Archive | January 27th, 2020

Done Deal: How the Peace Process Sold Out the Palestinians

Details of Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ are finally set to be unveiled. But US support for Israel has already changed the reality on the ground

By David Hearst

Global Research,

In November 2016, fresh off his electoral win, US President-elect Donald Trump boasted of his intention to end the Israel-Palestine conflict by striking what he called the “ultimate deal”.

Calling it “the war that never ends,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal: “As a deal maker, I’d like to do … the deal that can’t be made. And do it for humanity’s sake.”

A billionaire property tycoon and reality TV star known for his wheeling and dealing in the New York City real estate market, this was not the first time that Trump had framed the cause of peacemaking and diplomacy in terms of a business transaction.

Asked in March 2016 during his election campaign what the best deal of his life had been, he said it had been the creation of 6,000 housing units on the West Side of Manhattan.

His interviewer then asked him what would be the best deal he could make as president.

“Peace all over the world would be the best deal. And I think I would know how to do it better than anybody else, but peace all over the world,” came the modest reply.

Once in office, Trump tasked another property speculator, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, with delivering that deal, by now widely dubbed the “deal of the century”.

‘Slap of the century’

It has since turned into the most controversial and scandal-plagued peace initiative in the long and sad history of Middle East peace initiatives.Trump Creates, Then Exacerbates, Crisis for Palestinian Refugees

In the process of attempts to get it off the ground, the Palestinian leadership has refused to even open the file, let alone get involved in negotiations, with PA President Mahmoud Abbas calling it the “slap of the century“.

Trump has meanwhile closed the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s mission in Washington; he has recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

In addition, he has cut funds to the United Nations relief agency UNRWA, which runs schools and medical facilities for millions of Palestinian refugees across the region, as well as providing their main source of employment.

And he has unilaterally called for a change in the definition of a refugee, deciding that all but 500,000 of an estimated 5.5 million Palestinian refugees should be stripped of their status.

All this in an attempt to “break and remake” the Middle East.

The deal has divided analysts. Some believe it is designed to fail. Others believe it does not matter whether it is published or not – it is already being enacted on the ground, with the process of “peace-making” itself now only providing cover for the US administration’s one-sided support for Israel.

Middle East Eye examines this thesis in a series of articles originally published in June 2019 which we have grouped together under the heading “Done Deal” – recognition that whatever is proposed, the reality on the ground has already changed in fundamental ways and continues to do so regardless of what is said in the halls of power in Washington or elsewhere.

In the first of these, we look at how reality is changing to prepare for Israel’s permanent annexation of large parts of the West Bank.

In other articles, we consider how the status of refugees is changing; how access to the Old City in Jerusalem has been restricted; how the stranglehold over Gaza has been progressively tightened; and, finally, how financial incentives and threats, with large sums of money dangled to entice Palestinians into agreeing to an inequitable deal or the withdrawal of funds to compel them to do so, are nothing new.

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The ‘Deal of the Century’ Is Apartheid

The ‘Deal of the Century’ resurrects and restores grand apartheid, a racist political system that should have been left in the dustbins of history.

By Sheena Anne Arackal

Global Research,

With great fanfare, President Trump finally unveiled his long-anticipated Middle East peace proposal. The proposal was labeled ‘The Deal of the Century’ because it was supposed to offer an even-handed and just solution to one of the world’s most intractable conflicts. Instead it does something very different. The ‘Deal of the Century’ resurrects and restores grand apartheid, a racist political system that should have been left in the dustbins of history.

Under President Trump’s newly unveiled peace plan, the Palestinians will be granted limited autonomy within a Palestinian homeland that consists of multiple non-contiguous enclaves scattered throughout the West Bank and Gaza. The government of Israel will retain security control over the Palestinian enclaves and will continue to control Palestinian borders, airspace, aquifers, maritime waters, and electromagnetic spectrum. Israel will be allowed to annex the Jordan Valley and Jewish communities in the West Bank. The Palestinians will be allowed to select the leaders of their new homeland but will have no political rights in Israel, the state that actually rules over them.

President Trump’s plan for racial control and segregation should sound disturbingly familiar. Indeed it should immediately bring to mind the Bantu homelands which were the cornerstone of South Africa’s ‘grand apartheid’. While ‘petty apartheid’ was the term used to describe racial segregation on buses and public facilities, ‘grand apartheid’ referred to the many laws which enforced territorial and political separation between black and white South Africans.

Map of the future Israeli state in the Trump administration plan.

Trump’s Peace Plan Has Been Designed to Fail – Exactly Like Its Predecessors

Map of the future Israeli state in the Trump administration plan. (Source: Mondoweiss)

The Bantu homelands, which were key to the territorial and political separation of racial groups, had their origin in the Land Acts of 1913 and 1936 which created reserves for the native black population. Then in 1970 the Bantu Homelands Citizenship Act made the native population legal citizens of their Bantustans, denying black South Africans political rights in white South Africa. The South African government created Bantu homelands in order to claim that South Africa, a state with a majority black population, was actually a state with a majority white population. The Bantu homelands were political sleight of hand; a poorly veiled attempt to give racist ethnic rule the veneer of democratic respectability.

Like South Africa’s grand apartheid, the Trump plan physically and politically separates Palestinians by placing them within a non-contiguous homeland (Areas A and B and Gaza), and declaring them citizens of that homeland. Like South Africa’s grand apartheid, the Trump plan grants the Palestinian homeland autonomy over civil matters like education and healthcare, while critical areas such as trade, immigration, and security will remain under Israeli control. Like South Africa’s grand apartheid, the Trump plan is political sleight of hand: a thinly veiled attempt to claim that Israel, a state that rules over roughly the same number of Jews and Palestinians, is actually a Jewish-majority state. Also like apartheid South Africa, the Trump administration claims the homelands are a temporary solution. Once the indigenous population proves itself ready for self-governance they will one day be granted something that resembles a state.

Using a combination of financial sticks and carrots, some of which were unveiled last June at the economic summit in Bahrain, the Trump administration will try to force Palestinians to accept the ‘peace plan’ and declare independence within their homeland, just as the apartheid South African government once tried to force the native black population to declare independence within their Bantustans. While the crony leadership of some Bantustans did indeed declare independence, South Africa’s grand apartheid ultimately failed because local leaders, including the African National Congress and the legendary Nelson Mandela, waged a determined and powerful international campaign against apartheid.

President Trump’s peace plan was labeled the ‘Deal of the Century’ because it was supposed to bring peace and dignity to the people of the Middle East. Instead the ‘peace plan’ does the exact opposite and resurrects apartheid, a racist political system that should have been left in the dustbins of history.

The Trump peace plan cannot, and should not be implemented because it gives Israelis the illusion of security while in reality trapping them within an unstable regime based on racial oppression. The Trump peace plan cannot, and should not be implemented because it gravely violates the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people and very likely constitutes a crime against humanity under the Rome Statute (1998). The Trump peace plan cannot, and should not be implemented because once we look past all the streamers and confetti, it turns out ‘The Deal of the Century’ is nothing less than Apartheid.

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Wuhan Expats Fed Up with Foreign Media Hype

By Frank Hossack

Global Research,

Expats living in Wuhan are enraged by foreign media coverage of the 19-nCoV outbreak. Better placed and likely more informed than any journalist in a faraway land, most are full of praise for the authorities’ handling of the situation.

Media the world over are publishing stories about the virus’ outbreak in Wuhan, much of them blaming the authorities in any way they can. They report containment of the virus to be the toughest challenge ever faced by the Chinese government.

Last week, they would not have been able to tell you that Wuhan is a city, let alone in which country it is.

The expats in Wuhan are taking an altogether different view. In a word, they are more pragmatic.

In the Facebook group, Wuhan Expats, Chris Carr said:

“Wuhan has 11 million people, which is around three times my country’s population. Odds of being involved in a road accident in Asia have always been much higher”.

Many of the group’s members believe the authorities have been doing all they can. Afzaal Ahmed said,

“One of my friend had fever he was afraid of getting virus; the blood tests were done without any cost and he was free to go because the reports were negative.

“Even free masks were available in hospital. They were checking temperature in subway and in some streets to make sure that this should be controlled and in my university we were provided free food like bread, milk packs and water.”

Western Media Seek Out Foreigners in Wuhan

Many journalists have been posting in the group looking for people to comment. One from the UK’s Evening Standard got just that. It read, “How about doing articles on road accidents in Asia and ensuring the entire Asian media see them?”

Daniel Pekárek sized up the opinion of many a Wuhan expat today.

“Seeing the reactions from outside world, especially in western media, racist, political comments and so on is so disgusting, people should stop this.”

Other requests from journalists have come from Australia, Italy, France, Canada, Ireland and the Philippines. Carr also asked whether there is any way to ban journalists from the group.

In further efforts to attract readers, much foreign media has been drawing comparisons between this outbreak and that of SARS.

Back in 2002 when the SARS virus hit, there was virtually no Internet in China. People replied on traditional media for their news, which was often slow, cumbersome and inaccurate.

Today, all media is online and there is also WeChat, Weibo and Douyin. Plus lots more. While censorship by the authorities is a reality, these platforms mostly comprise User Generated Content, meaning Chinese people are more informed and able to make up their own minds.

As to the Chinese media itself, with the government as owner, so there is less competition between publications for readers. It all ads up to more responsible reporting all round. At times like this, that’s something of which we would all like to see a little more. One thing is for sure; sensationalism doesn’t help.

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Nazi Jewish Settlers Burn Down Palestinian Churches and Mosques

By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

Israel’s Tag Meir organisation revealed on Monday that extremist Nazi Jewish settlers have carried out arson attacks on 46 mosques and 12 churches in the occupied West Bank and the 1948 occupied Palestine over the past decade.

Tag Meir, which was established 15 years ago to counter Nazi Jewish settlers’ hate crimes and racism in ‘Israel’ and the West Bank, said that the perpetrators of these crimes generally went unpunished. It pointed out that most of these arson attacks were committed by an extremist Nazi Jewish settler group called Price Tag, and that the criminals spray graffiti such as “Death to Arabs” and other hate messages on the walls of the buildings they burn down.

The last of these attacks was the on a mosque in the Beir Safafa neighbourhood of the Nazi occupied Jerusalem. The fire started by the illegal Nazi Jewish settlers caused severe damage to the building.


Related Articles

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Trump Imperils the Peace Process

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Israel’s New Moves to Airbrush the Occupation

Israel ‘Has Arrested over 50,000 Children Since 1967’

US Ambassador to Israel Reveals Details of Trump’s “Middle East Peace Plan” known as “The Deal of the Century”

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Nazi Jewish Settlers Burn Down Palestinian Churches and Mosques

Macron’s Macro-hypocrisy on Palestine

By Dr. Vacy Vlazna

President Emmanuel Macron made a scene in occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday when he angrily told Israeli security officers to get out of the Church of Saint Anne, which is traditionally under France’s control:

“Everybody knows the rules. I don’t like what you did in front of me,” Macron ordered. “Go out – outside!”  Abunimah

Ah the Hypocrisy! Macron telling Israeli authorities to leave property under French control while supporting Israeli occupation of the land of Palestine which, according to the British Mandate, should have been under Palestinian control since 1947..

“The mandate document was based on Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations of 28 June 1919 and the Supreme Council of the Principal Allied Powers’ San Remo Resolution of 25 April 1920. The objective of the mandates over former territories of Ottoman Empire was to provide “administrative advice and assistance… until such time as they are able to stand alone”. 

Neither the United Nations nor Lord Balfour had a legal mandate to hand over a foreign land to European immigrants.

Moreover, identical to Australian First Nations, Palestinians never ceded their sovereignty over historic Palestine.

Macron’s hypocrisy lies in the certitude that everybody does know the rules – under international law: 

that Israel’s occupation is against the rules, that the Israeli settlements are against the rules, that Israeli apartheid is against the rules, that Israel’s extrajudicial executions, massacres, incarcerations of Palestinian political prisoners are against the rules, that the Israeli blockade of Gaza has been against the rules for 13 years.

On the other hand there is no hypocrisy on Manu Macron’s part if one considers that he is referring to the brutal rules of colonial expansionism which France followed repressively to the letter in West, East, Equatorial, North Africa, Indo-China, in Oceania. Take Algeria for instance.

The barbaric rules that the French regime perpetrated against Algerians are –

whole scale massacres and napalm bombing  in Setif, Kherrata, North Constantinos, the massacre of thousands of men in the Skikda stadium, collective punishment, humiliations, lynchings, impalings, collective rape, annihilation of villages and their occupants, mass arrests, disappearances, concentration camps, tens of thousands of summary executions, bombings of trade unions, terrible tortures in prisons and in homes in front of the family, curfews, checkpoints, rampant raids, looting, psychological warfare, blowing up homes, the relentless incitement fear and terror, military courts replaced civil courts, decapitation by guillotine, the Paris massacre of 300 Algerian protestors  

All were executed with merciless French arrogance and indifference to the  humanity of the ‘natives’. An arrogance that masks the moral inferiority of the colonist.

French colonial sadism exists to this day thus explaining why since 1947, Presidents from Auriol to Macron (with the exception of  Pompidou and d’Estaing) have enthusiastically supported the savage colonialism of their Israeli frères d’armes:

Auriol: approved Partition Plan, voted for the Israel’s membership to the UN.

Coty:  France and Israel cooperated  “in research and production of nuclear weapons,” and build Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor.

de Gaulle: “I raise my glass to Israel, our friend and our ally.”

(Pompidou and  d’Estaing)

Mitterrand: “Indeed, the French nation is a friend to the nation of Israel.”

Chirac: “France is determined to strengthen Israel and I say that it is important that the process move forward towards full development and assure full security for the people of Israel.”

Sarkozy: “On behalf of France, we would like to declare our love for Israel – we love you!”

Hollande:  “I will always remain a friend of Israel”

Macron – “French law prohibits … boycotting [Israel]. There is no question of changing that law and no question of acting indulgently on this. For me, these [BDS protests] are anti-Zionist moves, thus profoundly anti-Semitic … I condemn this approach both legally and politically.” and  recently Macron says anti-Zionism and denying ‘Israel’s right to exist’ are antisemitic

As a Frenchman, Macron is an expert on antisemitism, white feathers and collaboration. Under German occupation, the French government capitulated. Rather than fight the Nazis, it signed an armistice on 22 June 1940 with Germany that divided France into occupied and unoccupied zones- the latter referred to as Vichy France though the Vichy regime administered both. 

In 2017, despite denouncing France’s participation in the holocaust, Macron with Neo-Vichy fervour collaborates with Israel’s war crimes against Palestinians by trading arms with Israel in breach of the rules of the Arms Trade Treaty, by granting impunity for Israel’s war crimes by, on 3rd December 2019, signing onto the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism which includes anti-zionism and criticism of Israel.

And now Macron, on a hypocrisy roll, pledged to Netanyahu that “France was determined Iran would never gain a nuclear weapon” despite France’s primary role during the 1950s in setting up Israel’s  not-so-secret nuclear program and maintains the farce that it doesn’t exist; no formal IAEA inspection of Israel’s arsenal of nuclear warheads has been carried out. 

Ironically, hypocritically, consistently, Macron made the pledge while attending, in Jerusalem, the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz where he stated “no one has the right to invoke (those killed by the Nazis) to justify division or contemporary hatred’ while dependably overlooking Netanyahu’s opportunistic turning of the Holocaust anniversary into an anti-Iran-hate-fest.

40 other heads of state also obsequiously stood by as Netanyahu ran roughshod with his Iran bandwagon over the memory of the holocaust Dead and the daily brutal violations under his watch of ‘Never Again’ against Palestinian families.

Protest to French UN Embassy https://onu.delegfrance.org/Contact-us.

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The U.S. Is Recycling Its Big Lie About Iraq to Target Iran

By Nicolas J. S. Davies

Global Research,

Sixteen years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, most Americans understand that it was an illegal war based on lies about non-existent “weapons of mass destruction.” But our government is now threatening to drag us into a war on Iran with a nearly identical “big lie” about a non-existent nuclear weapons program, based on politicized intelligence from the same CIA teams that wove a web of lies to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

In 2002-3, U.S. officials and corporate media pundits repeated again and again that Iraq had an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction that posed a dire threat to the world. The CIA produced reams of false intelligence to support the march to war, and cherry-picked the most deceptively persuasive narratives for Secretary of State Colin Powell to present to the UN Security Council on February 5th 2003. In December 2002, Alan Foley, the head of the CIA’s Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation and Arms Control Center (WINPAC), told his staff,

“If the president wants to go to war, our job is to find the intelligence to allow him to do so.”

Paul Pillar, a CIA officer who was the National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia, helped to prepare a 25-page document that was passed off to Members of Congress as a “summary” of a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq. But the document was written months before the NIE it claimed to summarize and contained fantastic claims that were nowhere to be found in the NIE, such as that the CIA knew of 550 specific sites in Iraq where chemical and biological weapons were stored. Most Members read only this fake summary, not the real NIE, and blindly voted for war. As Pillar later confessed to PBS’s Frontline,

“The purpose was to strengthen the case for going to war with the American public. Is it proper for the intelligence community to publish papers for that purpose? I don’t think so, and I regret having had a role in it.”

WINPAC was set up in 2001 to replace the CIA’s Nonproliferation Center or NPC (1991-2001), where a staff of 100 CIA analysts collected possible evidence of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons development to support U.S. information warfare, sanctions and ultimately regime change policies against Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya and other U.S. enemies.

WINPAC uses the U.S.’s satellite, electronic surveillance and international spy networks to generate material to feed to UN agencies like UNSCOM, UNMOVIC, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who are charged with overseeing the non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. The CIA’s material has kept these agencies’ inspectors and analysts busy with an endless stream of documents, satellite imagery and claims by exiles for almost 30 years. But since Iraq destroyed all its banned weapons in 1991, they have found no confirming evidence that either Iraq or Iran has taken steps to acquire nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.

UNMOVIC and the IAEA told the UN Security Council in 2002-3 they could find no evidence to support U.S. allegations of illegal weapons development in Iraq. IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei exposed the CIA’s Niger yellowcake document as a forgery in a matter of hours. ElBaradei’s commitment to the independence and impartiality of his agency won the respect of the world, and he and his agency were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

Apart from outright forgeries and deliberately fabricated evidence from exile groups like Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress (INC) and the Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), most of the material the CIA and its allies have provided to UN agencies has involved dual-use technology, which could be used in banned weapons programs but also has alternative legitimate uses. A great deal of the IAEA’s work in Iran has been to verify that each of these items has in fact been used for peaceful purposes or conventional weapons development rather than in a nuclear weapons program. But as in Iraq, the accumulation of inconclusive, unsubstantiated evidence of a possible nuclear weapons program has served as a valuable political weapon to convince the media and the public that there must be something solid behind all the smoke and mirrors.

For instance, in 1990, the CIA began intercepting Telex messages from Sharif University in Tehran and Iran’s Physics Research Centre about orders for ring magnets, fluoride and fluoride-handling equipment, a balancing machine, a mass spectrometer and vacuum equipment, all of which can be used in uranium enrichment. For the next 17 years, the CIA’s NPC and WINPAC regarded these Telexes as some of their strongest evidence of a secret nuclear weapons program in Iran, and they were cited as such by senior U.S. officials. It was not until 2007-8 that the Iranian government finally tracked down all these items at Sharif University, and the IAEA inspectors were able to visit the university and confirm that they were being used for academic research and teaching, as Iran had told them.

After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, the IAEA’s work in Iran continued, but every lead provided by the CIA and its allies proved to be either fabricated, innocent or inconclusive. In 2007, U.S. intelligence agencies published a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran in which they acknowledged that Iran had no active nuclear weapons program. The publication of the 2007 NIE was an importantstep in averting a U.S. war on Iran. As George W Bush wrote in his memoirs, “…after the NIE, how could I possibly explain using the military to destroy the nuclear facilities of a country the intelligence community said had no active nuclear weapons program?”

But despite the lack of confirming evidence, the CIA refused to alter the “assessment” from its 2001 and 2005 NIEs that Iran probably did have a nuclear weapons program prior to 2003. This left the door open for the continued use of WMD allegations, inspections and sanctions as potent political weapons in the U.S.’s regime change policy toward Iran.

In 2007, UNMOVIC published a Compendium or final report on the lessons learned from the debacle in Iraq. One key lesson was that, “Complete independence is a prerequisite for a UN inspection agency,” so that the inspection process would not be used, “either to support other agendas or to keep the inspected party in a permanent state of weakness.” Another key lesson was that, “Proving the negative is a recipe for enduring difficulties and unending inspections.”

The 2005 Robb-Silberman Commission on the U.S. intelligence failure in Iraq reached very similar conclusions, such as that, “…analysts effectively shifted the burden of proof, requiring proof that Iraq did not have active WMD programs rather than requiring affirmative proof of their existence. While the U.S. policy position was that Iraq bore the responsibility to prove that it did not have banned weapons programs, the Intelligence Community’s burden of proof should have been more objective… By raising the evidentiary burden so high, analysts artificially skewed the analytical process toward confirmation of their original hypothesis – that Iraq had active WMD programs.”

In its work on Iran, the CIA has carried on the flawed analysis and processes identified by the UNMOVIC Compendium and the Robb-Silberman report on Iraq. The pressure to produce politicized intelligence that supports U.S. policy positions persists because that is the corrupt role that U.S. intelligence agencies play in U.S. policy, spying on other governments, staging coupsdestabilizing countries and producing politicized and fabricated intelligence to create pretexts for war.

A legitimate national intelligence agency would provide objective intelligence analysis that policy-makers could use as a basis for rational policy decisions. But, as the UNMOVIC Compendium implied, the U.S. government is unscrupulous in abusing the concept of intelligence and the authority of international institutions like the IAEA to “support other agendas,” notably its desire for regime change in countries around the world.

The U.S.’s “other agenda” on Iran gained a valuable ally when Mohamed ElBaradei retired from the IAEA in 2009, and was replaced by Yukiya Amano from Japan.  A State Department cable from July 10th 2009 released by Wikileaks described Mr. Amano as a “strong partner” to the U.S. based on “the very high degree of convergence between his priorities and our own agenda at the IAEA.”  The memo suggested that the U.S. should try to “shape Amano’s thinking before his agenda collides with the IAEA Secretariat bureaucracy.”  The memo’s author was Geoffrey Pyatt, who later achieved international notoriety as the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine who was exposed on a leaked audio recording plotting the 2014 coup in Ukraine with Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland.

The Obama administration spent its first term pursuing a failed “dual-track” approach to Iran, in which its diplomacy was undermined by the greater priority it gave to its parallel track of escalating UN sanctions. When Brazil and Turkey presented Iran with the framework of a nuclear deal that the U.S. had proposed, Iran readily agreed to it. But the U.S. rejected what had begun as a U.S. proposal because, by that point, it would have undercut its efforts to persuade the UN Security Council to impose harsher sanctions on Iran.

As a senior State Department official told author Trita Parsi, the real problem was that the U.S. wouldn’t take “Yes” for an answer. It was only in Obama’s second term, after John Kerry replaced Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, that the U.S. finally did take “Yes” for an answer, leading to the JCPOA between Iran, the U.S. and other major powers in 2015.  So it was not U.S.-backed sanctions that brought Iran to the table, but the failure of sanctions that brought the U.S. to the table.

Also in 2015, the IAEA completed its work on “Outstanding Issues” regarding Iran’s past nuclear-related activities. On each specific case of dual-use research or technology imports, the IAEA found no proof that they were related to nuclear weapons rather than conventional military or civilian uses. Under Amano’s leadership and U.S. pressure, the IAEA “assessed” that “a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003,” but that ”these activities did not advance beyond feasibility studies and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities.”

The JCPOA has broad support in Washington. But the U.S. political debate over the JCPOA has essentially ignored the actual results of the IAEA’s work in Iran, the CIA’s distorting role in it and the extent to which the CIA has replicated the institutional biases, the reinforcing of preconceptions, the forgeries, the politicization and the corruption by “other agendas” that were supposed to be corrected to prevent any repetition of the WMD fiasco in Iraq.

Politicians who support the JCPOA now claim that it stopped Iran getting nuclear weapons, while those who oppose the JCPOA claim that it would allow Iran to acquire them. They are both wrong because, as the IAEA has concluded, and even President Bush acknowledged, Iran does not have an active nuclear weapons program. The worst that the IAEA can objectively say is that Iran may have done some basic nuclear weapons-related research some time before 2003 – but then again, maybe it didn’t.

Mohamed ElBaradei wrote in his memoir, The Age of Deception: Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times, that, if Iran ever conducted even rudimentary nuclear weapons research, he was sure it was only during the Iran-Iraq War, which ended in 1988, when the U.S. and its allies helped Iraq to kill up to 100,000 Iranians with chemical weapons. If ElBaradei’s suspicions were correct, Iran’s dilemma since that time would have been that it could not admit to that work in the 1980s without facing even greater mistrust and hostility from the U.S. and its allies, and risking a similar fate to Iraq.

Regardless of uncertainties regarding Iran’s actions in the 1980s, the U.S.’s campaign against Iran has violated the most critical lessons U.S. and UN officials claimed to have learned from the debacle in Iraq. The CIA has used its almost entirely baseless suspicions about nuclear weapons in Iran as pretexts to “support other agendas” and “keep the inspected party in a permanent state of weakness,” exactly as the UNMOVIC Compendium warned against ever again doing to another country.

In Iran as in Iraq, this has led to an illegal regime of brutal sanctions, under which thousands of children are dying from preventable diseases and malnutrition, and to threats of another illegal U.S. war that would engulf the Middle East and the world in even greater chaos than the one the CIA engineered against Iraq.

*

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Trump’s Farcical Mideast “Peace Deal” Ignores International Law

By CJPME

Global Research,

Trump’s Farcical Mideast “Peace Deal” Ignores International Law. Green Light to Israeli Annexation of Palestine?

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is highly critical of the Mideast Peace Plan announced by US President Donald Trump today – one that CJPME considers preposterous. The plan was done without the participation of the Palestinians, and ignores both international law and international precedent on the conflict. The Plan further entrenches pro-Israel decrees that Trump has made in recent years, including that Jerusalem will be Israel’s “undivided” capital and that Israel will be able to annex major illegal Israeli colonies in the occupied West Bank. Given that the Plan virtually ignores Palestinian interests, CJPME considers it useless in terms of resolving decades of violent conflict.

“The Plan announced today has nothing to do with the Palestinians,” announced Thomas Woodley, president of CJPME. “The Plan is a bogus ‘deal’ between the US and Israel, and makes no serious effort to accommodate any of the legitimate grievances of the Palestinians.”

CJPME points out, for example, that Israel’s colonies (a.k.a. “settlements”) have been repeatedly denounced by the international community as being illegal. The 2004 International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling on the conflict concluded that Israel’s colonies violate the Fourth Geneva Convention. By allowing Israel to annex these colonies with no penalty or swap simply rewards Israel for its decades violating international law. With this new Plan, Israel has no incentive to discontinue its practice colonizing the Palestinian land that it occupies militarily.The Deal of the Century

This latest Plan cements CJPME’s belief that the US can no longer masquerade as an “honest broker” between Israel and the Palestinians. CJPME points out that the Trump administration has sought to undermine the Palestinian negotiating position for years. In September, 2018, Trump closed the Palestinian embassy in Washington. That same month, the Trump administration announced it would end all humanitarian funding the Palestinian refugees. In November, Trump’s Secretary of State Pompeo announced that Washington no longer regarded Israeli settlements on occupied West Bank land as inconsistent with international law. That Trump and Netanyahu would dare to announce a “Peace Plan” absent negotiations with the Palestinians is a farce.

CJPME calls other bodies or players to assert a role for themselves in the negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. “If we allow Trump to continue with this sham, it sends a message to other rogue leaders and countries that international law is meaningless, and that ‘friendship’ with the US is the only bargaining chip of value,” concluded Woodley. CJPME does not consider Canada eligible to be a broker between Israel and the Palestinians, as Canada has largely aped the US’ pro-Israel Mideast policy in recent years. CJPME could envision the UN, the European Union, or other groups of countries (including perhaps China and/or Russia) asserting themselves into the negotiations process.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Middle East, USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Trump’s Farcical Mideast “Peace Deal” Ignores International Law

Open Letter to the Green Party for 2020, Noam Chomsky et al. A Reply to the Open Letter by Jack Rasmus

By Noam ChomskyBarbara EhrenreichBill Fletcher Jr.et al., and Dr. Jack Rasmus

Global Research,

We are posting  the Open Letter by the Green Party for 2020, followed by a response by Jack Rasmus.

The purpose is to encourage a useful and constructive debate.

Open Letter to the Green Party 

by: Noam Chomsky, Barbara Ehrenreich, Bill Fletcher, Leslie Cagan, Ron Daniels, Kathy Kelly, Norman Solomon, Cynthia Peters and Michael Albert:

Truthdig, January 24, 2019

As the 2020 presidential election approaches the Green Party faces the challenge of settling on a platform, choosing a candidate for president, and deciding its campaign strategy. In that context, Howie Hawkins, a contender for Green Party presidential candidate, recently published a clear and cogent essay titled “The Green Party Is Not the Democrats’ Problem.” It represents a precedent Green Party stance which may guide Green campaign policy. We agree with much, but find some ideas very troubling.

The stance offered in Hawkins’ article says “the assertion that the Green Party spoiled the 2000 and 2016 elections is a shallow explanation for the Democrats’ losses;” that in 2000, “the Supreme Court…stopped the Florida recount;” that many factors “elected Trump in 2016…including black voter suppression, Comey publicly reopening the Clinton email case a week before the election, $6 billion of free publicity for Trump from the commercial media, and a Clinton campaign that failed to get enough of its Democratic base out;” that the Electoral College “gave the presidency to the loser of the popular vote;” that most Greens are “furious” at a Democratic party “that joins with Republicans to support domestic austerity and a bloated military budget and endless wars;” “that the Green Party’s Green New Deal science-based timeline, would put the country on a World War II scale emergency footing to transform the economy to zero greenhouse gas emissions and 100% clean energy by 2030;” and that “the Green Party want(s) to eliminate poverty and radically reduce inequality“ including a job guarantee, a guaranteed income above poverty, affordable housing, improved Medicare for all, lifelong public education from pre-K through college, and a secure retirement;” and finally that the Green Party strategy “is to build the party from the bottom up by electing thousands to municipal and county offices, state legislatures, and soon the House as we go into the 2020s.”

We agree that many factors led to Democratic Party losses and that the Supreme Court was a big one as was the Electoral College, and we too are furious at Democrats joining Republicans in so many violations of justice and peace. Likewise, we admire the Greens’ Green New Deal and economic justice commitments, and also support a grassroots, local office approach to winning electoral gains.

So with all that agreement, why are we sending a critical open letter?

The stance the article presents, which may guide the Green campaign for president, says, “To hold all other factors (contributing to recent Presidential victories) constant and focus on the Green Party as the deciding factor is a hypothetical that is a logical fallacy because it assumes away a factual reality: the Green Party is here to stay.” However, our finding Green policy a factor in Republican victories in no way suggests that the Green Party should disappear. And our focus on factors within our reach to easily correct (for example, the Green Party role in contested states) is in fact sensible.

The stance also says “the Green Party is not why the Democrats lost to Bush and Trump,” but even if true, that wouldn’t demonstrate it won’t be why this time. In any case, let’s take Trump and Clinton, and see how Green Party policy mattered.

If Clinton got Jill Stein’s Green votes in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, Clinton would have won the election. Thus, the Green Party’s decision to run in those states, saying even that there was little or no difference between Trump and Clinton, seems to us to be a factor worthy of being removed from contested state dynamics, just like the Electoral College is a factor worthy of being removed across all states.

We realize many and perhaps most Greens will respond that if those who voted for Stein in contested states in 2016 hadn’t done so, they would have abstained. We don’t know how anyone could know that, but for the sake of argument we will suppose it is correct.

Still, if these voters who preferred Stein did indeed erroneously believe that there was no difference between Trump and Clinton, surely to some degree that was a result of Stein refusing to acknowledge the special danger of Trump, and insisting that while it would be bad if Trump won it would also be bad if Clinton won, and refusing to state any preference.

Similarly, if these Stein voters did indeed erroneously believe that no harm could come from casting a vote for Stein in a close state in a close election, that also to some degree was surely a result of Green campaigning insisting that Green voters bore no responsibility for the 2000 election result.

And finally, if these voters did indeed erroneously believe that it was immoral to contaminate themselves by voting for Clinton or for a Democrat, surely in part that too was encouraged by Green campaigning that treated voting as a feel-good activity (“vote your hopes, not your fears”) as if fear of climate disaster, for example, shouldn’t be a motivator for political action.

The stance says, “The Green Party is not going back to the ‘safe states strategy’ that a faction of it attempted in 2004.” This means they will not forgo running in contested states where Green votes could swing the outcome as happened in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan in 2016, and they will not run in only 40 safe states where the outcome will be a foregone conclusion.

But why reject a safe states strategy?

Like Stein in 2016, some might claim doing so can’t help Trump win again or, in any case, that Trump’s re-election would not matter all that much. “He isn’t that much worse.”

We write in hopes that no one in 2020 will rationalize campaign actions by making such irresponsible and patently false claims.

And, indeed, in his recent essay, Hawkins instead claimed a safe states strategy “couldn’t even be carried out. It alienated Greens in swing states who were working so hard to overcome onerous petitioning requirements to get the party on the ballot. Keeping the party on the ballot for the next election cycle for their local candidates depended on the Green presidential vote in many states. It became clear that safe states was dispiriting and demoralizing because the party didn’t take itself seriously enough to justify its existence independent of the Democrats. Few people, even in the safe states, wanted to waste their vote for a Green ticket that was more concerned with electing the Democratic ticket than advancing its own demands.”

This claims there is a price the Green Party has to pay for a safe states strategy. Okay, let’s take that as gospel. Where is an argument that this price is so great that avoiding it outweighs the price everyone, including Greens, will pay for re-electing Trump?

We have no way to assess the claim that Greens would find it dispiriting to remove themselves as a factor that might abet global catastrophe via a Trump re-election. But wouldn’t Trump out of office much less Sanders or Warren in office not only benefit all humanity and a good part of the biosphere to boot, but also the Green Party? For that matter, weren’t more potential Green Party members and voters driven off by the party’s dismissal of the dangers of Trump than were inspired by it? Which grew more in the last four years, DSA or the Greens?

And weren’t the Greens in the late ’80s and early ’90s winning elections to city councils and other local offices across the country, consistent with a grass roots strategy, though for much of the past 20 years, they’ve largely abandoned local and state contests, devoting nearly all their attention to increasingly harmful races for president? Hawkins’ own exemplary races for Senate and Governor in New York state, and especially the Greens’ successful mayoral races in politically important places like Richmond, CA, as well as less visible ones like New Paltz, NY, were exceptions, but how many Greens have used their hard-won ballot access to run for Congress or state legislature? Might the massive focus on presidential elections mark a decline in prospects for the localist strategy, not an advance for it?

We are told, “Greens want to get Trump out as much as anybody” but how can that be if Greens would vote for a Green candidate, and not for Sanders, Warren, or any Democrat in a contested state knowing that doing so could mean Trump’s victory?

If during the 2020 election campaign, the Green candidate campaigns in contested states knowing that he or she might be winning votes that would otherwise have gone to Sanders or to Warren or whoever, causing Trump to win the state and win the electoral college, how could that possibly evidence wanting Trump to lose as much as anyone?

Indeed, if a Green candidate weren’t telling everyone who was a potential Green voter to vote for Trump’s opponent in contested states, how could that evidence that Greens want Trump to lose as much as anyone?

Let us put our question another way. It is election night 2020. The vote tallies are in. Which way would the 2020 Green candidate feel better? Trump wins and the Green candidate gets 250,000 votes across the contested states, more than enough for Sanders, Warren, or whoever to have won? Or, Trump loses and the Green candidate gets no votes in the contested states, but a bunch extra in other states as a result of having more time for campaigning there?

Greens tell Democrats “to stop worrying about the Green Party and focus on getting your own base out.” We agree on the importance of Democrats getting their base out, starting with nominating Sanders, or, at worst, Warren. But how does that warrant the Green Party risking contributing to Trump winning?

The stance asks, “So why are we running a presidential ticket in 2020 if our strategy is to build the party from the bottom up?” The stance answers, “Because Greens need ballot lines to run local candidates. Securing ballot lines for the next election cycle is affected by the petition signatures and/or votes for our presidential ticket in 40 of the states.”

Greens will pay a price for not running in contested states. Our advice to Greens would be to notice the infinitely bigger price that millions and even billions of people will pay for Trump winning.

The stance says “Greens don’t spoil elections. We improve them. We advance solutions that otherwise won’t get raised. We are running out of time on the climate crisis, inequality, and nuclear weapons. Greens will be damned if we wait for the Democrats. Real solutions can’t wait.”

But real solutions require Trump out of office. Real solutions will become far more probable with Sanders or Warren in office. Real solutions will become somewhat more probable even with the likes of Biden in office.

To conclude, is a Green candidate running for President after the summer really going to argue we shouldn’t vote for Sanders in contested states not just to end Trumpism but also to enact all kinds of important changes including urging and facilitating grass roots activism and thereby advancing Green program?

We offer this open letter in hopes of prodding discussion of the issues raised.Race and Class in America: Social Unrest and Political Tensions in the Wake of the 2016 Elections

Response by Jack Rasmus

You Can Trust ‘Left Liberals’ to be Liberals First (and Left Last): A Reply to Chomsky & Friends’ Open Letter

by:  Jack Rasmus

January 28, 2020

This past weekend a group best identified as ‘left liberal’ intellectuals posted an ‘Open Letter’ to the Green Party charging that party with being responsible for Hillary Clinton’s loss in 2016. They then declared that the Green Party’s 2020 presidential candidate, Howie Hawkins, should not run in 2020, lest the Greens become responsible for getting Trump re-elected again. Everything should be done to ensure that a Democrat Party candidate, whomever that might be, should win in 2020. That includes even Joe Biden, they say. Left liberals like themselves should simply ‘hold their noses’ and vote for Biden, if necessary, if he gets the nomination.

For someone like yours truly who has been around and seen the same strategy of ‘lesser evilism’ repeated for a half century now–with devastating consequences even when the lesser evil (aka Democrats) won the presidency–it is not surprising to read and hear the ‘left liberals’ lament once again!

The coterie signatories of the ‘open letter’ include: Noam Chomsky, Barbara Ehrenreich, Bill Fletcher, Leslie Cagan, Ron Daniels, Kathy Kelly, Norman Solomon, Cynthia Peters and Michael Albert.

Their main argument, calling for Hawkins and the Greens to retreat from the 2020 electoral field (and for the record I am not a Green party member or a member of any other party), is that Hillary lost the swing states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, etc. to Trump in 2016 but would have won them–and thus the electoral college vote–if only those who voted for the Greens presidential candidate, Jill Stein, in the swing states had not done so but voted instead for Hillary.

It’s really a logically weak argument that one would think such ‘power intellectuals on the left’ would be hesitant to pen their name to it out of concern they would have insulted themselves to their audience. But they have.

The argument fails not only on the facts but on the amateur assumptions on which it also rests.

Image result for Howie Hawkins

First, logically it is juvenile in that it assumes that those who voted for the Greens in 2016 in these swing states would have voted for Hillary, had there not been a Green candidate on the ballot. Its hidden assumption is that all of those Green votes would have voted Hillary had Jill Stein not run. That these assumptions are nonsense is self evident.

Clearly those who voted Green did so because they couldn’t stand Hillary, or knew of her record, or understood that a vote for Hillary would have meant a vote for war as well as more of the same failed economic policies of the Bill Clinton-Obama era that created the real conditions that gave rise to Trump.

The Green vote in the swing states would not have gone to Hillary. Those who voted Green would have instead stayed home and not voted or would have written in some other candidate. Most Greens are Green because they’ve come to understand what the Democrats in the era of Neoliberalism really stand for, both in domestic and foreign policy: escalating income inequality, precarious jobs, stagnant wages, unaffordable healthcare, poverty in retirement, rising rents, continuous wars, incessant tax cuts for the rich and their corporations, indenture to student debt, etc. That’s the legacy of both Republican and Democrat regimes since the 1970s–i.e. the past 50 years now.

Apart from weak logic and absurd (not so hidden) assumptions of the Open Letter, there’s the voting evidence as well as Hillary’s own self-destructive arrogance that explain the Democrats loss of the swing states in 2016 and thus the rise of Trump.

First, the Left Liberal authors of the Open Letter in question fail to explain that in the swing states Libertarian and other independent voters cast three and four times the votes for Trump than the Green party cast for its candidate, Dr. Jill Stein, in 2016. SO was it the Greens’ fault? The Libertarians? Other third parties?

No, none of the above. Hillary herself lost the swing states and handed Trump the presidency when she refused to even bother to campaign in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and barely showed up until the very end when it was already too late. Hillary thought she had the ‘blue collar’ vote in those states wrapped up and arrogantly ignored campaigning there. She ignored them. Took them for granted. And no one votes for someone who arrogantly ignores them and takes them for granted. Even if no Greens voted at all, Hillary would have lost the swing states. But the Open Letter would have us believe it was someone else’s fault, not Hillary’s.

If the Democrat leadership wants to win back swing state votes, it needs someone ‘not Hillary’. But Joe Biden is just another corporate moneybag wing Hillary clone. Not for nothing is he known as ‘bankers friend Joe’ from Delaware (where many big banks have their headquarters and politically own the state). Ditto for the corporate Dems backup candidate, Mike Bloomberg, a lifelong Republican billionaire only recently joined the corporate wing of the Dems.

The fundamental argument of the Left Liberals’ in their Open Letter is not just stop Trump by any means but, their argument behind the argument that there’s a fundamental difference in voting for a Democrat. (Or at least the corollary argument that the Democrat won’t screw us as badly as will the Republican).

But what does the historical evidence show? Have the Corporate Democrats been really any better over the past half century?

American voters, especially today’s Millenials, and now the GenZers, in polls are saying ‘a plague on both houses’ of Democrats and Republicans. They have lost hope of either party making a difference in their lives. They see both as contributing to their deteriorating conditions and near hopeless future, consisting of a lifetime of precarious, part time/temp jobs, with no benefits, working two and sometimes even three jobs to make ends meet, without affordable rents, and no chance of owning a home, living a life of indentured labor paying $1.6 trillion in student loans to the US government (at 6.8% interest, by the way, while bankers pay 1.6%), without affordable health insurance (including the soaring deductibles under Obamacare), unable to afford to even start a family. It’s a bleak prospect, created by both parties over recent decades.

It’s not coincidental that polls show, by well more than 50%, even as high as 70%, that the more than 50 million Millenials and GenZers prefer something called ‘socialism’ (although they’re probably not sure what that means except ‘none of the present’).

If the DLC-Corporate-moneybag wing of the Democrat leadership puts up a Biden or a Bloomberg–(i.e. latter their fallback at the Democrat party convention after no one gets the nomination on the first vote)–even more youth will not vote Democrat. And not just in the swing states. And if the Democrat leaders continue to scuttle the Sanders nomination–which they did in 2016 and show signs now of doing again in 2020–the Dems themselves, not a Green party candidacy, will once again have put Trump in office. It won’t be the Greens.

Of course Republican ‘red state’ control of electoral college votes is being ensured by voter suppression and gerrymandering. That will play a role as well. But here the Democrats’ loss of state legislatures and governorships under Obama, due to his ineffective economic policies in 2010 and after, have enabled that suppression and gerrymandering largely to happen as well. It made possible the Republican capture of two thirds of state legislatures, many of which have been pushing the voter suppression and gerrymandering.

It’s not for nothing that Obama is sometimes referred to by youth as ‘president Jello’–meaning he appears to move left and right but really is stuck in one place.

The Left Liberals’ Open Letter buys the Democrat moneybag wing’s argument that a Joe Biden (or Mike Bloomberg) argument that Corporate Democrat programs and policies are fundamentally better for average voters than would be Trump’s.

They think that the typical working class voter in the swing states, that abandoned Hillary in 2016 (or actually vice-versa), can’t figure out the game. Or that youth voters today can’t either. But they’re wrong.

Voters remember it was Bill Clinton had enabled NAFTA and sent millions of heartland American jobs offshore. It was Clinton that allowed hundreds of thousands of skilled tech workers into the US every year under H1-B/L-1 visas. It was Clinton that gave China preferred trading rights and allowed the shift of US manufacturing supply chains (and millions more good paying jobs) to China. It was Clinton that allowed corporations to ‘check the box’ on their tax forms and thereby not pay taxes on foreign profits. It was Clinton that permitted companies to divert funds from pension plans to pay for their corporations’ share of escalating health care costs. It was Clinton that allowed the deregulation of financial institutions that paved the way for subprime mortgages and the crash of 2008-09. The list is longer still.

And what about the corporate Democrats’ last minute hand picked candidate in 2008, Barack Obama? It was Obama that gave corporations $6 trillion in tax cuts from 2009-16, almost twice that even George W. Bush gave them. It was Obama who agreed to $1.5 trillion in social program spending cuts in 2011-13, thus taking back more than twice his 2009 recovery package of $878 billion. It was Obama who extended Bush’s tax cuts two years, 2010-12, and then made them permanent after 2013, amounting to another $5 trillion tax cuts for business and investors. It was Obama who continued Free Trade deals despite their obvious effects on jobs and wages, and then tried to push through the TPP trade deal. It was Obama who had the Federal Reserve bail out the banks and investors with the tune of at least $4.5 trillion, while he gave a mere $25 billion to bail out just a few of the 14 million who lost their homes. It was Obama who let Hillary start wars in Honduras to save the big landowners there, and then gave Hillary the green light in Libya to start another, creating that failed state there (as her hubby Bill did in Somalia). It was Obama that authorized and set the precedent for assassinations by drones (over 500 times on his watch). It was Obama who supported the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, to continue loaning banks free money, at an interest rate of 0.15% for seven years, long after the banks were bailed out, while charging millions of US students interest of 6.8% on their student loans to the government.

This is the decades long record that the Left Liberals want the US working class, students, and others to vote for again. Their argument is ‘anything but Trump’ will be better. But was it? Will it? Trump might give us war with Iran. But Democrats might with Russia. Both would give us invading Venezuela and continuing to rape South America.

I’m not talking here about Sanders, who the corporate wing will never allow as the Democrat party candidate in 2020. In fact, now that Sanders is rising in the polls and primaries, the corporate wing of the Democrats attack on him has intensified. Not just from Hillary, but from Warren, from the New York Times, and, as we’ll soon see, from all quarters of the Liberal Elite and their media and their grass roots operatives. Observing how Trump captured the Republican party, two years ago the Democrats’ leaders changed the rules of the game on how the party will run its convention this summer. They are prepared to scuttle Sanders by any means necessary.

But our Left Liberal intellectuals say we should vote for their candidate, Joe, if it comes down to that, just to beat Trump. But Trump will eat ‘ole Joe’ alive in a one on one competition, sad to say. They keep saying they want a candidate that can beat Trump. Then push one who cannot. And the Left Liberals want us to vote for Joe and not for a Green or anyone else. That’s the only way to win! It may be the sure way to lose!

Vote for Joe and hold your nose, they say. The Left Liberal intellectuals, who are mostly well ensconced in secure and decent paying academic jobs, won’t be impacted much by Joe’s or Mike’s or Pelosi’s or Shumer’s policies. But the rest who need a change will be.

The Open Letter represents just another form of ‘Liberal’ telling us to vote for another Liberal. Where has that gotten us?

It’s the old ‘shell game’: Republicans make their capitalists filthy rich and ruin the economy in the process. Corporate Democrats come in and make the same even richer while failing to solve the crisis. Their failure allows the Republicans to point to their failed recovery, again to lie to us, and get back in. The process starts all over. It’s been that way for at least 50 years.

And the Left Liberal intellectuals want us to buy into it for another 50?

I’d support Sanders, but he’ll never get the Democrat nomination. Even if he wins the primaries. For this isn’t the Democrat party of FDR any more, as much as Bernie would like it to be. It’s a corporate wing run party since Bill Clinton. And the Left Liberal intellectuals have bought into the corporate wing’s lie yet again, as they always have in a crisis.

One wonders if they’ll vote for Sanders, should he run as an independent after the Democrat leadership denies him the nomination at their convention this summer. But I bet they’d still vote for Joe. (Correct that: Mike).

Posted in USAComments Off on Open Letter to the Green Party for 2020, Noam Chomsky et al. A Reply to the Open Letter by Jack Rasmus

Trump’s Failed Bullying: Britain Accepts 5G Huawei Technology

By Dr. Binoy Kampmark

It is strikingly bullying and bullish.  US officials have been less than reserved in their threats about what Britain’s proposed dealings with Huawei over admitting it to its 5G network might entail.  Three Republican Senators – Tom Cotton of Arkansas, John Cornyn of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida – have taken it upon themselves in the circus of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump to send a letter to the UK’s National Security Council, not to mention cool notes to a whole swathe of UK ministers, including the Attorney General, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Defence. 

The language is terse and unequivocal.  “The company’s actions show a clear record of predatory and problematic behaviour.”  For the sake of the “US-UK special relationship and the health and wellbeing of a well-functioning market”, it was “in the best interest of the United Kingdom” to exclude Huawei. 

The letter is also noteworthy for doing the opposite of what it claims to.  “We do not want to feed post-Brexit anxieties by threatening a potential US-UK free trade agreement when it comes to Congress for approval.  Nor do we want to have to review US-UK intelligence sharing.”  Except that they do. 

Within the Trump administration, officials are also keen to sound the note of warning, flavoured with threat, though the voice is a touch discordant.  US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is a regular on the critical circuit warning that admitting Huawei to the fold is much like admitting thieves to the party.  But were Huawei to be scrubbed from contention of applying its 5G technology to Britain, the US would “dedicate a lot of resources” of getting a trade deal done and dusted with it.

Those in London know that a hypocrisy is in the making.  Despite the righteous stand being maintained in Congress and some in the Trump administration, opponents against a full freezing out of Huawei can be found.  They have sanctuary in the Departments of Defense and Treasury.  The concern here, as the Wall Street Journal notes, is that not allowing US firms to ship to Huawei will squeeze revenue in a competitive market.  For one thing, it will chill progress in research in the field that might enable money and research to be spent on developing better alternatives.  According to Defense Secretary Mark Esperspeaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, “We have to be conscious of sustaining those [technology] companies’ supply chains and those innovators.  That’s the balance we have to strike.”   To Huawei or Not to Huawei; Boris Johnson Says Yes to Chinese 5G Provider for the UK

Keeping up their letter writing obsession on Huawei, Rubio and Cotton, this time with Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska to keep them company, badgered Esper for an explanation.  “Huawei is an arm of the Chinese Communist Party and should be treated as such.”   

The British have been rather surly on this; the suggestion that the US have priority in being listened to over a balanced deal that might be struck with a dominant Chinese company, albeit heavily subsided by an authoritarian regime, is grating.  Besides, no UK official would willingly compromise the digital channels of communications with Washington by letting in a potential digital burglar.  The approach of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as with much else, is to puzzle and dare. 

On Tuesday, Johnson approved the limited use of Huawei equipment in the country’s fifth-generation mobile phone networks, albeit designating it a “high risk vendor”.  (The designation suggests that Britain’s ministers are concerned enough to regard the company as subject to Beijing’s direction.)  The UK National Security Council signed off on the arrangement, but only to a market share of 35 percent within the 5G infrastructure. 

Sensitive core functions will also remain out of reach for the Chinese giant, including networks in the Critical National Infrastructure and “sensitive geographic locations, such as nuclear sites and military bases”.  According to a government press release, UK ministers “determined that UK operators should put in place additional safeguards to exclude high risk vendors from parts of the telecoms network that are critical to security.”  Guidance on the matter will be sought from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

Some concession has been made by means of a promise on the part of the UK that its ministers liaise with fellow “five eyes” alliance members – US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand – on developing alternatives in future.

The true victor here is Huawei, even if the victory seems clipped.  It is being treated as the innovator-in-chief in a technology market that has become addictive and hyper-competitive. To ban Huawei is to spit in the face of speedy progress.  To ban Huawei, goes this line of reasoning, is to prevent the development of 5G and cognate broadband technologies by anywhere up to two or three years.

We are also left with some speculation as to how the technology developments will unfold.  As ITV’s political editor Robert Peston maintains with relevant acuity, “The problem is that for 5G, important data processing – such as for a new generation of driverless cars – may well migrate outside of the core network to the periphery.” 

The gamble being made here, as Peston reiterates, is that Huawei’s market share falls over time, something that can only happen if the UK brings in other providers (Samsung and NEC) and make all equipment interoperable.  Given Britain’s fabulously bad record in dealing with such infrastructure decisions, marked by bungles and poor choices, this is anybody’s bet.

The sense of British pride, mighty as it is, is evident.  While they remain dupes of international relations politics when it comes to backing Washington on various fronts, the Huawei threat was one step too far.  Perhaps it said as much about Washington’s fears than it does about Britain’s own confidence: that it can strike a balance with Huawei better than others can.  As the Johnson government boasts, the NCSC had “carried a technical and security analysis” that offered “the most detailed assessment in the world of what is needed to protect the UK’s digital infrastructure.”  Huawei may well burst that bubbly presumption in time.

Posted in USAComments Off on Trump’s Failed Bullying: Britain Accepts 5G Huawei Technology

Guns, Drugs and the CIA ‘Video’

By Frontline

Two of the most persistent offensives of the Reagan presidency have been the war against communism in Central America and the war on drugs here at home.

But investigations of America’s secret war in Nicaragua have revealed mounting evidence that the Central Intelligence Agency has been fighting the Contra war with the help of international drug traffickers. It is not a new story.

From the 1980s Archive, we bring the attention of our reader the FRONTLINE investigation traces the CIA’s involvement with drug lords back to the agency’s birth following World War II.

It is a long history that asks this question: “In the war on drugs, which side is the CIA on?”

Our program was produced by Leslie and Andrew Cockburn.

It is called Guns, Drugs, and the CIA and is reported by Leslie Cockburn.

Watch the video below.

Posted in C.I.AComments Off on Guns, Drugs and the CIA ‘Video’

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