Archive | September 20th, 2019

Saying He Would Return to US for Fair Trial, Snowden Wants People to Know ‘Why I Did What I Did’

“Was it better for the United States? Did it benefit us? Or did it cause harm? They don’t want the jury to be able to consider that at all.”

by: Andrea Germanos,

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden speaks remotely at WIRED25 Festival: WIRED Celebrates 25th Anniversary Day 2 on October 14, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo: Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for WIRED25 )

Edward Snowden said Monday that he would return to the United States if afforded a fair trail where the American public could hear why he leaked global surveillance documents to the press.

The National Security Agency whistleblower, who was charged under the Espoinage Act and lives in exile in Russia, made the remarks in an interview with “CBS This Morning.”

“Of course I would like to return to the United States,” said Snowden. “That is the ultimate goal. But if I’m going to spend the rest of my life in prison, then one bottom line demand that we all have to agree to is at least I get a fair trial.”

“That is the one thing the government has refused to guarantee because they won’t provide me access to what’s called a ‘public interest defense,'” he said.

“I’m not asking for a pardon. I’m not asking for a pass,” Snowden continued. “What I’m asking for is a fair trial. And this is the bottom line that any American should require. We don’t want people thrown in prison without the jury being able to decide that what they did was right or wrong.”

“The government wants to have a different kind of trial” in which they “use special procedures,” he explained. “They want to be able to close the court room. They want the public not to be able to know what’s going on.”

“The most important fact to the government,” Snowden said, “is that they do not want the jury to be able to consider the motivations—why I did what I did.”

“Was it better for the United States? Did it benefit us? Or did it cause harm?” said Snowden. “They don’t want the jury to be able to consider that at all.”

The government has yet to produce any evidence his disclosure caused harm—”If they had some classified evidence that a hair on a single person’s head was harmed, you know as well as I do, it would be on the front page of The New York Times by the end of the day,” he said. The heart of the matter, said Snowden, is that the leak brought to light the government’s mass surveillance system.

“When the government is embarrassed after being caught breaking the law,” Snowden said, “they say the people who revealed that lawbreaking have caused serious harm to national security.” He pointed to the case of Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.

“What harms the country?” he asked. “Is it a war built on lies? Or is it the revelation of those lies? Is it the construction of a system of mass surveillance that violates our rights? Or is it the revelation of that by the newspapers that we trust?”

“If we can’t trust newspapers, if we can’t agree on the basic facts and then have a discussion, about whether this was right or wrong, not what’s lawful or unlawful,” Snowden said, “we’re losing our position as a democracy and as a government that is controlled by the people—rather than people that are controlled by the government.”

Trevor Timm, co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, explained in 2013 how Snowden’s chances at a fair trail are likely nil. 

Timm posited:

If Edward Snowden comes back to the U.S. to face trial, he likely will not be able to tell a jury why he did what he did, and what happened because of his actions. Contrary to common sense, there is no public interest exception to the Espionage Act. Prosecutors in recent cases have convinced courts that the intent of the leaker, the value of leaks to the public, and the lack of harm caused by the leaks are irrelevant—and are therefore inadmissible in court.

In that scenario, Timm continued, Snowden would be unable “to tell the jury that his intent was to inform the American public about the government’s secret interpretations of laws used to justify spying on millions of citizens without their knowledge, as opposed to selling secrets to hostile countries for their advantage.”

Snowden would also be unable to talk about the consequences of his actions, including the fact “his leaks sparked more than two dozen bills in Congress, and half a dozen lawsuits, all designed to rein in unconstitutional surveillance.”

“He wouldn’t be allowed to explain how his leaks caught an official lying to Congress, that they’ve led to a White House review panel recommending forty-six reforms for U.S. intelligence agencies, or that they’ve led to an unprecedented review of government secrecy,” wrote Timm.

Snowden’s new interview came a day before the publication of his memoir, Permanent Record. It can be ordered from the publishers here

Posted in USAComments Off on Saying He Would Return to US for Fair Trial, Snowden Wants People to Know ‘Why I Did What I Did’

The Greed of ‘Border-Industrial Complex’

It’s Not Just Trump: New Report Details How Greed of ‘Border-Industrial Complex’ Fuels Militarization and Abuse

“The last three decades have witnessed an unstoppable boom in U.S. border spending and many arms, security, and IT firms have made millions as a result.”

by: Eoin Higgins,

As seen through fencing, migrants—including a young child—stand while being detained by Department of Homeland Security police after crossing to the U.S. side of the U.S.-Mexico border barrier, on June 27, 2019 in El Paso, Texas.

As seen through fencing, migrants—including a young child—stand while being detained by Department of Homeland Security police after crossing to the U.S. side of the U.S.-Mexico border barrier, on June 27, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A new report detailing the ways U.S. corporations are profiting off of President Donald Trump’s war on immigrants calls the partnership between security firms and the federal government a “powerful border–industrial complex,” the existence of which presents a major barrier to reform, and explains that making money off of the border is nothing new. 

“More Than a Wall,” the report from the Transnational Institute, “looks at the history of U.S. border control and the strong political consensus—both Republican and Democrat—in support of border militarization that long pre-dates the Trump administration.”

The report lays out how both Democratic and Republican administrations have regularly increased the budget for border enforcement since the 1980s, and how the constant flow of cash has created a powerful industrial and political force invested in maintaining the oppressive policies which have contributed to the Trump-era immigration detention crisis.

Just 14 companies are considered the power players in the industry: Accenture, Boeing, Elbit, Flir Systems, G4S, General Atomics, General Dynamics, IBM, L3 Technologies, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, PAE, Raytheon, and UNISYS. But, as the report explains, it’s not just corporations—research centers and universities are making money off of border security as well. 

Corporations have not been the only ones to benefit. Universities and research institutes have also cashed in through nine Centers of Excellence (COEs) on Borders, Trade, & Immigration that in 2017 received $10 million directly, with another $90 million dedicated to research and development (R&D). The University of Houston, University of Arizona, the University of Texas El Paso, University of Virginia, West Virginia University, University of North Carolina, University of Minnesota, Texas A&M, Rutgers University, American University, the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, and the Migration Policy Institute all receive DHS funding.

Without addressing the profit motive, says the report, there’s little chance of making real change.

“Any strategy to change the direction of US policy on migration will require confronting this border–industrial complex and removing its influence over politics and policy,” the report says. “For while those corporations who profit from the suffering of migrants remain embedded in positions of power within government and society, it will be a huge challenge to forge a new approach that puts the lives and dignity of migrants first.”

Posted in USAComments Off on The Greed of ‘Border-Industrial Complex’

Zionist voters choose between annexationists and pro-occupation generals

Israeli voters choose between annexationists and pro-occupation generals
For the second time this year, Israeli citizens will be heading to the polls on Tuesday to elect a prime minister.

For Jewish voters, this election is essentially a referendum on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who in July surpassed David Ben-Gurion as Israel’s longest-serving prime minister. While there are no restrictions on the number of terms an elected prime minister can serve in Israel, Netanyahu is facing near-certain indictment on serious criminal corruption charges. Once indicted, his coalition will likely force him to resign. Netanyahu’s Likud party and his rival Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party remain tied in polls.

Meanwhile, Palestinian citizens of Israel are facing unprecedented racist attacks, not only by right-wing parties but by Netanyahu himself, who has warned his voter base that Arabs would “steal” the vote — all part of Likud’s campaign strategy that has centered around demonizing Arab citizens and left-wing Israelis.

One glaring omission from the current election cycle is the occupation. Neither Netanyahu nor his rivals have presented a vision for ending the military control of millions of Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. Netanyahu’s “dramatic” announcement of his intention to annex the Jordan Valley if re-elected was anything but, given that Israel already controls almost all aspects of life in those areas — from water, to infrastructure, to freedom of movement.

Click here for more on what’s at stake in these elections.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Middle East, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Zionist voters choose between annexationists and pro-occupation generals

Netflix series “The Spy” is propaganda, not fact

CONTACT@IFAMERICANSKNEW.ORG 

Netflix series “The Spy” is propaganda, not fact

Sacha Baron Cohen in The Spy, a Netflix series about Israeli Mossad spy Eli Cohen BY AXEL DECIS/NETFLIX

The new Netflix series, “The Spy,” appears to be more fiction than fact as it tells the story of Israeli spy Eli Cohen. The show may be Mossad’s attempt to rescue its reputation after years of botched operations and blown covers.

by As’ad AbuKhalil, reposted from Consortium News

For too long, Israeli propaganda has gotten away with tall tales about the story of failed spy Eli Cohen.

Cohen was inserted into Syria in 1961 (under a false name) and was discovered and hanged by Syrian military intelligence in 1965.  In another context, this story would have been deemed a disaster for the intelligence agency which recruited this spy. Instead, Israel has managed to spin and fabricate a large volume of lies about Cohen’s ostensible exploits.

mossad spy netflix
Eli Cohen, Israeli secret service agent. (State of Israel, Wikimedia Commons)

Whenever Israeli intelligence suffers defeats and failures it resorts to its past successes and the relationship between the Mossad and Hollywood and has proven to be invaluable for Israeli propaganda.

Netflix seems as closely tied to Mossad as old Hollywood. In addition to a series about Egyptian spy Ashraf Marwan (who Egyptian intelligence still insists was a double agent, although most likely he was not), Netflix has come up with “The Spy,” a series about Eli Cohen starring Sacha Baron Cohen.

Arab Pushback

This is not the first American film depiction of Cohen: the book, “Our Man in Damascus” (which clearly was a Mossad propaganda work) was also made into a movie years ago.  But Arabs are now more alert to Western distortions and fabrications and have been quite quick to respond to the blatant inaccuracies and lies in the new Netflix series.  One Syrian writer counted 10 historical mistakes in the series, while others said that the movie sets had no resemblances to Damascus whatsoever.

As these critics make clear, the entire premise of the Eli Cohen fictitious plot is a figment of the Mossad’s imagination: that Cohen penetrated deep into Syrian society and government and that he was able, during his first phase while posing as a Syrian immigrant in Argentina, to befriend none other than Amin Al-Hafiz (who later served in key positions in Syria). Israeli and Western accounts talk about him befriending “the president of Syria” (in an Israeli TV interview with Cohen’s widow, they even referred to him as Amin Al-Asad, confusing Syrian leaders).

There is only one problem with that story. As Syrian historian Sami Moubayed writes in Gulf News, Col. Amin Al-Hafiz denied being stationed as a military attaché during the time when Cohen was there. Al-Hafiz arrived in Argentina in 1962, after Cohen’s  departure. And he was not in power when Cohen was in Syria (he was in fact an interior minister and later served as a member of a ruling council).

mossad spy netflix
(Netflix “The Spy” trailer.)

There is not even a shred of evidence that Al-Hafiz ever met Cohen except in his prison cell because he wanted to ask him questions about his failed mission.   And Hafiz denied categorically those claims of acquaintance (they were made into a friendship in the Netflix series) in more than one TV interview.  The Netflix series also draws upon the worst Zionist Orientalist sexist portrayal of Arabs, including typical Israeli sexual humiliation of Arabs. There is a scene where, as soon as Amin Al-Hafiz meets Cohen, Hafiz’s wife (a conservative woman from Aleppo in real life) immediately reaches over and squeezes Cohen’s genitals.

Collapsing Myth

Once you expose the lies about Al-Hafiz, the entire Cohen myth collapses.

In the 1960s and 1970s the Syrian Ba`th regime did assist the Mossad’s propaganda about Cohen. The Ba`thists of Syria, who had hated Al-Hafiz due to a bitter factional feud, did not want to tell the truth and deny that Hafiz ever met Cohen.  They were not displeased that Israeli propaganda embarrassed Al-Hafiz, who later defected to Iraq and supported Saddam Husayn against the Asad regime.

The Netflix series even introduces the founder of the Ba`th Party, Michel `Aflak, to the story, claiming that he not only knew Cohen but proposed that Cohen hold a party for key leaders on the night of the coup of 1963. `Aflak in the Netflix rendition is a drinking partying man, while in reality he was an austere ascetic known for spending evenings in his modest home.

Much was made by Israeli propaganda of Cohen’s friendship with a senior Syrian military officer, `Abdul-Karim Zahr Ad-Din. Again, there is absolutely no evidence that Cohen ever met him or even saw him. As a 1965 court ruling published in the Syrian paper Ath-Thawrah showsCohen knew a nephew of his, Ma`dhi Zahr Ad-Din, but the latter was a recruit who was later discharged and held a low clerical post in the Ministry of Municipal and Rural affairs.  What kind of secret information would an acquaintance with this employee produce?

It is true that Cohen established a friendship with an employee at the Ministry of Information but the employee was hardly the senior official that Mossad’s accounts made him to be. This Ministry of Information employee, George Sayf, did introduce him to a few friends but none were in top government posts as the Israeli accounts claimed.

mossad spy netflix
(Netflix trailer for “The Spy”)

And the notion that top military officers were escorting Cohen to the front and sharing with him classified information is as laughable as current claims by Western correspondents in Beirut that top military fighters of Hizbullah share top intelligence secrets with Zionist Western correspondents.

It is true that Cohen once visited the Al-Himmah area, in the southern part of the Golan Heights, but there is no evidence that he obtained any secret information.  And as Syrian journalist Ibrahim Hmaydi pointed out in the international Arabic paper Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat recently, Cohen operated in Syria before the Ba`thist coup of 1966, and the new regime changed all military plans and personnel leading to the 1967 war.

Newspaper Smuggler

It was in Israeli interest to claim that Cohen’s espionage was so crucial that it contributed to its decisive victory in 1967.  But the reasons for that outcome are well-known and had nothing to do with secrets. It was because Arab armies were woefully ill-prepared and Israel had a huge advantage of Western military and financial support.  The only evidence of Cohen’s usefulness to Mossad was that he would smuggle Syrian newspapers from Damascus in shipments of Syrian artifacts.  But the brilliant Mossad could have obtained Syrian newspapers from Lebanon with great ease, and without any need for dangerous missions and the use of moustaches for disguises.

Israeli propaganda also claimed that Amin Hafiz (who he never met) offered him the post of deputy minister of defense. And it’s common for Western accounts of Cohen to mention that that he almost assumed this title. But Arab critics are pointing out a problem with that story: The position of deputy minister of defense did not exist in Syria until after the coup of Hafidh Al-Asad in 1970.  The series also puts the chief of Syrian military intelligence, Ahmad Suwaydani, in Argentina at the time of Cohen’s stay when he never served there. It also claims Ahmad Suwaydani was acquainted with Cohen when in reality he was the one who caught him.

Israeli Mossad-Netflix propaganda also carries a purposeful classical Israeli sexual insults to Arabs: the story of Cohen insists that Cohen had 17 or more Damascene female lovers, that he was one of the most eligible bachelors in Syria’s capital city. He was Israeli after all, and Israeli are supposed to be — according to Israeli propaganda — sexually irresistible. But how would Israel know that? Cohen, after all, was its only source in Damascus. Either Cohen invented the idea that he was a sexual magnet for Syrian women (as the Netflix series showed) or that Israeli intelligence made this up after his hanging in order to compensate its ultimate humiliation: having a spy get caught, tried and hanged.

Israeli intelligence has suffered many losses over the years. There was the botched assassination attempt of Khalid Mish`al in Amman in 1997; the assassination of Hamas official, Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai in 2010, when Dubai Chief of police released the pictures of all the members of the Mossad hit team and they were circulated worldwide. There are also the failures of Mossad in the face of Hizbullah (and the subsequent discovery of many Israeli spy networks in Lebanon in the last 10 years). All of this has damaged the image of an organization that former CIA Director Admiral Stansfield Turner once said was based more on PR than actual effectiveness.

An intelligence organization that hopes to rescue its reputation through a Netflix series is a desperate organization seeking glory from past — fake — exploits.  Elie Cohen was a failed spy who was not able to secure access to the government or the military of Syria but who sent Syrian newspapers to Israel and ran what appeared to be a brothel in Damascus.


RELATED READING:

Israel Spies and Spies and Spies

Giraldi: Did Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein Work for Mossad?

Another Day, Another Mossad Assassination

Ha’aretz reports on Israeli ties to Trump Probe

NYT Presents Murder of a Palestinian Boy as ‘National Trauma’—for Jewish Israelis

Posted in Middle East, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Netflix series “The Spy” is propaganda, not fact

Down in the Jordan Valley, the Cruel Wheels of the Israeli Occupation Keep on Turning

Gideon Levy 

Shortly after Netanyahu announced his plan to annex the Jordan Valley, the Israeli authorities arrived at hilltop olive groves owned by Palestinians there, and destroyed them, days before the planned harvestGideon Levy and Alex Levac Sep 20, 2019 8:28 AM  5comments    Zen Subscribe now

An uprooted olive tree on Mt. Tamoun.
An uprooted olive tree on Mt. Tamoun.Alex Levac

Two days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared, on Tuesday last week, his intention to annex the Jordan Valley after the election, forces of the Civil Administration carried out yet another brutal operation of destruction. The target this time was particularly remote: a rocky hillside adjacent to the village of Tamoun in the northern valley. The goal was singularly vicious: the uprooting of hundreds of olive trees that were about to yield their first fruit, and demolition of the cisterns holding the water that was used to irrigate them.

Four days later, on Monday, the groves’ owners stood next to their felled trees and their ruined cisterns, sadly rolling bits of olives from the felled trees between their fingers. The first crop of these seven-year-old trees was set to be harvested in another few days, but the Civil Administration’s terminators got here just before – as if to rub salt in the wound. The butchered trees are withering on the ground; their fruit is dying on the slashed branches. The Civil Administration also uprooted in full some large olive trees, about 50 years old, from this privately owned grove and buried them under the rubble of the reservoirs they had devastated, lest the farmers try to replant them, here or elsewhere.

Also on Monday, ministers of the symbolic Palestinian government left Ramallah and cruised east in their official vehicles, to hold a symbolic cabinet meeting in the village of Fasayil. They were protesting the meeting held a day earlier by Israeli ministers at the outpost of Mevo’ot Yericho, which they agreed to legalize on the spot. Few people took an interest in the Palestinian cabinet meeting.

The sign above the local council building in the small Palestinian village of Atouf says “State of Palestine,” but the reality on the ground tells a different story. There’s no state and no government – not even a security force to protect farmers from the violent dispossession of their land. The demolished cisterns on Mount Om Ekbesh and the whitewashing of the settlement of 175 residents north of Jericho are the real story of the Jordan Valley. They signify who is sovereign here, and the type of regime that exists under that sovereign.

But neither the possibility of annexation nor the Israeli election was of interest to any Palestinians in the Jordan Valley this week. All that remained amid the rubble was pent-up grief and a feeling of helplessness in the face of the crushing machine of occupation, whose engine no ruling party in Israel intends to shut down. Even Kahol Lavan’s Benny Gantz promised that under his government, too, Israel would remain here for all time. That’s a well-known fact among every last Palestinian farmer whose land has been plundered near the hill between the villages of Atouf and Tamoun, above the verdant, budding settlements of Ro’i and Beka’ot. Neither the results of the election nor the implementation of the outgoing government’s annexation decision will have the slightest effect on the lives of anyone here or make a difference vis-à-vis the flagrant apartheid here, as witnessed by the flourishing, illegal settlements of the Jews and the demolished water holes and fields of the Palestinians.

A steep dirt road ascends the mountain from the village of Atouf; it was cleared by the Palestinians over the course of several years and completed in 2018. Until then the farmers could gain access to their lands only on foot or with a tractor. The owners of these properties live in Tamoun, which can be seen from the summit. According to the documents they have, this is private land, officially registered as such since Ottoman times.

Last Thursday morning at about 7:30, local shepherds called Mursheid Bani Odah and Jihad Bani Odah, both residents of Tamoun, to say that large military forces were moving from the direction of Atouf toward the mountaintop. Arif Daraghmeh, a field researcher for the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem – who also serves, on a voluntary basis, as head of the Palestinian council of villages in the northern Jordan Valley – followed the Israeli troops in his car. He had no idea where they were headed, but it was clear from the equipment they carried that they were bent on destruction. As they approached Tamoun, he became increasingly concerned that they were going to raid the town. Daraghmeh counted four bulldozers, two power shovels and two excavators, escorted by three jeeps of the Israel Defense Forces and three more belonging to the Civil Administration.

The two landowners and the B’Tselem field researcher tried to drive up the mountain but were blocked by soldiers on the pretext that the site had been declared a closed military zone. Instead, the trio climbed seven kilometers by foot and approached their land, whereupon the former two discovered that their olive groves and cisterns were that day’s wrecking project.

Mursheid worked for 20 years in the fields of Beka’ot for a settler named Ilan Tzach, until he became fed up with the exploitative wages he received – a mere 100 shekels ($28) for a long workday that began at 6 A.M. His daily expenses were 20 shekels for travel, plus another 20 shekels for food and cigarettes, so he was left with very little. Now he does odd jobs and devotes part of his time to tending his family’s olive trees on the mountain. Jihad is a carpenter who specializes in doors. Their world collapsed last Thursday, when they reached their land and saw the contract workers of the Civil Administration uprooting trees and wreaking destruction.

The sight on the mountain does not make for easy viewing.

Jihad Bani Odah surveying the rubble, this week. He’s convinced that the Israeli forces left a small part of his grove intact, “so we will know what we are missing, so we will remember what was here.”
Jihad Bani Odah surveying the rubble, this week. He’s convinced that the Israeli forces left a small part of his grove intact, “so we will know what we are missing, so we will remember what was here.”Alex Levac

Shallow graves in the thorny, rock-strewn area, where the young olive trees were buried; demolished concrete walls of the six reservoirs, each of which held 70 cubic meters of water. It’s a remote place, up here, far from any habitation. Signs alongside the dirt road leading up the mountain, put up by the Environmental Quality Authority of the Palestinian Authority and by the United Nations Environment Program, declare the area to be a nature reserve. The signs bear colorful pictures of local birds and plants.

“I worked here seven years,” Mursheid says, standing on his devastated property. “Why didn’t they come to me in the first year and tell me it was forbidden to plant here? Why did they wait seven years,” the period it takes for an olive tree to begin bearing fruit. To make the point, he picks up an olive branch torn off a tree, with its first fruits. “Here is a sapling, an olive tree just a few years old.” He speaks to the olives with compassion, as though he’s talking to his children.

On Thursday, he tells us, he asked the officer in charge of the demolition operation: “Why are you doing this? Whom are these olive trees bothering? If people want to hike around here, why shouldn’t they sit in the shade of an olive tree?”

His questions went unanswered, but Mursheid surely knows who’s bothered by the groves: the settlers in the valley, the lords of the land who are served by the Civil Administration, who is their contract worker.

Jihad and Mursheid initially began to clear the land here about a decade ago, and planted the trees in November 2012 after the PA’s Ministry of Agriculture helped them build the first section of the road. A month ago, a few dozen trees owned by Jihad were uprooted; Thursday was a repeat performance. Amazingly, a swath of land with about 30 trees on it was left untouched. So, in the heart of the darkness, there is still a blossoming grove, a remnant, a mute memorial to what was and is no more. The soldiers explained: “That is yours. It’s not ours.” But Jihad says the entire area of 20 dunams (5 acres), of which only one dunam remained intact, is registered in his name. He is convinced that they left him a small part of the grove “so that we will know what we are missing, so we will remember what was here.”

The Israeli forces also smashed the purple plastic chairs that were here, leaving us with nothing to sit on. As we speak, Jihad caresses an amputated branch, a man in mourning. Again he wonders why this happened. He said he hoped to rescue a few large trees that were buried beneath the ruins of a cistern, but was afraid to bring in a power shovel to pull them out, because he figured the machinery would be confiscated.

On Saturday, he says, he will plant a few new olive trees here.

All told, in the two rounds of destruction, a month ago and last week, about 240 trees belonging to Jihad were uprooted, along with about 250 of those owned by Mursheid. When the two reached their property on Thursday, they saw workers using electric saws on the trees while bulldozers laid waste to the cisterns they had built. Local people began to arrive to see what had happened. Now they’re worried in Tamoun that the Civil Administration will ravage more groves and reservoirs, such as those lining the dirt road up the mountain.

Three months ago, someone planted the Palestinian flag on the slope of the hill across the way. According to one theory, that is the root of the locals’ troubles. But Jihad tells us that he received a stop-work order a few years ago and waged an ongoing, losing legal battle for his land. Mursheid says that no one told him that he was prohibited from planting olive trees on his own land.

In response to a request for comment, Haaretz received the following statement from the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories: “On September 12, 2019, the supervisory unit of the Civil Administration undertook an enforcement operation at Mt. Tamoun against an illegal incursion that included planting of trees and creation of water-storage facilities on state lands, and a nature reserve.

“It should be stressed that, in contradiction to what is claimed [in the article], the illegal work was not undertaken on private lands but encroached on a nature reserve and state lands, as was determined by the High Court of Justice after it considered several appeals on the subject. The enforcement was executed in accord with the authority [of the unit] and proper procedure.”

“You took our land, you took our water, you took our food – what do we have left? You expect that after all this we will be your friends? Anyone who takes our food, land and water cannot be my friend,” Mursheid says.

Adds Jihad, “The olive branch is the symbol of peace. At Oslo we offered it to you” – a reference to the Israeli-Palestinian accords signed in 1993.

A young eucalyptus tree remains among the ruins. The terminators didn’t touch it. It stands erect, as though defiant, among the uprooted olive trees and decimated cisterns. Maybe it was left there to signify the Civil Administration’s love of nature and the land.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Down in the Jordan Valley, the Cruel Wheels of the Israeli Occupation Keep on Turning

The Student Debt Problem Is a Family Crisis

More and more parents are ending up trapped between what they feel is a moral obligation toward higher education and their financial reality.

By Mike Konczal

score-Student-_Debtor_Generation_img

(Tracy Matsue Loeffeholz)

Ready To Fight Back?

Sign up for Take Action Now and get three actions in your inbox every week. 

You will receive occasional promotional offers for programs that support The Nation’s journalism. You can read our Privacy Policy here.

Student debt is transforming the lives of young adults, and the evidence of its damage is piling up. Student debt drives people away from public service jobs toward higher-paying ones with no civic purpose. It is linked with lower rates of entrepreneurship, which is deadly for our economy that already has too few new businesses. And it is associated with a delay in all kinds of markers of adulthood: buying a car, purchasing a home, even starting a family. As the number of people carrying student debt into their late 30s and early 40s increases, these effects will drag on, with ripple effects across the economy.ADVERTISING

But student debt affects not just the student debtors themselves. It is reworking the lives of parents and families. In her new book Indebted, economic anthropologist Caitlin Zaloom follows dozens of middle-class families as they navigate the massive industry of college aid, financing, and debt. She discovers that many of them end up trapped between what they feel is their moral obligation toward higher education and their financial reality.

Like all American families, the parents in Zaloom’s book want to ensure that their children have opportunities to be independent adults. But in order to achieve this, families feel they must go into debt, often endangering their place in the middle class. With college, parents are often making a risky gamble that a large investment today will give their children a comfortable life in the future.

When college was free or at least widely affordable, none of this was necessary. Now most middle-class families require financing to send their kids to college. This takes the form of borrowing against future earnings in student loans and saving current money in tax-deferred private accounts like 529s for future use. Using finance to fund higher education has exacerbated inequality and leaves behind those most vulnerable. This is well understood when it comes to private savings accounts, the tax benefits of which accrue to those with higher incomes.

But there’s a more subtle way that finance hinders working- and middle-class aspirations. Moving money through time with finance presumes a stable and predictable income and life that isn’t available for most people. Borrowing against future earnings assumes that money will be there; saving now assumes more urgent needs won’t arise before then. These savings can be eaten away by illness, disability, addiction, divorce, or any number of other ways things can fall apart.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process also takes for granted an idealized family structure, one in which parents openly discuss money between themselves and with their children. The FAFSA requires students to get documents from parents who may not be interested in providing them. When students are audited for financial aid, Zaloom finds, some parents don’t want to participate in the scrutiny of their finances.

The FAFSA also decides who is and isn’t counted as family. It considers the family two parents and the children who depend on them. But many families don’t fit this model, and the ones that do conform tend to be wealthier. In reality, parents may have other family costs; they may help pay for the health care of a cousin or the education of a niece. That means when it comes to student aid, families that don’t match the nuclear standard get punished financially.

In all this, there’s a clear political ideology at play. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher famously said in response to whether society has an obligation to solve problems, “There is no such thing [as society]. There are individual men and women, and there are families.” The last part of this quote is often forgotten, but it is key to understanding modern conservatism, which believes that the family unit should be the primary place to handle risk. This is the opposite of how the left has understood this. One of the core arguments for the creation of social insurance was that it is difficult for individuals and families to save against all the possible risks in life but that in aggregate these numbers are predictable. Socializing this risk creates the freedom for people to start businesses or invest in their family or do any of the other things they want to do. The burden of student debt on the family is new, and it’s not inevitable. By socializing the cost, we can upend the system: It’s time to enact free college and wipe out student debt.

Posted in USA, EducationComments Off on The Student Debt Problem Is a Family Crisis

The Deadly Debris the US Is Leaving Behind in Afghanistan

Landmines have killed at least 5,000 people, many of them children, during the war in Afghanistan. They’ll be there long after we leave.

By Stephanie Savell

Afghan funeral

Afghan women carry a coffin to a funeral ceremony in Kabul. (Mohammad Ismail / Reuters)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.

Ready To Fight Back?

Sign up for Take Action Now and get three actions in your inbox every week. 

You will receive occasional promotional offers for programs that support The Nation’s journalism. You can read our Privacy Policy here.

I’ve never been to Afghanistan, but I am the mother of two young children. So when I imagine what life must be like there after 18 years of war, my mind conjures up the children most vividly—the ones who have been affected by the conflict—and their parents. I think of the 12-year-old boy who was carrying water to a military checkpoint in a remote part of that country, earning pennies to help sustain his family, whose legs were blown off by a landmine. Or the group of children at a wedding party, playing behind the house where the ceremony was taking place. One of them picked up an unexploded shell, fired from a helicopter, that hadn’t detonated in battle. It blew up, killing two children, Basit and Haroon, and wounding 12 others. What must it be like to care for a five year old—the age of my oldest child—who is maimed and who needs to learn how to walk, play, and live again with ill-fitting prosthetics?

A major legacy of the US war on terror in Afghanistan, which began in October 2001 and shows little sign of actually ending anytime soon, will be the “explosive remnants of war”—a term for all the landmines and unexploded bombs and other weaponry that have been left behind in the earth. This debris of America’s endless war, still piling up, is devastating in many ways. It makes it so much harder for an agricultural population to sustain itself on the land. It wreaks havoc on Afghans’ emotional wellbeing and sense of security. And it poses special hazards for children, who are regularly injured and killed by the left-behind explosives of an already devastating war as they play, herd livestock, or collect water and firewood.

Given the expected drawdown of American troops in Afghanistan—despite the recent breakdown in peace negotiations with the Taliban, President Trump continues to indicate that he may pursue such a path—and the possibility of an official end to the US war there, this topic is both pressing and relevant to public debate in America. Offering aid and reparations for the horrific ongoing costs of explosive military waste should be a priority on Washington’s future agenda.

“The Human and Financial Costs of the Explosive Remnants of War in Afghanistan,” a new report issued today by the Costs of War project, which I co-direct, at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, offers a sense of the scale of the damage in Afghanistan. According to the report’s authors, Suzanne Fiederlein and SaraJane Rzegocki of James Madison University, at least 5,442 people have been killed and 14,693 people have been injured by devices embedded in or left on the ground since the start of the US-led war in 2001.

Of those victims, the great majority are boys and men. A casualty analysis by the Danish Demining Group in 2017 suggested that boys are particularly vulnerable because of their day-to-day activities and chores, but women and girls, too, are increasingly becoming casualties of unexploded ordnance, particularly when traveling. In 2017, the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan expressed concern about a “65% jump in the number of children killed or wounded by explosive remnants as fighting has spread to heavily populated civilian areas.”

The United States has provided significant financial support for humanitarian mine-clearing programs in Afghanistan. In recent years, however, that funding has been dropping. According to the United Nations Mine Action Service, Afghanistan has made some genuine progress toward its goal of freeing itself of landmines and other unexploded debris by 2023. Yet international financial support for such activities has dropped to 41 percent of what it was in 2011. Even if the Afghan War truly ended tomorrow, a sustained commitment of financial aid over many years would be necessary to clear that country of all the ordnance sewn into its soil as a result of the last 18 years of America’s war.

A LEGACY OF WAR

The new Costs of War report reveals that the leading weapons causing such damage have changed over time. Even before 2001, when the US-led coalition invaded Afghanistan, that country stood near the top of the list of those afflicted by abandoned landmines. The devices remained from the 1980s conflict between the Soviet Union and extremist Islamist rebels, the mujahedeen, backed by Washington and funded and supported by the CIA.

View our current issue

Subscribe today and Save up to $129.

In the wake of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989, international and Afghan clearance groups worked hard to clean up those minefields. Their efforts were, however, often thwarted by brutal new conflicts, including an Afghan civil war from 1992 to 1996 and the period from 1996 to 2001 in which the Taliban largely controlled the country. Still, over the past few decades, such groups managed to remove two million pieces of unexploded ordnance.

As the latest data indicates, landmines from the Soviet conflict have still been causing 7 percent of remnant-related casualties since 2010. Most of those hurt by explosive ordnance, however, are victims of the ongoing, complex armed conflict that emerged from the US-led invasion—that is, a range of weapons used and left behind by American forces, Taliban fighters, and Islamic State-affiliated groups. These include grenades, projectile weapons, mortars, cluster munitions, and large bombs that failed to explode as intended, but are still live and prone to going off if touched or moved at a later date. Taliban and ISIS militants are also increasingly relying on improvised explosive devices (IEDs) set off by someone stepping on them or otherwise unwittingly activating them. If not triggered at the time of battle, they can kill or injure civilians long after, even in areas in which there is no longer active fighting.

Since 2015, casualties from explosive remnants of war and abandoned IEDs have been rising rapidly. One reason is an increase in fighting between the US-backed Afghan National Security Forces and both the Taliban and ISIS, as well as intensifying conflict between these extremist groups themselves. According to report author Suzanne Fiederlein, improvised explosive devices are growing more common in Afghanistan and other conflicts across the Middle East, partly thanks to the Internet, which has spread knowledge of how to build them. Such information, she writes, is “commonly available now, not just on dark-web sites. Such knowledge is also linked to the manufacture of more sophisticated and complex devices, such as anti-handling devices (booby traps).”

In addition, since 2017, the United States has dramatically increased its airstrikes against the Taliban and other militant groups in Afghanistan, while the Taliban itself, as it gains ever more territory, has expanded its attacks on government targets as well as on Afghan and international security forces. In the past year, as US and Taliban officials have engaged in peace talks, both sides have only ramped up their aggression further, assumedly in order to strengthen their hands in the negotiatons.

SUPPORT PROGRESSIVE JOURNALISM

If you like this article, please give today to help fund The Nation’s work.

Finally, in recent years, as the American-led coalition has closed down bases in advance of a prospective US military withdrawal, more and more Afghans have died or been injured by military waste exploding in abandoned areas once used by international security forces as firing ranges. From 2009 to 2015, the United Nations recorded 138 casualties from explosions in or around such former training facilities. Seventy-five percent of those victims were children.

LIVING WITH EXPLOSIVE MILITARY WASTE

It’s important to grasp just how long explosive remnants of war can remain active in a landscape after a conflict ends. If uncleared, they pose a danger to people living nearby or passing through for generations. In Belgium, for instance, more than a century later, significant numbers of explosive shells are still being removed from former World War I battlefields. Many countries struggle with this problem, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Korea, Laos, and Vietnam, but Afghanistan has been one of the hardest hit.

As of 2018, roughly 1,780 square kilometers of that country are considered contaminated by military waste. As the Costs of War report points out, this is “roughly ten times the area of Washington, DC, but spread across a country almost as large as Texas.” Danger zones include farms and grazing land, roads that people regularly use to get to markets, schools, and hospitals, and lands surrounding militant strongholds, allied military bases, and those former firing ranges.

From the research I’ve done, it’s clear why people continue to use such contaminated lands. At the most basic level, it’s a story of inequality. Many Afghans undoubtedly know which areas pose a threat. In addition, risk education programs have made progress in getting teachers, midwives, and police officers to spread awareness of how to recognize and avoid such dangers. However, poverty often forces Afghans to make terrible and terrifying decisions about the risk of injury and death.

Dilemmas of this sort are commonly faced in places marked by such legacies of conflict. Anthropologist David Henig, for instance, describes how rural villagers in the Bosnia-Herzegovina highlands still knowingly enter contaminated forest areas to gather firewood. For them, living with the danger of landmines left over from the Bosnian War of the 1990s is a matter of economic survival. Many Afghans face a similar plight. I can only suppose that the boy who stepped on a landmine while carrying water for soldiers would not have been earning money in that fashion if his family had any other way to scrape together an existence.

While people learn to live with the presence of explosive waste in their landscapes, doing so exacts a grim toll. Imagine the fear and emotional distress you might feel at merely passing through places where a misstep could kill you, no less your children. Henig recounts how one Bosnian woman, returning from a mined part of the forest where she had filled her wagon with wood, broke down and cried, yelling feverishly, “Why, why do we have to do this?”

In Afghanistan, the Costs of War report points to the “deep psychological impact” of such long-lasting contamination: “For Afghans, the fear of being harmed by these weapons is magnified by knowing or seeing someone injured or killed.” People are terrorized and traumatized by the threat of explosions, and this continuous sense of foreboding must create an undertone of anxious melancholy that runs through every minute of the day.

Then there are the thousands of Afghans who live not only with the fear of such explosions, but also with the need to rebuild their lives after being maimed by one. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) physical rehabilitation program in Afghanistan manufactures over 19,000 artificial legs, arms, and other orthopedic devices each year. Groups like the ICRC and Handicap International post photos of children on their websites as they are being fitted with and trained to use prosthetic legs. In one, a boy of no more than five looks bleakly at the camera, his hands resting on two parallel bars at his sides, the stumps of his legs settled uncomfortably in new plastic devices. In another, Nilofar, a young woman in a wheelchair, prepares to shoot a basketball; hers is a remarkable story of recovery, of moving from complete paralysis, after a back injury due to an explosion, to partial mobility. Today she works for the ICRC’s Kabul Orthopedic Center as a data entry operator, a job that has given her an income, a sense of purpose, and renewed hope.

The United Nations Mine Action Service has called for more long-term support for survivors of such wounds. They need such care to learn to walk on and use prosthetic limbs, as well as to deal with the depression and other psychological effects that accompany such injuries. According to the ICRC, they also require “a role in society and to recover dignity and self-respect.” All of the more than 800 staff at the seven ICRC orthopedic centers across Afghanistan are former patients. But there are thousands of others and no one can doubt that, in a war seemingly without end, there will be thousands more.

IMPERIAL DEBRIS AND US RESPONSIBILITY

Scholars have called landmines and other explosive remnants of war “imperial debris”—the detritus, in particular, of imperial America and its expansive global military footprint, including its forever wars around this planet. Even if US troops are finally withdrawn, as Afghans encounter such debris from the war on terror and find their lives eternally shaped by it, the association with the American project in their country will remain alive for years into the future, as such weaponry keeps right on killing. In the process, it will undoubtedly seed hatred of the United States for generations to come.

Sadly, American funding for the humanitarian mine-clearing program in Afghanistan has been in decline since 2012. Afghanistan today has some of the best-trained demining technicians on the planet, but the scale of the problem is massive and the money available for it far too modest. The very goal of achieving mine-free status by 2023, a project once expected to cost $647.5 million, is likely unattainable, even if the fighting ends, because funding targets have fallen so far short of being fulfilled.

The United States has been the single largest donor to that program, making $452 million in contributions since 2002. Since 2012, however, it’s been another story, as Washington has dispatched much of its funding and resources for such programs to Iraq and Syria instead. In fiscal year 2018, the Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan raised just $51 million of its $99 million funding goal and only an estimated $20 million of that came from Washington, less than half what it gave between 2010 and 2012.

Americans have an obligation to clear explosive hazards in that country, a large portion of which are of US origin. Given the taxpayer dollars Washington has already spent on or committed to the war on terror through fiscal year 2019—$5.9 trillion, according to the estimate of the Costs of War project—what it’s donated to deal with imperial debris in Afghanistan is scarcely more than a drop in the bucket. A multiyear funding commitment to clear the explosive remnants of the war on terror there would be one small way to carry out a tiny portion of America’s responsibility to the Afghan people after so many years of destruction.

Someday, Afghanistan stands every chance of becoming America’s forgotten war. The conflict will be anything but forgotten in that country, however, and therein lies one of the saddest stories of all.

Posted in USA, AfghanistanComments Off on The Deadly Debris the US Is Leaving Behind in Afghanistan

Donald Trump Is Holding a Rally With… Narendra Modi?

With this weekend’s stadium event in Houston, America First will meet India First.

By Jeet Heer

Modi Trump G-7

President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi share a laugh together during a bilateral meeting at the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, August 26, 2019. (AP / Andrew Harnik)

Ready To Fight Back?

Sign up for Take Action Now and get three actions in your inbox every week. 

You will receive occasional promotional offers for programs that support The Nation’s journalism. You can read our Privacy Policy here.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a hugger—a bear-like man who bonds with people through tight embraces. His hugging aligns with his firm belief in the value of personal diplomacy. Contravening diplomatic norms, he often goes to the airport to directly greet foreign dignitaries. He’s invited both American presidents whose terms have overlapped with his tenure, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, to visit India. Like Trump himself, Modi is committed to glad-handing, believing that the personal touch is the best way to overcome international disagreements

Modi will get to test his faith in person on Sunday when he shares the stage with Trump in an event in Houston, Texas, titled “Howdy, Modi!” Scheduled to take place in a stadium that seats 50,000, the rally will be a testament to Modi’s popularity not just in India, where he recently won a landslide reelection, but among the broader South Asian diaspora.

Trump’s presence at the rally is an unusual one, and it comes at a time when the US State Department is criticizing India for tightening its grip on the troubled region of Kashmir, detaining local political leaders and cutting off communications with the outside world. There is increasing concern that Kashmir will simply be annexed into India outright, ending a decades-long period in which its status was being negotiated between India and its neighbor Pakistan. Varghese George, an expert on American-Indian relations, told The Washington Post that by attending the rally Trump was giving “virtual approval” to Modi’s aggressive Kashmir policy.

Trump’s courtship of Modi springs from many sources, some of which predate both leaders. India and the United States had chilly relations for many decades after the subcontinent achieved independence in 1947, in large part because of the policy of non-alignment established by India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Cold War America took non-alignment as being close to covert pro-Communism and much preferred Pakistan to India.

The end of the Cold War and the inception of the War on Terrorism changed this dynamic. Since the 1990s, American foreign policy experts have come to see India as a potential bulwark against China. India, under Modi’s predecessor Manmohan Singh, had been receptive to American overtures, particularly the promise of a closer military alliance. The two hurdles to closer ties remain Kashmir (India has resisted repeated American offers to mediate) and trade (India has opened itself to foreign capital, but not nearly to the degree the United States wants).

In 2015, Obama and Modi signed a “US-India Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean Region” that greatly intensified military cooperation between the two countries. But if Trump’s solicitude towards Modi fits in with long-standing bipartisan goals, it also has a particularly Trumpian stamp.

Trump and Modi are very similar figures in many ways. Modi is an authoritarian nationalist whose Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has demagogically exploited Islamophobia to gain power. As Washington Monthly argues, Modi has “made India a less tolerant place for minorities. Religious hate crimes have increased more than fivefold since Modi and the BJP came to power in 2014. Most of the perpetrators are part of the country’s vast Hindu majority. Most of the victims belong to the country’s population of 190 million Muslims.”

View our current issue

Subscribe today and Save up to $129.

In a 2019 interview with The Times of India, former Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon acknowledged the parallels. “I started studying Modi in 2013,” Bannon claimed. “In fact, Modi…foreshadowed Trump. As a nationalist, Modi was a Trump before Trump. He said I put India and India’s interest first and I admire that.”

A slippery character, Modi might want to play up a shared Islamophobia, just as in the Obama years he argued that India and the United States were natural allies because they were both democracies.

But is India First really compatible with America First? Bannon himself, although long exiled from the White House, illustrates the problem, since he remains a key articulator of Trumpian ideology. Bannon might claim to admire India First, but he doesn’t much admire Indian immigrants to America. In fact, he notoriously advised Trump that American unity was being undermined by the success of Asian immigrants in Silicon Valley. Bannon has also praised the 1973 novel The Camp of Saints, which is set in a xenophobic dystopia where Europe is threatened by a flotilla bringing in a horde of Indian refugees. The novel ends with Switzerland as the lone, doomed outpost of the white race.

Bannon and Trump clearly hope that by praising Modi they can win over some Indian-American voters. Since 2016, Trump has made a play for the Indian-American vote. “We love the Hindus!” Trump said in a bizarre 2016 campaign video that featured a Bollywood soundtrack. This outreach to Indian-Americans parallels Trump’s attempt to woo Jewish-American voters by touting his strong support for Israel. In both cases, the campaigns yielded little or no results, because for minority communities in America, Trump’s xenophobia outweighs all else. In 2016, Trump only won 12 percent of the Indian-American vote, against 64 percent for Hillary Clinton (the remainder voted for another party or didn’t vote).

SUPPORT PROGRESSIVE JOURNALISM

If you like this article, please give today to help fund The Nation’s work.

Beyond the Indian-American vote, Trump might want a closer alliance with India as a foreign policy goal, just as George W. Bush and Barack Obama did. As with previous presidencies, trade and Kashmir are nearly insurmountable hurdles. Trump has launched a trade war with India that is likely to be as inconclusive as all his other stabs at using tariffs to impose America’s will on its trading partners.

In theory, Trump might be able to make a shift on Kashmir since he has little regard for international norms. There’s no reason to think Trump would personally object to Modi’s annexing the region outright. But to do that, Trump would have to overcome his own State Department, something he has little aptitude for. As befits his reality-show presidency, Trump’s forays into policy are often only about photo ops rather than transforming the actual orientation of the government. Trump and Modi will probably have a bear hug on Sunday, but the disputes that divide India and the United States will continue to fester.

Bannon and Trump have their own peculiar kind of internationalism: the dream of a nationalist international. This can be seen in Trump’s friendliness towards Modi—and in his praise of authoritarian nationalists in Russia, Hungary, Brazil, and elsewhere. But this is an incoherent foreign policy, since governments hell-bent on pursuing their own national interests above all else will inevitably clash over matters of interest.

Posted in USA, IndiaComments Off on Donald Trump Is Holding a Rally With… Narendra Modi?

Lebanon of shame

After burying a Syrian child in Lebanon .. digging his grave and exiting his body because he is not Lebanese!

By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr


Image result for LEBANESE FLAG CARTOON

A 4-year-old Syrian child died today in the Assoun area of ​​Lebanon. He was buried there, but the surprise, according to the “Observatory of the North Media” that after his burial, the “guard of the future” excavated the grave again and the body of the child and handed over to his father only because he is of Syrian nationality! ..

Posted in LebanonComments Off on Lebanon of shame

Syria Expresses Its Freedom Through Resistance

By Mark Taliano

Global Research,

Syria expresses her freedom in her resistance to Empire. Resistance takes many forms and trajectories, but they all lead to freedom.

Resistance delivers freedom from terrorism, it expresses itself not only when the SAA defeats Western supported terrorists, but also when Syria rebuilds from the ruins.

Resistance and freedom are evident when Syria and Syrians choose their own political economy. Syrians choose President Assad, and he is staying. Syrians choose a secular government and constitution, and they are staying.

Ironically, but predictably, social schisms DID occur in Syria prior to 2011. As Prof. Chossudovsky notes in “SYRIA: NATO’s Next ‘Humanitarian’ War?”,(1) in 2006 Syria adopted economic reforms under IMF guidance (2) which included austerity measures, wage freezes, financial deregulation, trade reforms and privatizations.

This economic poison served Empire well, but not Syria.

However, Syria still has its own public Central Bank, which promises a free and self-determining political economy. Reportedly, even now, Syria has no external debts.

Central Bank of Syria

Syrian society is more equal than its Western counterparts. Everyone is entitled to free education, and everyone is entitled to free healthcare. Access is not limited by a person’s ability to pay. Equal access to healthcare and education also mean that there is more gender equity in Syria than there is in the West.

Interview with Dr. Ayssar Midani

Prior to the war, Syria was largely self-sufficient. She had food security and financial security.Syria: The Quest for Truth and Peace in the New Year

Despite the criminal economic blockade, the criminal occupations, and the terrorism imposed on her, she remains steadfast. Syrians still receive their salaries and they still receive their pensions. The West would prefer that the world remain blind to Syria’s successes, and the West still seeks to destroy these successes of democracy and of political and economic independence.

The task of post-war reconstruction is gargantuan. Here, Syria’s allies, in particular Russia and China, will play a pivotal role, which will further alienate the terrorist-supporting West. Syria will become more economically integrated into Eurasia, and the One Belt One Road initiative. (3)

Syria resists, and Syria rebuilds, so true freedom, which lies submerged in the hearts of us all, will continue to burn brighter and stronger in Syria, for all the world to see.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Mark Taliano is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) and the author of Voices from Syria, Global Research Publishers, 2017. Visit the author’s website at https://www.marktaliano.net where this article was originally published.

Notes

(1) Prof. Michel Chossudovsky, “SYRIA: NATO’s Next ‘Humanitarian’ War?”
ONLINE INTERACTIVE I-BOOK , Global Research, 11 February, 2012 (https://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-nato-s-next-humanitarian-war/29234 ) Accessed 19 September, 2019

(2) “Syrian Arab Republic — IMF Article IV Consultation, Mission’s Concluding Statement,” May 14, 2016.
(https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2015/09/28/04/52/mcs051406 ) Accessed 19 September, 2019

(3)Finian Cunningham, “Enter the dragon: China’s crucial role in winning Syria peace” RT, 24 May, 2018. (https://www.rt.com/op-ed/427699-china-syria-business-peace/) Accessed 19 September, 2019.


Order Mark Taliano’s Book “Voices from Syria” directly from Global Research.

Mark Taliano combines years of research with on-the-ground observations to present an informed and well-documented analysis that refutes  the mainstream media narratives on Syria. 

Voices from Syria 

ISBN: 978-0-9879389-1-6

Author: Mark Taliano

Year: 2017

Pages: 128 (Expanded edition: 1 new chapter)

List Price: $17.95

Special Price: $9.95 

Click to order

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Syria Expresses Its Freedom Through Resistance


Shoah’s pages

www.shoah.org.uk

KEEP SHOAH UP AND RUNNING

September 2019
M T W T F S S
« Aug   Oct »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30