Under Attack by a “U.S. Proxy”, Russia Readies For Full War In Syria… Russian Embassy in Damascus Shelled ….

By Moon of Alabama
Global Research, October 05, 2016
Moon of Alabama 4 October 2016
Region: Middle East & North Africa, Russia and FSU, USA
Theme: Militarization and WMD, US NATO War Agenda
In-depth Report: SYRIA: NATO’S NEXT WAR

POSTED BY AINHOA ARISTIZABAL –  10/ 5 / 16

U.S. State Department Daily Press Briefing September 28 2016 – Spokesperson John Kirby

QUESTION: But what I don’t think we have heard here is, so what are the consequences for Russia if this agreement falls through beyond some interagency discussions about options that have not yet been chosen? What are the consequences for Russia other than Secretary Kerry won’t talk to them on this particular issue going forward?

MR KIRBY: The consequences are that the civil war will continue in Syria, that extremists and extremists groups will continue to exploit the vacuums that are there in Syria to expand their operations, which will include, no question, attacks against Russian interests, perhaps even Russian cities, and Russia will continue to send troops home in body bags, and they will continue to lose resources – even, perhaps, more aircraft.

The Russian Federation interpreted that not as a prediction or warning, but as a direct threat.

The ceasefire agreement fell through. The U.S. essentially blocked it by NOT pushing its proxy forces in Syria to follow its provisions. It blamed, as usual, the Russian side which had followed the ceasefire nearly to the letter.

Then this happened:

Al-Nusra Front Shells Russian Embassy in Damascus

The Russian embassy in Damascus was shelled from the areas controlled by al-Nusra Front and Faylaq al-Rahman militants, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.”The Russian diplomatic mission came under mortar shelling on October 3. One of the mines exploded on the embassy area near its residential department. Fortunately, no one was wounded. The diplomatic mission sustained material damage. Another two mines went off next to the embassy.” The Ministry said the shelling was conducted from the Jobar municipality controlled by al-Nusra Front and Faylaq al-Rahman terrorists. “We view this shelling of the Russian embassy as a consequence of actions of those who, like the US and its allies, provoke the violent conflict in Syria, flirting with militants and extremists of different sorts.“

Russia has deployed a number of additional bombers to Syria. We do not yet know how many. But as soon as these are operational the “rebels” will face a significant larger amount of air attacks. A few weeks of intense attacks and their abilities, logistics and command and control will have been degrade to a point where they can no longer wage an organized fight.

Also deployed was a battery of S-300 air-defense systems. The specific type is said to be S-300VM, also known as Antey-2500. These are specially designed for defending against ballistic- and cruise missiles. The system will be stationed near Tartus harbor and will protect the Syrian east coast as well as the Russian fleet in the eastern Mediterranean. These also have good capabilities against attacking planes. A volley cruise missile attack by the U.S. against the Syrian and Russian airports and air forces in Syria, discussed in various U.S. papers as the start of a “no-fly zone” war, will be severely hampered by this.

Then there is this:

Elijah J. Magnier @EjmAlrai#Damascus agreed & #Russia is ready to send several thousands of special forces & other various units officers this month to #Syria.

9:57 AM – 4 Oct 2016

The final decision for this was, I believe, made after the U.S. attack on Syrian army positions in Deir Ezzor which opened the besieged city to the Islamic State. That, and the current U.S. bombing of bridges in Deir Ezzor, will allow for an isolated area in which the Islamic State can survive. Russia can and will not condone that.

The U.S. wants, for lack of better ideas, play hardball with Russia. But it does not want to go to war. Russia will go along with the hardball game. It makes sure that the U.S. understands that it will indeed have to fight a full fledged war with Russia and its allies if it wants to get its way in Syria. Further arming its al-Qaeda proxy-Jihadis, as Washington is currently doing, will not change that.

Russia will not give in to U.S. demands without a very severe fight. It bets that Obama, the members of his administration and the generals in the Pentagon are, in the end, pampered cowards. It has, in my estimate, a very high chance to win that bet.

The original source of this article is Moon of Alabama
Copyright © Moon of Alabama, Moon of Alabama, 2016

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The FBI’s Hillary email probe is looking even more like a coverup by the FBI

hqdefault

It’s bad enough that FBI Director James Comey agreed to pass out immunity deals like candy to material witnesses and potential targets of his investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s illegal private email server.

But now we learn that some of them were immunized despite lying to Comey’s investigators.

In the latest bombshell from Congress’ probe into what’s looking more and more like an FBI whitewash (or coverup) of criminal behavior by the Democratic nominee and her aides, the Denver-based tech who destroyed subpoenaed emails from Clinton’s server allegedly lied to FBI agents after he got an immunity deal.

That’s normally a felony. As a federal prosecutor, Comey tossed Martha Stewart in jail for it and helped convict Scooter Libby for it as well. Yet the key Clinton witness still maintained his protection from criminal prosecution.

With Comey’s blessing, Obama prosecutors cut the deal with the email administrator, Paul Combetta, in 2015 in exchange for his full cooperation and honest testimony. But the House Judiciary Committee revealed Wednesday that he falsely told agents in a Feb. 18 interview that he had no knowledge that emails he bleached from the server were under congressional orders to be preserved as evidence.

In a second interview on May 3, Combetta admitted he in fact did know. But he still refused to reveal what he discussed with Clinton’s former aides and lawyer during a 2014 conference call about deleting the emails.

Instead of asking Attorney General Loretta Lynch to revoke his immunity deal and squeezing him, Comey let him go because he was a “low-level guy,” he testified at the House hearing. It’s yet another action by Comey that has left former prosecutors shaking their heads.

“When I was at the Department of Justice, your reward for lying to a federal agent was a potential obstruction of justice charge,” House Judiciary Committee member Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) said. “It wasn’t immunity.”

Ratcliffe argued Combetta violated the terms of his immunity agreement and therefore “shouldn’t have immunity anymore.”

Another panel member, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), established that former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills also lied when she told agents she had no idea Clinton maintained a private email server. She once sent the server administrator a message asking “is server ok” after emails she sent Clinton kept bouncing back. Yet Mills continued to get immunity as well.

Comey said he looked “very hard” but couldn’t make an obstruction case “against any of the subjects we looked at.” He claimed not to have the evidence.

But the case suffered from the fact that he was denied evidence by Clinton and her minions, including:

A personal Apple email server used by Clinton in her first two months in office.
An Apple MacBook and thumb drive that contained her email archives, which was “lost” in the mail.
Two BlackBerry devices that were missing SIM cards and SD data cards.
13 mobile devices either lost or smashed with hammers.
Two iPads.
Server backup files that were deleted.
Copies of emails located on the laptops of Mills and another aide who got immunity that were wiped clean with software called BleachBit after the Benghazi committee sought the documents.
Clinton’s server email archive, which was deleted using BleachBit by Combetta after the emails were subpoenaed.
Backups of the server email files, which were manually deleted.

This mass destruction of evidence was known to Comey. It’s in his investigative case summary. Yet he couldn’t make an obstruction case?

“Any one of those in that long list says obstruction of justice,” Ratcliffe said. “Collectively, they scream obstruction of justice.”

Ignoring such evidence leads “not just reasonable prosecutors but reasonable people to believe that maybe the decision on this was made a long time ago not to prosecute Hillary Clinton,” he added.

In other words, the fix was in.

Either that, or Comey led one of the shoddiest probes in FBI history. God help us if that’s the way he’s investigating the 1,000-plus ISIS terrorist cases now open in all 50 states.

Hillary Clinton’s completely wrong about ‘racist’ policing

By Heather Mac Donald

September 28, 2016 | 7:29pm
Modal Trigger
Hillary Clinton’s completely wrong about ‘racist’ policing
Hillary Clinton Photo: Getty Images

Hillary Clinton repeated her incessant lie Monday that the criminal-justice system is infected with “systemic racism.”

Race “determines” how people are “treated in the criminal justice system,” she said. Blacks are “more likely [than whites] to be arrested, charged, convicted and incarcerated” for “doing the same thing.”

Such a falsehood, should Clinton act on it as president, would result not just in misguided policies but in the continued delegitimation of the criminal-justice system. That delegitimation, with its attendant hostility and aggression toward police, has produced nearly the largest one-year increase in homicides in half a century.
–– ADVERTISEMENT ––

Criminologists have tried for decades to prove that the overrepresentation of blacks in prison is due to criminal-justice racism. They’ve always come up short — forced to the same conclusion as Michael Tonry in his book, “Malign Neglect: “Racial differences in patterns of offending, not racial bias by police and other officials, are the principal reason that such greater proportions of blacks than whites are arrested, prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned.”

To say, as Clinton did, that blacks are more likely to be incarcerated for doing the same thing as whites ignores the relevance of a defendant’s criminal history in determining his sentence, among other crucial sentencing factors.

Clinton also complained that “too many young African-American and Latino men end . . . up in jail for non-violent offenses.” In fact, the majority of prisoners in the US are serving time for violent felonies.

The enforcement of low-level public-order offenses in New York City under Mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg actually lowered New York’s prison population by intervening in criminal behavior early, before it ripened into a serious felony.

Clinton may think low-level public-order enforcement (a k a “broken windows” policing) is racist, but law-abiding residents of high-crime communities beg the police to enforce public-order laws because they know that out of street disorder erupts gun violence and other predation.

Clinton claimed “stop-and-frisk was found to be unconstitutional.” In fact, the US Supreme Court put its imprimatur on the practice, which remains a lawful and essential police tactic.

Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin’s ruling that the NYPD’s practice of stops was racially biased applied only to the NYPD — and likely would’ve been reversed, had Mayor de Blasio not dropped the appeal.

Scheindlin used a population benchmark for measuring the lawfulness of police actions: If police stops didn’t match population ratios, they were unconstitutional. Yet that ignores the massive disparities in criminal offending.

Blacks, though 23 percent of the city’s population, commit over three-quarters of all shootings. Add in Hispanic shootings, and you account for 98 percent of all shootings in New York. Whites, 34 percent of the city’s population, commit less than 2 percent of all shootings.

Such disparities mean that virtually every time the police are called out on a gun run — i.e., someone has been shot — they’re called to minority neighborhoods on behalf of minority victims, and, if any witness is cooperating, being given a description of a minority suspect.

The reality of crime, not phantom racism, determines the incidence of police activity.

Clinton claimed that stop-and-frisk was “ineffective.” Felony crime in the city dropped 85 percent from the early ’90s to the mid-2010s; more than 10,000 minority males were spared the violent death they would’ve experienced had homicides remained at early-’90s levels.

Stop-and-frisk was a crucial part of that crime drop; it’s hard to imagine anything more effective than New York’s proactive policing revolution.

Thanks to the Scheindlin-induced drop in stops, homicides and shootings in the city rose 20 percent in the first half of 2015. Then-Commissioner Bill Bratton responded with a massive deployment of manpower to high-crime corners; officers used “command presence” — i.e., their mere presence on the street — to deter crime.

This rollout of manpower quelled the shooting spike; the city ended 2015 with a 6 percent homicide increase. But other departments lack the personnel to make up for a drop in proactive policing.

Donald Trump is right to warn about depolicing and what I have called the Ferguson Effect. “Right now, our police, in many cases, are afraid to do anything,” he said.

The result is a massive loss of black lives in places like Chicago and Baltimore. Law and order are breaking down in inner cities; officers are surrounded by hostile, jeering crowds when they get out of their squad cars to conduct an investigation. Resistance to arrest is up, increasing the chances of an officer’s own use of force. And race riots are returning to US cities.

The current mendacious narrative about policing and race has to change or we can expect to see further violent-crime increases and further racial violence. It’s clear, however, that Hillary Clinton will continue to enflame racial tensions through a set of lies about the criminal-justice system.

Heather Mac Donald is the author of the bestselling “The War on Cops.”

From city-journal.org.
Filed under broken windows , crime , hillary clinton , nypd , police , police officers
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Comey said he looked “very hard” but couldn’t make an obstruction case “against any of the subjects we looked at.” He claimed not to have the evidence.

But the case suffered from the fact that he was denied evidence by Clinton and her minions, including:

A personal Apple email server used by Clinton in her first two months in office.
An Apple MacBook and thumb drive that contained her email archives, which was “lost” in the mail.
Two BlackBerry devices that were missing SIM cards and SD data cards.
13 mobile devices either lost or smashed with hammers.
Two iPads.
Server backup files that were deleted.
Copies of emails located on the laptops of Mills and another aide who got immunity that were wiped clean with software called BleachBit after the Benghazi committee sought the documents.
Clinton’s server email archive, which was deleted using BleachBit by Combetta after the emails were subpoenaed.
Backups of the server email files, which were manually deleted.

This mass destruction of evidence was known to Comey. It’s in his investigative case summary. Yet he couldn’t make an obstruction case?

“Any one of those in that long list says obstruction of justice,” Ratcliffe said. “Collectively, they scream obstruction of justice.”

Ignoring such evidence leads “not just reasonable prosecutors but reasonable people to believe that maybe the decision on this was made a long time ago not to prosecute Hillary Clinton,” he added.

In other words, the fix was in.

Either that, or Comey led one of the shoddiest probes in FBI history. God help us if that’s the way he’s investigating the 1,000-plus ISIS terrorist cases now open in all 50 states.

Hillary Clinton will continue to enflame racial tensions through a set of lies about the criminal-justice system.

The current mendacious narrative about policing and race has to change or we can expect to see further violent-crime increases and further racial violence. It’s clear, however, that Hillary Clinton will continue to enflame racial tensions through a set of lies about the criminal-justice system.

Heather Mac Donald is the author of the bestselling “The War on Cops.”

From city-journal.org.

 

 

 

Heather Mac Donald is the author of the bestselling “The War on Cops.”

From city-journal.org.

An airstrike in Syria by the U.S. killed entire families instead of ISIS fighters

imrs-php

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal – 9/30/16

For the closely related operations in Iraq, see American-led intervention in Iraq (2014–present).

American-led intervention in Syria

Part of the Military intervention against ISIL (Operation Inherent Resolve),
the Syrian Civil War, and the Second Cold War. [Tomahawk Missile fired from US Destroyers.jpg

Tomahawk missiles being fired from the warships USS Philippine Sea and USS Arleigh Burke at ISIL targets in Syria
Date 22 September 2014 – present
(2 years and 6 days)
Location Syria
Status: U.S. bombing Syria

Over 5,000 Coalition airstrikes hit ISIL positions[25]

Thousands of targets destroyed, thousands of ISIL fighters killed

ISIL reversals in several areas against the Kurds

Coalition supplying weapons and advisers to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces

Failure of US-backed rebel training program[26]

Belligerents

Coalition of foreign countries in air war
Inherent Resolve.jpg CJTF–OIR

WAR LOVERS:

United States
Australia[1]
Bahrain
The Netherlands
Denmark[2][3]
Belgium[4]
France[5]
Germany[6]
Jordan
Morocco[7]
Qatar[8]
Saudi Arabia
Turkey[9][10]
United Arab Emirates[11]
United Kingdom[12]
Canada

Coalition forces-ground
Iraqi Kurdistan

Peshmerga[13]

Local ground forces
Flag of Syrian Democratic Forces.svg Syrian Democratic Forces

People’s Protection Units Flag.svg YPG[13]
YPJ Flag.svg YPJ
Al-Sanadid Forces
Syriac Military Council
Flag of al-Sanadid Forces.svg Al-Sanadid Forces
Jaysh al-Thuwar

Syria Free Syrian Army[14]

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant[15]
[16][17][18]

al-Qaeda

al-Nusra Front (renamed as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham in mid-2016)[19][20]
Khorasan[21]

Flag of Jund al-Aqsa.svg Jund al-Aqsa[22]

Ahrar ash-Sham (disputed)[23][24]
Commanders and leaders:

United States Barack Obama
United States Lloyd Austin
United States James L. Terry
United Kingdom David Cameron
United Kingdom Theresa May
United Kingdom Stephen Hillier
Turkey Recep T. Erdoğan
Turkey Ahmet Davutoğlu
Turkey Ismet Yilmaz
Turkey Hulusi Akar
Australia Tony Abbott
Australia Malcolm Turnbull
Australia Trevor Jones
Australia David Johnston
France François Hollande
France Jean-Yves Le Drian
France Pierre de Villiers
Germany Angela Merkel
Germany Ursula von der Leyen
Germany Volker Wieker
Jordan King Abdullah II
Jordan Abdullah Ensour
Saudi Arabia King Abdullah Al Saud (Died)
Saudi Arabia King Salman
Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud
Morocco King Mohammed VI
Morocco Abdelilah Benkirane
Morocco Bouchaib Arroub
United Arab Emirates Khalifa Al Nahyan
Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
Qatar Tamim Al Thani
Qatar Hamad bin Ali Al Attiyah
Rojava Salih Muslim Muhammad
Syria Albay Ahmed Berri
Iraqi Kurdistan Masoud Barzani
Canada Stephen Harper (until November 2015)
Canada Justin Trudeau (until February 2016)
Canada Thomas J. Lawson (until February 2016)
Canada Yvan Blondin (until February 2016)

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (WIA) (Leader)[27]
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Abu Alaa Afri †
(Deputy Leader of ISIL)[28][29]
Abu Mohammad al-Adnani † (Spokesperson)
Abu Ayman al-Iraqi † (Head of Military Shura)[30][31]
Abu Suleiman † (Replacement Military Chief)[31]
Abu Ali al-Anbari † (Deputy, Syria)
Akram Qirbash †
(Top ISIL judge)[29]
Abu Omar al-Shishani † (Chief commander in Syria) [32][33][34][35]
Abu Sayyaf † (Senior ISIL economic manager)[36]
Abu Khattab al-Kurdi † (Commander of the assault on Kobanî)[37][38]

Abu Mohammad al-Julani (Leader of the al-Nusra Front)
Abu Humam al-Shami † (al-Nusra Military Chief)[39]
Abu Hajer al-Homsi † (top al-Nusra military commander)[40]
Abu Firas al-Suri † (al-Nusra Spokesman)[41][42]
Abu Muhammed al Ansari †
(al-Nusra Emir of the Idlib Province)
Abu Firas al-Suri †(al-Nusra chief spokesperson)[43] Muhsin al-Fadhli † (Leader of Khorasan)[44][45][46]
Sanafi al-Nasr †[47]
David Drugeon †[45][48]
Flag of Jund al-Aqsa.svg Said Arif † (Jund al-Aqsa Military Chief)[22]
Abu Jaber (2014–2015)[49][50]
Abu Yahia al-Hamawi (2015–present)[51]
Strength

Coalition forces: Coalition forces-air
United States:
[show]
Bahrain:
[show]
France:
[show]
Germany:
[show]
Jordan:
[show]
Qatar:
[show]
Saudi Arabia:
[show]
United Arab Emirates:
[show]
United Kingdom:
[show]
The Netherlands:
[show]

Coalition forces-ground
Iraqi Kurdistan:
[show]

Local forces
YPG:
[show]
Free Syrian Army:
[show]

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant:

Around 100,000 fighters (according to Iraqi Kurdistan Chief of Staff)[69]
3 MiG-21 or MiG-23 aircraft[70][71]
At least a few hundred tanks[72][73]
3 drones[74][75][76][77]

al-Qaeda:

al-Nusra Front: 10,000[68]
Khorasan: 50[78]
Jund al-Aqsa: 1,000[79]

Ahrar ash-Sham:

10,000–20,000[80]

Casualties and losses

United States United States:

1 Marine dead (non-combat)[81]
1 drone shot down by the Syrian Arab Republic[82]

Jordan Jordan:

1 serviceman executed[83]
1 F-16 fighter plane crashed[84]

Unknown:

1 UAV crashed[85][86]

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant:

5,359+ killed[87]

al-Qaeda:

136 killed[87]

Ahrar ash-Sham:

2 killed[87][88]

Jaysh al-Sunna:

10 killed[87]

617 civilians killed by Coalition airstrikes[87]
2,142+ civilians killed by ISIL[89]
Over 420,000 civilians displaced or fled to other countries[90][91]
Number of militants killed possibly higher, due to them covering up their losses.[92]
[show]

v t e

Syrian Civil War

During the Syrian Civil War, which began in 2011, the United States first supplied the rebels of the Free Syrian Army with non-lethal aid (including food rations and pickup trucks), but quickly began providing training, cash, and intelligence to selected Syrian rebel commanders.

The United States began surveillance missions on ISIL positions in Syria in September 2014. On September 10, President Barack Obama gave a speech indicating his intent to “degrade and ultimately destroy” Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), saying, “I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq.”

President Vladimir Putin is fast turning Russia into an outlaw nation. As one of five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, his country shares a special responsibility to uphold international law. Yet, his behavior in Ukraine and Syria violates not only the rules intended to promote peace instead of conflict, but also common human decency.

This bitter truth was driven home twice on Wednesday. An investigative team led by the Netherlands concluded that the surface-to-air missile system that shot down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine in July 2014, killing 298 on board, was sent from Russia to Russian-backed separatists and returned to Russia the same night. Meanwhile, in Syria, Russian and Syrian warplanes knocked out two hospitals in the rebel-held sector of Aleppo as part of an assault that threatens the lives of 250,000 more people in a war that has already claimed some 500,000 Syrian lives.

Russia has tried hard to pin the blame for the airline crash on Ukraine. But the new report, produced by prosecutors from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine, confirms earlier findings. It uses strict standards of evidence and meticulously documents not only the deployment of the Russian missile system that caused the disaster but also Moscow’s continuing cover-up.

Ukraine’s foreign minister, Pavlo Klimkin, told The Times last week that his government [which government? Poroshenko’s?] is determined to bring both Russia and the individuals who fired the missile to justice.

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President Vladimir Putin is fast turning Russia into an outlaw nation, just like ours. As one of five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, his country shares a special responsibility to uphold international law. Yet, his behavior in Ukraine and Syria violates not only the rules intended to promote peace instead of conflict, but also common human decency.

This bitter truth was driven home twice on Wednesday. An investigative team led by the Netherlands[which refused to send the results of his “investigation” about the Malaysia Airlines concluded that the surface-to-air missile system that shot down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine in July 2014, killing 298 on board, was sent from Russia to Russian-backed separatists and returned to Russia the same night. Meanwhile, in Syria, the U.S., Russia and Syrian warplanes knocked out two hospitals in the rebel-held sector of Aleppo as part of an assault that threatens the lives of 250,000 more people in a war that has already claimed some 500,000 Syrian lives.

Russia has tried hard to pin the blame for the airline crash on Ukraine. But the new report, produced by prosecutors from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine, confirm earlier findings. It uses strict standards of evidence and meticulously documents not only the deployment of the Russian missile system that caused the disaster but also Moscow’s continuing cover-up.

Ukraine’s foreign minister, Pavlo Klimkin, told The Times last week that his government is determined to bring both Russia and the individuals who fired the missile to justice.
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Some Western officials have accused Russia and the U.S. of war crimes, charges that could be pursued through international channels, even if Moscow blocks a formal referral to the International Criminal Court. New sanctions against Russia also should be considered. Mr. Putin will undoubtedly fight any such action, using his veto on the Security Council, but whatever his response, the United States should lend its support to Ukraine’s quest for accountability.

There seems no holding Mr. Putin to account in Syria. For months he has pretended to negotiate on a political solution to a five-year-old civil war between his client, President Bashar al-Assad, and rebels backed by the United States and some Arab nations. But despite pleas from Secretary of State John Kerry, who has spent an enormous amount of time and effort negotiating two separate (and short-lived) cease-fires, Russian and Syrian forces, backed by Iranian ground troops, have continued the slaughter.

Over recent days, Mr. Putin has again shown his true colors with air attacks that have included powerful bunker-busting bombs that can destroy underground hospitals and safety zones where civilians seek shelter. On Sept. 19, Russia bombed an aid convoy, which like hospitals and civilians are not supposed to be targeted under international law.

On Wednesday, Mr. Kerry threatened to withdraw an American team from Geneva where the two sides had established a center to collaborate on a cease-fire. But that is likely to have little effect, and Mr. Kerry has few, if any, diplomatic cards to play.

President Obama has long refused to approve direct military intervention in Syria. And Mr. Putin may be assuming that Mr. Obama is unlikely to confront Russia in his final months and with an American election season in full swing. But with the rebel stronghold in Aleppo under threat of falling to the government, administration officials said that such a response is again under consideration.

Mr. Putin fancies himself a man on a mission to restore Russia to greatness. Mrs Clinton also dreams of her mission to restore America to greatness. Russia could indeed be a great force for good. Yet his unconscionable behavior — butchering civilians in Syria and Ukraine, annexing Crimea, computer-hacking American government agencies, crushing dissent at home — suggests that the furthest thing from his mind is becoming a constructive partner in the search for peace. But let’s think about all the many countries that our military has invaded and occupy.

Some Western officials have accused Russia and the U.S. of war crimes, charges that could be pursued through international channels, even if Moscow blocks a formal referral to the International Criminal Court. New sanctions against Russia also should be considered. Mr. Putin will undoubtedly fight any such action, using his veto on the Security Council, but whatever his response, the United States should lend its support to Ukraine’s quest for accountability.

There seems no holding Mr. Putin to account in Syria. For months he has pretended to negotiate on a political solution to a five-year-old civil war between his client, President Bashar al-Assad, and rebels backed by the United States and some Arab nations. But despite pleas from Secretary of State John Kerry, who has spent an enormous amount of time and effort negotiating two separate (and short-lived) cease-fires, Russian and Syrian forces, backed by Iranian ground troops, have continued the slaughter.

Over recent days, Mr. Putin has again shown his true colors with air attacks that have included powerful bunker-busting bombs that can destroy underground hospitals and safety zones where civilians seek shelter. On Sept. 19, Russia bombed an aid convoy, which like hospitals and civilians are not supposed to be targeted under international law.

On Wednesday, Mr. Kerry threatened to withdraw an American team from Geneva where the two sides had established a center to collaborate on a cease-fire. But that is likely to have little effect, and Mr. Kerry has few, if any, diplomatic cards to play.

President Obama has long refused to approve direct military intervention in Syria. And Mr. Putin may be assuming that Mr. Obama is unlikely to confront Russia in his final months and with an American election season in full swing. But with the rebel stronghold in Aleppo under threat of falling to the government, administration officials said that such a response is again under consideration.

Mr. Putin fancies himself a man on a mission to restore Russia to greatness. Russia could indeed be a great force for good. Yet his unconscionable behavior — butchering civilians in Syria and Ukraine, annexing Crimea, computer-hacking American government agencies, crushing dissent at home — suggests that the furthest thing from his mind is becoming a constructive partner in the search for peace.

On September 22, 2014, the United States, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates began to strike targets of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) inside Syria,[15][94] as well as the Khorasan group in the Idlib Governorate to the west of Aleppo, and the al-Nusra Front around Ar-Raqqah,[21][95] as part of the Military intervention against ISIL.

On November 2, 2015, in response to the intervention, representatives from Ahrar ash-Sham attended a meeting with the al-Nusra Front, the Khorasan Group, the ISIL, and Jund al-Aqsa, which sought to unite several hard-line groups against the US-led coalition and other moderate Syrian rebel groups.[96] On November 6, a US airstrike struck Ahrar ash-Sham at its headquarters in Idlib.[24] By 14 November 2014, it was revealed that the negotiations between al-Nusra, Jund al-Aqsa, ISIL and Ahrar ash-Sham had failed.[97]

posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

Syria’s Minister for National Reconciliation. “Western Politicians Support the Terrorism that they Pretend to be Combating”

 

The dirty war on Syria was and is generated from outside the country.  This is well-documented.  Outside countries started the war, and they are perpetuating the war.  Unprecedented disinformation campaigns continue to delude Western citizens so that “consent” can be engineered.  Consequently, the western politicians support the terrorism that they pretend to be combating.  All documented.  Meanwhile, western citizens are confused to the point of inertia, passive in the face of egregious crimes committed in their name.

Westerners are critical of the Syrian government, calling it a “regime”, calling Assad a brutal dictator, and buying the spoon-fed lies, apparently blind to the fact that western intelligence agencies have totally contaminated their minds to the point where they believe white is black and black is white.  Westerners falsely believe that they live in democracies even when there is very little if any difference between the ruling parties; even when the establishment drives the policies of the preening politicians who have been reduced to the function of public relations agents, and little else.

In Syria, however, the externally-driven war is being resolved internally, and the solutions are often the fruit of a genuine democratic process, in contrast to the fake democratic processes pretending to be democracy in the West.

Dr. Ali Haidar, who lost a son to the terrorists (as did the grand Mufti), is a member of the official opposition in Syria; not the foreign backed terrorist “opposition”, but the real opposition, and it is from this opposition that the brilliant idea of a “Ministry of Reconciliation” was born, to the chagrin of the Western invaders, and the ultimate approval of the Syrian government.

Whereas the West continues to provide a steady stream of advanced weaponry into the hands of its terrorist proxies, the Ministry of Reconciliation is tasked with removing weapons from terrorist hands. And whereas the Western countries support terrorists from 95 countries from around the world (about 800 terrorists from Lebanon and Libya, armed with Western weapons, occupied the Krak des Chevaliers, for instance), the Ministry of Reconciliation is tasked with sending them home, unarmed.

But there are also Syrian born terrorists, as described earlier, and those Syrian terrorists who lay down their arms, and engage in the “reconciliation” process, ultimately either return to their previous civilian jobs ( the government will help them with employment and income); or they join brigades of the Syrian Arab Army, and fight the real enemy. If they die fighting the real enemy, they become “martyrs”, and are somewhat redeemed.

Despite a “Fatwah Declaration” announcing that those who reconcile would be killed, 20,000 Syrian terrorists have so far entered the program and accepted amnesty.

So, whereas the catastrophic dirty war was generated from the outside, and is sustained from the outside, the solutions to the violence are generated from within, and always will be.  Any “solutions” offered by the West are necessarily false solutions, since the Western objectives of regime change and/or balkanization of the country would destroy Syria, as happened in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and Ukraine. And the stooge replacement for President Assad would be taken from the cesspool of Wahhabi extremists waiting on the sidelines.

This is why the vast majority of Syrians support their President.

The Three Ugly Sisters of Transatlantic Trade: TTIP, CETA and TISA

By Julian Rose
Global Research, September 20, 2016
Connor Post 20 September 2016
Region: Canada, Europe, USA
Theme: Global Economy

One knows to be on one’s guard immediately one hears that the USA and the European Union are negotiating some ‘big deal’ on transatlantic trade. Sure, big deal – in trading terms – typically means big power, big money and big mess. But when one also hears that it’s all being done in secret, then one has to add ‘big scam’ too.

The designers of the trade agreements claim that they will bring greater GDP and more jobs at both ends; a view which has been widely challenged by those likely to be on the receiving end.

So let’s spell it out: TTIP stands for Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. It’s Big Brother brokering new trade deals between the USA and the European Union. CETA stands for Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. It is pretty much the same deal, but is being brokered by Canada and the European Union. And lastly there’s TISA, for Trade in Services Agreement, also involving the USA and EU, with some other countries in on the act. Here, it is ‘services’ that are under the spotlight.

Common to all of these is the fact that ‘we the people’ are being kept entirely out of the picture. All negotiations are being hidden from public scrutiny, with special ‘secret courts’ being established in off-shore venues, where national governments can be sued if they are accused of protecting the right to prohibit certain imports or maintain trade tariffs.

For example, the majority of countries in the EU do not allow most varieties of genetically modified seeds and plants that the US seeks to export. This would raise an immediate dispute under the protocol of TTIP.

Such a position will be re-scrutinized under the terms of these new trade agreements. US hormone-enriched beef and chlorine-washed chickens are another example of products currently blocked by the EU, and for good reason. There are many such controversies that all find their place in a negotiating time-table designed to get a comprehensive new trade package into law as soon as possible, with no parliamentary intervention and no public vote.

Pause for breath. Just what is going on here? Let’s call a spade a spade: it’s a massive and fraudulent attempt by multinational corporations to wrest a further degree of control over global trading, thereby undermining the ability of nation states to administer their own trading laws.

TTIP, CETA and TISA can, for the sake of this summary, all be seen through the same lens. In each case, multinationals’ extensive role in creating new regulations opens the door to a race to the bottom in standards of quality set for foods, the environment and public services. In the case of TISA, governments are being pushed into accepting a mandatory privatization of public services – an overt way of giving big business the say-so in all matters of public interest.

In the UK, the National Health Service would be particularly vulnerable. But so would thousands of government backed, or supported, social enterprises throughout Europe.

Under TTIP/CETA we would see the end of such individual delights as the Cumberland sausage and the Cornish pasty. The Parmigiano-Reggiano, Black Forest Gateau and Alsace Grand Cru. No domain names would be allowed in this free trade free-for-all.

Fighting to save these products will be an uphill task. The defenders would need to familiarize themselves with ‘ISDS’ (Investor State Dispute Settlement) procedures. Procedures that will not be heard in normal courts of law, but under TTIP are slated to be heard by a jury composed of corporate lawyers and specialist international ‘experts’, deliberating their cases in secret courts. In other words, a neat bypassing of any recognised legal system. A complete scam by any standards.

THE GOOD NEWS

The TTIP negotiating process has been ongoing for a number of years now. However, it is presently bogged down by disputes at both ends and looks close to collapse. France has recently called for an end to negotiations and dropping the entire process. Other European countries are joining this call, with Germany’s economy minister Sigmar Gabriel stating “The negotiations with the USA have de facto failed, even though nobody is really admitting it.”

CETA and TISA are still in process, with CETA being the closest to ratification by Canadian authorities. It will then move on for ratification to the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. It appears that this agreement contains less contentious trading terms, as France is broadly accepting the current outline. However, it still smacks of a regime that will go over the heads of the people and simply fuel the coffers of the canniest exploiters of the global market place.

What both the EU and US actually need is the antithesis of these monster ‘free trade’ agreements. They need to reinvest in local and regional forms of production and consumption, carried out on a genuine human scale. Work as though people mattered. We have seen quite enough destruction at the hands of multinational and transnational corporations busting their way into foreign countries and ruining their internal trading patterns.

In the end it’s just another type of war. Who needs it? The planet is already saturated with irrational violence.

Julian Rose is an early pioneer of UK organic farming, and an international activist, holistic thinker and writer. He is President of The International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside, and is the author of two books with some very powerful perspectives: Changing Course for Life and In Defence of Life.

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal – Unruly Hearts editor

Canada and the Rights of Palestinians: The CBC and the Crucifixion of Nadia Shoufani, On Behalf of Israeli Interests…

By Karin Brothers
Global Research, September 20, 2016
Region: Canada
Theme: Law and Justice, Media Disinformation, Police State & Civil Rights
In-depth Report: PALESTINE

nadia-shoufani-1-photo-cijnews-400x212

The Canadian Broadcasting Company is paid for by Canadian taxpayers and is touted as the main institution promoting national cultural unity. The CBC’s treatment of a Canadian activist, however, demonstrates its prioritization of Israeli interests.

Speakers of all faiths are featured at the annual Al Quds Day (“Jerusalem”) events, an international commemoration of the Palestinian situation that started in Iran. Nadia Shoufani, of Palestinian descent, was one of the Christian speakers on July 2nd ; speaking on her own behalf, she passionately described* the horrific treatment that Palestinians are facing, noted their legal right to resist the brutal Israeli military occupation, and called on listeners to support Palestinian resistance in any way they were able to, including by breaking the silence on this issue and by boycotting Israeli products. She mentioned two famous men whose lives were destroyed by Israel, the revered cultural icon Ghassan Kanafani, and Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, still imprisoned after 30 years in France because of American pressure — a cause célèbre.

Shoufani’s address was legitimate: her description of the Palestinian situation was accurate and backed up by official Canadian foreign policy which recognizes the illegality of the Israeli settlements and occupation. Palestinians are asking for the application of the international laws which are supposed to guarantee their basic rights. Shoufani was within her rights calling for the economic pressure that worked in apartheid South Africa.

B’nai Brith Canada, one of the groups invested in defending Israel’s apartheid and ongoing crimes against humanity, has tried to have Al Quds events banned by the Ontario legislature. Speakers at these events can expect ugly repercussions. The United Church of Canada was pressured into publicly “repudiating” one of its members (who had given a bland talk) because they had been unwittingly introduced as “from the United Church”; someone even complained personally to their minister about their appearance at that event.

Shoufani’s address was electric, and Israel’s defenders sprang into action. They discovered that she was a teacher, where she taught, what she taught, what school board she worked for and private Facebook posts to her family and close friends; they saw that she was vulnerable. They found that at some point, the men she had referenced had been connected to the PFLP, a Palestinian resistance group that Canada put on its “terror list” in 2003. B’nai Brith Canada and the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center lodged complaints to the police and Shoufani’s school board alleging that she had publicly supported violence and terrorism. B’nai Brith then came out with a news release announcing that she was being investigated by the police and the Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board.

Shoufani’s address was legitimate: her description of the Palestinian situation was accurate and backed up by official Canadian foreign policy which recognizes the illegality of the Israeli settlements and occupation. Palestinians are asking for the application of the international laws which are supposed to guarantee their basic rights. Shoufani was within her rights calling for the economic pressure that worked in apartheid South Africa.

B’nai Brith Canada, one of the groups invested in defending Israel’s apartheid and ongoing crimes against humanity, has tried to have Al Quds events banned by the Ontario legislature. Speakers at these events can expect ugly repercussions. The United Church of Canada was pressured into publicly “repudiating” one of its members (who had given a bland talk) because they had been unwittingly introduced as “from the United Church”; someone even complained personally to their minister about their appearance at that event.

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal – Unruly Hearts editor

WikiLeaks CONFIRMS Hillary Sold Weapons to ISIS… Then Drops Another BOMBSHELL! Breaking News

WikiLeaks CONFIRMS Hillary Sold Weapons to ISIS… Then Drops Another BOMBSHELL! Breaking News

indexTHE POLITICAL INSIDER

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Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is a controversial character. But there’s no denying the emails he has picked up from inside the Democrat Party are real, and he’s willing to expose Hillary Clinton.

Now, he’s announcing that Hillary Clinton and her State Department was actively arming Islamic jihadists, which includes the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.

Clinton as repeatedly denied these claims, including during multiple statements while under oath in front of the United States Senate.

WikiLeaks is about to prove Hillary Clinton deserves to be arrested:

The Reagan administration officials hoped to secure the release of several U.S. hostages, and then take proceeds from the arms sales to Iran, to fund the Contras in Nicaragua.

Sounds familiar?

In Obama’s second term, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton authorized the shipment of American-made arms to Qatar, a country beholden to the Muslim Brotherhood, and friendly to the Libyan rebels, in an effort to topple the Libyan/Gaddafi government, and then ship those arms to Syria in order to fund Al Qaeda, and topple Assad in Syria.

Clinton took the lead role in organizing the so-called “Friends of Syria” (aka Al Qaeda/ISIS) to back the CIA-led insurgency for regime change in Syria.

Under oath Hillary Clinton denied she knew about the weapons shipments during public testimony in early 2013 after the Benghazi terrorist attack.

In an interview with Democracy Now, Wikileaks’ Julian Assange is now stating that 1,700 emails contained in the Clinton cache directly connect Hillary to Libya to Syria, and directly to Al Qaeda and ISIS.

Assange: Why I Created WikiLeaks’ Searchable Database of 30,000 Emails from Clinton’s Private Server. WATCH VIDEOS:

WIKILEAKS UNLEASHING EVEN MORE LEAKED PROOF OF HILLARYS CORRUPTION, INDICTMENT IS NEXT

via The Duran

Here is the incredible transcript:

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Julian, I want to mention something else. In March, you launched a searchable archive for over 30,000 emails and email attachments sent to and from Hillary Clinton’s private email server while she was secretary of state. The 50,547 pages of documents span the time from June 2010 to August 2014; 7,500 of the documents were sent by Hillary Clinton herself. The emails were made available in the form of thousands of PDFs by the U.S. State Department as the result of a Freedom of Information Act request. Why did you do this, and what’s the importance, from your perspective, of being able to create a searchable base?

JULIAN ASSANGE: Well, WikiLeaks has become the rebel library of Alexandria. It is the single most significant collection of information that doesn’t exist elsewhere, in a searchable, accessible, citable form, about how modern institutions actually behave. And it’s gone on to set people free from prison, where documents have been used in their court cases; hold the CIA accountable for renditions programs; feed into election cycles, which have resulted in the termination of, in some case—or contributed to the termination of governments, in some cases, taken the heads of intelligence agencies, ministers of defense and so on. So, you know, our civilizations can only be as good as our knowledge of what our civilisation is. We can’t possibly hope to reform that which we do not understand.

So, those Hillary Clinton emails, they connect together with the cables that we have published of Hillary Clinton, creating a rich picture of how Hillary Clinton performs in office, but, more broadly, how the U.S. Department of State operates. So, for example, the disastrous, absolutely disastrous intervention in Libya, the destruction of the Gaddafi government, which led to the occupation of ISIS of large segments of that country, weapons flows going over to Syria, being pushed by Hillary Clinton, into jihadists within Syria, including ISIS, that’s there in those emails. There’s more than 1,700 emails in Hillary Clinton’s collection, that we have released, just about Libya alone.

It appears that Hillary Clinton committed perjury, just like her husband was caught doing as President.

This is a breaking news story. We will update this as more details become available.

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3 Comments

Dillon
says:
August 4, 2016 at 5:44 pm

Just more jibberish to flow out of Hillary’s mouth. Deny, deny. deny. What’s it matter anyway ? If a photographer had pictures of Hillary going down on Wasserman, they’d both deny it, and lie about it.
westtitus
says:
August 4, 2016 at 5:31 pm

I don’t care who is running as the Republican, it could be a toad for all I care. All I know is this woman should be in prison and she needs to be brought down and made to pay back any monies the taxpayer is out on prosecuting her!! We have got to get these rich wall street hacks away from Washington. Trump didn’t make his millions off the taxpayer like Hillary and all the others in Washington. They all need to be ran out of office and completely start over. There is a reason they are so afraid of Trump so it doesn’t matter who it is but someone needs to expose these so called elitists! Hopefully climate change will happen in D.C.
Earl
says:
August 4, 2016 at 6:17 pm

Cruz, like Clinton are tied to Goldman and probably many other big banks. Besides being funded by George Soros, and many oil producing nations! The whole federal government is corrupt, and we need to clean house .

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WikiLeaks CONFIRMS Hillary Sold Weapons to ISIS… Then Drops Another BOMBSHELL! Breaking News

Russia says it Warned US before Aleppo Toxic Chemical Weapons Attack by US-Backed “Moderate” Terrorists

Moscow says it had warned Washington about the use of toxic shells by a US-backed “moderate” militant group before the Tuesday attack that killed seven people and injured over 20 more in Syria’s Aleppo.

On Wednesday, Lieutenant-General Sergey Chvarkov, the director of the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria, said the information was given to the US on Monday, a day prior to the attack.

The Russian Ministry of Defense also confirmed that the attack in Aleppo was launched by a Takfiri terrorist group.

“On August 2, 2016 at 19 hours 05 minutes militants from the Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki group, considered by Washington as ‘moderate opposition’, launched poisonous materials from the Sukkari district towards the eastern part of Aleppo,” read a statement released by the ministry.

Moscow has long insisted that the US-backed so-called moderate opposition groups in Syria should leave the areas held by terrorists. Washington claims it is unable to remove the opposition groups.

27784f48-c2a7-41fe-ac72-a8b3e076d9a9

A young Syrian man breathing with an oxygen mask at a clinic in the village of Sarmin, southeast of Idlib, following reports of suffocation cases related to a gas attack in the area, March 17, 2015.

It also noted that the shells were fired from militant-held areas towards a residential area.

According to reports, the gas used in the attack was Chlorine, which is highly toxic and leads to respiratory problems and consciousness loss in those who come in contact to it.

Unknown-3-496x1024

Syrians wounded following shelling by militants receive treatment at a hospital in the al-Jamiliyah neighborhood on the government-controlled side of the city of Aleppo on July 8, 2016.

On April 7, 23 people lost their lives and over 100 others suffered breathing difficulties when Daesh terrorists carried out a chemical attack against members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the Sheikh Maqsood neighborhood of Aleppo.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict. Back in 2014, the UN said it would no more update its death toll for Syria because it could not verify the figures that it received from various sources.
The original source of this article is Press TV

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor – 4 August 2016

What was in the DNC email leak?

Clinton-Trump

Watch Video: http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/24/politics/dnc-email-leak-wikileaks/

(CNN)Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s stewardship of the Democratic National Committee has been under fire through most of the presidential primary process.
Now, on the eve of the party’s convention, Wasserman Schultz is facing pressure to resign, and will have no major role on the convention stage, after Wikileaks released nearly 20,000 DNC emails that bolster Sanders’ supporters’ claims that the party favored Clinton.

One email appears to show DNC staffers asking how they can reference Bernie Sanders’ faith to weaken him in the eyes of Southern voters. Another seems to depict an attorney advising the committee on how to defend Hillary Clinton against an accusation by the Sanders campaign of not living up to a joint fundraising agreement.
Here’s what you need to know about the DNC email leak so far:
Emails leaked from seven DNC officials

The leaks, from January 2015 to May 2016, feature Democratic staffers debating everything from how to deal with challenging media requests to coordinating the committee’s message with other powerful interests in Washington.
The emails were leaked from the accounts of seven DNC officials, Wikileaks said. CNN has not independently established the emails’ authenticity.
The emails could boost Sanders supporters’ charge that the DNC was biased toward Clinton — a position Sanders himself underscored when he endorsed Wasserman Schultz’s primary opponent in her Florida congressional race.

CNN Politics app
But Baltimore mayor and DNC Secretary Stephanie Rawlings-Blake denied any suggestion that Clinton’s camp was treated more favorably by the committee.
“My expectation is beyond your opinion about a candidate, that you act evenly. All of the officers took a pledge of neutrality and I honored that, and I take that very seriously,” Rawlings-Blake told CNN’s Poppy Harlow. She added: “I know that the chair will hold those employees accountable if they’re found to have acted outside of that neutrality and even-handedness.”
Asked about the exchanges, Rawlings-Blake said: “Expressing an opinion about a candidate doesn’t mean that you’re in collusion, doesn’t mean that you are actively working against them. And I don’t think that that’s what it shows.”

Questioning Sanders’ faith
One email features DNC staffers appearing to ponder ways to undercut Sanders, an insurgent Democrat who had a bitter relationship with party leadership.
DNC hack: What you need to know
On May 5, a DNC employee asked colleagues to “get someone to ask his belief” in God and suggested that it could make a difference in Kentucky and West Virginia. Sanders’ name is not mentioned in the note.

“This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist,” DNC chief financial officer Brad Marshall wrote.
Marshall did not respond to a request for comment.
Clinton prods DNC for intervention
In another email, an attorney for the Clinton campaign appears to advise the DNC on how to respond to a dispute between the two campaigns over how much money Clinton’s operation had raised for state parties. Sanders’ campaign charged that Clinton’s team was not handing over its fair share of its fundraising, which Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weaver said was “laundering” and “looting.”

“My suggestion is that the DNC put out a statement saying that the accusations the Sanders campaign are not true. The fact that CNN notes that you aren’t getting between the two campaigns is the problem,” Marc E. Elias wrote. “Here, Sanders is attacking the DNC and its current practice, its past practice with the POTUS and with Sec Kerry. Just as the RNC pushes back directly on Trump over ‘rigged system,’ the DNC should push back DIRECTLY at Sanders and say that what he is saying is false and harmful (to) the Democratic party.”
Elias and the Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday.

Favoring bigger donors
Another exchange involves a discussion on whether to move Maryland ophthalmologist Sreedhar Potarazu from sitting beside President Barack Obama at a DNC event after National Finance Director Jordan Kaplan said he gave less money than Philip Munger, another donor.
“It would be nice to take care of him from the DNC side,” Kaplan wrote, referring to Munger.
Potarazu told CNN Saturday that he wants answers from top DNC officials on how they are responding to these revelations, which have surfaced days before the Democratic convention.
“I was obviously shocked to see my name in the middle of all of this because I’m just an innocent bystander,” he said.
“I’m curious to see what’s happening at the highest levels of the DNC right now,” he added. “I don’t know, but I’m sure it’s a fire drill. The timing is not good.”

Wasserman Schultz attacks Weaver

Wasserman Shultz also called Weaver a “damn liar” in May after he criticized the Nevada Democratic Party following protests among Sanders supporters who said Clinton’s backers had subverted party rules. They shouted down pro-Clinton speakers and sent threatening messages to state party Chairwoman Roberta Lange after posting her phone number and address on social media.
“The state party there has a lot of problems. They’ve run things very poorly. It has been done very undemocratically,” Weaver said on CNN in May. “And there seems to be an unwillingness on the part of the Nevada Democratic Party to bring in all of the new people that Bernie Sanders has brought into the process.”
The DNC chair responded in an email: “Damn liar. Particularly scummy that he barely acknowledges the violent and threatening behavior that occurred.”
And in an email quoting Weaver as saying, “I think we should go to the convention,” Wasserman Shultz wrote: “He is an ASS.”
Trump’s response: ‘RIGGED’

Republican nominee Donald Trump, however, said the emails were proof of the Democrats’ “rigged” system, resurfacing an attack he’s leveled against the party before.
“Leaked e-mails of DNC show plans to destroy Bernie Sanders. Mock his heritage and much more. On-line from Wikileakes, really vicious. RIGGED,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning.

Obama’s Protégé Tied to Organized Crime?

This is a rush transcript from “Hannity,” August 4, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: All right, we’ve certainly learned about the ugly side of Chicago politics in the past year. The Rod Blagojevich and Roland Burris pay-to-play scandal seemed to represent the worst of the Chicago political machine.

But now it seems another questionable character is running for the Senate seat that President Obama once held. Our special investigation examines Obama’s newest protege. Let’s take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALEXI GIANNOULIAS, CANDIDATE FOR ILLINOIS SENATE SEAT: Today, I am very proud to formally announce my candidacy for the United States Senate seat once held by my friend.

HANNITY (voice-over): It looks like the Chicago political machine is turning out another questionable character to run for the Senate in Illinois. His name is Alexi Giannoulias. A, quote, “friend of Obama’s,” he was once considered such a political liability that he was mentioned by Obama’s opponents in conjunction with terrorist Bill Ayers, slumlord Tony Rezko, and controversial pastor Jeremiah Wright.

• Video: Watch the special investigation

He was born to Greek immigrants and raised in Chicago. His parents started the Broadway Bank, a very successful chain of banks, in the Chicagoland area.

ABDON PALLASCH, REPORTER, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: With the bank’s success, he was able to live a pretty good life. And at a young age, he was the vice president of the bank. Got his master’s of business administration from the University of Chicago about the same time as Barack Obama was teaching law at the University of Chicago, so they got to be friends, playing on the basketball court there. Giannoulias actually played professional basketball in Greece for a couple years.

HANNITY: The budding friendship with Giannoulias would soon work, like many of the other Chicago friendships, to the president’s advantage.

RICK PEARSON, POLITICAL WRITER, CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Giannoulias’ family owns a major bank in Chicago, and Alexi Giannoulias was very much an integral player in helping Barack Obama get seed money for his 2004 U.S. Senate race. In exchange for that, there was also the fact that Giannoulias also provided an entre to the Chicago Greek community. Some of the people who have money in that community. And that was a big factor in helping Obama win that 2004 U.S. Senate race.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Thank you.

HANNITY: As Obama’s Star began to rise, so did the young banking heir’s. He was named vice president and senior loan officer of his parents’ Broadway Bank. And at just 30 years old, with the backing of his good friend Barack Obama, he ran for state treasurer, a position that lawmakers in the downstate capitol of Springfield had already slated to be filled.

PALLASCH: Giannoulias walked into the picture with the backing of Barack Obama. And that rankled some of the state party leaders, who wanted a regional balance. They weren’t looking for a Democratic primary, but Alexia Giannoulias got in, with a commercial from Barack Obama endorsing him, and Barack Obama’s endorsement was crucial to him winning that primary over Paul Mangieri.

OBAMA: Alexi Giannoulias. He’s one of the most outstanding young men that I could ever hope to meet. He’s somebody who cares deeply about people. He got that from his family. They really exemplify and embody the American dream.

PEARSON: I think’s fair to say that Giannoulias, by using Obama, featuring him in his ads, that was a very big factor in him becoming the youngest state treasurer in the country at that point.

HANNITY: But during the campaign, some troubling decisions he made as chief loan officer of the Broadway Bank came back to haunt him.

PALLASCH: The bank had given out some loans with people with ties to organized crime. They also gave out loans to Tony Rezko, who was later indicted for influence-peddling in the Blagojevich administration.

HANNITY: Giannoulias reportedly loaned $12 million to Michael “The Jaws” Giorango, who was convicted twice of bookmaking and promoting prostitution. And he also loaned $450,000 to Tony Rezko to help fund a 24-story condominium project that subsequently was never built.

But despite the serious allegations, Giannoulias won the election and became state treasurer. And to nobody’s surprise, he was one of the first people to give money to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

During his first term as state treasurer, he has made some controversial decisions that have many people in Illinois wondering where their money went.

PEARSON: A number of states have prepaid college tuition funds. Illinois is called “Right Start.” One of the things that Giannoulias did when he got into office was change the management of that fund and also try to streamline it.

But at the same time, late in his first term here as treasurer, it was discovered that one of the 529 funds managed by Oppenheimer was heavily invested in mortgage-backed securities at the time when the housing market was collapsing. That fund alone lost an estimated $85 million.

HANNITY: But he said he had no idea that the taxpayers’ money had been put in such a risky fund, although many people point out that he was the one who streamlined the whole project in the first place.

PEARSON: In the midst of this talk about the lost $85 million, it was disclosed that Giannoulias had spent roughly $26,000 of the management fees to buy an SUV for the — for the Illinois state treasurer’s office. And he had no real records as to who was using that SUV or where it went or, really why it was needed.

HANNITY: So far, he’s been accused of corruption. He has made more than questionable relationships with mobsters and is the least experienced since his basketball buddy ran for the Senate years ago. But he’s still relying on his relationship, yes, with the king of Chicago politics to pull him through.

PEARSON: Whenever you listen to Alexi Giannoulias speak, it’s always in a mandatory five references about Barack Obama and the role that Obama has played in his life.

HANNITY: When asked if the president endorses him the primary, Giannoulias had this to say.

GIANNOULIAS: I think the — the president and I will be just fine. We’re excited about this.

HANNITY: But the young playboy and bank heir may have gotten more than he bargained for. He is running against an experienced Republican named Mark Kirk and has a state population that wants to distance themselves from the corruption and the scandals of Blago and Burris that have plagued the government for the last year.

I think you’re going to see the spotlight intensified greatly on Giannoulias. You do have kind of the Obama factor in play here. You have the fact that he’s 33 years old and really playing that new generational type of message out there.

But you know, running for Illinois state treasurer is one thing. Running to join the world’s most exclusive club of 100 is another.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

And there you have it, folks: Chicago politics at its finest.

— Watch “Hannity” weeknights at 9 p.m. ET!

Content and Programming Copyright 2009 FOX News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2009 CQ Transcriptions, LLC, which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user’s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX News Network, LLC’S and CQ Transcriptions, LLC’s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.

Wikileaks Emails Bring New Attention to Hillary Victory Fund “Money Laundering” Charges

Hillary-Clinton2

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Global Research, July 27, 2016
Wall Street on Parade
Region: USA
Theme: Global Economy, Law and Justice

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal

The problem with conspiracy theorists is that, quite frequently, the theorists lack adequate imagination. That seems to be the case when it comes to the Democratic National Committee’s behind-the-scenes machinations to muscle Hillary Clinton into the White House while plotting against her main challenger, Bernie Sanders. That conclusion stems from the trove of 20,000 DNC emails dumped into the public sphere by Wikileaks last Friday.

The leaked emails have cost Debbie Wasserman Schultz her job as Chair of the DNC but other top DNC officials captured in devious plots against Sanders in the email exchanges still have their jobs – or at least no official firings have been announced. This makes the conspiracies seem more like a DNC business model.

The DNC’s own charter demands that it treat all Democratic primary candidates fairly and impartially, but top DNC officials made a mockery of that mandate. In addition to conjuring up ways to smear Clinton challenger Bernie Sanders during the primary battles, the leaked emails show a coordinated effort to cover up what the Sanders camp called “money laundering” between the Hillary Victory Fund and the DNC.
Politico Reporter, Ken Vogel

Politico Reporter, Ken Vogel

Despite the fact that the Sanders campaign had no such active arrangement with the DNC, the DNC agreed to participate in the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee that sluiced money to both Hillary’s main candidate committee, Hillary for America, as well as into the DNC. To a much tinier degree, funds also went to dozens of separate State Democratic committees.

On May 2 of this year, the Sanders campaign released a statement charging Clinton with “looting funds meant for the state parties to skirt fundraising limits on her presidential campaign,” and exploiting “the rules in ways that let her high-dollar donors like Alice Walton of Wal-Mart fame and the actor George Clooney and his super-rich Hollywood friends skirt legal limits on campaign contributions.”

Despite Clinton’s promise to rein in tax dodges by hedge funds, Wall Street On Parade reported in April that major hedge fund titans were also big donors to the Hillary Victory Fund. We wrote at the time:

Federal Election Commission records show that S. Donald Sussman, founder of hedge fund Paloma Partners, gave $343,400 to the Hillary Victory Fund while also donating $2.5 million to Priorities USA, the Super Pac supporting Hillary. Hedge Fund billionaire George Soros donated $343,400 to the Hillary Victory Fund while sluicing a whopping $7 million into Priorities USA to enhance Hillary’s efforts to move into the Oval Office.

Isaac Arnsdorf, Reporter for Politico

Isaac Arnsdorf, Reporter for Politico

Today, reporters Ken Vogel and Isaac Arnsdorf of Politico have provided significant new details from the leaked emails to show how the DNC worked behind the scenes to control the media’s handling of revelations involving the Hillary Victory Fund.

Vogel was criticized by some media outlets when the Wikileaks emails revealed he had allowed a DNC official to review one of his articles critical of the joint fundraising operation prior to publication. Erik Wemple of the Washington Post has provided some necessary clarity to that issue here.

The Clinton camp and the DNC had attempted publicly to defend the joint fundraising operation as providing critical help to State Committees in order to help down-ticket candidates.

Click to read complete article on Wall Street on Parade
The original source of this article is Wall Street on Parade
Copyright © Pam Martens and Russ Martens, Wall Street on Parade, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s Candidacy Discredited: DNC Email Leak Triggers Anger and Division within Democratic Party.

Dems Accuse Russia of “Dirty Tricks” in Support of Donald Trump

By Stephen Lendman
Global Research, July 26, 2016
Region: USA
Theme: Intelligence
In-depth Report: U.S. Elections

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens to a customer signing copies of her new book "Hard Choices," at Harvard Book Store, Monday, June 16, 2014, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens to a customer signing copies of her new book “Hard Choices,” at Harvard Book Store, Monday, June 16, 2014, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Republicans were touted as the divided party this year.

It looks almost unified compared to dissension in Democrat ranks.
Hillary’s impending Tuesday night nomination created a firestorm of anger among Sanders’ delegates, along with rage over his sellout to what he campaigned against – proving he’s as dirty as all the rest.

Monday inside and outside Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center was raucous and unruly – anti-Clinton delegates and tens of thousands in the streets protesting against her.

If this keep up throughout the convention, she’ll be greater damaged goods than already – unable to unify a a deeply divided party.

What better strategy than to change the subject. What better target than Putin. He’s blamed for practically everything short of Philadelphia’s scorching heat.

A Romanian hacker with no connection to Russia, using the name Guccifer 2.0, hacked into a treasure trove of DNC emails, showing now defrocked former chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz rigged enough primaries and caucuses to assure Hillary’s nomination – handing the incriminating evidence to WikiLeaks for publication.

Hard as party bosses tried, it proved too great a scandal to conceal, throwing a king-sized spanner at Hillary’s already despicable record. It’s clear she was involved in the chicanery, perhaps responsible for orchestrating it.

How any intelligent voter can support her is beyond comprehension. So is why she’s not in prison doing hard time for multiple high crimes too serious to ignore.

Media scoundrels support her anyway, concealing her despicable public record – knee-jerk Trump bashing instead featured, a daily onslaught combining facts with over-the-top fiction.

When in doubt or at any convenient time, blame Putin. Throughout his tenure as Russian president, no evidence suggests he interfered with the electoral process in any country – not America’s or any others.

Yet in virtual unison, media scoundrels blame him for hacking into DNC emails, collaborating with WikiLeaks for publication – covertly aiding the Trump campaign.

Headlines practically scream Putin for Trump. Cable television channels accuse him despite no evidence suggesting it. Even the FBI suspects his involvement.

Obama officials blame him. Hillary accused him through her campaign manager Robby Mook, saying:

“What is disturbing to us is that experts (sic) are telling us that Russians broke into the DNC, stole these emails, and other experts are now saying that the Russians are now releasing these emails for the purpose of actually helping Donald Trump.”

“I don’t think it’s coincidental that these emails were released on the eve of our convention here and that’s disturbing.”

imrs.php23

The accusation is as baseless as others claiming nonexistent “Russian aggression.” Yet it’s reported repeatedly as fact.

Big Lies have a life of their own, manipulating most people to believe what’s polar opposite truth – the essence of how propaganda works.

Trump slammed the notion of Russia aiding his campaign, saying Clinton’s team “will say anything to be able to win.”

“The new joke in town is that Russia leaked the disastrous DNC e-mails, which never should have been written (stupid), because Putin likes me.”

“I mean this is time and time again, lie after lie…It’s disgusting…so phony.”

imrs.php23

imrs.php23

The accusation is as baseless as others claiming nonexistent “Russian aggression.” Yet it’s reported repeatedly as fact.

Big Lies have a life of their own, manipulating most people to believe what’s polar opposite truth – the essence of how propaganda works.

Trump slammed the notion of Russia aiding his campaign, saying Clinton’s team “will say anything to be able to win.”

“The new joke in town is that Russia leaked the disastrous DNC e-mails, which never should have been written (stupid), because Putin likes me.”

“I mean this is time and time again, lie after lie…It’s disgusting…so phony.”

After two years of conflict, situation in eastern Ukraine remains ‘grim’ – UN report

The situation in eastern Ukraine remains volatile and continues to have a severe impact on human rights. Photo/ UNHCR 76

06-03-16ukraine

3 June 2016 – A new report by the United Nations human rights office shows that, after two years of conflict, the situation in eastern Ukraine remains volatile and continues to have a severe impact on human rights, especially for those living near the contact line and in territories controlled by armed groups.

According to the latest report on Ukraine by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), some 9,371 people have been killed and 21,532 others have been injured in eastern Ukraine since the conflict began in mid-April 2014.

“The situation in east Ukraine remains deeply worrying. Without additional efforts and creative solutions ton implement the Minsk agreement, it could well develop into a ‘protracted conflict’ that would be harmful to human rights for many years to come; or it could escalate again, with dire consequences for a civilian population which has already suffered terribly,” warned the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonovic, at the end of a seven-day visit to Ukraine.

“The increase in heavy weaponry near the contact line, and the hostilities around Avdiivka and Yasynutava, in the Donetsk region since early March, are all indicators that the crisis is far from over and should not fall off the radar of the international community,” he added.

OHCHR said that civilians living close to the contact line and in territories under the control of armed groups are particularly vulnerable to human rights violations and abuses. Many are exposed to the risk of explosive remnants of war and mines.

Their freedom of movement continues to be severely curtailed, with more than 20,000 people trying to cross the contact line each day, often facing long lines and precarious conditions for hours on end, OHCHR said.

On 27 April, for example, four civilians were killed and eight others were injured by shelling while waiting at a checkpoint in armed group-controlled territory on the road between Mariupol and Donetsk city. These restrictions on movement have a direct impact on the daily life of civilians, who also have difficulties obtaining official civil documentation, receiving pensions and securing access to proper medical care, according to OHCHR.

The 2.7 million people living in armed group-controlled areas are also suffering from the severe curtailing of their freedoms of expression, assembly and association, and are faced with tough living conditions.

06-03-16ukraine2

“During my mission to Donetsk, I urged the representatives of the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ to allow access for humanitarian actors and to stop depriving the population of humanitarian assistance,” Mr. Šimonovic said.The new UN report also documents persistent patterns of human rights violations in eastern Ukraine.

“Enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment remain deeply entrenched practices, both in the territories controlled by the armed groups and in the territories controlled by the Government,” the report concluded.

“Independent visits by international experts to all places where people are deprived of liberty are a must, firstly to prevent torture, and secondly as a pre-condition for a successful ‘all for all’ release of detainees, as envisaged by the Minsk Agreement,” said Mr. Šimonovic.

OHCHR also said that UN human rights staff has documented several cases of conflict-related sexual violence in Ukraine.

“The majority of allegations suggest that threats of rape and other forms of sexual violence are used as a method of ill-treatment and torture in the context of arbitrary or illegal detention, both towards men and women,” the report found.

Impunity continues to be a key pattern of the conflict, according to the report. “Impunity of law enforcement and security elements for human rights violations remains widespread, and is often justified by the challenges posed by the ongoing armed conflict. In territories controlled by the armed groups, law and order has collapsed and illegal parallel structures have developed,” it says.

Two years after the Maidan events in Kyiv, there has been no meaningful progress in the investigation and high-level officials that bear responsibility for ordering and overseeing the violence have so far eluded justice. The report also highlights that “interference in the independence of the judiciary remains the key obstacle to the prosecution of identified perpetrators in the 2 May 2014 Odesa violence.”

“It is also imperative to clarify the fate of the many people who have gone missing since April 2014 and I have strongly argued for exchange of information and cooperation between Government and armed groups on this critical issue during my mission,” said Mr. Šimonovic, welcoming the draft law on missing people that has been prepared by the Ministry of Justice.

He also highlighted the deteriorating human rights situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

“Anti-extremism and anti-terrorism laws have been used to criminalize non-violent behaviour and stifle dissenting opinion, while the judicial and law enforcement systems have been instrumentalized to clamp down on opposition voices. Worst affected are Crimean Tatars, whose main representatives bodies, Mejlis, has been banned, and whose representatives I met during my visit,” said Mr. Šimonovic.

“After two years of conflict, the human rights picture in eastern Ukraine remains extremely grim. This crisis started with demands for human rights and freedoms, and these demands remain today on either side of the contact line. Leaders should listen to their people on both sides. I have heard them loud and clear: they want peace, human rights and rule of law,” he added.

“Only the full implementation of the Minsk agreement will allow for the respect of everyone’s human rights, and a chance to lead a normal life and even a decent living,” he said.

The report is the 14th in a series produced by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, which was deployed by the OHCHR to Ukraine in March 2014 upon the invitation of the Government of Ukraine.

The report, which covers the period from 16 February to 15 May 2016, documented 113 conflict-related civilian casualties in eastern Ukraine, with 14 people killed and 99 others injured.


News Tracker: past stories on this issue

Ukraine: Security Council meets on situation with sense of ‘urgency and hope’

The deal with the Clinton devil is over

Once untouchable, Hillary and Bill are getting pounded

1_132016_b1crowleylgclintons8201_c0-455-1200-1154_s885x516
Illustration on the Clinton’s imperiled political fortunes by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times more >

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Live by Bubba, die by Bubba.

Something has shifted when it comes to the treatment and perception of the Clintons, and it threatens their joint political ambitions like nothing before it.

For nearly a quarter of a century, the Clintons have been politically bulletproof. No charge, regardless of how salacious, illegal and true, seemed to stick. When they detected incoming fire, they activated their tried-and-true protocol: deny, stonewall, deflect and claim that the nation’s business was too important — they were too important — to respond: “I need to get back to work for the American people.” Exit left. Get protection from the leftist mainstream media.

They were untouchable, having created a cult of personality rivaled (and surpassed) only by President Obama.

They were untouchable, having created a cult of personality rivaled (and surpassed) only by President Obama.

Until now.

And surprisingly, the issue that is currently unraveling their Wizard of Oz illusion isn’t the allegations of massive fraud at the Clinton Foundation or her mishandling of classified material on her private email server. (More on both fronts to come, courtesy of the FBI).

And surprisingly, the issue that is currently unraveling their Wizard of Oz illusion isn’t the allegations of massive fraud at the Clinton Foundation or her mishandling of classified material on her private email server. (More on both fronts to come, courtesy of the FBI).

No, the issue posing the greatest risk right now to a Clinton Restoration is the public’s voiding of the deal it made with the Clinton Devil in 1992.

The conventional wisdom has long been that Mr. Clinton’s lewd, abusive past is itself a thing of the past. His serial extramarital affairs, including the one with the barely legal intern, Monica Lewinsky, his textbook sexual harassment of subordinates like Paula Jones, his alleged assault of Kathleen Willey and the rape alleged by Juanita Broaddrick, were considered old news, episodes litigated in the court of public opinion and dismissed for three reasons: 1) His piggery was already widely known; 2) a strong economy absolved many of his sins; and 3) the public took cues from his wife. “Hey, if she’s OK with his piggery, who are we to judge?”

This cleverly constructed protective shield is now crumbling because Mrs. Clinton, after enlisting her husband on the campaign trail in a retread of 1992’s “two for the price of one” deal, is oblivious to the political ground shifting beneath her.

Republican candidate Donald Trump does not play by anybody else’s rules, least of all Clinton-enforced ones, but apparently no one has informed Mrs. Clinton. So she gleefully and blindly launched an attack on his “penchant for sexism.”

You could almost see Mr. Trump’s rhetorical gun turret turn slowly toward her before he opened fire. “Be careful,” he warned on Twitter. And then, on MSNBC, he blasted her husband as “one of the great women abusers of all time,” adding, “I think Hillary is an enabler.” He then released an Internet ad tying her to the sex scandals of her husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner (husband of her closest aide, Huma Abedin) and Bill Cosby.

He dared to go where no traditional politician would — hitting the Clintons’ grotesque hypocrisy — and made it acceptable to question both Clintons’ character and judgment on women’s issues. Suddenly, Mrs. Clinton — self-styled champion of women and girls — came under criticism, particularly from news organizations such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, MSNBC and others that have long protected both Clintons.

Liberals are now far less inclined to defend them, perhaps because she is the candidate this time and he, the charming rogue, is not, or perhaps because the Democratic Party and the broader culture have changed. But the cosseting they once enjoyed and exploited is disappearing, and they are floundering without it.

Bill Clinton, a man never at a loss for words, was rendered speechless when asked by an ABC News reporter if his past were fair game. Later that same week, he dodged another reporter who asked him specifically about Mrs. Broaddrick’s charge of rape. Having never before had to account for his behavior, Mr. Clinton’s usual veneer of calculated unflappability dissolved.

Earlier, Mrs. Clinton tweeted a message about rape victims: “Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.” Except, apparently, for those attacked by her husband. At a campaign stop in New Hampshire, an audience member reminded her of her tweet and asked, “Would you say that about Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, and/or Paula Jones?”

Stunned, she gave a mangled reply: “I would say that everybody should be believed at first until they are disbelieved based on evidence.”

The Clintons are not used to this. Something has shifted. They don’t like it, and they sense they can no longer control it.

The Clintons thought the party would last forever. It took over 20 years, but it’s finally last call.

Mrs. Clinton’s wish for sexual assault victims to be heard and believed starts with her husband’s victims. And this time, they are getting far more support — and from unexpected quarters that once served as the Clintons’ political bodyguards.

As both Clintons may be slowly realizing, when the ground shifts beneath you, you are usually the last one to feel it. And by then, it’s too late to escape.

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

Preserving Syrian Sovereignty Essential Says Putin

aleppo-boy_2930553k                        A young boy plays in the Hanano neighbourhood of Aleppo

 

Picture: SAM TARLING FOR THE TELEGRAPH

Preserving Syrian Sovereignty Essential Says Putin

Author: Stephen Lendman

Hezbollah leader Sayyad Hassan Nasrallah once called Syria the “linchpin of resistance” against US/NATO/Israeli regional imperialism.

If it falls, Iran’s turn awaits. “Palestine will be lost…” Lebanon’s sovereignty will be jeopardized. “(A) bleak future awaits the peoples of the region.”

Anglo-Zionism’s rage to dominate represents the greatest threat since the Nakba, he stressed, promising committed resistance against it.

From the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Putin expressed a similar sentiment, saying “(t)he most important thing is to avoid (Syria’s) breakup. And if the situation continues to develop as it does today, the collapse is inevitable, and this is the worst case scenario.”

Destabilization would follow, “not only for the region but for the whole world,” he explained – why it’s vital to resolve Syria’s conflict and preserve its unity.

Earlier Putin accused Western and Middle East regimes of “creat(ing) chaos…in other countries, including Syria.” He explained Russia aims “to help carry out changes for the better (worldwide) but not (by) force…”

“(S)trong countries are trying to push their rules and their moral code on weak countries, without taking into account the(ir) history, traditions and religion…”

Russia never has nor will it force its will on other nations, he stressed, urging all countries work together cooperatively for world peace and stability.

On Saturday, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Assad met to discuss Syria’s ongoing liberating struggle.

According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, their “meeting touched upon relevant issues of military and military-technical cooperation between the defense ministries of the two countries, as well as certain aspects of cooperation in the fight against terrorist groups operating on Syrian territory.”

Reports indicate Russia stepped up its aerial operations against ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaeda in Syria), and terrorist elements falsely called “moderates” allied with them, targeting government forces and defenseless civilians.

On June 18, Defense Department spokesman Peter Cook said high level US and Russian defense officials discussed by videoconference “airstrikes conducted by Russian forces…striking Syrian opposition forces” allegedly combating ISIS, expressing “strong concerns.”

DOD “officials requested Russian responses to address (these) concerns,” none so far reported.

How far Moscow intends pushing its campaign and Washington’s response remain to be seen.

One thing is clear. Prospects for peace are distant at best. Endless conflict rages. A lot hangs on its outcome.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

posted by Stephen Lendman @ 5:33 AM

Us v. Them

Monday, June 20, 2016
Us v. Them

Author Stephen Lendman

In July, Republican and Democrat party bosses will choose the two most widely reviled US presidential aspirants in modern memory.

Each is unfit for any public office. Each represents wealth, power and privilege exclusively. Each mocks rule of law principles and democratic values.

Each assures four more years of war at home and abroad. Each says one thing and intends another, their promises made to be broken.

Each threatens world peace. Each represents what demands rejection. On election day in November, vote independent or stay home.

Never support any duopoly power candidate. They’re all cut out of the same dirty cloth. Otherwise they wouldn’t be presidential material.

Clinton is an unindicted war criminal/racketeer. Business tycoon Trump likely amassed wealth the old-fashioned way. Balzac once said behind every great fortune is a crime.

America’s state is deplorable, its criminal class bipartisan, ethically challenged, morally depraved, representing pure evil, responsible for genocidal high crimes – wanting planet earth colonized, its resources pillaged, its people exploited, intending institutionalized worldwide dystopian harshness.

“There is no one but us,” Paul Craig Roberts explains. Ordinary people have power when they use it. Now more than ever it’s needed. Everything is on the line like never before – our lives, welfare and futures.

The only solution is nonviolent revolution, bottom up change unattainable by voting. We have a choice – fight for what’s right or live enslaved.

The other alternatives are too grim to imagine – mushroom cloud denouement or ecocide.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

posted by Steve Lendman @ 11:43 AM

Trump’s War on Islam

Trump’s War on Islam

by Stephen Lendman

America needs enemies to justify pursuing its imperial agenda. Since none exist, they’re invented.

Communism was public enemy number one from the 1917 Russian revolution to Soviet Russia’s 1991 dissolution – pausing to defeat Nazism, the Red army playing an unheralded indispensable role, US forces a junior partner.

Muslim Arabs today are America’s enemy of choice – dehumanized, wrongfully demonized as threats. For decades, Hollywood deplorably portrayed them stereotypically as culturally inferior, dirty, lecherous, untrustworthy, religiously fanatical and violent – post-9/11 as gun-toting terrorists.

Fear-mongering is rife. False flag incidents in Boston, San Bernardino, Orlando and 9/11, the mother of them all, manipulate public sentiment to support wars of aggression and crackdowns on precious liberties – convincing people they make us safer.

Trump’s views on Islam reflect racist US policy – including endless wars on Muslim countries post-9/11, scapegoating its adherents domestically, using them as convenient patsies, the public none the wiser.

He adds a new dimension, last December calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” maintaining a ban “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” adding:

“Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”

Yesterday on CBS’ Face the Nation, he called for racial profiling, perhaps with internment camps in mind, saying “I think (it’s) something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country.”

“You know, I hate the concept of profiling. But we have to start using common sense and we have to use our heads. We really have to look at profiling. We have to look at is seriously.”

“You look at Israel and you look at others, and they do it…successfully.”

Trump exploited Orlando, America’s latest false flag. Alleged gunman Omar Mateen was a convenient patsy, killed by SWAT police so he’d tell no tales.

According to Trump, “the only reason (he) was in America in the first place was because we allowed his family to come here (from Afghanistan).”

Immigrants built America. Forgotten are Emma Lazarus’ moving words on Lady Liberty, saying:

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Muslims and Latino immigrants today are unwanted – vilified for political advantage.

Trump overtly expresses views others in Washington don’t dare admit. Their deplorable actions speak for themselves.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal – Unruly Hearts editor

Video: Syrian Arab Army (SAA), supported by Russian Warplanes Takes Control of Oil field Held by ISIS Terrorists in Raqqa Province

 

Video: Syrian Arab Army (SAA), supported by Russian Warplanes Takes Control of Oil field Held by ISIS Terrorists in Raqqa Province

 

 

By South Front
Global Research, June 20, 2016
South Front
Region: Middle East & North Africa
Theme: 9/11 & ‘War on Terrorism’, US NATO War Agenda
In-depth Report: SYRIA: NATO’S NEXT WAR?

Author: Stephen Lederman

syria.pixels-400x355The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), supported by Russian warplanes, has taken control of the Al Thawrah oil field from the ISIS terrorist group in the province of Raqqa. Now, pro-government forces are advancing on Al Hawrah, paving the way to the Tabaqa military airport.

On June 18, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (70-80% Kurdish YPG units), supported by the US-led “anti-ISIS coalition” airpower, launched a military operation, aiming to enter the ISIS-controlled city of Manbij in northern Syria. Following a series of firefights, the SDF seized al-Kateb Roundabout, Qanāt ash Shaykh and the Manbij hospital. Separately, US air strikes destroyed the Manbij silos. On June 19, ISIS militants re-seized the Manbij hospital and launched a counter-attack in the direction of al-Kateb Roundabout. Heavy clashes are ongoing in the area.

https://southfront.org/wp-content/plugins/fwduvp/content/video.php?path=https%3A%2F%2Fsouthfront.org%2Finternational-military-review-syria-june-20-2016%2F&pid=455

A 28 y.o. Russian marine died from shrapnel wounds and 4 others were injured during clashes in Syria, a local Kaliningrad media outlet “Klops” reported on June 19, citing sources among relatives of the dead marine. The marine allegedly served in the town of Baltiysk near Kaliningrad, in the the airborne assault battalion of the 336th Marine brigade. Some reports indicate that Russian military servicemen have taken part in the recent clashes near the T-3 Airport in the eastern countryside of Palmyra.

 

Russia’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) released a statement on the bombing of the US-backed New Syrian Army (NySA) militant group. The MoD says that the Russian Aerospace Forces conduct air strikes against groups not separated from terrorist formations and not aligned to the ceasefire. Meanwhile, the US can not provide direct information about “coordinates of regions of activity of opposition controlled by the US.” Units of the NySA, targeted by Russian warplanes, were “located more than 300 km far from borders of territories claimed by the American party as ones controlled by the opposition joined the ceasefire regime”. Earlier there were reports that Russian warplanes have hit Pentagon-backed militants in Syria, killing at least 2 and wounding 8 members of the NySA.

A 28 y.o. Russian marine died from shrapnel wounds and 4 others were injured during clashes in Syria, a local Kaliningrad media outlet “Klops” reported on June 19, citing sources among relatives of the dead marine. The marine allegedly served in the town of Baltiysk near Kaliningrad, in the the airborne assault battalion of the 336th Marine brigade. Some reports indicate that Russian military servicemen have taken part in the recent clashes near the T-3 Airport in the eastern countryside of Palmyra.
The original source of this article is South Front
Copyright © South Front, South Front, 2016

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Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

Why millennials love Bernie Sanders

Senator Bernie Sanders

Senator Bernie Sanders. He loves rock & roll

Why millennials love Bernie Sanders
04/06/2016

Polls show that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have trouble appealing to young voters. In a recent study released by Harvard, millennial voters, aged 18-29, overwhelmingly favored Bernie Sanders. Sanders pulled a net favorable rating of 54 percent, Clinton only had 37 percent, and Trump pulled a miserable 17 percent of the same age group.

While the Harvard study shows that Sanders supporters will likely support Clinton if they have no other choice against Trump, the study also indicates that the Sanders campaign has made a lasting impression on young voters that will remain whether or not he wins the nomination. Polling director John Della Volpe explained that: “He’s not moving a party to the left. He’s moving a generation to the left. Whether or not he’s winning or losing, it’s really that he’s impacting the way in which a generation — the largest generation in the history of America — thinks about politics.”

Della Volpe’s work at the John F. Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics shows that over the course of the Sanders campaign young voters increasingly favored the campaign’s core issues. Tracking data over time, Della Volpe noted that there was a demonstrable shift towards progressive politics in the last year. In fact Max Ehrenfreund of The Washington Post suggests that regardless of what happens in the campaign “Sanders might have already won a contest that will prove crucially important in America’s political future.”

Read the full article here:

http://www.salon.com/2016/06/03/why_millennials_love_bernie_sanders

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

Sanders, the Windows 95 of Progressive Politics

Senator Bernie Sanders

Senator Bernie Sanders

As the Democratic primaries came to an end Tuesday night, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton met. Mr. Sanders presumably made a strong case that the ideas and ideological direction of his campaign should be incorporated into her campaign and, if she wins, her presidency.

Earlier in the day, in anticipation of the meeting, he said, “I think the time is now — in fact, the time is long overdue — for a fundamental transformation of the Democratic Party.”

Mr. Sanders’s achievement has been to show the leadership of his recently adopted party that Democrats and many independents under 35 — that is, those who weren’t adults during Bill Clinton’s administration — are eager for a full-throated progressive agenda and are unafraid of backlash. While Democrats in the 1990s — notably Bill and Hillary Clinton — worried about the party’s mistakes of the 1970s, many in this decade worry more about triangulation and the cautious politics of the 1990s.

What will a post-Sanders progressive agenda look like? The first stop will be the official party platform. But for all the work and squabbling that go into them, platforms have long been throwaway documents.

The real progressive agenda will be written over the next few years, either to push the Clinton administration or to shape a challenge to a Republican president and Congress. But it’s unlikely that this new progressive agenda will be Mr. Sanders’s agenda, specifically, or that Mr. Sanders himself will be the leading advocate and arbiter of progressive policies in the way that Senator Edward M. Kennedy once was. Mr. Sanders is still running the Windows 95 version of progressive politics.

For one thing, he has never had the kind of influence with his colleagues that he found with the grass roots this year, in part because he never defined himself as a Democrat. No one expects that he’ll run for president again at 78 or 82, so he won’t have the clout of a senator who is seen as a potential president. And any institutional power he may gain as chairman or a ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee sounds a lot bigger than it really is. The committee’s main job is to produce a nonbinding budget resolution, and in many recent years, it hasn’t even done that.

But the biggest reason that Mr. Sanders won’t shape the next progressive agenda stems from a little-noticed aspect of his campaign: His policy proposals were consistently out of step with the ideas that have been emerging from progressive think tanks like Demos or the Center for American Progress or championed by his own congressional colleagues.

For example, many liberal Democrats would agree with Mr. Sanders, in theory, that single-payer health insurance could be fairer, more efficient and cheaper than our fragmented system. But the president and Congress made the decision in 2010 to build on the private insurance system, in the form of the Affordable Care Act, in part because single-payer wasn’t politically viable. A Democratic administration’s next moves will be to expand and strengthen the Affordable Care Act, not start over.

Like many of Mr. Sanders’s policy proposals, single-payer is an all-or-nothing proposition that creates few openings for legislators who want to do something incremental that could lead to a bigger goal. Congressmen like Senator Kennedy or Representative Henry Waxman of California often put forward ambitious ideas, too, but with manageable steps to build a structure that could be expanded later or that could attract enough support to pass.

Similarly, while progressive organizations such as the Roosevelt Institute have developed fairly complex visions for strengthening regulation of Wall Street and banks and reducing the overall “financialization” of the economy, Mr. Sanders continued to fixate on restoring the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated investment and commercial banking but had become outdated long before it was repealed in 1999. His plan to “break up the big banks” sometimes seemed to consist simply of ordering the Federal Reserve to break up the big banks. The real progressive agenda has moved well beyond that to focus on raising and strengthening capital requirements, or the amounts that banks are required to keep as cash or safe investments.

Mr. Sanders made the $15 minimum wage a cornerstone of his campaign, probably accelerating the momentum that led to its passage in two states and the District of Columbia. But his campaign barely focused on other issues related to work, such as the challenges posed by new employment models in the on-demand, or “gig,” economy, a topic of a speech by Senator Elizabeth Warren in May. Ms. Warren called for a new social contract under which “all workers — no matter when they work, where they work, who they work for, whether they pick tomatoes or build rocket ships — should have some basic protections and be able to build some economic security for themselves and their families.”

This difference is part of a larger gap between Mr. Sanders and other progressives in their approaches to economic inequality. Where Mr. Sanders talks about “redistribution” of wealth from “the billionaires” to the middle- and low-income classes through high tax rates, others, such as the economists at the Economic Policy Institute, have focused more on what is sometimes called “predistribution,” wages and the conditions of work. They would reduce the gains at the top — such as by putting some meaningful constraints on executive pay — but also make sure that workers got a greater share of the profits, not only in the form of money, but also time, flexibility and predictable scheduling. If the initial distribution of benefits and money is badly skewed, it will be hard to use tax and transfer policies alone to redistribute it.
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Mr. Sanders’s achievement in 2016 deserves respect: He has been the first insurgent Democratic candidate to emerge from the true left of the party since the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s two campaigns in the 1980s, and by far the most successful. That success points the way toward a new and more vigorous progressive agenda.

But he’s shown in his campaign that he’s unlikely to be the agent who fills in the details of that agenda. No doubt Senator Warren, with her ever-widening vision of economic fairness, will play a Kennedy-like role, whether she remains in the Senate or becomes Mrs. Clinton’s running mate.

Other Democratic senators, some almost as young as the Sanders enthusiasts, will play their part, as will outside organizations. If elected, Hillary Clinton will either join this new progressive wave or will be nudged and challenged by it. As Mr. Sanders finally steps back, the next era can begin.

Mark Schmitt is the director of the political reform program at the research organization New America.

As the Democratic primaries came to an end Tuesday night, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton met. Mr. Sanders presumably made a strong case that the ideas and ideological direction of his campaign should be incorporated into her campaign and, if she wins, her presidency.

Earlier in the day, in anticipation of the meeting, he said, “I think the time is now — in fact, the time is long overdue — for a fundamental transformation of the Democratic Party.”

Mr. Sanders’s achievement has been to show the leadership of his recently adopted party that Democrats and many independents under 35 — that is, those who weren’t adults during Bill Clinton’s administration — are eager for a full-throated progressive agenda and are unafraid of backlash. While Democrats in the 1990s — notably Bill and Hillary Clinton — worried about the party’s mistakes of the 1970s, many in this decade worry more about triangulation and the cautious politics of the 1990s.

What will a post-Sanders progressive agenda look like? The first stop will be the official party platform. But for all the work and squabbling that go into them, platforms have long been throwaway documents.

The real progressive agenda will be written over the next few years, either to push the Clinton administration or to shape a challenge to a Republican president and Congress. But it’s unlikely that this new progressive agenda will be Mr. Sanders’s agenda, specifically, or that Mr. Sanders himself will be the leading advocate and arbiter of progressive policies in the way that Senator Edward M. Kennedy once was. Mr. Sanders is still running the Windows 95 version of progressive politics.

For one thing, he has never had the kind of influence with his colleagues that he found with the grass roots this year, in part because he never defined himself as a Democrat. No one expects that he’ll run for president again at 78 or 82, so he won’t have the clout of a senator who is seen as a potential president. And any institutional power he may gain as chairman or a ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee sounds a lot bigger than it really is. The committee’s main job is to produce a nonbinding budget resolution, and in many recent years, it hasn’t even done that.

But the biggest reason that Mr. Sanders won’t shape the next progressive agenda stems from a little-noticed aspect of his campaign: His policy proposals were consistently out of step with the ideas that have been emerging from progressive think tanks like Demos or the Center for American Progress or championed by his own congressional colleagues.

For example, many liberal Democrats would agree with Mr. Sanders, in theory, that single-payer health insurance could be fairer, more efficient and cheaper than our fragmented system. But the president and Congress made the decision in 2010 to build on the private insurance system, in the form of the Affordable Care Act, in part because single-payer wasn’t politically viable. A Democratic administration’s next moves will be to expand and strengthen the Affordable Care Act, not start over.

Like many of Mr. Sanders’s policy proposals, single-payer is an all-or-nothing proposition that creates few openings for legislators who want to do something incremental that could lead to a bigger goal. Congressmen like Senator Kennedy or Representative Henry Waxman of California often put forward ambitious ideas, too, but with manageable steps to build a structure that could be expanded later or that could attract enough support to pass.

Similarly, while progressive organizations such as the Roosevelt Institute have developed fairly complex visions for strengthening regulation of Wall Street and banks and reducing the overall “financialization” of the economy, Mr. Sanders continued to fixate on restoring the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated investment and commercial banking but had become outdated long before it was repealed in 1999. His plan to “break up the big banks” sometimes seemed to consist simply of ordering the Federal Reserve to break up the big banks. The real progressive agenda has moved well beyond that to focus on raising and strengthening capital requirements, or the amounts that banks are required to keep as cash or safe investments.

Mr. Sanders made the $15 minimum wage a cornerstone of his campaign, probably accelerating the momentum that led to its passage in two states and the District of Columbia. But his campaign barely focused on other issues related to work, such as the challenges posed by new employment models in the on-demand, or “gig,” economy, a topic of a speech by Senator Elizabeth Warren in May. Ms. Warren called for a new social contract under which “all workers — no matter when they work, where they work, who they work for, whether they pick tomatoes or build rocket ships — should have some basic protections and be able to build some economic security for themselves and their families.”

This difference is part of a larger gap between Mr. Sanders and other progressives in their approaches to economic inequality. Where Mr. Sanders talks about “redistribution” of wealth from “the billionaires” to the middle- and low-income classes through high tax rates, others, such as the economists at the Economic Policy Institute, have focused more on what is sometimes called “predistribution,” wages and the conditions of work. They would reduce the gains at the top — such as by putting some meaningful constraints on executive pay — but also make sure that workers got a greater share of the profits, not only in the form of money, but also time, flexibility and predictable scheduling. If the initial distribution of benefits and money is badly skewed, it will be hard to use tax and transfer policies alone to redistribute it.

Mr. Sanders’s achievement in 2016 deserves respect: He has been the first insurgent Democratic candidate to emerge from the true left of the party since the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s two campaigns in the 1980s, and by far the most successful. That success points the way toward a new and more vigorous progressive agenda.

But he’s shown in his campaign that he’s unlikely to be the agent who fills in the details of that agenda. No doubt Senator Warren, with her ever-widening vision of economic fairness, will play a Kennedy-like role, whether she remains in the Senate or becomes Mrs. Clinton’s running mate.

Other Democratic senators, some almost as young as the Sanders enthusiasts, will play their part, as will outside organizations. If elected, Hillary Clinton will either join this new progressive wave or will be nudged and challenged by it. As Mr. Sanders finally steps back, the next era can begin.

Mark Schmitt is the director of the political reform program at the research organization New America.
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Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

Hillary’s Obscene Response to the Orlando Shootings

By John V. Walsh
Global Research, June 14, 2016
CounterPunch 13 June 2016

Region: USA
Theme: Militarization and WMD

Hillary2-400x266Hillary Clinton’s statement on the mass murder in Orlando is mostly a confection of the empty, saccharine pieties for which the entire American political class is known – but it concluded with a revealing statement.

There she said: “This is the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States and it reminds us once more that weapons of war have no place on our streets.” (Emphasis, jw)

But those “weapons of war” have been used on the streets of Iraq and in midnight raids on the civilian population in the war there that Hillary so ardently backed.

Does she even grasp what she is saying? She is saying that it is an atrocity to use such weapons on Americans – but not on the brown people, civilians in their homes, in Iraq and throughout the greater Middle East and North Africa in U.S. wars of aggression and the occupation. To be horrified by the use of those weapons on Americans but not on Arabs qualifies as racism of the basest sort.

And what about the causes of the atrocity in Orlando? In attempting to discuss the cause, she mentions the lack of gun control and the discrimination against the LGBT community. But she forgets to say in her statement that ISIS laid claim to the atrocity, lauding one of its American followers for carrying out the deed. So ISIS is responsible, and the hatred of America on which ISIS thrives is responsible.

But where does ISIS come from? It did not exist before the war on Iraq that Hillary and her fellow neocons peddled so assiduously with lie upon lie. The war on Iraq, the divide and conquer tactic that the US invaders used to set Shia against Sunni to cripple the population are the factors that brought ISIS into being. The civil war in Syria, another pet project of Hillary’s, gave a further opening and impetus to ISIS.

And Barack Obama had pretty much the same message as his evil ex-Secretary of State. Gun control and LGBT rights were front and center, but nary a word about the devastation the U.S. Empire has wrought in the Middle East that brought about the rise of ISIS.

The word “blowback” was not to be found in Hillary’s or Obama’s statements.

But of course it goes deeper than that. The U.S. has long backed Saudi Arabia where the ideology for ISIS was concocted and promoted. Saudi Arabia and the other medieval monarchies of the Gulf who have so ardently supported ISIS have long been supported by the U.S. The secular governments in the region like those of Gaddafi, Hussein and now Assad, in contrast, are targets for regime change ops – brutal ones at that. These are the very governments that fought the Islamic fundamentalists – and the US has attacked every one of them. How deep does the hand of the U.S. government, or parts of it, go in the rise of ISIS? It is a question that needs to be answered by a full Congressional investigation, but chances of that are nil while Obama and Hillary and their neocon buddies are in charge.

Finally the U.S. alliance with Israel and the backing of the apartheid Jewish state in its long, slow genocide of an entire Arab people, the Palestinians, also stirs hatred for the U.S. Does Hillary think that has nothing to do with the hatred ISIS expresses for the U.S? She apparently thinks “the price is worth it,” to quote a protege of hers. Thus Hillary in her obeisance to AIPAC and the rest of the Israeli Lobby puts herself in the front ranks of those who have given birth to events like the ones in Orlando.

Atrocities breed atrocities. Or as Andrew Kopkind remarked in another context, the skies were dark in Orlando this past weekend with the chickens coming home to roost.
Prof. John V. Walsh, MD, can be reached at john.endwar@gmail.com. He usually does not include his title in a little bio like this, but in this case the political essay above involved a bit about science. can be reached at John.Endwar@gmail.com
The original source of this article is CounterPunch
Copyright © John V. Walsh, CounterPunch, 2016

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

Russia Is Developing Gliders That “Guarantee Penetration” Of Any Missile Defense System

By Tyler Durden
Global Research, June 13, 2016
Zero Hedge 12 June 2016

Region: Russia and FSU
Theme: Militarization and WMD, US NATO War Agenda

The launching of the European missile defense system (Aegis) by the United States in May has repeatedly been criticized by Russia as an attempt by the US to take away first mover advantage in the event that the US ever decided to attack.

While Russia has already indicated that the deployment of of Iskander missile systems would be one certain response to neutralize the the anti-ballistic missile defense system, Russia has wasted no time in developing future responses.

20160612_iskander_0

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

Clinton v. Sanders: After Frustrating Primary, Millions of Ballots in California Remain Uncounted

By Nadia Prupis
Global Research, June 12, 2016
Common Dreams

T

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders

he uncounted ballots would put the total number of voters at around 8.5 million, or around 47 percent of all registered voters

While the results are unlikely to impact Clinton’s win in the state, Bernie Sanders said Thursday he expected the final tally would show a closer race.

More than 2.5 million ballots from California’s June 7 primary are still uncounted, sparking questions about the results of the presidential contest in which Hillary Clinton emerged the winner and leaving the fate of local races in the air as poll workers continue to grapple with reports of voter difficulties.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the uncounted ballots would put the total voter turnout at around 8.5 million, or around 47 percent of all registered voters. While the results are unlikely to impact Clinton’s win in the state, Bernie Sanders said Thursday he expected the final tally would show a closer race—one more in keeping with polls that predicted a nail-biter.

While the results are unlikely to impact Clinton’s win in the state, Bernie Sanders said Thursday he expected the final tally would show a closer race. (Photo: hjl/flickr/cc)

More than 2.5 million ballots

“I look forward to the full counting of the votes in California, which I suspect will show a much closer vote than the current vote tally,” Sanders said after a meeting with President Barack Obama, who then went on to endorse Clinton.

Los Angeles County, which on Tuesday voted 57 percent for Clinton versus 42 for Sanders, reported more unprocessed ballots than any region at roughly 616,000. San Diego County, where Clinton won 55 percent to Sanders’ 44, had 285,000 uncounted ballots.

Many of those were ‘provisional’ ballots, which are given to voters whose party registration cannot be determined on the day of the election. The LA Times wrote on Tuesday:

Instead of a quick in-and-out vote, many California voters were handed the dreaded pink provisional ballot — which takes longer to fill out, longer for election officials to verify and which tends to leave voters wondering whether their votes will be counted…. hundreds of Californians complained of voting problems to the national nonpartisan voter hotline run by the Lawyers’ Committee For Civil Rights Under Law.

Dissatisfaction with the voting system has become widespread this election cycle, as Sanders supporters rail against convoluted election rules and his treatment by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the corporate media, which came under fire earlier this week for claiming Clinton had clinched the party’s nomination before Californians—and voters in five other states—even had a chance to cast their ballots.

But as Freedom of the Press Foundation co-founder Trevor Timm wrote in an op-ed on Wednesday, it’s not just the Sanders supporters who feel disenfranchised by the system. “Virtually every major campaign in both parties griped about how the other was winning at some point during this campaign, and along the way almost all of them were right,” he wrote.

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

Chronological List of Female Presidents, Woman Heads of State and Government and Woman Premier Ministers

evitar

By Ainhoa Aristizabal

The youngest of five children of Juan Duarte and Juana Ibarguren, María Eva Duarte was born on May 7, 1919, in the little village of Los Toldos in Buenos Aires province, Argentina. Following the death of her father, the family moved to the larger nearby town of Junín, where her mother ran a boarding house. At the age of sixteen, Evita, as she was often called, left high school after two years and went to Buenos Aires with the dream of becoming an actress. Lacking any training in the theater, she obtained a few small parts in motion pictures and on the radio. She was finally employed on a regular basis with one of the largest radio stations in Buenos Aires making 150 pesos every month. Her pay had increased to five thousand pesos every month by 1943 and jumped to thirty-five thousand pesos per month in 1944.

Born: May 7, 1919
Los Toldos, Argentina
Died: July 26, 1952
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Argentine political leader

Eva Perón was the second wife and political partner of President Juan Perón (1895–1974) of Argentina. An important political figure in her own right, she was known for her campaign for female suffrage (the right to vote), her support of organized labor groups, and her organization of a vast social welfare program that benefited and gained the support of the lower classes.

Nothing compares Mrs Clinton to Eva Duarte. One did nothing for the poor being that she was receiving millions of dollars from her millionaire friends. Eva Duarte did for the children and the poor and women what needed to be done. But an illness killed Mrs Duarte, at age 33, beloved by the argentinians.

A 1978 musical told the story of Eva Peron, the actress turned first lady of Argentina. Seen as ruthless and cunning, she and her husband drew support from the descamisados, or the poor and the working class, to climb to power. She eyed her own political success as well, campaigning for vice president before she died from cancer at age 33. The musical was briefly revived on Broadway in 2012.

The story of “Evita,” as her admirers called her, found broader success in 1996 when the musical was adapted for the big screen, starring Madonna in the title role.

Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership

FEMALE PRESIDENTS

Also see Chronological List of Female Presidents,
Woman Heads of State and Government
and Woman Premier Ministers

06.04.1940-11.10.1944 Head of State Khertek Anchimaa-Toka, People’s Republic of Tannu Tuva

As Chairperson of the Presidium of the Parliament, the Little Hüral, Khertek Amyrbitovna was the Head of the state which became Independent in 1921, a People’s Republic in 1926, was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1944. She had held various jobs in local administration and the party administration, Chairperson of the Women Department of the Central Committee of the Tuvinian People’s Revolutionary Party 1938-1940. Married to the First Secretary of the TPRP, Salchak Kalbakkhorekovich Toka in 1940, Deputy Chairperson of Oblast Executive Committee 1944-1961 and Deputy Chairperson of the Council of Ministers of Tuva 1961-1972. She lived (1912-2008).

31.10.1968-24.02.1972 Acting Head of State Song Qingling, China
06.07.1976-05.03.78 Joint Acting Head of State
1979-1980 “Honorary President”

Born into a rich Christian family, she was educated in the USA. In 1927-29 Member of Government Council, 1929-49 Leader of Opposition against her brother-in-Law President Chiang Kai-chek and 1948 Honorary Chairperson of the Kuomintang, 1949-54 Deputy Premier Minister, 1954-59 Vice-Chairperson of The Peoples’ Republic (Deputy Head of State), 1954-76 and 1975-78 Vice-Chairperson of the National People’s Congress, Vice-Chairperson of China People’s Consultative Consultative Conference, CPPCC. In 1968-74 the Post of Chair of the Republic was vacant and she and the other Vice-Chairperson, Dong Bow shared the Presidential Powers. In 1976 the Chairman of the NPC died and the 21 vice-chairmen, including Song, acted as collective heads of state until 1978 when a replacement was elected. 1980 she was Chairperson of the 3rd Session of the National People’s Congress. Soong Qingling was widow of Sun Yat-Sen, Provisoric President of China in 1911. Her sister Soong May-ling (b. 1897) played a crucial role as wife of Chiang Kai-chek, President of China till 1945 and of Taiwan 1945-75. And her brother, T. V. Soong, was Premier Minister in Taiwan. A third sister was a business magnate. She lived (1893-1981).

01.07.1974- 24.03.1976 Executive President Maria Estella Martínez de Perón, Argentina
Isabel Peron was Vice-President and President of the Senate 1973-74. As Executive President she was also head of the Cabinet. Chairperson of Partido Justicial, The Peronist party 1974-85, removed by a coup d’état and in Prison 1976-78, Exile in Spain 1981-93. She was married to General Juan Peron, who was President two times. (b. 1931-).

17.11.1979-18.07.1980 Interim Executive President Lydia Gueiler Tejada, Bolivia

As President she was also Head of the Cabinet. Lidia Gueiler was member of Parliament 1956-64 and afterwards in exile for 15 years. Circa 1978 Subsecretary for Agriculture, 1978 President of Camera de Diputados. Acting President of the Congress and acting Deputy Head of State 1978-79.She was President of Partido Revolucionario de los Izquierda Nazional Gueiler 1979-94, Exile in France 1980-82, Ambassador in Embassy to West Germany 1982-83, and to Venezuela 1983-86 and since 1993 She was deposed by the 129th Coup d’état in the history of Bolivia, shortly before elections was due. She lived (1921-2011).

01.08.1980-01.08.1996 President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, Iceland

In 1972-80 Director of Iceland’s National Theatre was the world’s first democratically elected female President. Since 1996 she has been involved in a wide range of international humanitarian and cultural organizations. She was a divorcee and mother of an adopted a daughter. (b.1930-).

01.04-01.10.1981 Captain Regent Maria Lea Pedini Angelini, San Marino

Every 6th month The Consiglio Grande e Generale elects two Captain Regents, who acts as heads of State and Government and as Chairmen of the Consiglio Grande e Generale. From circa 1991 she has been Director in Ministry of Government and Foreign Affairs, since 1995 Ambassador in the Ministry to Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland etc. (b. 1954- ).

15.02.1982-15.02.1987 President Agatha Barbara, Malta
Labour M.P 1947-82 and for long periods the only woman in Parliament. Minister of Education and Culture 1955-58 and 1971-74 Labour, Welfare and Culture (Third in Cabinet) 1974-81. In the last period she was Acting Prime Minister on various brief occasions. She resigned as President 2 years ahead of time because Labour lost the 1987-elections. She lived (1923-2002).

01.04.1984-01.10.1984 and 01.10.1989-01.04.90 Captain Regent Gloriana Ranocchini, San Marino

Member of the Parliament. (b. 1957-).

14.05-16.05.1984 Acting Head of State Carmen Pereira, Guinea Bissau
Has been Member of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC) since 1962 and later Political Commissioner for the Southern Front, and only female member of the 24 members Committee Executivo da Luta (CEL). In 1973-84 Deputy President of Assembléia Nacional Popular, 1975-80 President of the Parliament of Cap Verde (which was in union with Guinea Bissau at the time) 1981-83 Minister of Health and Social Affairs 1984-89 President of Assembléia Nacional Popular, 1989-94 Member the Council of State and 1990-91 Minister of State (Deputy Premier) for Social Affairs. She acted as head of state after João Bernardo Viera, Head of state since 1980, was elected President in 1984. In 1999 he was deposed after a military coup d’état. (b. 1937-).

25.2.1986-30.06.1992 Executive President Maria Corazón Sumulong Cojuangco Aquino, The Philippines
Cory Aquino became leader of the opposition after the murder of her husband Ninoi Aquino in 1986, and was brought to power by the so-called “People Power”, which protested about President Marcos’s attempts to remain in power. She was also Head of the Cabinet. 1998 among the senior advisors of the new President Estrada. During her term in office she fought off 8 attempted coup d’états. Constitutionally barred from running for re-election. Mother of 4 children. She lived (1933-2009).

13.03.1990-07.02.1991 Acting President Ertha Pascal-Trouillot, Haiti
She was the first female High Court Judge 1986-90, and became acting President during the turbulent political situation in Haiti in a period where one Coup d’état followed the other. She was held hostage on one occasion by soldiers attempting a coup. (b. 1943-).

05.04.1990-02.10.1990 Acting Head of State Dr. Sabine Bergmann-Pohl, East-Germany

As President of the People’s Chamber she was acting as the last Head of State of the German Democratic Republic, DDR/GDR before the reunification. After the reunification she was Federal Minister without Portfolio for the New Bundesstates 1990-91, Parliamentary State Secretary of Health 1991-98 and member of the Bundestag 1998-2002. Mother of two children. (b. 1946-).

25.04.1990-10.01.1997 Executive President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, Nicaragua
In 1979 Doña Violeta was member of the Ruling Junta after the overthrow of the Somoza-dictatorship but left because of disagreement with the Sandinistas. Between 1979-90 Publisher of the opposition newspaper La Prensa after the murder of her husband, opposition leader Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal. As Executive President she was also Head of the Cabinet and Minister of Defence. She did not run for re-election. (b. 1929- ).

03.12.1990-12.09.1997 President Mary Robinson, Ireland
In 1969 she was appointed Professor of Law, 1970-90 she was Labour-senator. She did not run for re-election. From 1997 she has been Assistant Secretary General and United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights. Mother of two children. (b. 1944-).

01.10.1991-01.04.1992 Captain Regent Edda Ceccoli, San Marino
Member of the leadership of Partito Democratico Cristano Sammarinese.

01.04.1993-01.10.1993 Captain Regent Patrizia Busignani, San Marino

1983-90 President of Partito Socialista Unitario. From around 1997 she was Chief of the Parliamentary Group of Socialisti per le Riforme. In March 2006 she was candidate for the post for the period starting in April 2006.

27.10.1993-05.02.1994 Acting Head of State Sylvie Kinigi, Burundi

By the time of her appointment as Premier she was Head of the Economic Planning Office in the President’s Office. During the Civil War the President was killed and as the highest ranking remaining official, she became Acting President (27.10.93-5.2.94). After her resignation, she left politics and joined the Burundi’s Commercial Bank. (b. 1952-).

14.11.1994-19.11.2005 Executive President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Sri Lanka

Vice-President 1984-86 and President of Sri Lanka Maha Jana Party 1984-86, Leader of United Socialist Alliance 1988 and since 1993 Leader of People’s Alliance and Deputy Leader of Sri Lanka Freedom Party, 1993-94 Chief Minister of the Colombo Province and in a few months in 1994 Prime Minister. As Executive President she was also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and held the Portfolio of Defence and Finance and Planning 1994-2001 and was Minister of Defence, Information and Interior from November 2003. She is the first person in the world to be daughter of two premier ministers, Solomon and Sirivamo Bandaranaike and the first to have appointed her mother to the post of Prime Minister. Her husband politician Vijaya K. was assassinated 1988, and during the Presidential campaign in 2000 she survived an assassination-attempt but lost vision in one eye. She was not allowed to stand for re-election in 2005. She is mother of 2 children. (b. 1945-).

03.09.1996-02.08.1997 Chairman of the Council of State Ruth Sando Perry, Liberia

1985-96 senator. Appointed to chair the Council of State preparing the transfer to democracy after many years of civil war. From 1999 Ruth Perry was 1. Vice-Chairperson of the Organization for African Unity. (b. 1939-).

09.02.1997-11.02.1997 Acting Executive President Rosalia Arteaga Serrano de Fernández de Córdova, Ecuador

A former minister, she was Vice-President 1994-98 and Presidential Candidate in 1998. She was inaugurated as Acting President after her predecessor was removed from office but two days after the Congress nominated someone else. As Executive President she was also Head of the Cabinet. Presidential Candidate in 1997. (b. 1953-).

11.11.1997-11.11.2011 President Mary McAleese, Ireland

Professor of Law and 1993-97 Pro-chancellor of University of Belfast, the first person from Northern Ireland to be elected President of Ireland. During the 1997-elections 5 candidates were female and there was only one token male candidates finishing a distant last. 2004 she was returned unopposed for a second term. (b. 1951-).

19.12.1997-11.08.99 Executive President Janet Jagan, Guyana

Her country’s first white and first female President and was executive President but worked together with the Prime Minister. 1950-90 she held leading posts in the Progressive People’s Party, PPP, 1953 Deputy President of the National Assembly, 1954 imprisoned by the British authorities for her activities for independence 1957-61. Minister of Labour, Health and Housing, 1963-64 Minister of Home Affairs (Senator), 1973-97 Editor-in-Chief of The Mirror, 1993 Acting Permanent Representative to the United Nations. In 1997 her husband, President Dr. Cheddi Bharat Jagan, died, and she was chosen to replace the Premier, who had become President. Janet was chosen as her party’s candidate in the following Presidential elections. She was in office until July 1999 when she suffered a mild hart attack and chose to resign from her post 3 years ahead of time. Born as Janet Rosenberg in Chicago, mother of two children and lived (1920-2009).

01.01.1999-31.12.1999 President of the Confederation Ruth Dreifuss, Switzerland
A former trade union-leader, she was Councillor of Interior in 1992-2002 and Vice-President 1998-99. (b. 1939-).

01.04.1999-01.10.1999 and 01.04.2008-01.10.2008 Captain Regent Rosa Zafferani, San Marino

Director in the Department of Finance, Budget and Programs before she was elected to the Consiglio Grande e Generale in 1998. Secretary of State of Health, Social Security and Provision 2002-04, Secretary of State of Public Education, University and Cultural Institutions from 2004 and 2005-06 also in charge of Internal Affairs. (b. 1960 in USA).

08.07.1999-08.07.2007 President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, Latvia

Born in Latvia and grew up in refugee camps in Germany, went to school in French Morocco, University studies in Canada. Retired from the Universite de Montreal in 1998, after being a professor of psychology there since 1965 and involved in various scientific and administrative committees, among others as Vice-Chairperson of the Science Council of Canada. She moved to Latvia as Director of the newly created Latvian Institute in Riga. Candidate for the Post of Secretary General of the United Nations in 2006. Married to her fellow countryman, Imants Freibergs, also exiled in Canada, who moved to Latvia in October 1999. Mother of a son and a daughter. (b. 1937-).

01.09.1999-01.09.2004 Executive President Mireya Moscoso Rodrígez, Panama

Since 1991 President of the Arnolfist Party (now Panameñista), 1994 Presidential Candidate. As Executive President she is also head of the Cabinet, and she is the first female President to have officially appointed a First Lady – her sister, Ruby Moscoso de Young. She was constitutionally barred from running for re-election. Mireya was first married to President Arnulfo Arias Madrid (1901-88) who was President of Panama 1940-41, 1949-51 and 1968. Married to Mr. Gruber 1991-97 and mother of an adopted a child. (b. 1946-).

01.03.2000-01.03.2012 President Tarja Halonen, Finland

Member of Parliament 1979-2000, 1984-87 Chairperson of the Social Affairs Committee and Member of the Presidium of the Parliament, 1987-1990 Second Minister of Health and Social Affairs (Health Minister) and 1989-1991 Minister of Nordic Co-operation, 1989-91 Co-leader of Soumen Sosialidemokraattinen Pulolue, The Social Democrats. 1990-1991 Minister of Justice 1995-2000 Minister of Foreign Affairs. The position as President is very powerful – especially concerning foreign politics. Mother of one daughter. In August 2000 she married her partner trough a decade, Pentti Arajärvi. They did not live together before they moved into the Presidential palace. Mother of one daughter. (b. 1943-).

01.04.2000-01.10.2000 Capitano Reggente Maria Domenica Michelotti, San Marino

Former lecturer at San Marino University and Member of the Consiglio Grande e Generale since 1998. She is widow and her married name was Casadei Michelotti. Mother of two girls (b. 1952-).

20.01.2001-30.06.2010 Executive President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, The Philippines

As executive GMA is also Head of the Cabinet. 1987-1989 she was Assistant Secretary and 1989-92 Undersecretary of Trade and Industry and Senator 1992-98. Secretary of Social Development and Welfare 1998-2000 and The President charged her with the leadership of the Cabinet Meetings. In 2000 she resigned from her cabinet-post after President Estrada was accused of accusations. In January 2001 he was forced to vacate the presidency and she succeeded him. 2002 and 2003 also Minister of Foreign Affairs and 2003 and 2006-07 Minister of Defence. 2004 she was re-elected to the post of President. In 2011 she was arrested on charges for electoral fraud. Daughter of the late President Diosdado Macapagal and Dr. Evangeline Macaraeg-Macapagal, mother of two sons and a daughter (b. 1947-).

23.07.2001-20.10.2004 Executive President Megawati Sukarnoputri, Indonesia

When Megawati Setyawati Soekarnoputri became leader of the Democratic Party in 1993, she triggered the opposition against President Quarto. In 1999 her party won the most seats in the Parliament, but Abdulrahman Wahid was elected President. This caused serious riots all over the country and she was elected vice-President the following day. In August 2000 the ailing President Wahid charged her with the running of the daily business of the government and state and she chaired the cabinet meetings. At the 23rd of July he was ousted and she inaugurated as President. In 2004 she lost her bid for re-election. Ibu Mega, as she is known, is daughter of Indonesia’s founding father Sukarno, is married for the 3rd time and mother of 3 children. (b. 1946-).

30.12.2002-04.02.2004 Acting President Natasa Micic, Serbia

As President of the Assembly since 2001, she became Acting President since the attempt to elect a President failed twice. She continued her duties as Chairperson of the Parliament. (b.1965-).

01.10.2003-31.03.2004 Capitano Reggente Valeria Ciavatta, San Marino
01.04.2014-10.10.2014 Capitano Reggente

Member of the Grand and General Council for the Alianza Populare since 1993 and Chairperson of the Council Group 2002-05, Party President 2006, Minister of Minister of Internal Affairs and Civil Protection and Accomplishment of the Programme 2006-12. As Captain Regent, she was joint head of a state with a man, and also President of the Parliament and Head of Government. Mother of twins. (b. 1959-).

23.11.2003-25.01.2004 Acting Executive President Nino Burjanadze, Georgia
25.11.2007-20.01.2008 Acting Executive President

As Chairperson of the Parliament 2001-08 she took over after former President Eduard Shevardnadze was forced to resign as result of a “velvet revolution” after he rigged the parliamentary elections and in 2007 she aced as President again as the incumbent, Mikheil Saakashvili, resigned to run in the January 2008-elections. President of Burjanadze-Democrats 2003-08 and of Democratic Movement – United Georgia since 2008 and Presidential Candidate in 2013. Her full name is Nino Anzoris asuli Burjanadze, and her surname is also transcribed as Burdzhanadze. Mother of two children. (b. 1964-).

06.07.2004-08.07.2004 Acting Joint Head of State Barbara Prammer, Austria

As Vice-President of the National Assembly she assumed the Presidential duties together with the two other members of the Presidium, when the outgoing President died two days before his successor was to take office in July. She was a former Federal Minister, President of the Nationalrat from 2006 until her death and a leading member of the Social Democrats of Austria, SPÖ She lived (1954-2014)

01.04.2005-01.10.2005 Capitano Reggente Fausta Simona Morganti, San Marino

In 1974 she was one of the first three women elected to the Consiglio Grande e Generale. 1978-83 and 1988-92 Minister of State of Culture, Education and Justice, In the late 1990s Leader in Partito Progressista Democartico Sammarinese and Chief of the Parliamentary Group from around 1997 to 2002 and then again later in 2002 and Secretary of State of Public Education, Universities, Cultural Institutions and Social Affairs in 2002. (b. 1944-).

16.01.2006- Executive President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberia

1972-73 and 1977-79 Secretary of State of Finance, 1979-80 Minister of Finance, 1980 President of the National Bank, 1980-85 worked for the World Bank, 1985-86 in house arrest after her return, 1990-92 Leading member of exile-government of Amos Sawyer in United States of America, 1992-97 African Director of the UNDP (United Nations Development Program). From 1997 Leader of the Unity Party. Presidential Candidate in 1997, Candidate for the Chairmanship of the National Transitional Government in 2003 and finally won the presidential elections in November 2005. She is divorced, mother of a number of children, and grandmother. (b. 1938-).

11.03.2006-11.03.2010 Executive President Michelle Bachelet Jeria, Chile
11.03.2014- Executive President

2000-02 Minister of Health and 2002-04 Minister of Defence. Her father, a general, was killed by the Pinochet dictatorship. Her boyfriend was also detained, tortured and disappeared. She and her mother were also detained and tortured and afterwards lived in exile in Australia and East Germany. She returned to Chile in 1979 and worked for various NGOs helping children of the tortured and disappeared. She had two children with her first husband and a daughter with her former partner. (b. 1952-).
01.01.2007-31.12.2007 President of the Confederation Micheline Calmy-Rey, Switzerland
01.01.2011-31.12.2011 President of the Consideration
Former President of the Socialist Party of Génève, she was President of the Grand Conseil of Génève 1993, Councillor of Finance 1997-2002, Vice-President of the Cantonal Government 2000-01 and President of the Cantonal Government 2001-02. Federal Foreign Minister 2003-11 and Vice-President in 2006 and 2010. Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf was elected Vice-President for 2011, the first time two women would fill the two highest post in the country. (b. 1945-).
Dalia Itzik

25.01.2007-01.07.2007 Acting President Dalia Itzik, Israel
01.08.2007-15.07.2007 Interim President

Former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem in charge of Education, Labour Member of the Knesset 1992-2005, Minister of Environment 1999-2001, Minister of Trade and Industry 2001-02, Group Chairperson of Labour 2003-05 and Minister of Communication in 2005. She joined Kadima, a new party formed by Ariel Sharon in 2006 and Speaker of the Knesset 2006-09. She became Acting President when the President Moshe Katsaw on his own request was temporary suspended after the Attorney General announced that he would charge the president with offences including rape, obstruction of justice and fraud, on 1. July he resigned and she became Interim President until his successor took office. Chairperson of the Kadima Knesset Group 2009-13 and Presidential Candidate in 2014. (b. 1952-).
25.07.2007-25.07.2012 President Pratibha Patil, India
Member of the Government of Maharashtra 1967-78 and 1982-85 as Deputy Minister, Public Health, Prohibition, Tourism, Housing and Parliamentary Affairs 1967-72, Minister of Social Welfare 1972-74, Minister of Public Health and Social Welfare 1974-75, Minister of Prohibition, Rehabilitation and Cultural Affairs 1975-76, Minister of Education 1977-78, Minister of Urban Development and Housing 1982-83 and Minister of Civil Supplies and Social Welfare 1983-85, Congress Leader and Leader of the Opposition 1979-80. Deputy Chairperson of the Union Upper House, the Rajya Sabha 1986-88 and Acting Chairperson in 1987, when the incumbent was elected President, Governor of Rajasthan 2004-07. Married to Devisingh Shekhawat, a former Mayor of Amravati. (b. 1934-).

10.12.2007-09.12.2015 Executive President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Argentina

Won the first round of the presidential elections in October 2007 as candidate for Partido Justicalista. She was Member of the Assembly of Santa Cruz 1989-95 and 1. Vice-President of the Assembly in 1990, National Senator 1995-97 and again since 2001, National Deputy 1997-2001. President of the Senate Committee of Contitutional Affairs since 2001. Her late husband Néstor Carlos Kirchner (1950-2010) was President of Argentina 2003-07 and held a number of other posts. Mother of 2 children. (b. 1953-).

25.09.2008 Acting President Dr. Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, South Africa

Premier of the Free State 1996-99, Federal Minister of Communication 1999-2009. Acting President on one or two occations in 2003 and Member of the Pool of Possible Acting Presidents from 2005 and Acting Executive after the resignation of the President until a successor was elected and sworn in. She lived (1937-2009).

01.10.2008-31.03.2009 Capitano Reggente Assunta Meloni, San Marino

Member of the Consiglio Grande e Generale for Alianza Populare from 2006. Married to Fabrizio Stacchini and mother of 2 sons. (b. 1951-).

10.06.2009-16.10.2009 Interim President Rose Francine Rogombé, Gabon

Secretary of State for the Advancement of Women and Human Rights during the 1980s. As President of the Senate 2009-15 she was Deputy Head of State and became Interim President when President Bongo died until his successor was elected (his son). She lived (1942-15).
12.07.2009- President Dalia Grybauskaitė, Lithuania
1994-1995 Extraordinary Envoy and Plenipotentiary Minister at the Lithuanian Mission to the EU and Deputy Head Negotiator for the Europe Agreement with EU, 1996-1999 Plenipotentiary Minister at the Embassy in USA, 1999-2000 Vice-Minister of Finance and 2000-01 Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Head of the EU Accession negotiations, 2001-04 Minister of Finance and 2004 EU-Commissioner of Financial Programming and Budget 2004-09. Won 69% of the votes in the presidential elections. Unmarried and no children. (b. 1956-).

01.01.2010- 31.12.2010 President of the Confederation Doris Leuthard, Switzerland
Member of the Assembly in Aargau 1997-2000, Vice-President of Christian Democratic Party, CVP 2001-04, President of CVP Schweiz 2004-06 and Federal Councillor of Economic Affairs 2006-10 and Federal Councillor of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication and Vice-President in 2009. (b. 1963-).
07.04.2010-19.05.2010 Head of the Interim Government
19.05.2010- 01.12.2011 President Roza Otunbayeva, Kyrgyzstan
Other versions of her surname are Otunbaeva or Otunbajewa. 1983-86 Secretary of the Municipal Communist Central Committee of Frunze, 1986-89 Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in the Kyrgyz SSR, 1991 Ambassador of the USSR to Malaysia, 1992 Kyrgyz Deputy Premier Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1992-93 Ambassador to USA and Canada and 1994 to Turkey, Foreign Minister 1994-96, Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain 1996-2003, Deputy Head of the United Nations special mission to Georgia 2002-04, Acting Foreign Minister 2007, Parliamentary Leader of the Social Democrats 20009-10 and Interim Head of State and Government from April 2010 after the former President was ousted. In May she was appointed President for the term ending in December 2011. (b. 1950-).
08.05.10.2010-08.05.2014 President Laura Chinchilla Miranda, Costa Rica
Vice-Minister of Security 1994-96, Minister of Public Security, Interior and Police 1996-98, 1. Vice-President and Minister of Justice 2006-08 and Acting Minister of Security in 2008. Resigned to become Liberal Party Presidential Candidate for the 2010-elections which she won.(b. 1959-).
01.01.2011- President Dilma Vana Linhares Rousseff, Brazil
Dilma Rousseff is a former student leader who fought Brazil’s military dictatorship as a guerrilla during the early 1970s and an economist. Secretary of Mines, Energy and Communication of Rio Grande do Sul 1993-94 and 1999-2002, Minister of Mines and Energy 2003-05 and Minister and Secretary General of the Presidential Staff (Cabinet Chief) 2005-10. In May 2016 she was impeached by the Congress and suspended for 180 days. (b. 1947-).

01.04.2011-01.10.2011 Capitano Reggente Maria Luisa Berti, San Marino

Member of the Consiglio Grande e Generale for Noi Sammarinesi since 2008. In 2011 she was also joint president of the parliament. (b. 1971-)

07.04.2011-07.04.2016 President Atifete Jahjaga, Kosovo

She was Deputy Chief of Police of Kosovo with rank of Major General at the time of her election. Married to Astrit Kuçi. (b. 1975-)

01.01.2012-31.12.2012 President of the Confederation Eveline Widmer-Sclumpf, Switzerland

Councillor of Finance and Military of Graubünden 1998-2007, Vice-President of the Government 2000 and 2004 and President of the Government 2001 and 2005, Federal Councillor of Justice and Police 2008-10, Councillor of Finance 2010-15 and Vice-President in 2011. (b. 1956-).
31.03.2012-21.07.2012 and 29.05.2015-05.06.2015 Acting President Monique Ohsan-Bellepeau, Mauritius
1995-2000 Junior Minister of Urban- and Rural Development and Président of the parti travailliste 2007-2010 and as Vice-President since 2010, she took over in an acting capacity after the resignation of her predecessor in both 2012 and 2015.
05.04.2012-31.05.2012 Acting President Slavica Đukić-Dejanović, Serbia
Dukic-Dejanovic is Vice-President of the Socijalističke partije Srbije, and as President of the Skupština 2008-12, she took over as Head of State when her predecessor resigned. (b. 1951-)
07.04.2012-31.05.2014 President Joyce Banda, Malawi
2004-06 Minister of Women, Child Welfare and Community Service, 2006-09 Minister of Foreign Affairs, 2009-12 Vice-President, Founder and leader of the People’s Party in 2011 after she fell out with the President who did not include her in the Cabinet, though she remained Vice-President according to the constitution, and as such she took over as head of state after the death of her predecessor. Finished third in the 2014-eledtions. (b. 1950-)
01.10.2012-31.10.2013 Capitano Reggente Denise Bronzetti, San Marino
Held various positions within the Politica del Partito Socialista Sammarinese and Partito dei Socialisti e dei Democratici and member of the Consiglio Grande Generale since 2006. (b. 1972-)
25.02.2013- President Park Geun-hye, South Korea
MP 1998-2012, Chairperson of the Grand National Party 2004-06, Candidate in the party primaries for presidential candidate in 2008, Leader of Saenuri (Renamed GNP) 2011-12. (b. 1952-)
01.04.2013-01.10.2013 Capitano Reggente Antonella Mularoni, San Marino
Member of the General Grand Council 1993-2001 and again from 2008, and Judge of the European Court of Human Rights 2001-08, Leader of the Government, Secretary of State of Foreign and Political Affairs, Telecommunication and Transport 2008-12. (b. 1961-).
01.10.2013-01.04.2014 Capitano Reggente Anna Maria Muccioli, San Marino
Member of the Consiglio Grande e Generale for the Partito Democratico Cristiano since 2008. (b. 1964-).
23.01.2014-30.03.2016 Acting Head of State Catherine Samba-Panza, Central African Republic
Businesswoman and corporate lawyer. Appointed Mayor of the capital Bangui in 2013 by the former interim government before she was elected Interim President. (b. 1954-).
04.04.2014- President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, Malta
Labour MP 1998-2014 and Minister of Family and Social Solidarity 2013-14. (b. 1958-).

01.01.2015-31.12.2015 President Simonetta Sommaruga, Switzerland
Federal Councillor of Justice and Police and Substitute Councillor of Interior from 2010. Vice-President in 2014.
18.02.2015- President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Croatia
Appointed Minister of European Integration in 2003 and was also Foreign Minister 2005-08. English and Spanish languages professor and former adviser in the Foreign Ministry. Finished second in the first round of the presidential elections in 2014 and won 50,5 % in the second round. (b. 1968-).
05.06.2015- President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, Mauritius
Professor of Organic chemistry and Pro-vice-chancellor of the University of Mauritius.
01.10.2015-01.04.2016 Captain General Lorella Stefanelli, San Marino
Member of the Consiglio Grande e Generale for the Partito Democratico Cristiano from 2012.
29.10.2015- President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, Nepal
Minister for Population and Environment 1997 and Minister of Defence 2009-11, Vice-president of the Nepal Communist Party (Unified Marxist-Leninist) 1998-2015. (b. 1961-).
28.01.2016- President Hilda Heine, the Marshall Islands
Former Secretary of Education as well as Senator and Minister of Education 2012-16
20.05.2016- President Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan
Senior Advisor of the National Security Council 1999-2000, Minister and Chairperson of Mainland Affairs Council 2000-04. Member of the Legislative Yuan 2004-06, Vice-Premier and Minister of Consumer Protection 2006-07, Chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party 2008-12 and from 2014 and Presidential Candidate in 2012. (b. 1956-)

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Breaking News: Obama’s Latest Attempt to Save Clinton From Indictment

 

The Jeffrey Epstein Affair Imperils Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Prospects

The case of the high-flying (alleged) pedophile reveals a broken American political process

Opinion
Obama’s Latest Attempt to Save Clinton From Indictment
POTUS delays critical email release to protect Entitled Establishment Darling

“I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department, or the FBI—not just in this case but in any case,” President Obama said in an interview with Fox News this past April. Despite his repeated claims of not influencing the Department of Justice and FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton‘s private email server scandal, Obama has helped shield her throughout the fiasco.

The White House has protected Clinton’s emails with the most potential to incriminate or impugn Clinton’s self-portrayed public image. In October 2015, the Obama Administration blocked the release of emails between Clinton (while she served as secretary of state) and the president, citing the need to keep such communications confidential. Recently, the Obama Administration also blocked the State Department’s release of emails from Clinton regarding the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership after it had promised to fulfill a Freedom of Information Act Request to IBTimes earlier this year. The request will now allegedly not be completed until after the general election in late November.

“The delay was issued in the same week the Obama administration filed a court motion to try to kill a lawsuit aimed at forcing the federal government to more quickly comply with open records requests for Clinton-era State Department documents,” reported David Sirota of IBTimes.

Hillary Clinton’s involvement with the Trans-Pacific Partnership is riddled with hypocrisy. As secretary of state, Clinton helped move TPP negotiations along. However, she avoided taking a position on TPP for the first few months of her 2016 presidential campaign—until Bernie Sanders’ staunch opposition to the deal forced Clinton to risk losing highly coveted endorsements from labor unions who strongly oppose it. Politifact rated Clinton’s switch as a full flip-flop.

Despite holding back an endorsement during the Democratic primaries, Obama hasn’t made much effort to hide where his favoritism lies. The Clinton campaign recently claimed Obama will be releasing an endorsement for Hillary Clinton very soon. This came shortly after Obama reaffirmed his endorsement of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who faces growing calls for resignation from Sanders supporters and a strong Democratic primary opponent in Tim Canova.

In January 2016, Obama condescendingly referred to Sanders and his unexpected challenge to Clinton’s coronation as a “bright, shiny object,” in an interview with Politico.

“If Bernie Sanders’ campaign has proven anything, it is that there are millions of citizens who are engaged, invested and closely scrutinizing the policy positions of all of the candidates in the electoral field,” countered Harry Jaffe for The Guardian. “If Sanders can bring new voters to the polls with his message of authenticity and empowerment—as he seems to be doing—that’s a testament to the power of his words rather than their shiny quality.”

If Bernie Sanders was under investigation by the FBI and Department of Justice, it is doubtful Obama would be jumping to his defense as he has repeatedly done for Hillary Clinton. “She would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy,” he told Fox News in April 2016, while simultaneously guaranteeing he wouldn’t interfere with the investigation. But by making a judgment at all on Clinton’s private server use, he is intervening—especially by affirming Clinton had no intent, which is vital to determine criminal liability in this case.

Obama, like many of his Democratic colleagues who overwhelmingly support Clinton, were downplaying the private email server investigation as frivolous, until the recent report from the State Department Inspector General illuminated the blatant lies Clinton has been telling the public for over a year. She never received authorization for using a private email server and broke federal record laws by not preserving and turning over her records to the State Department when she left office. Shortly after the report was released, Obama dodged a question at a press conference in Japan, refusing to provide an answer at all, instead telling reporters such questions should be directed to the Clinton and Sanders campaigns—which is what he should have been doing all along.

Just as Hillary Clinton has depended on Obama whenever she was cornered in a debate and needed help diverting an issue, she is now depending on him to get through the FBI and Department of Justice investigation long enough to get to become president—at which point there will be no chance of serving the indictment her actions certainly warrant.

“What we already know about her security infractions should disqualify her for any government position that deals in information critical to mission success, domestic or foreign,” wrote Philip Jennings in an op-ed for USA Today. “But beyond that, her responses to being found out—dismissing its importance, claiming ignorance, blaming others—indict her beyond anything the investigation can reveal. Those elements reveal her character. And the saddest thing is so many Americans seem not to care.”

Filed under: 2016 elections, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, democrats, EmailGate, fbi, Hillary Clinton, State Department, TPP, Trans Pacific Partnership

The case of the high-flying (alleged) pedophile reveals a broken American political process

WASHINGTON—Why is no one in the D.C. political class and media bubble talking about the Jeffrey Epstein affair? Well, it’s not true that they’re not talking about it at all; they’re just not (for the most part) talking about it honestly or asking the right questions. And the right questions are:

Disgraceful Hillary Clinton is ready now for more sex, drugs and rock & roll. She doesn’t realize she is an old woman, fat, with a terrible taste for dressing competing with young girls of 13 yrs old.

Why is the Left-Wing Media Machine pretending that anyone who asks questions about the Epstein-Clinton connection is a paid stooge of the Right-Wing Media Machine? And why is the Right-Wing Media Machine, which would normally be gleefully talking about this or any sordid affair involving the Clintons, being unusually reserved in hyping the case? (Hint: Because some notable conservatives and prominent supporters of Israel — a constituency that used to reside solidly in the Democratic camp but which the GOP in recent years has been wooing, with some notable success— have been implicated in the Epstein scandal too.)

How did our political and media elites ever become so hopelessly corrupt?

?, Jeffrey Epstein== IMPERIA U.S. LAUNCH PARTY AT THE STATUE OF LIBERTY== Liberty Island, NYC== September 7, 2005== ©Patrick McMullan== Photo-Billy Farrell/PMc== ==

?, Jeffrey Epstein==
IMPERIA U.S. LAUNCH PARTY AT THE STATUE OF LIBERTY==
Liberty Island, NYC==
September 7, 2005==
©Patrick McMullan==
Photo-Billy Farrell/PMc==
==

For those of you who haven’t heard much about the Jeffrey Epstein, he is a 62-year-old billionaire and major donor to the Democratic Party. The story erupted after Virginia Roberts gave a sworn statement in a federal court filing that claimed (as reported here by Radar) that that under Mr. Epstein’s tutelage she “was a teen sex slave forced to have sex with Prince Andrew” and that she also saw Bill Clinton on Mr. Epstein’s “orgy island.”

Mr. Epstein’s current predicament is hardly a shock. Back in 2008, at a time he had also been indicted (he was subsequently jailed for about a year) in Florida for sex crimes, Philip Weiss wrote an astonishing story about Mr. Epstein in New York magazine that showed that his legal problems back then had not, surprisingly, made him more “sober and reserved.” Much to the contrary, the allegations against him (from, among others, a 14-year-old girl) had made him more “sparkling and ingenuous.”

SEE ALSO: Servergate Doesn’t Matter: Hillary Was Never Going to Be President Anyway

This earlier investigation of Mr. Epstein, led by the FBI, was reportedly closed and the evidence sealed after Mr. Epstein pleaded guilty to two “minor” counts related to charges that he was involved in underage sex. (How crimes involving sex with underage girls can be deemed “minor” is something of a mystery.) Mr. Epstein has reportedly been a significant donor to the Clinton Foundation, before and after he was implicated in sex crimes.

Bill Clinton is not running for president now but Hillary Clinton is. She must love him at some level but it seems clear she stayed in the marriage at least in part because she believed it would further her own political ambitions.

So OK, let’s acknowledge that there really is a right-wing media and political machine that will attack Bill and Hillary Clinton for any alleged crime, even jaywalking. It’s also true, in my view, that Ken Starr, who sought to impeach Bill Clinton in the mid-1990s, is a twisted zealot and that it’s probably a bad idea to impeach a president for sexual misconduct, because that has nothing to do with his or her ability to govern effectively, keep the country out of needless wars, and help make life better for the American people, especially the growing underclass, and do something about police violence against African-Americans and other manifestations of institutionalized racism.

But Bill Clinton’s conduct, in and out of office, suggests he is a sexual predator without a conscience and has used his power—even the power of the Oval Office—to win sex from many women. That doesn’t mean Bill Clinton has no appeal to women and every woman who ever had sex with him was a “victim.” But some of them were.

It’s complicated in some cases and I don’t know precisely how Monica Lewinsky feels about it, but at minimum Bill Clinton lied to her shamelessly, and in my view, took advantage of her even though she was not a passive participant in the “relationship” they had. And while Monica Lewinsky very unfairly became a joke on late night TV (and sadly I probably laughed at some of those jokes), a lot of people, especially men, respected Bill Clinton more after the Lewinsky scandal because it showed that he could get laid and/or fellated.

It’s great that Lewinsky worked through all of this and has become quite an impressive person. And as noted in this recent New York Times story, some feminists “who had stayed silent on the first go-round” have more recently defended her, deploying terms that have emerged since the 90s like ‘slut-shaming’ and ‘media gender bias,’ and that late night hosts who once mocked her, like David Letterman and Bill Maher, have now expressed remorse for having done so.

To understand just how cold and calculating Bill Clinton is, consider that he reportedly interrupted one sexual encounter with Monica Lewinsky to take a call from a Cuban-American sugar baron from the crucial battleground state of Florida. The narrator of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita ultimately admits to himself that he was a sexual predator: “Unless it can be proven to me—to me as I am now, today, with my heart and my beard, and my putrefaction—that in the infinite run it does not matter a jot that a North American girl-child named Dolores Haze had been deprived of her childhood by a maniac, unless this can be proven (and if it can, then life is a joke), I see nothing for the treatment of my misery but the melancholy and very local palliative of articulate art.” Bill Clinton is incapable of thinking anything like that, and indeed stories heard by every Washington reporter, but which would be hard to independently confirm, he has learned nothing from his past mistakes. Someone else who comes to mind in this context is former Congressman Carlos Danger, aka Anthony Weiner, whose long-suffering wife, Huma Abedin, happens to be Mrs. Clinton’s closest aide.

Bill Clinton is not running for president now but Hillary Clinton is. She must love him at some level but it seems clear she stayed in the marriage at least in part because she believed it would further her own political ambitions. And in the end, her marriage may kill her political ambitions because her husband may be subpoenaed to testify about Jeffrey Epstein. And that probably won’t help Ms. Clinton’s poll numbers (in swing states or anywhere) because most Americans understand that a potential first gentleman should probably not be consorting with pedophiles.

screen-shot-2015-03-24-at-3-11-06-pm

Bill and Monica ( Illustration: Victor Juhasz)

Media coverage about the Epstein case has been sadly predictable. The New York Times and other “mainstream” outlets have reported on the case—of course, it’s too salacious and marketable to ignore—but none as of yet has pointedly and persistently asked important questions about it. The Times is a great newspaper, but it is generally on the liberal side when it comes to national politics and is probably afraid to look at the story too carefully and draw the obvious conclusions.

Mother Jones and other liberal outlets—which pretend to be independent and sometimes criticize Democrats but, just like the union movement, will end up voting for Hillary Clinton or anyone else who becomes the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee—are generally pretending that this is just the right-wing media machine ganging up on the poor Clintons. See, for example, a Mother Jones story last January, “Republicans Are Pushing a New Clinton Sex Scandal.”

I’m not even going to mention David Brock, the former right-wing hatchet man turned liberal hatchet man who now is Ms. Clinton’s pathetic attack dog. Once Mary McCarthy said about Lillian Hellman (who I sort of admire), “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’” That’s David Brock for you.

Meanwhile, the right-wing media has been unusually reserved about the Epstein case. That’s probably because defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, who is an Obama supporter but sufficiently noisy in his pro-Israel stance to pass for conservative, has been deeply implicated in the whole story and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak reportedly might be a material witness in the case. So you’ve got right-wingers and Likudniks who may get into trouble too. The whole story is unpredictable so everyone is afraid of it.

Weirdly, three of the only media outlets asking interesting questions about the whole story are Radar (cited above), Gawker and the Daily Caller. Writing in the latter, Nixon acolyte Roger Stone, a well-known Republican political consultant and the Daily Caller’s men’s fashion editor, recently asked, “Is this [the Epstein affair] the scandal that ends Ms. Clinton’s campaign?” Which is one of many good questions the media should be asking more.

For its part, Gawker recently wrote an interesting story titled, Flight Logs Put Clinton, Dershowitz on Pedophile Billionaire’s Sex Jet.” It discussed Mr. Epstein’s “predatory past, and his now-inconvenient relationships with a Who’s Who of the Davos set,” and reported that Bill Clinton had repeatedly flown on the “Lolita Express,” Mr. Epstein’s private jet, “with an actress in softcore porn movies whose name appears in Mr. Epstein’s address book under an entry for ‘massages’.”

WashingtonBabylonIcon (1)

What all this means is that Hillary Clinton’s husband has already been implicated in the Epstein scandal and that his dubious private behavior, which has already once distracted the entire nation from more important business, could do so again if Ms. Clinton does indeed run for president.

What’s worse, at least from my personal standpoint, is that if Ms. Clinton were to become the Democratic nominee I still might vote for her because the likely Republican candidates have retrograde and vile public views about race, class, gender and gay rights, and those are important to me, and especially because the two main parties are virtually indistinguishable when it comes to fundamental economic policy. Because both are bought and paid for by Wall Street and financiers like Jeffrey Epstein, as well as other powerful interests who overwhelmingly fund our political campaigns.

Actually, I still might not vote for Hillary Clinton if she becomes the nominee, but I probably will if my college-age daughter asks me. Even though I don’t think she likes Ms. Clinton all that much—and I expect she likes her husband less—she is appalled and outraged by the GOP’s stone age social politics and because she would like to see a woman become president. And that’s a good enough reason for me. Maybe.

This is why the Epstein affair is a national disgrace and shines a bright light on the current tragedy of American democracy and this country’s abysmal national political and media elites.

Read more about Hillary Clinton’s email controversy here.

Ken Silverstein has been a staff writer at Harper’s Magazine and the Los Angeles Times. He has authored several books, including The Secret World of Oil (Verso) and The Radioactive Boy Scout (Random House). His primary obsessions are politics and media, and his reborn “Washington Babylon” column be buttering up and skewering both about every three weeks in the New York Observer and on Observer.com.

Why is the Left-Wing Media Machine pretending that anyone who asks questions about the Epstein-Clinton connection is a paid stooge of the Right-Wing Media Machine? And why is the Right-Wing Media Machine, which would normally be gleefully talking about this or any sordid affair involving the Clintons, being unusually reserved in hyping the case? (Hint: Because some notable conservatives and prominent supporters of Israel — a constituency that used to reside solidly in the Democratic camp but which the GOP in recent years has been wooing, with some notable success— have been implicated in the Epstein scandal too.)

How did our political and media elites ever become so hopelessly corrupt?

For those of you who haven’t heard much about the Jeffrey Epstein, he is a 62-year-old billionaire and major donor to the Democratic Party. The story erupted after Virginia Roberts gave a sworn statement in a federal court filing that claimed (as reported here by Radar) that that under Mr. Epstein’s tutelage she “was a teen sex slave forced to have sex with Prince Andrew” and that she also saw Bill Clinton on Mr. Epstein’s “orgy island.”

Mr. Epstein’s current predicament is hardly a shock. Back in 2008, at a time he had also been indicted (he was subsequently jailed for about a year) in Florida for sex crimes, Philip Weiss wrote an astonishing story about Mr. Epstein in New York magazine that showed that his legal problems back then had not, surprisingly, made him more “sober and reserved.” Much to the contrary, the allegations against him (from, among others, a 14-year-old girl) had made him more “sparkling and ingenuous.”

SEE ALSO: Servergate Doesn’t Matter: Hillary Was Never Going to Be President Anyway

This earlier investigation of Mr. Epstein, led by the FBI, was reportedly closed and the evidence sealed after Mr. Epstein pleaded guilty to two “minor” counts related to charges that he was involved in underage sex. (How crimes involving sex with underage girls can be deemed “minor” is something of a mystery.) Mr. Epstein has reportedly been a significant donor to the Clinton Foundation, before and after he was implicated in sex crimes.

Bill Clinton is not running for president now but Hillary Clinton is. She must love him at some level but it seems clear she stayed in the marriage at least in part because she believed it would further her own political ambitions.

So OK, let’s acknowledge that there really is a right-wing media and political machine that will attack Bill and Hillary Clinton for any alleged crime, even jaywalking. It’s also true, in my view, that Ken Starr, who sought to impeach Bill Clinton in the mid-1990s, is a twisted zealot and that it’s probably a bad idea to impeach a president for sexual misconduct, because that has nothing to do with his or her ability to govern effectively, keep the country out of needless wars, and help make life better for the American people, especially the growing underclass, and do something about police violence against African-Americans and other manifestations of institutionalized racism.

But Bill Clinton’s conduct, in and out of office, suggests he is a sexual predator without a conscience and has used his power—even the power of the Oval Office—to win sex from many women. That doesn’t mean Bill Clinton has no appeal to women and every woman who ever had sex with him was a “victim.” But some of them were.

It’s complicated in some cases and I don’t know precisely how Monica Lewinsky feels about it, but at minimum Bill Clinton lied to her shamelessly, and in my view, took advantage of her even though she was not a passive participant in the “relationship” they had. And while Monica Lewinsky very unfairly became a joke on late night TV (and sadly I probably laughed at some of those jokes), a lot of people, especially men, respected Bill Clinton more after the Lewinsky scandal because it showed that he could get laid and/or fellated.

It’s great that Lewinsky worked through all of this and has become quite an impressive person. And as noted in this recent New York Times story, some feminists “who had stayed silent on the first go-round” have more recently defended her, deploying terms that have emerged since the 90s like ‘slut-shaming’ and ‘media gender bias,’ and that late night hosts who once mocked her, like David Letterman and Bill Maher, have now expressed remorse for having done so.

To understand just how cold and calculating Bill Clinton is, consider that he reportedly interrupted one sexual encounter with Monica Lewinsky to take a call from a Cuban-American sugar baron from the crucial battleground state of Florida. The narrator of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita ultimately admits to himself that he was a sexual predator: “Unless it can be proven to me—to me as I am now, today, with my heart and my beard, and my putrefaction—that in the infinite run it does not matter a jot that a North American girl-child named Dolores Haze had been deprived of her childhood by a maniac, unless this can be proven (and if it can, then life is a joke), I see nothing for the treatment of my misery but the melancholy and very local palliative of articulate art.” Bill Clinton is incapable of thinking anything like that, and indeed stories heard by every Washington reporter, but which would be hard to independently confirm, he has learned nothing from his past mistakes. Someone else who comes to mind in this context is former Congressman Carlos Danger, aka Anthony Weiner, whose long-suffering wife, Huma Abedin, happens to be Mrs. Clinton’s closest aide.

Bill Clinton is not running for president now but Hillary Clinton is. She must love him at some level but it seems clear she stayed in the marriage at least in part because she believed it would further her own political ambitions. And in the end, her marriage may kill her political ambitions because her husband may be subpoenaed to testify about Jeffrey Epstein. And that probably won’t help Ms. Clinton’s poll numbers (in swing states or anywhere) because most Americans understand that a potential first gentleman should probably not be consorting with pedophiles.
Bill and Monica ( Illustration: Victor Juhasz)

Bill and Monica ( Illustration: Victor Juhasz)

Media coverage about the Epstein case has been sadly predictable. The New York Times and other “mainstream” outlets have reported on the case—of course, it’s too salacious and marketable to ignore—but none as of yet has pointedly and persistently asked important questions about it. The Times is a great newspaper, but it is generally on the liberal side when it comes to national politics and is probably afraid to look at the story too carefully and draw the obvious conclusions.

Mother Jones and other liberal outlets—which pretend to be independent and sometimes criticize Democrats but, just like the union movement, will end up voting for Hillary Clinton or anyone else who becomes the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee—are generally pretending that this is just the right-wing media machine ganging up on the poor Clintons. See, for example, a Mother Jones story last January, “Republicans Are Pushing a New Clinton Sex Scandal.”

I’m not even going to mention David Brock, the former right-wing hatchet man turned liberal hatchet man who now is Ms. Clinton’s pathetic attack dog. Once Mary McCarthy said about Lillian Hellman (who I sort of admire), “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’” That’s David Brock for you.

Meanwhile, the right-wing media has been unusually reserved about the Epstein case. That’s probably because defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, who is an Obama supporter but sufficiently noisy in his pro-Israel stance to pass for conservative, has been deeply implicated in the whole story and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak reportedly might be a material witness in the case. So you’ve got right-wingers and Likudniks who may get into trouble too. The whole story is unpredictable so everyone is afraid of it.

Weirdly, three of the only media outlets asking interesting questions about the whole story are Radar (cited above), Gawker and the Daily Caller. Writing in the latter, Nixon acolyte Roger Stone, a well-known Republican political consultant and the Daily Caller’s men’s fashion editor, recently asked, “Is this [the Epstein affair] the scandal that ends Ms. Clinton’s campaign?” Which is one of many good questions the media should be asking more.

For its part, Gawker recently wrote an interesting story titled, Flight Logs Put Clinton, Dershowitz on Pedophile Billionaire’s Sex Jet.” It discussed Mr. Epstein’s “predatory past, and his now-inconvenient relationships with a Who’s Who of the Davos set,” and reported that Bill Clinton had repeatedly flown on the “Lolita Express,” Mr. Epstein’s private jet, “with an actress in softcore porn movies whose name appears in Mr. Epstein’s address book under an entry for ‘massages’.”

WashingtonBabylonIcon (1)

What all this means is that Hillary Clinton’s husband has already been implicated in the Epstein scandal and that his dubious private behavior, which has already once distracted the entire nation from more important business, could do so again if Ms. Clinton does indeed run for president.

What’s worse, at least from my personal standpoint, is that if Ms. Clinton were to become the Democratic nominee I still might vote for her because the likely Republican candidates have retrograde and vile public views about race, class, gender and gay rights, and those are important to me, and especially because the two main parties are virtually indistinguishable when it comes to fundamental economic policy. Because both are bought and paid for by Wall Street and financiers like Jeffrey Epstein, as well as other powerful interests who overwhelmingly fund our political campaigns.

Actually, I still might not vote for Hillary Clinton if she becomes the nominee, but I probably will if my college-age daughter asks me. Even though I don’t think she likes Ms. Clinton all that much—and I expect she likes her husband less—she is appalled and outraged by the GOP’s stone age social politics and because she would like to see a woman become president. And that’s a good enough reason for me. Maybe.

This is why the Epstein affair is a national disgrace and shines a bright light on the current tragedy of American democracy and this country’s abysmal national political and media elites.

Ken Silverstein has been a staff writer at Harper’s Magazine and the Los Angeles Times. He has authored several books, including The Secret World of Oil (Verso) and The Radioactive Boy Scout (Random House). His primary obsessions are politics and media, and his reborn “Washington Babylon” column be buttering up and skewering both about every three weeks in the New York Observer and on Observer.com.

Delay: FBI Has Threatened Loretta Lynch To Indict Hillary Clinton, or Else

loretta_lynch_002-680x365

Hillary Clinton likely never expected to have to fight so hard just to win this year’s primary. What was supposed to be a coronation of the presumptive nominee has now become a bitter battle just to hold on to the nomination that she once had in the bag.

If that weren’t enough for Clinton, it now looks as if she may need to win one more battle if she’d like to get the nomination. Word from Washington D.C. has it that the FBI is now ready to indict the former Secretary of State for her unlawful possession of classified materials.

In fact, according to former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom Delay, the FBI has accumulated so much evidence against the Democrat frontrunner, those within the organization are threatening to go public should an indictment not occur.

Loretta Elizabeth Lynch (born May 21, 1959) is the 83rd and current Attorney General of the United States, having previously served as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Her tenure as U.S. Attorney began in 2010, and she also held that position from 1999 to 2001. As U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Lynch oversaw federal prosecutions in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island.

Lynch graduated from Harvard Law School in 1984. She then practiced law in New York and became a federal prosecutor in 1990, rising to become head of the Eastern District office. She later returned to private law practice, until she again became the top district prosecutor. From 2003 to 2005, she served on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

On November 8, 2014, President Barack Obama nominated her to succeed Eric Holder as Attorney General.[1] On February 26, 2015, the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate confirmed her appointment by a 12–8 vote, with all Democrats of the committee and three Republicans in favor. On April 23, 2015, Lynch was confirmed by the Senate by a 56–43 vote, making her the first African-American woman and the second woman to be confirmed for the position. She was sworn in as Attorney General on April 27, 2015, by Vice President Joe Biden.

See what Tom Delay has to say about the indictment on the next page:

This clearly isn’t the primary Hillary likely imagined, but the outcome may be all too familiar. No stranger to devastating primary losses, Hillary Clinton may just as likely end up a resident of the big house as she is the White House.

Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom Delay says that insiders within the FBI are closing in on their case against Hillary Clinton, just in time for the primaries.

“They’re ready to recommend an indictment and they also say that if the attorney general does not indict, they’re going public.”

Clinton is under FBI investigation for her use of a private server to conduct confidential government business while she was secretary of state. But some Republicans fear any FBI recommendation that hurts Clinton will be squashed by the Obama administration.

And what is it that Hillary Clinton was made a protegee of Barack Obama? What is it that Clinton knows about Barack Obama that forced President Obama to protect crminal Hillary Clinton?

Why no one dare to ask these questions? Why are Hillary Clinton and her hubby staying in the White House as well as Barack Obama? What is Barack Obama hiding to Americans? [Ainhoa]

DeLay, a Texas Republican and Washington Times radio host, said:

“One way or another either she’s going to be indicted and that process begins, or we try her in the public eye with her campaign. One way or another she’s going to have to face these charges.”

Clinton should have been charged long time ago. It has been a long process because the Clintons are hiding the truth so it makes the work of FBI director Comey a lengthy process.

While many have bemoaned the lengthy process that has led to her now-impending indictment, the timing could not have been any more perfect for Hillary detractors. Should this indictment interrupt the primary season, the Democrats may very well end up with a geriatric socialist loon as their nominee. In other words, the GOP can start redecorating the White House right away.

Source: Newsmax
Photo: US Mission Geneva

Meet Hillary’s Big Money Donor Who Moonlights As A Lawyer For Mexican Drug Cartels

Meet Hillary’s Big Money Donor Who Moonlights As A Lawyer For Mexican Drug Cartels

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2016/04/15/meet-hillarys-big-money-donor-who-moonlights-as-a-lawyer-for-mexican-drug-cartels/#ixzz4AS2QqahK

Elections 2016

Meet Hillary’s Big Money Donor Who Moonlights As A Lawyer For Mexican Drug Cartels

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2016/04/15/meet-hillarys-big-money-donor-who-moonlights-as-a-lawyer-for-mexican-drug-cartels/#ixzz4ASNQBrUG

Around the time Yzaguirre was funding Clinton, he picked up another client with ties to the drug trade. This time it was Osiel Cardenas Guillen, another former head of the Gulf Cartel.

According to The McAllen Monitor, Guillen was arrested in 2000 in Mexico and was extradited to the U.S. in 2007. Guillen was represented by Yzaguirre.

Then in 2014, Yzaguirre, according to The Dallas Morning News and the Associated Press, Juan Francisco Saenz-Tamez, the head of the Gulf Cartel, was arrested by US authorities in South Texas after being indicted on three drug and money launder charges. Again, Clinton donor Roberto Yzaguirre was the lawyer of choice.

The Gulf Cartel is one of Mexico’s most violent drug trafficking criminal organizations. From 2006-2012, it is estimated that 80,000 to 150,000 people have been killed due to drug violence. According to US officials, the split between the Zetas Cartel and the Gulf Cartel was one of the reasons behind the massive explosion in violence in Mexico.

In the 2015 Yzaguirre gave $300 to Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela 
18%
, Jr. who represents Texas’s 34th Congressional District.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2016/04/15/meet-hillarys-big-money-donor-who-moonlights-as-a-lawyer-for-mexican-drug-cartels/#ixzz4ASOKWa2N

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Meet Hillary’s Big Money Donor Who Moonlights As A Lawyer For Mexican Drug Cartels
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Steve Guest
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Attorney Roberto Yzaguirre, who has represented many Gulf Cartel bosses, has donated $2,000 to Hillary Clinton’s election efforts.

When Mexican drug lord Juan García Abrego was extradited to America, Yzaguirre was his lawyer. Abrego was the boss of the Gulf cartel until he was arrested in 1996.

In a 1996 Texas Monthly article, the magazine writes, “The San Antonio lawyer started out defending friends who had been busted for smoking pot. Twenty-five years later, his clients are big-time dope dealers and international cocaine kingpins — and he believes he’s saving the world.”

According to OpenSecrets, Yzaguirre has given Clinton two payments of $1,000. His first campaign contribution was in 2005 and his second one was in 2007.

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Around the time Yzaguirre was funding Clinton, he picked up another client with ties to the drug trade. This time it was Osiel Cardenas Guillen, another former head of the Gulf Cartel.

According to The McAllen Monitor, Guillen was arrested in 2000 in Mexico and was extradited to the U.S. in 2007. Guillen was represented by Yzaguirre.

Then in 2014, Yzaguirre, according to The Dallas Morning News and the Associated Press, Juan Francisco Saenz-Tamez, the head of the Gulf Cartel, was arrested by US authorities in South Texas after being indicted on three drug and money launder charges. Again, Clinton donor Roberto Yzaguirre was the lawyer of choice.

The Gulf Cartel is one of Mexico’s most violent drug trafficking criminal organizations. From 2006-2012, it is estimated that 80,000 to 150,000 people have been killed due to drug violence. According to US officials, the split between the Zetas Cartel and the Gulf Cartel was one of the reasons behind the massive explosion in violence in Mexico.

In the 2015 Yzaguirre gave $300 to Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela 
18%
, Jr. who represents Texas’s 34th Congressional District.

Follow Steve on Twitter and Facebook

Tags: Elections 2016, Filemon Vela, Gulf Cartel, Hillary Clinton, Roberto Yzaguirre

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2016/04/15/meet-hillarys-big-money-donor-who-moonlights-as-a-lawyer-for-mexican-drug-cartels/#ixzz4ASOSWZZz

Petitioning Attorney General, Department of Justice Loretta Lynch

Petitioning Attorney General, Department of Justice Loretta Lynch
Indict Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton should be immediately indicted for:

1. Obstruction of justice. If any average citizen lied to investigative officials, failed to turn over evidence, provided only selective evidence, they would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. If any average military personnel with even the lightest of Security Clearance was in breach as Clinton clearly was, they would be prosecuted. Why are our officials not held accountable for their actions?

2. Spoliation of evidence. If any average citizen wiped the hard drive after requests from authorities to turn it over, they would be prosecuted. Why are our officials not held accountable for their actions?

3. Violaton of Federal Records Act (perhaps willful). Our officials agree to be accountable when they hold office. They also agree to comply with the Federal Records Act. Why are our officials not held accountable for their actions?

4. Violation of Espionage Act (perhaps willful). Our officials with Security Clearances agree to hold sensitive information vital to our country’s security with strict restrictions. Ignoring these restrictions should be prosecuted in full, and not doing so is treason against every American. Why are our officials not held accountable for their actions?

The Clinton Foundation ties to weapons deals should also be thoroughly investigated.
This petition will be delivered to:

Attorney General, Department of Justice
Loretta Lynch

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

Indict Hillary Clinton

By Wouldlike Change
Global Research, June 01, 2016
Change.org
Region: USA
Theme: Law and Justice
In-depth Report: U.S. Elections

Hillary-RamboHillary Clinton should be immediately indicted for:

1. Obstruction of justice. If any average citizen lied to investigative officials, failed to turn over evidence, provided only selective evidence, they would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. If any average military personnel with even the lightest of Security Clearance was in breach as Clinton clearly was, they would be prosecuted. Why are our officials not held accountable for their actions?

2. Spoliation of evidence. If any average citizen wiped the hard drive after requests from authorities to turn it over, they would be prosecuted. Why are our officials not held accountable for their actions?

3. Violaton of Federal Records Act (perhaps willful). Our officials agree to be accountable when they hold office. They also agree to comply with the Federal Records Act. Why are our officials not held accountable for their actions?

4. Violation of Espionage Act (perhaps willful). Our officials with Security Clearances agree to hold sensitive information vital to our country’s security with strict restrictions. Ignoring these restrictions should be prosecuted in full, and not doing so is treason against every American. Why are our officials not held accountable for their actions?

The Clinton Foundation ties to weapons deals should also be thoroughly investigated.

To sign petition click https://www.change.org/p/doj-indict-hillary-clinton

Die-Hard Bernie Sanders Backers See F.B.I. as Answer to Their Prayers B

Die-Hard Bernie Sanders Backers See F.B.I. as Answer to Their Prayers

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Senator Bernie Sanders may be trailing Hillary Clinton by hundreds of delegates, and Mrs. Clinton may be treating the Democratic nomination as hers, but Julie Crowell, a stay-at-home mother and a die-hard Sanders supporter, is holding out for an 11th-hour miracle: divine deliverance at the hands of the F.B.I.

Like many of Mr. Sanders’s supporters, Ms. Crowell, 37, said she hoped that Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state would eventually yield an indictment, and she described it as the kind of transgression that would disqualify another politician seeking high office.

“She should be removed,” said Ms. Crowell, of Tustin, Calif., who attended a Sanders rally here on Tuesday and said she planned to vote for a third-party candidate if Mr. Sanders failed to overtake Mrs. Clinton and capture the Democratic nomination. “I don’t know why she’s not already being told, ‘You can’t run because you’re being investigated.’ I don’t know how that’s not a thing.”

Campaigning in California, where polls show a tightening primary race, Mr. Sanders continued to hit Mrs. Clinton over her positions on Wall Street, trade deals, the minimum wage, hydrofracking and “super PACs” — seemingly everything except her emails, which he took off the table as an issue during an early Democratic debate. But Mrs. Clinton faces renewed criticism after an inspector general’s report faulted her for violating the State Department’s records-retention policy. And as the F.B.I. continues to investigate the handling of classified information, attendees at Sanders rallies have repeatedly expressed hope that the scandal results in criminal charges.

“If there’s any chance of her getting indicted, they shouldn’t even consider her for the nomination,” said Zachary O’Neill, 21, of Escondido. “We can’t have a criminal in the White House.”

Is time to quit Hillary

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

Embedded in Brexit: An Inside Look at the Anti-EU Movement

Life as a euroskeptic isn’t that bad. I tried it myself. You spend a lot of time in the fresh air, you meet a lot of new friends and brothers-in-arms and you get to take part in an anti-establishment rebellion. Some of my new friends have even called the effort to split off from the European Union a freedom fight. I call it Great Britain’s biggest propaganda battle in decades.

An astonishing movement has developed ahead of the June 23 EU referendum — from the right to the left, from Tories to Labor to non-voters, from blue-collar workers to hedge fund managers. The EU opponents are known as Brexiteers. They pass out flyers in city centers, hold podium discussions and write op-eds for the newspapers. Some of them have been working for years to get Britain out of the EU, while others only just joined the movement a short time ago. Most emphasize that they value the Continent, as a vacation destination, but they don’t want to be governed from there.

I joined the Brexit movement as an activist, even though SPIEGEL reporters generally aren’t allowed to go undercover and some colleagues were skeptical. But the strategists behind the largest anti-EU initiatives only allow journalists limited insight into their campaigns. Furthermore, I hoped that being on the inside might help me understand that which seems incomprehensible from the outside: The fact that a country wants to turn its back on Europe during one of the most intense crises in decades. Finally, I was curious how it would feel on the other side.

I have long been a euphoric European. For me, Europe wasn’t just an idea from Brussels or a political project; it was both reality and a sanctuary at the same time. When I was 17, a friend of mine and I traveled on Interrail tickets from the Ruhr Valley to England, Ireland, France and Spain — and we simply couldn’t get enough of this Continent. Europe was the antithesis of a provincial backwater. It was an expansion of our horizons and an opportunity to leave dull Germany far behind and transcend frontiers.

A lot has happened since then. Europe is fraying into nation-states, the fences are returning and Greece still stands at the edge of the abyss. The euphoria has evaporated and now, when I think about the Continent, I do so with a feeling of melancholy and decline. I am afraid that Britain could loosen a few bricks and the entire European structure could come crashing down. The British, after all, may be the greatest skeptics, but they are far from the only ones. What is happening on the island could soon happen elsewhere as well. That was the fourth reason for joining the Brexit movement: To take a closer look at the worst-case scenario.

Organizing the Troops

My service as a Brexiteer begins in an office building at Lambeth Bridge, across from the Palace of Westminster. It is the middle of February and Prime Minister David Cameron has just flown back to London from Brussels and, stands at a podium in front of 10 Downing Street, explaining the “deal” he has reached with the rest of the EU member states. Included in the agreement is Great Britain’s exemption from the formulation “ever closer union,” that the power of euro-zone member states will be limited outside of the common currency zone and that EU immigrants will not be allowed social benefits for up to four years. Cameron is hopeful that the deal will convince his countrymen to remain in the European Union.

On the very next day, a Sunday, the Vote Leave initiative starts a telephone campaign and the battle against Europe escalates. My job is to collect supporters in opposition to Cameron. Among Vote Leave’s supporters are several politicians belonging to the country’s largest parties, including Secretary of State for Justice Michael Gove and former London Mayor Boris Johnson.

When I walk through a glass door on the building’s seventh floor, John stretches out his hands as though I were his long lost brother. “Had breakfast already? Tea, coffee, croissants, fruit?” John heads up the Vote Leave call center. Inside the room are long tables covered with two- to three-dozen computer screens. The Thames can be seen out the window. The organization’s leaders have their offices next door, including the lobbyist Matthew Elliott, who coordinates Vote Leave initiatives around the country. It is here that the movement develops its strategies and organizes the troops. Ten volunteers, almost all of them in their late twenties or early thirties, have shown up on this morning. John assigns me a monitor and says that our first task is to call Tory city councilmen across the country to ask if they are interested in helping Vote Leave.

Back in 2013, Matthew Elliott began the process of making contacts, finding rich donors and uniting the country’s euroskeptic elite in organizations like Business for Britain. Some of those Elliott brought together have been waiting for the referendum for years. He poured the movement’s foundation.

Now, it is time to organize town councilors along with small-business leaders and other sympathizers. The mood in the room is relaxed and nobody seems particularly surprised that a German is interested in helping out the Brexit camp. Next to me sits Harry, who is just as vehemently opposed to the EU as everyone else here. Harry says that he is most bothered by people who complain to him about Europe but who then say they aren’t sure how they are going to vote in June.

Money, Chocolate or Flowers

I pick up the phone. The text that I am to recite appears on the screen: “Good morning, I am calling from Vote Leave, the campaign for Britain to leave the EU. The prime minister just returned with a deal from Brussels. But we don’t believe that he has achieved the fundamental reforms that this country needs.” The telephone computer connects me with Kent, South Wales, Somerset — with 40 or 50 places. Every few seconds, someone in the room calls out: “Fantastic!” The message is that everything is going well — that Cameron may have a deal, but it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on.

I am surprised that some of the town councilors I reach on this morning haven’t yet made up their minds. A Tory from southern England, a member of the euroskeptic campaign Conservatives for Britain, says that he is favor of the EU. Before I can ask him why, then, he is involved with the skeptics, he ends the call. Another asks me what I’ll offer him to vote for Brexit: Money, chocolate, flowers?

Harry is also having difficulties. “You’re still undecided? Somehow everyone is saying that at the moment.” While I can only see a tiny slice of the national mood on this morning, there seems to be cause for optimism for a European such as myself. That is the first surprise. What if the majority of the British can come to terms with Europe?

After two hours, I’m exhausted. John says I can come back any time and that he’s here every day. Good, I answer. Fantastic! I call Ainhoa and stay on the phone 3 hours. She knows it all.

Brexit is fun: That is the second surprise. My companions seem strangely exuberant, as though they are on an emotional high. They are fighting a war of conviction and talk of freedom and independence — which lends their words the additional pretense of moral legitimacy.

As with any political movement that seeks to topple the status quo, the anti-Europeans have to be louder than their opponents. They have to explain why it is worth it to leave the EU. My impression is that the Brexiteers are fighting a proxy war. Their enemy isn’t Europe, but the powerful elite in London and Brussels. They feel as though they have been shoved aside and cheated; they feel overwhelmed by immigrants, globalization and the question as to when they actually lost their old England. Brussels is only a metaphor for their feeling of loss of control.

The Brexiteers see themselves as being part of a popular revolt against the establishment — as part of a citizens’ rebellion. This feeling is amplified by the fact that the pro-European campaign Britain Stronger in Europe is being funded by high finance: by Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and other banks. The anti-EU movement, by contrast, collects its money in the form of small contributions and from rich private doners.

Fixated on Money

It is March when the Brexit movement ignites the next stage and takes to the streets. On a cool Saturday morning I find myself in the pedestrian zone of Oxford and pull on a red T-shirt bearing the Vote Leave logo. Ten activists have assembled around a folding table — including three women, which surprises me. Thus far, Brexit had seemed to be largely a masculine movement. James, the coordinator, says we should distribute brochures and ask passersby to approach the table, where they can add themselves to an address list.

There are two flyers. The first one says that Britain could build a new hospital every week for the amount of money the country contributes to the EU. On the second, it says: “There are 35 million potholes in Great Britain. But your money is being spent on bridges like this one in Greece.” It is illustrated with a picture of the Rio-Antirrio Bridge on the Gulf of Corinth.

I have always been surprised by the degree to which euroskeptics are fixated on money. The net sum of £8.5 billion that Great Britain sent to Brussels last year is a significant sum, but it is only just over 1 percent of the country’s entire budget.

Many people shake their heads when they see the flyers: Thanks, but no thanks. One older woman says that she was born in the 1930s and doesn’t want to see Europe break apart again. A young woman says that her great-grandfather fought in World War I and her grandfather in World War II — Europe stands for peace! I find their support for the EU encouraging: Oxford is more cosmopolitan than its surroundings. Later, I sit down in a café with David and Mark, who likewise helped distribute flyers. Mark is a 26-year-old anarchist who works at an emergency hotline, while David is in his late 50s, a Tory voter and the owner of a small real estate company. They have little in common aside from their fight for limited government, low taxes and a country that is subject to few outside influences.

The battle against the EU unites anarchists with entrepreneurs; it pairs defenders of democracy with those skeptical of state power; it brings critics of the state together with patriots. It is an alliance of the dissatisfied, a confederacy of people who have little and feel as though they have been left behind together with those who have a lot and want to hang on to it. They have in common a significant portion of schadenfreude. “Europe is shitting their pants about us leaving,” says David. “One less country to pay for the French farmers.”

The more time I spend among the Brexiteers, the more convincing their arguments begin to seem. By now, I’m almost beginning to believe myself that Brussels is full of corrupt imperialists who spend their days thinking of new strategies of repression. One of the favorite arguments advanced by Brexit supporters is that Britain’s departure would send shockwaves across the Continent and force the EU to become more efficient. As such, rejecting Europe would be beneficial to all. It is tempting to believe them.

A Snotty Club

Great Britain was always a half-hearted member of the European club. They joined because of the free-trade zone, but the country always distrusted the federalist ambitions of the Brussels elite and of the founding states. Libertarianism has a long tradition on the island. The first Brexit initiative emerged in 1969, before Britain even joined the European Economic Community, the precursor to the EU. Since then, dozens of groups, think tanks and networks have been nourishing euroskepticism, which is another reason why the Brexit movement was able to become so strong.

Simon Richards is traveling through the country on behalf of Better Off Out, a Brexit initiative that has been fighting against the EU for 10 years. It is mid-April and the intense third phase is underway. Richards is sitting in a train heading for Haywards Heath in southern England. For the last eight years, he has been head of the Freedom Association, a lobby organization to which Better Off Out belongs. He is a Brexit veteran who has spent much of his life fighting against Brussels. I tell him that I am a journalist from Germany.

He relates to me that his anarcho-capitalistic tendencies developed early and that, even during his school days, he used to protest against excessive state control and overly powerful labor unions. The real fight, though, began in 1990 when Margaret Thatcher was forced by her own party to resign. From Richard’s perspective, it was a huge mistake that continues to have implications today. David Cameron, he says, took the Tories hostage and, together with his Eton friends, transformed the party into a snotty club that has no connection to the people. That, he says, is how UKIP came to be. In fact, the rise of the populist United Kingdom Independence Party has come thanks to both its use of xenophobic language as well as the fact that Cameron has maneuvered the Conservative Party toward the center.

The great thing about doing battle against Europe is that you can learn something new every day. For example that the EU is to blame for the war in Ukraine and is likewise to be blamed for the fact that Britain was unable to protect itself from recent floods. That, at least, is what it says on the flyers passed out by the local UKIP chapter in Haywards Heath.

Not only that, but I have also learned in the last few weeks that the EU plans to swallow up the British Isles and make them part of a super-state. The EU, say Brexiteers, increases the danger of terror attacks, makes British beef 36 percent more expensive and is making it possible for 76 million Turks to soon be allowed to come to Europe. If Britain decides to stay in the EU, says Secretary of State for Justice Michael Gove, then “we’re voting to be hostages locked in the back of the car.”

Coming Out

In Haywards Heath, Richards is applauded enthusiastically for his anti-EU speech, with only a 95-year-old world war veteran daring to contradict him. Finally, I am asked what I, as a German, think of the Brexit debate. I say what I have been thinking the entire time: that it would be a catastrophe if Great Britain were to leave. It is my coming out. The British bring cosmopolitanism to Europe and also act as an antipode to France. We Germans, we Europeans, need you, I hear myself saying.

The room is filled with around 30 people, and they fall silent. Then, a woman hisses: “You just want our money.”

It’s probably pointless. They aren’t likely going to be convinced of Europe by a million pounds. The Brexiteers’ fight is bigger than the EU. They want to stop time because they are afraid of the future.

Should Europe break apart, it is here where the first cracks are visible — in Haywards Heath, in the pedestrian zone of Oxford, at Lambeth Bridge. I was surprised by the vehemence and resolve with which the Brexit movement glorifies the retreat — with which it glorifies isolation. At the same time, I also experienced significant resistance in those places where I campaigned for leaving the EU. My hope is that the Brexiteers will become quieter if Britain decides to stay in the EU on June 23.

The mood in Haywards Heath is buoyant. Then a speaker asks who in the crowd is in favor of Europe. Behind me, three hands are raised, including that of the war veteran. Only three.

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May 25, 2016 – 03:58 PM
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Berning down the House, A Dance Party & Benefit for Bernie Sanders

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Berning Down The House: A Dance Party & Benefit for Bernie Sanders
Friday 20 May 2016 9:00 PM
in a day

Come out and socialize/party/drink/dance/be merry/etc. to dance hits from the 70s/80s/90s in honor of our man, Bernie!

$5 minimum donation.

100% of the door money will be donated to help the Bernie Sanders campaign. To find out more about Bernie’s campaign and how you can directly donate check out his official campaign website:
https://berniesanders.com
The Voter Registration Brigade will be registering any last minute voters!

Big thanks to The Maltese for letting us party for Bernie!
If you have any questions/comments/concerns/ideas email them to: missmollyroberts@gmail.com

Ausnahmezustand in Venezuela: Wie die Menschen leiden 18.05.2016 – State of Emergency in Venezuela 18.05.2016

Wir sagen Danke

danke_rdax_600x282

Notstand in Venezuela: Ein Land vor dem Kollaps.
In Venezuela mangelt es an Lebensmitteln – auch Strom und Wasser sind knapp. Besonders schwierig ist die Lage in den Krankenhäusern. Das Land befindet sich im Notstand.

Visit the site below to learn more about the situation in Venezuela, and Spiegel Online International to see gallery and videos. Very good presentation by Spiegel.

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/venezuela-ein-land-vor-dem-kollaps-a-1092795.html

Jose Villarroel waits for hours in an emergency operating room at Luis Razetti Hospital in Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela, April 15, 2016. The economic crisis in this country has exploded into a public health emergency, part of a larger unraveling that has become so widespread it has prompted President Nicolas Maduro to impose a state of emergency, raising fears of a government collapse. (Meridith Kohut/The New York Times) *** Mindesthonorar 50Euro, Bitte auf moegliche weitere Vermerke achten! maximale Online-Nutzungsdauer: 12 Monate ***

Jose Villarroel waits for hours in an emergency operating room at Luis Razetti Hospital in Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela, April 15, 2016. The economic crisis in this country has exploded into a public health emergency, part of a larger unraveling that has become so widespread it has prompted President Nicolas Maduro to impose a state of emergency, raising fears of a government collapse. (Meridith Kohut/The New York Times) *** Mindesthonorar 50Euro, Bitte auf moegliche weitere Vermerke achten! maximale Online-Nutzungsdauer: 12 Monate ***

In Venezuela mangelt es an Lebensmitteln – auch Strom und Wasser sind knapp. Besonders schwierig ist die Lage in den Krankenhäusern. Das Land befindet sich im Notstand.

“Wir haben Hunger” – stundenlang harren die Menschen vor den Geschäften in Venezuela aus, um einige der wenigen Nahrungsmittel zu bekommen. Auch Klopapier und Windeln sind Mangelware. Viele Produkte sind nur noch Armeeangehörigen zugänglich. Der Schwarzhandel blüht, vereinzelt kam es in den Provinzen sogar schon zu Plünderungen.

Doch nicht nur Nahrung und Waren des täglichen Lebens sind knapp, auch Wasser und Strom werden stark reglementiert – die Menschen bunkern Trinkwasser inzwischen in Flaschen. Immer wieder müssen sie im Dunkeln sitzen, weil die Elektrizität abgeschaltet wird.

Grund ist die starke Dürre. Der Wasserstand des El Guri, eines Stausees im südöstlich gelegenen Bundesstaat Bolívar, sinkt und sinkt. Dort produzierte das Wasserkraftwerk bisher 60 Prozent der landesweiten Energie. Kritiker sagen, die Dürre durch das Wetterphänomen El Niño sei vorhersehbar gewesen – die Regierung habe es versäumt, vorzusorgen. Die verwaltet nun den Notstand, die Behörden behelfen sich, indem sie Strom und Trinkwasser rationieren.

Besonders hart trifft der Mangel die Kranken. In den Kliniken des Landes fehlt es an allem: Antibiotika, intravenösen Lösungen, sogar Seife und Essen. “Der Tod von Babys ist unser täglich Brot”, sagte Osleidy Camejo, Chirurg in der Hauptstadt Caracas, der “New York Times”.

Der Präsident flüchtet sich in Verschwörungstheorien

Venezuela steht vor dem Kollaps. Der IWF prognostiziert für dieses Jahr eine extreme Inflation von 720 Prozent. 2015 schrumpfte das Bruttoinlandsprodukt um 5,7 Prozent, dieses Jahr soll das Minus 6,2 Prozent betragen.

Noch hält sich der sozialistische Präsident Nicolás Maduro, er verlängerte den Ausnahmezustand um 60 Tage (Lesen Sie hier eine Analyse). Sein Dekret sieht auch vor, dass Soldaten und lokale Bürgerwehren zur Sicherung der öffentlichen Ordnung und bei Lebensmittelverteilungen zum Einsatz kommen können. Die Opposition wirft dem Präsidenten vor, mit dem Ausnahmezustand eine Diktatur vorzubereiten. Sie hat für Mittwoch erneut zu Massenprotesten aufgerufen.

Maduro flüchtet sich inzwischen in Verschwörungstheorien. Er sieht sich von Feinden umzingelt. Er behauptet, in Venezuela sei eine US-Invasion im Gange. Der Staatschef sieht vor allem den gefallenen Ölpreis als Ursache für den Notstand. Venezuela lebt wie kein zweiter Staat vom Öl. Aus dem Verkauf des Rohstoffs stammte bisher der Großteil der Devisen, mit denen die Regierung den Import von Waren bezahlte.

Für Rücklagen hat Maduro allerdings nicht gesorgt, das rächt sich jetzt – darunter leiden müssen vor allem die Menschen.

Translation into Spanish

Donations can be given for specific projects or areas. Thus, it is up to the donor to specifically support where it is closer to her/him and the urgency of the donation.
Unruly Hearts thanks the donors and supporters.

Hephata thanks all supporters and friends for their financial, ideological and strong support in donations, goods and stamp donations. Without their donations we had many successful projects insufficiently or not to set in motion. Our work and the lifestyle of the assisted people have suffered significant losses. For all of us who live or work in Hephata, it’s a good feeling to welcome solidarity. We are proud of the trust you have placed on us.

fundraising

For decades, with Public Relations Hephatas a fundraising department, the fundraising is carried out over several tracks. One is the quarterly published Circle Magazine “Hephata today”, of which we will ship 16,000 copies in Germany.

In addition, we write to our donors also targeted and ask for support for projects that we can not or only partially financed from own or approved public funds.

Spenden können für ganz bestimmte Projekte oder Bereiche gegeben werden. Damit ist es dem Spender möglich, gezielt da zu unterstützen, wo es ihm persönlich am Herzen liegt oder besonders dringend erscheint.

Wir danken unseren Spendern und Förderern!

Hephata dankt allen Förderern und Freunden für ihre finanzielle, ideelle oder tatkräftige Unterstützung in Form von Geld-, Sach- und Briefmarkenspenden. Ohne ihre Spenden hätten wir viele erfolgreiche Projekte unzureichend oder gar nicht in Gang setzen können. Unsere Arbeit und das Lebensgefühl der betreuten Menschen hätten deutliche Einbußen erlitten. Für uns alle, die wir bei Hephata leben oder arbeiten, ist es ein gutes Gefühl, Solidarität zu spüren. Wir werden uns auch in Zukunft bemühen, das in uns gesetzte Vertrauen zu rechtfertigen.
Spendenwerbung

Seit Jahrzehnten gehört zur Öffentlichkeitsarbeit Hephatas eine Spendenabteilung. Die Spendenwerbung erfolgt über mehrere Schienen. Eine davon ist die viermal jährlich erscheinende Freundeskreis-Zeitschrift „Hephata heute“, von der wir rund 16.000 Exemplare in ganz Deutschland versenden.

Daneben schreiben wir unsere Spender auch gezielt und persönlich an und bitten um Unterstützung bei Projekten, die wir nicht oder nur teilweise aus eigenen oder genehmigten öffentlichen Mitteln finanzieren können.

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

The Coming Democratic Crackup

By Robert Parry
Global Research, May 17, 2016
Consortium News 16 May 2016
Region: USA
Theme: US NATO War Agenda
In-depth Report: U.S. Elections

DemocraticLogo-400x390If the Democratic Party presses ahead and nominates hawkish Hillary Clinton for President, it could recreate the conditions that caused the party to splinter in the late 1960s and early 1970s when anti-war and pro-war Democrats turned on one another and opened a path for decades of Republican dominance of the White House.

This new Democratic crackup could come as early as this fall if anti-war progressives refuse to rally behind Clinton because of her neoconservative foreign policy – thus infuriating Clinton’s backers – or it could happen in four years if Clinton wins the White House and implements her militaristic agenda, including expanding the U.S. war in Syria while continuing other wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya – and challenging Russia on its borders.

Clinton’s neocon policies in a prospective first term could generate a “peace” challenge similar to the youth-driven uprising against President Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam War in 1968.

Indeed, in 2020, anti-war elements of the Democratic Party might see little choice but to seek a candidate willing to challenge an incumbent President Clinton much as Sen. Eugene McCarthy took on President Johnson, leading eventually to the chaotic and bloody Chicago convention, which in turn contributed to Richard Nixon’s narrow victory that fall.

Parry-Clinton-PanettaImage: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at NATO conference in Munich, Germany, Feb. 4, 2012. (Official Defense Department photo)

A difference between Johnson and Clinton, however, is that in 1964, LBJ ran as the “peace candidate” against the hawkish Republican Barry Goldwater (who incidentally was supported by a young Hillary Clinton), whereas in 2016, Clinton has made clear her warlike plans (albeit framing them in “humanitarian” terms).

After winning a landslide victory against Goldwater, Johnson reversed himself and plunged into the Vietnam War, fearing he otherwise might be blamed for “losing” Indochina. With Clinton, there’s no reason to expect a reversal since she’s made no secret about her plans for invading Syria under the guise of creating a “safe zone” and for confronting nuclear-armed Russia along its western borders, from Ukraine through the Baltic States. In her belligerent rhetoric, she has compared Russian President Vladimir Putin to Hitler.

Courting Bibi

Clinton also has vowed to take the U.S.-Israeli relationship to “the next level” by embracing right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who expects to convince President Hillary Clinton to end any détente with Iran and put the prospect of bombing Iran back on the table. Clinton would seem to be an easy sell.

Another feature of the LBJ-Hillary comparison is that the Democratic Party’s turn against the Vietnam War in the 1968 and 1972 campaigns prompted a collection of pro-war intellectuals to bolt the Democratic Party and align themselves with the Republicans, especially around Ronald Reagan in 1980.

Parry-NetanyahuImage: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on March 3, 2015. (Screen shot from CNN broadcast)

Those Democratic hawks became known as the neoconservatives and remained attached to the Republican Party for the next 35 years, eventually emerging as Official Washington’s foreign policy establishment. However, in some prominent cases (such as Robert Kagan), neocons are now switching over to Clinton because of the rise of Donald Trump, who rejects the neocon passion for interventionism.

In other words, just as Johnson’s Vietnam War escalation — and the resulting fierce opposition from anti-war Democrats — set in motion the neocons’ defection from the Democrats to the Republicans, Clinton’s enthusiasm for the Iraq War, her support for escalation of the Afghan War, and her scheming for “regime change” wars in Libya and Syria are bringing some neocon hawks back to their first nesting place in the Democratic Party.

But a President Clinton’s transformation of the Democratic Party into “an aggressive war party,” whereas under President Barack Obama it has been “a reluctant war party,” would force principled anti-war Democrats to stop making excuses and to start trying to expel Clinton’s neocon pro-war attitudes from the party.

Such an internecine battle over the party’s soul could deeply divide the Democrats between those supporting Clinton – as “the first woman president” and because of her liberal attitudes on gay rights and other social issues – and those opposing Clinton because of her desire to continue and expand America’s “perpetual wars.”

The Sanders Resistance

Some of that hostility is already playing out as Clinton backers express their anger at progressives who balk at lining up for Clinton’s long-delayed coronation parade. The stubborn support for Sen. Bernie Sanders, even after Clinton has seemingly locked up the Democratic nomination, is a forewarning of the nasty fight ahead.

Parry-SandersImage: Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

The prospects are that the animosities will get worse if Clinton loses in November – with many anti-war Democrats defecting or staying home thus infuriating the Hillary Democrats – or if Clinton were to win and begin implementing her neocon foreign policy agenda which will involve further demonizing “enemies” to justify “regime changes.”

If anti-war Democrats begin to resist, they can expect the Clinton-45 administration to stigmatize them as (fill-in-the-blank) “apologists” and “stooges” of “enemy” powers, much as happened to protesters against the Vietnam War and, more recently, to Americans who objected to such U.S. interventions as the Iraq War in 2003 and the Ukraine coup in 2014.

Yet, few Democratic strategists seem to be aware of this looming chasm between anti-war and pro-war Democrats. Many of these insiders seem to believe that the anti-war Democrats will simply fall in line behind Hillary Clinton out of fear and loathing for Donald Trump. That may be the case for many, but my conversations with anti-war activists suggest that a significant number will vote for a third party or might even go for Trump.

Meanwhile, most mainstream media commentators are focused on the divisions between the pro-Trump and anti-Trump Republicans, giving extensive TV coverage to various stop-Trump scenarios, even as many establishment Republicans begin to accommodate to Trump’s populist conquest of the party.

But it’s clear that some prominent Republicans, especially from the neocon camp, are unalterably opposed to Trump’s election in November, fearing that he will turn the GOP away from them and toward an “America First” perspective that would repudiate “regime change” interventions favored by Israel.

Thus, for many neocon Republicans, a Trump defeat is preferable to a Trump victory because his defeat would let them reclaim command of the party’s foreign policy infrastructure. They also could encourage President Clinton to pursue their neocon agenda – and watch as pro- and anti-war stresses rip apart the Democratic Party.

So, the establishment Democrats – with their grim determination to resuscitate Hillary Clinton’s nearly lifeless campaign – may be engaging in the political equivalent of whistling past the graveyard, as the ghosts of the party’s Vietnam War crackup hover over Election 2016.

[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Neocons and Neolibs: How ‘Dead’ Ideas Kill”; “Yes, Hillary Clinton Is a Neocon”; and “Would a Clinton Win Mean More Wars?”]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon andbarnesandnoble.com).

The original source of this article is Consortium News
Copyright © Robert Parry, Consortium News, 2016

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

Why Bernie Sanders Should Stay in the Race – —and How He Can Win

By Kevin Zeese and Patrick Walker
Global Research, May 16, 2016
truthdig 13 May 2016
Region: USA
In-depth Report: U.S. Elections

Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

Senator Bernie Sanders

Senator Bernie Sanders

Make no mistake: Settling for Hillary Clinton means abandoning the political revolution that Bernie Sanders has inspired. It means unconditional surrender after overcoming many obstacles in a rigged primary. That’s why the revolution must continue through November and beyond, and the Vermont senator’s supporters must urge him to keep fighting.

The West Virginia primary on Tuesday illustrates why. After his victory there, Sanders wrote: “There is nothing I would like more than to take on and defeat Donald Trump, someone who must never become president of this country.”

Unfortunately, he is unlikely to get that opportunity from the Democratic Party. If Sanders does not remain in the race until the end, he will very likely be helping the Republican candidate. Why? Because nearly half of his voters in West Virginia said they would switch their vote to Trump in November. In fact, we will explain why the best way to prevent Trump from taking the Oval Office would be for Sanders to run on a ticket with Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate.

Sanders’ current plan is to get some of his policies into the unenforceable Democratic Party platform and then simply endorse Clinton for president. But because that platform is unenforceable, it will have little value and is belied by the reality that the Democrats serve big business.
Clinton has a long history of representing Wall Street, Wal-Mart, weapons makers and insurance companies. She is in many ways the opposite of Bernie Sanders. The CEOs on Wall Street—and even the Koch oil barons—want her as the nation’s chief executive because her vision and political views align so perfectly with their own. The global 1 percent will be relieved if, when the revolution ends, they are still in charge and the oligarchy lives on. We can’t let it end that way.

The Corrupt and Unfair Democratic Primaries

Sanders was an independent for more than three decades until joining the Democratic Party last year, and he knew going into the primaries that he would be fighting establishment Democrats who are closely tied to everything he opposes. No insurgent has won a Democratic primary since the current system of superdelegates was put in place in 1982 to stop them.

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This year, that anti-insurgent system also included a plan to have a limited number of debates (and independent and third-party candidates are blocked from participating in them). The number of debates dropped from 25 in 2008 to less than half that numberthis election season—and many were scheduled at times when few voters would be able to watch them. Clinton gave in to pressure for more debates when she thought it was in her interest. Ironically, in each of those face-offs, Sanders at least argued Clinton to a draw, and many saw him as the victor. Thus, the debates did not stop his revolution; in many ways, they grew it.

Another part of the establishment’s anti-insurgent plan is to front-load the primaries and caucuses by having 39 states and territories vote all in the month of March. This strategy usually destroys insurgents because they do not have the money to compete with well-funded, big-business establishment candidates. The Sanders revolt overcame that obstacle by raising millions in small donations.

Closed primaries are also a feature of that anti-insurgent plan, disenfranchising millions of voters who don’t want to join the Democratic or Republican parties. More than 6 million people were deprived of such a vote in New York and Florida alone.

In addition to these anti-democratic tactics, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, was the national co-chair of Clinton’s 2008 campaign. Such an in-the-face conflict of interest shows audacious hubris, and the Democrats clearly thought that they could get away with anything to nominate Clinton. Wasserman Schultz has been consistently biased in Clinton’s favor, as indicated by her action to deny Sanders’ campaign access to the voter database just before the Iowa primary.

In August 2015, Clinton set up an agreement with 33 state Democratic parties for a joint fundraising agreement with the Hillary Victory Fund. This was before the first primary in a contested nomination. Not only was the DNC headed by a Clinton operative, but state parties were tied to Clinton’s fundraising, creating an unbreakable bond between her and the party. This allowed Clinton’s wealthy donors to multiply their donations astronomically. “A single donor, as Margot Kidder wrote at Counterpunch, “by giving $10,000 a year to each signatory state could legally give an extra $330,000 a year for two years to the Hillary Victory Fund.

“For each donor, this raised their individual legal cap on the Presidential campaign to $660,000 if given in both 2015 and 2016,” Kidder said. “And to one million, three hundred and 20 thousand dollars if an equal amount were also donated in their spouse’s name.”

Clinton’s superdelegates are chairs of key standing committees as well.

Sanders has complained to the DNC that the way these funds have been used violates federal election laws. He also wrote a letter to Wasserman Schultz, saying that she is tipping the scales for Clinton’s benefit.

Throughout the primary process, there have been voting irregularities. There are too many to review in this article, but they involved the erasing of voter registrations, an insufficient number of polling places, polls that opened late, and so on. In New York and Arizona where some of the worst problems were reported, investigations are ongoing.

Now, Sanders is heading into a Democratic Convention that is rigged against him, and he has more than enough reason to reconsider his previous plan to endorse Hillary Clinton. The 2016 election is historically unique and presents a perfect storm for an independent candidate. As a third-party candidate, Sanders could win the popular vote as well as the 270 electoral votes necessary to take the presidency—and his campaign would actually hurt, not help, Donald Trump.

Jill Stein of the Green Party has indicated that she is open to discussing how she can work with Sanders. By choosing her as his vice presidential running mate and becoming the Green Party nominee, Sanders could get on enough ballots to pose a solid independent challenge to two of the most unpopular major-party candidates in recent memory. It is a historic opportunity that should not be missed.

A General Election More Favorable to an Independent Than Ever Before

Sanders, the longest-serving independent in U.S. history, is well-positioned for a general election campaign because, for the first time, independents make up the largest group of voters. According to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 50 percent of Americans consider themselves independent, and fewer than 30 percent align with either major party. Only 21 percent identified as Republicans and 29 percent as Democrats. A 2015 Gallup poll similarly found that a record high number of Americans—43 percent—consider themselves to be independents.

Since 2008, many more Americans have come to reject the two-party system because voters recognize that both the Democratic and Republican parties represent the interests of big-business donors. Gallup also reports that 60 percent believe a third party is needed “because the Republican and Democratic parties ‘do such a poor job’ of representing the American people.”

In addition, Sanders’ views on the corruption of the American economy and other issues have become the national consensus. A 2015 poll found 83 percent agree and nearly 60 percent “strongly” agree that “the rules of the economy matter and the top 1 percent have used their influence to shape the rules of the economy to their advantage.”

Americans agree that policies enacted since the economic collapse have benefited Wall Street, big corporations and the wealthy—but not the poor and middle class. By a factor of 2-to-1, people in the United States oppose corporate trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and, by a factor of 3-to-1, believe that such deals destroy more jobs than they create.

Three-quarters of Republicans favor a steep rise in the minimum wage. Four out of five voters, including three-quarters of Republicans, want to expand Social Security benefits. On Sanders’ top issues—Wall Street regulation—pollster Celinda Lake reported that 91 percent of those asked agree that financial services and products must be regulated to ensure fairness for consumers. Lake also found that 79 percent agree that financial companies should be held accountable with tougher rules and enforcement for the practices that caused the financial crisis.

The influence of Wall Street on candidates is also near the top of voters’ minds, with 84 percent of likely 2016 voters saying that they are concerned and 64 percent indicating that they are very concerned. Majorities across party lines say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate or member of Congress who received large sums of campaign money from big banks and financial companies, and 72 percent of Democrats, 54 percent of independents and 52 percent of Republicans say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who favored tough rules on Wall Street to prevent irresponsible practices and abuses.

It is hard to imagine a better political climate for a Sanders-Stein general election campaign.

Sanders Would Be Running Against Unpopular Candidates From Divided Parties

Sanders, if he stays in the race, would be running against the two most disliked major-party nominees in history. Donald Trump is viewed favorably by just 24 percent of the voters and unfavorably by 57 percent, making him by far the least-liked major-party front-runner since CBS began tracking such ratings in 1984. Hillary Clinton is viewed favorably by 31 percent and unfavorably by 52 percent.

Sanders’ results are the opposite: His 48 percent favorability rating is by far the highest ever recorded. In the previous eight presidential cycles, there has never been a poll showing both major-party candidates with negative net-favorability ratings, let alone double-digit ones.

On top of that, Sanders would be running against two divided parties. The last two Republican presidents and the last two Republican presidential nominees have said they will not even attend the Republican National Convention, and House Speaker Paul Ryan has said he is not ready to support Trump. The Hill newspaper has published a list of the top 99 Republican leaders who do not support Trump, and a CNN/ORC poll shows that one-third of Republicans would be dissatisfied or upset if Trump becomes the nominee. Trump recognizes these deep divisions and is telling the media he does not need a united party.

Even the Koch brothers are saying that they prefer Clinton to Trump, and Clinton is embracing this development. The New York Times has reported that “Clinton’s campaign is repositioning itself, after a year of emphasizing liberal positions and focusing largely on minority voters” and is making “a striking turn … hoping to gain the support of Republican voters and party leaders including former elected officials and retired generals disillusioned by their party’s standard-bearer.” If Sanders endorses Clinton, she will have cover to move further to the right.

According to the Times, Clinton is “confident that the young people and liberals backing Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont will come around” to support her in November. But the reality is that the primary season has revealed a great divide within the Democratic Party. A McClatchy-Marist poll found that 25 percent of Sanders supporters will not vote for Clinton, and a Wall Street Journal poll found that 33 percent of Sanders supporters will not vote for Clinton. Many Sanders supporters describe her as Sanders’ opposite: He opposes Wall Street, and she is a Wall Street Democrat.

A Trump Victory May Be More Likely Without Sanders

The big fear is that a run by Sanders would result in a Republican victory for Donald Trump. People always hark back to the Gore-Bush-Nader race of 2000, but that is the mistake of fighting the last war and not the current one. (It is also a myth that Nader cost Gore the election.) Things have changed drastically in the 16 years since then. The risk of a Trump victory may actually increase if Sanders does not run.

In the Nader era, independents and the two parties almost equally divided the electorate. Now the two parties are below 30 percent (the Republicans at 21 percent), and independents are over 43 percent. Not only do fewer voters consider themselves Republicans or Democrats, but even many of those who do are not enthusiastic about their party or their likely nominees.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey found 7 percent of Sanders voters could see themselves supporting Trump. These Sanders supporters share a strong dislike of Hillary Clinton and see both Trump and Sanders as outsiders who understand their economic hardship.

Trump is now pursuing Sanders voters. According to AlterNet’s Steven Rosenfeld, Trump has “recited Sanders’ critique of trade deals, the Iraq war, Clinton’s Goldman-Sachs speeches, and even slammed Medicare prescription drug price gouging as he paints himself on the side of frustrated Americans.”

“As he said on the eve of Indiana’s primary,” Rosenfeld continued. “ ‘I think a lot of theBernie Sanders young people are going to join my campaign.’ ”

Trump may be right. “Forty-four percent of Sanders supporters surveyed said they would rather back the presumptive GOP nominee in November,” an exit poll after the West Virginia primary found, “with only 23 percent saying they’d support Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.” Moreover, “31 percent … would support neither candidate in the likely general election match-up.”

Without Sanders in the picture, Trump could run to Clinton’s left, broadening his support base and capitalizing on Clinton’s weaknesses. On Wall Street corruption, Trump will be able to say that he did not take funds from Wall Street while Clinton has. Trump hasproposed taxing Wall Street, whereas Clinton protects the investment class. Trump has come out for raising the minimum wage while Clinton has been slow and hesitant to support raising it to $15 an hour. Sanders has already taken these popular positions, making it harder for Trump to benefit from them if Sanders were in the race.

Even on the issue of militarism, where Clinton is weak, Trump has made some sensible statements against wars that contrast with Clinton’s militarist positions. Sanders has run to her left on Iraq, Libya, Syria and Israel, as well as on regime change and military engagement. Jill Stein would bring an even stronger view against intervention and militarism, leaving little room for Trump to take advantage of Hillary’s penchant for war, militarism and intervention.

The dynamic of the race would also be different if Sanders is running. Both Sanders and Clinton would have a common opponent in Trump, and each would echo the other’s criticism of him. Together, they could prevent Trump from growing his base of support.

Sanders-Stein Could Win 270 Electoral Votes

In April, after the New York primary results came in, Sanders described his winning coalition:

“The reason we are doing so much better against Republican candidates is that not only are we winning … Democratic votes, but we are winning independent votes and some Republican votes as well. That is a point I hope the delegates to the Democratic convention fully understand. In a general election, everyone—Democratic, independent and Republican—has the right to vote for president. The elections are not closed primaries.”

Sanders has defeated Trump by more than 14 points in the last 10 polls measuring who would win if they ran against each other. And Sanders and Clinton are neck and neckin national polls. Sanders, the most popular politician in the country, does best among independents and youth and is the strongest general election candidate.

Positive or negative ratings often determine the outcome of the election. Sanders is the only candidate who is generally viewed positively.

“Overall, a clear portrait of Sanders emerges that is different from those of the other candidates,” Gallup reported. “He has a generally positive image, wins on the ‘softer’ dimensions of leadership and is above all else seen as caring, enthusiastic and consistent.” Further, Sanders “does well across all the [leadership] dimensions, with a more even distribution of perceived leadership characteristics than is the case for the other candidates.”

In comparison, The Wall Street Journal found that 56 percent of both Trump and Clinton voters said they would cast their vote simply because they didn’t want the other candidate to win.

Sanders does better among independents, the new plurality that will decide the election, than Clinton or Trump. In the primaries, he beat Clinton among independents by 29 percent. She has done poorly with independent voters in the primaries thus far and has been unable to win the independent vote in any state other than Alabama.

New voters, especially young ones, are also likely to be a big factor in the outcome of the election, as a Harvard Institute of Politics poll shows. Jill Stein takes strong positions on college debt and tuition, even stronger than Sanders. She is calling for confronting youth tuition debt, not just the current cost of college.

The Sanders-Stein team would excite youth because its agenda would positively impact young people’s lives. While more difficult to reach, even the poor who have been disenfranchised by the two Wall Street parties may even see hope and come out to vote. Finally, Sanders-Stein could unite all the parties on the left, including Green, Socialist and Progressive parties.Sanders would also do well enough in polling to ensure the duo’s inclusion in the presidential debates.

Standing side-by-side with Clinton and Trump would position Sanders well and reach an audience of 60 million. Everything could change with those debates, and the legitimacy of the Sanders-Stein campaign would be solidified. Once people see their potential to win, their numbers would increase. Sanders has already built an impressive national organization of volunteers and donors, and his campaign as a Green Party candidate would be seen as viable by the media and by voters.The other claim being put forward is that no candidate would get 270 electoral votes and that the Republican-led House of Representatives would then decide the election.

History shows this is more fear than reality. As Lawrence Tribe and Thomas Rollins wrote in The Atlantic in 1980—when there was a similar fear that the Reagan-Carter-Anderson race would leave the decision to the House: “[E]xperience teaches that our fears may be more a product of reflex than reflection.”There have been many multi-candidate races in American history, but the last time the House decided the outcome was in 1877—and that was not even because of a multi-candidate race. In fact, the losing candidate won more than 50 percent of the vote. The result got pushed to the House because of fraud. Before that, the House stepped in in 1824, when we had a very different electoral system. Fast-forward to 1992, when Bill Clinton won 40 percent in a three-way race and got 270 electoral votes.

In the unlikely event that nobody received a majority of electoral votes, Clinton and Sanders could negotiate before the Electoral College voted on Dec. 15 and avoid a House decision. Tribe and Rollins wrote that “a candidate might simply persuade the electors chosen to support him on November 4 to cast their ballots for someone else. Indeed, electors could do so on their own, since the Constitution makes them free agents.”

Each candidate could ensure control of how his electors voted by signing a contract with them, as George Wallace did in 1968. Two days before the election, Nixon and Wallace were negotiating on the electors, but then Nixon won the Electoral College and no deal was needed. Imagine what a Sanders-Clinton negotiation could produce.

In the unlikely event that nobody received a majority of electoral votes, Clinton and Sanders could negotiate before the Electoral College voted on Dec. 15 and avoid a House decision. Tribe and Rollins wrote that “a candidate might simply persuade the electors chosen to support him on November 4 to cast their ballots for someone else. Indeed, electors could do so on their own, since the Constitution makes them free agents.”

Each candidate could ensure control of how his electors voted by signing a contract with them, as George Wallace did in 1968. Two days before the election, Nixon and Wallace were negotiating on the electors, but then Nixon won the Electoral College and no deal was needed. Imagine what a Sanders-Clinton negotiation could produce.

Sanders and Stein could be a coalition that could not only win a plurality of popular votes in a three-way race but could also win 270 electoral votes. (Here is one possible map of how Sanders could pull it off.)

Their campaign would also bolster the campaigns of progressives who are running for Congress and share the Sanders-Stein agenda; and it would open space for future independent party challenges to the corporate political duopoly.

The Path to Ballot Access Across the Nation

This late in the game, there is only one path to getting on the ballot across the nation, and it cannot be done by running as an independent. Sanders would need to create an alliance with the Green Party, which is currently on 21 ballots (including some of the largest and most difficult states) and is on a path to being on almost all ballots.

Twelve states have deadlines for ballot access for independent candidates before the Democratic National Convention, which will take place July 25-28. Some important states are in that group, including Florida, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas and Washington. By Aug. 15, 18 more states are due, among them California, Colorado, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Thus, it is impossible for Sanders to run an independent campaign after the Democratic National Convention.

But there is an alternative: Jill Stein, the presumptive nominee of the Green Party, wrote to Sanders after the New York primary to discuss “ways they and their campaigns could work together to win a progressive political revolution in the United States.” Stein sought to “have a conversation to explore possible collaboration, in this hour of unprecedented crisis and potential for transformative change.” In an interview with Dennis Trainor Jr., she said she would even be open to running as the vice presidential nominee if Sanders wanted the Green Party presidential nomination.

Sanders should meet with Jill Stein to determine where this could lead. Even if Sanders decides not to do anything further, meeting with Stein would strengthen his hand in negotiating with Clinton. The Democrats would then realize that Sanders has somewhere to go other than the Democratic Party, and the alternative path is consistent with his history as the longest-serving independent in the Congress.

Electing President Sanders

Those who want to see the Sanders campaign continue through Election Day need to urge Sanders to meet with Jill Stein and to not endorse Clinton. Sanders will only change course if he is pushed from the grass roots. In addition to massive petition, email and social media campaigns, people need to plan to come to the Democratic Convention and protest outside and inside, saying: “No Endorsement for Hillary” and “Sanders, Run Green.” If grass-roots activists succeed in doing so, the 2016 electoral revolution could end with President Sanders in the White House.

Patrick Walker, a veteran anti-fracking and Occupy Wall Street activist, is co-founder of Revolt Against Plutocracy and co-creator of the Bernie or Bust pledge, which spawned the nationwide Bernie or Bust movement. This article represents both his personal views and the official standpoint of Revolt Against Plutocracy.

Kevin Zeese has worked on multiple Green and independent campaigns, including as spokesman for Ralph Nader in 2004. Zeese is co-director of Popular Resistance, which grew out of the Occupy movement. This article represents his personal views.
The original source of this article is truthdig
Copyright © Kevin Zeese and Patrick Walker, truthdig, 2016

Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

Changing the System: Mayor of Lviv Takes on Political Corruption in Ukraine

Changing the System: Mayor of Lviv Takes on Political Corruption in Ukraine

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Mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadovyi with his team see over the building in the center of Lviv

Mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadovyi with his team see over the building in the center of Lviv

Changing the System: Mayor of Lviv Takes on Political Corruption in Ukraine

Changing the System: An Outsider Takes on Political Corruption in Ukraine. Ukraine’s most popular politician lives far away from the country’s capital. The mayor of Lviv is admired for his pragmatic approach to politics and for his refusal to do the president’s bidding. Many believe he could soon bring his leadership style to Kiev.

The tinny chimes of the clock, a relic of the time when the city belonged to the Habsburg Empire, ring out from the tower of city hall. It is exactly 10 a.m. on one of the first days of spring, and a small procession marches away from the Latin Cathedral, four women and four men carrying a blue-yellow Ukrainian flag between them. They come to a stop in front of city hall.

A slender, bespectacled man stands waiting for them: Andriy Sadovyi, who is both the mayor of Lviv and the most popular politician in Ukraine. President Petro Poroshenko has long been trying to recruit him for more senior political posts, but Sadovyi has thus far consistently rejected the head of state’s advances. He prefers to stay here, far away from the Ukrainian capital of Kiev and its discredited elite.

Every year at this time, the city of Lviv celebrates the historical day in early April 1990 when Ukrainian patriots raised the blue and yellow flag above city hall for the first time. “It took courage at the time,” the mayor says into the microphone, flanked by local politicians and a member of the clergy. “Back then, Lviv was still a part of the Soviet Union, the Ukrainian flag was not shown. Only a year later did it become the state flag.” It is an important symbol, he adds. “The word ‘Ukraine’ has become synonymous with crisis in Europe. We, the people of Lviv, must be the locomotive that changes that again! Glory to Ukraine!”

Back when the city was the center of the Kingdom of Galicia, during the centuries when German was spoken here, it was known as Lemberg. Later, under Polish rule and during the Soviet times, it was called Lwow. Now, as part of Ukraine, its name is Lviv. For the Austrian-Jewish writer Joseph Roth, the city was “a small subsidiary of the wider world,” noting that Russian, Polish, German, Yiddish, Ruthenian (Old Ukrainian) were all spoken in the city. Nowadays, Yiddish is only seldom heard, spoken by Jews who used to make up a quarter of the city’s population. Now, there are hardly any left. But Sadovyi, the mayor, still believes the city is “the most interesting and most beautiful in the world.” He also sees it as the motor of present-day Ukraine.

When President Viktor Yanukovych was toppled in 2014, many activists from Lviv took part in the protests that helped push him out, and it seems there is hardly a family in the city that didn’t have a member on the Maidan in Kiev, the central square where the protests took place.

Staying Away from the Capital

Lviv is located just 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the border to Poland and, as such, is a close neighbor of the European Union. And it is a deeply European city. At the same time, though, it is the capital of Ukrainian patriotism and the city was long in the hands of the radical-nationalist party Svoboda.

Ukrainian ultra-nationalists burn flares and shout slogans as they march in the center of the western city of Lviv on April 28, 2016 to mark the 73rd anniversary of 14th SS-Volunteer Division "Galician" foundation.  The 14th Waffen Grenadier Division was a World War II German military formation initially made up of volunteers from the region of Galicia with a Ukrainian ethnic background, but later also incorporated Slovaks, Czechs and Dutch volunteers and officers.  / AFP PHOTO / Yuriy Dyachyshyn

Ukrainian ultra-nationalists burn flares and shout slogans as they march in the center of the western city of Lviv on April 28, 2016 to mark the 73rd anniversary of 14th SS-Volunteer Division “Galician” foundation.
The 14th Waffen Grenadier Division was a World War II German military formation initially made up of volunteers from the region of Galicia with a Ukrainian ethnic background, but later also incorporated Slovaks, Czechs and Dutch volunteers and officers. / AFP PHOTO / Yuriy Dyachyshyn

The 47-year-old Sadovyi has become known far beyond Lviv city limits. Right after the Maidan protests ended, President Poroshenko offered him the position of deputy prime minister, but Sadovyi declined. In March of this year, Poroshenko tried again, this time offering to make him prime minister, but Sadovyi again chose not to move to the capital. He doesn’t want to become part of the political clique in Kiev, one which, even two years after the Maidan revolution, continues to try and keep a tight grip on power. There is plenty of intrigue and posts are only meted out once the oligarchs have been consulted. It is a clique that even prime ministers have difficulty dealing with, unless they have strong ties to power in Kiev themselves. For the moment, Sadovyi doesn’t yet have such ties.

Orchestre on the Market Square during the ceremonial raising of flag of Ukraine.

Every spring, the city of Lviv celebrates the historical day in early April 1990 when Ukrainian patriots raised the blue and yellow flag above city hall for the first time. Here, an orchestra plays as part of this year’s commemoration.

Just two weeks ago, he again received an invitation from the president, with Poroshenko asking Sadovyi for his support for the appointment of a new general prosecutor of Ukraine. But again Sadovyi refused — because this post too was to be handed to a Poroshenko ally. Following the meeting, Sadovyi said that such appointments are akin to “raping” the authority of state institutions and spoke of the “cynicism” of those in power in Kiev.

In the capital, another of the president’s acolytes, Volodymyr Groysman, was just named prime minister in April. He used to be mayor of the city where the most important factory in Poroshenko’s chocolate empire is located. Poroshenko believes he will be able to steer Groysman to his liking.

Sadovyi’s stubbornness aggravates the president, but the Ukrainian people are impressed. One Kiev newspaper wrote that his importance as a politician is growing “not with each passing day, but with each passing hour.” But how is that possible for a man who has spent much of the last 10 years trying to improve Lviv’s potholed streets, rattling buses and aging sewage system? Not only that, but he is far from charismatic and shies away from the kind of self-aggrandizement exhibited by most career politicians.

There are myths about Sadovyi in the city, hymns of praise, rumors and threats. But he nevertheless eschews bodyguards, and anyone wanting to meet with him can do so with ease. Many such meetings take place inside city hall, where his antechamber is decorated with an 1836 map of Lviv from the Habsburg-era quartermaster general.

‘Change the Entire System’

On this particular day, though, Sadovyi is presiding over a city council meeting, where 59 representatives have gathered in the city hall. The mayor has brought in a clergyman to open the proceedings; he then crosses himself three times and calls out the first item on the agenda: Proposals and comments. The day’s session focuses on bus stops, street markets, electricity prices and alcohol sales after 10 p.m., with representatives from Svoboda and from the party Samopomich, or Self Reliance, taking the floor. Samopomich is the party that Sadovyi himself founded.

During the break, the mayor hurries into the foyer where journalists and television cameras await, wanting to hear his take on the government crisis in Kiev. “Cosmetic changes to the country’s leadership” are not helpful, he says. That, he explains, is why his party left the governing coalition, withdrawing its support from Poroshenko and going into the opposition. “We have to change the entire system,” he says.

He looks as though he is happy to have escaped the city council meeting — as though he feels comfortable on the larger, national political stage. But the secret to his success is to be found in Lviv: It is here that he became the kind of politician that has become rare in a Ukraine torn apart by power struggles.

Sadovyi is an electrical engineer by training. He completed his studies three years after Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union, a time when the country’s economy was in a shambles. Initially, he worked in a bazaar before moving on to cross-border trade with Poland. Later, he received his qualifications for working in state administration, worked for foundations in Lviv and invested in media companies. The website Zaxid and the television and radio company Lux belong to his family — he signed ownership over to his wife. Sadovyi is not a poor man, but people we spoke to in Lviv said he is not known to have any criminal connections.

He was elected to the city council in 1998 and founded Samopomich a few years later as a collective for Lviv residents to help themselves. Back during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Lviv had likewise been home to such a movement, made up of citizens taking care of problems that the state ignored. Sadovyi put together a network of volunteers that focused on helping retirees, the homeless and alcoholics in addition to offering legal assistance to Lviv residents. The group even helped out with leaky gutters. Sadovyi engaged in something that is rare in Ukraine: politics for the people. In 2006, he was elected as the city’s mayor for the first time.

City hall in Lviv. It is here where Mayor Andriy Sadovyi receives his visitors. He has focused his work on issues that are of primary concern to residents of the city: Lviv’s potholed streets, rattling buses and aging sewage system, among other areas.

The Return of Life and Culture

The new street patrol police officers attend oath rite during a ceremony in Lviv, Ukraine, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. 406 street patrol police officers took the oath rite and will start their patrol of the streets in Lviv. (AP Photo/Petro Zadorozhnyy)

The new street patrol police officers attend oath rite during a ceremony in Lviv, Ukraine, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. 406 street patrol police officers took the oath rite and will start their patrol of the streets in Lviv. (AP Photo/Petro Zadorozhnyy)

The Latin Cathedral in central Kiev. The church’s clock is a relic of the time when the city was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city was once quite diverse, with Russian, Polish, German, Yiddish, Ruthenian (Old Ukrainian) all spoken here.

“When I took over the city, there was water for four hours in the morning and four hours in the evening,” Sadovyi says. “The streets were in catastrophic condition.” Since then, a lot has changed: The city center was refurbished and tourists have begun coming to Lviv again.

In 2012, some of the games in the European Championship football tournament took place here, necessitating the construction of a new stadium and a new airport. Life and culture slowly returned to the city and the bars are now full of young people. In the Pravda Beer Theater, across from city hall, the “Truth Orchestra” is playing at 7 p.m. and there is hardly a summer evening without a performance or happening on the market square.

Four years ago, Sadovyi registered his movement as a political party and it ran in parliamentary elections two years later for the first time, winning 11 percent nationwide and a surprising 21 percent in the capital of Kiev. That result made Sadovyi’s party the third largest in the country and the mayor of Lviv is now Ukraine’s most popular politician, according to public opinion surveys. In March, 35 percent of Ukrainians surveyed said he was doing a good job, putting him far ahead of President Poroshenko and his then-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

“We have changed Lviv, now we are trying to do the same in the rest of the country,” Sadovyi says in his city hall office. “The people have seen that we are honest. When we built up Samopomich, we noticed that most parties belonged to oligarchs, who made sure that local legislative bodies were under their control. Spots on the party lists were bought as were appointments and political decisions.” Party platforms played no role in the country, the Lviv mayor says, but Samopomich is an ideological party with Christian-conservative positions and does what it says it will do, he adds.

Why, then, did Samopomich withdraw its support from the governing coalition? It almost seemed as though Sadovyi’s party was shying away from the responsibility of governing. The Lviv mayor, though, says: “We were honest in the coalition. But when we declined to support certain laws, Poroshenko simply got the votes he needed from the old Yanukovych party. He didn’t need us anymore and there was no common cause. We were nothing but a fig leaf; we don’t fit into this system.”

Not Yet Strong Enough

That, one could argue, is politics-as-usual in Ukraine. And Sadovyi doesn’t disagree. “That’s why even new elections don’t make much sense,” he says, adding that such a vote is only prudent “when they are conducted with open party lists and an electoral system based on proportional representation. Poroshenko promised to reform the electoral system and I reminded him of that. But he is no longer prepared to do so.”

Police officers being sworn in in central Lviv last summer. “When I took over the city, there was water for four hours in the morning and four hours in the evening,” Mayor Sadovyi says. “The streets were in catastrophic condition.” Since then, a lot has changed: The city center has been refurbished and tourists have begun coming to Lviv again.

When asked why he declined to accept the post of prime minister, the Lviv mayor said: “Samopomich isn’t yet strong enough. What chances would I have without a parliamentary majority?” Regarding his faith in the president, he says: “Thus far, it worked like this: The government would lead the country until 6 p.m. After that, the presidential administration would take over until 2 a.m. And they would block everything.”

Sadovyi no longer hides his distrust of Poroshenko, which helps serve his message that his party is different from all the others. None of the party’s delegates had ever served in parliament before, meaning that none of them could have been previously corrupted by Yanukovych. They are mostly young: lawyers, IT specialists, municipal politicians and middle-class businesspeople. His party also includes members of the volunteer defense battalions, which formed in mid-2014, early on in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. In a country where nobody trusts the incumbent politicians, the make-up of Samopomich is an invaluable commodity.

That could explain why there is a front currently forming in opposition to the mayor of Lviv. The Security Service of Ukraine, the country’s primary domestic security agency, is said to have compiled a file on some of Sadovyi’s subordinates alleging that they sold municipal property well below market value, including a hotel and a department store. Such accusations allow for the launching of official investigations at any time — investigations that would damage Sadovyi. Last year, unknown persons fired shots at his home, where he lives with his wife and five children, on several occasions and hand grenades were twice thrown into his courtyard.

‘Can’t Be Bought’

“These aren’t common criminals. These are people who work in the secret services,” Sadovyi says. “Many people don’t like us because we can’t be bought.”

Those who are opposed to him are now accusing Lviv’s mayor of being homosexual — a serious insult in Ukraine — without any proof at all. Others say that he, like other Ukrainian politicians, is nothing but a puppet, but that it isn’t clear who is controlling him. Such rumors are also repeated by members of the Svoboda party, such as Ruslan Koshulynskyi, who ran against Sadovyi in last fall’s mayoral elections and lost badly.

The nationalist Svoboda party has lost much of its support in the last few years, even failing to clear the 5 percent hurdle in the last parliamentary elections. Many Ukrainians are yearning for pragmatists who will bring down the country’s current political system — people like Andriy Sadovyi. He is currently looking for allies and has already found one: Odessa Governor Mikhail Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia, who has Ukrainian citizenship. He has become one of the most vocal critics of Poroshenko.

“We have a very close relationship. He has visited me here several times,” says Sadovyi. “Saakashvili would be a good prime minister. He has no ties to the old Ukrainian insiders and he could lead the country out of crisis, just as he did in Georgia.”

People in Kiev are well aware of the friendship between the two and they are taking the Sadovyi-Saakashvili pairing seriously. Saakashvili is in second place on the list of best-liked politicians in Ukraine, in part because of the spectacular way he took on corrupt customs agencies and state prosecutors in Odessa. Political scientists say that he could very well become Ukrainian prime minister one day. And Sadovyi could rise to the presidency.

Lviv is located just 60 kilometers from the the Polish border and is deeply European. But it is also the home of Ukrainian nationalism and was long in the hands of the ultra-nationalist party Svoboda. This image shows ultra-nationalists in Lviv in late April marching to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the founding the 14th SS-Volunteer Division (1st Galician).

The tinny chimes of the clock, a relic of the time when the city belonged to the Habsburg Empire, ring out from the tower of city hall. It is exactly 10 a.m. on one of the first days of spring, and a small procession marches away from the Latin Cathedral, four women and four men carrying a blue-yellow Ukrainian flag between them. They come to a stop in front of city hall.

A slender, bespectacled man stands waiting for them: Andriy Sadovyi, who is both the mayor of Lviv and the most popular politician in Ukraine. President Petro Poroshenko has long been trying to recruit him for more senior political posts, but Sadovyi has thus far consistently rejected the head of state’s advances. He prefers to stay here, far away from the Ukrainian capital of Kiev and its discredited elite.

Every year at this time, the city of Lviv celebrates the historical day in early April 1990 when Ukrainian patriots raised the blue and yellow flag above city hall for the first time. “It took courage at the time,” the mayor says into the microphone, flanked by local politicians and a member of the clergy. “Back then, Lviv was still a part of the Soviet Union, the Ukrainian flag was not shown. Only a year later did it become the state flag.” It is an important symbol, he adds. “The word ‘Ukraine’ has become synonymous with crisis in Europe. We, the people of Lviv, must be the locomotive that changes that again! Glory to Ukraine!”

Back when the city was the center of the Kingdom of Galicia, during the centuries when German was spoken here, it was known as Lemberg. Later, under Polish rule and during the Soviet times, it was called Lwow. Now, as part of Ukraine, its name is Lviv. For the Austrian-Jewish writer Joseph Roth, the city was “a small subsidiary of the wider world,” noting that Russian, Polish, German, Yiddish, Ruthenian (Old Ukrainian) were all spoken in the city. Nowadays, Yiddish is only seldom heard, spoken by Jews who used to make up a quarter of the city’s population. Now, there are hardly any left. But Sadovyi, the mayor, still believes the city is “the most interesting and most beautiful in the world.” He also sees it as the motor of present-day Ukraine.

When President Viktor Yanukovych was toppled in 2014, many activists from Lviv took part in the protests that helped push him out, and it seems there is hardly a family in the city that didn’t have a member on the Maidan in Kiev, the central square where the protests took place.

Staying Away from the Capital

In the capital, another of the president’s acolytes, Volodymyr Groysman, was just named prime minister in April. He used to be mayor of the city where the most important factory in Poroshenko’s chocolate empire is located. Poroshenko believes he will be able to steer Groysman to his liking.

Sadovyi’s stubbornness aggravates the president, but the Ukrainian people are impressed. One Kiev newspaper wrote that his importance as a politician is growing “not with each passing day, but with each passing hour.” But how is that possible for a man who has spent much of the last 10 years trying to improve Lviv’s potholed streets, rattling buses and aging sewage system? Not only that, but he is far from charismatic and shies away from the kind of self-aggrandizement exhibited by most career politicians.

There are myths about Sadovyi in the city, hymns of praise, rumors and threats. But he nevertheless eschews bodyguards, and anyone wanting to meet with him can do so with ease. Many such meetings take place inside city hall, where his antechamber is decorated with an 1836 map of Lviv from the Habsburg-era quartermaster general.

On this particular day, though, Sadovyi is presiding over a city council meeting, where 59 representatives have gathered in the city hall. The mayor has brought in a clergyman to open the proceedings; he then crosses himself three times and calls out the first item on the agenda: Proposals and comments. The day’s session focuses on bus stops, street markets, electricity prices and alcohol sales after 10 p.m., with representatives from Svoboda and from the party Samopomich, or Self Reliance, taking the floor. Samopomich is the party that Sadovyi himself founded.

During the break, the mayor hurries into the foyer where journalists and television cameras await, wanting to hear his take on the government crisis in Kiev. “Cosmetic changes to the country’s leadership” are not helpful, he says. That, he explains, is why his party left the governing coalition, withdrawing its support from Poroshenko and going into the opposition. “We have to change the entire system,” he says.

Sadovyi no longer hides his distrust of Poroshenko, which helps serve his message that his party is different from all the others. None of the party’s delegates had ever served in parliament before, meaning that none of them could have been previously corrupted by Yanukovych. They are mostly young: lawyers, IT specialists, municipal politicians and middle-class businesspeople. His party also includes members of the volunteer defense battalions, which formed in mid-2014, early on in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. In a country where nobody trusts the incumbent politicians, the make-up of Samopomich is an invaluable commodity.

That could explain why there is a front currently forming in opposition to the mayor of Lviv. The Security Service of Ukraine, the country’s primary domestic security agency, is said to have compiled a file on some of Sadovyi’s subordinates alleging that they sold municipal property well below market value, including a hotel and a department store. Such accusations allow for the launching of official investigations at any time — investigations that would damage Sadovyi. Last year, unknown persons fired shots at his home, where he lives with his wife and five children, on several occasions and hand grenades were twice thrown into his courtyard.

‘Can’t Be Bought’

“These aren’t common criminals. These are people who work in the secret services,” Sadovyi says. “Many people don’t like us because we can’t be bought.”

Those who are opposed to him are now accusing Lviv’s mayor of being homosexual — a serious insult in Ukraine — without any proof at all. Others say that he, like other Ukrainian politicians, is nothing but a puppet, but that it isn’t clear who is controlling him. Such rumors are also repeated by members of the Svoboda party, such as Ruslan Koshulynskyi, who ran against Sadovyi in last fall’s mayoral elections and lost badly.

The nationalist Svoboda party has lost much of its support in the last few years, even failing to clear the 5 percent hurdle in the last parliamentary elections. Many Ukrainians are yearning for pragmatists who will bring down the country’s current political system — people like Andriy Sadovyi. He is currently looking for allies and has already found one: Odessa Governor Mikhail Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia, who has Ukrainian citizenship. He has become one of the most vocal critics of Poroshenko.

“We have a very close relationship. He has visited me here several times,” says Sadovyi. “Saakashvili would be a good prime minister. He has no ties to the old Ukrainian insiders and he could lead the country out of crisis, just as he did in Georgia.”

People in Kiev are well aware of the friendship between the two and they are taking the Sadovyi-Saakashvili pairing seriously. Saakashvili is in second place on the list of best-liked politicians in Ukraine, in part because of the spectacular way he took on corrupt customs agencies and state prosecutors in Odessa. Political scientists say that he could very well become Ukrainian prime minister one day. And Sadovyi could rise to the presidency.

Ukraine’s Next President? — 05/12/2016

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

FBI Director Comey rebuffs Clinton claim FBI only conducting ‘security inquiry’ on emails

State Department Clinton aide Abedin interviewed by FBI in email investigation

After Torture, Ex-Detainee Is Still Captive of ‘The Darkness’

THE NEW YORK TIMES

After Torture, Ex-Detainee Is Still Captive of ‘The Darkness’

The United States subjected Suleiman Abdullah Salim to harsh tactics in a secret prison and held him without charge for years. He was found not to be a terrorist threat, but he pays a deep price to this day.

EXCLUSIVE: Hillary Clinton is Dead and Using Body Doubles- Prof. James Fetzer

A Prank?

EXCLUSIVE: Hillary Clinton is Dead and Using Body Doubles- Prof. James Fetzer

Truth Be Told Radio/TV
Truth Be Told Radio/TV

Published on Sep 20, 2016

Professor James Fetzer joins us to discuss Hillary Clinton’s alleged death and that she is using body doubles to get through the election find James Fetzer at MoonRockBooks.com

German Government Urges Tougher Action Against Russia And Syria

russiawar-s

By Johannes Stern
Global Research, October 11, 2016
World Socialist Website 10 October 2016
Region: Europe, Middle East & North Africa
Theme: US NATO War Agenda
In-depth Report: SYRIA: NATO’S NEXT WAR?

As the Syrian army advances in the east of Aleppo with support from Russia, and with the conflict between the US and Russia intensifying dramatically, the German government has hardened its attitude towards Moscow. On Friday, leading German politicians called for fresh sanctions against Russia, the massive arming of the Islamist opposition and even the use of German ground troops.

On the same day, leading German business daily Handelsblatt, reported that Angela Merkel advocated “the withdrawal of Russian troops” from Syria in a speech in Magdeburg. Directly addressing the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, the chancellor declared, “I can again only appeal to Russia, Russia has a lot of influence on Assad: We must end this horrible crime as soon as possible.”

Given the “truly appalling situation” in Aleppo, the German government considers new sanctions against Russia a possible reaction. The German government was “considering all the options,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in Berlin.

Beforehand, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Bundestag (parliament), Norbert Röttgen (CDU, Christian Democratic Union), had called for tougher sanctions against Moscow. He told the Süddeutsche Zeitung, “A war crime that had no consequences or sanctions would be a scandal.” At the same time, he also complained that European governments had only done what absolutely needed to be done under their “obligations”.

Speaking on ARD television, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, Elmar Brok (CDU) also called for sanctions, to “put pressure on” Russia and “punish” her. In particular, he called for technological sanctions that inhibited the development of weapons—“as we have done during in the Cold War”.

Brok provided an insight into the far-reaching, aggressive plans that are being discussed in government and military circles behind the backs of the population. “The only option to do something would be to go in,” said Brok. “But who in Germany would be willing to send the army in there?” One must ask, “Are we ready to do something ourselves and go in with the army?”

He added: “Perhaps the only way—if that is possible technically, from the logistics—is to provide some of the rebels […] with ground-to-air missiles”. It had been shown that Russia herself was not prepared to engage in “selective cooperation”. For Russia, it was “just a matter of power, of ruling this country”.

The Social Democratic Party (SPD) is supporting the aggressive war policies of the Christian Democrats. For example, in the Rheinische Post, SPD foreign policy expert Niels Annen said, “Instead of dispatching warships to the region and terminating agreements, for example concerning the destruction of plutonium, Russia should finally assume its responsibilities as a permanent member of the Security Council and respect international humanitarian law”.

In September, Social Democratic Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had already demanded a no-fly zone to advance the West’s objective of regime change in Syria. Such an action would be the exact opposite of promoting “international humanitarian law”. In March 2011, the establishment of a no-fly zone in Libya was the prelude to a massive NATO bombing campaign against the oil-rich country and the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime by Western-backed Islamist rebels.

Unlike the Libyan war, Germany has been in the vanguard of the imperialist powers against Syria from the beginning. In 2012, the German foreign ministry in cooperation with the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) and parts of the Syrian opposition, brought to life the so-called “The Day After” project to outline its “vision for a post-Assad regime” in Syria. Since the end of 2015, Germany’s Bundeswehr (Armed Forces) have been a direct party to the war in Syria, operating with tornado jets, reconnaissance technology and a warship.

To the extent that the Russian intervention in Syria is thwarting the plans of the German government and has brought the Western-backed Islamist militias to the brink of defeat, the German media has beaten the drum for war and militarism ever more hysterically.

A commentary in the current issue of news weekly Die Zeit, headlined “Can Europe really just look on in Syria”, warns that currently “some 10,000 pro-Assad fighters” are preparing “to storm East Aleppo”. Should the city fall into the hands of the Syrian regime in the next weeks, “this would be a strategic success for Bashar al-Assad”.

The counter-strategy advocated by Die Zeit: “The delivery of weapons with which the insurgents can prevail against the permanent air onslaught”, as a “first military step”. The author of the article, Andrea Böhm, who in an earlier comment had defended Al Qaeda, openly says who should be supported. “The pro- Al-Qaeda Jabhat Fateh al-sham” is “as strong as ever” and has “established itself as the most effective faction defending civilians against IS and against Assad”.

In an editorial in the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Wednesday, Tomas Avenarius mused: “Finally delivering to the rebels the weapons they had long called for after years of reluctance: anti-aircraft missiles, which can bring down Russian jets from the sky. In the Afghanistan war 30 years ago, such US missiles had helped the jihadists inflict a defeat on the Red Army”.

If German politicians and media representatives are now beating the drum for sanctions against Russia, for the massive rearmament of Al Qaeda and the deployment of ground troops to Syria, they do so not as followers of the US government, which is also constantly fuelling the conflict, but as representatives of European and, above all, German imperialism.

“The second step must take place in Brussels and especially in Berlin”, Böhm emphasized in Die Zeit. The war in Syria must “be understood as a matter of supreme national security”. Avenarius is incensed that the US was not able to guarantee “a Russian defeat in Syria”. “Thanks to earlier hesitancy”, the US “no longer” had the power “to prevent” the cementing of Russian power aspirations.

To defend Germany’s geo-strategic and economic interests against Russia, but also increasingly against the United States, the German elites are prepared to foment a conflict which they themselves know could trigger a third world war. The current edition of news magazine Der Spiegel appears with a front page headline reading, “World power struggle: trouble spot Syria—Putin’s work, Obama’s contribution”, and speaks of a “world war for Aleppo”.

As the Syrian army advances in the east of Aleppo with support from Russia, and with the conflict between the US and Russia intensifying dramatically, the German government has hardened its attitude towards Moscow. On Friday, leading German politicians called for fresh sanctions against Russia, the massive arming of the Islamist opposition and even the use of German ground troops.

On the same day, leading German business daily Handelsblatt, reported that Angela Merkel advocated “the withdrawal of Russian troops” from Syria in a speech in Magdeburg. Directly addressing the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, the chancellor declared, “I can again only appeal to Russia, Russia has a lot of influence on Assad: We must end this horrible crime as soon as possible.”

Given the “truly appalling situation” in Aleppo, the German government considers new sanctions against Russia a possible reaction. The German government was “considering all the options,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in Berlin.

Beforehand, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Bundestag (parliament), Norbert Röttgen (CDU, Christian Democratic Union), had called for tougher sanctions against Moscow. He told the Süddeutsche Zeitung, “A war crime that had no consequences or sanctions would be a scandal.” At the same time, he also complained that European governments had only done what absolutely needed to be done under their “obligations”.

Speaking on ARD television, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, Elmar Brok (CDU) also called for sanctions, to “put pressure on” Russia and “punish” her. In particular, he called for technological sanctions that inhibited the development of weapons—“as we have done during in the Cold War”.

Brok provided an insight into the far-reaching, aggressive plans that are being discussed in government and military circles behind the backs of the population. “The only option to do something would be to go in,” said Brok. “But who in Germany would be willing to send the army in there?” One must ask, “Are we ready to do something ourselves and go in with the army?”

He added: “Perhaps the only way—if that is possible technically, from the logistics—is to provide some of the rebels […] with ground-to-air missiles”. It had been shown that Russia herself was not prepared to engage in “selective cooperation”. For Russia, it was “just a matter of power, of ruling this country”.

The Social Democratic Party (SPD) is supporting the aggressive war policies of the Christian Democrats. For example, in the Rheinische Post, SPD foreign policy expert Niels Annen said, “Instead of dispatching warships to the region and terminating agreements, for example concerning the destruction of plutonium, Russia should finally assume its responsibilities as a permanent member of the Security Council and respect international humanitarian law”.

In September, Social Democratic Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had already demanded a no-fly zone to advance the West’s objective of regime change in Syria. Such an action would be the exact opposite of promoting “international humanitarian law”. In March 2011, the establishment of a no-fly zone in Libya was the prelude to a massive NATO bombing campaign against the oil-rich country and the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime by Western-backed Islamist rebels.

Unlike the Libyan war, Germany has been in the vanguard of the imperialist powers against Syria from the beginning. In 2012, the German foreign ministry in cooperation with the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) and parts of the Syrian opposition, brought to life the so-called “The Day After” project to outline its “vision for a post-Assad regime” in Syria. Since the end of 2015, Germany’s Bundeswehr (Armed Forces) have been a direct party to the war in Syria, operating with tornado jets, reconnaissance technology and a warship.

To the extent that the Russian intervention in Syria is thwarting the plans of the German government and has brought the Western-backed Islamist militias to the brink of defeat, the German media has beaten the drum for war and militarism ever more hysterically.

A commentary in the current issue of news weekly Die Zeit, headlined “Can Europe really just look on in Syria”, warns that currently “some 10,000 pro-Assad fighters” are preparing “to storm East Aleppo”. Should the city fall into the hands of the Syrian regime in the next weeks, “this would be a strategic success for Bashar al-Assad”.

The counter-strategy advocated by Die Zeit: “The delivery of weapons with which the insurgents can prevail against the permanent air onslaught”, as a “first military step”. The author of the article, Andrea Böhm, who in an earlier comment had defended Al Qaeda, openly says who should be supported. “The pro- Al-Qaeda Jabhat Fateh al-sham” is “as strong as ever” and has “established itself as the most effective faction defending civilians against IS and against Assad”.

In an editorial in the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Wednesday, Tomas Avenarius mused: “Finally delivering to the rebels the weapons they had long called for after years of reluctance: anti-aircraft missiles, which can bring down Russian jets from the sky. In the Afghanistan war 30 years ago, such US missiles had helped the jihadists inflict a defeat on the Red Army”.

If German politicians and media representatives are now beating the drum for sanctions against Russia, for the massive rearmament of Al Qaeda and the deployment of ground troops to Syria, they do so not as followers of the US government, which is also constantly fuelling the conflict, but as representatives of European and, above all, German imperialism.

“The second step must take place in Brussels and especially in Berlin”, Böhm emphasized in Die Zeit. The war in Syria must “be understood as a matter of supreme national security”. Avenarius is incensed that the US was not able to guarantee “a Russian defeat in Syria”. “Thanks to earlier hesitancy”, the US “no longer” had the power “to prevent” the cementing of Russian power aspirations.

To defend Germany’s geo-strategic and economic interests against Russia, but also increasingly against the United States, the German elites are prepared to foment a conflict which they themselves know could trigger a third world war. The current edition of news magazine Der Spiegel appears with a front page headline reading, “World power struggle: trouble spot Syria—Putin’s work, Obama’s contribution”, and speaks of a “world war for Aleppo”.

The original source of this article is World Socialist Website

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

AGENTS FURIOUS ABOUT MADAME CLINTON EASY TREATMENT

FBI Mutiny? Feds Said To Launch Clinton Foundation Corruption Probe Despite DoJ Objections

Secret Service agents: Hillary is a nightmare to work with.

Comey’s decision represents a total failure of justice.

Veteran FBI agents say FBI Director James Comey has permanently damaged the bureau’s reputation for uncompromising investigations with his “cowardly” whitewash of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information using an unauthorized private email server.

Feeling the heat from congressional critics, Comey last week argued that the case was investigated by career FBI agents, “So if I blew it, they blew it, too.”

But agents say Comey tied investigators’ hands by agreeing to unheard-of ground rules and other demands by the lawyers for Clinton and her aides that limited their investigation.

“In my 25 years with the bureau, I never had any ground rules in my interviews,” said retired agent Dennis V. Hughes, the first chief of the FBI’s computer investigations unit.

Instead of going to prosecutors and insisting on using grand jury leverage to compel testimony and seize evidence, Comey allowed immunity for several key witnesses, including potential targets.

The immunity agreements came with outrageous side deals, including preventing agents from searching for any documents on a Dell laptop owned by former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills generated after Jan. 31, 2015, when she communicated with the server administrator who destroyed subpoenaed emails.

Comey also agreed to have Mills’ laptop destroyed after the restricted search, denying Congress the chance to look at it and making the FBI an accomplice to the destruction of evidence.

Comey’s immunized witnesses nonetheless suffered chronic lapses in memory, made unsubstantiated claims of attorney-client privilege upon tougher questioning and at least two gave demonstrably false statements. And yet Comey indulged it all.

What’s more, Comey cut a deal to give Clinton a “voluntary” witness interview on a major holiday, and even let her ex-chief of staff sit in on the interview as a lawyer, even though she, too, was under investigation.

Clinton’s interview, the culmination of a yearlong investigation, lasted just 3½ hours. Despite some 40 bouts of amnesia, she wasn’t called back for questioning; and three days later, Comey cleared her of criminal wrongdoing.

“The FBI has politicized itself, and its reputation will suffer for a long time,” Hughes said. “I hold Director Comey responsible.”

Agreed retired FBI agent Michael M. Biasello: “Comey has singlehandedly ruined the reputation of the organization.”

The accommodations afforded Clinton and her aides are “unprecedented,” Biasello added, “which is another way of saying this outcome was by design.” He called Comey’s decision not to seek charges “cowardly.”

“Each month for 27 years, I received oral and computer admonishments concerning the proper protocol for handling top secret and other classified material, and was informed of the harsh penalties, to include prosecution and incarceration,” for mishandling such material, he pointed out. “Had myself or my colleagues engaged in behavior of the magnitude of Hillary Clinton, as described by Comey, we would be serving time in Leavenworth.”

Former FBI official I.C. Smith knows a thing or two about Clinton corruption. After working at FBI headquarters as a section chief in the National Security Division, he retired as special agent in charge of the Little Rock, Ark., field office, where he investigated top Clinton fundraisers for public corruption and even Chinese espionage.

“FBI agents upset with Comey’s decision have every reason to feel that way,” Smith said. “Clearly there was a different standard applied to Clinton.”

“I have no doubt resourceful prosecutors and FBI agents could have come up with some charge that she would have been subject to prosecution,” the 25-year veteran added. “What she did is absolutely abhorrent for anyone who has access to classified information.”

Smith said Congress should subpoena the case’s agents to testify about the direction they received from Comey and their supervisors: “It would be interesting to see what the results would be if those involved with the investigation were questioned under oath.”

Comey made the 25 agents who worked on the case sign nondisclosure agreements. But others say morale has sunk inside the bureau.

“The director is giving the bureau a bad rap with all the gaps in the investigation,” one agent in the Washington field office said. “There’s a perception that the FBI has been politicized and let down the country.”

Comey has turned a once-proud institution known for its independence into one that bows to election pressure, hands out political immunity to candidates and effectively pardons their co-conspirators. He’s turned the FBI into the Federal Bureau of Immunity and lost the trust and respect of not only his agents but the country at large. He ought to step down.

“Good morning, ma’am,” a member of the uniformed Secret Service once greeted Hillary Clinton.

“F— off,” she replied.

That exchange is one among many that active and retired Secret Service agents shared with Ronald Kessler, author of “First Family Detail,” a compelling look at the intrepid personnel who shield America’s presidents and their families — and those whom they guard.

Kessler writes flatteringly and critically about people in both parties. Regarding the Clintons, Kessler presents Chelsea as a model protectee who respected and appreciated her agents. He describes Bill as a difficult chief executive but an easygoing ex-president. And Kessler exposes Hillary as an epically abusive Arctic monster.

That exchange is one among many that active and retired Secret Service agents shared with Ronald Kessler, author of “First Family Detail,” a compelling look at the intrepid personnel who shield America’s presidents and their families — and those whom they guard.

Kessler writes flatteringly and critically about people in both parties. Regarding the Clintons, Kessler presents Chelsea as a model protectee who respected and appreciated her agents. He describes Bill as a difficult chief executive but an easygoing ex-president. And Kessler exposes Hillary as an epically abusive Arctic monster.

“When in public, Hillary smiles and acts graciously,” Kessler explains. “As soon as the cameras are gone, her angry personality, nastiness, and imperiousness become evident.”

He adds: “Hillary Clinton can make Richard Nixon look like Mahatma Gandhi.”

Kessler was an investigative reporter with the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post and has penned 19 other books. Among much more in “First Family Detail,” he reports:

“Hillary was very rude to agents, and she didn’t appear to like law enforcement or the military,” former Secret Service agent Lloyd Bulman recalls. “She wouldn’t go over and meet military people or police officers, as most protectees do. She was just really rude to almost everybody. She’d act like she didn’t want you around, like you were beneath her.”

“Hillary didn’t like the military aides wearing their uniforms around the White House,” one former agent remembers. “She asked if they would wear business suits instead. The uniform’s a sign of pride, and they’re proud to wear their uniform. I know that the military was actually really offended by it.”

Former agent Jeff Crane says, “Hillary would cuss at Secret Service drivers for going over bumps.” Another former member of her detail recollects, “Hillary never talked to us . . . Most all members of first families would talk to us and smile. She never did that.”

“We spent years with her,” yet another Secret Service agent notes. “She never said thank you.”

Within the White House, Hillary had a “standing rule that no one spoke to her when she was going from one location to another,” says former FBI agent Coy Copeland. “In fact, anyone who would see her coming would just step into the first available office.”

One former Secret Service agent states, “If Hillary was walking down a hall, you were supposed to hide behind drapes used as partitions.”

Hillary one day ran into a White House electrician who was changing a light bulb in the upstairs family quarters. She screamed at him, because she had demanded that all repairs be performed while the Clintons were outside the Executive Mansion.

“She caught the guy on a ladder doing the light bulb,” says Franette McCulloch, who served at that time as assistant White House pastry chef. “He was a basket case.”

White House usher Christopher B. Emery unwisely called back Barbara Bush after she phoned him for computer troubleshooting. Emery helped the former first lady twice. Consequently, Kessler reports, Hillary sacked him. The father of four stayed jobless for a year.
While running for US Senate, Hillary stopped at an upstate New York 4-H Club. As one Secret Service agent says, Hillary saw farmers and cows and then erupted. “She turned to a staffer and said, ‘What the f - - - did we come here for? There’s no money here.’ ”

Secret Service “agents consider being assigned to her detail a form of punishment,” Kessler concludes. “In fact, agents say being on Hillary Clinton’s detail is the worst duty assignment in the Secret Service.”

After studying the Secret Service and its relationships with dozens of presidents, vice presidents and their families, Ronald Kessler’s astonishment at Hillary Clinton’s inhumanity should reverberate in every American’s head.

As he told me: “No one would hire such a person to work at a McDonald’s, and yet she is being considered for president of the United States.”

Deroy Murdock is a Fox News contributor.

Hillary Clinton also likes to show off her supposed sense of humor in public, but is she really funny? These clips speak for themselves.

“When in public, Hillary smiles and acts graciously,” Kessler explains. “As soon as the cameras are gone, her angry personality, nastiness, and imperiousness become evident.”

He adds: “Hillary Clinton can make Richard Nixon look like Mahatma Gandhi.”

Kessler was an investigative reporter with the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post and has penned 19 other books. Among much more in “First Family Detail,” he reports:

“Hillary was very rude to agents, and she didn’t appear to like law enforcement or the military,” former Secret Service agent Lloyd Bulman recalls. “She wouldn’t go over and meet military people or police officers, as most protectees do. She was just really rude to almost everybody. She’d act like she didn’t want you around, like you were beneath her.”

“Hillary didn’t like the military aides wearing their uniforms around the White House,” one former agent remembers. “She asked if they would wear business suits instead. The uniform’s a sign of pride, and they’re proud to wear their uniform. I know that the military was actually really offended by it.”

Former agent Jeff Crane says, “Hillary would cuss at Secret Service drivers for going over bumps.” Another former member of her detail recollects, “Hillary never talked to us . . . Most all members of first families would talk to us and smile. She never did that.”

“We spent years with her,” yet another Secret Service agent notes. “She never said thank you.”

Within the White House, Hillary had a “standing rule that no one spoke to her when she was going from one location to another,” says former FBI agent Coy Copeland. “In fact, anyone who would see her coming would just step into the first available office.”

One former Secret Service agent states, “If Hillary was walking down a hall, you were supposed to hide behind drapes used as partitions.”

Hillary one day ran into a White House electrician who was changing a light bulb in the upstairs family quarters. She screamed at him, because she had demanded that all repairs be performed while the Clintons were outside the Executive Mansion.

“She caught the guy on a ladder doing the light bulb,” says Franette McCulloch, who served at that time as assistant White House pastry chef. “He was a basket case.”

White House usher Christopher B. Emery unwisely called back Barbara Bush after she phoned him for computer troubleshooting. Emery helped the former first lady twice. Consequently, Kessler reports, Hillary sacked him. The father of four stayed jobless for a year.
While running for US Senate, Hillary stopped at an upstate New York 4-H Club. As one Secret Service agent says, Hillary saw farmers and cows and then erupted. “She turned to a staffer and said, ‘What the f - - - did we come here for? There’s no money here.’ ”

Secret Service “agents consider being assigned to her detail a form of punishment,” Kessler concludes. “In fact, agents say being on Hillary Clinton’s detail is the worst duty assignment in the Secret Service.”

After studying the Secret Service and its relationships with dozens of presidents, vice presidents and their families, Ronald Kessler’s astonishment at Hillary Clinton’s inhumanity should reverberate in every American’s head.

As he told me: “No one would hire such a person to work at a McDonald’s, and yet she is being considered for president of the United States.”

Deroy Murdock is a Fox News contributor.

Hillary Clinton also likes to show off her supposed sense of humor in public, but is she really funny? These clips speak for themselves.
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FBI Mutiny? Feds Said To Launch Clinton Foundation Corruption Probe Despite DoJ Objections

I remember hearing rumors months ago that if the FBI decided not to recommend indictment for Hillary Clinton, there would be high level resignations at the bureau in response.

So far, that hasn’t happened but some people at the FBI were clearly as stunned as the rest of the nation.

Sharyl Attkisson reports:

FBI Pros Question Decision Not to Charge Hillary Clinton

This week, FBI Director James Comey testified that Hillary Clinton and her aides had compromised classified information in an extremely careless fashion, exposed it to hostile adversaries, violated public records law, destroyed public documents (some permanently, so that they cannot be forensically recovered) and that Clinton made repeated false statements in public about her actions. But, he concluded, no charges should be filed. Clinton apparently told the FBI she didn’t understand classified markings and all the technology at issue, and that she didn’t know she was doing anything wrong. And the FBI takes her at her word.

Comey is well-respected by politicians in both political parties and by many within his own ranks. But there is new dissent after his Clinton decision, which some FBI insiders found baffling and contrary to normal practices.

Attkisson provides examples from people who have to remain anonymous:

Why wasn’t Clinton’s interview recorded? On May 22, 2014 the Justice Department announced a substantial change in policy “creating a presumption that FBI…agents will electronically record,” expressing a preference for video recordings over audio. “It appears to me they made a deal not to record,” says one observer, which flies in the face of the idea that Clinton was treated like anybody else.
Typically it’s the U.S. Attorney’s office, not FBI agents, deciding whether charges will be filed. “Director Comey seems to have taken on responsibilities far beyond the FBI’s purview–he assumed the duties of the Agent, US Attorney and Grand Jury.”
The Director commented that it wouldn’t be fair to charge Clinton for her reckless behavior because no one else had ever been charged by the standard before. “I am not aware of any investigation where a government official went to such extreme measures to comb through the government records,” said a career FBI professional.

In another post on her site, Attkisson points out that this is bigger than Hillary Clinton:

It’s Not All About Hillary

In some respects, the implications of the FBI’s findings aren’t about Hillary– they’re about the rest of us. As a layman, here’s my interpretation:

Any federal employee is now free, despite what the law may say, to make personal arrangements to communicate the public’s business using private servers, administrators, accounts and devices. They may send and receive classified material using these servers, even in hostile territory subject to hacking by sophisticated adversaries. They may routinely destroy the public-owned records they create–some of them permanently–and, if their actions are discovered, they may provide false public statements about their content.

They are free to violate public records law and fail to turn over public records upon request (making Freedom of Information law meaningless and toothless). And prosecutors will view questionable acts in the most innocent light and one that’s the most favorable to the subject of the investigation. Unless they can find what they term “clear evidence” of “intent to violate laws,” you’re off the hook!

Comey’s decision represents a total failure of justice.

Just wait until lawyers start citing this case a defense.

Hillary clinton email lies fbi comey investigation democrat classified information … In another post on her site, Attkisson points out that this is bigger than ….. While not legally trained, my opinion is that bill clinton was correct.

Having detailed Clinton-appointee Loretta Lynch’s DoJ push-back against the FBI’s Clinton Foundation probe, it seems Director Comey has decided to flex his own muscles and save face as DailyCaller reports, multiple FBI investigations are underway involving potential corruption charges against the Clinton Foundation, according to a former senior law enforcement official.

As we previously noted, a US official has told CNN…

At the time, three field offices were in agreement an investigation should be launched after the FBI received notification from a bank of suspicious activity from a foreigner who had donated to the Clinton Foundation, according to the official.

FBI officials wanted to investigate whether there was a criminal conflict of interest with the State Department and the Clinton Foundation during Clinton’s tenure.

But…

x

The Department of Justice had looked into allegations surrounding the foundation a year earlier after the release of the controversial book “Clinton Cash,” but found them to be unsubstantiated and there was insufficient evidence to open a case.

As so as a result…

DOJ officials pushed back against opening a case during the meeting earlier this year.

Some also expressed concern the request seemed more political than substantive, especially given the timing of it coinciding with the investigation into the private email server and Clinton’s presidential campaign.

However, as DailyCaller reports, The FBI is undertaking multiple investigations involving potential corruption changes against The Clinton Foundation…

The investigation centers on New York City where the Clinton Foundation has its main offices, according to the former official who has direct knowledge of the activities.

Prosecutorial support will come from various U.S. Attorneys Offices — a major departure from other centralized FBI investigations.

The New York-based probe is being led by Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

The official said involvement of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York “would be seen by agents as a positive development as prosecutors there are generally thought to be more aggressive than the career lawyers within the DOJ.”

The former official said the investigation is being coordinated between bureau field offices and FBI managers at headquarters in Washington, D.C. The unusual process would ensure senior FBI supervisors, including Director James Comey, would be kept abreast of case progress and of significant developments.

The reliance on U.S. attorneys would be a significant departure from the centralized manner in which the FBI managed the investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server and email addresses.

That investigation was conducted with agents at FBI headquarters, who coordinated with the Department of Justice’s National Security Division (NSD).

While Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for Bharara, said he would “decline comment,” and FBI spokeswoman Samantha Shero said, “we do not have a comment on investigative activity,” we wonder if the unusual procedures and the tone of that comment suggests a mutinous FBI standing up to the politicized DoJ?

New York City
Corruption
Department of Justice
FBI
national security
Washington D.C.

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