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American Resistance To Empire

Trump freezing Syria funds, Claiming Pullout Imminent

Trump freezing Syria funds in signal of US pullback, report says

President Donald Trump is freezing more than $200 million in funds for recovery efforts in war-torn Syria amid a reassessment of the role the U.S. should play in the drawn-out conflict there, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The White House ordered the State Department to put the funds on hold, the report said. According to The Journal, Trump did so after reading a news report saying that the U.S. had recently committed an additional $200 million to early recovery efforts.

Exiting Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pledged the money in February in Kuwait at a meeting of the coalition trying to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS).

The apparent shift comes as the fight against ISIS has reached an impasse, with the insurgent group controlling just 5 percent of the battered nation but holding fast to it and losing little ground in recent months.

The Journal said that a sped-up pullback of America from Syria could kick up concerns about yielding control of the combat-scarred country to Iran and Russia.

In the past month, U.S.-led airstrikes supporting local forces on the ground have diminished.  In January, Tillerson laid out a strategy in which the U.S. would remain in Syria for the foreseeable future to prevent an ISIS resurgence and keep Iran’s influence in check.

Now, The Journal said, Trump looks to be questioning that tack. He has said he would like to see regional allies like Saudi Arabia take on more of the burden, and the White House has asked Gulf Arab states to come up with billions of dollars for Syria’s recovery.

The State Department last year spent $200 million on stabilization work in Syria, including removing unexploded weapons and restoring water, power and electricity, and an additional $225 million in funds was designated this year. The freezing of some or all of those funds, plus the additional spending promised last month, could cause existing programs to halt, U.S. officials told The Journal.

Only two months ago, Trump’s aides thought they’d persuaded him that the U.S. needed to keep its presence in Syria open-ended — not only because the Islamic State group has yet to be entirely defeated, but also because the resulting power vacuum could be filled by other extremist groups or by Iran. Trump signed off on major speech in January in which Secretary of State Rex Tillerson laid out the new strategy and declared “it is vital for the United States to remain engaged in Syria.”

But by mid-February, Trump was telling his top aides in meetings that as soon as victory can be declared against ISIS, he wanted American troops out of Syria, said the officials, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

Trump’s first public suggestion he was itching to pull out came in a news conference with visiting Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull on Feb. 23, when Trump said the U.S. was in Syria to “get rid of ISIS and go home.” On Thursday, in a domestic policy speech in Ohio, Trump went further, The AP reported.

“We’ll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon. Let the other people take care of it now. Very soon — very soon, we’re coming out,” Trump said.

The public declaration caught U.S. national security agencies off-guard and unsure whether Trump was formally announcing a new, unexpected change in policy. The Pentagon and State Department reached out to the White House’s National Security Council for clarification.

The White House’s ambiguous response: Trump’s words speak for themselves.

“The mission of the Department of Defense to defeat ISIS has not changed,” said Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman, according to The AP.

Still, without a clear directive from the president, planning has not started for a withdrawal from Syria, officials said, and Trump has not advocated a specific timetable.

For Trump, who campaigned on an “America First” mantra, Syria is just the latest foreign arena where his impulse has been to limit the U.S. role. Like with NATO and the United Nations, Trump has called for other governments to step up and share more of the burden so that Washington doesn’t foot the bill. His administration has been crisscrossing the globe seeking financial commitments from other countries to fund reconstruction in both Syria and Iraq, but with only limited success, The AP said.

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Russian Press Reports Kremlin Surrender of Syrian Sovereignty Over Deir ez-Zor To Pentagon’s Proxy Terrorists

“The potential for a clash there [in Syria] has, thanks to the Russian direction… been reduced,” Mattis said on Tuesday.

Mattis said that Russian mercenary elements last week moved into more advanced positions near Deir ez-Zor across the deconfliction line and came “too close” to coalition and partner forces.

However, Mattis added, both sides drew back after deconfliction discussions between US officials and their Russian counterparts.

“It was resolved through the deconfliction communication line,” he added. “It did not, you know, go… into harm’s way, as it did there a month ago.”

On March 23, Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon told Sputnik that US forces contacted their Russian counterparts to discuss a buildup of pro-Syrian government forces near a coalition base in eastern Syria. The pro-Syrian government troops had amassed near Deir ez-Zor in the same area where pro-government forces attempted to attack the US-led coalition in February.

 

On February 7, the US-led coalition said it had carried out defensive airstrikes against pro-government forces in Syria that had attacked the headquarters of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) east of the Euphrates River.

US officials later said that at least 100 Syrian pro-government troops were killed in the confrontation, while no coalition troops were killed or wounded.

The US-led coalition of more than 70 members is conducting military operations against the Islamic State (banned in Russia) terror group in Syria and Iraq. The coalition’s strikes in Iraq are conducted in cooperation with Iraqi officials, but those in Syria are not authorized by the government of President Bashar Assad or the UN Security Council.

68 dead as Venezuela jail break attempt sparks blaze

[SEE: Amnesty International Winks at Trump’s Economic Attack on Venezuelans ]

68 dead as Venezuela jail break attempt sparks blaze

Distressed relatives of detainees gathered outside the jail
Distressed relatives of detainees gathered outside the jail
Rioting and a fire in the cells of a Venezuelan police station in the central city of Valencia killed 68 people yesterday, according to the government and witnesses.Families hoping for news outside the police station were dispersed with tear gas and authorities did not give information until late into the evening.

“The State Prosecutor’s Office guarantees to deepen investigations to immediately clarify what happened in these painful events that have left dozens of Venezuelan families in mourning,” said Chief Prosecutor Tarek William Saab on Twitter.

Venezuelan prisons are notoriously overcrowded and filled with weapons and drugs. Riots leaving dozens dead are not uncommon.

State official Jesus Santander said the state of Carabobo was in mourning after the incident in Valencia.

“Forensic doctors are determining the number of fatalities,” Mr Santander said.

A policeman was shot in the leg and was in a stable condition and firefighters had extinguished the flames, he said.

Many Venezuelan prisons are lawless and have been for decades. Prisoners often openly wield machine guns and grenades, use drugs and leave guards powerless.

“There are people who are inside those dungeons (…) and the authorities do not know they exist because they do not dare to enter,” said Humberto Prado, a local prisons rights activist.

A video posted on Twitter showed dozens of people demanding information in front of police guarding the site.

“I am a desperate mother. My son has been here a week. They have not given any information,” a woman told local media.

Venezuela’s prisons suffer from dire overcrowding and a shortage of basic supplies, struggling under the deepening economic crisis that is gripping the once wealthy oil-producing country.

Because of the lack of space in prisons, convicts are often sent to police holding cells like the ones in Carabobo, meant to be used as temporary pens for suspects facing charges or court hearings, where detainees are supposed to spend a maximum of 48 hours.

Rights’ groups estimate that the temporary detention centres have been overfilled by five times their capacity.

Two weeks ago, 58 detainees escaped holding cells on Margarita Island, a favoured tourist spot, when a hole opened up in their facility’s wall. They were all soon recaptured.

In August 2017, a riot left 37 dead and 14 wounded in police cells in the southern state of Amazonas, while an April 2017 clash between rival gangs left 12 dead and 11 injured in the Puente Ayala prison in the eastern city of Barcelona.

A month before that, the remains of 14 people were found in a mass grave in the General Penitentiary of Venezuela, in San Juan de Los Morros in the country’s mid-region.

US Judge Today Rejects Saudi Arabia’s Motion To Dismiss 9/11 Complicity

3-28-18-Opinion-911-MDL-Saudi-Arabia

Sep 11, 2001

US judge tosses Saudi Arabia’s motion to dismiss 9/11 complicity lawsuit

US judge tosses Saudi Arabia’s motion to dismiss 9/11 complicity lawsuit
US District Judge George B. Daniels in Manhattan has dismissed the motion filed by Saudi Arabia to end a long-running litigation over what those affected by the 9/11 terrorist attacks claim is Riyadh’s complicity in the tragedy.

The allegations put forward by the victims’ relatives and those who were injured in the attack “narrowly articulate a reasonable basis for this Court to assume jurisdiction under JASTA (The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act ) over Plaintiffs’ claims against Saudi Arabia,” Daniels stated in the court opinion. Taking this into account, “this Court will exercise its discretion to allow Plaintiffs limited jurisdictional discovery,” it added before announcing the Saudi Arabian motion dismissed.

JASTA, passed by Congress in 2016, overriding a then-US President Barack Obama’ veto, paved the way for legal proceedings against foreign states and their officials suspected of supporting terrorism to continue even if they were previously rejected in a court.

Daniels rejected the lawsuit against Saudi Arabia back in 2015, arguing that the allegations brought by nearly 3,000 people, who accused the kingdom of providing material support for the terrorists, were “entirely conclusory” and gave no grounds for the court to assume jurisdiction over the high-profile case.

JASTA made a new filing possible, as previous US administrations hobbled the attempts to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for the attacks perpetrated by 19 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi citizens. The legislation creates an exception to the 1976 sovereign immunity law, allowing US citizens to sue foreign governments in US federal courts and demand compensation for the acts that kill Americans on the US soil.

The newest lawsuit alleged that the Saudi government should bear responsibility for the attacks, claiming that its agents and officials “directly and knowingly assisted the hijackers” that carried out the attacks 17 years ago. It also claims that charities controlled by the Saudi authorities enabled Al-Qaeda to perpetrate the attacks “through financial and operational support.”

The 2002 report, issued as a result of a 9/11 congressional inquiry, “found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization.” However, it did not rule out that “charities with significant Saudi government sponsorship diverted funds to Al-Qaeda.”

A lawyer for the plaintiffs, James Kreindler, welcomed the ruling, saying that they are “delighted” that the judge dismissed Saudi Arabia’s objections in the case.

“We have been pressing to proceed with the case and conduct discovery from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, so that the full story can come to light, and expose the Saudi role in the 9/11 attacks,” Kreindler said, as cited by Reuters.

Daniels, who has repeatedly voiced skepticism about Saudi Arabia’s culpability, citing the lack of direct evidence, dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims against two Saudi banks, the National Commercial Bank and Al Rajhi Bank, as well as a construction company with ties to Osama bin Laden. Daniels said the case did not fall under his jurisdiction.

Daniels said back in January that Saudi Arabia did not know that the money it funneled through government-sponsored charities would end up with Al-Qaeda.

“If I gave you $10 and you went and bought $5 of ice cream, why is it that I gave you $5 to buy ice cream?” he said, arguing that the country should not be held accountable for “every terrorist act Al-Qaeda commits.”

The law, which has cleared the way for the victims of the disastrous attacks to seek damages from the Gulf Kingdom, has drawn ire from Riyadh, which argued that it erodes the principle of national sovereignty and even threatened to pull money out of the US economy after the bill was overwhelmingly passed by Congress in September 2016.

Riyadh also pushed for the US to amend the legislation, which it called a “grave danger to the international system,” albeit, to no effect.

Israel Didn’t Do 9-11, The Plan Was Key To CIA Plot To Hand Mideast To Saudis

[SEE:  Saudi Conniving To Create Wahabbi Super-Caliphate To Rule Over Entire Middle East ; USA, CIA Created Sunni Islamic TerrorismSaudi Arabia, silently waging war on the world ; The Elite, the ‘Great Game’ and World War III]

9/11: Israel Didn’t Do It- The Plan Was Co-Led by U.S. & Saud Governments

To judge by articles and reader-comments about 9/11, many Americans who think that the 9/11 attacks weren’t done by the Sauds working in conjunction with the U.S. Government, think that those attacks were done by Israel’s Government working in conjunction with America’s Government. I wrote the only critical analysis of the main ‘evidence’ that is cited for the Israel-did-it argument, and found the argument to be based on false timelines and misrepresentations of what was in the FBI files.

The U.S. Government blames Iran for 9/11. But that hypothesis is even more ridiculous than is the Israel-did-it hypothesis. Clearly, the Saud family (otherwise known as the Saudi Government) were the the U.S. Government’s partners in this operation. (However, on the day before President-Elect Donald Trump nominated Congressman Mike Pompeo to be the new CIA Director, Pompeo tweeted — 17 November 2016 — “I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.” The U.S. regime don’t call the Sauds that, but they are, and the only terrorism that Iran has been associated with at all, has been some of the terrorism against Israel.)

The Wikipedia article, “Responsibility for the September 11 attacks”, mentions only “Saudi Arabia” in its section “Financing the attacks.” None of the proponents of the Israel-did-it hypothesis includes any coherent documented evidence that Israel financed the operation. And even the U.S. court that (based upon pressures from Israel and from the Sauds) ruled Iran to have caused 9/11, offered no evidence, that Iran, instead of Iran’s enemy the Saud family, was the main funder of the 9/11 attacks. None of the 19 alleged 9/11 terrorists was Iranian; none was even a Shiite, at all; 15 of them were Saudis, and all 19 were fundamentalist Sunnis; Al Qaeda is (so far as is known) a 100% fundamentalist-Sunni organization. (Furthermore, a google-search for “shiite member of al qaeda” produces: “No results found for ‘shiite member of al qaeda’.” Not even one such person has been publicly cited.) No real evidence exists that any of the money for the 9/11 attacks came either from Shias, or from Jews (nor from Israel’s Government).

9/11 was a well-planned operation, whatever it was. Substantial money paid for it, but little if any of that came from either Iran or Israel. It all came from fundamentalist-Sunnis.

And, if all of the money was fundamentalist-Sunni, then the only non-Sunni people who could have been involved in planning the operation would have been George W. Bush and his friends. One of his close friends happens to have been “Bandar Bush” — Saudi Prince Bandar, who was the Saud family’s chief geostrategist, and a longtime buddy of Bush’s, and whom the FBI found to have been personally funding at least two of the 19 hijackers, right up to 9/11.

Even Hillary Clinton, though supported by the Sauds, privately acknowledged that, “Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.” Al Qaeda is of Saudi origin, and it was the largest Sunni terrorist group worldwide. Osama bin Laden’s bag-man who personally picked up the suitcases full of cash from the biggest donors, said that “without the money of the — of the Saudi, you will have nothing”, and he named there most of the Saud princes (including Bandar) as having been people he had personally picked it up from. He said nothing whatsoever about Israel (nor about Iran).

And, then, there are the hypotheses that the U.S. Government wasn’t complicit in allowing the attacks to occur. 9/11 was just ‘failures by CIA, FBI, etc.’ That Wikipedia article ignores all evidence indicating complicity by the White House, but some of this evidence will be cited and linked-to here: “Politico Reports Bush Knew 2001 Terror-Attack Was Imminent and Wanted It, I headlined on 17 November 2015, about this article in Politico, which had provided the evidence, but without analysis of it (and especially with nothing at all to the effect that Bush wanted serious terrorism in the United States by Al Qaeda to happen — just the evidence that he did).

When the 9/11 attacks happened, Americans didn’t conclude that George W. Bush was either incompetent or else evil (or some combination of both). This country was now the opposite of Harry S. Truman’s famous dictum about the Commander-in-Chief and President: “The buck stops here.” To the exact contrary: Gallup’s 7-10 September 2001 job-approval rating for Bush by Americans immediately before the attacks was 51% approval and 39% disapproval; and the very next survey, 14-15 September 2001, showed 86% approval and 10% disapproval. The number of Americans who disapproved of him declined around 75%, and the number of Americans who approved of him increased around 70%, as a result of 9/11. So, instead of causing his approval to decline around 75% to 13%, and his disapproval to increase around 75% to 70% — which would have made sense, under the circumstances — what happened was exactly the opposite. Democracy cannot function that way (and it doesn’t).

This shows, as clearly as can be, that extremely few Americans had basic intelligence — a basic ability to reason logically from the best existing evidence regarding a given matter. The best existing evidence made unequivocally clear that Bush was either catastrophically stupid or else catastrophically evil (or both), but his job-approval numbers just soared, instead of shrank. This was an enormous failure of our schools to teach basic critical-thinking skills, and also a failure by America’s press to control in the right way the public discussion about what had happened, a failure by its editors and producers, their failure to demand a focus on the key question: Which of the two possibilities — fool, or fiend — is the U.S. President and Commander-in-Chief? After a catastrophe like this, there needs to be accountability; but, instead, Bush’s job-approval soared. Nobody was asking: What type of catastrophic leader is this? Not the media; no one. All U.S. institutions of supposed authority failed.

Accountability was thrown out the window immediately. That question wasn’t asked at all (except perhaps by some fringe component of the U.S. public, whose submitted op-eds and other commentaries to the press were being rejected en-masse by editors and producers — hidden from the public by them).

How can a country such as this be a democracy? The public aren’t prepared to function as a democracy, and the Establishment (as represented by the leaders and chief stockholders in the news media) have no interest in helping them to function as a democracy. What does this suggest — perhaps a country whose Establishment is so profoundly corrupt as to do everything they can to prevent there being accountability for the people at the very top of the nation’s power-structure? (The intense corruption happens also within states, too, not merely at the federal level.)

What the Politico story documented is that President Bush had instructed his staff to keep away from him the key intelligence officials (except, of course, in situations where they couldn’t have in-depth private discussions with him about what the facts are and what the options and likely consequences are for him in order to address the emerging situation). That, alone, means his complicity. (One might speculate that he hadn’t instructed Condoleezza Rice to block such private access to him, but in that case he would have fired her for having done so. She suffered no repercussions from enforcing his deniability — Bush’s entire life was instead a repudiation of accountability, a rejection of any “The buck stops here.”) Bush, clearly, needed to preserve deniability. He was, clearly, an evil man, even if he wasn’t necessarily a stupid one — and he was nobody’s fool.

And the press just looked away, while it all happened. This is what happens in a country that’s going to rot. And it’s what has, in fact, happened in America. 9/11 and its aftermath are just a sign of that. One of many signs, but a clear one.

This is no attempt to exonerate America’s enemy Israel. It is an attempt to document America’s enemy the Sauds. In both cases, the American public’s enemy is the American aristocracy’s friend. Israel’s Government is the American aristocracy’s friend, and Saudi Arabia’s Government is also the American aristocracy’s friend. And, clearly, the U.S. Government represents only America’s aristocracy, not the public.

The problem certainly isn’t Jews nor Muslims. The problem is the aristocracy, which controls Saudi Arabia, and the aristocracy which controls Israel, and the aristocracy which controls America. The victim is the public, and the victimizer is the aristocracy. It’s not just 9/11. It’s much bigger than that. And it is pervasive. And, also, that’s why, when 9/11 happened, “Accountability was thrown out the window immediately.” This system serves the aristocracy just fine. That’s why it exists.

Saudi Arabia, Fountainhead of Wahhabi Terrorism

[SEE: White House Should Acknowledge Saudi Arabia As the Source of Salafi/Wahhabi Terrorism]

How nice that the USA rolls out the red carpet for the number one supporter of terrorism in the world.

How nice that the USA rolls out the red carpet for the number one supporter of terrorism in the world.
Pixabay Images

Here is a pop quiz: some of you may remember two airplanes slamming into the World Trade Center, one hit the Pentagon, and a fourth crashing in the countryside in rural Pennsylvania, on September 11, 2001. Here is the question: who were the 9/11 hijackers that attacked America and killed thousands of innocent people?

I am sure many are sitting there looking at these words, and saying, “Why Bob, they were Muslims.” Well, yes, but if I were to ask, “Who orchestrated the Holocaust?” Would you answer, “Catholics and Lutherans?”

That would be the correct answer, but the right answer is the Germans. The correct answer in who is behind the attacks on 9/11 are the Saudis, including Saudi elites.

Saudi Arabian Wahhabism is the fountainhead of terrorism in the World. They are the world’s largest supporters of terrorism. Donald Trump and the US Government are busy tongue-kissing the Saudi Crown Prince at the White House.

When we incorrectly think all Muslims are terrorists, we are confusing the majority of Muslims in the world with Saudi Wahhabism. Named for an 18th Century preacher and extremist, the extreme fundamentalists have an enduring relationship with the House of Saud. Think of them like Saudi’s answer to the evangelicals that comprise a significant part of the Trump political base. The idea is not far-fetched.

Saudi Wahhabism has given us folks like Ossama bin Laden, the hijackers, the 9/11 bombers, those who attacked the USS Cole, and our favorite new group, ISIS. It takes religion to get people to kill themselves for a cause, and they have faith running out of their ears. They, like the evangelicals in America, think you need to believe their religion. If you do not believe as the Wahhistism demands, then you are fair game for killing. It is not just Islam they want you to embrace. They want you to be a Sunni Muslim. If you are a Shi’ite then like the Christians, Jews, and anyone else who is not Sunni and extremist, you are fair game to be butchered.

In our war against terror, we roll out the red carpet for the most significant supporters of terrorism in the world, instead of bombing them back into the dark ages, which would not be that far back for that nation.

Mohammad bin Salam, the Crown Prince and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is in Washington. I suspect his visit is in part to make sure there is a new lapdog in place at the State Department, now that Saudi Arabia’s pet, Rex Tillerson, has been fired.

After all, the number one supporter of terrorism in the world, and the home nation for the 9/11 hijackers, as well as the birthplace of Al Qaeda, of course, must share American values, right? If you are one of the growing numbers of people in the world who think that killing civilians is an American value, then you can see the attraction between America and Saudi Arabia. I believe it is not an American value.

Saudi Arabia leads a nine-nation coalition that is killing people in Yemen. Hostilities began in 2015. Human Rights Watch, an organization that keeps count of these things, put the number of civilians killed at 5,295 men, women, and children to date, with another 8,000 or so severely injured.

Jets sold to Saudi Arabia by America are used to bomb civilian targets, including apartment buildings. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) list the Jets and bombing runs as the primary cause of deaths and injuries.

The Foreign Policy Organs of the USA are excellent when it comes to double-speak. They are quick to point out that while Saudi Arabia has “challenges,” a huge understatement, they are a “good partner” in fighting the extremists that threaten us all.

I have a hard time getting my mind around a good partner in the war on terror that also spends billions and billions of dollars promoting Wahhabism which is the inspiration for all Sunni global terrorism.

The Crown Prince has publicly stated he plans on eliminating all terrorism. Then why are billions still being spent by the Kingdom to promote Wahhabism in places like Pakistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, and Indonesia?

The words of the Crown Prince and his empty promises are part of a big scam on the West, and Donald Trump is buying into it. To be fair, every Administration since the Arab Oil Embargo in the 1970s has bought off on the Saudi lie. We did so because we need oil to run a modern economy. I get that.

Donald Trump tells us that we now are the largest producer of oil in the World. In fact, we are now an oil exporting nation. So, why are we still partaking in the Saudi scam?

Iran is why. Americans just cannot seem to get past the Iranian Revolution, the American Hostages the Iranians took at the time, and their hate America rhetoric.

I look back at the past twenty years, and I do not see Iranian terrorists flying airplanes into American skyscrapers. They do fund terror in Gaza, but Saudi Arabia supports terrorists fighting Israel too. It is hypocritical of the USA to give a pass to Saudi financed terrorists fighting Israel while holding Iran accountable for the same behavior.

We are at the point in the article where the Iran haters will pipe up and talk about Iran’s nuclear program. Yes, Iran does have a nuclear program, and President Obama created a system for us to come into Iran and check to see if the plan is for building weapons or energy production.

Have the Iranians been sharing technology with the North Koreans? I do not dispute that claim. What nation is helping Iran more than any other? It appears to be Donald Trump’s good pal, Vladimir Putin.  We are not hearing too much about that when it is time for the GOP to pull out its righteous indignation against Iran.

Iran is not good guys. Neither is Saudi Arabia. In the contest among nations for Ronald Reagan’s Axis of Evil, should be won by Saudi Arabia, with a special mention for Iran an North Korea, and we are laying down with them.

Ex-Supreme Justice Demands Elimination of 2nd Amendment

John Paul Stevens: Repeal the Second Amendment

A musket from the 18th century, when the Second Amendment was written, and an assault rifle of today. Credit Top, MPI, via Getty Images, bottom, Joe Raedle/Getty Images .

Rarely in my lifetime have I seen the type of civic engagement schoolchildren and their supporters demonstrated in Washington and other major cities throughout the country this past Saturday. These demonstrations demand our respect. They reveal the broad public support for legislation to minimize the risk of mass killings of schoolchildren and others in our society.

That support is a clear sign to lawmakers to enact legislation prohibiting civilian ownership of semiautomatic weapons, increasing the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 years old, and establishing more comprehensive background checks on all purchasers of firearms. But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.

Concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the separate states led to the adoption of that amendment, which provides that “a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Today that concern is a relic of the 18th century.

For over 200 years after the adoption of the Second Amendment, it was uniformly understood as not placing any limit on either federal or state authority to enact gun control legislation. In 1939 the Supreme Court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a “well regulated militia.”

During the years when Warren Burger was our chief justice, from 1969 to 1986, no judge, federal or state, as far as I am aware, expressed any doubt as to the limited coverage of that amendment. When organizations like the National Rifle Association disagreed with that position and began their campaign claiming that federal regulation of firearms curtailed Second Amendment rights, Chief Justice Burger publicly characterized the N.R.A. as perpetrating “one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

In 2008, the Supreme Court overturned Chief Justice Burger’s and others’ long-settled understanding of the Second Amendment’s limited reach by ruling, in District of Columbia v. Heller, that there was an individual right to bear arms. I was among the four dissenters.

That decision — which I remain convinced was wrong and certainly was debatable — has provided the N.R.A. with a propaganda weapon of immense power. Overturning that decision via a constitutional amendment to get rid of the Second Amendment would be simple and would do more to weaken the N.R.A.’s ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation than any other available option.

That simple but dramatic action would move Saturday’s marchers closer to their objective than any other possible reform. It would eliminate the only legal rule that protects sellers of firearms in the United States — unlike every other market in the world. It would make our schoolchildren safer than they have been since 2008 and honor the memories of the many, indeed far too many, victims of recent gun violence.

Correction: March 27, 2018
An earlier version of a picture caption with this article misidentified the 18th-century firearm depicted. It is a musket, not a rifle.

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