Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Syria to UN: We Demand Reparations from the US

The Syrian mission at the United Nations has submitted a letter demanding reparations from “the so-called international coalition led by the United States of America” for its attacks upon the Syrian nation.
“The repeated bombardments by this illegitimate ‘international coalition’ continue to claim the lives of hundreds of innocent Syrian civilians and to cause significant material losses and the near-total destruction of Syrian facilities, homes and infrastructure, as well as the utter destruction of Syrian oil and gas facilities and sites,” the letter states.
The document (click here for PDF ) is dated July 12 and was submitted to the UN secretary general as well as the president of the Security Council.
“My government insists that these attacks must come to an end, and that the members of this illegitimate coalition must bear the political and legal responsibility for the destruction of infrastructure in the Syrian Arab Republic, including responsibility for compensation.”
Of course victors in wars never pay reparations to the losers; it’s always the vice versa. But the US is facing some major internal problems right now. For one thing we are $19.9 trillion in debt. Financial bubbles seem to be the only thing keeping us afloat, and economists have been warning for several years that we are headed for a collapse similar to, if not worse than, the one of 2008. Speculation is rife as well that the dollar could lose its status as the world reserve currency, and should that happen we would see spiraling inflation. Gas could go up to $10 to $15 per gallon; food prices would rise accordingly. This could well lead to rioting in the streets.
Suppose the neocons and the deep state succeed in getting a war started with Russia? An economic collapse of this nature and the loss of the dollar as the reserve currency could lead them to look at war as their only likely means of clinging to power–which might possibly impel them to try all the harder to bring a military confrontation about–possibly even by launching a direct attack upon Russia. And suppose, if it did come to that, the US were to come out the loser in that war?
These are a lot of “ifs,” I know, but the US is an extremely torn and divided nation right now. In no other country in the world is a head of state undergoing the campaign of vicious media attacks we see presently aimed against Trump from practically every major mainstream media outlet in the country. Repeat: nowhere else in the world does open warfare like this exist between a domestic leader and a country’s media. There has not only been an impeachment resolution introduced against Trump in Congress, but now a former CIA director has called for what would essentially amount to a coup against the president should he fire Robert Mueller as special counsel.
At the same time, racial tensions are becoming increasingly pervasive among the US population, while violent clashes between “Trump supporters” and “social justice warriors” are likewise on the rise. Divisions are everywhere. As Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matthew 12:25).
With all this taken into consideration, it’s not terribly hard to imagine US officials at some point being brought before the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges and the American people being forced to pay reparations. And if you add up all the destruction in all of the wars the neocons have dragged us into–Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan…and possibly the bombings of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina as well–the reparations price tag could end up being very costly indeed.
The Syrian letter also cites specific attacks carried out by the US coalition in recent months. Mentioned are an attack upon a gas station on April 22 as well as aerial bombings of gas wells on May 29 and 30. And it also mentions a bombing attack upon a village in which a number of people were killed, including children. Here is what the letter has to say about that:
On 27 May 2017, aircraft of this illegitimate coalition bombed the village of Hasu Albu Awf in the district of Shaddadah in Hasakah governorate, completely destroying many homes and killing civilians, most of them children. Of the victims, the following have been identified: Ayd Abdullah al-Husyan, Farhan Ayd al-Husayn and Amal al-Khidr, and children such as Muhammad Farhan al-Husayn, born in 2007, Sarah Farhan al-Husayn, born in 2009, Ibrahim Farhan al-Husayn, born in 2010, Zahrah Farhan al-Husayn, born in 2016, and Yusuf Fariq al-Husayn, born in 2016.
The Syrians only seem to be tallying up destruction and deaths caused by directCoalition attacks; they do not, at least for now, seem to be factoring in depredations and atrocities carried out by our proxies in this fight, the so-called “moderate rebels,” and of course now the Kurds. But what if–supposing a war crimes trial does happen to take place at some time in the future–these sorrows get added onto the list of charges as well? We’re talking about devastation, carnage, extirpation on an almost unimaginable scale. The following video, shot last year, shows destruction in Homs, Syria’s third largest city:
And keep in mind, that’s just one city. We or our proxies have wreaked havoc of this nature upon pretty much the entire country.
Last month I reported that the US had set up at least three military bases inside Syria. Now, according to a report here, the number is up to ten. Do the neocons and the media owners who’ve been promoting this regime change criminal fiasco give a hoot that American taxpayers could be on the hook for reparations at some point? Somehow I doubt they’ve given it much thought or that it would even concern them greatly if things turned out that way. We might have to kiss Social Security and Medicare goodbye, and financing for public schools could dry up, but why should any of that matter to them?
Certain economists are now observing a major global power shift from the West to the East, and of course history tells us that no empire lasts forever, that they all fall sooner or later. The American people should demand of our government that it cease immediately all involvement in the Syrian conflict. Get out. Now. Before even worse crimes are committed that we may at some point be held accountable for.

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الأقصى .. المسجد اليتيم .. والخطوط الحمر الثرثارة

ربما تحتوي الصورة على: ‏‏‏5‏ أشخاص‏، و‏‏أشخاص يبتسمون‏، و‏‏‏‏أشخاص يقفون‏، و‏نشاطات في أماكن مفتوحة‏‏ و‏لقطة قريبة‏‏‏‏‏

 بقلم نارام سرجون

الى جانب الحرية والديمقراطية اللتين صرت أحتقرهما سأضيف مصطلح (الخط الأحمر) الى قائمة الكلمات التي فقدت سمعتها وتحولت الى كلمات مشحونة بالطاقة السلبية وتفوح منها رائحة الشيطان ..

 انني كما تعرفون لاأتردد في المجاهرة باحتقاري لكلمتي “الحرية والديمقراطية” لكثرة ما لاكتهما أسنان جورج بوش وتوني بلير ولكثرة ما تنقلتا بين شفتي كوندوليزا رايس السوداوين وضاجعتا لسان ديك تشيني وجون بولتون وكولن بأول حتى صرت أحس بلعاب كل هؤلاء يرطب جلد هاتين الكلميتن كلما مرّتا على لساني فأحس برغبة في التقيؤ ..

ان الحرية والديمقراطية كأجمل عبارتين تحولتا برأيي الى أسوأ كلمتين لأنهما تورطتا بدماء ملايين العرب والمسلمين وحملتا وزر كل جرائم الغرب منذ أن وصفت اسرائيل بأنها واحة الديمقراطية في الشرق وأن العرب حاربوها لأنها أول ديمقراطية وصلت اليهم .. ولأن يدي الحرية والديمقراطية منذ عهد بوش ملطختان بدم مليوني عراقي .. وخلف كل يتيم وأرملة وثكلى تقف هاتان الكلمتان كملائكة العذاب .. ولم تعد هناك قوة في الأرض تعيد لي علاقتي بالحرية والديمقراطية .. فما بيننا انكسر الى الأبد .. وصرنا أعداء الى يوم الدين .. وخاصة منذ أن زنا بهما الثورجيون الإسلاميون في الربيع العربي ونادوا يشعارات الحرية التي جعلت مذاق الحرية بمذاق الزنا في الضمير .. ولن أبالي باحتجاج واعتذار كل منظري الحرية والديمقراطية وعشاقهما وكل من يعزف الأناشيد لهما وينظم القصائد الحمراء لهما ..

ولكن قائمة الكلمات التي أحتقرها كبرت وتكاثرت في السنوات الأخيرة وضمت اليها “الاستبداد” و”الرأي الآخر” و”اللاجئين” و”الخلافة” و “دولة الشريعة” و “العرب” و “النفط” و“حماس” و“المثقفين العرب” وكل الكلمات التي تبين أنها محشوة بالتبن والسم .. الا أن القائمة استضافت اليوم عبارة جديدة لم أتوقع ان تبلغ بسرعة هذه المكانة من الاحتقار الشديد والازدراء في نفسي .. بل انها استقرت على رأس قائمة الكلمات المزني بها والتي تطل عليك مثل اطلالة مومس ترقص .. ولكن ثوبها الأحمر يضفي عليها نكهة تهريج كوميدية تدغدغني وتضحكني الى حد محرج يكاد يحبس أنفاسي خلف كل ضحكة فلا أقدر حتى على الشهيق .. هذه العبارة هي عبارة (الأقصى خط أحمر) ..

لاتضحكوا لأن العبارة حلت محل (قضية فلسطين المركزية) في أفواه الخطباء والسياسيين وصارت موضة التضليل الجديدة .. وما جعل العبارة من أحقر العبارات وأسوأها سمعة في نظري هو أنها صدرت عن أحقر شخصيات العرب والمسلمين .. فقد أصدرت الجامعة العربية ورئيسها (خطها الأحمر) لإسرائيل لأنها تجاوزت الخط الأحمر في الأقصى .. ورسمت الجامعة العربية الخط الأحمر ثم ألقته أمام نتنياهو كي يرتعد جسده ويرتجف ويتعرق ويشحب لونه وهويرى احمرار لغة الجامعة العربية واحمرار خطوطها .. وكان ملك الأردن سباقا الى القاء الخطوط الحمر في الأقصى ..

كما أن سانشو الفلسطيني وصبي أردوغان وخادم القرضاوي المخلص (إسماعيل هنية) قد ألقى خطبة عصماء في غزة وذكّر نتنياهو بأن (الأقصى خط أحمر) !!..

ولاأعرف من اين يأتي هنية وغيره بخطوطهم الحمر .. من تركيا الإسلامية الاردوغانية المشغولة بخطوط حمر الأكراد وادلب وقتلة نور الدين زنكي الذين ذبحوا اللاجئين الفلسطينيين في حلب ؟؟.. أم من السعودية المشغولة في رسم الخطوط الحمر لفقراء اليمن ؟؟.. أم من قطر أم من الامارات؟؟ أم من الكويت ؟؟ وكلها دول محتلة .. أم من الأردن الذي يحكمه ملك أمه يهودية؟؟ .. أم من ليبيا الممزقة التي صارت مثل قوم عاد وثمود اثر تحريرها على يد الإسلاميين .. أم من منظمة العالم الإسلامي أم من اتحاد علماء المسلمين؟؟

إسماعيل هنية: المسجد الأقصى خط أحمر

هل سيأتي هنية وغيره بالخطوط الحمر من جبهة النصرة أم من أحرار الشام أو فيلق الرحمن أم جيش الإسلام الذي يقصف دمشق والذي حظي بمباركة حماس باستشهاد زهران علوش الذي انتقم لإسرائيل من دمشق واذاقها ماذاقت سديروت وعسقلان من قذائف حماس التي وصلتها من دمشق عبر أنفاق سيناء التي حفرتها آلات حفر حزب الله العملاقة المستوردة من ايران ..

ولاأستبعد أننسمع هذه العبارة اليوم من اقذر الأشخاص .. في فتاواهم في الحرم المكي وربما يظهر أنور عشقي ويذكرنا بأت الأقصى خط أحمر (للشيعة) وليس لليهود .. ولاشك اننا سنسمعها من سكارى بول البعير الذي سيصبح أيضا بلون أحمر لأن موضة الكلام هذه الأيام هي اللون الأحمر والغضب الساطع الآتي .. الذي لم يسطع حتى اليوم منذ ستين سنة ..

أنا على يقين أن نتنياهو يفضل جدا اللون الأحمر في الخطوط العربية والإسلامية وهو بلاشك يراه أجمل الألوان لأنه لم يفعل شيئا في حياته من اذلال للعرب ولفلسطين الا بعد أن رفعت في وجهه الخطوط الحمر العربية والإسلامية .. وصار الإسرائيليون مثل كلاب بافللوف يسيل لعابهم بمجرد أن يرفع العرب عبارة (الخطوط الحمراء) ..
وحتى هذه اللحظة لم يرسم اردوغان خطوطا حمرا لنتنياهو بل ذهب الى الخليج ليؤسم خطوطا حمراء في قطر لأن مايقدر على قوله لفلسطين وللأقصى محدود جدا ومثير للحرج الشديد لتفاهته ولن يرفع يده بعلامة رابعة التي تحدى بها المصريين ولن يتجرأ على الالتفات نحو الأقصى .. وعرفنا ذلك منذ أن قتل له الإسرائيليون في مسرحية سفينة مرمرة عددا من مواطنيه وصبغوا بحر عزة بدم الأتراك الحمراء ورسموا بها خطا أحمر له ولم يفعل شيئا بل عاد الى نتنياهو صاغرا وقبل يديه ورجليه ليسمح للسفير التركي بالعودة الى تل أبيب .. ودخل السفير التركي سفارته ي تل أبيب واختفى لايلوي على شيء ..

على العرب والمسلمين أن يستحوا من بيانات الخطوط الحمر التي يتسلى بها نتنياهو بل ويفضلها أمام مواطنيه كي يظهر أمامهم بطلا فهو محاصر بالخطوط الحمر وهو يدري أنها أوهى من خيط العنكبوت .. فليس فقط حسن نصرالله كشف للاسرائيليين أنهم يسكنون في بيت العنكبوت وأنهم واهنون وواهمون .. بل ان نتنياهو اليوم يظهر لجمهوره أنه محاط بخطوط العنكبوت الحمراء التي يلقيها العرب .. فللعرب عناكبهم وبيوت شعرهم الحمراء التي هي أوهى من بيت العنكبوت ..

الجامعة العربية وإسماعيل هنية وكل من يستعد لالقاء خطبة “الخطوط الحمراء” عليهم أن يتذكروا أن من يلقي الخطوط الحمراء يجب أن يكون لديه أخلاق ومواقف بطولية ومبادئ ..

فكيف تستوي مبادئ الخطوط الحمر وحماس مشردة بين القصور وبين القصور .. وقد خذلت نفسها ورحلت الى تركيا وقطر ونافقت السعودية وسكتت عن حرائم السعودية في اليمن .. وكيف تتشدق الجامعة العربية بالخطوط الحمر وهي التي لم تترك أمام إسرائيل خطا دفاعيا واحدا يردع إسرائيل بعد أن قدمت الغطاء لتدمير العراق وتدمير ليبيا وتدمير سورية وهو مشغولة بتدمير ايران وحزب الله ..

أنا أعلم ان نتنياهو يضحك في سره وهو يعلم ان تلك الرسائل المشفرة من العرب عن الخطوط الحمر تعني له إشارة التأييد والمبايعة .. كما حدث عندما كان الملك فيصل يجاهر بعدائه لإسرائيل ولكنه كان يحارب عبد الناصر عدو إسرائيل .. وهو الذي حرض اميريكا على مصر رغم أنه في العلن قال مالم يقله مالك في الخمر لتحرير فلسطين .. ونتنياهو لن ينسى أن الملك عبد الله الأول ملك الأردن بشر الفلسطينيين بالنصر في خطبه ولكنه كان قد باع فلسطين بخمسة عشر ألف جنيه ذهبي في عقد بيع شهير لافراغ فلسطين من العرب عندما خدع السكان وطلب منهم مغادرة قراهم ليسمحوا لجيشه بالقتال دون ايذائهم فدخل الإسرائيليون قرى فلسطين وهي فارغة أحيانا ..

ونتنياهو لم ينس خطابات الملك حسين قال للفلسطينيين قاتلوا بأسنانكم لتحافظوا على الضفة والاقصى والقدس في حرب 67 ولكنه كان قد سحب الجيش والسلاح من كل الضفة .. والذي كان يصر على تهديد إسرائيل بالثأر من هزيمة 67 ولكنه طار الى اسرائيل لتحذير غولدامائير من هجوم يبيته السوريون والمصريون في حرب 73 .. واليوم يرث ابنه ذات الوظيفة ويرفع عبارة (الأقصى خط أحمر) .. وهي رسالة مشفرة للاسرائيليين وعبارة طمأنينة وقعت بردا وسلاما على قلوبهم لأنهم يعرفون ان القادة العرب الموثوقين لايلقون عبارات التهديد جزافا بل هي اشارى خدعة وخيلة لإسرائيل ..

كل من هدد اسرائيل بالخطوط الحمر لايملك أي خط أحمر ولا حتى خيط عنكبوت .. لأن الخطوط الحمر تأتي من المواقف الثابتة .. وليس من التذبذب السياسي .. فلايستطيع من فقد استقلاله السياسي والعسكري أن يهدد بالخطوط الحمر .. ولايستطيع من رفع شعار (غزة بانتظار الأبطال .. اردوغان وحمد ومرسي) ان يرسم خطوطا حمرا ..

ولاتستطيع جامعة عربية دمرت خطوط دفاعها أن تثرثر ببيانات الدفاع عن الأقصى .. الخطوط الحمر لاتأتي الا من السياسة المدججة بالأخلاق وبالسياسة التي لاتشترى بالدولار ولاتتلون ولاتطعن ولاتتبع مزاج الأمير والأميرة .. لأن من باع وطنه يوما بالدولار سيسكت اليوم بحفنة من الدولارات .. ويترك الأقصى ..

نتنياهو لايخشى أيا من هؤلاء .. ولايستمع الى تلك الخطب الجوفاء .. بل هو يخشى الخطوط الحمراء التي لاتتكلم والتي لاتثرثر بها أفواه الثرثارين .. تلك الخطوط الحمراء التي حاول أن يكسرها في الشمال بكل الوسائل القذرة وبالاستعانة بأولئك الذين يشنون حملة الخطوط الحمراء عليه اليوم ..

انه لايخشى الا الجيش السوري وجيش حزب الله .. والجيش الإيراني .. ومئات آلاف الشبان والشابات الفلسطينيات الأحرار الذين لاينتظرون الغضب الساطع القادم من بلاد الفتاوى التكفيرية وبلاد بول البعير وآبار النفط الأسود .. بل لديهم في قلوبهم غضب ساطع .. هؤلاء هم من يحملون الخطوط الحمراء لرايات إسرائيل الزرقاء .. وهؤلاء هم من بقي للأقصى الذي صار في زمن الإسلاميين (المسجد اليتيم) .. وصدقوني لن يخذلوه ..

   ( الاثنين 2017/07/24 SyriaNow)
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
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Military Situation In Syria On July 24, 2017 (Map Update)


This map provides a general look at the military situation in Syria on July 24, 2017. The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) Tiger Forces are rapidly advancing in the southern Raqqah countryside. The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are storming the city of Raqqah. The SAA, Hezbollah and the Leabanese Army are clearing the Jaroud Arsal area at the Syrian-Lebanese border.
Military Situation In Syria On July 24, 2017 (Map Update)


This map provides a look at the military situation in eastern Aleppo and southern Raqqah, according to preliminary reports. Government forces have liberated Al-Sabkhawi and nearby points from ISIS in the southern countryside of Raqqah and allegedly reached the Euphrates River and cut off the Al-Bukamal-Aleppo highway.
 Military Situation In Eastern Aleppo And Southern Raqqah After Recent Advances Made By Government Forces (Map)
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Monday, 24 July 2017

British protesters hold anti-israel rallies in London

Hundreds of British people have held a protest in front of the Israeli embassy in London amid rising tensions over Israel’s imposition of restrictive measures at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.
(presstv) — The demonstration on Saturday was organized by the Palestinian Forum in Britain, who said they sought to attract attention to Israel’s aggression in Jerusalem.
Some of the protesters were holding placards which read “Save Al-Aqsa” and “Free Palestine,” while some others were shouting anti-Israeli slogans like “Israel is a terror state”, and “Hands-off Al-Aqsa.” They also burned Israeli flags.
Tensions erupted in the occupied territories on July 14, when a fatal shooting happened outside the Haram al-Sharif which Jews call Temple Mount.
Following the incident, Israeli police briefly shut down the al-Aqsa compound and canceled Muslim Friday prayers at the holy site.
However, the compound was reopened on July 16, but with metal detectors and surveillance cameras put up at entrances.
Meanwhile, protesters also gathered to condemn Israel’s actions in Northern Ireland’s Londonderry city.
Over the past few days, 390 Palestinians have been injured and almost 100 hospitalized after being wounded by Israeli live fire or rubber bullet, according to the Red Crescent,
Also, three Palestinians have been killed in street clashes with Israeli forces in Jerusalem al-Quds and three Israelis in an alleged stabbing attack at a West Bank settlement.
On Saturday, Israeli police used stun grenades and water cannons to disperse dozens of stone-throwing Palestinians.
Similar protests have been held in Jordan, Turkey and Malaysia.
Jerusalem al-Quds’ top Muslim cleric, Mohammed Hussein, has said that protests against Israel’s restrictions will continue until the devices are removed.
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Trump and the Christian Fascists

    Donald Trump with the Rev. Pat Robertson in 2016 at Virginia’s Regent University, founded by Robertson. This month Robertson was granted a White House interview with the president for the Christian Broadcasting Network, also founded by the televangelist. (Steve Helber / AP)
Donald Trump’s ideological vacuum, the more he is isolated and attacked, is being filled by the Christian right. This Christianized fascism, with its network of megachurches, schools, universities and law schools and its vast radio and television empire, is a potent ally for a beleaguered White House. The Christian right has been organizing and preparing to take power for decades. If the nation suffers another economic collapse, which is probably inevitable, another catastrophic domestic terrorist attack or a new war, President Trump’s ability to force the Christian right’s agenda on the public and shut down dissent will be dramatically enhanced. In the presidential election, Trump had 81 percent of white evangelicals behind him.Trump’s moves to restrict abortion, defund Planned Parenthood, permit discrimination against LGBT people in the name of “religious liberty” and allow churches to become active in politics by gutting the Johnson Amendment, along with his nominations of judges championed by the Federalist Society and his call for a ban on Muslim immigrants, have endeared him to the Christian right. He has rolled back civil rights legislation and business and environmental regulations. He has elevated several stalwarts of the Christian right into power—Mike Pence to the vice presidency, Jeff Sessions to the Justice Department, Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Betsy DeVos to the Department of Education, Tom Price to Health and Human Services and Ben Carson to Housing and Urban Development. He embraces the white supremacy, bigotry, American chauvinism, greed, religious intolerance, anger and racism that define the Christian right.
Click here for a 2007 video of Chris Hedges speaking about his book “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.”
More important, Trump’s disdain for facts and his penchant for magical thinkingand conspiracy theories mesh well with the worldview of the Christian right, which sees itself as under attack by the satanic forces of secular humanismembodied in the media, academia, the liberal establishment, Hollywood and the Democratic Party. In this worldview, climate change is not real, Barack Obama is a Muslim and millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election.
The followers of the Christian right, like Trump and his brain trust, including Stephen Bannon, are Manicheans. They see the world in black and white, good and evil, them and us. Trump’s call in his speech in Poland for a crusade against the godless hoards of Muslims fleeing from the wars and chaos we created replicates the view of the Christian right. Christian right leaders in a sign of support went to the White House on July 10 to pray over Trump. Two days later Pat Robertson showed up there to interview the president for his Christian Broadcasting Network.
If the alliance between these zealots and the government succeeds, it will snuff out the last vestiges of American democracy.
On the surface it appears to be incongruous that the Christian right would rally behind a slick New York real estate developer who is a very public serial philanderer and adulterer, has no regard for the truth, is consumed by greed, does not appear to read or know the Bible, routinely defrauds and cheats his investors and contractors, expresses a crude misogyny and an even cruder narcissism and appears to yearn for despotism. In fact, these are the very characteristics that define most of the leaders of the Christian right. Trump has preyed on desperate people through the thousands of slot machines in his casinos, his sham university and his real estate deals. Megachurch pastors prey on their followers by extracting “seed offerings,” “love gifts,” tithes and donations and by selling miracle healings along with “prayer clothes,” self-help books, audio and video recordings and even protein shakes. Pastors have established within their megachurches, as Trump did in his businesses, despotic fiefdoms. They cannot be challenged or questioned any more than an omnipotent Trump could be challenged on the reality television show “The Apprentice.” And they seek to replicate their little tyrannies on a national scale, with white men in charge.
The personal piety of most of the ministers who lead the Christian right is a facade. Their private lives are usually marked by hedonistic squalor that includes mansions, private jets, limousines, retinues of bodyguards, personal assistants and servants, shopping sprees, lavish vacations and sexual escapades that rival those carried out by Trump. And because they run “churches,” in many cases church funds pay for their tax-free empires, including their extravagant lifestyles. They also engage in the nepotism found in the Trump organization, elevating family members to prominent or highly paid positions and passing on the businesses to their children.
The Christian right’s scandals, which give a glimpse into the sordid lives of these multimillionaire pastors, are legion. Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s Praise the Lord Club, for example, raked in as much as $1 million a week before Jim Bakker went to prison for nearly five years. He was convicted of fraud and other charges in 1989 because of a $158 million scheme in which followers paid for vacations that never materialized. As the Bakker empire came apart, there also were accusations of drug use and rape. Tammy Faye died in 2007, and now Jim Bakker is back, peddling survival food for the end days and telling his significantly reduced television audience that anyone who opposes Trump is the Antichrist
Paul and Jan Crouch, who gave the Bakkers their start, founded Trinity Broadcasting, the world’s largest televangelist network, now run by their son Matt and his wife, Laurie. Viewers were encouraged to call prayer counselors at the toll-free number shown at the bottom of the TV screen. It was a short step from talking with a prayer counselor to making a “love gift” and becoming a “partner” in Trinity Broadcasting and then sending in more money during one of the frequent Praise-a-Thons.
The Crouches reveled in tasteless kitsch, as does Trump. They sat during their popular nightly program in front of stained glass windows that overlooked Louis XVI-inspired sets awash in gold rococo and red velvet, glittering chandeliers and a gold-painted piano. The network emblem, which Paul Crouch wore on the pocket of his blue double-breasted blazer, featured a crown, a lion, a horse, a white dove, a cross and Latin phrases among other elements. The Crouches would have been at home in Trump Tower, where the president has a faux “Trump crest”—allegedly plagiarized—and has decorated his penthouse as if it was part of Versailles.
The Crouches were masters of manipulation. They exhorted viewers to send in checks for $1,000, even if they could not afford it. Write the check anyway, Paul Crouch, who died in 2013, told them, as a “step of faith” and the Lord would repay them many times over. “Do you think God would have any trouble getting $1,000 extra to you somehow?” he asked during one Praise-a-Thon broadcast. Viewers, many of whom struggled with deep despair and believed that miracles and magic alone held them back from the abyss, often found it impossible to resist this emotional pressure.
Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) is home to many of the worst charlatans in the Christian right, including the popular healer Benny Hinn, who says that Adam was a superhero who could fly to the moon and claims that one day the dead will be raised by watching TBN from inside their coffins. Hinn claims his “anointings” have cured cancer, AIDS, deafness, blindness and numerous other ailments and physical injuries. Those who have not been cured, he says, did not send in enough money.
These religious hucksters are some of the most accomplished con artists in the country, a trait they share with the current occupant of the Oval Office.
I wrote a book on the Christian right in 2007 called “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.” I did not use the word “fascist” lightly. I spent several hours, at the end of two years of reporting, with two of the country’s foremost scholars on fascism—Fritz Stern and Robert O. Paxton. Did this ideology fit the parameters of classical fascism? Was it virulent enough and organized enough to seize power? Would it go to the ruthless extremes of previous fascist movements to persecute and silence dissent? Has our deindustrialized society replicated the crippling despair, alienation and rage that always feed fascist movements?
The evangelicalism promoted by the Christian right is very different from the evangelicalism and fundamentalism of a century ago. The emphasis on personal piety that defined the old movement, the call to avoid the contamination of politics, has been replaced by Christian Reconstructionism, called Dominionism by some. This new ideology is about taking control of all institutions, including the government, to build a “Christian” nation. Rousas John Rushdoony in his 1973 book, “The Institutes of Biblical Law,” first articulated it. Rushdoony argued that God gives the elect, just as he gave Adam and Noah, dominion over the earth to build a Christian society. Their state will come about with the physical eradication of the forces of Satan. It is the duty of the church and the elect to “rescue” the world so Christ can return.
This is an ideology of death. It promises that the secular, humanist society will be physically destroyed. The Ten Commandments will form the basis of our legal system. Creationism or “Intelligent Design” will be taught in public schools. People who are considered social deviants, including homosexuals, immigrants, secular humanists, feminists, Jews, Muslims, criminals and those dismissed as “nominal Christians”—meaning Christians who do not embrace the Christian right’s perverted and heretical interpretation of the Bible—will be silenced, imprisoned or killed. The role of the federal government will be reduced to protecting property rights, “homeland” security and waging war. Church organizations will be funded and empowered by the government to run social-welfare agencies. The poor, condemned for sloth, indolence and sinfulness, will be denied government assistance. The death penalty will be expanded to include “moral crimes,” including apostasy, blasphemy, sodomy and witchcraft, as well as abortion, which will be treated as murder. Women will be subordinate to men. Those who practice other faiths will become, at best, second-class citizens and eventually outcasts. The wars in the Middle East will be defined as religious crusades against Muslims. There will be no separation of church and state. The only legitimate voices will be “Christian.” America will become an agent of God. Those who defy the “Christian” authorities will be branded as agents of Satan.
Tens of millions of Americans are already hermetically sealed within this bizarre worldview. They are given a steady diet of conspiracy theories and lies on the internet, in their churches, in Christian schools and colleges and on Christian television and radio. Elizabeth Dilling, who wrote “The Red Network” and was a Nazi sympathizer, is required reading. Thomas Jefferson, who favored separation of church and state, is ignored. This Christian propaganda hails the “significant contributions” of the Confederacy. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who led the anti-communist witch hunts in the 1950s, is rehabilitated as an American hero. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, along with the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya, is defined as part of the worldwide battle against satanic Islamic terror. Presently, nearly 40 percent of the U.S. public believes in Creationism or “Intelligent Design.” And nearly a third of the population, 94 million people, consider themselves evangelical
Those who remain in a reality-based universe often dismiss these malcontents as buffoons. They do not take seriously the huge segment of the public, mostly white and working class, who because of economic distress have primal yearnings for vengeance, new glory and moral renewal and are easily seduced by magical thinking. These are the yearnings and emotions Trump has exploited politically.
Those who embrace this movement need to feel, even if they are not, that they are victims surrounded by dark and sinister groups bent on their destruction. They need to elevate themselves to the role of holy warriors, infused with a noble calling and purpose. They need to sanctify the rage and hypermasculinity that are the core of fascism. The rigidity and simplicity of their belief, which includes being anointed for a special purpose in life by God, are potent weapons in the fight against their own demons and desire for meaning.
“Evil when we are in its power is not felt as evil but as a necessity, or even a duty,” Simone Weil wrote.
These believers, like all fascists, detest the reality-based world. They condemn it as contaminated, decayed and immoral. This world took their jobs. It destroyed their future. It ruined their communities. It doomed their children. It flooded their lives with alcohol, opioids, pornography, sexual abuse, jail sentences, domestic violence, deprivation and despair. And then, from the depths of suicidal despair, they suddenly discovered that God has a plan for them. God will save them. God will intervene in their lives to promote and protect them. God has called them to carry out his holy mission in the world and to be rich, powerful and happy
The rational, secular forces, those that speak in the language of fact and evidence, are hated and feared, for they seek to pull believers back into “the culture of death” that nearly destroyed them. The magical belief system, as it was for impoverished German workers who flocked to the Nazi Party, is an emotional life raft. It is all that supports them. The only way to blunt this movement is to reintegrate these people into the economy, to give them economic stability through good wages and benefits, to restore their self-esteem. They need to live in a society that is not predatory but instead provides well-funded public schools, free university education and universal health care, a society in which they and their families can prosper.
Let us not stand at the open gates of the city waiting passively for the barbarians. They are coming. They are slouching towards Bethlehem. Let us shake off our complacency and cynicism. Let us openly defy the liberal establishment, which will not save us, to demand and fight for economic reparations for the poor and the working class. Let us give all Americans a reality-based hope for the future. Time is running out. If we do not act, American fascists, clutching Christian crosses, waving American flags and orchestrating mass recitations of the pledge of allegiance, united behind the ludicrous figure of Donald Trump, will ride this rage to power

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Trillions of Dollars in U.S. Military Spending Is Unaccounted-For. Tax Payers’ Money is Missing

Now, and for many decades past, the American public has displayed far higher confidence and trust in “The Military” than in any other “Institution” (including than churches, schools, the Presidency, the police, courts — any). 
And yet — according to the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Defense — many billions, and sometimes even trillions, of dollars, in the Department’s periodic financial reports, are not documented. What has happened to the taxpayers’ money is unknown — it’s missing (alleged to have been spent, but to payees unidentified). 
According to the DOD’s IG, this goes on year-after-year (yet without at all reducing Americans’ trust in “The Military”). Apparently, Americans, as a lot, are gluttons for punishment — or else our ’news’media haven’t sufficiently reported the “waste, fraud, and abuse” that “The Military” are doing to the American public. Either way, there is this extraordinarily high public confidence in the military ongoing year-after-year though the U.S. DOD continues to be the only unauditable federal Department, and expenditures amounting (over the years) into trillions of dollars remain unaccounted-for. But here will now be the American ‘news’media’s chance to call to the public’s attention this discrepancy between the military’s reality and the public’s perceptions of that reality, by publishing this documentation:
On July 14th, Catherine Austin Fitts posted to her website links to some of the key relevant federal documents. Her site is linked-to below, and some of the documents that refer to trillions of dollars unaccounted-for are also linked-to below, and are then quoted from, so that a reader can obtain a sense both of the enormity of the corruption, and also of the authoritativeness of the official statements that are being made here, regarding that corruption. 
I am using here the word “corruption” because whenever an official finding by a U.S. government agency is reporting trillions of dollars of taxpayer money that have been spent for purposes and recipients that are unknown, I call it “corruption,” on the basis that: regardless of whether or not the matter is intended or is instead sloppiness, even mere sloppiness is heinous if it ranges into trillions of dollars of taxpayer-money missing or wrongly spent. Even sloppiness of that magnitude, in the expenditure of taxpayer funds, reflects corruption, if it continues on for years, or especially (as it is shown to do here) for decades, and still has not been stopped.
In fact, the most recent such IG report makes clear (on page “7 of 74”) that 
“Army and Defense Finance and Accounting Service Indianapolis personnel did not adequately support $2.8 trillion in third quarter adjustments and $6.5 trillion in yearend adjustments made to Army General Fund data during FY 2015 financial statement compilation.” 
These “adjustments” had been made to prior unacceptable reports, but were still failing to explain where the money had gone. Here is the main site (solari, of Catherine Austin Fitts), and excerpts from the main documents, which excerpts are posted immediately below it:
DOD and HUD Missing Money: Supporting Documentation
Catherine Austin Fitts, News & Commentary on July 14, 2017 at 11:07 pm 
1. 2015 Semiannual Report to Congress
“We determined that 236, totaling $2 trillion, of the 263 third quarter JV adjustments in our sample, and 170, totaling $2.1 trillion, of the 194 yearend JV adjustments in our sample, were in fact unsupported.”
6. 2010 Testimony of the Deputy Inspector General, DOD
“We found the Department’s review process included less than half of the fiscal year 2010 first quarter gross outlays.10 Comptroller officials stated that the $167.5 billion in outlays the Department did not examine for improper payments included internal and intragovernmental transfers. Those outlays were not subject to the OMB reporting requirements since the payments did not leave the Government. However, we later determined that Comptroller officials did not perform a reconciliation to determine whether these outlays were internal or intragovernmental transfers. A complete reconciliation is still needed to demonstrate that all outlays are being examined for overpayments and in order to accurately report the extent of the overpayments. Specifically, DoD did not review approximately $167.5 billion of the $303.7 billion in gross outlays for high dollar overpayments. Additionally, some overpayments that we or the Department identified were not reported, and the First Quarter FY 2010 High Dollar Overpayments Report did not include sufficient information about recoveries and corrective actions.”
“Unless DoD improves its methodology to review all its disbursements, it will continue to understate its estimate of overpayments and will likely miss opportunities to collect additional improper payments.”
“We are concerned with the accuracy and reliability of the Department’s estimation process. Without a reliable process to review all expenditures and identify the full extent of improper payments, the Department will not be able to improve internal controls aimed at reducing improper payments. 12 The Department’s financial management processes are not always adequate to prevent or detect improper payments. For example, in our recent audit of a contract supporting Broad Area Maritime Surveillance, we found DoD personnel did not validate that the contractor was entitled to $329.3 million it received as of January 12, 2010. These are costs paid to contractors that Defense Contract Audit Agency questioned because they do not comply with rules, regulations, laws and/or contract terms which meets the definition of an improper payment. These improper payments the audit agency identified are greater than the $1.3 billion of improper payments the Department identified during 2004 to 2010.”
Inspector General U.S. Department of Defense Report No. DODIG-2016-113 JULY 26, 2016 Army General Fund Adjustments Not Adequately Documented or Supported.
“OASA(FM&C) and DFAS Indianapolis personnel did not adequately document or support adjustments made to AGF data during FY 2015 financial statement compilation. Specifically, OASA(FM&C) and DFAS Indianapolis personnel did not adequately support $2.8 trillion in JV adjustments for third quarter and $6.5 trillion in JV adjustments for yearend.17”
“The audits of the FY 1999 DoD financial statements indicated that $7.6 trillion of accounting entries were made to compile them. This startling number is perhaps the most graphic available indicator of just how poor the existing systems are. The magnitude of the problem is further demonstrated by the fact that, of $5.8 trillion of those adjustments that we audited this year, $2.3 trillion were unsupported by reliable explanatory information and audit trails or were made to invalid general ledger accounts. About $602.7 billion of accounting entries were made to correct errors in feeder reports.”
Here, from the list of the 100 largest, are the 20 largest recipients of U.S. federal government money:
1. Lockheed Martin Corp.
2. The Boeing Company
3. Raytheon Company
4. General Dynamics Corp.
5. Northrop Grumman Corp.
6. United Technologies Corp.
7. L-3 Communications Holdings Inc.
8. BAE Systems plc
9. Humana Inc.
10. Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc.
11. Bechtel Group Inc.
12. Health Net Inc.
13. Unitedhealth Group Inc.
14. SAIC Inc.
15. General Atomic Technologies Corp.
16. McKesson Corp.
17. Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office
18. AmerisourceBergen Corp.
19. Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp.
20. United Launch Alliance L.L.C.
As is obvious, all or almost all of these firms are contractors to (recipients of money from) the U.S. Department of Defense; and they may reasonably be presumed to be benefiting significantly from some of the unaccounted-for payments from the U.S. DOD. However, if the money isn’t going to them, then where is it going? And why? And for what? Why is there no congressional investigation to answer these questions? And why are U.S. ‘news’media not publicizing this matter so as to force such investigations? Are payoffs involved — payoffs for silence? Why are none of the ‘news’media that have the resources to explore these questions, publishing their own investigations into it, since Congress won’t investigate? And, since the Inspector General’s reports into these matters have had no impact, why isn’t the focus finally shifting away from studying to find how much is missing, toward instead prosecuting the people who — at the very least — failed to do what they were being paid to do: keep track of every cent of taxpayers’ money? If doing that job is too dangerous, then shouldn’t the people who are tasked to do it be paid more, so as to cover their exceptionally high personal risk? Is all of this secrecy really necessary in order to keep “The Military” way on top as the most respected of all institutions in the United States — even after all of the harms that the U.S. military has actually caused in Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc., destroying those countries and others? How much would the public’s respect for the military — the mass-killing institution — be brought down, if the truth about it were known? Would the mass-killing institution deserve to be the most respected institution even if it weren’t so corrupt?
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!