Mass Incarceration: Why Does The U.S. Jail So Many People? ‘VIDEO’

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AJ+ 

The U.S. incarcerates more people than any other country in the world. With 2.2 million people behind bars, and millions more on probation or parole, 1 in 35 American adults is caught up in the prison system. AJ+ teamed up with The Marshall Project to examine why.

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Three National Guard Officials Arrested After Fatal Shooting of Protester

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By Rachael Boothroyd Rojas | Venezuelanalysis 

Caracas – Three Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) soldiers have been arrested following the fatal shooting of an anti-government protester in Caracas this past Monday.

First sergeant Raymon Ávila León and second sergeants Johan Rojas Díaz and Jesús Baez Rojas will be charged with the misuse of a firearm, according to national ombudsman, William Saab.

On Monday, 17 year old Fabian Urbina died from gunshot wounds when GNB soldiers opened fire on a crowd of protesters in the eastern district of Altamira. Five other demonstrators were also injured in the incident.

In footage of the confrontation circulated by the private media channel La Patilla on social media, hundreds of violent protesters can be seen attempting to attack several GNB officials prior to the shooting. At least one of the protesters was armed, leading some pro-government observers to speculate that the soldiers were acting in self defense.

But Saab condemned the incident Wednesday and stated that the national guard must only employ “proportional, progressive and differentiated use of force” to ensure their own safety at protests.

In a series of tweets, the national ombudsman reminded the public that the GNB are banned from using live ammunition or rubber bullets to control unrest. He also called on opposition sectors to cease their violent protests.

“We once again call on the organizers of demonstrations to carry them out peacefully and without the use of weapons,” he tweeted.

Following the incident, President Nicolas Maduro replaced Antonio Benavides Torres as the commander of the National Bolivarian Guard. The former commander of the People’s Guard, Major General Sergio José Rivero Marcano, will now take up the position.

The president also changed the commander-in-chiefs of the armed forces, navy, airforce, and people’s militia, as well as put Major General Juan de Jesús García Toussaintt and Admiral Orlando Maneiro Gaspar in charge of the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Fishing.

It is unknown if the high level reshuffle was related to Monday’s deadly shooting.

Eighty-four people have been killed since violence anti-government unrest broke out at the beginning of April. Protesters, national security personnel, pro-government activists and passersby are all amongst the dead.

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Rashid Khalidi: Palestine in the Age of Trump

NOVANEWS

By Rashid Khalidi

Rashid Khalidi

Rashid Khalidi

With the advent in Washington of an Administration with radical new priorities regarding Israel, and a disdain for Palestinian rights, Palestine is facing a daunting reality. In recent years, ascendant political currents in America and Israel had already begun to merge. We have now reached the point where envoys from one country to the other could almost switch places: the Israeli Ambassador in Washington, Ron Dermer, who grew up in Florida, could just as easily be the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, while Donald Trump’s Ambassador-designate to Israel, David Friedman, who has intimate ties to the Israeli settler movement, would make a fine Ambassador in Washington for the pro-settler government of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Whereas America’s solicitous concern for Israel and its disregard for the Palestinians were once cloaked behind evenhandedness, under Trump we are set to see a more complete convergence between America’s political leadership and the most chauvinistic, religious, and right-wing government in Israel’s history. It will be this Israeli government and its new American soul mates who will call the tune in Palestine for at least the next several years.

The entire Palestinian political and economic structure set up since the 1993 Oslo Accords was predicated on the idea that it would evolve into a genuine, viable, and contiguous Palestinian state. That illusion, held by many Palestinians, has by now been dispelled. This flawed structure was also based on the premise, a naïve one at best, that the United States had a national interest in moderating Israeli behavior and achieving a modicum of justice in the Middle East. That premise, too, has been demolished.

For Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority, set up by the Oslo Accords ostensibly as part of an interim arrangement for Palestinian self-rule, will continue to do more harm than good. Few people understand that the colonization of Palestinian land and the nearly fifty-year-old Israeli military occupation—among the longest in modern history—would not be sustainable today without American and Israeli sponsorship of the P.A. and its U.S.-trained security forces. The P.A.’s criminalization of any form of resistance to dispossession, discrimination, and Israel’s permanent military control have made it, in effect, a tool of collaboration with the occupation. Even bloggers and peaceful demonstrators are subject to arrest and harassment by P.A. forces. The way this institution operates against its own people provides a preview of the future that both American and Israeli officials will now foresee for Palestinians in the occupied territories: a future that is constricted, controlled, and void of sovereignty and self-determination.

It is abundantly clear that the United States, in the age of Trump, and Israel, in the age of Netanyahu, will do nothing to change this picture. In this context, the Palestinians face stark choices. They can either submit to the dictates of the U.S. and Israel or they can fundamentally and urgently redefine their national movement, their objectives, and their modes of resistance to oppression. It is time for Palestinians to abandon the failed experiment of the P.A., and to abandon forms of violence that only harden the sway of the right wing over Israeli politics. It is time to mobilize the vast energies of the Palestinian diaspora and stop thinking of Palestine as just those fragments under Israeli occupation. And it is time to begin to imagine ways in which Palestinians and Israelis will finally be able to coexist in complete equality in the small country they will ultimately have to share, once it is free of the domination of one group over the other. These will be exceedingly hard tasks for the Palestinians, coming after they have suffered decades of war, dispossession, and occupation.

Despite all this, there are signs of hope, at least in the United States. The positions of both the Democratic and Republican Party establishments notwithstanding, American public opinion is shifting rapidly away from uncritical support for Israel. Americans are becoming increasingly sympathetic to the cause of Palestinian freedom. According to a poll released by the Brookings Institution in December, sixty per cent of Democrats, and forty-six per cent of all Americans, support sanctions or stronger action against Israel over its construction of illegal Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land. A recently released Pew poll shows that, for the first time, the percentage of Democrats who are sympathetic to the Palestinians is almost equal to those who sympathize with Israel, while liberal Democrats are much more sympathetic to Palestinians (thirty-eight per cent) than they are to Israel (twenty-six per cent).

Over time, perhaps, these changes will filter up to politicians and policymakers in Washington. In the meantime, it is up to individuals of conscience, including those who are resisting the wave of racism and right-wing extremism to be expected in the Trump era, to exert pressure on their elected representatives to live up to professed ideals of freedom and equality, and to hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law and denial of Palestinian national and human rights.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

The Zionist-American Hammer-Lock on Palestine

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The Israeli-American Hammer-Lock on Palestine

Israel’s occupation isonly made possible by unquestioning US support—but a day of reckoning is on the way.
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As we mark the 50th anniversary of the longest military occupation in modern history, some are celebrating. It is fully appropriate that these celebrations will include a joint session of the US Congress and the Israeli Knesset, held via video link. For Israel’s rule over East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights is only made possible by the constant support it has obtained since June 1967 from successive US administrations. This is therefore not solely an Israeli occupation: Since the very beginning, it has in fact been a joint undertaking, an Israeli-American condominium, if you will. If the various forms of violence necessary to maintain alien rule over what are now nearly 5 million people have been administered entirely by Israelis, the financial, arms, and diplomatic weight behind them has been mainly American.

The degree to which American support is the sine qua non of this 50-year occupation can be seen from the difference between how the Johnson administration and its successors treated Israel’s 1967 conquests, and how President Eisenhower reacted to those of the 1956 war. In that earlier case, the US reaction was unequivocal and forceful. Only days after the Israeli-British-French attack on Egypt, Washington pushed through a UN resolution demanding that Israel withdraw unconditionally and immediately from the occupied Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula. Under powerful American pressure, Israel grudgingly did so six months later.

As an 18-year-old on June 9, 1967, I myself was witness to one indication of how much things had changed since 1956. On the fourth day of the war, I was sitting in the visitors’ gallery of the Security Council (my father worked for the UN Secretariat and I was home from college). I watched US Ambassador Arthur Goldberg stall for hours to prevent the council from forcing Israel to stop its seemingly inexorable advance toward Damascus. In spite of successive Security Council cease-fire resolutions, and thanks to such tacit US support, that advance did not stop until the following day.

Worse was yet to come. In contrast to the days that passed before it acted in 1956, the United Nations took over five months to come up with a resolution to deal with the situation created by the 1967 war. When it did so, on November 22, 1967, Security Council Resolution 242 was inspired essentially by the desiderata of Israel, with the indispensable support of the United States. Resolution 242 was far from unconditional: Indeed, it made Israel’s withdrawals from the areas its forces had just conquered conditional on the achievement of “secure” boundaries, which has proven to be an infinitely flexible term in the Israeli lexicon. This flexibility has permitted 50 years of delay where occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories are concerned. Moreover, in its English version, 242 did not call from withdrawal from all the land taken in the June war, but only from “territories occupied” during the conflict. With ample American backing, Israel has driven a coach and horses through that seemingly minor gap.

Other language in 242, such as the passage stressing the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war,” can be seen as balancing those major concessions to the Israeli position. However, which parts of 242 are really important is indicated by the planned joint session of Congress and the Knesset, on top of 50 years of American complaisance about an occupation that in practice is underwritten by American money, arms, and diplomatic support. This is an occupation, incidentally, that the Israeli government denies exists, and that President Trump did not see fit to mention once by name during his recent visit to Palestine and Israel.

One additional crucial point about 242 is worth mentioning. The original conflict in Palestine was a colonial one between the indigenous Palestinian majority and the Zionist movement as the latter tried to achieve sovereignty over the country at the expense of, and ultimately in place of, that majority. The nature of this conflict had been recognized in part in the UN General Assembly’s Resolution 181 of 1947, which called for the partition of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. The former was to have been larger than the latter, although at that point Jewish land ownership was under 7 percent of the total, and Arabs constituted 65 percent of the country’s population, and in principle had the absolute right of self-determination in the entirety of what they reasonably still considered their country.

Resolution 242 represented a regression even on this low-water mark for the Palestinians. The Palestinians are not mentioned in the text of the 1967 resolution, nor are their rights to statehood and to return to their homes and possessions, which had been confirmed by previous UN resolutions, all of them supported by the United States. Instead, there is a bland reference to “a just settlement of the refugee problem.”

Haughtily ignoring the indigenous population and its rights and interests is in fact a typical colonial maneuver, one that has set the stage for an Israeli colonial-settler enterprise that has thrived for 50 years in the occupied territories. It goes without saying that this has taken place with full US support, accompanied by tepid criticism. British Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour engaged in the same maneuver a century ago, never mentioning the words Palestinian or Arab in his famous November 2, 1917, declaration promising British support for a Jewish “national home” in a Palestine that then had a 94 percent Arab majority.

In similarly ignoring the Palestinians, and giving Israel what it wanted, Resolution 242 thus constituted a diplomatic revolution that was entirely favorable to the newly expanded Israeli regional superpower. Drafted by British Ambassador Lord Caradon—who reprised the British role of slighting the Palestinians—and pushed through by the United States, this resolution has become the benchmark for Arab-Israeli peace. In view of its perverse genesis, it is no surprise that this misbegotten resolution has not produced peace but instead has been the fig leaf for an unending military occupation of Syrian and Palestinian lands.

The scene I watched in the Security Council on June 9, 1967, was only one sign of a major shift in US policy championed by President Johnson and his enthusiastically pro-Israel advisers, including Clark Clifford (who had been instrumental in advising President Truman to support Israel in 1947 and 1948), Arthur Goldberg, McGeorge Bundy, Abe Fortas, and the brothers Walt and Eugene Rostow. They and others had ensured that before the June war Israel received a prior American green light for its first strike on the Arab armies, as it had failed to do in 1956 at the time of its Suez adventure together with Britain and France. Several of these advisers were influential in brokering what eventually became Resolution 242.

By 1967, Israel had already begun to get some US arms deliveries, although it won the war of that year mainly with French and British weaponry, as it had in 1956. In the wake of its crushing 1967 victory, Israel became a major Cold War ally, commencing a much closer relationship with the United States against Arab states that were aligned with the Soviet Union. In time, this alliance has become more intimate than that with any other country, with military aid soaring to over $1 billion per year after 1973, and at over $4 billion annually today (this aid is going to a relatively rich country, one with a GDP per capita of nearly $35,000). Since 1967, Israel has been cosseted by the United States, whether its actions served or harmed US interests. This intimacy has reached the point that politicians of both parties compete with one another in proclaiming that they will allow “no daylight” between the positions of the two countries.

Notwithstanding the celebrations of this unity of views between the American and Israeli establishments about support for the continued occupation and colonization process in Palestine, a day of reckoning is on the way. There are harbingers everywhere. Already the Democratic Party is torn between its blindly pro-Israel old-guard leadership and a younger and more open-minded base that can see what is actually happening in Palestine. The resolution passed on May 21 by the California Democratic Party is a sign of the times. It condemns the failure of successive administrations, in spite of mild criticisms of the occupation, to take “actual steps to change the status quo and bring about a real peace process.” It goes on to criticize Israel’s “illegal settlements in the occupied territories,” and calls for a “just peace based on full equality and security for Israeli Jews and Palestinians alike,” as well as “self-determination, civil rights and economic well-being for the Palestinian people.”

Fifty years on from the euphoria in Israel and Washington that accompanied the beginning of the occupation, the rise of a different spirit can be discerned on college campuses, among younger people—including among many young Jewish Americans—minorities, some churches, synagogues, academic associations and labor unions, and among the grassroots of the Democratic Party. There is naturally a potent and well-financed counter-offensive against this awakening, which has traction with the Trump administration and the leadership of the Democratic Party and is echoed in much of the mainstream media. It can be seen at its most frantic in the attempts to shut down debate via unconstitutional anti-BDS bills in statehouses all over the country (19 of them already enacted into law), as well as in Israel’s banning of the entry of supporters of BDS and its laws targeting Israelis supporting BDS.

But while these measures will have some impact, they cannot for long repress the revulsion that Israel’s policies have produced among so many Americans and others around the world. External support has always been a crucial factor in the struggle over Palestine. In the first decades after the Balfour Declaration, the Zionist enterprise could not have been successful without the crucial support of Great Britain. Similarly, Israel could not have maintained its occupation for 50 years without American support. The almost hysterical reaction to the growth around the world of serious critical responses to Israel’s military occupation of Arab lands and to its colonization enterprise shows that Israel’s leaders and its supporters in the United States are fully aware of these new realities. The tragedy is that it has taken almost 70 years since the 1948 war and 50 years since 1967 to get even to this point, and we are only at the beginning of the path toward full equality, self-determination, civil rights, security, and economic well-being for Israeli Jews and Palestinians alike.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

What a surprise – Jewish kids in America don’t go a bundle on racism, murder and torture!

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It’s an ill wind that blows no good.  Despite the adoption of the new fake definition of anti-Semitism and the attempt to depict anti-Zionism as anti-Semitic, the truth has a way of getting through.  The American Jewish community is the most valuable to Israel, since it does its diplomatic bidding as well as helping to fund the pariah state.


What a surprise it must therefore be to Israel’s veteran propagandists, the Hasbarists who cry ‘anti-Semitism’ at the drop of a hat, that young American Jews no longer feel an affinity with Zionism and Israel’s racial nationalism.  Settling other people’s land, seeing the vast disparity between poor Palestinian peasants and the rich and lush settlements isn’t a winner amongst progressive young

Jews.  The far-Right messianism that believes in a racially pure Israel and building a 3rd temple as the way to encourage the return of the Messiah doesn’t hold too much attraction to secular Jewish kids.

The alliance with the anti-Semitic Christian fundamentalists like Pastor John Hagee of Christian United for Israel isn’t a vote winner either.

It seems to have finally dawned on Brand Israel that being high tech savvy when you treat Palestinians as the untermenschen isn’t necessarily a winner.  The author Amanda Borschel-Dan observes that just because the Angel of Death in Auschwitz, Dr Joseph Mengele, was a brilliant scientist, doesn’t mean that the Nazis were attractive.  I suspect that if I had made this analogy the cacophony of Zionist propagandists.

Amanda of Brand Israel says that ‘Instead of stating dry facts, professionals must highlight Israel’s decency, morality and the diversity of the Israeli society in general’.   This is an act of self-deception.  Israel is a society where a plurality of Jews support the physical expulsion of Israel’s Palestinians and where ‘Death to the Arabs’ is the favourite chant of the Right.

Of course Amanda is desperate to find something good about Israel and therefore settles for the aid given to Syrian fighters as an example of Israeli selflessness.  The problem is that these Syrians are Jihadist murderers of Ahrar al Sham and al-Nusra.  What is more pertinent is that Israel has refused to take a single Syrian refugee because non-Jewish refugees are a threat to Israel’s racial purity.

What this demonstrates is that despite the millions of dollars invested in pro-Israel propaganda, you cannot beautify an ugly duckling or a detestable regime.

Tony Greenstein

‘Devastating’ survey shows huge loss of Israel support among Jewish college students

Brand Israel Group raises the alarm on a widening gap in the US between older supporters and the increasingly pro-Palestinian next generation

More than a decade ago, a diverse focus group of Americans was asked to describe a typical Italian house. Words like “lush, food, cooking, maternal, welcoming” quickly rolled of the tongue. The same group was asked about an Israeli home and a very different vibe was described: “concrete, strict, ultra-religious, middle-aged ultra-Orthodox men.”

This 2005 focus group was commissioned to explore the underlying image of Israel in the American psyche. The unanimous perception was a conflict-driven country filled with religious fundamentalists.

Not exactly a country they were keen on visiting — or supporting.

The loose consortium of volunteer marketing and advertising executives who commissioned the study now falls under the Brand Israel Group (BIG) rubric. While each member of this heterogeneous Mad Men coalition had his or her own reasons for wishing to change Americans’ innate view of Israel, for Fern Oppenheim, co-founder of Brand Israel Group, her tipping point came after the September 11, 2001, World Trade Center attacks.

The child of Holocaust survivors, Oppenheim said she awoke from her sense of Jewish security that day. “I never thought I’d smell smoke living in New York,” she said in Jerusalem this week.

 
In this September 11, 2001, file photo, thick smoke billows into the sky from the area behind the Statue of Liberty, lower left, where the World Trade Center towers stood. (AP Photo/Daniel Hulshizer)

Her safety bubble popped, Oppenheim decided to throw her support — and skills — behind Israel. With her extensive marketing and management background at such companies as Kraft/General Foods, Oppenheim began to use her professional prowess to help the Jewish state, which she calls “the canary in the coal mine.”

The team had a revolutionary approach: Instead of the Jewish community’s typical “shooting from the hip,” said Oppenheim, the high-level marketing execs “rolled up their sleeves to get a research-based understanding” of mainstream Americans’ perceptions of Israel, and only then to create a strategy based on their research.

Since its initial coalescence in 2002, Brand Israel has commissioned a large-scale segmentation study in 2010 and a followup in 2016. For anyone with the slightest Zionist impulse, the downward slope of Israel support is disturbing.

While in Israel to present the recent 2016 BIG segmentation study, “Sounding the Alarm: The American-Israeli Relationship,” Oppenheim repeatedly used the word “devastating” — each time without hyperbole.

 
At UOIT outside Toronto, Students for Justice in Palestine activists staff their information table, 2016 (UOIT’s SJP chapter Facebook page)

In sum, the gap between Israel-supporters and detractors is widening. The current Israel advocacy programs are not working, and Jewish college students are the leading defectors from Israel support.

‘The future of America no longer believe that Israel shares their values’

Mainstream Americans are not starting from a neutral perspective on Israel; rather, they begin with misperceptions and negative assumptions. This creates “fertile ground” for delegitimization, said Oppenheim, who also spoke this week at the prestigious annual Herzliya Conference.

The 2016 segmentation study’s data shows that the current campaign of depicting the Israel beyond the conflict — specifically, highlighting high-tech achievements — is not effective. In fact, the more the study participants knew about Israel, the less favorably they felt about the country.

According to the report’s executive summary, since 2010, claimed knowledge of Israel has increased 14 percentage points nationally (from 23% to 37%) and is up among every demographic group (except for college students, where it is down 16 percentage points, from 50% to 34%). These increases, however, have not translated into increased favorability, which is down 14 percentage points (from 76% to 62%) nationally and by large margins across the board.

 
Fern Oppenheim, the co-founder of Brand Israel Group, ‘The paradigm of Israel beyond the conflict is not the right paradigm for capturing hearts and souls.’ (Amanda Borschel-Dan/Times of Israel)

“The paradigm of Israel beyond the conflict is not the right paradigm for capturing hearts and souls,” she said.

The key is to emphasize common values. To change an attitude about Israel, the camera needs to be pulled back to show the full face of the country and its people, she said. When Israel is an issue, and not a country filled with an incredibly diverse population, the field is open for boycott campaigns and other delegitimizing efforts.

Shared values have been the bedrock of the American-Israeli relationship. Without this connection, the future of the alliance is in jeopardy,” claims the BIG group. And the biggest value gap is between core Israel supporters — basically older, wealthier, more conservative, whiter Americans — and those who are labeled as “at-risk” — younger, minorities, liberals.

The picture is even more dire when looking at the next generation of potential Jewish leadership. Between the 2010 and the 2016 surveys, Jewish college students dropped 27 percentage points on the question of whether they lean towards the Israeli side.

This is explained, said Oppenheim, by a perceived lack of shared values between the ultra-liberal Jewish college student and Israel.

 
On December 15, 2015, more than 300 Jewish activists in Boston marched for the Black Lives Matter movement, including members of Jewish Voice for Peace (photo credit: Ignacio Laguarda/Wicked Local)

“The future of America no longer believe that Israel shares their values. This is huge! Devastating,” she said.

According to the survey, 31% of Jewish students reported experiencing anti-Semitism; of that bunch, 59% say it was related to anti-Israel attitudes. But these experiences generally do not sway their opinions of Israel.

“The Jewish college student is the only group more favorable to Palestinians” now, rising 18 percentage points between 2010 and 2016, she said.

Much of this change she blamed on the rise of “intersectionality” on campuses. There is no longer nuance in campus conversations about Israel, she said. Instead, the “atmosphere is oppressor versus victim. Israel is just another symbol of this.”

Despite the plethora of organizations, campus advocacy does not appear to reach these students’ hearts. Using a morbid example, she said, “No one didn’t think that [Nazi “Angel of Death” Josef] Mengele wasn’t a brilliant scientist. But he was a monster. We need to drill down that Israelis are people” — not just high-tech geniuses.

We are allowing Israel to be defined by its detractors,” she emphasized.

 
Israeli military medics assist wounded Syrians on April 6, 2017. Seven wounded Syrians who crossed into Israel on Thursday night received immediate treatment and were hospitalized. They are the latest group of Syrians receiving free medical care through an Israeli military program operating since 2013. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

Instead of stating dry facts, professionals must highlight Israel’s decency, morality and the diversity of the Israeli society in general — and in the context of the conflict — to be heard.

To give one example, former head of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh sent his granddaughter to Israel “because Israel is too decent to turn her away. People need to know this,” said Oppenheim.

In terms of practical solutions, Oppenheim suggested increasing the number of people who visit Israel at a younger age, and even starting prophylactic Birthright-Taglit trips before university.

“The sands under our feet are shifting,” said Oppenheim. “It is clear that the divide in our community is here for the next generation.”

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Resist This: The United States Is At War With Syria

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By Jim Kavanaugh | The Polemicist 

The United States is at war with Syria. Though few Americans wanted to face it, this has been the case implicitly since the Obama administration began building bases and sending Special Ops, really-not-there, American troops, and it has been the case explicitly since August 3, 2015, when the Obama administration announced that it would “allow airstrikes to defend Syrian rebels trained by the U.S. military from any attackers, even if the enemies hail from forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.” With the U.S. Air Force—under Trump, following Obama’s declared policy—shooting down a Syrian plane in Syrian airspace, this is now undeniable.  The United States is overtly engaged in another aggression against a sovereign country that poses no conceivable, let alone actual or imminent, threat to the nation. This is an act of war.

As an act of war, this is unconstitutional, and would demand a congressional declaration. The claim, touted by Joint Chiefs’ Chairman, Gen. Dunford, that the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against al-Qaeda provides constitutional justification for attacking the Syrian government is patently false and particularly precious. In the Syrian conflict, it’s the Syrian government that is the enemy and target of al-Qaeda affiliates; it’s the U.S. and its allies who are supporting al Qaeda. The authorization to fight al-Qaeda has been turned into an authorization to help al-Qaeda by attacking and weakening its prime target!

Will President Trump ask for a relevant congressional authorization? Will any Democratic or Republican congresscritter demand it? Is the Pope a Hindu?

Would it make any difference? Why should Trump bother? Obama set the stage when he completely ignored the War Powers Act, the Constitution, Congress, and his own Attorney General and legal advisers, and went right ahead with a war on Libya, under the theory that, if we pretend no American troops are on the ground, it isn’t really a war or “hostilities” at all. Which I guess means if the Chinese Air Force starts shooting down American planes in American airspace in defense of Black Lives Matter’s assault on the White House, it wouldn’t really be engaging in an act of war.

It’s impossible to overstate the danger in these executive war-making prerogatives that Obama normalized—with the irresponsible connivance of his progressive groupies, who pretend not to know where this would lead. In 2012, referring to the precedent of Obama’s policies, Mitt Romney said: “I don’t believe at this stage, therefore, if I’m president that we need to have a war powers approval or special authorization for military force. The president has that capacity now.” Following Obama, for Trump, and every Republican and Democratic president, it now goes without saying.

In terms of international law, as an aggressive, unprovoked aggression against a country that makes no threat of attack on the U.S., it is also patently illegal, and all the political and military authorities undertaking it are war criminals, who would be prosecuted as such, if there were an international legal regime that had not already been undermined by the United States.

Syria is now under explicit attack by the armed forces of the U.S., Turkey, and other NATO states. Sixteen countries have combat aircraft buzzing around Syrian airspace under the effective command of the United States, and a number of them have attacked Syria’s army.

Americans, and certainly self-identified “progressives,” have to be crystal clear about this: American armed forces have no right to be in Syria, have no right to restrict the Syrian government from using any of its airspace, or to prevent it from regaining control of any of its own territory from foreign-backed jihadi armies.

The Syrian state and its allies (Iran and Russia), on the other hand, are engaged in the legitimate self-defense of a sovereign state, and have the right to respond with full military force to any attack on Syrian forces or any attempt by the United States to balkanize or occupy Syrian territory, or to overthrow the Syrian government. Whether and how they do respond will depend on their own military/political calculus, about which they have so far been quite careful and restrained. It would be the height of foolishness, as well as arrogance, for Americans to presume they can bully these actors into submission with an infinite series of discrete aggressions, with no sharp counterattack. Unfortunately, the world has not yet seen the limits of American arrogance.

So please, do not pretend to be shocked, shocked, if Syria and its allies fight back, inflicting American casualties. Don’t pose as the morally superior victim when Americans are killed by the people they are attacking. And don’t be preaching about how everyone has to support our troops in a criminal, unconstitutional, aggressive attack on a country that has not threatened ours in any way. American soldiers and pilots executing this policy are not heroes, and are not fighting to protect America or advance democracy; they are the international equivalent of home invaders, and as such are legitimate targets with no claim to “self-defense.” The only heroic act they could do is refuse their superiors’ illegitimate orders to engage in this aggression.

In response to American attacks, the Syrian Army has every right to strike back at the American military apparatus, everywhere. Every casualty of this war, however big it gets, is the ethico-political responsibility of the attacking party – US. The first responsibility of every American is not to “support our troops,” but to stop this war. Right now. Before it gets worse.

It’s quite obvious, in fact, that the United States regime is deliberately making targets of its military personnel, in the hopes of provoking a response from Syrian or allied armed forces that will kill some Americans, and be used to gin up popular support for exactly the kind of major military attack on Syria and/or Russia and/or Iran that the American people would otherwise reject with disgust. Anyone who professes concern for “our troops” should be screaming to stop that.

It’s also quite clear now that the War on ISIS is a sham, that ISIS was always just a pretext to get the American military directly involved in attacking the Syrian army and destroying the coherence of the Syrian state. If the U.S. wanted to defeat ISIS, it could do so easily by coordinating their actions with, and not against, the forces who have been most effectively fighting it: the Syrian Arab Army, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah.

Instead, it’s attacking the Syrian army precisely because it has been defeating ISIS and other jihadi forces, and regaining its own territory and control of its own border with Iraq. The U.S. does not want that to happen. At the very least—if it cannot immediately engender that massive offensive to overthrow the Baathist government—the U.S. wants to control part of the border with Iraq and to occupy a swath of eastern Syria. It wants to establish permanent bases from which to provision and protect jihadi armies, achieving a de facto partitioning of the Syrian state, maintaining a constant state of armed attack against the Damascus government, and reducing Syria to a weakened, rump state that can never present any effective resistance to American, Israeli, or Saudi designs on the region.

This is extremely dangerous, since the Syrians, Russians, and Iranians seem determined not to let this happen. Consistent with his own incompetence and his admiration for tough guys, Trump seems to have abrogated authority to his generals to make decisions of enormous political consequence. Perhaps that’s why aggressive actions like the shoot-down of the Syrian plane have been occurring more frequently, and why it’s not likely they’ll abate. There’s a dynamic in motion that will inevitably lead each side to confront a choice of whether to back down, in a way that’s obvious, or escalate. Generals aren’t good at backing down. A regional or global war is a real possibility and becomes more likely with every such incident.

Though most American politicians and media outlets do not want to say it (and therefore, most citizens cannot see it clearly enough), such a war is the objective of a powerful faction of the Deep State which has been persistent and determined in seeking it. If the generals are loath to back down in a battle, the neocons are adamant about not backing down on their plans for the Middle East. They will not be stopped by anything less than overwhelming popular resistance and international pushback.

The upside of these attacks on Syrian forces is that they wipe the lipstick off the pig of the American project in Syria. It’s a regime-change, nation-destroying war that has nothing to do with democracy or human rights, and everything to do with the anti-democratic, chaos-creating designs of the most nefarious regimes in the region and the world. Everyone—European countries who profess concern for international law and stability, and the American people who are fed up with constant wars that have no benefit for them—can see exactly what kind of blatant aggression is unfolding, and decide whether they want to go along with it.

In that regard, any self-identified “liberal” or “progressive” American—and particularly any such American politician—who spent (and may still spend) their political energy attacking Bush, et. al., for that crazy war in Iraq, and who goes along with, or hesitates to immediately and energetically denounce this war, which is already underway, is a political hypocrite, resisting nothing but the obvious.

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Ever Closer to War

NOVANEWS

By Brian CLOUGHLEY | Strategic Culture Foundation 

The Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has warned that the likelihood of a catastrophic nuclear war is closer than since 1953. As explained by the Bulletin, in 1947 it devised the Doomsday Clock «using the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion (countdown to zero) to convey threats to humanity and the planet».

Each year «the decision to move (or to leave in place) the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock is made by the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 15 Nobel laureates». In 1953 the Clock was at two minutes to midnight. In the worst years of the cold war it was at 3 minutes to midnight when, in 1984 it was recorded that «US-Soviet relations reach their iciest point in decades. Dialogue between the two superpowers virtually stops. Every channel of communications has been constricted or shut down; every form of contact has been attenuated or cut off…»

And now, in 2017, it is apparent that channels of communication with Russia are being deliberately cut off — and the hands of the Doomsday Clock have been placed at just two-and-a-half minutes from midnight.

Disaster looms.

And as it looms, the United States Senate is heightening its global confrontational approach and announced that it intends to penalise Russia for a number of supposed misdemeanours.

Senator Lindsey Graham told CBS News that the Senate will «punish Russia for interfering in our elections» — concerning which allegation there has not been one shred of proof provided by anyone. All-embracing inquiries are under way, of course, but be assured that if there were the slightest, tiniest, most microscopic morsel of actual proof of any interference, it would by now have been leaked to the media and made headline news.

Senator Graham excelled himself by telling President Trump, via CBS News, that «You’re the commander in chief. You need to stand up to Russia. We’re never going to reset our relationship with Russia until we punish them for trying to destroy democracy. And that starts with more sanctions».

Then the CBS interviewer brought up the subject of the many inquiries into allegations of Trump-Russia plotting and mentioned that a Democrat had said the investigations were a «fishing expedition… What’s your response to that?»

The Senator replied «That’s not your, none of your business. We’re going to do what we think is best. The Russians interfered in our election. They’re doing it all over the world. No evidence yet that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians. I don’t believe the president colluded with the Russians, just because of the way he behaves. There’s zero evidence that President Trump did anything wrong with the Russians. There’s overwhelming evidence that Russia is trying to destroy democracy here and abroad. And if you forgive and forget with Putin, you’re going to get more of the same and you’re going to entice Iran and China to come in 2018 and 2020».

The US Senate believes there is «zero evidence» that President Trump had help from Russia in his election campaign — which is true — but also thinks there is «overwhelming evidence» that Russia is trying to influence voting in America, although there is not a shred of proof to that effect.

The Senator spoke with the authority, force and majesty of the US Senate, and the world has to accept that his pronouncements represent the wishes of the legislators of his mighty nation which is intent on imposing harsher sanctions on Russia. As observed by Forbes, the new Bill «punishes Russian oil and gas firms even more than the current sanctions regime… Russia has no friends on Capitol Hill».

It is intriguing that the sanctions focus on oil and gas production, and Bloomberg reported that Germany and Austria consider «the measures sought to bolster US economic interests and included an unacceptable intervention in the region’s energy sector». In an unprecedented expression — indeed, explosion — of disapproval, Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austria’s Chancellor Christian Kern said in a joint statement that «Europe’s energy supply is a matter for Europe, not the United States of America… instruments for political sanctions should not be tied to economic interests» and that the Senate’s amendment heralded a «new and very negative quality in European-American relations».

As London’s Financial Times reported, «the Russia sanctions outline opposition to Nord Stream 2, a pipeline that will double capacity for Gazprom… to supply gas to Europe under the Baltic Sea. The measures could affect European energy companies, including Shell, Engie and OMV, which are financing the pipeline. Shares in all four companies tumbled on Thursday».

Washington’s mission of lucrative destruction was partly achieved, but that’s where we come to the essence of the matter. The part of the Sanctions Bill involving Russia was an add-on to a series of vindictive measures against Iran, but it seemed a good idea to also sanction Russia’s oil and gas production, because nobody would benefit more than the oil and gas companies of the United States.

Bloomberg explained that the Nord Stream pipeline «would compete with US exports of liquefied natural gas to Europe». And the Senate made it plain that the US government «should prioritize the export of United States energy resources in order to create American jobs, help United States allies and partners, and strengthen United States foreign policy».

It’s difficult to see how the Senate’s arrogant dabbling might «help allies and partners,» but those in America who own energy resources and want to continue making vast profits continue to help their allies and partners in the Senate and the House. Without their financial support, many legislators would never have got to Washington.

As recorded by Open Secrets, companies closely associated with oil and gas production gave US politicians over fifty million dollars in 2015-2016 to help their democratic election:

Top Contributors, 2015-2016

Contributor Amount
Koch Industries $9,501,803
Chevron Corp $5,116,216
Ariel Corp $4,809,612
Stewart & Stevenson $4,127,231
Western Refining $4,067,802
Petrodome Energy $3,000,000
Chief Oil & Gas $2,977,493
Hunt Companies $2,709,917
Marathon Petroleum $2,398,781
Edison Chouest Offshore $2,198,872
Energy Transfer Equity $2,164,853
Kinder Morgan Inc $2,112,160
American Petroleum Institute $2,085,345
Exxon Mobil $2,065,787
Occidental Petroleum $1,855,908
Devon Energy $1,811,364
Otis Eastern $1,733,017
Honeywell International $1,461,284
Anadarko Petroleum $1,343,741
Red Apple Group $1,218,312

Source: By kind permission of the Center for Responsive Politics

And Senator Lindsay Graham was given a bundle by many commercial organisations, headed by Nelson, Mullins, whose $254,247 in 1993-2016 no doubt helped him along the way. Nelson Mullins, incidentally, has attorneys who «have experience in advising electrical and pipeline providers on legal matters». Then he got $175,605 from SCANA, which is «a $9 billion energy-based holding company, based in Cayce, South Carolina… Its businesses include… natural gas utility operations and other energy-related businesses». Another of Senator Graham’s generous sponsors is the Fluor Corporation ($94,801) which «understands the critical success factors driving onshore oil and gas production and terminal businesses, providing practical solutions to maximize project investment».

It doesn’t matter to these people, or to the legislators they’ve bought with their donations, that the Doomsday Clock has ticked closer to the midnight of Armageddon, and that the hostile approach of the United States is alienating a proud nation that can take only so much before it reacts against Washington’s aggressive confrontation. The sleazy hypocrisy of US legislators is legendary, but it is their ignorance greed and arrogance that are worrying.

While Senator Graham was dancing to the tune of his oil angels, the Washington Post reported that seven percent of American adults believe chocolate milk comes from brown cows. That is «16.4 million misinformed, milk-drinking people». The representative of FoodCorps which encourages sensible nourishment said this was unfortunate, and «We still get kids who are surprised that a French fry comes from a potato, or that a pickle is a cucumber. Knowledge is power. Without it, we can’t make informed decisions».

Just like the US Senate.

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US police arrest anti-nuclear weapons activists at UN

NOVANEWS
Image result for nuclear weapons CARTOON

A number of anti-nuclear weapons activists have been arrested in New York during a protest against Washington’s decision to boycott negotiations on a nuclear weapons ban treaty.

The arrests were made after the activists chanting slogans such as “US join the talks, ban the bomb,” blocked the entrances to the US mission to the United Nations.

The protesters sat in front of the doors before the police moved in. police said they warned the demonstrators that they would be arrested if they did not leave the place.

In March, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced that the United States, Britain and France had decided not to join talks on a nuclear weapons ban treaty.

The United Nations is currently holding a second round of negotiations about the issue.

The world body adopted a resolution in December to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading toward their total elimination and encouraged all member states to participate.

A total of 113 nations voted in favor of the resolution but 35 countries, including the United States, Britain and France, voted against it. Thirteen countries abstained.

According to the US military’s recent declaration, the United States has 806 deployed ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missile), SLBMs (submarine-launched ballistic missile), and heavy bombers as well as 1,722 deployed nuclear warheads.

The Pentagon is also equipped with a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV), a highly advanced version of the intercontinental nuclear missile carrying several independent warheads.

Posted in USA, UN0 Comments

The Privatization of Nuclear War ”VIDEO”

NOVANEWS

Image result for Nuclear War CARTOON

GlobalResearchTV

Posted in USA, Russia0 Comments

Zionist regime Dirty Little Secret

NOVANEWS

Image result for Israel Dirty Little State Cartoon

Israel’s Dirty Little Secret

How it drives US policies exploiting a spineless Congress and White House

By Philip Giraldi 

At a recent panel discussion in Washington, screenwriter, film director and producer Oliver Stone briefly addressed the issue of alleged Russian interference in the recent national election, observing that “Israel interfered in the U.S. election far more than Russia and nobody is investigating them.” A few days later, in an interview with Stephen Colbert on the Late Show, Stone returned to the theme, responding to an aggressive claim that Russia had interfered in the election by challenging Colbert with “Israel had far more involvement in the U.S. election than Russia. Why don’t you ask me about that?”

Don’t look for the exchange with Colbert on YouTube. CBS deleted it from its broadcast and website, demonstrating once again that the “I” word cannot be disparaged on national television. Stone was, of course, referring to the fact that the Israel Lobby, most notably acting through its American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is undeniably a foreign lobby, no less so than anyone representing the presumed interests of Russia or China. It operates with complete impunity on Capitol Hill and also at state and local levels and no one dares to require it to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, which would permit scrutiny of its finances and also end its tax-exempt “educational” status. Nor does Congress or the media see fit to inquire into AIPAC’s empowerment of candidates based on their fidelity to Israel, not to mention the direct interference in the American electoral process which surfaced most visibly in its support of candidate Mitt Romney in 2012.

The last president that sought to compel the predecessor organization of AIPAC to register was John F. Kennedy, who also was about to take steps to rein in Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program when he was assassinated, which was a lucky break for Israel, particularly as Kennedy was replaced by the passionate Zionist Lyndon Baines Johnson. Funny how things sometimes work out. The Warren Commission looked deeply into a possible Cuban connection in the shooting and came up with nothing but one has to wonder if they also investigated the possible roles of other countries. Likewise, the 9/11 Commission Report failed to examine the possible involvement of Israel in the terrorist attack in spite of a considerable body of evidence suggesting that there were a number of Israeli-sourced covert operations running in the U.S. at that time.

Looking back from the perspective of his more than 40 years of military service, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer described the consequences of Jewish power vis-à-vis U.S. policy towards Israel, stating that “I’ve never seen a president – I don’t care who he is – stand up to them [the Israelis]. It just boggles your mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the time. I got to the point where I wasn’t writing anything down. If the American people understood what a grip those people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms. Our citizens don’t have any idea what goes on.”

He also addressed the 1967 Israeli assault on the USS Liberty, saying “Israel attempted to prevent the Liberty’s radio operators from sending a call for help by jamming American emergency radio channels. [And that] Israeli torpedo boats machine-gunned lifeboats at close range that had been lowered to rescue the most-seriously wounded.” He concluded with “our government put Israel’s interests ahead of our own? If so, Why? Does our government continue to subordinate American interests to Israeli interests?”

It is a question that might well be asked today, as the subservience to Israeli interests is, if anything, more pervasive in 2017 Washington than it was in 2002 when Moorer spoke up. And, as in Moorer’s day, much of the partiality towards Israel makes its way through congress with little or no media coverage lest anyone begin to wonder whose tail is wagging which dog. To put it succinctly, there is an Israeli hand in much of what the United States does internationally, and the involvement is not intended to do anything good for the American people.

During the past several weeks alone there has been a flurry of legislation backed by Israel and its Lobby. One bill might actually have been written by AIPAC. It is called Senate 722, Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017. The bill has 63 co-sponsors, most of whom are the usual suspects, but it also included an astonishingly large number of Democrats who describe themselves as progressive, including Corey Booker and Kamila Harris, both of whom are apparently terrified lest they say “no” to Israel. With 63 co-sponsors out of 100 senators the bill was certain to pass overwhelmingly, and it was indeed approved 98 to 2, with only Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders voting “no.”

And there’s more to S.722 than Iran – it’s subtitle is “An act to provide congressional review and to counter Iranian and Russian governments’ aggression.” Much of it is designed to increase sanctions on both Iran and Russia while also limiting the White House’s ability to relieve any sanctions without approval by congress. Regarding Iran, the bill mandates that “Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 2 years thereafter, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Director of National Intelligence shall jointly develop and submit to the appropriate congressional committees a strategy for deterring conventional and asymmetric Iranian activities and threats that directly threaten the United States and key allies in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond.”

The premise is of course nonsensical as Iran’s ability to threaten anyone, least of all the United States, is limited. It is far outgunned by its neighbors and even more so by the U.S., but it has become the enemy of choice for congress as well as for the former generals who serve as White House advisers. The animus against Iran comes directly from Israel and from the Saudi Arabians, who have managed to sell their version of developments in their part of the world through a completely acquiescent and heavily Jewish influenced western media.

And there’s more. A bill has surfaced in the House of Representatives that will require the United States to “consult” with Israel regarding any prospective arms sales to Arab countries in the Middle East. In other words, Israel will have a say, backed up undoubtedly by Congress and the media, over what the United States does in terms of its weapons sales abroad. The sponsors of the bill, one Brad Schneider of Illinois, and Claudia Tenney of New York, want “closer scrutiny of future military arms sales” to maintain the “qualitative military edge” that Israel currently enjoys.

Schneider is, of course, Jewish and a life member of AIPAC, so it is hardly as if he is a disinterested party. Tenny runs for office in New York State, so it is hardly as if she is disinterested either, but the net result of all this is that American jobs and U.S. international security arrangements through weapons sales will be at least in part subject to Israeli veto. And you know that is precisely what will happen as Israel could give a damn what happens to the struggling American entity that it so successfully feeds off of.

And there’s still more. Bill HR 672 Combating European Anti-Semitism Act of 2017 was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives on June 14th. Yes, I said “unanimously.” The bill requires the State Department of monitor what European nations and their police forces are doing about anti-Semitism and encourages them to adopt “a uniform definition of anti-Semitism.” That means that criticism of Israel must be considered anti-Semitism and will therefore be a hate crime and prosecutable, a status that is already de facto true in Britain and France. If the Europeans don’t play ball, there is the possibility of repercussions in trade negotiations. The bill was co-sponsored by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from Florida and Nita Lowey of New York, both of whom are Jewish.

There is also a Senate companion bill on offer in the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act of 2017. The bill will make the Anti-Semitism Envoy a full American Ambassador and will empower him or her with a full staff and a budget permitting meddling worldwide. The bill is sponsored by Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Marco Rubio of Florida. Gillibrand is unlikely to miss co-sponsoring anything relating to Israel due to her own self-interest and Rubio wants to be president real bad so he is following the money.

And finally, the U.S. Senate has also approved a resolution celebrating the 50th anniversary of Israel’s conquest of East Jerusalem. Again, the vote was unanimous. The resolution was co-sponsored by Senators Charles Schumer and Mitch McConnell, two reptiles who give snakes a bad name and about whom the less said the better. Schumer is Jewish and has described himself as the “shomer” or guardian of Israel in the Senate. That the resolution opposes long established U.S. government policy that the occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank by Israel is in contravention of international law and is an impediment to any peace process with the Palestinians apparently bothered not even one Senator.

I might note in passing that there has been no Senate resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bravery exhibited by the officers and crew of the USS Liberty as they were being slaughtered by the Israelis at the same time as Jerusalem was being “liberated.” There is probably even more to say, to include secret agreements with the Pentagon and intelligence agencies, but I will stop at this point with one final observation. President Donald Trump traveled to the Middle East claiming to be desirous of starting serious negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, but it was all a sham. Benjamin Netanyahu took him aside and came out with the usual Israeli bullshit about the Palestinians “inciting” violence and hatred of Jews and Trump bought into it. He then went to see Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and shouted at him for being a liar and opposed to peace based on what Netanyahu had told him. That is what passes for even-handed in the U.S. government, no matter who is president. A few days later the Israelis announced the building of the largest bloc of illegal new settlements on the West Bank since 1992, an action that they claim is being coordinated with Washington.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon once boasted about owning the United States. I guess he was right.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, Russia0 Comments

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