Monday, 23 October 2017

“Washington’s economic war against Russian gas supplies to Europe unacceptable – Gerhard Schroeder” is locked Washington’s economic war against Russian gas supplies to Europe unacceptable – Gerhard Schroeder

SEE ALSO Another reason for the U.S. induced fascist takeover in  becomes apparent. They want Eur… 
RT | October 20, 2017
The United States would like to weaken Russia’s energy cooperation with the European Union, said former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, adding it’s unacceptable to create barriers to Russian gas deliveries to the German market.
“It’s wrong if the Americans and the European Union somehow resist each other on this issue. And still there are attempts to create some difficulties for this project [Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline – Ed.],” he told Rossiya 24 news channel.
According to Schroeder, “the fact the Americans will try entering the German market with the help of sanctions and to dominate with its liquefied shale gas is nothing but the signs of an economic war, and such war is unacceptable.”
Germany is interested in gas which it “will receive for sure and which will be cheaper than shale gas,” said Schroeder.
The ex-chancellor said German authorities were right to call the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline purely an economic project which should not be politicized.
Last week, European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said the EU has no legal means to stop the pipeline that will deliver natural gas from Russia to Germany.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline will double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream pipeline, which goes under the Baltic Sea to Germany. The Gazprom-led project is opposed by the Baltic States and Poland.
During the EU summit on Friday, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo described the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as a threat to European energy security.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said this week Moscow faces obstacles constructing the new route despite the fact that diversification of gas supplies is cost-effective, beneficial to Europe and serves to enhance the security of supplies.
The Kremlin has repeatedly said the pipeline is strictly about business, accusing the United States of trying to thwart the project, as it wants to export its own liquefied natural gas to Europe.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

“Uncle Sam: The Ultimate Gun Nut” is locked Uncle Sam: The Ultimate Gun Nut

The murky motive behind the Las Vegas massacre – carried out by a heavily armed “gun nut” – parallels the incomprehensible rationales for the global wars waged by the ultimate “gun nut,” Uncle Sam, writes JP Sottile.
By JP Sottile
It’s beginning to look like we may never fully understand Stephen Paddock’s “military-grade” assault on the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. Law enforcement keeps looking in vain for some sort of motive in the dark abyss of Paddock’s odd life. Alt-Right conspiracists are churning out click-baited concoctions that often border on the comical. And the rest of us are left to ponder how and why a wealthy cipher amassed a huge arsenal of weapons that allowed him to become a one-man army.
The image of Uncle Sam.
Frankly, what would motivate anyone to buy 33 guns in 12 months if it wasn’t to plot a spectacular, action movie-style attack on human beings? To wit, much of Paddock’s year-long spending spree ended-up in the 23-gun “armory” he assembled in the fully-comped Mandalay Bay suite that served as his ghoulish sniper’s nest. And that wasn’t all. Police found additional caches of weapons, ammunition and explosives in Paddock’s car and in his homes in both Reno and Mesquite, Nevada. By the time Paddock murdered 58 non-combatants in his inexplicable war, he’d stockpiled 47 guns and many thousands of bullets.
Stephen Paddock is not alone. His high-powered hoarding made him one of America’s 7.7 million “super-owners” who on average possess 17 firearms. That’s 3 percent of Americans loaded for bear with half of America’s approximately 265 million guns, according to a report in Newsweek. And the Pew Research Center found that another 42 percent of Americans either “own a gun themselves or live in a household” with at least one gun.
Taken together, that means America is by far the world’s leading gun-toting country, with nearly 90 firearms per 100 residents. But it’s those “super-owners” like Paddock who truly stand out as the troubling exemplars of America’s well-documented “gun culture.” As Newsweek succinctly put it, Paddock was a “gun nut.”
The Biggest ‘Gun Nut’
But when it comes to gun nuts, can any one individual super-owner ever compare to the gargantuan gun-nut known as “Uncle Sam”? Just like the disproportionate arsenal held by America’s corps of one-man armies, super-owning Uncle Sam represents about 4.4 percent of the world’s population but accounts for over one-third of the planet’s total military spending. And like Paddock during his pre-attack buying binge, Uncle Sam keeps adding to his already ample collection.
Stephen Paddock, identified as the shooter who slaughtered 59 people and wounded more than 500 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Oct. 1, 2017.
In 2017, Uncle Sam is slated to lavish $700 billion-plus on just the defense budget alone. There will also be more defense-related spending on “upgrading” America’s 6,800 nuclear weapons, on funding the opaquely-named “Overseas Contingency Operations” account that fuels various wars, on floating the titanic Department of Homeland Security and on the militarization of law enforcement. That’s a gun-buying bonanza that’d make Rambo blush. But unlike the murderous “lone wolves” who pass through the news cycle with alarming regularity, Uncle Sam and his taxpayer-funded gun-nuttery — along with the civilian casualties those weapons often produce doesn’t seem to garner anything close to the level of media scrutiny, political hand-wringing or somber opinioneering that accompanies each new All-American slaughter.
In fact, the Fourth Estate completely ignored a made-to-order chance to examine the broader contextual implications of Uncle Sam’s gun obsession just four days after Paddock used a bump-stock to hit the bullet-spraying “happy spot” that deluged almost 600 people in roughly ten minutes. That opportunity came from the gun-friendlyHeritage Foundation. It is perhaps the most aptly-named think tank to ever weigh-in on Uncle Sam’s unabashed, yet widely unacknowledged, gun addiction.
Super-Duper Gun Owner
On Oct. 5, Heritage issued its annual assessment of the world’s largest, most powerful and most widely-deployed military. But just like last year, this year’s “Index of U.S. Military Strength” described an “unsettling trend” that, according to Heritage’s Center for National Defense, “leaves no room for interpretation — America’s military has undoubtedly grown weaker.” That’s right. The head-knockers at Heritage believe Uncle Sam desperately needs more guns … and more bullets, more bombs, more missiles and ever-more powerful nuclear weapons.
The classic neon sign welcoming visitors to Las Vegas.
That also means more pilots to fly more sorties and, logic dictates, to drop all those new bombs. Like Paddock’s 12-month shopping spree, it stands to reason that buying more weapons will ultimately lead to using more weapons. That’s certainly how it’s gone since Uncle Sam designated the entire planet as a de facto (but not de jure) battlefield back in 2001.
But you don’t have to take Heritage’s word for it. Right before Paddock unleashed his arsenal, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson went to the Air Force Association’s annual gabfest to cry poverty over America’s recently-passed $700 billion splurge. Secretary Mattis bemoaned the existential threat posed by the “caps” on defense spending and Secretary Wilson lamented the fact that Uncle Sam was depleting his stockpile of “modern” and “mature” Tomahawk Missiles (Stock Tip: buy Raytheon).
That’s because Uncle Sam is actively using his prodigious arsenal of weapons, drones, missiles, fighter jets and bunker-busters … and he has done so on a continual basis for years. One might even say that Uncle Sam is an “active shooter” in Afghanistan and Iraq and Syria and Somalia and Yemen and, it was revealed the same week Paddock went ballistic, in Niger. The four Green Berets who died in the little-known African nationare just one small part of the often-overlooked deployment of 1.3 million well-armed Americans around the world.
Civilians are dying overseas, too … and at an alarming rate since President Donald “Non-Interventionist” Trump loosened the Rules of Engagement to make killing innocent bystanders more acceptable. In Las Vegas, 58 died (plus Paddock) and over 500 morewere injured. In one airstrike in Mosul last March, more than 200 men, women and children were killed in one fell swoop by what is essentially a flying gun.
Rising Casualties
Over in Afghanistan, the United Nations found a “50% increase” in civilian casualties this year. The last nine months of Uncle Sam’s longest war killed 205 civilians and wounded another 261 non-combatants … and “more than two thirds of the civilian victims were women and children,” according to Reuters.
Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter pilots fly near Jalalabad, Afghanistan, April 5, 2017. (Army photo by Capt. Brian Harris)
And then there’s Somalia, where a horrific terrorist truck bombing that killed over 300 people was likely in response to a “botched” U.S.-led raid last August that killed 10 civilians, including three children. It would seem that “botched” is in the eye of the beholder.
However, one thing is certain … all of this shooting is taking a toll on Uncle Sam’s stockpile. And that’s really what Heritage is driving at with their warning about “weakness.”
The world is, in fact, getting more dangerous as America uses more weapons that generate more enemies. Heritage thinks that danger requires even more weapons, which, in turn, will make the world more dangerous as they are used in new and exciting places. It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy, but, of course, the Heritage think-tankers don’t make that obvious connection.
For Heritage, this is all part of a supposed “readiness crisis” resulting from an overstretched military that is, some say, particularly strained after engaging in multiple relief efforts after a series of hurricane-wrought disasters. But Mattis, Wilson and the Heritage Foundation are not suggesting that Uncle Sam stock-up on packaged meals, bottled water and “beautiful” paper towels that President Trump will no doubt gladly distribute himself.
Instead, the thrust of these assessments — like many of those churned-out by the Beltway’s bevy of defense-interested war-partiers — is that Uncle Sam needs more weapons and more ways to deliver those weapons to more places around the globe. That’s sometimes called “peace through strength,” but it’s really just hoarding on an epic scale.
Not surprisingly, the reality show-like excessiveness of the hoarding doesn’t even enter the thinking of Heritage’s analysts or the Pentagon’s public-facing representatives or the denizens of Capitol Hill. It is simply taken as a given that more weapons is the answer to every question.
And why not? Hoarding guns is a logical response when the globe looks like a great big movie set just waiting for Uncle Sam’s action heroics to come save the day from a world stage teeming with villainy. The only real question left to answer is: How much firepower is needed to do the job?
Size Matters
First, let’s recall that the United States, a.k.a. Uncle Sam, is home to around 4.4 percent of the world’s population, yet somehow accounts for over one-third of all military spending. That spending may have something to do with how 4.4 percent of the world’s population is able to consume, on average, about a quarter of the world’s various resources, but that’s another issue.
The Pentagon, headquarters of the U.S. Defense Department, as viewed with the Potomac River and Washington, D.C., in the background. (Defense Department photo)
Instead, let’s look at China. Considered to be something between a cordial competitor and a full-blown adversary, China is home to approximately 20 percent of the world’s population (about five times America’s share), but it only spends about one-quarter of what the U.S. does on its arsenal. Still, that makes China the world’s second biggest spender with a budget of $151.43 billion for 2017. Frankly, that’s dwarfed by America’s $700+ billion. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. Compare the two side-by-side(thanks to globalfirepower.com) and you might start thinking of Uncle Sam as a committed gun nut.
For example, Uncle Sam has 20 aircraft carriers … and China has one, with one on the way.  Uncle Sam has 41,062 armored fighting vehicles … and China has 4,788. Uncle Sam has 6,065 helicopters … and China has 912. Uncle Sam has 2,785 attack aircraft and 2,296 fighters. China has about half of that with 1,385 attack aircraft, 1,271 fighters.
The Chinese do have about 600 more tanks and a bunch more small naval craft, but that’s more a function of their geographical challenges than some willy-nilly binge by the world’s third-strongest military. After all, they do have land borders with historically hostile powers. And Uncle Sam does continue to pressure them at sea. Apparently, it’s Uncle Sam’s job to control what the Chinese do in the South China Sea.
Russia’s Piddling Sums
It’s also quite telling to make these same comparisons to Russia. It is the world’s “second-strongest” military and, according to the drumbeat of conventional wisdom-makers, it is Uncle Sam’s main global competitor. Home to less than 2 percent of the world’s population, Russia is “now the world’s third largest military spender,” according to a grabby headline by CNNMoney.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis welcomes Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman to the Pentagon, March 16, 2017. (DoD photo by Sgt. Amber I. Smith)
Sounds ominous … that is, until you see that it only takes $69.2 billion for Russia to secure the third spot. For perspective, that’s less than the amount ($80 billion) Uncle Sam’s added to this year’s budget over last year’s budget. That’s also less than the amount of money ($75.9 billion) Uncle Sam made for the defense industry this year by selling weapons to other countries.
Still, Russia is fairly well-armed. Unlike Uncle Sam, Russia is not surrounded by two oceans and two friendly, militarily weak allies. Quite to the contrary. In fact, Uncle Sam and his proxies have crowded Russia with forces to its WestSouth and East. U.S. forces also encircle China, but let’s stay on target.
As a result of their geography and history, Russia is heavier on tanks (20,216) and armored fighting vehicles (31,298) than Uncle Sam. Yet, the Russian Bear lags on attack aircraft (1,428), on fighter aircraft (806), on helicopters (1,389) and it is way behind on power-projecting aircraft carriers with just one “notoriously rickety” ship.
Russia does have 7,300 nuclear warheads, but it is nowhere near America’s capability to deploy forces through its vast network of approximately 800 bases and facilities in more than 70 countries. On the other hand, scholar David Vine estimates that “Britain, France and Russia … have about 30 foreign bases combined.”
These significant imbalances probably account for Russia’s recent move into “non-violent” forms of hybrid and asymmetrical warfare. It’s one way to close current and future gaps. And both Russia and China are making inroads on drones, but neither has the reach of Uncle Sam’s fleet … which is advancing and growing all the time. So far, neither China nor Russia has demonstrated a willingness to use drones as roving kill machines in other people’s countries. That remains Uncle Sam’s gun-slinging claim to fame … as does the unchallenged ability to dwarf the next eight biggest military spenders combined.
Gun Showmanship Of Fools
Let’s face it, Uncle Sam is, globally speaking, an armament “super-owner.” Like many of America’s civilian “super-owners,” it could be said that Uncle Sam just likes guns … or that he’s just an avid collector … or that guns are not just his hobby, but also his business. And that’s true, too.
Brandishing guns became a feature of many Tea Party rallies opposing President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
As a matter of fact, Uncle Sam has turned foreign policy into a great big, rolling gun show. He often attends actual, government-sponsored military “trade shows” like the bi-annual Special Operations Forces Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi. Each year there are dozens of these military-themed events and air shows around the world. These glorified gun shows are golden opportunities for the State and Defense Departments to attract buyers to America’s growing supermarket of weaponry.
America used to be “the Arsenal of Democracy.” Now it is the “World’s Gun Shop,” and Uncle Sam is selling everything from THAAD missile defense systems (Stock Tip: buy Lockheed Martin) to boondoggled F-35 jets (still buy Lockheed). And in an amazing bit of gun nut symmetry, the “Trump administration is preparing to make it easier for American gun makers to sell small arms, including assault rifles and ammunition, to foreign buyers,” according to Reuters.
That final bit of salesmanship is probably a response to the sharp decline in domestic small arms sales after Trump replaced President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. Under President Obama, federal gun background checks increased for 19 straight months. By the end of Obama’s tenure the gun industry had grown by a staggering 158 percent and the “total economic impact of the firearms and ammunition industry in the U.S. increased from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $49.3 billion in 2015,” reported Forbes. It rose to $51.3 billion in Obama’s final year.
This buying binge was stoked by gunmakers’ de facto sales reps in the National Rifle Association and in the Right-Wing media … who told gun-loving Americans that the first Black President was coming to take their firearms. So, they went out and stocked-up before Obama and George Soros could deploy an army of U.N. gun-grabbers in powder blue helmets deep into the blood-red heart of America. The grabbers never came, but the profits spiked handsomely for Sturm Ruger, Remington Outdoor, Smith & Wesson and seven more of America’s leading gunmakers.
Ironically, the party ended when the NRA’s most beloved candidate of all-time took the oath of office. Trump purposefully and quite effectively ran as a defiant gun nut. He repeatedly touted his love of guns and his admiration of his sons’ love of killing animals with guns. And when he won, gun-lovers stopped hoarding guns at a record pace. For them, the prophesied “gunpocalypse” had been avoided, so they relaxed a bit. But the collateral damage of America’s exceptional gun-nuttery keeps on mounting, both at home and abroad.
Uncle Sam Is A Gun Nut
The Independent (UK) found that “nearly 1,400” people were shot around America in the week following the Las Vegas massacre. That’s just one week’s worth of shooting. Even more daunting, they determined that “24,862 [Americans] have been injured and 12,208 have been killed as a result of gun violence” so far this year. It’s a bloody, but sadly unsurprising addendum to the ponderous aftermath of the “worst mass shooting” in U.S. history.
Two U.S. Marine Corps AV-8 Harriers fly in formation during training exercises. (Photo credit: Defense Department photo by Gunnery Sgt. Chad Kiehl, U.S. Marine Corps.)
At the same time, Americans remain largely ignorant of the “mass casualty event” that’s unfolded around the world over the last 16 years. Fortunately, the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University has done the thankless job of keeping tabs on Uncle Sam’s Global War on Terror. Their “Costs of War” project estimates that Uncle Sam’s wars are directly responsible for 370,000 deaths, responsible for another 800,000 indirect deaths and that some 200,000 civilians died “at the hands of all parties to the conflict” America instigated.
And like those solitary super-owners who spend freely on guns without batting an eye, Uncle Sam seems decidedly nonplussed by the $4.8 trillion “price tag” for his post-9/11 wars.
Even more telling, this prolonged, costly slaughter has done little to slake Uncle Sam’s thirst for more guns. In fact, one of the hallmarks of Donald Trump’s candidacy was not just his full-throated praise for the NRA, but his constant claim that America’s military had been “depleted.” Of course, he promised a Paddock-like spending spree to make it bigger than ever before. Trump essentially presaged Heritage’s lament about Uncle Sam’s supposed military weakness. And it set up a spike in defense spending that will ensure that America stands alone as the world’s sole “super-owner.”
All of which points to some obvious, if seldom asked, questions: Is the Heritage Foundation’s report on the U.S. military really that different from the NRA’s repeated exhortations to individual gun owners? Don’t the makers of weapons big and small both profit from the thinly veiled salesmanship of Heritage and the NRA, the collateral damage be damned? Really, what’s the difference between Smith & Wesson and Lockheed Martin? Or between bystanders being shot with lead bullets or struck by a high-tech Tomahawk?
Aren’t we as a military power much like those 7.7 million super-owners who stockpile arms like a paranoid survivalist who sees boogeymen and gun-grabbers around every corner? And don’t we as a globe-trotting nation differ little from the individual Americans who “open-carry” guns into a Wendy’s or Walmart … as if they are not just looking for a chance to flaunt them, but also for a reason to use them?
Sadly, though, that’s not where it ends because just like Stephen Paddock had his outsized arsenal of weapons stashed in his homes and his car, so too does Uncle Sam have his arsenal dispersed in caches strewn around the world. And the only logical reason to build up an arsenal well beyond what’s needed to protect your personal safety or national security … is because you intend on using that arsenal to kill people. That much is clear about Stephen Paddock. Isn’t it also clear about Uncle Sam? It is certainly clear to millions of people around the Muslim world.
Ultimately, is Uncle Sam really that different from Stephen Paddock? More to the point, if we are looking for answers to the Las Vegas shooting, perhaps we should ask if Stephen Paddock is really that different from Uncle Sam?  Because the truth is that Uncle Sam — the collective “we” also known as America — is the world’s paragon of gun-nuttery. He is the author of many senseless slaughters with inexplicable motives and unclear ends. And it seems unlikely that we’ll ever be able to explain Stephen Paddock’s gun-craziness until we finally make some effort to look in the mirror and examine Uncle Sam’s exceptional role as the world’s leading gun nut.
JP Sottile is a freelance journalist, radio co-host, documentary filmmaker and former broadcast news producer in Washington, D.C. He blogs at Newsvandal.com or you can follow him on Twitter, http://twitter/newsvandal.

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I Am Miko Peled, And I Support Jeremy Corbyn’s Courageous Call to “End the Oppression of the Palestinian People”

By Miko Peled | American Herald tribune | October 20, 2017
Jeremy Corbyn is arguably not only one of the most popular leaders in the West today, he is also the most promising to those who care for progressive causes. This presents a problem for Israel who fears a strong leader who does not shy away from expressing support for the Palestinian people. One can safely argue that Israel and its multiple tentacles around the world will stop at nothing to prevent Corbyn from entering Downing Street 10.
What makes it even more problematic for Israel is that Britts clearly want Jeremy Corbyn to be their next prime minister. He has managed to increase Labor Party membership to unprecedented numbers and polls show that his clear vision, honesty, and casual charisma made him the favorite among many Britts. In a poll taken in September 2017,  a mere 19% of people aged 18 to 34 think the Tories are on their side compared with 53% who say Jeremy Corbyn and the Labor party are. According to the Mail Online, Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity has soared since the elections of June 2017.
It is no secret that Israel invests heavily to make sure that monarchs and presidents, prime ministers and emirs around the world stand with Israel and dare not support the Palestinian cause. Furthermore, Israel’s agents and lobbies make sure that those who do express support for Palestinians end up departing from political life. Politicians around the world fear the long arm of the Zionists who, not unlike a mafia, use all means at their disposal to achieve their goals. Now they are faced with Jeremy Corbyn who is a visionary and charismatic leader that is obviously well liked.
For nearly two years Zionist groups in the UK and particularly within the Labor Party have been conducting a witch hunt to rid the Labor party of Corbyn supporters, in the hopes of weakening Corbyn himself. The most common and thus far successful tactic was to claim that they are anti-Semitic. Some fifty members of Labor were suspended including the former mayor of London Ken Livingston. But the comments made by these members, many of whom have dedicated their lives to fighting racism, fighting for the disenfranchised and promoting tolerance, were not anti-Semitic but rather out of line with the official Zionist platform. This is a platform which allows no discussion regarding the holocaust and no discussion on the ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people by the “Jewish State.”
I had the privilege of being in Brighton recently during Labor’s conference and was able to speak at some of fringe events that were dedicated to Palestine. What became clear to me during those days in Brighton is that there were three issues that were problematic, and which I addressed in one of my lectures:
1. Discussing/denying the holocaust while claiming to believe in free speech.
2. Providing people with racist perspectives a platform to express their views.
3. Anti-Semitism.
One has to wonder how anyone can claim to believe in free speech yet claim that “holocaust deniers” are criminal. If someone is ill informed or ignorant or racist or stupid or all of the above – that is not a crime. It may reflect a person’s own racism, ignorance or stupidity – whichever the case may be but reflects nothing on the holocaust and its millions of victims. One would argue that denying current and impending disasters and crimes against humanity is far more serious. Furthermore, the label “holocaust denier” is too often thrown at people who present perspectives of the holocaust that disagree with those who would have a monopoly on the discourse, i.e. the Zionist establishment. That is clearly undemocratic and is an insult to the very victims of the holocaust – men women and children of all nations and religions.
2. Are there limits to tolerance? There are those who claim we need to create spaces for and show tolerance toward people who support Zionism and the state of Israel. It is said that they must be allowed to express their point of view in an effort to show balance. But would this courtesy be shown to the KKK? Should the proponents of apartheid be given the same opportunity to explain why people of color are inferior to whites? Should there be a platform given to anyone that wants to promote and help the world to understand the merits and virtues of racism? I believe we should not provide that space, and I believe that this list includes Zionism. Zionism is as a racist, violent, settler colonial ideology that was and still is responsible for crimes against humanity and therefore should not be given a public space in which to legitimize their ideology.
3. What is anti-Semitism? When in the UK and elsewhere people who have dedicated their lives to promoting tolerance and fighting racism are now called anti-Semitic and when people are called anti-Semitic because they support justice in Palestine and people are called anti-Semitic because they support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)against Israel, then one wonders, what is antisemitism. Is opposing racism and settler colonialism anti-Semitism? Or is it anti-Semitism only because it is criticism of Israel? Chuck Schumer – US senator from NY, says that BDS is a “modern form of Anti-Semitism.” BDS calls for tolerance, justice, and equality – what is anti-Semitic about that?
In his speech at the end of the Labor Conference, Jeremy Corbyn has shown himself to be the single most courageous leader in the West. Having broken every record in modern British history under his leadership, Labor seems to be closer to regaining power and bringing positive change than ever before. Some of the finest and most promising quotes of his speech include:
“Our Manifesto is the program of a modern, progressive socialist party that has rediscovered its roots and its purpose, bucking the trend across Europe.”
“[Labor is] the largest political party in western Europe, with nearly 600,000 members, alongside three million affiliated trade unionists.”
“… terrorism is thriving in a world our governments have helped to shape, with its failed states, military interventions and occupations where millions are forced to flee conflict or hunger.”
“We cannot be silent at the cruel Saudi war in Yemen, while continuing to supply arms to Saudi Arabia, or the crushing of democracy in Egypt or Bahrain, or the tragic loss of life in Congo.”
And perhaps, the finest and most courageous of his statements was, “And let’s give real support to end the oppression of the Palestinian people.” We would be hard pressed to find another Western leader who would dare use these words. Now that Britts are so close to having a real leader who will improve the lives of all Britts and will indeed make the world a better place, they must not allow Israel to interfere with their elections for if they do, they will regret it forever.
*(Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn addresses party members in the final speech of the Labor Party conference in Brighton. Image credit: YouTube snapshot)
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

بن سلمان في تل أبيب لتمويل حرب «إسرائيلية» فهل حانت ساعة نهاية الكيان!؟



أكتوبر 23, 2017

محمد صادق الحسيني

أفادت مصادر صحافية استقصائية على ارتباط وثيق جداً بدوائر صنع القرار في دول عظمى وأخرى «شرق أوسطية» مهمة وفاعلة حول التوتر المتزايد الذي تشهده المناطق الحدودية في الجولان السوري وجنوب سورية بما يلي:

أولاً: توصّل القادة العسكريون والسياسيون «الإسرائيليون»، بعد سلسلة اللقاءات التي أجروها في كلّ من واشنطن وموسكو سوتشي مع المعنيين في البلدين، الى قناعة راسخة بأنّ كلتا الدولتين لا تعيران اهتماماً لمصالح واحتياجات «إسرائيل» الأمنية في سورية..

ثانياً: تكرّست هذه القناعة بشكل خاص بعد زيارة وزير الدفاع الروسي إلى تل أبيب والاتصال الهاتفي الذي أجراه نتن ياهو مع الرئيس بوتين قبل أيام، والذي ألحّ فيه على ضرورة عمل الدول العظمى على منع الحرس الثوري الإيراني وحزب الله من تثبيت وتعزيز القواعد التي أقاموها، ومعهم حركة النجباء العراقية، على طول حدود الجولان، خاصة في منطقة التلول… الشعار / الأحمر / اللواء 90 / إلى جانب تلك القواعد المقامة في منطقة درعا.

ثالثاً: قامت هيئة الأركان «الإسرائيلية»، بإعداد خطة يقوم بموجبها الجيش الإسرائيلي «بالقضاء على هذا الخطر» بنفسه، بعد لقاء رئيس الوزراء «الإسرائيلي» مع الرئيس ترامب وعدم حصوله على ضمانات أميركية بإبعاد قواعد قوات حزب الله والحرس الثوري الإيراني مسافة أربعين كيلومتراً عن الحدود مع الجولان.

وترى الخطة البدء بإجراء تصعيد الضغط العسكري جواً وبراً مدفعية على مواقع الجيش السوري وحلفائه في المناطق ذات العلاقة بهدف إيصال رسالة الى مَن يهمّه الأمر بضرورة الاستجابة إلى مطالب «إسرائيل»، ثم الانتقال إلى مرحلة دمج العمليات الأمنية الاغتيالات جواً وبراً، أيّ تفجيرات أو قصف جوي، بحسب ما تقتضيه طبيعة الهدف. نقول دمج العمليات الأمنية مع زيادة الضغط الجوي على المواقع المذكورة أعلاه وصولاً الى سعسع / الكسوة / ولمدة شهرين الى ثلاثة أشهر.

رابعاً: أما إذا لم تحقق هذه الحملة الأهداف المرجوة من ورائها، ألا وهي إقامة منطقه عازلة بعمق أربعين كلم خلف الحدود مع الجولان، فإنّ على «إسرائيل» أن تبادر للقيام بتحقيق ذلك عن طريق تنفيذ عملية عسكرية تتمّ من خلالها السيطرة على شريط يمتدّ من:

جبل الشيخ / سعسع / انخل / نوى / طفس.

خامساً: إنّ عمليات الإغارة المحدودة التي تقوم بها «إسرائيل» داخل الاراضي السورية تعتبر جزءاً من هذه الخطة والتي تمّت مناقشتها بشكل مستفيض مع محمد بن سلمان، ولي عهد السعودية، خلال زيارات ثلاث قام بها لـ»إسرائيل» وكانت آخرها قبل أيام عندما عاد والده من زيارته الى موسكو ولم يكن في استقباله في مطار الرياض وهو ما يؤكده شهود عيان فلسطينيون و«إسرائيليون» معروفون شاهدوه بالعين المجردة في أحد شوارع تل أبيب.

سادساً: عقد محمد بن سلمان لقاء مع رئيس الوزراء «الإسرائيلي» إلى جانب ثلاثة لقاءات عقدها مع وزير «الدفاع» «الاسرائيلي»، أفيغدور ليبرمان ورئيس أركانه غابي إيزنكوت، وذلك في وزارة الدفاع «الاسرائيلية» في تل أبيب.

وكان أهمّ ما طرح للنقاش في هذه الاجتماعات:

– أهمية قيام «اسرائيل» بتنفيذ العملية المذكوره أعلاه وما سيترتب عليها من لجم إيران في المنطقة ووقف تمدّدها الخطير.

– تمويل هذه الحملة العسكرية ضدّ سورية وحلفائها من قبل السعودية، بما في ذلك تمويل إعادة إعمار ما قد يتمّ تدميره في «إسرائيل» خلال الحرب المقبلة.

– قيام «إسرائيل» بالعمل، من خلال قوى الضغط اليهودية في الولايات المتحدة، على رفع أسعار النفط في العام المقبل بين خمسة إلى عشرة دولارات للبرميل، وذلك لمساعدة السعودية على تمويل تكاليف الحرب «الإسرائيلية» المقبلة والتي قال ليبرمان لضيفه «أنّ كلفتها ستكون على السعودية أقلّ بكثير عما لو أنها وقعت بين إيران والسعودية مباشرة».

سابعاً: تمّ الاتفاق على مواصلة اللقاءات والمتابعة الحثيثة من أجل تنسيق المواقف بين الطرفين لضمان أفضل النتائج، باتجاه الهدف، ألا وهو ضرب قوات حزب الله والحرس الثوري والجيش السوري للحدّ من نفوذ إيران من دون الانزلاق الى حرب «شمالية» قد تتحوّل حرباً إقليمية، حسب عبارات ليبرمان.

وهنا ثمّة مَن يقول بأنّ تل ابيب ربما تكون بعملياتها هذه تُفضي أو تنزلق أو بوعي أو دون أن تريد إلى حرب نهايتها..!

والسبب في ذلك هو أنّ الدوائر الضيقة المحيطة بنتن ياهو في تل أبيب باتت لا تملك خيارات كثيرة أمام لامبالاة المجتمع الدولي نحوها من جهة، ووجود عمى بصر وبصيرة لما يحصل في تشكيلات محور المقاومة الذي بات ممتداً من مضيق هرمز إلى باب المندب، ومن طهران إلى غزة مدعوماً بتفاهمات روسية أميركية مصلحية عالية السقف مكرهة لواشنطن بسبب ضيق خيارات الأخيرة…

ويأتون بمثل لافت على ذلك وهو تخلّي واشنطن وأذنابها في المنطقة عن البرزاني رغم تشجيعهم وتمويلهم خطوته الأخيرة الاستفتاء ، ولكن التخلي عنه بمجرد خسارته للمواجهة مع بغداد جعل البرزاني يفقد سيطرته في كردستان ويفقد أعصابه بسبب الهزيمة التي شبّهها البعض بهزيمة والده في نهاية الحرب العالمية الثانية جمهورية مهاباد .

فجاءت عملية القنصلية الإيرانية في أربيل بأمر من غرفة عمليات الموساد في أربيل مثلاً، الأمر الذي رأى فيه المراقبون دليلاً على إفلاس «إسرائيل» نهائياً في مواجهة محور المقاومة إلا بوسائل مشاغبة ومشاغلة…!

أيّ أنها أصبحت تتصرّف بنزق شديد سواء في كردستان أو في سورية ولبنان، ذلك لانعدام قدرة «إسرائيل» على قراءة المتغيّرات العميقة التي أصابت الصفائح التكتونية الصفائح الجيولوجية لقشرة الأرض لجغرافيا الشرق الأوسط السياسية.

وهنا يكمن بيت القصيد، إذ يجزم المراقبون اصحاب الاختصاص بأن هذا النمط لسلوك صانعي القرار في «إسرائيل» تجاه محور المقاومة في قضية كردستان ينسجم تماماً مع خططهم لتنفيذ العملية البرية اليائسة في جنوب غرب سورية، والتي قد تدفعهم في لحظة «مقامرة» بتوسيع الحزام ليصل إلى طريق دمشق بيروت عند نقطة المصنع اللبناني، كما تتحدّث دوائر تل ابيب القريبة من نتن ياهو في غرفها المغلقة، وذلك بهدف إقامة منطقه عازلة على طول خط وقف إطلاق النار في الجولان وصولاً الى غرب درعا…

في الساعات القليلة الماضية عادت تل أبيب لتأكيد أنها ستصعّد ردها على أي إطلاق للنيران من سورية بهدف تأمين منطقة الشمال من أي مفاجآت غير محسوبة…!

السؤال الذي يطرح نفسه الآن، هل ستقدم تل أبيب على لعب القمار مع مصيرها بخطوة عالية التوتر مع سورية، لأنها أدركت بأنها خسرت كل الاوراق هناك ولم يبق لها الا الحرب وبتمويل سعودي وضوء أخضر أميركي بذريعة وقف الزحف الإيراني الحزب اللهي الذي يستعدّ لاستعادة غزة أيضاً..!؟

أم أنها تتخوّف من خطة مشتركة إيرانية سورية حزب اللهية صارت جاهزة للانطلاق من لبنان، كما من سورية في آن معاً، للسيطرة على الجليل والجولان، إذا تمادت «إسرائيل» كثيراً باستفزازاتها فستفاجأ بها، إذا تراخت، ولو للحظة واحدة…!؟

في الحالتين، ما يسمى بالمجتمع الدولي وبينه اميركا لم يعد بقادر على السيطرة على حرب من هذا النوع ستشترك فيها عشرات الألوف من قوى المجتمع العربي والإسلامي الحية، ومعها دول ذات وزن لا يعرف أحد كيف وأين ستتدخل، وبأي نوع من أنواع السلاح والتكتيكات القاتلة هذه المرة مع ما يُشاع عن امتلاك محور المقاومة «سلاحاً سرياً يُعمي بصر إسرائيل» أي يعطل القوة الجوية فيها هذه المرّة..!

فهل حانت ساعة نهاية «إسرائيل» أمام أعين المجتمع الغربي العاجز..!؟

ننتظر ونرى،

بعدنا طيّبين، قولوا الله…



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

israel is pushing its luck with the EU

When it comes to the various stakeholders in the Israeli Palestinian conflict Israel has guaranteed American support in almost whatever it does. Other stakeholders, including the EU, have consistently criticised Israeli government policy but consistently failed to back it up with any action. That is, possibly, until now.
The Obama administration was castigated by the pro-Israel lobby for its supposed lack of support for Israel despite granting it a 10-year $38 billion military aid package, the likes of which no other state could dream to secure. In fact, over half the aid the US hands to other states goes to Israel.
Obama missed a trick on not making the aid package conditional upon any progress in the talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, or a halt to settlement construction, which the US sees as “illegitimate”. Neither Netanyahu’s brazen snub to Obama when he addressed the US Congresswithout coordination with the White House, nor the humiliation of American Vice President Biden – who while on a visit to Jerusalem in 2010 was met with an announcement that Israel planned to build 1,600 home for Jewish Israelis in units in the illegal settlement of Ramat Shlomo which is attached to Jerusalem – was enough to trigger such conditioning.
The US is a member of the Middle East Quartet now renamed the ‘Office of the Quartet,’ which brings the EU, Russia and the United Nations together. It describes its mandate as “to help mediate Middle East peace negotiations and to support Palestinian economic development and institution-building in preparation for eventual statehood”. The Quartet’s last key report was published in 2016. The report focussed on violence and incitement, Gaza and Palestinian governance and settlement expansion, land designations, and denial of Palestinian development.
In the area designated C under the Oslo Accords, Israel maintains full control over both security and planning. The denial of Palestinian development is enacted mostly through the denial of permits for building construction. The Quartet noted that “only one permit for Palestinian housing construction in Area C was reportedly approved in 2014, and there do not appear to have been any in 2015. In the five-year period from 2009 to 2013, only 34 building permits were approved for Palestinians in Area C, out of at least 2,000 submissions”.
The report further noted that there were over 11,000 demolition orders pending against Palestinian structures, three quarters of which are on private Palestinian land. The report acknowledged that “as Palestinians are consistently denied permits to build legally, they are left with few options but to build without permits”.
There was a significant increase in the number of Palestinian structures demolished across the West Bank in the first four months of 2016, with some 500 demolitions of Palestinian structures by the Israeli authorities and nearly 800 Palestinians displaced, more than what was carried out throughout the entire year of 2015. Although many of these were not dwellings, the loss of structures such as water wells, solar panels, and animal shelters has impacted the livelihoods of over 2,500 people in the first half of 2016. The trend continued in 2017 and to this day.
Israeli security forces gather around as a Palestinian home is being demolished in Jerusalem on 14 March 2017 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
Israel makes no distinction between structures it considers to be illegal that are funded by Palestinians and those that are funded by non-Palestinians, those built without planning permission or those agreed upon in bilateral agreements with the Palestinians.
Gaza’s International Airport, which opened in 1998, was destroyed by Israel in 2001. It was built with funding from Japan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and Germany. To this day the airport remains in ruins and no sanctions were ever taken against Israel by either Germany or Spain.
In January of this year Israeli forces demolished some 15 structures in Khirbet, including homes and the only school in the small hamlet, which is located on the outskirts of the village of Beit Furik in the Jordan Valley in the north-eastern occupied West Bank.
In July the Dutch government lodged a protest with Israel over the confiscation of electricity equipment, which was said to be a hybrid power system of both diesel and solar power. The electrification project in the southern Bethlehem region was donated by the Dutch government and cost about 500,000 euros ($590,806), 350,000 euros ($413,564) of which went to Jubbet Al-Dhib, according to the report in the Israeli daily Haaretz. The Dutch Foreign Ministry requested Israel return the equipment and is “currently assessing what next steps can be taken,” the ministry’s statement to Haaretz said.
In August Israeli troops dismantled a structure built for a nursery for 25 Palestinian children in the village of Jabal Al-Baba near Jerusalem claiming it was built without a permit. This followed the demolition a few days earlier of a small primary school in the southern West Bank and the removal of solar panels used to power another school. This drew criticism from the EU which expressed “strong concern about the recent confiscations of Palestinian school structures undertaken by Israel in Bedouin communities in the occupied West Bank,” adding that “every child has the right to safe access to education and states have an obligation to protect, respect and fulfil this right, by ensuring that schools are inviolable safe spaces for children”.
But has Israel pushed its luck too far with the EU?
Despite Israel’s destruction of facilities funded by the EU, history shows it has protested to Israel but has not taken action. However, this could be about to change.
Reports have emerged that eight EU countries, led by Belgium, have drafted a letter to be delivered to senior Foreign Ministry officials demanding compensation amounting to €30,000 ($35,456) for confiscating and demolishing structures and infrastructure built by them in Area C of the West Bank, which is under full Israeli control. This follows Israel’s refusal to return the confiscated equipment as demanded by the eight countries which are members of the ‘West Bank Protection Consortium,’ a body through which they coordinate humanitarian assistance to Area C.
The letter stresses that “the demolition and seizure of humanitarian equipment, including school infrastructure, and the interference in the transfer of humanitarian assistance contravenes Israel’s obligations under international law and causes suffering to the Palestinian residents”.
However, Israel claims that European activity in Area C is not humanitarian assistance but “illegal development that is being done without coordinating with Israel and with the aim of strengthening the Palestinians’ hold on Area C”. This claim was previously made in 2015 by Benjamin Netanyahu who ordered the demolition of some 400 Palestinian structures built in the West Bank with European funding.
While the international community has often talked the talk about Israeli crimes, this is a rare example of action that could at least make Israel think twice before acting. While this is a small step by eight EU countries it could mark a significant and necessary change in policy from condemnation of Israeli policies to tangible action. EU citizens should be outraged that contributions from their taxes to alleviate Palestinian suffering and build peace, are being wasted by Israel while goods from illegals settlements continue to make their way to EU supermarket shelves.
If the EU is serious about peace and its support for a two-state solution then it can use existing instruments to exercise its influence. This includes suspending the EU-Israel Association Agreement for Israel’s failure to adhere to a clause which states that “relations between the parties, as well as all the provisions of the agreement itself, shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles”.
Israel’s clear failure to respect Palestinian human rights should finally trigger a suspension of this agreement.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!