Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Kushner Urges Absent Palestinians To Seize 'Opportunity Of Century'

In Bahrain, Kushner urges absent Palestinians to seize 'opportunity of century'

Kicking off the Trump administration’s international peace conference in Bahrain Tuesday, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner said his plan for the Middle East was “the opportunity of the century” for the Palestinians but their acceptance was a precondition to peace.
“Agreeing on an economic pathway forward is a necessary precondition to resolving the previously unsolvable political issues,” Kushner said as he opened the workshop in the Bahraini capital of Manama, which is being boycotted by the Palestinian Authority.
While the two-day meeting will not address political solutions in the Middle East, Kushner acknowledged the need to take them up later.

“To be clear, economic growth and prosperity for the Palestinian people are not possible without an enduring and fair political solution to the conflict — one that guarantees Israel’s security and respects the dignity of the Palestinian people,” he said.

Kushner said the political talks would come, but asked his audience to focus at the summit on the region’s economic potential.
“Imagine a bustling commercial and tourist center in Gaza and the West Bank, where international businesses come together and thrive,” he said.
Kushner acknowledged widespread skepticism about the intentions of President Donald Trump, his father-in-law, who has taken an unapologetic pro-Israel line, including recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
But he said that the Palestinians have been ill-served by previous peace-making efforts.
“My direct message to the Palestinian people is that despite what those who have let you down in the past say, President Trump and America have not given up on you,” Kushner said.
He dismissed the mocking description of his peace plan as the “deal of the century” but said: “This effort is better referred to as the Opportunity of the Century, if the leadership has the courage to pursue it.”
Kushner expressed hope that those present could “come together and hopefully use this [conference] to change the course of history in the region.”
The economic plan, revealed by the White House on Saturday, calls for $50 billion in investment over 10 years in the West Bank, Gaza, and Arab neighboring countries.
“For too long the Palestinian people have been trapped in an inefficient framework of the past,” said Kushner, criticizing the “conventional wisdom” about peacemaking.
The Palestinians have rejected the proposal because it does not include a horizon for granting them independence. US officials say the political portion of the plan addressing such thorny issues may not be released until the fall.

Without proposals on borders, the status of Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees, the Palestinians say the economic plan is meaningless and are staging protests against the “Peace to Prosperity” workshop

Trump Threatens Iran With 'Obliteration' If It Attacks Anything American

Trump threatens Iran with 'obliteration' if it attacks 'anything American'

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned Iran that an attack on US interests would trigger an “overwhelming” response and could bring “obliteration.”
Amid rising tensions between Washington and Tehran, Trump tweeted: “Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration.”
Iran’s leaders only understand “Strength and Power, and the USA is by far the most powerful Military Force in the world,” Trump said in the series of tweets.

The United States and Iran have been locked in an escalating war of words since last week’s downing of a US surveillance drone. Iran says it was in its airspace, which Washington vehemently denies.

Trump pulled back from plans to retaliate with military strikes on Iranian targets, saying the response — and the collateral damage — would not be “proportionate.”

On Monday, the US slapped a fresh round of tough sanctions on Iran, including on its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and top military chiefs. Tehran said the window for diplomacy was shut.

Iran also said it would abandon more commitments made under a 2015 nuclear deal signed with world powers. The US withdrew from that deal last year.

President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday said the White House is “afflicted by mental retardation.”
Trump called the new statements “very ignorant and insulting.”
“Iran leadership doesn’t understand the words ‘nice’ or ‘compassion,’ they never have,” Trump tweeted.
“The wonderful Iranian people are suffering, and for no reason at all. Their leadership spends all of its money on Terror, and little on anything else.”
Iran and the US broke off diplomatic relations in 1980 over the hostage crisis at the US embassy in Tehran following Iran’s Islamic Revolution.

Trilateral Summit With Russia, Israel And U.S.: Russia Sides With Iran

In trilateral Jerusalem summit, Russia sides with Iran, against Israel and US

Russia’s top national security adviser spoke out on behalf of Iran during trilateral meetings with his Israeli and American counterparts in Jerusalem on Tuesday, backing Tehran’s claims against the United States and supporting its ongoing military presence in Syria, which Israel sees as a threat to its security.
The trilateral conference of Israeli, Russian, and US national security advisers was the first event of its kind to be held in Jerusalem and, according to Israel, was aimed specifically at countering Iran, including both its nuclear aspirations and its influence throughout the Middle East.
The meeting came amid escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran, following US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal last year and put in place a series of crushing economic sanctions. The Islamic Republic has retaliated by stepping up its uranium enrichment to levels beyond those permitted under the 2015 accord, allegedly carrying out a number of attacks on petroleum facilities around the Middle East, and shooting down a sophisticated US drone last week.

Russia, which maintains close ties to both Israel and Iran, is seen as a potential interlocutor between the West and Tehran. But comments made by its representative at the summit, security adviser Nikolai Patrushev, indicated that Moscow was siding with the Islamic Republic.

In press conferences on Tuesday, Patrushev rejected the view held by the US and Israel that Iran represents “the main threat to regional security” and said Israeli airstrikes in Syria against Iranian forces and its proxies were “undesirable.”
Commenting on the downing of a US drone by Iran last week, Patrushev said the Russian Defense Ministry had determined that the aircraft had entered Iranian airspace, as Tehran claims. The US maintains that the drone was flying in international airspace when it was downed.
“We have not seen any proof otherwise,” Patrushev said.
Patrushev also lauded Iran’s ongoing presence in Syria — which Israel sees as an unacceptable threat. The Russian official said Iran was “contributing a lot to fighting terrorists on Syrian soil and stabilizing the situation there.”
He said Moscow was aware of Israel’s concerns regarding Iran’s military presence in Syria and was working to address the issue with Tehran. Iran, he stressed, “was and remains our ally and partner.”

“We pay special attention to ensuring Israel’s security,” he added, calling it “a special interest of ours because here in Israel live a little less than about two million of our countrymen. Israel supports us in several channels, including at the UN. The prime minister [Netanyahu] has already said that we share the same views on the issue of the struggle against falsifying the history of World War II.”

Israel Prepares For War With Iran

Israel Prepares for War With Iran

The Israeli army (IDF) is preparing for attacks from Iran. According to Israel Channel 12 News, the IDF has implemented a heightened state alert in the wake of recent tensions between Iran and the US. 
The IDF is beefing up its military presence along Israel’s northern and southern fronts, and taking other steps in preparation for any number of scenarios, according to IDF officers who spoke to Channel 12.

In addition to the threat of direct missile attacks (nuclear?) from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Israel must prepare for battles with Hezbollah along the northern front, Iran’s proxy militant forces in Lebanon. In the south, Iranian-backed Hamas combatants are known to be arming themselves with advanced weaponry. While many of Iran’s attempts to smuggle anti-aircraft and long-range missiles to Hamas have been foiled by the Israeli navy, the Egyptian border with Gaza is much less secured. 
President Donald Trump announced over the weekend that the US would ramp up “major” sanctions against the Islamic Republic. This comes days after the US president called off a military strike on Iran in retaliation for the downing of an American surveillance drone.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with US National Security Advisor John Bolton in Jerusalem on Sunday. During his meeting, Bolton told Netanyahu that “neither Iran nor any other hostile actor should mistake US prudence and discretion for weakness. No one has granted them a hunting license in the Middle East,” he warned.

The Growing Communist Movement

How Many Countries Are Part Of The World Communist Movement?

We are often told there are only six “communist” countries left—that is, nations ruled by an openly communist party.
They are China, Cuba, Laos, Nepal, Vietnam, and North Korea. If you define “communist” in the traditional Marxist–Leninist “command economy” way, there is really only one left—North Korea.
However, this approach is deceptive. It totally underestimates world communist power. It misunderstands what modern communism has become.
The real question is this: How do you accurately define the “World Communist Movement”?

Most Westerners look at the booming pro-business economies of China or Vietnam and assume that these countries have abandoned the communist goal. They are dead wrong. China, Vietnam, some of the “former” communist nations of Africa, and even Russia have acknowledged that their massive economic problems arise from a failure to follow Marxism correctly.

They all tried to jump directly from feudalism to socialism, by-passing capitalism. This attempt to short-cut Marx led to economic disaster. The temporary return to some form of capitalism to build up sufficient wealth for socialism is an acknowledgment of the “correctness” of Marxist theory—not a repudiation of it.

Right now, most of the World Communist Movement is using “capitalist” methods to build up enough wealth and military might to challenge the West. Their main impediment to world domination is the United States and, to a lesser degree, some of the NATO countries, Israel, Taiwan, and until recently South Korea. Since far-left President Moon Jae-in took over, our important ally South Korea hangs in the balance.

If you define the World Communist Movement as those “former” or semi-communist countries allied to or working with the world communist leadership to undermine or overthrow the U.S.-led Western Alliance, the picture changes dramatically.
This brings Russia completely into the mix. Still run by the communist-trained KGB (now FSB), Moscow is allied politically, economically, and militarily with China, Vietnam, Cuba, and North Korea. Russia also supports many of its old Latin American allies, all still led by communists and socialists: Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. Mexico now has a Marxist president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who is close to Cuba. Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala have all had Marxist-leaning governments or strong communist insurrections inside their borders. Only Brazil and Colombia are truly holding the line for freedom in Latin America.
In Africa, communists or “ex-communists” still control Mozambique, Angola, Namibia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and, of course, Zimbabwe and South Africa. With all its strategic importance and mineral wealth, South Africa withstood Soviet-backed aggression and terrorism for decades, until Nelson Mandela and his communist-controlled African National Congress took over in 1994. Now South Africa is friendly to Cuba and works closely with China.

Further north, most of Africa is heavily under Chinese economic and political influence. Tanzania is practically a Chinese client state and even hosts a Chinese-run communist training institution for aspiring African leaders—the Julius Nyerere Political Education School of Excellence—on its territory.

In the Middle East, Iran and Syria are closely allied to Russia. Lebanon and Iraq are now part of the Russian/Iranian axis. Afghanistan, too, will probably fall when the U.S.-led forces eventually pull out.

In East Asia, Mongolia and Cambodia are led by “ex-communists” and are economically tied to their communist neighbors. India and Sri Lanka have strong communist parties and are to some degree tied to China and Russia through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)—a military, economic, and political pact. “Formerly” communist Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan are also SCO members, as are the Islamic nations of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey—which is still nominally a NATO member.

In the Pacific, the Chinese have a huge influence on most of the micro-states plus Fiji and Tonga. The Philippines still has an active communist insurgency and has ties to both China and North Korea.

Then there is the United Nations and its subsidiaries, which generally reflect the will of Russia and China. Also to be reckoned with are leftist NGOs, such as the World Council of Churches and several still active international communist front organizations, including the World Peace Council, Women’s International Democratic Federation, and the World Federation of Trade Unions.

In October 2017, 20,000 young communists from all over the world gathered at the World Federation of Democratic Youth festival in Sochi, Russia, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. Keynote speaker was Russian President Vladimir Putin, who by the way also secured the venue for the young communists.

The World Communist Movement today is amorphous and ideologically diverse. While still led by Russia and China, “communism” now includes almost any country or movement willing to confront the United States.
Communists all over the world excuse the obvious failures of socialism by saying “well, America sabotaged it.” Cuba is poor because of the U.S. blockade. Venezuela is a disaster because of U.S. economic sanctions. The Soviet Union collapsed because the United States bankrupted Moscow with an arms race.
The answer: “To ever have real socialism or communism we must first destroy America.” Anti-Americanism, not some far off utopia, is now the major motivator of the World Communist Movement. Anyone can join in. You can be an environmentalist, a gay rights activist, a feminist, a “Christian,” a Buddhist, a Hindu, an Islamist, a socialist, or even a fascist.

You can be a young communist in Moscow, an environmental activist in Germany, an Antifa member in Spain, a New Democratic Party activist in Canada, a guerrilla in the Philippines, a cocaine producer in Colombia, a marijuana activist in Minnesota, a soldier in Iran, a businessman in Vietnam, an ISIS fighter in Libya, or serve Boko Haram in Nigeria. As long as you hate America, you’re part of today’s communist movement—whether you know it or not.
Most communists today never discuss the complexities of Marxism. That’s boring. That’s for the future. Let’s destroy America first. That’s the rallying cry.
Right now the World Communist Movement mainly works covertly. It has not quite yet achieved the power it needs to ensure a swift military victory. The United States is still fairly strong. The United States still has allies like Britain, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, and Israel. If the United States falters, has an economic collapse, or elects another military-cutting left-wing president, the communists will move in for the kill.
The World Communist Movement is not just six countries. It is Russia, China, Iran, and all of their allies and puppet organizations. It controls more than half the world. If the United States ever fails, the World Communist Movement will rule us all.
Their form may have changed, but their goal never will.