Archive | October 15th, 2019

Nazi gestapo Were ‘Saddened’ to Have to Kill Gaza Protesters, to Avert ‘Bloodbath’

Israelis Were ‘Saddened’ to Have to Kill Gaza Protesters, to Avert ‘Bloodbath’

By Philip Weiss

Global Research,

Have you watched reports of the Chinese government’s attacks on protesters in Hong Kong? American media are outraged, and the shooting of a young man two days ago was national news here. The fact that the protesters hurl bricks is treated in the reports I’ve watched as just another form of protest.

Contrast those stories to the often-sympathetic coverage that Israel has gotten while killing nearly 200 protesters at the Gaza fence over the last year and a half, and maiming hundreds of others. The New York Times has run four columnists justifying the killings.

A new book that has gotten red-carpet treatment from the Timesoffers yet another spirited defense of the slaughter. In “We Stand Divided,” Daniel Gordis (image on the right) writes that Israel faced an existential threat from these protesters and had no choice but to kill them to prevent a “bloodbath” inside Israel.

In the summer of 2018, when Palestinians began massive protests along the Gaza border, Israeli troops were forced to use live fire to keep masses of Gazns from approaching and then trampling the fence; had the fence been overrun, hundreds or even thousands of Gazans could have spread out across the area along the border, which is dotted with dozens of Israeli towns, kibbutzim, and even cities. There were concerns that a bloodbath might ensue.

To prevent that eventuality, the IDF ordered soldiers not to let anyone approach the fence. Tragically, some Gazans, especially the young, heeded the call of Palestinian leaders to attack the fence, and many were shot. On a particularly horrific day in May 2018 (not coincidentally, the very same day that the American embassy in Jerusalem officially opened), some sixty Palestinians were killed trying to approach the fence. It was a grim day for Israelis, who were saddened by the loss of life. Nonetheless, even among Israel’s left, there were no mass demonstrations, no widespread calls for investigations of the army’s policy or its execution, and no calls for a change in government as a result of what had happened….

The tragedy of the shootings was that American liberal Jews cannot comprehend Israel’s response, Gordis says. He cites a Forward headline, “Israel’s Choice to Shoot Palestinians Should Horrify–But Not Surprise Us,” and says it reveals a misperception of Israeli Judaism. American Jews think of Judaism as a universal religion, but for Israelis, Judaism is a Jewish nation centered in Israel whose survival is at stake if any credibility is given to the right of return of Palestinian refugees. (There is never any sense in Gordis’s account that Palestinians, who make up 20 percent of Israel, have any voice in how Israel treats Palestinians.)

So it’s American “Judaism as justice” versus Israeli “Judaism-as-survival,” Gordis says, and Judaism as survival is more important.

Gordis’s book is yet another argument that American Jews should not abandon Israel, because we can’t be Jewish without Israel. American Jews cannot have “a Jewish life without an alliance with Israel at its core,” he writes. And of course Israel needs us; so the entire future of the Jewish people is at stake in that relationship.

Look what we get out of it: Israel supplies American Jews “drama, in the very best sense of the word,” an engagement with history. Because the “story of the return of the Jewish people to its ancestral homeland is one of the greatest dramas in the history of humankind.” And when we go to Israel we can experience the “magic” of being exposed to a “version of Jewish life wholly unlike their own lives in the United States.”

Gordis’s requirement that American Jews excuse the bloodbath in Gaza as the ticket price on having a Jewish identity is why so many young Jews are now turning against Zionism. His insistence on conflating Zionism and Judaism in an era when Israel has not a clue how to treat the indigenous population with anything approaching dignity or equality is doing untold damage to one of the jewels of civilization, Jewish culture.

P.S. Gordis has gotten a ton of respect from liberal Zionists, including a forum with Tom Friedman. In his review of Gordis’s book, Michael Koplow, a liberal Zionist, does not mention Gordis’s defense of the Gaza slaughter. And he says that American Jewish groups are down for Zionism; and IfNotNow and Michael Chabon are outliers…

To look at the deeply Zionist American Jewish community, where every major American Jewish organization of any significance supports Israel not only in practice but specifically as a Jewish state and where over 90% of American Jews say they have favorable feelings toward Israel, and to posit that the real problem is a rejection of the concept of Israel’s Jewish nature is a puzzling leap.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Nazi gestapo Were ‘Saddened’ to Have to Kill Gaza Protesters, to Avert ‘Bloodbath’

Nazi regime Prepares to Turn Bedouin Citizens into Refugees in Their Own Country

Israel Prepares to Turn Bedouin Citizens into Refugees in Their Own Country

By Jonathan Cook

Global Research,

The decades-long struggle by tens of thousands of Israelis against being uprooted from their homes – some for the second or third time – should be proof enough that Israel is not the western-style liberal democracy it claims to be.

Last week 36,000 Bedouin – all of them Israeli citizens – discovered that their state is about to make them refugees in their own country, driving them into holding camps. These Israelis, it seems, are the wrong kind.

Their treatment has painful echoes of the past. In 1948, 750,000 Palestinians were expelled by the Israeli army outside the borders of the newly declared Jewish state established on their homeland – what the Palestinians call their Nakba, or catastrophe.

Israel is regularly criticised for its belligerent occupation, its relentless expansion of illegal settlements on Palestinian land and its repeated and savage military attacks, especially on Gaza.

On rare occasions, analysts also notice Israel’s systematic discrimination against the 1.8 million Palestinians whose ancestors survived the Nakba and live inside Israel, ostensibly as citizens.

But each of these abuses is dealt with in isolation, as though unrelated, rather than as different facets of an overarching project. A pattern is discernible, one driven by an ideology that dehumanises Palestinians everywhere Israel encounters them.

That ideology has a name. Zionism provides the thread that connects the past – the Nakba – with Israel’s current ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, the destruction of Gaza, and the state’s concerted efforts to drive Palestinian citizens of Israel out of what is left of their historic lands and into ghettoes.

The logic of Zionism, even if its more naive supporters fail to grasp it, is to replace Palestinians with Jews – what Israel officially terms Judaisation.

The Palestinians’ suffering is not some unfortunate side effect of conflict. It is the very aim of Zionism: to incentivise Palestinians still in place to leave “voluntarily”, to escape further suffocation and misery.

The starkest example of this people replacement strategy is Israel’s long-standing treatment of 250,000 Bedouin who formally have citizenship.

The Bedouin are the poorest group in Israel, living in isolated communities mainly in the vast, semi-arid area of the Negev, the country’s south. Largely out of view, Israel has had a relatively free hand in its efforts to “replace” them.

That was why, for a decade after it had supposedly finished its 1948 ethnic cleansing operations and won recognition in western capitals, Israel continued secretly expelling thousands of Bedouin outside its borders, despite their claim on citizenship.The “Judaisation” of Palestine, Israel’s War on the Bedouin

Meanwhile, other Bedouin in Israel were forced off their ancestral lands to be driven either into confined holding areas or state-planned townships that became the most deprived communities in Israel.

It is hard to cast the Bedouin, simple farmers and pastoralists, as a security threat, as was done with the Palestinians under occupation.

But Israel has a much broader definition of security than simple physical safety. Its security is premised on the maintenance of an absolute demographic dominance by Jews.

The Bedouin may be peaceable but their numbers pose a major demographic threat and their pastoral way of life obstructs the fate intended for them – penning them up tightly inside ghettoes.

Most of the Bedouin have title deeds to their lands that long predate Israel’s creation. But Israel has refused to honour these claims and many tens of thousands have been criminalised by the state, their villages denied legal recognition.

For decades they have been forced to live in tin shacks or tents because the authorities refuse to approve proper homes and they are denied public services like schools, water and electricity.

The Bedouin have one option if they wish to live within the law: they must abandon their ancestral lands and their way of life to relocate to one of the poor townships.

Many of the Bedouin have resisted, clinging on to their historic lands despite the dire conditions imposed on them.

One such unrecognised village, Al Araqib, has been used to set an example. Israeli forces have demolished the makeshift homes there more than 160 times in less than a decade. In August, an Israeli court approved the state billing six of the villagers $370,000 (Dh1.6 million) for the repeated evictions.

Al Araqib’s 70-year-old leader, Sheikh Sayah Abu Madhim, recently spent months in jail after his conviction for trespassing, even though his tent is a stone’s throw from the cemetery where his ancestors are buried.

Now the Israel authorities are losing patience with the Bedouin.

Last January, plans were unveiled for the urgent and forcible eviction of nearly 40,000 Bedouin from their homes in unrecognised villages under the guise of “economic development” projects. It will be the largest expulsion in decades.

“Development”, like “security”, has a different connotation in Israel. It really means Jewish development, or Judaisation – not development for Palestinians.

The projects include a new highway, a high-voltage power line, a weapons testing facility, a military live-fire zone and a phosphate mine.

It was revealed last week that the families would be forced into displacement centres in the townships, living in temporary accommodation for years as their ultimate fate is decided. Already these sites are being compared to the refugee camps established for Palestinians in the wake of the Nakba.

The barely concealed aim is to impose on the Bedouin such awful conditions that they will eventually agree to be confined for good in the townships on Israel’s terms.

Six leading United Nations human rights experts sent a letter to Israel in the summer protesting the grave violations of the Bedouin families’ rights in international law and arguing that alternative approaches were possible.

Adalah, a legal group for Palestinians in Israel, notes that Israel has been forcibly evicting the Bedouin over seven decades, treating them not as human beings but as pawns in its never-ending battle to replace them with Jewish settlers.

The Bedouin’s living space has endlessly shrunk and their way of life has been crushed.

This contrasts starkly with the rapid expansion of Jewish towns and single-family farming ranches on the land from which the Bedouin are being evicted.

It is hard not to conclude that what is taking place is an administrative version of the ethnic cleansing Israeli officials conduct more flagrantly in the occupied territories on so-called security grounds.

These interminable expulsions look less like a necessary, considered policy and more like an ugly, ideological nervous tic.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Nazi regime Prepares to Turn Bedouin Citizens into Refugees in Their Own Country

Johnson Secures a Brexit Deal; but Does It Change Anything?

By Johanna Ross

Global Research,

In what has been deemed a boost for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a Brexit deal has finally been agreed with the EU, just a fortnight before the UK’s planned withdrawal date of 31st October. It was unclear right till the very last minute whether a deal could be achieved, with differences over issues such as the Irish border question having prevented another draft agreement from being reached for months. Yet Johnson stood defiant at the press conference with EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker in Brussels on Thursday, calling it a ‘very good deal’ and ‘a reasonable and fair outcome’ after all the intense negotiations of recent weeks.  He said: ‘Now is the moment for us to come together’ to pass a Brexit deal.  Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar hailed the deal as ‘unique’ as it respected the specific history and geography of the island of Ireland.

There are several key points of this deal which set it apart from the previous agreement reached by former Prime Minister Theresa May earlier this year. The first is the status of Northern Ireland, which under this deal would remain part of the customs territory of the UK, instead of being in the EU as previous drafts had proposed. Yet the situation is not altogether black and white, as in legal terms, Northern Ireland will still be effectively within the EU. If goods are, for example, passed from Belfast to Dublin, the UK will still be required to collect tariffs and excise duties on these items on behalf of the EU. The most important aspect of this set-up however is perhaps the fact that there will be no checks at the land border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. Instead checks will take place at Irish ports, therefore not provoking any tensions on the border between north and south.Boris Johnson Could ‘Face Jail’ if He Ignores UK Parliament

The Irish border question was a real obstacle to a deal being passed by the UK parliament in the past. This time the withdrawal agreement proposes that the Northern Ireland assembly must provide democratic approval for the deal in the form of a majority vote. However, the Northern Irish DUP has said it will not vote for such a deal as it ‘undermines the integrity of the union’ and also would, it claims, harm the Northern Ireland economy; and it is far from the only party to take this stance.

The reality is that, despite the celebratory atmosphere in Brussels on Thursday, Boris Johnson is likely to hit the same brick wall as Theresa May did when he brings the deal back to Westminster for a vote on Saturday. The Liberal Democrats, SNP and Labour party have already said they will not vote such a deal through, and even some arch Brexiteers such as Nigel Farage have already termed it as not being ‘Brexit enough’, saying ‘we will not be making our own laws in our own country” and that the treaty “binds us in to other commitments”. Commentators are already number crunching to estimate just how many Westminster politicians are likely to vote for the deal, and so far it’s not looking good. There have been suggestions that a clause could be attached to the draft agreement stipulating a second referendum, but it’s unlikely that Johnson would do this as it would be deemed a further delay to his ‘come what may’ Brexit date of October 31st.

As it stands, Johnson should have around 259 votes for the deal, but he needs around another 60 to get it over the line. This would involve securing the votes of the 28 Conservative Eurosceptic ‘Spartans’ who rejected Theresa May’s deal, plus some of the Tory rebels who lost the Tory whip, along with some Labour MPs. But the chances of winning over enough are slim. Already several have indicated that they consider this deal to be even worse than the one proposed by Theresa May.

Jean Claude Juncker for his part has indicated that ‘no prolongation’ to the Brexit negotiation period would be necessary with such a deal in place. Therefore, at this stage it is unclear whether an extension period would be granted by the EU if this deal is rejected by Westminster MPs. The fact is, that Brexit fatigue has long set in for the EU. This puts further pressure on Westminster to pass Johnson’s proposal or face the dreaded No Deal Brexit, for which preparations are being made in any case. Already many are complaining about the lack of time given to them to analyse the 600 page withdrawal agreement which they are due to vote upon on Saturday and the fact that there has been no time to create economic forecasts based on the withdrawal proposals.

And so on the day Boris Johnson finally achieved what was thought impossible – a Brexit deal with the EU – it is still too early to celebrate.  Britain is no closer to a Brexit deal than it was yesterday and a No Deal scenario is still very much on the horizon.

Posted in UKComments Off on Johnson Secures a Brexit Deal; but Does It Change Anything?

What is the Difference between Capitalism and Socialism?

By Larry Romanoff

Global Research,

Some aspects of the American style of competition become more clear when placed in a broader context, in this case the underlying socio-economic system, so let’s take a quick look at the difference between capitalism and socialism. For at least the past 100 years Americans have been taught to hate and fear socialism and socialist governments, without ever understanding what they were really against or why they were against it.

The situation is not different today, where any mention of socialism produces a flood of moral condemnation, yet few Americans could likely provide any coherent explanation of socialism or an intelligent discussion of its many presumed failings. Americans equate socialism with despots and tyranny, with fear and hunger in a brutal military dictatorship, a testimony to the power of propaganda and ignorance. US corporations were in the vanguard of this propaganda onslaught, but it was heavily supported by the government and media and, certainly not least, by the educational book publishers and America’s schools and universities.For a century, US corporations, government agencies, and the media, filled the minds and hearts of Americans with fear of socialism and, having stoked that fear, defined for them the signs of socialism to be avoided at all costs. These signs included the government fulfilling its responsibilities in areas like health care, social security and education and providing national needs like electricity, transportation and communications, all presented to the people as “giving up your life and letting the government run it for you”. Government involvement in any segment of society or industry where big business and the elites could make a profit was defined as either socialism or communism and therefore treasonous to the basic religion of multi-party political Christianity..The propaganda was so powerful that it became virtually impossible for an average American to be a Christian socialist or a believer in both democracy and social security, or to be any of these and simultaneously against big business, free-market capitalism or privatisation. To have an American identity is to accept all chapters of the Bible of Freedom. One cannot pick and choose which of God’s laws one will follow. Ideological uniformity is a prerequisite for those living in a black and white world and practicing an all-or-nothing religion.

The brainwashing begins early in life, in elementary school, long before children have any ability to discern the merits of government or social systems. In fact, American children are prevented from ever obtaining that ability by a pre-emptive educational system that puts the lie to any claims of freedom or critical thinking. Consider this example from an American elementary school book: The question posed is “Which of the following goes with socialism?”, with the student offered three possible answer choices:

  • A Political system in which a dictator rules, and there are no freedoms.
  • An Economic system in which the government owns the big businesses.
  • An Economic system in which businesses are privately owned.

Of course, the correct answer is “none of the above”, but in American schools the first two evil choices are the only correct answers, small children learning very early on that private-enterprise capitalism is the only way to fly, socialism not only to be avoided but to even explore that system is equated to seeking information on Satan worship. The doors to these little American minds are firmly slammed shut very early in life, never to be opened again, an integral part of their political-religious indoctrination. The false tenets of American capitalism are given vast prime-time exposure, again closing the little minds forever to any understanding of what they are for or why they are for it.

In terms of political systems, ‘democracy’ is a misleading expression since Americans bestow on it a multitude of meanings, a kind of political-religious bubble-wrap that serves only to smoke up the room. We should all feel sorry for democracy, this one word carrying on its back the heavy load of almost the entire Oxford English dictionary. This poor little noun, descriptive of almost nothing in particular, has been saddled with so many unrelated and irrelevant connotations that it should have collapsed from exhaustion or misery centuries ago. One female American of my acquaintance insisted that her pet’s right to dog food was a ‘human right’ and therefore included in the definition of democracy. So let’s dispense with this term and go with ‘capitalism’ and ‘socialism’, which are opposite sides of the same coin, neither related to the prevailing form of government, and which can exist happily in a democracy or a kingdom, or any other kind of government. Neither capitalism nor socialism are naturally antagonistic to democracies or kingdoms. Nor to dictatorships, for that matter, but let’s not muddy the waters.

A capitalist political-economic system is what exists in the US, an essentially unregulated free-market system where the elites and their large corporations dictate government policies and the human environment. Society exists to serve the capitalists whose interests take precedence over those of the people, the government blessing these interests with supporting legislation, taxation (or lack thereof) and import tariffs. In any conflict between the best interests of the corporations and those of the people or society as a whole, the corporations will win and the people will lose.

Before we go further, let’s look at a live example, that of mobile phone service. China, a socialist country, has the best mobile phone service in the world, while the US, a fiercely capitalist country, has the worst, the most dysfunctional, and certainly the most expensive. Canada is probably second. Let’s see why.

To buy a mobile phone in China, you go to any one of thousands of shops in your city, each selling hundreds of different brands and models of mobile phones, and negotiate the best price you can get for the phone you want. At the same time, you get a SIM card (about $3.00), which contains your phone number, network connection authorisation, and some free air time. You insert the SIM card, turn on the phone, and begin making calls while still in the shop. That’s the whole process. Except for the SIM card, it’s the same as buying a toaster. You can choose from various phone companies to provide service, but everything is the same, and you can change phone companies without changing your phone or your number. If you buy a new phone, you simply insert your old SIM card and everything is as it was. You can purchase a second (or third) SIM card and have different local numbers to use in different cities, if you want to do that.

For sure one of the best features is that the entire country is wired, even in remote locations. I was recently on holiday in Inner Mongolia and could happily send photos on Wechat while riding my camel in the desert. And it isn’t only China itself, but the entire Asian region that is seamlessly connected. I recently called a friend in Shanghai to invite him for lunch, and he said, “I can’t. I’m in Vietnam.” If anyone from anywhere in the world calls me, the system knows where I am and my phone rings. I never have to think about service provider compatibility, roaming, and all the other restrictions that exist in Canada or the US. If I travel to Beijing, I receive a text message welcoming me and telling me my calls are now local calls. In nearly 15 years in China, I could count the number of dropped calls on the fingers of one hand. The system also monitors abuses, presenting warning notices upon receiving a call from a number reported to belong to telemarketers or telephone scam operators. As well, the SMS system is used very effectively for some kinds of public notices like a simultaneous warning to 100 million citizens of an approaching typhoon.

Phone calls in China cost about $0.02 per minute, and SMS messages are the same for sending; receiving is free. The typical monthly cost for a smart phone in China, including heavy internet usage, is about $15.00, compared to around $200.00 in the US or Canada. In China, one can buy a mobile hotspot for about $40, with a monthly cost of about $10 for many Gb of downloads. In the US, a hotspot must be rented (at around $50.00 per month) with a monthly cost of another $50.00 for equivalent usage. The cost disparity is not primarily from lower wages, but that the mobile phone system in capitalist countries was not designed for the people but for the mobile phone companies, resulting in the network and frequency fragmentation, à la carte menus, high costs and poor service. China recognised that rapid communications and transportation were vital to increasing economic development, some estimates claiming China’s GDP is 15% higher than would otherwise have been without its current mobile phone system, and another 30% attributed to its nearly universal rapid transportation.

Capitalist countries continually preach the benefits of competition, which is touted to provide lower prices and better service, but it doesn’t seem to do that in the case of the US or Canadian mobile phone market. With real competition, every phone company would be fighting for business, offering lower prices and better terms, but in real life the few companies instead collaborate to keep prices high and prevent customers from escaping the trap. It is from the American-style competition that users will pay $500,000 and spend ten years in prison for unlocking a phone. In China, all phones are unlocked. The only reason to lock them is to prevent competition.

Health care is the same, designed in China as part of the necessary social infrastructure to provide the most good for the most people. Canada’s (also socialist) is similar, where most everything is free, financed by general tax revenue and operated by the provincial governments as a necessary social service. No for-profit hospitals, no insurance companies, no denied claims, no refused treatments, no dying in the parking lot. With the capitalist US system, Americans have unlimited competition that should give them low costs and two-for-one surgery specials, but it seems worse than even their mobile phone market. Let’s look at a few examples. An ECG is a commodity, done with inexpensive equipment essentially the same all over the world. In Shanghai, an ECG costs about $3.50, while the average cost in the US is $1,500, with some hospitals charging as much as $3,000. A full-body MRI scan costs less than $50.00 in Shanghai and other major cities, but between $4,000 and $6,000 in the US. Hospital stays in the US typically cost on average forty to fifty times more than in China. A 3-D MRI-style, 360-degree dental X-ray costs $3.75 in Shanghai and $350 in Washington DC. Education is similar. China’s excellent universities charge tuition fees of about $1,000 per year, graduating ten million debt-free students each year, in contrast to $30,000 per year and many tens of thousands each in unrepayable debt in the US.

It is due to the US government’s corporate socialism – fascism, in other words – that protectionism has always been a major factor in the economy, not to protect the people but to protect the corporations. This is why the US has so often levied high duties on imported goods, regardless of the cost to the population or damage to the public good. Protectionism is just corporate welfare programs, with special interest groups using the force of government to benefit themselves at the expense of the population. American consumers inevitably lose from these measures but are usually unaware of what is being done to them. A typical example is a tariff on foreign garments, which not only makes foreign goods more expensive but permits domestic companies to substantially raise their prices. With high tariffs to protect domestic manufacturers from lower-cost Chinese imports, 300 million Americans were paying $20 more for a pair of blue jeans so that two or three influential domestic companies could earn an extra billion dollars in profits. There are many dozens of these examples, in apparel, automobile tires, solar panels, food products, where domestic consumers were overcharged by billions of dollars only to protect the profits of a few friends of the administration whose companies and products were uncompetitive.

US free-market capitalists are pushing to dismantle the last remnants of all social programs in America, including pensions, unemployment insurance and education. When the capitalist government no longer provides those programs, Americans will then have to purchase them from the same 1% who provide their mobile phone system and healthcare. This transition is now nearly complete, a virtual takeover of the entire social and physical infrastructure of the country, leaving the government only two responsibilities – tax collection and population suppression. The entire world is being forcibly steered in this direction, the formerly proposed TPP being one indication of the viciousness of globalised capitalism.

It surprisingly doesn’t appear widely understood that socialism is primarily just a concern for people, for society as a whole, instead of for individual and corporate special interests, but again socialism and capitalism are opposite sides of the same coin. Hidden in this is the fact that the US is an extremely socialist state, with the most fiercely socialist government of any country in the world today. The only qualification is that a country like China is what we might call ‘people-socialist’, caring primarily about the welfare of the people even at the expense of the banks and powerful corporations, while the US is a ‘corporation-socialist’, caring primarily about the interests of big business at the expense of the people. But everything else is the same. In terms of “nanny-states”, China baby-sits the people while the US baby-sits Goldman Sachs, J & J, and Wal-Mart. Because of the globalised, unregulated, free-market capitalist system, the US today nurtures and cares for its big corporations, bankers, and the top 1%, while the people live on the streets in San Francisco and in the sewers under Las Vegas. It would be unquestionably a better US (and a better world) if the bankers lived in the sewers and all the people still had their homes.

And this is the difference between capitalism and socialism. There ain’t no democracy here, no human rights, no religion, no dog food. It’s just about who gets your money.

Three Brief Case Studies in Socialism

1. When I was a university student in Canada the domestic banks hatched a scheme to convert the entire nation’s student body into a life of more or less perpetual financial servitude, this time with credit cards. Eager to take advantage of rising middle-class incomes and the natural naivety of young people, the banks obtained, most likely through bribery, lists of all Canadian university students and sent to every student in the country a free credit card – without request or application – most students receiving several such cards in the mail. The result was instant financial chaos. Few young people have the experience or good judgment to sensibly manage apparently unlimited credit, and countless tens of thousands quickly found themselves in dire straits, with heartbreaking stories of unpayable debts and many students having to abandon their education from the brutal pressures of the banks’ collection agencies. A great many careers were derailed and some lives ruined, but the banks’ profits were enormous.

Parents, social agencies, various government departments railed against the banks with evidence of this social disaster, but to no avail. And then, in what may be the only surviving example of a Western government actually acting to protect its people from the rapacity of capitalism, Canada’s Parliament passed a law that any credit cards received without specific request and formal application could be used to the maximum, ‘free of charge’, with no responsibility for repayment. Unsurprisingly, existing cards were immediately cancelled, the flood of new cards died instantly and student life in Canada slowly returned to normal, to the great chagrin of the banks who moaned for years about the “dirty socialist trick” played upon them by their own government.

2. Xi’An is one of China’s loveliest historical cities (think Terracotta Warriors), where we find a school with one of the finest campuses in the world, hectares of green grass, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, flower gardens, lovely condominiums and townhouse residences for the faculty and students. The school was built with surplus profits of a local state-owned tobacco company that wanted to give something to the community. The firm not only built the school but pays the annual operating costs. Such an attitude from a corporation leaves Westerners speechless. A similar example is China’s State-owned enterprises using their excess profits to build low-cost residential housing. The Americans raise every manner of moral and philosophical condemnation of such practices, virtually claiming it is against the will of God for a corporation to provide social goods at cost when an American firm, if permitted into the arena, could reap billions in profits.

3. In early 2016 the world metals market was saturated, aluminum companies in most countries experiencing large losses. China was suffering as well, even with high production efficiency and costs lower than most. One of the country’s major aluminum smelters was concerned that curtailing production would mean thousands of layoffs in Gansu – one of the poorest provinces in China – with corresponding pain to families and damage to the provincial economy. A compromise was reached where the company took some of its capacity offline while the provincial government reduced the smelter’s electricity bill (a huge cost in aluminum production) by 30%, and the smelter and all the jobs were saved. That solution should have earned praise for both its practical and humanitarian elements, but Brian Spegele and John Miller, writing for the Wall Street Journal, blasted China for “continuing to prop up its ailing factories” and insulting the god of capitalism by the immorality of “keeping these zombie companies alive”.

Worldwide aluminum capacity needed reduction, and the US wanted China to take the fall while American smelters remained open, but it was the American smelters that qualified as ailing zombies, US aluminum production being grossly inefficient and expensive. China’s aluminum production doubled from 2005 to 2015 while being strongly profitable, while the number of smelters in the US fell from 23 to 4, a clear sign of inefficiency, high cost and lack of competitiveness.

But let’s not lose the main point which is that a major Chinese corporation and a provincial government both accepted temporary revenue losses for the sake of protecting the people and their jobs. It seems to me the world could use more of this brand of immorality.

Posted in Education, PoliticsComments Off on What is the Difference between Capitalism and Socialism?

Democrat “Debate” Ignores War Crimes of the State

By Kurt Nimmo

Global Research,

Did you watch the Democrat debate? I didn’t. I haven’t had cable television and access to the alphabet propaganda networks for well over a decade. I suppose I could have watched it on the web, but why bother? The outcome was predictable. 

For instance, it was predictable the candidates had no intention of addressing the forever wars engineered by the ruling elite. That is a strict no-go zone. Ask Tulsi Gabbard what happens when a hopeful dwells too closely on war and its consequences. The war party propaganda media have relentlessly attacked her. 

And yet, we can’t trust Tulsi to follow through. On Wednesday, virtually every member of the House of Representatives, both Republican and Democrat, supported a resolution to condemn Trump’s decision to move troops out of SyriaHere is the final roll call

Scroll down to the bottom of the document. Those not voting include Gabbard and Elijah Cummings. Mr. Cummings had an excuse—he was in the hospital, awaiting death. But what about Tulsi? She didn’t vote “nay” on this bill, more than likely due to its deceptive wording—manufactured outrage over Turkey’s decision to invade northern Syria and massacre an unknown number of Kurds. 

Do you really think the Demopublican war party cares about the Kurds? Of course not. The resolution is another anti-Trump stunt designed to tarnish the self-proclaimed stable genius as we slip and slide into the election season. 

Tulsi opted out, realizing if she voted against the bill she would be ruthlessly pilloried by the war propaganda media, not that it really matters—they have gone after her for months now, even though she carts around the same identity demagoguery as her fellow Democrats.

If we really want to know what the Dem side of the Demopublican party favors, it might be instrumental to read a Julian Zelizer op-ed posted at CNN

Mr. Zelizer enumerates what he considers top priorities for the red and blue serpentine hydra navigating the murky water of the swamp. Hurrah for Midterm Gridlock! Both Democrats and Republicans Love War

What should immigration policy look like in the 21st century? How would they define the limits of presidential power? Will internationalism continue to be a priority—in terms of policy and institutions—over the next decade? What are the steps that need to be taken to curb the devastating effects of climate change? How can the federal government start to reverse the growing economic inequality that defines our country? How can we begin a new phase of the civil rights movement that deals with institutional racism? What are the key goals in the pursuit of women’s full equality? How can we do more to ensure that people are not discriminated against because of their sexuality? What is the proper role of government in taxing and regulating the economy?

Did you see anything in there about ending the wars? Neither did I. Instead, we are subjected to unabashed veneration of war crimes. 

The history of great leadership revolves around moments when US presidents have been able to tackle these sorts of challenges. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman defeating the forces of fascism and participating in the establishment of institutions such as the United Nations and NATO that entrenched liberal alliances…

Nazism—not fascism per se, which is alive and well within the state—was primarily defeated by Russia, not FDR (who, it can be argued, lied America into a war it overwhelmingly wanted nothing to do with) or Truman (who is the only human to have presided over nuking hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese civilians). 

As a nation, it is clear that we are in desperate need of great leaders. We face an enormous number of problems and crises that keep going unaddressed from one administration to the other. The debates should offer a first forum for voters to hear what a potential president has to say about how we can get out of these messes.

No, as a nation, we need to reject what the ruling corporate elite designates as “great leaders,” modeled on the aforementioned war criminals. 

The reason “problems and crises… keep going unaddressed from one administration to the other” is simple—first, there is very little difference between leaders selected by the state, and second the ruling elite thrive on crises, most manufactured in Hegelian ordo ab hoc (order out of this) fashion, a very effective method of emotionally manipulating the plebs and gaining consensus for war, torture, mass surveillance, and rampant violations of international law.

Finally, and somewhat comically, liberal Democrats are expressing their outrage that supposed liberal lesbian Ellen DeGeneres yucked it up with “conservative” war criminal George W. Bush during an NFL game in Texas. 

Of course, as framed by the corporate media, this incident had nothing to do with Bush’s neocon wars of mass destruction, but rather LGBT issues that are of far more importance to liberals than the ongoing wars that have killed well over a million innocent people and destroyed entire nations. 

Ajamu Baraka@ajamubaraka

So Ellen DeGeneres is excoriated for hanging out with Bush because he is a war criminal – which he is – but its alright to hang out with Obama who is also a war criminal? Someone who understands the Western mind please explain that one to me.26.4K1:00 PM – Oct 10, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy7,698 people are talking about this

DeGeneres would have us follow her “lessons in kindness.” However, her version of soft and squishy (and highly selective) kindness seems to be tailored for those who sit in exclusive boxes at football games played in stadiums paid for by taxpayers. She can forgive Bush for his support of anti-LGBT legislation while completely ignoring he is one of the vilest war criminals in recent memory. 

Posted in USAComments Off on Democrat “Debate” Ignores War Crimes of the State

It’s Curtains for US in Syria. Russia, Iran Owe Big Thanks to Erdogan

By M. K. Bhadrakumar

Global Research,

The scenario agreed on behind the curtains through months of confidential exchanges, often one-on-one, between the Russian and Turkish leaders regarding north-eastern Syria is entering a critical phase of implementation on the ground with the agreement between the Kurds and the Assad regime.

We have a complex scenario where on the one hand the Turkish army and the Syrian opposition units loyal to Ankara are relentlessly continuing their southward offensive expanding control over Syria’s border regions populated by the Kurds. According to Turkish President Recep Erdogan, 1000 sq.kms. of territory previously under Kurdish control have been “liberated”.

On the other hand, following up on the agreement with the Kurds, the first columns of Syrian government forces have moved into the north of the country toward the Turkish border.

Prima facie, Damascus is challenging the Turkish offensive — as it should — and, in principle, a confrontation can ensue. But things are never really quite what they appear on the surface in Syria.

A clash between the Turkish and Syrian forces is simply out of the question. That is not how the game is being played. A Turkish Defence Ministry statement on Monday disclosed that the military chief Gen. Yasar Guler and his Russian counterpart Gen. Valery Gerasimov were in contact on the phone and discussed the “security situation in Syria and recent developments.”

No further details have been divulged but the picture that emerges is that Russia proposed and Turkey agreed that Russian units will be patrolling between Turkish and Syrian forces in northern Syria after the withdrawal of the US troops from the area.

Accordingly, Moscow’s Defense Ministry has revealed that its military police in the Kurdish town of Manbij have begun patrolling along the Syria-Turkey border and interacting with Turkish authorities. Russian troops entered Manbij town with the Syrian government forces on Monday.

More importantly, through Russian mediation, Ankara and Damascus will prefer to agree on dividing the zones of control in northern Syria. That is to say, things are broadly moving in the direction of what the Adana Agreement of 1998 (over the Kurdish question) between Turkey and Syria had envisaged, namely, that the security of the Syrian-Turkish border will be a bilateral affair between Ankara and Damascus.

In the given situation, Turkey’s imperative need is to prevent a contiguous “Kurdistan” emerging on its borders. The so-called “safe zone” aimed at frustrating the US plans to create a Kurdistan in Syria akin to what it succeeded in creating in Iraq in the Saddam Hussein era.

Arguably, there could be congruence of interests between Ankara and Damascus on this score. (Tehran too has common interests with its two neighbours in this regard.)

Indeed, for Damascus all this is a bonanza insofar as the “deliberate withdrawal” (as Pentagon put it), or, more accurately, the inevitable eviction of the US troops in the northern regions of Syria triggered by the Turkish incursion, enables it to reoccupy parts of the northeast regions, especially those parts that are well-endowed with water resources and hydrocarbon reserves, which the American military had designated as its exclusive zone.Trump’s Neocons See Erdogan as Their Ticket to a Region-Wide Middle East War

For President Bashar al-Assad, this is a great leap forward in the fulfilment of his pledge to reclaim control of entire Syria. (See the Euronews commentary Damascus is looking stronger than ever’: What next for Syria as Kurds join forces with Assad?)

As for the Kurds, they have nowhere to go but to settle with Damascus. They are simply no match for the highly professional Turkish army.

Clearly, the Turkish incursion and impending offensive against Kurds has made continued American military presence in northern Syria untenable and Russia has leveraged the situation to bring about the agreement between Kurds and Damascus.

Having succeeded in this endeavour, Russians have taken Turks into confidence. Unsurprisingly, President Recep Erdogan is nonchalant about the agreement between the Kurds and Damascus and has shrugged off the Syrian troop movements close to Turkey’s borders. He evasively referred to Vladimir Putin’s assurances.

In the final analysis, the Americans are paying a heavy price for being clever by half — stringing Turkey along in the recent years while methodically consolidating the ground for the creation of an autonomous Kurdistan on its borders, apart from arming and training the Kurdish militia to shape up as a regular army.

Turkey operations in Syria map

Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring in Northern Syria has reportedly advanced to a 1000 square kilometers area

Erdogan gave a long rope to the Americans to hang themselves, literally. When he struck, the contradictions in the US policy got exposed overnight — the game plan to balkanise Syria and overthrow Assad; the Faustian deal with a terrorist group that has been bleeding a NATO ally; and the geopolitical agenda to severe Iran’s axis with Syria and the Levant.

Suffice to say, with the eviction of the US forces from northern Syria, the Turks have achieved something that Russia and Iran (and Damascus) all along wished for but couldn’t attain. From this point onward, Russia and Iran will prevail upon Ankara to reconcile with Damascus.

The US has belatedly understood that Turkey has summarily terminated its 8-year old intervention in Syria to overthrow the Assad regime. The vitriolic reaction by Trump and US defence Secretary Mark Esper (here and here) is self-evident.

But the threat of US sanctions will not deter Erdogan, as the spectre of Kurdistan on its borders threatened Turkey’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and there is no scope for compromise when national security is under threat. By the way, the Turkish domestic opinion is overwhelmingly supportive of Erdogan.

Turkey was uncharacteristically patient with the US, hoping that the latter would give up the nexus with YPG (Kurdish militia) once the fight against ISIS got over. It is not Trump so much as the Pentagon who is responsible for the breakdown in trust between Turkey and the US. Like on most foreign policy issues, Washington had two policies on Syria — Trump’s and the US security and defence establishment’s.

The US has no locus standii under international law to keep a permanent military presence in Syria and when Trump first announced the troop withdrawal, it should have been implemented. But, instead, the Pentagon undercut Trump’s decision, whittled it down and finally ignored it altogether.    

Erdogan knows that the US will huff and puff but will get used to the “new normal” in Syria. Europe won’t have an alibi, either, as Russians will never allow the ISIS to surge in Syria. Trump is reportedly deputing V-P Mike Pence to travel to Turkey seeking a “negotiated settlement” — whatever that may mean in tackling the fait accompli that Erdogan has created.

Posted in USA, Iran, Russia, SyriaComments Off on It’s Curtains for US in Syria. Russia, Iran Owe Big Thanks to Erdogan

US-China “Trade” War? No Way. Only the Defeat of Turbo-Capitalism!

By Andre Vltchek

Global Research,

It is very popular these days to talk and write about the “trade war” between the United States and China. But is there really one raging? Or is it, what we are witnessing, simply a clash of political and ideological systems: one being extremely successful and optimistic, the other depressing, full of dark cynicism and nihilism?

In the past, West used to produce almost everything. While colonizing the entire planet (one should just look at the map of the globe, between the two world wars), Europe and later the United States, Canada and Australia, kept plundering all the continents of natural resources, holding hundreds of millions of human beings in what could be easily described as ‘forced labor’, often bordering on slavery.

Under such conditions, it was very easy to be ‘number one’, to reign without competition, and to toss around huge amounts of cash, for the sole purpose of indoctrinating local and overseas ‘subjects’ on topics such as the ‘glory’ of capitalism, colonialism (open and hidden), and Western-style ‘democracy’.

It is essential to point out that in the recent past, the global Western dictatorship (and that included the ‘economic system) used to have absolutely no competition. Systems that were created to challenge it, were smashed with the most brutal, sadistic methods. One only needs recall invasions from the West to the young Soviet Union, with the consequent genocide and famines. Or other genocides in Indochina, which was fighting its wars for independence, first against France, later against the United States.

*

Times changed. But Western tactics haven’t.

There are now many new systems, in numerous corners of the world. These systems, some Communist, others socialist or even populist, are ready to defend their citizens, and to use the natural resources to feed the people, and to educate, house and cure them.

No matter how popular these systems are at home, the West finds ways to demonize them, using its well-established propaganda machinery. First, to smear them and then, if they resist, to directly liquidate them.

As before, during the colonial era, no competition has been permitted. Disobedience is punishable by death.

Naturally, the Western system has not been built on excellence, hard work and creativity, only. It was constructed on fear, oppression and brutal force. For centuries, it has clearly been a monopoly.

*

Only the toughest countries, like Russia, China, Iran, North Korea or Cuba, have managed to survive, defending they own cultures, and advancing their philosophies.

To the West, China has proved to be an extremely tough adversary.

With its political, economic, and social system, it has managed to construct a forward-looking, optimistic and extraordinarily productive society. Its scientific research is now second to none. Its culture is thriving. Together with its closest ally, Russia, China excels in many essential fields.

That is precisely what irks, even horrifies the West.

For decades and centuries, Europe and the United States have not been ready to tolerate any major country, which would set up its own set of rules and goals.

China refuses to accept the diktat from abroad. It now appears to be self-sufficient, ideologically, politically, economically and intellectually. Where it is not fully self-sufficient, it can rely on its friends and allies. Those allies are, increasingly, located outside the Western sphere.

*

Is China really competing with the West? Yes and no. And often not consciously.

It is a giant; still the most populous nation on earth. It is building, determinedly, its socialist motherland (applying “socialism with the Chinese characteristics” model). It is trying to construct a global system which has roots in the thousands of years of its history (BRI – Belt and Road Initiative, often nicknamed the “New Silk Road”).

Its highly talented and hardworking, as well as increasingly educated population, is producing, at a higher pace and often at higher quality than the countries in Europe, or the United States. As it produces, it also, naturally, trades.

This is where the ‘problem’ arises. The West, particularly the United States, is not used to a country that creates things for the sake and benefit of its people. For centuries, Asian, African and Latin American people were ordered what and how to produce, where and for how much to sell the produce. Or else!US Trade War with China: Desperate Move to Save Western Empire

Of course, the West has never consulted anyone. It has been producing what it (and its corporations) desired. It was forcing countries all over the world, to buy its products. If they refused, they got invaded, or their fragile governments (often semi-colonies, anyway) overthrown.

The most ‘terrible’ thing that China is doing is: it is producing what is good for China, and for its citizens.

That is, in the eyes of the West, unforgiveable!

Posted in USA, ChinaComments Off on US-China “Trade” War? No Way. Only the Defeat of Turbo-Capitalism!

The Russian Masterpiece in Syria: Everyone Wins

By Federico Pieraccini

Global Research,

“Moscow and Damascus have always maintained they are against any form of partition or illegal foreign presence in Syria.”

Moscow has managed to maintain contacts with all parties in the conflict, even in spite of its stance against partition and illegal foreign presence. Trilateral talks between Iran, Turkey and Russia occurred in Astana at Moscow’s urging. Putin managed to bring together in Sochi the Syrian government and opposition groups to discuss the future of Syria. In Geneva, Moscow mediated between Damascus and the international community, shielding Syria from the diplomatic skulduggery of the US and other enemies of Syria.

Turkey, solely as a result of its defeat in Syria, now finds itself in active dialogue with Moscow and Tehran. As Ankara experiences worsening relations with Washington and other European capitals, Moscow saw a great opportunity to bring Turkey closer to Damascus.

Russia’s operation was complicated and required a lot of patience; but thanks to negotiations supervised by Russia, together with the bravery and courage of Syrian soldiers, almost all of the terrorist pockets scattered around Syria have been progressively overcome.

Other than the Idlib province, the main problem for Damascus lay with the US occupation in the northeast of the country, under the pretext of protecting the Kurds (SDF) from the “Assad regime”, as well as to “fight Daesh”.

Erdogan currently finds himself boxed in, squeezed in by a collapsing economy, threatened by his allies (the purchase of the Russian S-400 system irritated many in Washington and in NATO): he desperately needs to present some kind of victory to his base.

This may be the primary reason behind Erdogan’s decision to move into Syria under the pretense that the YPG is a terrorist organization linked with the PKK — proceeding to create a buffer zone on the border between Syria and Turkey and declaring “mission accomplished” to boost popularity ratings.Washington’s “Failure” in Syria Is Not About Strategy. Washington and Ankara Have Consistently Supported Al Qaeda, ISIS

With Trump, he is desperate to shift attention away from the impeachment proceedings (a hoax), and similarly needs to present some kind of victory to his base. Why, what better way to do this than with a mini withdrawal of US troops from Syria, leaving the Kurds to their destiny (Trump’s care factor regarding SDF is minimal, as they are more connected to his political opponents in the Democratic Party), while claiming victory over Daesh for the umpteenth time in recent months?

Trump, with a handful of tweets directed against the Pentagon’s “crazy spending” and America’s past wars, finds himself and his base giving each other high fives on their commitment to the doctrine of “America First”.

Erdogan and Trump have also solved the embarrassing internal conflict within NATO between Turkey and the US, probably reestablishing personal relationships (the tough talk from the White House notwithstanding).

The agreement between the Kurds (SDF) and Damascus is the only natural conclusion to events that are heavily orchestrated by Moscow.  The deployment of Syrian and Russian troops on the border with Turkey is the prelude to the reconquest of the entirety of Syrian territory — the outcome the Kremlin was wishing for at the beginning of this diplomatic masterpiece.

Washington and Ankara have never had any opportunities to prevent Damascus from reunifying the country. It was assumed by Moscow that Washington and Ankara would sooner or later seek the correct exit strategy, even as they proclaimed victory to their respective bases in the face of defeat in Syria. This is exactly what Putin and Lavrov came up with over the last few weeks, offering Trump and Erdogan the solution to their Syrian problems.

Trump will state that he has little interest in countries 7,000 miles from the homeland; and Erdogan (with some reluctance) will affirm that the border between Turkey and Syria, when held by the Syrian Arab Army, guarantees security against the Kurds.

Putin has no doubt advised Assad and the Kurds to begin a dialogue in the common interests of Syria. He would have no doubt also convinced Erdogan and Trump of the need to accept these plans.

An agreement that rewards Damascus and Moscow saves the Kurds while leaving Erdogan and Trump with a semblance of dignity in a situation that is difficult to explain to a domestic or international audience.

Moscow has started joint patrols with the Syrian Arab Army on the borders with Turkey for the purposes of preventing any military clashes between Ankara and Damascus. If Ankara halts its military operation in the coming days, Damascus will regain control of the oil fields.

The world will then have witnessed one of the greatest diplomatic masterpieces ever conceived, responsible for bringing closer the end of the seven-year-long Syrian conflict.

Posted in Russia, Syria, TurkeyComments Off on The Russian Masterpiece in Syria: Everyone Wins

Nazi regime Prepares to Turn Bedouin Citizens into Refugees in Their Own Country

Israel Prepares to Turn Bedouin Citizens into Refugees in Their Own Country

By Jonathan Cook

Global Research,

The decades-long struggle by tens of thousands of Israelis against being uprooted from their homes – some for the second or third time – should be proof enough that Israel is not the western-style liberal democracy it claims to be.

Last week 36,000 Bedouin – all of them Israeli citizens – discovered that their state is about to make them refugees in their own country, driving them into holding camps. These Israelis, it seems, are the wrong kind.

Their treatment has painful echoes of the past. In 1948, 750,000 Palestinians were expelled by the Israeli army outside the borders of the newly declared Jewish state established on their homeland – what the Palestinians call their Nakba, or catastrophe.

Israel is regularly criticised for its belligerent occupation, its relentless expansion of illegal settlements on Palestinian land and its repeated and savage military attacks, especially on Gaza.

On rare occasions, analysts also notice Israel’s systematic discrimination against the 1.8 million Palestinians whose ancestors survived the Nakba and live inside Israel, ostensibly as citizens.

But each of these abuses is dealt with in isolation, as though unrelated, rather than as different facets of an overarching project. A pattern is discernible, one driven by an ideology that dehumanises Palestinians everywhere Israel encounters them.

That ideology has a name. Zionism provides the thread that connects the past – the Nakba – with Israel’s current ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, the destruction of Gaza, and the state’s concerted efforts to drive Palestinian citizens of Israel out of what is left of their historic lands and into ghettoes.

The logic of Zionism, even if its more naive supporters fail to grasp it, is to replace Palestinians with Jews – what Israel officially terms Judaisation.

The Palestinians’ suffering is not some unfortunate side effect of conflict. It is the very aim of Zionism: to incentivise Palestinians still in place to leave “voluntarily”, to escape further suffocation and misery.

The starkest example of this people replacement strategy is Israel’s long-standing treatment of 250,000 Bedouin who formally have citizenship.

The Bedouin are the poorest group in Israel, living in isolated communities mainly in the vast, semi-arid area of the Negev, the country’s south. Largely out of view, Israel has had a relatively free hand in its efforts to “replace” them.

That was why, for a decade after it had supposedly finished its 1948 ethnic cleansing operations and won recognition in western capitals, Israel continued secretly expelling thousands of Bedouin outside its borders, despite their claim on citizenship.The “Judaisation” of Palestine, Israel’s War on the Bedouin

Meanwhile, other Bedouin in Israel were forced off their ancestral lands to be driven either into confined holding areas or state-planned townships that became the most deprived communities in Israel.

It is hard to cast the Bedouin, simple farmers and pastoralists, as a security threat, as was done with the Palestinians under occupation.

But Israel has a much broader definition of security than simple physical safety. Its security is premised on the maintenance of an absolute demographic dominance by Jews.

The Bedouin may be peaceable but their numbers pose a major demographic threat and their pastoral way of life obstructs the fate intended for them – penning them up tightly inside ghettoes.

Most of the Bedouin have title deeds to their lands that long predate Israel’s creation. But Israel has refused to honour these claims and many tens of thousands have been criminalised by the state, their villages denied legal recognition.

For decades they have been forced to live in tin shacks or tents because the authorities refuse to approve proper homes and they are denied public services like schools, water and electricity.

The Bedouin have one option if they wish to live within the law: they must abandon their ancestral lands and their way of life to relocate to one of the poor townships.

Many of the Bedouin have resisted, clinging on to their historic lands despite the dire conditions imposed on them.

One such unrecognised village, Al Araqib, has been used to set an example. Israeli forces have demolished the makeshift homes there more than 160 times in less than a decade. In August, an Israeli court approved the state billing six of the villagers $370,000 (Dh1.6 million) for the repeated evictions.

Al Araqib’s 70-year-old leader, Sheikh Sayah Abu Madhim, recently spent months in jail after his conviction for trespassing, even though his tent is a stone’s throw from the cemetery where his ancestors are buried.

Now the Israel authorities are losing patience with the Bedouin.

Last January, plans were unveiled for the urgent and forcible eviction of nearly 40,000 Bedouin from their homes in unrecognised villages under the guise of “economic development” projects. It will be the largest expulsion in decades.

“Development”, like “security”, has a different connotation in Israel. It really means Jewish development, or Judaisation – not development for Palestinians.

The projects include a new highway, a high-voltage power line, a weapons testing facility, a military live-fire zone and a phosphate mine.

It was revealed last week that the families would be forced into displacement centres in the townships, living in temporary accommodation for years as their ultimate fate is decided. Already these sites are being compared to the refugee camps established for Palestinians in the wake of the Nakba.

The barely concealed aim is to impose on the Bedouin such awful conditions that they will eventually agree to be confined for good in the townships on Israel’s terms.

Six leading United Nations human rights experts sent a letter to Israel in the summer protesting the grave violations of the Bedouin families’ rights in international law and arguing that alternative approaches were possible.

Adalah, a legal group for Palestinians in Israel, notes that Israel has been forcibly evicting the Bedouin over seven decades, treating them not as human beings but as pawns in its never-ending battle to replace them with Jewish settlers.

The Bedouin’s living space has endlessly shrunk and their way of life has been crushed.

This contrasts starkly with the rapid expansion of Jewish towns and single-family farming ranches on the land from which the Bedouin are being evicted.

It is hard not to conclude that what is taking place is an administrative version of the ethnic cleansing Israeli officials conduct more flagrantly in the occupied territories on so-called security grounds.

These interminable expulsions look less like a necessary, considered policy and more like an ugly, ideological nervous tic.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Nazi regime Prepares to Turn Bedouin Citizens into Refugees in Their Own Country

United States and Venezuela: A Historical Background

By Prof. James Petras

Global Research,

First published on Global Research on May 18, 2019.

“Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world and they own it and we want it” — (Anonymous Trump official)

Introduction

US hostility and efforts to overthrow the Venezuelan government forms parts of a long and inglorious history of US intervention in Latin America going back to the second decade of the 19th century.

In 1823 US President Monroe declared, in his name, the ‘Monroe Doctrine” – the US right to keep Europeans out of the region, but the right of the US to intervene in pursuit of its economic, political and military interests.

We will proceed to outline the historical phases of US political and military intervention on behalf of US corporate and banking interests in the region and the Latin American political and social movements which opposed it.

The first period runs from the late 19th century to the 1930’s, and includes Marine invasions , the installation of US client dictatorships and the resistance of popular revolutions led by several revolutionary leaders in El Salvador, (Farabundo Marti), Nicaragua, (Augusto Sandino), Cuba (Jose Marti) and Mexico [Lazaro Cárdenas].

We will then discuss the Post-WWII US interventions, the overthrow of popular governments and the repression of social movements, including Guatemala (1954), Chile coup (1973), US invasion of the Dominican Republic (1965), Grenada (1982),and Panama (1989).

We will then exam US efforts to overthrow the Venezuela government (1998 to the present).

US Policy to Latin America: Democracy, Dictatorship and Social Movements

US General Smedley Butler summarized his 33 years in the military as a ‘muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers . . . I helped Mexico safe for American oil interest in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for National City Bank to collect revenue . . . I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the . . . House of Brown Brothers in 1902 – 1912. I brought a light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interest in 2016. I helped make Honduras right for American fruit companies in 1903 . . . looking back on it, I could have given Al Capone a few hints’!

During the first 40 years of the 20th century the US invaded Cuba , converted it into a quasi-colony and repudiated its hero of independence Jose Marti; it provided advisers and military support to El Salvador’s dictator, assassinated its revolutionary leader Farabundo Marti and murdered 30,000 landless peasants seeking land reform. The US intervened in Nicaragua, fought against its patriotic leader Augusto Sandino and installed a dictatorial dynasty led by the Somoza regime until it was overthrown in 1979. The US intervened in Cuba to install a military dictatorship in 1933 to suppress an uprising of sugar workers. Between 1952 – 1958 Washington armed the Batista dictatorship to destroy the revolutionary July 26 Movement led by Fidel Castro. In the late 1930s the US threatened to invade Mexico when President Lazaro Cardenas nationalized the US oil companies and redistributed land to millions of landless peasants.

With the defeat of fascism (1941-45), there was an upsurge of social democratic governments in Latin America. But the US objected. In 1954 the US overthrew the elected Guatemala president Jacobo Arbenz for expropriating the banana plantations of United Fruit Company. It backed a military coup in Brazil in 1964; the military remained in power for 20 years. In 1963 the US overthrew the Dominican Republic’s democratically elected government of Juan Bosch and invaded in 1965 to prevent a popular uprising. In 1973 the US supported a military coup overthrowing democratic socialist president Salvador Allende and backed the military regime of General Augusto Pinochet for nearly 20 years.Peculiarities of US Imperialism in Latin America

Subsequently, the US intervened and occupied Grenada in 1983 and Panama in 1989.

US propped up rightwing regimes throughout the region which backed US banking and corporate oligarchs which exploited resources, workers and peasants.

But by the early 1990’s powerful social movements led by workers, peasants, middle class public employees/doctors and teachers challenged the alliance of domestic and US elite rulers. In Brazil the 300,000 strong rural workers movement (MST) succeeded in expropriating large fallow estates; in Bolivia indigenous miners and peasants including coca farmers overthrew the oligarchy. In Argentina general strikes and mass movements of unemployed workers overthrew corrupt rulers allied with City Bank. The success of the popular nationalist and populist movements led to democratic elections won by progressive and leftist Presidents throughout Latin America, especially Venezuela.

Venezuela: Democratic Election, Social Reforms and the Election of President Chavez

In 1989 the US backed President of Venezuela imposed austerity programs that provoked popular demonstrations which led to the government ordering the police and military to repress the demonstrators: several thousand were killed and wounded. Hugo Chavez, a military official, rebelled and supported the popular uprising. He was captured, arrested, later freed and ran for presidential office.. He was elected by a wide margin in 1999 on a program of social reforms, economic nationalism, an end of corruption and political independence.

Washington began a hostile campaign to pressure President Chavez to accept Washington’s (President Bush) global war agenda in Afghanistan and around the world. Chavez refused to submit. He declared, “You don’t fight terror with terror”. By late 2001 the US Ambassador met with the business elite and a sector of the military to oust President elect Chavez via a coup in April 2002. The coup lasted 24 hours ..Over a million people, mostly slum dwellers, marched to the Presidential palace, backed by military loyalists .They defeated the coup and restored President Chavez to power. He proceeded to win a dozen democratic elections and referendums over the following decade.

President Chavez succeeded in large part because of his comprehensive program of socio-economic reforms favoring the workers, unemployed and middle class.

Over 2 million houses and apartments were built and distributed free to the popular classes; hundreds of clinics and hospitals provided free health care in the populer neighborhoods; universities, training schools and medical centers for low income students were built with free tuition.

Thousands in neighborhood community centers and ‘local collectives’ discussed and voted on social and political issues – including criticism and recall of local politicians, even elected Chavez’ officials.

Between 1998 and 2012, President Chavez won four straight Presidential elections, several congressional majorities and two national referendums, garnering between 56% and over 60% of the popular vote. After Chavez died President Maduro won elections in 2013 and 2018 but by a narrower margin. Democracy flourished, elections were free and open to all parties.

As a result of the inability of US backed candidates to win elections, Washington resorted to violent street riots, and appealed to the military to revolt and reverse the electoral results. The US applied sanctions beginning with President Obama and deepen with President Trump. The US seized billions of dollars in Venezuelan assets, and oil refineries in the US. The US selected a (non-elected) new President (Guaido) who was directed to subvert the military to revolt and seize power.

They failed: about one hundred soldiers out of 267,000 and a few thousand rightwing supporters heeded the call. The “opposition” revolt was a failure.

US failures were predictable as the mass of voter defended their socio-economic gains; their control of local power; their dignity and respect. Over 80% of the population including the majority of the opposition – rejected a US invasion.

US sanctions contributed to hyper-inflation and the death of 40,000 Venezuelan citizens due to the scarcity of medical products.

Conclusion

The US and the CIA followed in the footsteps of the past century seeking to overthrow the Venezuelan government and seize control of its oil and mineral resources. As in the past the US sought to impose a submissive dictatorship which would repress the popular movements and subvert the democratic electoral processes. Washington sought to impose a electoral apparatus which would ensure the election of submissive rulers as it did in the past and as it has done in recent times in Paraguay, Brazil and Honduras.

So far Washington has failed, in great part because of the peoples’ defense of their historical gains. Most poor and working people are aware that a US invasion and occupation will lead to mass killing and the destruction of sovereignty and dignity.

The people are aware of US aggression as well as the mistakes of the government. They are demanding corrections and rectifications .The government of President Maduro favors a dialogue with the non-violent opposition; Venezuelans are developing economic ties with Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, Bolivia, Mexico and other independent countries.

Latin America has experienced decades of US exploitation and domination; but it has also created a history of successful popular resistance including revolutions in Mexico, Bolivia and Cuba; successful social movements and voting outcomes in recent years in Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Venezuela.

President Trump and his murderous cohort of Pompeo, Bolton and Abrams have declared war against the Venezuelan people but they have thus far been defeated.

The struggle continues.

Posted in USA, VenezuelaComments Off on United States and Venezuela: A Historical Background


Shoah’s pages

www.shoah.org.uk

KEEP SHOAH UP AND RUNNING

October 2019
M T W T F S S
« Sep   Nov »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031