Archive | December 15th, 2019

Wealthy Countries’ Approach to Climate Change Condemns Hundreds of Millions of People to Suffer


Mill and power plant, West Linn, Oregon. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

In Madrid, Spain, the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference—known as COP25—began on December 2. Representatives of the world’s countries gathered to discuss what is decidedly a serious problem for the planet; no one, except dangerous political forces in the neofascist right, denies the reality of climate change. What prevents a transfer from carbon-based fuel to other fuels is not the stubbornness of this or that country. The main problems are three:

1) The right wing that denies climate change;

2) Sections of the energy industry that have a vested interest in the continuation of the use of carbon-based fuels;

3) The refusal by the Western advanced countries to admit both that they have caused the problem and that they should use their vast wealth to finance the transfer from carbon-based fuels to other fuels in countries whose wealth has been siphoned off to the West.

The first two blockages—the right wing and sections of the climate industry—are related, since it is often money from the climate industry (the Koch brothers, for instance) that finances the climate deniers and sows confusion about the immense reality that confronts us.

The third blockage is serious, and it has prevented the United Nations process from bearing fruit. At the Rio Earth Summit of 1992, the countries of the world negotiated a UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. In that document—which was ratified at the General Assembly two years later—the governments agreed to a key principle, namely that the impact of colonialism cannot be divorced from discussions of the climate crisis.

“The global nature of climate change,” the parties wrote, “calls for the widest possible cooperation by all countries and their participation in an effective and appropriate international response, in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and their social and economic conditions.”

Common and Differentiated Responsibilities

The main phrase here to consider is “common but differentiated responsibilities.” This means that the problem of climate change is something that is common to all countries, and that no one is immune to its deleterious impact; at the same time, the responsibility of countries is not identical, and some countries—which benefited for centuries from colonialism and carbon fuel—have a greater responsibility for the transition to a less damaging energy system.

There is little scholarly debate on the fact that certain countries—the West—benefited inordinately from both colonialism and carbon fuel. A look at the data from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center’s Global Carbon Project shows that the United States of America—by itself—has been the largest dispenser of carbon dioxide emissions since 1750. The main carbon emitters were all colonial powers, namely European states and the United States of America. From the 18th century, these countries have not only dispensed the bulk of the carbon into the atmosphere, but they also continue to exceed their share of the Global Carbon Budget.

Carbon-fueled capitalism—enriched by the wealth stolen through colonialism—enabled the countries of Europe and North America to enhance the well-being of their populations. The extreme inequalities between the standard of living for the average European (742 million people) and the average Indian (1.4 billion people) is as stark as it was a century ago. The reliance by China, India, and other developing countries on carbon—particularly coal—is high; but even this use of carbon has not raised the per capita emissions of China and India above that of the United States, whose per capita emissions are almost twice as much as China’s per capita emissions.

Green Climate Fund

The Framework Convention recognized the importance of colonialism, the geographical divergence of industrial capitalism, and its impact on the carbon budget. That is why the countries at Rio agreed to create a Green Climate Fund. The West was asked to make substantial contributions to the fund, whose capital would then be used to assist developing countries to “leapfrog” carbon-fueled social development.

It was hoped that the fund would draw in $100 billion—at a minimum—by 2020. The United States pledged $3 billion but has only contributed $1 billion. Trump has blocked any further contributions to the fund (Bernie Sanders, in contrast, said he would pay $200 billion into the fund, while the UK’s Jeremy Corbyn pledged to use his country’s leverage over the World Bank’s Climate Investment Funds toward “climate justice for the Global South”). Australia and Russia have also paused contributions. No real appetite exists to expand this fund; there is little expectation that it—or the concept of leapfrogging—will be taken seriously at COP25.

The $100 billion figure is very conservative. The International Energy Agency suggests each year in its World Energy Outlook that the actual figure is in the trillions. None of the Western powers has intimated anything like a commitment of that scale to the fund.

Attack on Coal

It is far easier to attack China and India, and other developing countries.

In early November, UN Secretary-General António Guterres addressed the press after his participation in the UN-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. He mentioned neither the concept of “common but differentiated responsibility” nor the Green Climate Fund.

Tellingly, the secretary-general made three proposals, each of which says nothing to the main principle of “differentiated responsibility”:

1) Taxes must be placed on carbon emissions.

2) Trillions of dollars of subsidies for fossil fuels must end.

3) Construction of coal-fired power stations must end by 2020.

None of these proposals per se would raise eyebrows. In fact, given the gravity of the reports coming in from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, there is no doubt that action is necessary.

But what kind of action? These three proposals would directly strike at the energy sources for countries that have not yet provided electrification for their populations, or where their people are far from the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Southeast Asia, where Guterres made these remarks, only anticipates full electrification of the region by 2030.

Advanced industrial states—such as the United Kingdom and Germany—have said that they will phase out coal by 2040. These are countries that have created the Powering Past Coal Alliance (backed by the Bloomberg New Energy Finance, one of the major capital funds that seeks to make money off the Green New Deal). There is money to be made here for venture capitalists; they are not going to contribute the billions needed for the Green Climate Fund. No philanthropy by the billionaires will be willing to donate their money into the fund; the tax-free money they make on the “green transition” will eclipse the tiny amounts of money they will donate for a non-carbon future.

Ugly Choice

Meanwhile, developing countries have an ugly choice before them: to forgo carbon, the cheapest fuel, and then forgo social development for their populations; or to continue to use carbon and threaten the planet. These are the only choices if the advanced industrial states refuse to fund the Green Climate Fund, and if they refuse to transfer technology for wind and solar to countries without any financial obligation.

A Green New Deal in the West is not going to be sufficient if this deal does not include trillions of dollars into the UN’s Green Climate Fund and the transfer of technology as a social practice and not for profit.

Vijay Prashad

Vijay Prashad’s most recent book is No Free Left: The Futures of Indian Communism (New Delhi: LeftWord Books, 2015).

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RIP Fred Hampton: a Black Visionary Assassinated by the FBI


Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair

Fifty years ago this week, a squad of Chicago police officers killed Black Panther leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark in a pre-dawn raid on the apartment where they were sleeping. In the decades since, a revealing body of evidence has emerged showing that Hampton was the victim of a political assassination, sanctioned at the highest levels of the U.S. government.

The story matters today, but not because the FBI still engages in assassination. The Bureau targets so-called “Black Identity Extremists” on flimsy grounds, but there’s no evidence that it has killed any of them. Indeed, FBI director Christopher Wray says new agents are required to study COINTELPRO precisely to learn what not to do.

What Wray prefers not to tell his employees or the public is that one of his predecessors, J. Edgar Hoover, instigated the murder of a promising African-American political leader, and got away with it. Hampton’s murder was a textbook example of how U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies robbed the country of hope and peaceful change and were never held accountable.

No one was ever convicted for Hampton’s murder. To this day, many journalists and historians are unwilling to state that Hoover and other senior U.S. officials countenanced the assassination of domestic foes. Yet compelling circumstantial evidence demonstrates they did exactly that in the case of Fred Hampton.

The story of Hampton’s assassination is not as well-known as that of President Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, and Malcolm X. In 2018 a diverse group of citizens formed the Truth and Reconciliation Committee which calls for the re-opening of the investigations of those four famous killings. (I am a member.) The story of Fred Hampton shows why this is necessary.

Hampton’s terrible murder has much in common with the deaths of JFK, MLK, RFK, and Malcolm. It is an unsolved political crime, rife with official malfeasance and wrapped in mealy-mouthed media coverage.

Who Was Fred Hampton?

At age 21 Hampton was an honor student from suburban Chicago and an experienced leader. He got his start as an organizer for the integrationist National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He came to prominence as leader of the Black Panther Party, which scorned the NAACP as too accommodating to white people. At a time when many black militants favored dashikis and leather jackets, Hampton wore a button-down shirt and a pullover.

A self-described “revolutionary,” Hampton envisioned the future of the civil rights movement as a “rainbow coalition” of white, black, brown, yellow, and red people. Jesse Jackson would later adopt the term as the name of his organization and the theme of his ground-breaking presidential campaigns of 1984 and 1988. In short, Hampton was a charismatic leader with a vision of marrying the social gospel of King to the militant nationalism of Malcolm X.

Not coincidentally, Malcolm X, King, and Hampton were assassinated in the span of four years.

Was the FBI Involved?

The raid that killed Hampton was the culmination of the FBI’s notorious Counterintelligence Program. COINTELPRO, as it is known, is usually identified as an FBI program. In fact, COINTELPRO originated with the CIA. When CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton launched a secret and illegal program to open the mail of Americans in 1957, he fed the results to Hoover, along with the techniques for “neutralizing” perceived enemies. COINTELPRO was the domestic implementation of standard CIA operating procedures in other countries.

As Hoover’s deputy (and Angleton’s close friend) William Sullivan later explained to Senate investigators, the “rough, rough dirty business” of foreign counterintelligence was “brought home against any organization against which we were targeted.”

(I tell the story of COINTELPRO’s origins in my 2017 biography, The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton. )

Hoover regarded all but the most quiescent of African-American leaders as advocates of “hate.” It was the bizarre projection of a hateful man, not unlike the rhetoric of Hoover’s political progeny—Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump—who bray that Barack Obama is a “racist.”

The Meaning of ‘Neutralize’

An early COINTELPRO target was Martin Luther King, a religious advocate of non-violence and integration. In 1964 FBI operatives mailed King a letter saying “your end is approaching…. You are finished…. There is but one way out for you.” King’s colleagues understood the letter as an unsubtle invitation to commit suicide.

As the civil rights movement burgeoned in the 1960s, Hoover became more explicit about his techniques of repression. In an August 1967 memo, available on the FBI’s web site, Hoover said the purpose of COINTELPRO was

“to expose, disrupt, misdirect, or otherwise neutralize the activities of Black nationalist, hate-type organizations and groupings, their leadership, spokesman, membership, and supporters.”

When the Black Panther Party (BPP) exploded as popular movement among African-Americans impatient with King’s “turn the other cheek” approach, Hoover sent another memo ordering FBI field offices to submit “imaginative and hard-hitting counterintelligence measures aimed at crippling the BPP.”

The language was an invitation to political violence: imaginative, hard-hitting, crippling. The purpose, the racist director stressed, was to “prevent violence… to pinpoint troublemakers and neutralize them before they exercise their potential for violence.” The goal, he explained, was to prevent the emergence of leader who might “unify and electrify” the black community, as Malcolm X and King aspired to do.

Most white law enforcement officer with guns and badges understood full well what Hoover intended when he used the word “neutralize.” Many white journalists and historians still do not.

In a January 1969 memo, Hoover reiterated that the Panthers were a prime COINTELLPRO target because the group was seeking to improve its image. Not coincidentally, Hampton was then making headlines with his efforts to forge a truce among Chicago’s feuding street gangs and revolutionary activists.

At the time, COINTELPRO operatives regularly insinuated informants and provocateurs into the gangs and the Panthers with the goal of provoking violence between them. This tactic was lethally successful. And anyone who dared to say the FBI engaged in such tactics was sure to be described by the mainstream press as a “conspiracy theorist.”

In the face of fearsome violence, the Panthers refused to surrender (which is one reason why black Hollywood dreamed up a superhero called “Black Panther.”) The FBI ransacked the Panther’s Chicago headquarters in July and October 1969. In November 1969, one of the Panthers was ambushed and killed in a shootout that left two Chicago police officers dead.

By then, the FBI had inserted a paid informant, William O’Neal, into the Panther organization. According to lawyers for Hampton’s family, O’Neal gave a floor plan of the apartment where Hampton lived to his police handler. The plan was passed to a special squad of Chicago police officers working for the Cook County State’s Attorney Office. The office was headed by Edward Hanrahan, a politically ambitious prosecutor. On December 3, 1969 Hanrahan’s office notified Hoover of a plan to raid Hampton’s apartment for illegal weapons.

What Happened on December 4?

The Panthers and the police gave diametrically opposed versions of Hampton’s death. The police said when they had announced themselves they were greeted with a shotgun blast. The Panthers said the cops opened fire first. Hampton died in his bed, next to his pregnant wife. Another Panther leader, Mark Clark, was killed in another room. Four people in the apartment were wounded and three were unharmed.

Chicago authorities then gave O’Neal a $300 bonus and charged the seven survivors with attempted murder of the police officers. At trial, an FBI crime scene examiner testified that the police had fired at least 89 gunshots and the people in the apartment had fired exactly one. It did not come from Hampton’s room.

As public outrage mounted, the U.S. Justice Department began to investigate, and Hanrahan dropped the charges. A state special prosecutor later indicted him and 13 other police officials and officers for obstruction of justice. They were acquitted in 1972.

COINTELPRO was exposed by a band of doughty leftist burglars who broke into an FBI office in Pennsylvania and came away with a trove of secret FBI documents that they shared with reporters. In 1975, the Senate Intelligence Committee on CIA activities, known as the Church Committee, investigated and documented a host of COINTELPRO crimes. FBI director Clarence Kelley issued a formal apology.

But “sorry” didn’t pay any bills for Hampton’s widow, infant son, and the other survivors. The families of the victims filed a $47 million civil lawsuit against Hanrahan and the police officers, which was dismissed and then reinstated. Thirteen years later, in 1982, the city of Chicago, Cook County, and the U.S. Justice Department agreed to pay a $1.85 million settlement, a belated admission that Hampton had been illegally targeted. For the suffering of seven victims and their families, it was a welcome but relatively parsimonious payout.

Hanrahan went on to run for mayor of Chicago twice; he lost badly both times. He died in 2009.

A State-Sanctioned Assassination

The final report of the Church Committee denounced COINTELPRO but refrained from using the A-word.

“COINTELPRO was more than simply violating the law or the Constitution. In COINTELPRO the Bureau secretly took the law into its own hands, going beyond the collection of intelligence and beyond its law enforcement function to act outside the legal process altogether and to covertly disrupt, discredit and harass groups and individuals.”

This was far too charitable to the FBI. It is true that Fred Hampton and his fellow Panthers were disrupted, discredited, and harassed. It is true that some Black Panthers had, on other occasions, committed crimes or provoked violent encounters with police. Hampton was not one of them. The simple truth, still largely unspeakable in Washington, is that Hampton was assassinated–murdered for political reasons. He was, in a word, “neutralized” at the behest of the leaders of the U.S. government.

To be sure, J. Edgar Hoover and James Angleton did not conspire to kill Fred Hampton in his bed. They merely encouraged and enabled others to do the “rough, rough dirty business” of political repression, at home and abroad. Men of power in America knew how to keep their fingerprints off the resulting crimes.

The loss is painful to contemplate. If he had lived, Fred Hampton would 71 years old, more senior than Barack Obama, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker, more youthful than Donald Trump, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Joe Biden. Maybe he would have made revolution. Maybe he would have run for president. Maybe he would have done both. We can only imagine the possibilities that were extinguished that night 50 years ago.

Jefferson Morley

Jefferson Morley, author of The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton, is the editor of The Deep State blog. He is a member of the Truth & Reconciliation Committee, founded to reopen the investigations of the assassination of JFK, MLK, RFK, and Malcolm X.

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UK Election Shows Progressive Must Have More Than Great Policies, They Need to Win

There is no way to spin the results of this election as anything other than disastrous. So what should be done?

by: Peter Bloom

The broadcaster's exit poll results projected on the outside of the BBC building in London shows Jeremy Corbyn's opposition Labour Party predicted to win 191 seats and lose the general election as the ballots begin to be counted in the general election on December 12, 2019. (Photo: Tolga Akmen / AFP / via Getty Images)

The broadcaster’s exit poll results projected on the outside of the BBC building in London shows Jeremy Corbyn’s opposition Labour Party predicted to win 191 seats and lose the general election as the ballots begin to be counted in the general election on December 12, 2019. (Photo: Tolga Akmen / AFP / via Getty Images)

Today the United Kingdom woke up to a new and for many troubling political reality—the Conservatives had won a resounding majority. Indeed this was a rightwing landslide unseen in a generation. The Tories will now move into government with the number and the popular mandate to enact policies that could have destructive implications for decades to come.

There is a necessary and obvious desire by those on the Left to ask “What went so wrong”? Already those from the so-called political “center” are declaring this as the end of Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s progressive “extremism” and a return to the “moderate” policies that have previously ushered them comfortably into power. The fact that all evidence points to the unpopularity of this position, to say the least of its empirical failures to address any of the problems that 21st century Britain and the world face, will perhaps worryingly make little immediate difference. 

To effectively counter this attack from “reactionary moderates” it is necessary to draw out the real lessons of what actually did go wrong. The answer is complex but at its heart it was one of an unwillingness to identify the threat of the Right and mobilize a mass movement for its defeat. Doing so means means showing not only that another better world is possible but also that it is populist elites who are preventing it from happening.

A Progressive Loss

There is no way to spin the results of this election as anything other than disastrous. While it was clear from the polling that the Tories were most probably headed for a working majority, the scale of their victory was almost unimaginable. The progressive casualties of this defeat are already piling up with Corbyn agreeing to step down as leader before the next General Election.

Looking beyond the fate of any one politician, there are two immediate dangers from this progressive loss. The first is the untold damage that a Far Right Tory government can do to those most vulnerable—especially as it ran an explicitly racist campaign of division and xenophobic nationalism. The second is the belief that a progressive agenda simply can’t win democratically and should, therefore, be abandon onto the proverbial ash heap of history.

Both of these threats must be passionately and concretely countered. The Labour manifesto of 2017 and the surprising electoral gains made by the party that year revealed that a broadly left-wing agenda can rally mass support. It emboldened Corbyn and Momentum to go even further in their policy prescriptions for radically reimagining society. What was perhaps missed though was the effectiveness of the message over the policy agenda. The slogan “For the Many, Not the Few” put in stark relief the choice of the country – a genuinely compassionate government who cared for the majority or a callous elite.

The Conservatives learned their own lessons well in the rematch two years later. They put their energy into a similarly memorable if hollow slogan “Get Brexit Done” and then repeated until it was practically the only thing heard by the electorate. They also reframed their message from one of a “sensible government” to that of an insurgent force who could break through the elitist deadlock of Westminster.

Labour thus lost more than simply an election. They surrendered their hard won previous victory as a party of the masses to Prime Minister Boris Johnson—a leader of a party that couldn’t be more elitist. Labour positioned themselves as the party that was most in line with the status quo at a time when people continue to feel unheard and ignored. When the system is broken, it is a dangerous game to ally yourself with its main defenders, especially as your plutocrat opponents are reframing the “people” in the most retrogressive and reactionary way possible.

Being more than simply “right”

The reasons for this progressive loss, thus, are at once simple and complex. At its most basic level, it was a rejection of Remain and those who were seen to be “undemocratically” trying to stop Brexit from happening. Digging deeper, it was a reassertion by a white working class that were tired of feeling left behind and ignored. Brexit was thus a symptom of how economic, social, and political elites could channel this popular anger to their own profitable ends.

In this respect, Labour was facing a comprehensive struggle that could not merely be fought on one front. They sought desperately to appease all their constituent parts without a clear message of change or a strategy for fighting back against their own right-wing members or a compliant conservative media. They saw the North as either “safe” or as an acceptable loss in the wider struggle to be “right.”

Consequently, they lacked the cohesion or mentality to recognize and take advantage of the shifting political reality. When it became apparent that Brexit was a third rail issue for many in the North, they could have used this as an opportunity to shift the debate into more internationalist and progressive directions, for instance. Here they could have portrayed themselves not as the party of “soft or hard” Brexit but a Brexit “for the Many or for the Few” that protected worker’s rights, the environments, and forged multi-national alliances with other countries for this purpose. While this would have understandably upset many who voted Remain, it would have also laid the foundation for simultaneously blocking the Conservative’s only popular issue, highlighted the growing threat of global capital, and created a foundation for building a diverse and inclusive “people” linked to an internationalist rather than isolationist project for change.

Just as importantly, it revealed that Labour had to become much more than merely a campaigning organization. While the progressive forces of Momentum brought much needed energy to a moribund party, it also continued in the tradition of reinforcing Labour as only caring about constituents and communities during election time. The bold plans of Corbyn would have done much to help these areas and the majority of their inhabitants. Yet they were not connected to their everyday struggles from an unjust benefit regime, to a worsening public health service, to the lack of good jobs. If Labour wants to seriously win they must ironically looking beyond elections and toward building up a sustainable movement for achieving economic and social justice everywhere. It is only in doing so that they can turn an exciting digital grassroots movement into a powerful independent multi-cultural working class politics in real life.

Ultimately, Corbyn cared more about “being right” in policy than in politics. He wanted a perfect manifesto to sweep him and the Left into power. He and the party were blinded by the fact that revolutions do not happen from the top down or begin at the ballot box. Rather they are forged from the bottom up and start with important local victories that show people concretely that actual change is possible.

Defeating the Right

The UK and much of the world is now confronted with two visions for defeating the Right. It can either return to the unpopular and ineffectual Conservative-lite Centrism of the past or rebuild a progressive politics that is willing to fight on many fronts and in a myriad of different ways for achieving ultimate victory. At its core this project must be about reimagining society and reconnecting people concretely for this purpose.

Crucial in this respect will be showing how socialism can work “on the ground” to improve people’s lives. This means investing in efforts to build collaborative economies across the country. It also means organizing people around local issues linked to a global struggle for justice. This entails meeting people “where they are” with the aim of broadening their horizons of who is actually to blame for their problems and how they can be concretely resolved with progressive ideas and policies. It also means being willing to make alliances when and where necessary for short term political victories (or even to stave off disastrous defeats) while strengthening this revolutionary project of socialist transformation from the ground up.

In the future, Labour and the Left must be more than simply “right,” they must be committed to doing all they can to defeating the Right. They must use every means at their disposable to create a genuinely working class internationalist movement that is waged not only on social media or from the halls of Westminster but in the towns, communities, and cities throughout the country. The only way the virulent fantasies of the Far Right can be defeated is by working daily and with renewed energy to create a better progressive reality.

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Britons Gear Up to Defend NHS From Privatization Scheme as Tories Win Strong Majority in UK Election

“We will defend our public services—especially the NHS—from attempts to degrade or destroy them, and support, as well as we are able, the overworked heroes who keep them afloat.”

by: Jake Johnson,

Britain’s Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party, Boris Johnson, speaks during a campaign event to celebrate the result of the general election in central London on December 13, 2019. (Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images)

After U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Tory party won a strong majority in the general election Thursday, British progressives mourned the “utterly devastating” result and geared up for a fight to defend the National Health Service from more right-wing budget cuts and privatization efforts.

“People running our NHS are crying out for more help, begging people not to vote Conservative due to the constant cuts,” tweeted London-based activist Ellen Rose. “Seems they were ignored by the people they try to save every day.”

“The fight goes on. We need to occupy every single space with our politics louder and stronger. Protest the privatization of the NHS, defend migrants, fight evictions, take care of your neighbors.”
—Hasan Patel

Following his victory, which is expected to give the Conservatives a 75-seat majority, Johnson declared that the election result has granted him “a powerful new mandate to get Brexit done.”

Just two weeks before the vote, U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn unveiled over 450 pages of documents that he said showed a Tory plan to privatize the NHS in negotiations with the U.S. over a possible post-Brexit trade pact.

“Mega-corporations see Johnson’s alliance with Trump as a chance to make billions from the illness and sickness of people in this country,” said Corbyn. “And if the Conservatives have their way and this deal goes forward, the changes I’ve revealed will be almost irreversible.”

As Common Dreams reported, documents obtained by the Daily Mirror last month showed that the U.S. pharmaceutical industry is lobbying trade negotiators to open the British drug market as part of any new trade agreement.

In a tweet Friday morning, U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated Johnson on his “great win”and said “Britain and the United States will now be free to strike a massive new Trade Deal after Brexit.”

“This deal has the potential to be far bigger and more lucrative than any deal that could be made with the E.U.,” Trump added. “Celebrate Boris!”

Trump has previously insisted that “everything” will be on the table in trade negotiations with the U.K., including the NHS.

Dr Lauren Gavaghan@DancingTheMind

A dark day for the NHS.

In a series of tweets early Friday, Guardian columnist George Monbiot said “mass resistance” and an organized movement will be necessary to protect the people and programs the U.K.’s right-wing government is likely to target.

“We will defend our public services—especially the NHS—from attempts to degrade or destroy them, and support, as well as we are able, the overworked heroes who keep them afloat,” said Monbiot. “We will divide up the tasks, but always in the knowledge that we’re working together. Love and courage to you all.”

“The fight goes on,” added activist Hasan Patel. “We need to occupy every single space with our politics louder and stronger. Protest the privatization of the NHS, defend migrants, fight evictions, take care of your neighbors.”

Supporters of the Medicare for All in the United States expressed solidarity with British progressives following Thursday’s election.

“Our friends in the U.K. are about to have to fight like hell to defend their NHS,” said Jacobin‘s Meagan Day. “We Americans who are fighting for Medicare for All will stand with you.”

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Myanmar Rohingya: Aung San Suu Kyi cuts a haunted figure in court

By Nick Beake

BBC Myanmar correspondent

Media captionAung San Suu Kyi: “Our greatest challenge is to address the roots of distrust and fear, prejudice and hate”

The spectacle of Aung San Suu Kyi, a once-persecuted Nobel peace laureate now defending her country against allegations of genocide over its treatment of the Rohingya minority, has been one of bewildering irony.

In the years after she was released from house arrest in 2010, princes, presidents and prime ministers welcomed Aung San Suu Kyi with open arms into their own opulent homes.

The feel-good factor of rubbing shoulders with someone who had dedicated much of her adult life to the pursuit of democracy was irresistible.

Then, the grandeur of the Peace Palace in The Hague – a marble-floored monument to global harmony – would have been comfortable surroundings for Myanmar’s Nobel Peace Prize winner. A native habitat, even.

But not now. There was no red carpet, welcoming committee or brass band.

Instead the light pouring through the stained glass of the Great Hall of Justice illuminated an often haunted-looking figure who had chosen to come and listen to descriptions of some of the most unimaginably gruesome acts. Acts said to have been committed in her country. On her watch.

Media captionWatch: Who are the Rohingya?

After two years on trial in the court of international public opinion, Aung San Suu Kyi was now trying to win over the 17 judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – as she defended the same Myanmar military which had taken away her freedom for 15 years.

It was something she – and the rest of the world – surely never imagined would happen.

The cognitive dissonance of a faded beacon of universal human rights arguing against the horrific testimony of some of the 740,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees who had her fled her country pulsed through The Hague this week.

Media captionHow did this peace icon end up at a genocide trial?

I realised that she was taking her seat in court 28 years to the day after she had accepted her Nobel prize, in absentia. It was a quirk of history that defined the slow-motion transformation of Aung San Suu Kyi’s global standing.

I will long remember certain images from this remarkable week.

There were the Rohingya survivors who’d travelled from the crushing bleakness of Cox’s Bazar – the largest refugee camp in the world – to be guests in the court.

Every morning, they arrived in the same type of sparkling executive transport as Ms Suu Kyi: afforded the same comfort as the leader of the country accused of trying to exterminate their people. For these three representatives of their stateless community, the scales of justice had finally levelled, if only for a few hours.

AASK supporters in The Hague
Image captionThere have been demonstrations in support of Aung San Suu Kyi outside the court

Then there was the face of Aung San Suu Kyi, possibly hearing for the first time in such brutal detail the crimes alleged to have been perpetrated by the Burmese Army in their clearance operation in Rakhine state in August 2017.

Such was the interest in Aung San Suu Kyi’s appearance, they had to open a second room to contain the international media. There were rueful shakes of the head, gentle intakes of breath as lawyers for The Gambia read out graphic accounts from Rohingya survivors: pregnant women beaten to death, mass rape, children thrown into fires.

We watched Ms Suu Kyi’s face – seemingly frozen at times – on a large television as she listened to the allegations against her Myanmar.

Aung San Suu Kyi may have sat alongside her legal team and a small Burmese delegation but she often cut a lonely figure. She is a leader who has alienated herself from former friends in the West and taken refuge in the powerful embrace of China, which continues to provide invaluable economic support and political protection in the UN Security Council.

Media captionThe Rohingya mark two years of exile

It is the certainty of a Chinese veto on any vote on Myanmar’s alleged crimes that has blocked the most obvious path to justice for the Rohingya: a referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

I will remember the crowds outside court – both for and against Ms Suu Kyi. More than a hundred supporters had flown the 5,000 miles from Myanmar to wave banners and shout slogans supporting “Mother Suu”.

I have no doubt the affection for her was genuine – this was no communist regime-style gathering where pure fear drives the chanting and nobody want to be first to stop applauding. In fact, they sang an old favourite which criticises the former military dictatorship – the apparatus of evil which truly instilled terror in people’s hearts.

That said, there was an approved list of songs and a ban on waving flags of Ms Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party. Presumably, this was to avoid the impression the NLD was benefitting from her appearance in the Hague. But be in no doubt her defence of the nation will have given her a huge domestic boost ahead of next year’s general election in Myanmar.

Media captionJonathan Head visits the Hla Poe Kaung transit camp, which is built on the site of two demolished Rohingya villages

I saw three photographs this week which felt significant. The first was the image of 10 murdered Rohingya men in a grave in the village of Inn Din, shown to the court. This was the massacre exposed by Reuters reporters Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone. The journalistic world rewarded them with a Pulitzer Prize; Myanmar handed them more than 500 days in prison. Aung San Suu Kyi’s legal team suggested it was a gratuitous and tasteless picture to show.

When it was the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s turn to put something on screen she chose a snap of a smiling crowd at a football match in Maungdaw township in Rakhine State. Buddhists and Muslims united, shoulder to shoulder. It felt a strange, naive and weak response to the Inn Din photo.

The third and final photograph was sent to me by a Burmese colleague in Yangon. I received it just as Aung San Suu Kyi was addressing the court for the final time. It showed a tank on the street.

Media captionWatch: Nick Beake gets a rare look at Myanmar’s military parade

I froze. Was this a military coup? An attempt by the still-powerful generals to steal back the country while the democratically elected leader was defending their troops to the world? It turned out the tanks were apparently being transported to a new base but it caused hearts to race in a country whose transition to democracy is still precarious.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s decision to come here ensured this would always become a massive spectacle and one which marked the end of any lingering hope in the West that she would distance herself from the army she doesn’t control.

After two years of blistering international criticism for failing to use her moral authority to stand up for the Rohingya, she is now the permanent face of the legal defence of some of the worst abuses imaginable.

The generals, safe for now and far from the winter chill of The Hague, have watched a Nobel Peace Prize winner trying, in many people’s eyes, to defend the indefensible. They wouldn’t have it any other way.

Posted in MyanmarComments Off on Myanmar Rohingya: Aung San Suu Kyi cuts a haunted figure in court

Thy are not your friends: UK Jews Welcome Resounding Defeat of Corbyn

UK Jews Welcome Resounding Defeat of Corbyn in British Election; ‘You Should Never Have to Live in Fear Again,’ They Are Told

by Benjamin Kerstein

Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves Islington Town Hall through the backdoor after a meeting following the results of the general election, Dec. 13, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Tom Nicholson.

British Jews and their allies around the world are celebrating the decisive defeat of the Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party in Thursday’s parliamentary election.

The far-left Corbyn — widely viewed by British Jews as an antisemite — said on Friday he planned to stand down as Labour leader following the party’s worst electoral loss in 84 years.

Labour has been beset by a series of antisemitism scandals since Corbyn took charge in 2015.

Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said, “This election victory is an historic achievement for Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party. We hope that the prime minister will use his new mandate to bring the country together, and put an end to the toxicity and prejudice which has become too regular a feature of our politics. We look forward to working with the government to ensure that our country strives to be a beacon of inclusion and respect for all its inhabitants.”

The American sanctions imposed on Iran violate the United Nations charter and international law, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad told…

“When he eventually steps back, history will not look kindly on Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party, where anti-Jewish racism has been allowed to run amok and some at the highest levels of the party have appeared to colludeto protect antisemites,” she added. “We urge the next leader of the Labour Party to act quickly to implement the steps repeatedly recommended by Jewish communal groups to begin solving this crisis and moving our politics forward.”

Gideon Falter, chief executive of the UK-based Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), said, “Not for the first time, our nation has stood firm against antisemitism. The British public has watched the once proudly anti-racist Labour Party become infested with Jew-hatred and it has resoundingly decided to stand with its Jewish community and give the antisemites a crushing rebuke. The faith that British Jews showed in our country has been vindicated.”

“We urgently need to return to a time when antisemitism had no place in our politics,” he implored. “We must not allow ourselves to forget the fear that many British Jews felt yesterday when a Jeremy Corbyn premiership remained a possibility. Firm action must now be taken against antisemites in politics and those who enabled them, but an antisemite cannot be trusted to rid the Labour Party of this evil. The next Labour leader must be someone who has not been implicated in this crisis and we will hold them to account. They will need to comply with the Equality and Human Rights Commission when it releases its recommendations and, as the complainant in the Commission’s statutory investigation into Labour antisemitism, we will be meeting them today.”

Euan Philipps, spokesman for Labour Against Antisemitism (LAAS), said, “The British public have delivered a damning verdict on Jeremy Corbyn and his institutionally-racist Labour Party. Labour Against Antisemitism stated at the beginning of the election that neither Corbyn or his party were fit for government, and the public have agreed.”

He continued: “The overwhelming reaction of our members to this election result is one of relief. Underlying that emotion, however, runs anger that the British Jewish community has been brought close to serious threat by the complete failure of the Labour movement to deal with the poison of antisemitism. The next leader must be prepared to take all necessary measures to deal with Corbyn’s legacy of anti-Jewish hatred, including cooperating fully with the Equalities and Human Rights Commission investigation. Failure to do so will only lead to further electoral catastrophe for the Labour Party.”

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove — a past winner of The Algemeiner‘s “Warrior for Truth” award — addressed British Jews directly at a Conservative victory rally, saying, “You have had to live in fear for months now with concerns we will have a prime minister who trafficked in anti-Jewish rhetoric and embraced anti-Jewish terrorists. You should never have to live in fear again.”

Rachel Riley, a television personality who became an outspoken critic of Labour antisemitism in recent years simply tweeted, “Love you Britain.”

Actress Tracy Ann Oberman, another prominent voice against Labour antisemtism, said, “Thank you Great Britain. I’m crying my eyes out.”

The news from the UK was welcomed in Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted, “Congratulations my friend @BorisJohnson on your historic victory. This is a great day for the people of Great Britain and for the friendship between us.”

Netanyahu’s top political rival, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, also weighed in, tweeting, “The poor showing for Jeremy Corbyn in the British general election is good news for Israel, for British Jewry, and above all for Britain’s democracy.”

Blue and White number two Yair Lapid called Johnson’s victory “a defeat for antisemitism.”

“I’m sure that under his leadership we can strengthen and deepen the relations between Israel and Great Britain,” Lapid said. “Congratulations Boris and good luck!”

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin stated, “Congratulations to my friend Boris Johnson! On behalf of the Israeli people, and personally, I wish you great success as you continue to serve as prime minister of the United Kingdom. I am confident that under your leadership the important relationship between the two countries will continue to strengthen and that together we will be able to face the challenges of our times on every front.”

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Campaigns, UKComments Off on Thy are not your friends: UK Jews Welcome Resounding Defeat of Corbyn

Syrian Security Prevent Trump Forces Approach near Qamishli Airport

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

Syrian Security push back Trump Forces near Qamishli Airport

Syrian security of Aviation Intelligence prevented a column of Trump forces from approaching the Qamishli Airport yesterday.

A first in such confrontation between the defenders of the land and the invaders allowed in by separatist Kurdish traitor militia.

The incident was first reported by activists yesterday Thursday morning and later Russia Today also confirmed through its own sources. There are Russian Military Police stationed in that area as well.

The following video distributed by members of the Syrian Aviation Security protecting the Qamishli International Airport, the narrator is heard describing the incident and calling the Trump forces as dogs. Calling someone a dog in our region is considered a bad insult,The video is also available on BitChute:

While some ‘strategists’ and advisers to Trump, who obviously never served during any real combat, advised Trump to keep some of his forces in Syria thinking they can be used as an asset against the Syrian state, not realizing that what they consider their assets are in reality their liability and soon enough Trump who is waiting for someone to call him to ask for the withdrawal of these troops will start making calls all over asking for help to pull them from Syria, or what would be left of them alive.

They’re literally sitting ducks in a large lake of alligators, to make it closer to an owner of a Florida resort.

Trump forces were able to spread in a number of posts no thanks to traitors of the separatist Kurdish SDF militia who worked as useful fools in luring in NATO member states of Turkey, their alleged sworn enemies, and NATO member state USA, their eternal abusers, into Syria thinking the USA will fight to protect them and never learning from the history of the USA that the best it does to its useful idiots after milking them dry is letting others eat their corpses, instead of the US itself.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, SyriaComments Off on Syrian Security Prevent Trump Forces Approach near Qamishli Airport

History of Nazi terror regime War Crimes: against Palestinian Children

History of israeli (terror state) War Crimes: “Surgical Strikes” against Palestinian Children

History of Israeli War Crimes: “Surgical Strikes” against Palestinian Children

By Felicity Arbuthnot,

It was ten years ago: This article first published in November 2012 recalls the massacre of Palestinian children during the December 2008-January 2009 invasion of Gaza

  “Light the fire so I can see my tears, On the night of the massacre …” (Samih al-Qasim, b: 1939.)

It was that “pinpoint accuracy”, “surgical strike” stuff again, there were “unavoidable tragic errors”, “mistakes”, “scrupulous efforts made to avoid” etc., blah. And as Britain’s Colonel Richard Kemp declared of the fourteen hundred dead of the Christmas and New year onslaught on Gaza in 2008-2009: “Mistakes are not war crimes.” (i)

Colonel Kemp, with impeccable ties to British Intelligence Services, spoke to the BBC from Jerusalem in similar sanguine vein on 21st November(ii) of the then latest twenty four hour bombardment of the tiny, walled in Gaza Strip, where over half the population are children. But Colonel Kemp has seen a fair amount of carnage in his time, from Belfast to the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Seemingly after a while the dead and dismembered are just part of the day job.

The eight day blitz killed one hundred and sixty two Palestinians in what were merciless attacks on families with no where to hide. Nine hundred and ninety nine were injured. Eight hundred and sixty five houses are damaged or destroyed.

Six health centres are damaged, thirty schools, two universities, fifteen NGO offices, twenty seven mosques, fourteen media offices, eleven industrial plants, eighty one commercial stores and a UNRWA food distribution Centre.

In addition seven Ministry offices, fourteen  police or security stations, five banks, and two youth clubs. The sports complex where the Palestinians athletes and paralympians trained for the 2012 London Olympics is reduced to rubble, as is the beautiful and most necessary Gaza Interior Ministry.Israel Continues Blitz Against Gaza Amid Truce Talks

On Universal Children’s Day, 20th November, an air strike destroyed the Oxfam-supported Al Bajan kindergarten school and damaged the Al Housna kindergarten. (iii) Oxfam’s Sara Almer commented that more than one hundred and fifty children attended these kindergartens. “The children are safe, but the places where they learned and played are now in ruins.” This in an area: “where they already suffer a high level of trauma …”

The Oxfam project was as a result of the devastation caused by “Operation Cast Lead” between 27th December 2008-17th January 2009, when they also repaired the now re-fractured water and sanitation facilities.

There is a shortage of two hundred and thirty schools in Gaza, the Agency points out – and a ban on importing construction materials, which means the further thirty two damaged, the two universities and all else may well stay that way.

Ironically, on the day of the nurseries’ destruction, the UN Secretary General announced, that marking Universal Children’s Day, the launch of a major UN initiative: “Education First.” The day commemorates the adoption of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1959 and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. The 1989 Convention entered in to force on September 2nd 1990, under a month after the UN embargo on Iraq, with even baby milk formula importation denied.

“The child … needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection before as well as after birth” is included in the preamble to a fine document. (iv)

Four year old twins, Suhaib and Muhammed Hijazi will never learn of the “protection” they are entitled to by the United Nations. They were killed when their home was bombed as the dawn of Universal Children’s Day approached. Their parents, Fouad and Amna died in hospital.

Saraya, eighteen months, won’t grow to read the fine words either, she died of a heart attack, literally frightened to death by the bombardment.

As the lights went off in Gaza’s hospitals, and their generator fuel hovered  on empty, Gilad Sharon – youngest son of eighty four year old former Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, who has benefited from Israel’s fine health services and been on life support systems since 2006 – stated: “We need to flatten entire neighbourhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki too.”

Israel’s Interior Minister Eli Yishai stated that the goal of the attacks were to: “ … send Gaza back to the Middle Ages.”
Palestine has no army, navy, air force, no heavy weaponry. Israel is an undeclared nuclear power, regarded as having the fourth strongest military on earth.

Gaza was, of course being bombed by American supplied F-16s and a variety of American weaponry. But as Gaza grieved, America had parades across the land, ate turkey, prayed over their festive dinners on Thanksgiving Day, 22nd November.

Reality would have had them burning, city to city, The UN Declaration and Convention on the Rights of the Child, The UN Declaration on Human Rights, The Geneva Convention, The Nuremberg Principles and making a pyre of all the fine, meaningless words which do not end or mask international lawlessness and inhumanity. A bonfire which might light the  lie of the whole murderous hypocrisy of self proclaimed “democratic” nation states.


iv. original source of this article is Global Research

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Gaza, Human Rights, West BankComments Off on History of Nazi terror regime War Crimes: against Palestinian Children

“The Good Terrorists”: How U.S. Airstrikes Helped Prop Al-Qaeda in Syria’s Idlib?

By Nauman Sadiq

Global Research, 


Al-Qaeda in Syria has two noteworthy apologists. One is the jihadist propagandist Bilal Abdul Kareem, a former correspondent for CNN, often seen in videos sporting a long beard and reporting from the ground in the al-Nusra Front strongholds in northwestern Syria, and the other is Syria analyst and the fellow of the Middle East Institute Charles Lister.

Recently, Lister has written a research paper for the Hudson Institute, titled “The Syria Effect: Al-Qaeda Fractures,” [1] in which he has tried to prove that militants of al-Qaeda in Syria are not “bad guys” per se, rather they are “good terrorists” whose ambitions are restricted to fighting the Syrian government, and they don’t intend to mount terror attacks in the Western countries.

In conclusion of the lengthy screed, he has craftily proposed “Gaza-fication” of Syria’s northwestern Idlib, where like the Hamas in Gaza, the so-called “Salvation Government” of the al-Nusra Front, the Syrian affiliate of al-Qaeda, can be recognized as a legitimate government administering the northwestern enclave under the tutelage of Ankara.

Unwittingly, however, Charles Lister has spilled the beans in the article about a July 30 American airstrike in rural Aleppo that killed several high-profile jihadist dissidents, who had challenged the unity of the Washington-backed insurgency against the Syrian government offensive in northern Hamah and Idlib in late April.

Before getting into details, it’s worth noting that Hurras al-Din is a small radical outfit in Syria’s northwestern Idlib that split in 2018 from al-Qaeda in Syria, which was formerly known as al-Nusra Front until 2016, and now as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).

An excerpt from Charles Lister’s research paper reads:

“When the Syrian regime and Russia launched their all-out military offensive on northwestern Syria in late-April 2019, a debate ensued within Hurras al-Din – a breakaway faction of Tahrir al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front – should they assist Tahrir al-Sham and other opposition groups by reinforcing their frontlines in northern Hama?

“Given al-Qaeda Central chief Ayman al-Zawahiri’s public directives indicating the importance of Islamist unity and sustaining the armed struggle against the regime, the leader of Hurras al-Din Abu Hammam al-Suri and his deputy Sami al-Oraydi emerged as tacitly supportive of helping other jihadist groups, including Tahrir al-Sham, wherever necessary.

“The debate over Hurras al-Din’s role on Tahrir al-Sham’s opposition frontlines spilled out into the open in late June of 2019, when Hurras al-Din leader Abu Hammam al-Suri expelled two prominent Hurras al-Din clerics, Abu Dhar al-Masri and Abu Yahya al-Jazairi, for having issued non-sanctioned rulings forbidding fighting in northern Hama. Some alleged Abu Yahya had gone as far as pronouncing takfir on Tahrir al-Sham, thereby excommunicating them from Islam and labeling them apostates and legitimate targets for attack.

“Abu Hammam’s dismissal of Abu Dhar and Abu Yahya sparked an uproar within Hurras al-Din. The group’s internal judicial court, led by Abu Amr al-Tunisi, issued a petition signed by more than 300 members on June 23 demanding an arbitration involving Abu Hammam and his deputy, Sami al-Oraydi.

“However, neither Abu Hammam nor Oraydi turned up at the planned arbitration on June 25, leading the court’s chief, Abu Amr, to issue a furious five-minute audio statement accusing HaD’s leaders of nepotism. Abu Amr was swiftly expelled from Hurras al-Din, and this led another senior leader, Abu Yaman al-Wazzani, to declare in exasperation ‘the jihadist project over.’ Later that day, a statement confirmed that Wazzani and another fellow critic, Abu Musab al-Libi, had also been expelled from Hurras al-Din.

“Tensions persisted through the summer of 2019, albeit less intensely. But in a mysterious twist on June 30, 2019—just days after the above-mentioned crisis—Abu Amr al-Tunisi, Abu Yahya al-Jazairi and Abu Dhar al-Masri were all killed, along with three other allied hardliners (Abu al-Fid’a al-Tunisi, Abu Dujana al-Tunisi and Abu Ibrahim al-Shami) in an American airstrike that targeted a meeting of Hurras al-Din detractors in rural Aleppo.

“That was the first American strike in northwestern Syria in more than two years and it was followed up two months later by another on August 31, 2019, targeting Hurras al-Din ally Ansar al-Tawhid. Al-Qaeda veteran Abu Khallad al-Mohandis was also killed in an improvised explosive device attack that targeted his personal vehicle in Idlib city on August 22, 2019.”

It becomes abundantly clear after reading the excerpts from Charles Lister’s article that not only has Washington provided weapons and training to militant factions battling Damascus but it has also conducted airstrikes eliminating jihadist dissidents who dared to threaten the unity of large militant outfits in northwestern Idlib, such as Tahrir al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front.

During the eight-year proxy war in Syria, Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, the leader of al-Nusra Front, has emerged as the second most influential militant leader after the Islamic State’s slain chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In fact, since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in August 2011 to April 2013, the Islamic State and al-Nusra Front were a single organization that chose the banner of Jabhat al-Nusra.

Although the current al-Nusra Front has been led by Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, he was appointed[2] as the emir of al-Nusra Front by Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the late leader of Islamic State, in January 2012. Thus, al-Jolani’s Nusra Front is only a splinter group of the Islamic State, which split from its parent organization in April 2013 over a leadership dispute between the two organizations.

In August 2011, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was based in Iraq, began sending Syrian and Iraqi jihadists experienced in guerrilla warfare across the border into Syria to establish an organization inside the country. Led by a Syrian known as Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, the group began to recruit fighters and establish cells throughout the country. On 23 January 2012, the group announced its formation as Jabhat al-Nusra.

In April 2013, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released an audio statement in which he announced that al-Nusra Front had been established, financed and supported by the Islamic State of Iraq. Al-Baghdadi declared that the two groups were merging under the name “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.” The leader of al-Nusra Front, Abu Muhammad al-Jolani, issued a statement denying the merger and complaining that neither he nor anyone else in al-Nusra’s leadership had been consulted about it.

Al-Qaeda Central’s leader, Ayman al Zawahiri, tried to mediate the dispute between al-Baghdadi and al-Jolani but eventually, in October 2013, he endorsed al-Nusra Front as the official franchise of al-Qaeda Central in Syria. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, however, defied the nominal authority of al-Qaeda Central and declared himself the caliph of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Keeping this background in mind, it becomes abundantly clear that a single militant organization operated in Syria and Iraq under the leadership of al-Baghdadi until April 2013, which chose the banner of al-Nusra Front, and that the current emir of the subsequent breakaway faction of al-Nusra Front, al-Jolani, was actually al-Baghdadi’s deputy in Syria.

Thus, the Islamic State operated in Syria since August 2011 under the designation of al-Nusra Front and it subsequently changed its name to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in April 2013after which it overran Raqqa and parts of Deir al-Zor in the summer of 2013. And in January 2014, it overran Fallujah and parts of Ramadi in Iraq and reached the zenith of its power when it captured Mosul in June 2014.

Excluding al-Baghdadi and a handful of his hardline Islamist aides, the rest of Islamic State’s top leadership is comprised of Saddam-era military and intelligence officials. According to a Washington Post report [3], hundreds of ex-Baathists constitute the top- and mid-tier command structure of the Islamic State who plan all the operations and direct its military strategy.

It is an indisputable fact that morale and ideology play an important role in battlefield, and well-informed readers must also be aware that the Takfiri brand of most jihadists these days has directly been inspired by the puritanical Wahhabi-Salafi ideology of Saudi Arabia, but ideology alone is not sufficient to succeed in battle.

Looking at the Islamic State’s astounding gains in Syria and Iraq in 2013-14, a question naturally arises that where did its recruits get all the training and state-of-the-art weapons that were imperative not only for hit-and-run guerrilla warfare but also for capturing and holding large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq.

According to a revelatory December 2013 news report [4] from a newspaper affiliated with the UAE government which supports the Syrian opposition, it is clearly mentioned that along with AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenades and other military gear, the Saudi regime also provided machine gun-mounted Toyota pick-up trucks to every batch of five jihadists who had completed their training in the training camps located in Jordan’s border regions along southern Syria.

Once those militants crossed over to Daraa and Quneitra in southern Syria from the Jordan-Syria border, then those Toyota pickup trucks could easily have traveled all the way to Raqqa and Deir al-Zor in eastern Syria, and thence to Mosul and Anbar in Iraq – the former strongholds of the Islamic State.

It is clearly spelled out in the report that Syrian militants got arms and training through a secret command center known as the Military Operations Center (MOC) based in the intelligence headquarters’ building in Amman, Jordan, that was staffed by high-ranking military officials from 14 countries, including the US, European nations, Israel and the Gulf states to wage a covert war against the Syrian government.

Posted in USA, SyriaComments Off on “The Good Terrorists”: How U.S. Airstrikes Helped Prop Al-Qaeda in Syria’s Idlib?

Someone Interfered in the UK Election, and It Wasn’t Russia

By Caitlin Johnstone

Global Research, 

Ladies and gentlemen I have here at my fingertips indisputable proof that egregious election meddling took place in the United Kingdom on Thursday.

Before you get all excited, no, it wasn’t the Russians. It wasn’t the Chinese, the Iranians, Cobra Command or the Legion of Doom. I’m not going to get any Rachel Maddow-sized paychecks for revealing this evidence to you, nor am I going to draw in millions of credulous viewers waiting with bated breath for a bombshell revelation of an international conspiracy that will invalidate the results of the election.

In fact, hardly anyone will even care.

Hardly anyone will care because this election interference has been happening right out in the open, and was perfectly legal. And nobody will suffer any consequences for it.

Rania Khalek


The centrists and mainstream media outlets are responsible for the right wing win in the UK. They spent all their time bashing and smearing Jeremy Corbyn bc they will always prioritize smashing the left, even if it means allying with the far right. Shameful.

5,3394:18 AM – Dec 13, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy1,734 people are talking about thisNobody will suffer any consequences for interfering in the UK election because the ones doing the interfering were extremely powerful, and that’s who the system is built to serve.

As of this writing British exit polls are indicating a landslide victory for the Tories. Numerous other factors went into this result, including most notably a Labour Party ambivalently straddling an irreconcilable divide on the issue of Brexit, but it is also undeniable that the election was affected by a political smear campaign that was entirely unprecedented in scale and vitriol in the history of western democracy. This smear campaign was driven by billionaire-controlled media outlets, along with intelligence and military agencies, as well as state media like the BBC.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been described as the most smeared politician in history, and this is a fair description. Journalist Matt Kennard recently compiled documentation of dozens of incidentsin which former and current spooks and military officials collaborated with plutocratic media institutions to portray Corbyn as a threat to national security. Journalistic accountability advocates like Media Lens and Jonathan Cook have been working for years to compile evidence of the mass media’s attempts to paint Corbyn as everything from a terrorist sympathizer to a Communist to a Russian asset to an IRA supporter to a closet antisemite. Just the other day The Grayzone documented how establishment narrative manager Ben Nimmo was enlisted to unilaterally target Corbyn with a fact-free Russiagate-style conspiracy theory in the lead-up to the election, a psyop that was uncritically circulated by both right-wing outlets like The Telegraph as well as ostensibly “left”-wing outlets like The Guardian.US and UK Military-Intelligence Apparatus Campaigns to Destroy Jeremy Corbyn

Just as Corbyn’s advocacy for the many over the plutocratic few saw him targeted by billionaire media outlets, his view of Palestinians as human beings saw him targeted by the imperialist Israel lobby as exposed in the Al Jazeera documentary The Lobby. For a mountain of links refuting the bogus antisemitism smear directed at Corbyn, a lifelong opponent of antisemitism, check out the deluge of responses to this query I made on Twitter the other day.

This interference continued right up into the day before the election, with the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg flagrantly violating election rules by reporting that early postal votes had been illegally tallied and results were “looking very grim for Labour”.

Posted in UKComments Off on Someone Interfered in the UK Election, and It Wasn’t Russia

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