– Αφού διαβάσετε τις παρακάτω αναδημοσιεύσεις, σκεφτείτε μετά, αν τα όσα διαβάσατε, τα έχετε πρώτοι διαβάσει εδώ στο “σαϊτ” μας, προ πολλού χρόνου! (Ιδιαιτέρως τα ξένα άρθρα)! Έτσι, για άλλη μία φορά, θα καταλάβετε ποιόν / ποιούς παρακολουθείτε, (άπαντες), και όπως πιστεύω, όχι μόνον!..
– “Πάτε” τέλος, βρείτε και ξαναδιαβάστε, τί εμείς(!) σχετικά έχουμε γράψει εδώ (και… ακόμα παραπάνω) και θα αρχίζετε, σιγά – σιγά να διαμορφώνετε, (οι ελεύθεροι στη σκέψη φυσικά), τελική περί των διαλαμβανομένων -σήμερα- θεμάτων άποψη!
1. ΑΦΟΥ ΔΕΝ ΑΠΕΛΑΣΑΜΕ ΕΧΘΕΣ 100.000 ΑΛΒΑΝΟΥΣ ΓΙΑ ΑΡΧΗ, Η ΑΛΒΑΝΙΑ ΑΠΑΝΤΑΕΙ ΜΕ ΘΡΑΣΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΑΥΘΑΔΕΙΑ ΓΙΑ ΤΙΣ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΕΣ ΠΕΡΙΟΥΣΙΕΣ ΠΟΥ ΓΚΡΕΜΙΖΕΙ…!!
[“ΞΥΠΝΑΤΕ” ΒΡΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕ! (ΑΝ ΦΥΣΙΚΑ ΔΕΝ ΕΙΣΤΕ ΠΡΟΔΟΤΕΣ)]!!!
– Η κυβέρνηση του Έντι Ράμα συνεχίζει την ανθελληνική πολιτική της στρεφόμενη κατά των περιουσιών της εθνικής ελληνικής μειονότητας, σε μια προσπάθεια να σταματήσει την αναπτυξιακή της τάση, σε περιοχές όπου ανθοφορεί. Τελευταία της ενέργεια ήταν η κατεδάφιση κτηρίων – ιδιοκτησιών της Ομογένειας, στις Δρυμάδες με τη στυγνή δικαιολογία της … «διατήρησης της πολιτιστικής κληρονομιάς»!
Το σχετικό σχέδιο εντάσσεται στο πλαίσιο μιας στρατηγικής σε εθνικό επίπεδο, έπειτα από ευρεία διαβούλευση, εγκρίθηκε από κοινού από την κοινότητα και φορείς της τοπικής αυτοδιοίκησης της Χιμάρας. (Σημ. Ο δήμαρχος Χιμάρας Γκέργκι Γκόρο που είχε δηλώσει Έλληνας και ήταν κάτοχος ελληνικού διαβατηρίου με απόφαση του ελληνικού ΥΠΕΞ, λόγω της ανθελληνικής του συμπεριφοράς, στερήθηκε της ελληνικής ιθαγένειας και του διαβατηρίου).
– Έτσι, – συνεχίζει το αλβανικό δημοσίευμα- οι κατασκευές που επηρεάζουν την …πολιτιστική κληρονομιά (από ποιόν άραγε;) κρίθηκαν κατεδαφιστέες, απαλλοτριώθηκαν και οι ιδιοκτήτες έχουν αποζημιωθεί σύμφωνα με την ισχύουσα νομοθεσία (περί …απαλλοτρίωσης).
– Στην προκείμενη περίπτωση, πρόκειται για δύο κτήρια (ελληνικής ιδιοκτησίας) που βρίσκονται κοντά σε μια πηγή νερού, εντός προστατευόμενης περιοχής, που θεωρείται πολιτιστική κληρονομιά.
– Για τους ιδιοκτήτες που επηρεάσθηκαν ακολουθούνται όλες οι νόμιμες διαδικασίες που προβλέπονται για τους πολίτες της Αλβανίας και σύμφωνα με όλους τους διεθνείς κανόνες και συμβάσεις.
– Στο πλαίσιο αυτό, στη Χιμάρα, όπως και όλα τα άλλα κέντρα της χώρας, λαμβάνονται όλα τα μέτρα που προβλέπονται από την ισχύουσα νομοθεσία.
– Επιπρόσθετα και σε αυτήν την περίπτωση, έχουν εξαντληθεί όλα τα στάδια, οι προθεσμίες, με τους ιδιοκτήτες, όπως η δημόσια διαβούλευση, η κοινοποίηση, η απαλλοτρίωση και η κατεδάφιση των κτηρίων που κατατάσσονται ως δημόσια περιουσία.
– Με αυτήν τη βάση, κάθε πολίτης, μειονοτικός ή όχι, έχει το δικαίωμα να καταφύγει στα αλβανικά δικαστήρια και στους αρμόδιους φορείς για την ερμηνεία του νόμου της Δημοκρατίας τη Αλβανίας».
Και εν κατακλείδι:
Η Αλβανία πιστεύει ακράδαντα ότι οι μόνες λύσεις που βασίζονται στο κράτος δικαίου και στο σεβασμό του νόμου για όλους, εξασφαλίζουν την ευρωπαϊκή προοπτική της χώρας, όπως τονίζεται στα συμπεράσματα του Συμβουλίου Γενικών Υποθέσεων της ΕΕ τον Δεκέμβριο του 2016 .
The Hellenic Information Team
2. ΕΚΠΛΗΞΗ…!!! ΣΤΑ ΧΕΡΙΑ ΤΩΝ ΣΕΡΒΩΝ ΒΡΙΣΚΕΤΑΙ Ο ΑΛΒΑΝΟΣ ΠΟΥ ΣΧΕΔΙΑΣΕ ΤΗΝ ΣΗΜΑΙΑ ΤΗΣ ΜΕΓΑΛΗΣ ΑΛΒΑΝΙΑΣ «AUTOCHTHONUS
– Είναι γνωστό ότι εδώ και δύο χρόνια υπάρχει εντολή σύλληψης του Αλβανού αυτού από το σερβικό κράτος.
3.THE JEWASHING OF GEORGE SOROS (Για τους… “Μάχιμους” Φίλους του… ΣΥΡΙΖΑ, κυρίως, όπως και για όλους σας! Ό,τι “φωνάζουμε” απ’ εδώ, τόσο καιρό τώρα) !..Millions of Jews are anti-Semitic for calling out an anti-Semite.
July 21, 2017
George Soros hates Jews.
He collaborated with the Nazis during the Holocaust and insisted that helping confiscate property from Jews brought him no guilt. “There was no sense that I shouldn’t be there, because that was well, actually, in a funny way, it’s just like in markets that if I weren’t there of course, I wasn’t doing it, but somebody else would”. He described the season of these horrors as “the most exciting time of my life.”
Soros grew up in a “Jewish, anti-Semitic home”. He called his mother a “typical Jewish anti-Semite” who hated his first wife because she was “too Jewish”. After undergoing psychoanalysis, he was able to understand that his shame was rooted in his Jewishness. He had a special contempt for Jewish philanthropies after a failed attempt to defraud a Jewish charity in London.
He was booed when he undermined the presentation of an award to a Holocaust survivor by comparing Israeli Jews to Nazis!!! Elie Wiesel had declared in disgust, “I heard what happened. If I’d been there—and you can quote me—I would have walked out.”
That same year, Soros blamed the Israeli government for a “resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe”. He might have been more honest if he took responsibility considering his funding of groups that traffic in anti-Semitic smears. And his own anti-Semitic allegations that “attitudes toward the Jewish community are influenced by the pro-Israel lobby’s success in suppressing divergent views“.
Soros has defended Hamas and Hezbollah who have called for the extermination of the Jews. He championed the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt despite or because of its support for Hitler. Yusuf al-Qaradawi had claimed that Hitler had been sent by Allah to punish the Jews. “Allah willing,” theBrotherhood’s spiritual leader said, “the next time will be at the hands of the believers (Muslims)“.
There’s no denying that George Soros is a warped and twisted man. Especially when it comes to the Jews. But he’s also the money man behind a great deal of leftist activism. Especially anti-Israel activism.
And so he must be defended.
An editorial at “New York Times” by a figure linked to the +972 anti-Israel hate site decries “Israel’s War Against George Soros”. That’s right up there with Poland’s war on Nazi Germany.
What does this war consist of? Has Israel sent drones to the Soros estate? Did Mossad agents drag George out of his featherbed to face the justice of those injured through his actions? (Θα έπρεπε)!
The “war” consisted of one statement. The Israeli Foreign Ministry condemned Soros for “continuously undermining Israel’s democratically elected governments,” and backing hate groups “that defame the Jewish state and seek to deny it the right to defend itself”. Not only is it true, but it’s underwhelming.
Even by the low fake news standards of today’s extremist media, you expect something more from a headline screaming “Israel’s War Against George Soros” than a single restrained criticism.
Do the thousands of hit pieces from the “New York Times” count as a “War on Israel? That includes the aforementioned Mairav Zonszein screed on Soros which in true Sorosesque fashion pivots from defending an anti-Semite to launching bizarre and hopelessly factless smears at the Jewish State.
Mairav claims that Israel is now aligned with “illiberal, autocratic states like Russia, Turkey and Egypt”. That would be news to Turkey which just accused Israel of a “crime against humanity” and backs Hamas. Or to Russia, which backs Iran and whose S-300 missiles guard Iran’s nuclear program against an Israeli strike. But using the stopped clock principle, getting one of three right isn’t bad for the “New York Times”.
Soros and the Times were aligned with the illiberal autocratic Muslim Brotherhood’s takeover of Egypt under a leader who had urged Muslims to “nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred” of the Jews.
But there’s nothing anti-Semitic to see there.
According to the “New York Times”, criticizing an anti-Semite whose Jewishness can only be found with a DNA analysis is anti-Semitic, but attacking millions of Jews defending themselves against genocide isn’t.
The government that represents millions of Jews is anti-Semitic for calling out a left-wing anti-Semite. And the millions of Jews, and even the recently deceased Elie Wiesel, probably are too.
According to Mairav Zonszein, Israel’s criticism of Soros aligns it with anti-Semites. “It takes some gall on the part of Mr. Netanyahu to choose this moment to kick Mr. Soros while he’s down — not only because Mr. Soros is, once again, a victim of anti-Semitism,” Mairav fumes.
By “down”, Mairav means he’s the world’s 22nd richest man and dictates policy to entire governments.
Mr. Soros has not refrained from kicking Israeli families when they were being shot and stabbed by Islamic terrorists. He hasn’t stopped funding hate against Jews or blaming Jews for anti-Semitism.
George Soros funds BDS, an organization run by a terrorist and one that defends the murder of Jews. But there’s mean ole Mr. Netanyahu kicking the 22nd richest man in the world when he’s down.
This shameless Jewashing is despicable and typical. The left shrugs at the murderous anti-Semitism in the Muslim world. And at times it even defends it. It loves Jewashing its hatred of Jews by putting activists with a Jewish last name up front in its anti-Semitic activities. And it will defend anti-Semites like George Soros as victims of anti-Semitism at the hands of the government of millions of Jews.
When it’s convenient, George Soros takes a break from fond recollections of the most exciting time in his life, helping rob Jews, to play a victim of the Holocaust. And if it’s useful, he’ll even take a break from defending Hamas and Hezbollah, from funding the types of terrorists who call the murder of Jews “resistance” and from supporting Islamist groups that praise Hitler, to play the victim of anti-Semitism.
George Soros hates Jews. So do his apologists and supporters. They just can’t say so in public. Yet.
There are a thousand euphemisms. They’re not anti-Semites, they’re anti-Zionists. Yes, they just happen to be reviving the Nazi boycott against the Jews. And their favorite Muslim Brotherhood hate groups drew organizational inspiration from the Third Reich. But they’re only concerned for social justice. The social justice they’re concerned with just happens to require the persecution of the Jews. They just happen to disrupt Holocaust memorial events and Jewish holidays to bring attention to the cause of the oppressed Muslim terrorists whose heroic figures had egged on Hitler to wipe out the Jews.
And if you doubt their commitment to opposing anti-Semitism, watch them defend George Soros. Then when the Jewashing is done, they can go back to demanding that we fund the terrorists murdering Jews.
George Soros is not a Holocaust survivor. He has spent much of his life collaborating with totalitarian movements whose goal is the extermination of the Jewish people.
He is not a victim of anti-Semitism. He is a perpetrator of anti-Semitism.
The only thing more despicable than the left’s obsessive hatred of Jews is its Jewashing of anti-Semites. Hating Jews is anti-Semitic no matter what your last name might be. Collaborating with the murderers of Jews is attempted genocide no matter what your DNA may say. When you defend Hamas, fund BDS and defend anti-Semitism, no amount of lies and spin will Jewash your hatred and guilt away.
4. ORGANIZING FOR ANARCHY
[Τί Γράφουμε Εδώ(!), τόσο καιρό τώρα(!), για το πώς λειτουργεί το… νέο-κομμουνιστικό-παγκοσμιο-σύστημα; Τί γράφαμε εδώ πχ Για Τους… “Ρουβίκωνες”, κλπ, κλπ, κλπ;
“Ρουβίκωνες” και “συνοδοιπόροι“ διαβάστε το άρθρο αυτό πολύ καλά, ξανά και ξανά, μπας και “ξυπνήσετε” και πάψετε να αποτελείτε τα αναπαυτικά μαξιλάρια, των πριγκηπικών οπισθίων, κοινώς κόλων, των… αριστερών αφεντικών σας! Αριστερών είπα; “Πάμε” μαζί… Χρυσαυγιτόπουλα των… τάχα μου Αριστερών επανασταστών αφεντικών σας, με τα γιοτς, τις βίλλες, τα διαμερίσματα, τα παχυλά “πορτοφόλια” σε ημεδαπή και αλλοδαπή, με τους τριφυλούς γλουτούς και τα παχυλά καπούλια, με τις υψηλές παγκόσμιες γνωριμίες, κλπ, κλπ, κλπ: Αχαχαχαχαχαχαχαχα!.. Εσύ ο τελευταίος αριστερά, ο ξανθός γιατί δεν γελάς ζωηρά; Αχαχαχαχαχαχαχα]!
His party may be falling apart, but Obama’s community organizing group is going strong.
July 18, 2017
Former President Obama’s army of community organizing thugs shows no signs of slowing down efforts to protect Obama’s policy legacy and undermine the Trump administration.
Obama directs Organizing for Action, a huge, well-funded 501(c)(4) nonprofit with more than 30,000 volunteers nationwide that doesn’t have to disclose its donors and that is at the head of Obama’s network of left-wing nonprofit groups. OfA, which grew out of Obama’s electoral campaigns, has upwards of 250 offices across America. His other nonprofit, the Barack Obama Foundation, is building Obama’s $675 million presidential library in Chicago. The library is slated to be a hub of left-wing activism.
Obama now owns and lives in a $8.1 million, 8,200-square-foot, walled mansion in Washington’s Embassy Row that he is using to command his community organizing cadres in the war against President Trump. Obama’s alter ego, Valerie Jarrett, has moved into the house to help out. Jarrett also resided in the White House when Obama was president.
No ex-president has ever stuck around the nation’s capital to vex and undermine his successor. Of course, Obama is unlike any president the United States has ever had. Even failed, self-righteous presidents like Jimmy Carter, who has occasionally taken shots at his successors, didn’t stay behind in the nation’s capital to obstruct the policy-making of the new administration.
OfA, which functions as a kind of shadow government, has been on the front lines attacking President Trump in order to defend the Obama administration’s awful legacy. Both OfA and George Soros-funded MoveOn.org have been leading the way in packing town hall meetings with unruly protesters. Many protests OfA has been involved in have turned into riots.
In 2013, Michelle Obama appeared in a video introducing the group to the public. She said OfA was “the next phase of our movement for change,” and that it would help Obama supporters “finish what we started and truly make that change we believe in.” She congratulated supporters for having “already begun to change our politics,” and declared that “the mission of Organizing for Action” is to “change our country” in accordance with her husband’s vision of how to “bridge [the] divide” between “the world as it is and the world as it should be.”
In the early days of the Trump administration, Organizing for Action activists organized protests across the country. After President Trump issued an executive order temporarily banning visitors from seven terrorism-plagued Muslim countries, OfA organized “spontaneous” demonstrations at airports.
OfA has been moving forward on many policy fronts in recent months. The group has been defending Obama-era climate change measures, oppressive gun control laws, Obamacare, Obama’s various attempts at immigration amnesty, and so-called net neutrality rules, to name just a few.
Organizing for Action developed a training manual for protesting President Trump and disrupting Republican events. Activists used tactics from the manual earlier this year to wreak havoc at GOP lawmakers’ town hall meetings. Working with MoveOn.org and a group called Indivisible, OfA has developed tools to help protesters locate town hall meetings to disrupt. Talking points and scripts for question-and-answer sessions are provided.
The manual advises activists on how to intimidate GOP office-holders into withdrawing support for Obamacare repeal, cutting immigration from terrorist-prone Muslim nations, and constructing a wall on the nation’s southern border with Mexico.
In the group’s teleconference for supporters on May 25, OfA policy and campaigns director Jack Shapiro summarized issues of importance to the group and how to apply pressure to those in Congress.
During the then-approaching congressional recess, OfA members were urged to take action to stave off the repeal of Obamacare. They were asked to “hold the House members that voted ‘yes’ accountable for their vote, and push senators to oppose any health care bill that reduces coverage or takes away protections,” and “visit the offices of your senators and make phone calls to them.”
To fight efforts to secure the nation’s borders and keep the welcome mat out for Muslim terrorists, OfA asked members to “host a film screening of The Dream Is Now to bring together people to discuss the impact of the administration’s immigration policies in your community.” MSNBC describes the film as “an interactive documentary advocating the passage of the federal DREAM Act.” OfA also asked members to press lawmakers “to reject any bill that appropriates funds for the wall, or further expands deportation forces or detention facilities.” Because a new bill funding the government will be needed by the fiscal year end on Sept. 30, “we have a few months to organize, build our teams, and get our representatives on the record.”
OfA warned at the time – presciently as it turned out – that the Trump administration was considering renouncing the Paris Climate Agreement. The group encouraged members to make noise at lawmakers’ town hall meetings to “help defend the progress we’ve made–and stress the need to protect ourselves from a changing climate before it’s too late.”
Using the left-wing euphemism “gun violence prevention,” OfA urged members to attend rallies and sponsor events aimed at promoting gun control and indicated it was partnering with Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action. Specifically, OfA asked members to pay attention to three pieces of legislation. One bill would loosen the regulation of silencers. Another would “allow anyone who has been issued a permit from one state to carry a concealed gun anywhere in the country–including in states where concealed carry is not the law.” And a third possible bill could abolish gun-free school zones.
The Rubber Stamp Reps campaign targets 34 House members “whose districts didn’t support this White House’s agenda, yet are voting repeatedly for some of its most dangerous policies.” OfA vows to hold these members’ feet to the fire so they “they don’t get away with rubber stamping this administration’s agenda.” How the lawmakers would be held accountable wasn’t explained.
OfA has aligned itself with left-wing pressure group Fight for the Future and major pornography websites to fight the Federal Communications Commission’s push to undo Obama-era net neutrality rules.
The FCC voted in May to begin the process of reversing Obama-era Title II net neutrality rules, which for the first time in history classified internet service providers as public utilities, rather than information services. The rules subjected ISPs to broad government regulation and rules for how companies can manage traffic over their own networks. The Obama administration’s FCC began investigating Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T under the rules for offering packages that allowed customers unlimited data streaming.
These left-wing inquisitions were ended after President Trump’s inauguration.
Obama’s activism seems to be sucking up donations that otherwise might have gone to the Democratic National Committee.
Despite President Trump’s weak public approval numbers, the DNC achieved a record low in May fundraising this year, bringing in just $4.29 million, the weakest take since May 2003. It also reported being in debt to the tune of $1.9 million in May.
At the same time the Obama Foundation has been raking in the dough. Its website disclosed a few days ago that at least eight donors had given the foundation donations of more than $1 million each.
Barack Obama and Organizing for Action have much more in store for America.
5.THE DEEP STATE WAR ON TRUMP’S FOREIGN POLICY AGENDA (Θυμάστε πχ τί γράφαμε για τον Έλληνα ΠτΔ, και το τί δήλωσε όταν είχε έλθει στην Ελλάδα ο πρώην Α/Αντιπρόεδρος Τζο Μπάϊντεν);
President’s policies on Israel, Iran, Qatar and climate change under attack by a rogue State Department. (Και όχι μόνον)!
July 28, 2017
The State Department’s own “deep state” is trying to sabotage President Trump’s foreign policy agenda. From the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Iran, Qatar and climate change, the State Department, under Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, is reported to be in “open war” with the White House. Key high level positions remain vacant as Obama holdovers “continue running the show and formulating policy, where they have increasingly clashed with the White House’s own agenda,” according to the Free Beacon. Secretary Tillerson has reportedly run interference to protect the Obama holdovers from being removed, allowing resistance to President Trump’s foreign policy agenda to flourish within the State Department.
The first casualty of this internal coup by the State Department’s deep state is Israel. The shadow of the Obama administration’s anti-Israel bias was reflected in a report the State Department released on July 17, 2017 entitled Country Reports on Terrorism 2016. It praised Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for reiterating “his commitment to nonviolence, recognition of the State of Israel, and pursuit of an independent Palestinian state through peaceful means.” The report referred to what it called “significant steps during President Abbas’ tenure (2005 to date) to ensure that official institutions in the West Bank under its control do not create or disseminate content that incites violence.”
The State Department report brushed aside clear evidence of a continuing barrage of incendiary rhetoric appearing on official Palestinian Authority and Fatah social media outlets and of inflammatory statements by Palestinian officials, including Abbas himself. Instead, it claimed that the Palestinian Authority “has made progress in reducing official rhetoric that could be considered incitement to violence.”
The State Department report conveniently skipped over the fact that Abbas remains committed to paying regular salaries to Palestinian terrorists imprisoned for killing Jews and to terrorists’ families. Their perfidiously named “Martyrs Fund” has a treasure chest of about $300 million dollars. That blood money comes in part from foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority, some of which is contributed by American taxpayers. President Trump has spoken out against the ‘pay to slay Jews’ terrorist payments, but the State Department has turned a blind eye. Obama holdover Stuart Jones, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, is reported to have steered Secretary Tillerson into making the erroneous claim that the Palestinian Authority had ceased spending U.S. taxpayer funds to pay terrorists, according to the Free Beacon’s sources.
After reciting the litany of Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis, the State Department report held Israel largely responsible:
“Continued drivers of violence included a lack of hope in achieving Palestinian statehood, Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, the perception that the Israeli government was changing the status quo on the Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount, and IDF tactics that the Palestinians considered overly aggressive.”
Just a few hours after three members of an Israeli family were massacred by a Palestinian terrorist, a State Department official tried to defend the report’s conclusions on the drivers of Palestinian violence. The official sounded like a clinical psychologist or a social worker, declaring that there is “no one single pathway to violence—each individual’s path to terrorism is personalized, with certain commonalities.” This is the same type of irresponsible rhetoric used by the Obama administration in discussing the supposed root causes of what it called “violent extremism.”
The State Department has also carried over the Obama administration’s soft pedaling on Iran. Instead of presenting options to President Trump supporting a refusal to re-certify that Iran has complied with all of its obligations under the disastrous Obama nuclear deal with Iran, the State Department took Iran’s side. It recommended twice that President Trump sign certifications of Iran’s compliance. Deprived by the State Department of any analysis to the contrary, as he had requested, the president reluctantly signed the certifications in April and July. However, he has reportedly decided to sidestep the State Department going forward and rely instead on a White House team to prepare the way for refusing to sign the certification the next time it is presented to him. CIA Director Mike Pompeo, senior strategist Steve Bannon, and deputy assistant to the president Sebastian Gorka opposed the State Department’s recommendation.
“The president assigned White House staffers with the task of preparing for the possibility of decertification for the 90-day review period that ends in October — a task he had previously given to Secretary Tillerson and the State Department,” a source close to the White House told Foreign Policy.
Foreign Policy quoted one senior State Department, speaking on condition of anonymity, as saying, “The White House, they see the State Department as ‘the swamp.’”
The State Department is a swamp infested with Obama holdovers such as Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, the former Iran director for Obama’s National Security Council, who helped push through the Iran deal. When she moved over to the State Department during the waning months of the Obama administration, she was assigned to oversee the Persian Gulf region policy planning portfolio, which included issues related to Iran. She continued in that high-level advisory position until April of this year, when she was re-assigned to the Office of Iranian Affairs. In other words, a strong supporter of the Iranian nuclear deal with a vested interest in its continuation was on Secretary of State Tillerson’s policy planning team. Secretary Tillerson no doubt relied on this tainted team for input into his decision to recommend the first certification signing last April. Ms. Nowrouzzadeh is still working on Iranian-related issues for the State Department where she can do some damage. However, at least she is no longer part of the Secretary of State’s brain trust.
The State Department has also sought to undercut President Trump’s sharp criticism of Qatar, a major state sponsor of Islamic terrorism. The president had tweeted that Qatar funds radical Islamists, which is demonstrably true. Nevertheless, the State Department contradicted President Trump’s observation.
“We recognize that Qatar has made some great efforts to stop financing of terror groups,” said State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert at the June 6, 2017 briefing. “Our relationship with Qatar is strong.”
Dana Shell Smith, ambassador to Qatar until she left in late June, who believes that Qatar is a “great country,” was another Obama holdover. She was still the ambassador when the row over Qatar erupted. The day before Heather Nauert’s news briefing extolling Qatar’s supposed “great efforts to stop financing of terror groups,” the U.S. embassy in Qatar, still led by Dan Shell Smith, retweeted the following, which was originally tweeted during the Obama administration: “U.S. supports #Qatar’s efforts in combating terrorism financing & appreciates its role in coalition against ISIL.”
These sentiments are in direct contradiction to the views expressed by President Trump. Indeed, Smith had little use for President Trump and was not shy about saying so. Stationed in an autocratic country ruled by sharia law, she tweeted in May while still ambassador: “Increasingly difficult to wake up overseas to news from home, knowing I will spend today explaining our democracy and institutions.” Did this Trump-hater ever once think that the very idea of democracy, religious tolerance and equal rights for women are alien concepts to begin with in a country like Qatar that she called “great”?
After Smith’s departure, the State Department continued its praise of Qatar for supposedly being a partner in the fight against terrorism. In the same Country Reports on Terrorism 2016, which praised Abbas and blamed Israel for creating the conditions that fostered Palestinian terrorism, the State Department lauded Qatar for collaborating “to foster closer regional and international cooperation on counterterrorism, law enforcement, and rule of law activities.”
Finally, there is the issue of climate change. President Trump decided to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change because it disadvantaged America economically. However, the Paris Agreement was the pride and joy of Secretary of State John Kerry’s State Department. Obama holdovers have remained at the State Department, in a position to do mischief to President Trump’s plans to extricate the United States from the bad climate change deal.
Within the bowels of the State Department, for example, is the Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change, which, according to its website, is responsible for developing, implementing, and overseeing U.S. international policy on climate change. Its website still boasts how it led the way “in the negotiations in Paris at the 21st Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC (COP21).” The website goes on to praise the Paris Agreement as the “most ambitious climate accord ever negotiated.” This website remains operational even though President Trump has reportedly decided not to name a special envoy for climate change. The United States deputy special envoy for climate change, Trigg Talley, who served as head of the U.S. delegation for negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, remains in office, however. The opportunity for the State Department to conduct a deep state war against the president’s climate change policies is a real threat unless the Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change is completely shut down.
There are other potential pockets of resistance to President Trump’s climate change policies inside the State Department, such as the Office of Global Change. It too should be shut down or sharply curtailed.
President Trump, not State Department bureaucrats, was elected by the American people. He should have the final say on policy matters within his scope of executive authority, which includes the setting of foreign policy priorities. Deep state saboteurs within the State Department and other government agencies need to be rooted out at once and removed from positions of influence where they can do harm to the president’s agenda.
6. RED LINES IN SYRIA
Will Turkey’s attacks on U.S. allies stir Washington to action?
July 19, 2017
Suleymania, Iraq – With Saturday’s bombing of Afrin, a town controlled by America’s Kurdish allies in northern Syria, Turkey appears to have crossed a line.
Turkish artillery pounded the Ashrafiyeh neighborhood near the city center as well as surrounding villages. Reports from the region said the Turkish attack killed five civilians, including an entire family that was buried alive in their own home, and damaged dozens of homes.
“This is considered the first targeting of the city since the start of Turkish preparations” to expand military operations in Northwest Syria last month, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Turkish attacks were not directed against ISIS or against any other Islamist group. The Turks targeted Afrin because it has become a key political hub for the Democratic Union Party of Syria, the YPD, which Turkey accuses of being part of the PKK.
I spoke with Asya Abdallah Osman, the co-president of the YPD, on the sidelines of a conference both of us were attending in Iraqi Kurdistan. She was visibly shaken when she called home and learned details about the civilian casualties in Afrin.
“We have been fighting [ISIS] because we as women do not want to be subjected to their inhumanity. But we need your help,” she said, meaning the United States. “We need no other. This is war and people are dying. It won’t be resolved by politics, only by hard power.”
She swept aside the Turkish allegations that the regional government of the YPD, and its associated militia, known as the People’s Protection Units (YPG), were controlled by the PKK, or that the PKK was using YPD territory to launch attacks into Turkey.
“We are an independent political party that belongs to Syria and to the Kurds. If the PKK has come to Syria, it’s because Turkey has forced them to come,” she said.
Turkey has long accused the Kurdish Workers Party, or PKK, or fighting a terrorist war against it, but also has been willing to negotiate with PKK leaders when it felt it could reach a deal to curtail the violence.
After Turkey violated a 2013 truce negotiated in Oslo that called for the PKK to remove its fighters from Turkey into northern Iraq, the PKK relocated remaining fighters into the Kurdish areas in Syria, known as Rojava.
Like most Kurds, Ms. Osman believes Turkey and its allies in the region do not want to see a successful democratic self-governing region in northern Syria, because it would encourage their own Kurds to seek greater autonomy.
“They accuse us of not being democratic, but we have allowed all political and ethnic groups to have representatives in the regional government. Our project is for all of Syria, not just Kurds,” she told me.
Ms. Osman traveled to Northern Iraq in a group of 65 Syrian Kurdish activists, representing nearly twenty political groups.
Normally, they would have entered Iraq via a pontoon bridge over the Tigris River at Semalka, in an area that has escaped the current fighting.
But the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq closed the border recently, forcing the Syrian pro-democracy delegates to make a dangerous 16-hour trek by foot across the only other border crossing into Iraq near Mount Sinjar, which is controlled by Iranian-backed Shiite militias.
“There is no Kurdish Regional Government,” Ms. Osman said dismissively. “There is only the KDP,” the Kurdish Democratic Party, dominated by President Massoud Barzani and his family.
She and other Kurdish activists at the weekend conference believe that Turkey pressured the Barzanis to close the Semalka border crossing in order to further isolate them. “Semulka is our only gate to the outside world,” she said. “When it is shut, we are closed off.”
She attributed claims that the YPD and its militia were controlled by the PKK to Turkish propaganda. “Of course, we have dialogue with other Kurdish parties, including the PKK. So do most Kurdish groups in the region. But we run our party and our administration ourselves. We elect our own officials and they take orders from no one.”
Indeed, I only learned after the conference that a member of the PKK central committee had attended the weekend event, sponsored by the Kurdistan National Congress, where three hundred delegates from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey strategized over a future Kurdish state or confederation.
There were few references to the PKK by the speakers, and the PKK central committeeman himself never spoke. The final declaration of the conference makes no mention of the PKK.
Both President Trump and Secretary of Defense Mattis have warned Turkey not to attack America’s Kurdish allies in Syria. Turkey has blithely ignored those admonishments until now.
Less than a month after President Trump at the White House personally rejected Erdogan’s demand that the U.S. drop support for the Syrian Kurds, Turkey began moving troops to encircle Afrin, the political capital of the Syrian Kurdish region, and other Kurdish controlled areas.
After Turkey started to attack YPG positions in late June, Secretary of Defense James Mattis upped the ante by declaring that the United States might allow the Kurdish group to keep U.S. supplied weapons after the battle for Raqqa to smash ISIS was over.
Some of Erdogan’s erstwhile political allies believe he Erdogan is playing a dangerous game.
Even before the Turkish attacks on civilians over the weekend, former Turkish Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis, who helped found Erdogan’s ruling AKP party, counseled against attacking the Syrian Kurds.
“The best course would be to negotiate a deal with the Syrian Kurds, persuade them not to attempt to change the ethnic composition of the region, and establish – preferably in cooperation with the Syrian government – a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional democratic administration,” Yakis wrote in a column for Arab News.
That is precisely the project Ms. Osman and the YPD have been proposing.
Erdogan showed his arrogance in Washington when he calmly observed his bodyguards cross a Capitol Police barrier in May to viciously bludgeon opposition protestors with truncheons.
But by putting his forces in a position where they could potentially clash with U.S. military units assisting the YPG and the Syrian Democratic Forces, Erdogan has shown a reckless side as well.
Turkey has been warned twice. Will Afrin prove to be the third strike for Erdogan in Syria?
7. THE MERKAVA 4: WHY HEZBOLLAH SHOULD BE AFRAID—VERY AFRAID
The lessons of the 1973 and 2006 wars.
July 21, 2017
Following the 1973 Yom Kippur War, armchair pundits determined that the age of the tank as king of the battlefield had come to an ignominious end. They argued that the introduction of anti-tank guided missiles rendered the tank obsolete. How wrong they were. Several post-war studies of the conflict demonstrated that the tank was still indispensable to modern warfare and when employed in a combined arms manner with artillery and mechanized infantry, still reigned supreme.
Israel learned many lessons from the Yom Kippur War and incorporated those lessons into the development of its own indigenous tank, the Merkava (Chariot). The Merkava 1 entered service with the Israel Defense Forces in 1978 and first saw action in 1982 during Operation Peace for Galilee when it engaged and destroyed no fewer than nine Soviet-made, Syrian T-72 tanks without sustaining a single loss. It also reportedly succeeded in downing a Syrian anti-tank helicopter with its main gun.
Since that time, the Merkava has undergone several modifications and improvements, the latest iteration of which is the Merkava 4. The Merkava 4 is considered by armored warfare experts to be among the finest tanks in the world, and in terms of crew survivability, the safest.
In the summer of 2006, Israel was forced to go to war again, this time with the notorious terrorist organization Hezbollah. On July 12, two Israeli reservists were killed and their bodies snatched during a Hezbollah cross-border attack. Israel could not allow the outrage to go unanswered and decided to launch an offensive against Hezbollah. Nearly 400 Merkava tanks, mostly of the older II and III variants, were haphazardly deployed in the latter stages of the 34-day conflict.
During the course of the war, Hezbollah guerrillas fired thousands of anti-tank missiles – from the first generation Sagger to the highly advanced Kornet – at static Israeli infantry and tanks but only succeeding in damaging some 40 tanks and of these, there were only 20 penetrations. Despite these encouraging numbers, so-called experts began to once again challenge the utility of the tank and its place in modern warfare.
IDF planners saw things differently. They went back to the drawing board in an effort to draw conclusions from the performance of the Merkava and tactics employed by its crew members.
With at least 1/3 of its fighting force permanently stationed in Syria, the probability of Hezbollah initiating war against Israel in the near future is low. Even in the absence of the Syrian conflict, Hezbollah will soon not forget the thrashing it took at the hands of the IDF during the 2006 campaign. Nevertheless, most experts agree that the next Lebanon war is not a question of if, but when, and when it does begin, Israel’s latest Merkava variant, the vaunted Merkava 4 will be in the thick of it.
The Merkava 4 incorporates many sophisticated design features including advanced electro optics that ensure a 100% first-hit kill capability from its formidable 120mm smooth-bore gun. The Merkava also features an internally operated 60mm mortar to deal with missile-armed infantry. The Merkava is also capable of firing the long-rang, third generation LAHAT laser homing, guided missile from its main gun, an advantage lacking in the Merkava’s contemporaries. Another feature possessed by the Merkava but lacking in its competitors is the ability to accommodate up to eight infantry soldiers or three litter patients.
But among its most outstanding features is its emphasis on crew safety and ability to negate anti-tank missile threats. The tank, whose well-sloped armor is composed of advanced spaced and composite materials, is arguably the best protected in the world.
Unlike other tank designs, the Merkava’s 1,500hp diesel engine is located in the front, providing the crew with an additional layer of protection from frontal hits. Learning from past experience, the Merkava’s vulnerable underbelly was up-armored to provide additional protection against anti-tank mines and Iranian supplied explosively formed projectiles (EFP), which have been used to devastating effect by Iraqi and Afghan insurgents against American forces, claiming no fewer than 500 American lives. In addition, the Merkava 4’s armor is modular, allowing for quick battlefield repair and tailoring the armor for the tank’s mission-specific purposes.
But perhaps the Merkava’s most outstanding feature is its use of the Trophy active self-protection missile defense system, which acts like the tank’s personal Iron Dome missile defense shield. The system is designed to shoot down incoming missiles before the projectile reaches the tank’s armor. The IDF is the first military to deploy such a platform and all Merkava 4s and Namer (leopard) and Eytan armored personnel carriers (APC) are equipped with it. The United States Army is currently testing the Trophy system for use and adoption in its M1A2 Abrams tanks and other armored fighting vehicles such as the Stryker wheeled APC and the Bradley tracked APC.
The Trophy’s first baptism under fire occurred on March 1, 2011 when it successfully intercepted an RPG-29 anti-tank rocket fired by a Hamas terrorist from Gaza. Three years later, during Operation Protective Edge, the system proved itself again, shooting down no less than five anti-tank missiles fired by Hamas terrorists. Not a single Merkava tank was damaged thus depriving the enemy of any psychological or propaganda victory.
But the Trophy is more than just a missile interceptor. It simultaneously calculates the trajectory of the incoming rocket to determine the location of the source of fire and instantly transmits the coordinates by interfacing with another Israeli innovation known as the Tzayad battle management system. Soldiers in the theater or aerial platforms hovering above are instantly apprised of the enemy’s position and can quickly engage the belligerent seconds later. This seamless integration of battlefield technology has dramatically reduced the sensor to shoot cycle, enabling rapid elimination of the enemy.
While war with Hezbollah is not likely on the horizon due to the terror group’s efforts to prop up Assad, any miscalculation by Hezbollah in underestimating Israeli resolve, such as that which occurred in July 2006, can trigger a massive conflagration. When that occurs, it’s a sure bet that Israel’s fleet of formidable Merkava 4s will be at the tip of the spear.
8. BRAWN IN AN AGE OF BRAINS (Για τον Κο Α/ΓΕΣ)
Does physical labor have a future?
July 21, 2017
Reprinted from City Journal.
Those who would never stoop to paint their own houses gladly expend far more energy sweating at the gym. During the decline in physical-labor jobs over the last 50 years, an entire compensating industry has grown up around physical fitness. As modern work becomes less physical, requiring hours at a desk or some sort of immobile standing, the fitness center has replaced the drudgery of the field, the mine, and the forest as a means to exercise the body each day. A forbidding array of exercise bikes and StairMasters not only works the body; it also reinforces the modern, scientifically backed conviction that physical fitness promotes general wellness, mental acuity, and perhaps longevity. A new slang has entered the Western vocabulary, from “abs,” “glutes,” and “cardio” to “ripped” and “toned” to describe the ideal results of daily exercise: a look of chiseled fitness. The ideal is much different from the appearance of the pipe fitter and welder of the past, whose protruding bellies and girth were not necessarily incongruous with physical strength and stamina incurred from daily physical labor.
Yet the modern idea of “working out” by no means denotes that someone is laboring at a physical task, except for wisely keeping fit. Our idea of exercising, then, is not quite the Odyssean notion of being equally adept in craftiness and brawn—the ability to build a raft or lead men into battle—or versatile in outfoxing sexy sirens and ramming poles through the heads of dull-witted huge monsters. We are more like Alcibiades, whose high life and gifts for political craft and oratory were balanced by his studied Olympic training and sponsorship of chariotry.
One reason for our disdain for labor today is that the more physical work recedes in the twenty-first century, the more life superficially appears to get better, even for the vestigial muscular classes. Cheap cell phones, video games, the Internet, social media, and labor-saving appliances all make life easier and suggest that even more and better benefits are on the horizon. Formerly backbreaking industries, from the growing of almonds to the building of cars, are increasingly mechanized, using fewer but more skilled operators; in the future, this work might be all but robotized, without much human agency at all.
Anyone who has spot-welded or harvested almonds with a mallet and canvas has no regrets in seeing the disappearance of such rote drudgery, from the view of both the laborer and the consumer, who benefits from the cheaper prices brought on by labor-saving devices. But as we continue on this trajectory, initiated in the Industrial Revolution, from less demanding physical work to rare physical work, is something lost? Something only poorly approximated by greater leisure time, non-muscular jobs, and contrived physical exercise?
Until the early nineteenth century, hard work—agricultural work, for most of the population—was bifurcated: working as a slave, serf, or hired hand for someone else was the unfortunate lot of the accursed. In popular lore, hired or coerced labor led nowhere but to premature old age, illness, accident, poverty, and an early death. So the once-popular Edwin Markham, in his iconic “The Man with the Hoe,” laments the exploited toiler: “Through this dread shape the suffering ages look; Time’s tragedy is in the aching stoop; Through this dread shape humanity betrayed.” Physical work was not just hard and dirty; it was also done for someone else. In contrast with physical work for wages (what the aristocratic Greeks deprecated as banausia), voices of the agrarian tradition—from the seventh-century BC Greek poet Hesiod to the romantic paeans of the farmer voiced by aristocratic landowners such as Thomas Jefferson and later by the Southern agrarians—praised the yeoman and the homesteader. Ostensibly, the owner-operator calibrated his own drudgery by his own self-interest and profits; and in theory, at least, he controlled the conditions of his own physical exploitation.
Politicians still give lip service to the “entrepreneur” who gets up at 5 AM to open his bakery and goes home long after his employees have quit at 6 PM (akin to what Hesiod praised as “work with work upon work”). But Donald Trump was the first politician in recent memory to refer to working people with the first-person plural possessive pronoun of endearment—“our miners” and “our farmers,” as if physical work was still critical and honored. Otherwise, most of popular culture promotes the idea of a bachelor’s degree as the first stepping-stone of the cognitive elite on the path toward professional and graduate schools, certification and degree branding, interning, and ending up largely physically inactive but inordinately well compensated and intellectually and psychologically fulfilled. So inured are we to the ideal of a cursus honorum that we don’t even need to mention that it is an obvious means to escape a supposedly limited life of laying tile or overhauling transmissions.
Yet talk long enough to the most accomplished academics, lawyers, and CEOs—who also tend to be the most conscientious about biking, jogging, and weightlifting (obesity is mostly an epidemic of the poor and lower middle classes)—and more often than not, they will brag about a long-ago college summer job waiting tables or an internship repairing hiking trails. They might praise the granite-counter installer who redid their kitchen, or offer an anecdote about the time they helped the tree-trimmer haul limbs from the backyard out to the trailer at the curb. There seems a human instinct to want to do physical work. We moderns want to be able to say that we have some residual firsthand familiarity with drudgery—or at least share our admiration for muscular labor when one sees the positive results of physical craftsmanship, or even the smallest physical alteration of the natural environment.
The proliferation of hard-work reality-television programming reflects this apparent need, if only vicariously. Indeed, the more we have become immobile, urbanized, and distanced from hard work, the more we tune in to watch reality television’s assorted truckers, loggers, farmers, fishermen, drillers, and rail engineers. Usually, these supposed “losers” are filmed in rough physical landscapes of Alaska, Wyoming, Colorado, or out at sea, where they sweat, grunt, smoke, and swear as they toil to bring us our seafood, wood floors, arugula, and high-performance gasoline. The subtext of these shows is that the human dinosaurs who do such work are as tough and wild as the environment in which they labor.
In a society that supposedly despises menial jobs, the television ratings for such programs suggest that lots of Americans enjoy watching people of action who work with their hands, even if (or perhaps because) they are sometimes overweight, unkempt, and coarse. Mike Rowe became a media celebrity for his Discovery Channel reality series Dirty Jobs, in which he not only tried but also enjoyed said jobs—to the delight of viewers.
The Public Broadcasting Service’s signature series This Old House and its later spin-off shows on cable television made physical work seem especially hip. Yuppies and upwardly mobile young urban couples during off-hours put on old clothes, strapped on leather tool belts, and took up sledgehammers to knock down walls and break up concrete to remodel older homes into their own dream-gentrified Victorians. Apparently, they had a blast getting dirty and using their muscles while slowly turning decaying structures into renovated palaces. Again, the subtext of This Old House was that doing a lot of physical labor in remodeling something decrepit into something beautiful was rewarding—and preferable to contracting the hard labor out to experts.
What is it about physical work, in its supposed eleventh hour within a rapidly changing Western culture, that still intrigues us?
Physical work remains the foundation for twenty-first-century sophistication and complexity. Investors may know the oil trade better than oil drillers, but buying and selling based on intimate knowledge of Indonesian politics or the nature of the American automobile market are still predicated on someone’s knowing how to feed down steel casing to follow the drill bit. If there is no one to pump oil, there is nothing to sell. Selling plums to Japan is not the same as pruning a plum tree. Both aspects of the oil and plum industries are critical to their success, but the commercial tasks are cerebral and secondary, the physical ones elemental and primary.
Before any of us can teach, write, or speculate, we must first have food, shelter, and safety. And for a bit longer, at least, that will require some people to prune trees or cut grapes, nail two-by-sixes, and go through basic training in the muck. No apps or 3-D printers exist to produce brown rice and organic celery for the tables of Palo Alto and the Upper West Side.
It is often said that all jobs might yet be automated to the point of making muscular labor irrelevant. Can they? True, a slab of marble can be cut on a computerized saw, fed by forklift to a pallet, and delivered to its destination by a GPS-guided truck. But ultimately, human hands will lift the precut granite and carefully guide and attach it to the top of a counter. And that is not such an easy task. The almond farmer outside my window uses a computerized machine for seemingly every task—irrigating, cultivating, and harvesting. But this morning, two men are cutting out diseased limbs in the orchard, selecting their cuts with the help of an Echo chainsaw, whose basic tenets of portability, gasoline power source, and chain running on a guided frame have a 100-year pedigree. Another crew is taking honey by hand from beehives before attaching the hive boxes to a boom to be trucked away.
It is astonishing, the degree to which a high-tech, postmodern society still depends on low-tech, premodern labor, whether that is a teen in constant motion for eight hours as a barista at Starbucks or a mechanic on his back underneath a Lexus, searching to find a short that popped up in a computerized code on his tablet. In some sense, the end of hard physical work is a delusion. Even Bill Gates’s high-tech automated estate will need a plumber to clear his sewer connections or a glass fitter to replace a broken window or an electrician to rewire a shorted-out ceiling fan.
Physical work has an intrinsic satisfaction in that it is real, in the primordial sense that nonphysical work is not. The head of the Federal Reserve Board may be more important to our general welfare than the city road crew patching asphalt roads, but there remains something wondrous in transforming material conditions through the hands, an act that can be seen and felt rather than just spoken or written about. Changing the physical landscape, either by building or destroying something previously constructed or altering it, lends a sense of confidence that the human body can still manifest one’s ideas by concrete action.
Almost 20 years ago, in The Land Was Everything, I noted the effect of physical work upon the psyche, especially the creation of clarity, as the abstract becomes concrete and reminds one of the difference between talk and action:
Man fights nature and there arise clear, easily observable choices. Critical to this fight is the use of muscle. The abstract becomes flesh only through the right arm or left leg. Bolts are tightened, tree limbs sawed, concrete patched, all through the hands and back. Every idea is matched with the flesh. For the farm, then, there is no conception that is not realized in the physical world, no idea that is not carried to its ultimate and often tragic conclusion. Such an easily identifiable struggle! Such a wondrous thing, when you, alone, with your muscle and mind in tandem, with or without sufficient courage and endurance, can at least once still, just once yourself succeed or fail!
Until recently, this idea of hard work as a natural human need was relatively banal and went unquestioned. At one point in The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck paused to reflect on what made his Okie migrants noble:
The last clear definite function of man—muscles aching to work, minds aching to create beyond the single need—this is man. To build a wall, to build a house, a dam, and in the wall and house and dam to put something of Manself, and to Manself take back something of the wall, the house, the dam; to take hard muscles from the lifting, to take the clear lines and form from conceiving.
We can assess the worth of particular generations by what they have built or let lapse. In February 2017, the Oroville Dam, the nation’s tallest, nearly lost both its concrete and earthen emergency spillways after near-record rain and snow runoff filled Lake Oroville, sending water lapping over the dam’s crest. The near-tragedy reminded postmodern Californians that a past generation—now nameless, forgotten, and mostly dead—at great expense, and with some danger, had built the vast dams, reservoirs, and aqueducts of the federal Central Valley Project and the state California Water Project. (See “California’s Promethean Past,” Summer 2013.) The two efforts enabled vast water transfers from the state’s wet northern third to its southern and dry two-thirds. Yet the present generation not only failed to complete the water projects—so essential to irrigate farmland, foster urban development, provide flood control, offer recreation, and facilitate hydroelectric production in a state that had doubled its population; it also neglected simple periodic maintenance on the infrastructure, such as the crown jewel Oroville Dam, that it had inherited.
Physical labor also promotes human versatility: those who do not do it, or who do not know how to do it, become divorced from—and, at the same time, dependent upon—laborers, in psychological as well as concrete ways. Lawyers, accountants, and journalists living in houses with yards and driving cars to work thus count on a supporting infrastructure of electricians, landscapers, and mechanics. Without them, life grinds to a halt, unless one has rudimentary knowledge of such tasks—or the time and willingness to learn them.
In that context, physical labor can provide independence and autonomy, at least in a limited sense of not being entirely reliant on a host of hired workers. By the same token, working with one’s hands, however temporarily, gives some approximation of what physical labor is and what those who do it might be like. It may be economically sound to oppose arbitrary raises in the minimum wage, but that position becomes ethically more complicated when one has tried to drive a spray rig for 50 hours a week for $10 an hour while paying a $1,000-a-month rent. A dislike or disavowal of physical labor can lead to ignorance about how those who earn their living with muscles live, think, and act.
Especially valuable in muscular work is some appreciation of the tragic view of the world, best expressed sometimes by those who realize that their 40 years of active working life have been defined by physical deterioration and often chronically low wages. What makes a woman get up each morning, knowing that her waitress job will not lead to the sort of good life and leisure that the Internet and television constantly show her? It’s not just lack of alternatives but also a determination to find meaning in doing a demanding job well.
For the past four decades, I have split my time between teaching classics and writing, and working on a farm. I cannot say that either world is nobler than the other. But I did learn that small farmers and farm laborers complained much less about their own often-unenviable lots than did academics about their comparatively enviable compensation and generous time off. Working outdoors, often alone, with one’s hands encourages a tragic acceptance of nature and its limitations. Talking and writing indoors with like kind promote a more therapeutic sense that life can be changed through discourse and argument.
The diminished cultural awareness about those who work physically is a touchstone to a number of our present pathologies. Anyone who has watched videos of privileged Yale students shouting down professor of medicine and sociology Nicholas Christakis—because his wife, Erika, had suggested that politically correct censorship of campus Halloween costumes was excessive—should recognize that something has gone terribly wrong at our universities. The malady has metastasized well beyond the contempt for free speech and the prolonged adolescence of young adults squabbling about their preteen-like Halloween celebrations. The vast majority of students who encircled Christakis were affluent and privileged, regardless of the efforts of some to cite their minority status as proof of victimization. Had any of the professor’s accusers ever worked hard physically, thereby learning the difference between being a Yale student and picking grapes or painting houses? Yale compounds its cocooning problem by lavishing coffee bars, rec rooms, and elegant living quarters on twentysomethings, while investing them with the power to scream at and disrupt speakers not to their liking.
The physical workplace is a corrective for such a leisured Oz. The physical world of hard work imposes a hierarchy of far more important considerations than being happy or coddled—safety from injury, physical proof that one is industrious (or incompetent), and wariness about screaming and swearing at coworkers and supervisors, given that such speech is not rhetorical, as on campuses, but has immediate consequences.
I learned more from teaching students at California State University, Fresno, than from my students at Stanford—not because they knew Greek and Latin better (most did not) or because they were more ethical (again, not necessarily true) but because they often worked 20 hours or more per week at minimum-wage jobs and thus had a far wider range of experience with (and empathy for) characters and events found in Aristophanes, Euripides, and Hesiod in the premodern world of the Greeks. They were also more circumspect in addressing their complaints, angst, or unhappiness, as if they had already learned from unenviable off-campus jobs, in a way that their Stanford counterparts had not, that the world is not necessarily kind and compliant.
If incoming Yale students’ orientation or first-year community service required them to cut the quad’s grass, chainsaw tree limbs, fix clogged sewers, and work side by side with those who did, there might be less obsession over Halloween costumes and a greater reluctance to curse at faculty with the secure knowledge that they would only politely nod and smile back. Unfortunately for Yale students and for our elites in general, the world outside privileged bubbles operates on quite different premises. Perhaps this studied isolation accounts in part for why our governing classes have done such a poor job of understanding the global community in recent years.
The notion of physical work, or lack of same, also underpins the United States’ massive illegal immigration problem. Yes, Mexico seeks to export its dependent poor, to create a powerful expatriate community in the United States, and to garner over $25 billion in remittances; and yes, corporations demand cheap labor in hospitality industries, construction, and agriculture. On the political front, La Raza activists want a steady stream of unassimilated immigrants in need of parity with U.S. citizens—and thus requiring self-appointed ethnic activists and a careerist industry of identity politics; and the Democratic Party hopes to turn the American Southwest from red to blue, given new demographics.
But physical work is central to all these considerations. Sometime in the 1970s and 1980s, millions of Americans—far more than just those constituting an economic elite—decided that a key to the good life was to be free from, say, the need to cook, watch children, mow the lawn, or rake leaves. Illegal immigration promised cheap help for the upper middle classes that had once been the exclusive domain of the aristocracy. In theory, skipping the gym for four hours a week would provide more than enough time to mow the lawn, prune the bushes, or vacuum the floor. Yet sweaty and studied exercise is often deemed preferable to rote labor, given that it is more scientifically calibrated to making one look and feel better. Repetitive muscular work is not seen as commensurately valuable, whether for the exercise it provides or for its psychic benefits. Yet for all one’s degrees and income, a person can still retain some sense of autonomy and an ability to master the surrounding material landscape, if only for a few hours each week, and to appreciate how the other half lives that does such physical labor for wages. It is a choice.
In his final play, Bacchae, the Athenian playwright Euripides explored the nature of wisdom and who possesses it. After a frenzy of killing and destruction, he seems to conclude that neither the rational and conventional King Pentheus (“You’ve got a quick tongue and seem intelligent, but your words don’t make any sense at all”) nor the ecstatic emotion of the divine Dionysus and his bacchants (“Angry gods should not act just like humans”) were models for emulation. Best, instead, is the day-by-day life without pretense: “Various men outdo each other in wealth, in power, in all sorts of ways. The hopes of countless men are infinite in number. Some make men rich; some come to nothing. So I consider that man blessed who lives a happy existence day by day.”
Victor Davis Hanson is a contributing editor of City Journal and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution
9. VENEZUELA ON THE BRINK (Θα γνωρίσει, “ναι” ή “όχι”, και η Ελλάδα τη Βενεζουελάνικη Τραγωδία, απ’ τους εδώ Εραστές της “ΜΑΔΟΥΡΟ-ΜΑΦΙΑΣ“);
The opposition fights President Maduro’s power grab as Trump administration imposes sanctions.
July 27, 2017
Venezuela is at the breaking point. Its failed socialist system is imploding. Venezuela’s economy is in a free fall, a classic example of how top-down centralized government control ends up making conditions worse for virtually everyone except the autocrats running the show. Venezuela’s embattled president, Nicolas Maduro, is facing a determined opposition that is conducting a general strike and a mass protest this week.
Tensions have been building for months, but the country is approaching a critical juncture as Maduro plans to go ahead with a sham “election” on Sunday to choose 545 members for a body known as the Constituent Assembly. This new body would be empowered to rewrite the country’s constitution, which the opposition sees as a way for Maduro to consolidate his autocratic powers even further. The sham “election” of the Constituent Assembly members is procedurally stacked in such a way that Maduro will almost certainly get a pliant assembly to do his bidding. This move has not only angered the opposition, which has called for a boycott of Sunday’s election, but it has split Maduro’s own ranks. On July 4, 2017, Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa Ortega, a so-called Chavista, strongly denounced Maduro’s plan for a re-write of the constitution.
The opposition controls the National Assembly, which is trying to choose judges for Venezuela’s Supreme Court who are not Maduro loyalists. The Supreme Court back in March had announced that it was taking over the powers of the National Assembly in a blatant bid to suppress the opposition politically. While the Supreme Court reversed its decision a few days later, the move increased distrust in Maduro’s government. Maduro exacerbated the distrust when his intelligence forces began arresting judges appointed by the opposition. He has threatened to arrest more.
“As a direct result of Maduro’s power grab,” The Diplomat has reported, “more than 100 people have been killed, 1,000 injured, and nearly 3,000 arrested in the recent wave of violence and protests.”
Beyond the political struggle, the Venezuelan people are struggling to put food on the table. Inflation may reach as high as an unsustainable 720 percent, destroying the average citizen’s purchasing power. Venezuela’s economic health relies on revenues from oil exports, which have been steadily shrinking. As a result, its currency reserves are shrinking as well. Venezuela’s GDP collapsed by 19 per cent in 2016. Once one of the richest countries in Latin America with its huge proven oil reserves, Venezuela’s socialist government has squandered it all in the service of a failed ideology and greed.
Lower oil revenues have meant cuts in social services. Venezuela is suffering an acute humanitarian crisis, including severe shortages of medication and food.
Rather than confront Venezuela’s political, economic and humanitarian crisis head on and work with the opposition collaboratively to resolve it, President Maduro is lashing out at scapegoats. He has alleged a conspiracy between the opposition and the United States to bring his regime down. “The US right wing thinks it can give orders in Venezuela, but the only one who gives orders in Venezuela is the people,” Maduro said on his weekly broadcast.
If the people of Venezuela are truly the ones giving orders, Maduro is obviously not listening. According to Datanalisis’s June 2017 poll, 69% of Venezuelans oppose the Constituent Assembly maneuver that he is shoving down the throats of the Venezuelan people. An even larger majority (including a majority of the so-called Chavistas) prefer that the current constitution be enforced. Maduro insists that a new constitution is needed in order to stave off “coup-plotters.” Maduro is the real coup-plotter. The opposition-controlled National Assembly leader Julio Borges called Maduro’s insistence on drawing up a new constitution “a scam to deceive the Venezuelan people with a mechanism that is nothing more than a tightening of the coup in Venezuela.”
On July 17th, President Donald Trump called Maduro “a bad leader who dreams of becoming a dictator.” He promised that the United States will “not stand by as Venezuela crumbles.” On July 26th, President Trump followed through on his promise. His administration imposed new sanctions on current and former high level government officials, military officers and managers of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA).
The Trump administration’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, warned that more U.S. action will be forthcoming if Maduro does not change course. “The United States will keep all options on the table, including sanctioning anyone who joins the Constituent Assembly, and will look into additional measures to hold the Maduro regime accountable,” Ambassador Haley said. “We will also continue to have the backs of the Venezuelan people as they fight to save their once prosperous democracy – even in the face of violence, intimidation, and denial of services by their own government.”
Socialist ideology imposed by brute force is not only morally bankrupt. As proven time and time again, it is self-destructive. Venezuela is but the latest example as it descends into chaos and human misery.
10.PALESTINIANS, MOTHER OF TERRORIST, CELEBRATE SLAUGHTER OF JEWISH FAMILY
“Praise Allah. I am proud of my son. May Allah be pleased with him”! / Τί Γράφω / -με τόσο καιρό τώρα; Ε! Εσείς οι… Χουντο – Αριστερο – Δημοκράτες πού είστε;
July 24, 2017
A Palestinian mother extolled her 19-year old son’s “accomplishment” in the name of Allah. She exclaimed: “Praise Allah. I am proud of my son. May Allah be pleased with him.” The mother was not celebrating her son’s graduation, new job, marriage, fatherhood or some other life-affirming event. Rather, she was celebrating the deaths that her terrorist offspring, Omar al-Abed, brought to a Jewish family on July 21st. The family was about to sit down for a Sabbath dinner and to celebrate the birth of a grandson that same day when the Palestinian terrorist prodigy invaded the family’s home. Wielding a knife, he proceeded to kill a grandfather, his daughter and his son, and to seriously wound the grandmother. The massacre ended only after a neighbor, who belongs to an elite IDF unit and was home on leave, heard cries for help from the house and shot the terrorist. Al-Abed was eventually handcuffed and taken to a hospital for treatment of his wounds.
The terrorist’s mother was joined in her celebration by Palestinians dancing in the street in Gaza. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh reportedly phoned Omar al-Abed’s father to congratulate him for what his son had done to bring “pride to the nation.”
The trigger for this latest spurt of violence was said to be Israel’s decision to install metal detectors at the entrances leading to the Temple Mount. Israel took this action in response to the killings by terrorists on July 14th of two Israeli police officers guarding the holy site. The murders were carried out by Arab Israeli citizens who used guns previously smuggled into the compound. Israel installed metal detectors to prevent any further smuggling of arms.
Palestinian violence has been spreading since then, resulting in the deaths of four Palestinian rioters in confrontations with Israeli security forces trying to restore calm.
The spiraling violence is being spurred on by Muslim religious leaders and Palestinian officials claiming that Israel’s security actions were defiling the Al Aqsa mosque situated on the Temple Mount. Omar al-Abed picked up on this theme in the “will” he posted on Facebook three hours before his cowardly attack. He said he was acting against “the sons of apes and pigs who defile Al Aqsa.” Hoping for martyrdom, he posted: “I will go to heaven. How sweet death is for the sake of God, his prophet and for Al-Aqsa mosque.” The 19-year old terrorist, who is the apple of his mother’s eye, did not get his wish and will now have to answer for his crimes. No doubt, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will reward the terrorist’s family with a generous stipend while he remains in Israeli custody. That’s the way Abbas operates.
After first mouthing an insincere condemnation of the murderous attack on the police guarding the Temple Mount, Abbas has exploited the situation ever since. He announced that he was going to suspend all contacts with Israel until the metal detectors were removed. Abbas reached out to the United States and the so-called “international community” to pressure Israel into cancelling its heightened security measures. He reportedly said that unless Israel backed down, tensions over access to the holy site could spiral out of control. The United Nations Security Council is meeting in closed session Monday morning to discuss the crisis. Sweden, Egypt and France requested the special meeting. None of these countries have supported Israel in dealing with the ever present threat of Palestinian terrorism. They have bought into the Palestinians’ victimhood narrative.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government has been holding firm so far on its latest security measures. Tzachi Hanegbi, the minister for regional development and a senior member of the ruling Likud party, told Army Radio: “They (metal detectors) will remain. The murderers will never tell us how to search the murderers. If they (Palestinians) do not want to enter the mosque, then let them not enter the mosque.”
However, there is some division within the Israeli government on the utility of the metal detectors. Senior security officials have reportedly warned that the potential danger the metal detectors may pose in being used as a pretext for widespread violence may outweigh their usefulness. Thus, the government could be preparing a way to replace the metal detectors with a less controversial alternative. Israel has begun installing sophisticated security cameras at one of the entrances. While security officials have told Israeli media that the cameras are meant to complement the metal detectors, not replace them, the cameras may provide the Israeli government with a face saving way to defuse the immediate crisis. Prime Minister Netanyahu hinted as much when he said at his weekly cabinet meeting, “The only thing we want is to ensure no one can again take weapons in and carry out another attack. We’re willing to examine alternatives to the metal detectors, so long as the alternative ensures the prevention of the next attack.”
However, it is unlikely that any alternative security measure the Israelis institute will quell the rising level of violence. Indeed, it could have the opposite effect. Already, Abbas is said to be protesting the installation of the cameras. Only the Palestinians have the right to determine what security measures are appropriate outside the entrance to the site of their mosque, he said on Sunday. Moreover, some Muslim religious leaders may argue that photographing of people and other living animate moving beings is forbidden in Islam. They would likely rail against the “Zionist infidel occupiers” taking pictures of Muslim worshippers entering the “sacred” site of a mosque over which the Palestinians claim exclusive sovereignty.
The Palestinian grand mufti, the acting Palestinian chief justice and the Jordanian-sponsored Waqf religious trust issued a no-compromise joint statement:
“We stress our absolute rejection of the electronic gates, and of all measures by the Occupation (Israel) that would change the historical and religious status in Jerusalem and its sacred sites, foremost the blessed Aqsa mosque.” (Emphasis added)
Palestinians continue to reject all paths to a reasonable compromise on any issue related to the conflict that they created in the first place by not accepting a two-state solution seven decades ago. There is no reason to expect any different outcome this time. As Debkafile put it so well: “The Palestinians are consistent in their tactics: First shed Israeli blood, then tell the world they are victims and as martyrs are justified in seeking revenge.” As usual, much of the “international community,” as represented in the UN, will fall for this charade.
11.Is Turkey’s Military Becoming Overstretched? / Άλλαξε Κάτι Και Τί, Μέχρι Σήμερα (Μέσα Σε 8 μήνες; / Εκτός από τον ΥΠΑΜ, αχαχαχαχαχαχαχα);
November 17, 2016
The Turkish army is engaged in a two-front war, fighting both in Turkey and Syria against PKK Kurdish rebels. With a third front possibly looming, questions are being raised about how sustainable such operations are, given the military is still reeling from massive purges within its ranks following July’s failed coup in Turkey.
Since the collapse of last year’s cease-fire with the PKK, the military has launched unparalleled numbers of counterinsurgency operations across Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast. The operations have turned many towns and cities into rubble in vicious street warfare with the rebels. Further demands on the army came with an ongoing military incursion into Syria, targeting both Islamic State, and Syrian Kurdish forces of the YPG that Ankara accuses of being the affiliate of the PKK. Turkey considers the PKK a terrorist organization.
Now Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dispatched soldiers and armor to the Iraqi border to deter what he says are threats to Iraq’s Sunni minority. The prospect of an unprecedented third front is a front too many. “No army including the American army can deal with so many conflicts or fronts at the same time,” warns Retired Brigadier Haldun Solmazturk, head of the Ankara-based research group “21st Century Institute”.
“There will be two outcomes – one, the slowing of the operational tempo and the other is the increase in the causality rates. And in Syria, both are happening and I don’t see any reason that an intervention in Iraq would end up any different. And the situation is less than favorable for the army because army has been suffering from various blows, I mean purges, for the last 10 to 15 years.” Solmazturk has firsthand experience fighting the PKK throughout much of the 1990s and involved in cross-border operations into Iraq.
The Turkish military has admitted its operations in Syria have slowed, but blames a recent ban by Damascus on Turkish airstrikes on its territory, a ban that Ankara says has at least in part, now been lifted.
Since July’s failed coup, the military has been hit by a succession of major purges within its ranks. Nearly half its senior commanders have been arrested or dismissed, while its army special forces and air force have been hit especially hard. Over 300 of its 600 combat pilots have been arrested or dismissed.
Specter of growing demands
Demands on the beleaguered military could increase further. Current Syrian operations have been confined to non-Kurdish regions of Syria. That could change, “If there would be a terror attack from the Syrian Kurdish region, on Turkey. Then that would be a justified reason to intervene,” warns Muhammad Akar, head of the ruling AK Party in Diyarbakir, the main city in the predominantly Kurdish southeast of Turkey. “In that case, everyone in Turkey would consider this intervention as a legitimate act of self-defense, but, as yet, there is no such planning of Turkey at the moment.”
Ankara has made little secret of the fact that it views the Syrian Kurdish region on its border as a threat to its national security. It accuses the ruling PYD as being linked to the PKK.
For now, analysts say the army appears to be coping with the growing demands; but, with the ongoing operations showing little signs of ending, rotation could prove an increasing problem, “As the Turkish army is deploying troops, armor from the central region, Ankara, it means that they don’t have much left behind,” observes General Solmazturk. “So the replacement would be a problem, and very difficult to solve and eventually this would have a detrimental effect on the operational tempo.”
The Turkish army is set to face a new demand. Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu has warned that there will be no let up in anti-PKK operations during winter, traditionally a quiet time due to severe weather conditions. There have been no reports of dissent within the military or at the growing numbers of funerals. Media coverage remains strictly controlled.
Maintaining morale could be the next challenge facing the country’s commanders and political leaders, in the face of the ongoing purges both within the army and wider society. General Solmazturk, warns of an approaching perfect storm.
“The recent government decisions to close military schools, to close army academies, to close army hospitals, and the general political situation in the country. Army people are individuals; they are in uniform, but they are Turkish citizens, they are human beings. They are happening as I am, with the media situation in turkey, with the suppression of rights, with the suppression of freedoms, coming together are having a detrimental effect on morale and operational capability of the Turkish army.”
Ankara dismisses such warnings, pointing to recent opinion polls showing strong support for the military crackdown on the PKK both in Turkey and Syria. Those polls, analysts say, will likely color deliberations by President Erdogan and his government with a referendum expected early next year to extend his presidential powers.
12. ALLEN / BAUMAN PEACE PLAN DANGEROUS FOR ISRAEL
Putting one’s security in the hands of foreign forces.
(Ξανά και Ξανά, Για τον Κο Α/ΓΕΕΘΑ και Α/Κλάδων)
July 11, 2017
President Donald Trump entered the White House committed to finding “the ultimate deal” to bring about an Israeli/Palestinian Arab peace. Though putting himself on record in February as favoring no particular type of solution other than one that commends itself to both sides, President Trump’s advisers are now reportedly examining a plan for a Palestinian state.
The plan, devised by General John Allen during the Obama Administration, calls for a sovereign but demilitarized Palestinian state to be established within the 1949 armistice lines. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) would be withdrawn from within its territory, including the strategically vital Jordan Valley –– something Yitzhak Rabin, weeks before his murder, insisted on Israel retaining under any peace agreement. Instead, Israel would have to rely for its security upon a US military force operating in the Jordan Valley and, perhaps acontinuing IDF presence for a 10-15 year period.
Colonel Kris Bauman, who assisted General Allen in the formulation of the original plan, is now serving as adviser to Trump’s National Security Council –– an indication of the seriousness with which the Plan is being considered.
Is the Allen Plan a good one? Unfortunately not, for several reasons.
Reliance on foreign forces holds a cautionary history for Israel.
The «United Nations Emergency Force» (UNEF), which was designed to keep the peace between Egypt and Israel after the 1956 Suez War, was simply withdrawn at Egypt’s request in 1967, leading to the Six Day War.
President Eisenhower’s 1957 military guarantee to Israel of free, unmolested maritime shipping through the Straits of Tiran turned out to be unenforceable when Israel needed the US to provide it in 1967 –– another factor that produced the Six Day War.
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) never prevented the PLO or, later, Hizballah from attacking Israel and has actually become a hindrance to Israel stopping Hizballah militarizing the Lebanese-Israeli border, resulting in several wars.
With the emergence in the last two years of jihadist groups on the armistice lines with Israel on the Golan Heights, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) has similarly ceased to provide any form of protection for Israel or accountability from its attackers. International forces and guarantees can vanish overnight.
Foreign forces, even that of an ally like the US, have neither the commitment nor compulsion to sustain the casualties that protecting Israel might one day require. US forces have been evacuated from deteriorating military situations in Vietnam and Iraq where direct US interests were at stake. Are they more likely to hunker down in the Jordan Valley on behalf of Israel?
If foreign forces are no security panacea, neither is Palestinian demilitarization. However careful the security arrangements for Israel under General Allen’s Plan, history demonstrates that no sovereign state has ever permitted itself to be permanently and entirely demilitarized.
Even Weimar Germany, which was in no way an aggressive, irredentist state, as Mahmoud Abbas’ PA would undoubtedly become, refused to remain demilitarized. Weimar Germany trained military forces under the guise of police and scouting organizations and engaged in arms production under civilian cover.
Even purely as a matter of law and treaty, there is no effective means to compel a state to remain disarmed, even if its permanent disarmament were an explicit clause in a peace treaty or international agreement pertaining to that state.
To quote Professor Louis René Beres, Emeritus Professor of Political Science and International Law at Purdue University,
“International law would not necessarily expect Palestinian compliance with any limitations on negotiated agreements concerning national armies and armed forces … After declaring independence, a Palestinian government … could point to particular pre-independence errors of fact, or to duress, as appropriate grounds for invoking selective agreement termination.”
Add to this the fact that only sovereign states can be held to conclude authentic treaties, and the government of a future Palestinian state could realistically claim not to be bound by the demilitarization clauses of the peace treaty that created it.
Accordingly, at some point in the future, a Palestinian state could simply renege on demilitarization and Israel would have neither legal nor diplomatic redress. This would be a recipe for a full-scale war, as any attempt on the part of Israel to forcibly disarm such a state would become.
As retired IDF Major-General Gershon Hacohen, now a senior research fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies in Ramat Gan, Israel, has observed, “it is hard to imagine under what circumstances Israel would attain the international legitimacy to pursue an offensive deep within the Palestinian state, should the need arise.”
The PA has already consistently violated all Oslo limitations on its armed forces. It has imported prohibited weaponry, permitted armed terrorist groups to establish themselves in its midst, and armed far larger forces than permitted under signed agreements. How likely is it that a sovereign Palestinian state would be more sedulously observant of such terms than the PA has been till now?
In short, Israel cannot place its ultimate security in the hands of foreign forces, nor in the supposed security to be found in Palestinian demilitarization, nor still in the durability of any demilitarization clauses, however stringent, enshrined in a future peace agreement.
Whatever other proposals the Trump Administration might consider, it should discard General Allen’s without delay.
Morton A. Klein is National President of «the Zionist Organization of America» (ZOA). Dr. Daniel Mandel is Director of the ZOA’ s Center for Middle East Policy and author of H.V. Evatt & the Establisment of Israel (Routledge, London, 2004).
13. ΔΙΑΔΙΚΤΥΑΚΟ ΜΙΣΟΣ! (Για τους πολύ… διεισδυτικούς)!..
Jun 6, 2017
In 2016 alone, 382,000 anti-Semitic posts were published online, many of them shockingly violent.
Oleg Ivanov of the World Jewish Congress explains that although cyber hate is a known global issue, the organization wanted to understand the extent of the phenomenon. So they teamed up with Vigo Social Intelligence, an Israeli monitoring firm, and got the facts.
What they have is confirmation that vicious Jew hatred is widespread.
See the alarming results!
14. RESHAPING NATO? (Ξανά και Ξανά, Για τον Κο Α/ΓΕΕΘΑ και Α/Κλάδων)
Should the new Trump administration transform the Western military alliance?
February 27, 2017
During the 2016 election campaign, candidate Donald Trump called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) irrelevant. Bloomberg reported on January 15, 2017, that “Repeating criticism of NATO he made during his campaign, Trump said that while Trans-Atlantic military alliance is important, it has problems.” In an interview with the German Newspaper Bild, President Trump described NATO as “obsolete,” and added, “Secondly, countries aren’t paying what they should, and NATO didn’t deal with terrorism.” Trump is right on all three assertions.
Since the Cold War began in the late 1940’s, the Atlantic Alliance was instrumental in deterring Soviet expansionism in Europe. NATO kept the Soviets out of Western Europe, the U.S. Marshall Plan created economic stability, while hundreds of thousands of U.S. G.I.’s stationed in Europe, insured peace and security. The collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s put into question NATO’s mission, which was hitherto designed to block Soviet aggressive expansionism, and protecting European democracies.
At that juncture, there were a number of high powered voices calling for the dismantling of NATO, and it was thought that a weakened Russia no longer posed a threat. Others however suggested keeping the alliance as a safety net. The civil war in the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990’s provided NATO and its advocates with a renewed purpose. NATO became a multinational force able to act on the periphery of the Continent, able to enforce relative peace among the warring parties. Peace enforcement then became the heart of NATO’s mission.
On September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda’s attack on America compelled NATO to activate for the first time in its history Article 5, which is defined as ‘an attack on one member of the alliance is an attack on all members.’ The U.S. launched an attack on Al-Qaeda bases and its Taliban protectors in Afghanistan. Regretfully, with the exception of the British forces, the U.S. European allies didn’t possess the capabilities to be effective in an arena such as Afghanistan, and the U.S. carried the brunt of the burden, as it did in the 2003 Iraq war that toppled the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein.
In an article published in the British Telegraph newspaper (February 13, 2017) titled “NATO needs to reform into a global alliance against Islamic Terrorism – or become obsolete,” Col. Richard Kemp, commander of British forces in Afghanistan and Rafael Bardaji, former National Security adviser to the Spanish government, pointed out that, “NATO from 1989 to today has basically opted out of the major strategic issue of our time – Islamic terrorism, and generated mixed results at best in its out-of-area operations without becoming more efficient in its traditional mission to keep peace in Europe.” Kemp and Bardaji added, “NATO should accept that we are all under attack by Islamic extremist forces of all kinds. President Hollande said that France was at war, and the rest of the allies cannot sit idle by his side. NATO must make the fight against Islamic terrorism its core mission.”
Bardaji and Kemp recommended that “in order to reinforce our Western world, (NATO) must invite member countries that are alike in the defense of our values and with the willingness to share the burden in the civilizational struggle. NATO should invite Israel, Japan, India, and Singapore to become members.”
It has become apparent that Western democracies must now defend themselves against Islamic terrorists that have declared war on them. It is particularly true on the Western European turf. That also means that the West as a whole is in a global struggle rather than one limited to the defense of Europe. It implies moreover, that several actors who share the democratic values of the West as well as the threats could join the alliance. This would naturally apply to Israel, and India in particular.
President Trump argued that countries aren’t paying what they should, and he is absolutely correct. According to World Bank data, the EU countries spent on average 1.5% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on defense in 2015. The U.S. spent 3.3% ($664.1 billion) of its GDP on defense at the same time. (Declining from a high of 5.6% in 1988.) Germany, the fourth largest economy in the world, spent 1.2% ($40.7 billion) of its GDP on defense. Britain spent 1.9% ($60.3 billion) on defense, France 2.1% ($43.6 billion), Spain 1.2%, and Italy 1.3%. Israel’s defense budget, according to the World Bank was at 5.4% of its GDP in 2015, and India’s was 2.4%. Clearly the EU countries in general, and Germany in particular, are not carrying their weight. Germany and other Western European states have relied on U.S. protection for too long without dipping into their own taxpayer pockets. While providing immigrants large welfare payments, the EU countries have done little to upgrade their defense budgets.
Israel is on the first line of defense against Islamic terrorism. Its long struggle with Palestinian (and Lebanese Hezbollah) terrorism has made the Jewish state an experienced and skilled combatant against terrorism. In fact, Israel provided the U.S. with expertise in fighting terror in Iraq. This reporter wrote a paper in 1999 which showed that Israel should rightly be a NATO ally, and receive American support from the U.S. Defense Department budget rather than from the State Department’s foreign assistance program. Israel, unlike its European NATO allies, does not require the stationing of U.S. troops. Israel defends itself with its own forces. Israel has moreover provided the U.S. with invaluable intelligence, and has demonstrated the superiority of U.S. weaponry over that of the Soviet Union, now Russia, in real combat situations. Israel, moreover, spends almost four times as much on defense from its GDP than the European NATO allies’ average. As Kemp and Bardaji suggested, Israel should be enlisted as a member of NATO.
India, facing Islamic terror, and being the largest democracy in the world, has similarly a place in the alliance. Islamic terror is no longer confined to the Atlantic Ocean and the lands on its shores. It is a global menace threatening democracies everywhere.
The European Union members of NATO must now focus on defending their own states. It is true for France and Germany, as well as Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway, to name a few. The influx of over a million immigrants from Islamic countries into Europe brought along the potential for ongoing Islamist terror. In addition, Iran’s development of long-range ballistic missiles on top of the certainty of the Islamic Republic becoming a nuclear power in a decade or less, must be of concern to the architects of a reshaped NATO.
The new U.S. President Trump and his administration, with vision and willpower, serves as an opportunity to transform and reshape the Western military alliance, making it larger, more resourceful, and above all strategically focused on the challenges of tomorrow.
15. Το ΝΑΤΟ ΑΠΑΝΤΑ! 950 ΑΜΕΡΙΚΑΝΙΚΑ ΤΕΘΩΡΑΚΙΣΜΕΝΑ στην ΑΛΒΑΝΙΑ… (Τί έγινε άραγε τελικά);
Δημοσιεύθηκε : 19 Ιανουάριος 2017
“Τρέχουν” οι εξελίξεις και η χώρα μας παρατηρεί τα γεγονότα με κομμένη την ανάσα.
Συνολικά 950 θωρακισμένα οχήματα θα αποσταλούν στην Αλβανία από τις ΗΠΑ, εξοπλίζοντας τις ένοπλες δυνάμεις της γείτονας χώρας στις χερσαίες επιχειρήσεις.
Ειδικότερα, η πρώτη αποστολή περιλαμβάνει 70 οχήματα, ενώ τους επόμενους μήνες αναμένεται σταδιακά και η αποστολή των υπολοίπων.
Η Αλβανία θα πληρώσει 15 εκατομμύρια ευρώ, ενώ τα υπόλοιπα θα είναι δωράκι από το ΝΑΤΟ για τη συνεισφορά της χώρας σε αποστολές.
1. Εσύ ο… “ιδιώτης” που επιμένεις! Σου απαντώ, άντε!
– Ποτέ ρε… δεν μιλήσαμε για συμμορία Κλίντον, κλπ, κλπ, κλπ! Μιλήσαμε για “Πολιτική Συμμορία” Κλίντον!.. Επίσης! Ποτέ δεν ευχηθήκαμε το θάνατο κανενός, ούτε και της Κας Κλίντον, και ας είναι Τουρκόφιλη οικογενειακώς, όπως και το Κόμμα της, απλώς, προεκλογικά, όταν παρέπαιε ειδικά στις τελευταίες περιοδείες της, αναφερθήκαμε στο μείζον πρόβλημα υγείας που την τυραννά και λέγαμε πως θα έπρεπε να ενημερωθεί ευρέως η αμερικανική κοινωνία γι’ αυτό, ώστε αν την ψήφιζε, “να μην ζήταγε τα ρέστα” μετά από το Α/Κράτος, αν ως Πρόεδρος, πάθαινε στη συνέχεια, κάτι και οι Η.Π.Α. έμεναν ακέφαλες, έστω για ένα μικρό χρονικό διάστημα!
– Μάθε, αν δεν γνωρίζεις, πως το θέμα της υγείας στις Η.Π.Α., των κάθε φορά υποψηφίων Προέδρων, είναι από τα πρώτα που εξετάζει πάντα ο Αμερικανός ψηφοφόρος!
– Όσον αφορά και πάλι την Κα Χίλαρυ, μακάρι να ζήσει 150 χρόνια και να δει και… τετρασσέγγονα!.. “Βλάκα α βλάκα“! (Δεν είναι για σένα, απλώς θυμήθηκα τον λατρεμένο μου, εκ Σάμου, ηθοποιό Ν. ΣΤΑΥΡΙΔΗ, στην γνωστή ταινία με τον τεράστιο Δ. Παπαμιχαήλ)!.. Αχαχαχαχαχαχαχα
2. Μας διαβάζει, όπως έχουμε πει, και η ΜΙ6 και ενημερώνει σχετικά, σε ό,τι εκτιμά βεβαίως ότι πρέπει, την Βασιλική Οικογένεια! Έτσι, μεταξύ των άλλων, αφού είδαν ότι προσκαλέσαμε στην χώρα μας και στη φτωχική μας… βίλλα, το βασιλικό ζεύγος, ήλθαν φέτος στην Κέρκυρα ο Κάρολος και η Καμίλα, για διακοπές στη βίλλα ΡΟΤΣΙΛΝΤ! Είπατε τίποτα; Λέτε η Βασίλισσα της Αγγλίας να είναι ο πραγματικός Παγκόσμιος Κυβερνήτης; Μπα, όχι, δεν νομίζω! Αχαχαχαχαχαχα!.. Τουλάχιστον φίλοι μου, είτε έτσι, είτε αλλιώς, δεν μας ξεχνούν οι Άγγλοι!.. Κάτι είναι και αυτό μέσα στην τρελλή Τουρκολαγνεία τους!.. Ρε Άγγλοι! Τους Έλληνες ρε, τους Έλληνες;
– 1000 μπράβο στους 2 γιους του Καρόλου, στον Ουίλλιαμ και στον Χάρρυ, οι οποίοι συνεχίζουν το φιλανθρωπικό έργο της ΛΑΤΡΕΜΕΝΗΣ μας Λαίδης ΝΤΑΪΑΝΑΣ, (DEEP RESPECT!!!), της μάνας τους! Θα χαίρεται και θα αναγαλιάζει η Ψυχούλα της!..
– Με την ευκαιρία! Μακάρι φέτος να δούμε ΠΡΩΤΑΘΛΗΤΡΙΑ ΑΓΓΛΙΑΣ και πάλι την μεγάλη ΛΙΒΕΡΠΟΥΛ!!! Γαμώ το Ρώσο το Ρομάν πια, ρεεεεεεεεεεεεεεεεεε!..
3. Θα απαντήσω / -με σύντομα στα ερωτήματά σας! Τα μαζεύουμε όλα τώρα!.. Απαντώ τώρα και παρακάτω, μόνον σε 2 “κατ’ επιλογήν”!
– Σχετικά με το “γιατί” δεν επεμβαίνει τώρα(!), ο ΤΡΑΜΠ στρατιωτικά, στη Βενεζουέλα, ώστε ΝΑ ΓΙΝΕΙ -επιτέλους- ΑΠΟΛΥΤΟΣ ΚΥΡΙΑΡΧΟΣ σε ΟΛΗ ΤΗΝ Κ. ΑΜΕΡΙΚΗ, όπως και στην Καραϊβική, “πετάγοντας” τη Ρωσία απ’ εκεί ΟΡΙΣΤΙΚΑ και απομονώνοντας ΤΕΛΕΙΩΣ(!) την Κούβα, μέχρι του θανάτου και του… Ραούλ, αλλά γενόμενος παράλληλα και ΗΡΩΑΣ – ΣΩΤΗΡΑΣ του λαού της Βενεζουέλας, που υποφέρει χρόνια τώρα από μια συνεχώς μεταλλασσόμενη κομμουνιστική ΣΥΜΜΟΡΙΑ, πιστεύω ότι αιτία είναι το γεγονός ότι ακόμα δεν έχει εδραιωθεί πολιτικά μέσα στις Η.Π.Α., όπου τον πολεμά σκληρά το βαθύ αμερικανικό Κράτος, των “ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΩΝ”, το οποίο ελέγχει (προφανώς από κάπου τους “κρατά”) μέχρι και Ρεπουμπλικανούς βουλευτές / γερουσιαστές!
– Οι επόμενοι μήνες στις Η.Π.Α. και κυρίως το 1ο 6μηνο του 2018, θα κρίνουν πολλά για την εξωτερική πολιτική των Η.Π.Α. και του Προέδρου ΤΡΑΜΠ, στον οποίον όλος ο “Ελεύθερος Κόσμος” έχει στρέψει τα μάτια του και ελπίζει! Τί; Στο τέλος της ημέρας να μην τον έχει απογοητεύσει και αυτός!..
– Πάντως Φίλοι μου, να γνωρίζετε ότι η μάχη του με τους Παγκοσμιοποιητές είναι σχεδόν Α-ΝΙ-ΣΗ, ΕΝΩ ΕΧΕΙ ΔΟΘΕΙ “ΓΡΑΜΜΗ” ΑΠΟ ΤΗΝ ΑΝΤΙΠΑΛΟ… ΗΓΕΣΙΑ ΓΙΑ ΣΥΝΕΧΗ ΕΝΑΝΤΙΟΝ ΤΟΥ “ΒΡΩΜΙΚΟ ΠΟΛΕΜΟ”, εντός και εκτός Η.Π.Α., “FAKE NEWS”, ΚΛΠ, ΚΛΠ, ΚΛΠ! Τα ασύστολα και… Πινόκια ΨΕΜΜΑΤΑ του ΤΣΙΠΡΑ και της… παρέας του είναι ΤΑΚΤΙΚΗ των ΠΑΓΚΟΣΜΙΟΠΟΙΗΤΩΝ και όχι ΕΠΙΛΟΓΗ του / τους!!! Είναι ΕΝΤΟΛΗ και ΟΧΙ Ε-ΠΙ-ΛΟ-ΓΗ!!!
4. Να ρε “ΔΑΣΥΤΡΥΧΕ” γιατί ο ΡΤΕ είναι Δικτάτορας και ως τέτοιος θα πρέπει να αναφέρεται, τουλάχιστον από τα Ε/ΜΜΕ, ώστε να γίνει / γίνεται από τώρα η “ζύμωση” των Ελλήνων με την… αλήθεια αυτή, Έλληνες, οι οποίοι θα κληθούν να πολεμήσουν τον ίδιο, (αν θα ζει), το λαό του και την βαμμένη διαχρονικά στο αίμα αθώων θυμάτων βρώμικη Ιστορία των Μογγόλων της Στέππας, που διεκδικούν ακόμα τη… Βιέννη, αλλά και το Βερολίνο!.. Και “Κύριος Οίδε” τί άλλο ακόμα θα ακούσουμε!.. (Τώρα πχ έχουμε μια τουρκική προσπάθεια δημιουργίας μιας νέας μορφής ΠΑΝΙΣΛΑΜΙΣΜΟΥ, με κυρίαρχη μορφή αυτήν του Τ/ΠτΔ)! Διάβασε λοιπόν τί λένε κάποιοι άλλοι και όχι εμείς! (Πρόκειται για ένα… απόκομμα άρθρου)!
– … This “Turkish-style” presidential system means Erdoğan will have the power to appoint and dismiss ministers and high-level state officials without the need for parliamentary approval. He will also be able to declare a state of emergency, issue decrees, dissolve parliament and call elections without being held to account. The president will not only be head of state but also head of government – the post of prime minister will be abolished, and in effect the judiciary will be subject to his control.
What is particularly alarming, as the Venice Commission (the Council of Europe’s advisory body) has pointed out, the way the new constitution is configured means the president could stay in office for a potentially unlimited period of time!!!…
– ΑΝ ΑΥΤΟ ΔΕΝ ΛΕΓΕΤΑΙ “ΔΙΚΤΑΤΟΡΙΑ” και -ΠΡΟΣΕΞΕ- για τα τ/πολιτικά δεδομένα “δημοκρατική”… “ΔΙΚΤΑΤΟΡΙΑ”, (“έπαθες, ε;”), τότε τί λέγεται ρε φιλαράκο; Πάντως, το θέμα της… “ύστερης” (3ης) ΕΡΝΤΟΓΑΝΙΚΗΣ περιόδου, που τώρα διανύει η Τουρκία, και το υποθέμα “ο ΡΤΕ Δικτάτορας”, (όπως λέμε… “ο Καραγκιόζης Φούρναρης”), στο μέλλον θα αποτελεί αντικείμενο δικτατορικών -τουλάχιστον- διατριβών, γι’ αυτό κύττα να τηρείς άριστο ΑΡΧΕΙΟ!.. (Ένα “Ημερολόγιο Πληροφοριών“, ΟΠΩΣΔΗΠΟΤΕ)!..
5. Συντονιστείτε! Σύντομα θα απαντήσουμε στο “τσατσοσάϊτ” “kranos.gr”, το οποίο είδαμε ότι… ΑΓΙΟΠΟΙΗΣΕ και παρουσίασε ως έναν από τους καλύτερους Α/ΓΕΣ τον Στρατηγό ΤΕΛΛΙΔΗ, τον πιθανώς πιο ΑΧΡΗΣΤΟ(!) Αρχηγό που είχαν ποτέ οι άνδρες και οι γυναίκες του ΕΣΞ!
- Φαίνεται ότι μας διαβάζει και ο Κος ΤΕΛΛΙΔΗΣ και ξέροντας το κύρος μας ως “σάϊτ”, έβαλλε το “kranos” να γράψει “2 λόγια”…. για τον φοβερό Αρχηγό που έχασαν οι ΕΕΔ και ο ΕΣΞ!..
- Επίσης! Κε (νυν) Α/ΓΕΣ! Προφανώς εκεί, στο “σάϊτ” αυτό, δεν καταλαβαίνουν το κακό που κάνουν και ότι εκτίθενται ή δεν τους νοιάζει και πιθανώς να κάνουν και καλά! Αλλά να μην το καταλαβαίνει ο Στρατάρχης σου και μάλιστα χρόνια τώρα που “παίζει” το παιχνίδι της (άγνωστης σ’ αυτόν τάχα) προβολής του μέσω του υπόψη σάϊτ είναι τραγικό για… σένα, αφού αυτός “δουλεύει” για να γίνει… Α/ΓΕΣ! Τί κατάντια είναι αυτή ρεεεεεεεεεεεεεεεεε; “Βγάλλε” επιτέλους μια δγη και “κόψε” επιτέλους τη “μηχανή” αυτή, των δολίων… ! … Δίνεται ακόμα και η εικόνα ότι κάποιοι… πληρώνουν εκεί για να τους “παίζει” το “kranos”! Μιλάμε για την απόλυτη ΞΕ-ΦΤΙ-ΛΑ!!!
6. Για να μην ξεχνιόμαστε, αλλά και για πνευματική χαλάρωση:
“ΚΑΛΗ ΧΡΟΝΙΑ“ ΘΡΥΛΕ μας!!!
“ΕΙΣΑΙ ΣΤΟ ΜΥΑΛΟ ΚΑΤΙ ΜΑΓΙΚΟ“!