TBR News March 11, 2018

Mar 11 2018

The Voice of the White House 

Washington, D.C. March 11, 2018:” There is also a glut of information floating about on the killing, by radioactive material, of a former KGB operative who was living in London. Although the Putin-hating American oligarchs have been salting the media with strong hints that Russian President Vladimir Putin was somehow responsible for this, the truth is far more interesting.

All of this goes back to the days following the breakup of the former Soviet Union. Russia is possessed of a huge amount of natural resources, most important, natural gas and oil. Under the Communists, these resources were badly managed but after Gorbachev left power, Yeltsin, a good friend of the C.I.A. came to power and immediately de-nationalized the oil and gas. Those who successfully bid for it was a gang of Russian street thugs, extortionists, drug dealers, counterfeiters, pimps and conmen. These men were all Jewish and they had very good connections both in Israel and in the United States with their co-religionists. The plan, as is now known but never, never talked about, was for this group to buy up the privatized resources using money obtained from outside the country and then sell off controlling interests in it to western and Israeli companies.  The Bank of New York, owned by an Israeli citizen and the World Bank and IMF, through the good offices of fellow co-religionists, put up the money and the group, later known as the Oligarchy, threatened any possible bidder with death and soon was in control of the entire system. They took in huge payments from foreign banks and firms, stuffed their pockets and Swiss and Israeli bank accounts but before their new partners could grab control, Putin came to power and quickly, and very quietly, put a stop to what amounted to a wholesale theft of Russia’s valuable natural resources. Putin, an ex-KGB Lt. Colonel, moved to re-nationalize the assets, driving out the Oligarchs and seizing their money in the process.  As a result of this, there were many very unhappy people, not the least of which were Israeli and American business concerns.

So much for the background.”


Table of Contents

  • “Rise and Kill First” Explores the Corrupting Effects of Israel’s Assassination Program
  • Israeli politicians suspect Netanyahu seeks election to survive corruption probes
  • Le Pen wants France’s National Front to be renamed ‘National Rally’
  • Donald Trump advocates death penalty for drug dealers in rambling speech
  • White Evangelical Women, Core Supporters of Trump, Begin Tiptoeing Away
  • ‘Turkey not a NATO country?’ Erdogan slams allies’ refusal to support his offensive in Syria’s Afrin
  • Why the West Cannot Stomach Russians
  • The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy

 “Rise and Kill First” Explores the Corrupting Effects of Israel’s Assassination Program

March 11 2018

by Charles Glass

The Intercept

In the mid-1960s, television comedy writer Sol Weinstein produced a series of satirical novels about agent Israel Bond of M 33 and 1/3, a barely disguised Mossad. “Loxfinger,” “Matzohball,” “On the Secret Service of His Majesty the Queen,” and “You Only Live Until You Die” were the Borscht Belt’s answer to the goyish macho chic of Ian Fleming’s novels that were then blasting their way onto the silver screen. The exploits of Agent Oy-Oy-7 were very funny.

“Not only was an Oy-Oy holder licensed to kill,” Weinstein wrote in 1965’s “Loxfinger,” “he was also empowered to hold a memorial service over the victim.” Rather than “shaken not stirred,” Bond the Schlemiel demanded egg creams “Seventh Avenue and 28th Street style … no ice shavings in the eight ounce Corning Ware glasses.” He lit filter-tip Raleighs with his ever-ready “Nippo, a genuine Japanese copy of a Zippo.” The first three installments appeared in 1965 and 1966. The fourth, “You Only Live Until You Die,” came out one year after the Six-Day War of 1967 and ended the series. The Jewish secret agent was no longer a joke.

Bergman, an Israeli former lawyer and investigative journalist, charts not only the details of assassinations over the past century, but also the corrupting effect of relying on the black to the exclusion of diplomacy and compromise. Why negotiate with your enemies when it’s so easy to kill them?

From the first decades of European Zionist colonization in Ottoman Palestine, some settlers imitated the methods of the Czarist police state, the anti-Semitism of which they had fled by marking enemies for elimination. Bergman picks up the story from the founding in 1907 by Yitzhak Ben Zvi of Bar Giora, named for Simon Bar Giora, leader of an ill-fated rebellion against Rome in the 1st century A.D. This became Hashomer, Guard, then the Haganah, then the Israeli Defense Forces, or IDF. Among Bar Giora’s first victims was Araf al-Arsen, an Arab police officer who Ben Zvi regarded as hostile to the settlers, in 1909. The killings did not cease after the British occupied Palestine with the intention of creating, in the famous words of the Balfour Declaration “a national home for the Jewish people.” Ben Zvi ordered the assassination in 1924 of a religious Jewish leader, Jacob de Haan, known for his opposition to Zionism. The hit man was Avraham Tehomi who broke with Palestine’s most popular Jewish leader, David Ben-Gurion, to found the Irgun Zvai Leumi (National Military Organization) in 1931. Ben-Gurion at that time opposed assassinations, a view that altered when he came to power in the new state. Meanwhile, factions of the Zionist underground assassinated British and Arab officials and civilians alike.

Bergman relates in detail the many operations undertaken by the nascent state that foiled an Egyptian rocket program, broke the backs of Palestinian commandos operating from Gaza, penetrated Syrian intelligence, and bugged the flat in Germany where young Palestinian activists planned raids into Israel. It is an astonishing story, full of derring-do, but Bergman does not neglect the war crimes committed along the way. Ariel Sharon’s massacre of at least 99 people on the West Bank village of Qibya in 1953 was only one of many that made a mockery of Tohar HaNeshek, purity of arms, that Israel claimed for its armed forces. Moreover, the concentration of resources on assassinations, Bergman writes, led Israel to miss the signs that Egypt and Syria were planning a war in October 1973 to reclaim territories they had lost in 1967.

On the evening of April 9, 1973, Israel launched “one of the biggest targeted killing operations of the twentieth century, if not the biggest” to kill three Palestinian officials in Beirut. Sixty-five operatives, led by Ehud Barak dressed as a woman, paddled ashore in 19 rubber dinghies, supported by 3,000 communications, logistics, and intelligence personnel in Israel, and broke into the flats of the three Palestinians. One of them, Kamal Nasser, was a spokesperson, not a combatant. The wife of another, Yusuf al-Najar, died beside him in their bed. Although I was in Beirut that night, I did not learn of the raid until the next morning when angry Palestinians demonstrated in the streets. Rumors circulated that the Lebanese state had collaborated with the Israelis, which it had not. The country became polarized over the Palestinian issue. Bergman does not write of the raid’s effect on Lebanon, which saw combat between the PLO and the Lebanese Army in May, prefigured the civil war that followed in 1975, and would draw Israel into invading Lebanon in 1978 and 1982.

Because the book concentrates on Israeli actions and their corrupting effects within the Israeli polity, it sometimes misses their consequences in the countries where they took place. Employing Jewish citizens of Syria, Egypt, and Iraq as spies, for example, created the misimpression that their communities were fifth columns. Bombing and invading Lebanon in the 1970s and 1980s, with assassination an essential element of the campaign, produced out of the hitherto pacific Lebanese Shiite community an organization called Hezbollah that became the most effective guerrilla force Israel had ever faced.

This book covers the botched operations, like the murder of Moroccan waiter Ahmed Bouchiki who Israeli agents mistook for Palestinian intelligence chief Abu Hassan Salameh. It also admits that part of the drive to kill Salameh, which was ultimately successful in Beirut in 1979, was to break his relationship with the CIA that Israel feared would lead to political recognition of the PLO. Killing was a tool not only to spare Israeli lives, but to also affect international policy.

Excellent as this work is, it is not without unexplained lacunae, the inclusion of which would in no way contradict Bergman’s thesis. One is the role of a British Army officer and devout Christian Zionist, Orde Wingate. During the Arab Revolt of 1936-1939 against British rule and Zionist colonization, Wingate trained young Jewish fighters of his Special Night Squads, including Moshe Dayan, in the art of assassinating and terrorizing Arab villagers. His activities merit a brief footnote in “Rise and Kill First,” although the Israeli State acknowledged its debt by naming its Wingate Institute Centre for Physical Education and Sport in 1957 in honor of “the Friend.” Another missing element is the Lavon Affair of 1954, when Israel paid Egyptian Jewish agents to bomb American cultural centers to undermine relations between the U.S. and the new regime of Gamal Abdel Nasser. It backfired when the Egyptians caught the agents, and Israeli Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon was forced to resign amid international condemnation.

Bergman writes, “Since World War II, Israel has assassinated more people than any other country in the Western world.” The figures he cites — 1,000 killed before the Palestinian Second Intifada, 168 successful “liquidations” during that intifada, and 800 “targeted killings” since then — do not approach the record of the United States. In Vietnam alone, America’s Operation Speedy Express and Phoenix Program in Vietnam took the lives of more than 30,000 Viet Cong supporters. U.S.-led death squads in Latin America killed uncounted thousands. Since 9/11, the U.S. has adopted assassination of suspected enemies as a legitimate policy tool, however doubtful its legality. William Blum’s “Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions since World War II” cites more than 50 CIA attempts on the lives of foreign politicians. The CIA tried and failed to kill Zhou Enlai in 1954, Iraqi Gen. Abdel Karim Kassem in 1959, and Fidel Castro, repeatedly. Overshadowing those failures were the agency’s successful participation in the murder of Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba in 1961, Vietnam’s Diem brothers in 1963, and Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973. Only in 1976 did President Gerald Ford sign Executive Order 11905 that no longer allowed government employees to “engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination.” That went out the window in 2011, along with many other protections, as a result of Al Qaeda’s 9/11 mass murders.

At this time, the U.S., Israel, Russia, North Korea, and many other members of the community of nations continue to murder their opponents without having to account for it. The world is back to the divine right of kings to decide who shall live and who shall die. Bergman has performed the valuable service of denying us the right to pretend — as so many Germans did in 1945 — that we didn’t know.


Israeli politicians suspect Netanyahu seeks election to survive corruption probes

March 11, 2018

by Jeffrey Heller


JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A dispute within Israel’s governing coalition over military conscription of ultra-orthodox Jewish men stirred speculation on Sunday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to see a snap election to help him survive corruption investigations.

Right-wing and religious parties in the government are divided over the framing of a bill that would protect the exemption ultra-Orthodox men have traditionally enjoyed from compulsory military service. That has led to a series of urgent meetings between Netanyahu and his political partners.

After coalition talks on Sunday, Netanyahu’s office said cabinet ministers were waiting for ultra-Orthodox parties, which control 13 of the government’s 66 seats in the 120-member parliament, to present a revised formula for the legislation.

Secularist right-wing parties want the exemption lifted or at least the language changed. In the past the parties have compromised over the issue, but at least one coalition partner suggested Netanyahu was not invested in preventing the government’s collapse.

“It is a fake crisis that can be resolved. It all depends on Netanyahu,” Naftali Bennett, leader of the nationalist Jewish Home party that holds eight seats, told Israel Radio.

“If you bring down a right-wing government and lead us to unnecessary elections for personal aims, you will lose us,” Bennett added on Twitter, apparently hinting at withdrawing future support for Netanyahu if the prime minister is indicted.

At least three police investigations revolving around bribery allegations threaten the four-term prime minister’s political survival. Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing and says he is the victim of a witch hunt.

At a meeting with ministers of his Likud party on Sunday, Netanyahu was quoted by Israeli media as saying he was working for a stable government that would serve out its term until a national election due in November 2019.

Writing in the left-wing Haaretz newspaper, political commentator Yossi Verter spelled out a possible Netanyahu strategy.

“All the factors have converged to give the premier a one-time opportunity to go to an election and win, form a new government, and then, after he’s indicted, argue that the public made its choice knowing what the suspicions were, and therefore the accused can continue to manage his trial while also managing the country,” Verter wrote.

Police have already recommended Netanyahu be charged in two corruption cases. Final word on whether to indict him rests with the attorney-general, a decision that could be months away. Recent opinion polls show public support for Netanyahu is still strong.

Editing by Peter Graff


Le Pen wants France’s National Front to be renamed ‘National Rally’

March 11, 2018

by Simon Carraud


LILLE, France (Reuters) – French far-right leader Marine Le Pen proposed her National Front party be renamed the “National Rally” on Sunday, in a bid to shed a brand associated by many voters with racism and anti-Semitism and facilitate alliances with other parties.

Speaking at a party congress meant to help her reassert her authority following her defeat to President Emmanuel Macron last May, Le Pen said the party’s priority should be to gain power, which could only be achieved through a coalition with allies.

“Our goal is clear: power,” Le Pen told party cardholders gathered in the northern city of Lille, who cheered her speech denouncing immigration, globalization and a federal Europe.

“We were originally a protest party,” she said. “There should be no doubt now that we can be a ruling party.”

The new name – “Rassemblement National” in French, meaning rally or union – is meant to show the party’s new willingness to rally other parties behind it, and drop antagonistic connotations of the old Front, she said.

In a concession to the old guard, the party will keep its red-white-and-blue flame logo, she said.

The idea of changing the party’s name was only approved by a narrow majority of National Front members, with 52 percent backing it on Saturday, according to figures provided by the party. They will get to vote again on the new name by post.

Jean-Marie Le Pen, the 89-year old far-right veteran who founded the party in 1972, called the name change political “suicide” in an interview with Reuters last month.

“The National Front name is associated with an epic and glorious history, which no-one should deny,” Marine Le Pen said. “But you know it is for many French people a psychological barrier.”

Rebranding the party is also a way for Marine Le Pen to signal a clear break from her father’s toxic legacy. On Sunday, he was finally banished from the party, marking the end of a bitter power struggle since the daughter took over in 2011.


In her speech, she slammed Macron’s On The Move party as the embodiment of globalists cut off from France’s roots. “In Macron’s France, to be on the move is to be a nomad. Just like migrants and tax evaders,” she said.

Although she lost last year’s election, Marine Le Pen’s efforts to clean up the party’s image have paid off to some extent. She won a third of the vote in the run-off, almost double her father’s best showing in his 40 years at the party’s helm.

She watered down her anti-euro stance, which has proved unpopular beyond the party’s core fans, after the election, refocusing the party on migration and security as other far-right parties in Europe have done.

“Legal and illegal immigration are no longer bearable,” she said to rousing applause.

Standing unopposed at this weekend’s congress, she was reelected with 100 percent of the votes.

Her strategy is also showing signs of tempting some in the conservative Republicans party to forge an alliance.

“The National Front has evolved, let’s look at whether a deal is possible,” Thierry Mariani, a former minister in Nicolas Sarkozy’s government, told the Journal du Dimanche. That was quickly slapped down by the Republicans’ spokeswoman.

However, it remains unclear whether rebranding the party will be enough to change its extremist image among the wider public.

In an Ifop poll published on Sunday, 63 percent of the French said the National Front would present a threat for democracy if it gained power.

Reporting by Simon Carraud, writing by Michel Rose, Editing by William Maclean and John Stonestreet



Donald Trump advocates death penalty for drug dealers in rambling speech

President covers wide range of topics at Pittsburgh rally before mentioning Republican candidate Rick Saccone whose campaign he was there to endorse

March 10, 2018

by Ben Jacobs in Moon, Pennsylvania


In a campaign stop three days before a crucial special election for Congress, Donald Trump advocated the death penalty for drug dealers in the course of an hour-long rambling campaign style speech where he bashed television anchors, unveiled his re-election slogan and discussed nuclear arms negotiations with North Korea. He also mentioned the Republican candidate whom he endorsed.

Speaking to a crowd of supporters in a packed airplane hangar outside of Pittsburgh, Trump gave one of his trademark speeches including a rare imitation where he feigned what it would be like to act “presidential”.

The event was held to support Republican Rick Saccone who is neck and neck with Democrat Conor Lamb in a congressional district that Trump won by over 20 points in the 2016 election. Trump praised Saccone saying “he knows things other people don’t know” and bashed the Democratic candidate as “Lamb the Sham”. He also discussed the physical attractiveness of both candidates. Trump said of the 33-year-old Lamb “I hear he’s nice looking, I think I’m better looking” and then followed up by saying Saccone “is handsome too”.

But Trump spent most of his hour and 20 minutes on stage talking about almost every other topic under the sun. He confirmed reports that that he had been floating the idea of imposing a death penalty on drug dealers by a long discourse where he praised the criminal justice system in China. Trump noted China once had a problem with “the opium” that was “devastating” and went on to explain his bafflement that murderers were treated more harshly than drug dealers. “If someone goes and shoots somebody, kills somebody they get the death penalty,” said Trump. In contrast, he noted “a drug dealer will kill 2,000 to 5,000 people during the course of his life”.

Trump acknowledged how controversial the concept was. “I don’t know if this country is ready but I think it’s a discussion we have to start thinking about.”

It marked Trump’s most explicit public statements on the topic although he previously praised Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte who is leading a campaign of alleged extrajudicial killings against drug dealers and users.

In the aftermath of the shock announcement that Trump would meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, he touched upon his relationship with the man he once publicly derided as “little Rocket Man.” Trump chided the crowd when they started go boo Kim, saying “we have to be very nice” ahead of the scheduled summit.

He went to attack his predecessors for not meeting with Kim and said his meeting would be a great accomplishment and had forced concessions from “a man who is nuked up all over the place”. As Trump described it: “They announce they’re not sending any missiles up … I wouldn’t say Japan was thrilled with missiles flying over Japan.”

He also said he deserved praise for the success of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. In Trump’s telling, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in told him: “Without Donald Trump, the Olympics would have been a total failure.” He then opined: “It’s a little hard to sell tickets when you think you’re going to be nuked.”

In addition to the coming special election, Trump looked back to the 2016 election where he derided a speech made by Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts – whom he called “Pocahontas” – on behalf of Hillary Clinton for being “so angry”. He also dwelled at length on his victory in the electoral college.

Looking forward, Trump announced his 2020 campaign slogan would be “Keep America great” since he had already “made America great again”. He also took credit for a congressional special election win by Republican Karen Handel in a suburban district where Trump was deliberately kept away for fear of alienating moderate Republican voters.

As Trump often does, he went on several tirades about the media. He derided NBC news host Chuck Todd as “a sleepy son of a bitch”, called CNN “fake as hell” and vented about a Wall Street Journal columnist, calling him “a Neanderthal”.

But one unusual target of his ire was Ronald Reagan. The 40th president is a venerated figure among Republicans, but Trump criticized his predecessor as “not great on trade”.


White Evangelical Women, Core Supporters of Trump, Begin Tiptoeing Away

March 11, 2018

by Michael Tackett

New York Times

GRAPEVINE, Tex. — Carol Rains, a white evangelical Christian, has no regrets over her vote for President Trump. She likes most of his policies and would still support him over any Democrat. But she is open to another Republican.

“I would like for someone to challenge him,” Ms. Rains said, as she sipped wine recently with two other evangelical Christian women at a suburban restaurant north of Dallas. “But it needs to be somebody that’s strong enough to go against the Democrats.” Her preferred alternative: Nikki R. Haley, the United Nations ambassador and former South Carolina governor.

One of her friends, Linda Leonhart, agreed. “I will definitely take a look to see who has the courage to take on a job like this and do what needs to be done,” she said.

While the men in the pulpits of evangelical churches remain among Mr. Trump’s most stalwart supporters, some of the women in the pews may be having second thoughts. As the White House fights to silence a pornographic actress claiming an affair with Mr. Trump, and a jailed Belarusian escort claims evidence against the American president, Mr. Trump’s hold on white evangelical women may be slipping.

According to data from the Pew Research Center, support among white evangelical women in recent surveys has dropped about 13 percentage points, to 60 percent, compared with about a year ago. That is even greater than the eight-point drop among all women.

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“That change is statistically significant,” said Gregory A. Smith, Pew’s associate director of research, who also noted a nine-point drop among evangelical men. “Both groups have become less approving over time.”

If that drop in support translates into a lack of enthusiasm among core Trump supporters in the midterm elections in November, as it did for many of President Barack Obama’s voters in 2010, the Republican Party could be more vulnerable in its efforts to maintain control of Congress. In 2020, it would also possibly open a lane for a primary challenger to the president.

The women in suburban Dallas all conceded they have cringed sometimes at Mr. Trump, citing his pettiness, impulsiveness, profanity and name calling. Still, they defended him because he delivered on issues they cared most about, such as the appointment of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

“Certainly we are all embarrassed, but for the most part he represents what we stand for,” said Ms. Leonhart, who is active in the women’s ministry at her church.

A clear majority of white evangelical women, even in the face of the #MeToo movement and renewed claims of marital infidelity against the president, continue, along with white evangelical men, to form Mr. Trump’s most cohesive block of support.

Mr. Trump’s ability to connect so strongly with evangelical voters was among the most notable surprises of the 2016 campaign. Since his election, he has courted evangelical leaders aggressively and, more important, has delivered on promises to appoint conservatives like Justice Gorsuch to federal courts. Men who see themselves as leaders of religious conservatives, such as Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell Jr. and Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, have remained doggedly supportive.

And the majority of evangelical women remain in his corner.

But it has not been easy.

“I don’t know any evangelical woman who is going to defend the character of the president,” said Carmen Fowler LaBerge, host of “The Reconnect,” an evangelical-centered radio show.

“Many things the president says and does are things that many evangelicals use as examples with our kids of what we should not do,” added Ms. LaBerge, who did not support Mr. Trump in 2016. “This is not who we are as evangelicals. This is not how we treat people.”

Some evangelical women simply keep their views private. Gathered at a well-appointed home in Falls Church, Va., last week, eight Christian women agreed to talk about their feelings about the president, on one condition: that they not be identified.

They feared reprisal in the workplace, at their children’s schools, even at their church. They meet in secret and have a private Facebook group, which its organizer said has about 160 members, to talk about their support for Mr. Trump.

They said that Christian voters who backed Trump had been derided as unthinking, unsophisticated hypocrites, but for many of them that only affirmed their resolve. One of the women said that her parents had come to the United States illegally from El Salvador and that she was born a short time later. Her father is now a citizen. She supports Mr. Trump and his hard-line plans on immigration.

“I would say that this year has only made me more of a certain supporter,” said another of the women, Joanna, who agreed to be identified only by her first name. “I’ve been really excited to see him come through with his promises, one by one, against incredible odds.”

Still, there is a tension among evangelical women. They said they largely cast their votes against Hillary Clinton more than for Mr. Trump.

“At least in my experience, it was more of an anti-Hillary vote than a pro-Trump vote,” Ms. LaBerge said.

Karen Swallow Prior, a professor at Liberty University who opposed Mr. Trump and voted for a third-party candidate, said, “Now that Trump is in office and we are evaluating his performance then, I am glad to see that people are less in lock step and thinking critically about him as a leader, and it doesn’t surprise me that his overall support would decline from 80 percent.”

“I was one of those culture war evangelicals in the ’80s and ’90s,” Ms. Swallow Prior said. “I was appalled by the candidacy and presidency of Bill Clinton. It was hammered into my mind that character mattered, and that did change when Trump came along. In some ways, I felt betrayed by my evangelical peers who taught me and cemented in me the idea that character matters. I didn’t abandon that belief. I feel like some evangelicals did.”

Her outspoken criticism is all the more notable given that the president of Liberty University, Mr. Falwell, remains one of the president’s most vocal defenders.

Evangelical voters, often portrayed as a monolith, are becoming increasingly difficult to define. The support for Mr. Trump reflects a growing pragmatism among evangelical voters who are willing to accept a less than ideal model of Christian faith in exchange for policies that they endorse.

“I think they’ve become experienced and very practical,” said Frances FitzGerald, the author of the recent book “The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America.” “By large majorities they used to believe that to be elected, you had to be of good character. No longer. It’s ‘We want a president to do what we want him to do, and he’s going to do it if we turn out and vote.’”

Mr. Trump also appeals to white evangelicals in other ways with his strong language, disruptive view of presidential norms and his policies on taxes. “Religious right rhetoric has always been very martial — isolationist and martial at the same time,” Ms. FitzGerald said.

In surveys conducted by LifeWay Research in Nashville, evangelical voters in 2016 cited the economy (30 percent) and national security (26 percent) as their top two issues. Abortion was cited by just 4 percent, said Scott McConnell, the company’s executive director.

Evangelical voters began to emerge as a political force with their support for Ronald Reagan in 1980 and became a more coherent movement with the 1988 presidential campaign of the religious broadcaster Pat Robertson and the rise of Christian Coalition. But there are now few obvious leaders of religious conservatism, and voters have become more conventional in their assessment of candidates.

And even among religious conservatives, the Pew poll suggests tolerance for Mr. Trump has its limits.

“It may simply be that there’s not a single breaking point as much as a tipping point, the ‘Oh Lord, I can’t stand another one of these,’” said William Martin, a scholar at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University and author of “With God on Our Side,” which charted the political rise of the religious right.



‘Turkey not a NATO country?’ Erdogan slams allies’ refusal to support his offensive in Syria’s Afrin

March 11, 2018


Turkey’s leader has scorched NATO allies over their failure to support his “counter-terrorist” operation in the Kurdish-held Syrian region of Afrin, but expressed gratitude that they at least had no guts to openly oppose Ankara.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivered the inflammatory comments while speaking before a gathering of his ruling AK Party in the Turkish city of Mersin on Saturday.

“Hey NATO where are you? We’re fighting so much. NATO, Turkey is not a NATO country? Where are you? You’ve invited NATO-member states to Afghanistan,” Erdogan said.

NATO members not only show no support towards Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch and would even openly oppose Ankara’s actions in Syria, but did not have the guts to do so, Erdogan claimed. The offensive against Kurdish militias in Syria’s region of Afrin was launched late in January. Turkey describes the militias as offshoots of the terrorist-labeled outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). So far, 3,213 “terrorists” have been killed during the operation, carried out by Turkish troops and affiliated Free Syrian Army (FSA) militants, Erdogan stated.

“In fact, they would openly oppose Turkey in Syria if they could. But seeing Turkey’s adamant position, they did not find [the] resolve to do so,” the president said.

The Turkish leader also reiterated his earlier statements, that his only goal in Syria was the “fight against terrorism.” When Ankara reaches it, the troops will be pulled out of the country, he stated.

“Turkey’s goal is not capture of the territories of the other states, but only elimination of the terrorism threat in the region. Turkey will fight terrorists anywhere they operate,” Erdogan said, once again promising new military operations in Syria, including in the areas held by the US-backed Kurdish-led militias.

Washington has repeatedly called upon Turkey to stop its “aggression” against the Afrin region, omitting the fact that the US-led coalition itself spent years in Syria without any invitation from the government or international approval. The recent UNSC resolution, which urged a 30-days Syria-wide ceasefire, has been also used to call upon Erdogan to halt the invasion.

“Turkey is more than welcome to go back and read the exact text of this UN Security Council resolution, and I would suggest that they do so,” US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on February 27, stating that the Afrin region was “certainly within Syria.”

The calls have been dismissed by Turkish officials, who insist they are fighting against “terrorists,” while Afrin was not explicitly mentioned in the resolution. The document, however, only stated that the ceasefire did not apply to such groups as Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL/ISIS), Al-Qaeda and Al-Nusra front, and did not describe any Kurdish militias as terrorists.

Earlier this week, the Pentagon announced an “operational pause” in the fight against remnants of IS in eastern Syria, admitting that Turkey’s activities in Afrin affected the coalition’s capabilities. Some US-backed militias in Syria have switched their priorities from fighting IS terrorists to battling Turkish troops and affiliated FSA militants.


Why the West Cannot Stomach Russians

March 8, 2018

by Andre Vitchek


When it comes to Russia or the Soviet Union, reports and historical accounts do get blurry; in the West they do, and consequently in all of its ‘client states’.

Fairytales get intermingled with reality, while fabrications are masterfully injected into sub consciousness of billions of people worldwide. Russia is an enormous country, in fact the largest country on Earth in terms of territory. It is scarcely inhabited. It is deep, and as a classic once wrote: “It is impossible to understand Russia with one’s brain. One could only believe in it.”

The Western mind generally doesn’t like things unknown, spiritual and complex. Since the ‘old days’, especially since the crusades and monstrous colonialist expeditions to all corners of the world, the Westerners were told fables about their own “noble deeds” performed in the plundered lands. Everything had to be clear and simple: “Virtuous Europeans were civilizing savages and spreading Christianity, therefore, in fact, saving those dark poor primitive souls.”

Of course, tens of millions were dying in the process, while further tens of millions were shackled and brought to the “New Worlds” as slaves. Gold, silver, and other loot, as well as slave labor had been (and still are) paying for all those European palaces, railroads, universities and theatres, but that did not matter, as the bloodshed was most of the time something abstract and far away from those over-sensitive eyes of the Western public.

Westerners like simplicity, particularly when it comes to moral definitions of “good and evil”. It matters nothing if the truth gets systematically ‘massaged’, or even if the reality is fully fabricated. What matters is that there is no deep guilt and no soul-searching. Western rulers and their opinion makers know their people – their ‘subjects’ – perfectly well, and most of the time, they give them what they are asking for. The rulers and the reigned are generally living in symbiosis. They keep bitching about each other, but mostly they have similar goals: to live well, to live extremely well, as long as the others are forced to pay for it; with their riches, with their labor and often with their blood.

Culturally, most of the citizens of Europe and North America hate to pay the bill for their highlife; they even detest to admit that their life is extremely ‘high’. They like to feel like victims. They like to feel that they are ‘used’. They like to imagine that they are sacrificing themselves for the rest of the world.

And above all, they hate real victims: those they have been murdering, raping, plundering and insulting, for decades and centuries.

Recent ‘refugee crises’ showed the spite Europeans feel for their prey. People who made them rich and who lost everything in the process are humiliated, despised and insulted. Be they Afghans or Africans, the Middle Easterners or South Asians. Or Russians, although Russians are falling to its own, unique category.

Many Russians look white. Most of them eat with knife and fork, they drink alcohol, excel at Western classical music, poetry, literature, science and philosophy.

To Western eyes they look ‘normal’, but actually, they are not.

Russians always want ‘something else’; they refuse to play by Western rules.

They are stubbornly demanding to remain different, and to be left alone.

When confronted, when attacked, they fight.

They rarely strike first, almost never invade.

But when threatened, when assaulted, they fight with tremendous determination and force, and they never lose. Villages and cities get converted into invader’s graves. Millions die while defending their Motherland, but the country survives. And it happens again and again and again, as the Western hordes have been, for centuries, assaulting and burning Russian lands, never learning the lesson and never giving up on their sinister dream of conquering and controlling that proud and determined colossus.

In the West, they don’t like those who defend themselves, who fight against them, and especially those who win.

It gets much worse than that.

Russia has this terrible habit… not only it defends itself and its people, but it also fights for the others, protecting colonized and pillaged nations, as well as those that are unjustly assaulted.

It saved the world from Nazism. It did it at a horrific price of 25 million men, women and children, but it did it; courageously, proudly and altruistically. The West never forgave the Soviet Union for this epic victory either, because all that is unselfish and self-sacrificing, is always in direct conflict with its own principles, and therefore ‘extremely dangerous’.

The Russian people had risen; had fought and won in the 1917 Revolution; an event which terrified the West more than anything else in history, as it had attempted to create a fully egalitarian, classless and racially color-blind society. It also gave birth to Internationalism, an occurrence that I recently described in my book The Great October Socialist Revolution: Impact on the World and the Birth of Internationalism.

Soviet Internationalism, right after the victory in WWII, helped greatly, directly and indirectly, dozens of countries on all continents, to stand up and to confront the European colonialism and the North American imperialism. The West and especially Europe never forgave the Soviet people in general and Russians in particular, for helping to liberate its slaves.

That is when the greatest wave of propaganda in human history really began to roll. From London to New York, from Paris to Toronto, an elaborate web of anti-Soviet and covertly anti-Russian hysteria was unleashed with monstrously destructive force. Tens of thousands of ‘journalists’, intelligence officers, psychologists, historians, as well as academics, were employed. Nothing Soviet, nothing Russian (except those glorified and often ‘manufactured’ Russian dissidents) was spared.

The excesses of the Great October Socialist Revolution and the pre-WWII era were systematically fabricated, exaggerated, and then engraved into the Western history textbooks and mass media narrative. In those tales, there was nothing about the vicious invasions and attacks coming from the West, aimed at destroying young Bolshevik state. Naturally, there was no space for mentioning the British, French, U.S., Czech, Polish, Japanese, German and other’s monstrous cruelties.

Soviet and Russian views were hardly ever allowed to penetrate the monolithic and one-sided Western propaganda narrative.

Like obedient sheep, the Western public accepted the disinformation it was fed with. Eventually, many people living in the Western colonies and ‘client states’, did the same. A great number of colonized people were taught how to blame themselves for their misery.

The most absurd but somehow logical occurrence then took place: many men, women and even children living in the USSR, succumbed to Western propaganda. Instead of trying to reform their imperfect but still greatly progressive country, they gave up, became cynical, aggressively ‘disillusioned’, corrupt and naively but staunchly pro-Western.

It was the first and most likely the last time in the history, Russia got defeated by the West. It happened through deceit, through shameless lies, through Western propaganda.

What followed could be easily described as genocide.

The Soviet Union was first lulled into Afghanistan, then it was mortally injured by the war there, by an arms race with the United States, and by the final stage of propaganda that was literally flowing like lava from various hostile Western state-sponsored radio stations. Of course, local ‘dissidents’ also played an important role.

Under Gorbachev, a ‘useful idiot’ of the West, things got extremely bizarre. I don’t believe that he was paid to ruin his own country, but he did almost everything to run it into the ground; precisely what Washington wanted him to do. Then, in front of the entire world, a mighty and proud Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics suddenly shook in agony, then uttered a loud cry, and collapsed; died painfully but swiftly.

A new turbo-capitalist, bandit, pro-oligarch and confusedly pro-Western Russia was born. Russia which was governed by an alcoholic Boris Yeltsin; a man loved and supported by Washington, London and other Western centers of power.

It was a totally unnatural, sick Russia – cynical and compassionless, built with someone else’s ideas – Russia of Radio Liberty and Voice of America, of the BBC, of black marketers, of oligarchs and multi-national corporations.

Is the West now daring to say that Russians are ‘interfering’ in something in Washington? Are they out of their minds?

Washington and other Western capitals did not only ‘interfere’, they openly broke the Soviet Union into pieces and then they began kicking Russia which was at that point half-alive. Is it all forgotten, or is Western public again fully ‘unaware’ of what took place during those dark days?

The West kept spitting at the impoverished and injured country, refused to honor international agreements and treaties. It offered no help. Multi-nationals were unleashed, and began ‘privatizing’ Russian state companies, basically stealing what was built by the sweat and blood of Soviet workers, during long decades.

Interference? Let me repeat: it was direct intervention, invasion, a grab of resources, shameless theft! I want to read and write about it, but we don’t hear much about it, anymore, do we?

Now we are told that Russia is paranoid, that its President is paranoid! With straight face, the West is lying; pretending that it has not been trying to murder Russia.

Those years… Those pro-Western years when Russia became a semi-client state of the West, or call it a semi-colony! There was no mercy, no compassion coming from abroad. Many of those idiots – kitchen intellectuals from Moscow and provinces – suddenly woke up but it was too late. Many of them had suddenly nothing to eat. They got what they were told to ask for: their Western ‘freedom and democracy’, and Western-style capitalism or in summary: total collapse.

I remember well how it was ‘then’. I began returning to Russia, horrified, working in Moscow, Tomsk, Novosibirsk, Leningrad. Academics from Akadem Gorodok outside Novosibirsk were selling their libraries in the bitter cold, in dark metro underpasses of Novosibirsk… Runs on the banks… Old retired people dying from hunger and cold behind massive doors of concrete blocks… unpaid salaries and starving miners, teachers…

Russia under the deadly embrace of the West, for the first and hopefully last time! Russia whose life expectancy suddenly dropped to African Sub-Saharan levels. Russia humiliated, wild, in terrible pain.

But that nightmare did not last long.

And what happened – those short but horrible years under both Gorbachev and Yeltsin, but above all under the Western diktat – will never be forgotten, not forgiven.

Russians know perfectly well what they do not want, anymore!

Russia stood up again. Huge, indignant and determined to live its own life, its own way. From an impoverished, humiliated and robbed nation, subservient to the West, the country evolved and within a few years, the free and independent Russia once again joined ranks of the most developed and powerful countries on Earth.

And as before Gorbachev, Russia is once again able to help those nations which are under unjust and vicious attacks of the Western empire.

A man who is leading this renaissance, President Vladimir Putin, is tough, but Russia is under great threat and so is the world – this is no time for weaklings.

President Putin is not perfect (who is, really?), but he is a true patriot, and I dare say, an internationalist.

Now the West, once again, hates both Russia and its leader. No wonder; undefeated, strong and free Russia is the worst imaginable foe of Washington and its lieutenants.

That’s how the West feels, not Russia. Despite all that was done to it, despite tens of millions of lost and ruined lives, Russia has always been ready to compromise, even to forgive, if not forget.

There is something deeply pathological in the psyche of the West. It cannot accept anything less than full and unconditional submission. It has to control, to be in charge, and on top of everything; it has to feel exceptional. Even when it murders and ruins the entire Planet, it insists on feeling superior to the rest of the world.

This faith in exceptionalism is the true Western religion, much more than even Christianity, which for decades has not really played any important role there. Exceptionalism is fanatical, it is fundamentalist and unquestionable.

It also insists that its narrative is the only one available anywhere in the World. That the West is seen as a moral leader, as a beacon of progress, as the only competent judge and guru.

Lies are piling on top of lies. As in all religions, the more absurd the pseudo-reality is, the more brutal and extreme are the methods used to uphold it. The more laughable the fabrications are, the more powerful the techniques used to suppress the truth are.

Today, hundreds of thousands of ‘academics’, teachers, journalists, artists, psychologists and other highly paid professionals, in all parts of the world, are employed by the Empire, for two goals only – to glorify the Western narrative and to discredit all that is standing in its way; daring to challenge it.

Russia is the most hated adversary of the West, with China, Russia’s close ally being near second.

The propaganda war unleashed by the West is so insane, so intense, that even some of the European and North American citizens are beginning to question tales coming from Washington, London and elsewhere.

Wherever one turns, there is a tremendous medley of lies, of semi-lies, half-truths; a complex and unnavigable swamp of conspiracy theories. Russia is being attacked for interfering in U.S. domestic affairs, for defending Syria, for standing by defenseless and intimidated nations, for having its own powerful media, for doping its athletes, for still being Communist, for not being socialist anymore; in brief: for everything imaginable and unimaginable.

Criticism of the country is so thorough and ludicrous, that one begins to ask very legitimate questions: “what about the past? What about the Western narrative regarding the Soviet past, particularly the post-Revolutionary period, and the period between two world wars?”

The more I analyze this present-day Western anti-Russian and anti-Chinese propaganda, the more determined I am to study and write about the Western narrative regarding Soviet history. I’m definitely planning to investigate these matters in the future, together with my friends – Russian and Ukrainian historians.In the eyes of the West, Russians are ‘traitors’.

Instead of joining the looters, they have been standing by the ‘wretched of the world’, in the past, as well as now. They refused to sell their Motherland, and to enslave their own people. Their government is doing all it can to make Russia self-sufficient, fully independent, prosperous, proud and free.

Remember that ‘freedom’, ‘democracy’ and many other terms, mean totally different things in distinctive parts of the world. What is happening in the West could never be described as ‘freedom’ in Russia or in China, and vice versa.

Frustrated, collapsing, atomized and egotistic societies of Europe and North America do not inspire even their own people, anymore. They are escaping by millions annually, to Asia, Latin America, and even to Africa. Escaping from emptiness, meaninglessness and emotional cold. But it is not Russia’s or China’s business to tell them how to live or not to live!

In the meantime, great cultures like Russia and China do not need, and do not want to be told by the Westerners, what freedom is, and what democracy is.

They do not attack the West, and expect the same in return.

It is truly embarrassing that the countries responsible for hundreds of genocides, for hundreds of millions of murdered people on all continents, still dare to lecture others.

Many victims are too scared to speak.

Russia is not.

It is composed, gracious, but fully determined to defend itself if necessary; itself as well as many other human beings living on this beautiful but deeply scarred Planet.

Russian culture is enormous: from poetry and literature, to music, ballet, philosophy… Russian hearts are soft, they easily melt when approached with love and kindness. But when millions of lives of innocent people are threatened, both the hearts and muscles of Russians quickly turn to stone and steel. During such moments, when only victory could save the world, Russian fists are hard, and the same is true about the Russian armor.

There is no match to Russian courage in the sadistic but cowardly West.

Irreversibly, both hope and future are moving towards the east.

And that is why Russia is desperately hated by the West.



The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy

March 11, 2018

by Christian Jürs

Robert Francis “Bobby” Kennedy (November 20, 1925 – June 6, 1968), also called RFK, was one of two younger brothers of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, and served as United States Attorney General from 1961–1964. He was one of President Kennedy’s most trusted advisors and worked closely with the President during the Cuban Missile Crisis. His contribution to the African-American Civil Rights Movement is sometimes considered his greatest legacy. After his brother’s assassination in late 1963, Kennedy continued as Attorney General under President Johnson for nine months. He resigned in September, 1964 and was elected to the United States Senate from New York that November. He was assassinated shortly after delivering a speech celebrating his victory in the 1968 Democratic Presidential primary of California at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Three days later, on June 9, 1968, President Johnson declared an official Day of National Mourning in response to the public outpouring of grief following Kennedy’s death.

On June 4, 1968, Kennedy scored a major victory when he won the California primary. He addressed his supporters in the early morning hours of June 5 in a ballroom at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. He left the ballroom through a service area to greet supporters working in the hotel’s kitchen. In a crowded kitchen passageway, Sirhan B. Sirhan, a 24-year-old Palestinian, opened fire with a .22 caliber revolver. Kennedy was shot in the head at close range. He was rushed to The Good Samaritan Hospital where he died, at the age of 42.

Powder burns on Kennedy’s clothing reveal that all three of his wounds were from a gun fired from 0 to 1-1/2 inches away. And yet, all witnesses claim that Sirhan’s gun could not possibly have done this, for not one person places Sirhan’s gun that close, and according to the general consensus Sirhan’s gun never got closer than three feet away.

– Sirhan’s gun could hold only eight bullets. And yet, seven bullets were dug out of bodies. an eighth bullet was traced through two ceilings into airspace, and two more bullets were identified as lodged in the door frame of the pantry by both LAPD and FBI personnel (the fresh bullet holes were even labeled as such on their photographs). Inexcusably, the door frames were burned, the Los Angeles Police Dept. claimed no bullets were found lodged in the “bullet holes”, and two expended bullets (inexplicably dug out of wood) were soon found in the front seat of Sirhan’s car. The LAPD then destroyed their records of the tests that had been done on the “bullet holes” in the doorframe.

– Three bullets were found in Robert F. Kennedy, and a fourth grazed his suit jacket. The upward angle of every shot was so steep as to be much closer to straight up than horizontal (80 degrees). And yet, all witnesses claim Sirhan’s gun was completely horizontal for his first two shots, after which his gun hand was repeatedly slammed against a stem table (and now so far away from Kennedy that any errant shots of such upwardness would have been twenty feet high before reaching Kennedy, as opposed to entering Kennedy’s backside as they did).

– The four bullets which touched Kennedy all hit on his back right side and were traveling forward relative to his body. Kennedy was walking towards Sirhan, his body was always facing Sirhan during the shots, and afterwards he even fell backwards before saying his last lucid words, (“Is everyone all right?”) – at each and every moment facing toward Sirhan. It is impossible for bullets out of Sirhan’s gun to have hit Kennedy’s backside and been traveling forward unless Kennedy was almost entirely turned around.

Obviously Sirhan shot at Kennedy, but it is clear someone else was firing too. And once a second assassin is established, this adds far more than just another lone individual to the murder gang (because of the way many powerful branches of government instantly swung into action to protect the second assassin). Indeed, any second assassin virtually proves that powerful branches of U.S. Government were behind the murder itself – not only because of their stiff resistance from the get go, but because of their ongoing, coldly calculated, and otherwise inexplicable manipulation of evidence for keeping Sirhan as the singular decoy/patsy.





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