EU Backs Palestinian Dictatorship

Posted December 18, 2014 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Abbas, European Union, Fatah, Gaza, Israel, Jerusalem, Palestinians, Peace process, Temple Mount, Two state solution

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EU Backs Palestinian Dictatorship, Gatestone InstituteKhaled Abu Toameh, December 18, 2014

These European parliaments are also turning a blind eye to the fact that, under the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, there is no respect for the rule of law, free speech, transparency or accountability.

These Western parliamentarians are in fact acting against the interests of the Palestinians, who are clearly not hoping for another corrupt dictatorship in the Arab world.

“The situation in Palestine does not conform at all with democracy or the rule of law… Wake up and see the loss of rights, law and security.” — Freih Abu Medein, former Palestinian Authority Justice Minister.

“Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] wants to concentrate all authorities in his hands and the hand of his loyalists. He’s acting in a dictatorial way and wants to be in control of everything, especially the finances.” — Yasser Abed Rabbo, Secretary General of the PLO.

By turning a blind eye to human rights violations, as well as assaults on freedom of expression, the judiciary and the parliamentary system in the Palestinian territories, Western parliaments are paving the way for a creation of a rogue state called Palestine.

European parliaments that are rushing to recognize a Palestinian state are ignoring the fact that the Palestinians have been without a functioning parliament for the past seven years.

The Palestinian parliament, known as the Palestinian Legislative Council [PLC], has been paralyzed since 2007, when Hamas violently seized control over the Gaza Strip and expelled the Palestinian Authority [PA].

These European parliaments are also turning a blind eye to the fact that, under the PA in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, there is no respect for the rule of law, free speech, transparency or accountability.

This week, the European Parliament also adopted a resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood in principle. A total of 489 MEP’s voted in favor, while 88 were against.

Ironically, the EU Parliament vote coincided with an unprecedented crackdown by the Palestinian Authority leadership on the Palestinian Legislative Council and its secretary-general, Ibrahim Khraisheh, in Ramallah.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas ordered the arrest of Khraisheh for allegedly criticizing PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. Following strong protests by leaders of various Palestinian factions, who described the decision as a flagrant breach of freedom of expression, Abbas was forced to backtrack.

But for Abbas, this was not the end of the story. After canceling the arrest order against Khraisheh, Abbas dispatched policemen to the parliament building in Ramallah to prevent the top official from entering the compound. The presence of the policemen at the main entrance to the parliament building drew sharp denunciations from many Palestinians.

844The Palestinian Legislative Council building in Ramallah. (Image source: Alarab

Khraisheh was removed from his job because he dared to criticize the Palestinian government for arresting Bassam Zakarneh, head of the public employees’ union in the West Bank. Many Palestinians have also denounced the arrest of Zakarneh as an assault on workers’ rights and an attempt to intimidate them.

But the EU Parliament and other parliaments that voted in favor of recognizing Palestinian statehood did not see a need to comment on Abbas’s measures against the PLC and one of its senior officials.

EU parliamentarians who voted in favor of Palestinian statehood are most likely unaware of what the former PA Justice Minister, Freih Abu Medein, had to say about the rule of law and order in the Palestinian Authority.

Abu Medein drew a bleak picture of what the future Palestinian state would look like. In a damning article he published last week, Abu Medein wrote: “The situation in Palestine does not conform at all with democracy or the rule of law, because the Palestinian mentality is too coarse to cope with transparency of the law and its regulators and provisions.”

Abu Medein’s scathing attack, which is directed first and foremost against Abbas, ended with an appeal to Palestinians to “wake up and see the loss of law, rights and security” in the areas controlled by the PA and Hamas.

The former Palestinian Authority justice minister is not the only prominent Palestinian who seems to understand that a Palestinian state under the current circumstances would be anything but democratic.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, the secretary-general of the PLO who until recently was considered one of Abbas’s top confidants, was quoted last week as strongly condemning the Palestinian Authority president’s “dictatorial” rule.

Referring to Abbas by his nom de guerre, Abed Rabbo said: “Abu Mazen wants to concentrate all authorities in his hands and the hands of his loyalists. He’s acting in a dictatorial way and wants to be in control of everything, especially the finances. I don’t know what this man wants and why he’s behaving in this way. What will happen after Abu Mazen’s departure?”

The parliament members of Sweden, Britain, France and Portugal who voted in favor of recognizing Palestinian statehood do not seem to care about their Palestinian colleagues, who have been deprived of carrying out their parliamentary obligations as a result of the power struggle between Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah faction.

Nor do they seem to care if the Palestinian state would be another corrupt dictatorship where there is no room for the rule of law, transparency or freedom of speech.

Obviously, Western parliamentarians see no wrongdoing or evil in the actions of the Palestinian leadership and Hamas. They are prepared to vote in favor of a Palestinian state even if it does not appear to be headed toward democracy and transparency.

These Western parliamentarians are in fact acting against the interests of the Palestinians, who are clearly not hoping for another corrupt dictatorship in the Arab world. By turning a blind eye to human rights violations, as well as assaults on freedom of expression, the judiciary and the parliamentary system in the Palestinian territories, Western parliaments are paving the way for the creation of a rogue state called Palestine.

Palestinian UN bid is an ‘act of war,’ minister charges

Posted December 18, 2014 by joopklepzeiker
Categories: Uncategorized

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Palestinian UN bid is an ‘act of war,’ minister charges

Yuval Steinitz says Israel may have to mull dismantling PA after draft statehood resolution submitted to Security Council

By Times of Israel staff December 18, 2014, 8:46 am

via Palestinian UN bid is an ‘act of war,’ minister charges | The Times of Israel.

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz addresses the seventh Annual INSS conference in Tel Aviv, Wednesday, January 29, 2014 (photo credit: Gideon Markowicz/Flash90)

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz addresses the seventh Annual INSS conference in Tel Aviv, Wednesday, January 29, 2014 (photo credit: Gideon Markowicz/Flash90)

he submission overnight Wednesday of a Palestinian-sponsored UN draft resolution calling for a peace deal within a year, and demanding an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines by the end of 2017, drew a spate of condemnations by Israeli ministers.

Yuval Steinitz, the Israeli minister of intelligence, international relations and strategic affairs, said Thursday morning that the Palestinian draft resolution was an “act of war.”

“The Palestinians made sure to remove any mention of Israel’s status as a Jewish state from the draft, which means this is not an act of peace, it’s an act of war,” he told Israel Radio.

Steinitz called for Israel to weigh a harsh response, including cutting off ties with the Palestinian Authority and even dismantling it.

“We need to consider every move including cutting off economic ties with the PA and stopping the transfer of taxes collected on its behalf,” he said.

“If the PA continues to incite against us, against our existence, against the Jewish nation, if it [continues to] take unilateral action, we need to respond not just in the international sphere but also in the Palestinian sphere and to consider, if there is no other choice, dismantling the [Palestinian] Authority,” he added.

Steinitz said that if the terms of the Palestinian bid are adopted by the international community, it will precipitate a Hamas and Islamic State takeover of the West Bank.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) said the PA’s UN bid served no real purpose, and urged the Security Council to address more pressing matters rather than be taken up with “Palestinian gimmicks.”

“[Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas is undertaking actions with the sole purpose of taunting Israel. They serve no real purpose for the Palestinian people. On the contrary, these actions will only worsen the conflict and will not advance a peace deal because without Israel’s agreement, nothing will change [on the ground],” he said in a statement.

“The Security Council is better served dealing with issues of true importance in the world, like how to handle the deadly terror we saw this week in Australia and Pakistan. Or the Syrian civil war, or Libya, and not waste its time on Palestinian gimmicks,” he added.

Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) said Israel should respond with a construction boom in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

In a Facebook post, Ariel urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop the “silent construction freeze” and strengthen Israeli sovereignty in the capital and in the West Bank. “Judea and Samaria are part of Israel and as legitimate as Tel Aviv and Haifa and instead of apologizing, we should state that clearly,” he wrote.

Overnight Wednesday, the Palestinians submitted a UN draft resolution setting a 12-month deadline to reach a final peace deal with Israel and the end of 2017 as the date for completing an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines.

The text obtained by AFP said a “just, lasting and comprehensive peace solution that brings an end to the Israeli occupation” and “fulfills the vision” of a Palestinian state should be reached no later than 12 months after the adoption of the resolution.

It also defined a series of parameters for the negotiated solution including a phased Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian territories according to a timeframe “not to exceed the end of 2017.”

The Palestinian representative to the UN said there could still be negotiations on the text.

The draft was presented to the UN Security Council by fellow Arab member Jordan, envoy Riyad Mansour told reporters, thanking Arab and European nations for their help and indicating he would not press for a quick vote on the text, to allow for more discussion.

The Palestinians had earlier said they wanted a quick vote on the draft resolution but they backed down, apparently under pressure from fellow Arab states including Jordan, which is still seeking a draft that will be acceptable to the United States.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said earlier that Washington had “no problem” with Palestinians moving to boost their hopes for statehood, providing it doesn’t heighten tensions.

The US diplomat insisted “we haven’t seen the language yet, we don’t know precisely what was filed,” adding that Washington had been “troubled by some of the language that had been out there at different points of time.”

Kerry only returned Wednesday from a whirlwind three-day trip to Europe, where he sought to head off a showdown at the United Nations.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki refused to respond to Palestinian claims that Kerry had told Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat that Washington would veto a resolution, which the Palestinians said they had asked Jordan to submit on their behalf.

Israel fiercely opposes any suggestion that the Security Council impose terms for a Palestinian state, insisting on bilateral negotiations. Talks initiated by Kerry last year broke down in the spring after the two sides couldn’t agree on the ground rules.

The Palestinian push at the Security Council is largely symbolic, but comes amid growing international pressure for Palestinian statehood which has seen a series of European parliaments vote to ask their governments to recognize a Palestinian state.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is under domestic pressure to take steps toward statehood after US-led negotiations with Israel hit a dead end. Israel has refused to resume talks with Abbas so long as he is partnered with Hamas, the Islamist terror group that rules Gaza, in a so-called Palestinian unity government. Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel.

Obama’s Worst Lie About his Dirty Castro Deal is in his First Sentence

Posted December 18, 2014 by joopklepzeiker
Categories: Off Topic

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Obama’s Worst Lie About his Dirty Castro Deal is in his First Sentence

December 17, 2014

by Daniel Greenfield

via Obama’s Worst Lie About his Dirty Castro Deal is in his First Sentence | FrontPage Magazine.

 

Usually you have to get at least two sentences into an Obama speech to find a whopper so  big that McDonald’s wouldn’t be able to figure out what to charge for it. Not this time. Instead the worst lie in Obama’s Cuba speech was in his very first sentence.

“Today, the United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Cuba,” Obama said.

No, nope. Still no.

Cuban is run by the Castro thugs. There is no democratically elected government. Obama did not make a deal with the elected representatives of the Cuban people.

He made a deal with the Castro crime family.

The people of Cuba have no say in how they live. They have no say in how they are governed. They have no say in their relationship with the United States except to flee by boat. Which many of them have done.

That opening sentence is the slimiest lie in Obama’s series of lies about his dirty deal with the Castros. It’s the slimiest lie because with it Obama makes the explicitly false claim that Raul Castro represents the Cuban people.

It’s an endorsement of the Communist dictatorship.

“There’s a complicated history between the United States and Cuba. I was born in 1961 — just over two years after Fidel Castro took power in Cuba, and just a few months after the Bay of Pigs invasion, which tried to overthrow his regime,” Obama said, as usual making it all about him.

The phrasing of his speech actually makes the case that the history involved doesn’t matter because it took place before Obama was born.

This is disturbingly egocentric even for Obama.

“Neither the American nor the Cuban people are well-served by a policy that’s rooted in events that took place before many of us were born,” Obama states.

Regardless of when Obama was born, the regime he just made a deal with it is still the same one as then. That concept seems to elude Obama’s narcissistic grasp of history.

“First, I’ve instructed Secretary (of State John) Kerry to immediately begin discussions with Cuba to re-establish diplomatic relations that have been severed since January of 1961. Going forward, the United States will re-establish an embassy in Havana, and high-ranking officials will visit Cuba.”

I’m sure Hanoi John will be thrilled.

“Second, I’ve instructed Secretary Kerry to review Cuba’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism. This review will be guided by the facts and the law. Terrorism has changed in the last several decades. At a time when we are focused on threats from al-Qaida to ISIL, a nation that meets our conditions and renounces the use of terrorism should not face this sanction.”

Marxist terrorist groups haven’t disappeared and some of them interact with Islamic terrorist groups.

Step three involves bailing out the collapsing Castro regime by sending lots and lots of money to Cuba.

No, really. Here’s Obama.

Third, we are taking steps to increase travel, commerce, and the flow of information to and from Cuba…  it will be easier for Americans to travel to Cuba, and Americans will be able to use American credit and debit cards on the island… we’re significantly increasing the amount of money that can be sent to Cuba…  we will facilitate authorized transactions between the United States and Cuba. U.S. financial institutions will be allowed to open accounts at Cuban financial institutions…  it will be easier for U.S. exporters to sell goods in Cuba…

But Obama respects the embargo. No really.

As these changes unfold, I look forward to engaging Congress in an honest and serious debate about lifting the embargo.

Unilateral dictatorship is not an honest and serious debate.

Nuland Warns Russia on Nukes in Crimea

Posted December 18, 2014 by joopklepzeiker
Categories: Off Topic

Nuland Warns Russia on Nukes in Crimea‘Any effort to further militarize that region will be extremely dangerous and will not be unanswered’

BY:Daniel Wiser Follow @TheWiserChoice

December 17, 2014 3:50 pm

via Nuland Warns Russia on Nukes in Crimea | Washington Free Beacon.


a view of Bakhchisarai, a city in central Crimea, a territory recognized by a majority of countries as part of Ukraine and incorporated by Russia as the Republic of CrimeaA view of Bakhchisarai, a city in central Crimea, a territory recognized by a majority of countries as part of Ukraine and incorporated by Russia as the Republic of Crimea / AP

A top U.S. diplomat on Wednesday warned Russia against deploying nuclear weapons in Crimea and said the United States and its allies would respond if the Kremlin opts to do so.

Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, said such a move by Russia would be “extremely dangerous,” though she did not specify what form a U.S. and allied response might take.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had previously told a state news agency on Monday that “Russia has every reason to dispose of its nuclear arsenal” on the peninsula that it annexed in March, following what international observers condemned as an illegal referendum.

“Crimea belongs to Ukraine,” Nuland said at an American Enterprise Institute (AEI) event in response to a question. “Second of all, any effort to further militarize that region will be extremely dangerous and will not be unanswered by those of us who also live in that neighborhood.”

Nuland noted that she worked on the Budapest Memorandums in 1994 that required Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan to remove all nuclear weapons from their states in return for security guarantees from the United States. Although Russia was a signatory to those agreements, the Kremlin’s willingness to nuclearize a part of Ukrainian territory that it invaded and captured threatens to nullify them.

Nuland also spoke about the potential for imposing further sanctions on Russia in response to its ongoing support for separatists in eastern Ukraine. President Barack Obama has said he will sign a bipartisan bill that authorizes him to apply additional sanctions on Russia’s defense, energy, and banking industries, but the legislation does not require him to take the tougher actions. White House Spokesman Josh Earnest expressed reservations about deepening sanctions pressure on Russia without the support of Europe.

“The bill gives the administration authorization for a broad set of tools, but it also allows considerable flexibility to use those tools,” Nuland said, declining to confirm whether Obama would push for the tougher sanctions.

Providing lethal assistance to Ukraine’s military also remains “under review,” she said. The bill authorizes but does not require Obama to send $350 million in military equipment to Ukraine, including antitank weapons and surveillance drones.

“What’s most important is that the Russians be deterred in further ventures,” she said.

Russia has transported about 500 pieces of additional military equipment to the separatists in Ukraine since the Minsk Agreement was signed, Nuland said. Those weapon shipments violate the deal that was supposed to broker a “ceasefire” between the pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian forces. The United Nations said this week that an average of 13 people a day have died in Ukraine since the agreement was reached in early September.

Nuland said the current sanctions on Russia “can be rolled back” if the Minsk provisions are implemented, including an order from the Kremlin to pull back its troops and arms in Ukraine and to close off the border from hostilities. Some experts have warned that Russia’s severe economic hardships, including a collapsing currency and declining oil revenue, could provoke President Vladimir Putin to be more aggressive in Ukraine as a way of tamping down domestic political pressures.

Nuland also pushed back against criticism by some analysts that the West is to blame for Russia’s actions in Ukraine. These critics say Western nations provoked Putin by pushing for NATO enlargement after the fall of the Soviet Union and not respecting Russian interests.

“There were no promises made to Russia that it would have a veto at any point to any American or European leader or other countries’ sovereign choice of alliance,” she said. “Anybody who tells you otherwise doesn’t know the true situation.”

Nuland noted that the United States has provided about $20 billion in assistance to Russia over the last two decades.

Additionally, Nuland sought to clarify reports from last winter that she handed out cookies to Ukrainian demonstrators protesting against now deposed President Viktor Yanukovych. Russian state media said the gift signaled that the United States was supporting a coup to topple Yanukovych’s government.

“They were sandwiches, not cookies,” Nuland said. She also gave some to the Berkut police forces, “those poor 18, 19 year-old Ukrainian kids who had been ordered by their own president to move against their own mothers and grandmothers.”

“The United States will never be shy about supporting efforts for more democracy, more popular choice, more enfranchisement, anywhere in the world,” she said.

Hamas removed from EU terrorist list on technicality

Posted December 17, 2014 by joopklepzeiker
Categories: Uncategorized

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Hamas removed from EU terrorist list on technicality

European Union General Court annuls decision to keep Hamas on list of terrorist organizations, but temporarily maintained measures against it for three months or until an appeal was closed.

Reuters, AP Published: 12.17.14, 11:14 / Israel News

via Hamas removed from EU terrorist list on technicality – Israel News, Ynetnews.

 

The European Union’s second highest court annulled on Wednesday the bloc’s decision to keep Hamas on a list of terrorist organizations, but temporarily maintained the measures for a period of three months or until an appeal was closed.

The General Court of the European Union said the contested measures were not based on an examination of Hamas’s “acts examined and confirmed in decisions of competent authorities” but on imputations derived from the media and the Internet.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu swiftly called on Europe to maintain the ban. “We expect them to immediately put Hamas back on the

list,” he said in a statement from Jerusalem, denouncing Hamas as “a murderous terrorist organization”.

The EU court did not consider the merits of whether Hamas should be classified as a terror group, but reviewed the original decision-making process. This, it said, did not include the considered opinion of competent authorities, but rather relied on press and Internet reports.

“The court stresses that those annulments, on fundamental procedural grounds, do not imply any substantive assessment of the question of the classification of Hamas as a terrorist group,” the court said in a statement.

It therefore ruled that the asset freezes should stay in place for three months, pending further EU actions, in order to ensure that any possible future freezing of funds would be effective.

 

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (Photo: AFP)
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (Photo: AFP)

 

The court’s decision followed an appeal filed by Hamas against its inclusion in the European Union’s blacklist.

The EU is considering its next steps. It has two months to appeal.

The terrorist list designation bars EU officials from dealing with the group, and requires that any of the group’s funds in EU countries be frozen.

Hamas official Izzat al-Rishq welcomed the decision. “This is the correction of an error and an injustice that was caused to Hamas, which is a national liberation movement.”

Salah Bardawil, another Hamas official, called the decision a “strong, good shift” that he said would ultimately lead to European action against Israel.

“This decision corrects a great mistake committed against the Palestinian resistance that had Hamas connected to terror,” he said.

The lawyer for Hamas, Liliane Glock, told AFP she was “satisfied with the decision.”

Although Hamas presented the decision as a victory, Israel and the EU say that the change will not have an effect on the group’s position as a terror group in Europe as the court will be given a few months to rebuild the file against Hamas with evidence that will enable the Gaza-based group to remain on the list of terror organizations.

 

Hamas rally in Gaza (Photo: Reuters)
Hamas rally in Gaza (Photo: Reuters)

 

Hamas’s military wing was added to the European Union’s first-ever terrorism blacklist drawn up in December 2001 in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States.

Hamas’s political wing was added to the EU’s list of terror organizations in 2003 after a diplomatic effort led by Israel and the US.

A few months ago, the Court of Justice made a decision to remove the Tamil Tigers, a Sri Lankan terror group, from the EU’s terrorist list because of similar reasoning. The court concluded that the file did not have sufficient legal evidence proving the group was a terror organization. However, as is expected in the case of Hamas, the court gave the EU a window of time to re-submit its request and build a stronger legal file against the Sri Lankan group.

Hamas, aware of the case of the Sri Lankan group, saw an opportunity to remove itself from the EU’s terror list which prevents all European nations from contacting the organization. Hamas appealed to the court on the same grounds as the Sri Lankan group.

 

Hamas rally in Gaza (Photo: Reuters)
Hamas rally in Gaza (Photo: Reuters)

 

According to reports from within Israel, some European countries, fearing the possiblity that Hamas would be taken of the EU’s terror list, have already begun collecting intelligence information that could be useful in building a strong case against the group.

Israel, on its part, has a department dedicated to the issue within the Foreign Ministry and has already been collecting incriminating evidence against terror organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

 

Hamas rally in Gaza (Photo: EPA)
Hamas rally in Gaza (Photo: EPA)

 

The weakness of the current case against Hamas, and against the Tamil Tigers, was said to be due to the nature of the European process for declaring entities as terror organizations. In the European system, the list must be reviewed every six months which resulted in the Europeans using unclassified material and media publications to rebuild the files, which were then automatically approved.

The Europeans feared presenting classified intelligence material to the court, with the apprehension that the information would ultimately end up in the hands of Hamas and aid the terror group. Therefore, the Europeans relied on low-level material to build the file against Hamas. The EU now realizes that it will have to introduce more solid evidence.

Another reason for the court to have accepted the appeal by Hamas to take themselves off the EU’s terror list could be the court’s attempt to strengthen its stance within the EU – not fearing confrontation with European countries.

Yitzhak Benhorin, Itamar Eichner, Roi Kais and Elior Levy contributed to this report.

 

 

Dennis Kucinich: Three Members of Congress Just Reignited the Cold War While No One Was Looking

Posted December 17, 2014 by joopklepzeiker
Categories: Uncategorized

Three Members of Congress Just Reignited the Cold War While No One Was Looking

Dec 16, 2014

By Dennis Kucinich

via


Late Thursday night, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a far-reaching Russia sanctions bill, a hydra-headed incubator of poisonous conflict. The second provocative anti-Russian legislation in a week, it further polarizes our relations with Russia, helping to cement a Russia-China alliance against Western hegemony, and undermines long-term America’s financial and physical security by handing the national treasury over to war profiteers.

Here’s how the House’s touted “unanimity” was achieved: Under a parliamentary motion termed “unanimous consent,” legislative rules can be suspended and any bill can be called up. If any member of Congress objects, the motion is blocked and the bill dies.

At 10:23:54 p.m. on Thursday, a member rose to ask “unanimous consent” for four committees to be relieved of a Russia sanctions bill. At this point the motion, and the legislation, could have been blocked by a single member who would say “I object.”  No one objected, because no one was watching for last-minute bills to be slipped through.

Most of the House and the media had emptied out of the chambers after passage of the $1.1 trillion government spending package.

The Congressional Record will show only three of 425 members were present on the floor to consider the sanctions bill. Two of the three feigned objection, creating the legislative equivalent of a ‘time out.’ They entered a few words of support, withdrew their “objections” and the clock resumed.
According to the clerk’s records, once the bill was considered under unanimous consent, it was passed, at 10:23:55 p.m., without objection, in one recorded, time-stamped second, unanimously.

Then the House adjourned.

I discovered, in my 16 years in Congress, that many members seldom read the legislation on which they vote. On Oct. 24, 2001, House committees spent long hours debating the Patriot Act. At the last minute, the old bill was swapped out for a version with draconian provisions. I voted against that version of the Patriot Act, because I read it. The legislative process requires attention.

Legislation brought before Congress under “unanimous consent” is not read by most members simply because copies of the bill are generally not available. During the closing sessions of Congress I would often camp out in the House chamber, near the clerk’s desk, prepared to say “I object” when something of consequence appeared out of the blue. Dec. 11, 2014, is one of the few times I regret not being in Congress to have the ability to oversee the process.

The Russia Sanctions bill that passed “unanimously,” with no scheduled debate, at 10:23:55 p.m. on Dec. 11, 2014, includes:
1. Sanctions of Russia’s energy industry, including Rosoboronexport and Gazprom.

2. Sanctions of Russia’s defense industry, with respect to arms sales to Syria.

3. Broad sanctions on Russians’ banking and investments.

4. Provisions for privatization of Ukrainian infrastructure, electricity, oil, gas and renewables, with the help of the World Bank and USAID.

5. Fifty million dollars to assist in a corporate takeover of Ukraine’s oil and gas sectors.

6. Three hundred and fifty million dollars for military assistance to Ukraine, including anti-tank, anti-armor, optical, and guidance and control equipment, as well as drones.

7. Thirty million dollars for an intensive radio, television and Internet propaganda campaign throughout the countries of the former Soviet Union.

8. Twenty million dollars for “democratic organizing” in Ukraine.

9. Sixty million dollars, spent through groups like the National Endowment for Democracy, “to improve democratic governance, and transparency, accountability [and] rule of law” in Russia. What brilliant hyperbole to pass such a provision the same week the Senate’s CIA torture report was released.

10. An unverified declaration that Russia has violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, is a nuclear “threat to the United States” and should be held “accountable.”

11. A path for the U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty, which went into force in 1988. The implications of this are immense. An entire series of arms agreements are at risk of unraveling. It may not be long before NATO pushes its newest client state, Ukraine, to abrogate the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Ukraine signed when it gave up its nuclear weapons, and establish a renewed nuclear missile capability, 300 miles from Moscow.

12. A demand that Russia verifiably dismantle “any ground launched cruise missiles or ballistic missiles with a range of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers …”—i.e., 300 and 3,300 miles.

Read the legislation, which Congress apparently didn’t.

As reported on GlobalSecurity.org, earlier that same day in Kiev, the Ukrainian parliament approved a security plan that will:

1. Declare that Ukraine should become a “military state.”

2. Reallocate more of its approved 2014 budget for military purposes.

3. Put all military operating units on alert.

4. Mobilize military and national guard units.

5. Increase military spending in Ukraine from 1 percent of GDP to 5 percent, increasing military spending by $3 billion over the next few years.

6. Join NATO and switch to NATO military standards.

Under the guise of democratizing, the West stripped Ukraine of its sovereignty with a U.S.-backed coup, employed it as a foil to advance NATO to the Russian border and reignited the Cold War, complete with another nuclear showdown.

The people of Ukraine will be less free, as their country becomes a “military state,” goes into hock to international banks, faces structural readjustments, privatization of its public assets, decline of social services, higher prices and an even more severe decline in its standard of living.

In its dealings with the European Union, Ukraine could not even get concessions for its citizens to find work throughout Europe. The West does not care about Ukraine, or its people, except for using them to seize a strategic advantage against Russia in the geopolitical game of nations.

Once, with the help of the West, Ukraine fully weighs in as a “military state” and joins the NATO gun club, its annual defense budget will be around $3 billion, compared with the current defense budget of Russia, which is over $70 billion.

Each Western incitement creates a Russian response, which is then given as further proof that the West must prepare for the very conflict it has created, war as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

That the recent Russia sanctions bill was advanced, “unanimously,” without debate in the House, portends that our nation is sleepwalking through the graveyards of history, toward an abyss where controlling factors reside in the realm of chance, what Thomas Hardy termed “crass casualty.” Such are the perils of unanimity.

U.S. Gov’t. Seeks Excuse to Nuclear-Attack Russia

Posted December 17, 2014 by joopklepzeiker
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U.S. Gov’t. Seeks Excuse to Nuclear-Attack Russia

Posted on December 16, 2014

by Eric Zuesse.

via U.S. Gov’t. Seeks Excuse to Nuclear-Attack Russia Washington’s Blog.

 


Eric Zuesse

When French President Francois Hollande urgently side-tracked his return flight from a diplomatic mission recently, in order to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a private room that had been scoured ahead of time to eliminate any possible bugging devices, there was much speculation as to what it was about, and rumors of a planned American “false-flag” event to blame on Russia as a pretext for going to war against Russia were rife. What is not rumor, but proven fact, by Obama’s own actions, is that he wants a war against Russia and is trying hard to get Europe onboard with this goal in order to win it; and that America’s Republican Party want this at least as much as he does.

The Democratic Party (in the House and Senate) are staying as quiet as possible about a ‘Democratic’ President pushing them toward World War III, which is a goal that Republicans have always been far more eager for than Democrats. (Republicans are famous for “Speak softly but carry a big stick,” and for swinging it as hard as they can, especially against Russians.) In fact, one of the reasons why Obama won the Presidency is that he criticized his 2012 Republican opponent Mitt Romney for saying of Russia, “This is without question our number geopolitical foe.” That dissent by him appealed to the U.S. public at the time, but not to America’s aristocracy, who are a mix of people some of whom hate Russians and others of whom don’t care about Russians, but none of whom are passionate opponents of nuclear war (a diverse group they lump contemptuously with “peaceniks”).

For example, one major mouthpiece of Democratic Party aristocrats has always been The New Republic, and on 17 September 2014 they headlined “Obama Can’t Admit That Romney Was Right: Russia Is Our ‘Top Geopolitical Threat’.” Another one is the National Journal, the aristocracy’s version of its companion propaganda-operation (owned by the same aristocrat) The Atlantic. On 7 May 2014 (just five days after Obama’s people had massacred pro-Russians in the House of Trade Unions in Odessa and thereby started the extermination-campaign against them, or “civil war” that’s still raging), the National Journal headlined “Mitt Romney Was Right: Russia Is Our Biggest Geopolitical Foe.” Conservative ‘Democrats’ are just Republicans spelled with a “D”; but, when it’s an aristocrat, they know how to spell, and are just trying to deceive the ones who don’t. This is why ‘liberal’ magazines are prized possessions of the aristocracy.

The people who fund both political Parties are virtually united in that belief: they don’t mind backing racist facists or “nazis”; many of them are precisely that themselves. Obama is with them (and with Wall Street, and with Big Ag, and Big Oil, and Big Military), against the public. But he’s smart enough a politician to pretend otherwise, and his aristocratic funders respect this. (There were no hard feelings for his exploiting Romney’s politically stupid public assertion.)

For America’s elite, the Cold War never ended, because it was never really about communism versus capitalism — not for them. They are fascists, and they want global dominance. Capitalism, shmapitalism; all they really care about is dominating the world, destroying enemies. Aristocracy hasn’t changed since, well, long before the Bible began. Domination is the big thing, for them. Russia threatens their global control, their dominance, because Russia is the second-most-powerful military nation. Russia is the only nation that can say no to U.S. aristocrats and get away with it.

As President Obama’s speech at West Point, on 28 May 2014, propagandized for (rationalized) this conquer-Russia view on the part of America’s aristocracy: “Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us.” So, Obama made clear to the graduating West Point cadets that the BRIC countries are the enemy (Russia and its leading supporters of international independence, the enemies against a mono-polar or “hegemonic” world), from the standpoint of America’s aristocracy, whom the U.S. military now serves. Ours want to crush the aristocrats in Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Though it’s alright for those other countries to produce more, that’s true only if American aristocrats control the local ones there, like in any other international empire — not if the local nation’s aristocrats control the country. That’s not the way aristocrats in banana republics are supposed to behave. They’re not supposed to be independent countries. Not really.

The President who had invaded Libya and Syria, and re-invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, and who perpetrated a violent overthrow and installed racist fascists (nazis) in control of Ukraine, is lecturing the world against “Russia’s aggression,” for its having accepted back into Russia’s traditional fold little Crimea, which craved to return to Russia. He’s got some gall to do that, but in order to be a cadet at West Point you need to be either a sucker or else a cravenous tool of the aristocracy, as the military has traditionally served; so, Obama played them for being both, and they evidently liked it. Obama knows how to speak down to an audience and fool them into thinking he respects them. But to aristocrats, it’s no act at all; he respects them, he protects them, because he self-identifies with them, and not with the public.

Similarly, for example, the British Empire didn’t wish for local aristocrats in India to be in control, but only for those client aristocrats to be of use. That’s what it means to be a client nation.

Obama, in his speech, added, placing a clear hyper-nationalistic coloration on his promotion of America’s empire: “The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation.” He promised to keep it that way: “That has been true for the century passed [sp.: past [[somebody at the White House didn’t know the difference between ‘past’ and ‘passed’]] and it will be true for the century to come.” (At least he wasn’t predicting a Thousand-Year Reich.)

So: that’s historical background to Obama’s plan for using Ukraine as a stepping-stone toward conquering Russia — one of the few favors he hasn’t yet achieved for his sponsors, after having protected them from what he contemptuously calls (in private) the “pitchforks”; a.k.a., the public.

On December 11th, the U.S. Senate voted 100% (unanimously) to donate U.S. weapons to the Ukrainian Government in its war against Russia. On December 4th, 98% of the U.S. House had done likewise. Both bills also accuse Russia of having invaded Ukraine, and this accusation of an aggressive Russia provides a pretext for the U.S. to attack Russia, now that the Ukrainian Government has flipped from neutral (according to some estimations) or pro-Russian (according to others) to being clearly and publicly anti-Russian, by means of their U.S.-engineered coup that occurred in February of this year, when masked gunmen, who were actually hired mercenaries, dressed themselves as if they were instead Ukrainian security forces, and fired into a crowd of “Maidan” anti-corruption protesters and police, and the U.S. Government immediately blamed Ukraine’s then-President for doing that, and Ukraine’s parliament or “Rada,” who weren’t in on the scheme and didn’t know about it, promptly elected “Yats” Yatsenyuk, who had secretly been appointed 18 days prior to lead the country, by Victoria Nuland of the U.S. State Department. Yats immediately installed a far-right Government, filled with people who had already committed themselves to a Ukrainian war against Russia. They then promptly set about terminating Russia’s 42-year Crimean lease for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, which is key to Russia’s security. Crimeans, who had always overwhelmingly considered themselves to be Russians and not Ukrainians, demonstrated against that Ukrainian move against them and against Russia, and Russian troops came into Crimea, to local applause, but to the condemnation from Washington and its allies.

Russia’s taking back Crimea was not aggression at all; it was protection of Crimeans. When the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev donated Crimea from Russia to Ukraine in 1954, it was much to the consternation of Crimeans at the time, and ever since. Yet, one of the explicit alleged ‘justifications’ for war against Russia, that are listed in the House’s bill (“Whereas the Russian Federation’s forcible occupation and illegal annexation of Crimea. …”) is a blatant lie, because Crimeans overwhelmingly wanted Russia’s protection against the new, Obama-imposed, regime, which Obama’s State Department and CIA had just installed when overthrowing the President for whom nearly 80% of Crimeans had voted. A poll that was issued by Gallup in June 2014 showed then that 71.3% of Crimeans viewed as “Mostly positive” the role of Russia there, and 4.0% viewed it as “Mostly negative”; by contrast, only 2.8% viewed the role of the United States there as “Mostly positive,” and a whopping 76.2% viewed it as “Mostly negative.” This wasn’t much changed from a year-earlier Gallup poll. The Republican Party (and thus the Republican-controlled House) is willing to lie blatantly (about this and other matters) in order to justify invading Russia, as it did in invading Iraq; and Barack Obama is willing to lie blatantly too for the same reasons — such as about the source of the sarin gas attack in Libya, etc. — but there were enough Democrats in the U.S. Senate to block Obama’s getting such blatant lies into the Senate’s bill on Ukraine, so it’s much milder. However, when Republicans take over the Senate in January, their bill will match the House’s, and Obama will get all he wants for his planned war against Russia.

So, now, both the Senate and the House, plus the U.S. President (via his State Department, CIA, FBI, and entire Administration), are actually at war, a hot war not a cold war, against Russia, through their proxy, their made-in-Washington, racist-fascist or nazi, Government of Ukraine, which currently is doing the fighting and the killing and the dying, but which couldn’t do it but for that Western backing.

This should be analogized to Fidel Castro’s takeover of Cuba and his and Soviet leader Khrushchev’s attempt to base near the U.S., Soviet nuclear missiles aimed against America. At that time, in 1962, U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy said that we’d go to war against the USSR if necessary to prevent this; and today Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has implied, but not yet said, that his country will likewise go to war against the United States if necessary to stop our current attempt to do against Russia what Khrushchev had been stopped from doing against the U.S. in 1962.

However, the U.S. is now already farther along the warpath than the USSR had been in 1962. Already, many thousands of deaths have resulted from Ukraine’s war against Russia and against its supporters inside what had previously been parts of Ukraine. In 1962, Cuba was at peace, except for a few bands of U.S.-backed Cubans, who were trying to overthrow Fidel Castro. Consider Ukraine today’s Cuba, but even more of a danger.

Clearly, U.S. President Obama was serious when he tossed out Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych; and clearly he has the full backing of the U.S. Congress (though with some hesitation on the part of Democrats) to go to war against Russia and finish the job.

If it weren’t for the ongoing donations — officially loans, but ‘loans’ to an already-bankrupt Government — by both U.S. taxpayers and EU taxpayers, that are channeled mainly through the U.S. and EU and IMF, Ukraine would simply stop its hot war against Russia and against its own ethnic Russians; and the Ukrainian Government that we installed in February would simply collapse. The IMF and EU seem likely now to have ended their donations, but U.S. taxpayers certainly haven’t ended ours.

The investigative journalist Wayne Madsen has published his analysis of the American aristocrats, ranging from the Kochs on the right to the Soroses on the left, who are lobbying for this campaign to get taxpayers to fund the American aristocracy’s military take-over of other nations’ aristocracies and resources. Madsen sees as being the few politicians in Washington who are resisting that, both Ron Paul (and definitely not his son Rand Paul) libertarians, and Dennis Kucinich progressives.

Madsen doesn’t note, however, that both of those men are now retired; so, they can afford to speak the truth without losing their jobs, since they’ve already lost them. Among the U.S. aristocracy that finances politicians into federal offices, there is no visible support whatsoever for such dissidents challenging the aristocracy: when one of them somehow manages to get into the political system, they’re removed from it, in one way or another, before they can do any damage to the U.S. aristocracy.

This is how it came to be that 98% of the House and 100% of the Senate voted for war against Russia, even though at least 67% of the American public who expressed an opinion about that in a Pew poll were opposed (and this 67% figure might have been far higher if the question had been more directly asked, such as: “Should the U.S. go to war against Russia in order to enable Ukraine to get back Crimea and conquer the rebelling regions in Ukraine’s own former southeast?”).

Madsen also has an interesting explanation as to why Israel is so passionately supportive of the racist-fascist, or nazi, Ukrainian political parties that the Obama Administration has placed in control of Ukraine.

Regardless of such speculations and evidence, however, there is nothing speculative about the American Government’s drive to nuclear war.

It’s part and parcel of the same deal that just passed in the U.S. Congress and was signed by the President, that in the event of any future U.S. financial crash, FDIC-insured bank accounts won’t be paid until and unless the mega-banks that hold derivatives contracts get full payment on all of those gambling policies they had bought — i.e, never. Granny’s savings account will get emptied out to pay Wall Street’s gambling-debts. (Not that the U.S. ‘news’ media ever made such things clear to the public. But how do you think we had managed to obtain a Congress and a President like these are? The public had to be fooled by the aristocrats’ propaganda, and the ‘news’ media had to let them be fooled by it, because the ‘news’ media receive their funding from aristocrats, both as their owners and as their advertisers. The public are just pawns on their chessboard. This is what became of democracy: it’s the verbal shell, ‘democracy.’)

As Obama told the mega-bank chiefs on 27 March 2009 in private, “I’m protecting you … My Administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”

He’s going to teach those granny-bank-account “pitchforks,” and such, a thing or two about “the one indispensable nation.” Namely: those people in it are dispensable, even if not quite as much so as are the people his forces are slaughtering (ethnically cleansing) in southeast Ukraine and other such places, where the ‘real riffraff’ live. The people in those areas are punished and killed for the crime of living where “the right people” want them simply to be gone.

“Sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.” But it’s long since gone, and is now aiming to clear out land elsewhere, especially southeast Ukraine.

America’s ‘entrepreneurs’ have work to do, across the globe; and all the charred remains of the nuclear ‘victory’ will be passed on to their proud heirs.

It’s the new American way.

Obama had it all figured out. Everything else from him was just an act.

If you don’t think so, then how do you explain this, and this, and this, and this? Are those just innocent tragedies; and, if not, then who was the most indispensable person toward causing them to happen — causing them to be imposed by the Ukrainian Government that Obama’s coup imposed upon Ukraine? Obama’s decisions were essential in order to empower the people who are perpetrating this extermination-campaign, which is the bait intended to draw Putin into a conflict so as to provide a pretext for an American nuclear attack against Russia.

If the next U.S. President protects Obama from criminal prosecution for Ukraine like Obama protected Bush from criminal prosecution for Iraq, then the U.S. is hopelessly a lawless nation, no democracy at all.

Unfortunately, the nuclear bombs in the war that Obama and the other stooges of America’s aristocracy are building up to will not be targeted against themselves and their psychopathic (often billionaire) sponsors. Those people have their bomb-shelters, and their corporate jets.

Oligarchs are foreign to a democracy. Consequently, their servants in government, especially America’s current and former President, are foreign to the U.S. Constitution, and to their Oath of Office, and thus to this country, irrespective of their technical citizenship as ‘American.’ They both should be brought up on charges of treason against the United States of America; for, if they are not, then truly democracy is ended in this country, and America’s Presidents are not subject to American Law, but instead stand above it, beyond it, and immune from it.

Reader-comments to this commentary, pro-and-con, are invited regarding this conclusion, especially because a public forum to discuss this severe matter is needed now, a turning-point in American, and (sad to say), perhaps also (if a nuclear attack occurs) in global history. That’s the case regardless of which side of this debate one is on. The fundamental character of this country is at stake now. The public should have a say in it.


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