Remembering the Crew of the USS Liberty – Station HYPO

https://stationhypo.com/2020/06/08/remembering-the-crew-of-the-uss-liberty/

On June 8 1967, the USS Liberty (AGTR 5) was attacked in international waters by Israeli forces killing 34 Americans and wounding another 171. Seven out of every 10 crew members was either killed or injured. Let us remember those who were killed and those who survived, including their families – many have physical and emotional scars that they will carry for the rest of their lives.

The men who gave their lives:

Israel moves to expand illegal settlement in occupied East Jerusalem located beyond the 1967 armistice line • The Cradle – muunyayo

https://muunyayo.com/2021/10/16/israel-moves-to-expand-illegal-settlement-in-occupied-east-jerusalem-located-beyond-the-1967-armistice-line-the-cradle/

By: Esteban Carrillo

Source: https://thecradle.co/Article/news/2600

An Israeli planning committee approved plans on 14 October to build thousands of homes in the illegal settlement of Givat Hamatos in occupied East Jerusalem.

If built, this would become the first Jewish settlement in 20 years to be built in occupied East Jerusalem, and the first ever beyond the 1967 armistice line.

The announcement came one day after Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid met with US Vice President Kamala Harris in Washington, DC.

The Biden administration has previously spoken out against the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine. However, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet has said multiple times that his government has no plans to stop these expansions.

Experts believe that, once completed, the Givat Hamatos settlement will effectively split the West Bank in half, isolating Palestinians who live in occupied East Jerusalem and making a two-state solution virtually impossible.

EU officials condemned the Bennet administration’s plans for the construction of additional housing units in Givat Hamatos earlier this year, saying that the plan would “undermine the negotiations for a two-state solution.”

The Israeli settlement in Givat Hamatos is located beyond the 1967 Green Line, on lands which were seized from the Palestinian towns of Beit Safafa in the Jerusalem governorate, and Beit Jala in the Bethlehem governorate.

The construction plans approved on Wednesday would effectively cut off Beit Safafa from surrounding Palestinian villages and the rest of Jerusalem.

“A Huge Deal”: Amazon, Google Workers Demand Companies Sever Ties With Israeli Military

https://www.nationandstate.com/2021/10/13/a-huge-deal-amazon-google-workers-demand-companies-sever-ties-with-israeli-military/
By Kenny Stancil Roughly 400 Amazon and Google workers on Tuesday condemned their employers for contributing to the surveillance and dispossession of Palestinians by selling cloud… “A Huge… Go to Source Author: Activist Post… Read more

Communist China’s Aggression in the South China Sea, by Judith Bergman | STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC

Comment by tonytran2015: China has been successful in its aggressions against most of its neighbours. China may soon invade Taiwan with overwhelming force in the same way as it has done to Tibet, Mongolia, Vietnam, the Philippines, …

https://straightlinelogic.com/2021/10/07/communist-chinas-aggression-in-the-south-china-sea-by-judith-bergman/

Nobody in the US really knows for certain what the intentions and plans are of the Chinese government. Which makes it a good idea to keep a close eye on what it does. From Judith Bergman at gatestoneinstitute.org:

Tensions continue to rise in the South China Sea, as China, or, rightly, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), ramps up its military activities in the region. Within only the first four days of October, China conducted a record-breaking 150 incursionsinto Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) — after China’s People Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) had already, in September, set another monthly record with 117 incursions, some with nuclear-capable bombers, fighter jets and reconnaissance planes. The incursions were reportedly the highest monthly number on record since Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense began reporting Chinese aerial incursions 13 months ago. In addition, in August, the first-ever incursionof Chinese military helicopters into Taiwan’s ADIZ took place, with experts suggesting that the PLA was probing Taiwanese defense capabilities by using different aircraft.

Also in August and September, China conducted assault drills near Taiwan with war ships, early-warning aircraft, anti-submarine aircraft and bombers. “The joint fire assault and other drills staged by the Eastern Theater Command troops are a necessary action to further safeguard China’s sovereignty under the current security situation in the Taiwan Straits,” Colonel Shi Yi, spokesperson for the PLA Eastern Theater Command said, “and also a solemn response to the interference of foreign forces and the provocation of ‘Taiwan independence’ secessionists.” Shi stated that military exercises would be “conducted regularly” based on the situation in the Taiwan Strait and the “need to maintain sovereign security”. China has conducted 20 naval island-control exercises in the first half of 2021, compared to 13 in all of 2020.

This activity — in addition to diplomatic and economic pressure — is evidently meant to exhaust Taiwan, force it to capitulate to China and relinquish its independence without China firing a shot. “China is pursuing an all-of-party approach that seeks to coerce, corrupt and co-opt the international community,” former commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Philip Davidson, recently warned, “in a way in which they may be able to achieve their geopolitical edge… to force Taiwan to capitulate because of extreme, diplomatic, economic, pressure and strain”. Failing that coercion, Davidson estimates:

“the changes in the [People’s Liberation Army]’s capabilities, with their missile and cyber forces, and their ability to train, advance their joint interoperability and their combat support logistics, all those trend lines indicate to me that within the next six years they will have the capability and the capacity to forcibly reunify with Taiwan, should they choose force to do it.”

Continue reading→

Taiwanese Foreign Minister warns his country is preparing for war with China, asks Australia for help – ABC News

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-04/taiwan-preparing-for-war-with-china/100511294

Taiwan’s Foreign Minister warns his nation is
preparing for war with China and urges Australia to increase intelligence sharing and security cooperation as Beijing intensifies a
campaign of military intimidation.

Always Another War | Aletho News

https://alethonews.com/2021/08/31/always-another-war/

America and Israel together against Iran

BY PHILIP GIRALDI • UNZ REVIEW • AUGUST 31, 2021

Afghanistan is not exactly history quite yet as there still will be a lot final adjustments on the ground as well as the usual Vietnam-syndrome war of words that inevitably follows on yet another American-engineered foreign catastrophe. But the recriminations will go nowhere as there is certainly enough mud to stick on both major political parties that make Washington their home, and neither wants to be embarrassed to such an extent that anyone will actually demand change.

Regarding Afghanistan itself, I often recall hearing from a CIA friend of mine who served as the last Chief of Station in Kabul in the 1970s before the start of the Mujaheddin insurgency against the Marxist-Leninist government that was then in place eventually forced the US Embassy to close. He remarked how liberated the city was, full of smartly dressed attractive women and well-turned-out men going about their business. Though there was considerable repression in rural areas, education was highly prized by the people in the cities while many aspects of fundamental Islam were made illegal.

All of that came to a crashing halt when the United States and Saudi Arabia supported the Mujaheddin and eventually created al-Qaeda in a bid to damage the Soviets, who had intervened in the country and were backers of the Kabul regime headed by Babrak Karmal. Zbigniew Brzezinski was the “brain” behind the plan, in part to do payback for the Soviet role in Vietnam and in part because Zbig apparently had difficultly in separating his attachment for Poland, at the time part of the Soviet empire, from his role as national security adviser for Jimmy Carter, President of the United States of America.

To be sure, wars that are unsuccessful, like Vietnam and Afghanistan, do generate a certain blowback. It was regularly observed that the 1990-1 US-led Desert Storm operation followed by a victory parade down Fifth Avenue in New York City helped the United States recover from Vietnam fatigue. That meant that it would not hesitate to again use armed force to enforce its often touted “rules based international order,” best translated as US global hegemony.

Some might suggest that the best thing to do about Afghanistan is to learn from it. Hold senior officials and officers responsible for the egregious errors in judgement that led to disaster. But that will never happen as the top levels of the US government operate like a large social club where everyone protects everyone else. A Marine Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller who has called for accountability at senior levels has already been relieved of his command and is leaving the service, a warning from above to others who might be similarly inclined to be outspoken.

So, with all that in mind, the best was to make Afghanistan go away is to begin preparations for the next war. Since that is so, how lucky is President Joe Biden to have a visit at this very critical moment from Israel’s new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who presented the president with a “new strategic vision” for the Middle East. In preparation for the visit, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the prime minister’s visit “will strengthen the enduring partnership between the United States and Israel, reflect the deep ties between our governments and our people, and underscore the United States’ unwavering commitment to Israel’s security.” Psaki, who conflates the deep ties between the Democratic Party and its Jewish donors with a “partnership,” predictably said everything demanded of her, only stopping short of turning in her application to join the Israel Defense Force (IDF).

Bennett met on the day before the White House meeting with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and also separately with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. It is not known how many standing ovations were given to Bennett by the simpering US officials, but it is presumed that they were necessary as filler for the event because Austin and Milley in particular are notably inarticulate and poorly informed. The lumpish Austin did, however, echo Psaki in coming out with the usual message, telling Bennett that the Pentagon is absolutely “committed” to ensuring Israel can “defend itself” against the Iranians, that “The administration remains committed to Israel’s security and right to self-defense. That is unwavering, it is steadfast and it is ironclad.”

Bennett was engaged in delivering his timely message that the fall of Afghanistan has actually made everything in that part of Asia more dangerous, meaning that the US and Israel should prepare to fight Iran when it seeks to take advantage of the situation. More to the point, Bennett also made time to meet with the omnipotent Israel Lobby as represented by the head of its most powerful component, Executive Director Howard Kohr of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

The actual discussion with Biden and who-knows-who else in the room was also predictable, minus only that Biden did not feel compelled to go down on his knees as he did with visiting outgoing Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and his chief of staff Rivka Ravitz in early July. Perpetual victim Israel was presented by Bennett as facing hostilities coming from its southern border where Hamas controls the Gaza Strip. Neither Bennett nor Biden mentioned the enormous advantage in military power that Israel already possesses, as was evident in the conflict that took place three months ago, an 11-day war that left 265 dead in Gaza, including many targeted children in apartment blocks, while only 13 died in Israel.

Bennett had two principal objectives. First, he was looking for a commitment from Biden not to re-engage with Iran in the nuclear proliferation treaty Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) unless it is greatly “improved” to include peripheral regional issues as well as eliminating any uranium enrichment. As Iran is prepared to accept the status quo ante and nothing more, Bennett knew perfectly well that his insistence on a broader agreement would be a game-breaker. And second, as a consequence of that expected commitment, he wanted assurances that the US will not withdraw its remaining forces from Iraq and Syria and would support Israel fully if it should choose to attack Iran.

Israel’s Ambassador to the US Gilad Erdan has also been pushing the White House to admit Israel to the so-called Visa Waiver Program, which would allow Israelis to travel freely to the United States without having to obtain a visa. The program usually requires reciprocity which would mean that Israel would in turn have to admit all American travelers, but the Jewish state insists on reserving the right to block Arab and Muslim Americans for no reason whatsoever. It is presumed that Bennett discussed the issue with Blinken.

On the other more important issues, Biden appears to have bought into at least some of what Bennett was selling. In comments made after their meeting, with the Israeli standing beside him, the US President said that “We’re putting diplomacy first and see where that takes us. But if diplomacy fails, we’re ready to turn to other options.” Bennett was pleased by what he was hearing, elaborating on it, “I was happy to hear your clear words that Iran will never be able to acquire a nuclear weapon and that you emphasize that you will try the diplomatic route, but there’s other options if that doesn’t work out.” The other “options” include, of course, intensified covert action intelligence operations, assassinations and a hoped-for bombing attack on Iranian nuclear facilities and weapons sites. Attacking Iran will also have the benefit of demonstrating that Biden is a “tough” leader, surely a consideration at this point when his approval ratings are sinking.

The prime minister also surfaced another proposal for all his interlocutors, including Biden. He wants to upgrade his fleet of F-15 fighter bombers to give his military planners more options if there should be a war with Iran. The US produced F-35 is the primary fighter for IDF, but the older F-15 can carry significantly more weaponry and bomb load.

Bennett has asked Washington to provide an advance on its annual $3.8 billion military assistance package to pay for the improvements. In other words, Israel wants to start a war and have the United States pay for it, possibly in addition to actually doing much of the fighting.

Israel has, in fact, been warning that a war is coming for quite some time, a message that was delivered yet again in a timely fashion as Bennett winged his way to Washington for his meetings. As the prime minister was landing in the US, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi held a press conference in which he advised that the Israeli military advancing its “operational plans” against Iran. He observed that the country’s new military budget had funds earmarked specifically to improve IDF capabilities against Iran. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz also warned on the same day that “The State of Israel has the means to act and will not hesitate to do so. I do not rule out the possibility that Israel will have to take action in the future in order to prevent a nuclear Iran.”

So, the new Israeli premier has laid down the gauntlet and, for the moment, Joe Biden has only tentatively moved to pick it up even if he has in a sense pledged total support for Israel no matter what the Jewish state decides to do. The Israel Lobby meanwhile will be working hard to bring Joe totally into line. And to be sure Biden will have to reckon with the fact that there is a new player in town in the form of a bunch of progressive Democrats who are not in love with Israel, backed up by shrinking public support for Israeli actions resulting from the recent slaughter in Gaza. Nevertheless, a weakened and disoriented Biden will have only limited ability to stand up to an increasingly assertive Israel and its powerful lobby.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org

Beijing lifts its summer fishing ban in disputed South China Sea, reportedly prompting influx of vessels — RT World News

https://www.rt.com/news/532211-china-sea-fishing-contested-waters/

The Chinese government has implemented fishing bans since 1999 in the
South China Sea in an effort to protect fish stocks and marine life
from over-exploitation, despite other nations contesting sovereignty
over the region.



Also on rt.com
Manila claims nearly 300 Chinese militia vessels have swarmed Philippines-held islands in latest incursion

The Philippines is one of several states that object to China’s
unilateral moratorium. Manila claims the fishing ban extends far beyond
China’s maritime entitlements, noting that Beijing’s nine-dash-line –
its claim to around 90% of the South China Sea – has been rejected by an
international tribunal in The Hague.

Earlier this year, tensions
between the two heightened as Manila claimed Chinese fishing flotillas
had repeatedly swarmed islands and waterways within the country’s
200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone. On May 9, the Philippines
government accused China of violating its own fishing ban, as nearly 300
militia vessels moored near a reef in the Philippines-claimed
municipality of Kalayaan.

The disputed waters, as well as the
islands and reefs within it, are hotly contested by China, the
Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Brunei.

Within hours of the 911 attacks, Osama bin Laden was identified as the architect – © blogfactory

https://blogfactory.co.uk/2017/09/11/within-hours-of-the-911-attacks-osama-bin-laden-was-identified-as-the-architect/

…9/11 remains the pretext and justification for waging a war without borders.

sent in by Tati………

At eleven o’clock, on the morning of September 11, the Bush administration had already announced that Al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon. This assertion was made prior to the conduct of an indepth police investigation.

That same evening at 9.30 pm, a “War Cabinet” was formed integrated by a select number of top intelligence and military advisors. And at 11.00 pm, at the end of that historic meeting at the White House, the “War on Terrorism” was officially launched.

The decision was announced to wage war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in retribution for the 9/11 attacks. The following morning on September 12th, the news headlines indelibly pointed to “state sponsorship” of the 9/11 attacks by Afghanistan

In chorus, the US media was calling for a military intervention against Afghanistan.

Barely four weeks later, on the 7th of October, Afghanistan was bombed and invaded by US troops. Americans were led to believe that the decison to go to war had been taken on the spur of the moment, on the evening of September 11, in response to the 9/11 attacks and their tragic consequences.

Little did the public realize that a large scale theater war is never planned and executed in a matter of weeks. The decision to launch a war and send troops to Afghanistan had been taken well in advance of 9/11. The “terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event” as it was later described by (former) CentCom Commander General Tommy Franks, served to galvanize public opinion in support of a war agenda which was already in its final planning stage.

The tragic events of 9/11 provided the required justification to wage a war on “humanitarian grounds”, with the full support of World public opinion and the endorsement of the “international community”.

Several prominent “progressive” intellectuals made a case for “retaliation against terrorism”, on moral and ethical grounds. The “just cause” military doctrine (jus ad bellum) was accepted and upheld at face value as a legitimate response to 9/11, without examining the fact that Washington had not only supported the “Islamic terror network”, it was also instrumental in the installation of the Taliban government in 1996.

In the wake of 9/11, the antiwar movement was completely isolated. The trade unions and civil society organizations had swallowed the media lies and government propaganda. They had accepted a war of retribution against Afghanistan, an impoverished country of 30 million people.

I started writing on the evening of September 11, late into the night, going through piles of research notes, which I had previously collected on the history of Al Qaeda. My first text entitled “Who is Osama bin Laden?” was completed and first published on September the 12th. (See full text of the 9/12/2001 article below).

From the very outset, I questioned the official story, which described nineteen Al Qaeda sponsored hijackers involved in a highly sophisticated and organized operation. My first objective was to reveal the true nature of this illusive “enemy of America”, who was “threatening the Homeland”.

The myth of the “outside enemy” and the threat of “Islamic terrorists” was the cornerstone of the Bush adminstration’s military doctrine, used as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention the repeal of civil liberties and constitutional government in America.

Without an “outside enemy”, there could be no “war on terrorism”. The entire national security agenda would collapse “like a deck of cards”. The war criminals in high office would have no leg to stand on.

Al Qaeda was a creation of the CIA going back to the Soviet-Afghan war. This was a known fact, corroborated by numerous sources including official documents of the US Congress. The intelligence community had time and again acknowledged that they had indeed supported Osama bin Laden, but that in the wake of the Cold War: “he turned against us”.

After 9/11, the campaign of media disinformation served not only to drown the truth but also to kill much of the historical evidence on how this illusive “outside enemy” had been fabricated and transformed into “Enemy Number One”.

Michel Chossudovsky, Excerpts from the Preface of America’s “War on Terrorism”, Second edition, Global Research, 2005.

***

Who Is Osama Bin Laden?

by Michel Chossudovsky

www.globalresearch.ca
September 12, 2001

A few hours after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, the Bush administration concluded without supporting evidence, that “Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda organisation were prime suspects”. CIA Director George Tenet stated that bin Laden has the capacity to plan “multiple attacks with little or no warning.”

Secretary of State Colin Powell called the attacks “an act of war” and President Bush confirmed in an evening televised address to the Nation that he would “make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them”. Former CIA Director James Woolsey pointed his finger at “state sponsorship,” implying the complicity of one or more foreign governments….