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Εγχειρίδιο χειρισμού κρίσεων λόγω πολιτικών ΔΝΤ από τη CIA! / Already confirmed: Civil liberties under attack! / Greece's creditors gone completely insane! / How the global financial mafia sucked Greece's blood / ECB's economic hitmen / Η Μέρκελ επιβεβαιώνει τα σχέδια των γραφειοφασιστών! /Greece: the low-noise collapse of an entire country/ How the neoliberal establishment tricked the masses again, this time in France / Ενώ η Γερμανία προετοιμάζεται για τα χειρότερα, η Ελλάδα επιμένει στο ευρώ! / Ένας παγκόσμιος "proxy" πόλεμος κατά της ελευθερίας έχει ξεκινήσει! / In reality, McCarthyism never ended in America / Ο επικεφαλής του "σκιώδους συμβουλίου" της ΕΚΤ επιβεβαιώνει ότι η ευρωζώνη είναι μια χρηματοπιστωτική δικτατορία! /With a rising Jeremy Corbyn and a declining Angela Merkel, Brexit has been upgraded to play a much more critical role / Δημοψήφισμα για Grexit: η τελευταία ευκαιρία να σωθεί η Ελλάδα και η τιμή της Αριστεράς / Populism as the new cliche of the elites to stigmatize anyone not aligned with the establishment / Δεν γίνεται έτσι "σύντροφοι" ... / Panama Papers: When mainstream information wears the anti-establishment mask / The Secret Bank Bailout / The head of the ECB “shadow council” confirms that eurozone is a financial dictatorship! / A documentary by Paul Mason about the financial coup in Greece / The ruthless neo-colonialists of 21st century / First cracks to the establishment by the American people / Clinton emails - The race of the Western neo-colonialist vultures over the Libyan corpse / Επιχείρηση Panama Papers: Το κατεστημένο θέλει το μονοπώλιο και στις διαρροές; / Operation "looting of Greece" reaches final stage / Varoufakis describes how Merkel sacrificed Greece to save the Franco-German banks / France officialy enters the neo-Feudal era! / The US establishment just gave its greatest performance so far ... / A significant revelation by WikiLeaks that the media almost ignored / It's official: the US is funding Middle-East jihadists! / Οι αδίστακτοι νεο-αποικιοκράτες του 21ου αιώνα / How to handle political unrest caused by IMF policies! / Πώς το νεοφιλελεύθερο κατεστημένο ξεγέλασε τις μάζες, αυτή τη φορά στη Γαλλία / Οι Γάλλοι νεοαποικιοκράτες επιστρέφουν στην Ελλάδα υπό 'ιδανικές' συνθήκες

13 December, 2017

When Washington cheered the Jihadists

Official Washington helped unleash hell on Syria and across the Mideast behind the naïve belief that jihadist proxies could be used to transform the region for the better.

by Daniel Lazare

Part 2 - Assessing the Damage

Five years later, it’s worth a second look to see how Washington uses self-serving logic to reduce an entire nation to rubble.

First a bit of background. After displacing France and Britain as the region’s prime imperial overlord during the 1956 Suez Crisis and then breaking with Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser a few years later, the United States committed itself to the goal of defeating Arab nationalism and Soviet Communism, two sides of the same coin as far as Washington was concerned. Over the next half-century, this would mean steering Egypt to the right with assistance from the Saudis, isolating Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, and doing what it could to undermine the Syrian Baathist regime as well.

William Roebuck, the American embassy’s chargé d’affaires in Damascus, thus urged Washington in 2006 to coordinate with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to encourage Sunni Syrian fears of Shi‘ite Iranian proselytizing even though such concerns are “often exaggerated.” It was akin to playing up fears of Jewish dominance in the 1930s in coordination with Nazi Germany.

A year later, former NATO commander Wesley Clark learned of a classified Defense Department memo stating that U.S. policy was now to “attack and destroy the governments in seven countries in five years,” first Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.

Since the United States didn’t like what such governments were doing, the solution was to install more pliable ones in their place. Hence Washington’s joy when the Arab Spring struck Syria in March 2011 and it appeared that protesters would soon topple the Baathists on their own.

Even when lofty democratic rhetoric gave way to ominous sectarian chants of “Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the coffin,” U.S. enthusiasm remained strong. With Sunnis accounting for perhaps 60 percent of the population, strategists figured that there was no way Assad could hold out against religious outrage welling up from below.

Enter Gambill and the FP. The big news, his article began, is that secularists are no longer in command of the burgeoning Syrian rebel movement and that Sunni Islamists are taking the lead instead. As unfortunate as this might seem, he argued that such a development was both unavoidable and far from entirely negative.

Islamist political ascendancy is inevitable in a majority Sunni Muslim country brutalized for more than four decades by a secular minoritarian dictatorship,” he wrote in reference to the Baathists. “Moreover, enormous financial resources are pouring in from the Arab-Islamic world to promote explicitly Islamist resistance to Assad’s Alawite-dominated, Iranian-backed regime.

So the answer was not to oppose the Islamists, but to use them. Even though “the Islamist surge will not be a picnic for the Syrian people,” Gambill said, “it has two important silver linings for US interests.” One is that the jihadis “are simply more effective fighters than their secular counterparts” thanks to their skill with “suicide bombings and roadside bombs.

The other is that a Sunni Islamist victory in Syria will result in “a full-blown strategic defeat” for Iran, thereby putting Washington at least part way toward fulfilling the seven-country demolition job discussed by Wesley Clark.

So long as Syrian jihadis are committed to fighting Iran and its Arab proxies,” the article concluded, “we should quietly root for them – while keeping our distance from a conflict that is going to get very ugly before the smoke clears. There will be plenty of time to tame the beast after Iran’s regional hegemonic ambitions have gone down in flames.

Source, links:


[1]

Related:

How Trump’s declaration inflames a Middle East already ablaze

Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a turning point in the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict. However, the issue is much bigger than Palestine as Donald Trump may have just lit the match that will set off the powder keg of the Arab World.

by Eric Draitser

Part 4 - Beijing, Moscow, and competing interests in Palestine

China and Russia have, each in its own way, begun asserting themselves in the Middle East. Naturally, Russia’s military intervention in the war in Syria has made Moscow a belligerent in the region, with all the baggage that comes with that role. In contrast, Beijing has begun asserting itself economically, which is fairly typical of the Chinese strategy for power projection. These differing approaches, each capitalizing on the strengths of the respective countries, further complicate the picture in Palestine.

In response to the move by Trump, China’s foreign ministry spokesman reaffirmed that China “support[s] the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights and stand behind Palestine in building an independent, full-sovereignty state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.” This was, of course, a reiteration of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s address to the Arab League in 2016, in which he proclaimed that Beijing supports East Jerusalem as the capital of a sovereign Palestinian state.

Rhetoric aside, it should be remembered that Palestinian President Abbas’ visit to China over the summer resulted in Xi making a new four-point proposal for Palestine, which not only reiterated China’s stance on East Jerusalem, but also offered financial support in the form of Chinese companies investing in Palestine to develop industrial parks and solar power plants.

China sees in the Middle East a linchpin of its Belt and Road Initiatives, which attempt to develop land-based access for Chinese goods to Europe and elsewhere in the global economy. China has offered $15 billion in investment for large-scale projects in the Middle East, but does China have the political stomach for wading into the minefield of Middle East politics?

Would China also jeopardize its chances to build the Red-Med railway in Israel — the plan to connect the Red Sea Israeli port of Eilat with the Mediterranean port of Ashdod — which could be seen as arguably the most geopolitically important project China has in the entire Middle East?

This rail project would effectively offer China an alternative to the Suez Canal, which today is one of the most important commercial shipping chokepoints in the world, and one on which China relies heavily. For China, the big prize at the center of all its Belt and Road initiatives is unfettered, mostly land-based access to the European market. The Red-Med railway provides that. Would Beijing risk it in order to take a stand for Palestine? This remains to be seen.

And then there’s Russia. While the Kremlin’s gamble on intervention in Syria has paid off in terms of winning the war for Assad’s government and securing Russia’s place as patron and protector of Syria, it has also made Russia hated in much of the Middle East, especially among Sunni power brokers, from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar to Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine itself. The Russians have put themselves in a strategically complex scenario wherein they have more influence with one side (Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and the Shia alliance) while also losing, or at least significantly weakening, their ability to play all sides.

Add to that the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have a warm, friendly relationship that both have worked very hard to cultivate, obviously for self-interested reasons. Netanyahu needs Putin as leverage against Washington to continue to ensure that the Americans not only remain loyal to Israel, but that they increase their backing as a means of undermining Putin. For his part, Putin needs Netanyahu and the Israelis both as a political chess piece against Washington, and because of the significant cultural ties between Russia and Israel, in the form of Russian-Jewish emigres who account for a significant proportion of Israel’s population.

Russia needs to maintain a good relationship with Israel to placate not only internal forces inside Russia, but also to maintain influence in Israeli politics.

It’s also critical to note that — while Russia has intervened in Syria and has generally been seen as more pro-Iranian, pro-Shiite than its western counterparts — the Kremlin still eyes the Shia warily, and views Iran as part friend and part enemy.

As Khaled Yacoub Oweis of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs told Deutsche Welle earlier this year, “Russia supposedly gave the green light when Israel attacked pro-Iranian military targets. In one way or another, Putin has warned the Iranians about tangling with Israel.” Such is the balancing act Putin maintains in the Middle East where, despite Russia’s involvement in Syria, Moscow remains close to Israel and, at least tangentially, the United States.

And of course, there are also economic factors at play in the Israel-Russia calculus. Russia’s only two significant exports remain energy and military hardware, both of which factor into Israel’s position.

Being leaders in military technology and innovation, the Israelis see partnership with the Russians as a lucrative investment. Similarly, the Russians want Israeli know-how on surveillance and security, counter-terrorism, drone technology, app development, and much more. The Russians don’t see any such potential with any of their Arab partners.

As for energy, the Russians are keenly aware that the Israelis want to exploit Eastern Mediterranean gas reserves (i.e., Leviathan field), which could potentially make them into exporters to Europe. This would significantly weaken Russia’s position at a time when Europe is looking for ways to diversify away from reliance on Russian gas. This complicates the relationship further. Needless to say, a cost-benefit analysis for Russia is likely the outcome, and if I were a betting man I’d say that Moscow, on balance, sees little benefit from direct support for Palestinians.

Source, links:


[1] [2] [3]

12 December, 2017

Creating a threat in intelligence agency 'mechanics'

Current manufactured threat: 'Russianism'


CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou explains how intelligence agencies create artificial threats to justify their existence and draw more money from the government budget:

An intelligence agency has to have a threat around which to rally because that's how budgets are determined and that's how manpower is allocated. So, what good is an intelligence agency if there is no threat to counter?

In the United States we can go back even before the creation of CIA in 1947. From the beginning of 20th century we've always had to have an -ism, let's say to rally against, whether it was Anarchism, or Socialism, or Communism, or Islamism. Well, we're rallying against 'Russianism' right now.

Russia very easily could be a partner of the United States, whether it's a defence partner, or a counter-terrorism partner, or even an economic and trade partner. The United States has decided that it's better politically to rally against the Russians. It's a political decision it's been made rather than a long-term strategic decision.

We are in the midst of a new Cold War. The irony of this Cold War is that it's been backed and pushed by the Democrats rather than by the Republicans. We see this normally as a Republican or a conservative foreign policy point and indeed we've got a role reversal now where it's the Democrats leading the charge.

The CIA told us that there was no torture program. We know that, that was a lie. The CIA told us that there was no program for extraordinary rendition and kidnapping. That was a lie. The CIA told us that there was no archipelago of secret prisons around the world. We know that, that was a lie. The CIA said that it had not hacked into the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's computer system. That was a lie.

Well, now they tell us that the Russians hacked into the Democratic National Committee email system, they offer no evidence and they tell us to take their word for it. Over the last decade and a half, the CIA has consistently lied to the American people. So, why in the world would we believe them on this?

Since 9/11 attacks we have transitioned into a full-time, wartime economy. A permanent wartime economy. It's no accident that the largest concentration of millionaires in the United States is in Washington DC and its suburbs. They used to be in Silicon Valley, which made sense. Now it's in Washington. Why? Because we have so many defense and intelligence contractors getting rich off of these boogeymen that we've set up around the world.


Recall that, William Binney (who is the central figure of the documentary A Good American), deconstructs the myth of an organization that is supposed to be pioneer in new technologies. He presents NSA - another top US intelligence agency - as an organization which had certain difficulties to follow the explosive progress of the computer technology during 1990s, in order to modernize its obsolete equipment as fast as possible.

But the most mind-blowing revelation comes from Binney's NSA colleague Thomas Drake. At one point, Drake recalls how a Senior Military Officer dismissed Osama bin Laden as “a raghead spouting off about a fatwa in the desert” in response to their intelligence reports on Al Qaeda in the late 90s. After the events of 9/11, Drake quotes his former NSA boss Maureen Baginski who reportedly said “9/11 was a gift to the NSA, we’re gonna get all the money we need and then some.

So, the protection of citizens against terrorist attacks has become irrelevant in front of the big money targeted by the corrupted groups of interests inside the intelligence agencies. It seems that nothing has been remained unaffected from the rotten culture of "money and power above all and by all means" that dominates in today's societies.

Young people are really over capitalism

What’s next?

Last summer, two authors asked Fast Company readers a simple question: “Are you ready to consider that capitalism is the real problem?”

For millennials, the answer seems to be increasingly yes. “A lot of young people don’t believe in it anymore,” Ana Garcia, a college junior, told the Wall Street Journal in a recent article on the topic. “We don’t trust capitalism because we don’t see ourselves getting ahead.”

A 2016 poll by the Harvard Institute of Politics found that just 19% of Americans aged 18 to 29 identified themselves as capitalists; only 42% claimed they supported the economic system. Another Harvard poll, released on December 5, found that two-thirds of that same age group is fearful for the future of the country. Just 14% think we’re headed in the right direction.

It’s not difficult to connect the dots between young Americans’ rejection of capitalism and their concern over the future of the country. The millennial generation is the one, after all, that came of age and entered the job market during or right after the financial crash of 2008, which was precipitated by the failure of the large financial institutions that both symbolize and drive the capitalist system.

It’s also, according to the World Economic Forum, the first generation in modern memory to be on track to be worse off than their parents. The median earnings of millennials in 2013 were 43% lower than someone who was their age and working in 1995. Even though average wages have inched slowly upward in recent years after a long period of stagnation, they’re still 8% lower than they were before the 2008 recession. And average student debt, has, since 2008, climbed from around $24,000 to over $37,000.

Richard Wolff, an economist who’s been lecturing on anti-capitalism for the past 50 years, has witnessed this shift away from trust in the economic system firsthand, and has seen how instrumental young people have been in this movement. The change in consciousness he’s witnessed among his students, he told Fast Company in September, is instrumental in precipitating a move toward a different economic system–a shift he thinks is so far underway as to be too late to stop. “The sheer beauty of this is that nothing fuels this movement more than capitalism’s own troubles, and the displeasure, disaffection, and anxiety it produces,” he says.

So what might that alternative look like? Ask millennials, and they have a strong preference for a more socialist model: According to a 2016 Gallup poll, the popularity of capitalism and socialism is neck-and-neck among younger Americans, while older generations are still distrusting of socialism. Younger people are also the ones driving the surge of the Democratic Socialists of America, which endorsed 15 winning candidates in the November election. And Americans aged 18 to 29, according to a recent WSJ poll, are more likely than any other age bracket to say that they believe the government should be doing more, not less, to help people in need.

If anything, the Trump administration is only serving to galvanize millennials’ beliefs. The president himself is perhaps one of the most extreme products of capitalism, and his success signifies what many feel to be the irrationality of the system. And as the Republican Party inches closer to passing the tax bill that will increase inequality and strip students of their already-limited financial resources, while leaving even less to help people at the lower end of the economic spectrum, the call for a system that prioritizes humanity and equity over inflating the profits of a tiny fraction of the already well-off will only continue to grow.

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Hezbollah chief says fight for Jerusalem is now top priority

Lebanese Hezbollah will work with its allies to create a strategy “in the field” to confront Israel, the group’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, said, calling again for a third Palestinian intifada (uprising), during a rally in Beirut on Monday.

Today the axis of resistance, including Hezbollah, will return as its most important priority ... Jerusalem and Palestine and the Palestinian people and the Palestinian resistance in all its factions,” Nasrallah said, as cited by Reuters.

Speaking by video-link at a rally attended by tens of thousands in Hezbollah’s stronghold in southern Beirut, Nasrallah vowed that the struggle for Jerusalem and an independent Palestine is now Hezbollah’s top priority.

According to Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s regional victories – the Iran-backed group played a key role in ground operations against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in Syria – will allow it to renew its focus on Palestine.

He also called on Hezbollah and its allies to form a united strategy "in the field" to confront Israel, and advocated for third Palestinian intifada to overturn US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

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S. Korea's arms sales jump 20% amid Pyongyang threats

South Korea boosted its arms sales by more than 20 percent last year and has ambitions to become a major weapons exporter, according to a new study. It comes amid frequent ballistic missile tests by arch rival, North Korea.

Research by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), released Monday, studied the sales of arms and military services by the world's largest arms-producing and military service companies in 2016. It found that South Korea dominated the "emerging producers" category.

"The trend in this category for 2016 is dominated by the 20.6 percent overall increase in the arms sales of South Korean companies, with total sales amounting to 8.4 billion," SIPRI wrote in a release. Other members of that category were Brazil, India, and Turkey.

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Private jet owners don't need any extra help

Private jet owners don't need any extra help. Yet that's exactly who Trump and the Republicans are helping with this tax bill, while attacking working families.


Κ. Ήσυχος: «Η Ελλάδα γίνεται “εμπορικός αντιπρόσωπος” του ΝΑΤΟ»

Σε συνέντευξή του στο Real News Network, ο πρώην αναπληρωτής υπουργός Εθνικής Άμυνας, Κώστας Ήσυχος, σχολιάζει την εξωτερική πολιτική της χρεοκοπημένης Ελλάδας.

Μιλά για τα υπέρογκα ποσά που δαπανά η χώρα ετησίως σε στρατιωτικό εξοπλισμό, για τις Αμερικανικές βάσεις που διατηρούνται στη χώρα και για το παράδοξο του ότι μια θεωρητικά αριστερή κυβέρνηση υποστηρίζει σε τέτοιο βαθμό τις ιδέες του ΝΑΤΟ και μετατρέπει τη χώρα σε «εμπορικό αντιπρόσωπό» του.

Επίσης, ο Κώστας Ήσυχος σχολιάζει τη στρατηγική του Ερντογάν, αλλά και τη στάση του Αλέξη Τσίπρα απέναντι στις ΗΠΑ και στον πρόεδρο Ντόναλντ Τραμπ.

Περισσότερα:

When Washington cheered the Jihadists

Official Washington helped unleash hell on Syria and across the Mideast behind the naïve belief that jihadist proxies could be used to transform the region for the better.

by Daniel Lazare

Part 1

When a Department of Defense intelligence report about the Syrian rebel movement became public in May 2015, lots of people didn’t know what to make of it. After all, what the report said was unthinkable – not only that Al Qaeda had dominated the so-called democratic revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for years, but that the West continued to support the jihadis regardless, even to the point of backing their goal of creating a Sunni Salafist principality in the eastern deserts.

The United States lining up behind Sunni terrorism – how could this be? How could a nice liberal like Barack Obama team up with the same people who had brought down the World Trade Center?

It was impossible, which perhaps explains why the report remained a non-story long after it was released courtesy of a Judicial Watch freedom-of-information lawsuit. The New York Times didn’t mention it until six months later while the Washington Post waited more than a year before dismissing it as “loopy” and “relatively unimportant.” With ISIS rampaging across much of Syria and Iraq, no one wanted to admit that U.S. attitudes were ever anything other than hostile.

But three years earlier, when the Defense Intelligence Agency was compiling the report, attitudes were different. Jihadis were heroes rather than terrorists, and all the experts agreed that they were a low-risk, high-yield way of removing Assad from office.

After spending five days with a Syrian rebel unit, for instance, New York Times reporter C.J. Chivers wrote that the group “mixes paramilitary discipline, civilian policing, Islamic law, and the harsh demands of necessity with battlefield coldness and outright cunning.

Paul Salem, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, assured the Washington Post that “al Qaeda is a fringe element” among the rebels, while, not to be outdone, the gossip site Buzzfeed published a pin-up of a “ridiculously photogenic” jihadi toting an RPG.

Hey girl,” said the subhead. “Nothing sexier than fighting the oppression of tyranny.

And then there was Foreign Policy, the magazine founded by neocon guru Samuel P. Huntington, which was most enthusiastic of all. Gary Gambill’s “Two Cheers for Syrian Islamists,” which ran on the FP web site just a couple of weeks after the DIA report was completed, didn’t distort the facts or make stuff up in any obvious way. Nonetheless, it is a classic of U.S. propaganda. Its subhead glibly observed: “So the rebels aren’t secular Jeffersonians. As far as America is concerned, it doesn’t much matter.

Source, links:


[2]

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How Trump’s declaration inflames a Middle East already ablaze

Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a turning point in the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict. However, the issue is much bigger than Palestine as Donald Trump may have just lit the match that will set off the powder keg of the Arab World.

by Eric Draitser

Part 3 - A region at war

Though it is often seen in a vacuum, the Palestine issue cannot be divorced from the broader dynamics of the region. And, given the heightened tensions and turmoil in the Middle East – the war in Syria, Saudi-Qatar conflict, the war in Yemen, the Islamic State’s rise, etc. – Palestinian resistance must be examined as part of a broader regional transformation.

Hezbollah has for years been seen by many, especially the Israeli state, as a principal belligerent on the side of Palestinians. Since 2006 and Hezbollah’s resounding victory over Israeli military forces, the organization has become perhaps the primary force for armed resistance against Israel. As such, the organization would undoubtedly have a vital role to play in any potential resistance. But questions remain about Hezbollah’s capabilities in the wake of its intervention in Syria and, to a lesser degree, Yemen.

According to a survey of news coverage of Hezbollah fighter funerals, more than 1,000 Hezbollah fighters were killed in combat in Syria in the four and a half years of Hezbollah’s involvement (September 2012 – April 2017). As Ali Alfoneh, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council noted:

This number [1000 killed]…must be treated as an absolute minimum, since the Hezbollah leadership has every reason to downplay losses. Giving full information on number of killed would increase domestic (Lebanese) resistance to Hezbollah’s involvement and reveal more information about its forces to its adversaries… Of these Hezbollah fighters, 60 were identified as al-Qaid al-Shahid (martyred commander) or al-Qaid al-Maydani (field commander), which distinguishes them from the rank-and-file members of the Shia militia.

Aside from demonstrating how much blood Hezbollah has shed on the battlefields of Syria, the death toll indicates that, at the very least, Hezbollah’s battlefield leadership has been significantly impacted by the losses. Naturally, new commanders rise to take the place of their fallen leaders but, as any general could tell you, it’s not easy to replace competent field commanders. Indeed, some of those leaders were veterans of the 2006 campaign against Israel, and it remains an open question whether that experience can truly be replaced.

Of course, Hezbollah has also been actively involved in Yemen — if not in military actions, then certainly as advisers. According to a 2015 Financial Times exclusive, Hezbollah sources in Beirut were quoted as saying that Houthi fighters had “trained with us in Iran, then we trained them here and in Yemen,” and that Iran was “probably” supplying weapons to the Houthis. One Hezbollah source told the FT that “We are the guerrilla experts, so we give advice about the best timings to strike back, when to hold back.

While these points are disputed by some in the organization and its supporters, the fact remains that Houthi capabilities, to say nothing of tactical victories, owe much to Hezbollah as a role model, if not a direct mentor.

As Paul Salem — Vice President for Policy Analysis Research, and Programs at the Middle East Institute — noted recently:

Hezbollah has been building up its presence in Yemen and Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah has raised the Houthi cause and the war against Saudi Arabia there as a main cause of Hezbollah in recent speeches. Hezbollah’s role in the missile that was launched at Riyadh on November 4 only punctuated the threat. Saudi Arabia fears that Hezbollah and Iran could build missile systems that threaten the kingdom from Yemen as they have done against Israel from Lebanon.

So, it seems that the war in Yemen, like that in Syria, has implications for the Palestinian resistance. While it’s highly unlikely that Yemen has drained much in terms of material resources from Hezbollah, that conflict has made Hezbollah into a direct belligerent against Saudi Arabia, a significant escalation from the indirect proxy conflict in Syria.

The implications for Palestine should be self-evident: why would Saudi Arabia, and MBS specifically, allow Hezbollah to become the leading edge of a fight against Israel when the organization remains the leading edge of the ongoing conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran in both Syria and, to a lesser extent, Yemen? The contradiction here makes it apparent that, in the context of Palestine, any appearance of unity would be mere window-dressing. Beneath the surface, these forces would remain in conflict.

Also, one has to wonder whether MBS would attempt to extricate himself from the self-created quagmire in Yemen by using Palestine as a bargaining chip. Might Riyadh make a backroom deal wherein they sell out the Palestinian resistance in exchange for political and/or military support from the U.S. in Yemen? This would make some sense given President Trump’s recent comments urging the Saudis to end the blockade of Yemen, a statement widely regarded as an indication that Washington’s political cover for Saudi war crimes was wearing thin. Could we see a renewed backing from Washington in exchange for non-interference in any Palestinian uprising? It is a definite possibility.

And, given the recent news of the death of former Yemeni President Saleh, the chances of an escalated war against the Houthis have grown exponentially. The Saudis will need U.S. political cover and military/logistical support to prosecute their war.

Not to be forgotten, the ongoing diplomatic conflict between Saudi Arabia and Qatar complicates the situation in Palestine further. As mentioned above, the financial and political backing that each has provided to the Palestinian Authority and Hamas respectively will undoubtedly spill over into a proxy conflict in Palestine, one that could torpedo any chance of a truly unified resistance to Israeli oppression and occupation.

Of course, one cannot forget Turkey’s ongoing war against the Kurds, and the criminal networks and death squads operating under the Islamic State banner that have been decimated in recent months. The latter is particularly crucia,l as southern Lebanon had become a major battleground against ISIS fighters, which culminated in the controversial agreement between Hezbollah and the Lebanese Government and ISIS to provide safe passage for more than 300 ISIS militants and their families.

All these factors complicate the picture of a unified Palestinian resistance. Do they make it impossible? Of course not. However, it must be understood that any uprising in Palestine is connected to, and not divorced from, the politics of the region.

But what of the global players, specifically China and Russia? How might they factor into this increasingly complicated mosaic of political relations?

Source, links:


[1] [2] [4]

11 December, 2017

The US media suffered its most humiliating debacle in ages: now refuses all transparency over what happened

The real Fake News

Friday was one of the most embarrassing days for the U.S. media in quite a long time. The humiliation orgy was kicked off by CNN, with MSNBC and CBS close behind, with countless pundits, commentators and operatives joining the party throughout the day. By the end of the day, it was clear that several of the nation’s largest and most influential news outlets had spread an explosive but completely false news story to millions of people, while refusing to provide any explanation of how it happened.

The spectacle began on Friday morning at 11 a.m. EST, when the Most Trusted Name in News spent 12 straight minutes on air flamboyantly hyping an exclusive bombshell report that seemed to prove that WikiLeaks, last September, had secretly offered the Trump campaign, even Donald Trump himself, special access to the DNC emails before they were published on the internet. As CNN sees the world, this would prove collusion between the Trump family and WikiLeaks and, more importantly, between Trump and Russia, since the U.S. intelligence community regards WikiLeaks as an “arm of Russian intelligence,” and therefore, so does the U.S. media.

This entire revelation was based on an email which CNN strongly implied it had exclusively obtained and had in its possession. The email was sent by someone named “Michael J. Erickson” — someone nobody had heard of previously and whom CNN could not identify — to Donald Trump, Jr., offering a decryption key and access to DNC emails that WikiLeaks had “uploaded.” The email was a smoking gun, in CNN’s extremely excited mind, because it was dated September 4 — 10 days before WikiLeaks began promoting access to those emails online — and thus proved that the Trump family was being offered special, unique access to the DNC archive: likely by WikiLeaks and the Kremlin. [...] There was just one small problem with this story: it was fundamentally false, in the most embarrassing way possible. Hours after CNN broadcast its story — and then hyped it over and over and over — the Washington Post reported that CNN got the key fact of the story wrong.

The email was not dated September 4, as CNN claimed, but rather September 14 — which means it was sent after WikiLeaks had already published access to the DNC emails online. Thus, rather than offering some sort of special access to Trump, “Michael J. Erickson” was simply some random person from the public encouraging the Trump family to look at the publicly available DNC emails that WikiLeaks — as everyone by then already knew — had publicly promoted. In other words, the email was the exact opposite of what CNN presented it as being.

Full report:


How Trump’s declaration inflames a Middle East already ablaze

Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a turning point in the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict. However, the issue is much bigger than Palestine as Donald Trump may have just lit the match that will set off the powder keg of the Arab World.

by Eric Draitser

Part 2 - A crossroads for Palestinian resistance?

It has been argued by some that Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a blessing in disguise for the movement for a free Palestine, for the simple fact that it opens up the possibility of a united Palestinian resistance. Indeed, the disunity among the factions – Hamas, Fatah, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), et al – has been one of the seemingly insurmountable obstacles the Palestinian resistance has faced in recent years. So, it comes as no surprise that some interpret this latest development as a potential spark that could rekindle the flame of Palestinian unity and resistance.

While the idea of unity within the Palestinian resistance might indeed become reality – such a development would be watershed moment in the history of anti-colonial struggle – it is equally possible that it is more a product of wishful thinking than of cold, hard analysis of material reality. To that end, it is necessary to raise some profoundly difficult questions.

First and foremost concerns the relationship that political factions and religious institutions in Palestine have with outside actors such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, and others. With the open conflict between Saudi Arabia and Qatar that erupted earlier this year, battle lines within Palestine have also been drawn. While the Saudis have long been financiers of the Palestinian Authority and its President, Mahmoud Abbas, Qatar has long been the patron of Hamas, seen by many as still an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. This fundamental rivalry has been at the root of much of the internal turmoil within the Palestinian resistance, where loyalties and patronage have, to a large extent, determined the politics.

But, of course, as with all things in the Arab world, the issue goes much deeper than that. Saudi and Qatari money earmarked for development programs and aid quite often gets filtered down to religious networks — sometimes directly into the pockets of influential clerics, who then push the political agenda of the given patron.

The Syrian conflict was perhaps the perfect example. As one Palestinian activist explained to me last year, the “Syria problem” became a rallying cry for corrupt religious and community leaders who used it to raise more money and bolster their own positions. As a result, rifts within Gaza and the West Bank grew, further dividing the resistance.

What makes these facts all the more troubling is in considering how they might impact a move for unity with elements within Palestine, and in the Palestinian diaspora, which are politically, ideologically, and/or financially aligned with Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah, the Syrian Government, and Iran. While the Gulf monarchies have made the calculation that the war in Syria is lost, that does not mean they’ll simply cede political ground to their avowed enemies in Tehran, Damascus, and Southern Lebanon. Equally, who’s to say that it would all be “water under the bridge,” as those factions that have backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah aren’t going to be too keen on allying with their enemies who, from their perspective, backed the wrong side.

Of course, there’s also the burning question of what exactly the Palestinian resistance should be. If it’s an armed intifada or uprising that will be launched, then surely no reasonable person can expect victory against the overwhelming military capabilities of Israel — 11th strongest military in the world, backed as it always is by the United States — without some form of outside intervention. And who might intervene?

Surely people aren’t expecting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS), or the Emir of Qatar, or Egypt and Turkey’s presidents-cum-dictators, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Recep Tayyip Erdogan respectively, to initiate a broad regional war on behalf of the Palestinians who offer nothing in terms of political advantage to the aforementioned opportunists. Palestinians are an oppressed people rendered politically powerless by the fascist state of Israel and its patron in Washington. Their struggle may be righteous, but material reality cares little for righteousness, and much for power.

This is not to say that armed resistance is a fool’s errand. Rather, it is an attempt to demonstrate that, from all indications, the necessary preconditions for a successful armed insurrection don’t seem to be present. Naturally, the political winds can shift rapidly but, for now, it seems that the Palestinians will be resisting alone, as usual.

But what of the regional dynamics? How do the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, and among the major players, impact the resistance in Palestine?

Source, links:


[1] [3] [4]

Το μόνο καλό που προσφέρουν οι τράπεζες στην κοινωνία είναι οι γαμάτες μουσικές στις διαφημίσεις τους

10 December, 2017

Why the hell would someone believe CIA?


CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou briefly explains:

The CIA told us that there was no torture program. We know that, that was a lie. The CIA told us that there was no program for extraordinary rendition and kidnapping. That was a lie. The CIA told us that there was no archipelago of secret prisons around the world. We know that, that was a lie. The CIA said that it had not hacked into the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's computer system. That was a lie.

Well, now they tell us that the Russians hacked into the Democratic National Committee email system, they offer no evidence and they tell us to take their word for it. Over the last decade and a half, the CIA has consistently lied to the American people. So, why in the world would we believe them on this?


Of course, it's not only the last decade. The whole history of CIA is basically a history of lies, deception, propaganda. Only one example, is the 1954 CIA-orchestrated coup in Guatemala:

Robert White, former US ambassador to El Salvador reveals that “If you had to pick one date where US foreign policy towards Latin America went wrong, the date would be 1954 and the place: Guatemala. That was the beginning of this terrible, terrible attitude that the United States developed towards Latin America and, particularly, towards Central America, where change became our enemy.

Guatemala was one of the few countries in Latin America that, after World War ll, actually experienced a period of democratic rule. President Jacobo Arbenz was determined to reduce widespread poverty by effecting major land reform in Guatemala. Only 2% of the owners controlled 75% of the arable land. Out of all of those, the United Fruit Company was the largest, with some 600,000 acres of property.

In the US Government, John Foster Dulles, who was the Secretary of State under president Eisenhower; his brother Allen Dulles, who was the head of the CIA - had both been law partners in the main law firm that represented United Fruit Company. Melvin Goodman, former CIA division chief says that “The feeling was we could very easily overthrow this progressive government and make it a lot easier for the United Fruit Company and other American businesses to operate in Central America.

The CIA got heavily involved in managing public opinion. It created the image of Arbenz as a crazy radical. And it was a systematic effort, mobilization and financing of opposition forces, until the Arbenz government was overthrown.

How Trump’s declaration inflames a Middle East already ablaze

Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a turning point in the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict. However, the issue is much bigger than Palestine as Donald Trump may have just lit the match that will set off the powder keg of the Arab World.

by Eric Draitser

Part 1

Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel predictably sent shockwaves throughout the Middle East and reverberated around the world. Anger and outrage have been seen on the streets of Palestinian cities, as well as in major cities around the world, where diaspora Palestinians and their allies have launched a wave of protests in condemnation of this outrageous provocation by Washington.

But amid the fiery indignation much of the analysis of the political and strategic consequences of the proclamation has remained superficial at best. Few have bothered to ask the all-important questions related to Palestinian resistance, regional dynamics, and global political and economic relations that must frame our understanding of this watershed moment in the long, sad history of modern Palestine.

Source, links:

09 December, 2017

Western propaganda on Venezuela completely collapses


Since Hugo Chavez era, the corporate media of the West launched a propaganda campaign against the leftist government in co-ordination with the right-wing opposition. The propaganda culminated under president Nicolas Maduro. It is obvious that the propaganda machine was targeting a more vulnerable president, with the ultimate goal to overthrow him and replace him with a right-wing government aligned with the US interests and the interests of the local plutocracy.

The mainstream media narratives painted Maduro as a 'dictator' and his government as an 'authoritarian regime'. However, they have literally ignored the atrocities conducted by a part of the supporters of the opposition and the fact that the US empire has obvious reasons to oust Maduro, in order to re-open the road to the US big oil cartel towards Venezuela's rich oil resources.

  Image result for venezuela

Another primary propaganda element was the perception that Venezuela is suffering from the lack of basic goods, which leads to a humanitarian crisis. Here, the mainstream parrots applied one of the classic propaganda methods: telling the half truth leads to a complete alternate story. Therefore, the Western well-paid pundits didn't bother to point that any lack of basic goods and similar difficulties were caused by the economic sabotage of the local big companies in co-ordination with the US assisted right-wing opposition.

Yet, even the 'humanitarian crisis' story seems to be deconstructed by a recent inspection of a UN expert who concluded that there is no 'humanitarian crisis' in the country.

As Venezuelanalysis reported, “Alfred De Zayas, an independent expert on International Democratic and Equitable Order at the United Nations (UN), visited Venezuela in late November to assess its social and economic progress. On arriving back in Geneva Tuesday, the UN official told press that he did not think the country's current economic problems had given way to a humanitarian crisis. 'I agree with the FAO [UN Food and Agriculture Organization] and CEPAL [Economic Commission for Latin America & the Caribbean] that the so-called humanitarian crisis does not exist in Venezuela, although there are shortages, scarcity, and distribution delays, etc.' he said.

Moreover, the UN expert told the other half of the truth, which the mainstream media methodically hide from the public. That is “What is important is to get to know the causes and take measures against contraband, monopolies, hoarding, corruption, manipulation of the currency and the distortions in the economy caused by an economic and financial war which includes [the effects of international] sanctions and pressure”.

Also, “according to De Zayas, international solidarity is what is needed to help Venezuela overcome the current crisis. He also said that mainstream media coverage of the country is often 'theatrical' and 'does not help to resolve the problems' that the country faces.

We could say that this report demolishes the last Western propaganda remnants concerning Venezuela.

Buried in the Republican tax plan are hidden provisions designed to stick it to the poor and working class

Buried in the Republican tax plan are hidden provisions designed to stick it to the poor and working class while the rich and corporations get billions of dollars in breaks.

“We Will Not Serve in Your Army!” Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem beaten, arrested for refusing draft

While U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement to move the Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has dangerously fueled an international powder keg, another keg is burning in the heart of that city.

In an ongoing act of principled civil disobedience, the Ultra-Orthodox community in Jerusalem is standing strong in its resistance to serving in the Israeli army. Even as they are met with shocking police brutality, thousands of members of this community, known as the Hareidi community, chant and hold signs saying “we will not serve in your army.” Rabbi Hirsh in Jerusalem told me that the IDF is seen by the community as an army of occupation that wages needless wars and oppresses the Palestinian people.

Twenty thousand members of the Hareidi community in Brooklyn, New York recently gathered to pray and protest in solidarity with their brethren in Jerusalem.

Full report:

08 December, 2017

Millionaires on trickle-down economics: it's a joke!

A disaster. A joke. A lie. Here's how these Patriotic Millionaires describe the fraudulent trickle-down economic theory: