Trump and Netanyahu first tried to bribe the Palestinians into capitulating to the Israeli imposition. But the two men failed. So now they are executing Plan B: bribing the Arab states’ rulers to give up even the pretense of championing the Palestinians in their struggle against Israel. In that, the two are succeeding.
Maybe no one would have noticed if Trump had sent in some FBI guys just to help guard the federal courthouse in Portland, but Trump lives by the motto “Be ominously obnoxious or go home.” So he sends in unidentified agents from customs, the border patrol, and other such agencies to scoop demonstrators off the streets. Now he’s threatening to do the same thing in other cities, including Chicago. State and local officials in Oregon and around the country are concerned.
Trump may like the optics in this election season. To many of us, however, it looks bloody fascistic. Let local communities work this stuff out. The last thing they need is an escalation of trouble compliments of an invading federal force.
In very few cases have these anti-interventionists favored literal “isolation”: what they have generally favored is political nonintervention in the affairs of other countries, coupled with economic and cultural internationalism in the sense of peaceful freedom of trade, investment, and interchange between the citizens of all countries. And this is the essence of the libertarian position as well.
Murray N. Rothbard For a New Liberty, p. 330
I ask Scott Horton about evidence surrounding the U.S. in Libya and Syria, then attach articles and videos cited w/ timestamps.
0:00 – Why Flynn had to go – General Flynn on Aljazeera
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Trump has vetoed Congress’s effort to keep him from going to war against Iran unilaterally. Nothing remarkable there. We’ve come to expect such things from the fraud who posed as antiwar.
What’s interesting is that Trump has reminded of what a narcissist he is. That fact is so much a part of the landscape that it can be hard to notice these days.
In vetoing the bill passed under the War Powers Resolution, a 1970s post-Vietnam attempt to restore Congress’s exclusive power under the Constitution to make war, Trump said, “This was a very insulting resolution….”
Insulting? That’s why he vetoed it? Apparently Trump is incapable of seeing congressional action he doesn’t like as anything but personal. It’s hard to imagine another president saying this publicly. Other presidents would have pushed back (erroneously) against the constitutional war-powers argument, but they wouldn’t have made it personal, even if they suspected it.
As I’ve often said, Trump is a caricature of the establishment politician, and that’s why the establishment hates him.
0:57 – What is Libertarianism? – NAO (Non-Aggression Obligation)
7:29 – The Kissinger Approach to History
18:24 – Kissinger’s World Government Justification
22:00 – 9/11 Response & War in Afghanistan
28:30 – F.B.I. Terrorist Plots
43:22 – “Terrorist Plots Helped ALong by the FBI – NYTimes” and Bin Laden deal & 9/11 motive
52:50 – U.S. in Libya under Obama
57:55 – Benghazi 1:04:30 – U.S. in Syria under Obama
1:06:12 – Operation Timber Sycamore & the U.S. in Syria
Ben Swann & Obama – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceobsac7LE8
John Kerry Leaked Audio: https://youtu.be/41HhRABl3kM?t=1409
‘As President, I Don’t Bluff’ – https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/obama-to-iran-and-israel-as-president-of-the-united-states-i-dont-bluff/253875/
Joe Biden at Harvard – Key allies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25aDP7io30U
Gen. Wesley Clark – 7 Countries 5 Years: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTbg11pCwOc
1:18:41 – U.S. Role in Somalia under Bush, Obama and Trump
U.S. Government to Blame for Somalia Misery https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/u-s-government-to-blame-for-somalias-misery/
“Unfortunately, sir, you have no choice,” Mattis told Trump, according to officials. “You will be a wartime president.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/can-jim-mattis-check-an-impulsive-president-and-still-retain-his-trust/2018/02/07/289297a2-0814-11e8-8777-2a059f168dd2_story.html
1:31:46 – U.S. Role in Yemen under Obama and Trump
Washington’s War in Yemen Backfires – https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/washingtons-war-yemen-backfires/
Clinton Foundation / Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Donation – https://www.clintonfoundation.org/contributors?category=%2410%2C000%2C001+to+%2425%2C000%2C000
Trump on U.S. / Saudi Alliance for the MIC – https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-president-donald-j-trump-standing-saudi-arabia/
Military Industrial Complex, President Eisenhower – https://www.npr.org/2011/01/17/132942244/ikes-warning-of-military-expansion-50-years-later
War is a Racket – Smedley Butler: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Is_a_Racket
Martha Mundy’s work on Yemen: https://sites.tufts.edu/wpf/strategies-of-the-coalition-in-the-yemen-war/
Madeleine Albright 60 Minutes – 500,000 dead children: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbIX1CP9qr4
Bin Laden Letter to the Americans: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/nov/24/theobserver
1:51:20 – Waco Siege – Operation Showtime, Waco Rules of Engagement, Waco: A New Revelation
Trump v. Jeb! – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4ThZcq1oJQ
2:08:52 – Oklahoma City Bombing Cover-Up
The Ultimate Oklahoma City Bombing Archive – https://libertarianinstitute.org/okc/
2:13:08 – Most important things you learned from Jacob Hornberger, Pat Buchanan, Murray N. Rothbard, Ron Paul, and William Norman Grigg.
Trump’s “vision” for Palestine well illustrates that in his eyes (not to mention the eyes of Netanyahu, Kushner, and others), the Palestinians are mere pawns to be manipulated in the service of Israel’s and Trump’s designs.
This can be readily seen in an obscure provision of Trump’s plan, which “contemplates the possibility” that Israel and the future pseudo-state of Palestine could together redraw their boundaries so that nearly a dozen Palestinian towns within Israel, in an area adjacent to the line separating Israel from the West Bank known as the Triangle, would become part of the future pseudo-state. Were that to happen, the residents, who today are Israeli citizens, would lose that status without their consent and become citizens of the new pseudo-state. That would be an injustice.
While Palestinians are at best second-class citizens in Israel, they evidently do not like being ordered about by two entities they distrust: the Israeli government and the Israel-empowered Palestinian Authority, both corrupt and unmindful of individual rights. Netanyahu would no doubt like to see these towns transferred to the future pseudo-state (if there must be one) because that would mean fewer Palestinian Israeli voters and members of parliament. It would be ethnic cleansing by another means.
The fundamental flaw at the heart of Trump’s Palestine/Israel plan, presumptuously titled Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People, is that Trump — like his predecessors — believes that the Israelis are the aggrieved party and the Palestinians are the not-fully-human aggressors inherently unworthy of even the minimum trust accorded fellow human beings. You can see this premise throughout Trump’s corrupt blueprint for the future of Israel and Palestine.
But this premise has the aggressor and the victim roles switched in defiance of the facts. The Palestinians are the aggrieved party. They were dispossessed in 1948 and 1967 and then denied full and equal rights within Israel and all rights in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. We see Trump’s attitude in a key part of Peace to Prosperity, namely, section seven on security and the associated appendices.
Before we get to that, let’s start by recognizing that although Trump brags that the Palestine he envisions would be bigger than what the Palestinians now control under the Oslo Accords, he is blowing hot air in his typical way. The Palestinians control nothing. Whatever internal security the Palestinian Authority (PA) administers in part of the West Bank is merely the result of Israel having subcontracted to the Palestinian elite the dirty internal-security work that Israel used to have to do itself. But Israel is free to override the PA whenever it sees the need and take internal security into its own hands. This is not autonomy.
So if Palestinian control is to be doubled, as Trump says, it would be a doubling of zero. Moreover, as Jonathan Cook writes, Trump’s plan misleads when it touts that Palestine would consist of 70 percent of the lands Israel has (illegally) occupied since the 1967 war. Several decades ago the main Palestinian organization and spokespeople agreed to reduce their claim to only the occupied territories, a mere 22 percent of the Palestine they had inhabited for millennia. That stunning concession never got the notice is deserved. (Only Israeli “concessions” are described as generous.) Yet Trump is demanding that the Palestinians accept only 70 percent of the 22 percent — which comes to 15 percent of the original territory the Israelis (that is, Zionists) took by force in what is called the Nakba, or catastrophe. And, Cook adds, that’s “after Israel has seized all the best agricultural land and the water sources.”
The security section and associated appendices make clear that in Trump’s (and Jared Kushner’s and Benjamin Netanyahu’s) eyes, the Palestinians are the bad guys who deserve nothing less than the closest surveillance lest they commit mass murder because they (so it is alleged) hate Jews qua Jews. So, despite the apparent creation of a sovereign State of Palestine, the Trump plan in reality would create a gerrymandered archipelago of Palestinian towns that nevertheless would contain many “Israeli conclave communities” (see the map above) and be surrounded by the State of Israel. Palestinians would have highly limited home-rule, but ultimate control would remain with Israel. That state would have complete authority over Palestine’s borders, airspace, and even the electromagnetic spectrum. Palestine would have no access to the Jordan River, because Israel would annex the Jordan Valley (as it’s about to do), or the Dead Sea. To quote the plan:
Upon signing the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement, the State of Israel will maintain overriding security responsibility for the State of Palestine, with the aspiration that the Palestinians will be responsible for as much of their internal security as possible, subject to the provisions of this Vision. The State of Israel will work diligently to minimize its security footprint in the State of Palestine according to the principle that the more the State of Palestine does, the less the State of Israel will have to do…. [Emphasis added.]
As you can see, any so-called concessions are for Israel’s convenience and not out of respect for the Palestinians’ long-denied rights.
Of course, the Palestinians would be watched closely. Appendix 2B sets criteria for “Palestinian security performance,” and they contain an inducement: “As the State of Palestine meets and maintains the Security Criteria, the State of Israel’s involvement in security within the State of Palestine will be reduced.” That sounds like the League of Nations’ old mandate, that is, colonial, system under which Great Britain ruled Palestine after World War I.
But as we’ll see, those criteria are hardly objective and leave plenty of leeway for Israel to give Palestine a failing grade — which is exactly what we can expect.
We read that the “State of Palestine will have security forces capable of maintaining internal security and preventing terror attacks within the State of Palestine and against the State of Israel, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Arab Republic of Egypt,” except that “these specific capabilities (i) may not (A) violate the principle that the State of Palestine in all its territory, including Gaza, shall be, and shall remain, fully demilitarized or (B) derogate the State of Israel’s overriding security responsibility, and (ii) will be agreed upon by the State of Palestine and the State of Israel.” (Emphasis added.)
And the kicker:
Should the State of Palestine fail to meet all or any of the Security Criteria at any time, the State of Israel will have the right to reverse the process outlined above. The State of Israel’s security footprint in all or parts of the State of Palestine will then increase as a result of the State of Israel’s determination of its expanded security needs and the time needed to address them. [Emphasis added.]
Just in case, of course, “the State of Israel will maintain at least one early-warning stations [sic] in the State of Palestine as designated on the Conceptual Map, which will be run by Israeli security forces. Uninterrupted Israeli security access to and from any early-warning station will be ensured.”
And: “To the extent reasonably possible, solely as determined by the State of Israel, the State of Israel will rely on blimps, drones and similar aerial equipment for security purposes in order to reduce the Israeli security footprint within the State of Palestine.” (Emphasis added.)
What a relief to know that Israel’s security footprint will be reduced through Israeli aerial surveillance — solely as determined by the State of Israel.
Let’s move on to the appendices, where some details are filled in.
Appendix 2C states that “Palestine will not have the right to forge military, intelligence or security agreements with any state or organization that adversely affect the State of Israel’s security, as determined by the State of Israel.” (Emphasis added.)
Israel of course would be free to make whatever agreement it likes, no matter how much it adversely affects the State of Palestine.
Moreover, a “demilitarized State of Palestine will be prohibited from possessing capabilities that can threaten the State of Israel.”
That is obviously vague. Defensive (and deterrent) capabilities can be always be called threatening. Israel does this with Hezbollah in Lebanon all the time. I note for the record that Israel is not similarly “prohibited from possessing capabilities that can threaten” the State of Palestine.
Congruent with the above, “any expansion of Palestinian security capabilities beyond the capabilities existing on the date this Vision is released shall be subject to agreement with the State of Israel.” Thus the Israeli state would have to approve virtually any change inside Palestine because, after all, almost anything could be construed as related to Israeli security.
We are assured that “while the State of Israel will use its best efforts to minimize incursions into the State of Palestine, the State of Israel will retain the right to engage in necessary security measures to ensure that the State of Palestine remains demilitarized and non-threatening to the State of Israel, including from terrorist threats.” There’s another blank check.
Now regarding those criteria:
The State of Palestine’s counterterrorism system must encompass all elements of counterterrorism, from initial detection of illicit activity to longtime incarceration of perpetrators. Included in the system must be: intelligence officers to detect potential terrorist activity, specially trained counterterrorism forces to raid sites and arrest perpetrators, forensics experts to conduct site exploitation, pretrial detention officers to ensure the retention of prisoners, prosecutors and judges to issue warrants and conduct trials, and post-trial detention officers to ensure prisoners serve their sentences. The system should include stand-alone detention facilities and vetted personnel.
I’m assuming, in light of Israel’s and the United States’ record in the matter, that “all elements of counterterrorism” include mass surveillance of all kinds, road checkpoints, torture, use of informants, and indefinite detention without charge, trial, or any reasonable notion of due process.
Just so the Palestinians are clear about what is expected of them, “the breadth and depth of the anti-terror activities of the State of Palestine will be determined [by Israel] by”:
The extent of arrests and interdictions of suspects, perpetrators and accomplices;
The systematic and comprehensive nature of investigations and interrogations to root out all terror networks and infrastructure;
Indictments and the extent of punishments;
The systematic and comprehensive nature of interdiction efforts to seize weapons and explosives and prevent the manufacturing of weapons and explosives;
The success of efforts to prevent infiltration of terrorists and terror organizations into the security forces of the State of Palestine.
Apparently, the Israelis will know the appropriate extent of all those things. But how? That’s not for us or the Palestinians to wonder about. But if the Palestinians fall short of expectations, you can bet the Israelis will maximize their “security footprint” inside the sovereign State of Palestine.
And speaking of vagueness, Palestine will be expected to “prohibit all incitement to terrorism.” Considering what the Israelis have regarded as incitement in the past, this sounds as though the Palestinian government will be expected to limit free speech.
And just so there’s no misunderstanding:
During the negotiations the parties, in consultation with the United States, shall attempt to create acceptable initial non-binding metrics with respect to the Security Criteria that are acceptable to the State of Israel, and in no event less stringent than the metrics used by either the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan or the Arab Republic of Egypt (whichever is stricter) with respect to the Security Criteria. Because security threats evolve, the metrics are intended to be used as a guide, and will not be binding. However, the establishment of such non-binding metrics will allow the State of Palestine to better understand the minimum goals they are expected to achieve, and take into account regional minimum benchmarks. [Emphasis added.]
To call the proposed Palestinian status one of indefinite probation with inherently subjective criteria interpreted by a sadistic probation officer would be a gross understatement
It’s clear to see that Trump’s plan is all about Israel (and its American partisans) and has nothing whatever to do with the rights of Palestinians to control their own destiny. All considerations appear subordinate to Israel’s alleged security concerns, but in fact, what really counts (since Israel faces no existential threat) is a pseudo-ethnic chauvinism. (I write pseudo because Judaism is a religion, not an ethnic or racial group, that is embraced by people of many ethnicities. See my Coming to Palestine.)
The Palestinians just don’t count. To the extent they would get anything out of Trump’s plan, it is to save Israel some trouble. Better to have Palestine elite do Israel’s dirty work.
TGIF — The Goal Is Freedom — appears occasionally on Fridays.
Trump’s long-dreaded diktat to the Palestinians is now public. (See details here and here if you have the stomach for them.) The so-called plan of the century — the “Vision” — is pretty much what the early reports described, so I have little to add to what I wrote before. (My articles are here, here, and here. You can find more in my book Coming to Palestine.)
Suffice it say here that this “plan” is dead on arrival. The Palestinians will not be bribed by a $50 billion jobs program to give up their hope of full rights, which would never be achieved in Trump’s proposed Palestinian “state,” a fragmented territory surrounded and border-controlled by Israel. That barely begins to describe how Trump envisions Palestine. Look closely at the map accompanying this article: those red dots represent an unspecified number of “Israeli conclave communities” scattered throughout what would be Palestine. (See this.) It would bear no resemblance to a sovereign country. Israel would annex the Jordan Valley to the east of Palestine and the areas of the exclusively Jewish settlements in the West Bank — all of it territory having been acquired through war, which is illegal under international law. (See the “conceptual maps” here.) Netanyahu calls the term occupied territories a “big lie” because, he says, it is the land “where our patriarchs prayed, our prophets preached and our kings ruled.” But that is the big lie. One has no valid claim to land that others live on because one’s imagined ancestors lived there in ancient times, especially when the most likely descendants of the Israelites and Judahites are today’s Palestinians and most Jews descend from converts.
Under Trump’s Vision, Israel would have unified Jerusalem as its capital (it has it now), although Palestinian would have East Jerusalem as its capital — yeah, that’s incoherent. Of course, Israel would not be required to recognize that Palestinians were robbed of their land in 1948 and 1967. The refugees would gain neither the right of return nor compensation.
To quote the official document: “The State of Israel and the United States do not believe the State of Israel is legally bound to provide the Palestinians with 100 percent of pre-1967 territory (a belief that is consistent with United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 [WRONG!]). This Vision is a fair compromise [sic], and contemplates a Palestinian state that encompasses territory reasonably comparable in size to the territory of the West Bank and Gaza pre-1967.”
But the Palestinians and much of the world believe, with good grounds, exactly what the “State of Israel and the United States do not believe” about the land that Israel conquered by war. The International Court of Justice nearly 20 years ago declared the occupation of the territories and the Jewish settlements illegal.
As for the size of the proposed Palestinian “state,” Yuma Patel of Mondoweiss commented, “While Trump boasted that his plan would promise a contiguous Palestinian state, doubled in size from its current form, the ‘conceptual map’ released by his administration shows a fragmented and dwindling territory, connected by a series of proposed bridges and tunnels.” (Again, look at the “conceptual map.”)
Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Trump’s shameless team of zealous Jewish nationalist-chauvinists, led by son-in-law Jared Kushner, have conspired to keep the Palestinians under the thumb of the so-called state of the Jewish people. That is intolerable.
As outrageous as Trump’s diktat is for its details, we should not overlook Trump’s presumptuousness in thinking it is his place to come up with a plan to settle the conflict between Palestine and Israel. It is not his place. A settlement is to be negotiated between the parties — without the American and Israel condescension that is always directed at the Palestinians, as though any discussion of their predicament is a favor to them for which they should be eternally grateful. In fact, bona fide negotiations would begin with an Israel apology to the Palestinians for the massive land theft and oppression it has perpetrated over so many decades.
Trump, who is unable even to disguise his contempt for the Palestinians, will be responsible for the tragedy that the future surely holds.
What is this banging hot white chick doing in the Gaza Strip or Venezuela?
In this offensive political comedy episode, we follow the sexy journalist Abby Martin, to dive into how the Secret CIA Empire actually works. From Coups in Venezuela and Ukraine, to propaganda of the empire though the map.
So, Trump wants to add Middle Eastern nations (so far unspecified) to NATO so that the alliance can be more involved in the region. We need another obligation to go to war there like a hole in the head. That’s very peculiar for a Putin marionette who supposedly dislikes NATO, which by the way has grown already during his tenure. One always proposes larger missions for useless organizations. Such is the incoherence we’ve come to expect for the 45th occupant of the White House.
According to Politico, Trump said to reporters while describing in a call with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg:
I think that NATO should be expanded, and we should include the Middle East. Absolutely … because this is an international problem…. And we can come home, or largely come home and use NATO. It’s an international problem. We caught ISIS. We did Europe a big favor.
So, I have actually said that I think the scope of NATO should be increased. And they should be looking for ISIS. We will help. But right now the burden is on us, and that has not been fair.
He went on:
NATO, right, and then you have M-E, Middle East. You call it NATO-ME. What a beautiful name. I’m good at names.
No, uh, if you add the two words, Middle East, at the end of it, because that’s a big problem. That’s a big source of problems. And NATO-ME, doesn’t that work beautifully, Jon? “NATO” plus “ME.”
NATO-ME — as though America hasn’t done enough damage in the region. This is our “stable genius” at work in the White House. Heaven help us.
International trade is one of the many areas in which the Trump administration has been egregiously bad. Trump himself seems to lack even the most basic knowledge about the principle of trade — he seems to think it is always zero-sum with a loser for every winner — and he’s surrounded himself with advisers who are just as ignorant.
We are indebted to George Mason University economist Donald Boudreaux for keeping a close eye on these reckless ignoramuses, who are so casual about our well-being. In the latest of a series of blog posts, Boudreaux again notes how militantly ignorant those advisers are. The latest post again demolishes trade adviser Peter Navarro, who’s never seen an American tariff he did not love. Boudreaux points that Navarro doesn’t even understand what a trade deficit is. On the one hand, Navarro praises Trump’s tariffs for combating the trade deficit while on the other he praises them for stimulating foreign investment in America. What’s wrong with that? Here’s Boudreaux:
Mr. Navarro apparently doesn’t understand the elementary fact that, because every dollar invested in the U.S. by foreigners is a dollar not spent on U.S. exports, the investments about which Mr. Navarro today boasts promote the very trade deficits that, in other contexts, he bemoans. [Emphasis added.]
When people complain about the trade deficit, they are referring to an imbalance in the merchandise account: they mean that the dollar amount of goods that Americans sell to people in a given country or all countries is less than the dollar amount of goods that Americans buy.
But merchandise is only about half the picture. A capital account also exists; that’s a comparison of the dollar value of foreign investment in America with the dollar value of American investment in other countries. When a foreigner earns a dollar from an export to America, he has a few options of what to do with that dollar, which he can’t spend at home. If he buys an American product, he leaves the merchandise account unchanged (a dollar out and a dollar in), but if he invests the dollar in America, he indeed contributes to a deficit in the merchandise account while also contributing to a surplus in the capital account. The accounts are roughly mirror images. But people ignore the capital account, and that’s just ignorant if not stupid.
So it is ridiculous to praise trade restrictions for remedying the merchandise-account deficit and for attracting foreign investment to America (which increases that deficit). If Navarro really understood or cared about the trade deficit (one need not care about it actually), he would condemn foreign investment and demand that foreigners buy American products. I’d like to see him try that.
Trump and his trade advisers would certainly flunk any course in elementary economics.
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