Archive | June 17th, 2020

Why this ‘Pandemic’ Is Looking More Like a Social Engineering Experiment

By: Richard Enos

Yesterday my wife, a native of Korea, made the arduous trip to her homeland from Toronto in order to help her mother, who had been diagnosed with Stage IV cancer, with the protocols of High-Dose Vitamin C and a natural eating regimen. This hopefully will be an inspiring story in itself as things continue to progress along.

However, the reason I bring it up is because of the difficulties my wife experienced in getting to Korea as a result of COVID-19 regulations, and how this has gotten me thinking even more deeply about the nature of this pandemic.

In order to go to Korea to assist her mother, my wife had to go to the Korean Consulate in Toronto, provide proof that she was not suffering from the Coronavirus, (with the documentation having a 48-hour expiry date), proof that her mother had been diagnosed with cancer, proof that she had enough money to sustain herself while in Korea, and proof that she would have a place to stay in Korea. Eventually satisfying all these conditions, she was given a visitor’s visa and set out to fly to Korea through Vancouver. Before boarding the flight to Korea, she was given a document in which she was asked to agree to finance her own quarantine in a special hotel for 14 days (about $1600) if deemed necessary and agree to abide unconditionally to all government measures including departure from Korea orders if the authorities deemed it appropriate.

Arriving in Korea, she told me she literally had to go through hoops from one counter to the next and get documents sent from her mother’s house certifying her family identity, then agree to pay a taxi over $100 in order to be ushered directly to her mother’s house, where she had to sign off on a strict 14-day quarantine in the house that would be monitored by the government and law enforcement on a daily basis.

What strikes me as odd, from this one experience that is absolutely factual and affects my family personally, is the amount of care, attention, precision, and gravity that was given in the case of a person (my wife) who had no signs of illness and furthermore had a doctor-certified test document saying that she did not have COVID-19. Measures like this worldwide would purport to solely be motivated by the prevention the death of world citizens, would they not? I would argue that, even based on mainstream-accepted ‘dangers’ about COVID-19 (themselves dubious at best), all these measures were useless, a complete waste of time, money, and valuable human resources.

For Saving Human Lives?

This all got me thinking. If that attention and the human and financial resources that have been spent on this ‘pandemic’ had been given to end world hunger, do any of you doubt that world hunger would have been eradicated by now?

The ‘official’ numbers of COVID-19 deaths worldwide, according to the website Worldometers.info, as of May 4th, is 251,421. I will not contest this figure for the moment, but later on will give evidence that this number is inflated. But let’s use this number for now.

Let’s compare it to the number of deaths worldwide from starvation since January 1st, according to the website theworldcounts.com: 3,073,421. Even as I type in this number it has already changed, as it does continuously every two seconds or so. My question is, if our world leaders are so concerned about human mortality, should they not be devoting at least 10 times the amount of financial and human resources that they are giving to this pandemic to ending world hunger? Should they not have come together and done this decades ago?

This is just one example. There are countless, which show us time and again that the true agenda of our political leaders is almost completely antithetical to the actual health and safety of the people of the world. And it should have all of us suspecting that the coordinated worldwide efforts to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on the global population is not really about public health and safety but rather part of a different agenda.

Inflating Numbers, Maximizing Fear

Now as to that staunch figure of worldwide deaths from COVID-19, which tells us that over a quarter of a million people have died from the virus–not an insignificant number, when it gets stand-alone framing in big bold print on mainstream media 24/7. That, in combination with the ongoing ticker of new cases cropping up, is used strategically to maximize fear, thereby maximizing public compliance.

Evidence is coming out every day that these numbers and the way they are presented are not truthful and are conflating the level of danger (and thus the need for a lockdown).

For example, many of the deaths that are in the official number of COVID-19 deaths are actually co-morbidities, meaning that the person who died had other pre-existing health conditions that contributed to their death. There is no evidence of the extent of the impact, if any, of COVID-19 in the case of these co-morbidities. In fact, in some cases, even where an alternative cause is determined, it is still registered as a COVID-19 death.

This chart below of weekly pneumonia deaths reported shows a precipitous decline in the number of pneumonia deaths in the US which coincides with, you guessed it, the beginning of the reporting of COVID-19 deaths.

In other words, deaths that would have been determined to be caused by pneumonia in previous years are being called COVID-19 deaths, in some cases without that person even being tested for COVID-19! In effect, more and more evidence is pointing to the idea that there is nothing really happening in the world any different from any other year in terms of deaths from infectious flu-like diseases. Yet my wife has to go through all sorts of machinations in order to be permitted to visit her mother?

So much more can be said about particular ways that figures and projections are manipulated to create a perception of fear and danger for this pandemic, but for now let’s look at the larger mechanism at play here.

The Script Followed By Our Leaders

In the interests of having an informed and capable public, are our leaders keeping us updated on these inconsistencies, and helping us get an accurate picture of the true extent of the dangers involved with this particular disease? For the most part, no. Politicians of all stripes come onto the airwaves to make the same announcements everywhere: “Because you have been good boys and girls, we, your authority, has been able to start getting this crisis under control,” combined with “you are warned that you must continue to obey us to prevent a rebound in the number of infections.” Then they might criticize examples of “bad” citizens not complying.

Again, I simply need to reflect on my personal experience here in Ontario, Canada, to reinforce my theory. Most readers could do the same within their locality. With just a cursory glance at the official briefings here, I heard Ontario Premier Doug Ford try to convince viewers how deeply concerned he was about the safety and health of Ontarions. He was quick to rebuke those who protested in front of parliament in Toronto calling for an end to the lockdown as ‘a bunch of Yahoos.’

And on the subject of something that affects me personally with a 6-year old at home, namely the opening of schools, he has done his best to bring  gravitas to his proclamation that schools will continue to stay closed for the forseeable future, citing that ‘my No. 1 concern is protecting our kids out there.’ From stories I’ve heard about Doug Ford, he may be one of the last people I would trust to protect my child. And the notion that keeping kids cooped up at home and not in contact with their friends is keeping them safe ignores the known statistics about COVID-19, where children are in the lowest risk-class for infection and morbidity.

Social Engineering

Many theories floating around out there as to the true origins and purpose of COVID-19, based on evidence that it was man-made and the possibility that it was released intentionally, are certainly worth investigating. However, none of those have to be proven for us to be able to see that the pandemic is being used as a social engineering experiment. Now this is nothing new, as basically everything our leaders do is grounded in their attempts to see how much more power they can amass and how much more of our freedoms can be taken away. “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” as Churchill said.

In the case of COVID-19, we are dealing with a worldwide event, and perhaps the biggest social engineering experiment ever attempted. Those who have the ultimate power in the world, those who control our political leaders, are trying to determine how much the public will comply under the circumstances of a pandemic. You can see everything being said by our leaders is based on affirming that they are in control, that we must follow. When attempts to control things in Ontario went too far and the people pushed back, as when an Aurora mom was fined $880 for standing too long in a park with her baby, Doug Ford said bylaw officers “could have used a little bit different judgment.”

Without ceding his own power, he yielded some ground in order to reinforce his own legitimacy, using a famous Machiavellian political strategy. This type of push and pull has been happening all around the world as this pandemic continues to be employed to erode our freedoms. It is part of a bigger war that is being fought between forces with a dark agenda of control and those who are working to bring out the truth. The sooner we all start to see what is going with this pandemic in this larger context, the sooner the truth will shine for everyone to see, and empower us to restore our freedom.

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“America is a Culture of Violence”: Trump’s Illusory Police Reform Executive Order

By: Stephen Lendman

Police aren’t the problem in the US. They operate as trained and ordered by higher authorities.

They serve and protect privileged interests at the expense of beneficial social change — the real systemic issue vital to address getting no attention, including by establishment media.

Institutionalized racism, inequality, and injustice reflect what America has been all about from inception — ordinary people abused and otherwise exploited to benefit the nation’s wealthy and powerful.

Legislation, Supreme Court rulings, and presidential executive orders are meaningless without transforming today’s unacceptable system into governance of, by, and for everyone equitably.

It won’t come from elections that assure continuity when held — nor from promises by the nation’s executive and congressional leadership.

It’s only possible by grassroots revolutionary activism that requires longterm struggle, staying the course, not quitting until peace, equity and justice are achieved.

On Tuesday, Trump signed a so-called Executive Order on Safe Policing for Safe Communities that amounted to much ado about nothing, a symbolic gesture, nothing more.

Flanked by cops and others for the occasion, the EO made no mention of systemic inequity, injustice, police violence, or enforcement of the rule of law to serve and protect everyone, especially society’s most vulnerable.

The EO is a smokescreen for continuity, ignoring vitally needed systemic change — what Trump, the vast majority in Congress, the courts, and monied interests abhor and won’t tolerate unless pushed by sustained longterm activism nationwide.

What Trump called “the brave men and women in blue who police our streets and keep us safe” exclusively serve as a praetorian guard for the nation’s privileged class at the expense of most others.

While most cops aren’t responsible for violence and other forms of brutality against the nation’s most vulnerable, far more than “tiny” numbers claimed by Trump are involved — tough tactics used, including use of weapons, chokeholds, and other forms of brutality taught during training.

Trump’s EO and whatever congressional legislation that emerges, if any, will amount to no more than tinkering around the edges cosmetic changes — leaving structural racism, inequity and injustice in place.

From inception, the US has been and remains a culture of violence — notably throughout the post-WW II period by waging wars on humanity at home and abroad without letup.

Legislation, EOs, judicial rulings, and other actions at the federal, state, and local levels did nothing to transform the US into a just society.

Police violence and other forms of brutality reflect fundamental US societal inequities that need addressing and correcting.

There’s nothing in prospect legislatively or otherwise for systemic change.

Without it, dirty business as usual will continue as always — no matter which right wing of the one-party state is in power, no matter what laws are enacted or EO’s ceremonially signed.

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Here’s Exactly Who’s Profiting from the War on Yemen

And how the U.S. could stop weapon sales if it wanted to.

By: Alex Kane

Priyanka Motaparthy, a researchers for Human Rights Watch, arrived at a market in the Yemeni village of Mastaba on March 28, 2016, to find large craters, destroyed buildings, debris, shredded bits of clothing and small pieces of human bodies. Two weeks earlier, a warplane had bombed the market with two guided missiles. A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report says the missiles hit around noon on March 15, killing 97 civilians, including 25 children.

“When the first strike came, the world was full of blood,” Mohammed Yehia Muzayid, a market cleaner, told HRW. “People were all in pieces; their limbs were everywhere. People went flying.” As Muzayid rushed in, he was hit in the face by shrapnel from the second bomb. “There wasn’t more than five minutes between the first and second strike,” he said. “People were taking the injured out, and it hit the wounded and killed them. A plane was circling overhead.”

Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s richest countries, has been bombing Yemen, the fifth-poorest nation in the world, since 2015—with support from the United States. Their mission is to topple the Houthis, an armed political movement that overthrew Yemen’s president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, a Saudi ally, in February 2015. Saudi Arabia (a Sunni monarchy with an oppressed Shiite minority) feared that the Houthi movement in Yemen (who are Zaydis, a Shiite sect) was acting as an arm of its regional foe, Iran, in an effort to take power right across its southern border. While the Houthis have never been controlled by Iran, Iran delivers arms to the movement.

Under President Barack Obama’s administration and, now, President Donald Trump’s, the United States has put its military might behind the Saudi-led coalition, waging a war without congressional authorization. That war has devastated Yemen’s infrastructure, destroyed or damaged more than half of Yemen’s health facilities, killed more than 8,350 civilians, injured another 9,500 civilians, displaced 3.3 million people, and created a humanitarian disaster that threatens the lives of millions as cholera and famine spread through the country.

U.S. arms merchants, however, have grown rich. Fragments of the bombs were documented by journalists and HRW with help from Mastaba villagers. An HRW munitions expert determined the bombs were 2,000-pound MK-84s, manufactured by General Dynamics. Based in Falls Church, Va., General Dynamics is the world’s sixth most profitable arms manufacturer. One of the bombs used a satellite guidance kit from Chicago-based Boeing, the world’s second-most profitable weapons company. The other bomb had a Paveway guidance system, made by either Raytheon of Waltham, Mass., the third-largest arms company in the world, or Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Md., the world’s top weapons contractor. An In These Times analysis found that in the past decade, the State Department has approved at least $30.1 billion in Saudi military contracts for these four companies.

The war in Yemen has been particularly lucrative for General Dynamics, Boeing and Raytheon, which have received hundreds of millions of dollars in Saudi weapons deals. All three corporations have highlighted business with Saudi Arabia in their reports to shareholders. Since the war began in March 2015, General Dynamics’ stock price has risen from about $135 to $169 per share, Raytheon’s from about $108 to more than $180, and Boeing’s from about $150 to $360.

Lockheed Martin declined to comment for this story. A spokesman for Boeing said the company follows “guidance from the United States government,” while Raytheon replied, “You will need to contact the U.S. government.” General Dynamics did not respond to inquiries. The State Department declined to comment on the record.

The weapons contractors are correct on one point: They’re working hand-in-glove with the State Department. By law, the department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs must approve any arms sales by U.S. companies to foreign governments. U.S. law also prohibits sales to countries that indiscriminately kill civilians, as the Saudi-led military coalition bombing Yemen did in the Mastaba strike and many other documented cases. But ending sales to Saudi Arabia would cost the U.S. arms industry its biggest global customer, and to do so, Congress must cross an industry that pours millions into the campaigns of lawmakers of both parties.

The Civilian Death Toll

Saudi coalition spokesperson Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri told the press that the Mastaba market bombing targeted a gathering of Houthi fighters. But because the attack was indiscriminate, in that it hit both civilians and a military target, and disproportionate, in that the 97 civilian deaths would outweigh any expected military advantage, HRW charged that the missile strikes violated international law.

According to an In These Times analysis of reports by HRW and the Yemeni group Mwatana for Human Rights, the Saudi-led coalition (including the United Arab Emirates [UAE], a Saudi ally that is also bombing Yemen) has used U.S. weapons to kill at least 434 people and injure at least 1,004 in attacks that overwhelmingly include civilians and civilian targets.

“Most of the weapons that we have found and been able to identify in strikes that appear unlawful have been U.S. weapons,” Motaparthy says. “Factories have been hit. Farmlands have been hit with cluster bombs. Not only have they killed civilians, but they have also destroyed livelihoods and contributed to a dire humanitarian situation.”

“The [U.S. government is] now on notice that there’s a high likelihood these weapons could be used in strikes that violate the laws of war,” Motaparthy says. “They can no longer say the Saudis are targeting accurately, that they have done their utmost to avoid civilian casualties.”

According to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, the United States may not authorize arms exports to governments that consistently engage in “gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.” The Arms Export Control Act of 1976 stipulates that exported weapons may only be used for a country’s defense.

“When a country uses U.S.-origin weapons for other than legitimate self-defense purposes, the administration must suspend further sales, unless it issues a certification to Congress that there’s an overwhelming national security need,” says Brittany Benowitz, a former defense adviser for former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.). “The Trump administration has not done that.”

A Hundred-billion-dollar Client

Over the past decade, Saudi Arabia has ordered U.S.-made offensive weapons, surveillance equipment, transportation, parts and training valued at $109.3 billion, according to an In These Times analysis of Pentagon announcements, contracts announced on defense industry websites and arms transfers documented by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. That arsenal is now being deployed against Yemen.

Saudi Arabia’s precision-guided munitions are responsible for the vast majority of deaths documented by human rights groups. In These Times found that, since 2009, Saudi Arabia has ordered more than 27,000 missiles worth at least $1.8 billion from Raytheon alone, plus 6,000 guided bombs from Boeing (worth about $332 million) and 1,300 cluster munitions from Rhode Island-based Textron (worth about $641 million).

About $650 million of those Raytheon orders and an estimated $103 million of the Boeing orders came after the Saudi war in Yemen began.

Without these ongoing American-origin weapons transfers, the Saudi coalition’s ability to prosecute its war would wither. “We can stop providing munitions, and they could run out of munitions, and then it would be impossible to keep the war going,” says Jonathan Caverley, associate professor at the U.S. Naval War College and a research scientist at M.I.T.

The warplanes the United States delivers also need steady upkeep. Since the war began, the Saudis have struck deals worth $5.5 billion with war contractors for weapons maintenance, support and training.

“The Saudi military has a very sophisticated, high-tech, capital-intensive military that requires almost constant customer service,” Caverley says. “And so most of the planes would be grounded if Lockheed Martin or Boeing turn off the help line.”

“Just Piling Up of Stuff”

The U.S.-Saudi relationship has its roots in the 1938 discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia, and President Franklin Roosevelt’s energy-for-security deal with the Saudi monarchy. Today, in addition to oil, U.S.-Saudi relations are cemented by a geopolitical alliance against Iran—and by weapons deals.

Arms exports accelerated under Obama. By 2016, his administration had offered to sell $115 billion in weapons and defensive equipment to Saudi Arabia—the most of any administration in history.

Those arms exports “used to be more of a symbolic thing, just piling up the stuff,” says William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy.

But experts also say selling the Saudis so many arms incentivized the Arab monarchy to use them in devastating fashion.

“If a country, like Saudi Arabia or the UAE, has no commitment to human rights—whether stated or in practice—it’s no wonder that those countries would eventually misuse U.S.-sold weapons by committing war crimes,” says Kate Kizer, the policy director of Win Without War. “The U.S. government should be assuming these weapons of warfare will eventually be used in a conflict, even if one isn’t going on at the moment.”

With the Saudi invasion of Yemen in 2015, the U.S.-Saudi arms pipeline became deadly. Despite reports that U.S. bombs were killing civilians, the Obama administration’s support for the Saudi war drew only muted criticism in Washington.

“It was Obama’s war, and there was a lot of reluctance in Congress to take this on, particularly among Democrats,” says Shireen Al-Adeimi, a Yemeni American activist and professor at Michigan State University. Still, advocates with groups like Win Without War, Just Foreign Policy and the Yemen Peace Project worked to raise public awareness of the war’s horrors, lobbying Congress and the White House.

In May 2016, Obama canceled the delivery of 400 Textron cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. In December 2016, two months after a Saudi airstrike hit a funeral hall and killed more than 100 people in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, he halted the sale of 16,000 precision guided bombs from Raytheon, a deal worth $350 million. Those two decisions accounted for only a fraction of overall arms sales to the Saudis, and the flow of most weapons continued unchecked.

Trump’s Big Photo Opp

When Trump took office in January 2017, he made it a priority to strengthen the U.S.-Saudi relationship, which had taken a hit after Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. As part of that bid, Trump reversed Obama’s decision to halt the $350 million Raytheon order.

Trump’s first overseas visit, in May 2017, was to Saudi Arabia, a jaunt to strengthen the alliance against Iran and get Saudi Arabia to sign on to Trump’s plans for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. During that visit, the United States agreed to sell Saudi Arabia $110 billion in American weapons, with an option for a total of $350 billion over the next decade.

Trump boasted his deals would bring 500,000 jobs to the United States, but his own State Department put the figure at tens of thousands.

On May 20, 2017, Trump and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud presided over Boeing’s and Raytheon’s signings of Memorandums of Agreement with Saudi Arabia for future business. Raytheon used the opportunity to open a new division, Raytheon Saudi Arabia.

“This strategic partnership is the next step in our over 50-year relationship in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Raytheon CEO Thomas A. Kennedy told shareholders. “Together, we can help build world-class defense and cyber capabilities.”

The ink was barely dry before $500 million of the deal was threatened by a bill, introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in May 2017, to block the sale of bombs to Saudi Arabia. In response, Boeing and Raytheon hired lobbying firms to make their case.

In the end, five Democrats—Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Bill Nelson (Fla.) and Mark Warner (Va.)—broke with their party to ensure arms sales continued, in a 53-47 vote. The five had collectively received tens of thousands in arms industry donations, and would receive another $148,032 in the next election cycle from the PACs and employees of Boeing and Raytheon. Nelson and McCaskill pulled in $44,308 and $57,230, respectively. Weapons firms are aided by a revolving door with the Trump administration. Then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a former General Dynamics board member, warned Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) that the Rand Paul bill would be a boon for Iran. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan served as a senior vice president of Boeing prior to coming to the Defense Department, though it’s unclear whether he’s championed U.S.-Saudi arms deals.

The Wall Street Journal reports that, in 2018, State Department staff, voicing concerns about the war on Yemen, asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to certify that civilian deaths were being reduced. Their concerns were overridden by the department’s Bureau of Legislative Affairs, which argued such a move could put billions of dollars in future arms sales in jeopardy. The bureau is led by Charles Faulkner, a former Raytheon lobbyist.

Congress Wakes Up

In October 2018, the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia took center stage in Washington, when Saudi agents murdered and dismembered journalist Jamal Khashoggi in their country’s consulate in Istanbul. Khashoggi, a Saudi Washington Post columnist, had been critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The murder forced Congress to reckon with Salman, who, as defense minister, had launched the Saudi war on Yemen alongside a vicious crackdown on human rights activists. Suddenly, leading members of Congress, including Graham and other defenders of the U.S.-Saudi relationship, were alarmed at the prospect of selling more arms to Salman.

“The Khashoggi murder really broke the dam on congressional outrage about what the administration’s conduct has been [toward Saudi Arabia],” says Kate Gould, former legislative director for Middle East policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

This spring, the Senate and House passed a bill championed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) requiring the United States to stop giving the Saudi coalition intelligence and to prohibit the in-air refueling of Saudi warplanes. It was the first time in U.S. history that both chambers of Congress invoked the War Powers Act, designed to check the president’s war-making powers by requiring congressional authorization to deploy troops overseas. Trump vetoed the bill on April 16.

Arms expert William Hartung says the current political climate makes new deals unlikely: “It’d be very difficult [right now] to push a substantial sale of offensive weapons like bombs. Anything that can be used in the war is probably a non-starter.”

Still, billions of dollars of approved weapons are already in the pipeline. If congressional anger at the Saudis wanes, the arms spigot could reopen.

In February, a bipartisan group of senators—including Graham and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)—introduced the Saudi Arabia Accountability and Yemen Act of 2019, which would halt future sales of ammunition, tanks, warplanes and bombs, and suspend exports of bombs that had been given a prior green light.

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) wants to go even further. In January, he introduced legislation that would ban all weapons exports to Saudi Arabia, as well as maintenance and logistical support. The bill has 29 cosponsors (most of them Democrats).

“The bottom line is: We know for a fact that they’re bombing school buses, bombing weddings, bombing funerals, and innocent people are being murdered,” McGovern told In These Times. “The question now is: Are we going to just issue a press release and say, ‘We’re horrified,’ or is there going to be a consequence?”

McGovern says that if a measure like his is not passed, “other authoritarian regimes around the world will say, ‘Hey, we can do whatever the hell we want.’”

To pass such bills, Congress members will have to muscle past the arms industry. In Lockheed Martin’s 2018 annual report, the company warned, “Discussions in Congress may result in sanctions on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” For Jehan Hakim of the Yemeni Alliance Committee, the ongoing war comes down to the influence of money in Washington.

“We talk to family back home [in Yemen] and the question they ask is, ‘Why? Why is the U.S. supporting the Saudi coalition?’” Hakim says. “Profiteering is put before the lives of humans.”

Posted in Middle East, USA, Saudi Arabia, YemenComments Off on Here’s Exactly Who’s Profiting from the War on Yemen

US Congress Calls it “Civilian Protection”: Washington Wants 17 Million Syrians Starved Into Submission

By: Stephen Lendman

Implementation of the so-called Caesar Syria Civilian Protection legislation (Caesar Act) is the latest shoe to drop in Washington’s long war of aggression on the country, its legitimate leadership, and 17 million people.

Signed into law by Trump last December, the draconian measure that breaches international law became effective on June 17.

It has nothing to do with protecting Syrian civilians, everything to do with starving and otherwise immiserating them into submission to Washington’s imperial boot.

The measure threatens sanctions on nations, entities and individuals that maintain legitimate economic, financial, military, and intelligence relations with Damascus — their legal right under international law.

Syrian envoy to Russia Riyad Haddad explained that threatened US sanctions under the measure “not only target Syria, they directly or indirectly jeopard(e) all its allies and are also aimed against Persian Gulf countries, so that none of these countries dares to invest in” the Syrian Arab Republic.

“And each party that will say it wants to invest, must get permission from the US.”

Syria’s Foreign Ministry slammed the measure, stressing that it’s “based on false evidence, trumped up by hostile to the Syrian people parties.”

The Caesar Act adds to already imposed “economic blockade and terror” on Syria by the US.

It “imposes new sanctions against any (nation), individual or party that cooperates with the Syrian government or offers financing to it in any sector.”

“Thus, the US undermines three economic sectors, threatening with sanctions, namely foreign trade, local and joint investment supporting the Syrian government, and the financing sector — loans, money transfers.”

The measure “excludes the areas under the control of Kurdish self-administration.”

It’s similar to US state terror and illegal sanctions war on Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and other countries, intending mainly to inflict enormous harm on their people.

A strategy that virtually never works when used by the US, it aims to turn the population of these countries against their governments.

It’s also about wanting their ruling authorities isolated on the world stage, applying maximum pressure to weaken them in flagrant violation of international and US constitutional law under its Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2).

Unilaterally imposed sanctions by nations on others breach the UN Charter.

Security Council members alone may impose them if warranted.

All US sanctions imposed on Syria, Iran, Russia, China, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, and other nations by Congress or White House executive order have no legal standing.

Governments observing them are complicit by breaching international law.

Both right wings of the US war party use this weapon as part of their war by other means on nations unwilling to subordinate their sovereign rights to US interests — part of what the scourge of imperialism is all about.

Throughout US hot war on Syria in its 9th year with no resolution in prospect — launched by Obama, escalated by Trump — multiple rounds of illegal sanctions were imposed on the country and its people by Washington.

Their aim is wanting Syria transformed into a US vassal state, legitimate President Assad replaced by puppet leadership subservient to US and Israeli interests.

Syria’s UN envoy Bashar al-Jaafari condemned the Caesar Act and other illegal US sanctions on the country, notably its economic blockade and other coercive measures that constitute state terror on the sovereign state and its people.

The US under Obama and now Trump bear “direct responsibility for the suffering of the Syrians,” he stressed.

On Tuesday in Moscow, Russian and Iranian Foreign Ministers Lavrov and Zarif respectively signed a joint declaration of support for upholding international law in the region and worldwide, stating the following:

“1. The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation reaffirm their full commitment to the principles of international law codified in the ‘Charter of the United Nations’ and in the ‘Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations’ adopted in 1970.”

“The principles of international law that form the basis of fair and equal international relations contribute to realization of win-win cooperation and create common space for equal and inseparable security and economic cooperation.”

“2. The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation share the view that the principle of sovereign equality of states is vital for stability in the international relations.”

“The states enjoy their rights based on independence and equality, and make commitments and take responsibilities on the basis of mutual respect.”

“The states have the right to take part equally in creating and enforcing the international law.”

“They are also committed to observing the international law with goodwill in a consistent and constant manner.”

“3. The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation affirm the principle that all states should refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any other state inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations.”

“Accordingly, they condemn the unilateral acts of military intervention.”

“4. The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation fully support the principle of non-intervention in the domestic or foreign affairs of the other states, and condemn any intervention by the states in the domestic or foreign affairs of the other states with the purpose of a fake change of legitimate governments that would violate that principle.”

“5. The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation consider any measure or effort to undermine or destabilize the states or their institutions in any shape or under any pretext as a violation of the aforementioned principle.”

“6. The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation condemn the extraterritorial imposition of national laws of states in contravention of the international law as another example of violation of the principle of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of states.”

“7. The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation assert the sovereign and inviolable right of states, as part of principle of non-intervention in the domestic or foreign affairs of the other states, to define their own political, economic, cultural and social systems to promote international relations and exercise permanent sovereignty over their natural resources, in accordance with the will of their people and without foreign interference, intervention, subversion, coercion or threat in any shape.”

“8. The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation underline the principle of peaceful settlement of the conflicts and firmly believe that the states must resolve their differences with the means and mechanisms on which they have agreed.”

“Such process contributes to the peaceful settlement of differences according to the imposable international law and, accordingly, could result in the reduction of tensions and enhancement of peaceful cooperation.”

“Obviously, in order to maintain the international legal order, it is essential that all means and mechanism for the settlement of disputes are based upon consent and are employed with goodwill and the spirit of cooperation. The aforementioned purposes must not be undermined with abuse in practice.”

“9. The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation share the view that implementation of the general principles and rules recognized by the international law with goodwill will prevent the process of adoption of double standards or the imposition of will of some states on some others.”

“They consider the imposition of unilateral forceful measures – also known as the ‘unilateral sanctions’ — as an example of such approach.”

“The unilateral forceful measures, particularly in the form of economic coercive measures, target the groups in the most vulnerable economic and social conditions.”

“Therefore, all countries must refrain from declaring and imposing any unilateral forceful measure; because such measures prevent the full realization of economic and social development and have negative impacts on the enjoyment of all human rights, including the right to development, trade and investment.”

“10. The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation condemn terrorism in any shape and form as a global threat to international peace and security and consider that it undermines the international order based upon international law.”

“They emphasize that terrorism must not be attributed to a specific faith, nationality, and ethnic or civilizational group.”

“The terrorist acts are criminal and unjustifiable measures, irrespective of the motive, the time and the place and no matter who commits them.”

“They also emphasize the need for joint efforts and comprehensive approaches to prevent and fight against terrorism, in accordance with the international law, including the Charter of the United Nations. Moreover, they emphasize that unfounded accusations against the official institutions of other states, which could challenge the international efforts at the fight against terrorism, are unacceptable.”

“Furthermore, they support the uniform and balanced implementation of the United Nations’ strategy for fighting against terrorism.”

“11. The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation declare that the international commitments regarding the impunity of states, their assets and their officials must be always respected by the countries.”

“The violation of those commitments run counter to the principle of sovereign equality of states and could escalate tensions.”

“12. The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation are determined to counter the unilateral illegal approaches to the settlement of global crises and actively promote the collective and multilateral just approaches based upon the general principles and rules recognized by the international law to resolve the urgent and essential regional and global problems.”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation reject the concepts that seek to undermine the international order based upon international law.”

“13. The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation decide to expand their cooperation, in line with the relations based on strategic partnership between the two sides, in order to observe and promote the international law and establish a just international order on the basis of international law.”

Russia and Iran support world peace, stability, the rule of law, and mutual cooperation among nations.

They oppose what the scourge of US imperialism is all about, its rage for unchallenged dominance by brute force, and enormous harm on ordinary people everywhere.

The US is an outlaw state, operating extrajudicially by its own rules exclusively.

Its endless wars on humanity at home and abroad pose the greatest threat to everyone everywhere.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, SyriaComments Off on US Congress Calls it “Civilian Protection”: Washington Wants 17 Million Syrians Starved Into Submission

Can Serbia Trust Washington’s Assurances in Upcoming Meeting with Kosovo?

By: Paul Antonopoulos

It came as a shock to everyone when it was announced yesterday that discussions and negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo will take place at the White House in Washington on June 27. This came as a surprise as it was widely believed that President Donald Trump had no interest in the Kosovo issue and was satisfied to allow the Europeans to mediate it.

Richard Grenell, the U.S. president’s special envoy for Kosovo, believes there is a possibility to reach at least an agreement on economic cooperation. He said on Twitter that he “received the commitment from” both governments to attend the June 27 Washington talks and to “temporarily pause the derecognition campaign and the seeking of international memberships.”

Richard Grenell@RichardGrenell

If either side is unsatisfied with the June 27 discussions then they will go back to the status quo after they leave Washington.
As we have consistently said, we must first make progress on growing the economies. This is the focus. I look forward to these discussions. (2/2) https://twitter.com/RichardGrenell/status/1272566059657117697 …Richard Grenell@RichardGrenellGreat news! I have received the commitment from the governments of Kosovo and Serbia to temporarily pause the derecognition campaign and the seeking of international memberships in order to meet in Washington, DC at the White House on June 27 for Dialogue discussions. (1/2)2,9535:28 PM – Jun 15, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy1,268 people are talking about this

Although Kosovo illegally broke off from Serbia in February 2008 and received recognition from a majority of countries around the world, Belgrade has pursued a successful diplomatic push to have states derecognize Kosovo, with the most recent being the West African country of Sierra Leone on March 2 of this year. To date, 15 countries have withdrawn their recognition of an independent Kosovo, making the split between international recognition and non-recognition at about 50% each. Belgrade’s campaigning has also hindered Kosovo’s efforts for membership in international organizations like Interpol and UNESCO.

With a temporary truce in place, Washington is hoping to establish trade relations between Serbia and Kosovo, with Grenell saying “if either side is unsatisfied with the June 27 discussions then they will go back to the status quo after they leave Washington. As we have consistently said, we must first make progress on growing the economies.”

If we look at what Grenell has already said publicly, it appears that he is confident that an agreement can be reached regarding open economic cooperation between Belgrade and Pristina. Such an agreement would help create some momentum before the next round of negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina on finalizing the status of Kosovo.

With the U.S. inundated with domestic issues, like the out of control coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, foreign policy issues, with the exception of perhaps China, will not play a major role in the upcoming presidential election, giving Trump more freedom to pursue certain issues. This is in addition to a mainstream media that are oriented against Trump and will not emphasize any of his successes in the foreign policy field.

This announced meeting comes as only a few days ago Trump said that he would no longer engage in experiments to create new states that are not capable of surviving on their own, such as Kosovo. It is for this reason that we can interpret Grenell’s statement that things will return to the status quo if parties are not satisfied with the results of the upcoming talks as a demonstration of Trump’s loose support for Kosovo’s Albanians as Washington will not put demands against Serbia. This statement is a result of the growing frustration that the White House, the State Department, and even Grenell himself has because of the unstable political situation in Pristina.

Albanian influence in Washington is losing ground, with only minimal support in Congress, especially in the House of Commons, where one of their key allies, Eliot Engel, is also the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. He tried to impose the views of previous administrations through testimonies, writing letters and public appearances, criticizing the Trump administration’s policy regarding negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina. However, he has been mostly ignored by the president.

There has been no progress in the negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina in finalizing Kosovo’s status and the U.S. has virtually no trust in Kosovo leader Hashim Thaçi and the entire political elite in Pristina. However, Grenell would not have organized a meeting in the White House if he was not confident that some kind of economic agreement could be reached between the Serbs and Kosovo Albanians.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić emphasized yesterday that Serbia will certainly not agree to the recognition of Kosovo’s independence while in Washington. Similar statements also came from Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić, who is wary of Pristina’s consent to suspend the campaign for admission to international institutions.

“The problem is, however, that we do not trust the Albanians in Pristina, because they have always lied and made unilateral moves,” Dačić said.

He added that if what Grenell announced on Twitter was true, Belgrade expects Pristina to immediately withdraw the requests for membership that it submitted to international organizations.

It is likely that for Trump it is unimportant whether Serbia continues its campaign to have countries withdraw recognition of an independent Kosovo, but for the Albanians it would be critical as Belgrade has been highly successful. It is for this reason that Kosovo’s biggest opposition party, Vetëvendosje, accused Thaçi of going against Kosovo’s interests by suspending the membership process to join international organizations, especially at a time when more and more countries are withdrawing their recognition of an independent Kosovo.

Even though Vučić has suspicions about the sincerity of Kosovo’s halt on joining international organizations, demonstrating that Serbia does not trust Washington’s assurances, Belgrade is fully prepared to continue its successful campaign of derecognition in the event of Pristina withdrawing on their word.

Posted in USA, Kosovo, SerbiaComments Off on Can Serbia Trust Washington’s Assurances in Upcoming Meeting with Kosovo?

India and China Dispute: The World’s Longest Unmarked Border

By: Tom Clifford

China

Incongruous, deadly, bizarre. Two nuclear powers engaging in a fatal skirmish over a piece of territory with no economic resources, using rocks and clubs with protruding nails. A stone-age fight in the nuclear era.

Einstein said he did not know what exact weapons would be used in a war with nuclear powers. But he knew the weapons of mass destruction that would be used in the one after that. Sticks and stones. Few envisioned nuclear-weapon states using such primitive weapons before launching Armageddon.

India and China dispute the world’s longest unmarked border. There has been conflict. War in 1962, easily won by China, skirmishes since then, no bullets fired since a deadly clash in 1975 when an unofficial agreement not to use firearms in the border area was reached.  It was considered that no large-scale conflict could emerge from a stone-age fight. Scrap that.

The Sino-Indian border is a hotbed of tension. According to the Indian government, the Chinese military went into Indian territory 1,025 times between 2016 and 2018. Trouble is this is easily disputed as the area is not officially marked. So what is India’s or China’s territory?

Most of these clashes apparently emerge from differing assessments of the location of the so-called Line of Actual Control — the de facto international border.

The military superpowers have been arguing, and fighting, for decades over territory in the high-altitude, largely uninhabited region.

Facing off at 4,600 meters high along a 3,440km border could be described as the height of folly.

It comes at a price. On Monday at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the Galwan Valley in the disputed Ladakh region.

The loss of life, believed to be the first in 45 years at the border, raises the stakes considerably.

Indian officials spoke of fighting with bare hands, clubs and stones. There were reports of Chinese casualties, but no official confirmation. Both countries accuse the other of building up infrastructure and stoking tension.

There have been agreements. But times have changed.

In 1988 the two countries were roughly equal on the economic stage. According to the World Bank, India’s gross domestic product was about $300 billion compared with China’s $312 billion that year. New Delhi’s defense budget was $10.6 billion. Beijing’s official budget was in the region of $11 billion.

A state of parity. That was then. Now China has risen, so has India, but China to greater heights. China’s GDP, north of $13 trillion, dwarfs India’s $2.7 trillion. Same story on defense spending. Beijing, again according to its official budget, splashed out $261 billion on defense expenditure in 2019. India spent about $71 billion. India has risen as an economy and a global power in the past three decades, but shrunk markedly relative to China.

China has also become more belligerent. Hide your light under a bushel, Deng Xiaoping’s mantra, has been superseded by Xi Jinping’s more aggressive foreign policy.

From island-building in the South China Sea to its shriek post-Covid-19 outbreak diplomacy, Beijing is clearly adopting a different approach.

But that is not the only difference. The Unites States under Trump is shedding its authority. Neither China or India expects or even wants US involvement and the US clearly does not want to be involved. A fatal clash between two nuclear powers and Washington does nothing. No envoys dispatched. No sense of urgency from the White House.  No demand for a cooling-down period. No leadership. Europe too seems to have lost its voice. From the East, the West looks shallow, a busted flush.

It may be that both India and China will settle their dispute amicably and quickly cool tensions. But it would be foolhardy, and dangerous, to dismiss any other alternative as unthinkable.

Posted in China, IndiaComments Off on India and China Dispute: The World’s Longest Unmarked Border

Nazi regime Increases Secretive Nuclear Stockpile to 90 Warheads

Israel is in possession of up to 90 nuclear warheads, which could represent an increase of ten since 2019, Swedish research institute says

By: Middle East Eye

Israel may have increased its nuclear stockpile from 80 warheads in 2019 to 90 in 2020, according to a new report by a leading global arms watchdog. 

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) said in its annual report on Monday that Israel, one of the world’s nine nuclear powers, could be in possession of up to 90 nuclear warheads.

The watchdog said that the true number could be higher as Israel does not officially comment on its nuclear capabilities.

“There is significant uncertainty about the size of Israel’s nuclear arsenal and its warhead capabilities,” it said.

“Israel continues to maintain its long-standing policy of nuclear opacity: it neither officially confirms nor denies that it possesses nuclear weapons.”

Israel is one of only three countries, along with India and Pakistan, not to sign the 1968 non-proliferation treaty (NPT), and is widely assumed to have the Middle East’s only atomic arsenal.

Sipri said that it believes Israel has around 30 gravity bombs that can be delivered by F-16I aircraft, and up to 50 warheads that can be delivered by land-based ballistic missiles such as the Jericho III – which, according to foreign reports, has a range of 5,500 km.

“It is possible that some of Israel’s F-15 aircraft may also serve a nuclear strike role, but this is unconfirmed,” Sipri said.

The report also said that the locations of the storage sites for Israel’s warheads, “which are thought to be stored partially unassembled,” are also unknown.

Declassified government documents from both Israel and the United States indicate that Israel began building a stockpile of nuclear weapons in the early 1960s, likely with the assistance of the US, Sipri said.

Some groups have estimated that Israel has a higher amount of warheads. In 2015, the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security said that Israel had produced at least 115 nuclear warheads.

More than 13,000 nukes worldwide

Sipri’s latest report documented that the UK, China, India and Pakistan had also increased their nuclear arsenals in the last year, by between 10 and 30 warheads each.

Still, the watchdog noted that there were around 465 less nuclear weapons globally in 2020 when compared to 2019.

“The decrease in the overall number of nuclear weapons in the world in 2019 was largely due to the dismantlement of retired nuclear weapons by Russia and the USA – which together still possess over 90 percent of global nuclear weapons,” the report said.

SIPRI@SIPRIorg

At the start of 2020, the 9 nuclear-armed states possessed an estimated 13 400 #nuclear weapons:

Russia 6 375
USA 5 800
China 320
France 290
UK 215
Pakistan 160
India 150
‘Israel’ 90
North Korea 30–40

Read more in #SIPRIYearbook 2020 http://bit.ly/2YzLR0F 

View image on Twitter

6513:31 PM – Jun 15, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy397 people are talking about this

Currently, Sipri estimates that the nine nuclear-armed states – the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea – together possessed an estimated 13,400 nuclear weapons.

“Around 3,720 of the nuclear weapons are currently deployed with operational forces and nearly 1,800 of these are kept in a state of high operational alert,” the group said.

The other 9,680 nuclear warheads in the world are believed to be undeployed.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, China, France, India, North Korea, Pakistan & Kashmir, Russia, UKComments Off on Nazi regime Increases Secretive Nuclear Stockpile to 90 Warheads

The Horrible Truth About Winston Churchill

A recent film and media reviews are busy singing the praises of Winston Churchill. Peter Frost begs to differ

By Peter Frost

This article was first crossposted in 2018.

George W. Bush installed a bust of Winston Churchill in the Oval Office at the White House. When Barack Obama came to power he had the bust returned to Britain.

Obama’s Kenyan grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, was imprisoned in one of the concentration camps Churchill and his imperialists had invented.

Churchill was born in 1874 into a Britain that was painting huge areas of the world map bloody red.

Just three years later Victoria crowned herself Empress of India, and the rape and pillage that would mark Britain’s advance across Africa and much more of the globe moved up a gear.

At Harrow School and then Sandhurst the young Winston learnt the simple message: the superior white man was conquering the primitive, dark-skinned natives, and bringing them the benefits of Christian civilisation.

Kenyan leader Jomo Kenyatta and later Archbishop Desmond Tutu would sum it up in a beautiful single paragraph.

“When the British missionaries arrived, we Africans had the land and the minerals and the missionaries had the Bible. They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the land and we had the Bible.”

As soon as he could, Churchill charged off to take his part in these various barbarous and criminal adventures. He described them as “a lot of jolly little wars against barbarous peoples.”

First came the Swat Valley, now part of Pakistan. Here he judged his enemy were merely “deranged jihadists” whose violence was explained by a “strong aboriginal propensity to kill.”

He gladly took part in raids that laid waste to whole valleys, destroying houses and burning crops.

Next he popped up in Sudan, where he boasted that he personally shot at least three “savages.”

The young Churchill played his part enthusiastically in all kinds of imperial atrocities. When concentration camps were built in South Africa, for white Boers, he said they produced “the minimum of suffering.” The Boer death toll was in fact almost 28,000.Wet Dreams About Winston Churchill

At least 115,000 black Africans were swept into British camps, where 14,000 died. Churchill wrote of his “irritation that kaffirs should be allowed to fire on white men.” By now he was an MP and demanding a rolling programme of more imperialist conquests.

“The Aryan stock is bound to triumph,” was his battle cry.

As home secretary in 1911 he brought the artillery on to the streets of east London in a heavy-handed battle to flush out Latvian anarchists in the siege of Sydney Street. Welsh miners have never forgotten his outrages against the Tonypandy miners.

As colonial secretary in the 1920s, he unleashed the notorious Black and Tan thugs on Ireland’s Catholic civilians. The Irish have never forgotten this cruelty.

When the Iraqis rebelled against British rule, Churchill said:

“I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes.”

Churchill, as we can see, was happy to be spokesman for brutal and brutish British imperialism. It seems Churchill was driven by a deep loathing of democracy for anyone other than God’s chosen race — the British.

This was clearest in his attitude to India. When Mahatma Gandhi launched his campaign of peaceful resistance, Churchill raged that

he “ought to be lain bound hand and foot at the gates of Delhi, and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new viceroy seated on its back.”

Churchill further announced:

“I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.”

In 1943, a famine broke out in Bengal and up to three million people starved to death. He bluntly refused any aid, raging that it was the Indians’ own fault for “breeding like rabbits.”

In Kenya Churchill believed that the fertile highlands should be the exclusive preserve of the white settlers and approved the clearing out of the local “blackamoors.”

He saw the local Kikuyu as “brutish children.” When they rebelled under Churchill’s post-war premiership, some 150,000 of them were forced at gunpoint into detention camps.

He approved various kinds of torture, including electric shocks. whipping and shootings. Mau Mau suspects were burned and mutilated. Hussein Onyango Obama was just one who never truly recovered from the torture he endured.

As colonial secretary Churchill offered what he called the Holy Land to both the Jews and the Arabs — although he had racist contempt for both.

He jeered at the Palestinians as “barbaric hordes who ate little but camel dung,” while he was appalled that the Israelis “take it for granted that the local population will be cleared out to suit their convenience.”

After the war he was quick to invent the iron curtain as he started the cold war against his hated Bolsheviks despite the fact that they had been his greatest ally in defeating Hitler and his nazis.

When he was re-elected prime minister in the 1951 election he rapidly restarted various imperialist adventures. There was the so-called Malayan Emergency, Kenya and of course the Korean war.

Churchill hated communism at home and abroad. He was always a supporter of British intervention in the young Soviet state, declaring that Bolshevism must be “strangled in its cradle.”

He convinced his divided and loosely organised Cabinet to intervene despite strong opposition from Labour.

In the 1926 General Strike Churchill edited the government’s newspaper, the British Gazette, and used it to put forward his anti-union, anti-Labour, anti-socialist rantings.

He even recommended that the food convoys from the docks should be guarded by tanks, armoured cars and hidden machine guns.

There are far too many other reasons why this champion of all things reactionary simply doesn’t deserve the paeans of praise being heaped on him at the moment.

I’m sure our letters page would welcome your own particular favourites, but let me finish with one that really makes me smile.

Even his reputation as an outstanding orator was, it seems, based on a lie. We now know that many of Churchill’s most famous radio speeches of the war were delivered by an actor, Norman Shelley.

Shelley went on to be a big star on BBC Children’s Radio and as Colonel Danby in the Archers.The original source of this article is Morning StarCopyright © Peter FrostMorning Star, 2020


Related Articles:

Churchill’s “Love for War”

World War II: The Murderous Allied Firestorms against German Civilians

The Skripal Incident: Should We Hope for an Apology from Britain?

World War II and the Battle of Britain: Operation Sea Lion, Looking Back

US-Canada Relations: Trudeau “Poodles for Empire”

From Winston Churchill to Tony Blair: How British Leaders Destroyed Iraq

Posted in UKComments Off on The Horrible Truth About Winston Churchill

As US Protests Show, the Challenge Is How to Rise Above the Violence Inherent in State Power

By Jonathan Cook

Here is one thing I can write with an unusual degree of certainty and confidence: Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin would not have been charged with the (third-degree) murder of George Floyd had the United States not been teetering on a knife edge of open revolt. 

Had demonstrators not turned out in massive numbers on the streets and refused to be corralled back home by the threat of police violence, the US legal system would have simply turned a blind eye to Chauvin’s act of extreme brutality, as it has done before over countless similar acts. 

Without the mass protests, it would have made no difference that Floyd’s murder was caught on camera, that it was predicted by Floyd himself in his cries of “I can’t breathe” as Chauvin spent nearly nine minutes pressing his knee to Floyd’s neck, or that the outcome was obvious to spectators who expressed their growing alarm as Floyd lost consciousness. At most, Chauvin would have had to face, as he had many times before, an ineffectual disciplinary investigation over “misconduct”. 

Without the current ferocious mood of anger directed at the police and sweeping much of the nation, Chauvin would have found himself as immune from accountability and prosecution as so many police officers before him who gunned down or lynched black citizens.

Instead he is the first white police officer in the state of Minnesota ever to be criminally charged over the death of a black man. After initially arguing that there were mitigating factors to be considered, prosecutors hurriedly changed course to declare Chauvin’s indictment the fastest they had ever initiated. Yesterday Minneapolis’s police chief was forced to call the other three officers who stood by as Floyd was murdered in front of them “complicit”.

Confrontation, not contrition 

If the authorities’ placatory indictment of Chauvin – on the least serious charge they could impose, based on incontrovertible evidence they could not afford to deny – amounts to success, then it is only a little less depressing than failure.

Worse still, though most protesters are trying to keep their demonstrations non-violent, many of the police officers dealing with the protests look far readier for confrontation than contrition. The violent attacks by police on protesters, including the use of vehicles for rammings, suggest that it is Chauvin’s murder charge – not the slow, barbaric murder of Floyd by one of their number – that has incensed fellow officers. They expect continuing impunity for their violence.

Rob Bennett@rob_bennett

Here is the overhead… 49.2K1:54 AM – May 31, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy25.6K people are talking about this

Similarly, the flagrant mistreatment by police of corporate media outlets simply for reporting developments, from the arrest of a CNN crew to physical assaults on BBC staff, underlines the sense of grievance harboured by many police officers when their culture of violence is exposed for all the world to see. They are not reeling it in, they are widening the circle of “enemies”.

Aleem Maqbool@AleemMaqbool

This was before curfew and our cameraman @p_murt clearly a member of the press, a block away from the White House this evening…29.1K5:58 AM – Jun 1, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy8,592 people are talking about this

Nonetheless, it is entirely wrong to suggest, as a New York Times editorial did yesterday, that police impunity can be largely ascribed to “powerful unions” shielding officers from investigation and punishment. The editorial board needs to go back to school. The issues currently being exposed to the harsh glare of daylight get to the heart of what modern states are there to do – matters rarely discussed outside of political theory classes.

Right to bear arms 

The success of the modern state, like the monarchies of old, rests on the public’s consent, explicit or otherwise, to its monopoly of violence. As citizens, we give up what was once deemed an inherent or “natural” right to commit violence ourselves and replace it with a social contract in which our representatives legislate supposedly neutral, just laws on our behalf. The state invests the power to enforce those laws in a supposedly disciplined, benevolent police force – there to “protect and serve” – while a dispassionate court system judges suspected violators of those laws.

That is the theory, anyway.

In the case of the United States, the state’s monopoly on violence has been muddied by a constitutional “right to bear arms”, although, of course, the historic purpose of that right was to ensure that the owners of land and slaves could protect their “property”. Only white men were supposed to have the right to bear arms.

Today, little has changed substantively, as should be obvious the moment we consider what would have happened had it been black militia men that recently protested the Covid-19 lockdown by storming the Michigan state capitol, venting their indignation in the faces of white policemen.

(In fact, the US authorities’ reaction to the Black Panthers movement through the late 1960s and 1970s is salutary enough for anyone who wishes to understand how dangerous it is for a black man to bear arms in his own defence against the violence of white men.)

Brutish violence 

The monopoly of violence by the state is justified because most of us have supposedly consented to it in an attempt to avoid a Hobbesian world of brutish violence where individuals, families and tribes enforce their own, less disinterested versions of justice.

But of course the state system is not as neutral or dispassionate as it professes, or as most of us assume. Until the struggle for universal suffrage succeeded – a practice that in all western states can be measured in decades, not centuries – the state was explicitly there to uphold the interests of a wealthy elite, a class of landed gentry and newly emerging industrialists, as well as a professional class that made society run smoothly for the benefit of that elite.

What was conceded to the working class was the bare minimum to prevent them from rising up against the privileges enjoyed by the rest of society.A Political Mobilization of the American Police

That was why, for example, Britain did not have universal health care – the National Health Service – until after the Second World War, 30 years after men received the vote and 20 years after women won the same right. Only after the war did the British establishment start to fear that a newly empowered working class – of returning soldiers who knew how to bear arms, backed by women who had been released from the home to work on the land or in munitions factories to replace the departed men – might no longer be willing to accept a lack of basic health care for themselves and their loved ones.

It was in this atmosphere of an increasingly organised and empowered labour movement – reinforced by the need to engineer more consumerist societies to benefit newly emerging corporations – that European social democracy was born. (Paradoxically, the post-war US Marshall Plan helped subsidise the emergence of Europe’s major social democracies, including their public health care systems, even as similar benefits were denied domestically to Americans.)

Creative legal interpretations 

To maintain legitimacy for the state’s monopoly on violence, the legal establishment has had to follow the same minimalist balancing act as the political establishment.

The courts cannot simply rationalise and justify the implicit and sometimes explicit use of violence in law enforcement without regard to public sentiment. Laws are amended, but equally significantly they are creatively interpreted by judges so that they fit the ideological and moral fashions and prejudices of the day, to ensure the public feels justice is being done.

In the main, however, we the public have a very conservative understanding of right and wrong, of justice and injustice, which has been shaped for us by a corporate media that both creates and responds to those fashions and trends to ensure that the current system continues undisturbed, allowing for the ever-greater accumulation of wealth by an elite.

That is why so many of us are viscerally appalled by looting on the streets by poor people, but reluctantly accept as a fact of life the much larger intermittent looting of our taxes, of our banks, of our homes by the state to bail out a corporate elite that cannot manage the economy it created.

Again, the public’s deference to the system is nurtured to ensure it does not rise up. 

Muscle on the street 

But the legal system doesn’t just have a mind; it has muscle too. Its front-line enforcers, out on the street, get to decide who is a criminal suspect, who is dangerous or subversive, who needs to be deprived of their liberty, and who is going to have violence inflicted upon them. It is the police that initially determine who spends time in a jail cell and who comes before a court. And in some cases, as in George Floyd’s, it is the police that decide who is going to be summarily executed without a trial or a jury.

The state would prefer, of course, that police officers don’t kill unarmed citizens in the street – and even more so that they don’t carry out such acts in full view of witnesses and on camera, as Chauvin did. The state’s objections are not primarily ethical. State bureaucracies are not overly invested in matters beyond the need to maintain external and internal security: defending the borders from outside threats, and ensuring internal legitimacy through the cultivation of citizens’ consent.

But the issue of for whom and for what the state keeps its territory safe has become harder to conceal over time. Nowadays, the state’s political processes and its structures have been almost completely captured by corporations. As a result, the maintenance of internal and external security is less about ensuring an orderly and safe existence for citizens than about creating a stable territorial platform for globalised businesses to plunder local resources, exploit local labour forces and generate greater profits by transforming workers into consumers.

Increasingly, the state has become a hollowed-out vessel through which corporations order their business agendas. States function primarily now to compete with each other in a battle to minimise the obstacles facing global corporations as they seek to maximise their wealth and profits in each state’s territory. The state’s role is to avoid getting in the way of corporations as they extract resources (deregulation), or, when this capitalist model regularly collapses, come to the aid of the corporations with more generous bailouts than rival states.

Murder could prove a spark 

This is the political context for understanding why Chauvin is that very rare example of a white policeman facing a murder charge for killing a black man.

Chauvin’s gratuitous and incendiary murder of Floyd – watched by any American with a screen, and with echoes of so many other recent cases of unjustifiable police brutality against black men, women and children – is the latest spark that risks lighting a conflagration.

In the heartless, amoral calculations of the state, the timing of Chauvin’s very public act of barbarity could not have been worse. There were already rumblings of discontent over federal and state authorities’ handling of the new virus; fears over the catastrophic consequences for the US economy; outrage at the inequity – yet again – of massive bailouts for the biggest corporations but paltry help for ordinary workers; and the social and personal frustrations caused by lockdown.

There is also a growing sense that the political class, Republican and Democrat alike, has grown sclerotic and unresponsive to the plight of ordinary Americans – an impression only underscored by the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

For all these reasons, and many others, people were ready to take to the streets. Floyd’s murder gave them the push.

The need for loyal police 

In these circumstances, Chauvin had to be charged, even if only in the hope of assuaging that anger, of providing a safety valve releasing some of the discontent.

But charging Chauvin is no simple matter either. To ensure its survival, the state needs to monopolise violence and internal security, to maintain its exclusive definition of what constitutes order, and to keep the state as a safe territorial platform for business. The alternative is the erosion of the nation-state’s authority, and the possibility of its demise.

This was the rationale behind Donald Trump’s notorious tweet last week – censored by Twitter for “glorifying violence” – that warned: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Not surprisingly, he invoked the words of a racist Miami police chief, Walter Headley, who threatened violence against the African-American community in the late 1960s. At the time Headley additionally stated: “There’s no communication with them except force.”

Trump may be harking back to an ugly era of what was once called “race relations”, but the sentiment lies at the heart of the state’s mission.

The state needs its police forces loyal and ready to use violence. It cannot afford discontent in the ranks, or that sections of the police corps no longer identify their own interests with the state’s. The state dares not alienate police officers for fear that, when they are needed most, during times of extreme dissent like now, they will not be there – or worse still, that they will have joined the dissenters.

As noted, elements in the police are already demonstrating their disenchantment over Chauvin’s indictment as well as their sense of grievance against the media – bolstered by Donald Trump’s regular verbal assaults on journalists. That sentiment helps to explain the unprecedented attacks by the police on reliably compliant major media outlets covering the protests.

CNN@CNN

Minnesota police arrest CNN reporter and camera crew as they report from protests in Minneapolis https://cnn.it/2AlGl9s 230K11:26 AM – May 29, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy136K people are talking about this

Ideological twins 

The need to keep the security forces loyal is why the state fosters a sense of separateness between the police and those sections of the populace that it defines as potentially threatening order, thereby uniting more privileged segments of society in fear and hostility.

The state cultivates in the police and sections of the public a sense that police violence is legitimate by definition when it targets individuals or groups it portrays as threatening or subversive. It also encourages the view that the police enjoy impunity a priori in such cases because they alone can decide what constitutes a menace to society (shaped, of course, by popular discourses promoted by the state and the corporate media).

“Threat” is defined as any dissent against the existing order, whether it is a black man answering back and demonstrating “attitude”, or mass protests against the system, including against police violence. In this way, the police and the state are ideological twins. The state approves whatever the police do; while the police repress whatever the state defines as a threat. If it is working effectively, state-police violence becomes a circular, self-rationalising system.

Throwing the protests a bone 

Charging Chauvin risks disrupting that system, creating a fault line between the state and the police, one of the state’s most essential agencies. Which is why the charging of a police officer in these circumstances is such an exceptional event, and has been dictated by the current exceptional outpouring of anger.

Prosecutors are trying to find a delicate compromise between two conflicting demands: between the need to reassure the police that their violence is always legitimate (carried out “in the line of duty”) and the need to stop the popular wave of anger escalating to a point where the existing order might break down. In these circumstances, Chauvin needs to be charged but with the least serious indictment possible – given the irrefutable evidence presented in the video – in the hope that, once the current wave of anger has subsided, he can be found not guilty; or if found guilty, given a lenient sentence; or if sentenced more harshly, pardoned.

Chauvin’s indictment is like throwing a chewed-dry bone to a hungry dog, from the point of view of the state authorities. It is an act of parsimonious appeasement, designed to curb non-state violence or the threat of such violence.

The indictment is not meant to change a police culture – or an establishment one – that presents black men as an inherent threat to order. It will not disrupt regulatory and legal systems that are wedded to the view that (white, conservative) police officers are on the front line defending civilisational values from (black or leftwing) “lawbreakers”. And it will not curtail the state’s commitment to ensuring that the police enjoy impunity over their use of violence.

Change is inevitable 

A healthy state – committed to the social contract – would be capable of finding ways to accommodate discontent before it reaches the level of popular revolt. The scenes playing out across the US are evidence that state institutions, captured by corporate money, are increasingly incapable of responding to demands for change. The hollowed-out state represents not its citizens, who are capable of compromise, but the interests of global forces of capital that care little what takes place on the streets of Minneapolis or New York so long as the corporations can continue to accumulate wealth and power.

Why would we expect these global forces to be sensitive to popular unrest in the US when they have proved entirely insensitive to the growing signals of distress from the planet, as its life-support systems recalibrate for our pillage and plunder in ways we will struggle to survive as a species?

Why would the state not block the path to peaceful change, knowing it excels in the use of violence, when it blocks the path to reform that might curb the corporate assault on the environment?

These captured politicians and officials – on the “left” and right – will continue fanning the flames, stoking the fires, as Barack Obama’s former national security adviser Susan Rice did this week. She denied the evidence of police violence shown on Youtube and the very real distress of an underclass abandoned by the political class when she suggested that the protests were being directed from the Kremlin.

Aaron Maté@aaronjmate · May 31, 2020Replying to @aaronjmate

Susan Rice on unrest and violence at the George Floyd protests: “This is right out of the Russian playbook as well.”

Aaron Maté@aaronjmate

More of Susan Rice speculating on CNN that Russia is fueling US protests: “I would not be surprised to learn that they have fomented some of these extremists on both sides using social media. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they are funding it in some way, shape, or form.”1,5289:25 PM – May 31, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy1,168 people are talking about this

This kind of bipartisan denial of reality only underscores how quickly we are entering a period of crisis and revolt. From the G8 protests, to the Occupy movement, to Extinction Rebellion, to the schools protests, to the Yellow Vests, to the current fury on US streets, there is evidence all around that the centre is struggling to maintain its hold. The US imperial project is overstretched, the global corporate elite is over-extended, living on credit, resources are depleting, the planet is recalibrating. Something will have to give.

The challenge to the protesters – either those on the streets now or those who follow in their wake – is how to surmount the state’s violence and how to offer a vision of a different, more hopeful future that restores the social contract.

Lessons will be learnt through protest, defiance and disobedience, not in a courtroom where a police officer stands trial as an entire political and economic system is allowed to carry on with its crimes.

Posted in USA, Human RightsComments Off on As US Protests Show, the Challenge Is How to Rise Above the Violence Inherent in State Power

Nazi arrests and raids in Jerusalem and Bethlehem


By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

Night Arrests (1)

Nazi occupied Ramallah: This morning, the Nazi occupation forces launched a raid campaign that resulted in the arrest of 5 Palestinians from occupied Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the West Bank.

Local sources reported that the Nazi occupation soldiers arrested the brothers Yusef and Muhammad al-Salti at the dawn of their house in the Wad al-Jouz neighborhood, east of Jerusalem.

In the same context, the Nazi occupation forces arrested three young men from different areas in the Bethlehem governorate during raids

The detainees are: Muhammad Omar Al-Badawneh (23 years old), Asaid Al-Din Abu Shaira (17 years old) from Aida camp in the north, and Ibrahim Wajih Atallah (23 years old) from the area of ​​Hamlet in the east.

Local sources said that the soldiers raided and searched the homes of the detainees’ families, before they were arrested, except for the Nazi forces storming the area of ​​Harmla, specifically the house of the estranged Nasri Khalil Al-Zeer and searched it.

Jenin: The Nazi occupation forces arrest a young man during the trial of his brother and another at a military checkpoint

92

Nazi occupied Jenin: The Israeli occupation forces arrested, today, Sunday, a Palestinian youth while attending the trial of his brother in the “Salem” occupation court, west of Jenin in the occupied West Bank.

Local and media sources said that the Nazi occupation forces arrested the young man, Attia Nabhan, after he entered the “Salem” court, after holding him for a while.

It is noteworthy that his brother Muhammad was arrested about a week ago during a campaign of raids in Jenin, while his family was surprised by his brother’s arrest after he entered the courtroom.

Arrested at a military checkpoint

The Nazi occupation forces arrested a young man from the town of Kfardan, west of Jenin in the Nazi occupied West Bank, while he was passing a sudden military checkpoint south of Jenin.

According to local sources, the occupation forces arrested the young Qusai Rabi` Merhi, near the isolated town of Barta’a, behind the wall, where the occupation forces informed his family on Sunday afternoon of his arrest.

Video A prisoner embraces his child, who gave birth to him through contraband for the first time

911

Nazi occupied Jerusalem: The liberated prisoner, Salah Hussein, from the village of Beit Duqqu, northwest of occupied Jerusalem, embraced his “Ali” child for the first time.

The editor, Hussein, met his wife after a 15-year detention in the occupation prisons, and embraced his child Ali, who had given birth to him by smuggling “liberated sperm”.

His wife said – in the documented video of the meeting – of their child: “This is Baba, Mama, we waited a lot … This is Baba Al-Helou” .. But the child returned to his mother’s bosom, and one of them replied, “Bahmash, the first is only.”

The Nazi occupation had re-arrested him the moment of his release last Thursday, with the aim of stealing his joy in freedom and his wife and child, “Ali”, who had been given him through the liberated sperm.

The Minister of Health: 11 new cases of Corona virus since this morning

Foreign: 140 deaths and 2,047 injuries among our communities in the world

The closure of a section in Hebron and Al-Bireh Hospital after injuries were found in Corona


Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Nazi arrests and raids in Jerusalem and Bethlehem

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