US to sign record $38bn military aid deal with Nazi regime

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Image result for US JEWISH LOBBY LOGO

The US has reportedly agreed a $38 billion package to deliver military aid to the Jewish Nazi regime over the next 10 years, with the pact expected to be signed “within days.” The deal will become the biggest pledge of US military assistance to another country in history.

The new aid package will see I$raHell receive $3.8 billion per year from Washington, an increase of $700 million from the current $3.1 billion, sources told Reuters. However, the figure fell short of the annual $4.5 billion that Nazi Prime Minister Benjamin Naziyahu had been seeking.

Following the negotiations Nazi regime says it will not seek extra funding from the US. A previous agreement that allowed the Nazi regime to spend just over a quarter of the aid given by Washington on weapons from its domestic defense industry, instead of from the US, will be also phased out.

The terms of the deal, which is classed as a memorandum of understanding (MOU), will also include money for Nazi missile defense program. This had previously been funded by Congress on an informal basis. A source told Reuters that the pact is expected to be signed “within days.”

However the new MOU will not be signed between President Barack Obama and Naziyahu, who have had a frosty relationship due to the US leader’s support for last year’s Iranian nuclear deal, which was bitterly opposed by the Nazi regime. Lower-ranking officials will sign the paperwork, as has been the case with previous deals.

The plan for an increase in military aid to I$raHell has enjoyed strong support in Congress. In April, 83 US Senators – 51 Republicans and 32 Democrats – sent a letter to the White House urging an increase in financial support. The effort was spearheaded by South Carolina Republican Zionist puppet Lindsey Graham and Delaware Democrat Zionist puppet Chris Coons.

“In light of Israel’s dramatically rising defense challenges, we stand ready to support a substantially enhanced new long-term agreement to help provide Israel the resources it requires to defend itself and preserve its qualitative military edge,” the letter said.

It is believed that Naziyahu agreed to the deal before November’s US presidential election to avoid uncertainties surrounding what will happen when the new leader takes office.

Not everyone has been impressed with the military aid package set to be signed between the two allies. A Washington DC non-profit group is suing the US government, challenging its authority to provide the Nazi regime with foreign aid and arguing that its status – a nuclear power which did not sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty – means that aiding it contravenes US law.

“This lawsuit is not about foreign policy. It is about the rule of law, presidential power, the structural limits of the US Constitution, and the right of the public to understand the functions of government and informed petition of the government for redress,” stated the complaint filed by Grant F. Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy (IRmep).

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How the Clintons Destroyed and Impoverished Haiti

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Hillary’s “Dream Government” and Haiti’s Pay-to-Play “Recovery Commission” (IHRC)
 
clinton

From its inception, and well before it made $10 billion of earthquake aid money disappear, Bill and Hillary Clinton’s Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) was a vicious joke on Haitians. The original name, Commission Intérimaire pour la Reconstruction d’Haïti, should have been simply translated as Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti. After all, it was the commission that was temporary, not Haiti. There was also no need to change the word reconstruction to the vague term recovery, unless one deliberately wanted to suggest the collection of something. As the I-HRC, however, the organization not only acquired Hillary Rodham Clinton’s initials but also boasted that it would scoop up Haiti’s reconstruction funds and turn the world’s first black republic into a temporary construct. If Mrs. Clinton has become a zombie and the “I” in I-HRC has faded, this could easily be interpreted as a sign of the Haitian gods’ wicked sense of humor.

The great writer Toni Morrison once described Bill Clinton as “our first black President,” because of his background as a poor boy in Arkansas from a single-parent home, his fondness for junk food, and the political attacks on his sexuality. If so, then he has graduated to being the first black-American dictator of Haiti. For six years of a full dictatorship of the Clintons and their surrogates, on earthquake anniversaries Haitians at home and in the diaspora have made a ritual of searching through the rubble for the reconstruction funds that were donated by good people from all around the world. “Where did the money go?” everyone asks. The answer is simple: for a while it probably sat in the Swiss and Caribbean offshore banks where dictators stash their loots.

In 2012, the United States presidential elections cost a record $2.6 billion. The Republican challenger Mitt Romney raised $0.99 billion, and the Democratic incumbent Barack Obama managed to raise an unprecedented $1.07 billion. Both politicians are regarded as champion fundraisers because of their feats. In 2016, by all estimates, the cost of the US presidential elections doubled or quadrupled to about $5-10 billion. This is the most expensive presidential bid in history, and Hillary Clinton has vastly outspent Donald Trump. Where did the money come from?

As of August 22, 2016, Clinton had officially raised only $0.436 billion, and her top six donors had contributed about one tenth of these funds. Donald Trump, for his part, had raised $0.129 billion, and the money from his top six contributors amounted to $0.011 billion. These sums fell quite short of the money being spent by the two politicians, especially Clinton, who had already spent about $0.1 billion on television advertisements alone by the end of August and had planned to spend $0.077 billion more for advertisements in September and October. Furthermore, Mrs. Clinton has relied on a large and well-paid entourage that has probably included medical personnel, and during her busy campaign schedule, she has used private airplanes like some of us take buses and taxis. Most of the money for her campaign has probably come as “disbursements,” which are not counted as carefully as money donations. These include out-of-pocket funds from the candidates and friendly donations of various services. Such disbursements have obscured the engine of the 2016 US elections to an unprecedented degree.

It is not possible to raise billions to tens of billions of dollars legitimately for political campaigns. More and more, in the West and in emerging market economies, these astronomical sums for elections are extracted from unsuspecting taxpayers. We have Brazil to thank for some insights into the machinations of politicians to finance their campaigns. In Brazil, the state energy company, Petrobras, was granting contracts to construction companies with the understanding that a percentage of the funds would be applied to the campaigns of various corrupt politicians. The money-laundering scandal, which involved more than $15 billion and led to President Dilma Rousseffs impeachment, is estimated to have touched every political party and 70 percent of the country’s ministers and legislators.

For the Clintons, the boon from Haiti’s earthquake of January 12, 2010, came while HRC was Secretary of State, and Bill Clinton was the United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti. As soon as massive numbers of Americans began to donate small sums of money for earthquake relief, Bill and Hillary Clinton transformed themselves into the face of Haiti. In their most calculated compassionate voices, they told stories about their marvelous honeymoon on the island and implored the public for donations. In reality, in the US State Department, the mood was celebratory. The US Ambassador to Haiti, Kenneth Merten, had cheerfully titled a section of his situation report THE GOLD RUSH IS ON!

By March 8, 2010, Bill Clinton had applied sufficient pressure on President René Préval, to force Haiti’s Lower House to vote yes on a State of Emergency that would allow a group of rich donors to run the country for 18 months via the IHRC. During the same month, Hillary Clinton went to Montreal to raise money, ostensibly for Haiti’s reconstruction, and Bill Clinton went to Davos to collect the rich donors. The next month, Bill Clinton worked to push his project on Haiti’s Senate, where it was ironically called a coup d’état d’urgence. The Senate voted no on April 8, but President Préval insisted on another vote. In the next vote on April 13, 10 out of 25 senators stayed home to prevent a quorum. On April 14, Michelle Obama made a special trip to Haiti, and the next day the deal was done. The vote was 9 away, 2 abstaining, 1 no, and 13 yes. All but one of the yes votes had come from Préval’s party. Thus slightly more than three months after the earthquake, on April 21, 2010 the IHRC was inaugurated.

With the IHRC, the Clintons established in Haiti their dream government, which I described, when I first observed it, as  pay-to-play,” meaning: an unelected government where political participation is based on money invested. In the IHRC, there were two parts: one foreign and the other Haitian. Bill Clinton chaired the foreign section, which included the representatives of 14 donors [US, European Union (EU), France, Canada, Brazil, Venezuela, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), United Nations, World Bank, Organization of American States, CARICOM, the private donors, the diaspora, and the NGOs]. Each donor had to pledge to the IHRC $0.10 billion over two years or forgive $0.20 billion of Haitian debt.

The poorer, Haitian, section of the IHRC had only seven members. Haiti’s Prime Minister, Jean-Max Bellerive, formally led it as the nominal Co-Chair of the IHRC. The other six members were President Préval, who was allowed only a symbolic veto, plus one person each to represent the Lower House, Senate, judiciary, business sector, and unions. Every Haitian member had to be approved by the foreigners, and Clinton ran all the show.

As the reconstruction money poured in, the IHRC became increasingly arrogant and opaque. According to the IHRC charter, Clinton and Bellerive gained the right of final approval over all major construction projects in Haiti. In addition, they even gave themselves the power to grant titles. Meanwhile, Haitian ministers and elected officials were blocked from IHRC meetings because they were “not on the list.”

The IHRC is estimated to have collected $5.3 billion over two years and $9.9 billion over three years, without reconstructing much of anything. This represents more than five times the money that the Clintons have collected by other mechanisms like the Clinton Foundation or Laureate University. Bill Clinton has claimed at various times that he only received 10 percent of the funds that had been pledged to the IHRC, but even if this were true, a vast sum of money would still have disappeared. By July 2011, Haiti’s Ministry of Public Works, Transportation and Communication (MPTC) had approved $3.2 billion of IHRC projects, but only $0.084 billion (2.6 percent) worth of projects had been completed.

In a meeting of the Senate Public Works Committee with the MPTC on August 11, 2011, the Senate Committee Chair, William Jeanty, said that the IHRC had not only appropriated for its balance sheets the projects of several Haitian ministries but also claimed credit for financing MPTC projects that had been funded by the EU and IDB before the IHRC was formed! To date, the only notable IHRC project has been Caracol Industrial Park, a sweatshop complex in northern Haiti, well away from the earthquake damage. Its construction was financed byUSAID ($0.124 billion) and the IDB ($0.105 billion), and its unstated purpose was to force the construction of modern seaports and airports in northern Haiti to support mining. To create a few thousand slave-wage jobs, this industrial park built without regard to its environmental impact, has destroyed the homes of hundreds of farmers and polluted a pristine river and bay.

The IHRC barely lasted through its 18-month term. After this, Haitian politicians publicly declared it to be dysfunctional, and the Haitian Senate did not renew its mandate. On April 10, 2014, two Haitian lawyers, Newton Louis St. Juste and André Michel, filed a legal action against Bill Clinton in Haiti’s Superior Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes. On October 13, 2014, the court asked Clinton to provide an audit of the IHRC funds. Rather than abide by the court’s request, Clinton claimed immunity based on the fact that he had been the UN Special Envoy to Haiti.

It is unlikely that Haitians will ever recover the funds that have vanished into the IHRC, and that are now probably financing HRC’s campaign. At best, one might hope that Hillary Clinton will lose the election and thus be prevented from gathering more power. The big prize in her sights now is the United States, where she and Bill Clinton should be able to charge billions of dollars to each participant in a pay-to-play government. Political arguments about racial justice and the lesser evil entirely miss the point that in a pay-to-play government, those who are poor or even middle class, will count only for what they can furnish of themselves to the rich. This will certainly mean low wages, prisons, and an unprecedented predation on those who are directly hit by climate-change catastrophes. For Haitians at home and in the diaspora, who have seen the devil itself in I-HRC, she could never be a choice for anything. As for the ancestors: if they have their way with her, she will come close enough to the presidency to taste it, touch it and smell it, and then, she will lose it.

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US aid deal gives green light to the Nazi regime erasure of Palestine

NOVANEWS
US aid deal gives green light to Israel’s erasure of Palestine

Obama and Netanyahu smiling at each other

By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth

The announcement last week by the United States of the largest military aid package in its history – to Israel – was a win for both sides.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu could boast that his lobbying had boosted aid from USD 3.1 billion to USD 3.8bn a year – a 22 per cent increase – for a decade starting in 2019.

Netanyahu has presented this as a rebuff to those who accuse him of jeopardising Israeli security interests with his government’s repeated affronts to the White House.

In the past weeks alone, Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman has compared last year’s nuclear deal between Washington and Iran with the 1938 Munich pact, which bolstered Hitler; and Netanyahu has implied that US opposition to settlement expansion is the same as support for the “ethnic cleansing” of Jews.

American President Barack Obama, meanwhile, hopes to stifle his own critics who insinuate that he is anti-Israel. The deal should serve as a fillip too for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party’s candidate to succeed Obama in November’s election.

In reality, however, the Obama administration has quietly punished Netanyahu for his misbehaviour. Israeli expectations of a USD 4.5bn-a-year deal were whittled down after Netanyahu stalled negotiations last year as he sought to recruit Congress to his battle against the Iran deal.

In fact, Israel already receives roughly USD 3.8bn – if Congress’s assistance on developing missile defence programmes is factored in. Notably, Israel has been forced to promise not to approach Congress for extra funds.

Washington’s renewed military largesse – in the face of almost continual insults – inevitably fuels claims that the Israeli tail is wagging the US dog. Even the New York Times has described the aid package as “too big”.

Netanyahu’s agreement to such terms has incensed Israeli loyalists in Congress such as Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who had been fighting Netanyahu’s corner to win an even larger aid handout from US taxpayers. He accused the Israeli prime minister on Friday of having “pulled the rug from under us”.

As Ehud Barak, Netanyahu’s former defence minister, also pointed out in a series of TV interviews in Israel, the deal fails to take into account either inflation or the dollar’s depreciation against the shekel.

A bigger blow still is the White House’s demand to phase out a special exemption that allowed Israel to spend nearly 40 per cent of aid locally on weapon and fuel purchases. Israel will soon have to buy all its armaments from the US, ending what amounted to a subsidy to its own arms industry.

Netanyahu preferred to sign the deal now rather than wait till the next president is installed, even though Clinton and her Republican challenger, Donald Trump, are expected to be even more craven towards Israel. That appears to reflect Netanyahu’s fear that the US political environment will be more uncertain after the election and could lead to long delays in an agreement, and apprehension about the implications for Israel of Trump’s general opposition to foreign aid.

Nonetheless, Washington’s renewed military largesse – in the face of almost continual insults – inevitably fuels claims that the Israeli tail is wagging the US dog. Even the New York Times has described the aid package as “too big”.

Since the 1973 war, Israel has received at least USD 100bn in military aid, with more assistance hidden from view. Back in the 1970s, Washington paid half of Israel’s military budget. Today it still foots a fifth of the bill, despite Israel’s economic success.

But the US expects a return on its massive investment. As the late Israeli politician-general Ariel Sharon once observed, Israel has been a US “aircraft carrier” in the Middle East, acting as the regional bully and carrying out operations that benefit Washington.

Almost no one implicates the US in Israeli attacks that wiped out Iraq and Syria’s nuclear programmes. A nuclear-armed Iraq or Syria, however, would have deterred later US-backed moves at regime overthrow, as well as countering the strategic advantage Israel derives from its own large nuclear arsenal.

In addition, Israel’s US-sponsored military prowess is a triple boon to the US weapons industry, the country’s most powerful lobby. Public funds are siphoned off to let Israel buy goodies from American arms makers. That, in turn, serves as a shop window for other customers and spurs an endless and lucrative game of catch-up in the rest of the Middle East.

… the clearest message from Israel’s new aid package is one delivered to the Palestinians: Washington sees no pressing strategic interest in ending the occupation.

The first F-35 fighter jets to arrive in Israel in December – their various components produced in 46 US states – will increase the clamour for the cutting-edge warplane.

Israel is also a “front-line laboratory”, as former Israeli army negotiator Eival Gilady admitted at the weekend, that develops and field-tests new technology Washington can later use itself.

The US is planning to buy back the missile interception system Iron Dome – which neutralises battlefield threats of retaliation – it largely paid for. Israel works closely too with the US in developing cyber ­warfare, such as the Stuxnet worm that damaged Iran’s civilian nuclear programme.

But the clearest message from Israel’s new aid package is one delivered to the Palestinians: Washington sees no pressing strategic interest in ending the occupation. It stood up to Netanyahu over the Iran deal but will not risk a damaging clash with Israel and its loyalists in Congress over Palestinian statehood.

Some believe that Obama signed the aid agreement to win the credibility necessary to overcome his domestic Israel lobby and pull a rabbit from the hat: an initiative, unveiled shortly before he leaves office, that corners Netanyahu into making peace.

Hopes have been raised by an expected meeting at the United Nations in New York on 21 September. But their first talks in 10 months are planned only to demonstrate the unity necessary to confound critics of the aid deal.

If Obama really wanted to pressure Netanyahu, he would have used the aid agreement as leverage. Now Netanyahu need not fear US financial retaliation, even as he intensifies effective annexation of the West Bank.

Netanyahu has drawn the right lesson from the aid deal – he can act against the Palestinians with continuing impunity and lots of US military hardware.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

Global Warming and the Future of Humanity: An Interview With Noam Chomsky and Graciela Chichilnisky

NOVANEWS

By C.J. Polychroniou

The Earth's climate is being radically modified by human action, creating a very different planet, one that may not be able to sustain organized human life in anything like a form we would want to tolerate.

The Earth’s climate is being radically modified by human action, creating a very different planet, one that may not be able to sustain organized human life in anything like a form we would want to tolerate. (Photo: Asia Development Bank / Flickr)

How serious of an issue is climate change? Does global warming really threaten human civilization? Can it be reversed, or is it already late?

In this exclusive interview for Truthout, two scholars, Noam Chomsky, one of the world’s leading public intellectuals, and Graciela Chichilnisky, a renowned economist and climate change authority who wrote and designed the carbon market of the Kyoto Protocol, concur on a few key points. First of all, global warming and climate change constitute the greatest challenge facing humanity, and may pose an even greater threat to our species than that of nuclear weapons. Secondly, the operations of the capitalist world economy are at the core of the climate change threat because of over-reliance on fossil fuels and a perverse sense of economic values. Thirdly, the world needs to adopt alternative energy systems as quickly as possible. And finally, it is crucial to explore technologies to assist us in reversing climate change — as time is running out.

C. J. Polychroniou: A consensus seems to be emerging among scientists and even political and social analysts that global warming and climate change represent the greatest threat to the planet. Do you concur with this view, and why?

Noam Chomsky: I agree with the conclusion of the experts who set the Doomsday Clock for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. They have moved the Clock two minutes closer to midnight — three minutes to midnight — because of the increasing threats of nuclear war and global warming. That seems to me a credible judgment. Review of the record shows that it’s a near miracle that we have survived the nuclear age. There have been repeated cases when nuclear war came ominously close, often a result of malfunctioning of early-warning systems and other accidents, sometimes [as a result of] highly adventurist acts of political leaders. It has been known for some time that a major nuclear war might lead to nuclear winter that would destroy the attacker as well as the target. And threats are now mounting, particularly at the Russian border, confirming the prediction of George Kennan and other prominent figures that NATO expansion, particularly the way it was undertaken, would prove to be a “tragic mistake,” a “policy error of historic proportions.”

As for climate change, it’s by now widely accepted by the scientific community that we have entered a new geological era, the Anthropocene, in which the Earth’s climate is being radically modified by human action, creating a very different planet, one that may not be able to sustain organized human life in anything like a form we would want to tolerate. There is good reason to believe that we have already entered the Sixth Extinction, a period of destruction of species on a massive scale, comparable to the Fifth Extinction 65 million years ago, when three-quarters of the species on earth were destroyed, apparently by a huge asteroid. Atmospheric CO2 is rising at a rate unprecedented in the geological record since 55 million years ago. There is concern — to quote a statement by 150 distinguished scientists — that “global warming, amplified by feedbacks from polar ice melt, methane release from permafrost, and extensive fires, may become irreversible,” with catastrophic consequences for life on Earth, humans included — and not in the distant future. Sea level rise and destruction of water resources as glaciers melt alone may have horrendous human consequences.

Graciela Chichilnisky: The consensus is that climate change ranks along with nuclear warfare as the top two risks facing human civilization. If nuclear warfare is believed to be somewhat controlled, then climate change is now the greatest threat.

As difficult as it is to eliminate the risk of nuclear warfare, it requires fewer changes to the global economy than does averting or reversing climate change. Climate change is due to the use of energy for industrial growth, which has been and is overwhelmingly based on fossil fuels. Changing an economic system that is bent on uncontrolled and poorly measured economic growth and depends on fossil energy for its main objectives, is much more difficult than changing how nuclear energy is used for military purposes. Some think it may be impossible.

Virtually all scientific studies point to increased temperatures since 1975, and a recent story in The New York Times confirms that decades-long warnings by scientists on global warming are no longer theoretical as land ice melts and sea levels rise. Yet, there are still people out there who not only question the widely accepted scientific view that current climate change is mostly caused by human activities, but also cast a doubt on the reliability of surface temperatures. Do you think this is all politically driven, or also caused by ignorance and perhaps even fear of change?

Chomsky: It is an astonishing fact about the current era that in the most powerful country in world history, with a high level of education and privilege, one of the two political parties virtually denies the well-established facts about anthropogenic climate change. In the primary debates for the 2016 election, every single Republican candidate was a climate change denier, with one exception, John Kasich — the “rational moderate” — who said it may be happening but we shouldn’t do anything about it. For a long time, the media have downplayed the issue. The euphoric reports on US fossil fuel production, energy independence, and so on, rarely even mention the fact that these triumphs accelerate the race to disaster. There are other factors too, but under these circumstances, it hardly seems surprising that a considerable part of the population either joins the deniers or regards the problem as not very significant.

Chichilnisky: Climate change is new and complex. We don’t have all the answers. We are still learning how exactly the Earth reacts to increased CO2 and other greenhouse gases. We know it leads to warming seas which are melting the North and the South Poles, rising and starting to swallow entire coastal areas in the US and elsewhere, as the New York Times article documents. We know that the warming rising seas will swallow entire island nations that are about 25 percent of the UN vote and perhaps at the end, even our civilization. This realization is traumatic and the first reaction to trauma is denial. Since there is some remaining scientific uncertainty, a natural response is to deny that change is occurring. This is natural but it is very dangerous. Signs of a poorly understood but treatable house fire requires action, not inaction. While denial leads to certainty, it is only the certainty of death. This is true for individuals and also for civilizations.

Political parties often take advantage of denial and fear in a moment of change. This is a well understood phenomenon that often leads to scapegoat-ism: blaming outsiders, such as immigrants, or racial and religious minorities. The phenomenon is behind Brexit and the violence in the political cycles in the US and EU. After denial comes anger and finally, acceptance. I think some are still between denial and anger, and I hope will reach acceptance, because there is still time to act, but the door is closing fast.

In global surveys, Americans are more skeptical than other people around the world over climate change. Why is that? And what does it tell us about American political culture?

Chomsky: The US is to an unusual extent a business-run society, where short-term concerns of profit and market share displace rational planning. The US is also unusual in the enormous scale of religious fundamentalism. The impact on understanding of the world is extraordinary. In national polls almost half of those surveyed have reported that they believe that God created humans in their present form 10,000 years ago (or less) and that man shares no common ancestor with the ape. There are similar beliefs about the Second Coming. Senator James Inhofe, who headed the Senate Committee on the environment, speaks for many when he assures us that “God’s still up there and there’s a reason for this to happen,” so it is sacrilegious for mere humans to interfere.

Chichilnisky: The “can do” logic, by its own nature, does not accept limits. And an empire does not have a graceful way to evolve out of this role. History demonstrates this time and again. Trying to conserve a privileged global position makes change traumatic for the US.

The first reaction to trauma is denial, as I explained, then comes anger and finally, acceptance. I think the US is still between denial and anger, and I hope we will reach acceptance because almost perversely, right now, only the US has the technology that is needed for global economic change.

Recent data related to global emissions of heat-treating gases suggest that we may have left behind us the period of constantly increased emissions. Is there room here for optimism about the future of the environment?

Chomsky: There is always room for Gramsci’s “optimism of the will.” There are still many options, but they are diminishing. Options range from simple initiatives that are easily undertaken like weatherizing homes (which could also create many jobs), to entirely new forms of energy, perhaps fusion, perhaps new means of exploiting solar energy outside the Earth’s atmosphere (which has been seriously suggested), to methods of decarbonization that might, conceivably, even reverse some of the enormous damage already inflicted on the planet. And much else.

Chichilnisky: This is good news, it is a step in the right direction. But the road is miles long and the first step, while necessary, does not determine success. It is far from enough. The problem that few people appreciate and was only recently observed in the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] data is that CO2 stays hundreds of years in the atmosphere once emitted. It does not decay as particles or sulfur dioxide does. We have used the majority of our carbon budget and we are already at dangerous levels of CO2 concentrations, about 400 parts per million. The levels were 250 before industrialization. So the problem is what we have done already and, therefore, what must be undone.

According to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC, page 191, in most scenarios we now have to remove the CO2 we emitted. These emissions were recent, mostly since World War II — 1945 — which was a turning point of the world economy. This was the era of US dominance and of globalization based on over-extraction of natural resources from poor nations and overconsumption of those same resources by the rich industrial nations. The era of galloping increase of wealth by the very few and the even faster galloping and record inequality and poverty in the world economy as a whole. This is the divide between the [global] North that houses 18 percent of the global population and the [global] South that houses over 80 percent.

Given that change in human behavior happens slowly and that it will take many decades before the world economy makes a shift to new, clean(er) forms of energy, should we look toward a technological solution to climate change?

Chomsky: Anything feasible and potentially effective should be explored. There is little doubt that a significant part of any serious solution will require advances of technology, but that can only be part of the solution. Other major changes are necessary. Industrial production of meat makes a huge contribution to global warming. The entire socioeconomic system is based on production for profit and a growth imperative that cannot be sustained.

There are also fundamental issues of value: What is a decent life? Should the master-servant relation be tolerated? Should one’s goals really be maximization of commodities — Veblen’s “conspicuous consumption”? Surely there are higher and more fulfilling aspirations.

Chichilnisky: We seem to have no alternative. I would like to say that the problem could be solved by green energy sources. However, they can no longer solve the problem: many studies have demonstrated that the long-run solutions, such as planting more trees, which are critical to human survival, and adopting cleaner forms of energy, which are the long-run energy solution, cannot be utilized in the timescale that matters. That is the problem. Technology is a many-headed monster and perhaps it would be better to regress to a safer past and avoid technological change; it is tempting to think like that. But UN studies have shown that even if we planted a tree on every square yard available in the planet by the end of the century we would only capture at most 10 percent of the CO2 we need to reduce. This does not mean that we should not plant trees; we should, for biodiversity’s sake, and for our long-term future together with the other species.

Trees and clean energy [are] the long-run solution but we have no time to wait for the long run. We need a short-run solution now, and one that encourages and facilitates the transition to the long-run solution. This is the technology that IPCC proposes, to remove CO2 directly from air. I cofounded a company called Global Thermostat that uses the heat and the power from clean and fossil energy sources, such as solar plants and wind farms, to remove CO2 from air. It provides a short-run solution that facilitates and accelerates the advent of the needed long run.

Many in the progressive and radical community, including the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), are quite skeptical and even opposed to so-called “geo-engineering” solutions. Is this the flip side of the coin to climate change deniers?

Chomsky: That does not seem to me a fair assessment. UCS and others like them may be right or wrong, but they offer serious reasons. That is also true of the very small group of serious scientists who question the overwhelming consensus, but the mass climate denier movements — like the leadership of the Republican Party and those they represent — are a different phenomenon altogether. As for geoengineering, there have been serious general critiques that I think cannot be ignored, like Clive Hamilton’s, along with many positive assessments. It is not a matter for subjective judgment based on guesswork and intuition. Rather, these are matters that have to be considered seriously, relying on the best scientific understanding available, without abandoning sensible precautionary principles.

Chichilnisky: The remedy could be worse than the disease. Certain geoengineering processes have been proposed that could be very dangerous and must be avoided. Geoengineering means changing the Earth’s fundamental large-scale processes. We know little of the consequences of the geoengineering process, such as spraying particles into the atmosphere that shade the planet from the sun’s rays and could decrease its temperature. But this process is how dinosaurs disappeared from the Earth about 60 million years ago, by particles spewed by a volcano or a giant meteorite impact, and our species could follow suit. The sun is the source of all energy on planet Earth and we cannot experiment with our only energy source. Changing the world’s oceans to increase their uptake of CO2, as other geoengineering solutions propose, is equally dangerous, as the increased resulting acidity of the oceans kills tiny crustaceans, such as krill, that are the basis of the pyramid of life on the planet as we know it.

What immediate but realistic and enforceable actions could or should be taken to tackle the climate change threat?

Chomsky: Rapid ending of use of fossil fuels, sharp increase in renewable energy, research into new options for sustainable energy, significant steps toward conservation, and not least, a far-reaching critique of the capitalist model of human and resource exploitation; even apart from its ignoring of externalities, the latter is a virtual death knell for the species.

Chichilnisky: Here is a plan consisting of realistic and enforceable actions that can be taken now to tackle the climate change threat: We have to remove the CO2 that the industrial economy has already emitted, which otherwise will remain in the atmosphere for hundreds of years and alter the Earth’s climate irreversibly. It is possible to do this. The technology now exists to remove carbon directly from the atmosphere and is proven, very safe and inexpensive. This new technology works by taking the CO2 directly from pure air — or a combination of industrial sources and pure air — using as a power source not electricity, but mostly the inexpensive heat that is residual of most industrial processes. The CO2 removed from air is stabilized on earth by selling it for useful commercial purposes with a benefit. CO2 from air can replace petroleum: it can produce plastics and acetate, it can produce carbon fibers that replace metals and clean hydrocarbons, such as synthetic gasoline. We can use CO2 to desalinate water, enhance the production of vegetables and fruit in greenhouses, carbonate our beverages and produce biofertilizers that enhance the productivity of the soil without poisoning it. Carbon negative technology is absolutely needed now as reported by the UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC, p. 191, and also in four articles of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Is there a way to predict how the world will look like 50 years from now if humans fail to tackle and reverse global warming and climate change?

Chomsky: If current tendencies persist, the outcome will be disastrous before too long. Large parts of the world will become barely habitable affecting hundreds of millions of people, along with other disasters that we can barely contemplate.

Chichilnisky: It is easier to create the future than to predict it. Right now we must implement the requirements of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the UN Kyoto Protocol, as well as the Paris Agreement recommendations: immediately we must remove the CO2 we have already emitted from the planet’s atmosphere and extend the Kyoto emission limits. This is the only possible alternative in most scenarios to catastrophic climate change. This can and must be done.

The funding provided by the Kyoto Protocol Carbon Market could build carbon negative power plants in poor nations. Carbon negative power plants can provide energy while they overcome poverty and change economic values in the right direction.

The UN carbon market, which is international law since 2005, will produce a much needed change in global economic values. The change in economic values created by the new markets for global public goods will reorient our global economy and under the right conditions can usher the satisfaction of basic needs of the present and of the future. This is what is needed right now. We need to support our future instead of undermining human survival. Let’s do it.

Note: This interview has been lightly edited for concision.

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

C.J. POLYCHRONIOU

C.J. Polychroniou is a political economist/political scientist who has taught and worked in universities and research centers in Europe and the United States. His main research interests are in European economic integration, globalization, the political economy of the United States and the deconstruction of neoliberalism’s politico-economic project. He is a regular contributor to Truthout as well as a member of Truthout’s Public Intellectual Project. He has published several books and his articles have appeared in a variety of journals, magazines, newspapers and popular news websites. Many of his publications have been translated into several foreign languages, including Croatian, French, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish.

Posted in Health, USA0 Comments

Why Are Mass Killings by White People in the US Almost Never Called Terrorism?

NOVANEWS

By Mark Karlin

Dylann Roof, who killed nine black churchgoers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June, appears at a court hearing in Charleston, S.C., July 16, 2015. White mass killers with ideological motives are rarely called terrorists in the mass media. (Photo: Grace Beahm / Pool via The New York Times)

Dylann Roof, who killed nine black churchgoers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June, appears at a court hearing in Charleston, South Carolina, July 16, 2015. White mass killers with ideological motives are rarely called terrorists in the mass media. (Photo: Grace Beahm / Pool via The New York Times)

The following is a Truthout interview with Arsalan Iftikhar, author of Scapegoats.

Mark Karlin: Can you explain how you came to choose the subtitle of your book Scapegoats: “How Islamophobia Helps Our Enemies and Threatens Our Freedoms?”

Arsalan Iftikhar: Since Donald Trump has proven that Islamophobia is now an entrenched platform within the Republican Party today, we must realize that this growing anti-Muslim sentiment not only threatens the freedom of millions of law-abiding Americans; it also feeds directly into the recruitment narratives of extremist groups like ISIS (also known as Daesh), Boko Haram or Al-Shabaab who seek to destroy the “gray zone” of coexistence between Muslims and their Western societies.

Thus, in addition to condemning Islamophobia on a simple moral level as a repulsive form of religious xenophobia and racist bigotry, we must also frame the battle against Islamophobia as a national security threat to the United States as well since it again falls squarely into the recruitment narratives of extremist groups like ISIS and their idiotic followers around the world.

In your introduction, you quote Glenn Greenwald: “Terrorism…. the word that means nothing, but justifies everything.” How do you interpret that?

Arsalan Iftikhar. (Photo: Skyhorse Publishing)

Arsalan Iftikhar. (Photo: Skyhorse Publishing)As I write in my book Scapegoats, my opinion is that the term “terrorism” has sadly been co-opted in the 21st century to only apply to crimes committed by olive-skinned Muslim men. For instance, there were over 300 mass shootings in the United States in 2015 and less than 1 percent of them were committed by Muslims; but it was the one committed by Muslims in San Bernardino that was immediately labeled an act of “terrorism.”

Just one week before the December 2015 San Bernardino attacks, a white man named Robert Dear walked into a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs (with a radical Christian ideology according to his ex-wife’s court testimony) and killed several people in an act of mass murder. But that was never called Christian (or domestic) terrorism in our American media. Only six months before that episode, our nation witnessed a 21-year-old white supremacist named Dylann Roof who walked into an African-American church and then proceeded to slaughter nine innocent African-American parishioners; including a South Carolina state senator whom he had asked for by name.

Now, if a white male possessing a race war ideology committing an act of mass murder against innocent Black folks is not considered an act of “terrorism” in our media airwaves, it is quite clear that the word “terrorism” has very little meaning any more.

How important is “The Sharia Bogeyman” in the perpetuation of Islamophobia?

Anyone who tells you that Sharia law is coming to take over America has never read the “supremacy clause” of the US Constitution (Article VI, Clause 2) which states quite clearly that the “Constitution and the laws of the United States…. shall be the supreme law of the land” and that no other law (foreign or domestic) can pre-empt or supersede it.

Nope, not even Sharia law.

However, many Republican politicians and conservative commentators have successfully capitalized on the American public’s general ignorance and fear of the unknown in perpetuating myths about Islam and Muslims in the United States today.

Your fourth chapter focuses on white terror, primarily in the United States. Isn’t the US and Western European policy toward subjugation of Muslims in the Middle East in order to control regimes favorable to oil for the West a form of terrorism?

Like many terms in existence today, the word “terrorism” is a relative term which will mean a million different things to a million different people around the world. For instance, millions of people in Syria continuously witness daily acts of terrorism committed against their people by the political regime of Bashar al-Assad with no Western country effectively addressing the war crimes being committed in Syria on a daily basis. Similarly, many people in Pakistan view American drone warfare, which kills hundreds of innocent civilians, as an act of “terrorism” as well.

You are a regular media guest. What is your perspective on US mass corporate media coverage of the Muslim faith as distinguished from a relatively small group of Islamic terrorists?

In over 15 years of experience as a global media commentator, one of the main things that I have learned about media meta-narratives is that our American media is quite different in its coverage of Islam and Muslims than its foreign counterparts in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

For instance, when I appear on foreign media outlets like BBC World News or Al-Jazeera English, I feel like we can have nuanced conversations about complex issues without any sort of predetermined outcome to my interviews. On American cable news discussions though, it has become quite clear that there is often a simplistic binary approach to discussing Islam and Muslims in a sensationalistic combative manner with little nuance whatsoever.

What do you mean in your last chapter when you declare, “We are all scapegoats.”

As many people know, the title of my book Scapegoats is actually a Biblical term which has been around since time immemorial and I chose this title very deliberately to illustrate the fact that every major demographic group of people in history has been scapegoated in the past and another new group will be the scapegoats of tomorrow.

Whether it is the abhorrent historical legacy of slavery, anti-Semitism, homophobia or anti-female misogyny, we should also accept that Islamophobia has now become another modern chapter in accepted forms of Western collective scapegoating where we tend to place all the blame of the world’s problems on one singular minority demographic group in existence today.

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March of the Deplorables

NOVANEWS

By William Rivers Pitt

Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, raises his first in the air toward the crowd after speaking at a campaign event at the Seven Flags Event Center in Clive, Iowa, Sept. 13, 2016. (Photo: Damon Winter / The New York Times)

Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, raises his first in the air toward the crowd after speaking at a campaign event at the Seven Flags Event Center in Clive, Iowa, September 13, 2016. (Photo: Damon Winter / The New York Times)

When Shirley Teter of Asheville heard that Donald Trump was coming to her town on Monday, she felt she had to be there to protest him. At 69, Teter is the same age as the Democratic nominee, and she has an oxygen tank strapped to her back to help ease her chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

She arrived at the Trump venue and saw that some 100 protesters had gathered. She joined them. Soon enough, the Trump crowd came boiling out of the building like angry bees, and the catcalls from the protesters began. At one point, Teter hooted, “You better learn to speak Russian!” in reference to Trump’s strange obsession with Vladimir Putin. That’s when the lights went out.

A man later identified as Richard Campbell of Edisto Island turned to Teter and punched her dead in the face. She went down immediately, crashing to the hard pavement and falling across her oxygen tank. She was in the hospital until 2:00 a.m. the following morning, and came away from the incident with a jaw so sore she can’t chew, as well as bruised ribs. The incident did not improve her opinion of Trump. “People need to know what state of agitation he puts people in,” she told USA Today. An arrest warrant has been issued for Campbell.

This is not nearly the first incident of mayhem perpetrated by a Trump supporter at a rally. Hell, it wasn’t even the only incident at the Asheville rally on Monday. Inside, Thomas Vellanti Jr. of Flat Rock shoved and slapped three different protesters before finally being restrained. An arrest warrant was issued for him, as well.

For more original Truthout election coverage, check out our election section, “Beyond the Sound Bites: Election 2016.”

After experiencing the police violence at the 1968 Democratic Convention, Hunter S. Thompson used to say he always brought a helmet when he went back to Chicago. If I bring a helmet anywhere, it will be to a Trump rally. Clearly, I might need it.

What’s the explanation? Certainly, the overheated rhetoric from the candidate has something to do with it. “I’d like to punch that guy in the face;” “Knock the hell out of him;” “Bomb the shit out of them;” “Tell them to go fuck themselves” — rally words from Trump’s own mouth made famous by Clinton campaign commercials. Violent imagery is second nature to the man, and clearly there are members of his audience willing to take his lead and start punching out  69-year-old women wearing oxygen tanks.

There have also been multiple instances of overt racism at Trump rallies. In November, a Black protester was pummeled and kicked while down on the ground. As ever, the candidate signaled to the mob that he approved of this behavior, and that the beaten protester got what was coming. “Maybe [the protester] should have been roughed up,” he said the next day. Message received.

Not since the Klan was deeply involved in American politics have violence, intimidation and blatant racism played such an obvious and overt role in a national political campaign. Trump has become the avatar of the white supremacist movement in the US, and his campaign has repaid the favor in kind; Trump’s #1 surrogate, vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, still refuses to say a bad public word about avowed Klansman David Duke.

Speaking of deplorable, this anthropological phenomenon is being largely ignored by the corporate “news” media. The “news” media are doing what they always do. They find the easiest, simplest thing to cover and run it into the ground, to the neglect of far more important stories. This is part of the reason why Thursday was day five of Healthapalooza, followed by Birtherpalooza, because filling the hours with doctors diagnosing Hillary Clinton at a distance requires less rigorous journalism than exposing the root causes of why 69-year-old women are getting punched out and Black protesters are getting kicked when they’re down.

The Republicans have spent generations now inculcating a segment of the population with fear of The Other, with the sense that they’re losing the country — that God Himself is under assault. They won plenty of elections doing so, but kept very few of the promises they made along the way.

The cork finally popped with the re-election of a Black president, a large segment of the GOP base rose up in befuddled revolt, and Donald Trump shot the gap. He put those people in the traces, and they are plowing his field all the way to the Great Getting’ Up Day awaiting him on the first Tuesday in November. Don’t fool yourself; it just might work. Trump has exposed a deep vein of true ugliness in this country. There are far more deplorables than we ever knew of.

Let’s say it does work and Trump wins. Let’s say he is allowed to assemble his 10,000-strong “Deportation Force.” What kind of person would choose to sign up for such a group? Maybe the type who punches women and kicks protesters at rallies. The absolute loyalist core of his supporters. All of a sudden, Donald Trump would have his own private army of fanatic devotees, loyal only to him. It has happened many times in the past — the Tonton Macoute, the Khmer Rouge — and it has never, ever worked out well. This is the future these people seek: an authoritarian wonderland under the guiding hand of a tyrant.

Deplorable indeed.

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Berkeley Bans a Palestine Class

NOVANEWS

By John K. Wilson

This decision sends a clear message to the campus: controversial speech will be punished, especially if it is critical of Israel.

(Photo: Taken / Pixabay)

Suspending a course in the middle of a semester is one of the most serious actions a university can take. On Sept. 13, Dean Carla Hesse of the University of California at Berkeley did exactly that to a student-taught DeCal class about Palestine.

DeCal stands for Democratic Education at Cal, an old-fashioned tradition where undergraduate students teach 1 or 2 unit courses, pass/fail, to their peers. The instructors, called facilitators, plan their own courses, which must be approved by a faculty committee and the chair of a department.

In a statement, Paul Hadweh, the student facilitator, declared:

I complied with all policies and procedures required for creating the course. The course was vetted and fully supported by the faculty advisor, the department chair, and the Academic Senate’s Committee on Courses of Instruction (COCI).

The university suspended the course without consulting me, the faculty sponsor, the chair of the department, or the Academic Senate’s COCI, which is responsible for approving all UC Berkeley Courses. The university did not contact us to discuss concerns prior to suspending our course.

Universities should never suspend courses in the middle of a semester except under the most dire circumstances, where a course has been proven to violate university policies and cannot be fixed, or some kind of extraordinary fraud has occurred.

Nothing like that exists in this case. In fact, nothing like that has even been alleged by the administration, which relies upon bureaucratic snafus to justify suspending this course.

On Sept. 14, UC Berkeley Assistant Vice Chancellor Dan Mogulof wrote to me that “The administration was first made aware of this issue last week when students, faculty and staff noticed posters for the course and expressed concern about the syllabus and, among other things, its compliance with Regents policy.”

InsideHigherEd likewise reported:

However, the public clamor was not the tipping point for Hesse’s decision, Mogulof said. She began her inquiries into the course last week, after a colleague raised concerns about the course to the dean internally. This occurred before public criticism began.

But it was two weeks ago, on Sept. 1, that Mogulof was quoted in a Jewish newspaper responding to concerns about the course from critics.

(UPDATE: Mogulof reports that his original timeline reported in the press was inaccurate, and that the administration first heard about the course on Aug. 26 from a faculty member. But this raises still more questions about a course that began on Sept. 6. If there were legitimate academic concerns about the syllabus, why not contact the instructor about them? Why wait 19 days and then suddenly ban the course? Hesse’s whole complaint is that the failure to deposit a copy of syllabus with her office deprived her of the opportunity to examine it for problems. Now we find out that she had 11 days before the course started to examine the syllabus and she did nothing.)

The administration seems anxious to claim that their decision was made in reaction to the concerns of students, faculty, and staff on campus. But the truth is that Berkeley faced a global onslaught of organizations attacking them for allowing this course. In a letter to Chancellor Dirks on Sept. 13, 43 Jewish, civil rights and education advocacy organizations declared that the class was “intended to indoctrinate students to hate the Jewish state and take action to eliminate it:”

But interestingly, even these organizations did not call for suspending the course; they were solely focused on preventing a similar course from being approved in the future.

By this point, though, Hasse appeared to have a plan to save Berkeley from the bad publicity and put the blame on the student who proposed the course for failing to follow proper procedures. A few hours later on Sept. 13, she emailed the instructor and the faculty who approved the course, informing them that she had suspended the course. It was the first time she had contacted the student instructor.

Berkeley was quick to alert the press about the news, and to blame the student instructor.

Chancellor Dirks’ office emailed critics on Sept. 13:

It has been determined that the facilitator for the course in question did not comply with policies and procedures that govern the normal academic review and approval of proposed courses for the Decal program.

The San Francisco Chronicle on Sept. 13 reported:

The campus letter says the student teaching the course “did not comply with policies and procedures that govern the normal academic review.” A spokesman for Dirks said the student did not show his course proposal to the dean of the College of Letters and Sciences, Carla Hesse, as required.

Almost the same exact explanation was given to InsideHigherEd in its Sept. 14 story:

The university suspended the course because its proposal was never submitted to Dean Carla Hesse of the College of Letters and Sciences, said Dan Mogulof, executive director for communications and public affairs at Berkeley.

Although the dean is not required to approve the course, students must still send her a copy of the proposal. That way, she can review the course and speak to colleagues or the department chair — who is required to sign off on the course — before it is taught.

“When the dean was made aware of the course, she had serious concerns,” Mogulof said. “And she was surprised because she had not previously heard about it.”

But there was a big problem I uncovered. The DeCal website explicitly states that the Dean of Letters & Science does not need to get a copy: “Note that DeCals in the College of Letters & Science no longer need to submit a copy of their proposals to the Dean starting Fall 2014.” (UPDATE: Dean Hesse explained in an email that apparently the head of the Undergraduate Studies made this decision in 2014 without informing the other division heads in Letters & Science or the Dean of Letters & Science.)

When I contacted the Berkeley administration, Dan Mogulof got back to me with a new explanation:

The Executive Dean of Berkeley’s College of Letters and Science was never informed of any change in the review policy for Decal courses, and would not have approved of any change that would withhold information about course proposals from the Dean’s office. In addition, it has also been determined that a department chair with the authority to grant approval for courses in the fall did not review and approve this course. The existing policy of the Academic Senate’s Committee on Courses and Instruction explicitly states that the relevant department chair or the Dean must approve new courses, and that “a copy of the approved proposal form” must also be provided to the Dean. Neither of these steps were completed in this instance.

This is incorrect. What Mogulof calls a “policy” is actually a “Department Chair Checklist for Student-Facilitated 98 and 198 Courses.” It includes three sections: the first two involve verifying the substance of the course, while the “next steps” at the end are bureaucratic procedures. This checklist refers to providing copies of the “approved proposal” to various people, including the dean. This wording would indicate that the faculty, not the dean, make the decision to approve a course, which is how it should be. If the dean doesn’t have the power to approve courses, then she doesn’t have the power to suspend courses, even if she isn’t given a copy because that’s exactly what the DeCal program website says to do.

It’s notable that no Berkeley policy gives Dean Hesse the authority to suspend a course. According to Mogulof, “The course was suspended as per the Dean’s assessment of how best to handle a situation where rules and policies were not adhered to.” This is extremely alarming: the Dean asserts that if “rules and policies” are not followed, the Dean can arbitrarily suspend a class, without a hearing.

After trying to blame the suspension on the student facilitator’s failure to follow proper procedures, it is now clear that the student (and the faculty) followed the written procedures. It would be terrible to ban a class over an innocent bureaucratic error. It is far worse when there was no error at all, and the student and faculty (who are the ones responsible for informing a dean) had no way of knowing that a dean had to be informed when the official university website for the DeCal courses said precisely the contrary.

Now the administration has quickly invented a new explanation to justify why the course must be suspended. According to Mogulof: “there was an acting chair over the summer who did not have the authority to approve courses for the fall.”

Since an acting chair is normally acting as the chair, it would be very strange to say that the acting chair lacks the power of a chair to approve DeCal courses. I asked Mogulof if there is any written policy that says acting chairs cannot approve DeCal courses, and how DeCal courses would get approved in a department if no one has the authority to do it, but he hasn’t responded to those questions yet.

All of these procedural excuses cannot possibly justify suspending the Palestine class. But is there a substantive reason for objecting to the course? No.

The Regents Policy on Course Content denounces “Misuse of the classroom by, for example, allowing it to be used for political indoctrination…” The Regents Policy on Course Content is a terrible policy because a ban on “political indoctrination” is so vague and ill-defined, and can be abused to punish controversial political opinions. But it has no relevance to this controversy because political indoctrination cannot be determined solely by looking at a syllabus.

There appear to have been no complaints about the course by students enrolled in it, and no one in the administration attended the class.

Although a syllabus can reveal some indications of bias, it is almost impossible to conclude that a course is “political indoctrination” without evidence from the way that it is taught. Even a syllabus with one-sided readings can be taught without political indoctrination, if the instructor is open to encouraging dissenting viewpoints.

Nor is the course a violation of the Regents Policy against intolerance “in which dissenting viewpoints are not only tolerated but encouraged.” Actually, this policy is being violated by the Berkeley Administration in its efforts to ban this class.

The policy goes on to declare: “Freedom of expression and freedom of inquiry are paramount in a public research university and form the bedrock on which our mission of discovery is founded. The University will vigorously defend the principles of the First Amendment and academic freedom against any efforts to subvert or abridge them.”

Yet the Berkeley administration is demanding changes to the content of the course already approved by faculty.

Hadweh reported that at a meeting on Sept. 13, Dean Hesse told him three things he needed to do to have her reconsider her decision and approve the course, although approval was not guaranteed even if he did them.

First, she said that he would need to “prove that it’s balanced” because she felt it was “unbalanced.” Second, he reported that she said it was “seeking to politically mobilize students” and that was not allowed. Third, he reported that he would need to justify having the class as Ethnic Studies rather than Near East Studies or Global Studies.

There is no requirement that classes at Berkeley (or anywhere else) are “balanced,” nor should there be such a requirement for such a vague goal. There is no requirement that classes at Berkeley cannot seek to politically mobilize students (although there’s no evidence this class did that). And it is bizarre to challenge the particular department approving the course, especially since that has nothing to do with the course.

According to Berkeley’s website, Hesse’s expertise is “Early Modern Europe; 16th-20th century France; European Intellectual History, 17th-20th century.” Her books are The Other Enlightenment: How French Women Became Modern and Publishing and Cultural Politics in Revolutionary Paris, 1789-1810. She appears to have no scholarly expertise at all about Israel and Palestine. So it is strange that Hesse would evaluate a syllabus and order changes without any input from the faculty involved, after suspending it without any input from the faculty involved.

The InsideHigherEd article reported:

The dean will now work with the Berkeley Academic Senate to review the course and examine whether it meets the university’s academic standards. The review process will also determine whether it complies with Berkeley’s intolerance policy, which was revised in March to condemn anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

But rather than consulting with faculty, Hesse is demanding changes to fit her personal beliefs. Yet none of these changes required reflect anything that would justify suspending the course. If Hesse wanted to encourage him to alter and improve the class, she was free to do that without suspending the class. If Hesse wanted to publicly denounce the class, she was free to do that. Instead, Hesse abused her authority to ban a class without due process and without any sound justification.

Once a course has been approved and is underway, a heavy burden must be on the administration to prove that there is something fundamentally wrong with it, so completely wrong that it must be immediately halted without further review. Berkeley has not met this high standard; in fact, it has not even attempted to try to meet this standard, and does not even allege that this standard has been violated.

It is absolutely shocking that a university would ban a course under political pressure, using the violation of bureaucratic procedures as an excuse for its censorship. It is even more shocking because there was no violation of bureaucratic procedures.

If there was a breakdown in bureaucratic procedures (and there is no evidence of it), then it is the obligation of the university to fix those procedures in the future, not to ban a course and punish a facilitator and his students who reasonably followed every written rule.

This decision sends a clear message to the campus: controversial speech will be punished, especially if it is critical of Israel.

This course suspension is absolutely indefensible, completely unacceptable, and purely motivated by politics and public relations. It is a violation of academic freedom, shared governance, UC-Berkeley’s guidelines, the Regents Policies, and the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

UPDATE (9/19/16): UC-Berkeley Dean Carla Hesse announced on September 19 that she was rescinding her suspension of the Palestine class. Hesse claimed, “The Student Facilitator, the Chair and the Executive Committee of the Department of Ethnic Studies determined that revisions of the course in light of these concerns were necessary and appropriate.” The revised syllabus for the class reveals some small changes in the description and course objectives, but no additional authors in the readings.

Posted in Literature, Palestine Affairs, USA, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

ELCA Lutherans Palestinian Peace Not Walls Campaign-Major Breakthrough

NOVANEWS
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) approved a resolution calling on the U.S. government to end all aid to Israel if Israel does not stop building settlements and “enable an independent Palestinian state.” Voting at its triennial assembly in New Orleans that ended recently, the church also sought a halt to all investment in companies that profit from Israel’s occupation and called on the president of the United States to recognize the State of Palestine.
The ELCA has joined several other mainline Christian denominations in calling for a just and peaceful resolution to the Israel/Palestine conflict. Chuck Carlson and Tom Compton discuss this encouraging development and look at the greater context of it in this 16 min. podcast. Ref. ECLA’s Peace Not Walls campaign.
this 16 min. podcast. Ref. ECLA’s Peace Not Walls campaign.
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Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

Establishment Attack By CFR’s Zionist puppet Elliott Abrams Belittles, Threatens Lutherans

NOVANEWS

by Tom Compton

It was no surprise to see attacks by Zionist supporters of Israel against the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) after two pro-Palestinian resolutions were passed at their recent convention (for background information, listen to our podcast, ELCA Lutherans Palestinian Peace Not Walls Campaign-Major Breakthrough). In this podcast we discuss the significance of the recent attack on the ECLA by Council on Foreign Affairs’ Elliott Abrams, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies in an article by him, entitled The Lutheran Church Attacks Israel, Again.” The Council on Foreign Relations is an elite “club” of powerful movers and shakers in Government and Corporate spheres (check out for yourself on the CFR’s Membership Roster“) that are considered to constitute the “American Establishment.” [23 minutes] Ref. WHTT article, “CFR’s Elliott Abrams Threatens, Belittles Lutheran Church“]

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

Obama is Protecting the Terrorists

Obama is Protecting the Terrorists, America to the Rescue of ISIS-ISIL-Daesh. Testimonies of Syrian Soldiers Who Witnessed the US Airstrikes
Isis financé par les USA

These testimonies by Syrian soldiers who are fighting the Islamic State rebels (ISIS-Daesh) confirm what we already know.

The United States of America is not fighting the terrorists in Syria.

The Obama administration, with the support of its allies including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, is supporting the Islamic State (ISIS Daesh)

Obama’s counterterrorism campaign in Syria and Iraq is bogus.

Read carefully: 

The testimonies confirm the unspoken truth:

OBAMA IS PROTECTING THE TERRORISTS

– We [Syrian soldiers] first thought the aircraft are support to us after the first 2 shots, but we quickly found out that they are targeting our forces aggressively, while we were fighting IS terrorists. The aircraft used cluster bombs against us.

– A day before the airstrikes, the [US] drones were flying and scanning all the area

– The US air-strikes destroyed all our equipment and defense points.  


- IS fighters attacked us immediately after and during the US strikes. Some of them were laughing


- US drones and helicopters opened fire from machine guns on our retreated forces


– It for sure wasn’t a mistake, they targeted us intentionally to help IS.


- America is ISIS itself

Translation from Arabic (H. E)

The incident was casually dismissed by America’s media: “US airstrikes Missed ISIS, but Damaged US Policy in Syria”.

Fake media reports support fake “war on terrorism”: Sorry, collateral damage, we got our targets mixed up…

 

And then they tell us (i.e the Western media)  that the Islamic State is threatening the Western World, that ISIS-Daesh cells are responsible for the terror attacks in Europe and the US.

“The US homeland is under attack and we must defend ourselves.”

Nonsense!  Washington and its allies are the State Sponsors of Terrorism.

The various jihadist organizations including ISIS-Daesh and al Nusra are supported and funded by the Western military alliance.

In the  words of Oliver Stone:

 ‘We’re Not under Threat. We Are the Threat’

“We Must Defend Ourselves”

The weekend bombings in New York and New Jersey have served to distract public attention from the fact (amply documented) that US forces in Syria are protecting the ISIS-Daesh terrorists.

According to Obama, the terrorists (in NY and NJ) were:

“trying to hurt the innocent, but they also want to inspire fear on all of us. … We all have a role to play as citizens to make sure we don’t succumb to that fear.”

In the words of the New York Times, president Obama:

”put these attacks [New York, New Jersey, Minnesota] in the context of the military campaign in Syria and Iraq against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL”.

Nonsense. The USA is supporting the Islamic State.

“We’re going to take out their leaders; we’re going to take out their infrastructure,… As we take away more of their territory, it exposes ISIL as the failed cause it is.”, said Obama.

Obama: You are the failed cause.

Political lies are sustained by media disinformation and war propaganda. The US is supporting the Islamic State. The ISIS rebels are the foot-soldiers of the  Western military alliance.

Posted in Syria, USA0 Comments

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