TBR News March 30, 2017

Mar 30 2017

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C. March 30, 2017: “Glenn Greenwald is very upset because various commentators are voicing the opinion that Edward Snowden worked for Russian intelligence.

He says that he met Edward in Hong Kong at a hotel and this proves that he did not work for Putin and his evil people.

In point of fact, Edward did work for Russian intelligence.

He quit the CIA in disgust at the nature of their work and reported some of it to WikiLeaks.

He was recommended by them to return to some kind of intelligence work and it was suggested, by WikiLeaks people, that Edward could work for Booz Hamiltion but in Hawaii because that branch of the company had not installed identification devices on their computers that indicated what operator downloaded, or looked at, what subjects. When Edward had downloaded an immense amount of the most sensitive material, he went to Hong Kong where some said he was staying at the Russian consulate there.

Mr. Greenwald says he actually met him in a Hong Kong hotel so the stories about a Russian connection were entirely false.

And then after Snowden’s American passport was cancelled, he was able to get on a Russian Aeroflot aircraft and fly to Moscow.

When the media learned of this, they flocked to the Moscow airport to be able to interview Snowden and, in one case, a CIA hit man was ready to shoot him dead on the spot.

The Aeroflot plane landed, stopped on the tarmac and someone got off and was driven away in one of the two Russian cars that drove up on the side of the aircraft out of sight of the press.

In the intelligence  community, Snowden’s haul is considered to be the largest in history.

And actually, who owns WikiLeaks?

Certainly not the CIA.”

Table of Contents

  • The Next Phase in the War on BDS: Why Israel Detained Omar Barghouti
  • The Vicious Inheritance: Stalin’s Jewish Executioners
  • German politician wants ‘Islam law’ and mosque registry
  • Germany deporting more ‘potential attackers’ after Berlin attack
  • Iraq ‘Made Mistake’ Attacking Mosul Before Capturing Isis Safe Zones
  • Mexican attorney general faces drug trafficking charges after San Diego arrest
  • North Carolina ‘bathroom’ law: Deal reached on repeal
  • Racism in Action: The Neo-Confederate Movement in American Politics

 The Next Phase in the War on BDS: Why Israel Detained Omar Barghouti

March 30, 2017

by Ramzy Baroud,


The Israeli state has violated international law more than any other country, yet has rarely, if ever, been held accountable for crimes and misconduct.

Israel’s successful public relation campaigns through the ever-willing western media partners, coupled with the relentless work and pressure carried out by its powerful backers in Washington DC, London, Paris and elsewhere, has borne stupendous results.

For a while, it seemed that Israel was capable of maintaining its occupation and denying Palestinians their rights indefinitely, while promoting itself as ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’.

Those who dared challenge that skewed paradigm through resistance in Palestine were eliminated or imprisoned; those who challenged Israel in public arenas anywhere in the world were smeared as “anti-Semitic” or “self-hating Jews”.

Things seemed to move forward nicely for Israel. With American-western financial and military aid, the size, population and economy of illegal settlements grew at a fast rate. Israel’s trade partners seemed oblivious to the fact that settlement products were manufactured or grown on illegally occupied Palestinian land.

Indeed, for a long time the occupation was very profitable with very little censure or pressure.

All that Israeli leaders needed to do was to adhere to the script: Palestinians are terrorists, we have no peace partner, Israel is a democracy, our wars are all carried out in self-defense and so on. The media repeated such misleading notions in unison. Palestinians, oppressed, occupied and disowned were duly demonized. Those who knew the truth about the situation either faced the risk of speaking out – and suffered the consequences – or remained silent.

But as the saying goes, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

Justice for Palestinians, which once appeared as if a ‘lost cause’ received a massive resurgence during the Second Palestinian Intifada (Uprising) in 2000.

Growing awareness resulting from the dedicated work of many intellectuals, journalists and students saw the arrival of thousands of international activists to Palestine as part of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).

Academicians, artists, students, religious officials and ordinary people came to Palestine and then fanned out to many parts of the globe, utilizing whatever medium available to spread a unified message to their numerous communities.

It was that groundwork that facilitated the success of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).

Established in 2005, BDS was a call made by Palestinian civil society organizations to people around the world to take part in exposing Israeli crimes and to hold accountable the Israeli government, army and companies that benefit from the subjugation of Palestinians.

With large and growing networks already in place, BDS spread quickly and took the Israeli government by surprise.

In the last decade, BDS proved resilient and resourceful, opening many new channels and platforms for discussions on Israel, its occupation, Palestinian rights and the moral accountability for those who either support or ignore Israel’s violations of human rights.

What worries Israel most about BDS is what it calls the movement’s attempt to ‘delegitimize’ Israel.

Since its inception, Israel has fought for legitimacy. But it is difficult to achieve legitimacy without respecting the rules required for a country to be legitimate. Israel wants to have it both ways: sustain its profitable occupation, test its latest weapon technology, detain and torture, besiege and assassinate while receiving international nods of approval.

Using threats, intimidation, cutting off of funds, the US and Israel have labored to silence criticism of Israel, the US main ally in the Middle East, to no avail.

As recently as days ago, a United Nations report said that Israel has established an “apartheid regime”; although the author of the report, Rima Khalaf resigned under pressure, the genie cannot go back to the bottle.

Progressively, BDS has grown to become the incubator of much of the international censure of Israel. Its early impact included artists who refuse to entertain in Israel, then companies started to shut down their Israel operations, followed by churches and universities divesting from Israeli economy. With time, Israel has found itself facing a unique, great challenge.

So, what is Israel to do?

Ignoring BDS has proved dangerous and costly. Fighting BDS is like launching a war on civil society.

In March 2016, a large conference brought together Israeli government officials, leaders from the opposition, media pundits, scholars and even entertainers from Israel, the US and elsewhere.

The conference was organized by one of Israel’s largest media companies, Yediot Achronot.

It was a rare display of unity in Israeli politics; hundreds of influential Israelis and their backers trying to forge a strategy aimed at defeating BDS.

Many ideas were put on the table.

Israeli Interior Minister, Aryeh Dery, threatened to revoke the residence of Omar Barghouti, BDS co-founder and one of its most effective voices.

Intelligence and Atomic Energy Minister, Israel Katz, called for the ‘targeted civil elimination” of BDS leaders, signaling Barghouti, in particular.

Public Security Minister, Gilad Erdan, wanted BDS activists to ‘pay the price’.

The war on BDS had officially started.

More recently, Israel passed a law that bans individuals accused of supporting the BDS movement from entry to Israel. Considering that entering Israel is the only way of gaining access to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the Israeli ban aimed at severing the strong rapport that has been connecting Palestinians to the global solidarity movement.

The anti-BDS campaign finally culminated in the detaining and interrogation of Omar Barghouti himself.

On March 19, Israeli tax authorities detained Barghouti and accused him of tax evasion.

By doing so, Israel has revealed the nature of the next stage of its fight, using smear tactics and faulting leading activists based on charges that are seemingly apolitical in order to distract from the urgent political discussion at hand.

Along with other steps, Israel feels that defeating BDS is possible through censorship, travel bans and intimidation tactics.

Regardless of what transpires in the case of Barghouti, BDS will not weaken. It is a decentralized movement with local, regional, national and global networks spanning hundreds of cities across the world.

Smearing one individual, or a hundred, will not alter the upward movement of BDS.

Israel will soon realize that its war on BDS, freedom of speech and expression is unwinnable. It is a futile attempt to muzzle a global community that now works in unison from Cape Town, South Africa to Uppsala, Sweden.

The Vicious Inheritance: Stalin’s Jewish Executioners

by Dr. Phillip L. Kushner

March 30,2017

We mustn’t forget that some of greatest murderers of modern times were Jewish.

Here’s a particularly forlorn historical date: Almost 100 years ago, between the 19th and 20th of December 1917, in the midst of the Bolshevik revolution and civil war, Lenin signed a decree calling for the establishment of The All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage, also known as Cheka.

Within a short period of time, Cheka became the largest and cruelest state security organization. Its organizational structure was changed every few years, as were its names: From Cheka to GPU, later to NKVD, and later to KGB.

We cannot know with certainty the number of deaths Cheka was responsible for in its various manifestations, but the number is surely at least 20 million, including victims of the forced collectivization, the hunger, large purges, expulsions, banishments, executions, and mass death at Gulags.

Whole population strata were eliminated: Independent farmers, ethnic minorities, members of the bourgeoisie, senior officers, intellectuals, artists, labor movement activists, “opposition members” who were defined completely randomly, and countless members of the Communist party itself.

In his new, highly praised book “The War of the World,” historian Niall Ferguson writes that no revolution in the history of mankind devoured its children with the same unrestrained appetite as did the Soviet revolution. In his book on the Stalinist purges, Tel Aviv University ‘s Dr. Igal Halfin writes that Stalinist violence was unique in that it was directed internally.

Lenin, Stalin, and their successors could not have carried out their deeds without wide-scale cooperation of disciplined “terror officials,” cruel interrogators, snitches, executioners, guards, judges, perverts, and many bleeding hearts who were members of the progressive Western Left and were deceived by the Soviet regime of horror and even provided it with a kosher certificate.

All these things are well-known to some extent or another, even though the former Soviet Union ‘s archives have not yet been fully opened to the public. But who knows about this? Within Russia itself, very few people have been brought to justice for their crimes in the NKVD’s and KGB’s service. The Russian public discourse today completely ignores the question of “How could it have happened to us?” As opposed to Eastern European nations, the Russians did not settle the score with their Stalinist past.

And us, the Jews? An Israeli student finishes high school without ever hearing the name “Genrikh Yagoda,” the greatest Jewish murderer of the 20th Century, the GPU’s deputy commander and the founder and commander of the NKVD. Yagoda diligently implemented Stalin’s collectivization orders and is responsible for the deaths of at least 10 million people. His Jewish deputies established and managed the Gulag system. After Stalin no longer viewed him favorably, Yagoda was demoted and executed, and was replaced as chief hangman in 1936 by Yezhov, the “bloodthirsty dwarf.”

Yezhov was not Jewish but was blessed with an active Jewish wife. In his Book “Stalin: Court of the Red Star”, Jewish historian Sebag Montefiore writes that during the darkest period of terror, when the Communist killing machine worked in full force, Stalin was surrounded by beautiful, young Jewish women.

Stalin’s close associates and loyalists included member of the Central Committee and Politburo Lazar Kaganovich. Montefiore characterizes him as the “first Stalinist” and adds that those starving to death in Ukraine , an unparalleled tragedy in the history of human kind aside from the Nazi horrors and Mao’s terror in China , did not move Kaganovich.

Many Jews sold their soul to the devil of the Communist revolution and have blood on their hands for eternity. We’ll mention just one more: Leonid Reichman, head of the NKVD’s special department and the organization’s chief interrogator, who was a particularly cruel sadist.

In 1934, according to published statistics, 38.5 percent of those holding the most senior posts in the Soviet security apparatuses were of Jewish origin. They too, of course, were gradually eliminated in the next purges. In a fascinating lecture at a Tel Aviv University convention this week, Dr. Halfin described the waves of soviet terror as a “carnival of mass murder,” “fantasy of purges”, and “essianism of evil.” Turns out that Jews too, when they become captivated by messianic ideology, can become great murderers, among the greatest known by modern history.

The Jews active in official communist terror apparatuses (In the Soviet Union and abroad) and who at times led them, did not do this, obviously, as Jews, but rather, as Stalinists, communists, and “Soviet people.” Therefore, we find it easy to ignore their origin and “play dumb”: What do we have to do with them? But let’s not forget them. My own view is different. I find it unacceptable that a person will be considered a member of the Jewish people when he does great things, but not considered part of our people when he does amazingly despicable things.

Even if we deny it, we cannot escape the Jewishness of “our hangmen,” who served the Red Terror with loyalty and dedication from its establishment. After all, others will always remind us of their origin.

Today, there are several millions of Jews living in the United States. The bulk of us are Reformed Jews. Nearly all of us consider ourselves to be Americans. We and our children are proud to have served in the American military and even prouder to be citizens of the one nation that has welcomed refugee Jews, fleeing from European persecutions, and permitted them free access to American society.

A much smaller percentage of American Jews are Zionists. They view themselves as Jews first, Israeli’s second and, perhaps, Americans third. Their complete allegiance is to the state of Israel and not to America. They send money to Israel and, when they have access to it, military and commercial secrets. They are the Pollards of this country. They do not represent the rest of us at all.

The State of Israel has always been a Zionist state. It was born in violence and hatred. Jews, mostly from Poland, invaded the Palestine area, killing and maiming anyone who stood in their way: Arabs, British soldiers, civilians and even high UN officials. Bombings, bank robberies, arsons and mass murder attended the birth of this state. One man, Menachim Begin, blew up a hotel full of people and was later made Chief of State!

The Zionists have fastened themselves onto the instruments of power in the United States, feeling, rightly, that American soldiers, and most importantly, money, will nurture their state and protect it from their many enemies.

Instead of making efforts to co-exist with their neighbors, Israel has constantly attacked the impoverished Palestinian Arabs and killed as many of them as they could. The IDF has had no problem murdering Arab men, women and children. It has had no problem destroying the homes and businesses of the reviled Arabs and their sole, stated aim, is to drive the Arabs out of their homes so that Jews can take them over.

How redolent this is of the attacks by the Nazis, the Poles and the Russians in recent times past! It is true that the abused child becomes the abusing parent and Israel has in truth become the National Socialists of the Middle East.

The Zionists have infiltrated the American government to a remarkable degree. They have gained an astonishing hold in the American mass media. CNN, Time Warner, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek and Time magazines and a host of other media giants are either owned outright by Jews or are under the control of Jews.

These mighty organs daily pour out a great stream of pro-Israel commentary while Jewish organizations such as the ADL and various other pressure groups, make constant, threatening demands on a subservient American legislative entity.

The fact that there are many Jews in America that view such blatant and ruthless manipulation with horror is never reported in the media.

We are the silent Jews although we outnumber the loud ones twenty to one. Our views, those of tolerance and moderation, are never seen in the media but the frantic, fanatic views of the hysterical Zionists receive daily, slavish attention.

The American public is not stupid but it has no voice to express its concerns. Faked opinion polls, pious statements about Israel as “America’s best ally” can be seen daily in all the major branches of the media.

Believe me, Israel is not America’s best ally. Through the Israel lobby, American leaders and legislators do as they are told. The consequences of refusal or worse, opposition to Zionist demands is orchestrated oblivion. Furious because President Harry Truman blocked the sale of weapons of destruction to the rampaging Zionists in 1948, Jewish money backed Thomas Dewey. An assassination attempt was launched by the Stern Gang against Truman but failed.

The British, the United Nations and the United States eventually let the Zionists have their murderous way in Palestine because they grew tired of the constant acts of savage terrorism which seemed to inspire the terrorists to even greater infamies.

These miserable, vicious and ideological creatures have nothing to do with the great majority of American Jews. We deplore their savage, manipulative behavior because we know from bitter experience that eventually the American public will become aroused and infuriated. When that dismal day comes, and it will come, all the rest of us will be held to account for the savage brutes like Sharon and his butchers. We will become the eternal victims of a population enraged by the ruthless and self-serving manipulations of a small, detestable handful of chronic fanatics. We will, at last, lose the respect of our colleagues, our neighbors and our friends and again, the eternal wandering will begin.

The pro-Israel lobby is an enormous and very powerful force in American politics; the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, is the No. 1 foreign-policy lobby in Washington and the fourth most powerful lobby in Washington, according to Fortune Magazine. Other powerful and influential pro-Israel groups include the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).

Is propaganda which involves exaggeration and distortion of facts, however worthy the cause for which it is used, ever justified? Is fiction, labeled with the brand of authenticity, ever impossible?

German politician wants ‘Islam law’ and mosque registry

A leading member of Chancellor Merkel’s CDU party, Jens Spahn, wants more rules governing the practice of Islam in Germany. Among other things, he has called for German-language sermons in mosques.

March 30m 2017


Germany needs an “Islam law” to regulate Muslim religious communities and ensure that what is being preached in mosques around the country is “transparent,” according to leading conservative politician Jens Spahn.

Spahn, a member of the executive committee of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), told the Funke Media Group on Thursday that authorities “had to know what happens in mosques,” saying that Muslim sermons in German would help diminish prejudice.

He called for German tests for imams, saying that many of the preachers who delivered sermons in German mosques came from abroad, could not speak German and were paid by other countries.

“Such imported imams lead to social disintegration,” he said, noting that Catholic sermons could be understood by everyone, but not ones in Turkish or Arabic.

Mosque registry

Spahn also demanded that mosques be registered, saying that authorities “did not know how many mosques there are in Germany, where they are or who finances them.”

A major problem, according to Spahn, was the lack of a central representative for the Muslims living in Germany. He said that the political Islamic associations with whom the German government had previously worked represented a very conservative form of Islam.

“They speak only for a minority of Muslims. They are the wrong partners,” said Spahn, a professed Catholic.

Financing religion

In addition, Spahn, who is also the deputy finance minister, called for the training of imams, teachers of religion and counselors to be paid for with tax money.

“That will be a hard debate, but I would rather we finance this than that the money comes from Turkey or Saudi Arabia,” he said, saying that a “church tax” for Muslims was also a possibility: “If the Muslim communities want a tax law, we should talk about it.”

Germany already collects money from members of Christian churches in the form of a so-called Church Tax, the proceeds of which are passed on to religious authorities in Germany.

The conservative politician also had some criticism for Christian churches in Germany, accusing them of being “uncritical” with regard to Islam.

“A friendly photo of fast-breaking, then each goes their own way; it can’t go on like that,” he said.

Spahn’s proposals echo those made last year by Andreas Scheuer, the secretary general of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party to Merkel’s CDU.

‘No need for laws on religions’

Spahn’s proposals were quickly dismissed as unnecessary by leading Greens politician Volker Beck.

“We don’t need an Islam law, a Christianity law or a Buddhism law,” he said. “The religious communities organize and administer their own affairs.”

He conceded that sermons in German and having imams trained at German universities would be a positive development. However, he said that this was something that could not be made compulsory, noting that German communities abroad continued to speak in German, while in synagogues, the Torah was mostly read in Hebrew.

German authorities estimate that more than 5 percent of the population, or some 4.5 million people, adhere to the Muslim faith in Germany.

Germany deporting more ‘potential attackers’ after Berlin attack

March 30, 2016

by Andrea Shalal


Berlin-Germany has deported 10 potential attackers since January as part of a tougher approach toward failed asylum seekers after one of them killed 12 people in an attack on a Berlin Christmas market, security sources said on Thursday.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere and other top officials have been pushing for quicker deportations of those denied asylum, while working with Morocco, Tunisia and other countries to speed up the repatriation process.

Tunisian Anis Amri, a supporter of Islamic State, attacked the Berlin market in December after being denied asylum. He was shot dead by Italian police days later.

Shortly after the incident, German’s Joint Terrorism Prevention Centre (GTAZ), reviewed the open cases of all other “potential attackers” like Amri, the sources said.

“A total of 10 potential attackers have since been successfully deported in a joint effort with the affected German states,” said one of the sources.

The suspected militants were sent back to mainly North African countries, the sources said, without providing details.

The change in approach was agreed by de Maiziere and Justice Minister Heiko Maas at a meeting on Jan. 10, where both men agreed that the Amri case must not be repeated.

In Amri’s case, one of the obstacles to physically deporting him was Tunisia’s failure to issue replacement identification papers, despite the availability of finger- and handprints.

This month German Chancellor Angela Merkel secured a promise from Tunisia to take back 1,500 rejected Tunisian asylum seekers, with those who agreed to leave voluntarily eligible to receive government aid. Germany also offered Tunisia 250 million euros in development aid.

Merkel, who will seek a fourth term as chancellor in September, has come under fire for allowing more than one million refugees to enter Germany over the past two years.

De Maiziere vowed on Tuesday to continue pushing for legislative changes that would make it easier to detain and deport potential attackers following the Amri case. One proposed law also calls for use of electronic tags.

The security sources said state prosecutors in the past had sought to exhaust opportunities to prosecute potential attackers in Germany for various other infractions, but this had proven difficult and time-consuming.

The sources did not provide details on the 10 individuals deported or say whether they were related to the Amri case. German authorities have arrested at least two individuals who had contact with Amri before the December attack.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Gareth Jones)

Iraq ‘Made Mistake’ Attacking Mosul Before Capturing Isis Safe Zones

March 29, 2017

by Patrick Cockburn

The Unz Review

The Iraqi government made a mistake that will allow Isis to survive by seeking to capture Mosul before eliminating other Isis safe havens in northern and western Iraq to which its fighters can retreat, according to a senior Iraqi leader.

“It would have been better first to eliminate Daesh (Isis) sanctuaries to which they can retreat when Mosul falls,” says Najmaldin Karim, the Governor of the oil province of Kirkuk, in an interview with The Independent. He says that half of Kirkuk province is still held by Isis and cited, in particular, the Hawija area, a notorious stronghold south west of Kirkuk city of Isis and previously of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Iraqis in general are wondering if the long-delayed capture of Mosul will prove to be a decisive defeat for Isis and the self-declared Caliphate or will it return to guerrilla warfare and terrorism. Mr Karim believes that it will not be able to capture territory as it once did, but it will go on fighting. There has been an upsurge in pin-prick Isis attacks in places that has been quiet over the last year.

Mr Karim says that not only does Isis still have sanctuaries, but it can draw on a disaffected Sunni Arab population who have been displaced by the war. He points out that in Kirkuk province alone “there are 500,000 Sunni Arabs who had to leave their homes and are not being allowed to return”. Most come from Baghdad and the provinces around it from which the Sunni have been forced to flee by Shia militia, the Hashd al-Shaabi, and the Shia-dominated security forces. He said that 200,000 people who came from solidly Sunni towns and villages were being permitted to go back, but not the larger number who came from previously mixed communities of Sunni and Shia.

The great majority were displaced when Isis began a series of offensives in early 2014 which culminated in the fall of Mosul in June and brought Isis fighters to within an hour’s drive of Baghdad at the height of their success. Isis has since lost much, but by no means all, of the territory that it seized then which was largely inhabited by Sunni Arabs.

Isis terrorist tactics, and especially the thousands of suicide bombing attacks on Shia civilians, provoked sectarian hatred or at least deep suspicion directed against Sunni Arabs on the part of Shia, Yazidis and Christians that has not dissipated. These atrocities are still continuing.

“There is no reconciliation [between Sunni and Shia],” says Mr Karim and this provides fertile ground for Isis to recruit fighters. The number of these may be growing in places like Hawija and Tal Afar west of Mosul as Isis loses ground elsewhere. He adds that “the Prime Minister [Haider al-Abadi] issues directives saying that places have been liberated and their people can go home, but nothing happens.” He suggested that the motive was “to make these areas pure” or, in other words, cleansed of Sunni Arabs who might support Isis or some similar militarised Sunni fundamentalist movement.

“Mosul is a mess,” says Mr Karim, referring to the deep divisions between Sunni, Shia, Kurds, Yazidis and Shabak as well as interference by outside powers such a Turkey. Once Isis is defeated in the city, then each will demand a cut of the cake or a restoration of their previous position. “When I was student in Mosul [in the 1960s] the city was 40 per cent Kurdish, but they all had to get out,” says Mr Karim.

A problem in Iraq is that reconciliation will require reconstruction of wrecked Sunni cities and towns and this is not happening in Fallujah and Ramadi. Not only is the Iraqi government corrupt and dysfunctional, but it is very short of money because of the fall in the price of oil and the cost of the war. “It only just has enough money to pay salaries and pensions,” says Mr Karim. “There is nothing left for rebuilding. We have not received any money for this from Baghdad since 2014.”

The decision to attack Mosul first before mopping up several other areas with a strong Isis presence was largely an American one. Previously senior Iraqi officials had spoken of a slower approach. But the campaign to capture Mosul has been very much a US organised operation, though US generals have tried to give the impression that they are in a supporting role. The US also created the political conditions for an offensive, by brokering an agreement between the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which has powerful military forces, and the Baghdad central government.

Baghdad and the Kurds have long been in dispute over a swathe of territory, which includes operating and potential oilfields, stretching across northern Iraq from the Syrian to the Iranian frontier. The Arab-Kurdish confrontation, which had at times come close to a shooting war prior to the rise of Isis in 2014 has hitherto been out to one side.

But this forced collaboration may weaken as fear of Isis subsides. There was a large crowd of Iraqi media and officials outside Mr Karim’s office on Tuesday as the red, white and green Kurdish flag was officially unfurled beide the flag of Iraq for the first time in Kirkuk, which is the most important of the disputed territories. Mr Karim played down the immediate significance of the flag raising, but it is clear evidence that as the Isis threat subsides, even if it does not disappear, Iraq remains a deeply divided country.

Mexican attorney general faces drug trafficking charges after San Diego arrest

March 30, 2017


A Mexican state attorney has been arrested in San Diego, accused of conspiring to smuggle and traffic drugs. The charges against Edgar Veytia were filed in New York, in the same jurisdiction where Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán was charged.

Veytia (46), the attorney general for the state of Nayarit, was arrested on Monday at the Cross Border Xpress Bridge which connects Tijuana Airport and the US, reported KNSD. He was indicted on charges of conspiracy to illegally import, manufacture and distribute heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana and cocaine.

The charges date back to January 2013, the year he became attorney general, and cover the period through to February 2017. They relate to at least 1kg (2.2lb) of heroin, 5kg of cocaine, 500g of methamphetamine and 1,000kg of marijuana, reported KNSD.

Allegations of ties between the attorney general and the Jalisco New Generation cartel have appeared in Mexican media before, according to the LA Times. Led by Nemesio Oseguera, also known as El Mencho, it’s one of Mexico’s newest and fastest growing cartels and it operates in Nayarit.

In August last year the cartel was suspected of being responsible for the kidnap of Jesus Alfredo Guzmán Salazar, the son of El Chapo, the head of the Sinaloa crime syndicate currently being held in the US.

North Carolina ‘bathroom’ law: Deal reached on repeal

March 30, 2017

BBC News

A late-night deal has been reached in North Carolina to repeal a controversial law that limits protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

A key element banned transgender people from using restrooms in accordance with their chosen gender, earning the measure the “bathroom law” tag.

The deal came hours before the state was to lose key basketball fixtures.

However, the terms of the deal have angered LGBT activists.

It must also still pass both the state House and Senate in votes on Thursday morning and it remains unclear whether it has enough support.

The deal was announced late on Wednesday by Democratic Governor Roy Cooper and Republican state lawmakers.

Mr Cooper, who ran for office on a platform of repealing the measure, known as House Bill 2, said: “It’s not a perfect deal, but it repeals HB2 and begins to repair our reputation.”

Majority Republican leaders Tim Moore and Phil Berger said in a joint statement: “Compromise requires give and take from all sides, and we are pleased this proposal fully protects bathroom safety and privacy.”

‘Train wreck’

The law had required transgender people to use toilets in schools and government buildings that correspond to the sex listed on their birth certificates.

Although the deal repeals the law, state legislators will remain in charge of policy on multi-occupancy restrooms.

It creates a moratorium so that local government, state colleges and universities cannot pass measures extending non-discrimination on sexual orientation and gender identity until December 2020.

The compromise angered LGBT activists.

Equality NC executive director Chris Sgro said before the proposal was agreed that it was “a train wreck that would double down on anti-LGBTQ discrimination. North Carolinians want a clean repeal of HB2, and we urge our allies not to sell us out”.

Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin said: “At its core, it’s a state-wide prohibition on equality.”

Businesses, entertainers and sports teams had boycotted North Carolina in the wake of the law’s passage last year.

Its largest city, Charlotte, lost the National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star game, which was moved to another state.

North Carolina was on Thursday set to lose its ability to host any college (NCAA) basketball championships from 2018 to 2022 “absent any change” in the House Bill 2.

The controversial bill will cost the state more than $3.67bn in lost business over 12 years, according to a recent Associated Press analysis.

Mr Cooper beat Republican Pat McCrory, who had signed the law, in an election in December.

The then-governor-elect attempted to reach a compromise over the law during a special session in December, but failed.

Critics of the bill say it has encouraged lawmakers in other states to put forward their own version of House Bill 2.

As of March, 16 states were considering bathroom bills, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Among those states are Texas, Tennessee, Arkansas, Illinois and Minnesota.

Racism in Action: The Neo-Confederate Movement in American Politics

March 30, 2017

by Harry von Johnston, PhD

“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African American….And that racism inclination still exists.  And I think it’s bubbled up to the surface because of the belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country.” President Jimmy Carter and former Governor of Georgia.

The Neo-Confederate Movement

Robert Lewis Dabney, a 19th century theologian, is considered to be the most early advocate of a theological perspective of the Civil War.” Dabney served during the Civil War as the chaplain to General Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson.  After the war, Dabney argued in books and lectures, based on scripture, that slavery was justified by the Bible and that “slavery was a necessary good for what he called the ‘depraved’ classes.” Sebesta and Hague wrote, “Dabney believed that the Bible legitimated slavery, and thus opposition to slavery was tantamount to rejecting Christianity.

Dabney’s post-Civil War writings established the theological cornerstone from which future Christian Reconstructionists and neo-Confederate theologians and strategists would expand their theological ideology and programmatic endeavors.  Dabney’s writings contain such concepts as: “governments were legitimate only if they derived from the will of God;” “condemned human equality and women’s rights… [and] opposed public schooling…justifying all his positions by Biblical interpretation;” “that modern science and development of the theory of evolution were ‘anti-theological’ and that amongst future generations this would result in a ‘nascent contempt for their father’s Bibles and irreparably damage the South’s ‘Christian households.’”

Three key theologians and theoreticians trace their own intellectual lineage back to Dabney—the late Rousas J. Rushdoony, founder of Christian Reconstructionism at the Chalcedon Foundation; Steven Wilkins, co-founder (with history professor Michael Hill) of the racist, secessionist League of the South; and Douglas Wilson, who heads the Association of Classical and Christian Schools, the Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals, Credenda/Agenda, Canon Press, and New Saint Andrews College—all of them located in Moscow, Idaho.

Neo-Confederates believe that with the Civil War, Lincoln was able to expand the power of the federal government beyond constitutional limits, and that with the defeat of the Confederacy the ideals of states’ rights were defeated.  They believe that the 14th Amendment was illegally adopted.  To them this has resulted in the growth of federal government into a Leviathan, a very large monstrous beast in the bible….In this historical view big government, integration and Brown vs. Brown, gay rights, civil rights, feminism, minorities, taxes, FDR, and other issues can be viewed as the result of the American Republic jumping the tracks during the Civil War and being out of control.

The neo-Confederate doctrine that Congressman Ron Paul is associated with believes in the re-establishment of the Confederacy as a Bible-based republic opposed to all laws, rights, or behaviors that cannot be justified according to the Bible.  Its leading theologians have written justifications of slavery as Biblically-based and have described it as a benign social institution.  On theological grounds, neo-Confederates believe the Civil War was a struggle between orthodox Christianity and a heretical Union.  In the mid-twentieth century, many Christian nationalists became politically involved because they opposed the desegregation of white schools and attempts by the federal government to remove their tax exempt status from white private school created to escape the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 decision to desegregate white-only schools.  The subsequent development of the Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and the moral pressure this movement exerted on federal, state and local governments, as well as the reign of terror unleashed by the Ku Klux Klan with the implicit support of Southern governors, legislatures, congressmen, law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, juries, white clergy, and public opinion all played a role in the development of the neo-Confederate movement.

In September 1957, President Eisenhower ordered federal troops into Little Rock, Arkansas to protect nine black children attempting to desegregate a white public school.  In September 1962, President Kennedy ordered federal marshals, Army, and National Guard troops to protect James Meredith as he attempted to enroll in the University of Mississippi.

Indicative of the Southern rage underlying the reign of terror, in May 1964, Sam Bowers, Imperial Wizard of the Mississippi White Knights, declared: “‘The events which will occur in Mississippi this summer may well determine the fate of Christian civilization for centuries to come.’”  This Ku Klux Klan statement is no different than statements from the League of the South that was founded in 1994. Opposition to the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s was not limited to Kirk and the neo-Confederate movement and the John Birch Society. William F. Buckley and the National Review defended the white supremacists

In 1980, right after the Republican Party’s national convention, Ronald Reagan spoke at the fairgrounds to an audience of over thirty thousand, in Philadelphia, Mississippi, “‘I believe in states’ rights.’” Reagan was following in the footsteps of Barry Goldwater in 1964 who carried only his home state of Arizona and five states in the Deep South. This became a strong indication of future white voting patterns.  One should also consider George Wallace’s 1968 presidential campaign as the American Independent Party candidate; former Klan leader David Duke’s multiple campaigns as a Democrat, Republican, and Populist; and, Patrick Buchanan’s presidential run in 1992 in the Republican primaries that expropriated Duke’s issues. Between 1954 and 2004 the Republican gains in the House of Representatives was a reversal of the dominance the Democrats had in 1954.  The Democrats had net gains outside the South, but more than all of the Democratic net loss to the Republicans came from the Southern switch. Basicially the racial issue became essential to the ability of conservatives to win elections in spite of economic policies that favored a minority over the majority. It is important to remember that the “New Right” movement that brought Reagan to victory had been deeply involved in opposition to civil rights.  Max Blumenthal reported that after the 1954 Supreme Court decision the late Jerry Falwell “posited segregation as a biblical mandate” and worked with the FBI to try and smear Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. as a “communist subversive,” the same charge raised by the John Birch Society. King’s subsequent assassination has never been satisfactorily solved and the accepted stories that James Earl Ray was, like Oswald, the lone assassin does not stand up to objective analysis.  In 1966, Falwell started the Lynchburg Christian Academy, “‘a private school for white students.’”  And, as Michelle Goldberg noted, “what spurred them [the Christian Right] into action was the IRS’s attempt to revoke the tax-exempt status of whites-only Christian schools, schools that had been created specifically to evade desegregation.”

Steven Wilkins, co-founder of the racist, secessionist League of the South, is “arguably the most prominent member of the neo-Confederate clergy,” and a “resident instructor at the R.L. Dabney Center for Theological Studies” and “writes for almost all the religious publications and groups that advance neo-Confederate and Christian nationalist ideas. Another follower of Dabney is theologian Douglas Wilson.  For more than 30 years Wilson has run a mini-Christian Reconstructionist empire in Idaho that includes the New Saint Andrews College; Logos School, a private Christian academy; the Association of Classical and Christian Schools that certifies such private academies; Canon Press; the journal Credenda/Agenda; and, the Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals.  Both Wilkins and Wilson, writing separately or jointly, are major proponents of the theological war thesis and defend “slavery as Biblically justified.”

Writing in 2002, Sebesta and Hague reported that the “Sons of Confederate Veterans heritage organization, Christian Reconstructionist bodies such as the Chalcedon Foundation, and the League of the South now generally accept the theological war thesis….Collaboration between the Christian Reconstructionist movement and the League of the South has also increased, evidencing a growing overlap in the historical, political and theological perspectives of participants in both organizations.

The practical effect of this conflation of nationalisms is an opposition to the following, according to Michael Hill, co-founder of the League of the South: loss of American sovereignty to foreign institutions; “‘radical egalitarianism; feminism; sodomite rights; Third World immigration; gun control; hate crime legislation (almost meant to be used against whites); judicial tyranny; burdensome taxation; multiculturalism and diversity (code words for anti-white, anti-Christian bigotry); the universal rights of man; and other manifestations of a new brand of politically-correct totalitarianism.’”

The other major neo-Confederate organization of interest here is the radical libertarian Ludwig von Meises Institute headed by Lew Rockwell, a long-time friend and political-business partner of Ron Paul.  In 2003, the Institute and the associated LewRockwell.com spearheaded a protest against the erection of a President Abraham Lincoln statue in Richmond, Virginia, while holding a “Lincoln Reconsidered” conference.  LewRockwell.com also hosts a “King Lincoln” archive of articles by leading neo-Confederate writers. The Institute also serves as an adjunct home to neo-Confederate professors Thomas D. Lorenzo, Donald Livingston, and Clyde Wilson.  Lorenzo, a professor of economics, has written that the Civil War was fought to end the right of secession, not to end slavery.  He was the star of the “Lincoln Reconsidered” conference.  Livingston, a professor of philosophy who specializes on David Hume, he was the first director of the League of the South’s Institute for the Study of Southern Culture and History.  Livingston’s writings have strongly defended the right of the pre-Civil War South to  secede and has written that Lincoln started the Civil War in order to establish a centralized state. He also was present at the “Lincoln Reconsidered” conference.  Lastly, Clyde Wilson is the “biggest intellectual heavyweight associated with the neo-Confederate scene.” Wilson specializes in the writings of John C. Calhoun, “the preeminent states’ rights theorists before the Civil War.” Wilson was also a founding member of the League of the South.

” Libertarianism—Born Racist”

To sort through these conflicting claims on the centrality of race to the Tea Party movement it is necessary to cover the following salient issues raised by some of the writers.  It is clearly evident that the conservative movements in the United Sates have never accepted integration in any of its manifestations and it is also true that the Tea Party movement is forcing the conservative movement in the United States towards the ultra-right and its strong racial sentiments. To what degree has Ron Paul adopted the Southern Strategy of abandoning the N-word racism and adopting the abstract and race-neutral code words and public policies that still amount to a defense of states’ rights and a defense of white supremacy or white nationalism?  To what degree is libertarian economic philosophy inherently racist?  And, finally, is this inherent racism the reason why libertarian writers such as but not limited to David Weigel and Glenn Greenwald still blandly refer to Ron Paul as a “libertarian” and a champion of “individual liberty” but prefer not to discuss his support for a white Christian nationalist and inherently anti-black agenda?

It is clearly evident that twentieth century libertarianism was born racist and is inherently racist.

That conclusion rests on the authority of none other than the late Murray N. Rothbard, co-founder of the Ludwig von Mises Institute along with Lew Rockwell and Ron Paul.  The Institute is not only one of the main neo-Confederate think tanks—one of the key components of the Ron Paul network—but also the primary institution supporting Ron Paul and his Tea Party movement.  The Institute is also the home of the Christian Reconstruction economic libertarian Gary North, who is also the informal strategic adviser to Ron Paul.

According to Rothbard, this libertarian coalition was hard-core regressive: “A few libertarian extremists wanted to go all the way back to the Articles of Confederation, but the great bulk of the right was committed to the United States Constitution—but a Constitution construed so ‘strictly’ as to outlaw much twentieth-century legislation, certainly on the federal level” (emphasis in original).

Edward Sebesta, in an early article on “The Neo-Confederate Movement,” established that Russell Kirk, “perhaps the most prominent conservative of the 20th century,” “promoted the values of southern conservatism and ultimately the neo-Confederates.” Kirk was an early supporter of the Southern Partisan, a leading neo-Confederate journal that attracted conservative writers from across the country, not just the South.  Kirk’s considerable prestige, prodigious writings, and intellectual support ensured that “the values of southern conservatism and admiration for the Confederacy, became accepted and not peripheral, not sectional for conservatism.”

William Voegeli in an article on “Civil Rights & the Conservative Movement” noted that Buckley in 1957 wrote an article “Why the South Must Prevail” in which Buckley asked “‘whether the White community in the South is entitled to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where it does not predominate numerically?….The sobering answer is Yes—the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race.’”

Voegeli noted that Buckley “regularly” expressed “the asymmetry of his sympathies—genuine concern for Southern whites beset by integrationists, but more often than not, perfunctory concern for Southern blacks beset by bigots.” Buckley’s views resembled “that of the ‘Southern Manifesto’ signed in 1956 by nearly every senator and representative from the South” which accused the Brown v. Board decision of ‘destroying the amicable relations between white and Negro races that have been created through 90 years of patient effort by the good people of both races.  It has planted hatred and suspicion where there has been heretofore friendship and understanding.’”33

The Southern Manifesto was more than a manifesto.  Part of the white supremacist reaction was a reign of terror against civil rights workers and any African American who could be made an example of for disturbing the apartheid system.  The other reaction was the use of Tenth Amendment (states’ rights) to nullify the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling.  For example, the Florida and Georgia legislatures passed laws that with slightly different wording stated, “‘decisions and orders of the Supreme Court of the United States denying the individual sovereign States the power to enact laws relating to the separation of the races in public institutions of a state are null, void and of no force or effect.’”

Conservative opposition to all civil rights legislation continued with Goldwater’s argument derived from legal advice given by his legal advisers William Rehnquist and Robert Bork that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was “‘a grave threat’ to a constitutional republic in which fifty sovereign states have reserved to themselves and to the people those powers not specifically granted to the central or Federal government.’” With all due respect to Rehnquist and Bork, the Ninth Amendment gave all unenumerated rights to the people and none of these unenumerated rights to the states.

Conservative and Republican opposition to all civil rights legislation and the defense of states’ rights continued under the GOP’s Southern Strategy—a strategy the Republicans have never repudiated and continue to follow.  According to the late Lee Atwater, the essence of the strategy was to conceptually shift the focus away from overt and explicit expressions of racism (the N-word) to “say[ing] stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.”  When candidate Reagan went to Philadelphia, Mississippi, and said “‘I believe in states’ rights’” that Reagan “was elbow deep in the same race-baiting Southern strategy of Goldwater and Nixon.”  As Bob Herbert noted, “When Democrats revolted against racism, the G.O.P. rallied to its banner.”

Like the Southern Manifesto which claimed that relations between the races during the Jim Crow era were “amicable” and based on “friendship and understanding,” the neo-Confederate movement sought to portrays racial relations under slavery as highly favorable to the slaves and a burden to the slave masters.  A book written in the 1950s claimed, “‘No, the Southern planter’s work was civilizing the poor, deluded Negro—the greatest missionary work known to history….The institution of slavery as it was in the South, so far from degrading the Negro was fast elevating him above his nature and his race.”

Steven Wilkins and Douglas Wilson co-authored a 1996 book, Southern Slavery: As It Was, which claimed that “‘Slavery as it existed in the South…was a relationship based upon mutual affection and harmony….There has never been a multiracial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world.’”

In addition to the Ludwig von Mises Institute, other leading neo-Confederate organizations include the Council of Conservative Citizens, Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the Rockford Institute in Illinois.  There are many others.

It is the core belief of the League of the South, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the Christian Reconstructionist Chalcedon Foundation that the Civil War “was a theological war over the future of American religiosity fought between devout Confederate and heretical Union states” and that the Confederate “battle flag and other Confederate icons are Christian symbols and the assertion that opposition to them equates to a rejection of Christianity

Central to the concept of “banal white nationalism” is the much larger concept of the neo-Confederacy which has as its basic principles, among others: states’ rights, local control of schooling, Christian traditions, Confederate symbols, Southerners are persecuted as racists, a natural social hierarchy, white men being dominant in a social hierarchy stratified by race and gender, a disdain for gays and lesbians, and an opposition to modern democracy.  Much of this is no longer unique to neo-Confederates, but extends to Christian nationalists, variants of libertarianism, and other white nationalists.  Moreover, there are institutional linkages across domains such as Christian nationalist and libertarian organizations and white nationalist organizations.

It should therefore come as no surprise that there are two main flags associated with the Tea Party movement—the Confederate flag symbolizing slavery and treason (the neo-Confederates would prefer secession) and the Gadsden flag symbolizing patriotic revolution

That no Republican or Tea Party movement leaderships vociferously opposed the presence of the Confederate flag, or Nazi symbols or references, is indicative of just how pervasive this neo-Confederate mindset, banal white nationalism, and anti-Semitism are in the larger conservative movement.

Also noted is the proliferation of Nazi symbolism and rhetoric associated with the Tea Party movement.

The Christian Reconstructionist Component of the Neo-Confederate Movement

Frederick Clarkson, in his 1997 book Eternal Hostility—The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy—identified the key theological ideas of Christian Reconstructionism developed by Rushdoony: “the Bible is to be the governing text for all areas of life—such as government, education and law;” “Reconstructionists have formulated a ‘Biblical worldview’ and ‘Biblical principles’ to govern and inform their lives and politics;” “Reconstructionists…set a course of world conquest or ‘dominion,’ claiming a biblically prophesied ‘inevitable victory;’”  “Epitomizing the Reconstructionist idea of biblical ‘warfare’ is the centrality of capital punishment…for apostasy (abandonment of the faith), heresy, blasphemy, witchcraft, astrology, adultery, ‘sodomy or homosexuality,’ incest, striking a parent, incorrigible juvenile delinquency, and in the case of women, ‘unchastity before marriage’…[and] women who have had abortions should be publicly executed.”  Clarkson noted that Christian Reconstructionism is “arguably the driving ideology of the Christian Right today.”

That is not to imply that Christian Reconstructionism did not have variants or that the Christian Right adopted wholesale the Christian Reconstructionist theology, or did not have other theological influences.  The Christian Right, for example, has conveniently ignored or softened its approach to the death penalty for the wide variety of “crimes” demanded for by Rushdoony.  But, it has largely adopted its agenda.  Clarkson noted that the Christian nationalist’s Council for National Policy’s secular and theological agendas range “from the dismantling of the public schools, to the criminalization of abortion and homosexuality, the radical deregulation of every major consumer and environmental protection initiative of the federal government, and the weakening, if not elimination of civil rights laws protecting the interests of women and minorities.”

A decade later Michelle Goldberg in her 2007 book, Kingdom Coming—The Rise of Christian Nationalism, observed its totalitarian “elements.”  Goldberg wrote that Christian nationalism was a “totalistic political ideology” based “on the conviction that true Christianity must govern every aspect of public and private life, and that all—government, science, history, culture, and relationships—must be understood according to the dictates of scripture.  There are biblically correct positions on every issue, from gay marriage to income tax rates, and only those with the right worldview can discern them.”

the historical revisionist interpretation of America being founded as a “Christian nation” is the “war on the courts.”  Goldberg noted that the “Christian nationalists view the courts as the last intolerable obstacle to their palingenetic dream.  Believing America to be a Christian nation, they see any ruling that contradicts their theology as de facto unconstitutional, and its enforcement tyrannical.  They’re convinced that they must destroy the judiciary’s power to liberate themselves.”  Moreover, the Christian nationalist effort to strip the U.S. Supreme Court and lower federal courts from hearing cases related to the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause “could let state governments criminalize abortion and gay sex [read vociferous advocacy of states’ rights under the Tenth Amendment].  It could sanction the reinstitution of school prayer and the teaching of creationism and permit the ever greater Christianization of the country’s social services…It could intrude into the most intimate corners of Americans’ private lives.”

Goldberg described one event (among several) in which Republican congressional staffers came together with neo-Confederates, Christian Reconstructionists, and others who had subconsciously absorbed Rushdoony’s dominionist message.

At a mid-2005 Confronting the Judicial War on Faith rally key speakers included Michael Peroutka, a prominent militia supporter, member of the League of the South, and former presidential candidate of the Constitution Party; Howard Phillips, founder and head of the Constitution Party; and, Herb Titus, the party’s former vice presidential candidate in 1996, and the founder and former dean of Oral Roberts’ Regent University Law School.  David Gibbs, a lawyer trained at the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, subconsciously echoed the Christian revisionism of Rushdoony and David Barton, founder of the Texas-based Wallbuilders and leading pseudo-historian promoting the myth that America was founded as a “Christian nation.” Gibbs told the crowd, “‘How many here understand we were founded as one nation under God?…That’s why the Ten Commandments are so important.  They were the original source of American law.  The Bible was understood to be authoritative.  When the founding fathers said, ‘One Nation under God,’ they made the decision that they would submit to what God had put forward in his law.’”

The purpose of the Judicial War on Faith rally was to express support for the Constitution Restoration Act authored by former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was impeached over his refusal to remove a nearly three-ton monument of the Ten Commandments from the capitol’s judicial building, and Herb Titus.  The Constitution Restoration Act was introduced in 2004 into the Senate by Senators Sam Brownback and Richard Shelby, and, the House by Representatives by James Sensenbrenner. Blumenthal reported that the Act “authorized Congress to impeach judges who failed to abide by ‘the standard of good behavior’ supposedly required by the Constitution.  Refusal to acknowledge ‘God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government,’ or reliance in any way on international law in their rulings would also trigger impeachment.”

Goldberg reported that the totalitarian elements and a desire for the physical destruction (death) to judges came from both religious and secular speakers.  Reverend Rick Scarborough, founder of Vision America for “‘patriot pastors,’” prayed for the death of Judge George Greer who had decided the Schiavo case: “‘Father, we echo the words of the apostle Paul, because we know Judge Greer claims to be a Christian.  So the apostle Paul said in his First Corinthians 5…deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may saved in the day of our Lord Jesus.’”  The constitutional lawyer Edwin Vieira in criticizing Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in the Lawrence v. Texas case (in a defeat for states’ rights, it struck down Texas’ sodomy law), admiringly borrowed a truncated phrase from Joseph Stalin as a solution to the “‘personnel problem,’” “‘No man, no problem.’”  Stalin’s full quote: “‘Death solves all problems: no man, no problem.’”.

Chris Hedges in his 2006 book, American Fascists—The Christian Right and the War on America—reported on the “racist and brutal intolerance of the intellectual godfathers of today’s Christian Reconstructionism.”  Based on his reading of Rushdoony’s The Institutes of Biblical Law, Hedges observed that “The Jews, who neglected to fulfill God’s commands in the Hebrew scriptures, have, in this belief system, forfeited their place as God’s chosen people and have been replaced by Christians….Rushdoony dismissed the widely accepted estimate of 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust as an inflated figure, and his theories on race often echo those found in Nazi eugenics, in which there are higher and lower forms of human beings.  Those considered by the Christian state to be immoral and incapable of reform are to be exterminated.”

The other key development in movement towards an American theocracy is the influence of the John Birch Society upon R.J. Rushdoony and the Christian nationalists’ Council for National Policy.

Rushdoony admired the cellular structure of the John Birch Society as having a ‘strong resemblance to the early church.’”  Furthermore, Christian “Reconstructionist literature can be found in JBS affiliated American Opinion bookstores.  Indeed, the conspiracist views of Reconstructionist writers (focusing on the United Nations and the Council on Foreign Relations, among others) are consistent with those of the John Birch Society.”  While the Christian Reconstructionists placed their primary emphasis on orthodox Christianity rather than politics, As Welch who founded the John Birch Society in 1958 said, ‘This is a world-wide battle, between lightness and darkness; between freedom and slavery; between the spirit of Christianity and spirit of [sic] anti-Christ for the souls and bodies of men.’”

The Council for National Policy “‘was inspired by business and political leaders who were also leaders of the John Birch Society.’”16 Nelson Bunker Hunt, a member of the John Birch Society’s national council, assisted Tim LaHaye, a former JBS trainer and later co-author of the very successful Left Behind series of fictional ‘Rapture’ novels, in founding the Council for National Policy.

Ron Paul has made the following comment on the Patriot Network website: “If we stuck to the Constitution as written, we would have no federal meddling in our schools; no Federal Reserve; no U.S. membership in the UN; no gun control; and no foreign aid.  We would have no welfare for big corporations; or the ‘poor;’ …no arrogant federal judges usurping states’ rights; no attacks on private property; no income tax.  We could get rid of most of the cabinet departments, most of the agencies, and most of the budget.” This is a mixture of Christian Reconstructionism and Posse Comitatus ideology.  There should be no surprise that the founder of The Patriot Network is also the founder of the South Carolina Constitution Party and the state’s Libertarian Party.


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