Archive | September 16th, 2017

Birmingham city council’s Labour leader John Clancy quits over rubbish collection

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Household rubbish on the streets of Birmingham

Lucy Fisher, Senior Political Correspondent

The Labour leader of Birmingham city council resigned last night admitting that he had made mistakes in his handling of the refuse workers’ strike in the city.

John Clancy’s decision came after Unite warned that the streets of Birmingham could be piled high with rubbish until the new year. Workers began industrial action on June 30 in a dispute over changes to roles and shift patterns, which the union said could lead to 120 job losses. It accused the council of reneging on a deal in mid-August that appeared to have ended seven weeks of strikes.

Labour councillors joined opposition councillors in demanding the leader’s resignation and had proposed a no-confidence motion.

Mr Clancy, 55, said: “It has become clear to me that frenzied media speculation about the Birmingham waste dispute is beginning to harm Birmingham city council and the Birmingham Labour Party.”

Emphasising that he had attempted to negotiate an end to “an extremely complex and difficult industrial dispute . . . with the best of intentions”, he accepted that he had made some mistakes and said: “I am sorry and take full responsibility.”

He also drew attention to “events in my personal life” that had contributed to his decision to step down.

Mr Clancy came under fire this year after he went on holiday without informing staff or fellow councillors about the departure of the council’s chief executive. Mark Rogers was paid a six-figure compensation package after being ousted from the council, then England’s worst-performing local authority, after presiding over £49 million of overspending.

Unite has now called for the resignation of Stella Manzie, the council’s interim chief executive.

The intervention came before a High Court hearing in London on Thursday in which Unite will seek an injunction against redundancy notices handed out to more than 100 refuse workers.

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Smell of decay hangs over bin strike Birmingham

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The streets of Britain’s second city are choked with rubbish sacks, head high in some places, because of the lengthy dispute

Will Humphries

Every day looks like bin day in Birmingham. The trouble is, refuse collections are few and far between.

The city has been in the grip of a strike by bin collectors since June and mountains of rotting rubbish bags litter the streets. Some areas have had one collection in six weeks. The rat population has exploded and maggots writhe where flies have laid their eggs.

Residents say that sporadic collections by agency staff drafted in by Birmingham city council can come at any hour and so households leave bins and bags on the pavements all the time. No one wants to miss one. Rows of wheelie bins and refuse sacks are piled head high and in densely populated quarters the smell of decay catches in the throat.

Soiled nappies are piled outside front doors while people with cars join queues for council tips, now open for longer hours between 7am and 9pm.

Mrs Hussain, 27, who did not want to give her first name, has a daughter aged six and a baby boy of nine months at home. “The smell is really bad. We have lots of nappies,” she said. “I am just putting them out at the front of the house. What else can I do? I don’t have time to go to the tip. I have a baby who needs feeding every few hours and a child at school to drop off and pick up.”

Mrs Hussain, who lives in Acocks Green, in the southwest of the city, has had her bin bags pulled apart by rats. The only way she has found to keep them from her children is to move the waste several metres on to the pavement. She blames the council and Unite, which is leading the strike.

The council wants to restructure the service, saving £5 million a year, while the union says it is fighting for the jobs of 113 refuse collectors. Bin collection in Birmingham was £11.9 million over budget in the last financial year and the council wants to replace the jobs with roles on a lower pay grade.

However, it also faces claims from other lower-graded workers, such as school cooks and cleaners, many female, who have realised they are paid less than the bin collectors.

Talks between the council and the unions began in January but by May Unite had balloted for industrial action and the first walkouts took place from June 30 to August 16. John Clancy, Labour leader of the council, held talks with the union to try to break the deadlock. Unite claimed victory but the city council said no promise had been made on jobs and for two weeks Birmingham held its breath. Then on August 31 the council said it had issued redundancy notices to the refuse workers. Unite announced that the strike was back on and Mr Clancy resigned.

Unite will go to the High Court on Monday to try to block the council from ending the bin workers’ roles and the city has been warned that the strike could last into next year. Collections by agency workers are costing more than £300,000 a week. An agency driver clearing one street said that locals were “getting more and more disgusted with the service”. The driver, a GMB union member, said: “Some streets you go down and the bin bags are just piled head high.”

Rose McNamee, 77, lives on the wrong side of a street split between the city and Solihull council, which is still providing a regular service. The pavement on the Solihull side has become a dumping ground for families affected by the strike. Mrs McNamee’s sympathies, though, lie with the refuse workers. “I don’t blame the bin men coming out on strike,” she said. “They are all people with mortgages and families.”

The city council said it would defend the redundancies and was trying to resolve the dispute quickly.

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Syrian troops will fight US-backed militia to free Arab country: Assad aide

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s political and media adviser, Bouthaina Shaaban

The political and media adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says government troops, backed by fighters from allied popular defense groups, will fight any force, including the US-backed militia, to fully liberate the Arab country plagued with terrorism for over six years.

“Whether it’s the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), or Daesh or any illegitimate foreign force in the country… we will fight and work against them so our land is freed completely from any aggressor,” said Bouthaina Shaaban in an exclusive interview with Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Manar television network on Friday.

She added that the US-backed SDF forces had managed to capture areas in northeastern Syria from Daesh “without any fighting,” implying that the Takfiri militants were working hand in glove with the SDF to take oil-rich areas.

“But they will not get what they want,” the Syrian official added.

The SDF is a coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters dominated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is in control of large parts of northeastern Syria for many years. The SDF forces have gained ground against Daesh in the northern city of Raqqah, the terror group’s de facto capital in the Arab country.

The US and its allies have been bombarding what they call Daesh positions inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate. They also support some groups, such as the SDF, claiming that they help them in their alleged fight against Daesh terrorists.

Different foreign-backed terrorist groups have been wreaking havoc in Syria since 2011. The government controls the main urban centers in the west of the country and has recaptured much of the eastern desert from Daesh in recent months.

On Tuesday, Lieutenant General Aleksandr Lapin, the Russian chief of staff in Syria, announced that Damascus was in control of 85 percent of the Arab country’s territories. He added that Syrian forces must now purge terrorists from the country’s remaining 15 percent, which amounts to 27,000 square kilometers.

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Congress Approves Sanctions on Iran, Russia And North Korea

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Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,October 2017, pp. 30-31

Special Report

By Shirl McArthur

AS REPORTED IN previous issues, AIPAC strongly promoted S. 722, introduced in March by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), a wide-ranging measure to impose sanctions “in relation to Iran’s ballistic missile program, support for acts of international terrorism, and violations of human rights.” But before the bill was brought to a vote by the full Senate, a Democratic amendment adding sanctions on Russia to the bill was agreed to by a vote of 97-2. The amendment also included a provision giving Congress the power to block any presidential effort to independently scale back existing Russian sanctions. On June 15, the Senate passed the amended bill by a vote of 98-2. The no votes were cast by Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). However, the bill could not be passed by the House in its Senate-passed form, because the House parliamentarian ruled that it violates the constitutional provision that revenue bills must originate in the House.

So on July 24, after House leaders agreed to add the substance of a bill passed by the House in May to impose sanctions on North Korea’s nuclear and financial sectors, House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) introduced a slightly modified version of S. 722 as H.R. 3364. The modified bill was quickly passed, by the House on July 25 by a vote of 419-3 (the no votes cast by Republicans Justin Amash of Michigan, John Duncan of Tennessee and Thomas Massie of Kentucky), and by the Senate on July 27, again by a vote of 98-2. It was signed by President Donald Trump on Aug. 2 as P.L. 115-44. Congressional Democrats quickly praised the bill’s congressional review requirement as a rebuke to Trump’s apparent attitude toward Russia.

Previously Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), with two Democratic co-sponsors, on July 12 introduced H.R. 3203 imposing sanctions on Iran. In introducing it, Engel described it as a “House version of the Senate’s Russia-Iran Sanctions Bill.” However, the House Republican leadership chose to ignore it. Also, on July 26 Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) introduced H.R. 3425 to authorize state and local governments to adopt and enforce measures restricting investment in Iran. It has 21 co-sponsors, including DeSantis. The previously described Iran sanctions bill, H.R. 1698, introduced by Royce in March, continues to gain co-sponsors. It now has 318, including Royce.

At least five measures were introduced attacking Hezbollah and, directly or indirectly, Iran.

At least five measures were introduced attacking Hezbollah and, directly or indirectly, Iran. The one receiving the most support is H.Res. 359, introduced by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) on May 25. It would urge “the European Union to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization.” It was marked up and ordered to be reported to the full House on July 27. It has 48 co-sponsors, including Deutch.

On June 29 Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) with 10 co-sponsors introduced H.R. 3118 concerned about “Iran and Hezbollah in the Western Hemisphere.” Identical bills were introduced on July 20 “to impose additional sanctions with respect to Hezbollah”: S. 1595 was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and eight co-sponsors, and H.R. 3329 was introduced in the House by Royce and 13 co-sponsors. And also on July 20 Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and four co-sponsors introduced H.R. 3342 to impose sanctions on persons responsible for human rights violations by Hezbollah’s use of civilians as human shields.

The other previously described Iran-related measures have made little progress, as shown in the “Status Updates” box.

ACLU OBJECTS TO CRIMINALIZING SUPPORT FOR BDS

Of the previously described bills that claim to be pro-Israel but in fact are pro-settlements, S. 720, introduced by Sens. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) and Rob Portman (R-OH) in March, and H.R. 1697, introduced by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) also in March, have received the most attention. On July 17 the ACLU published a letter to members of Congress opposing the bills because they would violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. The letter says, in part, “the government cannot, consistent with the First Amendment, punish U.S. persons based solely on their expressed political beliefs.” Then, on July 20, the ALCU published a post entitled, “The First Amendment Protects the Right to Boycott Israel.” So, on July 20, Cardin and Portman released a letter claiming that “nothing in [S. 720] restricts constitutionally protected free speech or limits criticism of Israel or its policies.” However, the text of the bill clearly prohibits U.S. persons from supporting any boycott fostered or imposed by an international organization, “or requesting the imposition of any such boycott, against Israel.” S. 720 now has 49 co-sponsors, including Cardin and Portman, and H.R. 1697 has 254, including Roskam.

The other two “Combating BDS” [“Boycott, Divest, and Sanction”] bills strongly promoted by AIPAC have also gained some support. According to both S. 170, introduced by Rubio in January, and H.R. 2856, introduced in June by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), “a State or local government may adopt and enforce measures” to divest state or local assets from, or prohibit investment of state or local assets in, an entity that knowingly engages in BDS activity targeting Israel, or “Israel-controlled territories.” S. 170 has 45 co-sponsors, including Rubio, and H.R. 2856 has 83 co-sponsors, including McHenry.

JERUSALEM, ANTI-PALESTINIAN, ANTI-U.N. BILLS INTRODUCED

While most of the previously described measures saying the U.S. Embassy in Israel should be moved to Jerusalem have made little progress, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), with four co-sponsors, tried a different approach in introducing H.R. 3547 on July 28. It would “authorize the secretary of state to establish a permanent residence in Jerusalem, Israel, for the U.S. Ambassador to Israel.”

Some of the previously introduced anti-Palestinian bills have made some progress. H.R. 1164, called the “Taylor Force Act” (after a former U.S. army officer killed in a Palestinian attack), introduced in February by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO), now has 111 co-sponsors, including Lamborn. Its companion bill, S. 1697, with the same title, was introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) with 19 co-sponsors on Aug. 1. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee marked up S. 1697 and ordered it reported to the full Senate by a vote of 17-4 on Aug. 3. Both bills would prohibit aid to the West Bank and Gaza unless, among other things, the PA is taking steps to end acts of violence against U.S. and Israeli citizens by Palestinian individuals.

H.R. 2712, introduced in May by Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), which would impose sanctions on the PA, now has 22 co-sponsors, including Mast. And S. 474, introduced in February by Graham, which would limit aid to the West Bank and Gaza, now has 20 co-sponsors, including Graham.

A new anti-U.N. measure is H.Res. 433, introduced July 11 by Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) with three co-sponsors. It would “disapprove of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee Inscription of Hebron as a Palestinian World Heritage Site in Danger.”

H.Res. 393, introduced June 20 by Hastings and four co-sponsors, would express “support for addressing the Arab-Israeli conflict in a concurrent track with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process,” rather than the previous strategy of solving the Palestinian conflict first before moving on to a regional peace. It also expresses support for a two-state solution.

HOUSE PASSES BILL TO PROTECT SYRIAN CIVILIANS

The full House on May 17 passed H.R. 1677, the “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection” bill introduced by Engel in March. It would impose sanctions on persons responsible for committing human rights violations and hindering access to humanitarian relief in Syria. When passed it had 109 co-sponsors, including Engel. H.R. 1785, “to require a comprehensive regional strategy to destroy ISIS and its affiliates,” introduced in March by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), still has 14 co-sponsors, including Kinzinger.

H.Res. 252, expressing the sense of the House on “the challenges posed to long-term stability in Lebanon by the conflict in Syria and supporting the establishment of safe zones in Syria,” introduced in April by Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL), now has 12 co-sponsors, including LaHood. The similar S.Res. 196, introduced in June by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) still has three co-sponsors, including Shaheen.

S.J. Res. 43, introduced in May by Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Tim Kaine (D-VA), urging the passage of a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against al-Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS still has no additional co-sponsors. But a new, unusually broad AUMF measure, H.J.Res. 112, was introduced July 20 by Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA). It would authorize the use of force “against Islamic Extremism.”

THREE MEASURES URGE BILATERAL COOPERATION

S.Res. 108, “reaffirming the commitment of the U.S. to the U.S.-Egypt partnership,” was introduced by Cardin on April 3, with six co-sponsors. Also, on May 24 Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), with eight co-sponsors, introduced H.R. 2646, the “U.S.-Jordan Defense Cooperation” bill. It would extend Jordan’s inclusion among the countries eligible for certain streamlined defense sales. And on June 29 Rep. Alexander Mooney (R-WV) introduced H.R. 3146, urging the conclusion of a U.S.-Turkey Free Trade agreement.

 

SIDEBAR

Status Updates

H.R. 380, to direct the secretary of state to submit a report on designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist organization, introduced in January by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), now has 23 co-sponsors, including McCaul.

H.R. 566, introduced in January by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) to require a report on the use by Iran of commercial aircraft for military activities, now has seven co-sponsors, including Roskam.

H.R. 257, the Jerusalem Embassy bill introduced in January by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), now has 34 co-sponsors, including Franks.

H.R. 1159, introduced in February by Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) encouraging U.S.-Israel space cooperation, now has 31 co-sponsors, including Kilmer.

H.R. 377, introduced in January by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and aimed at designating the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization, now has 65 co-sponsors, including Diaz-Balart. —S.M.

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Surrounded by the Mediterranean’s Water, But Nothing From the Faucets to Drink

A barefoot boy drags a basket holding a container of water down a Gaza City street, Aug. 21, 2017. (MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)


Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,October 2017, pp. 16-17

Gaza on the Ground

By Mohammed Omer

“IN MY APARTMENT, I have no water to flush the toilet,” says 41-year-old Abu Jaber, a PA employee who lives in Gaza. “Can you believe this?” He goes on to describe how, for the past week, in the unbearable heat of August, there has been no water supply to his residence.

He must buy all his drinking water, and carry it up to his ninth-floor apartment overlooking the beach. Lots of southern Mediterranean Sea water to look at through the window, but no clean fresh water in his water tank for drinking and basic hygiene—the result of ongoing power outages of up to 23 hours a day following PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ request that Israel cut its power supply to Gaza from 120 megawatts to 48 megawatts a day (see Aug./Sept. 2017 Washington Report, p. 10).

Some Gaza residents have tried to get around the problem by digging 30 to 40 meters underground to build their own water wells—a risky project which not only costs $4,000 to $5,000, but further depletes the already scarce aquifer water reserves.

This, however, is not an option for Abu Jaber, living as he does in a city filled with high-rise apartment buildings. And even if it were, without electricity, he couldn’t pump the water up to his apartment.

Abu Jaber knows that, with his connection to the Ramallah-based PA, most Gazans view him as a member of the elite. While it’s true that he is able to occasionally enjoy a cold drink on the terrace of a famous hotel in Ramallah, the next evening finds him back in his Gaza apartment without water to flush the toilet.

“We live in a mad world,” he told the Washington Report. “We are only 30 miles away from Israel, but observe a huge difference in quality of life and human rights. God never said we should endure such an inhumane life—I can no longer stand it!”

Most Gazans buy water from water trucks that roam the streets—but that water is for drinking and costs 15 to 20 times more than water from Gaza’s pipeline network. It would be unheard of to purchase this drinking water for toilet use—but Abu Jaber has no other option. Each 1,000 liters of drinking water costs Abu Jaber 25 NIS (about $7)—money that should be spent on supplies for his children’s coming school year.

At least he is lucky that he can afford it, since 80 percent of Gaza’s 2 million residents cannot, forced instead to rely on charities for their basic living expenses.

Already Gaza’s water supply is less than the World Health Organization daily average of 100 liters per person, and many thousands of families are suffering as a result, according to the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs.

Residents of many Gaza villages have no option but to dig unlicensed wells for water that is often unhygienic and untreated. The Palestinian Water Authority says there are around 10,000 wells across the Gaza Strip, including 300 municipal wells, 2,700 agricultural wells and 7,000 unlicensed water wells. Before Israel imposed its punitive siege on Gaza, the local government used to fine these unauthorized wells, but now their number simply continues to increase. The choice, after all, is between life from water dug from underground aquifers—or death.

“Gaza Ten Years Later,” a recent U.N. report on the effect of the Israeli siege, declared: “Despite the warnings issued by the U.N. in 2012, Gaza has continued on its trajectory of de-development, in many cases even faster than the U.N. had originally projected.” The report found that access to safe drinking water in Gaza through the public water network plummeted from 98.3 percent in 2000 to a mere 10.5 percent in 2014—compared to almost 97 percent in the West Bank. It’s no surprise then that, during the same period, Gazans’ reliance on water-tank trucks, containers and bottled water rose from 1.4 percent to 89.6 percent.

The resilience of Gazans seems to characterize a lot of stories one hears on a daily basis. Abu Hajjaj, for example, a farmer in Khan Younes, said, “It’s been tough with frequent water outages—but who will listen to our complaints—no one listens—all states are busy with their own affairs.”

A related risk, rarely mentioned in the international media, is the amount of untreated or partially treated wastewater released into the Mediterranean Sea every day. That amount has increased from 90,000 cubic meters (CM) per day in 2012 to 100,000 CM per day in 2016. Due to the electricity crisis, the U.N. report documented an even further increase—to 108,000 CM per day.

In July, Israel’s Ministry of Health instructed the country’s national water company, Mekorot, to close two piping stations near the border with Gaza, over fears that Gaza’s sewage dumping would pollute the water in Israeli aquifers.

The PA pays Mekorot for about 5 million CM of water it supplies to a small area of Gaza. Given Gaza’s growing population, however, this is nowhere near enough. Moreover, Israel’s continued ban on construction materials that allegedly could have “a dual use,” has also limited Gaza’s ability to rebuild damaged water stations and build new water desalination plants.

Gaza’s Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) is currently prioritizing the operation of 55 sewage pumping stations to avoid massive localized flooding, which could pose a threat to human lives, particularly in winter.

To Abu Jaber, however, this does not offer much hope of change for the better. “We are humans, and have basic rights and needs that should be kept into consideration,” he states.

“Gaza Ten Years Later” forecast that by 2020 Gaza’s coastal aquifer will be irreversibly damaged.

But, says Abu Jaber, “It is already 2020 in Gaza. Please tell the world!”

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Europe Must Not Buy What Nazi regime Is Selling To Combat Terror

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Europe Must Not Buy What Israel Is Selling To Combat Terror

SupervisIR, a ground-based infrared surveillance system made by the Israeli company Elbit Systems, is unveiled to journalists in the Israeli coastal city of Netanya on June 8, 2016, a week before its presentation at the Eurosatory defense and security international exhibition. (JACK GUEZ/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)


Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,October 2017, pp. 14-15
Special Report

By Jeff Halper

WHENEVER A TERRORIST attack happens such as the Aug. 17 one in Barcelona, Israeli politicians and security “experts” get on TV to criticize European naiveté. If only they understood terrorism as we do and took the preventive measures we do, they say, they would suffer far fewer attacks. Most infamous in this regard were the remarks of Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz after the Brussels bombing in March 2016, in which 34 people died.

Rather than convey his condolences in the name of the Israeli government, he scolded the Belgians in the most patronizing way possible. “If in Belgium they continue to eat chocolate, enjoy life and parade as great liberals and democrats while not taking account of the fact that some of the Muslims who are there are organizing acts of terror,” he pronounced, “they will not be able to fight against them.”

The Belgians reacted angrily, and asserted the position of most European governments: While we will continue to be vigilant and take the necessary precautions, we are not going to forsake our freedoms and political openness to become copies of Israel. For they understand that Netanyahu’s government is peddling something far more insidious than mere precautions—even more than the weapons, surveillance and security systems and models of population control that is the bread-and-butter of Israeli exports. What Israel is urging onto the Europeans—and Americans, Canadians, Indians, Mexicans, Australians and anyone else who will listen—is nothing less than an entirely new concept of a state, the Security State.

What is a Security State? Essentially, it is a state that places security above all else, certainly above democracy, due process of law and human rights, all of which it considers “liberal luxuries” in a world awash in terrorism. Israel presents itself as no less than the model for countries of the future. You Europeans and others should not be criticizing us, say Katz and Netanyahu, you should be imitating us. For look at what we have done. We have created a vibrant democracy from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River that provides its citizens with a flourishing economy and personal security—even though half the population of that country are terrorists (i.e., non-citizen Palestinians living in isolated enclaves of the country). If we can achieve that, imagine what we can offer those of you threatened by terrorist attacks?

In a brilliant shift in imaging, Israel has managed to turn 50 years of Palestinian resistance to occupation into a cottage industry. By labeling it “terrorism,” it has not only delegitimized the Palestinian struggle but has transformed the occupied territories into a laboratory of counterinsurgency and population control, the cutting edges of both foreign wars and domestic repression. It has transformed tactics of control and their accompanying weapons of surveillance systems into marketable products. No wonder, as Netanyahu constantly reminds us, “the world” loves Israel. From China to Saudi Arabia, from India to Mexico, from Eritrea to Kazakhstan, Israel supplies the means by which repressive regimes control their restless peoples.

Israel’s vast military reach is well-documented. It extends to more than 130 countries and brought in $6.5 billion in sales in 2016. Less known but more corrosive to civil rights are Israel’s security exports. Three examples:

  1. Israel harnesses foreign security agencies and police forces to lobby for Security State practices in their own countries. It scoffs at the unwillingness of Western democracies to employ ethnic and racial profiling, as Israeli security and police do at Ben-Gurion International Airport and throughout the country. In specific contexts like airports, profiling may indeed be efficient—Ben-Gurion is certainly one of the safest airports in the world—but it comes at the price of humiliating and delaying those targeted. When extended outward into society, however, it loses that effectiveness and almost invariably turns into a legalized method of intimidation against whatever populations a government seeks to control.
  2. The Israeli national police holds dozens of training programs and conferences with police forces from around the world, with an emphasis not on domestic police tactics but rather on “internal counterinsurgency” and the pacification of troublesome populations. The Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange Center in the U.S. claims to have had 24,000 American police trained by their Israeli counterparts. Unlike other Western countries that erect a wall between their militaries that conduct operations abroad and their domestic security and police agencies charged with ensuring the security but also the civil rights of their citizens, Israel has no such internal constraints. The IDF and the police are one interlocked unit, with paramilitary forces—the Shin Bet, the Border Police, Homefront Command, Yasam and others—further connecting them. Thus in Israel the distinction between citizens with civil rights and non-citizen “suspects” and targets gets lost, and that is a distinction Israeli police try to erase in their training of foreign police as well.
  3. Israel is a world leader in securing cities, mega-events and “non-governable” zones. There is a direct link between its lock-down of Palestinian neighborhoods, villages and refugee camps and the marketing of such tactics to local police to create sanitized “security zones” and “perimeter defenses” around financial cores, government districts, embassies, venues where the G-8 and NATO hold their summit meetings, oil platforms and fuel depots, conference centers in “insecure” Third World settings, tourist destinations, malls, airports and seaports, sites of mega events and the homes and travel routes of the wealthy. So involved is Israel in Trump’s border wall that is nicknamed the “Palestine-Mexico border.”

There the Israeli firm Magna BSP, which provides surveillance systems surrounding Gaza, has partnered with U.S. firms to enter the lucrative “border security” market. NICE Systems, whose technicians are graduates of the IDF’s 8200 surveillance unit. Privacy International investigated how the autocratic governments of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan managed to monitor human rights activists, journalists and other citizens within and outside their countries, revealing the most intimate details of their personal lives. “The biggest players,” concluded Human Rights Watch, “are multinationals with offices in Israel—NICE Systems and Verint.”

In its ultimate form the Security State peddled by Netanyahu and Katz is merely a form of police state whose populace is easily manipulated by an obsession with security. Israel’s model is especially invidious because it works; witness the pacification of the Palestinians. That seems like a potent selling point indeed. The problem is that it turns a country’s own people into Palestinians without rights. It would seem that the Security State can be reconciled with democracy—after all, Israel markets itself as “the only democracy in the Middle East.” But only the world’s privileged few will enjoy the democratic protections of the Security State, as do Israeli Jews. The masses, those who resist repression and exclusion from the capitalist system, those who struggle for genuine democracy, are doomed to be global Palestinians. The Israelization of governments, militaries and security forces means the Palestinianization of most of the rest of us.


Jeff Halper is an American-born Israeli anthropologist, head of the Israel Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), and author of War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global Pacification (available from AET’s Middle East Books and More). Copyright © HaaretzDaily Newspaper Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Abducted From Their Homeland by Nazi Mustarebeen

Abducted From Their Homeland by Israel’s Mustarebeen

Abducted From Their Homeland by Israel’s Mustarebeen

A member of Israel’s undercover Mustarebeen arrests a Palestinian demonstrator near the Jewish West Bank settlement of Beit El, outside Ramallah, during protests against Israel’s “security measures” at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, July 28, 2017. (ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)


Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,October 2017, pp. 12-13

Special Report

By Kate Daher

For this article, unfortunately, I’m compelled to omit the names of those I am writing about in order to protect the innocent from retribution—that is, the Palestinians who will suffer further under Israel’s notorious collective punishment policy if the injured com-plain too loudly.

AS WE BATHED in the light of a stunning blue moon at Wadi Rum in Jordan, my traveling companion and I were unaware that, at almost that very hour, Israeli settlers were burning to death a Palestinian baby boy in the village of Duma—not far from another Palestinian village in the West Bank we had left just a few days earlier, after visiting a friend’s family and siblings. The Dawabsheh family was being tortured and torched by settlers who had graffitied their small house with the word, “REVENGE.” The settlers proceeded to throw firebombs into the open windows of the sleeping family’s home, killing 18-month-old Ali, his father, Saad, and his mother, Riham. (See September 2015 Washington Report, p. 11.) To this day, Israel refuses to compensate Ahmad Dawabsheh, a 4-year-old toddler at the time, who was badly burned and barely survived this unforgettable brutality.

Nor did I think I would meet my friend’s family again, but two years later I am sitting on his deck with his visiting parents, whom I first met in that village near Duma when I spent an afternoon eating lunch in their home and touring their village. Tonight, as my friend translates, his father is smoking a tobacco-filled hookah pipe while his mother serves tea with fresh mint.

Much has changed for them since our first meeting in the summer of 2015.

Now, their 17-year-old son is in an Israeli prison, while their 27-year-old son is being held in a different prison inside Israel. In the fall of 2015—just two months after our visit—their younger son was playing with a friend on his mother’s iPad in the family store when the Internet suddenly went out. The boys thought this might be another electrical blackout, since this occurs frequently in the occupied Palestinian territories. Instead, three men with guns drawn stormed the building and forced the two young men into a back room, threatening to kill them if they made any noise. What the boys didn’t realize was that parked outside was a minibus used to haul Palestinians away from their homes and into Israeli prisons. The unmarked vans are used by Israeli special forces, who are backed by the Israeli army, and bear white Palestinian license plates, instead of the yellow ones reserved for Israelis. The special forces are called “Mustarebeen” in Arabic, “Duvdevan” in Hebrew, or “Arabized” in English—meaning “they look like Arabs.” This enables them to move more freely in the land they occupy and where they do not belong.

That day in Palestine, the special forces unit kidnapped the teenagers and beat them in the back of the van. When the older son discovered the destruction and damage to his shop, he assumed a robbery had taken place, since multiple items were missing (and never returned). He quickly gathered some friends and drove to the outskirts of the village to look for his younger brother. Soon enough, they came upon the security van. When the elder son jumped out of his car, he was immediately fired upon: 10 shots, 4 of which penetrated his body. The parents had no idea this was happening until some time later.

VIOLATING­ INTERNATIONAL LAW

Arresting Palestinians in the West Bank and transporting them to Israel is a violation of international law. According to an article in the April 26 Washington Post, “approximately 40 percent of Palestinian males have been arrested or detained at some time.” In the words of Amnesty International, “Israel’s decades-long policy of detaining Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and Gaza, in prisons inside Israel, and depriving them of regular family visits is not only cruel but also a blatant violation of international law…”

Indeed, the trip to visit family members in prison is its own special nightmare—a long, arduous, and often unsuccessful, process. Israeli authorities frequently deny families a visitation permit—the first step in the process. Family visitation rights were at the heart of the recent 40-day hunger strike led by Palestinian political prisoner Marwan Barghouti.

Another issue in the strike was the use of vehicles called Postas to take prisoners from the prisons to their military court hearings. Unlike their Israeli settler “neighbors,” Palestinians living in the occupied territories are not entitled to civil trials. The Posta features small metal cells that increase the hand- and foot-cuffed prisoners’ pain and bruising when they are tossed around in the back of the vehicle (similar to the way Freddie Gray suffered during his fatal ride in a Baltimore police van). In the early days of his imprisonment, the elder brother missed scheduled court hearings, where his parents might see him, for fear that his injuries would worsen if he was transported in this vehicle. “A rough ride,” as his father described it.

daher2

A Palestinian passenger who was not allowed to reboard the bus to Jerusalem because of a “small tear in her passbook” is left stranded at the side of the road without her belongings. (PHOTO K. DAHER)

In the case of my friend’s family, because his brothers are held in separate prisons, their parents are required to travel on different days, doubling the arduous process: applying for permits, leaving at 4 a.m. to catch the bus, passing through Israeli military checkpoints—and with no guarantee that they will see their son. Many visiting family members are denied entrance at the prison gate, without explanation.

To date, the older son remains in critical need of medical attention as a result of his gunshot wounds. On at least two occasions, the prison authorities scheduled his surgery on the same day they scheduled his parental visits—undoubtedly another use of collective punishment. Forced to choose between visiting with his parents and taking care of his own health, he chooses to see his parents.

Traveling by bus between Bethlehem and Jerusalem during my last visit, I witnessed a similar event, though under less severe conditions. At one point, the bus was stopped by Israeli security, and all the Palestinian passengers were required to get off and show their papers to the soldiers at the checkpoint. The rest of us remained on the bus and waited quietly. I watched as each Palestinian obeyed the order to hand over their passbooks, and was surprised to see that one elderly woman was not getting back on the bus. I asked the other passengers what was happening, and they explained that she was detained because “there was a small tear in her passbook.” The guards did not remove her belongings, including her purse, from the bus. They remained on an empty seat near mine as the bus drove away. She stood outside, her back straight, hands folded in front of her. The silence on the bus was deafening. When I realized that something was terribly wrong, I quickly snapped her photo.

All the sorrow, anguish and humiliation of several decades of occupation were visible on her pained face as she stood on the side of the road.

As I continued our conversation with my friend’s parents back here in the States, I asked about the crimes allegedly committed by their sons. It seems that someone had fired a weapon close to an Israeli settlement, and, while no one was injured, several young people were made to appear in front of military courts and then sentenced to prison terms.

Genuinely surprised by my question, “what was their crime?” the father took a minute to respond. “Their crime,” he said, “is that they love their country.”

 

 

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Abducted From Their Homeland by Nazi Mustarebeen

Nazi regime Seeks to Rid Itself of Palestinian Citizens Of Northern “Little Triangle” Villages

NOVANEWS
Israel Seeks to Rid Itself of Palestinian Citizens Of Northern “Little Triangle” Villages.
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,October 2017, pp. 7-9
The Nakba Continues
By Jonathan Cook

ISRAEL’S CRACKDOWN ON access to the al-Aqsa mosque compound after two Israeli policemen were killed there in July provoked an eruption of fury among Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem and rocked Israel’s relations with the Arab world (see p. 10).

Weeks later, the metal detectors and security cameras have gone and—at the time of writing—Jerusalem is calmer.

But the shockwaves are still reverberating, and being felt most keenly far away in northern Israel, in the town of Umm al-Fahm. The three young men who carried out the shootings were from the town’s large Jabareen clan. They were killed on the spot by police.

Umm al-Fahm, one of the largest communities for Israel’s 1.7 million Palestinian citizens—a fifth of the population—had already gained a reputation among the Jewish majority for political and religious extremism and anti-Israel sentiment.

In large part, that reflected its status as the home of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, led by Sheikh Raed Salah. In late 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu outlawed the Movement as a terror organization, despite his intelligence agencies failing to find evidence to support such a conclusion. (See Jan./Feb. 2016 Washington Report, p. 24.)

More likely, Netanyahu’s antipathy toward Salah’s group, and Umm al-Fahm, derives from its trenchant efforts to ensure the strongest possible presence of Muslims at al-Aqsa.

As Israel imposed ever tighter restrictions on Palestinians from the occupied territories reaching the mosque, Salah organized regular buses to bring residents to the compound from Umm al-Fahm and surrounding communities.

Nonetheless, the three youths’ attack at al-Aqsa has served to bolster suspicions that Umm al-Fahm is a hotbed of radicalism and potential terrorism.

That impression was reinforced after the Israeli authorities belatedly handed over the three bodies, at judicial insistence, for burial. Although Israel wanted the funerals as low-key as possible, thousands attended the burials.

Moshe Arens, a former minister from Netanyahu’s Likud party, expressed a common sentiment: “The gunmen evidently had the support of many in Umm al-Fahm, and others seem prepared to follow in their footsteps.”

Yousef Jabareen, who belongs to the Umm al-Fahm extended family and is also a member of the Israeli Knesset, called such accusations unfair.

“People in the town were angry that the bodies had been kept from burial in violation of Muslim custom for two weeks,” he said. “There are just a few extended families here, so many people wanted to show solidarity with their relatives, even though they reject the use of violence in our struggle for our civil rights.”

Nonetheless, the backlash from Netanyahu was not long in coming.

In a leak to Israeli TV, his office said Netanyahu had proposed to the Trump administration ridding Israel of a region known as the Little Triangle, which includes some 300,000 Palestinians citizens. Umm al-Fahm is its main city.

The Triangle is a thin sliver of Israeli territory, densely packed with Palestinian citizens, bordering the northwest corner of the West Bank.

As part of a future peace deal, Netanyahu reportedly told the Americans during a meeting in late June, Umm al-Fahm and its neighboring communities would be transferred to a future Palestinian state.

In effect, Netanyahu was making public his adoption of the long-standing and highly controversial plan of his far-right defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman.

This would see borders redrawn to allow Israel to annex coveted Jewish settlements in the West Bank in exchange for stripping hundreds of thousands of Palestinians of their Israeli citizenship and reassigning their communities to a highly circumscribed Palestinian state.

Jamal Zahalka, another member of the Knesset, from Kafr Kara in the Triangle, said Netanyahu was supporting a double crime.

“He wins twice over,” he noted. “He gets to annex the illegal settlements to Israel, while he also gets rid of Arab citizens he believes are a threat to his demographic majority.”

Lieberman lost no time in congratulating Netanyahu for adopting his idea, tweeting: “Mr. Prime Minister, welcome to the club.”

With his leak, Netanyahu has given official backing to an aspiration that appears to be secretly harbored by many Israeli politicians—and one that, behind the scenes, they have been pushing increasingly hard with Washington and the leadership of the Palestinian Authority.

A poll last year showed that nearly half of Israeli Jews want Palestinians expelled from Israel. With Netanyahu now publicly on board, it looks suspiciously like Lieberman’s role over many years has been to bring into the mainstream a policy the liberal newspaper Haaretz has compared to “ethnic cleansing.”

Marzuq al-Halabi, a Palestinian-Israeli analyst and researcher at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem, believes the move is designed with two aims in mind.

It leaves a “constant threat” of expulsion hanging over the heads of the minority as a way to crush political activity and demands for reform, he wrote on the Hebrew website Local Call. And at the same time it casts Palestinian citizens out into a “territorial and governmental emptiness.”

Inevitably, the plan revives fears among Palestinian citizens of the Nakba, the Arabic word for “catastrophe,” the mass expulsions that occurred during the 1948 war to create Israel on the ruins of the Palestinian homeland.

The population swap implied that Palestinian citizens “are part of the enemy,” Jabareen observed. “It says we don’t belong in our homeland, that our future is elsewhere.”

The idea of a populated land exchange was first formalized by Lieberman more than a decade ago, in 2004, when he unveiled what he grandly called a “Separation of the Nations” program. It quickly won supporters in the U.S., including former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

The idea of a land and population swap—sometimes termed “static transfer”—was alluded to by former prime ministers, including Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon, at around the same time.

But only Lieberman set out a clear plan. He suggested stripping as many as 300,000 Palestinians in the Triangle of their Israeli citizenship. Other Palestinian citizens would be expected to make a “loyalty oath” to Israel as a “Jewish Zionist state,” or face expulsion to a Palestinian state. The aim was to achieve two states that were as “ethnically pure” as possible.

Jabareen noted that Lieberman’s populated land exchange falsely equated the status and fate of Palestinians who are legal citizens of Israel with Jewish settlers living in the West Bank in violation of international law.

Lieberman exposed his plan to a bigger audience in 2010, when he addressed the United Nations as foreign minister in the first of Netanyahu’s series of recent governments. Notably, at that time, the prime minister’s advisers distanced him from the proposal.

A month after Lieberman’s U.N. speech, it emerged that Israeli security services had carried out secret exercises based on his scenario. They practiced quelling massive civil disturbances following a peace deal that required redrawing the borders to expel large numbers of Palestinian citizens.

Behind the scenes, other Israeli officials are known to have supported more limited populated land swaps.

Documents leaked in 2011 revealed that, three years earlier, the centrist government of Ehud Olmert had advanced just such a population exchange during peace talks.

Then-Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni had proposed moving the border so that several villages in Israel would end up in a future Palestinian state. Notably, however, Umm al-Fahm and other large communities nearby were not mentioned.

The political sympathies between Lieberman and Livni—the latter widely seen as a peacemaker by the international community—were nonetheless evident.

In late 2007, as Israel prepared for the Annapolis peace conference, Livni described a future Palestinian state as “the answer” for Israel’s Palestinian citizens. She said it was illegitimate for them to seek political reforms aimed at ending Israel’s status as a “home unto the Jewish people.”

The first hints that Netanyahu might have adopted Lieberman’s plan came in early 2014, when the Maariv newspaper reported that a population exchange that included the Triangle had been proposed in talks with the administration of President Barack Obama.

The hope, according to the paper, was that the transfer would reduce the proportion of Palestinian citizens from a fifth of the population to 12 percent, shoring up the state’s Jewishness.

Now Netanyahu has effectively confirmed that large-scale populated land swaps may become a new condition for any future peace agreement with the Palestinians, observed Jabareen.

At Lieberman’s request in 2014, the Israeli Foreign Ministry produced a document outlining ways a land and population exchange could be portrayed as in accordance with international law. Most experts regarded the document’s arguments as specious.

The Foreign Ministry concluded that the only hope of justifying the measure would be to show either that the affected citizens supported the move, or that it had the backing of the Palestinian Authority, currently headed by Mahmoud Abbas.

Anything short of this would be a non-starter, because it would either qualify as “forced transfer” of the Triangle’s inhabitants—a war crime—or render them stateless.

APPROVAL WITHHELD

The problem for Israel is that opinion polls have repeatedly shown that no more than a quarter of Palestinians in the Triangle area back being moved into a Palestinian state. Getting their approval is likely to prove formidably difficult.

Zahalka rejected claims by Israeli politicians that this opposition was a vote of confidence from Palestinian citizens in Israeli democracy.

“Israel has made the West Bank a living hell for Palestinians, and few would choose to inflict such suffering on their own families,” he said. “But it also is because we do not want to be severed from the rest of the Palestinian community in Israel—from our personal, social and economic life.”

Jabareen agreed: “We are also connected to places like Nazareth, Haifa, Acre, Jaffa, Lyd and Ramle.”

He also noted that Netanyahu and Lieberman were talking about redrawing the borders to put only their homes, not their land, inside a future Palestinian state. “Umm al-Fahm had six times as much land before Israel confiscated it,” he stated. “We still consider those lands as ours, but they are not included in the plan.”

It is in this context—one where Palestinian citizens will not consent to their communities being moved outside Israel’s borders—that parallel political moves by Netanyahu should be understood, said Jabareen.

Not least, it helps explain why Netanyahu has made recognition of Israel as a Jewish state by Abbas’ Palestinian Authority a precondition for talks.

Aware of the trap being laid for it, the PA has so far refused to offer such recognition. But if it can be arm-twisted into agreement, Netanyahu will be in a much stronger position. He can then impose draconian measures on Palestinians in Israel, including loyalty oaths and an end to their demands for political reform—under threat that, if they refuse, they will be moved to a Palestinian state.

At the same time, Netanyahu has been pushing ahead with a new basic law that would define Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, rather than of its entire population. The legislation’s intent is to further weaken the Palestinian minority’s claim to citizenship.

Netanyahu’s decision to ban the Islamic Movement as a terror organization fits into the picture as well.

In a 2012 report by the International Crisis Group, a Washington- and Brussels-based conflict resolution group, an official in Lieberman’s party explained that one of the covert goals of Lieberman’s plan was to rid Israel of “the heartland of the Islamic Movement.”

Conversely, Netanyahu’s Likud allies and coalition partners have been pushing aggressively to annex settlements in the West Bank.

Zahalka noted that the prime minister gave his backing in late July to legislation that would expand Jerusalem’s municipal borders to incorporate a number of large settlements—a move that would amount to annexation in all but name.

“The deal is, Israel takes Jerusalem and its surrounding areas, and gives Umm al-Fahm and its surroundings to the PA,” he said.

The pieces seem to be slowly falling into place for a populated land exchange that would strip hundreds of thousands of Palestinians of their Israeli citizenship.

Paradoxically, however, the biggest obstacle may prove to be Netanyahu himself—and his reluctance to concede any kind of meaningful state to the Palestinians.


Jonathan Cook is a journalist based in Nazareth and a winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. He is the author of Blood and Religion and Israel and the Clash of Civilisations (available from AET’s Middle East Books and More).

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Nazi regime Seeks to Rid Itself of Palestinian Citizens Of Northern “Little Triangle” Villages

Syrian War Report: Army Prepares To Cross Euphrates River

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Image result for ISIS LOGO  CARTOON


Hezbollah declared a victory in Syria as the Russian Defense Ministry announced that pro-government forces have liberated 85% of the country from militants.

“We have won in the war [in Syria],” Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Tuesday, according to the Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar. He added that “the path of the other project has failed and wants to negotiate for some gains.”
The Russian military group’s Chief of Staff, Lieutenant-General Aleksandr Lapin announced “To date, 85% of Syria’s territory has been cleared of the militants of illegal armed groups.” The general added that ISIS is still in control of about 27,000 km2 of Syria’s territory.

According to Lieutenant-General Lapin, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies have killed over 450 ISIS members, destroyed 5 battle tanks, and 42 vehicles equipped with large-caliber machine guns during the operation near Deir Ezzor city as well as unblocked 1,000 troops that had been surrounded in Deir Ezzor Airport.

He added that the Russian Aerospace Forces destroyed 180 facilities, including ammunition depots and command centers, in the Uqayribat area in eastern Hama.

On the same day, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited Damascus and held a meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, “The sides discussed current issues of military technical cooperation in the context of successful actions of Syrian government forces with the backing of the Russian aerospace force to exterminate the terrorist group Islamic State [ISIS] in Syria.“
The visit came amid the continued battle against ISIS in Deir Ezzor province. The US-led coalition and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are seeking to establish control over the oil-rich countryside of Deir Ezzor city and if it’s possible to prevent further SAA advances towards the border with Iraq.

The Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance is now developing a strategy to find a better way to liberate Deir Ezzor city amid the need to take control of the Deir Ezzor-Baghdad highway that will be a vital supply line between Syria and allied Iraq and Iran.

Meanwhile, the SAA Tiger Forces and their allies started storming ISIS positions inside Deir Ezzor city and preparing for a possible operation to cross the Euphrates River.

The SDF has further advanced in the northern countryside of Deir Ezzor and seized the Sadkop center, the paper mill plant and the cotton storage near the 113th Air Defense Base.

A representative of the SDF-linked Deir Ezzor Military Council has also claimed that the SDF is going to strike back the “regime forces” if the SAA or its allies try to attack the SDF.

In the city of Raqqah, the SDF has captured Thakanah district and advanced on ISIS positions north of it. The SDF advance is ongoing amid an intense bombing campaign by the US-led coalition.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Syrian War Report: Army Prepares To Cross Euphrates River

Afghan protesters – US killing women and children

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Will Afghanistan remain locked into this time warp of warlord feudalism?

[ Note: You just can’t make this stuff up. The US, after all these years and countless billions, has air-dropped leaflets asking Afghans to report Taliban positions, but used one of the most degrading images for Afghans possible, putting an Afghan face on a dog as it is being lead around by the Taliban.

This is the classic “shoot yourself in both feet” deal. We will never learn, as it seems we don’t want to. So this is another example of why America is not exceptional in the tradition sense. A case could be made for its being exceptionally brazen, rude, aggressive and insensitive.

Sure we give out a lot of money, but much of it with ulterior motives, and all of it now is borrowed money that will be on the backs of our current grandchildren. Nobody lets me give away money that someone else has to pay back. I fear that could be rather corrupting.

The main case I make in this interview is that if the US really wanted to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan, then it would be going after a political settlement with the Taliban, which it is not. So one must assume that it wants the ongoing war to continue.

The biggest reason for the war seems to be that the Deep Staters do not want Afghanistan’s natural resources brought onto the market any time soon. But I think they are fine with the heroin traffic, as they are getting a cut of that unholy pie, year after year.

This all goes back to 9-11, and makes the case as to why it was done, that and our $20-trillion debt now, and whose pockets do you thinks that money went into? They are the number one suspects… Jim W. Dean ]

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What a huge mistake these stupid leaflets were!

–  First published  …  September  12, 2017  –

In Afghanistan, people have rallied against the presence of U-S troops in their country. The rally near the Bagram airbase came after U-S troops spread leaflets that the protesters deemed offensive toward Muslims. The demonstrators set tires on fire and waved placards slamming U-S president Donald Trump.

They said Washington had been bombing Afghans and killing women and children throughout the country. Earlier this month, Trump ordered a troop surge in Afghanistan. The country has been witnessing insecurity years after the U-S attacked it in 20-01.

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