Beyond apartheid: Fragments from the West Bank

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I want the world to know

Anas Mohammed Jnena on April 17, 2017

Anas Mohammed Jnena, a writer from Gaza with the WeAreNotNumbers campaign wants the world to know Gaza is like any other place in the world and so are its people: “I want the world to know that Palestine has writers, artists, thinkers and, most importantly, lovers. I want to the world to know that we are humans just like you.”

‘Being a former prisoner’s daughter has instilled in me an unstoppable determination’

Tamam Abusalama on April 17, 2017

As more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails launch a hunger strike on the occasion of Palestinian Prisoners Day, Tamam Abusalama recalls the combined 15 years her father spent as a prisoner. “Being a former prisoner’s daughter has instilled in me an unstoppable determination to break all borders and limits. I struggle against everything that violates my freedom and that of my people.”

Beyond apartheid: Fragments from the West Bank

Yarden Katz on April 17, 2017

According to a recent New York Times op-ed, Israel today is “nothing like” South African apartheid. Yarden Katz, an Israeli, abandoned the warnings about visiting the West Bank and toured a housed in Bethlehem trapped by the wall, and a ghost town in Hebron, “If we only dare look, we see that there’s apartheid and much more.”

– See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/israel-palestine/#sthash.N4eacYAt.dpuf

H.R. McMaster’s Ties To Soros-Supported Think Tank Raise Questions

National Security Advisor Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster’s past affiliation with the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) has created fresh concerns after research conducted by Disobedient Media revealed that the British think tank has taken funding from multiple governments in the Middle East and organizations tied to George Soros. McMaster’s former position with the IISS indicates a potential conflict of interest given the think tanks’ financial ties to sponsors who are anti-American and in some cases, states sponsors of terrorism.

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I. The IISS Has Financial Ties To Middle Eastern States And Soros-Connected Organizations

The International Institute for Strategic Studies is a UK-based think tank with strong establishment ties which was credited by former U.S. Ambassador Raymond Leonard Garthoff in his memoirs as being a driving force in creating “intellectual structures for managing the Cold War.” The IISS has famously boasted that it “owes no allegiance to any government, or to any political or other organization” and produces research cited and utilized by a vast number of groups internationally. But on December 6th, 2016, The Guardian reported that documents published by the organization Bahrain Watch showed that the IISS received more than £25 million in funding from the Bahraini royal family. The leaked documents also revealed that the IISS and Bahrain’s rulers specifically agreed to keep the latter’s funding secret, which would be used to pay for an IISS office in the country as well as annual conferences on Middle East politics attended by heads of state and other powerful figures in Bahrain’s capital of Manama. The Middle East Eye also published research indicating that in 2015 this funding accounted for over half the IISS’ total income during that period.

A reference of the IISS’ Sources of Funding Statementpage reveals that the think tank also receives funds from a shocking list of special interest groups, including the Carnegie Corporation New York, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman, Executive Affairs Authority – Abu Dhabi, The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Defense, the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS), the embassies of China, Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and the High Commission for Pakistan. The IISS also accepted donations from George Soros’ Open Society Foundation and the Ploughshares Fund.

The Ploughshares Fund is financed by the Open Society Foundation. A May 5, 2016 article by the New York Times revealed that the Ploughshares Fund was a major player in efforts to sell the Iranian nuclear deal to the American public. The deal has been generally criticized as a foreign policy failure, resulted in the transfer of hundreds of billions of dollars to Iran without any concessions in return and has failed to prevent Iran from continuing to illegally test long range ICBM missiles in violation of both the deal and international sanctions.

George Soros has faced backlash internationally in Eastern Europe, after his organizations were banned from Hungary and placed under audit in Macedonia amid accusations that he was meddling in the countries’ political processes and improperly seeking to influence public opinion. Disobedient Media, The New York Times and The Washington Times have all highlighted Soros’ financial support for anti-democracy movements in the United States who seek to undermine democratic institutions and pursue regime change. The billionaire investor’s financial involvement with the IISS seriously undermines their claims of independence already on shaky ground after the revelations from The Guardian and Bahrain Watch.

II. H.R. McMaster Served As Consulting Senior Fellow At The IISS

H.R. McMaster was appointed to the position of National Security Advisor after the resignation of Michael Flynn in February 2017. McMaster was widely praised by the media after he steered away from Flynn’s hardline stance towards terrorism, statingthat the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” was “not helpful.” Although McMaster has extensive counterinsurgency experience from his years in Iraq, his legacy there has been criticized by the Asia Timesas having utilized vast amounts of U.S. funds and resources only to leave behind an Iraqi government that was brittle and at risk of collapse, while failing to quell sectarian tensions that have allowed Iran to leverage interests throughout the Middle East and expand their influence through Hamas and Hezbollah.

From September 2006 to February 2017, H.R. McMaster served at the IISS as a Consulting Senior Fellow. The IISS’ website indicates that McMaster focused on topics relating to conflict and conflict prevention, development and security, civil-military relations and military history. McMaster’s close, longstanding ties to the IISS create concerns about conflicts of interest given the think tank’s financial connections to multiple foreign states across the Middle East and Asia, as well as figures like George Soros who are actively seeking to resist the administration of Donald Trump after the latter’s defeat of Soros-supported candidate Hillary Clintonin the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

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McMaster’s affiliation with an organization that has taken money not only from groups who pushed the harmful and counterproductive Iran nuclear deal, but states who media reports and releases from Wikileakshave shown to be sponsors of terrorism in both the Middle East and the West raise serious questions given the many years McMaster spent with the IISS. The IISS’ connection to such parties will no doubt continue to dog the Lieutenant General going forward given his central role in advising President Donald Trump during the U.S.’s controversial April 6th missile strike in Syria and his belligerent rhetoricdirected at the Russian Federation over their support for Bashar al-Assad.

Source: http://disobedientmedia.com/h-r-mcmasters-ties-to-soros-supported-think-tank-raise-questions/

Noam Chomsky: Russia Interference Claims Turning US Into Laughing Stock (Video)

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‘Half the world is cracking up in laughter’ — Chomsky

Noam Chomsky is asking, what the heck is wrong with Democrats? They’re giving Trump a free pass on everything except the one thing he is mildly good on. Their incessant whining on alleged Russian interference is a joke — the US doesn’t just interfere, it topples governments it doesn’t like in coups and invasions.

Meanwhile you’ve got NATO exercises on the Russian border — not Warsaw Pact exercises in Mexico — and the US building up a first strike infrastructure in eastern Europe under the guise of a missile shield to protect against Iran.

It’s a pretty remarkable fact that—first of all, it is a joke. Half the world is cracking up in laughter.

The United States doesn’t just interfere in elections. It overthrows governments it doesn’t like, institutes military dictatorships.

Simply in the case of Russia alone—it’s the least of it—the U.S. government, under Clinton, intervened quite blatantly and openly, then tried to conceal it, to get their man Yeltsin in, in all sorts of ways.

So, this, as I say, it’s considered—it’s turning the United States, again, into a laughingstock in the world.

So why are the Democrats focusing on this? In fact, why are they focusing so much attention on the one element of Trump’s programs which is fairly reasonable, the one ray of light in this gloom: trying to reduce tensions with Russia? That’s—the tensions on the Russian border are extremely serious. They could escalate to a major terminal war. Efforts to try to reduce them should be welcomed.

Just a couple of days ago, the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Jack Matlock, came out and said he just can’t believe that so much attention is being paid to apparent efforts by the incoming administration to establish connections with Russia. He said, “Sure, that’s just what they ought to be doing.”

So, meanwhile, this one topic is the primary locus of concern and critique, while, meanwhile, the policies are proceeding step by step, which are extremely destructive and harmful. So, you know, yeah, maybe the Russians tried to interfere in the election. That’s not a major issue.

Maybe the people in the Trump campaign were talking to the Russians. Well, OK, not a major point, certainly less than is being done constantly.

And it is a kind of a paradox, I think, that the one issue that seems to inflame the Democratic opposition is the one thing that has some justification and reasonable aspects to it.

Well, you can understand why the Democratic Party managers want to try to find some blame for the fact—for the way they utterly mishandled the election and blew a perfect opportunity to win, handed it over to the opposition.

But that’s hardly a justification for allowing the Trump policies to slide by quietly, many of them not only harmful to the population, but extremely destructive, like the climate change policies, and meanwhile focus on one thing that could become a step forward, if it was adjusted to move towards serious efforts to reduce growing and dangerous tensions right on the Russian border, where they could blow up.

NATO maneuvers are taking place hundreds of yards from the Russian border. The Russian jet planes are buzzing American planes. This—something could get out of hand very easily.

Both sides, meanwhile, are building up their military forces, adding—the U.S. is—one thing that the Russians are very much concerned about is the so-called anti-ballistic missile installation that the U.S. is establishing near the Russian border, allegedly to protect Europe from nonexistent Iranian missiles. Nobody seriously believes that. This is understood to be a first strike threat.

These are serious issues. People like William Perry, who has a distinguished career and is a nuclear strategist and is no alarmist at all, is saying that we’re back to the—this is one of the worst moments of the Cold War, if not worse. That’s really serious. And efforts to try to calm that down would be very welcome.

And we should bear in mind it’s the Russian border. It’s not the Mexican border. There’s no Warsaw Pact maneuvers going on in Mexico. And that’s a border that the Russians are quite reasonably sensitive about. They’ve practically been destroyed several times the last century right through that region.

SYRIA: Washington’s ‘Greater’ Middle East Project – Hand in Hand with Israel

 

Sarah Abed & Mark Taliano
Global Research

The US-led coalition of war criminals is using elements of Syria’s Kurdish population to achieve the U.S Empire’s goal of destroying the non-belligerent, democratic country of Syria, led by its hugely popular, democratically-elected President, Bashar al-Assad. 

Empire seeks to create sectarianism and ethnic divides in a country that, prior to the Western-launched criminal dirty war, had neither.

President al-Assad is well aware of the imperial forces behind the mercenaries invading his country. In a speech to the newly elected members of the People’s Assembly of Syria (Syria’s Parliament) on 7 June 2016, he elaborated upon the modus operandi of the invaders:

• They seek to attack the constitution by means of a so-called “transition” stage.

• They seek to destroy the two pillars of the government: the army and the diverse, national, pan-Arab and religious identity of Syrians.

• They seek to rebrand the savage terrorists as “moderates” and then to eternally provide them with a cover of legitimacy.

• They seek to create chaos, sectarianism, and ethnic enclaves that turn the people’s commitment from the homeland to conflicting groups that seek help from foreigners against their own people.

• They seek to be branded as “humanitarian” and “protectors” to save the people from (externally engineered) conflict and misery.

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By imposing economic and armed terrorism on Syrians, by waging a phony war against their own terrorist proxies (including ISIS and al Qaeda), by creating sectarian and ethnic tensions, and by destroying Syria’s infrastructure — including water and electrical infrastructure — the Western, Zionist, and GCC agencies of terrorism seek to be perceived as saviours, humanitarians and protectors, who can then introduce the “free market” of international capital, which will be the coup de grâce to effect the final destruction of the host country. And mainstream fake news provides the criminal warmongers with on-going, 24/7 cover to commit their war crimes.

Syrian-American Sarah Abed, was born in Al Qamishly and has lived in both the USA and Syria throughout her life. She makes frequent trips back and forth. Sarah is in direct daily contact with family and friends that reside in different parts of Syria. Sarah conducted and translated an interview with a close family friend, “Samir”, who lives in Syria and is well informed about the conditions on the ground.

Samir’s commentaries are consistent with President Assad’s assessment of the Imperialists’ strategy of “divide and conquer”:

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Picture taken by Samir sent directly to Sarah Abed, for exclusive use in articles. March 2017 showing the streets of Al Qamishly which is where the Kurds are trying to establish their capital.

Question: What was life like in Al Hasaka prior to the launch of the dirty war on Syria?

Answer: Life was great. The diversity was a positive attribute to the area. Al Hasaka is influenced by the Turkish, Syrian, and Kurdish cultures. You would see Turkish soap operas on local TV. , hear Turkish music, along with Merdali, and other types in the streets, blaring from the speakers of cars. I used to go to the music shops and pick up the latest Turkish songs. There were many restaurants, hospitals, hotels, and outdoor parks. Kurds had assimilated into the culture. They were considered Syrian citizens. Many of the Christians had family in Sweden. They would come for the summer.  There were good relations between all of the different ethnicities and religious affiliations. It was hard to distinguish who was who in the streets. There was a bustling social life and people were generally content with their lives.

Question: Did the Kurds have equal opportunities for education, healthcare, and work?

Answer: Since the 19th century when most of the Kurds came into Syria there was a peaceful coexistence. Kurds lived and interacted with Muslim and Christian Syrians. Yes, they had equal rights in every sector. They attended schools with the Syrian government approved Arabic curriculum.  They had access to free education, free healthcare, must like their Syrian counterparts. They were in fact Syrian Kurds and were not treated any differently.

Question: Are the people in Al-Hasaka well educated?  Well informed?

Answer: Yes, they were considered to be among  the most educated people in Syria. They are also very conscious of what is happening in their country as well as abroad. Education was very important and they took pride in it.  Many had completed college.  Kurds represent about 30% of the population in the Al-Hasaka governorate.

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“On February 3, the coalition’s aviation destroyed four bridges: two in Raqqa and two in the settlements of El-Calta and El-Abbara. As a result of these actions, the communication between the northern and southern parts of the city, with over 200 thousand inhabitants, has been completely interrupted. On February 18, a bridge in El Megle was completely destroyed in the vicinity of the city of Maadan, 60 kilometers east of Raqqa,” ~ Sputnik

Question:  How does the rest of the population feel about Kurdish aspirations for independence from Syria?

Answer:  Syrians are not entirely surprised by these recent demands by the Kurds for autonomy. They are however upset by it. Syrians feel that the Kurds were allowed to come in and have lived in Syria for centuries and were treated fairly therefore the need to now take a part of the country and claim it as their own federation is quite frankly an insult to the hospitality they were shown. They feel as though the Kurds are being unappreciative and are only looking out for their own interest and not taking into account the Syrians that live in the area. Kurds are the minority yet their demands for autonomy and to take over the areas  that they have alleged are now their property is very unfair to Syrians in the area. Kurds moved into Syria and called it home, but now they are acting like the Syrians in their areas are living in their federation and need to abide by their rules and share their views and follow their commands or else they will be driven out of their homes. This is a very harsh and criminal way to treat others. Lest we forget that  Kurds are ultimately nomads and their alliance lies with Israel.

Question: Do all Kurds in the area want independence from Syria?

Answer: In the beginning of the war the Kurds fought alongside the Syrian army, they were paid, armed, and trained by the SAA. When the USA came in and basically created the SDF Syrian Democratic Forces that’s when the Kurds became more adamant about wanting independence and autonomy.  This is a very important point that needs to be made clear, The USA’s involvement in Syria led to the Kurds demanding autonomy.  Had the US military not given them weapons, training, armed vehicles, and most likely paid them wages as well there is a good chance that the Kurds would not have made these demands. Not all Kurds want independence but those who speak up against it  are silenced and told to not say anything or else they will be sent out of the country. They have received threats that saying anything negative about the Kurdish desires for autonomy will have negative consequences.

Question: Why do they want independence?  Did Assad government not treat them well?  Did the U.S government promise support and democracy and other lies?

Answer: They have always wanted to establish Kurdistan, that has been a life- long desire of theirs stemming from centuries ago. They are originally nomads that moved into countries such as Syria, Iraq, Turkey but their origins are in Iran. It was brought up from time to time but recently it has been discussed more openly and adamantly. It has now become a demand and one they will stop at nothing to achieve. This is quite problematic and many people in the region are waiting to see how this will unfold. It is surely a battle, the end results are unknown. The Kurds were treated well and did not have any issues with the Syrian Government. They had equal rights, free education, free healthcare like the rest of the Syrians.   Many do not have a passport which makes traveling legally an issue but it doesn’t seem to be a big concern for them.

Question: How have the illegal Western sanctions on Syria impacted the Al-Hasaka area?

Answer: The illegal sanctions have had a detrimental affect on the entire country. Due to its location in the North East of the country at times it felt like the Hasaka province was cut off from the rest of Syria. It was not receiving any sort of shipments from the other parts of Syria and had to rely on goods coming in from Iraq that were originally made in Turkey and Iran such as food, oil, rice, sugar, sanitary products, children’s items such as diapers and formula. At some points during the war the only thing they were receiving from inside of the country was Medicine coming from Damascus, even this was cut off during certain periods. Medical concerns and issues have multiplied and caring for illnesses and health conditions has become a big concern. It is both very expensive and also very difficult to find medicine and items such as infant formula. Another concern is that medical equipment has now become outdated and most of the machines do not work. Spare parts to repair them are unavailable. Most people with severe health conditions have had to move out of the area. The price of everything has multiplied. In 2015-2016 people had to rely on whatever products, food, healthcare, medicine, and everyday products that were already in the stores.. nothing else was being brought in. The demand was still there but the supply was dwindling and that of course caused severe economic turmoil and inflation.  Another issue related to the sanctions is that right now there are no exports from Syria, which in turn made the price of the dollar rise which then had a negative effect on everything else. For instance the price of infant formula had reached 5,000 syp which is about 10x what it was worth before.. some people were stating they are willing to pay 10,000 syp for a few days of formula but even that was difficult to locate in the stores. For the past few months they have been receive more medicine.

Question: What do other people in the governorate think about the Mandatory Self-Defence Duty and the prospect of killing Syrian soldiers?

Answer: In Al Qamishly they have had a few conflicts between the SAA and the Kurdish soldiers.  The last one was nine months ago and it lasted for four days. Right now they are not having any issues, but there is tension and it could break out into a fight at any time.  Last time they killed four Syrian soldiers, and at that time there were Arabs who said they would no longer fight against the Syrian army, and they gave up their weapons and left the SDF. They refused to fight against the Syrian soldiers.

When they are taking over new areas they are forcing the people in the new area to fight along with them.  There were a few families in the villages that refused to fight along with them and they kicked them out of the villages and claimed that their homes now belong to the Kurds and they are not to return and claim their properties in the future.

SAA Hasakah
“Tensions erupted between pro-government forces and Kurdish groups in Hasaka on Tuesday, leading to the most significant violence between the sides since several days of fighting in Qamishli in April.” ~ Reuters 18/8/2016 (Photo: Press TV)

Question: What happens if citizens refuse to fight the SAA? Are they threatened?

Answer: See above yes, they were given an ultimatum either fight with us or you will be forced to leave and forfeit their properties. Usually they would then move to other villages or the city where they are not forced to fight alongside the Kurds.  Once you start fighting with them, you are forced to fight whoever they need you to fight against and that includes the Syrian Army. You become trapped and ordered to follow their commands

Question: Do some people have no option?  (ie fight against Syria or starve? Fight or go to jail? )

Answer: As mentioned previously yes, the ultimatum is either fight with us or you will relinquish your property and move out of town. They have already done this numerous times.

Question: Which country is paying the Kurdish soldier wages?  How do they receive payment? Are they paid better than SAA soldiers?

Answer: Initially when they were fighting alongside the SAA it was the Syrian government that was paying their wages. Then the USA got involved and they formed the Syrian Democratic Forces on October 10th 2015.  Right now we are not certain who is paying their wages,  but it is rumoured that the U.S is the one providing them with money since we know that they are providing them with weapons, training and  armoured vehicles.

 Question: Are some of the Kurdish leaders criminals?

Answer: Many of the local leaders didn’t hold any titles or ranks before the war, they didn’t have any army or political experience.  They were not educated or well to do and most of them were in fact troublemakers with prior criminal convictions. These are on the local level. A differentiation needs to be made between the local leaders and their followers and the ones that came from Qandal Moutains in Turkey. On the local level yes they were smugglers and it’s been said that some are in the drug business. They loitered and stole items from the shops and homes in the areas they took control over. They were considered thugs. The ones that are coming from Qandal mountains have political and military experience.

Question: Can you tell us about the SDF?

Answer: First, I want to say that it’s not what the USA is trying to make it out to seem. The USA needed to support a group of people in Syria that did not have direct ties to terrorist groups. They did this after their union with the Free Syrian Army and “moderate rebels” fell through when it became clear that these were nothing less than terrorists and had ties to Al Qaeda and Daesh. The allies of SDF are the USA, France, UK, and a number of other smaller groups. Their headquarters is in AlQamishly. They state that they have about 50,000 fighters but we are unsure of that. They are mostly Kurdish and recently just a few days ago a large number of fighters defected from the SDF. They are led by the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and their goal is to create their own federation in the NE of Syria.  There are US forces embedded with the SDF forces. The Pentagon confirmed the arms, ammunition, rifles, mortars, and ammunition it sent to them. The USA is heavily funding them and recently stated that they would continue to train and equip forces of the Manbij Military council.

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The SDF flag. “During the SDF’s late summer 2016 Western al-Bab offensive against ISIL, the U.S. Air Force provided close combat support for SDF forces. Late September 2016, the U.S. spokesman for the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF–OIR) confirmed that the SDF, including the YPG, is also part of the “vetted forces” in the train and equip program and will be supplied with weapons. ~ Wikipedia

Conclusion:

Sarah’s interview with Samir was a process that extended over a period of time, and she has amplified and clarified some of his commentaries.

What is clear is that the US and its allies, in particular Turkey in this case, are committing crimes of aggression against the sovereign state of Syria beneath the Big Lie of combatting terrorism.  The real plan, which is self-evident in this overview of the Kurdish issue, is to divide, conquer, and destroy Syria through economic and armed terrorism.

When a family chooses to leave, terrorists are quick to occupy the house, and to claim ownership.

***

READ MORE SYRIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Syria Files

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BARBARIANS IN SUITS EXPLOITERS, PLUNDERERS, WARMONGERS AND MASS MURDERERS

BARBARIANS IN SUITS THE GLOBAL ELITE ACT CULTURED AND REFINED, BUT THEIR POLICIES ARE SAVAGE AND UNCIVILIZED.EXPLOITERS, PLUNDERERS, WARMONGERS AND MASS MURDERERS, THEIR GREED, ARROGANCE AND CRUELTY HAVE CAUSED UNTOLD MISERY.WHILE CHAMPAGNE DRIPS FROM THEIR LIPS, THE BLOOD OF THOUSANDS DRIPS FROM THEIR HANDS.THEY ARE BARBARIANS IN SUITS.  THE MONSTROUS WORK OF MODERN-DAY BARBARIANS NANKING (CHINA) AUSCHWITZ (POLAND) HIROSHIMA (JAPAN) VIETNAM
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NAPALM) LAOS
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AGENT ORANGE) CAMBODIA
(CLUSTER BOMB)
 FALLUJAH, IRAQ
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DEPLETED URANIUM) AFGHANISTAN
(LANDMINE)
 GAZA, PALESTINE YEMEN SYRIA “One cannot engage in barbarous action without becoming a barbarian.”U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright in his book “The Arrogance of Power” “U.S. military forces were directly responsible for about 10 to 15 million deaths during the Korean and Vietnam Wars and the two Iraq Wars.
… The United States was also responsible for 14 million deaths in Afghanistan, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, Guatemala, Indonesia, Pakistan and Sudan.
… The United States most likely has been responsible since WWII for the deaths of between 20 and 30 million people in wars and conflicts scattered over the world.”
James A. Lucas “Countries we seek to dominate, from Indonesia and Guatemala to Iraq and Afghanistan, are intimately familiar with these brutal mechanisms of control. But the reality of empire rarely reaches the American public. The few atrocities that come to light are dismissed as isolated aberrations. The public is assured what has been uncovered will be investigated and will not take place again. The goals of empire, we are told by a subservient media and our ruling elites, are virtuous and noble. And the vast killing machine grinds forward, feeding, as it has always done, the swollen bank accounts of defense contractors and corporations that exploit natural resources and cheap labor around the globe.”investigative journalist Allan Nairn “They have pillaged the world. When the land has nothing left for men who ravage everything, they scour the sea. If an enemy is rich, they are greedy; if he is poor, they crave glory. Neither East nor West can sate their appetite. They are the only people on earth to covet wealth and poverty with equal craving. They plunder, they butcher, they ravish, and call it by the lying name of ’empire’. They make a desert and call it ‘peace’.”Publius Cornelius Tacitus – a historian of the Roman Empire “The barbarians are not waiting beyond the frontiers; they have already been governing America for quite some time.”Morris Berman “I spent thirty-three years in the Marines, most of my time being a hlgh class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.
I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1910-1912. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City [Bank] boys to collect revenue in. I helped in the rape of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street.
In China in 1927 l helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
I had a swell racket. l was rewarded with honors, medals, promotions. l might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate a racket in three city districts. The Marines operated on three continents.”
General Smedley Butler, former US Marine Corps Commandant, 1935 “What separates us from the psychopath is our conscience, and our conscience must become the voice of truth. True conscience raises us above the animal behaviour of the pathocrats.”Henry See “U.S. military forces were directly responsible for about 10 to 15 million deaths during the Korean and Vietnam Wars and the two Iraq Wars.
… The United States was also responsible for 14 million deaths in Afghanistan, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, Guatemala, Indonesia, Pakistan and Sudan.
… The United States most likely has been responsible since WWII for the deaths of between 20 and 30 million people in wars and conflicts scattered over the world.”
James A. Lucas ” It has been true all through history, the way you get a small group of people to be very rich is by getting a lot of other people to be very poor.”Michael Parenti “We have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3 of its population… We cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships, which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world benefaction… We should cease to talk about vague unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.”George Kennan, secret State Department memo, February 1948 “The greatest threat to our world and its peace comes from those who want war, who prepare for it, and who, by holding out vague promises of future peace or by instilling fear of foreign aggression, try to make us accomplices to their plans.”Hermann Hesse “How much proof do they want? There is every relation between congenital malformation and depleted uranium. Before 1991, we saw nothing like this at all. If there is no connection, why have these things not happened before? Most of these children have no family history of cancer. I have studied what happened in Hiroshima. It is almost exactly the same here; we have an increased percentage of congenital malformation, an increase of malignancy, leukaemia, brain tumours: the same.”Dr Ginan Hassen, pediatrician in Basra, Iraq, after the first Gulf War “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”Frédéric Bastiat “Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating?… A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself.”from George Orwell’s 1949 novel “1984” “Well, we had all those planes sitting around and couldn’t just let them stay there with nothing to do.”Deputy Chief of Mission in Laos Monteagle Stearns, when asked during Senate testimony about the bombing of Laos “Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.”Hermann Goering – Nazi leader  WEBSITES TO VISIT  THIRD WORLD TRAVELER INCONVENIENT TRUTHS PATHOCRACY:THE GLOBAL ORDER REAL WORLD ORDER PLUTOCRACY CARTEL BEYOND THE MEDIA MATRIX GLOBAL KLEPTOCRACY CRITICAL THINKER HOW THE WORLD REALLY WORKS  MEET THE BARBARIANS
(A PARTIAL LIST) Attila the Hun Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu / British Prime Minister Tony Blair / Secretary of State Henry Kissinger President Bill Clinton / Vice President Dick Cheney / Senator John McCain PSYCHOPATHS, SOCIOPATHS AND NARCISSISTS “Psychopaths have played a disproportionate role in the development of civilization, because they are hard-wired to lie, kill, injure, and generally inflict great suffering on other humans without feeling any remorse.”Kevin Barnett “Within the highest circles of power and wealth, a lack of pity and remorse is practically a prerequisite to success, and only the psychopathic mentality can thrive.”Stefan H. Verstappen “Serial killers ruin families. Corporate and political and religious psychopaths ruin economies and societies.”Robert Hare “What the psychopath considers to be good, has nothing to do with truth, honor, decency or consideration for others. In this way, any violation of the rights of others, any foul, evil deed, can be perpetrated by a psychopath, and he will still sleep like a baby at night.”Laura Knight-Jadczyk “A small proportion of people who suffer from psychologically abnormal personalities have, throughout history, had an immeasurable detrimental impact on our societies, our politics and our world. Enabled by their ruthlessness to readily acquire positions of power, they have long dominated the psychologically normal majority of the world’s population.”Ian Hughes “Civilization, as we know it, is largely the creation of psychopaths. All civilizations, our own included, have been based on slavery and warfare.”Stuart Hertzog “Interpersonal traits of psychopaths include glibness, superficial charm, a grandiose sense of self-worth, pathological lying, and the manipulation of others. The affective traits include a lack of remorse and/or guilt, shallow affect, a lack of empathy, and failure to accept responsibility.
… If violent offenders are psychopathic, they are able to assault, rape, and murder without concern for legal, moral, or social consequences. This allows them to do what they want, whenever they want. Ironically, these same traits exist in men and women who are drawn to high-profile and powerful positions in society including political officeholders.”
Jim Kouri “Achieving power for the sake of having power is the nature of the psychopath.”Robert Hare “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”George Orwell in his book “1984” “Psychopaths are naturally attracted to positions of power, and they will overwhelm anyone with a conscience, who plays by the rules and has good intentions. So you will have people with very dark interior lives, who are controlling channels of communication, controlling finance, controlling industry. And, they will promote their psychopathic “family” values. Psychopathic “values” now permeate all facets of our culture.”Stefan Verstappen “Psychopaths seek positions of power and influence, and politics offers publicity, prestige, and other perks. It also provides positions of ultimate authority over military, industry, and entire populations. In a world where psychopaths are understandably viewed as morally repulsive, often finding themselves at home in the criminal world, politics offers an opportunity to create a new world, to be free from the moral and legal rules of society.”Harrison Koehli “Psychopaths do well in politics. They are ideally suited to the ruthless, competitive, self-promoting and manipulative power games that dominate party politics.”Stuart Hertzog “Many politicians share the traits of psychopaths who are not sensitive to altruistic appeals, such as sympathy for their victims or remorse or guilt over their crimes. They possess the personality traits of lying, narcissism, selfishness, and vanity. These are the people to whom we have entrusted our fate.”John Kozy 

Why Territory? By Ian Klinke

Why Territory?

By Ian Klinke

Territory is increasingly presented as the only response to the world’s problems. But if territory is the answer, then what exactly is the question?


Inthe 1990s, it was common for us to hear and read about the end of territory. The Berlin Wall had fallen and the remaining pockets of real existing socialism were crumbling fast under the forces of liberal capitalism. As the European Union dissolved its internal borders, the spread of the internet seemed to further de-territorialise our lives. Two decades on, the picture seems to be a rather different one.

From the United Kingdom’s decision to retreat into the nation-state to the construction of border fences and walls in Israel, Hungary, the United States and elsewhere, the control of geographical areas seems to have returned to haunt us. Even cyberspace is now increasingly policed, both by authoritarian and more democratic states alike. Many of those who valorise a territorial world will argue that there is something inherently natural about this return of territory. Indeed, as a way of demarcating power in space, the question of territory may seem as old as mankind — but it is not.

Today, territory is commonly assumed to be a portion of the Earth’s surface, including its subsoil, airspace and adjacent waters, that is controlled by a state. Territory defines the geographical area over which a state has jurisdiction and it allows the state to filter the movement of people and goods into and out of this area. As an attempt to say “this far and no further”, territory may seem inherent to the human condition. But if territory was of natural rather than of cultural origin, we should be able to observe attempts to territorialise politics in all societies throughout history. Divided cities like Belfast, Jerusalem or Nicosia would be the rule rather than the exception. In fact, the logic of territory has its origins only in the 17th century.

“As a way of demarcating power in space, the question of territory may seem as old as mankind — but it is not.”

Rather than an answer to the question of migration, territory was originally a response to the problem of religious warfare. Indeed, it first emerged as a solution to the Thirty Years’ War, a conflict that had wiped out millions of Central Europeans between 1618 and 1648 in the name of both Protestantism and Catholicism. In order to ban such wars in the future, rulers should choose their territory’s denomination without interference from others. Those amongst the population who felt they would prefer to inhabit a territory with a different denomination to their ruler’s could simply leave. From this arose the principles of territorial sovereignty and non-intervention, which remain crucial to the functioning of contemporary world politics.

States have not always been interested in making exact maps of their territories. Feudal states, city states and empires did not govern through territory. The Romans, for instance, may have used the term ‘territory’, but it referred mainly to the land associated with a city. They did not imagine their world to be made up of territorial states. Instead of being governed by hard external borders, their empire was ruled through fuzzy boundaries. Medieval states were systems of rule that were based on inter-personal relations rather than the idea of territory. It was only in the 17th and 18th centuries that the world witnessed an explosion in cartographic activity. For in order to govern their territories, states also had to survey, calculate, and map their boundaries.

If we want to understand why so many of us have come to think of territory as a basic instinct rather than a political institution, we have to travel to the late 19th century, to a time when European colonialism was at its peak and the age of exploration had come to an end. It was in this political climate that the German zoologist-turned-geographer Friedrich Ratzel would come to write about territory as the target of a biological urge that was inherent in all species and nations. He argued that, much like caterpillars and primroses, nations were organisms that needed living space if they wanted to ensure their survival. A nation’s health could be judged only by its territory. This idea of the need for living space would develop a powerful traction in the early 20th century, as a whole range of political movements and regimes started to fetishise territory and sought to expand their living space by force.

“If we want to understand why so many of us have come to think of territory as a basic instinct rather than a political institution, we have to travel to the late 19th century.”

Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 aside, straightforward territorial conquest is comparatively rare in today’s world. And yet, borders and territorial questions still seem to structure the way in which our world works. We encounter this territorial world in border crossings, airports, and, if unlucky, in refugee camps and detention centres. In a biometric age, we even have our citizenship imprinted on our bodies — through our iris and fingerprints. And yet it is important to remember that this world of increasingly fortified borders is in fact rather new. Until WWI, it would have been possible to travel through Europe without a passport.

It is similarly vital not to forget that the territorial border remains only one way in which power is exerted over populations through space. There are others. Indeed, the prevention of motion by barbed wire in the 20th century was always accompanied by attempts to channel motion in particular directions. Much of this was — and continues to be — done through the built environment. Think of the forces unleashed by the Autobahn, or the invisible hand that lures us into the temples of consumer capitalism on a Sunday. Territory is never the only game in town. It has to coexist with other perhaps more consensual forms of control.

Territory is also hardly the smoothest form of power. Everyone who has tried to change the behaviour of a child or even a pet by assigning them a territory will know of the resistance that this can provoke. If we look at the responses of European states to the current refugee crisis, the problem soon becomes apparent. Barbed wire, the attempt to control migration by piercing human flesh, is not only imperfect (for the human body will eventually find a way around it), but it is also a powerful symbol of oppression; we only have to think of the iconic barbed wire fences of Auschwitz or Amnesty International’s logo. During the Cold War, the anti-nuclear movement often congregated precisely around NATO’s razor-wired military bases from which a nuclear war was to be waged on the world. So when states put up fences and walls today, this always also exposes the fundamental violence at the heart of the modern state.

Territory can also be an obstacle in other ways. It can limit what can be said and done. It is difficult, for instance, to wage a war without having a territorial state as an enemy. When the United States and its allies first embarked on the war against the shady forces of international terrorism in 2001, they saw themselves forced to find a territorial state that could be targeted by the Anglo-American war machine — Afghanistan.

The relationship between terror and territory is a crucial one in other ways, too. Think of the recent mass killings that have been carried out by young men — and they are nearly all men — in places like Brussels, Paris, Orlando and Berlin. Even before the blood has dried, there will be speculation about the perpetrator’s nationality. If he holds a passport from a predominantly Muslim nation or was born in such a nation, then the act is usually declared a terrorist act, no matter how weak his religiosity or his links to terrorist networks. The man may drink and have girlfriends, but he will be branded a terrorist. His motives will be assumed to be public and thus political.

If, however, he is from Western Europe — like the Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who killed 150 in 2015 by downing his plane in the French Alps — then the motive is usually assumed to be private and we will hear about his psychology rather than his politics. If it is terror, then we can see all kinds of exceptional measures brought into force, from detention without trial to the bombing of Islamic State in Syria, as carried out by France after the Paris attacks. If it is “simply” a mass killing, then nothing much happens at all. One of the key differences is the passport.

“This vision of a world in which your passport defines your politics is of course a dangerous one — but it is also one that will likely provoke opposition.”

As xenophobic and nationalist movements and politicians are increasingly swept into power in the global North, we increasingly hear that territory is the solution to our problems. But if territory is the answer, then what precisely is the question? In the early 21st century, the question is perhaps not so much ‘migration’ or ‘identity’, as it is often claimed, but the failures of Western liberalism with its fantasy of a borderless globe of free trade and commerce. Financial deregulation, privatisation, and globalisation have created a world that radiates a sense of insecurity amongst the majority of the population. Since the global financial crisis of 2008, it has become increasingly clear that prosperity and financial security are no longer attainable for large segments of the population, even in developed economies. If we add to this the threat of climate change, then we can even say that the belief in ‘progress’, a notion that has stood at the heart of ‘The West’ since the Enlightenment, itself has been shattered. Suddenly it makes more sense why the timeless truths of a territorial world seem so appealing to many.

If we accept that the recent rise of the new right in the United States and Europe is not so much a response to the so-called refugee crisis, but, much like the rise of fascism in the 1930s, an answer to this fundamental disillusionment and insecurity, then we can see much more clearly that territory is in fact a trick. It tricks us into believing that there is a way to collapse our planetary complexities back into a world of parcelled-up territories. This is nothing less than the fantasy of creating a world in which there are only people who identify with the territorial state, people who desire and fear the same things. This vision of a world in which your passport defines your politics is of course a dangerous one — but it is also one that will likely provoke opposition.


This is an extract from Weapons of Reason’s fourth issue: Power, available to order now.

Illustrations by Koivo

Palestine: “There’s No Conflict, There’s An Illegal Occupation”

Interview With Dr. Asem Khalil

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Professor Doctor Asem Khalil, Ph.D. in Constitutional and International Law, Associate Professor of Law of Birzeit University, West Bank, speaks of ways to consolidate the Palestine State, and definitely end Israeli crimes against humanity in the Palestinian territories.

Edu Montesanti: Dear Professor Doctor Asem Khalil, thank you so very much for granting this interview. How do you evaluate the meeting between President Donald Trump and Prime-Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on February 15? “I’m looking at two-State and one-state” formulations, President Trump said during a White House news conference with Mr. Netanyahu. “I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one”. Your view, please.

Dr. Asem Khalil: The Palestinians always called for a One State; as a compromise they accepted to enter a peace process where two state solution is envisaged as a way to get peace. If by one state, we mean equal rights for all citizens,

I don’t see why Palestinians would reject that – if they were first to ask for it and accepted only as a compromise the call for two state solution where most of historic Palestine will be part of the now state of Israel.

I think the answer given by Trump wasn’t thought through enough, and I don’t think Israel would go for a one State where one person one vote anyway.

Edu Montesanti: Why cannot Israel and the Palestinians decide alone the question? Why do Palestinians need a third party to get an agreement?

Dr. Asem Khalil: Palestinians are under occupation. It is not their own responsibility to negotiate with the occupier; for sure, it is not part of any negotiation whether to maintain or end occupation – negotiation may be on the modalities on how to do that only.

So far, Palestinians are in a weak position. They are requested to chose pacific means to reach liberation and end occupation, while at the same time, they are asked to negotiate directly with an occupier who continues to confiscate land day on day out.

It is the responsibility of the international community to put an end to one of the last occupations in the world. It is the responsibility of all community of states to make sure that rights of Palestinians – which are erga omnes – are respected.

Edu Montesanti: The United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 voted on December 23 last year, condemning the Israeli settlements as a flagrant violation of international law and a major impediment to the achievement of a two-state solution, changes nothing on the ground between Israel and the Palestinians. UN member States “agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council”, according to the UN Charter. Human rights and the international community also condemns the Israeli settlements and military attacks against Palestinians. Journalist Daoud Kuttab observed in Al-Jazeera in February, in the article US and Israel join forces to bury Palestinian statehood: “Ever since the 1967 occupation, the United Nations Security Council has repeatedly expressed the illegality of the occupation, as in the preamble of Resolution 242 ‘emphasizing inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war’.” Why does nothing change year by year, massacre after massacre?

Dr. Asem Khalil: Change doesn’t come by UN resolutions. There are few cases like the one of Israel where the UN and the Security Council in particular showed how incompetent they are in dealing with Israel’s violations of Palestinians’ rights on their land and their right to self-determination.

Palestinian leadership, nonetheless, still think that such resolutions are important. They help maintain clear what is just and what is not.

What is acceptable and what is not. Changes in international relations and power relations between states may help in the future bring the change that is needed. Although it may be too late by then.

Edu Montesanti: What are the crimes committed by Israel against Palestinians?

Dr. Asem Khalil: There are various massacres that were committed by Israel against Palestinians surrounding the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 – causing and contributing to forced displacement and refugeehood of thousands of people.

Many other massacres were committed afterwards, either directly or indirectly. Bombings directed towards civilian areas and facilities continued in recent years when attacking Gaza.

Edu Montesanti: How is life in Gaza and in the West Bank?

Dr. Asem Khalil: Gaza is being qualified as a big prison – unqualified for human living because of lack of necessary civilian infrastructures and lack of jobs.

Most West Bank populated cities are living under Palestinian Authority rule – which coordinates with Israel in security and civil matters too.

Edu Montesanti: Professor Avi Shlaim observed days ago, in Al-Jazeera: “Sadly, the Palestinians are handicapped by weak leadership and by the internal rivalry between Fatah and Hamas.” Your view on the internal politics in Palestine, please, Professor Doctor Khalil.

Dr. Asem Khalil: He is right. This is part of the problem and why stagnation is in place. It is part of the story though.

The full picture is an Israeli occupation which separated Gaza from West Bank and maintained legal and political fragmentation since then; it is also in the way Oslo separated de facto the two areas and maintained a status quo where Palestinians are not dealt with by Israeli occupation – and contrary to the wordings of Oslo – as one political community and West Bank and Gaza Strip were not in reality considered or dealt with as one political entity.

Edu Montesanti: What could we expect from Arab leaders from now on?

Dr. Asem Khalil: We don’t have much expectations. We think the Arab region is now busy with their own problems.

They are now seeing the Palestinian issue as marginal and secondary. This is very problematic now.

Edu Montesanti: How do you see the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement?

Dr. Asem Khalil: The BDS movement can be the way ahead for peaceful resistance to occupation and apartheid in Palestine. Israel is aware of the historical precedence of South Africa and the boycott movement that ended up at the end in delegitimizing the apartheid regime in South Africa, and contributed to the entry of a new era there.

We hope similar thing happens now – not delegitimizing the state of Israel, but the apartheid regime in place.

Edu Montesanti: What is the solution to the conflict, Professor Doctor Asem Khalil?

Dr. Asem Khalil: There is no conflict. There is an occupation that needs to come to an end; a colonization project that needs to be aborted; an apartheid regime that needs to be dismantled; justice and equality to be restored.

If and when this is done, no need to think of mechanisms to end a conflict because it wouldn’t exist.