Archive | September 3rd, 2017

“Civil War” and Geopolitics in South Sudan

NOVANEWS

A Western Journalist Killed in South Sudan – What Really Happened? A number of major geopolitical moves are currently afoot in Africa. Make no mistake about it: neocolonialism is alive and well on the continent.

Featured image: US freelancer Christopher Allen killed while reporting in South Sudan (Source: Twitter)

Last week, Christopher Allen, a young American journalist was killed on the 27 August by South Sudanese government forces near the Ugandan border of South Sudan.

Allen’s death is tragic and unfortunate and so are the deaths of the two government soldiers and 16 rebels that were also killed in the firefight. All of these deaths are unnecessary and tragic for all the families concerned who will be mourning the loss of fathers, brothers, husbands and sons.

But there are no good guys in this story and no bad guys. The government of Salva Kiir and the rebels under opposition leader Riek Machar are both constructs of Empire in Africa. Salva Kiir became president in 2011 and one of his first acts of the new South Sudan was to hand over nearly 50% of the oil rights to Rothschild’s Glencore.

It doesn’t require a great imagination to see this as payment for Empire’s role in funding and armingJohn Garang’s SPLA. Garang probably underestimated the malevolence of his benefactors. He for his part, had a genuine mission to improve the lot of his people. He was dispatched in a helicopter crash. Coincidentally (or not), the helicopter was owned by President Museveni.

South Sudan has been at civil war which is described as a tribal conflict between Nuer and Dinka. Such an anthropological dissection of society is itself one of Empire’s constructs and has been the modus operandii of warfare in Africa for at least half a century. It is a strategy of war written about in a book called Gangs and Counter-Gangs by British General Sir Frank Kitson; a strategy first used to full effect in Kenya during the Mau-Mau Rebellion of the 1950s. The strategy is simple – divide and rule. Once again Riek Machar is being used as the tool to continue South Sudan’s destabilization, to justify western soft power disguised as humanitarian intervention. Quite why he is being used to topple Salva Kiir is not clear. Salva Kir has perhaps been looking East towards China and Russia instead of West.

Earlier this year the government raised the fees for foreign aid workers permits from $100 to $10 000. There are 2 ways of looking at this. The government could be profiting from international aid as famine once again threatens the region and an influx of aid workers is expected.Or this is the government’s attempt to reduce foreign intervention from the humanitarian soft power complex.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has begun refusing visas for Washington’s humanitarian aid workers many of whom can be regarded as spies and trouble makers, an act which is highly commendable. High-profile American journalist and UN-affiliated operative Jason Stearns also had his visa denied last year, as did Human Rights Watch journalist, Ida Sawyer.

A number of serious questions have been raised about Stearn’s role acting as a US gatekeeper in Rwandan and Central African affairs.

As to the role of the young journalist Christopher Allen, it is unfortunate. Interestingly, he had also been sent to the Ukraine as a journalist. However, instead of recognizing the situation in 2014 as a CIA sponsored coup, he chose to report the western favoured ‘color revolution’ narrative. Ukrainians now find themselves with a government of fascist NeoNazis who are CIA tools and puppets. The story of Ukraine is similar to that of so many African countries, like in Libya to mention only one. How much longer can the fake liberal American missionary-like zeal for intervening in other countries, fool itself?

Unfortunately for the multitude of well-meaning people worldwide fighting for “human rights” in Africa is really not what it appears to be.

Meanwhile, the western mainstream media continues with a standardised narrative, effectively begging for some form of UN or western/NATO intervention. It’s an all too familiar pattern:

‘The war has created the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis and both sides of the conflict have been accused of abuses.’

We leave you with the definitive article on this subject written by journalist Keith Harmon Snow and entitled:

EXPOSING U.S. AGENTS OF LOW-INTENSITY WARFARE IN AFRICA: The “Policy Wonks” Behind Covert Warfare & Humanitarian Fascism

Posted in Africa, SudanComments Off on “Civil War” and Geopolitics in South Sudan

“Voices From Syria” that the West Has Refused to Listen to

NOVANEWS

Book review of Voice From Syria by Mark Taliano

 

I have finished the reading of Mark Taliano’s upsetting and comforting book “dedicated to the people of Syria, all of whom are on the frontlines against international terrorism”.

The author is a rigorous investigator and makes no secret of being a man of conviction. He has got a genuine and deep empathy for “the Holy land” of Syria, and for its “proud, forward-looking people”.

A very simple but strong idea is the thread guiding the demonstration that makes up the core of “Voices from Syria”: Truth must be used against the lying narratives as an instrument for building peace and denouncing manipulations and crimes of the Western Empire and its Eastern allies (Israel, Turkey and Gulf Monarchies). Sticking to this approach, Mark Taliano made a point to collect moving and indisputable personal testimonies, evidences and reports coming from witnesses and sources in Syria. He hands over to all kinds of people who have suffered from war, violence and destruction, unveiling and pointing to the supporters, the decision makers, the actors, all those involved and responsible for carrying on and refueling the Dirty War.

The writer’s honesty, his frankness, his refusal of any intellectual game at the expenses of the suffering Syrian People are such that his pleading can’t be contested. Through the authenticity of his “Voices from Syria” and the accuracy of these genuine testimonies, he shuts the door on the miserable and shameless lies and false flags of Western and Islamist [Wahhabi] propaganda. Here is a deeply documented book on the savage War against Syria (among other countries) which has been sowing crime, destruction and terror for years in this “Ancient Land”, “the mother of our civilization”. The western assault on Syria is an assault on our common humanity and Future.

Terms such as fraud, false flag, lies, manipulation, false intelligence, misrepresentations, inversion of responsibilities, are repeatedly used. Indeed, “Voices from Syria” denounce:

  • The Great Fraud of the so-called “Global War on Terrorism” and the western support to Terror: the “War on Syria” is presented by the US and the West as a noble war for the sake of civilization. In fact, it is a mere war of aggression against a country and a people that did not declare War to anybody and just protect their national sovereignty: according to Nuremberg standards, this type of War is “the international crime par excellence”. In fact, the genuine Syrian People support their Homeland and their National Army.
  • Feigned Humanitarianism – for instance “the Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) – is used as Cover for Crimes against International Law. In Syria as elsewhere, “Regime Change Policy” is the real goal of the US and western “Deep State”.  -Corrupt Mainstream Media plays a strategic role in the Big Manipulation: in fact actors, facts, realities and responsibilities are clearly identified and very well known to Syrian People, but the deliberately lying narrative restlessly spread in the West leads the public opinion to believe that the US is leading a merciless campaign against Daesh, regardless of the fact that US intelligence is behind the creation and supports the Islamic State organization.

Mark Taliano is not arguing over details and he is right. After reading his beautiful and invigorating book, you will never forget those “Voices from Syria” that the West has refused so obstinately to listen to. And you will let moderate intellectuals draw a balance between the pros and cons in the Kill and martyrdom of the Syrian People whose “blood is being shed for our sins”.

Posted in USA, SyriaComments Off on “Voices From Syria” that the West Has Refused to Listen to

London Grenfell Tower Fire Tragedy

NOVANEWS

London Grenfell Tower Fire Tragedy: Criminal Negligence of the Professional

All polymer foams – polyurethane, polystyrene and polyethylene, are fire accelerators that will not only quickly combust but will burn with the production of hugely toxic hydrogen-cyanide gas. Anyone in close proximity of such dangerous combustion will be either burned alive or asphyxiated by poison gas.

These facts are well known to all professionals in civil engineering and building contracting i.e. architects, surveyors, engineers, contractors, designers as well as local-authority and government building inspectors. It is also extensively covered in all relevant textbooks. Furthermore, it has been public domain knowledge at least since the catastrophic industrial disaster at the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, India that produced isocyanates, in the mid ‘sixties’.

Anyone specifying or allowing the use of such fire accelerators in or on residential or other building would be committing a criminal offence regardless of any other factor or ‘ambiguous advice’ from any quarter.

Any such person responsible for knowingly endangering life should be prosecuted under existing legislation. There is no valid excuse. Greed or personal advancement are not valid.

Gross criminal negligence that causes loss of life is (multiple) manslaughter and must be treated as such and the appropriate penalties applied with the full rigour of the law that is there to protect us, the citizens of the United Kingdom. 

Posted in UKComments Off on London Grenfell Tower Fire Tragedy

Thailand’s Ousted Prime Minister Shinawatra Flees Abroad: The Rest of the Story

Shortly before ousted Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra was to face a court ruling for her failed populist rice subsidy scheme, she reportedly fled the country, joining her likewise fugitive brother Thaksin Shinawatra in hiding abroad. Thaksin Shinawatra was himself ousted from power in 2006 for similar charges of corruption and abuse of power.

While the US and European media attempt to frame the Shinawatras as victims of powerful, democracy-adverse institutions in Thailand, sensible analysis must consider the fact that Thailand does not exist in a geopolitical or socioeconomic vacuum.

Much larger forces are at play beyond Thailand’s borders, and the role the Shinawatras play on behalf of some of these forces helps reveal the truth behind their ousting from power, their fleeing abroad and all of the support they continue to enjoy across the US and European media.

The Charges

Yingluck Shinawatra took office in 2011. Despite being depicted by the US and European media as a “landslide victory,” her brother’s political party, Pheu Thai, won elections with only 35% of all eligible voters’ support, failing to garner even a popular majority among those who participated at the polls.

The party campaigned openly portraying Thaksin Shinawatra, a convicted criminal and fugitive residing abroad, as remotely running the party with his sister serving merely as a proxy. The campaign slogan even boasted, “Thaksin Thinks, Pheu Thai Does,” openly flaunting the legal and political impunity the billionaire still enjoyed in Thailand.

One of the key pillars of Pheu Thai’s populist election campaign was a rice buying scheme that would offer above-market prices per ton of rice to farmers.

The scheme quickly collapsed after implementation, with funds exhausted and warehouses overflowing with unsold rice. Thailand’s international competitors quickly took advantage of rising prices and diminishing rice quality, absorbing many of Thailand’s longstanding trading partners and further compounding what was beginning to become a national crisis.

Government warehouses overflowed with unsold rice amid Yingluck Shinawatra’s ill-conceived populist subsidy scheme. Up to one million rice farmers had their rice taken and were left unpaid for over half a year. The farmers would only receive compensation after the military coup in 2014 that ousted Shinawatra from power.

By 2013 and 2014 when protesters began taking to the streets against the Shinawatra government for a variety of reasons, nearly 1 million farmers found themselves unpaid for months. Like farmers elsewhere around the world, many Thai farmers live either at the edge of or deeply in debt, a fact that drove dozens of farmers to suicide as they languished amid the collapsing populist scheme.

Cases of corruption and abuse of power began to quickly mount against the Shinawatra government, however the government responded by deploying police and heavily armed militants to force protesters off the streets and openly dismissed the authority of Thailand’s courts. With the courts being ignored and the police under the firm control of the Shinawatra government, the military was forced to intervene, taking power in a swift, uncontested coup.

The most recent court case involved Yingluck Shinawatra and several high-ranking Pheu Thai Party members for their role in the rice scheme’s mismanagement which cost Thailand billions in damages and has left its agricultural industry facing a painful process of rebuilding.

Many former supporters of Yingluck Shinawatra’s government would eventually join protests to oust her in 2013-2014, many of them among the one million rice farmers left unpaid by the government’s collapsing subsidy programme.

What is otherwise a clear-cut case of corruption and abuse of power centred around a poorly-conceived populist scheme aimed merely at buying votes, has been portrayed by the US and European media as a “politically motivated” campaign against the Shinawatra family. US and European media attempt to portray the Shinawatras as representative of true democracy in Thailand, chaffing at entrenched “elitist” elements clinging to power in Bangkok.

However, even a cursory look at Thailand’s political landscape reveals this to be untrue. The Shinawatras themselves represent in every way in reality the hereditary dictatorship they and their foreign supporters portray Thailand’s current establishment as in fiction. While opponents of Thailand’s traditional institutions allude to its shadowy influence over Thai politics, the Shinawatra family openly ran the government when in power, placing relatives in high-ranking positions and with Thaksin, sister Yingluck, and brother-in-law Somchai Wongsawat each at one point taking turns as prime minister.

Why US-European Interests Protect the Shinawatras 

A look at the Shinawatras’ ties to US and European interests and the role they are meant to play in America’s attempts to reassert itself in Asia Pacific makes it much clearer that their rise and fall in Thai politics and their potential to create continued instability in Thailand, has nothing to do with fighting for “democracy.”

Ousted prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra (right) is seen shaking hands with US Senator John McCain (centre) flanked by US Senator Joe Lieberman (left). The two US politicians are permanent fixtures in America’s regime change industrial complex and often travel abroad to lend US client regimes support in person.

In the late 1990’s Thaksin Shinawatra was an adviser to private equity firm, The Carlyle Group. The group included members of former US President George Bush Sr. administration, setting the stage for multiple conflicts of interests in the future. Shinawatra openly boasted upon taking office in 2001 that he intended to use his position in power to continue serving as a “matchmaker” between Thailand and US business interests.

Upon taking office, he would begin by privatising Thailand’s national oil conglomerate, PTT, inviting in foreign banks and oil corporations to begin gaining a foothold.

In 2003, he would commit Thai troops to the US invasion of Iraq presided over by former US President George Bush Jr. He would also authorise the US Central Intelligence Agency to use Thai territory as part of its global extraordinary rendition programme in which detained suspects were secretly imprisoned, held without charge or legal counsel and tortured.

In 2004, Thaksin Shinawatra would attempt to pass without parliamentary approval the US-Thailand Free Trade Agreement championed by many of the corporations still to this day funding and directing efforts to place Shinawatra back into power.

It was also under Thaksin Shinawatra that a 20 year peace in Thailand’s deep south with separatists was ended. Shinawatra’s heavy-handed tactics resulted in a 2004 crackdown that saw over 80 protesters killed in a single day.

The violence he triggered during his 2001-2006 time in office has continued to present day and has been used multiple times by the United States as a pretext for proposing closer US-Thai “counter-terrorism cooperation.” In essence, it would have been the first of many steps to permanently station US troops across Southeast Asia, a goal openly proposed by US policymakers in papers like the 2000 “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” by the Project for a New American Century chaired by several of Shinawatra’s fellow Carlyle alumni.

In reality, from Shinawatra opening up Thailand’s economy and resources to foreign corporations, to offering Thai territory and troops for US wars, to creating a bloody conflict in the deep south to create a pretext for US troops to occupy Thailand itself, Shinawatra was more an agent for foreign interests than a prime minister for Thailand.

Shinawatra, his political party and his supporters in the form of US and European-funded fronts posing as nongovernmental organisations, student groups and members of academia, constitute a client regime created by and for foreign interests and represents the same sort of  internal interference the United States and its European allies are engaged in around the world from Venezuela and Eastern Europe to North Africa and the Middle East.

Shinawatra has enjoyed extensive lobbying services since being ousted from power in 2006 from fellow Carlyle Group alumni and Bush-era adviser James Baker, Barbour Griffith & Rogers (BGR), Amsterdam & Peroff, Kobre & Kim and Edelman.

Edelman’s lobbying was headed by Kenneth Adelman who concurrently served as a trustee for the US government and corporate-funded organisation, Freedom House. Freedom House would regularly declare Thailand as “Not Free” in its annual reports for its systematic attempts to remove Shinawatra and his political network’s influence from the nation.

Adelman’s role at Freedom House and his paid-for lobbying represent an obvious conflict of interest, further exposing US “democracy promotion” as a facade to obfuscate politically-motivated interference on behalf of powerful special interests. As this facade is increasingly exposed, efforts by other Southeast Asian states to uproot these US networks is underway, including in neighbouring Cambodia.

With Yingluck Shinawatra joining her brother Thaksin Shinawatra abroad alongside many other members of the political opposition scattered from Hong Kong to the United Kingdom and even the United States, just as the US has done regarding other “oppositions in exile,” it will continue providing support to them while systematically undermining Thailand until instability provides an opportunity for reinstalling them into power.

As was the case in Libya, however, often not much is left to hold power over.

Reasserting American Primacy in Asia 

It is troubling that despite having the Arab Spring in hindsight, many commentators, analysts and journalists are deferring to ideological superficiality in their analysis of Thailand, and are either inadvertently or intentionally dismissing obvious evidence that once again the United States and its European partners are interfering in the internal political matters of a sovereign nation.

Thailand lies at the centre of Southeast Asia and is a pivotal component of Washington’s agenda in encircling, isolating and containing the rise of Beijing. The US since the Korean and Vietnam wars has invested much in entrenching its military in the region. Since withdrawing its forces from the Philippines in the 1990s, the US has sought every means of reintroducing troops in Southeast Asia vis-à-vis China.

The United States is openly attempting to reassert primacy in Asia through political, economic and military means. Placing client regimes like the Shinawatra government into power along China’s borders is a policy pursued by Washington for decades.

A 2000 US policy paper, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” (.pdf) would openly declare and detail the necessity to, “increase the presence of American forces in Southeast Asia.” 

The paper would also note:

In Southeast Asia, American forces are too sparse to adequately address rising security requirements. Since its withdrawal from the Philippines in 1992, the United States has not had a significant permanent military presence in Southeast Asia. 

The paper would point out:

This will be a difficult task requiring sensitivity to diverse national sentiments, but it is made all the more compelling by the emergence of new democratic governments in the region.

Written in 2000, “new democratic governments” was a reference to up and coming US client regimes like Thaksin Shinawatra‘s government in Thailand, Anwar Ibrahim‘s in Malaysia and Aung San Suu Kyi‘s National League for Democracy in Myanmar. Like Shinawatra, his Malaysian and Myanmar counterparts likewise received immense material support from the US in their respective bids to take and hold power.

It should be noted that just as had happened under Shinawatra in 2001 with the resurgence of violence in Thailand’s deep south setting up a possible opportunity for US “counter-terrorism assistance” leading to a permanent US military presence in Southeast Asia as desired by US policymakers, Aung San Suu Kyi upon taking power in Myanmar has similarly presided over a sudden increase in violence involving its Rohingya minority, presenting Washington with an opportunity to intervene.

It is particularly worth noting that militant groups involved in Myanmar’s violence are funded and directed from America’s closet and oldest ally in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Reuters would reveal.

Despite setbacks for the US since 2000, attempts to install client regimes across Southeast Asia or coerce current governments regarding US objectives for the region are still underway, including continuous support provided to the Shinawatras and what remains of their political network in Thailand.

Thailand’s current government is deeply invested in building ties with Beijing while maintaining an equitable balance of power in the region between China and its neighbours. The current Thai government has signed multiple infrastructure deals with China including expanding Thailand’s rail infrastructure. It has also begun purchasing weapons from China including armoured infantry carriers, main battle tanks and even submarines. Joint Thai-Chinese military exercises have also commenced for the first time under the current Thai government.

Amid its closer ties to Beijing, Thailand’s current government is also diversifying ties with Eurasian powers like Russia as well as Western Europe. It is continuing a centuries-old policy of cautious balance that has kept it the only Southeast Asian state to avoid foreign colonisation.

As Thailand’s current government continues writing the US out of any significant future role both in Thailand and in Southeast Asia, attempts by Washington to undermine political and economic stability in Thailand will continue in turn.

The only question remaining is how long it will take independent analysts and news organisations to begin fully exposing the political conflict in Thailand in its true geopolitical context, and lay ideologically superficial commentary echoing US and European media talking points to rest.

Posted in AsiaComments Off on Thailand’s Ousted Prime Minister Shinawatra Flees Abroad: The Rest of the Story

Is “Jewish Supremacy” a Form of Racism? The Zionist Exception

NOVANEWS
 

Today, we hear a lot about White supremacy but very little about Jewish supremacy, as if the former stands for the latter.

It is true there are more similarities than differences between Jewish supremacy and White supremacy. Both are based on ethnic/nationalist bias and racism. They are both

“historically based, institutionally perpetuated system[s] of exploitation and oppression … a web of interlocking, reinforcing institutions: economic, military, legal, educational, religious, and cultural. As a system, racism affects every aspect of life in a country.”

Within Israel and militarily occupied Palestinian lands, Jewish supremacy is sometimes described as White supremacy, as in this headline:

“Israel’s White Supremacy Agenda Targets Other Jews, Arabs, Africans
Palestinians are not the only target for Israel’s animosity and ethno-centric policies.”

This is because, contrary to Zionist myth, Jews don’t all belong to one race. The Jews who created the racist ideology of Zionism (See Zionism = racism) and initially colonized Palestine (Between 1882 and 1903, at least 25,000 Jews arrived in Palestine, financially backed by European Jewish philanthropists, such as Moses Montefiore and Edmond de Rothschild, (see Palestine and the first Zionist Colony) are Ashkenazim, Jews of Eastern European origin.

Ashkenazi Jews are the elite of Israel and they dominate and discriminate against, not only Palestinian Arabs, but also other Jews and ethnicities in Israel.

The situation in the West Bank settlement of Immanuel exposes the deeply complex ethno-religious relations between European Jews and Middle Eastern Jews in Israel. Middle Eastern Jews have for many decades lived as stigmatized citizens of Israel; their traditional Arabic culture and form of Jewish religiosity frequently objects of scorn and prejudice…In spite of the fact that Sephardim comprise a substantial percentage of the Israeli Jewish population, in socio-cultural terms they find themselves in a subservient position vis-à-vis the Ashkenazim.

However, there are two major differences between the two racist ideologies, White supremacy and Jewish supremacy:

1) In so-called “liberal” circles, White supremacy is uniformly reviled, whereas Jewish supremacy, as it manifests itself in Zionism, is not only accepted but fiercely defended even by those Middle Eastern or Arab Jews mentioned above, who have internalized Zionist racism.

2) Jewish supremacy is wrapped up, not only in a secular Zionist ideology, but in a religious one as well, attracting Jews and evangelical Christians from all kinds of backgrounds and ethnicities.

In the wake of Charlottesville, for example, the ADL — Anti-Defamation League reported that it saw 1,000% spike in donations. The ADL is a Jewish supremacist organization, but it can masquerade in the United States as an anti-racist organization. As If Americans Knew reports, ADL

“works to maintain the racist status quo in Israel-Palestine, which keeps Palestinians in Israel as third-class citizens and Palestinians in the occupied West Bank & Gaza stateless and without basic civil rights.”

It also keeps Palestinian refugees and exiles from returning to their homes and land, an internationally recognized right.

In 1994, while eulogizing Baruch Goldstein, a Brooklyn born Jew who had emigrated to Israel and killed 29 Palestinian Muslim worshipers at Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, New York Rabbi Yaacov Perrinsaid,

“One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.”

He was defining the essence of Jewish supremacy that now reigns supreme in all of historic Arab Palestine.

Accepting the concept of Jewish supremacy in Palestine, As Sari Nusseibeh wrote,

would be [among other things] to privilege Judaism above the religions of Christianity and Islam, whose adherents together comprise 55 per cent of the world’s population. Regrettably this is a narrative propagated even by renowned Jewish author and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, who, on April 15, 2010, took out full page ads in The New York Times and The Washington Post and claimed that Jerusalem “is mentioned more than six hundred times in Scripture — and not a single time in the Qur’an”. Now we do not propose to speak for native Palestinian Arab Christians — except to say the that Jerusalem is quite obviously the city of Jesus Christ the Messiah — but as Muslims, we believe that Jerusalem is not the “third holiest city of Islam” as is sometimes claimed, but simply one of Islam’s three holy cities. And, of course, despite what Mr Wiesel seems to believe, Jerusalem is indeed clearly referred to in the Holy Qur’an in Surat al-Isra’ (17:1) …

Zionist Jews in and out of Israel must confront the reality that Jewish supremacy in Israel, as David Lloyd wrote about Americans and White supremacy in the U.S., “is an intrinsic if shameful element in their history and institutions whose consequences have yet to be overcome.”

The question then arises why so many Jewish liberal Zionists are blind to their own racism against Palestinian Arabs while condemning racism by other groups.

In addressing this conundrum related to the Palestine exception (or Zionist exception) — an exception that involves not only censorship of pro-Palestine speech but also bald-faced, legitimized racism against Palestinian Arabs that extends to Muslims generally – Philip Weiss writes:

I make it a point to hear Rabbi Yehuda Kurtzer speak at J Street and other Jewish spaces. He is a very smart guy and very positive. While he’s too Jewish-communitarian for my taste (the touchstones of his political judgments are Jewish values rather than universalist ones), he’s an idealist who addresses Israel’s crisis. So, I was disturbed to discover on his Facebook page from June a promotion of a visit to rightwing “hilltop” settlements in the Occupied West Bank to get to know those folks better, sponsored by the Shalom Hartman Institute, of which Kurtzer is an executive.

Weiss is justifiably disturbed to hear this from Rabbi Yehuda Kurtzer on three grounds. One is because “those settlements are illegal under international law”. The second is because they are “segregationist” communities, and the third is because of the schizophrenia involved in “condemning and exposing” White nationalism on the one hand, and seeking to understand “the settler movement” (meaning the spread of Jewish Zionist colonization of Palestine to the remaining territory that was partitioned in 1948) on the other.

To me, there is no mystery in the conundrum with which Weiss is concerned.

These liberal American Jews (both religious and secular) don’t know any better because they are committed to Israel as a Jewish state, just as Jews on the right of the political spectrum are.

They see no shame or contradiction in that position because they have swallowed whole the Zionist narrative that defines their identity as Jews, including the inability to see Palestinian Arabs as fellow human beings with fundamental human rights.

So, to me, the problem of Jewish supremacy or nationalism as it manifests itself in Palestine is the fundamental problem of Zionism — its immoral racialist and racist premise.

It makes no difference which brand of Zionism got the upper hand in Palestine, whether it is the nationalism of Theodor Hertzl (i.e., as a response to external pressures that were impossible to avoid — meant for Jews “who do not wish or are unable to assimilate”) or the nationalism of Ahad Ha-Am, to whom the possibility of total assimilation of Jews into their host societies was unacceptable, because the Jewish people was morally superior to all other people.

Today we have a situation in which millions of Jews, whether “assimilated” into their countries of origin or not, believe that Israel has a “right” to exist as a Jewish state and that Palestine belongs to Jews worldwide and not to its indigenous inhabitants regardless of religion or ethnicity.

That, to me, is the disturbing element of all Zionists, including the liberal Zionists Weiss addresses. They want Israel to “exist” as a Jewish state on land forcefully usurped and stolen from under the feet of its true owner, the Palestinian people, who continue to suffer as refugees and in exile as well as in Palestine under military occupation and under Apartheid.

Israel’s existence as a Jewish state is disturbing. Jewish supremacy whether rearing its ugly head in West Bank settlements or embodying the very existence of Israel is the nightmare.

A recent survey has found that nearly half of Israeli Jews believe in ethnic cleansing. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin reportedly called the findings a ‘wake-up call for Israeli society’. But what is it that these people should wake up to? The Jewish state was founded on ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Arabs and defends its “existence” by continuing to ethnic cleanse Palestinians. That’s what they should wake up to — the end of Israel as a Jewish state.

The Jewish supremacist state of Israel must come to an end as such. The goal of exposing Israel’s crimes and the immorality of its supporters is to seek transformative justice in Palestine – to de-Zionize.

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U.S. Secretly Backing ISIS in Syria

NOVANEWS
Russian TV Reports

Russian television headlined on September 1st, “Syrian rebel defector says his US-trained unit sold arms to ISIS”, and reported statements by a defector from — a man who had quit — the U.S.-backed Maghawir al-Thawra group (the remnants of America’s New Syrian Army.

The CIA-organized New Syrian Army had, in turn, been the remnants of the Free Syrian Army, which the U.S. had formed in Syria in 2011, during the “Arab Spring” uprisings across Arabia. So, this defector had quit from what was actually the straggling and failing end, of America’s proxy-army of Syrians, who were fighting to overthrow Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad.

The U.S. Government had used the uprising in Syria to bring down Assad, who is allied with Russia. Ever since 1949, the U.S. Government has been trying to take over Syria. After the “Arab Spring,” the U.S. backed Al Qaeda in Syria in order to transform that Syrian uprising into that long-sought U.S. victory. What this defector said had caused him to quit, was America’s lies about what they were fighting for, and what they were fighting against. He didn’t want to be fighting for ISIS, against Assad. That’s what the Syrian war had now come down to, and so he quit.

This defector had been stationed at America’s Tanf military base inside Syria, ten miles north of (U.S. ally) Jordan, at which base the U.S. was claiming to be training “anti-ISIS” “moderate rebels.” Apparently, as the war progressed, America’s promises to its fighters in Syria changed from overthrowing Assad, to defeating ISIS, because even Assad’s opponents inside Syria came increasingly to abandon their efforts to overthrow Assad, while they increased even more their determination to conquer ISIS. 

This is one of several military bases that the U.S. has set up inside Syria after having invaded that country subsequent to the “Arab Spring.” That U.S. base is illegal — it’s a hostile military occupation of Syrian sovereign territory — but all of America’s presence in Syria is that. The U.S. Government doesn’t care about illegality, except when it can be cited against a country that the U.S. wants to conquer, such as against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq (his ‘WMD’ or weapons of mass destruction), to ‘justify’ invading it.

This defector, Assad As-Salem, says he defected because America’s statements and promises were all lies, and that, instead of fighting ISIS, the U.S. was training fighters to use U.S.-made weaponry which was being supplied to the base, but which the head of the base sold to ISIS; and that some Maghawir al-Thawra regulars, according to the article posted by Russian Television,

“reported that to American base command, but following our report no action has been taken, the Americans only ramped up the support to the man who was appointed our commander and who was dealing with ISIS,’ As-Salem said.”

The U.S. had appointed their commander, who was actually assisting ISIS — a group the defector loathes. And the U.S. didn’t punish that commander, but instead “the Americans only ramped up the support to the man who was appointed our commander and who was dealing with ISIS.”

If that statement is true, then the countries which have been financing ISIS (mainly Saudi Arabia) are the actual buyers of these U.S.-made weapons; and, of course, the U.S. weapons-manufacturers were actually selling these weapons to the funders of ISIS, which funders then donated these weapons to ISIS, as their part of the U.S. coalition’s campaign to overthrow and replace Assad. Of course, the Sauds regularly receive training by the U.S. in how to operate U.S.-made weapons; so, this training can be passed along to ISIS, by their U.S.-trained Saudi troops. 

What’s described here is, then, essentially, a sales-and-marketing campaign by the U.S. Government, to increase sales-volumes for U.S. weapons-makers (who, of course, heavily lobby Congress, so they’ve got support there to increase military funding).

This is truly the free market at work, but relying heavily upon government, as any economy itself inevitably must (because without laws, etc., there can’t be any “market” at all). (To be against corruption is intelligent; to be against ‘government’ is not; government is necessary. The only question about government is “good or bad?” not “small or large.”) This sales-and-marketing campaign certainly isn’t the libertarians’ fantasy of creating zero government (anarchy), nor even just “to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub” — as one mega-corporate lobbyist proudly proclaimed to be his goal. It’s the real world; it’s no libertarian (or any other) fantasy about things, at all.

A link to this news-report on RT, Russian Television, became posted at reddit, under the category “Syrian Civil War”, and reader-comments there were generally in the nature of “Corrupt Syrian soldiers sell arms to rebels and corrupt rebels sell arms to ISIS/Al Nusra.” Apparently, most readers were blaming the Syrians, not the U.S. Government. However, one comment was at least open-minded:

“War and corruption go hand in hand. One should try to investigate here.”

That “investigation” is our aim. But in order to investigate the situation, one must first know accurately what it really is. One can’t know that, without knowing the relevant context, which is what we are now focusing on. 

*

This report, from RT, provides a very different picture than does a recent article by America’s CNN, on July 26th, headlined “US tells local Syrian allies they must only fight ISIS and not Assad, prompting exit of allied group”, which stated that:

(CNN) The US-led coalition fighting ISIS has told its local Syrian allies that they must be exclusively focused on fighting ISIS and not fight the Syrian regime, a directive that prompted one rebel group to depart a joint coalition base in Southern Syria, several coalition and US defense officials told CNN.

“The coalition supports only those forces committed to fighting ISIS,” coalition spokesman US Army Col. Ryan Dillon told CNN.

But one US-backed group which calls itself “the Shohada Al Quartyan” has balked at the restriction, opting to leave the base to carry out independent operations against Syrian regime troops several US and coalition officials told CNN. The officials added that other local allies remain at the garrison and continue to cooperate with coalition advisers.

“The Shohada Al Quartyan have made it known that they may want to pursue other objectives. The coalition is making it clear to Shohada Al Quartyan leadership that if they choose to pursue other objectives, the coalition will no longer support their operations,” Dillon said. …

Though both the RT report and the CNN report agree that the U.S. Government is telling its Syrian ‘moderate rebels’ that they are fighting against ISIS, the reports disagree in that RT’s says that quitters are leaving because America’s actual focus is on overthrowing Assad, whereas CNN’s says that quitters are leaving because there’s not enough focus on overthrowing Assad. Both reports could be true, because the two reports deal with different groups of ‘Syrian rebels’.

Perhaps, the U.S. is telling its fighters in Syria, their target is to be only ISIS, even at the same time that the U.S. is actually using those fighters as an excuse to bring into Syria U.S.-made weaponry that are secretly then to be supplied to ISIS. Of course, if that’s the real case, the Shohada al-Quartyan people might be leaving the U.S. alliance because they’ve been deceived by their American bosses to think their target to be ISIS instead of Assad. However, the Maghawir al-Thawra group are alleged to have quit the U.S. alliance on account of having been lied-to and themselves seen that the U.S. is actually selling U.S.-made weapons to ISIS.

The CNN article alleges only that the Shohada al-Quartyan group had left because of what their U.S. bosses merely told them: that ISIS would now be the target. So, possibly, both articles are true; but, in that case, America is now telling Syrian rebels that their focus is to be on eliminating ISIS; and, some rebel-groups are abandoning the American effort because of this instruction, while other rebel-groups are abandoning the American effort because that allegation by their U.S. commanders is actually a lie and the U.S.’s real objective is to overthrow Assad.

Therefore, quite possibly, both RT and CNN are telling different aspects of the same narrative (though focusing on different aspects of it). 

I have previously provided detailed documentation that the U.S. was relying almost exclusively upon Al Qaeda in Syria — called “al-Nusra” there — in order to lead and train virtually all anti-Assad forces there. However, apparently, the more successful the Syrian-Russian-Iranian coalition has been at defeating in Syria the U.S.-Saudi-Qatari-UAE coalition, which employed Al Qaeda’s leaders in Syria to train fighters to overthrow and replace Assad, the more reliance the U.S.-Saudi-Qatari-UAE group has come to place upon ISIS, and the less they’re placing upon Al Qaeda in Syria.

I reported on this development — America’s increasing reliance upon ISIS after the decline of Al Qaeda in Syria — in several previous articles, especially these two:

12 December 2016, “Obama and Erdogan Move ISIS Terrorists from Iraq to Syria, to Weaken Assad” 

Those ISIS jihadists were being moved from the Iraqi city of Mosul, to the Syrian city of Deir Ezzor, otherwise called Der Zor, at the center of Syria’s oil-well territory. If ISIS wins firm control of that city, plus transit-routes out in order to sell the oil, they won’t need any more money from the Sauds. CNN starts their report with the false assumption that Syria doesn’t own Syria, that Syrian national sovereignty (the legal Government of Syria, which is headed by Assad) doesn’t exist; and, so, CNN continued their 26 July 2017 report:

Some time ago, Bashar al-Assad‘s forces — supported by Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah proxy militias on the ground, and Russian air force on the air — realized that ISIS was in retreat, so they moved quickly to grab as much territory as they could [notice the allegation here, that Syria’s Government is ‘grabbing’ this Syrian territory, which ISIS had stolen]: in the north to west of Raqqa; in the middle of the country moving east of Palmyra, toward Al Sukhna — a crossroads town considered a gateway to Deir Ezzor; and in the south along the Jordanian and Iraqi borders in Tanf, blocking the path to Deir Ezzor. It’s obvious that Assad and his allies are eyeing Deir Ezzor. [This statement reinforces that Assad isn’t the legitimate head-of-state there.]

If Assad and his allies reach Deir Ezzor and the strategic border town of Abu Kamal before the coalition forces advancing from north, then it’s game over for the coalition.

CNN’s ‘news’ treats America’s attempted theft of Syria, from the Syrian Government, as being instead an attempted protection of the Syrian people, from the Syrian Government. (Never mind that America is backing jihadists to become the new Syrian government, as a supposed improvement upon Assad’s decidedly secular Government of Syria.) And America claims to be a law-abiding nation, ‘protecting the peace of the world’, instead of to be grabbing yet another piece of the world.

That CNN ‘news’-report is cited here only as being a contrast to the news-report on Russian Television. So, we’ll now briefly complete our discussion of the RT report:

*

In other words, America’s sudden determination, late in Obama’s Presidency, to oust ISIS from Mosul in Iraq, was intended specifically to provide this emergency-assistance by means of ISIS, to the U.S. coalition’s failing al-Qaeda-led effort to overthrow Assad. This is what we know of Obama as a strategic thinker. He was resourceful, and adapted to changing conditions, when he was faced with the failure of his existing strategy. There aren’t yet sufficiently clear signs to indicate Trump as a strategic thinker.

According to another RT news-article, on August 25th, Al Qaeda still remains intensely devoted to the effort to oust Assad. (Perhaps Al Qaeda still is getting enough support from the Sauds and UAE, even if the U.S. is no longer backing them.) RT headlined “New 25,000-strong Syrian terrorist force unites 70 gangs – Russian General Staff”, and reported that:

A new terrorist formation, Hayat Tahrir ash-Sham, consists of 25,000 militants, with Jabhat al-Nusra jihadists at its core, the intelligence chief of Russia’s General Staff said. He also spoke of the terrorists’ favorite tactics, state-of-the-art equipment and ways of getting profit.

“Currently, more than 70 gangs, including those from the ranks of the opposition, which used to consider themselves ‘moderate,’ have banded together. The total strength of the Hayat Tahrir ash-Sham group exceeds 25,000 militants,” Col. Gen. Igor Korobov, the head of the Main Directorate of the Russian General Staff (the foreign military intelligence agency), said during a roundtable on Friday as part of the Army-2017 international military-technical forum, held in the Moscow Region.

The key role in the formation belongs to Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front)

Here is what Peter Korzun, at Strategic Culture, said on September 1st, about Hayat Tahrir ash-Sham:

Hayat Tahrir al Sham (HTS), an alliance led by al Qaeda’s former Syrian branch, has consolidated its grip over large parts of Idlib after their main rival, the Kuwait-backed Ahrar al Sham, was ousted from the province’s main towns and villages. The HTS is even crueler than Islamic State (IS). Its leadership rejects the very idea of dialogue with anyone. The group is a great spoiler and a hindrance on the way to Syria’s crisis management based on the [Russian-led] Astana peace process. No ceasefire or peace is possible as long as this Al-Qaeda affiliate controls the province and its border with Turkey.

On August 7th, al-Monitor, the news-site owned by Jamal Daniel of Houston, who is the head of Crest Investment Company, and a friend of the Bush family (who are buddies of the royal Sauds), reported about HTS, by saying that “the group’s aggressive behavior reflects the organization’s priority to expand its territory and consolidate its power, which would make it a de facto interlocutor in the cease-fire deals ongoing in Syria.” A reasonable assumption would be that HTS is extremely well-funded by outside sources.

Apparently, the U.S. still hopes to win this war: On August 19th, South Front bannered “US-LED COALITION WARPLANES BOMB SYRIAN ARMY IN KADIR VILLAGE IN CENTRAL SYRIA. ISIS ATTACK FOLLOWS – REPORTS”, and said that:

Warplanes of the US-led coalition have carried out airstrikes on the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) Tiger Forces in the village of Kadir in the province of Homs, according to pro-government sources.

America’s support of ISIS in Syria, is, in any case, becoming more overt. And, Al Qaeda’s failure, which caused the U.S. to turn to ISIS instead, has left the Saud-backed Al Qaeda competing with ISIS now, as the prime head-choppers against Syrians. 

Regardless of what the explanations for America’s turn (at least temporarily) toward ISIS are, America’s weapons-makers will profit handsomely from it, just as they have profited enormously from the entire Syrian campaign since 2011. It’s probably an effective business-strategy for them, at the present stage.

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Trans-sexualism: America’s Latest Advertising Coup

NOVANEWS
  

Gore Vidal once remarked that advertising was the only art form that America ever created. Beyond this, America’s ideological debates are both a product of and a symptom of a culture where everything is commodified and when there is nothing left to commodify, one needs only to invent a new concept around which to sell a plethora of accessories.

The most strident example of this in the 21st century is the phenomenon of selling lifestyles. From men that call themselves women, women who call themselves men and every permutation of such notions, the entire situation which is disguised as a philosophical debate on so-called ‘sexuality’ is merely a distraction to hide the larger truth that the ‘trans’ industry is just that, a business and a very big business at that.

Not content to simply sell bigger breasts, smaller noses and hair to the bald, the American pharmaceutical and medical industry is strongly invested in surgical operations and the accompanying medicines, education, training, medical equipment and technology, ‘therapy’ and literature which is a multi-million dollar industry.

Awkward and controversial plastic surgeries are nothing new, but selling such things and the preparatory stages as something that is not only mainstream but fashionable, is the latest trend in an American advertising industry that has gone from selling obscene images to selling the modification of sex organs.

The roots of this concept are not new. In 1915, US companies began marketing shaving products to women in a move to sell a group of people something they did not need and previously did not particularly want. There is no hygiene based reason for the average woman to remove her leg or under-arm hair, but there is a very good reason for a salesman or product manufacturer to want them to.

Prior to the early 20th century, shaving products were sold and marketed to men. By selling similar products to women, almost zero research and development is required and almost at once you’ve doubled your market from just under half of the adult population to almost all of the adult population. For big business, it was a mission accomplished moment.

In the 1920s, the same thing happened with cigarettes. The nature of cigarette production particularly different in 1926 that it was in 1896, but by marketing cigarettes for women as something fashionable, big tobacco was able to sell a considerably higher amount of cigarettes to the population at large.

After the Second World War, even American political movements became dominated by the marketing of fashion products. The so-called anti-war movement and the related ‘hippy’ movement saw generally inexpensive peasant style garments marketed to young Americans at vastly inflated prices vis-à-vis the cost of production. Why sell someone a dress which requires some craftsmanship to design and produce when instead, one can simply sell dyed rags with a peace sign painted on it for competitive prices? The answer was, ‘yes we can’ and so they did.

While the American wars in South East Asia raged until 1975, the anti-war movement died much earlier than that. The anti-war movement died when the fashion industry realised that it had reached the limits of marketing ‘peace and love’ and instead designed more complex fashions so as to sell the accoutrements which accompany a lifestyle of decadence. Those who were selling cannabis pipes began selling engraved devices to make the process of taking cocaine more fashionable along with a wardrobe to match.

In the 1980s, it was all about selling clothes with slogans, irrespective of their meaning. “Choose life”, “Frankie says relax”, “Say no to drugs”, “Live Aid”, “We Are The World”, were all officially licensed items for the generation that thought they were turning activism into T-shirts, but in reality inexpensive T-shirts simply became more easily marketable if they carried an exclusive and therefore expensively sold, trademarked slogan.

In the 1990s, just as many American factories were closing, enter the age of ‘grunge rock’. Not only was the US public sold records of generally very easily and inexpensively produced music, but to go along with it, children of wealthy middle class professionals can dress up like the factory workers who increasingly no longer needed their ‘uniforms’. Never mind putting a hole in your ‘designer’ jeans, someone will sell you jeans with a pre-made hole and charge you for the privilege.

The 2000s saw the increasing normalisation of tattoos for women. It was cigarettes all over again. Why limit tattoos to a traditionally male dominated market when the other half (technically slightly more than half) of the population is a potential consumer base? The answer as always, was, ‘why not’!

And now as we approach 2020, the new fashion is the ‘trans’ fashion. It comes in the form of expensive cosmetic surgery and all that goes with it and for those that don’t want to take the plunge and surgically remove or altar ones genitals, there are plenty of T-shirts, hats, books, music downloads and other media products that are there waiting for you to consume. There are also plenty of public events celebrating the ‘trans’ lifestyle that one can pay for the privilege of entering.

If you oppose such things, don’t worry, the marketing department has something else for you, it’s a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat, or shirt, or novelty pen or gun holster. This indeed was one of the genius moves of Donald Trump. In true American style, he realised that in order to get his message across, he needed to associate his message with an easily commodified fashion statement. Perhaps if Ross Perot had hats for sale in 1992, he would have won the US Presidential election, after all, his policies were highly similar to those of Trump who ran decades later.

If ever one felt that it was odd for people who had been previously more conservatively minded on the issue of altering one’s sex, to come out robustly in favour of such things, one only needs to remember that in the United States and all other societies with copy-cat economies, the sales pitch and potential for profit always trumps any moral or ethical matters.

The fact that the severing of a human penis by a surgeon is objectively less benign than selling a shaver to a woman so she can sever the hair under her arms, is merely symptomatic of the fact that as the most obvious ideas become taken and consequently exhausted, the marketing experts will simply push the envelope further, chasing a profit at all times.

This is indeed one of the reasons that the United States is, along with South Korea (which was sold on the idea after US occupation), the only nation in the world to perform routine circumcisions on the very young outside of any religious context. Someone is getting paid to perform the operation and someone is getting paid to make the necessary medical equipment. While the WTO has found that the operation can reduce the rate of AIDS in populations where the disease is widespread, no child could contract AIDS through a sex act that one is medically too young to engage in, in the first place. However, fewer adults opt for the operation in spite of their lifestyle and therefore it is more profitable to sell it to concerned and often frightened parents, in spite of not having any medical benefits prior to one’s early adult years.

America therefore is only having as much of a moral crisis as the marketing industry allows. It’s no wonder that people in countries with vastly different economic systems don’t feel the need to have sex change operations or involve themselves with making videos, selling books, medicines and other clinical products. This is because those with psychological deviancies which make them unhappy with the sex of their birth is an extremely rare condition, that is, unless one turns such a rare condition into a fashion statement for the mases. The leap from wearing an AC/DC T-shirt in spite of never having heard a single AC/DC piece of music, to promoting products on the virtues of embracing sex change politics without having any previous desire to engage in such things, is not a big leap after all.

Smoking a single pack of cigarettes is generally not a life changing experience, especially if one refrains from smoking thereafter. In spite of this, many people have affirmed the correlation between social smoking and advertisements which glamourize the activity.

If one can glamourize the medically unnecessary act of smoking, why do so many find it hard to believe that the same marketing strategies can glamourize the act of surgically altering one’s genitals? The answer is in fact the same as the question: marketing!

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Taliban Leader Claims that Group Controls Over Half of Afghanistan.

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Taliban Leader Claims that Group Controls Over Half of Afghanistan. “Taliban Not Connected to Terrorist Attacks”

Featured image: Taliban leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada (Source: South Front)

Taliban leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada in a message on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha announced that the departure of all American and NATO forces from Afghanistan is the only solution to end the war and violence in Afghanistan.

He also denied any Taliban links with terrorist attacks and declared that the Taliban controls more than half of the country. However, this claim contradicts to the info provided by the US military.

Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said that government forces control 62% of the country and the Taliban controls only 10%. The rest of the area is contested, according to the general.

The Pentagon has also confirmed that there are about 11,000 US troops in Afghanistan, including regular troops and special forces. The US is going to send about 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan under the newly declared strategy in the country.

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Attempted Political Coup Underway in Kenya

NOVANEWS

Supreme Court in 4-2 majority nullifies August 8 presidential election

 

In an unprecedented legal decision four members out of seven within the Kenyan Supreme Court struck down the results of the presidential elections which were held on August 8.

Four members voted in favor of nullification, two were dissenting, while one chief justice was in hospital and did not participate in the decision.

This is the first time in Africa’s 66-year history of electoral politics where such a significant occurrence has taken place.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, 55, was declared the winner of the poll carried out less than a month ago with 54 percent of the votes counted. Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, 72, who ran on behalf of the opposition coalition known as the National Super Alliance (NASA), garnered 44 percent.

The Supreme Court has mandated that a revote be held within 60 days. Supporters of the NASA coalition began to celebrate what they perceived as a ruling which will provide Odinga yet another opportunity to seek the highest office in the East African state.

Odinga ran for the presidency against Mwai Kibaki in 2007. Disagreements over the outcome led to internecine conflict resulting in the deaths of over a thousand people.

Later in 2013, Odinga lost to Uhuru Kenyatta by a substantial margin. Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) rejected the results and later filed a legal challenge in the Kenyan courts. This attempt to overturn the elections in 2013 failed.

“Unascertained” Evidence Lead to the Nullification

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the majority opinion delivered by Chief Justice Daniel Kenani Maraga was that it lacked any substantial findings documenting the claimed violations of the Kenyan constitution. The chief justice said that such proof would be presented within the next 21 days.

Therefore, with campaigning for the revote getting underway immediately, there will be a gap in the initial messaging since the basis for the nullification has not been spelled out by the majority members of the Supreme Court. President Kenyatta in a statement to the media on September 1 said that he emphatically disagreed with the decision to designate the election results invalid although he would respect and abide by the ruling.

Kenyatta said that it was:

“important to respect the rule of law even if you disagree with the Supreme Court ruling. Your neighbor will still be your neighbor, regardless of what has happened. My primary message today to every single Kenyan is peace. Let us be people of peace.”

The president referred to the four justices in Kiswahili as “wakora”, meaning crooks. He asserted that their decision was politically motivated in deciding to “cancel the elections.”

Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses crowd on Sept. 1, 2017 (Source: Abayomi Azikiwe)

Later the Jubilee party leader and president reminded Chief Justice Maraga that he was still the head-of-state in Kenya. Furthermore, Kenyatta warned his opponents within the Supreme Court that they would be monitored closely by the government.

Kenyatta asked during the press conference:

“Do you understand me? Maraga should know that he is now dealing with the serving president. We are keeping a close eye on them. But let us deal with the election first. We are not afraid.”

A summarized dissenting opinion from Justices Jackton Boma Ojwang and Njoki Susanna Ndungulaid out eight points of disagreement. Their arguments point to the failure to cite any specific instances of electoral practice which run contrary to the Kenyan constitution.

The minority summary emphasizes in point three that:

“Whereas the substance of the case founded on illegality and irregularity rests on the voting-results electronic transmission process, there is substantial information showing that, by law, the conduct of the election should have been mainly manual, and only partially electronic. Hardly any conclusive evidence has been adduced in this regard, which demonstrates such a manifestation of irregularity as to justify the invalidation of the election results.” (Standard article by Fredrick Obura, Sept. 1)

Moreover, the most revealing sections of the dissenting opinion are located in points five and six which notes:

“Much of the evidence which the majority opinion adopts is largely unascertained, apart from standing in contradiction to substantial, more credible evidence. In such a marginal state of merits in the case challenging the conduct of elections on 8th August, 2017, it is clear to me beyond peradventure, that there is not an iota of merit in invalidating the clear expression of the Kenyan people’s democratic will, which was recorded on 8th August, 2017.”

In other words it is unconscionable when four members of a high court can reverse the popular will of the millions of Kenyan voters who elected President Uhuru Kenyatta to a second term of office. The nullification of the presidential election is providing further political ammunition to the NASA coalition in their efforts to question the legitimacy of the Kenyan Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission (IBEC). Odinga is also calling for the resignation and prosecution of the IBEC Chair Wafula Chebukati and other officials for alleged crimes committed against the people.

Moreover, this Supreme Court ruling could open up legal challenges to other office holders whom secured their positions as a result of the August 8 elections within the parliamentary and county governmental structures. Therefore, the potential for widespread destabilization utilizing the electoral process remains an ominous threat.

An article published by the Daily Nation on September 1 warned:

“The judgment by the Supreme Court on the presidential results petition has put the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission at the mercy of candidates who lost in the elections. Legal experts on Friday (Sept. 1) argued that Chief Justice David Maraga’s judgment will set precedence for hundreds of similar petitions at the lower courts. Lawyer Gordon Ogolla said the candidates who contested various seats were waiting to hear what the court would decide before lodging their appeals. According to Mr. Ogolla, the judgment poked holes in almost all the stages of the electoral process, giving other candidates a reason to think they lost unfairly and thus head to the court and use those grounds to protest their loss.”

International Impact of the Supreme Court Ruling

The elections were subjected to a rigorous outside monitoring process involving the African Union (AU), the United Nations, Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Carter Center from the United States, European Union (EU), among others. These observer missions unanimously agreed that the election process was free and fair saying it represented a landmark in democratic practice for the continent.

Consequently, such a ruling by the Supreme Court has grave implications for Kenya’s relationship with the broader global community. Since the country has the largest economy in the East Africa region, this decision could impact its interactions with its neighbors as well as trading partners internationally.

After the announcement voiding the elections by the Supreme Court, volatility in the Kenyan stock market resulted in a temporary suspension of trading. Also the value of the national currency, the shilling, fell against the U.S. dollar.

Kenya has maintained an annual growth rate of five percent. The nation is largely dependent upon agricultural production, commodity export and tourism. In recent years with the discovery and exploitation of oil, prospects for exponential development are on the horizon.

According to CNN Money as it relates to the current situation:

“Observers are worried that the ruling could result in a repeat of 2007, when the country plunged into widespread violence following elections. John Ashbourne of Capital Economics estimated before the vote that a similar crisis would cut roughly three percentage points off quarterly economic growth.” (Sept. 1)

It is important to recount that in 2013, both the U.S. and Britain, the former colonial power, threatened retribution if Kenyans elected Kenyatta as president. The president and his Vice-President William Ruto were investigated by the Netherlands-based International Criminal Court (ICC) for possible trial related to events stemming from political violence during the post-election period of late 2007 and 2008.

The cases against both Kenyatta and Ruto were dropped by the ICC for lack of evidence. The ICC has almost exclusively been preoccupied with events in Africa and has failed to investigate any of the war crimes and other atrocities committed by the western imperialist countries particularly the U.S. and Britain.

During the May 2013 fiftieth anniversary summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the predecessor to the AU, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the AU held extensive discussions on whether to withdraw as a continental group from the Rome Statute, the ostensible legal document which underpins the validity of the ICC.

Efforts by three African states to reject the Rome Statute have been thwarted. In Gambia, a state which withdrew from its jurisdiction had its government overthrown in early in 2017.

The Republic of South Africa, whose President Jacob Zuma, announced its intentions to withdraw from the oversight of the ICC, was subjected to a Constitutional Court ruling which said that it could not implement such a policy decision absent of the passage of legislation by parliament. South African opposition forces have utilized the courts to obstruct the capacity of the African National Congress (ANC) government to enact measures which adhere to the protocols of the AU and other policy imperatives related any semblance of genuine sovereignty and national independence.

Burundi, which made a similar declaration regarding the ICC, has been largely isolated by former colonial powers and neo-colonial governments due to a domestic constitutional court ruling granting the ability of President Pierre Nkurunziza to serve for a third term. During the Pentagon-NATO war of regime-change against the North African state of Libya in 2011, the ICC began an investigation into the now deceased former leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi and other high-ranking officials within the previous government.

These events in Kenya must be viewed within the broader context of the current post-colonial political conjuncture on the African continent. Despite the existence of liberation struggles throughout the region since the post-World War II period, the imperialist states led by the U.S. remain committed to the political and economic domination of the AU member-states.

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Pakistan: Another “Major Strategic Partner” Now Fighting For Its Life

NOVANEWS

Can Pakistan survive a military intervention if it is to be announced yet another link of the so-called “axis of evil”

__________
New Eastern Outlook
Pakistan: Another “Major Strategic Partner” Now Fighting For Its Life

So the Trump White House is really on the ball now. After suddenly discovering what North Korea has always been, it has done the same with Pakistan, and is trying to cover its essential ignorance by saying how unhappy it is about it.

Rex Tillerson is threatening to cut aid to Pakistan on the grounds that it is “providing safe haven for terrorist groups“. He is careful to say however that this is an ongoing problem, and that as “relations have been deteriorating for several years” the damage was done before his appointment, and is therefore beyond the ability of the present State Department to reverse. This hardly indicates a genuine resolve to counter terrorism, but given the number of terrorists the US sponsors to suit itself this is not surprising.

Pakistan doesn’t seem worried, largely because it has been hearing all this for many years. It has never been a secret that since the Soviets took over Afghanistan in 1979 various groups have found shelter in Pakistan and then managed to arm themselves against the invaders. When the Soviet withdrawal was followed by civil war many combatants again based themselves in Pakistan, as they were never sure whether their friends in Afghanistan wouldn’t become enemies the following day when the pattern of alliances changed, as it frequently did.

Pakistan was always quick to point out that its various governments have not provided direct support, with funds, arms or personnel, to any of these combatants. This may be disingenuous, as Pakistan has also failed to properly investigate a number of murders of former Afghan combatants who have renounced violence and set up shops in Pakistan, and continues to repatriate refugees to areas where fighting is taking place, thus exporting conflict as they have no alternative but to take up arms to defend themselves. But it is up to the US to prove such allegations, and it has failed to do so despite their antiquity.

The reality is that Pakistan is fast becoming just another country which has been played and used by its Western friends. Of course it harbours unsavoury people: it was sponsored to do that. It suited the West to have a bad boy in the region, who could be blamed for everything and used as an excuse, and Pakistan was happy to fulfil that role to secure its own survival in a world where states based on religious preference were frowned upon, and increasingly pressurised to become the liberal democracy Pakistan has never pretended to be.

But now the West has new bogeymen: the same ISIS it happily funds and arms and recruits for, whose oil it buys and whose smuggling routes it controls. Pakistan is small potatoes now. The West doesn’t need an implied threat to other regional countries when these monsters are prowling around, consuming everything in their path, while little Pakistan insists on trying to be a fully-fledged member of the international community and build diplomatic relations with countries like China, who can offer it more than the US can materially.

Tillerson doesn’t care about fighting the Taliban, and Trump promised during his campaign to reduce US involvement in these expensive foreign conflicts. He is telling Pakistan that it is no longer useful in the battles the US wants to wage. So what is the country actually there for? Pakistanis realise the problems answering that question will raise, and are thus protesting about the “false narrative” being presented about their country, but are finding out the hard way that there is always an unacceptable price to pay for friendship with the US, and now it is time to pay it.

From white crescent to two fingers

As is well known, India gained its independence from the UK under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. One of the key pillars of Gandhi’s approach was Hindu-Muslim unity: he maintained, in effect, that being Indian was more important than belonging to this or that group of Indians. Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s All India Muslim League initially advocated the same thing, and Jinnah himself created the Lucknow Pact of 1916 which sealed this unity in the form of a demand for self-government which safeguarded Muslim rights.

The British attempted to counter this with the old tactic of splitting the opposition. Jinnah was well aware of why this was being done, but by 1947 was prepared to grant the British the partial victory of creating two new states instead of one, thus making it appear that their hypocritical complaints about “respecting the rights of Muslims” were justified.

If Jinnah’s doctor had been professionally able to tell the world that he was already dying of lung cancer partition might have been avoided. But it also served a deeper purpose. Jinnah is revered amongst Pakistanis (referred to as Quaid-e-Azam, the “Great Leader”, just like Kim Jong-un). But he is seen as the villain of the piece by the many millions who revere Gandhi, and by the British who needed to blame someone else for losing their colony.

India was thus allowed to be independent as long as it ultimately continued to play the Western game. If it didn’t, the bad guys next door would come calling, and would have to answer to the West through them.

Pakistan was always unworkable because the majority Muslim population was on opposite sides of the Indian subcontinent. East Pakistan eventually became independent as Bangladesh, following a war in which it was supported by India, and there are ongoing disputes over the ownership of Kashmir. Its rightful borders are also disputed by Afghanistan, which has never accepted the Durand Line as delineating its own sovereign territory, and much of Pakistan has never been under the control of the central government at all: the heroin-producing areas have always been run by local warlords, who like ISIS are portrayed as invincible warriors by the Westerners who derive such profit from their products.

But the Muslim state wasn’t supposed to be workable, as this would encourage it to make its own decisions. It was merely an irritant to everyone else who might think they could evade Western protection. Everything given to India was matched by support to Pakistan, including nuclear capability derived from the West , whilst it continually endured the sort of governments, civilian or military, which the West continually says it has the right to remove when it suits it.

All this was successful in stopping the spread of Communism to the subcontinent. It has not prevented India emerging as a serious economic power however, at the expense of Pakistan. But other countries take Pakistan seriously, as it has been there 70 years and has industry and exports to offer. Its neighbours are no longer scared of it, and it is seen as relatively moderate in the Muslim world – contradicting the Western narrative about the inherent violence of Islam.

The West has other bad guys it is using to threaten everyone with. It doesn’t need Pakistan when it can blow up a few hotels in India or send the Chinese in to buy everything up. The Muslim state is being left to find a new way to make itself useful. If it doesn’t, it will go the way of so many others, as it doesn’t have the resources to prevent this.

Mirage without the desert

Pakistan was founded as the Muslim Homeland in the same way Israel is the Jewish Homeland. But Mecca and Medina are in Saudi Arabia. Any number of states are now more aligned with the Western narrative about Islam, and thus Pakistan can’t play that card internationally any more.

What other claim does it have to exist? Merely the fact that it is there. Its people are not ethnically different from millions of others who call themselves Indian or Afghan, regardless of which ethnicity they belong to within those national groups.

Nor is there a Pakistani language. It is standard practice for border agencies around the world to distinguish between Pakistani Pakhto and Afghan Pashto when assigning interpreters, but the differences between the two languages are so small the speakers of each don’t realise when a misunderstanding has occurred, and the resulting problem is ignored by those same border agencies.

Do Indian subcontinent Muslims, specifically, need a homeland? They already have them, on either side. The West helped create Bangladesh out of Pakistan, and many Pakistanis have family and fellow ethnics living there. The West also has a vested interest in making Afghanistan work, having intervened to secure this, and to keep it in moderate Muslim hands rather than let the Taliban regain power alone. Returning Pakistan to Afghanistan, which ruled it during the days of Ahmad Shah Durrani, would help achieve this objective if a diplomatic excuse could be found for doing this.

If Pakistan can’t profit from being the bad guy any more it has two choices. It could get even worse on its own account, and thus hasten its destruction in the name of “protecting the world”. Or it could be the good guy, the friend of one and all, and thus hasten its destruction because it serves no purpose. It has goods to offer, but not diplomacy. Getting into bed with Pakistan means getting involved in all its existing conflicts with India and Afghanistan and taking a position on them, which doesn’t help any of its neighbours win other friends, who are more useful in both trade and influence terms.

Therefore Pakistan is continuing to do what it has always been encouraged to do: play all sides at once, simply to keep conflicts going and prevent anyone developing their own resources. The difference now is that it is increasingly making the rules of this activity itself, seeing the West no longer needs Pakistan to do this as it once did. It decides for itself how far it wants to tolerate or help the Taliban and the other combatant groups in Afghanistan. It makes claims to Kashmir when it wants, not when the West wants it to.

Offering its people the same old Pakistan may prevent domestic revolt. It is doing precious little to help it in the rest of the world, but what other choice does it have? Even the old staple of blackmail – “We are your allies, you said we were good, so it will embarrass you if you don’t keep supporting us now” – won’t work when others are using all its old selling points more effectively, and reunification of part of the Indian subcontinent, however that is achieved, will be seen as a positive development by the international community.

Better the Devil you don’t know

Pakistan is seeking another guarantee of its legitimacy, and it is this which Tillerson is really objecting to. Long friendly with China, it is now prepared to allow Beijing to establish a naval base in the country, as a quid pro quo for being allowed to participate in the One Belt, One Road initiative , a supposedly economic scheme which looks remarkably similar to the “Road of Communist Conquest Ending in Australia” we were often warned about during Cold War times.

The idea is that if you allow another country to establish a base in yours, that country has an interest in maintaining the government and state which took this decision. It won’t want another country to take over, and possibly review this arrangement. That’s exactly how the US ended up with so many overseas bases in newly independent countries fighting for their identity, and why the US wants to stop others doing the same, having seen this work.

Pakistan doubtless expected the same benefits when it allowed the US to establish bases there from which to engage in conflict in Afghanistan. The US isn’t using Pakistan for this purpose any more because its presence there provoked anti-American riots led by radical Islamic groups, just like it did in Iran in 1979. The US remembers what happened there, and thinks the same might happen in Pakistan, and from there many other countries. It has scaled back its presence, but Pakistan has been weakened anyway by the experience, and is even less use than it was becoming already.

China needs nothing from Pakistan which it can’t get elsewhere, including a new naval base. In bilateral terms this new friendship exclusively favours China, but it blunts domestic discord because the concept of “Imperialist China” isn’t as evocative as “Imperialist America” because people haven’t had as much experience of it yet. The US would still rather destroy useless Pakistan than allow it to be useful to someone else, but at least this destruction is threatened by Imperialist non-Muslims without rather than radicals within, giving you better odds if you are the Pakistani government.

Pakistan is damned whichever way it looks because it has played the Western game, and thus expected Western protection, throughout its history. However big its army is, whatever deals it strikes, it has nowhere to go and nothing useful to do. The only question is whether other countries are prepared to fight wars over it, which is presently unlikely, or whether China will allow it to remain as a cautionary tale for those who wish to resist its own geopolitical games.

Posted in Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on Pakistan: Another “Major Strategic Partner” Now Fighting For Its Life


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