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          Review: Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh hates lies - Charleston Post Courier      Cache   Translate Page      

Charleston Post Courier

Review: Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh hates lies
Charleston Post Courier
Seymour Hersh is the honey badger of investigative journalism, the digger who uncovered the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, exposed abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and, more recently, claimed the Obama administration lied about how Osama bin ...


          Re: People Are “Fighting For Food” As Authorities Warn Florence “Could Produce A Disaster Comparable To 2005’s Hurricane Katrina”      Cache   Translate Page      

The Democrats can hardly wait to politicize this crisis They will be high-fiving each other everytime the death count is increased. Similar to the way they did during the Iraq War.
"We blame Trump" . Get ready it's coming.


          Irak, atentat në veri të Bagdadit, 5 të vdekur e 32 të plagosur      Cache   Translate Page      
Pesë të vrarë dhe 32 të plagosur, mes tyre gra dhe fëmijë, gjatë një atentati të ndodhur sot në veri të Bagdatit. Lajmin e bëjnë të ditur burime të sigurisë të cituara nga tv al Iraqiya. Burimet bëjnë shkaktar Isis për këtë sulm, edhe pse nuk ka për momentin asnjë deklaratë zyrtare nga ?Shteti
          Iraqi Football Team - فريقُ عراقي ينسحب من مباراةِ مع الجزائر، والسبب!      Cache   Translate Page      

Iraqi Football Team

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فريق رياضي عراقي من أمام منافسه الجزائري في بطولة الأندية العربية المقامة في الجزائر


          Is the "Circus in Washington... drowning out good economic news"?      Cache   Translate Page      
I'm reading "There’s Never Been a President This Unpopular With an Economy This Good" (Bloomberg).
President Donald Trump’s unpopularity is unprecedented given the strength of the economy. That’s according to a Bloomberg analysis of polling data....
Is it possible that the polls are wrong? They were in 2016, when Trump blindsided everybody. I'm thinking maybe the polls are right, and it's really true that when asked, most people say they disapprove of Trump. But people disapprove of a lot of things that — when the time comes to decide what to do — they do. Drinking, eating dessert, looking at pornography. And they'll express approval of a lot of things they won't do: getting lots of sleep, eating piles of fresh vegetables, and following Jesus.

Another thing is, the economy is a pretty boring news topic compared to the "circus" of whatever bad thing Trump tweeted or what the latest Mr. Anonymous says Trump did and so forth. But the economy is always there in the background, affecting our lives. We look at the stock prices on our own, without Wolf Blitzer or whoever nudging us to look at today's statistics. Pile on Trump now, it's dangerous and fun, but when it comes time to vote, people may shrug off all the crazy stuff they've heard over the last 2 years, and vote based on the great old question "Are you better off now...?"



As we get close to Election Day, and there are debates and ads, Republicans should just make the old Reagan move and strongly prod people to look at the economy. In a few seconds, the positive news can be strongly conveyed. And the "circus" that's been cluttering up the TV shows may be hard even to remember. I'm sure Democratic Party candidates will urge voters to look at what a circus it's been and hope to blame Trump and not the media for the circus, but I'm picturing debates where the Republican candidate will easily say: My opponent is trying to distract you with the circus show you've been watching in the news all year so you won't look at one big obvious fact — the economy is doing great.

And one more thing, something even more drowned out than the economy. Trump defeated ISIS (NYT):
The last vestige of the Islamic State’s caliphate that straddled Syria and Iraq is under attack. Members of an American-backed coalition said Tuesday that they had begun a final push to oust the militants from Hajin, Syria, the remaining sliver of land under the group’s control in the region where it was born. The assault is the final chapter of a war that began more than four years ago after the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, seized vast tracts in Iraq and Syria and declared a caliphate. The group lost its last territory in Iraq last year.... 

          New Republican Ad Targets Candidate's Rap Lyrics In Hudson Valley Race for Congress       Cache   Translate Page      

National Republicans are hitting Hudson Valley homes with a new ad criticizing the decade-old rap lyrics of a Democrat trying to flip the 19th Congressional District.

The ad from the National Republican Congressional Committee mixes sound-bites from an Antonio Delgado campaign ad with snippets from his 2006 album.

“I’m an attorney, fighting for what’s fair and just," Delgado says in the clip. That's followed by the lyrics: "Gotcha sweatin' this like ya having sex to a porno flick.”

Another snippet includes the lyric "God bless Iraq."

Delgado, an attorney and Rhodes Scholar, is taking on Republican incumbent John Faso in the northern Hudson Valley district. The race is rated a toss-up by Congressional handicappers and is expected to be one of the most expensive in the country.

Delgado is black and running in a district that census data says is 89 percent white.

"It's disappointing that John Faso and his supporters are still focused on distractions by spreading fear, hatred and division," Delgado said in a statement. "We continue to call on Faso to condemn these divisive and deceptive ads."

Delgado said he's focusing on issues such as health care, improving public schools, jobs and infrastructure.

It's the third time Republicans have criticized Delgado for his 2006 album, "Painfully Free," which Delgado recorded as AD the Voice while living in Los Angeles. In July, a New York Post story noted the controversial lyrics. 

“Mr. Delgado’s lyrics are offensive, troubling and inconsistent with the views of the people of the 19th District and America," Faso told the Daily Freeman at the time. Then last month, the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC allied with House Speaker Paul Ryan, put out an ad using the lyrics.

NRCC spokesman Chris Martin said the group has reserved $1.3 million worth of ad time in the district and that the ad will run on both cable and broadcast television.

Republicans could talk about the tax cut they passed last year, or positive national economic data. On his social media feeds, Faso has noted his work to prevent opioid deaths and get a fairer trade deal for New York dairy farmers.

But the campaign ads have focused on rap lyrics.

"We're going to make sure voters understand just how extreme and out of touch Antonio Delgado is," Martin said. "They deserve to know about the sexist, anti-American rap lyrics he recorded before moving to the district and launching his campaign."

The latest polling in the race, released Wednesday by Monmouth University, shows Delgado holding a slim lead. Monmouth ran three models that vary the amount of turnout. Delgado leads 45% to 43% among all potential voters. The lead grows, 48% to 45%, based on historical midterm models and expands even further, 49% to 43%, assuming a surge of Democratic voters.

Delgado is viewed more favorably than Faso by those polled, said Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray.

“Faso has been trying to paint Delgado as a carpetbagger with a dubious past in rap music," Murray said in a statement. "It’s not clear that those attacks have taken hold, at least not enough to give the Republican an advantage."

A Siena College poll last month showed Faso holding a 45% to 40% lead among likely voters.


           Senator Tammy Duckworth talks about losing her legs in Iraq and poses for Vogue       Cache   Translate Page      
The Illinois Senator posed for photographer Annie Leibovitz for the October issue of Vogue and gave a candid interview on her amputated legs and her geriatric pregnancies.
          'We're doing this in order to prevent World War III': I read Bob Woodward's explosive new Trump book cover-to-cover, and there's one big takeaway      Cache   Translate Page      

Donald Trump

  • Journalist Bob Woodward's explosive new book about President Donald Trump and his administration, "Fear: Trump in the White House," highlights one overriding theme in the president's worldview.
  • The most important thing is the bottom line.
  • The book portrays top military, foreign policy, and national security advisers fighting him on that point.

President Donald Trump's foreign policy is driven by one thing: the bottom line.

It's a different approach than perhaps any other in the nation's history — one that fits a president who made his experience in the business world. It runs counter to the advice of his top military and national security advisers, who time and time again try to make the case to him that the existing world order is worth paying for to "prevent World War III," as Defense Secretary James Mattis pointedly told him.

Amid all the eye-popping details from journalist Bob Woodward's explosive new book about President Donald Trump and his administration, "Fear: Trump in the White House," this theme stands out.

No argument from career officials — like Mattis, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former national security adviser H.R. McMaster, former National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford — seems to convince Trump that the system is worth upholding and footing much of the bill for.

"I'm tired of hearing that we have to do this or that to protect our homeland or to ensure our national security," Trump said during a discussion on what the game-plan moving forward on Afghanistan, according to the book.

Repeatedly, he denigrated the advice of those advisers because, as Trump said, they had no business experience and had no concept of money:

  • "These military guys, they don't get business," Trump said. "They know how to be soldiers and they know how to fight. They don't understand how much it's costing."
  • "All they want to do is protect everybody — that we pay for," he said of his group of military, foreign policy, and national security advisers.
  • Pointing to McMaster, who Woodward reported was never able to mesh well with the president, Trump said he didn't know how the Iraqi government "managed to fool McMaster, but he's not a businessman."
  • Trump said American military generals "don't understand the cost/benefit analysis."

Whether on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the post-World War II European alliance headed up by the US, US defense commitments in South Korea, or the ongoing war in Afghanistan, Trump insisted that money alone should be the main driver of any policy outlook.

NATO? The countries must pay their fair share. Afghanistan? "I'm not making a deal on anything until we get minerals," Trump said. South Korea? Renegotiate a trade deal immediately, or remove all US soldiers from the peninsula.

This is especially obvious in debates over existing US trade deals, which nearly all of his advisers try to convince him are actually good for the country.

"We're upside down" on trade deals, Trump said. "We're underwater on every one of these."

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis gestures during a press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., May 19, 2017.He insisted the other nations were "making money" off the US.

"Just look at all this stuff up there," Trump said, pointing at some graphics. "We're paying for it all."

Cohn at multiple junctures tried to explain the deals were good for the economy and allowed US consumers to buy high-quality goods. One example he gave was TVs from South Korea, which US consumers could buy for a much lower cost than a TV manufactured in the US. Those lower costs allowed consumers to spend more money on other American products.

"I don't want to hear that," Trump said, according to the book. "It's all bulls---."

'We're doing this in order to prevent World War III'

In a heated debate over South Korea, during which advisers were seeking to convince him to stay in the KORUS trade agreements, maintain troop levels, and keep the THAAD missile defense system in place, Cohn asked the president what he would "need in the region to sleep well at night?"

"I wouldn't need a f---ing thing," the president said. "And I'd sleep like a baby."

Sometimes, the advisers lost their cool. Tillerson, who Woodward seconded earlier reporting as calling Trump a "f---ing moron," was a prime example. After one meeting, Woodward wrote that Tillerson "could not abide Trump's attack on the generals" and that he was "speaking as if the US military was a mercenary for hire."

"If a country wouldn't pay us to be there, then we didn't want to be there," Woodward wrote of Tillerson's assessment of Trump's foreign policy views. "As if there were no American interests in forging and keeping a peaceful world order, as if the American organizing principle was money."

Soon, one of the most tense meetings between Trump and these advisers took place. Trump revisited his distaste for keeping troops on the Korean Peninsula. But this time, he began asking why the US protected other countries, such as Taiwan.

"We're doing this in order to prevent World War III," Mattis replied. Woodward wrote that the response was "breathtaking" for those in the room, calling it "a challenge to the president, suggesting he was risking nuclear war."

"But we're losing so much money in trade with South Korea, China and others," Trump responded. "I'd rather be spending money on our own country."

SEE ALSO: Trump reportedly exploded at his ex-lawyer after he heard Mueller was looking into his relationship with Deutsche Bank: 'This is bulls---!'

Join the conversation about this story »

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          Review: Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh hates lies - Charleston Post Courier      Cache   Translate Page      

Charleston Post Courier

Review: Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh hates lies
Charleston Post Courier
Seymour Hersh is the honey badger of investigative journalism, the digger who uncovered the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, exposed abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and, more recently, claimed the Obama administration lied about how Osama bin ...


           U.S. Republicans seek sanctions on Iraqi militias with...       Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Republican U.S. senators plan to introduce legislation on Wednesday seeking to counteract what they see as Iran's...
          Armageddon Rides in the Balance      Cache   Translate Page      
SUBHEAD: Never before have irrationality and immorality had such a firm hold on the US government.

By Paul Craig Roberts on 10 September 2018 for PaulCraigRoberts.org -
(https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/09/10/armageddon-rides-in-the-balance/)


Image above: Many in this world inhabit Armageddon already. Damaged buildings are seen at the Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus, Syria. April 28, 2018. Photo by Omar Sanadiki. From (https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/syria-regime-and-rebels-agree-evacuation-deal-in-southern-damascus-1.725770).

IB Publisher's note: Yes Paul Craig Roberts is a nutcake. He is a Ronald Reagan Republican economist who sees clearly, but through a deeply colored filter. None the less, he does have an inkling of the dichotomy between the "Left" and the "Right". The "Left" with elements of the "Deep State" (intelligence complex, CIA, NSA, State Department, etc) and the "Right" with elements of the "Military-Industrial Complex" (Pentagon, Defense contractors, Mercenary operations, ICE, etc.). Both aspects of our government are hurtling towards a more repressive and garrulous America. As these aggressive and regressive forces gain influence, woe is us. America will conduct more war and experience more repression.] 

For some time I have pointed out the paradox of the American liberal/progressive/left being allied with the CIA, FBI, military/security complex and deep state. Now leftist Ann Garrison has noticed the paradox of this alliance. She concludes that the Left has lost its mind. https://www.globalresearch.ca/we-love-the-cia-or-how-the-left-lost-its-mind/5653450

Indeed, it has.

Out of its hatred of Trump the Left has united with the forces of evil and war that are leading to conflict with Russia. The Left’s hatred of Trump shows that the American Left has totally seperated from the interests of the working class, which elected Trump.

The American Left has abandoned the working class for the group victimizations and hatreds of Identity Politics. As Hillary put it, the working class comprises the “Trump deplorables.” The Democratic Party, like the Republicans, represents the ruling oligarchy.

I have explained that the leftwing lost its bearings when the Soviet Union collapsed and socialism gave way to neoliberal privatizations.

The moral fury of the leftwing movement had to go somewhere, and it found its home in Identity Politics in which the white heterosexual male takes the place of the capitalist, and his victim groups—blacks, women, homosexuals, illegal immigrants—take the place of the working class.

The consequences of the leftwing’s alliance with warmongers and liars is the leftwing’s loss of veracity. The Left has endorsed a CIA orchestration—“Russiagate”—for which there is no known evidence, but which the Left supports as proven truth.

The purpose of “Russiagate” is to prevent President Trump from normalizing relations with Russia. In these times when so many Americans are hard pressed, normal relations could adversely impact the budget and power of the military/security complex by reducing the “Russian threat.”

If there is no real Russian threat, only an orchestrated perceived one, the question arises: why does the military/security complex have a taxpayer-supported annual budget of $1,000 billion dollars?

The presstitutes have kept the truth from emerging that the “Russiagate” investigation has found no sign of a Trump/Putin plot to steal the 2016 presidential election from Hillary.

Indeed, it has been proven beyond all questioning that the Hillary emails were not hacked but were downloaded on a thumb drive. This proof collapses the entire premise of “Russiagate.”
Nevertheless, the hoax continues.

Muller’s indictments are for unrelated matters, such as income tax evasion in the distant past of Republican fund raisers and consultants. These charges have nothing whatsoever to do with Mueller’s mandate.

Indeed, as Andrew C. McCarthy, a former US attorney who led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, has made clear, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller to head the “Russiagate” investigation is not in compliance with the regulations that govern the appointment of a special prosecutor.

The appointment of a special prosecutor requires evidence of a specific federal crime that is to be investigated. You only have a special prosecutor when there is factual basis for believing that a federal crime has been committed.

What is the federal crime? What is the factual basis? Mueller’s appointment does not say. Therefore, Mueller’s appointment is invalid. Rosenstein has violated the process.

In my opinion, this is grounds for Rosenstein to be removed from office. https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/09/trump-russia-probe-robert-mueller-investigation/

At one time, Congress—both parties—would have been all over the invalid Mueller appointment.

However, after 16 years of Cheney/Bush and Obama regime lawlessness, even Republicans accept that the Constitution’s restraints on executive branch power, along with the laws and regulations Congress has established specifying the exercise of these powers, have been rendered meaningless by the “war on terror,” a hoax designed to further Israel’s interests in the Middle East and the neoonservative doctrine of US hegemony, while making billions of dollars for the military/security complex.

Charlie Savage’s book, Takeover, and David Ray Griffin’s book, Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World, accurately document how 9/11 was used to destroy the Constitution’s balance of power within the government and to create unaccountable executive branch powers that over-ride the Constitution’s protection of civil liberty.

This demand for an unaccountable executive branch, pushed by VP—actually President in fact—Dick Cheney and his minions, such as Addington and John Yoo, was the agenda of the Republican Federalist Society.

An early book laying out the legally invalid and legally incompetent argument that the president had powers unchecked by Congress or the judiciary was Terry Eastland’s book, Energy in the Executive.

This collection of nonsense became Cheney’s bible as he proceeded in secret to remove constraints on executive branch power. The elevation of the executive branch above the law of the land is documented in Charlie Savage’s book. Read it and weep for your country destroyed by Dick Cheney.

On top of Cheney’s coup against accountable government, we have in America today another coup, organized by former CIA director John Brennan, former FBI director Comey, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, the Democratic National Committee, the departed Republican senator John McCain, a coup fully supported by the entirety of the US presstitute media.

This coup is against the democratically elected President of the United States for the sole reason that he threatens the power and profit of the entrenched military/security complex, about which President Eisenhower warned us 57 years ago, by wanting to normalize relations with Russia, the world’s premier nuclear power.

The question is unavoidable: Why do the American people put up with this? Are they so insouciant that they have no realization that, if a president can be driven from office because he wants peace with Russia, the removed president’s successor will have to stand against Russia or also be driven from office. Trust and negotiation between the nuclear powers becomes impossible.

Why do Americans support conflict with a nuclear power that can completely destroy America?

During the entirety of the Cold War, in which I was a participant, the emphasis was on reducing tensions and creating trust. Today Washington’s interest is piling provocation after provocation on a country that can wipe us off the face of the earth.

The liberal/progressive/left, the Democratic National Committee, the CIA and the rest of the covert state, and the media whores all share this same commitment to the reckless and irresponsible provocation of a powerful nuclear power. As the US military itself acknowledges, Russia’s weapons are far beyond America’s defenses.

So what is going on? Is it the liberal/progressive/left’s desire that evil America be destroyed? Is this desired destruction of evil America the reason the Left has allied itself so tightly with the warmongers in Washington?

Is this the reason that the Left and the Democrats and a handful of Republicans want to impeach President Trump for attempting to make peace with Russia?

How can these crazed immoral people present themselves as some sort of moral arbiter when they are locked on a trajectory that will destroy Earth?

This destruction might be closer than anyone thinks. Here is the situation in Syria:

Russia and Syria, in cooperation with Iran and Turkey, have begun the assult on Iblid province, the last stronghold of Washington’s proxy army consisting of Al Qaeda, Al Nursra, and ISIS mercenaries hired by Washington.

According to reports, which might or might not be true considering the lack of veracity that is the defining characteristic of the Western media, the US and UK have troops among the mercenary forces, hoping apparently that this presence will deter the attack. As the attack has already begun, this is a false hope.

The Russians discovered Washington’s plot to explode a chemical weapon in Iblid province and exposed Washington’s plot to the UN. Washington had it set up that once its proxies created the appearance of a chemical weapon explosion, Washington would send Tomahawk missiles upon the Syrian forces, thus protecting its proxy army that it sent to overthrow Assad for Israel.

The Russian exposure of Washington’s conspiracy has denied Washington UN support. Moreover, Russia has sent a naval force armed with the new Russian hypersonic missiles to Syria and has announced that its aircraft in the area are also armed with these missiles.

As the US Navy and Air Force have no defense whatsoever against these missiles, if the US attacks the Syrian/Russian forces, it will be Putin’s decision whether any US ship or military aircraft in the area exists as anything but a smoldering ruin.

In other words, the entire power in the area lies in Russian hands. If Washington had any sense—and it doesn’t, Washington has hubris and arrogance in the place of sense—Washington would be nowhere close to Syria.

The question is this: Will the hotheads in Washington conclude that the Russian announcements and marshalling of forces is “just another Putin bluff.”

So far Putin has been loaded up with never-ending insults and provocation— blame for the crash of the Malaysian airliner, blame for poisoning a variety of people in England, blame for invading Ukraine, blame for interfering in US elections, blame for supporting the “dictator” Assad, a person democratically elected by a large vote who obviously has the support of the Syrian people as he liberates Syria from the forces Washington sent to put the country into the same chaos that exists in Iraq and Libya.

Have we reached the situation about which I have been worried, worries shared with my readers, in which Washington makes the miscalculation, based on the incorrect understanding of Russia’s resolve, to launch an attack on the Syrian/Russian forces that have begun the final liberation of Syria from Washington’s paid mercenaries?

Yesterday the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity sent a letter to President Trump advising him of the war danger that the Trump administration has created by its continued illegal interference in Syria’s internal affairs. https://www.globalresearch.ca/moscow-has-upped-the-ante-in-syria/5653571

The Russian government cannot accept Washington’s military intervention in behalf of Al Qaeda, Al Nursa, and ISIS without completely losing all credibility, not only in the world, but inside Russia itself.

A realistic alternative to military action would be for Washington to stand aside as Syria reconstitutes itself and use a propaganda war to blame Syria and Russia for civilian deaths and for destroying “democratic rebels” who rose against a “dictator.”

The fear could be expanded to the Baltics and Ukraine by reviving the propaganda that Putin intends to reconstruct the Soviet Empire.

Washington has long used an expertly manufactured fear of Russia to control Europe. Fear can keep Europe in line, whereas military action against Russia could scare Europe into taking refuge in a revival of its sovereignty.

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported: “President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has approved the use of chlorine gas in an offensive against the country’s last major rebel stronghold, U.S. officials said, raising the prospects for another retaliatory U.S. military strike as thousands try to escape what could be a decisive battle in the seven-year-old war.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the US strikes could target Russian and Iranian forces as well as Syrian forces.

It is difficult to believe that Washington thinks attacks on Russian forces would go unanswered. Such a reckless and irresponsible act could initiate Armageddon.

The claim that Assad has approved the use of chlorine gas in the liberation of Iblid is propagandistic nonsense put out by Washington as an excuse for Washington’s effort to protect its proxy army in Syria with military strikes.

All Syrian chemical weapons were removed by Russia and turned over to the US during the Obama regime. Moreover, Russia would not permit Assad to use chemical weapons if he had them.

Life on earth is faced with a situation in which Washington is so determined to overthrow Assad and to leave Syria in the same chaos as Libya and Iraq that Washington is willing to risk war with Russia.

Never before have irrationality and immorality had such a firm hold on a government. The world should be scared to death of the recklessness and irresponsibility of the US government.

.

          The Real Reason for the ‘Anti-Semite’ Campaign Against Jeremy Corbyn      Cache   Translate Page      
Panic drives the smear attack against Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn whose background as a radical socialist, not his criticism of Israel and support for the Palestine, threatens the British establishment’s hold on power, argues Alexander Mercouris.
By Alexander Mercouris
in London
Special to Consortium News
<img class=”alignleft wp-image-27578″ src=”https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/alexander_mercouris-864x400_c-1-150×150.jpg” alt=”” width=”90″ height=”90″ />Any discussion of the current “anti-Semitism crisis” in the British Labour Party needs to start with an understanding that there is no “anti-semitism crisis” in the British Labour Party, or in Britain.
Anti-Semitism did once have a place in British society. By way of example, readers of Agatha Christie stories written before World War II will come across stock anti-Semitic representations of Jewish characters. As recently as the 1970s, I can remember what would today be considered Semitic stereotypes being commonly used to represent Jewish people in many of the unfunny comedy shows broadcast by British television in that period, including some the BBC broadcast.
Racist stereotyping of this sort was commonplace in Britain right up to the 1970s, and was certainly not exclusive to Jews, as Irish people, black people and people from the Indian subcontinent well recall. Some still persists today, but by and large racial stereotyping is socially unacceptable, except (worryingly) with respect to Russians.
By comparison with other European countries, anti-Semitism in Britain has, however, not been a major phenomenon in modern British society and recent British history. There has been no official persecution of Jews in Britain since they were allowed to resettle in England by Oliver Cromwell in the 1650s, while the attempt by Oswald Moseley’s British Union of Fascists to stir up political anti-Semitism in the 1930s provoked fierce resistance.
Jewish people now play a full and active role in British life, and this happens without notice or comment.
As for the formal institutions of Britain’s Jewish community, these form an integral part of British life. The chief rabbi has enjoyed a measure of recognition as the nominal leader of the British Jewish community from the British state ever since the 1870s.  Since the 1980s, by convention, the chief rabbi has been admitted to the British Parliament as a peer of the House of Lords, though the present chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, has not yet been so admitted. The British Jewish community’s major institution—the Board of Deputies of British Jews—has had a continuous existence since the 1760s.
Though there are anti-Semites in Britain as there are everywhere else, they are very much a minor and ugly fringe, and moreover a generally despised and disliked one, with no influence or traction in British politics or in British life.
Despite lurid claims to the contrary, actual cases of anti-Semitic violence and property damage in Britain are relatively few, and certainly appear to be less than other types of racial violence.
Indeed, Jewish people today are so much an integral part of British society and of British life that I for one question whether it is even accurate to speak of a distinct “Jewish establishment” among British Jews. Rather, it seems to me that it would be more accurate to say that there are some prominent British Jews and some prominent British Jewish institutions—such as the chief rabbi and the Board of Deputies of British Jews—which today form an integral part of the larger British establishment, whose general perspectives and interests they share.
Which brings me to the present “anti-Semitism” campaign against Jeremy Corbyn.
The Left-Wing, Anti-Imperialist Labour Tradition
The British Labour Party was formed in 1900 before World War I, and if there has been one political movement in Britain that has stood rock solid against all manifestations of anti-Semitism in British life (perhaps more than any other group), it is the British Labour Party, and first and foremost its left wing.
This is consistent with the traditional stance of the left wing of the British Labour Party, which can be broadly defined as anti-racist, anti-fascist, and, above all, anti-imperialist. The latter has been important in a country like Britain—historically the preeminent imperialist power—where imperialism was justified in racist terms. British left-wing anti-imperialists, who are mostly drawn from the working class (a fact which gave British anti-imperialism a strong class-conflict character) strongly were predisposed to be anti-racist.
Not surprisingly, British Labour left-wing anti-racism extended to staunch opposition to anti-Semitism, which is, of course, the reason why so many British Jews were drawn to the Labour Party in the first place.
The key point to understand about Corbyn is that it is from within this left-wing, anti-imperialist Labour tradition that he comes. His parents after all first met each other in the 1930s attending a rally in support of the Spanish Republic at the time of the Spanish Civil War. He has been loyal to the traditions of the Labour Party’s anti-imperialist left ever since he began his career in politics, as his long record of opposition to all the West’s interventionist wars shows. Needless to say, that includes strong and consistent anti-racism and the opposition to anti-Semitism which goes with it. Strikingly, Corbyn’s acceptance speech following his election as Labour leader included a declaration of support for refugees.
To insinuate that Corbyn is an anti-Semite—as is increasingly happening—and to insinuate that the left wing of the Labour Party to which he belongs is riddled with anti-Semitism and poses an “existential threat to British Jews” (as several of the British Jewish community’s newspapers have alleged) is more than just absurd. It stands reality on its head. Corbyn is not an anti-Semite. Anti-Semitism, on the contrary, is what he always has defined himself against, and to claim otherwise is dishonest and even surreal.
Corbyn’s well-known support for the Palestinian people’s struggle does not contradict his opposition to anti-Semitism. Rather, it is the product of his consistent anti-imperialism, making Corbyn’s support for the Palestinians and his opposition to anti-Semitism consistent.
All this is well understood by those who are conducting the anti-Semitism campaign against Corbyn within the Labour Party and outside it. Corbyn has been a fixture of British political life ever since he was first elected a member of Parliament in 1983. The British establishment—including those members of the British establishment who are Jewish—know him well, and they know well what his actual beliefs are. It is not credible that they believe him to be an anti-Semite, or that they think that the left wing of the British Labour Party, which supports him, is riddled with anti-Semitism.
The Push to Stop Corbyn
The essential mendacity of the whole anti-Semitism campaign and the true motives behind it is shown by the exceptionally narrow frame of reference in which it is being conducted. It is universally acknowledged that the allegations of anti-Semitism being made against Corbyn and some of his supporters stem from Corbyn’s longstanding support for the Palestinian people’s struggle and his equally longstanding criticisms of Israel’s response to that struggle. As’ad AbuKhalil has discussed this aspect of the affair for Consortium News with great thoroughness and detail.
It is worth pointing out, however, that the criticisms being made against Corbyn barely touch on the Palestinian question at all. Anyone looking at these criticisms for a discussion of the Palestinian issue, even one from a position sympathetic to Israel and hostile to the Palestinians, will fail to find it.
The Palestinian struggle, the plight of the Palestinian people, the whole history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the current policies both of Israel and of the Western governments which support it, are barely mentioned. When Palestinians do get mentioned at all, it is purely as terrorists. The entire campaign is being conducted as if Corbyn and those who support him hate Zionism and Israel and therefore allJews.
It is, of course, impossible that those who are conducting the campaign against Corbyn are any more ignorant of the basic facts of the Palestinian struggle and of the Arab-Israeli conflict than they are ignorant of Corbyn’s actual beliefs. If they are not mentioning these facts, it is not because they are ignorant of them. It is because they choose not to mention them.
Corbyn’s background as a radical socialist makes him a threat to the British establishment’s power. (Chatham House / Wikimedia)
In other words, the campaign against Corbyn has very little to do with the situation in the Middle East. I say this, though I have no doubt that the Israeli embassy is playing an active role in the campaign, a fact which is apparently freely admitted within Israel itself, though not in Britain.
However, it is a mistake to see the campaign against Corbyn as principally Israeli inspired. If it were, I would expect those conducting it to say far more about the situation in the Middle East than they do. Nor, in my opinion, is the campaign exclusively or even primarily the work of British Jews. As it happens, the Jewish community in Britain is far from united behind the campaign, with many British Jews expressing doubts or even outright opposition to it.
Instead, the campaign should be seen for what it is: the latest in a long series of attacks by the British establishment against Corbyn, the one British politician who more than any other embodies the threat to the current status quo and to the British establishment’s hold on power.
These attacks have at various times sought to portray Corbyn as a Communist, a Russian agent, a terrorist sympathizer and a traitor. Adding a charge of anti-Semitism to this catalogue is an obvious further step, and given Corbyn’s well-known advocacy of Palestinian rights an easy one. The only surprise is that it has not happened before.
That the anti-Semitism campaign is the latest in a long series of establishment attacks on Corbyn, which extend all the way back to his election as Labour’s leader, is shown by the sheer breadth of the campaign. The parliamentary Labour Party, the entire Conservative Party and the media (including the BBC and the supposedly left-wing Guardian newspaper) have all embraced it. Certainly, it extends far beyond those members of Britain’s Jewish community who form part of the greater British establishment and who initially spearheaded it. As it happens, the great majority of British politicians and commentators who have joined in the campaign are non-Jews.
A New Political Dynamic
As for the campaign’s greater vehemence by comparison with earlier campaigns, that is the product of the changed political dynamic in Britain since the June 2017 general election.
Before that election, the British establishment did not take Corbyn seriously, since it assumed that the British electorate would reject him in any election which he fought. The horrifying realization following the June 2017 election that the opposite is the case has—not surprisingly—caused panic and has led to the establishment pulling out all the stops. That explains not just the greater vehemence of this campaign but why it has persisted for so long.
In other words, what is driving the campaign is not some overarching loyalty on the part of British Jews to Israel or a belief that Corbyn is an anti-Semite. Rather, it is British establishment panic. As Britain’s Conservative government disintegrates, Corbyn stands poised to become Britain’s next prime minister. That terrifying prospect—of a radical socialist in 10, Downing Street—is one which must be averted at all costs. That is the reason for the anti-Semitism campaign we have been witnessing, and thus all the other campaigns against Corbyn we have witnessed, of which there are certainly more to come.
While the causes of the anti-Semitism campaign are mainly domestic, there is a wide consensus among Corbyn’s supporters that he has not handled his response to the campaign well. The general opinion—that he has been far too accommodating to his critics—has been forcefully argued in Consortium News by Jonathan Cook.
Corbyn himself has conceded too much ground on anti-semitism. As a lifelong anti-racism campaigner, the accusations of anti-semitism have clearly pained him. He has tried to placate rather than defy the smearers. He has tried to maintain unity with people who have no interest in finding common ground with him.
And as he has lost all sense of how to respond in good faith to allegations made in bad faith, he has begun committing the cardinal sin of sounding and looking evasive – just as those who deployed the anti-semitism charge hoped. It was his honesty, plain-speaking and compassion that won him the leadership and the love of ordinary members. Unless he can regain the political and spiritual confidence that underpinned those qualities, he risks haemorrhaging support.
This widespread view that Corbyn has been accommodating to people who seek only his destruction has even produced some curious examples of drafts of “speeches” written for him by some of his sympathizers setting out the sort of things which they think he should say.
While I have considerable sympathy for this view, I think it is only fair to add that Corbyn happens to be one of the most polite and diffident personalities in British politics. The contrast with, say, Donald Trump in the United States, could not be greater. It is not in Corbyn’s nature to respond to his critics with the same forcefulness that they extend to him. While this makes Corbyn an indifferent orator and blunts his impact in debates in the House of Commons, his politeness and diffidence is an integral part of his appeal. To call on him to act differently is to call for a different man, with no guarantee that that man would command anything remotely approaching the level of support that Corbyn has.
Is the Campaign Working?
It is important to stress this point because as of the time of writing it is far from clear to me that—contrary to what Jonathan Cook fears—this latest campaign against Corbyn is succeeding.
The poll numbers barely have shifted, with Conservative and Labour both polling around 40 percent of the vote since the June 2017 general election, and most opinion polls put Labour ahead. Though the anti-Semitism campaign may have lost Labour some Jewish votes in places like the London district of Barnet, the generality of the British voters seem indifferent and unimpressed by the whole affair.
I suspect that the truth is that Corbyn has been around in British politics for so long that the British electorate long ago formed its view of him. Knowing Corbyn as well as they do—as well as the left-wing tradition from which he comes—the vast majority of British center-left voters who make up Corbyn’s electoral base find the whole idea that he is an anti-Semite just too fantastic to take seriously. Besides the fact that the anti-Semitism campaign is merely the latest in a series of campaigns against Corbyn launched from the moment he became Labour’s leader makes the true motives of his critics in the end altogether too obvious.
The Nuremberg trials, circa 1945-46. (National Archives)
Cook has expressed the fear that if the Labour Party adopts the four additional working examples of anti-Semitism drafted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)—which it has hitherto resisted doing because of the way they limit criticism of Israel—that will make future criticism of Israel by Corbyn and by other members of the Labour Party all but impossible, and will open the way to a purge of Palestinian sympathizers within the Labour Party. [Editor’s note: The Labour Party altered its anti-Semitism definition on Sept. 4 at its National Executive Committee meeting and adopted the four additional working examples of anti-Semitism drafted by the IHRA.]
Similar concerns have been expressed by Norman Finkelstein, who sees the whole attempt to impose any sort of definition of anti-Semitism on the Labour Party as an attack on the party’s traditions and on free speech.
These concerns are far from groundless. On the contrary, there is no doubt that silencing criticism of Israel is very much a part of the agenda of some of the people behind the campaign, with the British establishment (not just its Jewish part) united in support of Israel in the same way as are the political establishments of all the other Western countries. Consider, for example, this extraordinary article by Andrew Feldmanin The Evening Standard, a newspaper edited by former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron’s friend and former Chancellor George Osborne, which contains this passage:
Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are the same thing. They are two sides of the same coin. Anti-Zionism is the belief that the state of Israel should not exist. That it should be dismantled. This is not the same as saying, quite legitimately, that you disagree with the policies of the current or any other Israeli government; or calling for the reversal of the settlement programme in the West Bank; or demanding a return to earlier borders and the creation of a two-state solution.
Some historical context is important here. Two thousand years ago, at the end of a long and bloody revolt, the Temple was destroyed and the Jewish people were dispersed far and wide, across the Roman Empire and beyond. They settled in many places. Some made them welcome for a time. Others less so. Jewish people lived in a constant state of trepidation. Periods of peace and prosperity punctuated by pogroms, inquisition and expulsion.
In Europe, the Holocaust was the crescendo of centuries of rumbling antipathy. Jews sought to escape the horror but the numbers who found refuge were pathetically small. Even the UK only accepted 70,000 Jewish refugees before the Second World War and 10,000 during it.
Quite simply, there was nowhere for them to go, so six million people perished out of a total global Jewish population of 17 million.
Finally, after this destruction, the world decided that enough was enough. The Jewish people needed their own place to go when things went wrong. And the ancient homeland was chosen. It was to be shared with the Palestinians on lines established by a United Nations resolution in 1948.
This was not the only work for the cartographers after the Second World War. The demise of empire, the calls for national determination and the need for pragmatic solutions brought about the creation of new states in Europe, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and elsewhere in the Middle East. Lines were drawn on maps. Sometimes they respected geographical, religious and tribal boundaries; sometimes they did not. Everyone was doing the best they could to make sense of the cataclysmic events of the previous decades.
The State of Israel served its purpose. A national homeland for the Jewish people existing alongside the Jewish communities that continued to live around the world. And when things did not go well for some of those communities — in Russia, Iraq, Morocco and elsewhere — it was a place of sanctuary. It accepted refugees in huge numbers without question.
Note that the Palestinians are barely mentioned in the whole article, which claims that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism and does so by linking anti-Zionism to the whole history of anti-Semitism in the West, culminating in the Nazis and the Holocaust.
Needless to say, though Feldman appears to admit that it is legitimate to criticize Israel, he makes no criticisms of Israel anywhere in his article. In practice, on the basis of his article, it is difficult to imagine what criticism of Israeli policy toward the Palestinians Feldman would not define as anti-Semitic.
Having said this, it is important to retain perspective. Even though the Labour Party changed its anti-Semitism definition, that will not end criticism of Israel within the Labour Party or in British society. Corbyn himself will not change his views, nor will other supporters of the Palestinian struggle within the Labour Party or in British society.
Ultimately, what is causing the growing criticism of Israel in Britain as elsewhere are Israeli policies, and attempts to silence criticism of those policies by conjuring up the specter of anti-Semitism or by resorting to purges and inquisitions that can only, in the end, threaten to provoke a backlash.
How the Anti-Corbyn Campaign Is Like Russia-gate
The anti-Semitism campaign against Corbyn in Britain bears more than a passing resemblance to the Russia-gate scandal in the United States.
Controversial BBC graphic seeking to link Corbyn to Russia. (BBC)
In both countries, the establishment has been shocked by popular insurgencies on the right and left and the rise of a seeming outsider: Corbyn in Britain, and Trump (with far less cause) in the U.S. In both countries, this has provoked a shrill establishment campaign against the outsider. In both countries, the allegations which form the basis of the campaign—of anti-Semitism in the case of Corbyn, of being an agent of the Russians in the case of Trump—are to anyone with even a basic grasp of reality utterly fantastic. In neither country does the sheer absurdity of the allegations seem to matter for those who have invested in the campaign. Instead, the political class in both countries pretends to believe them, while the media has embraced them. A media effort has been made to link Corbyn to Russia too.
In both countries, interested outside powers are involved in the campaigns— Israel in the case of the anti-Semitism campaign against Corbyn in Britain, Britain and some other U.S. European allies in the Russia-gate scandal against Trump in the U.S. But the origins of both campaigns are domestic.
In both Britain and the U.S., the core electoral base of both Corbyn and Trump remains unmoved by the hysteria and the swirl of allegations, but in the meantime, real damage to the political system is being done. Both countries are unable to formulate rational foreign policies, whether with respect to the situation in the Middle East in the case of Britain, or with respect to relations with Russia in the case of the U.S.
Corbyn and the movement he leads have far deeper roots within British society than Trump does in the U.S. There has been a continuous tradition of political radicalism in Britain going back to the period of the French Revolution. Corbyn stands squarely within that tradition, a fact which is perhaps better understood in Britain than it is outside it. That tradition for the moment is rising in the case of younger Britains.
That, of course, is why, against all expectations, Corbyn, was elected leader of the Labour Party, and why, again contrary to all expectations, he increased the Labour’s share of the vote so dramatically in the June 2017 general election.
That is reason for the intensity of the campaign against him, but it also explains why he has been able to withstand it up to now. The shape of British politics in the future will be determined by whether or not he is able to continue  to do so.
Alexander Mercouris is a political commentator and editor of The Duran

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Leaders preach about the need to join military campaigns to the youth of the country and do it in a most charismatic fashion. They bang one fist on the speech podium and raise the other over their head while explaining how much of a duty it is to give the ultimate sacrifice. In most cases, those drafted, end up committing massacres – Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Bosnia, Vietnam, and the list goes on. In many cases, they return home in a body bag. Never the leader or his kin though; draft dodging is a big thing for the men who send other people’s children to spiritual and physical doom.
[Hezbollah Secretary General His eminence] Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is a man who knew, and still does, every single aspect of the field. He is aware of the complexity of the military situation where every Lebanese grain of sand exists. This is because of the Resistance’s strategic nature; although the honor of martyrdom is a highly sought-after goal, the leadership never places members in losing situations. Tactical intelligence rules resistance operations beginning with preparation stages up until execution and return to base.
The word “Dispensable” does not exist in Hezbollah’s dictionary.
Still, the liberation of a country can be hardly achieved by throwing roses and rice on occupying forces. Maybe try negotiations but that is impossible with an occupier who boasts a mile-long rap sheet written with the blood of endless civilians. Armed resistance is the answer and that does not come without risk.
The man who knows all the risks, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, did not object to his firstborn’s request to join the ranks of the Resistance; specific orders were given to treat the young man like any other son of loving parents who chose to defend Lebanon.
The son of the Secretary-General who leads the only Arab force that brought “Israel” to its knees was martyred. Sayyed Hassan’s reaction was giving gratitude to God for allowing him to join the league of other parents of martyred heroes. He gave the most precious gift of life to Lebanon.
Any father or mother would understand the emotional value of a child and how devastating it is to lose that child. Sayyed Hassan taught the world that it was not a loss, that the martyrdom of his beloved gentle natured son was a gain for the cause of all the oppressed of the world, for the resistance, and for Lebanon. Most importantly, a gain for young Hadi himself who has joined the honored few who are fortunate enough to walk behind the lord of the martyrs, Imam Hussein (AS).
Hadi Nasrallah’s martyrdom was a message to the people of the world. The content was simple and yet strong: The children of those sending your own to war are not more precious than yours.
Sayyed Nasrallah’s reaction was also a message. It conveyed that the country and its independence are more precious than any of us; including himself and his family. It also told people that a true leader looks at everyone equally. “Israel” kept Hadi’s body and refused to hand it over to the Red Cross to deliver to his family for proper burial. There is no doubt that they tried to negotiate over it but the Secretary-General refused to set his son apart from other people’s children after martyrdom just like he did when his son was still in active duty. Sayyed Nasrallah insisted that if there were to be a swapping deal, it should include the hijacked bodies of all the martyrs and not only his son’s.
This is just an example of why Sayyed Nasrallah is loved and revered so much by his followers and respected by others. As opposed to other leaders, he does not engage in theatrics and never asks for what he would not accept on himself. The way he analyzes current affairs and shares the honest outlook with the public is a trait almost exclusive to him. In the year 2000, when the “Israelis” pulled out of South Lebanon in a rush and without prior warning, they left the Lahed militia they had created behind. Although so many atrocities were committed by that militia, Sayyed Nasrallah had ordered the men of the resistance to quickly fill the void created by the Zionist army so as no one would engage in reprisals against the abandoned agents who tortured and killed so many of the people of the South. The Secretary-General of Hezbollah dedicated the liberation victory to all the Lebanese regardless of political affiliations and religion; he prohibited manhunts and left the issue of the local “Israeli” collaborators to the government.
In a way, the Sayyed prevented further blood being spilled on the land that was irrigated with the immaculate one of so many martyrs, including his son’s. Patriotism is always the basis of Sayyed Nasrallah’s decisions.
Hadi and his colleagues, those who preceded him and those who followed, have given their lives to keep our children safe. Without them, “Israel” would have annexed South Lebanon by now and would have claimed the riches recently found in the sea. Without them, “ISIS” would have probably spread its cancerous existence much further inwards like they did in regional countries.
Endless gratitude goes to all the parents of the martyrs because of whom our children live with dignity today. Endless gratitude to Sayyed Hadi whose martyrdom has set much needed standards.
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          خطة أميركا من العراق الى سورية الى الفشل       Cache   Translate Page      


سبتمبر 11, 2018

العميد د. محمد أمين حطيط

رفضاً للهزيمة الاستراتيجية التي تُكتب سطورها الأخيرة الآن وبشكل خاص في الميدان العراقي السوري، أقدمت أميركا على خطة مركبة من شأنها في حال نجاحها أن تعالج آثار الهزيمة وتمنع المنتصر من استثمار إنجازاته في كل من الدولتين. خطة موضوعها في العراق التحكم بتشكيل الحكومة ومجالها في سورية بشكل خاص التحكم بمنطقة إدلب ومنع تحريرها لمنع سورية من الانصراف الى العمل السياسي الذي يرسي الأمن والسلام الشامل في كامل البلاد ويؤمن خروج أي محتلّ، بما في ذلك المحتل الأميركي والتركي.

لقد ركزت أميركا في مواجهة ما آلت إليه سياستها العدوانية على المنطقة من فشل، بشكل خاص على سورية والعراق، لأنها اعتبرت ان العودة الفاعلة الى العراق من شأنها أن تقطع تواصل محور المقاومة من شرقه الى غربه، كما وتمكن من امتلاك السيطرة على احتياط نفطي عالمي طالما حلم الغرب بالقبض عليه. اما في سورية فقد نظرت أميركا الى استمرار الحرب فيها وفقاً لما تسميه «إطالة أمد الصراع « فرصة ثمينة هي بأمس الحاجة اليها لتمرير واستكمال تنفيذ ما أسمته «صفقة القرن» الهادفة الى تصفية القضية الفلسطينية وادخال «إسرائيل» في نهائية الوجود وفعالية الدور والتأثير في كامل المنطقة العربية بدءاً من الخليج.

في العراق وجدت أميركا المدخل الملائم من باب تشكيل الحكومة بعد الانتخابات النيابية، حيث رأت أن نتائج هذه الانتخابات تمكنها من التدخل وتحقيق السيطرة عبر الحكومة، طالما أن تشكيل الكتلة التي تأتي برئيس الوزراء خاضع للأخذ والرد، إذ أن جمع 165 نائباً لتكوين الكتلة الأكبر يقتضي اتفاق 5 كتل كبرى على الأقل من الكتل التي حازت على الحجم الأكبر في الانتخابات، والذي لا يتعدى لأفضلها الـ 54 نائباً ويتدنى عند بعضها الى 14 نائباً. وهنا كان المجال المفتوح أمام أميركا التي عيّنت مبعوثاً للعراق مهمته الأولى تشكيل الكتلة الأكبر المناهضة لمحور المقاومة والموالية لكل من السعودية وأميركا لتنفذ السياسة التي رسمتها الأخيرة للعراق وتؤمن استعماراً مقنعاً يتجلّى بمراجعة اتفاقية الإطار الاستراتيجي الموقعة بين العراق وأميركا والتي رفض فيها نور المالكي يومها منح أميركا أيّ مكسب يمسّ بسيادة العراق واستقلاله وحقه الحصري بالسيطرة على سمائه وثرواته، خاصة النفطية.

هنا وجدت أميركا في حيدر العبادي رئيس الحكومة الحالي ضالتها المنشودة بعد أن جاهر بمناهضة إيران وأبدى استعداده لتلبية مطالب أميركا والسعودية، فعملت على تحشيد القوى اللازمة له ليعود الى الحكم في ولاية جديدة رئيساً لوزراء العراق الذي يُعتبر هو الحاكم الفعلي ذو الصلاحية الواسعة في السياسة والإدارة والجيش حتى والقضاء. وتوصلت في الأسابيع الأخيرة الى تركيب كتلة تؤيّد العبادي كادت أن تلامس الـ 150 نائباً، لكن بقيت الكتلة بحاجة الى أصوات ترتقي بها الى 165، لكن بقيت الحاجة قائمة لمنع من يؤمنون بحسن العلاقة والجوار مع إيران وسورية ومحور المقاومة عامة من المنافسة.

ولأجل تحقيق الغرض عمل المبعوث الأميركي الى العراق ماكغورك على ثلاثة خطوط الأول باتجاه رؤساء الكتل، مهما كان حجمها لطلب دعمها، والثاني باتجاه النواب لتحذيرهم من تأييد كتلة فيها الحشد الشعبي «الواجب الحل»، حسب تعبيره ، والخط الثالث في الميدان والشارع لإظهار «حجم الرفض الشعبي» لما اسماه «النفوذ الإيراني في العراق «. وكانت أحداث البصرة التي انطلقت لأسباب خدمية تتصل بالماء والكهرباء ثم تحوّلت موجة عنف ضد إيران وضد القوى التي تتمسّك بحسن العلاقات معها. كانت هذه الأحداث بمثابة الفضيحة لكل الخطة الأميركية التي انتهت الى نتائج معاكسة لما أراده مبعوثها ماكغورك. وفي هذا الإطار ننوّه بما قامت به المرجعية الدينية لجهة تأمين محطات المياه لمدينة البصرة وسحب فتيل الفوضى أمنتها على نفقتها الخاصة وهي المحطات التي امتنع العبادي عبر حكومته من توفيرها طيلة مدة حكمه، وكانت سبباً مباشراً في اندلاع الاحتجاجات واستشراء الفوضى في المدينة التي أدّت الى إحراق مراكز ذات رمزية ودلالة على علاقة إيران والعراق ومنها القنصلية الإيرانية في البصرة.

لقد شاءت أميركا من إحراق القنصلية الإيرانية في البصرة، ومعها مراكز الحشد الشعبي والقوى المؤيدة لإيران، إظهار الرفض الشعبي للوجود والدور الإيراني في العراق والإجهاز على أي أمل لإيجاد شخصية منافسة للعبادي او مؤيدة لمحور المقاومة، لكن النتيجة جاءت وبعد ان افتضح الامر المكيدة، لتطيح تقريباً بحظوظ العبادي للعودة الى الحكم، وتكاد تقطع الطريق على أي شخصية بديلة تكون موالية لأميركا والسعودية. وبالتالي تكون الخطة الأميركية فشلت حتى الآن في إعادة تمكين قبضتها على السلطة في العراق وهيأت الظروف لتشكيل حكومة يؤمل أن تكون قادرة على حماية مكتسبات العراق في السيادة والاستقلال والثروة والدور الإقليمي الاستراتيجي الذي يتناغم مع محور المقاومة.

اما في سورية فقد حاولت أميركا ولا زالت تحاول منع سورية من إطلاق عملية تحرير إدلب لتطهيرها من الإرهاب، والانتقال بعدها لمعالجة الملف الميداني الأخير المتمثل بشرق الفرات، وما فيه من قواعد عسكرية أميركية تعدت الـ 13 قاعدة وتجاوز العسكريون الأميركيون فيها الـ 9 آلاف بعد عمليات التعزيز الأخيرة التي تمت في التنف.

لقد بنت أميركا خطتها لمنع إطلاق عملية تحرير إدلب على خطوط ثلاثة أيضاً: أولها التهويل والتهديد بالتدخل العسكري إذا دخلت سورية بجيشها وحلفائها الى إدلب. تهديد مرفق بطلب الامتناع عن العملية العسكرية وتفعيل مناطق خفض التصعيد بمهل مفتوحة. وقد استثمرت هنا الدور التركي السلبي في قمة طهران الذي سعى الى هذه هدنة ورفض العمل العسكري، والثاني القيام باستعراضات وتعزيزات عسكرية وتحشيد القوى والتهويل بجهوزية 220 صاروخ توماهوك لقصف أهداف واسعة في سورية رداً على «استعمال محتمل للأسلحة الكيماوية»، كما تدّعي زوراً وتلفيقاً الدوائر الأميركية والغربية، وأخيراً المناورات العسكرية التي أجريت في التنف وسواها للإيحاء بجهوزية عسكرية أميركية عالية للتدخل العسكري المباشر مرفقة بتسريب من البيت الأبيض بأن ترامب يدرس جدياً توجيه ضربة للقوات الروسية في سورية.

ولكن ومرة أخرى نرى فشلاً في المسعى الأميركي، حيث رفضت الهدنة واستبعد تأجيل معركة إدلب، التي بات إطلاقها قاب قوسين أو أدنى لا بل إن بعض أعمالها التمهيدية بدأ فعلاً من خلال القصف الانتقائي التدميري الواسع الذي تنفذه القوات الجوية الروسية والسورية منذ يومين ضد مراكز الإرهابيين مع تحييد تام للمدنيين. أما الرد على الخط الثاني فقد كان من قبل روسيا بشكل أساس من خلال عمليات التحشيد البحري الواسعة التي أجرتها في المتوسط لقواتها التي حشدت فيها قطعاً بحرية خاصة ومحترفة بالاستطلاع والتعقب لتعطيل فعالية التوماهوك، ثم القيام بمناورات هي الأضخم خلال السنوات الـ 40 الماضية. وعلى الخط الثالث فإن أميركا تعلم أن أحداً لا يأخذ على محمل الجد قراراً أميركياً بمواجهة برية بين الأميركيين وخصومهم على الأرض السورية، حيث إن هذه المواجهة لن تكون لمصلحة أميركا على كل الصعد.

وفي خلاصة القول نرى أن أميركا التي منّت النفس بالقبض على العراق من خلال القبض على حكومته، هي على عتبة الفشل في تحقيق أمنيتها، وان أميركا لن تقدر على منع سورية من استكمال تحرير ارتهان الإرهاب مهما هدّدت وهولت، وإن ما قالت به مؤخراً من أنها لن تسمح لسورية وحلفائها إيران وحزب الله دخول إدلب، فأميركا تعلم قبل سواها أنه غير قابل للتطبيق. فسورية هي صاحبة السيادة على أرضها وأميركا هي التي عليها أن تخرج منها وإن لم تفعل اختياراً فستجبر على الخروج قسراً، كما ستخرج من العراق ليرسم العراق وسورية مشهداً سياسياً وميدانياً لا يكون فيه للأميركي نصيب.

أستاذ جامعي وباحث استراتيجي

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That monkey comment wasn't an accident

by digby




Recall that President's Trump's poodle Ron DeSantis was widely condemned for saying that he didn't think his African American opponent for the governorship of Florida should be allowed to "monkey up" the state.

If you lie down with racist dogs you get racist fleas
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), a gubernatorial nominee who recently was accused of using racially tinged language, spoke four times at conferences organized by a conservative activist who has said that African Americans owe their freedom to white people and that the country’s “only serious race war” is against whites.

DeSantis, elected to represent north-central Florida in 2012, appeared at the David Horowitz Freedom Center conferences in Palm Beach, Fla., and Charleston, S.C., in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017, said Michael Finch, president of the organization. At the group’s annual Restoration Weekend conferences, hundreds of people gather to hear right-wing provocateurs such as Stephen K. Bannon, Milo Yiannopoulos and Sebastian Gorka sound off on multiculturalism, radical Islam, free speech on college campuses and other issues.

“I just want to say what an honor it’s been to be here to speak,” DeSantis said in a ­27-minute speech at the 2015 event in Charleston, a video shows. “David has done such great work and I’ve been an admirer. I’ve been to these conferences in the past but I’ve been a big admirer of an organization that shoots straight, tells the American people the truth and is standing up for the right thing.”

The Florida gubernatorial campaign is one of the marquee races of 2018, pitting DeSantis, a Trump acolyte and lawyer in the Navy Reserve, against Andrew Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, who would become the state’s first African American governor. President Trump has endorsed DeSantis, and Gillum is backed by progressive leader Bernie Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont. In less than two weeks since the primary, race has become a central issue in the nation’s largest battleground state.

The Freedom Center covered DeSantis’s expenses for the 2017 conference at a luxury resort in Palm Beach, according to disclosure forms he filed as a member of Congress.

Fellow speakers included a former Google engineer who was fired after arguing that “biological causes” in part explain why there are relatively few women working in tech and leadership; a critic of multiculturalism who has written that “,Europe is committing suicide” by welcoming large numbers of refugees and immigrants; and a British media personality who urged the audience to keep the United States from becoming like the United Kingdom, where “discrimination against whites is institutionalized and systemic.”

Requests to the campaign and the congressional office to interview DeSantis was declined. A spokeswoman for the congressman, Elizabeth Fusick, provided a statement that described DeSantis as “a leader in standing up for truth and American strength.”

“He appreciates those who support his efforts and is happy to be judged on his record,” Fusick said. “He does not, though, buy into this ‘six degrees of Kevin Bacon’ notion that he is responsible for the views and speeches of others.”

Yeah, well:

Last May, after DeSantis lamented the “four liberals” on the Florida Supreme Court who overturned the death sentence of a man convicted of raping and murdering a child because the decision had not been unanimous, a DeSantis supporter suggested “bring[ing] back the hanging tree.”

When the Tampa Bay Times asked for clarification on DeSantis’s position on the issue, the campaign said it stood by the “hanging tree” comment.

“Ron thinks that Floridians should be forgiven for having some pretty strong and not at all politically correct feelings about what should happen to this animal. Let’s be clear; we’re talking about someone who kidnapped, raped and murdered an 11-year-old girl,” the campaign said in a statement. “The Florida Supreme Court’s decision was appalling and demonstrates once again why we need someone like Ron DeSantis, who stared down terrorists while serving in the Navy in Iraq and at the terrorist detention center in Guantanamo Bay, to appoint constitutionalists who will apply the law correctly.”

DeSantis was also recently outed as the former moderator of a Facebook groupthat was a hotbed for racist memes and posts.

That last is really the put-away shot. He and the GOP Senate candidate in Virginia were both moderators of this racist Facebook group. You don't join such a group much less help run it if you are not a stone cold racist. That is what he is.

By the way, he's very close to Trump, defending him against the Russia investigation as if he is personally implicated. That's because he is.

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          Ngô Nhân Dụng - Putin và Tập Cận Bình cùng thao diễn quân sự      Cache   Translate Page      


Chủ Tịch Trung Quốc Tập Cận Bình (trái) và Tổng Thống Nga Vladimir Putin cùng nâng ly trong một Hội Đàm Kinh Tế Đông Phương ở Vladivostok, Nga, hôm Thứ Ba, 11 Tháng Chín, 2018. (Hình: Sergei Bobylev/TASS News Agency Pool Photo via AP)

(NgườiViệt 11/09/2018) Quân đội khối NATO đang thao dượt tại vùng Lviv, phía Tây nước Ukraine. Bốn ngày trước khi cuộc tập dượt chấm dứt, hôm Thứ Ba, 11 Tháng Chín, Nga bắt đầu một cuộc thao diễn quân sự lớn ở Siberia. Quân đội Trung Quốc và Mongolia cũng tham dự.

Cuộc tập trận Rapid Trident 2018 của NATO rất khiêm tốn, chỉ có 2.200 quân tham dự, mặc dù gồm 14 nước, kể cả Mỹ. Cuộc thao diễn Vostok 2018 của Nga có thể nói là“vĩ đại,” với 300.000 quân (một phần ba quân số), 36.000 xe thiết giáp, hàng ngàn phi cơ chiến đấu trên bốn căn cứ không quân, 80 chiến hạm biểu dương trong ba vùng, biển Nhật Bản, biển Okhotsk và eo biển Bering.

NATO nói thẳng mục đích của cuộc tập trận là bảo vệ an ninh và chủ quyền của Ukraine, một nước trước đây thuộc Liên Bang Xô Viết, mới bị Nga chiếm mất vùng Crimea năm 2014.

Bộ Quốc Phòng Nga thì công bố mục đích của Vostok 2018 hoàn toàn có tính cách “phòng ngự.” Họ muốn quân đội “sẵn sàng chống cự mọi cuộc xâm lăng.” Bộ Quốc Phòng Nga công nhận đây là cuộc thao diễn lớn nhất, kể từ cuộc tập trận Zapad 1981 ở vùng biên giới cạnh các Đông Âu nước ở phía Bắc. Trong tiếng Nga Vostok là hướng Đông, Zapad là Tây.

Trung Cộng gởi hơn 3.000 quân sĩ, sáu phi cơ, 26 trực thăng trong đó có những chiếc Mi-171, Z-9 và Z-19 mua của Nga; cùng 900 thiết giáp và thiết vận xa tham dự Vostok 2018. Quân đội Cộng Hòa Mông Cổ cũng có mặt, để gọi đây là một cuộc thao diễn quốc tế.

Hai ông Vladimir Putin và Tập Cận Bình sẽ cùng đến quan sát một phần cuộc thao diễn. Điều này cho thấy một mục tiêu ông Putin nhắm tới là: Cho cả thế giới thấy Nga và Trung Cộng đang sáp lại gần nhau.

Trong những cuộc tập trận Vostok trước đây quân đội Nga cũng được điều động để chống một đạo quân xâm lăng giả tưởng, mà ai cũng suy diễn quân xâm lăng đến từ Trung Quốc. Nhưng năm nay, hiển nhiên “quân địch” không phải là quân Tàu nữa! Chắc cũng không phải là Nhật Bản, vì Thủ Tướng Nhật Shinzo Abe sắp đến họp mặt với Tổng Thống Vladimir Putin và Chủ Tịch Tập Cận Bình ở Vladivostok trong một Hội Đàm Kinh Tế Đông Phương, trong thời gian cuộc tập trận diễn ra. Cuối cùng, chỉ có thể đoán “quân địch giả tưởng” trong cuộc tập trận của Nga là quân Mỹ!

Trung Cộng và Nga đã từng đối nghịch nhau từ thời Stalin và Mao Trạch Đông; cuộc tranh hùng lên điểm cao nhất vào năm 1969, khi hai bên bắn nhau bên dòng sông Áp Lục. Nhân cơ hội đó, Tổng Thống Mỹ Richard Nixon đã mở đường giao thiệp với Chủ Tịch Mao, đánh dấu bằng cuộc gặp gỡ lịch sử năm 1972.

Ông Nixon đã “đánh lá bài Trung Quốc” trong chiến lược cô lập hóa Liên Xô, làm cho khối Cộng Sản tách đôi và không bao giờ ráp lại được nữa cho đến khi Liên Bang Xô Viết tan hàng.

Bây giờ đến lượt Putin, cũng muốn dùng Trung Cộng như một quân bài lập mặt trận chống Mỹ. Năm 1989, Mikhail Gorbachev đã nối lại tình hữu nghị với Trung Cộng trước khi đế quốc Liên Xô sụp đổ, và sau đó Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin vẫn tiếp tục.

Ông Putin có lý do để thắt chặt bang giao với nước láng giềng phía Nam; vì Nga đang bị cả khối Tây phương phong tỏa kinh tế sau khi cưỡng chiếm Crimea. Nga đã ký những hợp đồng cung cấp dầu, khí cho Trung Quốc, và hoan nghênh tiền vốn của Bắc Kinh đem đầu tư vào công nghiệp năng lượng. Mặc dù giá dầu lửa đã tăng lên gần đây, nhưng kinh tế Nga còn trì trệ vì vẫn nằm trong tay những đại gia thân cận với ông Putin. Hành động can thiệp của Nga vào Syria, kết thân với Iran chống các nước Á Rập theo phái Sun Ni Hồi Giáo khiến Nga sẽ còn bị tẩy chay. Trước viễn tượng bị cô lập trong hàng chục năm tới, Putin muốn chứng tỏ cho các nước Tây phương biết rằng ông ta còn có nhiều cơ hội khác.

Nga đã phát triển lực lượng tàu ngầm, mở đường đi vào vùng Bắc Cực, đe dọa thế giới với các loại chiến đấu cơ và bom hạch tâm mới. Trong tuần này, hai chiếc tàu chở dầu lớn của Nga, với dung tích 172,000 mét khối đã tới Giang Tô trong vòng 19 ngày nhờ đi đường tắt qua Bắc Cực, thay vì thường đi qua kênh Suez mất 35 ngày. Trung Cộng gọi con đường biển mới này là Đường Tơ Lụa Bắc Cực.

Màn tập trận “đại bàng” đang bắt đầu cũng nhằm biểu diễn sức mạnh quân sự của Nga, để làm nản lòng các nước đang duy trì cuộc cấm vận vì vụ Crimea năm 2014 và Nga dùng tay sai âm mưu lật đổ chính quyền Ukraine. Nếu phong tỏa kinh tế không làm cho Nga yếu đi về quân sự thì tiếp tục để làm gì? Tiếp tục cấm vận Nga thì sẽ chỉ đẩy nước Nga vào tay Trung Cộng, lợi hơn hay hại hơn? Đó là những thông điệp ông Putin muốn gửi đi!

Đối nội, Putin muốn dùng sức mạnh quân sự khích động tinh thần dân tộc tự tôn của dân Nga để củng cố chế độ độc tài phe đảng của ông. Ông đã cho tái lập các cuộc duyệt binh ở Quảng Trường Đỏ vì mục đích đó.

Trung Cộng đến tham dự cuộc tập trận Vostok 2018 cũng nhằm học tập kỹ thuật điều động quân đội của Nga trong một chiến dịch rộng lớn. Từ hơn nửa thế kỷ nay, quân đội Trung Cộng chưa thực sự tham dự một cuộc chiến lớn nào. Họ thiếu “kinh nghiệm chiến trường” trong việc điều phối hàng trăm ngàn quân, trong kỹ thuật thông tin ngoài mặt trận, sử dụng các khí giới mới, đối đầu với các vũ khí mới của quân địch.

Trong Vostok 2018, Không Quân Nga thao dượt cả hệ thống chống loại hỏa tiễn Cruise bay thấp là mặt đất, mà quân đội Mỹ đã sử dụng nhiều lần ở Iraq, Lybia và Syria. Quân Trung Cộng đã được trang bị với loại hỏa tiễn nhắm mục tiêu này nhưng chưa từng được đem thử trên mặt trận.

Hai ông Tập Cận Bình và Vladimir Putin cũng chia sẻ một mối lo chung là luôn luôn phải đề phòng một cuộc nổi dậy của người dân bị trị trong nước họ. Không một chế độ độc tài nào có thể ngủ yên vì họ biết dân chúng chỉ chịu đựng nhất thời, chứ không bao giờ bị khuất phục hoàn toàn. Cuộc tập trận Vostok 2018 sẽ cho thấy khi cần điều động quân đội dẹp tan những cuộc cách mạng thì phải làm gì.

Để ve vãn ông Tập Cận Bình, ông Putin đã cho bán những vũ khí tối tân nhất như hỏa tiễn S-400 và phi cơ SU-35 loại mới nhất. Trong chuyến công du vào Tháng Tư năm nay tới Matskơva, một người thân cận của ông Tập Cận Bình là Tướng Ngụy Phong Hòa (Wei Fenghe, 魏凤和), nguyên chỉ huy trưởng lực lượng hỏa tiễn của TQCG, đã tuyên bố rõ ràng: “Trung Quốc muốn cho nước Mỹ thấy mối giao hảo của quân đội mình với quân đội Nga.”

Nhưng tình hữu hảo giữa hai nước Nga, Hoa có thực sự chặt chẽ và bền vững hay không?

Về mặt kỹ thuật và kinh tế Trung Quốc không thể học hỏi (hoặc ăn trộm) được điều gì từ nước Nga để giúp họ phát triển cho bằng Mỹ và Châu Âu trong vài chục năm tới, như ông Tập Cận Bình đang nuôi tham vọng.

Di sản lịch sử cho thấy hai nước Nga, Trung không bao giờ tin nhau. Cuộc bang giao hoàn toàn dựa trên những tính toán vụ lợi mà không chia sẻ những giá trị cao hơn, cũng không được đặt trên những quy tắc bền vững như luật pháp quốc tế. Khi nào thấy bớt lợi lộc thì hai bên sẵn sàng chia tay.

Mà nước Nga không thể mang lợi cho nước Tàu, không có những thị trường tiêu thụ lớn, cũng không có tư bản và kỹ thuật mạnh để trao đổi. Ông Tập Cận Bình đã lợi dụng thế yếu của ông Putin để ký những hợp đồng về năng lượng với giá rẻ, nhưng ngay cả vai trò của dầu lửa và khí đốt cũng mất tầm quan trọng trong nền kinh tế hiện đại!

Một điều ai cũng thấy trước mắt, là bọn đầu sỏ cầm đầu guồng máy nhà nước và các đại gia Nga không gửi tiền hoặc gửi con cái du học sang Bắc Kinh hay Thượng Hải mà vẫn gửi qua London hay New York!

Nhưng nước Mỹ vẫn nên rút ra một bài học khi chứng kiến cuộc bắt tay thân thiện giữa Vladimir Putin và Tập Cận Bình. Thời 1970, Mỹ đóng vai chủ động trong kế hoạch ly gián Liên Xô và Trung Cộng. Hiện nay Mỹ đã mất vai trò cầm chịch. Thời 1970, trong ba nước thì Trung Cộng yếu nhất. Ngày nay, Nga là nước yếu nhất, còn Trung Quốc đang lên. Trung Cộng không những đang tiến vào Châu Phi, Châu Âu và vùng Trung Đông, mà có thể sẽ bao vây Nga với vòng đai các nước Trung Á trước đây thuộc Liên Bang Xô Viết.

Đối thủ của Mỹ trong thời gian tới không phải Nga mà là Trung Cộng. Để đối phó với chế độ độc tài đảng trị và âm mưu bành trướng của Trung Cộng, nước Mỹ phải thắt chặt thêm quan hệ với những quốc gia tự do dân chủ dựa trên quyền lợi hỗ tương và chia sẻ các giá trị chung. Mỹ không thể đứng cô lập mà phải đóng vai tích cực bảo vệ những lý tưởng dân chủ tự do, tôn trọng luật pháp, củng cố những định chế quốc tế duy trì những giá trị đó.


NGÔ NHÂN DỤNG

          Russia Warns U.S. of Pending Attack in Syrian Area with U.S. Troops       Cache   Translate Page      
(CNN) Barbara Starr - Russia warned the U.S. military twice last week that its forces, along with Syrian regime units, are prepared to attack in an area where dozens of U.S. troops are located, sparking U.S. warnings to Moscow not to challenge the U.S. military presence, U.S. defense officials said. Concern centers on a U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition base at At Tanf. U.S. troops help monitor a 55-km. (34-mile) exclusion zone around At Tanf near the borders of Syria, Jordan and Iraq. Officials said U.S. troops in the area have the right of self-defense if they are attacked and would not need to ask permission from higher-ups before acting. "We have absolutely advised them [Russia] to stay out of At Tanf," one U.S. official said. "We are postured to respond....If attacked, the United States will not hesitate to use necessary and proportionate force to defend U.S., coalition or partner forces."
          Protesters in Basra, Iraq, Storm Iranian Consulate       Cache   Translate Page      
(AP) Qassim Abdul-Zahra - Protesters in Basra, Iraq, stormed the Iranian consulate on Friday. Iran controls powerful Shiite militias in Basra which are held responsible for poor public services and corruption. Protesters have torched offices belonging to the Iranian-backed militias, chanting, "Iran, out, out!" They also burned an Iranian flag and trampled on a portrait of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
          #d - pastel_restaurant      Cache   Translate Page      
احلى صباح واطيب فطور في #مطعم_باستل .. لذيذ وطازج.. #morning#breakfast#mydubai#healthyfood#pastel_restaurant#dubai#sharjah#garhoud_restaurants#d#weekend#holidays ubairestaurants#iraqiresturant#lebanesefood
          Iraq Vet, Acclaimed Poet Wants Kansas City To Talk About Moral Wounds Of War      Cache   Translate Page      
Brian Turner was packed and ready to ship out for Iraq when his grandfather finally broke a decades’ long silence about his own combat experience. When the words came, they were to say that Turner should grab the biggest weapon and as much ammunition as he could carry. The award-winning writer comes from a long line of veterans and ultimately joined their ranks because, he writes in his memoir , “I would’ve been ashamed in the years to come if I hadn’t…. because it would’ve meant that between me and the people I revered most there were beaches and jungle foliage and Russian MiGs and snipers and artillery craters…” As one of millions of United States combat veterans, Turner shares an invisible wound called moral injury. And, as a member of that community who is a writer, he answers the call to support others who don’t have an outlet to sort through what they brought home with them. For seven years, Turner was an infantryman who deployed to both Iraq and Bosnia-Herzegovina. He says
          Protests dash Iraqi PM's chances of new term, hit U.S. hopes of shaping government      Cache   Translate Page      
Violent protests in the Iraqi city of Basra have all but ended U.S.-backed Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's chances of winning a second term and shattered Washington's hopes of shaping the next government.

          U.S. Republicans seek sanctions on Iraqi militias with Iran ties      Cache   Translate Page      
Republican U.S. senators plan to introduce legislation on Wednesday seeking to counteract what they see as Iran's increasing influence in Iraq, amid concern about attacks in Iraq by groups U.S. officials consider Iranian proxies, a Senate aide said on Wednesday.

          In Iraq è alta tensione: scontri e rabbia a Bassora      Cache   Translate Page      

Nell’Iraq post Saddam Hussein è spesso sembrata un “porto sicuro”, quasi una nicchia di stabilità e sicurezza all’interno dell’infuocato contesto iracheno. Il riferimento è a Bassora, seconda città del paese e capitale culturale per gli sciiti iracheni, nonché metropoli a pochi passi dall’unico sbocco a mare dell’Iraq. Un centro quindi di vitale importanza politica ed […]

L'articolo In Iraq è alta tensione:
scontri e rabbia a Bassora
proviene da Gli occhi della guerra.


          Protests dash Iraqi PM's chances of new term, hit U.S. hopes of shaping government      Cache   Translate Page      
Violent protests in the Iraqi city of Basra have all but ended U.S.-backed Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's chances of winning a second term and shattered Washington's hopes of shaping the next government.

          U.S. Republicans seek sanctions on Iraqi militias with Iran ties      Cache   Translate Page      
Republican U.S. senators plan to introduce legislation on Wednesday seeking to counteract what they see as Iran's increasing influence in Iraq, amid concern about attacks in Iraq by groups U.S. officials consider Iranian proxies, a Senate aide said on Wednesday.

          Republicans seek sanctions on Iraqi militias with Iran ties      Cache   Translate Page      
Republican U.S. senators plan to introduce legislation on Wednesday seeking to counteract what they see as Iran's increasing influence in Iraq, amid concern about attacks in Iraq by groups U.S. officials consider Iranian proxies, a Senate aide said on Wednesday.

          Comentário sobre Empregos Piraquê – Trabalhe Conosco por Ana Cristina Bernardo Maria      Cache   Translate Page      
Meu nome é Ana Cristina Bernardo Maria ,gostaria muito de ter primeira oportunidade pra demostrareu pontecial.
          Comentário sobre Empregos Piraquê – Trabalhe Conosco por Ana Cristina Bernardo Maria      Cache   Translate Page      
Boa noite ,meu nome é Ana Cristina gostaria muito de ter a primeira oportunidade de emprego ..
          White House Threatens Iran With Retaliation Over Militant Attacks      Cache   Translate Page      
The administration warned of a response to strikes in Iraq even as it moved to avoid a public split with allies over President Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal. Reported by NYTimes.com 17 minutes ago.
          White House Threatens Iran With Retaliation Over Militant Attacks      Cache   Translate Page      
The administration warned of a response to strikes in Iraq even as it moved to avoid a public split with allies over President Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal.
          Iraq Refugee Child Sponsorship Program Update      Cache   Translate Page      

Last month was very busy for our team in Northern Iraq. They engaged in food distributions in refugee camps and held meetings with singing, games and Bible lessons for the kids. Also distributed were the Trauma Kits with a 18” plush animal (pictured, right, with one of the boys) with a solar powered player with […]

The post Iraq Refugee Child Sponsorship Program Update appeared first on Indigenous Ministries.


          Iraq Ministry Outreach – Van Project      Cache   Translate Page      

PROJECT:  15 passenger van for IM work in Northern Iraq Amount needed: $25,000.   Already raised: $6,100 There is more info available online about this vital project. If your church would like a bulletin insert, contact our office and we’ll email you one. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Christ to these […]

The post Iraq Ministry Outreach – Van Project appeared first on Indigenous Ministries.


          Republicans seek sanctions on Iraqi militias with Iran ties      Cache   Translate Page      
Republican U.S. senators plan to introduce legislation on Wednesday seeking to counteract what they see as Iran's increasing influence in Iraq, amid concern about attacks in Iraq by groups U.S. officials consider Iranian proxies, a Senate aide said on Wednesday. Reported by Reuters 17 minutes ago.
          Republicans seek sanctions on Iraqi militias with Iran ties      Cache   Translate Page      
Republican U.S. senators plan to introduce legislation on Wednesday seeking to counteract what they see as Iran's increasing influence in Iraq, amid concern about attacks in Iraq by groups U.S. officials consider Iranian proxies, a Senate aide said on Wednesday.
          Protests dash Iraqi PM's chances of new term, hit U.S. hopes of shaping government      Cache   Translate Page      
Violent protests in the Iraqi city of Basra have all but ended U.S.-backed Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's chances of winning a second term and shattered Washington's hopes of shaping the next government.
          White House: U.S. Will Hold Iran “Accountable” for Attacks by Proxies on American Interests      Cache   Translate Page      
FeaturedImage_2018-09-12_102149_YouTube_IRGC_Kurd_AttackFollowing the recent attacks on Kurdish targets as well as American interests in Iraq by Iranian proxies, the White House issued a statement saying that it would hold Iran “accountable” for injuries to American personnel or damage to United States facilities and that it would act “decisively” against such attacks, Agence France-Presse reported Wednesday. Over […]
          “Up for Debate”      Cache   Translate Page      
by Brendan Emmet Quigley

Across

1. Adularescent stone

5. Mop up

11. Quick getaway

14. Racer Luyendyk

15. “I’m over here”

16. Bit of difficulty

17. Debate #1: What characters should I use when answering “Sex:” on a questionnaire?

19. Islanders GM Lamoriello

20. Plum relatives

21. Fruity drinks

23. State as fact

24. Debate #2: What are the plot inconsistencies missed by Oliver Stone and Fritz Lang?

26. Layers on the farm

27. Totally goofy

28. Created

29. Underground rock?

30. Brief filer, perhaps

31. Rapper Budden

33. Debate #3: How should I say this keyboard costs $1000?

39. Stuttgart singleton

40. They’re counted down during a potential no-hitter

41. In a bygone era

42. Certain splash

45. Obfuscates

46. Vietnamese bowlfuls

47. Debate #4: What’s the value of an answer to a 50/50 question?

50. Mayor before Koch

51. “Midvale School For The Gifted” comic, with “The”

52. Iraq’s main port

53. Kamoze of reggae

54. Debate #5: Which lowish grade should I drop from report cards?

58. St. with legal prostitution

59. Religious beliefs

60. Often-misused verb

61. Test with a quantitative section: Abbr.

62. Help

63. Biblical twin

Down

1. Butterfingers

2. “The Tempest” wizard

3. Virgin holding

4. Buckets of bolts

5. Approving words

6. Spam producer

7. Alkie

8. “The Caballero’s Way” author

9. Composer Ned

10. Home appliance company

11. “I’m not paying attention!”

12. Loved to death

13. Fluffy dessert

18. Fashion designer Kimora ___ Simmons

22. “The First Purge” actress

23. “Yeah, that makes sense”

24. Alert

25. Rampaging

27. Singer Malik

30. Tire pressure abbr.

31. Sauna parts

32. WWII espionage org.

34. Decent chaps

35. Acting Jackman

36. Babe of golf

37. Problem of entitlement

38. Flower with thorns

42. “Give me an ___ break”

43. Temporary wheels

44. Land

45. Trudeau’s bros

46. Grinding implement

48. Samhain religion

49. Funks

50. Cricket gear

52. Epic fail

55. Latin gods

56. They were kept in wallets in the 90s

57. Bearded beast

[ Comment on this story ]

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          SATADSL and Talia ink partnership for broadband in Iraq and Afghanistan       Cache   Translate Page      
(Telecompaper) SatADSL and Talia have agreed to expand their long-term partnership to provide a new low-cost satellite broadband service across Iraq and Afghanistan...
          #Narc - amaniwasabi      Cache   Translate Page      
Operation Midnight Climax was an operation initially established by Sidney Gottlieb and placed under the direction of Narcotics Bureau officer George Hunter White under the alias of Morgan Hall for the CIA as a sub-project of Project MKULTRA, the CIA mind-control research program that began in the 1950s. Prostitutes would lure men into hotel rooms and dose them LSD for experimentation. . . #truth #conspiracy #government #lsd #conspiracytheory #iraq #wmds #bush #chemtrails #agenda #conscious #nwo #sheeple #awakening #experiments #drugs #thirdeye #staywoke #anonymous #mkultra #staywoke #lies #corruption #gov #narc #spreadtruth #anon #warforprofit #fuck
          Republicans seek sanctions on Iraqi militias with Iran ties      Cache   Translate Page      
Republican U.S. senators plan to introduce legislation on Wednesday seeking to counteract what they see as Iran's increasing influence in Iraq, amid concern about attacks in Iraq by groups U.S. officials consider Iranian proxies, a Senate aide said on Wednesday.

          #walklikeus - pearlmaster1      Cache   Translate Page      
She always like getting in my pics 🤦🏽‍♂️😘 #nigelsylvester #1’s #nigel #1 #heatup #heatupsoles #chiraq #moneytalkslikejordan #walklikeus #teamjordan #onlyheatonmyfeet #shoecago #stonerflow #highlife #hypebeast #stoner #420 #Wdywt_ig #highlife #hightimes #stoner #stonerflow #dab #dablife #710 #oil #letsgetit #nikeair #3m
          White House Accuses Iran Of Proxy Attacks In Iraq      Cache   Translate Page      
The White House said the U.S. would hold Tehran accountable for andquot;any attack that results in the injury to our personnel or damageandquot; to U.S. facilities.
          White House Warns Iran Of Proxy Attacks In Iraq      Cache   Translate Page      
The White House said the U.S. would hold Tehran accountable for 'any attack that results in the injury to our personnel or damage' to U.S. facilities.
          U.S. Warns Iran About Attacks In Iraq      Cache   Translate Page      
On Tuesday the United States warned Iran it will “respond swiftly and decisively” to any attacks by Tehran’s allies in Iraq that result in injury to Americans or damage to U.S. facilities. Reuters report that the statement by the White House press secretary accused Iran of not preventing attacks in recent days on the U.S. Consulate in Basra and the American Embassy compound in Baghdad.
          Iran says US blame over Iraq protests ‘astonishing’      Cache   Translate Page      
Author: 
AFP
ID: 
1536756234187224900
Wed, 2018-09-12 12:08

TEHRAN: Iran described as “astonishing” Wednesday US accusations that its allies in Iraq were responsible for attacks on US diplomatic missions during deadly unrest last week centered on third city Basra.
Both the US consulate in Basra and its embassy in Baghdad came under attack but the offices of political parties and militias backed by Iran were the principal target of the unrest in Basra while the Iranian consulate in the city was burnt to the ground.

Main category: 

          Iraq: Car bomb explosion kills at least 6 north of Baghdad      Cache   Translate Page      
Author: 
Associated Press
article author: 
ID: 
1536755174327147600
Wed, 2018-09-12 (All day)

BAGHDAD: Iraqi officials say a car bomb has exploded outside a restaurant north of Baghdad killing at least six people.
Iraq’s Joint Operations Command says the explosives-laden car ignited Wednesday outside a restaurant on a highway near Beiji city.
Health Ministry spokesman Saif Al-Badr said six people were killed and 42 wounded.
It was not immediately clear what the target was and no group immediately claimed responsibility.

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          Republicans seek sanctions on Iraqi militias with Iran ties      Cache   Translate Page      
Republican U.S. senators plan to introduce legislation on Wednesday seeking to counteract what they see as Iran's increasing influence in Iraq, amid concern about attacks in Iraq by groups U.S. officials consider Iranian proxies, a Senate aide said on Wednesday.

          Meatloaf, a gigantic 30lb tabby cat dies just 19 days after being adopted by an Iraq War veteran | Daily Mail Online      Cache   Translate Page      
So sad.
Submitted by Christeen A to Offbeat  |   Note-it!  |   Add a Comment

          ThinkProgress Censored By Facebook After Cheerleading Facebook Censorship      Cache   Translate Page      

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

In an article last month titled “Facebook announces that fake accounts are now coming not just from Russia”, fauxgressive establishment apologia firm ThinkProgress falsely reported that I have been writing for an outlet that is alleged to be part of an Iranian propaganda campaign. I repeatedly broughtthis false claim to the attention of Casey Michel, the article’s author, telling him that ten seconds of research or any attempt to contact me would have shown him that the articles published by the outlet in question were just reblogs of earlier publications from my platform, but Michel ignored the many notifications he received from myself and my Twitter followers and went on merrily interacting with other posters. As of this writing, the article remains uncorrected.

In the article, Michel documented Facebook’s heroic efforts to shut down alleged Iranian propaganda outlets, ominously warning his readers that “Russia is by no means the only foreign adversary exploiting social media’s inherent openness.” In other articles for ThinkProgress, Michel is repeatedlyseen wagging his finger at Facebook and Twitter for not doing more to censor “Russian propaganda”, and in a July article titled “Facebook says both sides share fake news, defends Infowars’ presence on its platform  -  Mark Zuckerberg has an interesting way of prioritizing ‘high quality news’” another ThinkProgress author criticized Facebook for not censoring Alex Jones. Jones was censored by Facebook the following month.

So I think it’s understandable that those of us who have been warning of the dangers of internet censorship find it a bit funny to see ThinkProgress now complaining that it has been censored by Facebook.

ThinkProgress reports that its traffic from Facebook has been slashed by eighty percent due to a “fact check” by the Weekly Standard which, through a series of moronic mental contortions, found ThinkProgress guilty of reporting fake news about Brett Kavanaugh of all things. In a twist of irony which would be delicious if it weren’t so disgusting, the Weekly Standard is one of Facebook’s authorized “fact checkers”, and happens to be the brainchild of none other than bloodthirsty psychopath and rehabilitated #Resistance hero Bill Kristol.

ThinkProgress is part of a very large and diverse branch of progressive punditry whose ultimate job is to help centrist empire loyalists feel like leftist revolutionaries, and since 2016 one of the many appalling consequences of this bizarre environment has been the embracing of Iraq-raping neoconservatives like Kristol and Max Boot by Democratic Party loyalists. In a bid to stay relevant despite having been consistently wrong about literally everything in foreign policy for the last two decades, these murderous ghouls have repackaged themselves as a woke, cuddly alternative to the Trumpian faction of the Republican Party, and have been rewarded for their efforts with regular platforms on MSNBC and the Washington Post.

So with ThinkProgress getting censored by Facebook, you really couldn’t ask for a more clear-cut case of reaping what you sow. Nevertheless, it is wrong for anyone to be deprived of political speech, even if much of their political speech consists of attempts to silence the political speech of others.

And if there is anything more gross than political speech being regulated by Silicon Valley plutocrats and a NATO psyop factory, it’s political speech being regulated by Silicon Valley plutocrats, a NATO psyop factory, and Bill Kristol. ThinkProgress should not have its audience restricted.

All the “let me help you cheer for the establishment while pretending to oppose it” pundits who celebrated Alex Jones’ coordinated de-platforming last month are falling all over themselves to spin this new development in a way that allows them to feel as though they aren’t being proven wrong day after day after day, but of course they are. Facilitating the censorship of anyone’s speech is facilitating the censorship of your own speech in the long run, and we’re not even having to wait long to see it this time around. In a corporatist system of government, corporate censorship is state censorship; the massive new media corporations being implored to regulate which political speech gets an audience and which doesn’t have extensive ties to secretive government agencies and a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

I do not expect ThinkProgress to remain on Facebook’s restricted list for long; the real targets of internet censorship are not partisan outlets which prop up establishment politics and help legitimize America’s two-headed one party system. But that isn’t the point. The point is that Silicon Valley plutocrats, the NATO propaganda firm Atlantic Council, and the Weekly Standard should not be determining who gets an audience in the new media environment and who doesn’t. Nothing that has anything to do with Bill Kristol should ever have any power over anyone. If our choices are between letting people think for themselves and letting the guy who’s always wrong about everything determine what shows up in people’s news feed, the choice is obviously the one which doesn’t involve placing faith in the man who helped deceive America into butchering a million Iraqis.

*  *  *

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalor buying my bookWoke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2


          Republicans seek sanctions on Iraqi militias with Iran ties      Cache   Translate Page      
Republican U.S. senators plan to introduce legislation on Wednesday seeking to counteract what they see as Iran's increasing influence in Iraq, amid concern about attacks in Iraq by groups U.S. officials consider Iranian proxies, a Senate aide said on Wednesday.

          Protests dash Iraqi PM's chances of new term, hit U.S. hopes of shaping government      Cache   Translate Page      
Violent protests in the Iraqi city of Basra have all but ended U.S.-backed Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's chances of winning a second term and shattered Washington's hopes of shaping the next government.

          Gina Ortiz Jones is an LGBTQ Iraq war vet running for office      Cache   Translate Page      
Gina Ortiz Jones is an Iraq war veteran, first-generation American and a lesbian. And she's running for Congress in Texas' 23rd Congressional District. If she wins, she'll be the first Filipina-American congresswoman -- ever.

          She could be America's first Filipina in Congress      Cache   Translate Page      
Gina Ortiz Jones is an LGBTQ Iraq war vet who wants to protect the rights of those marginalized in her district.

          O bandido Papagaio e as "mãos atadas" da Justiça      Cache   Translate Page      
Apesar do extenso currículo do bandido, malgrado suas quatro fugas anteriores, a despeito de ser ele verdadeiro doutor honoris causa no mundo do crime, um extenso conjunto de fatores age em seu benefício e, simetricamente, em desfavor da sociedade. Artigo de Percival Puggina:


Foi preso no interior do Paraná o assaltante conhecido como Papagaio. Com longa experiência em assaltos a bancos e carros fortes, crimes que envolvem organização de quadrilhas, Papagaio acumula condenações que, em tese, não mais do que em tese, se elevam a meio século de prisão. No sítio onde estava ao ser preso foram apreendidos quatro poderosos fuzis municiados, carregadores e 400 munições de diversos calibres. Ou seja, Papagaio estava cheio de má intenção. Suspeita-se de que os ataques a carros fortes que antecederam a grande fuga de presos ligados ao PCC tenham sido praticados para atrair policiais a outra região e viabilizar a espalhafatosa evasão na penitenciária de Piraquara. Papagaio e o PCC também acham que no Brasil se prende demais. É o desencarceramento por conta própria... Há muita gente, paga por nós, que deve estar aplaudindo.

Apesar do extenso currículo do bandido, malgrado suas quatro fugas anteriores, a despeito de ser ele verdadeiro doutor honoris causa no mundo do crime, um extenso conjunto de fatores age em seu benefício e, simetricamente, em desfavor da sociedade. Cláudio Adriano Ribeiro, esse é o nome do pilantra, capturado de sua fuga anterior, conhecendo o jogo e as regras, foi um preso exemplar. Nem precisaria tanto para acabar beneficiado por progressão de regime e ser designado, novamente, para o semiaberto. Esse direito lhe foi proporcionado pela malha frouxa, cediça, que caracteriza a legislação penal brasileira, ingenuamente confiante em que a bondade é um irrevogável atributo humano. O Ministério Público, diante de avaliação psicossocial que não contraindicava a concessão do benefício àquele modelo de cidadão, o referendou e a Vara de Execuções Criminais o concedeu. Pouco depois, Papagaio deu sequência ao previsível script: bateu asas do semiaberto e voou de volta ao mundo dos negócios.

Todos os que, de algum modo, participaram da decisão que o deu por regenerado, são capazes de empilhar razões – e note-se: razões extraídas do Direito – sobre as quais apoiaram as recomendações e ordens que deram. No entanto, o bom senso refuga a leniência da legislação penal brasileira, os meandros recursais, as escandalosas chicanas proporcionadas pelo nosso Processo Penal, as penas que não se cumprem e as espantosas progressões de regime que acabam fazendo vítimas logo depois. Em vão a sociedade a tudo rejeita. O sistema tem vida própria e expressa uma vontade que parece ser de poucos, pouquíssimos, ainda que se imponha a todos. E a todos obrigue a viver na insegurança resultante de suas determinações.

É uma situação perante a qual todos se dizem com as mãos atadas e ninguém aparece para desfazer os nós. Pergunto: é uma situação sem saída, a exemplo de tantas outras que passam pelo funil dessas mesmas vontades no Congresso Nacional? Por que haveriam nossos congressistas de mudar a legislação quando não é incomum nem remota a possibilidade de que muitos deles acabem buscando agasalho em tais artifícios? Pois é também para isso que servem as eleições do dia 7 do mês que vem. Você não vai reeleger criminosos nem protetores de criminosos, vai? Você não quer custear um Estado brasileiro que perca todas para os Papagaios da vida, quer?

          Refugee to Airman      Cache   Translate Page      
Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Ridge Shan Tech. Sgt. Odette Youkhanna Esho, 56th Communications Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge of knowledge management, stands at rest for a portrait Sept. 9, 2018, at White Tank Mountain Regional Park, Ariz. As a child, Esho escaped from Iraq with her family as refugees after her father deserted...
          Secretário e agentes se dizem preparados para evitar resgate de presos      Cache   Translate Page      
O Sistema Prisional do Rio Grande do Norte tem acompanhado os casos ocorridos em João Pessoa (PB) e em Piraquara (PR) onde criminosos explodiram presídios para resgatar presos. Embora não haja indícios de que fatos semelhantes venham a ocorrer nas unidades potiguares, o Estado garante está preparado.
“Estamos tranquilos, mas mexemos com segurança penitenciária e, por isso, ficamos submetidos a ações dessa natureza”, declarou o titular da Secretaria de Estado da Justiça e da Cidadania (Sejuc), Luís Mauro Albuquerque Araújo. De acordo com ele, os agentes estão preparados para um ataque do tipo: “se vier a acontecer haverá nossa resistência”.
Perguntado sobre se é possível conter uma ação que se origina de fora para dentro dos presídios, o secretário garantiu: “nosso sistema está se atualizando para repelir qualquer tipo de ataque, inclusive para ninguém entrar, como aconteceu nesses dois casos”.
A presidente do Sindicato dos Agentes Penitenciários do RN (Sindasp), Vilma Batista da Silva, fez relato semelhante ao secretário. “Estamos no controle, mas em alerta”, afirmou. A agente penitenciária destacou os investimentos em inteligência que têm sido feitos.
Vilma da Silva analisou os casos na Paraíba e no Paraná como demonstrativos de que “o crime está mais munido do que o Estado”. “Se utilizaram de armamentos potentes”, destacou. 
Embora digam que o setor de inteligência não viu indícios de ameaça ao sistema prisional do RN, o secretário e a representante dos agentes afirmaram que medidas preventivas estão sendo tomadas. “Só não posso revelar, evidentemente, por questões de segurança”, finalizou o titular da Sejuc.
JAIR SAMPAIO





           پاسخ عراق به فضاسازی کاخ سفید علیه ایران      Cache   Translate Page      


ابراهیم جعفری وزیر خارجه عراق که در قاهره به سر می‌برد، امروز (چهارشنبه) در یک کنفرانس خبری به…


          Hold the Dark review – Netflix chiller aims high, lands somewhere in middle      Cache   Translate Page      

Alaska-set genre-hopping saga from the director of Green Room and Blue Ruin boasts effective set pieces but buckles under the weight of ambition

There’s something rather ironic about director Jeremy Saulnier’s most ambitious and cinematic film to date premiering on Netflix. His previous work, from breakout moody revenge thriller Blue Ruin to grisly punks v neo-Nazis horror Green Room, has hardly been lacking in scope but with his latest, there’s a definite level up in terms of what he’s trying to achieve. In Hold the Dark, he moves between continents, time periods, viewpoints and genres, delivering inarguably his most audacious film to date (in a recent interview, he referred to its “epic scale”).

The film starts with a disappearance. In a remote, ramshackle village in northern Alaska, Bailey is the third child to go missing, presumably taken and killed by nearby wolves. His mother Medora (Riley Keough) contacts retired naturalist and author Russell (Jeffrey Wright) after reading that he once killed a wolf, imploring him to bring her some sort of justice. The two develop a strange kinship, linked by loneliness, but as Russell investigates, he finds that things aren’t as they seem and when Medora’s husband Vernon (Alexander Skarsgård) returns from serving in Iraq, events reach a violent boiling point.

Continue reading...
          Interesting Recent Links - Vayelech 5779 - Day 4      Cache   Translate Page      
These are the interesting links from the past 24 hours (not sure why only 24 hours - plan to look into it):
Geula-Related
Twitter Search / muqata by (@Muqata)
[News Story]
11:13pm A Red Heifer is Born

According to the Temple Institute, on August 28, 2018 a kosher red heifer was born in Israel, and according to recent examinations, it's still a... http://www.jewishpress.com/multimedia/video-picks/a-red-heifer-is-born/2018/09/11/ …



Security Incidents
Hamodia by Dov Benovadia
Three Arabs Arrested for Major Arson Damage to Dead Sea Reserve
Algemeiner.com by JNS.org
IDF Fires on Terror Group Attempting to Launch Incendiary Balloons
כיכר השבת על ידי דניאל הרץ
נס בחג: מטען חבלה הושלך לעבר היישוב 'עדי עד'
כיכר השבת על ידי דניאל הרץ
במהלך החג: הפרת סדר ימית ממעגן עזה



Iran
Algemeiner.com by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff
US Warns Iran it Will Respond to Attacks by Tehran Allies in Iraq
Algemeiner.com by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff
Former Iran VP Sentenced for Threatening National Security
Algemeiner.com by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff
Parliament Speaker: Iran Has 3,000-4,000 Working Centrifuges
Yeshiva World News by Yekusiel
Iran Nuclear Chief Says Atomic Program Strong
Hamodia by Dov Benovadia
Report: Netanyahu to Join Trump at UN Security Council Meeting on Iran
Matzav.com - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
Iran Threatens Israel
Hamodia by Hamodia
Iran Nuclear Chief Hopes Deal Will Survive; Threatens Israel



African Terrorism and Anti-Semitism
Hamodia by Hamodia
Experts: Global Extremism Threat Has Grown Since 9/11



Asian-Australian Terrorism and Anti-Semitism
Yeshiva World News by Yekusiel
Al-Qaida Leader Urges Muslims To Fight US Across The World
Hamodia by Hamodia
Experts: Global Extremism Threat Has Grown Since 9/11



European Terrorism and Anti-Semitism
Algemeiner.com by Ben Cohen / JNS.org
Soviet Antisemitism in a British Guise
כיכר השבת על ידי יוחנן בלייך
התגובה: רבני לונדון: "מכתב הרבנים נגד הרב יהונתן סאקס - מזוייף"
Matzav.com - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
Trump Administration Smackdown of the Palestinian Authority Continues
Hamodia by Hamodia
Putin Says Russia Identified Suspects in Novichok Poisoning
Matzav.com - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
US Security Advisor John Bolton Says International Court Is ‘Dead To Us’ Over US Treatment, Policies On Israel
Yeshiva World News by Yekusiel
Trump Admin Orders Closure Of PLO Office In Washington; Threatens Sanctions Against ICC
Daily Wire by Kassy Dillon
WATCH: John Bolton Goes After International Criminal Court, Says ICC 'Is Already Dead To Us'
Daily Wire by James Barrett
Stabbing Rampage In Paris: Seven Injured; Petanque Players Try To Stop Attacker



Mideast Terrorism and Anti-Semitism
Algemeiner.com by Martin Sherman
The UNRWA Charade
Algemeiner.com by Benjamin Kerstein
Palestinian Authority Demands Arab Support for Anti-Trump Diplomatic Campaign
Algemeiner.com by Israel Hayom / JNS.org
Report: Nearly 8,000 Acres of Land Lost to Palestinian Arson Terrorism
Algemeiner.com by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff
UN War Crimes Team Documents Further Syrian Government Use of Banned Chlorine
Algemeiner.com by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff
As Idlib Offensive Looms, Syrians Flee to Border Villages
Hamodia by Dov Benovadia
Three Arabs Arrested for Major Arson Damage to Dead Sea Reserve
Algemeiner.com by JNS.org
IDF Fires on Terror Group Attempting to Launch Incendiary Balloons
כיכר השבת על ידי דניאל הרץ
שלושה חשודים בידויי בקבוקי תבערה נעצרו
Hamodia by Hamodia
U.N. War Crimes Team Documents Further Syrian Gov’t Use of Banned Chlorine
Matzav.com - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
Trump Administration Smackdown of the Palestinian Authority Continues
כיכר השבת על ידי דניאל הרץ
נס בחג: מטען חבלה הושלך לעבר היישוב 'עדי עד'
Yeshiva World News by Yekusiel
Trump Admin Orders Closure Of PLO Office In Washington; Threatens Sanctions Against ICC
Matzav.com - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
Netanyahu Praises US Closure Of PLO Washington Mission
Hamodia by Hamodia
Experts: Global Extremism Threat Has Grown Since 9/11
Hamodia by Dov Benovadia
U.S. to Shut PLO Mission, Boot Staff
Matzav.com - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
Trump Administration Orders Closure Of PLO Office In Washington
Matzav.com - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
Palestinians To Consider Severing Israel Ties, Erekat Says
Shiloh Musings by Batya Medad
Sound of the World's Silence at Arab Terror Against Israel
כיכר השבת על ידי דניאל הרץ
במהלך החג: הפרת סדר ימית ממעגן עזה
Algemeiner.com by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff
Palestinians Say US Attacks International Law with UN Funding Cuts



North American Terrorism and Anti-Semitism
Yeshiva World News by Y.W. Editor
Op-Ed: It’s Not Only Simcha Felder They’re Coming After — IT’S US!
Matzav.com - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
New York: Hispanic Principal Trying to Rid School of Jewish teachers
Matzav.com - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
9/11 Memorial Ceremony Held In Yerushalayim
Algemeiner.com by JNS.org
9/11 Memorial Ceremony Held in Jerusalem
Life in Israel by Rafi G.
Tweet of the Day
Daily Wire by Hank Berrien
NBC News White House Correspondent Mocks Trump Saying 'Radical Islamic Terrorism' On 9/11
Daily Wire by Hank Berrien
WATCH: Son Of Woman Killed On 9/11 Seemingly Slams Pelosi And Booker For Using Victims as 'Props'
Life in Israel by Rafi G.
The Truth About BDS (video)
כיכר השבת על ידי דניאל הרץ
הבשורה של טראמפ: המאבק בישראל בקמפוסים בארה"ב יוגדר כ"אנטישמיות"
Yeshiva World News by Yekusiel
Trump Leads Nation In Solemn Remembrance Of Sept. 11 Attacks
Hamodia by Hamodia
Trump Cites ‘American Defiance’ in 9/11 Tribute
Matzav.com - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
Trump Pays Tribute To Heroes Of Flight 93
Algemeiner.com by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff
Trump Pays Tribute to 9/11 ‘True Heroes’ in Pennsylvania Memorial Visit
Daily Wire by Amanda Prestigiacomo
Mike Rowe's Epic Response To Nike's Kaepernick Campaign Hits Home On 9/11



Prayers for Those in Need
Matzav.com - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
Rav Aharon Chodosh Released from the Hospital
כיכר השבת על ידי כיכר השבת
ילד כבן 10 נפצע קל בתאונת דרכים באומן
כיכר השבת על ידי דניאל הרץ
בנה סוכה בעלי הכהן ונפצע ממסור חשמלי
Yeshiva World News by Poch854
One Person R”L Niftar, 2,700 People Treated in Uman Over Rosh Hashanah



Deaths
כיכר השבת על ידי דניאל הרץ
הפעוטה נפטרה: תביעת מיליונים נגד כללית
Yeshiva World News by Poch854
One Person R”L Niftar, 2,700 People Treated in Uman Over Rosh Hashanah
Hamodia by Hamodia Staff
Rosh Hashanah in Israel Passes Safely; 23-Year-Old Passes Away in Uman
Matzav.com - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
BD”E: 23-Year-Old Bobover Chossid From Boro Park Nifter In Uman Weeks After Being Diagnosed
כיכר השבת על ידי דניאל הרץ
לאחר מחלה: צעיר בן 23 נפטר באומן במהלך ראש השנה



Great Rabbis
Matzav.com - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
Rav Aharon Chodosh Released from the Hospital
כיכר השבת על ידי אבי רבינא
סיכום האירועים: אירועי ותפילות ר"ה תשע"ט בבתי גדולי הדור ובחסידויות



Miracles
כיכר השבת על ידי דניאל הרץ
נס בחג: מטען חבלה הושלך לעבר היישוב 'עדי עד'



Judaism
Life in Israel by Rafi G.
Proposed Law: food donations to the needy
כיכר השבת על ידי דניאל הרץ
לראשונה בהיסטוריה: כתב אישום פלילי נגד בעל מעגן: סרבנות גט
כיכר השבת על ידי דניאל הרץ
מודיעין: מאות תושבים חתמו כנגד הקמת בית כנסת
Hirhurim by Yaakov Hoffman
When is Shabbat Over?
כיכר השבת על ידי אבי רבינא
הדרמה בבויאן: הרבי הורה: "אם אין גויים, לבטל את התפילות בקלויז"
Algemeiner.com by Jackson Richman / JNS.org
Refurbished Torah Honors American Jewish Soldier Who Fought in Afghanistan
Algemeiner.com by Algemeiner Staff
Trump in Rosh Hashanah Message: Strength and Perseverance of Jewish People ‘Inspire Us All”



Election Stuff
Yeshiva World News by Y.W. Editor
Op-Ed: It’s Not Only Simcha Felder They’re Coming After — IT’S US!




          Several Killed in Car Bombing at Roadside Restaurant in Iraq      Cache   Translate Page      
Several people were killed and dozens wounded when a car filled with explosives was detonated outside a restaurant in Baiji, a city some 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of Baghdad, on September 12.Reports on the death toll differed, but at least six people were killed, according to officials cited by the AP. Credit: صهيب الدليمي via Storyful
          A Sense of Our Purpose - Clyde Houser Annex Veteran Program       Cache   Translate Page      
Sponsored by the Lehighton Historical Alliance

Duty and Determination

Members of the 1st Marine Brigade - Korea 1950

Happiness is having a purpose.

Some lack that in life.

We all lack that sometimes.


Our country needs a purpose.

We all need a purpose.  Heck, even dogs need a purpose otherwise they'd be bored and misbehave.

It was a summertime picnic.  It was in Weissport, at Jacob's United Church of Christ.  And despite its long traditions and its 175-year history, one of the oldest in Carbon County, the attendance at their annual picnic was surprisingly low.  Even lower than previous low years.  

The older members reminisced about the 'old days' when it was large families plus their extended families all in attendance.  The bounty of food that seemed to multiply, the homemade root beer and mint tea, the singalongs that went on and on.


Bob Getz, a sergeant with the 517th Heavy Maintenance Co. Field Army during WWII, lamented.  He said our towns, our church, even our country, were lacking purpose.  "As much as I hate to say it," he went on, "what this country needs is something to rally around, like we did in the war."

That was August 2001, one month before 9/11.

Some Commonalities: Many times, men and women who enlist do so for a sense of purpose.  Many veterans I've interviewed, including my father, all say something similar, "What else was I going to do?"  

Obviously on at least an underlying level, there was a sense of duty and of patriotism.  

During this presentation, we will look at other commonalities of service.

Buddies – 
That's what Buddies do - Gene Holland (r) and Murphy washing
Holland's car before leave.  At one point during his time at
Camp Pendleton, Randy and his buddies bought a car together.
It is unclear if this is that car.

Buddies sign up together, they buy a car together to drive home for leave, they cajole each other, they will argue with each other like siblings, but they will always, fight for each other.  (Before the Korean outbreak, my dad and some of his Camp Pendelton buddies, including Gene Holland, bought a car together and they were going to drive it cross country for leave.  

But the car kept nickel and diming them into debt, each man paying his fair share, and eventually the idea and the car ownership vanished.  One anxious letter he wrote home defending the idea to his parents:





  • Samples of Letters Home from Randy Rabenold - Before the war, from Camp Pendleton, CA: "You'd think the way you talk that we're driving thru hell on a go-cart.  DONT WORRY ABOUT ME!" and from Korea: "P.S. Don't worry about me.  I am very safe behind this thirty cal...".


Letters Home

       
Love letters, last letters, letters saying not to worry.  Letters with white lies, telling them they are safe.  Letters and now phone calls, telling their family they are safe and completely out of harm’s way and letters that warned against gossip.  (See an alternate version of "Loose Lips Sink Ships" at the bottom of the letter from Ezra Kreiss.)
Ezra Kreiss was lost in the English Channel on a training run leading up to D-Day.  For more on his story, click here.



 The letter no one wants to get - Ezzie Kreiss, KIA.




Walter Haydt, of Union Hill, was also KIA/Missing in Action.  You can read his story by clicking here.

Bobby Kipp was the one Bulldog who didn’tmake it home.  Don Blauch remembers he and Bobby were on the transport ship to Korea together.  It was a typical Pacific summer and they both found it too hot to sleep below deck.  So the two friends found a life boat they sleep in each night, out under the stars.  Don Blauch told me how the spoke through the night, talking about girls, their former glory on the football gridiron, to their hopes, dreams and fears.  George and Dorothy received one of those letters as well.  Their only child.  They received one last letter from Bobby dated the same day he died.

Duty and Determination
My grandmother was Rebecca Nothstein, the great, great granddaughter of Lt. Peter Nothstein who fought with General Sullivan and served for more than 5 years of the Revolutionary War.  

Washington was trying to hold onto New York early in the war after Bunker Hill.  Sullivan and his men were pinned down, getting decimated by the Hessians.  Many were surrendering and being taken prisoner.  Peter Nothstein had the gumption to sling his musket across his back, and to swim across the Long Island sound to the safety of Washington’s retreating army from Manhattan.

Clarence Smoyer is here with us today.  He was and still is a very humble man, but in the thick of the fight, he was a determined marksman in his new Pershing Tank.  His three quick, successive shots changed the course of a battle that changed the course of the war.  He was a true ace in destroying 5 armored vehicles.  

His stopping the German Panzer in the the Battle of Cologne is one of the most famous films of WWII.  When Cologne fell, it was Germany’s fourth largest city, and the first taken by our American forces.  (Mr. Smoyer, born in Parryville and grew up in Forest Inn,  was present at the service today.  A national book is soon to be released, "Spearhead" by Adam Makos, click here to order.  You can read about Smoyer's Cologne battle here.  You can watch the film footage  featuring interviews with Smoyer here.  Clarence Smoyer interviewed on History Channel.)

Lehighton's Major Randy Fritz, Spike Long, and Clarence
Smoyer on Memorial Day at the American Legion with the
author Ron Rabenold.


Of course these were young men.  Letters from Sweethearts were important.  Don Blauch had many penpals.  Here are a few


Here is Gustav Schaffer and Clarence Smoyer reunited in Germany.  Gustav was a member of the Panzer tank crew
destroyed by Smoyer in his Pershing.  Upon meeting Gustav, Clarence said, "Well I guess we can now be friends."Click here to watch a video featuring both Smoyer and Schaffer.



These are just some of the letters Don Blauch collected during his service years.  He told me he never met any of them.
The ladies on the car above were from Texas, the lady in the dark suit was from Alabama.  The lady in top right and bottom center was Cecelia Ament from New Jersey.  Don told me he would take an extra pen-pal from the home town of his service buddies.  He had an extensive collection of these pen-pal letters in a trunk in his basement.

The Birds and the Bees – Truth and Fiction

One truth, one myth –

“It is better to fight the enemy you know than you don’t know.” - After less than a month of duty, in September 1862, at the Battle of Antietam, the war’s bloodiest 2-day battle, the green recruits of the 132nd PA were given the necessary courage to charge into the Confederate line because they were being chased by a swarm of bees.

“A bird in the hand…” - During the first day at the Battle of Gettysburg, up on Oak Ridge, PA’s 90th Regiment was being outnumbered in close fighting.  While the concussions of ordinance reverberated the air, a simple nest of young robins was dislodged from the safety of the tree.   With momma bird squawking to bring her peeps back together, a soldier from the 90thPA Regiment braved a storm of bullets to gather up the peeps into the nest and place it back onto the limb it fell from.

In researching the dedication of the 90th Regiment monument, there is no mention of the birds' nest story.  In fact, the nest is referred to as a dove's nest, a dove representing peace and the backpack hung on the tree to show that the soldier's day was over, symbolic of the peace that followed the war.  It appears that the bird story has been passed down from tour guide to tour guide at Gettysburg.  I myself heard this story from a guide on a tour of the battlefield back in the 1990s.

The Dogs of War - “Sexy” & “Sallie Ann”

Sallie Ann - Started as a pup with the 11thReg as they trained on the fairgrounds near West Chester.  She was said to have made several reviews with the men in front of Abe Lincoln.  

They said she had no fear in battle and often stayed with the wounded and dying men at Gettysburg.  During the first day, she was separated from the retreating men from Oak Ridge.  However, when the dust cleared after the third day it was discovered that she had stayed back on Oak Ridge, comforting the men from the 11th who were wounded.  

She made it to February 1865, just two months shy of the end of the war, she was killed by bullets under heavy fire.  The men buried her on the spot.
"Sexy" - The most traveled dog in the Marine Corps.

     "Sexy" was Born in China, taken to Guam in 1949, marched with the Division Band in Guam, taken to Camp Pendleton 1949-1950, "recruited" and taken to Korea by Marine Bob Neubert.  She made the Inchon Landing, protected the Kimpo Airstrip, and barked at Bob Hope during a USO show at Woson.  He was lost at the Chosin in December 1950.

Sacrifice and Deprivation - Near Total Annihilation 

Speaking of Chosin – My father missed it, but most of his outfit did not.  Dad was sent home because his father died.  After spending part of October and much November at home, they called him back and was crossing the Sea of Japan just as our men were cut off and surrounded by the Chinese at the Chosin Reservoir.  He and some loose company of others were about ready to be sent in to help break through to break the men out.  Lucky for dad, our men were able to get out themselves.  

But it came at high cost.  The 1st Marines had to break through the overwhelming numbers of Chinese just to join up with other pockets of men similarly surrounded.  Not enough people realize how desperate this battle was.  The Marine Corps places this battle inside their top 3 most desperate battles ever fought (Imagine what you know of Okinawa, Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, the Hue, and the second Fallujah.).  It was the closest they ever came to total annihilation.  

Dad remembers the bitter cold and the 1,000 yard stares of the men.  Some of his 1stDivision buddies didn’t make it out.  Francis Eugene "Gene" Holland was one of them.

He always says, the timing of his dad’s death saved his life.


Moses Mertz of Mahoning Valley listed  “weak heart” on his WWI Draft card.  According to Chester Mertz, a WWII veteran and nephew of Moses, Moses had such a strong sense of homesickness, that his heart gave out, just one month before the end of the war.


Deprivation and underwear - The First Marines during September and October of 1950 in Korea had been engaged with the enemy non-stop.  So much so, not only had few even had chance to bathe in two months, most didn’t even have the chance to change their underwear.  Once the men began to establish some stability at an area in Korea known as the “Bean Patch.”  The crusty uniforms literally needed to be scrapped off their bodies.  There was never any consideration of keeping and washing these clothes.  Underwear and all were burned in a large bonfire onsite, as new uniforms had arrived.

Speaking of unmentionables: Underwear and a Purpose in Life – Our servicemen fought side-by-side with some British troops in Korea.  Many atrocities were committed against these prisoners.  

Many got homesick and gave up.  The British soldiers noticed something unique about the American GI’s compared to their more austere behavior:  The Americans were far more emotional.  They had ups and downs, like when a new POW arrived whom the men knew, they hugged and cheered and laughed and cried at their reunion.  Some wistfully spoke of the fine dinner they would have once they were liberated and back home, but they’d skip their meal of cattle slop sorghum and millet.  These men were the most prone to what the Brits called Give-Up-It is”….

Randy Rabenold's band mates who survived
Chosin with British Commandos.  Francis
Eugene "Gene" Holland died there
7 December 1950.


A delegation of men would spot this and get tough with these men, saying, “If you don’t eat, you don’t shit, if you don’t shit, you die.”  One of those British officers was Lt Bill Cooper of Northumberland Fusiliers – He credits his survival under the harsh Korean camps with his frame of mind.  Each day, he woke up, and demanded this of himself, by saying to himself: “What worthwhile thing are you going to do today?”  His answer?  To wash the soiled, ghastly rags the men who were crippled with dysentery wore as underwear.  Each day, Lt Cooper washed and cared for the men who most needed it.  It was his sense of purpose in life, no matter how ghastly, that kept him going.
My Dad, Randy Rabenold is labeled #5 here.  #6 is Sandy Scaffidi pictured here and above.  Scaffidi endured Chosin while Randy was just re-crossing the Sea of Japan from bereavement leave at home.

         



IRA Smith from New Tripoli,Kistler Valley – I learned of Ira’s story after finding this picture in a book published in May 1945.  He was shot in the hand at the Battle of the Bulge and taken prisoner. The German surgeon taunted the bullet in his face and happily showed Ira he was hit by an American bullet.  

Then he and other POWs were taken to a warehouse for storage until they could be moved to a camp.  While on the third floor of that warehouse, American bombers came and hit the building.  The bomb hit the outside wall.  

Moments earlier, the Americans were sitting along the floor against the walls while their German captors sat at a table in the middle of the room.  Superiors came to the room, noticed the Germans were "surrounded," and were told that they should sit along the outside of the wall.  They were killed, along with some Americans.  

Ira fell through the three stories and broke his back.  But when his captors told him to march, with the help of his friends, he had to march.  Had he been unable to move, they would have killed him.


Once they arrived at Stalag 12A, the real interrogating began by the SS.  There were guys coming out of the interrogation barracks smoking cigarettes, rewards for providing good information.  Ira said, “I told them if my back wasn’t broke I’d kick all their asses for talking.”

         

POW-
 Nothing sums up the service, the sacrifice, determination, deprivation, and sense of duty than our POWs like Ira.  Moses Rehrig – Andersonville.  How he survived 2 months at our Civil War’s most notoriously deadly prison camp in Andersonville Georgia is anyone’s guess.  There were 1,849 men from PA alone who died there.  He came home and was a civic minded contributor to our town Lehighton.  But one day Sgt Rehrig took his own life, hanging himself from the rafters of his shed they say because he feared he was going blind.



Richard Levan, another graduate of the the old LHS, the current Clyde Houser Annex building, Class of 1960.  He once described how rats were eating chunks of his face in a VietCong POW camp.





PTSD/Buddies
It is little wonder that local men, came home still fighting the war in their minds.  Like Mike Wargo; missed the support of his buddies; Marcus Maier wandered from old soldier home to home, mostly among confederate soldiers, trying to find a sense of purpose or to rediscover the comradery he missed from war, or perhaps absolution.   And to the countless others who have come home with the war still on their minds, we should salute and honor them for giving so much.


A Sense of Purpose – Of Tradition and of Duty

Generations of Longs – Henry Lange, to Henry Long, to Spike Long – Spike’s Dad is Henry, served in the Military, his dad was also Henry, - Spike’s grandfather’s grandfather was the original Henry Long, who served in the 132nd Pa Regiment who was induced by the bees.

From Joe Semanoff, to Gene Semanoff, to Captain Pete Semanoff.  Gene Semanoff’s Uncle Willard Reabold, KIA but received a Silver Star for his actions in Luxemburg, his first day…


Your Mission in Life -

But that’s not my mission, that’s not what I was sent there to do…


Add caption
Larry was part of the Pennsylvania National Guard.  He got the call many were getting across the nation during Operation Iraqi Freedom: You will report for duty, after Christmas.

First Lieutenant Larry Ahner and his 33-man combat support military police platoon was trained for route and area security work. 

The timing of their arrival in Baghdad was a twist of fate.  It was a mission for Bravo Company. But Larry and his Charlie Company landed first.   His orders: Provide security for detainees.  In other words, prison guards. 

Larry had to follow orders, even though this wasn’t the mission he was trained to do.
He soon realized these were what’s known as “High Value Detainees.”  And not just terrorist leaders and other undesirables. 

For the next 11 months, Larry and his platoon would be guarding the Butcher of Baghdad, the Ace of Spades: Saddam Hussein himself.

Larry was in charge of Saddam from March 2004 until Feb of 2005.  He watched him garden, he made sure he got a haircut, he took him in the Rhino Bus to his arraignment, he monitored his meals, his visits from his defense lawyer, everything.  They built a cell within the belly of one of Saddam’s main palaces, built in the middle of a man-made lake on the fringe of Baghdad.

Upon meeting Saddam, with a firm handshake while looking the brutal dictator square in the eye and he said, “I am in charge here.  I will keep you safe and well.”

Saddam was a treacherous socio-path that could not be treated lightly.  He was highly engaging and charismatic.  And Larry knew it would be easy for him and his men to fall under his spell.  So occasionally, he required his platoon to watch the brutal videos and descriptions of Saddam’s barbarism to remind everyone just who they were dealing with.
         
On Larry’s last day, when saying good bye, Saddam said, “I knew from when I first met you, you were an honorable man.” 

Instead of just a western handshake, Saddam offered the traditional Iraqi farewell: a hug, a kiss at each cheek, and ending in a gesture of sincerity with his hand over the heart.

That was February 2005 just months before his trial for his crimes of genocide ecocide.  On 30 December 2006, Saddam was hanged by his neck until dead.

1st Lt Larry Ahner received the Bronze Star, for his “impeccable, outstanding leadership qualities, with limitless potential for further positions of responsibility.”

Not bad for a from Dutchman from Long Run.





Military service has helped many to see their purpose.  

    It becomes a defining part of their lives, a tool to shape and guide that perspective...
    

    And for some, clarity and fortitude.

          #like4follow - nurdenizaras00      Cache   Translate Page      
-:- Write down your Whatsapp number here -:- Yesss #fashi#fashion #fashionblogger #fashiondiaries #fashionista #fashionmen #fashionstyle #style#styleblogger #styles#mystyle #hijabstyle#rowan #rowanblanchard #rowing#rowanrow #rowangrace#like4like #likeforlike#likeforfollow#like4follow#30likes#pleaselike#instagay#instagram#insta artist#kord#kordstan#kordstaniraq#kordstan
          Poll: who was responsible for 911?      Cache   Translate Page      
,ndo: The entire episode is mysterious, from the explanation that was given, to the oddities of the investigation, to the attack on Iraq.

What are your views?
           Comment on Nazi murder plot in Sweden by petrel41       Cache   Translate Page      
NO-ONE can dress up a far-right general election vote of 17.6 per cent as good news, but nor should the disappointment felt by Sweden’s Democrat fascists in suits be ignored. The misnamed Democrats had hoped the result would be still better, claiming that they could score as much as 30 per cent and replace the free-market conservative Moderate Party as the second party. Even mainstream opinion polls suggested the party, with its roots in Keep Sweden Swedish nazi extremism, could hit 24 per cent. The Moderates lost ground, as did the country’s largest party, the Social Democrats, but, alongside the Democrats’ surge from 12.9 per cent to 17.6, the Left party, which polled below 6 per cent in the 2006, 2010 and 2014 general elections, rose to 8 per cent. Its 28 seats, alongside the Greens’ depleted 15 and 101 for the Social Democrats, ought to ensure a continuation of Social Democrat Prime Minister Stefan Lofven’s government, whether as head of the erstwhile Red-Green Alliance or in some other guise. Both the Social Democrats and the Moderates borrowed elements from the Democrats’ anti-refugee programme in a forlorn attempt to spike the fascists’ rise. Yet the standing of Lofven’s party was assisted by principled anti-fascist activity backed by the Left, especially in the major cities. Where the right had previously controlled two of the main three cities, Stockholm and Gothenburg, all three, including Malmo, are now dominated by the Social Democrats, with the Left outscoring the Democrats in the capital. It is theoretically possible that the Moderates could, through a dirty deal with the Democrats, replace Lofven, but this is less likely than it would have been had the far-right carried the day with the kind of figures expected beforehand. Introducing far-right parties into government has already happened in northern Europe, specifically in Finland and Norway, mirroring stronger support for right-wing extremism in Italy, Hungary, Slovakia, Germany and elsewhere. This is partially explained by pundits as a reaction to governments accepting growing numbers of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and various African countries heading to Europe through Libya. Yet the numbers of refugees arriving in Sweden and Germany or even Greece and Italy are as nothing compared to those fleeing imperialist wars and their consequences in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq to Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan. Mainstream parties across Europe legitimise far-right parties’ programmes by giving credence, by imitation, to their ludicrous claims that taking in relatively small numbers of refugees undermines a country’s cultural identity or threatens to spark a crime wave. As ever, they proclaim personal opposition to racism and xenophobia but ascribe their bigotry to demands from “the public” — the working class. While some working people do indeed succumb to such negative phenomena, the reality in Sweden, as in all European states where a far-right surge has been witnessed, is that anti-racist opposition is co-ordinated by the left and the organised labour movement. So-called “moderate” centre-left/centre-right parties routinely replacing each other in government with no discernible qualitative change in policies bear huge responsibility for alienation expressed by working people faced by a neoliberal austerity agenda, whatever party is in office. Exploiting such alienation is easy for those seeking to divide people on the basis of skin colour, nationality or religion to assist their power-seeking ambitions. Sweden’s overall election result provides a negative example, but the opposite is true of the Left’s role in campaigning not only against xenophobia but for a socialist alternative to austerity. https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/article/far-right-breakthrough-prevented-in-sweden
          ThinkProgress Censored By Facebook After Cheerleading Facebook Censorship      Cache   Translate Page      

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

In an article last month titled “Facebook announces that fake accounts are now coming not just from Russia”, fauxgressive establishment apologia firm ThinkProgress falsely reported that I have been writing for an outlet that is alleged to be part of an Iranian propaganda campaign. I repeatedly broughtthis false claim to the attention of Casey Michel, the article’s author, telling him that ten seconds of research or any attempt to contact me would have shown him that the articles published by the outlet in question were just reblogs of earlier publications from my platform, but Michel ignored the many notifications he received from myself and my Twitter followers and went on merrily interacting with other posters. As of this writing, the article remains uncorrected.

In the article, Michel documented Facebook’s heroic efforts to shut down alleged Iranian propaganda outlets, ominously warning his readers that “Russia is by no means the only foreign adversary exploiting social media’s inherent openness.” In other articles for ThinkProgress, Michel is repeatedlyseen wagging his finger at Facebook and Twitter for not doing more to censor “Russian propaganda”, and in a July article titled “Facebook says both sides share fake news, defends Infowars’ presence on its platform  -  Mark Zuckerberg has an interesting way of prioritizing ‘high quality news’” another ThinkProgress author criticized Facebook for not censoring Alex Jones. Jones was censored by Facebook the following month.

So I think it’s understandable that those of us who have been warning of the dangers of internet censorship find it a bit funny to see ThinkProgress now complaining that it has been censored by Facebook.

ThinkProgress reports that its traffic from Facebook has been slashed by eighty percent due to a “fact check” by the Weekly Standard which, through a series of moronic mental contortions, found ThinkProgress guilty of reporting fake news about Brett Kavanaugh of all things. In a twist of irony which would be delicious if it weren’t so disgusting, the Weekly Standard is one of Facebook’s authorized “fact checkers”, and happens to be the brainchild of none other than bloodthirsty psychopath and rehabilitated #Resistance hero Bill Kristol.

ThinkProgress is part of a very large and diverse branch of progressive punditry whose ultimate job is to help centrist empire loyalists feel like leftist revolutionaries, and since 2016 one of the many appalling consequences of this bizarre environment has been the embracing of Iraq-raping neoconservatives like Kristol and Max Boot by Democratic Party loyalists. In a bid to stay relevant despite having been consistently wrong about literally everything in foreign policy for the last two decades, these murderous ghouls have repackaged themselves as a woke, cuddly alternative to the Trumpian faction of the Republican Party, and have been rewarded for their efforts with regular platforms on MSNBC and the Washington Post.

So with ThinkProgress getting censored by Facebook, you really couldn’t ask for a more clear-cut case of reaping what you sow. Nevertheless, it is wrong for anyone to be deprived of political speech, even if much of their political speech consists of attempts to silence the political speech of others.

And if there is anything more gross than political speech being regulated by Silicon Valley plutocrats and a NATO psyop factory, it’s political speech being regulated by Silicon Valley plutocrats, a NATO psyop factory, and Bill Kristol. ThinkProgress should not have its audience restricted.

All the “let me help you cheer for the establishment while pretending to oppose it” pundits who celebrated Alex Jones’ coordinated de-platforming last month are falling all over themselves to spin this new development in a way that allows them to feel as though they aren’t being proven wrong day after day after day, but of course they are. Facilitating the censorship of anyone’s speech is facilitating the censorship of your own speech in the long run, and we’re not even having to wait long to see it this time around. In a corporatist system of government, corporate censorship is state censorship; the massive new media corporations being implored to regulate which political speech gets an audience and which doesn’t have extensive ties to secretive government agencies and a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

I do not expect ThinkProgress to remain on Facebook’s restricted list for long; the real targets of internet censorship are not partisan outlets which prop up establishment politics and help legitimize America’s two-headed one party system. But that isn’t the point. The point is that Silicon Valley plutocrats, the NATO propaganda firm Atlantic Council, and the Weekly Standard should not be determining who gets an audience in the new media environment and who doesn’t. Nothing that has anything to do with Bill Kristol should ever have any power over anyone. If our choices are between letting people think for themselves and letting the guy who’s always wrong about everything determine what shows up in people’s news feed, the choice is obviously the one which doesn’t involve placing faith in the man who helped deceive America into butchering a million Iraqis.

*  *  *

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalor buying my bookWoke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

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          Suicide bomber targets motorway restaurant near Iraq's Tikrit      Cache   Translate Page      
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          US warns will respond 'decisively' to 'Iran-backed attacks' in Iraq      Cache   Translate Page      
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          Deployed (Musheno)      Cache   Translate Page      
Deployed: How Reservists Bear the Burden of Iraq (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2009), by Michael C. Musheno and Susan M. Ross (page images at HathiTrust)
          Comment on Solving Italy’s Immigration Crisis by backwardsevolution      Cache   Translate Page      
If the economic migrants from Africa (yes, economic) were actually trying to flee their own country because of war, wouldn't you think they'd just go to the country next door, or maybe two countries over? Instead, they are travelling hundreds and thousands of miles to get to Libya. Now having arrived in Libya, the narrative quickly became that they were being enslaved, the women were being raped (kind of like the babies being thrown out of the incubators story). According to U.N. refugee law, they're supposed to take refuge in the next safe country, which would be Tunisia. Yes, still in Africa. We've all seen the boatloads of people coming from Africa. They are almost exclusively young males. Now, what's the difference between going to Tunisia and going to Europe? Could the benefits they receive have anything to do with it? Although the West has been unfair to Africa (stripping their resources, causing wars) not every country in Africa is or has been involved in a Western-backed war, and not every country can blame their abysmal living conditions on the West. With all the bad the West has done, they have done a lot of good too, like provide medical technology, which has gone a long way to decrease infant mortality, immunizations, clean drinking water, financial aid, and continual food aid. A good deal of the problem has to do with over-population. "54 countries make up the continent of Africa, and while population growth is relatively low in some areas, countries such as Nigeria and Uganda are increasing at an advanced rate. In most countries in the continent, the population growth is in excess of 2% every year. In addition, there is a high proportion of younger people within the Africa population as a whole, with reports that 41% of the African population is under the age of 15." By the turn of the century, Nigeria is predicted to have over a BILLION people. Nigeria! Africa's population is predicted to exceed FOUR BILLION by the turn of the century. And a good deal of the problems in Africa are caused by corruption by their own leaders, as well as tribal wars. And look at what happened in Zimbabwe. They kicked out the white farmers, starved, then went through hyperinflation where their money was worth nothing. South Africa is headed in the same direction. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, isn't it? Now, why would the E.U. have sent out their ships to rescue these migrants? They could have just sent troops into Libya. After all, they did just invade and destroy Libya, didn't they? What, it's all of a sudden taboo to enter someone else's country? It never stopped them before. The U.N.H.C.R. has a brand new program called I believe (don't quote me) the "Migration Compact". The program explicitly WANTS migration from Third World countries into First World countries. It's good for "economics", or so it says in their literature. Read up on it because it's the new thing, although you won't find it mentioned in the New York Times. Migrants come in, the existing citizens pay for their benefits and welfare, the corporations and farmers get cheap labor, wages are held down for the host residents, the migrants then send money home (called remittances) to their home countries, the home countries buy new TV's, for example, from the multinational corporations. See? Isn't this fun? You get to lose your culture because the flavor of the day is "good for economics". Mexico currently gets more money from remittances sent home than from the sale of Mexican oil! I believe $30 billion/year is sent home from the U.S. to Mexico in the form of remittances. Meanwhile, the American citizens, some of whom are having a hard time, are paying for this. Imagine if those tax dollars remained in the U.S.!!! No, something else is going on beyond just people fleeing oppression. And now the Left doesn't know what to do? Perhaps if they did the "right" thing to begin with, they wouldn't have the problem? Do they never see long-term? Help people where they are, in their own country, with their own customs and traditions. And, yes, I agree that none of the wars in the Middle East should be occurring. The West needs to get out of Syria and help rebuild the country, along with Iraq and Yemen. Get out!
          Comment on On the Brink with Russia in Syria Again, 5 Years Later by Michael Murry      Cache   Translate Page      
From thirteen years ago: Here we go again, and again, and again , and ... (from Fernando Po, U.S.A., America's post-literate retreat to Plato's Cave) Boobie Official Mendacity The characters in government Will change from time to time As fashion colors change from green To slightly lemon-lime But lying never changes, like The meter of this rhyme The former Clinton government Once wanted to inflict The normal needless bombing on A country it had picked Because its petty potentate Our boots had never licked It seems that of the suspects whom We normally accuse One stood apart in infamy Thus him we would abuse Because he could not stop us so That made him great to use Inspectors roamed across his land Discovering not much Of mass-destructive weaponry, And gas, and germs, and such Thus did Saddam Hussein refuse To come through in the clutch So in frustration Bubba Bill Turned Madam Albright loose To use up some "diplomacy" Much like a hangman's noose To threaten peace with war until War seemed our only ruse A decade’s worth of sanctions failed To bring the tyrant down But only starved his children which Caused few of us to frown If hungry Arab kids can’t swim We say: “Then let them drown” “We think the price is worth it,” said Ms Albright in her way Yet glib and airy phrases left No food upon the tray Just surly scorn for diplomats Who never have to pay But still those damned inspectors caused Our President to pout: To bomb might make them hostages Which could extend the bout To something more than half a round And not the hoped-for rout This Bubba Bill could not abide: So he asked the UN To have its people leave and tell Him where and how and when So he could blame their absence on Saddam and all his men To pull off this duplicity He needed lies to spout And so he took the muzzle off Of Madam Albright’s snout So she could lie and say Saddam Had forthwith “kicked them out” And so with the inspectors gone And nothing more to say The bomber pilots got to fly Three miles above harm’s way And blitz some helpless cities Just to earn their monthly pay Just so with Boobie Bumbler George Who also wanted in To knock about the whipping boy And all his clan and kin Yet once again inspectors proved An obstacle to spin They’d gone ahead and done their jobs And found no smoking gun Which vexed another President Who so much needed one To validate more lies and his Vendetta left undone “He tried to kill my daddy!” swore The vengeful Boobie Bush “I know because the CIA Has searched the Hindu Kush; And found out lots of stuff, so now I say shove comes to push” So Boobie George told the UN That its men hadn’t found What Boobie George and Dick and Don Knew lay somewhere around Someplace where only they could see On undiscovered ground And Boobie Condoleeza Rice And Colin Powell, too, Proved once again that Black folks lie Just like the White ones do Repeating what no one believed Exactly right on cue With summer coming on so soon And springtime cool so short The bombing had to start at once Lest hot weather abort Mad plans to land upon a ship Sent steaming back to port And so once more the snoops and hounds Packed up and left Iraq The UN wished to take no part In Bush’s planned attack Yet still the obvious and bald Required a little slack To cover for their rush to war The Bush Bunch needed spin They claimed they had no choice because They wanted so to win And bad Saddam had not allowed Inspectors to come in Thus here we have a sorry tale Of two groups sworn to tell No truth if they could help it And they could, so what the hell? And Boobies, anyway, had grown Accustomed to the smell Saddam Hussein had let a host Of spies stay at his inn But yet it didn’t change a thing Or mitigate his sin Bill lied about the "kicking out" And George the "letting in" The Presidents who work for us Decline to let us know The things we need to supervise Their fumbling tell-and-show So wars begin on schedule and The piles of bodies grow Bill Clinton swore one type of lie; George Bush another kind They both had lied so much that each Thought none would ever mind With Boobies all so fast asleep The bland could lead the blind If once their lips commence to move A lie we should suspect And if their lips should move again We should at once reflect That we can -- in their moving lips -- A naked lie detect Their lying we should not expect To bother them that much To make them tell the truth would be To rob them of their crutch If they could choose, they'd lie so that They wouldn't loose their touch Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2005
          The Hotwire #36: #PrisonStrike ends—bring back anti-nationalism—economic crisis in Argentina      Cache   Translate Page      

It’s 17 years and a day after 9/11 and Iraq is still in shambles, so we rip apart liberals for thinking George W. Bush is somehow “cute”. 2001 pops up again when we compare the current economic crisis in Argentina to the wave of worker-led factory takeovers and anarchist media that resisted the last economic meltdown there. We call for anarchists to incorporate a critique of nationalism itself into our anti-fascist strategy and analysis, we include preliminary information for autonomous relief efforts based in mutual aid for #HurricaneFlorence, and we wrap up the National #PrisonStrike with an action report and a bunch of phone-zaps! Send us news, events, or ideas on how our show can better serve anarchist activity in your town by emailing us at podcast@crimethinc.com. {September 12, 2018}

 

-------SHOW NOTES------

 

  • Table of Contents:
    • Introduction {0:00}
    • George W. Bush is not cute {0:50}
    • The other 9/11 {2:45}
    • Economic collapse in Argentina… again {4:00}
    • Bringing back the anarchist critique of nationalism {5:25}
    • Here come the hurricanes—time for mutual aid {11:00}
    • #PrisonStrike ends {14:55}
    • Repression roundup {20:35}
    • Next Week’s News {27:40}
  • Download 29:30 minutes long version.
  • Autonomous Mutual Aid in the wake of Hurricane Florence
  • Mutual Aid Disaster Relief will give a brief presentation on September 15th at 10:30am at the Uplift Climate Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  • Anarchist book fairs this weekend:
  • Upcoming anti-fascist action:
    • September 15: Stop the League of the South from disrupting TriPride in Johnson City, TN
    • September 29: Oppose the League of the South’s rally in Elizabethton, TN. Stay tuned to @HollerNetwork and @knoxradical for updates.
  • Argentina:
    • The documentary The Take looks at factory takeovers and a little of the abstentionist anti-voting movement in Argentina as a response to the economic crisis of 2001
    • Keep up with resistance news in Argentina through Indymedia Argentina and the excellent anti-authoritarian TV channel Antena Negra
  • Other relevant CrimethInc. output:
  • Hotwire #3, Hotwire #6, and Hotwire #9 have interviews about mutual aid based, autonomous relief efforts in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico.
  • Some anarchist critiques of nationalism:
  • Donate to the legal defense fund for anti-racists and anti-fascists arrested in relation to the Silent Sam confederate monument in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Check out this guide on experiences and reflections dealing with undercover police infiltration in Toronto
  • Evictions HAVE BEGUN in the Hambach Forest! If you’re in Europe, make your way to the Hambach Forest in Germany to help defend it, and the radical Ewok village of forest defenders who live there. Also, check out our audio documentary about the forest and the defense campaign to stop the cutting.
  • Pre-sales are OPEN for the 2019 Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar! The theme of next year’s calendar is Health/Care, and it features art and writing from current and former political prisoners like David Gilbert, Mike and Chuck Africa, and Laura Whitehorn. If you buy 10 or more, be sure to use the discount code “BULK” to get 10 or more calendars for $10 each—you can then sell the calendars to fundraise for your own organizing. Orders start shipping September 10!
  • Use this straightforward guide to writing prisoners from New York City Anarchist Black Cross to write imprisoned American Indian Movement warrior Leonard Peltier.

    Leonard Peltier
    #89637–132
    USP Coleman I
    Post Office Box 1033
    Coleman, Florida 33521

  • Phone zap for Jason Walker

    You can contact the TDCJ Ombudsman at ombudsman@tdcj.texas.gov, as well as the Telford Unit’s management at 903–628–3171 and garth.parker@tdcj.texas.gov. You can speak to the Regional Director’s office at (903) 928–2623, billy.howard@tdcj.texas.gov and carl.mckellar@tdcj.texas.gov. Contact details for TDCJ head office are (936) 295–6371, Bryan.Collier@tdcj.texas.gov and exec.director@tdcj.texas.gov

    Script for phone calls: “Hello, I am contacting you as I have been made aware of a pattern of bogus disciplinary cases being issued by CO Renitia T. Davis. In particular, I wish to request that you bring in an appropriate outside investigator to fully investigate the recent cases issued to inmates Jason Renard Walker #1532092 and Logan Newsome #2163761 with an eye to getting these fraudulent cases overturned and expunged immediately, as well as conducting a full investigation into Officer Davis’ history. Beyond this, I demand that you cease all forms of harassment and retaliation against Jason Walker, including but not limited to the issuing of bogus cases, the censorship of his correspondence, and the denial of access to heat respite. Please investigate and overturn all recent cases and disciplinary measures issued to Mr. Walker by Telford Unit staff, and investigate the conduct of Lieutenant Estrada, Sergeant Gilstrap, Sergeant Sartin, and Lieutenant Ricks, who have all played a role in the campaign of harassment. Thank you”

  • Phone zap for Kevin Rashid Johnson

    Monday morning, starting at 9 AM, please phone and email the official in charge of interstate compact: Chief of Corrections Operations David Robinson. You can call the main office number at 804–674–3000 and ask to be transferred to his phone line. Robinson’s email address is david.robinson@vadoc.virginia.gov When leaving a message or talking to Mr Robinson, refer to Rashid by his legal name Kevin Johnson. Explain that he is better off in Virginia, that he has been subjected to serious human rights abuses during previous transfers.

  • We have a Twitter! Follow @HotwireWeekly and send us news that we should include in the show.

 


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Help prevent a civil war among the Shiites by providing water, energy and medical assistance.

          McHenry VFW Post 4600 more than a watering hole      Cache   Translate Page      
Mention of a Veterans of Foreign Wars hall might conjure up images of war-weathered old men chomping cigars and draining beers in a smoky barroom.

To a point, the cliche holds up. Brick-and-mortar VFW halls were opened to give American soldiers returning from World War II a spot to meet fellow comrades – many of whom returned rattled by overseas combat.

"They needed a battle-buddy safe place where they could unload their troubles on one another," said Lynn Rolf, a 42-year-old Iraq War veteran programs director with the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States in Kansas City, Missouri. "But people automatically connect the negative connotations of drinking with troubled veterans."  

In McHenry, the multimillion-dollar Queen of Hearts spectacle at VFW Post 4600 has shined a spotlight on the decades-old hall and raised some questions: What is the role of the VFW in the community? Is it more than a beer hall?

Post 4600: An origin story

It was Sept. 25, 1945, three weeks after the end of World War II.

A group of McHenry County veterans met in the basement of St. Mary's School and created Fox River Valley Post 4600. Three weeks later, the National Veterans of Foreign Wars headquarters issued the group a charter, and it formally became established.

The men behind Post 4600 spent most of 1946 recruiting members. They marched in parades. They raised cash through fundraising dances.

In 1947, Post 4600 hosted its first carnival and raised enough money to buy a 13.7-acre parcel known as the Conway Woods (now at 3002 Route 120) for $5,000. Concrete was poured, and Post 4600 finished its home by Dec. 7, 1948.

Several expansions followed: a dance hall in 1950 for fundraisers, dances and bingo nights and a bigger barroom on New Year's Eve 1960.

When Post 4600 celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1995, more than 350 veterans had joined. That number now is more than 400.

Supporting vets

Gary Snell played his first Little League game on the ball diamonds dotting Post 4600's property.

It was 1955. The 72-year-old McHenry man was only a boy.

"The farthest thing from a 9 or 10-year-old’s mind is the thought that 10 years later you would be drafted to go to Korea or Vietnam," Snell said.

A graduate of McHenry East High School, Snell was drafted and sent to Korea. It was 1965, and he wouldn't return to McHenry until 1968. That's when he joined Post 4600, and he's been a member ever since.

"I've seen more than my share of parades," Snell said.

A lot has changed since Snell joined.

The baseball diamonds now are maintained by the McHenry Baseball Association, the hall has expanded twice, and people from across the U.S. know about the Queen of Hearts raffle bringing the post millions of dollars.

The other day, Snell talked to someone in Portland, Oregon, who had heard about Post 4600. Snell sold tickets to someone all the way from Tinley Park.

"If they were giving away money in Tinley Park, I wouldn’t drive down there to get it," Snell said, laughing.

To guys like Snell, a witness to the VFW's growth over the years, Post 4600 is more than a bar. It's a family.

"We do whatever we can to help veterans," Snell said. "It’s not always easy. No matter what you do, it takes money."

Expanding relief

VFW halls like Post 4600 have what's called a relief fund.

It's a reserve of money available to veterans who might need help to buy a tank of gas to get to work, or a month's rent to keep a roof over their head.

"We can’t answer every phone call," Snell said, "but we try to help."

The VFW's board has not yet determined what percentage of Queen of Hearts dollars will go into the fund, VFW Cmdr. Dwane Lungren said.

Lungren took over the post in August 2017. He said Post 4600 offers scholarships to the high school and elementary schoolchildren of veterans that range from $250 to $1,000.

But Lungren's vision now is focused on in-house improvements to make Post 4600 known for its food. Since the Queen of Hearts raffle has brought crowds to McHenry, the kitchen has been churning out hundreds of pizzas to feed visitors.

The kitchen soon could be expanded with a stone oven to make homemade pizza dough. Plans to build a beer garden have been approved. The post now has a new outdoor cooler and freezer.

The expansion, Lungren said, will make Post 4600 a bigger draw in the community.

"It used be the image of old men sitting around smoking cigars and drinking beers," Lungren said. "Things have changed."


          Comment on Sebarang Promosi Lavida Coin Milik DSV Dihentikan Serta Merta by Kkkk      Cache   Translate Page      
Sekarang ada penipuan baru dinar iraq ada seorang lelaki dtg ke kmpung rekrut org2 kg xde kerja cakap ada kerja kat bank area shah alam n kl kerja seminggu je gaji rm100 sehari ada komisen katanye tapi kena buat byaran rm100 dulu baru boleh dpt kerja ni.Sape2 ada keluarga kat kg tu yg ada org tertentu offer benda mcm ni harap hati2.ok.bye
          The U.S. Can Defuse Iraq's Crisis      Cache   Translate Page      
Help prevent a civil war among the Shiites by providing water, energy and medical assistance.
          Migrant Crisis & Crime (September 12, 2018 Edition): Marcella (17) was lured into an ambush by her ex-boyfriend Rifai B. (16), an Iraqi, who attempted to kill her and their unborn child with three masked friends (15-17) in Duisburg, Germany. His three accomplices all have a Turkish migrant background.      Cache   Translate Page      
Marcella(17) was lured into an ambush by her ex-boyfriend Rifai B.(16), an Iraqi, who attempted to kill her and their unborn child with three masked friends(15-17) in Duisburg, Germany. His three accomplices all have a Turkish migrant background. pic.twitter.com/OllwX9clRZ — Stan (@StanM3) September 11, 2018 🆘‼😯🔪 #Germany: heavy knife attack in Saxon #Leipzig! The 17-year-old ... Read more
          Global Gathering Presses for Greater Religious Freedoms      Cache   Translate Page      
Religious persecution continues in too many places: ongoing repression of and atrocities against Rohingya Muslims in Burma, the brutal Chinese crackdown on Uighurs and other Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, and Christians, attacks by terrorists on Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Pakistan, authoritarian repression of Baha’is in Iran and now Yemen, and all faiths in North Korea.
          The Marine Corps is quietly monitoring sections of the US-Mexico border to stop migrants and drug traffickers      Cache   Translate Page      

4341965

  • For over a decade Marine Ground Sensor Platoons have quietly deployed to the US-Mexico border to train for combat operations abroad, and their training has real world consequences for those crossing the border.
  • President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration is quietly supported by the Marine Ground Sensor Platoons that surveil wide sections of the border.
  • These missions are ideal for Ground Sensor Platoons, which are made up of small three- to four-man teams who stealthily advance ahead of the main troops to track enemy movements in a deadly game of cat and mouse.


Along the US-Mexico border, small teams of Marines are using a suite of advanced sensors and remote monitors to assist the US Border Patrol in scanning the most vulnerable sections of the untamed border. These Marines belong to specialized units called Ground Sensor Platoons, and for over a decade have been quietly partnering with the US Border patrol to help agents catch drug traffickers and migrants who cross illegally into the United States from Central and South America.

Despite being infantry Marines, the weapons of choice for Ground Sensor Platoons aren’t bullets. The Tactical Remote Sensor System, or TRSS, is a suite of sensors, cameras, re-transmission devices, and monitoring equipment that are used to track enemy movement. The sensors are sensitive enough to detect how many people may be walking nearby, what direction they’re traveling, and can even differentiate between different types of vehicles. Some of the sensors are equipped with day and night imaging capability, allowing Marines to identify the exact nature of their target. And like most equipment fielded by the Marine Corps, the system can take a beating: the Corps claims the sensors and relay equipment can operate autonomously for up to 30 days.

All of this makes the Ground Sensor Platoon an important partner to the US Border Patrol. And despite some states withdrawing their National Guard units from the region during President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown earlier this summer, the Marines show no sign of slowing down: according to photographs released by the Department of Defense, GSP Marines have been in the field with US Border Patrol as recently as March of this year.

While the Marines participate in border patrolling in a purely observational capacity, their presence has in the past directly boosted the Border Patrol’s ability to bust drug traffickers and apprehend people suspected of crossing the border illegally. Due to the realism of these missions in terrains similar to Iraq and Afghanistan, one former Marine called it “the best possible training” for the dangerous missions these platoons conduct into enemy territory.

According to Customs and Border Patrol data, in 2017 Border Patrol officers apprehended 303,916 people attempting to cross illegally in the Southwest sector, which stretches from California to Texas. Former President George W Bush’s administration oversaw the construction of almost 700 miles of barriers on the US-Mexico border, and President Donald Trump continues to pledge to build a wall across the thousand or so miles without a physical barrier. The Department of Homeland Security has continued to extend and expand the US Border Patrol’s ability to monitor the border with drones, CCTV, and other surveillance methods, but there are still gaps. In 2015, for instance, agents stopped 444,825 migrants while an estimated 200,000 migrants got by them and successfully entered the US illegally.

Joint Task Force-North, Customs and Border Patrol, and the US Marine Corps declined to repeated requests for interviews and comment on these operations. JTF-N and the Marine Corps cited their policy of not commenting on ongoing missions, while Customs and Border Patrol did not respond to phone calls or e-mails.

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Working with US Border Patrol gives these sensor patrol Marines a unique opportunity to prepare for combat abroad. Marines scan miles and miles of hard-scrabbled hills and valleys under an unrelenting heat that punishes men and equipment alike. And just like in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Africa, the lives of those being tracked depend on their ability to evade American forces.

In 2004, Michael Vogel was a young infantry Marine fresh from boot camp, sitting in a squad bay in School of Infantry - East in Camp Geiger, NC. Instructors asked if anyone would be interested in volunteering for a special unit, one that would work behind enemy lines to give advance warning of incoming attacks or IEDs. Unlike infantry platoons of 40 or more Marines, this special unit worked in four-man teams with highly specialized surveillance equipment. Vogel volunteered, intrigued by the idea of going out in front of conventional infantry units. After three months of additional intensive training in topography, equipment specs, and surveillance techniques, he reported to the 4th Ground Sensor Platoon based in Mobile, Alabama.

The Ground Sensor Platoons evolved from a Vietnam War-era remote sensor program whose success during the battle of Khe Sahn showcased how important early notice of enemy movement could be. During the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ground Sensor Platoons became invaluable for American troops struggling to maintain control over large areas.

Soon after his arrival to 4th GSP, a squad leader told Vogel to prepare for upcoming training, one that promised real world conditions for the platoon to hone their skills before heading to battlefields in Iraq or Afghanistan. Their enemy for this operation would not be green targets on a shooting range, or other Marines pretending to be insurgents. For the next few weeks, their targets would be drug cartels and human traffickers moving north across the US-Mexico border in southern California. Their mission: help the US Border Patrol stem the tide of drugs pouring into the US using their surveillance equipment. As Vogel and his platoon sat through briefings on drug cartels from Central and Latin America, he focused on the mission. “My thoughts were on the terrain,” he recalled, “it looked just like the mountains of Afghanistan.”

For the overworked and undermanned US Border Patrol, the opportunity to utilize military-grade surveillance equipment operated by Marines frees more Border Patrol agents to catch smugglers and undocumented migrants  moving north. GSP Marines and US Border Patrol have conducted joint operations along the entire length of the border, and frequently work in one of the most controversial border sectors where a majority of illegal border crossings occur: the Rio Grande Valley.

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In 2008, Vogel and the rest of 4th GSP arrived at a Customs and Border Patrol base of operations in Texas. “When we landed we were introduced to the lead Border Patrol agent at the hangar for the Border Patrol Air Mobile unit, which is who we worked with. It was great, a lot of the guys we worked with were veterans, really professional guys,” Vogel told Business Insider in a recent phone interview. “They knew what was up, our higher ups had coordinated with them and they set up a tactical operations center for us in the hangar. We slept side by side with these guys for the entire operation.”

Even as a young Marine, Vogel could tell the Border Patrol was struggling to keep up with the influx of humans and drugs crossing into America. “It felt like they were undermanned, they needed routes covered that they just couldn’t cover with their personnel.” The Border Patrol agents spoke openly about their predicament, admitting “they just couldn’t keep up with what was going on out there,” as he recalled. During his first time on the border with CBP, Vogel estimated that the Marines passed on roughly 50 to 100 sensor reports a week to their CBP partners, a number that “only increased” during later joint operations in the Rio Grande Valley.

Vogel’s platoon worked with the CBP three times before he deployed to Iraq in 2008 and Afghanistan in 2010. On each joint operation, the Border Patrol put Mr. Vogel and the GSP Marines to work as soon as they touched down in Texas. “That first week is balls to the wall, just getting all your equipment out there. Then you’re going to a 6 hours on, 6 hours off rotation in the TOC.” The TOC,  which stands for Tactical Operations Center, is where GSP Marines keep a constant watch on information feeding into monitors from their sensors, whether in Texas or on the battlefield. Vogel remembered Border Patrol agents wanted the Marines to focus on drug interdiction. Unlike people risking their life to come to America, who often come across the border with little more than the shirt on their back and a bottle of water, Marines were on the lookout for individuals or groups of people carrying large packs that might smuggle drugs. Once located, the Border Patrol could dispatch agents to go out and investigate.

“Any groups that we saw on our imaging, we had a Border Patrol agent with us in the TOC, and they would call and let their agents know in the field and they would find out what was there.” Vogel made sure to note that the Marines did not go in with the Border Patrol teams to investigate what their sensors picked up, nor did the Marines interact with anyone found crossing the border. “It was firm, in stone: You do not interact with anybody. When we were in the field it was always at night.” And if the Marines came upon someone in the desert while emplacing their sensors? “We would get out of there, or we would just stay where were. We always had a BP agent with us in case something like that happened, and BP would pull whoever it was to the side and deal with whatever was going on with them separately. They really wanted to keep us out of sight, out of mind.”

For Vogel, the joint GSP-CBP operations were “the best possible training that we could’ve gotten before deploying overseas. Dealing with the terrain, trying to get our equipment to communicate through the mountains, it was brutal. For me as a Lance Corporal it was an eye opener, definitely an eye opener. It was a good working relationship both ways, we learned a lot and were able to help them cover routes that they were struggling with.”

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Perfecting the ability to remain “out of sight, out of mind” is crucial for Ground Sensor Platoons operating in combat, as their primary role in war zones is to stealthily advance ahead of the main troops, tracking insurgents with their sensors in a deadly game of cat and mouse. It was a game the Vogel played with insurgents in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan, with more than one close call.

The partnership between US Marines and US Border Patrol is part of a long standing effort by Joint Task Force-North, a DoD task force based in Fort Bliss, Texas. The task force pairs law enforcement groups with military units that can best assist them on counter-terror and homeland security missions. The military has a long history of being deployed to the border, but after a 1997 incident in Texas when a Marine killed a US citizen herding goats, the military drastically reduced its presence in the area. The task force in charge of coordinating military and law enforcement efforts at the time, Joint Task Force-6, was re-branded as Joint Task Force-North with a new pledge to ensure similar incidents never occurred again, while continuing the military’s coordination with law enforcement agencies.

After some states have pulled their National Guard units from the border in protest of a White House policy to separate detained parents from their children, GSP Marines have continued operations. According to photos released by the Department of Defense, it appears that Ground Sensor Platoon Marines have been working with US Border Patrol in Texas as recently as late March.  

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          'We're doing this in order to prevent World War III': I read Bob Woodward's explosive new Trump book cover-to-cover, and there's one big takeaway      Cache   Translate Page      

Donald Trump

  • Journalist Bob Woodward's explosive new book about President Donald Trump and his administration, "Fear: Trump in the White House," highlights one overriding theme in the president's worldview.
  • The most important thing is the bottom line.
  • The book portrays top military, foreign policy, and national security advisers fighting him on that point.

President Donald Trump's foreign policy is driven by one thing: the bottom line.

It's a different approach than perhaps any other in the nation's history — one that fits a president who made his experience in the business world. It runs counter to the advice of his top military and national security advisers, who time and time again try to make the case to him that the existing world order is worth paying for to "prevent World War III," as Defense Secretary James Mattis pointedly told him.

Amid all the eye-popping details from journalist Bob Woodward's explosive new book about President Donald Trump and his administration, "Fear: Trump in the White House," this theme stands out.

No argument from career officials — like Mattis, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former national security adviser H.R. McMaster, former National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford — seems to convince Trump that the system is worth upholding and footing much of the bill for.

"I'm tired of hearing that we have to do this or that to protect our homeland or to ensure our national security," Trump said during a discussion on what the game-plan moving forward on Afghanistan, according to the book.

Repeatedly, he denigrated the advice of those advisers because, as Trump said, they had no business experience and had no concept of money:

  • "These military guys, they don't get business," Trump said. "They know how to be soldiers and they know how to fight. They don't understand how much it's costing."
  • "All they want to do is protect everybody — that we pay for," he said of his group of military, foreign policy, and national security advisers.
  • Pointing to McMaster, who Woodward reported was never able to mesh well with the president, Trump said he didn't know how the Iraqi government "managed to fool McMaster, but he's not a businessman."
  • Trump said American military generals "don't understand the cost/benefit analysis."

Whether on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the post-World War II European alliance headed up by the US, US defense commitments in South Korea, or the ongoing war in Afghanistan, Trump insisted that money alone should be the main driver of any policy outlook.

NATO? The countries must pay their fair share. Afghanistan? "I'm not making a deal on anything until we get minerals," Trump said. South Korea? Renegotiate a trade deal immediately, or remove all US soldiers from the peninsula.

This is especially obvious in debates over existing US trade deals, which nearly all of his advisers try to convince him are actually good for the country.

"We're upside down" on trade deals, Trump said. "We're underwater on every one of these."

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis gestures during a press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., May 19, 2017.He insisted the other nations were "making money" off the US.

"Just look at all this stuff up there," Trump said, pointing at some graphics. "We're paying for it all."

Cohn at multiple junctures tried to explain the deals were good for the economy and allowed US consumers to buy high-quality goods. One example he gave was TVs from South Korea, which US consumers could buy for a much lower cost than a TV manufactured in the US. Those lower costs allowed consumers to spend more money on other American products.

"I don't want to hear that," Trump said, according to the book. "It's all bulls---."

'We're doing this in order to prevent World War III'

In a heated debate over South Korea, during which advisers were seeking to convince him to stay in the KORUS trade agreements, maintain troop levels, and keep the THAAD missile defense system in place, Cohn asked the president what he would "need in the region to sleep well at night?"

"I wouldn't need a f---ing thing," the president said. "And I'd sleep like a baby."

Sometimes, the advisers lost their cool. Tillerson, who Woodward seconded earlier reporting as calling Trump a "f---ing moron," was a prime example. After one meeting, Woodward wrote that Tillerson "could not abide Trump's attack on the generals" and that he was "speaking as if the US military was a mercenary for hire."

"If a country wouldn't pay us to be there, then we didn't want to be there," Woodward wrote of Tillerson's assessment of Trump's foreign policy views. "As if there were no American interests in forging and keeping a peaceful world order, as if the American organizing principle was money."

Soon, one of the most tense meetings between Trump and these advisers took place. Trump revisited his distaste for keeping troops on the Korean Peninsula. But this time, he began asking why the US protected other countries, such as Taiwan.

"We're doing this in order to prevent World War III," Mattis replied. Woodward wrote that the response was "breathtaking" for those in the room, calling it "a challenge to the president, suggesting he was risking nuclear war."

"But we're losing so much money in trade with South Korea, China and others," Trump responded. "I'd rather be spending money on our own country."

SEE ALSO: Trump reportedly exploded at his ex-lawyer after he heard Mueller was looking into his relationship with Deutsche Bank: 'This is bulls---!'

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          Chúng ta đang sống thế giới nào?      Cache   Translate Page      
Sắc đẹp, phải chăng, là do cặp mắt của người nhìn, như có người từng nói!

Còn quan điểm của mỗi người về thế giới mình đang sống là từ đâu ra, tạo hóa/bản chất hay giáo hóa/dưỡng dục (nature or nurture)? Và nó được định hình bởi yếu tố nào: kinh nghiệm sống, kiến thức, niềm tin (tôn giáo hay nhân bản) v.v…?


Hình minh họa.

Đó là câu hỏi không dễ trả lời. Và không rõ có thể có trả lời nào thỏa đáng không!

Một ly nước nửa đầy hay một ly nước nửa vơi? Tùy theo cái nhìn lạc/bi quan, tích/tiêu cực cũng như não trạng của mỗi người. Trong cùng một người mà có khi mỗi vấn đề và mỗi thời điểm cũng có thể khác nhau.

Người lạc quan, như cựu tổng thống Hoa Kỳ Barack Obama, vào năm 2016 cho rằng nếu có cơ hội được chọn thời điểm sinh ra làm người, ông sẽ chọn thời điểm này. Không phải 50 năm trước, không phải 50 năm nữa, mà ngay thời điểm này. Tuy ghi nhận có lắm thử thách lớn lao của thời đại, ông khẳng định chưa có thời đại nào trong lịch sử nhân loại được hòa bình, thịnh vượng và tiến bộ nhất như bây giờ [1].

Trái ngược với Obama, ứng viên Cộng Hòa Donald Trump cũng ngay vào lúc đó chỉ nhìn thấy một Hoa Kỳ hoàn toàn thua và thiệt, vì các vấn đề về di dân, thương mại, thuế, đạo Hồi, ngoại giao v.v… Trump đổ lỗi cho những chính sách thất bại của chính quyền Obama và trước đây, làm cho nước Mỹ trở nên bi đát như vậy, do đó khẩu hiệu “Làm cho Hoa Kỳ vĩ đại trở lại” nghe lọt lỗ tai không ít người.

Chủ đề của tạp chí Foreign Affairs số tháng 7/8 vừa qua có trình bày sáu bài, với bao quan điểm khác nhau, khi nhìn về thế giới chúng ta đang sống [2]. Thế giới hiện thực, cấp tiến, bộ lạc, Mác xít, kỹ thuật và hâm nóng nhìn vấn đề gần khác nhau hoàn toàn đưa đến cách kết luận vấn đề cũng hoàn toàn khác nhau.

Thế giới hiện thực (realist world)

Thế giới hiện thực nhìn nhận quyền lực và nhà nước quyết định tất cả.

Giáo sư lịch sử và bang giao quốc tế Stephen Kotkin cho rằng mỗi bá chủ thiên hạ (hegemon) cứ cho mình là cuối cùng, không còn ai khác nữa; nhưng thực tế thì mọi quốc gia đều trổi lên, chìm xuống, và cạnh tranh nhau mãi, và tiến trình đó đã quyết định số phận của thế giới [3]. Thời bây giờ cũng thế, chính trị cạnh tranh quyền lực ở tầm lớn sẽ tác động lên các sự kiện lớn, và kết quả cạnh tranh sẽ được quyết định bởi sức mạnh của các bên: từ nhân lực và tài lực cho đến khả năng quản trị quốc gia và hiệu quả của chính sách đối ngoại.

Theo Kotkin thì thế kỷ này phần lớn sẽ được quyết định bởi Hoa Kỳ và Trung Quốc trong việc quản lý nguồn lực và quan hệ của họ. Nhiều người tự thuyết phục rằng sự hội nhập toàn cầu chủ yếu là về kinh tế và các quan điểm tương đồng, và là tiến trình không thể tránh được. Chỉ có vài người, chẳng hạn như Samuel Huntington, chỉ ra rằng văn hóa là quan trọng hơn, và sự hội nhập chỉ làm nổi bật thêm sự khác biệt hơn là hòa tan nó, trong hay ngoài nước. Năm 2004, Huntington nhận xét giới tinh hoa Hoa Kỳ và công chúng có một khoảng cách khác biệt lớn về bản sắc dân tộc và vai trò của Hoa Kỳ trên thế giới; phần lớn giới tinh hoa ngày càng tách xa đất nước của họ, trong khi công chúng Hoa Kỳ thì lại vỡ mộng về chính quyền của mình. Ngược giòng lịch sử, từ cuối thế kỷ 19 đến thế kỷ 20, không giống như các nước Âu châu và Nhật Bản, Hoa Kỳ dành rất ít thời gian để áp đặt nền cai trị thuộc địa trực tiếp đối với các nước khác. Hoa Kỳ, thay vào đó, chọn phát huy quyền lợi của mình với các đồng minh tự nguyện, các định chế đa phương và tự do thương mại. Sự chọn lựa đó đến từ ý thức tư lợi (enlightened self-interest) hơn là lòng vị tha, và được yểm trợ bởi sức mạnh quân sự áp đảo. Khác với trường phái chủ nghĩa cấp tiến, Kotkin không nhìn nhận những định chế đa phương và các tiến trình của hệ thống hậu chiến là “trật tự quốc tế cấp tiến”, cái mà ông cho là cái nhìn ảo huyền của một số người, chứ thật ra nó là cơ chế để Hoa Kỳ tổ chức và phát triển vòng ảnh hưởng lớn lao của mình.

Kotkin nhận định độc tài thì hùng mạnh nhưng lại dễ bể, trong khi dân chủ thì dễ động lòng nhưng bền vững. Trung Quốc đang vươn lên trên nhiều mặt, với nền kinh tế khổng lồ và phóng chiếu sức mạnh của mình, cứng cũng như mềm, ở mọi hướng. Vấn đề chính hiện nay là liệu sự mở rộng vòng ảnh hưởng của Trung Quốc có đưa đến sự thay đổi trật tự quốc tế mà Hoa Kỳ đang lãnh đạo không? Và câu hỏi thực tế cần đặt ra là trên con đường như thế, liệu Trung Quốc sẽ dẫm nát một số quốc gia trên chặng đường đó vì nó có thể, và Hoa Kỳ phải chia sẻ lãnh đạo toàn cầu với Trung Quốc vì nó không có sự chọn lựa nào khác? Trong vị thế Hoa Kỳ, nếu chọn chiến lược chuyển tiếp từ hoạt động mạnh mẽ toàn cầu trên mọi mặt (như các chính sách trước đây) sang một số hoạt động chọn lọc chỉ để phục vụ quyền lợi quốc gia, thì sẽ được hoan nghênh trong nước, mặc dầu các chính trị gia và chuyên gia sẽ phản kháng.

Theo Kotkin, để các đấu sĩ ngày nay không bị mất đầu như các thế hệ trước của họ, bốn điều cần xảy ra trước sự biến đổi khôn lường của cuộc cách mạng công nghệ bốn. Một, các nhà làm chính sách Tây phương phải tìm ra những phương thức để đại đa số người dân của họ được hưởng lợi và ủng hộ cho một thế giới mở rộng và hội nhập. Hai, các nhà làm chính sách Trung Quốc phải bảo đảm sự trổi dậy của họ là hòa bình, bằng thỏa hiệp, hơn là cưỡng ép các quốc gia bên ngoài. Ba, Hoa Kỳ cần phải duy trì vị thế cân bằng chính xác giữa răn đe và đảm bảo mạnh mẽ đối với Trung Quốc, và tìm cách ổn định các vấn đề nội địa. Bốn, sau cùng, phép màu nhiệm cần đến đối với Đài Loan (vì theo Kotkin thì dù muốn hay không Đài Loan vẫn mang giá trị chiến lược trong mối quan hệ giữa Hoa Kỳ và Trung Quốc).

Thế giới cấp tiến (liberal world)

Thế giới cấp tiến nhìn nhận quy luật, tương thuộc và hợp tác quyết định tất cả.

Theo giáo sư G. John Ikenberry và Daniel Deudney thì hệ thống và trật tự quốc tế tự do sẽ tiếp tục tồn tại, mặc dầu sức mạnh tương xứng của Hoa Kỳ đã gia giảm [4]. Các thế lực đen tối, từ chủ nghĩa phi tự do, độc tài, dân tộc, bảo hộ, vòng ảnh hưởng, chủ nghĩa xét lại lãnh thổ đã không những biến mất mà còn trở lại gây ảnh hưởng. Trung Quốc và Nga đã làm tiêu tan mọi hy vọng chuyển hóa sang dân chủ, trong khi Hoa Kỳ và Anh, hai bảo hộ của trật tự quốc tế cấp tiến lại tự chọn thái độ tự huỷ. Tuy nhiên hai ông tin rằng chủ nghĩa cấp tiến trong đó nền dân chủ cấp tiến như là một hệ thống chính quyền, và nền trật tự cấp tiến như là một khung sườn định hình chính trị quốc tế, sẽ tiếp tục ngự trị. Lý do, theo hai ông, vì tính cách tương thuộc (interdependence). Khi sự tương thuộc về kinh tế, an ninh và môi trường càng gia tăng thì người dân và chính phủ khắp nơi sẽ phải làm việc với nhau để giải quyết vấn đề, nếu không tất cả sẽ bị tổn hại nghiêm trọng.

Hai giáo sư biện luận không có gì chắc chắn để bảo đảm rằng lịch sử sẽ kết thúc với sự chiến thắng của chủ nghĩa cấp tiến, nhưng điều chắc chắn là một trật tự thế giới lương thiện sẽ mang tính cấp tiến. Một thế giới mà có nhiều quốc gia tư bản có nền dân chủ cấp tiến sẽ hòa bình, thịnh vượng và tôn trọng nhân quyền. Những người cấp tiến hay bị phê bình là có những giả định quá lạc quan, lý tưởng, ngay cả không tưởng, về tiến trình lịch sử nhân loại. Trên thực tế tinh thần lạc quan của họ có điều kiện, họ công nhận có những thỏa hiệp bi thảm (không tránh được), và họ cũng để ý đến những khả năng có thể dẫn đến thảm họa ở tầng lớn. Giống như người hiện thực, người cấp tiến cũng ghi nhận rằng bản chất con người thường muốn có quyền lực, và do đó người cấp tiến vận động cho sự ràng buộc của hiến pháp và pháp luật. Nhưng khác với người hiện thực nhìn lịch sử như là sự lập đi lập lại, người cấp tiến là kẻ kế thừa gia sản của thời đại Khai sáng, của sự sáng tạo khoa học kỹ thuật, cái mà đưa đến bao nhiêu khả năng tiến bộ cũng như thảm hoạ cho nhân loại.

Chủ nghĩa cấp tiến chủ yếu là thực dụng. Người cấp tiến hiện đại ủng hộ các chính quyền dân chủ, hệ thống kinh tế dựa trên thị trường, và các định chế quốc tế không phải vì lý tưởng mà vì sự sắp xếp như thế sẽ phục vụ tốt hơn cho nhân loại, hơn tất cả những giải pháp khác. Chủ nghĩa cấp tiến cũng có khả năng thích ứng thực dụng và có thiên hướng đưa đến những sáng tạo định chế (institutional innovations) mang tính sống còn đối với các thử thách đang hiện ra, bao gồm trí tuệ nhân tạo, chiến tranh mạng và kỹ thuật di truyền.

Trên hết, chủ nghĩa cấp tiến có sức quyến rủ toàn cầu và vĩnh viễn bởi vì nó cam kết đối với nhân phẩm và tự do cá nhân. Nó soi sáng ý tưởng khoan dung, điều mà chắc chắn cần thiết trong một thế giới càng tương tác và đa dạng. Mặc dầu chủ thuyết này đến từ Tây phương, các giá trị của nó đã trở thành phổ quát, và những nhà vô địch ủng hộ nó bao gồm Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev và Nelson Mandela. Mặu dầu chủ nghĩa đế quốc, nô lệ và kỳ thị chủng tộc đã làm xấu đi lịch sử Tây phương, chủ nghĩa cấp tiến đi đầu các nỗ lực, vừa hòa bình vừa chiến đấu, để cải tổ và chấm dứt các hành xử trên. Đến mức độ mà vòng cung lịch sử đã hướng đến công lý, đó là do những hoạt động và cam kết đạo đức của người cấp tiến và những liên minh của họ.

Hai giáo sư phân tích nguyên nhân đưa đến sự suy thoái của dân chủ và sự trồi dậy của chủ nghĩa dân túy trong thời gian qua. Lý do phần lớn là do sự bất bình đẳng kinh tế quá lớn, nhưng giải pháp cho các vấn đề này là sự cần thiết quay trở lại nền dân chủ cấp tiến. Chẳng hạn như áp dụng các chính sách dân chủ xã hội thể hiện trong New Deal, thông qua các luật thuế tiến bộ, và đầu tư nhiều hơn vào giáo dục và cơ sở hạ tầng. Nói cách khác, giải pháp cho các vấn đề của dân chủ cấp tiến là dân chủ cấp tiến nhiều hơn. Tóm lại, hai giáo sư kết luận chủ nghĩa cấp tiến, tự bản chất, có những hạt giống để cứu lấy chính nó.

Hai giáo sư cho rằng sau Thế Chiến II, các nền dân chủ cấp tiến đã hợp tác để tạo ra một trật tự mà phản ảnh quyền lợi chung của họ. Sau hơn bảy thập niên, mặt dầu có những điểm bất toàn của nó, nó đã bám rễ quá sâu, trong đó hàng trăm triệu người, nếu không phải là tỷ người, đã có những hoạt động và mong đợi nhắm vào các định chế và khuyến khích của trật tự này, cho nên không dễ gì thay đổi nó. Nếu nghĩ rằng một vài năm theo xu hướng mị dân thì quốc gia sẽ đột ngột thay đổi chủ nghĩa cấp tiến là điều không tưởng. Các xã hội tư bản dân chủ cấp tiến đã phát đạt và mở mang vì nó rất giỏi trong việc kích thích và vận dụng sáng tạo nhưng đồng thời giải quyết các ảnh hưởng quá đà của chính nó hay các yếu tố tiêu cực ngoại cuộc.

Hai giáo sư đã đi sâu phân tích các yếu tố lịch sử và hiện tại để biện minh chủ nghĩa cấp tiến sẽ trường tồn. Tính năng động của sự thay đổi liên tục và tính tương thuộc gia tăng đang ngày càng tăng tốc độ, từ vấn đề môi trường, vũ khí sinh học, chiến tranh mạng, đã làm cho mọi quốc gia phải dựa vào các quy định quốc tế để duy trì nền an ninh của mình, và chủ nghĩa tư bản toàn cầu phải dựa vào khả năng quản trị tài chánh và thương mại quốc tế. Ngay cả Trump mặc dầu có những lời nói và hành động trái ngược với xu hướng cấp tiến, trên thực tế vẫn tiếp tục nhiều chính sách của các vị tiền nhiệm; còn trong các vấn đề khác thì các quốc gia trong trật tự cấp tiến này đã nhận lãnh vai trò này, không cần đến Trump hay lãnh đạo từ Oval Office. Trong thời đại thương thuộc toàn cầu, ngay cả người hiện thực cũng phải là một người quốc tế (internationalist).

Tóm lại, nền dân chủ cấp tiến đã tồn tại và phát triển khi phải đối diện với bao thử thách lớn lao hơn, từ Đại Khủng khoảng đến Trục Quyền (Đức Ý Nhật) đến phong trào cộng sản quốc tế. Do đó có mọi lý do để tin là nó sẽ vượt qua thử thách kỳ này. Nhưng trên hết, sự lạc quan về chủ nghĩa cấp tiến dựa trên một sự thật đơn giản: các giải pháp của những vấn đề hôm nay là càng dân chủ và càng trật tự cấp tiến. Tương thuộc và hợp tác là đặc tính của nền chính trị thế giới. Qua tiến trình lịch sử, tiến hóa, khủng hoảng và thay đổi huyên náo là điều bình thường, và chủ nghĩa cấp tiến rất giỏi về mặt cưỡi trên các bão táp xáo trộn của chuyển động lịch sử. Theo hai giáo sư nhận định thì các chế độ phi tự do sẽ bị chôn vùi trong thời nguy biến trong khi chủ nghĩa cấp tiến sẽ chậm rãi tiến về phía trước.

Thế giới bộ lạc (tribal world)

Thế giới bộ lạc nhìn nhận bản sắc và chủng tộc quyết định tất cả.

Giáo sư luật Amy Chua cho rằng người Mỹ, giới phân tích cũng như các nhà làm chính sách của họ, không quan tâm hoặc không ghi nhận tầm trong trọng của chủ nghĩa bộ lạc trong chính trị quốc tế [5]. Họ chỉ chú tâm đến vai trò của ý thức hệ và kinh tế và có khuynh hướng nhìn nhà nước-quốc gia (nation-states) như là thành phần tổ chức quan trọng nhất. Làm như thế họ đánh giá không đúng về vai trò mà đặc tính của nhóm (group) đã ảnh hưởng đến cách hành xử của con người như thế nào. Họ bỏ qua dữ kiện quan trọng rằng tại nhiều nơi, bản sắc vẫn mang tầm quan trọng nhất - nơi mà người ta sẽ sẵn sàng sống chết vì nó - không phải là vấn đề quốc gia mà là chủng tộc, vùng, tôn giáo, giáo phái hoặc gia tộc, bộ lạc. Không nhìn thấy sức mạnh của bộ lạc sẽ ảnh hưởng không chỉ đến cách người Mỹ nhìn thế giới mà còn cách họ hiểu về chính xã hội của họ.

Chua trích dẫn cuộc nghiên cứu gần đây của đội nghiên cứu tâm lý đối với các em bé 4 tới 6 tuổi, chia thành hai đội đỏ và xanh. Các em bé nam và nữ này thể hiện một trí nhớ lệch lạc có hệ thống, chỉ nhớ những điều tích cực về nhóm của mình nhưng tiêu cực đối với nhóm khác. Các nhà nghiên cứu kết luận rằng sự nhận thức của trẻ em đối với các bạn khác là méo mó sâu rộng chỉ vì là thành viên của một nhóm xã hội. Các cuộc nghiên cứu khác đối với trẻ em - thành phần được cho là ngây thơ, không bị nhiều thành kiến cũng như thành thật hơn - đưa đến những kết luận rằng khi thấy nhóm của mình thành tựu thì nó làm cho trung tâm tưởng thưởng (reward centres) của bộ não con người được kích thích; ngay cả khi nhóm khác bị thất bại hay đau đớn thì cũng phản ứng như thế; và sự đồng cảm với người cùng nhóm, hay sự ác cảm đối với người khác nhóm, nhất là khi các nhóm đó đã từng thù nghịch hay không thích nhau từ lâu, đã tác động lên trẻ em ngay từ nhỏ.

Chua biện luận rằng bản sắc nhiều khi mang tính quyết định hơn ý thức hệ. Trường hợp điển hình là Chiến tranh Việt Nam. Lãnh đạo Hoa Kỳ đã đánh giá quá thấp về việc người Việt trong cả hai miền Nam và Bắc muốn được độc lập dân tộc, so với sự cam kết đối với ý thức hệ Mác. Trong khi đó, Hà Nội chấp nhận sự ủng hộ về kinh tế và quân sự từ Trung Quốc, là đồng minh tiện lợi lúc đó, nhưng mỗi đứa bé Việt Nam từ nhỏ đã học lịch sử rằng cha ông của họ đã chiến đấu và đã chết để giải phóng đất nước của họ từ sự đô hộ ngàn năm của Trung Quốc, bắt đầu từ năm 111 trước Công nguyên. Cuộc chiến biên giới giữa Việt Nam và Trung Quốc năm 1979 càng chứng tỏ bản sắc quyết định hơn ý thức hệ cộng sản. Tuy nhiên lãnh đạo Hoa Kỳ trong cuộc chiến Việt Nam không cân nhắc yếu tố này trong chính sách của mình.

Chua cũng đưa trường hợp của Afghanistan ra làm thí dụ cho thấy Hoa Kỳ cũng quên tầm quan trọng của bản sắc chủng tộc. Sau sự kiện 11 tháng 9, Hoa Kỳ đưa quân vào Afghanistan để tiêu diệt al Qaeda và lật để chế độ Taliban. Afghanistan là quốc gia có mối quan hệ phức tạp giữa các sắc tộc và bộ lạc. Hơn 200 năm, Pashtuns là sắc tộc lớn nhất chiếm vị thế áp đảo tại đây. Taliban không chỉ là một phong trào Hồi Giáo mà còn là phong trào chủng tộc. Pashtuns thành lập và chiếm đa số Taliban. Sau khi lật đổ Taliban năm 2001 chỉ trong vòng 75 ngày, Hoa Kỳ thành lập chính phủ đứng đầu là Hamid Karzai, người gốc Pashtuns, nhưng phần lớn các bộ chính trong chính phủ này đều là người gốc Tajiks. Người Pashtuns nghĩ họ bị gạt ra ngoài lề, cho nên mặc dầu nhiều người Pashtuns cũng thù ghét Taliban, ít ai trong họ sẵn sàng ủng hộ một chính phủ mà đặt quyền lợi của kẻ thù truyền kiếp của họ lên trên chính họ. 17 năm sau khi Hoa Kỳ xâm chiếm nước này, một cuộc chiến dài nhất của Hoa Kỳ, Taliban vẫn chiếm một phần lớn lãnh thổ của Afghanistan. Bây giờ tuy các giới khoa bảng và các nhà làm chính sách hiểu những phức tạp về chủng tộc tại Afghanistan, sự nhận thức này hơi trễ và cũng chưa mang lại ý nghĩa nhiều đối với chính sách tại đây.

Một trường hợp khác nữa là chiến tranh Iraq. Các kiến trúc gia và những người ủng hộ cuộc chiến Iraq không cân nhắc các yếu tố đã chia rẽ sâu sắc giữa các hệ phái theo Shiites, Sunnis và Kurds tại Iraq, tầm quan trọng chính yếu về sự trung thành đối với bộ lạc và gia tộc trong xã hội Iraq. Bởi vì họ quên một điều cụ thể “sự hiện hữu của một thiểu số áp đảo thị trường (market – dominant minority)”. Sunnis đã áp đảo nền chính trị của Iraq nhiều thế kỷ, đầu tiên dưới sự cai trị của Ottoman, và đặc biệt dưới thời Saddam Hussain. Trước khi Hoa Kỳ xâm chiếm Iraq, khoảng 15 phần trăm dân số Iraq là người Ả Rập Sunni thống trị nền kinh tế, chính trị và quân sự của nước này, trong khi phái Shiites chiếm đa số ở thành thị và nông thôn. Thay vì mang lại hòa bình và thịnh vượng cho Iraq, nền dân chủ non trẻ đã dẫn đến chiến tranh giáo phái, đưa đến sự hình thành nên cái gọi là Nhà nước Hồi Giáo IS/ISIS, một phong trào cực đoan phái Sunni nhằm tiêu diệt phái Shiite, những người bỏ đạo và cả người Tây phương vô đạo. Nhờ chính sách thay đổi 180 độ về sự quan tâm của quân lực Hoa Kỳ kể từ năm 2007 để họ được giáo dục hơn về các động lực phức tạp về giáo phái và sắc tộc tại quốc gia này nên đã mang lại những thành công đáng kể, kể cả sự gia giảm về bạo lực giữa các giáo phái và nạn nhân của quân đội Hoa Kỳ và Iraq.

Trong những năm gần đây, Hoa Kỳ, một quốc gia được xem là dân chủ cấp tiến và phần lớn không hiểu các suy nghĩ và hành xử kiểu hậu bộ lạc (post tribalism), nay cũng không còn miễn nhiễm nữa. Lần đầu tiên trong lịch sử Hoa Kỳ, người Mỹ da trắng đã gần như bị mất vị thế chiếm đa số tại quốc gia này. Cuộc nghiên cứu năm 2011 cho thấy hơn một nửa người Mỹ da trắng tin rằng “người da trắng thay thế người da đen thành nạn nhân chính của sự kỳ thị”. Khi các nhóm cảm thấy bị đe doạ, họ dễ trở thành phòng thủ hơn, hẹp hòi hơn và khoác áo chủ nghĩa bộ lạc hơn (ta với địch). Nó cũng đưa đến sự căng thẳng giữa da trắng với da đen, Thiên Chúa Giáo, Da Thái và Hồi Giáo, cấp tiến và bảo thủ v.v…

Nhưng có một nguyên nhân khác dẫn đến căn bệnh chủ nghĩa bộ lạc tại Hoa Kỳ ngày nay. Lịch sử Hoa Kỳ trước đến nay không có chuyện “một thiểu số áp đảo thị trường”. Phần lớn đất nước này do đa số người da trắng tương đối thống nhất nhau ảnh hưởng một cách áp đảo về kinh tế, chính trị và văn hóa. Nhưng giờ đây, sự thịnh vượng của Hoa Kỳ tập trung vào một thiểu số nhỏ sống dọc các bờ biển, và họ chiếm phần lớn Wall Street, truyền thông và Thung lũng Silicon (Valley). Tuy họ không phụ thuộc vào bất kỳ một chủng tộc nào, họ có những nét văn hóa riêng biệt, họ chia sẻ các giá trị phổ quát như chủ nghĩa thế tục, đa văn hóa, chấp nhận đa nguyên giới tính, ủng hộ di dân và nền chính trị cấp tiến. Họ được xem là không quan tâm hay ngay cả đối nghịch với quyền lợi đất nước. Chua biện luận Trump biết sử dụng các yếu tố này, sự bất mãn của người dân nói chung và người Mỹ da trắng nói riêng, tuyên bố “phải lấy lại nước mình” hoặc “làm cho nước Mỹ vĩ đại trở lại”.

Chua kết luận rằng một cách để thoát khỏi hoàn cảnh chia rẽ này là phải giải quyết cả hai vấn đề kinh tế lẫn văn hóa. Hàng trăm năm qua, cơ hội kinh tế đã nâng cao nấc thang xã hội giúp cho Hoa Kỳ hội nhập thành công mọi người khác thuộc mọi sắc tộc nhau hơn tất cả các quốc gia khác. Cho nên sự sụp đổ của cơ hội thăng tiến đó nên được xem là một vấn đề cấp bách của quốc gia. Trên bình diện thế giới cũng như tại Hoa Kỳ, sự đoàn kết sẽ không tự nhiên đến mà phải bằng sự chăm chỉ, lãnh đạo gan đạ và ý chí tập thể.

Thế giới Mác (Marxist world)

Thế giới Mác xít nhìn nhận phân chia đồng đều và bình đẳng vật chất quyết định tất cả.

Kể từ năm 1967, thu nhập trung bình của 60 phần trăm dân số Hoa Kỳ đã trì trệ mặc dầu sự thu nhập và giàu có của những người giàu nhất đã gia tăng. Robin Varghese nhận xét rằng Mác tin tưởng cách mạng sẽ đến đối với các nền kinh tế tư bản phát triển nhất, nhưng không, nó lại đến với các quốc gia chậm phát triển hơn như Nga và Trung Quốc [6]. Giữa thế kỷ 20, các nước Tây Âu và Hoa Kỳ đã học cách quản lý sự bất ổn và bất công, đặc trưng của nền tư bản thời Mác. Tuy nhiên, hơn ai hết, Mác hiểu rõ cơ chế đã làm suy thoái chủ nghĩa tư bản, và các vấn đề đã mọc ra khi chính quyền không tích cực giải quyết nó, như đã thấy trong 40 năm qua. Do đó Varghese cho rằng chủ nghĩa Mác không quá cố mà vẫn còn cắt nghĩa được các vấn đề ngày hôm nay.

Varghese phân tích áp lực của giới thương gia là cần tích luỹ vốn liếng trong điều kiện cạnh tranh của thị trường, như sau. Một, những người công nhân luôn nhận lấy phần ít hơn về mình so với những gì họ đóng góp để tạo ra kết quả, đưa đến sự bất công và bần cùng. Hai, sự cạnh tranh giữa các nhà tư bản để giảm chi, như lương công nhân, bắt buộc họ phải nghĩ đến khoa học kỹ thuật để có thể giảm bớt sức lao động. Các kỹ thuật này sẽ loại trừ một số việc, làm cho một thành phần xã hội vĩnh viễn bị mất hoàn toàn hay một phần việc làm. Ba, Mác cho rằng sự cạnh tranh gây gắt sẽ dẫn đến sự tập trung và sự lớn mạnh của một số doanh nghiệp, và các doanh nghiệp có nhiều lợi nhuận hơn sẽ loại trừ các doanh nghiệp nhỏ hơn, và càng như thế càng cạnh tranh và càng hiện đại về kỹ thuật, đưa đến nhiều thặng dư hơn. Tuy nhiên các thặng dư này cũng không được chia đồng đều, làm cho hai điều một và hai nói trên gia tăng.

Nhưng Mác đã đánh giá thấp sức mạnh của nỗ lực chung (của chế độ tư bản) để cải tổ chính trị. Và Mác cũng sai lầm về khả năng của nền kinh tế tư bản trong việc thỏa mãn nhu cầu của con người, ít nhất là về mặt vật chất.

Đối với các nước phát triển, từ năm 1948 đến 1973, lương bổng gia tăng song song với năng suất, nhưng kể từ năm 1973, năng suất gia tăng gần 75 phần trăm, trong khi mức lương thật sự chỉ tăng dưới 10 phần trăm. Đối với 60 phần trăm gia đình, lương bổng không thay đổi gì đáng kể. Và đây chính là lý do làm cho Mác hiện hữu trở lại, như đã tiên đoán được diễn tiến của chủ nghĩa tư bản. Nói cách khác, tuy chủ nghĩa tư bản mang lại sự giàu có và sự phát triển khoa học kỹ thuật chưa từng thấy trước đây, nó không thể đáp ứng được nhu cầu của toàn xã hội.

Theo Varghese thì Mác biện luận rằng vấn đề không phải là giới hạn về vật chất mà là chính trị và xã hội: sự sản xuất được sắp xếp theo quyền lợi của giai cấp tư bản hơn là cho toàn xã hội; ngay cả khi cá nhân các nhà tư bản và công nhân suy nghĩ và hành động hợp lý, cả hệ thống lại phi lý. Khi nhu cầu sản xuất gia tăng, giới tư bản muốn đầu tư nhiều hơn vào khoa học kỹ thuật để gia tăng năng xuất, gia giảm tiền lương cho công nhân. Trong vài thập niên qua, những người dưới bằng cấp trung học chiếm tỷ lệ dưới 50 phần trăm lao động. Với kỹ nghệ tự động hóa và trí tuệ nhân tạo, tất cả các việc này đều có thể bị xóa sạch trong vài thập niên tới. Theo tổ chức OECD thì có đến 14 phần trăm, tức 60 triệu, công việc trong các quốc gia này có thể được tự động hóa. Theo công ty tư vấn McKinsey thì 30 phần trăm của mọi thời gian làm việc toàn cầu có thể được tự động hóa. Những công nhân này sẽ làm gì, sẽ được phân phối trong xã hội như thế nào, thì chưa ai biết được. Theo tiến trình của 50 năm qua gợi ý thì các công nhân này sẽ không được thu nhận vào lực lượng lao động nếu số phận của họ được quyết định bởi thị trường. Thêm vào đó, tiến trình thay đổi do khoa học kỹ thuật mang lại sẽ đưa đến sự tập trung thị trường (market concentration), với những thương nghiệp ngày càng lớn mạnh sẽ áp đảo sản xuất. Mác tiên đoán một thế giới không phải độc quyền mà là độc quyền cạnh tranh, trong đó những kẻ mạnh đang hiện hữu sẽ thụ hưởng lợi nhuận, những kẻ yếu hơn sẽ vất vả để tồn tại, và những kẻ mới vào sẽ phải nỗ lực sáng tạo để chiếm dần thị trường. Các thương nghiệp lớn có lợi thế hơn, về sáng chế cũng như mạng lưới sẵn có, mua và sát nhập các thương nghiệp nhỏ, hay sa thải công nhân khi cần để gia tăng cạnh tranh v.v… Từ năm 1982 đến nay, sáu lĩnh vực chiếm 80 phần trăm nhân công tại Hoa Kỳ (tài chánh, sản xuất, dịch vụ, bán lẻ, bán sỉ, và tiện ích và giao thông) ngày càng tập trung cạnh tranh. Khi các đại thương nghiệp như Amazon, Apple, FedEx chiếm áp đảo địa hạt của mình tại các nền kinh tế Tây phương, công nhân bị thiệt thòi nhiều nhất.

Sự thách thức lớn nhất đối với quan điểm của Mác là sự hình thành và phát triển của nhà nước phúc lợi (welfare states) ở Tây phương vào giữa thế kỷ 20, phần lớn là do các đảng dân chủ xã hội đại diện giới công nhân. Kiến trúc sư trí tuệ John Maynard Keynes là nhân vật chính của các phát động này. Ông biện luận rằng hoạt động kinh tế không phải được điều khiển bởi quyết định đầu tư của giới tư bản mà chủ yếu là sự tiêu thụ của người dân thường. Ảnh hưởng của Keynes lên nền kinh tế và chính trị rất lớn, giúp cho các đảng chính trị tả lẫn hữu điều chỉnh chính sách, đạt được hiệu năng, công bằng và mọi người đều có việc (full employment), điều mà Mác không thể tưởng tượng có thể xảy ra. Tuy nhiên từ thập niên 1970 trở đi, các chính phủ này gặp nhiều khó khăn trong việc vượt qua các giới hạn của chủ nghĩa tư bản, một bên là công việc đầy đủ cho mọi người, nhưng lực lượng lao động đến từ nó đã dẫn đến sự giảm sút lợi nhuận. Varghese cho rằng về lâu dài, quyền lợi kinh tế của tư bản đã thắng cung cách tổ chức chính trị của người dân.

Giải pháp cho các vấn đề phức tạp và đầy thử thách trên là đầu tiên ghi nhận sự giới hạn của chính trị trong thời đại vàng son của chủ nghĩa tư bản, bao gồm sự kết hợp của các công đoàn mạnh, sự quản trị cung cầu theo chủ thuyết của Keynes, chính sách tiền tệ lỏng lẻo, và sự quản lý vốn, sẽ không thể nào dẫn đến xã hội công bằng trong chủ nghĩa tư bản mãi được. Thử thách của ngày hôm nay là tìm ra những đường nét chính của nền kinh tế hỗn hợp mà đã đem lại những kết quả đáng kể trong thời đại vàng son của chủ nghĩa tư bản như nói trên, và thêm vào đó khởi động cho sự bình đẳng về phái tính và sắc tộc. Nói cách khác, nó cần sự sắp xếp định chế mới được hỗ trợ bởi các hình thức chính trị mới.

Thế giới kỹ thuật (Tech world)

Thế giới kỹ thuật nhìn nhận cách mạng công nghệ, nhất là trí tuệ nhân tạo, quyết định tất cả.

Theo Drum thì tiên đoán tương lai ra sao rất khó, thôi thì nhìn về quá khứ để tìm giải thích [7]. Thế kỷ 19 là bình minh của nền dân chủ cấp tiến. Nhưng nó cũng là thế kỷ của đế quốc và thực dân Tây phương. Nó cũng bắt đầu cuộc chiến tranh toàn diện. Thế lực tôn giáo đi xuống trong khi chủ nghĩa dân tộc đi lên. Và nó cũng bất đầu thời đại của bình đẳng. Phụ nữ đòi bình quyền tại Seneca Falls, New York, và Tân Tây Lan là quốc gia đầu tiên cấp quyền sử dụng lá phiếu bầu cử. Anh cấm buôn nô lệ, Hoa Kỳ giải phóng nô lệ và Nga trả tự do cho nông nô.

Dân chủ, chủ nghĩa tư bản, chủ nghĩa thực dân, chiến tranh hiện đại, chủ nghĩa dân tộc, và quyền bình đẳng đã đưa đến bao hệ quả, và lý do ra đời của hàng ngàn cuốn sách về các vấn đề này. Nhưng theo Kevin Drum thì tất cả những điều nêu trên không quan trọng. Điều quan trọng nhất của địa chính trị trong thế kỷ 19 là cuộc Cách mạng Công nghệ. Không có nó thì sẽ không có giai cấp trung lưu, như thế không có áp lực để dân chủ hóa. Sẽ không có cuộc cách mạng tư bản vì các nhà nước nông nghiệp không cần đến nó. Sẽ không có thực dân hóa ở tầm lớn bởi vì giới hạn của sự thèm muốn nguyên liệu thô đối với các quốc gia phi kỹ nghệ. Sẽ không có chiến tranh toàn diện nếu không có kỹ nghệ sản xuất thép và độ chính xác rẻ. Và nếu thế giới phần lớn vẫn ở trong trạng thái văn hóa và kinh tế chủ yếu dựa trên nền nông nghiệp sinh tồn truyền thống, rất có thể là nền nô lệ sẽ không chấm dứt và nữ quyền sẽ không bắt đầu.

Các yếu tố chính tác động ở thời đại này là động cơ hơi nước, lý thuyết vi trùng, điện và xe lửa. Vào năm 1800, không ai biết tương lai địa chính trị của thế kỷ 19 sẽ như thế nào, nhưng nó đã được chuyển động trước đó chín thập niên khi Thomas Newcomen đã chế tạo thành công động cơ sử dụng hơi nước đầu tiên. Drum cũng tin rằng các thế hệ người máy tiếp theo sẽ tác động lên tiến trình lịch sử nhân loại trong thế kỷ 21. Kết quả cuộc cạnh tranh và đối đầu giữa hai cường quốc Hoa Kỳ và Trung Quốc sẽ được định đoạt khi một bên thắng được trí tuệ nhân tạo. Để đạt đến đó, Drum cho rằng máy vi tính cần phần cứng mạnh như bộ não con người (hardware) và phần mềm có khả năng suy nghĩ (software). Hiện tại bộ óc con người có thể tính từ 10 đến 100 petaflops (bằng một triệu tỷ, tức 10 luỹ thừa 15, tính toán một giây), và sức mạnh của máy vi tính hiện nay cũng tương đương như thế. Nhưng một cái máy siêu vi tính như thế chiếm bằng một căn phòng, tốn hơn 200 triệu, và tiền điện mỗi năm tốn 5 triệu đô la. Vấn đề là làm sao máy nhỏ hơn và rẻ hơn. Nghiên cứu về máy tính lượng tử hiện nay nằm trong mục tiêu đó. Các nhà chuyên về trí tuệ nhân tạo AI cho rằng có 50 phần trăm cơ hội là AI sẽ thực hiện được tất cả các hoạt động của con người vào 2060, trong khi giới AI Á Đông thì cho rằng có thể hiện thực khoảng năm 2045.

Các nhà nghiên cứu này không nghĩ rằng các máy móc này chỉ làm được các việc thường ngày thôi, mà nó còn có thể nấu burger, viết tiểu thuyết và thực hiện giải phẫu. Nó sẽ làm nhanh hơn, không bao giờ biết mệt, sẽ cập nhật kiến thức thế giới mới nhất trong vòng tích tắc, và có sức mạnh phân tích hơn bất cứ một cá nhân nào. Hiện nay thì chưa có vẻ gì sẽ đạt được kết quả như thế, nhưng trng vòng vài thập niên tới, máy robot sẽ làm cho hàng triệu người mất việc.

Drum cho rằng mấu chốt vấn đề là liệu Trung Quốc, trong vòng 20 năm tới, đạt được kỹ nghệ AI tốt nhất không? Nếu được, họ có thể trở thành bá quyền, nếu họ muốn. Nếu không thể thì họ sẽ không được.

Còn vấn đề khủng bố thánh chiến? Nó sẽ trở thành nạn nhân của AI. Những máy bay không người lái hiện tại (drone) đã đẩy lùi các nhóm khủng bố này, nói gì đến các máy được điều khiển bởi AI trong tương lai. Không có tổ chức nào với kỹ thuật kém có thể tồn tại được. Chiến tranh trong tương lai chủ yếu là do giữa máy móc với nhau. Nhiều công việc sẽ mất vì tự động hóa, kể cả lái xe truck. Phân tích của công ty PwC vào năm 2017 cho hay có đến 38 phần trăm công việc tại Hoa Kỳ có nguy cơ bị tự động hóa vào đầu thập niên 2030. Vào thập niên 2040, các nhà nghiên cứu phỏng đoán các máy vi tính sẽ có thể tự thực hiện nghiên cứu công trình toán học mới, giải phẫu, viết tiểu thuyết bán chạy nhất và có thể làm bất cứ công việc nào đòi hỏi khả năng nhận thức như trên. Không như cuộc Cách mạng Công nghệ đầu tốn gần 100 năm để chuyển động, lần này nó chỉ mất một hai thập niên, và AI sẽ là kỹ nghệ mang lại lợi nhuận nhiều nhất so với tất cả các thứ khác.

Điều này có hệ quả gì đối với chính trị? Theo Drum thì vai trò của các chính quyền hiện tại là quản lý và kiểm soát nền kinh tế cho quyền lợi chung của toàn thể người dân. Cho nên nền chính trị trong tương lai là chính quyền có khả năng sử dụng sức mạnh của AI cho đa số dân chúng. Những người theo chủ nghĩa Mác thì đã có lời giải: để robot kiểm soát phương tiện sản xuất, rồi phân chia chiến lợi phẩm cho cho mọi người hưởng theo nhu cầu của họ. Nền dân chủ cấp tiến cũng sẽ có cơ hội nếu lãnh đạo của họ nhìn nhận vấn đề một cách nghiêm túc, tìm cách làm cho chủ nghĩa tư bản thích ứng với một thế giới mà trong đó việc sản xuất hàng hóa tách biệt với công việc (lao động). Điều đó có nghĩa kìm chế sức mạnh của tài phiệt, tái suy nghĩ khái niệm thế nào là một tập đoàn, và chấp nhận một mức độ bình đẳng nào đó về phân phối hàng hóa và dịch vụ.

Drum ghi nhận hai thử thách lớn nhất của thế kỷ 21 là nạn thất nghiệp lớn do AI mang lại, và thay đổi khí hậu do nhu cầu năng lượng. Với kỹ thuật tân tiến hiện nay, gió và năng lượng mặt trời là lời giải cho năng lượng sạch. Nhưng cần phải sản xuất ở tầm lớn. Robot rẻ và khôn, tức có AI, sẽ là lời giải. Chủ nghĩa bộ lạc không còn quan trọng nữa. Ai quan tâm đến bản sắc nếu công việc đều do máy móc làm ra? Dân chủ cấp tiến sẽ còn hiện hữu nếu nó biết cách giải quyết nạn thất nghiệp lớn so với các hình thức chính quyền khác. Tôn giáo cũng sẽ gặp nhiều khó khăn với thế giới đầy máy móc như thế. Lịch sử chứng minh sự đói kém về kinh tế ở tầm lớn đem lại ít hơn những cải tổ tiến bộ sâu sắc so với các cuộc cách mạng và chiến tranh bạo động. Drum cho rằng điều quan trọng là phải hiểu và nghĩ đến cách đối phó tốt nhất đối với những gì sẽ xảy ra trong thời gian tới.

Thế giới hâm nóng (warming world)

Thế giới hâm nóng nhìn nhận thay đổi khí hậu và hợp tác toàn cầu quyết định tất cả.

Nền dân chủ toàn cầu đang xuống dốc, sự phục hồi kinh tế không làm cho lương bổng người dân Tây phương tăng lên đáng kể, và sự trổi dậy của Trung Quốc đe doạ quyền lực của Hoa Kỳ, có nguy cơ đưa đến cuộc chiến tranh khủng khiếp. Tuy thế, đối với Joshua Busby, không có đe doạ nào trong thế kỷ 21 có thể so sánh bằng hâm nóng địa đầu [8]. Tác động của khí hậu trái đất đòi hỏi sự chú tâm và nguồn lực, và sẽ có ảnh hưởng lớn lao lên nền kinh tế toàn cầu và quan hệ quốc tế hơn bất cứ một trọng lực nào khác trên thế giới hiện nay.

Hiện tại độ nóng bề mặt trái đất là trên 1.2 độ Celsius so với trước thời Cách mạng Công nghệ. Giới khoa học gia đồng thuận với nhau rằng nhiệt độ gia tăng cao nhất để tránh thay đổi khí hậu là 2 độ C. Sẽ không có khác biệt bao nhiêu giữa gia tăng 2 độ C so với 3 hay 4 độ. Khi khí hậu gia tăng, sự phân tán hiện tượng khí hậu sẽ chuyển đổi. Các trận lụt mà trước đây 100 năm xảy ra bây giờ sẽ xảy ra 50 hay 20 năm. Các trận mưa vũ bão như tại Hawaii đầu năm nay với 50 inches trong vòng 24 tiếng đồng hồ có thể diễn ra thường xuyên hơn. Các kiểu thời tiết mới này sẽ gây ra các xáo trộn xã hội và chính trị, đưa đến các ảnh hưởng lên địa chính trị. Mực nước biển dâng, các vùng đất trồng trột chết, các trận bão và lụt khổng lồ sẽ làm cho một số quốc gia không thể sống được nữa. Những thay đổi này sẽ thử nghiệm hệ thống quốc tế hiện nay những cách thức mới và khó tiên đoán.

Theo Busby, các đe doạ mang tính lịch sử toàn cầu đòi hỏi mức độ hợp tác mang tính lịch sử toàn cầu. Nếu nhân loại đối diện thành công với vấn đề này, đó là vì lãnh đạo biết pha trộn trật tự toàn cầu với ý thức về mục đích chung và ghi nhận sự thay đổi sâu sắc về vấn đề phân chia quyền lực. Trung Quốc và Hoa Kỳ phải làm việc chặt chẽ với nhau và với các tác nhân khác, các chính quyền trực thuộc các quốc gia, cũng như các công ty và các tổ chức phi chính phủ.

Trong 17 năm được ghi nhận có bằng chứng nóng nhất thì 16 năm là từ năm 2001 đến nay. Nhiều kiểu mẫu khí hậu rất lạ diễn ra khắp nơi, các khoa học gia nhận định có cái liên quan đến thay đổi khí hậu, có cái không rõ lắm. Mùa thay đổi. Hạn hán xảy ra khi các nhà khí tượng học trông đợi mưa. Thiếu mưa đưa đến nguy cơ cháy rừng, như đã thấy tại tiểu bang California năm ngoái (lẫn năm nay). Khi mưa, nó mưa ào ạt cùng lúc, như đã thấy ở Houston qua trận cuồng phong Harvey. Khi mực nước biển gia tăng và bão gia tăng mạnh mẽ hơn, các biến cố mà từng được xem là mực nước cao bình thường sẽ gây lụt cho các hạ tầng cơ sở ven biển, như đã xảy ra ở Miami trong những năm gần đây. Điều đó đưa đến nhu cầu gắn các hệ thống thiết bị bơm nước mưa với trị giá hàng trăm triệu đô la.

Đến giữa thế kỷ này, mực nước biển gia tăng cao đến độ nó có thể phá hoại vùng đất nông nghiệp và nước uống ở nhiều quốc gia hải đảo thấp so với mặt nước biển, làm cho những nơi đó không thể sống được lâu nữa trước khi nó bị ngập dưới nước. Các biến chuyển này sẽ thay đổi nền chính trị toàn cầu một cách sâu sắc. Các quốc gia như Trung Quốc và Hoa Kỳ có dân số lớn và hạ tầng cơ sở giá trị nhưng dễ bị nguy hại đối với thay đổi khí hậu. Các chính quyền này sẽ phải sử dụng đến các phương tiện quân sự để cứu người và tái xây dựng các thị trấn và thành phố bị tàn phá. Trong năm 2017, ba trận bão lớn đánh phá Hoa Kỳ liên tiếp, và các cơ quan dân vệ phòng chống thiên tai phải cần được hậu thuẫn của quân đội để ngăn ngừa tổn thất nhân mạng tầm lớn. Hàng chục ngàn vệ binh quốc gia đã được điều động để cứu người, cung cấp về tiếp tế, tái thiết các dịch vụ căn bản và pháp luật. Tổng phí đối với các cơn bão này và các trường hợp cấp cứu khác liên quan đến thiên tai trong năm 2017 thôi đã lên đến 300 tỷ đô la.

Trung Quốc cũng có các vấn đề riêng của nó. Dọc ven biển phía nam, những thành phố như Quảng Châu và Thượng Hải, dễ bị lụt lội. Ở phía bắc, trung tâm công nghiệp của quốc gia, các vùng này thường bị thiếu nước, ảnh hưởng đến 500 triệu người. Trong 25 năm qua, 28 ngàn con sông tại Trung Quốc đã biến mất. Giải quyết vấn nạn lớn như thế không rẻ. Một dự án chuyển nước từ nam lên bắc tốn ít nhất 48 tỷ đô la, và mặc dầu chưa hoàn tất, Trung Quốc cho rằng họ đã cải thiện được an ninh nước và 50 triệu người được hưởng lợi. Đối với những nơi bị lũ lụt, Trung Quốc đang nghiên cứu các thành phố hút nước nơi có thể gia tăng thoát nước tự nhiên.

Hoa Kỳ và Trung Quốc là hai quốc gia giàu có nên có thể chịu đựng tốn kém đối với các thiên tai này. Những quốc gia khác thì vất vả hơn, tổn thất về nhân mạng và vật chất nhiều hơn so với khả năng họ có thể gánh chịu. Từng cơn bão tuy gây thiệt hại đáng kể nhưng người ta có thể vực lại được. Còn thay đổi khí hậu thì nó gây thiệt hại lâu dài hơn. Trong khi một số quốc gia thì tràn đầy nước, những nước khác thì lại thiếu nước trầm trọng. Năm 2011 Somalia sau bao nhiêu thập niên chiến tranh lại hứng chịu hạn hán và tiếp theo nạn đói đưa đến 260 ngàn tử vong. Thay đổi khí hậu, qua gia tăng nhiệt độ và chuyển đổi kiểu mưa, làm cho nhiều vùng không đủ mưa hoặc mưa bất thường, ảnh hưởng đến mùa màn và lượng nước cần thiết cho nhu cầu con người. Đối với một số quốc gia, khi hiệu năng nông nghiệp bị giảm sút và các nguy cơ khí hậu khác sẽ làm cho người dân từ nông thôn chuyển đến thành thị hay sang qua biên giới quốc gia khác. Điều này sẽ ảnh hưởng sâu sắc lên nền chính trị khắp nơi. Thay đổi khí hậu sẽ trắc nghiệm các hệ thống phản ứng hiện nay về nhân đạo và thiên tai, cái đang gặp nhiều thách thức quá sức đối với các xung đột hình như không chấm dứt tại Somalia, South Sudan, Syria và Yemen.

Thay đổi khí hậu sẽ làm cho quan hệ quốc tế càng thêm căng thẳng. Sông Mekong là một thí dụ. Trong sáu quốc gia sử dụng chung con sông này, Ủy hội Sông Mekong được thành lập để giải quyết các tranh chấp nhưng Trung Quốc không muốn trở thành một thành viên dù là quốc gia lớn nhất và xây các đập ảnh hưởng nặng nề nhất ở thượng nguồn đối với các quốc gia ở hạ nguồn. Sự tranh chấp về lượng chảy của con sông này trở nên tệ hơn khi mà hạn hán trong vùng trở nên thường xuyên hơn. Khi hạn hán xảy ra ảnh hưởng đến mùa màng, giá cả lúa mì hay ẩm thực có nguy cơ gia tăng toàn cầu. Tại Ai Cập, khi nạn lạm phát giá cả ẩm thực hàng năm tăng lên 19 phần trăm năm 2011, nó giúp gia tăng các cuộc biểu tình lật đổ tổng thống Hosni Mubarak.

Để đáp ứng với các điều kiện khí hậu thay đổi, chính phủ có thể ban hành vô số các chính sách có khả năng gây tranh cãi. Cấm không cho xuất cảng các nguyên liệu qúy, mua đất ở nước ngoài, bắt sử dụng nhiên liệu sinh học, làm luật bảo vệ rừng, và hàng ngàn sự chọn lựa khác sẽ tạo ra kẻ thắng người thua và gia tăng sự căng thẳng trong nội địa và quốc tế. Thay đổi khí hậu sẽ bao gồm chuỗi vấn đề khác nhau, từ vận chuyển, năng lượng, xây cất, nông nghiệp, và bao địa hạt khác, và các ảnh hưởng tổng hợp của nó lên thành phố, sản xuất ẩm thực, và cung cấp nước uống sẽ là những thử thách khủng khiếp cho địa cầu này. Busby cho rằng với vấn đề ở tầm lớn như thế này, nó cần sự phối hợp và hợp tác giữa Hoa Kỳ và Trung Quốc để cùng nhau giải quyết. Còn nếu cạnh tranh chống đối nhau toàn diện thì tất cả đều bị thiệt hại. Sự hợp tác giữa các thỏa thuận quốc tế, mạng lưới tổ chức và những người dốc tâm tìm ra các giải pháp cụ thể là một cơ hội tốt nhất để tránh một thiên tai thay đổi khí hậu khủng khiếp đối với nhân loại.

Vài kết luận

Sáu quan điểm nêu trên chỉ là tiêu biểu, không phải là tất cả. Bên trong mỗi trường phái của các nhãn quan này đều có những nhận định và kết luận khác nhau, một cách sâu sắc. Ngoài sáu quan điểm này còn bao nhiêu lý thuyết và ý thức hệ khác nhau, làm cho thế giới chúng ta đang sống vừa thật sự đa nguyên vừa vô cùng phức tạp.

Càng phức tạp hơn cho những ai muốn đi tìm sự thật. Sự thật nằm ở đâu? Trong sự tổng hợp các quan sát trình bày trên hay, đơn giản và rốt cuộc vẫn là, trong cặp mắt người nhìn?

Francis Fukuyama nhận xét khá tinh tế và sâu sắc về ảnh hưởng của chủ nghĩa bộ lạc đối với nền chính trị thế giới trong bài mới nhất của ông trên Foreign Affairs [9]. Bài này tóm lược các ý chính trong cuốn sách mới nhất của ông sắp được phát hành. Fukuyama kết luận: con người sẽ không bao giờ ngừng suy nghĩ về chính họ và xã hội của họ về mặt bản sắc; nhưng bản sắc của con người không phải là cứng ngắt mà cũng không phải được cấu tạo lúc sinh thành; bản sắc có thể được sử dụng để chia rẽ mà cũng có thể để đoàn kết; sau cùng nó có thể là phương thuốc cho nền chính trị dân túy của thời hiện tại.

Khi chủ nghĩa bộ lạc vẫn còn hiện hữu, thể hiện qua chính trị về bản sắc, như Chua và Fukuyama phân tích, thì chính trị quyền lực cũng sẽ còn đó, không đi đâu cả. Như thế, về mặt chính trị và bang giao quốc tế, quyền lực và quyền lợi sẽ luôn đóng vai trò quan trọng, như Kotkin và những nhà hiện thực nhận định. Chỉ khi nào con người trở nên thánh thiện, tôn trọng và đối xử nhau một cách nhân ái, tương kính và không phân biệt, và không sử dụng bạo lực với nhau, thì quan hệ giữa con người và trên bình diện quốc tế mới thay đổi sâu sắc. Những tranh chấp về chủng tộc, tôn giáo, văn minh, phái tính, hay ý thức hệ v.v… sẽ còn với con người một thời gian dài. Do đó trong hiện tại, có lẽ chỉ có chủ nghĩa cấp tiến và nền dân chủ cấp tiến mới có khả năng giải quyết được các bài toán nhức nhối của con người, như Deudney and Ikenberry biện luận. Nền tảng tư tưởng/lý thuyết của chủ nghĩa cấp tiến là mọi người phải được đối xử bình đẳng, phải có quyền tự do cá nhân, nhân phẩm/quyền không bị chà đạp vì phái tính hay vì thuộc một nhóm xã hội nào đó (particular social group) v.v… Nhưng chủ nghĩa cấp tiến chỉ có thể là giải pháp lâu dài và vững ổn nếu các nhà lãnh đạo chính trị trong các thập niên tới có thể hoạch định những chính sách vừa phát huy tối đa hiệu năng của cuộc cách mạng công nghệ tới, vừa tái phân phối hàng hóa và dịch vụ một cách tối ưu (optimal) cho toàn xã hội, đồng thời cũng phải quan tâm đúng mức đến chính sách nhân dụng, như Drum đã biện luận. Còn không thì Mác sẽ “hiện hồn” về, chờn vờn ám ảnh và báo động những xung đột lúc ngấm ngầm lúc bùng nổ trong nền kinh tế tư bản cực đoan khi một thiểu số nắm mọi quyền lực vật chất trong tay, và đa số thì vất vả không ngừng, như Varghese trình bày. Sau cùng, khi thế giới bị hâm nóng một cách vô trách nhiệm thì môi trường sống sẽ bị ảnh hưởng sâu sắc, như Busby đã nhắc nhở. Khi di dân/tị nạn - là nạn nhân của tranh chấp chính trị qua chủ nghĩa bộ lạc, hay là nạn nhân của thiên tai/môi trường sống - phải tìm cách lánh nạn ở tầm lớn, nhưng thế giới, nhất là các quốc gia dân chủ và phát triển, lại quảnh mặt làm ngơ, thì tuyên ngôn quốc tế nhân quyền chẳng còn giá trị gì cả ngoại trừ trên giấy tờ. Đó có thể là mốc điểm của sự suy thoái toàn diện của nền văn minh toàn cầu.

Những vấn đề này có liên hệ gì đến mỗi chúng ta? Có nhiều lắm chứ! Mỗi chúng ta, không phân biệt, bằng suy nghĩ và hành động thực tiễn, có thể góp phần làm cho chính mình, gia đình, xã hội, đất nước và thế giới, tốt hơn. Không cần làm những gì quá lớn, ngoài tầm tay. Nền văn minh nhân loại sẽ bị huỷ hoại nếu chúng ta chỉ biết sống cho chính mình và chỉ biết quan tâm trong cuộc đời mình mà không nghĩ đến người khác và các thế hệ về sau. Cho nên chỉ cần bắt đầu bằng sự tử tế, liêm chính và tinh thần trách nhiệm, thì một ngày nào đó những tinh thần và giá trị này sẽ loan tỏa sâu rộng và truyền lại cho các thế hệ mai sau. Cuối cùng chúng ta có quyền lạc quan nhưng không thể tự mãn khi các thách thức của nhân loại vô cùng lớn lao trong khi số người quan tâm và đóng góp vẫn còn là thiểu số.

(Úc châu, 07/09/2018)

Phạm Phú Khải
Bạn đọc làm báo | VOA
Tài liệu tham khảo:

1. TT Barrack Obama, “Remarks by the President at the White House Summit on Global Development”, The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 20/07/2016.

2. Foreign Affairs, “Which world are we living in?”, Volume 97, Number 4, July/August 2018; pages 10-55. Vì các bài viết này rất hay và sâu sắc, thay vì tóm lược vài ý chính để toàn bài ngắn gọn hơn, tôi quyết định viết ngắn gọn nhưng vẫn cố duy trì lập luận chính của tác giả này. Mục đích là để cho độc giả không chỉ biết họ biện luận gì mà còn biện luận ra sao khi họ tìm cách thuyết phục hay bảo vệ quan điểm của mình. Độc giả cũng có thể tìm đọc các nguyên tác này nếu có điều kiện.

3. Stephen Kotkin, “Realist World”, Foreign Affairs, Volume 97, Number 4, July/August 2018; pages 10-15.

4. Daniel Deudney and G. John Ikenberry, “Liberal World”, Foreign Affairs, Volume 97, Number 4, July/August 2018; pages 16-24.

5. Amy Chua, “Tribal World”, Foreign Affairs, Volume 97, Number 4, July/August 2018; pages 25-33.

6. Robin Varghese, “Marxist World”, Foreign Affairs, Volume 97, Number 4, July/August 2018; pages 34-42.

7. Kevin Drum, “Tech World”, Foreign Affairs, Volume 97, Number 4, July/August 2018; pages 43-48.

8. Joshua Busby, “Warming World”, Foreign Affairs, Volume 97, Number 4, July/August 2018; pages 49-55.


9. Francis Fukuyama, “Against Identity Politics”, Volume 97, Number 5, September/October 2018; pages 90-114. Hoặc tìm mua sách “Bản sắc: Nhu cầu về Phẩm giá và Chính trị của Oán giận” (Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment), Profile Books, October 2018.

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Violent protests in the Iraqi city of Basra have all but ended U.S.-backed Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's chances of winning a second term and shattered Washington's hopes of shaping the next government.

          Comment on Republicans of New Hampshire (one of the whitest states in the US) nominate a black former police chief for US Congress by Chris B      Cache   Translate Page      
Richard Aubrey- here in Michigan our Republican nominee for Senate is John James, a 37 year-old African American. He’s a West Point graduate, flew 400+ combat missions in Iraq as an Apache helicopter pilot, came home to earn an MBA and became CEO of his family business in Detroit. I’ve been to a couple of rallies and he’s a charismatic speaker with a beautiful young family. He has an uphill battle, being hugely outspent by the campaign of the current Democrat Senator Debbie Stabenow, but I think with enough support he could pull this off and be the future of the Republican Party. You can check him out at Johnjamesforsenate.com.
          SANCTIONS ON SYRIA: THE CRIMINAL, SILENT, KILLER      Cache   Translate Page      

In 2016, I visited the centre depicted in the linked RT news report on the effect of western sanctions on children with cancer. At the time, the director told me they were trying to help 240 children, were underfunded and in debt, the people working there were volunteers, and (at that time) were facing constant power outages, as was the norm in Aleppo due to terrorists outside of Aleppo controlling the power plant.

Formerly, cancer patients in the north of Syria had excellent treatment at the Kindi Hospital, a massive complex that was respected throughout the region. It was truck-bombed by terrorists in late 2013, completely destroyed. In November 2016, I met and interviewed the former director of Kindi, Dr. Ibrahim Hadid. He emphasized how he tried to get the attention of international organizations both when the hospital was initially occupied by terrorists, and later when it was destroyed. He was met with silence.


Yet another obstacle for cancer patients needing treatment was the fact that for years, the road out of Aleppo would be cut by terrorists, meaning the 1.5 million or more civilians within greater Aleppo were under siege. Aleppo residents told me there were times where the siege lasted for weeks, and more.

The director of this centre rightly insisted there should not be sanctions on medicine. This is criminal. As noted in the RT report, 30 children had died of cancer in that area, due to western sanctions, according to the director.

I previously wrote about the issue of these criminal western sanctions on Syria, quoting Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, who I interviewed in December 2015. I noted:
In terms of how to provide actual relief to the Syrian people, Dr. Shaaban stated:
“The first thing the West should do in this battle against terrorism is to lift the sanctions from the Syrian people. The sanctions are helping terrorists against the Syrian people, who are suffering doubly from the terrorists and from Western measures against the Syrian people.”

Stephen Gowans recently wrote about the US government’s long-time plans to topple the Syrian government, sanctions being one part of the plot.

“Documents prepared by US Congress researchers as early as 2005 revealed that the US government was actively weighing regime change in Syria. …As an alternative to direct military intervention to topple the Syrian government, the United States chose to pressure Damascus through sanctions and support for the internal Syrian opposition.”
The advocacy website, End The Sanctions on Syria, notes: “Similar sanctions on Iraq in the 1990s were shown to have caused the deaths of more than half a million Iraqi children.”

The site went on to report that (as of May 2014), “701 of 1,921 Syrian health centres have been ‘completely gutted’ by the terrorist attacks. Yet rehabilitation of these centres is retarded by the US-EU sanctions, which have already left ‘a deep mark on the healthcare system’… including by blocking access to medicines, medical equipment, transport and communications.”

A May 27, 2015 article in The Lancet reports: “The cost of basic food items has risen six-fold since 2010, although it varies regionally. With the exception of drugs for cancer and diabetes, Syria was 95 percent self-sufficient in terms of drug production before the war. This has virtually collapsed as have many hospitals and primary health-care centres.
Economic sanctions have not removed the President: …only civilians are in the line of fire, attested to by the dire state of household and macro-economies. Sanctions are among the biggest causes of suffering for the people of Syria.”
Recall that last April, when the US and allies illegally bombed Syria on false pretext of Syria having used a chemical or nerve agent in Douma (didn’t happen), one of the targets was a facility in densely-inhabited Damascus which was involved in the local production of cancer treatment components.
As I wrote:
Regarding the actual nature of the buildings bombed, Syrian media, SANA, describes the Pharmaceutical and Chemical Industries Research Institute as “centered on preparing the chemical compositions for cancer drugs.” The destruction of this institute is particularly bitter, as, under the criminal western sanctions, cancer medicines sales to Syria are prohibited.
Interviews with one of its employees, Said Said, corroborate SANA’s description of the facility making cancer treatment and other medicinal components. One article includesSaid’s logical point: “If there were chemical weapons, we would not be able to stand here. I’ve been here since 5:30 am in full health – I’m not coughing.”
Of the facility, the same SANA article noted that its labs had been visited by the OPCW, which issued two reports negating claims of any chemical weapons activities. This is a point Syria’s Ambassador al-Ja’afari raised in the April 14 UN Security Council meeting, noting that the OPCW “handed to Syria an official document which confirmed that the Barzeh centre was not used for any type of chemical activity” that would be in contravention to Syria’s obligations regarding the OPCW.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

          Look who's Tweeting       Cache   Translate Page      
Good point from Justin Raimondo.

Has anyone noticed that the NeverTrumpers are precisely those people who supported the Iraq War? From to to to — the Trump-haters stand at the head of the War Party. Now why do you think that is?



Yep.  And we saw it during the campaign as well.  They all rushed to Hillary -- because killers flock together.

Meanwhile Morgan Freeman apparently takes a break from harassing women to Tweet the following:



  1. Are you even aware Bob Woodward was one of the reporters who brought down Nixon? And that your lying, gaslighting & denial nearly mirror Nixon's behavior before his resignation? Was Woodward making things up then? Why would he be making stuff now? You are a proven liar & a cheat.


Morgan's too stupid to know that Woodward was Naval Intelligence and then went on to take part in the take down of Richard Nixon.  Nixon was a crook, no question, but don't mistake what Woodward told for truth -- or that he told the full truth.

Oh, well, anything that keeps Morgan's hands on a keyboard and off women who don't want his predatory hands on them, right?


Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


Wednesday, September 12, 2018.  In Iraq, it's never the officials fault, it's always the people of Iraq who get blamed.  In this case, killing protesters is a-okay but attacking a building is big time wrong.

In Iraq, the strife continues.  Hayder al-Abadi and the US government would like a second term for him as prime minister.  Iraqis are less enthused.  Michael Jansen (IRISH TIMES) reports:

Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has called on caretaker Iraqi prime minister Haidar al-Abadi to step down in the wake of protests that killed 12 in the port city of Basra and elsewhere in the Shia-majority south. “We demand the government apologise to the people and resign immediately,” said Sadr’s spokesman Hassan al-Aqouli.


Catch that?  Protesters killed.

It's a point far too many miss.  Like below in this ALJAZEERA report where the governor of Basra whines about the 'violence' but the violence is only when the protesters attacked buildings.






Basra's governor, Asaad al-Eidani, is a hypocrite on many levels (for those who don't stream, the image frozen above is Hayder al-Abadi, Assad's later in the video).  He's denouncing violence against property and that has to make many who know him chuckle.  When Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq, al-Ediani had a different view and it's that view that led to his arrest and imprisonment.

To ALJAZEERA, he whines about the destruction of property while insisting, "Any criminal act should be denounced regardless of who has carried it out."

Strange though, Asaad al-Eidani did not denounce any of the violence aimed at the protesters -- despite security forces killing protesters since July.


Mohammed Kadem, lost his father at an early age, recently married with a child, English language major, went out to protest and demand fresh water for his family, tonight he was killed with a head wound. Basra , Iraq
 
 



The governor also plays dumb on what fueled the last few days of protests.




By Tuesday, Iraqis incensed at the cold-blooded killing of Yasir had descended on the city's main municipal building calling for justice for the slain youth. Security...
 
 



THE NEW ARAB reports:


Protests against a severe lack of public services, including reliable electricity and potable water, erupted once more across southern Iraq last weekend, with the country's third largest city of Basra at their epicentre.

Protesters had been briefly placated after a summer of unrest by a combination of pledges to resolve chronic problems - along with mass arrests coupled with police brutality. However, demonstrators have now resumed their calls for accountability of corrupt officials and state mismanagement after government promises to resolve Iraq's infrastructure crises failed to materialise. 


But tensions escalated after a series of violent reprisals seemingly led by Iraqi counter-terrorism forces led to the deaths of seven protesters in two days.

Makki Yasir, a young Basran man, bled to death after he was shot in the shoulder on Republican Road in Basra's city centre on Monday. The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site reported activists saying security forces then engaged in a widespread campaign of arrests, with some witnessing abuses by officers. 


Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced an investigation into Yasir's death after the Iraqi Human Rights Commission denounced the excessive use of force by security personnel.

By Tuesday, Iraqis incensed at the cold-blooded killing of Yasir had descended on the city's main municipal building calling for justice for the slain youth. Security forces once again used live ammunition, but were this time met by protesters launching fireworks and Molotov cocktails at them. Six demonstrators were shot dead while 15 military personnel were injured.

While some politicians sought to blame demonstrators for the violence, the Human Rights Commission's Basra chief, Mahdi al-Tamimi, again laid blame at the door of the military and police, stating that they had "directly fired on protesters"

Also addressing Yasir's death on Monday, Tamimi said: "We call on the Iraqi judiciary to open an immediate investigation into the killing of a demonstrator who was shot in the shoulder and subjected to electric shocks by security forces."


The governor of Basra has nothing to say about the deaths of the protesters.  Apparently killing is not a crime in Iraq?

Killing is a crime.  You know what else is a crime?  Giving people polluted water that makes them sick.  That's the sort of crime that should be punished and, since the Iraqi government loves to execute so much, maybe it's time the Iraqi government sentenced the governor of Basra to hang?



Deadly protests have rocked Iraq's Basra after 30,000 people were hospitalised for drinking polluted water — in pictures
 
a written statement posted to WhiteHouse.gov. “America will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of American lives.”

Image source: Long War Journal

The threat of military force comes after the American embassy in Baghdad's 'green zone' came under a brazen overnight mortar attack last Thursday, which left no one injured but started a blaze near the sprawling embassy's gate.

Up to four mortars were fired in what officials confirmed was a targeted assault American diplomatic soil. Defense analysts and officials were quick to blame Iran-backed militias in the area, which had previously in the week vowed in a joint statement to expel all "foreign occupying forces" from the country. 

And days later multiple rockets were fired at the Basra airport, which is also site of the United States consulate for the area. Though denying it had a role in events in Basra or Baghdad, Tehran's leaders did admit to a major missile attack on the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Northern Iraqi Kurdistan, which resulted in up to a dozen killed and scores wounded. 

The White House statement, which condemns "life threatening attacks" against "the United States consulate in Basra and against the American embassy compound in Baghdad" also follows two weeks of heightened sectarian tensions across various parts of the country, but especially the southern Sunni-majority city of Basra, where the Iranian consulate was burned to the ground after it was stormed by a mob late last week. 

The statement puts Iran on notice and pledges that it will be held responsible for such incidents: "Iran did not act to stop these attacks by its proxies in Iraq, which it has supported with funding, training, and weapons," reads the press release

US officials have yet to reveal any evidence that Iran was directly behind either the embassy or Basra consulate attacks, but days prior ten pro-Iran Shia militias in the country published a statement vowing to expel foreign troops and advisers by force if they didn't immediately leave Iraq. 

“We will deal with them [foreign troops in Iraq] as occupying forces, and we will use our legitimate rights by employing all possible means to force them out of the country,” the Iraqi factions warned, adding that foreign troops were "in their sights".

The statement first published last Tuesday further declared there was an “Anglo-American-led dirty and dangerous conspiracy to impose a devilish coalition” on the people of Iraq which seeks to weaken the government and make Baghdad a puppet of Brett McGurk, who is the White House appointed special envoy for the anti-ISIL coalition. 

The Shia militias later blamed Washington for being behind the mass anti-Iran and anti-Iraqi government protests that engulfed Basra and resulted in the Iranian consulate being burned down along with dozens of Shia militia headquarters and other facilities across the city. 

“The American Embassy is directing the situation in Basra,” charged Abu Medhi al-Mohandis in public statements. Mohandis is a well-known Shiite militia commander who U.S. officials accuse of long being on Iran's payroll. 

All of this also comes after allegations that Iran has transferred ballistic missiles to its proxy forces in Iraq, which are said to be easily capable of hitting Tel Aviv and Riyadh, according to Western and Iraqi intelligence sources cited in a recent Reuters report

Given current broader tensions in the region and charges of "Iranian expansion" it will be interesting to see if the US again ramps up operations in Iraq. Should the proxy war waging across the border in Syria actually come to an end, it may very well be that Iraq again becomes the new ground zero for the West's anti-Iran proxy war.  


          A Two-Man Debate With Room for a Third, Dannel P. Malloy      Cache   Translate Page      

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

New London — The first head-to-head debate by Democrat Ned Lamont and Republican Bob Stefanowski ended tonight without Connecticut voters learning how either man would close a $2.1 billion deficit or how Stefanowski would begin to deliver on his audacious promise to eliminate the state income tax.

WestportNow.com Image
Ned Lamont and Bob Stefanowski tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Pazniokas for CtMirror.org

Over the course of a contentious hour, Stefanowski repeatedly tried to convince viewers that Lamont was a new and unimproved version of the state’s unpopular Democratic governor, Dannel P. Malloy. Lamont was willing to concede Stefanowski was his own man, albeit delusional, in insisting Connecticut can live without its single largest revenue source.

Lamont, 64, who briefly became a national political figure by challenging Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman over the war in Iraq, opened and closed by noting he competed with Malloy in 2010 for the gubernatorial nomination, then saying the state is in desperate need of structural changes yet to be accomplished by Malloy or outlined by Stefanowski.

“Bob wasn’t even there to vote against him,” Lamont said, the first of his jabs at Stefanowski’s failure to vote for 16 years.



          Does the Turmoil in Iraq Signal a Nationalist Awakening Against Iran?      Cache   Translate Page      
none
          Comment on Are Iran and Iraq Headed toward Another Conflict? by Kooshy      Cache   Translate Page      
Both Iran and Iraq are majority Shia countries, Shias are the minorities in the western Asia. Weather Ms. Hunter likes or not only due to a common protection and security need facing the majority and more wealthy Sunnis, these Shia countries and communities need and will stick together to protect themselves against the ideologically hostile majority. This was the reason Iran rush to help and stop ISIS in Iraq before any other country. As we written here before Ms. Hunter is not an honest analyst geopolitics of Iran, her analyses are just another state prescribed propaganda. Simply in any community including ants, like it or not, the minorities form alliance due to common security need, there is nothing US or KSA or Israel can do to change this fact. Brits tried to control the southern Iraq back in invasion of Iraq in 2003 they failed miserably. Iran didn’t and wouldn’t need to do anything to have Iraqis as allies, same is true for Iraq or Hezbollah, or even Houthis they all need and share the same common security need against the majority .Ms. Hunter is time to tell the truth like it is.
          Iraq is paying the price for US sanctions on Iran      Cache   Translate Page      

The Iraqi government does not support the US sanctions on Iran, but will abide by them, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi announced last month. He was finally speaking out about Iraq’s position following the controversial US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.We consider them [sanctions on Iran] a strategic mistake and incorrect but we will abide …

The post Iraq is paying the price for US sanctions on Iran appeared first on Home Page.


          Iran, US heading towards a clash in Iraq      Cache   Translate Page      

The storming of the Iranian Consulate in Basra last Friday has dramatically demonstrated the simmering anti-Iranian feelings amongst some sections of Iraqi society. It has also exposed the extent to which the street protest movement in Iraq has been infused by geopolitical tension and motivations.Protestors in Basra and other parts of Iraq may be primarily …

The post Iran, US heading towards a clash in Iraq appeared first on Home Page.


          Twitter Boots Iraqi Militia Leader Over Attack on U.S. Consulate      Cache   Translate Page      
Twitter shut down the account of a prominent Iraqi militia leader after he was accused by the U.S. government of inciting violence against American diplomats in Basra, where the U.S. consulate came under a rocket attack.
          Episode 61: #61: Monkey Business      Cache   Translate Page      

This week, Dave and Gunnar talk about: monkey selfies, elephant-based coffee, and yak shaving with OpenStack.

Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Cutting Room Floor

We Give Thanks

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          U.S. Warns Iran After Attacks in Iraq      Cache   Translate Page      
The White House said Iranian-backed militias in Iraq had carried out “life-threatening attacks” against the U.S. consulate in Basra and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and warned Washington would hold Tehran responsible if there are future assaults.
          Comment on 14 Bible Verses That Dismantle Shunning As Practiced by Jehovah’s Witnesses by Lethal Weapon Donut Patrol      Cache   Translate Page      
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all founded on the Myth of the Chosen Nation. 3500 years ago, one particular Mesopotamian tribe decided to set themselves apart as Special. Today we refer to the descendants of all those Mesopotamian/Canaanite tribes collectively as Arabs. If anything in the Bible is to be believed, Abraham, Father of the Hebrews, hailed from Ur of Chaldea (Babylon). Ur was in present-day Iraq. If you don’t believe me, check Google Maps. So the Jews are, in fact, Iraqis, Chaldeans, Babylonians. The Jews are not different from the Arabs. The Jews are not related to the Arabs. The Jews are not cousins of the Arabs. Jews are Arabs. Period.
          09/12 Links Pt2: Soviet Antisemitism in a British Guise; Interview with Colonel Richard Kemp; Artist turns Kassam rockets into flowers and mezuzahs      Cache   Translate Page      
From Ian:

Soviet Antisemitism in a British Guise
Most of all, there was the Soviet practice of wheeling out “citizens of Jewish nationality” to denounce Zionism as a “racist” tool of “imperialism.” In March 1983, the Soviet news agency TASS even published a definition of Zionism drawn up by the state-run “Jewish Anti-Zionist Committee” that read as follows:

“In its essence, Zionism is a concentration of extreme nationalism, chauvinism, and racial intolerance, justification of territorial seizure and annexation, armed adventurism, a cult of political arbitrariness and impunity, demagogy and ideological sabotage, sordid maneuvers and perfidy.”

To my mind, the most obvious question here to Jeremy Corbyn, The Morning Star, and those of a similar pedigree, is this: Is there anything in this Soviet definition of Zionism that you disagree with? Make no mistake, the answer is critically important, because it is exactly this characterization of Zionism that grounded both the USSR’s domestic persecution of its Jewish community, and its international alignment with Arab regimes and terrorist groups.

If the answer is to disagree with this formulation — highly unlikely, given that Corbyn himself was present at dozens of left-wing political gatherings during the 1970s and ’80s where Soviet and Arab antisemitic literature was distributed — then it is a disingenuous one. Because when Corbyn and those in his camp speak and write about the triangle of Jews, Zionism, and Israel, these are the terms in which they think, and have always thought.

That is why Corbyn’s house journal uses terms like “embittered fifth column” to describe their leader’s Jewish opponents — also used by Valery Emelyanov, an official Soviet ideologue, in 1978 to describe the “internal danger” posed by Soviet Jews. It’s why they have no qualms about saying that Jewish leaders opposed to Corbyn have “tasted blood,” despite the associations with the antisemitic blood libel that such a metaphor unleashes; then again, Vladimir Begun, a particularly toxic Soviet antisemite, wrote with great enthusiasm of the “bloodthirstiness” that was inherent in “Zionist gangsterism.”

Given the number of occasions that Corbyn publicly defended the Soviet regime — “The Soviet Union makes far greater nursery provision than this country” (1984), “I do not believe that [the USSR] has ever intended to invade western Europe” (1990) — he was clearly well aware of Moscow’s stance on all the key international matters of the time, as well as its propaganda practices. That doesn’t make him a spy, but it does make him an ideological fellow-traveler. And as The Morning Star has demonstrated by defending Corbyn with an ugly rhetorical assault on British Jews, that Soviet-inspired journey rolls on.

Yisreal Medad: An Exercise in Deconstruction
Deconstruction is a literary term indicating "a critique of the relationship between text and meaning ".

I found this poem, "Everything in Our World Did Not Seem to Fit" by Naomi Shihab Nye here. It is an example of "new Palestinian poetry". Excuse me, "Arab Palestinian poetry". Ms. Nye's family roots are in Sinjil, just down the road from Shiloh where I live.

I realized that here poem is a literal work of deconstruction - of history, of Jewish national identity, of politics and of simple rational logic.

Let's deconstruct that literary work.

Once they started invading us.
Actually, the Arabs invaded Eretz-Yisrael in 638 CE. Moreover, despite the loss of political independence, Jews continued to reside in the Land of Israel, if in small numbers depending on the conditions and crcumstances of the various occupiers.

Taking our houses and trees, drawing lines, pushing us into tiny places.
Throughout the Zionist resettlement enterprise, almost all the land was purchased from its owners.

It wasn’t a bargain or deal or even a real war.
The Arab terror war against Jews in 1920, 1921, 1929, 1936-1939 and the 1947 war was real as were the fedyeen and the PLO's launching in 1964.
Interview with Colonel Richard Kemp
A United Nations report on recent violent clashes along the Israel-Gaza border hasn’t been written yet, but international terrorism expert Richard Kemp already knows it will condemn Israel for defending its borders against armed hordes.

Kemp, a retired British army officer who has watched, and fought against, terrorism around the world for 30 years, will tell an audience in Hamilton Thursday that’s the traditional response of a world community that doesn’t want to face up to terrorism.

In an interview ahead of his appearance, Kemp said the recent attacks on the Gaza border were just the latest phase of ongoing efforts by the terrorist group Hamas to smash the Jewish state.

It’s a campaign built around Hamas’ standard tactic of sprinkling its terrorists among civilians in the hope Israel’s response will result in civilian deaths that can, in turn, spark international outrage against the country.

“By creating a situation of violent disorder, breaking through the fence and attacking Israeli communities Hamas hope to provoke Israel in the hope that Israel’s reaction will result in many of (Hamas’) own people being killed,” he said.

Kemp said the tactic has worked to a degree – even fair-minded citizens around the world who understand a country’s right to defend itself are made uncomfortable by the sight of civilians being shot by Israeli soldiers.

“Even if people are against Israel, most sane people can understand that a country has to respond if it is attacked, if rockets are launched at it or attack tunnels are dug underneath it. Most people can accept that even if they don’t like it,” Kemp said.

“Even if they accept that they can’t understand how a civilized country like Israel can gun down people involved in peaceful demonstrations. We know they’re not peaceful demonstrations, but that is how it’s portrayed.”



New York Times Stumbles in a Strange Front-Page Antisemitism Story
A front-page New York Times news article appears under the headline “U.S. Revives Rutgers Bias Case In New Tack on Anti-Semitism.”

The Times article hypes what it describes as a “significant policy shift.” It claims that the federal education department and its assistant secretary, Kenneth Marcus, “put the weight of the federal government behind a definition of anti-Semitism that targets opponents of Zionism.”

It goes on to claim that the Education Department “adopted a hotly contested definition of anti-Semitism that included ‘denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination’ by, for example, ‘claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor’ and ‘applying double standards by requiring of’ Israel ‘a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.'”

It’s extremely strange that The New York Times would all of a sudden describe this particular definition of anti-Semitism as “hotly contested.” The Times itself, as recently as this month, published two articles describing the exact same definition as “internationally accepted.”

On September 4, the Times published a Reuters dispatch: “LONDON — Britain’s opposition Labour Party adopted an internationally accepted definition of anti-Semitism on Tuesday.” An Associated Press dispatch published by the Times the same day begins, “LONDON — Britain’s main opposition Labour Party on Tuesday adopted an internationally recognized definition of anti-Semitism.” On July 26, a Times-written article from London also referred to the same definition as “internationally accepted.”

Got that? When the British Labour Party adopts the definition, the Times describes it, accurately, as “internationally accepted.” Yet when the US government tries to enforce the definition on an American college campus, then all of a sudden the Times describes the definition as “hotly contested.” In fact, the definition is internationally accepted everywhere except in The New York Times newsroom, or at least in that portion of it responsible for the Rutgers article.
Sightless in Bethlehem
“Israel made me hate it” has long been a common theme among Jewish critics of Israel. In fact, New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman practically built his career out of it, winning a Pulitzer Prize for a book based on the claim that he was an uncritical supporter of Israel until he covered the 1982 Lebanon war, where he saw outrageous Israeli behavior that changed his mind.

That version of Friedman’s biography turned out to be a fabrication. In 1990, pro-Israel activists revealed that he actually had been a hostile critic of Israel all the way back to his days as a student at Brandeis University, in the early 1970s. He was the leader of a student group that publicly derided Israel’s Labor government for not negotiating with Yasir Arafat, and condemned the Jewish community for protesting against Arafat’s infamous speech at the United Nations.

But back in 1990, before there was an internet, it wasn’t hard for anyone to get away with misrepresenting his biography. The exposure of Friedman’s lies was buried, and he was soon promoted to the position of op-ed columnist for the Times, a perch from which he has bashed Israel on countless occasions.

Now it looks like a new generation is taking up where Friedman left off in the department of creative autobiographical writing. Case in point: Jacob Plitman, the 27 year-old editor of the far-left magazine Jewish Currents.

Recently, a major article in the New York Jewish Week featured Plitman, describing him as being at the center of an “emerging new Jewish left” that is more willing than its elders to criticize Israel. And how did Plitman get to be a critic of Israel? You guessed it—Israel made him hate it.

As a youngster, “his parents sent him to a Young Judea camp.” Plitman “soaked up its messaging on Israel and Zionism,” so much so that he decided to spend his gap year in Israel. And then came The Great Disillusionment.

“His rosy view of Zionism began to change,” the article reported, when Plitman “visited Bethlehem” (interesting choice for a Jewish tourist) “and came face to face with Palestinians for the first time. ‘The things that I saw there were more powerful than my ability to ignore them’,” Plitman told the Jewish Week. As a result, Plitman and his magazine now devote themselves to railing against “the occupation” and “the settlers.”

That’s his version. But I have my suspicions. Here’s why.


Israel among 'shameful' countries abusing human rights activists, according to U.N.
The United Nations on Wednesday listed Israel among 38 "shameful" countries, which it said had carried out reprisals or intimidation against people cooperating with it on human rights, through killings, torture and arbitrary arrests. Allegations of ill-treatment, surveillance, criminalisation, and public stigmatization campaigns targeting victims and human rights defenders were also included on the list.

Israel earned its spot on the list for it's ongoing legal battle against Human Rights Watch representative Omar Shakir, who's visa wasn't extended and who's deportation was ordered last May on the grounds of supporting the BDS movement. Interior minister Deri who ordered the deportation last May said he acted on the recommendation of the Strategic Affairs who had gathered information showing that Shakir “is an active and consistent supporter of boycotting Israel.”

Humans Right Watch challenged the decision and accused Israel of trying to silence criticism on its human right's record and that going after Shakir was an attempt to go after HRW as a whole.

Shakir remains in the country after the Jerusalem District Court backtracked on its original decision to go through with the deportation and the case remains under review.

The UN report did not highlight how it categorized the case against Shakir and why it would place Israel on the "shameful' list.
This Week in Julia Salazar She had a trust fund, her ancestors were Catholic elites, and she has a new version of her conversion story.
A state senate race that was once hailed as a test of the rising strength and power of insurgent socialists has devolved into a full-fledged New York City tabloid circus, featuring charges of lies, identify fraud, theft, and an affair with New York Mets legend Keith Hernandez.

And that was just last week.

Every time the life story of first-time state senate candidate Julia Salazar, 27, seems it can’t get any more convoluted, it does. First, questions were raised about her religious background and political affiliation, after it was revealed she grew up in a Christian family and was a registered Republican who led an anti-abortion group in college before running for office as a Jewish socialist. Then, her self-identification as an immigrant came under fire — she was born in Miami — and her own brother went to town on her claims that she is from a working-class background. Next came revelations of a complex legal dispute with Hernandez’s wife that had led to Salazar being arrested on identity-impersonation charges; she doggedly pursued a defamation countersuit that was ultimately settled in her favor. Amid that story, legal documents surfaced showing her lawyer pointing to “Ms. Salazar trust Account records showing in excess of $600,000” in assets in 2011 and therefore no incentive to steal from Hernandez’s wife.

Now the campaign has confirmed Salazar has had substantial assets held in trust for her. “Julia’s father, who played a very limited role in raising her after her parents’ divorce, was not able to work due to disability in the final years of his life, but on his death in 2009 he left a house and considerable retirement savings; those assets were put in a trust to be divided evenly between Julia and her brother,” campaign spokesman Michael Kinnucan said. “Julia does not have direct access to the trust; the trustee is a relative in Colombia.”

On September 13, Salazar will face off with incumbent Senator Martin Malavé Dilan; the primary winner is all but assured of victory in November.

Salazar’s bid, which has won endorsements from and/or appearances with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cynthia Nixon, and Nina Turner of Bernie Sanders’s Our Revolution, has even drawn attention in her father’s homeland of Colombia, where a genealogist’s findings further undermine her early campaign claims of having come from a working-class mixed Jewish-Christian family and raise questions about how aware of her own Colombian heritage she has sought to be, despite her repeated statements identifying with it. Meanwhile, interviews with the candidate and with Jewish religious leaders show her story about converting to Reform Judaism could not have happened as she has described it to multiple reporters, because the person she now says guided her conversion process was not an ordained rabbi and also was, in any case, not affiliated with Columbia University the year she initially said she converted through the Columbia/Barnard Hillel.

According to Maria Emilia Naranjo Ramos, a genealogist with the Colombian Academy of Genealogy and Historic Academy of Córdoba, the Salazars have for generations been a prosperous family in Colombia that has played a prominent role in civic and political life. Far from being the daughter of struggling immigrants of mixed Jewish-Catholic religious heritage, which early news reports described her as based on her statements and those of her campaign, Julia Salazar is the scion of longtime Latin-American Catholic elites.
Citizens Union drops endorsement of Julia Salazar, citing 'not correct' information about her academic credentials
A good government group has withdrawn its backing of Julia Salazar for state Senate, saying the candidate provided information about her academic credentials that proved to be incorrect.

Citizens Union had previously issued its “preference” — the term the group uses rather than endorsement — for Salazar, whose campaign has been plagued in recent weeks by revelations about misrepresentations of her past religious and political beliefs and her immigration status.

“Citizens Union is hereby rescinding the preference it expressed for Julia Salazar in the Democratic Primary for New York State Senate District 18,” Randy Mastro, the chair of the group, said in a statement. “Salazar recently admitted that the information she originally provided to Citizens Union about her academic credentials was not correct, so Citizens Union has decided to express no preference in this race.”

A campaign spokesman called it an “error in her endorsement application.”

"Julia regrets that an error in her endorsement application led to Citizens Union rescinding its endorsement, but remains committed to working with Citizens Union and others opposed to Albany corruption if elected to take money out of politics and clean up Albany,” he said.

Gillum Aligns With Groups That Support Boycotts of Israel
Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum has aligned himself with several prominent anti-Semitic organizations known for promoting boycotts of Jewish goods and individuals, fueling questions about how the Democratic candidate would handle issues of import to the state's large pro-Israel community.

Gillum, who is riding a progressive a wave of young Democrats highly critical of Israel, is running against Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.), a prominent Israel supporter. The Democrat has a history of working with several organizations promoting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS, an anti-Semitic movement that seeks to wage economic and political warfare on the Jewish state.

Gillum's open association with these organizations is raising questions in the pro-Israel community, particularly as U.S. states seek to slash ties with BDS organizations and prevent taxpayer funds from supporting these movements. While Gillum has committed to "push back against anti-Israel efforts, like BDS," he has not distanced himself from several organizations leading the charge.

DeSantis, meanwhile, has positioned himself firmly against the BDS movement and is the co-author of legislation that will protect American businesses from being pressured into backing Israel boycotts. The issue is likely to be raised with both candidates as the gubernatorial contest heats up in a state with many Jewish voters.

DeSantis said he is concerned and dismayed by Gillum's ties to radical anti-Israel groups.

"In all my years in Florida, I’ve never seen a candidate for state office who has been as anti-Israel as Andrew Gillum," DeSantis told the Washington Free Beacon in an interview. "He opposes our embassy in Jerusalem, he does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal and indivisible capital, and he even criticizes Israel’s response against Hamas [militants] in May of 2018. His anti-Israel views are part and parcel of his overall far left wing, Democrat socialist agenda. He doesn’t share the values of the vast majority of people in Florida with his position."
Former ambassador to U.N. Prosor writes scathing piece against Corbyn
Prosor wrote that during his tenure as ambassador to the UK from 2007 to 2011, “the extreme-Left had started to dominate debate on Israel, not with rational, legitimate criticism but with irrational, racist hatred. I saw antisemitic poison, tropes of ‘Zionist control,’ being injected from the political fringes into the arteries of British public life. Demonstrations outside my embassy turned violent.”

Prosor said that Corbyn was neither the most charismatic or the smartest of the politicians who attended anti-Israel gatherings at the time, “but he was without doubt one of the most committed. As was his director of strategy, Seamus Milne.”

Corbyn,” according to Prosor, “can’t solve Labour’s antisemitism problem, because he embodies it.” He called the Labour Party leader an “equal opportunities terrorist sympathizer,” saying that whatever the terrorist group – be it the PLO, Hezbollah, or Hamas – they could count on Corbyn’s support as long as their target was Israelis or Jews.

“Corbyn didn’t invent the crank politics of conspiracy theory and Jew-hatred. But he has taken it from the fringe meetings of the far-Left and placed it on the front-benches of the House of Commons,” Prosor wrote.

He concluded: “This is not just an issue for the Labour Party, or for a British Jewish community feeling threatened and vulnerable. Corbyn is an embarrassment for Britain. Around the world, all who, as I do, love and admire Britain are watching and hoping that the British public, famed for their decency, tolerance and sense of fair play, stand together and say, enough is enough.”
Top Corbyn aide said working in parliament despite rejected security clearance
A top aide to UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was refused clearance required to work in parliament over security concerns but has worked there regularly anyway, entering with the help of other staff members, Huffington Post UK reported Wednesday.

Corbyn’s private secretary Iram Awan was hired in late 2017 but was denied clearance due to concerns by security services over her associates, the report said. There were no details on who those associates were or how they could compromise security.

Despite this, Awan has regularly been working in the Commons, the report said, with other Labour staffers routinely meeting her at the entrance and waving her in to security personnel, apparently as a supposed visitor. The report alleged that this behavior has been practiced for the past nine months.

“Visitor passes are for visitors only,” a parliament spokesperson told the news site. “They cannot be used to carry out work on the parliamentary estate. While we are unable to comment on specific cases, any alleged breach of the rules on passes will be investigated by the House authorities.”

The report said little is known of Awan, but noted that she has donated to Helping Households Under Great Stress, a group that seeks to “provide financial, emotional, and practical support and advice to Muslim households impacted by counter-terrorism, national security and extremism-related laws, policies and procedures in the UK and abroad.”
Another Top Corbyn Aide Working Without Security Clearance
Another top Corbyn adviser, Andrew Murray, has reportedly been working in the Labour Leader’s Commons office for eight months without the required security clearance. His application has been pending for over a year..

Andrew Murray was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain until he joined Labour two years ago.

A quick glance at the parliamentary pass application form might explain why so many of Corbyn’s team have been having trouble. Question 30 asks if applicants have ever been associated with people or groups who have “intended to overthrow or undermine Parliamentary democracy by political, industrial, or violent means?” A number of Corbyn’s top team are probably going to need more than half a page to give full details on that one…
British MP of Palestinian Descent Condemns “anti-Semitic” Posters, as Labour Party Investigates Infiltration by Iran
A British Member of Parliament of Palestinian Arab descent has denounced the defacing of bus-stops in London with “Israel is a racist endeavour” posters as “blatantly anti-Semitic,” The Jewish Chronicle reported Thursday.

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, who represents Oxford West and Abingdon, told the BBC: “I’m a Palestinian… The fact that this has come from a group that purportedly is speaking for Palestinians, I take great offence at myself, because I think it is blatantly antisemitic.” She clarified that “there are extremes in the Israeli government… But to say that an entire country is racist is entirely wrong.”

Moran was responding to comments made by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, a close ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who stated that “It is not at all anti-Semitic to describe a state as racist.”

The posters were meant to mock the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, which Labour reluctantly adopted in full last week with a caveat vowing “free speech” on Israel. The IHRA definition, which gives calling “a state of Israel… a racist endeavour” as an example of anti-Semitism.
Why Rachel Shabi's 'alliance of colour' will go nowhere
Our token Mizrahi Corbynista has been gracing the columns of the Guardian as a pundit commentating on local politics. But on the question of the antisemitism rampant in the far-left of the UK Labour party, a note of anguish has been creeping into our Shabi's writings.
Rachel Shabi

In response to a Labour centrist MP's charge that Labour is 'institutionally racist', her latest piece acknowledges that antisemitism is a real problem in Jeremy Corbyn's faction. What about anti-Zionism? Is there such a thing as antisemitic anti-Zionism? 'Zionism is both racist and anti-racist', she fence-sits unhelpfully, despite having written a book portraying Mizrahim as victims of Israel's Ashkenazi establishment.

She finds the view common among leftwing ideologues that Jews are 'white' allies of the Christian West to be wrong. "We are a racialised minority' she protests. She herself is a Mizrahi Jew of Iraqi origin.

Her answer is to start a Jewish-black-Asian-Muslim alliance that would relaunch Jews as 'people of colour'. This alliance is not based on shared Judeo-Christian values. 'If there is a historic sharing of values it is a Jewish-Muslim one,' she writes.
Corbyn in 2015 – let British jihadis travel to Syria
Jeremy Corbyn’s antisemitic record has been under scrutiny for several weeks now, and rightly so. But let’s not forget other issues which are important, starting with our own national security.

He should never be entrusted with the security of the United Kingdom. It would be seriously endangered.

Look back to early 2015. Islamic State was on the march. No wonder – its strength and confidence had been boosted by a big influx of foreign fighters from Europe. They included Britain’s very own “Jihadi John”, who began his beheading spree in 2014.

Those fighters were a top priority for Western intelligence services, in large part because there were fears they could return to the West deeply indoctrinated, highly trained, and ready to carry out devastating terrorist attacks.

Jeremy Corbyn was asked about this issue at the time. He didn’t sound very convinced.
UK's Corbyn stuns by blasting Hungarian PM for anti-Semitism
British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn accused Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban of "pandering to anti-Semitism" ahead of a vote in the European Parliament over whether to censure Hungary for breaching core EU values.

Corbyn, himself under fire for rampant anti-Semitism in his party and for his own anti-Israel and anti-Semitic comments, stunned with a tweet on Tuesday that said, "Labour MEPs will vote to hold Viktor Orban's government in Hungary to account. The Conservatives must do the same, and [British Prime Minister] Theresa May should condemn his attacks on judicial and media independence, denial of refugee rights, and pandering to anti-Semitism and Islamophobia."

Labour has been battling accusations of anti-Semitism for months, and Corbyn has previously apologized for what he has described as "pockets" of anti-Semitism in his party.

Former U.K. Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has called Corbyn an anti-Semite and said comments revealed last week that Corbyn made about British Zionists five years ago were the most offensive by a senior U.K. politician in half a century.
Anti-Israel Satmar group forges UK rabbis’ pro-Corbyn letter
A hassidic group disseminated a letter in support of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has come under fire for supporting antisemites, in which the signatures of haredi leaders in the UK were forged.

The Jewish Community Council of North London tweeted overnight Tuesday to “confirm and clarify this letter is fake and bears no authority from any of the assigned names.”


The letter, purportedly from the leadership of London’s haredi umbrella organization, the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, claims to have the support of the UOHC’s Principal Rabbinical Authority Ephraim Padwa, Senior Dayan (religious court judge) S. Friedman, and 27 others.
BREAKING: Leading UK Rabbis have released a letter to repudiate the false notion that British Jews are against @jeremycorbyn and/or the @UKLabour .
"We feel it's necessary to clarify that Jews have no connection with these irresponsible remarks!
— True Torah Jews (@TorahJews) September 9, 2018
US takes on anti-Israel BDS activities on university campuses
The U.S. Education Department's Office of Civil Rights has decided to adopt the international definition of anti-Semitism, which defines Judaism not only as a religion but also an ethnicity and includes holding Jews responsible for Israel's actions as a form of anti-Semitism, Israel Hayom learned Wednesday.

According to a letter written by Assistant Education Secretary for Civil Rights Kenneth L. Marcus to the Zionist Organization of America, anyone who acts "to deny the right of the Jewish people to self-determination, on the grounds that the State of Israel's existence is a racist endeavor" or applies double standards to Israel that it does not apply to any other democratic country will be deemed an anti-Semite.

The ZOA lauded what it called the "groundbreaking decision," saying, "This definition accurately addresses how anti-Semitism is expressed today; it recognizes that Jew-hatred can be camouflaged as anti-Israelism or anti-Zionism. The OCR is not only reassessing the evidence already in the record; the agency is also going to determine whether a hostile environment for Jewish students currently exists at Rutgers [University]."

Pro-Palestinian activists in the United States have warned the move will hinder pro-Palestinian efforts as any such activity will be deemed anti-Semitic.
Daphne Anson: Rogues with a Brogue
In Belfast on Tuesday, heavily outnumbering pro-Israel counter-protesters, dozens of raucous members of an outfit calling itself BDS Ireland (part of part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement along with Sinn Fein) yell their opposition to Northern Ireland's first friendly football match against Israel in Windsor Park. Over 5,000 Israel-haters signed a petition demanding the match's cancellation, but the match went ahead, the home team winning by 3 goals to nil.


Footballer James Rodríguez Caves In To Israel Haters After Being Subjected to Online Abuse
Colombian footballer James Rodríguez, considered one of the best players of his generation, was recently in Israel. And he wanted his almost 100 million (!) followers on social media to know just how amazing it is here. So he posted the following on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

The Israeli flag triggered the haters, resulting in the young footballer being subjected to a barrage of hate – which he clearly was not prepared for. Unfortunately, he caved in, and replaced the tweet and postings with the identical picture and wording, sans Israeli flag.

Interestingly enough, his next posting is still up, despite clearly identifying Israel and not “Palestine.”
Honest Reporting: Surf’s Up in Gaza: Riding the Anti-Israel Wave
In a long and somewhat labyrinthine article in The Independent, author and academic Andy Martin focuses on a documentary film about a Palestinian surfing club in Gaza.

Feeding the prejudices of The Independent’s readership, every activity in Gaza, even leisure, is turned into an opportunity to attack Israel and spread inaccuracies and falsehoods.

Martin makes it crystal-clear what he thinks about Israel:
Set aside the whole dubious history of Israel, the events of 1948 that the Palestinians refer to as the Nakba (or “Catastrophe”), the Six Day War, the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the continued imperial expansion and slow-motion ethnic cleansing known euphemistically as “settlement”. Even set aside, most recently, the “Nation State” law that spells out, reiterates and reinforces a condition of apartheid. Do you want to know the final straw? They won’t allow surfboards into Gaza. They are obviously part of some sinister Hamas-inspired conspiracy. They may exhibit coded subversive messages on stickers applied to their decks, such as “Life’s a beach”, or “Surf’s Up, Dude”.

Are surfboards “illegal” in Gaza?

So let’s set aside the whole dubious references to “ethnic cleansing” and “apartheid” that Martin casually tosses into the water and deal with his allegations regarding surfboards. Are they really “illegal” in Gaza as the article and the headline suggest?
Merkel: ‘No excuse’ for far-right violence, attack on kosher restaurant
Chancellor Angela Merkel assured parliament Wednesday she takes seriously Germans’ concerns about crimes committed by migrants and pledged a strong response, but condemned recent demonstrations as “hateful,” saying there is “no excuse” for expressions of hate, Nazi sympathies or violence in response.

The comments come after the killing of a German man for which an Iraqi and a Syrian have been arrested prompted days of anti-migrant protests in the eastern German city of Chemnitz that at times turned violent.

Neo-Nazis were seen giving the stiff-armed Hitler salute in the largest demonstration, the day after the killing, which attracted some 6,000 people, and on the sidelines of the protest masked men threw stones and bottles at a kosher restaurant yelling “Jewish pig, get out of Germany.”

The day before, in spontaneous protests by hundreds immediately after the killing, several foreigners were attacked and injured in the streets.

Merkel assured lawmakers that her government was equally aware of its responsibility to take the wider concerns of the public seriously, and that it was working with “all resolution” on the issue.

“We are especially troubled by the severe crimes in which the alleged perpetrators were asylum-seekers,” she said. “This shocks us… (and) such crimes must be investigated, the perpetrators have to be taken to court and punished with the severity of the law.”
Pig guts thrown at office of Australian lawmaker whose wife is Jewish
The district office of an Australian member of Parliament whose wife is Jewish was targeted by racists who threw pig’s entrails at the front door.

The early Wednesday morning attack follows an earlier attack by the neo-Nazi group Antipodean Resistance on September 1 on another office belonging to the same MP, Labor lawmaker Mike Kelly, in which the group plastered swastika stickers on the door.

Mike Kelly’s wife is Jewish.

The attack involving the pig’s entrails took place in the New South Wales city of Queanbeyan, located just 10 miles from Australia’s capital Canberra. The swastika attack took place in the coastal town of Bega, 135 miles from Queanbeyan.

A former military attorney, Col. Mike Kelly joined the Australian military serving in Somalia, East Timor and Bosnia, and was among senior Australian military personnel who served in the Iraq War. In 1993, he was awarded the Chief of the General Staff Commendation.

“The series of attacks directed at my electorate offices are evidence of the need for constant vigilance and the confrontation of extremist groups in our country,” Kelly told JTA.

“If the perpetrators think that they will intimidate me into refraining from defending Israel or supporting our Jewish community they are deluded,” Kelly said. “Actions like this only spur me to greater efforts and commitment. I have faced much worse threats in my Army career and I will continue to fight racism and ignorance wherever I find it.”
Database helps Jewish families obtain properties' restitution in Poland
In the small park behind the only synagogue in this city to have survived World War II, Yoram Sztykgold looks around with a perplexed expression.

An 82-year-old retired architect, Sztykgold immigrated to Israel after surviving the Holocaust in Poland. He tries in vain to recognize something from what used to be his childhood home.

“It’s no use,” he says after a while. “To me this could be anywhere.”

Sztykgold’s unfamiliarity with the part of Grzybowska Street where he spent his earliest years is not due to any memory loss. Like most of Warsaw, his parents’ apartment building was completely bombed out during the war and leveled, along with the rest of the street. His former home is now a placid park that is a favorite hangout for mothers pushing baby carriages and pensioners his age.

The dramatic changes in Warsaw’s landscape have bedeviled efforts for decades to obtain restitution for privately owned properties like Sztykgold’s childhood home, making it difficult for survivors like him to identify assets that may have belonged to their families.

But for many restitution claimants in the capital, identifying assets will become easier thanks to a recent breakthrough with an unlikely source: the establishment of a first-of-its-kind searchable database. Users need only type in the name of their family to obtain a complete overview of all the assets they may claim under a new restitution drive in Warsaw.
Israel’s Ride Vision plans to make motorcycling safer
As the race heats up toward the launch of autonomous vehicles, state-of-the-art technologies like ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) are being designed to prevent collisions. But motorcycles have been largely overlooked in the process.

According to a 2018 US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, fatalities in traffic crashes occur nearly 28 times more frequently for motorcycles than for passenger car occupants, and motorcycle drivers comprise 17 percent of all driver- and passenger-related fatalities. There were 5,286 fatal motorcycle crashes in 2016 in the US, a 5.1 percent increase from 2015, according to NHTSA.

Uri Lavi and Lior Cohen are avid motorcycle riders who want to bring computer safety smarts to two-wheelers. Their company Ride Vision just raised a $2.5 million seed round from YL Ventures for its patented CAT (Collision Aversion Technology) for motorcycles.

Lavi and Cohen previously worked together in Israel’s homeland security industry. Lavi went on to become CEO of PicScout and brought in Cohen to serve as VP of R&D.

PicScout developed a technology for identifying images on the web that may have been used or modified without permission and then notifying the copyright owners. The company was acquired in 2011 by Getty Images for $20 million.

Lavi and Cohen gained expertise in technologies such as artificial intelligence, neural networks, computer vision and threat detection that is relevant in their newest venture, though it is quite different.
’70s rock band America heading to Israel to ‘give everyone a night off’
When Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley of the soft rock band America finally arrive in Israel for their long-planned October 9 and 10 performances in Caesarea, they intend to not only entertain the crowds, but also to learn a little about the country.

“We’re all geared up to see stuff,” said Bunnell, who splits his time between homes in Wisconsin and Los Angeles, and has never been to Israel.

Bunnell, 66, and Beckley, 65, are two of the original members of the 1970s-era band, which has been performing continuously since it began as a high school cover band.

They had planned to perform in Israel in the summer of 2014, but canceled due to the conflict in Gaza.

Even now, said Bunnell, speaking from his lakeside home in Wisconsin, he doesn’t know that much about Israel and its political situation.

“Every place has their issues, and I have to profess, I’m not versed in Israel,” he said. “I obviously follow the news, but the region is new to me. It’s just a matter of us going in with our eyes wide open and enjoying it. Our job is to entertain people; we’ve always made that point.”
Kim Kardashian signs deal with Israeli eyewear company
World-famous supermodel and reality TV star Kim Kardashian West will be heading back to Israel next year.

Israeli sunglasses company Carolina Lemke Berlin announced Wednesday that Kardashian West has signed a deal to join Bar Refaeli - the face of the brand - in an upcoming collaboration.

Supermodel and reality TV star Kim Kardashian West will be heading back to Israel next year.

Israeli sunglasses company Carolina Lemke Berlin announced Wednesday that Kardashian West has signed a deal to join Bar Refaeli – the face of the brand – in an upcoming collaboration.

The supermodel will fly to Israel in March “for a visit as part of our cooperation,” the company said. In addition to appearing in advertisements for the brand, Kardashian West will also design her own line of glasses for a limited-edition series sold by Carolina Lemke.

In a press release on Wednesday, the company said it selected Kardashian West, “the most famous woman in the United States, to be the face of the brand for at least two years, beginning in summer 2019.” The company said it will also be launching a website aimed at selling its products in the United States. Until now, the brand has been focused on Israel and Europe.
Afghan man sends gravely ill kids to heart center in Israel
Noorina is five years old and lives in Afghanistan. In July, her father brought her to Israel for lifesaving heart surgery arranged by Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), an Israeli medical charity based at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon.

When she is older, Noorina may be surprised to learn that an Afghan stranger willingly put himself and his family at risk to give her the gift of health.

Noorina was the fifth child from Afghanistan sent to SACH through the efforts of that same young Muslim father, who asked ISRAEL21c to call him Jangzapali, a pseudonym to hide his true identity.

“Jangzapali,” he explains, “means ‘victim of war.’”

Jangzapali is involved in all types of charity work and has built up an international social-media network over the past few years. Children needing urgent medical care are his top priority.

“Almost 10,000 [medical need] cases are registered with the Afghan Red Crescent. They are unable to do all cases, so through our broad network on social media, we arrange surgery for poor children in Afghanistan or India. For complicated cases they cannot handle, we work with Save a Child’s Heart,” he says.
Artist turns Kassam rockets into flowers and mezuzahs
Holding aloft a missile fragment, Gaza-area artist Yaron Bob explains to a Kann interviewer that not long ago the projectile had penetrated an Israeli car.

"The incredible Iron Dome is Israel's missile defense system. When rockets are fired into Israel, the Iron Dome shoots a missile to intercept the rocket, preventing destruction and the murder of innocent lives," says the description of one item on Bob's website.

"Bring Israel's heavenly protection into your home with this limited-edition Mezuzah made from an actual Iron Dome missile!"

"I cut it into rectangles, polish it, and craft the mezuzot. My mezuzot get grabbed up all over the world. They cost between $150-200."

Asked how much profit he can extract from a single Kassam missile, Bob makes a quick calculation and answers "About $2,000 per Kassam."

A tour of his storage area reveals a representative variety of the weapons constantly aimed at Israel's children: "Here are rockets that fell a month ago; this one's a 120mm, this one's a Grad. Wanna see a whole Grad?" he asks deferentially, and lifts one from the pile. "Made in China," he says. "This one here fell in Dimona."

The interviewer asks Bob,"How do you have all these types?" and Bob retorts, "How do they?"




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          Woke Goyims! What is This, an Epidemic of Truth Breaking Out?      Cache   Translate Page      
Don't know when this was printed, but the Afghan deaths number is woefully low. Then one would have to add the 100,000 or so Libyans and the 500,000 Syrians butchered while bringing the peculiar American style of liberty to their nation. And yes, the Yemeni slaughter is also part of this murder on an industrial scale.
Copied these comments from an article by Phillip Giraldi at UNZ.com, "Target Syria: Will a new war be the October Surprise?"
Tom Welsh says: September 11, 2018 at 8:00 pm GMT

The founders of the state of Israel took the land which it now claims from its real owners by unlimited violence, simply killing everyone who resisted. If, for 70 years, the Palestinians have “refused to come to a deal”, it is for the same reasons that the victims of murder and robbery do not agree to “a deal” with the criminals who murdered their families and robbed them of their ancestral possessions.

Remind me, what is the statute of limitations on murder, robbery and genocide? Are Israelis to be forgiven sooner than Nazis who committed identical crimes?
"How do you like your new-found freedom kids? What's that, speak up, I can't hear you?"
steinbergfeldwitzcohen says: September 11, 2018 at 8:05 pm GMT

Pretty clear: nutty Haley is a whore who will say anything she’s told. So Mr Trump, is anyone ever fired in your admin?
I am seeing clear signs Trump is a puppet or incompetent

Anonymous[299] • Disclaimer says: September 11, 2018 at 9:36 pm GMT

The biggest tragedy here is that the (((people))) in control of the US/UK/France want a war against Iran/Russia/China. Their speciality is goyim-on-goyim slaughter and the WW3 is actually necessary for their messianic ambitions. Their plan is to watch it from underground bunkers and rule over whatever is left afterwards.

That’s why I said “it’s only a matter of time”. They will never stop on their own.
My favorite!
jacques sheete says: September 11, 2018 at 11:58 pm GMT • 100 Words

Are Israelis to be forgiven sooner than Nazis who committed identical crimes?

Apparently they are. Just like the crimes of the Commies have long ago gone down the memory sewer.

PS: Any crimes of the Nazis likely paled in comparison to what the Reds had been up to for decades prior. And compared to what Churchill and FDR did. Maybe it’s time to ditch corny, goofy old war propaganda; huh?
You protest, and with justice, every time Hitler jails an opponent; but you forget that Stalin and company have jailed and murdered a thousand times as many. It seems to me, and indeed the evidence is plain, that compared to the Moscow brigands and assassins, Hitler is hardly more than a common Ku Kluxer and Mussolini almost a philanthropist. If you will denounce the orgy of sadistic fury that has gone on in Russia in terms at least as violent as those you have applied to your political opponents for years past, then I’ll be glad to print your denunciation, and to hail you with joy as a convert to fair play.
- H. L. MENCKEN Baltimore, letter to Sinclair Lewis, 1936
The American Mercury, Vol 38, No. 150, June 1936, THE OPEN FORUM, pp vi- vii.
(Another quote from the intransigent Mr. Mencken regarding patriotism)
"Patriotism: A variety of hallucination which, if it seized a bacteriologist in his laboratory, would cause him to report the streptococus purogenes to be as large as a Newfoundland dog, as intelligent as Socrates, as beautiful as Mont Blanc, and as respectable as a Yale professor."--A Book of Burlesques, 1920
This Syrian baby saw American patriotism up close, too close.
The most WOKE Goyim in the 'Comments' section:
DESERT FOX says: September 11, 2018 at 12:51 pm GMT

The Zionist and Zionist controlled deep state attack on 911 was used as a fraudulent excuse to attack Iraq and Afghanistan and the attack was the result of the plan of the Zionists to benefit Israel and the Zionist goal of a NWO.

Then this plan for the destruction of the Mideast was used to include Libya and Syria in their diabolical scheme and so Libya was destroyed and Syria was next on the Zionist chopping block and so AL CIADA aka ISIS and all the branches of this demonic cabal were armed and funded by the U.S./ISRAEL/BRITAIN and NATO and unleashed on Syria.

Then Syria on the brink of defeat requested the help of Russia and with the help of Russia the tide was turned and the whole scheme of the unholy trinity of the U.S./ISRAEL/BRITAIN was exposed and shown to the world to be entirely a Zionist plan for destruction of not only Syria but the Mideast.

Thank God for Putin and Russia and Assad and Syria for standing up against the Zionist NWO and defending Christians in Syria.
Another very astute Goyim!
JoaoAlfaiate says: September 11, 2018 at 1:32 pm GMT

American concern for the folks in Idlib would be a bit more convincing if Uncle Sam hadn’t bombed Mosul and Raqqa to powder while killing thousands of civilians. And what about the Saudi bombing of the Yemen using US weapons and US refueling a/c in which just recently 40 school kids were killed? Looking a bit further back, there were the 500,000 kids the US starved in Iraq which Madeline Albright stated was “worth in” to keep Saddam in his box? Yeah, we really have a great concern for Arab civilians; what a bunch of lies!

What this is all about is trying to reverse Assad’s victory in the civil war in his own country in which the terrorists were funded and armed by the US and its allies. It’s all about bring chaos and disaster to another Arab country for Israel’s benefit. Regime change is a joke; the Israel Firsters dominating our foreign policy didn’t care a wit what American intervention brought to Iraq and Libya; creating failed states was quite enough.

The danger here, of course, is that the Russians have a formal alliance with Syria and an attack on Syria is bound to kill Russians and could lead to WW3. Only Israel’s friends here care enough about who runs Syria to risk WW3. Most of the rest of us couldn’t care less who governs Syria and would prefer to let the Syrians sort things out. But Israel’s supporters here have a different agenda which puts us all at risk. And it sure looks like once again we are going to attack one of Israel’s enemies for Israel’s benefit.
American freedom, the taste of lead with a side of hot shrapnel..

Whether it's Syria or Occupied Palestine or Lebanon or Iraq or Libya or Yemen, wherever Israel's bitches get told to attack and destroy, they do it almost gleefully, with children being one of their favorite targets:
And then there is this bit of 20-20 foresight:


Why are the biggest blood-thirsty war mongers chicken shits when it comes time for THEM to get shot at? Like these pieces of human slime, who must need to watch Muslims getting murdered by the thousands to become sexually aroused.
A lie about Mike Pompeo’s Gulf War service started with an anonymous Wikipedia edit

US Central Intelligence Agency director and Army veteran Mike Pompeo never served in the Gulf War.

But that’s not what prominent members of the US Congress and major media outlets have said in articles and in public statements in recent months. Pompeo was never deployed there, the CIA says.

The fake claim seems to have first appeared in public in a Wikipedia biography of Pompeo, which was changed anonymously in December 2016. Pompeo has never repeated it himself, but he and the CIA have never corrected the prominent error.
My money is on that fat turd Pompeo or he ordered a flunky to post the LIE.

Just think of the possibilities if the spineless bitch had served! The SOB could of gotten a lead taste of his own medicine and comfortably resting in some National Cemetery, or be plagued with the Gulf War illness, which has disabled tens of thousands of American cannon fodder. Or realize that war isn't fun and not always be agitating to send more of our troops to fight and die for the glory of Apartheid Israel and the bottom line of those TBTF Wall Street banks casinos.

Now we know why Israeli CRIME MINISTER Netenyahu told his tool Trump to hire Nutty Nikki Haley as US rep to the UN. She's a true Shabbos Goy, always ready to serve Israel's interests, not the USA's. Her arrogance, lies and tantrums she throws at the UNGA should be an embarrassment for all Americans. But I bet the phony Christian Evan-genitals just love the crazy bitch, since they know she can help bring about Armageddon, so Jesus can come back and Rapture them to Heaven. Except the stupid, clueless morons don't know--or won't admit--that the word Rapture doesn't appear in the Bible.
Nutty Nikki is 'making her bones' at the UN, showing the Zionist Jews that she's more than qualified to be the next Israeli ass-kissing war monger to install in the WH.

Wonder how long it took Nutty's lip muscles to stop getting sore from all that Israeli ass-kissing she's done?
NEVER FORGET that Israel masterminded the 9/11 False Flag and for damn sure, NEVER FORGIVE those loathsome SOBs for that day.

These former living beings never forgot the horrible crimes they were ordered to commit by the Pentagon. Their conscience finally overwhelmed their desire to live with those scenes, so they took the FINAL way out. An actual FINAL SOLUTION.
Suicide among U.S. military veterans higher in certain states

2017: “… 20 veterans a day commit suicide. The numbers come from the largest study undertaken of veterans’ records by the VA…”
P.S. One more quote from Mr. Mencken. Seems like some of our current malaise has been going on for quite some time:
(4) H. L. Mencken, review of The Goslings by Upton Sinclair (Baltimore Sun, 23rd February, 1924)

Upton Sinclair's assumption that it is the aim of the public school to fan the intelligence and to produce large numbers of alert and curious youths of both sexes is foolish. The state maintains its control of elementary education, not primarily to reduce illiteracy and turn the eyes of the plain people toward the stars, but to make sure that they are not taught anything that is subversive. Public education is thus a police measure. The goal it moves toward is perfect standardization, perfect discipline, perfect imbecility. Mr. Sinclair denounces it bitterly because it is succeeding. He is a romantic fellow, and life is constantly shocking him. But he has written instructive and amusing book.

          Protests dash Iraqi PM's chances of new term, hit U.S. hopes of shaping government      Cache   Translate Page      
Violent protests in the Iraqi city of Basra have all but ended U.S.-backed Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's chances of winning a second term and shattered Washington's hopes of shaping the next government.

          Sox things beat am looking field wholesale jerseys from china      Cache   Translate Page      
He also helped the United States capture a gold medal at the 2017 IIHF World Championship, and he helped USA earn a MLB Authentic Jerseys bronze medal while serving as the team’s captain at the 2016 IIHF U18 World wholesale jerseys from china Championship. It’s priced at just Wholesale Iraq Jerseys $25 and is part […]
          Does deployment-related military sexual assault interact with combat exposure to predict posttraumatic stress disorder in female veterans? - Gross GM, Cunningham KC, Moore DA, Naylor JC, Brancu M, Wagner HR, Elbogen EB, Calhoun PS, Kimbrel NA.       Cache   Translate Page      
The objective of the present research was to expand upon previous findings indicating that military sexual trauma interacts with combat exposure to predict PTSD among female Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans. Three hundred and thirty female veterans completed ...
          Iranians attend funeral for soldiers killed in Iran-Iraq war      Cache   Translate Page      

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Thousands of Iranians have attended a massive funeral for 135 soldiers, 30 years after the end of the 1980s war between Iran and Iraq. Caskets draped in the Iranian flag in the capital Tehran on Thursday were encircled by mourners, many of them weeping. State TV reported that only 17 bodies ...

The post Iranians attend funeral for soldiers killed in Iran-Iraq war appeared first on New Country 923.


          Mass funeral held in Tehran for unidentified martyrs      Cache   Translate Page      
Tasnim – People in Iran’s capital of Tehran attended funeral processions for 135 unidentified martyrs whose bones have been recently unearthed 30 years after the end of the Iraqi imposed...
          Finding a way out of the war against Syria      Cache   Translate Page      


Image result for war against syria
The White House is unable to extricate itself from the war in Syria. President Trump is hindered both by the self-proclaimed « stable state » (according to the anonymous op ed in the New York Times), which continues to pursue the Rumsfeld-Cebrowski strategy, and by the reactivated ambitions of his Israëli, French, British and Turkish allies. The logic of these interests could displace the war instead of resolving it.
Although the White House and Russia have agreed to end the proxy war fought by jihadists in Syria, peace is a long time coming. Why?

Why is there a war against Syria?

Contrary to the idea carefully sown by seven years of propaganda, the war against Syria is not a « revolution which went wrong ». It was decided by the Pentagon in September 2001, then prepared for many years, admittedly with a few difficulties.
A war in preparation for a decade
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The preparation of the war is explained in depth in Thierry Meyssan’s latest book. It is already available in French, Spanish, Russian and Turkish. It will be published in September in English, Arab and Italian.
A reminder of the main stages of the planning of the war:
- In September 2001, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld adopted the strategy of Admiral Arthur Cebrowski, which specified that the state structures of half of the world had to be destroyed. For those states whose economy is globalised, the United States would control the access to the natural resources of those regions not connected to the global economy. The Pentagon commenced its work by « remodelling » the « Greater Middle East » [1].
- On 12 December 2003, George Bush Jr. signed the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act. From that moment on, the President of the United States enjoyed the right to go to war with Syria without having to ask Congress for approval [2].
- The Lebanese civil war (1978-90) ended with the Taif Agreement. At the request of the Arab League, and with the approbation of the UN Security Council, the Syrian Arab Army came to the assistance of the Lebanese army in disarming the militias, then, acting as a Peace Force, stabilised the country. Thereafter, Israël accused Syria of having occupied Lebanon, which makes no sense at all. [3]
- In 2004, during the summit of the Arab League in Tunis, President Ben Ali attempted to push through a motion authorising the League to legitimise the use of force against member states who refused to respect the League’s brand new Human Rights Charter.
- In 2005, the CIA organised the Cedar revolution in Lebanon. By assassinating Sunni leader Rafic Hariri and blaming the Christian President of Lebanon and the Alaouite President of Syria, they hoped to trigger a Sunni uprising against the Syrian Peace Forces. With the Marines ready to disembark in Beïrut, Syria withdrew on its own initiative, and the tension was dissipated [4].
- In 2006, Dick Cheney tasked his daughter Liz with creating the « Iran Syria Policy and Operations Group ». They organised the Israeli attack against Hezbollah, thinking that they would be unable to resist for long. US Marines were then intended to disembark in Beïrut and continue their march of « liberation » on Damascus. However, the operation failed, and after 33 days of combat, Israël had to retreat [5].
- In 2008, Washington once again tried to create conflict with Lebanon as its flash point. Prime Minister Fouad Siniora decided to cut the internal communications of the Resistance and to interrupt air transport with Teheran. Within a few hours, Hezbollah had inverted the Western military system and replaced all of its infrastructures.
- In 2010, Washington adopted the strategy of « leading from behind ». The Obama administration handed the attacks on Libya and Syria to France and the United Kingdom respectively (Lancaster House agreements).
- In 2011, beginning of military operations in Syria.
It is therefore absurd to speak of the war against Syria as a spontaneous event sui generis [6].
Indirect war
The original feature of the war against Syria is that although it was declared by states (the « Friends of Syria »), it was in reality fought almost exclusively by non-state armies, the jihadists.
During the seven years of this war, more than 250,000 combatants arrived from overseas to fight against the Syrian Arab Republic. They were without doubt little more than cannon fodder, and insufficiently trained, but during the first four years of the conflict, these soldiers were better armed than the Syrian Arab Army. The most important arms traffic in History was organised in order to keep the jihadists supplied with war materials [7].
The Western powers had not used mercenaries on this scale since the European Renaissance [8].
It is therefore absurd to speak of a « revolution that went wrong ».
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A war supervised by allies who have their own objectives

By asking Israël to attack Lebanon on their behalf, then by handing over the wars on Libya and Syria to France and the United Kingdom, and finally by using the NATO installations in Turkey, the Pentagon allowed its plan to be confounded by its allies.
Just as in all wars, the leading country has to promise its obedient allies that they will be awarded a return on their investment. However, with the entry of Russia into the war, Western victory became impossible. Every one of the United States allies turned progressively back towards its own strategy in the region. With time, the war objectives of the allies gained the upper hand over those of the United States, who refused to invest as much as they should have done, militarily speaking.
Israël
Pursuing the colonial ideology of some of its founding fathers, Israël implemented a policy of division intended to split its larger neighbours into a collection of small countries which were to be ethnically or religiously homogeneous. It therefore supported – in vain – the division of Lebanon into two states, one Muslim and one Christian, or again the creation of a Kurdistan in Iraq, then later in Syria. We do not have the Israëli strategic documents, but retrospectively, the line followed by Tel-Aviv corresponds to the « Yinon plan » of 1982 [9] or that of the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies of 1996 [10].
The Israëli strategy stayed within the limits of the « remodelling of the Greater Middle East » designed by Rumsfeld and Cebrowski. However, it did not have anything like the same objective – the Pentagon wanted to control the access to the region’s riches by the developed countries, while Israël wanted to ensure that none of its neighbours could become strong enough to challenge it.
The United Kingdom and France
The United Kingdom and France fell back on their colonial policy, as it was defined at the moment of the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the division of the Middle East (the Sykes-Picot agreements).
The British used a replay of the « Great Arab Revolt of 1915 » that Lawrence of Arabia had set up against the Ottomans. At that time, they had promised freedom to all Arabs if they would throw off the shackles of the Ottoman Empire and place the Wahhabites in power, This time they promised freedom if they would overthrow all their national governments and replace them with the Muslim Brotherhood. But neither in 1915, when the British Empire replaced the Ottoman Empire, nor in 2011, did the Arabs find their liberty. That was the « Arab Spring » plan of 2011 [11].
The French were seeking to re-establish the mandate on Syria which had been handed to them by the League of Nations. This was explained by Picot’s great-nephew (as in the Sykes-Picot agreements), ex- President Giscard d’Estaing [12]. And that is what President Hollande demanded during his visit to the United Nations, in September 2015. Just as in 1921, when France stood for the ethnic separation of the Kurds from the Arabs, it therefore defended the creation of a Kurdistan, not on its historic territory in Turkey, but anywhere, so long as it was on Arab land in Syria.
Turkey
As for Turkey, it dreamed of realising the promise of its founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the « National Pact » (Misak-ı Millî) [13], adopted by the Ottoman Parliament on 12 February 1920. Its intention was to annex Northern Syria, including Aleppo, and also to eliminate the Christians, including the Catholics in Maaloula and the Armenians in Kessab.
Turkey entered into conflict with the other allies – with the Israëlis because they sought to annex Northern Syria rather than making it autonomous – with the British because they wanted to re-establish the Ottoman Caliphate – and with the French because they sought to create an independent Kurdistan in Syria. Above all, it entered into conflict with the United States themselves because they made no secret of wanting to destroy Syria after having dismantled it [14].

How to escape from this war?

After seven years of combat, the Syrian state is still standing. The Syrian Arab Republic and its allies, Russia, Iran and the Hezbollah, are victorious. The foreign armies (the jihadists) have suffered a crushing defeat, but not their commanders – the United States, Israël, the United Kingdom, France and Turkey.
Not only has the war re-awoken the ambitions of the beginning of the 20th century, but none of the protagonists who have not paid for their defeat in blood are ready to abandon the fight.
It may seem stupid to want to start over with a war which has already been lost by the jihadists. The presence of the Russian army makes impossible any direct confrontation. Far from being eliminated, the Syrian population is now battle-hardened, ready to suffer even more hardship, and is much better armed than before. Above all, it has given the situation some serious thought, and is less manipulable than it was in 2011. However, just as before, Western political rhetoric has once again taken up its refrain « Bachar must go ».
Logically, therefore, the conflict will have to start again on another battle-field. While in the past, Admiral Cebrowski had planned to take the next stage of the war to Central Asia and the South-East, his successors will first have to finish the job in the Greater Middle East. They are currently studying the possibility of relighting the fire in Iraq, as we see with the spectacular about-face of the Rohani administration and the riots in Bassorah.


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

          Flushing the John (McCain)      Cache   Translate Page      
John McCain is thankfully gone.  The world is a lot better off and, certainly, even the US Senate feels a little cleaner these days.  The pushback against the revisionary hagiography around McCain needs to be confronted.  "Burial of a Bitch (Ava and C.I.)" remains the standard everyone else should strive for.  Ava and C.I. addressed McCain's war mongering in the Senate, they addressed his racism regarding the Vietnamese, regarding Arabs and regarding MLK, the addressed the roots of his family (slave owners) and their pretense that they never owned slaves.

Danny Haiphong does a good job of tackling these issues in a new piece at BLACK AGENDA REPORT:


Warmonger and capitalist pig John McCain died over two weeks ago. McCain supported Nazis in Ukraine and head-chopping terrorists in Syria. He enthusiastically encouraged the US invasion of Iraq and called for the bombing of Iran on numerous occasions. McCain was a rich descendant of slave owners who worked tirelessly in the interests of modern day slave masters otherwise known as the capitalist class.The one regret that any peace or justice seeking person on this earth should have is that he died without paying any price for his many crimes. However, McCain has been deified by the corporate media and official Washington over this period, making it difficult for those who didn’t already know better to understand McCain as anything but an American “hero.”
War is a bipartisan project and so is protecting and serving the interests of the ruling circle. It should be all too clear by now that the “Resistance” to Donald Trump within the US power structure is just a public relations stunt to sow popular consensus for war. The “Resistance” is comprised of the parasitic ruling class entities that huddled under Hillary Clinton’s big tent in the 2016 Presidential election. Notable “resisters” include the US intelligence apparatus, Wall Street, a large portion of the US military, and the leadership of both the Democratic and Republican Parties. The “Resistance” was out in full force to celebrate McCain’s life and used the occasion of his funeral to promote its “anti-Trump,” pro-war message.
Trump and McCain’s disdain for each other was no secret. McCain was a leading voice in promoting the idea that Trump was too “cozy” with Russia. McCain saw Trump as many in the ruling class currently see him: as a stain on the exceptionalist character of the political and economic system that rules the United States. The ruling class has always sided with McCain and defended him even when he was hurling racist epithets at the Vietnamese community or fervently opposing the existence of a Martin Luther King holiday. McCain’s illustrious career as a racist, imperialist running dog is no secret. To Democrats and Republicans, it was his service to the lords of war and finance that made him so heroic.
In fact, praise from McCain has come from all sides of the so-called “Resistance” to Trump. Congressman and Black misleader John Lewis called McCain a “warrior for peace.”  Former President Barack Obama eulogized McCain as a prime example of what it meant to be a “patriot.” Al Sharpton praised McCain for his defense of Obama during a town hall for the 2008 election after a participant called Obama “an Arab.” Of course, Sharpton didn’t mention how McCain opposed her comment on the basis that Obama wasn’t an Arab, but a “family man.”

John McCain's fat daughter got it wrong, he was a menace.


"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Wednesday, September 12, 2018.  In Iraq, it's never the officials fault, it's always the people of Iraq who get blamed.  In this case, killing protesters is a-okay but attacking a building is big time wrong.

In Iraq, the strife continues.  Hayder al-Abadi and the US government would like a second term for him as prime minister.  Iraqis are less enthused.  Michael Jansen (IRISH TIMES) reports:

Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has called on caretaker Iraqi prime minister Haidar al-Abadi to step down in the wake of protests that killed 12 in the port city of Basra and elsewhere in the Shia-majority south. “We demand the government apologise to the people and resign immediately,” said Sadr’s spokesman Hassan al-Aqouli.


Catch that?  Protesters killed.

It's a point far too many miss.  Like below in this ALJAZEERA report where the governor of Basra whines about the 'violence' but the violence is only when the protesters attacked buildings.






Basra's governor, Asaad al-Eidani, is a hypocrite on many levels (for those who don't stream, the image frozen above is Hayder al-Abadi, Assad's later in the video).  He's denouncing violence against property and that has to make many who know him chuckle.  When Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq, al-Ediani had a different view and it's that view that led to his arrest and imprisonment.

To ALJAZEERA, he whines about the destruction of property while insisting, "Any criminal act should be denounced regardless of who has carried it out."

Strange though, Asaad al-Eidani did not denounce any of the violence aimed at the protesters -- despite security forces killing protesters since July.


Mohammed Kadem, lost his father at an early age, recently married with a child, English language major, went out to protest and demand fresh water for his family, tonight he was killed with a head wound. Basra , Iraq
 
 



The governor also plays dumb on what fueled the last few days of protests.




By Tuesday, Iraqis incensed at the cold-blooded killing of Yasir had descended on the city's main municipal building calling for justice for the slain youth. Security...
 
 



THE NEW ARAB reports:


Protests against a severe lack of public services, including reliable electricity and potable water, erupted once more across southern Iraq last weekend, with the country's third largest city of Basra at their epicentre.

Protesters had been briefly placated after a summer of unrest by a combination of pledges to resolve chronic problems - along with mass arrests coupled with police brutality. However, demonstrators have now resumed their calls for accountability of corrupt officials and state mismanagement after government promises to resolve Iraq's infrastructure crises failed to materialise. 


But tensions escalated after a series of violent reprisals seemingly led by Iraqi counter-terrorism forces led to the deaths of seven protesters in two days.

Makki Yasir, a young Basran man, bled to death after he was shot in the shoulder on Republican Road in Basra's city centre on Monday. The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site reported activists saying security forces then engaged in a widespread campaign of arrests, with some witnessing abuses by officers. 


Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced an investigation into Yasir's death after the Iraqi Human Rights Commission denounced the excessive use of force by security personnel.

By Tuesday, Iraqis incensed at the cold-blooded killing of Yasir had descended on the city's main municipal building calling for justice for the slain youth. Security forces once again used live ammunition, but were this time met by protesters launching fireworks and Molotov cocktails at them. Six demonstrators were shot dead while 15 military personnel were injured.

While some politicians sought to blame demonstrators for the violence, the Human Rights Commission's Basra chief, Mahdi al-Tamimi, again laid blame at the door of the military and police, stating that they had "directly fired on protesters"

Also addressing Yasir's death on Monday, Tamimi said: "We call on the Iraqi judiciary to open an immediate investigation into the killing of a demonstrator who was shot in the shoulder and subjected to electric shocks by security forces."


The governor of Basra has nothing to say about the deaths of the protesters.  Apparently killing is not a crime in Iraq?

Killing is a crime.  You know what else is a crime?  Giving people polluted water that makes them sick.  That's the sort of crime that should be punished and, since the Iraqi government loves to execute so much, maybe it's time the Iraqi government sentenced the governor of Basra to hang?



Deadly protests have rocked Iraq's Basra after 30,000 people were hospitalised for drinking polluted water — in pictures
 
 
 




That 30,000?  The official number has increased.  Ibrahim Saleh (AA) reports, "At least 60,000 people have suffered temporary poisoning due to polluted water in Iraq’s southern Basra province, Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR), a parliamentary body, said Wednesday."
Asaad al-Eidani has been the governor of Basra for over a year now.  Maybe it's time the Iraqi government held people accountable?  The people of Basra have been in the hospitals due to the water.  Assad hasn't.  That would appear to indicate he knew what water to drink and ensured that he had it for himself.  But he didn't protect the people of Basra, did he?


And while we're noting who betrays the people and ignores violence against them, let's note Brett McGurk who Tweeted the following on Sunday.






State Department on situation in : “Under constitution, the right to peaceful protest and the duty to protect public and private property go hand in hand. The United States condemns violence against diplomats, including that which occurred today in .”




Brett McJerk never Tweeted one word about the approximately 70 protesters killed thus far by the security forces.  But look at him go when it's a building attacked.

al-Eidani and Brett fail to grasp that tossing around the term "right to peaceful protest" means defending the peaceful protesters.  Neither man has said one word in defense of the protesters.  But then the corrupt tend to only protect themselves.

This morning, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights declared:


We are concerned at the situation in the southern Iraqi Governorate of Basra, where for the past several weeks, people have been taking to the streets to protest against the lack of basic services, electricity and water shortages, pollution, and unemployment.
Protests escalated last week after drinking water supplies were found to be contaminated. According to the Ministry of Health, between 1 and 8 September, at least 11 people were killed in relation to the protests. This brings the number of people who have died since demonstrations began on 8 July to at least 20. In addition, more than 300 people have been injured in Basra since July, including 52 members of the security forces.
We urge the relevant authorities to investigate all protest-related deaths and injuries and hold those responsible accountable. 
Among the reported incidents, at least five protesters were reported to have been killed and 41 others injured on 4 September when unidentified attackers in a white van threw grenades at demonstrators in Basra City. On 7 September, protesters set fire to the Basra Governorate building for the third time, totally destroying it, as well as numerous other buildings.
There were further protests yesterday to commemorate those killed. No casualties were reported.
We call on the Iraqi State to heed the grievances voiced during the protests for their economic and social rights to be fully respected and for the rule of law to be upheld.
Since July, hundreds of protesters are reported to have been arrested, many of whom were subsequently released and at least 20 protesters are reportedly currently in custody. We urge the authorities to release immediately any person arbitrarily detained, in particular those who were protesting peacefully.  We reiterate the right of individuals to peaceful assembly and association, and also to freedom of expression.


Meanwhile, make way, Jane Arraf's waddling down the public street again.


raises flag at new diplomatic mission in after consulate was burned last week in protests. ambassador says US trying to ruin relations between Iran and , tells Trump Administration has wrecked decades of good relations between US-Iran.
 
 



As Jane waddles on by, let's all chuckle over this one "tells Trump Administration has wrecked decades of good relations between US-Iran."  Decades?  Which decades were those?  Before the fall of the Shah or after?  It wasn't the '00s because the US government was accusing Iran of funding and fueling strife in Iraq (or has everyone forgotten those government endorsed 'reports' by Michael Gordon?).  It wasn't the 90s and it sure wasn't the 80s.  So which "decades" were they?

Where's Human Rights Watch, by the way?  Surely the Executive Director, Middle East and North Africa Division, Sarah Leah Whitson, is focused on this and issues that truly matter, right?


 Wrong.



Sad to have such a pea-brain as a parent, literally disadvantaging her children. Growing multilingual children is a great gift to them and a great gift to society.
          Architecture Photography of the Fluid Heydar Aliyev Center      Cache   Translate Page      
Architecture Photography of the Fluid Heydar Aliyev Center
Architecture Photography of the Fluid Heydar Aliyev Center
abduzeedo Sep 11, 2018

Abdelmalek Bensetti shared a beautiful architecture photography post on his Behance profile. The photos are of the Heydar Aliyev Center, a 57,500 m² building complex in Baku, Azerbaijan designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid and noted for its distinctive architecture and flowing, curved style that eschews sharp angles.

The Center houses a conference hall (auditorium), a gallery hall and a museum. The project is intended to play an integral role in the intellectual life of the city. Located close to the city center, the site plays a pivotal role in the redevelopment of Baku.

The Heydar Aliyev Center represents a fluid form which emerges by the folding of the landscape's natural topography and by the wrapping of individual functions of the Center. All functions of the Center, together with entrances, are represented by folds in a single continuous surface. This fluid form gives an opportunity to connect the various cultural spaces whilst at the same time, providing each element of the Center with its own identity and privacy. As it folds inside, the skin erodes away to become an element of the interior landscape of the Center.

Architecture photography

All the pictures were taken by Abdelmalek Bensetti with a Canon 100D - 10-18mm, 18-55mm & 70-300mm. 


          Mushrooms and science      Cache   Translate Page      

 
Mushrooms.  No, I’m not talking about mushroom tea – but we can if you want.  Helen Briggs (BBC) reports:

 
They're all around us, in the soil, our bodies and the air, but are often too small to be seen with the naked eye.
They provide medicines and food but also wreak havoc by causing plant and animal diseases.
According to the first big assessment of the state of the world's fungi, the fungal kingdom is vital to life on Earth.
Yet, more than 90% of the estimated 3.8 million fungi in the world are currently unknown to science.
"It's such an interesting set of organisms and we really know so little about them," says Prof Kathy Willis, director of science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, which led the report.
"They're really weird organisms with the most bizarre life cycle. And yet when you understand their role in the Earth's ecosystem, you realise that they underpin life on Earth."
 
And they are pretty amazing as THE DAILY MAIL notes:
 

 
 
The study was undertaken by researchers from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and their report talks about a fungus found in a rubbish tip in Pakistan that is capable of breaking down plastics, such as polyester polyurethane.
It does so in weeks - rather than hundreds of years - raising hopes of new ways to tackle global plastic pollution.
Fungi living in plants can also break down molecules in plant cell walls directly into chemicals with similar properties to diesel. 
This could also help make biofuels more economically and sustainable than they are at the moment.
Fungus which can grow in extremely acidic conditions and tolerate high levels of gamma radiation could help clean up sites contaminated by radioactive waste, the report said.
 
 
Is that not amazing?  Most of us see mushrooms pop up whenever it rains.  Imagine the many uses for them.  James Masters (CNN) reports:
 

 
 
Scientists believe they may have found an unlikely ally in the fight against plastic pollution -- fungi.
A report published by London's Kew Gardens claims to have found a fungus that can break down plastics "in weeks rather than years."
Experts say the fungus, known as Aspergillus tubingensis, which was found in Pakistan, is capable of eroding plastics such as polyester polyurethane, which is often used in refrigerator insulation and synthetic leather.
 
 
 
Amazing.  I love to eat mushrooms, by the way.  My friend Maggie does not like them at all.  I always forget that until she, Toni and I try to split a pizza and suddenly, it’s “No mushrooms!”  She doesn’t like them, says they’re slimey.  I love mushrooms.  I love them on pizza, in pasta sauces, in salads, grilled, you name it.
 
Next time, if anyone wants, I can tell you about mushroom tea!


Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

 
Wednesday, September 12, 2018.  In Iraq, it's never the officials fault, it's always the people of Iraq who get blamed.  In this case, killing protesters is a-okay but attacking a building is big time wrong.

In Iraq, the strife continues.  Hayder al-Abadi and the US government would like a second term for him as prime minister.  Iraqis are less enthused.  Michael Jansen (IRISH TIMES) reports:

Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has called on caretaker Iraqi prime minister Haidar al-Abadi to step down in the wake of protests that killed 12 in the port city of Basra and elsewhere in the Shia-majority south. “We demand the government apologise to the people and resign immediately,” said Sadr’s spokesman Hassan al-Aqouli.


Catch that?  Protesters killed.

It's a point far too many miss.  Like below in this ALJAZEERA report where the governor of Basra whines about the 'violence' but the violence is only when the protesters attacked buildings.






Basra's governor, Asaad al-Eidani, is a hypocrite on many levels (for those who don't stream, the image frozen above is Hayder al-Abadi, Assad's later in the video).  He's denouncing violence against property and that has to make many who know him chuckle.  When Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq, al-Ediani had a different view and it's that view that led to his arrest and imprisonment.

To ALJAZEERA, he whines about the destruction of property while insisting, "Any criminal act should be denounced regardless of who has carried it out."

Strange though, Asaad al-Eidani did not denounce any of the violence aimed at the protesters -- despite security forces killing protesters since July.


Mohammed Kadem, lost his father at an early age, recently married with a child, English language major, went out to protest and demand fresh water for his family, tonight he was killed with a head wound. Basra , Iraq
 
 



The governor also plays dumb on what fueled the last few days of protests.