John Pilger, interviewed by RT – the War on China & other issues

On this season finale special episode of Going Underground, legendary journalist and film-maker John Pilger rounds up all the latest issues. John describes the current state of global affairs as in a state of warfare, warning that the ‘coming war on China’ has now arrived. He also discusses the Hong Kong protests and why they have grown, along with US involvement in the unrest. He discusses the collapse of the INF Treaty and the beginning of a new arms race with Russia, amid a situation where he describes it as Washington’s goal to break up the Russian Federation under Putin. He also warns of the increased risk of nuclear war as nuclear superpowers such as Pakistan and India are also entering major tensions between each other. John Pilger also discusses his concern with John Bolton being in charge, and how Brexit has created mass-distraction in the UK from the most pressing of issues at home (such as austerity and the NHS) and abroad. He slams sanctions on Venezuela and Iran and also updates us on the condition of Julian Assange, after he visited him recently in Belmarsh prison.

My comment: Pilger, in not too many words, reveals his disappointment with Bernie Sanders and the others, the so-called Democratic Socialists – which he correctly labeled as social democrats. While on this subject, I can’t help but point out the utter idiocy of rebranding social democracy, liberal social democracy to be more precise, into ‘democratic socialism’ by people who claim to represent the Left. Socialism – the social state – by definition, implies democracy. Even an absolutist ‘social monarchy,’ like that envisioned by Ferdinand Lassalle in the 19th century, would hold elections, in which the people get to have a say on how the country’s run. Whether elections would be real, or just for show, that’s another matter entirely. But I digress…

On the issue of China, Pilger’s forecast is right as can be. Not only is Trump’s change in relations with Beijing bipartisan in Washington – despite PR attempts to the contrary, aimed at the brainwashed US public – but Trump’s zealous supporters, who are critical of the establishment, are applauding the trade war and supporting the Hong Kong protests. Alex Jones propagates the idea that the Chinese are deliberating hurting US farmers, in an effort to destroy the United States, and invokes Thomas Jefferson’s wisdom that it’s the farmers who will provide the bulwark against the country’s collapse. Jones’ falsehood is that he portrays the Chinese tariffs on US food as completely unprovoked, rather than retaliatory. I don’t understand the need for all these lies; because tories are going to vote Trump anyway, even at the cost of a recession. Or maybe that’s not really the case? And US farmers are wise on Trump’s tariff war implications? In that case, in makes sense for Zionist manipulation agents like Alex Jones to make use of this sophistry and square all the blame on China. There’s many a reason to bash the Communist Government, but at the end of the day, this particular issue is a matter of Chinese national sovereignty. How would they feel if a separatist current manifested itself in message and action in say, Hawaii – and the Chinese stated they supported the separatists? It’s incredibly hypocritical. Moving on… I enjoyed Pilger’s nuance on the Hong Kong protesters. He said that there are legitimate concerns and grievances among the population, and it’s not all an artificial uprising sponsored by the West. The world is definitely getting more volatile, and I personally have little faith in the European establishment to break away from Washington’s ruinous, syphilitic schemes.

Why the Religious Right Can’t Win Against Islam

by Serban V.C. Enache

Before I explain why the Religious Right can’t win morally and legally against Islam, the reader has to understand what I mean by ‘Religious Right.’ I’m referring to the Jewish and Christian religious right. I’ll give a singular example, but a thoroughly relevant one.

In 2017, Ilhan Omar [the Muslim Congresswoman who was given asylum to the US as a kid from Somalia] had mixed feelings regarding a bill in the Minnesota State House. The legislation would make it “a felony for parents to subject their daughters to the procedure [female genital mutilation] and calls for loss of custody and prison terms from five to 20 years, depending on the extent of the injuries,” with an increase in “penalties for those who perform the procedure.”

Omar was quoted: “I don’t want us to create laws because we want to get into the media and because we want a flashy headline.” A back and forth between the members of Minnesota’s Civil Law committee can be found here. Nevertheless, Ilhan Omar agreed that the practice of female genital mutilation was “heinous” and voted for the bill. But the fate of that bill was counter-intuitive. The Republican-dominated State Senate in Minnesota rejected the legislation. Mind you, this bill against female genital mutilation was authored only by Republicans.

Minnesota State Republican Representative Mary Francon said, ”
“We need to end the identity politics and do what’s right. FGM [female genital mutilation] is a human’s right issue, a woman’s health issue and a gender violence issue. It has no place in the United States of America.” Franson introduced the bill in response to reports that a Detroit-area doctor had performed such a [female genital mutilation] procedure on two girls, 7-year-olds from the state of Minnesota. Mary Franson was disillusioned with the [Republican-controlled] Senate’s decision to reject her bill. “If we were talking about any other body part, perhaps the Senate would take female genital mutilation seriously. However, it seems misogyny has won out this year [2017],” Franson said.

A year later, a federal judge [a libertarian nominated by President Ronald Reagan] in Michigan rejected federal criminal charges against a group of Muslim defendants who had carried out FGM on young girls, ruling a federal ban [on the practice] unconstitutional.

Now, then, let’s return to the article’s thesis. Why the Religious Right can’t win against Islam. First of all, they share a common ancestor – all three of them are Abrahamic religions. In the USA, the practice of circumcision is widely spread, not just among Jews, but among Christians too. In 1997, in the US, the great majority of newborn boys were circumcised. By contrast, in Europe, neonatal circumcision is a rarity. The non-religious justification for subjecting one’s child to circumcision says that it leads to better genital cleanliness and thus better genital health, reduced risk of cancer etc. I believe it’s bs. I’m sure my detractors will be quick to cite numerous papers to prove me wrong. I’ll just say this on the medical aspect, no large-scale randomized controlled trial has assessed the benefit of neonatal male circumcision throughout several decades, which is when many of the potential health benefits would be realized.

Finally, we’re nearing the conclusion. The law can’t punish female genital mutilation without being de jure and de facto hypocritical and creating a double standard – for the law allows male genital mutilation. Circumcising baby boys IS genital mutilation, and both parents and doctors are responsible for it. Lest we forget, the anti-FGM bill mentioned earlier punished doctors who performed the deed too.

I’ll be blunt, the Religious Right is, on many issues [domestic and foreign] synonymous with Christian Zionism and Jewish Zionism implicitly. Therefore, the interest of children [girls and boys] can’t be given top priority, because the interest of the Abrahamic religions reign supreme in a country that’s supposed to be laic. Circumcision is defended as a covenant between God and Abraham, and circumcision is practiced widely in the Muslim world alongside FGM. The latter is done to ‘minimize women’s sexual desire / pleasure,’ in the logic of decreasing marriage infidelity on the woman’s part – even though under Sharia law, it’s de jure and de facto implausible to prove a rape situation [unless the crime was witnessed by many people, considered honorable in the community; and a woman’s testimony is worth only half a man’s]. Circumcision and FGM are justified in Islam under the Hadith.

The Christian and Jewish Right face a dilemma. They have no moral ammo against Islam – because if they pursue a truly non-hypocritical stance against Islam, they invite Muslims to use the same arguments against them. It’s a self-defeating exercise. Ditto for the secular voices who wish to see Islamic customs vanish from their societies. If they give a pass to Judaism and Christianity, they’ll be hypocrites. On the other hand, if they don’t give anyone a pass, they’ll be attacked as being illiberal, because individuals and communities have the right to organize themselves and pursue a faith, with all the rituals inherent to it. And then the whole thing grows and mutates into related arguments: interventionist social authorities vs passive social authorities? what are rights? where do rights come from? what should be a liberty, what should be a right? where and when do a person’s rights and liberties infringe on someone else’s? Etc.

The Christian Right also has a problem with its own history in the United States. They’ve a romantic, albeit untrue story of the country’s foundation. The US was founded as a Masonic state, not a Christian state. Nine of the 56 men that signed the Declaration of Independence were Masons, and about 13 of the 39 that signed the US Constitution were too. Much of the early republic’s elites [landlords, financiers, lawyers, judges, industrialists, and politicians] were under Masonic allegiance. The first president of the US was a Mason, and 1/3 of all US presidents were Masons. As an interesting, historical observation, Freemasonry was banned in Nazi Germany, in Fascist Italy [even though many in the Grand Lodge were fascists and helped to bring Mussolini to power], and in all the Communist states [with the exception of Cuba].

By attacking Ilhan Omar’s sentiments for Somalia – a country with a rich tradition in the Islamic Slave Trade [a phenomenon which spanned 13 centuries], in oppressing women and non-Muslims, like Animists and Christians – the Right only looks hypocritical. For the Right never attacks those politicians with dual citizenship in the top echelons of the State, those Israel-Firsters who maintain control over the domestic narrative and especially over the USA’s foreign policy – getting the US military to do Israel’s dirty work. And no, this isn’t about Israel’s “right to exist” or “right to defend itself” – it’s about the Greater Israel project, which can only be achieved through double-dealing, exploitation, theft, violence, and war.

You either oppose politicians with dual citizenship from getting into key State institutions across the board, or you’re biased [you favor some foreign countries over other foreign countries and implicitly over the US] and you lose the moral high ground. What does the Bible say? One can’t serve two masters.

Israel only reason for US intervention in Syria

In the third paragraph, the Letter asserts: “While our nation has encouraged more stable and inclusive political systems in the Middle East, the regime in Tehran has spread its influence and destabilized its neighbors for its own gain.” To say this is an outrageous distortion of the truth would be an understatement. There is not a sane Iraqi, Syrian, Lybian, Yemeni and most Muslim Arabs who would vouch to such a distortion. In fact, internationally, the US and Israel are viewed as sources of threat to international peace and security; both have boots on foreign grounds but no foreign boots on their grounds. […]

Beyond any conceivable doubts, the Letter was dictated by Israelis or their advocates in Washington, signed and submitted by the 400 congressmen to Trump; the height of hypocrisy. What is dismaying is that hardly any voices of protests were raised in the American society at large or the political or intellectual segments about the fact that four hundred congressmen, who are elected by Americans to serve American interests, at a time when the US is bogged down in the Arab region, sign and submit a letter to the US President concerned almost exclusively with Israel Security.

These congressmen had an opportunity to make a coherent recommendation on US policy in the Arab region in the interest of American National Interest, but instead chose to make recommendations to safeguard the wellbeing and security of a foreign state: Israel.

Read the full article by Elias Samo here.

The Duran: Trump snubs Corbyn, Johnson snubs Trump, but Farage & the Queen meet Trump

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the US President’s trip to the UK. Trump sounded off on Brexit, he declined to meet with Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn who then spoke at an anti-Trump rally. Conservative leader front runner, Boris Johnson, snubbed a meeting with the US President, saying he was too busy. Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage did meet with Trump who is a “believer in Brexit.”

London’s SJW mayor Sadiq Khan had a public meltdown over Trump’s visit, for which Trump tweeted at Khan, ridiculing his track record and height. And then there was the ‘scandal’ that erupted because Donald Trump touched the Queen. Christoforou and Mercouris go on to discuss the UK’s dependency on the United States and its fate outside the EU with respect to the hegemon and its blacklisted companies like Huawei.

My comment: I agree with Alexander Mercouris that Trump isn’t interested in a neoliberal world order, but I disagree that Trump is interested in a world of sovereign states that negotiate hard with each other. If a country negotiates hard, instead of caving in to the US, the war hawks in power [less concerned with euphemistic language] go on to blacklist foreign companies [Huawei, Gazprom, the National Iranian Oil Company, Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. and others], government institutions [the IRGC] and heads of state [Nicolas Maduro].

Trump is interested in a world of client states obedient first and foremost to Washington, and not anyone else. To contrast it to Obama’s stance of – hey, UK, stick in the EU, because we negotiate with the EU, and if you exit, you’ll be pushed down the list of priorities… Trump says, if the EU as a political organization won’t bend to Washington’s demands [demands, not requests, because requests don’t have threats associated with them], then we’ll negotiate directly with the EU member states [and their parties] to oppose the EU from within.

There’s nothing wrong with bilateralism, but we can clearly see that Washington is trying to keep the European states economically and militarily dependent on the US – while demanding they take a belligerent stance against Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, and to a lesser extent Turkey, at least for now. Should Britain get a more independent PM, his or her foreign policy will have to be that of bringing the influence of other great powers in the region, in order to shrink the USA’s grip over it.

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Lindsey Graham is a TERRORIST!

by Serban V.C. Enache

On national television, Lindsey Graham, a republican senator, engages in a particular and detestable activity called terrorism. If the people of Venezuela and Cuba don’t choose Washington’s puppet, then they are going to suffer violence and death via invasion; because US economic warfare [forcing casualties via dearth] against both these countries is not enough. Graham wants to imitate Reagan’s invasion of Grenada and apply it to Venezuela and Cuba.

Notice how the interviewer on Fox News treats this terrorist threat as if it’s something vaguely out of the norm and thanks this subhuman filth of a senator for the interview, instead of invoking the US constitution, international law, and basic common sense against this maniac’s reprehensible proposal.

Let’s make it abundantly clear. All institutions [state, private and quasi] and all actors pressing for military confrontation and labeling diplomatic solutions as treasonous or anti-American are the scum of the earth, a cabal of death and ruin. They are war profiteers. They are a threat to other nations, including their own – a threat to all Humanity and a scourge before the eyes of any god worthy of worship. And in the interest of peace and rational dialog among and between nations, these supreme criminals should receive life sentence in prison.

I will cite three paragraphs from Emmerich de Vattel’s The Law of Nations 3rd book: Of War.

§ 32. Pretexts.

Let us, however, entertain a better opinion of nations and their rulers. There are just causes of war, real justificatory reasons; and why should there not be sovereigns who sincerely consider them as their warrant, then they have besides reasonable motives for taking up arms? We shall therefore give the name of pretexts to those reasons alleged as justificatory, but which are so only in appearance, or which are even absolutely destitute of all foundation. The name of pretexts may likewise be applied to reasons which are, in themselves, true and well-founded, but, not being of sufficient importance for undertaking a war, are made use of only to cover ambitious views, or some other vicious motive. Such was the complaint of the czar Peter I. that sufficient honours had not been paid him on his passage through Riga. His other reasons for declaring war against Sweden I here omit.

Pretexts are at least a homage which unjust men pay to justice. He who screens himself with them shows that he still retains some sense of shame. He does not openly trample on what is most sacred in human society: he tacitly acknowledges that a flagrant injustice merits the indignation of all Mankind.

§ 33. War undertaken merely for advantage.

Whoever, without justificatory reasons, undertakes a war merely from motives of advantage, acts without any right, and his war is unjust. And he, who, having in reality just grounds for taking up arms, is nevertheless solely actuated by interested views in resorting to hostilities, cannot indeed be charged with injustice, but he betrays a vicious disposition: his conduct is reprehensible, and sullied by the badness of his motives. War is so dreadful a scourge, that nothing less than manifest justice, joined to a kind of necessity, can authorize it, render it commendable, or at least exempt it from reproach.

§ 34. Nations who make war without reason or apparent motives.

Nations that are always ready to take up arms on any prospect of advantage are lawless robbers…