Archive | October 25th, 2018

Heritage Foundation in Shadow of Haiti’s PetroCaribe Protests?

The Heritage Foundation came forward on September 20, 2018 to set the rules for Haiti’s PetroCaribe investigation and protests.  Most Haitians are delighted about any audit of the corrupt government that was foisted on them by the fraudulent presidential and legislative 2015-2016 elections. So no one asks where a private United States conservative think tank got the authority to demand a probe into a bilateral deal between Haiti and Venezuela, or to proscribe how Haitians conduct their protests.

This move by the Heritage Foundation came two months after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommended a hike in Haiti’s gas prices. This rise in fuel cost was like throwing fire on gasoline, because it was simultaneous with violent protests and popular demands for an audit into the PetroCaribe funds. Until 2016, the generous PetroCaribe deal had allowed Haiti to pay 60 percent of market price for oil bought from Venezuela and delay paying the rest for more than 25 years at 1 percent interest. This program was unwelcome by the US because it allowed occupied Haiti a modicum of financial independence: it kept the price of fuel low while saving the country an average of over $200 million a year, presumably to finance social programs and construction projects.

When the July 2018 protests got out of hand, pundits declared that Haiti’s government would fall. But how could a government fall that was not standing in the first place? The main problem was that even rich Haitians like Reginald Boulos suffered from the violence. So somebody was punished: namely, the Prime Minister, Jack Guy Lafontant, who resigned. In effect, one set of installed crooks was replaced by another. Funds from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), World Bank, and IMF have been stolen by Haitian officials for many years, but they appear to interest no one. About $9.5 billion of earthquake reconstruction funds disappeared in three years from Clinton’s I-HRC, but that is also forgotten.

The sudden acute interest in the PetroCaribe funds, which amount to about $1.7 billion that were mostly embezzled over eight years but apparently not noticed until now, is all the more fascinating because it coincides with a grab of Haiti’s electric grid, attempts to extract mining concessions from Haitian officials, and importantly, efforts to garner Haiti’s support for an intervention of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Venezuela that would surely lead to massive bloodshed, followed by another acronym United Nations peacekeeping operation.

Curiously, the July protests were repeated on October 17 peacefully and with only male protestors between 16 and 30 years old. Are we to believe that women, who traditionally head most Haitian families, are uninterested in government fraud and less peaceful? I can certainly think of one Haitian institution that can quickly assemble as many as 16,000 young men…. But let us put aside these observations for a moment and pretend that all the protests are legitimate. If so, then it is reasonable to assume that, while angry Haitians were burning tires and hitting the pavement, the Heritage Foundation and its branch, Transparency International, were at a table making demands from the cornered Haitian crooks. Would they sign away Haiti’s electric grid and mining rights, implicate Venezuelan officials in the corruption, and join the move to condemn Venezuela’s elections if threatened with prison? The answer is a definite yes.

Corrupt or not, the downfall of Venezuela would be a tragedy for all Latin America and the Caribbean. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: when you march, make sure you know who is representing you inside in the negotiations, else you might discover too late that you were working against your own best interests.

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The Mega War Game “Trident Juncture 2018” From Naples to North Atlantic ‘Video’

NOVANEWS
 

US Marines disembarked from convertibles and helicopters from the amphibious attack ship “Iwo Jima”, and “secured” Keflavik airport in Iceland, where Poseidon P-8A aircraft had arrived from Sigonella to take part in the hunt for enemy submarines. That was the start, on 17 October, of the NATO exercise Trident Juncture 2018, whose principal phase will be taking place from 25 October to 7 November in Central and Eastern Norway, in the areas adjacent to the North Atlantic (as far as Iceland) and the Baltic Sea (including the airspace of Sweden and Finland).

The armed forces of the 29 member states of NATO will be taking part, plus those of their two partners, Sweden and Finland. Total deployment – approximately 50,000 men, 65 major ships, 250 aircraft, 10,000 tanks and other military vehicles. If they were lined up, one element behind the other, they would create a column 92 kilometres long.

The commander of the exercise, one of the largest of the last few years, is Admiral James Foggo. Nominated by the Pentagon, like his predecessors, he is the commander of the Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) whose headquarters is in Lago Patria (Naples), the US Naval Forces in Europe, and the US Naval Forces for Africa, whose headquarters is in Naples Capodichino. The Admiral is commanding Trident Juncture 2018 from the “Mount Whitney”, the flagship of the Sixth Fleet, transferred from Gaeta to the North Atlantic – a floating headquarters which is connected to the Pentagon’s global command and control network, including the Muos di Niscemi station in Sicily.

This confirms the importance of these US and NATO command centres and bases in Italy, not only for the Mediterranean, but also for the whole “area of responsibility” of the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, who is always a US General, currently Curtis Scaparrotti, nominated by the President of the United States. Since 2002, this geostrategic area “has been extended in order to cover all NATO operations, independent of their geographical situation”.

The official objective of Trident Juncture 2018 is to “ensure that NATO forces are ready to respond to any form of aggression wherever it may occur”.

But it’s enough to glance at the map to realise that this major war exercise is focused in only one direction – towards the East, against Russia.

Admiral Foggo claims that the “Fourth Battle of the Atlantic” has already begun, after the battles of the two World Wars against German U-boats, and that of the Cold War against Soviet submarines: it is now being waged against Russia, the new “aggressive maritime power”, whose “increasingly sophisticated submarines threaten NATO’s capacity to maintain maritime control of the North Atlantic, and consequently, the lines of maritime communication between the United States and Europe”. Turning the facts on their head, the Admiral claims that Russia “defies the presence of the United States and NATO” not only in the Atlantic, but also in the “Baltic and the Black Seas”, in other words the seas which border European Russia.

Thus we discover the other finality of Trident Juncture 2018 – it’s a massive psyop (psychological operation) aimed at reinforcing the idea that Europe is under the threat of an increasingly aggressive Russia.

In Sweden, a NATO partner country, 4.8 million families were handed a survival manual explaining how to prepare for war, by storing reserves of food and other essential goods, learning how to behave when the signals of alert are sounded to warn of the Russian attack. So NATO is preparing to swallow up even Sweden, an old “neutral” state.

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Griffin and Woodworth Release New Book on the 9/11 Consensus Panel’s Findings

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Panel of 23 Experts Identifies 51 Falsehoods in the Official Reports
 

On September 11, 2018, veteran 9/11 researchers David Ray Griffin and Elizabeth Woodworth released the book 9/11 Unmasked, which details the 51 points published by the 23-member 9/11 Consensus Panel since its formation in 2012.

We encourage all 9/11 scholars and activists to purchase a copy of this book and familiarize yourself with the “best evidence” as evaluated by this panel of 23 experts on the events of 9/11.

Reviews

“This book compiles the work of several years, distilling thousands of pages of documents through the extraordinary intellectual and organizational spirit and skills of its authors. . . . Speaking as one of the panelists included in this process, I can say that it is the most important work I will ever be involved with.” — Dr. Matthew Witt, Professor of Public Administration, University of La Verne

“An enhanced method of peer-review, a standardized best-evidence consensus model, commonly used in science and medicine, is systematically applied to various propositions concerning the crimes of September 11, 2001. Fifty-one conclusions were obtained by the panel and these are organized into nine categories for clarity of exposition.” — Dr. Timothy E. Eastman, physicist

“The definitive book on the defining event of the 21st century.” — Edward Curtin, Instructor of Sociology, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts


9/11 UnmaskedTitle: 9/11 Unmasked: An International Review Panel Investigation

Author: David Ray Griffin and Elizabeth Woodworth

ISBN: 9781623719746

Publisher: Interlink Books

Click here to order.

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US Fueling Terrorism in China

NOVANEWS

The West’s human rights racket has once again mobilized – this time supposedly in support of China’s Uyghur minority centered primarily in the nation’s northwestern region of Xinjiang, China.

Headlines and reports have been published claiming that up to a million mostly Uyghurs have been detained in what the West is claiming are “internment camps.” As others have pointed out, it is impossible to independently verify these claims as no evidence is provided and organizations like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Uyghur-specific organizations like the World Uyghur Congress lack all credibility and have been repeatedly exposed leveraging rights advocacy to advance the agenda of Western special interests.

Articles like the BBC’s, “China Uighurs: One million held in political camps, UN told,” claim (emphasis added):

Human rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have submitted reports to the UN committee documenting claims of mass imprisonment, in camps where inmates are forced to swear loyalty to China’s President Xi Jinping. 

The World Uyghur Congress said in its report that detainees are held indefinitely without charge, and forced to shout Communist Party slogans.

Nowhere in the BBC’s article is evidence presented to verify these claims. The BBC also fails to mention that groups like the World Uyghur Congress are funded by the US State Department via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and has an office in Washington D.C. The NED is a US front dedicated specifically to political meddling worldwide and has played a role in US-backed regime change everywhere from South America and Eastern Europe to Africa and all across Asia.

What China Admits 

According to the South China Morning Post in an article titled, “China changes law to recognise ‘re-education camps’ in Xinjiang,” China does indeed maintain educational and vocational training centers. The article claims:

China’s far-western Xinjiang region has revised its legislation to allow local governments to “educate and transform” people influenced by extremism at “vocational training centres” – a term used by the government to describe a network of internment facilities known as “re-education camps”.

The article also claims, echoing the BBC and other Western media fronts:

The change to the law, which took effect on Tuesday, comes amid an international outcry about the secretive camps in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

But observers said writing the facilities into law did not address global criticism of China’s systematic detention and enforced political education of up to 1 million ethnic Uygurs and other Muslims in the area.

Again, the “1 million” number is never verified with evidence, nor does the article, or others like it spreading across the Western media address the fact that China’s Uyghur population is a target of foreign efforts to radicalize and recruit militants to fight proxy wars both across the globe, and within China itself.

Also omitted is any mention of systematic terrorism both inside China and abroad carried out by radicalized Uyghur militants. With this information intentionally and repeatedly omitted, Chinese efforts to confront and contain rampant extremism are easily depicted as “repressive.”

Uyghur Terrorism is Real, So Says the Western Media Itself  

Within China, Uyghur militants have carried out serial terrorist attacks. This includes a wave of attacks in 2014 which left nearly 100 dead and hundreds more injured. The Guardian in a 2014 article titled, “Xinjiang attack leaves at least 15 dead,” would admit:

An attack in China’s western region of Xinjiang left 15 people dead and 14 injured. 

The official Xinhua news agency said the attack took place on Friday on a “food street” in Shache county, where state media said a series of attacks in July left 96 people dead, including 59 assailants.

Abroad, Uyghur-linked terrorists are believed to be responsible for the 2015 Bangkok bombing which targeted mainly Chinese tourists and left 20 dead. The bombing followed Bangkok’s decision to send Uyghur terror suspects back to China to face justice – defying US demands that the suspects be allowed to travel onward to Turkey.

Source: author

In Turkey, they were to cross the border into Syria where they would train, be armed, and join terrorists including Al Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) in the West’s proxy war against Damascus and its allies.

AP in its article, “AP Exclusive: Uighurs fighting in Syria take aim at China,” would admit:

Since 2013, thousands of Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority from western China, have traveled to Syria to train with the Uighur militant group Turkistan Islamic Party and fight alongside al-Qaida, playing key roles in several battles. Syrian President Bashar Assad’s troops are now clashing with Uighur fighters as the six-year conflict nears its endgame. 

But the end of Syria’s war may be the beginning of China’s worst fears.

The article implicates the Turkish government’s involvement in facilitating the movement of Uyghurs through its territory and into Syria. Another AP article claims that up to 5,000 Uyghur terrorists are currently in Syria, mainly in the north near the Turkish border.

The Western media – not Beijing – admits that China’s Xinjiang province has a problem with extremism and terrorism. The Western media – not Beijing – admits that Uyghur militants are being recruited, moved into Syria, funded, and armed to fight the West’s proxy war in Syria. And the Western media – not Beijing – admits that battle-hardened Uyghur terrorists seek to return to China to carry out violence there.

Thus it is clear that Beijing – as a matter of national security – must confront extremism in Xinjiang. It is undeniable that extremism is taking root there, and it is undeniable that China has both the right and a duty to confront, contain, and overcome it. It is also clear that the West and its allies have played a central role in creating Uyghur militancy – and through feigned human rights concerns – is attempting to undermine Beijing’s efforts to confront that militancy.

US Supports Uyghur Separatism, Militancy  

The US National Endowment for Democracy’s own website admits to meddling all across China and does so so extensively that it felt the necessity to break down its targeting of China into several regions including mainlandHong KongTibet, and Xinjiang/East Turkistan.

It is important to understand that “East Turkistan” is what Uyghur militants and separatists refer to Xinjiang as. Beijing does not recognize this name. NED – by recognizing the term “East Turkistan” – is implicitly admitting that it supports separatism in western China, even as the US decries separatists and alleged annexations in places like Donbass, Ukraine and Russian Crimea.

And more than just implicitly admitting so, US NED money is admittedly provided to the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) which exclusively refers to China’s Xinjiang province as “East Turkistan” and refers to China’s administration of Xinjiang as the “Chinese occupation of East Turkistan.” On WUC’s website, articles like, “Op-ed: A Profile of Rebiya Kadeer, Fearless Uyghur Independence Activist,” admits that WUC leader Rebiya Kadeer seeks “Uyghur independence” from China.

It is the WUC and other Washington-based Uyghur fronts who are repeatedly cited by the Western media and faux human rights advocacy groups like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International regarding allegations of “1 million” Uyghurs being placed into “internment camps,” as illustrated in the above mentioned BBC article.

By omitting the very real terrorist problem facing China in Xinjiang as well as elsewhere around the world where state-sponsored Uyghur terrorists are deployed and fighting, and by depicting China’s campaign to confront extremism as “repression,” the West aims at further inflaming violent conflict in Xinjiang and jeopardizing human life – not protecting it.

Where Uyghur terrorists are being trafficked through on their way to foreign battlefields, Beijing-friendly governments like Bangkok are sending suspects back to face justice in China. In nations like Malaysia where US-backed opposition has recently come to power, Uyghur terror suspects are being allowed to proceed onward to Turkey.

Al Jazeera’s recent article, “Malaysia ignores China’s request; frees 11 ethnic Uighurs,” would report:

Malaysia has freed 11 ethnic Uighurs detained last year after they broke out of prison in Thailand and crossed the border, despite a request from Beijing for the men to be returned to China. 

Prosecutors dropped immigration charges against the group on humanitarian grounds and they flew out of Kuala Lumpur to Turkey on Tuesday, according to their lawyer Fahmi Moin.

Al Jazeera would also make sure to mention:

The decision may further strain ties with China, which has been accused of cracking down on the minority Uighurs in the western region of Xinjiang. Since returning as prime minister following a stunning election victory in May, Mahathir Mohamad has already cancelled projects worth more than US$20bn that had been awarded to Chinese companies.

This point makes it abundantly clear that Uyghur extremism has become a central component in Washington’s struggle with Beijing over influence in Asia and in a much wider sense, globally. Geopolitical expert F. William Engdahl in his recent article, “China’s Uyghur Problem – The Unmentioned Part” concluded that:

The escalating trade war against China, threats of sanctions over allegations of Uyghur detention camps in Xinjiang, threats of sanctions if China buys Russian defense equipment, all is aimed at disruption of the sole emerging threat to a Washington global order, one that is not based on freedom or justice but rather on fear and tyranny. How China’s authorities are trying to deal with this full assault is another issue. The context of events in Xinjiang however needs to be made clear. The West and especially Washington is engaged in full-scale irregular war against the stability of China. 

It is difficult to argue with this conclusion – as the US has already openly wielded terrorism as a geopolitical tool everywhere from Libya where the nation was divided and destroyed by NATO-led military operations in the air and terrorist-led troops on the ground, to Syria where the US is all but openly aiding and abetting Al Qaeda and its affiliates cornered in the northern governorate of Idlib, and even in Yemen where another AP investigation revealed the US and its allies were cutting deals with Al Qaeda militants to augment Western and Persian Gulf ground-fighting capacity.

It is important to understand the full context of the West’s accusations against China and to note the media and supposed nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and others involved in propaganda aimed at protecting terrorists and promoting militancy inside of China.

These same media groups and faux-NGOs will turn up elsewhere along not only China’s peripheries across Southeast, South, and Central Asia, but also within and along the borders of nations like Russia and Iran.

Exposing and confronting these appendages of Western geopolitics, and the Western corporate-financier interests themselves directing their collective agenda is key to diminishing the dangerous influence they have and all the violence, conflict, division, and destruction they seek to employ as they have already done in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, and Syria.

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Will Trump and Putin Meet in Paris in November?

NOVANEWS
Unbending US Hostility Toward Russia. Bolton Meets Putin in Moscow. Will Trump and Putin Meet in Paris in November?
 

John Bolton’s two-day trip, meeting Putin, Sergey Lavrov, and other top Russian officials, did nothing to soften US hostility toward the country.

Bilateral relations continue deteriorating, not improving. Nothing in prospect suggests positive change.

On Tuesday, Putin and Bolton met for 90 minutes, agreeing that dialogue between both sides is needed, despite irreconcilable differences on major issues.

Putin urged arranging another meeting with Trump, saying

“it would be useful to offer direct dialogue with the president of the United States, first of all, on the sidelines of upcoming international events, say, in Paris.”

He referred to the upcoming 100th commemoration of WW I’s end on November 11. Commenting on the aftermath of his July 16 Helsinki summit talks with Trump, he said:

“(W)e are sometimes surprised to see the United States take absolutely unprovoked steps towards Russia that we cannot regard as friendly. We even refrain from retaliation practically to any move of yours. Yet all this goes on and on.”

It includes multiple rounds of illegal US sanctions, numerous false accusations against Russia, proof absent every time because none exists, both countries on opposite sides of the Syrian conflict, and the latest shoe to drop with Trump’s announced landmark INF Treaty pullout – falsely claiming Russian breaches, ignoring clear US ones.

Following Bolton’s meeting with Putin, he said

“(w)e discussed our continuing concern with Russian meddling in elections, and why it was particularly harmful to Russian-American relations, without producing anything for them in return,” adding:

“(W)e we had lengthy conversations about arms control issues, the new strategic landscape and the president’s decision on the INF treaty” –

His “discussion (with) Putin covered the whole range of issues differing in certain respects, depending on who we were speaking with from the Russian side.”

“As President Putin said in the opening of the meeting today…it would be useful to continue direct dialogue with (Trump), primarily on the fields of international events that will take place in the near future.”

Claiming both sides suggested ways to improve relations ignored Washington’s unbending hostility toward Russia.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Bolton intends speaking with US NATO and Asian allies about Trump’s announced INF Treaty pullout, DLT saying the US will build up its nuclear arsenal.

Asked if he was threatening Russia, he said

“(i)t’s a threat to whoever you want. It includes China, and it includes Russia and whoever wants to play that game. You can’t play that game on me.”

The “game” is unilaterally initiated by Washington, forcing other nations to respond in self-defense.

Will a hugely dangerous arms race will follow his INF pullout, creating greater international insecurity and instability than already?

The NYT said Bolton “rejected Russian entreaties on Tuesday to remain committed to (the INF) treaty.”

Wanting to militarize more than already and further advance its belligerent imperial agenda is what pulling out of the JCPOA and INF Treaty is all about.

Greater US aggression is likely coming instead of stepping back from the brink, Iran a likely target, maybe Venezuela for control over its world’s largest oil reserves, and North Korea if denuclearization talks fail.

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“Contingency Plan” for a No-deal Brexit

NOVANEWS

“Contingency Plan” for a No-deal Brexit: Disruptions? Panic Scenarios, Proposals to Ferry in “Critical Supplies”, Food, Medicine, Car Parts

The FT reports that David Lidington, Mrs May’s de facto deputy, has briefed the cabinet that under a no-deal Brexit, the Dover-Calais route could be running at only 12-25% of its normal capacity for up to six months.

“Whatever we do at our end, the French could cause chaos if they carry out checks at their end,” said one government official. “Dover-Calais would be the obvious pinch point. The French would say they were only applying the rules.”

This would force Britain to seek alternative ways of bringing in “critical supplies”.

Chris Grayling, transport secretary, has discussed with government colleagues the possibility of chartering ships, or space in ships, to bring supplies into other British ports, thus avoiding the Dover-Calais bottleneck.

Government officials say they do not expect to have to use legal powers to requisition ships, although with only five months to go until Brexit on March 29, there is little time to charter ships on the open market.

According to the FT’s George Parker and James Blitz this move was greeted with disbelief at a stormy meeting of Theresa May’s cabinet on Tuesday. The prime minister announced there would now be a weekly cabinet discussion on preparations for Brexit, whether under a deal or no-deal scenario. If Britain left the EU under World Trade Organization rules, the UK and EU would be in different customs jurisdictions and would be expected to carry out checks on trade across the English Channel.

Some 30% of all Britain’s food requirements are met from imports from other EU countries; Dover is a key port of entry, with over 2.5m heavy goods vehicles passing through the port each year.

Pauline Bastidon (sic), head of European policy at the Freight Transport Association, said:

“We are open to all kinds of ideas about how to keep supplies flowing in a no deal Brexit. But it’s hard to see where the extra ships would quickly be found. Nor can I see how other UK ports could possibly handle the huge volumes currently going through the Dover strait.”

The Times adds: Dover handles more than 2.5 million lorries a year and has no capacity to hold trucks waiting for advanced customs clearance. Other UK ports do have that capacity and could be used to take some Dover traffic. And, reassuringly:

“Ministers say that disruption would also damage EU companies and that there would be political pressure from member states for the European Commission to mitigate the most damaging aspects of a breakdown in talks”.

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Zionist Haley for President? “So it’s ”Israel” All the Way for Haley”

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Niki Haley for President? “So it’s Israel All the Way for Haley”

The New York Times has produced an astonishing editorial, “Nikki Haley will be missed,” on the resignation of America’s United Nations ambassador.

It is comparable in some ways to the whitewash afforded to the hideous warmonger and self-promoting liar Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on his death in August. The oleaginous Haley eulogy has to be read to appreciate how low America’s self-described newspaper of record has sunk. According to the Times, Haley, a “moderate Republican,” . . . “could talk bluntly” while also proving to be a “practitioner of multilateral diplomacy” who played “constructive roles” and also served as “a pragmatic envoy who could explain the president to a world confused by the chaos in Washington.”

Given that kind of effusive language it would have been interesting to see what the Times came up with to support all the praise. Actually, the bits of her bio cited do little to support the narrative. It is claimed that she “protected some of the American investment in the United Nations against the most drastic budget cuts sought by the White House, while also working to reform the United Nations bureaucracy” for which there is no clear evidence.

The editorial also claims that she maintained some independence from the president on relations with Russia, Venezuela, and other matters, though her degree of separation can certainly be questioned, as she was often the one leading the charge using threats directed against foreign governments and their policies. She has also been the seemingly dedicated advocate of nearly continuous pro-Israel positions, ranging from using the UN to disarm Hezbollah in Lebanon, to also including blocking any investigation of the Israeli army’s slaughter of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza. In addition, she led the effort to cut funds going to the agency providing critical food and medical assistance to millions of Palestinian refugees.

Haley has consistently taken a hard line against Iran, aggressively supporting Trump’s abrogation of the agreement to control its nuclear weapons, and she has ominously warned that Washington will be “taking names” of countries that don’t support its agenda in the Middle East, to include moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and American military engagement in Syria.

Admittedly, going after the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is a bit of low-hanging fruit, as the position seems to attract individuals who like to vent their dissatisfaction with the world while also providing one remedy, namely that everyone should follow the American lead on all things. Former ambassadors include Madeline Albright, John Bolton, and Samantha Power, making it measurably more difficult to rank Haley as the worst ambassador of all time. But there are some firsts associated with Haley. She was the first ambassador to witness an American president being laughed at during the annual speech to the United Nations General Assembly, a response that the Times attributes solely to a decline in America’s international standing under Trump, ignoring completely the impact of Haley’s threatening language and demeanor.

On balance, Haley did nothing to enhance American security and only succeeded in pandering to certain powerful constituencies within the United States, to include the neoconservatives in the media and the Israel lobby. Praise of her on her impending departure from the UN is suggestive of whom exactly she managed to please while she was in office. The ubiquitous neocon-in-chief Bill Kristol,who now hangs his hat at the Foreign Policy Initiative and the Emergency Committee for Israel, has long been promoting Haley for president. One leading member of Kristol’s neocon chorus, Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, tweeted

“Thank you [Nikki Haley] for your remarkable service. We look forward to welcoming you back to public service as president of the United States.”

Dubowitz is a Canadian and it would be nice if he could be deported to a remote Internet-free spot on Baffin Island where he can cease interfering in American politics.

Haley was also praised by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Twitter social media platform,

“I would like to thank Ambassador [Nikki Haley], who led the uncompromising struggle against hypocrisy at the UN, and on behalf of the truth and justice of our country. Best of luck!”

The Israeli army itself had nice things to say, tweeting

“Thank you [Nikki Haley] for your service in the UN and unwavering support for Israel and the truth. The soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces salute you!”

Angry responses to the IDF tweet observed “‘Unwavering support’ aka, blind allegiance. You love her for the reasons the rest of us despise her. She left the Human Rights Council, pulled the U.S. out of the Iran deal, slashed funds to UNRWA, moved embassy to Jerusalem, and was exaggerated in her support for the IDF when they abuse Palestinian human rights.”

Like many others in the foreign policy establishment, Haley is all about Israel because she understands that leaning that way provides instant access to money and plenty of positive press coverage, including in The New York Times. She has declared that Washington was “locked and loaded,” prepared to exercise lethal military options against Syria and its Russian and Iranian allies, seen as enemies by Israel. Immediately upon taking office at the United Nations she complained that “nowhere has the UN’s failure been more consistent and more outrageous than in its bias against our close ally Israel” and vowed that the “days of Israel bashing are over.” Not surprisingly, she was greeted by rounds of applause and cheering when she spoke at the annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in March, saying, “When I come to AIPAC I am with friends.”

Haley’s embrace of Israeli points of view is unrelenting and serves no American interest. If she were a recruited agent of influence for the Israeli Mossad she could not be more cooperative than she apparently is voluntarily. In February 2017, she blocked the appointment of former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to a diplomatic position at the United Nations because he is a Palestinian. In a congressional hearing she was asked about the decision: “Is it this administration’s position that support for Israel and support for the appointment of a well-qualified individual of Palestinian nationality to an appointment at the UN are mutually exclusive?” Haley responded yes, that the administration is “supporting Israel” by blocking every Palestinian.

Haley is surrounded by neocons. Her speechwriter is Jessica Gavora, who is the wife of the leading neoconservative journalist Jonah Goldberg. A profoundly ignorant Haley apparently also has bits and pieces of her own foreign policy apart from Israel, which makes her particularly dangerous. She has declared that Russia “is not, will not be our friend” and has described the Russians as having their hands covered with the blood of Syrian children.

So it’s Israel all the way for Haley, and we are likely to see her again in 2020 in spite of her pledge to Trump that she would both support and not run against him. The Jewish publication Forwardrecently published a speculative article suggesting that if she were to run for president a majority of American Jews might well vote for her, turning the Jewish community from solidly Democratic Party Blue to Republican Red. It would be the first time that a majority of Jews voted for a national GOP candidate. Though a great victory for Israel, it would also be a disaster for the United States if she were elected, like a proudly ignorant Sarah Palin on steroids. That outcome does not seem to bother the editors at Forward one bit, unfortunately.

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The Rule of the Uber-Rich Means Tyranny or Revolution

NOVANEWS
 

At the age of 10 I was sent as a scholarship student to a boarding school for the uber-rich in Massachusetts. I lived among the wealthiest Americans for the next eight years. I listened to their prejudices and saw their cloying sense of entitlement. They insisted they were privileged and wealthy because they were smarter and more talented. They had a sneering disdain for those ranked below them in material and social status, even the merely rich. Most of the uber-rich lacked the capacity for empathy and compassion. They formed elite cliques that hazed, bullied and taunted any nonconformist who defied or did not fit into their self-adulatory universe.

It was impossible to build a friendship with most of the sons of the uber-rich. Friendship for them was defined by “what’s in it for me?” They were surrounded from the moment they came out of the womb by people catering to their desires and needs. They were incapable of reaching out to others in distress—whatever petty whim or problem they had at the moment dominated their universe and took precedence over the suffering of others, even those within their own families. They knew only how to take. They could not give. They were deformed and deeply unhappy people in the grip of an unquenchable narcissism.

It is essential to understand the pathologies of the uber-rich. They have seized total political power. These pathologies inform Donald Trump, his children, the Brett Kavanaughs, and the billionaires who run his administration. The uber-rich cannot see the world from anyone’s perspective but their own. People around them, including the women whom entitled men prey upon, are objects designed to gratify momentary lusts or be manipulated. The uber-rich are almost always amoral. Right. Wrong. Truth. Lies. Justice. Injustice. These concepts are beyond them. Whatever benefits or pleases them is good. What does not must be destroyed.

The pathology of the uber-rich is what permits Trump and his callow son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to conspire with de facto Saudi ruler Mohammed bin Salman, another product of unrestrained entitlement and nepotism, to cover up the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, whom I worked with in the Middle East. The uber-rich spend their lives protected by their inherited wealth, the power it wields and an army of enablers, including other members of the fraternity of the uber-rich, along with their lawyers and publicists. There are almost never any consequences for their failures, abuses, mistreatment of others and crimes. This is why the Saudi crown prince and Kushner have bonded. They are the homunculi the uber-rich routinely spawn.

The rule of the uber-rich, for this reason, is terrifying. They know no limits. They have never abided by the norms of society and never will. We pay taxes—they don’t. We work hard to get into an elite university or get a job—they don’t. We have to pay for our failures—they don’t. We are prosecuted for our crimes—they are not.

The uber-rich live in an artificial bubble, a land called Richistan, a place of Frankenmansions and private jets, cut off from our reality. Wealth, I saw, not only perpetuates itself but is used to monopolize the new opportunities for wealth creation. Social mobility for the poor and the working class is largely a myth. The uber-rich practice the ultimate form of affirmative action, catapulting white, male mediocrities like Trump, Kushner and George W. Bush into elite schools that groom the plutocracy for positions of power. The uber-rich are never forced to grow up. They are often infantilized for life, squalling for what they want and almost always getting it. And this makes them very, very dangerous.

Political theorists, from Aristotle and Karl Marx to Sheldon Wolin, have warned against the rule of the uber-rich. Once the uber-rich take over, Aristotle writes, the only options are tyranny and revolution. They do not know how to nurture or build. They know only how to feed their bottomless greed. It’s a funny thing about the uber-rich: No matter how many billions they possess, they never have enough. They are the Hungry Ghosts of Buddhism. They seek, through the accumulation of power, money and objects, an unachievable happiness. This life of endless desire often ends badly, with the uber-rich estranged from their spouses and children, bereft of genuine friends. And when they are gone, as Charles Dickens wrote in “A Christmas Carol,” most people are glad to be rid of them.

C. Wright Mills in “The Power Elite,” one of the finest studies of the pathologies of the uber-rich, wrote:

They exploited national resources, waged economic wars among themselves, entered into combinations, made private capital out of the public domain, and used any and every method to achieve their ends. They made agreements with railroads for rebates; they purchased newspapers and bought editors; they killed off competing and independent businesses and employed lawyers of skill and statesmen of repute to sustain their rights and secure their privileges. There is something demonic about these lords of creation; it is not merely rhetoric to call them robber barons.

Corporate capitalism, which has destroyed our democracy, has given unchecked power to the uber-rich. And once we understand the pathologies of these oligarchic elites, it is easy to chart our future. The state apparatus the uber-rich controls now exclusively serves their interests. They are deaf to the cries of the dispossessed. They empower those institutions that keep us oppressed—the security and surveillance systems of domestic control, militarized police, Homeland Security and the military—and gut or degrade those institutions or programs that blunt social, economic and political inequality, among them public education, health care, welfare, Social Security, an equitable tax system, food stamps, public transportation and infrastructure, and the courts. The uber-rich extract greater and greater sums of money from those they steadily impoverish. And when citizens object or resist, they crush or kill them.

The uber-rich care inordinately about their image. They are obsessed with looking at themselves. They are the center of their own universe. They go to great lengths and expense to create fictional personas replete with nonexistent virtues and attributes. This is why the uber-rich carry out acts of well-publicized philanthropy. Philanthropy allows the uber-rich to engage in moral fragmentation. They ignore the moral squalor of their lives, often defined by the kind of degeneracy and debauchery the uber-rich insist is the curse of the poor, to present themselves through small acts of charity as caring and beneficent. Those who puncture this image, as Khashoggi did with Salman, are especially despised. And this is why Trump, like all the uber-rich, sees a critical press as the enemy. It is why Trump’s and Kushner’s eagerness to conspire to help cover up Khashoggi’s murder is ominous. Trump’s incitements to his supporters, who see in him the omnipotence they lack and yearn to achieve, to carry out acts of violence against his critics are only a few steps removed from the crown prince’s thugs dismembering Khashoggi with a bone saw. And if you think Trump is joking when he suggests the press should be dealt with violently you understand nothing about the uber-rich. He will do what he can get away with, even murder. He, like most of the uber-rich, is devoid of a conscience.

The more enlightened uber-rich, the East Hamptons and Upper East Side uber-rich, a realm in which Ivanka and Jared once cavorted, look at the president as gauche and vulgar. But this distinction is one of style, not substance. Donald Trump may be an embarrassment to the well-heeled Harvard and Princeton graduates at Goldman Sachs, but he serves the uber-rich as assiduously as Barack Obama and the Democratic Party do. This is why the Obamas, like the Clintons, have been inducted into the pantheon of the uber-rich. It is why Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka Trump were close friends. They come from the same caste.

There is no force within ruling institutions that will halt the pillage by the uber-rich of the nation and the ecosystem. The uber-rich have nothing to fear from the corporate-controlled media, the elected officials they bankroll or the judicial system they have seized. The universities are pathetic corporation appendages. They silence or banish intellectual critics who upset major donors by challenging the reigning ideology of neoliberalism, which was formulated by the uber-rich to restore class power. The uber-rich have destroyed popular movements, including labor unions, along with democratic mechanisms for reform that once allowed working people to pit power against power. The world is now their playground.

In “The Postmodern Condition” the philosopher Jean-François Lyotardpainted a picture of the future neoliberal order as one in which “the temporary contract” supplants “permanent institutions in the professional, emotional, sexual, cultural, family and international domains, as well as in political affairs.” This temporal relationship to people, things, institutions and the natural world ensures collective self-annihilation. Nothing for the uber-rich has an intrinsic value. Human beings, social institutions and the natural world are commodities to exploit for personal gain until exhaustion or collapse. The common good, like the consent of the governed, is a dead concept. This temporal relationship embodies the fundamental pathology of the uber-rich.

The uber-rich, as Karl Polanyi wrote, celebrate the worst kind of freedom—the freedom “to exploit one’s fellows, or the freedom to make inordinate gains without commensurable service to the community, the freedom to keep technological inventions from being used for public benefit, or the freedom to profit from public calamities secretly engineered for private advantage.” At the same time, as Polanyi noted, the uber-rich make war on the “freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, freedom of meeting, freedom of association, freedom to choose one’s own job.”

The dark pathologies of the uber-rich, lionized by mass culture and mass media, have become our own. We have ingested their poison. We have been taught by the uber-rich to celebrate the bad freedoms and denigrate the good ones. Look at any Trump rally. Watch any reality television show. Examine the state of our planet. We will repudiate these pathologies and organize to force the uber-rich from power or they will transform us into what they already consider us to be—the help.

Posted in USA, Europe, WorldComments Off on The Rule of the Uber-Rich Means Tyranny or Revolution

Syria: Kurdish Anarchy and Sultan Erdogan Dreams

NOVANEWS

During the past several months the situation around Syrian Kurdistan remains tense. The protests of the locals from the city of Manbij in Aleppo province against the actions of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are occurring on a regular basis.

Last week Asayish, the Kurdish local police forces arrested more than 50 civilians who had been protesting against the closure of the Arab schools and forced mobilization to the side of SDF in Manbij. In fact, the presence of the Kurdish militia in this region is illegal, as in mid-June 2018, the United States and Turkey agreed on a complete withdrawal of the Kurdish formations from the area to reduce the tensions.

It is worth noting that the illegal practices of Kurds are also underway in other cities in northeastern Syria both in Raqqa and Hasakah provinces. Under the pretext of fighting sleeping cells of ISIS, Asayish security service personnel burned down some glossary stores in Suwaidan Jazira village, whose owners had refused to pay taxes in favour of the Kurds. The meetings of locals, which broke out in response to this outrage, were dispersed with the use of weapons. During the action, several people were killed, including women and children.

At the same time, according to the local activists, the arrests of local authorities participating in the Syrian governmental local council elections from settlement of al-Khatuniyyah in Raqqa province have become more frequent.

In addition to the Kurds, Turkey is another party that is involved in destabilizing northeastern Syria. Turkey’s President during his visit to the U.S. announced the creation of a number of safe zones within Syria to include the east of the Euphrates River as it happened with Idlib province. The noticeable increase of the Turkish presence near the border with the Syrian province of Hasakah speaks in favour of the seriousness of Ankara’s decision.

It is also noteworthy that the Kurdish militia backed by the international coalition stopped combating ISIS terrorists that call into question the desirability of their presence in the region. Thus, on October 13, 2018, the jihadists attacked the refugee camp in the area of Al-Bahra resulting in the capture of 700 civilians.

The U.S. policy can explain such behaviour of the Kurds towards the local population. First, the American leadership announced its intention to leave the country after the defeat of ISIS terrorists, and now Washington intends to stay in the country for an indefinite period. Mostly, this kind of actions provokes the anarchy from Kurds, since they understand the presence of Western patrons let them to feel unpunished.

The expansion of Turkish influence will not bring stability to the region. However, Erdogan’s intention can be understood, as he is not ready for any growth of Kurdish influence as well as granting them any political rights. Unfortunately, he also rejected the option of giving them cultural autonomy.

Finally, if Erdogan begins to implement what he claimed, and the Kurds in turn with the patronage of the Americans continue to create chaos and feel their impunity, it may lead to a new confrontation in the region between them, the United States and Turkey that will adversely affect the course of the Syrian conflict.

Posted in USA, Syria, TurkeyComments Off on Syria: Kurdish Anarchy and Sultan Erdogan Dreams

Why Do Yemen’s Dead Not Merit the Attention of Jamal Khashoggi?

NOVANEWS

The apparent murder of Saudi Arabian dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi is a shocking crime that merits the international attention it has received, but nonetheless it is impossible not to wonder why the death of a single person receives vastly more coverage than ongoing Saudi atrocities in Yemen.

Is it that a dramatic story involving a single personality is easier to grasp than a war fought over complex political and ethnic issues, or does the differing levels of attention signal that Mr. Khashoggi has achieved the status of an honorary westerner while the tens of thousands dead in Yemen represent a distant “other”? Some combination of both of these are likely at work, and that he is a fellow journalist makes his fate all the more compelling for reporters and editors. Geopolitical considerations are certainly at play here, with the towering hypocrisy of the Trump administration on full display, a hypocrisy that stands out even in the dismal history of U.S. government policies toward Saudi Arabia.

President Donald Trump’s transparent attempts to exonerate Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, by “speculating” that “rouge agents” might be behind Mr. Khashoggi’s demise inside the consulate is beyond laughable, or would be if the issue weren’t so serious. Billions of dollars of arms sales are at stake (not to mention a reliable supply of oil), so minor trifles like human rights or cold-blooded murder can be swept aside. Whatever evidence the Turkish government possesses has not been made public, and it would seem the most likely reason is because Ankara has bugged the Saudi consulate. If so, a sensitive matter that the Turkish government would rather evade.

The thuggish behavior of the crown prince has to be laid partially at the doorstep of the White House because President Trump has heartedly embraced him, giving the green light to Saudi Arabia’s bottomless contempt for human rights. We might even speculate that President Trump wishes he could do away with opponents as firmly as the crown prince. And never mind the atrocities the United States (along with Britain and France) facilitate in its all-out support of Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen — what is human life (especially the lives of “others”) when profits are at stake?

A blind child carries a dove at a protest against the attack on the al-Nour Center for the Blind in Sana’a, Yemen, on January 10, 2016. Students say neither the school, nor themselves, have taken any side in the war. (photo by Almigdad Mojalli/VOA)

By any standard, the conduct of the war in Yemen is inhumane. Nobody knows how many people have died as a result of the fighting, although the independent group Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) estimates that almost 50,000 people were killed from January 2016 to July 2018. Implying a much higher total, Save the Children estimates that at least 50,000 children died in 2017alone, or about 130 per day. The charity further estimated that almost 400,000 children will need treatment for severe acute malnutrition.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs offers this sobering assessment:

“An alarming 22.2 million people in Yemen need some kind of humanitarian or protection assistance, an estimated 17.8 million are food insecure — 8.4 million people are severely food insecure and at risk of starvation — 16 million lack access to safe water and sanitation, and 16.4 million lack access to adequate healthcare. Needs across the country have increased steadily, with 11.3 million who are in acute need — an increase of more than one million people in acute need of humanitarian assistance to survive.”

The United Nations Human Rights Council reports that Saudi-led “coalition air strikes have caused most direct civilian casualties. The airstrikes have hit residential areas, markets, funerals, weddings, detention facilities, civilian boats and even medical facilities.” Both sides are reported by the council to forcibly conscript children between the ages of 11 and 17 to fight.

A study written for the World Peace Foundation, The Strategies of the Coalition in the Yemen War: Aerial bombardment and food war, by Martha Mundy reports that “From August 2015 there appears a shift from military and governmental to civilian and economic targets, including water and transport infrastructure, food production and distribution, roads and transport, schools, cultural monuments, clinics and hospitals, and houses, fields and flocks.”

To what end are these atrocities committed? Professor Mundy writes:

“While the US and UK back their Coalition allies unfailingly in their wider political and strategic objectives, the two major Arab actors in the Coalition, Saudi Arabia and the [United Arab] Emirates, have different economic priorities in the war. That of Saudi Arabia is oil wealth, including preventing a united Yemen’s use of its own oil revenues, and developing a new pipeline through Yemen to the Indian Ocean; that of the Emirates is control over seaports, for trade, tourism and fish wealth. The attack on al-Hudayda [a major port] explicitly aims to complete the economic war militarily. That the immense suffering of Yemen’s people has still not brought surrender by those in Sanʾa [the Yemeni capital] does not give credibility to the tactic of further hunger and disease. Yet for the Coalition, as a senior Saʿudi diplomat responded (off the record) to a question about threatened starvation: ‘Once we control them, we will feed them.’ ”

Yemen is highly dependent on food imports, and the blockades of its ports have put Yemenis at risk of famine. Professor Mundy draws this conclusion:

“If one places the damage to the resources of food producers (farmers, herders, and fishers) alongside the targeting of food processing, storage and transport in urban areas and the wider economic war, there is strong evidence that Coalition strategy has aimed to destroy food production and distribution in the areas under the control of Sanʾa. … [F]rom the autumn of 2016, economic war has compounded physical destruction to create a mass failure in basic livelihoods. Deliberate destruction of family farming and artisanal fishing is a war crime.”

There is little coverage of this ongoing humanitarian disaster in the corporate media. Why are millions of lives almost an afterthought while one privileged life merits such intense attention? Again, the fate of Mr. Khashoggi and the spotlight it shines on Saudi practices merit the widespread commendation it has attracted. But why such indifference to millions of others? Where is our humanity?

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, Saudi Arabia, YemenComments Off on Why Do Yemen’s Dead Not Merit the Attention of Jamal Khashoggi?

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