisted he had never lost any sleep over it.

Suppression of fact:

The Truman White House demanded further changes. Among them, deleting a reference to morally concerned scientists who favored setting off a demonstration bomb for Japanese leaders in a remote area, to give them a chance to surrender before we dropped an atomic bomb on a city.

Fabrication:

The claim that the bombing would shorten the war by “approximately” a year was ordered changed to “at least” a year.

Truman even wrote a letter to the actor who had portrayed him in the original scene, complaining that he made it seem as if the president had come to a “snap judgment” in deciding to use the bomb. As indicated above, the offending scene was rewritten. This prompted the actor, Roman Bohnen, to write a sarcastic letter to the President, informing him that people would be debating the decision to drop the bomb for 100 years “and posterity is quite apt to be a little rough.” He went on to suggest that Truman should play himself in the movie. Truman, who normally ignored critical letters, took the trouble to reply and defend the atomic bomb decision, revealing, “I have no qualms about it whatever.”

Soon—likely on orders from the White House—Bohnen was replaced by another actor.

A Manufactured “Aura of Authenticity”

The drama that emerged in 1947, after many revisions, was a Hollywood version of what became America’s official nuclear narrative: The bomb was clearly necessary to end the war with Japan and save American lives—and we needed to build new and bigger weapons to protect us from the Soviets. The movie was seen by hundreds of thousands of Americans. Because of its quasi-documentary form, most viewers probably accepted its depiction of events as accurate.

The Beginning or the End, which billed itself as “basically a true story,” opened across the country in March 1947 to mixed reviews. Time laughed at the film’s “cheery imbecility,” but Variety praised its “aura of authenticity and special historical significance.” Bosley Crowther, the New York Times critic, applauded its handling of the moral issues in portraying the “necessary evil” of the atomic attacks.

On the other hand, Harrison Brown, who had worked on the bomb, exposed some of the film’s factual errors in The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. He called the claim that warning leaflets had been showered on Hiroshima the “most horrible falsification of history.”

Physicist Leo Szilard knew what violence had been done to the truth. He summed it up this way: “If our sin as scientists was to make and use the bomb, then our punishment was to watch The Beginning or the End.

Mutual Assured Destruction

Mankind’s punishment would be the era of MAD, or Mutual Assured Destruction—the Cold War doctrine that pitted the locked-and-loaded nuclear arsenals of the United States and the Soviet Union against each other in a 50-year standoff. Those nuclear weapons, still on hair-trigger fuses—as well as those possessed by China, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel and other nations—continue to threaten the existence of life on earth whenever political leaders play “chicken” with one another for “strategic” advantage. And the nuclear arms race fed the vast nuclear power industry, marked by its own unprecedented dangers and accidents from Three Mile Island to Chernobyl and Fukushima.

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Pan-Africanism and Women’s Rights

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We are commemorating the 58th anniversary of African Liberation Day on May 25. When most of us think of Pan-Africanism and its major icons, women will not instinctively come to mind. Pan-Africanist history and activism might appear as the exclusive domain of African men. However, I am encouraging the readers to embrace the position of the radical hip hop group Public Enemy and “Don’t Believe the Hype” about women not being major contributors to Pan-Africanism. In the Hakim Adi and Sharika Sherwood authored book Pan-African History: Political Figures from Africa and the Diaspora since 1787, forty Pan-Africanists are surveyed and only three of them are women.

Pan-Africanism is an ideology and a movement that calls for global solidarity and cooperation among Africans in order to liberate themselves from racist oppression and (neo)colonial and imperialist domination. Africa holds a central place in Pan-Africanist thoughts and organizing. It is the ancestral land of Africans. The harnessing of the continent’s resources for the benefit of the people will serve as the basis for liberation. A Pan-Africanism of liberation should be based on the labouring classes as its principal constituency and, as such, must be an anti-capitalist, feminist, anti-imperialist and anti-racist movement. This article will focus on Pan-Africanist women from the African Diaspora.

Diaspora Pan-Africanist women have contributed to movement Pan-Africanism from its inception at the Henry Sylvester Williams-initiated Pan African Conference in 1900 in the city of London. According to the Haitian Pan-Africanist Benito Sylvain’s conference report, its principal goal was to “examine the situation facing the African race in every corner of the globe, to solemnly protest the unjust contempt and odious treatment which are still heaped upon the race everywhere.” This conference wanted to form an organization that would coordinate the worldwide struggle against the oppression of Africans and advance their interests. Sylvain’s historic report is available in Tony Martin’s book The Pan-African Connection: From Slavery to Garvey and Beyond.

There were at least six African women (Anna H. Jones, Anna Julia Cooper, Fannie Barrier Williams and Ella D. Barrier from the United States, and a Mrs. Loudin and Ms. Adams from Ireland) among the fifty-one African delegates at the conference. These women were not simply observers at this international gathering. Anna Julia Cooper, an educator, a women’s club leader and anti-racist advocate, delivered a presentation entitled The Negro Problem in America. Her compatriot Anna H. Jones, a linguist, women’s club activist and educator, tackled the subject The Preservation of Racial Individuality. These women delegates were actively involved in social movements committed to transforming the oppressed condition of Africans. For example, Ella Barrier was an educator and an active participant in the Washington, D.C. Colored Women’s League.

The Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) was the foremost 20th century Pan-Africanist mass organization that mobilized Africans for the fight against colonialism and imperialism. Rhoda Reddock, a Caribbean-based academic and feminist, suggests in her article The first Mrs Garvey” that the UNIA was “one of the most successful pan-Africanist organisations of all time and certainly the most internationalist.”

Garvey is universally celebrated as the founder of the UNIA. However, that perception is not accurate. Amy Ashwood Garvey was a co-founder of the group as she states in the document “The Birth of the Universal Negro Improvement Association,” (appended to Martin’s “The Pan-African Connection”). She was the founder of the UNIA’s internationally circulated newspaper The Negro World and served in other significant roles. She later participated in other Pan-Africanist organizations and initiatives such as the anti-colonial and anti-imperialistInternational African Service Bureau and involvement in organizing the Fifth Pan-African Congress.

As a feminist, Amy Ashwood centred the emancipation of African women as a major part of her politics. In the 1 April 1944 edition of the African-American publication New York Amsterdam News, she demonstrated her feminist and internationalist commitments: “There must be a revolution among women. They must realise their importance in the post-war world … Women of the world must unite.” At the October 1945 Fifth Pan-African Congress in Manchester, she objected to the marginalizing of African women: very much has been written and spoken of the Negro, but for some reason very little has been said about the black woman – she has been shunted into the social background to be a child bearer – this has been principally her lot.”  Amy Ashwood also addressed the exploitative working condition of “The labouring class of women who work in the fields, take goods to the market, and so on” in Jamaica and the lack of solidarity from African men.

Amy Jacques Garvey, the second wife of Marcus Garvey, is adequately recognized for her contribution to Pan-Africanism. After the imprisonment of Garvey, she disseminated his Pan-Africanist ideas by editing and publishing his writings in the book The Philosophy and Opinion of Marcus Garvey. Her 1963 memoir Garvey and Garveyismexposed the thoughts and legacy of Garvey to the Black Power Movement. Keisha N. Blaine states that Jacques Garvey could legitimately be “be credited as co-creator of Garveyism” given her influence on Garvey’s thoughts and her intellectual input into his articles and speeches as someone who helped him in writing them.

Jacques Garvey spread the ideals of Pan-Africanism across the world in her position as editor and columnist of The Negro World and creator of “Our Women and What They Think” – a page dedicated to politically educating women. Jacques Garvey was a liberal or bourgeois feminist. Her 25 October 1925 column Women As Leaders, approvingly highlighted the emerging gender “equality”: “No line of endeavor remains closed for long to the modern woman. She agitates for equal opportunities and gets them; she makes good on the job and gains the respect of men who heretofore opposed her. She prefers to be a bread- winner than a half-starved wife at home.”

Jacques Garvey’s article “Listen Women” in The Negro World on 9 April 1927 elevated bourgeois white men’s perceived treatment white women as the model of gendered relations between African women and men: “They have braved the tropical jungles, slain black men, in order to get gold and diamonds with which to adorn their women… build up a great republic, so that their women may live in comfort and luxury.” Obviously, white working-class women were not living such a lifestyle.

Claudia Jones was a Pan-Africanist, feminist, anti-imperialist and communist whose constituency was the working-class. During her American years, she had a more internationalist than Pan-Africanist focus, exceptt for her articles on the Caribbean. On international questions, she opposed United States’ imperialism and exploitation in the global South and its military aggression and threat to world peace. In her work as a communist organizer, educator and journalist, she placed the triple oppression of working-class African women at the heart of her theoretical work as evidenced in We Seek Full Equality for Women and An End to the Problems of the Negro Woman.

Jones’ Pan-Africanist commitment intensified after her politically-motivated deportation to Britain. Jones created theWest Indian Gazette as an instrument to resist racist and class exploitation of Africans in Britain. The newspaper was also used to expose imperialism in Africa and the Caribbean as well as elsewhere in the global South. The West Indian Gazette positively covered the Cuban Revolution, exposed the criminal activities of apartheid in South Africa, covered the assassination of Patrice Lumumba in the Congo and advocated for decolonization in the British Empire. Carole Boyce Davies brought to light in Left of Karl Marx, a political study of Claudia Jones, that she “influenced pan-Africanists – such as Nkrumah – from the standpoint of bringing Marxist-Leninist views to bear on their pan-Africanist thinking.”

In conclusion, there are numerous women in the African Diaspora who have worked and/or working for the liberation of Africans under the banner of Pan-Africanism. They must be rescued from political obscurity. There is a need to elevate the Pan-Africanist work of Diaspora women in countries whose official languages are Spanish, French, Portuguese and Dutch. When Pan-Africanist women are placed in a position to express their needs at the strategic, operational and ideological levels of the liberation project, they are going to consummate the union of feminism and Pan-Africanism.

In order for Pan-Africanism to serve as a revolutionary ideology and movement, it must centre the emancipation needs of African women by way of a firm embrace of feminism. It would have to be an ideological stream of feminism that is opposed to imperialism, capitalism, racism, heterosexism/homophobia and other forms of oppression. Liberal or bourgeois feminism is an enemy of working-class African women. Claudia Jones’ intersectional and revolutionary feminism is a good starting point for the marriage of feminism and Pan-Africanism.

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The Jewish Lobby’s Dangerous Agenda for the U.S.: Attack Free Speech and Criminalize Resistance

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Photo Credit: Nora Barrows-Friedman
The Israel Lobby’s Dangerous Agenda for the U.S.: Attack Free Speech and Criminalize Resistance

With help from influential liberals, pro-Israel lobbyists push to define resisting Israeli apartheid as hate speech.

By Max Blumenthal

Last week, just a few minutes before the House Foreign Affairs Committee met for a hearing, one of the Israel lobby’s most dependable members of Congress, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen huddled with twenty supporters of AIPAC, the lobby’s front line organization in Washington. It was a routine affair for the Florida Republican and her pro-Israel allies, whom she addressed by their first names. But a member of the public who witnessed the meeting noticed a startling new agenda was on the table.

The witness told me that Ros-Lehtinen vowed to destroy the mounting grassroots BDS campaign to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel. To do so, she pledged to weaken the First Amendment. “Free speech is being used in our country to denigrate Israel and we need to actively fight against that,” Ros-Lehtinen declared, according to the source.

Disturbing as her statement might have been, it was consistent with the rhetoric bellowed out by nearly every presidential contender who appeared on stage at DC’s Verizon Center. Speaking before some 18,000 AIPAC supporters, Senator Ted Cruz not only pledged to starve educational institutions of federal funding if they dared to support BDS, he promised that under his watch, “they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” Echoing Cruz, Republican contender John Kasich announced his intention to “use the full force of the White House” to destroy what he called “the scourge” of BDS.

The Democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, was no less draconian. Reverting to the “Goldwater girl” sensibility of her conservative college years, and tossing aside her recent appeals to social justice intersectionality, Clinton vowed to punish the campus left for supporting Palestinian human rights. Slamming BDS as a form of anti-Semitic hate speech, Clinton offered encouragement to the young, affluent and almost uniformly white pro-Israel students bused into AIPAC in droves. “Don’t let anyone silence you, bully you or try to shut down debate, especially in places of learning like colleges and universities,” she implored them.

The BDS movement has gathered momentum at a staggering pace since it was devised by Palestinian civil society groups in 2005. With its call for grassroots level boycotts to pressure Israel into respecting the human rights of Palestinians, the movement has spread across European capitals and found fertile soil on American college campuses. Yet just a few years ago, AIPAC and its affiliates displayed little interest at all in it. When he appeared at AIPAC in 2011, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spent his entire speech badgering the Obama administration for not attacking Iran. He did not feel compelled to mention Palestinians even once. Despite the influential role played in the 2012 Republican presidential primary by Sheldon Adelson, a key benefactor of Netanyahu and the Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, BDS was scarcely mentioned by any of the candidates, nor was it discussed much in mainstream American media.

Almost four years later, with the Iran nuclear deal ratified, the peace process in shambles and the Green Line that was supposed to separate Israel from a future Palestinian state fully erased by a settlement movement that dominates the Israeli government, AIPAC is moving to destroy the last line of resistance. From Washington to Paris to London, Israel lobbyists are extracting ritual denunciations of BDS from its political hand puppets and authoring new laws to forbid its implementation. Repressive legislative efforts are accompanied by legal subterfuge, high-tech sabotage, McCarthy-style online blacklists and carefully orchestrated smear campaigns against anyone who resists. No target is too small. With guidance from Jerusalem, where the most right-wing government in Israeli history is mounting an all-out assault on internal dissent, the lobby has embraced a totalitarian agenda that aims for nothing less than the criminalization of all political opposition.

On display for the first time at AIPAC, the Israel lobby’s search-and-destroy mission against BDS has already found enthusiastic allies in governments across the West. In Paris, where Prime Minister Manuel Valls vehemently equated anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, a French court of criminal appeals recently upheld the conviction of a dozen Palestine solidarity activists for calling for the boycott of Israeli goods. In the UK, the Conservative government of Prime Minister David Cameron has introduced legislation to prevent local town councils from divesting from Israeli products or even from weapons manufacturers. As state legislatures across the US vote to blacklist companies that refuse to do business in Israel — a rare and highly unusual instance of corporate regulation — the University of California board of regents has taken the unprecedented step of defining anti-Zionism as anti-Jewish discrimination, setting the stage for outlawing a political position gaining in popularity among Jewish Americans.

In its bid to criminalize the speech of its opponents, the Israel lobby has sought to formally redefine anti-Semitism according to the “3 D’s” formula conceived by Natan Sharansky. Promoted as a former Soviet dissident who champions freedom, Sharansky is, in fact, a hardline Likudnik Israeli politician and promoter of Israel’s settlement enterprise who helped inspire George W. Bush’s Middle Eastern conquests. Sharansky’s “3 D’s” abandons the traditional understanding of anti-Semitism, redefining it from the discrimination against Jews as Jews to any opposition to the political imperatives of the Israeli government, thereby limiting Jewish identity to the narrow ideological designs of Zionism. Israel lobbyists have successfully pressured the US State Department to adopt Sharansky’s definition, and after a long slog, have pushed the University of California regents to endorse it as well. If this highly politicized understanding of anti-Semitism is ever enforced, anyone who has campaigned against Israeli human rights abuses could face harsh legal recriminations, even if they identify as Jewish.

Capitalizing on a campaign finance system deregulated by the Citizens United decision, which defined corporations as people with unlimited rights to free speech, the Israel lobby has unprecedented leeway to limit the speech of actual human beings. Leveraging massive donations from Likudnik oligarchs, it is planting cadres at every level of government, turning Congress, statehouses and student government councils into a unified platform for crushing resistance. As the veteran AIPAC operative Jonathan Kessler declared, “We’re going to make sure that pro-Israel students take over the student government and reverse [divestment votes]. This is how AIPAC operates in our nation’s capital.”

The lobby’s campaign extends well beyond crushing Palestine solidarity. In the years ahead, pro-Israel forces will serve as the leading edge of reactionary campaigns to fracture any iteration of solidarity between marginalized social groups. The smears of Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the British Labour Party, offer a perfect example of how Israel has been instrumentalized to break down progressive social movements. Elected in one of the most dramatic grassroots triumphs in recent political history by a coalition of university students, blue collar workers and immigrants outraged by deepening austerity and destructive foreign interventions, Corbyn has come under sustained fire from the neoliberal Blairites who had dominated Labour since the 1990’s. This February, anti-Corbyn elements opened up a new front with a torrent of thinly sourced allegations that Labour had suddenly become infected with “an anti-Semitism problem.” Centered around the resignation of a Blairite Oxford University Labour club leader who complained that Jew-haters disguised as human rights activists had made his life unbearable, the unconfirmed claims made their way to the New York Times op-ed page through a column by Roger Cohen entitled, “An Anti-Semitism of the Left.”

Cobbling together a litany of complaints by anxiety-ridden Zionists about the tide of Palestine activism rising all around them, Cohen bemoaned the “identity and liberation politics” that now prevail on university campuses. Just a few paragraphs later, however, Cohen pronounced his devotion to the Zionist project, insisting that “the Jewish state was needed… That is why I am a Zionist — now a dirty word in Europe.” Yet Cohen does not live in Israel; he resides instead in an affluent locale in New York City, where Jews enjoy lavish lifestyles, political power and a sense of security they could never dream of in Jerusalem. His connection to Zionism is not grounded in the facts on the ground in Israel-Palestine, but in an identity politics that only elites like him can enjoy. When forms of speech that reinforce his identity have come under attack, as when Islamic fanatics massacred the staff of Charlie Hebdo, he summoned “the entire free world” to “ruthlessly” defend liberal values. When his identity has been challenged by the unrelenting demands of Israel’s colonial subjects, however, Cohen quickly abandoned all pretense to enlightenment. He has become the living embodiment of Phil Ochs’ sardonic classic, “Love Me I’m A Liberal”: “Ten degrees to the left of center in good times, ten degrees to the right of center if it affects them personally,” as Ochs sang.

While Israel lobbyists howl about the threat of intersectionality on campus, they are actively appropriating its identitarian language to undermine progressive social justice organizing on campus. Mark Yudof, the former University of California president who tacitly endorsed the criminal prosecution of Muslim-American students for protesting a speech by Israel’s former ambassador to the US, put the tactic on display by describing factual claims that Israeli soldiers deliberately kill civilians as a “microaggression against Jews.” At the University of Michigan, a member of the student governing council justified her vote against a resolution to divest from corporations involved in the Israeli occupation on the grounds that it denied “safe spaces” to Jewish students. And at the University of South California, a pro-Israel student conceded that the UC regents’ decision to classify anti-Zionism as a form of anti-Semitism was an attack on free speech — but supported it anyway because, in her view, Jews are “a minority still so unfairly discriminated against and maligned.” Animated by the perceived ethnic slights of a hyper-privileged overclass, pro-Israel activism is essentially a White Lives Matter movement protected from accountability by morally inconsistent liberals. Indeed, many of the Jewish liberals who claim to have battled South African apartheid and marched alongside the civil rights movement now seek to destroy a struggle they inspired.

Toward the end of his life, as he watched the occupation of Palestine deepen and expand, the dissident Israeli philosopher Yeshayahu Leibowitz described Israel as “the only totalitarian country in the enlightened world.” He was referring to the way the Jewish state promoted itself as a beacon of liberal democracy while imposing a brutal, panopticon-style regime of repression on Palestinians, raiding their homes at night, shuttering their media outlets and torturing them at will. Today, Israel is projecting this regime outward, recruiting operatives across the West to eradicate all resistance, even attacking constitutionally protected forms of protest. Like the country it has enlisted to defend, a borderless settler-colony that demands special exemption from international law, the lobby’s mission knows no limits. Where the occupation started is well known, but where will it end?

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on The Jewish Lobby’s Dangerous Agenda for the U.S.: Attack Free Speech and Criminalize Resistance

How Corporatist, Militarist and “Fascist-Leaning” are Today’s Candidates?

NOVANEWS
 
US-VOTE-REPUBLICANS-TRUMP-COURT

Folks who aren’t influenced by emotions, campaign propaganda or hype have their own methods of evaluating political candidates – and their parties – during America’s seemingly endless campaign seasons. And when the mudslinging is finally over, comes the crucial time when they have to decide which candidates are the least bad for the future of the planet and the living things that share it.

Or at least that is what the ruling elites, the shadow puppeteers and hidden paymasters that have the actual control of most American politicians, want us to believe about elections. But that needs to be another story, one that is better told by astute commentators such as these two:

Chris Hedges, see his weekly columns starting at

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_american_empire_murder_inc_20160103

and

F. William Engdahl, author of “Gods of Money: Wall Street and the Death of the American Century”. Extended excerpts are available at:

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Engdahl_F_William/American_Oligarchy_GOM.html.

Nevertheless, we do have a modicum of control over the election of whomever is being bribed or threatened to do the will of the plutocrats.

These political candidates are the ones that will be helping make the life or death decisions that determine the fate of the earth and the children of the 99% that the uber-wealthy and their amoral corporations (by which they acquired their ill-gotten wealth) have little or no concern about. They know very well that exploitation of the earth and extracting its non-renewable natural resources is the quickest way to enhance their wealth, even if the rape of the earth isn’t good for it.

Comprehending the History of Fascism

The most important strategy that I use to evaluate candidates and political parties is fairly straight-forward, although it does require a little effort and some knowledge of history.

These are some of the questions that I try to answer before I vote:

1) “Where on the political spectrum would this candidate have been if he or she had run for political office in Nazi (fascist) or pre-Nazi Germany (an experiment in democracy that was destroyed by Hitler’s right-wing political party and their powerful and very wealthy corporate supporters)? Would he or she have leaned leftist/pro-labor/antiwar/non-violent (= socialist), or would he or she leaned right-wing/militarist/corporatist/racist/xenophobic/anti-labor (=fascist)?”

2) “What are the political, racial, economic beliefs of this candidate and his or her party? In 1930s Germany, would those beliefs have made him or her, upon gaining office, a fascist-supporter, an anti-fascist resister or a fear-ridden, silent bystander? Is the candidate a demagogue or a fear-monger when it comes to dealing with foreigners, non-Christians, non-whites, etc?”

3) “Would this candidate have been recruited by the Nazi Party to serve Hitler’s right-wing, pro-war agenda?” Or would he have had the courage (a la Minnesota’s Paul Wellstone) to be willing to risk his life fighting against fascism and corporatism in the battle to overthrow Hitler and his war-profiteering supporters?

4) “What are the candidate’s (and his or her supporter’s) core theological, religious or philosophical beliefs?” Does the candidate’s religion (and his supporters) – or lack thereof – preach hatred, fear and ”holy” homicide against their enemies or their religion (like the so-called “Positive” Christians in Nazi Germany who, by the way, did not resist Hitler)?

Does the candidate’s religion teach peaceful co-existence among the diverse nations of the world? Does the candidate have the courage to oppose tyranny by using nonviolent resistance?

Does the candidate’s religion (or the religion of the supporters) teach that, contrary to all scientific evidence, that global warming is a lie, that the earth is only 6,000 years old, that the end of the world is coming soon (therefore making ridiculous the concept of caring for the environment for the benefit of future generations) or that those fingered as “heathen” (atheist or feminist or socialist or “green” or minority or Muslim or black or brown or GLBTQ or poor – and thus do not “share the faith”) deserve being starved, imprisoned, tortured, murdered or “left behind”? Open-minded voters would like to know before they vote if the religion or philosophy of the candidate would have any problems with book-burning (often a prelude to burning such human “heretics” at the stake)?

Figuring out the answers to these questions would make voting decisions easier were it not for the fact that there are often only small differences between the candidates of the two major political parties when it comes to their stances on militarism and corporatism. But one must try if one is forced to decide which candidate is the least worst for the history of the world.

Developing Critical Thinking Skills is More Important This Year

In 2016, when some of the candidates have seriously high disapproval numbers, developing critical thinking skills is really important. (Thinking critically is the ability to “read between the lines” and resist the temptation to automatically trust what is being promised by politicians, political parties or corporations that want your vote, your money or your neutrality.)

If the candidate’s previous voting records are available, citizens need to vote against the candidate with the most proto-fascist qualities and/or the one that is being supported by corporations (inherently anti-democratic) with anti-democracy, pro-war or wealth-extracting agendas. (Alarmingly, the infamous Supreme Court “Citizens United” ruling in 2010 in which the 5 ultra-conservative, corporate lapdogs on the bench prevailed, allows unlimited, anonymous campaign contributions to political parties, political action committees and candidates that pay for multi-million-dollar attack ads and ensures that nobody will be able to find out who are the people or corporations behind the dirty tricks!)

The most dangerous candidates are firmly in the back pockets of the biggest business going, the mother of all deficit-spenders and the worst polluter on the planet, the Pentagon.

Every Republican and nearly every Democrat in Congress, and every president since the Vietnam War was finally de-funded, has reflexively voted for virtually every exotic and unaffordable weapons system that the corporate war-profiteers have demanded be built. In other words, the trillion dollar per year Pentagon budget, full of fraud, waste and abuse, is the major cause of America’s fiscal quagmire.

How could the problem – and the solution – be more obvious? Ongoing fiscal crises are predictable when the Pentagon squanders its usual 2 billion dollars a day with no visible return on “investment”.  (It needs to be pointed out here that the Pentagon budget, plus special war appropriations spending, overly-generous, unending career military retirement spending, veterans medical benefits,  the huge, unending interest payments on the war bonds, the rapidly increasing permanent service-connected disability costs and the costly  – and often futile – attempts to treat the psychological and physical war wounds of the traumatized combat veterans.)

Pentagon budgets have been massive drags on the economy, starting with the Cold War, and then massively expanding during the Reagan era when military spending, especially on America’s nuclear arsenal, went through the roof – as did the national debt, which rose to $4 trillion dollars before Reagan’s administration ended.

Too Many Politicians are Lapdogs for Pentagon Lobbyists

Our politicians have turned into obedient lapdogs for the bloated, too-big-to-fail (and too-big-to-criticize) 800-pound Pentagon gorilla that regards all critical-thinking, peace-promoting civilians with disdain. It must be said that if the US is ever going to be able to balance its budget, the warmongering politicians and pro-war political parties favored by the military-industrial complex need to be challenged – and voted out of office.

For those with some knowledge of world history, especially the history of German fascism, here are some additional questions concerning specific issues when preparing to vote: (Don’t expect the mainstream media debate hosts to ask any of them.)

A Few More Similarities Between American and Germany

1) Do the politicians remind you of that cunning silver-tongued propagandist Joseph Goebbels (Nazi party sycophant and Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda), who had iron-fisted control over all aspects of the media, including the movie and radio communications industries, never allowing opposition issues to be aired? (Recall that listening to the broadcasting of leftist information was forbidden by the liberal-hating Nazis.)

2) Are the candidates pro-militarist in their voting records or campaign promises, as was true for the ruthless WWI military hero and Luftwaffe-creator Hermann Goering, who was Hitler’s second in command? (Recall that Goering had no compunctions about ruthlessly plundering the natural resources of the conquered and the colonized – especially their oil, the essential ingredient for conducting modern wars.)

3) Are the candidates (or their families) on the hidden payrolls of wealthy industrialists or corporations whose main interests are “free” markets (as contrasted to “fair” markets) and acquiring resources through wars, regime change, colonialism and/or imperialism, as was the method of Fritz Thyssen and many other Nazi captains of industry?  (Recall that the multi- millionaire Thyssen was the industrialist who was an early and very generous financial supporter of the Nazi Party, as was the wealthy anti-Semite Henry Ford and even George W. Bush’s grandfather. Thyssen made timely “investments” and saved the Nazi party from extinction following the 1929 US stock market crash and the resultant world-wide depression.)

4) Are the candidates supported by corporations and individuals that benefit from war and military spending such as was the infamous family Krupp and their many war materiel factories? (Recall that the powerful Krupp family was the legendary German weapons manufacturer group that, for many generations prior to Hitler’s reign, had made their fortunes by producing the best and most lethal high-grade steel weaponry that the world had ever known, which they then very profitably sold to all sides of whatever war was threatening at the time. Krupp Industries, which ruthlessly chewed up tens of thousands of slaves during WWII, had, over the centuries, been caught fomenting conflicts between nations in order to expand market share and sell their superior weapons to all sides.)

5) Do the candidate’s political agendas discriminate against minorities and the working class and will the candidate blindly support wars or the illegal occupations of sovereign nations for their economic advantage (as did all of Hitler’s supporters)?

6) Has the candidate shown support for the secret police, the use of torture, “preventive detention” policies or pre-emptive military strikes, which were popular with the likes of Heinrich Himmler and the many party functionaries and bureaucrats who made the concentration camps, prisons and transportation systems for the doomed run so smoothly?

7) Is there a history of disregard for human rights or the refusal to effectively deal with justice issues like war refugees, the abuse of prisoners of war, the maltreatment of minorities, degradation of the environment, the exploitation of workers and the withholding of adequate healthcare? Is there a disregard for displaced and impoverished people, those often labeled as “Untermenschen”, “vermin” or “cockroaches” who, through such stigmatization, become easy targets for all forms of violence – including genocide – as was so well exemplified by Nazi bureaucrats like Adolf Eichmann?

8) Is the religion of the candidate compatible with the mass slaughter and the enormous wastage of precious resources that always happens during war? Is the candidate’s god a violent, wrathful, punitive god (which blesses war and makes the slaughter “holy”) or is the candidate’s god an unconditionally loving, merciful, forgiving god? Does the church that the candidate belongs to, if he claims to be a Christian, follow and preach the ethical teachings of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount? Or is the candidate a member of a church like the racist, nationalist and anti-Semitic “Positive German Christian” church that had destroyed the evangelical protestant church of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Niemoller? (Recall that Ludwig Muller, an inept Nazi army chaplain, was handpicked by Hitler to be the new bishop at the national synod conference in September of 1933.)

Many concerned observers of the current political scene in America have seen alarming trends in the noisy far right-wing, Neo-Conservatives that have usurped power in the once respectable Republican Party. And, of course, the quite similar, Neo-liberals in control of the Democratic Party have been a concern of many progressives. The power behind each seems to be as amorally militarist and amorally corporatist as that which brought Hitler to power.

Fascism could happen here (if it isn’t already here).. The main thing that might be lacking for a future American-style fascist regime is a frowning, screeching dictator-type. The American form of fascism, which I call “Friendly American Fascism”, will probably come about in a slow, rolling, bloodless coup by a diverse bunch of smiley-faced, attractive spokesperson. This group won’t look anything like the Nazis we love to loathe.

Those of us who are barely, hopelessly clinging to an uncertain middle class existence, are being hypnotized by a group of misleaders that are allowed to spew their hate in the mainstream media, but those of us in the disappearing middle class haven’t really experienced the racism, police violence and economic oppression, that the impoverished, the homeless, the jobless, the starving and the discriminated-against non-Aryans that have been suffering for centuries.

Simple suspicion that a candidate (or a Big Business) might be a devotee of extreme right-wing politics is a good-enough reason for me to withhold my vote and my purchases from that entity until I know more about their hidden agendas. I judge such suspicious candidates “guilty until proven innocent”. Potentially ruthless people or organizations that might be my future oppressors do not deserve the benefit of the doubt.

For more information about fascism, check out Professor Lawrence Britt’s important article, titled “Fascism Anyone?” originally published in Free Inquiry Magazine, Volume 23, Number 2. The essence of the article is posted online at:http://tuccgary.org/files/Duty-to-Warn-Fascism-Anyone.pdf

 

Posted in USAComments Off on How Corporatist, Militarist and “Fascist-Leaning” are Today’s Candidates?

Kazakhstan Color Revolution? New Point of Instability in Central Asia

NOVANEWS
 
Kazakhstan-map

Anti-government protests errupted across Kazakhstan on May 21. Dozens of protesters gathered in the main squares of major cities, including such cities as Astana and Almaty, in order to express the discontent with the government. A series of demonstrations started last month in response to the government’s plans to privatise large tracts of farmland. President Nursultan Nazarbayev has vetoed the controversial initiative. However, protests have continued with a wide range of political demands. May 20, Kazakh police reported they had found caches of Molotov cocktails, gasoline and iron rods near the protest site in Almaty. These kinds of improvised weapons used in protests in Ukraine during the coput in 2014.

Experts believe that this scenario is fueled by foreign powers, interested to destabilize the Central Asian country. The Kazakh authorities were pushed to implement counter measures to prevent the illegal riots across the country. Kazakhstan’s deputy prosecutor general, Andrei Kravchenko said on May 21 that 40 people had been arrested for organising and taking part in these unauthorised demonstrations. In turn, the Western media produced a wide range of accusation against the Nazarbayev regime, blaming it for breaking up the so-called “peaceful protests” and arguing that hundreds of protesters have been detained.

Today, Kazakhstan plays a significant in the regional security. The joined forces of Russia and Kazakhstan are the last barrier preventing the ISIS expansion in the Central Asia. If Kazakhstan is destabilized, the situation in the Central Asia will worsen, significantly. The way for an Islamist expansion and destabilization of the whole region will be open. Some Western experts argue that the recent developments in Kazakhstan could be fueled by Russia or China, both have a wide interests in the country. However, SouthFront hardly believes that Moscow or Beijing can be interested in creation of a new zone of instability at their borders.

The last major player in the region is the United States, widely known as a mastermind of color revolutions around the world. Using the protests, some powers in Washington can hope to put pressure on the Kazakh government to gain some diplomatic dividends. Or they even hope to change the Nazarbayev regime, creating chaos at the borders of the main geopolitical opponents. These moves are supported by some internal forces in Kazakhstan. Local clans, dissatisfied by Nazarbayev’s policy, have been making an attempt to redivide the financial flows and the share of the political power. Furthermore, US units, specialized in psychological operations around the world, have some time amid a formal stability of the situation in Syria and Ukraine. This fact could be used as a formal cause to intensify the actions in the Central Asia.

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Scholars Protest Nazi Hosting International Genocide Conference

NOVANEWS
Scholars Protest Israel Hosting International Genocide Conference
 
Hebrew_University_Entrance
The International Network of Genocide Scholars will host its fifth annual conference in Israel at the Hebrew University next month.  The title of the event will be Intersections: Holocaust Scholarship, Genocide Research, And Histories of Mass Violence.  On the one hand, Israel is a natural choice to host a conference on the Holocaust since it arose in part out of the ashes of the Nazi genocide against Jews.  Israel’s Yad Vashem Museum is a primary international depository for, and commemoration of the Holocaust.

But on the other hand, such a choice raises a host of unsettling questions:  first among them is: how do you deal with the question of Israeli “mass violence” against Palestinians and, for that matter, all of the front-line states Israel has attacked repeatedly in the decades following the 1948 War?  Though most scholars agree that Israel’s Occupation regime hasn’t risen to the level of genocide, the seeds of a future catastrophe of that magnitude have been planted.  Will they germinate?  Anyone’s guess.  But why should genocide scholars sit in solemn deliberation in such a country where violence smites Palestinian victims every day?

Photo caption: David Ben Gurion: willing to dance with the Nazi devil to advance Israel’s interests

Second, how do you deal with the attempts at collaboration between the pre-1948 Zionist leadership–including figures like David Ben Gurion–and the Nazis?  I wouldn’t mind if I knew this question would be debated at the conference.  But I strongly doubt it will.

Third, how do you deal with the problematic relationship between Diaspora Jewry, which suffered overwhelmingly during the Holocaust, and Israel, which only reached out to help Jews in any numbers after the catastrophe ended?  Remember Ben Gurion, who said:

“If I knew that it was possible to save all the children of Germany by transporting them to England, and only half by transferring them to the Land of Israel, I would choose the latter, for before us lies not only the numbers of these children but the historical reckoning of the people of Israel.”

hebrew university mt scopus occupiedPhoto caption: Hebrew University’s Mt. Scopus campus, site of genocide conference, is in occupied East Jerusalem

He can gussy this sentiment up in ponderous concepts like “the historical reckoning of the people of Israel,” but the truth is that it is precisely such choices that mark a decisive break, a profound alienation between the Zionism of Ben Gurion and the Diaspora.  Under such a philosophical concept, the two must be at war with each other.  The truth is that there is no actual war.  But there is a constant, simmering Cold War between them which neither side fully acknowledges or attempts to repair, which only makes things worse.

Fourth, how do you deal with the problem of Israel and Zionism which view the Holocaust as the result of the lack of sovereignty of the Jewish people, and hence see that catastrophe as an inexorable result of Jewish vulnerability in the Diaspora?

Though I’m not a genocide scholar, I’d be interested to know how such a field deals with relations between genocide survivors and those within their ethnic community after they return from from the Killing Fields.  In the case of Israel, the relationship is exceedingly ambivalent.  As many readers know, Israel has let many of the remaining survivors live in destitution (50,000 by last count), offering them very limited financial support.  There are many reasons for this, but chief among them is the Zionist attitude toward Holocaust and Diaspora.  It is something many would rather forget.  Israelis see themselves as apart from and superior to the Diaspora.  The Holocaust survivors are a constant reminder that they are not, that their fate is inextricably bound up in those of European Jewry.

The final problematic aspect of hosting a genocide conference in Israel is that it has refused for decades to acknowledge the Armenian genocide.  Until recently, this was due to Israel’s close alliance with Turkey, which itself was the lead denier of the Armenian Holocaust.  But even after the relationship with Turkey soured in 2010, Israel has continued to refuse to recognize any other genocide than the extermination of European Jewry.  This is profoundly troubling and a violation of historical truth.  Why should the validity of one’s own national suffering be diminished in any way by the recognition of the suffering of another nation?

Who’s going to tackle this–or any of the other troublesome subjects I raised above–at this conference?  The lack of discussion means to me that the organizers either were short-sighted or too frightened to delve into such troubling questions concerning their host nation, Israel.

international law & israeli war crimes in gazaSeveral hundreds scholars are releasing a protest statement criticizing the international organization for agreeing to host the scholarly meeting in Israel.  This is the text of the letter:

As a group of scholars, we are deeply concerned that the International Network of Genocide Scholars (INoGS) is lending its name and reputation to Israel’s occupation and ongoing colonization of Palestine by holding its annual conference, scheduled for June 26-29, at the Mt. Scopus campus of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Israel’s actions against the Palestinian people – from the Nakba to the ongoing displacement of Palestinians from their lands, and from repeated military offensives against Gaza to the ongoing blockade – are increasingly being viewed through lenses of ethnic cleansing and genocide linked to settler colonialism. It is therefore shocking that INoGS plans to hold its 2016 Global Conference at the Mt. Scopus campus of the Hebrew University that is partially built on stolen Palestinian land in occupied East Jerusalem. Additionally, the conference is sponsored by five Israeli academic institutions, including the Hebrew University, which have been deeply complicit in Israel’s decades-long oppression of Palestinians.

Billing the conference as held in ‘Jerusalem, Israel’ demonstrates that INoGS is turning a blind eye to Israel’s illegal annexation of the city, condemned unanimously by the international community, and to the ongoing campaign of dispossession against indigenous Palestinians as Israel seeks to erase their historic and diverse presence in the city through plunder and expulsion.

The significance of all this cannot be lost on genocide scholars.

The call for this conference has been issued while Israel’s state terrorism is being exposed to the world. Israeli police, military and fundamentalist settler lynch mobs have been savagely attacking Palestinian protestors and committing crimes with impunity.

New repressive and discriminatory Israeli laws and a dominant culture of racism and intolerance have created a culture of impunity, with Israel’s occupation forces now adopting a shoot-to-kill policy against Palestinian child and youth protesters in situations where they pose no serious threat…

We urgently call on InoGS to act in a principled way by cancelling the Jerusalem venue for their conference and transferring it to a location in another country.

We furthermore urge scholars and professionals to reflect upon the ethical and legal implications of participating in a conference organized by complicit institutions and taking place…on occupied land–and to boycott this event should it go ahead under these circumstances.

‘Never again’ means never again for everyone.

The Call for Papers from the Network does indicate an effort to acknowledge ongoing mass violence against Palestinians in language like this:

…Bringing the INoGS conference to Jerusalem, a city in which foundational collective traumas intersect and are experienced in everyday life, offers an opportunity to engage with the main theme of the conference:Intersections: Holocaust Scholarship, Genocide Research, and Histories of Mass Violence.

The meeting will include two roundtable panels that delve into this subject as well:

Collective Traumas and National Identities will include papers on Jews, Palestinians, as well as other cases

Studying Genocide in a Site of Conflict and Violence will address the challenges of researching and teaching the Holocaust, genocide, and mass violence in Israel in the midst of the ongoing conflict between Jews and Palestinians

But one has to wonder what sort of balance the event program will offer when only two members of the academic steering committee for the conference are Israeli Palestinian.  The remainder are Israeli Jews.

The scholars’ letter makes clear that the principles of BDS are involved in the signatories decision to denounce Israel’s hosting of the conference.  On this note, a number of the Israeli institutions serving as sponsors are deeply implicated in the Occupation.  Their scientific and social science research serves as a bulwark of the Israeli military and intelligence apparatus.  How about the secret research conducted at some of these institutions which develop Israel’s weapons of mass destruction? One wonders if anyone will deliver a paper at this conference offering a critique of the role of Israeli academia in facilitating the violence against, and oppression of the Palestinian people.

I e mailed and tweeted INoGS’ president and its Twitter account for a comment or statement of their position in this matter.  As of publication, no one had replied.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Scholars Protest Nazi Hosting International Genocide Conference

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