Thursday, 17 August 2017

Promised Land - Shattered Lives (must watch and shared)

This is a powerful short  deconstruction of the Biblical ‘promised land’ myth By Dan McGowan.
More Americans believe than do not believe Israel was given to the Jewish people by God, according to a 2013 Pew Research poll: http://pewrsr.ch/1wB0M85 Daniella Weiss, a leader of Israel’s Jewish settler movement, clearly stands with the believers.

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Israel's Chorus Sings Again



Less than total loyalty to Israel is un-American
August 15, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – Congress is on a one-month summer recess. You would think that given the recent turmoil over the bill to eliminate Obamacare and the upcoming debate over tax policy the nation’s legislators would be back in their home districts talking to the voters. Some are, but many are not. “More than fifty” Congressmen are off on an all-expenses paid trip to Israel to demonstrate that “there is no stronger bond with any ally we have.” Yes indeed, a congress which cannot pass legislation to benefit the American people finds that it has only one voice when it comes to our troublesome little client state that also doubles as the leading recipient of U.S. tax dollars in the world.
How do they do it? They do it by relentless courting of the congress critters and media talking heads, all of whom know how to repay a favor. Some readers might be asking how Congress (spouses included) can accept these free trips from a foreign government? The current trip is estimated to be costing $10,000 per person. Well, the answer is that they can’t do it directly, which would be illegal, so the clever rascals at the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC) have created an “charitable” foundation that pays the bills. It’s called the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF). AIEF is a tax exempt 501(c)3 foundation that had income of more than $80 million in 2015. As it is tax exempt that means that its activities are, in effect, being subsidized by the U.S. Treasury so the congressmen are being “charitably educated” while they are also being wined and dined and propagandized in part on the taxpayers’ dime. A couple of the congress critters hardly hit the ground before they were singing the praises of their hosts, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy crooning “We have shared values! Shared security interests! No stronger bond!” And plenty of feel-good all around as Israel is “The Only Democracy in the Middle East!”
Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, who has had his head up the Israeli derriere for decades, was also quick on the uptake, enthusing how support for Israel is completely bipartisan, “We are not here as Democrats and Republicans, we are here as Americans who support Israel’s security, its sovereignty and the safety of its people.” And as if it is not enough to go around bragging how one is subordinating U.S. sovereignty to that of Israel, the gnomes are hard at work back at home preparing to pass into law the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which will criminalize for many Americans their First Amendment right to criticize Israel, and a completely bipartisan bit of new legislation being pushed by the Israeli government that will take away aid currently given to the Palestinians as long as the Palestinian Authority continues to provide subsidies to help support the families of those individuals being held prisoner by the Israelis. As most aid actually goes towards training Palestinian security forces that are intended to prevent terror attacks against Israelis, the bill is as wrong-headed as can be, but it just goes to show how far Congress will go to punish Arabs on behalf of Israel.
And finally there has been a series of Israel-centric attacks on leading members of the Trump Administration. A month ago, the State Department released its annual Country Reports on Terrorism for 2016. The report, as always, describes threats of violence in the Middle East from an Israeli perspective, but it was honest enough to also include two sentences that state that
“Continued drivers of violence included a lack of hope in achieving Palestinian statehood, Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, settler violence against Palestinians…and IDF tactics that the Palestinians considered overly aggressive. The PA has [also] taken significant steps…to not create or disseminate content that incites violence.”
B’nai B’rith immediately blasted the report for “parroting the false Palestinian narrative” and the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) demanded that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson resign because the report was “bigoted, biased, anti-Semitic, Israel hating, error ridden.” ZOA went on to praise the co-chairman of the Republican Israel Caucus, Congressman Peter Roskam for demanding that the State Department correct the “numerous mischaracterizations” in the report.
Tillerson has long been a target of the American-Jewish media because of the perception that oil company executives are traditionally not friendly to Israel. There have also been claims that he is “less hard” on Iran than the Israel Lobby would like. But what Tillerson is really experiencing is the hard truth regarding Israel: that its Lobby and friends in congress are both unrelenting and unforgiving. Even when they get 90% of the pie they are furious over someone else getting 10%.
Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has also been under siege for the past several weeks and his “loyalty” to Israel is now under the microscope. McMaster made the mistake of firing three National Security Council officials that were brought in by his predecessor Michael Flynn. The three – Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Rich Higgins, and Derek Harvey – are all regarded by the Israel Lobby as passionately pro-Israel and virulently anti-Iran. It was therefore inevitable that McMaster would take some heat, but the “speed and intensity” of the attacks has surprised even The Atlantic, which failed to note in its thorough examination of the development that while much of the anger flows from extreme right-wing sources there is also considerable pressure coming directly from friends of Israel.
It is interesting to note just how and by whom the argument against McMaster is being framed. Caroline Glick, an American-born Israeli journalist who might reasonably be described as extreme right wing, has led the charge in a posting that described McMaster as “deeply hostile to Israel.” She cites anonymous sources to claim that he refers to Israel as an occupying power and also has the audacity to claim that there once existed a place called Palestine. Oh, and he apparently also supports the nuclear agreement with Iran, as does Tillerson.
McMaster’s other crimes consist of allegedly altering the agenda of Donald Trump’s recent trip to Israel in ways that are somewhat arcane but which no doubt contributed to Glick’s sense of grievance. What is most interesting, however, is the unstated premise supporting Glick’s point of view, which is that the United States national security team should be subject to approval by Israel. Her view is not dissimilar to what lies behind the attacks on Tillerson and the real irony is that neither Tillerson nor McMaster has actually demonstrated any genuine animosity towards Israel, so the whole process is part of a perverse mindset that inevitably sees nearly everything as a threat.
We Americans are way beyond the point where we might simply demand that Israel and its partisans butt out of our politics. Israel-firsters are literally deeply embedded everywhere in the media, in politics at all levels, in academia, and in the professions. They are well funded and highly disciplined to respond to any threats to their hegemony. Their policy is to never give an inch on anything relating to Israel and their relentless grinding is characteristic of how they behave. The Israel Lobby controls Congress and can literally get any bill it wants through the legislature. And it also has its hooks in the White House, though the unpredictable Trump obviously makes many American Zionists nervous because it is rightly believed that once the president takes a position on anything he cannot be trusted either to understand what he has committed to or to stick with it subsequently.
So what is to be done? To match the passion of the Israel Lobby we Americans have to become passionate ourselves. Do what they do but in reverse. Write letters to congressmen and newspapers opposing the junkets to Israel. When a congress critter has a town hall, show up and complain about our involvement in the Middle East. Keep mentioning the pocket book issues, i.e. how Israel costs the taxpayer $9 million a day. Explain how its behavior puts our diplomats and soldiers overseas in danger. The reality is that Israel is built on a lot of lies promoted by people who frequently cite the holocaust every time they turn around but who have no actual regard for humanity outside their own tribe. The hypocrisy must stop if the United States is to survive as a nation. Pandering to Israel and engaging in constant wars to directly or indirectly defend it, be they against Iran or in Syria, will wear our country down and erode our freedoms. We are already on a slippery slope and it is past time to put our own interests first.
This article was first published by Unz Review 
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.
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EU-Iran ties growing stronger despite the USA’s ridiculous position

Rogue state, what rogue state? Burgeoning EU-Iran relations signal US adrift
The phalanx of European leaders, ministers, and dignitaries, attending the inauguration of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last weekend was a stunning snub to Washington. It was also a clear signal the US is losing its thrall over Europe.
Think about it. According to US President Donald Trump and the American Congress, Iran is the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism. And yet here we saw European leaders respectfully attending the swearing-in of the country’s re-elected president. A rather big contradiction, don’t you think?
Federica Mogherini, the EU’s highest ranking diplomat, was accompanied at the Iranian presidential ceremony by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Germany’s Minister of State Michael Roth. Also in attendance were ministers and dignitaries from Austria, Britain, Denmark, Italy, and the Netherlands, as well as many other non-European countries.
So, what’s all this American talk about Iran being a rogue state, a scourge of global terrorism? The presence of European officials – and the absence of American ones – during the inauguration of President Rouhani was a spectacular demonstration of dissonance and repudiation of American policy.
Only a few weeks ago, in May, while President Trump was on his first overseas official visit in Saudi Arabia, he called on all nations of the world to boycott Iran. Trump told assembled Arab leaders then: “All nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran,” accusing the Islamic Republic of threatening Middle East security.
Evidently, European countries have ignored Trump and his demeaning caricature of Iran.
Indeed, ever since the July 2015 signing of the international nuclear accord between Iran and six other world powers (the US, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany), European governments and businesses have been hot on the trail to Tehran to ink new joint ventures and investment deals.
The nuclear accord – known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – has lifted international sanctions on Iran in return for it adhering to restrictions on its nuclear program to bar weaponization. Six reviews carried out by the UN watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, have verified Iran is in full compliance with its side of the JCPOA bargain.
The Europeans seem more than happy about that. Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign affairs chief, is a formidable advocate of the nuclear deal, proclaiming it a success and a source of regional stability. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif was warmly welcomed in Brussels in June when he reported via Twitter: “Excellent meeting with leaders in Berlin, Rome and Paris. Despite reckless US hostility, EU committed to JCPOA and constructive engagement.”
European investors have duly piled in to snatch part of the Iranian market of some 80 million people and the world’s second and fourth largest source of natural gas and oil, respectively.
This week, two days after Rouhani’s inauguration, French automaker Renault signedthe “biggest-ever” car deal in Iran, worth €660 million, where it will manufacture 150,000 vehicles a year in partnership with two Iranian firms.
Last year, French company PSA, the maker of Peugeot and Citroen, announced a similar investment in Iran, worth €400 million.
The champion breakthrough for European-Iranian investment came last month when France’s Total signed up to a nearly €5 billion 20-year project with Iranian and Chinese firms to develop Iran’s South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf, reckoned to be the world’s biggest reserve.
Both Germany and France have seen exports to Iran soar since the implementation of the nuclear accord. Germany’s by some 26 percent and France’s by nearly 50 percent, according to trade figures.
Eric Schweitzer of the German Chamber of Commerce estimates his country’s bilateral trade with Iran will double within the next two years. Being the kingpin economy of Europe that means a burgeoning relationship between the wider EU and Iran.
It was notable the EU’s Mogherini said last month the JCPOA “does not belong to any one country,” when she met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Brussels. This was a veiled notice to the US that the Europeans intend to implement the nuclear accord with or without the Americans. Russia and China are, of course, onboard with the agreement, both having signed significant energy deals with Iran over the past year.
By contrast, Washington has signaled that it may rip up the JCPOA. President Trump has so far reluctantly gone along with the accord, which was negotiated under the previous Obama administration. Nevertheless, Trump has reportedly sidelined his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, an ex-oil CEO, and is pushing to rescind American compliance.
Such a reversal would have legal implications since the JCPOA is an internationally binding treaty confirmed by the United Nations. What Trump’s White House will seek to do is either ramp up accusations that Iran is in breach of it by testing ballistic missiles or try to antagonize Iran into rejecting the JCPOA by slapping on more bilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Last week, Trump signed into law new sanctions targeting Iran, as well as Russia and North Korea.
These “secondary sanctions” – which nominally are unrelated to the nuclear deal – will also potentially target European banks and industries over investments in Iran.
Thus, while European businesses and governments are legally entitled to partner with Iran due to the JCPOA terms, Washington is seeking to impose obstacles on the grounds of its bilateral sanctions based on dubious allegations of Iranian links to terrorism or illicit development of ballistic missiles.
This echoes the same repercussions for Europe about new American sanctions imposed on Russia over its natural gas delivery projects to the continent. British, French, German and Austrian energy firms are threatened with American penalties because of their partnership with Russia’s Gazprom in the construction of the Nord Stream-2 pipeline.
Europe’s response to those American sanctions has been furious, condemning Washington’s policy as blatant interference in EU energy security.
Iran is another flagrant case in point, where European economic and political interests are being dictated to by Washington.
However, increasingly it seems, the Europeans are realizing through bitter experience that Washington is not acting out of some benevolent “transatlantic unity” but rather for its own base, selfish strategic interests.
Whether it’s the Paris climate agreement, the Iranian nuclear accord, or sanctions on Russian energy supplies, the Europeans are on a journey of political discovery, in which they will fully realize their so-called strategic partnership with the US is, in fact, a huge liability.
As Deutsche Welle reported earlier this month: “Europe and USA on a collision course over Iran nuclear deal.”
Europe needs to extricate itself from the double think of following American sanctions against Iran and Russia, while also being penalized by Washington at almost every turn.
As the Americans famously say: “There’s no such thing as allies, only interests.” It’s surely time for Europe to put its own interests first and forget about fictitious allies.
Not only is the American “ally” fictitious; it is also destructive and rather dangerous to be around.

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

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Al-Mosawara Neighborhood… in Numbers

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

The Holocaust of Truth

 Gilad Atzmon on Windows On The World
Discussesing the Zionist hate campaign, the shut down of free speech and his new book Being in Time.

Gilad Atzmon’s book Being In Time: A Post Political Manifesto is available now on: Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com and gilad.co.uk.   

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QATARI-SUPPORTED TERRORISTS LOSE GROUND TO SAA IN DAMASCUS; ISIS FALLING APART EVERYWHERE

Qatar continues to use its vast stores of money to sponsor terrorism in Syria.  It is, therefore, hard to understand why Iran has not been able to convince the derelicts in Doha to stop their insane and self-destructive policies aimed at “regime change” in Damascus.  With the Saudis leading a coalition of Gulf countries-cum-Egypt that aims to end Qatari connivance with Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood,  one would think that Iran could exploit Qatar’s isolation to bring it around to a more rational pattern of behavior.
Turkey’s rapid move to assist Qatar paralleled Iran’s maneuver to frustrate Saudi Arabia, its chief nemesis in the Gulf.  Turkey is led by a card-carrying MB member, Erdoghan, who jealously protects the interests of Sunni fundamentalist anti-primogeniture movements like the MB, a position not terribly unlike Iran’s anti-royalist attitudes.  But, that’ where all the similarities end.  Iran is committed to a full liberation of Palestine while the Turks are lingering in a world of Zionist appeasement.  Iran is working toward building a Shi’ite Crescent across the northern Near East while Turkey is planning to annex whole parts of it in an effort to interdict Kurkish plans for a new republic on its southern border.
This all makes for great subject matter for rap sessions in college on the weekends.  However, it also represents an intractable problem for those trying to end the carnage in both Syria and Iraq.
Witness events in the South-Eastern Ghoutaa.  Yesterday, the Qatari-funded and armed “Faylaq Al-Rahmaan” initiated a large-scale assault on SAA positions in the area of Waadi ‘Ayn Turma.  The major assault concentrated on the villages of Al-Muhammadiyya and Aftarees and in the area of Al-Lahma Company.  The terrorists came at Syrian soldiers with new TOW anti-tank missile launchers acquired by the terrorist group through MOK, or the formerly U.S.-led terrorist supporting command-control HQ in Jordan.  Their operation was called “Wa Laa Tahzanoo” or “And don’t be sad”, if you can believe it.  ولا تحزنوا
The TOWs have been rendered useless by Syria’s own domestically developed Saraab 1 Interception Device now found on all SAA tanks.  The device sends out signals to the anti-tank rockets toppling them from their course.  It has had a revolutionary effect on SAA combat operations all over the country.  And, now, with the U.S. backing off its support for all terrorist groups, coupled with Saudi Arabia’s shift in policy over Syria, the terrorists are finding the combat conditions increasingly perilous.  And so, yesterday, Faylaq Al-Rahmaan lost 29 of its rodents with over 120 wounded, some critically.
With terrorists complaining openly about the way the attack was conducted, there is chatter being picked up indicating a complete breakdown in confidence in the group’s leader, ‘Abdul-Naasser Shameer,  a former captain in the Syrian Army who deserted and joined the terrorism inflicted upon Syria sometime in 2012.  Moreover, Faylaq Al-Rahmaan is not a part of the “De-Escalation Agreements” worked out in Astana, Kazakhstan, or by Messrs. Putin and Trump during their tete-a-tete at the last G-20 Summit.
As we wrote before, U.S. CIA terrorist-enablers are leaving the sinking ship, taking back trays of Baklava and souvenir backgammon tables manufactured in Damascus.  What is left behind is a skeleton crew of “independent contractors”, mostly former spooks and mid-level retired army officers who receive their paychecks from Qatar.  This will not augur well for the remnant terrorist groups in the Ghoutaa.  Especially since the Syrian Army has now eradicated the ISIS presence in Al-Suwaydaa` leaving close to 15,000 troops free to return to the Damascus Front with thousands of Iranian-trained volunteers to keep Al-Suwaydaa` Ratten-Rein.
I frankly believe that the operation at Waadi ‘Ayn Turma was meant to please the Qataris – to keep the Qatari money flowing by showing that the group was still operational.  In looking at the way the group carried out its mission, it would seem it had no distinct purpose other than to kill as many SAA soldiers as possible.  As it turned out, no Syrian soldiers were killed in the fighting.  This is probably due to the air force response at key locations which blunted the assault and forced the terrorist rats to cede over more territory in the farm areas to the advancing Syrian Army.  Once can see why the leader of Faylaq Al-Rahmaan might be heading for the chopping block very soon.
ISIS is in even worse shape.  The SAAF pounded them into mush in the Qalamoon area, specifically at Al-Hasheeshaat Heights, Al-Jaraajeer, Qaarra foothills, Meera Crossing, Martabiyya and Shumays where command-control centers were destroyed.  ISIS took a big hit too in Hama, where the SAA liberated all hilltops around the town of Salba.  One would think that somebody in that group could read the handwriting on the walls.
Read more

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Mad Dog Trump Includes Venezuela into List of Nations Most Likely to Be Attacked by United States

President Trump Includes Venezuela into List of Nations Most Likely to Be Attacked by United States
On August 11, US President Donald Trump threatened a military intervention in Venezuela. «I’m not going to rule out a military option», Trump declared to reporters in Bedminster, N.J. «This is our neighbor. We’re all over the world, and we have troops all over the world, in places that are very, very far away. Venezuela is not very far away, and the people are suffering, and they’re dying. We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option, if necessary», he explained. This is an unexpected dramatic escalation of Washington’s response to Venezuela’s internal political crisis.
Venezuela is sliding into turmoil, riven by widespread hungerskyrocketing inflation, and street violence. The situation aggravated even more after opposition forces looted weapons from a military base after the authority went from the opposition-controlled congress to a new legislative body. 17 countries denounced the inauguration of an all-powerful new constituent assembly loyal to President Maduro but many Latin American countries, such as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Bolivia, support Maduro’s government and recognize the legislative body elected on August 4. Despite the differences of opinion, no Latin American state has ever mentioned the use of force as an option.
Since taking office, the Trump administration has been ramping up pressure on Venezuela. The officials have previously said that «all options are on the table» to penalize Maduro and his government, including import or export bans on Venezuelan oil or sanctions on the state-run oil company, PDVSA. The administration has been critical of Maduro’s moves to consolidate power, calling the recent election of a new constituent assembly as «illegitimate» and describing the Venezuelan president as a «dictator». After the vote on establishing a constituent assembly in Venezuela, the US Treasury Department sanctioned 30 Venezuelans, including President Maduro, freezing their US assets, banning US travel and prohibiting Americans from doing business with them.
President Trump has refused to talk on the phone with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro till «democracy was restored». Media contributes into instigating sentiments against the Venezuelan government. The Boston Globe’s editorial titled Don’t Let Democracy Die in Venezuela says, «Sanctions imposed so far are not working. The United States, and the rest of the world, must send Maduro the message that they will not allow him to hijack his own country».
Marine Corps expeditionary force is the only one who could send such as message. The Pentagon said the military was ready to support efforts to protect US citizens and America’s national interests. The United States has a long history of regime toppling in Latin America, with the military and the CIA operating behind the scenes. Vice President Mike Pence is visiting Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Panama on August 13–18, 2017. The trip is a chance to announce further steps on Venezuela and ramp up support for future actions.
Why Venezuela? After all, Latin America does not seem appear to top the administration’s priorities’ list. In June, State Secretary Rex Tillerson skipped a crucial Organization of American States’ meeting devoted to the situation in Venezuela. Instead, the Secretary focused on the mission to ease tensions in the Persian Gulf.
Venezuela is not Syria, there is no civil war going on and no refugees rush en masse to leave the country. It’s not North Korea or Iran. There are no plans to develop a nuclear potential. President Maduro still enjoys substantial support. The nation is divided, not all Venezuelans are ready to greet US servicemen as liberators. What is important – the Latin American governments that criticize President Maduro will not be able to join or openly support a US military operation for political reasons.
But President Trump’s job approval ratings are slipping and he needs to take some action to turn the tide. According to the Quinnipiac University Poll, just 33 percent of American voters said they approved of Trump’s job in office, while 61 percent said they disapproved. It’s down 7 percentage points from the 40 percent rating he received in a similar survey in late June. In June, 84 percent of Republicans polled said they approved of Trump’s job in office. However, according to the latest survey, support among the same group has dipped to 76 percent.
Other polls also show the job approval ratings are going down. Just one other newly-elected president has held an approval rating below 50% at this point in his presidency since modern polling began: Bill Clinton, whose approval rating stood at 44% at this point in 1993.
The US president is under assault on many fronts. Now and then, calls for impeachment are made public. Conservatives begin to whisper: President Pence.
Short and successful military interventions abroad are the way to improve the ratings. There was a rise in Trump’s popularity after the cruise missiles strike in Syria he ordered on April 7. The same thing happened when the Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, dubbed the «mother of all bombs», was used on April 13 against Islamic State militants in Afghanistan.
After the election President-elect Trump said he would avoid interventions in foreign conflicts. Instead of investing in wars, he would spend money to build up America’s aging infrastructure: roads, bridges and airports. But bombing one’s way to popularity is a temptation hard to resist. So, Venezuela joins the list of countries, such as North Korea and Iran, which could be attacked by the United States anytime. 

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Being in Time - a Revolutionary Leftist review by Roy Ratcliffe

Introduction by GA: the following is an extended review of my latest book, Being in Time, by Roy Ratcliffe, one of the last free creative thinkers within the Left milieu.
Far from being surprising, Ratcliffe, a revolutionary Marxist, found a lot of truth in the book. The same can be said about conservative and Right Wing intellectuals who also praised the book. How is it possible that both Right and Left ideologists/intellectuals agree upon the validity of a critical text?  Being in Time offers an answer to the above question. In Being in Time, Traditional Left and Right thinking modes are complimentary substances. They are like day and night, the ‘dream’ and the ‘real,’ together they from a mirror image of the human psychic, that mental transition between the ‘ought to be’ and ‘Being.’
Being in Time – a post political manifesto is critical of all forms of Identity (ID) politics: Jewish, gender, White, Black etc. The book argues that the breaking of society into biologically oriented ID sectors has obliterated our ability to fight together as one people. It was set to serve the interests of big money: the Soroses, the JP Morgans, the Goldmans, the Sachses. Being in Time attempts to explain why the USA is being pushed into a civil war. It explains why Trump became the president. It predicts Corbyn’s growing popularity.  It seeks a to offer a new synthesis of our human faculties. Instead of looking into that which spreads us apart, time is ripe to look into that that which unites us all.  

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

Trump and the Christian Fascists


    Donald Trump with the Rev. Pat Robertson in 2016 at Virginia’s Regent University, founded by Robertson. This month Robertson was granted a White House interview with the president for the Christian Broadcasting Network, also founded by the televangelist. (Steve Helber / AP)
Donald Trump’s ideological vacuum, the more he is isolated and attacked, is being filled by the Christian right. This Christianized fascism, with its network of megachurches, schools, universities and law schools and its vast radio and television empire, is a potent ally for a beleaguered White House. The Christian right has been organizing and preparing to take power for decades. If the nation suffers another economic collapse, which is probably inevitable, another catastrophic domestic terrorist attack or a new war, President Trump’s ability to force the Christian right’s agenda on the public and shut down dissent will be dramatically enhanced. In the presidential election, Trump had 81 percent of white evangelicals behind him.
Trump’s moves to restrict abortion, defund Planned Parenthood, permit discrimination against LGBT people in the name of “religious liberty” and allow churches to become active in politics by gutting the Johnson Amendment, along with his nominations of judges championed by the Federalist Society and his call for a ban on Muslim immigrants, have endeared him to the Christian right. He has rolled back civil rights legislation and business and environmental regulations. He has elevated several stalwarts of the Christian right into power—Mike Pence to the vice presidency, Jeff Sessions to the Justice Department, Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Betsy DeVos to the Department of Education, Tom Price to Health and Human Services and Ben Carson to Housing and Urban Development. He embraces the white supremacy, bigotry, American chauvinism, greed, religious intolerance, anger and racism that define the Christian right.
Click here for a 2007 video of Chris Hedges speaking about his book “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.”
More important, Trump’s disdain for facts and his penchant for magical thinkingand conspiracy theories mesh well with the worldview of the Christian right, which sees itself as under attack by the satanic forces of secular humanismembodied in the media, academia, the liberal establishment, Hollywood and the Democratic Party. In this worldview, climate change is not real, Barack Obama is a Muslim and millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election.
The followers of the Christian right, like Trump and his brain trust, including Stephen Bannon, are Manicheans. They see the world in black and white, good and evil, them and us. Trump’s call in his speech in Poland for a crusade against the godless hoards of Muslims fleeing from the wars and chaos we created replicates the view of the Christian right. Christian right leaders in a sign of support went to the White House on July 10 to pray over Trump. Two days later Pat Robertson showed up there to interview the president for his Christian Broadcasting Network.
If the alliance between these zealots and the government succeeds, it will snuff out the last vestiges of American democracy.
On the surface it appears to be incongruous that the Christian right would rally behind a slick New York real estate developer who is a very public serial philanderer and adulterer, has no regard for the truth, is consumed by greed, does not appear to read or know the Bible, routinely defrauds and cheats his investors and contractors, expresses a crude misogyny and an even cruder narcissism and appears to yearn for despotism. In fact, these are the very characteristics that define most of the leaders of the Christian right. Trump has preyed on desperate people through the thousands of slot machines in his casinos, his sham university and his real estate deals. Megachurch pastors prey on their followers by extracting “seed offerings,” “love gifts,” tithes and donations and by selling miracle healings along with “prayer clothes,” self-help books, audio and video recordings and even protein shakes. Pastors have established within their megachurches, as Trump did in his businesses, despotic fiefdoms. They cannot be challenged or questioned any more than an omnipotent Trump could be challenged on the reality television show “The Apprentice.” And they seek to replicate their little tyrannies on a national scale, with white men in charge.
The personal piety of most of the ministers who lead the Christian right is a facade. Their private lives are usually marked by hedonistic squalor that includes mansions, private jets, limousines, retinues of bodyguards, personal assistants and servants, shopping sprees, lavish vacations and sexual escapades that rival those carried out by Trump. And because they run “churches,” in many cases church funds pay for their tax-free empires, including their extravagant lifestyles. They also engage in the nepotism found in the Trump organization, elevating family members to prominent or highly paid positions and passing on the businesses to their children.
The Christian right’s scandals, which give a glimpse into the sordid lives of these multimillionaire pastors, are legion. Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s Praise the Lord Club, for example, raked in as much as $1 million a week before Jim Bakker went to prison for nearly five years. He was convicted of fraud and other charges in 1989 because of a $158 million scheme in which followers paid for vacations that never materialized. As the Bakker empire came apart, there also were accusations of drug use and rape. Tammy Faye died in 2007, and now Jim Bakker is back, peddling survival food for the end days and telling his significantly reduced television audience that anyone who opposes Trump is the Antichrist.Paul and Jan Crouch, who gave the Bakkers their start, founded Trinity Broadcasting, the world’s largest televangelist network, now run by their son Matt and his wife, Laurie. Viewers were encouraged to call prayer counselors at the toll-free number shown at the bottom of the TV screen. It was a short step from talking with a prayer counselor to making a “love gift” and becoming a “partner” in Trinity Broadcasting and then sending in more money during one of the frequent Praise-a-Thons.
The Crouches reveled in tasteless kitsch, as does Trump. They sat during their popular nightly program in front of stained glass windows that overlooked Louis XVI-inspired sets awash in gold rococo and red velvet, glittering chandeliers and a gold-painted piano. The network emblem, which Paul Crouch wore on the pocket of his blue double-breasted blazer, featured a crown, a lion, a horse, a white dove, a cross and Latin phrases among other elements. The Crouches would have been at home in Trump Tower, where the president has a faux “Trump crest”—allegedly plagiarized—and has decorated his penthouse as if it was part of Versailles.
The Crouches were masters of manipulation. They exhorted viewers to send in checks for $1,000, even if they could not afford it. Write the check anyway, Paul Crouch, who died in 2013, told them, as a “step of faith” and the Lord would repay them many times over. “Do you think God would have any trouble getting $1,000 extra to you somehow?” he asked during one Praise-a-Thon broadcast. Viewers, many of whom struggled with deep despair and believed that miracles and magic alone held them back from the abyss, often found it impossible to resist this emotional pressure.
Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) is home to many of the worst charlatans in the Christian right, including the popular healer Benny Hinn, who says that Adam was a superhero who could fly to the moon and claims that one day the dead will be raised by watching TBN from inside their coffins. Hinn claims his “anointings” have cured cancer, AIDS, deafness, blindness and numerous other ailments and physical injuries. Those who have not been cured, he says, did not send in enough money.
These religious hucksters are some of the most accomplished con artists in the country, a trait they share with the current occupant of the Oval Office.
I wrote a book on the Christian right in 2007 called “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.” I did not use the word “fascist” lightly. I spent several hours, at the end of two years of reporting, with two of the country’s foremost scholars on fascism—Fritz Stern and Robert O. Paxton. Did this ideology fit the parameters of classical fascism? Was it virulent enough and organized enough to seize power? Would it go to the ruthless extremes of previous fascist movements to persecute and silence dissent? Has our deindustrialized society replicated the crippling despair, alienation and rage that always feed fascist movements?
The evangelicalism promoted by the Christian right is very different from the evangelicalism and fundamentalism of a century ago. The emphasis on personal piety that defined the old movement, the call to avoid the contamination of politics, has been replaced by Christian Reconstructionism, called Dominionism by some. This new ideology is about taking control of all institutions, including the government, to build a “Christian” nation. Rousas John Rushdoony in his 1973 book, “The Institutes of Biblical Law,” first articulated it. Rushdoony argued that God gives the elect, just as he gave Adam and Noah, dominion over the earth to build a Christian society. Their state will come about with the physical eradication of the forces of Satan. It is the duty of the church and the elect to “rescue” the world so Christ can return.
This is an ideology of death. It promises that the secular, humanist society will be physically destroyed. The Ten Commandments will form the basis of our legal system. Creationism or “Intelligent Design” will be taught in public schools. People who are considered social deviants, including homosexuals, immigrants, secular humanists, feminists, Jews, Muslims, criminals and those dismissed as “nominal Christians”—meaning Christians who do not embrace the Christian right’s perverted and heretical interpretation of the Bible—will be silenced, imprisoned or killed. The role of the federal government will be reduced to protecting property rights, “homeland” security and waging war. Church organizations will be funded and empowered by the government to run social-welfare agencies. The poor, condemned for sloth, indolence and sinfulness, will be denied government assistance. The death penalty will be expanded to include “moral crimes,” including apostasy, blasphemy, sodomy and witchcraft, as well as abortion, which will be treated as murder. Women will be subordinate to men. Those who practice other faiths will become, at best, second-class citizens and eventually outcasts. The wars in the Middle East will be defined as religious crusades against Muslims. There will be no separation of church and state. The only legitimate voices will be “Christian.” America will become an agent of God. Those who defy the “Christian” authorities will be branded as agents of Satan.
Tens of millions of Americans are already hermetically sealed within this bizarre worldview. They are given a steady diet of conspiracy theories and lies on the internet, in their churches, in Christian schools and colleges and on Christian television and radio. Elizabeth Dilling, who wrote “The Red Network” and was a Nazi sympathizer, is required reading. Thomas Jefferson, who favored separation of church and state, is ignored. This Christian propaganda hails the “significant contributions” of the Confederacy. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who led the anti-communist witch hunts in the 1950s, is rehabilitated as an American hero. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, along with the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya, is defined as part of the worldwide battle against satanic Islamic terror. Presently, nearly 40 percent of the U.S. public believes in Creationism or “Intelligent Design.” And nearly a third of the population, 94 million people, consider themselves evangelical.Those who remain in a reality-based universe often dismiss these malcontents as buffoons. They do not take seriously the huge segment of the public, mostly white and working class, who because of economic distress have primal yearnings for vengeance, new glory and moral renewal and are easily seduced by magical thinking. These are the yearnings and emotions Trump has exploited politically.
Those who embrace this movement need to feel, even if they are not, that they are victims surrounded by dark and sinister groups bent on their destruction. They need to elevate themselves to the role of holy warriors, infused with a noble calling and purpose. They need to sanctify the rage and hypermasculinity that are the core of fascism. The rigidity and simplicity of their belief, which includes being anointed for a special purpose in life by God, are potent weapons in the fight against their own demons and desire for meaning.
“Evil when we are in its power is not felt as evil but as a necessity, or even a duty,” Simone Weil wrote.
These believers, like all fascists, detest the reality-based world. They condemn it as contaminated, decayed and immoral. This world took their jobs. It destroyed their future. It ruined their communities. It doomed their children. It flooded their lives with alcohol, opioids, pornography, sexual abuse, jail sentences, domestic violence, deprivation and despair. And then, from the depths of suicidal despair, they suddenly discovered that God has a plan for them. God will save them. God will intervene in their lives to promote and protect them. God has called them to carry out his holy mission in the world and to be rich, powerful and happy.
The rational, secular forces, those that speak in the language of fact and evidence, are hated and feared, for they seek to pull believers back into “the culture of death” that nearly destroyed them. The magical belief system, as it was for impoverished German workers who flocked to the Nazi Party, is an emotional life raft. It is all that supports them. The only way to blunt this movement is to reintegrate these people into the economy, to give them economic stability through good wages and benefits, to restore their self-esteem. They need to live in a society that is not predatory but instead provides well-funded public schools, free university education and universal health care, a society in which they and their families can prosper.
Let us not stand at the open gates of the city waiting passively for the barbarians. They are coming. They are slouching towards Bethlehem. Let us shake off our complacency and cynicism. Let us openly defy the liberal establishment, which will not save us, to demand and fight for economic reparations for the poor and the working class. Let us give all Americans a reality-based hope for the future. Time is running out. If we do not act, American fascists, clutching Christian crosses, waving American flags and orchestrating mass recitations of the pledge of allegiance, united behind the ludicrous figure of Donald Trump, will ride this rage to power.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
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