I wonder who won? 🎾#Marr #Peston pic.twitter.com/mRjVoDTvgw— Momentum (@PeoplesMomentum) 18 maart 2018
zaterdag 24 maart 2018
Corrupt Boris Johnson
Eva Cukier en Hubert Smeets. CIA?
- Tot zover Cukier van de NRC. Nu de feiten:1. 'Putin "Likely" Ordered Russian Ex-Spy’s Poisoning, Britain Says,' aldus The New York Times van vrijdag 16 maart 2018.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/16/world/europe/uk-russia-spy-putin-johnson.html2. 'Likely' betekent volgens Van Dale Groot Woordenboek Engels-Nederlands 'waarschijnlijk,' dus niet eens hoogstwaarschijnlijk.3. De beschuldiging van de Britse regering is een politieke daad, niet gebaseerd op één of meerdere bewijzen. Het beschuldigen van een staatshoofd van een nucleaire grootmacht zonder ook maar over één bewijs te beschikken, is levensgevaarlijke demagogie.De vraag is nu wat de oorzaken zijn die ertoe geleid hebben dat zowel westerse politici als westerse mainstream-media zich genoodzaakt voelen om zonder bewijzen de Russische Federatie te demoniseren?Is het 'waarschijnlijk' dat een propagandiste als Eva Cukier ook voor de CIA werkzaam is? En is het 'waarschijnlijk' dat Hubert Smeets, die ook voor de Atlantische Commissie actief is, tevens door de CIA wordt betaald? Ik gebruik met nadruk het begrip 'waarschijnlijk,' zoals dat door de Britse regering wordt ingezet. Begrijpt u?Eva Cukier, CIA? 'Niet handig'?2 antwoorden2 retweets1 vind-ik-leuk
Chomsky On The Middle East
Chomsky On The Middle East
by Fariba Pajooh
Noam Chomsky is a linguist and an outspoken critic of U.S. foreign policy. This interview took place on February 28 in his office at the University of Arizona’s Department of Linguistics in Tucson, Arizona.
Fariba Pajooh: Your views on US foreign policy are well known. Even when President Obama was in office, you criticized components of his foreign policy. In terms of the current Trump administration, I’d like to know your thoughts on his foreign policy, especially concerning the Middle East.
Noam Chomsky: He’s lined up closely with Saudi Arabia and with Israel, which is basically an alliance, and he is bitterly opposed to Iran. [U.S. Ambassador] Nicky Haley spoke at the UN about Iranian violations of the accords. However, the US is violating them all the time. Nobody talks about this. The accord is explicit in terms of the requirement that the signatories do nothing with Iran’s commercial relations with the outside. The US is doing that constantly. Even under the Obama administration, there were radical violations of the agreements. Trump is trying everything that he can to destroy the accords. You probably saw this morning the Europeans trying to offer some conciliatory measures to keep Trump from pulling out entirely. This will probably fail.
I don’t think there is a coherent foreign policy. He’s been very critical of Pakistan. Pakistan is reacting by stepping up bombings by the Taliban in Afghanistan. There is a significant likelihood that real hostilities will break up between Israel and Hezbollah, which will probably mean the invasion of Lebanon by Israel. Israel will bombard Lebanon, which will mean the destruction of Lebanon. Israel is committed to their Dahiya doctrine, as they call it, which means they will go to war against any provocation. And it could just blow up the Iranian installations which are not too far from the Israeli border. Israel won’t allow anything near its borders. So, I think that is a very volatile and dangerous situation.
Some observers, such as the knowledgeable analyst Nicholas Noe, are predicting, with a degree of certainty, that a serious war could happen. That is an ugly situation. And, of course in Yemen the U.S. and Israel with British backing are just destroying the country. They are blaming Iran, but it’s basically U.S. and Saudi bombings. So that situation is extremely dangerous and vulnerable. On the other side, Turkey is attacking Syria in order to keep any Kurdish groups as far as they can from their borders.
You may have seen this morning that [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan told a six-year-old girl she would be honored if she was “martyred.” I can’t imagine what is going on in their minds. They are very unpredictable and dangerous people. Similarly, in Israel, [Israel Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is in serious trouble and it’s possible that he will try to salvage his situation by undertaking some violent act. All very dangerous! Lebanon will likely be a major victim.
Pajooh: Do you predict that we will have another violent war in the Middle-East?
Chomsky: If there is another war, it will be even worse than the last one. The reason is that Hezbollah by now, according to reports at least, has a very significant missile capacity which Israel won’t be able to stop. If they start hitting Israeli targets, Israel will just go “all out” without any restraint. They might go as far as bombing Iran.
Pajooh: I want to talk about the future of the Iran deal. President Trump has threatened to kill the Iran deal. He has imposed a travel ban, restrictions that affected me personally, and now they are pushing Europe to reconsider their relationship with Iran. How likely it is for Trump to undertake military action in the region of Iran? What do you think is the end game for the Iran deal?
Chomsky: The Europeans are trying almost desperately to save something. I doubt very much that Iran will accept the new proposals that they announced. It seems very unlikely. I am sure that the European negotiators know that Iran can’t reject them. If the U.S. also reject them, which is very possible, one conceivable outcome is that the U.S. would just withdraw, and the rest of the P5+1 will maintain some kind of relationship with Iran. They don’t want to break their relationship with the U.S. either. So, they are in a very difficult situation. They don’t want to abandon Iran and on the other hand, they are very frightened about the U.S. for good reason. Russia and China will maintain a relationship with Iran, but they can’t compensate for Western relations. And Iran, of course, has plenty of internal problems. Not just social and political, but also ecological and climatic concerns.
Pajooh: President Trump tasked Brad Pascale to run his political campaign for 2020. Do you think he has a chance to be re-elected in 2020?
Chomsky: I think has a very good chance. His popular base is fanatic. They are just dedicated to him. He could be God, as far as they are concerned. They are immobile no matter what happens. A lot of them are evangelical Christians. The secular state doesn’t mean anything to them. They are working for Jesus, and Jesus says support Trump. That’s probably 25% of the American population. The very rich support Trump. The Trump administration operates on two planes. On one plane, Trump’s role is to attract media attention to make sure he is in the headlines every day. He is the first thing to see on the television every day. That’s why he is doing one crazy thing after another. It’s not what it looks like. The media criticizes Trump, which fires up his base, because they regard themselves as under attack by the liberal media. So, he plays that game.
Underneath, the real villains Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are busy dismantling every aspect of the government that might be of benefit to the general population. They are serving their real constituency, the rich and the corporate sector, with abject dedication to sheer robbery. The tax bill was a massive gift to the super rich, with a few pennies to the others just to keep them quiet. Ryan and McConnell want to have a huge deficit so that gives the pretext to dismantling social security, Medicaid, Medicare, and food stamps—anything that benefits the general population. In the meantime, keep the base fired up with white nationalism, racism, religious extremism, and so on. It is a very dangerous situation.
Also, as you probably saw around the country, it is a very violent country. There are heavily armed militias all over the place. They are better armed than the state police. Angry people ready to go to war. If Trump hadn’t won the election, we might have had a civil war.
Fariba Pajooh is an Iranian journalist who has been reporting on Afghanistan, Iran, and the Middle East for over 15 years. She graduated from Medill School at Northwestern University and has written for Iran’s Shargh newspaper as well as PBS Newshour, Buzzfeed, NPR, and other outlets. Photo: Noam Chomsky (Wikimedia Commons).
Stop the Jewish and Saudi Lobby!
WEB ONLY / FEATURES » MARCH 21, 2018
Trump’s Quiet Meeting with Saudi Arabia and Israel Portends a Dangerous Collision Course with Iran
An under-the radar gathering at the White House exposes troubling new drifts in U.S. foreign policy.BY PHYLLIS BENNIS
With these people running U.S. foreign policy, any moves by Washington to encourage the Israeli and Gulf Arab governments to join forces against Iran becomes even more dangerous.
This article was produced in partnership with Foreign Policy In Focus.
It was a lot to take in, even in these whipsawed media moments.
In one 24-hour news cycle, President Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, appointed the war and torture-backing CIA chief Mike Pompeo to replace him, and then tapped Gina Haspel—who covered up CIA torture in Thailand—to replace Pompeo.
While the media descended on that circus, many missed that the White House quietly convened high-level representatives of 20 countriesostensibly to “brainstorm” about the crisis in Gaza, where Israel's repeated military incursions and blockade have devastated the territory's infrastructure, health and water systems.
The gathering, which took place on March 13, was less splashy than the Tillerson-Pompeo-Haspel saga. But it spoke volumes about dangerous new drifts in U.S. foreign policy.
Look who's in the room together
The United States has long backed Israel's siege of Gaza and defended Tel Aviv's succession of military assaults on the impoverished, densely populated territory of 2 million.
So the notion that Trump, whose uncritical support for the Israeli government surpasses that of any of his predecessors, is suddenly concerned about mitigating the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza seems pretty far-fetched. Especially when Israel, the country most immediately responsible for the destruction of Gaza, was one of the nations playing a starring role in the White House gathering.
On the humanitarian front, little came of the meeting. Officially, Reuters reports, “the multi-nation humanitarian and reconstruction effort remains in beginning stages.”
More significant than the outcome, however, is the grouping the meeting brought together.
The gathering featured Europeans, Israelis, Egyptians and representatives of most of the Gulf Arab monarchies—Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain—all sitting in the room together. Not included were Palestinians, who have been clear they won't follow U.S. diplomatic leadership since Trump's provocative decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
According to Reuters, unnamed officials insisted that “the format did not allow for direct discussions between Israel and the Arab states.” But that is likely not the end of the story.
It's been clear for a long time that Israel and the Gulf monarchies, led by Saudi Arabia, are desperate to cozy up to each other. Both are U.S. allies and huge purchasers of U.S. arms. And both rely on U.S. diplomatic protection at the United Nations to avoid accountability for their human rights violations.
And most importantly, at this moment, both sides are eager to join forces against Iran.
Saudi Arabia and Iran have been battling for regional dominance for a long time. Their competition has stoked a brutal proxy conflict in Syria, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has orchestrated a devastating attack on Yemen as a challenge to Iran's influence there.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's efforts to persuade the United States to abandon the nuclear deal and attack Iran have served as a backdrop to Israel's regional policy for years.
At a quiet Washington meeting supposedly discussing something quite unrelated, they were all sitting down together — ahead of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s own visit to Washington.
A dangerous regional agenda
Despite years of Israeli and Saudi propaganda, Iran isn't actually an existential threat to either Israel or to Saudi Arabia. But Iran's rise is definitely a challenge to long-standing Israeli and Saudi efforts at regional dominance.
The more dire regional threat, however, is that the Trump administration is showing every indication of wanting to escalate tensions with Iran. That's exactly what will happen if the Trump administration pulls out of the Iran nuclear deal, as Netanyahu continues to urge, and as Senate Foreign Relations chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) recently predicted.
Trump's appointment of Mike Pompeo, a leading Iran hawk, to the post of Secretary of State increases this risk. Pompeo has gone even beyond Trump himself in criticizing the Iran nuclear deal, a position that bodes very badly for diplomacy under this potential new diplomat-in-chief. So does the fact, as Peter Beinart wrote in The Atlantic that “Pompeo embraces anti-Muslim bigots, and defames Muslims, with almost as much gusto as Trump himself.”
As Secretary of State, it will be up to Pompeo to inform the president whether or not Iran is complying with its obligations under the nuclear deal. The international agency charged with monitoring Iran says it is complying. But Pompeo, even before he became CIA director, was already tweeting that he was looking forward to “rolling back” the “disastrous” nuclear deal.
Palestinians left out
With these people running U.S. foreign policy, any moves by Washington to encourage the Israeli and Gulf Arab governments to join forces against Iran becomes even more dangerous.
Tel Aviv and Riyadh are both eager for this front. What stands in their way is popular outrage at home.
In places like Saudi Arabia, absolute monarchs shed crocodile tears about the plight of Palestinians while doing nothing to actually end Israel's oppression of Palestinians. But thanks to widespread popular support for the Palestinian cause in the Arab world, Arab officials are pretty much forbidden to publicly meet with Israelis.
Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and his BFF Prince Mohammed bin Salman are working to change that. Getting Saudis and others in the region accustomed to the idea of Israelis and Arab leaders sitting in a room together is a key component of this strategy. That not-so-public meeting in the White House may have been just the beginning.
Once again, the Palestinians—and especially the people of Gaza—are being held hostage to the regional and global aspirations of more powerful countries. Instead of actually addressing the suffering in Gaza, the United States and its allies may have turned a conference on humanitarian assistance into a war room aimed at Iran,
Phyllis Bennis is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. Her most recent book is Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror: A Primer (Interlink, 2015).
John Bolton is a War Criminal
WEB ONLY / FEATURES » MARCH 23, 2018
John Bolton Isn’t Just a Hawk—He’s a War Criminal Who May Get Us All Killed
In a sane society, people like Bolton wouldn’t be allowed on television, much less put in charge of American security.BY JUAN COLE
People called 'hawks' in Washington, a euphemism for 'murderous maniacs,' often get supported one way or another by the arms industry.
This article first appeared on Informed Comment.
John Bolton helped lie our country into an illegal war of aggression that killed several hundred thousand Iraqis, wounded over a million, and displaced 4 million from their homes, helped deliver Baghdad into the hands of Iran, and helped create ISIL, which blew up Paris. In a just world, Bolton would be on trial at the Hague for war crimes. Instead, he has been promoted into a position to do to Iran what he did to Iraq.
He is also in the back pocket of the MEK Iranian terrorist organization, which despite its violent and smelly past has proved so useful to those plotting the apocalyptic destruction of Iran that the Washington elite decided to take it off the list of terrorist organizations in 2012.
The acceptable political spectrum inside the Beltway in Washington DC is a marvel to behold. Bernie Sanders, a long-serving senator and public servant won 13.2 million popular votes to 16.8 million votes for Hillary Clinton (i.e. he was backed by 43% of one of the two major parties in the country). But Sanders was virtually blacked out from corporate television coverage during his impressive presidential bid, while Jeff Zucker turned CNN over to Trump every night at 7:30 pm throughout the summer and fall of 2016 and just let him talk, or whatever he does, for an hour without even a semblance of journalistic analysis. Supposedly left-leaning MSNBC did the same thing.
America’s corporations love the fascist side of the spectrum, which is obvious from the way they promoted Trump and Trumpism. Zucker also hired Cory Lewandowski, who was at the time contractually obligated to avoid criticizing Trump, as a CNN commentator. Fascism after all favors big corporations and vilifies and punishes workers and the poor. Under Mussolini, the Italian poor were plunged into much deeper poverty.
Television news also loves the maniacal side of the spectrum. You seldom see normal people as commentators on cable news, and much of the commentary is polarized and superficial and often simply incorrect on the facts of the matter. Sometimes it is even just a criminal conspiracy. During the Iraq War, the NYT revealed that the Pentagon successfully pressed on CNN a gaggle of former generals, many of them actively making money off of the Iraq War through contracting while they were promoting it on television. They presented an Alice in Wonderland view of the brutal US occupation of that country as a shining success. Tom Fenton, a career television journalist, once wrote a book suggesting that television news is so bad that it is actually a standing risk for US security, since an uninformed or misinformed public cannot play the democratic role of watchdog and is not being alerted to genuine threats. Maybe the maniacs draw eyeballs and increase advertising dollars. Maybe Wall Street doesn’t see people as maniacs as long as they advocate giving billionaires more money.
The fascination with the far right wing and with the maniacal dovetails in the person of Bolton, now Trump’s National Security Adviser. Jesus said that if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch. The ditch in this case could well be a ruinous war with Iran.
In an sane society, people like Bolton wouldn’t be allowed on television, much less put in charge of American security.
Bolton has assiduously tried to do the same thing he did to Iraq to Iran. Big corporations like wars. Wars mean you have to manufacture more shiny children-murdering weapons and bombs, the ultimate in planned obsolescence. No war, and the factories fall silent and the money-counting stops. People called “hawks” in Washington, a euphemism for “murderous maniacs,” often get supported one way or another by the arms industry. Sometimes it is direct and their bank accounts should be examined.
Iran has never had a nuclear weapons program, and as long as the nuclear deal holds, it has no opportunity to develop them. It has no heavy water reactor. It has a limited number of centrifuges. It destroyed its stockpile of uranium enriched to 19.5% for its medical reactor. It is being actively inspected. No country under active UN arms inspections has ever developed a bomb.
Bolton wants to bomb Iran so badly that he does not care about these facts. He wanted to bomb Iran himself if he could, sort of like Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove. If not he wanted to have the Israelis do it.
He has a list. He’d like to bomb nuclear-armed North Korea, too.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists that keeps that clock showing how many minutes the world is away from a nuclear midnight can put it away. With Bolton’s appointment, it is past midnight.
Juan Cole (www.juancole.com) is professor of modern Middle Eastern and South Asian History at the University of Michigan and author, most recently, of Sacred Space and Holy War.
NATO’s War of Aggression Against Yugoslavia
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