Archive | May 26th, 2019

The Western media “death cult” is dragging us into the abyss of perpetual war

NOVANEWS


American troops illegally in Syria. (Photo: Twitter)

By Jonathan Cook 

By any reckoning, the claim made this week by al-Qaeda-linked fighters that they were targeted with chemical weapons by the Syrian government in Idlib province – their final holdout in Syria – should have been treated by the western media with a high degree of scepticism.

That the US and other western governments enthusiastically picked up those claims should not have made them any more credible.

Scepticism was all the more warranted from the media given that no physical evidence has yet been produced to corroborate the jihadists’ claims. And the media should have been warier still given that the Syrian government was already poised to defeat these al-Qaeda groups without resort to chemical weapons – and without provoking the predictable ire (yet again) of the west.

But most of all scepticism was required because these latest claims arrive just as we have learnt that the last supposed major chemical attack – which took place in April 2018 and was, as ever, blamed by all western sources on Syria’s president, Bashar Assad – was very possibly staged, a false-flag operation by those very al-Qaeda groups now claiming the Syrian government has attacked them once again.

Addicted to incompetence

Most astounding in this week’s coverage of the claims made by al-Qaeda groups is the fact that the western media continues to refuse to learn any lessons, develop any critical distance from the sources it relies on, even as those sources are shown to have repeatedly deceived it.

This was true after the failure to find WMD in Iraq, and it is now even more true after the the international community’s monitoring body on chemical weapons, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), was exposed this month as deeply dishonest.

It is bad enough that our governments and our expert institutions deceive and lie to us. But it is even worse that we have a corporate media addicted – at the most charitable interpretation – to its own incompetence. The evidence demonstrating that grows stronger by the day.

Unprovoked attack

In March the OPCW produced a report into a chemical weapons attack the Syrian government allegedly carried out in Douma in April last year. Several dozen civilians, many of them children, died apparently as a result of that attack.

The OPCW report concluded that there were “reasonable grounds” for believing a toxic form of chlorine had been used as a chemical weapon in Douma, and that the most likely method of delivery were two cylinders dropped from the air.

This as good as confirmed claims made by al-Qaeda groups, backed by western states, that the cylinders had been dropped by the Syrian military. Using dry technical language, the OPCW joined the US and Europe in pointing the finger squarely at Assad.

It was vitally important that the OPCW reached that conclusion not only because of the west’s overarching regime-change ambitions in Syria.

In response to the alleged Douma attack a year ago, the US fired a volley of Cruise missiles at Syrian army and government positions before there had been any investigation of who was responsible.

Those missiles were already a war crime – an unprovoked attack on another sovereign country. But without the OPCW’s implicit blessing, the US would have been deprived of even its flimsy, humanitarian pretext for launching the missiles.

Leaked document

Undoubtedly the OPCW was under huge political pressure to arrive at the “right” conclusion. But as a scientific body carrying out a forensic investigation surely it would not simply doctor the data.

Nonetheless, it seems that may well be precisely what it did. This month the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media – a group of academics who have grown increasingly sceptical of the western narratives told about Syria – published an internal, leaked OPCW document.

INTERVIEW: Dr. Piers Robinson Discusses New OPCW Leak and Shifting Douma Narrative

A few fays later the OPCW reluctantly confirmed that the document was genuine, and that it would identify and deal with those responsible for the leak.

The document was an assessment overseen by Ian Henderson, a senior OPCW expert, of the engineering data gathered by the OPCW’s fact-finding mission that attended the scene of the Douma attack. Its findings fly in the face of the OPCW’s published report.

Erased from the record

The leaked document is deeply troubling for two reasons.

First, the assessment, based on the available technical data, contradicts the conclusion of the final OPCW report that the two chemical cylinders were dropped from the air and crashed through building roofs. It argues instead that the cylinders were more likely placed at the locations they were found.

If that is right, the most probable explanation is that the cylinders were put there by al-Qaeda groups – presumably in a last desperate effort to persuade the west to intervene and to prevent the jihadists being driven out of Douma.

But even more shocking is the fact that the expert assessment based on the data collected by the OPCW team is entirely unaddressed in the OPCW’s final report.

It is not that the final report discounts or rebuts the findings of its own experts. It simply ignores those findings; it pretends they don’t exist. The report blacks them out, erases them from the official record. In short, it perpetrates a massive deception.

Experts ignored

All of this would be headline news if we had a responsible media that cared about the truth and about keeping its readers informed.

We now know both that the US attacked Syria on entirely bogus grounds, and that the OPCW – one of the international community’s most respected and authoritative bodies – has been caught redhanded in an outrageous deception with grave geopolitical implications. (In fact, it is not the first time the OPCW has been caught doing this, as I have previously explained here.)

The fact that the OPCW ignored its own expert and its own team’s technical findings when they proved politically indigestible casts a dark shadow over all the OPCW’s work in Syria, and beyond. If it was prepared to perpetrate a deception on this occasion, why should we assume it did not do so on other occasions when it proved politically expedient?

Active combatants

The OPCW’s reports into other possible chemical attacks – assisting western efforts to implicate Assad – are now equally tainted. That is especially so given that in those other cases the OPCW violated its own procedures by drawing prejudicial conclusions without its experts being on the ground, at the site of the alleged attacks. Instead it received samples and photos via al-Qaeda groups, who could easily have tampered with the evidence.

And yet there has been not a peep from the corporate media about this exposure of the OPCW’s dishonesty, apart from commentary pieces from the only two maverick mainstream journalists in the UK – Peter Hitchens, a conservative but independent-minded columnist for the Mail on Sunday, and veteran war correspondent Robert Fisk, of the little-read Independent newspaper (more on his special involvement in Douma in a moment).

Just as the OPCW blanked the findings of its technical experts to avoid political discomfort, the media have chosen to stay silent on this new, politically sensitive information.

They have preferred to prop up the discredited narrative that our governments have been acting to protect the human rights of ordinary Syrians rather than the reality that they have been active combatants in the war, helping to destabilise a country in ways that have caused huge suffering and death in Syria.

Systematic failure

This isn’t a one-off failure. It’s part of a series of failures by the corporate media in its coverage of Douma.

They ignored very obvious grounds for caution at the time of the alleged attack. Award-winning reporter Robert Fisk was among the first journalists to enter Douma shortly after those events. He and a few independent reporters communicated eye-witness testimony that flatly contradicted the joint narrative promoted by al-Qaeda groups and western governments that Assad had bombed Douma with chemical weapons.

The corporate media also mocked a subsequent press conference at which many of the supposed victims of that alleged chemical attack made appearances to show that they were unharmed and spoke of how they had been coerced into play-acting their roles.

And now the western media has compounded that failure – revealing its systematic nature – by ignoring the leaked OPCW document too.

But it gets worse, far worse.

Al-Qaeda propaganda

This week the same al-Qaeda groups that were present in Douma – and may have staged that lethal attack – claimed that the Syrian government had again launched chemical weapons against them, this time on their final holdout in Idlib.

A responsible media, a media interested in the facts, in evidence, in truth-telling, in holding the powerful to account, would be dutybound to frame this latest, unsubstantiated claim in the context of the new doubts raised about the OPCW report into last year’s chemical attack blamed on Assad.

Given that the technical data suggest that al-Qaeda groups, and the White Helmets who work closely with them, were responsible for staging the attack – even possibly of murdering civilians to make the attack look more persuasive – the corporate media had a professional and moral obligation to raise the matter of the leaked document.

It is vital context as anyone tries to weigh up whether the latest al-Qaeda claims are likely to be true. To deprive readers of this information, this essential context would be to take a side, to propagandise on behalf not only of western governments but of al-Qaeda too.

And that is exactly what the corporate media have just done. All of them.

Media worthy of Stalin

It is clear how grave their dereliction of the most basic journalistic duty is if we consider the Guardian’s uncritical coverage of jihadist claims about the latest alleged chemical attack.

Like most other media, the Guardian article included two strange allusions – one by France, the other by the US – to the deception perpetrated by the OPCW in its recent Douma report. The Guardian reported these allusions even though it has never before uttered a word anywhere in its pages about that deception.

In other words, the corporate media are so committed to propagandising on behalf of the western powers that they have reported the denials of official wrongdoing even though they have never reported the actual wrongdoing. It is hard to imagine the Soviet media under Stalin behaving in such a craven and dishonest fashion.

The corporate media have given France and the US a platform to reject accusations against the OPCW that the media themselves have never publicly raised.

Doubts about OPCW

The following is a brief statement (unintelligible without the forgoing context) from France, reported by the Guardian in relation to the latest claim that Assad’s forces used chemical weapons this week: “We have full confidence in the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.”

But no one, except bloggers and academics ignored by the media and state authorities, has ever raised doubts about the OPCW. Why would the Guardian think these French comments worthy of reporting unless there were reasons to doubt the OPCW? And if there are such reasons for doubt, why has the Guardian not thought to make them public, to report them to its readers?

The US state department similarly came to the aid of the OPCW. In the same Guardian report, a US official was quoted saying that the OPCW was facing “a continuing disinformation campaign” from Syria and Russia, and that the campaign was designed “to create the false narrative that others [rather than Assad] are to blame for chemical weapons attacks”.

So Washington too was rejecting accusations against the OPCW that have never been reported by the state-corporate media.

Interestingly, in the case of US officials, they claim that Syria and Russia are behind the “disinformation campaign” against the OPCW, even though the OPCW has admitted that the leaked document discrediting its work is genuine and written by one of its experts.

The OPCW is discredited, of course, only because it sought to conceal evidence contained in the leaked document that might have exonerated Assad of last year’s chemical attack. It is hard to see how Syria or Russia can be blamed for this.

Colluding in deception

But more astounding still, while US and French officials have at least acknowledged that there are doubts about the OPCW’s role in Syria, even if they unjustifiably reject such doubts, the corporate media have simply ignored those doubts as though they don’t exist.

The continuing media blackout on the leaked OPCW document cannot be viewed as accidental. It has been systematic across the media.

That blackout has remained resolutely in place even after the OPCW admitted the leaked document discrediting it was genuine and even after western countries began alluding to the leaked document themselves.

The corporate media is actively colluding both in the original deception perpetrated by al-Qaeda groups and the western powers, and in the subsequent dishonesty of the OPCW. They have worked together to deceive western publics.

The question is, why are the media so obviously incompetent? Why are they so eager to keep themselves and their readers in the dark? Why are they so willing to advance credulous narratives on behalf of western governments that have been repeatedly shown to have lied to them?

Iran the real target

The reason is that the corporate media are not what they claim. They are not a watchdog on power, or a fourth estate.

The media are actually the public relations wing of a handful of giant corporations – and states – that are pursuing two key goals in the Middle East.

First, they want to control its oil. Helping al-Qaeda in Syria – including in its propaganda war – against the Assad government serves a broader western agenda. The US and NATO bloc are ultimately gunning for the leadership of Iran, the one major oil producer in the region not under the US imperial thumb.

Powerful Shia groups in the region – Assad in Syria, Hizbullah in Lebanon, and Iraqi leaders elevated by our invasion of that country in 2003 – are allies or potential allies of Iran. If they are in play, the US empire’s room for manoeuvre in taking on Iran is limited. Remove these smaller players and Iran stands isolated and vulnerable.

That is why Russia stepped in several years ago to save Assad, in a bid to stop the dominoes falling and the US engineering a third world war centred on the Middle East.

Second, with the Middle East awash with oil money, western corporations have a chance to sell more of the lucrative weapons that get used in overt and covert wars like the one raging in Syria for the past eight years.

What better profit-generator for these corporations than wasteful and pointless wars against manufactured bogeymen like Assad?

Like a death cult

From the outside, this looks and sounds like a conspiracy. But actually it is something worse – and far more difficult to overcome.

The corporations that run our media and our governments have simply conflated in their own minds – and ours – the idea that their narrow corporate interests are synonymous with “western interests”.

The false narratives they generate are there to serve a system of power, as I have explained in previous blogs. That system’s worldview and values are enforced by a charmed circle that includes politicians, military generals, scientists, journalists and others operating as if brainwashed by some kind of death cult. They see the world through a single prism: the system’s need to hold on to power. Everything else – truth, evidence, justice, human rights, love, compassion – must take a back seat.

It is this same system that paradoxically is determined to preserve itself even if it means destroying the planet, ravaging our economies, and starting and maintaining endlessly destructive wars. It is system that will drag us all into the abyss, unless we stop it.

***

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE WHITE HELMETS BY READING THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES:

White Helmets Centre in Saqba, Eastern Ghouta Next Door to Terrorist Bomb Factory
“Humanitarians” and the ‘Moderate’ Bomb Factory in Saqba, Eastern Ghouta.

BBC and Guardian Whitewash of UK FCO Funding Scandal in Syria
What to Expect From BBC Panorama and Guardian’s Whitewash of UK Gov’t Funding Terrorists in Syria

White Helmets Evidence Presented at Geneva Press Club:
Vanessa Beeley Presents Exposé on White Helmets at Swiss Press Club in Geneva

‘Global Britain’ – UK Funding a Shadow State in Syria
‘Global Britain’ is Financing Terrorism and Bloodshed in Syria and Calling it ‘Aid’

White Helmets – Hollywood Poster Boys:

WHITE HELMETS: State Sanctioned Terrorism and Hollywood Poster Boys for War

21st Century Wire:
New Report Destroys Fabricated Myth of Syria’s ‘White Helmets’

Initial Investigation into White Helmets:
Who are Syria’s White Helmets?

21st Century Wire article on the White Helmets:  
Syria’s White Helmets: War by Way of Deception ~ the “Moderate” Executioners

Who Funds the White Helmets?
Secret £1bn UK War Chest Used to Fund the White Helmets and Other ‘Initiatives’

Original investigative report:
The REAL Syria Civil Defence Exposes Fake White Helmets as Terrorist-Linked Imposters 

Irish Peace Prize Farce
Tipperary’s White Helmets Peace Prize: A Judas Kiss to the Antiwar Movement and Syria

White Helmets Executions
WHITE HELMETS: Severed Heads of Syrian Arab Army Soldiers Paraded as Trophies

CNN Fabricate News About the White Helmets
A NOBEL LIE: CNN’s Claim That ‘White Helmets Center in Damascus’ Was Hit by a Barrel Bomb

White Helmets Links to Al Nusra
WHITE HELMETS: Hand in Hand with Al Qaeda and Extremist Child Beheaders in Aleppo

Report by Patrick Henningsen
AN INTRODUCTION: Smart Power & The Human Rights Industrial Complex

Open Letter by Vanessa Beeley
White Helmets Campaign for War NOT Peace – Retract RLA & Nobel Peace Prize Nominations

Staged Rescue Videos
(VIDEO) White Helmets: Miraculous ‘Rag Doll Rescue’

White Helmets Oscar Award Farce:
Forget Oscar: Give The White Helmets the Leni Riefenstahl Award for Best War Propaganda Film

Cory Morningstar report:
Investigation into the funding sources of the White Helmets, including Avaaz, Purpose, The Syria Campaign

Open letter to Canadian MPs from Stop the War Hamilton (Canada):
Letter from the Hamilton Coalition to Stop War to the New Democratic Party in Canada ref the White Helmet nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize:

Open letter to Canada’s NDP Leader on Nobel Prize:
Letter to NDP from Prof. John Ryan protesting White Helmet nomination for RLA and Nobel Peace Prize.

READ MORE WHITE HELMETS NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire White Helmets Files

READ MORE SYRIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Syria Files

Posted in SyriaComments Off on The Western media “death cult” is dragging us into the abyss of perpetual war

The Zionist Delusional Mentality: Exposed

NOVANEWS

Historic facts:

First, lets establish the fact that Palestine (even according to the Jewish Torah and Literature) was never the native land of the jews. Whether the old jews invaded Palestine as migrants from Iraq along with their forefather Abraham, or from Egypt along with their Moses, or even from deep Africa where their alleged exodus originally started, the old jews were never natives of Palestine.

Now, if you want to believe in ancient Talmudic fairytales of the fevered Moses that Jehovah (the jew) suddenly popped his eyes in the Desert of Sinai to give (the already inhabited) Palestine for the “poor slaves” of Egypt, it is your problem but that has nothing to do with reality or history: the old jews (as well as the modern European invaders) are nothing more than colonizers to a land that was never ever their homeland.

natives 1

It is needless to say that historically the Canaanites, Jebosites (of Jerusalem), the Hittits (of Hebron); the Amorites of Schem, and the rest of the seven nation-tribes are the original inhabitants of Palestine who dwelled this land for thousands upon thousands of years before the old jewish invasion. It is needless to say that the natives of Palestine are those who built the ancient cities (towns) of Palestine like Jerusalem, Hebron, Jericho, Schem/Nablus  and the rest of the Palestinian-Canaanites twons and villages.

It is needless to state the fact that the jebosite natives of Canaan/Palestine had built Jerusalem with its paganist temple some 1500 years before any jew stepped this land.

Jebus

It is clear in the Torah (Jehovah addressing Moses) talks about “their” (the other nations) land, but not “yours” or the land of the jews.  And that the jews had to fight the natives of that land, and even to annihilate those natives (according to the orders of the jewish Jehovah), which they couldn’t, as it was clear from the New Testament that the natives of Palestine (the Canaanites) believed in Jesus and stayed in their land, while the jews didn’t, but plotted against him and accused him of blasphemy. and were subsequently kicked out of the land.

The Zionist-jewish justification:

But how the ancient (as well as the modern) invaders of Palestine justify their land robbery and bloody crimes against the natives including genocide? There are two keywords that can clarify the Zionist delusional way of thinking, these two words are the “promised land” and “Amalek”

papp

“Promised land” or “God gave us the land” are the first words the modern Zionist colonizers use to justify their ethnic cleansing of the natives and their ongoing crimes. Whether you believe their Toratic heresies or not, whether the Zionist colonizer in Palestine was ultra religious or from the far-left fringe, whether he was an ardent Zionist or a “peace dove”, none of them can justify his/her mere existence in Palestine other than through this magic word of “god gave us the land”, as if god is nothing but a real-estate agent working for others.

One evening, we sat under the stars looking at the flickering lights of Palestinian villages. Bobby Brown [A zionist settler], with a wave of his arm, said: “All the Palestinians have to leave this land. God gave this land to us, the Jews.”

This is how they justify robbing the native Chrtistian land property

 

Jehovahm Yehwah, YHWH, Elohim, Hashem or “god” are all various names for the same jewish “god”/ or a bush, that popped his head in the desert of Sinai to chat to the fevered or deluded Moses  to give him a land that was never ever jewish land before that bush suddenly talked.

The annihilation of the Amaleks , (the original natives of Palestine) is the second keyword the Zionist-jewish mentality uses to justify the criminal acts. The Amalek and the necessity to fight and annihilate them is widely discussed among the jewish religious circles, which refers to all the non-jews especially the natives of Palestine in particular. To gain a sacred motivator for the Zionist colonial project, the jewish references have to demonize the Palestinian native (or any possible opponent of the Zionist colonial project), the jewish religious circles attribute the (amalekite) nature to Toratically justify the annihilation.

talmud

So, the zionist rabbis believe that the Amalek are their enemy whoever they are .. and they needed not only to be killed, but to be annihilated and obliterated from Earth, even if they were a nation of tens of millions like the Iranian and the Turkish nation .. the thing that even Hitler didnt dream of:

“We see this [the existence of the Amalek] happening today. Iran is willing to destroy their economy, they are willing to destroy their own country, just to convince the other Arab nations to attack Israel. Erdogan is the same way. His economy is crashing but he doesn’t care. Hamas is clearly this way. They want the IDF to attack, as long as it means bad for Israel. Anyone who acts this way today is from the seed of Amalek.”

“The commandment isn’t to conquer Amalek. It is to wipe him out from the world because as long as there is a memory of Amalek in the world, the Moshiach (Messiah) cannot come.”

Now, whether you believe it or not, Palestine has become the “jewish homeland” and all those who oppose this heresy or when the natives fight back for their stolen homes then they are demonized as “anti-semitic” Amalekites that should be annihilated by direct orders from the jewish Jehovah.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on The Zionist Delusional Mentality: Exposed

Nazi Gestapo torture of Palestinian children ‘institutional’

NOVANEWS

Israeli torture of Palestinian children ‘institutional’

Confessions by Palestinians who have been tortured are regularly accepted by Israeli judges, rights groups say.

by
Israeli torture of Palestinian children 'institutional'
Methods of torture reportedly include slapping the head and forcing a handcuffed individual to squat against a wall for long periods of time [Abid Katib/Getty Images]

Coercion, violence and threats: Torture, Israeli-style

A recent article published by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz has confirmed the extent to which Shin Bet interrogators subject their prisoners to torture.

Methods include slapping the head “to hurt sensitive organs like the nose, ears, brow and lips”, forcing a handcuffed individual to squat against a wall for long periods of time, and placing the suspect bent backwards over a chair with his arms and legs cuffed.

The interrogators’ accounts echo what Palestinians and Israeli human rights groups have long documented. Prisoners’ rights NGO Addameer said that such practices “are known to be routinely and systematically used against Palestinian detainees”. Other torture methods used against Palestinians include sleep deprivation and threats against family members, an Addameer spokesperson told Al Jazeera.


READ MORE: Palestinians forever changed by Israeli torture


Rachel Stroumsa, the executive director of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), said that her NGO was aware of hundreds of complaints and allegations along these lines.

In addition to interrogation being used to gain information about future acts, “our experience is that torture is also used to obtain confessions regarding past acts”, Stroumsa told Al Jazeera.

In its annual report last year, Amnesty International found that Israeli forces and Shin Bet personnel had “tortured and otherwise ill-treated Palestinian detainees, including children, particularly during arrest and interrogation”, with methods including “beating with batons, slapping, throttling, prolonged shackling, stress positions, sleep deprivation and threats”.

A representative of Defence for Children International – Palestine told Al Jazeera that the group’s research had shown that almost two-thirds of Palestinian children detained in the occupied West Bank by Israeli forces had endured physical violence after their arrest.

Interrogators use position abuse, threats and isolation to coerce confessions from some children, and Israeli military court judges seldom exclude these confessions.

Ayed Abu Qtaish, accountability programme director at Defence for Children International – Palestine

“Palestinian children are regularly subjected to coercive and violent interrogation techniques intended to extract confessions,” said Ayed Abu Qtaish, the group’s accountability programme director. “Interrogators use position abuse, threats and isolation to coerce confessions from some children, and Israeli military court judges seldom exclude these confessions.”

Torture and ill-treatment are so rife, human rights campaigners say, that convictions of Palestinians for “security offences” are fundamentally unreliable, not least because the abuse is part of a wider lack of due process.

According to one study, as many as 91 percent of Palestinian detainees interrogated by the Shin Bet in the occupied West Bank are held incommunicado for either part or all of their interrogation. Stroumsa says this practice is “an enabling element for torture”.

In the military court system, which has a 99 percent conviction rate, Palestinians can be held for 60 days without access to a lawyer – compared with the United States, where the average length of interrogations producing false confessions is 16 hours.

“As Palestinian children continue to experience systematic ill-treatment and denial of due process rights, it becomes evident that military courts have no interest in justice,” Abu Qtaish said.

In addition to the torture and lack of access to counsel, Palestinians are asked to sign confession sheets in Hebrew, which they often do not understand. All of this “creates a coercive environment which results in confessions made under duress”, Addameer noted.

A recent example is the case of Mohammad el-Halabi, a Gaza-based employee of World Vision who was charged by Israel with funnelling money to Hamas. Halabi, who is being tried in a Beer Sheva civilian court, has protested his innocence, saying that he was tortured by his interrogators. These claims were also made by his lawyers, who Halabi was prevented from seeing for three weeks after his arrest.

The new Haaretz report draws attention to a topic that is not often in the limelight. In November 2015, a video of the interrogation of 13-year-old Ahmad Manasra sparked outrage, while Israel’s appearance at the United Nations Committee Against Torture last May – which referred to “coerced evidence” being used in courts – also gained coverage.

But many other events fly under the radar. An academic study published in November 2015 in a peer-reviewed medical journal revealed dozens of cases of sexual torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners detained by Israel.


Report details ‘inhuman’ treatment in Israeli jail


Activists on the ground say that an international spotlight on Israel’s torture practices is urgently needed, not least because of the institutionalised nature of the problem.

Although an Israeli Supreme Court ruling in 1999 prohibited “physical means” of interrogation, Shin Bet agents were effectively given impunity for torture and ill-treatment by the so-called “necessity defence” or ” ticking bomb” exemption.

According to anti-torture campaigners, this exemption has served as a green light for torture ever since. Since 2001, hundreds of formal complaints have been made against Shin Bet interrogators, but not a single criminal investigation has been opened.

“I think international pressure is essential, and has on some issues proven its efficacy,” Stroumsa said.

“It is also the duty of the international community to speak out on abuses, given the massive economic and political support for the State of Israel from abroad.”

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Nazi Gestapo torture of Palestinian children ‘institutional’

Douma, OPCW, Idlib, fake chemical attacks

NOVANEWS

Douma, OPCW, Idlib, fake chemical attacks, White Helmets – Vanessa Beeley speaks to Last American Vagabond


Civilians being used as caged human shields by Jaish Al Islam terrorists in Douma 2015. 

Vanessa Beeley
Last American Vagabond

Vanessa has just returned from Syria where she was able to get close to the Syrian/Russian military frontlines and to speak to civilians and military commanders about the recently escalating situation in Northern Hama and Idlib where Hayat Tahrir As Sham rule the province – an Al Qaeda rebrand and designated a terrorist group by the UK and the US.

Ryan Cristian, founder of Last American Vagabond, writes:

Joining me today is one of my favorite guests to have on the show, someone who has been to Syria numerous times, and just got back from the frontlines of Idlib. At a time with so many false accusations, false claims and false flags, mostly coming from the very groups that many thought they could trust, there is no better person to speak to in order to find what is actually taking place on the ground than Vanessa Beeley.

Watch the full interview which covers Douma, latest revelations concerning the OPCW report, White Helmets, Idlib operations and the lies of Western media which have sustained the dirty war against Syria for a punishing eight years:

YouTube Video Preview

Support The Last American Vagabond by Subscribing here: http://www.feedblitz.com/f/?Sub=906867

Vanessa Beeley is an independent journalist, peace activist, photographer and associate editor at 21st Century Wire. Vanessa was a finalist for one of the most prestigious journalism awards – the 2017 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism – whose winners have included the likes of Robert Parry in 2017, Patrick Cockburn, Robert Fisk, Nick Davies and the Bureau for Investigative Journalism team. Please support her work at her Patreon account. 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE WHITE HELMETS BY READING THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES:

White Helmets Centre in Saqba, Eastern Ghouta Next Door to Terrorist Bomb Factory
“Humanitarians” and the ‘Moderate’ Bomb Factory in Saqba, Eastern Ghouta.

BBC and Guardian Whitewash of UK FCO Funding Scandal in Syria
What to Expect From BBC Panorama and Guardian’s Whitewash of UK Gov’t Funding Terrorists in Syria

White Helmets Evidence Presented at Geneva Press Club:
Vanessa Beeley Presents Exposé on White Helmets at Swiss Press Club in Geneva

‘Global Britain’ – UK Funding a Shadow State in Syria
‘Global Britain’ is Financing Terrorism and Bloodshed in Syria and Calling it ‘Aid’

White Helmets – Hollywood Poster Boys:

WHITE HELMETS: State Sanctioned Terrorism and Hollywood Poster Boys for War

21st Century Wire:
New Report Destroys Fabricated Myth of Syria’s ‘White Helmets’

Initial Investigation into White Helmets:
Who are Syria’s White Helmets?

21st Century Wire article on the White Helmets:  
Syria’s White Helmets: War by Way of Deception ~ the “Moderate” Executioners

Who Funds the White Helmets?
Secret £1bn UK War Chest Used to Fund the White Helmets and Other ‘Initiatives’

Original investigative report:
The REAL Syria Civil Defence Exposes Fake White Helmets as Terrorist-Linked Imposters 

Irish Peace Prize Farce
Tipperary’s White Helmets Peace Prize: A Judas Kiss to the Antiwar Movement and Syria

White Helmets Executions
WHITE HELMETS: Severed Heads of Syrian Arab Army Soldiers Paraded as Trophies

CNN Fabricate News About the White Helmets
A NOBEL LIE: CNN’s Claim That ‘White Helmets Center in Damascus’ Was Hit by a Barrel Bomb

White Helmets Links to Al Nusra
WHITE HELMETS: Hand in Hand with Al Qaeda and Extremist Child Beheaders in Aleppo

Report by Patrick Henningsen
AN INTRODUCTION: Smart Power & The Human Rights Industrial Complex

Open Letter by Vanessa Beeley
White Helmets Campaign for War NOT Peace – Retract RLA & Nobel Peace Prize Nominations

Staged Rescue Videos
(VIDEO) White Helmets: Miraculous ‘Rag Doll Rescue’

White Helmets Oscar Award Farce:
Forget Oscar: Give The White Helmets the Leni Riefenstahl Award for Best War Propaganda Film

Cory Morningstar report:
Investigation into the funding sources of the White Helmets, including Avaaz, Purpose, The Syria Campaign

Open letter to Canadian MPs from Stop the War Hamilton (Canada):
Letter from the Hamilton Coalition to Stop War to the New Democratic Party in Canada ref the White Helmet nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize:

Open letter to Canada’s NDP Leader on Nobel Prize:
Letter to NDP from Prof. John Ryan protesting White Helmet nomination for RLA and Nobel Peace Prize.

READ MORE WHITE HELMETS NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire White Helmets Files

READ MORE SYRIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Syria Files

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Douma, OPCW, Idlib, fake chemical attacks

Palestine FM: US Peace Deal Favors ‘Israel’s’ Colonial Policies

NOVANEWS

Palestine FM: US Peace Deal Favors Israel’s Colonial Policies

  • Israel has built some 140 settlements in the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since the 1967 Middle East war.
    Israel has built some 140 settlements in the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since the 1967 Middle East war. | Photo: Reuters file

Earlier this week, al-Maliki submitted a request to the International Criminal Court for legal action against the U.S. over the relocation of its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Palestine foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki slammed the so-called U.S. ‘deal of the century’ Friday, stating that it is “the consecration of our century-old ordeal: no independence, no sovereignty, no freedom, no justice,” during an address in London.

RELATED: Cristiano Ronaldo Donates $1.5M to Palestine for Ramadan

The Palestinian Authority’s foreign representative called Washington’s plan to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict an unacceptable ‘surrender act’ which only serves to prop up Israel.

“What future does the U.S. plan offer to the Palestinian people? Well, a very similar one since all indicates this administration is preparing to give its stamp of approval to Israel’s colonial policies,” al-Maliki pointed out.

Earlier this week, Maliki submitted a request to The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) for legal action against the U.S. over the relocation of its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Palestinian minister noted that the country’s leadership is ready to negotiate a peace that is monitored by international parties, and centered on and acknowledges the pre-1967 borders.

Israel has built some 140 settlements in the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since the 1967 Middle East war. These settlements are illegal under international law.

“The U.S. administration has shown nothing but disregard for Palestinian rights and for Palestinian lives, for international law and the internationally recognized terms of reference, and for common sense and decency,” the foreign minister added.

Al-Maliki declared that people of Palestine are long-suffering and now “want freedom, not conditional liberty, they want sovereignty not autonomy, they want peace and coexistence, not domination and subjugation.”

The minister also thanked the international community for its wide-scale rejection of the United States’ illegal relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Early May, White House advisor Kushner intimated that the plan could drop a two-state solution and accept Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“And if they do not think that this situation will have an impact on the future of Israel and the region, one way or the other, they are the ones that are delusional, not us,” Maliki said.

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on Palestine FM: US Peace Deal Favors ‘Israel’s’ Colonial Policies

Terrorism Leads Ghana’s Religious Groups to Ramp Up Security

NOVANEWS
  • The Cathedral of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso
    The Cathedral of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso | Photo: Wikimediacommons

Executive Director of the African Center for Security and Counter-Terrorism, Emmanuel Kutin, stressed that “the churches must take their own security seriously.”

An attack on a Catholic church by gunmen in Burkina Faso Sunday, which resulted in the killing of five churchgoers and one priest, has prompted the Executive Director of the African Center for Security and Counter-Terrorism, Emmanuel Kutin, to advise churches in Ghana to ramp up security.

RELATED:

UN Security Council Debates Military Group to Address Violence in West Africa

The gunmen did not conclude their attack after targetting the church. According to Urbain Kabore, a spokesperson for the West African country’s Sahel region, a health center and all locations serving alcohol were also wrecked. The strike took place in Dablo, which is located approximately 200 kilometers from the country’s capital, Ouagadougou.

Kutin spoke on a local radio station Friday to firmly recommend that churches in Ghana should consider the attacks of their northern neighbor as a warning, and to take necessary safety measures.

“The churches must take their own security seriously,” the executive director stressed.

The counter-terrorism chief added that the places of worship should not rely on their basic resources, and “must hire security consultants to give them ideas on how to handle their security on the premises of the churches.”

GhWhatsUpNews@GhWhatsUpNews

The Africa Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies (ACSIS) has confirmed reports that Burkina-Faso based terrorist group Salati-Jihadists have finalised plans to target some Ghanaian Churches in a new wave of disturbing terrorist threats to Ghana. http://ow.ly/Y5xG30oK0Vg 

Kutin extended the warning to all Ghanaians, saying that they must all remain alert of any suspicious activity. “If any unknown person is lurking around their business or homes, they will need to quickly draw the attention of others around so they forestall any attacks.”

Ghana’s National Security Minister also met with several leaders of the Christian and Muslim communities in Accra Thursday. At the meeting were representatives of several religious associations, such as the Christian Council of Ghana, the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC), the Catholic Secretariat and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission. The country’s National Security division has committed to working with church workers in order to assist them in implementing adequate security measures.

GPCC General Secretary, Rev. Emmanuel Barrigah, said that the meeting aimed to alert the religious communities to attentiveness regarding the threat of terrorism in the country, especially acts that target them specifically.

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Libya: Haftar Calls for the People to Rebel in Tripoli

NOVANEWS
  • Militia forces in Ain Zara, Tripoli, Libya April 28, 2019.
    Militia forces in Ain Zara, Tripoli, Libya April 28, 2019. | Photo: Reuters
  • Militia from the U.N.-backed National Accord Government (GNA) continue to try to hold the city against Haftar forces. 

The Libyan National Army (LNA) commander, Khalifa Haftar, is trying to incite a revolt in Tripoli amid signs of popular agitation against the Tripoli-based National Accord Government (GNA), headed by Prime Minister Fayez Al-Serraj and backed by the United Nations.

RELATED: Macron Seeks Meeting with Haftar to Reach Ceasefire in Libya

The LNA says pro-GNA militias, which came from the city of Misrata, arrested about 180 Haftar supporters in Tripoli and held them captive.

After this event, the LNA called on Tripoli’s inhabitants “whose children are held captive by the militia, to get up and get rid of the outlaws.”

Militias are trying to hold the city from an LNA takeover that has been making its way to the capital under Haftar since early April. GNA forces killed at least 15 LNA members Saturday May 18, reports EFE, as the two sides are trying to control strategic areas of the city, including the now defunct airport.

From 2014 and on, Libya has had two political power centers: a United Nations-backed government in Tripoli, that is having a hard time governing the capital city and some western areas; and another government in Tobruk, an eastern city which has remained under the Haftar’s control.

On April 4, the LNA commander launched a military offensive against Tripoli that is already engaged in long-lasting conflict that has left 454 dead, 2,154 wounded and over 63,000 displaced, according to local media 218TV net.

RELATED: Macron: No Bet on Both Sides, France Supports Sarraj in Libya

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte met with the LNA commander in Rome Thursday, urging him to end his offensive on Tripoli. “We spoke with Hafter for a long time and I have expressed Italy’s concern about the situation in Libya, we want a ceasefire and we trust in the political path as a solution to the conflict,” said the Italian leader.

Haftar will hold talks with the French President Emmanuel Macron next week to discuss peace talks in the country, a Macron source said last week.

“They will discuss the situation in Libya, the conditions for a return to political dialogue after the visit of the leader of the GNA, Fayez al-Sarraj, and in coordination with the United Nations and its partners,” the source told Reuters.

Meanwhile, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, requested an end to the armed confrontation in Tripoli and to establish a national dialogue between Libyans.

During a previous meeting with the French special envoy to Libya, Frederic Dessano, Bogdanov stressed his country’s commitment to strengthen the Libyan political process in order to establish unified institutions. He also reiterated Moscow’s support to the United Nations envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame.

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Right wing trying to generate the challenge

NOVANEWS
Right wing trying to generate the challenge that will overturn Roe v. Wade–Militant movement needed to turn the tide

On Wednesday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed House Bill 314, a near-total abortion ban, into law. The ban is the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the United States. It is also illegal.

Alabama’s abortion ban outlaws abortion at any stage in gestation and nearly all cases. This makes it a felony to perform an abortion at any stage in pregnancy. Doctors could be sentenced to life in prison for performing an abortion. The criminalization of the abortion procedure as a Class A felony would mean doctors could face up to 99 years in prison, which is potentially decades longer than the term many rapists serve in Alabama.

Alabama’s anti-abortion law has few exceptions besides “serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother” and “the unborn child has a lethal anomaly.” There are no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

While the right-wing forces purport to be pro-life, nothing could be further from the truth. The real and central issues are control and oppression. Women are the targets of these particular policies, but the same forces targeting us support the incarceration of poor youth and youth of color at astronomical rates. The same forces actively support or do not ever resist the detention of young immigrant children and their separation from families.  They are not proponents of universal childcare or fully-funded public education. They care little for the fate of those who need abortions for a variety of reasons.

The state of Alabama is a prime example. The yellowhammer state ranks 49th in education. Sixteen and 17-year olds in the state are automatically charged as adults for certain crimes, like burglary. The right-to-work state has few protections for workers and only 7 percent of workers are unionized. It has the sixth highest rate of poverty in the United States, with over 250,000 children living in poverty in 2018. Over 22 percent of children live with food insecurity.

Abortion access and reproductive justice are health care measures that primarily serve the interests of poor and working people. The state government of Alabama, like the reactionary anti-abortion forces, clearly care little for the fate and well-being of poor and working class people. The abortion ban is just yet another piece of evidence to this effect.

2019 has been a year marked by an onslaught of stringent anti-abortion measures in more than a dozen states across the country. In the past few weeks, some of the strictest anti-abortion bills yet were signed into laws in several states- notably Alabama, Ohio, Georgia, and Missouri.

The barrage of anti-abortion bills in recent weeks signals an escalated reactionary attack aiming to dismantle Roe V. Wade and undermine reproductive rights altogether. The severe Alabama-styled abortion bans that make no exception for cases of rape or incest would punish rape victims or leave them without options. A recent article by Shannon Dingle for USA Today recounts her experience as a twelve-years-old who became pregnant after being raped multiple times. Dingle points out how abortion bans would have forced her to give birth to her rapist’s child.

Dingle compares her experience to a recent report of an 11-year old girl in Ohio who was allegedly impregnated after a 26-year-old raped her multiple times. Under Ohio’s new law, this young girl would be unable to receive an abortion.

In April, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a ‘fetal heartbeat’ bill into law, which bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Like Alabama’s ban, Ohio’s law does not include exceptions for cases of rape or incest. Ohio’s anti-abortion law isn’t the first time such a bill was passed into law. This year, three other states-Mississippi, Kentucky, and most recently Georgia and Missouri-passed similar bans.

These 6 week or eight week bans have been deemed ‘heartbeat’ bills–suggesting that at 6 weeks of gestation the embryo has a beating heart. However, science says that is far from reality. At 6 weeks of gestation, the embryo begins to generate a ‘flutter’ from a clump of cells that will become the heart’s pacemaker. This flutter would not be detected if a medical professional put a stethoscope up to the belly of the pregnant woman. Calling it a heartbeat bill gives credence to the idea that a tiny clump of cells is more important than a living breathing woman who really does have a heartbeat.

Falsely labeled anti-abortion bills have also so far passed one chamber in Louisiana, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The other measures introduced to state houses in Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Texas, and West Virginia have yet to get votes.

Lawsuits have been filed or are planned to block the laws in Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio. State legislators introduced these bills knowing that they would be challenged in court. Right-wing forces have set the stage to reverse Roe v. Wade hoping the abortion bans will be heard by the right-wing Supreme Court.

Despite the fact that the Roe v. Wade decision made abortion a legal right, many women still face obstacles in obtaining abortions. The first reactionary attack on Roe v. Wade was the nefarious 1977 Hyde Amendment that denied the use of Medicaid funds for abortion.  Over the last decade in particular, states have passed hundreds and hundreds of restrictive laws and other measure that decrease access to abortion access. The limitations range from laws effectively shutting down abortion providers to counseling requirements, extended waiting periods, restricted insurance coverage and state support for fake counseling centers that deceive people.

Anti-abortion groups and reactionary forces have been backing more aggressive restrictions since President Trump’s 2016 election, but their efforts have become even more brazen in 2019. They are pushing these new restrictive bills with the 2020 presidential elections now in sight.

Women’s rights and lives are on the line. History has show that there is a force capable to pushing back the reactionary offensive. That force is not the spineless and opportunistic forces within the leadership of the Democratic Party. The militant and independent women’s movement of the 1960s won the victory of Roe v. Wade in 1973 despite an all conservative majority Supreme Court.

Today’s offensive similarly requires the organization and mobilization of a broad sector of society, in the streets and workplaces and campuses and more. It requires that we stand strong against the forces that would seek to divide us–that we understand the struggle for reproductive justice as one that must stand against racism, homophobia, transphobia, and all permutations of sexism and misogyny.  It requires that we shout boldly and from every possible corner not only our right to abortion and birth control but to reproductive justice for all.

Posted in USAComments Off on Right wing trying to generate the challenge

Iran war crisis: What’s really going on?

NOVANEWS

Photo: Common Dreams

Remember the “weapons of mass destruction” fake news used by the Bush administration to start a war on Iraq in 2003? The Trump administration is trying to stage a similar false flags crisis as a pretext to attack the Islamic Republic of Iran. At the same time, the U.S. has unleashed full economic sanctions on Iran, creating economic hardships that hit the poorest and most vulnerable Iranians the hardest.

Some in the Democratic Party leadership, concerned with getting votes in the upcoming elections, are beginning to raise objections, mostly to the “lack of transparency” and “clarity” of the Pentagon’s spy data. Though this might stay the hand of the Trump administration at the moment, Trump’s overall  policy of marching towards war with Iran, and the devastating sanctions it has imposed on the Iranian people, remain unchallenged.

What is going on?

  • On May 15, Washington ordered non-emergency staff at its embassy in Baghdad and consulate in Erbil, Iraq to leave the country, citing, a “credible threat” from Iran.
  • At a May 9 meeting of top U.S. national security aids, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented a plan that could send as many as 120,000 U.S. troops to the Middle East should Iran “attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons.” Trump had said days earlier about Iran “If they do anything it would be a very bad mistake.”
  • The Pentagon is sending amphibious warship USS Arlington (LPD-24) and elements of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit to join the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group near Iran.
  • Washington has declared Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, the first time a part of any government has been so labeled. All of this is in response unsourced and non-specific “indications of heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations against U.S. forces and our interests,” according to a Pentagon statement.

Rattling his saber, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton called the U.S. buildup an “unmistakable message” that the U.S. is prepared to unleash “unrelenting force” in response to any provocation. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo echoed the threat promising a “swift and decisive” response to an attack by Iran – or its proxies.

Bolton: Architect of weapons of mass destruction sham

But there is no Iranian provocation. No other government sees an Iranian threat. On the contrary, British Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika,   deputy commander of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic state, said on May 14, “No, there’s been no increase threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria.” Iraq officials expressed skepticism of any hightened “threat.” European allies are calling recent Iranian military moves “defensive.”

This is a U.S. manufactured crisis, and poses a great danger. Such false flags were used by the U.S. as pretexts to enter the Spanish American War (Remember the Maine), to start the war against Vietnam (falsified attack on a U.S. ship at the Gulf of Tonkin), and to begin the 2003 war on Iraq based upon nonexistent “secret” information that then Iraqi head of state Saddam Hussein was amassing weapons of mass destruction.

John Bolton, widely recognized as the force behind Washington’s current Iran policy, should know. This super hawk was a key propagator of false news in the weapons of mass destruction hoax.  While serving as George W. Bush’s undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, he declared in 2002: “We are confident that Saddam Hussein has hidden weapons of mass destruction and production facilities in Iraq.”

US renewed oil sanctions to ‘bring Iran to its knees’

Washington is also turning the economic screws on Iran. This month, Washington ended waivers that allowed some countries to buy Iranian oil despite the U.S. embargo on Iran’s oil and banking sectors.  This is part of the Trump administration’s arrogant and imperialist  “maximum pressure campaign” to “reduce Iranian oil exports to zero” and bring this sovereign nation “to its knees.” Oil and gas are the lifeblood of Iran’s its economy and accounts for 80 percent of its exports.

This month the U.S. also imposed additional sanctions on that country’s steel, aluminum, iron and copper industries, which account for a tenth of Iranian exports.

Last November, the U.S. demanded that everyone in the world stop importing Iranian oil, or else face sanctions from the United States. But these included some U.S. allies. China, Turkey, India, Japan, south Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece were given six month waivers to gradually wean themselves from Iranian oil. China and India were Iran’s biggest customers.

The waivers expired May 1, meaning the sanctions will come into full force, and the U.S will start sanctioning countries for buying Iranian oil. The move to choke off all exports is designed to force political change in Iran, and to get the Islamic Republic to stop supporting other independent government and liberation struggles in the Middle East against aggression from U.S. imperialism, Arab reaction regimes and Israel.

Sanctions designed to hurt Iranian people

Sanctions are a weapon of war, especially targeting the most vulnerable. Sanctions against Iraq after the first gulf war resulted in the death of more than 500,000 children. In Venezuela,, where U.S. sanctions have caused the death of as many of 40,000 people in Venezuela since 2017.

While the Trump administration, especially its loudest anti-Iran voices, Pompeo and Bolton, frame their rhetoric that the sanctions are meant to “help” the Iranian people, sanctions really target them. The sanctions are collective punishment against the entire Iranian population meant to cause so much hardship that Iranians will turn against their government so they can get some relief.

On May 11, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani compared the impact of the American sanctions to the devastation of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, the very lowest point of Iran’s economy to date. There is rampant inflation and the currency has been devalued, with the Iranian rial, which traded at 32,000 to $1 at the time of the 2015 nuclear accord, traded on May 16 at 147,500.  The cost of everyday goods is going up, the cost of living is increasing, causing immense economic hardship in Iran.

Nuclear threat come from US and Israel

Iran has been so hyped by U.S. administrations and the corporate media as a “nuclear threat” that it may be hard to remember that Iran has never had nuclear weapons.

The only country with nuclear weapons in the Middle East is Israel. This is truly a rogue regime, which has killed hundreds of thousands of Palestinian and other Arab civilians in its 71 years existence.

The other nuclear threat in the Middle East comes from the Pentagon.  Washington has Iran surrounded by military bases, and scores of naval ships prowl waterways close to Iran. All of these can launch nuclear weapons Meanwhile, there are no Iranian bases on foreign soil, and certainly no Iranian missile batteries on the Canadian and Mexican borders pointed to the U.S., or  Iranian ships threatening American borders.

US sanctions pressure Europeans

Nor has Iran violated the nuclear accord. Washington is the only government which has violated the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)–by leaving the agreement unilaterally and by re-imposing sanctions on Iran. The rest of the powers that negotiated the Iran nuclear deal— the European Union, Germany, France, the UK, Russia and China and Iran– still honor it. Iranian compliance with the nuclear agreement has been confirmed in every report by the International Atomic Energy Agency since the report was implemented in 2016. US intelligence committee also confirms Iran’s adherence.

However, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani recently said that the 2015 nuclear deal is “on life support.” This is because U.S. sanctions are not only aimed at Iran, but also meant to scuttle the whole accord by intimidating the European partners from honoring the provision of accord that says they will trade with Iran if it is adherent.  The Europeans and other powers have been looking for ways to get around the U.S. sanctions but, bullied by Washington, they are dragging their feet.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has pointed out that, as part of honoring their commitments to JCPOA, the Europeans were required to set up a non-dollar direct payment channel with Tehran to facilitate Iranian oil imports by circumvent the U.S. financial system and other banks that would be vulnerable to sanctions.  This Instrument in Support of Trade Exchange (INSTEX) is part of the European commitments under JCPOA following Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear accord, according to Zarif.  INSTEX, however, is still not operational. Iran has repeatedly complained about postponements and delays, which appear to be political in nature.

With all U.S. sanctions re-imposed, and without the European trade, Iran has now lost all the economic benefits that the nuclear deal gave it, and has very little reason to stay in the nuclear deal. The Trump administration, however, is poised to bait Iran should it leave the nuclear deal, and then use this as an excuse to further escalate its aggression.

Democrats put up mild opposition

 Leading Congressional Democrats have expressed opposition to an attack on Iran at this time. But their May 16 statements, were mostly limited to questions regarding the Pentagon’s spy data. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi questioned its “lack of transparency,” and New York Senator Chuck Schumer objected to “an alarming lack of clarity.”

The Obama administration considered the nuclear accord with Iran to be its signature foreign policy accomplishment. This does not mean, however, that the Democratic Party leadership has any interest in putting the pieces of the accord back together again or in silencing the drums of war that the Trump administration has beaten since it came into office. Schumer and Pelosi, for example, have been strong backers of Trump’s overall policies in the Middle East, and have ties to the military industrial complex that profits from war.

But working class and poor people here have no interest at all in supporting new acts of aggression or tolerating old ones—military and economic—against Iranians or any other people, and certainly no interest in fighting and dying in yet another war for oil.

The same forces in Washington imposing sanctions on Iran are cutting back social services here. It’s time to get the U.S. military out of the Middle East, leave the people there to determine their own lives, and use the money instead to meet human needs at home. It’s time for a new, working class anti-war movement.

Posted in USA, IranComments Off on Iran war crisis: What’s really going on?

U.S. breaks international law, seizing Venezuelan Embassy and arresting guests

NOVANEWS

 

U.S. breaks international law, seizing Venezuelan Embassy and arresting guests

The Embassy Protection Collective held their ground for five weeks inside, at the invitation of the Venezuelan government. Federal agents broke down the door on May 16.

On May 16, the U.S. government committed a major violation of international law that was barely reported in the mainstream media. Federal agents broke down the door to the Venezuelan Embassy, arrested and removed the people living inside (at the invitation of the Venezuelan government). The Trump administration then handed the building over to an operative chosen by the United States to represent the country with no legal standing in Venezuela itself. Under international law — 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, articles 22 and 45 — a host country is prohibited from invasion or interference with another nation’s embassies, and is in fact obligated to defend it. 

The arrests of the anti-war activists culminated a dramatic five-week standoff that pitted the U.S. antiwar activists inside and outside the embassy, against the Trump administration and a group of Venezuelan coup-supporters living in the United States — many of them connected to the military-industrial complex and foreign policy think tanks. 

For weeks, the Secret Service and Washington, D.C. police stood idly by while right in front of them these well-off Venezuelans harassed and attacked anti-war activists, destroyed or stole their property, vandalized the embassy and broke into it. They barricaded the entrances so as to starve out those inside, and cut off the electricity and the water to complete their siege. While dueling rallies took place on an almost nightly basis outside, the embassy protectors held firm inside, supplied by a trickle of food deliveries that found their way in through creative means. The government finally broke down the doors and took the activists out by force. 

Background to the embassy struggle

On January 23, the Trump administration declared via Twitter that self-proclaimed “president” Juan Guaidó was now the president of Venezuela. Guaidó was a legislator previously unknown to the vast majority of Venezuelans. He held his right hand up at a protest, declared himself president, and said President Nicolás Maduro’s days were numbered as head of state and called for a mass uprising to overthrow the government — which never materialized. 

That same night in January, U.S. anti-war activists rallied outside the Venezuelan Embassy against the coup attempt to declare “Hands Off Venezuela,” and then again in actions across the country in January and February. A mass rally of 1,500 gathered outside the White House on March 16, initiated by the ANSWER Coalition to denounce the plans for yet another war for oil. 

Both countries recalled their ambassadors, and the Trump administration increased its deadly and punishing sanctions aimed at stopping Venezuela from selling its oil or buying food and medicine. 

Trump gave a deadline for the remaining embassy staff in D.C. to leave the country. In the meantime, the Venezuelan Embassy opened its doors for a range of activities and teach-ins about the Trump administration’s real designs in Venezuela, and the history of U.S. imperialism in Latin America. Before leaving, the embassy staff gave the keys to a group of activists calling themselves the Embassy Protection Collective and left them in charge. 

A coup for oil 

In 2002, the United States first tried to overthrow the socialist-oriented Bolivarian Revolution, which began under Hugo Chávez in the late 1990s. That military coup was defeated by a mass mobilization of poor and working-class people to defend their elected government. 

In the years that followed, the Venezuelan government won dozens of elections monitored by international observers. It won because it carried out massive redistribution efforts that delivered food, health care, education and more to large sections of society who had never enjoyed the country’s vast oil wealth. 

As the revolution deepened, and started to inspire other movements across Latin America, so grew the hostility of the Venezuelan rich, the media conglomerates and the United States. They attempted new tactics like strikes and sabotage of the oil industry. Internationally the Western press presented Chávez as a dictator despite his many electoral victories. 

The Obama administration issued an executive order falsely calling Venezuela an “unusual and extraordinary threat ” to national security, which sanctioned government officials. When Trump took off f ice, he immediately started expanding these sanctions and mused publicly about an invasion. 

These war mongers say they are concerned about a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, but they are really interested in the country’s oil reserves. Trump’s top foreign policy advisor John Bolton admitted this in an interview on Fox Business saying, “it will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.” 

If the Trump administration really cared about Venezuelans, why is he putting Central American refugees and children in cages at the southern border? Why would he be enforcing a sanctions regime that, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, killed over 40,000 Venezuelans? Sanctions are a tool of economic war, and the Trump administration’s plan — defended by many within the Democratic establishment who pretend to offer “resistance” — is to try and inflict economic suffering on the people of Venezuela to make the dream of a coup turn to reality. 

What is obscured in press coverage are the mass rallies that are happening regularly in Venezuela in support of the government. While the economic crisis is real, large numbers of Venezuelans believe they are victims of an economic war which includes the U.S. sanctions, the manipulation of their currency exchange rate, as well as the sabotage and hoarding conducted by big businesses and importers. They reject the coup by Guiadó and Trump, are determined to defend their Revolution and their independence, and have expressed messages of solidarity to those inside the United States organizing to stop a war on their country. 

Posted in USA, VenezuelaComments Off on U.S. breaks international law, seizing Venezuelan Embassy and arresting guests


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