#India #Islamophobia #CAA #NRC: #DrZakirNaik: #BJP’s #fascism against #Muslims makes my heart bleed!

Zakir Naik: BJP’s fascism against Muslims makes my heart bleed | The Leaders-Online | 30 Dec 2019

Zakir Naik: BJP’s fascism against Muslims makes my heart bleed

The Citizenship Amendment Bill (and now Act) is another sinister law brought in by the Indian BJP government that goes on to reveal the fascist agenda it has always had.

Triple talaq, ghar wapsi (conversion to Hinduism), mob lynching, Kashmir: this was all merely preparation for subverting the Indian constitution. It merely set the tone for what the RSS — through this BJP government — wanted to do right from the day they came into power in 2014.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill, now passed by the BJP government, is unconstitutional because it differentiates between people based on their religion. The constitution of India does not allow the state to choose one religious group over others. CAB does exactly that. It chooses which religious group to take in and which to exclude.

The National Register of Citizens (NRC), meanwhile, asks Indians to prove their citizenship based on documents from 50 years ago. When this exercise is taken up across India, as is shown in Assam NRC, the poor as well as the minorities will be singled out and made stateless. Both the initiatives of this BJP government are designed to create chaos in a country that is already struggling with economic slowdown, job losses and social unrest. The two pet projects of the BJP will ruin the country and everything our previous generations worked hard to build.

This government’s brutal actions in Delhi, Aligarh and Assam, in which several youngsters have been killed and hundreds of others injured, only shows that BJP is ready to use brute force to meet its political ambitions.

In Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Jamia University the police used tear gas, rubber bullets and lathi charges to beat up students who were protesting non-violently against the CAB and NRC. There are reports that police and paramilitary personnel got inside the hostels and set fire to students’ rooms and personal belongings.

Assam has been burning for several days now. The situation in the North East turned gruesome several days back with reports indicating that several people were killed by police bullets and hundreds were critically injured. The BJP has effectively set India on fire.

But the CAB and NRC will prove to be BJP’s undoing. The people of India are furious. Even though the bill singles out Muslims, the secular Indians know that it is highly divisive and designed to subvert all minorities one by one. The nationwide protests and the involvement of Indians irrespective of their religion is proof of that.

My heart goes out to the youngsters brutalised and injured by the police and paramilitary forces, and to the families of those killed senselessly.

We feel your pain. We feel the pain of every civilian tortured for crimes they did not commit, every loved one whose heart grieves at the lives lost, every child haunted by the echo of gunfire.

To my brothers and sisters in India: do not assume for one second that because you are safe today, the oppressors will not come after you tomorrow.

Do not be deceived by the promises of a government that is right now inflicting unspeakable torture on your neighbours, friends and colleagues. This is a government that has betrayed its own people time and time again. And if we do not play our part to end this oppression, we will be the next victims.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “Verily, when people see an oppressor and do not prevent him (from oppression), it is likely that Allah will punish them all.” (Sunan At Tirmidhi, Vol 4, Hadith 2168)

My message to my Muslim and non-Muslim brothers and sisters is to continue their fight against oppression. But we must fight the right way—the Islamic way, the way adopted by Mahatma Gandhi.

Fighting fire with fire will only multiply the scale of destruction: the flames of oppression can only be extinguished by justice. We must fight injustice and tyranny without hurting people, without damaging public property, without letting our resentment turn into hate. Our anger against the oppressors must not lead us to lose sight of justice and resort to oppression ourselves.

Allah says, “O you believe! Be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness…” (Al Quran 5:8)

If and when it comes to that, I fully support a total and complete civil disobedience of the NRC. We must refuse to participate in the NRC exercise by refusing to submit documents or furnish forms. No government can build detention centres for 30 crore of its own people, especially this BJP government that has bankrupted the government reserves and is running on borrowed money.

My fellow Indians have my full support in this fight against oppression and against the BJP’s divisive and destructive politics. It is a fight that has to be won. For the sake of the nation.

May the Almighty keep you safe.

Dr Zakir Naik is a prominent Islamic preacher

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of The Leaders Online.

#Justice #Peace #Inequality #Apathy #Disenfranchisement: Let’s remember the #MLK who wasn’t liked!

Let’s remember the MLK who wasn’t liked | Charlotte Observer Editorial Board | 14

Martin Luther King Jr. was not a well-liked man. He was one of the most polarizing figures in the United States during his final few years of life. He was not the cuddly creature we re-invent every King Day to lie to ourselves and our kids about how he only wanted us to get along. His approval rating began to rise only after he was no longer here to demand America live up to its ideals.

King wanted peace, but not at the expense of equality. He wanted little black girls and little black boys to play together, but not if it meant pretending racism didn’t exist. He respected authority, but challenged those wearing badges and carrying batons and sitting in the Oval Office.

A statue paying tribute to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. is unveiled on the state Capitol grounds in Atlanta last August [2018] AP


He wanted moral clarity, not cheap comfort. Were he alive today, he’d still be hated by those wedded to the status quo. Because he’d notice the poor still being vilified as lazy. He’d see large corporations, like Walmart, brag proudly about modest pay increases then quietly announce thousands of layoffs. The GOP would still have enacted a tax law skewed to the rich then pass work requirements for Medicaid benefits – something they have never required of wealthy Americans receiving government largesse. He’d know the government pays private collectors triple what they retrieve in back taxes from the low-income while high-income tax cheats skate.

That’s why we should shelve the “I Have a Dream” speech this King Day. It has been used too often as an excuse to not have to face hard truths or fight for the most vulnerable among us.

Play Video

Duration 2:04

Martin Luther King Jr. statue unveiled in Georgia

A statue paying tribute to civil leader Martin Luther King Jr. made its public debut Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, on the Georgia Capitol grounds in front of around 800 people including Gov. Nathan Deal, many other state political leaders and several mem

Let us instead remember when King refused to denounce protesters by saying “a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.”

And when he critiqued capitalism: “Again we have deluded ourselves into believing the myth that capitalism grew and prospered out of the Protestant ethic of hard work and sacrifice. The fact is that capitalism was built on the exploitation and suffering of black slaves and continues to thrive on the exploitation of the poor – both black and white, both here and abroad.”

And when he demanded “a radical redistribution of political and economic power.”

And when he said, “Whites, it must frankly be said, are not putting in a similar mass effort to reeducate themselves out of their racial ignorance. It is an aspect of their sense of superiority that the white people of America believe they have so little to learn.”

And when he was exasperated by those telling him to wait: “Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

He wanted justice and peace. If he could have only one, there’s no doubt which he’d choose.


#Nuremberg war crimes prosecutor: ‘Immoral’ Killing of the #Iranian #General!

A former Nuremberg war crimes prosecutor says the American public deserves to know the truth.

General Suleimani, right, with Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, at a religious ceremony in Tehran in 2015.
Credit…Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader, via Associated Press


To the Editor:

Now in my hundredth year, I cannot remain silent. I entered the United States in January 1921 as a poor immigrant boy, and I have felt obliged to repay the United States for the opportunities given to me.

I was an American combat soldier in World War II, and was proud to serve my country as the chief prosecutor in a war crimes trial at Nuremberg against Nazi leaders who murdered millions of innocent men, women and children.

The administration recently announced that, on orders of the president, the United States had “taken out” (which really means “murdered”) an important military leader of a country with which we were not at war. As a Harvard Law School graduate who has written extensively on the subject, I view such immoral action as a clear violation of national and international law.

The public is entitled to know the truth. The United Nations Charter, the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice in The Hague are all being bypassed. In this cyberspace world, young people everywhere are in mortal danger unless we change the hearts and minds of those who seem to prefer war to law.

Benjamin B. Ferencz
Delray Beach, Fla.



#HighCrime #Misdemeanour #Justice #Constitutionality: Why the #ChiefJustice must ensure a fair #Presidential #Impeachment trial!

Why the chief justice must ensure a fair presidential impeachment trial |


“The chief justice would almost certainly prefer not to have the formidable assignment of presiding over this impeachment trial, however, that is the command of the Constitution. It means that he should carry out his duties with the goal of providing justice to the president, the House, the Senate, and the American people, not feeling bound by the wishes of the parties.”

Conventional wisdom on the role of the chief justice in the impeachment of the president is that he is bound by Senate rules and maintains almost no independent responsibility to ensure fairness. That hands off view is based largely on Senate tradition and on how William Rehnquist handled his duties in the impeachment of Bill Clinton when there was agreement on the applicable procedures. However, the Senate trial is not simply a battle between the House and the president. Rather, the American people need to be sure that justice is done, and to achieve that, there are certain concrete steps that the chief justice can and should take during the trial.

Under the Constitution, the vice president presides over the Senate. In an impeachment trial of the president, however, that role is assigned to the chief justice. So although there are no written records for that important change, the substitution assures the public that the vice president would not make rulings that seem to favor his boss, or that would influence the trial in a way that might make his ascension to the Oval Office more likely.

An impeachment trial is not a criminal trial, but that does mean that the Senate may utilize procedures that violate due process. To prevent that from happening, the chief justice plays a critical role in ensuring basic fairness for everyone. Suppose the House decided to prove its factual case through live witnesses, and the Senate rules did not permit cross examination. In that case, the chief justice should not allow the rights of the president to be seriously undermined because the Senate rules so provide. The Framers almost certainly chose the chief justice to preside over the trial not just because they wanted a neutral officer who ensures fairness, but also because they did not want him to be, in the words of Brendan Sullivan when he had represented Oliver North, a potted plant.

The same approach should be applied within the situation more likely to occur in this impeachment. The House wishes to submit testimony from witnesses who did not show before its hearings, but the Senate rules do not provide for that. Because due process is a two way street, the chief justice could properly insist that the Senate must have a good reason for not allowing the House to obtain additional testimony because the trial is not just a contest between the House and the president, but a good faith effort to determine whether Donald Trump should continue in his office. Indeed, this is a decision that will affect every American in this country.

Then there is the matter of juror bias, either for or against conviction. In one sense there is nothing to be done here since there are no alternates eligible to serve in the Senate. Moreover, the chief justice cannot change the views of those who have already made up their minds. But if perfect justice through impartial jurors is unattainable, at least the appearance of a lack of bias is possible. At the start of the trial, the chief justice should therefore request, surely nothing more, that jurors refrain from making any public statements about the possible outcome of the trial so that the proceedings are not seen as a charade leading to a foregone conclusion.

During this trial, the principal issue is not likely to be what the president actually did, but whether his conduct rises to the level of an impeachable offense. Were this an ordinary federal trial, the judge would instruct the jury on the applicable law, but there are no such instructions applicable here. Nonetheless, it would not be appropriate for the chief justice to lay out his views on the law of impeachment and advise the Senate as such.
Rather, the chief justice should provide time for both the House and the president to provide the Senate their views on the law of impeachment as applied to the facts. In that way, the Senate and the American people can be given what are likely to be two competing visions of the applicable law of impeachment and then make their independent judgments as to the validity of those contentions and, in the end, the decision of the Senate.

The chief justice would almost certainly prefer not to have the formidable assignment of presiding over this impeachment trial, however, that is the command of the Constitution. It means that he should carry out his duties with the goal of providing justice to the president, the House, the Senate, and the American people, not feeling bound by the wishes of the parties.

Alan Morrison is a professor who teaches constitutional law and the Lerner Family Associate Dean of Public Interest at George Washington University.





#ForeignElectionMeddling #Ziolobby #UndueInfluence: #UK #AntiSemitism election row stoked by #Israel, #Labour report says!

Anti-Semitism election row was stoked by Israel, Labour report says |

Labour’s overseas members have been accused of “conspiracy mongering” after compiling a report that claimed the party’s anti-Semitism row was “stoked by Israel’s government”.

Charles James, author of a report which has been seen by The Telegraph entitled “General Election Part Two: Why didn’t we win?”, wrote: “Many of us believe that the row about anti-Semitism has been stoked by the government of Israel and its helpers in the UK.”

Citing a 2017 documentary produced by Al Jazeera, which explored the relationship between the Israel lobby and British politics, Mr James, who is secretary of the 3,500-strong group, wrote that the “government of Israel is putting significant efforts and finances into influencing British politics, including the Labour Party”.

He said the motive was to “prevent the election of a Labour government that will recognise a Palestinian state”.

The report also questioned how there could be anti-Semitism within the Labour Party when Ed and David Miliband, who are both Jewish, ran to be leader in 2010.

The anti-Semitism election row that engulfed the election was "stoked by the Government of Israel"

r James made reference to the fact that when Jeremy Corbyn met two Jewish organisations in 2018 to discuss anti-Semitism “many of these representatives had links to the Conservative Party”.

“Jeremy was conciliatory. He could have pushed back on his visitors by asking why they never addressed anti-Semitism in the Tory party,” he said. However, the report did acknowledge that there had been a Holocaust denier within the group and that, from “very clear” evidence, he was suspended and subsequently expelled.

The Telegraph has also seen Facebook posts by Colin O’Driscoll, co-chairman of the group. He wrote: “Anti-Semitism accusations are a sideshow, a convenient weapon being used on behalf of the Right in British society to derail Corbyn and his supporters.”

He also claimed that the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies were “overwhelmingly Tory supporters” who were “happy to participate in overheated hyperbole because it suits their class interests”. Mr O’Driscoll did not respond to requests for comment.

Mr James said: “If any member of my Constituency Labour Party has concerns, no doubt they will contact me.”

Jennifer Gerber, director of Labour Friends of Israel, said the report represented “the kind of conspiracy mongering and victim blaming that has been a constant feature of the anti-Semitism crisis under Jeremy Corbyn”.



ta-editorial2 (1)

If investigating foreign electoral meddling is a ‘thing’ both in US  and UK  then why on earth is Israel still exempt? Ziolobby’s organised lies go beyond breaking point. Undue influence and interference are actionable in law under every country’s constitution (cf, examples of recent UK inquiries into Russia, US & Saudi Arabia below) so why Israel is exempt and gets a free pass is long overdue for urgent remedy (on the basis of organised facts and Truth, ie, due diligence) Enough, the time for root and branch overhaul and reform is now!


United Kingdom elections:
Brexit referendum (Russia, U.S., Saudi Arabia, 2016)
[1] Russian interference in the 2016 Brexit referendum
There is ongoing investigation by the UK Electoral Commission, the UK Parliament’s Culture Select Committee, and the US Senate, on alleged Russian interference in the “Brexit” poll of 23 June 2016
[2] ‘UK investigates Brexit campaign funding amid speculation of Russian meddling’ (1 November 2017)
[3] ‘The UK’s election watchdog has now questioned Google over Russian meddling in Brexit’ (28 November 2017) Business Insider
[4] In May 2017, it was reported by the Irish Times that £425,622 had potentially been donated by sources in Saudi Arabia to the “vote leave” supporting Democratic Unionist Party for spending during the referendum.
F O’Toole, ‘What connects Brexit, the DUP, dark money and a Saudi prince?’ (16 May 2017) Irish Times
[5] Some British politicians accused U.S. President Barack Obama of interfering in the Brexit vote by publicly stating his support for continued EU membership.
“Barack Obama accused of interfering in British politics after recommending UK remain in EU”. The Independent. 25 July 2015.
[6] George Soros contributed £620,000 to the post-referendum ‘Remain’ political campaign.
Fletcher, Martin (1 June 2018). “Inside the headquarters of Britain’s anti-Brexit brigade”. New Statesman.



See the source image

See the source image

False #entitlement exponential, #disenfranchisement city blues:
New demands per the protocols of the muppets of Zion!👆

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What the #World Needs Now Is Sustained #AntiWar #Activism for #Peace in Our Time!

What the World Needs Now Is Sustained Anti-War Activism for Peace in Our Time | Stephen Lendman | stephenlendman.org | 13 Jan 2019

It’s vitally needed in the US nationwide, in other Western countries and elsewhere.

It’s needed in large numbers, staying the course longterm, reviving the Vietnam era anti-war spirit in America.

January 9 was “No War With Iran Day of Action,” protests held in 180 US cities nationwide — sponsored by numerous organizations, including Veterans Against the War, NIAC Action, Win Without War, CODEPINK, Peace Action, Public Citizen, Veterans for Peace, and many other anti-war groups. 

A Veterans for Peace statement said it “strongly condemns any and all US aggression (on) Iran and calls for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq,” adding:

“War with Iran would be yet another bloody disaster in the region and initiate another endless war.”

The organization endorsed anti-war days of action on January 9 and others to follow.

What’s needed is far more than action in the streets against war on Iran. Nationwide activism to end all US wars of aggression is vital, including ones waged by other means.

In the 1960s and 70s, activists and anti-war groups united against US war in Southeast Asia.

Students, workers, middle class households, academics, and others were involved in large numbers nationwide.

In 1965, anti-war activism gained momentum when the Pentagon began terror-bombing North Vietnam.

Protest marches rallied at the Oakland Army Terminal, the departure point for many troops to Southeast Asia.

Faculty members on US college campuses held teach-ins to educate students about the immorality, unlawfulness, and political foundation of warmaking.

In April 1965, a Washington rally by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) drew around 25,000.

Numerous anti-war events followed nationwide, thousands participating.

At a time before US military service was volunteer, resistance leaders urged young men to burn their draft cards in protest against war.

Underground networks helped draft resisters leave the country. Churches offered sanctuary. Anti-war activism among civil rights leaders provided more impetus, notably by Martin Luther King.

On April 4, 1967, a year to the day before his state-sponsored assassination, he delivered his memorable New York Riverside Church anti-war speech called “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.” 

Unmentioned by establishment media during annual Martin Luther King Day commemorations, he called the US “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today,” adding: 

“It’s “on the wrong side of a world revolution. We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence, or violent co-annihilation.”

“We must move past indecision to action. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.”

Silence is “betrayal,” he stressed, calling war in Vietnam “an enemy of the poor.”

“(I)t should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life (in) America today can ignore the present war.” 

“If America’s soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read Vietnam.”

“This madness must cease…We must stop now…We must continue to raise our voices if our nation persists in its perverse ways in Vietnam.”

He called for a “revolution of values…declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism — ending by quoting James Russell Lowell (1819 – 1891), saying:

“Once to every man and nation

Comes the moment to decide,

In the strife of truth and falsehood, For the good or evil side…”

That time is now, King stressed, his anti-war dream unfulfilled over half a century later, things today dismal than back then.

Calling US warmakers “criminals,” he stressed that ruling authorities in Washington and congressional supporters “committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world.”

Condemning the US as the world’s most villainous nation, he said “(o)ur only hope (depends on) declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.”

Sustained anti-war activism nationwide got Nixon to suspend US offensive action against North Vietnam on January 15, 1973 — signed by Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho in Paris, France on January 27, 1973.

In June, the congressional Church-Case amendment ended war funding, effective August 15.

On April 30, 1975, Washington ended its Southeast Asia involvement with a humiliating Saigon embassy rooftop pullout. 

It took years of sustained anti-war activism to achieve it, what’s needed today to end all US wars of aggression, withdraw US forces from regions where they rage, and slash military spending, turning swords into plowshares.

What happened before can happen again. It takes judgment, spirit, guts, and commitment — staying the course for peace in all active US war theaters, including ones waged by other means.

We have a choice. We can end wars of aggression against one nation after another or risk eventual nuclear war ending us.

If not now, when? If not us, who? If not soon, maybe it’ll be too late to save us. 

If that’s not incentive enough, what is?

VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.


My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”






Fr of Peace 2




#FriendlyFire #CollateralDamage: #Iranian #Entrapment of #Trump by the #DeepState!

The Iranian Entrapment of Trump by the Deep State | Junaid S. Ahmad | THE NATION | 12 Jan 2020

What we witnessed last week was unprecedented in international affairs: the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Suleimani, as well as a senior Iraqi military commander. Why did Trump decide to engage in this lawless, reckless act? Was it just because he hated the Obama-era nuclear accord that he unlawfully withdrew from? It is a little more than that and requires some background.

For Trump, this goes all the way back to his campaign and his first meeting with the Pentagon generals in his Oval Office. One of the reasons he was elected was because he spoke openly about ending useless wars, bringing troops home, etc. The Pentagon generals met him only once in his Oval Office in the White House, and furious at his views, demanded that all future meetings take place in ‘the Tank’ – what they call the Pentagon. There, they felt they would be in charge and Trump would have no choice but to take orders.
What has happened during the past three-plus years is a slow-motion coup d’etat against Trump since even before he entered office by the military-intelligence apparatus, or the Deep State, in alliance with the most nefarious sections of the Democratic Party. The contempt for Trump has had nothing to do with his vile racism, xenophobia, pathological lying, and imbecilic threats and tweets.
However, it did have to do with the veil of a multicultural, melting pot liberal Western order that he completely tore apart through his domestic bravado.

Internationally, it was somewhat the opposite. That entailed Trump’s campaign promises to end these endless, meaningless wars, make ‘deals’ with the North Koreans and start removing all these costly global US military bases, including in the Middle East.

This is what made elite political discourse in the US under Trump anything unlike in the 21st or 20th century. One has to go back to the US Civil War in the 1860s to find such intra-elite factional infighting.

When a former CIA director goes on national TV in the US and calls a sitting president’s behaviour as treasonous – the crime for treason being the death penalty – one knows that there are significant factions of the permanent military-intelligence complex, the Deep State, that have the CIA director’s back. Otherwise, such a remark by a CIA Director about the President of the United States would be unthinkable.

The intense frustration of the intelligence agencies at not being able to first oust Trump first for the absurd ‘Russiagate’ investigations lasting more than two years, and now a ‘Ukrainian-gate’ phone call scandal, has left them hopelessly restless.

Nevertheless, that does not imply that their incredible pressure on Trump on foreign policy has not coerced the president to accede to their demands some of the times. Whether it was halting any further diplomatic negotiations with North Korea, withdrawing from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, etc. as quickly as possible – the Deep State conveyed to Trump in no uncertain terms that these were ‘no-go’ areas for him and to not even try to interfere in these matters.

While the war hawk on steroids John Bolton, whose fantasy was wiping Iran off the map, had a short shelf-life in Trump’s administration, there still remains a Secretary of State who’s equally reckless, idiotic, and dangerous.

Mike Pompeo, along with a small neo-con faction of the Deep State, wanted Qasim Suleimani out of the picture for a variety of reasons.

First, Suleimaini understood the American forces in West Asia all too-well having worked closely with them both in defeating Taliban and ISIS forces – and Suleimani’s knowledge of the American military’s modus operandi was ‘too close for comfort.’

Second, whether you liked him or hated him, Suleimani was undoubtedly the most formidable commander (regardless of his country of origin) over the past decade in leading and guiding forces in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen – and perhaps other places as well – in defeating Salafi jihadis of the Al Qaeda and ISIS types. This fact is not merely some regional Shia hagiography of the man. This is the CIA’s own assessment.
Third, because of his mastery in the battles against and defence from these Salafi jihadi forces – routing them out everywhere they may crop up – Suleimani therefore became to be perceived as a threat to complete American hegemony over the world’s most energy-rich region. If a commander from a nation that the US despises the most can accomplish virtually any victory he so desires, plans for US domination of the oil resources and profits in the region, with ‘futures derivatives’ on the stock market on the price of oil in the pipeline, then the risk (of keeping this character in the picture) was deemed too great to Uncle Sam’s policy of ‘what we say goes’ here and everywhere.

And fourth and relatedly, if it is true that the Iraqi Prime Minister had received messages from the Saudis about wanting to open up diplomatic channels with Tehran since even MBS realised by now that he is not invincible and may even be dispensable for the Americans – then this same zealous faction of Pompeo-led neocon fanatics of the Deep State perceived this to be the absolute anathema to all of their designs over the region. In fact, it was precisely the prestige and influence of Suleimani that was needed by both the Iraqis and Saudis to make any such talks meaningful and substantive. The insane levels of contempt demonstrated toward Iran by this neo-con faction is not without any merit, I suppose. It is not Iran’s human rights abuses or theocratic rule that bothers them. What irks hawkish planners in DC is Iran’s independence and assertion of its own sovereignty since 1979, not playing the game as they should be like the surrounding quisling client regimes of the American empire.

Nevertheless, the devil here is most certainly in the details – because the details reveal plenty. So Gen. Suleimani, who for all effective purposes was considered to be the second-highest/most respected government official in Iran, was assassinated by a drone attack by the US in a so-called ‘partner country’ (Iraq) at the Baghdad airport, along with a senior Iraqi commander as well. Let us be clear: these are not paramilitary or militia leaders subject to an American targeted assassination program. These are senior government officials.

In an interview with one of the world’s most highly respected scholars of international law, and a world-renowned public intellectual for peace and justice, Richard Falk notes that no matter how incredibly dangerous moments sometimes reached during the Cold War, it was utterly unimaginable that the US (or the USSR) would directly, themselves, assassinate a senior serving government official of the other nation. Proxy wars would be fought between the two from Afghanistan to Southern Africa, but such a flagrant act, if done by the US to the USSR, for example, would probably have precipitated a nuclear response. That is how unthinkable it was to do such a blatantly unlawful act of, basically, international terrorism directed toward government officials.

To my knowledge, such were the tactics of the anarchists of the late 19th and early 20th century who had their own justifiable reasons for targeting certain oppressive rulers, czars, and state torturers. But of course, with regard to states and their behaviour, we have something called the United Nations as well as numerous treaties and conventions of which the US is a signatory – but is now catching up with Israel in casually and routinely violating both international and US domestic law on at least a weekly basis. In fact, it’s become so evident that the US has degenerated into a lawless, rogue state that even the normally docile Congress is finally saying wait a minute, the President will need our authorisation before he undertakes such an illegal international assassination again, and may even have the courage to play its constitutional role in declaring war first before allowing the executive branch to execute it.

And so what makes this whole dangerous psycho-drama even more interesting is the Iranian response to this unprecedented dastardly act against a government servant revered in his country and beyond – at the very least for fighting off Salafi jihadis trying to infiltrate every country in the region.

Tehran said it would respond, it informed Baghdad about what it would do, and then did it. Iranian ballistic missiles targeted the most Western-based military bases in Iraq to make three points: a) we don’t have to target the bases right on our border, our missiles can go way further than that; b) let’s see how great those missile defence systems of the Americans are, which were unable to intercept a single one of the ballistic missiles even though the Pentagon admits that it knew this was being planned; and c) unlike arrogant hegemonic powers who could care less about ‘collateral damage,’ our assault was a symbolic one to just send a message, not to harm or injure a soul.

Can anyone recall when is the last time a country harmed or bombed in some capacity by the US had the will power to respond in this way outside of the context of full-scale war? Twenty-four Pakistani soldiers were killed in the Salala massacre, Pakistan being a so-called ‘non-NATO ally’ – and the US even refused to issue an apology, causing the US ambassador to Pakistan to, in principle, resign. Pakistan is a country of 220 million with nuclear weapons and a military that dwarfs Iran’s. But we could not even imagine even ‘returning the favour’ – even symbolically. Our constant mantra is that ‘we’ll be bombed to the stone age’ for any independence and self-respect we demonstrate.

For DC think-tankers, chicken hawks, and their stooges across the Global South, the fact that the longest war in US history against one of the poorest countries in the world could not even be won, forget about the mess created in the Middle East with American actions only leading to the strengthening of new players on the bloc, such as Iran, Russia, and China – the fact that Iran had the audacity to retaliate like this should all speak for itself.

Rather, even more significant is President Trump’s speech the next day after the Iranian ballistic missile attacks. After blabbering for around seven minutes about how Iran is so horrible and that the US has big and tall weapons, during the last 1-2 minutes, he goes on to say that the US and Iran have a lot in common in fighting ISIS, should cooperate on various fronts, and that the US desires peace. If Trump goes, we will certainly miss these schizophrenic comedy acts!

It was clear that the dominant factions of the Deep State and their Wall Street friends conveyed the message loud and clear: Pompeo, please move to the side, and we will take over now. And now Trump will listen to them and tell Pompeo to take a break and go play some golf. The dominant factions of the Deep State realise that the neocon games of setting fire to the Middle East, and especially unleashing full Iranian and Iranian-backed force throughout the region, not to mention its utter and unshakeable control over the Strait of Hormuz, will wreck the global economy within a matter of days.

The second chance given to the neo-cons to try to pull off a ‘re-mapping’ of the Middle East has failed. The American empire is slipping and fading away, slowly and gradually but surely. If you give the war hawks a third chance, that decline won’t be so gradual. The American Deep State, with any of the sensible generals and politicos within it, have to make a decision whether their imperial landing (ending) will be a soft one or a hard one.



Let’s Talk About How Iran Could Have Shot Down A 737 Full Of Innocent PeopleTyler Rogoway | THE DRIVE | 9 Jan 2020

A lot had to of gone wrong to get us to this point and not just with a surface to air missile battery.

The Tor-M1 anti-aircraft defense system

The tragic loss of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752, a Boeing 737-800 with 176 souls on board, increasingly appears to have been a horrific mistake. Video of the airliner careening into the ground ablaze at around 6:12AM local time on January 8th, 2020 has permeated news headlines. It has also served as an unexpected and horrific aftershock to the unprecedented Iranian missile strikes on U.S. forces in Iraq that occurred just a few hours prior. Many are asking how an airliner taking off normally from a major international airport located on the outskirts of a capital city could simply be swatted out of the sky. Clearly, nobody has the complete answer to that question at this time, but there is certainly a lot to comprehend and ponder until we do. 

The Mindset Of Iranian Air Defenders

I don’t think most people comprehend just how unique the situation was and had been for those tasked with defending Iranian airspace at the time of the supposed shootdown. For nearly a week, Iran’s air defense network had been on high alert. Following the airstrikes on Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and the assassination of Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, the biggest crisis between the U.S. and the country in decades was unfolding. The rhetoric between the two bitter foes had quickly reached new heights with direct threats from President Trump about striking 52 target sets, some of which could include cultural sites important to the Iranian people and regime. American military might, including heavy airpower, was pouring in the region. A spark could ignite a war at any time—even one caused by a relatively minor miscalculation.

An aerial blitz, even a limited one, from the U.S. would look unlike anything Iranian air defenders had ever seen. The U.S. relies heavily on stealth technology, electronic warfare, and pointed cyber attacks that could make a familiar radar scope look alien in an instant. Stealthy aircraft and cruise missiles may appear fleetingly on those same scopes depending on the range, aspect, and type of sensor trying to track and engage them. Getting a shot off fast may be the only way of attempting to counter such a threat, if you are lucky enough to ever detect it at all. 

Iran’s military forces are far from homogeneous in quality and readiness. It is hard to predict how proficient the individuals at the controls of any given Iranian surface-to-air missile battery truly are, especially during a crisis when reserve forces are activated. The system suspected of shooting down the airliner, the relatively short-range Tor-M1, is not a high-end weapon, it is used mainly for point defense and for accompanying ground forces on the move. The quality of operator is likely significantly lower than those found in Iran’s long-range air-defense units that operate more capable and higher-end strategic air defenses, such as the S-300 and other indigenous systems.

After a week of being on extreme alert already wearing down their effectiveness, and with their country having just launched a truly unprecedented ballistic missile strike on U.S. forces in Iraq, even though the American president swore vengeance if such a strike were to occur, the stress and fatigue levels were likely very palpable. In fact, the ballistic missiles flew into Iraq at roughly 3AM local time and dawn was coming soon when the 737 went down three hours later. That makes for a long, very tense night after a long tense week, and if the U.S. were to retaliate, those weapons would arrive before sunrise. For the Iranian air defenders, the window of vulnerability was closing, but as a result, the risk of such a strike was also being compressed into that shrinking timeframe and magnified. 

For the personnel sitting in that cramped road-mobile air defense system on the western approaches to Iran’s capital city, which is rife with relevant targets, it would be an immeasurably nerve-racking situation that they would found themselves in around 6AM on January 8th, 2020.

Their SAM system was radiating gobs of RF emissions and positioned in the likely flight path of incoming American combat aircraft and missiles, making them a certain target for combat jets tasked with clearing an avenue for other attacks. Their radar, blazing like a bright flashlight in a dark room, was literally telling hostile forces where their location is, what they are, and that they need to be destroyed. Under those circumstances, death would likely come by a Mach 2 flying AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) launched off an F-16CJ or more likely via a slower, but highly accurate GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb launched from the weapons bay of a stealthy F-35. 

It was one horrible place to be and the worst time to be in it. It was also a breeding ground of circumstances that invites a hair-trigger and potentially devastating miscalculation. 

Technical Unknowns

Beyond the human factors involved, there are major technological unknowns that could have contributed to such a disaster. Iran imported just over a couple of dozen Tor-M1 air defense systems from Russia in 2007. So, these aren’t ancient SAM systems necessarily, but just how modern they were when they got delivered and what upgrades or tinkering they have been through, isn’t widely known, nor is their overall mechanical condition. The tinkering part is key as Iran has a fairly remarkable albeit at times puzzling organic weapons development industry that has been known to clone foreign systems into local production. They also modify foreign weapon systems to better suit their needs and sustainability demands. How much modification work had occurred on these systems in the 12 years since they have been delivered or how such work has modified their effectiveness, one way or another, is another unanswered question.

More importantly, we don’t know exactly how deeply intertwined the Tor-M1 units are with Iran’s greater integrated air defense system (IADS). In other words, the degree to which a Tor-M1 battery was operating independently of a greater aerial surveillance and command and control architecture is unknown, but it is a key factor that could have contributed to making such a mistake. I would bet that this system was operating without the benefit of any deep integration with a large IADS, which makes some sense when you think about its primary road-mobile, infantry-guarding mission set. Clearly, if indeed an Iranian SAM took the plane down, the crew’s situational awareness was compromised, both in terms of the overall tactical picture and what was going on with normalized air traffic in the immediate vicinity of the battery. We know for a fact that multiple flights continued to depart in the hours following Iran’s missile barrage and leading up to the shoot-down, so it’s not like the 737 appeared following a lengthy pause in operations at the nearby airport.

Then there is the question of technical issues with the battery itself. The doomed 737 was doing exactly what a 737 would when departing from that airport. The Tor operators would have seen that flight profile so many times that it would be burned into their consciousness—that is if the crew was familiar with the area. But even still, they watched the flights depart before the 737, and they didn’t shoot those down. With all this in mind, it seems probable more than possible that some sort of mix of malfunctioning gear and/or a lack of networking, paired with glaring human factors, lowered the crew’s ability to distinguish friend or foe and make quality decisions under complex circumstance to the point of catastrophe.

Sad Precedent

The depressing truth is that these types of incidents are hardly unheard of. The shooting down of MH17 over Eastern Ukraine surely comes to mind first. There are some similarities with this incident and the SA-11 Buk system used in that engagement is more akin to the SA-15 Tor-M1 than not. If the battery was operating independently of a greater integrated air defense network, that would also be another parallel.

But it isn’t just about America’s adversaries possessing potentially lower quality of gear, less well-trained personnel, and making blundering decisions under stress. Case in point, the American guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes infamously shot down Iran Air Flight 655 in 1988 during another highly tense situation. The ship was equipped with the most modern air defense system the world had ever seen and was staffed with a crew made up of sailors from world’s preeminent Navy, yet still, a confluence of stress, timing, and confusion, often referred to as the “fog of war,” resulted in the deaths of 290 innocent people.

During a running gunfight with Iranian fast boats, the cruiser’s crew mistook the Airbus A300, which was squawking properly and had been in English communication with air traffic control as normal just seconds before being shot down during its short flight between Bandar Abas and Dubai, for an Iranian F-14 Tomcat on a bombing run. The Airbus’s low altitude route, maxing out at around 14,000 feet, for the short flight, was a contributing factor to the confusion, although the Airbus was not even descending at the time the SM-2 missile struck it. Bandar Abas was also a major operating point for Iranian Tomcats. There were a number of other contributing factors, as well, which you can read all about here, including communications issues and unanswered warnings from the Vincennes. Regardless, it was a terrible thing that neither side wanted to see happen.

The loss of the Airbus A300 is still very visceral to the Iranian people and the regime uses the tragedy to stir-up anti-American sentiment to this very day. But above all else, the incident should work as a reminder that it isn’t always just failed or dated technology and badly trained personnel that can cause such a disaster. A series of unfortunate factors and missed opportunities for recognizing major issues can truly create a deadly cocktail that gets stirred up and poured too fast to realize what was even drank.

Beyond this especially relevant example, there are plenty of friendly fire incidents by various militaries, including the U.S. and its allies, where even the most advanced radar systems and military aircraft equipped with specialized identification friend or foe (IFF) gear couldn’t stave off tragedy. Whether it be the loss of a RAF Tornado GR.4 to an American Patriot battery during the opening of Operation Iraqi Freedom or the shooting down of an Indian Mi-17 helicopter by an Indian surface-to-air missile during last year’s flare-up of aerial violence with Pakistan near Kashmir, there is a well-documented and continuing history of these events.

Harsh Reality

If indeed Iran shot the plane down as it is increasingly believed, they are directly responsible for such a terrible miscalculation, but it didn’t happen on some random Tuesday morning. It happened during the highest point of tension between the two countries in decades. It may be quite inconvenient for some people to come to terms with the fact that this occurred, at least indirectly, because the U.S. and Iran cannot figure out a way forward that doesn’t include being on the brink of war with one another periodically.

The fact is that when the geopolitical situation is allowed to degrade to such a perilous point, the chances that major mistakes may occur skyrockets. And those mistakes can have huge impacts on countries and people who are not even involved with the ongoing crisis. The whole thing should serve as a powerful warning of the cost brinksmanship and how even limited conflict can spill into unintended areas, resulting in highly unfortunate consequences.

Thankfully no Americans died in the ballistic missile attacks on U.S. occupied facilities in Iraq on January 8th, 2020, and neither did any Iranian soldiers. But 176 people that had nothing to do with any of it may very well have died as a result of those actions and the situation that proceeded it. It just takes the wrong people in a position of great responsibility at the wrong time to transform the great potential for a horrific loss into reality.

Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com


#Refugees #RightOfReturn: Embracing #Palestine: How To Combat #Israel’s Misuse of #Antisemitism!

Embracing Palestine: How To Combat Israel’s Misuse of ‘Antisemitism’ | | ANTIWAR.COM | 10

At a talk I delivered in Northern England in March 2018, I proposed that the best response to falsified accusations of antisemitism, which are often lobbed against pro-Palestinian communities and intellectuals everywhere, is to draw even closer to the Palestinian narrative.

In fact, my proposal was not meant to be a sentimental response in any way.

“Reclaiming the Palestinian narrative” has been the main theme in most of my public speeches and writings in recent years. All of my books and much of my academic studies and research have largely focused on positioning the Palestinian people – their rights, history, culture, and political aspirations – at the very core of any genuine understanding of the Palestinian struggle against Israeli colonialism and apartheid.

True, there was nothing particularly special about my talk in Northern England. I had already delivered a version of that speech in other parts of the UK, Europe and elsewhere. But what made that event memorable is a conversation I had with a passionate activist, who introduced himself as an advisor to the office of the head of the British Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn.

Although the activist agreed with me regarding the need to embrace the Palestinian narrative, he insisted that the best way for Corbyn to deflect anti-Semitic accusations, which have dogged his leadership since day one, is for Labor to issue a sweeping and decisive condemnation of antisemitism, so that Corbyn may silence his critics and he is finally able to focus on the pressing subject of Palestinian rights.

I was doubtful. I explained to the animated and self-assured activist that Zionist manipulation and misuse of antisemitism is a phenomenon that has preceded Corbyn by many decades, and will always be there as long as the Israeli government finds the need to distract from its war crimes against Palestinians and to crush pro-Palestinian solidarity worldwide.

I explained to him that while anti-Jewish racism is a real phenomenon that must be confronted, “antisemitism”, as defined by Israel and its Zionist allies, is not a moral question that is meant to be solved by a press release, no matter how strongly-worded. Rather, it is a smokescreen, with the ultimate aim of distracting from the real conversation, that being the crimes of military occupation, racism, and apartheid in Palestine.

In other words, no amount of talking, debating or defending oneself can possibly convince the Zionists that demanding an end to the Israeli military occupation in Palestine or the dismantling of the Israeli apartheid regime, or any genuine criticism of the policies of Israel’s right-wing government are not, in fact, acts of antisemitism.

Alas, the activist insisted that a strong statement that would clarify Labor’s position on antisemitism would finally absolve Corbyn and protect his legacy against the undeserved smearing.

The rest is history. Labor went into a witch-hunt, to catch the “true” anti-Semites among its members. The unprecedented purge has reached many good people who have dedicated years to serving their communities and defending human rights in Palestine and elsewhere.

The statement to end all statements was followed by many others. Numerous articles and arguments were written and made in defense of Corbyn – to no avail. Only a few days before Labor lost the general election in December, the Simon Wiesenthal Center named Corbyn, one of Britain’s most sincere and well-intentioned leaders in the modern era, the “top anti-Semite of 2019”. So much for engaging the Zionists.

It doesn’t matter whether Corbyn’s party lost the elections in part because of Zionist smearing and unfounded anti-Semitic accusations. What truly matter for me as a Palestinian intellectual who has hoped that Corbyn’s leadership will constitute a paradigm shift regarding the country’s attitude towards Israel and Palestine, is the fact that the Zionists have indeed succeeded in keeping the conversation focused on Israeli priorities and Zionist sensibilities. It saddens me that while Palestine should have occupied the center stage, at least during Corbyn’s leadership years, it was still marginalized signifying once again that solidarity with Palestine has become a political liability to anyone hoping to win an election – in the UK and anywhere in the West as well.

I find it puzzling, indeed disturbing, that Israel, directly or otherwise, is able to determine the nature of any discussion on Palestine in the West, not only within typical mainstream platforms but within pro-Palestinian circles as well. For example, I have heard activists repeatedly questioning whether the one-state solution is at all possible because “Israel simply would never accept it”.

I often challenge my audiences to base their solidarity with Palestine on real love, support, and admiration for the Palestinian people, for their history, their anti-colonial struggle, and the thousands of heroes and heroines who have sacrificed their own lives so that their people may live in freedom.

How many of us can name Palestine’s top poets, artists, feminists, football players, singers, and historians? How familiar are we really, with Palestinian geography, the intricacies of its politics, and the richness of its culture?

Even in platforms that are sympathetic to the Palestinian struggle, there is an inherent fear that such sympathy could be misconstrued as antisemitism to the extent that Palestinian voices are often neglected, if not completely supplanted with anti-Zionist Jewish voices. I see this happening quite often even in Middle Eastern media that supposedly champion the Palestinian cause.

This phenomenon is largely linked to Palestine and Palestine only. While the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and the civil rights struggle in the United States – as was the case of many genuine anti-colonial liberation movements around the world – have strategically used intersectionality to link with other groups, locally, nationally or internationally, the movements themselves relied on black voices as true representatives of their peoples’ struggles.

Historically, Palestinians have not always been marginalized within their own discourse. Once upon a time, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), despite its many shortcomings, provided unified Palestinian political discourse which served as a litmus test for any individual, group or government regarding their position on Palestinian rights and freedom.

The Oslo accords ended all of that – it fragmented the Palestinian discourse just as it has divided the Palestinian people. Since then, the message emanating from Palestine has become muddled, factionalized and often self-defeating. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) has done a tremendous job in bringing about some clarity by attempting to articulate a universal Palestinian discourse.

However, BDS is yet to yield a centralized political strategy that is communicated through a democratically-elected Palestinian body. As long as the PLO persists in its inertia and without a truly democratic alternative, the crisis of the Palestinian political discourse is likely to continue.

Concurrently, the Zionists must not be allowed to determine the nature of our solidarity with the Palestinian people. While true Palestinian solidarity requires the complete rejection of all forms of racism, including antisemitism, the pro-Israel camp must be sidelined entirely from any conversation pertaining to the values and morality of what it means to be “pro-Palestine”.

To be anti-Zionist is not always the same as being pro-Palestine, the former emanating from the rejection of racist, Zionist ideas and the latter indicating a real connection and bond with Palestine and her people.

To be pro-Palestine is also to respect the centrality of the Palestinian voice, because without the Palestinian narrative there can be no real or meaningful solidarity, and also because, ultimately it will be the Palestinian people who will liberate themselves.

“I am not a liberator,” said the iconic South American revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara. “Liberators do not exist. The people liberate themselves”.

For the Palestinians to “liberate themselves”, they have to claim their centrality in the struggle for Palestinian rights everywhere, to articulate their own discourse and to be the champions of their own freedom. Nothing else will suffice.

Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press, Atlanta). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), Istanbul Zaim University (IZU). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net




Prof. Ilan Pappe grasps the nettle and speaks Truth to power! Fobbing off an essentially local European Jewish ‘problem’ onto an innocent and inhabited middle-east. False entitlement, the virus isn’t the cure. Nihilism is irrational. Wielding antisemitism to stifle legitimate dissent is stupid. Zionism has metastasised. The hidden cost is too high, disenfranchisement is incompatible with any justice-based solution. Restitution begins by taking full responsibility for past actions starting with ‘urbicide’: genociding and ethnic cleansing entire towns and cities and demands proper strategizing for the inalienable Right of Return for the dispossessed Palestinians and their descendants.


#Geopolitics #EndlessWar #Hegemony #Hubris: #Empire Games and Ghouls!

Empire Games and Ghouls | | Plato’s Guns | 11 Jan 2020

What is Empire but a colossal corporation whose sole mission is the hostile takeover of everything on earth?

What is Empire but a titanic shark charging forth and gobbling up all lifeforms in its path?

What is Empire but a gluttonous, gargantuan gut full of humanity’s tears and shredded corpses?

Addicted to bloodlust and war porn, and hooked to the bone on Vulture Capitalism, a rapacious Empire struts and swaggers across our globe: demanding other nations’ resources and servitude at gunpoint, while holding a plastic olive branch in its brute fist.  Always speaking from both sides of its mouth, Empire plays a game of sadistic ownership with humanity.

…  And it was always forever thus.

Our human history consists mainly of the rise and fall of some 70 empires of all sizes – and all of them have by now violently perished, all but one, that is.  We call it, Pax Americana.  Students of the rise and fall of empires observe how the lifespan of empires have tended to get shorter and shorter down the line of time, indicating poorer and poorer management by empire, coupled with an increased resistance to its dominion – resistance that’s due to humanity’s growing awareness of the insatiable brutality and nihilism of imperial power.

Humanity in the 21st century is no longer in awe of imperialism.  It rejects it as a sole domineering power.  It rejects it as a civilizing force.  It sees no refinement or humanism in imperial behavior or ideology.  The majority of people nowadays, regardless of their political bent, lean towards equitable independence of nation and equitable free trade.  Being beholden to Empire’s caprice does not serve to fulfill these two aspirations that are fundamental to the progress of nations.  Empire has bruised the face and body of the world and its punches keep coming.  This is the very cause of rebellion against Empire.

Traditionally, Empires have flourished in longevity because they managed to establish and sustain local consent.  There was some measure of give-and-take between Emperor and Satellite, even though the Emperor always landed the lion’s share.  Today’s ruling Empire behaves in an opposite manner: it rules regardless of local consent and it demands to take-and-take from all its subjects.  It demands that humanity gives in to it and just gives and gives.  Give everything and get a conditional meager little in return.  Since Perestroika, this gluttonous-mobster method has worked to fatten up Empire into obesity while the world went hungry.  This wanton gangdom, this imperial Cosa Nostra is now full of cholesterol and drunk on the vinegar of power.   Presently, Empire has become as if a foggy-headed, prehistoric beast: a giant carnivore snorting and slobbering over the world.  In its wake lay many theaters of war, numerous bankruptcies and global, existential insecurity.

But who is this Pax Americana?  Who is the Emperor?

Unlike any other empire before it, Pax Americana is not what it seems.  It is not the Emperor himself, as is traditional with Empire’s visage.  No bust of the Emperor is etched on contemporary market coins.  No bronze busts of the Emperor litter our plazas and squares.  Today’s Emperor is but a face from a catalogue, a sock puppet, a mouthpiece.  Currently, he is an eccentric parrot with orange feathers, hostile and freakishly squawking down the ear whorl of the world.  Today’s Emperor has been reduced to mouthing a sales pitch dictated to him by a shadowy entity practicing gruff ventriloquism through his mean lips.

And this very shifty entity working the puppetry from the shadows to create more shadows: it has a face, and it has a name too.  Israel.

By a long and rusty chain of conspiracy and deception, Israel has hijacked both Empire and Emperor.  Therefore it now owns the global domain.  Shape-shifting, it has usurped the head of god.  It has found entry into the halls of power through a sordid backdoor and it has wholesale kidnapped the Emperor and his family.  It now possesses all his powers and is in the process of exploiting all and everyone at Empire’s disposal.   The Emperor is but a hapless hostage to Israel’s relentless demands.  Haughty demands that empower Israel but weaken the very spine and lifespan of Empire.  One could say that Pax Americana is currently committing slow suicide with a dagger whose iron was cast in Tel Aviv.  The Emperor knows all this only too well, but, pickled in vanity and the salts of narcissism, he is impervious and indifferent to this behemoth and life-threatening corruption.  All Emperor cares about is keeping a crown on his elaborate coiffure – for as long as possible.  This is all that matters to the current Emperor: the crown and its opulent prestige.  Therefore, he is profoundly guilty of enabling the very destruction of his own Empire.

And destruction, as we all know, is the moon-shadow that perpetually stalks all empires.

Today, we see evidence of Empire hemorrhaging power and influence, especially in the Middle East, where, indeed, Israel is located.  We see the stalking shadow of destruction grow taller at Empire’s feet right there.  And we see Empire frantically trying to cover up its weaknesses with bluster and propaganda.  We observe it unsuccessfully manufacturing fake realities it would like the world to believe.  Fantasies composed by agents of Tel Aviv – delusions of excessive grandeur uttered by the Emperor before the cameras of the world, indeed upon instruction from Tel Aviv.  Hubris galore.  Empire’s image engine running on pure mythomania.  All to hide the reality of its weakening status – and to hide especially the gnarly hands of its puppet master.

All to hide that Pax Americana no longer exists.

But, Pax Judaica does.

Yes, the Shadow Empire has successfully replaced Empire.  In secret.  Away from the eyes of most of humanity.  The transition is now complete.  For all intents and purposes, Pax Americana will now take the blame for Pax Judaica’s crimes.  And Pax Judaica will benefit from the cover as well as the cover up: its elite agents being the only ones reaping the benefits of Empire’s grotesque plunder.

These are the games being played by a compromised Empire and Emperor right now.  Games of mass deception, mass crime coverups, and the fleecing of the very heart and Mint of Empire and the world at large.

Mass warfare by the Shadow Empire now dominates the daily headlines around the globe.  The practice of rabid usury by the predatory banks of the Shadow Empire have knee-capped and punched the empty gut of both friend and foe of Pax Americana.  No one is spared.  Agony, hunger and war destitution are now the norm under the clandestine and concealed management of Pax Judaica.

The world is under the mercy of Pax Judaica.  An inherently criminal entity that scoffs at mercy and any other form of humanism.  A Shadow Empire that assassinates or ruins all who expose it and all who challenge it.  Resistors to Pax Judaica are singled out as legitimate targets.  But, the heavier the hand of Pax Judaica, the more resistors are born and the more proactive resistance is conjured between them.  History repeats itself, indeed.  Resistance to Pax Judaica is now palpably felt on all the continents of the world.  Momentum is growing, albeit in snips and snaps.  Resistance is felt most in the Middle East, right at the doorstep of Israel, or Pax Judaica, as it should be more accurately called.

Pax Judaica: thief of Empires and murderer of the prophets of peace.

Pax Judaica: the eyeless leech that will eventually leech its own blood chambers once the veins of Pax Americana are finally drained.

This is the fate of all Empires: self-destruction.

And considering the frighteningly stupendous amount of amassed Weapons of Mass Destruction in our modern age, any death of any empire will also cause the colossal collateral death of perhaps a hundred million human lives – possibly even more.  This is indeed a bleak but very plausible estimation.

And this is precisely the moral dilemma of the Axis of Resistance.  How to shred Empire with least cost to humanity itself?

Pierce Empire with a thousand cuts and watch it drain of blood over time?  Or, do as our cave ancestors did with giant beasts: confuse and drive the herd towards a cliff and over it.

Perhaps a combination of both tactics is what’s required.

Humanity braces itself for darker days to come.  And in the meantime, the Shadow Empire, known otherwise as Pax Judaica, will continue in sure strides its covert assaults on Pax Americana and its overt assaults on both the Axis of Resistance and the peaceful world at large.

A maleficent and fiendish ghoul seeking humanity’s jugular.

But it will eventually be stopped by opposing forces that are currently gathering mass and momentum.  The Axis of the East: Russia and China (and all their allies from Asia to South America) will eventually publicly and officially partner up with the Axis of Resistance: Iran and its Middle Eastern allies.  Their multiple strategies will distill and assimilate into one.  Their multitude of forces will find common platforms of cooperation on differing battlefields.  The combined size of their power will be Empire’s reckoning.  And we are already beginning to see clear signs of this opportune integration between the Axis of the East and the Axis of Resistance.  Together, the two sanguine Axises will take on the immense and complex challenge of dislocating the hand and ankle joints of Empire, therefore,  also the Shadow Empire’s clinging limbs will be splayed too.  A seemingly impossible double-duty that targets a two-headed Empire.  Their success is not assured but highly likely: considering the current ongoing self-inflicted hemorrhaging of Empire’s powers.

And the price for liberating the world from the murderous choke-hold of Empire?  Here, I can only sigh…

And what of the nature of the force that will take Empire’s place?  Is it trustworthy?  Will it be more benevolent towards humanity than Empire was?  Especially considering all that added and supreme power that will be in their victorious hands?  I’ll answer these questions with a George Orwell quote: “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it”.

Therefore, for generational survival, a global paradigm shift in political thought is what’s pressingly needed for humanity.  We will continue to witness further instability to our world, regardless of who the victor in the battle of Empires is.  We, as one suffering humanity scattered across the world, we will not know peace, prosperity and enduring safety till the very ideology of imperialism is vanquished from the very mindset of modern times.  Imperialism and all its supremacist sperm must be rejected and ejected from the womb of the future.

Therefore, it behooves humanity to begin unabashedly addressing the very imperialist ideology behind the woes of the world, present and historic.  It is not sufficient rebellion to only criticize the foul words of the Emperor, or the daily mass crimes of the Shadow Empire.  Imperialism itself is the very target question here.

The motto for our 21st century should read: In Empire we do not trust.

Regardless of the nationality of Empire.



#Art8: #Childhood #deprivation affects #brain size + #behaviour! #ECtHRPositiveObligation2ReunifyForciblyRemovedChildrenWithFamily

Childhood deprivation affects brain size and behaviour | Nuria Mackes

The human brain goes through dramatic developmental changes in the first years of life. During this period it is particularly sensitive to environmental influences. This sensitivity helps babies learn and develop, but it also leaves them vulnerable to negative experiences, such as maltreatment, which can have a lasting physical and psychological impact.

In our latest research, published in PNAS, we show that extreme adversity early in life is linked to changes in brain structure in adulthood. Early childhood adversity experienced in institutions was related to a smaller brain as well as regional changes in brain structures. Some of these changes were linked to neurodevelopmental problems, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which can arise following adversity.

Our study examined a group of adoptees who were exposed to severe early deprivation when living in institutions in Romania under the Ceaușescu regime. The conditions in these institutions were appalling. Often children did not have enough food and they had no toys to play with. They were confined to cots and had no permanent caretakers with whom to form a bond. Many children died in these institutions.

After the fall of Nicolae Ceaușescu, footage of the conditions in these institutions gained worldwide publicity. This was followed by a large international adoption campaign. For the children, adoption meant a sudden change in their circumstances for the better. They were now living in nurturing and loving families.

The English and Romanian Adoptees (ERA) Study follows the development of some of these children who were adopted by families in the UK. The study included a comparison group of UK adoptees who did not experience any institutional deprivation.

Previous research on the ERA study has shown that the Romanian adoptees were severely affected when they first arrived in their adoptive homes. For most of them, this was followed by rapid recovery.

By age six, many of the children, especially those who had spent only a limited time in the institutions, had fully recovered their physical and cognitive development. Yet many of the adoptees who had been exposed to institutions for an extended time developed cognitive problems and mental health disorders, such as increased symptom rates of ADHD and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and lower IQ. These problems often persisted through to adulthood.

Brain images

We were interested to find out whether fundamental changes in brain development could explain this increase in mental health disorders. To do so we investigated the impact of early institutional deprivation on adult brain structure by taking brain scans of our participants in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner.

We found that institutional deprivation was associated with a smaller brain in young adulthood. There was a direct relationship with the duration of deprivation – the longer the adoptees had spent in the institutions, the smaller their brains tended to be. A smaller brain volume was also linked to lower intelligence and more symptoms of ADHD.

Regional brain maps. Author provided 

Some regions in the frontal and temporal parts of the brain seemed to be particularly sensitive to deprivation. Changes in a region in the temporal part of the brain, the inferior temporal cortex, were associated with fewer symptoms of ADHD. This indicates that this change in brain structure might be compensatory, rather than impairing, as it was associated with better outcomes.

This research has shown that early institutional deprivation is associated with changes in brain structure that are still visible in adulthood more than 20 years after the adoptees left the institutions. These findings provide compelling evidence for the notion that extreme adversity early in life can lead to long-lasting changes in brain development despite later environmental enrichment.

Changes in brain structure did not always suggest impairment – in some cases they suggested compensation. Future research is needed to identify how we can best prevent and treat psychiatric conditions that arise from adversity. For example, it would be interesting to see whether the compensatory processes found in this study could be targeted in cognitive training to reduce ADHD symptoms in people who experienced early deprivation.

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Neuroimaging, King’s College London