#96 – 90 Years Later, War is Still a Racket

In the 1930’s, Smedley D. Butler, a retired United States Marine Corps Major General and two-time Medal of Honor recipient, made a nationwide tour giving his speech War is a Racket. In 1935 he published the book War is a Racket. Butler points out how industrialists, subsidized by public funding, can generate substantial profits, making money from mass human suffering.  

In a September 13, 2021 paper entitled, Profits of War: Corporate Beneficiaries of the Post-9/11 Pentagon Spending Surge, William D. Hartung examines Pentagon spending that has benefited weapon makers, logistics firms, private security contractors, and other corporate interests. His paper echos the same conclusion that Smedley Butler made almost 100 years ago. 

Hartung points out that the financial benefits from a war economy include much more than just the weapons industry. Although one-quarter to one-third of all Pentagon contracts in recent years have gone to just five weapons contractors: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman, there has been an abundance of booty to be had.

Heidi Peltier reported that roughly half of the Pentagon 2019 budget went to military contractors. These funds were both for war-related and ongoing peacetime activities. The FY2020 indicates, the spending for these contractors grew to $420 billion. It includes logistics and reconstruction firms like Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR), Bechtel, and armed private security contractors like Blackwater and Dyncorp. 

The Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan estimated that waste, fraud, and abuse in the two war zones as of 2011 had totaled $31 billion to $60 billion. Taking advantage of the less rigorous oversight under wartime conditions is what is called war profiteering. The war industries are guilty of overcharging, shoddy construction, and outright theft by contractors. 

Overcharging violations in 2004, KBR refunded the U.S. $27.4 million for potential over-billings at dining facilities in Iraq and Kuwait. Shoddy work has had tragic human consequences, like the electrocution of at least eighteen military personnel in several bases in Iraq due to faulty electrical installations and lack of grounding. 

The list goes on; $43 million on a never used gas station, another $150 million on lavish living quarters for U.S. economic advisors, and $3 million for patrol boats for the Afghan police that were also never used.

A Congressional investigation found that a significant portion of $2 billion worth of transportation contracts to U.S. and Afghan firms ended with kickbacks to warlords, police officials, or payments to the Taliban. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has stated that a source of funding for the Taliban was the protection money paid from U.S. transportation contracts.

The use of private contractors reduces transparency and accountability in war zones, accompanied by disastrous results. In 2011 contractors represented more than half of the U.S. presence in the contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, at times employing more than a quarter-million people.

A 2017 analysis by Brown University’s Costs of War project documented abysmal labor conditions and human rights abuses inflicted on foreign nationals working on U.S.-funded projects in Afghanistan. Including false imprisonment, theft of wages, and deaths and injuries in areas of conflict.

Activities of private contractors like Blackwater and its 2007 massacre of 17 people in Baghdad’s Nisour Square have occurred. Contractors like Titan and CACI International firms involved in the interrogation of Iraqi prisoners. Their activities included interrogators and translators on the ground at Abu Ghraib, the Iraqi prison where inmates were tortured.

Failures like DynCorp, a primary contractor to train and develop the Afghan police force between 2002 and 2017, are rewarded instead of terminated. By 2009, over half of DynCorp’s revenues were coming from the Iraq and Afghan wars. The same company paid $1.5 million to settle fraud allegations for a scheme in that DynCorp officials received kickbacks from subcontractors. The same company agreed to pay the U.S. $7 million to settle a lawsuit for submitting inflated charges.

Smedley Butler wrote: ”War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war, a few people make huge fortunes.”

The ultimate solution for stopping war profiteering is stopping war. Until then, slash the Department of Defense budget and change the U.S. foreign policy. Prioritizes real diplomacy, not gunboat diplomacy.

#95 – American Tune

“Many’s the time I’ve been mistaken”

In August 2021, after a bomb was detonated at the Kabul airport, killing thirteen Marines, President Biden declared that he would seek revenge. The terrorist attack was to goad the U.S. government to overreact, which it did. Three days later, a drone strike on August 29, 2021, incinerated Zemari Ahmadi’s entire family. 

Zemari Ahmadi, was a family man. He had a wife and seven children. He was working diligently to obtain refugee visas to the United States. Zemari Ahmadi was a U.S. aid worker, an electrical engineer by training, worked for a California-based NGO, Nutrition and Education International. Who would believe that carrying water and transporting colleagues around town in a white Toyota Corolla would be a death sentence?

“And many times confused”

Revenge justice became an injustice for Ahmadi and his family. While the Pentagon believed that the target was behaving suspiciously, in fact, he was going about an ordinary day of running errands. Security camera footage of Ahmadi moving about with colleagues, holding laptops and empty plastic water containers. The Pentagon interpreted the water bottles and laptops as evidence of an imminent terrorist attack. 

In press conferences after the strike, officials maintained that a large secondary explosion showed that the car contained bombs. They surmised that the non-existing bombs were to be used to disrupt the evacuations underway at Kabul airport. However, independent weapons experts enlisted to assess the damage at the scene found no evidence of a secondary blast. They found no damage to peripheral structures and no indication that the destruction of the car and the deaths of ten human beings resulted from the missile of a U.S. drone, only.

“Yes, and I’ve often felt forsaken”

During the Vietnam War, hatred and fear of communism led U.S. government administrators to devise immoral programs such as Phoenix, which resulted in widespread civilian carnage. In the 1970s, the Church Committee and the Pike Committee reined in the CIA and the Pentagon. A moratorium was put on assassination by President Ford in 1976 through Executive Order 11905. However, in response to the events of September 11, 2001, the Global War on Terror ended the moratorium on assassinations. 

After the events of September 11, 2001, the U.S. government launched a War on Terrorism. Under the Geneva Convention, it was illegal for a soldier to execute an unarmed enemy soldier point-blank. In the Drone Age, it is perfectly permissible for an operator located thousands of miles away from a “battlefield” devoid of allied soldiers to push a button and eliminate a suspected enemy combatant, along with anyone who happens to be around him at the time.

And certainly misused

The drone program assumes that it is perfectly acceptable to execute anyone anywhere based on purely circumstantial evidence. In addition to cellphone SIM card data, drone video footage and the testimony of bribed informants on the ground are also used to add names to hit lists. “Crowd killing,” entire groups of men of unknown identity have been eliminated under the assumption of guilt by association.

Politicians and the populace have been “tricked” into believing that a soldier located in a trailer in Nevada could kill a person without being provided the right to surrender or be allowed to prove that he was not a terrorist. Many of those executed were unarmed, innocent, women, and children. 

U.S. taxpayers funded this large-scale program of mass murder. Yet this killing was ignored by most citizens, in large part because the mainstream media outlets choose not to discuss the matter, deferring to the Pentagon pretext of national self-defense. Their truth is corrupt as military bureaucrats convinced the populace that was doing nothing wrong, even when, under the guise of national defense, they killed scores of human beings at gatherings such as funerals and weddings. Hell, they have even bombed hospitals.

These premeditated executions, formerly known as assassination and considered illegal under international law, were rebranded as targeted killing and embraced as a new standard operating procedure of was billed as “smart” war. Remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) or lethal drones was good news for politicians who promoted the drone program without thinking about the consequences for the people on the ground. Lethal drones made it possible for war without the troops risking their lives without boots on the ground. 

“Oh, but I’m alright, I’m all right”

Daniel Hale, who worked in the drone assassination program in Afghanistan he stole and shared top-secret documents. “The Drone Papers,” were published online by Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept and later in his book, “The Assassination Complex.” The documents reveal; little analysis is giving to ensure the safety of innocent civilians, that the people killed were of entirely unknown identity, the targets were considered guilty without any ability to prove themself innocent. 

I’m just weary to my bones

For whistleblowing, Hale will spend 45 months in prison for violating the Espionage Act. His defense, “I believe that it is wrong to kill, but it is especially wrong to kill the defenseless.” He went on to say that he felt a need to share what “was necessary to dispel the lie that drone warfare keeps us safe, that our lives are worth more than theirs.”

*Sub titles taken from Paul Simon’s lyricsAmerican Tune

#94 Mandate – What Can We Do?

A plan to force all federal workers to get the COVID-19 jab mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for others, weekly tests, and crippling fines for those who don’t comply. President Biden assures us that “this is not about freedom or personal choice.” No, at issue is power.

Biden’s order is a usurpation of executive power. Hell, human freedoms and rights are only secondary issues. People are angry that one man has the power to make health decisions for them regardless of their ability to make rational judgments concerning their own body, medical history, and overall health.

It is personal when a needle, filled with liquid, is forced into the arms of reluctant people: people that may have; natural immunities; never opted for a flu shot; no fear of exposure to the pathogen; concerns about being part of an experiment; or any other reason. People get mad, especially after they are still forced into masks and denied other essential rights.

The mandate presumes that everyone is equally susceptible to severe outcomes from getting exposed to the virus. We have known this is not true since at least February 2020. However, there has been little information about the range of demographic gradients in infection. Age and overall health are the most susceptible gradient.

Scientists for hundreds of years have worked to understand pathogens. Their effect on the body, the range of susceptibility to both infection and severe outcomes, the demographics of vulnerability, how we become protected from them, and the opportunities and limits available to people to protect themselves and others.

The Biden mandate pretends that the only immunity is the vaccine, not natural. Natural immunity is long-lasting and broader. Science, for centuries, has been telling us this. Why have we not been inundated with this tidbit of science?

Biden appears to believe that vaccines stop the infection and spread. He has claimed this many times, with certainty that this is not the case. The CDC admits it. The best guess at this point is that it can help in preventing hospitalization and death. However, currently, statistics indicate that most cases in the developed world are occurring among the vaccinated.

The vaccine may provide more protection for those with natural immunity. However, the vaccine is new and untested relative to most drugs approved by regulators. This vaccine was approved much faster than any drug in our lifetime. People are concerned about possible side effects. There is no one in a position to say with certainty that the skeptics are wrong.

Modern society has, until now, focused on protecting human freedom, individual rights, and public health while preserving peace and prosperity. However, in the last 18 months, this work and knowledge have been shredded, replaced by superstition masquerading as some new science of social and pathogenic control.

One year ago, we had the opportunity to embrace the wisdom of the Great Barrington Declaration to protect the vulnerable while letting society otherwise function. This proclamation was censored and ignored. Instead, travel restrictions, capacity limits, business closures, school shutdowns, mask mandates, forced human separation (“social distancing”), and vaccinations have produced no successes.

In his July 4th, 1776 Declaration of Independence, Jefferson proclaims that the citizens of the United States have certain unalienable rights. He lists Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Biden’s mandate violates the truths that Jefferson described as being self-evident.

Jefferson proclaimed, “to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” He is clear that there are consequences for a dereliction to uphold this responsibility. “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.”

Today’s governments have attempted to demonstrate to the world that they are powerful enough, smart enough, educated enough to outsmart and manage any living organism, even an invisible one that has been here amongst us since humans existed. They have failed. What can we do?

Much of this blog is the work of Jeffrey Tucker. (link below)

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2021/september/10/science-denied-the-biden-vaccine-mandate/

#93 – New Herd Immunity ?

Democracy Unchained

Alexis de Tocqueville was a French aristocrat and the author of a book that every American should read. Democracy in America was the result of his work for the French government. In 1831 he was sent to the U.S. to inspect the prison systems, but he used his nine-month trip to study all aspects of American life. His study became the first volume in 1835 and the second volume five years later, in 1840.

Tocqueville’s genius was in his ability to recognize the inherent dangers of American democratic tendencies. He accepted American democracy but was skeptical of what this modern democratic nation-state may become. Tocqueville’s study in America’s social science examines the virtues of democracy and its vices.  

Tyranny of the Majority

Of particular concern is what Tocqueville calls the “tyranny of the majority.” In a democracy, the majority tends to suppress the interests and opinions of the minority. In effect, the tyranny of the majority tramples on the rights and interests of the minority. 

Tocqueville worried about the potential of such a sinister tyranny when exercised over thoughts and opinions. Tocqueville points at political correctness as an example of this danger. He warns that those that protest will be isolated and afraid to speak or think because of the influence of the majority. 

Today, social issues dominate the ether. Activists, usually university-educated with an unhealthy focus on equality, have seized control of the airwaves. With dreams of racial justice and agendas related to race, gender, sexuality, and a host of other issues, cancel criticism and levy personal attacks on the infidel.

This social outcasting has dismantled individual opinion and choice. Any divergence from groupthink becomes intolerable as all substance in dissent is lost. The result is that vetted politically acceptable thought becomes shallow, simplistic dogmas.  

Love of Equality

Tocqueville argues that in a democratic country, the love of equality becomes a passion that tends to override the love of liberty. The more equal and alike men become, the more they are bothered by inequalities the equality of opportunity becomes extinct.

The love of equality is so strong that men will readily sacrifice their freedom to achieve it. As Tocqueville puts it, democracy awakens “a depraved taste for equality in the human heart … that reduces men to preferring equality in servitude to inequality in freedom.” With this, Tocqueville predicted that the ardent love of equality leads to socialism and the rise of a new despotism.

A New Despotism

Tocqueville describes this new type of despotism as “an innumerable crowd of like and equal men procuring the small and vulgar pleasures with which they fill their souls. An immense tutelary power takes charge of assuring their enjoyments and watching over their fate. An absolute paternal power motivated not to prepare men for manhood, but on the contrary in childhood.” 

This power seeks to keep the crowd fixed irrevocably. The power promoted its citizens to enjoy themselves provided that they think only of enjoying themselves. So, this power willingly works for their happiness and wants to be the unique agent and sole judge. It will provide for their security, foresees and secures their needs, facilitates their pleasures, conducts their principal affairs, directs their industry, regulates their estates, divides their inheritances. It medicates its constituents from the trouble of thinking and the pain of living.

Government expansion and dominance prevail to monitor and enforce equality and fairness within social society. This legislation creates a government leveling system. These laws and regulations bring about an equality of conditions that makes ideas and opinions more uniform. Tocqueville calls it tyranny because an expansive, irresistible government is not in the citizen’s best interest. 

The governmental bureaucrats understand the relationship between irresistible paternal government and the vulnerable public. When opportunities arise, they have to be ready and able to comfort the insecurities of the masses. All it takes is action and good marketing. John Madden described this reaction, “It does not matter if the horses are blind just load up the wagons.” Although cavalier, I find this procedure lacking critical thought. 

New Herd Immunity Conformity

When unknown or threatening occurrences appear, many of us submit to a primal natural human instinct, herding. Thus a shepherd is needed to influence the herd. The role of government, as a shepherd, is what Tocqueville calls tutelary power. When people feel insecure, they abdicate freedom for safety, a mass abdication of responsibility to authority occurs. 

Too little herding becomes anarchism, while excessive herding is totalitarianism. The gatekeepers of society must keep their flock within the submissive boundaries without applying excessive force. Covid impingements and the vaccine issue have become the barometer to measure where that boundary is. 

Erich Fromm described automaton conformity as changing one’s ideal self to conform to a perception of society’s preferred type of personality, losing one’s true self in the process. He goes on to describe this process. ‘Most people are not aware of their need to conform. They live under the illusion that they follow their ideas and inclinations, that they are individualists. That they have arrived at their opinions as to the result of their thinking – and that it just happens that their ideas are the same as those of the majority.’

Henry David Thoreau prescribed individualism as, “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however, measured or far away.” Thoreau insists that mavericks need space to dance; they dance to a different tune. Reckless conformists hear only one note mavericks hear the whole range. 

#92 – Mandatory Vaccines – Science or Dogma?

Mandatory Vaccines – Science or Dogma?

Scientists investigate the structure and laws of natural phenomena and conduct research and advance knowledge. Science is ideally open-minded and uses an open-ended process to test theories continually and updated them based on evidence and logical thinking about empirical observations. 

Scientists are willing to revise their beliefs when confronted with evidence. Science is a rough-and-tumble process of hypothesizing, public testing, attempted replication, theory formation, dissent and rebuttal, refutation, revision, and confirmation. It’s an unending process, as it obviously must be. 

Today select scientists are exalted into a position of being an expert not just in their field of study but in other areas beyond their expertise. Often, these men and women achieved their positions not solely on merit but through a political process; appointments to a government agency, awarded prestigious grants, etc. Some scientists win the adoration of the progressive intelligentsia because their views align easily with a particular policy agenda.

When medical scientists advised a lockdown of economic activity because of the pandemic, they were not speaking as scientists but as moralists in scientists’ clothing. What are their special qualifications for that role? Did these scientists understand the consequences of a lockdown–psychological, domestic, social, economic, for the diverse individual human beings who would be subject to the policy?

Scientism

Giving our assent to claims based on mere authority or assertions of “settled science” leaves us vulnerable to the dangers of scientism. For many people, science has become associated with a particular worldview. It is often maintained and defended like religion. We are led to believe that the political agenda is science. Scientism has justified some of the worst horrors in human history. Skepticism is the hallmark of genuine science and should be our guide.

Scientism is undermining the credibility of science itself. Merriam-Webster defines scientism as “an exaggerated trust in the efficacy of the methods of natural science applied to all areas of investigation (as in philosophy, the social sciences, and the humanities).” Scientism takes science to be the only means of answering questions concerning human behavior and motivation.

Humans are radically different from animals or other natural phenomena. They have minds, consciousness, self-awareness, and most importantly, free will, the ability to act spontaneously and unpredictably. None of these attributes have yet been explained solely through science, and their existence still keeps humans and their behaviors a mystery. While social scientists discover patterns of behavior to hold under certain circumstances, there will always be exceptions that defy the norm.

Disasters of Scientism

Scientism has been historically disastrous. For example, Marxism did not present itself as a philosophical theory but as the science of history, comprising predictable, objective laws of economic and political development equivalent to the laws of biology and physics. The truth is that Marxism is more of a pseudo-religion, which explains why many today still cling to some of its tenets in the face of the overwhelming evidence of its bloody failure evident in the 100 million people killed in vain in its name.

The eugenics movement of the early twentieth century created social and economic policies justified by “race science.” A division of humanity into superior and inferior races based on Darwinian theories about the natural selection of species based on their fitness for survival. Armed with the authority of Darwin, eugenicists categorized people based on superficial and often arbitrary qualities deemed “unfit” for survival. If allowed to reproduce or intermarry with superior races, the inferior races would swamp the more civilized and advanced white ones. The scientism crowd applied irrational bigotry to objective science.

For the first three decades of the twentieth century, eugenics was a “settled science,” and adherence to its theories was a sign of intellectual sophistication and superiority. Professors and esteemed scholars from the nation’s most prestigious universities published eugenics research and started academic programs teaching this new “science.” Mainstream media, newspapers, and magazines popularized this research. States passed forced sterilization laws, as New Jersey did under Governor Woodrow Wilson in 1911. The federal government passed two immigration restriction acts in response to fears of racial and ethnic pollution from Chinese, Slavs, Poles, and Southern Italians. 

With little genuine scientific evidence, eugenics and race science shaped decades of federal and state government policy. Resulting in a policy of illiberal and cruel policies. Programs of forced sterilization, racial and ethnic exclusion, and institutionalization of those deemed “unfit.” It took the horrors of the Holocaust, which followed these theories to their logical conclusion, to discredit eugenics and relegate it to the long catalog of other pseudo-sciences like phrenology, mesmerism, and alchemy.

Telescopic

There is an important parallel with the story of Galileo, who invited his contemporaries to look through his telescope. The Aristotelians and Church dignitaries refused to do so, as they had already decided that they knew the truth and didn’t want their worldview undermined. Dogmatic materialists refuse to consider and dismissed, out of hand, any evidence that contradicts their beliefs.

Most people are unqualified to judge most scientific conclusions. So we all need to rely on scientific and medical authorities, not in the sense of power but the sense of expertise and reputation. They are not qualified to live the lives of others. Medical experts saying, “Vaccine X is generally safe and effective” is different than saying “Vaccination should be mandatory.” Individual risks taken or avoided are not for science to determine. 

John Stuart Mill believed even dissenters with demonstrably wrong views could have information of relevance. To our peril, do we shut people up, cancel them or shout them down as heretics. That’s dogma, not science. We must have the courage to look through the telescope of others because that’s science.

#91 Landlords in a Rent-Seeking Scam

CongressModern Day Kings and Queens

History reveals that political rulers are as good as their ability to distribute gifts, booty, and other material rewards to their most valuable and loyal servants. Powerful men and women doled out titles of nobility, lands to faithful servants, and bureaucratic offices with hefty salaries to trusted advisors. Loyalty and assistance to the rich and powerful often come with many financial benefits. After all, these men and women can make their posse rich. 

Today’s kings and queens are the elected officials in Washington. They appoint or hire, sometimes for life, the faceless bureaucrats inside governmental agencies, commissions, panels, committees, and executive officers. These regime executives dole out jobs to loyalists and favored interest groups. They are the policymakers who rewrite laws and regulations that favor those who can offer the regime something in return.

The Prize – Getting Elected

H.L. Mencken described elections as an “advance auction of stolen goods.” 

In the United States, the federal government in 2020 controlled a budget of more than six trillion dollars, one hell of a treasure for Congress to allocate. Congress, by the way, has control over the regulations and statutes that can make or break businesses and households with one action.

It is no wonder that powerful corporations go to the regime seeking tax breaks, subsidies, and anti-competitive regulations. They hire pressure groups, lobbyists, and public relations consultants to secure wealth and favors from Congress.

The strategy is to manipulate public policy to create advantageous economic conditions to increase profits. Rent-seeking is the natural outcome in any regime that controls the budget. The riches go to the politically powerful, not to those who work the hardest or are the most productive. This cronyism is the crux of a corporate state.

Wealth re-distributed through a process of state coercion rather than through the voluntary market process results in a wealth flow in the direction of favored industries and firms and not competitiveness.  

To increase wealth without creating new wealth results in economic inefficiency, misallocation of resources, reduced wealth creation, lost government revenue, and an increase in income inequality. Collectively, these all have contributed to our national decline.

Politicians understand this system. They try to play both sides. In every election cycle, campaigns to get “big money” out of politics are common. Not surprisingly, their answer is in more government regulation. Their solution keeps the gravy train rolling.

Real Solution

Murray Rothbard wrote in his history of economic that centralized political power creates a system of state-building, state privilege, and state-monopoly capitalism.

Reduce the booty! This one action will reduce the power of the regime. Reducing the number of stolen goods available, the federal government suddenly becomes less of a target for lobbying, bribes, and other means of obtaining special favors. 

Cut the budget! Slash most of the 16 million full-time bureaucratic jobs that exist in Washington today. 9 of the 20 wealthiest counties in America are the suburbs of Washington, DC. It does not seem right.

#90 Israel – The Iron Dome

The Iron Dome – Anti-Semitic Style

The Iron Dome is an integral part of Israeli’s aerial defense system, which includes a system capable of intercepting rockets fired from short range up to striking long-range missiles from the atmosphere. It is time to scrutinize the Israeli political Iron Dome.

Israel commits war crimes and uses the Jewish people as a political shield to exploit the sensitivities about their historical suffering at the hands of non-Jews. This defensive strategy has proven to immunize itself from international opprobrium.

Please do not misinterpret my statement. Jews should be proud of their heritage and are in no way responsible for the actions of a government. However, the Jewish people cannot tie their identity to a state that systematically commits war crimes. The crux of the anti-Semitic issue is the allegiance to the Israeli government policies.

Demonstrations against war crimes are not antisemitic. They are in support of the fair treatment of the oppressed Palestinians. Community leaders of the anti-Semitic claims have been reacting to the growing public support for Palestinians against Israeli aggression. Social media and TV screens showing demonstrators chanting “Free Palestine” are not attack the Jewish Community.

The Israeli political Iron Dome defense creates a more favorable environment in which war crimes are acceptable. They exploit their influence to silence protests and manipulate public discourse with claims of antisemitism. It’s troubling when protests in favor of equal rights for Palestinians within Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank, are portrayed as antisemitism attacks on Jews.

The Israeli Iron Dome, for political defense, needs an overhaul.

#89 – President Biden – Comfortably Numb

Is it their race, their religion, or geographic bad luck of existing in a region where their oppressors are U.S. allies? 

How about justice for the Palestinians? Equal justice in the Holy Land will be non-existent as long as the U.S. government sides with a specific party. In Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank American complicity in Israeli injustice has denied Palestinians living, breathing, and functioning as human beings.

The merciless Israeli bombing of Gaza has not changed Biden’s support for apartheid rule, “There is no shift in my commitment to the security of Israel. Period. No shift, not at all.” His political numbness is apparent by his support of a two-state solution as the “only answer” to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. “We still need a two-state solution. It is the only answer. The only answer.”

How about One Person One Vote? That is Democracy!

How can a “Two-State” illusion be made from this Swiss Cheese reality? (West Bank Map) https://www.aljazeera.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/settlements.jpeg 

#88 – Abetting Israeli Apartheid Rule

Militarily 

The United States has provided $146 billion in foreign aid to the Israeli state, much used for military-related purposes. Today the United States provides some $3.8 billion to Israel annually, accounting for 20% of its defense budget.

In the final months of the Obama administration, the United States and Israel inked an agreement to provide Israel with $38 billion in military assistance over ten years, the highest aid package in history.

The United States is Israel’s largest supplier of military hardware. It includes 362 U.S.-built F-16 warplanes and 100 other US military aircraft, including a growing fleet of the new F-35s; at least 45 Apache attack helicopters; 600 M-109 howitzers; and 64 M270 rocket-launchers. Last week Israel used many of these U.S.-supplied weapons in its bombardment of Gaza.

The US military alliance with Israel involves joint military exercises and joint production of Arrow missiles and other weapons systems. The US and Israeli militaries have collaborated on drone technologies tested by the Israelis in Gaza. 

In 2004, during the US military occupation of Iraq, the United States benefited from Israeli experience in Occupied Territories (Palestine). Israel provided tactical training for US Special Operations Forces confronted by popular resistance in Iraq.

The US military maintains a $1.8 billion stockpile of weapons at six locations in Israel, pre-positioned for future US wars in the Middle East. During the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2014, US Congress suspended some weapons deliveries to Israel while they approved handing overstocks of 120mm mortar shells and 40mm grenade launcher ammunition from the US stockpile for Israel to use against Palestinians in Gaza.

Diplomatically

The United States abuses its privileged position as a veto-wielding Permanent Member of the Security Council to shield its ally Israel. This unique power counters any efforts to hold the Israeli government accountable for its actions under international law.

The United States has exercised its veto in the UN Security Council 82 times, and 44 of those vetoes have been to shield Israel from accountability for war crimes or human rights violations. In every single case, the United States has been the lone vote against the resolution, although a few other countries have occasionally abstained.

The US diplomatic shielding of Israel encourages the inhuman treatment of Palestinians. With US abetment Israel has seized more Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, uprooted more and more Palestinians from their homes, and respond to any resistance from the Palestinians with force, violence, detentions, and restrictions on day-to-day life.

Political 

Despite most Americans supporting neutrality in the conflict, AIPAC and other pro-Israel lobbying groups have exercised an extraordinary role in bribing and intimidating US politicians to provide unconditional support for Israel.

The roles of campaign contributors and lobbyists in the US political system make the United States vulnerable to the influence-peddling and intimidation by corporations and industry groups like the Military-Industrial Complex, Big Pharma, interest groups like the NRA, AIPAC: and lobbyists. In recent years, The Intercept and Al Jazeera have exposed the Israeli involvement in this corrupt system. 

Read the following article and video documentary. 

https://theintercept.com/2019/02/11/ilhan-omar-israel-lobby-documentary/

#87 Our House – Sheikh Jarrah, Gaza, Biden and Israel

Background History

Most of the evictions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem fall within the context of three interconnected and strange legal arguments of Israeli Law. The three are The Absentees’ Law, The Legal and Administrative Matters Law, and the Master Plan 2000. The Israeli government uses this nefarious legal fodder to evict, confiscate, and demolish Palestinians homes. The Palestinians are at a legal disadvantage. They live within a systematic ethnic cleansing program that began before the 1947 United Nations resolution.

In 1950 Israel enacted the Absentees’ Property Law 1950. The law has no legal or moral validity. It granted the properties of Palestinians (who were evicted or fled the 1948 war) to the State of Israel. Those absentee Palestinians were not allowed to exercise their right of return, a right recognized by international law. This law became a state-sanctioned wholesale land grab. It has ensured that Palestinian refugees do not return or attempt to claim their stolen properties in Palestine. It gives Israel a cover for permanently confiscating Palestinian lands and homes.

In June 1967, after the Six-Day War, Israel became the occupier of Palestinian East Jerusalem. Then, in 1980, it illegally annexed it, dubbing Jerusalem as the “eternal and undivided capital of Israel”.

In 1970 the Legal and Administrative Matters Law was enacted. According to the new legal framework, only Israeli Jews were allowed to claim lost land and property in Palestinian areas. The laws allow the State and the illegal settlement enterprise to confiscate more Palestinian properties.

The Israeli government approved the Master Plan 2000, published in August 2004, a detailed spatial plan for both East and West Jerusalem. The Master Plan became a blueprint for a state-sponsored ethnic cleansing campaign, which saw the destruction of thousands of Palestinian homes and the subsequent eviction of numerous families.

Present Day

2020 Israeli forces demolished over 176 Palestinian homes in occupied Jerusalem and approved 17,000 settlement units in the Holy City. Israeli occupation authorities have approved a forcibly evict of 400 Palestinians, including women and children, from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

In early 2021, the Israel District Court of Jerusalem, ruled in favor of the settler company Nahalat Shimon International, issuing eviction orders to 8 Palestinian families from the Karm Al Ja’ouni area in Sheikh Jarrah. Around 87 people including 28 children are at risk of losing their family home,

On March 10th, fourteen Palestinian and Arab organizations issued a joint urgent appeal to the United Nations Special Procedures on forced Israeli evictions in East Jerusalem.

In April, at the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Israeli authorities banned East Jerusalem residents from congregating on the gate steps of Jerusalem’s Old City Damascus Gate. Damascus Gate is a social hub for many of the Old City’s Palestinian residents. It has been the setting of both civic and cultural gatherings and events.

Palestinian youth, not political factions, reacted to the placement of metal barricades to prevent entry onto the gate’s steps. Their nightly protests attracted groups of ultra-nationalist Jews marching through Jerusalem toward Damascus Gate, chanting “death to Arabs.” On April 25th, following twelve days of violent confrontation in East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities took down the barricades.

U.S. Congress Take a Stand

Three days earlier on April 22, the overwhelming majority of the U.S. Congress, 330 out of 435, signed a letter to the chair and ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee opposing any reduction or conditioning of U.S. monies to Israel. The letter was show-of-force from AIPAC and a repudiation of calls from some progressives in the Democratic Party to condition or restrict aid to Israel.

Meanwhile, many Palestinians angered over an Israeli Supreme Court ruling for a planned expulsion of four Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah, an East Jerusalem neighborhood. (only part of a sweep of at least 27 other households yet to be carried out) Local Palestinians organized daily sit-ins to break the Ramadan fast and protest the expulsions.

On May 10th, these protests attracted the attention of ultra-nationalist Jews, who, accompanied by newly elected Knesset member Itamar Ben Gvir, entered Sheikh Jarrah to disrupt and assault those who had gathered peacefully. Israeli police fired sponge bullets, stun grenades, and skunk water, causing hundreds of injuries.

Then on April 29th, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, announced he postponed legislative elections in the occupied Palestinian territories scheduled for May 22nd. Abbas may have feared his Fatah party would fare poorly but cited the postponement was because of an absence of Israeli assurances that East Jerusalem residents would be permitted to participate.

The Israeli authorities had disrupted election campaigning in East Jerusalem throughout April, arresting Palestinian politicians and their supporters. The detentions infuriated Palestinians across the political spectrum, as these actions threatened to obstruct their attempt at renewing their national institutions through the democratic process, as international actors had been encouraging them to do.

Re-supplies Will Be Needed For The Assault

On May 5th, honest Joe Biden notified Congress of its approval for Boeing’s sale of $735 worth of Joint Direct Attack Munitions to the Israeli regime. Sale is the wrong word because the Israelis do not buy them the US government gives them. The $3.8 billion in military aid to the Israeli government comes with a stipulation that it is used to buy American arms.

On the evening of May 7th, Israeli police clashed with young Palestinians and used force against worshippers at the Al-Aqsa mosque inside the walled Old City, injuring dozens. Police also closed the gates leading to the mosque, the third holiest site for Muslims after Mecca and Medina.

The police worsened matters further when they blocked busloads of Palestinian citizens from entering Jerusalem on May 8th, preventing thousands of Muslims from reaching Al-Aqsa for prayers on the holiest night of Ramadan. Israeli forces then attacked Muslim worshippers at the Holy Esplanade (Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount) that same evening.

The following day, Israeli forces breached the compound, firing stun grenades and tear gas canisters at worshippers, pushing their way into the mosque and attacking people inside. Scores of Palestinians were injured and many detained. On May 10th, Israeli soldiers staged another raid and confiscated the keys to the mosque’s main gates.

The events on May 10th coincided with what Israelis celebrate as Jerusalem Day, the reunification of East Jerusalem and the Old City with West Jerusalem. In reality, this is a celebration of Palestinian occupation and lands gained by the 1967 war.

The Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem had protested Jewish ultra-nationalist plans to march through the Old City toward Al-Aqsa. The Israeli authorities did redirect the march to avert further violence. Responding to the events in Jerusalem, Hamas’ military wing, admonished Israel to halt violence against Palestinians.

Plead to Stop

On May 10th, the Joint Chamber of Palestinian Resistance Factions in the Gaza Strip issued an ultimatum, declaring that Israel had until 6 pm local time to withdraw its forces from Al-Aqsa and Sheikh Jarrah and to release all those it had detained during these events. Shortly after the deadline expired, Hamas did as promised. They fired a series of rockets toward Israeli targets.

U.S. media attempts to portray the violence taking place currently as an even-handed struggle. It is not, Israel has been in control of historic Palestine for more than fifty years. It has the most powerful military in the Middle East. The Palestinians are unarmed, hitting Israel with “rockets” largely homemade and ineffective. The disparity in force is evident in the casualty count. More than 200 Palestinian Arabs (including 59 children) lie dead in Gaza, as do ten Israelis (including two children).

Give em Hell Joe

Jen Psaki, White House press spokesperson has provided Washington wisdom. She has announced Biden’s position on the ongoing violence in the Middle East is, “The president’s support for Israel’s security, for its legitimate right to defend itself and its people, is fundamental and will never waiver. We condemn ongoing rocket attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups against Jerusalem.”

President Joe Biden has a long history of supporting and abetting Israeli crimes is clear. Insisting the latest massacre is justified by Israel’s “right to defend itself” and hoping that “this will be closing down sooner than later” is criminally negligent. His UN ambassador blocks a call for a ceasefire at the UN Security Council as he approves Direct Attack Munitions to the Israeli regime.