• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

vrijdag 18 augustus 2017

Same Shit


Anti-Racism is Anti-Zionism

To Be an Antiracist Today One Must be Anti-Zionist: USACBI Statement on Trumpism,  White Supremacy, and Zionism

The U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI)  stands in solidarity with movements resisting Trump’s authoritarian, racist, misogynist, neoliberal, and violently imperial policies. Like many on the left, we have been disturbed by the hardening reaction and ongoing rightward shift of the U.S. state. We are concerned by the deepening conservative populism coupled with corporate capitalism that has led many to support the shredding of what remains of social welfare and the intensification of xenophobic policies. Trump’s use of nativism, Islamophobia, mass surveillance, and militaristic jingoism that began under previous regimes, and persisted if not expanded under Obama, continues to trouble us.
At the same time, we have been reinvigorated by the spread of popular resistance and mass protests across the U.S. We are inspired by the intensified coalitions that have linked immigrant rights, anticapitalist, feminist, environmentalist, antiwar, queer, indigenous, and antifascist movements and that have built on struggles such as Black Lives Matter, water protectors protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, and sanctuary activism.  These movements portend a challenge and opportunity for progressives and other leftists everywhere.
As an organization committed to solidarity with the Palestinian freedom struggle and an end to U.S. support for Israeli apartheid and occupation, we have also been struck by the conjuncture between the Trump regime’s Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism and its antisemitism. We want to note the disturbing and telling ways that the Trump administration and alt.right movement’s support for white nationalism dovetails with its promotion of Zionism. There is an often seemingly paradoxical convergence between this simultaneous advocacy of white supremacy, Zionism, and antisemitism.
Those of us engaged in advocacy for Palestinian liberation have long been aware of the ways in which proponents of Zionism engage in forms of antisemitism by assuming that all Jewish people have (or should have) an allegiance to the state of Israel and shared political and racial worldviews. So, too, we have long observed the ways in which Israel itself can revive antagonism toward Jewish people due to its horrendous human rights record, illegal occupation, and apartheid policies. This expression of Zionism as settler colonial ideology can correspond with and be used to support other colonial projects.  Concomitantly, Zionism allies itself with Western imperial racism by scapegoating and demonizing Islam, Arab states, and Muslim majority countries, a toxic convergence that is a feature of the blatant racism of the Trump regime. Consider, for example, the deeply conspiratorial racist, antisemitic, and ethnocentric worldview of Trump adviser Steve Bannon conjoined within the Trump administration to the political and financial ties of the Kushner family to Israel.
It is in this context that we urge progressives, leftists, and all people of conscience to take a public stance opposing Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism, as well as white supremacy and antisemitism,  here and elsewhere, and to challenge Zionism as a racist and oppressive state ideology. Zionism shares with white nationalism the belief in the racial superiority of a “chosen people.” It  upholds the racial privilege of white Ashkenazi Jews over Arab Palestinians excluded from citizenship and rights in a state built on their dispossession and erasure and the occupation of their homeland, and against Mizrahi (and especially phenotypically ‘Black’  African) Jews. As an expression of settler colonialism, it engages in the denial of sovereignty to indigenous peoples and is based on the logic of annihilation and erasure of native lives and histories.
Support for Zionism, therefore, has no place on the left, or among liberals and progressives.
To be an antiracist today, one must be anti-Zionist. This basic principle has long been obfuscated in social and global justice movements in the U.S., due to policing of political thought related to Palestine, including in the academy. The draconian anti-BDS bill recently proposed in Congress is one of the latest examples of the criminalization of Palestine solidarity activism in the U.S. However, with the rise of the BDS movement in recent years, at last we are witnessing an opening to an honest and critical discussion of Palestine, Israel, and Zionism. Finally, we can see an increasing rejection of the warmongering, global policing, and repression practiced by both the U.S. and Israel ( and often in collusion with one  another). We perceive a solidarity of opposition to Zionism, anti-Arab racism, and Islamophobia as  imperative to the undermining of both U.S. neoliberal imperialism and of Israel’s brutal settler coloniality and illegal occupation.
We thus ask all those who oppose Trumpism, antisemitism, and white nationalism to also challenge Zionism and Israeli apartheid, and to join the growing movement for BDS and the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.
One small step you can take is to endorse USACBI [http://www.usacbi.org/about/], if you have not done so already. You can also bring discussion of Palestine and anti-Zionism to conversations you are having with friends, colleagues, and fellow activists at this important political moment. If you wish to learn of more ways in which you can integrate Palestine solidarity activism in your grassroots or campus organizing, please reach out and contact us at the website above.

Zionist Racism Considered Normal

Racial supremacy and the Zionist exception

US Politics 
 on  32 Comments
Politicians from Senators Marco Rubio and Orrin Hatch to Chuck Schumer and Ron Wyden have been outspoken in their condemnation of Saturday’s Unite the Right March in Charlottesville and the vicious acts of terror it spawned.  Criticizing Donald Trump for his reluctant and temporizing comments, they condemn the hate and are rightly appalled by the white supremacist chants of “Blood and Soil” and “You Won’t Replace Us”—or, as it became, “Jews Won’t Replace Us”.  Though they have so far fallen as far short as Donald Trump from calling it by its real name, American fascism, they have been forthright in calling out this assembly of virulent racist movements.
Meanwhile, the same senators are united by their ardent support for a racist regime that is no less inspired by racial supremacy and an ideology that demands ethnic cleansing.  All have signed on to a bill that would protect the state of Israel by imposing civil and possibly criminal penalties on anyone who protests its ongoing violations of Palestinian rights, including illegal settlement and dispossession, by advocating for the boycott of its economic, academic and cultural institutions.  In doing so, they have placed protecting Israel and its racially discriminatory policies above the rights of activists who are inspired by the same commitment to justice as the demonstrators who opposed the open display of racism and anti-Semitism in Charlottesville.
The contradiction between condemning US racism and support for the racist ideology of Zionism has become steadily more glaring.  The ugly chants and intimidating violence of the fascist right have met with almost universal disgust, including naming the lethal ramming of non-violent protesters an act of terror.  At the same time, Americans have had to confront the fact that white supremacy is an intrinsic if shameful element in their history and institutions whose consequences have yet to be overcome.  The brief moment when the premature claim that the United States was “postracial” has run its course. But the same awareness has yet to extend to the remarkably similar and equally consequential world-view of Zionism.
Zionism has always recognized that in order to create and maintain “a Jewish state for a Jewish people” it would have to dominate and displace the native Palestinian population.  Early Zionists like Ze’ev Jabotinsky recognized the necessity of ethnic cleansing; more recently, Zionist historians like Benny Morris have acknowledged that Israel could only have been founded on the back of the expulsion of some 750,000 Palestinians.  But, as with any settler colony, the fear remains that what Israel calls the “Judaization” of the state and the lands they have illegally occupied remains incomplete.  So what is euphemistically called the “transfer” of Palestinians continues, in the Negev, in Galilee, in East Jerusalem and on the West Bank.  Meanwhile right-wing Israeli youth rampage through the Palestinian quarter of the Old City chanting the same virulent racist supremacism as American fascists while Israeli police arrest the counter-demonstrators.

In December 2015, protesters from the Israeli right-wing Organisation for Prevention of Assimilation in the Holy Land (LEHAVA) demonstrate outside a Jewish-Muslim wedding. (Photo: AFP)
American white supremacists express their fury at being replaced by an increasingly diverse population and speak of a “demographic genocide”.  Although their rage has a long history in American genocide and racial segregation, it is met now with disbelief and widespread antagonism.  Meanwhile, the self-proclaimed “Jewish State” of Israel and its officials not only speak openly of the “demographic threat” or “time-bomb” posed by the Palestinian population in Israel and in the territories it illegally occupies, they develop policies to enact their fantasy of an Israel cleansed of all but a tiny minority of Palestinians.
These measures include not only the demolition of Palestinian homes in the Negev or in East Jerusalem, but also laws like the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, which prohibits Palestinians outside Israel from gaining citizenship, or even permanent or temporary residence, if they marry an Israeli citizen. This law, which denies the basic right to family unification to thousands of Palestinian families, was upheld by Israel’s Supreme Court in 2006 and renewed in 2016. Even at the height of apartheid, the South African Supreme Court balked at accepting a similarly framed law on the grounds that it would have adversely affected African social life. Likewise, a version of redlining, an old American practice that maintained segregated communities, is commonplace in Israel and protected by law. Adalah, the Israeli Human Rights organization, maintains a database of some 50 laws like this that discriminate against Palestinians in Israel, constituting a system tantamount to if not—as some well-informed observers claim—worse than apartheid.
Though some idealist Zionists like Martin Buber once believed in the possibility of sharing a Jewish homeland in Palestine with its indigenous inhabitants, that dream has long been overtaken by the ugly reality of a supremacist state and its system of discrimination and dispossession.  It is increasingly difficult and painful for liberal Zionists—to use a pitiful oxymoron—to defend a system that so violates the sense of justice and equality that they elsewhere defend. How can one condemn white racists for fighting to preserve their privileges and supremacy in their “homeland” while defending the right of Israel to maintain a regime based on exactly those values?
Rabbi Matt Rosenberg had no response when leading fascist Richard Spencer asked him “Do you really want radical inclusion into the State of Israel?”  If he was left speechless, it is because there really is no response: Israel’s racist regime is based on no less supremacist, no less racist ideas and demands than America’s fascists espouse.  It is the practical outcome of the ideology of Zionism and its practices of discrimination and dispossession have historically been furthered just as much by the Labor Party beloved of liberal Zionists as they now are by the currently governing Likud.  And from the long-standing courting of right-wing and anti-Semitic US evangelists to the Zionist Organization of America’s support for alt-right publisher and financier Stephen Bannon, the affinities run deep between Zionism and the American right.
Ron Wyden and other progressive Democrats may be writhing in the contortions it takes to do the bidding of Israel and its Zionist lobbyists while claiming to defend civil liberties and social justice at home.  It is hardly surprising.  The two are fundamentally incompatible.  Zionism has become a toxic stain that contaminates whatever comes in contact with it.  It turns liberal media, journalists and academics into the mouthpieces of repression and censorship; it spawns defamation and blacklists of scholars and activists in the name of anti-racism; it dons the mantle of democracy and liberalism to promote a supremacist ideology and a racial state.  But it remains what it is: a racist ideology with all-too-marked affinities with the white fascism that most of its supporters hasten to condemn.
It is time for consistency and to end the exception made for Zionist racial supremacy. In solidarity with those who protested fascism in Charlottesville, and with those who continue to protest police killings, deportations, Islamophobic travel bans, and homophobic laws, progressives across the board must condemn Zionism and cease to offer uncritical support of the state of Israel. Instead, they should stand with the activists who demand justice for Palestinians even as they protest racism in the US.  It is no longer possible to serve the agenda of supremacism in one place and decry it at home.  As progressive senators and an increasing number of former liberal Zionists have learnt, the contradictions of doing so are unbearable and the political costs are insidious.
About David Lloyd
David Lloyd is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California, Riverside, and a founding member of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.
Other posts by .

Noam Chomsky: Antifa is a 'major gift to the Right'

The left-wing "Antifa" movement is rising in prominence after clashing with white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., but one progressive scholar says the anti-fascists feed the fire they seek to extinguish.
"As for Antifa, it's a minuscule fringe of the Left, just as its predecessors were," Noam Chomsky told the Washington Examiner. "It's a major gift to the Right, including the militant Right, who are exuberant."
Many activists affiliated with the loosely organized Antifa movement consider themselves anarchists or socialists. They often wear black and take measures to conceal their identity.
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Chomsky said, "what they do is often wrong in principle – like blocking talks – and [the movement] is generally self-destructive."
"When confrontation shifts to the arena of violence, it's the toughest and most brutal who win – and we know who that is," said Chomsky, a professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "That's quite apart from the opportunity costs – the loss of the opportunity for education, organizing, and serious and constructive activism."
The violence in Charlottesville ended Saturday when an alleged white supremacist drove a car into a crowd of anti-racism activists, not all of whom were Antifa activists, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring more than a dozen others. The driver has been charged with murder.
On Tuesday, Trump shocked viewers of a press conference, including prominent members of his own party, by saying "both sides" deserved blame for the violence. Critics said the president should single out white supremacists for scorn.
"There was a group on this side, you can call them the Left, you've just called them the Left, that came violently attacking the other group," Trump said on Tuesday. "So, you can say what you want, but that's the way it is."
Where Antifa fits in a historical context of progressive activism is not yet clear, but some observers see the increasingly prominent movement — members of which were mass-arrested at Trump's inauguration after a march that featured window-smashing — as becoming an important, accepted part of the mainstream Left.
Mark Lance, professor of justice and peace at Georgetown University, said the Antifa movement's rise is a clear response to more open fascist organizing.
"I'm seeing more concrete productive discussion between anti-fascists and others on the Left these days than ever before in my life," Lance said.
"There is reason to think that it will become integrated into an emerging coalition that includes Sanders supporters, democratic socialists, dreamers, the Movement for Black Lives, environmentalists, [and] Native American organizers," he said.
Lance said Antifa actions "need not be violent confrontation, but most Antifa, in practice, are willing to physically resist fascist marches and defend themselves against fascist attack."
Reaching for American historical parallels for Antifa is difficult.
Lance said he doesn't see a close historical reference in leftist groups that formed in the 1960s like the Black Panthers or the Weather Underground, which conducted a bombing campaign aimed largely at damaging property. Both were primarily focused on government institutions, he said.
"There's some limited similarity to the Weather Underground," Chomsky said about the group that grew out of the anti-Vietnam War movement. He added, however, that "Weathermen differed not only in radically different context, but also in tactics, almost always against property, in intent at least."
By contrast, "Antifa purports to be defensive," he said.
Anti-fascism during the rise of Nazism in Germany is perhaps a better analogy for today's Antifa, said Chomsky, who expressed alarm at Trump's remarks. He clarified that in Germany, "left violence was hardly the problem."

Barcelona. Free of Israeli Apartheid

Barcelona votes to be free of Israeli apartheid

More than 50 communities across Spain have declared themselves “free of Israeli apartheid.”
Albert GeaReuters
Barcelona city council passed a historic declaration on Wednesday upholding the right to boycott Israel over its violations of Palestinian rights.
The motion condemns Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, calls for the immediate end to the decade-long Gaza blockade and ensures that the city’s public procurement policies exclude companies that profit from Israel’s human rights abuses.
It also admonishes Israel for its intransigence in the face of repeated warnings from the international community to stop its illegal colonization of Palestinian land, according to the Catalan daily Ara.
The council recognizes “nonviolent campaigns promoted by Palestinian and international civil society for defending international and human rights law in Palestine” – a clear nod to the BDS movement.
The city joins dozens of Spanish municipalities which have declared themselves “free of Israeli apartheid.”
A coalition of Spanish and Catalan boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) groups welcomed the vote.
“We celebrate this victory because we believe it to be a great step forward in raising the awareness of the role of local government in the defense of human rights and in breaking the complicity that inherently bolsters apartheid and the occupation of Palestine,” the groups state.
“This resolution is an institutional recognition of civil society demands for an end to complicity in violations of international law through nonviolent struggle, as practiced by the BDS movement,” the groups add.
The city’s recognition of the right to engage in Israel boycott activism, at a time when more European governments move to protect such activism, “is a triumph for free speech and democratic rights in Europe,” saidRafeef Ziadah of the Palestinian BDS National Committee.
“It gives further recognition to BDS as an inclusive, inspiring, anti-racist movement rooted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that upholds the basic principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity,” Ziadah added.

Israel worries

For years, Spanish and Catalan activists have engaged in direct action against academic and cultural partnerships with Israeli-backed institutions.
In 2014, dozens of activists occupied the offices of Catalan government representatives to protest a wave of newly signed academic collaboration deals between the autonomous region and Israel.
The action forced the representatives to agree to examine proposals aimed at ensuring the new deals do not benefit institutions and companies that participate in Israel’s occupation.
More than 350 Catalan academics and university staff backed the action, calling for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
The Israeli government, meanwhile, has expressed worry over the growing popularity of BDS activism in Spain, especially as larger cities such as Barcelona, led by left-wing mayor Ada Colau, vote to support Palestinian rights.
A 2016 cable from the Israeli embassy in Spain described “the phenomenon of anti-Israeli activity in Spain” as “bothersome and worrisome, but in the past was centered in small cities.”
But the cable warned that Barcelona city council members were considering canceling a sister-city agreement with Tel Aviv, according to The Jerusalem Post.
After Wednesday’s city council vote, David Bondia Garcia, a professor of international law and president of the Institut de Drets Humans de Catalunya, a human rights organization, asserted in the newspaper el Periódicothat a break in the twinning agreement with Tel Aviv would be the next logical step.
The Barcelona motion comes just two months after pro-Israel groups in Spain filed charges against Palestine solidarity activists for calling on a music festival two years ago to cancel a performer who has used his celebrity to fundraise for the Israeli army and to support anti-Palestinian causes.
Omar Barghouti, a Palestinian human rights activist and co-founder of the BDS movement, called the charges “legal intimidation.”

CIA Torture


John Kiriakou is a former CIA counterterrorism officer, a former senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and a bestselling author. He was recently released from prison after serving 23 months of a 30 month sentence for exposing the CIA's illegal torture program.


CIA Torture Architects Settle With Victims to Avoid TrialAARON MATE: It's the real news. I'm Aaron Mate. In a landmark case, the architects of the CIA's torture program have reached a settlement with its victims. The psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen have agreed to undisclosed terms with two victims and the families of a third. It's the first time top officials in the CIA torture program are being held at least somewhat to account. Joining me is someone who has helped make this happen. John Kiriakou is a former CIA analyst who exposed the torture program and is the only official jailed in connection with it. John, welcome.
JOHN KIRIAKOU: Thanks for having me.
AARON MATE: I should say you were the only official who was jailed with it, because you're out of jail now. We're very happy to speak to you because you have a real connection with this case. Your response to this settlement?
JOHN KIRIAKOU: I know the ACLU is very happy. I know that one of the victims said he was very happy and that he felt that justice was served, but I actually am disappointed in this settlement for a number of reasons. First of all, the decision is sealed, so we really don't know if justice has been served. We don't know what the terms of the agreement are. We don't know if there is any kind of deterrent that has been written into the decision. The fact that it's not public, it seems to me at least in part defeats the purpose. Second, Mitchell and Jessen, the two CIA contractor psychologists who were the defendants in this case, were indemnified by the CIA in 2001. Even though they were sued, the CIA paid for their attorneys. The CIA is paying for their settlement. The CIA is paying for everything. 
When I say the CIA is paying for it, I mean that you and I are paying for it. The American taxpayers are paying for it, so there's no actual hurt to Mitchell and Jessen. And third, this trial, had it gone to trial, would have exposed CIA documents related to the torture program that we otherwise will never have access to. We're going to lose that now. Whatever didn't come out with the Senate torture report and could have come out with this case will not come out. We'll just never know what the truth is behind this case.
AARON MATE: You know, a few things. Let me start with who Mitchell and Jessen are. We talk about US taxpayers paying their legal fees. Well it wasn't just that, right? Because before that, to design this program, Mitchell and Jessen received millions of dollars to create the program. Can you talk about what they did and the techniques that they came up with that these victims were subjected to?
JOHN KIRIAKOU: Yeah. Mitchell and Jessen were psychologists in the department of the Air Force. They reverse engineered the Air Force's SERE training program to use offensively against terrorism suspects. This became the torture program. This became the 10 techniques that were used that the Bush White House euphemistically called Enhanced Interrogation Techniques. Now, in addition to being paid the standard $1050 a day that almost every CIA contractor is paid, Mitchell and Jessen over the course of several years were paid an additional $81 million to come up with this program and to then implement it. Now, what makes it even worse than just coming up with the program is that they went overseas to the secret prisons, and they were the ones who actually carried out the torture. There will be no punishment for them for doing that. 
AARON MATE: Right. Let's talk about these victims. Suleiman Salim, Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud, and the family of Gul Rahman. Rahman is now deceased. Let's talk about what they went through. I know that at least a few of them, Salim, and Ben Soud, I'm not familiar with Rahman's case. They were held for years, and ultimately ruled to pose no threat at all, as has been the case with so many of these victims of U.S. ambition and torture and imprisonment. 
JOHN KIRIAKOU: That's right. The two surviving victims of the CIA's torture program were tortured mercilessly and then released because they had nothing to do with terrorism. They were scooped up in the so called fog of war. They were sent to Guantanamo. Before that, they were sent to secret prisons and they were tortured. It turns out they were the wrong guys. Gul Rahman is a particularly sad case. Gul Rahman was subjected to a torture technique called the Cold Cell in which he was chained to an eye bolt in the ceiling like this. He was stripped naked. His cell was chilled to 50 degrees Fahrenheit and then every hour a CIA officer would enter the cell and throw a bucket of ice water on him. Gul Rahman was killed with that technique. He didn't make it through the night and died of hypothermia. No one's ever been brought to justice for murdering Gul Rahman. Certainly the justice department never gave CIA officers permission to murder detainees during the course of their interrogations. Well, Gul Rahman's torture and death were overseen by Mitchell and Jessen. Again, there's no justice for Gul Rahman. 
AARON MATE: Right. Certainly Mitchell and Jessen had a real reason to not want this case to go to trial. Let me ask you though, just to follow up on something you said before. In terms of documents that would have come out in a court case, not being able to now, is there not a second lawsuit that the ACLU also filed against Mitchell and Jessen, and if that's still ongoing, could that not possibly shed the light that has been foreclosed here?
JOHN KIRIAKOU: Yeah. There's a second case pending, filed by the ACLU, on behalf of, I believe, Abu Zubayda. Now, Abu Zubayda is far more controversial, because he was sort of Mitchell and Jessen's guinea pig for this whole program. I'm sort of tied to Abu Zubayda for life. I was responsible for his capture when the CIA believed that Abu Zubayda was the number three in Al Qaeda. He was never the number three in Al Qaeda, and in fact he never even joined Al Qaeda. But the intelligence was faulty. 
Well, he was tortured mercilessly and he was the first one to undergo this torture. He has never faced any kind of justice. He has never met his accusers in a court of law. He's never faced a jury of his peers, and he's never even been charged with a crime. Not only was he tortured, but he's been held indefinitely and has literally no hope of release. I hope that his case will eventually bring some of these atrocities to light rather. Now the problem with Abu Zubayda is because he's so controversial, and because he was the focus of the Senate torture report, I think the chances are very good that the CIA will invoke a national security defense, and ask the judge to dismiss this case with prejudice before any testimony is heard.
AARON MATE: John, just to flesh out your connection with him that you mentioned. If I recall right, you put him on the plane that took him to where he was held and tortured, right?
JOHN KIRIAKOU: Yeah. That's right. I literally picked him up, along with three FBI agents. He was on a gurney. We lifted him up and maneuvered him into a secret CIA jet. Strapped him to the luggage rack at the back. He asked me to hold his hand. He was crying. He was very upset. I told him a number of times, "I'm the nicest guy you're going to encounter in this experience. If I can give you any advice, it's that you have to cooperate." He said "You seem like a nice man, but you're the enemy. I'll never cooperate." I wished him luck, and I never saw him again. 
AARON MATE: Finally John, I know you mentioned that you're disappointed in this settlement because it means that these two are not going to be held accountable in court, but I'm wondering if you, as someone who exposed this program, if you can at least feel any comfort that two of its victims and the family of the third who died as you explained to us, and are going to experience some modicum of justice?
JOHN KIRIAKOU: You know, I would expect that the settlement is many millions of dollars. I don't think that Salim would have even said that justice had been served without a provision of millions of dollars, so that in and of itself is a great thing. Another great thing is with this agreement, the CIA has effectively admitted that it had a torture program. Not an enhanced interrogation technique program. Not an interrogation program, but a torture program. At least we have that. I hope that the organization can learn from its past mistakes, its past atrocities and not ever carry anything out like this again. 
AARON MATE: Okay. You know what, a quick follow up. Something I meant to ask you. The CIA in some ways did cooperate with the plaintiffs here, right? If that's a fair characterization, does that signal perhaps that the CIA is distancing itself from Mitchell and Jessen and would be open to some form of future accountability?
JOHN KIRIAKOU: I think that's right. It's odd and it's almost inexplicable, but when the CIA announced at the very end of the Obama administration that it would not seek to have the case thrown out, I thought "Well, we'll see if it lasts with the next president." With the next president, here we are with Donald Trump. Donald Trump’s CIA did not seek to have the case thrown out. I think that this was something that the CIA decided to do at the topmost levels just to put it behind them. 
AARON MATE: We'll have to leave it there. John Kiriakou, the CIA analyst who exposed the CIA torture program, went to jail for it. John, thank you.
JOHN KIRIAKOU: Thanks for having me.
AARON MATE: And thank you for joining us on the real news.


The 2014 Ukraine Coup Was as Much About China as Russia.

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The 2014 Ukraine Coup Was as Much About China as Russia. Eurasian Trade and the New Silk Road

By Adam Garrie
Global Research, August 16, 2017

Url of this article:

The events which led to the 2014 coup in Ukraine are generally blamed on anti-Russia actors, including the United States and EU.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was recently in the EU where he said the following,
“The largely-provoked-from-the-outside Ukrainian crisis has become the direct consequence of such short-sighted policy of Washington and Brussels”.
He continued,
“We hope that Germany and France, as partners within the Normandy format, as well as the US who have a special influence on the Kiev establishment, will use their means to change the situation”.
Lavrov went on to define his hopes for Ukraine stating,
“We want to see Ukraine a stable country, where all minorities, including linguistic, religious and ethnic, live freely and exercise rights provided by international convention”.
It is widely known that the US, EU, and fascist radicals mainly from the former Polish regions of Galicia were in favour of the EU Association Agreement proposed for Ukraine. Ukraine’s President at the time and the last legitimate leader of the country, Viktor Yanukovych decided against the association agreement with Europe, preferring to leave options open which would allow Kiev to continue to do commerce with its traditional partner, Russia.
But beyond Russia, Yanukovych’s Ukraine was also cultivating other partners even further away from the EU. Could this be part of the reason he was illegally overthrown?
The following timeline of events is crucial in understanding how anti-Chinese sentiments among the EU, US and Ukraine’s fascists could have played as much of a role in fomenting the 2014 Ukrainian coup as did those of anti-Russian actors.
October 2013:
The plans for China’s One Belt–One Road initiative, also called Belt & Road or The New Silk Road initiative were officially announced by Chinese officials in September and October of 2013. The announcements were made in part by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, including during his international visits.
December 2013:
Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych visits China where he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. During the meetings which were uniquely successful for Ukraine, China agreed to invest $8 billion into the Ukrainian economy.
RT reported the following on 5 December 2013,
‘Ukrainian President Yanukovych left Kiev in search of foreign cash for his country’s near bankrupt economy, and now he says he’s secured $8 billion in investment from China.
The money has made a timely arrival in cash-strapped Ukraine’s hands, as the economy teeters on default and faces debts over $15 billion. Yanukovych is on a three-day planned working trip to China.
“The documents signed today expand our economic cooperation. We have not yet calculated how much this will make up in terms of money, but we made some calculations earlier and saw that the matter is about some $8 billion in investments coming to the Ukrainian economy,” Yanukovych said after signing a number of bilateral documents in Beijing on Thursday, quoted by Interfax.
More investment documents are in their final stages of preparation, and are expected to be signed soon’, he said.
China has already given Ukraine $10 billion in loans, Reuters reported, citing VolodymyrFesenko of Ukraine’s Penta think-tank.
While Yanukovych signed papers in Beijing, a Ukrainian delegation met with Russian government officials in Moscow, including Prime Minister Medvedev to discuss trade issues such as customs clearance, Ukrainian chocolate, meat and dairy products, and railways.
Protests broke out in Kiev over Yanukovych’s last minute rejection of an EU trade deal in favor of restoring economic talks with Russia, Ukraine’s top trading partner and energy supplier.
Ukraine hasn’t made a decisive step East or West, and for now seems to be shopping around for the best economic deal to bring calm to markets, bond prices, and opposition movements, before committing to either the EU or Russia”.
During the meeting in Beijing, it was reported that Yanukovych and Chinese officials were in talks to construct a deep water port in Crimea, which at the time was under the sovereignty of Yanukovych’s government. The port project said to be worth $10 million, was reported shortly after the Ukrainian coup of February 2014 by the notoriously liberal Moscow Times as well as in a deeply Sinophobic article in the Eurasian Daily Monitor.
The way these publications – which clearly adopt a European narrative of events – reported Yanukovych’s dealing with China, clearly indicate that pro-EU propagandists were highly troubled by the fact that Ukraine under Yanukovych and China were about to solidify what might have been long lasting and meaningful economic relations, relations which could have helped ease Ukraine’s monumental debt crisis. If the debt crisis was resolved through Chinese investment, western creditors and the IMF would not have been able to wield power over Kiev.
The fact that Yanukovych travelled to Russia shortly after his trip to China is a further confirmation of the fact that doing business with both Russia and China is mutually complimentary. Russia’s subsequent enthusiasm for China’s New Silk Road is a further indication of the open possibilities of countries and businessmen conducting commerce with both Beijing and Moscow simultaneously.
The same could not be said of the proposed Ukraine-EU association agreement which would have effectively shut Ukraine out of the wider world market and forced the poor country to trade virtually exclusively with the EU. Any extra-EU trade would have had to be conducted according to the EU’s very strict rules which have constrained Greece’s economic ties to countries outside of Europe and which in part provoked Britain’s recent vote to leave the EU.
Under the post-coup regime, Ukraine has signed up to the deal with the EU in spite of fading enthusiasm from Europe. The western powers nevertheless successfully cut Ukraine off from its historic Russian homeland and its eastern partners.
February 2014:
Viktor Yanukovych and his country never got to see the fruits of his deals with China from December of 2014 because on 20 February of that year, Yanukovych was overthrown in a coup.
As The Duran recently explained,
“The EU was supposed to be the last minute saviour of Ukraine as fascist street-fighters and foreign mercenaries with fresh injections of American money readied a violent coup.
It was on the 20th of February 2014 that the Foreign Ministers of EU member states France, Germany and Poland convened in Kiev to broker a deal that was supposed to bring stability. Instead, it brought about a genocidal war on the people of Donbass who shortly after the coup declared their independence from the young fascist regime in Kiev. The deal also brought wide scale corruption in an already deeply corrupt place as well as total economic collapse that continues to get worse by the day.
Most ominously, the then Polish Foreign Minister who helped broker the deal which the insurgents had no intention of keeping, told representatives of the radicals that if they did not sign the agreement “you’ll all be dead”.
The truth is that the death came and continues to come not from those who opposed the coup but from those who came to power as a result of the coup.
The deal was supposed to insure orderly early elections and constitutional reforms which ironically reversed those made by Viktor Yanukovych. Instead, the agreement merely caused the total collapse of the state as the mob eventually forced Yanukovych to flee to Russia after a temporary and in hindsight, eerie pause in the violence.
The hours in the evening of the 20th of February 2014 in which violence temporarily abated have been made up for by three and a half years of violence, turmoil and a humanitarian disaster which has seen the lawless regime in Kiev drop chemical weapons on the people of Donbass, all while the west remains silent”.
Subsequent to the coup, the new regime broke off economic relations with Russia and scarpered the deals with China.
The routes of China’s New Silk Road still plan on partly travelling through Ukraine, but the current regime in Ukraine will doubtlessly make such matters more difficult for China vis-a-vis the last legitimate government of Ukraine, that of Viktor Yanukovych.
Although more recent maps show a slightly different route of the New Silk Road, which still goes through Ukraine, as early as 2013 (just prior to the coup in Kiev), maps showing proposed routes of the Road clearly indicated that Ukraine was on China’s map.
Below are two maps from 2013 followed by a more recent map:
Eurasia including Russia and much of modern Ukraine are included in what British thinker Halford John Mackinder called the Pivot Area in his theory which posited that Eurasia including and especially Russian Imperial lands needed to be conquered and subdued by the west in order to attain geo-political dominance over Asia and what one might now call the Global East or New Global South.
Far from being discarded, Mackinder’s theories continue to prove to be a guiding force behind the west’s policies of war, occupation and provocation against the countries which occupy his ‘pivot area’. Indeed, Britain and France’s continued opposition to Russia in its wars with Turkey throughout the 19th century go a long ways in explaining that far from being original, Mackinder simply wrote a theory which largely conformed to late modern western military and geo-political practice.
Drawing Ukraine away from its historical fraternal Eurasian partners in Moscow and into a western bloc of nations, the EU, was clearly an attempt to draw a portion of Mackinder’s pivot area into the western sphere of political sovereignty.
When understood from this perspective, the proximate timing of Viktor Yanukovych’s visit to China in late 2013, China’s unveiling of the New Silk Road in autumn of 2013 and the pro-EU coup in Kiev in February of 2014, seems more than coincidental.
China is attempting to build a New Silk Road from east to west based on cooperation and a respect for the sovereignty of the nations along the road. Meanwhile, the west is using modern slogans to justify its old policies that never went away.
All images in this article, except the featured image, are from the author.

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Copyright © Adam Garrie, Global Research, 2017