Archive | July 20th, 2016

Me Tarzan, You Adam: How I Met the Ghosts of My Own Work in a Local Multiplex

NOVANEWS

Image result for CONGO CARTOON

Some time ago I wrote a book about one of the great crimes of the last 150 years: the conquest and exploitation of the Congo by King Leopold II of Belgium. When King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa was published, I thought I had found all the major characters in that brutal patch of history. But a few weeks ago I realized that I had left one out: Tarzan.

Let me explain. Although a documentary film based on my book did appear, I often imagined what Hollywood might do with such a story. It would, of course, have featured the avaricious King Leopold, who imposed a slave labor system on his colony to extract its vast wealth in ivory and wild rubber, with millions dying in the process. And it would surely have included the remarkable array of heroic figures who resisted or exposed his misdeeds. Among them were African rebel leaders like Chief Mulume Niama, who fought to the death trying to preserve the independence of his Sanga people; an Irishman, Roger Casement, whose exposure to the Congo made him realize that his own country was an exploited colony and who was later hanged by the British; two black Americans who courageously managed to get information to the outside world; and the Nigerian-born Hezekiah Andrew Shanu, a small businessman who secretly leaked documents to a British journalist and was hounded to death for doing so. Into the middle of this horror show, traveling up the Congo River as a steamboat officer in training, came a young seaman profoundly shocked by what he saw. When he finally got his impressions onto the page, he would produce the most widely read short novel in English, Heart of Darkness.

How could all of this not make a great film?

I found myself thinking about how to structure it and which actors might play what roles. Perhaps the filmmakers would offer me a bit part. At the very least, they would undoubtedly seek my advice. And so I pictured myself on location with the cast, a voice for good politics and historical accuracy, correcting a detail here, adding another there, making sure the film didn’t stint in evoking the full brutality of that era. The movie, I was certain, would make viewers in multiplexes across the world realize at last that colonialism in Africa deserved to be ranked with Nazism and Soviet communism as one of the great totalitarian systems of modern times.

In case you hadn’t noticed, that film has yet to be made. And so imagine my surprise, when, a few weeks ago, in a theater in a giant mall, I encountered two characters I had written about in King Leopold’s Ghost. And who was onscreen with them? A veteran of nearly a century of movies — silent and talking, in black and white as well as color, animated as well as live action (not to speak of TV shows and video games): Tarzan.

The Legend of Tarzan, an attempt to jumpstart that ancient, creaking franchise for the twenty-first century, has made the most modest of bows to changing times by inserting a little more politics and history than dozens of the ape man’s previous adventures found necessary. It starts by informing us that, at the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, the European powers began dividing up the colonial spoils of Africa, and that King Leopold II now holds the Congo as his privately owned colony.

Tarzan, however, is no longer in the jungle where he was born and where, after his parents’ early deaths, he was raised by apes. Instead, married to Jane, he has taken over his ancestral title, Lord Greystoke, and has occupied his palatial manor in England. (Somewhere along the line he evidently took a crash course that brought him from “Me Tarzan, you Jane” to the manners and speech of a proper earl.)

But you won’t be surprised to learn that Africa needs him badly. There’s a diamond scandal, a slave labor system, and other skullduggery afoot in Leopold’s Congo. A bold, sassy black American, George Washington Williams, persuades him to head back to the continent to investigate, and comes along as his sidekick. The villain of the story, Leopold’s top dog in the Congo, scheming to steal those African diamonds, is Belgian Captain Léon Rom, who promptly kidnaps Tarzan and Jane.  And from there the plot only thickens, even if it never deepens.  Gorillas and crocodiles, cliff-leaping, heroic rescues, battles with man and beast abound, and in the movie’s grand finale, Tarzan uses his friends, the lions, to mobilize thousands of wildebeest to storm out of the jungle and wreak havoc on the colony’s capital, Boma.

With Jane watching admiringly, Tarzan and Williams then sink the steamboat on which the evil Rom is trying to spirit the diamonds away, while thousands of Africans lining the hills wave their spears and cheer their white savior. Tarzan and Jane soon have a baby, and seem destined to live happily ever after — at least until The Legend of Tarzan II comes along.

History Provides the Characters, Tarzan the Vines

Both Williams and Rom were, in fact, perfectly real people and, although I wasn’t the first to notice them, it’s clear enough where Hollywood’s scriptwriters found them. There’s even a photo of Alexander Skarsgård, the muscular Swede who plays Tarzan, with a copy of King Leopold’s Ghost in hand. Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Williams with considerable brio, has told the press that the director, David Yates, sent him the book in preparation for his role.

A version of Batman in Africa was not quite the film I previewed so many times in my fantasies.  Yet I have to admit that, despite the context, it was strangely satisfying to see those two historical figures brought more or less to life onscreen, even if to prop up the vine swinger created by novelist Edgar Rice Burroughs and played most famously by Johnny Weissmuller. Williams, in particular, was a remarkable man. An American Civil War veteran, lawyer, journalist, historian, Baptist minister, and the first black member of the Ohio state legislature, he went to Africa expecting to find, in the benevolent colony that King Leopold II advertised to the world, a place where his fellow black Americans could get the skilled jobs denied them at home. Instead he discovered what he called “the Siberia of the African Continent” — a hellhole of racism, land theft, and a spreading slave labor system enforced by the whip, gun, and chains.

From the Congo, he wrote an extraordinary “open letter” to Leopold, published in European and American newspapers and quoted briefly at the end of the movie. It was the first comprehensive exposé of a colony that would soon become the subject of a worldwide human rights campaign. Sadly, he died of tuberculosis on his way home from Africa before he could write the Congo book for which he had gathered so much material. As New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis observed, “Williams deserves a grand cinematic adventure of his own.”

By contrast, in real life as in the film (where he is played with panache by Christoph Waltz), Léon Rom was a consummate villain. An officer in the private army Leopold used to control the territory, Rom is elevated onscreen to a position vastly more important than any he ever held. Nonetheless, he was an appropriate choice to represent that ruthless regime. A British explorer once observed the severed heads of 21 Africans placed as a border around the garden of Rom’s house. He also kept a gallows permanently erected in front of the nearby headquarters from which he directed the post of Stanley Falls. Rom appears to have crossed paths briefly with Joseph Conrad and to have been one of the models for Mr. Kurtz, the head-collecting central figure of Heart of Darkness.

The Legend of Tarzan is essentially a superhero movie, Spiderman in Africa (even if you know that the footage of African landscapes was blended by computer with actors on a sound stage in England). Skarsgård (or his double or his electronic avatar) swoops through the jungle on hanging vines in classic Tarzan style. Also classic, alas, is the making of yet another movie about Africa whose hero and heroine are white. No Africans speak more than a few lines and, when they do, it’s usually to voice praise or friendship for Tarzan or Jane. From The African Queen to Out of Africa, that’s nothing new for Hollywood.

Nonetheless, there are, at odd moments, a few authentic touches of the real Congo: the railway cars of elephant tusks bound for the coast and shipment to Europe (the first great natural resource to be plundered); Leopold’s private army, the much-hated Force Publique; and African slave laborers in chains — Tarzan frees them, of course.

While some small details are reasonably accurate, from the design of a steamboat to the fact that white Congo officials like Rom indeed did favor white suits, you won’t be shocked to learn that the film takes liberties with history.  Of course, all novels and films do that, but The Legend of Tarzan does so in a curious way: it brings Leopold’s rapacious regime to a spectacular halt in 1890, the year in which it’s set — thank you, Tarzan! That, however, was the moment when the worst of the horror the king had unleashed was just getting underway.

It was in 1890 that workers started constructing a railroad around the long stretch of rapids near the Congo River’s mouth; Joseph Conrad sailed to Africa on the ship that carried the first batch of rails and ties. Eight years later, that vast construction project, now finished, would accelerate the transport of soldiers, arms, disassembled steamboats, and other supplies that would turn much of the inland territory’s population into slave laborers. Leopold was by then hungry for another natural resource: rubber. Millions of Congolese would die to satisfy his lust for wealth.

Tarzan in Vietnam

Here’s the good news: I think I’m finally getting the hang of Hollywood-style filmmaking. Tarzan’s remarkable foresight in vanquishing the Belgian evildoers before the worst of Leopold’s reign of terror opens the door for his future films, which I’ve started to plan — and this time, on the film set, I expect one of those canvas-backed chairs with my name on it. Naturally, our hero wouldn’t stop historical catastrophes before they begin — there’s no drama in that — but always in their early stages.

For example, I just published a book about the Spanish Civil War, another perfect place and time for Tarzan to work his wonders. In the fall of 1936, he could swing his way through the plane and acacia trees of Madrid’s grand boulevards to mobilize the animals in that city’s zoo and deal a stunning defeat to Generalissimo Francisco Franco’s attacking Nationalist troops. Sent fleeing at that early moment, Franco’s soldiers would, of course, lose the war, leaving the Spanish Republic triumphant and the Generalissimo’s long, grim dictatorship excised from history.

In World War II, soon after Hitler and Stalin had divided Eastern Europe between them, Tarzan could have a twofer if he stormed down from the Carpathian mountains in late 1939, leading a vast pack of that region’s legendary wolves. He could deal smashing blows to both armies, and then, just as he freed slaves in the Congo, throw open the gates of concentration camps in both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. And why stop there? If, after all this, the Japanese still had the temerity to attack Pearl Harbor, Tarzan could surely mobilize the dolphins, sharks, and whales of the Pacific Ocean to cripple the Japanese fleet as easily as he sunk Léon Rom’s steamboat in a Congo harbor.

In Vietnam — if Tarzan made it there before the defoliant Agent Orange denuded its jungles — there would be vines aplenty to swing from and water buffalo he could enlist to help rout the foreign armies, first French, then American, before they got a foothold in the country.

Some more recent wartime interventions might, however, be problematic. In whose favor, for example, should he intervene in Iraq in 2003? Saddam Hussein or the invading troops of George W. Bush? Far better to unleash him on targets closer to home: Wall Street bankers, hedge-fund managers, select Supreme Court justices, a certain New York real estate mogul. And how about global warming? Around the world, coal-fired power plants, fracking rigs, and tar sands mining pits await destruction by Tarzan and his thundering herd of elephants.

If The Legend of Tarzan turns out to have the usual set of sequels, take note, David Yates: since you obviously took some characters and events from my book for the first installment, I’m expecting you to come to me for more ideas. All I ask in return is that Tarzan teach me to swing from the nearest vines in any studio of your choice, and let me pick the next battle to win.

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Are We in for Another Increase in Military Spending?

NOVANEWS

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At the present time, an increase in US military spending seems as superfluous as a third leg. The United States, armed with the latest in advanced weaponry, has more military might than any other nation in world history. Moreover, it has begun a $1 trillion program to refurbish its entire nuclear weapons complex.

America’s major military rivals, China and Russia, spend only a small fraction of what the United States does on its armed forces — in China’s case about a third and in Russia’s case about a ninth. Furthermore, the economic outlay necessary to maintain this vast US military force constitutes a very significant burden. In fiscal 2015, US military spending ($598.5 billion) accounted for 54 percent of the US government’s discretionary spending.

Certainly most Americans are not clamoring for heightened investments in war and war preparations. According to a Gallup poll conducted in February 2016, only 37 percent of respondents said the US government spent too little “for national defense and military purposes,” compared to 59 percent who said it spent too much (32 percent) or about the right amount (27 percent).

These findings were corroborated by a Pew Research Center survey in April 2016, which reported that 35 percent of American respondents favored increasing US military spending, 24 percent favored decreasing it, and 40 percent favored keeping it the same. Although these latest figures show a rise in support for increasing military spending since 2013, this occurred mostly among Republicans. Indeed, the gap in support for higher military spending between Republicans and Democrats, which stood at 25 percentage points in 2013, rose to 41 points by 2016.

Actually, it appears that, when Americans are given the facts about US military spending, a substantial majority of them favor reducing it. Between December 2015 and February 2016, the nonpartisan Voice of the People, affiliated with the University of Maryland, provided a sample of 7,126 registered voters with information on the current US military budget, as well as leading arguments for and against it.

The arguments were vetted for accuracy by staff members of the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees on defense. Then, when respondents were asked their opinion about what should be done, 61 percent said they thought US military spending should be reduced. The biggest cuts they championed were in spending for nuclear weapons and missile defense systems.

When it comes to this year’s presumptive Presidential candidates, however, quite a different picture emerges. The Republican nominee, Donald Trump, though bragging about building “a military that’s gonna be much stronger than it is right now,” has on occasion called for reducing military expenditures. On the other hand, his extraordinarily aggressive foreign policy positions have led defense contractors to conclude that, with Trump in the White House, they can look forward to sharp increases in US military spending.

Indeed, insisting that US military power has shrunk to a pitiful level under President Obama, he has promised that, under his presidency, it would be “funded beautifully.” In March 2016, when Trump appeared on Fox News, he made that commitment more explicit by promising to increase military spending.

Given the considerably more dovish orientation of the Democratic electorate, one would expect Hillary Clinton to stake out a position more opposed to a military buildup. But, thus far, she has been remarkably cagey about this issue. In September 2015, addressing a campaign meeting in New Hampshire, Clinton called for the creation of a high-level commission to examine US military spending. But whether the appointment of such a commission augurs increases or decreases remains unclear.

Meanwhile, her rather hawkish foreign policy record has convinced observers that she will support a military weapons buildup. The same conclusion can be drawn from the “National Security” section of her campaign website, which declares: “As president, she’ll ensure the United States maintains the best-trained, best-equipped, and strongest military the world has ever known.”

Although the big defense contractors generally regard Clinton, like Trump, as a safe bet, they exercise even greater influence in Congress, where they pour substantially larger amounts of money into the campaign coffers of friendly US Senators and Representatives.

Thus, even when a President doesn’t back a particular weapons system, they can usually count on Congress to fund it. As a Wall Street publication recently crowed: “No matter who wins the White House this fall, one thing is clear: Defense spending will climb.”

Will it? Probably so, unless public pressure can convince a new administration in Washington to adopt a less militarized approach to national and international security.

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State Department Worried About “Backsliding” in Turkey Following Failed Coup, Mass Arrests

NOVANEWS

By Sam Knight

Turkish soldiers at the Republic Monument in Istanbul's Taksim Square, early on the morning of July 16, 2016. (Photo: Ismail Ferdous / The New York Times)Turkish soldiers at the Republic Monument in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, early on the morning of July 16, 2016. (Photo: Ismail Ferdous / The New York Times)

Secretary of State John Kerry said that he and his European counterparts will be paying close attention to developments in Turkey, after thousands of Turkish officials were punished in the wake of a failed coup attempt.

“Obviously a lot of people have been arrested and arrested very quickly,” Kerry said Monday, in Brussels. “The level of vigilance and scrutiny is obviously going to be significant in the days ahead. Hopefully we can work in a constructive way that prevents a backsliding.”

Kerry made the statements from a previously scheduled meeting held by the European Council, an EU executive branch organ. The Washington Post described the gathering as having morphed into “crisis management,” in response to developments in Turkey.

“NATO also has a requirement with respect to democracy,” Kerry also said. Department Spokesperson John Kirby noted, however, that “it’s too soon to say that their membership is at risk.”

Despite the warnings, Turkey has never seen its NATO membership suspended for past transgressions against democracy and due process. The Turkish military has intervened in the country’s political system four times, between 1960-1997. In 1980, a junta last led to fatal violence and the detention of hundreds of thousands of people.

In the aftermath of Friday’s failed seizure, US and NATO interests were directly threatened when Incirlik Airbase was temporarily shut down by Turkish officials. The facility is being used by Washington to carry out airstrikes against the Islamic State. By Sunday, however, sorties were allowed to fly out of Incirlik, the Pentagon reported.

The attempted coup was launched Friday in Ankara, the capital, and Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city and one of the largest cities in the world. Soldiers who partook seized positions throughout the cities and attempted to shutdown Turkish airspace.

Statements read under coercion Friday night by broadcasters on Turkish state television said the coup was being launched in response to the rule of Turkey’s controversial president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Turkey’s democratic and secular rule of law has been eroded by the current government” is how the BBC reported the message.

The seizure, however, appear to have no broad support, and was stopped by demonstrators, police and members of the military who remained loyal to the government. Every major political party swiftly condemned the attempt.

Confrontations that took place during the failed seizure led to more than 200 deaths and 1,000 injuries. Structural damage was inflicted on the parliament building in Ankara, after it was bombed by rebellious aircraft.

Over the weekend, in reaction to the attempt, the Erdogan government responded with what has been widely described as a “purge.” Thousands of soldiers, judges and prosecutors have been detained, Reuters noted. On Monday, the wire service said thousands of police officers were fired, on suspicion of involvement.

Erdogan has alleged that a cleric living in Pennsylvania named Fethullah Gulen orchestrated the coup attempt. On Saturday, he called on the US to extradite Gulen, who has himself strenuously denied involvement.

On Monday, Kerry said that American officials would consider any extradition request, but said Turkey must formally lodge one based on “genuine evidence that withstands the standard of scrutiny that exists in many countries.”

“And if it meets that standard, there’s no interest we have of standing in the way of appropriately honoring the treaty we have with Turkey with respect to extradition,” Kerry said.

Although Erdogan’s Labor Minister, Suleyman Soylu, accused the US of being “behind this coup,” it was condemned by President Obama within hours. On Friday evening, the White House “reiterated the United States’ unwavering support for the democratically-elected, civilian Government of Turkey.”

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WORLD NEWS

NOVANEWS

Consortiumnews.com

Some of our special stories in June examined Hillary Clinton’s problems with emails and Libya, the world’s march to a new Cold War with Russia, the push for a wider hot war in Syria, and the meaning of Brexit.

A US Hand in Brazil’s Coup?” by Ted Snider, Jun. 1, 2016

Waiting for California and the FBI” by Robert Parry, Jun. 1, 2016

Trump, Trade and War by James W Carden, Jun. 2, 2016

The Bigger Nuclear Risk: Trump or Clinton?” by Robert Parry, Jun. 2, 2016

Libya’s ‘Chaos Theory’ Undercuts Hillary by Robert Parry, Jun. 4, 2016

 “MH-17 Probe Relies on Ukraine for Evidence by Robert Parry, Jun. 5, 2016

Will Hillary Clinton Get Favored Treatment?” by Ray McGovern, Jun. 6, 2016

Europe Sleepwalks toward World War III” by Gilbert Doctorow, Jun. 6, 2016

Sanders Speaks against Racism, Injustice” by Marjorie Cohn, Jun. 6, 2016

Israel Covets Golan’s Water and Now Oil” by Jonathan Marshall, Jun. 7, 2016

Declaring Clinton’s Premature Victory” by Joe Lauria, Jun. 7, 2016

Failure of America’s Two Parties” by Nat Parry, Jun. 7, 2016

Democrats Are Now the Aggressive War Party” by Robert Parry, Jun. 8, 2016

Clinton’s Curious California Victory” by Rick Sterling, Jun. 9, 2016

How Muhammad Ali Touched Lives” by Mollie Dickenson, Jun. 9, 2016

Deflategate Twist: 31 Teams Are Cheating” by Robert Parry, Jun. 9, 2016

Venezuela’s Struggle to Survive” by Lisa Sullivan, Jun. 10, 2016

The US-Russia Info-War: What’s Real?” by Gilbert Doctorow, Jun. 10, 2016

Sen. Sanders Goes to Washington” by Chelsea Gilmour, Jun. 10, 2016

Two Bigots Running for US President” by Lawrence Davidson, Jun. 11, 2016

My Night with Muhammad Ali” by Stephen Orlov, Jun. 11, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s ‘Entangled’ Foreign Policy” by Daniel Lazare, Jun. 12, 2016

Campaign 2016’s Brave New World” by David Marks, Jun. 13, 2016

MH-17 Probe Trusts Torture-Implicated Ukraine” by Robert Parry, Jun. 13, 2016

Pushing the Doomsday Clock to Midnight” by Gilbert Doctorow, Jun. 14, 2016

Bridging Divides of a New Cold War” by Ann Wright, Jun. 15, 2016

The Democrats’ ‘Super-Delegate’ Mistake” by Spencer Oliver, Jun. 17, 2016

The War Risk of Hillary Clinton” by Michael Brenner, Jun. 17, 2016

The State Department’s Collective Madness” by Robert Parry, Jun. 17, 2016

Dissent for Peace, Not More War” by Ann Wright, Jun. 18, 2016

Neocons Scheme for More ‘Regime Change’” by James W. Carden, Jun. 18, 2016

Global Warming Adds to Mideast Hot Zone” by Jonathan Marshall, Jun. 18, 2016

Trump as the Relative Peace Candidate” by John V. Walsh, Jun. 20, 2016

Israel’s Water Siege of Palestinians” by Chuck Spinney, Jun. 21, 2016

Destroying the Magnitsky Myth” by Gilbert Doctorow, Jun. 21, 2016

WPost’s ‘Agit-Prop’ for the New Cold War” by Robert Parry, Jun. 21, 2016

Lost History of Iran’s 1981 Coup” by Mahmood Delkhasteh, Jun. 21, 2016

New Cold War Feeds War Machine” by Chuck Spinney, Jun. 22, 2016

US Bombing Syrian Troops Would Be Illegal” by Marjorie Cohn, Jun. 22, 2016

The Long-Hidden Saudi 9/11 Connection” by Kristen Breitweiser, Jun. 22, 2016

The Fraudulent Case for a Syrian Escalation” by Jonathan Marshall, Jun. 23, 2016

The ‘Safe’ Risk of Hillary Clinton” by Daniel Lazare, Jun. 24, 2016

A ‘Brexit’ Blow to the Establishment” by Robert Parry, Jun. 24, 2016

European Union’s Imperial Overreach” by Jonathan Marshall, Jun. 25, 2016

Meyer Lansky’s Heirs Want Money from Cuba” by Jack Colhoun, Jun. 25, 2016

Intel Vets Call ‘Dissent Memo’ on Syria ‘Reckless’” by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Jun. 25, 2016

The Brexit Rejection of Neoliberal Tyranny” by John Pilger, Jun. 26, 2016

Europeans Contest US Anti-Russian Hype” by Joe Lauria, Jun. 27, 2016

Trading Places: Neocons and Cockroaches” by Robert Parry, Jun. 28, 2016

The Dissent Memo That Isn’t” by Gareth Porter, Jun. 29, 2016

‘Brexit’ and the Democracy Myth” by Daniel Lazare, Jun. 29, 2016

How ISIS Palmyra ‘Erase’ Trap Was Foiled” by Franklin Lamb, Jun. 30, 2016

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House of Darkness: Jewish Lobby in Europe

NOVANEWS

Update: An alert reader (me) noticed that the promised video game’s link was missing from this post. The link is item 2 below.)

House

(The house is probably haunted.)

1. Back in June we took a look at the fact that the Israel Lobby in Europe gets tons of financing from the Israel Lobby in the US.

Today I would like to remove the veil of Zionist bullshit that conceals one interesting ethnic cleansing operation taking place on the Mount of Olives that the really creepy looking and utterly disgusting Jon Voight is involved in. So sit back and cuddle up with your favorite beverage and enjoy the ride.  When you get to the end there is a video game for you to play.

Note the chart from last month that is reprinted in part here below. Our guest editor today, Daoud ibn Mulaykah al-Amriki, known more commonly as just plain ibn Mulaykah, found a typo in the chart and circled it in red as you will see.

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 7.18.01 AM

That’s right, the circled item should be American Friends of “Beit Orot” which means “House of bigoted Zionist bastards supported with shitloads of money by the late Irving Moskovitz”. (Note to Shas Party members, this is called sarcasm.)

Anyway, I was thinking “Beit Orot” sorta kinda reminded me of Beit Yonatan which is financed in part by a truly disgusting organization called Ateret Cohanim and its “American” (and I use that term loosely) affiliate American Friends of Ateret Cohanim about which we have reported in some detail in the past. And of course American Friends of Ateret Cohanim is a 501(c)(3) organization as almost of all of these outfits are.

So I sent the tuyuur out to do some research on “American Friends of Beit Orot” and they found some interesting things, so lets get into it the way the Israeli military got into the USS LIBERTY.

Let me digress for a second. Jean-Claude Van Damme is truly a dipshit. Hence Beit Orot comes to the defense of this dipshit. But I digress. End of digression.

So what is Beit Orot?  Let’s start with the Electronic Intifada: (Note to Shas Party members, red highlighting is by today’s guest editor, Ibn Mulaykhah.)

The al-Tur neighborhood is an especially disturbing example.

The neighborhood is densely populated and the land reserve on its western edge, which had been zoned for a Palestinian girls’ school, was bought in the early 1990s by Irving Moskowitz, a wealthy American businessman whose “philanthropy” seeks to create a Jewish majority in East Jerusalem. Today, a yeshiva (Jewish religious school) stands there, as well as Beit Orot, the first Israeli settlement to be built in the heart of a Palestinian neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

How cool is that? A school for Palestinian girls was supposed to be built there but instead a millionaire Zionist Jew with a truly sleazy background put a Yeshiva and an illegal Israeli settlement there instead.  I wonder if these people get off at the thought of screwing over Palestinian school girls. But I digress.

So just who is Irving Moskowitz?  He was a doctor kind of, way back when, but he made lots of money in the early days flipping hospitals. Then he got into bingo and turned gambling into a tax haven for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Richard Silverstein tells us:

In 1972, he opened the first hospital in the small southern California town of Hawaiian Gardens and became a local hero. So in 1988, when the town faced the loss of $200,000 in revenue from the local bingo parlour, they turned to the orthodox Jewish doctor to take over the operation. The town agreed to accept 1% of gross receipts, and Moskowitz kept the rest – tens of millions of dollars. He never looked back, and his second fortune was guaranteed.

California law required that bingo be conducted by a non-profit organization.So he shrewdly incorporated the Moskowitz Foundation, enabling his profits to be transferred directly to Israeli projects and largely avoid US taxes.

We’ll get back to the bingo parlor in just a second.  A bit further down, Silverstein adds this very important point:

The vision has gradually become more ambitious, seeking to dislodge Arab inhabitants from their traditional homes in villages like Silwan in order to transform Jerusalem into an exclusively Jewish city that can never be divided or shared with the Palestinians. Rabbi Haim Beliak, a pre-eminent Jewish activist and opponent of Moskowitz, goes so far as to call this ethnic cleansingof the indigenous population. Moskowitz’s goal is to impose, through demography and population transfer, a political agenda on the state.

Yup, tax free ethnic cleansing.  But it gets worse, with Zionism it always does.

Silwan.  Hmmmm, when I saw that I thought of two previous posts about BeitYehonatan which just happens to be located in Silwan. Beit Yehonaton is a building named after Jonathan Pollard. So is Moskowitz a supporter of Ateret Cohanim and thus behind Beit Yehonatan too?

Silverstein:

One of Moskowitz’s favourite charities, to which he has given at least $5m, is American Friends of Ateret Cohanim, which runs a prominent East Jerusalem yeshiva. More importantly, its mission calls for rebuilding the Holy Temple and re-instituting animal sacrifices from the time of King David. The yeshiva trains those who would become priests if such a temple were ever built. If any of this came to fruition, it would likely ignite a holy war between Jews and Muslims.”

That Yeshiva is known as Yeshivat Beit Orot and also bears the wonderful title of The Irving Moscowitz Yeshiva and Campus.

From the Beit Orot website:

In December 2005, great Jewish philanthropists and pioneers of Jewish reclamation in eastern Jerusalem, Dr. Irving & Mrs. Cherna Moskowitz presented a most substantial and significant contribution to Beit Orot – the property on which the hesder yeshiva sits on the Mount of Olives in Yerushalayim. In recognition of his leadership in reclaiming and building Yerushalayim, the Beit Orot hesder yeshiva is now named the Irving Moskowitz Yeshiva & Campus.

Beit Orot is a beneficialry of The Irving Moskowitz Foundation.

So, what we have here is a doctor/hospital flipper/gambling profiteer/tax sheltering Zionist wacko financing illegal and racist settlement activity for religious crazies who want to bring back animal sacrifices from 3000 years ago to be performed in a temple which will replace Muslim structures such as the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock and ignite G-d knows what kind of civil war.  In doing so he also openly supporting traitors like Jonathan Pollard.

Kink of makes you want to go burn a Qur’an doesn’t it?

Read this interesting tidbit from a group that seems to really hate his guts:

In 1988, Irving Moskowitz, a retired MD and local hospital owner, bought the non-profit Hawaiian Gardens Bingo Club, on Carson Street, the city’s main thoroughfare. The City Council gave his family-controlled Irving I. Moskowitz Foundation a monopoly on charitable bingo, which persists to this day, even though Moskowitz never lived up to his promise to donate most of the proceeds locally. He simply recalled or ran candidates against City Council members who challenged his monopoly and continued to run the taxpayer-subsidized bingo as a private piggy bank.

And what did he do with the money he made? (Shas Party members get two guesses.)

Over the years Irving Moskowitz has spent millions of dollars – from the Hawaiian Gardens bingo parlor he operates and from his private wealth — to establish a Jewish settler presence in East Jerusalem’s predominantly Palestinian neighborhoods. Moskowitz supports these strategically placed projects to prevent specific land-for-peace agreements that would give Palestinians the dignity of a presence in Jerusalem.

And he has been doing all these things while screwing the working class folks living in Hawaiian Gardens.

And that brings us back to Beit Orot.  From Wiki.

On January 31, 2011, a cornerstone laying ceremony was held for four apartment buildings with a total of 24 homes that are the beginning of the new Jewish Israeli settlement of Beit Orot on the Mount of Olives Ridge. In attendance at the ceremony were Knesset members, Jerusalem city councilmen, former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, and actor Jon Voight.[1]

The purchase of the land that was to become Beit Orot was arranged in 1990 by Hanan Porat, an Israeli politician, and financed by Dr. Irving Moskowitz, an American Jewish philanthropist, and his wife, Mrs. Cherna Moskowitz.[4]

2. The website Stopmoskowitz.org has saved an old video game that traced by to Moskowitz’s wife. If you click on the link you can read about it and also see how sick and disgusting the game was. The wording below is from the same page.

Prime Minister Barak’s office condemned the Moskowitz-sponsored game, saying “The right-wing site creates incitements of a most violent nature that are like those that have brought consequences that all of us remember,” a reference to the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. 

The assassination game was gone by the time the news report appeared. According to Yedioth Aharonot, the hosting company removed it after receiving complaints.

We saved a copy of the game to demonstrate to California’s decision makers that Cherna Moskowitz, an applicant along with her husband for a license to operate the Hawaiian Gardens casino, does not have the good character state law requires for a gambling license.

3. Okay folks, why don’t you sit back and watch Jon Voight speaking at the cornerstone ceremony for Beit Orot. Warning to those who are squeamish, you will need to get yourself a really good, and I mean really good, barf bag.

And to further your suffering, here is Mike Huckabee at the same event.

It’s nice to see that Beit Orot has some management difficulties. May they be magnified 100 fold.

Posted in Europe, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on House of Darkness: Jewish Lobby in Europe

Jordan: Zionist puppet regime slams door on Gazans

 
“We regret to inform you that your application was not accepted.” —The Jordanian Representative Office

This message has been received by almost every Palestinian from Gaza who has applied for what is called a “non-objection” letter from Jordan since last August. Such a letter is required before a Palestinian can cross into Jordan from the West Bank to fly out of Amman to other locations. With the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt closed most of the time, the Jordan route is about the only way for Gazans to travel out for university abroad and other opportunities. (They are not typically allowed to fly out through Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport.)

Salsabil Samna, in Germany at last Photo: We Are Not Numbers

Salsabil Samna, in Germany at last Photo: We Are Not Numbers

Salsabil Samna, a student in her second year at the Islamic University of Gaza, is one of the likely hundreds of Gazans whose attempts to transit the Allenby Bridge into Jordan were rejected. After studying to get high scores in secondary school so she could study medicine in Germany, and after two years of submitting all the papers needed for the visa in addition to studying German, Samna was unable to leave.

“On the day I received my Tawjihi (high school graduation) certificate two years ago, my father and I started the procedures needed to travel to Germany,” recalls Samna, whose sister lives in the country and arranged for her father to travel for a visit as well. “When we received our visas, I went to an office with my father to apply for no-objection letter. They asked for my passport, ID, photo, university acceptance letter and visa. There is a quick application for 50 shekels (about $13 USD) and a normal application for 130 shekels. So we applied for the quick one in two different offices, in the hopes of guaranteeing we would get the permits before our visa expired.” (Entry was required two months after the issue date.)

Fifteen days later, her father received a text message telling him he was refused. However, a month passed and no one contacted Samna about her application. When she called the authorities in Jordan, they said she has been rejected. She asked why, but they would not give a reason.

Samna tried again and again to get a permit to enter Jordan — four times in total. She was rejected every time with no explanation.

“When my visa expired, I contacted the university and told them about the situation. They don’t usually renew, but they renewed it for me,” she said in relief.

The renewal arrived in less than a week. Thankfully, this time, the visa was for three months. The Rafah crossing happened to open for a rare three days at the same time, so Samna made the trek and took her chances. “But I was told there were more urgent cases than mine,” she said.

One more time, she applied for a Jordanian permit. And for a fifth time, 13 days later, she was refused. Now, only a few days were left before the second visa would expire like the first. She had been told there would be no second renewal. “Rafah is my only chance now,” said Samna.

Requesting permission to travel from Jordan

Since Egypt opens the Rafah crossing only a few times a year, it currently satisfies only 8 percent of Gazans needing or desiring to travel. And since the Israeli government does not allow Gaza to operate its own an air or seaport, Jordan has become been the transit route of last resort.

Welcome to Allenby Bridge Crossing Point Photo: We Are Not Numbers

Welcome to Allenby Bridge Crossing Point Photo: We Are Not Numbers

In addition to Gazan Palestinians, there is another, even larger group who depends on Jordanian permission to travel: the tens of thousands of people living in the West Bank, but lacking status with Jordan. According to Human Rights Watch, these include Palestinians who moved to the West Bank from Gaza, arrived with the Palestinian Authority in the 1990s and those who obtained Palestinian residency (controlled by Israel) via family reunification, also mostly in the 1990s. Although these people live in the West Bank, they still require special Jordanian permission to travel via Allenby.

However, beginning in August 2015, individuals, lawyers and human rights organizations began to document consistent refusals or non-responsiveness to requests for no-objection letters. Prior to that time, the Israel-based Legal Center for Freedom of Movement (Gisha), reports that its clients received Jordanian transit permission relatively easily. There were almost no recorded cases of rejections, says spokesperson Shadi Butthish.

Now, almost every client reports that his or her request for Jordanian permission to travel to Amman has been rejected. Between August 2015 and the end of January, Gisha received requests for help from 58 people who were refused the no-objection letter, including 16 seeking family reunification, 37 students with university acceptance letters and visas to study in third countries, and five people accepted (with visas) to conferences and training programs abroad. The Jordanian authorities either refused these requests with no explanation or did not respond at all, even after months of waiting.

For people who are unable to obtain Jordanian permission to enter Amman, the ability to travel abroad is blocked altogether. Israel will not consider requests to exit Gaza via the Erez Crossing unless a Jordanian no-objection letter already has been obtained.

“We have asked Jordan for the numbers — how many people are traveling now, how many are requesting to travel — but have yet to receive a response,” Sari Bashi, who is the Israel and Palestine country director for Human Rights Watch. “I want to emphasize that the people requesting the no-objection letters are requesting permission to transit, not to stay in Jordan. Most provide, as part of their application, a copy of a foreign visa or residence permit, and a copy of a plane ticket originating in Amman and taking them elsewhere.”

The only Palestinians from the targeted groups who have eventually been able to enter Amman legally to fly out appear to be those with VIP connections or who are participating in programs sponsored by third governments with influence on Jordan and that are willing to intervene directly — such as the United States and France. For example, rapper Ayman Mghamis succeeded in exiting to Amman with the help of the French consulate, which put all of its efforts to obtain the letter so he could perform in concerts organized by the French Institute of Gaza.

Most stories, however, are not like Samna’s or Mghamis’. They are like that of Nashwa Al-Ramlawi.

Nashwa Al-Ramlawi Photo: We Are Not Numbers

Nashwa Al-Ramlawi Photo: We Are Not Numbers

“I applied for a no-objection letter three times this year and I was rejected every time,” said Al-Ramlawi, who was awarded a scholarship to visit Italy for a month as an exchange student in a program called Erasmus Mundus. Her job is to restore archeologically important buildings for the Islamic University of Gaza, and she wanted to conduct related research on techniques.

“The university I was to attend has a laboratory that can’t be found here, with experienced supervisors,” she said sadly.

The Italian university contacted the Jordanian embassy, as well as the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, but all in vain. Ramlawi lost her scholarship.

Why is Jordan suddenly shutting the door on these Palestinians? No one has been able to get a straight answer. Human Rights Watch staff say, “We hear informally that Jordan doesn’t want to be asked to ‘solve Gaza’s problem’ or be seen as an alternative to Egypt for crossing.”

Mghamis has still other theories.

“The reason is obvious though for anyone who follows politics, particularly in the Middle East,” he says. “Gaza is considered an armed area that belongs to Hamas, which is totally wrong. The majority of Gazans are not Hamas. The second reason is that Israel has a big influence, since Arab countries follow what it says. Thirdly, the media portray us all as terrorists.”

Whomever or whatever is behind this practice, says Bashi, it is collective punishment of 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza. “Because we fear that many of the travel restrictions imposed on Gaza [by Israel] stem from forbidden collective punishment, we would also say that Jordan has a responsibility not to recognize such unlawful policies and to play a positive role in mitigating their effects.”

Bashi calls on all interested parties to meet with and appeal to the Jordanian embassies in their countries, as well as their own government’s state departments, to change their practices.

 

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Gaza, JordanComments Off on Jordan: Zionist puppet regime slams door on Gazans

Britain is now a one-party state

Britain as one-party state

Gilad Atzmon writes:

The contemporary British political system is easy to define.

The Tories are committed to big money. They believe that whatever is good for big money is good for Britain.

The Labour alternative presents middle class politicians who claim to know what is good for the working class while failing to recognise that actual productive work is a thing of the past and the workers haven’t made up a class for quite a while.

Britain is now a one party state – the “United Conservative Kingdom”. It is hard to judge whether this one party rule is the result of a diabolical Conservative plot or whether Labour has simply succeeded in sabotaging itself.

The Brexit referendum was probably the most significant British political event since the end of World War II. But the debate about leaving the European Union was hijacked by the Tory Party.

The issue merited an open, cross-party political exchange. However, Brexit turned out to be an internal Tory matter. The Labour Party had nothing to offer. Its leadership was concerned primarily with clearing itself of absurd allegations of anti-Semitism. The rest of the country was left to witness an entertaining Tory exchange between Prime Minister David Cameron and his potential challenger, Boris Johnson.

Although Cameron was defeated and quickly resigned, the Conservative Party again won on every front. It is now the only major party around. The Tories effected a quick transition of power from Cameron to Theresa May, and proved to Britons and the rest of the world that British politics is delightfully boring.

Labour’s reaction to Brexit was an act of collective suicide, as is symptomatic of left politics. Showing no trace of self-respect, the shadow ministers arranged a purge of their own shadow government. Perhaps it was a desperate attempt to claim some media relevance.

The ugliness of Labour politics was indeed amusing to watch, but it didn’t make the Labour Party any more popular. On the contrary, Labour proved yet again how irrelevant and detached it has become.

The Conservatives seized their opportunity. If Brexit was staged as an internal Tory debate, the post-Brexit era, under the rule of Theresa May, presents itself as a kingdom united. May, herself a remain supporter, appointed a cabinet full of Euro-sceptics. She is basically telling her foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, and her Brexit minister, David Davis: “If you really want us to leave the EU, you had better secure a very good deal.”

Meanwhile, the Labour Party is definitely not on the path to recovery. TheGuardian reports that Jewish Labour donor Michael Foster* intends to mount “a legal challenge against the party’s National Executive Committee decision to automatically nominate Jeremy Corbyn in the forthcoming leadership contest”.

I suppose that with Foster, Lord Levy and others Zionist Mammonites dominating Labour’s decision-making, culture and finance, we won’t see a true opposition party anytime soon.

Posted in UKComments Off on Britain is now a one-party state

The People Will Decide in Turkey

NOVANEWS
Erdogan

Drop of Light / Shutterstock.com

The most striking feature of the failed Turkish coup has been the people’s response. The plotters did their routine right: they seized the broadcasting station, they sent a sortie to kill the president, they stationed troops in the vital points, they rolled out the tanks. They calculated everything but the people’s response. As the president survived the attempt on his life, he had made the mobile phone streaming call to the nation urging people to get out and decide their future for themselves.

At first, thousands, then tens of thousands, and even hundreds of thousands of ordinary men and women dared the army and took to the streets and the squares in response to the call of their almost deposed president. They elected him just a few months ago, and they weren’t going to let the army steal their vote. This massive popular uprising-for-the-government broke the will of the plotters. Thus history has been made in Turkey, by direct action of the people.

Amazed by the epic fail of the putsch, Erdogan’s enemies concocted a “hoax coup” conspiracy story. In the pro-Zionist Al-Monitor, a Turkish expert asked accusingly: “Why did the putschists — knowing that Erdogan was neither in Ankara nor Istanbul but instead spending his vacation in the Mediterranean seaside town of Marmaris — not move to detain him?” However, now we have this video of the armed soldiers dropping by ropes from their helicopters and storming the hotel where the president stayed – some thirty minutes after he left. The plotters moved but not fast enough.

Anyway people had no reason to think the coup was a hoax in real time. They had a rough choice: they could get out to the streets supporting the president, or sulk at home. They went out to support Erdogan. This was the best kind of election, immediate democracy, and Erdogan won that election.

Despite State Secretary Kerry’s denials, the pointers are to Washington and Tel Aviv, and perhaps to Brussels as well. Turkish top brass has long been known for its pro-NATO, pro-USA and pro-Israel sympathies. The coup leader, the Air Force commander General Akin Öztürk served as the military attaché in Tel Aviv. Bekir Ercan Van, the commander of the Incirlik air base has been arrested after his request for political asylum in the US had been refused. If they had won, they would have been applauded and feted in the West. Yes, Virginia, there was a coup, and it failed.

The man behind the coup is allegedly Fethullah Gülen, once an ally of Erdogan but now his bitter enemy. It is claimed Gülen’s organisation Hizmet (Service) forms a “deep state” or a “parallel state” in Turkey and beyond, with millions of followers in all walks of life, something similar to free masons of old. The ex-FBI whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds described Gülen’s network as a CIA asset.

The Russians run afoul of Gülen by banning Hizmet’s activities in Russia in 2008. The Turkish F-16 pilot who almost changed the history of the Middle East by shooting down the Russian SU-24 bomber over Syria on November 24, 2015 (his name was Mustafa Hajruoglu, it was claimed by his Bosnian countrymen) turned out to be a Gülen follower and a putschist, said Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek. His helicopter was shot down in Ankara. This is not an example of fast thinking: in March 2016, the pro-government newspaper Sabah suggested that the pilot of the F-16 was a Gülen supporter and acted upon his instructions. Whether Gülen had been hostile to Russia for his own reasons or followed CIA orders, he succeeded in causing enmity between Putin and Erdogan.

Apparently, the courageous Erdogan’s decision to apologise and make up with Russia had triggered the military coup. There were rumours in Moscow that the Russian Secret Service tipped Erdogan off some minutes before the plotters’ attack thus allowing him to escape to Istanbul. This is perhaps wishful thinking.

Russians were not very consistent in the Turkish affair. After SU-24 downing, Putin spoke of being “stabbed in the back”, and Russian state media with its numerous Armenians and Jews went into hysterical overdrive producing gigabytes of hatred-for-Turkey day after day, until ordinary Russians considered Erdogan their personal and vicious enemy. Russian nationalists dreamed the old Russian pipedream of seizing Istanbul, or Constantinople, as it was called five hundred years ago, and restoring it to Christendom, a dream as futile as that of restoring Cordoba to Islam.

I wrote a few pieces in Russian calling for speedy reconciliation with Turkey and Erdogan; but my usual outlets refused to publish them. So they had to be published in rather marginal media. For freedom of speech, I am afraid, Russia is not better than the US.

When Putin agreed to reconcile, the Russian state media made an about turn pretty fast, and the ordinary Russians were happy and booked all seats on all flights to Turkey. They forgot their hatred on the spot. Just the grumpy old men in the social networks complained, baying for Turkish blood.

Israel was among the last of the states to call for constitutional order to prevail in Turkey, and even then, Netanyahu’s very brief message mainly concerned the ongoing normalisation of relations. His friend General Sisi, the military dictator of Egypt, went as far as to block a Security Council resolution condemning the coup. Quite natural, too, as he had come to power by overthrowing the elected president.

However, what worked in Egypt did not work in Turkey. The Turks did not surrender their freedom and their right to decide. Now, after the putsch they are free to proceed with their choice. I was particularly impressed by their sacking of the judges, in their hundreds (755, to be exact). It appears that the Deep State, the subterranean societal structures built by security services and by Gülen’s Hizmet, invested a lot of effort in judges and in the mainstream media, in the two least democratic government powers, not only in Turkey.

Turkey’s Lesson

This brings the US elections to mind. Perhaps the people of America may take a lesson or two from the Turks, while Mr Donald Trump may take a lesson or two from the Turkish president. The Turks could teach you, my American readers: do not surrender to plotters. The power rightfully belongs to you; do not allow them to usurp the power.

The Turkish would-be usurpers were generals who moved their tanks, the American would-be usurpers are more sophisticated; they move banks, politicians, parties, media, justice; but they are usurpers all the same as they reject and subvert democracy.

Democracy means letting people decide; but there is a new class that usurps this right to decide. They place themselves above democracy. They are patronising and condescending to ordinary citizen. They speak to and about the people as the Turkish officers to Erdogan voters. They think they know better. They delegitimise another view. Rather, they do not consider the majority view as being legitimate at all. They think they are superior.

This new class is not in the US only, they are everywhere. But for all their snotty arrogance, they can be beaten.

In the UK, the superior people pooh-poohed the suggestion to leave the EU. They said that only illiterate homophobe racist rednecks could vote for parting with the blessed rule of Brussels and with the right to receive millions of migrants from Poland and Turkey. Every opinion poll pointed to their victory for respondents were shy to admit they were sick of the EU and of Polish plumbers. But the English people weren’t shy to vote the way they wanted. And the would-be-usurpers were beaten.

They were beaten a second time when they tried to remove Jeremy Corbyn from his position at the helm of the Labour. Their attempted coup failed as miserably as the Turkish one. The mixture of heavily Jewish neocons, Blairites, upwardly-mobile-migrants attacked Corbyn daily in the Guardian, but the voters said: hands off.

In Russia there are superior people, too. They wanted to get rid of Putin; they hated the church he attended; they wanted to open Russian resources to the foreign interests. The Russian superior class is more candid; they can’t keep their mouth shut. They said that majority has no legitimacy, because they are not sufficiently educated, not wealthy enough, too parochial. Still, the Russian voters supported Putin in the booth and they supported him on the streets.

And now it is America’s turn. Your superior class decided Hillary Clinton should rule, for they do not trust a white man. Men are too independent. And they plotted, instead of honestly seeking your support.

We saw recently how the plotters got rid of Bernie Sanders. The votes of California weren’t counted yet, but the plotters already announced Crooked Hillary the winner. In every state, the rolls were changed in such a way as to preclude Bernie’s win. The old election machines allowed hackers to subtly alter the results. Perhaps good old Bernie himself was the Joker in the hands of plotters, the bent boxer who was paid to lose. Or perhaps he was a weak guy who could not withstand the pressure. Anyway the American plotters stole your vote as sure as the Turkish generals tried to steal the Turkish vote.

Now they are on their way to steal your vote by destroying Trump. The newspapers are at him like dogs besetting the bear at a royal hunt. No fair play for them; they are out to kill. In The New York Times, every piece on Trump is a poisoned arrow aimed at your mind. By going out against the basic rules of democracy, didn’t the owners and editors of Forbes, WSJ, NY Times et al prove to be latent putschists?

If they will fail to defeat Trump at the booth, they still have the judges. They are anything but impartial: they are the basis of the DeepState in the US as well as in Turkey.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an unelected (Clinton-appointed) old hag dared to say: “I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president”. This is a herem, a fatwa, a ban. This is a call to putsch in case of Trump’s victory. Do you think she will stop at anything to prevent Trump from gaining the White House? She and her cronies believe they are above democracy of hoi polloi.

She is not the only judge who deserves Erdogan treatment. Trump objected to a Judge Gonzalo Curiel for he is a member of La Raza (The Race), a body as exclusive as KKK or as B’nei Brith; still the Wall Street Journal would claim he objects to the judge’s ethnicity. Forbes invented a long hair-splitting explanation i.e. ‘La Raza’ is a ‘nod to our common heritage’ or that it refers to “Latinos carrying forward the culture of Rome, based in beauty and harmony, in opposition to the Saxon – barbarian – culture based on violence and domination”, which is, in my view as racist as it gets.

It’s not that I mind racism or find it an unbearable fault. After all, racism is a middle name of every second Jew I ever met. But the duplicity is annoying: why the Forbes thinks that “Latinos are beautiful and harmonious, while Anglo-Saxon culture is based on violence and domination” is less racist than vice versa?

If you insist, yes, ethnicity can influence a judge’s decision. In Israeli-Palestinian conflict, thousands of Palestinians were killed including American citizens, and no one received any compensation. But it is relatives of American Jews who collected $600 million of damages from the Palestinian authority. Is it a coincidence that the judge was Jewish?

Now everything depends on you. You can vote for Trump – but be prepared to go out to the streets in support of the legitimacy. Do not give in to usurpers. The Brits did it a few weeks ago by voting for Brexit. The Turks did it. You can do it, too!

Posted in TurkeyComments Off on The People Will Decide in Turkey

Westerners Forget – Or Don’t Care – That Most Victims Of Islamic Extremist Attacks Are Muslim

NOVANEWS

When the Islamic State attacks Muslim citizens, it’s counting on Western apathy. (Photo: Thierry Ehrmann / Flickr Commons)

Recent attacks by Islamist extremists in Istanbul, Iraq, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia have been staggering: over 300 dead. Westerners always complain that Muslims don’t speak out enough about atrocities that impact the West. We forget, though, that the vast majority of the victims of Islamic extremists attacks are Muslim noncombatants. Sympathy for them from the West is decidedly lacking.

At the New York Times, Anne Barnard writes:

BY TUESDAY, MICHEL KILO, A SYRIAN DISSIDENT, WAS LEANING WEARILY OVER HIS COFFEE AT A LEFT BANK CAFE, WONDERING: WHERE WAS THE GLOBAL OUTRAGE? WHERE WAS THE OUTPOURING THAT CAME AFTER THE SAME TERRORIST GROUPS UNLEASHED HORROR IN BRUSSELS AND HERE IN PARIS? IN A SUPPOSEDLY GLOBALIZED WORLD, DO NONWHITES, NON-CHRISTIANS AND NON-WESTERNERS COUNT AS FULLY HUMAN?

Many Americans no doubt think (anecdotal; no polling evidence) it’s their own fault for failing to police their religion and people. Just as many of us felt about the civil strife (a phrase that hardly does the horrors justice) that broke out in Iraq after the invasion: We gave them their freedom? This is what they are doing with it? Furthermore, writes Ms. Barnard:

IN THE WEST, THOUGH, THERE IS A TENDENCY IN CERTAIN QUARTERS, LEGITIMIZED BY SOME POLITICIANS, TO CONFLATE EXTREMIST ISLAMIST MILITANTS WITH THE MUSLIM SOCIETIES THAT ARE OFTEN THEIR PRIMARY VICTIMS, OR TO DISMISS MUSLIM COUNTRIES AS INHERENTLY VIOLENT.

But, she writes, “the relative indifference after so many deaths caused by the very groups that have plagued the West is more than a matter of hurt feelings.” In fact – and this may be as new to you as it was to me – this might help explain why Islamist extremists have few qualms about killing their own kind (Sunnis) as well as Shiites:

ONE OF THE PRIMARY GOALS OF THE ISLAMIC STATE AND OTHER RADICAL ISLAMIST GROUPS IS TO DRIVE A WEDGE BETWEEN SUNNI MUSLIMS AND THE WIDER WORLD, TO FUEL ALIENATION AS A RECRUITING TOOL. AND WHEN THAT WORLD APPEARS TO SHOW LESS EMPATHY FOR THE VICTIMS OF ATTACKS IN MUSLIM NATIONS, WHO HAVE BORNE THE BRUNT OF THE ISLAMIC STATE’S MASSACRES AND PREDATORY RULE, IT SEEMS TO PROVE THEIR POINT.

In other words, the Islamic State and other Islamic extremists are leveraging our apathy against us.

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on Westerners Forget – Or Don’t Care – That Most Victims Of Islamic Extremist Attacks Are Muslim

Brexit: A Workers’ Response to Oligarchs, Bankers, Flunkies and Scabs

NOVANEWS
Banksy

The European Union is controlled by an oligarchy, which dictates socio-economic and political decisions according to the interests of bankers and multi-national business.  The central organs of power, the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have systematically imposed austerity programs that have degraded working conditions, welfare programs, and wages and salaries.

EU policies demanding the free immigration of non-unionized workers to compete with native workers have undermined wage and workplace protections, union membership and class solidarity.  EU financial policies have enhanced the power of finance capital and eroded public ownership of strategic economic sectors.

The European Union has imposed fiscal policies set by non-elected oligarchs over and against the will and interests of the democratic electorate.  As a result of EU dictates, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland have suffered double-digit unemployment rates, as well as massive reductions of pensions, health and educational budgets.  A huge transfer of wealth and concentration of decision-making has occurred in Europe.

Rule by EU fiat is the epitome of oligarchical rule.

Despite the EU’s reactionary structure and policies, it is supported by Conservatives, Liberals, Social Democrats, Greens and numerous Leftist academics, who back elite interests in exchange for marginal economic rewards.

Arguments for the EU and their Critics

The pro-EU power elite base their arguments on concrete socio-economic interests, thinly disguised by fraudulent ideological claims.

The ideological arguments backing the EU follow several lines of deception.

They claim that ‘countries’ benefit because of large-scale transfers of EU payments.  They omit mentioning that the EU elite secures the privatization and denationalization of strategic industries, banks, mass media and other lucrative national assets.  They further omit to mention that the EU elite gains control of domestic markets and low wage labor.

The EU argues that it provides ‘free movements’ of capital, technology and labor – omitting the fact that the flows and returns of capital exclusively benefit the powerful imperial centers to the detriment of less advanced countries and that technology is controlled and designed by the dominant elites which also monopolize the profits.  Furthermore, the ‘free flow of labor’ prejudices skilled productive sectors in less developed countries while reducing salaries, wages and benefits among skilled workers in the imperial centers.

The EU : A Self-Elected Dictatorship of Empire Builders

‘Integration into the EU’ is not a union of democratic participants; the decision-making structure is tightly controlled by non-elected elites who pursue policies that maximize profits, by relocating enterprises in low tax, low wage, non- unionized regions.

European integration is an integral part of ‘globalization’, which is a euphemism for the unimpeded acquisition of wealth, assets and financial resources by the top 1%, shared, in part, with their supporters among the top 25%.

The EU promotes the concentration of capital through the merger and acquisition of multi-national firms which bankrupt local and national, medium and small scale industries.

Political and Academic Satraps of the EU Elites

The European Union’s oligarchy has organized a small army of highly paid politicians, functionaries, advisers, experts and researchers who support the European Union in a manner not unlike NGO workers in the developing world – answerable only to their ‘foreign’ paymasters.

Numerous Social Democrats draw stipends, travel expenses, lucrative fees and salaries as members of commissions and serve on impotent ‘legislative’ assemblies.

Academics advise, consent —and draw duplicate salaries from membership in the EU bureaucracy.  Journalists and academics ‘front’ for the EU oligarchy by playing a leading propaganda role.  For example, they have been busy slandering British pro-democracy, anti-EU voters by (1) calling for a new referendum and (2) questioning the right of the working class electorate to vote on issues like the recent EU referendum.

The leading financial press adopts a demagogic pose accusing the pro-democracy voters of being ‘racists’, ‘nativists’, or worse, for ‘opposing Eastern European immigration’.

In fact, the vast majority of workers do not oppose immigrants in general,  but especially those who have taken once-unionized jobs at wages far below the going rates for established workers, on terms dictated by employers and with no ties or commitment to the community and society.  For decades British workers accepted immigrant labor from Ireland because they  joined unions at wage rates negotiated by union leaders, won by long workers struggle and voted with the majority of English workers.  Under the EU, Britain was flooded with Eastern European workers who acted as ‘scabs’ displacing skilled British workers who were told it was ‘progress’.  This acted to destroy the prospects of their own children  entering a stable, skilled labor market.

The financial press’s lurid descriptions of the British workers’  anti-EU ‘racism’ against Polish immigrant labor ignores the long history of Warsaw’s virulent hostility to immigrants–namely the refugees from the wars in the Middle East.  The Polish government and population exhibit the most furious opposition to sheltering the thousands of Middle East and African war refugees, while claiming that they are not ‘Christians’ or might pose cultural or even terrorist threats against the ethnically pure Polish population.

Some of the British workers’ hostility toward Polish workers has a recognized historical basis.  They have not forgotten that Polish strike breakers took the side of  ‘Iron Lady’ Thatcher’s militarized assault against unionized UK miners during the great coal strikes and even offered to export coal to aid the Conservative government in breaking the strike.   As such, EU-Polish immigrant workers are not likely to integrate into the militant British working class culture.

The Polish regime’s aggressive promotion of the economic sanctions against Russia has further undermined English jobs linked to that large and growing market.

The financial press ignores the fact that Polish immigrants ‘scab’ on unionized British workers in the construction industry, undercutting long-established UK plumbers, electrical workers, carpenters and laborers – who have multiple generational ties to their communities and work.  The EU elites use the importation of Polish workers to strengthen the reactionary labor policies of the employers

After the fall of Communism, Polish workers backed a succession of right-wing regimes in Warsaw, which privatized and denationalized industries and eroded their welfare system leading to their own impoverishment.   Poles, instead of fighting against these neo-liberal regimes at home, headed for England and have been helping the British bosses ever since in their own anti-labor campaigns to reduce wages and decrease worker access to decent, affordable housing, public services, education and medical care.

The Eastern Europeans became the willing recruits of the EU reserve army of labor to raise profits for industrial and finance capital thus further concentrating wealth and power into the hands of the British oligarchs.

To label British workers’ antipathy to these EU policies over the free entry of cheap immigrant labor, as ‘racist’, is a blatant case of blaming workers for opposing naked capitalist profiteering.  It is not hard to imagine how the Poles would react if skilled Syrian electricians were taking their jobs!

The pro-EU prostitute press claims that the pro-democracy voters are ‘anti-globalization’ and a threat to England’s living standards and financial stability.

In fact, labor votes in favor of trade but against the relocation of English industry overseas. Labor votes for for greater investment in the UK and greater regional diversity of productive, job-creating sectors, as opposed to the concentration of capital and wealth in the parasitic finance, insurance and real estate sectors concentrated in the City of London.

The EU-City of London-financial oligarchy have priced labor out of the housing market by promoting the massive construction of high-end luxury condos for ‘their kind of immigrant’, i.e. the millionaire and billionaire Chinese, Russian, Indian, Eastern European and US plutocrats who flock to London’s famous tax-evasion and money-laundering expertise.

The scribes of the EU-City oligarchy who claim that exit from the EU will lead to a cataclysmic breakdown are blatantly scaremongering.  In fact, the stock and bond market, which declined for less than a week, rebounded sharply, as trade, production and demand were scarcely affected by the vote.

The hysteria-peddlers among the financial press resounded . . . in the minds and pockets of the City of London speculators.  They rightly feared that their own lucrative financial operations could relocate overseas.

Conclusion

If and when the EU – City end their oligarchical control over the British economy, workers will gain an opportunity to debate and elect freely their own representatives and have a say in their own government.  Leaving the EU is just the first step.  The next move will be to change the rules for immigrant labor to accord with the standards of wages and conditions set by UK trade union organizations.

The following steps would include subordinating the banks to the needs of industry, investment in public housing for workers and the development of local technology for domestic producers.

The cleavage between productive labor and the EU parasites and their political hangers-on requires a new political leadership with a democratic foreign policy, which precludes overseas wars and imperial alliances.

The break with the EU logically and persuasively argues for a break with NATO and an opening toward free trade with Russia, China and the new dynamic global markets.  The end of the EU can help weaken the strategic partnership between the European and City of London oligarchs.  No doubt, the latter will not go without a class war of unprecedented ferocity, involving financial lockouts, manufactured fiscal crises, street mobs and parliamentary coups at the top of their agenda.

Only if the democratic electoral majority becomes a cohesive and combative class movement, in and out of Parliament, can they convert the referendum from a temporary electoral win to a stable basis for structural transformation.

Only a democratic majority can implement a fair and equitable immigration policy that strengthens labor and welfare policies and which would be based on the traditional values of British trade unionism and not on some criteria parroted by the ‘house servants’ for the lords of the EU-London ‘Downton Abbey’.

 

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