Archive | March 1st, 2020

Munich Conference Reveals East-West Divide

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stresses urgent need for international coordination ‘to build a shared future’

By Pepe Escobar

Global Research,

Few postmodern political pantomimes have been more revealing than the hundreds of so-called “international decision-makers,” mostly Western, waxing lyrical, disgusted or nostalgic over “Westlessness” at the Munich Security Conference. 

“Westlessness” sounds like one of those constipated concepts issued from a post-party bad hangover at the Rive Gauche during the 1970s. In theory (but not French Theory) Westlessness in the age of Whatsapp should mean a deficit of multiparty action to address the most pressing threats to the “international order” – or (dis)order – as nationalism, derided as a narrow-minded populist wave, prevails.

Yet what Munich actually unveiled was some deep – Western – longing for those effervescent days of humanitarian imperialism, with nationalism in all its strands being cast as the villain impeding the relentless advance of profitable, neocolonial Forever Wars.

As much as the MSC organizers – a hefty Atlanticist bunch – tried to spin the discussions as emphasizing the need for multilateralism, a basket case of ills ranging from uncontrolled migration to “brain dead” NATO got billed as a direct consequence of “the rise of an illiberal and nationalist camp within the Western world.” As if this were a rampage perpetrated by an all-powerful Hydra featuring Bannon-Bolsonaro-Orban heads.

Far from those West-is-More heads in Munich is the courage to admit that assorted nationalist counter-coups also qualify as blowback for the relentless Western plunder of the Global South via wars – hot, cold, financial, corporate-exploitative.

For what it is worthhere’s the MSC reportOnly two sentences would be enough to give away the MSC game: “In the post-Cold War era, Western-led coalitions were free to intervene almost anywhere. Most of the time, there was support in the UN Security Council, and whenever a military intervention was launched, the West enjoyed almost uncontested freedom of military movement.”

There you go. Those were the days when NATO, with full impunity, could bomb Serbia, miserably lose a war on Afghanistan, turn Libya into a militia hell and plot myriad interventions across the Global South. And of course none of that had any connection whatsoever with the bombed and the invaded being forced into becoming refugees in Europe.

West is more

In Munich, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha got closer to the point when she said she found “Westlessness” quite insular as a theme. She made sure to stress that multilateralism is very much an Asian feature, expanding on the theme of ASEAN centrality.

At the Annual Munich Security Conference: The West Displays Its “Insecurity Complex”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi makes a speech at the 56th Munich Security Conference at on Feb 15, 2020. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas / Anadolu / AFP

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, with his customary finesse, was sharper, noting how “the structure of the Cold War rivalry is being recreated” in Europe. Lavrov was a prodigy of euphemism when he noted how “escalating tensions, NATO’s military infrastructure advancing to the East, exercises of unprecedented scope near the Russian borders, the pumping of defense budgets beyond measure – all this generates unpredictability.”

Yet it was Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi who really got to the  heart of the matter. While stressing that “strengthening global governance and international coordination is urgent right now,” Wang said, “We need to get rid of the division of the East and the West and go beyond the difference between the South and the North, in a bid to build a community with a shared future for mankind.”

“Community with a shared future” may be standard Beijing terminology, but it does carry a profound meaning as it embodies the Chinese concept of multilateralism as meaning no single state has priority and all nations share the same rights.

Wang went farther: The West – with or without Westlessness– should get rid of its subconscious mentality of civilization supremacy; give up its bias against China; and “accept and welcome the development and revitalization of a nation from the East with a system different from that of the West.” Wang is a sophisticated enough diplomat to know this is not going to happen.

Wang also could not fail to raise the Westlessness crowd’s eyebrows to alarming heights when he stressed, once again, that the Russia-China strategic partnership will be deepened – alongside exploring “ways of peaceful coexistence” with the US and deeper cooperation with Europe.

What to expect from the so-called “system leader” in Munich was quite predictable. And it was delivered, true to script, by current Pentagon head Mark Esper, yet another Washington revolving door practitioner.

21st Century threat

All Pentagon talking points were on display. China is nothing but a rising threat to the world order – as in “order” dictated by Washington. China steals Western know-how; intimidates all its smaller and weaker neighbors; seeks an “advantage by any means and at any cost.”

As if any reminder to this well-informed audience was needed, China was once again placed at the top of the Pentagon’s “threats,” followed by Russia, “rogue states” Iran and North Korea, and “extremist groups.” No one asked whether al-Qaeda in Syria is part of the list.

The “Communist Party and its associated organs, including the People’s Liberation Army,” were accused of “increasingly operating in theaters outside China’s borders, including in Europe.” Everyone knows only one “indispensable nation” is self-authorized to operate “in theaters outside its borders” to bomb others into democracy.

No wonder Wang was forced to qualify all of the above as “lies”: “The root cause of all these problems and issues is that the US does not want to see the rapid development and rejuvenation of China, and still less would they want to accept the success of a socialist country.”

So in the end Munich did disintegrate into the catfight that will dominate the rest of the century. With Europe de facto irrelevant and the EU subordinated to NATO’s designs, Westlessness is indeed just an empty, constipated concept: all reality is conditioned by the toxic dynamics of China ascension and US decline.

The irrepressible Maria Zakharova once again nailed it: “They spoke about that country [China] as a threat to entire humankind. They said that China’s policy is the threat of the 21st century. I have a feeling that we are witnessing, through the speeches delivered at the Munich conference in particular, the revival of new colonial approaches, as though the West no longer thinks it shameful to reincarnate the spirit of colonialism by means of dividing people, nations and countries.”

An absolute highlight of the MSC was when diplomat Fu Ying, the chairperson on foreign affairs for the National People’s Congress, reduced US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to dust with a simple question: “Do you really think the democratic system is so fragile” that it can be threatened by Huawei?

Posted in USA, Europe, China, RussiaComments Off on Munich Conference Reveals East-West Divide

More Lies on Iran: The White House Just Can’t Help Itself as New Facts Emerge

By Philip Giraldi

Global Research,

Admittedly the news cycle in the United States seldom runs longer than twenty-four hours, but that should not serve as an excuse when a major story that contradicts what the Trump Administration has been claiming appears and suddenly dies. The public that actually follows the news might recall a little more than one month ago the United States assassinated a senior Iranian official named Qassem Soleimani. Openly killing someone in the government of a country with which one is not at war is, to say the least, unusual, particularly when the crime is carried out in yet another country with which both the perpetrator and the victim have friendly relations. The justification provided by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking for the administration, was that Soleimani was in Iraq planning an “imminent” mass killing of Americans, for which no additional evidence was provided at that time or since.

It soon emerged that the Iranian was in fact in Baghdad to discuss with the Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi a plan that might lead to the de-escalation of the ongoing conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, a meeting that the White House apparently knew about may even have approved. If that is so, events as they unfolded suggest that the U.S. government might have encouraged Soleimani to make his trip so he could be set up and killed. Donald Trump later dismissed the lack of any corroboration of the tale of “imminent threat” being peddled by Pompeo, stating that it didn’t really matter as Soleimani was a terrorist who deserved to die.

The incident that started the killing cycle that eventually included Soleimani consisted of a December 27th attack on a U.S. base in Iraq in which four American soldiers and two Iraqis were wounded while one U.S. contractor, an Iraqi-born translator, was killed. The United States immediately blamed Iran, claiming that it had been carried out by an Iranian supported Shi’ite militia called Kata’ib Hezbollah. It provided no evidence for that claim and retaliated by striking a Kata’ib base, killing 25 Iraqis who were in the field fighting the remnants of Islamic State (IS). The militiamen had been incorporated into the Iraqi Army and this disproportionate response led to riots outside the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which were also blamed on Iran by the U.S. There then followed the assassinations of Soleimani and nine senior Iraqi militia officers. Iran retaliated when it fired missiles at American forces, injuring more than one hundred soldiers, and then mistakenly shot down a passenger jet, killing an additional 176 people. As a consequence due to the killing by the U.S. of 34 Iraqis in the two incidents, the Iraqi Parliament also voted to expel all American troops.The Soleimani Assassination: The Long-Awaited Beginning of the End of America’s Imperial Ambitions

It now appears that the original death of the American contractor that sparked the tit-for-tat conflict was not carried out by Kata’ib Hezbollah at all. An Iraqi Army investigative team has gathered convincing evidence that it was an attack staged by Islamic State. In fact, the Iraqi government has demonstrated that Kata’ib Hezbollah has had no presence in Kirkuk province, where the attack took place, since 2014. It is a heavily Sunni area where Shi’a are not welcome and is instead relatively hospitable to all-Sunni IS. It was, in fact, one of the original breeding grounds for what was to become ISIS.

This new development was reported in the New York Times in an article that was headlined “Was U.S. Wrong About Attack That Nearly Started a War With Iran? Iraqi military and intelligence officials have raised doubts about who fired the rockets that started a dangerous spiral of events.” In spite of the sensational nature of the report it generally was ignored in television news and in other mainstream media outlets, letting the Trump administration get away with yet another big lie, one that could easily have led to a war with Iran.

Iraqi investigators found and identified the abandoned white Kia pickup with an improvised Katyusha rocket launcher in the vehicle’s bed that was used to stage the attack. It was discovered down a desert road within range of the K-1 joint Iraqi-American base that was hit by at least ten missiles in December, most of which struck the American area.

There is no direct evidence tying the attack to any particular party and the improvised KIA truck is used by all sides in the regional fighting, but the Iraqi officials point to the undisputed fact that it was the Islamic State that had carried out three separate attacks near the base over the 10 days preceding December 27th. And there are reports that IS has been increasingly active in Kirkuk Province during the past year, carrying out near daily attacks with improvised roadside bombs and ambushes using small arms. There had, in fact, been reports from Iraqi intelligence that were shared with the American command warning that there might be an IS attack on K-1 itself, which is an Iraqi air base in that is shared with U.S. forces.

The intelligence on the attack has been shared with American investigators, who have also examined the pick-up truck. The Times reports that the U.S. command in Iraq continue to insist that the attack was carried out by Kata’ib based on information, including claimed communications intercepts, that it refuses to make public. The U.S. forces may not have shared the intelligence they have with the Iraqis due to concerns that it would be leaked to Iran, but senior Iraqi military officers are nevertheless perplexed by the reticence to confide in an ally.

If the Iraqi investigation of the facts around the December attack on K-1 is reliable, the Donald Trump administration’s reckless actions in Iraq in late December and early January cannot be justified. Worse still, it would appear that the White House was looking for an excuse to attack and kill a senior Iranian official to send some kind of message, a provocation that could easily have resulted in a war that would benefit no one. To be sure, the Trump administration has lied about developments in the Middle East so many times that it can no longer be trusted. Unfortunately, demanding any accountability from the Trump team would require a Congress that is willing to shoulder its responsibility for truth in government backed up by a media that is willing to take on an administration that regularly punishes anyone or any entity that dares to challenge it. That is the unfortunate reality in America today.

Posted in USA, IranComments Off on More Lies on Iran: The White House Just Can’t Help Itself as New Facts Emerge

Canadian Media Lies About Venezuela

By Alison Bodine

Global Research,

Canada’s public media the CBC long-ago entered the ranks of yellow journalism when it comes to its reporting on Venezuela.  However, two recent reports, in particular, one on CBC radio’s “The Current” and the other a CBC News article by reporter Evan Dyer, weigh heavy on the sensationalism and light on facts. Filled with unsubstantiated claims, right-wing pundits parading as “pro-democracy” advocates and unchallenged declarations by the government of Canada officials, once again, the CBC firmly establishes their role as the mouthpiece of the government Canada.

CBC’s Lies and Manipulations Against Venezuela

The January 28 report on Venezuela on The Current could have been shortened to the 30 second sound clip from the Foreign Affairs Minister of Canada François-Philippe Champagne that was played near the beginning of the report –

“You have to look at the economic hardship that people are living. You have to look at the environmental disaster that is going on now with the illegal mining of gold. You have to look at the humanitarian crisis that is going on. We think that there will be about six million displaced by the end of the year. So everything that we’re seeing suggests that we should redouble our efforts. The solution needs to come from the region. We will work with the region, but I think the president would tell you that with Canada’s support, we’re going to look ahead to restore democracy in Venezuela.”

The economic and humanitarian crisis, environmental disaster, restoring democracy, Minister Champagne said them all. The other 16 minutes of the program had nothing further to offer, in terms of reporting or analysis because these are the buzzwords that mark the depth of mainstream media coverage on Venezuela.

Minister Champagne also fails to mention one word, one which the mainstream media has also willfully neglected to include in any of their reporting – sanctions. Neither he nor the entire episode of The Current bothers to mention that the governments of Canada, the United States, and the European Union have all imposed illegal and immoral sanctions and blockade on the people of Venezuela. So much for an objective discussion on the government of Canada’s Venezuela policies and actions.

And who the CBC invite to the program to comment on the government of Canada’s foreign policy with Venezuela?

First, Mr. Galloway welcomed Yvon Grenier, as a “professor of political science at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia”. Supposedly presenting him as an intellectual authority figure, with an objective point of view, the CBC neglected to mention the title of his most recent book – “Culture and the Cuban State, Participation, Recognition, and Dissonance under Communism (2017),” or his position as a fellow at the right-wing Brian Mulroney Institute of Government, which recently hosted Stephen Harper’s former Chief of Staff as a “honoured guest speaker.”

Cleary, his position on the government of Venezuela, which continues to allocate a large part of its budget to social programs, is not the kind of government Mr. Grenier would support.

The Current did play the words of the NDP deputy foreign affairs critic, Heather McPherson, including her comment that “What concerns me most is the idea that by meeting with Guaidó that the prime minister is taking a side and is putting his nose where it doesn’t belong” (which he clearly is).

However, Matt Galloway allowed Professor Grenier to dismiss her statement with a mere one-sentence repetition of what he had already said – that Guaidó is a legitimate President and the government of Canada is right to intervene – in so many words. Yet again, the pundits go unchallenged, and an audio clip that could have led to critical thought and discussion about Canada’s warmongering foreign policy was cut off before it could begin.

Next, Mr. Galloway welcomed Maryhen Jimenez, as a “lecturer in political science at the University of Oxford who has studied the Venezuelan opposition movement,” to the program. Her introduction was slightly more revealing of her bias, but it omitted the focus of her research “explore uneven patterns of opposition coordination in autocracies…” Of which, her biography continues, Venezuela is one of her countries of study. Matt Galloway started the report on Venezuela with “It was just over a year ago that Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president following national elections widely considered to be fraudulent,” so inviting Ms. Jimenez, who bases her research on the idea that Venezuela is an “autocracy” is fitting.Why Is the CBC Lying About Venezuela? Trudeau Government Favors US Intervention

It’s almost as if the producers for The Current looked for two guest speakers with the most similar perspective as possible – if it was a position against the government of President Maduro.

CBC Silences the Voices of Those Who Acknowledge the Legitimacy the May 2018 Presidential elections o

Now, it might be considered understandable that former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who declared the election system in Venezuela the “best in the world,” might have been hard to reach for comment. However, there are many people from Canada, including the author of this article, that was in Venezuela as elections observers when President Maduro was re-elected in May of 2018.

It seems out of the question that the CBC would ever get comments from any of the millions of people in Venezuela that support the Bolivarian revolutionary process and President Maduro. However, there are journalists, academics, unionists, students, and workers right here in Canada that could attest to how the United Nations and 75% of countries around the world recognize President Maduro, not the U.S. puppet Guaidó, as the President of Venezuela. People who could talk about how President Maduro received 68% of the vote, which represented a higher percentage of votes from the entire electorate, then either Trudeau or Trump received in their last election. Venezuelan Canadians who could comment on how the government of Canada refused to let them vote from within Canada in the Venezuelan Presidential election. Even someone that could remind the CBC and their “expert” guests that Guaidó never ran in any election to be President of Venezuela. Undoubtedly, one of us would have been available, had anyone from the CBC asked.

If The Current and the CBC intended to discuss the government of Canada’s foreign policy towards Venezuela – they indeed should have reached out to someone directly impacted by Canada’s sanctions against Venezuela. Only a week before this report, Venezuela Olympic athlete Alejandra Benítez was denied a visa to Canada under these cruel and arbitrary sanctions. Alejandra Benítez’s had hoped to compete in the Montreal Grand Prix, a fencing competition that is a qualifying event for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. But, her chances of making it to the Olympics were quashed because she was Venezuela’s Minister of Sports from 2013-2014. Indeed, she would have been happy to share her story with people in Canada.

Instead, The Current didn’t even bother to pretend that they are providing balanced reporting that is in opposition to the line of the Liberal government. The Trudeau government’s policy towards Venezuela is a playbook lock in step with the United States’ objective to bring about the overthrow of the President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro. For all intents and purposes, the CBC is in support of these anti-democratic and anti-human policies.

CBC Ignores U.S. and Canada Sanctions on Venezuela

Now, undoubtedly, the CBC would work harder to present more than rhetoric on Venezuela in their articles. Well, not if the article “Canada considers new international push to oust Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro,” by veteran CBC journalist Evan Dyer is of any indication. This 1500-word article could also be summed with a short quote from the government of Canada.  Justin Trudeau’s, “I commend Interim President Guaidó for the courage and leadership he has shown in his efforts to return democracy to Venezuela, and I offer Canada’s continued support. Canadians stand with the people of Venezuela in their pursuit of free and fair elections, and basic human rights” would do just fine.

In 1500 words, Mr. Dyer managed to parrot nearly every lie about the government of President Maduro that has become the mainstay of the mainstream media war against Venezuela, especially when it comes to the election of Luis Parra as the President of the National Assembly in Venezuela on January 5. Guaidó is not President of the National Assembly anymore. Yet, Mr. Dyer continues the CBC’s shameful trend of presenting the point of view of Venezuela’s counter-revolutionary opposition as objective fact – all the while presenting the government of Canada’s intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela as a foregone conclusion that is immune to any critical thought.

Much the same as The Current, Mr. Dyer couldn’t be bothered to mention U.S., Canada, and European Union sanctions in his article. How could he dare bring up the words “humanitarian crisis” without referencing a report by economists Mark Weisbrot and Jeremy Sachs of the Center for Economic Policy Research, which documented the deadly impact of the over 350 sanctions since 2015. According to their findings, these sanctions killed an estimated 40,000 people from 2017-2018. As Alfred de Zayas, a United Nations Independent Expert, wrote in his 2018 report from his mission to Venezuela to the UN Human Rights Council, “Modern-day economic sanctions and blockades are comparable with medieval sieges of towns with the intention of forcing them to surrender. Twenty-first-century sanctions attempt to bring not just a town, but sovereign countries to their knees.” It appears these types of reports are of no use to the CBC.

This pro-war, “news” article, would be a much better fit in the opinion page of any major corporate newspaper or website.

With manipulative coverage such as this, how is it that the CBC can continue to claim that they operate on the principle that “All employees of CBC News, as well as the content they create, must respect the principles of accuracy, fairness, balance, impartiality, and integrity as expressed through the Journalistic Standards and Practices”?

The Media War Against Venezuela Continues

It is not just the CBC, major corporate media in the U.S. and Canada is decidedly attempting to manufacturer consent for the pro-intervention stance of Trump and Trudeau through lies and manipulations. A study by the non-profit organization FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) found that in the three months between January 15 and April 15, 2019, there were “no voices in elite corporate media that opposed regime change in that country… zero opinion pieces in the New York Times and Washington Post took an anti-regime change or pro-Maduro/Chavista position. Not a single commentator on the big three Sunday morning talk shows or PBS NewsHour came out against President Nicolás Maduro stepping down from the Venezuelan government.”

Is it a mere coincidence that the CBC upped its slanderous coverage about the democratically elected government of Venezuela just as Guaidó was about to touch down in Ottawa? No way.

The CBC is a crucial part of maintaining the dog and pony show that Prime Minister Trudeau created around the arrival of Juan Guaidó to Canada on January 27, 2020. They made sure that people in Canada were unprepared to question the perfect selfie and the friendly exchange between Trudeau and Guaidó. Their profoundly inadequate, one-sided and manipulative coverage on Venezuela has silenced millions of people in Venezuela that support the Bolivarian revolutionary process and the democratically elected President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro.

U.S./Canada Hands Off Venezuela!

The CBC has proven time and time again that they are unwilling to question the government of Canada’s sanctions and intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela. They have refused to introduce even a shred of critical thought against the campaign led by the United States to overthrow the President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, and reverse the tremendous gains of the last 20 years of the Bolivarian revolutionary process.

This professional neglect by the CBC, and other mainstream, capitalist media, elevates our responsibility as poor, working and oppressed people in Canada and the United States. We must unite together to create our own media and use all the means at hand to end U.S.-led intervention, blockade, and threats against the sovereign and independent country of Venezuela!

Posted in Canada, VenezuelaComments Off on Canadian Media Lies About Venezuela

Bernie Sanders and the Resurrected Russiagate Smear

By Adeyinka Makinde

Global Research,

Even after the “Russiagate” claim of supposed Russian interference in the last US Presidential Election was irrefutably debunked, members of the Democratic Party elite and sections of the US “Deep State” of National Security/Intelligence in alliance with sections of the mainstream media continue to peddle this asinine and tiresome trope that posits certain American politicians as collaborators, assets or useful idiots of the Russian state. Hillary Clinton used it against US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, and now the same ploy of projecting a political figure as being Russia’s “favoured candidate” is being used against another presidential aspirant US Senator Bernie Sanders.

The 2019 report into “Russiagate” by Robert Mueller turned up no credible evidence to back up the narrative that the Russian state orchestrated a powerful and effective campaign to influence the presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The core narrative of “Russiagate” lacked solid evidence. Right from the beginning, astute commentators such as Emeritus Professor Stephen Cohen, an expert in Russian affairs for decades, pronounced the two central documents on which the whole Russiagate sage relied as “impotent”. If anything the real interference which inspired “Russiagate” had to do with the State of Israel attempting to fix a vote in the United Nations in regard to which the Israelis hoped that Russia would refrain from exercising its right of veto in a UN Resolution concerning the Palestinian issue. It speaks volumes that the mainstream media and the politicians of the world’s most powerful nation are fearful of speaking out about the power of the Israel Lobby in US domestic politics and foreign policy.

It is important to explain the motivation behind “Russiagate” and the actors who perpetrated the myth. “Russiagate” is simply the fruit of an alliance between the Democratic Party elite and members of the military-security establishment. The former wished to exact revenge on Trump for inflicting an unexpected defeat on their candidate, while the latter have a financial interest in prolonging a Cold War with Russia because peace or rapprochement would effectively mean the extraordinary levels of money spent by the United States on defence in terms of manufacturing weapons, maintaining bases around the globe and justifying its vast intelligence network would be rendered redundant.

The Russia smear is thus a political weapon directed at any politician who speaks out against American militarism, whether as pertaining to the manufactured Cold War against the Russian Federation or to the unchanging policy of instigating overt and covert wars of regime change.Donald Trump was Elected by Russia? Mass Dementia in the Western Establishment

Those who threaten the interests composed of defence contractor companies such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon along with serving and former serving officials of the Pentagon imperil the continuation of an extremely lucrative trade in arms, ammunition and miscellaneous weapons of war.

Thus, when Trump promised during the presidential election campaign of 2016 to leave NATO, as well as his description of Russia as not an enemy, he was inviting the wrath of a amalgam of powerful interests. The same may be said of Tulsi Gabbard and her campaign against the American policy of regime change wars, and of Bernie Sanders and his perennial anti-war stance.

This powerful and malevolent interest group wields considerable clout in American politics through the control and influence exercised on political representatives in both houses of the United States Congress. It is a group which President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned the American public to be wary of, when giving his farewell address to the nation. Eisenhower described this burgeoning interest group, in his words “an immense military establishment and large arms industry” as the “Military Industrial Complex”. He prophesied that it would threaten American democracy in the future.

The “unwarranted influence” acquired by the Military Industry has come to pass.

Tufts University Professor Michael J. Glennon in his lengthy paper cum book “National Security and Double Government” identified what he termed the “Trumanite” institutions (in contrast to the “Madisonian” institutions of state governance prescribed by the American Constitution), an unaccountable collection of former military, intelligence and law enforcement officers whose influence has been strong enough to ensure that America’s national security policy, one of consistent militarism, has essentially remained unchanged through the administrations of George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

The Military Industry has its tentacles in politicians whose payoffs are enabled by laws which allow unlimited electoral spending. It also has a pervading influence on the mainstream media regardless of the ideological designation of “liberal” or “conservative”. Thus we see Democratic Party Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who tore up President Trump’s State of the Union address, rise up to applaud Trump’s expression of support for the US puppet Juan Guaido, the man being used by the US National Security State to overthrow the legitimate government of Venezuela.

It also explains the pro-war sentiments of supposed liberal media figures such as  Rachel Maddow and Anderson Cooper, both of whom are emblematic of the sort of liberal political and media figures who subscribe to “Humanitarian Wars” which fulfill the war agenda of the Military Industry and its perennial allies associated with the neoconservative agenda and the Israel Lobby.

The “Russiagate” smear is a disinformation exercise geared to denigrate and to discredit politicians. It is not limited to effecting the derailment of political campaigns, it also serves as a tool to be used to control the policy of a successful candidate in terms of their conduct of relations with Russia.

The reactions of those targeted has been varied. While Trump and Gabbard have actively fought against it, Sanders has unwisely played into the narrative by accepting the intelligence services claim that Russia has habitually interfered with the US electoral process and by referring to Vladimir Putin as an “autocratic thug”.

Many unfortunately are still unable to ascertain the obeisance to the dictates of the Military Industry as being at the root of the attacks and smears mounted against the likes of Gabbard and Sanders, and as a result the mainstream media is able to revive the canard of the Kremlin-orchestrated undermining of American democracy.

The question now is how much longer will the insouciant masses keep falling for the same old ruse?

Posted in USA, CampaignsComments Off on Bernie Sanders and the Resurrected Russiagate Smear

Syria: Shoots down another Turkish drone

For the fourth time on Sunday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has shot down Zionist Turkish military drone that was attempting to target their positions in the western countryside of the Hama Governorate.

According to a military report from the Hama Governorate, the Zionist Turkish drone was flying over the Syrian Arab Army’s positions in the town of Joureen when their air defenses confronted the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)

The report said the Turkish drone was shot down before it could hit the Syrian Arab Army’s positions inside Joureen.

As of Sunday, the Syrian Army has shot down four Turkish drones, while the Turkish military has shot down two SyAAF jets.

Posted in Middle East, Russia, Syria, TurkeyComments Off on Syria: Shoots down another Turkish drone

In Wake of Trump Peace Plan, EU Countries Pushing for Recognition of State of Palestine

Israel is attempting to squash the initiative, claiming that EU opposition to the Trump Mideast plan would only encourage Palestinian rejectionism

By: Noa Landau  

U.S President Donald Trump
U.S President Donald Trump Erin Scott/Reuters

A group of European Union member countries led by Luxembourg is planning to put forward an initiative at a meeting on Monday of European Union foreign ministers to accord joint EU recognition of a Palestinian state. The move is in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn has already discussed the initiative with the foreign ministers of Ireland, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Malta and Slovenia.skip – LISTEN: The only way Bibi can stay out of jail

The Palestinian Authority has rejected the Trump plan out of hand and the new EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borell, has said that the plan throws into question “the 1967 border, as agreed by both parties, with a State of Israel and an independent, viable state of Palestine, living side-by-side in peace, security and mutual recognition.”

Although there are individual member states that recognize the Palestinian state, the European Union as a whole does not. It has taken the position that the issue of Palestinian statehood should be settled through negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians towards a two-state solution.

Sweden recognized the Palestinian state in 2014 and Malta also has diplomatic relations. Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, recognized Palestine in 1988, but it is not a party to the current initiative due to the close ties that it developed with Israel since.

Luxembourg's foreign minister, Jean Asselborn
Luxembourg’s foreign minister, Jean AsselbornAFP

In the wake of the initiative, Israel has conveyed messages to the countries sponsoring it that “this is not the time for unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state,” because it would prevent “a possibility of direct negotiations between the sides for a permanent agreement.” Israel is now trying to convince the Europeans to give the American peace initiative a chance.

Haaretz has reported that on Monday the EU foreign ministers would be discussing action protesting the Trump plan. Israeli ambassadors in Europe have been asked to apply pressure on the foreign ministries in the countries to which they are posted to refrain from rejecting the plan entirely and from harsh criticism of it. In the past, Eastern European members of the EU, led by Hungary, have headed off a number of anti-Israel initiatives. Israel hopes that the same thing ultimately happens this time as well.

According to sources with knowledge of the current discussions, Israeli representatives are saying that Israel is prepared to renew negotiations with the Palestinians and that EU opposition to the Trump plan would only encourage Palestinian rejectionism. Israel’s representatives are also saying that it is not logical for the EU to adopt a tougher stance than that of several Arab countries to the Trump plan.

After the plan was released last month, the EU issued a terse announcement that the plan would “be examined.” Last week, however, following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declarations about Israeli moves to annex territory in the West Bank, Borell, the EU foreign affairs chief, expressed further reservations about the plan. On a visit to Jordan, he made it clear that the European Union was committed to the two-state solution and international law, and added that the plan “challenges many of the consensual decisions on the international level.”

The Israeli effort to respond to the European position on the Trump plan was hampered over the weekend by a labor dispute by Foreign Ministry employees who are seeking to prevent one-third cuts in ministry employees’ salaries. Over the weekend, ambassadors curtailed their work on the peace plan issue and refused to comply with some directives from the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem regarding the EU foreign ministers’ meeting.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, Europe, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on In Wake of Trump Peace Plan, EU Countries Pushing for Recognition of State of Palestine

Nazi Raids in the West Bank and Jerusalem

 By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

16

Nazi Occupied West Bank: At dawn on Saturday, the Nazi occupation forces arrested 4 Palestinians during separate raids throughout the occupied West Bank.

Local sources said that the Nazi occupation forces arrested the two young men, “Nur Ibrahim Yahya and Amir Yusef Yahya” during clashes in the village of Al-Arqah, west of Jenin Governorate, in the northern West Bank.

Also arrested a young “Islam Ali Nofal” near the northern entrance to the city of Qalqilya in the north.

In the Nazi occupied Jerusalem, the Nazi military force, Muhammad Musa Mustafa, was arrested from Al-Issawiya village, and was transferred to an unknown location.

Fear of Corona .. Stone against “Israeli team” and others in the Emirates

Gaza security reveals new details about the intelligence of the Nazi occupation and its agents

Does Egypt hide its spread of Corona virus?

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Nazi Raids in the West Bank and Jerusalem

Terrorist groups in Syria have almost ended … and Erdogan has entered

Hassan Al-Hassan-Al-Thabat-

After the recent remarkable field achievements, which the Syrian army has achieved in the governorates of Aleppo and Idlib, especially the reopening and securing of the Hama – Aleppo International Road, then the army units advanced in the direction of Lattakia-Aleppo road, and hit the depths of the Al-Nusra Front strongholds in the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda in the southern Idlib countryside , Northeastern Latakia, approaching securing the last road, and returning it to service.

This almost led to the collapse of the remaining strongholds of terrorist organizations supported by Ankara, which are spread in the Syrian north in the areas bordering Turkey, according to the confirmation of field sources. Consequently, this progress, and these accomplishments, put the Turkish role in Syria as a whole at stake, to the extent that this role is permanently diminished in the closest neighbor.

Faced with this field variable, imposed by the Syrian forces, the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, pushed his soldiers to intervene directly in the fighting alongside armed terrorist groups, to prevent their collapse. These soldiers tried to reinforce their presence in northern Syria, by establishing logistical support centers for terrorists, outside points The monitoring agreed upon within the Sochi Agreement, so the Turks moved to these centers heavy weapons and ammunition in an attempt to tighten the hands of the armed Takfiri groups. In addition, Turkish soldiers are immersed in the fighting in the ranks of Al-Nusra and its annexes.

Then, the Syrian-Russian alliance warplanes targeted the above-mentioned soldiers and the Turkish logistic centers, causing them dozens of human lives and a large number of equipment. At the same time, Syrian army units continued to advance in the countryside of Hama, Aleppo, and Latakia. Many Turkish observation posts were cordoned off, to curb their sabotage role in Syria, according to the field sources.

The impact of this, according to the popular saying, “What is in you for the camel, its monastery for the camel?” The Turkish regime accused the Syrian forces of targeting its soldiers, in an attempt to escape from direct confrontation with Russia, as a superpower. Because the Turkish are fully aware of the consequences of any direct confrontation with Moscow.

As usual, Erdogan launched a torrent of threats and intimidation to Damascus, to save face in the Turkish interior, according to the opinion of Syrian political sources. And it asserts, in turn, that the Turkish president has no choice but to reach an understanding with the Russians, by activating the Sochi Agreement, but after its amendment, due to the field variable imposed by the Syrian army in the north of the country and elsewhere, after it became in direct contact with the Turkish soldiers. The sources expect that understanding will be reached to end terrorism permanently throughout the Syrian territories, especially since there is a Syrian-Russian-Chinese determination and insistence on this, and Erdogan has no other opportunity, according to the latest sources. It is likely that the supposed and expected “Sochi amendment” will notice the organization of the borders between Syria and Turkey, especially the understanding of the security situation and the military presence in the border areas between the two countries.

In the same context, sources in the Syrian opposition agree, in turn, to the aforementioned, regarding the imperative of Russian-Turkish understanding in the closest neighbor, stressing that Ankara is fully aware that there is a Western handover of Russia’s role in Syria, and the West may put its final touches to any settlement To end the conflict in it, and it will not take effect without the consent of the Western countries, foremost of which is the United States of America, but it seems that the management of the Syrian file externally, specifically in any future settlement with the West, is dependent on Moscow, and therefore the inevitability of activating the Sochi Agreement. Sources oppose the opposition.

Posted in Middle East, SyriaComments Off on Terrorist groups in Syria have almost ended … and Erdogan has entered

Prisoners of Palestine: The occupation abuses children prisoners in Damoon Nazi Camp

By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

thumb (8)

Nazi occupied Ramallah: The Palestinian Prisoners Studies Center confirmed today, Saturday, that the Nazi Occupation Prisons Administration continues the policy of abuse of prisoners of children in Damoon Nazi Camp who were thrown in harsh conditions that are not suitable for human life, and lacks the lowest essentials of life.

The researcher, Riyad Al-Ashqar, the center’s media spokesman, explained that since the occupation of dozens of prisoners ’children from Ofer Nazi Camp to Damoun, about two months ago, he did not provide them with any of the life requirements that they need to live to the minimum despite the continuous demands from them and the protest steps that they implemented and which the administration met with more Repression and penalties.

He added: The prison administration last week isolated four children as a punishment for returning meals as a protest step against their harsh conditions and the inability of the food provided to them by the administration to eat, and the administration severely suppresses the Cubs’ demands to improve the conditions of their detention.

He pointed out that the occupation is still delaying the transfer of adult representatives to reside in the Cubs sections who were transferred to Damon to take care of their affairs and protect them from the isolation and extortion of the prison administration, and is trying to offer side solutions to circumvent the basic demand of the prisoners, such as allowing the adult representatives to be present for a few hours and then leave the Cubs departments to Roommates.

The Nazi occupation seeks revenge on the children away from their representatives and practices against them all forms of violation and penalties, stressing the lack of consent of the captive movement leadership without the presence of representatives of the Cubs to take care of them, protect them, organize the affairs and requirements of their daily lives, control and direct their behavior, and defend their rights before the management of the occupation prisons, And the development of an educational educational program to take advantage of their periods in the Nazi Camp.

Al-Ashqar revealed that the Nazi occupation moved the children to abandoned sections since long years in the damoon that are filled with insects and cockroaches, and are not suitable for life, and the sun and air do not enter them, their rooms are small and some of them do not have windows, and the moisture is spread in them, the bathrooms outside the rooms are poorly placed and have no The doors, and the area of ​​the spree are very small, which is an unpleasant smell corridor.

The Nazi occupation also prevented children from visiting their families and deprived them of the canteen, and refused to provide electrical appliances for cooking food, as well as refusing to provide clothes or winter blankets for them to protect them from the cold of the winter, which led to the illness of many of them.

The Prisoners of Palestine Center demanded all human and human rights institutions, headed by the Red Cross, to intervene urgently, to see the conditions of minors in Damon, to put an end to the crimes of the occupation against them, pressure to improve their conditions and provide their basic rights, and transfer their adult representatives to their departments.


Prisoner Lawyer Tariq Barghouth .. “Be confident, I will return”

received_478815903032460

Although they are in distress, and within the castles of families, they enjoy high spirits, spread reassurance in the hearts of their relatives, and ignite hope in them with a close meeting and freedom.


Usually, the road to the Nazi occupation prisons is long and very tiring for adults and children, transportation from one bus to another, and waiting for several hours for the soul to quench a meeting of the loved ones from the long-held prisoners.


Some may spend their visit crying, others in family news, who married, who has become a father, and who died, and some of them who try to be secret about the same prisoner or vice versa, just as attorney Tariq Barghout, 44, did with his wife who visited him only once since his arrest from His home in Ramallah on February 27, 2019.
A year has passed since the arrest of Barghout, to follow a series of Israeli restrictions against him from the moment of his arrest until tod


Lawyer Barghout was subjected to harsh investigations in the “Al-Maskoubia” center west of Jerusalem, which ended with a 13-and-a-half-year prison sentence in July of last year 2019, after he was accused of carrying out four shootings with a member of the Revolutionary Movement of the “Fatah” Zakaria al-Zubaidi, according to allegations of the occupation .


Amal Al-Tahan, the wife of the lawyer, told “Quds News”: “I visited him only once in the Negev prison, and after he moved to Nafha Prison, the prison administration refused to visit him on the pretext of“ security ban ”in addition to my brother Tariq.


She added: “On this visit I was not strong, so I did not expect that to happen with me and be the wife of a prisoner, and I suffer as the wives of the prisoners suffer from dimension, longing and longing.”


It was pointed out that Tariq was the one who softened it, and he assured her that the dimension will never be long, and that he will inevitably come out of here, and says: “He was confident of that.”


In January of this year, the Israel Bar Association withdrew the license to practice law from Barghout, on the pretext that he was involved in resistance operations. 


The restrictions did not stop there, as Al-Tahhan said that the administration of Nafha prevented him from visiting for a month, as she transferred him to solitary confinement, in addition to depriving him of “quintina”.


Tariq and Amal have three children: Ahmed (16 years old), Sarah (14 years old) and Mustafa (9 years old), they can visit their father with their grandparents, and although the path to a tired breath, they return to their mother, they are happy to see Tariq carrying good news about him, They hope to meet again, but behind bars.

Nazi Occupation arrests 7 Palestinians in the West Bank

41

A number of Palestinians were arrested by the Nazi occupation forces at dawn on Sunday during raids throughout the occupied West Bank.

The Nazi occupation forces raided the city of Jenin, and conducted searches of the families ’homes before the arrest of two young men. They also spread on Nazareth Street and erected military checkpoints.

Dozens of Nazi soldiers stormed the Kharouba neighborhood, and arrested the two young men: “Abdullah Abadi and Issam Ghazawi” and searched their homes.

In Jericho, the occupation forces arrested the young man, Bajes Sa’aida (26 years old), after he stormed his house in the town of Al-Auja in the north, days after his brother Hani was arrested.

In Al-Bireh, in the middle of the West Bank, the occupation forces arrested Husam Atwi (19 years), after raiding his house in Al-Shorfa neighborhood.

In the south of the West Bank, the Nazi occupation forces arrested the two young men, “Muhannad and Moaz Shalaldeh”, after they raided their homes in the town of Sa’ir in the north.

In Nazi occupied Jerusalem, the occupying forces arrested the young Rashid Rashid, from the Old City.

In the context, court hearings are held for three journalists: “Mujahid Bani Muflih, and Abu Salah weighs” in the “Salem” Military Court, where it was supposed to hold for the journalist Abu Salah a session on Thursday that was postponed until today, in addition to the journalist Sameh Al Titi from Hebron where he will be held in the Ofer Military Court.


 The Nazi occupation continues to isolate the prisoner Walid Daqqa in harsh conditions

wLs16

The “Megiddo” prison administration continues to isolate the prisoner Walid Daqqa (59 years), from the western town of Baqa al-Gharbiyah, in the occupied Palestinian territory, with extremely harsh detention conditions.

The Prisoners and Editors Affairs Authority said in a statement today, Sunday, that the Megiddo Nazi Camp administration punished the prisoner Daqqa and sent him inside the cells to smuggle the sperm of his wife abroad, who gave birth to a child recently called “Milad”, and on the eighteenth of last February, Daqqa was transferred To isolate “Gilboa.”

She added that the conditions of isolating the prisoner are very difficult, as all his books and papers were confiscated before his isolation, as the prison administration prohibited him from the “cantina” and from introducing a “cooking slab”, and the prison administration deliberately extended his isolation every 48 hours.

It is noteworthy that the prisoner, Daqqa, has been detained since 1986, and has been sentenced to life imprisonment for 37 years, and he has suffered for years from very poor health conditions, where he complains of an increase in the production of red blood cells known as “politcetemia”, and he needs urgent medical follow-up of his health and receiving his medication in a way Regular drinking mineral water.

Because the prisoner was deprived of precision from the “cantina”, the prisoner is forced to drink tap water that is not suitable for his health.

The Palestinian Prisoners and Editors Affairs Authority pointed out that the Nazi Occupation Prisons Administration seeks to impose retaliatory measures against the prisoners, who proceed to experience the “smuggling of children” and restrict them, by either isolating them like the prisoner, the accuracy and Izz al-Din Attar, or increasing their prison terms, or imposing exorbitant financial fines against them, Sometimes they take revenge on their wives by subjecting them to near-naked inspection, investigation, and humiliation.

From the point of view of the Nazi occupying power, the Nazi occupation authorities refuse to recognize the smuggled children of sperm, and thus deprive them of the right to visit their parents in prisons.

Prisoner Daqqa said in a letter from his prison in 2011, titled “For a child not yet born”: After, I write for the birth of the future, so this is how we want to call / name it, and this is how I want the future to know us. “

He added in the letter to his child, who was a dream at the time: “Will I stop my dream? I will continue to dream despite the bitterness of reality, and I will search for a meaning for life despite what I lost from it. They are digging the graves of grandparents in search of delusive originality, and we are looking for a better future for the grandchildren, no doubt. at”.


Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Prisoners of Palestine: The occupation abuses children prisoners in Damoon Nazi Camp

‘What Part of Illegal Don’t You Understand?’

My family’s refugee story shows that we can have an immigration policy that is both sane and humane.

By Sonia Nazario

My family has been running from danger for nearly 100 years. The Nazarios are refugees; their remnants have scattered around the world to survive. My Jewish mother fled Poland in 1933. My Christian father fled Syria two years earlier. They met and married in Argentina, whose right-wing dictatorship imprisoned and almost killed my sister. By giving us a home, the United States saved our lives.

Would it do the same today?

The Trump administration has barred those seeking refuge from our borders and turned our immigration courts into a joke. This is a betrayal of America’s decades-long role as a world leader in refugee protection. It also breaks our own laws and treaty commitments, which say we will take people in, give them a fair court hearing and not return them to harm.

But it is not a total historical anomaly. America has gone through spasms of nativism before. In 1939, Congress shelved a bill to take in 20,000 Jewish children, and the ocean liner St. Louis, which carried 937 Jewish refugees, was turned away from the docks; hundreds aboard were murdered in the Holocaust.

Then, as now, many on both the right and the left have argued that the choice Americans face on immigration and asylum is between zero tolerance and opening the floodgates. But this is a false choice. We can have an immigration policy that is sane and humane.

My mother, Clara Aberbach, was 9 when she left Chodorow, Poland, now part of Ukraine. It was 1933, the year Hitler came to power in Germany.

“I loved Poland,” she told me. She and the other children skated on the Luh River each winter and floated down it on wooden rafts come spring. The summers she spent at her grandmother’s vineyard, feasting on fresh milk and eggs.

Each Saturday, she stepped inside the town’s 300-year-old synagogue, whose walls were painted red, gold and green with scenes from the Bible. One painting showed a rabbit being attacked by a griffin — a symbol of the mass murder of Jews in the area centuries before.

More than 125,000 Jews were killed in pogroms in Ukraine between 1918 and 1922. By 1930, my mother’s family saw a new storm gathering. They knew it might be bad. So they fled to Argentina. The United States wasn’t an option: New quotas kept out “undesirables” — Jews, Asians, Africans.

Many in my family stayed behind. Dozens were exterminated, many in the Auschwitz death camp. Some died in the Warsaw Ghetto, where over 400,000 Jews were confined to 1.3 square miles. In Chodorow, the synagogue was torched. On Sept. 4 and 5, 1942, Germans went house to house there, killing the weak and children on the spot.

The writer’s Syrian grandparents surrounded by their daughters.  
The writer’s Syrian grandparents surrounded by their daughters.  Credit…Photos courtesy of the writer.

One of the few survivors, Toby Levy, who is now 86 and lives in Brooklyn, told me that she saw a German soldier shoot a young girl. He picked the child up with one hand, she was so small; “I will never forget that,” Ms. Levy said. And with the other hand — “click” — he shot her in the head.

In a nearby town where many of my family members lived, children were buried alive. My mother’s aunt stayed on the family vineyard. She, her husband and their five children disappeared off the face of the earth. Her youngest, Asher Lemel Apsel, was just a few years old.

My father’s name was Mahafud, which means protected by God. He was born on a wheat and sheep farm in a Christian enclave of Syria called Mhardeh. Christians were slaughtered in Syria throughout the 20th century. My family feared for their lives whenever they traveled outside of Mhardeh, and they finally decided to leave the country when my father was a newborn.

He and his parents settled in Santiago del Estero, in northern Argentina, which was hot and dry and reminded them of home. They took the name Nazario, thanks to an Argentine migration agent who told my great-uncle Asad Eben Naser Loush that no one would be able to pronounce his name. The agent wrote down “Nazario” instead — a common surname in Italy, where many Argentines were from.

When my father was a young man studying biochemistry, he met my mother on a bus in Buenos Aires. It was 1951, and he recited Pablo Neruda to her: “I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.”

When he stopped riding that route, my mom systematically scouted out every biochemistry lab on the bus line, asking, “Does Mahafud work here?” until she found him and asked him out. When they married, my Jewish grandfather was furious. He said my mother was dead to him for marrying an Arab — he even sat shiva for her — until they gave birth to something he could no longer resist: his first grandsons, twins, no less.

In 1955, a military coup — one of many — shut down the university where my father worked. In 1959, he received a grant to continue his research at the University of Wisconsin. Soon after we arrived in the United States, I was born — the first in my family to be born here.

Tall and dark-skinned, my father longed for Argentina. He invited Latino friends to sit in a circle in front of our home and pass around a gourd filled with mate, an Argentine tea communally sipped from a silver straw. Argentines are obsessed with grilling meat, and true to form, my father barbecued whole goats in our backyard. On weekends, he took me along to the lab, where I watched him switch out test tubes in the centrifugal machines. He was trying to map the genes of microorganisms, work that he would eventually pursue as a professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

I understand Americans’ desire to say, “Take care of our own first!” In Los Angeles, where I live now, we have our own tent cities — blocks upon blocks of homeless encampments. One in seven children in the United States is hungry. Empathy has been stretched to its limits.

People aren’t racist for fretting that Americans without high school diplomas may have to compete with immigrants for jobs in industries like construction. I understand those who fear rapid cultural change. We have to play straight with people: In the 2019 federal fiscal year, nearly a million migrants were apprehended at our southern border, a 12-year high. That’s not nothing. A third of all Hondurans are planning to migrate, a recent survey showed.

Wouldn’t you? A new study by Doctors Without Borders found that more than two-thirds of migrants fleeing Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala had a family member murdered, kidnapped or disappeared.

Despite their discomfort with the stream of asylum-seekers, Americans took to the streets in 2018 when they saw our government tearing babies out of the arms of Central American mothers. We don’t do that, Americans said. That’s not the kind of country we are.

And yet these same Americans have been largely silent as our government tramples a half-century of refugee and asylum law.

The Trump administration has cut the maximum number of refugees allowed this year to 18,000, down from 110,000 in the final year of the Obama administration. Last October, not one refugee was admitted, at a moment when nearly 71 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes, the most since World War II.

The writer’s parents, Mahafud and Clara Nazario, grilling in Kansas.
The writer’s parents, Mahafud and Clara Nazario, grilling in Kansas.

The Trump administration has barred asylum-seekers from entering the United States to make their claim, as our law says they are entitled to do, instead forcing them to line up for months and await their turn at an official port of entry on the Mexican side of the border. Even when they get to the head of the line, they can be turned back: Since January 2019 we have sent more than 57,000 asylum applicants, including at least 16,000 children, back into Mexico’s borderlands to wait until their court date.

It’s dead winter, and their only shelter is often a few taped-together trash bags. They are at the mercy of cartels and kidnappers, who see them as easy prey. A lawyer in Laredo, Texas, I recently spoke to astounded me by disclosing that more than half of the migrants she has interviewed have had someone in their family kidnapped, extorted or assaulted by narco cartels while waiting just across the border in Nuevo Laredo, a place so dangerous the U.S. State Department compares it to SyriaNorth Korea or Yemen.One asylum officer who resigned in protest told The Los Angeles Times that we are “literally sending people back to be raped and killed.”

When my father was 42, he died of a heart attack. Like many migrants, my mother longed for home, so in 1974, when I was 14 years old, she uprooted her four children and left Kansas for Argentina.

My mother had terrible timing: The military was just about to take power and kill or disappear an estimated 30,000 people.

I would tremble whenever I saw a Ford Falcon cruise down the street; it was the vehicle of choice for undercover military officers. They would pluck people up — professors, teachers, journalists, students — anyone advocating a more just society. They beat you, administered electric shock to your genitals. They put your head in a bucket of urine and feces until you were drowning. They drugged people with the anesthetic Ketalar and every Wednesday shoved them off airplanes into the ocean. They kept hundreds of pregnant women long enough for them to give birth, handed the babies to childless couples in the military, then killed the mothers.

Owning certain books — “Alice in Wonderland,” Freud — could get you in trouble. I helped my mother put all of the family’s books into a big pile in the backyard. We set it on fire.

One day my mother and I were walking down the street when I saw a pool of blood on the ground. “Two journalists were murdered here,” my mother told me.

“Why?” I asked.

“For telling the truth.”

I decided, staring at that pool of blood, to become a journalist.

Among the American values I am most proud of are freedom, the rule of law and the right to dissent. Right now, the rule of law is being quietly massacred in the name of keeping asylum-seekers out — a policy most Americans don’t even agree with. (A Gallup poll last year showed that 57 percent of Americans support taking in Central American refugees, and 76 percent, the highest since Gallup first asked in 2001, see immigration as good for the United States.)

President Trump said he wanted a rigged asylum system, and that’s what he’s given us. In June he tweeted, “When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came.” He proclaimed from the Oval Office, “To be honest with you, you have to get rid of judges.”

The writer at 16, at an event for young journalists.
The writer at 16, at an event for young journalists.

The fix is in. Nationwide, asylum denial rates jumped to 71 percent last September, from 55 percent in 2016. But in the makeshift courts that are increasingly hearing cases near the Mexican border, almost no one is qualifying. Out of the 29,304 people in 2019 who asked for asylum at ports of entry, were ordered to remain in Mexico and were let back into the United States months later for hearings, just 187 — 0.6 percent — won their cases. A lawsuit filed last month by six immigrant rights groups says these proceedings have become “deportation machines.” Four in 10 immigration courts have become “asylum-free zones” where “the rule of law has ceased, and asylum law is functionally suspended.”

The Trump administration is expanding a program in El Paso (where the denial rate is already 97 percent) in which migrants’ cases are decided within 10 days. Ten days to find a lawyer, request documents from officials in another country and line up expert witnesses. It’s a sham.

After a year and a half of life under Argentina’s generals, my mother decided to get us out. We went back to the United States just a few months before the military officially took control of the government on March 24, 1976. But my sister was a senior in high school; she stayed behind to finish the year.

One night in May the phone at our house in Kansas rang with a call from one of my aunts. Soldiers had broken down the door to our Buenos Aires condo and trashed the place. My sister was missing — she had been disappeared.

My sister, who now practices medicine in the Midwest, was hesitant to be identified in this article. She was afraid that her friends, colleagues and patients here in the United States would judge her for what she went through — that they wouldn’t be able to comprehend that in Argentina at that time, you could be imprisoned and killed despite being entirely innocent.

The aunt in Buenos Aires was too afraid to go to the police for fear they might snatch her, too. She called my father’s sister Sofia in northern Argentina, who called a cousin whose son worked in Argentina’s secret services. “What can you do?” she begged. She learned that my sister was alive and being held at the central police station. Sofia had the family gather any disposable cash and all of their gold bracelets, in case they were needed for bribes, and she flew to Buenos Aires. She waited several tense hours in the station before someone acknowledged that my sister was there. But she was transferred, and then transferred again.

A few weeks later, my sister’s boyfriend, Javier Gustavo Grebel, was picked up while leafleting against the military outside a school. Those with clearly Jewish names, like his, fared worse than other prisoners. A now-declassified telegram from the United States Embassy titled “Violence Against Argentine Jews” says anti-Semitic military commanders called people “Jew dog” during torture sessions. Some believed that simply being Jewish was enough to get you arrested.

We later heard from another prisoner that Javier’s torturers broke all the bones in his face. Did he end up in the military’s “chupaderos,” its concentration camps? To this day, his family has no idea what happened to him.

While all this was going on, I was acutely aware that I was the only natural-born American citizen in my family. So at 14 I lobbied my congressional leaders in Kansas to save my sister. This led to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger sending a telegram to Argentina’s dictator, Gen. Jorge Rafael Videla, asking why my sister was being held without charge. (Mr. Kissinger is, of course, the same diplomat who appeared to give the new regime a green light for human rights abuses when he told Argentina’s foreign minister in June 1976, “We understand you must establish authority,” and, “If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly.”)

On the night of Sept. 21, 1976, my sister was released. She had been imprisoned for five months. What was done to her in that time? It was so painful for her to relive the experience that, although we’re very close, we didn’t speak of it for decades.

Now I know: My sister was raped, forced to stand in stress positions, blindfolded, and held in a damp, cold cell. She went days without food or sleep. The night she was released, there was a thick frost in the air. Often, prisoners were shot moments after being let go. Walking away from the prison, she told me, she expected to feel a bullet at any minute.

The American government generally does not allow innocent people to be imprisoned, raped and shot in the back. These are the kinds of experiences refugees who come here seeking safety are fleeing.

We can have a pragmatic, compassionate refugee policy. We don’t have to choose between letting everyone in and no one in.

Conservatives may not like this, but we have to let through people who say they are afraid. Allow applicants into the United States and monitor them until their court hearings (which nine in 10 do show up for). Don’t lock them up, as we are doing with some 60,000 immigrants a night, in places where they get inadequate medical care. At least seven migrant children have died in immigration custody since 2018. This simply didn’t happen before. Our government is killing children through neglect.

Make the court process fair; make it fitting of our country. Take our increasingly politicized immigration courts out of the Department of Justice and make them independent. Make sure that immigrant children have a government-funded lawyer, since most cannot afford representation, which basically guarantees they will lose. From October 2017 to June 2018, 70 babies went to court alone.

Liberals might not like this, but we also have to deport migrants who lose their cases. President Trump refers to asylum as a “loophole” in our system. That’s bogus. Yet there is another loophole that must be addressed: A vast majority of those who lose their asylum cases don’t leave the country. They stay and blend into the woodwork. This rightfully riles Americans who believe these unsuccessful asylum-seekers are thumbing their noses at our legal process. Require Immigration and Customs Enforcement to focus on deporting people who have just lost their asylum cases, not the parent who has been here 30 years.

Democrats need to get woke and realize that any immigration reform plan has to show they believe in the rule of law. I’ve lived in a country with no laws. Democrats don’t want that. We cannot take in everyone, so we need to prioritize those fleeing harm. Stop talking about idiotic things like open borders. Or liberals will keep losing on this issue.

There’s something ready-made for Americans who care about this travesty to lobby for: the Refugee Protection Act, introduced in Congress in November. It would require the United States to take in far more refugees, including at least 100,000 a year from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras alone. It would prevent the government from forcing people to apply for asylum in other countries they passed through on the way here, and prohibit ports of entry from pleading overcrowding as an excuse to turn people away. It would exempt migrants from criminal prosecution for crossing without documents, and allow asylum-seekers to be released temporarily in the United States if they pose no risk to public safety. It would reverse a Trump administration decision that bars people fleeing domestic or gang violence from obtaining asylum. And it would require our government to appoint lawyers for migrant children.

Americans need to stop whining and ride Congress to pass this bill. Every one of my fellow Jews in this country should have their hair on fire over this — especially folks like Jared Kushner, whose Polish family, like mine, found safety here.

I often get asked: What part of “illegal” don’t you understand? Well, our laws say we have to help people who are running for their lives. Take it from a Nazario: President Trump is the one who has broken the law.

Posted in USA, Human RightsComments Off on ‘What Part of Illegal Don’t You Understand?’

Shoah’s pages

www.shoah.org.uk

KEEP SHOAH UP AND RUNNING

March 2020
M T W T F S S
« Feb    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031