Sunday, 25 June 2017

Pro-Israel Group Is Desperate To Keep You From Watching This Video?

June 24, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  When it comes to Palestinians, the American Jewish establishment is in the ignorance business. The average American synagogue has never hosted a Palestinian speaker. The average “pro-Israel” activist has never read a book by a Palestinian author. The American Jewish philanthropists who fund Birthright send thousands of young American Jews to Israel each year, on a program that systematically excludes the voices of 50% of the people who live under Israeli control.
But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that for major American Jewish organizations, ignorance is an export. It is not enough that American Jewish leaders never hear from Palestinians themselves — they do their best to ensure that American politicians don’t, either.
Consider the sequence of events that began on June 8. On that day, an advocacy group called No Way To Treat a Child hosted a panel discussion on Capitol Hill. That’s not unusual. Advocacy organizations hold panel discussions on Capitol Hill all the time; the location makes it easier for congressional staff to attend. What made this one unusual was its subject: the Palestinian experience under Israeli control.
You can watch the panel online. The first speaker was Omar Shakir, the Israel-Palestine director of Human Rights Watch. In dry, rather clinical, terms, Shakir discussed some of the consequences of the fact that West Bank Palestinians are subjects, not citizens, of Israel. He noted, for instance, that in Area C, which encompasses roughly 60% of the West Bank, it is “nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain a permit to build a home.” When Palestinians build without a permit, the Israeli government often demolishes their homes.
Following him was Brad Parker, a staff attorney at Defense for Children Palestine. Observing that, according to the most recent statistics, Israel holds hundreds of Palestinians between the ages of 12 and 17 in its jails, often for stone throwing, Parker explained that the Israeli military frequently arrests Palestinian children at night. They are often bound, blindfolded and transported to a military installation, where they wait until morning before being interrogated without a lawyer and without their parents knowing where they are. They “essentially disappear for 24, 48, 96 hours.” Then they are generally prosecuted in military courts where the conviction rate approaches 100%. Following Parker was Yazan Meqbil, a young West Bank Palestinian attending college in the United States, who talked about growing up in a house repeatedly slated for demolition. “Every single day,” he said, “I used to wake up hoping my house will not be demolished.” Meqbil ended his remarks by saying: “Palestinians, we all have a dream, to be free, to live like normal human beings. To not be afraid whenever we leave our homes.”
The final speaker was Nadia Ben-Youssef, who works for Adalah–-The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. She stressed the links between Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank and its treatment of Palestinian citizens inside Israel proper. Israel’s Palestinian citizens, she noted, lived under military law until 1966. And even today, she argued, inside the Green Line, Israel privileges Jews over non-Jews in important ways.
I offer this summation to illustrate the shamelessness of the attack that followed. In a video posted June 12, The Israel Project, which is led by former AIPAC spokesman Josh Block, called the event an “anti-Israel hatefest” filled with “hate speech.” Notice the Orwellian turn.
According to The Israel Project, it is not hateful to hold millions of West Bank Palestinians for 50 years as non-citizens, without due process, free movement or the right to vote for the government that controls their lives. It is hateful to criticize Israel for doing so. By that standard, the 2012 documentary “The Gatekeepers,” which featured former heads of the Shin Bet calling Israel’s occupation of the West Bank “brutal,” “colonial” and “unbearable,” was an “anti-Israel hatefest,” too.
Then came the inevitable insinuation of anti-Semitism. As menacing music played in the background, the video declares that while the panel pretended to be “about human rights,” the speakers “couldn’t stop talking about Jews.” Actually, the panel was entirely about human rights. But, as if uncovering a terrible offense, the video noted that panelists had 17 times used the phrases “Jewish,” “Jewish state,” “Jewish people,” “Jewish citizens” or “Jews.” How sinister! I’m sure Josh Block never uses such despicable phrases when speaking about Israel.
In fact, two of Shakir’s uses of the word “Jewish” came from quotations. He quoted the State Department as calling settlement growth “inconsistent with Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state,” and President Obama as saying that settlement growth undermines “Israel as both Jewish and a democracy.” Then again, everyone knows that Obama and the State Department are anti-Semitic, too.
Most of the references to Jews came from Nadia Ben-Youssef. The video quoted her as saying that “Israel was established as a Jewish state to privilege the rights of Jewish people,” and referring to “this Jewish state that is premised on the basis that you must have greater rights, so that means more Jewish people than anyone else in that land.” The video never explained what’s incorrect or odious about those statements. Their hatefulness is presumably self-evident.
But both statements are true. Yes, Israel’s Declaration of Independence speaks about ensuring “complete equality of social and political rights… irrespective of religion, race or sex.” And yes, Palestinians inside Israel proper (as opposed to Palestinians in the West Bank) enjoy citizenship and the right to vote. But Israel was also explicitly founded to represent and safeguard the Jewish people, and that inevitably privileges Jews over non-Jews.
Jews who immigrate to Israel, for instance, gain citizenship on day one. For non-Jews who wish to immigrate to Israel, by contrast, including Palestinian refugees born inside Israel’s borders, gaining citizenship is virtually impossible. Israel’s flag contains a Jewish star; its national anthem speaks of “the Jewish soul.” In these symbolic ways, too, Israel privileges Jews over non-Jews. As for Israel’s effort to maintain a Jewish majority so that Jews can control the destiny of the state, that’s hardly a secret. It’s a goal that the Israeli government and mainstream American Jewish organizations proudly endorse.
Israel is not the only country on earth to face a tension between its desire to protect and nurture one ethno-religious community and its commitment to provide equality under the law. Many European democracies have immigration policies that favor a dominant ethnic group. Many have crosses on their flags. The 2003 Palestinian Constitutionstates that “the Palestinian people are part of the Arab nation” and that “the principles of Islamic Shari’a shall be the main source of legislation.” So if a Palestinian state is ever created, it will likely wrestle with the tension between ethnic nationalism and democracy, too.
I believe that in a post-Holocaust world, it’s important to have one country on earth that assumes a special obligation to protect Jewish life. The goal, therefore, should be to minimize the tension between Jewish statehood and liberal democracy as much as possible, while acknowledging that you can never erase it entirely. The challenge, as Martin Buber once put it, is to “do no more injustice to others than we are forced to do in order to exist.”
Zionist thinkers like Chaim Gans and Alexander Yakobson and Amnon Rubinstein have sought to meet that challenge. But doing so honestly requires acknowledging that all forms of Jewish statehood entail some moral costs, and that some are more morally defensible than others.
These are the kinds of debates that the American Jewish establishment fears. It fears them because such debates give Palestinians a voice. Given the influence that American Jewish groups wield in Washington, it’s far easier to simply deny Palestinians a platform. That’s why The Israel Project ends its video by urging people to call Rep. Mark Pocan, who authorized No Way To Treat a Child to use a room on Capitol Hill, and “demand that he condemn the event.” The goal is to scare members of Congress so they don’t facilitate such discussions again.
The deep, dark secret of the American Jewish establishment is that its leaders are not equipped to respond to smart Palestinian critics of Israel. They’re not familiar enough with the realities of Palestinian life under Israeli control. So having built itself a cocoon that shuts out Palestinian voices, the American Jewish establishment insists that Congress live inside that cocoon too. Because if the cocoon cracks, American politicians, and the American public, will realize how intellectually weak the American Jewish establishment actually is.
When it comes to Israel, the organized American Jewish community would rather bully than think. That’s what happens when power corrupts. It doesn’t only make you immoral. It makes you dumb.
Peter Beinart is a Forward senior columnist and contributing editor. Listen to “Fault Lines,” his podcast with Daniel Gordis here or on iTunes.
This article was first published by The Forward –
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.
Click for SpanishGermanDutchDanishFrench, translation- Note- Translation may take a moment to load.

What’s your response? –  Scroll down to add / read comments 

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

Yemen Images Saudi Arabia Doesn't Want You To See


Batool Ali is six years old, though you would never guess that from her huge, haunted eyes and emaciated frame. Ribs jutting out over her distended belly, Batool weighs less than 16 kilograms (35 pounds). She is one of nearly half a million children in Yemen suffering from severe malnutrition.
Posted June 24, 2017
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.
Click for SpanishGermanDutchDanishFrench, translation- Note- Translation may take a moment to load.

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

The Reason Behind the US Government’s Secret Hatred of Europeans


The Reason Behind the US Government’s Secret Hatred of Europeans
ERIC ZUESSE | 21.06.2017 | WORLD

The Reason Behind the US Government’s Secret Hatred of Europeans

The reason for the US government’s hostility — at least since 4 February 2014 —toward Europeans, has been a mystery, until now.
This hostility wasn’t even publicly recognized at all, until it leaked out, on that date, from a tapped phone-line of arguably the most powerful person at the US State Department, the person whom American President Barack Obama had personally entrusted with running his Administration’s most geostrategically sensitive secret foreign operations (and she did it actually throughout almost the entirety of Obama’s eight years in office, regardless of whom the official US Secretary of State happened to be at the time): Victoria Nuland.
Her official title was «Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs» and she was appointed to that post by the President himself, but nominally she reported to him through the Deputy Secretary of State William Joseph Burns, who reported to the Secretary of State, who, in turn, reported to the President.
She ran policies specifically on Ukraine (and, more broadly, against Russia). In the famous leaked phone call that she made on 4 February 2014 to the US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, she instructed him to place in charge of Ukraine’s government, once America’s coup in Ukraine would be completed (which then occurred 18 days later and overthrew the democratically elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, entirely in violation of Ukraine’s own Constitution), «Yats» or Arseniy Yatsenyuk. He did, immediately after the coup was completed, receive this crucial appointment — basically, the power to control all other top appointments in the new Ukrainian government. With this appointment, the coup, which had started by no later than 2011 to be planned inside the US State Department, was effectively completed.
In this phone call, Nuland said «F—k the EU!» and no one, at the time, paid much attention to what this outburst was all about, but only that it sounded shockingly undiplomatic. Finally, however, clear evidence has now emerged, concerning what it was actually about.
This crucial evidence consists of a refusal (at long last) by both Germany and Austria, to ratchet-up further, as the US regime now demands, economic sanctions against Russia, sanctions that are a key part of America’s plan ultimately to conquer Russia — a plan that’s been carried out consistently by all US federal governments since the moment, on the night of 24 February 1990, when US President George Herbert Walker Bush himself secretly announced it to West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and afterward to other US vassal-heads-of-state — that, though the Soviet Union was already irrevocably in the process of ending the Cold War against the US and its allies, the US and its allies would secretly continue that war, henceforth, against Russia, until Russia itself would be conquered. He was implicitly informing them, there, that the Cold War, on the US side, wasn’t really about ideology (capitalist versus communist), but instead, was actually a long war for conquest, of the entire world (now it would be to strip Russia of its allies, and then to go in for the kill), by the US aristocracy and its vassal aristocracies (whom those European leaders represented).
On 15 June 2017, the Associated Press headlined «Germany, Austria slam US sanctions against Russia», and reported that both of those US vassal-nations, while paying obeisance to the imperial master, were not going to proceed further all the way to destruction of their own major oil and gas companies, in order to please that master:
In a joint statement, Austria’s Chancellor Christian Kern and Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said it was important for Europe and the United States to form a united front on the issue of Ukraine, where Russian-based separatists have been fighting government forces since 2014.
«However, we can’t accept the threat of illegal and extraterritorial sanctions against European companies», the two officials said, citing a section of the bill that calls for the United States to continue to oppose the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would pump Russian gas to Germany beneath the Baltic Sea. Half of the cost of the new pipeline is being paid for by Russian gas giant Gazprom, while the other half is being shouldered by a group including Anglo-Dutch group Royal Dutch Shell, French provider Engie, OMV of Austria and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall. Some Eastern European countries, including Poland and Ukraine, fear the loss of transit revenue if Russian gas supplies don’t pass through their territory anymore once the new pipeline is built.
Gabriel and Kern accuse the US of trying to help American natural gas suppliers at the expense of their Russian rivals. They said the possibility of fining European companies participating in the Nord Stream 2 project «introduces a completely new, very negative dimension into European-American relations».
Currently, and for a very long time, the leading energy-supplier to the EU has been Russia, in the forms of oil and, especially, natural gas, both of which are transported into the EU via an extensive network of pipelines, most of which travel through Ukraine, which is a major reason why the US rulers wanted to take over Ukraine — in order to stop that, or at least to cause a necessity for Russia to build alternative pipelines (which the US regime would likewise do everything to block from happening) — but now both Germany and Austria are saying no to this US effort.
The US regime wants fracked US natural gas to fill an increasing portion of Europe’s needs, and for natural gas from US-allied fundamentalist Sunni royal regimes to fill as much of the rest as possible, so as to squeeze-out the existing top supplier, Russia. (Until recently, the plan was for US ally Qatar, owned by the Thani royal family, to become Europe’s main supplier, via pipelines which would traverse through Syria, for which reason Syria needs to be conquered (so that those pipelines through Syria can be built, perhaps even by American firms). However, the Sauds, who usually run US foreign relations — often with assistance from the Israeli regime, which is far more popular in the United States and also in Europe (and thus serves as the Sauds’ agents in the US and Europe) — have now blockaded Qatar because of Qatar’s insufficient compliance with the Sauds’ demand for total international isolation of Iran and of any other nation where Shia are or might become dominant. (For example, the Sauds bomb Yemen to impose fundamentalist Sunni leadership there and kill the Shia population.) And, so, now, after the break between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, even more than before, the main beneficiaries of cutting off Russian gas-supplies to the EU would be US fracking companies.
However, the big European oil and gas corporations would then play a smaller role in the European market, because those firms have mutual commitments with Gazprom and other Russian giants. The only big winners, now, of increased sanctions against Russia, would thus be US firms.
«Europe’s energy supply is a matter for Europe, and not for the United States of America», Kern and Gabriel said.
Europe already has suffered considerable economic harm from complying with the US on taking over Ukraine, and from absorbing millions of destitute and alien refugees from Syria, Libya, and other countries where the US CIA, and other agencies, fomented the «Arab Spring» to unlock, in those countries, the oil and gas pipeline potential, which, if controlled by the US, would go to US oilfield-services firms such as Halliburton, and not to European ones such as Schlumberger.
Kern and Gabriel — and the local national aristocracies (respectively Austrian, and German) whom they represent — are now speaking publicly about the limits beyond which they will not go in order to obey their US masters.
Consequently, back in February 2014, when the European aristocracies complied with the US aristocracy’s coup in Ukraine even though knowing full well that it was a barbaric and very bloody coup and nothing ‘democratic’ such as the US-manufactured story-line alleged it to have been, those aristocracies accepted the heist because they thought and expected to be cut in on enough of the looting of Ukraine so as to come out ahead on it. But that’s no longer the case. Because of the Sauds’ campaign against the Thanis (the owners of Qatar), the gang are starting to break up. The US gangsters are no longer clearly in control, but are being forced to choose between the Sauds and the Thanis, and have apparently chosen the Sauds. The Sauds financed the 9/11 attacks in the United States, but are the largest foreign purchasers of US-made weapons.
The US aristocracy hate Europeans because the US aristocracy are determined to conquer Russia, and because Europeans aren’t fully cooperating with that overriding US government goal — many EU billionaires want deals with Russia, but America’s billionaires are determined instead to take over Russia, and so the US (and the Sauds) might be losing its traditional support from the EU.
International affairs — US, Russia, Sauds, Thanis, Iran, Germany, UK, etc. — are in unpredictable flux. But Europe seems gradually to be drifting away from the US
And resistant European aristocrats seem to be digging in their heels on this. Here is a translation of a report dated June 17th from the most reliable source of news regarding international relations, Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, or «German Economic News»:
German Economic News | Released:17.06.17 00:36 Clock
The Eastern Committee of the German economy is indignant at the new US sanctions against Russia.
The German companies have sharply criticized the US sanctions against Russia. «The sanctions plans of the US Senate are deeply alarming and, in principle, a threat to the European and German economy», said Klaus Schäfer, Deputy Chairman of the Eastern Committee of the German Economy, on Friday evening in Berlin. «America first is a new dimension to open up international markets to US providers at the expense of European jobs. Furthermore, we consider an extraterritorial application of economic initiatives generally wrong, «he said. In the Eastern Committee, the German companies active in Eastern Europe are organized. The federal government had also clearly criticized the sanction decision.
«Every further turn at the sanctioning screw increases the danger of new trade wars and the uncertainty of the world economy», warned Schäfer. The solution of the Ukraine conflict is not a step closer. A de-escalation on all sides was necessary. He pointed out that the US-Russia trade represented only one-tenth of the EU-Russia trade. «We pay the price of sanctions to Europeans», he criticized. «Implementation of the planned sanctions would make Europe more difficult to provide with favorable energy and inevitably lead to higher prices».
The most remarkable thing about this intensification of economic aggression by the US aristocracy against some of the European aristocracies, is that instead of the aggression being spearheaded this time by the US President, it’s being spearheaded by an almost unanimous US Senate: 97 out of the 100 US Senators voted for this bill. One cannot, this time around, reasonably blame «Donald Trump» for this ‘nationalism’ — it is instead clearly a Cold War, this time, by the US aristocracy (who are represented by the US government), against some European aristocracies, which are paying insufficient obeisance to the demands by the imperial aristocracy: the US gang.
Whereas, at the time of the US coup in Ukraine, the EU swallowed in silence their shock at how brutal and bloody it had been, and stayed with the Americans because the Americans claimed that the takeover would benefit European aristocracies too (‘expand the EU’), the lie about that is now clear to all (and Ukraine has been too wrecked by America, to be of much use to anyone but the Americans as a staging base for their missiles against Moscow), and therefore «the Western Alliance» might finally be breaking up.
The vassal-governments have put up with a lot from the US aristocracy, such as when German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone was revealed to be tapped by America’s NSA, and the case was quietly dropped because, «Prosecutors say they can find no actionable evidence to support claims German chancellor’s mobile phone was tapped by US National Security Agency» even though everyone knew that the refusal by Germany’s prosecutors was based upon a lie, and that Germany «remains heavily reliant on the US», and that the US government’s knowing everything that German politicians do, provides against those politicians a blackmail-potential against themselves, that cannot be taken lightly. On the other hand, perhaps there now exists a countervailing force that can outweigh even considerations such as that. Maybe Germany’s billionaires have, somehow, finally become able to turn the tide on this.

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

ROBERT FORD ADMITS SYRPER WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG; TRUMP OUT OF THE LOOP; U.S. IGNORANCE TRUMPS LOGIC IN SYRIA AS AMERICANS PREPARE FOR ANOTHER SWAMP

أبرز التطورات الميدانية على الساحة السورية

Robert Ford addressed some Syrian traitors in Berkeley, Michigan, back in July of 2012 after he was booted out of Syria.  If you all remember, he was the U.S. “ambassador” to Damascus whose legacy will surely be that he participated in the evolution of the war there by openly fomenting discord in that nation and visiting known enemies of the state, especially in Hama and Homs.  He performed these positively unlawful acts under the noses of the Syrian intelligence services who seemed to be taking their orders directly from President Assad.  Assad was extremely confident at the time that his country would never go the route of the utterly mislabeled “Arab Spring”.  So confident was he that it appeared he was taunting the criminal Ford and his ever-present sidekick, the wino-French ambassador, Eric Chevalier.  Dr. Assad did not know at the time that the U.S.had plans for his ouster back as far as 2007 and that the disturbances in the Arab World were merely the setting up of the proper scenario for exactly that outcome.
Ford, described invariably in SyrPer as a common criminal and imbecile, appeared before that group of mostly Muslim Brotherhood supporters and promised them the end of “Assad’s Reign”.  He mumbled a few words in mispronounced Arabic and told the cheering crowd that there would no longer be any more “Makhloof, Assad or Shaleesh”.
I was given a heads-up about the speech by a good friend who had ties to the traitors who would be the majority in attendance.  I tried to get many of my fellow Syrians to attend with me and my wife but could only secure the accompaniment of John Esq.  We entered the den of the rats like some Daniel dipping his toe in a sewer.
When Ford had finished his speech and John Esq.devastated him with a question about how Abraham Lincoln fought his Civil War with the South killing over 800,000 people and Ford reacting with the lamest answer I have ever heard, Ziad left with his wife and shouted over the bellowings of the mostly Sunni crowd:  “Our president will still be in office after yours has returned to his cesspool in Chicago.”  I was right, except about where Obama would return.
Ford has experienced an epiphany.  He was interviewed by the Saudi-owned, London-based rag “Al-Sharq Al-Awsat” and told the interviewer that “Assad has triumphed”.  He also stated that Russian FM Sergei Lavrov treated U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, like a “child”.  He also chided Obama for leaving the Trump regime with “few options” and predicted that Dr. Assad would reunite his country “sooner or later”.  He also warned the Kurds about the tragic mistake they were making in trusting the U.S.  Ford should be tried as a war criminal for his acts in pushing Syria toward this horrible war.
Robert Ford seen here trying to avoid the stench of Syrian traitors and child molesters who dreamed they could overthrow the Ba’ath Party and Dr. Assad.  
But, you know, in penitence there is redemption.  As Ford laments his sordid history of murder and mayhem, he can take solace in the fact that he still might finagle a painless death on this earth.  He might still cheat the wishes of every loyal Syrian citizen who has had to live with the aftermath of his folly-ridden crusade to bring Syria down in ashes.
And what of Trump?  Why, Trump, who appointed his son’s wedding planner to the position of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, is so far at sea his advisors hold security meetings without him.  He has defaulted on every issue and has ceded decision-making to the wolves, weasels and Zio-Nazis who infest his “regime”.  And as Saudi Arabia verges on total anarchy, the former vice-heir now the only heir to the throne of the vultures, continues to arrest members of the “royal” family insuring his expeditious descent into the same abyss waiting for Mr. Trump.
Read more 

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

Saturday, 24 June 2017

They Were ‘Grilled Alive’: US Government Exposed Running Nazi-Like Torture Program in Yemen

The US is once again facing allegations of torture, this time during the interrogation of detainees in more than a dozen secret prisons in Yemen.


Global Research, June 24, 2017
Free Thought Project 22 June 2017

An unprecedented report from the corporate press claims U.S. forces have participated in extreme torture and abuse of detainees accused of affiliation with Al Qaeda in Yemen — including “the ‘grill,’ in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire,” the Associated Press finds.
A network of secretive prisons in southern Yemen provide the backdrop for the alleged barbaric acts allegedly carried out by forces from the U.S. and United Arab Emirates — many of those detention facilities remain hidden in plain sight.
That some of the covert prisons sit inside military bases might not be much of a shock, but others are located in ports, an airport, private villas, and even a nightclub — and all, according to the AP, remain untouchable by the embattled Yemeni government.
Whistleblower Edward Snowden weighed in on the new revelations, tweeting,
American officials unsurprisingly balked at the accusation troops have participated in the astonishingly heinous behavior described in the AP’s report.
Reports the AP:
“Senior American defense officials acknowledged Wednesday that U.S. forces have been involved in interrogations of detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in or knowledge of human rights abuses. Interrogating detainees who have been abused could violate international law, which prohibits complicity in torture.
“The AP documented at least 18 clandestine lockups across southern Yemen run by the United Arab Emirates or by Yemeni forces created and trained by the Gulf nation, drawing on accounts from former detainees, families of prisoners, civil rights lawyers and Yemeni military officials. All are either hidden or off limits to Yemen’s government, which has been getting Emirati help in its civil war with rebels over the last two years.”
Notably, this is the first ‘official’ acknowledgment the United States participates in interrogations inside the borders of Yemen.
Forces transported some detainees to an Emirati base in Eritrea, according to Yemen Interior Minister Hussein Arab.
Unnamed and unverifiable U.S. defense officials told the Associated Press ‘senior U.S. military leaders’ have been aware of alleged torture taking place in Yemen for some time — but have investigated the charges, and apparently found nothing amiss, as U.S. troops, they claim, were never present during detainee torture.
Perhaps beyond tellingly, neither the AP nor the anonymous officials elucidated on whether the lack of U.S. troop presence during the alleged grilling alive of detainees meant senior military leaders indeed discovered forces from other nations roasting people alive and said nothing, or that the torture allegations were completely baseless.
Those defense officials further
“told AP that American forces do participate in interrogations of detainees at locations in Yemen, provide questions for others to ask, and receive transcripts of interrogations from Emirati allies.”
Torture this horrific, if proven true, harkens immediately back to Bush-era implementation of barbaric human rights violations by the CIA — which included waterboarding and other acts the agency, itself, knew to be utterly inefficacious — which temporarily halted adherence to the law and all semblance of ethics under the premise of extracting information from detainees following the attacks of 9/11.
“We always adhere to the highest standards of personal and professional conduct,” chief Defense Department spokeswoman, Dana White, told the AP on perusal of its report. “We would not turn a blind eye, because we are obligated to report any violations of human rights.”
In a statement, the UAE government also balked, insisting,
“There are no secret detention centers and no torture of prisoners is done during interrogations.”
“The UAE was one of the countries involved in the CIA’s torture and rendition program,” reminds New York University Professor of Law Ryan Goodman. “These reports are hauntingly familiar and potentially devastating in their legal and policy implications.”
To repeat, the U.S. Department of Defense must report violations of human rights — yet the vagueness of the claim senior military brass investigated allegations of excruciating torture, but would only offer that U.S. troops had not been present. Without further explanation, that detail could indicate a troubling sin of omission — in short, a failure to report violations of human rights.
UAE runs ‘secret torture prisons’ in Yemen as US Interrogating
Not one of the dozens interviewed by the AP accused U.S. troops of witnessing torture, but the malicious, degrading, deplorable, torturous abuses described by former inmates of the secret prisons would seem impossible to have taken place without their cognizance.
AP continues:
“At one main detention complex at Riyan airport in the southern city of Mukalla, former inmates described being crammed into shipping containers smeared with feces and blindfolded for weeks on end. They said they were beaten, trussed up on the ‘grill,’ and sexually assaulted. According to a member of the Hadramawt Elite, a Yemeni security force set up by the UAE, American forces were at times only yards away. He requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.
“‘We could hear the screams,’ said a former detainee held for six months at Riyan airport. ‘The entire place is gripped by fear. Almost everyone is sick, the rest are near death. Anyone who complains heads directly to the torture chamber.’ He was flogged with wires, part of the frequent beatings inflicted by guards against all the detainees. He also said he was inside a metal shipping container when the guards lit a fire underneath to fill it with smoke.”
As in the first revelations on the renewed use of the gross physical and psychological abuses comprising torture, human rights advocates admonished such practices cannot be carried out without the broad knowledge of military and intelligence officials at the scene — particularly not for the duration described.
“It would be a stretch to believe the US did not know or could not have known that there was a real risk of torture,” Amnesty International Director of Research in the Middle East, Lynn Maalouf, told the Associated Press. Amnesty called for a swift investigation by the United Nations into the torture allegations against the UAE and other possible participants or knowledgeable parties.
Torture has been championed as acceptable by the president and other U.S. officials, despite its illegality internationally — almost exclusively as a tool of the War on Terror to extract information from prisoners — but torture has been proven repeatedly to be ineffective for that very purpose.
At least 2,000 people have vanished in Yemen — their families left agonizing over their fate, tragically wondering whether a torturous interrogation took their lives.
“Wives, mothers, and daughters in the north and south of Yemen want to know whether their husbands, sons, and brothers are all right, if they are even alive,” noted Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, after issuance of a similar report on torture in Yemen by her organization, on Thursday.
“Yemen, the UAE, Houthi-Saleh forces, and any other party disappearing people should immediately inform families of where their loved ones are and release those held arbitrarily.”
Despite denial of allegations by the United States military and government of the United Arab Emirates, the report from the Associated Press most likely will be remembered as the beginning of yet another torture scandal embroiling perpetually-ethicless entities during a complex and violent conflict — one, again, involving the U.S., which fights for freedom and against terror by, apparently, eviscerating freedom and waging terror.
Featured image: Free Thought Project
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Russia-Gate Flops As Democrats’ Golden-Ticket

Written by Robert Parry; Originally appeared at ConsortiumNews.com
The national Democrats saw Russia-gate and the drive to impeach President Trump as their golden ticket back to power, but so far the ticket seems to be made of fool’s gold.
The national Democratic Party and many liberals have bet heavily on the Russia-gate investigation as a way to oust President Trump from office and to catapult Democrats to victories this year and in 2018, but the gamble appears not to be paying off.
The Democrats’ disappointing loss in a special election to fill a congressional seat in an affluent Atlanta suburb is just the latest indication that the strategy of demonizing Trump and blaming Russia for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 defeat may not be the golden ticket that some Democrats had hoped.
Though it’s still early to draw conclusive lessons from Karen Handel’s victory over Jon Ossoff – despite his raising $25 million – one lesson may be that a Middle America backlash is forming against the over-the-top quality of the Trump-accusations and the Russia-bashing, with Republicans rallying against the image of Official Washington’s “deep state” collaborating with Democrats and the mainstream news media to reverse a presidential election.
Russia-Gate Flops As Democrats' Golden-Ticket
A sign at the Women’s March on Washington points out that the demonstration attracted a larger crowd than Donald Trump’s inauguration. Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo: Chelsea Gilmour)
Indeed, the Democrats may be digging a deeper hole for themselves in terms of reaching out to white working-class voters who abandoned the party in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin to put Trump over the top in the Electoral College even though Clinton’s landslide win in California gave her almost three million more votes nationwide.
Clinton’s popular-vote plurality and the #Resistance, which manifested itself in massive protests against Trump’s presidency, gave hope to the Democrats that they didn’t need to undertake a serious self-examination into why the party is in decline across the nation’s heartland. Instead, they decided to stoke the hysteria over alleged Russian “meddling” in the election as the short-cut to bring down Trump and his populist movement.

A Party of Snobs?

From conversations that I’ve had with some Trump voters in recent weeks, I was struck by how they viewed the Democratic Party as snobbish, elitist and looking down its nose at “average Americans.” And in conversations with some Clinton voters, I found confirmation for that view in the open disdain that the Clinton backers expressed toward the stupidity of anyone who voted for Trump. In other words, the Trump voters were not wrong to feel “dissed.”
It seems the Republicans – and Trump in particular – have done a better job in presenting themselves to these Middle Americans as respecting their opinions and representing their fears, even though the policies being pushed by Trump and the GOP still favor the rich and will do little good – and significant harm – to the middle and working classes.
Russia-Gate Flops As Democrats' Golden-Ticket
Hillary Clinton at the Code 2017 conference on May 31, 2017.
By contrast, many of Hillary Clinton’s domestic proposals might well have benefited average Americans but she alienated many of them by telling a group of her supporters that half of Trump’s backers belonged in a “basket of deplorables.” Although she later reduced the percentage, she had committed a cardinal political sin: she had put the liberal disdain for millions of Americans into words – and easily remembered words at that.
By insisting that Hillary Clinton be the Democratic nominee – after leftist populist Bernie Sanders was pushed aside – the party also ignored the fact that many Americans, including many Democrats, viewed Clinton as the perfectly imperfect candidate for an anti-Establishment year with many Americans still fuming over the Wall Street bailouts and amid the growing sense that the system was rigged for the well-connected and against the average guy or gal.
In the face of those sentiments, the Democrats nominated a candidate who personified how a relatively small number of lucky Americans can play the system and make tons of money while the masses have seen their dreams crushed and their bank accounts drained. And Clinton apparently still hasn’t learned that lesson.

Citing Women’s Rights

Last month, when asked why she accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars for speaking to Goldman Sachs, Clinton rationalized her greed as a women’s rights issue, saying: “you know, men got paid for the speeches they made. I got paid for the speeches I made.”
Her excuse captured much of what has gone wrong with the Democratic Party as it moved from its working-class roots and New Deal traditions to becoming a party that places “identity politics” ahead of a duty to fight for the common men and women of America.
Demonstrating her political cluelessness, Clinton used the serious issue of women not getting fair treatment in the workplace to justify taking her turn at the Wall Street money trough, gobbling up in one half-hour speech what it would take many American families a decade to earn.
Russia-Gate Flops As Democrats' Golden-Ticket
The Wall Street bull statue by Arturo Di Modica
While it’s a bit unfair to personalize the Democratic Party’s problems, Hillary and Bill Clinton have come to represent how the party is viewed by many Americans. Instead of the FDR Democrats, we have the Davos Democrats, the Wall Street Democrats, the Hollywood Democrats, the Silicon Valley Democrats, and now increasingly the Military-Industrial Complex Democrats.
To many Americans struggling to make ends meet, the national Democrats seem committed to the interests of the worldwide elites: global trade, financialization of the economy, robotization of the workplace, and endless war against endless enemies.
Now, the national Democrats are clambering onto the bandwagon for a costly and dangerous New Cold War with nuclear-armed Russia. Indeed, it is hard to distinguish their foreign policy from that of neoconservatives, although these Democrats view themselves as liberal interventionists citing humanitarian impulses to justify the endless slaughter.
Earlier this year, a Washington Post/ABC News poll found only 28 percent of Americans saying that the Democrats were “in touch with the concerns of most people” – an astounding result given the Democrats’ long tradition as the party of the American working class and the party’s post-Vietnam War reputation as favoring butter over guns.
Yet rather than rethink the recent policies, the Democrats prefer to fantasize about impeaching President Trump and continuing a blame-game about who – other than Hillary Clinton, her campaign and the Democratic National Committee – is responsible for Trump’s election. Of course, it’s the Russians, Russians, Russians!

A Problem’s Deep Roots

Without doubt, some of the party’s problems have deep roots that correspond to the shrinking of the labor movement since the 1970s and the growing reliance on big-money donors to finance expensive television-ad-driven campaigns. Over the years, the Democrats also got pounded for being “weak” on national security.
Further, faced with Republican “weaponization” of attack ads in the 1980s, many old-time Democrats lost out to the Reagan Revolution, clearing the way for a new breed of Democrats who realized that they could compete for a slice of the big money by cultivating the emerging coastal elites: Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Hollywood and even elements of the National Security State.
By the 1990s, President Bill Clinton and the Democratic Leadership Council defined this New Democrat, politicians who reflected the interests of well-heeled coastal elites, especially on free trade; streamlined financial regulations; commitment to technology; and an activist foreign policy built around spreading “liberal values” across the globe.
Russia-Gate Flops As Democrats' Golden-Ticket
President Bill Clinton, First Lady Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea parade down Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 1997. (White House photo)
Mixed in was a commitment to the rights of various identity groups, a worthy goal although this tolerance paradoxically contributed to a new form of prejudice among some liberals who came to view many white working-class people as fat, stupid and bigoted, society’s “losers.”
So, while President Clinton hobnobbed with the modern economy’s “winners” – with sleepovers in the Lincoln bedroom and parties in the Hamptons – much of Middle America felt neglected if not disdained. The “losers” were left to rot in “flyover America” with towns and cities that had lost their manufacturing base and, with it, their vitality and even their purpose for existing.

Republican Fraud

It wasn’t as if the Republicans were offering anything better. True, they were more comfortable talking to these “forgotten Americans” – advocating “gun rights” and “traditional values” and playing on white resentments over racial integration and civil rights – but, in office, the Republicans aggressively favored the interests of the rich, cutting their taxes and slashing regulations even more than the Democrats.
The Republicans paid lip service to the struggling blue-collar workers but control of GOP policies was left in the hands of corporations and their lobbyists.
Though the election of Barack Obama, the first African-American president, raised hopes that the nation might finally bind its deep racial wounds, it turned out to have a nearly opposite effect. Tea Party Republicans rallied many white working-class Americans to resist Obama and the hip urban future that he represented. They found an unlikely champion in real-estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump, who sensed how to tap into their fears and anger with his demagogic appeals and false populism.
Russia-Gate Flops As Democrats' Golden-Ticket
The run-down PIX Theatre sign reads “Vote Trump” on Main Street in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. July 15, 2016. (Photo by Tony Webster Flickr)
Meanwhile, the national Democrats were falling in love with data predicting that demographics would magically turn Republican red states blue. So the party blithely ignored the warning signs of a cataclysmic break with the Democrats’ old-time base.
Despite all the data on opioid addiction and declining life expectancy among the white working class, Hillary Clinton was politically tone-deaf to the rumbles of discontent echoing across the Rust Belt. She assumed the traditionally Democratic white working-class precincts would stick with her and she tried to appeal to the “security moms” in typically Republican suburbs by touting her neoconservative foreign policy thinking. And she ran a relentlessly negative campaign against Trump while offering voters few positive reasons to vote for her.

Ignoring Reality

When her stunning loss became clear on Election Night – as the crude and unqualified Trump pocketed the electoral votes of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin – the Democrats refused to recognize what the elections results were telling them, that they had lost touch with a still important voting bloc, working-class whites.
Rather than face these facts, the national Democrats – led by President Obama and his intelligence chiefs – decided on a different approach, to seek to reverse the election by blaming the result on the Russians. Obama, his intelligence chiefs and a collaborative mainstream media insisted without presenting any real evidence that the Russians had hacked into Democratic emails and released them to the devastating advantage of Trump, as if the minor controversies from leaked emails of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta explained Trump’s surprising victory.
Russia-Gate Flops As Democrats' Golden-Ticket
The crowd at President Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017. (Screen shot from Whitehouse.gov)
As part of this strategy, any Trump link to Russia – no matter how inconsequential, whether from his businesses or through his advisers – became the focus of Woodward-and-Bernstein/Watergate-style investigations. The obvious goal was to impeach Trump and ride the wave of Trump-hating enthusiasm to a Democratic political revival.
In other words, there was no reason to look in the mirror and rethink how the Democratic Party might begin rebuilding its relationships with the white working-class, just hold hearings featuring Obama’s intelligence chieftains and leak damaging Russia-gate stuff to the media.
But the result of this strategy has been to deepen the Democratic Party’s reliance on the elites, particularly the self-reverential mavens of the mainstream media and the denizens of the so-called “deep state.” From my conversations with Trump voters, they “get” what’s going on, how the powers-that-be are trying to negate the 63 million Americans who voted for Trump by reversing a presidential election carried out under the U.S. constitutional process.

A Letter from ‘Deplorable’ Land

Some Trump supporters are even making this point publicly. Earlier this month, a “proud deplorable” named Kenton Woodhead from Brunswick, Ohio, wrote to The New York Times informing the “newspaper of record” that he and other “deplorables” were onto the scheme.
Russia-Gate Flops As Democrats' Golden-Ticket
New York Times building in New York City. (Photo from Wikipedia)
“I wanted to provide you with an unsophisticated synopsis of The New York Times and the media’s quest for the implosion of Donald Trump’s presidency from out here in the real world, in ‘deplorable’ country. …
Every time you and your brethren at other news organizations dream up a new scheme to get Mr. Trump, we out here in deplorable land increase our support for him. …
“Regardless of what you dream up every day, we refuse to be sucked into your narrative. And even more humorously, there isn’t anything you can do about it! And I love it that you are having the exact opposite effect on those of us you are trying to persuade to think otherwise.
“I mean it is seriously an enjoyable part of my day knowing you are failing. And badly! I haven’t had this much fun watching the media stumble, bumble and fumble in years. I wonder what will happen on the day you wake up and realize how disconnected you’ve become.”
So, despite Trump’s narcissism and incompetence – and despite how his policies will surely hurt many of his working-class supporters – the national Democrats are further driving a wedge between themselves and this crucial voting bloc. By whipping up a New Cold War with Russia and hurling McCarthistic slurs at people who won’t join in the Russia-bashing, the Democratic Party’s tactics also are alienating many peace voters who view both the Republicans and Democrats as warmongers of almost equal measures of guilt.
While it’s certainly not my job to give advice to the Democrats – or any other political group – I can’t help but thinking that this Russia-gate “scandal” is not only lacking in logic and evidence, but it doesn’t even make any long-term political sense.