Of Course, The Propaganda Ministry (a.k.a Mainstream Media) Forgot To Tell Your That Was The Fifth Time Israel Bombed Syria In March – Because They Are Controlled By Israel.

Syria’s state news agency SANA reported that Syrian air defenses “intercepted hostile targets” in the airspace of Damascus. There was no mention of any casualties or damage caused by the strikes.

Less than 24 hours earlier, SANA reported that two Syrian soldiers were wounded in Israeli strikes on the Syrian capital. Israeli officials haven’t commented on either strike, as Israeli typically does not take credit for individual airstrikes in Syria.

The intensified Israeli airstrikes in Syria come as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing a political crisis at home. After massive protests and dissent within the Israeli government, Netanyahu delayed his controversial judicial overhaul, but unrest in the country continues.

Earlier this month, Israeli airstrikes targeted the airport in the Syrian city of Aleppo, which was devastated by the massive earthquake that hit northwest Syria and Turkey on February 6th. The strikes temporarily shut down the airport, cutting off a vital channel for earthquake aid.

Israel claims its operations in Syria target Iran and Iranian weapons shipments, but the airstrikes often kill Syrians and damage civilian infrastructure. Of course, they are Syrians so their deaths and suffering mean nothing to the American or Israeli regimes/


America’s Proxy Wars Typically Rage For Years And Even Decades, Leaving Battleground Countries Like Ukraine In Rubble And The People Suffering For Decades After It Is Over.

The greatest enemy of economic development is war. If the world slips further into global conflict, our economic hopes and our very survival could go up in flames. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists just moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock to a mere 90 seconds to midnight.

The world’s biggest economic loser in 2022 was Ukraine, where the economy collapsed by 35 percent according to the International Monetary Fund. The war in Ukraine could end soon, and economic recovery could begin, but this depends on Ukraine understanding its predicament as victim of a American proxy war with Russia that broke out in 2014.

America has been heavily arming and funding Ukraine since 2014 with the goal of expanding NATO and weakening Russia. America’s proxy wars typically rage for years and even decades, leaving battleground countries like Ukraine in rubble.

Unless the proxy war ends soon, Ukraine faces a dire future. Ukraine needs to learn from the horrible experience of Afghanistan to avoid becoming a long-term disaster. It could also look to the American proxy wars in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Iraq, Syria, and Libya.

Starting in 1979, America armed the mujahadeen (Islamist fighters) to harass the Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan. As President Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski later explained, America’s objective was to provoke the Soviet Union to intervene, in order to trap the Soviet Union in a costly war. The fact that Afghanistan would be collateral damage was of no concern to America’s leaders.

The Soviet military entered Afghanistan in 1979 as America hoped, and fought through the 1980s. Meanwhile, American-backed fighters established al-Qaeda in the 1980s, and the Taliban in the early 1990s. The American “trick” on the Soviet Union had boomeranged. In 2001, America invaded Afghanistan to fight al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The American war continued for another 20 years, until America finally left in 2021. Sporadic American military operations in Afghanistan continue.

Afghanistan lies in ruins. While America wasted more than $2 trillion on American military outlays, Afghanistan is impoverished, with a 2021 gross domestic product below $400 per person! As a parting “gift” to Afghanistan in 2021, the American Government seized Afghanistan’s tiny foreign exchange holdings, paralyzing the banking system.

The proxy war in Ukraine began nine years ago when the American Government backed the overthrow of Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych. Yanukovych’s sin from the American viewpoint was his attempt to maintain Ukraine’s neutrality despite America’s desire to expand NATO to include Ukraine (and Georgia). America’s objective was for NATO countries to encircle Russia in the Black Sea region. To achieve this goal, America has been massively arming and funding Ukraine since 2014.

The American protagonists then and now are the same. The American Government’s point person on Ukraine in 2014 was Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who today is undersecretary of state. Back in 2014, Nuland worked closely with Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s national security advisor, who played the same role for Vice President Biden in 2014.

America overlooked to two harsh political realities in Ukraine. The first is that Ukraine is deeply divided ethnically and politically between Russia-hating nationalists in Western Ukraine and ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. The second is that NATO enlargement to Ukraine crosses a Russian redline. Russia will fight to the end, and escalate as necessary, to prevent America from incorporating Ukraine into NATO.

America repeatedly asserts that NATO is a defensive alliance. Yet NATO bombed Russia’s ally Serbia for 78 days in 1999 in order to break Kosovo away from Serbia, after which America established a giant military base in Kosovo. NATO forces similarly toppled Russian ally Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, setting off a decade of chaos in Libya. Russia certainly will never accept NATO in Ukraine.

At the end of 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin put forward three demands to the American regime: Ukraine should remain neutral and out of NATO; Crimea should remain part of Russia; and the Donbas should become autonomous in accord with the Minsk II Agreement. The Biden-Sullivan-Nuland team rejected negotiations over NATO enlargement, eight years after the same group backed Yanukovych’s overthrow. With Putin’s negotiating demands flatly rejected by the American regime, Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

In March 2022, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy seemed to understand Ukraine’s dire predicament as victim of an American-Russia proxy war. He declared publicly that Ukraine would become a neutral country, and asked for security guarantees. He also publicly recognized that Crimea and Donbas would need some kind of special treatment.

Israel’s Prime Minister at that time, Naftali Bennett, became involved as a mediator, along with Turkey. Russia and Ukraine came close to reaching an agreement. Yet, as Bennett has recently explained, America “blocked” the peace process.

Since then, the war has escalated. According to American investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, American agents blew up the Nord Stream pipelines in September. More recently, America and allies have committed to sending tanks, longer-range missiles, and possibly fighter jets to Ukraine.

The basis for peace is clear. Ukraine would be a neutral non-NATO country. Crimea would remain home to Russia’s Black Sea naval fleet, as it has been since 1783. A practical solution would be found for the Donbas, such as a territorial division, autonomy, or an armistice line. Most importantly, the fighting would stop, Russian troops would leave Ukraine, and Ukraine’s sovereignty would be guaranteed by the UN Security Council and other nations. Such an agreement could have been reached in December 2021 or in March 2022.

Above all, the Government and people of Ukraine would tell Russia and America that Ukraine refuses any longer to be the battleground of a proxy war. In the face of deep internal divisions, Ukrainians on both sides of the ethnic divide would strive for peace, rather than believing that an outside power will spare them the need to compromise.


Bolton Claims That The Notoriously Cruel Sanctions That Were Inflicted Upon Iraq Between 1991 And 2003 Were Too Lenient, Saying There Should Have Been “Enforced Cold-Bloodedly”.

In order to narrative-manage the public conversation about the Iraq War on the 20th anniversary of the invasion, those who helped unleash that horror upon our world have briefly paused their relentless torrent of “Ukraine proves the hawks were always right” takes to churn out a deluge of “Actually the Iraq War wasn’t based on lies and turned out pretty great after all” takes.

Council on Foreign Relations chief Richard Haas — who worked in the American State Department under Colin Powell when Bush launched his criminal invasion — got a piece published in Project Syndicate falsely claiming that the government and his former boss did not lie about weapons of mass destruction, and that “governments can and do get things wrong without lying.”

Former Bush speechwriter David “Axis of Evil” Frum cooked up a lie-filled spin piece with The Atlantic claiming that “What the U.S. did in Iraq was not an act of unprovoked aggression” and suggesting that perhaps Iraqis are better off as a result of the invasion, or at least no worse off than they would otherwise have been.

Neoconservative war propagandist Eli Lake, who has been described by journalist Ken Silverstein as “an open and ardent promoter of the Iraq War and the various myths trotted out to justify it,” has an essay published in Commentary with the extraordinary claim that the war “wasn’t the disaster everyone now says it was” and that “Iraq is better off today than it was 20 years ago.”

But by far the most appalling piece of revisionist war crime apologia that’s come out during the 20th anniversary of the invasion has been an article published in National Review by the genocide walrus himself, John Bolton.

Bolton sets himself apart from his fellow Iraq war architects by arguing that the actual invasion and overthrow of Saddam Hussein “was close to flawless,” and that the only thing America did wrong was fail to kill more people and topple the government of Iran.

Bolton criticizes “the Bush administration’s failure to take advantage of its substantial presence in Iraq and Afghanistan to seek regime change in between, in Iran,” writing that “we had a clear opportunity to empower Iran’s opposition to depose the ayatollahs.”

Unfortunately, however, as was the case after expelling Saddam from Kuwait in 1991, the United States stopped too soon,” Bolton writes.

Bolton claims that the notoriously cruel sanctions that were inflicted upon Iraq between 1991 and 2003 were too lenient, saying there should have been “crushing sanctions” that were “enforced cold-bloodedly”.

As Reason’s Eric Boehm notes in his own critique of Bolton’s essay, perhaps the most galling part is where Bolton dismisses any responsibility America might have for the consequences and fallout from the Iraq invasion, attempting to compartmentalize the “flawless” initial invasion away from all the destabilization and human suffering which followed by saying “they did not inevitably, inexorably, deterministically, and unalterably flow from the decision to invade and overthrow.”

Whatever Bush’s batting average in post-Saddam decisions (not perfect, but respectable, in my view), it is separable, conceptually and functionally, from the invasion decision. The subsequent history, for good or ill, cannot detract from the logic, fundamental necessity, and success of overthrowing Saddam,” Bolton writes.

This is self-evidently absurd. A Bush administration warmonger arguing that you can’t logically connect the invasion to its aftereffects is like an arsonist saying you can’t logically connect his lighting a fire in the living room to the incineration of the entire house. He’s just trying to wave off any accountability for that war and his role in it.

One might suspect that Bolton imagines a world where actions should not have consequences because he’s been living in exactly that type of world for the past two decades,” Boehm writes. “Somehow, he’s retained his Washington status as a foreign policy expert, media commentator, and presidential advisor despite having been so horrifically wrong about Iraq.”

And that to us is what’s the most jaw-dropping about all this. Not that John Bolton still in the year 2023 thinks the invasion of Iraq was a great idea and should have gone much further, but that the kind of psychopath who would say such a thing is still a prominent news media pundit who is platformed by the most influential outlets in the world for his “expertise”.

It’s actually a completely damning indictment of all western media if you think about it, and really of our entire civilization. The fact that an actual, literal psychopath whose entire goal in life is to try to get as many people killed by violence as he possibly can at every opportunity is routinely given columns and interviews in The Washington Post, and is regularly brought on CNN as an expert analyst, proves our entire society is diseased.

To be clear, when we say that John Bolton is a psychopath, we am not using hyperbole to make a point. We am simply voicing the only logical conclusion that one can come to when reading reports about things like how he threatened the children of the OPCW chief whose successful diplomatic efforts in early 2002 were making the case for invasion hard to build, or how he spent weeks verbally abusing a terrified woman in her hotel room, pounding on her door and screaming obscenities at her.

And that’s just Bolton’s personality. The actual policies he has worked to push through, sometimes successfully, are far more horrifying. This is the freak who has argued rabidly for the bombing of Iran, for bombing North Korea, for attacking Cuba over nonexistent WMD, for assassinating Gaddafi, and many other acts of war. Who helped cover up the Iran-Contra scandal, who openly admitted to participating in coups against foreign governments, and who tried to push Trump into starting a war with Iran during his terrifying stint as his National Security Advisor.

This man is a monster who belongs in a cage, but instead he’s one of the most influential voices in the most powerful country on earth. This is because we are ruled by a giant globe-spanning empire that is held together by the exact sort of murderous ideology that John Bolton promotes.

Bolton is not elevated at maximum amplification in spite of his psychopathic bloodlust, but exactly because of it. That’s the sort of civilization we live in, and that’s the sort of media environment that westerners are forming their worldviews inside of. We are ruled by murderous tyrants, and we are propagandized into accepting their murderousness by mass media which elevate bloodthirsty psychos like John Bolton as part of that propaganda.

That’s the world we live in. That’s what we’re up against here.

And that’s why they’ve been working so hard to rewrite the history on Iraq. They need us to accept Iraq as either a greater good that came at a heavy price or a terrible mistake that will never be repeated, so that they can lead us into more horrific wars in the future.

We are being paced. Until now, “Iraq” has been a devastating one-word rebuttal to both the horror and failure of American interventionism. The essays these imperial spinmeisters have been churning out are the early parlay in a long-game effort to take away that word’s historical meaning and power. Don’t let them shift it even an inch.


We Are Fighting A War For Israel. When The Body Bags Come Home, And The Dead Are Buried, Let This Be Inscribed On Their Tombstones: They Died For Ariel Sharon.”

Well it seems like only yesterday, though it was half a lifetime ago.

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and their men and women, especially the neoconservatives, knowingly and deliberately lied this country into starting an aggressive war against Iraq – a war they pretended was a “preemptive” attack against a nation that could never have laid one hand on the United States of America in a trial of a thousand years.

According to his later CIA interrogator, Saddam Hussein, the evil dictator said to be plotting with al Qaeda terrorists against us, was instead semi-retired, busy writing a romance novel and refusing to believe America would really invade and occupy his country when he was giving them no cause to whatsoever.

It was later credibly reported that Saddam had offered virtually unconditional surrender twice to neocon ringleader Richard Perle who told Hussein’s emissary: “Tell them that we will see them in Baghdad.”

One hundred and fifty million Americans, if mostly for partisan reasons, knew better. The other 150 million, mostly fooled into believing Iraq had attacked us on September 11, did it anyway.

What was the real reason behind it all? As the great Justin Raimondo told the crowd in his important speech to the Libertarian Party of Illinois, “Libertarianism in the Age of Empire,” 20 years ago:

We are fighting a war for Israel. When the body bags come home, and the dead are buried, let this be inscribed on their tombstones: They died for Ariel Sharon.”

It was never the weapons. America had disarmed Iraq of unconventional weapons in 1991 and they knew it. They also had two spies at the highest levels of the Iraqi government who both confirmed there were no banned weapons left before the war. That’s why they had to resort to citing forged documents, Katusha rocket tubes, cartoon drawings of mobile biological weapons labs and the wholly invented threat of mushroom clouds over American cities to convince Americans to support the war.

And they knew Iraq was not working with al Qaeda. The CIA did a major review just after the September 11th attacks of 2001. They told the president there was nothing there. So the CIA tortured Abu Zubaydah and Ibn al-Libi, two associates, though not operatives of the al Qaeda group, into pointing the finger at Saddam Hussein’s regime.

But the neoconservatives, determined to improve Israel’s position in the region, outdid even the CIA when it came to coming up with the lies to justify the war. After setting up what Secretary of State Colin Powell later called, “a separate government” inside the government, including “Douglas Feith’s Gestapo office” at the Pentagon, Cheney and the neocons pushed the lies through and got their war.

They got 4,500 American soldiers, marines, sailors, airmen and guardsmen killed. Hundreds more contractors, including mercenaries were killed with them.

On the other side of the ledger, the United States destroyed the nation of Iraq, probably permanently. By fighting a brutal civil war on behalf of the super-majority Shi’ite Arabs, and helping them “cleanse” especially the capital city of its minority Sunni opposition who had dominated the former government, America helped get approximately a million people killed. They decimated small, local minority religious sects and ethnicities, including Chaldean Christians, Jews, Turkmen, Marsh Arabs and others, and they deprived the rulers of the new parliament of the last incentive to compromise with their defeated enemies.

Hell, they no longer had any incentive to compromise with the United States. The Iraqi regime W. Bush installed forced him to sign on the dotted line and agree to pull American forces out by the end of 2011.

Instead of empowering the American-Israeli-Turkish-Jordanian alliance, as the neocons had envisioned, the Americans had moved Iraq to Iran’s side of the ledger, where Baghdad would join with Tehran, Damascus and Lebanese Hezbollah instead. The Sunni Arabs of the Anbar and other western provinces were left men without a country.

This is why Bush’s successor, Barack Obama, and his Israeli, Turkish, Saudi and Qatari allies backed the radical Sunni jihad in Syria next door which grew into the so-called Islamic State, seizing eastern Syria in 2013. It is also why ISIS then had no trouble rolling right in and taking over western Iraq a year later, leading to the declaration of the so-called Caliphate and then America and its allies’ Iraq War III to destroy them again in 2014–2017.

The war of course also spread to Libya, Mali and the rest of West Africa, Syria, as mentioned above, then Yemen. Hundreds of thousands more people have been killed; 37 million refugees have been forced from their homes, the greatest such crisis since the second world war.

It’s the damndest thing, all of it.

George W. Bush himself now finally admits it. On May 19, 2022, After his big Freudian slip when he blurted “Iraq” instead of “Ukraine” while denouncing Putin’s “wholly unjustified and brutal invasion,” his conscious mind then conceded: “Iraq too.”

It is as certain that he deliberately lied us into that war as it is that neither he nor any of his people will ever be held accountable for their crimes. Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell have already set the precedent.

But we can at least work to make sure they are remembered only as liars and butchers.

And we can keep in mind that the same media stars who lied us into that war have remained in a position to lie to us about everything under the sun in the time since then, including the current war in Ukraine.

And we can remember fondly our great friends and mentors Justin Raimondo, Alan Bock, and Burt Blumert who knew better and tried to show us the way.


Twenty Years Ago On March 16, The World Got A Tragic Glimpse Into What The State Of Israel Was Going To Become.

Given the green light in the Oval Office by President George W. Bush, then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon – “a man of peace,” Bush said at the time – started the now-inevitable march to apartheid and the murderous treatment of the Palestinians against whom the main battle would be waged.

That glimpse was the senseless murder of a passionate, 23-year-old woman whose laudable purpose at the time was simply the protection of Palestinian homes being bulldozed by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). On that day, Rachel Corrie, a member of the International Solidarity Movement, was brutally murdered by an IDF armored bulldozer as she tried to interject herself between it and its merciless destruction of yet another Palestinian home in the southern Gaza Strip.

Almost at wit’s end because of the negative response of the government then in Tel Aviv, Rachel’s parents, Craig and Cindy Corrie, came to Washington to seek the American Government’s assistance. But despite all efforts, official and personal, they could not prevail on the Israeli government to be forthcoming, honest, or at day’s end even polite. Their well-coordinated response was to deny completely any responsibility – just as would be the case more than two decades later, ultimately, with the brutal assassination of another American citizen, journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. It was an utterly depressing and profoundly sad moment for us as we watched a state that claimed a tight alliance with my country, dishonor that alliance markedly yet again.

In the case of Rachel Corrie, it was strongly recommended the Corries take their case to the Israeli courts, as many believed they were the final bastion of not only the rule of law but of human decency in that country. Years later, the Israeli Supreme Court denied the Corries any real justice. Since then, that leadership has been corroborating the speculation of what was going to come in almost every way conceivable. Today, it is even trying to diminish significantly the power of that final outpost of the rule of law, the Israeli supreme court.

Of course, we will be branded an anti-Semite for making these brief but accurate remarks, as are almost all Americans today who criticize the state of Israel. So be it. If that brand is the price of truth-telling these days about the deeply-harmful, one-sided relationship America now has with Jerusalem, and about the Israeli government as well, I will pay it willingly.

We fear for Israel’s future given its present leadership and policies, and we fear for America because of its unquestioning acceptance of that leadership and those policies. The very infrequent and light criticisms – emanating, for example, from such august persons as Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin recently – make matters worse not better because they change absolutely nothing on the ground.

Who will be the next innocent casualty like Rachel was 20 years ago? Or like Shireen Abu Akleh was only recently? Or like the Palestinians who are dying now almost daily?

Two parents’ unreconciled grief today marks starkly the beginning; Shireen the continuum; and every innocent death since and forthcoming the ultimate end – perhaps in a Third Intifadah.

And where will that lead? Most certainly not to a return to the oft-described “only real democracy in the Middle East.”


Israel Continues To Employ Old Tactics To Control The Conversation On The Israeli Occupation Of Palestine. However, In Some Cases Israel’s Success Is Really Failure.

The following reveals the story of what pro-Palestinian communities around the world are fighting for, and what pro-Israelis are fighting against: “We are delighted to report that Chelsea and Westminster Hospital has removed a display of artwork designed by children from Gaza.”

That was the summary of a news report published on the homepage of the pro-Israel group, UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI). The group is credited for being the party that managed to successfully persuade the administration of a hospital in West London to take down a few pieces of artwork created by refugee children from Gaza.

Explaining the logic behind their relentless campaign to remove the children’s art, UKLFI said that “Jewish patients” in the hospital “felt vulnerable and victimized by the display.” The few pieces of artwork were those of the Dome of the Rock in occupied East Jerusalem, the Palestinian flag and other symbols that should hardly victimize anyone.

The UKLFI article was later edited, with the offensive summary removed, although it is still accessible via social media.

As ridiculous as this story sounds, it is, in fact, the very essence of the anti-Palestinian campaign launched by Israel and its allies worldwide. While Palestinians are fighting for basic human rights, freedom and sovereignty as enshrined in international law, the pro-Israel camp is fighting for a total and complete erasure of everything Palestinian.

Some call this cultural genocide or ethnocide. While Palestinians have been familiar with this Israeli practice in Palestine since the very inception of the state of Israel, the boundaries of the war have been expanded to reach anywhere in the world, especially in the western hemisphere.

The inhumanity of UKLFI and their allies is quite palpable, but the group cannot be the only party deserving blame. Those lawyers are but a continuation of an Israeli colonial culture that sees the very existence of a Palestinian people with a political discourse, including children refugees’ art, as an “existential threat” to Israel.

The relationship between the very existence of a country and children’s art may seem absurd – and it is – but it has its own, albeit strange, logic: as long as these refugee children recognize themselves as Palestinian, as long as they will continue to count as part of a larger whole, the Palestinian people. This self-awareness, and the recognition by others – for example, patients and staff at a London hospital – of this collective Palestinian identity, makes it difficult, in fact, impossible, for Israel to win.

For Palestinians and Israelis, victory means two entirely different things, which cannot be consolidated. For Palestinians, victory means freedom for the Palestinian people and equality for all. For Israel, victory can only be achieved through the erasure of Palestinians – geographically, historically, culturally and in every way that could be part of a people’s identity.

Sadly, the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital is now an active participant in this tragic erasure of the Palestinians, the same way that Virgin Airlines bowed to pressure in 2018 when it agreed to remove “Palestinian-inspired couscous” off its menu. At the time, this story appeared as if it was a strange episode in the so-called “Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” though, in reality, the story represented the very core of this “conflict.”

For Israel, the war in Palestine revolved around three basic tasks: acquiring land; erasing the people and rewriting history.

The first task has been largely achieved through a process of ethnic cleansing and unhinged colonization of Palestine since 1947-48. The current right-wing extremist government of Benjamin Netanyahu is only hoping to finalize this process.

The second task involves more than ethnic cleansing, because even the mere awareness of Palestinians, wherever they are, of their collective identity, constitutes a problem. Thus, the active process of cultural genocide.

Though Israel has succeeded in rewriting history for many years, that task is now being challenged, thanks to the tenacity of Palestinians and their allies, and the power of social and digital media.

Palestinians are arguably the greatest beneficiary of the rise of digital media. The latter has contributed to the decentralization of political and even historical narratives. For decades, the popular understanding of what constitutes “Israel” and “Palestine” in mainstream imagination was largely controlled through a specific Israeli-sanctioned narrative. Those who deviated from this narrative were attacked and marginalized, and almost always accused of “antisemitism.” While these tactics are still unleashed at critics of Israel, the outcome is no longer guaranteed.

For example, a single tweet exposing the “delight” of UKLFI has received over 2 million views on Twitter. Millions of outraged Brits and social media users around the world have turned what was meant to be a local story into one of the most discussed topics, worldwide, on Palestine and Israel. Expectedly, not many social media users took part in the “delight” of the UKLFI, thus forcing them to reword their original article. More importantly, millions of people have, in a single day, been introduced to a whole new topic on Palestine and Israel: that of cultural erasure. The “victory” has turned into a complete embarrassment, let alone defeat.

Thanks to the growing popularity of the Palestinian cause and the impact of social media, initial Israeli victories almost always backfire. A more recent example is the dismissal and the quick reinstatement of the former Director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth.

In January, Roth’s fellowship at Harvard University’s Kennedy School was revoked due to the recent HRW report that defines Israel as an apartheid regime. A major campaign, which was started by small alternative media organizations, resulted in the reinstatement of Roth within days. This, and other cases, demonstrates that criticizing Israel is no longer a career-ender, as was often the case in the past.

Israel continues to employ old tactics to control the conversation on the Israeli occupation of Palestine. It is failing because those traditional tactics can no longer work in a modern world in which access to information is decentralized, and where no amount of censorship can control the conversation.

For Palestinians, this new reality is an opportunity to widen their circle of support around the world. For Israel, the mission is a precarious one, especially when initial victories could, in hours, become utter defeats.


The American Regime Loudly Proclaims That Large, Belligerent Powers Should Listen To Them When The World Is United Against America’s Hostility Toward Their Smaller Neighbors.

The world is becoming united against America.

In thirty consecutive votes since 1992, the UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly condemned the American embargo of Cuba. In the most recent vote, on November 3, 2022, the world delivered what William LeoGrande, Professor of Government at American University and a specialist in American foreign policy toward Latin America, said “the most complete repudiation of the US embargo by the world community since the annual resolution was first introduced 30 years ago.”

The vote was 185-2. Only Israel voted with America, and only Ukraine and Brazil abstained. The year before, Colombia abstained, but the election of Gustavo Petro as president of Colombia peeled that support away from America. The recent election of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil will see to it that one more anomalous Latin American abstention is lost in this year’s vote.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador recently demanded that America and the world start acting on the will of the General Assembly. He said that the world must become more “active” and “not only when it comes to voting in the UN, where it is always only one or two countries who vote in support of it, while the vast majority of the countries in the world abstain or vote for the blockade to be eliminated. But when the [General] Assembly is over, it is back to the same old.”

Instead, López Obrador promised that “[w]e are going to continue demanding that the blockade against Cuba be lifted, that it be eliminated. It is inhumane.”

Mexico “has the greatest leverage,” LeoGrande said, “because Washington needs its cooperation on two pre-eminent issues – migration and narcotics trafficking.” But López Obrador, who has initiated a “new, very close relationship between Mexico and Cuba” and who has signed documents that “formalize” and make the relationship between the two countries “institutional,” is not alone in opposing the blockade and calling it “inhumane.” Belize’s Prime Minister John Briceño, recently condemned the “illegal blockade against Cuba” and called it an “affront to humanity.”

Before López Obrador assumed the mantle of leader of Latin America’s struggle against America’s imposition of its will on the region, that mantle was worn by Lula DA Silva. On January 24th, Lula DA Silva met with Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel. It was their first meeting since DA Silva returned to the presidency of Brazil. Just prior to their meeting, he had condemned the American embargo.

DA Silva and Díaz-Canel held their talk during the meeting of the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). In a press conference held with Argentine President Alberto Fernandez the day before the summit, DA Silva asked the members of CELAC to solve the problems of Cuba – and Venezuela – and treat them with “much affection.”

In November 2021, DA Silva told the European Parliament that the embargo is “unacceptable” and “not fair, normal or democratic.” He promised that “[a]s long as I live, I will say that the United States must end its blockade.”

Latin American opposition is swelling not only against the American embargo but also against the American inclusion of Cuba on the list of state sponsors of international terrorism.

In May 2015, the Obama administration took Cuba off the list. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said American policy on Cuba had become “an albatross” around the neck of America, crippling their policy in the hemisphere. After reviewing Cuba’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, the State Department concluded that it should be removed from the list. The Trump administration put it back on.

López Obrador has promised “to lead a more active movement” against the inclusion of Cuba on the list of state sponsors of international terrorism that has continued under the Biden administration. He said that “all countries” must “unite and defend the independence and sovereignty of Cuba, and never, ever treat it as a ‘terrorist’ country, or put its profoundly humane people and government on a blacklist of supposed ‘terrorists’.”

And again, the Mexican president is not alone. On October 3rd, 2022, Colombia’s new president, Gustavo Petro, asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken to remove Cuba from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.”

When asked by a reporter at a joint press conference “whether it is possible for the U.S. to remove Cuba . . . from the list of countries promoting terrorism,” Blinken answered, “When it comes to Cuba and when it comes to the state sponsor of terrorism designation, we have clear laws, clear criteria, clear requirements, and we will continue as necessary to revisit those to see if Cuba continues to merit that designation.” Petro disagreed about the merit. “[W]hat has happened with Cuba is an injustice,” he said.

With the recent elections of Gustavo Petro in Colombia and Lula DA Silva in Brazil, López Obrador’s opposition to America’s hostile Cuba policy has become a powerful front. “With Petro, López Obrador and Lula taking the lead,” LeoGrande said, “Biden will [face] united opposition to his Cuba policy across Latin America.”


Over The Last 15 Months, The Number Of American Drone Strikes In Yemen And Somalia Has Increased Greatly Compared To The First Half Of The Biden Administration.

Not at any other time in the 21st century has the average American kept up less with the Global War on Terror, and now three presidents later, the questions of legality, productivity, and collateral damage remain as unanswered as they’ve ever been.

Over the last 15 months, the number of American drone strikes in Yemen and Somalia has increased greatly compared to the first half of the Biden Administration. On March 1st, AFP reported that local government sources in the Yemeni province of Marib said an American drone strike had killed the al-Qaeda leader Hamad bin Hamoud al-Tamimi, a “judge” of a sort-of “leadership council.”

This came about a month after similar sources reported 3 supposed al-Qaeda fighters killed in an American drone strike in the same province.

Regarding the latter, the 3 men were killed in a car. Evidence at the scene let two experts tracking the American drone warfare program believe it was an R9X Hellfire missile – an expensive and sophisticated bomb typically reserved for “high-value targets.”

The R9X is for high-value target killing and we don’t have any [sic] ’Who is this guy, why does he merit this now?’” said David Sterman, a senior policy analyst at the Washington-based think tank New America, which for years has tracked American drone strikes in Yemen. “If it is a US strike, it raises substantial questions about what is the state of the US drone war in Yemen.”

Drones haven’t been in the news as much as they were when former-President Donald Trump substantially downgraded the required authority to launch one from the theater commander, who needed the White House’s permission under the Obama Administration, to officers on the ground.

Only recently did Joe Biden’s administration even establish a policy for their use, long after he had used them to supposedly kill al-Qaeda founder Ayman al-Zawahiri last August, and 10 innocent children and men in Kabul the August before that.

Luke Hartig, the former Director for Counterterrorism at the National Security Council, and former Dept. Director for Counterterrorism under the Sect. of Defense, is one of the only minds in America still actively criticizing drone policy from inside the establishment.

Writing at Just Security, he took a look at Biden’s policy and wrote:

“…the new policy leaves much necessary business undone. How the administration interprets key legal and policy concepts around direct action compared to international allies remains hotly disputed. The faithful execution of the policy by the military – particularly how it seeks to prevent civilian casualties and how it investigates civilian casualty incidents – requires much more work. The transparency agenda is stalled, and much of the “war on terror” remains shrouded in secrecy.”

For the American people, questions of whether al-Qaeda poses a real threat from the faraway reaches of Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world, what there is to be gained from hunting these people down, whether civilians are being killed during these strikes, and whether a drone is the best tool to fight al-Qaeda, not only go unanswered, but entirely unasked.


This gulf between the public and the administration assassinating in their name could never be broader than in Somalia. Of the 7 major theaters for the so-called terror wars, Somalia was always the least understood and reported on.

Somalia briefly wiggled its way into the headlines in May when Biden announced he was deploying 500 military personnel there mostly to train and advise the Somali armed forces to fight al-Shabaab. Before that, the only mention Somalia got had been when former-President Trump decided to pull all American forces out.

On October 3rd, al Jazeera reported that Abdullahi Nadir, one of the co-founders of the armed group, was assassinated by a drone strike. Who Nadir really was, what his power amounted to, and whether his death would at all change al-Shabaab’s ability to operate is anyone’s guess. America’s Africa Command didn’t mention him by name.

Reporting from Time magazine during the last concerted effort to bomb al-Shabaab quoted Amnesty International that more bombs were dropped in 2020 than in the whole of the Obama Administration, but despite the exertion, the insurgents remained “adaptive and resilient.”

On December 18th, 2022, the American military announced two new airstrikes as part of “collective self-defense” that killed 8 militants. VOA states the Turkish Ministry of Defense neither confirmed nor denied participation with its drones.

The New York Times reported in October around the time Nadir was assassinated that of the 11 drone strikes in Somalia that year, 10 had fallen under “collective self-defense,” a justification that, under Biden’s new policy, bypasses the need for executive branch approval of drone strikes.

The Times also quoted Somali government sources who said the new presidential administration had specifically asked Biden “to more broadly define what can count as a collective self-defense strike,” and to “deem certain parts of Somalia as a war zone, where it is permissible to target members of an enemy force based only on their status, even if they pose no imminent threat.”

On January 22nd, 2023, American air strikes killed 30 militants. “Specific details about the units involved and assets used will not be released in order to ensure operations security,” AFRICOM stated, as they typically do when announcing air strikes.

Garowe News Online reported on a February 23rd attack, noting that all three attacks on al-Shabaab in 2023 have been with drones.

AFRICOM has said that they remain certain no civilians were hurt in any of these strikes, but official Pentagon policy is to neither investigate reports of civilian harm nor to report them if there are any.

In the ten-year history of America’s global drone warfare program, it’s worth taking a moment to list the rampant disregard for civilian life in the pursuit of bombing insurgents.

First, there are the 2016 Drone Papers, revealed by the whistleblower and former signals intelligence analyst Daniel Hale, who was recently sentenced to 48 months in prison.

From 2011 to 2013, 9 out of every 10 people killed in drone strikes in Afghanistan were unknown people who were not designated targets. They were instead labeled “enemy killed an action,” and the Pentagon’s policy that only the military could prove them otherwise meant that what were obviously hundreds of innocent family members and bystanders were not accounted for.

Hartig, writing in the aftermath of the August 29th strike in Kabul mentioned before, said that in his days as counter-terrorism director, he analyzed “about two thousand [civilian casualty] incidents since 2007, and there were many more in the years prior.”

Conservatively, that alone translates into, on average, every week since 9/11 at least one such tragedy,” he said.

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting on a cache of classified documents by Azmat Khan tallied more than 1,300 murdered civilians in Iraq and Syria during the campaign to target ISIS, none of which resulted in any charges of wrongdoing, imprisonments, or even demotions.

Instead, Khan shows how the seemingly thorough and concrete intelligence gathering and accounting methods for who and when to bomb and what should happen if a civilian dies, established specifically to prevent civilian harm, mutated into the very methods that led to so much unaccounted-for innocent blood, as details were buried in bureaucratic language where children were described as a “person of small stature,” and strike reports were buried in operation paperwork.

Yet more reporting from the Times on a top-secret “strike cell” operating under the Trump Administration called Talon Anvil curdles the stomach to read, as they detail the wolfish policies of the 20-man covert intelligence and drone strike team that killed hundreds of civilians, appalling CIA and military colleagues who would sometimes not carry out strikes on Talon Anvil intelligence because of their reputation for rampant disregard for civilian harm.

What all this means is that even after perhaps more than 10,000 civilians across the Middle East and Africa being killed as a direct result of a trigger pulled by a drone operator in the name of protecting the American people, the exact same policy that started all the bloodshed has been more or less re-instituted, with little or no transparency.

If you think America is “great” you must think your future in Hell will be too.


Ben Gvir Insists Police Continue Inflammatory Practice In East Jerusalem Despite Warnings Of Security Officials.

Israel’s far-right national security minister, Itamar Ben Gvir, demanded on Monday that police continue demolishing Palestinian homes during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

In the past, Israel has refrained from demolishing Palestinian houses in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem during Ramadan to avoid inflaming tensions. Demolishing homes in an occupied territory is a war crime.

This year, however, Israeli media reported that police will follow Ben Gvir’s demands and demolish Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem during the holy month, when in recent years tensions have risen over Israeli violations at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israel demolishes Palestinian homes for various reasons, including claims they were built without permits that are near impossible to obtain from Israeli authorities. Often, Israel demolishes the homes of suspected Palestinian attackers’ families, in a policy condemned by rights groups as collective punishment.

The Times of Israel reported that Israeli police have warned Ben Gvir that the force is already stretched to the limit and the approaching Ramadan period, which coincides with the Jewish holiday of Passover, could be highly volatile.

Ramadan is expected to begin on March 23rd., while Passover is set for April 5th.

In a closed-door meeting, Israeli security services warned Ben Gvir that demolishing Palestinian homes during Ramadan could tip the West Bank into unrest.

Two years ago, Israeli violations in Jerusalem during Ramadan – including the attempted expulsion of families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, sparked Hamas rocket barrages, an Israeli bombing campaign in Gaza and riots in mixed Palestinian-Jewish cities in Israel. Over 11 days, 274 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces (243 in Gaza alone) and 13 were killed on the Israeli side.

In a leaked recording on Sunday, published in Israeli media, Ben Gvir is heard sharply criticising Israeli security officials for their intention to stop Jews from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque’s courtyards for 10 days as “absolute madness and surrender to terrorism”.

The Israeli security services in a separate meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu advised that “there is a consensus in the security services that the law enforcement operations initiated by Ben Gvir in East Jerusalem must be halted”.

Earlier this year, Ben Gvir entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque’s courtyards in a highly provocative move. His actions were widely condemned.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is one of the holiest sites in Islam and the site of the Jewish temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.

Since Israel occupied the site following the 1967 Middle East war, Jewish prayer at the site has been officially forbidden, though far-right settlers such as Ben-Gvir (some of whom want to demolish Al-Aqsa and replace it with a third Jewish temple) have frequently prayed there under heavy security backing in recent years.


Recent weeks have seen a spike in tensions which culminated in a Israeli settler rampage in the Palestinian village of Huwwara.

At least one Palestinian was killed and nearly 400 wounded in the attacks on Huwwara and other West Bank towns and villages, Palestinian health officials said.

Settlers completely burnt down at least 35 homes and 40 others were partially damaged, and many of the buildings were set on fire while their Palestinian inhabitants sheltered inside. More than 100 cars were burnt or otherwise destroyed.

Hundreds of Israeli settlers, flanked by soldiers, attacked Palestinian towns and villages near Nablus following a shooting that killed two Israelis in Huwwara town earlier in the day.

Israeli far-right finance minister Bezalel Smotrich called on the state of Israel to “wipe out” the Palestinian village of Huwwara in the wake of a violent rampage.

At least 65 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis this year, at a rate of more than one fatality per day. Meanwhile, 13 Israelis and one police officer have been killed by Palestinians in the same period.

This follows a steep increase in violence in 2022 when at least 167 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the highest death toll in those territories in a single year since the Second Intifada. Palestinian attacks killed 30 Israelis last year.


Palestinians Are Left With No Other Option But To Carry On With Their Resistance To The UN And Its “Watered-down” Statements.

Rarely does the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations make an official remark expressing happiness over any UN proceeding concerning the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Indeed, the Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour is “very happy that there was a very strong united message from the Security Council against the illegal, unilateral measure” undertaken by the Israeli government.

The “measure” is a specific reference to a decision, on February 12th, by the far-right government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to construct 10,000 new housing units in nine illegal Jewish settlements in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank.

Expectedly, Netanyahu was angered by the supposedly “very strong united message” emanating from an institution that is hardly known for its meaningful action regarding international conflicts, especially in the Palestinian-Israeli case.

Mansour’s happiness may be justified from some people’s perspective, especially as we seldom witness a strongly worded position by the UNSC that is both critical of Israel and wholly embraced by the United States. The latter has used the veto power 53 times since 1972 – per UN count – to block UNSC draft resolutions that are critical of Israel.

However, on examination of the context of the latest UN statement on Israel and Palestine, there is little reason for Mansour’s excitement. The UN statement in question is just that: a statement, with no tangible value and no legal repercussions.

This statement could have been meaningful if the language had remained unchanged from its original draft. Not a draft of the statement itself, but of a binding UN resolution that was introduced on February 15 by the UAE Ambassador.

Reuters revealed that the draft resolution would have demanded that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” That resolution – and its strong language – was scrapped under pressure from the American regime and was replaced by a mere statement that “reiterates” the Security Council’s position that “continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-state solution based on the 1967 lines.”

The statement also expressed “deep concern”, actually, “dismay” with Israel’s February 12th announcement.

Netanyanu’s angry response was mostly intended for public consumption in Israel, and to keep his far-right government allies in check; after all, the conversion of the resolution into a statement, and the watering down of the language were all carried out following a prior agreement among the American regime, Israel and the PA. In fact, the Aqaba conference held on February 26 is a confirmation that that agreement has indeed taken place. Therefore, the statement should not have come as a surprise to the Israeli prime minister.

Moreover, the American media spoke openly about a deal, which was mediated by Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The reason behind the deal, initially, was to avert a “potential crisis”, which would have resulted from America vetoing the resolution. According to the Associated Press, such a veto “would have angered Palestinian supporters at a time that the US and its western allies are trying to gain international support against Russia.”

But there is another reason behind the Washington’s sense of urgency. In December 2016, then American Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, refrained from vetoing a similar UNSC resolution that strongly condemned Israel’s illegal settlement activities. This occurred less than a month before the end of Barack Obama’s second term in the White House. For Palestinians, the resolution was too little, too late. For Israel, it was an unforgivable betrayal. To appease Tel Aviv, the Trump Administration gave the UN post to Nikki Haley, one of the most ardent supporters of Israel.

Though another American veto would have raised a few eyebrows, it would have presented a major opportunity for the strong pro-Palestine camp at the UN to challenge American hegemony over the matter of the Israeli occupation of Palestine; it would have also deferred the issue to the UN General Assembly and other UN-related organizations.

Even more interesting, according to the Blinken-mediated agreement – reported by AP, Reuters, Axios, and others – Palestinians and Israelis would have to refrain from unilateral actions. Israel would freeze all settlement activities until August, and Palestinians would not “pursue action against Israel at the UN and other international bodies such as the World Court, the International Criminal Court and the UN Human Rights Council.” This was the gist of the agreement at the American-sponsored Aqaba meeting as well.

While Palestinians are likely to abide by this understanding – since they continue to seek American financial handouts and political validation – Israel will most likely refuse; in fact, practically, they already have.

Though the agreement had reportedly stipulated that Israel would not stage major attacks on Palestinian cities, only two days later, on February 22th, Israel raided the West Bank city of Nablus. It killed 11 Palestinians and wounded 102 others, including two elderly men and a child.

A settlement freeze is almost impossible. Netanyahu’s extremist government is mostly unified by their common understanding that settlements must be kept in constant expansion. Any change to this understanding would certainly mean a collapse of one of Israel’s most stable governments in years.

Therefore, why, then, is Mansour “very happy”?

The answer stems from the fact that the PA’s credibility among Palestinians is at an all-time low. Mistrust, if not outright disdain, of Mahmoud Abbas and his Authority, is one of the main reasons behind the brewing armed rebellion against the Israeli occupation. Decades of promises that justice will eventually arrive through American-mediated talks have culminated in nothing, thus Palestinians are developing their own alternative resistance strategies.

The UN statement was marketed by PA-controlled media in Palestine as a victory for Palestinian diplomacy. Thus, Mansour’s happiness. But this euphoria was short-lived.

The Israeli massacre in Nablus left no doubt that Netanyahu will not even respect a promise he made to his own benefactors in Washington. This takes us back to square one: where Israel refuses to respect international law, the American regime refuses to allow the international community to hold Israel accountable, and where the PA claims another false victory in its supposed quest for the liberation of Palestine.

Practically, this means that Palestinians are left with no other option but to carry on with their resistance, indifferent – and justifiably so – to the UN and its ‘watered-down’ gutless statements.