Justice & the International Criminal Court (ICC)

Field of sunflowers
Field of sunflowers

On 11th  June 2020, the United States reacted  with outrage that  the International  Criminal  Court (ICC) intends to  investigate the United States and Israel  for crimes against humanity. How dare they?  Surely the exceptional  nation and its closest  ally have every  right to  conduct  mass-murder and  torture with impunity?

ASP President O-Gon Kwon described it thus:These measures are unprecedented. They undermine our common endeavor to fight impunity and to ensure accountability for mass atrocities. I deeply regret measures targeting Court officials, staff and their families.

While the ICC has rightly been  accused in  the past  of prosecuting third world  ( dark  skinned) countries since its implementation in  2001, (as you can  clearly  see from  this list  of people indicted by  the ICC)  whilst ignoring the far greater human  rights abuses of first  world countries , its current chief prosecutor now apparently has some balls,  and is prepared  to  incur the wrath of the “greatest  nation on  earth’  to  bring to  court  the gargantuan  levels of   international  crimes by  the United States.

By  2012, U.S. Congress had threatened that it would use military force to rescue any US citizens that were somehow called to account by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and has signed agreements with more than 100 governments pledging them not to hand over US citizens to the ICC.   U.S. Secretary of State, Texan,  Mike Pompeo ;  the epitome of the “exceptional  nation”  in  all  its bravado,  bullying and sheer brutality ,  has also recently threatened the families of ICC justices with  ‘consequences’  should any  indictments proceed.

Impact  of sanctions

Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam,  Libya,  Yemen,  Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Eritrea,   Palestine, and hundred other little hidden  wars were American  troops are engaged in  “counter-terrorism” and ‘black sites’ of torture.

Only when it becomes the international  norm  that  any war fought by an  aggressor shall  require full  reparations to  the victim state,  will  wars be finally deemed not to be financially advantageous. That  day  is coming;  the United States should be aware that  its leaders are likely to  be prosecuted and condemned  for the litany of war  crimes they have committed since the most heinous of all-  their merciless slaughter of Koreans  in the Korean War,  and that  the reparations for their  endless wars will  be in  the many  trillions of dollars.

The United States  and its allies will  one day soon, no  longer be able to  inflict  its  savagery on the world.


Links

https://www.icc-cpi.int

https://www.icc-cpi.int/Pages/item.aspx?name=pr1527

https://news.yahoo.com/international-criminal-court-goes-too-223130026.html?

https://www.globalpolicy.org/international-justice/the-international-criminal-court/us-opposition-to-the-icc.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_indicted_in_the_International_Criminal_Court

All Lives Matter

Don't spit on the floor
Don’t spit on the floor

George Floyd was killed by  Minneapolis police officers on  May 25th  2020.  Preliminary  autopsy  reports showed that  George’s air supply was cut off at  the neck  by  external  ongoing pressure.

The videos of the event clearly shows police officer Derek  Chauvin  kneeling on  George’s neck  while George gasps that  he can’t breathe.  Derek  seems to   looking for approval  from  the 3 other police officers  nearby.

The Wikipedia graph  below shows the number of  deaths  probably caused by  Police officers in  the U.S. over the past 11  years https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_killings_by_law_enforcement_officers_in_the_United_States 

Year (Total) Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Pre-2009 (170) Click here for the lists
2009 (72) List not separated by month (click here for the full year)
2010 (297) 14 29 36 25 28 26 31 17 22 27 13 29
2011 (172) List not separated by month (click here for the full year)
2012 (608) 32 27 24 40 41 66 92 90 67 48 43 38
2013 (344) 49 20 36 15 33 21 19 31 41 33 36 10
2014 (635) 56 17 23 20 27 45 27 106 78 57 92 87
2015 (849) 98 84 110 100 88 77 127 47 28 31 25 34
2016 (200) 13 19 18 12 11 7 22 8 15 15 48 12
2017 (138) 9 16 15 16 9 8 10 9 6 6 7 27
2018 (403) 108 78 82 88 2 10 6 11 5 3 5 5
2019 (133) 17 24 30 20 9 17 3 4 1 4 0 4
2020 (16) 0 6 4 0 5 1

The U.S : a society founded on violence and where violence is repeatedly touted as the  complete solution to  both  external  (usually imagined ) and internal  threats.

A showdown  shoot ’em up on Main Street  with the bad guy  will restore all  things to  rights.

The U.S. , a country  that,  unlike most other countries,  glorifies its constitutional  guarantees of its citizens to  carry guns  as  the right to  “freedom”.  A country  where individual  ‘freedoms’  (usually for the more wealthy and  ‘productive”) are prioritised  above the right of collective safety and wellbeing.

In addition , when  we consider that of the  “40% of the two million armed (U.S.) forces deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. Twenty-five to forty percent of them develop PTSD, clinical depression, sleep disturbances, or suicidal thoughts”  and 50% of those  do  not receive the help  and support they  need, we can  understand  that there is a vast  pool of fucked-up  and  extreme violence socialised  men in that  society. War does not destroy the victim alone.  As Muhammed Ali,  the great  black  boxer said about being conscripted for the genocicdal  war against Vietnam:one. “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?” he said. “No, I am not going ten thousand miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end.”

President Trump is undoubtedly one of the most incompetent,  ignorant and  bigoted of U.S.  presidents,  and his actions  both  during the ongoing pandemic, and  his  response to  the  sometimes violent demonstrations that have occurred in response to  George Floyd’s murder, have been  extraordinarily counter-productive and dangerous. However it is clear that his actions are applauded by  a large proportion of the United States’  population.  Donald Trump  is a symptom,  not a cause,  of America’s dysfunction.

America is a country  where lying and cheating, cheap  exploitation and  unmitigated violence  at  all  levels of society are projected  as  capitalism  unfettered – an  Ayn Rand society where anything goes, and to hell  with  anyone  and anything  else. Such  a society (despite the country’s enormous wealth  from its natural  resources) is destined for  disaster.  Former President Obama was a master at saying all  the right things,  while continuing to  lie, cheat,  steal  and murder  on behalf of the “exceptional  nation”.

It is a  society and culture that has pursued the propaganda of selling “product” , no  matter the cost  to  vulnerable workers or the environment, or the lies required to make that sale, with  religious zealotry for over a hundred years. And as a consequence, where those who  are not wealthy are not worthy. Adam Shatz ,in “America Explodes’  describes the phenomenon of systemic racism in America  with great  clarity.

The disjunct between  those in power staying “all  the right things”  about  prejudice poverty and violence,  and the reality on  the ground has in the past 20  years,  grown to become an enormous  sink-hole of hypocrisy. It is vital  that  all  people recognise that actions and good conduct  alone determine whether we are a force for good or evil in  this world. Words are cheap.

And we have seen  this commodification of “terror’  creep  all  across the globe  in  the last decade like a virus. Police  officers around the world now dress in  absurd black  clothing or camouflage outfits  armed with   sub-machine guns. Such  foolish  role-playing  dress-ups encourages  police (often with minimal training in  de-escalation and  risk  assessment) to behave like  frightened ‘warriors’ in  a war setting,  where no  such  threat exist.

And again,  while the U.S.  leads the world in  its violent persecution of coloured people (both  deaths and incarcerations) it is by no means alone. Here in New Zealand  (with  a population of 5 million people)  there are  often 2 or 3 deaths a year by  Police of  usually  rangatahi  tane (young Maori men), along with a vastly disproportionate number of men in  gaols ( with  a global   imprisonment ranking up  there with the United States )  who are Maori.

A  supreme irony then  that  one of the bigger earlier demonstrations for “Black  Lives Matter’  outside of the U.S. , was in  Auckland, New Zealand.

However the lead  global agency for systematic violence,  brutality and torture must  surely go  to Israeli  ‘security ‘ forces operating day  and night against  largely defenseless Palestinians for the past 70  years (with unequivocal and unquestioning support by  the United States  and its Western  allies for this brutality) . And not because Palestinians are a threat  to  the huge Israeli  military  juggernaut,  but because they have land that  Israeli  settlers covet.

What  is needed therefore,  is not simply righteous indignation and protestations  at  police brutality, but a systematic global  assessment of where the fault lines that  lead to  to  violence and exploitation of  the vulnerable members of   all of our societies, occur. Once those systemic and sociological  drivers of  violence  and exploitation are identified  – (and named-and they  are  both  complex and  many)-  have been identified,  then  a complete overhaul of   global societal  values  and systems is required.

Footnote:The current simplistic motions in the United States to “defund  the Police”  will  create ever more divisions in  an  already  fractured society  and the potential   for vigilante groups on  the “right”  and “left’  to  determine ‘justice for others.

An  impartial government  policing system  ( one federal  system)  with  regulations that  underscore that  no  police-person  is immune from  prosecution for  violence; that  recognizes but does not excuse,  the roles that  colonialism,  slavery, discrimination, poverty and  historical  injustice have played in creating communities which  tend to be more dangerous,  and addresses those needs;  that  ensures that  every  police officer is extensively  trained in  de-escalation,  conflict  management,  and only uses force as a very  last resort (which can be prosecutable) and that   the endemic U.S.  culture of violence  and gun  use is recognised  and addressed.

And on  the issue of of pulling down memorials (or books, songs or movies  etc)  to past victories of white supremacists, it is well  to remember our past; to  acknowledge  the impact of  our society’s past  prejudices, evils and cruelties,  as well as  the joy, peace  and equality we have created. If we are to  be civilized. And, as Lea Ypi  so  eloquently notes, in  her lessons from  the pulling  down of the symbols of  the Albanian  Communist Party in 1991,  ‘If we scratch the surface, we may discover that since capitalism has historically relied on colonial structures to survive, it may be difficult to demand the end of one without demanding the end of the other’. 

It may  be useful  to  note that most of the statues and monuments  about important people ( almost exclusively men) are of people who  lives were dominated by  the need for power,  fame and/or  money. These were damaged people often  exposed to  early trauma in  their lives, and a determination to  succeed at  all and any cost.

To  know where we have come from  is to empower us.  It is well  to remember where  other societies’ book  burnings and erasure of history  have led us in  the past.


Links

LEE CAMP: Nineteen Facts About American Policing That Will Blow Your Mind

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_of_George_Floyd

Black Owner of Yaya’s BBQ Killed by Louisville Police Often Gave Them Free Meals

Racist Killing and Impunity

Dispatches From Kansas City: The ‘Insurrection’ That Wasn’t (May 30-31, 2020)

https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/america-and-amnesia-violence-

otherhttps://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/251999/police-apologise-to-tuhoe-over-raids

https://www.unz.com/jcook/as-us-protests-show-the-challenge-is-how-to-rise-above-the-violence-inherent-in-state-power/

https://www.sott.net/article/435889-The-failed-states-of-America

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/418694/maori-account-for-more-than-half-of-arrests-by-armed-response-teams-in-trial

https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/n12/adam-shatz/america-explodes

Lieutenant-General Soleimani & the Red Flag of Qom

 

Sardar Qasem Soleimani
Sardar Qasem Soleimani

Lieutenant-General  Soleimani; leader of Iran’s   Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force,  was, as Soleimani  himself expected, assassinated by  United States drone or helicopter rockets on the morning of Friday 3rd January  2020,  while leaving Baghdad Airport by car after a civilian flight in to Baghdad from  Tehran to  meet  with  the Iraqi  prime minister.

Soleimani was revered  by  many Shiite Muslims around the world for his  military successes in helping  Shiite Hezbollah  protect  and defeat  an Israeli  invasion  of Lebanon (part of Israel’s  ‘grand’  strategy  of building a mythic “Greater Israel”),  but more importantly,  for his work in  both  Iraq and Syria coordinating the largely successful battle against  Al Qaeda  in Syria (or HTS)  and ISIS (otherwise known as Daesh).

As Iran has consistently and publicly stated,  and the evidence confirms,  both Al Qaeda and ISIS, were  not only funded and supported by  the lunatic Wahhabist Saudis, but also  by  the United States and other Western  countries,  particularly the U.K.  (long a mercenary   supporter of the Wahhabist Saudi  tribe since Lawrence of Arabia in  the First  World War.  Also note the very  apt comment from  UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson  that  Soleimani was a ‘threat  to  our interests”.

The Wahhabist Muslim  sect  believes that  all  non Sunni Muslims are ‘heretics’ and should either be forcibly converted or killed . General  Soleimani was therefore following the lineage of the great Shiite Imams of medieval  times,  in  protecting all  Shiites -this time from  the scourge of Wahhabism.

In collaboration with the Russians, a  revitalized Syrian Arab Army (Assad’s forces), a re-armed Iraqi Army, and Shi-ite militias under his command, Soleimani  had at  the time of his death  largely succeeded in  defeating ISIS in Syria and Iraq. The jaws are rapidly closing in on the remnants of Al Qaeda, HTS, ISIS and other Saudi and Western backed jihadists in Idlib in Northern Syria and Iraq. There is real  fear in Washington “intelligence” circles that mainstream media will finally be forced to expose the direct linkage between Washington and the head-chopping jihadists.

The recent death in Ankara of James Le Mesurier, leader of the White Helmets, supposedly humanitarian aid workers in Syria, but in reality well funded propaganda units for the jihadist groups and their backers, is likely to be directly linked to the  imminent exposure of the White Helmets as fakes, and the revelation of Western governments’ manipulation and likely bribery of senior staff at the OPCW to create a ‘scientific finding” that the Assad government had gassed civilians. Western  governments will consequently be finally forced to acknowledge their appalling collaboration and support of pyschopathic jihadist killers in the Middle East- all in  the name of oil and support for the Israeli entity.

American  intelligence agencies consequently panicked  and reasoned that a decisive provocation against Iran, would ensure that Iran would ‘over-react”,  and could thus be seen by the world as the crazed religious pariah state that the United States has always tried to  portray  Iran  as being since the Islamic revolution.

It might be useful  at  this point to  list just  some of  the legitimate grievances Iran  has against the United States.

  1. The deposing of Iran’s democratic government under Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953 by the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency and the United Kingdom’s MI6,  and the installation of the brutal Shah.
  2. The arming and support for Saddam Hussein’s attempted invasion of Iran which cost at least  a million Iranian lives (and in which ferocious war, Soleimani learnt his battle skills)
  3. The provision of poison gas and equipment to Iraq, which resulted in further Iranian deaths and injury  in that war.
  4. The shooting down of a civilian Iranian Airbus A300 by a US warship in the Persian Gulf , with  290 resultant deaths. There was no official apology  from the  United States although  some compensation was paid out belatedly.
  5. Ongoing promotion of Iran as a pariah state at the UN and with other Western governments, which resulted in severe sanctions and the deaths of many innocent Iranians because of Iran’s non existent nuclear weapons programme.
  6. Unconditional support by the United States of the Wahhabist Saudi clan who have funded and managed Sunni jihadist groups, killing many Shi-ite across the world, but particularly in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
  7. United States unconditional  support for the Israeli entity, in their desire to create a “Greater Israel” by the theft and extremely brutal occupation of land from (largely Sunni) Palestinians, Shi-ite Lebanese and Syrians.

Perhaps it might therefore be understandable why Iran’s leadership calls the United States, the “Great Satan”.

Iran is, unlike many of the United States’ allies in the Middle East, a democracy of sorts. However the rules for democracy are managed and controlled at a central level by its Shi-ite  Islamist leaders, and democratic choice is very limited (not too dissimilar in fact to the U.S. presidential election process).

While there are undoubtedly many in Iran who long for what Western democracy  appears to promise, most are also fiercely patriotic;  proud of their many thousands of year’s history as Persians. Faced with ‘existential” external threats, as Iranians have been since the Islamist revolution in 1979, few Iranians would support an overthrow of their current government.

Soleimani’s death was mourned by  hundreds of thousands of  Shiites in  Iraq and Iran. Memorials in Tehran  had to  be postponed because of the size of the crowds mourning  him  in other cities in Iran,  but the most crucial  memorial  was held for him  in the  Iranian  city of Qom .   “Qom is considered holy by Shiʿa Islam, as it is the site of the shrine of Fatimah bint Musa, sister of Imam Ali ibn Musa Rida[6] (Persian Imam Reza, 789–816 CE). The city is the largest center for Shiʿa scholarship in the world, and is a significant destination of pilgrimage, with around twenty million pilgrims visiting the city every year..” -Wikipedia.

The  red  Shi-ite flag of the blood of the martyrs and revenge, was raised in Qom at  his funeral  procession. According to local reports it is the first time in the Qom mosque’s history – a holy site since the Middle Ages – that the red flag has been raised over the building.

It should be noted that  the raising  of the red-flag over Qom  is not simply an Iranian government contrivance,  but a religious appeal  to  all  Shi-ite believers  around the world to  avenge Soleimani’s death -one who  battled with  the forces of evil  to  save Shi-ites.

Albawaba .com  notes that ‘Last night Khamanei and Rouhani consoled Soleimani’s family.

‘Who is going to avenge my father’s blood?’ One of the commander’s daughters asked.

In response, Rouhani promised her that ‘everyone will take revenge’ and assured her as she wept, ‘we will, we will avenge his blood, you don’t worry.’ 

‘The Americans did not realize what a grave mistake they have made. They will suffer the consequences of such criminal measure not only today, but also throughout the years to come,’ Rouhani said.

‘This crime committed by the US will go down in history as one of their unforgettable crimes against the Iranian nation.’  

Iranian  government news sources also  quote IRGC Commander Major General Hossein Salami  as saying that: The assassination of martyred General Qassem Soleimani will be followed by a strategic revenge which will definitely put an end to the US presence in the region…” 

Is it possible that United States intelligence  officials were unaware of the paramount importance of Soleimani to  the 112 million people in  the Shiite world?  Did they  not understand that   his killing would provoke a desire for revenge against  the United States which  would be  unstoppable?

As the Shi-ite Hezbollah  leader in  Lebanon,  Nasrallah stated on the Sunday  following his killing; ‘When the coffins of American soldiers and officers begin to be transported … to the United States, (President Donald) Trump and his administration will realize that they have really lost the region and will lose the elections…” 

No  matter whether  President Trump  carries out his threats to  bomb 52 targets in Iran including “cultural  sites”. (which  would of course be a war crime,  but nothing new to  the United States,  which  has been  guilty of horrendous war crimes and genocide  in  so  many parts of the world  since  the U.S began:  see our  blog article;  America’s Exceptional Interest in Wars) or whether the United States might lose its residual  sanity and nuke Tehran, the revenge would continue .

The United State’s only option now is to  seek  forgiveness from the Iranians and negotiate  a deal  which  allows their soldiers  to  leave safely from  their many many bases circling Iran.


In just one example, the United State’s main  military  base  in the Persian Gulf  is located on the island of Bahrain. Bahrain is ruled by  an  autocratic and brutal  Sunni ‘prince” over a population which is 62% Shi-ite. It would not require any intervention on  the part of the Iranians for a rebellion to  once again  boil  over to  depose   the  Bahrain Al Khalifa royal family and for Shi-ites in   Bahrain to   destroy  the U.S.  base there and its occupants.

While Western  media choose to portray  any actions by  Shi-ite groups  around the world as being  by “Iranian proxies”, Shi-ite groups, whether military of otherwise,  will  seek  to  avenge the death  of Soleimani; they have  now been called to  do  so.

It would be timely for someone  in Washington who  is sane,  and with more than  the level of intelligence  currently displayed,  to  seek the mediation skills of someone with  credibility to  both  sides,  like Russian Federation Foreign Minister Lavrov-  who  may be able to help  forestall what  currently looks like the inevitable tragedy  for the 60,000  plus United States soldiers stationed in  the Middle East, as a result of General Soleimani’s killing.


Links

https://www.albawaba.com/news/iran-raises-flag-revenge-qom-city-after-us-killing-qassem-soleimani-1330888

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2020/01/05/615439/US-soldiers-coffins-Soleimani-Hezbollah

Fragmentation in the Axis of Resistance led to Soleimani’s death

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2020/01/03/615247/Qassem-Soleimani

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1365976/middle-east

https://www.opednews.com/articles/US-Kick-Starts-Raging-20s-by-Pepe-Escobar-Assassination_Iran_Iran-Versus-Israel_Iranian-Foreign-Minister-Javad-Zarif-200105-814.html

Lies, the Bethlehem Doctrine, and the Illegal Murder of Soleimani

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/russia-highlights-qassem-soleimanis-role-in-fight-against-isis/

The Donald Is Now America First’s Own Assassin

Yemen, Saudi Arabia & War

The September 19th precision  attacks on  the  oil processing facility  at  Abqaiq  in Eastern  Saudi  Arabia  have raised many questions for the Saudis and their allies in  UAE, the United States and Israel. How did the attackers ( whether they be  Houthi, Iranian or  Saudi  dissidents or a combination of any of those),manage to  breach  what  should have a very  well protected  site from  air borne attack.

The attacks should not have come as a surprise however.  The  Houthi  “rebels’ in Yemen  (against  which  the Saudis  and their British, U.S. , Al Qaeda and UAE allies  have been conducting a barbaric  war of attrition for the past  4 years ) have both  threatened and carried out increasingly  ambitious attacks on Saudi  infrastructure  in  the past year with  drones and missiles to  varying effect. (note the map below showing earlier Houthi  drone  attacks on the oil pipeline leading to  Abqaiq.)

Drone attacks on Saudi Pipeline

Recent  news releases from  the Houthi  indicate major military  successes against  the  Saudi  mercenaries on  the front line.;  and the latest  report of 500  Saudi  mercenaries  killed and  2000  captured  in  ongoing  Houthi/Yemen  Army raids into  Saudi  territory  is  outlined here.

The U.K., France and Germany have all joined the chorus of condemnation of Iran  from  the Saudis and United States  for the  Abqaiq attacks, despite any evidence. As noted in  previous blogs here ,  the ability of the Iranians to  ship   quantities of large missiles and drone components to  Yemen  through  a very  tight naval  blockade of its ports and coastline  is problematic to  say  the least. That  blockade  is part of the deliberate  humanitarian  disaster  that  the Saudis and their allies have inflicted for 4 years  against   the population of Yemen. That genocide  is compounded by the deliberate  bombing of civilian  infrastructure  with  active  military support  and coordination by  the British  and the Americans. Those actions are war crimes on a  massive scale.

Going back  to how the Abqaiq could have possibly happened; given the massive investment the Saudi  clan have put into  war  machinery  from the U.S.  and U.K. , Craig Murray  notes: Saudi Arabia’s entire weapons capacity is massively focused on Iran, as are the manifold detection devices of the numerous US bases. Besides modern air defence systems are omnidirectional

Saudi oil refinery drone hit
Note the precision of the holes in the distillery tanks from the South -West (not from from Iran in the East)

 The Patriot missile defence system is not the best in the world, though it is the most expensive; however you cannot just creep up behind it and shout “boo!” Not even the Saudis would pay billions of dollars for that.

So  if by  some absurd chance , what  Western  governments are saying is true;  how did the Iranians fly drones and missiles  at  Abqaq from  across the Persian  Gulf directly in  the face of large  batteries of Saudi  and American  air defenses? The analysis by “Juliet Guy Oscar” clearly shows that  Houthi   manufactured Quds1 cruise missiles have both  the capacity and range to  have attacked Abqaiq and beyond.

The Americans, using brutal  sanctions, theft of Iranian  assets  and threats, want to   bludgeon  Iran into  both  pulling back  on its extensive and very  effective missile programme,  and its support for   its local  allies in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen  and Palestine above all. As E.J. Magnier notes- pulling back  on  either of those two  programmes is simply not an option for the Iranians.

For  U.S. Secretary of State  Pompeo  to  state  that “the foreign minister of Iran is threatening all-out war and to fight to the last American,(and) we’re here to build out a coalition aimed at achieving peace and a peaceful resolution to this,” is of course pure nonsense and lies. America wants to  make Iran once again a client state like the Saudis , Egypt  or Jordan,  which  can bend to  the expansionist  whims of the Israelis.

While its very  likely that  the Houthis have  been using and adapting Iranian  missile and drone technology, the evidence suggests that  the Yemen military,  supported by  the Houthis,  have also been  making their own or adapting  military  equipment salvaged from  the Saudi/UAE conflict – with  perhaps technological advice from Iran.

The Saudis,  amusingly enough,  cannot believe that   Houthi  “savages” could  develop  and  deliver such  weapons. ( the  same kind of sad racist  mistake that  the Americans have continuously made against  the Russians, Chinese,  North Koreans and many other nations. (“If they   have such  weapons then  they must  have stolen the technology  from us”.)

The Yemen ‘rebel’  commentary on  the attacks is however interesting,  noting that “various kinds of combat drones were used in the Second Deterrent Balance Operation, noting that they were launched from three different locations according to their flight endurance and designated targets.   He underlined that the third generation of domestically-designed and -manufactured Qasef (Striker) combat drones, long-endurance Sammad-3 (Invincible-3) drones – which have an operational range of 1,500 kilometers to 1,700 kilometers and newly-developed drones equipped with jet engines.

 

Houthi drone
Houthi drone

 Each of the new drones can carry four precision-guided bombs with fissionable heads every time, and can monitor and hit their targets from several angles.“Other aircraft were also used so the main combat drones could hide in their shadow without being detected, and signal jamming devices effectively disabled the enemy’s air missile defense systems.” 

Like the Iranians,  the Houthi  and the Yemen military are fighting for their survival  against  much better equipped and financed  opponents. Opponents whose  ruthlessness and  commitment to  war crimes on  a grand scale is known to  all.

This will  not end well  for all  sides…but the writing is on th wall  for the Saudi  clan if Pepe Escobar’s analysis is anything to  go  by


Links

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201909201076843665-saudi-coalition-initiates-operations-yemen/

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/19/us-dials-back-iran-rhetoric-and-seeks-peaceful-resolution-over-saudi-attack

Why Evidence of Iran’s Role in Attack Doesn’t Matter

 

http://www.unz.com/pcockburn/the-saudi-arabia-drone-attacks-have-changed-global-warfare/

Who Really Benefits From ‘Iranian Attack’ On Saudi Arabia?

 


New Antarctica  Relevant Links

America’s Exceptional Interest in Wars

The Saudi created hell in Yemen

America’s Exceptional Interest in Wars

We have often heard that  it is in  America’s “interests”  to  start this or that  war, to   “defend democracy and human  rights”  or some other  envisioning of the United States as that  Shining City on the Hill  of freedom  and light.  However when  we come to  examine what  particular Interests  are at  stake for the United States in  these  aggressions,  we somehow fail  to  note that  those interest  are solely business interests-  –  and not just  any businesses-  but big business-  large powerful corporations  with  tentacles in  many countries  whose financial  interests  may  either be jeopardized or opportunities   lost  if this or that  country  is not subjugated  once again  by  the U.S.  military  for  the profit margins of United States’ businesses.

Pity the poor country  that  dares to not bend its knee to  U.S.  corporate interest…it will be  sanctioned,  ridiculed,  its minority  groups funded and trained to  create  instability,  (or worse),  and if that  doesn’t succeed in  bringing that  recalcitrant country  to  the ‘negotiating’  table-  then  a little genocidal  war might help.

As U.S Major-General  Smedley  Butler has often been  quoted:

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses. (1933)…

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism….

Supporting big business in  any way the U.S.  military  can ( regardless of international  conventions,  human  rights, human  lives,  human  decency  or any other ‘soft’  issue) is and always has been,  therefore the complete and total  sum  of United States international  relations-  it has no  other purpose.

We may  wonder who  profits from  the apparently senseless endless war  waged by  the United States in  Afghanistan-  could it be that  the CIA is once again filling its coffers with  the blood of  the drug-addicted? -or who  profits  from  supporting Israel’s slow genocide of the Palestinian  people,  or who  profits from  the human  catastrophe that  is the Saudi  war on Yemen?

“Foolish”  and soft issues like  the global  emergency ( maybe more like global  ‘catastrophe’?) are therefore a complete irrelevance. American exceptionalism  is seen in its true form-  red in  tooth  and claw as Alfred Lord Tennyson  wrote about nature. No  morality,  no ethics,  pure barbarism  and pure profit.

It is small  wonder that those poor American  soldiers coming back  from  America’s pointless and endless wars  of total  barbarism,  struggle  to  come to  terms with their “moral  injury” to  the propaganda they  have been  force-fed from  an  early age,  of the United States being a civilizing  and enlightened country in  a world of barbarism.

U.S.  bases surrounding Iran
U.S. bases surrounding Iran

Peculiar to  those  pink-skinned Americans who  front for big business in  the military  and  in Washington, is a deeply entrenched racism  of those who  are “other” and darker skinned:-   whether they  be  Plains Indians,   Filipinos,  Japanese,  Koreans, Vietnamese, Iraqi’s, Libyans, Syrians-  even  the Slavic Russian  and Serbian nations ..  the list  goes on  and on  and on….

It is time for the world to  recognise the savagery  and brutality of United States’  international  relations.  It is time to press for reparations for the  environmental  destruction,   the war destruction,  war crimes,  loss of life,  the torture  and the  murders  that  the United States has inflicted on  the world in  the fictitious name of “democracy  and freedom” in  the past  100  years. It is time to  end this  barbarism  and stupidity.

The United States is indeed ‘exceptional’,  but not quite in the way  that  their propagandists planned it. The American  state is  exceptional  in  it being a war  machine;  the government’s role is largely to  fund and plan  wars which  will  assist  the American  armament industry to  sell more weapons at  home abroad.


Links

https://original.antiwar.com/andy_corbley/2019/07/01/how-does-the-war-on-terror-stack-up-to-some-of-historys-most-infamous-genocides/

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-united-states-of-genocide-putting-the-us-on-trial-for-genocide-against-the-peoples-of-korea-laos-viet-nam-cambodia-iraq-and-elsewhere/5352227

https://www.thenation.com/article/naming-americas-own-genocide/

https://www.globalresearch.ca/united-states-war-crimes/5561468

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/meet-american-empires-dr-death/

Democracy & the Power of Persuasion

Patient dummy
The dummy in the hospital bed

That  racist old warmonger, Winston Churchill,  has often been  quoted as saying,  “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”…

Is it true now?-  and was it ever true?

The capacity of taxpayer funded government institutions to  manipulate public opinion has grown over the past 100  years as the theories of propaganda and  the power to  influence  individuals’  beliefs with  media, particularly electronic media, has grown   exponentially.

Modern  government bureaucracies  have always constructed ‘stories’  for their publics about how the world is:  who  is our ‘enemy’ – what  is ‘safe’ and what  is  ‘appropriate’ etc;  and the major medium  in  the past has been  via  status quo  newspapers ( the vast majority of modern newspaper and visual  media publishers are  active mouthpieces of  state propaganda  ( as in  the U.K.  with the BBC and The Guardian)  perhaps because of the enormous  costs of printing and distribution which  requires substantial  funding from  status quo funders.

Solely online social  media however;  blogs and online newspapers require far less input and resources, and their legitimacy  and media sources can  be easily hidden. They are easily accessible at minimum  cost  to  every  member of society, and the public can be ‘fed’  the official line-subtly and invisibly through  advertising   and other online  preference algorithms. The one small  downside of the electronic medium  world for  governments however,  is that  ‘rogue’  alternative media outlets also have access to  this cheap  media distribution process  (hence the desperate measures by  ‘respectable’  news outlets and governments to  promote the ‘fake news’  narrative and the need for  major  search  engine algorithms  to  be tightly controlled by  ‘respectable governments.

To  foster  and maintain the government narrative therefore requires more and more input to  feed the official  media line. As Craig Murray  notes, in the U.K. there are very large amounts of tax payer money  going into   manipulating public opinion for the benefit of those currently in  power.  The 77th Brigade of the British Army, the Integrity InitiativeMI5 and MI6 and GCHQ all run major programmes of covert online propaganda. These information warriors operate on twitter, facebook, and in comments sections across the internet. 

We can  be sure that  those U.K. manipulation agencies also exist everywhere across the world where there is sufficient taxpayer money, and sufficient need to  maintain  the status quo.

We could accurately call  these individuals and agencies,  the ‘Secret  Thought Police’.

Perhaps, if those agencies had some access to  a higher truth;  a global  need for a better life for all, saving the planet  or simply creating a more equitable world,  we might be able to  possibly argue that  those secret agencies are to  our mutual  benefit. But the reality is far from  that. Those agencies are designed to  entrench  those in  power with more power,  and with more money,  and to  negate,   satirize  and destroy by  whatever means available, alternative arguments, alternative strategies  that  might benefit and save ourselves and the planet. They  are in  consequence,  administered by  humans with limited understanding of their world,  with vast  prejudices  and with limited ethics and morality.

With  those huge resources  of thought engineering at  their disposal,  ‘governments’ which   across the world,  have  demonstrated their blindness and  total incapacity to  respond to  the catastrophes of global   heating and species loss facing us now, have instead steadfastly maintained their incestuous linkages with  the very corporations and  industries which  have created the nightmare unfolding day  by  day  in front of us.

When  many Western  governments,  but especially the U.K.  and U.S.,  have  knowingly and actively collaborated with states,  individuals and agencies over many years in  many countries   that   create  public fear  through  violence (the anatomy of terrorism), then  we have a sick  and debauched set of governments who  have no  moral right to  govern. Certainly  the current  leaders of Britain  and United States will,  in  the future, be key defendants  in  the dock  for war  crimes in Yemen  and other countries.

The Colour revolutions of the  past  10  years , (harnessing local  discontents with   resources from  foreign  governments and NGOs  and businesses such  as Soros) which have destabilized both  authoritarian  and socialist  governments alike across the globe,  have also, perhaps inadvertently , cast into question the authority of ‘democratic’ governments. Election results  are  more easily able to be questioned and invalidated in  their eyes of their voting publics.  Even  those  governments who  have destabilised   other foreign  governments with  such  tools for many years;  particularly the U.K.  and the U.S. , now find  themselves the victims of such  anti-establishment processes.

We have the somewhat  unique situation of the U.K.s Brexit poll  being questioned by  many in  the U.K.;  not because  the voting was flawed,  but  simply because it was not the result that  the powers that  be ,  wanted. The U.K.   may therefore  hold further Brexit votes until  they  get  the answer they  want;  a process which naturally underlines the key premises of the democratic system-  that  you vote for a party or issue  at  a certain  moment in  time  to  make longer term changes which  you may  or may  not disagree with later.

The recent Hong Kong riots  are an  example of the complexity of the issues where governments are actively destabilised by internal groups. The fears that  the proposed new extradition laws from  semi-autonomous Hong Kong to  mainland authoritarian  China will  create opportunities for Hong Kong dissidents to be controlled or  imprisoned in  China are  likely correct. As a former British  colony , ceded by  the  Qing dynasty of China  to  the British after the  First Opium War,  a brutal  and ethically bankrupt  war raged by  the British  to  ensure  a good supply of Chinese opium addicts, British  Hong Kong was  governed by  a British  Governor appointed by  the British “Crown”  and who  had  significant powers of authority up  to  1997 . The current dissidents therefore hancor for a non existent time when  there was in  fact a democratic Hong Kong not controlled by  ‘foreigners”. It is very  likely that , in the current anti-Chinese climate being rapidly developed by  U/S.  intelligence agencies,  that  their British  underlings are supporting the dissidents in  Hong Kong to put further pressure on Communist China,  along with  the  National  Endowment for “Democracy”,  an  NGO front for the U.S.  government destabilization agenda.

We are in  desperate need of change. Our ‘democratic’  system  is deeply flawed,  easily manipulated by  the powerful, and does not benefit in  the  longer term or even,  in  many cases,  the short term ,  its constituent publics.

 


Links

https://www.army.mod.uk/who-we-are/formations-divisions-brigades/force-troops-command/77-brigade/ 

How To Spot A Twitter Troll

https://williamblum.org/chapters/rogue-state/trojan-horse-the-national-endowment-for-democracy

 

 

 

 


Links

http://www.twainquotes.com/19100424b.html

Lock ’em up!-NOW!

With  dear little Mike Pompeo immediately accusing Iran of attacking two Japanese-bound   tankers  in  the Gulf of Oman  with  supposed “torpedoes” or limpet mines   (note that limpet mines have limited effect  above the waterline and would only punch  a small hole in a large tanker, and that  torpedoes have not been known to fly out of the water to  hit targets above the waterline) – we reach  new heights of lunacy  within  the United States foreign  policy  arena.   The attack  was precisely timed to  ‘fit’  with  Iran’s meeting with  a Japanese foreign  policy team attempting to  defuse  a confrontation  between  Iran  and the U.S. -which  cannot be defused.  (Clear principle of mediation Mr Trump (oh wise and great  mediator!) –  where one party is  attempting  to threaten and bully another party into total  submission-  no  agreement  is possible until  the bullying party desists. The  other party will  fight  to  defend itself unless  physically defeated. Where the bullied is aware of the bully’s strengths and weaknesses , the bullied party can  and will come up  with alternative strategies that  defeat  the bully  at  their own  game…they  are after all,  fighting for their survival and their lives, not for new profits in  the weapons industry..

It is quite likely that  one of John Bolton’s terrorist allies, like his good friends the brutal  MEK , played a part in  the tanker bombings after having not achieved the desired result a few weeks ago in a botched attack  on other tankers  in the Gulf that  caused minimal  damage . The fact  that Pompeo,  -ex CIA Director, ( it tells one a lot about ‘intelligence’  agencies  when  they have   men  with the extraordinarily limited intellectual  capacities like Pompeo  at  their heads ) has immediately come out saying it was ‘Iran  wot did it’, does somehow demonstrate the crudity and stupidity of  American  foreign  policy, and its total  reliance on  violence and intimidation as its sole  foreign policy tool.( with  a little bit of bribery  and corruption thrown in for good measure)

The United States has been forthright in saying that  Iran  does not behave like a ‘normal  country’ . What  they  mean  is that Iran  does not accept the United States’  right to  impose its will  and ‘values ( such  as they  are)  on other countries – Iran  does not behave according to  ‘accepted international  norms’.

An article by  Christopher Black in  New Eastern Outlook   article by  notes that  the (U.S.)  ‘Indo-Pacific Strategy Report’, of June 1, 2019 includes the statement that, “We will not accept policies or actions that threaten or undermine the rules-based international order (my emphasis)– an order that benefits all nations. We are committed to defending and enhancing these shared values”.

Christopher Black  notes that, ‘”What they mean by “rules based international order” is not the order of international law as accepted by the world governments in the United Nations Charter and other international agreements but a US imposed international order, – an order that does not yet exist except in the fantasies of these gangsters-but which they never stop trying to impose on the world, an order of militarism, fear, and tyranny for the rest of the world”.

The fact  that  the United Kingsom’s current government can  immediately endorse the wild accusations  of these crazed and foolish  Americans about  Iran  being the cause  of the tanker attacks , is not unsurprising. Britain  since the First  World War has promoted and supported  the  brutal Saud tribe in Arabia and its fanatical  Wahhabist ( and anti-Shi-ite)  teachings, and used to  such  great  effect  in Libya, Iraq Afghanistan and Syria  in  promoting sectarian division and violence to  provide power and profit for both British  and American  business interests in  the Middle East.

What  is perhaps most disturbing in  recent analyses of the rumours that  the U.S.  will  bomb Iran’s non-existent nuclear  bomb facilities -even  by those opposed to  the bombing-is that  this is not going to  end  well for the United States. As with  the previous multiple acts of murder against  the Iranian  people;  (not least  the attack  by  USS Vincennes on an  Iranian civilian   jumbo-jet which  killed 290  people in 1988: -(just one of so  many attacks the United States has never apologised for ; let only compensated the victims for)we see the complete absence of analyses of  what  terror,  murder and destruction  such  attacks will  inflict  on Iran’s 80  million people -already  under atack  from  years of United States’ vicious sanctions . As with  almost every  United States war;   this is a rascist war- a war of agression against darker skinned peoples who  clearly are no  match for ‘exceptional’  (white) Americans like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo.

It’s time to  acknowledge that  the United States is simply a rogue state that  needs to  be controlled by  others more mature and steady and with some modicum of intelligence. Hvaing pychopaths at  the helm  does not bode well  for the survivability of the planet.

Lock  ’em up  NOW!


Links

The MEK and the Bankrupt U.S. Policy on Iran

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/06/13/deja-vu-iraq-war-lies-mike-pompeo-blames-iran-tanker-attack-without-single-shred?

This Outlaw Power

https://journal-neo.org/2019/06/13/convenient-tanker-attacks-as-us-seeks-war-with-iran/

https://media.defense.gov/2019/May/31/2002139210/-1/-1/1/DOD_INDO_PACIFIC_STRATEGY_REPORT_JUNE_2019.PDF

https://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980323000724

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/06/14/seven-reasons-to-be-highly-skeptical-of-the-gulf-of-oman-incident/

http://markcurtis.info/2019/06/04/what-the-latest-secret-government-file-tells-us-about-uk-middle-east-policy/

http://markcurtis.info/2019/02/03/britain-and-the-iranian-revolution-expediency-arms-and-secret-deals/

The Broader View Reveals the Ugliest of Prospects

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/06/18/report-us-planning-massive-airstrike-on-an-iranian-facility/

The New Ukraine: A Pathway to Peace with Zelenskiy?

With  the election of the  comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukraine may possibly be entering a new era-  or not….

With  no  known  specific  policy  agenda items Zelenskiy is a blank  canvas,  but there are drivers that  indicate where  the new government may  head,  based on  historical  trends.

While promising to  eliminate the endemic corruption that  has been  rampant in  Ukraine since  the Soviet Union was dismantled on December 25th  1991 ( as have many  other recent politicians like Brazil’s new president Bolsonaro or President Trump’s ‘draining of the swamp’) Zelenskiy’s credentials are not promising. His main  backer appears to be the  Ukrainian /Israeli/Cypriot  billionaire ( the second or third richest  person  in Ukraine) Ihor Kolomoyskiy,  who  fled Ukraine in  2016  (to  Israel?) after being accused by  Ukrainian officials of embezzling $5 billion from  his now nationalized Privatbank.  Once favoured by  the post Maidan   Ukrainian government and appointed governor of the  Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Kolomoyskiy is  also   accused of  using his wealth  and paramilitary  forces  to  threaten other businesses into  submission. Wikipedia notes that: Kolomoyskyi has used Privat’s “quasi-military forces” to enforce hostile takeovers of companies, sending a team of “hired rowdies armed with baseball bats, iron bars, gas and rubber bullet pistols and chainsaws” to forcibly take over a Kremenchuk steel plant in 2006,[26]and has used “a mix of phony court orders (often involving corrupt judges and/or registrars) and strong-arm tactics” to replace directors on the boards of companies he purchases stakes in.[27

You  may be amused (or not)  of this account of  Kolomoyskiy’s  behaviour  in 2014  in attempting to  reclaim  his ‘rightful’  ownership of “Ukrtransnafta”  a Ukrainian  company which  manages the transport of oil through the Ukrainian pipeline network.

Kolomoyskiy also owns the TV channel on which Zelenskiy’s comedy programmes were shown and has provided security, lawyers, and vehicles for the candidate.  Zelenskiy however,  denies,  somewhat  implausibly, any influence  by  Kolomoskiy on his political  agenda as president.

The former President Poroschenko, the confectionery  billionaire and   apparent CIA asset, attempted to  portray  Zelenskiy ( and all  the other presidential  candidates) as Putin’s stooges;  a  ploy that  has been used extensively by   Ukrainian American  intelligence assets in the Ukraine since the breakup  of the Soviet Union. Zelenskiy, while speaking Russian,  does not appear to  have the inclination or motivation to  break  away  from  these current Ukrainian  mindsets,  although he has indicated a willingness to  at  least  talk  to  the Russians about the breakaway  primarily  Russian  speaking  oblasts of  Donetsk and  Lugansk .

Despite a lack  of  evidence ( somewhat  surprising in  this age of satellite  imagery) Ukraine and many  Western  governments have continued to  insist  that  Russia is directly militarily involved in  the breakaway  regions. The Minsk  Protocol of 2014, designed to  halt the   savage war between  the  breakaway Donbass paramilitaries and the Ukrainian   government and paramilitary forces (many of the paramilitary  having neo-nazi connections and using nazi-like terms to describe their  ‘untermenschen’ Russian speaking opponents) , has failed to  stop  the fighting,  with  both  sides accusing the other of breaking the agreement.  Kolomoisky   himself has been  accused  of ‘funding the Aidar, Azov, Donbas, Dnieper-1, and Dnieper-2 battalions that engaged in a brutal campaign of looting, torture and murder during Kiev’s Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) military action against eastern Ukraine, starting in April 2014 as well  as being involved in  the burning of Odessa’s Trade Union building with much  loss of life .  Russia issued a warrant in 2014 for Kolomoyskyi’s arrest  for “organizing the killing of civilians”.

Despite monitoring by  an independent OSCE force, violations of the ceasefire by  both parties  continue to  occur on  a day  by  day  basis.  We can be thankful at  least  that  former president  Poroschenko’s attempts to  further stir up  racial  hated using the bigotry  of the far right groups,  have not won the day  in Ukraine ( for now).  For  that, Zelenskiy and the Ukrainian  Jewish   communities too  will  be thankful; despite his  billionaire sponsor’s apparent support for those groups; Patriots of Ukraine, Right Sector (Pravy Sektor) and White Hammer .

While   inflation and unemployment have reduced somewhat  since 2017,  Ukraine  continues to  be  mired deep in  a financial  crisis,  with   the EU and IMF stating that  they do  not consider Ukraine has done enough  to  reduce  government corruption  or  government subsidies . Zelenskiy will  be caught between  the need to  satisfy  his billionaire supporters,  satisfying  the demands of the IMF  and EU, while appeasing his voters and improving their lot,  and somehow reducing the scale of the conflict  in  the East.

As the media onslaught and  historical emnity to  ‘foreigners’   and national ‘patriotism’  of western  Ukrainians has surged   since Soviet days ,  the window of opportunity for reconciliation between Eastern ,  largely  Russian  speaking Ukrainians  and  the Western  EU oriented populations has begun  to  close.  Fears of a Russian invasion  have been  fanned  relentlessly by    intelligence operatives from U.S.  and U.K.  and several  other Western European  states with  Ukrainian media increasingly hyping the perceived threat  to  the benefit of the oligarchs and  political  forces.  As Ukraine’s biggest  trading partner,  and with   its  many hundreds of years of ethnic , religious  and language  connections , Russia  seems unable to  counter that  spin. For the medium  term  at  least  that  may mean  a Ukrainian nation both  divorced from  its historical  Rus  roots,  and also unable to  to  achieve recognition as a European  nation.

A nation  which  can   achieve harmonious integration of both of these paths ,  despite outside  interventions ,  would be the best  of futures. Can Zelenskiy begin  the  perilous journey  down  that  pathway; juggling the  competing interests of Russians,  Europeans and Americans  whilst maintaining Ukrainian independence?- it is just possible….


Links

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/04/22/the-buried-maidan-massacre-and-its-misrepresentation-by-the-west/

ConsortiumNews comments to  the above webpage  by  “Abe”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volodymyr_Zelensky

https://www.wsj.com/articles/putin-shows-carrot-and-stick-to-new-ukraine-leader-11556210091

https://www.rferl.org/a/so-far-zelenskiy-is-high-on-charisma-and-light-on-policy-do-ukrainians-care-/29868871.html

https://program.ze2019.com/

https://www.politico.eu/article/volodomyr-zelenskiy-ihor-kolomoisky-the-comedian-and-the-oligarch-ukraine-presidential-election/

 

Zelenskii beat Poroshenko – what will happen next?

https://www.thenation.com/article/neo-nazis-far-right-ukraine/

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-election-zelenskiy-oligarch/mutual-friends-and-borrowed-cars-how-ukraines-would-be-leader-is-linked-to-tycoon-idUSKCN1RS147 

The Moral Right to Govern

The  arrest  of Julian  Assange  for absconding while  on bail from  a UK court;  (a charge that  normally requires a non custodial ( non-prison) sentence) and  his proposed extradition to  the United States for  ‘conspiring to hack into a Pentagon computer network in 2010″  alongside Chelsea Manning, raises important issues , not only for journalistic freedom, but also puts into  question the right of those in power to  have any  moral  capacity to make any decisions for  the publics they  supposedly represent .  Assange’s real  crime is that  his website Wikileaks exposed, and continues to  expose, the criminal  behaviour of state actors.

The U.K.  judge, Judge Michael Snow,  presiding over Assange’s arrest,  made the highly unprofessional  and unscrupulously  biased comment  when  describing Assange in  his  legal judgement as a “narcissist, who can’t get beyond his own selfish interests” and found him guilty of failing to surrender to bail in 2012.  No  doubt “Justice” Snow, considered it contemptable that  an  upstart  colonial  boy like Assange should challenge his imperial  betters in  such an unseemly way.  The personal characterization of Julian Assange by Judge Michael Snow was “highly improper,” Mads Andenas, former UN special rapporteur on arbitrary detention noted.    Should being   a narcissist ever become a chargeable crime then  certainly most judges and every politician would be spending long periods in  incarceration. As Craig Murray  notes: One key fact gave away Snow’s enormous prejudice. Julian Assange said nothing during the whole brief proceedings, other than to say “Not guilty” twice, and to ask a one sentence question about why the charges were changed midway through this sham “trial”. Yet Judge Michael Snow condemned Assange as “narcissistic”. There was nothing that happened in Snow’s brief court hearing that could conceivably have given rise to that opinion. It was plainly something he brought with him into the courtroom, and had read or heard in the mainstream media or picked up in his club. It was in short the very definition of prejudice, and “Judge” Michael Snow and his summary judgement is a total disgrace.

Its noted that  the current prime minister of the U.K. Theresa May  stated in  related to  Assange’s arrest  that “This goes to show that in the United Kingdom, no one is above the law”. . One assumes   that  May  will   therefore proceed to  the nearest  Police Station to  confess her direct  complicity  in genocide in Yemen, and that her predecessor Cameron  will  come forward to be  charged with war crimes in Libya and Syria and that  the ever determinedly evil  Tony Blair will  finally confess to  his monumental  war crimes in Iraq and elsewhere.

Similarly the media’s  constant attempts prior to Assange’s  arrest over the previous 6 years to  characterize him  as some objectionable human  being;  including his not  emptying the kitty litter for his little cat (who was voluntarily extradited to safety in November 2018) ,  or his personal  hygiene (one wonders how much  those journalists  might smell  after being incarcerated in  virtual  solitary  confinement for 7 years?) clearly demonstrates the depths to  which   Western  mainstream  journalism  has sunk, and its cosy-ing up  to “intelligence’  services determined to punish  and get  rid of Assange. ( as well as the extensive limitations of its case in  attempting to justify locking Assange up).   One can  expect  the (linked) type of response from  newspapers like the Daily Mail,  but  Mainstream  media’s attempts to  character assassinate

Assange have continued after his  arrest. Note the language in this screenshot from  the  ‘respectable’  news outlet  Reuters from 12th  April  2019 ,  stating that   Assange  was being indited for sexual  offences (charges which  as the U.N. has noted,  were dropped almost two  years ago). Wikipedia notes: ‘On 19 May 2017, the Swedish chief prosecutor applied to the Stockholm District Court to rescind the arrest warrant for Julian Assange,[39] effectively ceasing their investigation against Julian Assange.[40] The case may be reinstated until the expiration of the statute of limitations. Additionally, Britain’s arrest warrant pertaining to bail violations remains open. In 2013, Sweden tried to drop Assange extradition but the English Crown Prosecution Service dissuaded them from doing so.[41]

There appears to  be some  not inconsiderable discrepancy  between  the intent and motives of the two  women  involved in  the Swedish  rape cases and the Swedish  prosecution’s account of events.

Or  we can note another ‘respectable’  media  U.K.  outlet,  with its  ongoing wild accusations  ( screenshot below)   that  Assange and Wikileaks were somehow

connected to  Russia’s “military intelligence  spy agency”  who supposedly ( without a shred of evidence)  had   hacked the U.S.  Democratic Party’s  servers,  exposing the very  real corruption within  the party to ‘select”  Hilary  Clinton  as a presidential  hopeful..

The  numerous attempts by  the UK Justice system  to  force Sweden  to  maintain  its prosecution case for rape against  Assange,  despite their clear resistance, is one more  line of evidence of conspiracy  against  justice by  those currently  in  power in  the United Kingdom.  Ms. Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions  tweeted that the expulsion of Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London exposed him to “risks of serious human rights violations”. 

However it should be noted that  the U.K.;  like its ‘partner’  the U.S. , takes no  cognizance of its  extensive human  rights violations, as it  is  apparently above international  law. In December 2018 the U.N.  has noted that the U. K.  should: ‘abide by its international obligations” and allow Mr. Assange safe passage out of the embassy.

“States that are based upon, and promote the rule of law, do not like to be confronted with their own violations of the law, that is understandable. But when they honestly admit these violations, they do honour the very spirit of the rule of law, earn enhanced respect for doing so, and set worldwide commendable examples,” said a statement released by the Working Group.

In December 2015, the Working Group concluded in its opinion No. 54/2015 that Mr. Assange – who at the time had a European arrest warrant issued against him for an allegation of crimes committed in Sweden ‑ was being arbitrarily deprived of his freedom and demanded that he be released.

“Under international law, pre-trial detention must be only imposed in limited instances. Detention during investigations must be even more limited, especially in the absence of any charge” said the experts. “The Swedish investigations have been closed for over 18 months now, and the only ground remaining for Mr. Assange’s continued deprivation of liberty is a bail violation in the UK, which is, objectively, a minor offense that cannot post facto justify the more than 6 years confinement that he has been subjected to since he sought asylum in the Embassy of Ecuador.”

“Mr. Assange should be able to exercise his right to freedom of movement in an unhindered manner, in accordance with the human rights conventions the UK has ratified,” the experts added.

Of course it should be remembered that  those U.K.  and U.S. people in  positions of power are the very  same people who  ultimately will  face extradition  to  The Hague and life-time imprisonment  for their war crimes and facilitation of genocide in Iraq,  Afghanistan, Libya,  Syria and now Yemen,  and whom Wikileaks has exposed as genocidal  abnd corrupt  psychopaths,  time and time again.

It is now high  time for the public in  both  the  United States and the United Kingdom,   to  acknowledge that  those who  rule    those two  nations (and who  view themselves as the ‘elite’  despite all  the evidence  to  the contrary of their minimal  vision and intelligence),  are simply  parasites  who  have no  moral  right to  rule. That  in  fact  they  are the people who  need to be in  the dock  now for  their well documented war-crimes and murders of many millions of people world-wide in  their corrupt drive for power and more money.

They  are  in  fact  truly psychopaths.

Perhaps the conclusion can  best  be left to  a quote from President Roosevelt in 1944 and  recently re-quoted by  the courageous and articulate Richard Falk: It seems apt to recall President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1944 message on German war crimes directed at the German people in the midst of World War II: “Hitler is committing war crimes in the name of the German people. I ask every German and every man everywhere under German domination to show the world by his action that in his heart he does not share these insane criminal desires. Let him hide the victims, help them to get over their borders, and do what they can to save them from the Nazi hangman. I ask him also to keep watch and to record the evidence that will one day be used to convict the guilty.” (emphasis added) Is this not precisely what Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange have been doing?

As Richard Falk notes,  the attempt to  extradite Assange to  answer for  his access to,  and publication of, criminal  wrongdoing by  state actors, and thereby  muzzle the release of further information on  state criminal  activity, is indisputably an international  act of criminality  in  itself.

https://defend.wikileaks.org/take-action/


Links

https://www.rt.com/news/456290-assange-uk-judicial-system-us/

https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/754-assange-indictment/d093e7dc7982f7fe4c24/optimized/full.pdf#page=1

https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/04/1036491

Chelsea and Julian are in Jail. History Trembles.

https://amp.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jul/05/iraq-war-judge-to-review-tony-blair-prosecution-ban

Assange’s arrest shows us very clearly who supports freedom of speech, and who doesn’t

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/apr/12/julian-assange-charges-press-freedom-journalism

https://www.anonews.co/anonymous-message-to-uk-citizens/

Julian Assange Arrested, Take Action Now

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/04/12/how-you-can-be-certain-that-the-us-charge-against-assange-is-fraudulent/

Assange’s ‘Conspiracy’ to Expose War Crimes Has Already Been Punished

https://richardfalk.wordpress.com/2019/04/14/julian-assange-criminal-or-benefactor/

https://intpolicydigest.org/2017/06/21/analysis-julian-assange-case/

 

Venezuela Madness

President Trump has  recognised as President of Venezuela, a man  who  has never stood for the Presidential  role  but who presides over  the Venezuelan  national  assembly: Juan Guaidó— a man  who  the New York Times (1/22/19) describes as “virtually unheard-of”—and who has now – at  the behest of the Trump administration- proclaimed himself the country’s new leader. Guaido  was elected President of the National Assembly of Venezuela in December 2018, and was sworn in on 5 January 2019.  He appears to  have strong links into  the American  neocon  ‘thinktank’  and policy   systems and strongly supports  the United States  re- taking more ownership  of Venezuela’s extensive oil  reserves, (the largest in  the world)  and the privatisation of many state-run  services which  currently fund health  and welfare  in Venezuela.  In  addition,  according to  ConsortiumNews,  he hads a long history  of involvement in  the violence associated with Popular Will party  which   formed the shock troops of the guarimbas that caused the deaths of police officers and common citizens alike. He had even boasted of his own participation in street riots. And now, to win the hearts and minds of the military and police, Guaido had to erase this blood-soaked history.   According to  Consortium News, Within 48 hours, Guaidó quickly tried to seize control of Venezuela’s major US-based oil refiner and use its revenue to help bankroll his US-backed coup regime.  Guaidó is attempting to fire the directors of Citgo Petroleum, which is owned by Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA, and seeks to appoint his own new board……This plan would involve the creation of a “new hydrocarbons agency” that would “offer bidding rounds for projects in natural gas and conventional, heavy and extra-heavy crude.” In other words, these are rapid moves to privatize Venezuela’s oil and open the door for multinational corporations. As David Pear notes- this is essentially a racist  white supremacist  counter-revolution 

The current President of Venezuela is Nicolas Maduro,  who  was  re-elected in  a disputed election ( ie some of  the opposition parties  chose not to  run  a candidate and then disputed the election)  in January  2019 . Maduro has used increasingly repressive measures to  maintain  his powerbase and repress  opposition, whilst  confronting increasingly violent  opposition groups.  Telesur (a news agency funded by the Government of Venezuela and  other governments such as CubaNicaraguaUruguay, and Bolivia ), notes that the ‘National Assembly has been in a situation of contempt of court for almost two years. After the election of deputies in December 2015, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) candidates in Amazon State filed a complaint because their opponents had purchased votes to win the election. The court subsequently condemned the fraud and the Electoral Power Tribunal demanded that the election for these three seats be redone. Since the Speaker of the National Assembly refused to comply with the judicial and electoral authorities, the National Assembly was declared in “contempt of court.” Decisions and votes emanating from the legislative power are therefore null and void as long as the speaker of the National Assembly fails to authorize the return to the polls.”

The United States has implemented wide-ranging sanctions against the  Maduro  administration since 2014 ,  claiming that it is a dictatorial regime. The sanctions ,  along with  declining oil  prices and to  a lesser extent, structural  failures by  the socialist  Bolivarian presidents, Chavez and Maduro  administrations ,  has resulted in  an  economic disaster for Venezuela,  with  rampant inflation  and high  unemployment . The working classes and peasants who  formerly supported the Maduro  government because of its extensive redistribution of state owned oil  wealth  and its  health and social  policies, appear now to be  increasingly angry  with  the Maduro  administration for the economic failures they have recently endured.  Mainstream  media in  the West  and many Western  politicians are now able to  insist that  it is solely the  socialist  agenda of the Chavez/Maduro  administrations  that  has caused this economic crisis, while  ignoring the very  deliberate attempts by  the United States to de-stabilise the country  over an extended period of years via sanctions and supporting an  attempted coup  in 2002,  and using its pressure with other Latin American  states to  isolate the Venezulean  administration.

The United States and its Western  and Latin American ‘allies’  have a desperate need to  invalidate the socialist  wealth  distribution policies of Venezuela;  both  to  ensure its corporate elites, the “comprador”,  continue to  receive their ‘rightful’  incomes, and bank  accounts in  Miami , but also  to  ensure that their home populations do  not begin  to understand that  state ownership  and wealth  distribution is a very  valid and effective method to ensure a  sustainable and fair world. (where would we be -God forgive!!-if we had an equitable, efficient, sustainable   and accountable economic process that  ensured a country’s assets actually returned to  all  of its population?)

 The appointment of Elliot Abrams by  the Trump  administration to  coordinate ‘diplomatic’  efforts to  replace Mafuro is a clear indication of the regime change efforts of the United States. The contemptible Abrams was heavily involved in  the  coordination of terrorist activities by  the  Reagan  era contras in Nicaragua and El Salvador, and would clearly be  a key contender for  long-term incarceration if there was in  fact a neutral   international  War Crimes Tribunal. As the Guardian  article on  the 2002 notes:  the crucial figure around the coup was Abrams, who operates in the White House as senior director of the National Security Council for ‘democracy, human rights and international opera tions’. He was a leading theoretician of the school known as ‘Hemispherism’, which put a priority on combating Marxism in the Americas.

What  Guaido and his American  neocon  advisors seem  to fail to  understand,  is that his possible ascension to  the Venezuelan presidency  ( a re-run of the coup  of  the U.S.  2002 attempted coup ), while  allowing the US regime to  remove sanctions and its stranglehold over the Venezuelan  economy,  will  inevitably lead to  a nationalist  backlash  in Venezuela as it becomes clear that  the majority of the country’s resources are being sold off  to  US corporates and the IMF,  with  possible negative implications  for the  recently installed intellectually impaired Bolsonaro  extreme right wing administration  in neighbouring   Brasil-as it becomes clear who  is pulling the strings in  that  country.

In addition,  as the centre of global  power inexorably moves from  the United States to  China , Latin American  states aligned to  increasingly erratic  and violent U.S. corporate and  state imperialist  ambitions, will  find themselves isolated.

What  is also  equally disturbing is the alacrity which  which  EU nations have fallen in line behind the United States’ sponsored coup  in Venezuela. Their insistence on  interference in  another country’s domestic issues and their pronouncements on who is the ‘legitimate’  ruler of Venezuela do  not bode well  for human  rights and the international  rule of law.

Postscript: Stansfield Smith  at  Covert Action lists  a damning history of U.S.  intervention  in Venezuela and beyond

See another unpleasant history of U.S.  intervention  in  Venezuela here at  Telesur https://www.telesurenglish.net//opinion/The-History—and-Hypocrisy—of-US-Meddling-in-Venezuela–20190128-0016.html?

https://www.telesurenglish.net/opinion/Understanding-Venezuelas-Crisis-An-Interview-With-Guillaume-Long-20190129-0005.html

https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/venezuela-why-capitalism-not-socialism-blame-corruption?

History of US Interventions in Latin America (courtesy of @asadabukhalil on Twitter.)

Or read David Pear’s analysis that  this is essentially   a racist  counter-revolution http://www.unz.com/article/us-and-canada-are-backing-an-elite-white-supremacist-minority-in-venezuela/ 


Links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Guaid%C3%B3

The Making of Juan Guaidó: US Regime-Change Laboratory Created Venezuela’s Coup Leader

https://venezuelanalysis.com/video/14253

https://www.telesurenglish.net/opinion/Ongoing-Coup-in-Venezuela-What-If-Same-Scenario-Happens-in-France-20190126-0007.html

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Bank-of-England-Refuse-to-Return-US1.2BN-Venezuelan-Gold—20190127-0003.html

Yet Another U.S. Coup Attempt to Eradicate the Bolivarian Revolution

Venezuela’s US-Backed Coup Leader Immediately Targets State Oil Company and Requests IMF Money

US Backs Coup in Oil-Rich Venezuela, Right-Wing Opposition Plans Mass Privatization and Hyper-Capitalism

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Bank-of-England-Refuse-to-Return-US1.2BN-Venezuelan-Gold—20190127-0003.html

‘Resistance’ Media Side With Trump to Promote Coup in Venezuela

 

The Madness of Military Intervention in Venezuela

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/01/venezuela-trumps-coup-attempt-is-based-on-a-seriously-flawed-plan.html

The Vultures of Caracas

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/venezuela-us-sanctions-united-nations-oil-pdvsa-a8748201.html

Your Complete Guide to the N.Y. Times’ Support of U.S.-Backed Coups in Latin America