American Resistance To Empire

Saudis Panic Over Trump’s Talk of Discussions w/Iranian President Rouhani

A younger brother of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is in Washington this week, with President Donald Trump’s evolving policy toward Iran and Yemen expected to be on the agenda for talks with the administration.

Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman’s visit comes days after Trump signaled new openness to potential talks with Saudi Arabia’s chief regional rival, Iran, and a report that the U.S. is looking to enter talks with Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the festering war in Yemen.

The Saudi Press Agency said Prince Khalid “will meet a number of officials to discuss bilateral relations and issues of common concern that support the security and stability of the region,” without providing specifics on meetings planned with administration officials.

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo will meet with the prince on Wednesday afternoon, according to the State Department.

While the trip may have been planned well in advance, analysts said there’s little doubt about what the agenda will be now.

“Behind closed doors, there will be concern over Trump’s strategy of potentially meeting with Rouhani and the way forward,” said Ayham Kamel, head of Middle East and North Africa research at the Eurasia Group, referring to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani. “There is going to be a lot of questions about where U.S. policy is on that level.”

Speaking at the conclusion of the Group of Seven summit in France on Monday, Trump said he was willing to meet Rouhani under the right conditions, though he gave few details. While Rouhani pushed back, saying he wasn’t interesting in a photo-op with Trump, the American president’s offer was reminiscent of his early diplomacy with North Korea, which has resulted in three meetings with Kim Jong Un.

A Rouhani-Trump meeting would break with more than four decades of U.S. policy toward the Islamic Republic, following the country’s 1978 revolution and subsequent U.S. hostage crisis. It would also frustrate key American allies in the Middle East, including both Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Citing sources it didn’t identify, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that the U.S. administration is also preparing to initiate direct talks with Yemen’s Houthis, who have been targeted by a Saudi-led coalition that has shown signs of fraying. The Saudi intervention, an early move by Prince Mohammed, has pitted the Arab world’s wealthiest nation against its poorest and generated widespread charges of human rights abuses.

“I have no doubt that the Saudis are frustrated” about U.S. signals regarding Mideast policy, Ibrahim Fraihat, a conflict resolution professor with the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, said in response to questions.

While Trump has made Saudi Arabia the centerpiece of his Middle East strategy since taking office in 2017, the kingdom’s reputation in Washington has been battered by the war in Yemen, the detention of female activists and the killing of columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October. Congress has condemned the Saudis over the Khashoggi episode and the Yemen military campaign.

“Saudi Arabia is performing a balancing act,” said James Dorsey, senior fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies and its Middle East Institute. “Prince Khalid will no doubt be seeking assurances from the Trump administration that it is not weakening its tough stand towards Iran and will not jeopardize Saudi interests.”

Israeli Inventors of Murder By Drone Hunt Palestinians w/Lethal Force, Trump Thinks Its Cool

Lebanon president: Israel drone attack a declaration of war

President Michel Aoun says Lebanon has the right to defend territorial integrity after drones crash in Beirut.

Lebanon president: Israel drone attack a declaration of war
A suspected Israeli drone crashed in a Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut, while another exploded and crashed nearby [Anwar Amro/AFP]

Lebanon’s president has said an Israeli drone attack on Beirut at the weekend was a “declaration of war” that justified a military response.

“What happened is a declaration of war,” Michel Aoun told Jan Kubis, the United Nations‘ special coordinator for Lebanon, in a meeting on Monday.

“This allows us to resort to our right to defend our sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity,” he added, in a statement released by his office.

Also on Monday, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri said his government wants to avoid an escalation with Israel, but the international community must reject Israel’s “blatant violation” of Lebanese sovereignty.

“The Lebanese government sees it best to avoid any sliding of the situation towards a dangerous escalation but this requires the international community affirming its rejection of this blatant violation,” Hariri told the ambassadors of the UN Security Council’s five permanent members, his office said.

Sunday attacks

Alleged Israeli drones crashed in a southern suburb of Beirut on Sunday, prompting a strong reaction from the leader of the Hezbollah movement.

In a speech hours after one of the drones crashed in the Lebanese capital, Hassan Nasrallah said the Israeli drones were on a “suicide mission”.

“Hezbollah will not allow such an aggression,” he said in a televised address on Sunday. “The time when Israeli aircraft come and bombard parts of Lebanon is over.”

Nasrallah also pledged to retaliate to an Israeli air attack inside Syria that took place late on Saturday, which he said killed two Hezbollah members.

Later on Sunday, Iraq’s powerful Hashd al-Shaabi force, or Popular Mobilisation Forces(PMF), blamed Israel for carrying out a deadly drone attack close to the border with Syria.

‘Hostile act’

On Monday, Iraq’s President Barham Salih hosted leading members of the PMF along with the prime minister and the parliament speaker to discuss the instability.

“These attacks are a blatant, hostile act that target Iraq,” the presidency said in a statement, adding: “Iraqi sovereignty and the wellbeing of its people are a red line.”

It stressed the government would take all necessary steps to “deter aggressors and defend Iraq”, but did not threaten a military response.

Later on Monday, the PMF said it spotted another drone flying over one of its bases in the northern province of Nineveh.

“It was immediately dealt with using anti-aircraft weaponry. The drone left the area,” the group said in a statement.

Iraq’s military spokesman Yehya Rasool told AFP news agency on Monday the government had launched a new investigation into Sunday’s attack.

Asked what diplomatic action Iraq could take, the foreign ministry told AFP it would wait for official conclusions before resorting to the UN.

“If it was proven that a foreign entity was involved in these operations, we will take all steps – first among them, going to the Security Council and the United Nations,” spokesman Ahmad Sahhaf said on Monday.

Separate target

Earlier on Monday, Israeli jets attacked a Palestinian base in eastern Lebanon near the border with Syria, Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency reported.

Three attacks which came minutes apart struck a base for a Syrian-backed group known as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC), an ally of Hezbollah.

There was no immediate comment from Israel on the attack, which the agency said hit near the Lebanese village of Qusaya in the eastern Bekaa Valley.

Air raids by Israel against Palestinian factions in Lebanon, such as this one, have been rare in the past years.

Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr, reporting from Beirut, said the attack against the PFLP-GC base took place near the border with Syria, in very “rugged terrain”.

“It’s [the area] believed to be made up of tunnels, linking both countries together,” Khodr said.

Khodr said the attack was a message to Hezbollah more than the PFLP-GC since it came “just hours” after Nasrallah pledged to down any Israeli drone that violates Lebanese airspace.

Hezbollah and Israel fought a month-long war in 2006. The volatile border between the two countries, which remain technically in a state of war, has been mostly calm since that conflict.

India Claims That Pakistan Is Moving 100 Terrorists From Afghanistan To Kashmir

The Indian security officials have claimed that Pakistan is planning to bring at least 100 terrorists from Afghanistan to Kashmir in the wake of the recent tensions between the two countries.

The officials have further added that Pakistan is attempting to carry out a series of attacks in Kashmir.

The officials have also added that the plan is to demonstrate to the world that the situation in Kashmir is deteriorating following the revocation of Article 370.

An Indian military source has told the Times of India “We have credible intelligence that Pakistan is bringing over 100 hardcore terrorists from Afghanistan and they will be pushed into Kashmir in the next few weeks.”

Meanwhile, the officials have said at least 15 Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists are already waiting at the terror launch-pads in Lipa valley along the Line of Control on the Pakistani side to infiltrate in Kashmir.

More Ammo Against “Opioid” Witch-Hunt…multiplying patient pain DOES NOT decrease death-rate

New Survey Data Confirm That Opioid Deaths Do Not Correlate With Pain Pill Abuse or Addiction Rates

Nonmedical use of prescription analgesics did not become more common, but it did become more dangerous.

New data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) provide further evidence to support a counterintuitive conclusion: The dramatic increase in deaths involving prescription analgesics since 2000 cannot be explained by a dramatic increase in misuse or addiction rates, because there was no such increase.

Prior NSDUH data showed that rates of past-month “nonmedical use” and past-year “pain reliever use disorder” barely changed from 2002 (when the survey began in its current form) through 2014, even as deaths involving these drugs rose by 175 percent. The survey questions on these topics changed in 2015, so the more recent numbers are not comparable. But we now have four years of data with the new wording, and they tell a similar story.

According to NSDUH, the rate of “prescription pain reliever misuse” fell in 2016 and 2017, even as deaths involving those drugs continued to rise. The rate fell again in 2018, and that year deaths may also have declined, judging from preliminary CDC data. The rate of “pain reliever use disorder,” meanwhile, fell in 2016 and 2017 but stayed the same in 2018.

The lack of correspondence between deaths involving prescription analgesics and illegal consumption or addiction rates suggests that patterns of use changed in a way that made fatal outcomes more likely. If nonmedical users started taking prescription narcotics more frequently, in higher doses, or in more dangerous combinations with other drugs, those shifts would help explain the increase in deaths.

In 2017, just 30 percent of opioid-related deaths involved prescription analgesics, and the records compiled by the CDC indicate that 68 percent of those cases also involved heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, or alcohol. The role of drug mixtures is probably even bigger than those records suggest. In New York City, which has one of the country’s most thorough systems for reporting drug-related deaths, 97 percent of them involve more than one substance.

The evidence does not favor a simple narrative in which more opioid prescriptions led to more abuse and addiction, which in turn led to more deaths. The “opioid crisis,” which seems to be part of a long-term upward trend in drug-related deaths that began in 1979, might more accurately be described as a problem of increasingly reckless polydrug use, a problem that cannot be solved—and may be worsened—by demanding wholesale reductions in pain pill prescriptions.

JACOB SULLUM is a senior editor at Reason.

Syrian Airstrike Hits Turkish Convoy, Alleged To Be Delivering Ordinance To Terrorists In Idlib

[Kurds Invite Syrian Army To Manbij, Between Them and Turkish Army–12/29/2018]

Turkey fuming after Syrian airstrike on convoy in Islamist-held Idlib province

Turkey fuming after Syrian airstrike on convoy in Islamist-held Idlib province

The Turkish Defense Ministry has condemned Syria for attacking its convoy in the Syrian province of Idlib. Damascus said the vehicles were transporting weapons and ammo to “terrorist forces.”

Ankara said three people were killed and 12 others injured on Monday after the Syrian airstrike, which targeted a Turkish military convoy travelling between two observation points in northern Syria. The statement said all victims were civilians, without explaining how they were involved in a military operation.

Ankara said the attack violated the agreement between Russia, Turkey and Iran, which paved the way to a relative de-escalation in the protracted war in Syria, the Turkish news agency Anadolu reported.

ALSO ON RT.COMRussian Air Force targets militants in Syria’s Idlib at request of Turkish military


Idlib province is the last major part of Syria largely controlled by various armed groups, some of them hardcore jihadists. On request from Russia, the Syrian government agreed not to use force to retake the region to avoid casualties among civilians, who have blood ties with Turkey.

Ankara is supposed to prevent hostilities from reigniting, with a series of observation posts spread along the provincial border to monitor the situation. The plan however never fully worked, with regular flare-ups happening between various armed groups and the Syrian Arab Army.

The nature of the attacked convoy is perceived differently by the Syrian side, however. The Syrian news agency SANA said it was carrying weapons and ammunition to “terrorist forces” in the town of Khan Sheikhoun. It’s located in the southern part of Idlib province on a highway connecting the cities of Aleppo and Hama.

ALSO ON RT.COMSyrian army resumes military operations against rebels in Idlib


Lately there has been heavy fighting near Khan Sheikhoun between Damascus forces and the group controlling the city, predominantly the Islamist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTC), formerly known as Nusra Front.


Gibraltar Ignores US Demands To Re-Seize Iranian Tanker GRACE1, Renamed ADRIAN DARYA1

[GRACE1, renamed ADRIAN DARYA1, sails away from Gibraltar.]

Position Received: 3 minutes ago (2019-08-19 21:45 (UTC)
(5:45 p.m. Eastern Standard)
Vessel’s Local Time: 2019-08-19 22:45 (UTC +1)
Latitude / Longitude: 36.22187° / -2.274448°


Latitude / Longitude: 36.05969° / -3.960223°

Gibraltar rejects US pressure; lets Iranian oil tanker set sail

An Iranian supertanker left Gibraltar late Sunday after the territory rejected a U.S. request to continue holding the ship in a detention on suspicion of attempting to breach global sanctions against Syria.

The tanker set sail late Sunday, according to a marine traffic monitoring site and Gibraltar news outlets. The Gibraltar government, in a statement, cited differences between the sanctions authorized by the United States and those of the European Union.

“The European sanctions regime against Iran, which is applicable in Gibraltar, is much narrower than that applicable in the U.S.,” said the statement from Gibraltar, a British territory.

Hamid Baeidinejad, Iran’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, said the ship could depart within hours after the rejection was announced. Tehran said it was ready to dispatch a fleet to escort the tanker if necessary.

“The era of hit and run is over,” said Iran’s navy commander, Rear Adm. Hossein Khanzadi.

The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a request from USA TODAY for comment.

The ship, containing more than 2 million gallons of Iranian light crude oil, was seized July 4 in a British Royal Navy operation off the coast of Gibraltar. The seizure aggravated fears of a conflict in the Persian Gulf, where Iran claims control of the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway for oil shipments.

After Gibraltar’s detention of the Iranian tanker, then known as Grace 1, Iran seized the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz. The Islamic Republic is still holding the British vessel, claiming it failed to stop after colliding with an Iranian fishing boat.

Dispute deepens: U.S. issues warrant to seize Iran oil tanker ‘Grace 1’ after Gibraltar judge orders its release

Iran has seized other foreign oil tankers in recent months – and downed a U.S. surveillance drone, raising the ire of President Donald Trump.

Iran denies the Grace 1 was headed to Syria and accused the British of “maritime piracy.” A court in Gibraltar ordered the tanker released Thursday, setting off a flurry of diplomatic and legal efforts to keep the ship from leaving.

On Friday, the U.S. Justice Department issued a warrant to seize the tanker for forfeiture, claiming the Iranians illegally used the U.S. banking system to finance the shipment of oil to Syria.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also warned mariners against signing on to ships linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or others under U.S. sanctions.

“The maritime community should be aware that the U.S. government intends to revoke visas held by members of such crews,” Pompeo said.

Tanker seized: Iran seizes another foreign oil tanker, state media says

The Gibraltar government noted that the Revolutionary Guard is not a designated foreign terrorist organization in Gibraltar, the U.K. or in most of the EU generally, unlike in the U.S.

The weeks-long diplomatic dispute between Tehran and Washington comes amid a standoff between the two countries after Trump withdrew from an international nuclear accord with Tehran and reimposed sanctions.

Tensions in the Persian Gulf have been on the rise since. Some European leaders have been unwilling to follow the U.S. lead in attempting to isolate the Persian nation.

Contributing: Kim Hjelmgaard and Kristin Lam, USA TODAY; The Associated Press

US Finally Finagles Illegal “Free Zone” In N. Syria By Conspiring w/Turks Against Kurdish Militias

[SEE: United Nations warns Turkey against calling buffer a ‘safe zone’; US Vetoes “No Fly Zone” In Erdogan’s Syrian Safe Area ]


Syria Warns US-Turkey “Safe Zone” Deal Is a Plot for “Expansionist Ambitions”

Under the guise of protecting its borders against aggression from YPG/SDF, Turkey is reviving it’s “Ottoman Sultanate” plans

After three days of intense negotiations in Ankara, US and Turkish officials reached an agreement on Wednesday to create a joint operations center and set up a safe zone east of the Euphrates in north eastern Syria. Deal details have not yet been disclosed.

This last minute deal between Washington and Ankara is in response to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s announcement on Sunday that Turkey was prepared to carry out a unilateral cross-border operation to push back Kurdish militias on the Syrian Turkish border east of the Euphrates river, if the Washington didn’t cut ties with the Kurdish militias and create a safe zone in northern Syria.

The two NATO allies agreed that the Turkish based joint operations center would be created as soon as possible to address Turkey’s security concerns.  The safe zone would become a “peace corridor”, and efforts would be made so that Syrian refugees could return home.

However, wanting peace is just a front for Erdogan’s true motives. The Syrian government categoricallyrejects the deal as a blatant attack on Syria’s territorial sovereignty and warns of Erdogan’s real reasons for establishing a so-called safe-zone on Syrian soil.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry said

“The agreement constitutes a partnership between the US and Turkey over aggression against Syria that would serve the interest of the Israeli occupation entity. It also reflects how evasive and misleading the policies of the Turkish regime are.”

On Thursday an official Syrian source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told SANA

“Syria expresses categorical rejection of the agreement announced by the US and Turkish occupations on establishing the so-called [safe zone] which constitutes a blatant aggression against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and a flagrant violation of the principles of international law and the UN Charter.”

Turkey is using the excuse of protecting its borders against the US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who Turkey views as the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), to fulfill its long-term mission of expanding its territory by invading and balkanizing its sovereign neighbor.

Many nations including the United States, who designated the PKK as a terrorist group in 1997, and Turkey who has been in conflict with the PKK since their inception in 1984, consider them to be a terrorist organization.

Another Turkish goal is to replace the indigenous diverse ethnic population in northern Syrian with extremists that are sympathetic to Erdogan, like we have seen in Afrin and other towns on Turkey’s border in northern Syria.

Erdogan’s plans for invasion and annexation will put Christian minorities in danger, some of whom can trace their lineage back to the original inhabitants of this land. However, Kurdish militias have also targeted them by using forced conscription and other Daesh-like intimidation tactics. The Kurdish Connection: Israel, ISIS And U.S. Efforts To Destabilize Iran explains more about how Kurdish militias have been used by the US to achieve their own objectives in the Middle East.

statement issued by the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs states

“This agreement has very clearly exposed the US-Turkish partnership in the aggression against Syria which serves the interest of the Israeli occupation entity and the Turkish expansionist ambitions and it unequivocally exposed the misleading and evasiveness which govern the policies of the Turkish regime.”

“Syria calls on the Arab people to be aware of the dangers of the expansionist ambitions of the Turkish regime which is spreading the killing and chaos in different parts of the Arab world from Syria to Libya and the Sudan and it will not stop till it will satisfy its illusions on reviving the Ottoman Sultanate,” the source said.

The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative concluded by saying that

“Syria calls on the international community and the UN to condemn the US-Turkish flagrant aggression which constitutes a dangerous escalation and poses a threat to peace and security in the region and the world and hinders all positive efforts for finding a solution to the crisis in Syria.”

All the major players involved in the proxy war in Syria, including Turkey, Russia, and Iran want the US to leave, except of course the US-backed Kurdish SDF which are just a rebranding of the YPG.

US President Donald Trump has expressed interest multiple times in a swift troop withdrawal, and to let the local regional players figure things out. However, the war hawks surrounding him in Washington, along with the Pentagon have derailed his plans since last December. They have stressed that US interests need to be protected by having a long-term presence in the oil-rich, agriculturally rich, breadbasket of Syria, to keep an eye on Iran while protecting their ally, Israel.

As I have stated previously establishing an independent Kurdish state in Syria is just part of the decades-long Israeli-American plan to weaken and divide all the nations neighboring Israel.

Although it might seem like Russia has been uncharacteristically quiet this week regarding the latest developments with Turkey and the US in north eastern Syria, Russia has consistently stood by the Syrian government’s right to protect its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Whether its occupation and annexation by the Kurds or Turks, Kurdification or Turkification, the Syrian government and military categorically reject any infringement on their land, and have adamantly stated they will take back every inch of Syrian territory from terrorists or occupiers.


Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

This article was originally published on InfoRos.

Sarah Abed is an independent journalist and political commentator. For media inquiries please email

China’s Belt Road Initiative Blocked By India Taking Kashmir

It’s too early to say what India’s breach of the status quo in Kashmir will mean for long-term stability in South Asia. There are, of course, many fears of where revoking the semiautonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir could lead—from another retaliatory insurgency by militants in Kashmir backed by Pakistan, or worse still a destabilizing war between the two nuclear-armed rivals. Ultimately, though, it is China—not India or Pakistan—that will likely tip the balance in a region teetering yet again on the brink.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party view downgrading Kashmir’s status from a state in India to a union territory directly governed by New Delhi as a decisive blow to Pakistan’s claims over the disputed territory. But everyone stands to lose if regional tensions escalate further, starting with the 8 million residents of the Kashmir Valley now living under a total Indian security lockdown and communications blackout. China, more than any other player in this dangerous game of Risk, seems to understand that best.

Clashes between India and Pakistan over the Line of Control in Kashmir, the de facto border between Indian- and Pakistan-administered territories, have been so frequent that it is sometimes easy to overlook China’s role elsewhere in the region. But Beijing also has competing claims over parts of Kashmir and has contributed to long-running frictions. In recent years, however, it is the uneasy semi-détente between China and India over the Line of Actual Control—which separates Chinese-controlled territory from Indian-administered Kashmir—and the so-called McMahon Line on Kashmir’s northerly flank that has kept India-Pakistan tensions in check.

Previously subtle signs of China growing into its role as a regional arbiter in South Asia have become more pronounced recently. In June, Beijing publicly acknowledged that Foreign Ministry representatives met with leaders of the Afghan Taliban in China. The Chinese government has also held steady as a supporter of the Iran nuclear deal, a key plank of stability in the wider region. While Beijing protested India’s unilateral move in Kashmir last week, its response has so far been measured, despite having legitimate concerns about its own territorial claims.

At issue for China this time is what will become of the border area it calls Aksai Chin, a vast high desert that comprises part of a far western stretch of China’s troubled Muslim-majority Xinjiang region, and that India historically has laid claim to as part of Ladakh, a district of Indian-administered Kashmir. New Delhi’s decision to revoke Kashmir’s semiautonomous status would effectively appear to put India in charge of the fate of Aksai Chin, at least on paper.

Logic and restraint are likely to prevail, at least where China’s interests are concerned in Kashmir.

Beijing has challenged that very notion since the 1950s, including in a short war with India in 1962. China has repeatedly pressed India to drop its claim to Aksai Chin in exchange for Beijing’s agreement to cede another contested area along the McMahon Line known as Arunachal Pradesh to New Delhi. Despite small, occasional military incursions from both India and China, the two countries have signed on to a series of confidence-building measures since 1996 that have largely succeeded in dampening the risks of escalation.

Yet tensions still escalated in April 2015 when China’s Xi Jinping signed a $46 billion deal for several big-ticket infrastructure projects collectively called the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, a portion of which runs through Kashmir. India sees the multifaceted project, which includes extensive new networks of highways, railways and energy pipelines across Pakistan and is part of China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative, as perhaps the greatest challenge to its influential position in South Asia.

Some analysts have argued that the joint Sino-Pak venture may fuel India’s fears of encirclement by a key economic competitor and a hostile rival. There may be a grain of truth in that assessment, but India’s claims to arguably more important maritime trade routes in the oil and gas rich Indian Ocean probably hold far more weight in its calculations. Plus, last year’s informal summit in Wuhan, China between Modi and Xi, after a different border spat near Bhutan, and the subsequent appointment of Indian and Chinese special envoys to deal with border disputes, seems to have helped reframe how both parties view the Kashmir question.

This may be one reason why Beijing seems to be flashing mixed signals in response to the latest flare-up in Kashmir. Within hours of the Indian Parliament’s decision on Aug. 5 to annul Kashmir and Jammu’s statehood, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson issued a statement saying that the move “hurt Chinese sovereignty by unilaterally changing domestic law.” Yet a week later, in a meeting with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Foreign Minister Wang Yi appeared to suggest that Beijing was prepared to exercise a kind of strategic restraint, framing the crisis as a matter to be settled by peaceful means. Although China’s statement was issued as Pakistan vowed to bring its fight to the U.N. Security Council, it seemed phrased to signal to India that Beijing would try to stand firm on prior confidence-building guarantees on Aksai Chin and build on the goodwill generated at Wuhan.

Nevertheless, China faces a different challenge from Pakistan, with Prime Minister Imran Khan pressing Islamabad’s claims to Kashmir through a combination of ethnonationalist polemics and diplomatic maneuvering. Khan’s stream of statements on Twitter about Kashmir have been full of hyperbole about India’s power grab and Hindu nationalism, which he has described as “inspired by Nazi ideology,” likening “Hindu Supremacy” to “the Nazi Aryan Supremacy.” Modi, for his part, has only added to the vitriol, vowing in an provocative speech on India’s Independence Day on Aug. 15 to restore Kashmir to its “past glory.”

Despite all the heated rhetoric, neither Pakistan nor India hold the kind of sway that China does at the U.N. Security Council. China’s chief counterparts, the United States and Russia, have indicated that they have little appetite for the kind of brief air war over Kashmir that erupted after Pakistani-backed militants mounted a suicide attack on an Indian military convoy in Kashmir in March. Plus, China has its hands full with Hong Kong. So there is little chance of Beijing backing Islamabad’s bid to get the U.N. involved. Instead, logic and restraint are likely to prevail, at least where China’s interests are concerned in Kashmir.

Candace Rondeaux is a senior fellow and professor of practice at the Center on the Future of War, a joint initiative of New America and Arizona State University. She has documented and analyzed political violence in South Asia and around the world for The Washington Post, International Crisis Group, the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the U.S. Institute of Peace and a host of international publications. Her WPR column appears every Friday.

GRACE1 Tanker May Be “FREE,” But It Has NOT MOVED

GRACE1, (previous name, KHOR FAKKAN ANCH [AE], current position, Latitude / Longitude: 36.11064° / -5.310616°

GRACE1, previous track

Gibraltar Supreme Court says Iranian tanker is free to sail

Gibraltar's Supreme Court ruled that the Iranian tanker Grace 1 is free to sail, hours after the US requested to detain the tanker [Jon Nazca/Reuters]The ruling to release the vessel that was commandeered by the UK came despite a last-minute US attempt to detain it.

16 minutes ago

Gibraltar’s Supreme Court ruled that the Iranian tanker Grace 1 is free to sail, hours after the US requested to detain the tanker [Jon Nazca/Reuters]


Propaganda vs. the people

Propaganda vs. the people

China is using state-run media and other tools to shape views on the Hong Kong protests

Propaganda vs. the people

Medical staff at a hospital in Hong Kong stage a protest of police brutality against pro-democracy demonstrators. (Kin Cheung/AP)

As reported in China Snapshot for the past few months, the protests in Hong Kong have arisen out of the concerns of residents: The protesters oppose Beijing’s encroachment on Hong Kong autonomy, want their local government to listen to public opinion, and wish to freely elect their leaders.

Yet on the mainland, the Chinese government has spun a different narrative with the help of state-controlled media, censors, and internet trolls. As the narrative goes, a small group of radical protesters, backed by the United States and other foreign governments, is wreaking havoc in the city and urging for an independent Hong Kong. The government has described the demonstrators’ recent airport protests as “near-terrorist acts.”

How does a country change the narrative and distort what is happening on the ground?

First, China’s so-called Great Firewall blocks online reports from foreign media. It blocks Chinese access to social media used internationally, and blocks any posts supportive of Hong Kong. Initially, Chinese media didn’t report on the Hong Kong protests, even as 2 million people peacefully took to the streets.

As protesters grew increasingly restless, citing unmet demands and excessive use of force by Hong Kong police, they began making more aggressive moves: They broke into and vandalized Hong Kong’s Legislative Council Complex, splashed ink on the Chinese emblem, threw the Chinese flag into the harbor, and in one case even threw gasoline bombs at the police. Chinese media quickly seized the opportunity to broadcast images of protesters disrespecting the government.

What the Chinese media left out: Police firing tear gas into a subway station. Peaceful protesters singing hymns. Pro-Beijing mobs attacking protesters. Police in riot gear chasing and beating protesters with batons. Undercover police slamming unarmed protesters to the ground, resulting in a pool of blood on the sidewalk.

Most notably, these media don’t explain why Hong Kong residents are protesting. For patriotic Chinese citizens who can access only Chinese news sources, the police look like heroes fighting a deranged group of China-hating separatists.

Second, the media has fueled conspiracy theories. Last week, pro-Beijing newspaper Ta Kung Pao published photos of pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong and Nathan Law meeting with U.S. diplomat Julie Eadeh. The newspaper also printed the names of Eadeh’s husband and young children. China’s official state broadcaster, CCTV, claimed Eadeh was an American “black hand” influencing the Hong Kong protests.

“I don’t think that leaking an American diplomat’s private information, pictures, names of their children—I don’t think that that’s a formal protest,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus responded. “That is what a thuggish regime would do. That’s not how a responsible nation would behave.” She went on to say that it was normal for diplomats to meet with protesters and opposition parties in other countries.

Third: all-out lies. On Sunday, the most violent day of protests thus far, a police officer shot a beanbag round at protesters, blinding a woman in her right eye. The woman was providing first aid to the protesters. Yet CCTV said fellow protesters injured her. On the CCTV website, a reporter claimed to have captured a photo of the woman counting money and claimed she was responsible for paying protesters to join the demonstration.

The same day, the China Daily posted on Chinese social media a video of a protester with an airsoft gun and claimed it was an M320 grenade launcher used by the United States Army, reported The New York Times. In response to the Chinese media’s coverage, Chinese netizens are calling for their government to take stronger action against Hong Kong.

At times, the protesters’ own actions feed into the narrative Beijing is promoting. This week, protesters held sit-ins at the Hong Kong International Airport, causing airlines to cancel hundreds of flights. While the demonstration remained peaceful on Monday, it took a violent turn on Tuesday night as the massive group of protesters surrounded a man they accused of being an undercover cop. They tied his wrists together with plastic zip ties and kicked and punched him until he fainted.

When medics and police tried to get the injured man into an ambulance, protesters blocked their way. Police in riot gear arrived on the scene, rushing protesters and pushing them to the ground and beating them. At one point, a police officer pulled out a gun after a protester began beating him with the officer’s baton.

Protesters also surrounded a man who was wearing a yellow press vest and taking close-up photos of protesters. When protesters asked him to show his press pass, he refused and tried to leave, according to Hong Kong Free Press. Suspicious that he was a spy faking as a journalist, protesters tied his hands and feet and beat him. He was later also taken away by ambulance.

The man turned out to be Fu Guohao, a journalist for Global Times, a state-run nationalist tabloid. A clip of Fu yelling “I support Hong Kong police, you can hit me now,” went viral on WeChat, making him a hero in China. The overseas edition of the People’s Daily on Wednesday printed a front-page commentary stating, “Using the sword of the law to stop violence and restore order is overwhelmingly the most important and urgent task for Hong Kong!”

In the United States, Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., the chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, has said he would introduce legislation to stop the sale of munitions and crowd control equipment to the Hong Kong police. The police have used at least 1,800 canisters of tear gas since the protests began.

“I am appalled and outraged by Hong Kong police and their escalating violence and brutality towards peaceful protesters and journalists,” tweeted McGovern. “I also call on the Trump administration to stop sending mixed signals on Hong Kong. Instead, they should suspend transfers of police and crowd control equipment to Hong Kong police. America must be on the side of those peacefully protesting for democracy and the rule of law.”

Luxury apology tour:

Chinese netizens are successfully pressuring luxury apparel brands like Versace, Coach, and Givenchy to apologize after the companies listed Hong Kong as a separate country from China on their T-shirts.

Civil Disobedience in Hong Kong Looks Just Like Any Other US Color Revolution Attempt

Civil Disobedience in Hong Kong or US Color Revolution Attempt?

by Stephen Lendman

As the saying goes, if it walks, talks, and quacks like a duck, chances are it is one.

What’s been going on for months in Hong Kong has all the earmarks of a US orchestrated color revolution, aimed at destabilizing China by targeting it soft Hong Kong underbelly. 

In calling for reunification of China in the early 1980s, then-leader Deng Xiaoping said Hong Kong and Macau could retain their own economic, financial and governmental systems, Taiwan as well under a “one country, two systems” arrangement.

The above would be something like what the US 10th Amendment stipulates, stating: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Each of the 50 US states has its own electoral system, governing procedures, and laws that may differ from federal ones.

China’s soft underbelly in Western-oriented Hong Kong left it vulnerable to what’s going on. US dirty hands likely orchestrated and manipulated pro-Western 5th column elements behind months of anti-Beijing protests.

Dubbed Occupy Central, China’s leadership is well aware of what’s going on and the high stakes. Beijing is faced with a dilemma.

Cracking down forcefully to end disruptive Hong Kong protests could discourage foreign investments. Letting them continue endlessly can destabilize the nation.

US war on China by other means aims to marginalize, weaken, contain, and isolate the country — because of its sovereign independence, unwillingness to bend to US interests, and its growing political, economic, financial, and military development.

China’s emergence as a world power threatens Washington’s aim to control other countries, their resources and populations worldwide.

Its successful economic model, producing sustained growth, embarrasses the US-led unfair, exploitive Western “free market”  system.

The US eliminated the Japanese economic threat in the 1980s, a similar one from the Asian Tiger economies in the 1990s, and now it’s China’s turn to be taken down.

Its leadership understands what’s going on and is countering it in its own way. China is a more formidable and resourceful US adversary than earlier ones.

Its strategy includes taking a longterm approach toward achieving its objectives with plenty of economic and financial ability to counter US tactics.

It may become the first post-WW II nation to defeat Washington’s imperial game, making the new millennium China’s century in the decades ahead.

US strategies to control other nations include preemptive wars of aggression, old-fashioned coups, and color revolutions — what appears to be going on in Hong Kong.

This form of covert war first played out in Belgrade, Serbia in 2000. What appeared to be a spontaneous political uprising was developed by RAND Corporation strategist in the 1990s — the concept of swarming.

It replicates “communication patterns and movement of” bees and other insects used against nations to destabilize and topple their governments.

The CIA, (anti-democratic) National Endowment for Democracy (NED), International Republican Institute (IRI), National (undemocratic) Democratic Institute, and USAID are involved.

Their mission is disruptively subverting democracy and instigating regime change through labor strikes, mass street protests, major media agitprop, and whatever else it takes short of military conflict.

Belgrade in 2000 was the prototype test drive for this strategy. When subsequently used, it experienced successes and failures, the former notably in Ukraine twice — in late 2004/early 2005, again in late 2013/early 2014.

US color revolution attempts have a common thread, aiming to achieve what the Pentagon calls “full spectrum dominance” — notably by neutralizing and controlling Russia and China, Washington’s main rival powers, adversaries because of their sovereign independence.

Controlling resource-rich Eurasia, that includes the Middle East, along with Venezuelan world’s largest oil reserves, is a key US imperial aim.

Swarming tactics are being used in Kong Kong. According to RAND strategists John Arquilla and David Ronfeld, it’s war by other means.

It exploits the information revolution and social media to take full advantage of “network-based organizations linked via email and mobile phones to enhance the potential of swarming.” 

In 1993, Arquilla and Ronfeldt explained that “warfare is no longer primarily a function of who puts the most capital, labor and technology on the battlefield, but of who has the best information” and uses it advantageously. 

State-of-the art IT techniques use “advanced computerized information and communications technologies and related innovations in organization and management theory,” they explained. 

Information technologies “communicate, consult, coordinate, and operate together across greater distances.” 

Cyberwar today is what blitzkrieg was to 20th century warfare, involving “irregular modes of conflict, including terror, crime, and militant social activism.”

Both strategists believed swarming could “emerge as a definitive doctrine (to) encompass and enliven both cyberwar and netwar.” 

They called swarming a way to strike from all directions in an overwhelming fashion, believing what works in combat theaters can be effective in waging war by other means in cities.

The strategy appears to be in play against China by targeting Hong Kong.

On August 12, Beijing’s official People’s Daily broadsheet said the city “is not and shall not be the frontline of US and China,” adding:

“Hong Kong has been rocked by chaos and violence for weeks, and the violence is getting more and more intense.” 

“What is going on in Hong Kong? There is already evidence of interference by foreign forces.” 

“As Chinese officials have pointed out, the situation in Hong Kong bears the features of a (US-orchestrated) color revolution.”

“US politicians have openly supported the unrest, and anti-China forces are working behind the scenes.” 

“(T)he US government often uses democracy promotion to attack other countries, and China has always been a major target.”

“Some US politicians dream of making China look and act more like the United States. One reason we are seeing increased pressure on China is because those who have tried to change China over the years via other methods have failed and there is growing fear that China is getting too powerful, so the Uncle Sam will never miss any opportunity to undermine China.”

“…Hong Kong is Chinese territory. This means that the city is not and shall not be a playground for anti-China forces.” 

“China is no longer a poor and weak country that cannot stand up to foreign interference.” 

“The country has enough methods and strength to quickly quell the unrest and smash foreign plots when such actions are deemed necessary to protect national sovereignty and the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.”

Beijing will deal with what’s going on in Hong Kong in ways it believes are most effective.

US destabilization and other hostile tactics make resolving major bilateral differences all the harder.

If Trump regime anti-China hardball tactics accelerate already weakening global economic conditions, including in the US, DJT could end up a one-term president.

Sino/Russian unity is also being strengthened to counter hostile US actions — a vital anti-imperial alliance US strategists fear.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at


My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.

US Now Admits it is Funding “Occupy Central” in Hong Kong

This article first published almost five years ago on October 1, 2014 is of particular relevance to an understanding of recent developments in Hong Kong.


Just as the US admitted shortly after the so-called “Arab Spring” began spreading chaos across the Middle East that it had fully funded, trained, and equipped both mob leaders and heavily armed terrorists years in advance, it is now admitted that the US State Department through a myriad of organizations and NGOs is behind the so-called “Occupy Central” protests in Hong Kong. 

The Washington Post would report in an article titled, “Hong Kong erupts even as China tightens screws on civil society,” that:

Chinese leaders unnerved by protests elsewhere this year have been steadily tightening controls over civic organizations on the mainland suspected of carrying out the work of foreign powers.

The campaign aims to insulate China from subversive Western ideas such as democracy and freedom of expression, and from the influence, specifically, of U.S. groups that may be trying to promote those values here, experts say. That campaign is long-standing, but it has been prosecuted with renewed vigor under President Xi Jinping, especially after the overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych following months of street demonstrations in Kiev that were viewed here as explicitly backed by the West.

The Washington Post would also report (emphasis added):

One foreign policy expert, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive subject, said Putin had called Xi to share his concern about the West’s role in Ukraine. Those concerns appear to have filtered down into conversations held over cups of tea in China, according to civil society group members.

“They are very concerned about Color Revolutions, they are very concerned about what is going on in Ukraine,” said the international NGO manager, whose organization is partly financed by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), blamed here for supporting the protests in Kiev’s central Maidan square. “They say, ‘Your money is coming from the same people. Clearly you want to overthrow China.’ ”

Congressionally funded with the explicit goal of promoting democracy abroad, NED has long been viewed with suspicion or hostility by the authorities here. But the net of suspicion has widened to encompass such U.S. groups as the Ford Foundation, the International Republican Institute, the Carter Center and the Asia Foundation. 

Of course, NED and its many subsidiaries including the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute do no such thing as “promoting democracy,” and instead are in the business of constructing a global network of neo-imperial administration termed “civil society” that interlocks with the West’s many so-called “international institutions” which in turn  are completely controlled by interests in Washington, upon Wall Street, and in the cities of London and Brussels.

Image: While the Washington Post would have readers believe NED is in the business of promoting “freedom of expression” and “democracy” the corporate-financier interests represented on NED’s board of directors are anything but champions of such principles, and are instead notorious for principles precisely the opposite. 

The very concept of the United States “promoting democracy” is scandalous when considering it is embroiled in an invasive global surveillance scandal, guilty of persecuting one unpopular war after another around the planet against the will of its own people and based on verified lies, and brutalizing and abusing its own citizens at home with militarized police cracking down on civilians in towns like Ferguson, Missouri – making China’s police actions against “Occupy Central” protesters pale in comparison. “Promoting democracy” is clearly cover for simply expanding its hegemonic agenda far beyond its borders and at the expense of national sovereignty for all subjected to it, including Americans themselves.

In 2011, similar revelations were made public of the US’ meddling in the so-called “Arab Spring” when the New York Times would report in an article titled, “U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings,” that:

A number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the revolts and reforms sweeping the region, including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and grass-roots activists like Entsar Qadhi, a youth leader in Yemen, received training and financing from groups like the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, a nonprofit human rights organization based in Washington.

The article would also add, regarding NED specifically, that:

The Republican and Democratic institutes are loosely affiliated with the Republican and Democratic Parties. They were created by Congress and are financed through the National Endowment for Democracy, which was set up in 1983 to channel grants for promoting democracy in developing nations. The National Endowment receives about $100 million annually from Congress. Freedom House also gets the bulk of its money from the American government, mainly from the State Department.


Image: US Senator John McCain on stage in Kiev, Ukraine cheerleading US
funded sedition in Eastern Europe. In 2011, McCain would famously taunt
both Russia and China that US-funded subversion was coming their way.
“Occupy Central” is one of many waves that have hit China’s shores since.


Pro-war and interventionist US Senator John McCain had famously taunted both Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and President Xi Jinping’s predecessor in 2011 that the US subversion sweeping the Middle East was soon headed toward Moscow and Beijing. The Atlantic in a 2011 article titled, “The Arab Spring: ‘A Virus That Will Attack Moscow and Beijing’,” would report that:

He [McCain] said, “A year ago, Ben-Ali and Gaddafi were not in power. Assad won’t be in power this time next year. This Arab Spring is a virus that will attack Moscow and Beijing.” McCain then walked off the stage.

Considering the overt foreign-funded nature of not only the “Arab Spring,” but now “Occupy Central,” and considering the chaos, death, destabilization, and collapse suffered by victims of previous US subversion, “Occupy Central” can be painted in a new light – a mob of dupes being used to destroy their own home – all while abusing the principles of “democracy” behind which is couched an insidious, diametrically opposed foreign imposed tyranny driven by immense, global spanning corporate-financier interests that fear and actively destroy competition. In particular, this global hegemon seeks to suppress the reemergence of Russia as a global power, and prevent the rise of China itself upon the world’s stage.

The regressive agenda of “Occupy Central’s” US-backed leadership, and their shameless exploitation of the good intentions of the many young people ensnared by their gimmicks, poses a threat in reality every bit as dangerous as the “threat” they claim Beijing poses to the island of Hong Kong and its people. Hopefully the people of China, and the many people around the world looking on as “Occupy Central” unfolds, will realize this foreign-driven gambit and stop it before it exacts the heavy toll it has on nations that have fallen victim to it before – Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Egypt, and many others.

The American Medical Dictatorship Now Demands That ALL PATIENTS Be tested For Illegal Drugs

[“Opioid Abuse” is the red herring that will fully empower the Medical Dictatorship (Govt-controlled doctors creating un-Constitutional authority to eliminate the right to privacy in all American adults.  Doctors gave-up their right to practice medicine when they gave up before the Govt onslaught which allowed bureaucrats to police the treatment of pain).]

With opioid abuse surging, expert panel recommends drug screening for all U.S. adults

A fentanyl user holds a needle.

Soaring rates of painkiller abuse are one factor that prompted an expert panel to recommend that primary care doctors screen all their adult patients for illicit drug use.
(David Maialetti / Philadelphia Inquirer)

It’s time for doctors to start asking every patient, every time: Have you engaged in any illicit drug use?

That’s the new advice from a panel of public health experts who examined whether a primary care physician’s time is well spent — and whether patients’ interests are served — by routine screening for drug abuse.

A draft report issued Tuesday by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Forcerecommends that all U.S. adults be screened for illicit drug use as long as their doctors can do so accurately and, when abuse is detected, offer their patients effective treatment or refer them to someone who can.

Questions about drug use should not only cover the possibility that a patient is taking illegal street drugs like cocaine or heroin, the task force said. They should also explore whether a patient might be sneaking pills from a family member’s pain medication or getting a boost from stimulants prescribed for a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

An acknowledgment of drug use should prompt a physician to warn patients about the dangers they are courting, offer medication-assisted therapy for addiction if appropriate, and refer patients to counseling and further treatment.

The task force has long advised doctors to query American adults — and in some cases adolescents — about their drinking and smoking habits. If the new recommendation is adopted, drug abuse would join the list of risky behaviors to be diagnosed and often treated by primary care doctors.

At a time when addiction has become a leading cause of disability in the U.S. and drug poisonings have become the No. 1 cause of injury-related deaths, some say the panel’s advice is long overdue.

“We’ve been doing this for almost a decade in my office,” said Dr. Gary LeRoy , a staff physician at the East Dayton Health Clinic in Dayton, Ohio, and president-elect of theAmerican Academy of Family Physicians .

The draft recommendation leaves no doubt about the extent of drug abuse in America, he said. A nationwide survey conducted in 2017 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that 30.5 million people — roughly 11.5% of American adults — said they had used illicit drugs in the past month.

“All of us should be keenly aware that on average, one in 10 of our patients are doing drugs — whether we ask them or not — and we’re not going to cause someone to use illicit drugs because we ask the question,” LeRoy said. “When you create an atmosphere of trust where you have safe conversations, they appreciate that you ask.”

The task force, a group of experts who advise the federal government on disease prevention, did not extend its recommendation to adolescents ages 12 to 17. Panel members said they could not find enough credible scientific evidence to offer guidance for this age group, and they called for more research on teen drug abuse and treatment. (The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends screening all adolescent for substance use .)

It’s been more than a decade since the task force last deliberated on the wisdom of population-wide screening for illicit drug use.

In 2008, a year in which 36,450 Americans died of drug overdoses, the panel did not see a compelling case for population-wide screening. This year, the death toll from drug abuse could wind up being more than twice as high as it was in 2008.

In 2017, the most recent year for which definitive statistics are available, drug overdoses claimed 70,237 lives in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As opioid addiction burgeons and more users are exposed to the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl, overdose deaths are widely expected to climb even higher in 2018 and 2019.

That context “of course matters,” said behavioral medicine specialist Karina Davidson, who co-chaired the task force’s panel on illicit drug-use screening. But she said the recommendation was prompted by other circumstances as well.

Since 2008, for instance, drug-abuse specialists have devised brief screening mechanisms that help identify illicit drug use and those at risk for it, Davidson said. In addition, she added, a growing stack of research studies has shown that treatments for drug-use disorder and addiction — including behavioral interventions and pharmacological therapies — are effective in helping patients quit or cut back.

That evidence of effectiveness is a key change from earlier years, said Dr. Carol Mangione , a UCLA internal medicine specialist who co-chaired the task force committee that drafted the new recommendation.

“We don’t want to screen for something unless we know there’s an effective treatment,” she said. “If you don’t have a treatment that’s effective for people who screen positive, you haven’t really helped.”

Still, effective treatments remain woefully underused, experts say.

The drug regimens that are most useful for combating addiction — a list that includes naltrexonemethadone and buprenorphine — are rarely offered by primary care physicians, who must contend with a gauntlet of paperwork and training to prescribe them. And many addiction specialists, insurers and state legislatures are suspicious of treatments that use prescription opiates to wean people off illicit opioids.

The new recommendation could help change that, Davidson said.

If doctors know they will be expected to ask about and address their patients’ illicit drug use, more of them will probably do the work necessary to prescribe anti-addiction drugs, and more of them will develop relationships with other care providers to whom they can refer patients for treatment, she said.

That process seems to be underway already, Mangione said. At a recent meeting of the Society for General Internal Medicine, she said, a workshop on medication-assisted treatment for addiction was standing-room only.

“We’re very motivated to use these treatments and to pair them up with individual and group therapy,” she said.

LeRoy acknowledged that some doctors are wary of raising the subject. But when they start to ask the question, and to help patients who acknowledge illicit drug use, they quickly see that many of their long-term patients have been struggling, he said.

“They say, ‘Oh, I had no idea I already had these people in my practice,’” LeRoy said. “ ‘When I started asking these questions and providing the service, they came out of the woodwork.’”

Patients, too, could feel less stigma about drug use, and that might make them more likely to acknowledge they might need help, Davidson said. For some patients with problematic drug use, that earlier catch could head off addiction or even death.

“If everyone is asked, we can get to some people who are at a less-severe stage in their drug use, not all the way into addiction,” she said.

The draft recommendation statement is posted on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force website, along with a review of the research on which the recommendation is based. The public is invited to submit comments until Sept. 9; after those are considered, the advice may be modified and finalized.

The Jewish Control Group Behind Epstein and Trump and the Covert Mossad Manipulation of US GOV

Mega Group Epstein Wexler Feature photoFeature photo | Graphic by Claudio Cabrera

Mega Group, Maxwells and Mossad: The Spy Story at the Heart of the Jeffrey Epstein Scandal

The picture painted by the evidence is not a direct Epstein tie to a single intelligence agency but a web linking key members of the Mega Group, politicians, and officials in both the U.S. and Israel, and an organized-crime network with deep business and intelligence ties in both nations.

As billionaire pedophile and alleged sex-trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein sits in prison, reports have continued to surface about his reported links to intelligence, his financial ties to several companies and “charitable” foundations, and his friendships with the rich and powerful as well as top politicians. 

While Part I and Part II of this series, “The Jeffrey Epstein Scandal: Too Big to Fail,” have focused on the widespread nature of sexual blackmail operations in recent American history and their ties to the heights of American political power and the U.S. intelligence community, one key aspect of Epstein’s own sex-trafficking and blackmail operation that warrants examination is Epstein’s ties to Israeli intelligence and his ties to the “informal” pro-Israel philanthropist faction known as “the Mega Group.”

The Mega Group’s role in the Epstein case has garnered some attention, as Epstein’s main financial patron for decades, billionaire Leslie Wexner, was a co-founder of the group that unites several well-known businessmen with a penchant for pro-Israel and ethno-philanthropy (i.e., philanthropy benefiting a single ethnic or ethno-religious group). However, as this report will show, another uniting factor among Mega Group members is deep ties to organized crime, specifically the organized crime network discussed in Part I of this series, which was largely led by notorious American mobster Meyer Lansky.

By virtue of the role of many Mega Group members as major political donors in both the U.S. and Israel, several of its most notable members have close ties to the governments of both countries as well as their intelligence communities. As this report and a subsequent report will show, the Mega Group also had close ties to two businessmen who worked for Israel’s Mossad — Robert Maxwell and Marc Rich — as well as to top Israeli politicians, including past and present prime ministers with deep ties to Israel’s intelligence community.

One of those businessmen working for the Mossad, Robert Maxwell, will be discussed at length in this report. Maxwell, who was a business partner of Mega Group co-founder Charles Bronfman, aided the successful Mossad plot to plant a trapdoor in U.S.-created software that was then sold to governments and companies throughout the world. That plot’s success was largely due to the role of a close associate of then-President Ronald Reagan and an American politician close to Maxwell, who later helped aid Reagan in the cover-up of the Iran Contra scandal.

Years later, Maxwell’s daughter — Ghislaine Maxwell — would join Jeffrey Epstein’s “inner circle” at the same time Epstein was bankrolling a similar software program now being marketed for critical electronic infrastructure in the U.S. and abroad. That company has deep and troubling connections to Israeli military intelligence, associates of the Trump administration, and the Mega Group.

Epstein appears to have ties to Israeli intelligence and has well-documented ties to influential Israeli politicians and the Mega Group. Yet, those entities are not isolated in and of themselves, as many also connect to the organized crime network and powerful alleged pedophiles discussed in previous installments of this series.

Perhaps the best illustration of how the connections between many of these players often meld together can be seen in Ronald Lauder: a Mega Group member, former member of the Reagan administration, long-time donor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s Likud Party, as well as a long-time friend of Donald Trump and Roy Cohn.

From cosmetics heir to political player

One often overlooked yet famous client and friend of Roy Cohn is the billionaire heir to the Estee Lauder cosmetics fortune, Ronald Lauder. Lauder is often described in the press as a “leading Jewish philanthropist” and is the president of the World Jewish Congress, yet his many media profiles tend to leave out his highly political past.

In a statement given by Lauder to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman in 2018, the cosmetics heir noted that he has known Trump for over 50 years, going back at least to the early 1970s. According to Lauder, his relationship with Trump began when Trump was a student at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, which Lauder also attended.

Donald Trump Ronald Lauder

President-elect Trump walks with Ronald Lauder after meeting at Mar-a-Lago, Dec. 28, 2016, in Palm Beach, Fla. Evan Vucci | AP

Though the exact nature of their early friendship is unclear, it is evident that they shared many of the same connections, including to the man who would later count them both as his clients, Roy Cohn. While much has been said of the ties between Cohn and Trump, Cohn was particularly close to Lauder’s mother, Estee Lauder (born Josephine Mentzer). Estee was even counted among Cohn’s most high-profile friends in his New York Times obituary.

A small window into the Lauder-Cohn relationship surfaced briefly in a 2016 article in Politicoabout a 1981 dinner party held at Cohn’s weekend home in Greenwich, Connecticut. The party was attended by Ronald Lauder’s parents, Estee and Joe, as well as Trump and his then-wife Ivana, who had a weekend home just two miles away. That party was held soon after Cohn had helped Reagan secure the presidency and had reached the height of his political influence. At the party, Cohn offered toasts to Reagan and to then-Senator for New York Alfonse D’Amato, who would later urge Ronald Lauder to run for political office.

Two years later, in 1983, Ronald Lauder — whose only professional experience at that point was working for his parent’s cosmetics company — was appointed to serve as United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Affairs. Soon after his appointment, he served on the Dinner Tribute Committee for a dinner hosted by the Jewish fraternal and strongly pro-Israel organization B’nai B’rith, the parent organization of the controversial Anti-Defamation League (ADL), in Roy Cohn’s honor. Cohn’s influential father, Albert Cohn, was the long-time president of B’nai B’rith’s powerful New England-New York chapter and Roy Cohn himself was a member of B’nai B’rith’s Banking and Finance Lodge.

The dinner specifically sought to honor Cohn for his pro-Israel advocacy and his efforts to “fortify” Israel’s economy, and its honorary chairmen included media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump and then-head of Bear Stearns Alan Greenberg, all of whom are connected to Jeffrey Epstein.

During his time as deputy assistant secretary of defense, Lauder was also very active in Israeli politics and had already become an ally of the then-Israeli representative to the United Nations and future prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. Lauder would go on to be one of the most important individuals in Netanyahu’s rise to power, particularly during his upset victory in 1996, and a major financier of Israel’s right-wing Likud Party.

In 1986, the year that Roy Cohn died, Lauder left his post at the Pentagon and became the U.S. ambassador to Austria, where his tenure was shaped by his confrontations with the then-Austrian president and former Nazi collaborator, Kurt Waldheim. Lauder’s interest in Austrian politics has continued well into recent years, culminating in accusations that he sought to manipulate Austrian elections in 2012.

After leaving his ambassadorship, Lauder founded the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation in 1987 and later went on to run for Mayor of New York against Rudy Giuliani in 1989. Lauder was encouraged to run by then-Senator Alfonse D’Amato, who had close ties to Roy Cohn and his long-time law partner Tom Bolan, who was D’Amato’s adviser. At the aforementioned 1983 B’nai B’rith dinner honoring Cohn, D’Amato was the featured speaker.

The likely reason was that Giuliani, though once an ally of the “Roy Cohn machine,” was at the time deeply disliked by the late Cohn’s associates for prosecuting Cohn’s former law partner, Stanley Friedman, for racketeering, conspiracy and other charges. Giuliani also had a history of bitter disagreements with D’Amato. Lauder’s primary campaign, though unsuccessful, was noted for its viciousness and its cost, as it burned through more than $13 million.

A few years later, in the early 1990s, Lauder would join a newly formed group that has long evaded scrutiny from the media but has recently become of interest in connection with the Jeffrey Epstein scandal: the Mega Group.

Lauder, Epstein and the mysterious Austrian passport

Before getting to the Mega Group, it is worth noting one particular act apparently undertaken by Lauder while he was U.S. ambassador to Austria that has recently come to light in relation to the arrest in early July of Jeffrey Epstein, a finding first reported by journalist Edward Szall. When police recently discovered an Austrian passport with Epstein’s picture and a fake name after raiding his Manhattan residence, the source and purpose of the passport came under media scrutiny.

According to the Associated Press, Epstein’s defense lawyers specifically argued that “a friend gave it to him [Epstein] in the 1980s after some Jewish-Americans were informally advised to carry identification bearing a non-Jewish name when traveling internationally during a period when hijackings were more common.” This claim appears to be related to concerns that followed the hijacking of Air France Flight 139 in 1976 when Israeli and Jewish hostages were separated from other hostages based largely on the passports in their possession.

Given that Epstein was unable to meet the conventional qualifications for an Austrian passport — including long-term residency in Austria (the passport lists him as a resident of Saudi Arabia) and fluency in German — it appears that the only way to have acquired an Austrian passport was by unconventional means, meaning assistance from a well-connected Austrian official or foreign diplomat with clout in Austria.

Epstein Wexler Lauder

Ronald Lauder, right, and Austrian Chancellor Viktor Klima pose with students from the Lauder Chabad School in Vienna, Austria in 1999. Martin Gnedt | AP

Lauder, then-ambassador to Austria for the Reagan administration, would have been well-positioned to acquire such a passport, particularly for the reason cited by Epstein’s attorneys that Jewish-Americans could be targeted during travel, and in light of Lauder’s very public concerns over threats Jews face from certain terror groups. Furthermore, the passport had been issued in 1987, when Lauder was still serving as an ambassador.

In addition, Lauder was well-connected to Epstein’s former patron — former head of Bear Stearns Alan Greenberg, who had hired Epstein in the late 1970s immediately after the latter was fired from the Dalton School — and Donald Trump, another friend of Lauder and Greenberg who began his friendship with Epstein in 1987, the same year the fake Austrian passport was issued. In 1987, Epstein also began his relationship with his principal financier, Leslie Wexner, who is also closely associated with Lauder (though some sources claim that Epstein and Wexner first met in 1985 but that their strong business relationship was not established until 1987).

Though Epstein’s defense attorney declined to reveal the identity of the “friend” who provided him with the fake Austrian passport, Lauder was both well-positioned to acquire it in Austria and also deeply connected to the Mega Group, which was co-founded by Epstein’s patron Leslie Wexner and to which Epstein has many connections. These connections to both the Austrian government and to Epstein’s mentor make Lauder the most likely person to have acquired the document on Epstein’s behalf.

Furthermore, Epstein and the Mega Group’s ties to the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad, also suggest Lauder was involved in procuring the passport, in light of his close ties to the Israeli government and the fact that Mossad has a history of using ambassadors abroad to procure false, foreign passports for its operatives.

Lauder himself has been alleged to have ties to Mossad, as he is a long-time funder of IDC Herzliya, an Israeli university closely associated with Mossad and their recruiters as well as Israeli military intelligence. Lauder even founded IDC Herzliya’s Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy.

Furthermore, Lauder co-founded the Eastern European broadcasting network CETV with Mark Palmer, a former U.S. diplomat, Kissinger aide and Reagan speechwriter. Palmer is better known for co-founding the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), an organization often described as an accessory to U.S. intelligence, and one whose first president confessed to theWashington Post that “a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.” A 2001 report in the Evening Standard noted that Epstein once claimed that during the 1980s he worked for the CIA, but Epstein later backed away from that assertion.

The origins of the Mega Group Mafia

The Mega Group — a secretive group of billionaires to which Lauder belongs — was formed in 1991 by Charles Bronfman and Leslie Wexner, the latter of whom has received considerable media scrutiny following the July arrest of his former protege Jeffrey Epstein. Media profiles of the group paint it as “a loosely organized club of 20 of the nation’s wealthiest and most influential Jewish businessmen” focused on “philanthropy and Jewishness,” with membership dues upwards of $30,000 per year. Yet several of its most prominent members have ties to organized crime.

Mega Group members founded and/or are closely associated with some of the most well-known pro-Israel organizations. For instance, members Charles Bronfman and Michael Steinhardt formed Birthright Taglit with the backing of then- and current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Steinhardt, an atheist, has stated that his motivation in helping to found the group was to advance his own belief that devotion to and faith in the state of Israel should serve as “a substitute for [Jewish] theology.”

Other well-known groups associated with the Mega Group include the World Jewish Congress — whose past president, Edgar Bronfman, and current president, Ronald Lauder, are both Mega Group members — and B’nai B’rith, particularly its spin-off known as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The Bronfman brothers were major donors to the ADL, with Edgar Bronfman serving as the ADL’s honorary national vice-chair for several years.

Shimon Peres Edgar Bronfman Mega Group

Former Israeli president Shimon Peres, second from left, listens to Edgar Bronfman during a 1995 lunch thrown in Peres’ honor. From left are: Laurence Tisch, Chairman, President and Chief executive officer of CBS; Israeli Ambassador to the United States. Itamar Rabinowitz and Bronfman. David Karp | AP

When Edgar Bronfman died in 2013, long-time ADL Director Abe Foxman said, “Edgar was for many years Chair of our Liquor Industry Division, Chair of our New York Appeal, and one of our most significant benefactors.” Other Mega Group members that are donors and major supporters of the ADL include Ronald LauderMichael Steinhardt and the late Max Fisher. As previously mentioned, Roy Cohn’s father was a long-time leader of B’nai B’rith’s influential New England-New York chapter and Cohn was later a celebrated member of its banking and finance lodge.

In addition, Mega Group members have also been key players in the pro-Israel lobby in the United States. For instance, Max Fisher of the Mega Group founded the National Jewish Coalition, now known as the Republican Jewish Coalition — the main pro-Israel neoconservative political lobbying group, known for its support of hawkish policies, and whose current chief patrons, Sheldon Adelson and Bernard Marcus, are among Donald Trump’s top donors.

Though the Mega Group has officially existed only since 1991, the use of “philanthropy” to provide cover for more unscrupulous lobbying or business activities was pioneered decades earlier by Sam Bronfman, the father of Mega Group members Edgar and Charles Bronfman. While other North American elites like J.D. Rockefeller had previously used philanthropic giving as a means of laundering their reputations, Bronfman’s approach to philanthropy was unique because it was focused on giving specifically to other members of his own ethno-religious background.

Sam Bronfman, as was detailed in Part I of this series, had long-standing deep ties to organized crime, specifically Meyer Lanksy’s organized crime syndicate. Yet, Bronfman’s private ambition, according to those close to him, was to become a respected member of high society. As a consequence, Bronfman worked hard to remove the stain that his mob associations had left on his public reputation in Canada and abroad. He accomplished this by becoming a leader in Canada’s Zionist movement and, by the end of the 1930s, he was head of the Canadian Jewish Congress and had begun to make a name for himself as a philanthropist for Jewish causes.

Yet even some of Bronfman’s activism and philanthropy had hints of the mobster-like reputation he tried so hard to shake. For instance, Bronfman was actively involved in the illegal shipping of arms to Zionist paramilitaries in Palestine prior to 1948, specifically as a co-founderof the National Conference for Israeli and Jewish Rehabilitation that smuggled weapons to the paramilitary group Haganah.

At the same time Bronfman was abetting the illegal smuggling of weapons to the Haganah, his associates in the criminal underworld were doing the same. After World War II, close aides of David Ben-Gurion, who would later become the first prime minister of Israel and was instrumental in the founding of Mossad, forged tight-knit relationships with Meyer Lansky, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, Mickey Cohen and other Jewish gangsters of the period. They used their clandestine networks to establish a vast arms smuggling network between the United States and Zionist settlements in Palestine, arming both the Haganah and the Irgun paramilitary groups. As noted in Part I of this report, at the same time these gangsters were aiding the illegal arming of ZIonsit paramilitaries, they were strengthening their ties to U.S. intelligence that had first been formally (though covertly) established in World War II.

After Israel was founded, Sam Bronfman worked with future Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres to negotiate the sale of Canadian armaments at half-price to Israel and the bargain weapons purchase was paid for entirely by a fundraising dinner hosted by Bronfman and his wife. Many years later, Peres would go on to introduce another future prime minister of Israel, Ehud Barak, to Jeffrey Epstein.

The rest of the Bronfman family’s march on “the road to respectability” was undertaken by Bronfman’s children, who married into aristocratic families such as the European Rothschildsand the Wall Street “royalty” of the Lehmans and the Loebs.

The Bronfmans’ newfound respectability did not mean that their association with the Lansky-led criminal empire had dissolved. Indeed, prominent members of the Seagrams dynasty came under fire in the 1960s and 1970s for their close association with Willie “Obie” Obront, a major figure in Canadian organized crime, whom Canadian professor Stephen Schneider has referred to as the Meyer Lansky of Canada.

However, Edgar and Charles Bronfman were hardly the only members of the Mega Group with deep and long-standing ties to the Lansky-led National Crime Syndicate. Indeed, one of the group’s prominent members, hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt, opened up about his own family ties to Lansky in his autobiography No Bull: My Life in and out the Markets, where he noted that his father, Sol “Red McGee” Steinhardt, was Lansky’s jewel fence of choice and a major player in New York’s criminal underworld. Sol Steinhardt was also his son’s first client on Wall Street and helped him jumpstart his career in finance.

The ties between the Mega Group and the National Crime Syndicate don’t stop there. Another prominent member of the Mega Group with ties to this same criminal network is Max Fisher, who has been described as Wexner’s mentor and is also alleged to have worked with Detroit’s “Purple Gang” during Prohibition and beyond. The Purple Gang were part of the network that smuggled Bronfman liquor from Canada into the United State during Prohibition, and one of its founders, Abe Bernstein, was a close associate of both Meyer Lansky and Moe Dalitz. Fisher was a key adviser to several U.S. presidents, beginning with Dwight D. Eisenhower, as well as to Henry Kissinger.

Henry Kissinger | Max Fisher

Max Fisher, center, and Henry Kissinger, right, meet with leaders of Jewish organizations prior to Kissinger’s 1975 Middle East trip. Henry Burroughs | AP

In addition to Fisher, Mega Group member Ronald Lauder was connected to Roy Cohn and Tom Bolan, both of whom were closely associated with this same Lansky-led crime network (see Part I and Part II) and who regularly represented top Mafia figures in court. Furthermore, another member of the Mega Group, director Steven Spielberg, is a well-known protege of Lew Wasserman, the mob-connected media mogul and long-time backer of Ronald Reagan’s film and later political career, discussed in Part II of this series.

One surprise connection to Cohn involves Mega Group member, and former president of U.S. weapons firm General Dynamics, Lester Crown, whose brother-in-law is David Schine, Cohn’s confidant and alleged lover during the McCarthy hearings, whose relationship with Cohnhelped bring about the downfall of McCarthyism.

Another member of the Mega Group worth noting is Laurence Tisch, who owned CBS News for several years and founded Loews Corporation. Tisch is notable for his work for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor to the CIA, where Donald Barr, who hired Epstein at the Dalton School, also served and which forged ties with Lansky’s criminal empire during World War II.

Wexner’s mansions and the Shapiro murder

Leslie “Les” Wexner, the other Mega Group co-founder, also has ties to organized crime. Wexner’s ties to Jeffrey Epstein have come under scrutiny following the latter’s recent arrest, as Wexner was the only publicly acknowledged client of Epstein’s suspicious hedge fund, the source of much of this wealth, and the previous owner of Epstein’s $56 million Manhattan townhouse, which Wexner transferred to an Epstein-controlled entity for free.

Before Epstein received the townhouse, Wexner appears to have used the residence for some unconventional purposes, noted in a 1996 New York Times article on the then-Wexner-owned residence, which included “a bathroom reminiscent of James Bond movies: hidden beneath a stairway, lined with lead to provide shelter from attack and supplied with closed-circuit television screens and a telephone, both concealed in a cabinet beneath the sink.” The Timesarticle does not speculate as to the purpose of this equipment, though the allusion to famous fictional superspy James Bond suggests that it may have been used to snoop on guests or conduct electronic surveillance.

The 1996 Times article also noted that, after Wexner bought the residence for $13.2 million in 1989, he spent millions more decorating and furnishing the home, including the addition of the electronic equipment in the “James Bond” bathroom, only to apparently never live in it. The Times, which interviewed Epstein for the piece, quoted him as saying that “Les never spent more than two months there.” Epstein told the Times, which identified Epstein as Wexner’s “protege and one of his financial advisers,” that the house, by that time, already belonged to him.

That same year, Epstein was commissioning artwork for Wexner’s Ohio mansion. A recent article from the Times noted that:

In the summer of 1996, Maria Farmer was working on an art project for Mr. Epstein in Mr. Wexner’s Ohio mansion. While she was there, Mr. Epstein sexually assaulted her, according to an affidavit Ms. Farmer filed earlier this year in federal court in Manhattan. She said that she fled the room and called the police, but that Mr. Wexner’s security staff refused to let her leave for 12 hours.”

Farmer’s account strongly suggests that, given the behavior of his personal security staff at his mansion following Epstein’s alleged assault on Farmer, Wexner was well aware of Epstein’s predatory behavior towards young women. This is compounded by claims made by Alan Dershowitz — a former lawyer for and friend of Epstein’s, who has also been accused of raping underage girls — that Wexner has also been accused of raping underage girls exploited by Epstein on at least seven occasions.

The presence of the electronic equipment in his home’s bathroom, other oddities related to the townhouse, and aspects of the links between Epstein and Wexner suggest there is more to Wexner, who has rather successfully developed a public image of a respectable businessman and philanthropist, much like other prominent members of the Mega Group.

Leslie Wexner Jeffrey Epstein

Leslie Wexner and his wife Abigail tour the “Transfigurations” exhibit at the Wexner Center for the Arts. Jay LaPrete | AP

However, bits and pieces of Wexner’s private secrets have occasionally bubbled up, only to be subjected to rapid cover-ups amidst concerns of “libeling” the powerful and well-connected billionaire “philanthropist.”

In 1985, Columbus (Ohio) lawyer Arthur Shapiro was murdered in broad daylight at point-blank range in what was largely referred to as a “mob style murder.” The homicide still remains unsolved, likely due to the fact that then-Columbus Police Chief James Jackson ordered the destruction of key documents of his department’s investigation into the murder.

Jackson’s ordering of the documents’ destruction came to light years later in 1996, when he was under investigation for corruption. According to the Columbus Dispatch, Jackson justified the destruction of one “viable and valuable” report because he felt that it “was so filled with wild speculation about prominent business leaders that it was potentially libelous.” The nature of this “wild speculation” was that “millionaire businessmen in Columbus and Youngstown were linked to the ‘mob-style murder.’”

Though Jackson’s efforts were meant to keep this “libelous” report far from public view, it was eventually obtained by Bob Fitrakis — attorney, journalist, and executive director of the Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism — after he was “accidentally” sent a copy of the report in 1998 as part of a public records request.

The report, titled “Shapiro Homicide Investigation: Analysis and Hypothesis,” names Leslie Wexner as linked “with associates reputed to be organized crime figures” and also lists the names of businessman Jack Kessler, former Columbus City Council President and Wexner associate Jerry Hammond, and former Columbus City Council member Les Wright as also being involved in Shapiro’s murder.

The report also noted that Arthur Shapiro’s law firm — Schwartz, Shapiro, Kelm & Warren — represented Wexner’s company, The Limited, and states that “prior to his death, Arthur Shapiro managed this account [The Limited] for the law firm.” It also noted that, at the time of his death, Shapiro “was the subject of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service because he had failed to file income tax returns for some seven years prior to his death, and he had invested in some questionable tax shelters.” It also stated that his death prevented Shapiro from his planned testimony at a grand jury hearing about these “questionable tax shelters.”

As to Wexner’s alleged links to organized crime, the report focuses on the close business relationship between Wexner’s The Limited and Francis Walsh, whose trucking company “[had] done an excess of 90 percent of the Limited’s trucking business around the time of Shapiro’s murder,” according to the report. Walsh was named in a 1988 indictment as a “co-conspirator” of Genovese crime family boss Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, whose long-time lawyer was Roy Cohn; and the Shapiro murder report stated that Walsh was “still considered associates of the Genovese/LaRocca crime family, and Walsh was still providing truck transportation for The Limited.”

Notably, the Genovese crime family has long formed a key part of the National Crime Syndicate, as its former head, Charles “Lucky” Luciano, co-created the criminal organization with his close friend Meyer Lansky. Upon Luciano’s imprisonment and subsequent deportation from the United States, Lansky took over the syndicate’s U.S. operations and his association with Luciano’s successors continued until Lansky’s death in 1983.

The “Mega” Mystery and the Mossad

In May 1997, the Washington Post broke an explosive story — long since forgotten — based on an intercepted phone call made between a Mossad official in the U.S. and his superior in Tel Aviv that discussed the Mossad’s efforts to obtain a secret U.S. government document. According to the Post, the Mossad official stated during the phone call that “Israeli Ambassador Eliahu Ben Elissar had asked him whether he could obtain a copy of the letter given to [Palestinian leader Yasser] Arafat by [then-Secretary of State Warren] Christopher on Jan. 16, the day after the Hebron accord was signed by Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.”

The Post article continued:

According to a source who viewed a copy of the NSA transcript of the conversation, the intelligence officer, speaking in Hebrew, said, ‘The ambassador wants me to go to Mega to get a copy of this letter.’ The source said the supervisor in Tel Aviv rejected the request, saying, ‘This is not something we use Mega for.’”

The leaked communication led to an investigation that sought to identify an individual code-named “Mega” that the Post said “may be someone in the U.S. government who has provided information to the Israelis in the past,” a concern that subsequently spawned a fruitless FBI investigation. The Mossad later claimed that “Mega” was merely a codeword for the U.S.’ CIA, but the FBI and NSA were unconvinced by that claim and believed that it was a senior U.S. government official that had potentially once been involved in working with Jonathan Pollard, the former U.S. naval intelligence analyst later convicted of spying for the Mossad.

Almost one year to the day after the “Mega” spy scandal broke, the Wall Street Journal was the first outlet to report on the existence of a little-known organization of billionaires that was “informally” called the Mega Group and had been founded years prior in 1991. The report made no mention of the spy scandal that had spread concerns of Israeli espionage in the U.S. only a year prior. However, the group’s distinctive “informal” name and the connections of its members to the Mossad and to high-ranking Israeli politicians, including prime ministers, raise the possibility that “Mega” was not an individual, as the FBI and NSA had believed, but a group.

In 1997, when the “Mega” spy scandal broke, Netanyahu had recently become prime minister of Israel after an upset victory, a victory that was largely credited to one well-connected Netanyahu backer in particular, Ronald Lauder. Beyond being a major donor, Lauder had brought Arthur Finklestein on to work for Netanyahu’s 1996 campaign, whose strategies were credited for Netanyahu’s surprise win. Netanyahu was close enough to Lauder that he personally enlisted Lauder and George Nader to serve as his peace envoys to Syria.

Mega Group Benjamin Netanyahu Ronald Lauder

Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara with Ronald Lauder in 1997. Photo | Reuters

Nader, who was connected to the Trump 2016 campaign and Trump ally and Blackwaterfounder Erik Prince, was recently hit with federal child sex trafficking charges last month, soon after Jeffrey Epstein had been arrested on similar charges. At the time Nader was picked to work with Lauder on Netanyahu’s behalf, he had already been caught possessing large amounts of child pornography on two separate occasions, first in 1984 and later in 1990.

This strong connection between Netanyahu and Lauder during the time of the 1997 “Mega” spy scandal is important considering Mossad answers directly to Israel’s prime minister.

Another possible connection between the Mega Group and the Mossad owes to the Mega Group’s ties to Meyer Lansky’s criminal network. As was detailed in Part I, Lansky had established deep ties to U.S. intelligence after World War II and was also connected to the Mossad through Mossad official Tibor Rosenbaum, whose bank was frequently used by Lansky to launder money. In addition, Lansky collaborated on at least one occasion with notorious Mossad “superspy” Rafi Eitan, who he helped acquire sensitive electronic equipment possessed only by the CIA but coveted by Israeli intelligence. Eitan is best known in the U.S. for being the Mossad handler of Jonathan Pollard.

Notably, Eitan was the main source of claims that the code-word “Mega” used by the Mossad officials in 1997 referred to the CIA and not to a potential source in the U.S. government once linked to Pollard’s spying activities, making his claims as to the true meaning of the term somewhat dubious.

Given that the organized crime network tied to the Mega Group had ties to both U.S. and Israeli intelligence, the “Mega” codeword could plausibly have referred to this secretive group of billionaires. More supporting evidence for this theory comes from the fact that prominent members of the Mega Group were business partners of Mossad agents, including media mogul Robert Maxwell and commodities trader Marc Rich.

The mysterious Maxwells

The Maxwell family has become a source of renewed media interest following Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest, as Ghislaine Maxwell, long described in the media as a British “socialite,” was publicly cited as Epstein’s long-time “on and off” girlfriend, and Epstein’s victims, as well as former wives of Epstein’s friends, have claimed that she was Epstein’s “pimp” and procured underage girls for his sexual blackmail operation. Ghislaine Maxwell is also alleged to have engaged in the rape of the girls she procured for Epstein and to have used them to produce child pornography.

Ghislaine was the favorite and youngest daughter of media mogul Robert Maxwell. Maxwell, born Jan Ludvick Hoch, had joined the British Army in World War II. Afterwards, according to authors John Loftus and Mark Aarons, he greatly influenced the Czechoslovakian government’s decision to arm Zionist paramilitaries during the 1948 war that resulted in Israel’s creation as a state, and Maxwell himself was also involved in the smuggling of aircraft parts to Israel.

Around this time, Maxwell was approached by British intelligence outfit MI6 and offered a position that Maxwell ultimately declined. MI6 then classified him as “Zionist — loyal only to Israel” and made him a person of interest. He later became an agent of the Mossad, according to several books including Robert Maxwell: Israel’s Superspy by Gordon Thomas and Martin Dillon. Furthermore, Seymour Hersh’s The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy alleges ties between Maxwell and Israeli intelligence.

According to Victor Ostrovsky, a former Mossad case officer:

Mossad was financing many of its operations in Europe from money stolen from Maxwell’s newspaper pension fund. They got their hands on the funds almost as soon as Maxwell made the purchase of the Mirror Newspaper Group with money lent to him by Mossad.”

In exchange for his services, the Mossad helped Maxwell satisfy his sexual appetite during his visits to Israel, providing him with prostitutes, “the service maintained for blackmail purposes.” It was later revealed that the hotel in which he stayed in Israel was bugged with cameras, allowing the Mossad to acquire “a small library of video footage of Maxwell in sexually compromising positions.” As with the CIA, the Mossad’s use of blackmail against both friend and foe is well-documented and known to be extensive.

Maxwell was also a close associate and friend of Israeli “superspy” Rafi Eitan, who, as previously mentioned, was Jonathan Pollard’s handler and who had previously worked directly with Meyer Lansky. Eitan had learned of a revolutionary new software being used by the U.S. government known as “Promis” from Earl Brian, a long-time associate and aide to Ronald Reagan. Promis is often considered the forerunner to the “Prism” software used by spy agencies today and was developed by William Hamilton, who leased the software to the U.S. government through his company, Inslaw, in 1982.

Mega Group Ariel Sharon Robert Maxwell

Ariel Sharon (right)meets with Robert Maxwell in Jerusalem on Feb. 20, 1990. Photo | AP

According to author and former BBC investigative journalist Gordon Thomas, Brian was angrythat the U.S. Department of Justice was successfully using Promis to go after organized crime and money-laundering activities and Eitan felt that the program could aid Israel. At the time, Eitan was the director of the now defunct Israeli military intelligence agency Lekem, which gathered scientific and technical intelligence abroad from both public and covert sources, especially in relation to Israel’s nuclear weapons program.

A plan was hatched to install a “trapdoor” into the software and then market Promis throughout the world, providing the Mossad with invaluable intelligence on the operations of its enemies and allies while also providing Eitan and Brian with copious amounts of cash. According to the testimony of ex-Mossad official Ari Ben-Menashe, Brian provided a copy of Promis to Israel’s military intelligence, which contacted an Israeli American programmer living in California who then planted the “trapdoor” in the software. The CIA was later said to have installed its own trapdoor in the software but it is unknown if they did so with a version of the already bugged software and how widely it was adopted relative to the version bugged by Israeli intelligence.

After the trapdoor was inserted, the problem became selling the bugged version of the software to governments as well as private companies around the world, particularly in areas of interest. Brian first attempted to buy out Inslaw and Promis and then use that same company to sell the bugged version.

Unsuccessful, Brian turned to his close friend, then-Attorney General Ed Meese whose Justice Department then abruptly refused to make the payments to Inslaw that were stipulated by the contract, essentially using the software for free, which Inslaw claimed to be theft. Some have speculated that Meese’s role in that decision was shaped, not only by his friendship with Brian, but the fact that his wife was a major investor in Brian’s business ventures. Meese would later become an adviser to Donald Trump when he was president-elect.

Inslaw was forced to declare bankruptcy as a result of Meese’s actions and sued the Justice Department. The court later found that the Meese-led department “took, converted, stole” the software through “trickery, fraud and deceit.”

With Inslaw out of the way, Brian sold the software all over the world. Eitan later recruited Robert Maxwell to become another Promis salesman, which he did remarkably well, even succeeding in selling the software to Soviet intelligence and conspiring with Republican Texas Senator John Tower to have the software adopted by the U.S. government laboratory at Los Alamos. Dozens of countries used the software on their most carefully guarded computer systems, unaware that Mossad now had access to everything Promis touched.

Whereas the Mossad’s past reliance on gathering intelligence had relied on the same tactics used by its equivalents in the U.S. and elsewhere, the widespread adoption of the Promis software, largely through the actions of Earl Brian and Robert Maxwell, gave the Mossad a way to gather not just troves of counterintelligence data, but also blackmail on other intelligence agencies and powerful figures.

Indeed, Promis’ backdoor and adoption by intelligence agencies all over the world essentially provided the Mossad with access to troves of blackmail that the CIA and FBI had acquired on their friends and foes for over half a century. Strangely, in recent years, the FBI has sought to hide information related to Robert Maxwell’s connection to the Promis scandal.

According to journalist Robert Fisk, Maxwell was also involved in the Mossad abduction of Israeli nuclear weapons whistleblower Vanunu Mordechai. Mordechai had attempted to provide the media with information on the extent of Israel’s nuclear weapons program, which was eventually published by the Sunday Times of London. Yet, Mordechai had also contacted the Daily Mirror with the information, the Mirror being an outlet that was owned by Maxwell and whose foreign editor was a close Maxwell associate and alleged Mossad asset, Nicholas Davies. Journalist Seymour Hersh alleged that Davies had also been involved in Israeli arms deals.

Per Fisk, it was Maxwell who contacted the Israeli Embassy in London and told them of Mordechai’s activities. This led to Mordechai’s entrapment by a female Mossad agent who seduced him as part of a “honey trap” operation that led to his kidnapping and later imprisonment in Israel. Mordechai served an 18-year sentence, 12 years of which were in solitary confinement.

Then, there is the issue of Maxwell’s death, widely cited by mainstream and independent media alike as suspicious and a potential homicide. According to authors Gordon Thomas and Martin Dillon, Maxwell had sealed his own fate when he attempted to threaten top Mossad officials with the exposure of certain operations if they did not help him rescue his media empire from crippling debt and financial difficulties. Many of Maxwell’s creditors, who had grown increasingly displeased with the media mogul, were Israeli and several of them were alleged to be Mossad-connected themselves.

Thomas and Dillon argue in their biography of Maxwell’s life that the Mossad felt that Maxwell had become more of a liability than an asset and killed him on his yacht three months after he demanded the bailout. On the other extreme are theories that suggest Maxwell committed suicide because of the financial difficulties his empire faced.

Mega Group Robert Maxwell death

Ghislaine Maxwell, far right, Robert Maxwell’s daughter, looks on his casket is unloaded from a plane in Jerusalem, Nov. 8, 1991. Heribert Proepper | AP

Some have taken Maxwell’s funeral held in Israel as the country’s “official” confirmation of Maxwell’s service to the Mossad, as it was likened to a state funeral and attended by no less than six serving and former heads of Israeli intelligence. During his funeral service in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir eulogized him and stated: “He has done more for Israel than can today be said.” Other eulogies were given by future Prime Ministers Ehud Olmert (then Health Minister) and Shimon Peres, with the latter also praising Maxwell’s “services” on behalf of Israel.

Swimming in the same swamp

As he built his business empire — and even became a member of Parliament, Maxwell was also doing work for Israeli intelligence, as several of the Israeli companies in which he invested became fronts for the Mossad. In addition, as he became a media mogul, he developed a bitter rivalry with Rupert Murdoch, a close friend of Roy Cohn and an influential figure in American and British media.

Maxwell also partnered with the Bronfman brothers, Edgar and Charles — key figures in the Mega Group. In 1989 Maxwell and Charles Bronfman partnered up to bid on the Jerusalem Post newspaper and the Post described the two men as “two of the world’s leading Jewish financiers” and their interest in the venture as “developing The Jerusalem Post and expanding its influence among world Jewry.” A year prior, Maxwell and Bronfman had become top shareholders in the Israeli pharmaceutical company Teva.

Maxwell also worked with Charles Bronfman’s brother Edgar in the late 1980s to convince the Soviet Union to allow Soviet Jews to immigrate to Israel. Edgar’s efforts in this regard have received more attention, as it was a defining moment of his decades-long presidency of the World Jewish Congress, of which Ronald Lauder is currently president. Yet, Maxwell had also made considerable use of his contacts in the Soviet government in this effort.

Maxwell also moved in the circles of the network previously described in Parts I and II in this series. A key example of this is the May 1989 party Maxwell hosted on his yacht, the Lady Ghislaine — named for his youngest daughter and Epstein’s future “girlfriend.” Attendees of the party included Roy Cohn’s protege Donald Trump and his long-time law partner Tom Bolan. A close friend of Nancy Reagan was also present, journalist Mike Wallace, as was literary agent Mort Janklow, who represented Ronald Reagan and two of Cohn’s closest friends: journalists William Safire and Barbara Walters.

The CEO of what would soon become Time Warner, Steve Ross, was also invited to the exclusive event. Ross’ presence is notable, as he had built his business empire largely through his association with New York crime lords Manny Kimmel and Abner “Longy” Zwillman. Zwillman was a close friend of Meyer Lansky, Michael Steinhardt’s father, and Sam Bronfman, father of Edgar and Charles Bronfman.

Another attendee of the Maxwell yacht party was former Secretary of the Navy and former Henry Kissinger staffer Jon Lehman, who would go on to associate with the controversial neoconservative think tank, Project for a New American Century. Prior to being secretary of the Navy, Lehman had been president of the Abington Corporation, which hired arch-neocon Richard Perle to manage the portfolio of Israeli arms dealers Shlomo Zabludowicz and his son Chaim, who paid Ablington $10,000 month. A scandal arose when those payments continuedafter both Lehman and Perle joined the Reagan Department of Defense and while Perle was working to persuade the Pentagon to buy arms from companies linked to Zabludowicz. Perle had been part of the Reagan transition team along with Roy Cohn’s long-time friend and law partner Tom Bolan (another Maxwell yacht guest).

In addition to Lehman, another former Kissinger staffer, Thomas Pickering was present at Maxwell’s yacht part. Pickering played a minor role in the Iran-Contra affair and, at the time of the Maxwell yacht party, he was U.S. ambassador to Israel. Senator John Tower (R-TX), who allegedly conspired with Maxwell in the Mossad-bugged Promis software at the Los Alamos laboratories, was also present. Tower died just months before Maxwell in a suspicious plane crash.

Ghislaine Maxwell was also at this rather notable event. After her father’s mysterious death and alleged murder on the same yacht that bears her name in 1991, she quickly packed her bags and moved to New York City. There, she soon made the acquaintance of Jeffrey Epstein and, a few years later, developed close ties to the Clinton family, which will be discussed in the next installment of this series.

Jeffrey Epstein and the new “Promis”

After it was revealed that Epstein had evaded stricter sentencing in 2008 due to his links to “intelligence,” it was the Mossad ties of Ghislaine Maxwell’s father that have led many to speculate that Epstein’s sexual blackmail operation was sharing incriminating information with the Mossad. Former CBS executive producer and current journalist for the media outlet Narativ, Zev Shalev, has since claimed that he independently confirmed that Epstein was tied directly to the Mossad.

Trump Epstein Maxwell Mega Group

Donald and Melania Trump with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida in 2000. Photo | Davidoff Studios

Epstein was a long-time friend of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who has long-standing and deep ties to Israel’s intelligence community. Their decades-long friendship has been the source of recent political attacks targeting Barak, who is running in the Israeli elections against current Prime Minister Netanyahu later this year.

Barak is also close to Epstein’s chief patron and Mega Group member Leslie Wexner, whose Wexner Foundation gave Barak $2 million in 2004 for a still unspecified research program. According to Barak, he was first introduced to Epstein by former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who eulogized Robert Maxwell at his funeral and had decades-long ties with the Bronfman family going back to the early 1950s. Peres was also a frequent participant in programs funded by Leslie Wexner in Israel and worked closely with the Mossad for decades.

In 2015, a few years after Epstein’s release from prison following his conviction for soliciting sex from a minor in 2008, Barak formed a company with Epstein with the chief purpose of investing in an Israeli start-up then known as Reporty. That company, now called Carbyne, sells its signature software to 911 call centers and emergency service providers and is also available to consumers as an app that provides emergency services with access to a caller’s camera and location and also runs any caller’s identity through any linked government database. It has specifically been marketed by the company itself and the Israeli press as a solution to mass shootings in the United States and is already being used by at least two U.S. counties.

Israeli media reported that Epstein and Barak were among the company’s largest investors. Barak poured millions into the company and it was recently revealed by Haaretz that a significant amount of Barak’s total investments in Carbyne was funded by Epstein, making him a “de facto partner” in the company. Barak is now Carbyne’s chairman.

The company’s executive team are all former members of different branches of Israeli intelligence, including the elite military intelligence unit, Unit 8200, that is often likened to Israel’s equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). Carbyne’s current CEO, Amir Elichai, served in Unit 8200 and tapped former Unit 8200 commander Pinchas Buchris to serve as the company’s director and on its board. In addition to Elichai, another Carbyne co-founder, Lital Leshem, also served in Unit 8200 and later worked for Israeli private spy company Black Cube. Leshem now works for a subsidiary of Erik Prince’s company Frontier Services Group, according to the independent media outlet Narativ.

The company also includes several tie-ins to the Trump administration, including Palantir founder and Trump ally Peter Thiel — an investor in Carbyne. In addition, Carbyne’s board of advisers includes former Palantir employee Trae Stephens, who was a member of the Trump transition team, as well as former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. Trump donor and New York real-estate developer Eliot Tawill is also on Carbyne’s board, alongside Ehud Barak and Pinchas Buchris.

Narativ, which wrote the first expose on Carbyne after Epstein’s arrest, noted that the Chinese government uses a smartphone app very similar to Carbyne as part of its mass surveillance apparatus, even though the original purpose of the app was for improved emergency reporting. According to Narativ, the Chinese Carbyne-equivalent “monitors every aspect of a user’s life, including personal conversations, power usage, and tracks a user’s movement.”

Given the history of Robert Maxwell — the father of Epstein’s long-time “girlfriend” and young-girl-procuring madam, Ghislaine Maxwell — in promoting the sale of Carbyne’s modified Promis software, which was also marketed as a tool to improve government efficacy but was actually a tool of mass surveillance for the benefit of Israeli intelligence, the overlap between Carbyne and Promis is troubling and warrants further investigation.

It is also worth noting that Unit 8200-connected tech start-ups are being widely integrated into U.S. companies and have developed close ties to the U.S. military-industrial complex, with Carbyne being just one example of that trend.

As MintPress previously reported, Unit 8200-linked outfits like Team8 have recently hired former National Security Agency (NSA) Director Mike Rogers as a senior advisor and gained prominent Silicon Valley figures, including former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, as key investors. Many American technology companies, from Intel to Google to Microsoft, have merged withseveral Unit 8200-connected start-ups in recent years and have been moving many key jobs and operations to Israel with backing from key Republican donors like Paul Singer. Many of those same companies, particularly Google and Microsoft, are also major U.S. government contractors.

Who was Epstein really working for?

Even though Jeffrey Epstein appears to have had ties to the Mossad, this series has revealed that the networks to which Epstein was connected were not Mossad-exclusive, as many of the individuals close to Epstein — Lesie Wexner, for instance — were part of a mob-connected class of oligarchs with deep ties to both the U.S. and Israel. As was discussed in Part I of this series, the sharing of “intelligence” (i.e., blackmail) between intelligence agencies and the same organized crime network connected to the Mega Group goes back decades. With Leslie Wexner of the Mega Group as Epstein’s chief patron, as opposed to a financier with direct ties to the Mossad, a similar relationship is more than likely in the case of the sexual blackmail operation that Epstein ran.

Given that intelligence agencies in both the U.S. and elsewhere often conduct covert operations for the benefit of oligarchs and large corporations as opposed to “national security interest,” Epstein’s ties to the Mega Group suggest that this group holds a unique status and influence in both the governments of the U.S. and of Israel, as well as in other countries (e.g., Russia) that were not explored in this report. This is by virtue of their role as key political donors in both countries, as well as the fact that several of them own powerful companies or financial institutions in both countries. Indeed, many members of the Mega Group have deep ties to Israel’s political class, including to Netanyahu and Ehud Barak as well as to now-deceased figures like Shimon Peres, and to members of the American political class.

Ultimately, the picture painted by the evidence is not a direct tie to a single intelligence agency but a web linking key members of the Mega Group, politicians, and officials in both the U.S. and Israel, and an organized-crime network with deep business and intelligence ties in both nations.

Though this series has so far focused on the ties of this network to main Republican Party affiliates, the next and final installment will reveal the ties developed between this web and the Clintons. As will be revealed, despite the Clintons’ willingness to embrace corrupt dealings during the span of their political careers, their mostly friendly relationship with this network still saw them use the power of sexual blackmail to obtain certain policy decisions that were favorable to their personal and financial interests but not to the Clintons’ political reputation or agendas.

Editor’s note | The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Rafi Eitan was interested in repurposing the American-made Promise software to restore his standing in Israel’s intelligence community caused by the fall-out from the Pollard Affair. The Pollard Affair occurred three years after Eitan had succeeded in repurposing the software and MintPress has removed that incorrect information from the article and regrets the error. 

This article also originally neglected to mention that Eitan, at the time of his collaboration with Earl Brian to repurpose the Promis software, was the director of the now-defunct Israeli military intelligence agency Lekem at the time of those events and that information has been added to the story.

Seymour Hersh’s book The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy does not call Robert Maxwell an “agent” of the Mossad, as was stated originally in this report, but does allege clear links and cooperation between Maxwell and the Mossad. This report was updated to reflect this more accurate description.

Whitney Webb is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism.

Video Shows People’s Armed Police Assembling Hong Kong Assault Force In Shenzhen

Videos show People’s Armed Police assembling in Shenzhen apparently for exercises

The People’s Armed Police have been assembling in Shenzhen, a city bordering Hong Kong, in advance of apparent large-scale exercises, videos obtained by the Global Times have shown.

Numerous armored personnel carriers (APC), trucks and other vehicles of the Armed Police were seen on expressways heading in the direction of Shenzhen over the weekend and assembling there, the videos indicate.

In one video, which is only about 10 seconds long, 10 APCs pass by.

The main guns of the APCs appear to have been removed from their turrets.

A convoy of the People’s Armed Police is seen heading toward Shenzhen for exercises. Photo: screenshot from videos obtained by the Global Times

The tasks and missions of the Armed Police include participating in dealing with rebellions, riots, serious violent and illegal incidents, terrorist attacks and other social security incidents, according to the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the People’s Armed Police.

Unlike the police which are under the Ministry of Public Security, the People’s Armed Police is under the leadership of the Central Military Commission.

On August 6, Shenzhen police also conducted a massive drill featuring 12,000 police officers, armored vehicles, helicopters and amphibious vehicles.

Armored personnel carriers of the People’s Armed Police are seemingly gathering and heading toward Shenzhen for exercises. Photo: screenshot from videos obtained by the Global Times

Global Times

India Takes Kashmir To Block China-Pak Ec. Corridor, While US Agitates Taiwan and Hong Kong

Will US Agitation of Hong Kong Or Provocation of Taiwan Cause Chinese Military Response?

China Defense Policy Foresees War w/US To End Interference In Taiwanese Reunification Effort

India Tells China To Close-Up Shop In Kashmir

Pak-India Corridor Competion—Victory Goes To Side Which Overcomes Terrorist Roadblocks

India Disrupting CPEC Plans, China Trying Diplomacy First


India moved on Kashmir as check on China: Scholar



Taiwanese scholar says China-India relations have been managed well in recent past

Riyaz ul Khaliq

India moved on Kashmir as check on China: Scholar

India’s recent move on the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir was an attempt to check China’s growing influence in the region, said a Taiwanese scholar.

Chien-Yu Shih, Secretary General of the Taiwan-based Association of Central Asian Studies, told Anadolu Agency that Indian premier Narendra Modi tried to take advantage of tensions between Washington and Beijing, in order to hinder China’s expansion in South Asia.

Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) government discontinued special provisions guaranteed by the Indian Constitution to the disputed region under its control, dividing the region into two downgraded and centrally-controlled “Union Territories”.

New Delhi imposed a lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir a day ahead of rushing an additional 40,000 troops to the region to quell possible protests, while at the same time enforcing a complete communications blockade.

“This policy move definitely is going to pose a threat to China’s further expansion,” said Shih, who teaches Journalism and International Relations at Hong Kong Chuhai College.

China is investing nearly $50 billion into Pakistani infrastructure with the aim of constructing roads, buildings, highways, bridges, cities and power plants, part of what is called the “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” (CPEC) to connect China’s western Xinjiang province to Pakistan’s Arabian Sea coast in Balochistan.

CPEC has been declared a flagship project of China’s Belt and Road Initiative seeking to recreate the centuries-old Silk Road passing through over 100 countries.

Shih linked India’s move to the U.S.’ Indo-Pacific strategies:

“This involves not only India but the U.S. and Japan as well.”

He underlined that with Beijing purchasing large amounts of oil from Iran, it was “good timing” for India to pursue such a policy, with China bordering the eastern frontier of the Jammu and Kashmir region.

However, New Delhi’s move triggered a massive response from Pakistan which downgraded its diplomatic relations with India and indicated that it would take the case to the UN Security Council.

China also criticized the move, though in a more restricted form. It said the reorganization of the disputed region undermined its sovereignty.

Beijing referred to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Ladakh region — one of the two Union Territories — and said the country’s border concerns had not been addressed.

China and the U.S. are at the same time engaged in a trade war, with each side increasing tariffs on the other’s goods, though both seek to ink a trade deal between them. The trade war has impacted the Chinese side with markets witnessing 27-year low growth last quarter.

Moreover, the U.S.-imposed sanctions on Tehran also impose penalties on countries buying oil from the country. India — once second largest buyer of Iranian oil — has since brought imports down to nil, earning U.S. praise.

Shih said one of the major concerns for China was the transportation of oil and gas through the Indian Ocean to Western China, with the Modi government showing it was definitely a “continuing threat to development of CPEC”, with its most recent move.

Adding that no one is going to benefit from the U.S.-China trade war, he said both countries were under “extreme pressure” on the economic front as they vilified each other.

“It is now a social consensus in U.S. that if there is any biggest threat in future to the country that is China,” he said referring to ongoing presidential campaign in the U.S. which goes to polls next year.

“Every move made by China poses a threat to the U.S. and vice versa, but now they are in a deadlock,” he said.

Shih underlined that China had many issues at hand including the ongoing Hong Kong protests, criticism of the so-called re-education camps in Xinjiang, upcoming polls in Taiwan which — which it claims as its own territory, South Korea-Japan tensions and North Korea.

“China-India relations have been managed in quite a good way in recent years,” he said, adding that though Beijing sought to manipulate relations through “soft” means, the situation between the two countries was still “not out of control”.

Saudis Get Screwed By Emirates In Humiliating “Royal-On-Royal” Action In Aden, Yemen

[How can Trump continue to back the UAE/Saudi war against the people of Yemen, when the Arab royals are openly waging war against each other?  CIA-dominated American foreign policy has consistently followed this tactic of creating wars by backing both sides in the war…but for US Arab allies to openly fight their proxy armies against each other, without forcing American politicians and presidents to disavow their allies, is precedent-creating, or political suicide.]

In this photo taken Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, fighters against Shiite rebels known as Houthis gather at the road leading to Al-Anad base near Aden in the southern province of Lahej, Yemen. The capture of the Al-Anad base was a significant victory for the forces allied to Yemen’s exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in their battle to reverse the gains of Houthis. (AP Photo/Wael Qubady)

The Yemeni Southern Transitional Council has captured the Maashiq presidential palace in the southern port city of Aden, a military source told Sputnik.

“The Security Belt Forces, supported by loyal forces, established control over the presidential palace after four days of fighting with its guards”, the source said.

He pointed out that the Saudi forces had retreated from the palace to the coalition’s military base of al Barika, west of Aden.

Yemeni Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Hadrami has described the incident as a coup.

The reports come after at least 30 people were reportedly killed during clashes inside a camp of security forces of the presidential palace in Aden. The ongoing escalation of the conflict left dozens killed and injured in three days. Moreover, media outlets point to the possibility of a new front opening in Yemen’s civil war.

Earlier this week, militants supporting the Southern Transitional Council engaged in clashes with their former allies, pro-government forces in the city of Aden. The Yemeni conflict between the government and the Houthi movement has been ongoing since 2015.

Source: Sputnik

Oil Price Correction Triggers Shale Meltdown

Oil Price Correction Triggers Shale Meltdown

It was a rough week for the U.S. shale industry.

A series of earnings reports came out in recent days, and while some drillers beat expectations, there were some huge misses as well.

Concho Resources, for instance, saw its share price tumble 22 percent when it disclosedseveral problems at once. Profits fell by 25 percent despite production increases. Concho conceded that it would slash spending and slow the pace of drilling in the second half of the year.

It also said that one of its projects where it tried to densely pack wells together, which it called “Dominator,” the results were not as good as they had hoped. The project had 23 wells, but production disappointed. The “30 and 60 day production rates were consistent with our other projects in that area, but the performance has declined,” Leach said. So, the company will abandon the densely packed well strategy and move forward with wider spacing.

In the second quarter the company had 26 rigs in operation, but that has since fallen to 18. At the start of the year, the company had 33 active rigs.

“We made the decision to adjust our drilling and completion schedule in the second half of the year to slow down and not chase incremental production at the expense of capital discipline,” Concho’s CEO Tim Leach told analysts on an earnings call. He said the company’s aiming for “a free cash flow inflection in 2020.”

The company reported a net loss of $792 million for the first six months of 2019. As Liam Denning put it in Bloomberg Opinion: “It’s sobering to think that Concho, valued at more than $23 billion in the spring of 2018 and having since absorbed the $7.6 billion purchase of RSP Permian Inc., now sports a market cap of less than $16 billion.”

The reason these results are important is because they may not be one-off problems for individual companies, but are more likely indicative of the problems plaguing the whole sector. “There is little doubt this is a big event for the sector and a brake of this nature will create lasting impact,” Evercore analyst Stephen Richardson wrote in a note, referring to Concho’s poor results.Related: The No.1 Reason Why Oil Isn’t Trading Over $100

“How companies still, after all these years we have wailed and gnashed our teeth, manage to over-promise and under-deliver, remains an infuriating mystery,” Paul Sankey wrote in a note for Mizuho Securities USA LLC.

Whiting Petroleum had an even worse week. Its stock melted down on Thursday, falling by 38 percent after reporting a surprise quarterly loss that badly missed estimates. The company announced that it would cut its workforce by a third.

According to the Wall Street Journal and Wood Mackenzie, a basket of 7 shale drillers posted a combined $1.58 billion in negative cash flow in the first quarter, four times worse than the same period a year earlier.

While the results, in many cases, were bad, the declines in share prices were hugely amplified by the announcement of new tariffs on China, which caused a broad selloff not just in the energy sector, but for equities of all types. Here is a sampling of how the share prices of some oil companies fared on Thursday:

  • Whiting Petroleum -38 percent
  • Concho Resources -22 percent
  • Pioneer Natural Resources -7.5 percent
  • EOG Resources -5.5 percent
  • Devon Energy -6.8 percent
  • Continental Resources -7.8 percent
  • Royal Dutch Shell -6.1 percent
  • Chevron -2 percent
  • SM Energy -9.0 percent

But the poor quarterly performances were true before President Trump took to twitter. Even with oil down and stocks perhaps looking cheap, “it’s hard to call it a contrarian opportunity right now,” Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak, told CNBC. “This group has really been dead money most of this year.”Related: Mexico Set To Tap $6.3B From Oil Fund To Plug Budget Shortfall

Investors are clearly souring on the sector. As Bloomberg notes, speculative positioning from traders fell to the lowest level since March 2013, a sign of “investor apathy” towards crude oil and energy stocks.

While shale E&Ps languish, the oil majors are not slowing down. Exxon said that its oil production rose by 7 percent, driven by the Permian. In fact, its production from the Permian rose 90 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier. Earnings dropped by 21 percent, however, and the company cited lower prices and poor downstream margins.

But the majors aggressive bet on U.S. shale is a sign of the times. Small and medium drillers are getting hammered and seeing their access to capital close off, which is forcing budget cutbacks and otherwise leading to steep selloffs in their share prices. The majors, on the other hand, are only in the early stages of a multi-year bet on shale. They can stomach losses on individual shale projects for years, scaling up while they earn profits elsewhere.

So, despite the widespread financial losses for the shale sector, it’s not clear that production is set to grind to a halt.

By Nick Cunningham of

CIA Plans To Keep Death Squads Operating In Afghanistan After Any “Peace” Deal


–after watching it grind on for 18 active years (following the previous 22 years of tribal warfare, initiated by the 2 year Soviet/Afghan war, which we also arranged)–

we finally begin to understand what the CIA meant when they called Afghanistan…

“an Intelligence-Driven War.”

[SEE:  The Tragic Price Tag for an Intelligence-Driven War —September 9, 2009]

The CIA was given the lead in America’s alleged war of retribution, allowing the agency to secretly lead the direction of the war, using false flag direction and by supplying the new “intelligence” documents that would support the secret actions, in order to fuel succeeding phases of the war, straight into the heartland of Central Asia.  The CIA sets the pattern in this war that others must follow, even the Pentagon.   Covert spy networks supply the individual pieces of new “intelligence” that determine both the air missions and those conducted by Special Forces teams (under CIA leadership, of course).

The local informants who are recruited on the ground in Pakistan and Afghanistan determine targeting for drones and bombers without concern for collateral damage, only for the “twenty pieces of silver” that they will receive for calling-in airstrikes upon their neighbors.  If wrong actions are taken, or if there is extensive “collateral damage” in the raids, then it is the agency’s faulty target acquisition methods that are to blame.  How reliable could such amoral spies be, when they would willingly do this to their fellow man?

This is the type of scum that the agency has working for it, calling the shots for the Navy and Air Force.  It is little wonder that so many wedding parties and funerals have been hit.  In the latest bombing catastrophe, over 125 people were killed, many of them civilians, on the strength of one low-life informant, who would sell-out his neighbors for a dollar ( Sole Informant Guided Decision On Afghan Strike).

[ Clandestine operations and CIA-backed forces endanger peace in Afghanistan ; US Withdrawal Plan from Afghanistan Won’t Include SOF Strike Units ]

Stefanie Glinski


Despite reports that American troops may soon be leaving the country following a deal with the Taliban, the United States Central Intelligence Agency plans to retain a strong presence on the ground in Afghanistan. 

Reports indicate that Washington has resolved its differences with the Taliban about withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan as the Doha talks are underway.

But in an article for Foreign Policy, Stefanie Glinski points out that the CIA is not planning to leave the Central Asian country any time soon.

The American intelligence agency is known to support, arm and train several proxy forces throughout Afghanistan.

Langley plans to keep those proxy forces operating in the country for the foreseeable future, regardless of whether US troops pull out, says Glinski.

She gives the example of the Khost Protection Force (KPF), a 6,500-strong unit of Afghan soldiers who are “trained, equipped and funded by the CIA”.

The KPF is the most active and visible of an extensive network of CIA-sponsored paramilitary groups in Afghanistan.

According to the report, the KPF operates almost exclusively along the Afghan-Pakistani border and has a strong presence in Taliban strongholds like Ghazni, Paktia, and Khost.

The roots of the KPF go back to the days immediately after the attacks of September 11, 2001, which prompted the US military invasion of Afghanistan. It, therefore, precedes the Afghan National Army, Afghanistan’s state-run military apparatus, and does not operate under its command. Instead, it is solely directed by the CIA, which uses it to secure the Afghan-Pakistani border and disrupt the activities of Taliban, al-Qaeda and Islamic State fighters in the Afghan borderlands.

Members of the KPF claim that they are “better trained than the Afghan National Army”.

They are also paid much better, over $1000.00 per month, which is an enormous sum for Afghanistan.

Glinski reports that most KPF fighters joined the group for the money and the ability to eventually seek permanent resettlement in the United States.

But alongside the group’s elite image, KPF members have acquired notoriety and are often seen as trigger-happy and unaccountable.

Several reports in Western media have said that the KPF’s tactical accomplishments have come at a high price, with countless reports of civilian deaths and, some claim, even war crimes.

These risk “alienating the Afghan population”, said a New York Times report last year.

Glinski says it is possible the KPF’s aggressive tactics may be “radicalizing portions of the very population it intends to pacify or frighten into submission”.

In April of this year, a United Nations report alleged that more Afghan civilians died as a result of attacks by the Afghan government and American military attacks than at the hands of the Taliban and other guerilla groups.

The CIA did not respond to several requests for comment from Foreign Policy, says Glinski.

Afghanistan: Brutal CIA shadow militias

Photo: Emran Feroz

The West and its Afghan allies kill more civilians than the Taliban and IS do

Recently, it has become more or less official: In Afghanistan, more civilians are being killed by attacks by the US military and its Afghan allies than by the Taliban and IS. This is the conclusion of the UNAMA (United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan) report .Accordingly, at least 1,773 civilians were killed or injured between January and March.

The UN reports at least 305 fatalities caused by US troops, Afghan army or CIA militias.The Taliban and other insurgent groups caused at least 227 casualties over the same period.

Overall, and compared to the previous year, the number of civilian casualties fell by 23 percent. In addition, it is a quarterly low since 2013. The reason for this is called UNAMA the decrease in suicide attacks in large cities such as Kabul. In addition, according to the organization, it is unclear whether some warring factions have become more responsible in dealing with civilians. The UN count has been taking place since 2009.

But at the same time, the number of casualties caused by government forces and the US military has risen 39 percent over the previous year.

Air strikes carried out by conventional fighter jets and drones alone killed at least 140 civilians. Nocturnal raids carried out not only by US soldiers and the Afghan army, but also by brutal CIA militias created in the course of the war play an escalating role.

Examples include the so-called 02 unit, which is mainly active in the province of Nangarhar, and the Khost Protection Force (KPF) in the province of the same name in the east of the country.

For long-time observers of the conflict, the numbers are anything but surprising. Not only in the last few months, but also in 2017 and 2018, the “responsible actors” for anti-terrorist operations increased massively, making it almost impossible to cope with the number of victims. In 2018, the US military dropped as many bombs over Afghanistan as never before .

In October, I interviewed several victims of a raid that took place in Rodat district, Nangarhar province. That night, 14 civilians, including several children, were killed in the village of Shaheedanu Meena. The government labeled all victims “IS terrorists”.

The 02 unit, the KPF and the CIA training

During the interviews, the villagers stressed that such raids were now part of everyday life.Responsible for the operations was the aforementioned 02 unit, which is commanded by the Afghan intelligence agency NDS and supported by the CIA and trained. As the center of the militia is the airport of Jalalabad, it acts mainly in the province of Nangarhar and has since gained a notorious reputation there.

One militia that may even be a lot more brutal is the Khost Protection Force (KPF), which is being trained at the Camp Chapman CIA base. At present, the KPF controls large parts of the Khost province and is an important tool of the American “anti-terrorist struggle” near the Afghan-Pakistani border. The tasks of the militia include not only those house raids, which are often carried out together with US soldiers, but also the coordination of drone attacks and the hunt for journalists and human rights activists .

In this context, the most recent UNAMA report should not overlook the fact that the organization follows a very conservative methodology. Thus, at least three different sources are needed to confirm a single civilian victim. However, this is hardly possible in many remote regions of Afghanistan.

Most sites of air and drone strikes and isolated villages targeted by CIA shadow militias are rarely visited by journalists and human rights organizations, let alone by Westerners.

Meanwhile, the exact opposite is the case in big cities like Kabul, which often become the target of suicide attacks and other assassinations. The contrarian relationship between sources is therefore a problem that is reflected in most reports. Emran Feroz )

State Dept. Howling As HK Exposes Trouble-Making Diplomat Meeting w/HK Radical Leaders

Huang Zhifeng Luo Guancong admitted to meet with the US consul to meet and discuss the strike


Ta Kung Pao Author: Hao Shou
乱港分子近期大肆施暴,践踏法治,鼓吹“港独”,掀起“颜色革命”、挑战“一国两制”原则底线。 The chaotic Hong Kong elements have recently violently abused the law, trampling on the rule of law, advocating “Hong Kong independence”, setting off the “color revolution” and challenging the “one country, two systems” principle. 经常赴海外勾结反华势力、唱衰国家和香港的黄之锋和罗冠聪,联同港大学生会的黄程锋和彭家浩,被踢爆日前与美国驻港领事、美领馆政治部主管Julie Eadeh密会。 Huang Zhifeng and Luo Guancong, who often collaborated overseas to collude with anti-China forces, sing the country and Hong Kong, and Huang Chengfeng and Peng Jiahao of the Hong Kong University Students’ Union, were kicked out recently with the US consul in Hong Kong and the head of the US Consulate General, Julie Eadeh. 大公报记者调查发现,Eadeh的所谓外交生涯起步于美国国务院的对外心战部门,派驻中东时曾以人权及民主为由,策划颠覆活动,亦曾与美国海军陆战队协调在战争时撤侨,善于处理危机,是一名身份神秘、行事低调的颠覆专家。 The Ta Kung Pao reporter found that Eadeh’s so-called diplomatic career started in the foreign affairs department of the US State Department. When he was stationed in the Middle East, he planned subversive activities on the grounds of human rights and democracy. He also coordinated with the US Marine Corps to evacuate overseas Chinese during the war. Dealing with the crisis is a subversive expert with a mysterious identity and low-key behavior.

网传的图文显示,有市民前天(6日)在金钟JW万豪酒店大堂偶遇香港众志黄之锋、罗冠聪,疑联同港大学生会署理会长黄程锋、前外务副会长彭家浩,与一名外籍女士见面。 According to the pictures of the net transmission, some citizens encountered the Hong Kong Zhongzhi Huang Zhifeng and Luo Guancong in the lobby of JW Marriott Hotel in Admiral the day before yesterday (6th). Huang Chengfeng, the former acting president of the Association of Hong Kong University Students, and Peng Jiahao, the former vice president of the foreign affairs, and a former Foreign ladies meet. 当时黄之锋、罗冠聪穿便服,黄程锋、彭家浩则穿恤衫配西裤、犹如面试;外籍女出现时,黄程锋和彭家浩更特意整理衣服。 At that time, Huang Zhifeng and Luo Guancong wore casual clothes. Huang Chengfeng and Peng Jiahao wore shirts and trousers, just like interviews. When foreign women appeared, Huang Chengfeng and Peng Jiahao even arranged clothes. 五人在大堂一处角落地方站立,并未坐下,外籍女望向另一边、准备带队去该酒店内的一个房间密会更高层人士,她手中持有一些文件。 Five people stood in a corner of the lobby and did not sit down. The foreign woman looked to the other side and was ready to lead a team to a higher-level person in the hotel. She held some documents in her hand.

见面翌日众志扬言策动罢课 Meet the next day, all the publicity threatened to instigate the strike

黄之锋昨日被追问下承认,前天曾与美国驻港领事交流,内容包括企图制裁香港的《香港人权民主法案》、要美方不向香港警察出口装备等。 Huang Zhifeng was questioned yesterday and admitted that he had exchanged with the US consul in Hong Kong the day before yesterday, including the attempt to sanction Hong Kong’s Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act and the US side not exporting equipment to the Hong Kong police. 他又声称,自己和罗冠聪曾赴美与当地官员见面,因此与美国领事交流“根本没有什么特别”云云。 He also claimed that he and Luo Guancong had gone to the United States to meet with local officials, so the exchange with the US consul “nothing special at all.” 但他未提到领事身份及有多少美方官员参加会见。 However, he did not mention the consular status and how many US officials attended the meeting. 这次见面翌日即昨日,香港众志在社交网站扬言,正策动九月罢课。 Yesterday, the meeting was held yesterday, Hong Kong Chung Chi threatened on social networking sites and was instigating a September strike.

这个参与密会黄之锋等人的外籍女正是美国驻港澳总领事馆的政治部主管Julie Eadeh。 The foreign woman who participated in the secret meeting, such as Huang Zhifeng, is the head of the political department of the US Consulate General in Hong Kong, Julie Eadeh.

大公报记者翻查资料发现,Eadeh通晓英文、中文、阿拉伯文、法文和西班牙文,2002年在美国乔治城大学取得文学硕士、主修阿拉伯研究,同年经遴选获专门培养政治人才的美国总统管理奖学金,由此进入美国国务院民主、人权及劳工事务局工作。 The Ta Kung Pao reporter found out that Eadeh is fluent in English, Chinese, Arabic, French and Spanish. In 2002, he obtained a Master of Arts degree and majored in Arab studies at Georgetown University in the United States. In the same year, he was selected by the US Presidential Management Scholarship to train political talents. Thus, he entered the US Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Affairs. 该局定期发布抹黑中国内地及香港特区人权的报告,是美国重要的对外心战部门,Eadeh亦曾参与编写。 The bureau regularly publishes reports on the human rights violations in the Chinese mainland and the Hong Kong SAR. It is an important foreign warfare department in the United States, and Eadeh has also participated in the preparation.

2004年Eadeh派驻中东,先在沙特利雅得大使馆任政治官员,在当地推动人权事务及民主选举,其后到战火纷飞的伊拉克,在巴格达大使馆任新闻官,曾穿避弹衣到该国北部城市摩苏尔活动。 In 2004, Eadeh was stationed in the Middle East, first as a political official at the Saudi Riyadh Embassy, ​​promoting human rights and democratic elections in the local area, then going to war-torn Iraq, serving as a press officer at the Baghdad Embassy, ​​wearing a bullet-proof vest to the north of the country. City Mosul activities.

心战“专家” 曾撰文大打感情牌 Heart war “experts” have written a big love card

2006年黎巴嫩与以色列开战,Eadeh派驻黎巴嫩贝鲁特大使馆仅一周,随即与美国国防部合作,完成美国在二战后最大规模的撤侨行动。 In 2006, Lebanon and Israel fought, and Eadeh sent the Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, just one week later, and then cooperated with the US Department of Defense to complete the largest US evacuation operation after World War II.

除战地经验外,Eadeh在所谓外交工作中很注重渗透当地社会。 In addition to the experience of the field, Eadeh is very focused on infiltrating the local society in the so-called diplomatic work. 她曾撰文称,“外交工作”要把“联系”变成“朋友”、“朋友”变成“伙伴”,以一起努力解决共同的挑战、实现共同的目标。 She once wrote that “diplomatic work” should turn “contact” into “friends” and “friends” into “partners” to work together to solve common challenges and achieve common goals.

截稿前,美国驻港澳总领事馆未回应大公报查询。 Before the deadline, the US Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macao did not respond to the Ta Kung Pao inquiries.

夫为华裔美国公民现驻港任经贸领事 Is a Chinese-American citizen currently stationed in Hong Kong as a trade consul

图:Eadeh丈夫名为David Ng(吴仲明),二人均在美国外交系统工作 Photo: Eadeh’s husband is named David Ng (Wu Zhongming), both of whom work in the US diplomatic system.

大公报记者翻查资料发现,Eadeh的丈夫名为David Ng(吴仲明),疑为来自香港的华裔美国公民。 The Ta Kung Pao reporter found out that Eadeh’s husband was named David Ng (Wu Zhongming) and was suspected to be a Chinese-American citizen from Hong Kong. 夫妻二人均常年在美国外交系统工作,目前又皆派驻美国驻港澳总领事馆。 Both husband and wife work in the US diplomatic system all the year round, and are currently stationed in the US Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macao. 不过相比起过往外派工作时经常出席公开活动及合影留念,二人在香港工作两年来极为低调,几乎找不到公开活动资讯。 However, they often attend public events and take photos with them when they work in the past. The two have been extremely low-key in Hong Kong for two years and can hardly find information on public activities.

网页快照显示,Julie Eadeh和David Ng的名字,最早于2017年9月出现在政府礼宾处“领馆及官方认可机构”名单中,估计夫妻二人当时调到香港,二人对外宣称的职位均为领事。 A snapshot of the page shows that the names of Julie Eadeh and David Ng first appeared in the list of “Consulates and Officially Accredited Agencies” of the Government Protocol Office in September 2017. It is estimated that the couple were transferred to Hong Kong at the time. For the consul.

2010年起,Eadeh曾派驻台北和上海、以学习中文;同一时间,熟练掌握中文的吴仲明亦在美国驻上海总领事馆任经济领事。 Since 2010, Eadeh has been stationed in Taipei and Shanghai to study Chinese. At the same time, Wu Zhongming, who is proficient in Chinese, is also an economic consul at the US Consulate General in Shanghai. 与妻子从事政治工作不同,吴仲明的工作范畴主要是经贸,在港时负责联络商界,去年曾到访商会讨论中美贸易战。 Unlike his wife’s political work, Wu Zhongming’s work is mainly in economics and trade. When he was in Hong Kong, he was responsible for liaising with the business community. Last year he visited the Chamber of Commerce to discuss the Sino-US trade war.

在Eadeh的家乡密歇根,一间教会的刊物提到,Eadeh和吴仲明先后于12年及14年诞下两个儿子,分别名为Lucas Sun-Yuen Ng和Jacob Sun-Wah Ng。 In Eadeh’s hometown of Michigan, a church publication mentioned that Eadeh and Wu Zhongming gave birth to two sons in 12 and 14 years, named Lucas Sun-Yuen Ng and Jacob Sun-Wah Ng.

We’re All Enemies Of The State

by John Whitehead 

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” – H.L. Mencken

We’ve been down this road many times before.

If the government is consistent about any one thing, it is this: it has an unnerving tendency to exploit crises and use them as opportunities for power grabs under the guise of national security.

As David C. Unger, a foreign affairs editorial writer for the New York Times, explains, “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have given way to permanent crisis management: to policing the planet and fighting preventative wars of ideological containment, usually on terrain chosen by, and favorable to, our enemies. Limited government and constitutional accountability have been shouldered aside by the kind of imperial presidency our constitutional system was explicitly designed to prevent.”

Cue the Emergency State, the government’s Machiavellian version of crisis management that justifies all manner of government tyranny in the so-called name of national security.

Terrorist attacks, mass shootings, “unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters”: the government has been anticipating and preparing for such crises for years now.

It’s all part of the grand plan for total control.

The government’s proposed response to the latest round of mass shootings—red flag gun laws, precrime surveillance, fusion centers, threat assessments, mental health assessments, involuntary confinement—is just more of the same.

These tactics have been employed before, here in the U.S. and elsewhere, by other totalitarian regimes, with devastating results.

It’s a simple enough formula: first, you create fear, then you capitalize on it by seizing power.

For instance, in his remarks on the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, President Trump promised to give the FBI “whatever they need” to investigate and disrupt hate crimes and domestic terrorism.

Let that sink in a moment.

In a post-9/11 America, Trump’s promise bodes ill for whatever remnants of freedom we have left. With that promise, flippantly delivered without any apparent thought for the Constitution’s prohibitions on such overreach, the president has given the FBI the green light to violate Americans’ civil liberties in every which way.

This is how the Emergency State works, after all.

Although the damage wrought by these power grabs has been most evident in recent presidential administrations—under Trump, Obama, Bush and Clinton—the seeds of this present madness were sown, according to Unger, in 1940, when President Roosevelt, the “founding father of modern extraconstitutional presidential war-making, the military-industrial complex, and covert federal surveillance of lawful domestic political activity,” declared a national emergency.

So what does the government’s carefully calibrated response to this current crisis mean for freedom as we know it? Compliance and control.

For starters, consider Trump’s embrace of red flag gun laws, which allow the police to remove guns from people “suspected” of being threats, will only add to the government’s power.

As The Washington Post reports, these laws “allow a family member, roommate, beau, law enforcement officer or any type of medical professional to file a petition [with a court] asking that a person’s home be temporarily cleared of firearms. It doesn’t require a mental-health diagnosis or an arrest.

Be warned: these laws, growing in popularity as a legislative means by which to seize guns from individuals viewed as a danger to themselves or others, are yet another Trojan Horse, a stealth maneuver by the police state to gain greater power over an unsuspecting and largely gullible populace.

Seventeen states, plus the District of Columbia, now have red flag laws on their books. That number is growing.

In the midst of what feels like an epidemic of mass shootings, these gun confiscation laws—extreme risk protection order (ERPO) laws—may appease the fears of those who believe that fewer guns in the hands of the general populace will make our society safer.

Of course, it doesn’t always work that way.

Anything—knives, vehicles, planes, pressure cookers—can become a weapon when wielded with deadly intentions.

With these red flag gun laws, the intention is to disarm individuals who are potential threats.

We need to stop dangerous people before they act”: that’s the rationale behind the NRA’s support of these red flag laws, and at first glance, it appears to be perfectly reasonable to want to disarm individuals who are clearly suicidal and/or pose an “immediate danger” to themselves or others.

However, consider what happened in Maryland after a police officer attempted to “enforce” the state’s new red flag law, which went into effect in Oct. 2018.

At 5 am on a Monday, two police officers showed up at 61-year-old Gary Willis’ house to serve him with a court order requiring that he surrender his guns. Willis answered the door holding a gun. (In some states, merely answering the door holding a gun is enough to get you killed by police who have a tendency to shoot first and ask questions later.) Willis initially set his gun aside while he spoke with the police. However, when the police attempted to serve him with the gun confiscation order, Willis reportedly became “irate” and picked up his gun again. At that point, a struggle ensued, causing the gun to go off. Although no one was harmed by the struggle, one of the cops shot and killed Willis.

According to the Anne Arundel County police chief, the shooting was a sign that the red flag law is needed. What the police can’t say with any certainty is what they prevented by shooting and killing Willis.

Therein lies the danger of these red flag laws, specifically, and pre-crime laws such as these generally, especially when you put the power to determine who is a potential danger in the hands of government agencies, the courts and the police.

After all, this is the same government that uses the words “anti-government,” “extremist” and “terrorist” interchangeably.

This is the same government that, in 2009, issued a series of Department of Homeland Security reports on Rightwing and Leftwing “Extremism,” which broadly define extremists as individuals, military veterans and groups “that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely.”

This is the same government that, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal, tracks military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and characterizes them as extremists and potential domestic terrorist threats because they may be “disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war.”

This is the same government that keeps re-upping the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which allows the military to detain and imprison American citizens with no access to friends, family or the courts if the government believes them to be a threat.

This is the same government that has a growing list—shared with fusion centers and law enforcement agencies—of ideologies, behaviors, affiliations and other characteristics that could flag someone as suspicious and result in their being labeled potential enemies of the state.

For instance, if you believe in and exercise your rights under the Constitution (namely, your right to speak freely, worship freely, associate with like-minded individuals who share your political views, criticize the government, own a weapon, demand a warrant before being questioned or searched, or any other activity viewed as potentially anti-government, racist, bigoted, anarchic or sovereign), you could be at the top of the government’s terrorism watch list.

Moreover, as a New York Times editorial warns, you may be an anti-government extremist (a.k.a. domestic terrorist) in the eyes of the police if you are afraid that the government is plotting to confiscate your firearms, if you believe the economy is about to collapse and the government will soon declare martial law, or if you display an unusual number of political and/or ideological bumper stickers on your car.

According to the FBI’s latest report, you might also be classified as a domestic terrorism threat if you espouse conspiracy theories, especially if you “attempt to explain events or circumstances as the result of a group of actors working in secret to benefit themselves at the expense of others” and are “usually at odds with official or prevailing explanations of events.”

Additionally, according to Michael C. McGarrity, the FBI’s assistant director of the counterterrorism division, the bureau now “classifies domestic terrorism threats into four main categories: racially motivated violent extremism, anti-government/anti-authority extremism, animal rights/environmental extremism, and abortion extremism.”

In other words, if you dare to subscribe to any views that are contrary to the government’s, you may well be suspected of being a domestic terrorist and treated accordingly.

Where many Americans go wrong is in assuming that you have to be doing something illegal or challenging the government’s authority in order to be flagged as a suspicious character, labeled an enemy of the state and locked up like a dangerous criminal.

That is not the case.

All you really need to do is question government authority.

With the help of artificial intelligence, a growing arsenal of high-tech software, hardware and techniques, government propaganda urging Americans to turn into spies and snitches, as well as social media and behavior sensing software, government agents are spinning a sticky spider-web of threat assessments, behavioral sensing warnings, flagged “words,” and “suspicious” activity reports aimed at snaring potentialenemies of the state.

It’s the American police state’s take on the dystopian terrors foreshadowed by George Orwell, Aldous Huxley and Phillip K. Dick all rolled up into one oppressive pre-crime and pre-thought crime package.

What’s more, the technocrats who run the surveillance state don’t even have to break a sweat while monitoring what you say, what you read, what you write, where you go, how much you spend, whom you support, and with whom you communicate. Computers guided by artificial intelligence now do the tedious work of trolling social media, the internet, text messages and phone calls for potentially anti-government remarks—all of which is carefully recorded, documented, and stored to be used against you someday at a time and place of the government’s choosing.

This is the world that science fiction author Philip K. Dick envisioned for Minority Report in which the government is all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful, and if you dare to step out of line, dark-clad police SWAT teams will crack a few skulls in order to bring the populace under control.

In Dick’s dystopian police state, the police combine widespread surveillance, behavior prediction technologies, data mining and precognitive technology to capture would-be criminals before they can do any damage: precrime.

In the film Minority Report, the technology that John Anderton, Chief of the Department of Pre-Crime in Washington, DC, relies on for his predictive policing proves to be fallible, identifying him as the next would-be criminal and targeting him for preemptive measures. Consequently, Anderton finds himself not only attempting to prove his innocence but forced to take drastic measures in order to avoid capture in a surveillance state that uses biometric data and sophisticated computer networks to track its citizens.

With every passing day, the American police state moves that much closer to mirroring the fictional pre-crime prevention world of Minority Report.

For instance, police in major American cities have been using predictive policing technology that allows them to identify individuals—or groups of individuals—most likely to commit a crime in a given community. Those individuals are then put on notice that their movements and activities will be closely monitored and any criminal activity (by them or their associates) will result in harsh penalties.

In other words, the burden of proof is reversed: you are guilty before you are given any chance to prove you are innocent.

Dig beneath the surface of this kind of surveillance/police state, however, and you will find that the real purpose of pre-crime is not safety but control.

Red flag gun laws merely push us that much closer towards a suspect society where everyone is potentially guilty of some crime or another and must be preemptively rendered harmless.

Again, where many Americans go wrong is in naively assuming that you have to be doing something illegal or harmful in order to be flagged and targeted for some form of intervention or detention.

In fact, U.S. police agencies have been working to identify and manage potential extremist “threats,” violent or otherwise, before they can become actual threats for some time now.

In much the same way that the USA Patriot Act was used as a front to advance the surveillance state, allowing the government to establish a far-reaching domestic spying program that turned every American citizen into a criminal suspect, the government’s anti-extremism program renders otherwise lawful, nonviolent activities as potentially extremist.

In fact, all you need to do these days to end up on a government watch list or be subjected to heightened scrutiny is use certain trigger words (like cloud, pork and pirates), surf the internet, communicate using a cell phone, limp or stutterdrive a car, stay at a hotel, attend a political rally, express yourself on social mediaappear mentally ill, serve in the militarydisagree with a law enforcement officialcall in sick to work, purchase materials at a hardware store, take flying or boating lessons, appear suspicious, appear confused or nervous, fidget or whistle or smell bad, be seen in public waving a toy gun or anything remotely resembling a gun (such as a water nozzle or a remote control or a walking cane), stare at a police officer, question government authority, or appear to be pro-gun or pro-freedom.

Be warned: once you get on such a government watch list—whether it’s a terrorist watch list, a mental health watch list, a dissident watch list, or a red flag gun watch list—there’s no clear-cut way to get off, whether or not you should actually be on there.

You will be tracked wherever you go.

You will be flagged as a potential threat and dealt with accordingly.

This is pre-crime on an ideological scale and it’s been a long time coming.

The government has been building its pre-crime, surveillance network in concert with fusion centers (of which there are 78 nationwide, with partners in the corporate sector and globally), data collection agencies, behavioral scientists, corporations, social media, and community organizers and by relying on cutting-edge technology for surveillance, facial recognition, predictive policing, biometrics, and behavioral epigenetics (in which life experiences alter one’s genetic makeup).

If you’re not scared yet, you should be.

Connect the dots.

Start with the powers amassed by the government under the USA Patriot Act, note the government’s ever-broadening definition of what it considers to be an “extremist,” then add in the government’s detention powers under NDAA, the National Security Agency’s far-reaching surveillance networks, and fusion centers that collect and share surveillance data between local, state and federal police agencies.

To that, add tens of thousands of armed, surveillance drones and balloons that are beginning to blanket American skies, facial recognition technology that will identify and track you wherever you go and whatever you do. And then to complete the picture, toss in the real-time crime centers being deployed in cities across the country, which will be attempting to “predict” crimes and identify so-called criminals before they happen based on widespread surveillance, complex mathematical algorithms and prognostication programs.

Hopefully you’re starting to understand how easy we’ve made it for the government to identify, label, target, defuse and detain anyone it views as a potential threat for a variety of reasons that run the gamut from mental illness to having a military background to challenging its authority to just being on the government’s list of persona non grata.

There’s always a price to pay for standing up to the powers-that-be.

Yet as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American Peopleyou don’t even have to be a dissident to get flagged by the government for surveillance, censorship and detention.

All you really need to be is a citizen of the American police state.

Cape Canaveral Launch of Israeli Satellite Gives Zionist State Internet Service In Arab-Dominant Mideast

Israel launches satellite to provide internet to Middle East, Africa

The Amos-17 satellite launch in Florida, US on 6 August 2019 [Twitter]

The Amos-17 satellite launch in Florida, USA on 6 August 2019 [Twitter]

Israel has successfully launched a satellite which will provide internet, TV and mobile services to the Middle East and Africa.

The Amos-17 satellite was launched at 19:23 local time [23:23 GMT] yesterday from Cape Canaveral in Florida, USA. The satellite was carried into space by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and separated successfully, despite the launch being delayed for several days after a suspected faulty valve was discovered during testing.

It will now spend the next two weeks travelling gradually to 36,000 kilometres above the earth, at which height it will orbit the planet.

The satellite was built by aerospace giant Boeing and designed by Israel-based company Spacecom. Amos-17 will now provide services to TV operators, internet and telephone providers in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as governments and private data companies, the Times of Israel reported today.

The $250 million project is expected to operate for the next 20 years, with Spacecom claiming to have already received orders for services worth $58 million, including a contract with Nigeria-based broadcaster IDS Africa.

Spacecom’s CEO, David Pollack, said following the launch that “AMOS-17 places us directly into the exciting growth of Africa’s Sub-Saharan vibrant markets”.

“As a leading multi-regional satellite operator, Spacecom is introducing the most technologically advanced satellite with HTS beams [High-throughput satellite beams, which allow greater service availability] to service Africa, where AMOS-17 will deliver a large selection of services to a variety of broadcast, broadband and telecom clients,” Pollack added.

READ: Israel face-recognition start-up ‘secretly tracking Palestinians’

The launch of the satellite will likely be seen as yet another example of Israel’s “pivot to Africa”, which has seen it normalise relations with a number of states on the continent in a bid to boost economic and diplomatic ties.

In January, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Chad to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries, which were severed in 1972. Speaking at a press conference before his departure, Netanyahu said that the visit was “part of the revolution we are doing in the Arab and Muslim world”, claiming that such an initiative “greatly worries, even greatly angers” Palestinians and the wider Arab world.

Israel’s Africa normalisation drive has many material benefits, often including lucrative arms deals, memorandums for economic cooperation and the use of airspace which will significantly shorten flight paths for commercial Israeli airlines.

However, the initiative is also pursued for its propaganda value; Netanyahu has long been keen to emphasise these diplomatic successes, particularly in the run up to Israel’s general election which will take place next month.

The fact that the satellite will provide internet and TV services could also raise concerns about the reach of Israel’s often-controversial intelligence-gathering and disinformation operations.

In May, it was revealed that Archimedes Group – a private company based near Tel Aviv – had run a campaign to meddle in the elections of Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Angola, Niger and Tunisia, as well as a handful of Asian and Latin American countries.

The campaign was uncovered by social media giant Facebook, which said it had deactivated dozens of accounts found to be spreading disinformation by posing as local journalists and influencers. This campaign extended to 65 Facebook accounts, 161 pages and dozens of groups, which together had garnered 2.8 million followers and hundreds of thousands of views.

The Escalating Hybrid War Between Trump and China May Prove To Be Deadly

Board of Contributors
Jaypee Gordiones, Felix Dela Torre and Richard Blaze (left to right), crew members of a fishing vessel that sank after it collided with a Chinese fishing boat off Reed Bank in the South China Sea, are mobbed by journalists following a news conference in Manila on June 28, 2019.
(TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Washington is hesitant to react to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s informal call for the U.S. Navy to act against China in line with the country’s Mutual Defense Treaty.
  • But in the wake of Chinese aggression against Philippine interests in the South China Sea, Manila is likely to continue questioning the utility of the pact unless Washington provides more forceful backing.
  • Ultimately, a lack of action to oppose China will allow Beijing to fortify its position in the South China Sea.

Floating in the South China Sea near Recto Bank, or Reed Bank as it is also known, the crew of the Philippine vessel F/B Gimver 1 braced for impact as the Chinese-flagged Yuemaobinyu 42212 steamed directly toward their craft. Ignoring the Philippine crew’s entreaties to rapidly change course, the Chinese captain plowed his ship into the smaller vessel, seemingly oblivious to his responsibilities under international collision regulations to avoid the crash. Crippled and sinking, the Gimver 1’s crew abandoned ship, confident their Chinese counterparts would pick them up. That, however, was not what happened: Ignoring his responsibilities for a second time, the Yuemaobinyu’s captain abandoned the Filipinos to their fate. Though the 22 mariners were eventually rescued by a Vietnamese ship, the incident early on the morning on June 9 increased tensions between Beijing, on one side, and Manila and its allies on the other.

The reaction from the United States was as forceful as it was expected. Without mentioning the incident directly, the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines, Sung Kim, made reference to a militarized fishing fleet, or maritime militia, when suggesting an attack by “government-sanctioned militias” could trigger the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). His comments served as a warning to China — going further than those made by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who tried to reassure a skeptical Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in February that the 1951 treaty remained in Manila’s best interests. Though Duterte is more vocal than his predecessors about his concerns surrounding the deal, his skepticism toward the treaty is not new among the country’s leaders. Both sides in the long and occasionally troubled U.S.-Philippine alliance have used the MDT to shape each other’s behavior, most recently with regard to its applicability to the South China Sea. But as foreign policy experts around the world mull the content of Kim’s statements about Recto Bank, some key wording suggests the intended audience may be Manila — rather than Beijing — and that Washington isn’t all too eager to dive into a battle with China.

What’s in an ‘Armed Attack’?

Pompeo and Kim were both very careful with the terms they used to describe the incident. The phrase “if an armed attack occurs” refers to Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, which codifies states’ inherent rights to self-defense in the event of an armed attack. But understanding the U.S. response to the Recto Bank incident and how it affects the MDT requires an understanding of what the Chinese maritime militia is and what it is not.

The Recto Bank incident amounts to a deliberate attempt to avoid classification as an “armed attack,” making it a classic indicator of hybrid warfare.

According to U.S. Naval War College professor Andrew Erickson, the People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia is a “state-organized, -developed, and -controlled force operating under a direct military chain of command to conduct Chinese state-sponsored activities” — which makes it anything but a group of zealously patriotic fishermen. The militia is trained, manned and equipped with vessels purpose-built for ramming other craft and armed with non-lethal munitions that allow the organization to avoid designation as a naval unit. According to Erickson, the militia is a component of the Chinese military that responds through the chain of command to President Xi Jinping himself. Despite this, the militia falls through the cracks of Article 51 of the U.N. Charter and other international agreements — including the MDT — that govern the use of force between states because it is not, officially, a naval unit. In this respect, the militia resembles other emerging and poorly regulated tools of state power such as teams that engage in cyberattacks and information warfare on behalf of a country. The Recto Bank incident amounts to a deliberate attempt to avoid classification as an “armed attack,” making it a classic indicator of “hybrid warfare.” When packaged into a coherent hybrid warfare campaign, these tools can present a significant threat to international peace and stability as occurred in Crimea in 2014.

Friendly Deterrence

Following the Recto Bank incident, Washington intimated that Chinese provocations in the South China Sea could result in the application of the MDT. In time, however, the United States has somewhat muddied the waters on the MDT: While the United States certainly wishes to maintain access to the Philippine bases identified in the treaty, it is less eager to invoke the pact’s Article IV — which spells out the defense relations between Washington and Manila — over a wrecked Philippine fishing vessel. Perhaps the United States’ hedging is what prompted Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to demand clarity about the MDT’s applicability to these types of incidents. Without clarity, he argued, Manila ought to review the treaty to determine its relevance to the country’s defense.

Lorenzana’s point is a valid one. Reading between the lines of the U.S. ambassador’s statements revealed that Washington is more interested in deterring the Philippines from questioning the utility of the MDT than in preventing China from employing hybrid warfare in the South China Sea. The American tactic, however, appears to have worked a bit too well: During the periodic U.S.-Philippine Bilateral Strategic Dialogue, held July 15-16 in Manila, the Philippine ambassador to the United States, Babe Romualdez, announced the two countries were in talks to “strengthen” the decades-old treaty. Duterte took it a step further the next day, informally invoking the MDT and inviting the United States to send its 7th Fleet to protect the Philippines from China.

Having called America’s bluff, the skeptical Duterte may decide the Mutual Defense Treaty is actually as hollow as he has previously suggested it is.

The request presents a dilemma for the United States. Duterte made his surprise demand without following a formal consultative process (he made it abruptly during a TV interview), while his call also lacked any of the coordinating details necessary to invoke the constitutional requirements stipulated in the treaty. Still, Washington is under pressure to demonstrate the pact’s credibility after previously communicating verbal guarantees regarding its viability. But almost two months since the Recto Bank incident, there does not appear to be any appetite to commit U.S. naval forces in response to an incident that China presented as an accident between two fishing vessels.

At a certain point, however, China’s repeated coercion in the region cannot go unanswered. Manila’s perception that Washington is dragging its feet gets to the heart of the MDT. Having called America’s bluff, the skeptical Duterte may decide the MDT is actually as hollow as he has previously suggested it is. At stake is a strategic effort to maintain American access to the South China Sea amid an ongoing Chinese consolidation of its position there. And unless the United States and the Philippines reconcile their views of mutual defense in the face of such “unarmed attacks,” they will soon find themselves faced with an unbreakable chain of heavily fortified Chinese islands immune to any pressure short of war.

China Stops New Purchases of US Farm Produce, In Response To Trump Trade War…Farmers Are Pissed

[U.S. farmers are exasperated by latest trade war moves: ‘Another nail in the coffin’ ]

China imported US$9.1 billion (S$12.6 billion) of US farm produce in 2018 – mainly soybeans, dairy, sorghum and pork – down from US$19.5 billion in 2017, according to the American Farm Bureau.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) – Chinese companies have stopped buying United States agricultural products, China’s Commerce Ministry said on Tuesday (Aug 6), a blow to US farmers who have already seen their exports slashed by the trade war which has lasted more than a year.

China may also impose additional tariffs on US farm products, the ministry said, raising the barrier to future trade that further targets rural states that supported US President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

Mr Trump said last Thursday that Beijing had not fulfilled a promise to buy large volumes of US farm products, and vowed to impose new tariffs on around US$300 billion (S$414 billion) of Chinese goods, abruptly dimming prospects of a trade deal.

China on Monday also let the yuan weaken past the key seven-per-dollar level for the first time in more than a decade. The US responded by designating China a currency manipulator.

American Farm Bureau Federation president Zippy Duvall called the announcement from China “a body blow to thousands of farmers and ranchers who are already struggling to get by”.

Tariffs imposed by China on US soybeans have slashed exports of the most valuable US crop and forced Mr Trump’s administration to compensate farmers for two years with combined spending of as much as US$28 billion.

China imported US$9.1 billion of US farm produce in 2018 – mainly soybeans, dairy, sorghum and pork – down from US$19.5 billion in 2017, according to the American Farm Bureau.

The National Pork Producers Council said in an e-mail message that it was important to end the trade war so that pork producers could “more fully participate in a historic sales opportunity”.

An outbreak of African swine fever has killed millions of pigs in China. US meat exporters had hoped to take advantage of the disease to export more pork to China but 62 per cent retaliatory tariffs have limited sales from the US.China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement that it hoped the US would keep its promises and create the “necessary conditions” for bilateral cooperation.

Earlier, China’s state broadcaster CCTV reported an official from China’s National Development and Reform Commission as saying that Mr Trump’s accusations that it had not bought promised volumes of US agricultural goods as groundless.

Overall, China has purchased about 14.3 million tonnes of last season’s soybean crop, the least in 11 years, and some 3.7 million tonnes still need to be shipped, according to US data.

China bought 32.9 million tonnes of US soybeans in 2017, before the trade war.

China applied a 25 per cent tariff on soybeans in July last year in response to US tariffs on Chinese goods.

China is honouring agreements signed earlier to import US soybeans, according to Mr Cong Liang, secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission, CCTV reported. The report said that 2.27 million tonnes of US soybeans had been loaded and shipped to China in July, since Mr Trump met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Osaka at the Group of 20 summit at the end of June.

China bought 130,000 tonnes of soybeans, 120,000 tonnes of sorghum, 60,000 tonnes of wheat, 40,000 tonnes of pork and products, and 25,000 tonnes of cotton from the US between July 19 and Aug 2, Mr Cong said, according to the report.

Weekly US data on Aug 1 confirmed the first new US soybean sale to China since June, of 68,000 tonnes from the crop that will be harvested this fall. Additional sales through Aug 1 could be recorded in the next US government export sales report on Thursday.

Two million tonnes of US soybeans destined for China will be loaded in August, followed by another 300,000 tonnes in September, Mr Cong said.

However, the US Department of Agriculture said on Monday that less than 600,000 tonnes of soybeans were inspected for export to China the week ended Aug 1, fewer than the previous week.

Farmers can start applying for the next round of trade aid this month, but trade uncertainty makes long-term planning difficult.

“We’ve been thankful for the aid payments. They have helped but we’d rather have open markets because it creates stability in our financial sectors,” said Mr Derek Sawyer, 39, a corn, soybean, wheat and cattle farmer from McPherson, Kansas.

“There’s just so much volatility right now because nobody knows the rules of the game and nobody knows how to look at things going forward.”

Bumper-To-Bumper Traffic In Persian Gulf, Once Again…the panic before the “Tormenta” in the Gulf


[HERE is the 8/2 snapshot of the Gulf traffic.]

[Today’s Persian Gulf traffic from 8/4.  The red arrows are large tankers, blue arrows medium tankers, green cargo ships.] 

Sources: Japan won’t contribute ships to US Middle East maritime force

Japan won’t contribute ships to U.S. Middle East maritime force-Mainichi

What is the meaning of the refusal of Germany to the U.S. military use

The Gulf Is Crowded Today, Reflecting Increase In Tanker Traffic

[Despite reports from Western media, today’s snapshot of the Gulf of Hormuz from, shows that traffic in the Gulf has increased since the beginning of the latest tanker war, NOT decreased.]

Oil Tankers’ Tracking Signals Are Vanishing in the Strait of Hormuz

Iranian diplomat: Captured British tanker unlawfully entered Hormuz Strait from exit lane

In an interview with Sky news on Tuesday, Iranian Ambassador to London Hamid Baeidinejad said a British-flagged oil tanker which was seized by Iran “should have been very careful not to violate any laws”.

He noted that Stena Impero had “entered the Strait of Hormuz from the exit lane, which is against the law”.

“That ship collided with a fishing boat in the area…the fishing boat was damaged and there have been injuries,” he added.

He also said, “We’re very keen to see the UK is doing all the measures necessary to release as soon as possible the Grace 1 [the tanker which was carrying Iran’s oil].”

Baeidinejad rejected claims that Grace 1 was heading for Syria.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in a tweet on July 20, said Iran’s conduct towards the British tanker had been fully within international maritime rules. He also compared Iran’s action with a seizure of an Iranian tanker by the UK in Gibraltar.

“Unlike the piracy in the Strait of Gibraltar, our action in the Persian Gulf is to uphold int’l maritime rules. As I said in NY, it is IRAN that guarantees the security of the Persian Gulf & the Strait of Hormuz. UK must cease being an accessory to #EconomicTerrorism of the US.”

Rejecting claims that the tanker was carrying oil for Syria, Zarif has said Iran cannot reveal the destination of the tanker because of the U.S. sanctions.

Iran has called the capture of the tanker carrying the Iranian oil an act of piracy.

In the emergency meeting of the JCPOA parties in Vienna on Sunday, Iran called the British seizure of the Grace 1 a violation of the nuclear deal.

White House national security advisor John Bolton, an Iran hawk, praised the seizure.  “Excellent news: UK has detained the supertanker Grace I laden with Iranian oil bound for Syria in violation of EU sanctions,” Bolton exulted on Twitter.

In a commentary on July 20, the British newspaper Guardian said Bolton has succeeded to lure Britain into a dangerous trap to punish Iran by deceiving London to capture a tanker carrying the Iranian oil in Gibraltar, which Iran responded in kind.

The British newspaper said “Britain blindly dances to the beat of Bolton’s war drums” against Iran.

According to the Guardian, the Spanish ambassador to Tehran who was summoned over the seizure, said the Iranian tanker had been seized “following a request from the United States to the United Kingdom.”

Following the oil tankers standoff, former British Foreign Secretary Jack wrote an article in the Daily Mail on July 20 saying that Iranians have “good cause” to be “resentful” against Britain and call Britons the “cunning, colonial fox”.

In another tweet on July 21, Zarif said only “prudence and foresight” can alleviate tensions.

“Having failed to lure Donald Trump into War of the Century, and fearing collapse of his B-Team, Ambassador John Bolton is turning his venom against the UK in hopes of dragging it into a quagmire,” Zarif tweeted.

On July 16, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, “The evil England conducts piracy and steals our ship… and give it a legal form.”

During a meeting with Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah in Tehran on Sunday, President Hassan Rouhani said that Britain will suffer harms for seizing Iran’s oil tanker.

He also said that presence of foreign forces in the region are the main cause of tension in the region.

Exceptionally Insulated–Americans’ unconcern enables wrongdoing abroad

If you were Iranian and learned that U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton wanted to attack your country, wouldn’t you feel terrified?

But we’re taught to dismiss that.

The training begins early: Complete the assignment. Get good grades. Insulate your life. Automate your soul.

Don’t worry about U.S. bombs pulverizing Baghdad or U.S.-funded death squads mutilating peasants in Latin America.

Ignore how the CIA, Agency for International Development, and National Endowment for Democracy subvert foreign societies through coups and pre-coup planting of false propaganda, riot instigation, character assassination, bribery, campaign funding, and economic sabotage.

In 1953, the Eisenhower administration, with the Rockefeller Foundation’s former chair, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, and CIA Director Allen Dulles, engineered a coup that replaced Iran’s Mohammad Mossadegh with the Shah, who reigned over more than two decades of poverty, torture, and oppression. In violation of Iran’s sovereignty and neutrality, the Allies previously had invaded Iran during both World Wars for oil and railroads.

The democratically-elected Mossadegh had led the popular campaign to nationalize Britain’s Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, whose bank was a client of Sullivan & Cromwell, the Dulles brothers’ law firm. Now with the Shah reinstated, Rockefeller’s descendant Standard Oil of New Jersey (Exxon) arrived, another Sullivan & Cromwell client. Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank arrived to protect the Shah’s fortune. Northrop Aircraft arrived, and the Shah obsessively imported US arms. The CIA trained SAVAK, the Shah’s brutal internal security.

In 1954, a Eisenhower-engineered coup replaced Guatemala’s Jacobo Árbenz with Castillo Armas, whose regime tortured, murdered, banned labor unions, and halted agrarian reform. Four decades later, thanks to US funding and weaponry, 200,000 had been killed. U.S. policymakers disliked Árbenz because he’d taken land from a Sullivan & Cromwell client, United Fruit Company, for distribution to peasants. Previously, the US-supported dictator Jorge Ubico had cruelly subjugated peasants while giving United Fruit financial concessions and free land.

In 1961, a Kennedy-instigated coup murdered and replaced the Congo’s nationalist Patrice Lumumba with Moïse Tshombe, leader of Congo’s province, Katanga. U.S. policymakers, craving Katanga’s minerals, wanted their man Tshombe to either rule the Congo or help Katanga secede. By 1965, the U.S. was supporting Mobutu Sese Seko, whose terrifying repression spanned more than three decades.

In 1964, a Johnson-engineered coup replaced Brazil’s João Goulart, later killed, with a military dictatorship that took over labor unions, brutalized priests, and perpetrated widespread atrocities for two decades. Goulart, neutral in the Cold War, had allowed Communists to participate in government and had nationalized an International Telephone and Telegraph Company subsidiary. ITT’s president was friends with CIA Director John McCone, who later worked for ITT.

In 1965, after a botched 1958 Eisenhower-instigated coup against Indonesia’s Sukarno, another coup installed Suharto, whose regime murdered between 500,000 and 1 million Indonesians. The CIA provided lists of thousands of suspected Communists for Indonesia’s army to kill. Appalled at Sukarno’s Cold War non-alignment, the CIA had been concocting a pornographic video of Sukarno to discredit him.

In 1971, a Nixon-Kissinger-instigated coup replaced Bolivia’s Juan Torres, later killed, with Hugo Bánzer, who arrested thousands and routinely violated human rights. Nixon and Kissinger, a Rockefeller associate, feared Torres would make Gulf Oil Company (later Chevron) share profits with Bolivians.

In 1973, a Nixon-Kissinger-engineered coup replaced Chile’s Salvador Allende, who was killed, with Augusto Pinochet, whose reign of terror murdered thousands for more than a decade. The Rockefeller-organized Business Group for Latin America, including ITT, PepsiCo, and Anaconda Mining Company, covertly supported anti-Allende campaigns.

We’re taught the U.S. brings freedom to the world. But what freedom is this? The freedom to live without your parents who’ve been murdered? The freedom to be tortured for caring about the poor?

If we’re not being brainwashed that all this is in honor of the secular god Freedom, we’re being brainwashed that it’s for Jesus himself. U.S. troops preparing to invade Fallujah, Iraq were blessed by their Navy chaplain who dared to parallel their impending assault with Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.

So why is Iran, rather than the U.S., considered dangerous? Why is Venezuela an enemy? Because they’ve broken the Four Commandments of the benighted clique who crafts U.S. foreign policy:

Do not obstruct U.S. businesses’ profit-making abroad. High profits, like high grades, indicate success. Do not help the poor or give land to the landless. Be friends with our friends, enemies with our enemies. Do not reject U.S. military bases and weapons.

Look what befell Ecuador’s former President Correa. He sued Chevron, reduced poverty, joined Venezuela and Cuba’s regional economic group, granted asylum to Julian Assange, and refused to renew the U.S. military’s 10-year lease on a base in 2009. In 2010, this popular president was nearly killed by rioting police. And we’re to believe the U.S. clique was uninvolved?

We’re ruled by a mentally ill breed whose consciousness is in their wallets, not in their hearts, and who deny us what’s needed most to nurture world peace: the freedom to care.

Kristin Christman is a contributing author to the forthcoming anthology Bending the Arc (SUNY Press).

Originally Published in Albany Times Union

U.S. Wars for Israel

Western Zionist media and political establishments are up in arms accusing the Islamic Republic of Iran of “violating” the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the “Iran Deal”. This is never about Iran’s non-compliance with that Deal. To the contrary, Iran has consistently and verifiably abided by the Iran Deal since it was signed in 2015 by China, France, Britain, Russia, the U.S. plus Germany (P5+1) and endorsed by the UN Security Council. It is about serving Israel’s Zionist expansion.

The ongoing U.S. military threat and bullying tactics against Iran escalated last year when current White House Occupant Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of the Iran Deal, accusing Iran of all sorts of things, including violating the Iran Deal and “threatening” Israel. Rightly, Iran dismissed the allegations, that it is in violation of the Iran Deal, saying it has at all times stuck to the Deal. The nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), tasked with monitoring the implementation of the Iran Deal – using an invasive inspection regime – confirmed on fifteen occasions that Iran was fulfilling its obligations and has been compliant with the Deal’s terms. In fact, the IAEA called its inspection regime, the world’s most robust nuclear verification regime. Until now Iran is keeping its end of the bargain unilaterally. It is nonsense, because the U.S. regime accuses Iran of “violating the terms of the Iran Deal before the Deal’s existence”. Moreover, Iran cannot violate a Deal that was declared null and void by the U.S. regime itself. It is like the U.S. telling Iran: “How dare you violate a Deal that we tore up a year ago?”

The U.S. allegation that Iran is in violation of the Iran Deal is an Israeli manufactured lies fabricated in Israel and disseminated by global Zionist propaganda organs, including the most racist Zionist propaganda organs: the BBC, the Murdoch Press, Fox News, the Guardian, ABC, NBC, Washington Post, New York Times, NPR, CNN, and CBC, among others. For decades, Iran has been the target of a vicious and hostile Zionist propaganda campaign of distortion and demonization, including the demonization of Muslims and Islam. As Gregory Shupak of the University of Guelph in Toronto observes: “Media outlets are creating a climate for a U.S. military attack on Iran by hyping the idea that Iran is an imminent threat to peace, by failing to offer evidence that calls the U.S.’s accusations against Iran into question, by amplifying warmongers’ voices and by naturalizing America’s supposed right to spy on every country on earth.” In other words, the AngloZionist media – controlled by a handful of corporations with deep investments in the U.S. military industrial complex – are setting the stage for war. The uranium enrichment for Iran’s civilian nuclear program, frequently mischaracterised by the superb Zionist propaganda as a “nuclear weapons program”. Under the NPT, Iran has the right to engage in peaceful nuclear research, including medical research to produce radioisotopes to advance Iran’s healthcare services. The Zionist media coverage is the second front of the U.S.-Israel war and threat of war  against Iran – a propaganda war – mirroring the Zionist media coverage in the lead-up to the illegal U.S.-Britain aggression against Iraq by spreading lies – “Weapons of Mass Destruction” – to justify the murderous aggression against Iraq on behalf of Israel.  The Jewish entity was created by terrorist gangs and seven decades-long barbaric terror – against largely defenceless Palestinian populations – that endorsed by the United Nations (UN), and armed, funded and supported by the U.S., Britain, Russia and other major European regimes who are now conspiring to inflict unnecessary suffering on the people of Iran.

Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program and has consistently refrained from pursuing the production of nuclear weapons. “The Pentagon and 16 major U.S. intelligence agencies supported by the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) confirmed that Iran is NOT developing nuclear weapons and poses NO military threat. Even the IAEA, a U.S.-controlled imperialist tool, has failed to provide hard evidence to prove that Iran is engaged in developing nuclear weapons” (See my ZNet, 2012).

The irony of it. Israel is the world’s only regime that refuses to declare its stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), including 400 nuclear warheads. Instead, Israel is crying wolf and pushing the U.S. to attack Iran. While the focus is on Iran, Israel’s extensive nuclear weapons program is deliberately ignored by Western regimes and the mainstream Zionist media. The primary aim is to deflect attention away from the criminal danger posed by Israel and no one seems to be ashamed by the classic hypocrisy. It is Israel which is attacking Syria and Lebanon on daily basis, and using its stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction to threaten all countries that oppose its continuing ethnic cleansing and the dispossession of the Palestinian people. It is Israel which is occupying Palestinian land, terrorising the Palestinians, demolishing Palestinian neighborhoods and ethnically cleansing entire Palestinian communities. The seeds of today’s intractable instability and U.S.-Israel terror in the Middle East were sown by the colonisation of Palestinian land by European Jews. And, despite (or, because of) the U.S.-EU’s unconditional and blind support for Israel’s terror and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, peace and stability have not taken hold in the region. Peace is not (never been) in the interest of the Israeli murderous regime. Israel’s main aim is to exterminate the Palestinian people at slow pace using peace as a cover for Israel’s terror and war crimes against defenceless populations. War is on the horizon against any nation that dares to support the Palestinian people, including Iran.

There is no “co-ordinated international effort to ratchet up pressure on Iran”, as the mainstream Zionist media claim. The overwhelming majority of civilised world’s nations are on Iran’s side. It is an anti-Iran (anti-Muslims) Zionist propaganda led by, the U.S., Israel, Britain and Saudi Arabia. They have been at war with Iran for years and have made concerted efforts to provoke Iran to start a war. In fact Israel is at war with all majority-Muslim nations, not just Iran. Former Israeli “Defence” Minister, the Moldovan-born thug Avigdor Lieberman said recently: “We do not have a separate conflict with the Palestinians, and anyone who claims so, does not understand what he is talking about or is being deliberately misleading. Our conflict is with the entire Muslim world, with the entire Arab world.” U.S.-Israel criminal complicity in aggression is cowardly ignored by the international community. The old argument of “war for oil” propagated by Zionist pundits and academics is nothing more than false propaganda designed to deflect attention away from Israel.

Furthermore, Iran has never threatened or attacked the U.S., but the U.S. has intervened several times in Iran. In 1953, the U.S., Britain and Israel conspired and overthrew the democratically-elected government of Mohammad Mosaddegh (“Operation Ajax”). For two decades after, they provided full support to the brutal regime of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran who created the murderous SAVAK secret police. The U.S., Britain and Israel continue their terrorist attacks on Iran, using a combination of attacks or “hybrid war”, including sanctions, information war, assassination of Iranian scientists by Israeli Mossad terrorists (with help from the CIA and MI6 agents), manufactured provocation to inflame tensions, and criminal sabotage, including cyber-attacks on Iran’s IT infrastructure.

After unilaterally withdrawn from the Iran Deal, the U.S. regime under Donald Trump has flouted its obligations and it has imposed several rounds of illegal sanctions (economic warfare/economic terrorism) targeting the Iranian people. Indeed, by his own admission, Trump has acknowledged that the U.S. is engaged in economic war (terrorism) against the Iranian people for the last 40 years without bowing to U.S.-enforced terror. Economic terrorism is state-sponsored terrorism that aimed at bringing Iran’s “oil exports to zero”, and further strangling Iran’s economy, by denying Iran access to life-saving medicine and exacerbating Iranians with chronic diseases. Like it was in Iraq and now Syria, the sanctions were causing extreme suffering among ordinary Iranians. Basic medicines and medical equipments could not be purchased and imported into Iran by foreign aid agencies. While most Americans strongly oppose attacking Iran militarily, they remains oblivious to U.S.-led economic terrorism on Iran. As mentioned above, economic sanctions are criminal warfare. The economy that Iran and Syria use to feed and care for their children, their elderly and their sick. For example, the Syrian Ministry of Health is not allowed to purchase threads used by surgeons to sew open wounds in medical-surgical operations. But ISIS terrorist were allowed to export the oil they stole from Syrian oilfields through NATO member Turkey to Israel to finance their U.S.-Israel endorsed war on Syria. The U.S. is calling on other nations (U.S. vassal-state “allies”) to do the same or else, by threatened “secondary” sanctions – condemned by EU as illegal – against all who defy U.S. dictates.

Unfortunately, some European states, including Britain, France, Germany and even Russia – Iran’s unprincipled “ally” – are succumbing to U.S. pressure to cease all trade with Iran. These U.S. lapdogs who have not had the slightest courage to resist U.S-Israel pressure, unashamedly have the audacity to warn Iran – not the U.S. which violated the Deal – to refrain from any legitimate measures to enrich its uranium beyond the 3.67 percent level. Because of the inaction of the European regimes, Iran has begun a calibrated response – by increasing stockpiles of enriched uranium – to compel the remaining Iran Deal signatories – all of them rightly believed it was a good deal – to counter  the so-called U.S. “maximum pressure through sanctions” (U.S.-imposed economic terrorism), just as was Iran’s downing of a U.S. unmanned spying drone. According to Iran, the step is intended as a “remedial” measure to force the EU signatories of the Iran Deal to fulfil their commitments. It is Iran’s right because the signatories have not kept up their part of the Iran Deal.

It is important to remember, that with the same banality-of-evil mindset, the decade-long U.S.-enforced genocidal economic sanctions on the Iraqi people killed at least two million Iraqi civilians, the overwhelming majority of them were women and children. In flagrant violation of international law and civilised norms, the U.S. deliberately bombed and destroyed Iraq’s water and sewage treatment plants, with the aim of spreading infectious illnesses among the Iraqi population, especially among children and infants. When former U.S. Secretary of State, the Czechoslovakia-born Madeline Albright asked (by CBS 60 Minutes, Lesley Stahl) whether killing more than half-a-million Iraqi children under 5 year old – in which Albright was directly responsible – is “worth it”? Albright boasted, yes: “We think the price is worth it”. Albright was an ardent Zionist Jew and an Israel-firster – loyalty to Israel.  I cannot think of anything more sociopathic than this. It was a deliberately planned mass murder of innocent and defenceless population using economic sanctions of mass destruction, economic warfare. A study (Mueller & Mueller, 1999) shows that, the U.S.-enforced sanctions on Iraq have caused the unnecessary deaths of more people in Iraq than have been slain by all so-called weapons of mass destruction throughout history (Foreign Affairs, vol. 78 No. 3 1999). The U.S. and its vassal-state “allies” knew Iraq was a defenceless nation and lacked the military capacity to retaliate against much larger and well-armed forces of the U.S., Britain and several other allied armies. The U.S.-led military invasion and occupation of Iraq were murderous and barbaric destruction of defenceless population. The most noticeable features of the U.S.-led military invasion and occupation of Iraq, were premeditated torture, rape and mass murder of unarmed Iraqi civilians, including women and children. Today’s Iraq is ruled by a pro-U.S. sectarian dictatorship and remains under a destabilising U.S. military occupation. The once advanced nation lies in ruins and its environment is contaminated by “Depleted Uranium” (DU) with high level of nuclear radiation and dioxin. In hindsight, nations that find themselves targeted by the U.S. (e.g., Iran) should arm themselves with nuclear weapons as a deterrent.

In Europe, Europeans, including the political and media establishments know that the current U.S. aggressive threat and bullying against Iran is being pushed by the pro-Israel Jewish Lobby (the so-called “war Hawks”, a description designed to deflect attention away from Israel and its Zionist supporters) within the regime of Donald Trump. These “war Hawks”, including U.S. National Security Advisor, the Islamophobic Zionist thug John Bolton and Secretary of State, the ill-informed and self-described liar Mike Pompeo. Both, Bolton and Pompeo are “crazy for war”, and both are Israeli agents, paid for by the pro-Israel Jewish Lobby. Bolton who is handled by the world’s most recognised terrorist, Israel’s Benyamin Netanyahu, has a history of warmongering and lying to justify U.S.-Israel aggression in the Middle East. Indeed, both have publicly admitted that they are telling lies for “national security objectives”. In an interview with RT, Nathalie Tocci, a special advisor to the EU Policy Chief, Federica Mogherini, President Trump does not appear to be in control of his own policy on Iran and he should fire John Bolton. Donald Trump’s Iran policy is definitely a Zionist policy. “Unfortunately at the moment it seems to me that the U.S.’s Iran policy has a very clear author and that author is not the President of the United States”, but Israel’s servant, the Zionist John Bolton, said Tocci.

The main instigators of U.S. ongoing aggression against Iran are the Israeli regime and all powerful pro-Israel major Jewish organisations, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations (CoP). Together with the regime of Benyamin Netanyahu, they have lobbied and are urging U.S. Congress and the White House to use force (war of aggression) against Iran.

Moreover, the U.S. regime of Donald Trump – who is openly a racist Fascist, a supremacist buffoon and a corrupt conman, but no less violent criminal than his predecessors – is the most anti-Muslim and blindly pro-Israel racist regime in U.S. history. Trump’s entire foreign policy (U.S. foreign policy) is in the hands of a few wealthy Zionist Jews and the pro-Israel Jewish Lobby (see: here and here). In fact, pro-Israel Zionists controlled all branches of U.S. regime (past and present) and have the ears of Donald Trump. U.S. Congress is considering bills that will make criticism of Israel and Israel’s terror in Palestine a crime at the expense of First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It is reminiscent of the 1930s Anglo-American and French appeasement of Nazi Germany.

Furthermore, Trump is surrounded by Zionist Jews, including, Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner is ardent Zionist JewHis father Charles Kushner, an extremist Zionist and a federally convicted criminal. Jason Dov Greenblatt, another ardent Zionist Jew, is Trump’s lawyer and advisor on Israel and assistant for international negotiations and David Melech Friedman, a well-known Zionist Jew who is the U.S. Ambassador to Israel. Friedman is the son of a rabbi at Temple Hillel in North Woodmere, New York. All three espouse an extremist Zionist-Fascist ideology, advocate for Israel’s terror and apartheid in Palestine and support Israel’s’ colonisation of Palestine. And all three have invested in and contributed funds to Israel’s colonisation of Palestinian land.

There isn’t and there never has been a more Fascist and dangerous military alliance than the AngloZionist Fascist alliance led by the U.S., and Israel. Both, the U.S. and the Israeli regimes have openly claimed to be “exceptional” and with “supreme morality”. Indeed, both regimes espoused identical extremist religio-fascist ideologies – Christian Zionism and Judeofascism (here and here) – that despise Muslims and Islam. Moreover, the U.S. is holding the rest of the world accountable to its Nazi-like laws while flagrantly violating international laws.

The Israeli Fascist regime – many times worse than Nazi Germany – is the key driver of the U.S. war of aggression in the Middle East and is pushing the Trump regime to attack Iran. Mr Trump, who sounds like “dysfunctional” is being lead on a Jewish leash, receiving millions of dollars in “donations” from pro-Israel wealthy Zionists. For Trump’s unconditional service to Zionism and Israel, the Jewish extremist Sheldon Adelson gave $177 million to the Trump’s campaign and Republican causes in 2016-2018, making them his biggest donors by far and the largest donors in American politics today. More than half that money came in May 2018, just as the U.S. Embassy was moved to Jerusalem. Since becoming President, Trump has served Israel’s Zionist interests – not American – with distinction. Wealthy Zionists drive U.S. foreign policies and deliberately making them look “ill-conceived” and “incoherent”. Indeed, Trump is doing what the Israeli terrorist Benyamin Netanyahu telling him to do, with the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Palestinians becoming his two favourite scapegoats. Adelson owns Donald Trump and the entire clique of the U.S. regime from the Pentagon to the State Department. As Philip Giraldi, Director of the Council for the National Interest observes: “Adelson is the most despicable type of Israel-firster, barely concealing his singular loyalty to the “Jewish State”, Israel. He served in the U.S. Army in World War II, but has said that he is ashamed of that service and would have preferred to be in the Israeli Army”. In 2013, Adelson called on the last president, Barack Obama, to nuke Iran, rather than negotiate with Iran. He said: The United States should drop a nuclear bomb on Iran to spur the country to end its nuclear program”. Unlike Trump, Obama rightly ignored the criminal “advice” from Sheldon, Netanyahu and their Jewish ilk. Trump can’t ignore Adelson because Trump regards Adelson as his best hope for securing a second term as Occupant of the White House, and for keeping him safe. Trump service is to Israel not to the U.S. The so-called “Make America Great Again” slogan is an ugly nationalist illusion to muster the bewildered American herd. Trump have repeated Adelson’s criminal threat by threatened to “obliterate” 85 million Iranians (including 15,000 Jews who live safe and happy in Iran) with nuclear bombs, because the U.S. is incapable of defeating Iran militarily other than using prohibited and illegal weapons. Trump is being played by pro-Israel Zionists and anti-Iran Middle East despots in ways highly detrimental not only to U.S. interests but also to world’s peace.

We live under a brutal form of Fascism that has no equivalent in human history. There are no longer the rules of law and civilised norms. It is a barbaric, lawless, rogue, terrorising and distinctly global AngloZionist Fascism. The AngloZionist alliance led by the U.S., Israel and Britain. Together, they formed the “Troika of Evil”, Muslims’ most vicious and racist enemies. They are always on the look to provoke aggression, commit war crimes, and inflict greater human misery thousands of miles away from their own borders. AngloZionist Fascism is a Mafia-like criminal enterprise that targets any nation who refuses to kowtow to AngloZionist alliance dictates to exploit its natural resources. Using its monopoly power on the world’s financial system and trade it can impose a medieval siege (economic sanctions) on any prosperous nation and turn it into a miserable place. The Gaza territory in Palestine, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela and Iran are good examples. This AngloZionist alliance poses the greatest threat to world’s peace and humanity itself. After nearly 20 years of murderous war and occupation of defenceless Afghanistan, the U.S. regime still thirsty for more bloodshed. But according to Donald Trump, the U.S. is not fighting a war in Afghanistan. He said: “If we fight a war and win it, I could win that war in a week. But I don’t want to kill 10 million people”. Then he added: “Afghanistan could be wiped off the face of the Earth” for no meaningful reason.” Of course, Trump can “win” the war without the need to kill 10 million people by withdrawing U.S. forces form Afghanistan and stops interfering in Afghanistan’s affairs. From Afghanistan to Syria to Iraq and to Iran, the U.S. is at war all over the world, and the victims (in millions) of this ongoing war and terror are almost all non-white. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said recently, the U.S. is “the most warlike nation in the history of the world”. The U.S. is currently preparing for war not only against Iran and Venezuela but also against China and Russia. U.S. Special Forces deployed in more than 150 countries around the world where the U.S. has more than 1000 military bases. Moreover, in addition to Israel’s 400 nuclear warheads, the U.S. has more than 150 tactical nuclear weapons (WMD) stored at several locations in Europe that allow the U.S (and Israel) military to gain immediate control over the majority of the continent of Europe (and the Middle East), at any timeWith the largest arsenals of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in the world, the U.S.-led AngloZionist alliance is holding the whole world and humanity hostage.

While it is built on the same racist ideology of German Fascism, it is naïve and utterly misleading to compare U.S.-led AngloZionist global Fascism to the regional German Fascism. In German Fascism, the degree of totalitarian controls and war crimes (confined to Europe) have always been wildly exaggerated and used as a political tool – by Zionists and their pro-Israel supporters – to justify today’s more barbaric Israel’s Judeofascism in Palestine. The exaggeration of Nazi Germany crimes is designed to demonise Germany and allows Israel to extract billions of dollars in “reparation”. With its human face manufactured and promoted by state-funded “humanitarian” NGOs and the “legitimacy” (rubberstamp) of the UN and its agencies, today’s AngloZionist Fascism is normalised and legitimised. It is sugar-coated with Hollywood’s brainwashing (indoctrinating) propaganda and celebrity news destroying the ability of people to think critically. It is masquerading as “democracy” and is called by different names depending on the perspective of different parties, such as: “Democrats”, “Republicans”, “Labour”, “Socialist”, “Conservative”, “Liberal”, etc. etc. In the 1930s and early 1940s, there were opposition and political dissidents to German Fascism in Germany and in Europe at large. Today, there is almost no (zilch) resistance and opposition to AngloZionist Fascism because its aggression and war crimes committed against non-white. We live under Orwellian police state coupled with intrusive police power and a reign of mass surveillance. As Hannah Arendt noted in Elements and Origins of Totalitarian Rule (1951): “Never has our future been more unpredictable, never have we depended so much on political forces that cannot be trusted to follow the rules of common sense and self-interest – forces that look like sheer insanity, if judged by standards of other [more civilised] countries”. The rise in neo-Nazi extremism – the neo-Nazi groups and parties are funded by Israel and pro-Israel Zionists – in Europe and North America has nothing to do with Nazi Germany and much to do with today’s anti-Muslim AngloZionist Fascism. It is an obfuscation of reality to manipulate the public.

Unlike Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, U.S.-led AngloZionist Fascism has a near monopoly on a superb global propaganda system dominated by fake news and pro-Western propaganda. In addition to mass media corporations, including major global TV channels, and major newspapers, Zionists have a complete control over the Internet. The “Social Media” giants – Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc. – has a direct control over people thinking and focused at promoting AngloZionist Fascism aggression.  The primary aim is to keep the masses on board (brainwashed) with the agendas of the ruling (AngloZionist) class thereby diverting people attention away from questioning the repressive political system under which they live and work. And with complete control of the world’s financial and economic systems, any nation that refuses to submit to AngloZionist diktats will suffer the criminal consequences of genocidal sanctions of economic terrorism. With the largest arsenal of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, biological and chemical weapons) and armed forces, the U.S.-led AngloZionist regimes exert complete monopolies on armed aggression, human rights abuses and terrorism around the world. Iran is a nation under AngloZionist terror attacks.

Terrorism is no longer a covert U.S. action. By their own admissions, the U.S. political and media establishments have acknowledged that the “U.S. government is the world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism”. The U.S. regime is also the world’s biggest destabilising force. The U.S. “closest allies”, Israel and Saudi Arabia – two of Middle East most brutal monsters – come second and third respectively. Together, they recruit, arm, finance, advice and protect every major international terrorists group and entity, including the world’s largest terror organisations, al-Qaeda, ISIS, al-Nusra Front and their associated terrorists. They are used around the world, from Afghanistan to Syria and to Iraq and Iran. The U.S. regime has publicly admitted that it sponsors terrorist groups operating within Iran, and has repeatedly threatened to topple the legitimate Iranian government by military aggression. The U.S. and its allies used terrorism cleverly as a political tool, a useful pretext to attack and invade other nations. Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya were attacked, invaded and left in ruin by the U.S. after the U.S. falsely accused these three nations of supporting and “harbouring” terrorists. All three nations were defenceless and lacked the military capacity to retaliate. In contrast, Iran is not defenceless and the U.S. and Israel know that. It is the reason the U.S. and Israel acquired nuclear weapons and threatened other nations not to acquire such weapons.

Using the racist colonialist ideology/theory of “exceptionalism” – exceptional in racism, mass murder and inflicting endless misery –, the U.S. regime justifies interfering in the affairs of every nation, regardless of political, cultural and religious practices. To be chosen is to see oneself as an exceptional creation. It entails blindness to otherness. It is a form of impunity. To be chosen often involves a near or total lack of empathy. Such lack is often defined in terms of acute narcissism and psychopathy,” writes British author Gilad Atzmon. One needs only visit the U.S. to see what an exceptional shithole it is. Furthermore, many U.S. “allies”, including Israel, Britain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Ukraine, Colombia, Kuwait, Honduras, Peru, and Qatar, among others are the world’s most brutal and barbaric regimes. In fact, every murderous dictator in the world today can count on U.S. support. One has to look at the recent event in Egypt to see the brutality of U.S. vassal-state “allies”. The premeditated murder of Egypt’s only elected President Muhammed Mursi in a Cairo’s courtroom cage this week and the 3,185 extrajudicial killings by the current Egypt’s dictator for life is a case in point. The heinous crime was welcomed with deafening silence by democracy-loving and peace-loving U.S. and European regimes and their Zionist media.

The U.S. presence in the region poses the greatest threat to all nations and is a destabilising factor designed to drive a wedge between the countries of the region and protect Israel and its Zionist expansion. Iran has consistently stated that it is prepared to enter into negotiation with the U.S., but only after a full lifting of U.S.-imposes sanctions on the Iranian people. Iran also offered conditions under which it would continue to comply with the JCPOA’s terms. (Joshua Cho, FAIR, 21/06/2019). The Iranians also made it clear that they won’t negotiate with the Trump’s regime at gun point.

The onus is on the U.S. and the European states to abide by the Deal. Iran is prepared to negotiate a peaceful resolution and has called on the U.S. to lift the sanctions and for all parties to respect the Deal signed in 2015 and for trade and diplomatic relations to be normalized, as mandated by the UN-endorsed accord.

Finally, the Islamic Republic of Iran has the legal rights to defend its people and its national sovereignty – including its airspace – from all forms of aggression. The U.S. has no legal claim of self-defence that would justify a military aggression against Iran. The U.S. is acting against Americans’ interests. American men and women do not have to die defending Israel’s terror and dispossession of the Palestinian people who are legally resisting Israel’s occupation of their homeland.

If Americans care about peace and humanity, they should rise up against their government’s menace to peace and humanity. They should demand that their government abandon its ongoing aggressive wars, and instead strive to promote harmonious cooperation not hostility and peace rather than war. The U.S. should learn the art of peaceful coexistence in a world that is very tired of its illegal and unjustifiable wars of aggression, wanton destruction and unnecessary human suffering.

Ghali Hassan is an independent researcher and analyst. He lives in Australia.

Israel has no plans for peace w/ Palestinians

Israel has no plans for peace

Demolition of Palestinian homes seen as land grab designed to annex parts of the West Bank

A Palestinian building is blown up by Israeli forces in the village of Sur Baher which sits on either side of the Israeli barrier in East Jerusalem and the Israeli-occupied West Bank on July 22, 2019.Image Credit: Reuters

Whatever plans their cheerleaders in the US are touting, the Israelis have no interest in forging a just and lasting peace with the Palestinians. This was amply demonstrated last week when they blew up residential buildings belonging to Palestinians in East Jerusalem. The demolitions have rendered hundreds of Palestinians homeless and on the way to becoming refugees. The apartment buildings were built in the Wadi Al Hummus neighbourhood of Sur Baher, an Arab enclave located almost entirely in East Jerusalem. Palestinians have termed the latest assault as ‘a land grab designed to annex parts of the West Bank, including building Israeli colonies.’

The Israelis tried to fabricate excuses claiming that these buildings were too close to a 30-foot high-security wall that Israel has been steadily building on Palestinian lands in violation of all international laws. Patterned after the fall of the Nazis, this wall is more diabolical than the Berlin Wall as it cuts right through Palestinian land and fields and crowds the Palestinians into tight enclaves that are surrounded by armed Israeli troops.

Like the Gaza Strip which has become the world’s biggest concentration camp with countless tales of murder and abuse by the Israelis, this latest excursion by the Netanyahu government is yet another sign that it is not peace that Israel is interested in but more land for its overseas attracted colonists brought in to displace the rightful owners of the land.

The destruction of Palestinian homes can only be classified as ethnic cleansing and a crime against humanity that cannot be tolerated.

– Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian president

Netanyahu, it must be reminded, was mentored by no other than Ariel Sharon, the former prime minister of Israel who was credited with sanctioning the massacres of civilians in Sabra and Shatila back in 1982 when more than 3,500 defenceless people were butchered by the phalanges.

Sharon’s vicious words

In a recorded interview many years back, Sharon noted: “I don’t know something called International Principles. I vow that I’ll burn every Palestinian child [that] will be born in this area. The Palestinian woman and child is more dangerous than the man because the Palestinian child’s existence infers that generations will go on, but the man causes limited danger. I vow that if I was just an Israeli civilian and I met a Palestinian I would burn him and I would make him suffer before killing him. With one hit I’ve killed 750 Palestinians in Rafah in 1956.”

This is the principle that the current Israeli government is following. It is not a portent of peace but one of raining humiliation on the Palestinians. And it has been going on for several decades now.

Following this latest transgression, Saudi Arabia in no uncertain terms criticised Israel’s demolition of Palestinian Arab homes in eastern Jerusalem, and urged world powers to stop this criminal aggression.

In an official statement, the government “strongly condemned and denounced authorities of the Israeli occupation for the demolition of dozens of houses in East Jerusalem. It has also called on the international community to intervene to stop this aggression and dangerous escalation that targets Palestinians.”


The Palestinian National Authority condemned the demolition as well and accused Israel of carrying out a massacre. It called on the international community “to intervene immediately and bring an end to Israeli aggression.”

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, said that “the destruction of Palestinian homes can only be classified as ethnic cleansing and a crime against humanity that cannot be tolerated.”

Kuwait, Indonesia, and South Africa quickly penned a draft to the 15-member Security Council on Tuesday that “expressed grave concern and warned that the demolition undermines the viability of the two-state solution and the prospect for just and lasting peace”. Unfortunately, the US blocked the attempt by Kuwait and the others to get the United Nations Security Council to censure Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes on the outskirts of Jerusalem, according to insiders.

For a country that has reportedly been working on a peace plan, the US has indeed failed to surprise again by shielding Israel from any form of rebuke for repeated violations and crimes against humanity. It is why Trump’s peace plan is not expected to move forward since it is biased heavily in Israel’s favour and does not recognise the right of Palestinians to their homelands.

Israel is on course to becoming a full apartheid state, and the presence of Palestinians within does not go along with this doctrine. Thus, the bombings and demolition are expected to continue. Unless the world acts now, the poor Palestinians are going to suffer more.

Tariq A. Al Maeena is a Saudi socio-political commentator. He lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Twitter: @talmaeena

Were Chinese Tourists Taking Photos of New US Palawan Naval Site?

US NAVY Begins Construction of New Base On Palawan Island, Philippines

Carpio: AFP must probe Chinese tourists taking photos of Palawan naval site

Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio. INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, Philippines — Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said the military should look into the case of two Chinese tourists who were reportedly caught taking pictures of a naval facility in Palawan.

The incident reportedly happened at the Tide Pole naval facility in Parola, Puerto Princesa City.

Asked if the incident should be a cause of concern, Carpio said it should be investigated to verify the identity of the persons involved.

“Our military should conduct an investigation. We don’t know whether they are just tourists or just interested in taking pictures or whether they are spies,” Carpio said during the fellowship meeting of the Philippine Bar Association in Makati City.

Carpio, however, noted that China’s satellites can “easily get layout of our bases” through their satellite imaging.

“But I think China can easily get layout of our bases through their satellites. They don’t have to send those tourists to take pictures,” Carpio said.

The alleged incident happened at the height of issues facing China and the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea.


American Medical Dictatorship Thrives, While Untreated Pain Patients Seek Help From Drug Dealers, Risking Fentanyl Overdose


The number of opioid prescriptions by year (source: CDC) Between 2012-2017 there was a ~30% reduction in opioid prescriptions while during that same time period…

…deaths from any opioid more than doubled. Nice going.


[Since When Does Government Write Prescriptions?]

Florida Officials Successfully Withheld Pain Meds From Surgical Patients. Aren’t They Special?


Let’s congratulate the state of Florida. In its infinite wisdom, the state has jumped into the scrum of the “who can be tougher on drugs” match that is playing out all across America at the expense of pain patients, past, present, and future (1).

Could there be a better way to celebrate than by taking apart another crap study? Didn’t think so.

This one is called “Opioid prescriptions for acute pain after outpatient surgery at a large public university-affiliated hospital: Impact of state legislation in Florida” and was published online last month by a group of surgeons at the University of Miami Medical School. It’s a real beaut. Let’s take it apart…

“In response to the growing opioid crisis, Florida recently implemented a law restricting the duration of opioid prescriptions for acute pain.”

Aside from the fact that opioid use by pain patients (especially short-term) played approximately zero part in the fentanyl epidemic, this statement is fundamentally sound.

“Little is known about the impact of such legislation on opioid prescription practices at the time of discharge after surgery.”

Well, that’s not really true, is it? Plenty is known. Like this…

“The objective of this study was to determine whether Florida’s new legislation changed opioid prescription practices for analgesia after surgery.”

Let me get this straight. This is a study to determine whether fewer post-surgical opioid prescriptions were written after a law was passed limiting opioid prescriptions? Duh?


“The proportion of patients receiving opioid prescriptions for longer than a 3-day supply decreased by 68% [after the law passed].”

How can we explain this marked decrease? Here is a section from Florida’s new law, HB 21 Section 456.44 – Controlled Substance Prescribing:

“HB 21 provides that a prescription for a Schedule II opioid for the treatment of acute pain may not exceed a three-day supply.” (2)

Not only does a law that prohibits prescriptions for more than three days decrease the number of prescriptions for more than three days, but it does so by 68%!


Everything I’ve discussed about the U Miami study so far has been merely stupid. But then it gets irresponsible…

“We observed no change in the number of postoperative emergency department visits before and after implementation of the law.”

This statement is one gigantic problem (3). Taken at face value it tells us that everything is fine and dandy – that strict restriction of post-operative opioid scripts has no adverse impact on patients, something that will no doubt be reported by the press. But here’s what it doesn’t address:

  • Was there an assessment of post-operative pain?
  • Were patients comfortable when the drugs ran out?
  • Or did the law merely result in patient suffering?
  • Did the law result in an increase in time of recuperation or in secondary complications?
  • Is the number of emergency department visits an accurate proxy of patient pain? It is now common knowledge that you are just about as likely get opioids in an emergency department as at a Dairy Queen.
  • Was there an increased use of NSAIDs after day 3?
  • If so, was there an increase in adverse events due to the NSAIDs?
  • Were there additional emergency room visits or hospital admissions for acetaminophen (Tylenol) poisoning?
  • When, exactly, did it become acceptable for governments to tell doctors how to do their jobs?


“The legislation should significantly decrease the amount of unused opioid pills potentially available for diversion and abuse.”

…and significantly increase the number of deaths from street fentanyl, as the two graphs above clearly demonstrate.


“Secondary effects from the enactment of this law remain to be evaluated.”

Don’t hold your breath. This study will never be done, and the off-chance it is, it will never see the light of day if the results support anything other than the party line. Do you honestly think that any ideologically-driven academician or opportunistic politician is going to admit that there any downside to a law imposing mandatory limits on anything opioid-related?

No way.

 “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”

Mark Twain

Or, if you don’t like Twain, try Orwell…

“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”

George Orwell


(1) It is only a matter of time until any of us, our families, or our friends are going to require pain medication and be denied what they need. Given today’s climate of bullying and hysteria, this is inevitable. We are all one illness or accident from being in the same sinking ship that is already overloaded with millions of Americans. One can only hope that the Florida Legislature suffers a massive, collective kidney stone first. And let’s save one for Governor Rick Scott, who signed this atrocity into law in early 2018.

(2) HB 21 provides exceptions where a seven-day supply is permitted but only if certain conditions are met. And these conditions are determined by the prescribing physicians, who are themselves under pressure to stop prescribing. Fox. Henhouse.

(3) Thanks to former ACSH advisor Dr. Jack Fisher, a retired surgeon, for bringing this to our attention.