Trump’s Yemen Blunder

President Trump’s recent veto of a congressional measure intended to pull the U.S. out of Yemen confirms the president’s seemingly unchecked power to wage war without congressional approval. Yet Congress cannot amass the the two-thirds majority votes required to overturn the presidential veto thanks to Israeli and Saudi influence via campaign contributions. In addition, French, American, and British arms companies have benefited tremendously from supplying the Saudis and their partners with an unlimited supply of weapons.

By Richard Walker

President Donald Trump’s decision to veto a congressional measure designed to pull America out of the Saudi-led war in Yemen, which has killed tens of thousands of women and children, is a striking example of the unchecked war powers Congress has given presidents since the early 1970s.

In a rare bi-partisan effort to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war, Congress sent the president the resolution, expecting he would reject it, which he did. He justified his decision by claiming it threatened to weaken his constitutional authority. He thereby ended the matter because Congress lacked the two-thirds majority in the House and Senate to override his veto.

The reason there is not a bigger congressional majority to confront the Yemen issue—and with it the president’s seemingly unchecked power to wage war without congressional approval—is that there are many members of Congress on both sides who are influenced by Israel’s support for the Saudis, and just as many who are beholden to Saudi political donations. No country spends more money on lobbying in Washington and on Capitol Hill than Saudi Arabia and its coalition partner in the war, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

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Also in play is the Trump family business connection to the Saudis, who have spent heavily in buying Trump properties over decades, and the close personal relationship between the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner and the young, impetuous Saudi leader, Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS. Kushner, MBS, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu share a similar view of Middle East politics. They see the war in Yemen as a way of dragging Iran into a wider conflict since it supports the Houthis of Yemen.

It is worth noting that when the war began in 2015, there were 10 Arab nations involved, including Egypt and Jordan, but as of today that figure has been reduced to four—the Saudis, UAE, Sudan, and Bahrain. The reason for nations peeling off was international outrage and the unchecked slaughter of Yemeni civilians. In just a few years, there have been 24,000 airstrikes and, aside from the massive death toll from those, tens of thousands have died from disease and starvation, the majority of them children and the elderly.

The war has been made possible by the Saudi and UAE use of weapons provided by the U.S., France, and Britain. Democrats critical of Trump’s support for the war ignore the fact that his predecessor, Barack Obama, supplied the Saudis and the UAE with more weapons than his predecessor, George W. Bush.

In Kings and Presidents, a book on the history of U.S.-Saudi relations, former CIA officer Bruce Riedel writes that “no president since Franklin Roosevelt courted Saudi Arabia as zealously as did Obama.” Not only did Obama authorize more arms sales than any other U.S. president, he visited Saudi Arabia more frequently than any of his predecessors.”

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Trump’s veto override of Congress’s resolution coincided with the public leaking of French intelligence documents that exposed how the Saudis could not manage the war without French, U.S., and British weapons, as well as the constant supply of spare parts.

The leaked papers highlighted the lies French leaders had been telling their own people about the war. President Emmanuel Macron had insisted that French weapons were being used by the Saudis and their allies for purely defensive purposes. It was an outright lie. French weapons were used in the slaughter of civilians. For example, the powerful French CAESAR howitzer capable of launching shells deep into Yemen had been within range of 430,000 civilians. It was revealed that the Saudis had placed an order for another 126 CAESARs to be delivered before 2023.

The leaked intel also confirmed that French arms companies had provided the Saudis and the UAE with their most powerful tanks, helicopters, and missiles.

The French government was so embarrassed by the report that it immediately ordered an investigation to find the person who leaked it to a French journalism site.

Amnesty International was one of many organizations that responded to the leak by calling on France and other Western nations to be more transparent and to halt sales of arms that were being used in war crimes.

The French have not been alone in supplying some of the most advanced deadly weapons that have caused untold civilian casualties in Yemen. The leaked papers also pointed out that most of the planes flying over Yemen were NATO types such as F-15s, EU Tornado fighters, and British Typhoons. The majority of helicopters were Apache and Black Hawks, and many Saudi battle tanks were American Abrams.

As AFP has pointed out in previous articles about this war, the deadliest munitions used by the Saudis were acquired from U.S. companies and the Pentagon.

An incontrovertible fact is that French, American, and British arms companies have benefited tremendously from supplying the Saudis and their partners with an unlimited supply of weapons that have been used to slaughter innocent women and children.

Richard Walker is the nom de plume of a former New York mainstream news producer who grew tired of seeing his articles censored by his bosses.

Who Wants This War With Iran?

While the neocons are loudly banging the drums of war on Iran, Pat Buchanan points out: “The ayatollah’s analysis—a war is in neither nation’s interest—is correct. Consider the consequences of a war with the United States for his own country.”

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Speaking on state TV of the prospect of a war in the Gulf, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei seemed to dismiss the idea.

“There won’t be any war. … We don’t seek a war, and (the Americans) don’t either. They know it’s not in their interests.”

The ayatollah’s analysis—a war is in neither nation’s interest—is correct. Consider the consequences of a war with the United States for his own country.

Iran’s hundreds of swift boats and handful of submarines would be sunk. Its ports would be mined or blockaded. Oil exports and oil revenue would halt. Air fields and missile bases would be bombed. The Iranian economy would crash. Iran would need years to recover.

And though Iran’s nuclear sites are under constant observation and regular inspection, they would be destroyed.

Tehran knows this, which is why, despite 40 years of hostility, Iran has never sought war with the “Great Satan” and does not want this war to which we seem to be edging closer every day.

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What would such a war mean for the United States?

It would not bring about “regime change” or bring down Iran’s government that survived eight years of ground war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

If we wish to impose a regime more to our liking in Tehran, we will have to do it the way we did it with Germany and Japan after 1945, or with Iraq in 2003. We would have to invade and occupy Iran.

But in World War II, we had 12 million men under arms. And unlike Iraq in 2003, which is one-third the size and population of Iran, we do not have the hundreds of thousands of troops to call up and send to the Gulf.

Nor would Americans support such an invasion, as President Donald Trump knows from his 2016 campaign. Outside a few precincts, America has no enthusiasm for a new Mideast war, no stomach for any occupation of Iran.

Moreover, war with Iran would involve firefights in the Gulf that would cause at least a temporary shutdown in oil traffic through the Strait of Hormuz — and a worldwide recession.

How would that help the world? Or Trump in 2020?

How many allies would we have in such a war?

Spain has pulled its lone frigate out of John Bolton’s flotilla headed for the Gulf. Britain, France and Germany are staying with the nuclear pact, continuing to trade with Iran, throwing ice water on our intelligence reports that Iran is preparing to attack us.

Turkey regards Iran as a cultural and economic partner. Russia was a de facto ally in Syria’s civil war. China continues to buy Iranian oil. India just hosted Iran’s foreign minister.

The CIA in IranSo, again, Cicero’s question: “Cui bono?”

Who really wants this war? How did we reach this precipice?

A year ago, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a MacArthurian ultimatum, making 12 demands on the Tehran regime.

Iran must abandon all its allies in the Middle East — Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, Hamas in Gaza — pull all forces under Iranian command out of Syria, and then disarm all its Shiite militia in Iraq.

Iran must halt all enrichment of uranium, swear never to produce plutonium, shut down its heavy water reactor, open up its military bases to inspection to prove it never had a secret nuclear program and stop testing missiles. And unless she submits, Iran will be strangled with sanctions.

Pompeo’s speech at the Heritage Foundation read like the terms of some conquering Caesar dictating to some defeated tribe in Gaul, though we had yet to fight and win the war, usually a precondition for dictating terms.

Iran’s response was to disregard Pompeo’s demands.

And crushing U.S. sanctions were imposed, to brutal effect.

Yet, as one looks again at the places where Pompeo ordered Iran out—Lebanon, Yemen, Gaza, Syria, Iraq—no vital interest of ours was imperiled by any Iranian presence.

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The people who have a problem with Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon are the Israelis whose occupations spawned those movements.

As for Yemen, the Houthis overthrew a Saudi puppet.

Syria’s Bashar Assad never threatened us, though we armed rebels to overthrow him. In Iraq, Iranian-backed Shiite militia helped us to defend Baghdad from the southerly advance of ISIS, which had taken Mosul.

Who wants us to plunge back into the Middle East, to fight a new and wider war than the ones we fought already this century in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen?

Answer: Pompeo and Bolton, Bibi Netanyahu, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and the Sunni kings, princes, emirs, sultans, and the other assorted Jeffersonian democrats on the south shore of the Persian Gulf.

And lest we forget, the never-Trumpers and neocons in exile nursing their bruised egos, whose idea of sweet revenge is a U.S. return to the Mideast in a war with Iran, which then brings an end to the Trump presidency.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever and previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority, Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? and Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War, all available from the AFP Online Store.


Trump Risks War Over Iran Oil Embargo

President Trump’s Israeli petroleum gambit imperils his re-election chances and invites war.

By Dr. Kevin Barrett

Has the White House gone insane? On April 21 The Washington Post reported that the Trump administration is ending its waivers exempting Iran’s biggest oil customers from Israeli- instigated U.S. sanctions.

Over a year ago the Trump administration, demonstrating its subservience to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, announced it would “drive Iran’s oil exports to zero.” That was supposed to have happened by the end of the first week of November 2018. But shortly before the “most biting sanctions ever imposed” were scheduled to come online, Trump exempted Iran’s leading oil customers. The list of nations that buy Iranian oil begins with China, India, and Korea, which together purchase almost half of the total output. Next are Turkey, Italy, and Japan. All six nations were exempted.

Why did Trump tear up his own sanctions last November? Because none of Iran’s customers were going to respect them. As Bloomberg reported on Aug. 2, China—by far Iran’s largest oil recipient—rejected Trump’s request to forego Iranian crude. Tehran’s second-biggest oil customer is India. In early October, one month before Iran’s oil trade was supposed to be driven “to zero,” India said it would ignore U.S. sanctions.

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In July, even before China and India rebuffed Trump, Turkey had led the way in rejecting the Israeli-American plan to sanction Iran. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called the planned sanctions “inappropriate”—and was seconded by President Recep Erdogan, who made it clear that Turkey would continue purchasing Iranian oil.

Trump’s November 2018 decision to back off from the sanctions was wise. His April 2019 decision to reverse himself and try to enforce the unenforceable was a monumental blunder.

Will China, Iran’s biggest oil customer, obey Trump? Hardly.

“We think that China can’t and won’t back down this time, and we could easily see an increase of Chinese oil imports from Iran up towards maybe 1 million barrels per day,” said Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at SEB Group. “There will also be an increasing amount of oil exports out of Iran which will go ‘under the sanctions radar’. . . . It will drive Iran closer to China and enable China to settle yet more oil in renminbi.”

As China and other countries thumb their noses at the U.S., it is American prestige and credibility—not Iranian oil exports—that will be driven to zero. And as the world finds ways to trade outside of U.S. dollars, the U.S. dollar will be driven, if not to zero, at least toward a valuation closer to that of toilet paper than gold.

But even though everyone expects near-universal noncompliance with the sanctions, oil prices are soaring. Why is that? If Iran will keep selling its oil, maybe even in larger amounts, shouldn’t oil prices remain stable or decline? The answer is that sanctions, no matter how toothless, signal hostility, increase the odds of trade wars or even shooting wars, and spook the futures markets. If there is even a 20% probability of a huge trade war, and a 5% probability of a major U.S. attack on Iran, which Iran would respond to by shutting down the Persian Gulf, the oil futures markets turn bullish as high-rollers gamble on the long-shot possibility that oil prices might shoot through the roof.

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Once it becomes clear that nobody is respecting the sanctions and American consumers find themselves paying higher energy prices in a stagnating economy, Trump will face a tough choice: either back off once again, thereby shredding what little credibility the U.S. may still have, or double down by “enforcing” the sanctions, thereby eliciting a tit-for-tat response from China, India, and Iran’s other customers. That’s a recipe for an all-out trade war that would cripple economies around the globe just in time to ruin Trump’s re-election chances in 2020.

The real architect of U.S. anti-Iran sanctions is Netanyahu, though. The Israeli prime minister is gambling that Trump will be forced into a corner and will have no choice but to start a shooting war with Iran—a war that would likely be set off by yet another Israeli false flag. Such a war would be disastrous for the U.S. Like the Iraq war it would help destroy the Middle East in service to Israeli expansionism, while sapping America’s blood, treasure, and prestige.

Trump probably doesn’t understand how he is being played. He has so much to think about that he doesn’t have time to analyze such issues in depth. Instead, he relies on advice from his financial backers—casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, the Kushner family, and the rest of the Kosher Nostra—and their hired guns—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton.

By listening to people who hope to benefit from another disastrous Middle Eastern war, Trump is dooming his own presidency—and leading his country toward the abyss.

Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions.

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Israeli Prime Minister Dictating American Foreign Policy on Iran

By Richard Walker

Washington’s policy of pleasing Israel has continued unabated with a State Department decision to sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps by declaring it a terrorist organization.

It was an unprecedented move, representing the first time the U.S. applied a foreign terrorist organization tag to another country’s army. The decision was not considered a wise one by some senior U.S. military figures. It was opposed by Russia, China, and many of America’s NATO allies, especially Turkey. It may well complicate and place at risk American forces in the region after Iran retaliated by branding the U.S. Central Command a terrorist group, similar to ISIS.

The State Department announcement was applauded by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other hawks, including National Security Adviser John Bolton. It had the characteristics of yet another gift to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, coming as it did at the time of his re-election victory. It also followed a recent decision by President Donald Trump to approve Israel’s illegal occupation of the Golan Heights, which is rightfully Syrian territory according to international law.

While this latest move was clearly designed to satisfy Israeli demands by piling even more sanctions on Iran, it stood in stark contrast to Washington’s diplomatic love affair with North Korea, a nuclear state that poses a significant risk to South Korea and the large U.S. military contingent stationed there.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan, who has been a vocal critic of Israel’s interference in the affairs of the Middle East, condemned the U.S., saying it risked destabilizing the region. It is not the first time he has taken issue with Washington’s Middle East interventions. In 2018, Erdogan described U.S. sanctions against Iran as illegal, a position supported by the UN, and made it clear he would not abide by them.

Turkey happens to be a major trading partner with Iran and imports a lot of its oil. It is likely Erdogan will not recognize the latest Washington penalties, nor will Russia, China, and the EU, all of which have been opposed to Washington’s increasing determination to punish Iran since Trump took office. Most European nations believe the developing U.S. strategy was demanded by Netanyahu and the warmongers in his cabinet that favor a war with Iran. Some experts have hinted that the anti-Iran posture of the State Department was the outcome of a secret pact between Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and his close friend, Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman.

Kingdom Identity

Sanctions against Iran have never proved effective and have only hurt the Iranian people, whom Washington claims to care about it. They have become deeply resentful of a U.S. policy that risks conflict, seeing it as one influenced directly by Washington neocons linked to Tel Aviv.

George Galloway, a former British parliamentarian for 30 years, described the State Department’s decision as a “dangerous escalation” that will further sour relations between the Trump White House and our allies, especially in Europe.

“It is the equivalent of declaring the U.S. Marine Corps a terrorist organization, though with much less justification given that Iran hasn’t invaded another country for centuries. Washington’s description of Iran as ‘expansionist’ is enough to make a horse laugh given the worldwide projection of U.S. bases and military hardware around the world—and around Iran,” Galloway added.

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The bottom line is that Iran does not pose an existential threat to the United States or to a nuclear- armed Israel, which has one of the most formidable arsenals in the world. Instead, it has a young, vibrant population that most surveys have shown would like better relations with America. That cannot happen while Netanyahu uses Iran as a political punching bag and the Saudis promote anti-Iran sentiment through lobbyists who purchase support in Congress. Sanctions do not hurt the Iranian military. The latest ones will embolden religious hardliners in Tehran and in the upper ranks of the Revolutionary Guard Corps.

For those of us who have watched Trump try to fulfill his campaign promises to withdraw America from Middle East conflicts, it is puzzling that he keeps being dragged back into the region by allies, especially the Saudis and the Israelis. It should be clear to him that a war with Iran is something both those allies in particular would like, but it would be disastrous for the region and for America. It could create a firestorm across the Middle East and drag in Russia, which is an Iran ally.

Trump has handed off a lot of Middle East policymaking to Kushner, a family friend of Netanyahu and bin Salman. The Saudi-Israel nexus has also been promoted by neocons from both parties in Congress and especially by National Security Advisor John Bolton. It may be time for Trump to seize the reins of Mideast policymaking and talk personally and directly with Iran, as he has done with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Richard Walker is the pen name of a former N.Y. news producer.

Brexit Deadline Passes, But UK Still in EU

After nearly three years of negotiations, the UK’s Brexit from the EU has not happened, and some in the UK are not happy about it. The New Chartist Movement is advocating “a far better vision that transcends Brexit and aims for lasting reforms intended to bring people together and tackle specific problems.”

By Mark Anderson

The long-awaited March 29 deadline for the UK to leave the European Union (EU) has come and gone. Unfortunately, the indecision surrounding the UK’s next steps has left the UK well within the EU’s clutches after nearly three years of negotiations between UK and EU officials about Britain’s anticipated exit.

Some dedicated British activists, however, are tired of what they describe as deceptive political theater out of Westminster, designed, they maintain, to ultimately disobey the will of the voters as expressed in the “Brexit” referendum back in June 2016.

Justin Walker, a longtime British Constitution Group member, military veteran, and activist, is well aware that Britain is still embedded in the EU’s regulatory network and entangled in the newly created EU-directed European Army. Outlining a constructive response to the Brexit folly, Walker told AFP that he’s helping to lead the New Chartist Movement to promote a far better vision that transcends Brexit and aims for lasting reforms intended to bring people together and tackle specific problems—while exposing the City of London’s monetary manipulation and other illicit operations of the power behind the throne.

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In the wake of the UK House of Commons voting Friday, March 29 against Britain leaving the EU—the third time the legislative body has rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed “Brexit deal”—Walker called the Brexit debate and the UK government’s inability or unwillingness to finalize and implement it “all pantomime” and divisive “deep-state manipulation.” Walker’s outlook reflects the views of the more astute Brits who believe an acceptable exit is simply not in the cards, or that an exit simply won’t happen.

The original Chartists became a mass movement in 1836, which lasted about 12 years, with the goal of making government more transparent and accountable. But the mid-19th-century British state wanted no part of populist-style reforms and even resorted to armed force to quell some Chartist-based protests. Still, when Chartism’s original leader, Feargus O’Connor, died, over 40,000 people turned out for his funeral.

The New Chartist Movement (NCM) honors key Chartist traditions while enlarging the original mission. The core message Walker and his fellow NCM activists want to convey—as Britain’s chances of a successful, meaningful exit from the EU look increasingly unlikely—is contained in the NCM’s “Sovereign People’s Charter.” The Charter’s “Seven Requirements,” in a slightly abbreviated form, are as follows:

Full restoration of our ancient and proven “Common Law Trial by Jury and Annulment by Jury” Constitution that puts . . . the people, firmly back in authority over our agenda-driven and self-serving politicians, judges, lawyers, and bankers by lawfully removing from them their powers to punish and deceive.

The “Creation of Prosperity” . . . by bringing back debt-free and interest-free treasury money that’s based on the wealth and labor of our nation—exactly as we did in 1914 with the enormously successful Bradbury Pound.

The ending of abuse and harm of all children whilst protecting the Common Law rights of parents . . . to strengthen the family unit.

The assurance that we have the armed services needed to fully protect the sovereignty of our country . . . whilst also guaranteeing the operational resources needed for . . . community policing to keep our streets safe.

The exposure and removal of the hidden and alien system of “legalese” governance that controls our judges and court system whilst using outright fraud, deception, and entrapment to unlawfully impoverish and constrain the ordinary people.

The call for a new and democratic “Europe of Sovereign Countries” to replace the planned “European Union Superstate.” In other words, “a fresh European initiative” . . . free from the unelected and unaccountable European Commission and the privately run, debt-creating European Central Bank.

The guarantee that science is always used for the well-being and advancement of all and not for the profit . . . of the few. This includes the immediate termination of the . . . dangerous 5G rollout [i.e., high-intensity, next-generation mass communications infrastructure],” along with opposing “fracking, geo-engineering and compulsory vaccinations.”

As the New Chartists forge ahead and circulate their ideas, what Walker wants people on both sides of the Brexit debate to understand is that they’ve been deceived by a devious mass media and corrupt and negligent politicians, among others, who’ve falsely portrayed most Brexit supporters as potentially violent “rightwing racists.”

Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor. Email him at [email protected].

Rift Has Never Been Wider Between the U.S. and EU

Some European powers believe NATO may need to be replaced with a new European Army given what is perceived as “crumbling relations with the Trump administration,” who argues the U.S. should not pay such a high price for the security of Europe. NATO’s demise could result in a massive realignment of power that could weaken both Europe and the U.S. militarily.

By Richard Walker

As relations between Washington and the European Union (EU) continue to deteriorate, it is conceivable that one of the casualties will be the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It could be replaced by a new European Army led by Germany and France. Britain would not be part of the leadership of such a force, or perhaps might choose not to be involved, given that Brexit will hopefully soon end its links to the EU.

While some may say this is speculative, there is sufficient evidence that the NATO alliance is crumbling. Not for the first time, European members of the transatlantic alliance have to consider its demise and what will replace it. According to diplomatic sources in Europe who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, there have been discussions in the corridors of power in Brussels about crumbling relations with the Trump administration and the urgent need—with Britain leaving the EU—to contemplate a new European military force to replace NATO.

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Since his election victory, President Donald Trump has consistently reproached Europe for making America pay the financial burden for sustaining NATO. He has suggested he has not been fully committed to NATO’s Article 5 that essentially commits every NATO member to defend any member who is attacked. But more importantly, perhaps, is the stark divergence of Washington foreign policy from that of the EU.

The latest example was the decision by 22 EU member states to publicly attack Trump for supporting Israel’s illegal occupation of the Golan Heights. The president essentially gave Israel a green light to claim ownership of the Golan. The EU also refused to back Trump and Israel’s campaign to destroy the international Iran nuclear deal and has taken a harder line with the Saudis over their slaughter of innocents in Yemen.

There are some in the NATO fold and in Washington who have feared these past two years that deep cracks in the alliance were widening as the EU and the Trump administration pursued different foreign policy goals and fought over funding. A British diplomat based in Brussels told AFP off-the-record that, in his words, “The writing has been on the wall for some time that NATO will not survive this Trump presidency.”

He added: “Some of us thought it fanciful when a suggestion came from Washington that NATO should include Israel in it ranks. It wasn’t the first time this subject was broached within NATO, but this time it was progressed by pro-Israel hawks close to the Trump White House who thought it might heal rifts, but it was designed to draw NATO into Israel’s Middle East strategy. It was dismissed as unworkable. Anyway, it would never have passed muster with Europeans.”

Interestingly, Israel would be unhappy to see the end of NATO, according to Daniel Shapiro, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, writing in Ha’aretz. He has argued that such a move would empower Russia, especially in the Middle East, and that Israelis should encourage Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to prevail upon Trump to stay in the alliance.

Meanwhile, in Europe there has been much confused thinking about NATO with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron suggesting the creation of a European quick reaction force to complement the alliance. Trump, however, has angrily dismissed it as “insulting.”

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NATO top brass have been trying to damp down any talk of a European quick response force, or a European Army, even though 22 states could put over 1 million soldiers in the field. There are, however, factors outside NATO’s control. Aside from serious and ever-growing foreign policy disputes between the EU and Washington, there is always the possibility of a tariff war over cars and other products that would shred relations between Washington and one of the world’s biggest economic blocs.

Some senators have been putting together legislation aimed at preventing Trump from ending NATO membership without congressional approval, but it remains to be seen if they have majority approval in the Senate. In contrast, the president believes that he has the authority to make such a move. He may be right. All it would require for him to end a formal treaty like the one with NATO is an executive order.

After 70 years of NATO, it is difficult to calculate the outcome of its demise. By any measure, it could result in a massive realignment of power that could weaken both Europe and the U.S. militarily. It could mean that any future U.S. conflicts across the globe would be denied European support, and the bases needed to reach many parts of the world. Europe likewise would have to go it alone and deal with its own security. While it is not clear if the American public as a whole would support leaving the alliance, it is no longer a subject that can be pushed under the rug.

Richard Walker is the pen name of a former N.Y. news producer.

Who’s After Golan Heights Riches?

Prominent American neocons and the state of Israel have their eyes on Syrian energy reserves.

By Richard Walker

A planned push by U.S. senators to recognize Israel’s claim to the Golan Heights hides an effort by rich, powerful neocons and their Israeli backers to seize energy riches from what international law declares is part of Syria.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) toured the Golan Heights on March 11 with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and declared that the Golan Heights had a rich Jewish history and was part of the state of Israel. Had he checked history books and a map of the region he would have learned that the Golan Heights are situated in southeastern Syria, bordering the Sea of Galilee, Israel’s main source of drinking water. He would also have discovered that they were illegally seized by Israel in the 1967 war and have been illegally occupied ever since. The Golan Heights is therefore not part of the state of Israel and never was.

Netanyahu has directed the building of extensive Jewish settlements on the Golan Heights, but it is not the first time Jews have tried to populate the area. In 1894, efforts to colonize the Golan Heights by Jewish banker Edmond de Rothschild were thwarted by Arabs and Ottoman Empire laws restricting foreigners from settling the area.

None of this seems to matter to Graham and Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the trio at the forefront of arguing that Congress should pass legislation giving Israel the Golan irrespective of international law. In tandem with their effort, the U.S. State Department has stopped referring to the area as Israeli-occupied territory and instead calls it Israeli “controlled territory.”

Netanyahu, facing criminal prosecution and an upcoming election, would love nothing better than a U.S. declaration that the Golan Heights is now Israel’s. His friends in Washington, including President Donald Trump’s son-in-law advisor Jared Kushner and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, appear ready to give him that gift. But there is a sinister motive for a sudden gifting of the Golan Heights to Israel, and it has its genesis in plans that took shape years before Trump entered the White House. It concerns a neocon strategy, ongoing now for almost a decade, to access oil and gas riches under the Golan Heights.

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It began with powerful neocons and their friends in Israel deciding that the best way to get full control of the Golan Heights was to call for regime change in Syria so that there would be no Syrian leadership around to continue petitioning the UN on the issue. Despite many UN resolutions telling Israel to give back the territory, it has refused to do so, with Washington’s backing on the Security Council.

In recent years, Netanyahu has done everything possible to take down the Assad regime in Syria, even training and arming al-Nusra terrorists. He also ordered hundreds of bombing runs against targets in Syria, arguing that he was eliminating Iranian and Hezbollah forces there.

His security issue was a ruse. In 2011, a little-known American company called Genie Energy, based in New Jersey, was granted rights to illegally explore 153 square miles of the Golan Heights for oil and gas. It was part of the IDT Corporation until it was registered as a separate entity on the New York Stock Exchange.

The membership of Genie Energy’s Strategic Advisory Board testified to its neocon lineage. Prominent on the board were Dick Cheney, media mogul Rupert Murdoch, former CIA director James Woolsey, senior partner in Genie Energy Jacob Lord Rothschild, billionaire hedge funder and member of the Washington-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies Michael Steinhardt, Bill Clinton’s energy secretary Bill Richardson, and Larry Summers, Treasury secretary under Bill Clinton. The Israeli subsidiary of Genie is now run by former Israeli Gen. “Effie” Eitam, a close buddy of Netanyahu who lives in one of the large Jewish settlements on the Golan Heights. Eitam is an extreme religious figure who has recommended removing all Israeli Arabs from Israel.

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By 2013, as the war in Syria raged and the U.S. pushed for regime change with Israel’s backing, Netanyahu and Genie Energy knew from surveys of the Golan Heights that it held massive energy reserves. It was confirmed by a geologist with Afek Oil & Gas, Genie Energy’s Israeli subsidiary.

With Trump in the White House, there has been a renewed push by Genie Energy and its Israeli backers to convince members of the Senate to change policy on the Golan Heights to favor Israel, claiming it is really Jewish territory and is therefore strategic to the defense of the state of Israel. Missing from the storyline is the massive wealth waiting to be snapped up.

Ryan Zinke, Trump’s former interior secretary, who is under federal investigation, knew about the energy potential in the Golan Heights when he visited the region in 2017. He met with Eitam, who was then a politician running Afek. Eitam said their meeting had been arranged by a friend in Montana, and that they never discussed energy issues, a story few believed.

It’s unlikely the back story of Genie Energy will dissuade anyone in the Senate or the White House from doing Netanyahu’s bidding, especially after Graham declared that the Golan Heights was already part of the state of Israel and had a rich Jewish history. He deliberately ignored the fact that it is illegally occupied territory with a rich Syrian Arab history.

Richard Walker is the pen name of a former N.Y. news producer.

Israeli Accountability Begins Now

Spying for the Israeli government has turned into a “get-out-of-jail-free card.”

By Philip Giraldi

Recently returning to the U.S. on a flight from Venice, too-bored-to-read syndrome drove me to watch a movie. I chose “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which recently won an Academy Award for lead actor Rami Malek, who truly did turn in a memorable performance in a film that was otherwise plodding and predictable. As the credits were rolling, I noticed that the movie’s executive producer was none other than Arnon Milchan, an Israeli media billionaire who has spent most of his career in Hollywood. My immediate thought was, “Why is this scumbag still making movies in Hollywood? Why isn’t he in jail?”

Milchan earned my opprobrium the easy way, by spying for Israel to the detriment of the country that has made him rich and relatively famous, which is the United States of America. The Milchan tale is just one part of the successful effort by Israel to obtain the technology and raw materials for its secret nuclear arsenal. Preventing nuclear proliferation was a major objective of the U.S. government when in the early 1960s President John F. Kennedy learned from a CIA report that Tel Aviv was developing a nuclear weapon. He told the Israelis to terminate their program or risk losing American political and economic support but was killed before any steps were taken to end the project.

Israel always features prominently in the annual FBI report called “Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage.” The 2005 report stated that, “Israel has an active program to gather proprietary information within the United States. These collection activities are primarily directed at obtaining information on military systems and advanced computing applications that can be used in Israel’s sizable armaments industry.”

National Coin Investments

The Mossad frequently uses so-called sayanim in its espionage, which means diaspora Jews that it recruits on the basis of a shared religion or concern for the security of Israel. The threat coming from Israeli embassy operatives inside the United States is such that the Department of Defense once warned that Jewish Americans would likely be the targets of intelligence approaches.

Israel accelerated its nuclear program after the death of Kennedy. By 1965, it had obtained the raw material for a bomb consisting of U.S. government-owned highly enriched weapons-grade uranium obtained from a company in Pennsylvania called NUMEC, which was founded in 1956 and owned by Zalman Mordecai Shapiro, head of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Zionist Organization of America. NUMEC was a supplier of enriched uranium for government projects but it was also from the start a front for the Israeli nuclear program, with its chief funder David Lowenthal, a leading Zionist, traveling to Israel at least once a month where he would meet with an old friend, Meir Amit, who headed Israeli intelligence. NUMEC covered the shipment of enriched uranium to Israel by claiming the metal was “lost,” losses that totaled nearly 600 pounds, enough to produce dozens of weapons. Such was the importance of the operation that in 1968 NUMEC even received a private incognito visit from spymaster Rafi Eitan.

Also, there was physical evidence relating to the diversion of the uranium. Refined uranium has a technical signature that permits identification of its source. Traces of uranium from NUMEC were identified by Department of Energy inspectors in Israel in 1978. The Central Intelligence Agency has also looked into the diversion of enriched uranium from the NUMEC plant and has concluded that it was part of a broader program to obtain the technology and raw materials for a nuclear device for Israel.

With the uranium in hand, the stealing of the advanced technology needed to make a nuclear weapon is where Milchan comes into the story. Milchan was born in Israel but moved to the United States and eventually wound up as the founder-owner of a major movie production company, New Regency Films. In a Nov. 25, 2013 interview on Israeli television Milchan admitted that he had spent his many years in Hollywood as an agent for Israeli intelligence, helping obtain embargoed technologies and materials that enabled Israel to develop a nuclear weapon. He worked for Israel’s Bureau of Science and Liaison Acquisition division of Mossad, referred to as the LAKAM spy agency.

Milchan, a long-time resident of the United States who clearly still has significant business interests in this country as evidenced by “Bohemian Rhapsody,” explained in his interview, “I did it for my country, and I’m proud of it.” He also said that “other big Hollywood names were connected to [his] covert affairs.” Among other successes, he obtained through his company Heli Trading 800 krytons, the sophisticated triggers for nuclear weapons. The devices were acquired from the California top-secret defense contractor MILCO International. Milchan personally recruited MILCO’s president Richard Kelly Smyth as an agent before turning him over to another Heli Trading employee Benjamin Netanyahu for handling. Smyth was eventually arrested in 1985 and cooperated in his interrogation by the FBI before being sentenced to prison, which means that the federal government knew all about both Milchan and Netanyahu at that time but did not even seek to interview them and ultimately did nothing about them.

I would like to think that the next time Milchan arrives at Los Angeles International Airport on business he will be met by federal marshals and FBI agents before being whisked off to some nice, quiet place for a chat. But don’t bet on it. Milchan is possibly no longer traveling regularly to the U.S., though he retains a residence in California, and his “confession” suggests that he believes himself to be bulletproof. He has also recently been involved in a bit of controversy in Israel itself, where the police have recommended that he be charged with bribery connected with the ongoing investigation of corruption by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Milchan, it seems, spent one million shekels ($250,000) on luxury items that he gave to Bibi as a reported quid pro quo to exempt his substantial income from taxes when he returned to Israel to live in 2013.

In an interesting additional element to that story, the police investigation determined that in 2014 Netanyahu approached then-Secretary of State John Kerry to intervene and arrange for a long-term American visa for Milchan, who was at the time dealing with difficulties relating to his U.S. status, possibly due to the 2013 admission that he had been spying. In any event, the visa was granted and Milchan continued to make more movies, and money, in Los Angeles.

The tragedy is that spying for Israel appears to be regarded as something like a victimless crime, but in the case of Milchan it was dead serious, involving as it did nuclear proliferation on behalf of a nation that might generously be described as aggressively paranoid. And note that Netanyahu, the very “statesman” who received 29 standing ovations from Congress, was also involved in the major Mossad operation to steal from the United States. In fact, even though the Israelis continue to rob America blind, it is extremely difficult to be punished for doing so.

Kingdom Identity

Prosecutions for Israeli spying are so few because the Department of Justice is unwilling to pursue them, according to a retired FBI agent who claimed that hundreds of potential prosecutions were rejected for political reasons. The actual convictions involve crimes so egregious that they cannot be ignored or covered up, like conversations overheard at lunch, as when Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin provided intelligence on Iran to American Israel Public Affairs Committee staffers Keith Weissman and Steve Rosen, as well as to officials in the Israeli embassy. Franklin went briefly to jail and was recently reported to be waiting tables in West Virginia.

U.S. Navy analyst Jonathan Pollard, America’s most damaging spy of all time, stole enough top-secret codeword material to fill a room before he was arrested and convicted. He obtained Israeli citizenship while in prison and is now free on parole, living in New York City. Apart from that, nada!

Time to change all that. Milchan and others are not friends of the United States but quite the contrary, and deserve to be treated like any other spy. The American people should demand that the government begin to recognize that fact and act accordingly. Telling Hollywood that it is not good PR to keep allowing Israeli spy Milchan to make millions is a possibility, but sanctioning him to put him out of business would be an even better place to start.

Philip Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer and a columnist and television commentator. He is also the executive director of the Council for the National Interest. Other articles by Giraldi can be found on the website of the Unz Review.

Civil Rights Award Yanked Over ‘Anti-Semitic’ Remarks

Leftists are okay with Angela Davis’s terroristic background but rescinded their decision to grant her a human rights award due to her support of the BDS movement and of Palestinians’ human rights. Apparently only some humans should have rights.

By S.T. Patrick

Angela Davis has led a career and a life that has attracted controversies, criticisms, and bans. The most recent was a rescinding of the Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award given by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI). Citing that Davis’s opinions and remarks do not “meet all of the criteria on which the award is based,” Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin decided against the October decision to present the award to Davis.

BCRI’s decision comes at a time in the nation’s history when political correctness and the wildly shifting levels of “acceptable speech” reach a new, more disturbing apex on what appears on a weekly basis. Davis’s new crime of opinion—or “thought crime,” in the words of 1984 author George Orwell—was that she has been a longtime vocal supporter of Palestinian rights and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

BCRI’s decision to rescind the award is surprising, as Davis’s views on Israeli state policy and the ideology of Zionism are not new. In his 1992 book Chutzpah, attorney Alan Dershowitz famously described Davis’s response when he asked her for a public statement in support of a list of political prisoners being held in the USSR.

Davis told Dershowitz that none of the people on his list were political prisoners. “They are all Zionist fascists and opponents of socialism,” Davis explained.

Davis, an icon of the 1960s Black Panther Party, has also referred to the Israeli “occupation” of Palestine and has compared the Israeli treatment of Palestinians to American police shootings of African-Americans. She comes from a larger-than-life era where slogans, key words, and political posters ruled the day. She, like many others from that same era, speaks in anecdotes and analogies.

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In 1969, Gov. Ronald Reagan (R-Calif.) attempted to have Davis banned from teaching at California universities because of her affiliation with the Communist Party USA (CPUSA). She was twice a candidate for vice president on the CPUSA ticket in the 1980s when Reagan was president. She left the CPUSA when it supported the Soviets’ 1991 “August Coup” attempt. The coup was led by communist hardliners attempting to wrest control from Mikhail Gorbachev.

In the new millennium, Davis has worked largely in support of the prison abolition movement. She co-founded Critical Resistance (CR) to build a groundswell of grassroots supporters dedicated to working against the “prison-industrial complex.” CR’s efforts are focused on building “engaged communities” that can educate and heal people rather than caging them.

Ten Myths About Israel, Ilan Pappe
Outspoken Israeli historian examines the most contested ideas concerning the origins and identity of the contemporary state of Israel. Now at the AFP Online Store.

There has been a reflexive reaction by conservatives to support the rescinding of the award. In a parallel story, there has also been conservative (and some liberal) support to admonish Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) for her comments explaining both the definition of an Israeli lobby and her criticism of politicians who, for financial reasons, would adhere to the demands of a foreign lobby. President Donald Trump ridiculously called for Omar’s resignation.

Criticizing Davis and Omar is certainly within the bounds of free speech in a constitutional republic. The danger comes in the quick, negative labeling of people and politicians. When Republicans are irrationally labeled as “racist,” “sexist,” “homophobic,” or “jingoistic,” they rightly balk and demand retractions. So, is the quick labeling of Davis and Omar as “anti-Semitic” a tit-for-tat for Republicans wanting to turn the linguistic tables? If it is, it’s a petty lesson that will not be learned, no matter how many times it is taught. Instead, mouthpieces from both parties should realize how unconstructive it is to promote labels over arguments and verbal stings over vast solutions.

The rescinding of Davis’s award was a sloppy public relations faux pas by local politicians who believed they were doing the politically correct thing for the sake of political correctness, to maintain their wholly unoffensive PC cred. Rather, what they did was discover that the game isn’t real, and the maneuvers are contrived. Truth is truth and courage is courage, no matter what words are used in their explanations.

S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent 10 years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News Show.” His email is [email protected] He is also an occasional contributor to TBR history magazine and the current managing editor of Deep Truth Journal (DTJ), a new conspiracy-focused publication carried by the AFP Online Store.

Do We Know What Spawned the Christchurch Massacre?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

On March 15, in Christchurch, New Zealand, one of the more civilized places on Earth, 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant, an Australian, turned on his cellphone camera and set out to livestream his massacre of as many innocent Muslim worshipers as he could kill.

Using a semi-automatic rifle, he murdered more than 40 men, women, and children at one mosque, drove three miles to another, and there killed more, 50 in all. Dozens are still wounded, suffering, and dying.  An atrocity and act of pure evil by a man with a dead soul. Yet, predictably, within 48 hours, the president of the United States was being publicly indicted as a moral accomplice.

Donald Trump, it was said, used a word, “invasion,” to describe the 76,000 migrants caught illegally crossing the U.S. border in February. At the same time, the killer used that word to describe the Muslim migration into the West. The killer also mentioned Trump in his 74-page manifesto.

What further need have we of proof? Trump also failed to express America’s revulsion and his country’s condolences to Muslims everywhere, and failed to denounce the “white nationalist” ideology that motivated the killer.

From there, it was a short jump to declare that we Americans have too long ignored this growing menace. Charlottesville, where a woman protester was run over by a neo-Nazi, was trotted out again and again.

Kingdom Identity

But does the vision of America as a country where white racism is rampant and an unleashed white nationalism is a scourge that is running amok correspond with reality?

America’s elites are familiar with the Acela Express, the train that runs from D.C.’s Union Station to Penn Station in New York.

In which of the five Eastern Seaboard cities at which the Acela stops to take on and discharge passengers—Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Newark, New York—are white nationalists responsible for a significant share of the assaults, robberies, rapes, and shootings?

Chicago may lead the nation in total gun deaths. But the murder rate was highest in 2018 in St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit, New Orleans, and Kansas City. In how many of these cities are Klansmen and neo-Nazis regularly hauled in for violent crimes?

As for the mass murders of our new century, the racist right has perpetrated its share. Dylann Roof’s killing of the black women and men at the Charleston church qualifies, as does the massacre of Jews at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Yet a Muslim major, Nidal Hasan, fatally shot 13 soldiers at Fort Hood. In the 2015 San Bernardino massacre, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik carried out that attack that left 14 dead and 22 wounded.

According to Forbes, of the 18,814 deaths caused by terrorists around the world in 2017, well over half were due to the actions of four groups: Islamic State, the Taliban, Al-Shabab, and Boko Haram. All are Sunni Muslim; none are alt-right.

Undeniably, atrocities that exceed in bloodshed the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre by Al Capone’s gang, where seven men were stood against a wall in a Chicago garage and executed, have become all too common. But the atrocities seized upon by the left as most representative are those that conform to vision, a narrative, a pre-existing script. This preconceived idea is that America is a hotbed of white nationalism where the worst crimes are committed by white racists. And this is a myth.

Now, there are no excuses, or defenses, for what happened in Christchurch. But there is an explanation. All peoples to some degree resent and resist the movement of outsiders into their space. Some migrants are more difficult than others to assimilate into Western societies. European nations that had not known mass migrations for centuries were especially susceptible to a virulent reaction, a backlash. Americans, after all, reacted viscerally to the Irish migration of 1845-1849, and, again, to the Great Migration from Central and Eastern Europe from 1890 to 1920. Inter-ethnic violence was not uncommon.

Our leaders in the 1920s understood this and took steps to halt the migrations until those who had come could be assimilated, and, in a word, Americanized. It worked. By 1960, we were a united people. Then, without the people’s consent, the great experiment began:

America’s doors were thrown open to peoples of every religion, race, culture, and creed, to create a different nation that mirrored all mankind in its diversity, in author and commentator Ben Wattenberg’s phrase, a universal nation.  The problem: A universal nation is a contradiction in terms. A nation of all races, religions, and tribes had never before existed.

The liberal democracies that embraced this ideology, this idea, are at war with human nature, and are losing this war to tribalism and authoritarianism.

As for Christchurch, unfortunately, such horrors appear to have become the new normal. But Brenton Tarrant alone is responsible for what he did. And it was not Trump but the New World Order globalists who fertilized the soil that spawned him.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever and previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority, Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? and Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War, all available from the AFP Online Store.


Did Neocons Sabotage North Korea Deal?

Warhawks, Democrats can’t tolerate president succeeding in peace efforts with “boogeyman”

By Dr. Ron Paul

President Donald Trump’s second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in late February was criticized by both parties in Washington long before Air Force One even touched down in Hanoi. Washington’s political class seemed terrified that the nearly 70-year state of “war” with North Korea might actually end. In the end the only positive thing they could say about the meeting was that Trump apparently walked away with nothing to show for it.

The location of the meeting—Hanoi, Vietnam— serves as a great example of what can be won in peace versus what is lost in war. After losing nearly 60,000 U.S. service members in an unnecessary war that took a million Vietnamese lives, the U.S. loss of the Vietnam War resulted not in a communist takeover of Southeast Asia but something very different: The domino theory failed because communism was destined to fail. Now we are close trading partners with an increasingly pro-market Vietnam. The result of trade and exchange versus war is a better life for all.

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Unfortunately for Washington, the real lesson of Vietnam has not been learned. That is why the Republicans, Democrats, and the entire mainstream media spoke as one against Trump’s decision to take a bold step and actually meet again, one-on-one, with one of our “enemies” to see if we can avoid nuclear conflict.

One leading Democrat, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif), attacked Trump for meeting with Kim because speaking to the North Korean “gives him legitimacy.”

Does it make any sense that we should not even speak with our nuclear-armed adversaries because it gives them “legitimacy”? He’d rather have a nuclear war as long as Kim remains “illegitimate”? This is sadly the kind of thinking that prevails in Washington.

The media reported that Trump walked away from the meeting before the scheduled signing ceremony and closing press event. The talks broke down, it was reported, because Kim demanded an end to all sanctions before any reduction in North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. Washington sighed with relief and said, all together, “Better no deal than a bad deal.”

Meanwhile the North Koreans held a rare press conference clarifying that they only asked for partial sanctions relief in exchange for dismantling one of their main nuclear facilities. Further, press reports began to surface that National Security Advisor John Bolton threw additional demands on the table, which led Kim to draw the meeting to an early close.

Who’s telling the truth? We likely won’t know. But given Bolton’s strong opposition to any kind of peace agreement with North Korea it’s hard to doubt that he had something to do with the blowup of the summit. As The New York Times reported over the weekend, while Trump’s advisors were shocked when he decided to meet Kim face-to-face the first time for negotiations, Bolton wasn’t worried at all. As the Times writes, “Mr. Bolton told colleagues not to worry. The negotiations, he said, would collapse on their own.” And so they did.

Will Trump continue to allow his diplomatic efforts to be undermined by his own staff? Let’s hope the president will ignore Washington, ignore the neocons, and continue to work for peace with North Korea.

Ron Paul, a former U.S. representative from Texas and medical doctor, continues to write his weekly column for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, online at

Summit Sticking Point

Did North Korea seek same secret nuclear status as Israel?

By Richard Walker

In the wake of the collapse of President Donald Trump’s Vietnam summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, there were many unanswered questions, with both sides unwilling to claim victory.

There was, however, a secret issue discussed at the summit that Washington and Pyongyang prefer to remain secret for now, perhaps hoping to revisit it in the future. It was the possibility of North Korea being accorded the same nuclear status as Israel.

All this means that, from a public perspective, the event may go down in history as either a failed opportunity, the inevitable consequence of trying to negotiate with a rogue regime, or too much hype and serious miscalculations by Washington and Pyongyang.

Trump and “Chairman Kim,” as Trump calls the North Korean leader, both abandoned an expensive dinner and a conference scheduled for after the summit during which they had planned to stand together and announce to the world that they had solved the North Korean nuclear issue. Instead, Trump flew back to Washington on Air Force One, and Kim returned to Pyongyang on a lengthy train journey through China.

The South Koreans were left to wonder what had just happened. Essentially, they had been frozen out of the well-choreographed get-together of the two leaders, implying that they were minor players in a drama that directly affected them. It did not occur to the mass media to ask why South Korea was clearly sidelined. Could they have played a crucial role in the failed negotiations? We shall never know.

So what are we to make of what appeared to be this failure on a grand scale? President Trump has said he walked away because he could not get the right deal. One might be tempted to wonder why he had not anticipated failure before promising success with public outpouring of optimism before and during the summit. The White House later claimed that Kim had wanted all sanctions lifted, while refusing to commit to unfettered access to all his secret nuclear sites. Kim responded that Washington’s version of the breakdown of the talks was a lie and that he had not demanded the lifting of all sanctions.

The reality may be simpler than we think. It is entirely possible that Trump’s advisers, especially Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and political advisor Jared Kushner never briefed Trump fully about North Korea. They may not have pointed out that Kim, like his late father and grandfather, is a skilled tactician surrounded by generals with a long history of engagement with the West. Why, for example, would Kim give up his nuclear arsenal in exchange for the lifting of sanctions? He would have known what happened to Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qadaffi when they abandoned their nuclear ambitions.

Kingdom Identity

Missing in mass media coverage was something a diplomat close to Moscow told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“The real secret of the talks was that Kim was prepared to offer access to all his nuclear sites and to end all nuclear activity, but he expected in return to keep his nukes and have North Korea recognized like Israel as a nuclear power. The U.S. would then have to remove its military components from South Korea, including nuclear weapons that Moscow and Beijing told Kim were stored in or near South Korea.”

According to this source, the issue that collapsed the summit was the demand for nuclear recognition, but this was something neither side wanted to explore publicly because it is something they hope to renegotiate in the months ahead.

“There was always an insurmountable hurdle when politicians resorted to terminology that means different things to different people,” the diplomat added. “For example, Americans see denuclearization as North Korea giving up all its nukes. North Koreans see it as the removal of America as a nuclear power from the Korean Peninsula.”

The source added that Moscow and Beijing continue to believe a deal is possible on recognizing North Korea as a nuclear power. The source suggested that Moscow had pushed this option privately with the Trump camp, knowing China approved it. China and Russia had secretly agreed that they could live with a nuclear North Korea that was properly monitored, provided the U.S. removed much of its hardware, especially nuclear weapons, from the region.

Where does it go from here? If Kim’s goal is to have his country accepted as a legitimate nuclear power like Israel, he might also feel it is achievable long term.

Trump could redefine denuclearization to mean that North Korea becomes a nuclear power monitored fully by Washington but ceases all nuclear weapons production, removes all its frontline military hardware pointed at South Korea, and does not object to an American military presence in the region.

Richard Walker is the nom de plume of a former New York mainstream news producer who grew tired of seeing his articles censored by his bosses.


Buying Back the Iron Dome

U.S. taxpayers are being ripped off as U.S. Army buys back what we paid to develop.

By Philip Giraldi

Even if one spends years exploring the dark corners infested by Israel’s agents and its diaspora proxies in their successful effort to control much of Capitol Hill and the White House, it is still possible to be shocked by the effrontery of what many have dubbed the 51st state.

In early February, the U.S. Army announced that it would be buying Israel’s Iron Dome antimissile system to protect American troops against incoming rockets, artillery shells, and mortar rounds. The sale means that the United States, which has the largest and most advanced defense industries in the world, is now agreeing to buy some of its military hardware from Israel rather than producing its own equivalent version.

The Iron Dome was developed and produced by Israeli government-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems company with some assistance from Raytheon in the United States. It has been operational since 2011 and was deployed to intercept mostly homemade incoming rockets from Hamas during Israel’s large-scale ground and air attacks on Gaza in 2012 and 2014 as well as in the more recent bloody clashes along the border fences that separate Israel from Gaza, which have killed nearly 3,000 Arabs.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inevitably took credit for the sale, describing it as “a great achievement for Israel and yet another expression of the strengthening of our powerful alliance with the U.S.” The U.S. Army is committed to buy two Iron Dome batteries for deployment next year for $373 million as a first phase of a possible $1.7 billion procurement to develop an enhanced mobile missile defense capability. It is believed that the purchase could lead to far bigger deals if Rafael proves able to upgrade Iron Dome to defeat the more complex battlefield threats envisioned by the Pentagon.

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There are a number of problems related to the agreement to purchase Iron Dome. First of all, there is some dispute about whether it actually works. Israeli government sources unsurprisingly claim that it does, but some critics believe that its actual success rate might be considerably lower than the 90% that is being claimed by Rafael and by the Israeli government based on 1,700 reported interceptions. It has been observed that intercepting an incoming bottle rocket is a relatively easy task compared to an artillery or mortar round, which have lower trajectories and less flight time, making locking in the system’s radar more difficult. And, as Iron Dome has not been used with any frequency against enemies firing military-grade rockets, mortars or artillery, so the testing of it has not been fully subjected to the actual field conditions if the U.S. Army were to deploy the system.

The second problem involves the purchase itself. According to a report examining the Iron Dome project, the United States has already provided at least $5.5 billion of the development costs of the system since it was first proposed in 2010. In 2018, Congress provided an additional $705 million to the Israeli government for various missile defense projects, which included Iron Dome. That means that Washington is buying back a system that it paid to develop and is therefore paying for it twice. This is a wonderful way to do business for Israel, but it is a complete rip-off of the American taxpayer. The fact that no one in Congress is complaining is perhaps attributable to the willingness of the government to do favors for Israel, including favors that undercut the U.S.’s own defense industries, as Israel will undoubtedly use reports of the sale to boost its own efforts to market the product worldwide.

A third problem is the cost effectiveness of the system, even if it does work. Each Iron Dome battery will cost close to $125 million, but actually using the system is also expensive. Each Iron Dome-compatible Israeli-developed Tamir missile costs between $50,000 and $150,000, and two are normally used to counter each incoming target. In operations against homemade rockets emanating from Gaza, that means that $100,000-$300,000 is spent to destroy a projectile that might have cost less than $1,000 to make if one is dealing with resistance groups, insurgencies, or terrorist organizations that might be improvising their armaments. And, as the supply of missiles is depleted either in training or in actual combat, it will be necessary to go back to Israel for more, creating a regular cash flow for government-owned Rafael.

Ten Myths About Israel, Ilan Pappe
Outspoken Israeli historian Ilan Pappe examines the most contested ideas concerning the origins and identity of the contemporary state of Israel. New at the AFP Store.

When all is said and done, if the U.S. Army has no defense against low-level missile and projectile attacks and Iron Dome is the only tested option available, then there would be a certain desirability to obtain the system for deployment in parts of the world where the military faces that kind of threat. But, as is often the case when it comes to Israel, one has to suspect that politics are quite likely behind the purchase, most particularly in the form of Pentagon officials and congressmen who are desirous of enhancing the benefit packages that Israel receives from U.S. taxpayers.

The bottom line should be the bottom line. If the United States has contributed more than $6 billion to the development of Israel’s military antimissile defenses and actually needs Iron Dome, there should be payback. The two batteries should be freely provided to the U.S. Army as a thank you from the grateful people of Israel for the unprecedented financial aid totaling $134 billion since 1948, as well as the virtually unlimited political cover for Israel’s bad behavior that the American people have provided for the past 70-plus years. Perhaps someone on Capitol Hill or in the White House should remind Netanyahu of the $38 billion that Congress has just approved for Israel on top of all the money that has already gone to Iron Dome. This presents a wonderful opportunity for Israel to finally demonstrate its willingness to do something for the United States, a reciprocity which its powerful American lobby always boasts about but which has never actually been the case in practice.

Philip Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer and a columnist and television commentator. He is also the executive director of the Council for the National Interest. Other articles by Giraldi can be found on the website of the Unz Review.

More Middle East news, from American Free Press Issue 9&10:

Israel, Neocons Push War With Iran

Major European leaders boycott event in Poland attended by U.S., Israel, Saudis

By Richard Walker

War was on the agenda of a recent anti-Iran conference in Poland where Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that the Trump administration shared with him and his Arab allies, especially the Saudis, a desire for war with Iran.

Hours later, his spokesman walked back the statement, claiming Netanyahu had used English, which was not his first language, and what he really meant was that they were all keen to combat Iran. The excuse was ridiculous given that Netanyahu speaks fluent English. He wanted everyone to know what was agreed.

The two-day conference was organized by National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner attended, along with Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). Major European leaders boycotted the event, suspecting it would be used by neocons to promote a war with Iran and to attack the Iran nuclear treaty that is still supported by the EU, Russia, and China.

Their suspicions were well-founded. A European diplomat, who spoke to this writer on condition of anonymity, said many European Union (EU) figures felt that the event was an insult to Europe and that its planning was murky from the start.

“EU policymakers were incensed that Netanyahu and MBS were brought into an EU capital to promote war,” he said. “They were unhappy that MBS was present, given his recent history and his war crimes in Yemen. No one was shocked by Netanyahu’s grandstanding because we all know his shtick. The consensus was that if Washington wanted to promote war, it should have done it in Washington, Riyadh, or Tel Aviv.”

Kingdom Identity

The diplomat thought it was “unfortunate” that Pence used the occasion to attack his European allies for their continued support of Iran’s international nuclear agreement. He added that this “loose behavior” had the potential to drive a wedge between Europe and the United States.

There was some speculation on the fringes of the conference, as well as in Israel, that Netanyahu’s war drumbeat was a wag-the-dog strategy, as he faces serious fraud and corruption charges at home, with a national election likely in May or June.

There was fear in some European institutions that Netanyahu and MBS have now found neocons in Washington like Bolton who are willing to take the U.S. to war in the Middle East. The event certainly raised the specter of a return to neocons dominating American foreign policy. Bolton is on record advocating the bombing of Iran, and his past history of promoting wars has been well documented.

Fellow neocon Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, attended the conference to advocate for regime change in Iran, something he has done in the past. He is a paid backer of MEK— Mujahideen e-Khalq—a group designated by the U.S., the EU and Canada as a terrorist organization until 2013. It has organized bombings in Iraq and has had links to Mossad and the CIA. Its origins are Marxist, which makes it a strange bedfellow in its relations with the likes of Giuliani and Bolton. For two decades, it has spent large sums of money using Washington lobbyists to promote its cause and to find backers like Giuliani.

Some observers complained that the conference was hijacked by warmongers, with former Polish ambassador to Afghanistan Piotr Lukasiewicz telling Mideast news agency al Jazeera that Poland “lost control over the general message of the conference.”

While the event was taking place a suicide bomber killed 27 members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Blame was quickly levelled at Jundullah, the Party of God, a Sunni terror group affiliated with al Qaeda. It has known links to Mossad, the CIA, and especially Saudi intelligence, which has been paying al Qaeda fighters to undertake operations in the Saudi war in Yemen and in Iran. The timing of the attack was regarded by Iran as significant, coming as it did while the Warsaw conference was taking place.

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The growing role of neocons in U.S. foreign policy is at odds with Trump’s promises to stay out of wars abroad. Some of those neocons include right-wing Zionist Elliott Abrams, who has been given a prominent role in the Venezuelan crisis. He has been linked in the past to covert operations in Latin America and was an Iraq war adviser and cheerleader. However, Bolton is the most prominent figure with the scope to develop a plan with Israel and the Saudis to draw Iran into a conflict.

Last September, he startled Pentagon chiefs when he demanded a battle plan for Iraq after several mortar shells were fired into the Green Zone in Baghdad. Bolton regarded the episode, in which there was no damage and no one was hurt, as an act of war.

Russia could also be drawn into a Mideast war should one be launched against its ally, Iran, because such a conflict would spread quickly into Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria, where Moscow has allies and military assets.

Netanyahu and Bolton, and now Pence, keep lying that Iran is secretly working on a nuclear weapon to wipe Israel off the map. If they and the Saudis can convince Trump that this is true, the chances of war will increase exponentially. In the wake of the Warsaw conference, Netanyahu’s mouth got him in trouble again when he was quoted in leading Israeli newspapers accusing the Poles of a role in the Holocaust. Netanyahu claimed he was misquoted, but his denial was dismissed by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawieck, who canceled a trip to Jerusalem for a major European conference.

Richard Walker is the nom de plume of a former New York mainstream news producer who grew tired of seeing his articles censored by his bosses.

Italian Populists Could Follow Iceland’s Lead

Crooked banksters could be jailed if Italy’s populist deputy prime minister gets what he wants—to see fraudulent bankers “end up in prison for a long time.”

By Mark Anderson

Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini recently called for the elimination of Italy’s central bank. A short time later, Salvini proclaimed that bankers involved in fraudulent activity will “end up in prison for a long time.” The populist leader’s calls—reminiscent of Iceland’s actions about 10 years ago to bust a bevy of bankers—are giving way to the usual elitist screams that skeptical politicians are trespassing upon the “independence” of the money changers with “meddlesome” demands for more public control of Italy’s monetary system.

Amid a populist awakening that also includes France, other parts of Europe, Canada, and the U.S. under Trump, Salvini, who leads the rightist-populist Northern League, also wants to retire Consob, Italy’s stock market regulator.

The Bilderberg-linked Economist magazine responded: “Luigi Di Maio of the Five Star Movement [Northern League’s populist ally and Bilderberg critic] demanded ‘discontinuity,’ ” meaning discontinuance of the Bank of Italy and Consob. “Both [Salvini and Di Maio] alleged the bank had failed to protect investors and deposit-holders. Two days earlier, the cabinet had refused to approve a further six-year term for Luigi Federico Signorini, the deputy director-general primarily responsible for banking supervision.”

Kingdom Identity

Guarding the financial status quo, the Economist stated: “The Bank of Italy has long been seen as one of a handful of efficient and incorruptible institutions that curb Italy’s anarchic tendencies. . . . The attack [by Italian populists] sent ripples of apprehension through the euro zone. . . . The president of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, Mario Centeno, and the EU commissioner for economic affairs, Pierre Moscovici, both . . . stressed the need to preserve the independence of [eurozone] central banks.”

Where is this all headed?

“Italy has some good intuitions, but it has got to break the monopoly of the financial system being the only entity that can create money,” veteran social-credit economics writer-researcher Wallace Klinck told AFP. “The Italian state needs to determine how much production is available to purchase and how much income has been paid out. It’s a matter of placing income in the hands of the consumer to balance the economy.”

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Klinck has visited several nations to study their economic systems. He added: “The system, in Italy and elsewhere, creates costs and prices more than it does incomes. To liquidate those costs, that ‘income’ should not be a never-ending flow of debts from the banks. Instead, Italy should make up the difference by directly issuing money without debt in order to cancel those outstanding costs. But absent such remedial measures, Italy is left with a boom-and-bust ‘pendulum economy’ driven by speculators.”

According to La Repubblica, if Salvini solidifies his de facto Italian leadership in upcoming elections, the Bank of Italy’s life could become especially complicated. The key is for Italian officials to bypass the media’s guardianship of the banking cartel and issue their own interest-free money under a balanced formula.

Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor. He invites your thoughtful comments and story ideas at [email protected].

Top 26 Billionaires Now Worth More Than 3.8 Billion People Combined

Globally, the income gap has widened to “record heights in modern history,” and 26 individuals now hold as much in assets as the lowest 50% of the world’s population. The development charity Oxfam suggests a wealth tax of 1%.

By S.T. Patrick

To mark the beginning of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the development charity Oxfam released its annual wealth check report. It states that 2018 was a year in which the income gap widened to record heights in modern history. In fact, the 26 most wealthy billionaires now own as many assets as the lowest 50% of the world’s population, some 3.8 billion people.

According to Oxfam, the wealth of the “Top 26 Billionaires” increased in 2018 by $900 billion, or $2.5 billion per day. In 2016, the number of the world’s richest billionaires needed to eclipse half of the world’s population was 61. It was 43 in 2017.

Oxfam does have a solution. The charity’s suggestions in the report include a wealth tax of 1% that would “educate every child not in school and provide healthcare that would prevent 3 million deaths.”

Oxfam is not a Robin Hood organization with a desire to rob the rich and give to the poor. They share some of the same concerns as conservatives and libertarians who also have a desire to earn wealth, but on an equal playing field and while ensuring that public services for the poor are of the same quality as public services for the rich.

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Matthew Spencer, the director of campaigns and policies for Oxfam, said: “Women are dying for lack of decent maternity care and children are being denied an education that could be their route out of poverty. No one should be condemned to an earlier grave or a life of illiteracy simply because they were born poor. … It doesn’t have to be this way—there is enough wealth in the world to provide everyone with a fair chance in life. Governments should act to ensure that taxes raised from wealth and businesses paying their fair share are used to fund free, good-quality public services that can save and transform people’s lives.”

The report listed multiple interesting findings: When consumption taxes are included, the poorest 10% of Brits are paying a significantly higher tax rate than the richest 10% (comparatively, 49% to 34%). In the last two years, a new billionaire was created every two days. Since the financial crisis of 2008, the number of billionaires globally has nearly doubled.

The world’s richest man is American Jeff Bezos, the founder of “” In 2018, his total wealth increased to $112 billion. No man may be an island, but Bezos is a country (or even continent) unto himself. His $112 billion is larger than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of over 120 countries including Morocco, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Lithuania, Bosnia, Croatia, and Afghanistan.

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Author and AFP journalist Donald Jeffries wrote about these issues illuminatingly in his vital work, The Survival of the Richest: How the Corruption of the Marketplace and the Disparity of Wealth Created the Greatest Conspiracy of All. In it, Jeffries writes about the structural and attitudinal issues that cause the economic inequality that divides even the wealthiest nations, those where resources and wealth should not be limited.

“The wealth in our society is plentiful,” Jeffries writes, “but it’s been absconded by a relative handful of exceptionally greedy individuals. Even most Ayn Rand disciples would understand that it wouldn’t be right for one child in a preschool to hoard all the toys while the others sat around and cried. But they freely defend a system that permits a faction of humanity to have far more than they could ever hope to spend, while condemning most of the world’s population to what Thomas Wolfe termed ‘lives of quiet desperation.’ ”

Americans have become so divided over partisan politics that we can no longer discern right from wrong, heartless indifference from human compassion. Any discussion about raising the marginal tax rate on billionaires is not inching toward “pinko communism” any more than a widowed grandmother wanting to afford staying in her own home is being a “capitalist pig.”

American capitalists are right to want people to strive for increases in wealth, but in doing so, what we should all strive for is a level playing field. Equal opportunity cannot be had by anyone in the lower 99% when the top 1% continues to buy politicians, hire lobbyists to write advantageous legislation, loophole billions in taxes, and pretend to help the needy by starting a sham foundation as a tax haven.

S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent 10 years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News Show.” His email is [email protected] He is also an occasional contributor to TBR history magazine and the current managing editor of Deep Truth Journal (DTJ).

Whistleblower’s Attorneys Want the Charges Unsealed

Julian Assange’s testimony in the U.S. could help clear Mueller’s inquiry targets, lead to a new  investigation into the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich, but potentially send Assange to prison for life. No wonder he’s fighting extradition from Ecuador’s London embassy.

By S.T. Patrick

It is clear that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may one day find himself in an American courtroom facing charges that may or may not end his life of semi-freedom. What remains unclear is the specific nature of those charges. What the world learned in November, quite by accident, was that the United States has had secret, sealed charges against Assange in place for some time.

An errant filing by prosecutors led to the revelation that charges had been levied against the WikiLeaks publisher. The filing said that both the charges and the arrest warrant “would need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal complaint and can therefore no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter.”

In response, the attorneys for Assange have filed an urgent petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). The purposes of the petition are three-fold: Assange wants to permanently delay the possibility of extradition from the Ecuadorian embassy in London to the U.S., pressure the American prosecutors to reveal its sealed charges, and end the isolation under which Assange has been held for nearly seven years. In that time, Assange has gone from being a legal guest seeking asylum on Ecuadorian property in London to being an unwelcome guest and a valuable pawn in a global game of geopolitical chess.

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Last week, CNN reported that special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors are now saying they have communications between WikiLeaks and Roger Stone. While the new court filing provided no details as to what was contained within the communications, the prosecutors had previously stated that Stone had been interested in what WikiLeaks had received from an insider within the Democratic Party.

Assange’s desire to resist extradition to the U.S. may now be in direct conflict with the personal and political motivations of President Donald Trump. While any American courtroom could be dangerous to Assange’s future, Trump could benefit from a public forum in which Assange, on the record, lays out a chronology detailing how slain Democratic staffer Seth Rich was personally involved in transferring at least part of the Hillary Clinton-John Podesta emails to WikiLeaks. It would be the final death knell to an already flailing Russia-collusion theory regarding Clinton’s 2016 presidential loss. It would also open the doors to a new murder investigation for Rich, who was a Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016. Assange is in the unenviable situation of being a foreigner who could play a key role in an American presidential race—again. But, in doing so, he may go to prison for life, which is what his attorneys are trying to prevent.

The 1,172-page filing scolds both the U.S. and Ecuador for mishandling “a raft of legal obligations that the U.S. and Ecuador are flouting in their treatment of Mr. Assange,” said WikiLeaks in a statement. “The lawyers document Trump administration attempts to pressure Ecuador to hand over Mr. Assange, notably recent serious overt threats against Ecuador made by senior U.S. political figures, unlike the more veiled threats made in the past.”

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The contention between the U.S. and Ecuador is interesting in light of the current political situation in Venezuela, Ecuador’s historical archrival. As the U.S. continues to support the installation of a politi-puppet to control the massively oil-rich Venezuelan economy, U.S. businesses friendly to influential politicians continue to gain more access. This is true “dollar diplomacy.” The recent coup d’etat in Venezuela also puts more pressure on neighboring Ecuador. The Americans will soon be at Ecuador’s doorstep. Will Ecuador fight or fold, where will that line in the sand be, and how will Assange be used in negotiations?

The plea to the IACHR is not legally binding. The organization is a self-governing promotor and protector of human rights within the Organization of American States. While its decisions bear no consequences in U.S. courts, a strong decision against the U.S. could be politically embarrassing and costly.

Assange, now one of the world’s most wanted men, has been housed in Ecuador’s London embassy since he was granted asylum in August 2012. His case is a focal point for issues of national security, regional conflict, the validity of asylum, a murder investigation, campaign leaks, hacking, questionable electioneering, and freedom of the press. If Assange loses his case in the U.S., what will that mean for media organizations that break major stories using government documents (e.g., the Pentagon Papers, torture in the Middle East, international foul play by the CIA)? Assange is simultaneously advantageous and disastrous to all parties involved, and thus why the general rules for handling have been “proceed with caution.”

S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent 10 years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News Show.” His email is [email protected]

China’s Amazing Renaissance

The U.S. should emulate major planks of the Chinese financial resurgence program before that economically booming nation leaves America in the dust.

By Dr. Kevin Barrett

The most serious foreign policy decision the U.S. faces is how to deal with the rise of China. The Chinese economy has enjoyed historically unprecedented, explosive growth, with real per capita income rising 1,300% in three decades. As a result, China is about to overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest economy, if it has not done so already. By 2030 it will have begun leaving America in the dust.

Since economic strength is the basis of technological and military power, U.S. strategists are naturally concerned. Such strategic worries may be the real reason for Canada’s U.S.-incited kidnapping of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou. Wanzhou was ostensibly arrested for violating sanctions on Iran, but according to Anatoly Karlin’s “Connecting the Dots in the Huawei Kidnapping,” published at “,” Wanzhou was on route to Argentina to meet with Zhang Shoucheng, the physics genius behind an apparent breakthrough in microchip technology.

The Wanzhou-Shoucheng meeting never happened. On Dec. 1, 2018 Wanzhou was kidnapped in Vancouver by Canadian authorities following U.S. orders. On the very same day, Shoucheng allegedly committed suicide in California, leading some to believe that Wanzhou and Shoucheng may be victims of a covert U.S. war on Chinese strategic technology.

Kingdom Identity

Should Americans panic about the rise of China? Would a world dominated by Chinese economic and technological power become a global gulag, given traditional Chinese authoritarianism, autocracy, and anti-individualism? There are reasons for concern. China is already a near cashless society, meaning the individual has zero economic privacy. Likewise, China is leading the lemmings’ stampede toward a 5G “Internet of things,” a dystopian nightmare in which your refrigerator, washing machine, vacuum cleaner, toaster, electric meter, and self-driving automobile will all be spying on you . . . until the day they realize they don’t really need you anymore.

China’s embrace of techno-dystopianism is dismaying but not surprising, given that nation’s traditional preference for conformism over individuality, and for materialism over spirituality. The Chinese Internet is even more censored than ours, though ours is rapidly catching up. Dissidents are rigorously suppressed. Uyghur Muslims are kidnapped by the hundreds of thousands and forced into re-education camps, where brainwashing specialists attempt to annihilate their religion and culture.

But there are also positive sides to China’s centralized system of power. China’s 80%-state-owned banks, unlike privately owned Western central banks, are dedicated to the public interest, not private profit. That is why Chinese economic growth has outstripped the West’s, and why Chinese infrastructure projects, including the One Belt One Road initiative, are the eighth wonder of the world.

Among China’s incredible infrastructure projects are an impressive array of environmental initiatives subsumed under the rubric of “Ecological civilization.” Chinese cities have sprouted green belts, limited the private automobile, and enabled an array of green transportation alternatives. Beijing now has the world’s greatest metro. Migration to the overcrowded big cities has been reversed, and thousands of organic farming-based green villages are emerging. Coal is now supplying slightly over half of China’s power, down from 80% in 2010. According to John Cobb and André Vltchek’s China and Ecological Civilization, China’s environmental situation is improving more rapidly than in any other nation. For a country experiencing such rapid economic growth, that is rather miraculous.

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So perhaps we should consider Chinese virtues as well as Chinese vices. Unfortunately, many strategists see the U.S.-China faceoff as a zero-sum game, a fight that will have a winner and a loser. Their insistence on winning at any cost, or at least trying to, could reinforce the worst aspects of Chinese power.

Rather than falling into the Thucydides trap of war between an American hegemon and a rising China, American policymakers should learn from China’s experience. Specifically, the U.S. desperately needs to nationalize its banks and issue its own currency in service to the public interest. Then, like China, it would be able to finance economic growth while improving its infrastructure and raise living standards, even while moving toward ecological sustainability.

By eliminating private central banking, the U.S. could revive itself as a moral and spiritual as well as economic competitor to China. Under the current neoliberal, banker-owned, post-9/11 police state, we barely even pay lip service to the ideals of freedom and individuality that supposedly distinguish us from Chinese authoritarian leaders and conformist subjects. Sometimes it even seems that our leaders are competing with China and other authoritarian countries to see who can crush the free human spirit more efficiently.

Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions.