Bulletin N° 826
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Subject : « 'Masters of the Universe' : from the same corporate interests that brought you '9/11' and 'The Yemen Genocide' . . . . »
7 December 2018
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
The fundamental contradictions in material reality today have become apparent for all to see. We are living in a time of multiple crises, where faith-based foreign policies and cruel and simplistic domestic policies dominate the thinking of most Americans. The historically familiar phenomenon of millennialism – a popular panacea for hard times carrying with it the hope of ending all misery on earth – crowds out critical thought, as docile populations are in the making, one step before their extinction. Surveillance has softened the brain tissue, and authoritarianism has conditioned many of us to resist no longer, nor to even plan for our future. Thus left with no reactive tactics nor with proactive strategies, we find oursleves like Rimbaud’s Bateau ivre (1871), passively bobbing on the surface of the sea, prepared to go wherever the currents take us, no matter the destination . . . .
On the other hand, a growing proactive population is looking forward to positive change, which will require a through restructuring of society, from the bottom up. The democratic participation in such a project is highlighted by the somber warning: “Les absents ont toujours tort!”
The 22 + items below offer readers a look at the proverbial “cloud with a silver lining” : the high visibility and even transparency of unsavory criminal activities and alliances bring people together as never before. Their focus on common interests brings forth a collective recognition of the obstacles which threaten them, and an enlightened self-interest (as distinct from neoliberal acquisative individualism) guides popular opinion towards support for profound structural changes in social relationships, quite different from the norms conceived by the corporate consensus and corporate dogmas such as “over-population” and “crowd control.”
Professor emeritus of American Studies
Director of Research
University of Paris-Nanterre
Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements
The University of California-San Diego
Argentina and France – Opponents of IMF versus Yellow Vests – Where Is the Correlation?
by Peter Koenig
Decimating the number of poor people to a minimum needed for useful slavehood.
What do Argentinean protesters have in common with French protesters? – They both strongly dislike their governments, and their leaders (sic).
The protests in Argentina against the upcoming G20 meeting and around the IMF are just a pretext for an overall malaise – which is an understatement – vis-à-vis President Mauricio Macri and his debt-driven austerity program, that has left hundreds of thousands jobless. People who had decent jobs under the Kirchner governments have now joined the ranks of the unemployed and are begging for survival. Macri has driven the poverty rate from about 14%, where it was in November 2015, a months before the Presidential elections, to more than 35% in September 2018 – and all the while increasing tariffs for transportation and basic services such as electricity, gas, water – health care, education – in fact, privatizing such vital public services to the point where only higher middle class and elite can afford them.
That of course, will leave a vast majority of the people uneducated and without basic health care – precisely what neoliberalism wants. Decimating the number of poor people to a minimum needed for useful slavehood and leaving those who vegetate along, struggling for one meal at the time without education, without a job, so they don’t have the time, energy and political savvy to protest against the ruling class.
Greece is an outstanding example. Within less than ten years the once cheerful, happy and economically relatively well-off country was destroyed into misery by foreign imposed debt and austerity programs. – By now, almost all public assets were sold or privatized to pay for the horrendous debt service. Public health services are on a drip, there is a lack of special medication, like for cancer – schools are closed or privatized – pensions cut to unlivable levels, unemployment rampant – all leading to extreme poverty and skyrocketing suicide rates, about which nobody dares speaking.
That’s the making of the west. In the case of Greece even worse. Their European brother and sister countries went along with the loot. In fact, they pushed Greece into her demise, especially Germany, France, the European Central Bank (ECB), and, of course, the entire European Brussels apparatus, led by the unelected European Commission (EC) and, and eventually with the ‘official’ outside hammer, the IMF. Greece had to go.
Is Argentina going to become under Macri the Latin American Greece? Could well be. By now the country is encircled by neoliberal and fascist neighbors, Brazil, Chile Paraguay, Uruguay. Bolivia is a laudable exception. All the others will do what Washington mandates; whatever it takes to support Macri and his IMF-imposed economic killer policies, that – in the end – will sell out the resource-rich country to foreign oligarchs and corporations, to the US and NATO. Yes NATO, unbelievable, but true. NATO is officially in south America, as Colombia by her own choice has become a NATO country.
Noam Chomsky - Propaganda and the Economy
Totalitarian Culture in a Free Society
From: Richard Greeman
Sent: Mon, 03 Dec 2018
Subject: Yellow Vests
Self-organized Yellow Vest Protest Movement Exposes Inequality
and Hollowness of French Regime
by Richard Greeman
Ignored by Macron, distorted by the media, courted by the Right, snubbed by the Left, the self-organized mass movement known as the Yellow Vests is seriously challenging the political and economic order in France.
In Paris, on the morning of Saturday Dec. 1, as thousands of self-organized Yellow Vest protestors attempted to gather to express their grievances on the Champs-Elysées at a planned, peaceful demonstration, French CRS riot police in Paris attacked them savagely with tear-gas, flash-bombs and water-canons. By the end of the day, cars were burning near the Arc of Triumph, and all of Paris was in chaos as groups of would-be peaceful marchers, joined by the usual *casseurs *(‘smashers’) spread throughout the capital, expressing their anger at the system and calling for the resignation of President Macron.
This militarized state over-reaction to a peaceful mass demonstration breaks with a long tradition of tolerance for muscled demonstrations by rowdy angry farmers and militant labor unions. A tolerance Macron, in speeches, has blamed for the failure of previous governments to pass needed pro-business counter-reforms. Predictably, Macron (who must have ordered Saturday morning’s unprovoked, violent attacks on unarmed demonstrators arriving early for the planned march) blamed the victims: ‘‘What happened today in Paris has nothing to do with the peaceful expression of legitimate anger,” he said on Saturday. “Nothing justifies attacking the security forces, vandalizing businesses, either private or public ones, or that passers-by or journalists are threatened, or the Arc de Triomphe defaced.”
Meanwhile, throughout the French provinces, at least 75, 000 Yellow Vest protesters (police estimate) were blocking highway entrances, intersections, and shopping centers all day – all with minimal violence and apparent general approval (80% according to recent polls).
Why France’s ‘Silent Majority’ Is Mad as Hell
Like all the spontaneous mass uprisings that dot French history going back to Feudal times, the Yellow Vest revolt was initially provoked by taxes. In this case, the straw that broke the camel’s back was Macron’s decision to increase taxes gas and Diesel fuel, which affect ordinary working and lower-middle class French people dependent on their cars to earn a living.
The rebels, donning the yellow breakdown-safety vests they are required to keep in their cars by the government, have been on the warpath for three weeks now. Spurning all political parties, the Yellow Vests got organized on social media and acted locally. The broadcast media, although highly critical, spread the news nationally, and the Yellow Vest movement spread across France, blocking intersections, filtering motorists, and gathering to demonstrate, more and more numerous and militant, on successive Saturdays.
Why Saturdays? “I can’t go on strike,” explains one woman. “I’m raising three kids alone. My job, that’s all I have left. Coming on Saturdays is the only way for me to show my anger.” Women – receptionists, hostesses, nurses-aids, teachers – are present in unusually large numbers in these crowds, and they are angry about a lot more than the tax on Diesel.
To begin with, inequality. Like Trump, Macron has showered corporations and millionaires with huge tax cuts, creating a hole in the budget which he has compensated by cuts in public services (hospitals, schools, transit,
police) and by tax increases for ordinary people (up to 40% of their income), large numbers of whom are struggling hard to make ends meet and going into debt. “We’re hungry and we’re fed up,” said Jessica Monnier, 28, who works in a watch factory in the French Alps. She earns $1, 140 a month, and said: “Once I pay my bills, I don’t have enough to eat. We’re just hungry, that’s all.”
This anger has been building since last Spring, the 50th anniversary of the 1968 worker-student uprising, but was frustrated when Macron won the stand-off with labor over his neo-liberal, pro-business counter-reforms.
This labor defeat was facilitated by the leadership of the CGT and other unions, played the same negative role in the 1968 sell-out to de Gaulle. A half-century later the French union leaders, eager to keep their place at the political table (and on the government payroll), avoided a major confrontation, met with the government behind the scenes, and only went through the motions of carrying out strikes, spreading them over months and tiring out the workers. [Please see my “French Labor’s Historical Defeat” @ http://divergences.be/spip.php?article3348.]
Macron is also hated for his truly monarchical arrogance, ruling alone like Louis XIV, imposing his will by decrees, ignoring his opponents and patronizing the common people in a pedantic style that humiliates and enrages them. By dismissing the Yellow Vests, haughtily refusing to address their issues, and then violently repressing them despite their popularity, Macron has revealed the vast gap between his authoritarian, neo-liberal regime and the mass of the French population. The French elected him in 2016, in the run-off following the first round collapse of the traditional parties of the Left and the Right. Macron was a stop-gap to prevent the election of Marine LePen of the extreme-right, openly racist National Front. He has no real mandate and no political party behind him, despite an unorganized parlementary majority.
This Saturday, the demonstrators were heard booing the TV network people on Place de la Concorde, furious at being been presented as deliberate vandals , calling the press “Usurpers,” “We wanted to come and demonstrate calmly,”
said one fifty-ish Yellow Vest interviewed by Médiapart. I came by train, I had my ID card in my pocket. They threw so much tear-gas at us that we ran like rabbits.” He then held out a rubber cartridge. “They even fired Flash-balls at us” he added as two nearby women nodded. “Who are the Vandals?”
Another would-be demonstrator, Franck, from nearby Seine-et-Marne, added : “We came to the Champs-Elysées this morning and when we tried to approach the entry-points, we were immediately inundated with tear-gas, 300 meters *before *the check-points.” Furious, he spits out “Macron gasses his own people like Bashar el-Assad!”
Marité, a retiree from the suburbs, kept repeating over and over: “I confess before the CGT that I voted for Macron, and beg your forgiveness.”
She has worked for 42 years, her husband for 44; together their retirement comes to $3, 200 a month and their anger is deep. A woman named Morgane hisses through clenched teeth a phrase heard all over France since the beginning of the movement: “Marie-Antoinette was living high off the hog just before the Revolution also. And they cut off her head.”
What was remarkable at this Saturday’s chaotic mass outbreak in the streets of Paris was the fortuitous convergence of the Yellow Vests with previously scheduled demonstrations organized by the CGT and other unions as well as the feminist *MeToo *movement, the LGBT movement. So happenstance created the first real dialogue between members of these disparate movements which took place under clouds of tear-gas as the various demonstrators, driven away from the Champs-Elysées area by the police, wandered through the half-empty streets.
A start. Angry French people waited all Spring for the promised “convergence” of the various unions of students and workers united against Macron’s reactionary anti-reforms which the leaders never organized, leaving the different groups of strikers isolated.
Popular Risings, Elite Contempt
The French popular classes have long historical memories, and seem unaffected by the postmodern scholarly denigration of the 1789 French Revolution and its successors as useless explosions of popular violence which inevitable led to bloody dictatorships. Morgane knows all she needs to know about the guillotine. According to Gérard Noiriel, author of a monumental history of France ‘from below,’ “The Yellow Vests who block highways and refuse to be coopted by political parties have taken up, in confused form, the tradition of the *Sans-culottes *of 1792-93, the citizen-combatants of February 1848, the Communards of 1870-71 and the anarcho-syndicalists of the Banquet Years.”
Indeed, these traditions go back much earlier, to the Feudal period, with its periodic uprisings of peasants burning landlord’s chateaux and urban rioters taking over towns. What changed in late 18th Century France was the development of roads and mail service, that enabled revolutionary Committees of Correspondence to coordinate and organize discontent on a national level. Today, Internet social networks and network news play the same role in real time.
Like today’s Yellow Vest rebellion, all these historical uprisings were initially about excessive unfair taxes, like the *Tithe* of 10% (imposed by the wealthy Catholic Church on the poor), the royal *Gabelle* tax on salt (necessary for life and preserving foodstuffs) and the *Corvée* (days of free labor owed to the noble landlord, the Church and the government.) Although violent, these spontaneous, self-organized risings eventually led to the democratic republic, the Rights of Man, free secular education, etc. (all under threat today)
The other common denominator between the Yellow Vests and historical popular movements is the near-universal contempt with which they were (are) treated by France’s elite classes: the royalty, the nobility, the upper clergy, official academic historians, and today the media and the leadership of the unions and Left parties, who have joined the establishment and are an integral part of what the French call the “political class.”
Not so much has changed since the Old Regime. Then, the nobles derisively referred to any peasant as “Jacques Bonhomme” (Goodfellow Jack), and to their violent uprisings as “Jacqueries.” Around 1360 the revered French chronicler Jean Froissart reported: “These evil folk assembled together without a leader and without arms were stealing and burning everything and killing without pity and without merci, like rabid dogs. And they made a king among them who was the worst of the bad; and this king they called Jacques Bonhomme.”
Class prejudice. In fact, says Noiriel, the archives show the peasants selected as their spokesman one Guillaume Carle, known to be “a good thinker and a good talker.”
Similarly, for three weeks the government, the media, and even the Left (parties and unions) have been attempting to present the Yellow Vests as red-necks and/or vandals, while reducing their generalized anger to the issue of gas taxes. On one TV broadcast, the reporter kept trying to get the Yellow Vest being interviewed to say she was rebelling against taxes, but the woman kept repeating over and over: “Fed up to the ass-hole,”
“We’ve had it up to the ass,” “Everything.”
The organized Left showed little sympathy for this, self-organized, autonomous (albeit amorphous) uprising of desperate and angry lower middle class people who, out of long experience, reject domination by union and party leaders. Plus, they live in places no one has heard of and sing the Marseillaise (originally a revolutionary song, but who remembers?) More, the color “Yellow” used to stand for “scab unions.” So the unions and Left parties, as usual embroiled in infighting among each other, instead of supporting the Yellow Vests’ struggle against Macron and offering leadership by example, left the field open to the Right. LePen’s people (also embroiled in internal squabbles) attempted to manipulate the movement and made little headway, as did belatedly Melanchon.
France in Crisis?
Hegemonic Balance Sheet:
An autocratic President without a party or a mandate. Crowds calling for him to resign. A desperate lower class population angry over growing economic inequality in a rich country and government indifference to their plight. A class of organized civil servants and unionized workers still licking their wounds and paying their bills after failing to block the President’s counter-reforms last Spring.
Traditional parties — Left (Socialists, etc.) and Right (Gaullists etc.) — that have alternated in power since the end of WWII diminished and eclipsed. The parties of the far Left (Melanchon, various Trotskyists,
etc.) and the far Right (the former National Front) are too preoccupied with internal fights to play any significant role..
Powerful, effective mass media dominated by the interests of big business but viewed with suspicion by more and more of the population.
A brand-new “leaderless” spontaneous mass movement connected by social media, “finding its way by walking,” more or less consciously embedded in a long history of rebellions and struggle, finding its natural leaders (“good thinkers, good talkers” like old Guillaume Carle), putting forth its own ideas for the reorganization of society.
Here are the two latest proposals coming from the Yellow Vests and borrowed from the history the 18th Century French revolution. First, a call for a kind of democratic constituent assembly. Second, the creation of *Cahiers de doléances *(Grievance Notebooks) like the ones in 1788 listing all the people’s complaints and proposed remedies. Both great ideas. We can only hope that given the hollowness of the hegemony of the French political class, the convenience of social media for self-organization, and the desperate desire for dignity and participatory democracy incarnated in this latest historical uprising, something good may come of it.
Meanwhile, here are excerpts from the 2018 Yellow Vest Grievance list :
 Quotations translated from https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/france/011218/les-gilets-jaunes-debordent-dans-les-rues-de-paris
 « on en a ras le cul » , « ras le cul », « ras le bol généralisé” BFM-TV, Nov.17, reported in https://noiriel.wordpress.com/2018/11/21/les-gilets-jaunes-et-les-lecons-de-lhistoire/
Gilets jaunes : le début de la fin ?
par Bernard Conte
We are the last generation that can act against climate change, experts say
by Rafael Cereceda
Past warming events in the Arctic linked to shifting winds in the Antarctic
by Nerilie J. Abram
During the most recent ice age, abrupt changes in the Arctic climate were transmitted through the ocean to Antarctica. An atmospheric link between the two hemispheres has now been identified across the Antarctic continent.
George Monbiot: Ending Meat & Dairy Consumption
Is Needed to Prevent Worst Impacts of Climate Change
EMF Frequencies Used For Crowd Control Weapons
Form The Foundation of 5G Network
by Arjun Walia
New research show how the frequencies utilized in crowd control weapons, one that physically impact our biology, form the basis of the new 5G network that's been rolling out.
With more than 2000 peer-reviewed studies and thousands of scientists raising multiple cause for concern, why has the industry been allowed to implement this technology without the appropriate health safety testing?
Multiple countries around the world have banned WiFi, and the building of cell phone towers near primary schools and nurseries, among many other places due to the evidence that shows they are not safe and can implicate the health of young children, and adults, in multiple ways. With all of the science that’s emerged over the years, it seems very unethical for the corporations who control this market to continue to manufacture and promote these services in such a manner. Furthermore, government agencies have failed to address what’s happening, despite the fact that hundreds of scientists and thousands of peer-reviewed papers have been calling for it for years.
5G is the new technology currently being implemented in a lot of areas, and research has shown that the same frequencies used by the Department of Defense in crowd control weapons, make the foundation of the latest network known as 5G.
This kind of technology, which is in many of our homes, actually interacts with human skin and eyes. The shocking finding was made public via Israeli research studies that were presented at an international conference on the subject last year. Below you can find a lecture from Dr. Ben-Ishai of the Department of Physics at Hebrew University. He goes through how human sweat ducts act like a number of helical antennas when exposed to these wavelengths that are put out by the devices that employ 5G technology.
These technologies are already rolling out, despite the fact that scientists have been cautioning against it, more research on human health effects should have been done before their approval, but it wasn’t.
Mark Crispin Miller
Sent: Thursday, 29 November, 2018
Subject: [MCM] The Guardian (i.e., MI6) is pumping out huge lies about Assange (who never met Paul Manafort)
A highly reputable diplomat, and one who was involved directly in the arrangements whereby WikiLeaks obtained
those DNC emails, Craig Murray can be trusted here, while the Guardian's Luke Harding has no credibility at all.
Assange Never Met Manafort. Luke Harding and the Guardian Publish Still More Blatant MI6 Lies
by Craig Murray // Nov. 27, 2018
The right wing Ecuadorean government of President Moreno continues to churn out its production line of fake documents regarding Julian Assange, and channel them straight to MI6 mouthpiece Luke Harding of the Guardian.
Amazingly, more Ecuadorean Government documents have just been discovered for the Guardian, this time spy agency reports detailing visits of Paul Manafort and unspecified “Russians” to the Embassy. By a wonderful coincidence of timing, this is the day after Mueller announced that Manafort’s plea deal was over.
The problem with this latest fabrication is that Moreno had already released the visitor logs to the Mueller inquiry. Neither Manafort nor these “Russians” are in the visitor logs.
This is impossible. The visitor logs were not kept by Wikileaks, but by the very strict Ecuadorean security. Nobody was ever admitted without being entered in the logs. The procedure was very thorough. To go in, you had to submit your passport (no other type of document was accepted). A copy of your passport was taken and the passport details entered into the log. Your passport, along with your mobile phone and any other electronic equipment, was retained until you left, along with your bag and coat. I feature in the logs every time I visited.
There were no exceptions. For an exception to be made for Manafort and the “Russians” would have had to be a decision of the Government of Ecuador, not of Wikileaks, and that would be so exceptional the reason for it would surely have been noted in the now leaked supposed Ecuadorean “intelligence report” of the visits. What possible motive would the Ecuadorean government have for facilitating secret unrecorded visits by Paul Manafort? Furthermore it is impossible that the intelligence agency – who were in charge of the security – would not know the identity of these alleged “Russians”.
Previously Harding and the Guardian have published documents faked by the Moreno government regarding a diplomatic appointment to Russia for Assange of which he had no knowledge. Now they follow this up with more documents aimed to provide fictitious evidence to bolster Mueller’s pathetically failed attempt to substantiate the story that Russia deprived Hillary of the Presidency.
My friend William Binney, probably the world’s greatest expert on electronic surveillance, former Technical Director of the NSA, has stated that it is impossible the DNC servers were hacked, the technical evidence shows it was a download to a directly connected memory stick. I knew the US security services were conducting a fake investigation the moment it became clear that the FBI did not even themselves look at the DNC servers, instead accepting a report from the Clinton linked DNC “security consultants” Crowdstrike.
I would love to believe that the fact Julian has never met Manafort is bound to be established. But I fear that state control of propaganda may be such that this massive “Big Lie” will come to enter public consciousness in the same way as the non-existent Russian hack of the DNC servers.
CrossTalk: Julian Assange’s trials
The fate of Julian Assange is unclear. Washington is determined that he be sent to the U.S. to face criminal charges, most likely under the 1917 Espionage Act. The British government is more than happy to make this happen. Even the Ecuadorians are in on the act. What we are watching unfold in front of our eyes is the criminalization of journalism. CrossTalking with Joe Lauria, Patrick Henningsen, and Gareth Porter.
What’s Missing From the Saudis’ Khashoggi Story
by Hassan Hassan
The official narrative will resonate differently inside and outside of the kingdom.
Seventeen days after the disappearance of the U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, authorities in Riyadh finally confirmed his death. According to the Saudi version of what happened, Khashoggi died after a fistfight between him and several men at the consulate in Istanbul. Authorities announced the arrest of 18 Saudi nationals, as well as the dismissal of top officials, including an adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The gaps in this story are as significant as the announcement itself.
Saudi authorities did not reveal the location of Khashoggi’s body, which lends credence to the narrative attributed to Turkish officials over the past two weeks. Even before Turkish authorities were allowed to search the consulate and the residence of the consul general, they suggested that Khashoggi was killed and dismembered inside the consulate. They reached this conclusion based on video footage that showed Khashoggi entered the building but never came out. In an interview with Bloomberg, the crown prince, widely known as MbS, insisted that Khashoggi left the consulate—but if that were true, the Saudis could have produced a body.
The spontaneous scuffle theory also does not explain the dismissal of the adviser, Saud al-Qahtani, who was perceived as MbS’s right-hand man and thought by some to encourage his worst instincts. Dubbed “the father of electronic flies” by his critics, he’s been accused of using social-media bots and trolls to lead smear campaigns against government opponents, especially in the wake of the Qatar crisis. Al-Qahtani oversaw public-relations efforts abroad, and was known for combative language online. At the time of this writing, his pinned tweet read: “Some brothers blame me for what they view as harshness. But everything has its time, and talk these days requires such language.”
The True Origins of ISIS
by Hassan Hassan
A secret biography suggests that Abu Ali al-Anbari defined the group’s radical approach more than any other person.
Most historians of the Islamic State agree that the group emerged out of al-Qaeda in Iraq as a response to the U.S. invasion in 2003. They also agree that it was shaped primarily by a Jordanian jihadist and the eventual head of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The Jordanian had a dark vision: He wished to fuel a civil war between Sunnis and Shiites and establish a caliphate. Although he was killed in 2006, his vision was realized in 2014—the year ISIS overran northern Iraq and eastern Syria.
Narratives about the origins of Islamic State ideology often focus on the fact that Zarqawi and Osama bin Laden, both Sunni extremists, diverged on the idea of fighting Shiites and on questions of takfir, or excommunication. Such differences, the story goes, were reinforced in Iraq and eventually led to the split between ISIS and al-Qaeda. Based on this set of assumptions, many conclude that Zarqawi must have provided the intellectual framework for ISIS.
9/11 Suspects: The Dancing Israelis
In the days after 9/11, while Ground Zero continued to smoulder, millions heard Dan Rather and various media outlets repeat vague and unconfirmed reports of arrests that took place that day. These rumors held that Middle Eastern men, presumably Arabs, were arrested in explosive-packed vans in various places around the city on September 11th, and that some had even been photographing and celebrating those events. What most do not realize is that those reports were not mere rumors, and we now have thousands of pages of FBI, CIA and DOJ reports documenting those arrests.
Trump: US Troops will Stay in Middle East to Protect Israel
US President Donald Trump has admitted that the US only keeps its troops in the Middle East to protect Israel.
In an interview with the Washington Post yesterday, Trump explained that he would not withdraw US troops from the region because of the need to support Israel, despite the fact that other US concerns such as oil were no longer sufficient reason to remain. Trump told the Post:
Now, are we going to stay in that part of the world [the Middle East]? One reason to is Israel. Oil is becoming less and less of a reason because we’re producing more oil now than we’ve ever produced. So, you know, all of a sudden it gets to a point where you don’t have to stay there.
Trump’s comments have been interpreted as referring specifically to Saudi Arabia – one of the US’ main oil providers and increasingly an Israeli ally – with the Times of Israel suggesting the president “appear[s] to envision a world where the US would be less beholden to Saudi Arabia”.
Saudi opponent sues Israeli spyware firm over Khashoggi murder
People hold posters picturing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and a lighted candle during a gathering outside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul,
on October 25, 2018. (Photo by AFP)
A Saudi opponent and a friend of Jamal Khashoggi has filed a lawsuit against an Israeli spyware firm for helping Riyadh spy on his communications and kill the dissident journalist.
The New York Times reported that Omar Abdulaziz, a Saudi activist and Canadian permanent resident, is accusing Israel’s NSO Group Technologies of hacking his phone in the service of the Saudi regime.
The lawsuit was filed in Israel by Alaa Mahajna, an Israeli lawyer, in cooperation with Mazen Masri, a lecturer at the City University of London, according to the report.
Mahajna said they intend to argue that the resulting exposure of the cooperation between Abdulaziz and Khashoggi “contributed in a significant manner to the decision to murder Mr Khashoggi.”
The activist said he was repeatedly pressed by the same operatives who have been linked to the assassination of Khashoggi to return to Saudi Arabia. He reportedly has recordings of some of the conversations.
According to court papers, Omar received a text message that “looked like a link to track the shipment of a package but turned out to mask a link to the NSO Group’s spyware,” a month after the contacts.
He was later notified by Canadian internet watchdog Citizen Lab that the Saudi government hacked his phone.
The NSO Group has been under much controversy and scrutiny over the past years, with Canadian internet watchdog Citizen Lab saying that the Pegasus software marketed by the company is being used by a number of countries “with dubious human rights records and histories of abusive behavior by state security services.”
Late in November, Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz revealed Riyadh’s behind-the-scenes attempts to buy Pegasus 3 technology from Israel’s NSO Group Technologies last year.
US To Send $7,000 Per MINUTE To Israel
BOMBSHELL Documents Expose The Secret Lie That Started
the Afghan War
How did the war in Afghanistan start? And how did NATO become involved in this conflict? These details are never discussed because they have for nearly two decades, been hidden behind a shroud of secrecy. But now, after nearly two decades of lies, the remarkable truth about the secret documents that helped launch the Afghan war can finally be revealed. This is the story of The Secret Lie That Started the Afghan War.
What You Are Not Being Told About the Afghanistan War
15 years after NATO's invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, the 9/11 and Al Qaeda lies that were used to justify the war have disappeared. Now the truth about oil and gas, mineral wealth, opium and naked imperial ambition are all that remain.
The Arab Winter Is Coming
by Hassan Hassan
Gulf states are asserting themselves more than ever, and that’s a problem for the U.S.
Riot-police officers guard the Cairo Security Directorate from protesters in 2016Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters
Three years ago, then Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter attributed Iran’s growing dominance to its being “in the game, on the ground.” He urged its regional rivals to do the same, thus expressing a widely shared sentiment in policy circles at the time: Arab Gulf states needed to rely less on the United States and play a greater role in their neighborhood.
In many ways, that is exactly what these countries have been attempting to do since 2015, and now Carter and others have reason to revisit their advice.
In the absence of strong American leadership, now spanning two administrations, the future of the region hinges on what local powers define as priorities, and how they go about trying to achieve them. Even if Washington decides to wake up, it will now find it far more difficult than in the past to assert itself.
What’s happening in the Middle East today can be traced back to the 2011 Arab Spring, which sparked a desire for democratic change among ordinary people and, among governments, a countervailing desire for stability based on the status quo ante.
To go back in time, as it were, the counterrevolutionary bloc—Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, and their allies in Yemen, Libya, and elsewhere—believes the future must be more authoritarian than ever. Based on extensive conversations with senior Arab officials, I’ve found that the dominant outlook could be summed up as follows: A heavy-handed domestic and regional approach may well carry risks, but the alternative is worse.
Mark Crispin Miller
Sent: Thursday, 29 November, 2018
Subject: [MCM] What (really) happened in the Sea of Azov isn't half as dangerous as the West's explosive lies about it
What the hell are they Tonkin about...?
Trouble has been brewing in the Sea of Azov all year. It started with Ukraine’s seizing a Russian fishing boat and detaining its crew in March. The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko canceled the Friendship Treaty with Russia. After that he has accepted surplus US naval vessels to prop up a navy that exists in name only.
This is all in response to Russia’s completing the Kerch Strait bridge which Russia can use to block access through. The Kerch strait is Russian territory and, by international law, Russia can limit access to the Sea of Azov.
So, this weekend’s incident in which a tug was rammed, ships fired upon and seized by Russia, ultimately was a proper and legal response to a clear provocation because the Ukrainian military ships refused to announce their intentions.
Let’s not beat around the bush here. This incident is meant to justify further antagonism between the West and Russia on the eve of the G-20 and the planned meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin.
It also was meant to enflame Ukrainian nationalism and drum up support for Poroshenko who is trailing badly in the polls as we approach March elections. Declaring martial law so as to potentially suspend those election, the US satrap is raising the stakes on Russia to it finally responding to these repeated provocations.
At the same time the Ukrainian Army unleashed the heaviest shelling of the Donbass contact line near Gorlovka in years.
There are a number of different angles on this incident and how it will be used to increase tensions between the West and Russia.
Russia is officially taking the position that Poroshenko is doing this to keep his Western backers happy who have dumped billions into him and his government to keep Ukraine a festering wound on Russia’s border.
It is also a desperate attempt to prop up this failing government and potentially suspend March’s elections.
While I am certainly sympathetic to that position, it is also the least interesting part of it because it is so blatantly obvious. I think the deeper gambit here has to do with Poroshenko ending the Friendship Treaty.
According to Rostislav Ishchenko ending the treaty works only in Russia’s favor as it removes the permanence of the boundary between Russia and Ukraine. In effect, it opens up the path to Russia to recognize the breakaway republics of Lugansk and Donetsk.
But, it’s more than that because it also opens up the argument that the Sea of Azov is now International Waters since the border is in dispute. This allows for legal maneuvering by Europe and the US through the UN to find Russia in violation of Ukrainian vessels’ right of passage. I’m not saying this is the case, being no legal scholar on this, but this looks the most likely tack to take to sell the world further on the evil, expansionist Russia narrative.
And that argument can hold weight because no one recognizes Crimea as part of Russia, officially.
The UN Security Council’s usual suspects – Europe and the US – backing Ukraine on this issue was wholly predictable. And the question now will be whether the US got its casus belli to try and force NATO ships into the Sea of Azov under the pretext of keeping the peace in International Waters.
“War Will Continue” As Long As Ukraine Government In Power: Putin
Buenos Aires: Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday he saw no end to the conflict in eastern Ukraine "as long as the current authorities remain in power."
"The current Ukrainian authorities have no interest in resolving the conflict, especially by peaceful means," Putin told reporters at the end of the G20 summit in Argentina.
"As long as they remain in power, the war will continue," the Russian leader said.
November 28, 2018
Trump: US troops will stay in Middle East to protect Israel
US President Donald Trump has admitted that the US only keeps its troops in the Middle East to protect Israel.
In an interview with the Washington Post yesterday, Trump explained that he would not withdraw US troops from the region because of the need to support Israel, despite the fact that other US concerns such as oil were no longer sufficient reason to remain. Trump told the Post:
“Now, are we going to stay in that part of the world [the Middle East]?
One reason to is Israel. Oil is becoming less and less of a reason
because we’re producing more oil now than we’ve ever produced. So,
you know, all of a sudden it gets to a point where you don’t have to
Trump’s comments have been interpreted as referring specifically to Saudi Arabia – one of the US’ main oil providers and increasingly an Israeli ally – with the Times of Israel suggesting the president “appear[s] to envision a world where the US would be less beholden to Saudi Arabia”.
This triangular relationship between the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia has been forefront in Trump’s decision-making in recent weeks. Last week, Trump suggested that Israel would face severe difficulties without the presence of Saudi Arabia, saying: “The fact is that Saudi Arabia is tremendously helpful in the Middle East, if we didn’t have Saudi Arabia we wouldn’t have a big base [and] Israel would be in big trouble”. Also last week, Trump thanked Saudi Arabia for lowering oil prices, stressing the US would remain a “steadfast partner” of the kingdom and not allow the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi to harm US-Saudi relations or weaken Israel.
The Film the Israel Lobby Does Not Want You to See
“The Lobby,” the four-part Al-Jazeera documentary that was blocked under heavy Israeli pressure shortly before its release, has been leaked online by the Chicago-based website Electronic Intifada, the French website Orient XXI and the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar.
The series is an inside look over five months by an undercover reporter, armed with a hidden camera, at how the government and intelligence agencies of Israel work with U.S. domestic Jewish groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), The Israel Project and StandWithUs to spy on, smear and attack critics, especially American university students who support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. It shows how the Israel lobby uses huge cash donations, often far above the U.S. legal limit, and flies hundreds of members of Congress to Israel for lavish and unpaid vacations at Israeli seaside resorts, bribing the American lawmakers to do Israel’s bidding, including providing military aid such as the $38 billion (over 10 years) that was approved by Congress in 2016. It uncovers Israel’s sleazy character assassination of academics, activists and journalists, its well-funded fake grassroots activism, its manipulation of press coverage, and its ham-fisted attempts to destroy marriages, personal relationships and careers. The film highlights the efforts to discredit liberal Jews and Jewish organizations as tools of radical jihadists, referring, for example, to Jewish Voice for Peace as “Jewish Voice for Hamas” and claiming that many members of the organization are not actually Jewish. Israel recruits black South Africans into an Israeli front group called Stop Stealing My Apartheid, in a desperate effort to counter the reality of the apartheid state that Israel has constructed. The series documents Israel’s repeated and multifaceted interference in the internal affairs of the United States, including elections; efforts to discredit progressive groups such as Black Lives Matter that express sympathy for the Palestinians; and routine employment of Americans to spy on other Americans. Israel’s behavior is unethical and perhaps illegal. But don’t expect anyone in the establishment or either of the two ruling political parties to do anything about it. It is abundantly clear by the end of the series that they have been intimidated, discredited or bought off.
Israeli Knesset member, dozens of settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque
Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Knesset member, Yehuda Glick, is seen along with other Israeli settlers as they enter the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in the occupied Old City of East Jerusalem al-Quds, on December 3, 2018. (Photo by Ma’an)
An ultra-Orthodox Israeli legislator and dozens of Israeli settlers have stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of East Jerusalem al-Quds amid frequent acts of violence committed by Israeli forces and settlers against the Palestinian people.
The Palestinian Ma'an news agency, citing Firas al-Dibs, spokesperson of the Islamic Waqf (Endowment) organization, said that Israeli’s Knesset member Yehuda Glick, who is a member of the ruling party of Likud-National Liberal Movement, and dozens of other Israeli settlers stormed the compound on Monday.
The report added that Glick, who campaigns for expanding the settlers’ access to the al-Aqsa compound, entered there for the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, performed prayers with his companions while under the armed protection of Israeli forces and police, who had been deployed across the area.
The number of Israeli lawmakers, or members of the Knesset, who storm the sacred compound, has increased in the past few months after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided in July to allow the legislators to visit the compound once every three months following a restriction of access that has been in place since October 2015.
Most of the Knesset members are right-wing extremists, who support the demolition of the Islamic site in order to build a Jewish temple instead, on what is known among settlers as the Temple Mount.
On November 18, Uri Ariel, the minister of agriculture and rural development in the occupied territories, and dozens of other Israeli settlers stormed the compound. The Israeli minister had previously stormed the compound in September.
Gaza hospitals overwhelmed by wounded in Israeli violence: Report
Doctors without Borders says number of injuries 'would overstretch the best healthcare systems in the world'.
Doctors Without Borders, known by its French initials MSF, on Thursday said thousands of Palestinians injured by Israeli gunfire during the ongoing Great March of Return protests were at risk of infection and disability because Gaza could not treat them adequately.
In all, some 6,000 Palestinians were shot by Israeli forces during the demonstrations along the separation fence since March, according to the besieged enclave's health ministry.
Around 1,000 of those have infections that could ultimately lead to amputations or even death.
MSF, which has provided care for thousands of Palestinians since the protests began, said most of those hurt by live fire were shot in the legs, often resulting in open fractures prone to infection.
"This many patients would overstretch the best healthcare systems in the world. In Gaza, it is a crushing blow," Marie-Elisabeth Ingres, MSF's chief for the Palestinian territories, said in a statement.
The NGO called on Israel to allow those injured out of the blockaded strip for necessary treatment and for governments to offer their medical facilities for the wounded.
"The alternative - that thousands of patients will be left to deal with terrible injuries, with many permanently disabled and dependent on their families - is unconscionable when adequate treatment is within the world's grasp," she said.
Sent: Saturday, 1 December, 2018 6:09:16 PM
Gaza 'overwhelmed' by patients with injuries from Israeli fire
'Slow-motion emergency' unfolding in besieged strip with hundreds facing amputations or even death, Doctors Without Borders says
Gaza's medical system is creaking under the weight of thousands of Palestinians suffering from long-term injuries caused by the Israeli army's use of live fire during months of protests, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has warned.
The organisation said on Thursday that it has treated more than 3,000 patients since the Great March of Return protests began along Gaza's barrier with Israel at the end of March.
The vast majority of those Palestinian patients were shot in the legs, MSF said in a statement.
"A slow-motion healthcare emergency is unfolding in Gaza as the cumulative needs of patients shot by the Israeli army and seriously injured during protests mount," the group said.
'This many patients would overstretch the best healthcare systems in the world'
Few were allowed to leave Gaza for treatment
The high number of injured has also affected any patients who can leave Gaza for treatment elsewhere, according to an official working for an international agency for MEE.
The official said that the authorities in Gaza gave priority to the Palestinians who were injured during the protests, when it comes to issuing permits to leave the land through the Egyptian border crossing.
Only 300 people are allowed to leave Gaza daily through the crossing.
"Today we have 8,000 people who have different conditions and require surgery, but they are classified as cold," the official said. "The priority is to take care of the injured people during the protests."
I and our group, which has been working since March, are still working according to the rules and regulations, but we can not work without donations because we do not have a financier who supports us.
We do not receive any salary, but we work for the wounded and ourselves, and we want nothing but to help the wounded
I need your help. Many of the injured people need the injured, mostly less than 18 years old
Please donate anything
Israeli forces attack new freedom flotilla in Gaza, dozens injured
A screenshot shows the Palestinian freedom flotilla, which was launched in the besieged Gaza Strip on December 3, 2018.
Israeli forces have opened fire on a new flotilla attempting to break the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip and people rallying in its support, leaving dozens of them wounded, Press TV reports.
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip launched a new flotilla on Monday for the 18th week in a row in an attempt to draw attention to their plight under more than a decade of siege, but they were met with live fire from Israel.
Gaza has been under Israeli siege since June 2007, which has caused a sharp decline in living standards.
Dozens of demonstrators were injured by live ammunition and tear gas inhalation as Israeli troops attacked the boats and hundreds of peaceful protesters who had gathered on the coast to see off the flotilla.
The flotilla of boats is launched as part of the anti-occupation protests dubbed “The Great March of Return,” which began on March 30. Palestinian protesters are demanding the right to return for those driven out of their homeland as a result of Israeli wars, occupation and other forms of aggression.
“Our peaceful rallies began on March 30 to draw the world’s attention to the plight of the Palestinian people, who continue to suffer due to Israel’s inhumane and illegal practices. Lifting the siege will be the first step in achieving our goals,” flotilla spokesman Mahmoud Masoud told Press TV.
From: alan haber
Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2018
Subject: Fwd: English CPNN bulletin December 1, 2018
all good wishes
this monthly report records advances toward a culture of peace and non-violence, for the children of the world.
the editor, David Adams, was an initiator of the culture of peace orientation at UNESCO, and the 1998 UN resolution..53/25.urging the common mission of humanity in the first decade of the new milleniem and century. must be the creation of a culture of peace and nn-violence, if we are to survive,
Since then he has been doing this monthly newsletter report...decade...
CPNN Bulletin for December 1, 2018
EUROPE MEETS AND MARCHES FOR PEACE
Meetings and demonstrations for peace have been taking place throughout Western Europe in the last month or so. Here are those with articles in CPNN:
Spain: The II World Forum on Urban Violence and Education for Coexistence and Peace was closed in Madrid by a panel of women chaired by the Manuela Carmena, the mayor of Madrid and host of the Forum She called for more leadership by women, saying "We must be protagonists in the 21st Century and in the following centuries. . . . the voice of women is the voice of peace." The Forum elaborated an agenda of cities for peace including: policies of caring rather than policies of security, preparation, implementation and supervision of action plans for the prevention of violence, and local action plans to address them.
During the Forum, it was announced that 2nd World March for Peace and Nonviolence will start from Madrid on October 2, 2019, International Day of Nonviolence and finish on March 8, 2020, International Women’s Day, It will be 10 years since the 1st WM that travelled through 97 countries on 5 continents. In this new edition, Madrid will be the beginning and end point for the 159-day circumnavigation of the planet which will pass through Africa, America, Oceania, Asia and Europe, going through more than 100 countries.
France: There were several major peace events in France.
At the Paris Peace Forum, sponsored by the French government to mark the centenary of the end of World War One, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that “blinkered” nationalism was gaining ground in Europe and beyond. French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his hope that the Forum could help avoid falling into the traps of the past by promoting multilateralism. He wants it to demonstrate the power of reconciliation a century after Europe was torn apart by one of history’s bloodiest conflicts. Among others at the Forum were Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan as well as United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gutteres. The Forum sought concrete actions to address today’s challenges. 850 initiatives were audited by the Selection Committee; 120 projects were selected and were presented at the Forum.
Also in Paris, Human rights defenders from across all corners of the world gathered for the Human Rights Defenders World Summit, to develop a plan of action for how to protect and promote the work of activists fighting for rights, 20 years on from the first UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Speakers included UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.
In Paris as well as in other cities of France and Europe, women took to the streets on the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence to Women in a “feminist tidal wave” against sexist and sexual violence. According to its organizer, "This is the biggest feminist mobilization that we have known in France.”
Germany: During the Days of Protest for Peace and Disarmament from 1 to 4 November, actions were carried out in almost 50 German cities and thousands of signatures were collected. The days of protest were organised by the national initiative “disarm instead of rearm” and supported by the two big networks of the peace movement “Cooperation for Peace” and the Committee of the Federal Peace Council.
Previously, in October, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marched through Berlin in protest against the far right, racism, and xenophobia. Organisers said 242,000 people across Germany took part in the rally, making it one of the biggest in recent years.
Iceland: Also at the end of October rallies were organized across the country to demand equal pay and rights and declaring “Don’t Change Women, Change the World!” Demonstrations were held in 16 towns and cities and the largest was in Reykjavík, where female musicians, poets, actresses and a 230-strong choir performed.
Italy: An International Conference “Scientists for Peace” was held in Città della Pieve. The scholars who took part in the Conference signed the “Declaration of the Scientists for Peace” which they are sending to UNESCO.
United Kingdom: A Nationwide Public Meeting Tour is being devoted to the themes of Stop Bombing Yemen and Stop Arming Saudi. It is taking place between 8 November and 13 December in York, Brent, Cardiff, London, Portsmouth, Norwich, Merseyside, Manchester, Sheffield, Basingstoke, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Lewisham.
hosted the First
International Conference against US/NATO Military Bases with speakers
from around the world. In CPNN, we have reprinted the speech to the
conference by Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire:
"Unfortunately, we are constantly bombarded with the glorification of
militarism and war; therefore building a culture of peace and nonviolence
will not be an easy task. . . However, I believe that peace is both possible
and urgent. It is achievable when we each become impassioned about peace and
filled with an ethic that makes peace our objective and we each put into
practice our moral sense of political/social responsibility to build peace
and justice. * * * * *
Chris Hedges - 'America, The Farewell Tour'(2018)
Ben Swann Responds to Jeffrey Epstein Pedophilia Case
Chris Hedges and Sheldon Wolin: Can Capitalism and Democracy Coexist? (full version)
Jim O'Brien via H-PAD
Sent: Friday, 30 November, 2018
Subject: [H-PAD] H-PAD Notes 11/30/18: Links to recent articles and reports of interest
Links to Recent Articles and Reports of Interest
By Aviva Chomsky, TomDispatch.com, posted November 29
The author teaches history at Salem State University.
By Andrew J. Bacevich, TomDispatch.com, posted November 27
The author is a professor emeritus of history and international relations at Boston University. This article also appears in The Nation under the title "Has the U.S. Been Fighting the Wrong War in the Middle East."
By Kevin M. Kruse, The Nation, posted November 21
The author teaches history at Princeton University. This is a review essay on Sarah Churchwell's book Behold America: The Entangled History of "America First and the "American Dream"
By Rajan Menon, TomDispatch.com, posted November 18
The author teaches international relations at the Powell School, City College of New York.
By Edward Friedman, Dissent, posted November 16
Critical essay on a history of the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars.
By Danny Sjursen, TruthDig.com, posted November 14
The author is a current US Army officer who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and a former history instructor at West Point.
By Jeremy Kuzmarov, Class, Race and Corporate Power, posted mid-November
The author teaches history at Tulsa Community College.
By Neta C. Crawford, Watson Institute, Brown University, posted November 14
The author is chair of the Department of Political Science at Boston University and co-director of the Costs of War Project at Brown University.
By Jonathan M. Katz, The Atlantic, posted November 12
"The Dominican Republic deported an estimated 70,000 to 80,000 pweople of Haitian descent. Those behind live in a state of institutionalized terror." The author is a former AP correspondent in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
By Martha Mundy, World Peace Foundation, posted October 9
The author is an emeritus professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics; the World Peace Foundation is affiliated with the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. This is an exhaustive, important report that was mistakenly omitted from an earlier version of this list.
Thanks to Teresa Mead, Steve Gosch, and Roger Peace for suggesting articles that are included in the above list. Suggestions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.,
Mark Crispin Miller
Sent: Friday, 30 November, 2018
Subject: [MCM] Mueller's found NO evidence of Russia-Trump collusion, writes former Clinton man Mark Penn.
Mark Penn: The Mueller investigation has come up empty on Russia—You won’t believe what's coming next
by Mark Penn
FILE - Special counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller.
The pattern and purpose of Mueller’s investigation and the endgame is becoming clear, and yes, it’s clearly get the president at all costs. The team Mueller hired really foretold the story — Andrew Weissmann as the stop-at-nothing pit bull and a group of Democratic-leaning lawyers, including some who have represented the Clintons, had the obstruction of justice charge ready to go on day one.
Trump’s first team of lawyers with their “don’t worry and cooperate” strategy set the president back, and let the whole thing spiral out of control.
The investigation, I believe, has come up truly empty on its central charge related to the president — collusion with the Russian government. They are now trying to find someone, anyone who had any contact with Julian Assange with the aim of calling that collusion-lite.
But mostly what Mueller’s team is doing is bludgeoning witnesses on unrelated charges to piece together a case against the president. They are shaping that case through the indictments -- and threats of indictments -- that are being used to get guilty pleas to make the president seem like an obstructor or co-conspirator. They are literally creating the crimes.
Let’s review what Mueller and his team are doing:
Michael Flynn — They discovered unreported lobbying by Trump's former National Security Adviser and leveraged that to get him to plead guilty to lying to the FBI. Why? So that they can claim Trump’s comment to James Comey about letting him go was obstruction of justice. Yet no other prosecutor would ever have brought this charge.
Michael Cohen — They got Trump’s former lawyer on all sorts of financial crimes related to his businesses and loans. But he pled guilty to campaign finance violations for payments that in the past would have been ruled on as personal expenses. Now they’ve also gotten him to cop to lying about when he killed the perfectly legal Russia tower project, only it appears that Trump’s lawyers ducked that perjury trap in the written questions.
George Papadopoulos— The former member of Trump’s foreign policy advisory panel was forced to plead to lying about the timing of his contacts. The goal was to legitimize the start of the investigation around him when all he did was pass on a surmise or a tip he received. Was the time and expense worth a 14-day sentence? Of course not. They had all the records they needed to figure out who he contacted when.
Jerome Corsi – The best-selling author was threatened with pleading to lying about his contacts with his friend and former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone. There was nothing illegal about his comments or actions, and he is a journalist, though obviously, the general rules of journalism don’t apply to conservatives like him.
Roger Stone -- The former Trump campaign adviser sent out a tweet suggesting Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta was next, and an email to Corsi asking him to get the rest of the emails. He was obviously trying to find out what was going on with these emails, and that’s not illegal in any way.
Paul Manafort – The former Trump presidential campaign chairman’s old tax and reporting cases going far back were dusted off to get him under the thumb of the prosecutor. It was revealed that he continued a joint defense agreement with the president and suddenly the prosecutor is saying he lied about his business dealings. It’s all about vengeance on him for failing to give them what they want and to make Trump look bad.
Sure, there are some anonymous Russians who will never be tried to add on top of this record. But it’s clear now Mueller is no longer looking for crimes in the presidential race of 2016. He is simply creating a narrative to delegitimize the president and to string together his words to Comey with the Flynn indictment, Cohen with Stormy Daniels payment, Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi with ties to Julian Assange, and now Cohen with underplaying Russia connections. And let’s not forget the Trump Tower meeting with the attorney who was also conveniently working with Fusion GPS.
There’s no doubt that the outline of Mueller’s report was written a long time ago and is being filled in. For those who thought Mueller would deliver a balanced and thoughtful report, these latest actions suggest that instead, we are seeing an all-out attack on the president and the presidency the likes of which we have never seen.
Get ready for the fight of the century coming soon and it will be about everything except collusion with the Russian government.
The CIA’s Evidence Linking Saudi Crown Prince
to Khashoggi Killing
How did the CIA conclude that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed on the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman?
WSJ’s Warren P. Strobel has an exclusive look at the secretive evidence behind the assessment. Photo: Reuters
MbS scrambles military amid coup fears: Report
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the opening of the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 30, 2018.
A new report says Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MbS, has scrambled the Saudi military fearing a coup by some royals to topple him.
Emirati news website al-Khaleej Online reported that the Saudi army personnel and assets had been transferred from the kingdom's eastern and western provinces to the capital Riyadh in a pre-emptive move to prevent a putsch while bin Salman is in Argentina for the G20 summit.
The report comes at a time that the heir to the Saudi throne faces widespread criticism over the deadly war on Yemen and the brutal killing of a dissident journalist inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
An Argentinian prosecutor has agreed to pursue a case against bin Salman over war crimes in Yemen, according to Human Rights Watch.
Dissident Saudi Prince Khalid bin Farhan Al Saud, who lives in exile in Germany, said that a royal coup was in the offing and that an opposition group had been set up to unseat the crown prince.
He told the al-Khaleej Online that bin Salman's style of government is "ignorant and delusional."
If the Saudi royal family and "other countries" decide to move against King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and bin Salman, "a wave of violence is likely to occur as the Saudi kingdom is reigned by employing ignorant and barbaric methods," he said.
"I hope that there will be a soft coup that overthrows the deep state and takes controls of prominent security institutions, and then sacks the Crown Prince and the king," he added.
Additionally, a well-known Saudi online activist, who goes by the nickname of @mujtahidd on Twitter, told the Al Khaleej Online that “had Prince Ahmed announced… the removal of King Salman from power, 95% of the family would have pledged allegiance to him on the spot.”
He was referring to Saudi Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King Salman's brother and bin Salman's uncle, who was said to be afraid to return to the kingdom since he had made public comments critical of the crown prince.
Sources close to Prince Ahmed said in late October that he had flown back to Riyadh from London.
Oppression in the Middle East is worse than ever — and Trump
is encouraging more
President Trump and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires on Friday. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/oppression-in-the-middle-east-is-worse-than-ever--and-trump-is-encouraging-more/2018/12/02/99d711d8-f402-11e8-bc79-68604ed88993_story.html?utm_term=.ea42720e2851
December 2, 2018
AS CONGRESS considers its reaction to the state-sponsored murder of Jamal Khashoggi, it’s important to take into account that it was not an isolated act. The strangling and dismemberment of the journalist by a 15-member Saudi team form part of a pattern of brutal repression by the regime of King Salman and his highest-ranking son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, that far exceeds that of previous rulers. Saudi Arabia, in turn, forms part of a quartet of Sunni Arab dictatorships, all allied with the United States, that have sought to eliminate all forms of dissent, including free media, independent civil society groups and anyone advocating liberal reforms.
The regimes, which include Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, as well as Saudi Arabia, don’t hesitate to employ the most extreme methods to accomplish their aims, including mass arrests, torture, forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. In doing so, they are repeating the mistakes of previous Arab dictators and storing up trouble for the future, in the form of alienated citizens and stagnant economies. In offering the regimes unqualified support, the Trump administration in turn is putting vital U.S. interests at risk.
One probable reason for the CIA’s conclusion that Mohammed bin Salman was involved in the Khashoggi murder is the operation’s resemblance to numerous others launched from the crown prince’s court over the past 18 months. As The Post’s David Ignatius reported, a team of Saudi intelligence operatives working with close advisers to the crown prince have kidnapped a number of dissidents domestically and abroad. The detainees have been held in secret prisons and tortured. Among the victims are women’s rights activists who advocated the right to drive and who remain imprisoned.
G20 Summit, Top Agenda Item: Bye-Bye American Empire
by Finian Cunningham
The G20 summits are nominally about how the world’s biggest national economies can cooperate to boost global growth. This year’s gathering – more than ever – shows, however, that rivalry between the US and China is center stage.
Zeroing in further still, the rivalry is an expression of a washed-up American empire desperately trying to reclaim its former power. There is much sound, fury and pretense from the outgoing hegemon – the US – but the ineluctable reality is an empire whose halcyon days are a bygone era.
Ahead of the summit taking place this weekend in Argentina, the Trump administration has been issuing furious ultimatums to China to “change its behavior”. Washington is threatening an escalating trade war if Beijing does not conform to American demands over economic policies.
President Trump has taken long-simmering US complaints about China to boiling point, castigating Beijing for unfair trade, currency manipulation, and theft of intellectual property rights. China rejects this pejorative American characterization of its economic practices.
Nevertheless, if Beijing does not comply with US diktats then the Trump administration says it will slap increasing tariffs on Chinese exports.
The gravity of the situation was highlighted by the comments this week of China’s ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, who warned that the “lessons of history” show trade wars can lead to catastrophic shooting wars. He urged the Trump administration to be reasonable and to seek a negotiated settlement of disputes.
The problem is that Washington is demanding the impossible. It’s like as if the US wants China to turn the clock back to some imagined former era of robust American capitalism. But it is not in China’s power to do that. The global economy has shifted structurally away from US dominance. The wheels of production and growth are in China’s domain of Eurasia.
For decades, China functioned as a giant market for cheap production of basic consumer goods. Now under President Xi Jinping, the nation is moving to a new phase of development involving sophisticated technologies, high-quality manufacture, and investment.
It’s an economic evolution that the world has seen before, in Europe, the US and now Eurasia. In the decades after the Second World War, up to the 197os, it was US capitalism that was the undisputed world leader. Combined with its military power, the postwar global order was defined and shaped by Washington. Sometimes misleading called Pax Americana, there was nothing peaceful about the US-led global order. It was more often an order of relative stability purchased by massive acts of violence and repressive regimes under Washington’s tutelage.
In American mythology, it does not have an empire. The US was supposed to be different from the old European colonial powers, leading the rest of the world through its “exceptional” virtues of freedom, democracy and rule of law. In truth, US global dominance relied on the application of ruthless imperial power.
The curious thing about capitalism is it always outgrows its national base. Markets eventually become too small and the search for profits is insatiable. American capital soon found more lucrative opportunities in the emerging market of China. From the 1980s on, US corporations bailed out of America and set up shop in China, exploiting cheap labor and exporting their goods back to increasingly underemployed America consumers. The arrangement was propped up partly because of seemingly endless consumer debt.
That’s not the whole picture of course. China has innovated and developed independently from American capital. It is debatable whether China is an example of state-led capitalism or socialism. The Chinese authorities would claim to subscribe to the latter. In any case, China’s economic development has transformed the entire Eurasian hemisphere. Whether you like it or not, Beijing is the dynamo for the global economy. One indicator is how nations across Asia-Pacific are deferring to China for their future growth.
Washington likes to huff and puff about alleged Chinese expansionism “threatening” US allies in Asia-Pacific. But the reality is that Washington is living in the past of former glory. Trading blocs like the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) realize their bread is buttered by China, no longer America. Washington’s rhetoric about “standing up to China” is just that – empty rhetoric. It doesn’t mean much to countries led by their interests of economic development and the benefits of Chinese investment.
by Michael I. Niman
George H.W. Bush, the CIA and a Case of State-Sponsored Terrorism
by Robert Perry
Sent: Saturday, 1 December, 2018
Subject: [MCM] As a criminal, George "Poppy" Bush makes Donald Trump look like a petty thief
Here's a useful antidote to the emetic propaganda in today's NYTimes re: George H.W. Bush's move
into the Great Beyond (where he and Allen Dulles, among other towering criminals, may fan each other
until Judgement Day):
For more of the appalling truth on "Poppy" Bush, and his near-dynasty, I recommend Russ Baker's
Family of Secrets (Bloomsbury Press, 2008). There's also this piece—on Ronald Reagan's near-
assassination, and Bush's likely role in it—which Baker wrote in 2016, shortly after the "long gunman,"
John Hinckley, Jr., was very quietly released from custody:
(Baker had decided not to include that shocking story in his already-shocking book.)
And, on Bush's role in the "October Surprise" conspiracy in particular, I recommend the late
Bob Parry's Trick or Treason, and all his other writings on the subject, beyond those linked below.
Taking a Bush Secret to the Grave
The National Archives approved Robert Parry’s appeal on a 30-year-old secret: the address where George H.W. Bush supposedly went on an October 1980 weekend — when several witnesses put Bush in Paris meeting with Iranians, Parry reported on 9/27 2011.
George H.W. Bush, the CIA and a
Case of State - Sponsored Terrorism
Fifty-eight years ago, a car-bomb exploded in Washington killing Chile’s ex-Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier, an act of state terrorism that the CIA and its director George H.W. Bush tried to cover up, Robert Parry reported on Sept. 23, 2000.
Psyop Against WikiLeaks
The claims made by Luke Harding and The Guardian that Assange met Manafort will never be proven true, and they know it. And we should never let them forget it, says Caitlin Johnstone.
US Mass Mobilizations: Wars and Financial Plunder
by James Petras
Over the past three decades, the US government has engaged in over a dozen wars, none of which have evoked popular celebrations either before, during or after. Nor did the government succeed in securing popular support in its efforts to confront the economic crises of 2008 – 2009.
This paper will begin by discussing the major wars of our time, namely the two US invasions of Iraq . We will proceed to analyze the nature of the popular response and the political consequences.
In the second section we will discuss the economic crises of 2008 -2009, the government bailout and popular response. We will conclude by focusing on the potential powerful changes inherent in mass popular movements.
The Iraq War and the US Public
In the run-up to the two US wars against Iraq, (1990 – 01 and 2003 – 2011) there was no mass war fever, nor did the public celebrate the outcome. On the contrary both wars were preceded by massive protests in the US and among EU allies. The first Iraqi invasion was opposed by the vast-majority of the US public despite a major mass media and regime propaganda campaign backed by President George H. W. Bush. Subsequently, President Clinton launched a bombing campaign against Iraq in December 1998 with virtually no public support or approval.
March 20, 2003, President George W. Bush launched the second major war against Iraq despite massive protests in all major US cities. The war was officially concluded by President Obama in December 2011. President Obama’s declaration of a successful conclusion failed to elicit popular agreement.
Several questions arise: Why mass opposition at the start of the Iraq wars and why did they fail to continue?
Why did the public refuse to celebrate President Obama’s ending of the war in 2011?
Why did mass protests of the Iraq wars fail to produce durable political vehicles to secure the peace?
The Anti-Iraq War Syndrome
The massive popular movements which actively opposed the Iraq wars had their roots in several historical sources. The success of the movements that ended the Viet Nam war, the ideas that mass activity could resist and win was solidly embedded in large segments of the progressive public. Moreover, they strongly held the idea that the mass media and Congress could not be trusted; this reinforced the idea that mass direct action was essential to reverse Presidential and Pentagon war policies.
California’s Political Revolution
An Interview with Gayle McLaughlin
Richmond, California has become a bastion of independent working-class politics. And its organizers want even more.
Convert Military to Green Production, or Perish
interview with Daniel Ellsberg
In this series, Daniel Ellsberg and Paul Jay explore Ellsberg’s latest book, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. In the introduction to the book, Ellsberg writes: “No policies in human history have more deserved to be recognized as immoral or insane. The story of how this calamitous predicament came about and how and why it has persisted over a half a century is a chronicle of human madness. Whether Americans, Russians, and other humans can rise to the challenge of reversing these policies and eliminating the danger of near-term extinction caused by their own inventions and proclivities remains to be seen. I choose to join with others in acting as if that is still possible.”
Hightower Up Against the Corporate Wall
For ten years, Jim Hightower’s weekly column – Little Puffs of Populism – has been distributed week in and week out by Creators’ Syndicate to newspapers around the country.
Not one problem. Until this week’s column titled Free The Free Press from Wall Street Plunderers
Earlier this week, Creators’s Syndicate informed Hightower they were not going to distribute this one. Why not?
“The big, hedge-fund owned newspaper chains that Hightower calls out in his column are big customers of theirs, and as such, they don’t want to risk offending them,” said Hightower assistant Melody Byrd. “But while Creators’ reluctance to anger these powerful interests is somewhat understandable, the implications are frightening. It’s one more example of this dangerous time for America’s decreasingly-free press that, ironically, Jim lays out in this very column.”
In a note to newspapers urging them to run the column anyway, Byrd wrote – “the American people deserve to know more about the entities that are squeezing so many of our community newspapers for cash and, in the process, choking our democracy.”
From: "Mark Crispin Miller"
Sent: Monday, 3 December, 2018
Subject: [MCM] CNN fires Marc Lamont Hill, who is not an anti-semite, for "anti-semitism"—i.e., defending Palestinian rights. (2 pieces, & a link to a petition)
This petition is at https://actionnetwork.org/forms/cnn-reinstate-marc-lamont-hill/ :
The Bottomless Dishonesty of CNN on Palestine and Marc Lamont Hill Firing
By Juan Cole, Informed Comment
03 December 18
You can protest this outrageous firing at this petition site.
And here is a link to his book, Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond, which everyone should buy and read.
CNN would have been under special pressure to fire Hill because he is a prominent African-American intellectual with a following in his own community, and the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs (the propaganda arm of the Likud government) is worried about the boycott and sanctions movement spreading among American minorities who might sympathize with the oppressed Palestinians.
In his speech, Hill carefully explained all the ways in which Israeli Apartheid practices (my word, not his) devastate the basic human rights of the 5 million Palestinians living under Occupation. Not only are the 20 percent of Israeli citizens who are of Palestinian heritage second class citizens (and, increasingly, third class citizens), but those kept under the jackboot of the Israeli military in the Palestinian West Bank and in Gaza are kept stateless and without even the right to have rights.
These crimes, epochal and unparalleled in our own time, are being committed by Binyamin Netanyahu and his henchmen in plain sight, violating every principle of agreed-upon international law in the post-1945 period. (I say unparalleled because I know of no other government on earth in the 21st century deliberately keeping millions of persons stateless and depriving them of citizenship. Some countries give minorities a citizenship many of the latter do not want, but they still do have a passport and property rights). Israel occupied the Palestinian West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967 and refuses to relinquish them or grant citizenship to the inhabitants, ensuring they remain in the twilight zone of statelessness. They are by far the largest stateless population in the world, (Undocumented migrants are not stateless since they have citizenship in their home country). The Nazis made Jews stateless as a prelude to the Holocaust.
One way that the Israeli right wing gets away with these atrocities is to use techniques of blackballing, smearing, and propaganda to marginalize any voices they don’t like. Jewish American mainstream organizations like the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco secretly have created web sites and techniques for getting people fired or blocking their career advancement if they aren’t on board with Israeli colonization of the Palestinian West Bank. Canary Mission is even now targeting our undergraduate students, hoping to blight their lives for taking a stand for justice. I do not believe it is too much to say that Canary Mission is evil.